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All 40 Species of Wild Cats and Where to See Them in the Wild
All 40 Species of Wild Cats and Where to See Them in the Wild

All 40 Species of Wild Cats and Where to See Them in the Wild

Big Cat Species – Panthera Lineage

boisetaxicompany.com – Big cats are some of the most charismatic animals on Earth and some of the most endangered. So what are the 7 big cats? They are large cats belonging to the Pantherinae subfamily of wild cats.

Tiger (Panthera tigris)

IUCN Status: Endangered

At 320 kg, the Siberian tiger is the biggest cat in the world. Sadly, the tiger is also the most endangered big cat. As recently as the first half of the last century, there were tigers living in Turkey and on the Indonesian islands of Bali and Java. These three subspecies are now extinct. The South China tiger has already crossed the point of no return with an estimated 20 individuals left in the wild. The remaining five subspecies are in various stages of decline.

We almost lost the Siberian tiger as well, when in the 1940s, as few as 40 individuals were thought to survive in the vast forests of Siberia. Thankfully, in the last few decades, intensive conservation measures have been applied in the Russian Far-east, and the king of the Siberian taiga was brought back from the brink of extinction.

Today, most of the remaining tigers belong to the Bengal subspecies that occur throughout the Indian subcontinent. Not surprisingly, India is the best place in the world to see tigers in the wild. Some of the best National Parks in India for spotting tigers in the wild are Kanha and Bandhavgarh in the state of Madhya Pradesh. To increase your chances, pick a tour that offers both Kanha and Bandhavgarh.

Another good option is Ranthambhore National Park. It is easier to visit from Delhi on a dedicated tiger-watching tour.

I visited Kanha a few years ago and saw a total of 15 tigers in 7 days. The sightings included single individuals, a courting pair and a family: a tigress with three cubs.

Read more: Spotting tigers in Kanha National Park, India

Lion (Panthera leo)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

The second-largest cat in the world, the lion, once ranged across most of Africa and parts of Europe and Asia. Today the population is restricted to fragmented populations in Sub-Saharan Africa and one Critically Endangered population in India. We have already lost the Barbary lion that used to grace the wilds of Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.

Traditionally there were two types of lions: the African lion and the Asiatic lion. But the recent genetic analysis revealed that Asiatic lions belong to the same subspecies as the Northern lion, which also includes the Critically Endangered West African lion and the Central African lion. The Southern African and the East African lion form the second subspecies.

You can spot the Southern and East African lions on most classical African safaris. The good places to visit are Maasai Mara National Park (Kenia), Kruger National Park (South Africa) and of course, Serengeti (Tanzania).

The only place to see the Asiatic lion is Gir National Park in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

I saw lions in Kruger National Park and the surrounding sanctuaries. The most incredible sighting was the pride of the rare white lions of Timbavati.

Read more: Guide to planning Kruger Park Safari

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

The leopard caught the experts by surprise. Of all types of big cats, it has the widest distribution range, occurring from sub-Saharan Africa, through Central Asia, and across the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia. And while some subspecies of the leopard are highly endangered, the species was considered reasonably secure. Until the experts realized that the leopards have lost 75 per cent of their historic range and the population continues to decline.

The two hotspots for the leopards are parts of Africa and Sri Lanka. In Africa, you are likely to spot leopards in Maasai Mara National Park (Kenia), Kruger National Park (South Africa), Serengeti (Tanzania) and most other National Parks in southern and eastern Africa.

If you are heading to Sri Lanka, try to avoid Yala National Park or at least not spend all your time there, it has become disappointingly overcrowded, which affects animal welfare. Instead, pick a tour that visits several national parks, including Udawalawe.

For the more adventurous types, there is an option to travel to the Russian Far-east with the local Bohai tour in search of the Critically Endangered Amur leopard – the rarest type of big cat in the world. However, their numbers have been slowly rising from about 35 individuals in the 1980s to over 100 individuals in 2017.

Read more: How to tell the difference between a jaguar and a leopard.

Jaguar (Panthera onca)

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

The jaguar is the most water-loving big cat. It is an excellent swimmer and can often be found resting on tree branches overhanging the rivers. It also has the strongest bite in relation to body size among big cats. Its powerful jaws are capable of crushing the skull of an adult caiman – its favourite prey in the Pantanal.

The jaguars are unique among big cat species in that all across their 6-million sq. kilometre range, which spans 18 countries, they represent a single continuous population. There are no subspecies of jaguars. Taxonomically, it is the same cat that occurs over a very large range.

This poses unique challenges for the conservation of jaguars. Instead of protecting geographically isolated populations, the scientists now work to protect the connecting corridors of habitat that allow the jaguars to move between populations and maintain gene flow between these populations.

In late 2018, the United Nations Development Programme initiated a jaguar conservation program Jaguar 2030, that aims to protect the jaguars across their entire geographic range.

The two strongholds of the jaguar are the Amazon and the Pantanal in Brazil. But the Pantanal is a far better place for spotting the jaguar, especially around Porto Jofre – a small community on the bank of the Cuiaba River. When booking a Pantanal tour, make sure that you’ll be based in Porto Jofre if you want to see the jaguars.

Read more: Jaguar watching in the Pantanal

Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

The most enigmatic of the big cats, the snow leopard is often referred to as the Ghost of the Mountains. There is even a saying in Nepal that it is more difficult to see a snow leopard than to see God. This elusive cat lives in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth – the high altitude moutan ranges of Central Asia, and each individual ranges over huge territories.

Because the snow leopard has a wide distribution range, it was downgraded from Endangered to Vulnerable by the IUCN  in 2017. However, the Snow Leopard Trust disputed the decision on the basis of a lack of scientific data to support it. The experts estimate that there are between 3,920 and 6,390 snow leopards left in the wild.

Despite the Nepalese saying, the snow leopards are regularly seen at Hemis National Park in India. It is not an adventure for the faint-hearted though. It involves camping in -20 degrees cold and scanning the mountain valleys for hours on end looking for the elusive cat. The snow leopard’s coat of grey fur with black blotches allows it to merge so seamlessly with the environment that you could be staring right at it, yet not see it.

Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

The smallest of the big cat species, the clouded leopard is also the most acrobatic. It is one of the best climbers in the entire wild cat family. Its flexible ankle joints allow it to climb down trees head-first, hang off branches by its hind feet and tail and even climb on horizontal branches with its back to the ground.

Yet the climbing skills are not clouded leopard’s only talent. They are the only big cats that can purr and they have the longest canines, relative to body size, among big cats. Sometimes, they are referred to as the “modern-day sabre-tooth”.

Like all other big cats, the clouded leopard is threatened with extinction. The total population is thought to number fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing trend. However, due to their secretive nature, the clouded leopards have not been studied well and remain poorly understood. As in the case of the snow leopard, the population could be smaller than the current estimate.

Although the clouded leopard ranges from the Himalayan foothills all the way across Southeast Asia, it is incredibly difficult to spot in the wild. Occasionally they are spotted on wildlife safaris in India.

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Until 2016, the clouded leopard was believed to be a single species. However, the use of genetic analysis techniques revealed that the clouded leopards from the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are in fact, a separate species that diverged from their mainland cousins about 1.5 million years ago.

Known as the Sunda clouded leopards, the island species are a little smaller and darker than the mainland clouded leopards. Up until recently, it was just as nearly impossible to see a Sunda clouded leopard, as the mainland one.

But over the last few years, Deramakot Forest Reserve in the Malaysian state of Sabah in Borneo has been gaining a reputation as the go-to place for spotting these elusive felines. There are, of course, no guarantees, but if you’d like a shot at seeing a Sunda clouded leopard, Deramakot is your best bet

Read more: On the trail of the Clouded leopard in Borneo

Small Cat Species

While not as well-known as their larger cousins, the majority of wild cats are small cats. They occur on all continents except Antarctica and Australia, although Australia has a large population of feral cats, which are the descendants of the domestic cats that arrived in Australia with the European settlers.

Bay cat or Pardofelis Lineage

The second lineage to diverge from the common ancestor, the Bay cat lineage contains three wild cat species all occurring in the South East Asian region. This lineage represents some of the rarest Asian wild cats.

Borneo Bay Cat (Catopuma badia)

IUCN Status: Endangered

The endangered Borneo Bay cat is the holy grail of the wild cat world. It occurs only on the island of Borneo and it is as mysterious to science as it was first described in 1874. These cats are so secretive that virtually nothing is known about them and they are almost never seen in the wild.

It appears that, unlike clouded leopards, marbled cats and leopard cats that also occur in Borneo, bay cat avoids travelling along the forest trails, which makes it very difficult to know where to set up camera traps. And of course, it makes it exceptionally difficult to spot the bay cat in the wild. You simply don’t know where to look.

Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii)

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Another rarely seen cat, the Asiatic Golden cat has a wide, but patchy distribution from India to Malaysia. It is present on the island of Sumatra but does not occur on any other Indonesian islands.

Asiatic golden cat prefers forested habitats and appears to be most active around dawn and dusk and during the daylight hours. They are good enough climbers but spend most of their time on the ground where they can bring down prey many times their own size, like young water buffalo calves.

Currently, there are no reliable spots where it can be seen in the wild, but most accidental sightings have occurred in Indonesia.

Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata)

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

The marbled cat is one of the most good-looking small cats, with its exceptionally long tail and beautifully patterned coat. This species ranges from the Himalayan foothills to Malaysia, and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It is an excellent climber and is thought to spend most of its life in the trees.

I have seen Marbled cats on my trips to Deramakot Forest Reserve in Borneo. On the second trip, we were able to observe two individuals in the same tree, most probably an adult and a semi-adult kitten.

Read more: Spotting Marbled cats in Deramakot Forest Reserve, Borneo

Caracal Lineage

The third oldest lineage, the Caracal lineage contains three medium-sized species that mostly occur in Africa.

Serval (Leptailurus serval)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Serval is an unusual-looking cat with very long legs, large ears and a short tail. All these adaptations are necessary for locating prey in the tall grass where it lives. It is widespread in Southern Africa, but rare in the north of the continent. This incredible feline is capable of leaping up to 3.6m to land precisely on its prey, even with its eyes closed.

While considered unusual, Serval occurs in high numbers in Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. Surprisingly, a good place to see Servals is in the small town of Secunda in South Africa, home to the world’s largest coal liquefaction plant. The high density of Serval in such a seemingly inhospitable habitat is thought to be due to the abundance of prey, like the vlei rats and the absence of other big carnivores.

African Golden cat (Caracal aurata)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

One of the rarest species of wild cats, and the rarest wild cat in Africa, the African Golden cat occurs in the rainforest of West and Central Africa. Its preference for the dense tropical forest habitat makes it particularly difficult to spot in the wild.

There have been some sightings in Libongo Forest Concession in Cameroon, where the cats seem to be reasonably common along the access road.

Caracal (Caracal caracal) 

IUCN Status: Least concern

Caracal is the only member of the Caracal lineage with distribution extending outside of the African continent to the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. Its name comes from their jet-black ears topped with tufts – caracal means ‘black ears’ in Turkish. Another acrobat, the caracal is capable of leaping 3 meters into the air and taking out several birds with one swipe.

While secretive and difficult to observe, caracals are often seen in South Africa’s parks and game reserves (Kgalagadi NP, West Coast NP, Mosaic Farms). I was lucky to spot a caracal family in Ranthambhore National Park in India where they are not often seen.

Read more: Spotting caracals in Ranthambore National Park, India

Ocelot or Leopardus Lineage

This is the most diverse lineage of wild cat species. It contains eight small spotted cats, all with Latin American distribution. This lineage is different from all others in that its members have 36 chromosomes rather than 38!

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The ocelot occurs across South America, Central America, Mexico and Southern Texas. It is probably the most common, or rather the least uncommon of South American wild cats.

The highest density of ocelots in the world is found on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. The Transpantaneira highway in Brazil’s northern Pantanal is also a good place to look for the spotted hunter. But the best place to see them is the San Francisco Farm in the southern Pantanal. I have seen three ocelots on a single night drive; all three sightings were very relaxed and at a very close range.

Read more: Ocelots at Fazenda San Francisco in the Brazilian Pantanal

Margay (Leopardus wiedii)

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Similar in appearance to the larger ocelot, the margay is a much more skilful climber. Unlike the ocelot, the margay spends most of its life in the trees. It is one of only three wild cat species with a flexible ankle joint that allows the cat to climb down trees head-first (the other two are the clouded leopard and the marbled cat).

Margays are capable of hunting entirely in the trees. They have been observed mimicking the alarm calls of baby pied tamarins to ambush them.

Tree-dwelling cats are typically more difficult to spot than their ground-dwelling relatives. Wildsumaco Lodge in Ecuador is reportedly a good place to look for Margay.

Colocolo (Leopardus colocolo)

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

The colocolo includes small wild cats that were previously recognized as three different species: colocolo (L. colocolo), the Pantanal cat (L. braccatus), and the Pampas cat (L. pajeros). The recent revision of the Felidae family taxonomy by the Cat Specialist Group recognized the colocolo or the Pampas cat a single species that ranges throughout most of Argentina and Uruguay into Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Ecuador.

I missed colocolo at Fazenda San Francisco in the Southern Pantanal in Brazil, where they are seen about once a week.

Northern Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

The Oncilla is similar to the ocelot and the margay, but smaller. Recently the Oncilla has been split in two separate species: Northern Oncilla and Southern Oncilla. The Northern oncilla occurs in Central America, Venezuela, Guyana and north-eastern Brazil.

A good place to look for it is Bellavista Lodge near Quito in Ecuador. They are also occasionally seen in the Brazilian Pantanal.

Southern Oncilla (Leopardus guttulus)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

The Southern oncilla occurs in central and southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and northern Argentina.

Guina (Leopardus guigna)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Also known as Kodkod, the Guina is the smallest wild cat species in South America. It occurs primarily in south and central Chile with parts of its range extending to the adjoining areas of Argentina. It is an agile climber, although it prefers to hunt on the ground, taking mainly small mammals, birds, lizards and insects.

Kodkod’s typical coat is brownish-yellow to grey-brown with dark spots, but the melanistic (black) morphs are also quite common.

A good place to look for guiña in the wild, including the unusual melanistic individuals, is Chiloe Island in Chile.

Geoffroy’s cat (Leopardus geoffroyi)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Similar in appearance to Guina but larger, Geoffroy’s cat has a wider distribution from Southern Bolivia to the Straits of Magellan. This is the only species of wild cats that have the habit of standing upright, using their tails for balance to scan their surroundings.

Its preference for dense habitat makes Geoffroy’s cat difficult to spot. Like guina, Geoffroy’s cat’s coat is usually tawny with black spots, although black morphs are also not uncommon. A good place to look for it is El Palmar National Park in Argentina. I visited El Palmar during the unusually rainy weather in early September, and it took me three nights to spot a single cat, a cute black morph.

Read more: Finding a black Geoffroy’s cat in El Palmar, Argentina

Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita)

IUCN Status: Endangered

One of the world’s rarest cats, the endangered Andean cat occurs only at high elevations in the Andes in Southern Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Just like its bigger high-altitude dwelling relative, the snow leopard, the Andean mountain cat is one of the most rarely seen wild cats in the world. It prefers the steep, arid, sparsely vegetated and rocky terrain where it hunts mountain viscachas.

Lauca National Park and Salar de Surire National Monument in Chile have been suggested as good areas to look for the Andean cat.

Lynx Lineage

The Lynx lineage contains four separate species that are all quite similar in appearance. All four species have short tails and tufted ears.

Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) 

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The most northern member of the lynx lineage, the Canada lynx ranges across Alaska, Canada and the Northern United States. Its most distinguishing feature is the massive paws covered in thick fur. The large paws serve the purpose of snowshoes, allowing the Canada lynx to travel over snow-covered landscapes without sinking into the snow.

Lake Superior in Minnesota is reportedly a good place to spot the Canada lynx.

Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus)

IUCN Status: Endangered

The world came dangerously close to losing the Iberian lynx. Fewer than a hundred cats remained scattered throughout the isolated patches of the Mediterranean scrubland in Spain by 2002. By the time the scientists realized how perilous the lynx situation was, it was almost too late to save it. Fortunately, the Iberian lynx responded well to breeding in captivity. Since 2010 more than 170 lynxes were reintroduced into the wild as part of the Save the Lynx project.

After two decades of protection and intensive conservation efforts, lynx population has grown to at least 1,365 individuals across Spain and Portugal in 2022. The best place to spot the Iberian lynx is Sierra de Andujar Natural Park, just over 100km from Cordoba. Many wildlife-watching tour agencies offer specialized Iberian Lynx tours.

I did some of my PhD fieldwork in Sierra de Andujar in 2022 and had the opportunity to watch a female lynx raising a litter of three cubs. She hunted for them, nursed them, and watched over them when her older daughter visited for a day. I can’t think of another place in the world where you could freely witness the private lives of secretive felids like that.

Read more: Watching Iberian lynx in Sierra de Andujar Natural Park, Spain

Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The Eurasian lynx is the largest member of the Lynx genus and has the widest distribution. It ranges across Siberia, Asia and Eastern Europe. While not threatened, the Eurasian lynx is a tricky cat to spot in the wild.

There are no specific, reliable places for seeing the Eurasian lynx in the wild, but occasionally they are seen on Snow leopard trips in Hemis National Park in India.

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Similar in appearance to the Canada lynx, Bobcat ranges from southern Canada to central Mexico. It is smaller than the Canada lynx and grows to about twice the size of a domestic cat. The cat’s name comes from its stubby (or “bobbed”) tail. Like all lynxes, the bobcat is a rabbit specialist, however, it would also take insects, chickens and other birds, rodents and even deer.

Generally, the bobcat is a common species and a good place to see them is Point Reyes Natural Seashore near San Francisco.

Puma Lineage

The Puma lineage contains the most unusual mix of feline species: one typical small cat and two oversized small cats.

Puma (Puma concolor)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

While the Puma is quite a large cat, it does not belong to the Big cat family, and therefore it is a small cat. Often referred to as cougar or mountain lion, puma ranges across South America, Mexico, the United States and parts of Southern Canada.

The best place to see a puma is Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Although, I saw a puma with two sub-adult cubs in the aptly named Puma Valley in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica.

Read more: Spotting pumas in Corcovado, Costa Rica

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

The cheetah is the fastest species of wild cat and the fastest animal on earth. It can go from 0 to 96km/h in just three seconds. Not only is it fast, but it is also quite nimble at high speed and can make sudden turns in pursuit of prey. Cheetah is also well adapted to life in the African heat – it only needs to drink once in four days.

Cheetah occurs in Southern, North and East Africa, and a few localities in Iran. The Iranian population, known as the Asiatic or Persian cheetah is listed as Critically Endangered with fewer than 50 individuals remaining scattered across the vast 140,000 km2 plateau.

African cheetah is quite easy to see on a safari. Good places to try are Serengeti National Park (Tanzania), Maasai Mara (Kenia), and Kruger National Park (South Africa). I saw a mother with a young cub at a kill in Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Read more: Visiting Kruger National Park

Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

With its short legs and long body, the jaguarundi is one of the oddest-looking cats. Its unspotted colouration is similar to the puma, its closest relative but different to all other South American cats. It occurs in southern North America and South America.

While not considered a threatened species, the jaguarundi is not easy to spot in the wild. Most sightings of this species happen in South America, but they are generally accidental. Most sightings happen in daylight.

Leopard Cat or Prionailurus Lineage

This is another lineage containing many (six) small wild cats. The species in this lineage all have Asian distribution.

Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul)

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Also known as Manul, the Pallas’s cat has the longest and thickest fur of any cat species. The reason it needs such a luxurious coat is its habitat preference for the windswept landscapes of rocky slopes in Central Asia. The rocky habitat provides the cat with shelter in caves, rock crevices or even marmot burrows. Pallas’s cat’s preferred prey are pikas and voles, though they occasionally take birds as well.

Pallas’s cats are not good runners. Instead, they rely on their ability to remain undetected. When disturbed it would often freeze and become virtually invisible against the grey rocky landscape.

One of the best places to see the Pallas’s cat is on Ruoergai grassland on the Tibetan Plateau at the northern tip of China’s Sichuan province. I saw at least three different individuals in five days on the grassland.

Read more: On the trail of the Pallas’s cat on the Tibetan Plateau

Rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus)

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

The smallest wild cat in the world, the Rusty-spotted cat is native to the deciduous forests of India and Sri Lanka. It grows to all of 1.6kg in weight and 48 centimetres in length. But what it may lack in stature, it makes up for with a daring attitude. It is equally at home in the trees and on the ground, where it catches its prey (mostly rodents and small birds) using rapid, darting movements.

Sri Lanka’s Wilpattu National Park is one of the best places to see the rusty-spotted cat in the wild.

Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps)

IUCN Status: Endangered

The Flat-headed cat is an endangered small cat that occurs on the Thai-Malay Peninsula and the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. This unusual feline leads a semi-aquatic lifestyle living on riverbanks and hunting aquatic vertebrates. It is an excellent swimmer and has fascinating adaptations to hunting in the water. Its claws do not fully retract to give it more grip on the slippery river banks. Its feet are semi-webbed, which is useful for wading in the water. And its long and sharp canine teeth are excellent aids for grabbing hold of slippery aquatic prey.

These unusual cats are threatened by the increasing destruction of riverine forest habitats as more and more land is converted for oil palm plantations, human settlement and agriculture.

The only reliable place to see it is the lower Kinabatangan River in Borneo, near the village of Sukau. I have seen a single individual after four nights of searching.

Read more: In search of a Flat-headed cat in Borneo

Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)

IUCN Status: Endangered

Unusual among cats, the Fishing cats are not only unafraid of water, but they depend on it for food, much like the Flat-headed cat. Both species hunt fish and small aquatic vertebrates.

The Fishing cat has a wider distribution range across South and South East Asia. The best place to look for the Fishing cat is in Sri Lanka, around Sigiriya and on the outskirts of Yala National Park (the park itself is inaccessible after dark).

Mainland Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The most widespread of all Asian small cats, the leopard cat ranges across South, Southeast and East Asia. This species is reasonably tolerant of human disturbance and can often be found in rural areas and even among oil palm plantations.

Sunda Leopard cat (Prionailurus javanensis)

In 2017, the Sunda leopard cat, occurring on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra was separated from the mainland leopard cat on the basis of genetic analysis. It is common in Borneo, and I have seen it in both Damnum Valley and Deramakot Forest Reserve.

Read more: Searching for wild cats in Borneo

Felis Lineage

The last lineage to diverge from the common ancestor and therefore the youngest branch. The six small wild cats in this lineage are all closely related and distributed in Africa and Eurasia.

Jungle cat (Felis chaus)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The Jungle cat, also known as a swamp cat is a medium-sized cat occurring from the Middle East, to South and Southeast Asia and southern China. Jungle cats are typically diurnal hunting thought the day. My sighting of a jungle cat also happened during the day in Kanha Tiger Reserve in India.

Read more: Tigers of Kanha Tiger Reserve

Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Africa’s smallest wild cat, the black-footed cat is the second smallest wild cat in the world, after the rusty-spotted cat. It is an excellent hunter, with an astonishing appetite – it can consume up to 3,000 rodents a year. Nicknamed the anthill tiger, it lives in abandoned termite mounds and wanders the surrounding savannah in search of rodents.

The Black-footed cat has a narrow distribution range in the southern part of Southern Africa. Marrick Farm Safari in South Africa is the best place to look for this species.

Sand cat (Felis margarita)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The true desert dweller, the sand cat occurs in the deserts of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. While not threatened, this species is not very easy to see in the wild.

The sand cat has an incredibly dense coat that protects it from the chill of desert nights. The strands of thick black fur on the soles of its feet protect it against the opposite extreme – the burning-hot sand.

Most sightings of Sand cats come from Western Sahara and Jebil National Park in Southern Tunisia.

Chinese Mountain cat (Felis bieti)

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

One of the least known and the most rarely seen wild cats, the Chinese mountain cat was not even photographed in the wild until about a decade ago. It has a narrow distribution in Western China.

I saw the Chinese Mountain cat on Ruoergai grassland on the Tibetan Plateau. In four nights on the plateau, I saw the cats on three separate occasions, so it is certainly a good spot.

Read more: Chasing a ghost on the Tibetan Plateau

African and Asiatic wildcat (Felis lybica)

After some recent taxonomic changes, the wildcat species have been separated into the African and Asiatic wildcat and the European wildcat. I saw the African wild cat at Kapama Reserve, near Kruger National Park in South Africa. Kafue National Park in Zambia has been suggested as a good spot for the wildcat.

Read more: Visiting Kruger National Park in South Africa

European wildcat (Felis silvestris)

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The European wildcat has a patchy distribution in the forests of Western, Southern, Central and Eastern Europe up to the Caucasus Mountains. A good place to look for the European Wildcat is in Cordillera Cantabrica in northern Spain, in the area around Boca de Huergano.

How many species of wild cats are threatened with extinction?

Wild cats face a number of anthropogenic threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation, loss of prey species and persecution by people as a result of real or perceived risks the cats pose to human livelihoods. As a result, 25 species of wild cats are currently threatened with extinction.

Five species are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species: tiger, Borneo bay cat, Andean cat, flat-headed cat and Iberian lynx.

Thirteen more wild cat species are listed as Vulnerable: lion, leopard, snow leopard, clouded leopard, Sunda clouded leopard, African golden cat, northern oncilla, southern oncilla, guina, cheetah, fishing cat, black-footed cat and Chinese mountain cat.

And seven species of wild cats are listed as Near Threatened: jaguar, Asiatic golden cat, marbled cat, margay, colocolo, Pallas’s cat and rusty-spotted cat.

Have you seen any wild cats on your travels? I would love to read about your sightings in the comments

The 10 Best Animals To Keep As Pets

The 10 Best Animals To Keep As Pets

Key Points:
  • You probably expected dogs and cats to be on the list, but snakes and lizards make surprisingly great pets.
  • Many small pets like hamsters are nocturnal, making them a bad choice for young children.
  • Some pets have complicated habitat requirements and should be carefully considered before purchase.

boisetaxicompany.com – There are many benefits to owning pets. Whether you hope to teach your children responsibility, are looking for companionship, anxiety relief, or seeking out a new hobby, owning a pet is remarkably rewarding.

