Friday, August 31, 2007
Did you know that in the US and Australia, it is illegal to own a native owl? There are exceptions for those who have falconry and rehabilitation licenses.
In Houston, Minnesota they actually hold an International Festival of Owls. There they will even feature owl themed food – click here to see some samples.
There are over 200 species of owls. They live on all continents except Antarctica.
People talk about an owl hooting or calling “who, who, who?” But that’s not all they say. Go to the page below and you can listen to all kinds of owl sounds. Discover how different species of owls make different sounds at this site: http://www.owlpages.com/sounds.php
Thursday, August 30, 2007
It takes 42-46 days for an Ostrich egg to hatch—moms usually take day duty for setting on the egg, and dads the nighttime. An Ostrich chick grows one foot taller each month until it is 7-8 months old. Males can reach a height between 6.9 and 9 feet—they’d make good basketball candidates, except that they aren’t the brightest bird . . . Females are only in the 5.7 to 6.2 foot range.
Last Friday I showed you a video of a kangaroo that packs a punch. An ostrich can deliver a kick of up to 500 pounds per square inch, which could kill a lion!
Some places people ride or race ostrich. Check out the video below. My favorite is the bird that runs in circles even when they are trying to “round him up.”
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Oryx are a "horse antelope" with long spear-like horns, which gave them the nickname of "spear antelope." In medieval England their horns were sold as unicorn horns. Their white or light faces with black markings are striking.
Living in east Africa are two types of oryx: the beisa oryx and the fringe-eared oryx. Scimitar-horned oryx from north Africa are believe to be extinct in the wild, but are one of the most common oryx in zoos. Their horns are curved lie a scimitar (an Arabian sword).
An Arabian oryx, mostly white, and smaller, were hunted to extinction in the wild in the late 1960s. Fortunately, though some Arabian oryx in captivity have been bred and they’ve been reintroduced to the wild.
Here’s an interesting video where an oryx fights off lions.
P.S. If you want to know more about antelope in general, I recently posted a whole page of information about them here.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Like giraffes, their tongues are blue. Okapi tongues are long enough that they can wash their own eyelids and ears. (Not many mammals can do that, and frankly, I don’t want to!)
Okapis are about 6 ft long and 5 to 5.5 ft high at the shoulder. This picture is of a mom and baby from the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. Only the males have horns.
From the Ituri Rainforest in central Africa, okapis are not classified as endangered. But they are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Otters rely on air-pockets trapped in their fur to keep themselves warm in the cold waters where they live. Otters live all over the world in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Most species hunt for 3 to 5 hours a day. Otters can whistle, growl, scream, bark, chirp, and coo.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Bigger than a domestic cat, but small compared to other “big cats,” the Ocelot is also called the Painted Leopard. Its fur is similar to a jaguar’s.
Ocelots live in South and Central American, Mexico, and sometimes can be found in Texas.
The artist Salvador Dalí frequently traveled with his pet ocelot, even bringing it aboard the luxury cruise liner SS France. However, they are not common as pets.
Here’s a video of a an ocelot kitten and his mom at the Oregon zoo:
Isn't he cute?
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Speaking of weird, Aardvark’s teeth aren’t protected by enamel, so they are continually worn away and continually regrowing.
Aardvarks can weigh up to 145 pounds (65 kg) and be 7.2 feet (2.2 meters) long. Yikes, that’s pretty big for a creature that lives by eating ants and termites.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Bandicoots are normally nocturnal.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
A platypus also stores fat in its tail. This is a trait is shares with the Tasmanian Devil (no, they’re not just a cartoon!) Both of these critters live in Australia—another place I’d like to visit.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Scorpions, like spiders, have 8 legs. (I didn't know that!) There are about 90 different types of scorpions in the US, with 86 species living west of the Mississippi River. They are mostly common in parts of Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma.
Some people actually choose to have scorpions as pets. Guess you have to be careful not to get stung! I think I’ll pass . . .
Monday, August 20, 2007
We have fingerprints that are individual to each of us, but meerkats have stripe patterns that make them unique. The meerkat is a type of mongoose—think Timon in the Disney movie “The Lion King.” Animal Planet has a show about the real animals called “Meerkat Manor.” Here's a video of a mob of meerkats chasing off a snake.
I might run, too, if I had that big a group chasing me!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Ferrets like to explore holes and can typically fit through any hole as small as the size of their head. The Romans used ferrets to hunt rabbits. Ferrets have even been used to run wires and cables through large conduits. Now that's an interesting pet trick!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Chipmunks were made famous in the 1960s when they made it into cartoons. If you aren't familiar with Alvin and the Chipmunks, you can check them out on the big screen soon.
Friday, August 17, 2007
The cleanest animal in the rodent family, the male tree squirrel takes twice as long, as the female, to groom itself. We guarantee all of our squirrels are clean, too.
Speaking of Rodentia or the rodent family, the largest members is the capybara. From Central and South America, these guys can reach a length of 4 feet (120 cm) and a weight of 75 to 100 lb (34–45 kg). You know, I'm not sure I'd want to meet one of these guys face to face--that's bigger than my dog! And she's a German Shepherd/Yellow Lab mix.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I've never been to Africa--a dream I hope to fulfill someday--but I've been to Asia, where I got to feed bananas to a baby elephant. Did you know they eat the whole thing including peel and stem?!
I've also petted two cheetahs in a wildlife park in Oregon. They're the only big cat who purrs, and just like my kitty cats at home, one cheetah rubbed his head against my arm to say "more petting please."
If you, like me, love jungle animals, you'll love what you find at our store.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Fortunately, the dragonflies on our website are not dangerous.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
With a mass just over 5 kg (11 lb), elephant brains are larger than those of any land animal, and although the largest whales have body masses twentyfold those of a typical elephant, whale brains are barely twice the mass of an elephant's.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Here is your fact--
Cubs are usually born in a litter of 2–3, but infant mortality is high and mothers are not commonly seen with more than 1–2 cubs.