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GREAT
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WHAT YOU DIDNT KNOW ABOUT THE
OCEANS MOSTFEARED PREDATOR BISON
AND MAN
RISE OF HOW ONE ICONIC CREATURE

THE LION
HELPED SHAPE AMERICA

THE KING OF THE JUNGLES


REMARKABLE EVOLUTION

THE HIDDEN
GORILLAS
MEET THE MYSTERIOUS MOUNTAIN ANIM
APES OF THE CLOUD FORESTS FACTS

SECRETS OF HYENAS: A MOLES


GALPAGOS
Discover the unique
A PENGUINS LIFE CAMOUFLAGE WILDLIFES REBELS HIDEAWAY animals of a lost world
Amazing life cycles of Uncover the diversity Surprising traits of Intricate homes of
Antarctic survivors of animal invisibility the laughing villain brilliant burrowers

PLUS PIGS LEMURS FROGS ARCTIC FOX KANGAROOS FOSSA TIGERS ISSUE 08


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Welcome Take a trip to the
unbelievable islands
of the Galpagos
(page 12) to uncover
some amazing species
that inspired Darwins
theories of evolution.
Then why not dispel
the mysteries of the
great white? Head to page 26 to learn the
truth about an epic underwater creature,
and why its ferocious reputation is more
than just a little unfair! Meanwhile, with the
Save Rhinos Now campaign in full-swing,
weve got some great facts about the
beautiful creatures you wouldnt believe
(page 36). Dont forget to head over to
animalanswers.co.uk to keep up with the
campaign and get the latest from the Ol
Pejeta Conservancy.

Charis Webster
Editor

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Welcome to issue 8
06 Amazing animals 50 Indianapolis Zoo 68
An inner-city zoo on the front
12 Galpagos: the line of conservation efforts
lost world 54 Lion evolution
Explore the unique species of The lengthy evolution behind
these enchanted isles the modern-day big cat

24 Mole burrow 56 Gentoo penguin


How the intrepid little diggers The Antarctic survivors
build their vast homes fascinating life cycle

26 All about great 57 Sunda colugo


white sharks A gliding mammal with razor
All there is to know about the teeth and binocular vision
oceans perfect predator
58 Subscribe today!
36 Save Rhinos Now Get a 50% discount when
18 facts about these strong yet you subscribe
vulnerable creatures
60 Hyenas:
38 Tasmanian tiger wildlifes rebel
The wolf-like marsupial that fell Uncover the misunderstood
victim to bounty killings world of hyenas

40 Peculiar pigs 68 The secrets of


Meet the big, small and hairy
members of the Suidae family camouage
Learn the stealthy tricks used
42 Wildlife of the to stay undercover in the wild
dry forest 78 Bison and man
The Anjajavy canopy is alive Discover how one creature
with hundreds of species helped shape America

48 Mountain gorilla 98 Bulldog ant


How this endangered animal is The creature often described
78
slowly making a comeback as the wasp without wings

THE IUCN RED LIST EXTINCT


Throughout World of Animals you
will see symbols like the ones you EXTINCT IN THE WILD
see here. These are from the IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species,
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED 60
the most comprehensive inventory ENDANGERED
of the global conservation status
of animal species in the world. VULNERABLE
Heres what they mean:
NEAR THREATENED
LEAST CONCERN

56

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92 Your amazing
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GREAT WHITE
SHARKS
THE HUNTING SECRETS, GROUP BEHAVIOUR AND
NATURAL ENGINEERING OF THE PREDATORY FISH

48 94 Wildlife photography

36
40

24 12

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The amazing world of animals
Rex Features

6
The amazing world of animals

Things get a bit heated in the complicated


leopard mating ritual

During an encounter on the African plains, the female had already seen
o a love rival to win the aections of the male, a 90-kilogram (14-stone)
leopard nicknamed Kashane by locals. Leopards courtship and mating
cycles last around ve days and feature bouts of ghting. At times, the
female will aggressively try to swat at the male leopard.

7
The amazing world of animals

A bodybuilding frog appears to do pull-ups until


climbing on the stem to rest

Over a ten-minute period this white tree frog repeatedly pulled himself
up on a stem and eased down again, until nally the small amphibian
climbed up and enjoyed a rest. These frogs tend to grow up to ten
centimetres (four inches) long and, because they can look rather portly,
are also known as dumpy tree frogs. Their colour ranges from light blue
to emerald green and many are capable of some colour change.
Rex Features

8
The amazing world of animals

The rst cygnets of the year are spotted from


beneath their parents feathers

The emergence of newly hatched cygnets is truly a wonderful sight, but


one thats a yearly occurrence at the Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset,
UK. Roughly 500 of the baby swans are expected to hatch at the site,
which houses the only colony of nesting mute swans in the world thats
open to the public.

Paul Quagliana / Bournemouth News / Rex Features

9
The amazing world of animals

10
The amazing world of animals

Japanese macaques head to hot springs to warm


from the icy temperatures of their habitat

Known as snow monkeys, Japanese macaques live farther north than


any other monkey species in the world. Protected by a double layer of
thick fur, theyre able to withstand temperatures as low as -15 degrees
Celsius, but when the climate is at its coldest, hot springs are a warming
solution. Unlike humans, monkeys dont sweat and they dry quickly,
which stops them freezing to death.

Rex Features

11
The lost world

12
Explore our planets living laboratory and the
haven for scores of unique wildlife
Words David Crookes

In the Pacic Ocean there are enchanted lands or so El Nio, a periodic warming of Pacic
that have seen evolution move at a staggering Ocean currents, may disrupt food supplies and
speed. Some of these islands have changed as cause animal numbers to deplete, but they
rapidly as their animal occupants, emerging as always bounce back. Over time, each of the
violent volcanoes before being covered in lush islands experiences its own weather and serves
swaths of vegetation. up conditions that enable so many unique
They are the Galpagos, a remote group of animals to survive and thrive.
islands teeming with inimitable wildlife. Here With all this variation, its no wonder the
birds y over vivid, Sun-kissed greenery and islands are known as living laboratories. As the
reptiles scurry along brooding volcanic rock. home to so many amazing endemic animals,
When the weather takes a turn for the they are a small wonder for those who love all
worse, the animals endure. Every seven years creatures great and small.

13
Galpagos: The lost world

THE ENCHANTED ISLES


Made up of 13 major islands, Darwin
Pinta
each one with unique traits Wolf
and conditions to suit its
animal occupants, Galpagos
is a living legacy of discovery Marchena
ABOVE Galpagos hawk
and natural innovations (Buteo galapagoensis) is seen
oen above Isabela island

Santiago

Fernandina
Rbida
Ecuador
O

Santa Cruz
Pinzn

Isabela

Tortuga
San Cristbal

Hammerhead sharks
are commonly seen
in the waters around
the Galpagos

14
Galpagos: The lost world

ABOVE Aerial of a volcanic


crater o Isabela Island

How Galpagos
inspired Darwins
evolutionary theories
As a young man Charles Darwin set foot on the
Galpagos island of what became known as San
Cristobal, while on a homeward-bound voyage
aboard HMS Beagle.
Initially the naturalist wasnt too enamoured by
the black rocks heated by the rays of the vertical
Sun like a stove, and he saw the marine iguanas as
hideous-looking creatures. However, he did notice
what others would see as a living laboratory.
The fact there are more unique species in
Galpagos than anywhere else on Earth was not
lost on Darwin. In the opening of his groundbreaking
work, On the Origin of Species, he notes his
observations on the islands which gradually
dawned on him were vital to the development of
his theories of evolution. He came to see how the
animals, drawn from every continent, had adapted
over the years to t their new environment.

15
Galpagos: The lost world

THE MAGNIFICENT
GALPAGOS GREEN
TURTLE CAN STAY UNDER
WATER FOR EIGHT HOURS
As breathtaking as Galpagos is, it pales in comparison with the
Rounded heads
amazing feats of the various animals that make up this near-magical Unlike other turtles, the
cluster of islands. For example, Galpagos green turtles can hold their The long isthmus Galpagos sea turtle
between Bartolome and
breath under the water for anything up to eight hours. The incredible Pinnacle Rock
has a rounded head
creatures will do this so they can dive and search for food. In fact, 95 and its beak is only
very slightly hooked.
per cent of their lives is spent doing exactly that. Theyll nip up for
air surfacing only for a few short gasps before plunging down to the
depths once more.
Although female sea turtles will clumsily crawl on land a couple of
times each year to bask under the warm Sun of the islands and lay
eggs, the waters around Galpagos are mainly their home. They use
the abundance of sh and other sea creatures closer to land to clean
their skeleton shells and theres also much algae to eat. This gives them
their distinctive green colouring.
Both male and females love to swim, powering through the waters
using their strong front ippers to reach speeds of up to 56 kilometres
(35 miles) per hour. As cold-blooded creatures, they have learned
to cope well with the temperatures of the sea, which
determines how long they can hold their breath
for. Their metabolism drops faster when the
temperature falls, so they can use
up less oxygen. The colder the
waters as they move away
from the shore, the
longer they can
stay under.

Visiting the islands to nest


Galpagos green turtles use the islands as their into the sand, they lay between 50 and 200 eggs,
nesting area. The males remain under water for before covering them with sand. Sometimes they
the majority of their lives, but the females go produce a fake nest too to confuse predators.
ashore to lay eggs. Using their ippers to burrow Females lay eggs every two or three years.

5. Mating turtles
4. Breeding migrations
Females may mate with
Every two to eight years,
many males close to the
aged 20 to 50 years old,
beaches where theyll later
some embark on breeding
lay eggs, before returning
migrations back to the area
to their feeding areas.
they were rst hatched.
3. To coastal waters GALPAGOS GREEN
The juvenile turtles TURTLE
move from the open Chelonia agassizii
ocean to coastal waters 2. Drifting in currents Class Reptilia
where theyll spend the The hatchlings will swim
rest of their lives. out to the open ocean
where theyll spend their
rst ve to ten years of life
driing in the currents. Territory Galpagos
Diet Herbivore
Lifespan 80 years
Adult weight Up to 317kg /
700lbs
Conservation status

1. Turtles hatch
About seven weeks aer the NOT EVALUATED
eggs are laid, hatchlings emerge
from the nest and run to the sea.

16
Galpagos: The lost world

Shell
The turtle cant pull its head into its
shell like a tortoise and the shell is
actually its skeleton.

ABOVE Green turtle


hatchlings emerge on a
beach on Santa Cruz

As cold-blooded
creatures, they have
learned to cope well
with the temperatures
of the sea

17
Galpagos: The lost world

THE GALPAGOS SEA


LIONS BARK GREETS
VISITORS TO THE ISLANDS
The inland areas of some of the younger The sea lions are quite a sight,
Galpagos islands may be barren and dry, with the heaving bulks of a grown
but the large number of sea creatures male overbearing and often scary.
swimming in the coastal waters show how However, they often frolic with one
attractive each of them are. another on the land, congregating
Galpagos sea lions have adapted well in harems and diving into the sea to
to life in the archipelago, being equally feed on sardines.
accustomed to the sandy shores or rocky The sea lions will rarely stray
areas of all the various islands. As rather more than a few miles away from the
large creatures, theyre easily spotted, but shore, meaning their barks are heard
youre likely to hear their loud barking very often by visitors. They can also be
noise rst, which can be quite loud when rather curious and trusting, so human
chanted in chorus. divers are able to get very close to them.

GALPAGOS SEA LION


Zalophus wollebaeki
They often frolic with
Class Mammalia
one another on the
land, congregating
Territory Galpagos islands
Diet Carnivore in harems and diving
into the sea
Lifespan 15-24 years
Adult weight 50-400kg /
110-880lbs
Conservation status

ENDANGERED

18
Galpagos: The lost world

Diverse
invertebrates
Male frigatebirds
attract mates
by inating their
impressive throats
Soaring at heights of up to 2,500 metres
Queen buttery
(8,202 feet), the magnicent frigatebird
Able to slip away from
lives up to its name with the gracious,
predators by giving the
near-silent way it takes to the air above
appearance of a poisonous
the coastal areas of the Galpagos islands
meal, queen butteries are
out across the open ocean. It is quite a
oen found on Isabela.
selsh creature, stealing food from other
animals as it swoops down but then it
needs as much as it can get to satisfy a
body that grows to around 90cm (three
feet) in length. With a wingspan of some
two metres (seven feet), it seldom fails to
cause gasps from watching visitors.
Yellow paper wasp
The European yellow
paper wasp arrived on the
Galpagos in 1988 and is
now very commonly seen
throughout the islands.
THE MARINE IGUANA IS THE ONLY
SWIMMING LIZARD IN THE WORLD
In the far west of the Galpagos, on the coast of surroundings and tackle the ocean.
Fernandina, plant life and food is scarce, while extensive For nourishment, they found an abundance of
lava elds make navigation almost impossible. Despite seaweed, as well as red and green algae in the cold
this, the marine iguanas that populate the coast and are waters. In order to get at this food, the iguanas learned
very much at home here. to swim and even dive as low as ten metres (30 feet),
Spotless ladybug
Not conned to Fernandina, these creatures have managing to stay below water for ten minutes at a time.
Endemic to Galpagos,
spread to all the islands in the archipelago and are Their claws have become strong to enable them to cling
spotless ladybugs are an
usually seen on land, warming themselves in the searing to rocks under water and their snouts have attened to
eective deterrent against
heat of the equatorial Sun. let them to graze more efciently using their razor-sharp
rapidly growing aphid and
When the iguanas ancestors washed up from their teeth. Through this adapting, they have become the
scale bug populations.
natural habitat in the jungles of Central America, they world's only sea lizards.
initially struggled. Unable to feast on leaves, their
primary food back home, they had to adapt to their

Galpagos ightless
grasshopper
Also endemic, this
grasshopper doesnt
have wings, but its brown
colouring makes it tough to
spot in the wild.
MARINE IGUANA
Amblyrhynchus cristatus
Class Reptilia

Territory Galpagos
Diet Herbivore
Galpagos centipede Lifespan 5-12 years
Adult weight 0.5-1.5kg /
Centipedes on Galpagos 1-3.3lbs
can grow to 30 centimetres Conservation status
(one foot). Their fangs are
poisonous and they will eat
small birds and lizards. VULNERABLE

19
Galpagos: The lost world

The sally lightfoot crabs colouration


has adapted well to the lava coast
The sally lightfoot crab goes by the rather
descriptive scientic name of Grapsus grapsus
and it can be commonly seen tip-toeing
side-by-side with marine iguanas on the
Galpagos islands, feeding on abundant algae
on the shore. The crabs have adapted well
to the archipelagos lava coasts,
taking on a dark-brown or
black appearance that
enables them to blend
in, protecting them
from predators.

GALPAGOS GIANT
TORTOISE
Chelonoidis nigra
Class Reptilia

Territory Galpagos
Diet Herbivore
Lifespan Over 100 years
Adult weight 250kg / 550lbs
Conservation status

VULNERABLE

GALPAGOS
GIANT TORTOISES
ARE THE LARGEST
IN THE WORLD
Galpagos tortoises reside on ten of the islands, but
Isabela and the Santa Cruz highlands are the best
places to see them. Theyre the largest of all living
tortoise species, growing as large as 1.5 metres (ve
feet) in length and weighing an impressive 250
kilograms (550 pounds) at their heaviest.
When Darwin spotted them in 1835, there were 15
species, but today there are just ten. The tortoises
are protected, but in the past have fallen prey to
human hunters. Like the ightless cormorant, they
have also been threatened by animals introduced
by man and there are only around 15,000 left. A tortoise size comparison
Common tortoise Galpagos tortoise
Its thought the tortoises ancestors rst set foot
in the region two or three million years ago, but
as the centuries have passed theyve moved from
their initial stomping grounds of Espaola and San
Cristbal, to the islands surrounding them. 14-30cm 150cm

20
Galpagos: The lost world
1 wing: 1 metre

The islands finches helped


Waved albatrosses D arwin develop a theory
will dance for love
While visiting the islands naturalist Charles Darwin
noted that, while at rst glance all these little
birds look the same, there are subtle dierences
Between April and December learned to cope with the diverse depending on the island the nches inhabit and
the islands see the breeding and environment, building nests where the area in which they live.
nesting season for the waved vegetation is more plentiful. The Darwin saw that while some nches
albatross, the largest sea bird with principal breeding grounds are on pecked at trees, others used tools and
a wingspan of 2.5 metres (8.2 feet). Espaola Island. those with a plentiful supply of seeds had larger
The birds have a peculiar These birds are at their most beaks. Others still were spotted burrowing into
method of courtship, engaging in majestic when soaring through the esh of dead sea birds and feeding on the
a funny kind of dance that entails the air and are endearing when nutrients in their blood. Because these dierent
bowing, circling and touching spotted taking runs on the sloping species of nch (up to 13 identiable varieties)
beaks. Eggs are laid between surfaces of the islands, using them had one common ancestor, Darwin took
April and June and once a waved as runways to launch into the this to be growing evidence of evolution. This
albatross reaches adult size, it takes air. They can remain airborne for observation, known as adaptive radiation, has
ight and returns six years later. hours, gliding into the wind, with excited experts ever since and a visit to Galpagos
As with other animals in their wings hardly apping as they enables you to see this natural wonder for yourself.
Galpagos, the albatross has gracefully glide high in the air.

THE PENGUINS THAT CAN THRIVE


IN A TROPICAL CLIMATE
With the Sun beating down, its strange to see marine life. Sufce to say, visitors are thrilled to spot
Antarctic fauna mixed with the tropical heat in the Galpagos penguins bobbing about in the water,
guise of the Galpagos penguins. What's more, they placing their heads under when theyre on the hunt
stay here all year around, tending to head for water in for sh, before diving down and capturing their prey.
the day to cool and going back to the land at night. As the only species found north of the equator,
Galpagos penguins form colonies around the Galpagos penguins arent only the second smallest
Cromwell Current, which is a subsurface ow cutting of all penguins, but rather distinctive too. Their bills
across the equator in an easterly direction. Since are relatively large in proportion to their size and they
the surface waters of the Galpagos at this point have a white line in a square shape around the face.
are nutrient-rich and cold just as they are in the Visitors will see them basking in the heat, catching
Antarctic it makes them ideal for penguins. Its this sh with great speed and enjoying the rocky shores
mix of temperatures that lends the area its diverse of Isabela and Fernandina.

