In the great plains and vast grasslands of Americas, the American Bisons once wandered in form of massive flocks. They were millions in number till the eighteenth century, but during the nineteenth century these spectacular American buffaloes faced a brutal butchery and extermination and their population was reduced to 1,091 in 1889. But thanks to some of their protected areas and national parks, their population is now increased up to 500,000; although they are completely extinct from their original homelands. The American Bison is a herbivore and this spectacular American buffalo feeds on the grasses of the prairie land and roams in search of water bodies all year round.
American Bison – A spectacular American buffalo – Image by Dan Dzurisin
American Bison is a mighty mammal with splendid appearance with dark chestnut brown hair. They have longer, darker hair around their head, shoulders, and chest. They have a pair of upward-curved horns and a large shoulder hump. Male bison is slightly larger than the females but both the male and female have an extraordinary large head and a scraggly beard. Historically, the American bison was a traveller of the long distances accross America in order to graze themselves in open or semi-open grasslands, semi-arid lands and scrublands.
American Buffalo or Bison on the Yellowstone Prairie – Devin Westhause
The average length of the American bison is about 7-11 feet and it weighs almost 770-2200 pounds. This spectacular American buffalo is naturally a migratory mammal and herd migrations can be directional as well as altitudinal in some areas.
The female American Bison along with her calf – Image by dbarronoss
The American Bison reaches sexual maturity between the ages of 2 and 3 years. Usually the American Bison breeds from June to September and the females can give birth to one calf per year and provide sole care for their young. Males do not protect or care for the calf. Newborn calves have a reddish, light brown coat and lack the distinctive hump of the adult bison. They begin turning brown and developing the hump after a few months.
The-herd-of-the-American-Bison-A-natural-way-of-roaming-around – Image by Becky Gregory
The American Bison Bison bison have poor eyesight, but have acute hearing and an excellent sense of smell. They will generally rest during the day and graze in the mornings and evenings. They can reach speeds of up to 35 mph.The American bison is often used in North America in official seals, flags, and logos.
9 Interesting facts about the tallest mammal, Giraffe
Giraffe : An image from Lifestyle pinning on Pinterest
1- The giraffe is scientifically known as Giraffa camelopardaliswhich is specially known for its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones and its distinctive coat patterns. It stands 5–6 m (16–20 ft) tall and has an average weight of 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) for males and 830 kg (1,800 lb) for females. Giraffe has nine sub-species which are distinguished by their coat patterns.
Giraffes under the sky: Image:Josie Leonetti on Pinterest
2- Giraffe is the tallest mammal which eats up to 75 pounds of food a day (typically Acacia leaves which is their food item) and uses its long tongue to eat the leaves of trees. Giraffe has a four chambered stomach and will regurgitate their food for additional chewing – similarly to a cow. Although, the giraffes get most of their water from the Acacia leaf, but will drink up to 10 gallons of water per day.
Giraffe, the tallest mammal on the lovely planet
3- Although, some species of Giraffe are classified as endangered; the International Union for conservation of Nature has listed Giraffe as species of Least Concern. The Nubian Giraffe, the Kordofan Giraffe, the Rothschild Giraffe, the Reticulated Giraffe and the West African Giraffe are found in rare numbers on the lovely planet. The Angolan Giraffe, the South African Giraffe, the Massai Giraffe and the Rhodesian Giraffe have reasonable numbers and also sufficiently kept in the world zoos.
A Giraffe family of Africa
4- The heart of Giraffe is normally 2 feet long and weighs about 25 pounds having various thick muscular walls. Giraffes are the highest known blood pressure of any mammal in the world – up to 280/180mm Hg when prone at heart level (approximately twice that of an average human). Giraffe’s heart beats up to 170 times/minute which also pumps about 16 gallons of blood/minute. The biologists take extreme care while catching giraffes for research purposes or for capture for a zoo exhibit because if the Giraffes run too long, they will suffer a heart attack due to the high blood pressure.
A Giraffe couple – Image from Sofia Robbialaac.tumblr
5- Giraffes are native to Africa and can be found in a range that extends from Chad in Central Africa to South Africa. The ideal habitats for the Giraffes are the arid regions such as savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands. Giraffes belong to the family Giraffidae. The family Giraffidae, in turn is subdivided into two subgroups, the genus Giraffa and the genus Okapia.
