True Wild Life | Giant Armadillo | The giant armadillo is the largest of all armadillos and found in South America, east of the Andes, from northwestern Venezuela to northeastern Argentina. Adults grow as long as 35 inches and can weigh over 70 lb. The necks and backs of armadillos are covered with flexible carapaces (shells) consisting of 14 to 17 moveable bands of horn and bone. Their heads are also covered with a similar oval shield. The head, tail and lower edges of the giant armadillo are nearly white, and the rest of the body is dark brown. Underneath the carapace, its naked body appears wrinkly and pinkish in color. It has powerful claws with a very large central claw similar to the claw of the giant anteater. Giant armadillos are very fast on the ground and can sometimes balance themselves on their hind legs and tails, with their forefeet off the ground.
Monday, April 25, 2011
True Wild Life | Babirusa | The Babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) is a very special member of the pig family. Up until now the relationship between the Babirusa and the other pig species hasn't been resolved completely. There are pieces of research, which suggest the conclusion, that it is closely related to Hippopotamuses, close relatives of pigs themselves. The babirusa is a very strange looking member of the pig family. They are only distantly related to other pigs, and have been given their own subfamily, the Babirousinae. There are three subspecies of the Babirusa corresponding to the areas where they are found; the Sulawesi, Togian, and Moluccan babirusa. These subspecies have different hair covering, hair color, and tusk and body sizes. Fossil studies seem to show that the babirusa may be more closely related to hippopotamuses than pigs.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
True Wild Life | Sloth Bear | The Sloth Bear also known as the Labiated Bear, is a nocturnal insectivorous species of bear found wild within the Indian subcontinent. The sloth bear evolved from ancestral Brown Bears during the Pleistocene and shares features found in insect-eating mammals through convergent evolution. The population isolated in Sri Lanka is considered as a subspecies. Its favourite food is primarily termites and other insects which it snorts and sucks out of termite hills on the ground with a vacuum-cleaner sounding roar that can be heard several hundred yards away.
Monday, April 11, 2011
True Wild Life | Zorse | The zorse is a cross between a zebra stallion and a domestic mare. It is also possible to use a zebra mare and a domestic stallion, but owners of valuable zebra mares don't want to waste a year of their breeding life producing a hybrid when they could be producing a zebra foal instead. The crosses were originally done in England and Africa to try to produce a domestic horselike animal that was resistant to diseases spread by the tse tse fly in Africa. Zebras have natural resistance, where domestic donkeys and horses do not. The experimental crosses were actually becoming popular until early in the 20th century when the auto displaced the horse and mule. At that point cross-breeding was largely abandoned. A revival of interest came in the early 1990s, with just about every breed of domestic horse imaginable being tried.
True Wild Life | Zonkey | The zonkey also known as zebrass, zebronkey,zeasses, zeedonk, zedonk, zebadonk, zenkey, donbra, zebrinny, or deebra, is basically the result of when a zebra and a donkey mate. However, depending on which way round the parents are, determines whether the offspring is classed as a zonkey (male zebra, female donkey) or a zeedonk (female zebra, male donkey). Like with the common mule, it is thought to be almost impossible for the zonkey to breed. The zonkey can be conceived when a zebra and a donkey are in the same territory in south Africa. Both the zebra and the donkey belong to the horse family so this cross-mating is plausible. The courtship behavior of a donkey is much more similar to that of the various zebra species than a horse's courtship behavior. Zebras and donkeys will more readily and easily breed for that reason than zebras and horses.
True Wild Life | Zebu | The zebu is a species of cattle that is native to the jungles of South Asia and the Zebu is the only cattle species that can easily adapt to life in the hot tropics. The zebu is also known as the humped cattle as the zebu has a very distinctive hump on its upper back, located behind the head and neck of the zebu. Today the zebu can also be found in Africa, as the zebu was transported there from Asia many years ago. There are thought to be around 75 different species of zebu, with roughly half the zebu species found in Africa and the other half of the zebu species found in South Asia. The zebu has also been taken to South America from Africa, where zebu populations are continuously growing.
True Wild Life | Zebra Shark | The zebra shark is a medium-sized species of shark, that is found in the warmer coastal waters and around tropical coral reefs. Zebra sharks are most commonly found in the Indian and South Pacific oceans. Zebra sharks can grow to nearly 3 meters in length and can get to be 30 years old in the wild. Zebra sharks that are kept in captivity generally do not exceed 15 years of age. Zebra sharks can be identified by the yellow spots that are present on the back of the zebra shark.
