Top 15 interesting facts about koalas
People became closely acquainted with koalas only 200 years ago. Still, during this time, the cute eared creature managed to become the most famous Australian animal, eclipsing even the kangaroo and one of the most famous animals worldwide. Everyone, at least once, was touched by this creature that looked like a tiny bear cub with cute ears and a curious look.
What are some interesting facts about koalas?
In nature, koalas live only in Australia, and in zoos, where they take root well, they are real stars not only because of their appearance but also because of their elegant and, at the same time, leisurely manner of moving. If there are koalas in the zoo, you can predict with a high degree of probability that the most significant number of visitors, tiny ones, will be near their enclosure. The appearance of koalas is deceptive: an angry animal in a rage can attack a person. Let's try to state a few more facts about these fascinating animals.
15. Europeans first met koalas in 1798.
One of the employees of the governor of the colony of New South Wales, John Price, reported that in the Blue Mountains (they are located in the extreme southeast of Australia) an animal similar to a wombat lives. Still, it does not live in holes but on trees. After four years, the koala remains were discovered, and in July 1803, the Sydney Gazette printed a description of a recently caught live specimen. Surprisingly, koalas were not seen by members of the expedition of James Cook in 1770. Cook's voyages were extensive, but the solitary lifestyle of koalas prevented them from making a discovery.
14. Koalas are not bears, although they are very similar.
Not only does the appearance of a funny animal contributes to the confusion. The first British settlers in Australia called the animal "Koala bear" - "Koala Bear." For former convicts and people from the lower classes of British society at the end of the 18th century, it was difficult to expect ordinary literacy, let alone biological. Yes, and scientists reached an agreement on the belonging of the koala to the class of marsupials only at the beginning of the next century. Of course, in everyday life, the combination “Koala Bear” will be understandable to most people.
13. Koala is a particular species in terms of biological classification.
The closest relatives of the inhabitants of the eucalyptus forests are wombats, but they are both in terms of lifestyle and biologically very distant from the koala.
12. Except for nature reserves and zoos, koalas live only in Australia and only on its east coast and adjacent islands.
The example of the koala clearly shows that the negative experience of settling animal species on the continent does not teach Australians at all. Having burned themselves on ostriches, rabbits, and even cats in the 20th century, they enthusiastically undertook to resettle koalas. Not only restored the deforested population of these marsupials in the state of South Australia. The koalas have been relocated to the Yanchep National Park and several islands off the northeast coast of the country. The geography of the settlement of koalas has expanded to 1,000,000 km2, but one can only hope that the slowness and good nature of koalas will help avoid the following environmental problems. Although on Kangaroo Island, where koalas were forcibly brought, their number reached 30,000, which exceeded the food supply. The proposal to shoot 2/3 of the population was rejected as damaging the country's image.
11. The maximum body length is 85 cm, the maximum weight is 55 kg.
The cost differs depending on the habitat - its color varies from silver in the north to dark brown in the south. This gradation suggests that two different subspecies live in the north and south, but this assumption has not yet been proven.
10. The diet of koalas is unique.
Not only does it consist exclusively of plant foods. Vegetation is slowly and poorly digested, forcing the animal to devote most of the day to feeding. The diet of koalas consists only of eucalyptus leaves, which are poisonous to all other animals. They contain terpene and phenolic compounds, and young shoots are also rich in hydrocyanic acid. It is surprising how koalas absorb such a hellish mixture of tens of kilograms (500 g - 1 kg per day) without harming their health. After genetic research, it turned out that in the genome of these animals, there are particular genes responsible for the breakdown of poisons. The same studies showed that the tongue of koalas has unique taste buds that allow you to instantly assess the moisture content of a eucalyptus leaf - a fundamental property of its absorption. In fact, by lightly licking the leaf, the koala already knows if it is edible. And yet, even with such unique abilities, the koala spends at least 20 hours a day on food and the subsequent digestion of food in a dream.
9. The fact that a koala sleeps a lot and can sit on the same tree for days does not mean that the motor abilities of this animal are limited.
Koalas just have almost nowhere to rush. In nature, Dingoes are their enemies, but for an attack, the marsupial needs to get out into the open, and the dog gets close - a koala can quickly accelerate up to 50 km / h at short distances. During the mating season, males can arrange a bloody duel in which they will demonstrate sharpness and speed of reaction; in this case, it is better not to fall under the arm, or rather, under the long sharp claws. Also, koalas are very clever at jumping from tree to tree and even know how to swim. Their ability to climb trunks and branches and even hang on one paw for a long time has long been the hallmark of these cute animals.
8. Koala parasites are much more dangerous than external enemies.
Many young male koalas die in fights with more experienced individuals or due to falls from trees (and they happen - a large amount of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull is often explained by the need to soften the concussion from a fall from a height). Many koalas suffer from pathogens that cause conjunctivitis, cystitis, sinusitis, and other diseases. Even with a slight long-term decrease in temperature, koalas can get pneumonia caused by a runny nose. Koalas even have their analog of AIDS, the Koala Immunodeficiency Virus.
7. The brain's weight is only 0.2% of the total weight of koalas.
Excavations, and the current size of their skulls, show that the brains of the ancestors of these animals were much larger. However, with the simplification of the diet and the disappearance of enemies, its size became excessive. Now about half of the internal volume of the koala's skull is occupied by cerebrospinal fluid.
6. Koalas breed at about the same pace as they live.
Sexual maturity occurs in the third year of their life, lasting only 12-13 years. At the same time, females mate once every 1 - 2 years, exceptionally rarely bearing two cubs, usually one. Males call them with sharp-smelling secretions of glands and characteristic cries. Pregnancy lasts a little more than a month; the cub is born very small (weighing a little more than 5 grams) and sits in the mother's bag for the first six months. He also does not come off his mother for the next six months but already outside the bag, clinging to the fur. At the age of one year, babies finally become independent. At the same time, females look for their territory, and males can live with their mothers for a couple more years.
5. Male koalas have unique vocal cords that allow them to make loud sounds of different tones.
Like humans, the voice develops with age. Young males, frightened or injured, make cries similar to the cries of human babies. The call of a mature male has a lower timbre and is more informative. Scientists believe that the screams of a koala can frighten competitors and attract females. Moreover, the tone of the cry contains information (often exaggerated) about the size of the individual.
4. Koalas survived their genocide.
At the beginning of the 20th century, they were shot by the millions; the beautiful thick fur was so valued. Hunting was banned in 1927, but the population never recovered. Later, several koala parks and even a particular hospital were organized in Australia. However, due to climate fluctuations, human deforestation, and wildfires, the koala population is constantly declining.
3. Private ownership of koalas is illegal worldwide, although there may be some kind of underground trade - the forbidden fruit is always sweet.
But to see these marsupials, it is not necessary to fly to Australia - there are koalas in many zoos around the world. They live longer in captivity than in the wild with proper nutrition and care and can live up to 20 years. At the same time, despite their low level of intelligence, they show a touching affection for the staff, having fun or being capricious like small children.
2. By the end of the 20th century, the koala surpassed the kangaroo as the animal symbol of Australia.
In 1975, a survey conducted among tourists entering the continent from Europe and Japan showed that 75% of the guests would first like to see koalas. The income from visits to parks and reserves with koalas was then estimated at $ 1 billion. The image of the koala is widely used in the advertising industry, show business, and logos around the world. Koalas are characters in many films, television shows, cartoons, and computer games.
1. Australia has an exceptional Wildlife Rescue Service.
From time to time, its employees have to rescue animals in dangerous or incidental situations. On July 19, 2018, the service crew went to the electrical substation "Happy Valley" of SA Power Networks in South Australia. The koala was stuck in an aluminum fence that he could have crawled under. Rescuers quickly released the animal, which behaved remarkably calmly. This calmness was explained simply - the unlucky marsupial had already dealt with people. On his paw was a tag saying that the koala had already been rescued once after being hit by a car.
Which animal is lazier, a koala or a panda?
The sloth shares the first place among the laziest creatures with the koala. The time of wakefulness of this marsupial animal does not exceed two hours a day, while their sleep can last from eighteen to twenty-two hours. During it, a koala can pick eucalyptus leaves from trees and eat while half asleep.
Panda belongs to the bear family. But its main difference is that it does not fall into hibernation, but it can sleep up to fifteen hours a day. This huge animal, the rest of the time, is engaged in the extraction and eating of food. Since all representatives are in enclosures due to the threat of extinction of the species, they do not have to get food on their own, so the wakefulness time has decreased significantly.
So, of course, a koala is much lazier than a panda.
25 miraculous natural phenomena that once you see - you will never forget
The fact that nature is the best artist has long been known to everyone. But in addition to stunningly beautiful and unusual plants and animals, she also created a lot of natural phenomena, the sight of which is simply breathtaking. Moreover, some of them can be observed only in a certain place or, for example, once a year.
