09:46 am, 22 Feb, 2018 (ACDT)
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     The Tasmanian Devil is world's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial.Early European settlers called it The Devil due to its spine chilling screeches and screams, reputed bad temper and its black colour.   Did you know:  Mothers give birth after about three weeks of pregnancy to 20 or 30 very tiny young.These tiny babies crawl up the mother's fur and into her pouch. However, the mother has only four nipples, so only a handful of babies ever survive. 
   Brick in the Wall
       Newborn elephant weighs between 75-115kilos and is only 100cm tall at the shoulder. When grown, they can weigh from 3000-5000 kilos and end up to 2.5mtrs tall at the shoulder - which may explain why an elephant cannot jump. However an elephant can run in short bursts of up to 20 miles per hour. For such a big beast it surprisingly only sleeps 4 hrs per night   Did you know: The Asian elephant is more closely related to the extinct mammoth than to the African elephant!   
      Male lions can reach a length of 10 feet and weigh between 300 to 500 pounds or more. Female lions are slightly smaller.The African lions are known to have a variety of facial expressions. These serve the purpose of visual gestures.    Did you know: The full roar of a lion can only be possible when it reaches adulthood and African lions spend 90% of their time sleeping! link here 
      Winner, People's Choice Award, Campbelltown 
      Lions' claws are retractable. This helps keep the claws sharp, and prevents injury during play, etc. The dewclaw on the front limbs is often used as a toothpick. Lion's will often scratch trees to keep their claws sharp and to mark out their territory.    Did you know: Faded leopard type spots can be found on young lions and some females, which indicate that the lion once lived in a more forested habitat. Cubs lose the spots that they have when they reach adulthood!   
       Despite their huge size, gorillas are peaceful, family-oriented, plant-eating animals. The average lifespan of a gorilla in the wild is about 35 years, but in captivity they may live as long as 50 - 55 years.    Did you know:  Mountain gorillas cannot swim but they can use tools to solve problems. For example, they have been seen using a tree branch as a bridge to cross a patch of muddy ground!  
     Cheetahs are included on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) list of vulnerable species (African subspecies threatened, Asiatic subspecies in critical situation).  Approximately 12,400 cheetahs remain in the wild in twenty-five African countries; Namibia has the most, with about 2,500. Another fifty to sixty critically endangered Asiatic cheetahs are thought to remain in Iran.    Did you know:  The cheetah cannot roar, unlike other big cats, but does make chirping, and yowling sounds.  It can also purr as it inhales! 
     Meerkats are a type of Mongoose. The name Meerkat comes from the Afrikaans and the English translation is marsh cat, although Meerkats don
     Chimpanzees are considered to be the most intelligent non-human primate and probably no other facet of chimpanzee behavior has received more notice than the manufacture and use of tools.  They use sticks and stones to crack open nuts, probe for honey and insects with twigs, and use wads of crumbled leaves to sponge drinking water from hard to reach places.   Did you know:  Chimpazees have similar emotions to humans. They can experience joy, anger, grief, sorrow, pleasure, boredom, and depression. They also comfort and reassure one another by kissing and hugging. They can also recognise themselves in a mirror and have the ability to learn sign language. 
      There are 6 out of 9 recent subspecies of tigers left on Earth. How long they will be able to survive though is in question. Right now all 6 of these remaining species are considered to be endangered.   Did you know:  One of the problems with tiger decreasing population is that less than half of their offspring live to be 2 yeas of age, let alone mature enough to mate themselves. Those that do survive though are usually about to live about 15 years in the wild. In captivity they can live about 20 years on average. Some of the Siberian Tigers in captivity though are more than 25 years old so they seem to do better than the other species! 
     Gorillas are social animals who usually form harems with one silverback male living together with several adult females and their offspring. Gorillas will often rest during the middle of the day, letting the children play and the adults spend quiet time socializing with one another.   Did you know:  Gorillas can also suffer from respiratory disorders and colds. 
     Kangaroos are most active at dawn  dusk.They are unique, being the only large animals that use hopping for locomotion.Grey Kangaroos may also known as Mallee Kangaroo, Sooty Kangaroo or Scrubbers.   Did you know:  Females have one baby at a time, which at birth is smaller than a cherry. The infant immediately climbs into its mother's pouch and does not emerge for two months. 
