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50 interesting facts about impalas

6 days ago

Impala (Aepyceros melampus) is an inhabitant of the southeastern part of the African continent. Typical habitats of these animals are savannas overgrown with shrubs, gallery forests, less often open spaces.


Facts about impalas


Due to the graceful structure of the body, for a long time it was ranked among the gazelles, but studies have shown that it is much more closely related to the bubals. The growth of an adult at the withers can reach 90 centimeters, weight - 40-60 kg. The impala's tail reaches a length of almost half a meter and ends in a panicle of white hair. On the relatively small and neat head of this antelope, large eyes and ears with black tips stand out. In addition, males have horns on their heads that grow in length from 60 to 90 cm, which simultaneously grow to the sides, back and up. Above the base of the hooves of the hind legs, the impala grows a tuft of black hair, which is why it is also called the black-heeled antelope.



1. Impala antelopes are one of the most beautiful and most numerous antelopes living in Africa.


2. Impalas belong to the order of artiodactyl mammals, the suborder of ruminants, the family of bovid artiodactyls.


3. The Impala is the only species of its kind. Six subspecies are known.


4. The habitat of the animal extends to the southeastern regions of Africa up to South Africa. This type of antelope is widespread, ranging from Uganda to Kenya, up to Botswana and South Africa.


5. An isolated population exists in southwestern Africa in the border zone between Angola and Namibia. This is a separate subspecies, these artiodactyls have a dark muzzle.


6. Impala antelopes have a lot in common with bulls, they have common features, similar hooves. Therefore, the antelope is classified as artiodactyl.


7. One of the most important signs of all antelopes is their horns, it can also be said from the horns that these animals are relatives of bulls. Antelope's horn is a sharp bone rod that develops from the frontal bones on outgrowths. The bone rod is covered with a horn sheath, and this whole horn sheath, together with the rod, grows throughout life, as long as the animal lives and exists.


8. Impala is a slender, beautiful animal of medium size. The coat of animals is smooth, shiny, on the hind legs, right above the "heel" of the hoof there is a bunch of coarse, black hairs. Therefore, impalas are called black-footed antelopes.


9. Their head is small in relation to the body, their ears are long, their eyes are large. The coat is short, on the back and sides it has a red-brown color. The lower part of the sides is lighter. The belly, chest and lower part of the head are covered with white wool.


10. In the back of the rump, impalas have black stripes. Black tufts of hair that grow on the hind limbs above the hooves cover special odorous glands.



11. At home, in East and South Africa, impalas are more willing to live in two-tier biotopes, that is, in light forests or on grassy plains overgrown with rare trees.


12. In addition to living in untouched areas of East and South Africa, impalas also live in many African national parks and reserves, where they create the appropriate conditions for the existence of these animals.


13. Sometimes the impala seems to “hang” in the air. Yes, one gets the impression when you watch this “beauty” for a long time, when, sensing danger, she soars into the air with lightning speed, tucking her legs under her and throwing her head back, and then, as if the animal freezes for a few seconds, and ... headlong rushes away, away from the enemy overtaking her.


14. A young female impala antelope can give birth to her very first cub at 4 years old. And males begin to take part in reproduction when they are 5 years old.


15. Active impala in the morning and evening. From the heat, they take refuge in the shade of bushes, where they rest and chew food.


16. Impala feed primarily on plants, they also eat a lot of leaves, buds, shoots, fruits and seeds of plants.


17. Throughout most of their range, impalas prefer fresh, protein-rich grass, which is especially thick during the rainy season.


18. When the grass wilts during the dry season, antelopes feed on the leaves of shrubs and perennials.



19. These animals never move away from water bodies. During the dry season, they must drink daily.


20. Impalas, like other antelopes, often come to the water during the hottest hours, because their main enemies (lions, leopards, hyenas and other predators) usually hunt at night and wait for their prey at a watering hole.


21. Male impalas are larger than females. They weigh from 40 to 70 kilograms. Females weigh 30-50 kilograms. The height at the withers is 65-95 centimeters.


22. Horns grow only in males. Their horns grow back, up or to the sides. In length, they reach 45-90 centimeters, and their shape resembles a musical instrument, a lyre. The beautiful ringed impala horns grow over the years.


23. In the southern regions of the range, the mating season of the impala antelope usually occurs in April-June. Then the antelopes mate again in September-October.


24. In East Africa, the first breeding season is from February to April, and the second from September to October.


25. Between adult males at this time there are fights for the territory in which the winner mates with females, whose favor he managed to attract.


26. The female impala for the first time brings offspring in the second year of life. Males reach sexual maturity as early as a year, but rarely mate before 4 years of age, as young individuals are too weak to conquer and retain territory.



27. Pregnancy in impala lasts 6-7 months. Before giving birth, the female chooses a place protected and remote from the herd. They have in the midst of rains, only one cub is born, whose mass is 1.5 - 2.4 kilograms, very rarely two babies can be born.


28. At this time, the female and her cub are the most vulnerable, since most often they all fall into the field of view of predators. That is why many antelope cubs do not live up to their puberty.


29. Most impala cubs are born at noon when their enemies are resting. Noon for these antelopes is the safest part of the day. The female stays with the cub for a few more days away from the herd, and then they return together.


30. When a female with a calf enters the herd, she ends up in a group of antelopes of the same age, in the "nursery". Each cub recognizes the mother among dozens of other females in the herd.


31. Impalas are herd animals. Living in a herd provides impalas with the best defense against predators. In a large herd, the chances of spotting an enemy that is about to attack increase earlier. In the event of an unexpected attack by predators, antelopes rush in different directions.


32. Females with small antelopes live in large groups, the number of such groups can be 10-100 individuals.


33. Elderly and even young males sometimes form bachelor, unstable herds.



34. The strongest males, not elderly, may have their own territories in order to vigilantly protect their territory from strangers and competitors.