True Wild Life | Zebra | The zebra is best known for the black and white striping pattern unique to each of the 3 species of zebra . Within a species, the pattern of the stripes is unique to each individual zebra, like with a human's fingerprint. There is some evidence that zebras recognize herdmates by their patterns. The plains zebra grows to around 1.5m high and about 2 m long. The Grevy can be much taller, some up to 15 hh. The average zebra weighs around 300kg, which is a similar weight to a horse.
Friday, April 8, 2011
True Wild Life | Yellow-Eyed Penguin | The yellow-eyed penguin is one of the few penguin species found north of the Antarctic Ocean, and as it's name suggests, this species of penguin is easily idenitfied by it's yellow coloured eyes and bright yellow band that runs from it's eyes round the back of the yellow-eyed penguin's head. The yellow-eyed penguin is found off the coast of the south island of New Zealand where this species gathers in colonies along the beaches and boulder fields. The yellow-eyed penguin is also found on a few of the islands of the main island including Stewart, Auckland and the Campbell Islands.
True Wild Life | Yak | The yak is a herd animal found in the mountainous regions of central Asia. The yak tend to gather in herds from 10 yaks to 100 yaks, most of which are female. There are only a few male yaks per herd. Although there is a large domestic population of yak, there are only a few wild yak remaining . The yak is still used in many parts of central Asia, for pulling heavy farm machines and transporting large loads through the mountain passes.
True Wild Life | X-Ray Tetra | The X-Ray Tetra is a small species of schooling Fish that is naturally found in the Amazon River's coastal waters in South America. The X-Ray Tetra is also known as the Golden Pristella Tetra and the Water Goldfinch due to the faint golden colouration of their translucent skin. They were first described by Ulrey in 1894 and have since become one of the most popular freshwater Fish kept in artificial aquariums today. Although the X-Ray Tetra is the only known species in it's genus, it is closely related to other small and colourful South American Fish, including the nearly 100 other Tetra species.
True Wild Life | Woolly Monkey | The woolly monkey is a medium to large sized primate, that inhabits the tropical forests of north-west South America. The woolly monkey is most well known for it's round-shaped head and dense fur that covers the body of the woolly monkey. Woolly monkeys are found throughout Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and parts of Venezuela where they live an arboreal lifestyle. Woolly monkeys have long and very strong prehensile tails which allows them to balance and grip onto branches without having to give up the use of their hands.
True Wild Life | Wrasse | The wrasse is a typically small species of fish, found in the coastal waters of the world's major oceans. The Cleaner wrasse is the most commonly known wrasse species as it is often seen alongside other marine animals, including sharks. There are more than 500 different species of Wrasse found in the shallower coastal waters and coral reefs, of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. Wrasse most commonly inhabit areas that have an abundance of both food and places to hide, making coral reefs and rocky shores the perfect home for the wrasse.
True Wild Life | Woolly Mammoth | The woolly mammoth was an enormous mammal that once roamed the vast frozen, northern landscapes in large size. Believed to be closely related to the modern-day elephant, the woolly mammoth remained in the wild until roughly 1700 BC when it became extinct. The woolly mammoth was found roaming the bitter Arctic tundra where they would often gather in large herds for both warmth and protection. Woolly mammoths lived in two groups which are thought to have been different enough to be characterized as separate subspecies. One woolly mammoth group stayed in the middle of the high Arctic, while the other woolly mammoth group had a much wider range.
True Wild Life | Woodpecker | There are around 200 species of woodpecker inhabiting the forests and woodlands worldwide. Woodpeckers are found on every continent with the exception of the polar regions, Australia and Madagascar. The smallest species of woodpecker is the Bar-breasted Piculet that only grows to 8cm in height. The Gray Slaty woodpecker from south east Asia is the largest living woodpecker in the world with some of these woodpecker individuals growing to nearly 60 cm tall.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
True Wild Life | Woodlouse | The woodlouse is not an insect but a crustacean, that has 14 parts to its body, which gives the woodlouse the flexibility to be able to curl into a ball to protect itself from danger. This means that only the hard outer shell of the woodlouse is exposed. The woodlouse is found in dark, damp places in forests and jungles throughout the world. The woodlouse feeds on decaying leaf and plant matter on the forest floor, meaning that the woodlouse plays a vital role in the natural carbon dioxide cycle.