While there are many different types of animals you can choose when searching for your perfect pet, the 10 best animals to keep as pets listed below are some of the most popular and are a great place to start your search.

Here are the best pets to have:

#10: Snakes

While snakes may not be the most popular choice as a pet they are one of the best pets to have. Many people find them to be nice companions. If you live in an apartment, having a pet that doesn’t require outside exercise is nice. For those who want a pet for anxiety, the most popular small pets, such as hamsters, may not be soothing.

Snakes are quiet, clean, and low-maintenance. Because they do not defecate daily, their enclosures are easy to keep clean. Someone who travels for work may find that a snake is the perfect low-maintenance companion for their home.

Like other cold-blooded creatures, snakes need an enclosure that allows them to maintain a healthy temperature. For snakes, this means a minimum of 75 degrees at night. During the day, a higher temperature, with a basking spot that is even warmer, will keep your snake healthy and happy.

Depending on the species, your scaly friend’s favorite foods may include, amphibians, earthworms, eggs, fish, gerbils, mice, rats, or slugs.

The most important consideration when putting together an enclosure for your pet snake is an escape-proof lid. While many owners allow their snakes out to explore under supervision, it is important for their safety, that they cannot exit the enclosure on their own.

#9: Lizards

If you are looking for best pets to have for beginners that are small, don’t mark lizards off your list. Although some species are challenging, there are plenty of low-maintenance choices as well. Lizards like the leopard gecko and bearded dragon are hardy, do well on an easy-to-source diet, and are not overly picky about their habitat.

Depending on their species they may prefer a fructivorous or a herbivorous lifestyle and feed on apples, bananas, clover, dandelion, green beans, parsley, papaya, or tomatoes, or a somewhat carnivorous or insectivorous diet consisting of meal worms , slugs, and snails.

However, they are reptiles and do require specific conditions in their enclosure, such as a heat source.

Once the habitat is in place, lizards are easy to care for and have a fun personality, making them a good choice as small pets for children. As with any small pet, supervise your child around the lizard until you are confident in their ability to properly handle and care for the pet.

#8: Birds

Birds make fun and very good pets for folks who aren’t looking for cuddling. Depending on the type of bird you select, you can enjoy them for their sweet voice, beautiful plumage, or colorful personality. Birds are a great choice for someone looking for low-maintenance companionship. Birds are one of the best pets to have on this list.

Although their diet is specific to their species as is the case for every pet, most birds love to eat birdseed, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts. However, avocados, caffeine, chocolate, garlic, and onions are dangerous for them – just like they are for your pet canine.

#7: Hamsters

Hamsters are often considered one of the best pets to have, and they can be. It is important to realize that although they are small, they do require regular care. Like many small pets, they tend to messiness. Plan to spend a few minutes each day cleaning out their enclosure to prevent odors from developing.

While not always the most friendly choice initially, with patience, and as long as you are gentle, hamsters can quickly learn to look forward to your presence.

#6: Fish

If you are interested in a pet for anxiety, a fish may be a perfect choice. Setting up an aquarium and tending to the fish inside can become an engrossing hobby. You can have anything from a smaller tank with a single Betta to a larger aquarium, decorated with live plants and housing schooling species of fish, such as tetras. The gentle sound of water moving through the filter as you watch the fish move through their environment will become a pleasant part of your day.

#5: Rats

You may be surprised to learn that rats are great pets for beginners. They are naturally clean, are quick learners, and are social, affectionate animals. One strong argument for rats as opposed to other small pets such as hamsters is that they keep the same clock as people. While many rodents sleep during the day and are active at night, rats are alert and awake during the same time as the rest of the family.

#4: Rabbits

If you are interested in a pet for cuddling, a rabbit may be a perfect choice. It may take a little while for your pet rabbit to get comfortable being handled. While a good choice for children, it is important to take the time to show the child how to gently handle the rabbit.

Rabbits do tend to be one of the messier pets to keep in the home. Plan to clean their hutch regularly to prevent odors from developing. You can keep rabbits in an apartment, although they do often enjoy spending some supervised time outside.

#3: Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs may not be a choice that comes immediately to mind when selecting a pet for your household, but they are a charming and fun choice. They are friendly and social, are easy to handle, and quickly learn to interact with their family.

Before getting a Guinea pig, it is important to understand how social they are. They do much better if kept in pairs. Of course, this means accurately sexing the Guinea pigs or ensuring that one or both are sterilized to prevent any accidental babies.

#2: Cats

Cats can be a great low-maintenance pet for beginners. They are great for those who live in an apartment but still want a pet that doesn’t live in a tank or cage. Cats do have a reputation for having an independent nature, but that isn’t always a negative. Cats are often a better choice than dogs if you work long hours or are otherwise away from the home for extended periods.

Just because many cats are less demonstrative than dogs does not mean they aren’t affectionate. While some cats are dismissive of human contact, many are very happy to settle in beside you while you watch television or read. Most friendly cats are happy to spend time alongside their humans, whether they want to actively cuddle or not. For children, a cat is often more nimble than a small dog at avoiding getting underfoot, while not as boisterous as a large dog. Depending on the situation, a cat may be a better animal to keep as a pet than a dog.

#1: Dogs

Dogs are probably the choice that comes to mind immediately when thinking of the best animal to keep as a pet. Many dogs are good for cuddling and are probably overall the most friendly of the different common house pets, they aren’t always the best choice for every situation.

Dogs are more high maintenance than many other types of pets. Even a dog that does well when left alone for long periods will need regular exercise and a chance to use the bathroom outside. Many dogs, however, need more than this minimal attention. Dogs that are left alone for extended periods or that don’t get sufficient exercise can become anxious, which often leads to destructive behavior.

Although they’re omnivores, dogs require high-quality protein in their diets and also enjoy fresh fruit as well. Providing them with vegetables is also an excellent idea.

That said, you should avoid giving them avocados, caffeine, chocolate, garlic, or onions, as they can be dangerous for your pet canine.

8 Slowest Animals in the World
8 Slowest Animals in the World

8 Slowest Animals in the World

boisetaxicompany.com – Some animals just aren’t in a hurry. From sloths to snails, tortoises to slugs, these are some of the slowest animals in the world. While animals like the cheetah and peregrine falcon show off their graceful speed, these creatures are content to amble and creep, moving sometimes just a few feet per minute.

These animals are so slow that several of their names have become synonymous with idleness. Meet some of nature’s most lackadaisical critters.

Three-Toed Sloth

Sloths spend their days in the treetops, barely moving. Blame their lethargy on their incredibly low metabolic rate. That slow metabolism means they only need a few leaves and twigs for nutrition. They crawl at a breakneck pace of 1 foot per minute, reports National Geographic, moving so slowly that algae grow on their coats.

Although a sloth’s locomotion seems similar to other mammals, German zoologists found that their anatomical structure is quite different. They have very long arms, but very short shoulder blades. That gives them a large reach without much moving, allowing them to save energy while making the same movements as other animals.

Garden Snail

When you only have one foot, it’s difficult to move very quickly. The common garden snail has a flat, muscular organ that propels it extremely slowly along its purposeful path. To help it move, the snail releases a stream of mucus to reduce friction, reports the Dudley Zoo. That’s why you always see a trail of slime in a garden snail’s wake. A garden snail’s top speed is 1/2 inch (1.3 centimeters) per second, but it can move as slowly as about 1/10 of an inch (.28 centimeters).

Starfish

Sea stars, commonly called starfish, are hard on top with many little wiggly tube feet on the bottom. Those tiny feet help the starfish grasp surfaces and move around. But they don’t move very fast. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an adult sunflower sea star can move at the whirlwind pace of one meter (about one yard) per minute using all 15,000 of its helpful tube feet.

Giant Tortoise

There are many subspecies of giant tortoises that live on various islands, but the most famous is the giant Galapagos tortoise. The largest living tortoise species, the Galapagos can live for 150 years or more.

Charles Darwin studied the tortoises when he was on the Galapagos in 1835. He thought they moved relatively quickly. “One large one, I found by pacing, walked at the rate of 60 yards in 10 minutes, or 360 in the hour,” he wrote in Zoology Notes. “At this pace, the animal would go four miles in the day & have a short time to rest.” However, Stephen Blake, coordinator of the Galápagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme, tells The BBC that their turtles move a maximum of two kilometers (1.2 miles) per hour, suggesting that “Darwin was probably chasing them.”

Banana Slug

There’s not a lot of agreement about which animal is the absolute slowest. But University of Eastern Kentucky biologist Branley Allan Branson voted for the banana slug to win top honors. “A large banana slug has been observed to cover 6.5 inches in 120 minutes,” he wrote. “At that rate, a tortoise would seem fleet-footed.”

Banana slugs move by propelling themselves along their one muscular foot. Glands on that foot secrete dry granules of mucus which then absorb surrounding water to turn into slime. That slippery substance helps lubricate their path as they slowly crawl. The banana slug also has a mucus plug at the end of its tail which it can use to generate a bungee cord of slime to rappel down from high places.

Slow Loris

Are slow lorises really slow? For the most part, the loris is a lollygagger. The animal is mostly deliberate in its actions until it goes after prey. Then it strikes with lightning speed, it stands upright, grabbing a brand with its feet and throws its body forward to nab its prey with both hands, reports Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

This small animal may look incredibly cuddly and cute, but the slow loris is the world’s only venomous primate. The furry creature has toxins in its mouth and releases toxins from a gland on the side of its elbows. They spread the poisonous mix on their fur to deter predators or just go after them with a lethal bite.

Sea Anemone

Related to coral and jellyfish, there are more than 1,000 sea anemone species around the world. These colorful and interesting underwater creatures use their lone foot—called a pedal disc—and mucus secretions to attach themselves to shells, plants, rocks, or coral reefs. They rarely detach, waiting for fish to get close enough for lunch. But when they do move, their pace is about 4/10-inch per hour. Researchers have been able to capture their movement with time-lapse photography. They typically move in response to predators or in unfavorable conditions.

Manatee

Compared to some of these other animals, the manatee is relatively speedy. But considering their heft and disdain for movement, manatees are usually very slow. The gentle giant of the ocean—also known as the sea cow—can reach up to 13 feet long and weigh as much as 3,500 pounds. With that much heft, it’s no wonder that manatees are rarely in a hurry. Manatees usually move at a speed of only a couple of miles per hour. But if they really need to get somewhere, they can pick up the pace to as much as 20 miles per hour.

Manatees typically stay in shallow water. They don’t really have any true predators. Sharks or whales could eat them, but because they don’t live in the same water, that rarely happens. Their biggest threat is from humans. But thanks to robust conservation efforts, the West Indian manatee in Florida was removed from the endangered species list in 2017.

Why This Matters to Treehugger

Understanding the behaviors and needs of our fellow creatures is key to protecting biodiversity and habitat conservation. We hope that the more we learn about amazing species like the ones on this list, the more motivated we’ll all be to help protect them.

Top 10 Strangest Animals In The World
Top 10 Strangest Animals In The World

Top 10 Strangest Animals In The World

boisetaxicompany.com – The natural world contains about 8.7 million species – with 6.5 million species on land and 2.2 million in oceans – according to the Census of Marine Life, although many scientists say the true figure could be millions more.

Despite this staggering number, some of them ended up slightly stranger than the rest of the animal and underwater kingdom.

Frill-necked lizard

A menacing appearance with its giant frill, the frill-necked lizard, endemic to northern Australia and southern New Guinea, the docile, low-key critters are actually only interested in insects. But plenty of animals are interested in the lizard, so it has adapted its body to ward off potential predators and has the ability to run extremely fast and are capable of running on just their hind legs when they pick up speed.

Blobfish

The Blobfish is a deep-sea fish which inhabits waters just above the sea bed at depths of 600 to 1,200 meters (2,000 to 3,900 feet), off the coasts of mainland Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. (File photo)

The Blobfish is a deep-sea fish which inhabits waters just above the seabed at depths of 600 to 1,200 meters (2,000 to 3,900 feet), off the coasts of mainland Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. The blobfish is a rather odd-looking fish out of water, but this is due to the strange adaptations to its preferred waters. While many fish use gas bladders to create buoyancy, the blobfish does it by being made up of gelatinous mass with a slightly lower density than water. The blobfish is also lacking in muscle, so much of its existence is spent floating along with the current and eating whatever floats right in front of it.

Goblin shark

The goblin shark is a rare species of deep-sea shark and the only extant representative of the Mitsukurinidae family, a lineage some 125 million years old. (File photo)

The goblin shark is a rare species of deep-sea shark and the only extant representative of the Mitsukurinidae family, a lineage some 125 million years old. This pink-skinned animal has a a long, pointy snout and crooked, nail-like teeth and can move incredibly fast. It is usually between 3 and 4 m (10 and 13 ft) long when mature, though it can grow considerably larger such as one captured in 2000 that is thought to have measured 6 m (20 ft).

Komondor Dog

A woman runs with her Komondor dog as its judged in a show ring on the second day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, on March 8, 2019. (File photo: AFP)

The Komondor, also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, is a large, white-colored Hungarian breed of livestock guardian dog with long, noticeably corded white looks like dreadlocks or a mop. The coat is soft and feathery. But the coat is curly and tends to twist as the puppy matures. A fully mature coat is shaped naturally from the soft basecoat and the coarser outer coat uniting to form fringes.

Echidna

An echidna is displayed by wildlife personnel at Martin Place public square in Sydney’s central district as Australia’s zoo and aquarium association celebrate the National Threatened Species Day on September 7, 2012. (File photo: AFP)

The first of a number of Australian animals on this list, the echidna, sometimes known as spiny anteaters, is one of two members of the monotreme order of mammals, which means that it does not birth live young, but lays eggs. They are covered in spines, and have long snouts lined with electroreceptors, a feature only found on land in echidnas and platypuses.

Aye-aye

Overseer of small mammals at Bristol Zoo Gardens Caroline Brown with the young aye aye named Raz, (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in Bristol Zoo in Bristol, England, Wednesday Jan. 9, 2007. The aye aye is only the second of his species to be born in Britain. The rare species of lemur, hunted to near-extinction and seen as a bad omen in its native Madagascar, has been born at the Zoo. (File photo: AP Photo)

With bulging eyes, giant ears, and tufts of hair, the Aye-aye is a long-fingered lemur, a strepsirrhine primate native to Madagascar with rodent-like teeth that perpetually grow and a special thin middle finger. It is the world’s largest nocturnal primate. It is characterized by its unusual method of finding food: it taps on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood using its forward-slanting incisors to create a small hole in which it inserts its narrow middle finger to pull the grubs out.

Axolotl

View of an Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum) in a channel of Xochimilco, southern Mexico City, on August 29, 2014. The wild axolotls are near extinction due to urbanization in Mexico City and water pollution. (File photo: AFP)

Also known as the Mexican walking fish, the Axolotl is one of the most unique amphibians in the world. Aside from the genial outward appearance, the amphibian is neotenic, meaning that the adults remain aquatic and gilled instead of going through a metamorphosis when reaching maturity. They also have the ability to regenerate almost any of their body parts. While axolotls are nearly extinct in their native Mexico, they have thrived in captivity, and have become prized by the scientific world as well as by civilians as pets.

Platypus

An undated handout photo received from Taronga Zoo on March 4, 2021 shows a platypus held in the arms of a zoo staff member. (File photo: AFP)

An egg-laying mammal, that it is semi-aquatic, nocturnal and venomous, the Platypus -sometimes referred to as the duck-billed platypus – is endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. The mammel have evolved electroreception to help locate prey, much like bats and sharks, but has almost 40,000 electroreceptors, providing incredible accuracy. This little creature – they only grow up to around 50 centimeters in length – is one of the only creatures in the world to be the one and only representative of its family and genus for scientific classification.

Dumbo octopus

A Dumbo octopus swims toward the Pisces V submersible at the summit of the Cook seamount during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. Seamounts are hotspots for marine life because they carry nutrient-rich water upward from the sea floor. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

Given their resemblance to the title character of Disney’s 1941 film Dumbo, having a prominent ear-like fin which extends from the mantle above each eye, it is clear how this species got its name. It lives at least 13,100 feet (4,000 m) below the surface. The largest Dumbo octopus ever recorded was five feet 10 inches (1.8 m) long and weighed 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms). Life at these extreme depths requires the ability to live in very cold water and in the complete absence of sunlight. Dumbo octopuses move by slowly flapping their ear-like fins, and they use their arms to steer.

Sloth

A two-toed sloth, enjoys a piece of squash as she is presented to visitors at SeaWorld in San Diego, California, US, May 31, 2017. (Reuters)

Sloths are mammals that live in the Central and South America and are deemed to be omnivores, as they can eat small lizards and insects, but their meals include generally buds and leaves. Sloths have made unusual adaptations to an arboreal lifestyle. Sloths own very huge and slow-acting stomachs that have many sections in which symbiotic bacteria crash the harsh leaves.

Turritopsis nutricula

A hydroid jellyfish of the family Oceanidae, the Turritopsis nutricula is originally from the Caribbean Sea, but now it’s found around the world, in all the warm and tropical seas. (File photo)

A hydroid jellyfish of the family Oceanidae, the Turritopsis nutricula is originally from the Caribbean Sea, but now it’s found around the world, in all the warm and tropical seas. Since scientists spotted it in Colombia, it has also been seen near Japan and in the Mediterranean Sea. It is tall with a transparent and gelatinous skin. The young organisms have eight tentacles, and the adults can have 80–90 tentacles. It has a big red stomach inside, and it can shine in the dark.

Megalodon: The Truth About the Largest Shark That Ever Lived
Megalodon: The Truth About the Largest Shark That Ever Lived

Megalodon: The Truth About the Largest Shark That Ever Lived

https://boisetaxicompany.com/ – As one of the largest predators to have ever lived, megalodon captures people’s imagination – and for good reason. But was this apex predator simply a beefed-up great white shark, and is it still lurking in the dark depths of the ocean?

Emma Bernard, who curates the Museum’s fossil fish collection (including fossil sharks), helps separate fact from fiction.

How big is a megalodon?

The earliest megalodon fossils (Otodus megalodon, previously known as Carcharodon or Carcharocles megalodon) date to 20 million years ago. For the next 13 million years the enormous shark dominated the oceans until becoming extinct just 3.6 million years ago.

O. megalodon was not only the biggest shark in the world, but one of the largest fish ever to exist.

This giant shark is well-known for starring in the 2018 megalodon movie, The Meg. But in reality, these animals were a little shorter than the 23-metre-long fictional monster it depicted.

Estimates suggest megalodon actually grew to between 15 and 18 metres in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark. It may have been comparable in length to today’s biggest whale sharks, the largest of which has measured in at 18.8 metres.

Without a complete megalodon skeleton to measure, these figures are based on tooth size. Megalodon teeth can reach 18 centimetres long. In fact, the word megalodon simply means ‘large tooth’. These teeth can tell us a lot, such as what these massive animals ate.

Research from 2022 suggests that megalodon’s size may have been affected by where it lived, with those in colder water growing to larger sizes.

What did megalodon eat?

Emma explains, ‘With its large serrated teeth megalodon would have eaten meat – most likely whales and large fish, and probably other sharks. If you are that big you need to eat a lot of food, so large prey is required.’

This would have included animals as small as dolphins and as large as humpback whales.

We have other evidence of megalodon’s feeding habits in the form of fossilised whale bones. Some of these have been found with the cut marks of megalodon teeth etched in the surface. Others even include the tips of teeth broken off in the bone during a feeding frenzy that occurred millions of years ago.

Megalodon jaws

In order to tackle prey as large as whales, megalodon had to be able to open its mouth wide. It is estimated that its jaw would span 2.7 by 3.4 metres wide, easily big enough to swallow two adult people side-by-side.

These jaws were lined with 276 teeth, and studies reconstructing the shark’s bite force suggest that it may have been one of the most powerful predators ever to have existed.

Humans have been measured with a bite force of around 1,317 Newtons (N), while great white sharks have been predicted to be able to bite down with a force of 18,216N. Researchers have estimated that megalodon had a bite of between 108,514 and 182,201N.

What did megalodon look like?

Most reconstructions show megalodon looking like an enormous great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias. This is now believed to be incorrect.

O. megalodon likely had a much shorter nose, or rostrum, when compared with the great white, with a flatter, almost squashed jaw. Like the blue shark, it also had extra-long pectoral fins to support its weight and size.

‘A lot of reconstructions have megalodon looking like a bigger version of the great white shark because for a long time people thought they were related,’ explains Emma. ‘We now know that this is not the case, and megalodon is actually from a different lineage of shark of which megalodon was the last member.’

The oldest definitive ancestor of megalodon is a 55-million-year-old shark known as Otodus obliquus, which grew to around 10 metres in length. But the evolutionary history of this shark is thought to stretch back to Cretalamna appendiculata, dating to 105 million years old – making the lineage of megalodon over 100 million years old.

‘As we’ve found more and more fossils, we’ve realised that the ancestor to the great white shark lived alongside megalodon. Some scientists think they might even have been in competition with each other,’ says Emma.

Where did the megalodon live?

O. megalodon was adapted to warm tropical and subtropical locations around the globe. The species was so widely spread that megalodon teeth have been found on every continent except Antarctica.

‘We can find lots of their teeth off the east coast of North America, along the coasts and at the bottom of saltwater creeks and rivers of North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida,’ explains Emma. This is likely due in part to the age of the rocks, but also because they can easily be found on the sea floor allowing collectors to go diving for them.

‘They are also quite common off the coast of Morocco and parts of Australia. They can even be found in the UK near Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex,’ says Emma, although they are extremely rare in the UK and tend to be of poor quality.

Are megalodon teeth rare?

Almost all fossil remains of megalodon are teeth.

Sharks continually produce teeth throughout their entire lives. Depending on what they eat, sharks lose a set of teeth every one to two weeks, getting through up to 40,000 teeth in their lifetime. This means that shark teeth are continuously raining down onto the ocean floor, increasing the chance that they will get fossilised.

Teeth are also the hardest part of a shark’s skeleton. While our bones are coated in the mineral calcium phosphate, shark skeletons are made entirely from softer cartilage like our nose and ears. Megalodon teeth have been found on every continent except Antarctica

So while the more robust teeth become fossilised relatively easily, only in very special circumstances will soft tissue be preserved.

Fossilised megalodon vertebrae about the size of a dinner plate have also been found.

‘There is also a megalodon fossil found in Peru that apparently has the braincase and all the teeth, with a small string of vertebrae,’ says Emma, ‘although I have yet to see high-quality images of this specimen.’

This extraordinary fossil may help create a better picture of what these gigantic predators looked like.

Why did megalodon go extinct?

We know that megalodon had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene (2.6 million years ago), when the planet entered a phase of global cooling. Precisely when the last megalodon died is not known, but new evidence suggests that it was at least 3.6 million years ago.

Scientists think that up to a third of all large marine animals, including 43% of turtles and 35% of sea birds, became extinct as temperatures cooled and the number of organisms at the base of the food chain plummeted, resulting in a knock-on effect to the predators at the top.

The cooling of the planet may have contributed to the extinction of the megalodon in a number of ways.

As the adult sharks were dependent on tropical waters, the drop in ocean temperatures likely resulted in a significant loss of habitat. It may also have resulted in the megalodon’s prey either going extinct or adapting to the cooler waters and moving to where the sharks could not follow.

Megalodon is also thought to have given birth to its young close to the shore. These shallow coastal waters would have provided a nursery for the pups, protecting them from predators that were lurking in the open water, like the larger toothed whales. As ice formed at the poles and the sea level dropped, these pupping grounds would have been destroyed.

A study from 2022 suggests that competition with great white sharks for food may also have contributed to megalodon’s downfall. Studies of fossilised megalodon and great white teeth show that their diets overlapped.

Is the megalodon still alive?

‘No. It’s definitely not alive in the deep oceans, despite what the Discovery Channel has said in the past,’ notes Emma.

‘If an animal as big as megalodon still lived in the oceans we would know about it.’

The sharks would leave telltale bite marks on other large marine animals, and their huge teeth would continue littering the ocean floors in their tens of thousands. Not to mention that as a warm-water species, megalodon would not be able to survive in the cold waters of the deep, where it would have a better chance of going unnoticed.

Discover more about megalodon and shark evolution with Emma Bernard in the video below.

10 Strange Animals in the Mariana Trench
10 Strange Animals in the Mariana Trench

10 Strange Animals in the Mariana Trench

https://boisetaxicompany.com/ – The Mariana Trench reaches 1,580 miles and 2,550 kilometers and a maximum width of 69 kilometers or 43 miles. The maximum known depth is 10,984 meters or 36,037 feet. The water pressure at the bottom of the trench is incredible, more than 1,071 times the normal atmospheric pressure at sea level. Living in this excellent habitat are some of the world’s most exciting and surprising animals. Explore a few of them below.

10 of the STRANGEST Mariana Trench Animals

The Mariana Trench is in the western Pacific Ocean, around 200 kilometers, or 124 miles, from the Mariana Islands. The trench is the deepest point in the world’s oceans, home to some of the strangest ocean creatures.

Dumbo Octopus

The deepest known living octopus

The dumbo octopus, also known as grimpotheuthis, is a genus of pelagic umbrella octopuses. The name originates from the creature’s resemblance to the character Dumbo from the 1941 Disney film of the same name. The Dumbo octopus was first discovered around 1883, but the first specimen was not seen until the 1990s after the first deep-sea submersible vessels were invented.

The dumbo octopus is small compared to other octopods, averaging between 20 and 30 centimeters. The octopus’s gelatinous body allows it to exist at the highly pressured depths it prefers. Extreme pressure keeps its body together, and if brought to the surface, its body would not be able to work correctly. ~

Angler Fish

It has a bright lure on the end of its head to lure prey

The Angler Fish can be found very deep in the Trench, where it is particularly dark

Frilled Shark

Species is more than 80 million years old

The Frilled Shark is a scary-looking deep-sea shark

The frilled shark was discovered in the 19th century by German ichthyologist Ludwig H.P. Döderlein. It is often referred to as a “living fossil” due to its eery appearance and the shape of its mouth.

The shark has an eel-like body that’s dark brown to grey in color and amphistyly, referring to the articulation of the jaws to the head. Their teeth are widely spaced between 19 and 28 in the upper jaw and 21 to 29 in the lower jaw.

They live near the ocean floor, such as in and around the Mariana Trench, and near biologically productive areas.

