Category Archives: Predator

Do Crocodiles Have Ears?

As response to an interesting question from my lovely little 2.5 year old niece, “Do crocodiles have ears?” I have written the following post, for mummy and daddy to read/explain to her… and for the rest of you to enjoy too 😉

So, let Aunty Ali answer your question Scarlett! Yes, crocodiles have ears. They are internal (on the inside) only – they have no external (outer) ear like we do, but they have very good hearing! Their ears are not always easy to spot – can you find the ear in the picture below?

Their ears are located behind their eyes, in the upper part of their heads; just like with Alligators. They have flaps which cover their ears forming a tight seal, preventing water from entering the ear when submerged.

Due to the location of their ears, they can hear whilst in the water, with just the tops of their heads sitting above water level. Their hearing is so sensitive, they can hear their offspring making noises inside their eggs!

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use.

If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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International Tiger Day: 29 July 2017

Tigers are the largest of the big cat species; there used to be nine subspecies, however three are now extinct. The largest subspecies being the Siberian.

Tiger subspecies:

  • Siberian (or Amur) Tiger (endangered)
  • Bengal Tiger (endangered)
  • Indochinese Tiger (endangered)
  • Sumatran Tiger (critically endangered)
  • Malayan Tiger (critically endangered)
  • South China Tiger (critically endangered)
  • Javan Tiger (extinct mid-1970’s)
  • Bali Tiger (extinct 1940’s-50’s)
  • Caspian Tiger (extinct late-1950’s)

Tiger Facts:

  • Tigers are a solitary species; maintaining solitary territories, hunting alone – coming together only to mate
  • Territory size is largely determined by the availability of prey
  • They tend to hunt at night
  • Tigers are carnivores – hunting prey species
  • Female tigers tend to hit maturity between three – four years of age
  • Male tigers reach maturity at four – five years old
  • Litters tend to be made up of three – four cubs, however can be up to seven
  • The males do not help raise the young
  • Young tigers leave their mother at around two years old
  • Unfortunately, approximately half of tigers do not live past two years of age
  • Unlike a lot of cat species; tigers love water
  • The roar of a tiger can be heard almost 2 miles away
  • Tigers can reach speeds of around 40 mph
  • No two tigers have the same pattern of stripes – like how no two humans have the same finger prints

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.

If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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Want To Know More? Polar Bear

During this (supposedly) snowy season, I thought I’d do a post in relation to an animal that deals with frosty  conditions a lot chillier than we do! So here is some information you may not have known… about Polar bears!

Scientific name, Ursus maritimus, translates to ‘sea bear’. Polar bears are the world’s largest land-based carnivores; however most of their lives are spent around ice and (in) water. They’re at particular risk from their Arctic, icy habitat melting; without the ice there is nowhere for the bears.

Polar bears are listed as Threatened on the endangered species list; with a population of 22,000-31,000 in the wild.

Polar Bear

Polar bears live in five places across the world: Alaska (USA), Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Norway. Polar bears do not live in Antarctica, but Penguins do. Have you ever heard the joke: (Q) Why don’t Polar Bears eat penguins? (A) Because they can’t get the wrapper off (referring to the chocolate biscuit)! – Well know you know the real reason; they live nowhere near each other!

Adult Polar bears can measure over 6ft in length, and weigh over 800lbs. They are usually between 1.8-2m in height, with females being larger. The large size and weight is what makes this species the largest living carnivores on land! They live on average, approximately, 18 years – however in captivity have been known to live 30+ years.

These bears have thick, water resistant, insulating, white fur – however their skin underneath is black. The black skin helps to absorb and retain heat, to keep the animal warm. They have small ears and tail, and large, powerful paws equipped with razor-sharp claws. They have webbing in between their toes, to help them swim. Polare bears are amazing swimmers, and have even been spotted 100km away from shore!

Their nose has an incredible sense of smell, and these animals can smell prey from 15km away – and through the ice! Their prey; mainly seals. Polar bears have been known to resort to cannibalism if desperate enough.

Polar bears do not hibernate; however females will live in a den, burrowed under the snow, to gestate and give birth. During this time, the female will live off her fat reserves, and will not emerge again until the cubs are old enough. Polar bears typically give birth to two cubs; although they can have anywhere from one-three cubs at a time. Cubs stay with their mother for two years, learning from her, before venturing out on their own.

Young, Adult Polar Bear

All images are open source, Google images.

If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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National Shamu Day – 26 September 2016

The performing Orca’s at Sea World are all given the stage name Shamu. The first Shamu was a female Orca (Killer Whale) captured in October, 1965; appearing in the San Diego Sea World. She died in August, 1971 – after a mere 6 years in captivity. Captured by and for Griffin’s Seattle Public Aquarium, she was named Shamu and was to live with three other Orca’s captured from the wild. However, she didn’t get on with the other Orca’s and, as such, was sold to Sea World in December, 1965.

"Shamu" - open source image
“Shamu” – open source image

Orca’s are the largest species of dolphin (despite being known as Killer Whale’s). Like all dolphins, Orca’s form strong bonds within their pod (group of Orca’s), which is usually made up of family members. They become distressed when separated as they are very social.

I feel that the point of posting this today is not to celebrate the Shamu show, or the use of Orca’s for entertainment by Sea World and other companies (over the years); but rather to raise awareness of the conditions this wild species is subjected to due to human selfishness.

We (humans) have taken this wild mammal out of the sea, away from family/ pod, and destroyed any hope of a normal life for the animal – and we have done this over and over again.  We have then bred captive Orca’s; resulting in still-born or very short-lived calves for the first several attempts. All of this was done at the expense of the species, with no consideration for them or the family/ pod left behind; for our own selfish gain. And we’re still doing it; still exploiting this wild species for our own benefit. I believe this needs to stop.

Shamu: Tilikum - open source image
“Shamu” – open source image

Spare a thought today for these poor animals in less than satisfactory, captive conditions; unable to perform natural behaviour and suffering poor health (such as bent dorsal fin) due to these conditions – as this is what they are experiencing right now as you read this. Also spare a thought for the pods which lost a member when humans took Orca’s from the wild originally; Orca’s (as with other dolphins) have been know to grieve for the loss or separation of group/ family members.

Aside from the Orca’s themselves; think of the number of unnecessary injuries and deaths of trainers and other people caused by these wild animals in captivity, and the families that suffered the loss.

These majestic creatures belong in the ocean; not a tiny pool doing tricks.

Wild Orca Pod - open source image
Wild Orca Pod – open source image

To see my previous Shamu post from earlier in the year, which specifically focuses on the Orca named Tilikum (one of the Shamu Orca’s at Sea World), please click here .