True Wild Life | Wombat | The wombat is a medium sized marsupial that is found only in Australia and it's surrounding islands. Wombats are burrowing mammals that spend most of the day under ground, coming out at night to feed. The common wombat is thought to be a descendant of the giant wombat that existed around 50 million years ago. The giant wombat's extinction is said to be caused by hunting and changes to their environment including pollution and habitat loss.
True Wild Life | Wolverine | The wolverine is a medium sized mammal that despite it's bear-like appearance (and it's name) is most closely related to the weasel. The wolverine is known to be strong and vicious and is said to have immense strength in comparison to it's size. The wolverine is found throughout Canada, Europe, parts of North America and the Arctic Circle where the wolverines inhabit mountainous regions and dense forests. Wolverines are also known to venture into more open areas such as plains and farmland when they are in search of food.
True Wild Life | Wolf | The wolf is thought to be an ice age survivor, dating wolves around 300,000 years ago. The wolf is accepted to be the ancestor of the domestic dog as the wolf is thought to have selectively bred in order to breed appealing traits typical of puppies and to eliminate the not so appealing traits of adult wolves. The grey wolf is a highly adaptive animal found in all kinds of terrain. Wolves inhabit forests, deserts, mountains, tundras, grasslands and even urban areas with the wolf being a particularly dominant and ruthless predator within it's environment. They vary in color from pure white to pure black and every shade of brown and gray inbetween. At one time the wolf had the widest distribution of any mammal. The biggest wolves on earth live in Alaska and average 125-135 lb. One specimen was taken that weighed 200 lb. The smallest wolves live in Iran and average about 60 lb.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
True Wild Life | Wildebeest | The wildebeest is actually a subspecies of the antelope, despite it's bull-like appearance. There are two known species of wildebeest, both of which are native to Africa. The changing African seasons mean the wildebeest must migrate south in the winter, so the wildebeest can continue to graze on grass. Thousands of wildebeest all tend to migrate at once creating a wildebeest stampede.
True Wild Life | White Tiger | The white tigers originated in the pure Bengal strain in India. Later in captivity Siberian was crossed in to make a bigger more impressive white tiger. They do have some pigment, so they are not albinos. The white tiger has a shorter life expectancy than the orange tiger, thought to be due to the white tigers mutated genes and to the inbreeding depression necessary to perpetuate the bloodline. The white tiger was always rare to come across in the wild in India, and none have been seen in the wild for over 50 years. The gene that causes the background to be white is a simple recessive. For that reason to produce whites they must be mated either to other whites or to normal orange tigers that are carriers of the white gene. The white tiger has been known to give birth to an orange tiger when mated to an orange male. Cubs of both colors occur in the same litter.
True Wild Life | White Rhinoceros | The white rhino is the second biggest land animal and can weight around 2 tons. The white rhino is the most common species of the remaining rhino, and inhabits parts of Africa. There were around 11,000 white rhino counted in South Africa in 2005, but for unknown reasons the white rhino rate of reproduction is low. The white rhino is the only species of rhino that is not critically endangered.
True Wild Life | White Face Capuchin | The white faced capuchin, also known as the white headed capuchin and the white throated capuchin, is a medium sized species of monkey that is native to the jungles of Central America and the northern regions of South America. The white faced capuchin is one of the most well known monkeys, particularly in North America, and the white faced capuchin is thought to be one of the most intelligent monkeys in the world with the white faced capuchin being best known as a companion for organ grinders and are also used to assist people that are paraplegic.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
True Wild Life | Whale Shark | The whale shark is the largest species of fish with some adult whale sharks growing to nearly 50ft long! The whale shark is thought to have developed around 60 million years ago making the whale shark one of the oldest species on Earth today. The whale shark spends it's life swimming through the open oceans in search of fish and squid. Unlike many other species of shark, the whale shark is known to feed on large shoals of tiny fish rather than hunting bigger fish and sea mammals. This makes the whale shark a filter feeder similar to whales and smaller sea animals.
True Wild Life | Western Lowland Gorilla | The western lowland gorilla is one of two subspecies of western gorilla (the other being the incredibly rare cross river gorilla) found in the jungles on the African continent. The western lowland gorilla is the most numerous species of western gorilla but is still considered to be critically endangered in the wild. The western lowland gorilla is found inhabiting the tropical jungles and forests of western and central Africa, along with lowland swamps and secondary forests. The western lowland gorilla is found throughout Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon and is also the most likely gorilla to be seen in the world's zoos.
