To protect themselves from strong winds and the glaring sun during the day, addax dig ‘beds’ into the sand with their forefeet in which they rest, often in the shade of boulders or bushes.
Hedgehogs apply foamy saliva to their quills. This may serve as: an irritant to predators, a natural insect repellent since they are unable to clean their skin well, or an attractant to potential mates.
African Pygmy Hedgehog
African wild dogs’ large, round ears allow for excellent hearing that is vital to the pack hunt, but they also serve as radiators of heat in a hot climate.
African Wild Dog
The Amur leopard is one of many species of animal that zoos are conserving through captive breeding.
A steer named Lurch is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest horn length of 10 feet.
Ankole Longhorn Cattle
They are often called the “unicorn of the desert”, because, when you look at them from the side, they appear to have only one horn.
The spurs on either side of their vents are vestigial remains of the hind legs that snakes lost during their evolution from lizard to snake millions of years ago. Males have longer spurs than females.
The Barbados Blackbelly is a hair sheep breed which means they do not grow wool but have course hair instead. Thus, they do not need to be sheared.
Barbados Blackbelly Sheep
The bat-eared fox is possibly named after the Egyptian slit-faced fruit bat, which also has ears that are large in proportion to its head.
The name “dragon” comes from the color of the interior of the mouth. When opened, it gives the appearance of breathing fire. This action is used to deter predators or male rivals during the breeding season.
Possibly the best bird hunter known! It is an expert jumper, often catches birds by leaping at them to a height up to 10 feet and swats them out of the air with its paws: up to 10 at a time. There are a few theories for their tufts: used as antennas, keep flies away, as camouflage in tall grass by breaking outline of its head and, most widely accepted, the tufts help them communicate.
Until recently, this species was known to science only through fossil remains. The first modern-day sightings of live Chacoan peccaries in Paraguay were reported in 1972.
While running, the cheetah’s flat shaped tail acts like the rudder of a boat, allowing swift turns mid-air with superior steering and balance.
When threatened, they will dive into a crack in the rocks and gulp air until their body inflates and becomes wedged so tightly between the rocks that they cannot be pulled out.
Bighorn sheep are specially designed for the unforgiving rocky mountain terrain they call home, from cloven hooves and use of vegetation for hydration to large domineering horns.
Desert Bighorn Sheep
They were introduced to arid regions of central Australia, where some of the only feral populations now persist.
When threatened, they can leap approximately four times their body length from a standing position and burrow rapidly into the sand.
Affectionately known as the ‘Watchtowers of the Savannah’ because coexisting species look to the giraffe as indicators of safety.
It is widely believed that this zebra was the famed “Hippotigris” (horse-tiger) of the Roman circus. The first specimens known to the scientific world were named for President Grevy of France, so although the species may have been new to science, it was known to earlier Europeans.
Island foxes are thought to have evolved in the three largest northern Channel Islands and were moved to the three largest southern Channel Islands by the Chumash native people who traded with the Gabrielino people of the southern islands. The Chumash considered the fox to be a sacred animal–a pet of the sun, and possibly a dream helper. The Island Chumash performed a fox dance and probably used the pelts of foxes to make articles like arrow quivers, capes, and headdresses.
Jaguars are the largest cats in the Americas and the only representative of the genus Panthera
Leopard tortoises are the fourth largest species of tortoise after the Sulcata tortoise, the Galapagos tortoise and Seychelles Island tortoise.
Whether out foraging or just playing near their burrows, there is always a “watch meerkat” posted to warn the group of approaching danger.
Mexican wolves have a complex social structure and communication system, which includes vocalizations, facial expressions, scent marketing and body language.
Despite its size, it is more closely related to the small cats, and like them, purrs (due to an ossified hyoid bone in the throat) and cannot roar.
Singing dogs have a unique structure at the back of their mouth that may help them make some of their unusual vocalizations.
New Guinea Singing Dog
Nigerian dwarf goats are popular as pets and family milkers due to their easy maintenance and small stature.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat
The North American porcupine is a good swimmer, its hollow quills help keep it afloat.
North American Porcupine
They are the world’s fastest living hoofed mammals and the second-fastest land mammals.
Modern ringtails so closely resemble their upper tertiary (2 mil.+ years) ancestors that they are like living fossils.
Sand cats have an exceptionally large middle ear cavity making them extremely sensitive to the small scratching sounds of burrowing rodents as well as large ears that can swivel and funnel sounds to the inner ear.
If a group of donkeys is attacked, they will form a circle and fight the predator with their hooves.
Sicilian Dwarf Donkey
The southern three-banded armadillo has an interesting mode of locomotion: walking on its hind-legs with the tips of the fore claws touching the ground.
Southern Three-banded Armadillo
The closest living relative to the hyena family is the civet family, and they are more closely related to the cat than the dog family.
Dens can get very complex with up to 24 “entrances”, although most have only two to seven.