Tigers, Eagles, Lions... these are your typical National Animals. What about the others? They deserve some attention too, don't they? So we bring this trivia quiz for you! Can you guess the country in which these not-so-typical animals are regarded as national treasures? Have fun!
Condor is the national animal of Colombia.
Condors are the largest flying birds in the Americas. Their wingspan can reach up to 10 feet in length and they have the largest wing area of any bird in the world. They are also heavy birds weighing up to 15 kilograms.
Condors belong to the vulture family that scavenge dead animals. Their huge wingspan allows them to soar the skies and travel up to 200 kilometers a day in search of food.
Condors are a near threatened species due to loss of habitat and conflicts with humans.
The gentle giant Manatee is the national aquatic animal of Costa Rica.
Manatees are commonly found around the warm shallow coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean feeding on sea grass. Hence, they get their name "Sea Cows".
Manatees can grow up to lengths of 12 feet and weigh around 500 kg.
Manatees - right from the birth - spend their whole lives in the water. They can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes swimming gracefully in the shallow seas and rivers.
Because of their slow gentle nature they were easy target for hunters, causing rapid decline in population. Collision with boats, ships and propellers have resulted in a lot of injuries and deaths. Preservation efforts have steadied the population but the threat of extinction remains.
Fennec Fox is the national animal of Algeria.
Fennec Fox Facts:
Fennec Foxes are the smallest of the Canidae family which includes Wild Dogs, Wolves, Jackals and Foxes.
Fennec Foxes live in the hot deserts of Sahara. The harsh desert adaptation includes huge ears used to release excess body heat, padded feet to walk on the hot desert sand and thick hair to insulate the body from the hot days and cold nights.
The large ears are also very useful for tracking prey at night that are crawling under the desert sand. This usually includes insects, lizards, scorpions and tiny rodents. They also eat fruits, flowers and roots.
Popularised by the movie Zootopia, the foxes are in huge demand as exotic pets. Though not threatened, the foxes are at risk from wildlife traffickers.
Komodo Dragon is the national animal of Indonesia.
Komodo Dragon Facts:
Komodo Dragons, found in the Komodo Islands of Indonesia belong to the Monitor Lizard family and are the largest lizards on the planet. They can weigh around 70 kg and grow to lengths of 8 feet.
Their large size is a result of "Island Gigantism", where animals living on an island grow to much larger sizes in the absence of other predators.
Komodo Dragons are venomous, just like snakes. Earlier theories proposed that the Dragons killed their prey by biting them with their bacteria filled mouth, causing infection and death. This theory has now been rejected after evidence of venom ducts in the lower jaws were found in the Komodo Dragons.
Female Komodo Dragons in captivity has been known to give virgin births. Parthenogenesis, a process in which an egg matures without fertilization is a common phenomenon in many lizards and snakes.
Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan. They are also found in the mountains of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Markhors are known for their distinction cork-screw horns. The horns can grow up to five feet in length.
Markhors typically live at high mountain altitudes and are a very crucial part of the mountain ecosystem.
Okapi is the national animal of Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Okapis are related to Giraffes. The smaller cousins stand around 5 feet tall at the shoulder.
Okapis have a really long tongue measuring around 18 inches. The tongue is used to clean parts of the face and ears.
Okapis are found only in Democratic Republic of Congo protected by national parks like Virunga. The country, unstable due to years of civil war, is seeing encroachments into the natural parks by rebels and industries in search of oil. This is a serious threat to the fragile ecosystem contained within the park.
Orxy is the national animal of Qatar. They are also the national animal of UAE and Oman.
Orxy is one of the largest Antelope species in the world.
Arab Orxy actually went extinct in the wild in 1972. Conservation efforts and breeding programs by zoos ensured that the animals could be reintroduced into the wild in 1980.
Orxy have been known to kill lions with their long horns and hence have the nickname "Saber Antelopes".
Springbok is the national animal of South Africa.
Springboks get their name from their unique way of jumping or strotting. Spring in Afrikaans means to jump and bok means antelope. They can jump up to 7 feet high.
Springboks jump and pronk when there is a threat from a predator or when they are excited. Exactly what purpose the action serves is still a mystery.
Springboks are among the fastest animals in the world running at speeds of 56 mph, a necessary trait when Cheetahs are your most common predator.
Giraffes are the national animal of Tanzania.
Giraffes spend all their lives standing up. They even give birth standing up. Which means a baby Giraffe falls from a height of 6 feet during birth.
Because Giraffe's head is so much higher than the rest of its body, the heart has to be incredibly powerful. Giraffes heart weighs 12 kilos (26 pounds). Giraffe's normal blood pressure is twice as high compared to a human.
Every Giraffe's spot is unique to the animal.
Ladybug is the national insect of Latvia.
Ladybugs or Ladybirds are used as natural pest control. They have a voracious appetite for aphids and other plant destroying insects.
The Latvian ladybug has two spots. Some can have no spots or sport up to 20 of them. They can also be striped. They also come in colors other than red; like yellow, pink, black and orange. There are 5000 different species of these beetles.
The bright color and the black spots are a warning sign to the predators.
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