FaunaFocus

Archives

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9769

Okapis use tree rubbing, feces, and dance-like crossed-legged movements while urinating to mark their territory, doing so most often during courtship.

Advertisements
https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9773

Okapi calves are born with a conspicuous mane and long, “false eyelashes” around their eyes that are largely lost by adulthood.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9763

Social grooming and play behavior, such as tail wagging and rolling on the ground, is common in both sexes and all age classes of okapi, though infants play more frequently than adults.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9767

Like the giraffe and unlike other ungulates, the okapi simultaneously steps with the front and hind leg on the same side of the body.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9758

After a 440-day gestation period, female okapis retreat into dense forest vegetation to give birth to a single newborn calf weighing 14-20 kg.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9787

The okapi’s lifespan is about 15-33 years in captivity, but data from wild populations is unavailable.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9776

The most giraffe-like feature of the okapi is the long, dark blue-violet, prehensile tongue which is used for plucking from trees and shrubs as well as for grooming.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9764

Okapi keep defined, non-exclusive, overlapping home ranges with males maintaining more land than females and breeding females having more stable ranges.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9784

Male okapi possess ossicones, a pair of supraorbital, hair-covered frontal horns that can grow up to 15 cm in length and incline posteriodorsally from the skull.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9768

The okapi is the only species of forest ungulate to depend on understory foliage and feeds on more than 100 species of vegetation, many of which are poisonous to humans.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9770

There is sexual dimorphism in the okapi as females are taller and slightly more red than males, have smaller home ranges, and lack the frontal horns that males possess.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9762

The okapi differs from its nearest extant relative, the giraffe, in habitat, size, proportion, coloration, vocalizations, and other distinguishable features.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9774

Okapi were previously thought to be nocturnal, but are now considered diurnal with 30-50% of their day spent resting, and foraging occurring in the mid-morning or late afternoon.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9771

Okapi are limited to closed, high canopy forests and dense rainforests and frequent river banks and stream beds.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9761

The okapi has a striking visual appearance and unique color pattern that allows it to disappear into the background of dense vegetation and rotting leaves where it lives.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9777

Okapis are endemic to the tropical rainforests of northeastern Zaire and are generally limited to altitudes between 450 and 1,000 meters.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9779

In the wild, okapi are mainly solitary and occur alone or in mother-offspring pairs, usually only coming together for mating.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9766

The okapi is a medium-sized giraffid resembling a horse and averaging 2.5 m long, 1.5 m tall at the shoulder, and 250 kg.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9759

Although the okapi falls under the Giraffidae family and is related to the giraffe, some researchers debate it’s a closer relative to the nilgai antelope in the Bovidae family.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9786

The okapi has larger, more flexible ears and a relatively longer neck than other ruminants, perhaps correlated with locomotor coordination of the giraffid pacing gait.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9780

The brachyodont teeth of okapi are like other paleotragines, but it has smaller incisors and larger cheek teeth.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9760

The okapi’s scientific name, Okapia johnstoni, is a combination of the pygmy word, O’Api and a tribute to the okapi’s 1901 western discoverer, Sir Harry Johnston.

https://faunafocus.com/home/july-2018-okapi/#jp-carousel-9765

Okapi: Okapia johnstoni

ActivateAngel
https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8923

Female beluga whales become sexually mature before males, at 4-7 years, and reproduce every 2-3 years until about 20 years of age.

https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8942

Beluga whale calves are able to swim alongside their mothers from birth but are totally dependent on them for the first year of life.

https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8947

Beluga whales have a loose, fatty region on top of their head, called a melon, that is critical for echolocation.

https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8953

Beluga whales deliver their offspring in river mouths because the waters are warmer for their calves that lack fully developed blubber.

https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8930

Male beluga whales live longer than females at about 40 years compared to 32 years and belugas in captivity live longer than those in the wild.

https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8939

Only 5-10% of a beluga whale’s time is spent at the surface of the water and they are rarely seen breaching.

https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8946

Beluga whales are among the most vocal species of cetaceans and use their vocalizations for echolocation, mating, and communication.

https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8941

Beluga whales have the most varied diet of any small whale feeding on over 100 species of fish and invertebrates, and their diet changes depending on season, location, and water temperature.

https://faunafocus.wordpress.com/?page_id=8915&preview=true#jp-carousel-8951

Predation from killer whales, polar bears, and humans, as well as ice entrapment, are common causes of premature death of beluga whales.