This article tells you about Wild Animals & today I am particularly giving information about Giraffes & Asian Elephants, about their wild life facts. This is a good opportunity to read wild life online to you. Commonly you will found these wild animals in zoos. But you will find very uncommon & interesting information about them in this article.
Leggy Giant of the Savannah:
Tallest of all living animals, the Giraffe’s bold color patterning& unusual body proportions make it unmistakable from any distance. Living in the Savannah of sub-Saharan Africa, this sometimes graceful, sometimes awkward animal can run up to 56 km/hour, but may still not be able to escape its main predator, the fierce lion. ( Click Image to know about Savannah. )
High Fiber Diet:
The Giraffe is superbly adapted for browsing on tender nutrient-rich leaves far above the reach of other herbivores. By stretching its neck & fully extending its tongue, the tallest Giraffe can reach treetop leaves over 6 meters above the ground. Its diet includes around 50 species of trees & plants, including acacia & wild apricot, and occasionally it chews bones. Giraffes are ruminants, like cows, they chew & swallow their food more than once before digesting it. Adult males can eat up to 34 kg of leaves a day. Ranchers don’t mind their cattle sharing grazing areas with Giraffes as the animals are not competing for food. The Giraffes nibble bones to add vital minerals to its diet.
Older, larger bulls ( males ) are dominant in herds & devote a lot of time to patrolling for females on heat. Young bulls often ‘neck’ each other to see who is stronger. Males fight to establish dominance over cows ( females ). Males can assess whether a cow is on heat by testing their urine. He pokes her near her tail, stimulating her to urinate & taking a sample into his mouth. The bull goes from cow to cow, sampling urine until he finds one on heat. He then follows her around, repeatedly testing her urine. Between tests, he often twists around his neck around hers. Although she may prevent his initial attempts to mount, she eventually accepts him. Copulation is brief & the pair returns to browsing immediately afterward.
After a 15 month pregnancy, the female gives birth in a traditional calving ground. For reasons not yet known, she will travel great distances to return to the same site each time she gives birth. For the calf, coming into the world is a violent event. It comes out head & forefeet first, dropping 2 meters to the ground where it lies stunned by the impact. It soon recovers, & after 20 minutes is able to stand up to its full 2 meters height. The mother & calf have a strong bond from birth.
Dying for a drink:
A Giraffe risks attacking every time it bends down to drink or falls asleep. When drinking, the animal has to spread his long forelegs wide apart to reach the water. This awkward posture is why a giraffe rarely bends down to graze. When it lies down, a giraffe is even more vulnerable to attack. To stand back up again, it has to swing his neck from side to side like a pendulum & hoist itself up. To compensate for these inconvenient process giraffe have evolved strategies to minimize their chances of being attacked. One member of the herd stands guard while others sleep or drink. Giraffes only sleep deeply for five minutes at a time, adding up to about half an hour each day. They supplement their naps by dozing with one eye open & both ears attentive. Although able to survive a month without water, a giraffe will drink when it can.
Interested to know more about Giraffe? Then click the left side Image. )
The Giraffe inhabits the Savannah of Africa, where it roams freely over dry shrub lands, among tall trees & on the open plains.
Eyes are prominent & large, giving excellent vision.
Short mane runs the length of the neck.
The flexible, muscular tongue is 45 cm. long & used for ripping greenery from trees.
The coat of chestnut-brown blotches against a buff background & blends with the discolored shadows of trees. Each animal has a unique set of markings.
The lower leg is encased in a tight sheath to maintain blood pressure, as the giraffe is so tall.
Powerful legs enable running speed of up to 56 km/hr.
The pectoral girdle is strong to support the giraffe’s neck.
Long, flexible neck- as with most mammals, it has seven neck vertebrae, but these are very long.
- Height- Male 5.3 meters, female 4.3 Meters
- Weight- 550 to 1930 Kg.
- Sexual Maturity- Male 4.5 years, Female 3.5 years.
- Mating Season- Non-seasonal.
- Number of young- One ( Rare Twin )
- Breeding Interval- 2 Years.
- Diet- New growth foliage of woody plants.
- Lifespan- 25 Years.
Gentle Giant Of the Eastern Forests!
The largest land habitat in Asia, this elephant is an impressive & intelligent giant. It spends its time strolling through forests in small herds, searching for fresh grass to satisfy its purely vegetarian diet. Not as large as its African cousins, and with smaller ears, the Asian or Indian elephant was once common throughout the continent. It is now confined to a few areas in south & southeast Asia. This elephant has a long association with humans & has been used for logging & transport. Most captive elephants in Asia are trained to work.
