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Encyclopedia of Animals

Encyclopedia of Animals

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Encyclopedia of Animals

4.5/5 (4 оценки)
240 страниц
3 часа
25 мар. 2015 г.


From big cats to great apes, from alligators to boa constrictors, and from giraffes to orangutans, The Encyclopedia of Animals is a celebration of the immense diversity of life on Earth, from all creatures great and small. All animals are featured in this full-color encyclopedia. Each entry describes the animal's characteristics and behavior.
This encyclopedia is full of fascinating information and amazing colour photographs that will take you on a breathtaking trip through the animal kingdom.

25 мар. 2015 г.

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Encyclopedia of Animals - My Ebook Publishing House

The American Bison

(Bison Americanus)

The bison is the giant of the north-American mammals, having the length of 3.65 m, the height of 2 m and the weight of 600-1000 kg. his hair of a blackish-brown color, forms a sumptuous mane, which prolongs past the back and on the forefeet. In the spring, he changes his winter fur, which detaches, falling in large tufts.

6 to 8 decades ago, the large herds that scoured the North-American prairies reached hundreds of thousands of specimens. Some enormous herds even exceeded one million heads. When such a herd traversed, in her path, a railroad, the train was unable to circulate for a period of time, for the embankment and the rails were largely destroyed. Although a heavy animal, the bison swims easily, traversing the rivers in quest for new nourishment locations. When the Europeans have stepped on America’s land, the amount of bison was of 30-60 million heads. In the ruthless battle with the natives, the Europeans have sought to destroy their food first, namely the bison. Thereby, these animals have reached, in 1895, at only 800 heads, being threatened with a complete extinction. After severe precaution measures were taken, the amount of bison began to increase, reaching today as far as 20.000 specimens. They now live in small bands, sheltered in large reservations.

Unlike his cousin, the European Bison (Wisent), which is a wild (forest) animal, the bison lives in the steppe. Also, while in the bison, the high back is formed of a continuous curve, in the European Bison, it has a dent that highlights two prominences.

The females give birth almost every year. The youth attach itself from the herds, always increasing the head count. The food of the bison is formed of all sorts of herbs, of leaflets and of the branches of the most different arbors, which he encounters during his wanderings.

In the zoological gardens, the bison, such as the aurochs, are specimens that are much sought by the visitors. Their entire appearance reveals strength, grandeur and beauty. The aged males often become peevish and aggressive towards the man.

The Golden Eagle

(Aquila chrysaetos)

The Golden Eagle attack is flashing, sudden; it smites the victim in the head or, in the case of the animals that could bite, immobilizes the snout, catching it as in a steel barnacle, with the claws from one foot, and the ones of the other foot thrusting them in the neck or in the back. It also smites with his strong wings; with the beak, it attacks the eyes.

The large animals, located on the cliff crest, are attacked in the manner used by the bearded vulture, surprising them on the crests and swooping them in the saddle through wing blows.

Like any rapacious bird, the Golden Eagle endures hunger, being able to stay without eating as far as five weeks. It reproduces at the age of 4-5 years; in captivity, however, only by the age of 10-12 years. It lives quite much. A captive specimen has reached the age of 105 years. In the past, the trained Golden Eagle was used for hunting wild animals for their meat and furriery. The training of the Golden Eagle requires a great deal of patience, skill and competence from the individual. The Tatars also use it today for controlling some rapacious birds, such as wolves, foxes, lynx and so on. A well-trained eagle is worth, for them, more than the best horse or more than two camels.

The Golden Eagle is the pride of the mountains in which it lives. Its number is today much reduced, that is why it must be guarded.

The Giant Panda

(Ailuropoda melanoleucus)

One of the rarest animals from the world is the Giant Panda. He was discovered by the researcher Pere David in the year of 1869, but only in 1936, the first specimen was caught alive. This animal is similar, by his characteristics, with the real bear on one hand, and with the Raccoons, one the other hand, thus making the transition between the two breeds. He only lives in the China and especially in Tibet, at high altitudes, between 2500 and 4000 m. During wintertime, he hibernates. The body reaches a length of 2 m and 150 kg in weight. He has a very beautiful fur. The head, the neck and his body are white. Around the eyes, he has two black spots, like sunglasses. The round ears are also black. Across the back, he has a wide stripe, also black. The forelimbs and hind limbs are also black. His food consists exclusively of buds, leaflets and bamboo spires. For grabbing the food, the front paws have acquired a special adaptation, and namely, a palm bone has particularly developed, creating some sort of a sixth finger, opposed to the five. The life of this beautiful bear constitutes one of the study objectives of the researchers of the zoological gardens that possess such specimens. The Panda bear is rare not only in nature, but also in the zoological gardens. Very few of them can take pride in such an animal in their collections. The first that enjoyed it was the Pekin (Beijing) zoological garden. Also herein it has reproduced for the first time, at September, 9th, 1963. Today, approximately 12 captive specimens are known, of which almost half live in the zoological garden of Pekin. His food in captivity consists of twigs and bamboo leaflets, but also of milk pudding, carrot, fruit and so on.

