Friday, August 23, 2013

Strong And Muscular Animals

Silverback Gorilla

The strength of a silverback gorilla has never been measured, but it should be sufficient to say that anecdotal evidence of animals observed almost casually bending and snapping objects such as tempered steel bars (2 inches thick) and giant bamboo stalks, suggest that the gorilla has the muscle power of between 8-15 men and possibly more. Jersey Zoos Jambo was observed to hang from one arm (he was over 400 lbs) while methodically ripping over 200 ft of inner ceiling planks from the roof of the new gorilla house with his other arm (the planks were securely screwed and nailed), simply because he didn't like them. No other animal outside of the great apes has such a combination of strength and dexterity. The fact that gorillas don't use their strength to attack other animals in the manner of chimpanzees or baboons means very little as they are by their very nature, peaceful animals. Gorillas also have one of the most powerful jaws of any animal, which they use to get to the piths of various trees and plants. They can also use them in defense, and can inflict serious wounds with their bites if they so wish. Stories of their ferocity are largely unfounded, and when left alone, gorillas will never attack humans.


10 Facts About Bears

1. The largest mammalian carnivore that ever lived on land was the giant short-faced bear. Twice the size of the biggest modern bear, it was 6' 5" tall at the shoulder when standing on all fours. Scientists believe it had very long legs and chased antelope on the North American prairies. It died around 12,000 years ago.

2. The sloth bear has the shaggiest fur. The sun bear has the shortest fur so it can keep cool in the hot forests of Southeast Asia.

3. The most accurate way to determine the age of a bear is to count the rings in a cross section of its tooth root under a microscope.

4. The shape of a bear’s claw differs according to the type of bear. Bears that climb, such as black bears, have claws that are curved and strong to allow them to claw at tree bark. Bears that dig, such as grizzly bears, have straight and long claws.

5. Koala bears are not bears at all and are not related to the bear family. They are marsupials.

6. Unlike many mammals, bears can see in color.

7. Lumber companies felt they had no choice but to kill the black bears in Washington State that were eating the bark from trees. However, once someone thought to put piles of food in the forest, the bears stopped eating the trees, and were happy to eat the free food. Because feeding the bears cost less than killing them, the lumber companies were happy, too.

8. Bears can see almost as well as humans, and they can hear a little better. But they can smell much better. In fact, a bear’s sense of smell is around 100 times greater than a human’s. Polar bears can track down an odor from 20 miles (32 km) away. They can smell a dead seal under 3 feet of solid ice.

9. The symbol of the United Russia Party is a bear. In fact, bears have traditionally not only been a symbol of pride and power in Russia, but have also been common images in fairy tales and myth.

10. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is the largest bear species. A male polar bear can measure up to 10 feet long and weigh 1,500 lbs., which is about the weight of eight human adults. Female polar bears are up to 50% smaller than the males.

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The eagle is the strongest bird, able to lift something four times its own body weight during flight. 

Interesting Facts About Eagles

Eagles have unusual eyes. They are very large in proportion to their heads and have extremely large pupils. Eagles’ eyes have a million light-sensitive cells per square mm of retina, five times more that a human’s 200,000. While humans see just three basic colours, eagles see five. These adaptations gives eagles extremely keen eyesight and enable them to spot even well-camouflaged potential prey from a very long distance. In fact the eagles’ vision is among the sharpest of any animal and studies suggest that some eagles can spot an animal the size of a rabbit up to two miles away!

The Harpy Eagle and the Philippine Eagle have wings that spread 2.5m across and use their massive, sharp talons, to kill and carry off prey as large as deer and monkeys.

 Harpy Eagle

In Greece, Golden Eagles eat turtles, dropping them from great heights onto rocks to break open their armoured shells.



The tiger is the largest member of the felid (cat) family. They sport long, thick reddish coats with white bellies and white and black tails. Their heads, bodies, tails and limbs have narrow black, brown or gray stripes. There were once nine subspecies of tigers: Bengal, Siberian, Indochinese, South Chinese, Sumatran, Malayan, Caspian, Javan and Bali. Of these, the last three are extinct, one is extinct in the wild, and the rest are endangered.


Tigers mainly eat ambar deer, wild pigs, water buffalo and antelope. Tigers are also known to hunt sloth bears, dogs, leopards, crocodiles and pythons as well as monkeys and hares. Old and injured tigers have been known to attack humans and domestic cattle.


In the early 1900s, there were around 100,000 tigers throughout their range. Today, an estimated total of around 3,000-4,500 exist in the wild. Below is a breakdown of tiger numbers by subspecies.



Interesting Facts About Elephants

1. The elephant’s closest living relative is the rock hyrax, a small furry mammal that lives in rocky landscapes across sub-Saharan Africa and along the coast of the Arabian peninsula.

rock hyrax

2. Elephants don’t like peanuts. They don’t eat them in the wild, and zoos don’t feed them to their captive elephants.

3. Despite their size, elephants can be turned off by the smallest of critters. One study found that they avoid eating a type of acacia tree that is home to ants. Underfoot, ants can be crushed, but an elephant wants to avoid getting the ants inside its trunk, which is full of sensitive nerve endings.



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The Heaviest Dinosaur

The heaviest dinosaur was Brachiosaurus at 80 tonnes. It was the equivalent to 17 African Elephants. Brachiosaurus was 16m tall and 26m long and is the largest dinosaur skeleton to be mounted in a museum.

The Most Brainy Dinosaur

One of the most intelligent dinosaurs was Troodon. It was a hunting dinosaur, about 2 metres long, and had a brain size similar to that of a mammal or bird of today, stereoscopic vision, and grasping hands.

The Dumbest Dinosaur

Stegosaurus had a brain the size of a walnut - only 3 centimetres long and weighing 75 grams. However comparing brain size to body size sauropodomorphs, like Plateosaurus, were probably one of the dumbest dinosaurs.


The Fastest Running Dinosaur

The speediest dinosaurs were the ostrich mimic ornithomimids, such as Dromiceiomimus, which could probably run at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour.



Why the Name Musk Oxen ?

You might be wondering why the word musk is attached to these oxen. Well, if you stand very near to these animals (which is not easy), the smell of musk will fill your nose. this musk odor emanates from the thick fur that envelops their body. Hence, these large animals are popularly called the musk oxen.

Male or Female Oxen: Which is Longer
Lengthwise, male musk oxen have an edge over female musk oxen. This is because the maximum possible length of females is around 200 cm, whereas most male musk oxen are around 220-250 cm long.

Where do Musk Oxen Live?

They are found in northern Canada, Greenland and the Arctic areas. Musk oxen also live in Alaska on the Tundra and Ellesmere Islands. They change their habitat throughout the year. In the summer season, you will find them around river valleys. In winter, they prefer to go to places where snow is comparatively less.

What is the use of Fur?

They are huge beasts covered with thick layers of fur. The fur coat protects them from the cold winds of the Arctic region. As the fur is cold-resistant, musk oxen can easily survive even in extreme cold conditions. They are well-adapted to survive in harsh climatic conditions. Their fur consists of thick, long hair that almost touches the ground. This outer, dense coat protects the inner layer from the freezing cold. The fur generally has a dark brown color.

What is their Life Span?

These mammals have a short life span. They do not live more than 20-25 years in the wild. Musk oxen often fight with each other to display their dominance. Some of these bulls die early due to injury during fights.