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Thursday 27 November 2014 Greater Mouse Deer - Gives Peek at What Extinct Animals Were Like

Greater mouse deerThe greater mouse deer (Tragulus napu) is not a true deer, although it has some deer-like characteristics. Also called the Malay tapu (tapu is the local name for the animal) this curious and cute creature is classified as an ungulate. Ungulates are any creatures with hooves. Deer are also classified as ungulates. But unlike deer, female greater mouse deer are larger than males. They also do not have a specific rutting season. The greater mouse deer breeds any time.

Although not considered endangered, the greater mouse’s natural habitat is being destroyed at an alarming rate. Although extinct in Singapore, it can still be found in the dwindling forests of Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand, the Indonesian islands and the Malaysian Islands. They eat leaves, bugs, shrubs, twigs and grasses, although the latter is rarely found in thick tropical forests. This is the same diet that many now-extinct mammals such as the earliest known horse ate. Today’s mouse deer strongly resemble the fossils of eohippus.

General Description

In profile, this species has a body shaped like a furry brown pear laying on its side with four slim legs. Some people describe the greater mouse deer as a "stretched out guinea pig." The neck is very short, the rump very wide in comparison to the small, narrow head. They have much smaller ears in comparison to true deer. A black stripe connects the black-rimmed ears across the large eyes to the small black nose.

Although tiny for an ungulate, it is the largest mouse deer species in the world. Males stand 12 inches (30 cm) from the bottom of the hoof to the tops of their shoulders. Females can grow as large as 14 inches (35 cm.) Their bodies are longer than they are tall. Males are 2.3 feet (70 cm) long, while females can grow as long as 2.5 feet (75 cm.) Males can weigh about 11 pounds (5 kilograms) while females can tip the scales at 17.6 pounds (8 kilograms.)


Not much is known about the behavior of wild greater mouse deer, since these are incredibly shy nocturnal animals. Unlike deer, they live solitary lives instead of moving in herds. They only come together to mate. Instead of antlers, male greater mouse deer have tusks. Gestation is 152 – 155 days long. Females can mate within a few days of giving birth to their single babies. Meanwhile, babies can stand within a half-hour of being born and can run with their mothers from predators like birds of prey, humans, feral dogs and monitor lizards.

Although solitary, greater mouse deer constantly communicate to others of their kind through scent-marking. Along with urine and feces, they rub their chins on branches or rock outcroppings. A gland in their chin produces a scent distinctive to other mouse deer. They also can communicate by sound. When scared, greater mouse deer rapidly drum their hooves on the ground. They can be tamed, but ideally should live in the wild. With luck, they can live up to 14 years old.

Picture of the greater mouse deer by Brian Gratwicke, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license. You can help spreading the word about this animal by liking it on facebook

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Tuesday 04 November 2014 The Japanese Macaque - Hot Springs-Loving Similian

Japanese macaqueThe Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata), which is also known as the snow monkey, is famous throughout the world for its love of soaking in hot springs on cold winter days. This very human-like behavior has endeared them to those who have seen images of the little monkeys, their fur covered in snow, peeping out from the steaming water.

Japanese macaques have a naked, red to pinkish face. Its fur ranges in color from brown to gray, and it has a short, approximately three-inch tail. In the winter, the macaques that live in the colder regions grow a thick winter coat. On average, Japanese macaques weigh approximately 18 to 24 pounds (11 kg to 8 kg) and are about 20 to 22 inches (522 to 570 mm) in length. Male Japanese macaques are typically slightly larger than females.

The Japanese macaque can be found on three of Japan's four main islands. The only island they do not live on is the northernmost, Hokkaido. The Japanese macaque lives in a wide range of habitats, from lowlands to mountains to by the ocean. Populations can be found on Shimokita Peninsula on Honshu Island, the Nagano Mountains, by the ocean on Oshima Island, and on the southern island of Yaku-Shima. It is the only monkey that lives as far north of the equator as it does.

These monkeys are omnivores. Their diet typically consists of fruit, leaves and insects. They have also been known to consume crabs, fish and eggs. In northern areas, where the winters can be harsh, the Japanese macaque will feed on bark. Some macaques will wash their food in salt water to both clean and flavor it.

The Japanese macaque are highly sociable animals. They live in troops that are typically made up of about 30 to 40 monkeys, though larger groups have been known to exist. Though these troops do have a dominant male, other male monkeys are allowed to stay in the troops. Female macaques also have a pecking order, with offspring of high-ranking females typically enjoying a high rank in the troop, as well.

