Wednesday, August 31, 2011

kangaroo rat

Kangaroo rats have strong back legs and can jump like a kangaroo.Kangaroo rats, genus Dipodomys, are small rodents native to North America The common name derives from their bipedal form: as they hop in a manner similar to the much larger kangaroo, although they are not related. It has been noted that they are not properly characterized as "rats" at all.Kangaroo rats generally live in arid and semi-arid areas particularly on sandy or soft soils which are suitable for burrowing. However, kangaroo rats can vary in both geographic range and habitat. In particular, the Merriam kangaroo rat ranges though Southern California, Utah, Southwest New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico and live in areas of low rainfall and humidity and high summer temperature and evaporation rates.They can be found in areas of various elevations ranging from below sea level to about 4500 feet.The Merriam kangaroo rat lives in stony soils including clay's gravel and rocks, which is harder than soils preferred by some other species like the Banner-tail kangaroo rat.
Kangaroo rats are primarily seed eaters They will, however, sometimes eat vegetation at certain times of the year and some insects. They have been observed storing the seeds of mesquite, creosote, bush, purslane, ocotillo and grama grass in their cheek pouches. Kangaroo rat will store extra seeds in seed caches. This caching behavior has an impact on the rangeland and croplands where the animals live. Kangaroo rats must harvest as much seeds as possible in as little time as possible. They needs to decrease the time away from their burrows as they are cool and dry. In addition, being away from their burrows also makes them vulnerable to predators.Kangaroo rats inhabit overlapping home ranges. These home ranges tend to be small with much activities within 200-300 ft and rarely 600 ft. Home range size can vary within species with Merriam kangaroo rats having larger home ranges than Banner-tailed kangaroo rats. Recently weaned kangaroo rats move into new areas not occupied by adults. Within its home range, a kangaroo has a defended territory consisting of its burrowing system.Kangaroo rats have promiscuous mating system. Their reproductive output is highest in summer following high rainfalls. During droughts and food shortages, only a few females will breed.  It appears that kangaroo rats can assess their local conditions and adjust their reproductive efforts accordingly. Merriam kangaroo rats breed between February and May and produce two or three litters each. Before mating, the male and female will perform nasal-anal circling until the female stops and allows the male to mount her. A Merriam kangaroo rat female will allow multiple males to mount her in a short period of time, perhaps to ensure greater chances of producing offspring. Mating in Banner-tailed kangaroo rats involve more chasing and foot drumming in the male before the females allows him to mate. Banner-tailed kangaroo rats mating on mounds and males are more successful in chasing away rival males.The gestation period of kangaroo rats last 22-27 days.
The young are born in a fur-lined nest in the burrows. They are born blind and hairless with males faster than females. For the first week young Merriam kangaroo rats crawl around until their second or third week which is when their hind legs develop. At its time, they young become independent. Banner-tailed kangaroo rat are weaned between 22-25 days. Offspring remain in the mound for 1-6 more months in the maternal caches.

killer whale

The killer whale is the largest member of the dolphin family.Wild killer whales are not considered a threat to humans, although there have been cases of captives killing or injuring their handlers at marine theme parks. Killer whales feature strongly in the mythologies of indigenous cultures, with their reputation ranging from being the souls of humans to merciless killers.