Goblin Shark

Still unclear what the unusual snout is for

The goblin shark is a rare species of shark. Its unusual and “creepy” appearance is often described as fossil-like (similar to the frilled shark). It has pink-toned skin and a distinctive snout shape. It is elongated and flat with a protruding jaw and skinny, incredibly sharp teeth.

They can grow to be around 10-13 feet in length and are rarely seen by human beings. This is mostly due to the fact that they live so deep in the ocean, around 100 meters or 330 feet.

Telescope Octopus

The telescope octopus is a transparent, eight-armed octopus that is almost entirely colorless. Their arms are the same size, and they are the only octopus to have tubular eyes. It is incredibly unusual to observe and was originally documented by Dr. William Evans Hoyle in 1885. The octopus is a rare species, meaning there is little that scientists, and the general public, know about the marine creature. But it’s believed to be a close relative of the glass octopus.

Zombie Worms

Zombie worms, also known as Osedax, are a type of deep-sea siboglinid polychaetes. The word “Osedax” means “bone-eater” in Latin and refers to the worm’s ability to bore into and eat bones from whale carcasses. They do so in an attempt to reach lipids enclosed inside the bone. They use special root tissues for bone boring.

Barreleye Fish

The Barreleye Fish is another interesting deep-sea creature. They are also sometimes known as spook fish and are found in the temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The fish are named for the shape of their eyes, which look like tubes or barrels. They are directed upwards in order to allow the fish to detect prey more easily.

Deep-sea Dragonfish

The Deep-sea Dragonfish, also known as the scaleless dragonfish, is a deep-sea predator. It, like the angler fish, produces its own light. They have large teeth, especially compared to their size. The fish are only six inches long, but they have a dragon-like feature that makes them appear as a vicious predator. It creates its light through a process known as bioluminescence. The light is created through the animal’s photophore. The fish uses it to attract prey and potential mates.

Sea Cucumber

The sea cucumber is a small echinoderm from the class Holothuroidea. They are marina animals with leather-textured skin. Their bodies are long and found on the seafloor around the world. There are around 1,700 species of holothurian around the world, but most are concentrated around the Asian Pacific region. Some of these live in the depths of the Mariana Trench.

They are named for their shape, which clearly resembles a cucumber. Sometimes, sea cucumbers are gathered for human consumption, but they play an important role in marine ecosystems. They break down detritus and other matter, cleaning their ecosystems.

Snailfish

Snailfish are an unusual and interesting species that live in the Arctic to Antarctic Oceans. There are more than 410 species of snailfish known to science. But there are other undescribed species. They live in depths ranging from the surface to 26,200 feet or around 8,000 meters. Unfortunately, snailfish are uncommonly studied, and little is known about their lives or habits. They are scaleless, though, with loose skin. Their teeth are small, and they have prominent sensory pores on their heads.

FAQs

Do any animals live in the Mariana Trench?

Yes, many different animals live in the Mariana Trench. Most of these are rarely seen by human beings and have different, interesting attributes.

Is the Mariana Trench toxic?

Deep in the Mariana Trench, there are still examples of human-caused pollution. For example, scientists have discovered mercury pollution there.

Does Megalodon exist in Mariana Trench?

It is very unlikely that Megalodon still exists. But, if it did, it would live in the upper part of the water over the trench rather than in its depths.

Amazing! 12 Types Of Hybrid Animals That Actually Exist

Amazing! 12 Types Of Hybrid Animals That Actually Exist

Key Points:

  • A wholphin, a cross between a female bottle-nosed dolphin and a male false killer whale, is one of the rarest hybrid animals on earth.
  • A liger comes from the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger, whereas the tigon is created by mating a female lion with a male tiger. Ligers are born much larger than their parents and favor the lion’s father, while tigons are smaller in size than their parents and favor the tiger’s father.
  • The zebroid, the cross between a zebra and a horse, is usually infertile. Zebra hybrids usually have the appearance of whichever animal they have been crossbred with while still retaining the striped coat of a pure zebra.
  • Is there a deer-snake hybrid? Read on to learn if this animal really exists or if this is a hoax.

What is a hybrid animal? What are the different types of hybrid animals? Are they creatures that only exist in fables and myths? No! In fact, many crossbred animals are real!

Hybrid animals are usually the reproductive result of intercourse between two similar animals, like lions and tigers. Lab hybrid animals also exist. Scientists call the process “somatic hybridization,” and it allows them to manipulate genes to create new species with useful traits from both parents.

Check out https://boisetaxicompany.com/ for 12 real examples of incredible hybrid animals.

How Common Are Hybrid Animals?

Hybrid animals are not as common as purebred animals. While it is rare, it does occur naturally in the wild. A hybrid animal is the result of breeding between two different species or subspecies of animals.

Some examples of hybrid animals include the mule (a cross between a horse and a donkey), the liger (a cross between a lion and a tiger), and the wholphin (a cross between a common bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale).

Hybrid animals can also be created in captivity, by zoos and breeding facilities, for conservation and preservation purposes.

However, the offspring of these hybrids may not be able to breed, or even if they could, it could be unethical to continue breeding hybrids as it could lead to genetic problems later on in the lineage.

What Are The Benefits?

Hybrid animals, also known as crossbreeds, are created by combining two different animal species. Hybrids have been around for centuries and were originally developed to create a desired physical trait or behavior in an animal. For example, the mule was bred from a male donkey and a female horse to produce an animal with greater strength than either parent species alone.

There are several potential benefits of hybrid animals over purebreds. One benefit is that they tend to be healthier due to increased genetic diversity, which results in a reduced risk of hereditary diseases common among purebreds, like hip dysplasia in dogs. Hybrid animals can also possess traits from both parents, such as greater intelligence or athleticism compared to their purebred counterparts. Additionally, hybrids may require less maintenance than certain purebreds since they do not need specialized grooming or diet plans like some breeds do for optimal health and well-being.

1. Liger: Male Lion And Female Tiger Hybrid Animal

The offspring of a male lion and female tiger, the liger is probably the most famous hybrid animal of all and the largest of the big cats.

Ligers are usually much bigger than either parent. The largest non-obese liger in the world weighs 1,000 pounds, and the heaviest one ever recorded weighed an astounding 1,600 pounds.

Unlike some hybrid animals, it would be nearly impossible to find ligers in the wild because lions and tigers don’t naturally inhabit the same regions.

They usually look and behave more like lions than tigers, but they do show tiger traits such as a love for swimming and striped backs.

You can read more about ligers here.

2. Tigon: Male Tiger and Female Lion Hybrid Animal

Nobody could fault you for thinking a tigon should basically be the exact same animal as a liger. After all, they’re both mixes of lions and tigers.

However, when a male tiger mates with a female lion, the resulting offspring is a tigon.

Tigons are much smaller than ligers, and they tend to be smaller than both of their parents. They typically look more like their tiger fathers, but they possess traits from their lion mothers, such as the ability to roar and love for socialization.

These animal hybrids do not exceed the size of their parent species because they inherit growth-inhibitory genes from both parents, but they do not exhibit any kind of dwarfism or miniaturization; they often weigh around 180 kilograms (400 lb).

3. Wholphin: False Killer Whale and Dolphin Hybrid Animal

Wholphins are one of the rarest hybrid animals. They come from the crossbreeding of a female bottle-nosed dolphin and a male false killer whale (a member of the dolphin family that isn’t related to killer whales).

Citizen wholphin sightings in the wild are common, but concrete evidence still eludes scientists. Currently, we can only reliably see these animal hybrids in captivity.

Wholphins are an extremely interesting balance of their parents. Their skin is dark gray — the perfect blend of light gray dolphin skin and black false killer whale skin. They also have 66 teeth, which is the precise average for dolphins’ 88 teeth and the false killer whale’s 44 teeth.

4. Leopon: Leopard and Lion Hybrid Animal

Leopons are beautiful and uncommon hybrids resulting from a male leopard and female lion union.

Leopons grow to be nearly as large as lions, but they have shorter legs like a leopard. The animal hybrids also have other leopard traits, including love for water and climbing chops.

Did You Know? When a male lion mates with a leopardess, the resulting offspring is called a lipard. Male lions are typically about 10 feet long and weigh around 500 pounds, but a female leopard is usually only about 5 feet long and weighs about 80 pounds. Because of the immense size difference between a male lion and a female leopard, this pairing happens very rarely.

5. Beefalo: Buffalo and Cow Hybrid Animal

Beefalo is the hybridization of buffalo and domestic cattle.

In most cases, breeders create beefalo by pairing a domesticated bull with a female American bison. Unlike many other types of animal hybrids, beefalo are able to reproduce on their own, which is useful.

These animals were intentionally crossbred by humans to improve beef production and carry the best traits of both species. They produce leaner, more flavorful meat like bison, but are more docile and easier to raise like domestic cattle.

Typically, beefalo are 37.5% bison and mostly resemble cattle. Some breeds are 50% or more bison and are sometimes called “cattalo.” In addition, any hybrid that resembles a bison more than a cow is usually considered an “exotic animal” rather than a livestock.

6. Grolar Bear: Grizzly and Polar Bear Hybrid Animal

Grolar bears, as you might expect, are a cross between a grizzly bear and polar bear.

These animals are also sometimes called “pizzly bears,” and some First Nations peoples call them “nanulak,” which is a blend of their words for a polar bear, “nanuk,” and grizzly bear, “aklak.”

Grolar bears are interesting because, generally speaking, polar bears and grizzlies have a mutual contempt for one another and will rarely coexist in captivity or in their natural habitats. However, extreme situations and human interventions have produced more of these adorably shaggy, caramel-colored hybrid bears.

They typically grow to be slightly smaller than polar bears, averaging 60 inches tall at the shoulder and around 1,000 pounds, but they’re better able to survive in warmer climates thanks to their grizzly bear genes.

7. Jaglion: Jaguar and Lion Hybrid Animal

Another stunning and intriguing big cat hybrid is the jaglion, which comes from the mating of a male jaguar and a female lion.

Not much is known about jaglions simply because so few exist. However, an unintentional mating between a black jaguar and a lioness resulted in two jaglion cubs. One has the coloring of a lion and the rosette-pattern spotting of a jaguar, but the other sports a breathtaking dark gray coat with black spotting thanks to the dominant melanin gene found in black jaguars.

Offspring produced by the opposite pairing of a male lion and a female jaguar is called liguars.

8. Zebroid: Zebra and Horse Hybrid Animal

Technically, a zebroid is actually a hybrid of a zebra and any equine species. When paired with a horse, the result is called a “zorse.”

Zebra hybrids are usually infertile and pairings are rare. For example, we call the offspring of a male donkey and a female zebra a ‘hinny,’ but they’re extremely uncommon.

Zebra hybrids usually have the appearance of whichever animal they have been crossbred with while still retaining the striped coat of a pure zebra. Most of these hybrid animals don’t have fully striped coats. Instead, the stripes are usually found on just the legs or non-white areas of the body, depending on the genetics of the non-zebra parent.

For more information about the zorse, click here.

9. Geep: Goat and Sheep Hybrid Animal

One of the cutest and cuddliest hybrid animals is the geep, an endearing cross between a goat and a sheep.

Despite being absolutely adorable, the geep is exceptionally rare. Some experts debate whether or not the geep is a true hybrid or simply a sheep with genetic abnormalities. After all, since goats and sheep carry different numbers of chromosomes, cross-species conception is nearly impossible. If it happens, very few babies are carried to term, and even fewer survive birth.

Regardless, looking at pictures of these animals is sure to make you smile.

10. Cama: Camel and Llama Hybrid Animal

Like beefalo, the cama was created to produce an animal that was more economically viable than either of its parents.

Camas are hybrids of dromedary camels and llamas, typically via artificial insemination. This is the best and safest way to breed them since male dromedary camels can weigh six times more than female llamas, and the reverse pairing isn’t fruitful.

Camas don’t have camel humps and are covered in soft, fleecy fur similar to llamas’. They were bred with the intent of creating a mega-wool-producing animal that’s strong and docile enough to be used as a pack animal in desert climates.

11. Savannah Cat: Domestic Cat and African Serval Hybrid Animal

Savannah cats may be house pets, but they’re also exotic hybrids — the result of breeding a domestic cat with a wild African serval.

Savannahs are striking animals that are around the same size as a large domestic cat. However, their tall bodies, slender forms, and spotted coats give them a wild, exotic appearance. Savannah cats with more serval blood can be twice as large as domestic cats! So anyone interested in owning one should do plenty of careful research.

Savannah cats are extremely intelligent, loyal, and loving creatures. Plus, they are considered prized household pets.

12. Green Sea Slug: Algae and Slug Hybrid Animal

Possibly the most unusual hybrid animal on this list is the green sea slug. It is a sea slug that incorporates genetic material from the algae it eats into its own DNA. The strange result is a plant-animal hybrid that can consume food like an animal or create its own nutrients via photosynthesis.

Scientists call these sea slugs “emerald green elysia.” Their ability to turn solar energy into food is what gives them their brilliant green hue.

Scientists acknowledge that they will have to do more research in order to determine how this phenomenon happens. But as of now, this is the only successful instance of gene transfer from one type of complex organism to another.

Other Notable Hybrid Animals

While we covered 12 hybrid animals, there are more. Others include:

  • Coywolf–Coyote and Wolf
  • Narluga–Narwal and Beluga
  • Dzo–Cow and Wild Yak
  • Mulard–Mallard and Muscovy Duck
  • Żubroń–Cow and European Bison
  • Zonkey–Zebra and Donkey
10 Most Expensive Animals in the World, Start from $16 Million
10 Most Expensive Animals in the World, Start from $16 Million

10 Most Expensive Animals in the World, Start from $16 Million

boisetaxicompany.com – Animals are one of the most loyal creatures in the world. Besides being adorable and the most admired beings on earth, they can also be one of the most expensive too. These animals usually have different feathers, different colors, motifs or even rare shapes. The most expensive animals in the world are found in many parts of the African and European continents.

Here are 10 most expensive animals around the world:

1. Green Monkey, $16 million

The green monkey is actually a horse and not a monkey. An expensive horse. The green monkey horse is very rare and expensive because of its speed and beauty. It’s widely used for horse racing and has a winning crown in many competitions. Reportedly, this animal ran an eighth of a mile in just under 9.8 seconds during his first race.

Just like humans, animals have an interesting history, maybe even more extensive, maybe even better than humans. As a racing horse, Green Monkey only entered the race three times before he retired. In fact, he could only end the race in 3rd place despite being the winner’s favorite. After retiring, this horse lived in Florida as a breeder male for only $66 million.

2. Missy, $1,2 million

Missy is a breed of cattle that is very expensive animals in the world. It’s because of his speed that he won several championships. Known to have won many titles as a show cow, she is said to produce 50% more milk than a regular cow. These cows are of high quality and of great standards especially in the agricultural industry.

3. Tibetan Mastiff, $582 thousand

Tibetan Mastiffs are one of the largest dogs in the world. The most attractive and expensive dog ever sold. This dog is rare and has colors such as black, red, gray, pure white and brown. The most amazing thing about this dog is that it does not have the unpleasant odor that is present in ordinary dogs.

4. Sir Lancelot Encore, $155 thousand

Sir Lancelot is actually the first clone dog, who was made in memory of an original dog named Lancelot. The couple who owned the dog were heartbroken after the death of their pet and decided to have him cloned.

5. White Lion Cubs, $138 thousand

White lion cubs are not like ordinary lion breeds. These animals have the same white pigmentation as their eye color. It is believed they are in a South African nature reserve. It is estimated that there are fewer than 300 species worldwide.

6. Stag Beetle, $89 thousand

The Stag Beetle is the rarest and strangest species in the world. These animals have blood-red mandibles and prominent horns hanging from their black heads.

This insect belongs to the Lucanidae family which consists of 1200 insect classes. This insect also has a length of about 2-3 inches, this is what makes this insect expensive.

7. Palm Cockatoo, $16 thousand

The Palm Cockatoo also known as the Goliath Cockatoo is a large gray or black parrot of the cockatoo family. It is the only member in the subfamily and the only member of the monotypic genus, Probosciger.

Its unique position in the cockatoo family has been confirmed by molecular studies. It has a unique red cheek patch that changes color when the bird is excited or worried.

8. Hyacinth Macaw, $14 thousand

This macaw is native to central and eastern South America. It’s the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot in the world. These animals have very strong beaks to feed on their natural diet, which includes hard seeds and nuts.

Its powerful beak can even crack coconuts, large Brazil nut pods, and macadamia nuts. In addition, they eat other fruits and vegetables. Pine nuts are also one of the most popular foods for Hyacinth Macaws.

9. De Brazza’s Monkey, $10 thousand

The De Brazza monkey looks very old and is the most expensive animal known in the world. It is also called the swamp monkey and its name comes from the French traveler.

These monkeys are hard to find because they have a very different and unique style of camouflage. Their life span is between 22 to 30 years. They live in Central Africa and they always travel in large groups.

10. Toucan, $10 thousand

These animals have large and colorful beaks and the family includes about forty different species.

The name of this group of birds comes from Tupi Tucana in Portuguese. The toucan’s legs are short and strong. Their toes are arranged in pairs with the first and fourth toes turned back. The majority of toucans show no sexual attraction in their coloration. The fur on these animals is generally black, with white, yellow, and dark red patches.

Big Five | Animals in South Africa
Big Five | Animals in South Africa

Big Five | Animals in South Africa

boisetaxicompany.com – There are some most impressive South Africa animals! Wildlife in South Africa is abundant, with almost 300 mammal species.

South African animals you should know about

Among the South African animal species are some of the world’s tallest, fastest or even tiniest animals such as the majestic giraffe, the speedy cheetah or the tiny pygmy shrew.

Several animal species are endangered such as the African wild dogs, the oribi or the rhino which is hunted for its horn. Many wild animals are kept and protected in national parks or private game reserves.

Conservation efforts in South Africa have been successful in growing populations of the mountain zebra and bontebok, an antelope species that only exists in South Africa.

The Blue Crane is the South African national bird. It is one of the vulnerable bird species that are native to South Africa.

Over 850 species of birds live in South Africa, many can only be found here. Among the typical African bird species that can be seen in South Africa are the ostrich, kingfishers, sunbirds and the blue crane.

South Africa Animals | Big Five

And then of course, there are the Big Five: elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, lion and the leopard.

The term ‘Big Five’ is used to describe the power and strength of the animals. The term was coined last century as these five animals were the most difficult to be hunted on foot.

The ‘Big Five’ are shown on the South African bank notes.

15 Animals in South Africa you should know about

1. Springbok

The springbok is the national animal of South Africa. Springboks are very common in rural areas and on many farms. The springbok belongs to the Antelope species that includes over 90 different species, that are mostly native to the African continent.

The springbok is very common in the bush veld and in deserts of South Africa. This antelope can jump up to 2 m/ 6.5 ft high. Watch them jump here. Did you know that the South African rugby team is called “The Springboks”?

2. Lion

These big cats live in prides that are led by a male lion. Lions are only encountered in enclosures or private game reserves as well as some national parks. The Southern African lions are the largest of the lion species.

3. Elephant

The African elephant is the largest land-based mammal and can grow up to almost 4 m/13 ft tall. Elephants live in tight-knit families and are very protective of their young.

Elephants have an excellent memory. Sadly there are only few wild elephants left in South Africa, elephants are endangered and thus kept in national parks such as Kruger Park or Addo Park as they are hunted for their tusks.

4. Buffalo

These huge animals can be spotted near waterholes in many South African national parks. They usually move in herds and can be really aggressive!

Remember, buffalos belong to South Africa’s “Big Five”.

5. Rhinoceros

South Africa animals: There are white and black rhinos, both of which are massive and strong. They cannot see well, but smell their prey. These endangered species are poached for their precious horn.

Although the black and white rhino can hardly be distinguished by their skin colour, it’s quite easy to recognise the rhinoceros species. The white rhinos have a broad lip and are called friendly, as they are not as aggressive as the black rhinos, which have a small lip and look more threatening.

6. Leopard

In South Africa, the leopard lives mainly in game reserves. Only a few of these big cats are left to roam freely in the remote bush veld. They hunt at night but during the day, they usually hide on or under trees.

Leopards can also be spotted occasionally on rocks or craggy hills.

7. Baboon

Baboons are cheeky monkeys that can often be seen along the roadside in South Africa.

They can be quite curious and are also known to approach people, but be careful and do not touch or feed them, they’re quite strong and have very sharp teeth.

8. Hippopotamus

Hippopotamuses (also known as hippos) are the most dangerous mammals. Hippos cannot swim, they only walk or run underwater!

In St Lucia, a small town in the iSimangeliso wetlands, you can encounter hippos at night when they roam the streets in search for water or food. See our link in the resources below for more info and photos.

9. Pygmy shrew

South Africa animals: The pygmy shrew is the world’s smallest mammal. The tiny shrew which looks like a mouse is only 8 cm/3 inches long and weighs less than 4 g/a teaspoon of sugar.

10. Whale

South Africa animals: There are eight species of whales in South African waters. Southern Right Whales can be seen along the entire western and southern coastline, where they can be seen from May to December.

The town of Hermanus, a three-hours drive from Cape Town, even has its own whale crier, who announces when whales are in the bay, this it is a major spectacle.

11. African penguin

There are three penguin colonies in South Africa. Two of the penguin sites are at Boulders Beach near Cape Town, where you can even swim with penguins!

Read more about African penguins here.

12. Ostrich

The largest of the bird species are flightless, but grow up to 2.7 m/ 8.8 ft tall. They roam the countryside freely but are kept also on large ostrich farms. The town of Oudtshoorn  in south-western South Africa is known as the ‘ostrich capital of the world’!

Ostriches have big eyes, but a very small brain! Their eggs are huge and weigh up to 1.9kg/ 4 pounds! One egg can be feed up to 19 people at a time!

Be aware that ostriches have a powerful kick, which can kill a person. So when you see an ostrich approach, lie flat on the ground, so they cannot kick you!

13. Sharks

There are several shark species swimming in South African waters. Great white sharks are not the largest shark species in the world but certainly impressive! They can become massive, up to 7 m/23 ft in length – this is almost half the length of a basketball court!

Once a shark is fully fed, it can live without food for three months. Sharks follow vibrations in water when searching for prey. They also have a very good sense of smell and can also detect the scent of blood from about 5km/3 miles away.

14. Scorpion

South Africa animals: There are 175 species of scorpions in South Africa!

Though most of them are harmless, look at the pinchers and tail to determine if a scorpion is venomous. In general, only scorpions with small pinchers and a short thick tail are venomous.

15. Cape Cobra

The Cape Cobra is one of the most deadly snakes in the world! Together with the puff adder, the boomslang and the green or black mamba, they are the most poisonous snakes in South Africa.

Cobras can be encountered throughout the country, so be careful when walking through dunes or bushland especially close to the sea, rivers or near a national park.

Crocodiles are found in South Africa as well, mostly in the eastern and northern provinces.

South Africa Animals | Did you know…?

And this cute animal we just could not leave out – so here is our number 16 of South Africa animals. The cute green and orange striped Cape Dwarf Chameleons are home in many gardens around Cape Town.

The eyes of the tiny chameleon move independently from each other and can turn in all directions. The tongue is about twice the length of the chameleon’s body so it can catch insects that are quite a distance away!

Madagascar | Animals, People, and Threats
Madagascar | Animals, People, and Threats

Madagascar | Animals, People, and Threats

Facts

The island nation of Madagascar has developed its own distinct ecosystems and extraordinary wildlife since it split from the African continent an estimated 160 million years ago. Approximately 95 percent of Madagascar’s reptiles, 89 percent of its plant life, and 92 percent of its mammals exist nowhere else on Earth.

  • ContinentAfrica
  • SpeciesLemur, Tortoise, Gecko, Chameleon

Located off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar is the world’s fifth largest island; at 144 million acres, it’s almost the size of Texas. Madagascar’s climate is tropical along the coast, temperate inland, and arid in the south. The island harbors lush rain forests, tropical dry forests, plateaus and deserts. Its more than 3,000 miles of coastline and over 250 islands are home to some of the world’s largest coral reef systems and most extensive mangrove areas in the Western Indian Ocean.

Species

 

A dizzying range of plants and animals make their home on the island. More than 11,000 endemic plant species, including seven species of baobab tree, share the island with a vast variety of mammal, reptiles, amphibians, and others. From 1999 to 2010, scientists discovered 615 new species in Madagascar, including 41 mammals and 61 reptiles.

Madagascar has several critically threatened species including the Silky Sifaka, a lemur, which is one of the rarest mammals on earth. Its name—“angel of the forest”—refers to its white fur. Another threatened species, the rare Ploughshare tortoise, is found only in a small area of northwestern Madagascar where as few as 1,000 of these animals survive. Ploughshare tortoises can be sold illegally for up to $200,000 on exotic pet markets.

People & Communities

Vanilla farmers in Madagascar.

The diversity of the island is seen everywhere. Madagascar is home to more than 21 million people with a wide array of faiths and customs. The Malagasy (as the people of Madagascar are known) are descendents of settlers from Borneo and East Africa and draw their cultural heritage from Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and the Middle East.

More than 20 ethnic groups coexist on the island. Their common language, also called Malagasy, is most closely related to a language spoken in southeast Borneo. A majority of the population—80 percent of which is estimated to live below the poverty line—depends on subsistence farming for survival. More Information to boisetaxicompany.com

Threats

Madagascar’s stunning species and unique habitats are threatened by demands from today’s global markets and from the growing needs of the local population.

Deforestation and Forest Degradation

The small-scale but widespread clearance of forests, primarily for firewood and charcoal production, is jeopardizing the island’s habitats. As a result, several charismatic species such as lemurs and chameleons that evolved here over millions of years may become extinct before the end of the century.

For the unique species of the island, loss of vital habitat is a disaster and the increased access to species has also exacerbated the international trade in Madagascar’s wildlife. Today, many animals and plants are threatened, with rosewood trees, tortoises, chameleons, geckos and snakes the most targeted by traffickers.

What WWF Is Doing

WWF aims to protect, restore and maintain Madagascar’s unique biodiversity in harmony with the culture and livelihoods of the local people. We work closely with governments, scientists, industry and local communities on several areas that present the best opportunities to secure the future for the island’s people and species.

