...interesting insect products can now be ordered on the Entowarehouse website?
...even among sharks there are various personality types? Some sharks are very gregarious and have many social contacts, and some sharks keep to themselves.
...the archer fish literally shoots its prey out of the air? Read about it in this newsletter.
...the birth of a Sulawesi macaque at Diergaarde Blijdorp (Rotterdam Zoo) was a big surprise? The male, Puzzle, had been thought to be sterile because in all his fourteen years, at Blijdorp, and in a zoo in England, he had never fathered offspring.
...hibernation may last much longer than the winter? Some ground squirrel species - especially those in areas with a harsh climate - hibernate for more than six months at a time.
...the arctic ground squirrel holds the world record for hibernation? This animal hibernates for nine months of the year. The other three months are spent gathering food, eating and raising young.
...the gorilla twins at Burgers' Zoo are already a year old? This memorable event marks a European primeur: this is the first set of gorilla twins in Europe to be raised solely by their mother. She did it on her own, without the help of the animal keepers.
...you can read more on humans' ambivalent attitudes towards animals in the book 'Some we love, some we hate, some we eat'? This book was featured in an earlier edition of this newsletter.
...animals in the zoo often get ice-lollies in warm weather? These are healthy treats: vegetables, fruit or pieces of fish, frozen into a lolly or block. The frozen snacks are primarily given as a means of enrichment: they keep the animals busy for a nice, long while.
...young gorillas have a lock of white hair on their bottoms? It disappears when the young animal is no longer dependent on its mother. This bit of white is a signal to the other gorillas in the group, like a sign that says, “I am still learning”. The other gorillas accept mischievous behaviour from a toddler as long as it has this white lock.
...maras are monogamous? They mate for life, which is rather unusual for rodents and lagomorphs.
...the longest bill or beak among the world’s birds belongs to the Australian pelican? Its bill can be 34 to 47 cm long.
...white-crowned mangabeys often communicate by flashing their conspicuous white eyelids? These animals also use their tails, posture and facial expressions as means of communication.
...two female black-crowned night herons are raising a chick together? The young bird, which wasn't getting enough food while with its biological parents, has been lovingly adopted by the female couple that had already built a nest together.
...the chicks of the wandering albatross take the longest to learn to fly? These late bloomers don't fly out of their nest until they are an average of 280 days old. The parent birds are thus able to raise young only once every two years.
...the common tenrec holds the record of the most young ever born to a mammal in one litter? The record birth took place in 1972 in the Netherlands' Wassenaar Zoo: 31 young! In the wild, a litter of 20 is not uncommon. The mother has as many as 29 nipples - more than any other animal.
...there is a whole range of very small lizard species? The smallest is the dwarf gecko, only 1,6 cm long with a tail about the same length. This tiny animal was discovered in the Dominican Republic in 2000.
...in relation to its size, the sword-billed hummingbird has the longest beak? The beak is 9 to 11 cm long: longer than this tiny bird’s entire body, including its tail! Having such a long beak allows this hummingbird to collect nectar from very deep, trumpet-shaped flowers.
...young mallee fowl, a species of megapode, can fly very soon after hatching? Only one hour after emerging from the egg, these chicks can run; after two hours they can flutter 10 to 15 metres above the ground. At 24 hours old, mallee fowl are already accomplished at flying.
...rats' eyes can jiggle in and out of their sockets so that they appear to be falling out? This can be seen while the animals grind their teeth when contented (and sometimes when they experience fear or pain). This eye movement is referred to as 'boggling'.
...an aardvark can dig a burrow in a snap? In less than five minutes, it can excavate a tunnel a metre long. This animal has the equipment for the job: very strong legs and shovel-like claws.
...a camel doesn't begin to sweat until it has a temperature of 40.5oC? In a human, that would be a serious fever!
...camels can go a very long time without water? While working in high temperatures, they can be without water for a week, and under other conditions for a few months. When water is again available, they can drink up to 60 litres of water in minutes.
...there are both carnivorous and herbivorous mosquitoes? Only the females drink blood and are therefore carnivores. The males are herbivores: they drink nectar.
...young vampire bats move gradually from a milk diet to a blood diet?
...bats live a relatively long life, especially in light of their size? They live an average of 5 to 8 years, but some bats reach the ripe old age of 30.
....the wild water buffalo has the longest horns? This animal is native to India, Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand. One bull had horns 4.24 metres long - measured from tip to tip, along their outer curve and over the forehead.