True Wild Life | Western Gorilla | The western gorilla is one of two gorilla sub-groups found on the African continent (the other being the eastern gorilla). The western gorilla is the most numerous species gorilla and also the larger out of the two. The western gorilla is found inhabiting the tropical jungles and forests of western and central Africa, along with lowland swamps and secondary forests. All western gorillas are now considered to be critically endangered as much of their natural habitat has now been deforested or taken over by humans.
True Wild Life | Weasel | The weasel is a small, thin mammal. Weasels are found all around the world apart from the Arctic and Australia including it's surrounding islands. The weasel feeds mainly on small mammals and the weasel has a bad reputation amongst farmers who do not approve of the weasel stealing their poultry and their eggs. The weasel can burrow quickly into the ground, meaning the weasel can easily escape danger including farmers that want to catch them.
True Wild Life | Water Dragon | The water dragon is a large species of lizard native to the forests and jungles of Asia and Australia. Water dragons are arboreal animals meaning that they spend most of their time in the trees, often close to a large body of water. There are two different species of water dragon, which are the Australian water dragon and the Asian water dragon. The Australian water dragon is the smaller of the two water dragon species and is found on the east coast of Australia. Australian water dragons have powerful legs and sharp claws which help them to climb trees more effectively.
True Wild Life | Water Buffalo | The water buffalo is thought to have originated in Asia but has since been introduced to Australia, Africa, Europe and North America. The wild Asian water buffalo is now considered to be an endangered species. The water buffalo has been domesticated by humans for thousands of years and is used to pull heavy machinery and to carry heavy loads. Buffalo are farmed in most countries for their meat.
Albatross Alligator Amphibian Angelfish Ant Anteater Antelope Ape Armadillo Aves Avocet Axolotl Baboon Badger Bandicoot Barb Barracuda Bat Bear Beaver Bee Beetle Binturong Bird Birds Of Paradise Bison Boar Bongo Bonobo Booby Budgerigar Buffalo Butterfly Butterfly Fish Caiman Camel Capybara Caracal Carnivore Cassowary Cat Caterpillar Catfish Cattle Centipede Chameleon Chamois Cheetah Chicken Chimpanzee Chinchilla Cichlid Civet Clouded Leopard Clown Fish Coati Cockroach Collared Peccary Common Buzzard Coral Cougar Cow Coyote Crab Crane Critically Endangered Crocodile Crustacean Cuscus Damselfly Deer Dhole Discus Dodo Dog Dolphin Donkey Dormouse Dragon Dragonfly Duck Dugong Eagle Echidna Eel Elephant Emu Endangered Extinct Falcon Ferret Fish Flamingo Flatfish Flounder Fly Fossa Fox Frog Gar Gazelle Gecko Gerbil Gharial Gibbon Giraffe Goat Goose Gopher Gorilla Grasshopper Grouse Guinea Fowl Guinea Pig Guppy Hamster Hare Hedgehog Herbivore Heron Hippopotamus Horse Human Hummingbird Hyena Ibis Iguana Impala Insect Invertebrate Jackal Jaguar Jellyfish Kangaroo Kingfisher Kiwi Koala Kudu Ladybird Ladybug Larvae Least Concern Lemming Lemur Leopard Lion Lionfish Lizard Llama Lobster Lynx Macaque Mammal Mammoth Manatee Mandrill Manta Ray Marsupial Mayfly Meerkat Millipede Mole Mollusca Molly Mongoose Monkey Moorhen Moose Moth Mouse Mule Near Threatened Newt Nightingale Numbat Octopus Okapi Olm Omnivore Opossum Orang Utan Oriole Ostrich Otter Owl Oyster Pademelon Panda Panther Parrot Peacock Pelican Penguin Phanter Pheasant Pig Pika Pike Piranha Platypus Pond Skater Possum Prawn Primate Puffer Fish Puffin Puma Quail Quoll Rabbit Raccoon Raccoon Dog Rare Rat Reindeer Reptile Rhinoceros Robin Rodent Salamander Scorpion Scorpion Fish Sea Dragon Sea Lion Sea Slug Sea Squirt Sea Urchin Seahorse Seal Serval Shark Sheep Shrew Shrimp Skunk Sloth Snail Snake Spider Sponge Squid Squirrel Starfish Stoat Swan Tamarin Tapir Tarantula Threatened Tiger Toad Tortoise Toucan Turkey Turtle Vulnerable Vulture Walrus Weasel Whale Wildebeest Wolf Woodlouse Woodpecker Worm Zebra