Saturday, July 30, 2011

Interesting Facts About the Gigantic Giraffe

Giraffes are among the most fascinating animals on the planet due to their very tall appearance and unique markings which make them among the most well-known animals in the world.

Here’s a long list of interesting and amazing facts about one of the most fascinating animals in the world – the Giraffe.

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1.) Giraffes are fascinating animals. They have the shortest sleep requirements of any mammal, which is between 10 minutes and two hours in a 24-hour period, averaging 1.9 hours per day

2.) Giraffes are African mammals considered as even-toed ungulate mammals and are related to Okapis.

3.) Giraffes are the tallest of all extant land-living animal species. They can attain a height of up to 5.2 meters or 17 ft tall,

4.) The Tallest male recorded Giraffe stood at about 6 meters or 20 feet tall. That’s equivalent to the height of a 2-story building.

5.) Its scientific name, Giraffa camelopardalis, is referred to its irregular patches of color on a light background which bear a token resemblance to a leopard’s spots while its face is similar to that of a camel.

6.) Ancient Romans and Greeks thought that the Giraffe was a mix between a camel and a leopard, hence the scientific name – Giraffa camelopardalis.

7.) A male Giraffe can weigh up to 1,930 kilograms while a female is up 1,180 kilograms.

8.) A Giraffe’s single step when walking is 15 ft long so you have to run in order to keep up with a walking Giraffe.

9.) The long legs of Giraffes allow them to run as fast as 56 km/h over short distances and cruise comfortably at 16 km/h over longer distances.

10.) During mating season, bulls sometimes battle one another by butting their long necks and heads. Such contests aren’t usually dangerous and usually end when one animal submits and walks away.

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11.) Giraffes are amongst the animals with the longest tongue – on the average they measure 53-centimeter long.
12.) The most dangerous activity of a Giraffe s drinking because they must spread their legs and bend down in an awkward position to do so which make them vulnerable to predators.
13.) Giraffes have the highest known blood pressure of any mammal in the world which can be up to 280/180mm Hg. That is twice the average human blood pressure.
14.) A Giraffe’s heart beat is up to 170 times/minute while its heart pumps about 16 gallons of blood/minute.
15.) On the average, a Giraffe drinks up to 10 gallons of water per day.
16.) This is why Giraffes only need to drink once every several days. They get most of the needed water from the plants they eat.
17.) Giraffe’s only real predator is the lion and a female Giraffe use their hooves as weapons only to defend their young and hey are strong enough to kill a lion.
18.) Giraffes and Oxpeckers, more commonly known as Tick Birds are good friends. The Oxpeckers help keep the Giraffe parasite free because they eat ticks and other parasites off of the Giraffes skin.
19.) Unlike Crocodiles, Giraffes have no tear ducts but they have been seen crying.
20.) Unlike humans, a female Giraffe give births standing up. A newly born Giraffe, which is called a ‘calf’, must endure falling more than 1.5 meters head first to the ground.

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21.) Newly born Giraffes are amazing. In half an hour, they can already stand up and within 10 hours after birth, they can already run.
22.) Like Zebras, no two individual Giraffe have exactly the same pattern although Giraffes from the same area look the same.
23.) An individual Giraffe eats up to 34 kg of food a day and its primary food is Acacia leaves.
24.) Although Giraffes are known to have the longest necks in the world, its extremely long neck is actually too short to reach the ground.
25.) Giraffes can only be found naturally in Africa and the color of their tongue is black.
26.) Giraffes have the longest tail of any land mammals. Their tails usually measure 8 ft long including the tuft at the tail’s end. Their tails are used as good luck charms, thread and flywatters.
26.) Blue Whales have the largest hearts in the world. Giraffes have hearts that measure 2 feet long and can weigh 11.4 kg.
27.) Giraffes were born with horns and they have never been observed bathing and they would be clumsy and unstable in water.
29.) Female Giraffes are amazing mothers; they form a type of daycare for their young. One of the females in the heard will stay behind and baby sits all of the youngsters while the rest of the females go out foraging for food.
30.) Giraffe’s average territorial range is approximately 46 square miles and the male species is known as ‘bull’ while the female species is known as ‘cow’.