...nearly all well-known spider species are carnivorous - that is, that they eat animal matter? Only one species of spider is known to live off of nectar: Bagheera kiplingi.
...insectivores (insect eaters) are a subgroup of carnivores? Moles and hedgehogs are well-known insectivores. The anteater is a highly specialised insectivore: it eats only ants and termites.
...during the great migration across the Serengeti includes gatherings of enormous numbers of gnus? At these times the herds can be up to 40 km long and consist of more than a million animals.
...the giant panda is the most herbivorous carnivore? Bears belong to the order Carnivora, yet the diet of most bears is mainly plant-based. The giant panda, however, is the most herbivorous of all with its 99% vegetarian diet.
...the polar bear eats mostly food of animal origin? Its diet consists mainly of seals, but walrus, beluga whale and narwhal are also on its menu. In the summer, the polar bear also consumes grass, berries and seaweed.
...the only crickets (house crickets) to make sound are the males? They are attempting to attract females. Elegantly, this chirping is called 'stridulation'.
...the female giant panda allows a male to mate with her only three days each year?
...the muscles the giant pangolin uses to control its tongue are attached to its pelvis? The animal uses its long tongue to extract termites from their nests.
...snails have a textured tongue-like structure with hundreds of tiny teeth? It's called a radula.
...the African wild dog has only 18 toes? Each forepaw bears four toes, each hind paw five. All other canines have 20 in all.
...the sea otter has the thickest fur of all mammals? This animal's coat has an average of 110,000 to 125,000 hairs per square centimetre.
...the heaviest spiders on earth are female bird-eating spiders? A female Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) was caught that weighed in at 155 grams.
...cats prefer to eat and drink in separate locations?
...the marine toad (Bufo marinus) can produce up to 30,000 eggs at a time? As the eggs are left to fend for themselves, mortality is extremely high for both eggs and tadpoles.
...a small Cuban frog (Euhyas limbatus) lays only one single egg at a time? This female frog does everything she can to help her eggs survive.
...the giant anteater eats an estimated 35,000 ants a day?
...the longest tongue of all mammals belongs to the giant anteater? It can stick its tongue out 60 centimetres.
...the largest living fish egg ever found was from a whale shark? The egg was 30.5 cm long, 14 cm wide en 8.9 cm high; it contained a living embryo 35 cm long.
...the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is also the largest fish on earth? Lengths of 17-18 metres have been reported, though the length frequently observed is 12 metres. The whale shark is a filter feeder: it eats plankton.
...a squirrel's tail plays an important role in thermoregulation? The tail can give off heat or not, depending on the need. In the cold, the squirrel can also use its tail as a blanket.
...the eye lenses of many squirrel species are yellow? This decreases the glare of bright light, and improves colour contrast. Flying squirrels have colourless lenses; these nocturnal animals don’t need the adaptation for bright daylight.
...the English animal name 'centipede' coincides with the German word, 'Hundertfüsser' -both meaning 'hundred feet'- but that the Dutch call this animal 'duizendpoot', or 'thousand feet'? Though this is the literal translation of the English name 'millipede', the Dutch call that animal... 'miljoenpoot': 'million feet'!
...these animals never have as many feet as their name would suggest? Some species have only 9 pairs of feet. The maximum is 375 pairs, for a grand total of 750 feet.
...a kitten doesn't become physically mature until a year old, and is not socially and behaviourally mature until eighteen months old? They remain kittens long beyond being little fuzzy balls of fur!
...the European black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) can hammer on a tree as many as 12,000 times a day?
...millions of years ago there were already penguins on earth? They did look different than they do today. One penguin was 1.5 m long and weighed 110 kilos!
...a puma was once seen leaping 3.6 metres up into a tree? And that's not all: at the time, the puma also had a deer carcass in its mouth!
....the name 'white rhino' is the result of a big misunderstanding between the Boer (farmer) settlers and the English in the South Africa of the last century? The Dutch-speaking farmers used the word 'wijd' (wide) to refer to the animal's broad lips; this became 'white' in English. This mistranslation was then also adapted by the Dutch.
...female cheetahs lead a solitary life? Males, in contrast, are often social and live in groups.
..elephants aren't very fast? They walk about 6 km per hour. But when angry or frightened, they can run, for short sprints, up to 40 km per hour. These grey giants are also able to swim and climb, but jumping is out of the question: landing would break their legs. And if they have to turn around, it's easier for them to walk backwards - so that's what they prefer.
...the pygmy marmoset is the world’s smallest monkey?