GALPAGOS PENGUIN
Spheniscus mendiculus
Class Aves

Territory Galpagos
How fast do Diet Carnivore
Lifespan 15-20 years
penguins swim? Adult weight 2.5kg / 5.5lbs

22.4
Conservation status

MPH ENDANGERED

Its strange to see

4.4MPH
Antarctic fauna mixed
with the tropical heat

21
Galpagos: The lost world

Blue-footed boobies
have a colourful way
of courting
The blue feet of these birds which get their colour
from carotenoid pigments that are derived from a
diet of fresh sardines play a major role in courting.
The birds show their feet to their partners, with
the males displaying their feet spread, up and
in front of their under parts as they come in
to land. As part of an impressive and
important courtship ritual, theres
usually much parading and showing
off. The parade is a brilliant site for
tourists and locals alike.
The boobies can be seen
gracelessly and clumsily pottering
over land, before diving into the
sea. Researchers have found that,
unfortunately, the birds arent breeding
in as large numbers as previously they
were, so the population has dropped by
50 per cent.
BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY Sardine numbers have
Sula nebouxii
also fallen, which has lead
Class Aves
the birds to start seeking
alternatives, and researchers
to believe that this could
be the reason for the birds
Territory Galpagos
Diet Carnivore
Lifespan 17 years
decline. Though the boobies
continue to thrive elsewhere,
Distinctive for their
Adult weight 1.5kg / 3.25lbs
Conservation status
the hope is that numbers beautiful colours, the
will start to rise again in
the Galpagos islands, and
female king angelsh
LEAST CONCERN
scientists continue to look are ercely territorial
for answers.
Plunging beneath the seas around
Galpagos to depths of up to 30 metres

Why the blue feet? (98 feet), the brightly coloured, non-
migratory king angelsh, with its yellow
tail and distinctive white stripe on a blue
The colour comes from
body, is the only angelsh found in the
carotenoid pigments from a
archipelago. Feeding on small plants and
predominant diet of sardines.
animals, with sponges being their perfect
dish, they swim around the rocky tropical
Since the colours linked to food,
reefs but tourists should be wary: the
it indicates the health of the
territorial females can be aggressive. The
individual booby, dictating which
males cover wider ground and both can
of the males get picked up.
grow to around 30cm (one foot) in length.

Visit the Galpagos


Luxury yacht cruise Tailor-made trips
Exodus Wildlife Worldwide
Alamy; Thinkstock; Corbis; FLPA; Getty; Rex Features

www.exodus.co.uk www.wildlifeworldwide.com
Exodus is offering a 12-day Wildlife Worldwide lets you
luxury trip, including seven tailor your adventure to suit
nights aboard a rst-class your taste with a selection
schooner. The itinerary of trips that can combine
enables visitors to see the the Amazon, Ecuador or
islands giant tortoises, walk you can simply concentrate
among blue-footed boobies, on cruises. You can alter
swim with the Galpagos the number of nights you
sea lions and much more wish to stay to suit your
across the islands. preferences and budget.

22
KLEIN & HUBERT / WWF
ADOPTION

ADOPT HIM TODAY.


OR LOSE HIM FOREVER.
Will you help the snow leopard claw its
way back from the brink?
Snow leopards have survived in the Himalayas Your present. Their future.
for thousands of years. But right now, there are For as little as 3 a month, you or your loved
as few as 300 left in Nepal. The harsh reality is one will receive an adoption pack, an adorable
cuddly toy and regular updates from people on the ground
that theyre being slaughtered by poachers for
working tirelessly to help save the beautiful snow leopard.
their bones and precious fur and they urgently
need your help if they are to live on. Whats more, youll have the satisfaction of knowing youre
helping us to train and equip courageous anti-poaching
By adopting a snow leopard today, youll help protect this rangers. And youll discover what it takes and how it
endangered big cat for future generations. feels to help save a species.

from just
Adopt a snow leopard today by lling in the form
+ + = 3 a
month
below, visiting wwfsnowleopard.com
or calling 0845 200 2392
a gorgeous an adoption pack regular updates
snow leopard toy from the field

DIRECT DEBIT WWF-UK


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Please return in an envelope to: Snow Leopard adoption, Freepost SN1457, Melksham, SN12 7BR
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Panda symbol 1986. WWF World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund) WWF registered trademark. VAT number 733 761821.
Animal architects
Mole burrow
EUROPEAN MOLE Moles spend 99.9 per cent of
Above the ground
Moles almost never venture
Surface tunnel
Having a working tunnel so close to the
Talpa europaea
their time under the ground in
above ground, but will do so surface and the grass makes life easier
Class Mammalia in order to search for a water for the mole when it begins looking for
tunnels they dig themselves. source or to collect grass and
leaves for nesting.
food, as this is where most of the tasty
insects are living.
From permanent tunnels
Territory Europe and Asia acting as corridors, to separate
Diet Earthworms, slugs,
centipedes, mice and shrews compartments for storing food,
Lifespan 2-3 years
Adult weight 72-128g / 2.5- sleeping and breeding, you can
4.5oz
Conservation status see why a moles burrow is its
pride and joy!
LEAST CONCERN

RIGHT
European moles only
come up for air when Feeding tunnel
on the hunt for water When a new hunting ground is needed, the mole digs
or nesting materials a new route to expand its burrow further. The feeding
tunnel is closer to the surface than any of the other
sections of a mole burrow, because this is where the
moles food mainly lives.

How they build it


Construction techniques of the intrepid burrower

Moving the soil Perfect patting Always expanding


When digging, the mole gradually By pushing the soil away, the mole The mole wont stop digging until its
pushes soil upwards out of the way gives itself just enough space to pat content with the burrow, which can
eventually causing mole hills on the it down into the surrounding walls. stretch out to 24 metres (79 feet). Food storage
surface. A single mole can dig up to 18 This makes the corridors of the When a European mole digs, itll also While digging, moles will come across food and will
metres (59 feet) of tunnel in a day with burrow perfect for the mole to scurry be on the hunt for food to eat, or store. bite the heads o any earthworms they come into
its large clawed paws. The mole has from one side of its home to the This means, so long as the mole is contact with. This keeps the worms fresh for up to
been nicknamed the digging machine next, without having to worry about hungry, it wont have to stop for one several months.
due to just how much soil it can shi running into a dead-end, or even a minute as it continues to expand its
for such a tiny creature. mountain of soil. not-so-little burrow.

24
Moles

Mole hill
To create tunnels, the mole forces its way
through the soil with swimming motions,
pushing the earth with alternating le and
right paw strokes, compressing it against the
tunnel walls. The soil is cleaned out from the
depths and pushed to the surface through
vertical tunnels, forming the surface mounds
of earth known as mole hills.

Nest
Lined with dry grass and leaves, the
nest is also used for periods of rest.
Moles are solitary most of the year,
but during breeding season they travel
in pairs. Born in the spring, the litter
consists of two to seven young.

Five facts
about
moles
The paws of a mole
are said to hold close
similarities to human
hands, despite the obvious
difference in size.
Permanent tunnels
Used as corridors to get from A to B, Moles have an acute sense of
these must be kept clear to stop any smell and mark their burrows
delays for the mole. These will constantly with urine containing odorous
need restoring if any damage is made
substances. This tells other
while the mole is digging.
moles they arent welcome,
sparking a sense of danger.
The European mole
sometimes constructs a
huge mound with up to
750 kilograms (118 stone) of
soil, complete with storage
and nesting chambers.
Burrow systems can be
extensive, spanning up to half
a kilometre (a third of a mile),
if the mole gets carried away
FLPA, Thinkstock, The Art Agency; Dan Cole, Getty

with its digging!


Permanent tunnel systems,
particularly in clay soils,
can be used by multiple
generations of moles. Once
Latrine
The toilet and drainage compartment a mole is taken out of its
provides a space for waste to go. Note that habitat, dies or disappears,
the toilet is at the deepest point of the burrow, another will quickly come
helping to keep the rest of the system clean and its place, whether its
and dry.
related to the owner or not.

25
26
All About
Gr at white sharks
A misunderstood giant of the
deep, or a calculated ice-cold
killer? Discover more about
the great whites advanced
adaptations and learn about the
life of this leviathan of the oceans
Words Ella Carter-Sutton

27
All about great white sharks

Inside a great white Eyes


Get under the skin of these fearsome predators The great whites eyes function
to see how their bodies have evolved cunning rather like a humans and are
highly sensitive to changing
adaptations for both speed and stealth, placing Brain
light and colour. When the shark
them as voracious hunters at the very top of the attacks, it rolls its eyes back to
keep them protected.
oceans food chain

Nostrils

GREAT WHITE SHARK


Carcharodon carcharias
Class Chondrichthyes

Territory Throughout most


temperate seas and oceans
Diet Carnivore
Lifespan Up to 70 years Body temperature
Adult weight 2,300kg /
5,070lbs This cold-blooded shark
Conservation status is able to warm its body
above the heat of the
water temperature, for
VULNERABLE more-efcient hunting.

Power bite
The great whites bite
is strengthened and Heart
braced from behind by
a cartilaginous structure
called the hyoid arch, so
Pointed teeth
that the shark can deliver
The great whites preference for
a bite of 1.8 tons.
seals means the dentition of the
upper jaw is more pointed in
Strong jaw Liver
shape, enabling it to impale and
The upper jaw isnt fused With no swim bladder like
immobilise its catch.
to the skull, meaning other sh, the great whites stay
the shark can thrust it buoyant in the water thanks to a
forwards to trap prey. large oil-lled liver.

INFANCY JUVENILE MATURITY


Survival of the ttest 0 months In the shallows 10 minutes Small white sharks 0-4 years Mini killers 4-7 years Male sexual maturity 8-9 years
Even before birth, great white pups are Female great whites give birth to Great white shark pups are born as Despite their relatively small size, Aer around nine years, when they
already voracious predators and have between ve and ten pups at once, miniature replicas of their parents. Giving juvenile great whites are already acute measure roughly 3.3 to 4 metres
been know to eat one another while still usually in the safer shallow waters of no parental care aer birth, the mother hunters, feeding on sh, invertebrates (11.5 to 13 feet) long, male white
in the womb. coastal seas. abandons the pups almost instantly. and other smaller marine creatures. sharks reach sexual maturity.

28
Collagen
The skin has a layer of collagen
that anchors the swimming
muscles and acts as a kind of
external skeleton.

Skin
The skin is formed of
tiny tooth-like dermal
denticles, providing a
tough armour.

Gills
Five gill slits provide a huge
surface area for absorbing
oxygen from the water. Fins
The dorsal n along
the back provides
Muscle types stability, the pectoral
Red muscle is used for
ns give lift and the
cruising and runs just
caudal n at the end
underneath the skin,
is used for thrust.
carrying oxygen from the
gills. White muscle contains
no oxygen and is used for
short bursts of energy.

Neural tube

Skeleton
The skeleton is made of a strong
brous substance called cartilage.
This is much lighter and exible
than bone, enabling the shark
to be supple and save vital
swimming energy.
Intestines

Crown tip
Closest family
Cousins of the great white include
Retractable teeth
Cusplet
The dentition of great
Enamel
whites is retractable
and teeth rotate into
Crown
place when the shark
opens its jaw. They are
attached to pressure-
sensitive nerve cells for Mako shark Dogsh Stingray
tactile responses. Root A fellow member of This creature Another fellow
the Lamnidae family, belongs to the same elasmobranch is
the mako shark subclass as the the stingray. Along
shares many features great white sharks, with skates, these
with the great white. Elasmobranchii. They sh belong to the
At around three are much smaller superorder Batoidea.
metres (ten feet) in than most shark They share classic
Reproduction 9+ years Solitary predators 9+ years Female maturity 14-16 years length, they feed on species, but still share elasmobranch traits
Not much is known about the great Aer mating is concluded, the great whites Females take longer to mature cephalopods and some traits, such as a with great white
white mating season. Females will give will separate to roam the ocean and hunt than males, but actually grow bony sh, with similar cartilaginous skeleton sharks and dogsh,
birth every two years, having a year o alone. They will only congregate again to much larger up to 4.2 to 4.8 hunting tactics to their and rough, almost but are attened with
to recuperate. copulate and produce the next generation. metres (14 to 16 feet). great white relatives. sandpaper-like skin. enlarged ns.

29
All about great white sharks

Impeccable hunting
The anatomy of this killer sh is honed in perfect
harmony with its highly effective hunting methods,
leaving almost nothing safe in the ocean

Diet and feeding Occasionally


they will
The menu for great whites is varied and wide-ranging
supplement
An average male great white
70% of their their diet
diet consists with sh,
shark eats 30kg / 66lbs of marine cetaceans
of food every ten days. mammals, and turtles.
such as seals
and sea lions.

Thats 1.2%
of its total
body weight.

01 Inverted 02 Scope prey 03 Approach 04 Surface charge


Although rarely used, some great Using its amazing array of senses, The shark swims below its quarry, If the prey escapes this rst attack,
whites have even been observed a great white shark will stalk its then shoots upwards with a the shark follows up with a rapid
swimming upside-down towards prey and wait for the opportune powerful burst to incapacitate the rush towards the creature to
their prey to cause confusion. moment to strike. prey in its jaws. confuse and disorientate it.

30
Great white sharks

The importance of hierarchy


Not just colossal hunting machines, great whites have intricate social lives and family bonds
Marine biologists are only scratching the which in turn helps to avoid conict. Despite organs in its snout, a great white can sense
surface when it comes to understanding how having a reputation for being stone-cold tiny amounts of blood in the water up to ve
great whites tick. As solitary sh, theres some killers, they arent keen to ght one another. kilometres (three miles) away. They have also
social hierarchy when individuals meet. In areas In terms of hierarchy, the larger the shark, the been witnessed raising their heads several feet
with regular populations, large groups gather higher its rank; similarly, residents come before out of the water, and some think that this is to
at certain times of year. These gatherings arent newcomers and females before males. When get a sniff of scents in the air.
fully understood, but coincide with the boom many sharks gather, competition for prey can The sharks must keep swimming to stay
of seal populations. Around this time, young be erce, so the sharks in some areas appear alive, moving a ow of water over their gills
great white sharks will hang back from large to reduce conict by respecting boundaries. to keep oxygen pumping. Its not known how
kills to let the larger and older sharks take the When it comes to hunting, ambush is the they sleep, but some have been seen moving
lions share. Physical gestures have shown that method of choice. Hunting behaviour relies on slowly, or even being stationary in gullies. By
body language is also used to communicate. a potent mix of precision and efciency and facing their heads into the current, theyre able
Most social interaction between great the sharks use their developed brains and keen to catch a breather between mouthfuls as the
whites seems to be in order to establish rank, senses to hone in on their prey. Using the scent water passes into their gills.

31
All about great white sharks

Epic migrations Atlantic journey


This shark, nicknamed Lydia, has shown
the true ability of great whites to swim
vast distances. She headed out into the
Satellite tagging has shown these sh can travel open Atlantic and swam over halfway
through miles of open sea to Europe.

The urge to migrate


Great whites are thought to
migrate to feed, coinciding
with the availability and
quality of food in particular
Regular routes regions. This could also
Great whites tagged be to do with mating or
between 2000 and pupping, with the sharks
2008 off the coast heading o to nd the most
suitable mate, or the ideal
of California showed place to give birth. Evidence
regular migrations all suggests that all sharks
the way to Hawaii, appear to migrate, but
back to California scientists are still trying to
gure out when and why.
and in between.

Physiological demands
Although journeys may be erratic, many
sharks are known to migrate from their home Trans-oceanic voyage
ranges to other areas rich in food. On the A female great white named Nicole
journey its the sharks fatty liver that enables it
to swim marathon distances, but it can quickly broke great white records when she
replenish its reserves once it arrives. swam 11,100 kilometres (6,900 miles) in
99 days from South Africa to Australia.

Born Solitary life


The baby great whites are much like
their parents in that they swim the
survivors oceans alone.

How pups are born


with survival instincts
Great white offspring are almost
miniature versions of their parents.
Unlike other creatures, there are no
life cycle stages to undergo for young
great whites. This means that simply
eating plenty to grow fast and reach the
gargantuan size of their fearsome shark
elders is all the little sharks need to do.
With no parental care whatsoever,
shark young come built with all the
instinctual survival knowledge they
need straight out of the womb. Initially
they will feed on small sh and bottom- Prepped and ready
feeders these are tasty and nutritious Baby sharks develop their
bite-sized morsels for the mini sharks. killer senses in the womb, so
At around 1.5 metres (ve feet) long, when they are born, theyre
the offspring are by no means tiny, but ready to hunt.
this small size can make them vulnerable Sticking to the shallows
to larger predators. Though theyre In their rst few weeks, hungry little
thrown in at the deep end, learning great whites mainly stick to shallow
to survive in this way helps the young water where meals are plentiful.
sharks grow into hardened adults.

