2010-04-19 @ 22:27:41
Is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera, the other three being the tiger, lion and jaguar. Once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, the leopard's range of distribution has decreased radically because of hunting and loss of habitat. It is now chiefly found in sub-Saharan Africa; there are also fragmented populations in Pakistan, India, Indochina, Malaysia, and China. Because of its declining range and population, it is listed as a "Near Threatened" species by the IUCN.
Compared to other members of the Felidae family, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but is smaller and more slightly built.
Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not usually have central spots as the jaguar's do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers.
The species' success in the wild is in part due to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 58 kilometres per hour , its unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, and its notorious ability for stealth. The leopard consumes virtually any animal it can hunt down and catch. Its habitat ranges from rainforest to desert terrains.
2010-04-12 @ 21:43:08
The Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis, is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes other diurnal raptors, such as eagles, buzzards and harriers.
It is a widespread species that inhabits the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. In Europe and North America, where there is only one goshawk, it is often referred to (officially and unofficially, respectively) as simply the "Goshawk". It is mainly resident, but birds from colder regions migrate south for the winter.
This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name.
The Northern Goshawk appears on the flag of the Azores. The archipelago of the Azores, Portugal, takes its name from the Portuguese language word for goshawk, because the explorers who discovered the archipelago thought the birds of prey they saw there were goshawks, later it was found that these birds were kites or Common Buzzards.
2010-04-11 @ 11:41:30
Is a venomous snake, which is a member of the family elapidae. The name is short for cobra de capelo, which is Portuguese. When disturbed, most of these snakes can rear up and spread their neck (or hood) in a characteristic threat display. However, not all snakes referred to as cobras are of the same genus, or even of the same family.
Cobra may refer to:
Any member of the genus Naja, also known as typical cobras (with the characteristic ability to raise the front quarters of their bodies off the ground and flatten their necks in a threatening gesture), a group of venomous elapids found in Africa and Asia.
Any member of the genus Boulengerina, water cobras, a group of venomous elapids found in Africa.
Any member of the genus Aspidelaps, shield-nose cobras or coral snakes, a group of venomous elapids found in Africa.
Any member of the genus Pseudohaje,tree cobras, a group of venomous elapids found in Africa.
Paranaja multifasciata, the burrowing cobra, a venomous elapid species found in Africa.
Ophiophagus hannah, the king cobra, a venomous elapid species found in India and southern Asia.
Hemachatus haemachatus, the spitting cobra or ringhals, a venomous elapid species found in Africa.
Micrurus fulvius, the American cobra or eastern coral snake, a venomous elapid species found in the southeastern United States.
Hydrodynastes gigas, the false water cobra, a mildly venomous colubrid species found in South America.
A taxonomic synonym for the genus Bitis, puff adders, a group of venomous vipers found in Africa and in the south of the Arabian Peninsula.
2010-03-01 @ 21:14:23
Gorillas are the largest of the living primates. They are ground-dwelling and predominantly herbivorous. They inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies. The DNA of gorillas is 98%–99% identical to that of a human, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species.
Gorillas live in tropical or subtropical forests. Although their range covers a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The Mountain Gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200–4,300 metres. Lowland Gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level.
Sea turtles :)
2009-12-14 @ 21:32:21
Sea Turtles inhabit all the world's oceans except the Arctic.
A Green turtle breaks the surface to breathe.]]Sea turtles are almost always submerged in water, and therefore have developed an anaerobic system of respiration. Although all sea turtles may breathe, under dire circumstances they may divert to anaerobic respiration for long periods of time. When oxygen is present, a sea turtle, with a single explosive exhalation and rapid inhalation, can quickly refill their lungs when they surface. Their large lungs have adapted to permit rapid exchange of oxygen and to avoid trapping gases during deep dives.
Sea turtles possess a salt excretory gland at the corner of the eye, in the nostrils, or in the tongue, depending upon the species, chelonian salt glands are found in the corner of the eyes in leatherback turtles. Due to the iso-osmotic makeup of jellyfish and the other gelatinous prey upon which sea turtles subsist, sea turtle diets are high in salt; chelonian salt gland excretions are almost entirely composed of sodium chloride1500-1800 mosmoll-1 . they are green and sometimes purple with purple and pink like a rainbow.