Protecting the Dry and Spiny Forests

WWF has developed a plan to address immediate threats to Madagascar’s southernmost forests and help local communities manage their natural resources more sustainably.

Sustaining Livelihoods of Coastal Communities

WWF works with traditional fishermen and government authorities to manage marine and coastal resources so that they not only contribute to conservation but also benefit local communities.

Adapting to Climate Change

WWF helps decision makers, technical officers, and local authorities to develop and implement responsive strategies to protect local communities and natural ecosystems from the expected impacts of climate change.

Projects

  • Expanding and Consolidating Madagascar’s Marine Protected Areas Network

    Ministries have come together to support the project and its goals. Through this cooperation and strong interest from the president, the project will safeguard Madagascar’s marine resources into the future. The project works on tripling the number of Marine Protected Areas and strengthening their management.

Parrot Facts: Habits, Habitat & Species
Parrot Facts: Habits, Habitat & Species

Parrot Facts: Habits, Habitat & Species

Parrots are members of the order Psittaciformes, which includes more than 350 bird species, including parakeets, macaws, cockatiels and cockatoos, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). Though there are many types of parrots, all parrot species have a few traits in common. For example, to be classified as a parrot, the bird must have a curved beak, and its feet must be zygodactyl, which means there are four toes on each foot with two toes that point forward and two that point backward.

Size

Because the parrot order includes so many different species, parrot sizes vary widely. Parrots can range in size from about 3.5 to 40 inches (8.7 to 100 centimeters) and weigh 2.25 to 56 ounces (64 g to 1.6 kg), on average. The world’s heaviest type of parrot is the kakapo, which can weigh up to 9 lbs. (4 kg). The smallest parrot is the buff-faced pygmy parrot, which is only about 3 inches (8 cm) tall and weighs just 0.4 ounces (10 g).

Habitat

Most wild parrots live in the warm areas of the Southern Hemisphere, though they can be found in many other regions of the world, such as northern Mexico. Australia, South America and Central America have the greatest diversity of parrot species.

Not all parrots like warm weather, though. Some parrots like to live in snowy climates. A few cold-weather parrots are maroon-fronted parrots, thick-billed parrots and keas.

With their colorful plumage and ability to mimic human speech, parrots are very popular pets. Some parrot pets have escaped their owners and bred in unusual areas. For example, a popular bird in the pet trade, the monk parakeet, a native of subtropical South America, now resides in the United States after some of them escaped and reproduced in the wild.

Habits

Most parrots are social birds that live in groups called flocks. African grey parrots live in flocks with as many as 20 to 30 birds.

Many species are monogamous and spend their lives with only one mate. The mates work together to raise their young. Parrots throughout the flock communicate with one another by squawking and moving their tail feathers.

Some parrots, like the kakapo, are nocturnal. They sleep during the day and search for food at night.

Diet

Parrots are omnivores, which means that they can eat both meat and vegetation. Most parrots eat a diet that contains nuts, flowers, fruit, buds, seeds and insects. Seeds are their favorite food. They have strong jaws that allow them to snap open nutshells to get to the seed that’s inside.

Keas use their longer beaks to dig insects out of the ground for a meal, and kakapos chew on vegetation and drink the juices.

Offspring

Parrots are like most other birds and lay eggs in a nest. Some species, though, lay their eggs in tree holes,ground tunnels, rock cavities and termite mounds. Parrots typically lay two to eight eggs at one time. A parrot’s egg needs 18 to 30 days of incubation before it can hatch, so the parents take turns sitting on the eggs.

A parrot chick is born with only a thin layer of thin, wispy feathers called down. Parrot chicks are blind for the first two weeks of their lives. At three weeks, they start to grow their adult feathers. The chick will not be fully matured for one to four years, depending on its species.

Classification/taxonomy

According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), the taxonomy of parrots is:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genera and species: More than 60 genera and more than 350 species. Species that are popular as pets include Ara macao (scarlet macaw), Aratinga holochlora (green parakeet), Myiopsitta monachus (monk parakeet), Poicephalus senegalus (Senegal parrot), Nymphicus hollandicus (cockatiel) and Cacatua alba (white cockatoo).

Conservation status

Many species of parrots are endangered. The kakapo (Strigops habroptila) is a critically endangered parrot, according to the Kakapo Recovery Organization. There are fewer than 150 left. The there are only 50 orange-bellied parrots (Neophema chrysogaster), found in Australia, making it one of the most endangered parrots in the world.

The yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix) is another endangered parrot, though there are more of them than kakapos or orange-bellied parrots. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are 7,000 yellow-headed Amazons left in the wild.

Other facts

Parrots are very good mimics and can copy sounds that they hear in their environment; they can even copy human words and laughter. The African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is one of the best at this and one named Alex (1965-2007) was reported to be the world’s smartest parrot.

The kakapo is one of the world’s longest-living birds; they can live more than 90 years.

Cockatoos have a group of feathers on top of their heads that they can move. When on full display, these feathers resemble a mohawk. The cockatoo can also retract the feathers so they lay flat against their heads.

Are Dragons Real? - Lesson for Kids
Are Dragons Real? – Lesson for Kids

Are Dragons Real? - Lesson for Kids

While European dragons were usually depicted as monsters or enemies, on the other side of the world, ancient Asian cultures came up with their own ideas about dragons. Instead of big lizards, they appeared much thinner and longer and could be very small, very big, or anywhere in between. Eastern Asian dragons were usually symbols, meaning they represented something, such as wisdom, power, or nature, that was capable of helping people in numerous ways. For example, one Chinese dragon lived at the bottom of a deep spring and controlled the rain, and a type of Chinese tea today is named Dragon Well Tea.

Asian Dragons

In Vietnam, people believed that a dragon guarded the countryside and created a series of islands off the coast of Ha Long, which means ”descending dragon.” The capital city of Seoul, Korea lies between one mountain that looks like a tiger and one that looks like a dragon; the dragon mountain is considered lucky. In Borneo, an island in southeast Asia, legend holds that a dragon guards a huge jewel on top of Mount Kinabalu.

While there are no creatures on Earth that can fly and breathe fire, there are huge lizards that are known as dragons. Perhaps the most famous is the Komodo dragon, which can be ten feet long and weigh over 300 pounds. These huge lizards live on the islands of Indonesia and are the biggest carnivores, or meat eaters, around. They eat pretty much everything they find, including cows, pigs, and deer. They’ve even killed humans!

There are about 5,000 Komodo dragons left in the wild. Millions of years ago, when the planet was warmer and better for reptiles, more of these giant dragons lived throughout South Asia and Australia, and they grew even larger than the ones today. However, a changing planet, along with people moving in, has made the Komodo dragon among the last real dragons left in the world.

Research Characteristics of Dragons.

The lesson discussed mythical dragons and the characteristics that those dragons had in common, which are breathing fire and flying. Let’s think about and explore how these characteristics may be found in a dragon by looking at examples in present-day animals and insects.
Fire-breathing ability

If you think about dragons which have been portrayed in movies and cartoons, this is one of the common features they share. Is it possible for an animal to produce fire? Let’s consider a different characteristic that some creatures have – the ability to produce light. Research this phenomenon called bioluminescence, and discuss how this property occurs. Also, research what elements are needed for fire to occur. Then think about whether a process can occur in a creature to produce fire.

Answers:

A number of different organisms produce light, with one of the most familiar examples being the firefly. Bioluminescence generally produces light as a reaction, where the oxidation of a chemical called luciferin occurs with the assistance of an enzyme called luciferase and high energy molecule called ATP.

Three elements are required for fire to occur, which is known as the fire pyramid. There must be a fuel source, oxygen must be present, and a source of ignition must exist.

If a dragon were to produce fire, we would have to think about what could be used as a fuel source. Certain bacteria can break down partially digested food and produce methane. This occurs in higher levels in some animals, like cows. Perhaps a dragon could have a gland containing a large number of bacteria that produce methane for a fuel source. A chemical reaction, possibly similar to bioluminescence, may then be used as a source of ignition for the fuel.

Ability to fly

Dragons are often also portrayed with wings. Birds are an excellent example of achieving the ability to fly. Research how birds use wings to fly and think about whether this would work for a larger creature, such as a dragon.

Answer:

Birds are able to fly by pushing air down and behind with their wings. Do you think that a larger creature, like a dragon, would be able to use wings to fly like birds?

The 10 Absolute Strongest Animals on Earth: Pure Force
The 10 Absolute Strongest Animals on Earth: Pure Force

The 10 Absolute Strongest Animals on Earth: Pure Force

Key Points:

  • The strongest land animal in the world is the elephant. The typical Asian elephant has 100,000 muscles and tendons arranged along the length of the trunk, enabling it to lift almost 800 pounds.
  • The gorilla, the strongest as well as largest primate on the planet, is at least six times stronger than the average human. Its bite can also generate approximately 1,300 pounds of pressure per square inch.
  • While it may appear docile from a distance, the hippopotamus is one of the most dangerous beasts in the world, having a bite that exerts around 1,800 pounds of force per square inch.

In the constant war between predator and prey, size and strength can be decisive factors to help an animal survive the cruel whims of nature. However, there are several ways to measure strength, including lifting strength, bite strength, kick strength, and overall power.

How do we define a strong animal? For the purpose of this article, we will be defining strength in absolute terms, not in strength relative to body size (which would make insects some of the most powerful animals on the planet). Note that this article also lists animals in their general groups. A group may be defined as an entire order or just an individual species. Let’s have a look at some strong animals!

Exerts Most Absolute Force: Whales

Whales can claim the title of the strongest creature on the planet simply due to their enormous size. Although unable to lift, grip, or kick, they do need an enormous amount of force to power their massive bodies through the water.

This movement is facilitated by two large muscle groups near their tail: the epaxial muscles for the upstroke and the hypaxial muscles for the downstroke. The blue whale can generate a maximum force of around 60 kilonewtons (a single kilonewton is enough force to accelerate a 1,000-kilogram (2,200-pound) object at a rate of one meter per second).

Read more about the powerful, yet graceful blue whale here.

Most Powerful Land Animal: Elephants

Elephants are extremely powerful creatures, with size and strength varying among species. The African bush elephant holds the distinction of being the largest land animal on the planet. It has a maximum shoulder height of 12 feet and weighs up to 12,000 pounds. The closely related Asian elephant can weigh around 11,000 pounds.

The trunk is the elephant’s main tactile instrument. It is composed of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels with minimal amounts of fat and bone. The typical Asian elephant has 100,000 muscles and tendons arranged along the length of the trunk. This enables it to lift almost 800 pounds with relative ease — or about the size of a large tree.

The elephant’s trunk has many potential uses, including feeding, touching, cleaning, arranging objects, and communicating with others. It also has the ability to hold approximately two gallons of water at a time.

The elephant’s body is also specially adapted for strength. Whereas most mammals have small bone cavities, elephants have very dense bones that allow them to perform all kinds of impressive acts like standing on their hind legs. This allows some species to carry up to 14,000 pounds!

Strongest Primate: Gorillas

By any metric, the gorilla is one of the strongest animals on the planet. With such muscular and elongated arms, it is at least six times stronger than the average human. Its bite can also generate approximately 1,300 pounds of pressure per square inch. As the largest primate, a typical male gorilla can weigh anywhere between 200 and 500 pounds. Although largely herbivorous and not very aggressive, its intimidating display can scare off even the most dangerous animals.

Find out more about the intelligent and mighty gorilla.

Most Powerful Biter: Crocodiles

The crocodile has perhaps the strongest biting force on the planet. With its powerful jaws, the creature can instantly kill almost any prey by exerting up to 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch (depending on the species). For comparison’s sake, a human can only bite with around 100 pounds per square inch. The key to the crocodile’s remarkable strength is its enormous jaw muscles. However, this ability does have one weakness: their mouths exhibit very little opening strength. It’s possible to keep the jaws clamped down with a rubber band.

Read more about the sneaky, strong crocodile.

Massively Strong: Bears

The bear is a familiar but intimidating presence throughout many of the world’s parks and ecosystems. They are swathed in huge muscles and powerful claws that enable them to dig and hunt with incredible expertise. Among all bear species, both the grizzly bear and polar bear take the crown as the strongest. Weighing more than around 800 pounds — the maximum recorded size is twice that figure — an individual male grizzly is equivalent to around five humans in strength … and even more when enraged. The key to the grizzly bear’s strength is the large mass of muscles attached directly to its backbone. This gives the bear a rounded, humped appearance. Polar bears are also massively strong, potentially weighing up to 1,600 pounds. They can also chomp down at around 1,200 pounds of pressure per square inch.

Forceful Hunter: Tigers

The tiger is one of the largest carnivores in the world, eclipsed only by the polar and grizzly bears. The most intimidating species, the Siberian tiger, can potentially weigh up to 800 pounds. As solitary hunters, tigers can swim, leap, and take down prey with amazing force. And unlike many other carnivores, it can easily stand and attack from its hind legs.

Tigers have night vision that is six times better than that of humans, which helps them hunt successfully in the dark. A tiger will mainly hunt pigs and deer but is capable of taking prey larger than itself

These remarkable abilities are enabled by the tiger’s incredibly dense muscular structure. It is estimated that their bite can exert around 1,000 pounds of force per square inch.

Learn more about the beautiful, yet dangerous tiger.

Surprisingly Strong Herbivore: Hippopotamuses

At first glance, the hippopotamus may seem like a placid, lumbering, veggie-munching softy, but when disturbed, it is one of the most dangerous creatures in the animal kingdom. To understand just how dangerous they are, it is necessary to fully appreciate the hippo’s sheer size. The average hippo can weigh anywhere between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, and scientists have recorded some individuals with twice that weight. With the ability to open its mouth at a 180-degree angle, the hippopotamus has a bite that exerts around 1,800 pounds of force per square inch. It is a creature that can tussle with even the fiercest predators.

Learn more about the hippopotamus here.

Intense Defensive Strength: Rhinoceros

The rhinoceros is another fearsome herbivore with a penchant for rather violent displays of self-defense. Although under threat by humans, the white rhino is the world’s largest rhino species at around 13 feet long and weighing 5,000 pounds — sometimes much more. They can also make a harrowing charge of 30 to 40 mph. Although not particularly aggressive, these strong creatures will defend their territory from threats, and they have been known to rock or tip over entire vehicles. Their intimidating horn is composed of keratin — the same substance as hair, fingernails, and feathers.

Find out more interesting rhinoceros facts here!

Fiercely Strong Feline: Jaguars

The jaguar is a powerful cat native to an enormous range throughout Central and South America. Weighing up to 350 pounds at its maximum, the jaguar is not the largest cat, but with a powerful bite force of approximately 1,500 pounds per square inch, it only needs one quick strike to subdue its prey. The jaguar can open its mouth wide and pierce the skull or armored shell with its enormous teeth. It also has the strength to drag a huge carcass about equal to its own body size up into the trees. Jaguars will feed on almost anything, including deer, capybaras, boars, primates, and ungulates.

Read more about the hunting skills of the jaguar.

Unexpectedly Powerful Beast: Bovines

Bovines are defined as a group of ungulates that includes bison, buffalo, yaks, and cattle. Due to their immense strength, bovines were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago for the purpose of towing carts, plows, and other materials. As one of the largest bovines, the African buffalo is an immense beast that can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. When they feel threatened, buffaloes have been known to tip over large vehicles or charge at animals or people. With their powerful muscles, intimidating horns, and defensive posture, more people die of bovine attacks every year than almost any other animal.

Read more about the mighty buffalo here.

Most Powerful Bird: Harpy Eagle

 If you were wondering who the king of the air is, look no further than the harpy eagle. Experts have found that this fierce bird of prey is the strongest, pound for pound, in the world. The force of grip of its talons is incredible, able to crush the bones of its prey, which are typically monkeys, sloths, and opossums. The harpy eagle typically weighs in at 13 pounds, has a wingspan of 5.7 feet, and can fly up to 50mph. They’re found in rainforests in South America, but spotting one in the wild is rare.

27 Prehistoric Animals That Are Still Alive Today
27 Prehistoric Animals That Are Still Alive Today

27 Prehistoric Animals That Are Still Alive Today

Awe-inducing creatures like mastodons, giant ground sloths, saber-toothed cats and even dire wolves (yep, they were a real thing — not just a “Game of Thrones” fantasy) have sadly gone extinct since the last ice age ended about 11,700 years ago. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck in seeing prehistoric animals today. There are still plenty of wildlife species that predate recorded history, and they even exist as they did when roaming with our loincloth-clad ancestors.

Some of these animals can only be found in zoos and protected nature preserves because their populations are starting to fall, or they are already endangered. Others can still be found in the wild — and maybe even in your own backyard.

Wherever you see them, these ancient animals are sure to inspire wonder.

Gharial

All crocodiles, caimans and alligators are ancient species, and they look the part. But one species of crocodilian — the gharial, sometimes called a gavial — beats them all in the prehistoric-looking beauty contest. Gharials have long, narrow, sword-like mouths full of buzzy teeth. Males develop a huge bulbous nose at the end of their snout, making them look rather comical.

Gharials in some form or another have been around for tens of millions of years, but the modern gharial is the last remaining species of this lineage. Alas, it too is heading towards extinction, with fewer than 200 individual reproducing gharials left in the wilds of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The IUCN has listed it as a “critically endangered” species.

Fortunately, the Kukrail breeding center at Kukrail Forest Reserve in Lucknow, India has been playing a massive role in gharial conservation efforts, by breeding the creatures and sending them out to zoos all over the world. The center is also open to the public, so you can get up close and personal with these spectacular beasts. Small populations are also present at Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park in Nepal.

Komodo Dragon

You can find Komodo dragons in Indonesia today, but that might not be where these iconic lizards came from originally. Scientists recently unearthed a series of Komodo dragon fossils in eastern Australia dating back as far as four million years ago.

These gigantic lizards can weigh as much (or more) than a human — and, in fact, they have been known to attack humans. Which is not ideal, since these giant reptiles are somewhat venomous.

However, if you’re still feeling brave, you can see Komodo dragons by booking with one of several outfitters leading excursions to Komodo National Park. The small Indonesian islands that make up this park are stunning, and offer many amenities for curious tourists.

Shoebill Stork

No one’s quite sure how the shoebill stork is related to other birds since different collections of data point to different living relatives, but one thing scientists agree on is that this is a very, very old bird. And it looks the part: Grayish and big-beaked, it looks like it walked right off the set of “The Flintstones.”

Shoebill storks are classified as “vulnerable to extinction” due to habitat destruction and poaching. But you can still see them in a protected area of the Mabamba Bay Wetland in Uganda, where several outfitters offer bird-spotting tours. As you paddle through the shallow lakes and ponds reminiscent of prehistoric swamps, you just might forget your place in time.

It may not be easy to get there, but this is an unusual animal you have to see before you die.

Bactrian Camel

You already know about the one-humped camels used as transport in the Middle East before automobiles existed. But did you know that they evolved from the two-humped Bactrian camel, which still roams the wilds of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia?

Bactrian camels — which sort of look like a cross between Chewbacca and a llama — evolved to withstand temperatures below 0°F and above 100°F some two million years ago. Its two humps are used to store fat, which the camel breaks down into energy and water to sustain it during long, dry, food-free periods (if only we could lose fat that easily too).

Bactrian camels are critically endangered in the wild, with fewer than 1,000 left, according to the IUCN. However, domesticated Bactrian camels are an important part of Mongolian culture, and numerous tour operators offer camel-riding expeditions. In addition, visitors can check out the annual Thousand Camels Festival, held in early March in Umnugovi, Mongolia.

Echidna

Echidnas are an amazing and bizarre creature that look like a cross between a badger, a porcupine and an anteater. They’re a monotreme, a type of primitive mammal that lays eggs instead of giving birth to live babies, just like their famous relative, the platypus.

These animals can also be hard to find in the wild, since they’re small, mostly nocturnal, and live a spaced-out and solitary life. Several species of echidna are also highly endangered — a sad fact, considering that these animals have been roaming the earth for an estimated 17 or so million years.

If you want to see a live echidna up close, your best bet is to visit one of the many zoos throughout New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia that house them. They can be found at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Hobart, Tasmania, the Australia Zoo in Queensland, and the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

Musk Oxen

Musk oxen can be quite a sight (and smell) to behold, especially during the fall rutting season. During this time, bull musk oxen fight for control of harems by sprinting towards each other and bashing their heads with such force that it can shake the ground from a long distance away.

It’s a wonder how these animals still survive, but it’s estimated they’ve been around for 187,000 to 129,000 years. In the 1800s they were extirpated from Alaska, but after they were successfully reintroduced in the 1930s, the populations grew. Currently there are several thousand musk oxen in Alaska, though their populations have been declining in recent years.

It can still take some time to find these animals in the wild, but one of the best places to see them is in Nome, Alaska, where they regularly wander near the small tundra town. Nome is also the famous end point of the Iditarod dogsled race, which you can watch in early-to-mid March.

Make sure to also check out Nome vendors selling qiviut, the delicately soft underwool harvested from captive or even wild muskoxen. This wool is some of the finest and warmest in the world (what would you expect from an arctic animal?), and is even rarer than cashmere.

Vicuña

Speaking of luxury wool, another prehistoric animal known for its fiber is the vicuña, the ancestor of the modern-day alpaca. The two animals look very similar indeed, though vicuñas have a distinctive color pattern, with white undersides and a brown saddle across most of their body.

Although vicuñas were treasured by the Incas and protected, they were nearly driven to extinction by hunting after the Inca empire fell. Happily, thanks to the work of many dedicated conservationists, there are hundreds of thousands of vicuñas in the wild today.

You can see them throughout rural roads in south-central Peru, but one of the best places is in Huascarán National Park, north of Lima. There are all sorts of other treasures to see hidden away here, in the world’s highest tropical mountain range, including spectacled bears, Andean condors and the amazing Queen of the Andes flower.

Chambered Nautilus

The chambered nautilus normally lives in the deep ocean around Australia and Indonesia, but if you happen to be in the area of the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, you can see the ancient creatures up-close.

These alien-looking corkscrew-shaped animals are among the oldest in the world. Fossils of this animal have been found from 500 million years ago, and they still look exactly the same as today’s descendants.

They’re difficult to breed in captivity, and due to declining populations in the wild (are you sensing a trend yet?), the Monterey Bay Aquarium is at the forefront of research efforts. In fact, in Spring 2018, researchers successfully bred some of the first baby nautiluses in captivity.

Babirusa

Babirusas are just like your everyday slightly irritable pig — except for the fact that males have gigantic tusks that grow upwards right through their snouts and curve back towards their heads. In fact, if unchecked for long enough, the tusks can pierce their foreheads. The lower tusks of babirusas grow upwards as well, making the animal look somewhat like a pig version of an orc.

Babirusa are old enough to appear on Indonesian cave paintings some 35,000 years ago. Today, there are several tour operators offering babirusa-watching safaris in the Nantu Forest and Tangkoko Nature Reserve in Indonesia.

Tapir

Like babirusas, tapirs also resemble pigs except for one key feature: a short, elephant-like proboscis that they use for roping food into their mouths. Tapirs also use their long snouts as snorkels while walking around underwater, one of their favorite pastimes.

While tapirs look rather porcine, they’re actually more closely related to horses and rhinoceroses. In fact, tapirs have a long, proud history in the fossil record, having first evolved in the Miocene epoch, as late as 23 million years ago. They’ve evolved into numerous species since then, although today there are only five remaining tapir species left across Asia, Central and South America.

One of the best places to see wild tapirs in the Americas is at Corcovado National Park in breathtaking Costa Rica. They can also be found throughout the Amazon rainforest — keep your eyes peeled!

White Rhinoceros

Want to know some incredible rhino facts?

The ancient species of white rhinos is actually composed of two subspecies: the northern white rhinoceros and the southern white rhinoceros. Unfortunately, the northern white rhino population is down to just two individuals, both of them female — meaning that the population will almost certainly go completely extinct within our lifetimes. The beautiful creatures are mother and daughter, living together in a reserve in Kenya, which you can visit on a special tour with Unforgettable Travel.

The southern white rhino is more of a conservation success story, however. The IUCN currently lists this subspecies as “Near Threatened,” with over 17,000 individuals worldwide.

Still, all rhino species are under constant threat from poachers, who harvest the horns for traditional Asian medicinal uses. This has led some conservationists to take drastic measures, such as surrounding especially important animals with armed guards, or even removing and destroying the rhino’s horns to remove the incentive for poachers to kill.

One of the best places you can see the Southern White Rhino today is in Kruger National Park in South Africa, home to hundreds of the majestic creatures (the most in any one place in Africa). Kruger National Park is one of the most popular destinations for safaris, and you’ll be guaranteed to see tons of other iconic African wildlife species as well.

Wobbegong Shark

If you’re not looking carefully while on a tropical Pacific reef dive, you might miss seeing a wobbegong shark. In fact, these creatures are specifically trying to hide from you, using their flattened bodies, frilly edges and camouflage patterns to blend in with algae-covered rock. But once they start swimming and you see their smooth white bellies, the gig is up. There’s no mistaking a swimming wobbegong.

These sharks — which have been around since the Miocene epoch, some 11 million years ago — are still found in a couple different species, and most are too small to harm people. A few wobbegong shark attacks have been reported, but there have been no fatalities, and it’s likely that the injured parties just accidently stepped on them or got too close while diving.

You might get lucky and spot these animals while on a reef dive (just don’t get too close). If not, you can check them out at the Sydney Aquarium in Australia, where you can go on a guided shark swim even if you have no previous diving experience.

Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe crabs are one of the oldest species on earth, having been around in more or less the same form since the Ordovician period, some 445 million years ago. Back in those days, the continents still hadn’t formed yet — there was one single supercontinent called Gondwanaland, and horseshoe crabs could be found in abundance around its shores even then.

Today, you can find millions of horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay each May as the clunky, helmet-shaped creatures return to the beaches to breed. It’s the single largest concentration of horseshoe crabs in the world.

While you’re there, keep an eye out for rarely-seen shorebirds like the Red Knot and Ruddy Turnstone, which make a deliberate bee-line here during their annual northward migration to feast on the abundance of horseshoe crab eggs.

Polar Bear

Everyone’s familiar with the iconic polar bear these days. But when you step back and think about it, they really do look like something that could have wandered in off a glacier during the last ice age.

