Ivan Drago's Animal Thread

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
*Thought I'd post this for those who like animals as much as I do.




The largest bear in the world and the Arctic's top predator, polar bears are a powerful symbol of the strength and endurance of the Arctic. The polar bear's Latin name, Ursus maritimus, means "sea bear." It's an apt name for this majestic species, which spends much of its life in, around, or on the ocean–predominantly on the sea ice. In the United States, Alaska is home to two polar bear subpopulations. Considered talented swimmers, polar bears can sustain a pace of six miles per hour by paddling with their front paws and holding their hind legs flat like a rudder. They have a thick layer of body fat and a water-repellent coat that insulates them from the cold air and water.

Polar bears spend over 50% of their time hunting for food. A polar bear might catch only one or two out of 10 seals it hunts, depending on the time of year and other variables. Their diet mainly consists of ringed and bearded seals because they need large amounts of fat to survive. Polar bears rely heavily on sea ice for traveling, hunting, resting, mating and, in some areas, maternal dens. But because of ongoing and potential loss of their sea ice habitat resulting from climate change–the primary threat to polar bears Arctic-wide–polar bears were listed as a threatened species in the US under the Endangered Species Act in May 2008. As their sea ice habitat recedes earlier in the spring and forms later in the fall, polar bears are increasingly spending longer periods on land, where they are often attracted to areas where humans live.

*Please click green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Sea turtles are reptiles remarkably suited to life in the sea. Their hydrodynamic shape, large size, and powerful front flippers allow them to dive to great depths and swim long distances. These front flippers are long, narrow, and winglike, while their hind flippers are shorter. Although sea turtles can remain submerged for hours at a time while resting or sleeping, they typically surface several times each hour to breathe. There are seven species of sea turtle: the green sea turtle, Hawksbill sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, olive ridley sea turtle, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, and flatback sea turtle.

Sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on Earth and have remained essentially unchanged for 110 million years. In most sea turtles, the top shell—or carapace—is composed of many bones covered with horny scales, or scutes. Unlike their terrestrial relatives, they cannot retract their heads into their shells. The smallest of the sea turtles are the two species of ridleys, weighing in at 85 to 100 pounds (38 to 45 kilograms) as adults. Leatherbacks are the biggest and can grow to 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). Most sea turtles grow slowly and have a lifespan of many decades.Mating occurs roughly every two to three years in shallow waters.

In summer, an ancient reproductive ritual begins when the female leaves the sea and crawls ashore to dig a nest in the sand. She uses her rear flippers to dig the nest hole, then deposits 80 to 150 eggs that look a lot like Ping-Pong balls. When egg-laying is complete, the turtle covers the eggs, camouflages the nest site, and returns to the ocean. Nesting turtles may come to shore several times in a nesting season to repeat the process. As is true for some other reptiles, the temperature of the sea turtle nest determines the sex of the hatchlings. Warmer temperatures produce more females, whereas cooler temperatures result in more males. For this reason, conservationists and wildlife managers leave turtle eggs in their original location whenever possible so that sex ratios are determined naturally.

After incubating for about two months, the eggs begin to hatch. Hatchlings range from 1.5 to 3 inches (3.8 to 7.6 centimeters) in size, depending on the species, and emerge from the nest as a group. This usually occurs at night, and the hatchlings use the bright, open view of the night sky over the water to find their way to the sea. After their first frantic crawl from the nest to the ocean, male sea turtles never return to the shore again, and females come back only long enough to lay eggs. Artificial lights on beachfront buildings and roadways—often called light pollution—can distract hatchlings on their way to the ocean. Because of this danger, many beachfront communities have adopted lighting ordinances requiring lights to be shut off or shielded during the nesting and hatching season.

*Please click the green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Few creatures strike more fear in humans than the great white shark. In reality, great white shark attacks on humans are rare – and it is even rarer for one of these attacks to be fatal. However, the size of the great white shark and its efficiency as a predator add to the perpetuation of this unnecessary fear. The great white shark averages 4.5 m (15 ft.) in length, but some have been recorded as large as 6 m (20 ft.) long! They generally weigh up to 2250 kg (5000 lb.).