The Eye of the Sahara, the Forest of Knives and other wonders of mother nature.
And since most of us, with all our desire, cannot visit all corners of the planet and see everything with our own eyes, we at 1Gai.ru have prepared a selection of the most amazing natural phenomena on Earth. We emphasize once again: a person has nothing to do with all these miracles (that is, they did not arise as a result of human activity), therefore they are called natural.
1. Light poles, Canada
This incredible phenomenon occurs when ice crystals are suspended in the air due to extreme cold. They then react with every light source around and create this stunning look.
2. Lenticular clouds
Lenticular clouds are amazing everywhere, but especially when they hang over the Mayon volcano crater in the Philippines!
It is said that lenticular (lenticular) clouds are mistaken for UFOs because many of them are in the shape of a "flying saucer". They don't usually form over low or flat terrain, so many people may have never seen them before and don't know they might exist.
3. Striped icebergs, Antarctica
When you think of Antarctica, white icebergs usually come to mind; probably the last thing you'd expect are colorful icebergs with blue, green, yellow and even brown stripes - and yet, that's exactly what you can see in some parts of Antarctica.
Different colors can form under different conditions, but generally speaking, they appear because certain layers of ice form under specific conditions.
For example, blue streaks are most common and appear when cracks fill with water and freeze so quickly that no bubbles form. Conditions change and part of the ice is deposited "normally" while other times it is deposited without bubbles, creating alternation.
The green appears because the freezing water is extremely rich in algae, hence the color. The brown, yellow and even black streaks are caused by sediment collected along the way as the ice sheet slid down the slope.
However, regardless of color, ice is deposited in different ways. Sometimes there is one color and one stripe, sometimes there are several color stripes.
4. Moonlight rainbow, Hawaii
Commonly known as lunar rainbows, they differ from regular rainbows in that they are created by the rays of the moon rather than the sun.
Aside from the difference in light source, their formation is the same as that of solar rainbows: they are caused by the refraction of light in many drops of water, such as a rainstorm or a waterfall, and are always located in the opposite part of the sky from the Moon relative to the observer.
Lunar rainbows are much fainter than solar rainbows due to less light reflected from the Moon's surface. Since the light is usually too weak to excite the cone color receptors in human eyes, it is difficult for the human eye to distinguish colors in the lunar rainbow. As a result, the lunar rainbow often appears white. However, its colors appear in long exposure photographs.
5. Rainbow Eucalyptus
When you look at them, it seems that they are painted with an artist's brush. Probably the only reason these trees exist is to be living works of art!
The rainbow eucalyptus is an evergreen tree with lance-shaped, silver-green leaves and clusters of tiny white flowers. Usually reaches a height of 60-75 m and has a trunk up to 2.4 m in diameter. The most stunning feature is the trunk, which grows iridescent bark in shades of green, blue, orange, red and purple. As it grows, the bark flakes off in strips, revealing new colors and patterns, and its beauty is constantly changing.
6. Bismuth crystals
Bismuth has a low melting point - 271°C. When it hardens, it expands to form crystals. Artificially grown bismuth crystals form the structure of a spiral staircase. This shape is due to the faster growth rate at the edges compared to the interior. Bismuth metal is a white-silver metal with a reddish-pinkish tint.
However, when oxidized, bismuth crystals acquire a bewitching iridescent color. The colors of the rainbow are due to the different thicknesses of the oxide layer formed on the surface of the crystal, causing light waves of different wavelengths to interfere with each other.
7. Lunar halo
The moon's halo, or lunar halo, is an optical illusion that causes the moon to be surrounded by a large, bright ring. This striking and often beautiful halo around the Moon is caused by the refraction of moonlight by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.
Essentially, these suspended or falling pieces of ice mean that the atmosphere turns into a giant lens, causing arcs and halos to appear around the moon or sun, depending on whether the effect occurs at night or during the day, respectively.
The effect is so striking that it has given rise to much folklore and superstition, and has been used, not entirely unsuccessfully, to predict the onset of bad weather.
It looks like a huge eye, doesn't it?
8. Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
Most of these caves are found in Australia and New Zealand, although there is also a similar cave in Alabama. The most famous are the Waitomo Caves in New Zealand, formed over 30 million years ago.
9. Northern Lights
While the northern lights may seem like pure magic, they actually appear when electrically charged particles from the sun react with atoms in the upper atmosphere. Expect to see it on a frosty night!
And now a little more about the nature of the occurrence of this phenomenon. At any moment, the sun is ejecting charged particles from its corona or upper atmosphere, creating what is called the solar wind. When this wind collides with the Earth's ionosphere or the upper atmosphere, the aurora is born. In the Northern Hemisphere, this phenomenon is called the Northern Lights, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the Southern Lights.
These particles are deflected towards the Earth's poles by our planet's magnetic field and interact with our atmosphere, releasing energy and causing the atmosphere to fluoresce.
The bright colors of the northern lights are due to the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere.
10. Sky Mirror, Bolivia
This is the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world. The views there are quite surreal! The Salar de Uyuni is often referred to as the "Mirror of the Sky". It is so vast and bright white that American astronaut Neil Armstrong is said to have mistaken it for a huge glacier visible from space.
Total area 10,582 sq. km makes it the largest salt marsh in the world. In certain seasons, a thin layer of water turns the plains into a dazzling reflection of the sky. In addition, it also contains 50-70% of the world's known lithium reserves.
If you ever want to visit there, be prepared for altitude sickness as the Sky Mirror is over 3,600 meters above sea level. And if you plan to stay for a while, you need a lot of warm clothes and a sleeping bag, because at night the temperature drops sharply.
11. Dirty Thunderstorms of Sakurajima, Japan
A dirty thunderstorm is a rare and fearsome phenomenon caused by powerful volcanic eruptions. Lightning bolts shoot out from an erupting volcano in a dirty thunderstorm, making this one of the most terrifying yet breathtaking sights. More than 200 cases of volcanic lightning have been recorded over the past two centuries, but scientists still do not fully understand the dynamics of this unique phenomenon.
In recent years, volcanic activity has been reported over many volcanoes around the world, such as Mount Augustine in Alaska, Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland, and Taal in the Philippines. However, in the ash plume of Japan's Sakurajima volcano - one of the most active volcanoes in the world - volcanic lightning occurs more often than on any other volcano.
12. Desert roses
Despite its name, the desert rose is not a rose, but a rose-like gypsum mineral formation. They can be observed in arid sandy areas that are periodically flooded. They combine sand, salt and gypsum crystals.
These crystals form when water evaporates, and they are often prism-shaped that grow up to one meter. Crystals are affected by erosion, salt, sand, and other elements in the desert, giving them their petal shape. Larger crystals tend to contain more salt.
Desert roses often appear in clusters, making them look like a bouquet of flowers.
13. Fiery rainbow round-horizontal shape
When sunlight or moonlight is refracted by air ice crystals, icy halos are formed that mimic fiery rainbows.
14. Frozen ice bubbles, Canada
Methane bubbles form in bodies of water when dead organic matter (plants and animals) enters the water and sinks to the bottom, and bacteria living there feed on them. When they dissolve, methane gas is released, which rises to the surface in the form of bubbles, but turns into floating white bubbles when it comes into contact with frozen water and ice crystals.
The methane bubbles completely burst in the summer when they reach the surface, and the methane is released into the atmosphere, but in the winter, when the lake freezes, the ice traps the bubbles as they approach the surface.
Methane is produced in thousands of lakes across the Arctic, and as impressive as it sounds, it is fraught with future environmental problems as global temperatures rise and permafrost melts, allowing the material to thaw even further. This increases the release of methane into the Earth's atmosphere, which is of concern to climate scientists.
The fact is that methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and it is about 25 times more efficient at capturing heat than carbon dioxide. Therefore, increasing its content will lead to higher levels of global warming.
15. Lake Hillier, Australia
We know from geography lessons that bodies of water are marked in blue on the map. But nature loves to be weird, as is the case with Lake Hillier in Western Australia.
With only 600 meters in length, it will not impress you either with its size or with the variety of fish that inhabit it. But it will amaze with its pink color. The reason for its unique color is still a topic that is not fully understood by scientists, although most suspect that this is due to the presence of Dunaliella salina microalgae.
The pink color of the lake is less pronounced when viewed from the surface, but very noticeable from above. However, unlike other pink lakes around the world, its water is still bright pink even when in a glass!
16. Marble Caves, Chile
These incredible caves took about 6,000 years to form and it was the waves that gave them these breathtaking shapes.