Ossicones of Giraffes – Image by David Berkowitz
6- One of the most distinctive features of Giraffe is its short horns on its head which is also known as ossicones. Both male and female giraffes have horns. Giraffe horns are formed from ossified cartilage (cartilage that has transformed into bone) and for that reason the horns of giraffes are also called ossicones. The ossicones of giraffes remain covered by skin and fur. Ossicones can help to distinguish between male and female giraffes. Females have tufts of hair on the top of the ossicones. Males, in contrast, usually have bare-topped ossicones.
A pregnant female giraffe – Image by dmitri_66
7- The Female Giraffes have their first conception in their fifth year; the gestation period is of 15 months and the interval between births is generally 20 months. Giraffe has the life expectancy of 25 years in the wild. The baby Giraffe is generally 6 feet tall and will weigh about 150 pounds at birth and it begins nursing within one hour. A baby Giraffe generally begins walking within one hour and it spends between 16 and 20 hours a day feeding.
Giraffe Kid with his Mom
8- A giraffe’s neck is of 1.5 – 1.8 meters, which contains the same number of vertebrae at a human neck. With the help of its long neck, a giraffe is able to reach leaves, fruit and flowers high up in Acacia’s and other sought after tree species. Similarly, Giraffes have the longest tails of any land mammal – up to 8 feet long, including the tuft at the end. Male giraffes sometimes fight with their necks over female giraffes. This is called “necking”. The two giraffes stand side by side and one giraffe swings his head and neck, hitting his head against the other giraffe. Sometimes one giraffe is hit to the ground during a combat.
A Giraffe Couple in the African grassland – Image by WELS net
9- One of the most surprising giraffe facts is that they sleep far less than most other mammals, typically less than two hours a day (on average, 1.9 hours). Another interesting fact about a giraffe has perhaps the keenest eyes vision together with its height; thus the greatest range of vision of any terrestrial creature. Like a camel, a giraffe can stock up on water and then go without drinking for long periods of time.
1- Cheetah is a fantastic cat which is a carnivorous mammal. Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is considered as the fastest animal on the lovely planet. Cheetah has long legs, a tall, slim build and its colors are tawny, black-spotted fur.
Cheetah is the fastest cat. Image: William Warby 2
2- The male Cheetah is referred to simply as a cheetah and the female is referred to as a she-cheetah. The sound made by Cheetahs is referred to as a growl, hiss or snarl. Cheetah mostly inhabits in the parts of Africa and the Middle East.
Fast and furious Cheetah. Image: Gary Eyring
3- The cheetah’s chest is deep and its waist is narrow. The coarse, short fur of the cheetah is tan with round black spots measuring from 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.2 in) across, affording it some camouflage while hunting. There are no spots on its white underside, but the tail has spots, which merge to form four to six dark rings at the end. The tail usually ends in a bushy white tuft. The cheetah has a small head with high-set eyes.
A Cheetah couple. Image: William Warby
4- The cheetah is basically a solitary animal. At times, a male will accompany a female for a short while after mating, but most often the female is alone or with her cubs. Cheetah mothers spend a long time teaching their young how to hunt. Small live antelopes are brought back to the cubs so they can learn to chase and catch them.
Cheetah family in relaxing mood. Image: Sergio Lordao
5- Cheetahs usually prey on small antelopes such as Thomson’s gazelles and impalas, but also hunt small mammals and birds. The cheetah gets as close to the prey as possible, then in a burst of speed it tries to outrun its quarry. Once the cheetah closes in, it knocks the prey to the ground with its paw and suffocates the animal with a bite to the neck.
A busy Cheetah in his diet. Image: Shann Biglione
6- The adult cheetah weighs from 21 to 72 kg (46 to 160 lb). Its total head-and-body length is from 110 to 150 cm (43 to 59 in), while the tail can measure 60 to 84 cm (24 to 33 in) in length. Cheetahs are 66 to 94 cm (26 to 37 in) tall at the shoulder. Males tend to be slightly larger than females and have slightly bigger heads, but there is not a great variation in cheetah sizes and it is difficult to tell males and females apart by appearance alone.
Cheetah is the fastest mammal on earth. Image: Gary Eyring 1
7- The Cheetahs are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘vulnerable‘. Found mostly in open and partially open savannah, cheetahs rely on tall grasses for camouflage when hunting. They are diurnal (more active in the day) animals and hunt mostly during the late morning or early evening. Only half of the chases, which last from 20 – 60 seconds, are successful.
