POPSUGAR Celebrity

Wagging, Wading, and Waddling For Wild About Wildlife Month

Jul 5 2013 - 6:00am

If this month's sweltering weather is making it difficult for you to get excited about anything (except air conditioning), then we have some wonderful news: July is Wild About Wildlife month! We're celebrating these 31 days of frenzied fauna with a glut of gleeful wild animals [1], so to get your fix and learn about the amazing menagerie across our planet, just check out our slideshow!

Source: Getty [2]

Asian elephants are classified into three subspecies: Sri Lankan, Indian, and Sumatran.

Whereas all giraffes have at least two horns atop their heads, Rothschild giraffes have five!

Look out! A toco toucan's bill can reach inches inches, so don't let your camera get too close.

As a member of the smallest subspecies of gorilla, this baby western lowland gorilla will grow to be about five to six feet tall.

The Grévy's zebra is more donkey-like in appearance than its cousins, the plains and mountain zebras, which are more horse-like.

Even though their coat colors can range from black to brown to tan, the white-handed gibbon's hands are, well, white!

Polar bears are well suited to arctic waters, carrying about four inches of blubber under their coats and paddling with large paws.

Source: Hilmer & Koch for Scandinavian Wildlife Park [3]

Tiger litters generally consist of three to four cubs, and the babies stay with their mother until they reach 2 years old.

The resplendent quetzal is Guatemala's national bird and appears on the country's flag and coat of arms.

In the wild, a giant panda's diet is almost exclusively bamboo, but they have been known to munch on an occasional small rodent or musk deer fawn.

At Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, Japanese macaques enjoy a cherry blossom snack during the Spring. But in the wild, they have adapted to a number of environments, including the snowy mountains, subtropical islands, and deciduous forests of Japan.

Rockhopper penguins are small, aggressive, crested penguins who get their name because they hop from boulder to boulder when moving around their rocky colonies.

Source: Australia Antarctic Division [4]

Native to Australia, dingoes are wild dogs most closely related to the Asian gray wolf.

The Major Mitchell's cockatoo gives flamingos a run for their money as the world's pinkest birds.

Gray seals eat about 11 pounds of food each day, though they fast during breeding season.

The gray seal's scientific name, Halichoerus grypus, derives from the Greek words for "hook-nosed sea pig."

Native to Chile's Strait of Magellan, Magellanic penguins mate with the same partner year after year.

Despite their pale exterior, white tigers are not albinos, as they have blue eyes.

Because they are such reclusive creatures, it's unknown whether pygmy hippos form monogamous pairs, though they do in captivity.

The world's smallest living bird, a bee hummingbird reaches only six centimeters in length.

Despite being the kings of the savannah, lions are relatively inactive for 20 hours per day.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the quetzal's name means "large brilliant tail feather" in Nahuatl.

This lovely adult dingo at the Dingo Discovery and Research Centre showcases the more common tan-and-white coloring of the species. White dingoes and black dingoes also exist, but due to dwindling populations, they are very rare.

Even though they are colloquially known as horns, the two growths on the face of a white rhinoceros are made of solid keratin.

According to the World Parrot Trust [5], an African gray parrot can live 50 to 60 years in captivity.

Even though lemurs are primates, they cannot grip with their long, striped tails.

Rothschild giraffes are one of the most endangered subspecies of giraffes, with only a few hundred remaining in the wild.

Reclusive Snares Island penguins do not have the white cheek feathers found on the Fiordland crested penguins, have more retracted crests than those of erect-crested penguins, and have less-elaborate crests than those of the rockhopper penguins.

Source: USGS [6]

Though it shares a name with the famous black-and-white bears, red pandas have been placed in their own family, Ailuridae, to reflect their status as creatures unlike any other animal on Earth.

Fur seals are generally smaller than sea lions, but their flippers are proportionately much larger.

Though nine species of tigers were once documented throughout the world, today only six remain, and they survive only in endangered numbers.

One of the most common eared pheasants, the blue-eared pheasant resides in central China.

Though they might resemble some of their tree-dwelling, Old World monkey cousins, baboons are terrestrial and live in hierarchical troops.

Polar bears have an amazing sense of smell and use it to catch their prey. By crouching at the mouth of seal breathing holes, they can smell the seal's exhalation and will quickly pull the animal onto the ice.

The largest of all the penguins, Emperor penguins were made (more) famous by the movie March of the Penguins [7]. Emperors remain in Antarctica permanently, breeding on the sea ice in some of the coldest conditions on Earth.

Source: Polar Cruises [8]

Colobus monkeys are typically the loudest animals at the zoo: males make croaking roars that can be heard throughout their treetop environment.

Though it has been pushed out of many of its former habitats, the golden eagle is still found in large numbers just outside San Francisco, CA.