They are entirely of marble and are believed to have been "built" by the waters of the lake. One of the most amazing features of the marble caves is their ability to change color with the seasons. These color changes also depend on how high or low the water is because the colors of the marble are reflected off the water.
Visitors who visit in the spring will notice softer or darker blues compared to when the glaciers melt, with colors ranging from cobalt blue to white and pink. Chilean travel experts advise that the best time to visit the marble caves is from November to February, because the melting ice gives the pristine water an enchanting turquoise color.
17. Relief Danxia, China
Minerals are magical, as are their colors. Just look at this place!
These mountains are formed by red sandstones and conglomerates, mainly from the Cretaceous period. In simple words, a layer of several multi-colored sandstones and minerals remained compressed for more than 24 million years and turned into these mountains.
Due to its uniqueness, the Danxia Relief has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010.
18. Sand Waves, Arizona
The "waves" are intersecting patches of sandstone turned into rocks that used to be dunes in Arizona. Their age exceeds 190 million years. The dunes grow vertically and horizontally; over time, moderate erosion caused by wind and rain gives them an undulating appearance.
Many describe dune walking as a very strange experience, surreal and dizzying, or, in some cases, described as a drug-induced walking dream. Even though the stones have hardened, they are still susceptible to damage. Only 20 visitors a day can walk through the gorge; permits are required for this. They are issued through online lotteries and personal lotteries.
19. Great Blue Hole, Belize
This giant sinkhole off the coast of Belize formed during the last ice age when sea levels were much lower. The hole is circular, 318 m across and 124 m deep.
Its area is 70,650 square meters. In 2012, the Discovery Channel ranked the Great Blue Hole number one on their list of "The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth". Not surprisingly, the hole attracts scuba divers from all over the world.
20. Blue Volcano, Indonesia
Although it seems completely otherworldly, the Kawah Ijen volcano is absolutely real! It acquires this color due to the large amount of sulfur dioxide - it shimmers blue when in contact with air at temperatures above 360 ° C.
In fact, this blue glow, uncharacteristic of a volcano, is not the lava itself.
Lava — molten rock that comes out of the ground at ultra-high temperatures — is not much different in color from the lava of other volcanoes, which differ slightly in their mineral composition, but are bright red or orange in their molten state. But in Kawah-Ijen, together with lava at high pressures and temperatures (sometimes exceeding 600 ° C), an extremely large amount of sulfur dioxide is released.
Under the influence of oxygen present in the air and ignited lava, sulfur burns easily, and its flame turns bright blue. There is so much sulfur there that at times it runs down the rock when it burns, giving the impression that blue lava is flowing down the side of the mountain. But because the blue is only the flame, and not itself, it is a cluster of about 40,000 interconnected basalt columns, formed as a result of the eruption of an ancient volcanic fissure. The tops of the columns form steps that lead from the foot of the cliff and disappear under the water.
21. Road of the Giants, Ireland
Most columns are hexagonal, although some have four, five, seven, or eight sides. The highest of them are about 12 meters high, and the thickness of the solidified lava in the rocks in some places is 28 meters.
It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.
22. Cenote Angelita, underwater river, Mexico
Cenote Angelita (water-filled cave) is located on the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula. When fresh surface water meets open saline groundwater, an underwater river is formed. Different density levels in the two bodies of water cause them to stratify. The result is a breathtaking fusion of the two habitats.
Visiting this cave is not an easy task. The first 20 meters it is filled with clear water, and then it becomes more and more muddy. Diving into the cave takes place up to 55 meters below the surface, so it is considered suitable only for very experienced divers.
23. Vymeobrazny clouds
This magical cloud structure is an amazing sight that can usually be seen after a tornado.
Vymeobraznye clouds (they are also called mammatus, which means "chest cloud" because of the sacs hanging under the base of the cloud) have a specific cellular shape.
Cells are usually about half a kilometer in size, most often sharply defined, but sometimes with blurred edges. Their color is usually gray-blue, like the main cloud, but due to direct sunlight, they may appear golden or reddish.
24. Socotra Dragon Tree, Yemen
They must remember dinosaurs! This evergreen species is so named for its dark red resin, known as "dragon's blood".
The leaves of the dragon tree are found only at the ends of the youngest branches; all leaves are shed every 3 or 4 years before new ones appear at the same time. Its fruits are small, fleshy berries containing 1 to 4 seeds. As they develop, they change color from green to black, and when ripe they turn orange.
25. Waterfall of eternal fire
This is not entirely natural: a small waterfall in upstate New York, near the Canadian border, is fraught with a significant surprise - a fiery stream 0.2 meters high.
Behind the waterfall, there was a natural gas leak that fuels the flames. Although tourists relight it if they notice it has gone out, it is protected enough by the falls to remain constantly lit.
17 facts about foxes: habits, bloodless hunting and other interesting unknown things
Despite the fact that foxes do not live with humans, they do not need special introduction. Thanks to folklore, children already at an early age get acquainted with a small animal, which compensates for weakness with cunning, but does not miss its own, if it is possible to offend a weaker one. Of course, it is worth separating the image of the fox, formed in our imagination under the influence of children's fairy tales and cartoons, from the real lifestyle of the fox.
As one of the most famous researchers, Charles Roberts, wrote, it is always difficult for a person describing the habits of highly organized animals to resist endowing them with some human traits. The notorious fox's cunning in real life appears only when the animal leaves the chase. At this time, the fox very skillfully winds around, confusing tracks, and can disguise itself in an instant, disappearing from sight.
On the hunt, foxes are quite straightforward. They operate according to the scheme “detection of prey - lightning attack - end of the hunt”. On average, foxes range in size from half a meter to a meter in length. The tail, which is approximately two-thirds of the body length, is counted separately. The maximum weight of foxes is 10 - 11 kg, while it is subject to significant seasonal fluctuations. Foxes are by no means exclusively forest dwellers. Rather, even, they can be conditionally attributed to the inhabitants of the forest-steppe and woodlands - it is in these natural zones that fox food lives and grows.
Geographically, foxes are found almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, with the exception of extreme climates. In the Southern Hemisphere, foxes live only in Australia, where humans have successfully introduced them. However, the success of fox breeding in Australia is relative - they were turned on, desperate to cope with rabbits, but foxes, finding themselves on the smallest continent, preferred to hunt smaller fauna. The rabbits, to the desperation of the farmers, successfully continued to breed. Bemorepanda presents you some interesting facts.
1. Despite their small size, foxes are rarely hunted by larger animals. Of course, a wolf, bear, lynx or wolverine will not refuse the opportunity to catch a gaping fox. However, such a chance appears very rarely - foxes are attentive and fast. Purposefully, they practically do not hunt adult foxes. Young animals are in great danger. Even birds of prey hunt on it, not without success.
Taking into account the human factor - and the hunters, if possible, knock out foxes by the thousands - the average life span of a fox does not exceed three years. At the same time, foxes do not die at all because of the exhaustion of the body's resources - in captivity, cases were recorded when foxes lived for 20 - 25 years.
2. Foxes are practically not afraid of humans, so they are well studied and take root in captivity, allowing people to breed new subspecies. People living in rural areas naturally do not like foxes - red-haired beauties often destroy birds and small livestock. However, zoologists argue that the damage from foxes is often exaggerated.
3. English "Fox Hunting" fun did not come about because the villagers lacked entertainment. England is so densely populated that the last wolf was killed at the beginning of the 16th century. The disappearance of wolves has led to an unprecedented breeding of foxes, who have lost their last natural enemy. The consequences for the farmers were clear. Angry peasants began to organize massive fox hunts. They managed to kill some animals, but the noise raised by the crowd of “hunters” was more important.
The first mention of such a hunt dates back to 1534. The technology turned out to be more than successful - by 1600, specially bred dogs were required to hunt foxes. At the same time, economic processes were going on in England, which led to the deprivation of the peasants of free non-agricultural land, and fox hunting became the property of the nobility. It turned into a whole ritual with lush ladies' toilets, old-fashioned hunter's costumes, etc. At the beginning of the 21st century, after a short debate, the British Parliament banned fox hunting with the help of a pack of more than 3 dogs. One vote in the House of Commons was enough to abolish the age-old tradition.
4. There is a hunt for foxes without the death of these animals. This is still the unofficial name for sports radio direction-finding competitions. The role of foxes is performed by constantly working transmitters hidden in rough terrain. Athletes are armed with receivers. Their task is to find all transmitters in the shortest possible time (usually there are 5 of them). Fox hunting competitions were very popular during the Cold War.
The essence of the competition is very close to counterintelligence work to identify and eliminate intelligence channels of communication. Therefore, state structures, primarily the military and counterintelligence, supported the athletes in every possible way. The end of the Cold War and the rapid development of information technology devalued "fox hunting", and now only enthusiasts are engaged in this sport.
