Interesting Facts About The Animals We Use For Exotic Leather Products
The Croc.Despite having webbed feet, crocodiles don’t use them for propulsion; in fact they tuck their feet to their sides to reduce water resistance. They do however use the webbing to make sudden directional changes.
A supreme predator in the water, various croc species have been observed attacking and killing sharks!
If you think Crocs appear prehistoric, it’s because they are! Crocodiles have roamed the planet for more than 200 million years!
Crocs “scales” have pores that are believed to be sensory to determine movement and vibration in the water, much like the lateral line of fish.
Many bigger species of croc will swallow stones which may act as ballast and assist in breaking up food… much like “grit” in birds!
Crocodiles are more closely related to birds and dinosaurs than they are to most other animals classified as reptiles.
The word crocodile comes from the Ancient Greek word crocodilos, meaning “lizard,” as used in the phrase “the lizard of the river.”
Crocodiles are similar to alligators and caiman; however a crocodile’s bite is much more powerful. In fact the bite of a crocodile is by far the strongest bite of any animal in the world including the great white shark!
Being poikilothermic (cold blooded) Crocs have a very slow metabolism which can see them survive for up to 2 years without food!
The average lifespan of a croc is 70 years. There is evidence suggesting some crocodiles may exceed 100 years. The Australian Zoo’s “Mr Freshy”, rescued by Bob and Steve Irwin from hunters, is estimated to be 130 years old!
The sex of a crocodile is determined by temperature during gestation, there are no sex chromosomes. Males produced at 31.6 C and females produced at temperatures above and below this figure.
Crocodiles may have a “homing instinct”. Australian saltwater crocodiles have been observed traveling 400 kilometers after relocation back to original habitat within just 3 weeks
The Ostrich.The biological name “Struthio Camelus” is derived from the ancient Greek meaning camel sparrow. Named, no doubt, for a bird with an extremely long neck!
The ostrich is part of the ratite family, meaning flightless bird. He is the largest bird on the planet and has existed for over 120 million years (a true dinosaur!)
This bird is 10 feet tall, weighs 300lbs and is the fastest bird on the planet with speeds up to 45 miles an hour.
He also has a very nasty attitude and can cover 10-16 feet in a single step….so don’t make him angry!
The eyes of an ostrich are larger than billiard balls! They are also larger than the birds brain which may explain why some ostriches will run around in a circle (on the spot!), even when trying to elude a predator.
With their legs making up the vast majority of their 300lbs and a sharp claw on each foot, these birds can and do kill predators such as lions or us!
The Monitor LizardThe java lizard is part of the family of monitor lizards which includes the Komodo dragon and Australian Goanna.
It is believed that monitor lizards were named for their occasional habit of standing on 2 hind legs to “monitor” their surroundings.
Monitor lizards have shown to be intelligent and can even count up to 6.
They can also forage in pairs, using one as a decoy to lure a croc from its nest while the other steals the eggs.
Recent research indicates the monitor lizard may have some venom leading to the hypothesis: that all venomous lizards and snakes share a common venomous ancestor.
Monitor lizards meat is considered an aphrodisiac in some countries!
The StingrayPart of a family of cartilaginous fishes including sharks, stingrays use electrical sensors called ampullae of Lorenzini, in the same way sharks do, to sense the electrical charges of their potential prey.
When a male is courting a female, he will chase her, constantly biting at her pectoral disc.
Rays have been known to store sperm and delay birth until they decide the timing is right!
At an aquarium in London, 2 female stingrays delivered 7 pups even though neither of them had been in contact with a male for 2 years!
Stingray venom is only mildly toxic causing muscle cramps. Although painful, it is seldom life-threatening unless the stinger pierces a vital organ.
Stingray barbs have been used for various weapons in the past including arrowheads and spearheads. In Africa, whips were once made from the tail of big stingrays.
The SharkThere are two documented cases, in which a female shark has conceived pups on her own, completely asexually, with no paternal genetic contribution.
During birth, hormones are released to suppress the female’s appetite so she won’t be tempted to eat her own pups.
With large brains, recent studies have indicated that many species of shark possess powerful problem-solving skills and curiosity.
Evidence suggests sharks may use the Earth’s magnetic field with special organs that act as a compass to navigate the oceans.
Sharks never run out of teeth. A shark may grow and use up to 30,000 teeth in its lifetime.
The man who successfully markets the humble toothbrush to sharks will be a multi billionaire.
When a shark eats something it cannot digest, it has the ability to invert and thrust its stomach out its mouth.