Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Echidna Facts

1) Echidnas are a kind of spiny anteaters.
2) Echidnas belong to the family Tachyglossidae that means "fast tongues."
3) Echidnas belong to the order monotreme including egg-laying mammals.
4) Echidnas belong to Prototheria including the first milk giving animals.
5) Echidnas and platypus are the only surviving egg-laying mammals.
6) The anteaters that do not relate to Echidnas are aardvark, numbat, and pangolins.
7) The giant anteater is Myrmecophaga tridactyla,  (not an Echidna).
8) Echidnas live in scrublands, deserts, and montane forests of Australia, Tasmania, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
9) Echidnas are terrestrial mammals.
10) Actually Echidna means a half-woman and half-snake creature in Greek mythology.
11) Echidnas were perceived to have qualities of both mammals and reptiles.
12) Echidnas are brown or black medium-sized, independently living solitary mammals covered with coarse hair and spines.
13) Externally Echidnas resemble the anteaters of the South America and other spiny mammals such as hedgehogs and porcupines.
14) Echidnas have elongated and slender snouts that function both as both mouth and nose.
15) The bill of Echidnas has about 2000 electrosensors, whereas the platypus has 40,000 electroreceptors.
16) Echidnas are powerful diggers with very short and strong limbs that equipped with large claws.
17) Echidnas have tiny mouths with toothless jaws.
18) Echidnas tear open anthills and logs by using a long and sticky tongue.
19) Echidnas have ear slits on either side of the head, hidden under spines.
20) The external ears of Echidnas are a pair of cartilaginous funnels situated deep in the muscle.
21) Tachglossus, the short-beaked Echidnas live on ants and termites, while the Zaglossus species on earthworms, worms and insect larvae.
22) The body temperature of Echidnas is lower than that of other mammals.
23) Echidnas do not tolerate extreme temperatures.
24) Echidnas use caves and rock crevices to shelter themselves from harsh weather conditions.
25) Echidnas are live under debris, roots and  vegetation in forests.
26) Echidnas occupy burrows of other animals like rabbits and wombats.
27) Echidnas are good swimmers.
28) The tongues of echidnas have sharp, tiny spines to capture the prey.
29) Faeces of Echidnas are about 7 cm long.
30) The lifespan of wild echidnas is 16 years.
31) Female echidnas weigh  4.5 kg (9.9 lb) and a males 6 kg (13.2 lbs).
32) Echidnas exhibit sexual dimorphism, males are 25% larger than females.
33) Both sexes have a common cloaca to urinate, defecate and mate.
34) Male echidnas have spurs on the hind feet.
35) The neocortex makes up half of the echidna's brain, compared to 80% of a human brain.
36) Echidnas live longer due to low metabolic rate and  stress resistance.
37) Captive echidnas live for 50 years and wilder ones for 45 years.
38) Echidnas show REM sleep at 25 °C (77 °F).
39) Female echidnas lay one single soft-shelled, leathery egg into the pouch once in a year.
40) Gestation period of echidnas is 22 days.
41) The baby echidna hatches out of the leather shell with a reptile-like egg tooth.
42) Incubation period for echidnas is 10 days.
43) Baby Echidnas are larval and foetus-like of the size of a grape, smaller than a jelly bean.
44) Echidnas have two milk patches without nipples. Puggles lap up milk from patches.
45) Baby echidnas lives in mother's pouch for 45 to 55 days.
46) The mother echidna digs a nursery burrow to deposit the young ones.
47) The mother echidna visits nursery burrow to suckle the baby every 5-10 days.
48) Baby echidnas are weaned at seven months.
49) Male echidnas have a four-headed penis. Each time it copulates, it alternates heads in sets of two.
50) The penis of male echidnas is retracted inside a preputial sac in the cloaca. 51) The male echidna's penis is 7 centimetres (2.8 in) long when erect.
52) The shaft of the penis of Echidnas is covered with penile spines.
53) The penile spines induce ovulation in the female Echidnas.
54) Male Echidnas for mating lines up to ten individuals.
55) The youngest echidna trailing last mates the female mostly.
56) Switching of Echidnas between mating lines  during a mating season is known as the "train" system.
57) The egg of Echidnas is 1.5 – 2 gm and about 1.4 cm long.
58) The young echidna is called a puggle.
