Lions are the only big cats that live in social groups known as prides. A pride typically consists of related females, their cubs, and a few adult males. There are two recognised lion subspecies of lion found in the wild. The African lion (Panthera leo leo) is found in Africa, south of the Sahara desert. The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) exists in one small population around Gir Forest National Park in western India.
Lions live in grasslands and savannas, not dense forests.
Male lions can weigh up to 190kg and females weigh 126kg.
Lions mostly hunt at night as their eyes have adapted to the dark and this gives them a huge advantage over their prey.
Male lions are distinguishable by their impressive manes, which serves as a visual indicator of their health and dominance. The darker and fuller the mane, the more attractive they are to potential mates.
Female lions are the primary hunters in the pride. They work together to coordinate and execute hunting strategies, making them highly effective predators.
Lions are known to be quite lazy and sleep for an average of 16 to 20 hours a day, conserving energy for hunting during the cooler hours of the day.
Lions are incredibly fast runners. They can reach a speed of up to 80 km/h for short distances.
Lions are very vocal creatures and communicate through various sounds, including roars, grunts, growls, and meows. Roaring is a distinct feature of male lions, which can be heard up to 8 km away.
Lion cubs are blind at the time of their birth. They rely on their mothers for protection and nourishment. They are usually hidden in dense vegetation for the first few weeks of their lives.
Lions are highly territorial animals, and prides fiercely defend their territories from other prides or intruders. Males from outside prides may challenge the resident males for control of the pride.
Conservation Status: Lions are considered vulnerable and face threats such as habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching. Conservation efforts are essential to protect these magnificent creatures.
Every year, on May 23rd, turtle enthusiasts and people concerned with the conservation of turtles around the world come together to celebrate World Turtle Day. World Turtle Day aims to raise awareness about the incredible turtles, the need for their conservation, and the importance of preserving their natural habitats.
From its fascinating history to engaging activities and inspiring themes, World Turtle Day brings people of all ages together to appreciate and protect these ancient creatures. Just like many other reptiles, the importance of turtles is majorly under rated in our ecosystem and the work done by their presence leaves no room for error in our biodiversity and ecosystem.
It is estimated that there are nearly 356 different species of turtles, however all these species are categorised broadly into three different categories, the marine turtles, the terrestrial or land turtles and the freshwater turtles. The species of turtles are categorised mainly upon their habitat.
As depicted in their name, marine turtles are the turtles who live in the sea and water, they only come towards the shore for nesting. On the other hand, land turtles are accustomed to the land, forests, grasslands, etc and do not go near the water unless they are thirsty.
Sea turtles have flippers, and can’t retract into their shells. Whereas, land turtles live on land, have legs, and can retract into their shells.
World Turtle Day was first celebrated in 2000. It was initiated by the American Tortoise Rescue (“ATR”), is a non profit organisation which dedicates itself to turtle and tortoise conservation. ATR was created by Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson. They organise charity drives and actively work to spread awareness for the critical conditions of these shelled reptiles.
World Turtle Day Theme 2023
Every year, a unique theme is given to signify and highlight a specific aspect of turtle conservation and to celebrate World Turtle Day. It encourages individuals and communities to take action and make positive changes to protect these charismatic creatures and their environments.
The theme for World Turtle Day 2023 is “I love Turtles.” This theme aims to raise awareness about the importance of protecting turtles amidst their habitat crisis and the fact that their conservation is more important than ever. It aims to create awareness about the urgency required in protecting turtles. The ATR will celebrate world turtle day this year as well and will lay stress over the well being and safeguarding of turtles.
Engaging Activities for World Turtle Day.
Celebrating the World Turtle Day is not just about raising awareness with regards to turtle conservation but also about engaging in fun and educational activities. Here are some exciting ideas to celebrate this day:
Organise a Beach Clean-up: This not only helps clean the habitat and environment clean but also saves the lives of many turtles who might mistake plastic debris for food, leading to tragic consequences. Gathering a group of volunteers and cleaning up a local beach or shoreline is a great way of celebrating the day. By removing harmful pollutants, you can create a safer environment for turtles and other marine life.