Actually, polar bears are a lot older than that. In 2010, scientists used a fossilized polar bear jawbone found in arctic Norway to discover that the animal lived around 120,000 years ago. These animals have been lumbering around in the white North since at least that time.

Churchill, Manitoba in Canada is one of the hotspots for tourists seeking a glimpse of these rare creatures, whose populations are currently declining. The town specializes in polar bear tourism, and outfitters even have special raised and reinforced tundra buggies that allow you to get right up next to the polar bears while still remaining safe (they are known predators of people, after all).

Tuatara

Sure, the tuatara might look like your everyday iguana-esque lizard, but don’t let the superficial appearance deceive you. This ancient reptile is believed to have existed at the same time as the dinosaurs, some 225 million years ago.

Today, the tuatara’s body contains clues of this ancient history. Indeed, they actually have a primitive third eye on the top of their head, although it’s hard to see and sometimes grown over with scales in adults. Scientists believe this is an archaic sort of light sensor, which the reptiles use to set their daily and seasonal biological functions. In addition, tuataras can still hear sounds, even though they have no outside ears, like modern-day reptiles. This is similar to how fish hear sounds underwater.

Tuataras can be found in New Zealand. You can’t really see them very easily in the wild, unfortunately, since they mostly live on predator-free islands nowadays. Still, you can view them up-close in many New Zealand zoos, such as the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier or Zealandia in Wellington.

Cassowary

Cassowaries are about the closest-looking thing we have to a “Jurassic Park” velociraptor. These tall, colorful, bipedal birds have a huge slab-like ornament on the top of their head and a sharp, dagger-like claw on their feet. In fact, these birds have been known to attack and even (very rarely) kill people.

Ratites (large, flightless birds) like cassowaries and emus have been around for around 60 million years. These days, you can find cassowaries in northern Queensland and Papua New Guinea.

If you’re lucky, quiet and careful, you can spot them while walking through forest trails in the Cape Tribulation, Daintree and Mission Beach areas in Australia, where several guided outfits offer birdwatching tours. Remember to keep your distance, and not to feed them!

Chinese Giant Salamander

“Jurassic Park” may be a fantastical story, but there actually are animals from that time period that still roam the earth today. The Chinese Giant Salamander, which is an estimated 170 million years old, is one of them. It’s also the largest amphibian in the world; it can grow even larger than some people, up to 110 pounds and six feet in length.

These giant salamanders used to be found widespread in chilly Chinese mountain streams, but there are hardly any left in the wild at all now due to poaching for food and traditional medicine.

But if we’ve piqued your interest, you can still see one amazing example of this animal in the Prague Zoo. Karlo, one of the world’s largest living Chinese giant salamanders (weighing in at a whopping 77 pounds), is currently quite healthy and will hopefully be around for decades to come.

Chamois

No, we’re not talking about the cloth. The animal chamois (pronounced sham-wah) first showed up on the map in western Europe during the last ice age, and they’ve been there ever since. In fact, they’ve even been found in cave paintings and carvings made by humans from this chilly time. The chamois looks like a goat with the face of an antelope. It has dark fur, and a lighter face with a dark streak across it.

Happily, the chamois is a conservation success story, unlike so many of their ancient comrades. Chamois are widespread throughout the Alps and the Pyrenees, where you can often see them along hiking trails.

One of the best trails to see wild chamois is along the Haute Route from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland. This two-week hike has also been rated as one of the top trails in the world, as it meanders through mountain meadows and breathtaking high-altitude lakes.

Whale Shark

The name “whale shark” is a bit of a misnomer. This animal is not a whale at all; in fact, it’s the largest shark — the largest fish, even — in the world. What’s more, it’s been swimming around in the ocean for at least 28 million years.

These gigantic sharks can actually be found all around the equator, but seeing them isn’t as simple as that ubiquity suggests. First, you have to rent a boat. And since these animals are endangered, finding them even while out on the water is a tall order.

A better option is to visit the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. It’s home to some of the world’s only captive whale sharks, and you can even swim with them for a fee. (Don’t worry; whale sharks are filter feeders and not dangerous to humans at all.)

Lake Sturgeon

Speaking of old fish, another amazing aquatic animal to check out is the lake sturgeon. This ancient fish actually swam around with the dinosaurs, having shown up on the map some 150 million years ago, and it still swims around the United States today.

It’s also a bizarre animal in its own right. Lake sturgeon have no scales — only rubbery skin and a few rows of bony scutes — and can grow up to be over 7 feet long and weigh 300 pounds (imagine seeing that swim by while you’re dipping your toes in a lake this summer!).

As with whale sharks, lake sturgeon populations are dwindling, but you can see them reliably by visiting Shedd Aquarium along Chicago’s Lake Michigan coastline. The aquarium even has an interactive sturgeon touch pool, where you can feel the creature’s bony scutes for yourself.

Okapi

The fossil record is a bit spotty for the okapi, so information is spare, but one thing scientists can all agree on is that these animals are very old, perhaps even the oldest mammals left on Earth. They’re also very weird-looking, resembling a cross between a deer, a zebra and a giraffe — and in fact, they’re the only living relative of the latter.

Okapi evolved to live relatively solitary lives in the jungle, where a long neck might get caught in the dense trees. In fact, they’re so secretive that Western scientists didn’t even know they existed until 1900.

Up until relatively recently, it was possible to see okapi in the wild at the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in Democratic Republic of Congo. But due to a spate of deadly attacks, that’s not exactly recommended at the moment. Instead, you can see them in a wide range of zoos around the world that the Okapi Wildlife Reserve has partnered with.

Saiga Antelope

Another odd-looking animal is the saiga antelope. This creature looks more like a pronghorn antelope than a pig, and indeed it is more closely related to the pronghorn.

Saiga antelope were widespread across the northern hemisphere throughout the Pleistocene, but time has not been kind to them, unfortunately. After the Pleistocene ended they died off in North America, and they can only be found in a few scattered pockets around central Asia today.

There are even recent concerns about massive mysterious die-offs. Today, these animals are critically endangered with around 50,000 animals left, according to the IUCN. Few zoos have these animals and it’s even harder to see them in the wild, although the Askania Nova biosphere reserve in the Ukraine does have a small herd you can see.

Alligator Gar

The freshwater alligator gar is another fish that you definitely do not want to find yourself staring at while swimming in the southern U.S. Even though they pose no threat to humans (so far…) these fish are as formidable as their namesake, alligators, with flat snouts full of razor-sharp teeth and a body size that can range up to 300 pounds.

This interesting animal also swam with the dinosaurs, and is believed to be 100 million years old. Today, one of the best spots to see alligator gar (aside from serene southern waterways) is at the Tennessee Aquarium. It’s even home to an all-white alligator gar, which you can see here.

Caribou

Caribou look like they walked straight out of the ice age — and indeed, they did. These unique animals evolved as long as two million years ago. Caribou were already present by the time humans arrived to cross the Bering land bridge and were surely a big part of their diets, just as they are today for Native Alaskans.

One of the really unique things about caribou is that they’re the only species of deer in which females also grow antlers. They’re usually not as big as the male’s ornate head wear, but females do keep them throughout the winter to guard pits in the snow that they’ve dug to get to their food. Then, in the springtime, they fall off.

Caribou can be found in remote areas throughout Alaska and Canada. One of the best ways to see them, however, is by taking a park-operated bus trip through Denali National Park. This massive park is home to a resident herd of caribou that are often spotted from the road. Keep an eye out for Dall sheep and brown bears as well, since these two species have also been here since the the last ice age.

Siberian Musk Deer

Imagine crawling through the thick brush of a remote primeval forest in northeastern Asia and coming face-to-face with a tiny deer…with 4-inch-long fangs.

Siberian musk deer are a real thing, and commonly called “vampire deer” due to their scary dentition, but in reality, these animals are strict herbivores. The tusks are only used for fighting, since the wee beasties lack the antlers of most of their distant cousins.

Siberian musk deer aren’t endangered yet, but they’re getting there. They’re often poached for their odiferous musk glands, which can fetch a high price on the black market. It’d be a shame to see them go extinct, especially considering they’ve been around for some three and a half million years. It’s hard to find them in the wild since they’re so rare and secretive in their forests, but you can see two male musk deer at Ranua Wildlife Park in the Finnish Lapland.

Sandhill Crane

These tall, beautiful birds have long legs that stick far out behind them when they fly, making their silhouette resemble a pointy-tailed dragon when aloft. And while they’re common and not often seen as ancient birds, they actually are: The oldest fossil sandhill crane is at least two-and-a-half million years old.

Each spring, sandhill cranes migrate en masse to their arctic breeding grounds, and Kearney, Nebraska, is one of their biggest stopover points. Over half a million birds will gather here at one time and fatten up in the cornfields for the long journey ahead. Then, according to some unknown and mysterious signal, the birds will seemingly all depart at once. It’s one of the greatest shows in the entire wildlife world.

Walrus

With their long whiskers and bulbous couch-potato shapes, walruses can sometimes resemble human family members. They’re also perfect snorkelers of the sea floor, vacuuming up clams, crabs and anything else that happens to be located near their mouths (which are also strangely human-like).

Walruses, which date back about 600,000 years, spend a lot of their time hanging out on ice floes, but from May to August they can be found on shore in huge concentrations called haulouts. It’s here that their big tusks come into play, as the males fight for control of the females.

It’s definitely not a place you want to walk up to very closely, but you can watch these big groups from afar. There are a few reliable haulouts located in Alaska, although you’ll need to book an air taxi or a boat to go visit them.

These Are the Best Pets for Kids at Each Age
These Are the Best Pets for Kids at Each Age

These Are the Best Pets for Kids at Each Age

As many adults know, caring for a pet is a rewarding and satisfying experience. And, adopting a pet that a child can also help take care of can be an enriching experience for your kid.

“It teaches empathy and responsibility. Being responsible for another animal … understanding that other things are relying on you to stay healthy and survive,” says Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM and owner of the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics in Bedford Hills, New York. She adds, “Many of these animals are very smart and will give that unconditional love back to you.”

Make Sure Your Kids are on Board With the Type of Pet and Work Involved

As with any pet, when you are looking for the best pets for kids, you want to have a very clear idea of the pet care requirements.

“You have to be educated,” says Dr. Hess. Particularly with exotic pets, you need to know what you are getting into and what to expect from them. Dr. Hess explains, “Often people get frustrated and very disappointed in these animals because [the experience] isn’t what they expected.”

When it comes to choosing the best pets for the kids in your family, it is important that everyone is on the same page. Everyone in the family needs to be willing to actively help with the care of the pet.

Dr. Elizabeth Mackey, veterinarian and owner of Mackey Exotic Animal Clinic in Watkinsville, Georgia, explains that it is important that your children are on board with the pet you decide to get. They need to be just as invested in the well-being and happiness of the pet as you are.

And most importantly, you need to be comfortable with whichever pet you decide to get. So if you are deathly afraid of snakes, they probably are not the best pets for your kids, even if the kids have their heart set on one.

What to Consider When Choosing Pets for Kids

So, how should you go about finding a good match? Both Dr. Mackey and Dr. Hess recommend booking a consultation appointment with a veterinarian who is experienced in the care of the species you are considering.

Consider bringing a list of animals you’re interested in so you can discuss each one and determine what the best pet for your family would be. Some factors to take into consideration include:

  1. Life span of the pet. Kids can get very attached to their pets, so you will need to consider your child’s emotional attachment when choosing pets for kids. However, by a choosing a pet with a longer life span, you will also need to keep in mind that once your child leaves for college or work, you may have to become the sole provider for your family pet.
  2. Space needs. Do you have adequate room (e.g., living space, yard space, etc.) for your chosen pet? You will also need to consider how a pet will grow and if you can accommodate them at their largest adult size.
  3. Care requirements and needs. Talk with your veterinarian about the care requirements for each pet you are considering. Can your family share pet care tasks in a manageable way? Are you financially prepared to take good care of the pet?
  4. Health care costs. All pets require veterinary care. You will need to make sure there is a veterinarian in your area that can help with your chosen pet. If you choose an exotic pet, you can start by looking at the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians. You will also need to make sure that you are financially ready to take on a pet’s health care costs.
  5. What does your child want when it comes to interactions with their pet? “Some of them want [a pet] that they can play with. And, most children want that hands-on interaction,” says Dr. Mackey. “There are some children who would rather have the cool, unique [pet] and not so much the hands-on.”
  6. Is your potential new pet nocturnal or diurnal? This could influence where you want to your pet’s enclosure to reside.
  7. Consider your child’s personality. Is your child calm enough to handle a more fragile creature? You have to consider the pet’s needs and your child’s ability to respect those needs.
  8. What are you going to do if your child loses interest in the pet? It is never acceptable to let an animal suffer because a child cannot or will not take care of it anymore. Are you going to be able to take on all responsibility for the pet’s care (including their emotional needs) or will you find the pet a new, loving home?

You’ll also want to meet your pet in person so you can get a feel for each other. Dr. Mackey cautions that while some pet store employees are highly knowledgeable, others are not, so your veterinarian is the best resource when it comes to determining care requirements for your pet.

After you bring your pet home, you’ll want to book an appointment with your veterinarian immediately so they can assess your pet and then provide you with recommendations on how to best care for them.

Best Pets for Kids Ages 4-7

Parakeet

Parakeets (also called budgies) can be a good option when it comes to pets for kids. “They’re fairly low-maintenance, not super messy and don’t take up a lot of space,” says Dr. Hess. She explains that by the age of 7, children start to understand how to be gentle with pets and can actively engage in their bird’s care.

Parakeets are known to be very affectionate, and they respond well to regular, gentle handling. With training, a parakeet can learn dozens or more words, so your child can actively engage with them in a fun and unique way.

A parakeet is a great pet for kids who are able to respect the small bird’s size. They will not do well with children who handle them roughly or act unpredictably and startle them frequently.

However, if you are willing to work with your child to help them learn how to positively interact with their pet parakeet, Dr. Hess says that these birds can help teach children how to be calm and patient.

When it comes to the everyday care of a parakeet, the parents should take care of the daily cage cleanings, but children can help out with other tasks like washing and filling up the food and water dish and feeding vegetables as a treat.

It is important to remember that parakeets can live into their teens, so this pet would be a long-term commitment.

Crested Gecko

If you are comfortable with lizards in your home, then a fun and unique pet to consider is the crested gecko.

“Little kids love the gecko because he just sits there in your hand,” says Dr. Mackey. “They’re a cool, cool lizard. They’re the softest animal you will ever touch. Feet stick to the glass on the container. But, they’re nocturnal. You can see them during the daytime, but the evening/early morning is the best time to see them.”

While these little guys can be handled and have some quirky characteristics, you will need to work with your child to be gentle with them. A young crested gecko will need time to adapt to their living situations before you can start conditioning them to be handled, which can take three to four weeks.

Once you do start handling them, you must teach your child to be very gentle, because crested geckos will “drop” (lose) their tails if startled or made to feel threatened.

The care of the crested gecko can be split up between family members. Children can help with mixing a crested gecko’s powdered food with water and how to measure it out. Dr. Mackey says that a child can also help with setting up their terrarium.

Keep in mind that you will need to teach your children to wash their hands after handling their gecko because reptiles tend to carry Salmonella bacteria more frequently than some other species of pets.

Best Pets for Kids Ages 8-11

Rats

They may not be your immediate thought when it comes to pets, but rats can be great pets for kids. “Rats are phenomenal animals,” says Dr. Hess. “Rats are generally very loving and bonded to their owners. They’re gentle. They’re a little tougher.” Dr. Hess explains that once kids have a longer attention span, rats can be an ideal pet.

A pet rat can help an older child to “understand that there’s some kind of schedule to their day,” says Dr. Hess. They can add structure and responsibilities that can help children grow to be more thoughtful. For instance, they might have a morning task to feed the rat before going to school.

Pet rats are also affectionate pets that, when socialized, love interactions with their humans. They can show excitement when they sense (sight, smell and sound) their human’s presence, and some will even cuddle. But they also like to have a cage mate, so you should be prepared to have more than one.

When it comes to caring for pet rats, there are many activities that kids can get involved with. Besides helping feed their pet rats pellets and small veggies, kids can replenish water, clean the water bottle and spot-clean the cage.

Kids can help with the mental and physical enrichment of pet rats by setting up mazes for them to explore. They can also create foraging toys and places to hide using toilet paper tubes, which the rats can also chew on.

Rats are very intelligent and can be trained, so your child can actively bond with their pet rat and try to teach them a whole host of tricks.

Dr. Mackey does caution that rats tend to eat everything you give them and can easily become overweight, so you will have to work with your child to ensure you find the right balance between food and exercise.

However, rats tend to only live for about three years, so you will have to be prepared to have a tough conversation with your child if you choose to have a pet rat while they are still very young.

Canaries and Finches

Canaries and finches are ideal pets for kids because they don’t have to be handled a lot. However, they usually prefer the company of others, so you will need to be prepared to have multiple birds. These birds are flock animals and tend to do better when they’re in a group, says Dr. Mackey.

Canaries “can be a little skittish. But if they’re kept happy, they’ll sing, and it’s beautiful,” says Dr. Hess. “Many people appreciate small birds for their beauty.” She explains, “Finches are fun to watch. They’re very active.” But finches will not sing, like the canary, so if you are looking for a quiet bird, finches may be a good option.

Canaries and finches can be great options for kids who would like to observe more than interact with their pets. While, with patience, canaries can be taught to perch on a finger, most finches prefer not to be handled, so your child will have limited opportunities to physically interact with their finches.

Canaries are not the hardiest of pets, either; they “have to be kept safe and away from other pets. They’re fragile,” says Dr. Hess.

Kids can help out with cage cleaning and providing fresh food and water for the bird. Your child can also be responsible for removing the bird cage cover in the mornings, changing the paper at the bottom of the cage and vacuuming around the cage.

Canaries and finches have a long life span—10-15 years in captivity—so you and your child will need to be prepared to provide care for them well into their teen years.

Guinea Pigs

Everyone has heard about guinea pigs as pets, and some even consider them to be good class pets. Guinea pigs are popular pets for kids because of their size and manageable care requirements. “They’re pretty calm. They’re adorable,” says Dr. Hess. “They’re not high maintenance. They’re fairly hardy.”

Guinea pigs generally enjoy being around humans and will actively engage and interact with you. They are willing to sit calmly in a child’s lap and will even vocalize their excitement when their favorite human is around.

There are also a wide variety of guinea pig breeds to choose from, so your family can find one that fits what you are all looking for in a pet.

If your child can handle additional responsibility, you can consider getting a long-haired guinea pig; they can help with brushing the guinea pig and making sure the hair doesn’t get matted, says Dr. Hess. Children can also actively participate in keeping the cage tidy and providing the guinea pig with fresh hay, salad and pellets.

“Guinea pigs are really social animals. They do better when there’s more than one,” says Dr. Mackey. But if you get another guinea pig, that’s twice the cage space and twice the expense.

Guinea pigs tend to live 5-7 years, so they are an option if you are looking for a moderate commitment in terms of life span.

Best Pets for Kids Ages 12-15

Rabbits

Rabbits can be great pets for kids, but you have to be prepared to be very involved in your rabbit’s care.

“They’ve very, very loving,” says Dr. Hess. “They live a long time. They can be very bonded to their owners. They can be gentle.”

Both Dr. Mackey and Dr. Hess point out that rabbits can startle easily and can be very fragile; they can bite and jump and injure themselves, so they should only be handled by a child with a calm demeanor.

Despite their reputation as low-maintenance starter pets, rabbits are actually better suited for older children that understand how to be responsible with the care of their pet. They are very social creatures that crave attention from their owners and will require a significant time and care commitment.

If your family is ready to take on the care of a rabbit, then you will find that they make great companions. They are curious and playful and will provide your child with a loving pet that enjoys their company.

Since these pets are best for older children, your child can be actively involved in their care. They can ensure the litter box is cleaned, provide the rabbit with fresh hay, replace paper-based bedding and clean their cages. They can also help you pick out vegetables for your rabbit.

Rabbits also need to spend time out of their cages, so you can use this as an opportunity to bond with your child as you both watch the rabbit explore his surroundings safely.

Keep in mind that rabbits could potentially be attacked or harmed by other animals and will probably need to be kept in their own separate space.

Domestic rabbits tend to live 8-12 years, so they will be long-term commitments for your family.

Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs, while common, are major commitments when it comes to time, money and responsibility.

When children are taught how to properly interact with cats and dogs, they can play a very active role in the care of these pets. “They understand responsibilities and consequences. They have to participate in the care. That’s part of the deal,” says Dr. Hess. “Picking up dog poop isn’t so much fun. It’s something that you have to do.”

Children can take responsibility for a variety of care tasks for a pet dog or cat. Younger kids can give fresh food and water and wash towels and bedding, and tweens and teens can take dogs out on walks, change the cat litter, and even help out with teeth brushing.

Dogs and cats can live to be well over 10 years old (some for 20 years or even more), so they are long-term commitments.

Bearded Dragons

If you have older children who are looking for a more unique pet, consider a bearded dragon. According to Dr. Mackey, bearded dragons are the “world’s greatest lizards… because they’re fairly hardy [and] because they don’t bite often. I won’t say that they won’t, but they don’t, typically.”

Bearded dragons are reptiles that enjoy being handled and held, so if your child is looking for a reptile that they can actively engage with, they are a great option.

In terms of responsibilities, your older child can take an active role in the care of their bearded dragon, from feeding and cleaning to socialization and enrichment.

One thing to keep in mind is that the housing requirements for a bearded dragon’s well-being are a bit more intricate. They require special UV lighting and temperature controls, and sometimes live feedings.

But luckily, your older child can help with changing the bulbs before they burn out, measuring the temperature of the cage (which needs to be kept at specific levels) and feeding insects to your bearded dragon.

Be aware that bearded dragons tend to be more expensive to care for than other pets, due in part to the insect diet and special lighting, says Dr. Mackey.

Bearded dragons tend to live 5-8 years but can live to be up to 10 years old when provided with optimal care.

Corn Snakes

Both vets praised corn snakes as being easy to handle and a good option for a family prepared to care for a pet snake. “Corn snakes can be very gentle,” says Dr. Hess.

The corn snake can grow to be 2.5-5 feet, so you will need to adjust their terrarium size as they grow. They are great starter reptiles for older children because they do not mind being handled. They do require rodents as food, but they should be freshly deceased or frozen, because live mice can injure your pet snake.

They’re also relatively low-maintenance pets when it comes to daily chores. However, because they have special care requirements, they are best suited for older children.

With all reptiles, you’ll want to check the humidity and temperature of the cage and keep the space clean—all activities your older child can assist with. Your child can also take an active role in the layout of the cage and the accessories it contains.

Corn snakes have a life span of 5-10 years, so they are also long-term commitments.

Greek Tortoises

Dr. Hess prefers Greek tortoises to other types of turtles, tortoises and terrapins because they’re small and eat vegetables.

Greek tortoises will grow to be about 5-8 inches, and they should be kept in a large naturalistic enclosure made of plywood (this helps them to learn their boundaries, whereas glass and plastic will have them constantly trying to escape).

When it comes to the care of your tortoise, you will want to work with your veterinarian to meet their individual needs and discuss their nutritional requirements.

Your kids can help out with checking the temperature, humidity, light and heat inside the enclosure. Kids can also cut vegetables, administer vitamins and replenish water dishes.

“Some of the reptiles are great for kids on the spectrum because they’re slow-moving and they’re quiet and they’re not overstimulating. And, there are plenty of detail-oriented children who can participate in care by keeping track of daily feedings,” says Dr. Hess.

Greek tortoises do not particularly care for being held, so they are a great pet for kids that like to watch and observe their pets go about their business. However, this does not mean they will not interact with you. They are known to be very responsive and interactive. They will approach their caretakers for food and will be friendly and interactive.

Are Komodo Dragons Poisonous or Dangerous?
Are Komodo Dragons Poisonous or Dangerous?

Are Komodo Dragons Poisonous or Dangerous?

Komodo dragons are undoubtedly one of the world’s largest and most dangerous lizards. With their huge, muscular bodies and highly venomous bites, komodo dragons can take down prey many times larger than them, such as deer, pigs, water buffalo, and even humans. Komodo dragons are extremely dangerous and venomous, and the best thing to do is stay away from them.

They are not the best idea to keep pets as they are fierce hunters and difficult to tame. They can be very dangerous to keep around children or even adult humans, especially animals. Their name suits them well, as Komodo dragons are true carnivores that attack all sorts of animals in the wild, even humans. While the Komodo is not known to feed on humans, attacks have been reported.

Komodo Dragon Bite

The Komodo dragon seems terrifying because of its 60 sharp, serrated teeth. However, the komodo dragon’s bite is relatively weak compared to other animals. Like other lizard species, Komodo dragons can generate a bite force of only 500 to 600 PSI or 39 Newtons, which is weak compared to an Australian saltwater crocodile of the same size that can generate a bite force of 252 Newtons. Technically, the Komodo dragon’s bite should not be enough to create colossal damage or impact on animals or humans. So what makes a Komodo dragon’s bite lethal? Komodo dragons possess a potent venom delivered through their razor-sharp teeth. This venom can kill humans within a few hours.

Are Komodo Dragons Dangerous to Humans?

You might think that lizards are all harmless and non-venomous, but not the Komodo. The Komodo is the largest lizard on the planet and is extremely dangerous. Komodo dragons are known to hunt and take down even massive mammals, but more importantly, they can also take down and kill humans. These giant lizards have a ferocious bite that injects venom into their victim, sending them into a state of shock as the venom speeds up blood loss, decreases blood pressure, causes massive bleeding, and prevents wound clotting. These events weaken and incapacitate victims, including humans, hindering them from fighting back.

Komodo dragons have a natural predator mouth with shark-like teeth and strong venom. Studies say that a Komodo’s venom can kill an adult human within hours. Apart from that, the Komodo dragon’s bite itself can leave deep wounds that can cause excruciating pain.

Because of the recorded fatalities, the Komodo dragon has been a fearsome reptile in Indonesia, inducing terror in its natives. Yet, experts claim that Komodo attacks are still rare. For decades, scientists believed in the myth that Komodo dragons were not venomous and instead killed with their saliva filled with bacteria. However, in 2009, Bryan Fry and his colleagues proved that Komodo dragons possess venom glands loaded with toxins and therefore use the venom to kill their victims. The Komodo dragon’s venom glands are located between their teeth and are designed to “exaggerate the blood loss and shock-inducing mechanical damage caused by the bite.”