Killer whales distinctively bear a black back, white chest and sides, and a white patch above and behind the eye. Calves are born with a yellowish or orange tint, which fades to white. Killer whales have a heavy and robust body (more so than other dolphins) and a large dorsal fin up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall. Behind the fin, they have a dark grey "saddle patch" across the back. Antarctic killer whales may have pale grey to nearly white backs. Adult killer whales are very distinctive and are not usually confused with any other sea creature.Males typically range from 6 to 8 meters (20–26 ft) long and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes (5.9 long tons; 6.6 short tons).Females are smaller, generally ranging from 5 to 7 meters (16–23 ft) and weighing about 3 to 4 tonnes (3.0 to 3.9 long tons; 3.3 to 4.4 short tons). The largest male killer whale on record was 9.8 meters (32 ft), weighing over 10 tonnes (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons), while the largest female was 8.5 meters (28 ft), weighing 7.5 tonnes (7.4 long tons; 8.3 short tons). Calves at birth weigh about 180 kilograms (400 lb) and are about 2.4 meters (7.9 ft) long. The killer whale's large size and strength make it among the fastest marine mammals, able to reach speeds in excess of 30 knots (56 km/h).Killer whale pectoral fin are large and rounded, resembling paddles. Males have significantly larger pectoral fins than females. At about 1.8 meters (5.9 ft) the male's dorsal fin is more than twice the size of the female's and is more of a triangular shape—a tall, elongated isosceles triangle—whereas hers is shorter and more curved.Males and females also have different patterns of black and white skin in the genital area.
Individual killer whales can often be identified from the dorsal fin and saddle patch. Variations such as nicks, scratches, and tears on the dorsal fin and the pattern of white or grey in the saddle patch are unique. Published directories contain identifying photographs and names for hundreds of North Pacific animals. Photo identification has enabled the local population of killer whales to be counted each year rather than estimated and has enabled great insight into lifecycles and social structures.
Female killer whales mature at around age 15. They then have periods of poly estrus cycling with non-cycling periods of between 3 and 16 months. gestation varies from 15 to 18 months. Mothers calve, with usually a single offspring, about once every 5 years. In resident pods, birth occurs at any time of year, although winter is the most popular. Mortality is extremely high during the first six to seven months of life, when 37–50% of all calves die.weaning begins at about 12 months and completes by the age of two. According to observations in several regions, all male and female killer whale pod members participate in the care of the young. Killer Whales and Pilot whales are the only species in which the females go through menopause and live for decades after they have finished breeding.
Females breed until age 40, meaning that on average they raise five offspring. The lifespan of wild females averages 50 years, with a maximum of 80–90 years. Males sexually mature at the age of 15 but do not typically reproduce until age 21. Wild males live around 29 years on average, with a maximum of 50–60 years. One male, known as old Tom, was reportedly spotted every winter between the 1840s and 1930 off New South Wales Australia. This would have made him up to 90 years old. Examination of his teeth indicated he died around age 35, but this method of age determination is now believed to be inaccurate for older animals. One male well known to researchers in the Pacific Northwest called Ruffles (J1) is estimated to have been born in 1951, making him 58 years old in 2009.Captive killer whale lifespans are typically significantly shorter, usually less than 25 years; however, numerous individuals are alive in their thirties, and a few have reached their 40s. In many instances, the lifespans of killer whales depend on the will of the animal

Polar Bears.

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a bear native largely within the arctic circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak bear, which is approximately the same size. An adult male weighs around 350–680 kg (770–1,500 lb) while an adult female is about half that size. Although it is closely related to the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means maritime bear", and derives from this fact. Polar bears can hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of ssea i, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.
The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the 19 polar bear subpopulations in decline.For decades, large scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous people and polar bears remains important in their cultures.

The polar bear is found in the Arctic Circle and adjacent land masses as far south as Newfoundland isand. Due to the absence of human development in its remote habitat, it retains more of its original range than any other extant carnivore While they are rare north of 88°, there is evidence that they range all the way across the Arctic, and as far south as  James Bay in Canada. They can occasionally drift widely with the sea ice, and there have been anecdotal sightings as far south as Berlev├ąg on the Norwegian mainland and the Kuril islands in the sea of Okhotsk. It is difficult to estimate a global population of polar bears as much of the range has been poorly studied, however biologists use a working estimate of about 20,000–25,000 polar bears worldwide.
This a picture drawn of a polar bear skeleton!

Australian pony facts

The Australian Pony is a breed of pony that developed in Australia. It was greatly influenced by the native British breeds, especially the Welsh pony, as well as some Arabian bloodlines.The Australian pony has a excellent temperament.The neck is relatively short but well-set and nicely rounded, the shoulders slope well back and the hindquarters are well rounded and proportioned. The tail should be well set on and gaily carried. The chest is deep, the barrel is round. The legs are short and strong, with flat, dense bone.

The overall impression is a very attractive pony showing quality. Most representatives on the breed are grey, although they may be any color.