The Asian elephant is in danger of extinction in the wild. It inhabits the world’s most densely populated regions where human numbers are rising. As forests have been cleared for farming, so elephants have lost their habitat & traditional migration routes. They have begun raiding crops leading to conflicts with farmers & in turn, to political pressure to eliminate them near populated areas. Elephants are also illegally smuggled for ivory & meat. Click right side Image to know more about Asian Elephants.
There are numerous conservation projects throughout Asia, monitoring elephant populations, illegal trade, & also trying to minimize conflict between them & the local people. In Thailand, where logging has been banned, numerous domesticated elephant with their keepers have taken to begging on the streets, many starve.
Asian elephants live in herds of between 3 & 40 females, & their young, older males are alone, while, younger ones join bachelor groups. An elderly female, or a mother, is responsible for the safety of the herd & each day leads it to fresh grass & water. Elephants don’t appear to have sweat glands, so must bathe, roll in mud or blow dust over themselves to cool down.
Communication is by touch, sight, scent, and sound. They make a wide range of noises, from high-pitched sound to loud trumpeting calls. They greet each other by entwining their trunks & sniffing. They reassure the frightened one by stroking with a trunk. They are excellent swimmers by birth & can walk underwater by using their trunks as snorkels. An elephant can hold 6 liters of water in its trunk, which it often uses as a flexible shower hose.
A newborn is hairy & with a short trunk. Letting its trunk flop backward on to its head, it uses its mouth to suckle from nipples between its mother’s front legs. Young elephants grow fast & are very curious. As they grow & gain confidence, they start playing with other young ones in the herd.
Females in the herd often give birth at the same time so that they can take care of them together. When the calves are small the herd travels slowly, while the young one holds the tail of their mother by their trunks.
Although infants nurse for about 18 months, they start eating grass after they are a few months old. They also eat their mother’s dung which contains nutrients, as well as bacteria that aid digestion.
Using its long trunk & small tusks the Asian elephants can reach into trees & dig into the ground for the food. Its favorite food is grass which it pulls up with their trunks. It also browses on the trees & bushes tearing of the leaves & even whole branches & using its tusks to strip barks.
Elephants are unable to digest cellulose, so over half the food they consume is passed straight through their body. They drink at least once a day sucking up the water with their trunks then pouring it into their mouths.
Want to know more about Elephants? Then click the left side Image.
The range of Asian elephants is now limited to isolated populations from southern India & Sri Lanka, through Assam to Vietnam, Southern China, south to the islands of Sumatra & Borneo.
Huge skull supports trunk & tusks. It is filled with air spaces to lighten it. These cavities allow the animal to make a low animal-like sound that carries for kilometers.
Skin is thick & wrinkled with a few stiff hairs.
Pointed ears are networked with blood vessels to regulate temperature. The blood is cooled as the elephant flaps its ears.
Tusks are modified upper tooth that grows throughout an elephant’s life & are used as tools & weapons.
Huge feet with flat soles help spreads an elephant’s weight. Cushioned pads allow the silent movement.
Flexible trunk with the small triangular finger at the end for easy grasping.
Giant of Asia- Unlike its African Savannah cousin, the Asian elephant is mostly a forest animal. It has smaller ears, its trunk is smoother with one finger-like projection instead of two like in African elephants. The females & some males do not have tusks. It has five toes on forelegs & fore toes on hind legs.
- Length- Up to 3.5 Meters
- Tail- 1 to 1.5 Meters
- Weight- 2 to 5 Tons
- Sexual Maturity- About 15 years
- Breeding Season- Anytime
- Number of young-One
- Breeding Interval- Up to 5 Years
- Diet- Grasses, Tree barks, Roots, Leaves, Bananas, rice & Sugarcane.
- Lifespan- Up to 70 Years
Animals give only wonders to anyone looking at them. When people are busy with their day to day work or problems, animals can bring our attention back to a simple pleasure. When you can’t find the joy in your life, turn your focus on the animals & you will be more than joyful to see their play. If you are trying to connect with the universe spiritually turn your focus to animals 7 you will get the insight.
Our spiritual wholeness is incomplete if we can’t see beyond our own species. How can we achieve the GOD’s grace if we differentiate between our own life & an animal life? After all, they are also created by GOD on the Earth. The essence of spirituality is the opening of our heart & mind to other species living in this world. This is the core of any spiritual discipline, in any tradition.
Someone has said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Animals are said to be a group of souls. They are living on this earth as a ‘ being “ & they have every right to depart this world as a “ being “ as any other “ human being “. No one can be a decision maker for them to when to die. This is against the law as well as spirituality. They should not be treated as a product. We must honor them on a soul level for their presence and wish them a good journey as they go.
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