Create Turtle Art: Creativity has a place everywhere and here in the conservation of turtles, unleashing your creativity and expressing your love for turtles through art is. great means of celebrating world turtle day. Paint, draw, or craft turtle-themed art and creatives and share them with your friends and family. You can also organise an art exhibition or contest to raise funds for turtle conservation organisations. This helps in the conservation and understanding the importance of conservation of turtles.
Attend anEducational Session: Organising or attending educational sessions or workshops in schools can be a very innovative and informative way of celebrating the day. Hosting or attending a meet at a local community centre, or online platforms to teach others about turtle conservation. Sharing fascinating facts, discussing the challenges faced by turtles, and providing practical tips on how everyone can contribute to their protection.
Joining Conservation Efforts: Reach out to your local organisations or even all around the globe organisations through online means who are involved in turtle conservation and inquire about volunteer opportunities. Be a part of their drive to make the habitat and world for turtles a slightly better place. Assist with rescue efforts, participate in habitat restoration projects, or engage in scientific research to contribute directly to the preservation of turtles.
Spread awareness: Utilise social media platforms, blogs, and other communication channels to raise awareness about World Turtle Day. Share arresting and captivating stories regarding turtles, maybe something you knew but others did not and that made them realise the importance of the cause. Encourage others to join the cause and take action.
Why Celebrate World Turtle Day?
World Turtle Day is a very important day due to several reasons:
Awareness: By celebrating World Turtle Day, there is promotion of awareness about the challenges turtles face, including habitat destruction, pollution, and illegal wildlife trade. It educates and encourages people to understand the importance of conservation and the role they can play in protecting the turtles.
Preservation: Turtles are a very essential part of our ecosystems, they contribute to our biodiversity’s survival and maintaining the delicate balance of nature. By celebrating World Turtle Day, we acknowledge their immensely important role in the preservation of our biodiversity and ecosystem, and we make sure that we are aware enough people to make a change to preserve turtles and their natural habitats.
Responsible Practices: World Turtle Day advocates for responsible practices towards turtles, such as responsible pet ownership and refusing to buy turtles from someone who uses malpractices against them, sustainable fishing methods, and reducing plastic pollution. It encourages individuals and communities to adopt eco-friendly lifestyles and make conscious choices that benefit turtles and their habitats.
Interesting Facts About The Marine Turtles
There are seven species of marine or sea turtles. Six of them are threatened or endangered.
A hatchling’s gender depends on the temperature of the nest. Hotter temperatures produce more females while more males emerge from cooler temperatures.
Their shells are made up of over 50 bones fused together. They literally wear their bones on the outside. Turtle bones are light and spongy, which helps them float.
The largest sea turtle species is the leatherback turtle.
The Kemp’s ridley can weigh up-to 40kg, whereas a leatherback can weigh around 500kg.
Sea turtles can hold their breath underwater for a very long time. Some sea turtle species can hold their breath underwater for up to five hours!
Unlike a land turtle, a sea turtle cannot retract its limbs, head or neck under its shell.
Sea turtles play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem of the ocean, by grazing on seagrass beds they maintain productive coral reefs and they also transport essential nutrients from oceans to beaches.
In conclusion, with the modern day amidst us and most of the animals and remarkable reptiles under the serious threat of endangerment and extinction, it becomes more important than ever that we celebrate World Turtle Day and learn as much as possible about the importance of turtles and how to protect them and their habitat. They are an essential part of our ecosystem and biodiversity and their protection is our duty.
Tiger is the largest wild cat in the world. Presently, there are five different subspecies of tigers namely the Royal Bengal Tiger, Sumatran Tiger, Siberian Tiger, South China Tiger, and Indochinese Tiger. Three subspecies of tigers are already extinct. The extinct subspecies are Balinese, Caspian, and Javanese subspecies. These are just some of the interesting facts about tigers.
