Lions are commonly known as ‘kings of the jungle’. People around the world consider the symbol of lions as the sign of strength and power. They are the world’s second largest cat after the tigers. They are the social cats and live together in groups called pride.
What do they look like?
Lions are the mammals. They grow about 5 to 6 feet long from its head to the back and can weigh as much as 130 kg (400 pounds). They have four legs with very powerful paws. They have very good eyesight, sense of smell, and sense of hearing, which make them incredible hunters. The male lions have a nice mane (hairs around the neck), whereas female lions don’t have the mane.
Male and female lions
Lions are carnivores (meat eater). They mostly eat buffaloes, zebras, and wildebeest. They are very good hunters, and often hunt in groups. The prey is mostly hunted by the female lions. Lions together with their group can hunt down elephants and giraffes. They spend about 20 hours in resting and sleeping and hunt during dusk and dawn periods.
The majority of the lions are found in the India and Africa. They mostly live together in groups called pride. Each pride contains about 3 to 30 lions. Pride is the mixture of the males, females, and cubs (baby lions). The cubs of the lions live with their family until they become 2.5 to 3 years old, then they are driven out of the pride.
The pride of Lions
Lions species are declared as vulnerable. African lions are red listed by IUCN and have been near the extinction. The number of lions has decreased due to the destruction of their habitats and forests. Many human hunters consider themselves as a brave man due to hunting a lion. The number of lions in India has reached to 500.
For further information on lions, you can visit the http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/lion/
- The roar of the lions can be heard 5 miles away.
- In the wild, lions can live about 15 years.
- Lions can reach the speed of 81 Km/h (50 miles/hour), but not for too long! They need to reach the target close enough to get successful hunt.
Flamingos are the pink colored birds with long and slim legs. They are the wading (walk through water) birds, they can stand on one leg for many hours. There are six species of flamingo living in different parts of the world. They are one of the longest-living birds, living for up to 40 years.
What do they look like?
American flamingos are pink in color with two slim legs and a long neck. They have a white bill on their face with black color on the tip. Flamingos have a pair of wings for flying. They can’t fly standing, but they have to run to catch the required velocity. When the chicks (babies of flamingos) are born they have the gray color. They get their pink color from their diet which contains carotenoid.
Flamingos eat the small creatures in the shallow waters, which includes small insects, planktons, and shrimp. They take the mud in their bill and filter out water and mud to get their food. Flamingos mostly stand on their one leg in the water, which also helps them to get the food. Because small creatures in the ponds consider their single standing led as a plant and gather around it.
The six species of the flamingos live in different regions of the Earth. They tend to live together in flocks. Their flocks can contain as much as 10,000 flamingos. Flamingos prefer to live closer to shallow water, like ponds and lakes where they can walk easily, so they catch their food.
Flock of flamingos
The number of flamingos has decreased in past 100 years due to the destruction of their habitat and over-hunting.
- The largest flocks of the flamingos live in the Africa. The number of flamingos in these flocks can reach over a million.
- Flamingos can fly much better than it is commonly thought by people. They can cover over 100 miles in a day in search of food.
- Flamingos lay only one egg in a year, and the egg is watched by the parents together.
Elephants are the intelligent and largest land mammal on the Earth. They are very famous for their long trunk and curved tusks. They are very intelligent animals, they are able to use tools and can be taught to do a certain work. Many folk tales remember the elephants as “the animal that never forgets”. There are two types elephants; African elephant and Asian elephant.
What do they look like?
Elephants are known for their distinct features, which are the large trunk, curved tusks, large ears, and wide legs. Elephants can grow to a size of 11 feet high and can weigh as much as 6000 kg (13,000 pounds). African elephants are the much larger than Asian elephants with larger ears and tusks. They have dark gray color with wrinkled skin. Whereas, Asian elephants have gray and brown colors with less wrinkled skin. The skin of elephants can grow about 1 inch thick.
Elephants are herbivores (plant eater). They eat leaves, roots, fruits, grasses, and the barks of the trees. They use their trunk to break the branches of the trees for eating. Sometimes they completely destroy the tree which they are eating. An average elephant can eat about 300 pounds (140 kg) in a day and can drink as much as 30 gallons of water.
Two species of elephants are found across the African and Asian continents. They mostly prefer forests and live around ponds, because they often need to bath to cool their bodies during the day. Elephants are also found in savanna deserts. These elephants have special adaptions which help them to survive the dry deserts.
