Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) – Western China. The adorable black and white Giant Panda is easily
recognizable. They have a black patch around their eyes and are rather near-sighted. Their ears are black and rather rounded,
standing erect. They have a highly developed sense of hearing. The Panda has a large head with big cheeks do to the jaw
muscles that are able to crunch their main food of bamboo. The front paws have a thumb-like pad which helps them hold bamboo stalks
along with five claw-tipped “fingers”.
Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) – Alaska, North Canada, Greenland, North Europe and North Asia. The Arctic Fox is almost pure white in the
winter. The coat is extremely thick to handle the cold climate. The paws have a padding of fur on them to help the fox to
walk on the ice and thick snow. The fluffy tail is used to curl around the face and body when the cold winds blow. The Arctic Fox
will sometimes follow a polar bear to grab what food they have left behind. They have a second phase of gray or brown fur when the warm
summer weather comes.
Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi) – South Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and North Kenya. This long-legged Zebra is the largest of the Zebra
species. The stripes are narrow and more evenly distributed than other Zebras. The stripes goes all the way to the hooves. The
belly is white without stripes. The mane stands erect and has black and white stripes. The ears are large and furry. The Grevy’s
Zebra live in social groups without any fixed hierarchy. The females have a long gestation period of about 400 days. The females alone
take care of the young.
White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) – North, East and South Africa. The White Rhinoceros is the largest of the
Rhinoceros. The thick gray hide has few wrinkles. The head is long and the upper lip is square and the horns are long and thin,
having the front horn longer. The horns are made of matted keratin instead of bone. There is a identifiable hump on the nape of the
neck. The ears are long and broad.
Bennett’s Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) – Australia. The Bennett’s Wallaby is a marsupial as all Wallabies are. The word marsupial
means pouch. The gestation period is about 30 days. After the birth of a baby, called a Joey, the underdeveloped tiny baby craws into
the mothers pouch, attach to the mothers nipple, where the joey continues growing for a few months. The Bennet’s Wallaby has good hearing and a good sense of smell. The ears are large and help them with heat dispersal. Their tail is tapered and is used for balance. The
average height is 2.5 to 3 feet. The average weight is 30 to 50 lbs.
Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) – Arctic in North America, Greenland, Norway and Russia. Compared to other bears, the Polar
Bear has a slender body with a smallish head and a relatively long neck. The back of the Polar Bear slopes forward because of the
hind legs that are longer than the front legs.
The Polar Bear is an excellent swimmer. They spend a lot of the time in water, paddling with only her front paws. The
female stays in a den dug out of ice on land. She will give birth in the den and not emerge until sometime in April.
The Polar Bear Cubs are very small, weighing only about 2 lbs. at birth and are blind. With the mother’s good milk, they
grow rapidly, staying in the den until they weigh at least 20 lbs before emerging out into the world.
Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardis tippelskirchi) – The African savannahs of Kenya and Tanzania in Eastern Africa. One of
the distinct differences between the Masai and the reticulated giraffes are: The Masai Giraffe has patches that are jagged, where the
reticulated giraffes have smoother edges to their patches. The female’s gestation (pregnancy) period is around 15 months. The mother will give birth standing up. The baby is about 6 feet tall at birth and can stand and walk within hours of their birth. When threatened, the mother giraffe will use her powerful long legs to kick a blow.
Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) – East and South, sub-Saharan Africa. The Hippopotamus is graceful while gliding
through the water. During the day they like to stay in the mud or water. At night they come out of the water to feed on
land. At Sundown they emerge out of the water to feed on grasses near by. The hippo graba the grass with their lips,
then swinging their head back and forth, which tears off the grass at the roots. The two large canine teeth in the lower jaw can usually
be seen on the side of their 2 foot wide mouth. These canines grow to 20 inches long and keep growing throughout their life.
The ears, eyes and nostrils of the Hippopotamus are on top of his huge head to hear, see and breath on the surface while the body
is submerged under the water. While swimming, the front legs are tucked under their bodies. The back legs do the
kicking. Baby Hippos are usually born underwater and come up for air right away. They only weight about 100 lbs. when born.
Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) – Coastal plain of South Australia. The Wombat is a stocky
marsupial. They are burrowers, digging complex tunnels as shelter from the heat of the day. These tunnels have several sections and
together are called a warren. The flattened claws are perfect for burrowing. Being nocturnal, they graze at night on
grasses, herbs and underground roots and tubers. The Wombat gives birth to one Joey. They crawl into the pouch and attach to the
mother’s nipple, getting nourishment from the mother’s milk. After eight or nine months, the Joey will emerge out of the pouch.