Four of the five species of the big cats (the Panthera genus – lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard), the exception being the snow leopard can hybridize with each other to produce numerous hybrids. In fact, breeding of two different pantheras has been banned in many zoos and animal sanctuaries due to no conservation value of the hybrid, and the risk it poses on the mother that gives birth to it. For instance, the liger’s increased growth rate and enormous size can cause the tigress giving birth to have a difficult delivery, endangering both the mother and her liger cubs, which may be born prematurely or require a Caesarian. Common problems in cubs that survive are neurological disorders, obesity, genetic defects, and a shortened lifespan; though a few have reportedly made it to their twenties, many don’t survive past the age of seven. Moreover, male ligers have lowered testosterone levels and sperm counts, rendering them infertile while females, though capable of reproducing with either a lion or a tiger, often give birth to sickly cubs that don’t survive.
However, hybrids do occur by accident in captivity.
Continue reading Hybrid Big Cats
A nice interactive webpage by the BBC – The British Broadcasting Corporation: how you and the world have changed since you were born? You’re simply entering your birth date, gender and height; selecting units (metric or imperial/US) and then watching how our planet (and you) has changed in your lifetime.
Continue reading Your Life On Earth (presented by BBC)
In two different locations in the coast of Hawaii, scientists have observed unusual interactions between bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales as dolphins “rode” the heads of whales: the whales lifted the dolphins up and out of the water, and then the dolphins slid back down. In the video published by the American Museum of Natural History, the two species seemed to cooperate in the activity, and neither displayed signs of aggression or distress. Whales and dolphins in Hawaiian waters often interact, but playful social activity such as this is extremely rare between species.
Continue reading Dolphins “rode” the heads of whales in the coast of Hawaii
Chimpanzees are our closest cousins, they share 99 percent of their genes with us. Sometimes, like us, they can show aggressiveness, and attacks on humans are recorded. The worst part of these attacks is, the chimpanzees are strong. Really strong.
Continue reading Why Are Chimpanzees Stronger Than Humans?
The orcas are amazing! They are known for their high intelligence, curiosity, playfulness, and ability to solve problems. But this female killer whale named Kasatka who lives at SeaWorld San Diego takes it one step further: she uses a bait fish to hunt a bird!
Continue reading Killer Whale uses a bait fish to hunt a bird (video)
Previously, I published a post about the largest crocodiles ever recorded. All sizes in that post were recorded in the recent times. The crocs listed were large, yes, but not as big as most people think. But in the prehistoric ages, some animals were much bigger than today’s counterparts – including crocodiles. So, what was the World’s biggest crocodile ever lived? Here are the top six candidates.
Continue reading World’s top 6 biggest prehistoric crocodiles ever lived
Alligators can often reach at least 14 or 15 feet in length, which is even larger than some crocodile species, but not all of them, especially not the Saltwater Crocodile (I am talking about the American alligator – A. mississippiensis here, the Chinese alligator – A. sinensis is much smaller). But what is the largest alligator ever measured?
Continue reading The Largest Alligator Ever Measured
A widely circulated photo over the internet which shows a giant crocodile with a bunch of villagers sitting behind. A story next to the photo saying “the people in a village on the Niger River in Africa were losing fellow villagers at a rapid rate, and called in the army, which shot a 7+ meters, 1200 kg crocodile.“
Continue reading World’s Largest Crocodile? (7+ meters/23+ feet)
The great white shark (scientific name: Carcharodon carcharias) is not the biggest shark (that title goes to the whale shark), but they are the largest predatory fish on Earth. According to the Guinness World Records Book, full grown adults are average 4.3–4.6 m (14–15 ft) in length, and generally weigh 520–770 kg (1,150-1,700 lb). But there are many claims of huge specimens up to 10 m (33 ft) in length. Newspapers and home photo albums are full of unconfirmed huge great white tales. And although few have been properly authenticated, there are a lot of circumstantial evidence to suggest that some great whites grow to more than 6 m (20 ft) in length.
Continue reading Largest great white sharks ever recorded
Ligers are the largest cats on Earth. They are more than 900 pounds (~408 kg) and 12 feet (~3.65 m) long, weighing almost 100 times more than house cats and almost twice as much as either Panthera tigris (tiger) or Panthera leo (lion).
Continue reading World’s Largest Living Cat: Hercules, the liger (video)