5. The caution and quickness of foxes forced hunters to invent several methods of hunting these animals. The fox is lured with a bait. The carcass of an animal or a large piece of meat is left in a well-shot place, and the hunters hide nearby. The fox is lured with decoys, and in recent years, two-module electronic decoys have gained popularity.
In them, the control path is in the hands of the hunter, and the luring sounds are emitted by an external loudspeaker. This design allows you to take the fox to a place convenient for shooting. Large companies of hunters practice hunting with a salary, with flags. Hunting dogs are used, both hounds and greyhounds, chasing foxes in the field (greyhounds also strangle fugitives themselves) and burrowing dogs, driving the fox out of the hole.
6. Despite the fact that fox hunting is popular wherever these animals are found, even the most successful hungry hunter will not be able to feast on fox meat in Russia. The fox is a very active predator, so there is practically no fat in the fox meat. This makes it extremely tough, fox meat is much tougher than the meat of other predators.
The refreshed carcass emits a very unpleasant odor, which is weakened, but does not completely disappear even after 12 hours of soaking in vinegar and salt. Finally, the rodents that make up the fox's diet are packed with parasites. Foxes have developed a very powerful immunity that humans do not have. Therefore, the meat must be subjected to long heat treatment. When boiling, the unpleasant odor reappears, so the only way to cook fox is stewing with a lot of seasonings and spices. The Scandinavians, striking everyone with their surstroemming - pickled herring - distinguished themselves here too. In Sweden and Denmark, foxes are raised for meat on special farms and even some of the products are exported. At retail, fox meat costs about 15 euros per kilogram.
7. Around the middle of the 20th century, foxes began to be bred and domesticated as pets. On a scientific basis, Dmitry Belyaev's group in Novosibirsk worked on this. A careful selection of the most intelligent and affectionate individuals gave results only after many years. D. Belyaev became an academician, a nice monument was erected to him and one of his pupils in the Novosibirsk town - the scientist and the fox sit on a bench, stretching out their hands to each other. But even many years of efforts did not lead to the development of a new breed. Scientists who continue to work on improving the behavioral qualities of foxes refer to their pets as “population” only. That is, it is just a large group of individuals living in a limited area.
8. Unscrupulous “breeders” of foxes have long managed to instill in cheating buyers the idea that a fox is the same dog, only a cat. In a sense, the animal is very loyal to the owner and, at the same time, cleanly and independently. And if the animal does not behave the way the owner wants, then this is the owner's problem. Only with the development of mass communications did the hapless fox breeders manage to share with the world the delights of keeping a fox as a pet. The character of the fox does not depend on the place of purchase, whether it is a special nursery, a reseller, or even the side of the road on which a potential pet was hit by a car.
Regardless of whether you got a rather extravagant pet for free, or you paid 10 or 80 thousand rubles for it, it will have extremely unpleasant behavioral features. He will shit anywhere; gnaw and dig wherever possible; make noise at night and stink around the clock. It is the smell that is the most serious negative property of the fox. It can be somehow accustomed to the tray (the contents of which will have to be changed at least twice a day), but the fox will never get rid of the habit of secreting the secret of the paranoid glands, which is unpleasant and painful in the eyes, with any strong emotion from love to fear. Therefore, keeping a fox pet is best in a spacious enclosure in a private house, but not in an apartment. But in any case, you need to take care of rubber gloves and strong detergents in commercial quantities.
9. Foxes adapt to almost any environment. There is little animal food - foxes easily switch to vegetable food, without suffering from this at all. It gets colder - we grow, to the delight of hunters, a thick undercoat. It gets warmer - the undercoat falls out, and the fox looks like a sick puppy. Even the color of foxes' fur depends solely on the environmental conditions.
If there are many predators in the habitat, foxes dig deep holes with branched passages and a dozen, or even more, exits. Such holes in area can reach 70 square meters. m. There are relatively few predators - and the hole will be short and shallow, and two or three emergency exits will be enough. In cold regions, the main entrance of the burrow faces south, in warm and hot regions - to the north, and in deserts and steppes - to where the winds blow less often.
10. "Fox hole" for some reason is called a type of residential buildings, similar to a hole, except for the location of the entrance on the slope. Modern "fox holes", projects of which are proposed by many construction companies, may not go deep into the ground at all - they are just structures, the walls of which are heaped with earth. Human "fox holes" have both advantages and disadvantages, but they have nothing to do with foxes, except for the name.
11. The tightening of hunting rules and environmental legislation everywhere leads to the fact that foxes are gradually approaching human habitation. It is much easier to find food near people than in the wild, than foxes enjoy and enjoy. On the territory of the countries of the former USSR, by and large, only residents of villages and small settlements located near forests suffer from them. It is impossible to fight thieves who destroy small animals. The law expressly prohibits shooting within populated areas only at rabid animals. To do this, you need to confirm the disease, which cannot be done without killing the fox - a vicious circle.
In Europe, foxes are firmly established in the largest cities. According to estimates of epidemiologists, about 10,000 foxes live in London. 86% of the townspeople have a positive attitude to the red-haired robbers who fight with dogs and cats, gut garbage bags, and shit wherever they have to. Humans, it turns out, feel guilty about animals that have been bullied for hundreds of years. In Birmingham, foxes became such a disaster that a special team had to be created to capture them.
The team did a great job, catching a hundred animals. They were taken to the nearest forest and released - it is inhumane to kill. The foxes returned back to the city (and it's good if they didn't bring friends and girlfriends with them) and continued their dirty deeds. The careless attitude of the townspeople towards foxes is surprising - foxes endure the most terrible infections, including rabies.
12. The sea fox is a stingray of a sizeable size (up to 1.2 meters in length). It lives off the coast of Europe, including the Black and Azov Seas, and along the entire Atlantic coast of Africa. Fox sharks can also be found in the water column. These are three species of predators, ranging in size from 3 to 6 meters. In theory, fox sharks are considered shy and not dangerous to humans. Flying foxes also belong to foxes solely by name. These are the largest fruit bats in the world, until recently they were combined with bats. The body of a flying fox reaches a length of 40 cm, and a wingspan of one and a half meters.
13. The English word “fox” - “fox” has nothing to do with the familiar phrase “Fox is the 20th century film company”. “Fox” in this case is the surname of an enterprising Hungarian whose name was either Wilhelm Fuchs, or even Vilmos Fried. Having arrived in the USA, the Hungarian changed his name for the sake of euphony and founded a film company. In 1930, the company was taken away from him during a hostile takeover. Fox - Fuchs - Freed fought but lost. From him the film company remained, as the song says, only the name.
14. "Desert Fox" - German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who in 1940-1943 successfully commanded German troops in North Africa. However, Rommel did not use any special cunning in the command. Like all successful German military leaders of World War II, he knew how to concentrate forces on a narrow sector of the front and break through enemy defenses. When there was nothing to concentrate, "Desert Fox" abandoned troops in Africa and went to Hitler to ask for reinforcements.
15. “Fox's tail and a wolf's mouth” - this is how some jokingly and some shaking with fear called the policy of General Mikhail Loris-Melikov in Russia at the end of the 19th century. Under Emperor Alexander II, Loris-Melikov, who became famous in the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878, was simultaneously the Minister of Internal Affairs and the head of the gendarme corps. The authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at that time included practically all domestic politics, from the basic sectors of the economy to the care of the weak and orphans.
In this post, Loris-Melikov had a "fox's tail" - he advocated the weakening of laws, the growth of public initiative, etc. Having moved to the office of the chief of the gendarmes, the general used the "wolf's mouth", not letting the revolutionaries go (in his understanding) ... The fox tail involuntarily outplayed the wolf's mouth - on March 1, 1881, Emperor Alexander II was killed, and one of the captured terrorists said that their leader had been arrested before the assassination attempt, but Loris-Melikov's charges did not receive any evidence from him about the impending assassination attempt.
16. Foxes are firmly included in the mythology of dozens of peoples, and their influence on a person can be exactly the opposite, regardless of the place of residence of the peoples. Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese compete in the degree of fear experienced by foxes. The transformation of an animal into a seductive woman with the subsequent torture of the victim through pleasures is not yet the most terrible outcome that lies in wait for a Far Eastern man. Kitsune (in Japanese "fox") spread the life of those to whom they came in the form of a beauty, to smithereens - they ruin merchants or drive rulers into disgrace. It is difficult to imagine what they did in medieval Japan with the men to whom Kitsune appeared in the form of a handsome young guy.
At the same time, in India, the North American Indians and a number of European peoples, the fox symbolizes prosperity, good luck or wealth. Christians already at an early stage identified the fox as Satan's accomplices - beautiful, wagging its tail, and even wool the color of hellfire. Nevertheless, some peoples, including the Slavic, have retained a negative but complacent attitude towards the fox. “We know, the fox, about your miracles”, “And the fox is cunning, and they sell its skin”, “The fox takes care of, the cat curls up to it” - these proverbs clearly indicate that people have long imagined the nature of the red predator.
