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.*
Zoo Keepers at North Georgia Zoo & Farm
A mix of writings, pictures from those involved in taking care of the animals and educating guest!
Got a question about animals, habitats, zoo-keeping or more?
Just ask a Zookeeper!
Your question and answer will then be posted on our North Georgia Zoo Facebook Page!
*Please be sure to submit your name and age as well. *
Click below to submit your question: