Giraffe, free pictures of Giraffe with Interesting Facts

Giraffe is an herbivorous mammal. It is the tallest among all the land animals. Its scientific name ‘Giraffa camelopardalis’ comes from the fact that many people believed it to be a combination of camel and leopard (the tall height like camel and patches on the fur like a leopard). Giraffes are native to Africa, south of Sahara desert and mostly live in open areas, wood lands, grasslands where they can find green trees and in some cases near desert regions. They are listed as Least Concern in the IUCN red list.

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RG161- Giraffe

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RG162- Giraffe drinking water at Hyderabad zoo

A Giraffe can grow 15-20 ft tall and its weight can range from 800-1800 kg. The males are larger than the females. It has large eyes, one on each side of face making it see all around. It has good sense of smell and hearing. There are short Horns on its head, which are known as Ossicones. The legs of a giraffe can be over 6 ft tall and the neck also can measure 5-6 ft. though all four legs are equal, the hind legs appear shorter than the fore legs. The entire body has dark patches of varying shades of orange to brownish black. These patches are separated by white or creamy fur. The tongue of a giraffe is very long and helps in eating leaves on higher tree branches.

And now a few interesting facts about this tall animal:

  • The spots on a Giraffe act like finger prints, no two Giraffes can have similar pattern and thus can be identified.
  • The color of spots can help in finding the age of a Giraffe. The darker the spots, the older is Giraffe.
  • A female Giraffe gives birth while standing, as a result the newly born calf has to fall from a decent height of around 5-6 ft.
  • The tongue, lips and inner parts of mouth have bristle like hair called papillae, which protect it from thorns.
  • The nostrils can be closed during sandstorms.
  • A newly born Giraffe calf can learn to stand within 30 minutes of its birth and can start running after 10 hours.
  • Giraffes are the largest ruminants.
  • Its tall height and large eyes help a Giraffe to keep a sharp lookout for predators.
  • A Giraffe can survive without water for long period, they get most of the water from green juicy plants and leaves and store it in their body tissues.
  • It can run up to a speed of 50-60 km/h for over short distances.
  • Males indulge in a fight using their necks to prove their dominance during the mating season. This is called Necking.

Indian Elephant, free pictures of elephants with interesting facts

Indian Elephant or the Asian Elephant is scientifically known as Elephus maximus or Eliphus maximus indica ( sub-species native to India). They are native to many parts of South-East Asia such as India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. In spite of its presence over such a wide area, they are considered to be endangered (threatened) species. This is due to the growing human population leading to loss of habitat, clearing of forests and poaching by hunters for Tusk. It is believed that there are only 35,000 to 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild today.

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RG160- Indian Elephants Feeding

Elephants are found in grasslands and forests. They are herbivorous and the diet consists of tree leaves, stems, barks, roots, farm crops, grass and fruits. Asian elephants are smaller in size when compared to African elephants and can grow up to 11 ft tall, 15-20 ft in length and weigh between 3000-5000 kg. Females are smaller than males. They are grey in color and this helps them to camouflage in their shady habitat. The males have tusks while the females have very short or no tusks.

Some Interesting facts about this Mega Herbivore:

  • The skull of Asian elephant is larger and the trunk is longer in comparison to an African elephant.Asian elephants can eat more than 200 kg of plant material every day.
  • They can use their trunks for a variety of heavy to light weight jobs, such as tearing down a tree, picking up a blade of grass or as a shower, with various pressure settings.
  • In spite of their massive size, these elephants are capable of walking silently.
  • They have a gestation period of 20-22 months which is longest of any animal.
  • The lifespan of an Asian elephant in wild is around 60 years and those in captivity have been observed to live for 80 years.
  • Elephants have the largest brain among all mammals. They are intelligent and know how to make and use tools, show emotions, recognize objects (including their own face in water). Some of them can also be trained to do many tasks and can understand the temperament and feelings of humans.
  • An elephant trunk is made up of nearly 40,000 individual muscles.
  • They have a very strong sense of smell.
  • Elephants do not have hooves on their toe, they have nails. An adult can have 16-18 nails.
  • Humans have tamed and used elephants to do various tasks from thousands of years and they develop affection and bonding.
  • The elephant tusks are basically upper incisors. The tusks present at birth are only milk teeth which fall out and the permanent tusks grow.
  • Elephants perform certain rituals just like humans. They attend to the sick and old members, try to provide food and when it dies, they dig a grave and cover it with mud and grass. They remain near the site for some time and mourn the death. In fact, if any stranger passes by through such a grave, it also pays its respects.
  • Due to their large size, only tigers and lions are the animals which can attack and kill elephants. However, they mostly attack the young elephants and not the adults.

Fruit Bats, Flying Foxes, Mega Bats free Pictures with Interesting facts

Fruits Bats are also called the flying foxes or Mega bats. However, their size varies a lot and can range anything from 2 inches in one location to 18 inches in another and so on. Similarly large variations in their weight have also been observed. It is for this reason that they are often mistaken with other bat species.The wing span of some of the fruit bats can be more than 5 feet. These bats can be found in any part of the world but prefer mostly the tropical region, as they don’t like cold climate.
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RG159- Fruit Bats or Flying Foxes

Many people believe that the fruit bats are blind especially the way they land, however one would be surprised to know that they have the best vision among all the bats. They have large eyes too. These bats do not eat insects and the diet consists of only fruits and nectar. They normally eat crushed fruits (mainly the juice), although there sharp teeth can penetrate hard skin of the fruits. A fruit bat also has a very long tongue, which it keeps rolled up inside the mouth and around the rib cage and can be seen when it sucks nectar from the flowers.

