Sunday, October 28, 2012

23-Fact Tuesdays: The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch!

Remember 23-Fact Tuesdays?  Not very surprising if you don't, since there was only one and it took place a few weeks ago.  But we are going to do one again (despite the fact that today is Sunday) and this time, all of the facts are going to be drawn from the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch (NBWR for short!)Adventure Guide Book!  If you recall, the Wildlife Ranch was the place that I talked about in our Animal Spotlight featuring the Aurochs a few weeks ago, where you drive through this large area and the animals will come up to your car!  Pretty neat, huh!?  And most of the pictures that I upload for this blog post will actually be ones that we took down there!  So, as Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus says, "Seat belts, everyone!"  Let's do this thing.

1.  The African bongo, a type of antelope, has a prehensile tongue that it uses to grab vegetation, much like a giraffe.

2. The "Critically Endangered" addax from the Sahara Desert has flat and broad hooves, which help to keep the animal from sinking into the sand.
A picture of an addax that I took while in Palm Desert, California, at the excellent zoo called "The Living Desert"

3.  The addax also is very lightly colored, which helps to reflect heat away from the animal, keeping it cool.

4.  The South American rhea can run up to 40 m.p.h.
A picture of the rhea that my mother took at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch on our visit in 2008.  The rhea is one of the ratites, like the ostrich and the emu, amongst others.
5.  The Patagonian cavy is the second-largest rodent in the world, second only to the capybara.

6.  The Watusi is the largest horned animal in the world, and its horns can be six feet across when fully grown.
A picture of a Watusi, with a calf, that my mother took when we visited the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in 2008
7.  The African springbok pronks, meaning that it jumps with all four feet off the ground.  Typically, when an animal pronks, it is either during pursuit by a predator, or simply during play.  During pronking, the springbok can jump ten feet in the air.
A small group of springbok at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in 2011
8.  The scimitar-horned oryx is labeled "Extinct in the Wild" by the IUCN, hunted to extinction in the wild for their horns, which the animal would sometimes use to spear predators to death.
9.  The gemsbok was kept in large, semi-domesticated numbers in ancient Egypt, where they were killed for sacrificial purposes.
10.  The Indian barasingha "has the unique ability to submerge their heads in water while closing their nasal passages," which "allows them to take advantage of vegetation in the swampy areas of their homeland."

11.  The name "wildebeest" came from the Dutch settlers who settles in South Africa.  It means (can you guess?) "wild beast."
12.  The nilgai, or the bluebull, is the largest of the Asian antelope.

13.  The "Near Threatened" white rhinoceros is the largest of all of the rhinoceros species, and the second largest land mammal, second only to the African elephant.

14.  The white rhino will wallow in mud to cool off, as well as to help protect their skin.

15.   The name "rhinoceros" comes from the Greek words "rhino" (which means nose) and "ceros" (which means horn).  Think about the name Triceratops real fast: tri=three, tops=face, so then cera (like "ceros") = horn!

16.  The "Critically Endangered" bactrian camel, the larger of the two camel species, can go several days without no water, spit when agitated, and can survive extreme temperature swings, from -20 degrees F, all of the way to 100 degrees F!
A picture of the bactrian camel that I took at the Denver Zoo when I went there with my friends Masaki Kleinkopf and Brynn Conroy in April of 2012
17.  The ostrich is not only the largest of all of the birds, but it is also the only bird to have two toes.
This picture of ostriches stalking our car looks like something out of Jurassic Park
An ostrich accosting my sister for food at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in 2011
18.  The blackbuck, native to India and Pakistan, is a "Near Threatened" species.  According to the guidebook, there are more blackbuck in Texas than there are in India and Pakistan.

19.  The gait of the giraffe is unique amongst quadrupeds.  As they walk, they swing both of their feet on one side of their body at the same time.
A picture of one of the giraffes from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo from my visit a few weeks ago
20.  Giraffes eat around 75 lbs. of food a day, and can drink around 10 gallons of water in one standing!

21.  The heart of the giraffe can pump up to 20 gallons of blood per minute.

22.  There are two sub-species of sika (type of deer).  The Formosan sika, which inhabits Siberia, and the Japanese sika, native to Japan and Korea.
A picture of a Japanese sika that I took in 2011 at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
 23.  The North American elk is frequently referred to as the "Wapiti."  Wapiti is actually the Native American term that refers to the white patch of hair on the rear of the animal.
A picture of a small herd of elk that my mother took in 2006 at Yellowstone National Park

1 comment:

  1. Hi Zack,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about things to do in Palm Desert to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)


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