|[Normas para las notas] Notas del fotógrafo|
|Another oddly put-together animal, taken at the San Diego Zoo.|
Range: northeast region of Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire)
Habitat: tropical rain forest
The okapi (oh-COP-ee) is a beautiful and unusual animal. With its white-and-black striped hindquarters and front legs, it looks like it must be related to zebras! But take a look at an okapi’s head and you’ll notice a resemblance to giraffes. The okapi is indeed the only living relative of the giraffe. Like giraffes, okapis have very large, upright ears, which catch even slight sounds, helping them to avoid trouble. They also have long, dark prehensile tongues, just like a giraffe’s, to help them strip the buds and young leaves from the understory brush of their rain forest home.
Okapis are hard to find in the wild. Their natural habitat is the Ituri Forest, a dense rain forest in central Africa. Okapis are very wary, and their highly developed hearing alerts them to run when they hear humans in the distance. In fact, while natives of the Ituri Forest knew of okapis and would occasionally catch one in their pit traps, scientists did not know of the animal until 1900. The secretive nature of okapis and the difficulty most humans have of traveling in their habitat have made okapis hard to observe in the wild. Therefore, researchers can only estimate how many okapis live there. It is believed that there are currently about 25,000 okapis in the wild.
Why does the okapi have zebra-like stripes? These markings, which seem very bold to us, give the animal great camouflage when hiding in the partial sunlight that filters through the dense rain forest. The stripes may also help young okapis follow their mothers through the dark forest, and they may help adult okapis find each other, too. The okapi’s dark purplish or reddish brown fur feels like velvet. It’s also oily, so water slides right off, keeping the okapi dry on rainy days. Only the males have horns, which are covered by skin and are short so they won’t get tangled in forest branches.
If okapis are related to giraffes, why aren’t they as tall as giraffes? In a rain forest, there are trees with branches hanging down, as well as roots and tree trunks to dodge. Okapis need to have shorter legs and necks to help them swerve around these obstacles. Being really tall is not a good idea in a forest!
TAZ, coasties, Janice, chiliu, Zeno, thistle, liquidsunshine, marhowie, puffy ha puntuado esta nota como útil.
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|Secuencias en los foros|
|Secuencia||Iniciador de la secuencia
|Para sandpiper2: Same here!||manyee
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Very strange animal Manyee. Must have got confused while dressing. Good work. Thanks
- [2005-06-01 5:43]
This one does look like many animals rolled up in one! Interesting notes Manyee. From the thumbnail I thought that it had a jacket on. Good find, thank you.
When I was a young boy and my interest in the natural world was expanding, I loved reading about the strange creatures of the Afriacn jungle. Needless to say the Okapi was a favourite then and it still is. I don't think there are any in Australian zoos, so I'm yet to see one in the flesh. Like giraffe, their whole biology is complex and interesting. Think I'll have to plan a trip to central Africa.
The shot is not one of your best, but its brought back some fond memories and thoughts of a safari. TFS. There really are a bizarre looking animal.
- [2005-06-01 8:37]
Interest animal,i've never seen.
Excellent shot,good details and colors.TFS!
- [2005-06-01 13:51]
This really is one of the strangest animals I have ever seen in my whole life.
It's a bit surrealistic.
Thanks for sharing.
Very nice shot Manyee!
Maybe it is a bit noisy, but the colours, POV, composition and light are superb.
Great model as well.
I like the photo very much.
Interesting shot Manyee,
An unusual collection of spare parts!!
Nicely detailed, good colours and composition.
Thanks for posting
- [2005-06-02 3:40]
Belle et intéressante composition photographique bien réalisée pour cet okapi. Jolies couleurs et bonne netteté.
Interesting & well done !
Nice shot Manyee, This is one interesting looking animal! Good details, sharpness and colors. Excellent note, TFS this strange lookin' creature!
- [2005-06-02 6:58]
Ummm.... is this zoo only keep strange animals? :P another strange looking animal you have here. I heard about animals like this before, but never see one. I learn a lot from your notes today, Thank you for sharing. :)