Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shy And Peaceful, Gorillas Can Be A Surprise Package To People

Gorillas have always fascinated me since my school days. I remember doing this project on 'Koko', a very adorable gorilla who gained fame due to her ability of using sign language. Although, some people believe that Koko had mastered the sign language others felt that she only knew how to use the signs without really knowing the meaning behind the particular gesture. As Koko enjoyed being the center of attention, being splashed on the pages of the National Geographic magazine, it was evident that gorillas are very intelligent creatures and the first ever gorilla that was sighted by a Roman explorer in the 5th century B.C. Need to know more about gorillas and their behavioral patterns? Read on for some interesting facts about gorillas and how two species of these omnivorous beings are on the endangered list as well.

Facts about Gorillas:
The first thing that strikes one about gorillas is their massive size. The classification of their species is still under much debate. The short trunk, broad chest and shoulders may make these gorillas seem frightening to some, but in reality, these can be shy in their behavior as well. Of course, as is the case with most animals, these don't usually cause any trouble unless provoked. The Western Lowland gorilla, the Eastern Lowland gorilla, the Mountain gorilla and their subspecies can be safely classified as species of the gorilla.

On an average, gorillas have a height of 165-175 cm as far as adult males are concerned and weigh around 140-200 kg. Female adult gorillas can have a height of about 140 cm and weigh around 100 kg. A baby gorilla can weigh about 4 ½ pounds.

The habitats of these mighty creatures face threat due to the invasion of man in these areas. The loss of forests has largely lead to the depletion of the numbers of these species. In most countries, one can find like-minded people who urge others to maintain such forests and help prevent these areas from encroachment.

As mentioned earlier, the gorillas are actually shy creatures but these also defend their families fiercely. Gorillas can be said to be completely devoted to their families and members of their groups. A group can have up to 30 members. It always has one older male along with females and young gorillas as well. A silverback gorilla always heads groups of gorillas; this is an adult male gorilla that is more than 12 years of age and very dominant in its nature, which is probably why, it remains to be a perfect group leader! The name silverback stands solely because such male gorillas have a very characteristic patch of silver hair on their back.

Using their knuckles to walk around, these generally continue to wander around 10 to 15 miles. They also prefer to stick to their group and often use new branches and grass to create a comfortable area to rest; at dusk.

The diet of a gorilla consists of fruits, stems, leaves, barks, vines, bamboo and a variety of such things as the gorillas have a large appetite! Most of the gorillas can be termed to be herbivorous and are also dependent on the area they habitat, to procure their food. It is said that the Western Lowland gorillas include a lot of fruit in their diet; this is because these are readily available within the lowland areas. But due to the scarcity of food, gorillas also eat snails, insects and slugs to satisfy their hunger.

Gorillas use a wide range of facial expressions to communicate with each other. This is probably why Koko, has also been able to pick up the sign language and use her face and hands to the best of her ability. They sometimes protrude the tongue forward, use various vocal sounds, slap their chest and even laugh when they are tickled. The way a gorilla may express his/her feelings maybe on the similar lines of a human; although they cannot actually use human speech to communicate.

A female gorilla can give birth when she turns ten years old. Males generally breed at the age of 12 or 15 years. Females produce a single young gorilla, which become independent after 3 ½ years.

Today, the gorillas are struggling for their survival. These are being hunted down, for their meat, to use their heads as decoration pieces, to sell the infants (this can result in an entire group being threatened) and for such other acts caused by the human race. I think it is high time people wizen up to the importance of these beings for the entire ecological balance in nature and use one's intelligence for the better.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Take An Idea Of Owning An Alaskan Malamute, Knowing These First

The Alaskan Malamute is the largest of the Arctic dogs. This thick well built dog is solid with a plumed tail which is held over the back. The head is wide with erect ears. The eyes are of medium size, dark brown, small, and almond in shape and are obliquely placed in the skull. The dog holds an image of a wolf but with a proud, sweet expression. Dark eyes are preferred. Blue eyes are a fault according to the written standard.
Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

