Deadly Enemies in the Animal World, Ep.4

Sharks and Dolphins

It’s obvious which animal is more frightening. Cute dolphins or blood thirsty sharks, right? Exactly my thoughts, not only mine though.

Photo: sourced from Google

However, sharks are scared to death to see a dolphin. You have doubts? Thought so. Well, now I’ll explain why. Dolphins have much softer skin and a versatile skeleton structure. Thanks to this, they have better maneuverability and speed than their rivals. Their skeleton is full of clumsy cartilage parts. Also pay attention to their tails.

Photo: sourced from Google.

While the shark’s vertical fins significantly limits its upward and downward movement, the dolphin’s horizontal tail fin helps it move quickly and make sharp blows. The most dangerous species of dolphins in the dolphin family, use their tails to throw sharks on their backs, immobilize them and, well, you can imagine the rest. But let’s see what happens next. It seems incredible but the dolphin’s face is so strong and thick that it acts like a battering ram when attacking. Dolphins sneak up on sharks from below and hit their soft abdomen, which can cause serious internal injuries.

Sourced from Google

By the way dolphins always almost move in groups while sharks are usually by themselves, which makes them more vulnerable. Dolphins’ greatest weapons to defeat sharks are their intelligence. With their incredible eco-location capability, these creatures can easily follow the movements of their enemies.

Excitement as albino zebra seen in Mara.

An albino zebra foal has been sighted in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The sighting comes barely a fortnight after a polka-dotted zebra was spotted in the park. John Kipaas Manie said he spotted the albino foal yesterday morning while driving tourists around the game reserve.

“It was a normal morning game drive and that is when we spotted the rare-colored foal. At one point I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to get some pictures of the foal, which looks more like a donkey than a zebra,” Mr Manie told The Standard.

Albino zebras can have a tan shade or be almost completely white, but they always retain a faint stripe pattern. He said he chose to name the animal “Maine Zebra” and appealed to the authorities to guard it to prevent it from crossing over into the neighbouring Tanzania.

The polka-dotted zebra foal that was sighted near Matira camp by Anthony Matira, a tour guide, crossed the Mara River with its mother into the Serengeti plains of Tanzania.

Narok Wildlife Forum chairman Nick Murero urged the local authorities to take advantage of the foal’s presence to pull in more visitors.

“The Mara is lucky to be the origin of these rare zebras. It is unfortunate that we lost the other one to Tanzania but we want to ensure that we protect this one so as to attract tourists from all over the globe,” said Mr Murero.

Kenya Wildlife Service senior warden Dickson Riran said albinism in wildlife was as normal as in humans. Mr Riran added that they would not interfere with wildlife movement and would not restrict the animal from migrating to Tanzania.

( Courtesy of The Standard)

Photo: by John Kipaas Manie.

DEADLY ENEMIES IN THE ANIMAL WORLD, EP.3.

Ant Wars

Could these tiny little ants be aggressive? Well, believe it or not, they are incredibly dangerous just to each other. Ant wars are a very common form of interaction between individuals from different colonies. They happened in the first place when competing for food. Competition for food is mostly the strongest reason why animals become enemies.

Ants appeared on our planet about 160,000,000 years ago and grew stronger very quickly in several ecological niches, becoming one of the largest animal populations on earth. This is contributes to insects being the largest animal populations on earth, even when other animals become extinct due to climate change. Today, there are 16,000 species of ants in our ecosystem and their total number reaches the inconceivable figure of ten thousand billion insects. In other words, there are more than one million ants per person. I think insects should definitely be in the Guinness book of records for holding a record that has never been broken by other animals. If only there was such a book for animals. They also need to be appreciated. Due to this fact, it’s not surprising that ants cannot avoid not only internal conflicts, but also conflicts between different species. This can also be explained by the fact that ants are social insects. Each family is a social structure with distinctive characteristics and they tend to perceive members of other colonies as enemies. This is where most conflicts begin.

If an ant colony believes ants of another species or other colonies want to take away their food or invade their territory, they will respond to this threat, which can sometimes lead to a real battle. There are even separate groups of soldier ants in the colonies of certain species which belong to the working class and specialize in defense. The attack usually comes from the army ants, which is a group of a different species. By the way, these warriors are not afraid of other insects such as bees, which also tend to stay away from their formidable army.

But how do these insects win battles? When it comes to waging war, ants are not different from humans. Ants have very special devices for this purpose. For example, glands that emit toxic chemicals during an attack. In addition, army ants are usually very organized when they attack. While an ant fights the enemy face to face, others often swarm the victim and start attacking it, sometimes ripping off its limbs. Sounds like a bloody action.

Photo: by unknown

DEADLY ENEMIES IN THE ANIMAL WORLD EP. 2

Lions and hyenas

You don’t need to be a scientist to know about the feud between lions and hyenas. This century’s old war was shown in Disney’s iconic animated movie, the ‘Lion King’. Indeed, these spotted hyenas and the kings of the jungle hate each other on a genetic level, and are always ready to fight each other. As a general rule, of course lions win thanks to their strength and physical endurance. But not always.