Let’s tell you about one of the strangest creatures on the lovely planet. This is Echidna, who lives in Australia and New Guinnea and sometimes known as the Spiny Anteater because of its coarse and spiny skin. Echidna is a small egg laying mammal which normally resemble like the South American Anteaters and Hedgehogs. Echidna, the egg laying mammal has very short, strong limbs with large claws, and it is considered as a powerful digger. Echidna is deemed as a monotreme which means a mammal that lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young like marsupials. The diet of Echidna consists largely of ants and termites, while the Zaglossus species typically eats worms and insect larvae.
Echidna : The egg laying mammal – Image: Ian Sanderson
The female Echidna lays a single soft-shelled, leathery egg 22 days after mating, and deposits it directly into her pouch. Hatching takes place after 10 days; the young echidna, called a puggle, then sucks milk from the pores of the two milk patches and remains in the pouch for 45 to 55 days, at which time it starts to develop spines. The mother digs a nursery burrow and deposits the puggle, returning every five days to suckle it until it is weaned at seven months.
Echidna, the egg laying mammal has the unique sexual organ and mating system. The Male Echidna has a four-headed penis. During mating, the heads on one side “shut down” and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release semen into the female’s two-branched reproductive tract. The heads used are swapped each time the mammal copulates.
The River Horse is struggling and following the human attitude of war with each other. This is true! As presently, most of the population of the Hippopotamus, the River Horse is living in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Their habitat is being destroyed rapidly due to water shortages, waging of war and human cultivation. And now the Hippopotamus is starving and they have to fight with each other for their survival.
Hippopotamus: River Horse ( Image : By Omri Suissa )
Hippopotamus is normally referred as simply Hippo and it is scientifically known as Hippopotamus amphibious. Hippopotamus is considered as the third largest herbivorous mammal of the planet earth. This is a semi aquatic mammal that inhabits in the river bodies and lakes. They love to dwell in the muddy and swampy waters. They have a unique body structure, having the upper portion very bulky and large while the lower portion including the legs very shorter. The male Hippopotamus is larger than the females and their body size often depends upon the location. They can weigh from 1 ½ tons to 3 tons although it is very difficult to estimate about their weight in the wild due to their enormous body. Normally the adult hippopotamus is about 3.3 to 5.2 meters (11 to 17 ft) long, including a tail of about 56 centimeters (22 in) in length and average about 1.5 meters (5 ft) tall at the shoulder. The Hippos are not fast swimmers and they are not found in shallow waters. But on the other hand, on the land they can run for few hundred meters very speedily.
The Gigantic Jaw of Hippopotamus ( By ER Post )
The sensitive organs of the face are found on the very upper part of the head so they can easily submerge themselves in the water. The Hippos have a very thick skin which protects them from severe physical injuries. The most phenomenal feature of their body is their gigantic jaw and their sharp and strong teeth. The Hippopotamus has a bite force around 2,000 lbs. Their skin also discharges an acid type material which is neither blood nor sweat. This secretion is initially colorless and turns red-orange within minutes, eventually becoming brown. This secretion helps the Hippos to get protection against various bacterial diseases. The Hippos spend most of their times in the water in order to keep their body temperature down. Currently the estimated population of the Hippos is approximately from 125,000 to 150,000 and they are widespread in whole of the African continent.
Hippos in a lake ( Image : Marcos Fernández Garrido )
The female Hippopotamus becomes sexually mature at the age of six years while the male Hippopotamus becomes fully adult at the age of eight years. The mating and birth sessions are executed under water and the baby hippos are borne after the gestation period of eight months. The female gives birth to only one hippo or occasionally twins at one time.
Baby Hyppo ( Image By Lyndon Firman )
Socially the Hippopotamus is considered an aggressive mammal and they are mostly seen together in a large group. They can also attack the sailors and are thought to be worst aquatic enemy of humans in Africa. Rarely they are observed fighting with each other and the male hippos use their incisors to prevent the others attacks, and their lower canines to inflict damage.
Sometimes, the Hippos are also referred as the “Beast of the Niles.” The human interaction with Hippopotamus, the River Horse is thousands of years older. According to the historians the Roman emperors specifically used to bring the Hippopotamus to fight with the gladiators in Rome. Similarly they have special significance in the ancient Egyptian mythology.