I love going to New York.
One time, on one of my visits to the city, I decided to go to the Bronx Zoo.
This article is about that trip.
The Bronx Zoo is way out on one of the subway lines. It’s so far out that the subway turns into an elevated line above the streets below.
Finally, my sister and I arrived at the zoo.
One of the first things I photographed was this pretty butterfly. I knew it was going to be a nice day.
Monkeys live all over the world, in all shapes, sizes and colors.
As our closest relative, monkeys have opposable thumbs that allow them to pick up things, use tools and play games.
There are more than 260 different types of monkeys.
They are separated between the names New World and Old World.
The New World monkeys live in the Americas, while the Old World monkeys live in Asia and Africa.
Gorillas are another favorite animal of mine, but I’ve rarely seen them in the zoos I’ve visited.
Male gorillas are two times bigger than females. They can reach a height of 6 feet and a weight of 480 pounds. Females are usually 5 feet tall, weighing up to 215 pounds.
A gorilla is 4 to 8 times stronger than a human.
Just like humans, a gorilla has 10 fingers on their hands, 32 teeth and forward-looking eyes. Unlike humans, the big toes on their feet look like thumbs.
Also, their arms are longer and more muscular.
Gorillas are very intelligent animals. They communicate using at least 22 different sounds, body postures, facial expressions and body odors. Also, gorillas are able to learn and apply sign language to communicate with people.
Gorillas have large bellies because they have long intestines required for a plant-based diet. They eat large quantities (up to 40 pounds per day) of shoots, branches, leaves, fruits and vines. Other than that, gorillas eat ants, termites, insect larvae and worms.
I saw another polar bear at the Bronx Zoo, and again he was sleeping.
Male polar bears can weigh up to 1500 pounds and reach 10 feet in length. Females are two times smaller than males.
Although they look white, their fur is transparent. When light bounces back from the fur, the result is a white color. Thanks to the white color, they blend with their environment easily.
When they run, they can reach 25 miles per hour.
They can swim 6 miles per hour. Some polar bears are seen 100 miles away from the shore. They can swim 70-100 miles at once.
Tigers are excellent swimmers. They can swim 4 miles with a prey in their mouth.
A female tiger is called a tigress. At the age of 3 and a half years, a tigress is ready to become a mother for the first time. She usually has 3-4 cubs.
Although she is a very protective mother, half of her cubs will be killed by predators and male tigers or die because of the lack of food.
Tigers are very fast animals. They can run 35-40 miles per hour. They are good jumpers also; they can leap a distance of up to 10 yards.
Tigers can survive 10-15 years in the wild and around 20 in captivity.
The largest elephant ever recorded was an African elephant, according to the San Diego Zoo. It was 24,000 lbs. and 13 feet tall from its’ feet to its’ shoulders.
Both the male and the female African elephant have tusks. Only the male Asian elephant has tusks.
Therefore, an elephant without tusks is a female Asian elephant, like this one.
It was nice to see deer at a zoo. I had never seen them in captivity before.
They are beautiful animals and I love looking at them. I’d love to have a fawn, which is a young deer in its’ first year of life.
Giraffes have 7 vertebrae in their neck just like humans, but they are much bigger in giraffes (one vertebra is 5 inches).
A young giraffe begins its’ life by falling to the ground from a height of 6 feet.
Donkeys and horses are close relatives of zebras, but unlike them, zebras can’t be trained and domesticated due to their wild nature.
They eat grass and leaves. Zebras can’t survive without water and they need to drink it at least once per day.
The one major thing I don’t like about the Bronx Zoo is their Tram that goes around the zoo.
You ride by the animal enclosures and see them. The problem is that you keep moving whether you saw the animal or not and sometimes they are hard to find or way off.
This cheetah was a long ways off and the photo got blurry when I zoomed in.
The lion is said to be majestic, the leopard ferocious and shrewd. But elegant and graceful best describes the cheetah.
The cheetah is smaller than the other two cats, but by far the fastest at speeds of 70 miles per hour it can run faster than all other animals.
The visible “knee” of the flamingo is actually the ankle joint. The true knee is close to the body and can’t be seen because of the feathers.
Flamingos are monogamous (they have just one partner) and they produce one egg each year.
Both the mother and father keep the egg warm before it hatches. A few days after hatching, both parents will start feeding their chick with a milk-like substance rich in fats and proteins.
When they want to rest, flamingos stand on one leg.
The Bronx Zoo has camel rides for the kids.
The kids loved it. What a great experience for a child to tell his / her schoolmates that they rode a camel at the zoo.
This is a box turtle.
A turtle is any shelled reptile belonging to the order Chelonii. The term “tortoise” is more specific, referring to terrestrial turtles.
Of course, there’s always an exception. In this case, the land-dwelling box turtle.
Frogs are amphibians.
Amphibians are among the first group of vertebrates to leave the oceans and venture out onto land. They have thin, moist skin that loses moisture easily, so they typically live in or near water.
Most lizards eat insects and that is why they are called insectivores. Lizards are extremely valuable because they help to control the insect population.
The lizards that eat small animals and birds are called carnivores. A few lizards eat plants and they are called herbivores.
Here is a member of the crocodile family.
The alligators have a more rounded snout.
This might be the African slender-snouted crocodile.
The African slender-snouted crocodiles are native to freshwater habitats in central and western Africa. They are medium sized crocodiles, typically slightly smaller than the Nile crocodile, but are larger than several other species of crocodilians.
The adult length is from 9.8 to 13.1 ft and adult weight is from 276–507 lbs. The occasional large specimen can weigh up to 717 lbs.
This is also from the crocodile family. You can tell my the pointed snout. It’s not rounded like an alligator.
South Florida is the only place where you can find both crocodiles and alligators.
At the Bronx Zoo, they have not one but two large snakes. Here, you see them intertwined.
They also have some other constrictors. This snake lives in trees.
Snakes don’t have eyelids.
Snakeskin is smooth and dry.
Snakes consume a variety of items including termites, rodents, birds, frogs, small deer and other reptiles.
Snakes are found in many habitats including in the water, forests, deserts and prairies.
Snakes are ectotherms, meaning they must regulate their body temperature externally by sunning themselves or retreating to cool, shaded areas.
Snakes hibernate during the winter.
Snakes must shed their skin three to six times per year.
It is a common misconception that snakes build nests for their eggs.
Only one species of snake, the king cobra, will build a nest for its’ young.
The rarest and most endangered snake is the St. Lucia racer. It is believed that there are 18 to 100 of these snakes left in existence.
There are several ways to tell if a snake is poisonous. For example, if its’ pupil is shaped like a diamond, then the snake is poisonous.
Snakes that are non-poisonous will have round pupils. Color is another good clue.
This rhyme helps people tell the difference between coral snakes, which is poisonous, and scarlet king snakes, which is not poisonous:
If red touches yellow, it will kill a fellow.
If red touches black, it’s a friend of Jack.
Well, we’re at the end of another zoo article for my Blog and here we see the old Komodo Dragon.
Once the fearsome predator latches onto a victim with its teeth, it thrashes swiftly while digging in hard.
This releases the venom from tiny mouth ducts, quickly subduing smaller animals. For larger prey, it may wound them and leave just as the myth says, but venom rather than bacteria finishes the job.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing the Bronx Zoo and reading about the animals there.
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