The macaque’s now famous habit of soaking in hot springs was first noted in 1963 when one monkey in the Nagano Mountain region ventured into the springs to retrieve an item. Soon, other monkeys followed suit. Nowadays, it is a common practice for the troops in this region to soak in the hot springs. Macaque babies in this region have also been seen creating and playing with snowballs.

Predators of the Japanese macaque include dogs, mountain hawk eagles and humans. Unfortunately, the Japanese macaque is not a shy animal and troops have been known to raid crops on farms and snatch food from children and others. Though they enjoy a protected status, they are occasionally killed by humans angered by their behavior. Loss of habitat has also led to a decline in the Japanese macaque’s population. The Japanese macaque is listed on CITES’s Appendix II, meaning that its trade is monitored and its conservation status is listed as of Least Concern by IUCN. You can help spreading the word about this animal by liking it on facebook

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Monday 06 October 2014 The Greater Kudu - Corkscrew Horned Beauty

Greater kuduThe greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is a very large and handsome African antelope. The males bear huge spiraling horns that can corkscrew up to three full turns and are arguably, the most spectacular belonging to any antelope in Africa. The average length of a male greater kudu's horns is 48 inches in length, although the largest on record measured 72 inches. Female greater kudus do not have any horns.

Greater kudus are the second tallest antelope in Africa. An adult greater kudu typically stands between four and five feet at the shoulder (100 cm to 160 cm) and can weigh between 264 and 693 pounds (120 to 315 kg). Males are typically about 50 pounds heavier than the females. The coloring of the greater kudu ranges from a reddish brown to taupe to a bluish-gray. The coat on its torso bears approximately six to ten thin, vertical white stripes. The greater kudu's head is marked with a white chevron between its eyes, and it also has small cheek spots. Males greater kudus sport a beard, and both sexes have an upright mane.

The greater kudu can be found in many of the southern countries of Africa, including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland. In east Africa, they can be found in the countries of Djibouti, Sudan, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Somalia, Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania. They typically live in scrub woodlands and lightly wooded areas where they can find shelter and where their coloring helps them blend in well with their surroundings.

The greater kudu is a browser that feeds on leaves, vines, flowers and grass. During the dry season, one to three females and their babies will band together for company. In the rainy season, larger groups of up to 20 to 30 greater kudu females may form. Males usually remain solitary, though some do form bachelor groups. During the mating season, males typically try to prove their dominance peacefully with a lateral display in which one male will try to prove to the other he is the bigger animal. Occasionally, male greater kudus will fight for supremacy by battling with their horns. Tragically, the males have been known to accidentally entangle their corkscrewing horns so severely that they cannot get loose and both animals eventually end up dying.

This antelope is a shy animal with large ears that help it hear well. If something frightens it, the greater kudu will bound away in huge leaps. Once it reaches what it believes is safety, it will stop and look back before bounding away again.

Predators of the greater kudu include lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, cape hunting dogs and humans. Unfortunately for the greater kudu, its spectacular horns have made it a prized trophy for many hunters, and locals also hunt it for its meat. The greater kudu is not currently regulated by CITES and the IUCN considers them as Least Concern on its list of threatened species.

Picture of the greater kudu by L0k1m0nk33, licensed under GFDL You can help spreading the word about this animal by liking it on facebook

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Two Talking Cats - and What They Are Saying

Cats talkingVery adorable video of two talking cats, they really seem to have a conversation. After you have watched it, watch also the next video, where you hear what they say in English, very funny...

Cats talking EnglishIn this video, you hear what they were saying in English, good video.

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Ninja cat

Ninja cat This video has more than 11 million views, i cannot believe it.

This cat has mastered the old ninja skill of moving without moving...

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Dog escaping from prison

Prison break dog Amazing footage of a dog escaping from its prison. Michael Scofield eat your heart out! Very clever, at the beginning of the video you wouldn't figure out how the dog would escape, right?

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Wolfish pair

Wolfish pairImagine relaxing in the sea, together, resting in the coral, would you see this picture in your mind? Click the picture of this wolfish pair to watch the video.

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Funniest animal videos

Funny animals This is one of the funniest animal videos featuring funny cats and dog videos, Tyson the skateboarding dog, penguins and even a polar bear. I really like the funny cats in the beginning, I am curious what you think? Half of the clip is of Tyson the skateboarding dog, so if you get tired of him, you can stop watching... Have fun!

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Monkey pulls dog tail

Monkey pulls dog tailThis is a funny video about a monkey pulling the tail of a dog. The dog doesn't know what hit him!

Click here to view the video

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Lion hugs rescuer

Lion hugs rescuerAbsolutely amazing story and movieclip about a lion that was rescued. Seems the king of the jungle has a softer side after all! Click here to view the movie where the lion hugs his rescuer

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