58) Echidnas are very timid animals.
59) Predators of Echidnas are wild cats, foxes, domestic dogs, dingoes, goannas and snakes.
60) Snakes prey on the young spineless puggles.
61) Humans grabbing may cause stress and picking up improperly may result in injury.
62) Oviparous mammals diverged into viviparous mammals during the Triassic period.
63) Zaglossus and Tachyglossus are two extant genera of Echidnas
64) Echidna is a food delicacy for aboriginal Australians.
65) The echidna is on the Australian five-cent coin.
66) The mascot for the 2000 Summer Olympics was Millie, an Echidna.
67) Echidnas are diurnal, crepuscular and nocturnal as per convenience.
68) The eyesight of Echidnas is not as acute as sense of hearing and smell.
69) The beige-and-black spines on echidnas are about 2 inches (5 centimeters) long.
70) The hind legs point backward with an extra-long claw on the second toe.
71) Echidnas escape danger by running away and faces by curling up the body.
72) The echidna is an excellent swimmer and tree climber.
73) Hard pads at the base of the tongue and on the roof of the mouth grind the food into a paste for swallowing.
74) Both male and female echidnas have a pouch on the belly.
75) Gynecomastism is seen in Echidnas that means males have mammary glands
76) The echidna’s snout is very sensitive to touch and can feel vibrations.
77) The Sir David's long-beaked echidna is named after Sir David Attenborough, a British naturalist famous for his nature films.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Kangaroo Facts

1) The kangaroo is a marsupial. 
2) Animals with young ones nurtured in mother's pouch are called marsupials.
3) Marsupials include kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, possums, opossums, quokkas, pademelons wombats, and Tasmanian devils.
4) Kangaroos belong to the genus Macropus.
5) Kangaroos are endemic to Australia. There is a myth that kangaroo means "I don't understand you," in local language.
6) More than 30 million kangaroos live in Australia.
7) The family Macropodidae includes kangaroos, wallaroo and wallaby.
8) The smallest species of Macropodidae are called "wallabies".
9) The largest species of Macropodidae are called "kangaroos."
10) The smallest macropod is the dwarf wallaby whose length is 46 cm and weight 1.6 kg.
11) The largest macropod is kangaroos.
12) A large male kangaroo can be 2 m (6 ft 7 in) tall and  90 kg (200 lb) weight. (Small kangaroo is 0.5 kg and larger up to 95 kg)
13) Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs and large feet for leaping.
14) A long muscular tail of the kangaroo is meant for balance.
15) Female kangaroos have a pouch called the marsupium.
16) In the marsupium joeys complete their post-natal development.
17) The kangaroo is an unofficial recognized symbol of Australia.
28) The kangaroo is an official symbol of Qantas and the Royal Australian Air Force.
29) Wild kangaroos are sometimes shot for meat, leather hides, and to protect grazing lands.
40) "Roos" is a colloquial name of Kangaroos.
41) Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers, jacks, or old men.
42) Female kangaroos are called does, flyers, or jills.
43) Young kangaroos are called joeys.
44) A group of kangaroos is called a mob, troop, or court.
45) The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial.
46) The scientific name of the red kangaroo is Macropus rufus.
47) The range lands of the western New South Wales consist of the highest population density of the red kangaroo.
48) Kangaroos with the largest population are the  eastern greys.
49) The largest hopping animal is kangaroo.
50) The normal hopping speed of a red kangaroo is 20–25 km/h (12–16 mph).
51) The maximum hopping speed of a kangaroo can be 70 km/h (43 mph).
52) Kangaroos exhibit pentapedal locomotion where four limbs and a tail are used.
53) Two hind legs and a tail form a tripod in locomotion.
54) Kangaroos are adept swimmers.
55) Kangaroos are herbivorous ruminants with chambered stomachs. Kangaroos eat grasses, flowers, leaves, ferns, mosses and even insects.
56) The smaller species of kangaroos eat hypogeal fungi.
57) Many species of kangaroos are nocturnal (night lovers) and crepuscular (twilight lovers). 58) Kangaroos show polyphyodonty that is getting several sets of new teeth  during lifetime.
59) Elephants and manatees also show polyphyodonty.
60) Kangaroos do not emit digestive methane.
61) Kangaroos communicate through sniffing.
