Wild life standing still

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Inside the green gardens of Villa Borghese, very close to the zoo garden, the The Zoology Museum in Rome (Museo Civico din Zoologia) presents animals from a scientific point of view. The animals preserved in the museum help scholars and scientists to understand the species they represent and their habitat. An impressive number of 5 million exhibits are part of the collections of this Italian museum, only some of them being exposed to visitors. Some endangered species are presented here: Galapagos tortoises, lynx, migratory Dove. A similar museum was created in Bucharest by one of the pioneers of zoological study, Grigore Antipa.

Tigers are among the most familiar animals who face extinction today, mainly because they are territorial animals who need 20 square km of forest for a single female, and 60-100 square km for a male. Some varieties of tiger are already extinct, including the Persian tiger, the Bali, and Java tiger. In China there are only 50 tigers in the wild, while the Siberian (white) tiger, once dangerously rare, managed to reproduce itself better. The total world population of tigers is estimated at around 7000.

As opposed to the surprisingly fragile tiger, the crocodile is among the animals best fit to survive. Some believe that crocodiles were almost the same 200 million years ago, while dinosaurs roamed the earth. In water, crocodiles are fast enough to catch sharks, while on land they can ambush large mammals that get near water, after observing their drinking habits. Their cold blod allows crocodiles to survive a long period of time (up to one year) without eating anything. They are believed to live 70-100 years.

Lions are known to occasionally mate with tigers. The king of all animals sleeps most of the day and prefers to hunt at night. Despite their usual laziness, when they decide to run, lions can reach speeds of 80 km/h. Lions live in prides, large families with linkage on the female side. A lion may protect his territory with a roar that can be heard at 8 km away.

Often mistaken as reindeer, the moose is considerably larger, weighting 300-700 kg.

The elegant swans are not much larger than the common goose, but are admired for their beauty. The link between swans and love stories may not be completely imaginary: often swans form their pairs a year before actually mating, and stay together for life. The trupeter is the largest species of swan, while the mute swan is the one with the most spectacular feathering.

Mai multe despre: Italia, Nature
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