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Silver Back Gorilla

Humans and gorillas have a very similar genetic makeup. These close relatives share 98% of our DNA. Why dong we learn more about what our closest relative does.

 

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Male with ferocious teeth.

Humans and gorillas have a very similar genetic makeup. These close relatives share 98% of our DNA. Why dong we learn more about what our closest relative does. 

The silverback gorilla is such an amazing animal. Of course, it gets its name from the silver hairs on its back of the males. It is believed that silverback gorillas are about 6 times stronger than anyone on earth. They are the largest primates on the earth, standing about 6 foot tall for a male and about 5 foot on average for a female. They weigh an astonishing 350 pounds which is probably down to all their muscle. But that puts them about 2 times heavier than the average male. Silverback gorillas can actually be identified by there noses, their noses act like fingerprints each gorilla will have a unique amount of wrinkles around the nose.

Of course, silverback gorillas are very clever they have been observed to use tools to help them hunt and survive. Once a female used a stick to judge water depth while crossing a river. They communicate by using 25 different sound and in captivity have been known to learn sign language.

 

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Baby just chilling as they do, it is such an easy life as a baby.

Also known as the mountain gorilla the silverback gorillas come from Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and Angola to name the few. 

 

These guys will eat about 60 pounds of food per day to keep themselves going. Their diet is 67% is fruit, 17% would be leaves, stems, and bamboo with the last 3% coming from termites and caterpillars. Silverback gorillas will have three main feeding periods throughout the day. In between these times, they will rest. If the weather is bad then they will put off their next meal until the weather has calmed down.

 

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Group of Silverback Gorillas the male clearly stands out.

In the wild, these gorillas are lead by a dominant male which has that iconic silverback. Then followed by a group of females and blackbacks (children) about 5 – 30. A group of gorillas is called troops. The dominant male is the one that breeds with most of the females. Females are in heat about 1 or 2 times a year they become sexually mate around 11-13 years for a male and female about 10 – 12 years old. There is no courtship that happens, males can send a when a female is in the heat. The offspring will most likely be 1 baby as it’s very rare for gorillas to have more than one offspring. They will carry their offspring in there bellies for 8.5 months. Males do not participate in the upbringing of the infants but will socialize with them from time to time. Mom will carry the baby while it can’t walk for about 3 – 6 months.
An interesting fact you didn’t know before reading this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The silverback gorilla has a stronger bite than a great white shark and a lion. In fact, they bite at about 1300 psi whereas a lion is 650 psi and a great white at 625 psi

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Grizzly Bear

The Grizzly Bear a menacingly big predator, also known as the Brown Bear to scientists this bear inhabits North America and you certainly wouldn’t want to be caught in its tracks.

 

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Large Grizzly Bear Standing Upright

The Grizzly Bear a menacingly big predator, also known as the Brown Bear to scientists this bear inhabits North America and you certainly wouldn’t want to be caught in its tracks.

 

The Grizzly Bear is brown in colour, these bears can be 3- 3 ½ feet at shoulders. However, upright they are more scary and double in size between 6 -7 feet long. These bears weigh in very heavy to Adult males between 300 and 850 lbs; whereas females weigh 200 – 450 lbs.  Their long claws range anywhere from two to four inches long and this helps them out in the wild enabling them to dig. The long guard hairs on their backs and shoulders frequently have white tips and give the bears a “grizzled” appearance, hence the name “grizzly.”

These bears will hibernate for over half a year (7.5 months). They must gain a massive amount of food during the summer times in order to survive the winter. With them been Omnivours however, food is always on the menu for these guys. They may eat seeds, berries, roots, grasses, fungi, deer, elk, fish, dead animals and insects. They will on average eat about 90 pounds of food per day that is roughly about 1/10th of there whole body weight per day. They will eat more than this though as it comes up to the hibernation period. The hibernation starts around October/ November time, they will use their massive claws to dig a den, they might sometimes find a cave and instead hide in there for the winter period.

Before the winter period, it is important of course that mating behaviour occurs. Grizzly bears are normally solitary animals. However, they are not very territorial

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Grizzly Bear Running

and they may be seen feeding together where food is abundant, such as at salmon streams and whitebark pine sites.

 

Grizzly bears are one of the slowest reproducing land mammals. The Female Bears do not reproduce until they are at least about 4 – 5 years old. Mating Occurs around May – July, however, females will delay implantation of there eggs until October or November. The summer period plays a massive part in reproduction. If there are not enough calories in her for survival then not only will she struggle through winter but she will not be able to reproduce effectively. 

Mother bears rear cubs for two to three years. Males do not help raise the cubs. In fact, males can be a danger to the cubs, so females often avoid male grizzly bears while rearing their cubs.

Interesting fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!!!!!!

 

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What Have I done Rasing these nightmares.