17. Employee of the Voronezh Zoo Tatiana Sapelnikova told a very interesting case. Zoo workers had to determine the concentration of small animals such as mice in one of the forest areas. During a routine procedure, zoo workers set traps for mice. However, the work of scientists was greatly hampered by the foxes living in the district. For several years, zoologists set up identical traps, and the number of mice caught in them determined the size of the population.
However, over time, the tracks showed that someone was reducing the number of mice trapped in the trap by carefully removing them and eating them nearby. Zoologists realized that the fox is no longer guided by mice, but by the smell of people setting traps. After a short game of "catch me" they managed to lure the fox - the zoologists originally nicknamed him Ginger - into a kind of aviary. The fox was absolutely not worried about bondage. When the scientists managed to carry out the necessary experiment with mice, Ryzhik was released. He did not run far, and even two chanterelles appeared nearby. They themselves did not figure out how to find the mice and take them out of the traps, but they unmistakably appreciated the extraordinary abilities of the future groom.
Top 50 interesting facts about hippopotamus
Mighty hippos, they are hippos, only seem to be such clumsy bumpkins. These massive animals have a quick temper and are very dangerous, especially if someone has the imprudence to disturb them. On the other hand, hippos do not harm anyone - they only protect themselves and their territory, which is steadily shrinking due to the expansion of human civilization.
The common hippopotamus is an artiodactyl animal that belongs to the hippopotamus family. Hippopotamuses prefer to live near freshwater reservoirs, where they spend most of their time, only occasionally leaving the water to feed. Hippos are also often called hippos, which means "river horse" in Greek. The name is very accurate, given the craving of hippos for water and the impressive dimensions of these animals.
Hippopotamuses are one of the largest land animals. The mass of an adult male often exceeds three tons; some sources claim that there were also four-ton giants. Until about ten, the group of males and females does not differ much, but males begin to gain weight much faster in adulthood. In the wild, the life expectancy of a hippopotamus rarely exceeds 40 years, and in captivity, animals can live up to 60 years with proper care.
Interesting facts about Hippos
1. In the African country of Sudan, hippos are considered evil creatures, so the locals fear them and bypass them.
2. There are pygmy hippos worldwide, which are 12-15 times inferior to their full-sized counterparts.
3. True, they still weigh about two hundred kilograms.
4. Hippos have stronger teeth than any other living creature on Earth.
5. Once upon a time, pygmy hippos were found on the Mediterranean islands, particularly in Cyprus, but they died out there long ago (see 33 interesting facts about Cyprus).
6. Hippo meat is entirely edible. Moreover, paleontologists have established that the ancestors of modern humans hunted them for meat several million years ago.
7. Although hippopotamuses spend most of their lives in the water, they only eat vegetation that grows on land but does not eat aquatic plants.
8. An enraged hippopotamus can develop tremendous speed, so even a professional athlete will not be able to escape from it.
9. The only living creature in the world that poses a threat to an adult hippo is a person.
10. The skin of hippopotamuses is unique in that it secretes a particular enzyme that helps to disinfect wounds. An excellent natural mechanism, considering that hippos often fight and inflict more or less severe injuries on each other.
11. A newborn baby hippo weighs an average of about 50 kg.
12. Hippos often ravage the fields in the countryside. In ancient Egypt, they, and not locusts, were considered the scourge of the areas.
13. In the stomach of an adult hippopotamus, up to 200 kg of digestible food can be simultaneously located.
14. The female hippo cannot become pregnant for 15-18 months after the cub's birth.
15. Some tribes in Africa make dentures from hippopotamus teeth.
16. Although hippos are fiercely protective of their offspring, they can quickly kill other people's cubs.
17. The skin of an adult hippopotamus weighs up to 500 kg, up to one-eighth of the mass of its entire body.
18. Hippos can sweat, and their sweat is reddish-pink.
19. The pupils of these animals are unique in that they are T-shaped.
20. In Africa, hippos kill more people than crocodiles.
21. even though hippos constantly eat when possible, if necessary, they can go without food for 15-20 days.
22. Hunting for hippos is officially banned in all countries, but some African tribes, leading a lifestyle close to the primitive, continue to hunt them.
23. The skin of these animals reaches 3.5-4 cm in thickness.
24. In well-fed hippos, the stomach sags so much that it can touch the ground when walking.
25. Their life expectancy can reach approximately 50 years.
26. Hippos, on occasion, do not mind eating a gaping antelope or even a crocodile.
27. Their skin is more challenging than that of any other animal. It is even more challenging than elephants.
28. An adult hippopotamus eats 50-60 kg of food per day.
29. Hippos can develop a running speed of up to 30 kilometers per hour. Accurate, from such efforts, they quickly fizzle out.
30. Older individuals often starve to death after their teeth have been completely worn down and they can no longer grind plant foods.
31. Hippos grow throughout their lives.
32. Hippos usually wait out the heat of the day in the water and go out to graze on land at night.
33. Often, during the night, they walk more than 10 kilometers in search of food.
34. Usually, females of these animals give birth to cubs on land, but sometimes they do it in the water. Why is it unknown?
35. If an adult hippopotamus opens its mouth, the distance from its upper to lower jaw can reach one and a half meters.
36. Hippos have relatively poor eyesight but excellent hearing. And in the water, they hear no worse than on land.
37. Hippos live only in freshwater.
38. If necessary, hippos can hold their breath for up to five minutes while diving underwater.
39. Even adults and large crocodiles avoid attacking hippos.
40. An adult hippopotamus can weigh over 4 tons.
41. From the point of view of zoology, the closest relatives of these animals are whales.
42. Some African tribes treat the skin of hippopotamuses in such a way that it is used for polishing diamonds. But this is a long process that takes up to five or six years.
43. Currently, you can meet a wild hippopotamus only in Africa, and in recent decades their numbers have been declining. Biologists estimate that the total number of animals does not exceed 150,000, a quarter of them live in Zambia. But on the territory of South Africa, wild hippos completely disappeared several decades ago; they can only be found in the national park.
44. The main enemy of hippos is the man. Among the animals, few dare to attack this giant. Sometimes lions and crocodiles decide on this. But, even these ferocious predators do not always manage to defeat the hippopotamus, which in appearance seems lazy and clumsy. Crocodiles attack hippos in the water and lions on land.
45. A hippo's mouth can open almost 180 degrees, and its scope in adult animals reaches one and a half meters. The strength of the jaws of a hippopotamus is such that it can bite the spine of an adult crocodile.
46. With such a vast mass, the animal needs up to 50 kg—of feed per day. The main diet of the hippopotamus consists of grass. But, hippos can also eat the meat of other animals.
47. In zoos, hippos began to appear in the middle of the 19th century. The first animal was delivered to the London Zoo on May 25, 1850. The townspeople's delight knew no bounds, up to ten thousand people a day came to see such a miracle. Now hippos successfully breed in captivity, but keeping these animals is not cheap.
48. Since ancient times, people have hunted hippos for meat, skins, and bones. The heart, especially a young animal, is tasty and tastes like veal.
49. a healthy skin, up to four centimeters thick, was often used by warriors for sheathing shields, and the bone is used to make souvenirs. Given the sharp decline in the number of animals, the trade-in hippopotamus bones are limited by hard quotas.
50. When a hippopotamus goes to land, his body quickly dehydrates; therefore, in search of food, they prefer to go out at night when the heat subsides. In search of food, the hippopotamus can overcome up to ten kilometers, and with the onset of heat, they again plunge into the reservoir. Despite their impressive mass, hippos can reach speeds of up to thirty kilometers per hour over short distances.
51. For people, hippos are very dangerous. They often settle near sown fields, and in a short time, they can destroy a significant part of the crops since these animals have an excellent appetite. At this time, hippos are aggressive and can attack people passing by. In the water, animals sometimes attack passing boats. Most often, females do this, fearing for their cubs. In South Luangwa Park, located in Zambia, more than 100 people become victims of hippopotamus attacks yearly.
52. Most hippos prefer not to leave their native waters. Therefore, they suffer significantly during a drought, when the water level drops rapidly. But among these animals, there are lovers of travel. For example, in three years, a female named Hubert, from 1928 to 1931, decided on a desperate step - she covered 1,600 kilometers in southern Africa. She was shot dead by the hunters, who were then sentenced to a $25 fine.
50 Interesting facts about predatory animals
Predatory animals living in steppes and deserts - as a rule, hunt their prey by stalking. They are supple, graceful, have long legs, and sharp eyesight. Predatory forest animals have a well-developed sense of smell and hearing. Mammals of prey have slender bodies, and birds of prey - have short wings and long tails, all for quick maneuvering among the trunks and branches of trees.
