Animals of the world, Stick insect

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Pinnedyr (640x459)

  • Found predominantly in the tropics and subtropics—although several species live in temperate regions
  • As its name suggests, the stick insect resembles the twigs among which it lives. They’re typically brown, black, or green, with stick-shaped bodies that help them blend in
  • They can be relatively large, ranging from 1.5 centimetres (0.6 in) to over 30 centimetres (12 in) in length
  • Stick insects are unusual among the insects in that they have the ability to regenerate legs and antennae.
  • They have an impressive visual system that allows them to perceive significant detail, even in dim conditions, which suits their typically nocturnal lifestyle
  • Stick insects thrive in forests and grasslands, where they feed on leaves
  • They are usually active after dark
  • When disturbed, stick insects will often fall to the ground and “play dead” for hours
  • Some stick insect species can reproduce without males
  • The lifespan of stick insects varies by species, but ranges from a few months to up to three years

Animals of the world, Polar bear

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Isbjørn (640x484)

  • Polar bears are the only bear species to be considered marine mammals because of their dependence on the sea ice. Their native range lies largely within the Arctic circle
  • Polar bears are stocky, with a long neck, relatively small head, short, rounded ears, and a short tail.
  • They have a thick layer of body fat and a water-repellant coat that insulates them from the cold air and water.
  • Polar bear fur consists of a layer of dense underfur and an outer layer of guard hairs, which appear white to tan but are actually transparent. The white coat usually yellows with age
  • Male polar bears weigh around 350–700 kg (772–1,543 lbs), and are twice the size of females
  • The broad feet have hairy soles to protect and insulate as well as to facilitate movement across the ice
  • Polar Bears have no natural predators, though walruses and wolves can kill them.
  • Polar bears can swim for long distances to get from one piece of ice to another. In swimming the polar bear uses only its front limbs, an aquatic adaption found in no other four-legged mammal
  • Their diet mainly consists of ringed and bearded seals
  • Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present
  • Longevity in the wild is 25 to 30 years