The pangolin, of which there are 8 species, is a strange creature that looks like a cross between a reptile and an anteater. In fact, this mammal can climb trees, has a long tongue for finding insects, is covered in keratin scales, can spray foul smelling liquid like a skunk, and are highly endangered (ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered).
In 2012 a study was conducted that examined the genetics of the 20 lions in Ethiopia, a country in Northeastern Africa. The reason that the study targeted these 20 lions is that they were last of their kind. Ethiopian lions tend to be much smaller and darker in color than those found across the rest of the continent, and, as the study found, are genetically unique (though not unique enough to earn species or sub-species status) too. Continue reading Hidden Lions Found in Ethiopia
One of the few animals I saw on a regular basis while in Sierra Leone was the Great Blue Turaco. The first time I was told by Papanie that the giant blue bird that flew overhead was a turaco I was shocked. The turaco I had worked with in Dallas had barely been half that size! But the more I saw them the more resemblance I saw to Marty, my Dallas-dwelling turaco. So in honor of the Great Blue Turaco and the amazing wildlife of Sierra Leone, lets have them be the next focus for an Odd Animal Profile.
Corythaeola cristata. I don’t normally include the scientific names in my O.A.P.s but Corythaeola crostata rolls off of the tongue with such grace. It is a name that couldn’t belong to any other animal than this giant, blue bird. Continue reading OAP: Great Blue Turaco
Down in South America lives the maned wolf, and like the last OAP, it’s name is a little deceiving. The maned wolf is related to wolves, but only very distantly, it is actually much more closely related to the fox, even then it is the only animal in its genus. The maned wolf is an odd animal because of its odd appearance of a fox on stilts, and its unique temperament.
Leaping lemurs! Did you know that lemurs are the most threatened mammals in the world? They are so unique and so important in our evolutionary chain. Lemurs are a type of primate found only on the island country of Madagascar, and no, they are not monkeys. They are prosimians and they need protecting! Luckily researchers are putting their foot down and making firm plans to save these incredible animals.
Roughly 30,000 elephants are killed annually to fuel the abhorrent myth that ivory is a cure-all substance. It is believed to cure the common cold, hangovers, impotence and a variety of other illnesses. There is absolutely no medical proof that ivory has any medicinal properties what-so-ever. In fact, you might as well just chew your fingernails since you’d be eating the same stuff.