Grizzly bears have a better sense of smell than a hound dog and can detect food from miles away.

 

Walrus

The Walrus standing 9-12 ft and weighing up to 1000 kilograms you really wouldn’t mess with these.

With the winter closing in on us lets talk about this amazing guy, the Walrus an animal that looks like a seal with the mighty tusks from an elephant. These guys are well adapted for survival in the cold harsh climates.

Walruses live in the coldest of climates, they live in the North Pole. As you can see they have flipper-like feet, this makes them very closely related to the seal. As you can see from the photo they are cinnamon brown in colour, they are well adapted for surviving on land and in the water. Their giant flippers can be moved forwards in order to walk on land, their tusks are possessed by both males and females. The females will have tusks which will measure about 2 and a half-foot long, the males will have tusks measuring about 3 feet in length. They use these tusks for fighting or breaking through the ice in order to gain food. The whiskers are another great adaptation in order to find food, these are used to locate food.

The diet for these guys will be made up of molluscs – their favourite is a

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Polar Bear Hunting a Young Walrus

crab. worms, gastropods, cephalopods, crustaceans, sea cucumbers, and other soft-bodied animals are also on the menu on the rare occasion they will eat polar cod. If the food is limited than walruses have been known to eat away at young seal carcasses. Walruses will dive about 80 meters right to the seabed to uncover food using its snout. Some Walruses have used their flippers to uncover food when this has been observed it is mainly the right flipper that’s used. Due to the walruses monstrous size, it only has two predators to look out for that is the Killer Whale (Orca) and also polar bears. Both these predators though are mainly at risk when they are claves.

 

 

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2 Male Walruses fighting with the huge tusks

 

Breeding season for Walruses is still under much scrutiny males will be sexually mature at around 8 years of age, however, why is it that they don’t breed until they are 15 years old. Breeding season is really when these 3 foot long tusks come into play. Males around December to March will go on the hunt for a mate. During this time the food consumed is much less and males turn very aggressive. Not only to each other but also to female Walruses. One male will mate with about 20 females, some females who aren’t ready to reproduce will exclude themselves from all of the Walruses that are ready or pregnant. After 16 months of being pregnant, the females will give birth to a single calf. The reason why they have a long gestation period is after 16 months this is where there will be an abundance of food available giving the calf the best chance at surviving. The offspring can weigh from 100 to 170 pounds at birth. They instinctively know how to swim. They are born on land or ice and then make their way to the water with their mother soon afterwards.

 

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Mom and her baby together

Generally, the female will have a new offspring every two years but she allows the older offspring to remain with her as well. The use of the sense of smell is very evident between mothers and their offspring. The males will go their own way once the mating season is over. They will return to their all-male herds. The level of aggression there is much less than when it is time for mating.

 

 

An Interesting fact you didn’t know before reading this!!!!!!!!!

walrus2A walrus can remain underwater for up to 30 minutes before coming up for air.

Atlantic Puffins

Also known as a sea parrot these birds are quite an interesting animal. They are also known as the clowns of the sea due to their “clown makeup appearance”. 

8dbb3f1fa9dc77f65d728996c01ead24Also known as a sea parrot these birds are quite an interesting animal. They are also known as the clowns of the sea due to their “clown makeup appearance”.

These birds are very brightly colored as you can see, they have these very strong colored feet and a multi colored beak. Although they are often compared to penguins they are actually not, the black and white coloring on the feathers would tell you otherwise though. The penguins are from the Spheniscidae family and the puffins are from the Alcidae family. The Alcidae Family however only has 3 species of puffin which is the Atlantic Puffin, Horned Puffin, and the Tufted Puffin. Another difference between the penguins and puffins is that in fact, the puffin can fly, unlike the penguin. The Puffin can flap its wings at 400 times per minute flying at a supersonic speed of 54 mph. They use their specially designed webbed feet to help them dive right down into the sea to hunt for fish. They can actually dive up to 60 meters, a giraffe is 6 meters tall so it’s in fact 10 times the height of the giraffe.

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The Atlantic Puffin is found on rocky coasts in the Northern Atlantic Ocean during the breeding season and on the open ocean in the non-breeding season. The webbed feet and wings that I mentioned earlier really help to make these birds a top predator in the water. They will use them wings and feet to dive deeper and deeper. Although, it must be said they usually do crash land when flying in the air. The puffin can actually dive under water two ways, the first way will be from flying in the air and diving head first into the water. The second is simply diving down when already in the water. It catches small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks and usually swallows them underwater. The puffins do have a so called Backwards spine system going on in the beak. This is so they can hold multiple fishing there beak without dropping them. Usually, the number of fish in a puffins beak is 10 however it has been found the most ever was recorded at 62. Atlantic puffins are very social birds and they have even been known to go up to wooden replicas and try and communicate. A group of Puffins is called Circuses or Puffinries.