35. If it happens that a whole herd of females runs through the territory of one male, the male “takes” them to himself, takes care of each of them, believing that now each female is his.


36. During the dry season, animals migrate. This creates mixed herds. They include both females and males of different ages. In a new place, strong males again equip themselves with personal possessions.


37. Male impalas use horns during the rut, in fights for territory and females. At the same time, they tilt their heads, cross their horns and push. The one who backs up is considered the loser.


38. During the mating season, males arrange ritual battles for the possession of a harem. There are no bloody fights with these aimalas.


39. Impalas do not shed their horns every year, as happens with roe deer and deer.


40. Interestingly, in these animals, if the situation with food is difficult, then the female can delay childbirth for a month.


41. Among the enemies of representatives of this species are leopards, lions, cheetahs, hyenas. Impalas escape from them by running or hiding in a shelter.



42. It is very difficult for a predator to catch up with a strong young animal. Therefore, mainly cubs die, as well as sick and old antelopes that do not have the strength to run fast.


43. Fleeing from a predator, the impala releases a fragrant liquid from the glands located under the tufts of hair on the hind legs. To do this, it rears up and hits the ground with its limbs.


44. Artiodactyls escape from people in conservation areas. About 50% of these animals live in them. They are also kept in private farms.


45. The population living in the west of the mainland is protected by the Etosha National Park and farms located in Namibia. In general, this species is considered the most common of all antelope species in Africa.


46. ​​An impala that runs away from a pursuer can make magnificent jumps: having taken off into the air, it seems to hang for a moment, pressing its legs under it and throwing its head back. The jump can be up to 3 meters in height, and even up to 10 meters in length.




47. If this animal runs in zigzags, then it develops a speed of up to 60 km / h. It can run in a straight line at a speed of 80 km / h.


48. Impala raises hair on end on the back of the body, thus alerting the rest of the herd of the danger.


49. In the past, these antelopes were hunted so intensively that they disappeared in many regions. Recently, however, these animals have settled in new areas.


50. The life expectancy of impalas is up to 12 years in freedom, in captivity - up to 17.


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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.



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Numerous wild animals inhabit forests and steppes, swamps, and deserts. The more you learn about the diversity of fauna in different parts of our planet, the more you are amazed at the wisdom of nature, which created all these creatures and adapted them to other living conditions. And although man has long domesticated many species of wild animals, their free relatives still quietly exist far from our civilization.


Top facts about wild animals


1. Peacocks stage dance battles to win over the female

The peacock is a polygamous bird: the male can "be in a relationship" with several peahens at once. But their attention still needs to be won! During the mating season, peacocks compete with each other for the favor of the ladies, dancing in front of them and shaking their open tails, the feathers of which sway and even seem to ring.


In competition, the owner of the most extended tail usually wins - he is also the "author" of the most active movements.


As soon as the peahen reciprocates the courtship and sits on the egg-laying, the male loses all interest in her. He rushes to conquer a new "love" to collect the most numerous harem.


Although the peacock is famous for its magnificent tail, few people know that all this beauty is the tail feathers. The natural peacock tail, hidden under these colorful feathers, is nothing of interest.


2. Puminas are born spotted like leopards

Even the Latin name of the cougar - Puma color - reflects one of the main features of this wild cat - the uniformity of color. In adults, everything is the same - they are sandy in color. But puma is born with spots on the body, stripes on the paws, and rings on the tails.


Spotted coloration allows babies to camouflage better. With age (closer to a year), when the cub can already fend for itself, the spots begin to fade, and by the age of 2, they disappear entirely. In these animals, the color of the coat changes, and the color of the eyes change: all puma are born blue-eyed. By six months, the iris becomes brown.


3. There are no barriers to animal friendship

Exceptional cases of friendship among animals of different species can be observed in the zoo. A female tapir named Cleopatra (affectionately - Klepa) found a kindred spirit in a duck rejected by relatives. The bird was placed in an aviary with tapirs and capybaras for a while - until a new home is found for the bird, which does not find a common language with other ducks.


The zoo staff noticed that the tapir and the duck became friends: they ate from the same bowl, walked together, and swam in the pool. And even the appearance of Klepa's fiance could not affect their relationship: now, they spend all the time together.


4. Abandoned primate babies sleep with soft toys and heating pads

"Animals don't abandon their children" is a myth. Unfortunately, not everyone wakes up to maternal instinct. Such “refuseniks” would have no chance of survival in the wild, but keepers come to their aid.


The most challenging thing is with the cubs of primates, man's closest relatives. The fact is that females carry offspring on themselves: first on the chest, then on the back. The baby should feel warm and hear the beat of the mother's heart - only then will he feel good.


For “refuseniks,” keepers make fur pillows with heating pads inside, giving them soft toys to create a feeling of warmth and safety. Baby primates need to be carried around frequently, allowing them to listen to their heartbeats. And, of course, feeding by the hour from pipettes, syringes, and bottles (depending on the type of primate) has not been canceled.


5. An animal called "panther" does not exist

Since childhood, we have all known the black panther Bagheera from Kipling's The Jungle Book. Panther is not the name of one animal but the name of a whole genus of prominent representatives of the cat family.


Belonging to the genus of panthers is easily traced by the Latin names of all its four representatives: tiger - Panthera tigris, lion - Panthera leo, leopard - Panthera pardus, jaguar - Panthera onca.


Black panthers are called jaguars or leopards with manifestations of melanism (that is, darker than other individuals in Ida coloring). Kipling's Bagheera, by the way, was a melanistic leopard since jaguars are not found in India.


The star of our zoo is the black jaguar Naomi. In bright light, black spots can be seen on her graphite coat.


6. Foxes adopt cubs of the female they like

Even though the fox is a cunning lone cheat in fairy tales, these animals keep in pairs in life, creating strong families. Males take an active part in the upbringing of offspring: they get food for the whole family, teach the grown young to hunt, and look after the kids.


