viernes, 18 de marzo de 2011

Zebras facts

Zebras, horses and wild asses are all equids, long-lived animals that move quickly for their large size and have teeth built for grinding and cropping grass. Zebras have horselike bodies, but their manes are made of short, erect hair, their tails are tufted at the tip and their coats are striped.

Three species of zebra still occur in Africa, two of which are found in East Africa. The most numerous and widespread species in the east is Burchell's, also known as the common or plains zebra. The other is Grevy's zebra, named for Jules Grevy, a president of France in the 1880s who received one from Abyssinia as a gift, and now found mostly in northern Kenya. (The third species, Equus zebra, is the mountain zebra, found in southern and southwestern Africa.)

Physical Characteristics

The long-legged Grevy's zebra, the biggest of the wild equids, is taller and heavier than the Burchell's, with a massive head and large ears.

Zebras have shiny coats that dissipate over 70 percent of incoming heat, and some scientists believe the stripes help the animals withstand intense solar radiation. The black and white stripes are a form of camouflage called disruptive coloration that breaks up the outline of the body. Although the pattern is visible during daytime, at dawn or in the evening when their predators are most active, zebras look indistinct and may confuse predators by distorting true distance.

The stripes on Grevy's zebras are more numerous and narrow than those of the plains zebra and do not extend to the belly. In all zebra species, the stripes on the forequarters form a triangular pattern; Grevy's have a similar pattern on the hindquarters, while others have a slanted or horizontal pattern.


Burchell's zebras inhabit savannas, from treeless grasslands to open woodlands; they sometimes occur in tens of thousands in migratory herds on the Serengeti plains. Grevy's zebras are now mainly restricted to parts of northern Kenya. Although they are adapted to semi-arid conditions and require less water than other zebra species, these zebras compete with domestic livestock for water and have suffered heavy poaching for their meat and skins.


Family groups are stable members maintaining strong bonds over many years. Mutual grooming, where zebras stand together and nibble the hair on each other's neck and back, helps develop and preserve these bonds. Family members look out for one another if one becomes separated from the rest, the others search for it. The group adjusts its traveling pace to accommodate the old and the weak.

The females within a family observe a strict hierarchical system. A dominant mare always leads the group, while others follow her in single file, each with their foals directly behind them. The lowest- ranking mare is the last in line. Although the stallion is the dominant member of the family, he operates outside the system and has no special place in the line.


Zebras are avid grazers. Both Burchell's and Grevy's zebras are in constant search of green pastures. In the dry season, they can live on coarse, dry grass only if they are within a short distance (usually no farther than 20 miles away) of water holes.see more at what do zebras eat.

Raccoons facts

Bandit-masked raccoons are a familiar sight just about everywhere, because they will eat just about anything. These ubiquitous mammals are found in forests, marshes, prairies, and even in cities. They are adaptable and use their dexterous front paws and long fingers to find and feast on a wide variety of fare.
In the natural world, raccoons snare a lot of their meals in the water. These nocturnal foragers use lightning-quick paws to grab crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. On land, they pluck mice and insects from their hiding places and raid nests for tasty eggs.

Raccoons also eat fruit and plants—including those grown in human gardens and farms. They will even open garbage cans to dine on the contents.see more at what do raccoons eat.

These ring-tailed animals are equally opportunistic when it comes to choosing a denning site. They may inhabit a tree hole, fallen log, or a house's attic. Females have one to seven cubs in early summer. The young raccoons often spend the first two months or so of their lives high in a tree hole. Later, mother and children move to the ground when the cubs begin to explore on their own.
Raccoons in the northern parts of their range gorge themselves in spring and summer to store up body fat. They then spend much of the winter asleep in a den. There are six other species of raccoons, in addition to the familiar northern (North American) raccoon. Most other species live on tropical islands.

Scorpions facts

Scorpions are arthropods, they have eight legs, two pedipalps, and a tail with a venom-injecting barb. Scorpions have two venom glands that produce venom used in hunting and self defense. Scorpions do not have bones instead they have an exoskeleton made of chitin, the same thing our fingernails are composed of.
Scorpions are found all across the world. There are over 2,000 different species found on six of the seven continents. They prey on insects, arthropods and in some cases small vertebrates.see more at what do scorpions eat. Because scorpions can live in such hash environments they have adapted the ability to slow their metabolism to as little as one-third the rate for most arthropods. This enables some species to use little oxygen and live on a single insect a year. Even with lowered metabolism, the scorpion has the ability to spring quickly to the hunt when the opportunity presents itself something that many hibernating species are unable to do. Some species can have over 100 viviparous offspring, followed by the young climbing on the mother's back for weeks until first molt and living independently. All scorpions are venomous, they use their venom to paralyze and kill their pray and in self defense. Even small young scorpions can inject you with the same amount of venom as adults.

Lions facts

Description of Lions

The Lion is described as large, carnivorous feline mammal (Panthera leo). Lions have a short tawny coat, a tufted tail, and male lions have a heavy mane around the head and neck.

Understanding Scientific names of animals

The scientists who study animals (zoology) are called zoologists. Each animal that is studied is classified, that is, split into descriptive groups starting with main groups ( vertebrates and invertebrates ) the Families of animals are also included such as Ursidae ( the family of bears) and the families are then split into species such as Ursus americanus (American Black Bear)

Species of Lions

There are seven different species of Lions:

African lion
Asiatic lion
American Lion
Mountain Lion
Cave lion
White lion

Facts about where Lions live and what they eat!

Lions are native to Africa and Northwest India
The common habitat are both open plains and open woodlands
The diet of consists of meat - both large and small game. see more at what do lions eat.

Cool and Fun Facts about the life, behavior and personality of Lions - the King of the Jungle!