Puffins return to their nesting sites in April each year and remain here until around mid-August. The puffins are loyal to their partners so they will have their own set breeding pair. The next challenge is to find a nesting site for their egg, the puffins will use their 15A7453_1-copybeak to chip away at the rocks or ground and use the feet as a shovel. Where borrowing is not possible, the birds nest under boulders or in cracks and cavities in cliffs. The perfect nesting site is near the edge of the cliff making it very quick to get in and out of the water. The puffin will only lay a single egg inside of the nest, they will take turns incubating the egg this is only a short period between 36 and 45 days. The puffins actually desert the young just before the young are ready to make their own way. The adults are all synchronized and all fly off together after breeding season leaving the young behind. The young will fly the nest only a few days later and find the sea usually in dark hours to avoid predators from catching them.

An Interesting Fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!

15A7431_1-copyThey are very long-lived birds usually living for around 20 years.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

The knock out punch of the animal kingdom. The Mantis Shrimp looks very pretty but you wouldn’t like to mess with it.

 

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Mantis Shrimp Beautiful Coloring 

 

The knock out punch of the animal kingdom. The Mantis Shrimp looks very pretty but you wouldn’t like to mess with it. In comparison, Manny Pacquiao’s hardest punch which was recorded at 3,000 PSi, wouldn’t even come close to this Mantis Shrimp. If the Mantis Shrimp was the same size and weight it would deliver an impressive 510,000 psi punch. To put it into more simpler terms if this animal was the size of a human it could easily punch through steel.

Aside from the boxing let’s turn our attention to the shrimps, as you can see there are an array of colors in which they exhibit. They have many legs, 10 in fact 5 is for walking along the sea floor and the other 5 are for helping the mantis to swim. Their eyes positioned like little telescopes on their head. But it’s no laughing matter they have some of the best eyes in the animal kingdom. Humans only have three receptor cones, these help us to see color and distinguish what is brown, black, white etc… We only have three which are the colors green, red and blue. Mantis Shrimp actually have 16 different color receptive cones. They will get to a maximum size of four inches when fully grown, they are a Crustaceans animal meaning they are related to the crabs and lobsters.

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Peacock Mantis Shrimp hiding away in his little burrow.

 

 

Their diet in the wild consist of crabs, fish, snails, clams, and squids. They will use the lightning fast front appendages to smash open hard shelled creatures. So quick is their punch they could punch 50 times while us humans blink only once. Due to their deadly force, they are hunted by larger fish but they are well adapted for spotting danger. A bit like a chameleon they can move their eyes individually to avoid predators.

Mantis Shrimp are very aggressive animals and they are very much home birds. They don’t go on adventures like you might imagine, only to hunt for food or if they’re forced to by other factors. They are so under cover they actually hunt food that swims or walks past their burrows.  As there are 400 species of Mantis Shrimp in the waters all around the world. However, the Peacock and most other species will live in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans between East Africa and Hawaii.

 

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Female carrying loads of eggs

Mantis shrimp are very loyal to their partners. Once the male has found a mate they will actually share the same burrow, both will protect the eggs and they will both help each other to hunt their food. The mating season is usually when the warmer weather sets in, the female will carry the eggs after mating. She will then proceed to lay 2 sets of eggs. Both in burrows but the male is responsible for one and she will protect the others.  The males will bring the female food from time to time, but the female will not leave the burrow as she will continue to protect and aerate the eggs. Once the eggs have hatched normally after 3 months they have been known to eat the other larvae. They can live up to 20 years which is a long time for a Shrimp.

 

An Interesting Fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!

 

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As you can see circled the front deadly appendages. 

Even if the punch misses their prey item the shock waves which gets sent through the water can still kill prey.

 

Greater Rhea

Part of a group of the flightless bird family, this is still no bird to be messed with. They are the largest bird that can be found in South America. 

Part of a group of the flightless bird family, this is still no bird to be messed with. They are the largest bird that can be found in South America.

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Flock of Rhea

Related to the Ostrich of Africa and the Emu of Australia this bird is part of the flightless bird group also known as “ratites.” Birds which are in this group lack the keel in the breastbone which the flight muscles attach to the bird.  Charles Darwin described these birds as the South American Ostrich. The plumage of the greater rhea is generally greyish-brown, with darker patches on the neck and upper back, and whitish feathers on the thighs and abdomen. There are two species of Rhea: Greater or American Rhea and Darwin’s Rhea. They differ in size and in the type of habitat they inhabit. They have very powerful legs which are specifically designed to run, nevertheless, they do have another function and that is for kicking. If hunted or scared by a predator they will kick out releasing an almighty blow. The feathers also can be used to help them keep balance and steer when running up to maximum speed (35mph).