If trouble happens to the family's father, another single fox takes his place and takes care of other people's offspring as if they were his own. Sometimes single individuals even fight for the right to become a stepfather. Still, people have a lot to learn from animals.


7. Tigers can swim for fun

Representatives of the feline family do not particularly like water. Still, there are exceptions among domestic marks and representatives of their wild relatives. The Amur tiger is one of the few cats that can frolic in the water at will and with great pleasure.


A vivid example of this is the pet of the Limpopo Zoo, Emir, who loves to play water polo with a ball. He sits in the pool with only his head sticking out of the water.


8. When a camel is born, it falls from a height of a meter

Female Bactrian camels give birth standing up. Given that the growth of the average “ship of the desert” at the withers exceeds 2 meters, a newborn camel begins its life in this world with a fall. A slap on the ground makes the baby start breathing.


Already an hour after the birth, the camel gets up on its legs to drink its mother's milk, and after two, it can follow its parents where they go.


By the way, pregnancy in camels lasts 13 months, 1.5 times longer than in humans.


9. Japanese macaques are very smart and resourceful

Firstly, it was a discovery for me that the correct name of the animal is “macaque” and not “macaque,” as we usually say. Secondly, these most northern primates amazed me with their cunning and skill.


Once I watched a keeper clean up the enclosure of a young female macaque. While the worker bent down and swept the floor, the monkey jumped on her back and quickly ransacked her pants pockets. Having found a candy, she climbed into the farthest corner of the enclosure, carefully unwrapped the candy wrapper, and ate the sweetness. The wrapper, however, was not thrown into the urn.


Japanese macaques have an excellent ability to imitate: they can be taught to make snowballs, wash fruit before eating, and some especially enterprising individuals even try to drive a car—fortunately, a toy.


10. Musangs help people make the most expensive coffee in the world

The Malayan palm civet, or musang, is a small animal from Asia well known to all coffee lovers. In Indonesia, musangs are actively involved in producing the most expensive coffee globally, Kopi Luwak, 1 kg of which can cost about $ 1,000.


What is the feature of Kopi Luwak? The civets are fed the ripe fruits of the coffee tree and wait for the beans to come out naturally. After exposure to gastric juice and enzymes, coffee beans remain intact but acquire new taste properties. The grains are washed, dried, roasted, and sold at fabulous prices.


They say that the taste of such coffee is softer, without bitterness. We did not try to repeat the experience of the Indonesians at the zoo. There were no such true connoisseurs of expensive coffee.


11. The giraffe has the longest and thickest eyelashes of any animal

The giraffe is not only the tallest land mammal on our planet but also the owner of the longest and thickest eyelashes in the animal world. And this is not a whim of nature but a necessity.


The fact is that giraffes live in Africa, where there is a lot of dust. Fluffy eyelashes protect their eyes from the smallest particles of sand and are necessary for these giants to survive.


12. Leopard spotting is as unique as human fingerprints

On the golden fur, you can see patterns of 2 types: "rosettes" - black contours with a light center - and dark spots. When hunting, this coloration serves as a camouflage for the predator: it makes the outlines of the animal's body vaguer. It is more difficult for the prey to calculate its location.


The location of the spots on the coat of each leopard is unique, just like the fingerprints of humans are special. This feature allows scientists observing leopards in the wild to identify them from photos or videos.


13. Lynxes are not afraid of people, but they do not attack them either

This wild cat with tassels on its ears treats people quite calmly. Unlike other relatives, who avoid contact with humans in every possible way, lynxes often settle in forests near villages and villages. They even go to settlements for prey in famine years - small domestic animals.


Zoologists claim no single confirmed case of an unauthorized lynx attack on a person. This cat can show aggression towards people only if it is injured or protecting its offspring, which is in danger. If the lynx is not touched, it will not attack.


14. Holidays are arranged for pets to diversify their everyday life

Animals, like people, love holidays because, for them, it means increased attention, gifts, and treats.


Animals enjoy gifts and unusual edible goodies like children. And employees and visitors of the zoo are touched by looking at them.


15. Some animals are released from the zoo into the wild

Don't be afraid: these are not tigers or bears. They were brought to the zoo as fledglings. Fledglings are young birds that have just begun to fly out of the nest. The first flight experiences are challenging. They are seen by people and carried to the zoo.


It is forbidden to remove animals from the wild, so usually, zoos do not accept such foundlings and advise people to return the fledglings to where they found them. We often talk about owls, and these birds do not abandon their babies. But many "saviors" are too lazy to return to the forest, and they leave boxes with chicks at the entrance to the zoo: they say, sort it out yourself.


Every spring, the keepers of our zoo have to feed up to 10 owlets. This is not an easy task: depending on the chick's age, every 3-4 hours, he needs to be given food (they are fed meat with tweezers) and water. They don’t teach fledglings to handle. On the contrary, they try to show them the basics of hunting so that they can survive in the wild on their own.


Bonus: an otter is not a curse, but a complete mimimi

Most visitors come to the zoo to look at large animals (bears, tigers, bison) and leave in love with otters. These animals stand touchingly on their hind legs, swim excellently, demonstrate excellent plasticity, and stay underwater for about 2 minutes.


The beautiful and very dense fur of otters does not allow water to pass through. Therefore, after swimming a lot and shaking off drops, these animals remain dry. This feature of the waterproof undercoat will enable otters to swim even in freezing water and not get cold. Look into those eyes - and you will understand that the otter is not an insult but a compliment.


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It is difficult to imagine a more graceful, noble, and delightful animal than a horse. It has served man from time immemorial, fairy tales have been written about horses, poems have been dedicated - for example, “My horse is moving quietly”, “Horse and rider”, “Boyar stables are red for everyone”, etc. Very often the horse became the savior of heroes in an unequal battle.