32
Great white sharks

Mating rituals include biting Shark signals


These slow-growing ocean leviathans keep their Body language is used to
mating secrets closely guarded establish social boundaries
Great white sharks reach maturity at around nine that a bite will keep the pair together. As great
years old for males and 14 years old for females. white sharks have to keep swimming constantly
When the time comes to nd a mate, its thought to maintain the oxygen ow over their gills, a bite
great whites may make long journeys to hang may be the helping hand the male needs in order
out in areas where other sharks are looking for to fertilise the female.
suitable partners. These congregations of great Fertilisation is internal for great whites and the
whites looking for love seem to occur in the male has special appendages known as claspers
same places each year. on his underbelly, modications of his pelvic ns
Parallel swim
Hormones are believed to play a big part in that he uses to inject his sperm and fertilise the
Two great whites swim slowly side by
shark mating rituals, with each male and female females eggs. Once fertilised, the female swims
side to size each other up and establish
producing a certain chemical and releasing it off and the male has no further part to play.
rank, or settle ownership of a kill. Smaller
into the water to let members of the opposite Great whites, like many shark species, are
sharks will submit and swim away.
gender know that theyre ready to mate. Some ovoviviparous, which means they give birth to
great whites have even been observed making live young. The females fertilised eggs hatch
constant vertical dives in order to spread this out within the womb and the young baby great
chemical scent throughout the water column. whites will eat any unfertilised eggs, providing
Courting behaviour isnt well documented in them with a source of much-needed nutrients.
great white sharks. They may use their supreme This can also go a step further and unborn great
swimming strength to zoom upwards out of the white young have been known to eat their own
water and crash back down onto the sea surface brothers and sisters while still in the womb.
with a huge splash, known as a pattern breach, Although its not fully documented, marine
as a mating display. A breeding couple may biologists generally think that gestation for great Swim by
also swim in circles around each other a little to whites is around a year. The mother will give This behaviour consists of a slow swim
establish themselves before the male bites the birth in shallow water, but then immediately swim past each other, a few feet apart. It may
female. This bite may be to signal to her that he away and leave her pups to fend for themselves be used to identify each other, or to
is ready, or it may have a more practical use, in as soon as they are born. establish which shark ranks highest.

After swimming
circles around each
other, the male bites
the female as a Hunch display
This posture is assumed when faced
signal to her that he with a dominant shark and usually
comes before either eeing or attacking.
is ready

Splashing
A splash ght is quite rare to see
between two sharks, but usually
determines ownership of a kill. The rules
are simple the biggest splash wins.

Circling
Great whites swim around each other in
a circle to identify rank.

33
All about great white sharks

King of the oceans


These majestic sharks live in oceans across the Great whites spend most of their time near the
world, usually gathering in the shallower waters of surface, but have been known to dive to around
the continental slopes. Their principal habitat is the 1,875 metres (6,151 feet) in open oceans. Because
Pelagic zone the upper part of the water column of their preference to be close to the shore,
where light is still in plentiful supply. The sharks they have often clashed with humans, earning
will usually stay wherever food can be found, so themselves a reputation as murderous thugs. This
make their homes near coastal areas populated by is unfair on the sharks, however, as most attacks
plenty of seals and sea lions. are mere cases of mistaken identity.
Areas where deep water is close to the shore There are hot spots of shark activity across
are favourite haunts, as are offshore reefs, banks, the world, with greater concentrations of great
shoals and rocky headlands. These sharks also whites off the coasts of South Africa, Australia
like to cruise around seamounts and island and California. Theyre also found along the coast
archipelagos, looking for food or mates depending of Hawaii, most of South America, the Gulf coast,
on the location and time of year. Many will make New Zealand and the Mediterranean Sea. Great
long migrations each year to visit feeding or whites rarely venture into icy waters but some are
breeding grounds. spotted on the Alaskan and Canadian coasts.

Environmental factors
Life in the sea has issues even for these mighty ocean rulers
Commercial sheries Poachers
Great whites can fall victim to
bycatch from the shing industry.
Despite their protection, great white
sharks are targeted to make shark-n
Their fearsome features
Alamy, Corbis, Getty, NPL, Thinkstock,
Michael HJC, Jim E Margos, G W Sharks

The creatures are oen trapped and


killed in nets intended to catch other
sh for humans to eat.
soup, a supposed oriental delicacy.
Poachers cut o the ns and throw
the animals back.
have helped paint
Shark nets Changing climates an undeservingly
negative picture of a
Designed to cordon o coastal areas Its not easy to predict the aect
and make them safe for humans climate change may have, but
to swim in, these colossal nets can alterations in climate may inuence
entangle and kill sharks, as well as
other marine life.
prey distribution, which in turn
could aect the great whites. misunderstood sh

34
Great white sharks

Why sharks should Nearest


neighbours
be left alone The great white shares its ocean
home with countless other
Great whites and humans have shared a chequered past.
amazing marine species
Their fearsome features, gigantic size and erce array of teeth,
alongside ctional lms such as Jaws, have painted a rather poor
picture of these misunderstood sh. Although shark bites do
happen, they are very rare. In 2013 there were 53 unprovoked
shark attacks in the USA, two of which were fatal. Compared
with the amount of people in America who swam in the sea
throughout the year, that number is very small.
The truth is that sharks dont want to eat us. We arent fatty
enough for their nutritional needs and we have too many bones
to digest. Shark attacks on humans dont usually conform to
the usual hunting strategy of the great white ambushing and
rushing the prey from beneath. If they really did believe we were Coral
Forming massive oshore reefs,
their food, shark attacks would probably be much more common.
the great white is a frequent visitor
Despite this, shark culls to protect public safety are in effect in to these ecosystems. Coral is made
some areas of the world. For example, in Western Australia shark up of tiny invertebrate animals that
culls began in January 2014 and more are expected to happen live in colonies and secrete a hard,
calcium-carbonate skeleton.
after the region was given an exemption from the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to kill great white
sharks. As this species are so slow to reproduce and grow, culling
could have catastrophic impact on breeding populations of these
majestic animals.

Squid
A Pelagic dweller alongside the great
white, squid species live in the top
layers of the ocean right down to the
depths. They move by jet-propulsion
from their siphon, reaching up to 40
kilometres (25 miles) per hour.

Seals
The favourite meal of the great
white, seals, alongside sea lions
and walruses, live on shorelines
across the world and are full of fatty,
blubbery goodness just how the
sharks like it.

In our culture
Sharks have captured many imaginations, cropping
up in blockbuster lms and even sports
Jaws Bruce in Disney Pixars
Responsible for many peoples Finding Nemo
shark fears, Steven Spielbergs Finding Nemo went some way to
1975 thriller follows the story of a portray great whites in a better
killer shark on the loose around light, with Bruces mantra being
the beach resort of Amity Island. sh are friends, not food.
Bony sh
The Devils Teeth Symbol of strength The great whites share their watery
by Susan Casey The shark tooth has long been realm with thousands of species of
This aims to tell the truth about used as a symbol of male bony sh from ocean-going giants,
the great whites of Californias strength and masculinity shoals of tiddlers along the shore
Farallon Islands, as well as the shark tooth necklaces came to and brightly coloured exotic species
scientists studying them. prominence during the 1970s. teeming in the reefs.

35
18
Amazing
facts
Rhinos The big, beautiful, endangered,
talking, unpredictable, horned
tank of Africa and Asia

Rhinos can talk


Though not exactly a developed language like human speech,
the grunts and squawks you might hear rhinos emitting Horses were their ancestors
arent completely random. They use a number of sounds to Even though the word hippopotamus means
communicate with one another, and Sumatran rhinos even water horse in Latin, rhinos are more closely
use an infrasonic sound inaudible to human ears a whistle related to actual horses than their hippo cousins,
even though they do look quite similar.
followed by a sharp bang that carries over vast distances.

The white rhinos name


is thought to be a mis- Ancient rhinos
translation of the Dutch
word wijd, which means
weighed up
wide in English, referring to 20 tons.
to their broad mouths.
A rhinos gestation period
is nearly twice that of
humans and the second
longest next to elephants,
which lasts up to two years.
An extinct species of
rhino, Paraceratherium,
stood over 8.5 metres (28
feet) tall on its hind legs
and is the largest known
land mammal ever.
Rhino fossil records can
be traced back millions
They use their lips as limbs
The prehensile upper lip of the black rhino is
of years. The Sumatran
extremely articulate capable of picking small
rhino first appeared in the
leaves from twigs, as well as holding food in its
Miocene period, around 20
mouth. In some reported cases it has allowed the
Rhino pregnancy lasts 16 months. million years ago!
rhino to open gates and even car doors.

36
Rhinos

Rhino sight is poor but they


make up for it with acute
hearing and an incredibly
keen sense of smell.

In this major new


campaign, 10% of
World of Animals
profits will now help
fight poaching
Follow the campaign and help save
rhinos now at animalanswers.co.uk
World of Animals is working with Ol
Pejeta, east Africas largest black rhino
sanctuary, to help bring awareness
to a massive problem that should be
stopped. The conservancy is dedicated
to securing habitats for the purpose of
wildlife conservation and the not-for-prot
organisation looks aer over 100 rhinos
today. You can follow this vital campaign at
www.animalanswers.co.uk. Here youll
also nd a Donate page to directly fund the
ght against poaching before its too late
and these animals are lost forever.

Rhino brains are tiny

They use Sun-block


For such imposing animals,
rhinos have proportionally tiny
brains that weigh anything
Rhino skin is vulnerable to the intense ultraviolet radiation of
from 400 to 600 grams (0.9 to
the Sun, so to protect themselves they nd a watering hole and 1.3 pounds). Surprisingly this is
roll in the mud. This coats their skin with a layer that not only less than half the weight of the
prevents burning, but acts as a kind of insect-repellent too. average human brain.

Rhino horn is worth


They can smell more than gold
a human from a The price of rhino horn has sky-
mile away. rocketed in recent years, as the
worldwide rhino population has
plummeted and the coveted horn has
become scarce. In the early 1970s a
kilo (2.2 pounds) of horn would set you
back $35, while today that amount of
horn will cost you up to $100,000. The
same amount of gold costs just over
$45,000 at todays prices.

There are ve species of rhino,


including the black and white African,
Indias greater one-horned, as well as
the rare Sumatran and Javan rhinos.
They cant see you if
Rhino horn is actually made of the same
you stand still
With a great sense of smell and hearing, rhino vision is
Corbis, FLPA, Thinkstock

material as your hair and fingernails.


very poor compared with a humans. Its based on motion,
Like many of todays other so it has difculty seeing things that are standing still.
endangered species, there are far Their reputation for unprovoked charges is based on the
fewer rhinos now than there were just fact that they panic when they sense unfamiliar sounds or
a century ago. smells, but are unable to see them.

37
This striped wolf-like marsupial no match
ian tiger It had a stiff tail
for the dingo found peace on the island of and, much like
Tasmania, but fell victim to bounty killings the kangaroo, an
abdominal pouch

New Guinea
The size of a dog
Its scientic name (Thylacinus
stralia cynocephalus) actually means
pouched dog with a wolfs head. An
adult measured 180 centimetres (six
feet) from nose to tail tip and stood
about 60 centimetres (two feet) high.
Tasmania

Tiger stripes
It had short, so, brown fur except for
around 14 to 24 brown-black stripes
from the shoulder area to the tail.

Abdominal pouch
Like all marsupials, Thylacine had an
abdominal pouch to carry young (up to
four at a time).

With a wolf-like appearance and tiger-style stripes,


this carnivorous marsupial was actually more-
depleting from the mainland. The tigers roamed
free on Tasmania, though a dingo-free zone
Last seen
Date: 7 September 1936 Location: Tasmania
closely related to kangaroos. Native to continental until Europeans arrived, that is. The destruction
Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, its believed of habitat for sheep farming meant the loss of
Alan Batley Illustration; freevectormaps.com

Throughout the mid-20th century several


that the Tasmanian tiger (Thylacine) only became their natural prey and so the tigers began hunting sightings of the Thylacine were reported,
extinct in the 20th century. domestic sheep for food. but none proven. Even though expeditions in
A relatively shy creature, about the size of Farmers launched campaigns to destroy the the 1930s, 40s and 60s found no Tasmanian
a medium-to-large dog, it had a stiff tail and, tigers and landowners paid a bounty for each kill tigers, further possible evidence for the
much like the kangaroo, an abdominal pouch. A made, until in 1888 the government introduced an species continued existence surfaced. In 1961,
series of transverse stripes over its back gave it even larger bounty. Any remaining population was a young male tiger was accidentally killed on
its common name, the Tasmanian tiger. After the depleted by an unknown disease in 1910 and by the west coast of Tasmania. The incident led
introduction of wild dogs (dingoes), competition 1933 its believed the species had nally become to questions about its existence had it been
for food became rife and tiger numbers began extinct in the wild. surviving somewhere out of sight?

38
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In eastern Africa, poachers use Ol Pejeta is a leading conservancy World of Animals magazine takes a
automatic weapons to slaughter ghting against this cruelty. stand against these atrocities and
AND HELP
FIGHT
endangered rhinos. The animals It needs more funds so more is proud to be in partnership with
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Meet the family
Pigs
With 16 different species, the
BUSHPIG
Potamochoerus larvatus
Class Mammalia

Territory Eastern Africa and


Madagascar
Bushpig
The sociable Suidae
This shaggy-coated pig can be found in forests
and woodland in eastern Africa and Madagascar
as long as theres dense vegetation available, a
bit of shelter and enough water, theyre usually
happy. Bush pigs are generally social creatures,
Diet Grasses, water plants,
found in sounders with up to ten members, but
Suidae family is brimming with roots, bulbs, fruit, carrion and
small animals can be on the aggressive side. Theyre nocturnal,
Lifespan 20 years so arent often seen roaming around in daylight
diverse and interesting animals Adult weight 54-115kg / 119-
253lbs
hours, but the species is widespread and
Conservation status common, with little threat to its existence. Bush
pigs have paler heads compared with the rest of

Desert warthog LEAST CONCERN


their bodies, as well as muscular snouts, which
can also feature warts in the male of the species.
Whats life like for a desert pig? Light mane
As its name suggests, the desert warthog lives in open, arid
The bush pig has
regions, preferring sandy soils over hilly terrain. It has a low a shaggy coat,
tolerance to the cold, which means it grazes at low elevations, usually reddish-
usually on grass, plants, owers and fruits. Due to its brown in colour but
sometimes a much
environment, it cant be too fussy when it comes to food. The
darker brown.
desert warthog is a large and stocky pig, and has a rather Crest of hair
A long crest of
attened head. Brown in colour, it has short, sparse hairs hair runs down
covering most of its body and a crest of much longer hair the back and
that runs down the back of its neck. Living in the desert, the along the neck
desert warthog depends on water and shade for its survival. of the warthog.

Pygmy hog
Very small and rare
Difcult to spot, in more ways than one, the pygmy hog is the smallest
and rarest wild pig in the world. Everything about it is small, with a dark,
grey-brown colouring. Both males and females have sparse hair, little
legs and short tails, but males are slightly
larger and have sharp tusks and hairy PYGMY HOG
moustaches. Speedy on land and in Porcula salvania
water, the hog lives in wet, tall-grass Class Mammalia
habitats and used to reside among the
DESERT WARTHOG Himalayan foothills. This species is now on
Phacochoerus aethiopicus the verge of extinction, with fewer than 200
Class Mammalia
Alamy; Thinkstock; Frank Lane Picture Agency; Dreamstime

adults believed to exist in and around the Territory Assam, India


Diet Roots, leaves, grasses,
Manas National Park in Assam, India. fruits, seeds, eggs and carrion
Work is currently being carried Lifespan 7-14 years
out in an attempt to save Adult weight 8-10kg / 17-22lbs
Territory Ethiopia, Kenya and Conservation status
Somalia
the little pigs.
Diet Grass, leafy plants,
owers and fruit
Lifespan 7-18 years CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
Short Legs
Adult weight 130kg / 286lbs
The pygmy hog has rather short
Conservation status
legs in proportion to the rest of its
body, which means it can move
very quickly through its habitat of
LEAST CONCERN tall, dense grass.

40
Pigs

Celebes warty pig Not a pig


The patriarch of the family Guinea pig Cavia porcellus
The Celebes warty pig is grey-black, often
This pet is a species of rodent from the
with red or yellow markings on its sides. It
Caviidae family and is unrelated to the pig
has a rather impressive Mohican-style crest
family. Guinea pigs dont even exist naturally
of bristles on the crown of the head,
in the wild, but are domestic descendants of a
which sometimes runs down the neck.
closely related species of cavy. Though it has
Both males and females have three
no connection to the Suidae family, the Latin
pairs of warts on their faces
name of the guinea pig means little pig.
CELEBES WARTY PIG these are more prominent on
Sus celebensis males and older pigs. Also
Class Mammalia
known as the Sulawesi warty
pig due to its Indonesian
habitat, can be found in a range
of environments from rainforests
Territory Indonesia and swamps to open grasslands
Diet Foliage, fallen fruits,
roots, sh, crustaceans, and agricultural areas. It can even
worms, insects and carrion survive in altitudes of around
Lifespan 10 years 2,500 metres (8,200 feet).
Adult weight 40-70kg /
88-154lbs When on the move, these pigs are
Conservation status Black Bristles usually led by a male and midday wallowing
The Celebes warty pig has tends to break up their active days.
thick, black bristles on the top
NEAR THREATENED of its head, that looks a bit like
a Mohican or bushy fringe
1 4
Large
white Pig 3
The most common Large whites start 2
The most populous pig of the bunch is small and pink
the large white, pictured here as a piglet. This domestic pig has
Also known as the English large white, less of a rugged look,
with shorter pale
1. Biggest 3. Most well-
this domestic pig originated in Yorkshire, hairs and long legs. Forest hog known
UK, and was rst recognised in 1868. A As the largest Domestic pig
rugged and hardy breed, the large white wild pig, the male This pig is a
can withstand ever-changing climates, forest hog is even subspecies of the
from the coldness of European winters, to larger than the wild boar, farmed
the often blazing summers. Their ability WHITE PIG female at around for its meat or
Class Mammalia
to cross and improve other breeds gives two metres (6.5 kept as a pet.
them the leading role in commercial pig feet) in length Either way, its
production worldwide. and a metre very accustomed
(three feet) tall. to humans.
Territory Domesticated
Diet Vegetation
EURASIAN WILD PIG Newborn Lifespan 10-15 years 2. Smallest 4. Fastest
Sus scrofa
Class Mammalia
Newborns have light stripes along Adult weight 100-160kg / Pygmy hog Warthog
their torso, which fade throughout 220-350lbs
Conservation status
Rare and almost The warthog has
their rst year until the pig turns to
its brown, adult shade. extinct, this hog been known to
is the smallest run at speeds
NOT EVALUATED wild pig in the of up to 48
Territory Southern Europe,
Asia and North Africa world, standing kilometres (30
Diet Seeds, roots, tubers, fruit, at just 20 to 31 miles) per hour,
nuts, carrion, eggs, insects centimetres (8 to usually when

Eurasian
Lifespan 21 years
Adult weight 66-272kg / 12 inches) tall on startled or in
145-600lbs its little legs. imminent danger.
Conservation status

wild pig
LEAST CONCERN
Meet the ancestor of the domestic pig
Also known as the wild boar, the Eurasian wild pig has found a good
balance between rest and play, spending much of its time foraging
and swimming, sometimes for several miles, but also wallowing and
even taking afternoon siestas. Its also able to adapt to a variety of
environments, from deserts and tropical rainforests to woodlands
and jungles. With one of the widest geographic distributions of all
terrestrial mammals, its the ancestor of most ancient and modern
domestic pig breeds. In a similar way to how the aging process turns
human hair a lovely shade of silver, the Eurasian wild pigs bristly, coarse coat
turns from brown to grey as it grows old.