Great white sharks are blue-gray on the dorsal, or top, part of their bodies. This helps them blend in with the bottom of the ocean when viewed from above. The belly, or ventral, part of the body, is white. This makes it difficult to see the sharks from below, with sunlight shining in around them. They have strong, torpedo-shaped bodies and powerful tails that help them swim. Great whites can reach speeds up to 24 km/hr (15 mph). Great whites use their speed and coloring to help them hunt. They search for prey at the surface of the ocean while swimming below. Once they spot a target, they use a burst of speed to bump their prey while simultaneously biting it. They have several rows of teeth that can number into the thousands. As teeth fall out, they are rapidly replaced by those in the row behind them. These sharp, serrated teeth can be devastating. A single, large bite can be fatal. When great white sharks are young, they feed on smaller prey, like fish and rays. As they grow larger, they feed more exclusively on marine mammals, such as sea lions, seals and small whales.

*Please click the green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Komodo dragons are the largest living lizards in the world. They are identified by their massive size, flat heads, bowed legs and long, thick tails. The name comes from rumors that a dragon-like creature lived on the Indonesian island of Komodo. No Western scientists had seen a Komodo dragon until 1912, according to the San Diego Zoo. Local people call them "ora," or "land crocodile."The average size of a male Komodo dragon is 8 to 9 feet and about 200 lbs., according to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, but they can reach a whopping 10 feet (3 meters) in length. Females grow to 6 feet (1.8 m). Komodos come in a variety of colors, including blue, orange, green and gray.

Their skin is rough and durable, reinforced with bony plates called osteoderms. They have long claws and a large, muscular tail. Komodos have good vision; they can see objects as far away as 985 feet (300 m), according to the Smithsonian Zoo. They are also speedy. They can run briefly up to 13 mph (20 kph) but prefer to hunt by stealth — waiting for hours until prey cross their path. Their sense of smell is their primary food detector, however. According to the Smithsonian Zoo, Komodo dragons, like snakes, use their forked tongues to sample the air, and then touch the tongue to the roof of their mouth, where special organs analyze the airborne molecules. If the left tongue tip has more concentrated "smell," the dragon knows that their prey is approaching from the left.

*Please click the green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere and are highly adapted to life in the water. Penguins are a long-lived species, which come back to the land for breeding in dense colonies, lay one or two eggs, and take several months to raise their chick(s). Most penguins feed on krill, fish, and squid, caught while swimming underwater. The emperor penguin is the only species to breed during the harsh Antarctic winter, on sea ice. Penguin can dive at incredible depth. A female of emperor penguin has dived to a depth of 535 m (1,755 ft) near McMurdo Sound. Penguins are extremely sensitive to climate change. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed 60% of the 18 penguin species as vulnerable or endangered, and the impact of climate on the food web and habitat is one of the most commonly suggested causes of population decline. Even abundant species like the Macaroni are in steep decline. In Antarctica, changes in sea ice have altered the breeding and feeding habitat quality and availability for several penguin populations. Temperate penguin species have also been affected by climate changes, such as sea surface temperature or global climate oscillation, such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation.

*Please click green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Giraffes are the tallest living animals in the world, according to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. A giraffe's neck alone is 6 feet (1.8 meters) long and weighs about 600 lbs. (272 kilograms). The animal's legs are also 6 feet long. Females grow up to 14 feet (4.3 m) tall and weigh up to 1,500 lbs. (680 kg), while males grow up to 18 feet (5.5 m) tall and weigh up to 3,000 lbs. (1,360 kg).

Giraffes have unusually skinny legs for such large animals, but specialized bone structure allows them to support immense weight.
Giraffes have unusually skinny legs for such large animals, but specialized bone structure allows them to support immense weight. (Image credit: EcoView/Fotolia) With such a massive body, it makes sense that the giraffes' organs and other body parts are equally huge. Their tongues are a substantial 21 inches (53 centimetres) long, and their feet are 12 inches (30.5 cm) across. According to the San Diego Zoo, a giraffe's heart is 2 feet (0.6 m) long and weighs about 25 lbs. (11 kg). Their lungs can hold 12 gallons (55 liters) of air. In comparison, the average total lung capacity for a human is 1.59 gallons (6 liters). Giraffes live in savannas throughout Africa. They like semi-arid, open woodlands that have scattered trees and bushes, making the savannas perfect for these animals. Giraffes are so social that they don't have territories. A group of giraffes is aptly called a tower, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Towers typically have 10 to 20 members. Who lives in the tower can vary. Some towers consist of all females and their young, or all male or mixed genders. Member are free to come and go as they please, according to the Animal Diversity Web. Giraffes only sleep around 20 minutes or less per day, according to PBS Nature. Staying awake most of the time allows them to be constantly on alert for predators. They usually get their sleep in quick power naps that last just a couple of minutes.

