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desert: fauna January 28, 2005 8:00 PM

Deserts have a varied fauna including insects, arachnids, mammals, reptiles, a few birds and even some amphibians. One of the best-known mammals found in deserts is the dromedary (one-hump camel). This animal is well-adapted to survive in arid habitats for several reasons. For one thing, his rough tongue allows it to eat thorns that contain water. It gets also some from leaves and other parts of the plants. He can also use the fat stored in its hump to produce water when he needs it. Furthermore, it can gulp 100 liters (30 gallons) of water in just about 10 minutes. If you look at a camel, you will find that their upper lip is open up to their nose. That is because they produce a lot of nasal mucus that they eat right back to recycle their water-content. Hmmm... yummy.... well not for us but for the camel it's a good adaptation!  [ send green star]
 
domedary January 28, 2005 8:07 PM

Nowadays, the dromedary is considered a domesticated species. There's little of them, if at all, that still live in the wild. They have one young after a gestation of 13 months from 5 years-old and on. The young is fed by his mother for more than a year after his birth. Their nostrils can be close to prevent the sand from entering and they have two rows or eyelashes to protect their eyes. Flat and large feet allow them to walk surely on the sand. They do not pee a lot and their feces are completely dry in order to keep their water.  [ send green star]
 
bactrian camel January 28, 2005 8:15 PM

The Bactrian Camel, although domesticated in great number, is still found in the wild but that species is endangered there. They are found in Asia whereas the Dromedaries are mainly found in Africa (and now in Australia). Both Camels share the same kind of adaptation to arid environment. The sole of the Bactrian's feet are hard though, ornery, well-suited to walk on rocky hillside where they tend to hang out in the wild. Wild Bactrian Camels live in herds containing from 2 to 15 individuals, female and young led by a male. However they may gather in larger groups of up to 100 members.  [ send green star]
 
 January 29, 2005 2:17 PM

Now, pictures:

dromedary (one hump)



Bactrian Camel (2 humps... and a baby. ):

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The Fennec January 29, 2005 2:38 PM

The Fennec (or desert fox) is the smallest member of the Canidae family (which also includes dogs, wolves and foxes).  It is smaller that the average house cat.  It dwells in a burrow during the day and hunts at night.  As for many Canidae, these fox live mate for life, living in pairs along with their offspring for a while.
The litter contains 2-5 kits (young foxes).
They are mainly found in the Sahara or in Arabia. 
They have huge ears that enable them to focus very accurately on their prey using their keen earrings but also to radiate heat through their large areas.
They are omnivorous eating lizards, rodents and insects as well as plants, including roots which contain a greater amount of water.
Using water from their food alone, they can survive for up to one month without any other source of water.

Notice the very large size of their ears, they are quite remarkable indeed:


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The Meerkat January 29, 2005 5:27 PM

The Meerkat (sometimes called Suricate) belongs to the Viverridea family.

Highly social animals, the meerkats live in the desert of Southern Africa (Kalahari).  They live in groups ranging from less than 10 to up to 40 individuals.
The social life is well defined and each individual in a group has a task to perform.  Specific tasks includes:

Baby sitters watching over the babies (called kits) when the other members of the group are out hunting.

Sentries stand up on their hind legs and using their tails for balance, watching around (including the sky) for predator. They bark out warning if they hear, smell, or see any predators. There are specialized calls for everything.

Hunters.

Teachers go one-on-one with the juviniles to show them how to hunt.


There is a hierarchy in the colony with a alpha couple which is generally mating.  Other may successfully mate on occasions.  Adjacent colonies are usually friendly but there has been a few fights over territories in which every member of a group engage.

A meerkat diet may include insects, small bugs like grubs or beetles, small mammals, scorpions, lizards, and some snakes. Meerkats, like most mongooses, have developed immunities to some animals' poisons and venoms (specifically scorpion venom in their case).