 

As mentioned before they are from South America, they usually inhabit tall grasslands, open woodland, and wooded savannah. The countries included would be Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Brazil. There top threat in the wild will be Jaguars and Cougar.

 

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Rhea with a Deer hunting for food.

Their diet will consist of roots, leaves, fruits, and seeds. For most farmers they are a pest due to them eating a lot of the agricultural crops, on the other hand, they do eat the weeds and can eat insects which would have otherwise destroyed the plants/crops. Like most other birds they will eat stones to swallow pebbles to help digest their food. The Rhea will often feed with other animals, taking advantage of them to find food and for protection. They can be seen feeding alongside herds of pampas deer, guanacos, and domestic livestock.

 

As part of the social structure, they can be found in groups of 30 birds. Also known as a flock of Rhea. Meanwhile when the breeding season hits the females will get into groups of about 12 individuals groups and males will become more territorial. You might think it’s a lion but the Rhea will let off a low grunting sound to attract a group of females to him. The Rheas are known as polygamous, once the female has bred, it will lay the eggs for the male to incubate. The female will then find another male to do exactly the same this can happen up to 12 times. The male will build a little nest just using his feet to dig a little hole in the ground for the eggs. The female can deposit 8 – 10 eggs at one time.

 

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Male Protecting the eggs

 

Meaning over the course of the breeding season the male can have up to 80 eggs in a nest to incubate.  Incubation takes around 35 to 40 days, and once one egg has started it will set off a synchronized hatching, with all eggs hatching in a 35 hour period of each other. Males will look after the young for 4 months, protecting them from danger, heat and the cold using them big wings as shelter. Although the Juvenile might not stay in the same flock as the adults once sexual maturity sets in (2 years), they will always stay together and join another flock or start their own.

An Interesting Fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!

 

 

 

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Rhea searching for some tasty food.

 

Young rhea grows quickly and it reaches adult size in six months. However, it will not mate until it reaches the age of 2 to 3 years old.

Chimpanzee

War For The Planet Of The Apes was very successful so lets learn about our closest relative.

 

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Chimpanzees getting an arial view of events.

War For The Planet Of The Apes was very successful so let’s learn about our closest relative. Chimpanzee also shares 98% of our genetics. Although Ceaser is an angry monkey, in the end, I don’t think I could blame him, we all must do what we can to protect our animals from extinction. They aren’t becoming extinct but numbers are decreasing due to deforestation. Also known as the Knuckle – Walkers due to them walking on there Knuckles.

 

Chimpanzees will usually grow between 4ft and 5.5 ft. They can live up to 38 years if you’re a female and the males will usually have a life expectancy 7 years younger usually passing away at 31 years of age. They can weight quite heavy usually about 100 pounds, this is the equivalent to the weight of a toilet seat. Like us humans, they don’t carry much hair on their hands, feet, and face. Apart from that, they have black hair all over there body with big ears to help with listening to other chimpanzees in the forest. Like I mentioned above they actually will walk on all fours but walk on their knuckles and feet.

 

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Chimpanzee eating a tasty banana

Chimpanzees eat a wide range of food, they are omnivores eating a wide range of fruits and sometimes meat. Most of the diet will consist of seeds, fruit, leaves, bark, honey, flowers and insects from time to time. This is the Chimpanzees main diet however they have been known to eat other small monkeys and eat deer if it has already been killed by another animal.  Usually, they will hunt and eat individually to return back to their community later on in the day, sometimes they do hunt as a group.

 

Chimpanzees will live in the tropical rain forest, and lowland and mountain forests in western and Central Africa. They can be found in 21 other African Countries, the chimps will swing from tree to tree. To avoid predators on the ground the Chimps sleep in the trees nice and high. They are very social so you won’t just find one they will go around the forest in communities, made up of family groups. Family groups can be between 6- 10 individuals and the communities will consist of 100 chimpanzees. The alpha male is split, sometimes a very experienced male will take charge of the community. However, in other groups, there will be several dominant males. Females will usually move to different communities however the males will stay in the communities which they are born.

 

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Baby clinging on to its mother.

The females are able to breed all year around. Although females usually give birth after 12 – 15 years of age. Males have to wait longer until sexual maturity it is usually 16 years of age. But the babies must cling onto their mom once born as they are helpless. They cling on and as they get older they will grow their black fur. after 2 years of age, the baby will stay right next to his/her mom until 7 years old when they can slowly start hunting and fending for themselves. Until the babies are 7 years old then they won’t stand a chance in the wild. A mother chimp develops a close bond with her young that may last a lifetime.

 

 

An Interesting Fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!

 

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Cheeky Monkey

Chimpanzees are a very small majority of animal that actually uses tools to help them hunt. They have been observed to strip down twigs and branches to get sap out of a tree and to get ants out of a termite mound.