A-Z of animals : Gecko to Iriomote Cat
Gecko: lizards belonging to the infraorder Gekkota, found in warm climates throughout the world.
Texas Banded Gecko
Western Banded Gecko
more geckos on Animal Diversity Web.
The Gerenuk, the “giraffe gazelle”, is found in East Africa. A preorbital gland in front of the eyes emits a tar-like substance which is deposited on twigs to mark territory. It stands erect on hind legs to browse on tall bushes, using its front legs to pull down higher branches. Gerenuks do not eat grass nor require water as they get enough moisture from the plant life they eat.
Gila Monster, a venomous lizard.
Giraffe: the world’s tallest animal, up to 5,5 m (18 ft) tall. At birth a giraffe calf is 1,8 m tall (6 ft). A male giraffe weighs up to 1,350 kg (3,000 lb). There are nine subspecies of giraffe, all found south of the Sahara desert, Africa. Its Latin name camelopardalis means “camel marked like a leopard.”
Goat: There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. The various breeds weigh anything from 9 kg (20 lb) to 125 kg (275 lb). Female goats are referred to as “does” or “nannies”, males as “bucks”, “billies”, or “rams” and their offspring are “kids”. Castrated males are “wethers”. There are approximately 1 billion goats in the world, almost half of them in China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Gopher, or Pocket Gopher: 35 species of burrowing rodent with fur-lined pouches on the outside of the cheeks, found in North and Central America, weigh around 230g (0.5 pounds) and are about 150-200mm (6-8in) long.
Botta’s Pocket Gopher
Bullers’s Pocket Gopher
Camas Pocket Gopher
Northern Pocket Gopher
Plains Pocket Gopher
Southeastern Pocket Gopher
Southern Pocket Gopher
Valley Pocket Gopher
Western Pocket Gopher
Yellow-faced Pocket Gopher
The Gorilla is the largest of the living primates; male gorillas weigh up to 200 kg, yet are shy and retiring. They will, however, protect their family groups valiantly. They eat a variety of plants, including wild celery, bamboo, thistles, stinging nettles, bedstraw and certain fruit. An endangered species, only about 630 remain. Their quest for survival was made famous by Dian
Fossey, portrayed in the movie “Gorillas in the mist.”
Groundhog, or woodchuck. A grizzled grayish or brown marmot with reddish-brown underparts. Found mostly in North America. (Groundhog Day is celebrated in Canada and the United States on February 2.
Hartebeest, a large African antelope.
The Hippo‘s yawn is not a sign of sleepiness or boredom but is actually a threat gesture, displaying long, thick, razor-sharp canine teeth, or tusks, with which it is capable of biting a small boat in half. Being fearlessly protective of their turf and young, hippos have killed more people in Africa than any other wild animal.
Horse: another of man’s best friends. Horses are of a single species, Equus caballus, but have many (more than 1400) varieties, called breeds. Horses weigh approximately 450 kg (992 lb) and can gallop at 45 km/h (30 mph) – race horses can reach 70 kmh (44 mph). Horses have a lifespan of 25 – 30 years.
Hyena or Hyaena: a carnivore with a powerful neck and bone-crushing bite. Although on average it weighs only a quarter of what a lion does, a hyena’s bite generates as much force as a lion’s (and tiger), around 4,450 newtons (1,000 psi). Hyenas are very vocal, making whoops and chattering laughing sounds. There are four hyena species, all found in Africa although the Aardwolf is also found in Asia. The Aardwolf is solitary but the other hyena species hunt in packs.
Aardwolf – the name means “earth wolf.” The smallest hyena, only 55 to 80 centimetres (22 to 31 inches) in body length and weighing 7-10 kilograms (15-22 lb). Unlike other hyenas, it eats mostly insects, mainly termites. Its long, sticky tongue can catch about 250,000 termites during a single night (the Aardwolf is nocturnal).
Brown Hyena, weighs 40 – 55 kg (88-121 lb.)
Spotted Hyena, the largest hyena, measuring up to 165.8 cm (65.3 in) in body length. Females are bigger than males, weighing up to 20 kg (44 lb) more. Males weigh 45-60 kg (99-132 lb) while the females weigh 55-80 kg (121-176 lb). The largest spotted hyenas weigh as much as 90 kg (200 lb).
Striped Hyena, measures up to 1,2 m (3,9 ft) in body lenght and weighs up to 55 kg (121 lb).
The Hyrax is so unlike other animals that it is placed in a separate order, Hyracoidea. It is the elephant’s nearest living relative. Of the 3 hyrax species, 2 are rock hyrax and the third a tree hyrax. Rock hyraxes spend the mornings sunbathing, followed by short feeding excursions. They eat quickly with the family facing out in a circle to watch for predators.
Impala, a medium-sized African antelope that can leap up to 3 m (9.8 ft) high. It can run up to 60 km/h (37 mph). There are two species, the Common impala and the highly endangered Black-faced impala, the latter being significantly larger.
Insects: the most diverse group of organisms, with almost 10 million (some studies suggest 30 million) species of these six-legged little friends. It is estimated that there are some 10 quintillion individual insects alive at any time; that is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects.
Iriomote Cat: a subspecies of the wide ranging Leopard Cat, found only on the small Japanese island of Iriomote