*Please click on the green link for further info.





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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Hippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the “river horse.” Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. However, they are often large enough to simply walk or stand on the lake floor, or lie in the shallows. Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads, which allows them to see and breathe while mostly submerged.

Hippos also bask on the shoreline and secrete an oily red substance, which gave rise to the myth that they sweat blood. The liquid is actually a skin moistener and sunblock that may also provide protection against germs.At sunset, hippopotamuses leave the water and travel overland to graze. They may travel 6 miles in a night, along single-file pathways, to consume some 80 pounds of grass. Considering their enormous size, a hippo's food intake is relatively low. If threatened on land hippos may run for the water—they can match a human's speed for short distances.Hippo calves weigh nearly 100 pounds at birth and can suckle on land or underwater by closing their ears and nostrils. Each female has only one calf every two years. Soon after birth, mother and young join schools that provide some protection against crocodiles, lions, and hyenas. Hippos once had a broader distribution but now live in eastern central and southern sub-Saharan Africa, where their populations are in decline.

*Please click on the green link for further info.



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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


A chameleon sits motionlessly on a tree branch. Suddenly its sticky, two-foot-long tongue snaps out at 13 miles an hour, wrapping around a cricket and whipping the yummy snack back into the reptile’s mouth. Now that’s fast food dining! And the chameleon’s swift eating style is just one of its many features that’ll leave you tongue-tied.Chameleons mostly live in the rain forests and deserts of Africa. The color of their skin helps them blend in with their habitats. Chameleons that hang out in trees are usually green. Those that live in deserts are most often brown.

They often change color to warm up or cool down. (Turning darker helps warm the animals because the dark colors absorb more heat.) They also switch shades to communicate with other chameleons, using bright colors to attract potential mates or warn enemies.

So how exactly do chameleons change colors? The outer layer of their skin is see-through. Beneath that are layers of special cells filled with pigment—the substance that gives plants and animals (including you) color. To display a new color, the brain sends a message for these cells to get bigger or smaller. As this happens, pigments from different cells are released, and they mix with each other to create new skin tones. For instance, red and blue pigment may mix to make the chameleon look purple.

*Please click on green link for further info.



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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


These famously feisty mammals have a coat of coarse brown or black fur and a stocky profile that gives them the appearance of a baby bear. Most have a white stripe or patch on their chest and light spots on their sides or rear end. They have long front legs and shorter rear legs, giving them a lumbering, piglike gait. The Tasmanian devil is the world's largest carnivorous marsupial, reaching 30 inches in length and weighing up to 26 pounds, although its size will vary widely depending on where it lives and the availability of food. Its oversize head houses sharp teeth and strong, muscular jaws that can deliver, pound for pound, one of the most powerful bites of any mammal.

Once abundant throughout Australia, Tasmanian devils are now found only on the island state of Tasmania. Their Tasmanian range encompasses the entire island, although they are partial to coastal scrub lands and forests. Biologists speculate that their extinction on the mainland about 400 years ago may be linked to the introduction of Asian dogs—or dingoes.Tasmanian devils have a reputation for flying into a rage when threatened by a predator, fighting for a mate, or defending a meal. Early European settlers dubbed them “devils” after witnessing displays such as teeth-baring, lunging, and an array of spine-chilling guttural growls. These behaviors also inspired the Looney Tunes portrayal of Taz, the Tasmanian devil, as a snarling lunatic. But this reputation might not be totally fair. Though the Tasmanian devil may seem aggressive, many of these behaviors are merely feeding rituals or fear-induced.