41
Wildlife of the dry forest

42
Wildlife of the
dry forest
A showcase of rare and beautiful animals, and
an example of how wildlife can ourish when left
undisturbed, the Anjajavy forest is home to teems
of unusual species endemic to Madagascar

43
Wildlife of the dry forest

Amazingly the Anjajavy forest covers an area of only hedgehog tenrec (Setifer setosus) which is endemic to the
around 50 square kilometres, but within it there is a forest and can be seen sifting along the oor.
whole world of wildlife rejoicing in its unique, dry, arboreal The fossa is one of the rarest carnivores in the world.
environment. The forest isnt remarkable in itself, but its Although its not much larger than a domestic Tom cat,
location on a peninsular with the beautiful Majajamba Bay its often described as a miniature puma a veritable
at its south, and the equally beautiful Narinda Bay on its giant in the relatively small fauna of Madagascar. Its one
northern side, makes it rather special. of a number of unusual creatures, but not so strange
BELOW Abundant More than just the secrets of its ora and fauna, the as the greater hedgehog tenrec, which is nocturnal and
trees and lush forest is also home to a system of small tidal estuaries resembles a startled hedgehog, as its name suggests.
vegetation are
home to the
that create mangrove swamps within the apparently dry Despite being an insectivore, it has a totally unexpected
wildlife of the surroundings. This provides a contrasting array of species, family tree that puts it in the same category as elephants!
Anjajavy forest making the Anjajavy not only fascinating, but unusually The name Anjajavy comes from the jajavy tree, which is
diverse for such a small area of forest. unique to this small area and found solely within a radius
Lemurs are a noted species in the Anjajavy forest, of ve kilometres (three miles) of Anjajavy village. However,
since they have a great playground to use as their even this settlement has little or no road contact with the
habitat. Abundant trees and forest oor enable rest of Madagascar and is best encountered by sea or air.
them a varied diet and in the wet season they This region of Madagascar is tropical, which means
feed on owers, fruit, bark and dead wood. its hot, with a leaning towards temperate. The seasons
In the dry season they enjoy mature arent as clearly dened as most, but the winter generally
leaves and buds. runs from January to March. Its during this time that the
The tsingy caves provide a special canopy of the forest drips constantly under the weight
habitat for the bats of this region, of the rainy period, with an occasional cyclone ensuring
offering cool shelter. Probably theres no cosy complacency for any forest resident.
the most common member of Winter melts into a brief spring and a prolonged
the Chiroptera family locally is summer throughout the rest of the year. April to June
the Commersons leaf-nosed bat sees the Sun bursting through, but there are still some
(Hipposideros commersoni). The heavy rains during these three months. The growth spurts
cave explorer will sight many bats of the plants, trees and vegetation are mainly during the
in ight and some hanging from remainder of the year when the nourishment of the rain is
the ceiling on stalactite formations fully absorbed and, of course, as plant life ourishes so do
of the limestone cave interiors. the many species of wildlife.
Also thought to be present A walk through the Anjajavy during the summer months
in the Anjajavy forest area is the can be one of the most rewarding trips in the world. Not
endangered fossa (Cryptoprocta only are the many breathtaking wild owers in full radiant
ferox), the largest mammalian bloom, but the native wildlife presents itself to be seen and
carnivore on the island of Madagascar, observed with little effort. Offspring abound and treat the
as well as the nocturnal greater forest oor as their playground under the watchful eyes of

Diverse as they Changing climates


are beautiful, The Anjajavy isnt exempt from environmental
amingoes are a
common sight in
concerns by any means
the Anjajavy forest
Deforestation combined with global
warming has already scarred many areas of
Madagascar, including the dry forest. Rising
sea levels, more rain activity and increased
cyclonic threat could actually cause the coastal
forest areas to shi inland. This would leave
the local communities at greater risk and could
unbalance the entire region.
There are concerns about an increase in
both marine and land gas and oil exploration.
As agriculture demands rise, deforestation,
which has already taken its toll on some areas
of the country, could also further threaten the
Anjajavy region.
All is not lost though, since both local and
international agencies have already identied
the vulnerabilities and are taking action to
protect the Anjajavy for future generations.

Offspring abound and treat the


forest oor as their playground

44
Wildlife of the dry forest

Endemic to Five amazing


birds of
Madagascar, the
carpet chameleon

Madagascar
starts the day a
darker colour to
help warm up in
the sunlight Madagascar sh eagle
A majestic but deadly hunter,
the Madagascan sh eagle is
the largest of Anjajavys birds of
prey. There are thought to be four
breeding pairs le in the forest.

Madagascar crested
wood ibis
Colourful but camouaged, the
Madagascan crested wood ibis
feeds on almost anything small
that moves, from insects to frogs.

Grey-headed lovebird
A fast ier, the grey-headed
dedicated parents. Lemurs are the most iconic creatures
lovebird chews leaves and twigs
found here, as well as a wide range of reptiles some of
for its nest, but its only the male
them quite weird to behold including colourful geckos
that is actually grey-headed the
that adorn trees like living jewellery. There are of course
female is a regular green.
also countless birds, brilliant, colourful and often noisy.
These birds are as diverse as they are plentiful, with
greater amingoes a common sight on the edge of the
forest, as well as a surprising number of other waders, but
many other species chatter and sing high in the canopy.
Among the rarer breeds to be seen is the Madagascan
sh eagle, only a few pairs of which have been recorded
in recent times, but the environment suits them perfectly.
Two other birds of prey unique to this area are the African pygmy
Madagascan harrier hawk and the Madagascan cuckoo kingsher
falcon. All three of these birds survive because of an The African pygmy kingsher
abundance of prey on the menu. loves the coast, but feeds on
Far below, on the shady forest oor, the Anjajavy is the abundance of small insects,
mostly limestone and, as the land meets the coast, there rather than sh.
are a number of striking caves. These are picturesque not
only because of their large, ornate stalactites, but also
because of the apparently moving surface of the cave roof.
Look a little closer and youll soon realise this living ceiling
is in fact a healthy bat population crowded in the darkness.
Today there are arranged trips into the Anjajavy with
small groups of wildlife enthusiasts taken on guided
eld trips that have been described as once-in-a-lifetime
Rufous vanga
journeys. Its a living forest with a kaleidoscope of colours,
Another colourful inhabitant of
sounds and aromas, cautiously welcoming visitors.
the forest, rufous vanga is also
Essentially, though, the Anjajavy dry forest remains as it
keen on larger insects and small
has always been in a world of its own.
lizards. Its one of the least-rare
birds of the region.

See it for yourself


WWW.RAINBOWTOURS.CO.UK
Rainbow Tours have been organising trips to the Anjajavy
for years, combining the best accommodation with expert The fossa is Madagascars
guidance. Of course, theres also the exotic holiday of a largest carnivore and cat
lifetime on the north-west beaches. Rainbow Tours has a king of the Anjajavy forest
good track record in making the Anjajavy very special.

45
Wildlife of the dry forest

Life in the Anjajavy forest


Forest roof
The patches of darkness within
the forest are provided by the tall
baobab, which oen link to create
umbrellas over the ground below.
Sunlight threads through the thick canopy,
spotlighting the dry forest oor to highlight Lowland forest

colourful geckos and many other creatures. The


The Anjajavy is a dry, lowland,
deciduous forest, oering a very
plants that make up the ora and fauna of the dierent environment from the tropical
rainforests of other areas.
Anjajavy bordering on the Indian Ocean and draw Madagascar
sh eagle
nutrition from its exploratory rivulets

World within an island


Madagascar was once a part
of the African land mass, but
tectonic shifts millions of years
ago, probably during the Jurassic
period, detached todays
island. The ora and fauna
heavily indicate its links with
the mainland, yet it has many
endemic species. The Anjajavy
has its own unique features and
is almost a world of its own.

Thick shrubs
The shrub life of the forest
is thick a sure sign of a
lack of browsing mammals
and a protective bonus for
the many small creatures
living on the forest oor.

Wet and dry


The area has a great
variety of wildlife at
least in part because
of its varied terrain of
both dry forest and
wetland, all within a
fairly small area.

Ring-tailed lemur Tsingy city


Perhaps the star of the A tsingy is like an outdoor limestone
Madagascan show, the stalagmite, reaching up on both
ring-tailed lemur is among land and in the sea. Not all
the most famous animals are spear-shaped, but
unique to the island. Very some can be seen in
sociable, theyre often seen the ocean near to the
in large groups, hunting coast and have been
for food or simply sunning rounded by sea motion
themselves. At home on so that they look like
the ground and high in the small islands.
trees, these lemurs have
done a lot to put the area
on the map. Oustalets
chameleon

Carpet
chameleon

46
Wildlife of the dry forest
Forest trails
In places the forest is impenetrable except by
Carpet chameleon
following the rather make-shi trails. This large chameleon can grow
over 20 centimetres (eight inches)
and is typical of its kind in that its
slow-moving but lightning fast when
it nds a tasty insect. Like most
Brown lemur chameleons it changes colour
often starting the day as a dull green
when its cool but becoming bright
green as it gets warmer.
Ancient trees
Some of the islands famous baobab trees
are known to have lived for more than 1,000
years and during this time have been the
favourite of the many kinds of lemur. The
Anjajavy boasts some of the nest of this Lemur support system
Baobab smooth-barked national emblem, which While lemurs are quite at home on
comes in all shapes and sizes. the ground, theres no doubt that
they fully enjoy the liana vines that
are abundant in the forest.

Natural cisterns Predators


The forest features a number of
The best known of the regions predators
natural limestone caverns that
have been used by local tribes is the fossa, Madagascar's largest
in the past, but now help to keep carnivore. Other hunters include the
some moisture in this dry forest. tenrec and of course the birds of prey.
The Anjajavy is home to a wide range of
predatory wildlife feeding on everything
from small mammals and birds, to bugs,
but the balance of the food chain has
always been perfectly maintained.
Fossa

Hot and dry


There is no question that the Anjajavy
gets hot, over 30 degrees Celsius (86
Fahrenheit). Theres a low overall rainfall,
even though it is heavy at times.
Madagascar
ground boa
Global 200 Ecoregion
Because of its endemic animal and plant
life, the Anjajavy has been included in the
Global 200 Ecoregion protection list.

Commersons leaf-nosed bat

Sea life
Bordering as it does on the sea, the
forest is within close sight of a number of
ocean-going creatures such as whales and
dolphins, which can swim peacefully by as
its considered bad form in Madagascar to
kill such creatures.

Madagascan giant hognose snake


Bat haven
The limestone caves of the
Western girdled lizard Anjajavy are home to a huge
bat population who have the
Corbis, Thinkstock, NPL, Sol90, Ardea

Chameleon collection best of both worlds. During


Madagascar is famed for an immense the day they are content
array of chameleons, many of which live to sleep in their customary
in the Anjajavy. These can grow as long
as a metre (three feet) from nose to tail. position but at dusk they
emerge to feast on the
Snake patrol
thousands of insects lling
There are a number of snakes living in the forest,
but none of them are especially dangerous and the air. What a great life!
can be avoided by following the correct paths.

47
Endangered
Mountain gorilla Discovered in 1902, there are thought
MOUNTAIN GORILLA
Gorilla beringei beringei to be fewer than 900 of these noble
Class Mammalia
apes left in the wild around a tenth the
estimated population of their eastern
Territory Uganda, Rwanda
lowland cousins. With longer and thicker
and Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC)
hair than other gorilla species, theyre
Diet Leaves, fruit, roots, bark,
some insects
perfectly adapted to the mountain
Lifespan 35 years
Adult weight Up to 220kg /
climate, living at altitudes of up to
485lbs
Conservation status
4,400 metres (14,000 feet). However,
their survival skills are constantly being
ENDANGERED
pushed to the limits as a result of human
encroachment on their territory

Why its
endangered
Disease
Gorillas are one of our closest relatives,
which is arguably one of the things that
makes them so popular to conservationists
and eco-tourists alike. Ironically our efforts
to help have often had the opposite effect,
as our contagious diseases infect entire
troops. Because their immunity isnt as
developed as ours, even illnesses like a
common cold can be lethal.

Habitat loss
Forests in central Africa are constantly the
victim of human industry, pushing gorillas
higher into the mountains and ever-more
conned areas. Most often the land is
repurposed for agriculture and to create
pasture for livestock, but other threats to
the habitat include charcoal production, oil
prospecting and illegal mining of minerals.

War
Although the war in Rwanda ended in the
1990s, its ramications along with those
of continuing civil unrest in DRC are still
impacting mountain gorillas. Thousands
of eeing refugees and hiding rebels have
now made the forest their home, resulting
in a growing trade in poaching and the
fragmentation of gorilla territory.

What you can do


WWW.GORILLAFUND.ORG
Gorilla Fund International was set up by Dian Fossey
(of Gorillas In The Mist fame) in 1978. As well as
helping to protect these great apes on the ground, it
also conducts research into gorilla rehabilitation and
educational programmes to show humans and gorillas
can peacefully coexist.

48
Mountain gorilla

Tara Stoinski,
Dian Fossey
Gorilla Fund
International
Dr Tara Stoinski is the vice-president and chief
scientic ocer of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
Democratic
International. She is also a member of the
Republic of
the Congo IUCNs Primate Specialist Groups Section for
Great Apes.
Mountain gorilla conservation has been
remarkably successful in that the mountain
gorilla is the only monitored population of
great ape known to be increasing. However,
with still under 900 in the wild, their future
depends on the continuation of extreme
conservation eorts.
The threats faced by mountain gorillas
today come in many forms, including habitat
loss, disease and poaching. This poaching
is [generally] for other animals, but gorillas
get caught in snares and the injuries can
be lethal. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
works with the Rwandan park authorities
to address these threats by tracking about
120 gorillas across ten family groups and
Territory in 2014 removing snares from the forest. These
direct measures daily physical monitoring
alongside anti-poaching patrols that we call
The decreasing habitat extreme conservation are combined with
community education programmes to teach
Todays mountain gorillas are found in only two
people about the importance of preserving
regions in central Africa. The slightly larger of
the park and the gorillas.
the subpopulations lives across three national
The mountain gorilla population
parks in the Virunga Massif volcanic mountains
in Rwanda is increasing and we know
that straddle the borders of Uganda, Rwanda
why: the extreme conservation of daily
and DRC. The second group resides in the
monitoring, protection and veterinary
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in south-
treatment. However, this type of protection
west Uganda. Some scientists have argued
requires enormous investment. [For
the latter should be considered its own
instance], the habitat where the mountain
subspecies, but for now the two
gorillas live has more than 50 guards per
subpopulations are both classed as
100 square kilometres [39 square miles] 20
Gorilla beringei beringei.
times the world average.
The Fossey Fund has been working
in Rwanda for 46 years and the Karisoke
Research Center is one of the longest-
running primate eld research stations of
its kind. As one might imagine, this has led
to a huge database of information about
mountain gorillas, other biodiversity and
even patterns of illegal activity. One of our
major focuses right now is on developing
systems that improve our data collection and
management, so we can continue to produce
analyses to inform conservation eorts.

Direct measures daily physical


Suzi Eszterhas/Minden Pictures/FLPA

monitoring alongside anti-poaching


patrols that we call extreme
conservation are combined with
community education programmes
49
Zoos of the world
Indianapolis Zoo
Learn more about the zoo thats taking human-animal
interaction to rainforest heights
See it for yourself
WWW.INDYZOO.COM
Location
Indianapolis, USA
Admission Indianapolis Zoo
Under 2: Free
Child (2-12): $14
Adult: $18
Senior (62+): $16 USA
How to get there
The Indianapolis Zoo is located at 1200
W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN
46222 along the banks of the White River
and located less than a mile west of the
downtown area in White River State Park.

BELOW The Indianapolis Zoo


opened the gates at its current
location in White River State
Park on 11 June 1988

Race a Cheetah
The Cheetah: Race for Survival
exhibit oers spectacular views
of these stunning big cats, plus
a unique interactive activity that
benets cheetah conservation
throughout Africa.

Plains
Here a variety of African animals
graze. Giraes pluck leaves from
trees, rhinos gather near a visitor
platform and elephants interact
quietly by the watering hole.
Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiana, USA, is a
bustling, built-up city home to the world-famous Indy
500 racecourse, a booming manufacturing industry
and 820,000 people. Deep in the concrete jungle of
skyscrapers and factories, a jungle of an entirely different
kind has been re-created right in the middle of it all that
of the south-east-Asian rainforests, the swinging ground of
the much-loved and critically endangered orangutan.
The International Orangutan Center, which opened its
doors for the rst time in May 2014, is the latest in a long
line of development programmes being carried out by the
Indianapolis Zoo. Its one of the last in the US to be built
from the ground-up within walking distance of a major
citys downtown district.
The zoo began as the vision of Lowell Nussbaum, who
voiced his dream to establish a wildlife park in Indianapolis
in the early 1940s. He and other founders were discussing
potential sites for the facility by 1944, with the ideal that
the zoo would be supported by admission, in-park sales,
contributions and memberships, says Mark Crowther,
zoo president and CEO. That still holds true, as the
Indianapolis Zoo is one of the few major accredited zoos in
the United States to receive no tax-based revenue.
Fast-forward 50 years and the park has grown from
being a small childrens zoo to a world-class facility

50
Indianapolis Zoo

The park has grown from being a small


childrens zoo to a world-class facility
Deserts
The Deserts Dome is home to some
furry mammals in addition to its
collection of reptiles and birds. It has
directed pathways, photo murals and
dynamic interpretative signage.