Facts about predatory animals
In nature, predatory animals and their prey are mutually dependent. The former has a specific hunting territory that provides them with the necessary food. The larger the predatory animal, the larger the environment it hunts. For example, the habitat of the Ussuri tiger is up to 100 km in diameter. If the animals that serve as prey migrate, the predatory animals follow them: the tiger after wild boars, eagles, hawks - after migrating ducks and coots. Man uses these interdependencies for his purpose. After the gatherings of seabirds - seagulls, fulmars, moose - fishermen discover schools of fish offshore.
1. Predators are carnivorous mammals.
2. Predators are among the most dangerous animals on Earth. They come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from 30-gram weasels to 500-pound bears, and their diet includes anything that moves, from birds, fish, reptiles, to other mammals.
3. There are about 280 species of predatory mammals worldwide. A slightly larger number, about 300 species, have already become extinct.
4. Many predators feed not only on animals but also on plant foods.
5. Raccoons are predators but eat more plant food than animal food.
6. Without exception, all types of snakes are predators.
7. Predators are divided into two main groups: canids and felines.
8. Canis include dogs, bears, wolves, raccoons, skunks, walruses, seals, etc. Felines have lions, tigers, domestic cats, hyenas, mongooses, etc. Formerly, marine mammals were classified under the suborder pinnipeds and classified as canids.
9. Dog-like and cat-like are divided into 15 families. Canids include canids (wolves, dogs, and foxes); mustelids (weasels, ferrets, badgers, and otters); bears (bears and pandas); skunk (skunsoa); raccoons (raccoons); eared seals; authentic seals; panda (small pandas); walrus.
10. Cats include felines (lions, tigers, and cats); hyenas (hyenas); mongoose (mongooses, meerkats); civet; Londinium; Madagascar viverrids.
11. The family of hyenas is the smallest. It includes only four species.
12. And the viverrids are the champions, of which there are 76 different species.
13. All land predators are descended from a common ancestor. Paleontologists talk about it. All carnivores, from cats and dogs to bears and hyenas, were dropped from miacids living in Western Europe about 55 million years ago, 10 million years after the dinosaurs died.
14. These small animal miacids look like modern martens. It is they who are considered the common ancestors of all mammalian predators now living on the planet.
15. The largest predator that ever walked the Earth was a Tyrannosaurus Rex. According to some estimates, this monstrous dinosaur reached a body length of 10-12 meters and a mass of 7-8 tons.
16. The fastest land predator in the world is the cheetah, which lives in Africa. In 3 seconds, these big cats can develop a record speed of 110 km / h, but they cannot run at such a speed for a long time. After a rapid jerk lasting some tens of seconds, they need to rest.
17. In some species of extinct saber-toothed cats, fangs reached 20 centimeters in length. And the longest Tyrannosaurus tooth ever found is 30 centimeters long.
18. In South America, there were once fororakos, giant predatory flightless birds weighing 200-300 kilograms and up to 2.5 meters high. They were all exterminated by primitive hunters armed with clubs and spears.
19. The life of insidious predators of the family of canine wolves takes place in constant movement and active pursuit of victims. In search of prey, their flock overcomes 25–80 kilometers per day. In hunting, these mammals are helped by an excellent sense of smell, hearing, and 42 strong teeth. The most deadly of them are 5 cm curved fangs that can crush the tibia of an elk. During the attack, predators are silent and swift - attacking animals reach speeds of up to 64 km / h.
20. Predators can only move their jaws up and down. This feature is associated with the characteristic shape of the skull of predators: the lower jaw is rooted in the upper, and the muscles are attached so that they do not allow movement from side to side. Due to the particular structure of the skull of carnivores, their brains are more significant compared to other mammals, so cats, dogs, and bears are usually much more intelligent than goats, horses, and hippos.
21. The most significant land predator is the combed crocodile. These reptiles grow to a length of 7 meters and have a mass of up to 2 tons, surpassing even polar bears in size.
22. It may seem strange, but not all predators eat meat exclusively. But they can also eat other foods. Cats of the feline family are "super predators." All energy and calories they get from fresh meat.
23. Red pandas and raccoons eat small amounts of meat (in the form of beetles and lizards) but spend most of their time looking for tasty vegetation.
24. There is even one exclusively vegetarian "meat-eater" - musang from the civet family.
25. The most predatory animal in the world is the wolverine. A muscular squat body 40-45 centimeters high and weighing 10-30 kilograms, thick short legs with wide feet, dense brown fur, and a round head characterize the wolverine, which looks like a vast badger. This inhabitant of northern Eurasia and North America forests belongs to the marten family. Ferocity, strength, lack of fear, and excessive appetite make the beast the most predatory animal, capable of defeating even an elk or a bear.
26. The largest predatory mollusks are giant squids, which live mainly at considerable depths. Confirmed size records are 18 meters long, including tentacles, but there are unconfirmed reports of 25-meter individuals.
27. Carnivores display a wide range of social behaviors, and nowhere are there more pronounced differences than between the two most famous carnivore families: cats and dogs.
28. Dogs and wolves are very social animals, usually hunting and living in packs. At the same time, most large cats tend to be solitary, forming small family groups only when necessary (for example, prides of lions).
29. In dogs, submission to the leader (alpha) is in the blood, which is why they are so well trained. With cats, everything is different - they are independent and very difficult to subdue.
30. Predatory creatures of some species feed only on live prey, and they will not eat dead prey, even if they die of hunger. A striking example of this is most snakes, or praying mantises, predatory insects.
31. Sperm whales are the largest predatory animals on our planet, they often reach a mass of 50 tons with a length of 20 meters. They feed mainly on mollusks, and their herds sometimes number hundreds or even thousands of individuals.
32. Predators have quite varied communication. Compared to herbivorous mammals, carnivores are among the loudest animals on the planet.
33. The barking of dogs, the howling of wolves, the roar of big cats, the growling of bears, and the fearsome hooting of hyenas are various means of establishing dominance, initiating courtship, or warning others of danger.
34. Predators can also communicate non-verbally: through smell (urine and feces) or through body language (there are various positions that show the intentions of animals in a variety of situations).
35. On the Indonesian islands of Gili Motang, Komodo, Flores and Rinca, the largest lizard on the planet, the Komodo (Komodos) monitor lizard, lives. Its gigantic strong body reaches 3 meters in length and weighs 35-70 kilograms. A reptile with the same appetite devours insects, fish, and mammals - rodents, deer and wild pigs. The apparent sluggishness of the monitor lizard is deceptive - the attacking animal develops a speed of up to 20 km / h and unbalances the prey with a blow of a powerful tail. The hunter's strategy is to knock the trophy to the ground and tear it apart with conical teeth with jagged edges. Thanks to the expanding stomach, the voracious reptile eats up to 60 kilograms of meat at one time.
36. Of all the raptors, the fastest is the peregrine falcon, which belongs to the falcons. In horizontal flight, it is inferior to swifts in speed, but in a dive, peregrine falcons reach speeds of over 300 km / h, which makes them generally the fastest living creatures on Earth.
37. The most unpredictable and aggressive representative of the big cat subfamily is the leopard. With a height at the withers of 45–78 centimeters and a weight of up to 75 kilograms, this hunter with red spotted hair and a long tail is inferior in size to its relatives - the tiger and the lion. However, strong jaws and a bite force of 100–125 atmospheres put the leopard on a par with the most predatory animals on the planet.
38. Today, the largest carnivore in the world is the southern elephant seal, whose males can reach a weight of more than 5 tons.
39. As a rule, plants are much more difficult to eat and digest than fresh meat - this is why the intestines of herbivores are longer, and ruminants have multi-chamber stomachs (for example, a 4-chamber stomach of cows).
40. And predators have a relatively simple digestive system, with a shorter and more compact intestine and a large stomach that allows you to eat a lot of food at a time.
41. White shark is the largest predatory fish on Earth. It may well grow up to 6 meters and gain weight up to 2 tons. However, on average, only 1-2 people become victims of white sharks every year.
42. And the largest predatory freshwater fish is considered to be a large tiger. These fish are found in the rivers of Central Africa and reach a mass of 50 kilograms.
43. Among the inhabitants of the water element, the most bloodthirsty predator is the bull shark. This name was given to a dangerous fish for a reason: swimming in fresh water, it approaches the shore and hunts bulls that have come to drink. For its large head and flattened snout, this shark is also called blunt-nosed. An unpleasant date with a sharp-toothed killer can occur in all the world's oceans (with the exception of the Arctic). In the United States of America, cases of bull sharks have been recorded in Lake Michigan and the rivers of New Jersey and Illinois.