What are the top ten most expensive horse breeds?


There are a lot of types of horses - some of them are inexpensive, while others exceed the cost of even a modern apartment in the city center. What caused such a price? - you ask. Everything is simple. A good horse is a profitable investment because there are not many breeds of horses in the world that can be called racehorses, they have been bred for decades. Horses are rare, hence the high cost.


Whether you are connected with horses or you are just interested in the headline is not so important. If you are here, then the topic is of interest to you.


Do you want to know how much is the most expensive horse in the world? We present to your attention photos and prices of rare and beautiful breeds of horses that can participate and win in sports competitions.


10. Appaloosa - up to $15,000

The motley horse with spots is recognized as one of the most unusual colors! Appaloosa is characterized by: striped hooves, variegated color, white conjunctiva.


The horse attracts attention not only with its bright color, but also with its character - this breed is very quick-witted, kind, and devoted. Mostly horses of this breed are common in the United States and make an excellent companion for those who participate in horse racing or rodeos.


It is known that the Spaniards brought the Appaloosa to America, and the Indians domesticated them in the 16th century. By crossing, they received a breed that is distinguished by speed and endurance.


9. Morgan - up to $20,000

The Morgan is one of the first breeds bred in the USA. This is a wonderful horse with increased efficiency, harmoniously built, hardy.


The breed of horses is distinguished by complaisance and tractability. Morgan can be seen in circus performances - compact horses quickly learn tricks and do not require a spacious arena.


By the way, the horse got its name in honor of Justin Morgan. In 1790, the musician Morgan received a one-year-old colt of unknown origin, whose name was Figure, as a repayment of a debt. According to assumptions, his ancestors were Dutch, English, and Arabian horses. Later, the horse began to bear the name of its owner - Justin Morgan.


8. Clydesdale - up to $30,000

The homeland of Clydesdale is Scotland. The horse belongs to the heavy draft variety, its weight can reach 1 ton, so it is not surprising that today the breed continues to be used as a carrier of goods.


Hardy and strong Clydesdales existed in the Middle Ages, but in XVII they underwent changes on the orders of Hamilton IV. He decided to improve the exterior and working abilities of the horses, for which he crossed Scottish mares with Flemish priests, who were brought from Holland.


After the population of this breed, the Clydesdales began to be massively acquired by famous horse breeders to breed new breeds. This horse is used for sports, and in particular for competitions.


7.  Friesian - up to $ 30,000

The  Friesian horse breed is one of the oldest in Europe. In the West, they are sometimes called "black pearls", because the Friesian is an incredibly beautiful black horse.


They were first heard about in the 13th century because at that time these hardy horses carried knights with their armor.


By nature, these horses are very calm, peaceful, thanks to which companionship is favorable, but if we talk about sports riding, the Friesian is not very suitable for these purposes. You can make friends with these beauties, take pictures, ride on horseback, but their lynx is rather weak.


6. Orlov trotter - up to $ 30,000

Orlov trotter is a famous Russian breed of light draft horses. There is not a single analog of this horse in the whole world. The horse was created at the Khrenovsky stud farm at the beginning of the 19th century, and named after the owner of the plant, the famous Count A.G. Orlov.


Today, elegant and stately Orlovites are called the living brand of Russia, they are used in almost all types of equestrian sports. The nature of the Oryol trotter is kind, peaceful, cautious. Breeding stallions are temperamental and frisky, but with proper training, they are able to obey the commands of the rider.


5. Sorraia - up to $35,000

The Sorraia is a well-known breed among equestrians and horse lovers, but those who are not fond of horses are unlikely to have heard of it. This is not at all surprising, since the barn is one of the rarest and most expensive breeds. Horses have a rather modest appearance - a mouse suit.


This rare breed is in the status of "endangered species", which, of course, cannot but be frustrating. The horse, originally from Portugal, has been captured by local farmers for centuries, tamed, and used to work in the fields.


Gradually, this breed began to be domesticated, and their descendants began to lose their characteristic features. In appearance, the Sorraia is rather fragile: it has a thin skeleton, a small head, and a long neck, but elegance has never prevented the horse from surviving in places with a difficult climate, so the breed can be classified as one of the most enduring.


4. Mustang - up to $60,000

This beautiful horse has been known to many since childhood from books about the American prairies. The Mustang is quite capricious and cannot be trained. However, the beauty, incredible speed, grace of the horse cause delight and attract attention to it. Due to the mixed origin, the features of this breed are blurred, but they are all equally strong, hardy, and strong.


All mustangs are currently protected by US law. In the 16th century, mustangs were brought from the Old World to the continent by the Conquistadors. Many of the horses fought off the herd, running away to the deserted American steppes, where they crossed with other free horses. They easily adapted to wild natural conditions due to the climate that is comfortable for horses on the continent.


3. American Trotter - up to $100,000

This breed of horse is considered the fastest. The American Trotting Horse was bred in the United States in the early 19th century for specific purposes: ambling on racetracks and trotting. The main thing that they paid attention to was the speed of the horse (the animal ran a distance of 1 mile (1609 m.)


The Yankees did not pay much attention to the appearance, because the horse does not have an exterior standard. The nature of the horse is quite balanced. Standardbred horses are not capricious, so even novice riders can easily handle them.


2. Arabian horse - up to $ 130,000

Arabian horses are one of the most ancient breeds of horses. They have been valued at all times due to their good disposition, endurance, frisky temperament.


As for endurance, this is an indisputable fact, because during the Crimean War (1851-1854), with a rider on its back, this horse covered a distance of 150 km, and at the same time it never stopped.


The Arabian horse is a long-liver and can serve its owner with good maintenance for about 30 years. The horse has excellent muscles, strong graceful legs, and a developed chest, which can be seen in the picture. The most expensive horses of this breed are ravens.