The Dolphin Pavilion


Highlights of the Dolphin Pavilion
include an underwater viewing dome
in the centre of the main pool the
rst of its kind in the country.

Oceans
See walruses, penguins and plenty
of sh in the Oceans Biome and
dare to dip your ngers into the
Shark Touch Pool!

Forests
Temperate and tropical forests of the
world are represented in the Forests
Biome, which is also the home of
the Amur tigers. Here you can nd
the new and exciting International
Encounters Orangutan Center.
Flights of Fancy: A Brilliance of Birds
features three walk-through aviaries
with bird-feeding opportunities, a
playground for toddlers, a 4D theatre
and a backyard bird habitat.

White River Gardens


This is a three-acre botanical
attraction where visitors can enjoy
and learn about the natural world
from hundreds of plant varieties.

51
Zoos of the world

Stars of the The lights of the Nina

Indianapolis Mason Pulliam Beacon


of Hope will eventually

Zoo be controlled by
the orangutans of
the International
Azy Orangutan Center
Of all the orangutans at
Indianapolis Zoo, Azy is the
oldest and largest male. He
is eager to learn new tasks,
especially those that provide
a mental challenge. He is also
great at using computers and
already has many years of
experience with them.

Kubwa
The 64-acre site is now
The rst African elephant
welcoming more than a million visitors each year. From
to ever become pregnant
a collection of less than 200 creatures, the 64-acre site
home to more than 2,000
and give birth from articial
is now home to more than 2,000 animals, with residents
insemination, Kubwas rst
including polar bears, dolphins and Amur tigers. Despite its
animals, with residents
calf was a female named
impressive growth, for Crowther its all about quality rather
Amali born in 1998. Since then,
than quantity: The Indianapolis Zoo has focused on the
including polar bears,
she has given birth to two
quality of its exhibits and the creation of impressive guest
more elephant calves through
experiences, rather than simply presenting large numbers
dolphins and Amur tigers
articial insemination.
of exhibits, species and specimens, he tells us.
This experience is based around three core values:
engagement, enlightenment and empowerment. By
our presentation of wondrous animals in compelling
environments, guests nd themselves falling in love with
them. After guests are engaged, we then seek to enlighten
them to teach them important information about a
species, as well as the challenges they may be facing in the
wild. Then nally we seek to empower people and show
them what they can do to advance animal conservation,
whether thats through donations, advocacy or making
changes in their own lives and behaviours, Crowther says.
One of the ways the zoo is aiding empowerment is
Pakak through the involvement and monetary assistance it
Found stranded o the coast provides to many different organisations, researchers
of Alaska when he was just an and scientists around the world. Crowther explains
infant, Pakaks name means further: We are not a zoo that conducts conservation
one who gets into everything, activities on the side, we are rst and foremost a global
which is very tting! Hes very conservation organisation that operates a zoo as part
curious about his surroundings of its mission. This includes supporting the Dian Fossey
and is a fast learner. Still Gorilla Fund International, which works to protect the
developing, he will reach up to highly endangered mountain gorilla in Rwanda and the
1,360 kilograms (3,000 pounds). Democratic Republic of Congo. The zoo also supports the
International Rhino Foundation, which aims to conserve
both black and white rhino populations.
Perhaps the most signicant of the zoos efforts to
protect animals and their habitats is the Indianapolis
Prize. This award is given out every other year to an
individual who has made extraordinary contributions to
conservation programmes involving an animal species or
multiple species. Hand-picked by a panel of internationally
Tundra has called the
recognised conservationists, the winner is announced
Indianapolis Zoo her home at an exuberant celebration in Indianapolis. Five nalists
for almost 25 years receive $10,000 each, while the overall winner is awarded

52
Indianapolis Zoo

During the
summer, the
Splash Park
presented by
Kroger is the place
to beat the heat!

a whopping $250,000 the largest individual monetary


award for animal species conservation in the world.
With such a hefty wad of money involved, the
Indianapolis Prize is unlike the usual low-key prize-giving
ceremonies that take place in the conservation world. The
celebration, which this year will be held at the ve-star JW
Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis, draws attention and media
coverage from across the globe. Its not designed to be
a quiet, academic, scientist-focused event, but instead ABOVE The zoo has entertainment
an energetic and spectacular celebration of conservation for all ages, including an endangered
animal carousel
victories, says Crowther. The goal is to inspire the general
public to start caring about conservation, and to place
RIGHT The zoo has a collection
conservation heroes on the pedestal that we usually of feathered friends including the
reserve for sports and entertainment stars. rockhopper penguin
Now the zoos contribution to global conservation
is about to get even bigger with the opening of the
International Orangutan Center, currently home to eight
orangutans, with the potential to accommodate more,
making it one of the largest groups in any American zoo. It
has been designed specically to meet the physical, social
Roo on
and intellectual needs of orangutans and will serve as a the run
vital education, research and conservation base. The new One favourite story is when
center is a game-changing exhibit for zoos in that I think it the new zoo rst opened
sets a new standard for design from the animals point of in our downtown location
view, says Crowther. It will bring new hope to a species just over 25 years ago. We
thats on the verge of extinction. had a very unusual animal
Vice president of conservation and life sciences, Dr. escape. A kangaroo found
Rob Shumaker, has overseen this cutting-edge design its way out of the Zoo and
through from conception to completion: The vertical and into downtown Indianapolis
complex nature of the International Orangutan Center with a group of keepers in
frees the orangutans to move their bodies in a full range hot pursuit. It le dents in the as the orangutans will eventually have control over the
of natural, athletic and graceful ways, he tells us. Of hoods of a few cars and we lights of the 45-metre- (150-foot-) high Nina Mason Pulliam
course, orangutans have sophisticated mental abilities. At imagine that more than one Beacon of Hope, which will act as a constant reminder of
the International Orangutan Center, the apes will have the bar patron had a tall tale to the need to protect these beautiful animals.
opportunity to engage in computer-based tasks on a daily tell at the end of the day! As for the future, the Indianapolis Zoo has big plans.
basis, enabling them to learn, solve problems and exercise Everything springs from our goal of empowering others
their minds. This will include learning new language to advance animal conservation, so I believe that we will
skills through specially designed computers, as well as see more involving and powerful interfaces at our exhibits
giving them the chance to use the worlds rst orangutan and habitats between animals and humans, creating
vending machine. greater interest and forming the basis for a more-powerful
But the interactive experience created by the Center commitment, Crowther says. I also think that well build
isnt for the apes alone. Visitors will be able to create digital more-effective connections between our physical campus
Indianapolis Zoo; Getty, Thinkstock

nger paintings alongside the orangutans, which can then and the eld projects we work with, enabling the zoo to
be sent to friends and family as a digital postcard. They work as a sort of portal through which people can pass
will also be able to get a glimpse of the apes perspective to reach the wild world. Well also work to nd ways
by taking a ride on the new Skyline cable ride, giving to engage people more effectively off-site. More than
incredible views over the park and a unique opportunity to anything else, well be working to create deeper, more-
see the orangutans from their vantage point. Even those meaningful involvement opportunities for humans while
outside of the zoo will be able to join in the experience, providing increasingly enriched lives for animals.

53
Evolution of the Night vision
Mostly nocturnal, lions have round

Lion
pupils and an eye coating that
reects moonlight and provides
excellent night vision.

One of the worlds


most powerful felines,
the lion evolved from
an ancestor similar
in size to a domestic
cat. Once widespread
across most continents,
there are now less than
50,000 lions in the wild

Roar
Travelling up to nine
kilometres (six miles), a lions

Evolutionary
roar warns o rivals and helps
relatives nd one another.

pressure Jaws
Legs The powerful hinged jaw contains
30 teeth, including four carnassial
When Panthera leo le the tree teeth for slicing through the tough
canopies, it rst adapted to run esh of a kill.
and eventually jump over ten
metres (32 feet).
Mane
Appearance A distinctive mane makes male
lions appear larger perfect for
The lion evolved without spots intimidating rival lions and hyenas.
for better camouage, so now
only vestigial faint markings
remain, more visible on cubs.

Predators
Lions have increased in size
and strength to become the
most dominant hunters in their
natural habitat.

Lionesses
As male lions increased in size,
smaller and quicker lionesses
became the main hunters of
the pride.

25 MILLION 20 MILLION 5 MILLION 250 THOUSAND


Proailurus 25 million years ago Pseudaelurus 20 million years ago Panthera leo 5 million years ago Panthera leo persica 250,000 years ago
Considered the rst true cat, this prehistoric This species crossed land bridges from From 130,000 to 10,000 years ago, Panthera The Asiatic lion once roamed from the
carnivore was not much larger than a Eurasia into Africa and North America to leo was the most widespread large land Mediterranean to India, but today less than
domestic cat. It had a long tail, large become widespread. Its size varied, but all mammal aer humans. 500 of this endangered subspecies remain.
eyes, sharp retractable claws and vicious types had elongated backs and short legs
carnassial teeth. suitable for climbing trees.

2ft 5ft 8-10ft 6.5-9ft

54
Lion

Golden fur
The short golden coat and faint
LION
Panthera Leo
markings help camouage lions in
Class Mammalia
the tall grass when hunting prey.

Territory Sub-Saharan Africa


and western India
Diet Carnivore
Lifespan 10-14 years
Adult weight 120-190kg /
265-420lbs
Conservation status

VULNERABLE

Tail
A tail with a hairy tu at the end
sometimes conceals a ve-
millimetre- (0.2-inch-) thick spine,
though it has no known use.

The rst subspecies of What is the evidence?


A host of historic subspecies and feline forbears have led to the modern-day big cat
lion known, Panthera There were several prehistoric subspecies of The subspecies gave way to the more common
leo fossilis, was slightly Panthera leo, now all extinct. The rst subspecies of and smaller Panthera leo spelaea, also known as the
Frans Lanting/FLPA

lion known, Panthera leo fossilis, was slightly larger European cave lion, which lived 600,000 years ago.
larger than its modern- than its modern-day descendants. The oldest fossil of
this subspecies in Europe dates back 700,000 years
Today only Panthera leo (the African lion) and the
subspecies Panthera leo persica (Asiatic lion) survive.
day descendants and fossils found in Tanzania place it in east Africa 5
to 2 million years ago.
There are disputed studies that suggest a further ve
subspecies of lion are living in Africa.

55
Life cycle of
Gentoo
penguins
GENTOO PENGUIN
Gentoo penguins are loyal companions and often
Pygoscelis papua
Class Aves
mate with the same partner annually. They will build
a nest of pebbles high up on the at coastal plains,
away from the risk of melt water, and take it in turns
Territory Antarctica to care for their chicks during the Antarctic spring
Diet Carnivore
Lifespan 15-20 years
Adult weight 5.5kg / 12lbs
Conservation status Hatchling Egg
0-28 days -4 weeks Nesting
For the rst month the parents Gentoo penguins lay their -6 weeks
NEAR THREATENED share childcare duties while eggs in pairs. The parents Competition for
one remains at the nest to incubate their clutch at a prime nesting
guard the chicks, the other warm temperature of 30 to sites is erce and
Crche phase
When the chicks
hunts in the coastal waters. 36 degrees Celsius (86 to the best locations
are large enough, 96 Fahrenheit). are guarded. The
they leave the nest male and females
and venture short work together to
distances away to
join other chicks in
build a circular
groups. They shed nest with stones,
their insulating down foliage, sticks and
and replace it with fallen feathers.
adult feathers.

Breeding
3 years
Annual moult Gentoos will
During the breeding
reach sexual
season the adult
penguins become maturity at the
thin and their feathers age of three.
damaged. Aer their The breeding
chicks edge they
season begins
spend weeks fattening
themselves up, before in the spring,
moulting to replace when the birds
their waterproof coat. will gather in
small colonies
to make their
Fledgeling rocky nests.
70-80 days
At around 70 days old,
gentoo chicks begin
making trips to the sea.
Unlike other penguins,
they dont leave the
The Art Agency; Sandra Doyle, Thinkstock

colony straight away


and their parents will
continue to feed them
Juvenile
for a week while they
1-2 years
learn how to swim.
Unlike Adele and chinstrap penguins, gentoos
tend to remain close to their breeding grounds
all year round, although some have ventured as
far as Australia and New Zealand.

56
Bizarre!
SUNDA COLUGO
Galeopterus variegatus
Class Mammalia The treetop-cruising miniature
mammal that pretends to be
part-bird and part-kangaroo
Territory Eastern Asia
Diet Leaves, buds, fruit
Lifespan 15 years in captivity
Adult weight 1.5kg / 3.3lbs
Conservation status
The sunda colugo is commonly known as a ying lemur, but its not really a
lemur and cannot actually y! These curious critters have modied aps of skin
LEAST CONCERN
that extend from their arms to their tails to help them glide from tree to tree.

They have webbed They have


hands and feet binocular vision
In order to maximise their gliding ability, This small mammal has huge front-facing
colugos also have membranes that extend eyes that occupy much of its small head,
between their ngers and toes, effectively complemented by a small snout and nose.
webbing their extremities. This enables them A colugos vision is binocular and highly
to be as aerodynamic as possible. Gliding sensitive, enabling it to make calculated
usually occurs in open areas of forest an decisions when gliding from place to place
adaptation that enables them to access a and ensuring that clumsy and damaging
wide range of food resources. Colugos can landings are avoided. These animals are also
manoeuvre themselves easily in-ight and nocturnal, so their vision enables them to
land neatly with their heads up. forage for food at nighttime with ease.

Their teeth are


shaped like combs
A colugos mouth has some curious and
unique dentition. Their lower front teeth
(known as incisors) have tiny comb-like
structures on them, for which their function
isnt really known. These unusual teeth could
potentially be used as scrapers to strain
food or strip tasty leaves from branches, or
they could even be used to comb the fur
as the colugo grooms itself.

They are clumsy climbers


Graceful gliders they may be, but colugos are slightly less blessed
National Geographic

when it comes to climbing. They possess needle-sharp claws that let


them grip bark easily, but when climbing vertically those large wing-
like membranes can become a bit of a hindrance. Cologos can easily
grapple branches upside down, however, which is a method they oen
use for travelling along branches, eating and resting.

57
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60
Hyenas
Wildlifes
REBEL
The unlikely intelligence, steely determination
and steadfast loyalty of spotted hyenas
Words Laura Mears

Lions might be Africas largest predator, but hyenas


are more sociable, intelligent and are built to survive.
Its a battle of strength versus numbers, ambush versus
endurance and brawn versus brains.
Spotted hyenas have a reputation as callous, laughing
scavengers, but they are far from being the slobbering,
mangy, stupid poachers described in the Lion King. These
formidable hunters live in large social groups, displaying
aspects of intelligence equivalent to some primates. They
are among Africas most successful predators and if it
werent for lions, they truly would rule the savannah.
Hyenas owe their success to a complex social structure.
Like wolves, they live in large hierarchical societies, known
as clans, ranging in size from just three members in desert
regions, to up to 90 in the rich savannahs. Each clan
works together to hunt, defend territory and raise young.
Theres safety in numbers and as Africas second-largest

61
Wildlifes rebel
predator, a group of spotted
hyenas is a fearsome sight. SPOTTED HYENA
The clan is dominated Crocuta crocuta
Class Mammalia
by females and has a strict
pecking order. Dominant
animals get preferential
access to food, attacking
Territory Sub-Saharan Africa
those less important than
Diet Omnivore
themselves in order to obtain Lifespan Up to 25 years
the best parts of a carcass. Adult weight 50-86kg /
110-190lbs
When new cubs are born,
Conservation status
they automatically inherit
their mothers rank and one
of their rst tasks is to learn LEAST CONCERN
their place in the group. As
an adult, initiating attacks on
a more-dominant member of the clan could still be life-
threatening, however.
Spotted hyenas live in a ssion-fusion society, with the
clan regularly splitting up into smaller units to hunt and
forage. Despite their less than complimentary reputation as
mangy scavengers, hyenas eat more than just carrion and are able take down much larger prey such as wildebeest ABOVE
The female restores hierarchical
in some parts of Africa kill up to 95 per cent of their own and even buffalo. order amongst ghting cubs,
food. Many choose to hunt alone and are easily capable Unlike lions, who have a maximum chase distance of establishing the importance of rank
of tackling a medium-sized antelope, but each additional around 300 metres (984 feet), hyenas are adapted for and respect early on
member of the hunting party increases the chance of endurance and can maintain pursuit for over 20 kilometres
making a kill by 20 per cent. In even larger groups, hyenas (12 miles). These persistent hunters dont use stealth or
ambush, preferring to tackle their prey head-on, running
directly into the target herd at speeds of around seven
kilometres (six miles) per hour. As the animals begin to
move, the hyenas watch for signs of weakness or injury.
They continue their pursuit, moving through the herd in
order to select a target, and when they are close enough
they take to the chase, reaching speeds of up to 60
kilometres (37 miles) per hour.
The threat of attack after a hunt is high, so hyenas must
deal with their prize quickly; other hyenas, wild dogs, or
lions could approach at any time. Unlike cats, hyenas dont
directly kill their prey, but instead behave much more like

If a hyena spots an approaching lion, it


alerts the team and prepares for defence

Vital communication signals


Imperative to a working team, communication signals are key to the success of the hyena clan

Threat display Signalling excitement Defence posture


Hyenas preparing to attack stiffen their posture, When excited, the hair on a hyenas neck stands If a hyena is attacked, it attens its ears,
raising their tails and ears while bristling their on end and its tail points up and forwards. This lowers its hindquarters and tucks its tail under,
hair. Sometimes two or more individuals will could be in reaction to a recent kill, the presence shielding itself from further damage. If its able
walk together, shoulder to shoulder, to increase of a potential mate, or some boisterous play to ee, the hyena will keep its ears back, its tail
the impact of the threat. between siblings. clamped and its hair attened.

62
Spotted hyena
Powerful neck and jaw muscles

Built to For its body size, the hyena has one of


the strongest bite forces in the animal
kingdom. Its jaw can crunch through

survive the thick leg bones of a girae.

Being so small compared


with its rivals, how is the
hyena so successful?
Sharp eyesight
Hyenas rely on sight, sound and
smell to locate their prey and
have good low-light vision.