44. Predatory owls on the hunt rely on the absolute noiselessness of their flight.
45. The smallest predatory mammal is an ordinary weasel, which weighs from 30 grams. This smart and agile animal belongs to the weasel family.
46. Some land predators have learned to imitate the sounds of the animals they hunt in order to attract prey. Tigers, for example, have been observed in similar behavior.
47. Predators are the most skilled hunters in the world and may be the most dangerous animals on earth. The crushing jaws of dogs and wolves, the lightning speed of cheetahs, the retractable claws of tigers, the massive paws of bears are the result of millions of years of evolution during which one rule has been well studied: one missed meal creates a fine line between life and death.
48. In addition to their large brains, predators also have exceptionally sharp eyesight, hearing and sense of smell, which makes them more dangerous when hunting.
49. Most predators, unlike herbivores, practically did not grind in the process of evolution.
50. Today, most of the most predatory animals are endangered and listed in the Red Book.
50+ Horse Facts You Won't Find in Textbooks
Horses have long been and are still considered one of the noblest and most valuable animals for humans. After all, they serve as a means of transportation, and arouse considerable sports interest with their participation in horse races, they are used as farm animals ... And how graceful and intelligent they are! No wonder they become objects of painting and literature. (By the way, the equestrian sport was even included in the program of the Olympic Games.) This suggests that the life of horses is closely connected with the life of people.
What else do we know about horses?
So, you see, these beautiful animals deserve to learn more about them. What can be said about horses in order to present them in more detail? Read below.
1. Horses have 10 different muscles in their ears.
As a result, they can move their ears independently and rotate them almost 180 degrees. Humans have only three muscles in their ears.
2. Horses cannot breathe through their mouths.
Horses only breathe through their noses because they cannot breathe through their mouths like humans.
3. Horses can see in almost all directions.
This is because their eyes are located on the sides of their heads. However, they do have two blind spots, one just behind them and the other right in front of and below their noses. As a result, they don't see the carrots you hand them or the grass they graze on! Instead, they decide what they want to eat using their flexible and sensitive lips, whiskers, and sense of smell.
4. The most expensive horse ever sold cost $70 million.
The Thoroughbred racehorse, Fusaichi Pegasus, was purchased by Coolmore Breeding in Ireland in 2000 for an astounding $70 million. However, he was the father of three Tier 1 stake winners and the grandfather of Ruler on Ice, the Belmont Stakes champion.
5. Horses are able to understand and interpret human emotions.
A study by the Universities of Sussex and Portsmouth found that horses have the ability to read human facial expressions and remember a person's previous emotional state in order to modify their behaviour. Horses naturally have this skill because they are capable of making complex facial expressions.
Smith and colleagues (2016) found in another study that horses' hearts beat faster when they see angry human faces rather than cheerful ones. According to the study, horses can recognize both positive and negative emotions on a human face and become more anxious at the sight of angry faces.
6. Horses may develop whiskers.
Whiskers, often found in the beautiful Gypsy Vanner horse breed, are said to be better able to distinguish between different types of grass and sense objects that are directly in front of them. Long sensory hairs, often called whiskers, serve this function in most horses.
As of July 1, 2021, horse whiskers cannot be trimmed during FEI (International Equestrian Federation) competitions. Any horse that has sensory hairs removed will be eliminated from competition under the new rule.
7. Horses can sleep standing up.
A system of tendons and ligaments known as the "support apparatus" allows horses to keep their legs in place so they can relax without falling over. Horses use this device to relax when they are not resting, so they do not get tired from standing still for a long time. This allows them to save energy when they are standing. Horses actually spend a small amount of time each day lying down for deeper sleep, contrary to popular belief, they never do.
8. Horses have fast reflexes.
In the face of danger, they can strike hard in just 0.3 seconds from a standing position, as opposed to a human reaction time of 1.6 seconds.
9. Horses are very smart creatures.
Like dogs, they can be trained to perform various actions using clicker training and positive rewards. According to one study, horses can communicate their demands to their caregivers by clicking on the symbols on the board. These horses have learned to indicate whether they want to put on or take off the blanket by touching the symbols.
10. Horses are very social creatures.
Horses are herbivores. Thus, they seek protection in herds and develop close social bonds. They spend time with those they make friends with and use their senses to identify familiar horses. While the other horses in the herd need time to eat, rest and sleep, one horse in the wild will stand guard to keep an eye on what's going on.
11. Horses are not capable of vomiting or belching.
Most vertebrates can vomit, but horses have lost this ability over time. At the entrance to the stomach, they have a very powerful muscular ring called the cardiac sphincter. Any food that enters the stomach cannot exit again due to this structure. They also have weak gag reflexes. Because of this, you have to be careful what you feed them.
12. The middle of the horse's mouth is devoid of teeth.
13. The oldest horse in history was 62 years old.
Old Billy (1760-1822), the oldest horse in history, now retains that title. He was from Woolston, Lancashire, England, and hauled barges up and down the canals. It was most likely a Shire-type horse with brown hair and white spots, although its exact breed is not known. By human standards, he was about 165 years old.
14. Donkeys, zebras and rhinos are the closest relatives of horses.
All these animals have a common feature - an odd number of toes. Rhinos, equines (horses, zebras, and donkeys), and tapirs are the only known groups of equids. On the contrary, artiodactyls, which include cows, goats, sheep, deer and many others, are much more common.
15. There is always a sentry in the herd of horses.
By uniting in a herd, horses greatly increase their chances of survival, but they still have to beware of predators. One horse in a herd will constantly be on the lookout for any threats while the rest are resting, eating or sleeping.
16. Horses can't spend a lot of time hungry.
There is a reason why horses spend 16 to 18 hours a day in the pasture. For their stomachs to work properly, food must always be present in them. A horse's stomach may feel discomfort after a 1-2 hour fast. But horses that go without food for a long time almost always develop painful stomach ulcers. This is due to the fact that the accumulated stomach acid, which is supposed to digest food particles, begins to corrode the lining of the stomach.
17. The heart of a typical horse is ten times the size of a human.
The human heart usually weighs only 0.28-0.34 kg, while the average horse heart weighs 4-4.5 kg. Racehorses have an even bigger heart, and this often explains the success of many legendary horses. If you know your horse's body weight, you can quickly determine how heavy his heart is. According to research, a horse's heart weighs about 1% of its total body weight.
18. It takes 10-12 months to grow a brand new hoof.
Hoof growth in horses typically occurs at a rate of 1/4 to 1/2 inch per month (0.63 cm to 1.27 cm). However, this may change during the year. Horses' hooves are known to grow faster in summer.
19. Horses are measured in "hands".
The arm is a unit of measure used to measure the height of a horse. Four inches (10.16 cm) equals one hand. A horse up to 14.2 hands is a pony.
20. There are over 600 breeds of horses.
These five sub-categories - Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods, Coldbloods/Drafts, Ponies, and Miniatures - include all recognized horse breeds. There are over 600 breeds of horses. These five sub-categories - Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods, Coldbloods/Drafts, Ponies, and Miniatures - include all recognized horse breeds. Arabian, Thoroughbred, and Spiky horses with roots in the Middle East are examples of hot-blooded horses. In contrast, Northern Europe is where cold-blooded (heavy) horses and ponies evolved. In contrast, cold-blooded (heavy) horses and ponies appeared in Northern Europe.
21. Horses are only missing one bone compared to humans.
The skeleton of a horse has 205 bones, one less than that of a human (206). However, not every horse breed fits this description. Arabian horses have a total of 201 bones, as they lack a pair of ribs, a lumbar vertebra, and a tail vertebra.
22. Twin horses are incredibly rare.
Horses, unlike most mammals, are not designed to bear multiple fetuses. The veterinarian usually removes the smaller embryo when the ultrasound shows a twin pregnancy to protect the mare and the other foal. Mare owners may choose to keep both foals, despite the risk, if such a pregnancy is not detected early. Most people cannot afford the costly surgery to remove one of the foals later.
23. Horses feel more comfortable in a herd.
Small herds of horses live in the wild and interacting with domestic horses makes them more at ease. Living alone can be very stressful for a horse. Horses may find company in the form of a groom or even another species such as a goat, donkey, or mule. Even a dog can be a good friend to a horse.
24. Horses have a fixed pelvis.
This does not allow them to do the splits. However, they can move sideways, which allows them to use their hind legs to scratch their ears.
25. Horses usually live between 25 and 30 years.
With advances in equine care and veterinary medicine, domestic horses live longer and healthier lives, although the maximum age a horse can reach is still limited by genetics, nutrition, and environmental variables. Ponies generally live longer than horses, and many live into their 40s. Some breeds of horses, including the Haflinger, Appaloosa, Icelandic horse, Arabian types, also have a higher lifespan than others.