62) Male kangaroos exhibit the flehmen response by  sniffing females' urine to detect oestrus.
63) Kangaroos fight is "boxing" or "wrestling."
64) The natural predators of kangaroos are dingos, foxes, feral cats, domestic and feral dogs.
64) A large kangaroo use its forepaws to drown its predator enemy in water.
65) The gestation period of kangaroos is 31–36 days.
66) The newly born joey is about the size of a lima bean or a grain of rice, or as big as a bee, at 5 to 25 millimeters (0.2 to 0.9 in).
67) The staying period of a  joey in the mother's pouch is about nine months (180 days); 320 days for the WesternGrey.
68) A joey feeds milk for 18 months.
69) The female kangaroo is usually pregnant in permanence, except on the day she gives birth.
70) The ability of the female kangaroo to freeze the development of an embryo until the previous joey is able to leave the pouch or in unfavourable conditions is known as diapause.
71) The composition of the milk of a female kangaroo varies according to the needs of the joey.
72) A female kangaroo produces two different kinds of milk simultaneously for the newborn and the older joey.
73) Male kangaroos cannot produce sperms during unfavourable dry periods.
74) Female kangaroos conceive only during favourable wet conditions with sufficient green vegetation.
75) Kangaroos and wallabies have large, elastic tendons in their hind legs.
76) A kangaroo's tail acts as a third leg.
77) Kangaroos may get blindness due to a virus called the Wallal virus through carriers called midges.
78) The neonate or newly born joey is blind and hairless.
79) The newly born joey climbs up with front legs in 3-5 minutes.
80) The hindlegs of a newly born are mere stumps.
81) The mother's sexual cycle starts immediately after the birth of a new joey.
82) The lifespan of kangaroos is six years in the wild and 20 years in the captivity. Larger species live around 12-18 years, while smaller rat kangaroos live for 5-8 years.
83) Kurnai tribes use stuffed kangaroo scrotum as a ball for the traditional football game of marngrook.
84) Aherrenge is a kangaroo dreaming site in the Northern Territory.
85) A small vehicle may be destroyed and a larger vehicles may suffer engine damage if they counteract with a kangaroo. 
86) "kangaroo crossing" signs are common places in Australia.
87) Vehicles are often fitted with "roo bars" to minimise damage caused by kangaroo collision.
88) Bonnet-mounted ultrasound devices are used to scare kangaroos off the road.
89) Any joey in the pouch of an accident met female kangaroo is sent to a wildlife sanctuary or veterinary surgeon for rehabilitation.
90) There are five kangaroos on the Australian one dollar coin.
91) The Australian made logo consists of a golden kangaroo in a green triangle.
92) Kangaroo meat is high in protein with only about 2% fat.
93) Most kangaroo meat is from wild animals as a byproduct of population control programs.
94) Mammary glands of kangaroos are present in pouches.
95) The smallest kangaroo is the musky rat-kangaroo which is 15.24 to 20.32 cm (6 to 8 in) long and weighs 340 grams (12 ounces).
96) The springy hind legs and feet of kangaroos are much stronger and larger than forelimbs.
97) Kangaroos can cover 15 feet (7 m) in a single hop.
98) The fifth leg of the kangaroo is its tail.
99) Joeys urinate and defecate in the mother's pouch. Though some of the mess is absorbed by the lining of the pouch, major part is cleaned by mother's  tongue.
100) According to the IUCN 16 species of tree-kangaroos and rat-kangaroos are nearly threatened, threatened, vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.
101) The desert rat-kangaroo and the Nullarbor dwarf bettong are considered extinct.
102) Global warming could kill off the world's smallest kangaroo.
103) Hopping is a fast and energy efficient means of travelling among kangaroos.
104) There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia.
105) A slow movement of a kangaroo with its tail to form a tripod with its two forelimbs is called "crawl-walking."
106) Each nipple of mother kangaroo  varies the composition of the milk it produces to suit the stage of development of its young ones.
107) The reproductive strategy of kangaroos is that there are 3 stages of foetus or baby development to reproduce at maximum speed in favourable conditions. 
108) Mother kangaroo stops milk production during unfavourable dry conditions. 
109) Each young kangaroo takes 600 days to reach the stage where it can live independently.
110) Most kangaroos have a very low standard metabolic rate, SMR, 70 % of the mean for mammals to survive during severe hot conditions. 