Big heart
Specialist teeth The hyena is built for
A combination of esh-ripping endurance and, with a
carnassials and bone-crushing heart twice the size of a
premolars enable the hyena to lions, it can run for long
consume its prey entirely. periods of time as it
closes in on its prey.

Scent glands
Using glands located under
their tails and between their
toes, hyenas are able to mark
and defend their territory.

Low hindquarters
The back legs are shorter than
the front and the hindquarters are
rounded, preventing attackers from
gripping a hyena from behind.

dogs, running their target to exhaustion before tackling


it to the ground. They kill by disembowelling and while
Strong hunters in their own right, these
social mammals can also out-wit lions for this strategy might seem brutal, its much faster than
food, by working closely as a team suffocation, buying the team precious time before the
arrival of the competition.
At three to four times the size of a spotted hyena, and
with canine teeth around six centimetres (2.4 inches) long,
the African lion is a formidable threat to the hyena and in
some areas of Africa around 50 per cent of a lions diet is
made up of stolen kills. If a hyena spots an approaching
lion, it emits an alert rumble, prompting all feeding
hyenas at the carcass to scatter and prepare for an
imminent attack.
If the aggressor is a male, the group rarely puts up a
ght, acknowledging that the power difference is just
too great, but when approached by lionesses spotted
hyenas stand a much greater chance. In equal numbers,
the strength of the lionesses far outweighs that of the
hyenas and they are easily chased away from their prize,
but when they outnumber lionesses four to one, the
tables turn.
Using a rallying call known as a whoop, which travels for
several kilometres, the hyenas can signal to other members
of the clan; the whoops are sent in bursts and the quicker
they are, the more urgent the call. Using this long-distance
communication, splinter groups can quickly reassemble,
mounting a rapid defence of the meal.

63
Wildli s rebel On the lookout
Essential team members
guard the den, watching out

Life in the pack for threats and trespassers.


Watchers will alert the pack
should threats approach and
ght if and when necessary.
Every member of the hyena
clan has a role to play, and
each is as vital as the next

Teamwork to survive
Hyenas kill by disembowelling, a
seemingly brutal but actually necessary
tactic faster than suocation. This buys the
team precious time before the arrival of
the main competition, lions, and allows a
feed for each member back at the den.

The importance of the den


Hyena cubs survival rate doubles that of lions,
largely because of well-built dens in which
cubs and parents are more secure. They use
the abandoned dens of other smaller species,
then ercely guard it as their territory base.

Sharing the kill


Hyenas share the kill respective of
each members hierarchal ranking. If a
dominant hyena is sick or injured, its
still entitled to its share of the carcass
and allies will ght and ensure it has it.

Hyenas have strong family ties; after a ght, theyll attack


the relatives of their opponent in a form of retaliation
This strategy isnt always effective, however, so hyenas feeding, hyenas at a carcass are covered in blood and
are frequently deprived of their meal following a hunt. are difcult to identify, but using a combination of
Undeterred, these resourceful animals have several visual, vocal and scent cues, they rarely make the
other strategies for obtaining food. Their reputation as mistake of attacking a higher-ranked individual.
scavengers isnt entirely unfounded and the creatures will Dominance in hyena society isnt based on
eat carrion when they can. In one-on-one confrontations, physical prowess, but on social politics and allies.
a spotted hyena can outmatch a jackal, a cheetah, or Hyenas form strong bonds with other members
even a leopard and in large groups they are even capable of the group, most often direct family, but also
of mounting an attack on a group of lionesses. When with unrelated individuals. These relationships
preparing to attack, the hyenas adopt an aggressive are based on power and subordinate hyenas
stance tails and ears held high, hair on end. They walk benet from making allegiances with more-
shoulder-to-shoulder, using a combination of vocalisations dominant animals it offers them some
and postures to frighten their enemy. protection against aggression within the group
Once a carcass has been secured, whether by hunting and allows them better access to food and
or scavenging, hyenas are quick to devour it. Their other resources. In return, they provide support
powerful jaws are capable of snapping through bone and to the dominant hyenas, helping on hunts, in
they eat every last scrap. The carcass is divided among defence of a carcass, or during a ght.
each member according to rank and in order to gain If a dominant hyena is sick or injured, its still
access to the best parts of the animal, dominant hyenas entitled to its share of the carcass and although
will attack their subordinates, pulling them away. During it might not be able to win a ght on its own

64
Spotted hyena

Four myths
about hyenas
These intelligent rogues are some of
Africas most misunderstood animals

Hyenas are closely related to dogs


Hyenas might look and behave a bit like dogs, but they are
actually feliforms cat-like carnivores and their closest
living relatives are mongooses, civets and cats. Feliforms
generally have fewer teeth and shorter snouts than dog-
like carnivores and their hunting tactics also dier.

Hyenas are purely scavengers


Spotted hyenas are competent endurance hunters and
kill up to 95 per cent of the food they eat. A single animal
can tackle an antelope three times its body weight and a
BELOW Not one to
group can take down an African Cape bualo.
miss an opportunity,
hyenas will use their
speed and agility to
catch amingos

during a confrontation, allies will join in to ensure that


the outcome respects the hierarchy of the clan. Spotted
hyenas also understand family relationships and, after a
ght, they are much more likely to attack the relatives of
their opponent in a form of retaliation. This ability to keep Hyenas laugh because theyre happy
The giggle emitted by a spotted hyena is far from an
track of their own relationships, as well as between other expression of joy. In fact, it means go away and is oen
hyenas, is a trait thought to be unique to primates. used by subordinate animals as they try to keep hold of
However, this hierarchy isnt always observed and their share of the food.
subordinate animals have been seen using what looks
like deception to gain access to food. In the wild some
subordinate hyenas have been seen using their alarm
rumble, usually signalling the presence of lions, to
frighten higher-ranking members of the clan away
from the carcass they will simply sound the alarm
and then run straight in to feed on the catch.
The preferred prey of spotted hyenas are
migratory herbivores, such as antelope and buffalo,
which move with the seasons as they follow food
and water. The range of hyena clans can measure
anything from 40 to 1,000 square kilometres, and Spotted hyenas are hermaphrodites
they are known to travel for distances of up to 80 Though the females genitals do closely resemble the
kilometres (50 miles) in search of food. In areas males, they arent identical. Behaviour also distinguishes
where food is scarce, hyenas make regular trips away the sexes; males tend to act nervous when interacting
with potential mates, pawing the ground near a sleepy
to hunt, visiting the migratory herds for periods of ten female, bowing before her.
days at a time before returning home.

65
Wildli s rebel

These social mammals can outnumber remain with their family


clan, but when male cubs
and out-wit lions for food in many parts reach maturity they voluntarily leave
the group to join a new clan at the very bottom of the
social structure. Males dont generally ght to rise through
The boundaries of the territory are defended using
the ranks, so instead form an orderly queue.
a combination of scent-marking, vocalisations and
In areas where medium-sized herbivores are scarce,
patrols. Lions arent the only threat to these territories,
hyenas supplement their diet with other prey. They arent
and neighbouring hyena clans compete ferociously for
fussy eaters and have been recorded eating almost all
food. They have scent glands under their tails and mark
mammals, birds and reptiles within their range. Hunting
the stems of long grasses to signal their presence. They
tactics vary depending on the type of target, but spotted
also claw along the ground, distributing chemical signals
hyenas will chase amingos through shallow lakes, as well
from glands between their toes. Scattered throughout
as ambush larger animals, such as wildebeest, as they
the territory are also communal latrines, which not only
rest. They have also been known to break into farms to
provide concentrated areas of scent-marking, but due to
hunt livestock such as chickens, cows, cats and camels.
the high bone content of their diet, the white droppings
In extreme circumstances, hyenas will resort to eating
also help to provide a visual mark of territory boundaries.
rubbish, dung, and bare skeletons.
Hyena cubs have a remarkable survival rate and 60
Hyenas might have a reputation for being dirty
per cent reach the age of two, compared with around
scavengers, but in reality they are resourceful survivors.
30 per cent of lion cubs. The secret to this success is the
Strong hunters in their own right, these social mammals
den. Hyena territories revolve around the defence and
can outnumber and out-wit lions for food in many parts
maintenance of a communal space. Instead of digging
of Africa. The ongoing tense relationship between the
this themselves, the creatures use the abandoned dens
two species represents a battle that has been raging for
of other smaller species, such as warthogs, aardvarks and
thousands of years.
bat-eared foxes. Adult hyenas cant t inside the den, but
neither can other large predators, helping to shield the
cubs from harm, even when their mother is away hunting.
Females often give birth to two cubs at a time, but cant
produce enough milk for both to survive their rst year. How strong is the bite?
Also, unlike many other carnivores, hyenas dont bring
carrion back to the den for their cubs to eat and neither Despite hyenas being smaller than other
do they regurgitate any meat, so cubs rely entirely on predators, their bite is far more powerful
milk for sustenance. When the female returns to the den,
she calls for her cubs at the entrance, waiting for them to
emerge to feed.
In order to obtain enough food to supply her cubs with
milk, a lactating mother travels to and from the migratory
herds to hunt. Her trips are shorter than those of the
9,000
Ardea; NaturePL.com; Thinkstock; Photoshot

other adult members of the clan and last for around three
days, but she makes the journey around 50 times a year,
travelling an estimated 2,880 to 3,690 kilometres (1,789 to 4,000
2,292 miles) thats over three times the distance travelled
by the migratory herds themselves. 1,400
For the rst few months the uninitiated cubs will ght
among themselves, regardless of rank, but the female
hyena ensures that her offspring learn only to attack
Spotted hyena Lion Grey wolf
individuals of a lower social status. After around 18 months
9,000 Newtons 4,000 Newtons 1,400 Newtons
they are fully integrated into hyena society. Female hyenas

66
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The secrets of camouage

68
OF

In the wild, nothing is quite as it seems


Words Laura Mears

69
The secrets of camouage

Deep in the Indonesian rainforest one of the rarest cats in struggle between predator and
the world lurks in the dappled shade of the undergrowth. prey plays a pivotal role. Colour
Using the dense understory of the forest for cover, a vision is common among the
Sumatran tiger pads quietly through the leaf litter. As she top predators, so blending
moves, the thin black stripes on her anks disrupt her in with the surroundings
outline, interfering with the natural shadows that would using colour-matching and
otherwise betray her position. Her tawny orange fur patterning has evolved over
catches the light of the Sun, blending with the browns and and over again as a simple
yellows of the forest oor, while her bright-white underside solution to minimise the
masks the shadow cast by her slender body. chance of detection.
She hunts mainly at night, but under the cover of As the leafbirds look on
darkness even the largest and most conspicuous of prey is from above, male Malayan
difcult to nd. In the spring, young Malayan tapir are an leafwing butteries it
easy meal, if she can spot them, but for the rst few weeks between the trees, with
their reddish-brown fur is speckled with white and yellow, ashes of iridescent blue
disguising their shape among the shadows. Their parents and vivid orange betraying
should be much easier to see, with their bold black- their position. However,
and-white markings, but much like the tiger the blocky, before the birds even have a
disruptive patterning on their bodies makes their outline chance to take to the chase,
harder to distinguish. Distinct patches of light and dark the butteries quickly land and
colour might not match the background exactly, but they instantly disappear from view,
confuse the eye, giving the illusion of shadow. almost without a trace.
In the treetops above, Sumatran leafbirds forage for Also known as dead-leaf
insects, their bright green-yellow plumage blending almost butteries, Malayan leafwings are
seamlessly with the sunlit canopy. Unlike the tigers below, some of natures most impressive
the birds dont need to hide in a variety of changeable mimics. The undersides of their wings
environments; the leaves of the canopy provide a uniform are almost perfect replicas of dead autumn
green backdrop, so the small birds blend easily with their leaves, but with their wings closed, suspended
surroundings simply by matching the colours. delicately from the underside of a twig, the
The strategies of the tiger, tapir and leafbirds are some butteries are practically invisible.
of the simplest and most effective forms of camouage Predators, particularly birds, have keen vision, so in
employed across the animal kingdom. Animals evolve in order to avoid becoming the next meal blending in with ABOVE The dull-brown fur of white-
tailed deer is ideal for blending in with
response to environmental pressures and the constant the environment is vital. The top ends of the butteries the thick forests of the Americas

Animals evolve in response to environmental pressures


and the constant struggle between predator and prey

Hiding in plain sight


Each Indian leafwing buttery is different. Their
fore and hind wings resemble the shape of a
leaf, tapered at the front and with a stem-like
point at the back. A combination of actual veins
and markings mimic the ridged vasculature of a
true leaf. Brown, red, green and yellow pigments
replicate the spots and blotches of decay.

70
The secrets of camouage

Under the skin


The natural science behind these creatures stealthy
abilities can be found at the microscopic level

Chromatophore
Each chromatophore
contains an elastic sac
lled with pigment.
To display the colour
contained within,
muscles around
the edges of the cell
contract, pulling it into a
at disk shape.

Pigment granules
Pigments produce their colour by absorbing certain Iridophore
wavelengths of the visible light spectrum. Pteridine These reective cells contain
pigments produce yellow colours, while reds and stacks of guanine crystals
oranges are made by carotenoids. Some rare blue transparent plates that diract
pigments also exist in nature. and reect light. By changing
the orientation of the plates, the
wavelength of light reected can
be altered, producing a rainbow of
iridescent colours.

Structural colours
Most natural blues arent created by pigments, but Leucophore
instead are the result of diraction and reection The reective guanine crystals in leucophores are
of light. Repetitive crystal structures interfere with more organised than those found in iridophores.
visible light, altering the behaviour of the waves and Instead of diracting the light they reect most of it
creating iridescent colour. back to produce a reective surface.

wings are tapered and at the bottom they nish in a thick,


stem-like point. The colours are a mixture of autumnal
shades, from brown, to yellow, to green and purple, and
combinations of real veins. Ridge-like patterning almost
perfectly re-create the midrib and veins of the underside
of a leaf. The insect also features notches and grooves
around the edges, while dark spots and blotches of
pigment can even mimic fungal growth and the effects of
decay to complete the crafty disguise.
This impressive camouage strategy might seem
elaborate, but animals use all available resources to gain a
competitive edge. Larger species, such as tigers and tapirs,
are limited in their ability to disguise their sizeable outlines,
but insects, with their tough exoskeletons, can adopt a
bewildering array of forms.
Invertebrates arent the only animals capable of
becoming a part of the scenery, as deep within the
rainforests of Madagascar some of the most sophisticated
reptilian mimics are hidden within the trees. A close look
at the lichen-covered bark reveals the faint outlines of
leaf-tailed geckos. Unique to this isolated region of the
world, these unusual reptiles use a combination of colour
and shape to blend seamlessly with their environment.
The larger species specialise in imitating tree bark and
with their knobbed bodies pressed against a branch, they
become almost invisible a specialist ap of skin blurring
the line between gecko and tree.
Predator-prey relationships play a huge role in dictating
the evolution of this natural camouage, but the type of
disguise adapted is ultimately a result of the environment.
In the rainforest, blending with the abundant vegetation is
the safest strategy, but in the vast white wastelands of the
Arctic tundra, camouage tactics are very different.
As spring edges across Canada, an Arctic fox stalks his
prey through the melting snow. Without cover, his best A tigers stripes are
survival strategy is to remain low and to blend in with the ideal for breaking
up the big cats
oor. During the winter he was hidden from view by a shape in the wild
deep layer of white fur, but as temperatures begin to rise

71
The secrets of camouage

Methods of hiding
From bafing patterns to deceptive anatomies, there
are endless ways creatures can elude predatory eyes

Warning colouration
Almost the opposite of camouage,
some colouration is used as a threat.
Several poisonous or foul-tasting
species have evolved bright colours as
a defence mechanism. Predators learn
to associate the distinctive patterns
with danger and avoid eating the same
prey in the future.

Counter-shading
Counter-shading is a common method
of camouage, particularly in the sea.
Many marine animals are white on the
underside and darker on the top. From
beneath, their light abdomens are
hard to see against the sunlit surface,
while from above their dark outlines
disappear against the murky gloom.
Disruptive colouration Transparency Silvering
Instead of matching the background exactly, many animals use A popular camouage technique The skin of silvery sh contains two
patterns to break up their actual body shape. These patches of among some aquatic animals is types of reective guanine crystal.
light and dark colours disguise the true shadows and contours of transparency. With bodies composed These are arranged in layers and
an animals outline, enabling it to hide against a variety of natural mostly of water, jellysh refract light reect light at 90 degrees from one
backgrounds. Though its strange that a zebras black-and-white in almost the same way as their another, so that no matter what angle
pattern is at odds with the golden environment of the savannah, surroundings, making them nearly the light comes from it will always be
its actually using this disruptive effect to confuse predators. invisible to the naked eye. reected back, masking their outline.

the colour of the landscape is changing. Nearby a willow A Haigs porcelain


ptarmigan stands motionless on the ground. Like the fox, crab blends in with the
during the winter its white feathers concealed its position, surrounding coral of
its habitat
but as the scenery melts its bright plumage stands out.
As temperatures rise and the ground changes colour
from white to brown, so too do the Arctic animals.
Hormonal cues trigger a seasonal moult and each year
animals race to change colour, from white to brown and
back to white again. Both predator and prey have to rely
on their natural engineering to remain hidden from one
another as the Arctic environment changes.
Along the coastline, the harp seal pups born earlier in
the year have also lost their uffy white fur and the adults
are preparing to return to the sea. Their large bodies are
conspicuous on the ice and snow, but as they drop quietly
into the water, their mottled grey-brown skin enables the
lumbering predators to disappear beneath the waves.
Much like the Sumatran tiger, harp seals are darker on
the top and lighter underneath, creating an optical illusion

72
The secrets of camouage

A young tree frog


sits concealed
against lush green
moss in Madagascar

73
The secrets of camouage

Five natural disguises


Crafty creatures that are experts in deception and concealment

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko


These exible reptiles contort their bodies to mimic the curled
shape of a dry, decaying leaf. Their unusual tails are notched and
veined, while their bodies are a combination of autumnal colours,
including purples, yellows, oranges and browns.

