Category Biology

Where can you find the gorilla?

The gorilla lives in the dense forests of equatorial Africa. It is the largest and most powerful of the ape family. The gorilla is extremely strong but it is a unduly disturbed. But other animals are very much afraid of it: few of them will dare to attack a gorilla because they know they would have the worse of the encounter.

A full-grown gorilla stands nearly 2 metres tall, with a massive body and very muscular arms and legs, and can weigh over 200 kilograms. Its jaws jut out and it has a broad, flattened nose and huge beetling eyebrows.

There are two main kinds of gorilla: the lowland gorilla that lives in the rain forests of western Africa, has a dark grey coat; the mountain gorilla which lives in the eastern regions of Zaire-Uganda borderland at altitudes of more than 3,000 metres, has black fur, Little is known about the ways of these big apes. This is because gorillas are very shy animals and also because they were first found only during the last century.

Gorillas usually live in groups which include both young and old. They build rough dwellings in trees a few metres above the ground. These dwellings look like platforms made of branches and twigs.

Gorillas do not spend all their lives in the trees. During the day they wander about on the ground looking for food. They feed on leaves, roots and fruit which the forest has in plenty. Gorillas walk in a crouching position, but every so often they stand up straight on their long hind legs.


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Where the wild peacocks are found?

Wild peacocks live together in large flocks in the forests of central Africa, India, Sri Lanka and southern Asia, They search for seeds to eat during the day, and at nightfall they fly up the trees where they perch and sleep.

Every peacock has several wives known as peahens. The female birds build their nests on the ground and lay from four to six whitish, sometimes spotted eggs. During the mating season the male utters a harsh raucous cry.

Peacocks were first brought to Europe in the days of Alexander the Great. At one time they used to be kept on many farms, but today they are usually found in zoos or public parks.

Peacocks are extremely beautiful birds with their brightly coloured plumage. The male bird makes a magnificent display when it opens up it opens up its huge fan-like tail to preen itself. The female is more dully coloured and does not have the large ornamental feathers.


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How does the desert rat live?

Desert rats can be seen during moonlit nights scampering and hopping about the desert sands. These animals, also known as jerboas, come out of their hiding places only after dark in search of food.

But they do not seem to be looking for food as they jump about. Their bodies are about 20 centimeters long and the tail, which ends in a tuft, is some 25 centimeters. The front limbs are extremely short while the hind pair are about six times as long. They are very funny to watch as they hop about on their long hind legs that look like those of kangaroos.

Desert rats live in burrows which they dig with their nails and teeth. They are shy animals and this, together with their agility, makes them difficult to catch. They live quite well in captivity, however, and are extremely clean in their habits. They have a sand coloured coat, as most desert dwelling animals have.


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Where you can find forests full of beech trees?

In parts of western Asia and all Europe as far as southern England, beech trees can be found growing in gardens and large avenues.

There are many different kinds of beech including the dark-leaved copper beech and the weeping beech, often to be seen in parks.

The best beeches are found in chalky soil some of them reaching from about 30 to 45 metres high. Many were first planted in the eighteenth century on huge estates.

The timber of the beech is heavy and hard and is extremely useful as firewood. It also has many other uses and is especially noted for making fine furniture and all sorts of different wooden articles.


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When the lynx was seen again in Europe?

The lynx is a large, wild, feline animal found in many parts of central Europe. It has unusually large paws, a mottled tawny to cream coat and a black-tipped tail.

The lynx lived in the Alps until half a century ago: the last time this creature is known to have been captured was at the beginning of this century, near Chieri in Piedmont. The animal has not been heard of since.

It is more likely to be the clearance of all trees from the mountains which have caused its disappearance than the fact that it has been hunted down. A deer which had been completely ravaged as if by a lynx, was recently found in a Swiss forest, where there were also impressions in the fresh snow which scientists have identified as tracks typical of his feline creature.

The lynx is now being bred in zoos and then released into the wild to build up its numbers. It usually lives in dense forests where it can find it favorite prey, the roe-buck and the stag.


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Where the horned viper lives?