111) Kangaroos cool themselves by spreading saliva on their forearms during extremely hot conditions

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Giraffe Facts

1) The giraffe is an ungulate mammal that gives milk to its young ones.
2) The giraffe is the tallest living land animal.
3) The giraffe is the largest ruminant.
4) The Southern giraffe is Giraffa giraffa
5) The giraffe's distinct characteristics are extremely long neck and legs, horn-like ossicones, and coat patterns.
6) The closest relative of giraffe is the okapi.
7) Giraffes are mostly found in the African continent.
8) Giraffes are usually found in the savannahs and woodlands.
9) The chief food source of giraffe is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants.
10) The most important tree on which giraffes depend a lot is Acacia species.
11) The main predators of giraffes are lions and leopards.
12) Giraffes are gregarious as they live in groups.
13) The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies giraffes as Vulnerable to extinction.
14) As of 2016 there are approximately 97,500 giraffs in the wild, with around 1,144 in captivity.
15) In Arabic giraffe means a "fast-walker".
16) "Camelopard" is an archaic English name that means an animal with a camel-like body and leopard-like colouring.
17) Climatic changes caused the extinction of the Asian giraffes in the past.
18) Jean-Baptiste Lamarck believed the giraffe's long neck was due to "Inheritance of acquired characters."  (developed as generations of ancestral giraffes strove to reach the leaves of tall trees).
19) According to Darwin's "natural selection" ancestral giraffes developed long necks due to competitive feeding advantage (Competing Browsers Hypothesis)
20) A fully grown giraffes stands 4.3-5.7 m (14.1-18.7 ft) tall.
21) Male giraffes are taller than females.
22) The average weight of a giraffe is 1,192 kg (2,628 lb) for an adult male and 828 kg (1,825 lb) for an adult female.
23) Giraffes have a pair of large, bulging eyes at lateral sides of the head to give a good all-round vision from its great height.
24) Giraffes see in colour.
25) The senses of hearing and smell of giraffes are sharp.
26) The giraffe can close its muscular nostrils to protect against sandstorms and ants.
27) The giraffe's tongue is about 45 cm (18 in) long.
28) The giraffes tongue is purplish-black in colour to protect against sunburn.
29) Both the upper lip and tongue of the giraffe are prehensile and useful in foraging.
30) The lips, tongue, and inside of the mouth are covered in papillae to protect against thorns.
31) The skin coat of giraffe has dark orange, chestnut, brown, or nearly black blotches or patches separated by light hair (white or cream).
32) The coat pattern of giraffes serves as camouflage in the light and shade patterns of savannah woodlands.
33) The skin underneath the dark patches serves as windows for thermoregulation (temperature controller), complex blood vessels and large sweat glands.
34) Each individual giraffe has a unique coat pattern.
35) Giraffe fur has about  11 aromatic chemicals.
36) The chief chemical responsible for giraffe's body odour is indole-3-methyl indole.
37) The tail of giraffe is about one-metre (3.3-ft) long.
38) Both sexes of giraffes have prominent horn-like structures on the head called ossicones.
39) Ossicones are formed due to the oscification of cartilage.
40) Oscicones are circulated with blood vessels and play a role in thermoregulation.
41) Male giraffes develop calcium deposits on the skull to form bumps with age.
42) The skull of giraffes is light due to multiple sinuses.
43) The skulls of male giraffes are heavier to resist during combating with others.
44) The front and back legs of giraffes are of the same length.
45) Suspensory ligaments support the lanky feet of giraffes to bear the huge animal weight.
46) The maximum speed of a giraffe is 60 km/h (37 mph).
47) The giraffe sleeps intermittently for 4-6 hours a night.
48) Giraffes can float but can't  swim efficiently.
49) The neck of a giraffe is up to 2–2.4 m (6.6-7.9 ft).
50) The long neck results from the disproportionate lengthening of the cervical vertebrae.
51) Each cervical vertebra of a giraffe's neck is over 28 cm.
52) 52-54 per cent of the length of the giraffe's vertebral column is in neck.
53) The elongation of the neck takes place after birth.
54) The giraffe's head and neck are held up by large muscles, a nuchal ligament, and long dorsal spines on the anterior thoracic vertebrae.
55) The giraffe's neck vertebrae have ball and socket joints.