     In a poll conducted by Animal Planet, the Tiger was voted the world's favourite animal, narrowly beating man's best friend, the dog. More than 50,000 viewers from 73 countries voted in the poll. The tiger received 21 percent of the vote, the dog 20, the dolphin 13, the horse 10, the lion 9, the snake 8, followed by the elephant, the chimpanzee, the orangutan and the whale.   Did you know:  The oldest remains of a tiger-like cat, called Panthera palaeosinensis, have been found in China and Java. This species lived about 2 million years ago, at the beginning of the Pleistocene, and was smaller than a modern tiger. 
      The Common Brushtail Possum is the best known of all our possums. Brushtail possums lead a largely solitary life. However. in areas where numbers are high and shelter is in short supply, several may share sleeping places.   Did you know:  From my own experiences of these possums in the back yard, during mating season they sound like very loud, very angry cappuccino machines! 
    Unlike lions, which are social animals and live in prides (families), tigers are solitary animals that only rarely meet, except to mate. The best places in the world to see wild tigers in their natural habitat are Ranthambhore, Bandhavgarh and Kanha national parks in India and they have a thriving eco-tourism business as a result.   Did you know:  If you shave the hair off of a tiger, it will look exactly like a shaved lion; the stripes are only on its fur, not on its skin.
     A gentle and touching moment in the life of one of the world's fiercest creatures. Lions once lived in southern Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. Today, however, they are confined mainly to the game reserves of Africa, with a few still living in the Gir Forest of India.   Did you know:  A lion's tail is different from that of the other members of the cat family, it has a tassel end.  The tail can be used for signalling in a wide-range of situations; for instance, mother to cub, 'come this way', one huntress to another, 'I'm going around the other side', or even from lioness to lion, 'come here Big Boy' or alternately 'Don't even think about it!!'.  
     A mating pair of wolves usually stay together for life. They are devoted parents and maintain close family ties. Wolves also have a variety of distinctive facial expressions they use to communicate and maintain pack unity.   Did you know: Despite their 
     Wolves are of the family of animals that includes dogs, foxes, coyotes dingoes, African hunting dogs, many types of foxes, and several kinds of jackals. They are native to America, Canada, Asia, Europe and the Arctic.   Did You Know:  Wolves walk and run on their toes, which helps them to stop and turn quickly. This also prevents their paw pads from wearing down. 
     Elephants live in a society with a structured social order. Females and males live very different lives. Females live their entire life in families made up by the elderly mothers, daughters and sisters. The matriarch is usually the oldest female elephant of the tribe will lead the group. The males on the other hand spend their lives alone and will return to the group for mating.   Did you know:  The fights between males can look very dangerous and violent but it is extremely rare that one of the combatants will suffer grave wounds. When an elephant dominates the fight the other one will back off and surrender, avoiding any wounds. This can be seen all year around, but during the breeding season, the fights get even more dangerous and often major wounds can result. 
     The beautiful gray wolf goes by many names such as the 'timber wolf' the 'arctic wolf' and the 'tundra wolf'. It is the largest of all wild canines.   Did you know:  Gray wolves can be white, black, tan, brown, or grizzled, which is a combination of tans, browns, and black.  
     The harvest of elephants, both legal and illegal, has had some unexpected consequences on elephant anatomy as well. African ivory hunters, by killing only tusked elephants, have given a much larger chance of mating to elephants with small tusks or no tusks at all. The propagation of the absent-tusk gene has resulted in the birth of large numbers of tuskless elephants, now approaching 30% in some populations (compare with a rate of about 1% in 1930). Tusklessness, once a very rare genetic abnormality, has become a widespread hereditary trait.   Did you know:  According to biologists, the elephant's trunk may have over forty thousand individual muscles in it, making it sensitive enough to pick up a single blade of grass, yet strong enough to rip the branches off a tree. 
