Wildlife TV

Learn interesting and funny plant and animal facts with videos and photos

Hiding in plain sight 2

In the first post of this series, we asked you to spot the hidden animals in a range of photographs. Some of you were more successful than others, but now we’re back with even more photos and this time some of the animals are even harder to spot!

Many animals have evolved to perfectly blend into their environment to avoid being eaten by predators, or even to be more efficient predators themselves. Good luck finding the animals in the following pictures! Once again, we’re not going to help!

 

arctichare

lesserkudu

mossyleaftailedgecko

longfingeredscorpionfish

brittlestar

tawnyfrogmouthowl

 

Did you see them all?

Much love,

-Nick

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How do baby Nile Crocodiles survive?

Previously we’ve seen how the tallest and gracious giraffe babies are able to survive in the wild; today we are going to discuss the survival techniques of another famous African animal, the heaviest reptile in Africa, the scary nile crocodile.

 

Nile Crocodile hatchlings

The nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is the largest reptile in Africa and the second largest in the world, with the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in Southeast Asia being the biggest one around.

Among reptiles, the members of the Crocodylia order (crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials) are the only ones that offer parental care to both eggs and hatchlings and they have been doing this successfully for millions of years.

These amazing carnivores have been around since the time of the dinosaurs and seem to be planning on staying for a lot longer as, just like the giraffes, they are marked as “least concern” on the Red List.

Unlike most reptiles, nile crocodiles’ males and females often co-exist peacefully in the same water source and there are even cases of cooperative hunting observed in wild groups.

Because of the adults’ willingness to live and work together, hatchlings can profit from having an extra protection that other reptile species would certainly like to benefit from. Once the eggs are laid, they are immediately buried in the sand and ferociously guarded by the female for the three months that takes them to incubate.

 

Female nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) protects her eggs.

Female nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) protects her eggs from predators.
Photo Credit

Parents protecting their eggs is not that uncommon in nature, however, reptiles protecting their newborn babies after they are out of the eggs is quite unusual and this is what sets nile crocodile parents apart from most other reptile species.

Just before getting out of the eggs, crocodile hatchlings start making a high pitched noise that serves as an indicator for the mother to dig them all out. The mother will then pick up each baby crocodile and carry it in her mouth to the water where they will start trying to catch their first prey. But her job does not stop there. Any baby is small and vulnerable and not even crocodiles are the exception. Adult crocodiles will eat them if they get the chance but as long as they keep close to the mother for the first months she will do her best to help their survival, however, despite all of this, only close to 1% of nile crocodiles that are born will reach maturity.

 

Newly hatched nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is gently carried in the mother's jaws.

Newly hatched nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is gently carried in the mother’s jaws.
Photo Credit

 

As you can see, sometimes, even despite all the efforts from the parents, the majority of the young that are born of certain species will perish but nature finds a way to keep a balance. Both the nile crocodile and the giraffe face high infant mortality rates but none of them is facing extinct in the near future, in fact, they both seem to be here to stay!

 

I hope you liked learning about the amazing world of baby nile crocodiles
Do you want to find out how other baby animals survive?
Check out our “Series” page for the list of “Baby Animals: How do they survive?

 

Até à próxima!
~Sofia.

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How do baby Giraffes survive?

Baby animals; who doesn’t love them? They are small, cute and occasionally fluffy. They don’t seem to know what to do in this world yet but some of them are already quite deadly. Remember the spotted hyenas?

Throughout this “Baby animals: How do they survive?” theme I’ve covered large herbivores, peaceful ungulates, deadly carnivores and graceful bird species, all of which I hope you have enjoyed so far. Today I bring you one of the must see species on an African wildlife safari: the tallest land animal in world, the majestic giraffe.

So how do these big animals survive when they are born? As recent arrivals on this planet they are vulnerable, easy to prey on and without any particularly good defence mechanisms so keep on reading to find out their survival strategies.

 

Giraffe calves

Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are known for their long necks, blue tongue, horn-like structures (the ossicones) and elegance while walking. They are extremely interesting and beautiful animals with many curious behaviours that we can discuss but today we’ll focus on how their newborns survive in the wild.

In order to do that one must first understand giraffes’ social structure. These tall animals form what we call temporary associations where both males and females happen to get together for short or long periods of time without forming long-lasting bonds while moving and/or travelling in the same general direction. These temporary social groups are usually maintained by the bonds formed between young calves. For the parent, it is safer to keep her young surrounded by other experienced females and other young calves (if there is more than one vulnerable prey animal around there is less chances it will be her own right?).

 

Herd of adult and young giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) eating in the South African savannah.

Herd of giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) temporarily eating together.
Photo Credit

 

Like all newborns, young giraffes are very susceptible to be preyed upon by predators. When they are born they first endure a fall from a height of 2 meters as the mother gives birth to them while standing up. Their umbilical cord actually works almost like as bungee cord and provides them with a slightly softer landing on this first encounter with the ground. Young giraffes are born taller (1.8 meters) than the average human but because they are far from being bulky like most big herbivores they are “easy” prey for lions, leopards, wild dogs and spotted hyenas, and the majority of them will never reach adulthood. Despite this fact, they are not considered an endangered species, actually quite far from that as they are categorised as “least concern” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. So what’s the secret of the lucky ones?

Baby giraffes don’t have any defence mechanism of their own and like many newborn mammals they depend almost entirely on the protection of the adults around.

Check out the video of a mother giraffe trying to save the young from a pride of lions.

 

 

Unfortunately like most giraffe calves this one didn’t survive, however you can see exactly how adults defend their young. They use their big size and long legs with powerful hooves to try to inflict a mighty blow to their opponent in the hopes of injuring or scaring them enough to send them away. A well placed kick from an adult giraffe can kill a lion instantly.

So when you are a baby giraffe it all comes down to luck. Will you be around other adult giraffes when the lions approach or will you be alone with your mother? Adult giraffes, especially females, will defend youngsters against predator attack, whether they are their own offspring or not so if you’re lucky and are in a bigger group at the time you have good chances of survival, if not, you would probably end up like the baby giraffe in the video.

But don’t get sad. Let’s look at the following cute picture of a baby giraffe with the mother and just pretend they all live happily ever after. If babies reach adulthood they are set for life as most predators won’t risk hunting them.

 

Baby giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) hides beBaby giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) hides behind mom in the South African savannah.hind mom.

Baby giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) hides behind mum.
Photo Credit

 

I hope you liked learning about the amazing world of baby giraffes.
Do you want to find out how baby nile crocodiles and other animals survive?
Check out our “Series” page for the list of “Baby Animals: How do they survive?

 

Até à próxima!
~Sofia.

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