The Wild Pig That Never Was

What animal sweats pink,

...has skin that cracks easily in the sun,

...only comes out at night,

...and is only 30 inches tall?


Does this Fur Make Me Look Fat?

The answer is... um... yeah.  You look fat, kitty.  

But that's not your fault.  You have the heaviest coat of any cat, because you live in some of the coldest places on earth; Mongolia and Siberia.  Brrrrr.

In Mongolia temperatures can fall to -57 degrees and kill millions of livestock animals.

But cold doesn't kill Pallas' cat.

Photo credit: Terry Whittaker

Though the size of a house cat, this cat is made for winter.  It is stocky, small-eared, and fuzzy.  And its tail is thick enough to be a muff, sheltering its face from the icy blasts.

So what does the Pallas' cat find to eat out in those snowy wastelands?

But it's a bit strange-looking.  I mean, check out this picture below... there's a little bit of monkey in that face, don't you think?

Can you pinpoint why it doesn't look quite like a cat?

Let's compare face to face: 

  • The ears are small, roundish, and way low on its head
  • And check out the eyes...the Pallas' cat's pupils are round, not slits like in a regular cat.  
  • And where's that cute little line that goes from the nose down to the mouth?  

Want to see Pallas' cats in action?

They don't make good pets...think of the vacuuming!  But check out exotic cats that do make good pets here.


The Mane Thing About Lions...

Photograph by Natalie Manuel

The King of the Jungle...the lion.  

Surveys tell us that most people, though they have trouble naming many other animals shown to them, can identify a male lion.

That's a relief!

There are eight types of lion, most of which live in Africa. 

Asiatic lions, like the ones pictured below, live in the Gir Forest in India:

Most lions are varying shades of color, but there are some white lions living wild in Tambavati. 

White lions are not albino, but leucistic; their normal tan coat color is suppressed with the chinchilla gene, but their eyes are gold-brown, not red like a true albino's.

And that big lion mane? Lions are the only big cats where it's easy to tell the males from the females.  

Except in Tsavo, where the Maneless lions live.  
Did you know that some maneless lions are man-eaters? Check those out those bad boys here.

As for lions WITH manes, let's take a look at the different colors their manes can be: 

Can female lions grow manes, you ask? 

Well, it's rare, but they can! Look at this couple in Botswana:

You can read more about this crazy pride of lions here:

Got something to say about this?  Leave me a comment!


Strange Cattle You Never Knew Existed

You see them by country roads; in dairies and grazing in the fields.  They all look the same.

They're just COWS

But I bet you haven't seen some of the hardiest, strangest cattle in the world.

Let's take a look:

Cattle in Africa have to be sturdy and heat-resistant. 

And give milk as well as meat. The Ankole Watusi fills the bill perfectly.
I love Longhorns!  Did you know that there are English longhorns as well as Texas ones like the above? Below is an English longhorn:

Record holder for the longest horns in the world?   

Poncho Via, a Texas Longhorn in Alabama, currently has horns 10 feet, 7 inches...and they'll just keep getting longer! 

Then there's the very shaggy Highland cow, below, which can now be found in Australia as well as in other climates much colder than Scotland.
Above, the Schwarzenegger of all cattle, the Belgian Blue! It has double the muscle of other breeds.  Belgian Blues weigh one ton... about 700 pounds more than most other breeds.

Thought to be descended from the extinct Aurochs, the Zebu, above, is essential in tropical countries for meat, milk, and as a draft animal. Zebu makes me think of the Veggie Tales song :)

Mini-cattle?  Actually, these little guys are much cheaper and easier to raise than the big ones... kind of makes you want to put one or two in your backyard, doesn't it?

So which of all these amazing cattle is your favorite?  

Me? I kind of lean toward the Belgian Blue... always hoping, of course, that he won't lean back! :)


Rhinos Only Live in Africa, Right?

Did you know there are rhinoceros that don't live in Africa?

The Black rhino and the White rhino, the ones we are most familiar with, live in Africa.
White rhinos have square lips for eating grass, and Black rhinos have hooked lips for grabbing branches, bushes, and fruits. 

Can you guess which one is being fed at the top of the post? :)

But the island rhinos live in Java and Sumatra...islands in Indonesia!

And there's the Indian rhino, who lives in...India :)

If you're like me, you want to see how big are all these rhinos are, so..

...I've made an image, below, that shows you how big each type of rhino is compared to a six-foot tall man!
These are some big beasts, aren't they?

Want to learn more about rhinos? Go here:


What Do Lobsters and Rainbows Have In Common?

What's huge, rare, and has a shell of many colors?


You weren't expecting that, were you?

Because lobsters

Image result for lobster white background

Not if they're Giant Rainbow Lobsters!  Take a look!


Lions Who Are Man-Eaters

In certain areas, male lions delay growing manes until they are much older than other lions. These are known as maneless lions.

And strangely enough, three of the most notorious man-eating lions were maneless!

The largest man eating lion on record, the Man-Eater of Mfuwe, measured 5 feet from floor to shoulder and 10 feet 6 inches long. He was a maneless lion. 

This lion killed six people in two months. It was shot in 1991 in Zambia.

Most famous, though, are the Ghosts of Tsavo. During a nine-month period in 1898, two maneless male lions, thought to be brothers, killed between 35 and 145 men who were building a railroad in Tsavo, Kenya. 
These three famous man-eaters are on display in The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Maneless lions have been reported in Senegal and in Tsavo, Kenya. The first ever white liondiscovered in Timbavati, was also maneless

Pretty cool!

For more information on these man-eaters, go here.

For a good theory on why some lions become man-eaters, go here

For more information about maneless lions, go here: How Stuff Works.