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Western Lowland Gorilla
Zoo Atlanta is currently home to one of the largest populations of gorillas in North America. Western lowland gorillas live in troops led by a dominant silverback, several adult females, and their offspring.
Bontebok were saved from extinction about 200 years ago by local farmers in South Africa who set aside land for them. At the time, fewer than 20 wild bontebok were believed to remain. Today, they are still vulnerable to extinction, but they number almost 2,000.
In the case of Harris hawks, birds of a feather don’t only flock together – they hunt and nest together, too. In some regions where they live this species is social, but in most regions, they are observed alone or with just one other hawk. Hawks belong to a group of birds known as raptors, … Continue reading "Harris Hawk"
When you think of storks, you most likely picture a European white stork. These large birds are most closely related to herons, bitterns, ibises, spoonbills, the shoebill, and the hammerhead.
Cranes are a family of birds comprising 15 species that live across five continents (North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia). Wattled cranes are named for the flaps of skin, or “wattles,” that dangle from their chins. These wattles indicate a crane’s mood, shrinking when they are nervous and elongating when they are excited.
Southern three-banded armadillo
Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning “little armored one,” referring to the bony plates that cover much of an armadillo’s body. These bony plates are made of keratin – the same protein that makes up our hair and nails. Of the 20 species of armadillo, this is the only one that can roll up completely in a ball. Since this species is more likely to curl up in a ball rather than run from potential danger, they are easy targets for hunters.
Screaming hairy armadillo
The brown armor that covers the body of an armadillo, known as a carapace, is made of keratin – the same protein that makes up our hair and nails. The screaming hairy armadillo is native to South America and is considered a cultural symbol of the Bolivian highlands. They are often found building homes in sand dunes where they are easily able to dig.
There are more species in the skink family than in any other lizard family. They generally have reduced limbs and smooth, overlapping scales with a bony plate in the skin underneath each scale. Prehensile-tailed skinks are the longest members of the skink family and are endemic to the Solomon Islands. These islands northeast of Australia are the only place in the world where prehensile-tailed skinks are native.
Lesser hedgehog tenrec
There are 25 species of tenrec which are mostly found on Madagascar, but some are native to mainland Africa. The name lesser hedgehog tenrec is misleading, as tenrecs are not related to hedgehogs. Their closest relatives are moles and shrews. However, like hedgehogs, tenrecs have spines covering much of their bodies. Although the underlying muscular structure is less specialized than a hedgehog’s, tenrecs have well-developed muscles under the skin that allow them to raise and lower their spines.
Chilean rose hair tarantula
This medium-sized tarantula species gets its name from the pinkish hue of the hairs on its back. Like all spiders, Chilean rose hair tarantulas are venomous. Their venom primarily helps them eat and is not known to be fatal in humans, but reactions can vary widely from person to person. These tarantulas are known for their docile and relatively slow-moving nature. While males typically only live three to four years, females can live into their 20s.