If you visit Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC, you may notice one of the zoo’s resident elephants, Shanthi, strolling around in stylish Teva boots. While the footwear makes the 9,000-pound pachyderm stand out among her peers, its primary purpose is to provide the 41-year-old relief from the side effects of arthritis, a chronic condition that causes painful inflammation and stiffness of joints.
Kids News - Animals Articles
In August, a team of Mongolian and Japanese researchers unearthed the world’s largest dinosaur footprint in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. The print that measured 3.6-feet long and 6.4-feet wide, is believed to be that of the titanosaur, a diverse species of sauropod dinosaurs that inhabited Earth during the Cretaceous period, between 70 and 90 million years ago.
Mourning the loss of a loved one was initially thought to be just a human characteristic. However, over the years, experts have observed similar behavior in terrestrial social animals like gorillas and elephants. In one case, a herd of wild elephants spent hours trying to lift the body of their dead matriarch. After accepting her death, the elephants covered the body with leaves and tree branches and kept vigil for two days before finally dispersing. Now, scientists have discovered that even whales undergo tremendous sorrow when they lose an offspring or companion.
The great frigatebird, a species of seabird found across the world’s tropical seas, has a 7 foot wingspan — the largest of any bird species its size. Past research had indicated that these adept pilots could stay aloft as long as a week at a time. It turns out, that the experts and even Christopher Columbus, who noticed the birds on his 1492 voyage to the Americas — and remarked “does not alight on the sea nor depart from land 20 leagues (70 miles)” — had vastly underestimated the magnificent bird’s flying prowess and smarts!
Like most bees, the ground nesting Anthophora squammulosa, that are native to parts of North and Central America, are a solitary species. The females lay their eggs in little underground nests and then head out to search for nectar to feed their developing larvae. This process usually takes place in environments with plenty of flora, to ensure a reliable supply of food.
Three-year-old Bailey suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a medical condition that affects the spinal cord’s motor nerve cells. As a result, she is unable to sit, stand, crawl, or walk on her own. She also can’t swallow food efficiently or breathe without the help of a machine. But thanks to Surf Dog Ricochet (and some human volunteers), Bailey and a few other kids suffering from SMA recently did what most children their age only dream of — go surfing!
Any member of the five species of the Prasinohaema (Greek: “green blood”) skinks that that live on the island of New Guinea in the South West Pacific, would have been a shoo-in for J.K. Rowling’s wildly imaginative Harry Potter book series. That’s because besides being the only known land vertebrates to have “vivid lime green” blood, the reptiles also sport green bones, green muscles, and even a green tongue!