Komodo Dragon Human Attacks

Although rare, Komodo attacks on humans have been reported. Unlike most lizard species, Komodo dragons are aggressive and may track even when unprovoked. Some Komodo dragon attacks have left villagers with deep bite wounds and some others dead. Both in captivity and the wild, the Komodo National Park has gathered 24 reported attacks from 1974 to 2012. Unfortunately, five of these attacks were fatal.

The fatal attacks include the death of an 8-year-old boy on Komodo Island in 2007 after being attacked by the giant lizard. The boy succumbed to his injuries and massive bleeding. In 2009, on the other hand, a 31-year-old man gathering sugar apples on Komodo Island fell from a tree. He fell on two Komodo dragons, which ravaged him. The victim was reported to have bites on his hands, legs, neck, and all over his body. The man died shortly after the attack. Some other reports of Komodo attacks have left individuals gravely injured.

Are Komodo Dragons Poisonous?

Contrary to popular belief, Komodo dragons are incredibly venomous. Their venom is highly poisonous and enough to kill animals in a few hours, even humans. Scientists have believed that Komodo dragons have killed their victims through bacterial infection for decades. These lizards were said to have extremely dirty saliva that could poison the blood within a few hours with the help of their teeth. However, the Komodo’s venom glands are discovered to be oozing with toxins, not bacteria, that are capable of speeding up the bleeding of wounds and preventing it from clotting. This is why most of Komodo’s victims die of blood loss.

Komodo dragons uniquely deliver their venom. They tear the flesh and forcefully pull them back using their strong neck muscles, weakening the victim and sending it into a state of shock. These giant lizards may have been living only in a specific region, but they have the potential to be one of the most dangerous animals on the planet. Equipped with 60 shark-like teeth and snake-like venom, the Komodo dragon is an apex predator in the wild and a dangerous threat to humans.

What Do Komodo Dragons Eat?

Komodo dragons are carnivores who will eat anything that crosses their path, including humans. They prefer to hunt live prey, but as they have huge appetites if they find any dead animals they will consume them, too. Large adult Komodo dragons typically eat large mammals introduced to the habitat by humans, including pigs, goats, deer, dogs, horses, and water buffalo. Animals that are indigenous to their habitat, such as small rodents, deer, wild boar, and monkeys, are also on the menu. Smaller or younger Komodo dragons target prey closer to their own size and eat insects, smaller lizards, rodents, birds, and snakes.

A Komodo dragon will eat another Komodo dragon, with the bigger of the species hunting the smaller like any other prey. The threat from other Komodos begins immediately after they are born. The juvenile pups begin hunting their own following hatching. Due to larger Komodos preferring mammals on the ground, the smaller ones are more inclined to use their climbing abilities and scale trees to hunt for food and evade any attacks from their bigger counterparts. Young Komodo dragons will also roll in the fecal matter of larger dragons in order to cover their scent and try to avoid detection.

The species remarkably has a stomach that is able to expand when needed, so it’s possible for them to consume up to 80% of their body weight. If a large Komodo dragon weighs 330 pounds, it is capable of eating 264 pounds of meat in one meal! Find out more about Komodos’ diets here.A Komodo dragon will eat another Komodo dragon, with the bigger of the species hunting the smaller like any other prey. The threat from other Komodos begins immediately after they are born. The juvenile pups begin hunting their own following hatching. Due to larger Komodos preferring mammals on the ground, the smaller ones are more inclined to use their climbing abilities and scale trees to hunt for food and evade any attacks from their bigger counterparts. Young Komodo dragons will also roll in the fecal matter of larger dragons in order to cover their scent and try to avoid detection.

The species remarkably has a stomach that is able to expand when needed, so it’s possible for them to consume up to 80% of their body weight. If a large Komodo dragon weighs 330 pounds, it is capable of eating 264 pounds of meat in one meal! Find out more about Komodos’ diets here.

Komodo Dragon vs Crocodile

Historically, saltwater crocodiles were competitive predators with the Komodo dragon when they shared the same hunting grounds of coastal areas and mangrove swamps within the Komodo State Park. Crocodiles no longer exist in the area and would not normally face off with this reptile in the wild but if they did, what would happen in a fight between a Komodo dragon and a crocodile?

Both are about equal when considering their physical defenses. However, as crocodiles can reach up to 20 feet long and weigh in at 2,000 pounds, they have the size advantage over Komodo dragons, who grow up to 10 feet long and weigh 300 pounds. Crocs are also faster, achieving speeds of 22 mph on land and 15 mph in water, while Komodos’ top speed is 11 mph.

When it comes to senses, Komodo dragons have the advantage as their very keen sense of smell allows them to detect prey from miles away.

While both have dangerous sets of teeth that they put to deadly use, crocodiles win out when it comes to the bite factor, as they have one of the most powerful bites on Earth measured at a force of 3,700PSI, compared to Komodos’ weaker bite power of roughly 100-300PSI.

Overall, crocodiles are bigger, stronger, and faster than Komodo dragons. A crocodile would win a fight against a Komodo dragon. You can read more about what would happen in a battle between the two here.

Become a Professional Poker Player – The Best Way For You
Menjadi Pemain Poker Profesional – Cara Terbaik Untuk Anda

Become a Professional Poker Player – The Best Way For You

Dari jauh, menjalani kehidupan pemain poker profesional mungkin terlihat seperti mimpi bagi banyak orang.

Anda menghabiskan waktu berhari-hari melakukan apa yang Anda sukai, tidak ada bos yang menunggu Anda, Anda mengatur jam kerja Anda, dan hampir tidak ada ruang untuk perbaikan.

Jadi, tidak aneh jika banyak orang yang bertanya-tanya bagaimana cara menjadi pemain poker profesional. Sepertinya mimpi menjadi kenyataan, tetapi jangan terburu-buru keluar dari pekerjaan Anda dulu!

Saya tidak akan menyangkalnya. Saya bermain poker secara profesional selama sepuluh tahun terakhir, dan tentu saja ada keuntungannya. Namun, ada beberapa kerugian dalam hidup ini juga, dan pastikan untuk memahami semua bagiannya sebelum membuat keputusan akhir.

Jika Anda tidak terlalu peduli tentang itu, lewati bagian ini dan langsung ke bagian 12 langkah di mana saya membahas apa yang perlu Anda lakukan untuk menjadi PRO poker. Namun, menurut saya informasi tambahan tidak dapat merugikan Anda, bukan?

Di Mana Anda Mulai Bermain Secara Profesional?

Seperti setiap profesi, bermain poker, saat Anda melakukannya sebagai satu-satunya sumber penghasilan Anda, tidak sama dengan saat Anda bermain untuk bersenang-senang. Jadi tentu saja, Anda perlu mendekatinya secara berbeda juga.

Jika Anda ingin mengubah karier Anda dan menjadi pengacara alih-alih dokter, Anda akan pergi ke sekolah hukum. Jika Anda ingin menjadi montir mobil, Anda akan menemukan sekolah untuk itu. Saya kira Anda melihat ke mana saya akan pergi dengan ini.

Untungnya, hari-hari ini Anda juga memiliki banyak sumber daya di mana Anda dapat belajar poker, dan jika Anda ingin menganggapnya serius, saya sangat menyarankan untuk bergabung dengan salah satu situs pelatihan poker online terbaik .

Karena satu hal yang pasti, jika ingin sukses jangka panjang, Anda harus lebih baik dari lawan Anda.

Anda juga harus memahami bahwa menjadi pemain poker profesional adalah hal yang agak menyendiri, dan ini adalah sesuatu yang harus Anda biasakan sejak awal.

Jadi, sebagai permulaan, Anda harus menjawab beberapa pertanyaan yang sangat mendasar:

  • Mengapa Anda ingin menjadi seorang profesional poker?
  • Apa yang membuatmu berpikir kamu bisa melakukannya?
  • Apa harapan jangka panjang Anda dari karir ini?

Semua pertanyaan ini sangat penting untuk dijawab bahkan sebelum mendaftar ke situs poker online dan dapat membantu Anda memutuskan apakah ini adalah sesuatu yang benar-benar ingin Anda lakukan atau jika itu hanya mimpi pipa yang terdengar menyenangkan.

Mengapa Anda Ingin Menjadi Poker Pro?

Apakah Anda mempertimbangkan ini karena Anda muak dan lelah dengan karier Anda saat ini atau karena Anda memiliki hasrat untuk bermain game? Bisakah Anda melihat diri Anda menghabiskan berjam-jam bermain poker dan menikmati setiap menitnya?

Jika itu hanya perubahan karier yang Anda perjuangkan atau Anda ingin menghasilkan lebih banyak uang, Anda mungkin harus melihat beberapa opsi lain terlebih dahulu. Tanpa semangat dan dedikasi yang nyata, Anda tidak akan berhasil, polos dan sederhana.

Ini terutama berlaku di lingkungan poker yang sangat kompetitif dan tangguh saat ini, di mana Anda harus bekerja setiap hari untuk mengungguli pesaing Anda.

Ini tidak akan menjadi perjalanan yang mudah, jadi lebih baik ketahui apa yang diharapkan dari awal.

Apakah Anda Siap untuk Itu?

Bermain poker sebagai sampingan adalah satu hal, dan bermain poker untuk mencari nafkah sama sekali berbeda.

Keberadaan Anda akan sepenuhnya bergantung pada hasil Anda di meja. Oleh karena itu, Anda harus dapat secara konsisten mengalahkan permainan yang Anda mainkan sebelum mempertimbangkan kehidupan pemain poker profesional.

Bukan rahasia lagi bahwa orang sangat bias ketika berbicara tentang hasil poker mereka, tetapi yang paling penting adalah jujur ​​​​dan terbuka dengan diri sendiri.

Jika Anda hampir tidak menang atau telah mencapai titik impas selama bertahun-tahun, itu tidak akan berubah hanya karena Anda memutuskan untuk menjadi pemain profesional.

Tidak ada pemikiran positif yang akan membantu Anda tiba-tiba menjadi master permainan, jadi mulailah bermain sebagai pekerjaan sampingan dan jangan terlalu menekan diri sendiri.

Apa Harapan Jangka Panjang Anda?

Akhirnya, Anda setidaknya harus jelas tentang apa yang Anda harapkan dari karir poker profesional Anda.

Tujuan jangka panjang Anda, meski agak sulit untuk ditentukan sejak awal, juga akan berperan besar dalam memilih apa yang akan Anda mainkan dan kemungkinan Anda bahagia dengan jalur karier yang baru Anda temukan.

Mengapa Anda ingin Mempelajari Cara Menjadi Pemain Poker Profesional?

Orang masuk ke poker karena berbagai alasan, dan sebelum Anda mengambil risiko, Anda harus berpikir panjang dan keras tentang apa yang Anda cari.

Apakah Anda dalam untuk uang?

Jika Anda ingin membuat kehidupan yang layak, ini harus lebih dari dapat dicapai dengan usaha dari pihak Anda.

Kecuali Anda menyukai permainan dan menikmati waktu Anda, menghabiskan enam jam atau lebih bermain poker setiap hari akan terasa seperti pekerjaan lama lainnya – dengan tekanan tambahan dari ayunan, ketukan buruk, dan kekecewaan yang datang bersamaan dengan panggilan akrab.

Tentu saja, jika Anda siap mendedikasikan banyak waktu untuk bermain dan belajar, dan bahkan menikmatinya, bermain poker bisa menjadi jalan yang bagus untuk menghasilkan uang.

Bagaimana dengan kebebasan untuk pemain poker profesional?

Banyak orang jatuh cinta bermain poker untuk mencari nafkah karena kebebasan yang tampaknya ditawarkan oleh gaya hidup ini. Memang benar, kebebasan yang sebenarnya Anda dapatkan tidak persis seperti yang dibayangkan orang.

Anda harus berusaha keras dan kemauan keras untuk membangun struktur untuk jam bermain dan belajar dan, yang terpenting, tetap dengan itu. Bukan hal yang mudah jika Anda tidak memiliki motivasi yang cukup atau tidak tahu mengapa Anda ingin bermain sejak awal.

Apakah Anda ingin berkeliling dunia?

Terakhir, jika Anda bermimpi berkeliling dunia dan bermain turnamen besar di seluruh dunia, ada beberapa hal yang perlu Anda ketahui:

Anda akan membutuhkan bankroll besar untuk mendukung gaya hidup ini
Turnamen besar datang dengan beberapa variasi besar
Biaya tambahan (perjalanan, akomodasi) membuat sulit untuk menjadi sangat menguntungkan

Jika Anda baru saja beralih ke bermain poker secara profesional, ini bukanlah sesuatu yang mungkin Anda lakukan di awal. Nah, kecuali Anda memiliki bankroll yang besar dan keterampilan yang hebat, Anda mungkin tidak akan membaca artikel ini.

Namun, Anda tidak boleh menyerah begitu saja. Ada banyak cara untuk mengikuti turnamen dan menikmati perjalanan keliling dunia.

Anda dapat memainkan satelit kecil dan memenangkan tiket Anda atau menjual saham Anda untuk turnamen tertentu kepada pemain lain dan hanya menyimpan sebagian dari tindakan Anda.

Semua alasan yang disebutkan sebelumnya menarik dan dapat dicapai pada saat yang sama, tetapi pastikan untuk melihat gambaran lengkapnya.

Bagaimana Penampilan Kehidupan Pemain Poker Profesional

Dari sudut pandang Anda saat ini, tampaknya menang dalam poker tidak terlalu sulit. Anda mungkin telah sukses di turnamen lokal, atau Anda memiliki sesi permainan uang yang solid dan memenangkan beberapa permainan poker besar.

Tapi, jika Anda ingin membawa hal-hal ke tingkat berikutnya dan menjadi pemain poker profesional, ini tidak akan cukup.

  • Hati-hati mengelola bankroll

Pertama, mari kita bicara tentang uang. Anda harus mencari tahu berapa pengeluaran bulanan Anda dan berapa banyak yang Anda perlukan untuk bermain poker untuk menutupinya.

Pada saat yang sama, Anda ingin dapat menghasilkan uang tambahan di atas ini sehingga Anda dapat terus mengembangkan bankroll Anda dan meningkatkan taruhannya, yang harus selalu menjadi bagian dari rencana jangka panjang Anda.

Kami akan berbicara tentang ekspektasi realistis tentang apa yang Anda dapatkan dari bermain poker penuh waktu di bagian selanjutnya.

Setelah beberapa saat, lihat angkanya dan lihat di mana Anda berdiri. Seandainya Anda hanya bermain poker selama beberapa waktu terakhir, apakah Anda dapat menutupi pengeluaran Anda? Apakah Anda bahkan menang?

Jika hasil Anda tidak memuaskan, ini bukanlah akhir dari dunia, dan jika Anda ingin menjadi pemain poker profesional, Anda tidak perlu menyerah.

Ada banyak sumber daya pelatihan dan perangkat lunak poker yang dapat membantu Anda menjadi lebih baik.

Tetapi sampai Anda mengalahkan game apa pun yang Anda rencanakan untuk dimainkan, baik online atau langsung, Anda tidak boleh mempertimbangkan untuk meninggalkan pekerjaan Anda saat ini dan bermain poker penuh waktu.

  • Poker PRO selalu menggiling dan belajar

Ada banyak profesi di mana Anda bisa sukses bahkan jika Anda tidak terlalu menikmatinya. Saya tidak berpikir poker adalah salah satunya.

Jika Anda tidak menikmati permainan di semua segmennya, Anda mungkin tidak akan berhasil dalam jangka panjang.
Dan mencintai poker itu tidak mudah.

Kita semua telah mengalami banyak ketukan buruk selama bertahun-tahun, tetapi ketika Anda bermain untuk mencari nafkah, Anda harus menerima bahwa itu akan terjadi lebih dari yang Anda inginkan dan melihatnya sebagai bagian dari permainan – yang tidak mudah bagi kebanyakan orang.

Selain itu, jika Anda ingin menjadi pemain poker profesional, Anda harus memahami bahwa Anda akan menghabiskan banyak waktu kami di meja, dan maksud saya BANYAK!

Jelas, ini hanya berlaku jika Anda ingin sukses, tetapi ini tidak perlu dikatakan lagi.

Pemain yang serius mengasah permainan dengan sangat keras, dan mereka menghabiskan berjam-jam di meja untuk memoles keterampilan mereka dan mempelajari strategi baru.

Karena itu, jika Anda ingin mencobanya, bersiaplah untuk waktu yang lama. Jika Anda siap, mari kita bahas berapa banyak yang dapat Anda harapkan untuk diperoleh dalam berbagai format.

Gaji Pemain Poker Profesional: Berapa Banyak yang Dapat Anda Harapkan?

Meskipun gelang, gelar, dan piala berkilau sangat keren, sebagian besar bukan ini yang membuat uang di atas meja.

Meskipun sangat sulit untuk memberikan angka pastinya karena bergantung pada keahlian Anda, persaingan, dan banyak faktor lainnya, saya akan mencoba memberikan beberapa angka dalam artikel ini untuk membantu Anda memahami gaji seperti apa yang dapat Anda capai.

Untuk membuatnya lebih realistis, saya akan membandingkan game dengan taruhan rendah, tetapi Anda juga dapat dengan mudah menghitungnya untuk game yang lebih tinggi.

Turnamen Daring

Banyak orang bermimpi bermain turnamen online besar karena kemungkinan mencapai skor besar yang dapat mengubah hidup mereka dalam hitungan detik.

Namun, jika Anda bertanya-tanya bagaimana menjadi pemain poker profesional, Anda harus keluar dari kerangka berpikir ini dan memikirkan jangka panjang.

Memenangkan pemain MTT online bisa mendapatkan mulai dari 10% hingga 60% + ROI. Ini berarti bahwa untuk setiap $1 yang mereka keluarkan untuk pembelian, mereka akan mendapatkan $0,10 – $0,60+ selain itu.

Perlu Anda ingat, bahwa turnamen dengan buy-in yang lebih tinggi memiliki persaingan yang lebih ketat, yang sama dengan ROI yang lebih rendah. Dengan demikian, Anda tidak akan mendapatkan laba atas investasi yang sama di MTT pembelian $100+ seperti di MTT yang lebih rendah.

Jadi, jika Anda bermain turnamen dengan pembelian rata-rata $20 dengan ROI 35%, yang cukup solid, Anda akan menghasilkan sekitar $7 per turnamen.

Anggaplah Anda bermain sekitar 300 MTT per bulan.

Game Uang Tunai Online

Pertama-tama, jika Anda ingin bermain secara profesional dan mencari nafkah dari permainan uang, Anda harus bermain setidaknya di NL50 – dan ini hanya jika Anda tidak memiliki banyak pengeluaran.

Kemungkinan besar, Anda harus bisa mengalahkan NL100 untuk menghasilkan uang yang layak.

Saat ini, pemain online rata-rata cukup bagus, jadi meskipun Anda sendiri adalah pemain yang solid, Anda tidak dapat berharap untuk menghancurkannya.

Tingkat kemenangan realistis di NL50 hari ini hanya sekitar 5bb/100 (tanpa rakeback). Jadi, untuk setiap 100 tangan yang Anda mainkan, Anda akan menghasilkan sekitar $2,50.

Satu-satunya cara untuk menghasilkan lebih banyak adalah dengan bermain lebih banyak lagi (tetapi begitulah kebebasan yang sangat Anda inginkan) atau menerapkan diri Anda untuk mempelajari permainan dan meningkatkan taruhannya. Saya sangat merekomendasikan opsi kedua.

Game Uang Tunai Langsung

Permainan uang tunai langsung masih jauh lebih lembut daripada apa pun yang Anda temukan online, jadi ini adalah pilihan yang bagus, asalkan ada cukup aksi di dekatnya.

Jika permainan yang Anda rencanakan untuk dimainkan terjadi beberapa kali dalam seminggu dan cenderung putus, Anda tidak akan dapat mengandalkannya sebagai satu-satunya sumber penghasilan Anda.

Anda harus berada di suatu tempat di mana Anda bisa bermain setiap hari, dan ada banyak aksi sepanjang waktu.

Dalam hal penghasilan, pemain terbaik dalam permainan langsung dengan taruhan rendah (NL200 dan NL500) dapat menghasilkan sekitar 10bb per jam.

Tingkat kemenangan yang lebih realistis mungkin 7bb/100, jadi Anda melihat sekitar $35 per jam di NL500.

Jika Anda naik taruhan, Anda bisa menghasilkan lebih banyak lagi, jadi ada baiknya memoles keterampilan Anda dan menjadi lebih baik dan lebih baik.

Turnamen Langsung

Kecuali jika Anda tinggal di Las Vegas atau Atlantic City, di mana Anda selalu mengadakan turnamen hebat di lingkungan Anda, gaya hidup ini tidak memungkinkan ketika Anda hanya mencoba menjadi pemain poker profesional.

Beberapa pemain terbaik, seperti Berry Greenstein, telah secara terbuka mengakui bahwa terlepas dari hasil luar biasa mereka, mereka mungkin kalah seumur hidup di turnamen besar ini saja.

Biaya yang terkait dengan perjalanan terlalu besar untuk membuat ini menguntungkan. Bahkan jika Anda memiliki ROI 100% (yang bagus), jika Anda bepergian untuk bermain turnamen $500, Anda akan menghabiskan banyak uang hanya untuk sampai ke lokasi dan menghabiskan beberapa hari di sana.

Etika Bermain Langsung

Adalah satu hal untuk mengetahui aturan dan satu hal lagi untuk menjadi pemain yang adil. Jika Anda ingin menjadi pemain poker profesional, Anda tidak boleh memperlambat lawan Anda atau mencoba menembak sudut, tetapi ini tidak perlu dikatakan lagi.

Itu hanya sebagian kecil, Anda juga harus menghindari taruhan string atau melakukan apa pun yang dapat menyinggung pemain lain atau bahkan berpotensi merusak permainan. Menjadi profesional berarti bertindak seperti itu, jadi biasakanlah jika Anda ingin menempuh jalan ini.

Pro & Kontra Menjadi Pemain Poker Profesional

Kehidupan seorang pemain poker profesional bukan untuk semua orang, dan meskipun kelihatannya luar biasa di luar, itu tidak semudah kelihatannya.

Untuk menyelesaikan bagian ini, saya ingin membedakan pro dan kontra dari karir ini sehingga Anda dapat melihat gambaran lengkapnya.

Kelebihan:

Anda dapat melakukan apa yang Anda sukai untuk mencari nafkah
Anda tidak memiliki siapa pun yang memerintah dan memberi perintah
Anda memiliki lebih banyak kebebasan dengan waktu dan jadwal Anda
Ada potensi penghasilan yang hampir tidak terbatas
Kesuksesan Anda adalah milik Anda sendiri, dan Anda dapat menuai semua imbalan
Anda dapat sering bepergian dan melihat dunia sambil bermain poker
Anda dapat membangun ciri-ciri kepribadian yang akan membantu Anda di kemudian hari

Kontra:

Anda harus memiliki modal yang cukup untuk memulai perjalanan ini
Varians bisa brutal dan melelahkan secara emosional
Akan ada lebih banyak pekerjaan daripada yang Anda pikirkan
Sulit untuk secara konsisten menghabiskan waktu berjam-jam untuk bermain dan belajar
Bisa menjadi melelahkan setelah beberapa saat, terutama jika Anda tidak melihat hasilnya
Poker adalah profesi yang mungkin tidak diterima dengan baik oleh teman dan keluarga Anda

Jadi sekarang Anda tahu semuanya. Apakah Anda masih siap untuk menjadi pemain poker profesional?

Bagaimana menjadi pemain poker profesional – 12 langkah mudah

Jika Anda membaca sampai titik ini, Anda mungkin memperhatikan bahwa saya agak kasar tentang siapa pun yang terjun ke bermain poker secara profesional tanpa memikirkannya.

Saya melakukan ini dengan sengaja karena saya tidak ingin Anda berpikir bahwa mencari nafkah dengan cara ini mudah. Pepatah lama berlaku di sini:

Namun, jika Anda memutuskan untuk menempuh jalan ini, saya sangat senang untuk Anda!

Saya tahu betapa indahnya kehidupan yang dapat dihasilkannya, dan saya akan membagikan beberapa langkah sederhana tentang cara menjadi pemain poker profesional dengan cara yang paling efisien.

1. Teliti dan pilih game Anda

Sangat penting untuk menemukan permainan yang paling sesuai dengan kebutuhan Anda.

Pada awal karir saya, saya bermain turnamen, dan meskipun saya menghasilkan banyak uang pada saat itu, saya tidak menikmati permainan atau bersenang-senang.

Saya harus bermain di malam hari dan tidur sepanjang hari karena zona waktu saya. Jadi, saya selalu lelah.

Hal ini menyebabkan kehidupan sosial yang buruk dan banyak efek negatif, jadi wajar saja, saya tidak terlalu menikmati permainan.

Setelah berbicara dengan pemain lain, saya memutuskan untuk beralih ke permainan uang dan tidak pernah melihat ke belakang. Itu memberi saya kebebasan tertinggi yang saya inginkan.

Saya dapat menjadwalkan sesi saya pada waktu yang lebih nyaman dan kembali ke kehidupan yang lebih “normal”. Ini tidak berarti Anda memiliki kebutuhan yang sama, tetapi pastikan untuk mengidentifikasinya sebelum memilih gim Anda. Karena ketika Anda memilih satu, Anda sebaiknya tetap menggunakannya.

PS – jangan biarkan kemungkinan pendapatan menjadi faktor penentu dari apa yang akan Anda mainkan. Pilih sesuatu yang benar-benar Anda sukai, dan jadilah ahli dalam format itu

2. Pelajari semua aturannya

Yang ini cukup jelas, tetapi apa pun format atau permainan yang Anda pilih, pastikan untuk mengetahui seluk beluk aturan poker.

Tidak hanya memahami posisi dan peringkat tangan tetapi juga memahami alur permainan karena dinamika bisa sangat berbeda dalam berbagai format.