So, how do we explain this irreconcilable confrontation? The fact is that lions and hyenas are in the same niche in the food chain. In other words, these animals are rivals and hunt the same prey. Hyenas outnumber lions though, which gives them an undeniable advantage. But in a face to face encounter there’s a high probability that the king of the jungle will win.The exception is when a lone lion has to face a clan of hyenas.

This happens when an old male lion is expelled from the pride; and the animal becomes a ‘hermit’ and lives alone. When it gets older it becomes a vulnerable target for a large clan of blood-thirsty hyenas. In addition to attacking in groups, the hyenas have another deadly weapon. Their jaws. The hyena bite is believed to be terribly strong. Sometimes the confrontation between these two species turns into real wars. This is what happened in April 20, 1999,for example, when 35 hyenas and six lions died in a two week war in Ethiopia’s Gobele wilderness. Every night they fought fiercely and during the day, they rested from the fight in their dens. It’s another story when hyenas want food. They follow lions and wait for them to make a kill. They then come in a large group, outnumber their rivals and steal their kill. They mostly follow lions without males, whose sole duty is to protect the rest of the pride. An adult male lion would spell bad news to a clan of hyenas.

DEADLY ENEMIES IN THE ANIMAL WORLD, EP1.

Scientists currently estimate that more than 1,500,000 species of animals live on our planet, not including those that haven’t been discovered or studied yet. Of course not all of them are friends with each other. Which animals do you think have the worst relationships? You’re probably thinking of cats and dogs, but this toxic relationship doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. In fact, there are much more deadly enemies in the animal world. Today, I’m going to talk about the first set of creatures that cannot stand each other.

  • Crocodiles and hippos

Everyone’s afraid of crocodiles and view them as the murderous kings of the river. Yet, few people know that their neighbors, the hippos, are not as harmless as they seem. Thanks to the cartoons we used to see in our childhood, we imagine hippos as cute chubby creatures that move pretty slowly, but on real life hippos can reach a speed of upto 30 km/h. By the way, they eat more than just grass. Hippos are not vegetarians. Recently scientists discovered that they can be a carnivore too. Hippos eat much more meat than we can imagine! And although these animals eat meat only on critical circumstances, they can take food away from crocodiles if they want to.

Who is the true king of the river? The seemingly harmless hippos or the crocodiles? In Africa, for example, the Nile crocodile is considered one of the most dangerous wild animals. According to various data, it attacks people 250 to 750 times a year. However, hippos, are still considered more aggressive, especially fot their love to overturn passing boats, killing the people inside. This is something crocodiles don’t do. The main reason why crocodiles kill many people than hippos is because they exist in various continents, while hippos only exist in Africa.

Crocodiles and hippos coexist in many regions of Africa. You might be wondering why crocodiles don’t attack hippos. It’s often said ‘never fight a losing battle’. I guess crocodiles also understand that rule. Given the chance they would, but just from a few bites, hippos can cause tremendous damage to crocodiles. The latter can open their mouth more than 50 centimeters and their teeth can easily sink into a crocodile’s flesh. Crocodiles also have teeth but they are very small. What happens when these two meet face to face? Nothing special, really. As a general rule crocodiles try to stay away, even from baby hippos, especially if their mothers are around. And if somehow they end up nearby they behave with utmost caution. But in some cases, for example when they fight for food, the encounter can end very badly for the crocodiles.

The Great Wild Beest Migration in The Maasai Mara.

The great wild beest migration of giant herds of grazers — that include wildbeests, zebras and gazelles, across Northern Tanzania and Kenya is a truly spectacular event. This is surely one of the greatest wonders of the world! If you’re a tourist and planning an adventure travel to Kenya, then the Maasai Mara is the place to be.Over 2 million wildbeests, zebras and gazelles move through the Serengeti and Maasai Mara ecosystems in search of green pasture. The great wildbeest migration begins in July, all the way to November, and it’s the best season to view the migration. Between July and August, the wildbeests move into Kenya’s Maasai Mara, crossing the Mara River on large numbers. These river crossings are among the most sought-after moments of the migration.During these river crossings, however, there are cannibals waiting to prey on them. And this is often the perfect season for a nice fresh kill. Their crocodile counterparts wait in the water, either disguised as rocks, or hide beneath the water surface. The grazers cross the river in a hurry, well aware of the danger that is lurking in the waters.You might be asking yourself why it’s referred to as the great wildbeest migration, yet even zebras and gazelles are involved in the migration. It’s because the largest part of the moving herd consists of wildbeests.

Baby Tira

This new spotted zebra foul has just been spotted at Maasai Mara, but how long it will survive, we just don’t know. It’s difference from the other zebras will undoubtedly make it easily fall prey to big cats. Based on natural selection, it would easily fall prey thus eliminating any possibility of future offspring of the same species. But, we just hope that Tira will make it in her new environment.

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