Animal Picture of the Day:
Cape Buffalo

cape buffalo

The Cape or African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is an extremely large, highly sociable animal that travels in large, non-territorial herds. Cape buffalo are extremely powerful and deadly, and can run at speeds up to 57 km/hr (Nowak, 1983). Some people consider Cape buffalo to be the most dangerous big game animal in Africa. Even lions will rarely attack an adult buffalo.

Animal Picture of the Day:
Wild Bactrian Camel

Wild Bactrian camel

Photo by John Hill.

The wild Bactrian camel (Camelus ferus) is critically endangered; with a world population of less than 1000 they are among the world’s rarest mammals. They are the ancestor off all domestic camels.

These unique creatures are adapted to arid plains and hills where water sources are few and vegetation is sparse. Herds of these wild camels move widely, their distribution being linked to water. Shrubs constitute their main source of food.

The areas in China and Mongolia where these wild camels live is extremely harsh. A nearly lifeless land, its temperature may reach 60-70 degrees C (140-160 degrees F) in summer and -30 degrees C (-22 degrees F) in winter. All aspects of the camel have adapted to these extreme conditions.

Wild and domestic Bactrian camels readily interbreed, but physically they are quite different. The domestic Bactrian camel is quite common in Asia. And, contrary to popular legend, there is no evidence that camels store water in their stomach or in their hump.

Animal Picture of the Day:
Vampire Bat

Vampire bat

Vampire Bats. The name conjures images of Count Dracula and other vampires, eerie creatures of the night that suck blood from their victims that turn into vampires themselves. What would Halloween be if there were not these scary bats to frighten us? In reality, vampire bats are not very scary, but just as fascinating.

Fossil records show there used to be more species of vampire bats. Today, there are just three species. Two species prefer avian blood and are less abundant. These bats are the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi) and the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata). The most abundant and most studied vampire bat is the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), which prefers mammalian blood. All three are found in the new world tropical and subtropical regions (Central and South America) and are considered medium sized bats.

~ From “Natural History of the Vampire Bat” by Denise Tomlinson

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