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31.) Adult Giraffes are too large for most predators but the young can fall prey to lions, leopards and hyenas and a lion can die when kicked by a Giraffe. Only 50% of all Giraffe calves reach adulthood.
32.) Giraffes are fascinating animals. They have the shortest sleep requirements of any mammal, which is between 10 minutes and two hours in a 24-hour period, averaging 1.9 hours per day.
33.) Female Giraffes have their first conception on their 5th year, gestation period is 15 months and the interval of births is usually 20 months.
34.) Giraffes spend up 20 hours a day feeding and a Giraffe’s life expectancy in the wild is 25 years.
35.) A newly born Giraffe is already about 6 feet tall and will weigh about 150 pounds making them among the largest newly born babies.
36.) A baby will begin nursing within one hour A baby will generally also begin walking within one hour They spend between 16 and 20 hours a day feeding
37.) Likewise, Giraffes also have the toughest tongues of any mammals and seems impervious to the vicious thorns on the foliage they eat. They also eat grass and fruit.
38.) Giraffes produce thick saliva which coats any thorns in preparation for swallowing.
39.) Giraffes were once thought to be mute but were observed that they bleat, grunt, snort, and communicate at an infrasound level.
40.) The average lifespan of a giraffe is 25. This increases to 28 for giraffes in captivity. The gesticulation period is 15 months. There are no multi-births; females give birth to one giraffe at a time.

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41.) A Giraffe’s neck can be as long as 2 meters or 7 ft long which almost 50% of its vertical length is.
42.) This is unique; a male Giraffe determines female fertility by tasting the female's urine in order to detect estrus. After a simple fight, only the most dominant male remains and copulation will follow.
43.) Old male Giraffes are sometimes nicknamed “stink bulls”. There are at least eleven main aromatic chemicals in the fur of Giraffe.
44.) Just as no two humans have the same fingerprints, no two giraffes have the same pattern of spots.
45.) Giraffes in the wild generally stand up to sleep, because it would take too long for them to get back on their feet should a predator approach.
46.) Male Giraffes are no good fathers. They largely play no role in raising the young.
47.) Male Giraffes are homosexuals. Oftentimes, two males caress and court each other, leading up to mounting and climax. And it was found out that up to 94% of observed mounting incidents took place between two males. Only 1% of same-sex mounting incidents occurred between females.
48.) Presently, there are only 150,000 remaining Giraffe from all over the world. They are hunted for their tails, hides and meat.
49.) Are wondering how long is the penis of a male Giraffe? Well, a Giraffe’s sexual organ is about 40 inches long.
50.) Take a close look and you will notice that the front legs of Giraffes are longer than their hind legs.

Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Type of Nests of Different Bird Species

There are several types of nests. These include mound, scrape, burrow, cavity, cup, pendant, sphere, saucer and platform.  Here are the different types of nest of animals (with photos).


Many burrow-nesting birds excavate their own burrows while some use those excavated by other animals. Soil plays a different role in the burrow nest; here, the eggs and young—and in most cases the incubating parent bird—are sheltered under the earth.

Common species that build Burrow

White-browed Tits, Common Kingfishers, Burrowing Owls, Burrowing Parakeet, Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers, some Crepuscular Petrels and Prions, Crab Plovers, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Puffbirds, Sand Martins, Puffins, Shearwaters, some Megapodes, Motmots, Todies, Miners, Leaftossers and most Kingfishers.


Black Woodpecker youngsters in their cavity nest

The cavity nest is a chamber, typically in living or dead wood, but sometimes in the trunks of tree ferns or large cactuses like saguaro. Some species excavate their own cavity nest like woodpeckers, trogons and others while other species use natural cavities or abandoned one like parrots, tits and others

Notable species that nest on cavities

Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Trogons, Barbets, Parrots, Tits, Bluebirds, Hornbills, some Kingfishers, some Owls, some ducks and some Flycatchers


Cup nest of a Common Blackbird

Cup nests are smoothly hemispherical inside, with deep depression to house the eggs. They are usually made of grass and a few are made of spider silk, mud and saliva. The spider silk is a lightweight material which is strong and extremely flexible, allowing the nest to mold to the adult during incubation (reducing heat loss), then to stretch to accommodate the growing nestlings; as it is sticky, it also helps to bind the nest to the branch or leaf to which it is attached

Popular species that build cup nest

Many Passerines, few non-passerines, some Hummingbirds, some Swifts, Kinglets, Crests, Tyrant Flycatchers, Several New World Warblers

Saucer or Plate

The saucer or plate nest, though superficially similar to a cup nest, has at most only a shallow depression to house the eggs.