*Please click on green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling



Gorillas are gentle giants and display many human-like behaviors and emotions, such as laughter and sadness. In fact, gorillas share 98.3% of their genetic code with humans, making them our closest cousins after chimpanzees and bonobos. The largest of the great apes, gorillas are stocky animals with broad chests and shoulders, large, human-like hands, and small eyes set into hairless faces. The two gorilla species live in equatorial Africa, separated by about 560 miles of Congo Basin forest. Each has a lowland and upland subspecies. Gorillas live in family groups of usually five to 10, but sometimes two to more than 50, led by a dominant adult male—or silverback—who holds his position for years. The bond between the silverback and his females forms the basis of gorilla social life. Females become sexually mature around seven or eight years old but don’t begin to breed until a couple of years later. Males mature at an even greater age. Once a female begins to breed, she'll likely give birth to only one baby every four to six years and only three or four over her entire lifetime. This low rate of reproduction makes it difficult for gorillas to recover from population declines. Both gorilla species have been decreasing in numbers for decades, and a 2010 United Nations report suggests that they may disappear from large parts of the Congo Basin by the mid-2020s.

*Please click the green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
*These little turds are brutal. Just sayin'.


Locust



Locusts have been feared and revered throughout history. Related to grasshoppers, these insects form enormous swarms that spread across regions, devouring crops and leaving serious agricultural damage in their wake. Plagues of locusts have devastated societies since the Pharaohs led ancient Egypt, and they still wreak havoc today.Locusts look like ordinary grasshoppers—most notably, they both have big hind legs that help them hop or jump. They sometimes share the solitary lifestyle of a grasshopper, too. However, locust behavior can be something else entirely. During dry spells, solitary locusts are forced together in the patchy areas of land with remaining vegetation. This sudden crowding releases serotonin in their central nervous systems that makes locusts more sociable and promotes rapid movements and more varied appetite.

When rains return—producing moist soil and abundant green plants—those environmental conditions create a perfect storm: Locusts begin to produce rapidly and become even more crowded together. In these circumstances, they shift completely from their solitary lifestyle to a group lifestyle in what’s called the gregarious phase. Locusts can even change color and body shape when they move into this phase. Their endurance increases and even their brains get larger. Locusts can become gregarious at any point in their lifecycle. On hatching, a locust emerges wingless as a nonflying nymph, which can be either solitary or gregarious. A nymph can also change between behavior phases before becoming a flying adult after 24 to 95 days.

*Please click on the green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


You can’t mistake a Bulldog for any other breed. The loose skin of the head, furrowed brow, pushed-in nose, small ears, undershot jaw with hanging chops on either side, and the distinctive rolling gait all practically scream “I’m a Bulldog!” The coat, seen in a variety of colors and patterns, is short, smooth, and glossy. Bulldogs can weigh up to 50 pounds, but that won’t stop them from curling up in your lap, or at least trying to. But don’t mistake their easygoing ways for laziness—Bulldogs enjoy brisk walks and need regular moderate exercise, along with a careful diet, to stay trim. Summer afternoons are best spent in an air-conditioned room as a Bulldog’s short snout can cause labored breathing in hot and humid weather.

*Please click on the green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Rhinos once roamed many places throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa and were known to early Europeans who depicted them in cave paintings. At the beginning of the 20th century, 500,000 rhinos roamed Africa and Asia. By 1970, rhino numbers dropped to 70,000, and today, as few as 29,000 rhinos remain in the wild. Very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves due to persistent poaching and habitat loss over many decades. Three species of rhino—black, Javan, and Sumatran—are critically endangered. Today, a small population of Javan rhinos is found in only one national park on the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Java. A mainland subspecies of the Javan rhino was declared extinct in Vietnam in 2011. Successful conservation efforts have led to an increase in the number of greater one-horned (or Indian) rhinos, from around 200 at the turn of the 20th century to more than 3,700 today.

The greater one-horned rhino is one of Asia’s biggest success stories, with their status improving from endangered to vulnerable following significant population increases. However, the species still remains under threat from poaching for its horn and from habitat loss and degradation. In Africa, southern white rhinos, once thought to be extinct, now thrive in protected sanctuaries and are classified as near threatened. But the western black rhino and northern white rhinos have recently become extinct in the wild. The only two remaining northern white rhino are kept under 24-hour guard in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Black rhinos have doubled in number over the past two decades from their low point of fewer than 2,500 individuals, but total numbers are still a fraction of the estimated 100,000 that existed in the early part of the 20th century.

*Please click the green link for further info.





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Béla Kiss

Always, never, and forget about it.


Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere and are highly adapted to life in the water. Penguins are a long-lived species, which come back to the land for breeding in dense colonies, lay one or two eggs, and take several months to raise their chick(s). Most penguins feed on krill, fish, and squid, caught while swimming underwater. The emperor penguin is the only species to breed during the harsh Antarctic winter, on sea ice. Penguin can dive at incredible depth. A female of emperor penguin has dived to a depth of 535 m (1,755 ft) near McMurdo Sound. Penguins are extremely sensitive to climate change. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed 60% of the 18 penguin species as vulnerable or endangered, and the impact of climate on the food web and habitat is one of the most commonly suggested causes of population decline. Even abundant species like the Macaroni are in steep decline. In Antarctica, changes in sea ice have altered the breeding and feeding habitat quality and availability for several penguin populations. Temperate penguin species have also been affected by climate changes, such as sea surface temperature or global climate oscillation, such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation.

*Please click green link for further info.




You left out the part about seals and penguins :eyebrows:
 
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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Wolverines look something like a mixture of a dog, a skunk and a bear, with short legs, long hair and elongated snouts. Wolverines also have a distinctive mask of dark fur around their eyes and forehead, and a stripe of blond or ivory fur that runs from each shoulder to the base of the animal's tail. Though wolverines are the biggest of the weasel family, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), they are still very small. They are normally 26 to 34 inches (66 to 86 centimeters) from head to rump. Their tail adds another 7 to 10 inches (18 to 25 centimetres) to their length. They weigh 24 to 40 lbs. (11 to 18 kilograms).Wolverines are omnivores; they eat both meat and vegetation. Typical meals for a wolverine include large game like caribou, moose and mountain goats; smaller animals like ground squirrels and rodents; and even birds' eggs and berries. They like meat best, though, and will go to great lengths to get it.

They can travel 15 miles (24 kilometers) in a 24-hour period in search of food and will even eat dead animals they did not kill. Wolverines have a keen sense of smell; they can smell prey 20 feet under the snow. They will dig down into burrows and kill hibernating animals. Wolverines are sneaky when finding food, too. They have strong jaws and teeth, and can crush a carcass and munch right through the bone. They have been known to eat the bones and teeth of their prey. Wolverines also seem to be aware of how to store food. Research shows that wolverines use snow as refrigerators to keep their food fresh.

*Please click on the green link for further info.




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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


Snapping turtles are widespread in Connecticut. Their ability to adapt to people and the state's changing landscape has made them evolutionarily successful. Snapping turtles can even be found in polluted waters and urban wetlands, although populations in these habitats may not be robust.Snapping turtles range across the eastern United States to the Rocky Mountains, from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and into Central America. They have been introduced in some western states.Connecticut’s largest freshwater turtle is easily recognized by its dark carapace (upper shell) with a deeply serrated back margin, and a small plastron (bottom shell) that does not completely cover all of the animal's flesh. Three low keels (or ridges) on the carapace of younger turtles often become obscure as the turtle matures. The carapace measures 8-12 inches on an average adult, and the turtles can weigh between 10-35 pounds.

The carapace can vary in color, from green to brown to black; sometimes it is covered with moss. Snapping turtles have a long tail, often measuring as long or longer than the carapace, that is covered with bony plates. They also have a large head, long neck, and a sharp, hooked upper jaw. This hard beak has a rough cutting edge that is used for tearing food.Snapping turtles are almost entirely aquatic and can be found in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, preferably with slow-moving water and a soft muddy or sandy bottom. They inhabit almost any permanent or semi-permanent body of water, including marshes, creeks, swamps, bogs, pools, lakes, streams, rivers, and impoundments. Snapping turtles can tolerate brackish water (mixture of seawater and fresh water). As omnivores, snapping turtles feed on plants, insects, spiders, worms, fish, frogs, small turtles, snakes, birds, crayfish, small mammals, and carrion. Plant matter accounts for about a third of the diet. Young turtles will forage for food, but older turtles often hang motionless in the water and ambush their prey by lunging forward with the head at high speed and powerful jaws to seize prey.

