Return

Return in Swahili is Rudisha… and that’s what David Lekuta Rudisha, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion, world champion and world record holder in the 800 metres, did on Tuesday; he returned the 800 M Gold Medal home. See what I did there… 😉 :). I wrote this on Tuesday and thought it was fresh until I saw a similar statement in one of the local dailies yesterday :/. Oh well, Great minds think alike. 🙂

In the spirit of the current Olympic Games being held in Rio, try out this fun test to see what amazing Amazon animal athlete you are. I’m a jaguar, the all star. 

 

Squirrels

I once had a colleague who would play every hit song loudly, in the chipmunk version. So think of any hit song, then imagine Alvin and the Chipmunks singing it. At first, it was cute then, after a few weeks, it got tiring…. really tiring.I just had to let that out…:|

But aren’t squirrels adorable? With their little paws, large eyes and bushy tails… so so cute. Squirrels (Tree, Ground and Flying), Chipmunks, Marmots and Prairie Dogs are all part of the Sciuridae family.

Some interesting facts about them include:

  1. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa.
  2. There are over 250 species worldwide. The smallest being the African Pygmy at around 13cm and the largest being the Indian giant at 3 ft from head to toe.
  3. Females have a gestation period of 29 to 65 days depending on their size. Their kittens are born blind and rely on their mothers for 2-3 months.
  4. They have four front teeth that never stop growing; this is to ensure that they don’t wear out to stubs as they are constantly gnawing.
  5. Unlike Hammy in “Over the Hedge’, they are quite intelligent. In cold regions, they store nuts and seeds in preparation for winter. They also have fake burials to deceive potential thieves into thinking that they’ve stored their food there. The potential thieves then focus on the fake site allowing the squirrels to bury their stash elsewhere.
  6. They run in erratic paths to deceive potential predators
  7. Squirrels don’t dig up all of their buried nuts, which results in more trees… 😀 😀
    Scrat_Ice_Age
    Scrat

    Read more about these cuties here, here and here.

Glimfeather

The Silver Chair, the second last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis got me interested in Glimfeather’s species. Glimfeather is an owl. I’ve always found owls a bit creepy and cute. I know, weird combination… I mean they have lovely eyes but in many communities, they are a superstitious bird species because of their nocturnal activities. Here are 7 interesting facts about them. Some have been accompanied with excerpts (in italics) from the Silver Chair.

1.Owls are part of a group of birds called raptors. Raptors are birds of prey that feed and hunt insects, small mammals and other birds. Some owl species hunt fish.

The Owl snapped at something which Jill couldn’t see.

“Oh, don’t, please!” said Jill. “Don’t jerk like that. You nearly threw me off.”

“I beg your pardon,” said the Owl. “I was just nabbing a bat. There’s nothing so sustaining, in a small way, as a nice plump little bat. Shall I catch you one?”

“No, thanks,” said Jill with a shudder.

2.There are more than 100 owl species. See here.

3. Owls are nocturnal.

“You see,” explained Glimfeather, “most of the creatures in Narnia have such unnatural habits. They do things by day, in broad blazing sunlight (ugh!) when everyone ought to be asleep. And, as a result, at night they’re so blind and stupid that you can’t get a word out of them. So we owls have got into the habit of meeting at sensible hours, on our own, when we want to talk about things.

4. Owls have pretty unique eyes.

First, they have 3 eyelids to protect their eyes. A normal upper eyelid which closes when an owl blinks, a normal lower eyelid which closes up when the owl is asleep and a thin layer of tissue known as a nictitating membrane that closes diagonally to clean and protect the eye surface.

Second, they don’t really have eyeballs but instead have elongated tubes that are held in place by bony structures in the skull known as sclerotic rings. These eyes provide binocular vision which allows them to focus on their prey and increases depth perception. So owls can only look straight ahead. They cannot move their eyes.

However…their necks make up for this…

5. Owls can rotate their necks up to 270 degrees in either direction! A blood-pooling system collects blood to power their brains and eyes when neck movement cuts off circulation.

6. Many owl species have asymmetrical ears. When located at different heights on the owl’s head, their ears are able to pinpoint the location of sounds in multiple dimensions

And finally:

7. A group of owls is called a parliament of owls.

“Now,” said Glimfeather, “I think we’re all here. Let us hold a parliament of owls.”

Have a hoot 😀 reading more about owls here, here and here.

Just Imagine

Studies show that the sex of turtles is determined by the temperature of the eggs during a certain period of development. With rising global temperatures, there is a concern that male turtles will become rare.

surprised

Just Imagine!

Just Imagine

10 interesting facts about the African elephant (Loxodonta Africana):

i.   Is the largest land mammal

ii.  Has a gestation period of 22 months #respect

iii. Gives birth once every 5 years

iv.  Can’t jump 🙂

v.   Has poor eyesight

vi.  The trunk which is a combination of the upper lip and nose is used for smelling, breathing, detecting vibrations, caressing their young, sucking up water, and grasping objects.

vii. The tusks, are modified incisor teeth used for digging, foraging, and fighting. They are present at birth then fall off after one year to be replaced by permanent ones. AND prefer one tusk over the other…so could be right-tusked or left- tusked 😀

viii. Compassionate: Care for the wounded and grieve their dead.

ix. Have a developed sense of memory. They remember loved ones, hold grudges and recognize long-lost friends.

And finally,

x.Elephant herds are led by a matriach. Girl power! The males leave the group as soon as they hit puberty.

surprised

Just Imagine!

 

For more information on the African elephant, visit: The Animal Fact Guide