Mallefowl mound

Some species of bird bury their eggs for incubation. This type of nest is called Mound. It is constructed using soil, branches, sticks, twigs and leaves. Birds lay their eggs within the rotting mass. The heat generated by these mounds, which are in effect giant compost heaps, warms and incubates the eggs.

A Coot Mound

Well-known Species that build Mound

Flamingo, Horned Coot, Mallefowl and Australian Bush Turkey


Platform nests are large structure, often many times the size of the bird which has built them. The platform built by eagles is called eyries. These large nests are often used for many years, with new material added each breeding season.

Well-known species that build Platforms

Ospreys, Eagles, Egrets


Nesting colony of the Red-rumped Cacique (a single bird perched center-left).

Pendant nests are elongated sac woven of pliable materials such as grasses and plant fibers and suspended from a branch. There are several species that weave pendant nests.

Nesting colony of Montezuma Oropendolas

Popular species that build Pendant

Caciques, Orioles, Oropendolas, Sunbirds and Weavers


American Golden Plover’s Scrape nest with four eggs

The simplest nest construction is the Scrape. It is merely a shallow depression in soil or vegetation. This type of nest typically has a rim deep enough to keep the eggs from rolling away. It is sometimes lined with bits of vegetation, small stones, shell fragments or feathers.

Popular species that build Scrape

Ostriches, most Tinamous, many Ducks, most Shorebirds, most Terns, some Falcons, Pheasants, Quail, Partridges, Bustards and Sandgrouse, Lesser Nighthawks and the Red-tailed Tropicbird, Marbled Godwits, Three-banded Courser and Egyptian Plover.


The Sphere nest is a roundish structure; it is completely enclosed, except for a small opening which allows access. One notable maker of sphere nest is the Thick-billed Weaver.

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Amusingly Peculiar Facts About Extraordinary Animals in the World

Here are some animal species with interestingly unique traits and characteristics.

The young of Barnacle Goose are “daredevils”. They jump off a cliff 300 feet or 91 m high at three days old; however, they have only a 50% chance of surviving.

Worms, most often, are taken for granted and neglected but these animals also possess interesting ability. They are regarded as the fastest legless invertebrate in the world. Worms can move at a speed of 16 m per hour through solid ground.

A Tube Worm is one great survivor. This very tough creature can survive thousands of feet below water in toxic waste, with its bottom in near freezing water, and its head in boiling water.

Tapeworms are spectacular creatures. Each section of their body can grow up to be a new tapeworm and can produce a million offspring a day. That’s really fantastic!

Jellyfish are fascinating creatures. Millions of Palau Jellyfish can swarm across Jellyfish Lake.

You might not be aware but there are other creatures living inside your body. These are known as Parasitic Worms and they can live inside your body for up to 30 years.

Instead of female, it’s the male Seahorse who gets pregnant and gives birth.

Box Jellyfish are the deadliest creatures on the planet. They can kill you in less than ten minutes, and a drop of their venom can kill 50 persons.

A Water Bear or Moss Piglet is one tough animal. It can survive temperatures as low as −328 °F or−200.0 °C, temperatures as high as 303 °F, 1000 times more radiation than any animal, can lose 99% of the water in its body, 120 years without water, and can even survive also in a vacuum like that found in space.

Male Sticklebacks are peculiar builders. They build a house with kidney glue, and fans eggs with fins.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Most Beautiful and Spectacular Nests in the World

Nests are important to many birds and other animals to keep their eggs and to provide a place to live or raise offspring. Nests are usually made of some organic material like, grass, leaves, twigs or simply a depression in the ground, or a hole in a tree, rock or building.

The nest mounds built by Dusky Scrubfowls are the largest nest in the animal kingdom. They usually measure more than 11 m or 36 ft in diameter and stand nearly 5 m or 16 ft tall.


The smallest bird nests are those of some Hummingbirds, tiny cups which are 2 cm across and 3 cm high. The beautiful Hummingbird nest with two chicks on the above photo was photographed in Santa Monica, California, USA.

Purple-crowned Fairy

The cute Cup type nest on the above photo belongs to a Purple-crowned Fairy. Like many other small birds, they use considerable amount of spider silk in their cup nest. Purple-crowned Fairy or Heliothryx barroti  can be found Mexico down to  Ecuador.

