Blackbuck

The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is also known as the Indian Antelope.

The Blackbuck is a medium-sized antelope, similar to the gazelle. It has two-tone fur, with its upperparts dark-brown to black, and its underparts are white. It has white fur on its chin and around its eyes. It has black stripes on its face. Male Blackbucks have long V-shaped horns (females may also develop horns).

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CREATURE FEATURE: Koala

The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is an arboreal (tree-living) marsupial, found in eastern and southern coastal Australia. It is related to the wombat. It is not a bear.

The Koala has soft, short silver-grey to brown fur. It is a rounded, short animal with a large head with round, fluffy ears. Its underbelly is white. It has no tail. Its nose is black and distinct, and covered with leathery skin. It has curved, sharp claws for climbing trees. The first and second digits on its fore-paws are opposable, enabling it to grasp tree branches. The second and third digits on the hind-paws are fused together. Males have chest glands, which are visible.

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East African Common Hippopotamus

The East African Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious kiboko) is a large African even-toed ungulate (hoofed) mammal found in Kenya and Somalia. Hippopotamus means river horse, and amphibious means adapted to land and water. The hippo from East Africa has a broader nose and more hollowed eye sockets than other hippos.

The East African Common Hippo has a grey-brown hairless skin, with pink patches in creases.  It has a barrel-shaped body with a short tail. Its head is large, with a wide mouth and canine ivory tusks. It has short legs with four webbed toes, but it can run for short distances at 30 kilometres per hour (19 miles per hour). It cannot jump.

It can grow to 1.65 metres (66 inches) tall and 3.7 metres (148 inches) long. It is the third largest land mammal (the elephant is the largest, and the rhinoceros is the second largest).

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Malayan Tapir

The Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) is also called the Asian Tapir, and is the largest of all the tapirs. It is related to horses and rhinoceroses. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal.

The Malayan Tapir is black with a dull-white strip of fur from its shoulders to its tail. It has a short prehensile trunk (like an elephant’s trunk but much shorter). Its trunk can grab branches and leaves or pick fruit from trees. It has a low crest of hair from the crown down the back of the neck. Its round, dark ears have white edges. Its tail is short and stubby.

They have hoofed feet (hooves). They have four toes on their front feet and three toes on their back feet.

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Brazilian Tapir

The Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is also called the South American Tapir, and is the largest land mammal in the Amazon. It is related to horses and rhinoceroses. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal.

The Brazilian Tapir is dark brown, with a paler face. It has a short prehensile trunk (like an elephant’s trunk but much shorter). Its trunk can grab branches and leaves or pick fruit from trees. It has a low crest of hair from the crown down the back of the neck. Its round, dark ears have white edges. Its tail is short and stubby.

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Crested Porcupine

The Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a rodent mammal found in Asia and Africa.

The Crested Porcupine is black or dark brown, and covered with quills that lie flat along the body, and can be raised like a crest or fan. Its eyes and ears are small, and its nostrils are large. It has four toes on it front feet and five toes on its back feet. It has one incisor tooth, one premolar tooth, and three molars.

It is best recognized by its quills. The quills are about 35 centimetres (14 inches) long with light markings. The quills are not firmly attached, so they can easily come out. When these quills are vibrated, they produce a hiss-like rattle.

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Uganda Kob

The Uganda Kob (Kobus kob thomasi) is a subspecies of the kob, which is an antelope. It is found in Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia.

The Uganda Kob has soft reddish-orange fur with a white underbelly, throat, and facial patches. It is a strong antelope with a muscular neck. It has black markings on its legs. It can grow to 100-114 centimetres (40-45 inches) tall.

Only males have horns, which are twisted from the forehead. The horns can be 40-70 centimetres (16-27 inches) long.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Gerenuk

The Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) is an African long-necked gazelle from the antelope family, which is also called Waller’s Gazelle.

Gerenuk means giraffe-necked in Somali. Its neck is not as long as a giraffe’s neck but it is longer than a gazelle’s neck. Its neck is about 60-70 centimetres (23-28 inches) long. It also has very thin legs.

The Gerenuk is 80-105 centimetres (31-41 inches) tall with glossy two-tone fur in buff and reddish colours. Its tail, throat, chin, eye rings, and lips are white. Its head is long and narrow with very large ears.