1. Thoroughbred – up to $10 million

The Thoroughbred is a horse bred in England, a born racing champion. It is valued more than any other breed. A horse that is present in someone's stable emphasizes wealth and is a sign of nobility. Her physical abilities are a real delight!


The Thoroughbred has a hot choleric temperament and is very agile and energetic. The nature of this breed can hardly be called calm, on the contrary, it is explosive and even naughty. It is difficult for a beginner in equestrian sports to manage a thoroughbred horse, in open areas it can even be dangerous, but the horse shows excellent strength, high performance, and endurance.


What are the most prestigious horse races in the world?


Since ancient times, horse racing has been a popular entertainment among aristocrats and the rich. The scale of money turnover in this area is sometimes simply amazing: this also applies to entry fees for participation in some competitions, and the prize fund. We present to your attention the most expensive horse races in the world.


Pegasus World Cup

The title of the most expensive horse racing in the world since 2017 belongs to the Pegasus World Cup, which is the epitome of American extravagance. The total length of the track is 9 furlongs (British and American distance units), which corresponds to 1.8 km. The race takes place at a racetrack called Gulfstream Park, Florida. Only very experienced horses of at least four years of age are allowed to participate.


Dubai World Cup

With the former record holder Pegasus World Cup essentially split into two separate events, The Dubai World Cup will be able to regain its title as the most expensive race. The competition has been held annually since 1996 in the UAE at the Meydan Hippodrome. In March 2019, another race will take place with a prize pool of $12 million, and the winner will take home an incredible $7.2 million.


The Everest

Australia hosts the most luxurious turf race ever, The Everest. The 1.2 km course is located at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, which attracts the best racehorses from around the world. Everest has only existed for two years, but this time was enough for the event to beat the previous record holder and the most expensive race in Australia, the Melbourne Cup. In both 2017 and 2018, the Australian Thoroughbred Redzel was the winner.


Breeders' Cup Classic

Another event in the USA, but this time in the sprint category, the Breeders’ Cup Classic has been held in a new location every time since 1984, for all these years the only time the race was outside the USA was in Ontario, Canada in 1996. Only thoroughbred horses older than three years old are allowed to participate, and the winner receives half of the $6 million prize pool.


Prix ​​de l'Arc de Triomphe

The entire elite of the European racing world once a year gathers at the richest race of the continent, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The horses must cover 2.4 km, and the owner of the fastest and toughest of them will receive $3.2 million out of a total prize pool of $5.6 million. l'Arc has been held at the Longchamp racecourse in Paris for 150 years, with the exception of 2016 and 2017, when the racecourse was undergoing restoration, when the famous racecourse of the Chantilly residence, which is located near Paris, took over the races.


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Do you know everything about cats? Think again. Cats are naturally mysterious, they are like an onion: endless layers! Dogs will tell you all the facts about themselves. Get cozy with your best furry buddy and learn some lesser-known facts about cats.


Interesting facts about cats


We use the term "big cats" to refer to animals such as lions, tigers, and leopards for a good reason. Cats and tigers shared a common ancestor over ten million years ago. However, today's domestic cats still share 95% of their genetic code with tigers. It's no wonder why the two exhibit many of the same behaviors, including scent marking, prey stalking and attacking.


1. The cat's domestication took place approximately 9500 years ago in the Middle East in the Fertile Crescent region (the conditional name for the region with increased rainfall during the winter months), where the oldest human civilizations originated developed. 


2. A cat's tongue is pulled out at a speed of 1 meter per second when licking liquid. Unlike dogs, a cat's tongue only touches the surface of the liquid and does not penetrate it. Then the tongue rushes up and drags a column of liquid with it. 


3. Currently, there are about 600 million domestic cats in the world. 



4. A distinctive feature of the structure of the cat's eye, which is characteristic of many mammals, is the presence of a nictitating membrane (third eyelid). It can be seen when the cat sleeps with its eyes open or feels tired. If the third eyelid is constantly visible, including when the cat is awake, this in most cases can be a sign of illness. 


5. Most cats are able to give birth to one to nine kittens in one litter. The largest known litter consisted of 19 kittens, 15 of which survived. 


6. The longest-lived cat ever recorded is Cream Puff, who lived 38 years and 3 days (1967-2005). 


7. Cats see excellently in low light conditions, however, contrary to common misconception, they cannot see in absolute darkness. 


8. Vibrissae (colloquially whiskers) in cats are specialized sense organs that perform a tactile function. In no case should a cat's vibrissae be removed, since by doing so it will actually be deprived of its "orientation and navigation system" in space. 


9. While in most countries the black cat is considered a symbol of bad luck, in the UK and Australia they are, on the contrary, regarded as animals that bring good luck. 



10. Cats have a sense of smell that is about 14 times stronger than a human's, which allows them to smell odors that humans are not even aware of. 


11. Mathematician Richard Montgomery once developed a special theory called the falling cat theorem. According to her, a cat falling backwards always flips upside down to land on its feet. 


12. A cat almost never meows to other cats, mostly this sound is intended for people. They tend to purr or hiss at other felines. 


13. The Burmese cat breed has a very calm, obedient and gentle character. They are very smart and sociable. As a rule, they greet guests with great curiosity and completely without fear. Unlike some other more active breeds, cats of this breed often like to sit on their laps and hands. 


14. Cats should not be deprived of meat food, since it is impossible to synthesize all the amino acids they need from plant foods. 


15. Cats eat grass, leaves and young shoots of plants to improve the functioning of the digestive system, as well as to induce vomiting to cleanse the stomach of hair. 


16. Cleanliness is an instinct in all felines: cleanliness of the body is necessary when hunting, so that the victim could not smell the lurking predator. They wash themselves by licking their fur at least ten times a day. 