The orchid mantis Keel-billed toucan camouage. In the vivid green canopy
These stunning pink-and-white insects so closely resemble the
It might seem unlikely, but the bright of the worlds rainforests, bright
colour and shape of orchid owers that unsuspecting insects walk
colours of tropical birds like toucans colours are much less conspicuous
straight into their waiting jaws. They are one of many species of
are actually surprisingly effective than dull browns and greys.
ower mantis, each of which mimics a different type of plant.

The mimic octopus The ounder Not only can they rapidly change the
The mimic octopus doesnt just blend in with the background Flounders spend their lives lying colour and pattern of their skin, but
its able to re-create the shape of over ten other marine animals. sideways on the sea oor and use a they also utter their ns to cover
By attening its body and tentacles, it can imitate the shape and combination of camouage tactics themselves in sand and pebbles, using
movement of a poisonous sole sh, deceiving onlookers. to remain hidden from predators. the sea bed as a disguise.

74
The secrets of camouage

that counteracts their natural shadow. From above, their


dark silhouette melts into the blackness of the open sea,
and from below their light bellies match the hazy glow of
the Sun as it breaks through the water at the surface.
As on land, camouage in the ocean is driven by
the need to remain undetected for as long as possible.
Although the light level here is lower, in the open water
there is no cover to break up a big silhouette. Instead,
large marine animals, such as seals, sharks and whales, use
a combination of disruptive patterning, blue-grey colouring
and counter-shading to confuse the light and mask their
true shape.
Smaller sea creatures employ more-sophisticated
tactics to remain hidden from view. Harp seals have good
eyesight, but in the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean
sh can be difcult to see. As the light breaks through
the surface water, schools of Atlantic herring become
eetingly visible. From the front, their attened bodies are
difcult to discern and as they twist their reective scales
scatter the sunlight. Layers of crystals embedded in their
skin act like the polarising lter on a camera, reecting the
light back in every direction and hiding their outline.
At the sea oor, where sand, stones and debris
provide cover, familiar background-matching techniques
Though white is the perfect tone to
come into play. Flatsh, like sole and ounder, position blend with the winter snow, by the
themselves sideways on the seabed, using their mottled spring the Arctic fox will need to
colouring to blend with their surroundings. In coral reefs, grow a new coat entirely
sh, crustaceans and seahorses take on the colours and
shapes of their habitat. Just like on land, blending with the
inanimate background is key.
Cuttlesh are without doubt the oceans masters of
disguise and while these clever molluscs cant see in
colour, theyre still capable of exactly matching the tone,
texture and pattern of their surroundings, even in total
darkness. Using tiny muscles beneath their skin, they reveal
red, yellow and brown pigments and contort the surface
of their skin into spikes and lumps. Crystal structures add
iridescent blues and greens to their repertoire, enabling
the sh to instantly match nearly any backdrop, vanishing
almost completely from view.

Becoming a part
of the sea oor
Stonesh are some of the most
venomous creatures in the ocean.
Their bumpy skin and mottled
colouring enable them to blend
perfectly with rocks and coral
reefs, where they wait in ambush
for passing prey. They have 13
defensive spines on their dorsal n,
which deliver potentially deadly
venom when triggered.

75
The secrets of camouage

From stripes and spots, Blending in


to colour-changing skin with the bark
Uroplatus mbriatus
and elaborate mimicry, is a gecko native to
Madagascar. Its tail is
camouage is all about attened and a special ap

deceiving the senses


of skin running along its
body enables it to blend
seamlessly with the tree
bark, becoming almost
As the water gets deeper, and the light fades, colours
invisible against the trunk.
and reections act as beacons that stand out against
the blackness. Many marine organisms at this depth are
transparent, so as the light level drops their watery bodies
melt into the gloom. Red wavelengths cant penetrate
deep into the water and at depths of below 200 metres,
(656 feet) the oceans are bathed in a dim, blue haze
known as the twilight zone. In such low light, dark outlines
become conspicuous and some organisms, like the
marine hatchetsh, emit a faint-blue bioluminescent glow,
matching the ambient light in order to avoid detection.
At depths of below 1,000 metres (3,280 feet), no light
reaches the water at all, but even in this invisible world
certain animals can use their natural camouage for
survival. Bioluminescent lures ash in the water, drawing
predators out of the darkness and bursts of colour mark
the outline of threatened prey as they attempt to confuse
Alamy, Thinkstock, Corbis, FLPA, John Storr, Katrina Curato

their pursuers chasing through the dark.


Across the natural world, the evolution of camouage
has been driven by two major factors: what an animal is
hiding from and the environment its hiding in. From the
lush rainforests to the deep oceans, the basic strategy
of concealment remains the same: blend in with the
background and disrupt your natural outline. The ways
in which creatures in all different habitats have achieved
this are astonishing. From stripes and spots, to colour-
changing skin and elaborate mimicry, camouage is all
about deceiving the senses, playing tricks with the light
and buying just a little more time to gain an advantage.

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Bison and man

78
BISON
AND MAN
The largest land mammal in
North America has overcome
an ice age and near extinction to
become a truly symbolic animal
Words David Crookes

To say the recent winter in Yellowstone National Park was unkind


would be an understatement. As is typical for this time of year,
cold, harsh weather brought deep snow to the northern tip of
Wyoming, causing its lakes and rivers to freeze, its mountain
ranges to turn white and its canyons to grow perilous.
Yet, for the 4,000 free-ranging bison that roam this part of
the United States, it was business as usual. Many years of varying
temperatures across North America have made them immensely
adaptable creatures, with a history of surviving against the odds.
These are animals that have lived through and survived an ice
age, and under those circumstances sub-zero temperatures
would understandably pose a few problems.
With an absence of lush, green vegetation, the bison make
do, burrowing their heads deep in the snow. Their impressive
neck muscles enable them to shake from side to side against the
impacted snow, digging deep until the freezing mass of grasses
beneath are located. This is enough to satisfy their immediate
hunger and they will continue to roam and graze in this way to
see them through the chilly months.
The bison are also helped during cold spells by the thick fur of
their winter coats that are warm enough to enable them to slow

79
Bison and man

The history of the bison


Having crossed to North America thousands of years ago, bison soon made the prairie their home

MIGRATION TO NORTH AMERICA FIRST CONTACT WITH MAN FLOURISHING NUMBERS


200,000 years ago 10,000 years ago From 1500s to 1700s
When there was a land bridge between the continents of Asia Humans also made the crossing along with continuing numbers Native Americans came to see bison as a gi from the Great Spirit
and America, bison made their way to the grassy plains of North of steppe bison. They found the animals to be a great resource for and over the years their numbers grew. There were as many as 60
America in search of a rich supply of food. eating, shelter, fuel and even tools. million bison roaming North America in the 1500s.

their metabolism, using their energy to nd food instead. A lone bualo walks down
Its such an effective insulator that even when snow falls on the centre of a road in
their warm bodies, the akes dont melt, instead forming a Yellowstone National Park
layer on the bisons back, away from the actual skin. This is
just one of the remarkable features of the bison perhaps
the most hardy and symbolic of all of the animals that
make North America their home.
Even so, the cold winters arent ideal. The food beneath
the snow will have seen better days, its nutritional value all
but gone. As the poor weather drags on, food becomes
ever more scare, particularly on higher ground. Bison are
fully aware of this, however, and as the weeks turn into
months, they begin to move away. Theyre experts at
searching around for plentiful supplies of food so, when
the temperature drops and remains low, they eventually
cast their net wider, moving to lower elevations where
food is easier to acquire. In Yellowstone this often means
venturing outside the park, where they nd enough
grasses, herbs, twigs and shrubs to sustain them until the
snow thaws. When the greenery returns to the park, the
creatures go back to their original habitat.
Life is generally good for the bison much of their time
is spent eating and as they graze they move around to
cover great distances. Their front teeth shear off the grass
and their molars grind at the food, with ridges helping to
break through the cellulose in the plants. To better enable

When snow falls on their


warm bodies, the akes
dont melt, instead forming
a layer on the bisons back
them to chew and grind their food, their jaw moves from
side to side. The bison need to eat plenty to ll their large
stomachs, which are full of micro-organisms to dissolve the
cellulose. The half-digested food is then brought up back
into the mouth, chewed on and swallowed. This process
is called chewing the cud, which is common among
herbivores, including cows.
If bison have it easier today, going back a few hundred
years tells its own story. Even though there were between
30 and 60 million of the animal in the 16th century, settlers
in the 18th century had a major impact on their habitat
and eventually sent numbers cascading down into their

80
Bison

EARLY DESTRUCTION RECOGNITION OF IMPORTANCE CONSERVATION SUCCESS


From 1700s to 1800s From 1905 to 1930 From 1930 to present day
When Europeans settlers introduced horses, some ed into The American Bison Society was formed to establish wildlife Now there are more than 500,000 bison in North America although
the wild and disrupted bison populations. Human expansion, preserves for bison and by 1929 numbers reached 3,385. Eorts 90 per cent are in private ownership. Farmers and ranchers take
including the advent of railways, caused herds to be culled. continued to re-establish the animals former population. care of the animals and ensure they are kept safe.

thousands. As humans ploughed the land and planted


Most of the bison population in North
crops, the bison were gradually pushed back, their lands America are privately owned
becoming increasingly smaller until, in 1802, some states
such as Ohio saw entire populations wiped out.
Pressure continued to mount and herds disappeared
from the west of the Rocky Mountains. Their hides
were highly prized by Native Americans and so became
lucrative for trading. Railway tracks carrying steam trains
also spread through swaths of bison territory, so the
creatures meat was used to feed those who worked on
them. By the 1870s tens of thousands of bison were being
slaughtered daily to satiate demand for hides and bones. It
didnt matter if they were northern or southern, both were
being killed in equal measure and by the middle of 1883
it was estimated that just 324 wild bison remained in the
United States, with a paltry 25 in Yellowstone.
Sensing imminent extinction for the bison, laws were
passed by Congress and enforced by the American
Army in order to protect the stricken creatures. Numbers
uctuated at the low levels until 1905 when
the American Bison Society, which counted
Theodore Roosevelt as its honorary president,
began to push on policies to replenish the
populations. Gradually they began to rise once again
and today there are around 500,000 bison across
the continent. Certainly the bison are nowhere near as
widespread as they once were and of the four extinct
species across the world, three of them Bison antiquus,
B. latifrons and B. occidentalis once also covered the
great plains of North America.
There are two surviving species, however: Bison
bonasus live in Europe and the Caucasus, while Bison
bison are found in North America. Bison bison are, in
turn, divided into two subspecies: the wood bison (Bison
bison athabascae) and the plains bison (or Bison bison
bison), with the latter seen in reasonable numbers within
Yellowstone and the National Bison Range in Montana.
Wood bison numbering around 7,000 are far more
common in Canada and Alaska, especially in the free-
roaming Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest
Territory. Other buffalo varieties can be seen in wildlife
refuges in northern Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma
and Iowa. Very often these populations are considered ABOVE Though
to be at least semi-domesticated, as they live behind they have poor
fences. The low numbers of bison alive in the wild today eyesight, bison
have a keen sense
somewhere in the region of 20,000 means they are of smell and have
classed as being ecologically extinct, but the fact they sharp hearing

81
Bison and man

Why the bison


is symbolic AMERICAN BISON
Bison bison (US)
Class Mammalia
Early North American
populations used them to
survive thousands of years ago
Bison were a source of food and other
vital materials for the indigenous
populations of America. Their Territory North America
Diet Herbivore
rawhides were used for shields and
Lifespan 12 to 20 years
saddles, while their hair was great
Adult weight 990kg / 156st
for making rope, so they became Conservation status
associated with survival, strength and
power. In China they are viewed as
having similar essential properties.
NEAR THREATENED

Even the mightiest can fall yet


bounce back again
The fact that these magnicent land
mammals were once driven to the
edge of extinction and yet nurtured
back to signicant numbers by
conservationists shows a sense of
rebirth through determination. It also
highlights the strength of the human
spirit strength that has enabled the
creatures to ourish in their natural
habitat once again.

arent extinct entirely is nothing short of a miracle and its A bison calf sticks close to
something we should be grateful for. its mother on the plains of
As the largest land mammals in North America, western Montana
standing up to two metres in height (6.5 feet), the bison
have shown great strength and resilience over the years.
Were it not for humans, they would have thrived in great
numbers for many more years, given that very few animals
bother them. Their sheer 990-kilogram bulk (over a jaw-
dropping ton) is enough to make many potential predators
think twice about plunging their teeth into a bisons esh,
while the sharp horns that protrude from their furry heads
can, at their maximum size of around 61 centimetres (two
As born survivors, they have feet), cause considerable harm.
existed for thousands of years However, for all of their might, bison are rather docile
Having lived through and thrived animals and humans are able to get reasonably close to
during an ice age, they are prime
them without fearing danger (although, if provoked, they
examples of surviving against
adversity. The bison have altered will attack). The fact they have large, broad heads, short
the structure of the grasses and necks, high, humped shoulders and a mass of short, thick,
vegetation across much of North brown fur makes them quite a daunting sight nonetheless.
America through their grazing
Wolves are in fact their only animal foe and are a constant
patterns, which has ensured that
other animals can live in harmony menace to weaker and older individuals.
alongside them. Wolves act like the shadow of the bison, following herds
in close pursuit, waiting for a sign of weakness. They will
try to isolate loners from the rest of their herd so that
four or ve wolves can seize an opportunity to get their
claws and teeth into their victim. Wolves particularly enjoy
chasing after calves, who are usually only saved by the fast
action and rapid thinking of their protective mothers.
The sight of wolves chasing after a herd of bison is
breathtaking. The bison gallop at top speed, keeping
together as best they can their heads bob up and
down, their bodies rock as their legs become a blur in a
64-kilometre- (40-mile-) per-hour chase. In the days when
bison were plentiful, onlookers likened them to a huge,
black, pulsating robe of fur, but in smaller numbers they

82
The American bison story
Bison used to be referred to as a black, moving carpet heres why

Wood Buffalo National Park


The largest population of free-
roaming wood bison live in Wood
Bualo National Park in the
Canadian province of Alberta.

Canada
16th-century range
Huge numbers of bison would roam most of
North America and Canada in the 1500s, in a
region as far north as the province of Alberta and
as far south as Texas. Only a handful of eastern
US states and western Canada were excluded.
Ro
ck
y
m
ou
nt
ai
ns

19th-century range
By the 1870s, bison were largely conned
to Alberta in Canada and to Montana,
USA Wyoming, North and South Dakota,
Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, New
Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas in the US.

Bison in numbers
64 10
Modern-day range

Western United States


Here bison are conned to
Today the range of bison is reduced,
but there are still areas in the
Canadian provinces of Alberta and
Saskatchewan with large numbers.
500
metres
Km/ph
With a top speed KG
smaller areas than previous Mexico Bison are able to of 64km (40mi) Bison love the
mainly Montana, Wyoming, cross rivers that per hour, bison great plains of
Colorado and New Mexico. are more than can cover huge North America,
500 metres (0.5 distances quickly eating 10kg (24lbs)
miles) wide. for their size. of food each day.
Circa 1500

Circa 1870

When bison were plentiful, onlookers likened


them to a huge, black, pulsating robe of fur
can appear vulnerable, with the wolves bearing down on fallen bison elsewhere perhaps.
them with immense energy. But even in death, the bison are
Its hard for the bison to outrun the hungry wolves, so protective of one another. Wolves
they try to seek protection from one another, or enter who try to chew on a recently
lakes or rivers. Each clattered stamp on the ground during deceased bison will be fought
a stampede kicks up dust, sounding like the roll of thunder. back. Bison, like so many other
A pack of wolves will cut in between the herd, slow a bison mammals, appear to mourn
down and hope to bring it to a halt as it tries to nd a way their dead, keeping guard as
out. Every now and then the bison will slow, its hearing if they are paying their last
and sense of smell on heightened alert to compensate respects, while ensuring they
for its poor eyesight. It knows the calf alongside could themselves are safe.
become the wolves next meal, so gives it a nudge, catches Sometimes the bison
its breath, forces it to run and the chase is on again. Each will turn on one another. In
time the wolves get close, the mother crosses sides and general, cows lead family
places a shield between itself and the vulnerable young. groups of between 12 and 24
The calf may have learned to walk and run within hours individuals and the bulls will stay
of being born but it still needs to learn and will remain an in small groups or even alone.
easy picking for many more years. When mating season arrives from
Eventually the mother and calf catch up with the herd July to September, the bulls
and gain their protection. The wolves realise they are which are ready to mate at around
beaten. They go off instead to look for easier meat a the age of six rejoin the cows and

83
Bison and man

Without bison, North America


and the world would be
genuinely poorer

Three survival
traits of the
American bison
Bison and other animals can adapt
well to dierent climates and are
built to last

Warmth
The temperature in America
can vary wildly, from searing
heat and drought, to harsh
winters and snow. Bison can
withstand the Suns blazing
rays just as well as sub-zero
temperatures, digging through
snow so that they can get at the
vegetation below.

Migration
Bison will migrate if food
supplies drop, such as in
Yellowstone National Park
where videos show them
apparently eeing to get away
from the parks volatile volcano
they were actually seeking
more plentiful food supplies
following a harsh winter.

Improvising
The roaming patterns of bison
ensure they dont overgraze
one area and then become
stuck for food. They constantly
move, with each bison needing
around 30 acres of prairie
grasses to satisfy its appetite.
This has a hugely positive
impact on the environment.

