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Image by Digo_Souza
As zebras são mamíferos, membros da mesma família dos cavalos, os equídeos, nativos da África central e do sul. A pelagem deste animal consiste num conjunto de listras contrastantes de cor, alternadamente, pretas e branca, dispostas na vertical, exceptuando nas patas, onde se encontram na horizontal.
É nas savanas africanas onde as zebras habitam. Encontram-se distribuídas por famílias: macho, fêmeas e filhotes. Estes animais, por serem atacados habitualmente por leões, podem se tornar animais extremamente velozes, pois para fugirem dos predadores, utilizam a fuga e seus fortes coices, podendo quebrar até a mandíbula de um felino. As listras das zebras vão escurecendo com a idade, e estes animais, embora se pareçam, não são todos iguais.
Apesar de parecerem todas iguais, as espécies de zebra existentes não são estreitamente relacionadas umas com as outras. As zebras-de-grevy têm origem de animais diferentes (de outro subgênero) daqueles que originaram as zebras-das-planícies e as zebras-das-montanhas.
Não se encontram à beira da extinção, embora a zebra-das-montanhas esteja ameaçada. A subespécie de zebra-das-planícies conhecida como cuaga (do inglês quagga, que designa o som que o animal produzia cuahaa), Equus quagga quagga, estava extinta, mas projetos de cruzamento entre zebras com coloração semelhante já recuperaram a espécie antes extinta, e o projeto liberou com sucesso vários exemplares na natureza.
Zebras are African equids best known for their distinctive white and black stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns unique to each individual. They are generally social animals and can be seen in small harems to large herds. In addition to their stripes, zebras have erect, mohawk-like manes. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and asses, zebras have never been truly domesticated.
There are three species of zebra: the Plains Zebra, Grévy's Zebra and the Mountain Zebra. The Plains zebra and the Mountain zebra belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, but Grevy's zebra is the sole species of subgenus Dolichohippus. The latter resembles an ass while the former two are more horse-like. Nevertheless, DNA and molecular data show that zebras do indeed have monophyletic origins. All three belong to the genus Equus along with other living equids. In certain regions of Kenya, Plains zebras and Grevy's zebras coexist.
The unique stripes and behaviors of zebras make these among the animals most familiar to people. They can be found in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains and coastal hills. However, various anthropogenic factors have had a severe impact on zebra populations, in particular hunting for skins and habitat destruction. Grevy's zebra and the Mountain zebra are endangered. While Plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the quagga, went extinct in the late nineteenth century.
The name "zebra" comes from the Old Portuguese word zevra which means "wild ass". The pronunciation is /ˈzɛbrə/ ZEB-rə or /ˈziːbrə/ ZEE-brə.
Image by OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons
Image Description from historic lecture booklet: "This is a representation of the giant bird, now extinct, which was a native Australia.
Carpenter's description of the Moa in the museum as Christchurch is as follows: 'If I were to stand under the bird its tail feathers would tickle the top of my head. Its ankle is as big around as my calf and its gray body is the size of small haystack. Its tall thin neck is stretched so high above its breast that Barnum's circus managers would have had a hard time getting the animal into a freight car. its legs are as strong as those of a camel and it looks quite as big as the biggest 'ship of the desert'. Its enormous feet have claws like those of a turkey, save that each is a foot long. I doubt not that the Moa could have stamped out the life of a man at one kick."
Original Collection: Visual Instruction Department Lantern Slides
Item Number: P217:set 039 039
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blue lizard blues
Image by wgdavis
Before Hurricane Ivan, only 10 to 25 Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas (Cyclura nubila lewisi) were estimated to remain in the wild. The total number of these animals known to exist anywhere in the world is fewer than 120.
A report estimates that, without intervention, the Blue Iguana will be functionally extinct in five years.
From a document released by Fred Burton, Director of the Blue Iguana Conservation
Project for the National Trust for the Cayman Islands on June 22, 2002.