17. Maine Coon cats are highly intelligent. This is one of the few breeds that can be trained. 


18. In the claws of cats there is a pulp - a blood vessel that reaches almost to the tip of the claw. In cases where the nails need to be trimmed, this must be done with extreme caution. 


19. Cat nail amputation is prohibited by law in Germany and Switzerland, and in many other European countries it is also prohibited under the European Companion Animal Convention. 


20. Valerian root extract contains actinidin, which is the culprit in the unusual behavior of domestic cats and other felines (tigers, lions, cougars, etc.). Its smell is similar to the smell of one of the components contained in cat urine. 


21. Cats are able to give their voice about a hundred different intonations, while dogs - only about ten. 


22. The Abyssinian cat is one of the oldest cat breeds. They are named after the African country of Abyssinia, now Ethiopia. 


23. The "purr apparatus" in cats is the thinly connected hyoid bones that lie between the base of the skull and the base of the tongue. Muscle contraction near the vocal cords causes them to vibrate. The cat makes a purring sound with its mouth and nose, and the vibration spreads throughout its body. 



24. When a cat is pleased, it extends and retracts its claws on its front paws. This movement is called the "milk step" - with this movement, the kittens stimulate the release of milk from the mother's nipples during feeding. 


25. Yuri Dmitrievich Kuklachev gained fame by being the first in the USSR to engage in circus work with cats. In addition to performances with cats, Yuri Kuklachev regularly conducts "Lessons of Kindness" in schools, child care facilities and even in children's colonies in different cities of Russia. 


26. In the UK, two cats - Humphrey (1988-2006) and Larry (2007-) were awarded the official title. Cats living in the residence of the Prime Minister of Great Britain received the title of "Chief mouser of the government residence". 


27. Cats are very sensitive to vibrations. They can feel an earthquake 10 or 15 minutes before a human. 


28. In the 1930s, two Russian biologists discovered that the color change in Siamese kittens depended on their body temperature. Siamese cats carry albino genes that are triggered at body temperatures above 36℃. In warm parts of the body, less pigment is produced than in cold parts, so the ears, paws, tail and muzzle are painted in a darker color compared to the rest of the body. 



29. Even a cat entering the water for the first time will swim well, because the position and movements of its body when swimming will be the same as when walking. 


30. In ancient Egypt, cats were considered the embodiment of the goddess of fertility Bast and were revered as sacred animals. The punishment for their murder was the death penalty. 


31. In the Catholic countries of medieval Europe, the cat was considered a companion of witches and the personification of evil spirits. Because of this, they were burned alive at the stake or thrown from the bell towers. The destruction of cats is indirectly attributed to the cause of outbreaks of plague epidemics, since there was almost no one to exterminate rats and other rodents that carry the disease. 


32. In Russia, a domestic cat was expensive and could serve as a valuable gift, since it guaranteed the protection of the crop from rodents. She was also a symbol of peace and prosperity in the house, protecting the house from evil spirits. 


33. Cats are the only animals allowed to enter the mosque. 


34. The most fluffy and thick fur among cats has a manul. While other cats have an average of 2,500 hairs per square centimeter, Pallas' cats have 9,000.



35. Unlike dogs, cats have not undergone significant changes during their domestication process. 


36. In cats, sweat glands are located only on the paw pads. 


37. A cat's heart beats almost twice as fast as a human's, between 110 and 140 beats per minute.


38. Like humans, cats have a dominant hand. 


39. The most popular breeds are Persian, Maine Coon and Siamese cats. 


40. On short distances, the speed of cats can reach 49 kilometers per hour.



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These amazing animals, seals, just seem clumsy. Yes, on land they appear to be such lumps, but in the water, they are swift, strong, and graceful. However, much still depends on the specific species to which the seal belongs - many of them differ vary significantly from each other. But it was thanks to these animals that such a colloquial word as "seal" appeared, that is, to wallow, relax and do nothing. But what, after all, these marine animals really often allow themselves to relax and unwind, although, of course, their life does not consist of continuous rest.


Fun facts about seals



1. Seals belong to the family of true seals.


2. Depending on the species, they can live in both salt and fresh water of the arctic, subarctic or temperate zones.


3. Currently, three types of seals are known: two of them are marine, and one is freshwater.


4. All seals, especially freshwater ones, are living relics that have been preserved on Earth since the end of the Tertiary period.


5. Seals are similar to seals, they have a spindle-shaped body, a small head and limbs that have evolved into flippers, thanks to which the seals are excellent swimmers and divers.


6. The neck of the seal is weakly expressed, sometimes it may even seem that it does not exist at all, and the body simply passes into a small, head with a flattened skull, smoothly turning into a slightly elongated muzzle.


7. In general, the seal's head is a bit similar in shape to a cat's, except for the fact that its muzzle is more elongated. The seals have no ears, they are replaced by auditory canals, which are invisible from the outside.


8. The eyes of this animal are large, dark and very expressive. The eyes of seal cubs seem especially large: huge and dark, they seem even more contrasting against the background of light wool and give the little seal a resemblance either to an owlet or some kind of alien creature.



9. Thanks to the third eyelid that seals have, they can swim and dive without fear of damaging their eyes. However, in the open air, the seal's eyes tend to water, which gives the impression that the animal is crying.


10. In the body of the seal there is a large fat layer that helps this animal survive in the harsh conditions of a cold climate and not freeze in icy water.


11. The same reserves of fat can help the seal survive a temporary hunger strike during a period of starvation, and thanks to them, the animal can lie for hours and even sleep on the surface of the water.


12. The skin of the seal is very strong and strong. It is covered with short, dense and harsh hair, which also protects the animal from hypothermia both in cold water and on ice or on the shore.


13. Between the fingers of these animals there are membranes, and on the front flippers, in addition, there are also powerful claws, thanks to which the seal makes holes in the ice in order to get to land or in order to rise to the surface of the water for a sip of fresh air.