...AAA stands for Animal-Assisted Activities, AAI for Animal-Assisted Interventions and AAT for Animal-Assisted Therapy?
...not only dogs, but also horses and dolphins - and many more animal species - help care for humans? There are, for example, care assistants among donkeys, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and farm animals.
...the axolotl, even as a mature adult, retains the appearance of its larval stage?
...cats prefer to drink their water from a large, wide bowl because they don't like their whiskers to touch the sides?
... rabbits used to be considered rodents, but are actually members of the order Lagomorpha: relatives of the hare?
...giraffes have the same number of neck bones as humans?
...a tick can drink and store a great deal of blood - up to 600 times its own weight?
...there is a chicken breed without feathers on its neck? It's called the Transylvanian naked neck.
...Arctic terns fly, during their annual migration, from their breeding ground in the Arctic all the way to Antarctica - and back?
...during its life a gray whale travels as far as 800,000 kilometers kilometres during its migrations?
...the weasel is the smallest predatory mammal in the world?
...the fennec might be the smallest member of the fox family, but it has the largest ears relative to its body size?
...one dog- or cat-year is not equivalent to 7 people years? The development in the first two years in the life of a dog or cat is more rapid than for humans, and then it slows down.
...rats prefer familiar food? Early in life they learn the differences between strange and familiar food through the composition of the mother’s milk and by taking food from the mouth or paws of other rats, which older animals always allow.
...only 10% of all snakes are actually poisonous?
...a snow leopard can leap as far as 15 metres? In comparison: the world record for long jump is 8.95 metres (Mike Powell, 1991).
....that the bamboo eaten by giant pandas in European zoos comes from a bamboo nursery in the Netherlands?
...that a bird's sex is often determined using a DNA test?
...that American black bears are most definitely not always black? Besides jet-black, the bears can be dark brown, light brown, cinnamon-coloured, blonde and even white.
...that the wooly spider monkey is also called a muriqui?
..there are 36 different cheetah species?
...rats can mould? This doesn't mean they actually go mouldy: it's the term for the partial or complete disappearance of body markings. The effect is especially pronounced in the markings of husky rats.
...cheetah young have long, grey fur? This camouflages them well in the grass. Their coat also misleads predators by making them resemble honey badgers.
...sharks use a tooth for only 14 days? Their teeth grow in many rows, and they go through as many as 800 teeth a year.
...a rat's tears can seem like blood? In fact, this isn't blood, but a substance called porfyrine, which is secreted when a rat is sick or not feeling well.
...there are frogs that are smaller than the tadpoles from which they have developed? The adult Pseudos paradoxa is a third of the size of its own larval stage.
...camels don't sweat until their body temperature rises above 40,5 degrees Celsius? This is an adaptation to their life in the desert.
...many reptiles hibernate or are inactive in the winter? Sometimes this is simulated in captivity, in a refrigerator or cellar. Hibernation must be induced very gradually.
...the number of molars in rodents can vary widely from one species to the next? They can have, beside their 4 incisors (and 0 fangs), anywhere from 4 to 24 molars.
...camel dung is so dry that it can be immediately used for fuel? Excreting dry dung prevents unnecessary water loss.
...that there are now special computer games for cats? They can catch fish or hunt for treats on an iPad or Android tablet. See it for yourself on www.gamesforcats. com
...that a chameleon’s tongue can be 1,5 times the length of its body? This long tongue can be shot out very quickly to catch insects with its sticky tip.
...that the gestation period of a wolverine is 30-50 days, but the time between the conception and birth of the young can be 270 days? This discrepancy is due to delayed implantation.
...that sloths eat, sleep, mate, bear young, and locomote while hanging upside-down? Even some of their fir grows 'the wrong way'. Climbing and defecating (on the ground), however, are accomplished right-side up.
...a baby kangaroo (just like a baby wallaby) is called a joey?
...newborn bear cubs are very small, hairless and helpless?
...that hummingbirds are experts at hovering: the art of remaining still in mid-air? In an experiment, one hummingbird hovered for 50 minutes.
...that the lion is one of the few wild members of the cat family with a social lifestyle? Most cats are solitary, yet a pride of lions usually consists of five to fifteen females with their young and one to six males.
...some quail species are already fertile at five weeks of age? The birds then still have their juvenile feathers; they don't get their adult feathering until five to seven weeks later.
...the smallest lizard -- and smallest reptile -- in the world is a dwarf gecko? The head-body length is 1.6 cm; the tail is just as long.