A fruit bat spends most of its time eating, sleeping, socializing and grooming itself. They like to keep themselves neat and clean. One can see them splashing water on themselves, followed by licking their body with their tongue in order to remove the stickiness which developed due to the fruit juices.

Their wing shapes vary depending on their geographical location. The long wings of a fruit bat help them to stay warm. While roosting, they wrap these wings around their body to conserve the body heat.

Fruit bats have a very strong sense of smell. These bats prefer to live in large colonies where they feel safe and more secure. It is believed that the fruit bats turned to a fruit and nectar diet in the shortage of insects many thousand years ago. They prefer areas with green vegetation so that the food supply is abundant.

It is believed that fruit bats can act as carriers of some deadly viruses such as ebola, hendrah virus etc. All though they do not show any signs of diseases caused by these viruses, they can spread them proving fatal to humans.

Indian Crested Porcupines, Porcupines free pictures with Information

Indian crested porcupines are among the third largest rodents in the world. Belonging to genus Hystrix, its scientific name is ‘Hystrix indica’. It is very adaptable and the habitat ranges from hilly areas, forests, arid regions, grasslands to many other environments. It is a member of old world porcupines.

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RG157- Indian Crested Porcupine

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RG158- Brush Tailed Porcupines

In its native state it is found in many south Asian countries (mainly the Indian sub-continent) and some middle-east countries. An adult can measure up to 80-90 cm and weigh 12-20 kg. The tail is short around 10-12 cm. The porcupine hair is modified into spines which vary from long and thinner to short and thicker. The quills cover the porcupine in multiple layers and are usually black or brown. The longest of them grow from the shoulder, while the tail has short white quills. It has a crest of long stiff hair on its head, which can be raised. It has broad feet and the claws are long enough to dig the ground.

When a predator approaches a porcupine, it raises its Quills and rattles the hollow quills. It does this to appear larger and scare off the predator. However, if the predator still does not leave, it attacks the animal and clashes its rear against the animal. This spears the animal with the needle like tail quills. Although, the Quills are not poisonous, but if left untreated can lead to infection and the attacked animal can die of infected wounds. Many tigers and leopards have been attacked in this way by porcupines to defend themselves.

The Indian crested porcupines live in caves and dig burrows for hiding during the day. They mostly feed on vegetarian food like barks, fruits, nuts, grains, roots,bulbs etc. Due to this they have become pests in the fields to farmers in India. Some also gnaw on bones of dead animals to full fill their calcium needs.

It becomes mature by 12 months and the females deliver 2-4 babies after a gestation period of 3.5-4 months.

Honey Badger, Ratel, free images and information on The worlds most fearless animal

The Honey Badger or Ratel is a highly fearless animal and quite famous among the youth for its ability to survive attacks even by some of the ferocious animals such as tigers, lions, leopards, deadliest snakes and many others. It has earned a fame that many people think that it simply cannot be preyed by any animal, in fact they feel that honey badger simply does not care and afraid of Nothing.
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RG156- The Honey Badger or Ratel

The name ‘Ratel’ comes from Afrikaans and it is the nickname chosen by South African army for its infantry fighting vehicle. This Honey badger is native to Africa, Indian sub continent and many parts of south west Asia. They are very adaptable to a variety of habitats and are normally found in Savannah, arid regions, mountain regions, tropical and sub tropical forests.

Honey badger measures up to 50-80 cm in body length and the tail is 15-25 cm. the weight ranges from 5-15 kg. Males are larger than the females. It has a robust built. The head is broader with a small face, small eyes and very small ears. The muzzle is short. Entire body is divided into two colored halves. The top part is white to grey while the bottom is dark brown to black. It has large and powerful claws. The fur is short and smooth. It is because of such physique that it can dig burrows at a fast speed even in solid dry ground.

The most interesting part in a honey Badgers body is the presence of thick skin which cannot be penetrated easily by bee stings, canine bites and snake bites. It also has an anal pouch which it uses while attacking honey combs, as the suffocating smell calms down the bees.

The Honey Badger is a skilled and solitary hunter. It may hunt in pairs occasionally and feeds on rodents, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, fruits, vegetables, roots and it loves Honey and bee larvae.

Nasty boy- The Honey Badger
It is believed that on many occasions a honey badger can chase away young lions and take away their kill. If during killing a snake it gets bitten, it rests for some time and then again wakes up to eat the dead snake. It is a highly cunning and clever and often uses tools to fetch a prey. To catch a ground squirrel, it plugs all their tunnel openings with stones leaving only one exit and catches the squirrel as it comes out. In a few documentaries on Honey Badger, it has been shown rolling a few logs and standing on one to reach a immature kingfisher bird stranded on a tree branch. Honey badger does not get tired very easily and will not stop for anything when it comes to search food. Their average lifespan is 5-10 years in wild and around 20 years in captivity.

The only major threat to honey badgers is that from Human beings. Since, it attacks many poultry farms and beehives in apiculture, it is trapped, poisoned or killed by humans. Astonished to know, what this little looking animal is capable of !! there are some nice videos on the internet, do watch a few and you will agree that Honey Badger truly is a Brave-Heroic-little monster.