Tigers are fascinating creatures, renowned for their beauty, strength, and agility. As the largest wild cat species, they captivate our imagination with their majestic presence.
Here are some interesting facts about tigers:
Size and Appearance:
Tigers are the largest members of the cat family (Felidae). They can grow up to 11 feet (3.3 meters) in length, excluding the tail, which can add another 3 to 4 feet (1 meter). Adult tigers can weigh between 220 to 660 pounds (100 to 300 kilograms). Their iconic orange fur with black stripes provides excellent camouflage in their natural habitats.
There are currently six recognized tiger subspecies: Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger, Sumatran tiger, Malayan tiger, Indochinese tiger, and South China tiger. Each subspecies has its unique characteristics and is adapted to specific regions across Asia.
Habitat and Distribution:
Tigers inhabit a diverse range of habitats, including dense forests, mangrove swamps, grasslands, and even high-altitude regions. Historically, tigers ranged from eastern Turkey to the Russian Far East and as far south as the Indonesian island of Bali. Today, they are mainly found in isolated pockets across Asia.
Hunting and Diet:
Tigers are carnivores and apex predators, primarily feeding on large ungulates such as deer, wild boar, and buffalo. They are solitary hunters and can take down prey that outweighs them. A tiger can consume up to 88 pounds (40 kilograms) of meat in one sitting and may go several days without eating.
Strength and Abilities:
Tigers possess incredible strength and agility. They are capable of leaping distances of over 30 feet (9 meters) and can swim up to 3 miles (5 kilometers) at a time. Their muscular bodies allow them to overpower prey, and they have a strong bite force that can crush bones.
Tigers use vocalizations, body language, and scent markings to communicate with each other. Roaring is a prominent vocalization, which can be heard over long distances. Other sounds include growls, hisses, and chuffing noises.
Tigers are listed as endangered species due to poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict. Their population has significantly declined over the past century. Conservation efforts focus on protecting their habitats, combating poaching, and promoting sustainable coexistence between tigers and local communities.
Tigers hold cultural and symbolic significance in many societies. They are considered national animals in several countries, including India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Tigers feature prominently in folklore, mythology, and art, often representing power, courage, and nobility.
Conservation Success Stories:
Despite the challenges, conservation efforts have shown positive outcomes in certain regions. For instance, the population of the Siberian tiger (also known as Amur tiger) has increased in recent years due to conservation measures in Russia.
Importance for Ecosystems:
Tigers play a vital role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. As apex predators, they help regulate prey populations, which in turn affects vegetation and other wildlife. Protecting tiger habitats also benefits a wide range of other species.
Facts about Tigers.
Where Are They Found?
Royal Bengal Tiger
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal.
Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Russia’s birch forests and some exist in China and North Korea
Tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia.
South China Tiger
Tropical rain forests and evergreen broad-leaved forests in southern China.
Characteristics of Tigers.
These apex predators can kill prey of all sizes, even rats and baby elephants. Tigers live far apart from one another. Based on the trees around, a tiger can determine if it is in another tiger’s territory. Each tiger uses urine and unique scratches to mark the trees in its territory.
Male – Tiger
Female – Tigress
Young Ones – Cub, Whelp
Sound – Roar, Growl
Average Lifespan – Wild: 8-10 years, Captivity: 20-25 years
1. India has the largest population of wild tigers. You can easily spot tigers in these wildlife sanctuaries-
A) Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan.
B) Sunderban Tiger Reserve, West Bengal.
C) Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh.
D) Sariska Tiger Reserve – 200 km from Delhi.
E) Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh.
2. Tigers are solitary animals and live in their marked territories.
3. Each tiger has unique stripes. No two tigers will have the same stripes. Tiger stripes are also found on their skin. The stripes help them camouflage during the day.