Bengal tiger in danger !
2009-12-14 @ 21:28:31
The Bengal tiger, or Royal Bengal tiger, is a subspecies of tiger primarily found in India and Bangladesh. They are also found in parts of Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and southern Tibet. The Bengal tiger is the most numerous of the tiger sub-species. According to WWF there are about 2,000 Royal Bengal tigers in the wild today, including 1,411 in India, 450 in Bangladesh, 150 in Nepal, 100 in Bhutan, as well as a number in Myanmar and China.
The Bengal tiger is historically regarded as the second largest subspecies after the Siberian tiger. The Bengal subspecies P. tigris tigris is the national animal of Bangladesh, while at the species level, the tiger Panthera tigris is the national animal of India.
Officially, the heaviest Bengal tiger with confirmed weight was a male of 258.6 kg and was shot in Northern India in 1938,however, the heaviest male captured by a scientist at this time is a male of more than 270 kg, tagged in Nepal in 1984. The largest known Bengal tiger, measured between pegs, was a male with a head and body length of 221 cm, 150 cm of chest girth, a shoulder height of 109 cm and a tail of just 81 cm, perhaps bitten off by a rival male. This specimen could not be weighed, but it was calculated to weigh no less than 270 kg. Finally, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the heaviest tiger known was a huge male hunted in 1967, it measured 322 cm in total length between pegs and weighed 388.7 kg .This specimen was hunted in the north of India by David Hasinger and is actually on exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution, in the Mammals Hall.
In the beginning of the 20 century, there were reports of big males measuring about 366 cm in total length, however there was not scientific corroboration in the field and it is probable that this measurement was taken over the curves of the body.
Chameleons - magic animals :)
2009-12-14 @ 21:22:32
Chameleons are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their parrot-like zygodactylous feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extrudable tongues, their swaying gait, and the possession by many of a prehensile tail, crests or horns on their distinctively shaped heads, and the ability of some to change color. Uniquely adapted for climbing and visual hunting, the approximately 160 species of chameleon range from Africa, Madagascar, Spain and Portugal, across south Asia, to Sri Lanka, have been introduced to Hawaii and California, and are found in warm habitats that vary from rain forest to desert conditions.
Some chameleon species are able to change their skin colors. Different chameleon species are able to change different colors which can include pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown,light blue yellow and turquoise.
Some varieties of chameleon - such as the Smith's dwarf chameleon - use their color-changing ability to blend in with their surroundings, as an effective form of camouflage.
Color change is also used as an expression of the physiological condition of the lizard, and as a social indicator to other chameleons. Some research suggests that social signaling was the primary driving force behind the evolution of color change, and that camouflage evolved as a secondary concern.
Chameleons have specialized cells, collectively called chromatophores, that lie in layers under their transparent outer skin. The cells in the upper layer, called xanthophores and erythrophores, contain yellow and red pigments respectively. Below these is another layer of cells called iridophores or guanophores, and they contain the colorless crystalline substance guanine. These reflect, among others, the blue part of incident light. If the upper layer of itchromatophores appears mainly yellow, the reflected light becomes green (blue plus yellow).
Bats - Animals of darkness
2009-12-14 @ 21:16:29
Bats are flying nocturnal mammals in the order Chiroptera . The forelimbs of bats are webbed and developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums and colugos, glide rather than fly, and only for short distances. Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, like birds, but instead flap their spread out digits, which are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium. Chiroptera comes from two Greek words, cheir "hand" and pteron "wing."
There are about 1,100 bat species worldwide, which represent about twenty percent of all classified mammal species. About seventy percent of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters. A few species feed from animals other than insects. Bats are present throughout most of the world and perform vital ecological roles such as pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds. Many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds.
Bats range in size from Kitti's Hog-nosed Bat measuring 29–33 mm in length and 2 g in mass, to the Giant Golden-crowned Flying-fox which has a wing span of 1.5 m and weighs approximately 1.2 kg
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