March 07, 2011

Jumping For Joy ~ The Kangaroo Hi Horse Pals ~ I thought the kangaroo would be a fun animal to highlight, so here are some fun facts about the Kangaroo. Fact #1 The Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is the largest surviving marsupial anywhere in the world. Fewer in numbers, the Red Kangaroo occupies the arid and semi-arid centre of the country. A large male can be 6 ft 7 in tall and weigh 200 lbs. Fact #2 Kangaroos are the only large animals to use hopping as a means of locomotion. The comfortable hopping speed for the Red Kangaroo is about 13–16 mph, but speeds of up to 44 mph can be attained, over short distances, while it can sustain a speed of 25 mph for nearly 1 1/4 miles. This fast and energy-efficient method of travel has evolved because of the need to regularly cover large distances in search of food and water, rather than the need to escape predators. To move at slow speeds, it uses its tail to form a tripod with its two forelimbs it then raises its hind feet forward. Fact #3 Eastern Greys can jump as well as the big Reds: up to 29 feet in one bound, and can reach speeds of nearly 30 mph. Fact #4 Kangaroos are the only large animals that move by hopping. Fact #5 The large and strong tail is used for balance when hopping, and as a fifth limb when moving about on all four legs. Fact #6 All kangaroos are herbivores. The grazers or browsers eat only plant matter. Fact #7 Kangaroos can survive on very little water; sometimes going for many weeks without it - most of the moisture they need is gained from their food - grass, young shoots and leaves from certain trees. Fact #8 The Red Kangaroo has long distinctive ears, powerful back legs with long feet and a long thick muscular tail. Its front legs are smaller. The female has a pocket of skin called a pouch on the lower part of her stomach to carry her young. Fact #9 Kangaroos are sociable and move in groups of 10-12 up to 100. There is usually one dominant male in the group. He will fight outsiders and younger males trying to take over the group. Fact #10 When a kangaroo is born it is blind and has no fur. The 3/4 of an inch long Joey takes three minute to climb, without help, through the fur on its mother's belly into the her pouch. Once inside, the Joey clamps onto one of her four teats and sucks her milk. For the first four months it doesn't let go of the teat. Once it has a covering of fur the young Joey leaves the pouch for short exploring trips. The Joey stays out for longer periods returning only for milk, until it becomes independent. I hope you learned as much as I did!
Ha Ha Ha ~ Hyena Hi, this week I am going to highlight the Hyena I always thought they were very interesting and fun to learn about. I also think that they get over looked and that they are very cute as pups. Here are some fun facts that I learned: Fact #1 There are four species of Hyena: spotted, brown, striped, and the aardwolf. All hyenas are usually nocturnal. The spotted hyena is the most well known. Fact #2 Spotted hyenas live in Africa in savannas, grasslands, woodlands, forest edges, subdeserts and mountains. They live in territorial clans of related individuals, sometimes up to 80 members. Spotted hyenas are hunters and scavengers. Besides flesh, they eat skin, bones, and even animal droppings. Spotted hyenas are 28 to 35 inches tall and weigh 90 to 190 pounds. The spotted females are heavier than the males. Spotted hyenas make a variety of sounds: wailing calls, howling screams, and the well-known "laughter," which is used to alert other clan members of a food source. Striped hyenas live in Africa, Arabia, Asia Minor and India in savanna, thorn bush, and stony desert regions. They weigh from 55 to 121 pounds. Striped and brown hyenas are predominantly scavengers, though they do supplement their diets with small prey from insects to foxes. The aardwolf, also, lives in Africa. It’s main food source is the harvester termite. They also eat insect larvae, and eggs of ground nesting birds. Aardwolf are smaller than other hyena relatives, weighing only 50 and 60 pounds and standing only 15 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder. Except when raising cubs, aardwolf are solitary animals. Fact #3 In one feeding frenzy, a spotted hyena can eat up to one third of its body weight. Fact #4 Hyenas are not related to dogs, although they do have some similar greeting ceremonies. Spotted hyenas are the largest of three hyena species. Brown and striped hyenas are the other two. Although hyenas appear similar to dogs, they are actually more closely related to cats. Fact #5 Spotted hyena cubs are born with their eyes open! Fact #6 Typically silent, a striped hyena usually travels unnoticed, noiselessly moving through the brush. Its loudest call is a rarely heard cackling howl. The hyena makes successive rapid, brief whinnies or cackles when it's excited. Threat displays with rival hyenas begin with a growl rising to a roar, followed by a low, snapping lunge. Spotted hyenas are quite vocal and make a wide variety of sounds, including the "laughing" that has long been associated with their name. Fact #7 Spotted hyenas have good hearing and sharp eyesight at night. They are fast and can run for long distances without tiring. Packs work together effectively to isolate a herd animal, sometimes one that is ill or infirm, and pursue it to the death. The victors often squabble over the spoils, either among themselves or with other powerful animals like lions. Fact #8 The common predators of hyenas are the leopard, lion, hunting dogs and...

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Araya and Avery are young equestrians and entrepreneurs with a passion for life!

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