3. Memahami matematika

Matematika adalah bagian penting dari setiap permainan poker. Inilah sebabnya mengapa Anda harus mengetahui peluang Anda untuk mendapatkan tangan yang menang dan peluang pot yang Anda pahami jika Anda mendapatkan harga yang tepat untuk panggilan tersebut.

Dengan cara ini, Anda dapat membuat keputusan cerdas dan tidak hanya menebak-nebak. Jika Anda ingin mengetahui lebih lanjut tentang topik ini, baca saja artikel saya tentang peluang poker, dan Anda akan mengetahui sebagian besar matematika poker.

Selain itu, Anda harus belajar menghitung kombo dari kemungkinan tangan dan memahami frekuensi, yang akan membantu Anda membawa permainan Anda ke level berikutnya.

Jika Anda ingin menemukan jalan pintas untuk mempelajari topik lanjutan ini, Anda dapat melihat di dalam kursus 1%. Penjelasannya sangat jelas, banyak contoh, dan tips praktis, sehingga dapat membantu Anda menghemat banyak waktu dalam perjalanan.

4. Kuasai permainan Anda

Jika Anda ingin mencapai kesuksesan jangka panjang dalam poker dan belajar bagaimana menjadi pemain poker profesional, Anda harus mencapai keterampilan kelas dunia dalam permainan yang Anda pilih untuk dimainkan.

Tidak cukup hanya mengetahui rentang pembukaan atau memahami kapan harus bertaruh-c, bertaruh nilai, atau menggertak.

Untuk mendapatkan hasil yang solid, Anda perlu menghabiskan banyak waktu untuk menguasai strategi GTO dan mempelajari cara menyesuaikannya dengan lawan yang berbeda. Jadi mulailah melakukannya segera setelah Anda mempelajari dasar-dasarnya.

5. Jika Anda ingin menjadi pemain poker profesional, banyak berlatih, tetapi mulailah dengan taruhan yang lebih rendah

Sebelum sepenuhnya mengabdikan diri untuk bermain poker secara profesional, Anda harus memiliki pengalaman.

Dan meskipun Anda tidak akan menjadi pemain top dengan memainkan taruhan rendah, di sinilah Anda harus memulai.

Pertama, Anda akan merasa lebih nyaman karena Anda tidak akan mempertaruhkan banyak uang. Anda dapat berkonsentrasi untuk meningkatkan keterampilan Anda dan mempelajari gerakan baru tanpa merusak uang Anda, yang merupakan ide bagus.
Selain itu, Anda dapat melihat dinamika permainan dan bersiap untuk kesibukan yang serius dengan mengetahui apa yang diharapkan.

Saat Anda merasa nyaman dengan permainan Anda, Anda dapat dengan mudah meningkatkan taruhannya untuk mendapatkan lebih banyak pengalaman dan terus melakukannya hingga Anda mencapai level tertinggi.

6. Luangkan waktu Anda untuk mengambil keputusan

Tidak mungkin Anda dapat mempertimbangkan sebagian besar informasi yang tersedia jika Anda terburu-buru mengambil keputusan.

Ketika pemain mulai bermain dengan “autopilot” tanpa memikirkan setiap situasi, mereka hanya meninggalkan uang di atas meja dan merusak peluang mereka untuk menang.

Karena itu, jika Anda memutuskan untuk menganggap serius permainan ini dan bermain seperti yang dilakukan pemain poker profesional, luangkan waktu Anda dan evaluasi semua informasi yang Anda miliki.

Meskipun Anda tidak dapat melihat kartu lawan, Anda dapat mempertimbangkan posisi poker, tindakan sebelumnya, bacaan, dan jangkauan tangan lawan Anda, yang membawa kita ke langkah selanjutnya.

7. Belajar memikirkan rentang

Sebuah konsep yang sangat penting untuk dikuasai jika Anda ingin menjadi pemain poker profesional.

Alih-alih, Anda perlu mempelajari cara memecah permainan lawan berdasarkan posisi dan tindakannya di setiap jalan untuk mengidentifikasi semua kemungkinan kepemilikan dalam jangkauannya.

Dengan cara ini, Anda akan membuat keputusan yang lebih baik dan memiliki lebih banyak peluang untuk berhasil.

Laboratorium membaca tangan menunjukkan kepada saya proses langkah demi langkah tentang cara melakukannya dengan tepat. Ini sangat membantu saya untuk memahami apa yang penting ketika memikirkan rentang, bagaimana mengetahui apa yang mungkin dimiliki oleh pemain yang berbeda, dan yang paling penting, bagaimana memanfaatkan informasi ini.

Saya sangat merekomendasikan mempelajari ini dari awal, tidak harus mempelajari kembali semuanya nanti.

8. Terus tingkatkan dan manfaatkan perangkat lunak

Jika Anda masih ingin menjadi pemain poker profesional, Anda perlu memahami bahwa hanya mengalahkan permainan yang Anda mainkan saat ini mungkin tidak akan menjadi keadaan yang konstan.

Justru sebaliknya. Tidaklah cukup untuk mencapai titik itu sekali dan kemudian bersantai.

Poker berubah setiap saat, pemain menjadi lebih baik, pemain baru bergabung dengan permainan, dan tiba-tiba, Anda bisa berubah dari pemenang yang solid menjadi pemain yang impas atau kalah.

Anda pasti ingin mengikuti tren terkini dan tetap tajam. Untuk melakukan ini, taruhan terbaik Anda adalah melihat berbagai program pelatihan untuk meningkatkan kemajuan Anda.

Beberapa dari program ini juga memiliki komunitas yang sangat aktif dan bersemangat di mana Anda dapat mengajukan pertanyaan tentang tangan tertentu dan situasi umum untuk mendapatkan beberapa tip dan saran yang solid.

Semua hal ini akan membantu perkembangan Anda sebagai pemain poker profesional dan mungkin menghemat banyak uang, Anda mungkin harus kehilangan belajar dan memikirkan semuanya sendiri.

Selain itu, pastikan untuk memanfaatkan alat yang tersedia dan mencoba menjadi versi diri Anda yang lebih baik setiap hari.

9. Belajar mengendalikan kondisi mental Anda

Ini adalah bagian yang jauh lebih besar daripada yang dipikirkan kebanyakan pemain. Untuk mendapatkan hasil terbaik, Anda harus mengembangkan kebiasaan yang akan membantu Anda sepanjang jalan.

Tidaklah cukup membiarkan emosi Anda di depan pintu saat bermain atau mempelajari cara mencegah kemiringan. Jelas, itu penting, tapi itu hanya sebagian kecil.

Selain itu, penting untuk menghilangkan semua gangguan dan berkonsentrasi pada permainan yang Anda mainkan, agar tidak ketinggalan informasi apa pun tentang lawan Anda.

Saya dapat membicarakan hal ini selama berjam-jam dan tetap tidak dapat mengatakan semua yang perlu Anda ketahui.

Namun, jalan paling membantu yang pernah saya lihat dalam hal ini adalah kelas master A-Game. Itu membantu saya menghilangkan banyak hambatan mental saya dan benar-benar memahami bagaimana memainkan permainan ini secara profesional di semua bidang kehidupan.

10. Ketahui kapan harus berhenti – jangan mengejar kerugian

Meskipun bagian ini dapat dimasukkan ke dalam bagian permainan mental, sangat penting sehingga saya memutuskan untuk memisahkannya dari yang lain.

Jika Anda kehilangan pot besar melawan pemain rekreasi atau reguler yang baru saja tersedot di sungai, jangan mencoba mengambil kembali uang itu dari mereka. Berpegang pada strategi asli Anda adalah cara untuk pergi ke sini.

Ingat, poker adalah permainan jangka panjang, dan tidak masalah apakah Anda akan mendapatkan chip dari satu pemain atau lainnya.

Hal yang sama dapat dikatakan tentang bermain terlalu lama pada hari yang kalah, mencoba untuk mencapai titik impas. Ini bukanlah pola pikir yang ingin Anda miliki sebagai pemain poker profesional.

Jika Anda lebih baik dari lawan Anda, pada akhirnya Anda akan menang, dan itulah yang paling penting.

11. Konsisten dengan permainan Anda

Jika Anda memilih untuk memainkan satu format dan menghabiskan banyak waktu untuk menguasai permainan ini, tidak ada gunanya untuk mulai memainkan sesuatu yang lain.

Misalnya, jika Anda mulai bermain MTT, luangkan banyak waktu untuk mempelajari rentang kedalaman tumpukan yang berbeda, menguasai strategi ICM, dan permainan gelembung, tidak ada gunanya mulai memainkan permainan uang entah dari mana.

Berpegang pada satu permainan akan memungkinkan Anda mengembangkan keterampilan dan mendapatkan pengalaman jauh lebih cepat daripada memainkan format yang berbeda.

Selain itu, Anda akan dapat berkonsentrasi pada bidang tertentu yang diperlukan untuk format tersebut dan kemungkinan memiliki peluang lebih besar untuk tetap berada di depan pesaing Anda.

12. Kelola uang Anda dengan hati-hati

Last but not least – kelola bankroll poker Anda dengan hati-hati. Menjadi pemain poker profesional bukanlah tentang pertaruhan besar atau tembakan gila yang Anda lihat di TV.

Anda mungkin mendengar pemain poker berbicara tentang manajemen bankroll sebagai salah satu faktor terpenting dalam permainan.

Mungkin Anda tidak berpikir itu adalah masalah besar, tetapi jika Anda ingin menjadi pemain poker profesional, mempelajari cara mengelola dana Anda dan menggunakannya untuk menghasilkan keuntungan terbesar adalah kunci kesuksesan Anda.

Ada banyak pemain yang sangat terampil yang tidak berhasil hanya karena mereka tidak mampu menangani ayunan karena manajemen bankroll yang buruk.

Jadi, jika Anda ingin mencoba menghasilkan gaji pemain poker profesional dan bersaing di level tertinggi, kembangkan keterampilan ini dan jangan keluar jalur dengan uang.

Ringkasan: Menjadi Pemain Poker Profesional

Kehidupan pemain poker profesional bukan untuk semua orang, dan meskipun itu bisa memberi Anda banyak kegembiraan, Anda harus mempertimbangkan karier ini dengan sangat hati-hati sebelum terjun.

Pada artikel ini, kami telah menyentuh banyak poin tentang apa artinya menjadi pemain poker profesional dan bermain untuk mencari nafkah.

Oleh karena itu, sekarang Anda dapat membuat keputusan cerdas tentang apakah ini sesuatu yang ingin Anda lakukan.

Selama Anda jujur ​​​​pada diri sendiri, realistis dengan harapan Anda, mau bekerja keras, dan memiliki hasrat untuk permainan, Anda akan baik-baik saja. Pastikan tidak ada komponen yang hilang, karena semuanya sama pentingnya dengan caranya sendiri!

Ringkasan:

  • Pertama, Anda perlu memahami mengapa Anda ingin menjadi pemain profesional dan apa yang ingin Anda capai
  • Kemudian, cari tahu game apa yang paling cocok untuk Anda dan pertahankan format itu
  • Pelajari aturannya dan pahami matematika dasar
  • Banyak berlatih di dalam dan di luar meja
  • Luangkan waktu Anda saat membuat keputusan
  • Belajarlah untuk berpikir dalam rentang, bukan tangan individu
  • Terus tingkatkan dan gunakan semua alat dan perangkat lunak yang tersedia
  • Belajarlah untuk mengendalikan emosi Anda dan lepaskan diri Anda dari hasil jangka pendek
  • Konsisten dengan permainan Anda dan kelola bankroll dengan hati-hati
Megalodon: The Truth About The Kargest Shark That Ever Lived
Megalodon: The Truth About The Kargest Shark That Ever Lived

Megalodon: The Truth About The Kargest Shark That Ever Lived

As one of the largest predators to have ever lived, megalodon captures people’s imagination – and for good reason. But was this apex predator simply a beefed-up great white shark, and is it still lurking in the dark depths of the ocean?

Emma Bernard, who curates the Museum’s fossil fish collection (including fossil sharks), helps separate fact from fiction.

How Big is a Megalodon?

The earliest megalodon fossils (Otodus megalodon, previously known as Carcharodon or Carcharocles megalodon) date to 20 million years ago. For the next 13 million years the enormous shark dominated the oceans until becoming extinct just 3.6 million years ago.

O. megalodon was not only the biggest shark in the world, but one of the largest fish ever to exist.

This giant shark is well-known for starring in the 2018 megalodon movie, The Meg. But in reality, these animals were a little shorter than the 23-metre-long fictional monster it depicted.

Estimates suggest megalodon actually grew to between 15 and 18 metres in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark. It may have been comparable in length to today’s biggest whale sharks, the largest of which has measured in at 18.8 metres.

Without a complete megalodon skeleton to measure, these figures are based on tooth size. Megalodon teeth can reach 18 centimetres long. In fact, the word megalodon simply means ‘large tooth’. These teeth can tell us a lot, such as what these massive animals ate.

What Did Megalodon Eat?

Emma explains, ‘With its large serrated teeth megalodon would have eaten meat – most likely whales and large fish, and probably other sharks. If you are that big you need to eat a lot of food, so large prey is required.’

This would have included animals as small as dolphins and as large as humpback whales.

We have other evidence of megalodon’s feeding habits in the form of fossilised whale bones. Some of these have been found with the cut marks of megalodon teeth etched in the surface. Others even include the tips of teeth broken off in the bone during a feeding frenzy that occurred millions of years ago.

Megalodon Jaws

In order to tackle prey as large as whales, megalodon had to be able to open its mouth wide. It is estimated that its jaw would span 2.7 by 3.4 metres wide, easily big enough to swallow two adult people side-by-side.

These jaws were lined with 276 teeth, and studies reconstructing the shark’s bite force suggest that it may have been one of the most powerful predators ever to have existed.

Humans have been measured with a bite force of around 1,317 Newtons (N), while great white sharks have been predicted to be able to bite down with a force of 18,216N. Researchers have estimated that megalodon had a bite of between 108,514 and 182,201N.

What did megalodon look like?

Most reconstructions show megalodon looking like an enormous great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias. This is now believed to be incorrect.

O. megalodon likely had a much shorter nose, or rostrum, when compared with the great white, with a flatter, almost squashed jaw. Like the blue shark, it also had extra-long pectoral fins to support its weight and size.

‘A lot of reconstructions have megalodon looking like a bigger version of the great white shark because for a long time people thought they were related,’ explains Emma. ‘We now know that this is not the case, and megalodon is actually from a different lineage of shark of which megalodon was the last member.’

The oldest definitive ancestor of megalodon is a 55-million-year-old shark known as Otodus obliquus, which grew to around 10 metres in length. But the evolutionary history of this shark is thought to stretch back to Cretalamna appendiculata, dating to 105 million years old – making the lineage of megalodon over 100 million years old.

‘As we’ve found more and more fossils, we’ve realised that the ancestor to the great white shark lived alongside megalodon. Some scientists think they might even have been in competition with each other,’ says Emma.

Where did the megalodon live?

O. megalodon was adapted to warm tropical and subtropical locations around the globe. The species was so widely spread that megalodon teeth have been found on every continent except Antarctica.

‘We can find lots of their teeth off the east coast of North America, along the coasts and at the bottom of saltwater creeks and rivers of North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida,’ explains Emma. This is likely due in part to the age of the rocks, but also because they can easily be found on the sea floor allowing collectors to go diving for them.

‘They are also quite common off the coast of Morocco and parts of Australia. They can even be found in the UK near Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex,’ says Emma, although they are extremely rare in the UK and tend to be of poor quality.

Are megalodon teeth rare?

Almost all fossil remains of megalodon are teeth.

Sharks continually produce teeth throughout their entire lives. Depending on what they eat, sharks lose a set of teeth every one to two weeks, getting through up to 40,000 teeth in their lifetime. This means that shark teeth are continuously raining down onto the ocean floor, increasing the chance that they will get fossilised.

Teeth are also the hardest part of a shark’s skeleton. While our bones are coated in the mineral calcium phosphate, shark skeletons are made entirely from softer cartilage like our nose and ears.

So while the more robust teeth become fossilised relatively easily, only in very special circumstances will soft tissue be preserved.

Fossilised megalodon vertebrae about the size of a dinner plate have also been found.

‘There is also a megalodon fossil found in Peru that apparently has the braincase and all the teeth, with a small string of vertebrae,’ says Emma, ‘although I have yet to see high-quality images of this specimen.’

This extraordinary fossil may help create a better picture of what these gigantic predators looked like.

Why did megalodon go extinct?

We know that megalodon had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene (2.6 million years ago), when the planet entered a phase of global cooling. Precisely when the last megalodon died is not known, but new evidence suggests that it was at least 3.6 million years ago.

Scientists think that up to a third of all large marine animals, including 43% of turtles and 35% of sea birds, became extinct as temperatures cooled and the number of organisms at the base of the food chain plummeted, resulting in a knock-on effect to the predators at the top.

The cooling of the planet may have contributed to the extinction of the megalodon in a number of ways.

As the adult sharks were dependent on tropical waters, the drop in ocean temperatures likely resulted in a significant loss of habitat. It may also have resulted in the megalodon’s prey either going extinct or adapting to the cooler waters and moving to where the sharks could not follow.

Megalodon is also thought to have given birth to its young close to the shore. These shallow coastal waters would have provided a nursery for the pups, protecting them from predators that were lurking in the open water, like the larger toothed whales. As ice formed at the poles and the sea level dropped, these pupping grounds would have been destroyed.

A study from 2022 suggests that competition with great white sharks for food may also have contributed to megalodon’s downfall. Studies of fossilised megalodon and great white teeth show that their diets overlapped.

Is the megalodon still alive?

‘No. It’s definitely not alive in the deep oceans, despite what the Discovery Channel has said in the past,’ notes Emma.

‘If an animal as big as megalodon still lived in the oceans we would know about it.’

The sharks would leave telltale bite marks on other large marine animals, and their huge teeth would continue littering the ocean floors in their tens of thousands. Not to mention that as a warm-water species, megalodon would not be able to survive in the cold waters of the deep, where it would have a better chance of going unnoticed.

Discover more about megalodon and shark evolution with Emma Bernard in the video below.

Ask a Museum scientist

Do you have a burning question about science or nature that you want the answer to? Fill out the form below to let us know.

We’ll work with Museum scientists to turn some of your questions into stories featured in our online magazine Discover or videos on our YouTube channel.

This new feature is in beta. Find out more.

Top 10 Facts About Rhinos
Top 10 Facts About Rhinos

Top 10 Facts About Rhinos
1. Ada 5 spesies badak di dunia

Ini termasuk dua spesies badak Afrika – badak hitam dan putih. Tiga sisanya adalah spesies badak Asia, yang mencakup badak bercula satu yang lebih besar, Sumatera dan Jawa. 

Badak Sumatera, Jawa dan Hitam terdaftar sebagai ‘sangat terancam punah’ oleh IUCN – diperkirakan hanya ada 66 badak Jawa dan antara 34-47 badak Sumatera tersisa, yang membuat mereka benar-benar terancam punah di alam liar.

Badak putih diklasifikasikan sebagai ‘hampir terancam’ dengan 15.942 individu, sedangkan badak bercula satu yang lebih besar saat ini rentan dengan 4.014 individu di alam liar.

2. Badak bisa mencapai berat lebih dari 3 ton

Badak sumatera adalah yang terkecil dari semua badak, tetapi beratnya masih bisa mencapai 600kg (hampir 95 batu). Di sisi lain, badak putih adalah spesies badak terbesar dengan berat mencapai 3.500 kg. Itu lebih dari 550 batu, atau lebih dari 3 ton, yang sangat mengesankan mengingat mereka terutama memakan rumput dan dedaunan.

3. Badak hitam dan putih sebenarnya berwarna abu-abu

Nama badak hitam dan putih menyesatkan – karena keduanya sebenarnya berwarna abu-abu. Badak putih konon mendapatkan namanya dari kata Afrikaans untuk lebar (‘wyd’), mengacu pada lebarnya, bibir persegi (sebaliknya, badak hitam memiliki bibir atas yang runcing). Penjelajah Inggris awal mengira kata ini sebagai ‘putih’ dan akibatnya menamai spesies ini badak ‘putih’, dan badak ‘hitam’ lainnya untuk membedakannya.

4. Mereka disebut banteng dan sapi

Badak jantan disebut ‘banteng’ dan betina disebut ‘sapi’. Anak-anak mereka adalah ‘betis’.

Betina cenderung lebih ramah daripada jantan yang lebih menyendiri dan teritorial. Bersama-sama, sekelompok badak disebut ‘tabrakan’.

5. TERBUAT DARI APA CANDUL BADAK? BARANG YANG SAMA SEPERTI KUKU KITA

Cula badak terdiri dari keratin – protein yang sama yang membentuk dasar rambut dan kuku kita.

Badak jawa dan badak bercula satu yang lebih besar hanya memiliki satu cula, sedangkan semua spesies badak lainnya memiliki dua cula. Cula mereka tumbuh terus menerus selama hidup mereka – cula badak putih dapat tumbuh 7cm setiap tahun – dan rekor panjangnya adalah 150cm!

6. Badak memiliki penglihatan yang buruk

Penglihatan badak tidak bagus – mereka tidak dapat melihat orang yang tidak bergerak pada jarak 30m – mereka terutama mengandalkan indera penciuman yang kuat.

7. Badak jawa hanya ditemukan di satu tempat kecil

Taman Nasional Ujung Kulon – Situs Warisan Dunia – adalah rumah bagi badak Jawa liar terakhir yang tersisa di Bumi.

Tapi ini adalah tempat yang berbahaya untuk hidup. Gunung berapi aktif hanya berjarak 50 km. Dan tsunami setinggi 10m – yang diproyeksikan akan terjadi dalam 100 tahun ke depan – dapat mengancam 80% wilayah badak di Taman Nasional Ujung Kulon.

Itu sebabnya membangun tempat yang aman bagi populasi badak Jawa lain di Indonesia menjadi prioritas.

8. Mereka berkomunikasi melalui klakson, bersin… dan kotoran

Badak membuat serangkaian suara lucu saat mereka berkomunikasi.

Selama konfrontasi, mereka menggeram dan membuat ‘panggilan terompet’. Badak hitam mendengus saat marah, membuat panggilan seperti bersin sebagai alarm, berteriak jika ketakutan, dan ‘mmwonk’ saat santai. 

Badak juga berkomunikasi melalui kotoran dan urin mereka. Saat badak buang air di tempat yang sama dengan badak lainnya – area yang dikenal sebagai jamban – mereka dapat mencium bau kotoran dan urin individu lain, dan mengetahui siapa yang ada di area tersebut.

9. Mereka menyukai lumpur

Badak sering terlihat berguling-guling di lumpur, memberi diri mereka ‘mantel lumpur’ pelindung agar tetap dingin, menghentikan gigitan serangga, dan menyingkirkan parasit apa pun.

Badak Asia juga perenang yang hebat, menyeberangi sungai dengan mudah. Tapi kerabat Afrika mereka adalah perenang yang sangat buruk dan bisa tenggelam di air yang dalam – jadi mereka tetap berkubang di lumpur untuk pendinginan.

10. Badak terancam

Lebih dari 7.100 badak Afrika telah dibunuh oleh perburuan dalam 10 tahun terakhir – itu sekitar 2 setiap hari. Geng perburuan menjadi semakin canggih. Dalam beberapa kasus, menggunakan helikopter untuk melacak badak, dan setelah hewan ditembak dengan senjata atau anak panah penenang, cula mereka dilepas menggunakan gergaji mesin, dan segera diterbangkan. Seluruh operasi dapat memakan waktu paling sedikit 10 menit, dan jika badak tersebut belum mati, seringkali ia akan mati kehabisan darah.

Cula badak digunakan dalam pengobata tradisional Asia untuk ‘menyembuhkan’ berbagai penyakit, mulai dari kanker hingga mabuk. Dan tanduk dipandang sebagai simbol status, khususnya di Vietnam.

Hilangnya habitat dan fragmentasi merupakan ancaman yang meningkat terhadap badak, karena populasi manusia dan infrastruktur tumbuh, merambah habitat badak.

Pekerjaan WWF

Kami bekerja melalui TRAFFIC – aliansi strategis WWF dan IUCN – untuk menangani semua aspek kejahatan satwa liar, mulai dari perburuan, perdagangan dan pembelian, hingga bekerja dengan pemerintah untuk mendapatkan penegakan hukum yang lebih baik.

Kami bekerja melawan perdagangan satwa liar ilegal, dengan penjaga lapangan, penyelidik kriminal, dan otoritas bea cukai. Teknologi luar biasa, seperti microchip GPS yang dimasukkan ke dalam cula badak, dapat membantu kita mengidentifikasi cula dan membuat kasus penuntutan.

Dan untuk memastikan mereka dapat tumbuh subur di masa depan, kami melindungi badak dan memastikan habitat mereka terpelihara dengan lebih baik, dan memindahkan badak ke daerah baru agar populasinya dapat tumbuh.

Tapi ini tidak akan mungkin terjadi tanpa dukungan Anda. Bersama-sama, kita akan terus berjuang untuk dunia kita.

13 of the Ugliest Animals on the Planet
13 of the Ugliest Animals on the Planet

13 of the Ugliest Animals on the Planet

Not every animal can look as cuddly as a giant panda or as extravagant as a peacock, but every animal has its role to play, and every organism is important. Unattractive traits allow some species to survive in harsh environments, and studying them can help us better understand ecosystems. uncovering the reasons why creatures look a certain way might even be key to conservation efforts.

As they say, beauty is only skin deep. Let’s hope—for the sake of these 13 unsightly animals—that the same can be said for ugliness.

California Condor

One of the world’s rarest birds and North America’s largest flying land bird, the California condor is graceful when it is gliding high above the canyons and deserts of the American West Coast.

Up close, however, this bird isn’t so photogenic. Its bald head is an adaptation for its lifestyle as a scavenger since a feathered head would become clotted with blood while the bird feeds on large carrion.

Human activities, lead poisoning, and the use of pesticides such as DDT almost decimated the California condor population in the 19th and 20th centuries. The birds neared the point of extinction in the late 1970s and only 22 of them remained by 1981.1

Scientists started an intensive captive breeding program and gradually reintroduced them in the wild. Although the condor population is slowly increasing, the species is still considered Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and the total world population is estimated at 518, including both captive and wild bids.

Blobfish

Perhaps it’s unfair to judge a fish out of water, but the blobfish looks more like a ball of slime than a living creature.