56) The atlas–axis joint (C1 and C2) allows the animal to tilt its head vertically and reach more branches with the tongue.
57) The point of articulation between the cervical and thoracic vertebrae of giraffes lies between the first and second thoracic vertebrae.
58) The herbivorous competitors which might have made elongation of giraffes neck in the past were askudu, steenbok and impala.
59) Giraffes can feed leaves on up to 4.5 m high branches.
60) Adult giraffes with longer necks die earlier than those of shorter necks during famines.
61) The left recurrent laryngeal nerve of the giraffe is longer - nearly 5 m (16 ft).
62) The giraffe's brain is kept cool by evaporative heat loss in the nasal passages.
63) The shape of the skeleton gives the giraffe a small lung volume relative to its mass.
64) A long narrow windpipe is all along the giraffe's neck.
65) The heart of the giraffe  is about 11 kg (25 lb) and measures about 60 cm (2 ft) long.
66) The heart of the giraffe generates approximately double the blood pressure required for a human to maintain blood flow to the brain.
67) The wall of the heart is 7.5 cm (3.0 in) thick.
68) Giraffes heart rate is 150 beats per minute.
69) When the animal lowers its head the blood rushes down fairly unopposed and the upper neck prevents excess blood flow to the brain. When it raises again, the blood vessels constrict and direct the blood into the brain so the animal doesn't faint.
70) Legs have thin skin to prevent excessive blood pressure from heavy body.
71)Giraffes have strong oesophageal muscles to allow regurgitation of food from the stomach up the neck and into the mouth for rumination.
72) The Angolan giraffe is found in deserts.
73) Chief sources of calcium and protein for giraffes growth is from Acacia, Commiphora and Terminalia trees.
74) A giraffe eats around 34 kg (75 lb) of foliage daily.
75) The giraffe visits carcasses to lick dried meat off bones.
76) The giraffe requires less food because the foliage it eats has more concentrated nutrients and it has a more efficient digestive system
77) During sexual courtship males emit loud coughs.
78) Females call their young by bellowing.
79) Calves emit snorts, bleats, mooing and mewing sounds.
80) Giraffes snore, hiss, moan, grunt and make flute-like sounds also.
81) The giraffe is polygamous that is a few older males mate with the fertile females.
82) Male giraffes assess female fertility by tasting the female's urine to detect oestrus, in a multi-step process known as the flehmen response.
83) Giraffe's gestation period 400- 460 days.
84) The mother gives birth standing up.
85) A newborn giraffe is 1.7–2 m (5.6-6.6 ft) tall.
86) Mothers leave their calves with one female while  foraging and drinking in with a herd known as a "calving pool".
87) The behaviour of male giraffes using their necks as weapons in combat is known as "necking".
88) Giraffe's lifespan is up to 25 years.
89) Giraffes are commonly prey to lions.
90) Giraffes rely on red-billed and yellow-billed oxpeckers to clean them off ticks and alert them to danger.
91) Giraffe dance is performed to treat head ailments in Southern Africa.
92) The Kiffians' life-size rock engraving of two giraffes are called the "world's largest rock art petroglyph".
93) Old Egyptian kept giraffes as pets.
95) The first giraffe in Rome was first brought in by Julius Caesar in 46 BC.
96) The giraffe's memorabilia is called "giraffanalia"
97) Giraffe's skin is studied to develop suits for astronauts and fighter pilots.
98) Computer scientists have modelled the coat patterns of several subspecies using reaction-diffusion mechanisms.
99) Giraffe's meat was used as food.
100) The tail hairs were used as fly swatters, bracelets, necklaces and threads.
101) Shields, sandals and drums were made using the skin.
102) The strings of musical instruments were made from the tendons.
103) The smoke from burning giraffe skins was used by the medicine men of Buganda to treat nose bleeds.
104) The Humr people of Sudan consume the drink Umm Nyolokh, which is created from the liver and marrow of giraffes.
105) Umm Nyolokh often contains DMT and other psychoactive substances from plants the giraffes eat such as Acacia; and is known to cause hallucinations of giraffes, believed to be the giraffes' ghosts by the Humr.
106) Nubian giraffe was the most threatened of all giraffes.
107) Giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania.
108) When giraffes walk, they move both legs on one side of their body and then both legs on the other side; this is unique to giraffes.