March 17, 2011

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...
Gentle Giants ~ Elephants My grandma's favorite animal is the Elephant! And they are one of mine, too! They are very beautiful! I love how wise they look and how they are all about family! They all love one another! Fact #1 Despite the size of ears, the elephant’s hearing is poor and elephant's eyes are small and its eyesight is poor as well. African elephants' ears are used to aid ventilation. One of the softest parts of their body is at the back of the ears, which is called the knuckle. Elephant trainers, called Mahouts, use their feet to steer or give commands to the animal via the knuckle at the back of the ears. Fact #2 African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They are slightly larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa. (Asian elephants have smaller, rounded ears.) Fact #3 An elephant's trunk is actually a long nose used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and also for grabbing things—especially a potential meal. The trunk alone contains about 100,000 different muscles. African elephants have two finger like features on the end of their trunk that they can use to grab small items. (Asian elephants have one.) Elephants spend about 16 hours a day eating alone! They consume as much as 495 pounds of food per day! Fact #4 Life Span - elephants can live for up to 70 years! Fact #5 They live in tight social units led by an older matriarch and males leave the herd between the age of 12 and 15. Fact #6 Elephants normally walk about 4 mph and are able to swim for long distances! Fact #7 Their tusks are made of ivory and are actually enormously enlarged incisors. Fact #8 They have the largest brains in the animal kingdom! Fact #9 Walking at a normal pace an elephant covers about 2 to 4 miles an hour (3 to 6 km/h) but they can reach 24 miles an hour (40 km/h) at full speed. Fact #10 An elephant's skin is extremely tough around most parts of its body and measures about 2.5 cm (1 in) thick. --

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

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