Since the continent had no native horses or ponies prior to the arrival of European explorers and settlers, all equidar that now live there are from imported stock. Nine horses first arrived in Australia in 1788 in the first fleet from South Africa. In 1803, the first timer ponies arrived from Indonesia and provided the foundation stock for the breed. The Australian Pony also had later influence from the Welsh Mountain PonyHackney ponyArabianShetland Pony,Highland PonyConnemara PonyExmoor Pony, and from small Thoroughbreds.By 1920, a distinct type of pony had emerged in Australia, and in 1931, the first Australian pony stud book, the Australian Pony Stud Book Society, was formed. The Australian Pony section of the stud book incorporated all of the mountain and moorland pony breeds that had been imported from the turn of the 20th century as well as the pony breeds which had been developed in Australia.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dalmatian dog information

The Dalmatian (CroatianDalmatinac, Dalmatiner) is a breed of dog whose roots are often said to trace back to Dalmatia, a region of Croatia where the first illustrations of the dog have been found. The Dalmatian is noted for its unique black- or brown-spotted coat and was mainly used as a carriage dog in its early days. Today, this dog remains a well loved family pet and many dog enthusiasts enter their pets into the competitions of many kennel clubs.Dalmatians are a mid-sized, well defined, muscular dog with excellent endurance and stamina. When full grown, these dogs' weight normally ranges between 35 to 70 pounds (16 to 32 kg) and they stand anywhere from    
19 to 24 inches (48 to 61 cm), with males usually slightly larger than females. The body is as long from fore chest to buttocks as it is tall at the withers, and shoulders are laid back. The Dalmatians' feet are round with well arched toes and nails are usually white or the same color as the dog's spots. Their thin ears taper towards the tip and set fairly high and close to the head. Eye color varies between brown, amber, or blue with some dogs having one blue eye and one brown eye, or other combinations.
Dalmatians are intelligent, playful, loyal and active dogs. They usually get along well with other animals, notably horses, and are great companions. Dalmatians are high energy dogs and love to play and romp outdoors, although they also enjoy lounging with their owners. Some dogs, if cooped up, can become aggressive and some have been known to attack smaller breeds of dog when attempting to 'play' with them. In most cases this only shows up in a tendency to bark, often just for play. If shown love and companionship from a young age Dalmatians will be loyal and affectionate.The Dalmatian is often used a rescue dog, guardian, athletic partner, and most often an active family member.Dalmatians are a very active, high maintenance breed. Pet owners should be willing to put extra time and effort into the care of this dog versus others. Dalmatians normally have a big appetite and will eat whatever is put in front of them so pet owners should carefully control food intake. This fun loving breed is very easily trained and rarely aggressive, and owners should find it relatively simple to train their dogs to participate in activities such as jogging, horse back riding, agility, fly ball, and common dog tricks.                                                                                                     


Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near pass-erines In general terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably. In ornithological practice, there is a tendency for "dove" to be used for smaller species and "pigeon" for larger ones, but this is in no way consistently applied, and historically the common names for these birds involve a great deal of variation between the terms "dove" and "pigeon." This family occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the In-do-Malaya and Australia ecozones. Young doves and pigeons are called "squabs."

Pigeon Breed Facts

1. Victoria crowned pigeon
     The Victoria Crowned PigeonGoura victoria, is a large, bluish-grey pigeon with elegant blue lace-like crests, maroon breast and red iris The bird may be easily recognized by the unique white tips on its crests. Both sexes are similar. It is on average 74 cm (29 in) long and weighs 2,384 grams (5.3 lbs). It is marginally larger than the other crowned pigeons on average and likely the largest species of pigeon of earth.

2.Rock Pigeon
   The Rock Dove (Columba livia), formerly Rock Pigeon, is a member of the bird family Columbidae (doves and pigeons). In common usage, this bird is often simply referred to as the "pigeon". The species includes the domestic pigeon, and escaped domestic pigeons have given rise to feral populations around the world.Wild Rock Doves are pale grey with two black bars on each wing, although domestic and feral pigeons are very variable in color and pattern. There are few visible differences between males and females. The species is generally monogamous, with two squeakers (young) per brood Both parents care for the young for a time.The Rock Dove has a restricted natural resident range in western and southern Europe,North Africa and into South Asia The Rock Dove is often found in pairs in the breeding season but is usually gregarious.