26. Today there are about 60 million horses in the world.
With the exception of Antarctica, there are horses on every continent. The United States is the country with the largest number of horses in the world. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that there are about 3.8 million horses in the United States in a 2020 report. By comparison, the 2008 estimate was 9.2 million, showing a sharp drop in numbers.
27. The teeth of male horses are larger than those of females.
Male horses often have 40 teeth, while mares only have 36, because wolf teeth are more common in stallions and geldings. According to thehorse.com, about 7
Male horses often have 40 teeth, while mares only have 36, because wolf teeth are more common in stallions and geldings. According to thehorse.com, approximately 70% of horses develop wolf teeth between the ages of 5 months and 1 year. Veterinarian Glennon Mays claimed that the ancestors of horses roamed the forests. Their main source of food was twigs and leaves, which they thoroughly chewed with their wolf teeth.
28. Horses are able to walk and run for some time after birth.
The survival of a newborn foal in the wild depends on its ability to keep up with the herd. Horses have long legs and fully developed hooves at birth as a result of evolution.
29. Cloning horses has been successful.
A genetically similar mother gave birth to Prometheus, a Haflinger filly, in Italy in 2003. After giving birth to a mule clone in early 2003, she became the first horse to be successfully cloned. The cloning of horses and other animals is still a matter of great controversy. However, according to some equestrian experts, this technology could be used to clone geldings and use them as breeding stallions.
30. The record-breaking miniature horse was only 17.5 inches (44.5 cm) tall.
Due to its extremely diminutive stature, Thumbelina (2001-2018), a pygmy miniature horse, has gained worldwide fame. Thumbelina was the smallest horse, standing at only 17.5 inches (44.5 cm) tall and weighing 57 pounds (26 kg). The tiny bay mare was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on a miniature horse farm. Thumbelina even went on a US tour to meet her fans after she was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
31. Horses have four standard gaits.
Walk, trot, amble and gallop are the four natural gaits of horses. At the same time, a four-stroke canter is much faster than a three-stroke one. Some breeds of horses have additional gaits in addition to the four main ones. For example, the Icelandic horse is known for its light gait and high speed.
32. It is known that horses jump to a height of up to 2.47 m.
On February 5, 1949, in Viña del Mar, Chile, Captain Alberto Larragibel Morales on his horse Guazo took a height of 2.47 m. According to the FEI, jumpers must overcome 2.49 meters to surpass the previous record of a purebred breed. It is interesting to note that the unofficial record is currently held by American Fred Wettach Jr. and his horse Kings Owen (King's Own). In front of 25 spectators, the couple made a jump of 2.53 meters, but this was not an official attempt.
33. Races for 1000 km.
The annual Mongolian derby, which is held on the Mongolian steppes over a distance of 1000 km, is the longest and most difficult horse race in the world. Every year more than 45 participants ride semi-wild local horses to the finish line. According to riders, about 1,500 Mongolian horses are prepared for the races every year. Before the start of the race and after the completion of each section, the horses are examined by a veterinarian. Only participants with absolutely healthy and fit horses are allowed to participate.
34. Horses can drink about 5 liters of water per 100 kg of body weight every day.
Getting enough water is just as important as proper nutrition. For example, a 500 kg horse will consume about 25 liters per day. Of course, other factors such as the age of the horse, the humidity of the environment and how he is trained also come into play.
35. It is estimated that the first ancestor of the horse lived 55 million years ago.
Only he was the size of a Labrador Retriever, his ancestor. According to archaeological excavations, the domestication of horses began about 6,000 years ago in the pastures of modern Ukraine. They were originally domesticated as a food source.
36. Horses don't have collarbones.
The clavicles stabilize the shoulders and connect the arms to the skeleton in most animals. In horses, the chest band serves this purpose. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect the forelimbs to the rest of the body are collectively known as the chest strap. Horses and other four-legged runners do not have clavicles because it allows them to move faster.
37. The largest eyes among all land mammals are in horses.
The size of the horse's eye is larger than that of all other land mammals. Horses have eight times the size of our eyes! Compared to other breeds, Arabian horses have very large eyes.
38. Initially, there were no horses in North and South America.
Although the modern horse did not originate in the Americas, its relatives appeared before they mysteriously died out between 8,000 and 12,000 years ago. Climate change and human overhunting are two potential factors that scientists are still studying. Fortunately, about 2-3 million years ago, horses migrated from Alaska to Eurasia, where they were able to survive. Horses disappeared from the Americas and were never seen again until Christopher Columbus brought them back at the end of the 15th century. Older horses should be fed with extreme care because they sometimes live longer than their teeth, requiring proper care of horse teeth.
40. The respiratory rate of a horse at rest is approximately 8-14 breaths per minute.
It is extremely important to know your horse's resting heart rate and breathing rate. Although the horse's respiration rate at rest may be as low as eight breaths per minute, it can increase rapidly during exertion or stress.
41. Their cheerful expressions are not signs of laughter.
Instead, the flehmen reaction refers to this activity, which aims to better capture an intriguing scent. This process ensures that pheromones and other odors are transported to the vomeronasal organ (VMO), which subsequently communicates with the brain, eliciting physiological and behavioral responses.
42. The tallest horse ever measured was 21.25 palms (2.20 m) tall.
Sampson, Shire, was born in Bedfordshire, England, in 1846 and was an imposing 21.25 hands. His height at the withers exceeded 213 cm, and since then no one has surpassed him. In addition, he weighed a staggering 1524 kg!
43. There are no more real wild horses in the world.
The Przewalski's horse was once considered the only "true" wild horse breed. Most of the horses currently considered wild, such as American Mustangs and Australian Brumbies, are actually descended from domesticated horses. Since truly wild horses have never been domesticated, the term "wild" best describes these animals.
44. American riding horse (Quarter Horse)
Literally "quarter mile horse", or "quarter mile horse", designed for racing over short distances) is known for being the most popular horse breed. In 2020 alone, the American Quarter Horse Association, the largest breed society in the world, registered over 2.8 million horses. There are currently 2.4 million quarter horses in the United States, with many more scattered throughout the world.
45. Sorraya is the rarest breed of horses, of which there are less than 200 left.
These wild ponies, originally from Portugal, were on the brink of extinction in the early 20th century. It is believed that the Sorrai originated from the first horses that lived in southern Iberia. They have a simple pattern with primitive markings. They may have a convex profile and come in various shades of brown.
46. Animal frog acts as a built-in shock absorber.
The triangular detail on the sole of the horse's foot is a frog. The absorption and distribution of shock to the inner toe pad, the spongy structure under the horse's heels, is one of its many uses. The joints and bones of the horse are protected from shock loads due to the inherent ability of the frog to absorb and disperse shocks.
47. There are no horses with albinism.
Horses do not show albinism. Some coat shades, such as maximum sabino, cremello or perlino, may appear albino at first. However, studies have shown that this coloring gene is not an albino gene. In rare cases, a horse may be born completely white with pink skin, giving the impression that it is an albino. Dominant white is a color fundamentally different from albinism. Albino animals have a normal number of pigment cells, while dominant white horses do not. Deadly White Syndrome is a gene-related disorder that some white foals possess.
48. Horses are herbivores.
Typical traits of herbivores include the shape of their teeth (molars for breaking down fibrous plant material), the position of their eyes (facing to the side to look out for predators), and the type of digestive system.
49. A foal is a baby horse.
What distinguishes a filly from a foal? Age and gender play a role. A foal is usually a young horse. He is called a weaner after he was weaned from his mother. But until the age of four, horses are still considered fillies or foals.
50. There is one breed with a metallic color.
The wool of the Akhal-Teke horse is known. Many well cared for horses have a fine sheen, but this breed has a natural metallic sheen. It has to do with how her hair is structured. The strands of Akhal-Teke hair are devoid of or have a very small core, in contrast to the opaque core that is characteristic of most horse breeds in terms of voices.
52. The record speed for a horse sprint is 55 miles per hour (88.5 km / h).
A Long Goodbye, a quarter-mile racehorse, achieved this astonishing quarter-mile speed in 2005 (0.40 km). The horse ran part of the race at almost 50 miles per hour (80.45 km/h) and finished in exactly 20.686 seconds.
53. Keratin is part of horse hooves.
Horse hooves are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up our hair and nails. It is imperative that your horse has frequent grooming because they are constantly growing. This is very important, especially for young horses whose legs can become crooked and whose well-being can be compromised by neglected hooves.
54. Compared to other breeds, some Arabian horses have one less vertebrae.
The Arabian horse is the basis of many other breeds of light horses. They also have some unique characteristics. Most Arabian horses have one less vertebra, costal bone, and tail bone than other horses.