     A Penguin is a flightless bird that can live for 15 to 20 years and vary in height from 16 inches to about 4 feet.  Their feathers are waterproof and help them maintain insulation and a gland near the penguinMouseHouse-sm-framed.png
     Baby giraffes are born 6 feet tall (1.8m) - taller than the average person. They can grow an inch a day and just about double their height in 1 year. Giraffes eat leaves of many kinds of trees, but acacia trees are their favourites.  They also eat seed pods, flowers and fruits using their mobile lips and prehensile tongue to pluck them from the trees.   Did you know:  Not all giraffes have spots. There have been rare documented cases of albino giraffes and also of solid beige ones with no spots at all! 
   One Small Step
     The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals. There are only about one thousand giant pandas left in western China. Even at only one year of age, the giant panda is already climbing large trees.   Did you know: The collective name for a group of pandas is a sleuth or sloth 
   Graphite Painting of Elephant baby. Elephants are the biggest land mammals still alive. They have been divided in two families: The Elephas and the Loxodonta. Actually there are only three species of elephants still present: The African bush Elephant, The African Asian Elephant and the Asian Elephant (Indian Elephant). The mammoths where part of this family but have completely disappeared by the 2000 B-C.  Did you know: They are the symbol of wisdom in the Asian culture and they are renowned for their great memory and intelligence.
      The Little Egret often nests in large colonies with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs or in a reed bed or bamboo grove. In some locations they will even nest on cliffs.    Did you know:  Little Egrets are mostly silent but do make a variety of croaking and bubbling calls at their breeding colonies and have a harsh alarm call when disturbed. 
      Rhinoceros are built like a tank but usually gentle as a lamb. There are five species of rhinoceros still alive today. These include the white rhinoceros, the black rhinoceros, the Indian rhinoceros, the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Javan rhinoceros.   Did you know:  A rhinoceros can survive four to five days without water and.....A group of rhinos is referred to as a crash! 
     Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are common and familiar all over Australia and are probably one of our best known parrots. They are extremely intelligent, loud, mischevious, fun and can live on average between 70 and 90 years! In captivity they are great talkers.   Did you  know:  They can hold major grudges if they are ever badly treated but will be more affectionate than a dog if treated well.
      Original Sold  The Wedge-tailed eagle is Australia's largest living bird of prey and one of the largest eagles in the world. It has a wingspan up to 2.7 metres.  Wedge-tailed eagles mate for life and use the same nest year after year, adding to it each year.   Did you know:  Wedge-tailed eagles can fly up to 2km high and soar for up to 90 mins. 
     These beautiful animals are amongst many 
      There are 3 species of Wombat in Australia, the Common, the Southern Hairy Nosed and the Northern Hairy Nosed. The Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat is endangered.   Did you know:  Wombat poop (scats) are distinctively cube-shaped and are probably the most easily identified by the amateur scatologist.Hehe...ouch!   
     There are three subspecies of gorillas living in different parts of Africa with only very slight differences between them. These are the Western Lowland Gorilla (gorilla gorilla), the Eastern Lowland Gorilla (gorilla graueri) and the Mountain Gorilla (gorilla berengei). Of these, the mountain gorilla is the most endangered.   Did you know:  When a gorilla drinks (which is rarely) it soaks the back of its hand and sucks the water from the fur! 
     There are over 365 species of squirrels in seven families. They include the tree squirrel, ground squirrel, and flying squirrel.    Did you know:  A squirrel's home is called a drey and their babies are called kittens! 
   Ox Pecker
      Lemurs are primates found only on the African island of Madagascar and some tiny neighbouring islands. Ring-tailed lemurs live in groups known as troops. These groups may include 6 to 30 animals, but average about 17.   Did you know:  Lemurs mark their territory by scent, serving notice of their presence to all who can smell. During mating season, male lemurs battle for dominance by trying to out stink each other! 
     The kookaburra is the world
      Zebras are members of the horse family and are divided into three species ...the Plains Zebra, the Mountain Zebra and Grevy's Zebra. The Plains Zebra is also known as the common zebra.   Did you know:  The Romans called Grevy's zebras 'hippotigris'. Also, If you were to shave a zebra bare from head to hoof, you would find that their skin is black. 
