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You are here : home > Kidcentric > Learning > Animals and Birds - 3

Animals and Birds - 3

Increase your knowledge about the animal and bird kingdoms. Read on for answers to some basic questions.

The Kangaroo:

  • The kangaroo is a tame animal, found in Australia. 
  • Nature provided the female kangaroo with a pouch on her tummy, in which she carries her young ones. Convenient, isn't it? After about 6-8 months, the baby kangaroo leaves the mother. 
  • A smaller kangaroo is known as a wallaroo!
  • Though kangaroos have four legs, they only walk on two. That's right! Kangaroos walk, or rather, hop, standing up, like humans do. 
  • A kangaroo is about six feet tall, and has powerful hind legs which are much longer than the forelegs. Kangaroos can cover a distance of 8 meters in just one hop.
  • Kangaroos come in 5 species, red and grey being the most common. 
  • The lifespan of the average kangaroo is 8 years.

The Penguin:

  • The Penguin is not an animal; it is a bird - which is found around the South Pole, i.e. Antarctica. 
  • Since penguins are generally near water, they do not have wings but flippers, thus they cannot fly. They are a delight to watch as they waddle to the seafront.
  • The penguins' bodies are built to withstand extreme conditions. A thick layer of fat and a heavy feather cover keep them warm in the sub-normal temperatures of Antarctica.  
  • Penguins always walk around in groups. 
  • A group of penguins is called a rookery, and one rookery could contain as many as a million penguins! Now you know which animal is least likely to be lonely! 
  • There are nearly 10 species of penguins, and this differentiation is based on their sizes.  
  • Most penguins are black and white in colour.

The Rhinoceros:

  • The rhinoceros is a wild animal with one or two curved horns on its nose. Did you know that the horn of the rhino is actually made of hairs stuck together? 
  • The word 'rhinoceros' is derived from the Greek word 'rhino' which means nose and 'keros', which means horned. 
  • The rhinoceros, rhino for short, is found in Africa or South-East Asia. 
  • It has four very short and stout legs. Each foot has three hooves. 
  • The rhino also has a thick hide. 
  • There are only five different species of rhinos present today: three from Asia and two from Africa.
  • The nature of the rhino is ordinarily subdued, but if provoked, it can become extremely dangerous. It will then use its horn to strike and can badly maul the opponent. 
  • In the heat of the afternoon, rhinos normally take to the water and bury themselves in it for some relief. When they emerge, the muddy coating that envelops them as a result of lying in shallow waters serves as protection from insects.
  • The female rhino bears one offspring, which is born a year and a half after conception. It then stays with the mother for several years before becoming independent.
  • According to an ancient superstition, the horn of the rhino is considered extremely lucky. Therefore a rhino is a hunted animal. However, care is now being taken to preserve this endangered species.

The Crocodile:

  • Crocodiles are carnivorous reptiles with a long, narrow body, which is extremely heavy as it is covered with scales. 
  • They have huge jaws that can swallow up animals and even human beings whole. 
  • Crocodiles are waterborne creatures that usually live in or near the water, and they are found in the tropical areas of the world. 
  • Their nostrils and eyes are placed slightly above the rest of the head. Crocodiles thus usually swim close to the surface of the water, keeping their nostrils and eyes above water level. This enables them to breathe as well as be on the lookout for prey. Once a crocodile sights its prey, it glides soundlessly through the water and swoops down most unsuspectingly on its game.
  • Crocodiles have a long life; they live for a hundred years!
  • Crocodiles are in danger of becoming extinct. They are good game for hunters as their leather is used for coats, bags and shoes. Crocodile meat is considered a delicacy in some nations.

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