Here's a picture of a meerkat acting as sentry:


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aaarrrrggggggggg.......... January 29, 2005 6:22 PM

I keep posting the pictures and they keep disappearing or appearing twice.. well, may as well have them twice than not at all so here goes:

Dromedary:


Bactrian Camel:


Fennec:


Meerkat:


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Marianne January 30, 2005 11:37 AM

thanks for the info.

Regarding the pictures... what format do they have? (jpeg, etc)

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 January 30, 2005 2:23 PM

Juliana,

thank for the feedback, thank you thank you.... the pictures are .jpg.

I don't know why they don't appear and I sent a message to care2 to find out what's wrong. I tried to post a picture in another group and it disappears all the same..... I'll try and see if i can put them in the group's homepage


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pictures January 30, 2005 2:25 PM

Groups don't seem to have space for photos album but this link will take you to the pictures in my gallery until the problem can be fixed:

http://www.care2.com/c2c/photos/view.html/view/135224153/Ecology/?g2_GALLERYSID=f17026a986fbdf1c1e6103db1643cddf

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Marianne January 30, 2005 3:04 PM

maybe you could try making the pictures smaller... I'd really love to see the pictures.

Regards,

Juliana

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I just clicked on your link January 30, 2005 3:10 PM

and I saw them. They are really pretty, and the size is not the problem. I love the meerkat & baby and the camel & baby...

Thanks for sharing,

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Sand cat and Black-foot cat January 30, 2005 6:08 PM

Both these animals belong to the Felidea (Cats) family and live in arid/desertic area.  Both these cats share the characteristics of needing no water to survive besides the one they find in their prey.  It is quite a major adaptation to life in desertic habitats.

The Sand Cat can be found in the Sahara as well as in Arabia, Central Asia and Pakistan.  It is the size of a house cat and as such, the smallest of the wild cat.  His ears are enlarged and this animal is believed to be able to perceive ultrasounds in the desert which helps him while hunting.  It spends the day in a burrow that it has dug or under a thick layer of vegetation to avoid the heat of the sun and hunt at night.
Their diet includes rodents, insects, reptiles (among which snakes which may, also, be a predator of the sand cat) and birds.  They have litters of up to 8 kittens who are mature at 14 months of age.

The Black-footed Cat is found in Southern Africa.  They live in abandoned Anthills or Hare burrows.  They hunt at dusk and at night.  Their prey species are varied including rodents, lagomorphs (hares), and birds.  They also sometimes feed of reptiles, insects and spider.  The Black-foot has, on occasion, been spotted scavenging (eating off an already dead animals) on larger mammals.  Their litters are smaller than that of the Sand Cat with 1, 2 or 3 kittens only (2 being the most common size).  The kittens reach maturity at 20 months of age.

pictures have been added in my picture gallery...

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Pics.. one more try January 30, 2005 6:25 PM


<

Dromedary and baby:

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another one.... i'm optimistic January 30, 2005 6:29 PM

Bactrian Camel and baby:


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Pic- Fennec January 30, 2005 6:30 PM

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beautiful! January 30, 2005 6:31 PM

I downloaded the fennec fox into My Pictures too.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Pic - Meerkat January 30, 2005 6:32 PM


Meerkat (sentry and a kit):




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Pics - Sand Cat and Black-footed Cat January 30, 2005 6:34 PM


Sand Cat:




Black-footed Cat:


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 January 31, 2005 5:19 PM

One more animal of the desert: the Caracal....

All i'll say about this one is this: it's really really pretty



oh, and he lives in the Sahara desert.


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anonymous Thankyou Mariannie September 12, 2006 12:19 PM

for the great pictures.

To me the Caracal looks extremely Egyptian. I don't know why but the picture you put up reminds me of Cleopatra.

Truly magnificent creature.

W.M.         be your own goddess

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 April 05, 2007 8:08 PM

beautiful pics...thanks...I have two cactus in my home and I am concerned that they may not live long....does anyone know where a great place would be to learn about the care of these plants? thanks
tammy

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