Pendant Nest

This beautiful Pendant nest of an unknown bird species was photographed inYelagiri, India.

Baya Weaver

The Baya Weaver or Ploceus philippinus is a great weaver of nest as evident of the intricately weaved and designed nest on the above and below photo. The hanging retort shaped nests woven from leaves by these South and Southeast Asian birds are usually found on thorny trees or palm fronds.

The nests are often built near water or hanging over water where predators cannot reach easily.

Sociable Weaver

The Sociable Weavers or Philetairus socius are impressive species of bird of Africa. They can be found in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Sociable Weavers build large compound community nests, a rarity among birds.

The nests of Sociable Weavers are perhaps the most spectacular structure built by any bird. These amazing birds are also known as Social Weaver.

Thick-billed Weaver

Unlike many weaver bird species, the Thick-billed Weaver builds a different type of nest – the Sphere type. Its formal name is Amblyospiza albifrons.

Cliff Swallow

Cliff Swallows are unique in building their nests. Unlike many bird species, they use mud as primary material in constructing their nests.

The Cliff Swallow or Petrochelidon pyrrhonota is a passerine bird.

Cliff Swallows breed in North America, and migrate in South America during winter season.

Taveta Weaver

Another great nest weaver is the Taveta Weaver or Ploceus castaneiceps. This species of bird can be found in Kenya and Tanzania.

The name of the bird comes from the unique markings/coloration of the bird, as well as how these birds weave intricate nests.

Montezuma Oropendola

The nests above are Colonial pendant nests of Montezuma Oropendola. It was photographed in Alahuela Province, Costa Rica. Its scientific name is Psarocolius Montezuma. It can be found in Central America.

Common Blackbird

The Cup type nest above belongs to Common Blackbird or Turdus merula. Their nest is simply beautiful. They are also known as Eurasia Blackbird.

Village Weaver

Another great nest weaver is the Village Weaver. They build pendant type of nest. Its binomial name is Ploceus cucullatus and is also known as the Spotted-backed Weaver or Black-headed Weaver. It can be found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Great Reed Warbler

The nest above is a cup type nest built by Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus). It is a Eurasian songbird.

Snowy Egret

Like Eagles and Ospreys, Snowy Egrets build Platform type of nest. Snowy Egret or Egretta thula is a white heron that can be found in Bahamas.


Caciques build pendant type of nests. They can be found in Central and South America.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bizarre and Weird Reptiles in the World

Reptiles are not as many as mammals or fishes but they are definitely amongst the most remarkable and unique animals in the world. Here are some reptile species and their weird and bizarre traits and characteristics.

Whiptail Lizards are amazing reptiles. In the world of Whiptail Lizards, male species are not needed – the species is 100% female. All the male Whiptail Lizards are dead.

Alligator Snapping Turtle are unique reptiles. Their tongues are uniquely structured. Their tongue looks like a worm, so it attracts fish.

Basilisks are very fast-moving creatures. They move so quick that it can run on water at a speed of 5.4 km/h.

Chameleons are peculiar animals. They are amongst the animals with the longest tongues. They can't be seen with their amazing camouflage.

Komodo Dragons are the largest living lizard in the world. Their saliva has four kinds of deadly bacteria and can paralyze its prey with one bite.

Crocodiles are amongst the most dreaded animals in the world. Their bite has been measured at 3,000 lbf/in²; making them the strongest biters of all animals. Crocodiles are great hunters too. They are regarded as the “perfect predator”. They can wait a year to attack. The mouth of the Saltwater Crocodile makes up 15% of its body length.

The traditional belief that female alligators consume their young is false. Female Alligators keep their young in their mouth while going over rivers to protect them from potential predators. They do not live in the sewers of New York City because sewers are too cold, dark, and polluted.

Reptiles are amongst the most venomous creatures on earth and one of them is the Gila Monster. As their name suggest, their teeth contain venom; the more it pierces, the more venom it puts into you.

Geckos are extraordinary reptiles. They are amongst the few animals that can cling to any surface, even upside-down ones.

Horned Lizards are bizarre reptiles. They’re the only species on Earth that can squirts blood from their eyes.

Turtles are amazing animals. Their shell can protect them from something 200 times its own weight.

Is it okay for a person (especially a woman) to flirt? Well, it defends. In the animal kingdom, Travancore Tortoises are considered as the most outrageous flirts.

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