Posts tagged ‘Antelope’

What was a unicorn?

Unicorn

Old Greek and Roman myths tell of a strange beast with the head and body of a horse, the tail of a lion, and the beard of a goat.  It was called a “unicorn.”  A unicorn had a single long, twisted horn sticking out of its forehead.  Those who drank from a cup made of a unicorn’s horn were said to be protected from poison.

The idea of unicorns may have started with the tales told by early travelers—tales which probably described the rhinoceros or the oryx, a long-horned antelope. The tales grew more marvelous each time they were told.  – Dick Rogers

Why do cows chew their cuds?

A cow’s stomach has four parts.  It must chew its food twice before the food can be digested.

Cattle have the habit of swallowing their food and later bringing it back to the mouth to be rechewed.  Hence they are called “ cud-chewing” animals.

The cow has an end way of digesting its food.  A cow’s stomach is divided into four compartments.  Each compartment helps digest the food the cow eats.

Cow

While a cow is grazing it chews its food only slightly.  When the food is first, swallowed, it goes into the first compartment of the stomach where it is moistened.

From there it passes into the second compartment.  Have the food forms into a soft ball called a cud.  Later, when the cow is resting, the cud moves back up in the cow’s mouth to be chewed thoroughly.

This time, when the food is swallowed, it passes into the third and fourth compartments when real digestion takes place.

Animals that chew cuds and have this kind of stomach are called ruminants.  Ox, deer sheep, goats and antelope are ruminants.  – Dick Rogers

 

What is a chamois?

Chamois

The chamois [pronounced SHAM ee] is a small, shy goat like antelope that lives in the high mountain of Europe and Western Asia.  It is about the size of a domestic goat.

The long, pointed hooves of this sure-footed creature are hollowed, or cupped, allowing it to make death-defying leaps from rock to rock and cling to the steep slopes of its ragged mountain home.

Chamois live in small herds  when feeding they post a sentinel which warns of the approach of danger by stamping and making a whistling sound that will send the whole world herd dashing off.

Chamois escape by leaping across wide ravines and racing at top speed up or down seemingly sheer cliffs, where few other animals can go.

A soft leather known as “shammy” or “chamois cloth” was once  made from chamois skin.  But because the chamois is rare, most shammies are now made from sheep skin instead. – Dick Rogers