Our new release, the Animal Reference book, is out now! It is a unique collection of rare 18th and 19th-century engraving and etchings. Illustrations from our new book have inspired today's blog post about hippopotamus, rhinoceros and bison. The Animal Reference book has 627 beautiful high-resolution images of lions prowling, tigers fighting, pumas stalking, hyenas hunting, deer rucking, bats, snakes, bison, antelope, eagles, swallows, owls, elephants, hippopotamus, walruses, apes, monkeys, marsupials, rodents, octopus, bears, rabbits, giant anteaters plus an extensive collection of animal skeletons and so much more.
What's So Special About Hippopotamus Sweat?
Hippos are one of the largest land mammals on Earth. Adult males, known as bulls, weigh around 3,260 lb - almost the same weight as a midsize car. Hippos feed at night, and these herbivores can eat 80 lbs of plants and grasses daily. They are semi-aquatic and live near rivers and lakes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, The Gambia, and South Africa. Pablo Escobar kept a family of hippos near Mendellín, Colombia, in the 1980s. The herd reproduced and, in 2007, numbered 16 animals. They live on his abandoned estate and have attacked humans and cattle living nearby. Hippo's sweat is initially colourless, but after a few minutes, it turns red and later brown. It works as a sunscreen, filtering out harmful ultraviolet light from the sun and an antibacterial solution, preventing infection from cuts.
What Was The Longest Rhinoceros Horn Recorded?
Rhinoceros take their name from the Ancient Greek terms for 'nose horned'. The horn is made of keratin, the same protein as your nails and hair. A white rhino's horn can grow 7cm per year, and the longest recorded horn came from a white rhino and measured almost 60 inches. A rhino's diet and environment influence the shape and colour of the horn, so researchers can study a horn and establish where that rhino lived. Illegal poaching has caused three of the five surviving rhino species – the black, Javan and Sumatran – to be critically endangered.
African rhinos have a unique symbiotic relationship with oxpecker birds. A symbiotic relationship describes a connection between two different species that mutually benefit from the presence of the other. The oxpecker bird feeds on ticks and insects living on the rhino and alerts the rhino when it senses danger. Rhinos are colour blind with poor eyesight, cannot see more than 30 meters away, and rely on their acute hearing and sense of smell.
How Has The Chernobyl Disaster Impacted The Population Of European Bison?
Bison today are part of two species, the American bison and the European bison (wisent). Bison are nomadic grazers, feeding on wild vegetation. They usually travel in single-gender herds but mingle during mating season. Adult males (known as bulls) are huge. American bison can weigh up to 2,800 pounds and grow to 11 ft 6 inches long. European Bison can potentially grow to 9.5 ft long and weigh over 2,000 lb.
Native Americans have a very close relationship with the bison, traditionally using many parts of the animal for food, tools and material. European settler colonisers in the 1880s overhunted American bison close to extinction as part of a strategy to force Native Americans from the Great Plains onto reservations. (Read more here) Today, the bison population has rebounded, and it is no longer under threat. Repopulation efforts resulted in the cross-breeding of bison with cattle. There are only two populations of genetically pure bison, and they live in Yellowstone National Park, USA and Elk Island National Park, Canada. These communities make up 5% of the current American bison population.
Poland is home to the largest population of European bison, who also live in Bulgaria, Spain, Romania and Czechia. They also live in Ukraine, in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a prohibited access area surrounding the site of the nuclear disaster. The lack of human intervention has allowed this 2,600 km2 area to become an important sanctuary for animals, flora and fauna and a hub of biodiversity.
Interested in Learning More?
Get the Animal Reference Book via paperback or eBook. This pictorial archive is a unique collection of rare 18th and 19th-century engraving and etchings. We've curated and restored 627 beautiful high-resolution images of lions prowling, tigers fighting, pumas stalking, hyenas hunting, deer rucking, bats, snakes, bison, antelope, eagles, swallows, owls, elephants, hippopotamus, walruses, apes, monkeys, marsupials, rodents, octopus, bears, rabbits, giant anteaters plus an extensive collection of animal skeletons and so much more. We're confident this book has the animal reference material you need.
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