The Flamingo Bird

(Phoenicopterus ruber)

Why do these birds have such an unusual shaped beak? Turned in a right angle from the center, with the side from the head colored in pink and white, and the crooked one, in black, the beak of the flamingo presents another curiosity, and namely, the upper side is less developed and looks in, as in a trough, in the bottom side. When they feed themselves, these birds have their neck facing downwards and with their head sunken in water; the peak of the beak is turned backwards, not ahead, and on the bottom of the water comes the overhead side, and not the bottom one.

If we would watch how the flamingo feeds himself, we would understand how improved his beak is. He consumes various vegetal substances, as well as small bugs, which float in the water, but prefers especially the ones that remain at the ooze of the bottom, such as crustaceans, worms, various insect larvae, snails and so on. As he has very long feet, he can walk through the water that, being quite deep, reaches as far as the chest. The neck is also long, reaching, with it, the bottom of the water. The flamingo filters, with its beak, - provided with some thin gills, like the ones of the duck – the water with the ooze from the bottom of the river from which it chooses the bugs for food. Sometimes, staying with his head in the water, he clumps his feet as though he was dancing. The small animals from the ooze gush before him, from where his beak, with the peak turned backwards, catches them immediately.

At filtration, his thick tongue presses the mud towards the lamellas that retain the food. As the parrots, he can only move the upper part of the beak, while the bottom one remains unmoved. Given his manner of feeding himself, the flamingo eats both during daytime, as well as during nighttime, without needing his eyesight. According to the length of his neck and feet, the flamingo would be related to the kind of the heron. The shape of the beak, the swimmer agnail between the toes, the manner of the nestlings’ development and other traits accede him, however, more to the kind of geese and ducks. He lives, in pairs, in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean, as well as in South-West Asia, forming large colonies. They prefer brackish lagoons, the border of the sea, but they are also found in freshwater locations.

The nests are as some cone-shaped elevations with a cut peak, being built of mud and vegetal grains, in which the female deposit 2-3 white eggs. After 30 days of incubation, the nestlings appear. These remain in the nest for a period of only 3-5 days, during which the parents give them some sort of liquid paste, representing a partly digested nutrient. Then they leave the nest in the companionship of their parents. For the beautiful pink plumage, this bird was hunted without spare in the past. When flying, the flamingo flock appears to be red, due to the feathers that coat the underneath part of the wings. When they descend on the ground, the color of the flock changes, becoming milky-pink, as the feathers from the part across the body are colored. In captivity, the birds are easily domesticated, becoming a special attraction for the visitors of the zoological garden. In this state, the natural food diet is much changed, by introducing in it grated vegetables, cottage cheese, bran, minced lettuce, and also, earthworms, ant eggs and so on, in order for them to maintain their beautiful plumage.

Whereas, in many zoological gardens, a large space cannot and colony livelihood cannot be ensured, they reproduce with difficulty when in captivity.

The Red Crossbill

(Loxia curvirostra)

Many of the ones that have seen the red crossbills in bird cages have asked wherefrom are these curious birds brought. Almost nobody believed that these are birds from our country, which live in the mountainous regions, where the spruce and fir trees grow. But what an unexampled beak! Instead for the superior part to overlap the inferior one, as in the other birds, the beak of the red crossbill bestrides in the peak. Could this be a defect for the poor birds? Certainly not. The beak of the red crossbills is the most perfect instrument for exploring the spruce and fir tree cones, with whose sees they feed almost exclusively, being a chisel, scissors and a lever in the same tame. The seeds are nicely protected at the base of cone’s scales, and not any beak is able to unfold them. The red crossbill introduces, among the scales, the open beak, so that its peaks to be one in front of the other, and with a crabwise movement, it drives away the scales again by tongue, which is quite long, and takes out the seeds fixated at their base. The red crossbill is helped at this matter by some strong neck muscles, irregularly developed. Because of this feeding process, the red crossbill is a wanderer bird, moving in locations where regions with fructifications rich in softwood cones are found. But her manner of feeding also has another effect on the life of red crossbills. When the birds find a source rich in food, they no longer wait: they prepare themselves for reproduction. The red crossbill doesn’t choose the season in which to have nestlings. For her, it is important to have plenty of food, so that she can raise her nestlings. That is why, like no other bird, the red crossbills have nestlings in the wintertime also. The nest is nicely coated and solidly built. The red crossbill begins hatching with the first deposited egg. Nor it would be otherwise, as by reason of the frost, the eggs would crack immediately. The male runs all day long after food, bringing the female the already peeled seeds. She swallows them first, in order to later give them already prepared to the nestlings, which will stay in the nest until they will have a fully formed plumage. Slightly fulfilled in the body than the sparrows, in some winters, the red crossbills appear in their reddish-green coat and in low regions, visiting the coniferous plantations and other seed arbors. They can also consume the seeds of various fruit. Their movements on the branches are particularly lively. They don’t spend a great deal of time in one place. Often, when passing from one branch to another, they aid themselves by the beak also, alike parrots. They originate from the northern lands of North America and Eurasia, where the endless coniferous forests outstretch. Therein, other of its kindred live, some having stronger beaks, appropriate to the coniferous species wherewith whose seeds they feed. In the lacustrine homes, among the debris of 45 species of birds, red crossbill bones have also been found, which proves that the man has known them since then.

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