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White Rhinoceros

The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is also called the Square-Lipped Rhinoceros. Most rhinos in zoos are Southern White Rhinoceroses. There are only two Northern White Rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium cottoni) left in the world – two females – and they are in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya under 24-hour armed guard. There were three Northern White Rhinos, but Sudan, a male, died of old age on 19 March 2018 at the age of 45.

The White Rhinoceros is an African mammal and the largest rhinoceros in the world. It is grey and hairless, except for hair on the ears and tail tuft.

It has a wide mouth, a broad body, a large head, a short neck, and stumpy legs with three toes on each foot. It has two horn-like keratin growths, one behind the other. The front horn is larger than the second horn. The front horn is about 60 centimetres (2 feet) long.

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Egyptian Goose

The Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) is a large African waterbird with chocolate-brown eye patches, living close to rivers, lakes, marshes, and estuaries. Alopochen means fox-goose because it has feathers that are the same colour as a fox.

Egyptian Geese have red to grey-brown feathers, with black lower back, rump and tail feathers

There is a narrow, dark reddish-brown collar around the base of their long necks. The wings have iridescent green patches. Their eyes are orange and their beak is pinkish, with a black tip, black nostrils and black edges. Their legs and feet are pinkish, turning redder when in breeding condition.

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Eastern Grey Kangaroo

The Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) is a marsupial mammal found in southern and eastern Australia. Macropus means big feet.

It is about 2 metres (6.6 feet) tall, and is not as tall as the Red Kangaroo. It is the second largest and heaviest living marsupial and native land mammal in Australia.

The Eastern Grey Kangaroo has soft grey fur with a lighter coloured stomach. They have muscular long tails, strong back legs, large feet, short fur and long, pointed ears. Like all marsupials, females have pouches that contain mammary glands, where their young joey lives.

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Sika deer

The Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) is also known as the Spotted Deer or Japanese Deer. It is common in woodlands in Japan and eastern Asia.

The Silka Deer is a medium-sized herbivore. It grazes on grass. It can grow to 50-110 centimetres (20-43 inches) tall at the shoulder.

It has mahogany to black fur. The colour becomes darker in winter. The Sika Deer is one of the few deer species that does not lose its spots when it reaches maturity.

Sika stags (males) have upright antlers. Females carry a pair of distinctive black bumps on the forehead. Antlers can range from 28-45 centimetres (11-18 inches) to more than 80 centimetres (30 inches), depending on the subspecies.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroo

Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi) is one of two sub-species of tree-kangaroos, native to Papua New Guinea.

It is a macropod, and is related to kangaroos and wallabies.

It grows to 55-77 centimetres (22-30 inches).

The tree-kangaroos are arboreal, spending their lives in trees, unlike other kangaroos that are terrestrial (living on the ground).

Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroos are short and woolly with chestnut red fur, a brown face, yellowish cheeks and feet, a pale stomach, a long tail, and two golden stripes on its back.

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Giant African Land Snail

The Giant African Land Snail (Lissachatina fulica) is a large mollusk in the Achatinidae family.

They are macrophytophagous herbivores, which means that they eat a wide range of plant material, fruit, and vegetables.

The Giant African Land Snail can grow to 7 centimetres (2.8 inches) long. The shell is conical with colours that depend on the snail’s location, diet, and surroundings.

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Eastern Black-and-White Colobus Monkey

The Eastern Black-and-White Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza) comes from eastern Africa, in countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Colobus means docked, which refers to their stump, or short, thumb.

The Eastern Black-and-White Colobus Monkey is large, black and white, with a very long hairy tail.

They grow to about 61 centimetres (24 inches). The tail is as long as its body and head, totalling another 61 centimetres. The tail has a white tuft at its end.

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White-Bearded Wildebeest

The White-Bearded Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus) is a large, horned herbivorous (grass-eating) African wildebeest in the antelope, goat, and cattle family. It is also called the White-Bearded Gnu.

Connos means beard; chaetus means flowing hair; taurinus means bull-like; and albojubatus means white-bearded. This equals ‘bull-like animal with a flowing white beard.’

It is also an ungulate mammal because it is hoofed.

The White-Bearded Wildebeest lives in herds on the grassy plains of southern Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, near water.

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Are there advantages in having a long neck?

Are there advantages in having a long neck in the animal kingdom?

Having long necks helps giraffes, camels, and llamas reach leaves and branches in tall trees that smaller herbivorous mammals cannot reach.

Almost all mammals have seven cervical vertebrae (bones) in their necks, whether they have long necks or short necks. Humans have seven neck bones too.

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