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Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling

Lion


The lion is a muscular, deep-chested large cat with a rounded head, a reduced neck, round ears and fur that differs in color from light buff to silvery grey, yellowish red and dark brown. A lion’s mane is one of its most recognizable features, but only male lions grow manes. When male lions reach a year old, their mane starts growing. The color of the mane varies and darkens with age. Some research shows that its size and color are influenced by environmental factors, such as average ambient temperature, and the presence of parasites such as ticks and fleas.Lions are the second largest of all the big cats in the world, right after tigers. Most males weigh around 400 pounds (180 kilograms), while females weigh around 290 pounds (130 kilograms). The biggest lion ever recorded weighed over 800 pounds!

The average 8-year-old human weighs about 55 pounds, so it would take about 7 eight-year-olds to weigh the same as 1 male lion or 5 eight-year-olds to equal a female lion. That’s pretty heavy! Lions are carnivores, which means they eat meat and hunt other animals for food. Males need to eat about 15.4 pounds of meat each day, which is much more than the 11 pounds of meat a female lion needs each day. Lions generally hunt from dusk until dawn and spend the day resting. In nature, lions live in southern and eastern regions of Africa where it tends to be very hot during the day. Lions will preserve their energy and try to stay cool during the hot days and they generally hunt while the sun is down and temperatures are cooler.

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Ivan Drago

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I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling


The grizzly bear is the second largest land carnivore in North America. It has a strong, heavy body with an average length of 1.8 metres from nose to tail. It is distinguished from other bears by the large shoulder hump that supports its massive front legs, its extremely long front claws and the concave facial profile of its large head. The grizzly bear's fur is usually darkish brown, but can vary from ivory yellow to black. It has long hairs on its head and shoulders that often have white tips and give the bear the "grizzled" appearance from which it derives its name. Its legs and feet tend to be even darker in color.

Despite its large size, the grizzly bear has been known to run at speeds of 55 kilometres per hour. It has well developed senses of smell and hearing that compensates for its poor eyesight.The grizzly bear is a solitary animal. Individual bears have a home range, but these may overlap and are not fiercely defended. The grizzly's habitat can range from dense forest to alpine meadow or arctic tundra. It has no predators, other than humans. Contrary to popular belief, the grizzly bear is not a true hibernator. In the winter its body temperature may drop a few degrees and its respiration may slow slightly, but it can remain active all winter.

Although it is considered a meat-eater, the grizzly bear is actually omnivorous, which means it eats both meat and vegetation. It eats mammals and spawning salmon, when they are available, but relies mainly on vegetation for food. Plants make up 80 to 90 percent of the grizzly's diet! It eats a variety of berries to gain fat deposits that helps it survive the winter months. The grizzly bear will also take advantage of food and garbage that is left by humans, particularly at campsites and dumps.


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Ivan Drago

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Hyena



Hyena, (family Hyaenidae), also spelled hyaena, any of three species of coarse-furred, doglike carnivores found in Asia and Africa and noted for their scavenging habits. Hyenas have long forelegs and a powerful neck and shoulders for dismembering and carrying prey. Hyenas are tireless trotters with excellent sight, hearing, and smell for locating carrion, and they are proficient hunters as well. All hyenas are more or less nocturnal. Intelligent, curious, and opportunistic in matters of diet, hyenas frequently come into contact with humans. The spotted, or laughing, hyena (Crocuta crocuta) is the largest species and will burglarize food stores, steal livestock, occasionally kill people, and consume wastes—habits for which they are usually despised, even by the Masai, who leave out their dead for hyenas. Even so, hyena body parts are sought for traditional tokens and potions made to cure barrenness, grant wisdom, and enable the blind to find their way around.

Brown hyenas (Parahyaena brunnea or sometimes Hyaena brunnea) are blamed for many livestock deaths that they probably do not cause. Similarly, from North Africa eastward to India, striped hyenas (H. hyaena) are blamed when small children disappear and for supposedly attacking small livestock and digging up graves. In consequence, some populations have been persecuted nearly to extinction. All three species are in decline outside protected areas. Spotted hyenas range south of the Sahara except in rainforests. They are ginger-coloured with patterns of dark spots unique to each individual, and females are larger than males. Weighing up to 82 kg (180 pounds), they can measure almost 2 metres (6.6 feet) long and about 1 metre tall at the shoulder. Spotted hyenas communicate using moans, yells, giggles, and whoops, and these sounds may carry several kilometres. Gestation is about 110 days, and annual litter size is usually two cubs, born in any month.

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