4.Tigers can grunt, growl, roar, moan, snarl, chuff, hiss and gasp. Each vocalisation is used to communicate different things.
5. Tigers are good swimmers. They like water and often cool off in pools or streams.
6. A group of tigers is called ‘ambush’ or ‘streak’.
7. One of the most shocking facts about tigers is that they’re known for sharing their hunts. If they land a particularly plentiful prey, tigers have been seen to share with other nearby tigers.
International Tiger Day.
July 29 is the International Tiger Day.
The tiger was adopted as the National Animal of India in 1972. The tiger was adopted as the National Animal because of its presence in many Indian states, the global importance of this wild cat, and the need to protect it.
One can hear a tiger’s roar from almost three kilometres away.
Tigers’ “eyes” are on the back of their ears. It is believed that the white spots on a tiger’s ears function as its extra eyes that can detect attackers from behind.
When tigers get bruised or wounded, they lick the affected area to disinfect and prevent any kind of infection as their saliva is a natural wound antiseptic. This healing property comes from a special protein found in their saliva, which quickens their recovery.
Tigers have strong, powerful paws with claws that could grow up to 12 cm long. Next to their strong teeth, tiger claws serve as their main defence mechanisms.
Tigers have been excessively hunted for their fur and other body parts that are used in traditional medicine by many people. As people have developed land for needs such as farming and logging, the habitat for tigers has also drastically decreased.
Tigers are mostly nocturnal (more active at night) and are ambush predators that rely on the camouflage their stripes provide to stalk prey.
Did you know that tigers wait until dark to hunt? The tiger runs up to an unwary animal and typically lifts it off its feet using its teeth and claws. Smaller prey is typically killed by the tiger breaking its neck; larger prey is destroyed by the tiger biting its throat.
Tigers continue to captivate us with their grace and strength, but their future remains uncertain. Preserving their habitats, combating poaching, and raising awareness are crucial for ensuring the survival of these magnificent creatures for generations to come.
Kangaroos are the tallest marsupials on Earth. Female kangaroos have a pouch on their belly, made by a fold in the skin, to cradle baby kangaroos called joeys. They have powerful hind legs, a long, strong tail, and small front legs. Because of their large feet, kangaroos can leap to about 30 feet in a single bound, and travel more than 48 kilometers per hour.
Kangaroos belong to the genus Macropus, which means “large foot.”Other smaller but similarly shaped species also belong to that genus, though it is difficult to tell them apart. Wallabies are the genus’s tiniest members, and wallaroos are the name for species that fall somewhere in between.
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Mammalia
Family – Macropodidae
Length – Male – 45 cm long and Female 54 cm long
Habitat – Australia
Average Lifespan – up to 23 years
Diet – Herbivore
IUCN Red List Status – Least Concern
Group: Troop or Mob
Female: Flyer, Doe, Jill
Male: Boomer, Buck, Jack
Due to the extinction of huge carnivores like thylacines and marsupial lions, kangaroos in Australia don’t have many natural predators. Nonetheless, a few creatures are known to prey on kangaroos, usually picking on joeys or adults of smaller species. These predators include dingoes as well as exotic animals like dogs, cats, and red foxes.
Male red kangaroos can reach heights of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) and weigh around 200 pounds (90 kilograms). They have muscular legs built for hopping and can cover large distances at high speeds, reaching up to 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour).
Kangaroos possess a unique reproductive system. Females have a pouch in which they carry and nurse their young, known as joeys. After a very short gestation period, the tiny, underdeveloped joey is born and crawls into the mother’s pouch, where it continues to grow and develop.
Kangaroos are herbivores and mainly feed on grasses and shrubs. They have specialized teeth and a complex digestive system that allows them to efficiently extract nutrients from their plant-based diet.
Apart from their hopping ability, kangaroos are also known for their powerful kicks, which they use for self-defense. They are social animals and live in groups called mobs.
