This new blog has tons of free coloring books for kids. AWESOME!!!
DINOLINGO Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans in the whole animal kingdom! They live in different parts of Africa, but they are spread all around the world in zoos, as pets, and even as test patients for scientists. Because of how closely chimpanzees are related to people, they have a lot of similarities to us! One of most interesting similarities is chimpanzees’ ability to feel emotions. Chimpanzees also communicate in ways that are a lot like how we communicate, and they have the ability to use memory a lot like how we use memory! Maybe one of the most interesting similarities between chimpanzees and humans is their ability to laugh. You might not know this, but besides humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans are the only animals who laugh. While chimpanzee males can be very aggressive, chimps are usually nice animals who are happy to be around people. They eat everything from plants to nuts to fruit to meat, and they can live past the age of 40 in the wild and as old as 60 in captivity!
DINOLINGO It seems like dolphins are some of the most popular animals in the world, and it’s no wonder why! In addition to being really, really cute, dolphins are extremely smart, and they are extremely friendly. For centuries, there have been stories at sea about dolphins helping to save drowning sailors, or about dolphins protecting people from sharks, but these are not just stories at all! Dolphins have a lot of human characteristics, and one of these characteristics is that they like to take care of others who are hurt, sick, or in danger. Not only have dolphins been known to help humans or other dolphins that need help, but they have also been known to help other ocean-dwellers! Dolphins have a whole bunch of other human characteristics too. One of these is that dolphins love to play. Also, dolphins communicate through speech! Dolphins live in communities called pods, and they use group hunting to catch fish. Even though dolphins are mostly friendly, they are strong enough that they do not have any major enemies in the sea. Some of the smaller dolphins can be in danger from some of the bigger sharks, but for the most part dolphins are able to take care of themselves!
DINOLINGO Of all the scary, mysterious animals in the world, sharks are right up there near the top! Sharks are the greatest predators in the ocean, and they are one of the animals that people fear the most. This fear for sharks comes from the shark attacks people hear about, and from movies where sharks are made to look very scary. Actually, though, sharks are not as dangerous as most people think! Of course, you probably don’t want to dive in the ocean and try to become best friends with a shark, but most shark attacks only happen when a shark mistakes a person for something they are not (like a seal!). There are only three types of sharks that are known to attack people for no reason, and these are the tiger shark, the great white shark, and the bull shark. Most other sharks have no interest in people, and they pose hardly any risk to us at all! The most distinguishing characteristic of sharks is their teeth, which are sharp and plentiful! Sharks replace their teeth all the time during their life, as old ones fall out and new ones move forward. This system helps the sharks remain active as hunters, and keeps them among the most feared predators in all the world!
DINOLINGO If you look at a zebra and take away the stripes, you will notice that a zebra is a whole lot like a horse. In fact, zebras are very closely related to horses and donkeys. Of course, the stripes are one of the main differences between zebras and their relatives! Another difference is the fact that zebras are the only one of these three animals to never have been domesticated (which is when people take an animal out of the wild and make it tame). Zebras have excellent eyesight and excellent hearing, and both of these are very useful, because zebras live in the plains of Africa where they are one of the lion’s main sources of food. The zebra’s stripes also help to keep it safe, because these stripes help to camouflage the zebra. Some scientists also think that zebras are able to recognize each other by their stripes, because each zebra’s stripes are different. That would be pretty cool! For a long time, people thought that zebras are white animals with black stripes, but now the thought is the opposite, that zebras are black animals with white stripes. They sure spend a lot of time studying zebra stripes, don’t they! That’s probably because the stripes are what make zebras some of the coolest looking animals in the world.
DINOLINGO If you want to talk about body armor, look no further than the rhinoceros! The rhino is covered in thick armor that protects it from predators, and it has a horn above the nose that makes it easy to spot! The rhino horn is made out of keratin, which is the same our hair and fingernails! While the horn is a really cool look for this animal, it has also caused the rhino some problems. Poaching (which is when hunters kill a wild animal to make money) has put the rhino population in danger, and even though countries have passed laws to try and protect the rhino, a lot of people still hunt them because they can make a lot of money off of the rhinoceros horn. Rhinos live in parts of Africa and Asia, and even though they look tough, they are usually happy to get along with one another. They have very bad eyesight, and since there are not any “rhino glasses” available, rhinos rely on their really good senses of smell and hearing. Rhinos are plant eaters, and their big size and protective armor make them safe from most predators. The biggest threat to rhinos is humans, and hopefully the laws against rhino hunting will keep them safe once again!
DINOLINGO Orangutans are very easy to spot because of the reddish-brown hair that covers their bodies, but if you want to spot them in the wild you’ll have to go a long way from home, because orangutans only live in Asia! The name “orangutan” means “man of the forest,” and this is a great description of what orangutans are. While orangutans join chimpanzees and gorillas as the smartest of all animals (and as the closest relatives to people!), orangutans are different from these other two animals in that they mostly like to live alone. They spend most of their time looking for food, and most of this food is fruit. In fact, more than half of the orangutan’s diet is fruit! The rest of the time, they eat things like insects, leaves, and tree bark. (No wonder they usually stick with fruit!) Scientists have found that orangutans are able to learn sign language to communicate with people, and they are usually very friendly. Orangutans might not be human, but they’re about as close as animals get!
DINOLINGO Lions are called the kings of the animal kingdom, and one good look at an adult male lion gives you a really good idea of why lions have this nickname. Lions are the tallest of all the big cats, and they are some of the most powerful animals in the world! While lions used to live all over Africa and in large parts of Asia, they now live in only small areas in Africa. Scientists do not know all the reasons for this scary drop in lion numbers, but zoos around the world are helping to raise and protect lions so that their numbers can grow strong again. Lions usually live in a group, which is called a pride, and most prides have one or two male lions and several female lions. Male lions are the only ones who have a mane (the long hair around the head that makes lions so easy to recognize), but don’t start thinking that this means the female lions are not important! Female lions do most of the hunting for a pride, and they usually hunt in groups and work together. The lion pride is a real team effort, and this is probably one of the reasons why lions are respected so much.
DINOLINGO If someone asked you what the largest big cat is, you would probably say the lion. But actually, the tiger is the largest of the big cats! The tiger is one of the most respected animals in the world, and it is also one of the most powerful. While tigers used to live all over Asia, their numbers have shrunk because of people building new towns, and because of people hunting tigers. In the wild, tigers can live 10-15 years, and they mostly like to live and hunt alone. Tigers are in extreme danger of becoming extinct in the wild, but many zoos are working to keep tigers alive, and also some people have tigers as pets!
DINOLINGO Gorillas are the largest of all living primates (which is the family of animals that includes monkeys and apes). Just how big are gorillas? Male gorillas can grow as big as a full-grown adult, and they can weigh a whole lot more! That’s not the only thing gorillas have in common with people, either. In fact, besides chimpanzees, gorillas are the closest relatives to humans out there. Gorillas even have fingerprints, just like us! In the wild, gorillas live about 30 to 50 years, and they eat fruits, leaves, and other sorts of plants. They are some of the smartest animals in the world, and unlike other animals they even have the ability to feel the emotions that people feel, and they can think about their past and their future. Some gorillas have even been able to learn sign language and communicate with people. How neat is that! Gorillas live in just a few very small areas in Africa, and they are in danger of becoming extinct. We can only hope that people do their part to keep gorillas around, and that way we can keep watching these really amazing animals.