Blobfish live deep in the ocean where pressures are exceedingly high. In fact, the blobfish’s gelatinous appearance is actually a brilliant adaptation—its gooey, pudding-like flesh allows it to stay buoyant at depths where gaseous bladders can’t function.

The aesthetically challenged blobfish was once voted the world’s ugliest animal in an online poll conducted by the British-based Ugly Animal Preservation Society, making it the group’s official mascot.

Naked Mole-Rat

It must be difficult to maintain a vibrant self-image if you’re a bald rodent, but it’s not an issue for the naked mole-rat. It’s certainly helpful that they are nearly blind. These animals live underground in intricate burrow systems and have little need for good eyesight. Their nearly hairless bodies are also an adaptation for their underground environment.

Surprisingly, naked mole-rats are more closely related to porcupines, chinchillas, and guinea pigs than they are to either moles or rats. Also, contrary to their name, they actually do have some hair. There are about 100 fine hairs on their bodies that act like whiskers to help them feel what’s around them, plus hairs between their toes to help them move soil behind them when they are making tunnels.

These wrinkly rodents live in large groups (average 70 members, but up to 295 have been recorded) and have been known to communicate in colony-specific dialects. Their highly social behavior might serve multiple purposes, as they need to huddle together to stay warm—their fur-less, paper-thin skin doesn’t exactly help them retain body heat.3

Interestingly, naked mole-rats are also among the longest living of all rodents given their size—they can live for nearly 30 years.

Proboscis Monkey

A human might run for cover with this nose, but for the proboscis monkey, the bigger the nose, the better. It turns out that nothing turns on a female proboscis monkey more than a big, bulbous nose. Scientists believe that the large nose has an effect on a male proboscis monkey’s vocalizations that both attracts females and intimidates competitor males.4

These curious-looking monkeys are also amazing swimmers thanks to their webbed feet and hands. In fact, they love the water and live in trees close to rivers (they are never more than 600 meters, or 0.37 miles, from a river) and sleep in large groups called bands right on the water’s edge.

Warthog

As wild members of the pig family, warthogs have the characteristic pig nose, tusks protruding from their mouths, a wart-like curvature to their faces, and a nappy mane of hair that cascades down their backside. They actually have two pairs of tusks: the upper tusks emerge from their snouts making a semi-circle, and their lower tusks are situated at the base of the other set.

Warthogs’ bodies are covered in bristles, and they’re distinguished by their disproportionately large heads and those wart-like pads that offer protection.

They don’t create an image of beauty, but these physical characteristics make warthogs well-adapted to their savanna and grassland habitats and the burrows they like to occupy.

Learn more: 10 Wild Warthog Facts

Star-Nosed Mole

The star-nosed mole might have the most bizarre nose in the animal kingdom. Their weird whiffers are defined by 22 fleshy appendages that act more like ultra-sensitive fingers than a nose. These snouts are lined with more than 25,000 minute sensory receptors that help the mole feel its way through its underground lair.6

All of those sensory receptors make this mole’s nose one of the most sensitive in the entire animal kingdom. That translates to the star-nosed mole being a highly effective hunter. The outer tentacles probe for a potential meal, and then the inner sensors decide if the prey is edible.

Aye-Aye

This gremlin-looking creature, called an aye-aye, is a primate found only in Madagascar.

Aye-ayes have a number of unusual traits, including long, bony, witch-like middle fingers that they use to pry insects and grubs from tree trunks. This allows them to fill a biological niche, much like a woodpecker might.7 They are also nocturnal, only coming out at night.

Additionally, aye-ayes have incisors that continually grow, which is unusual for primates, and extremely large ears.

This elusive primate uses percussive foraging to find its food. As it walks along a branch, the aye-aye taps it with its skeletal middle finger. It cups its huge ear forward, listening for the echoes coming from the tree. When it knows it is above an insect tunnel, it tears off chunks of the tree with its massive teeth so it can uncover the tunnel and feast on the insects within.

The aye-aye is considered endangered by the IUCN due to habitat loss and hunting. In fact, it has been part of the list of 25 most endangered primates since 2016.

Monkfish

These unappetizing, freaky-looking fish are a common food delicacy, but for years, people didn’t want to eat the fish because it was so ugly. Chefs eventually realized that its looks were deceiving, and now it shows up on the menus in all sorts of fine restaurants.

With mottled skin, an unsightly overbite, and a bizarre figure, monkfish are undeniably ugly. And because of their huge heads filled with razor-like teeth, they look awfully mean as well.

Marabou Stork

Standing over 5 feet tall with a wingspan of more than 10 feet, the marabou stork is a scavenger of large carrion, which is why it has a featherless head. These African birds also eat other birds and have even been known to consume flamingos.

The marabou stork does have some unattractive habits. They defecate all over their legs and feet, for instance. This gives their appendages a lovely white appearance and also helps them regulate their body temperature.

This stork species also stands out for its gular sac, a long, reddish pouch that hangs from its neck and is used to make grunts and other noises during courtship rituals—not for food storage.9

Marabou storks aren’t particularly active; in fact, they are relatively lazy. They stand around much of the time and often pant excessively when they are hot.

Elephant Seal

Baby elephant seals and female elephant seals are pleasant-looking. Males, however, begin developing a large nose when they reach sexual maturity, somewhere around three to five years.10

The huge schnoz is fully developed by 7 to 9 years old, giving the seal the look of its namesake elephant with a massive, floppy trunk.

Much like the proboscis monkey, an elephant seal’s large nose plays a role in mating, as it helps generate loud roars that fend off other males.

Horseshoe Bat

Like most insect-eating bats—which use echolocation to catch their prey—horseshoe bats have a warped appearance that looks more like an ear than a face. This adaptation makes them more receptive to sound waves, which allows them to swiftly navigate through the air.

The bat gets its name from the shape of its “noseleaves,” the fleshy structure surrounding the bat’s nose. The upper part is pointed and the lower part is shaped like a horseshoe. The bat uses this nose — with its particular size and shape — as a kind of sonar beam to help it detect its surroundings

Red-Lipped Batfish

The red-lipped batfish gives the impression that it tried to compensate for an unusual body by caking on lipstick. Further research needs to be done to understand the function of the bright red lips, but some scientists think it relates to attracting mates.12 These odd fish are mostly found around the Galapagos Islands and near Peru.

Interestingly, red-lipped batfish are not the most graceful swimmers — they are better suited for “walking” along the ocean floor. When they reach adulthood, they use their dorsal fin as a fishing lure to attract prey instead of for swimming.

Hyena

With a hunching, bear-like gait, these beasts of the savannah aren’t the prettiest animals on the planet, but at least they have a sense of humor. Occasionally referred to as “laughing hyenas,” these animals have calls that are often described as haunting and witch-like.

Although known for being scavengers, hyenas reportedly kill 60% to 95% of what they eat.13 Though they look like wild dogs, they are more closely related to civets, mongooses, and meerkats.

The 10 Highest Jumping Animals in the World

The 10 Highest Jumping Animals in the World

Who are the Harold Miners of the animal kingdom? What are the highest jumping animals in the world? According to researchers, copepods — a microscopic set of crustaceans — are probably the best jumpers on Earth. However, we didn’t include them on this list because the average human can’t see copepods without a microscope. Instead, we’re focusing on animals that can reach impressive vertical heights — which are viewable without a magnifying device.

10. Cougars

Cougars are most often associated with strength and quickness. But a lot of people don’t realize that the big cats can jump. Surprisingly, the 200-pound carnivores can reach verticals of 2.8 to 5 feet. From a sitting position, they can leap forward 18 feet!

Roaring, however, is another matter. Unlike lions and tigers, cougars don’t have a large enough larynx. Instead, they hiss, growl, and chirp.

Click here to learn more about cougars, which are the largest cats in North America.

9. Impalas

Graceful and swift, impalas are African antelopes that can jump 33 feet forward and nearly 10 feet high — which is impressive for a hoofed animal that weighs up to 168 pounds! Lions, leopards, and cheetahs prey on impalas, but the balletic herbivores are difficult to catch because of their sprinting and leaping abilities. In most cases, felines usually give up and look for less agile animals.

Click here to learn more about impalas, which travel in herds of hundreds during the rainy season.

8. Red Kangaroos

As the largest kangaroo species, red kangaroos enjoy a unique musculoskeletal system that lets the marsupials jump far and high. They can clear about 30 feet in a single bound and reach nearly 11 feet in the air. Moreover, kangaroos are one of the few animals that jump as their main mode of transportation.

Click here to learn more about kangaroos, which live in groups called “mobs.”

7. Bharals

Himalayan residents, bharals are expert mountaineers that can jump deftly from cliff to cliff. Not only is their jump height impressive, but their sure-footed balance is a thing to behold. Bharals don’t venture into forests because their fur coat is specifically tinted to camouflage with rocky terrain.

In the past, scientists categorized bharals as sheep. However, recent DNA evidence suggests the animals are more goat-like.

6. Klipspringer

In relation to body size, klipspringers — which look suspiciously like animatronic Disney deers — are the highest jumping animals. The adorable antelopes stand about 24 inches to the shoulder and jump 10 times their height!

Like penguins and flamingos, klipspringers tend to form life bonds with partners and remain monogamous for most of their lives.

5. Tree Frogs

Colorful tree frogs — with their bulging red eyes, orange feet, green bodies, and electric blue legs — are excellent jumpers. Their elastic muscles give frogs the power to jump up to seven feet high! These amphibians have been around for millions of years, and they’re masters of disguise.

Click here to learn more about tree frogs, which don’t inhabit North America, Australia, or Antarctica.

4. Dolphins

Marine mammals are Olympic jumpers — especially dolphins. The intelligent ocean-dwellers are typically 3.8 to 5.3 feet long and weigh between 132 and 154 pounds. But their size doesn’t stop them from jettisoning 15 to 30 feet high. That’s like a person jumping from their lawn to the top of a two-story house!

Click here to learn more about dolphins, which can zoom along at 25 miles per hour.

3. Grasshopper

We call them grasshoppers for a reason! The verdant insects have six legs and can jump twenty times their body length — or 16 to 23 feet. Grasshoppers live on every continent except Antarctica, and scientists have identified 11,000 species so far.

Click here to read more about grasshoppers, which have antennas longer than their bodies.

2. Jumping Spiders

Jumping spiders have four eyes, eight legs, and they can jump 50 to 100 times their body length, depending on species! Jumping spiders use their natural pole-vaulting skills to pounce on prey and avoid threats. Highly adaptable, they can be found in South America’s tropical forests and Mount Everest’s caves alike.

Jumping spiders are the largest family of spiders and represent 13 percent of the crawling order.

1. Fleas

Fleas are champion jumpers. The minuscule insects — which plague our pets — can leap 200 times their body length, which is about 10 inches. Just counting the distance fleas can jump, they leap about 13 inches laterally. For the height of their jump, they can hop 7 inches straight up.

Hey, that’s impressive for a 0.2-inch-long animal! How can they achieve such heights? Flea legs are naturally outfitted with springs. Another interesting flea fact- these bugs are very difficult to crush, since they’re able to withstand immense pressure.

11 Unique Australian Animals
11 Unique Australian Animals

11 Unique Australian Animals

People tend to have two reactions when it comes to Australian animals.

Either their faces light up at the thought of cute kangaroos and koalas, or they actually recoil in horror.

Though several Australian animals are considered dangerous, you’re more likely to get injured from a horse than a snake in Australia.

Over 80% of mammals and reptiles in Australia are found nowhere else on Earth. This makes for some truly fascinating creatures, some famous and others not as well known, to discover in Australia.

Here are 11 unique Australian animals, including some you may not know exist!

Koalas

No one can resist the cuddly allure of koalas. These iconic Australia animals are marsupials, a kind of mammal that is born undeveloped and is carried in a pouch. Like all marsupials, including kangaroos, wombats and Tasmanian devils, baby koalas are called joeys.

Newborn koalas are called pinkies, born blind and about the size of a jellybean. After birth the pinkie immediately crawls into its mother’s pouch, where it’ll stay for 6 to 7 months. At around 9 to 10 months the joey leaves the pouch for good, ready to munch on a variety of eucalypts. The leaves of these trees are highly toxic and low on nutrition, requiring lots of energy to digest.

This is why koalas spend so much time snoozing so as to preserve energy – often sleeping up to 18-20 hours a day!

What sets the koala apart from other marsupials is that it has no tail. Nonetheless, koalas live high among eucalypts with ease. They mostly hang about in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Contrary to popular belief, the koala is not a bear – though it’s certainly as cute as a teddy bear. Their cuddly exterior makes them appear docicle, and though koalas usually keep to themselves, they can attack if they feel threatened. If spotted in the wild, it’s best to keep a distance.

Where to See Koalas

One of the best places to see koalas in the wild is Kangaroo Island, a natural island sanctuary home to many of Australia’s native animals. This island off the coast of South Australia is surrounded in stunning bays, untouched wilderness and free roaming wildlife, including koalas. It’s the ultimate Australia bucket list destination for animal lovers.

In the state of Queensland, sanctuaries and zoos allow you to hold koalas, so if you’re after that once-in-a-lifetime snapshot with a koala, be sure to do it in Queensland! It’s illegal to hold koalas anywhere else.

Kangaroos

Tell anyone you’re going to Australia and one of the first things they’ll ask is if you’re going to feed the kangaroos. And you’ll most likely answer “Yes!”

These native Australian animals are marsupials as well as macropods, meaning “big foot.” Red kangaroos, tall and strongly built, are the largest marsupials and the largest Australian mammal, sometimes standing at over 6 feet tall. Other types of kangaroos include the eastern gray and Kangaroo Island kangaroos, both smaller and tamer than red kangaroos. Gray kangaroos live in the forests of Australia and Tasmania while red kangaroos are found in the eucalyptus woodlands of the Northern Territory.

An old legend about the origin of the name “kangaroo” states that when James Cook asked Aboriginals what these creatures were called, they answered “kangaroo” meaning “I don’t understand your question.”

Though this tale has been proven false, who can resist a good origin story?

Recent linguistic studies uncovered the word “gangurru” from the Aboriginal language of Guugu Yimidhirr, referring to a species of kangaroo and is very likely the source of its name.

Male kangaroos can be very aggressive toward each other, fighting over mates, but kangaroos generally keep to themselves and hop away on sight of a human. With powerful hind legs and a strong tail used as a sort of third leg for balancing, these creatures pack incredible kicks. They’re easily nature’s most skilled kick boxers.

Where to See Kangaroos

You’ll find kangaroos in nearly all Australian wildlife sanctuaries and zoos, but seeing them in the wild is a real special treat. You’re very likely to see them roaming throughout forested national parks with beaches, as well as along the side of the road on the outskirts of major cities. The best time to spot kangaroos in the wild is at dusk.

Wallabies

We’ll admit it – it’s kind of hard to tell wallabies and kangaroos apart. But it gets pretty easy once you see them side by side.

Wallabies are almost an exact miniature of kangaroos. Though they can measure up to 6 feet in height from head to tail, wallabies tend to be much smaller than kangaroos, which can reach up to 8 feet in height from head to tail.

Another way to tell wallabies and kangaroos apart is from their hind legs. Wallabies have more compact legs for moving through dense forest areas while kangaroos have knees and feet set wide apart. Though smaller, their legs allow for tremendous kicks when threatened and are also great for hopping at high speeds. They also tend to be more colorful than their larger cousins, with the yellow-footed wallaby boasting yellow-orange features across its coat.

There are roughly 30 different species of wallabies, grouped by their habitat: shrub wallabies, brush wallabies, and rock wallabies. Larger wallabies tend to be social animals, traveling in groups called mobs. As herbivores, wallabies mainly feast on grasses and plants including flowers, ferns and moss.

Wallabies as a whole are not an endangered species, but there are some species of rock wallabies as well as the banded-hare wallaby that are endangered.

Where to See Wallabies

You’re very likely to see wallabies bounding along the roads in the outskirts of major Australia cities. Locals even report wallabies hanging around gardens and backyards. You’re even likely to see them lying between grapevines of vineyards throughout the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. Wildlife parks and zoos are the best spots for seeing wallabies, as these nimble creatures usually dash away at the sight of humans.

Tasmanian Devils

When early European settlers posted in Hobart, Tasmania, they came across a strange creature with frightening growls, high-pitched screeches and unearthly screams. Coupled with red ears and disturbingly wide jaws lined with sharp teeth, the settlers decided to call these creatures “devils.” This is how the Tasmanian devil got it’s name, though it may just be the cutest devil ever to grace Australia.

These small creatures almost look like a cross between a small dog and a bear. Their coarse dark fur and round ears give them a baby bear-like appearance, complete with a pudgy build. With a pouch to carry their young, a mother devils can nurse up to four devils at a time.

As the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial, they tend to eat carrion more than hunting live prey. Small native animals such as wallabies, wombats and possums are favorites, though they’ll also devour reptiles, birds and even sheep.

Though nocturnal, devils like to lay out and bask in the sun. They’re huge water lovers, wading and splashing about, even just sitting and laying in water to keep cool. Even devils can’t resist a lazy sunbathing day.

Once present in mainland Australia, Tasmanian devils are now only found on the island state of Tasmania. Loss of habitat and more recently Devil Facial Tumor Disease are the leading causes of declining numbers of devils, now listed as endangered. Though there are huge efforts to minimize the impact of this disease, it’s a difficult task, as this disease is highly contagious among devils. For these brash creatures that often fight over mates, a simple touch is all it takes for the disease to take hold.

Where to See Tasmanian Devils

Though it’s rare to see devils in the wild, you’re more likely to come across them in maintained wilderness refuges and wildlife parks. Some of our favorite places to see devils are the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo in northeastern Tasmania and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary just half an hour outside of Hobart.

Wombats

These stout marsupials look like miniature bears with chunky cheeks. They grow up to 3 feet long and can weigh between 44 and 77 pounds. Their waddling walk and pudgy appearance make them seem slow and docile, but they can run up to 25 miles per hour. As highly territorial creatures, they attack when defending their territory. These nocturnal animals dwell in burrows dug with their long claws.

Like all marsupials, wombats possess a pouch where their young are nurtured for the first few months of life. Unlike most other marsupials, however, the wombat’s pouch faces backwards toward its rear. This is to prevent soil from getting into the pouch as the wombat burrows.

But this strange feature is nothing compared to its poo. Molded by the horizontal ridges of its large intestine, wombat poo is notorious for its cube shape. In this way, the wombat’s cube-shaped poo allows it to stay in place and mark its territory.

Where to see Wombats

You’re most likely to see wombats roaming Cradle Mountain in Tasmania and the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney, but it’s rare to see them out in the wild as they are nocturnal creatures. You’ll definitely find them in wildlife parks and zoos, with some offering the opportunity to pet and feed them.

Dingoes

As cute as a dog yet severely misunderstood, the dingo is one of Australia’s most controversial animals. The origin of these creatures is much debated, with recent studies suggesting that dingoes originally migrated from central Asia across land bridges over 18,000 years ago.

Intensely intuitive and intelligent, Houdini has nothing on dingoes. With incredible agility, flexible joints, rotating wrists and fantastic jumping, digging and climbing abilities, dingoes are the ultimate escape artists. They can even rotate their necks up to 180 degrees around. Imagine seeing your dog do that!

Though they share many characteristics with dogs, dingoes are decidedly not dogs at all. They are classed as a unique species called Canis dingo.

Highly individualistic and naturally cautious, dingoes are very curious but are more likely to avoid unfamiliar threats and confrontation. They tend to shy away from humans, rarely showing aggression or attacking.

Although rarely kept as pets, it is legal in the states of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Victoria and Western Australia to keep a pet dingo with a license. But doing so is not a light task – dingoes require large amounts of space, lots of bonding, and extensive training.

Where to see Dingoes

Most zoos and wildlife parks house dingoes, but if your heart is set on seeing them in the wild, head to Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland.

Quokkas

With teddy bear ears and tiny doe eyes, look for the happiest animal on Earth at Rottnest Island in Western Australia. This small macropod is in the same family as kangaroos and wallabies, with a Mona Lisa smile to add even more cuteness.

These nocturnal creatures are about as large as a common house cat and look like a tiny, chubby kangaroo. They also have a pouch where the baby joey lives in for six months.

When quokkas aren’t eating grasses, shrubs and leaves, they roam around Rottnest Island with the liberty and confidence of a tourist. With no natural predators or traffic on the island, quokkas have grown accustomed to humans and often make attempts to sneak into restaurants and campsites in search of food.

Though it may be tempting to give a quokka a snack, feeding quokkas human food is greatly discouraged. Attacks are extremely rare, but bites have been reported – usually when people are trying to feed them.

It’s also illegal to touch a quokka – they are wild animals after all – but snapshots and selfies are allowed, even highly sought after. As naturally inquisitive creatures, they have little fear of humans and will often approach people on their own, sporting a huge picture-perfect smile.

Where to see Quokkas

Your best chance to see quokkas in the wild will be in Rottnest Island, a popular holiday destination off the coast of Western Australia. This island boasts lovely white sand beaches, stunning coasts and sparkling bays with clear waters perfect for snorkeling.

You’re also very likely to see quokkas in zoos and wildlife parks throughout Australia.

Tree Kangaroo

The tree kangaroo is very much like a shy toddler hiding behind his mother’s leg. Solitary and elusive, there is still so much to learn about this marsupial. There are 12 known species of tree kangaroo, all looking quite different from each other. Some look like a woolly cross between a bear and a kangaroo with golden and red coats. Others have black and dark brown coats with smooth faces. They typically grow up to 3 feet tall and weigh up to 30 lbs depending on the species.

They dwell among the trees in tropical rainforests of the mountains in Queensland, New Guinea and surrounding islands. Though “kangaroo” is in their name, these creatures do much better among the trees than on the ground below. They hop just like kangaroos but rather awkwardly, leaning far forward to balance their long, heavy tail. They are more bold and agile in trees, hopping across branches with the help of their powerful hind legs and tail.

Tree kangaroos eat mostly fruit, leaves, tree bark and other foliage found in their rainforest habitat. Its average lifespan is unknown, but in captivity they can live for more than 20 years.

Where to see Tree Kangaroos

The only places you’re sure to see tree kangaroos are in zoos and wildlife parks throughout the state of Queensland. But if you’re lucky you might see them in the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns. You might also spot tree kangaroos on the Jungle Surfing tour in Daintree Rainforest!

Platypus

Imagine being the first person to see a playtpus. Good luck trying to convince anyone that this creature is real! It doesn’t help that this elusive animal is hard to spot – its silvery brown fur blends within the glistening surfaces of the streams and rivers in its habitat.

The platypus is monotreme, a kind of mammal that lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young. There are only four other monotremes, the others being different species of echidnas, another animal endemic to Australia. It’s also one of the few species of venomous mammals in the world. Males have a spur on their hind legs capable of delivering a venom severely painful to humans, though nothing life-threatening.

These contrary features make it a wonder that the playtpus isn’t an extinct creature from long ago. In fact, when scientists first observed a preserved body of a platypus they thought it was fake, made of different animals parts sewn together.

Though the platypus is abundant in the wild, numbers are decreasing, bumping the platypus to a “near threatened” status.

Where to See a Platypus

The platypus is generally found in the riverbanks of Australia’s eastern coast as well as Tasmania. There are only a few wildlife sanctuaries in Australia that house platypus, including the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Taronga Zoo in Sydney, and Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne.

A special tank called a platypusary is required for housing a platypus. For this reason there are no playtpus in captivity outside of Australia.

These special tanks allow you to see a platypus up close, where its twists and turns in the water will reveal its playful nature.

Quolls

With a stocky body and a long tail, these spunky creatures are much like a cross between a Tasmanian Devil and a cat. Its white-spotted dark brown coat and dainty pink nose make it look like the star of a cartoon.

But these carnivorous marsupials mean business. Their sharp teeth delight in munching on birds, reptiles and small mammals such as bandicoots, possums and rabbits. Mainly nocturnal animals, quolls will sometimes bask in the sunshine, much like Tasmanian devils.

Females also grow a pouch where their young live for the first few months of life. Like wombats, their pouch opens toward the rear – only the spotted-tail quoll has a true pouch. Larger quolls live up to four to five years while smaller quolls have a lifespan of about two years.

There are four species of quoll native to Australia: the western quoll, eastern quoll, spotted-tail quoll and the northern quoll.

Listed as endangered, major conservation efforts are underway to help preserve quolls and reintroduce some species in the wild. Recently, conservation efforts have led to the successful birth of rare eastern quolls in the wild for the first time in half a century.

Where to See Quolls

Quolls are native to the eastern coast of Australia while eastern quolls are found only in Tasmania. You’re not very likely to see them in the wild outside of dedicated nature park refuges, so your best bet is to see them in wildlife parks and zoos.

Lyrebirds

It wouldn’t be surprising at all if lyrebirds are in fact robots in disguise. With incredible abilities to mimic chainsaws, camera shutters and toy guns, lyrebirds are easily one of Australia’s most impressive birds.

Some reports even swear to hearing lyrebirds mimic human speech.

Lyrebirds, found in the rainforests of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, pick up sounds from their surrounding environment. It’s able to recreate such fantastic sounds through the complex muscles of its syrinx. It takes up to one year for the lyrebird to hone its song, made up of calls from other birds. These vocalizations easily fool other birds, often responding to the lyrebird’s call.

And if such impressive tunes are not enough, male lyrebirds will display their gorgeous lyre-shaped plumes during courtship.

With such charming features, the lyrebird will surely win a mate.

There are two species of lyrebirds: the superb lyrebird and the Albert’s lyrebird, named after Prince Albert. As ground dwelling birds, they rarely take flight. Though the status of lyrebirds is “near threatened,” they are currently not an endangered species.

Where to See Lyrebirds

The lyrebirds at Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne love to show-off their songs to visitors. Spot wild lyrebirds in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, both just an hour away from Melbourne.

Want to See Australia’s Unique Wildlife?

Known for its array of fascinating native wildlife, a trip to Australia isn’t complete without at least petting a koala or kangaroo.

But once you step inside a wildlife park, you’ll discover so many more breathtaking Australian animals you might’ve not known existed.

If seeing Australia’s wildlife is a huge bucket list item for you, we know the best places for unforgettable wildlife experiences.