December 06, 2010

KING OF THE JUNGLE: THE LION Hi Horse Pals ~ Here's my latest story for the newspaper ... thought you might enjoy it! Had a great jumping week with Dandy ... hope you did, too!! Your Horse Pal, @raya I have always loved wild animals! They are all so different and have a special way of life! But my favorite of all is the lion! They are all so royal and magical! I espcially love the males with their manes! I wanted to learn more about lions and here are some interesting facts I found: Fact #1 --- The Lion (Panthera leo) is the only big cat that lives in social groups. These groups are called prides and consist of 3 to 30 lions. The females are often related and share care of the cubs, including suckling. The lionesses do the majority of hunting with some driving prey towards an ambush of other waiting lionesses. Fact #2 --- Lion cubs weight about three pounds at birth. By age 2, they are good hunters. They are full grown at 5 to 6 years of age. A litter usually is 2 to 3 cubs. Adult male lions weigh 330 to 500 pounds, females 265 to 400 pounds. Height is 3.5 feet (females) to 4 feet (males). Length 4 ½ to 8 ¼ feet, with the males at the higher end of the range. Lions are the second largest feline. The tiger is actually the biggest wild cat. Fact #3 ---- Male lions begin to grow their manes at about 18 months old. It continues to grow until they are 5. Fact #3 ---- The Swahili word for lion is simba. It also means king, strong, and aggressive. Fact #4 ----- Lionesses are more agile and faster than male lions. Both male and female lions roar. Fact #5 ---- Lions lie around for 21 hours a day. Fact #6 ---- Lions can go 5 to 6 days without drinking water. Fact #7 ---- Lion cubs have spots at birth that disappear with age. Fact #8 ---- Lion is known as the king of beasts for his bravery and fighting skills! Fact #9 ---- The average lifespan of lions in the wild is 15 years but they may life up to 25 years or beyond in captivity. Fact #10 --- White lions were found to exist in the late 20th century. The pale color of their coats is due to a recessive gene. There is also a big cat called a liger. It is the world's largest big cat. An average male liger weighs over 900 pounds and stands almost 12 feet tall. Ligers have a mane like a lion and stripes like a tiger. The reason that they are called a liger is because the father was a lion and the mother was a tiger. If the situation was reversed and the mother was a lion and the father was a tiger, he would be called a tigon, and would be a dwarf instead of a giant. A fully...
Leaping Beauties --- Gazelles Hi Horse Pals ~ Happy New Year! Hope you all are having a great 2011 so far! Here's a story I wrote for the paper I thought you animal lovers might like: Our friend reported that her favorite wild animal is the Gazelle so I've decided to highlight this amazing animal this week! It has been a lot of fun learning more about the Gazelle! I was most impressed by their leaping abilities. I watched some online footage of them running and leaping and jumping and they are so graceful and beautiful. Here are some fun facts and interesting information about the Gazelle ~ Fact #1 Gazelles are antelopes of the genus Gazella. They are generally small, delicate herbivores with tawny coloring, white underbellies, and heavily ringed horns. Most of the 19 species of gazelles inhabit Africa, but some can be found in Southwest and Central Asia. The majority of gazelles prefer open, grassy plains, living in herd sizes as small as 8 individuals to hundreds of animals. Their diet of grass, scrub and leaves keeps them constantly grazing and they have little need for water, being able to extract moisture from their food. Fact #2 Even with all of the many predators, the Thomson's Gazelle and Grant's Gazelle thrive with impressive numbers. The Grant's Gazelle inhabits a wider range of territory in Africa while the Thomson's Gazelle has a larger population. Both species share grazing ground and the herds frequently intermingle. Even so, to tell them apart is fairly simple. The Thomson's Gazelle or Tommie, is smaller and has a striking black band, stretching from shoulder to hip, bisecting their tan and white coloring. Tommys are exceptionally alert and rely heavily upon their impressive senses of hearing, sight and smell to detect any threat. Fact #3 Some gazelles, especially those that live in desert regions, are critically endangered. The Sand Gazelle, Cuvier's Gazelle and Dama Gazelle are among those who have seen their populations drastically decline in the last few decades. Drought, habitat destruction and poaching are all to blame. Laws and regulations have been passed to protect these species, but they are infrequently enforced so these gazelles continue to reduce in number. Fact #4 The Sand Gazelle is not a leaper, but instead eludes predators with incredible bursts of speed, sometimes reaching 60 miles per hour. Fact #5 Most gazelles give birth to one fawn, but it is not uncommon for the Cuvier's Gazelle to have twins. Fact #6 The Dama Gazelle is the largest of the species, weighing about 190 lbs and standing about 42" high at the shoulder. Fact #7 Characterized by their long slender legs, gazelles are medium-sized antelope. They are swift runners and jumpers, and when nervous or excited, will exhibit a behavior called pronking, a method of locomotion where the animal jumps vertically into the air with an arched back and lands on all four rigidly straight legs. Why gazelles do this is not clear. Some theories suggest that by making themselves more...

Araya & Avery

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

angelina hart
The Typepad Team

Become a Fan

My Other Accounts

Recent Comments