What does a fellow zoologist do on her day off?
Go to the zoo of course!
I’ve been to the Melbourne Zoo one too many times, so I went down to the Werribee Open Range Zoo with the family. (I’ve spent serious cash on zoo entry this year. I should really buy a zoo membership!)
If you’re new to melbourne, head down to check it out! It’s a bit of a hike, but it’s great fun! You can sit in one of the safari bus that takes you around. Website: http://www.zoo.org.au/werribee
Anyways, here are some fun facts about their animals based on what I’ve learnt from my course!
Meerkats are very social, and use their tail to balance when they stand up.
(I love love love meerkats! They’re absolutely beautiful and super cheeky. I can sit and watch them all day!)
Hippos live in semi-aquatic area and basically do everything in the water. They have their eyes, ears and nostrils on the top of their heads so they can be submerged in the water.
Lions have 4 digits and stand/walk/run on their toes (this type of foot posture is called digitigrade). By standing on their toes, they are able to move more quickly.
Gorillas have ridiculously powerful jaws. Their skull have evolve to allow more muscle so they can chomp food with greater force (they have prominent sagital crests to provide larger surface area for temporalis muscle attachment)
So…never ever mess with a gorilla!
Emu is the largest native bird in Australia! And they’ve been here for a VERY long time.
The male emu is the one who takes care of the babies in this species. And one female emu will mate will numerous males (this is called Polyandry).
(and emus are rather vicious)
Giraffes developed their long necks through evolution, not because they decided one day that it would be cool to have long necks to reach the leaves on the top of the tree. But of course you knew that already :P
Monkeys walk with their feet flat on the ground (plantigrade posture).
Umm..so we haven’t really learnt anything about zebras in class. But, general knowledge: they’re generally herbivores and rather social animals!
So those were the highlights of my trip to the zoo!
Hope you enjoy your weekend!