14. The coat color of the seal, depending on the species, can be dark silver or brownish, while it is often covered with darker spots.



15. There are three types of seals. The ringed seal inhabits the temperate waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Arctic Ocean.


16. In Russia, ringed seals are found in all northern seas, as well as in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Bering Sea.


17. The Caspian seal is endemic to the Caspian Sea.


18. The Baikal seal is not found anywhere else in the world, except for Lake Baikal.


19. Some scientists suggest that all types of seals are related to each other by a common origin, moreover, the ancestor of the Caspian and Baikal species is called the ringed seal, which migrated to Baikal and the Caspian about two million years ago and there evolved into two new species.


20. However, there is another version, according to which the ringed and Baikal seals simply had a common ancestor that appeared later than even the Caspian seal.


21. All three species differ from each other in color and, in part, in size.




22. The Caspian seal is the smallest of them, its dimensions are approximately 1.3 meters in length and weighs about 86 kilograms.


23. The Caspian seal is found along the coastline and on the rocky islands of the Caspian Sea, in winter it can also often be seen on drifting ice floes. In the warm season, it can even swim into the mouths of the Volga and the Urals.


24. Caspian seals eat fish and crustaceans that live in the Caspian Sea. They are especially willing to eat small herring and sprat - these are the types of fish that make up the bulk of their diet. The proportion of crustaceans is small - it is approximately 1% of the total amount of food.


25. One of the species of these animals, the ringed seal, was named so because of its unusual color, in which the dark rings on its skin have a light border.


26. The ringed seal, or akiba, is the most common species of true seals in the Arctic: according to conservative estimates, there are about 4 million ringed seals in the world.


27. Akiba is distributed in the seas of the Arctic Ocean from the Barents and White in the west to the Bering Sea in the east, it lives in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Baltic Sea, the Tatar Strait, the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, and sometimes rises along the Neva to St. Petersburg.


28. This seal lives both in the coastal zone and in the open ocean, but more often it keeps in bays, straits and estuaries. This species does not make large regular migrations. In winter, the seal lives on the ice.


29. Subspecies of ringed seal: Baltic ringed seal, White Sea ringed seal, Ladoga ringed seal, Okhotsk, or Far Eastern ringed seal, Saimaa ringed seal.


30. Subspecies of the ringed seal live mainly in the polar or subpolar regions.




31. The White Sea seal lives in the Arctic and is the most common seal in the Arctic Ocean.


32. The Baltic seal lives in the cold waters of the northern regions of the Baltic, in particular, it can be seen off the coast of Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Russia. Sometimes this animal even swims to the coast of Germany.


33. Two other subspecies of the ringed seal - Ladoga and Saimaa, are freshwater and live in Lake Ladoga and Lake Saimaa.


34. The body length of adult ringed seals reaches 1.5 meters, weight 40-80 kilograms. Baltic specimens are even larger - 140 centimeters and 100 kilograms. Males are usually somewhat larger than females.


35. Akiba has excellent eyesight, hearing and sense of smell, which help the animal find food for itself and hide from predators in time. These seals feed on crustaceans, molluscs and fish (spiny goby, Greenland goby, pike, navaga, salmon, salmon).


36. Ringed seals never form colonies. Most often they stay alone, although sometimes they gather in small groups, which, however, are not very stable. All year round they spend at sea, for which their body is very well adapted.


37. The Baikal seal is not only an endemic of Lake Baikal, that is, it is found only here, but the Baikal seal is the only mammal of Lake Baikal. According to morphological and biological features, the Baikal seal is close to the ringed seal that lives in the seas of the Far North and the Far East. There are some signs of similarity between this seal and the Caspian species.



38. The origin of the seal in Baikal remains an unresolved issue to this day. Most researchers adhere to the point of view of I. D. Chersky that the seal entered Baikal from the Arctic Ocean through the Yenisei-Angara river system during the Ice Age simultaneously with the Baikal omul.


39. But there is another point of view - that the entire family of true seals, to which the Baikal seal belongs, originated in large freshwater reservoirs of Eurasia. And only then did the resettlement of three sister species begin: the Caspian seal mastered the Caspian Sea, the ringed one - the Arctic Ocean, and the Baikal one - the deepest freshwater lake.


40. However, there is no doubt that the seal owes its prosperity and high numbers in Baikal to its deep water and food web features.




41. The Baikal seal is widespread throughout the lake, but it is especially abundant in its northern and middle parts. The most favorite habitat for seals is the Ushkany Islands, located on the territory of the Zabaikalsky National Park.


42. The basis of nutrition of the Baikal seal is golomyanka and gobies. She eats about a ton of fish a year. In search of food, the seal dives to a depth of 200 meters and remains under water for 20-25 minutes.


43. Previously, it was believed that Baikal seals cause great damage to the whitefish population, but, as it turned out later, they come across them only by chance and the total number of sturgeons in the seal's diet is no more than 1-2%.


44. The seal is called the symbol of Baikal, the same as the famous Baikal omul, its images are used on the emblems. This is an interesting object of ecological tourism.


45. Every year, many wildlife lovers come to Baikal to see and, if possible, photograph it. The main flow of ecotourists goes to the Ushkany Islands, where the conditions for shooting are prepared.


46. ​​It is believed that the Baikal seal has no natural enemies in nature: only humans are a danger to it. However, not often, but it happens that these animals are hunted by a brown bear.




47. Baikal seal cubs are usually safely hidden inside the den, because in the absence of a mother who has retired in search of food, they can become prey for foxes, sables or white-tailed eagles.


48. The ringed seal living in the ice of the Arctic has much more enemies. It is seals that are the main part of the diet of polar bears, and arctic foxes and large polar gulls prey on their cubs. In the water, killer whales and Greenland polar sharks pose a danger to ringed seals. Sometimes they can be hunted by walruses.