Interesting Facts About Kangaroo –
1. The four species commonly referred to as kangaroos are: the red kangaroo , the eastern gray kangaroo, the western gray kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo (Macropus antilopinus).
2. Joeys weigh less than two grams at birth. That’s about the size of a jellybean!
3. Kangaroos do not sweat. Instead, they lick themselves. As their saliva evaporates, they get cooler.
4. Kangaroos use their big tails to help them balance while jumping.
5. According to National Geographic, the largest kangaroo, as well as the largest marsupial, is the red kangaroo. Whereas, the smallest kangaroo is the musky rat-kangaroo.
6.Because of their long feet and large tail, kangaroos can’t walk or hop backwards.
7.A kangaroo has excellent hearing. Did you know each ear of a kangaroo can independently rotate 180 degrees? Put simply their hearing can scan 360 degrees for any signs of danger from predators.
8. Kangaroos are herbivores. They eat grasses, flowers, leaves, ferns, moss and even insects. Like cows, kangaroos regurgitate their food and re-chew it before it is ready to be totally digested.
9. A kangaroo can survive for long periods without drinking water, as it is hydrated by the moisture in the vegetation it consumes.
10. Did you know? A group of Kangaroos is called a troop or herd, but in Australia the group is often known as a mob. Typically 50 or more kangaroos live together in a group.
11. Most kangaroos are left-handed. Wild kangaroos gravitate to using their left hands for tasks like grooming and feeding.
12. Kangaroo meat is commonly eaten by Australians. Because the kangaroo population is so high, it’s not a threat to their existence.
13. There’s a species of kangaroos that lives in trees. Unlike the kangaroos we think of, tree kangaroos walk on all fours and don’t hop.
14. The word kangaroo comes from the aboriginal Guugu Yimithirr people’s word for the gray kangaroo (gangurru). The word was first recorded as “Kangooroo or Kanguru” in 1770 by British explorer James Cook.
Red Pandas are small mammals and are found in the high forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and China. Even though red pandas and giant pandas share a similar name and love for bamboo, these two animals are not related. They both belong to different animal families. Red pandas are more closely related to skunks, weasels, and raccoons. They were first discovered in 1825, while the giant pandas were discovered in 1869. As per recent studies, there are 2 distinct species of red panda: the Chinese red panda and the Himalayan red panda. These creatures are known for their remarkable acrobatic abilities and spend most of their time in trees.
Interesting Red Panda Facts That You Need To Know –
1. Red pandas have many names. They are also known as the first panda, original panda, firefox, red bear-cat, red cat-bear, and the lesser panda!
2. Although red pandas are carnivores, they rarely eat meat. They consume 20% to 30% of their body weight in bamboo. They can eat up to 20,000 leaves every day and can also occasionally eat eggs, insects, birds, and small mammals.
3. Red pandas are solitary and nocturnal animals. They sleep during the day while the temperature is at its hottest and become active during dawn and dusk.
4. Like giant pandas, red pandas also have opposable thumbs that help them hold onto the bamboo, branches, and leaves.
5. Every year the third Saturday of September is recognized as International Red Panda Day, this year it was celebrated on September 17.
6. Red pandas are the only living species of their taxonomic family. While they’re a unique animal species, they also face the threat of extinction due to climate change.
7. In India, red pandas are mostly found in tropical forests. They are mostly found in cool and temperate forests.
8. Did you know that the word “panda” is derived from the Nepalese word “nigalya ponya” which means bamboo eater?
9. The red panda is Sikkim’s state animal. They are also found in other Indian states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, and parts of the Kalimpong district of West Bengal.
10. Red pandas are classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is estimated that less than 10,000 pandas survive in the wild and only 100 live in zoos, across the world. Loss of habitat, adverse effects of climate change, and poaching are the biggest threats to the red pandas’ survival.
The recent Disney movie, Turning Red, tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who transforms into a big red panda when she feels big emotions. Have you seen the movie yet?