Animals of the world, Wild Turkey

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vill kalkun (640x568)

  • There are only two species of turkey in the world; however, there are numerous subspecies. The best known is the common turkey, a native game bird of North America
  • All are basically dark, with iridescent bronze and green plumage. Adult males have a naked, heavily bumpy head that is normally bright red in colour, but turns to white overlaid with bright blue when the birds are excited.
  • Each foot has three toes in front, with a shorter, rear-facing toe in back; males have a spur behind each of their lower legs.
  • Wild Turkeys are most commonly found in flocks and are often seen walking across open fields.
  • Their vocabulary consists of 28 distinct calls. Each sound has a general meaning and can be used for different situations
  • A male Wild Turkey generally has a tuft of feathers sticking out of his chest. A hen will sometimes have this feature too
  • It`s a native of oak and pine-oak woodlands from near sea level to high mountain slopes
  • A large proportion of Wild Turkey’s diet consists of corns, seeds, leaves, grains, and berries. Insects and other invertebrates make up the remainder of their diet.
  • Though they fly relatively close to the ground and only for short distances, they can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour

Animals of the world, Camel

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kamel (640x576)

  • The camel is native to Asia and can be found on the border of Mongolia and China
  • Camels have long been domesticated and, as livestock, they provide food (milk and meat) and textiles (fibre and felt from hair)
  • Camels have an unmistakable silhouette, with their humped back, short tail, long slim legs, and a long neck that dips downward and rises to a small narrow head.
  • Camels grow a shaggy coat in the winter for protection from the freezing cold and shed the coat during the hot summer. Colour is usually light brown but can be greyish
  • A full-grown adult camel stands 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) at the shoulder
  • Camel humps consist of stored fat, which they can metabolize when food and water are scarce. It can sustain them for as long as a month in the harshest desert conditions.
  • They are able to endure protein deficiency and eat items other livestock avoid, such as thorns, dry leaves, and saltbush.
  • Camels can carry more than 200 kg (about 440 pounds) for 50 km (31 miles) in a day
  • A thin nictitating membrane on each eye, like a clear inner eyelid, protects the eyes from sandstorms while still letting in enough light for camels to see.  They can also shut their nostrils during sand storms.
  • The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years

Animals of the world, Meerkat/Suricate

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marekatt (640x457)

  • Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa.
  • They  have grizzled grey and brown coloured coats of fur with dark patches around their eyes,  these black rings of fur enable meerkats to see efficiently in bright sunlight
  • The meerkat is slender and has a pointed little face and tiny ears
  • The meerkat uses its long and thin tail to balance when standing vertically
  • Meerkats are highly social, living in groups of up to 30 members.  Generally, the members of a group are all related.
  • They dig burrows up to three metres deep into the earth for the whole family
  • While pack members are feeding, at least one of the mob will be on guard, standing on its back legs and watching for predators such as eagles, foxes or jackals
  • They forage five to eight hours per day, spaced one to five metres apart while softly vocalizing to maintain contact
  • They are omnivores. Diet consists of worms, crickets, centipedes, millipedes, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, scorpions, small rodents, lizards, small snakes, birds, eggs, and ant larvae, fruit, tubers, and roots.
  • Meerkats have a lifespan of up to ten years

Animals of the world, Anteater

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maursluker (640x455)

  • Any of four species of toothless, insect-eating mammals found in tropical savannas and forests from southern Mexico to Paraguay and northern Argentina
  • Anteater habitats include dry tropical forests, rainforests, grasslands, and savannas
  • Anteaters are mostly solitary mammals
  • Anteaters can dig into logs and termite mounds with sharp long claws. They walk on their knuckles to protect these claws. They capture their prey by inserting their tongues into insect nests that they have torn open
  • Their tongues can extend up to two feet. Their tongues are covered with backward-facing spines and super-sticky saliva for maximum bug collection.
  • Anteaters have poor sight, but an excellent sense of smell, and most species depend on the latter for foraging, feeding, and defence.
  • Anteaters are specialized to feed on small insects, with each anteater species having its own insect preferences
  • To avoid the jaws, sting, and other defences of the invertebrates, anteaters have adopted the feeding strategy of licking up large numbers of ants and termites as quickly as possible — an anteater normally spends about a minute at a nest before moving on to another

Animals of the world, Otter

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oter (640x406)

  • The otter is part of the weasel family
  • They can be found from North to South America, Africa to Asia, and all across Europe
  • Otters have long, slim bodies and relatively short limbs. Most have sharp claws on their feet and all except the sea otter have long, muscular tails
  • Almost all otters have webbed feet, some more webbed than others, and they can close off their ears and nose as they swim underwater.
  • Otters make a variety of different vocalizations – they include a high-pitched whistle between a mother and her cubs, twittering noises produced during play-fighting, and cat-like noises when fighting.
  • Otter species except the sea otter live in dens, mostly made by other animals, such as beavers. They can also live on rocks or driftwood.
  • Otters are playful, intelligent and inquisitive animals who are often seen enjoying themselves sliding around on muddy banks or in the snow.
  • They eat fish, clams, lobsters and small animals occurring along the shore
  • Different species vary in their social structure, with some being largely solitary, while others live in groups – in a few species these groups may be fairly large.
  • Otters can live up to 16 years