Hello my name is Taylor! I'm currently a Student at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. My favorite animals are anything that slithers!
Whats a life lesson you want to pass on? • Forget more than most people learn. Listen to everything, and let it teach you.
What mistaken life did you make that you don't want others to do?
• I stuck my hand in a fan once. Don’t stick your hand in a fan.
A deep dark secret you will unveil
• I think I put more trust in the big alligator in the reptile house than I do in most of my professors at class
My favorite part of the zoo s the reptile house, away from all civilization, where one must battle to survive! Come visit me and some of my reptile friend at North Georgia Zoo!
A great question from Isaiah, age 7, of North Carolina. After his mom read to him from his school book that humans were the only bipedal mammals, Isaiah proceeded to ask his mom, "What about kangaroos?" That is a very good question! So the question was submitted to North Georgia Zoo's Ask a Zookeeper. Let's see what Zookeeper Rick of North Georgia Zoo has to say about it.
Question: Are kangaroos quadrupeds or bipeds?
Answer: Hey Isaiah, Zookeeper Rick here! That's a great question. Kangaroos are known for their ability to hop on their two back legs, which definitely makes them bipedal. However, kangaroos only hop to go longer distances faster, kind of like why we humans run. Kangaroos don't "run" everywhere, they also walk, but unfortunately for them, even though their two back feet are great for hopping, they are terrible for walking because they are so big that on land a kangaroo cannot put one foot in front of the other to walk like we can. What they do instead is hunch down on all fours and shuffle forward, using their strong tail to help push them along. This of course also makes them quadrupedal, or "pentapedal" (meaning "five-footed") if you want to count the tail, because in fact their tail does act as a leg. Kangaroos, then, are not just bipedal or quadrupedal, but both.
That being said, you might be surprised to learn that humans and kangaroos are actually not the only bipedal mammals! There are a few others that come to mind off the top of my head.
One of them is the kangaroo rat, a type of rodent native to western North America. It is so-named because it hops around on its two back legs similar to a kangaroo, and believe it or not, it actually spends more time on two legs than an actual kangaroo does! Its front legs are tiny arms that it uses mostly to shuffle food into its mouth.
Another bipedal mammal is the pangolin, a strange armored creature native to Africa and Asia. At first glance it might remind you of an anteater or an armadillo, but it is actually most closely related to carnivorous mammals such as wolves, bears, and seals. It is covered in armor similarly to an armadillo, and has a long tongue that sticks out like an anteater's. It can also curl into a ball when in danger, using its armor to protect the more vulnerable parts of its body. And yes, it is bipedal. It has huge claws on its front legs to help it dig into ant hills and termite mounds, but because of those huge claws it cannot walk on its front legs, so instead it walks on its two back legs and has a long tail to help it stay balanced. It looks more like a dinosaur than it does a mammal!
Yet another bipedal mammal that comes to mind is the gibbon. The gibbon is a type of ape native to southeast Asia. Unlike most other apes such as gorillas and chimpanzees which walk on all fours most of the time, the gibbon has really long arms that help it swing through the trees, and whenever it comes down from the trees it walks upright on its two back legs like we do to keep those long arms from dragging through the dirt. The reason it doesn't walk on all fours like other apes do is because it is better designed to live in the trees than other apes are, so it has hands that are specialized for swinging, not walking. It's like if you tried to walk on all fours, your hands are not designed to do that and would get sore pretty quick.
God's creation is full of surprises! He has created a lot of strange and wonderful things for us to enjoy. Thank you Isaiah for your great question. School textbooks can be a good source of information, but the best way to learn new things is to ask questions!
Got a question about animals, habitats, zoo-keeping or more? Just ask a Zookeeper!
Submit you question to: Zookeeper@wildlifewonders.org.
Your question and answer will then be posted on this blog as well as our North Georgia Zoo Facebook Page!
*Please be sure to submit your name and age as well.*
Hi! My name is Ana and I wanted to tell you guys abut something really awesome I got to do today! I got to go out on what’s called a “program”! It’s only the second one I’ve ever been on and today we went all the way to a big city called Atlanta. First, my Mom loaded me up into a big carrier with a very comfy sheet and I nestled down into it and felt as cozy as if I was sleeping in my straw…maybe even more! It’s not as scratchy! And then she gave me lots of friends to keep me company in the car, except I didn’t really like the chicks she gave me. They were really loud with their chirps. But I enjoyed talking with Flynn the Goat and Audrey the Pig. And we sang too! Mom was singing really loudly with the music, and I baa’d along with the songs I knew. When we got to the house, I met the birthday twins! They gave me lots of pets and they had the greenest grass I have ever seen, so I may have eaten more than I played with them, but Mom said that was okay, that I was a “sheep” and that’s pretty much what we do. There was even the sweetest little girl who gave me sticks to play with! After all the attention and a full belly, I was starting to get a little tired and Mom must have known that because she started packing us all up. On the way home, Mom still sang but I slept the whole way. She unloaded all of us and gave me a big kiss goodnight. I had so much fun going out and meeting so many new people and getting lots of hugs and kisses. I hope we do it again soon! -A
Baby Season has started. That means night checks every 3 to 4 hours. These are done by interns, staff and volunteers. So what do the interns think about this? How does the weather affect all this. One minute the weather is above freezing and the next snow storms! I figured some of these pictures taken by our interns could tell their own story! Yes these pictures were taken right off their face book pages with permission of course!
Some excerpts from Staff,Interns and volunteers on their zoo adventures during this crazy weather
For anyone who is up at this time, roads are already white and it is snowing like crazy. This little ewe lamb thought that tonight would be a great time to grace us with her presence. But mom had her out in the snow so she was a little frozen, thus we named her Elsa. She got the royal treatment, hot bath, burrito wrap, effortless tummy fill, and a heated bed. Let's just say that she is not complaining. - Shauna Smith 2/12/2014