49. All seals are animals leading a mostly solitary lifestyle. Only during the breeding season do they gather in flocks. But even so, each seal tries to keep apart and drives away its relatives with an indignant snort.



50. The smallest among the subspecies of seals is the Ladoga seal, which lives in Lake Ladoga itself, has a body length of no more than 135 centimeters and a weight of 40 kilograms.


51. The seal spends most of its life in the water. She dives superbly and can spend up to 70 minutes underwater depending on the species. While diving, the animal's ear canals and nostrils are closed, so that under water it can breathe only thanks to the large volume of its lungs and the supply of air that fits in them.


52. Often these animals even sleep on the surface of the water, and their sleep is surprisingly strong: it happened that people, having swum up to sleeping seals, turned them over on purpose, and they did not even think of waking up.


53. The seal spends winter under water, only occasionally rising to the surface of the water in order to take a new breath of fresh air. On ice or on land, these animals begin to get out closer to the beginning of spring, when the breeding season begins.


54. Moreover, as a rule, seals have favorite places for rookeries, where they gather in order to continue their race.


55. Seals only on the ground can seem clumsy and clumsy creatures. In water, they are active, energetic and almost tireless. Under water, the speed of movement of the seal can be 25 km / h, although in a calm environment these animals swim much more slowly.



56. On the shore, seals move with the help of their front flippers and tail, sorting through them. In the event of danger, they begin to jump, while loudly slapping on the ice or ground with their front flippers and pushing off a hard surface with their tail.


57. Sea seals of cold latitudes, unlike freshwater ones, regardless of the time of year, prefer to spend most of their time on the ice or on the shore, and not in the water, where they dive only in case of danger or in order to get food.


58. Sexual dimorphism is externally expressed in the fact that individuals of different sexes differ from each other in size. Moreover, if the females of the Baikal seal are larger than the males, then the Caspian seal, on the contrary, the males are larger.


59. Depending on the species and gender, seals reach sexual maturity at 3-7 years of age, and males mature later than females. These animals bring cubs either annually or 2-3 years after the previous birth. Female seals usually give birth to one cub, but sometimes 2-3 cubs at a time.


60. It happens that a certain percentage of females after mating do not bring offspring. As a rule, 10-20% of the Baikal seals have such "vacations" every year.



61. The reasons for this still remain unclear: either this is due to the natural regulation of the level of livestock numbers, or simply not all females that have temporarily suspended the development of embryos resume it after a while. It is also not excluded that this phenomenon may be associated with some diseases transferred by the female or unfavorable living conditions.


62. Seals usually mate in the spring, and then the gestation period continues for 9-11 months. Females give birth on ice, at this time they and their newborn cubs are very vulnerable to predators and hunters.


63. The color of babies differs from the color of adults: for example, the cubs of the Baikal seal are born white, from which their name comes - pups.


64. At first, the mother feeds the baby with milk, after which the cub is gradually transferred to an adult diet consisting of fish and invertebrates. By the time this happens, he manages to completely shed and change the color of the fur to the one that is inherent in adults.




65. Even before giving birth, Baikal seals build special dens from snow, where they feed their cubs exclusively with milk for a month or a half. Depending on weather and temperature conditions, lactation can last from 2 to 3.5 months.


66. The seal is the only animal that can deliberately suspend and resume the intrauterine development of its future cubs. Most often this happens during long and very cold winters, when babies born at term simply cannot survive.


67. Males do not take any part in the upbringing of offspring, while females continue to take care of the babies until they learn to live independently. After the cubs are weaned, the female seal can mate again, but sometimes the breeding season for her comes earlier: when the previous cub is still feeding on milk.


68. In summer, ringed seals keep mainly in coastal waters and in some places form small haulouts on stones or pebble spits. In autumn, as the sea freezes, most of the animals leave the coastal zone deep into the sea and stay on drifting ice.



69. A minority of animals stay for the winter near the coast and keep in bays and bays. In this case, even at the beginning of the freezing of the sea, the seal makes holes in the young ice - loopholes through which it emerges from the water.


70. There are also smaller holes, used only to breathe through them. Often the hole in the hole is covered with a thick layer of snow, in which the seal makes a hole without an outlet to the outside. In such a convenient place, she rests, being invisible to enemies, mainly polar bears.


71. The seal is a valuable object of fishing. She gives fur skins, fat and meat. The meat of the seals is fed to Arctic foxes, hats are made from fur, and it is used to pad hunting skis.


72. Seal meat is eaten, especially tender meat in young seals, and seal flippers boiled in water are considered a delicacy. In the old days, seal fat was used in leather production and in soap making.


73. Fishing seals and eventually led to a reduction in the number of these animals. And, although every effort is currently being made to prevent the seals from disappearing, one of their species is threatened with complete extinction.


74. At present, two types of seals - Baikal and ringed, belong to quite safe species and they have been assigned the status of "Cueing Least Concern".




75. But the Caspian seal is not so lucky: due to human activities leading to pollution of the Caspian Sea, this species is endangered. And, although all efforts are currently being made to restore the former number of Caspian seals, their number is steadily decreasing year by year.


76. Seals can live on average 40-55 years. Sexual maturity occurs at 4-6 years of age. Females are able to bear fruit up to 35-40 years.


77. The age of seals can be easily recognized by the annual rings on their fangs and claws. And this is their unique feature, not characteristic of any other animal in the world.


78. The largest concentrations of seals are observed in the spring on drifting ice during puppies, molting and mating. This is especially true for the seas of the Far East, where in one day of swimming in the ice you can observe many hundreds, and sometimes thousands of animals. More often, seals lie in groups of 10-20 heads, but there are clusters of a hundred or more animals.


79. Seals are amazing animals. They have a lively and curious nature and are easy to train.


80. In natural conditions, they like to swim up to drifting ships and follow them.


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