Although they appear white or yellow in color, polar bears’ fur is actually clear and hollow, and their skin is black.
Two coats of fur and a thick layer of blubber help insulate the polar bear’s body from the cold, keeping its temperature at an even 37° C (98.6° F).
Polar bears’ paws are especially adapted for walking on the ice and swimming in the sea. Hairs and bumps on the soles of their feet provide traction, while webbing between their toes allows for effective swimming strokes.
Polar bears can smell a seal’s breathing hole, or aglu, up to one mile away.
Polar bears do not hibernate like other bears, but females do enter into a dormant state while pregnant.
After many months, a red kangaroo joey has taken his first peek outside his mother’s pouch at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The little baby was born in early May, but has spent the time securely tucked away in the pouch growing bigger and stronger.
Joeys are blind and hairless at birth, and weigh less than an ounce. They use their forearms to crawl up the mother’s abdomen into the pouch. Once there, the joey latches on to his mother’s teat to nurse.
This little joey was the first offspring for mother Anna and father Jacob. According to Curator Diane Mulkerin, “This little roo has been very secretive so far. Animal care staffers suspected the pregnancy in mid-spring and have been watching very closely ever since. At the end of July, they started seeing movement around mom’s abdomen, and at long last, the little one has finally begun to peek out of the pouch.”
Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.
Red kangaroos are native to Australia. In the wild, they live in large groups called mobs.
Toronto Zoo welcomed a baby Masai giraffe last month. The female calf was named Mstari (pronounced mi-starry), which means “stripes” in Swahili, after her late father who was called Stripes. The baby giraffe and her mother Twiga are doing very well.
“The Toronto Zoo is part of the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the birth of this calf is very important to the North American captive population”, says Maria Franke, Toronto Zoo Curator of Mammals. This is the 17th Masai giraffe born at the Toronto Zoo.
Three-month old snow leopard cub Taza made his public debut at the Memphis Zoo last week! He and doting mother Ateri are on view in a special display area adjacent to the snow leopard exhibit.
“We can’t wait to show off the little guy to our visitors,” said Gail Karr, Assistant Curator of Mammals. “He has been such a joy to watch over these last three months, and we know the public is going to love him like we do.”
Taza will eventually move to another zoo where he’ll be paired up with a female snow leopard as part of the Species Survival Plan.
Ever wonder what bats do all day and night? Well, now you can watch them live via Woodland Park Zoo’s Bat Cam! The camera is equipped with night vision, so you can check in on them after 8pm (PST) when they’re most active.
The Twycross Zoo welcomed three bush dog babies on August 21. Photo credit: Twycross Zoo.
The Twycross Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of three South American bush dogs! First time parents Japura (mother) and Aztek (father) have done an excellent job caring for the litter.
Zookeeper Chris Simpson commented: “When we arrived on the morning of the 21st August we knew Japura had given birth overnight, but it took a week or so to confirm there were three pups in the litter. They are yet to be sexed so we haven’t got names for the new arrivals at the moment.”
Mother Japura carries one of the pups. Photo credit: Gillian Day / Twycross Zoo.
This is the first litter of bush dogs the Twycross Zoo has had in almost a decade. According to team leader Julian Chapman, “The fact that these animals have produced their first litter within a year of moving into their new enclosure is a testament to the thought and effort that the staff at Twycross Zoo are putting into the redevelopment of the animal enclosures.”
In the wild, bush dogs inhabit Central and South America. Well-adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle, they have webbed feet to help them swim. They are also unique in that they produce a strong scent that resembles vinegar.
Bush dogs are considered near threatened by the IUCN due to loss habitat for farming, loss of prey species, and an increase in diseases affecting canines.
In honor of International Sloth Day which takes place today, October 19, we’re hosting a giveaway for a beautiful, handcrafted sloth necklace by Mark Poulin Jewelry. This whimsical sterling silver charm measures 5/8th of an inch tall/wide and comes with your choice of a silver-plated or sterling silver cable chain in either 16″, 18″, or 20″. More details >
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Are you as polite as this marmoset monkey? Photo credit: BirdPhotos.com.
Princeton University researchers discovered that marmosets (a kind of new world monkey) take turns speaking with one another, similar to people! During their vocal exchanges, which can last up to 30 minutes, the monkeys wait their turn to speak. They don’t interrupt each other.
According to one of the study’s authors, Asif Ghazanfar:
“We were surprised by how reliably the marmoset monkeys exchanged their vocalizations in a cooperative manner, particularly since in most cases they were doing so with individuals that they were not pair-bonded with.
“This makes what we found much more similar to human conversations and very different from the coordinated calling of animals such as birds, frogs, or crickets, which is linked to mating or territorial defense.”
This research on marmoset vocalizations could provide clues about the early development of conversation in humans.