     The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals. There are only about one thousand giant pandas left in western China. Even at only one year of age, the giant panda is already climbing large trees.   Did you know: Giant Panda Bears do not hibernate during the winter. Due to their leaner diets, they do not build up the excess fat needed to hibernate. 
     From leatherbacks to loggerheads, six of the seven species of sea turtles that swim the world’s oceans are threatened or endangered largely at the hand of humans. Sadly, they face many dangers as they travel the seas — including accidental capture and entanglement in fishing gear (also known as bycatch), the loss of nesting and feeding sites to coastal development, intentional hunting (poaching), and pollution.   Did you know:  The Leatherback is the largest of all sea turtles, and one of the largest reptiles on earth, the leatherback turtle ranges in size from 4-8 feet in length (1.2 - 2.4 meters) and weighs between 500-2,000 pounds (225 - 900 kg). The average adult measures in between 5-6 feet (1.5 - 1.8 m) and weighs 600-800 pounds (270 - 360 kg). 
     Tigers are the largest of the big cats and are at the very top of the food chain. However, in just the last 50 years, 3 subspecies of tiger - the Bali Tiger, Javan Tiger and Caspian Tiger - have become extinct. 6 subspecies survive: the Amur (Siberian), South China, Indo-Chinese, Bengal, Sumatran, and Malayan tigers. All remaining sub-species of tigers are endangered.   Did you know:  A group of tigers is called a streak.  
      Young elephants stay with their families for many years. It's not unusual for a herd of elephants to live together all of their lives. Female elephants produce one calf every five years.   Did you know:  Elephants cry, play, have incredible memories, and laugh! Also, Elephant in Latin (as ele and phant) means the Huge Arch! 
     Visually, the male is highly distinctive and is easily recognized by its mane. The head of the male lion is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture. It has been depicted extensively in literature, in sculptures, in paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature.   Did you know:  As with other cats, the male lion's penis has spines which point backwards. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which may cause ovulation.  Ouch! 
     This was a finalist in the 2011 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize and was judged 
     The ocelot has one of the most beautiful coats of any animal in the world. Its fur is golden over most of its body, with white or cream on the belly and spots, stripes, rings, chains, bands, circles, and splodges everywhere else!   Did you know: Salvador Dalí frequently travelled with his pet Ocelot, even bringing it aboard the luxury ocean liner, SS France! 
     When the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) needed a symbol, they turned towards Chi Chi, the only giant panda in the Western world at that time, as a symbol for all endangered animals. She was a rare animal, like her wild panda cousins in China, and her form and color were the ideal basis for an attractive symbol.   Did you know: The sounds made by the Panda are referred to as bleats, honks and growls. The giant panda, which the Chinese call 
     Both young and adult otters are inquisitive and love to play. They throw, bounce and roll rocks or sticks, play tag and hide-and-seek, chase their tails, dunk each other, wrestle, and slide on mud or snow just for fun.   Did you know:  As with humans, old otters have white whiskers. 
      Original Sold  Completely gorgeous, it's hard to believe that this beautiful cub will grow to be one of the world's most effective predators. Young tigers live with their mother until they are two to three years old, then they find their own territories.   Did you know: A tiger's paw prints are called pug marks.  
     The Red Kangaroo is the largest living marsupial and can grow to two metres. They can weigh up to 90 kg (200 pounds) and live throughout central Australia. They prefer open plains habitat with scattered trees, which they use for shade during the hot parts of the day.The red kangaroo features on Australia’s coat of arms, coins and stamps. Geological and climatic events in Australia’s history have resulted in the unique species seen today.   Did you know:  A Red Kangaroo can leap a distance of up to eight metres (25 feet) and three metres (10 feet) high! Also, Like all marsupials baby kangaroos are born at a very early stage of development, 31 to 36 days after gestation. If you compare that to humans it would be at the seventh week of a pregnancy! 
      Highly commended for the Waterhouse Art Prize 2008   Original Sold  Females are very attentive mothers, and because most elephant behavior has to be learned, they keep their offspring with them for many years. Elephants walk well-worn trails that have been used for centuries. These trails lead to favorite watering places.   Did you know:  The patterns on the bottom of an elephant's foot are as individualistic as a human's fingerprints.
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