Seemingly sagacious with their white beards, De Brazza's monkeys are shy creatures that often stand completely still as a defense mechanism.

Rothschild giraffes can be distinguished from Masai giraffes by their less-jagged markings, their cream-colored background, and their lack of markings below the knees.

A male lion's mane growth is associated with sexual maturity and testosterone production, among other things. Thus, females tend to go for the guys with fuller, darker manes!

The gray crowned crane is one of only two crane species that can roost in trees, thanks to a long hind toe that can grasp branches.

Like white rhinos, black rhinos are actually gray but are distinguished from their cousins by their pointy upper lip.

Most abundant of all the world's penguins, the Macaroni penguins inhabit the maritime Antarctic and subantarctic regions.

Source: Ross Sea Info [9]

The wildebeest got its name from the Afrikaans term for "wild beast," thanks to the animal's sharp horns and fierce, shaggy mane. In reality, though, this leggy creature finds itself a frequent meal for savannah-based predators!

Not only do they weigh in around 400 grams, but Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbits are also about the length of a pencil!

Rosy-faced lovebirds get their name from their monogamous pair bonding and in spite of the fact that they are actually small parrots.

Dingoes have interbred so extensively with domesticated dogs that the genetic makeup of these canines have become compromised. At the Dingo Discovery and Research Centre [10] in rural Victoria, these pups are part of a conservation effort to preserve the original gene pool of the Australian Dingo.

The one-l lama, he's a priest. The two-l llama, he's a beast. But I would bet you didn't know that his true name is the guanaco!

The female mallard lays half her body weight in eggs, which results in lots of ducklings to make way for!

This wallaby joey has a gestational period of only about four to five weeks before crawling into Mama's pouch to stay snug, warm, and fed.

The white-headed Capuchin monkey is perhaps best known as the companion to organ grinders . . . or Friends's Ross Geller. Thanks to its high level of intelligence, the Capuchin has been trained to assist the handicapped.

Gentoo penguins are distinguished by their bright red-orange bills and conspicuous white patches behind their eyes. Long stiff tail feathers stick out behind them as they walk and cock up in the water when they're swimming, making them fairly easy to spot.

Source: Center For Coastal Physical Oceanography

Gray seal pups are born with fuzzy, white pup fur. After about a month guzzling its mother's high-fat milk, it will grow waterproof adult fur and jump into the ocean to learn to catch its own food.

Grévy's zebras do not live in harems like their other striped cousins. Rather, the females and babies travel together in loose bands while males establish territories by making loud sounds and dung piles.

All white tigers observed in the wild are Bengal tigers, but they have been bred in captivity in high numbers due to the popularity of the color. Nevertheless, all captive white tigers have at least some Bengal blood.

Polar bears' scientific name, Ursus maritimus, means "maritime bear" due to the fact that they spend most of their time in water.

Source: Hilmer & Koch for Scandinavian Wildlife Park [11]

Standing only about three feet at the shoulder, the adult pygmy hippopotamus still weighs 400 to 600 pounds!

Humboldt penguins, also known as Peruvian penguins, are warm-weather penguin living mostly on rocky mainland shores, near cliffs, or on islands off the coasts of Chile and Peru.

While some people may refer to these animals as coatimundi, that is actually not the proper name; Coati is. Some other nicknames include Brazilian aardvarks, hog-nosed coons, and snookum bears. Awww, snookums.

Once a regular sight in Baja, CA, the Peninsular pronghorn now numbers about 250 in the wild. The only US institution to intensively breed this species, the Los Angeles Zoo now boasts the birth of three pairs of these leggy creatures.

Snow leopards have small ears; thick, furry coats; compact bodies; and furry feet to minimize heat loss in their Himalayan natural habitat.

Thanks to long snouts and even longer tongues, giant anteaters are able to lap up 35,000 ants and termites a day without destroying the mounds these insects call home.

Ursus arctos, or the brown bear, is a species among which at least 16 subspecies have been found. It's estimated that the largest, the Kodiak bear, can weigh up to 1,400 pounds in the wild.

Capuchin monkeys got their name from the friars of the order Friars Minor Capuchin, who wore brown robes with hoods that covered their heads. Tufted capuchins have a distinctive crest of hair rising up from their foreheads and are avid tool-wielders in the wild (a talent that's exceeded in complexity only by chimpanzees).

Lemurs use scent to mark territory and aid in breeding. During mating season, males will cover their long tails in stinky secretions and wave them around for all to smell.

The Tasmanian devil comes by its name honestly, as these animals are notoriously ill-tempered and fly into a snarling, growling rage when threatened by predators.

Descendants of horses brought to the New World by the Spanish, mustangs are feral horses that roam the open landscapes of Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, and Oregon.

Source: Flickr user J.harwood [12]

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