The horned viper belongs to the reptile family. Dispersed throughout Yugoslavia and some regions of Austria these vipers can also be found in Italy on the eastern Alps. They are easily distinguishable from the usual vipera aspis and vipera berus by a horn, sometimes growing to a length of 5 centimetres, which sprouts out from the tip of the head. The horned viper prefers limestone or very stoney ground, and loves hot climates. It moves rather slowly, particularly during the day, when it sits lazily in the sun, digesting its captured prey which it swallows whole. But, if disturbed, the viper rears up emitting a hissing noise and sinking into the flesh of its enemy two poisonous fangs which are normally kept folded and hidden in a sac in its palate. In this respect, its behaviour is quite similar to that of the other European vipers.


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Where does the boar live?

Boars, the ancient forefathers of the domestic pig, have long been extinct in Britain but they still live in fairly large numbers in marshy, wooland areas in Spain, Austria, Russia and Germany. Some species can also be found in northern Africa and central and northern Asia.

Because of their great strength, speed and ferocity when at bay boars have always been hunted by man. In some parts of Europe and India they are still hunted, usually with the aid of dogs. They have not died out, however, mainly because they are prolific animals, the female producing between five and eight off spring at a time. Boars have sociable natures and live in flocks in dense, wooded areas. They feed on acorns, beechnuts, and chestnuts and occasionally small hard-shelled animals, worms, small birds or mice. They even eat serpents as they are immune to their poison.

In order to get rid of parasites, they wrap themselves in the mud.


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Where you can find the corkoak tree?

Cork, a material used mainly for bottle-stoppers, insulation and floor coverings, is produced from a special type of evergreen oak tree which grows, sometimes wild, in the coastal regions of the Mediterranean.

The cork-oak has a thick, dark foliage, formed from noded branches, covered with tough, oval leaves which are small and slightly jagged.

Its thick tall trunk is completely wrapped in an outer bark of cork which is covered with find brown grooves. The tree is first tripped of its cork, which will be rather hard and knobby, when it is about sixteen years old. It is then stripped again every nine to ten years, depending on its location, and each time it will produce a good, light cork just over three centimeters thick.

After about 150 years, these trees cease to produce good quality cork and they are then felled.


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How to look after goldfish?

Goldfish make extremely popular pets. They are not difficult to look after providing you follow a few simple rules.

The first serious threat to a goldfish is when it is taken home from the pet shop. It should be swimming around in quite a lot of water and you should not take it in one of those small plastic bags. If you must use a plastic bag take the goldfish out of it as soon as possible or it may suffocate.

A second danger to goldfish is the tank it swims in. Tap-water contains chlorine which is poisonous to goldfish. This water is also too cold and might kill the pet.

A third danger is feeding which is all too often wrong for goldfish. These fish do not require much food, but what they do eat must be carefully chosen. Never give goldfish breadcrumbs: use the special food sold in shops but be careful to give it only in small quantities. Occasionally you can give goldfish a small amount of finely minced raw meat or the crushed yolks of hard-boiled eggs.

The larger the tank the happier the fish will be. The ideal tank is the aquarium but a large bowl will serve. Do not forget that even a goldfish can become bored and pine away living alone, so you should give it a companion, either male or female. Goldfish were originally natives of eastern Asia but were later introduced into China, Japan, Europe and the United States. They have been known to live for twenty-five years in captivity, but the average life span is usually much shorter.


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What happens when dogs shed their fur?

It is always an awkward time for dogs when they shed their fur. At such a time they should be treated gently and taken for long walks in the fresh air so that they can roll about in the grass and get rid of their loose hair. The dog should also be groomed with a metal comb so that it won’t have to scratch itself too much, and brushed to remove loose hair and burrs. Short-haired breeds require little grooming but the longer the dog’s hair the more it has to be combed. Some breeds have to be clipped regularly to maintain their health and good appearance.

The moulting period, when dogs shed their old hair, usually lasts about two weeks. During this period the dog should be given fatty foods containing butter, cooking fat or bacon fat. An average-sized dog can eat between hundred and 150 grammes of fat a day without being harmed but a safe fat limit is about 15 per cent of the dog’s total daily food intake.


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