Elephants near the pond
In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared the elephants as endangered species. The number of elephants was decreasing rapidly due over hunting for their ivory tusks. But after the ban, hunting of elephants is controlled to some extent.
- Scientists think that there were 350 species of elephants before the last Ice age, but today only 2 species are alive.
- Elephants have very good memory. They remember the passed away family members and the location of the water.
- Elephants use their long ears to cool their bodies.
Dolphins are among the most loved marine animals. They are very intelligent and playful animals, which often interact with people on the boats. Dolphins are the mammals; they give birth to baby dolphins called ‘calves’. The calves of the dolphins survive on the milk of their mother until they grow younger. Dolphins also play sports and perform in many shows around the world.
The kind of dolphin that people commonly know is called bottlenose dolphin. But, there are many kinds of dolphins. The killer whales (Orca) are also the kind of dolphins, which are also famous. But, most people don’t know that they are dolphins.
Killer whales or Orca
How do Dolphins look like?
Dolphins have long bodies with flippers, dorsal fins, and a tail fin. Their head in non-flexible with two eyes and a long snout. Dolphins have good eyesight, but they also use echolocation to see in the cloudy water and search for prey. Echolocation works like a sonar in which sound waves are produced that bounce back from the objects and give their positions. Dolphins have a blowhole on top of their head like whales. They use it to breathe oxygen from the air because they can’t breathe underwater. Dolphins have size range about 1.7 (5.6 feet) meters to 9.5 (31 feet) meters. They can weigh as much as 110 pounds (50 Kg) for smaller size and 10 tons for a large one.
Dolphins are carnivores and good predators. They can use echolocation to find the prey in cloudy waters. They usually eat squids, small and medium size fishes, and shrimps. Dolphins generally drive their prey near the beach to eat it. But, some species also use their tail to knock down the prey.
Dolphins are found in all oceans of the world. Some species of dolphins also live in the rivers; they are called river dolphins. Dolphins are one of the social animals, they travel in groups. The group of the dolphins is called a pod. A pod of dolphins usually contains 5 or more dolphins. Sometimes smaller pods combine together to make a large pod in which more than a hundred dolphins travel.
Pod of the dolphins
Due to overhunting, many species of the dolphins have become extinct. Many of the alive species have been declared as endangered species. International organizations working to conserve the dolphins have placed a ban on hunting of dolphins. Fishermen are warned to use nets in which dolphins are not caught.
- It is believed that dolphins and whales have been evolved from a land animal, which looks like a wolf.
- Yangtze river dolphins are considered extinct.
- Dolphins can drown if they remain underwater for too long. Because they can’t breathe oxygen underwater.
- Killer whales are the largest dolphins, they have white and black color on their bodies.
Dogs are the best friend of humans since thousands of years. They are considered as loyal friends of humans. People around the world adopt the dogs because they are good pets. Dogs have very strong sense of smell. Due to this reason, they are trained by the police department to sense and detect the drugs, poisons, bombs and chase criminals. Dogs also provide protection to their masters. Many people around the world keep the dogs as a guard.
What do they look like?
Dogs are the mammals with four legs and a tail on their body. They come in wide range of size, some dogs are few inches high, whereas some are over 3 feet high. Dogs have a very sensitive nose, they can smell 100,000 times better than humans. They have a pair of ears which can detect the sound frequency that humans cannot hear. Dogs have good night vision, but they can’t see colors as sharp as humans do. Different types of dogs have different colors and patterns, some are brown, black, and white.
Dogs are the omnivores; means they can digest vegetables and meat. Dogs are not dependent on the meat to fulfill their dietary needs. But, they can also eat vegetables and grains, which includes potatoes, carrots, cucumber, and wheat. There are certain things that humans eat are poisonous to dogs, these are chocolates, raisins, and grapes.
The population of the dogs around the world is about 900 million. The majority of the dogs live in the wild. Since dogs are famous for being a good pet. People around the world adopt the different types of dogs according to their lifestyle. They feed them and provide them shelter to live. Unclaimed dogs are often found the roads and streets of the urban areas and villages.
- Dogs can make 14 vocal sounds, lesser than the cat which can make 100 vocal sounds.
- Dogs belong to the scientific family Canidae, and are the descendants of wolves.
- The average life span a dog is about 12 years.
- The tallest living dog has the height of 3.6 feet, named ‘Zeus’.
- The smallest living dog has a height of 3.8 inches and is named ‘Milly’.