ANIMALS IN DANGER
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Whale Fun Facts Sperm Whales have the largest brain on the planet. It may weigh 20 pounds. The fin whale is one of the fastest whales. They can swim over 20 miles per hour for short periods. The blue whale is the largest whale. They may grow up to 100 feet and weigh as much as several elephants. The harbor porpoise is one of the smallest whales. They grow to only about 5 feet in length. Whales can't breathe through their mouths. The mouth is connected directly to the stomach. They breathe through their blow holes, which go to the lungs.A sperm whale can hold its breath for at least an hour. The voice of the blue whale is one of the deepest voices on the planet. It is so powerful that it can travel for perhaps a hundred miles underwater. A new born baby blue whale may weigh two tons and be 25 feet long. Some whales do not have teeth. There is a toothed whale which only has two teeth.
The word 'elephant' comes from the Greek word eléfas, meaning 'ivory'. Elephants are the largest terrestrial animals on earth, measuring about 10-13 feet in height and 11,000-15,400 pounds in weight. They also have the largest brains. But, you will be surprised to know that these massive animals are quite gentle and have no natural enemies.
The decrease in population of elephants is mainly because of habitat loss and human poaching for ivory and flesh. Under Wildlife Conservation, the 'African Elephant Conservation Act of 1989' and the 'Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997' have been passed in order to conserve the natural habitats and protect them. Strict laws have been enforced to stop trading of elephants and collecting ivory. Tusk, which is another extraordinary feature of an elephant, is nothing but the second upper incisor that grows continuously. Tusks of an African elephant can grow up to 10 feet long and can weigh up to 90 kilograms, whereas tusks of an Asian elephant vary according to gender - female shows short or no tusk while the male has lean tusks, which may be of 10 feet long and around 40 kilograms weight.
As the oil spill coats Gulf Coast beaches, rescuers are hatching a daring plan to save as many as 70,000 sea turtle eggs from the disaster. Each year, thousands of newly hatched sea turtles scramble from their nests in the Florida Panhandle's sandy beaches and Alabama coasts into the water. With those waters fouled by oil and chemical dispersant, a whole generation of sea turtles could be harmed or even destroyed.
The rhino is a homely beast, For human eyes he's not a feast. Farewell, farewell, you old rhinoceros, I'll stare at something less prepoceros. Ogden Nash Rhinos are shot or caught because of their horn, their skin and their flesh. Certainly, rhinos have always been hunted throughout the centuries; their flesh was eaten, their skin tanned and their blood, urine and bones used as medication. But recently, the rhino horn is most valued.
In China, people have believed for thousands years that pandas are special. It is said that ancient emperors of China kept giant pandas as pets. Chinese books over two thousand years old show giant pandas with mystical powers. People thought that they could ward off evil sprits and natural disasters. Today, pandas are believed to be a symbol of peace and good fortune.
Giant pandas have lived in the bamboo forests of China for millions years and have been honored by the Chinese for a very long time. In fact, giant pandas have appeared in Chinese art for thousands of years. Because the giant panda is considered a national treasure in China, it is protected by law so that it does not become extinct. Although giant pandas have long been known to the Chinese, they are a recent discovery for people living outside of China. The first westerner to observe a live giant panda in the wild was a German zoologist named Hugo Weigold. In 1916, he bought a cub while he was on expedition.
In the wild, a giant panda’s diet is 99% bamboo. Bamboo is a giant grass that grows in the mountains of ChinA. Because bamboo is so low in nutrients, an adult giant panda eats between 20 and 40 or more pounds of it each day. It eats the stems, shoots, leaves and all. There are about 25 different types of bamboo that wild pandas will eat. Some nutritionists think that giant pandas need to eat not only different parts of the bamboo, but also different kinds of bamboo in order to get proper nutrition. In addition to bamboo, giant pandas eat other grasses, insects and occasionally, small rodents. In zoos, giant pandas eat bamboo too, but they might also eat sugar cane, rice gruel, carrots, apples and sweet potatoes. In the wild, giant pandas spend most of their time resting, eating or looking for food. Unlike other bear species, giant pandas do not hibernate during the winter months. They also do not build permanent dens. Instead, they shelter in caves and trees. Pandas are good climbers. They can also swim, though they spend most of their time on land. Although they might seem pretty quiet, giant pandas do make a lot of growling and honking sounds. Today, giant pandas are at risk of becoming extinct. Only about 1,000 giant pandas are left in the wild. All of these inhabit a small area in the bamboo forests of China. About 140 live in captivity. This is why the giant panda is listed as endangered in the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Animals. It is one of the most severely endangered species in the world.
1. Giant pandas live in the bamboo forests of what country? A. Mexico B. India C. China 3. Why are giant pandas protected by law? A. So that they don't run away B. Because they are dangerous C. So that they don't become extinct 5. Although the Chinese have known about giant pandas for a long time, for people outside of China, pandas are: A. a relatively recent discovery B. not very interesting C. old news 2. In China, people have believed for thousands of years that giant pandas are: A. Ugly B. Special C. Scary 4. In very old Chinese books, giant pandas are shown to have: A. Mystical powers B. Big appetites C. Long tails 6. The ancient emperors of China kept giant pandas as: A. Farm animals B. Body guards C. Pets
7. How much of a panda’s diet is bamboo? A. 99% B. 70% C. 25% 8. When it is first born, a giant panda is: A. Tiny and blind B. Very big and furry C. Black and white 9. When giant pandas are not resting, they are: A. Looking for food B. Fighting C. Hibernating 11. Giant panda live in: A. Permanent dens B. Caves and trees C. Nests 10. Giant pandas are at risk of: A. Becoming extinct B. Eating too much C. Freezing 12. How many giant pandas live in captivity? A. One thousand B. About 140 C. None