World of Wildlife ~ Splendid Pictures Around The Net

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

World of Wildlife

King of the jungle. The LionKing of the jungle. The Lion (Panthera leo), often referred to as King of the Beasts, is a mammal of the family Felidae. It is the second largest natural living feline. The male lion, easily recognized by his mane, weighs between 150 and 250 kg (330 and 550 lb). The average weight of a male African Lion is 420lb. The biggest wild lion on record was a very large male which weighed in at 312.7 kg (688 lb). Female lions are much smaller, weighing between 117 and 167kg (240 lb and 370 lb). In the wild lions live for around 10–14 years, while in captivity they can live over 20 years.

Leopards (Panthera pardus)Leopards (Panthera pardus) are one of the four 'big cats' of the genus Panthera. They range in size from one to almost two metres long, and generally weigh between 30 and 70 kg. Some males may grow over 90 kgs. Females are typically around two-thirds the size of males. For its size, the leopard is the most powerful feline in the world next to the jaguar.

 The CheetahThe Cheetah (derived from Sanskrit word Chitraka meaning "Speckled") (Acinonyx jubatus) is an atypical member of the cat family (Felidae) that hunts by speed rather than by stealth or pack tactics. It is one of the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds of up to 110 km/h (70 mph) in short bursts up to 457 meters (500 yards). The cheetah is well known for its amazing acceleration (0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds which is faster then the SLR McLaren, the Lamborghini MurciƩlago and the F/A-18 Hornet), however despite popularly-held claims it remains debatable whether it is indeed the fastest terrestrial animal compared to the wildebeest.

ZebrasZebras (members of the Horse family), are native to central and southern Africa. All are white with vivid black stripes (hence the zebra crossing named after it) on the forequarters, often tending towards the horizontal at the rear of the animal. Originally, most zoologists assumed that the stripes acted as a camouflage mechanism, while others believed them to play a role in social interactions, with slight variations of the pattern allowing the animals to distinguish between individuals. A more recent theory, supported by experiment, posits that the disruptive coloration is an effective means of confusing the visual system of the blood-sucking tsetse fly.

 An impalaAn impala (Aepyceros melampus Greek aipos "high" ceros "horn" + melas "black" pous "foot") is a medium-sized African deer. The name impala comes from the Zulu language. They are found in savannas in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, southern Angola and northeastern South Africa.

The giraffeThe giraffe is related to deer and cattle, but is placed in a separate family, the Giraffidae, consisting only of the giraffe and its closest relative, the okapi. The species name camelopardalis (camelopard) is derived from its early Roman name, where it was described as having characteristics of both a camel and a leopard (and perhaps being a hybrid of the two). The instinct of some other African animals is to stay close to the giraffe, for the giraffe's high vantage point can see predators from far away.

An alligatorAn alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. There are two living alligator species: the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis). They are closely related to crocodiles. The name alligator is an anglicized form of the Spanish el lagarto ("the lizard"), the name by which early Spanish explorers and settlers in Florida called the alligator.

Elephantidae (the elephants)Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea. Elephantidae has three living species: the African Bush Elephant and the African Forest Elephant (which were collectively known as the African Elephant) and the Asian Elephant (formerly known as the Indian Elephant). Other species have become extinct since the last ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago.

[source from wikipedia]

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