84
Bison

there is much at stake. Bull bison take looking for a mate


seriously and it can turn nasty if they fear rivals will muscle
in on their patch. Noise levels heighten and there is much
tension among the competitors. They then go through
a familiar ritual as they hope to catch the attention of a
chosen cow, each one of which is ready to mate from the
age of two or three.
The bulls will smell the air, trying to detect the scent of
a cow on heat, kicking at the ground, urinating and rolling
in their own waste to give themselves a distinctive smell,
sending dust clouds into the air and showing their superior
strength. Once they have selected a cow, they tend to her
and test her interest. If a rival tries to compete, the contest
becomes dangerous. The bulls will clash heads with their
faces down to the ground, galloping towards each other
at speed and attempting to pierce each other with their
horns. The neck muscles come into their own as they land
erce blows, with the sound of clashing and their hooves
smashing into the ground piercing any tranquillity.
When the battle is won, the victor will have a clear
path towards a potential mate. Its as much about pride as
anything else and its a behaviour the animal will repeat to
protect a number of cows in its harem of mates. The cows
give birth after nine months and the calves will stay with
them for two years. Male calves will then either go it alone
or join a bachelor herd and their fathers will play no part in
their upbringing.
This breeding has enabled bison numbers to ourish
once more. To see them horning rubbing their horns
against trees to catch aromas that are repulsive to insects
and to see them wallowing in depressions in the prairie,
giving themselves an almost playful dust bath, is a joy to
behold. They arent particularly high-altitude animals, but
have been known to roam at elevations of up to 2,438
metres (8,000 feet) or so.
Without bison, North America and the world would be
genuinely poorer. These huge creatures have a dramatic
affect on grassland landscapes, to the extent that they
are now seen to be a keystone herbivore along with
prairie dogs. This means they are important to the way
the ecosystem of North America functions. Much of
this is because the animals keep the grasslands short,
enabling topsoil displacement and compaction, paving
Corbis, Alamy, Getty, Ardea,

the way for greater diversity of species. It also widens the


Bison survive the harshest choice of food for other animals and, of course, the bison
of winters with a coat that themselves are a valuable food resource for wolves that
Thinkstock, FLPA

protects their skin from


the layers of snow would go hungry without their supply. Good weather or
not, these formidable creatures should be around for a
long time to come.

85
Animal
answers
Send your animal questions to us at:
questions@animalanswers.co.uk Its not surprising that the
largest animal in the world is
also the loudest

Which creature
makes the loudest
sound in the world?
Roberto Sandoval
The blue whale is the loudest and largest
creature to ever live on Earth even bigger
than most dinosaurs! This endangered
mammal emits very loud, highly structured,
repetitive, low-frequency rumbling sounds that
can travel for many miles underwater. These
songs may be used for communicating with
other blue whales, in order to nd and attract
mates over large distances.

How do Unlike humans, whales have no vocal cords


in their larynx, so they have to produce sound

elephants nd
by moving air through a tubed extension of
the larynx to the nasal plugs. These plugs

their sources
are located near the nasal sacs next to the
creatures blowhole.

of water?
Blowhole

Outgoing sounds
Kristi Price
An elephants trunk can smell water
from up to 12 miles away. They wave
their trunks in the air, gathering scent
particles that tell them which direction
and just how far away the water is. The
trunks can also sense danger if they
can smell more than one water source, Auditory Incoming sounds
bullae
they can decide which one is safer.
So how does the trunk actually pick
up these smells? To be able to smell The loud songs of the
water sources from so far away, an blue whale are used to
elephants three nostrils breathe in communicate across distance
the scent particles, which then pass
through seven olfactory turbinals lled
with millions of receptor cells. This is
where the elephants sense water or
potential dangers.
These sensitive cells differentiate
between the scents they pick up. As
well as acting as a nose, a trunk can
bring food to the elephants mouth and
also wash them when they become
too dry talk about multi-tasking!

Follow us at @WorldAnimalsMag worldofanimalsmag


86
Animals answers

Do goldsh lose their


colour if theyre kept
away from the Sun?
Orla Hitchins-Jones
It is true that if you leave your goldsh out of the Sun for a
long period of time, yes they will begin to lose that lovely
orangey-red colour. The creatures will most likely take on
more of a paler tone.
In fact, if your goldsh is kept in the dark over night, you
may notice it appears a little paler when you turn the lights
on in the morning.
Goldsh kept indoors without full-spectrum lighting are
also less brightly coloured than sh that are exposed to any
natural lighting outside. If you keep your sh in the
dark all the time, the chromatophores wont
produce more pigment, so the shs
colour will start to fade as the
chromatophores that already
have colour naturally die.
The new ones wont be
stimulated to produce
any more of the golden
pigment, so the sh will lose
its vibrant gloss quickly.
Your goldsh wont become
white if you keep them in the
dark, because they also get some
of their colouration from the food
they eat.

Why cant dogs see full colour?


George Moody So, why dont dogs see in full colour? How do
centipedes
A dogs colour vision is much less rich Our colour vision evolved to enable
than our own our canine companions us to tell when fruit was ripe and to
have only two dierent kinds of cone cells help identify poisonous berries. For a
in their retinas, compared with our three.
They also have far fewer of them.
carnivore, thats less important, while the
space for extra rod cells enables for far hunt prey?
Where we see the rainbow as red, more-accurate spatial perception. Most Maryann Grant
orange, yellow, green, blue and violet, mammals see only two primary colours Centipedes are actively aggressive
dogs will only see a brownish-yellow that and are generally red-green colour-blind. hunters that move quickly
shades through yellow, grey, into light- However, there are some birds that can throughout the night, using
blue and blue. see four primary colours. poison to kill prey.
With deadly fangs located
on its head, a centipede will mainly hunt
worms, insects and molluscs. Its fangs are
backed up with a gland lled with poison,
ready to attack the next meal.
Although centipedes have poor eyesight,
they detect prey through vibrations and
movement. Individuals in captivity normally
dont accept food thats already dead,
so use their poisonous fangs
to overpower their victims
before sinking their teeth
in. These fangs are

Q. Why
also used for ghting
away rivals.

do some
animals migrate?
Find out at
animala
Animal answers
questions@animalanswers.co.uk

What is the slowest sh?


How do oysters mate?
Ellen McGee
The slowest-moving sh are seahorses, moving at
0.0016 kilometres (0.0011 miles) per hour. Seahorses
Cecelia Ortega sperm. Once fertilised, millions of eggs are propel themselves by using a small n on their backs
Oysters mate by releasing millions of released into the water. They have a huge that utters up to 35 times per second. Even smaller
sperm in an attempt to fertilise the 100 number of different proteins that coat the pectoral ns located near the backs of the heads are
million eggs females produce each year. surface of their sperm and eggs. A sperm used for steering.
All oysters are born male and only with a specic type of protein can only Seahorses are normally seen swimming in pairs
later become female. They have organs fertilise an egg that has a corresponding with their tails linked together to keep them in line
containing two sexes that can release both protein that accepts the same type of with each other as they swim so slowly.
sperm and eggs in order to reproduce, sperm. If an egg is fertilised by more than In comparison with the seahorse, the fastest sh
which technically means they can fertilise one sperm, the embryo will likely die. in the sea is the sailsh at 110 kilometres (68 miles)
their own eggs. These various proteins make it less likely per hour. Other faster sh in the sea include marlin,
Oysters actually produce several the egg will be fertilised by multiple sperm, bluesh tuna, great blue shark and the swordsh.
thousand different varieties of egg and so the offspring is more likely to survive.

How do kangaroos A kangaroos tail is


actually an essential
part of how it moves

use their tails?


and keeps balance

Becky Rose ground to move forward, just like


A kangaroos tail helps to how most mammals use their
balance out its body and to aid back legs to support them.
its bouncing about. Without this When the kangaroo is bending
appendage, a kangaroo wouldnt over to eat, its tail sits on the
be able to hop, because the tail ground for stability. The length
acts as its balance and functions and thickness of the tail all
as a rudder. While walking, depends on the species of the
the kangaroo uses its tail like kangaroo, and of course the size
an extra limb, pushing off the of the creature.

While walking, the


kangaroo uses its tail
like an extra limb

Follow us at @WorldAnimalsMag worldofanimalsmag


88
Animals answers

How do some earless frogs hear?


Heather Nelson The lungs of this species lie very close to one another and wave. If one of the males
A Panamanian golden frog doesnt actually the surface of the frogs skin, so when sound doesnt back down, they carry out a waving
have any ears, so instead this creature waves hit the frogs chest, the lungs vibrate, match in order to claim dominance.
uses its lungs to hear vibrations and sense resulting in the frog sensing the sounds. In Without physical ears in the usual sense,
movement. This frog lacks both a middle a way, the lungs act as eardrums, letting the these little frogs have adapted strong ways
and external ear, but it does possess a frogs communicate with mates. When two of communicating with one another, a bit like
typical amphibian inner ear. males come face to face, they call out to sign language but in a waving form.

How can you tell the gender


of a turtle?
Jay Hogan almost under the overlap of the shell.
You can tell the difference between a The sounds a male makes during mating
male and female turtle by their features or aggression also help tell the gender
and the sound they make. If you turn he will emit noises like heavy breathing
over a turtle, you can also tell from the or even hissing, while females tend to
size and shape of the belly, as females grunt more.
tend to have bigger, rounder bellies
than males. Males tails are also further
away from the body and are fatter and
longer than the females, which tuck
Is it true eas can jump
100 times their length?
Rufus Sanders
There or there abouts, yes. Impressively, a ea can
actually jump as high as 0.18 metres (half a foot) off
the ground. Considering eas are fairly tiny (not more
than 1.5mm in length), thats quite a jump!
Fleas have extremely powerful limbs an attribute
that separates them from other invertebrates. They
have stronger legs for jumping than most creatures in
the animal kingdom, because their hind legs contain
an elastic protein called resilin. Cleverly, this stores
energy when the ea bends its legs, so when it
jumps, the energy thats been stored is released and it
catapults the insect upwards.
There are over 2,400 species of ea worldwide,
so the height a single ea can jump differs across the
spectrum of different types. The outcome of a ea
. How many species
jump is down to a few fundamental tributes of the,
including how much blood they can consume and
of snake are there?
where they originate.
Find out at
animalanswers.co.uk
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90
Interview

King of the wild


When it comes to working with animal kind both home
and away, few are more passionate and knowledgeable
than TV naturalist Simon King
As one of the original In the morning we open up the timelines Lions have
surprisingly
presenters of programs on the cameras and reect on whats unpredictable
such as Springwatch, happened over the past 24 hours. There behaviour when
Simon King is a are so many things that Im sure have never in prides

household name when been recorded let alone witnessed before.


it comes to wildlife. Weve got a little lm on the YouTube
He has travelled the channel of a rat pinching some sh that
world to bring us we put out hoping to attract otters one
natural history programs aplenty, inspiring evening, and the otter came belting in and
us to take a good look at our own parks, grabbed the rat. This isnt something you
gardens, woodlands and wetlands. see on a daily basis! No human being can
King is now taking his inspirational quest be in that place for that much time, so
further with a set of live wildlife cams that the fact that the technology facilitates it is
enable us to watch these creatures 24-7. marvellous. It means that weve got 24-7
We took a moment to chat to him about surveillance on certain key features and
this and his career so far. will continue to have and its only going to
get better and more sophisticated, so its
exciting! We intend to do it not just in the
Where did you get your love of animals?
UK but also around the world.
I think everybody has a passion and interest
in life around them. You get a ve-year-
old kid looking at a ladybird, theyre into What do wildlife programs bring to
it doesnt matter about their background animal-lovers?
or environment. What I question is why I think it makes the world that may feel
do people let go of that? Where do they remote to some more accessible. It breaks
lose it? Ive always been able to maintain a the barriers down. I think a lot of people
sense of wonder when it comes to looking dont lose interest in the natural world but
at life around me and in fact everything lose momentum. Either they dont have
CCTV technology
around me! knowledge or they havent got a mentor to opens up a wealth
help open up that world theres no one of opportunities
there to tell them thats a robin singing for lming wildlife
Have you had any animal encounters that
instead of a blackbird or a chafnch.
have surprised you?
So [wildlife cams] are effectively virtual
Nothing is predictable. You can plan as
mentors I hope, helping to engage people.
much as you like but then youll be thrown
Its for every age and for anyone for those
a curve ball, but theres always something
people who arent lucky enough to have
to captivate you. Even with things like the
easy access to the wild world. I was one of
subtleties of behaviour; if you watch a pride
the original presenters on Springwatch and
of lions for long enough youre going to see
its previous incarnations, so I think it has
surprises on a regular basis. Theyre going
helped people, particularly in the UK, to
to be doing things that have either never
feel a sense of not just familiarity, but that
been documented or that you certainly
they are guardians of something special
didnt expect to happen whether its
and something worthwhile.
tackling certain prey, or what I nd most
fascinating is the depth of social structure.
For most creatures theres a story to be Is there anything that you hoped to
told about their lives and their relationships witness but havent yet?
with one another, because so much of it is Ive watched tigers hunting, but I havent
very complex seen a tiger landing on the back of a
large sambar [deer], that would be nice!
What is your typical day like? Every time I go back and spend time with
My website and YouTube channel take up leopards and lions and cheetahs theres
a great deal of my time at the moment. always a surprise and always something
We have live cameras streaming the whole special to see. What Id love is not to go
time We use software called SpyCapture, with a sense of what I need or want to see
which was developed as a CCTV security but be open to what might happen. Then
software, so its extremely sophisticated youre not disappointed with anything,
and records any movement and motion. because life is rich that way!

91
UR
Y d your photos
@animalanswers.co.uk

Eagle
Becky Brown
I couldnt help but
notice how proud he
looked, stood on the
arm of his keeper. I
photographed this magnicent
creature at a Birds of Prey
Center in York.

WINNER!
Buttery Grey seal pup basking in the winter Sun
Becky Brown
Send us your best photo Mark Rookes
I spent hours in the buttery
and you could win a FREE Taken at Horsey on Englands Norfolk coast a week
house with many species.
12-month subscription to or so aer last winters storms Over 100 grey seals
I was very lucky to capture
World of Animals magazine were lost but these pups were among the lucky ones
this solitary glass-wing.
who survived by reaching the safety of the dunes
beyond the coastal water surge.

92
Your animals

An inquisitive macaw
Adam Wood
The Raccoon
This image shows the inquisitive
Barry Jones
nature of an animal and brings up the
The Raccoon was my nal photograph from Jungle
question of whos really on display in
Park in Las Aguilas, Tenerife. The raccoon was
this scenario.
photographed relaxing in the sunshine

The Black Beauty


Pedro Vaz de Carvalho
A walk through the natural park of
Furnas on the island of So Miguel, I
found this beautiful specimen of a black
swan I was enchanted by the gentle
beauty that lled the lake

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How to shoot
Wildlife photography
Get closer to nature and learn the useful tricks
and techniques for taking stunning shots of
the animals that live all around you
Animals make fascinating subjects for can be a severely frustrating experience, but
photographs, but their shy and elusive nature it can be very rewarding when you capture
can make them extremely difcult to capture. fantastic moments. This guide will enable you
Photographing animals, particularly in the wild, to take amazing shots to be proud of.

You need patience


to photograph wild
animals, but the reward
is very satisfying
Send your photos to us at
photos@animalanswers.co.uk
94
Your world of animals

The right kit


for success
The optimal gear will help you
capture that perfect shot

Telephoto lens
01 Find the ideal location 02 Use a tripod Get nice and close
This 500mm lens from Sigma
Nature reserves are a fantastic place to capture animals in Youll often want to stay in a single spot to get that
(APO 150-500mm F5-6.3),
their natural surroundings. Youll need to be quiet, but its perfect shot. Tripods not only prevent your arms from
along with an Optical Stabilizer
surprising what youll discover. If you dont live in an exotic getting tired, but will also enable you to have all your
enabled great results. The lens
region, zoos and wildlife parks are other good alternatives settings ready. A tripod will also minimise blurring in your
is available for 999 from
for shots of interesting creatures. image, which could ruin your results.
www.sigmaphoto.com.

Hide in a hide
Stay out of sight
Many nature reserves have
hides, normally placed at
strategic points on the reserve,
allowing animals to come to
you, while you keep a safe and
comfortable distance.

03 Set the shutter speed 04 Prepare the ISO


Animals are fast and wont wait around while striking You want as much light as possible entering your camera
the perfect pose. Switching to Shutter Priority mode will to ensure images remain nice and sharp. Setting the ISO
enable you to set the shutter speed something fast like to 800 is a great start, although you may want to boost
1/250sec is perfect for most animals, but birds in ight it higher or even use a ash when shooting in particularly
ideally require speeds of 1/2,000sec. shady woodland, for example. Waterproof mat
Keep dry
Sometimes youll want to sneak
up on a subject while ensuring
you stay dry, so a waterproof
mat is essential for this.

HERO3
Take underwater shots
For some experimental shots,
why not try this underwater
camcorder from GoPro? It has a
05 Autofocus is your friend 06 Continuous shooting resolution of 5MP, is waterproof
While many prefer manual focusing, its not ideal for Many cameras feature a high-speed shooting option that up to 40 metres (131 feet) and
fast-moving subjects, especially birds in ight. Set the makes them perfect for taking a large number of shots in takes three shots per second.
Focus button on the side of the lens to Autofocus. Many rapid succession. By activating Continuous Shooting you Youll nd it available online
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96
NEXT ISSUE Explore even more amazing animals in
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Mating for life Amazing migrations


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THE TRUTH WHY HUMANS A JOURNEY Imagine Publishing Ltd 2014 ISSN 2053-7727

ABOUT DRAGONS NEED BEES WITH GIRAFFES


How the Komodo uses The shocking truth The heart-warming story
Corbis

stealth and wit to survive about why we need bees of Earths tallest creature

97
The bulldog ant has all the
aggression and belligerence of
a top predator

Piercing sting of the bulldog ant


Described as a wasp without wings, the bulldog Modus operandi
ant has all the aggression and belligerence of a top Combining both bites and stings, a bulldog ant
Mark Moffett/Minden Pictures/FLPA

has mandibles with an average of 12 to 13 teeth to


predator. Preying on carpenter ants is a dangerous damage its prey, while the queens teeth grow to an
task, as they can recruit aid by sending chemical average 19 millimetres (0.7 inches). With a stinger
located in the abdomen, the aggressive bulldog
signals to nest mates. As the bulldog ant darts ant can sting repeatedly, each time with a deadly
around, it can leap onto its preys back and thrust dose of venom entering the prey. Their vision is also
superb, enabling them to track and hunt prey from
out its stinger before the carpenter alerts its team. up to a metre (three feet) away.

98 ISSUE 9 ON SALE FROM 10 JULY 2014


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