The feet are large, of the snowshoe type with tough pads. The thick, coarse double coat averages one to three inches in length and comes in a range of light gray to intermediate shadings of black, sable and shadings of sable to red. Combinations include, wolf gray, black & white, wolf sable (red undercoat with dark gray outer coat), or red. The only solid color allowed is white. The dog often has darker highlights and sometimes has a dark mask or cap. The legs and muzzle are almost always white. In some areas, dogs may be either smaller or larger than the official standard.
The Alaskan Malamute is extremely loyal and intelligent, sweet and most affectionate toward it's master. Great with children who are old enough to play with him safely. If their canine instincts are met, they mature into a dignified and mellow adult dog. They are very friendly and therefore are not suitable as a
Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

guard dog. Malamutes are happiest living outdoors as long as they receive enough companionship, but they also enjoy living indoors where their human "pack" lives. Without firm leadership and daily mental and physical exercise, these dogs may become destructive nuisances, acting like a big, rambunctious puppy.
In one case, a single dog ruined an entire living room of furniture valued at $15,000 in just three hours! Malamutes love outdoor activities and even do well in obedience with firm encouragement. Although it can be difficult to train Malamutes for formal obedience, it is not particularly hard to train them to be well-mannered because they love to please. Males can be very dominant. This breed needs the humans around him to be firm, confident and consistent pack leaders. Some dogs may be difficult to housebreak.
Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

This breed is a thrifty feeder and needs less food than you might expect. However they do tend to wolf down whatever is offered, which can lead to obesity and bloat. Malamutes are quiet compared to most dogs but they do like to howl and dig. This breed should be supervised around unfamiliar small animals, as they have a strong prey instinct. This does not mean they are not good with small animals. Some Malamutes have been known to raise small kittens as their own. Both sexes can be combative with other dogs, especially with the same sex and breed and firm handling and training are necessary to curve this. Proper socialization with people and other dogs is imperative. Obedience training is highly recommended.
Height, Weight
Height-Dogs 24-26 inches (61-66 cm.) Bitches 22-24 inches (56-61 cm.)
Weight-Dogs 80-95 pounds (36-43 kg.) Bitches 70-85 pounds (32-38 kg.)
Alaskan Malamute and Women

Alaskan Malamute And Women

Health Problems
The Alaskan Malamute is prone to bloat, hip dysplasia and chondrodysplasia (dwarfism).
Living Conditions
Alaskan Malamutes are not recommended for apartment life. They are fairly active indoors and should have at least a large yard. If you live in a suburban area, a high fence is a must, but bury the base, because they are likely to dig their way out. Alaskan Malamutes like to roam in what he considers to be his territory. The Malamutes coat allows them to withstand extreme cold, but be careful to keep the dog cool in hot climates. Make sure they have shade and plenty of clean cool water.
Malamutes need a reasonable amount of exercise with include long daily walks. But be careful not to overdue it in warm weather.
Life Expectancy
About 12-15 years.
Litter Size
Average of 6 puppies

Alaskan Malamute in 2 Months Old

Alaskan Malamute in 2 Months Old

The Alaskan Malamute has a dense coat and should be brushed twice a week. This breed sheds very heavily. The undercoat comes out in clumps twice a year. Bathing is most unnecessary, as the coat sheds dirt readily. Dry shampoo occasionally. This dog is clean and odorless.
The Alaskan Malamute is a Nordic sled dog, descended from the Arctic wolf. Its name comes from Mahlemuts, an Alaskan tribe that raised and cared for these beautiful snow dogs. Originally used 2000 to 3000 years ago by these Mahlemuit Eskimos of Alaska, these highly valued dogs were their only form of transportation. These amazing dogs have strength, endurance with a will to work. They pulled not only light traveling sleds, but they also hauled heavy loads of food and supplies for the Arctic people.
Packs of Malamutes have participated in many polar expeditions, for which they are particularly well adapted due to their tenacity, sense of direction, and excellent sense of smell. They have appeared as unforgettable characters in the stories of Jack London and Rudyard Kipling. The Malamute went with Admiral Byrd's expeditions to the pole. The Alaskan Malamute is cousins with the Arctic breeds, Siberian Husky, Samoyed, and the American Eskimo dog. Some of the Alaskan Malamute's talents are sledding, carting, search & rescue, weight pulling and racing.