Lions are active during and at night but they prefer hunting at night
A Lions lifespan is 15 years in the wild
Cross- breeding between lions and tigers resulting in a 'tiglon'
The lion is the second biggest cat in the world
A lion can run up to a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour

Spiders facts

Spiders aren't the most appealing creatures, but they do serve their purpose ecologically. As frightening as they might be to most people, spiders are fascinating creatures to learn about.

• Spiders have existed for at least 350,000 years. There are approximately 37,000 species of spiders in the world.


• Spiders play an important role in the environment by consuming insects. As a group, spiders eat more insects than birds.


• Spiders are not actually considered to be insects. They are arthropods. Spiders have two main body parts consisting of a combined head, thorax--called the cephalothorax--and the abdomen. The spider has no internal skeleton. The body is covered with a hard outer covering called the exoskeleton.


• Spiders have four pairs of legs. Most spiders have 8 eyes but some have less. The Brown Recluse spider has 6 eyes.


• All spiders are carnivorous predators. Most are nocturnal hunters. Spiders can survive for several weeks without food. The Brown Recluse spider has a violin shape on the upper side of the cephalothorax. The Black Widow has two reddish markings that join to form an hourglass shape.see more at what do spiders eat.

Snails facts

Snail is a common name for almost all members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in a general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails. Otherwise snail-like creatures that lack a shell (or have only a very small one) are called slugs.
One species of land snail, the Giant African Snail, can grow to be 15 inches (38 cm) from snout to tail, and weigh 1 kilogram (2 lb). The largest living species of sea snail is Syrinx aruanus which has a shell that can measure up to 90 cm (35 in) in length, and the whole animal with the shell can weigh up to 18 kg (40 lb).


Snails can be found in a very wide range of environments including ditches, deserts, and the abyssal depths of the sea. Although many people are familiar with terrestrial snails, land snails are in the minority. Marine snails constitute the majority of snail species, and have much greater diversity and a greater biomass. Numerous kinds of snail can also be found in fresh waters. Many snails are herbivorous, though a few land species and many marine species are omnivores or predatory carnivores.


Snails that respire using a lung belong to the group Pulmonata, while those with gills form a paraphyletic group; in other words, snails with gills are divided into a number of taxonomic groups that are not very closely related. Snails with lungs and with gills have diversified widely enough over geological time that a few species with gills can be found on land, numerous species with a lung can be found in freshwater, and a few species with a lung can be found in the sea.

Most snails have thousands of microscopic tooth-like structures located on a ribbon-like tongue called a radula. The radula works like a file, ripping the food into small pieces.see more at what do snails eat.

Rabbits facts


Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. There are eight different genera in the family classified as rabbits, including the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), cottontail rabbits (genus Sylvilagus; 13 species), and the Amami rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi, an endangered species on Amami Ōshima, Japan). There are many other species of rabbit, and these, along with pikas and hares, make up the order Lagomorpha. The male is called a buck and the female is a doe; a young rabbit is a kitten or kit.


Rabbit habitats include meadows, woods, forests, grasslands, deserts and wetlands. Rabbits live in groups, and the best known species, the European rabbit, lives in underground burrows, or rabbit holes. A group of burrows is called a warren.
More than half the world's rabbit population resides in North America. They are also native to southwestern Europe, Southeast Asia, Sumatra, some islands of Japan, and in parts of Africa and South America. They are not naturally found in most of Eurasia, where a number of species of hares are present. Rabbits first entered South America relatively recently, as part of the Great American Interchange. Much of the continent has just one species of rabbit, the tapeti, while most of South America's southern cone is without rabbits.

Diet and eating habits

Rabbits are herbivores that feed by grazing on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds. In consequence, their diet contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits solve this problem by passing two distinct types of feces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the latter of which are immediately eaten. Rabbits reingest their own droppings (rather than chewing the cud as do cows and many other herbivores) to digest their food further and extract sufficient nutrients.see more at what do rabbits eat.
Rabbits graze heavily and rapidly for roughly the first half hour of a grazing period (usually in the late afternoon), followed by about half an hour of more selective feeding. In this time, the rabbit will also excrete many hard fecal pellets, being waste pellets that will not be reingested. If the environment is relatively non-threatening, the rabbit will remain outdoors for many hours, grazing at intervals. While out of the burrow, the rabbit will occasionally reingest its soft, partially digested pellets; this is rarely observed, since the pellets are reingested as they are produced. Reingestion is most common within the burrow between 8 o'clock in the morning and 5 o'clock in the evening, being carried out intermittently within that period.

Salamanders Facts

Salamanders are smooth-skinned amphibians with no skin covering such as scales, hair, or feathers. They do not have claws. Adult salamanders can be distinguished from frogs and toads by the presence of a tail and by the nearly equal size of their front and hind limbs. Most salamanders are moist or slimy to the touch, which is a good way to distinguish them from lizards, which are dry. The waterdog, which is completely
aquatic (water living), can be recognized by its featherlike external gills.
Salamanders depend on water and moisture for their existence. Because they do not have a skin covering, they dehydrate rapidly in dry environments. The larvae spend the first part of their lives in water. After the larval form changes to the adult form, most salamanders leave the water and live in moist areas on land. They can usually be found under logs, under rocks, near streams, and in other areas where the ground is moist and shaded from the sun.
Food Habits
All salamanders are predators. They commonly eat insects, slugs, earthworms, and other invertebrates.
Some eat leeches, tiny mollusks, crustaceans, and frogs’ eggs. As aquatic larvae, they typically eat
aquatic invertebrates, but some may even be cannibalistic.see more at What do salamanders eat.
Salamanders generally are active when there is no sunshine—at night or on cloudy, rainy days. On sunny days they generally hide in moist areas, such as under stones and logs. Since salamanders are mostly nocturnal (active at night), they are seldom seen by people.