Posts tagged ‘Mammals’

What is a sea cow?

Sea cow are large water animals that look somewhat like seals.  “Sea cow” is the popular name for the manatee and dugong, which are sea animals that look somewhat like a large seals.

The sea cow is an awkward, slow-moving animal with no hind legs.  Its front legs are paddle-shaped and it has a broad, shovel-like tail.

A very large sea cow would weigh more than 1,500 pounds.   Sea cows prefer to live quietly in warm, shallow bays and coastal waters, and in certain large rivers.

Sea Cow

They feed on water plants growing in the shallow water, and are often seen in small herds, browsing like real cattle grazing.

Since they are mammals, they must hold their breath under water, and come to the surface often to breathe.

The mother sea cow feeds her baby mild.  The baby called a calf, is born under water.

The mother pushes her newborn infant to the surface for its first breath of air.  She carries the little animal on her back so that it is above water, then dunks it repeatedly until it learns to breathe correctly.  – Dick Rogers

How do camels go so long without water?

The amount of time that camels can go without water depends on several factors, such as the temperature and the food it eats.  The camel traveling across the hot desert can go a week or more without a drink.

The camel needs little drinking water because it conserves what water it gets by holding down perspiration and by drawing moisture from its own body tissue.  Camels are famous for their ability to go long periods without drinking water.


People once thought that the camel stored water in its hump.  The hump contains fat, not water.  A camel lives on this fat when food is scarce in the desert.

Though camels are supposed to be watered everywhere or tour days in the summer, they have been known to hold on much longer, but in cooler weather, it can go without water for several months.

The camel’s secret is that it conserves water, rather than stores it.  A camel needs little water because it gets moisture from its food.  In addition, a camel does not sweat much as other mammals.

When a camel does drink, it can gulp about 25 gallons (95 liters) of water.  Camel can endure without water because their bodies lose water very slowly.

In emergencies, it can take what water it needs directly from its own body tissues, losing as much as a quarter of its body weight.  By making the best of what water it gets, and by strong fat in its hump a camel can travel hundreds of miles across not dry desert with little food and water. – Dick Rogers

What are musk oxen?

Musk Oxen

Musk oxen are shaggy-haired mammals which resemble a small buffalo.  They line in the arctic barrens of north America.

The musk ox, is an odd-looking animal that resembles a small, shaggy-haired buffalo.  A fully grown musk ox may be little over four feet high at the shoulders and weight 700 pounds.

The musk ox is not really an ox.  It is a relatives of goats and antelopes.

The first part of the animal’s name is also inaccurate – it has no musky odor, as was once believed.  In the wild, must oxen are found on the treeless tundra and snowfields of Canada and Greenland.

They travel in small herds.  When threatened by wolves that, prey upon them, the herd forms a protective circle around the young.  No wise wolf would attack such a fortress of tossing honors!

Once united almost to extinction, the now-protected musk oxen are being raised much like sheep for the silky wool, called “quiviut” that grows underneath their shaggy coats.  Garments made of quiviut are very warm and tight in weight. – Dick Rogers