3.The Pied Imperial-pigeonDucula bicolor, is a relatively large, pied species of pigeon. It is found in forest, woodland, mangrove, plantations and scrub in Southeast Asia, ranging from Myanmar and Thailand south to Java and east to the Philippines and the Bird's Head Peninsula in New Guinea. It is mainly found on small islands and in coastal regions It remains locally common, and is therefore considered to be of least concern by bird life international.

4. Nicobar Pigeon
     The Nicobar PigeonCaloenas nicobarica, is a pigeon found on small islands and in coastal regions from the Nicobar islands, east through the Malay Archipelago, to the Solomons and Palau. It is the only living member of the genus Caloenas.Females are slightly smaller than males; they have a smaller bill knob, shorter hackles and browner underparts. Immature birds have a black tail and lack almost all iridescence. There is hardly any variation across the birds' wide range. Even the Palau subspecies C. n. pelewensis has merely shorter neck hackles, but is otherwise almost is giving a low pitched call.

This is a picture of a fantail pig


kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning 'large foot'). In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macro-pusred kangaroo, Antilopine KangarooEastern Grey Kangaroo andWestern Grey Kangaroo. Kangaroos are endemic to the country of Australia. The smaller macropods are found in Australia and new guinea.Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like most marsupial female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupiuim in which joeys complete postnatal development.
The kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia: its emblem is used on the Australian coat of arms, on some of its currency, as well as by some of Australia's best known organisations, including Qantas The kangaroo is important to both Australian culture and the national image and consequently there are numerous popular culture references
Kangaroos are the only large animals to use hopping as a means of locomotion. The comfortable hopping speed for Red Kangaroo is about 20–25 km/h (13–16 mph), but speeds of up to 70 km/h (44 mph) can be attained, over short distances, while it can sustain a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) for nearly 2 kilometres (1.2 mi). This fast and energy-efficient method of travel has evolved because of the need to regularly cover large distances in search of food and water, rather than the need to escape predators.To move at slow speeds, it uses its tail to form a tripod with its two forelimbs it then raises its hind feet forward.
Fighting has been described in all species of kangaroo. Fights between kangaroos can be brief or long and ritualised. In highly competitive situations such as males fighting for access to oestrous females or at limited drinking spots, the fights are brief. Both sexes will fight for drinking spots, but long ritualised fighting or "boxing" is largely done by males. Smaller males fight more often near females in estrus while the large males in consorts do not seem to get involved. Ritualised fights can arise suddenly when males are grazing together. However, most fights are preceded by two males scratching and grooming each other. One or both of them will adopt a high standing posture, with one male issuing a challenge by grasping the other male’s neck with its forepaw. Sometimes the challenge will be declined. Large males often reject challenges by smaller males. During fighting, the combatants adopt a high standing posture and paw at each other's heads, shoulders and chests. They will also lock forearms and wrestle and push each other as well balance on their tails to kick each other in the abdomens


The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all extant land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant.The giraffe is related to other even-toed ungulates, such as deer and cattle, but is placed in a separate family,  consisting of only the giraffe and its closest relative, the okapi, and their extinct relatives. Its range extends from chad in central Africa to south Africa.They will drink large quantities of water when available, which enables them to live for extended periods in arid areas.

Giraffes browse on the twigs of trees, preferring trees of the genera acacia, Commiphora and Terminalia, and also eat grass and fruit. The tongue, lips and palate are tough, which allows them to feed on trees with sharp thorns. In South Africa, giraffes feed on all acacias, especially acacia erioloba. A giraffe can eat 65 pounds (29 kg) of leaves and twigs daily, but can survive on just 15 pounds (6.8 kg)A giraffe can clean off bugs (like acacia ants) on its face with its extremely long tongue (about 45 centimeters (18 in).

The giraffe's extreme altitude is a consequence of its extremely elongated neck, which can be over 2 m (7 ft) in length, accounting for nearly half of the giraffe's vertical height. The increase in neck length results from the disproportionate elongation of the cervical vertebrae, rather than the addition of more vertebrae. The cervical vertebrae comprise about 45–50% of the giraffe vertebral column, compared to the 30% typical of similar large ungulates, including the giraffe’s closest extant relative, the okapi. This elongation, which occurs in large part after birth, is a 150% increase in vertebrae length over similar sized animals – in fact, the non-cervical sections of the giraffe vertebral column exhibit identical proportions to those in okapi.