other animals

Mammal

Alpaca

3000 years ago the first alpacas were bred for their wool. The ancestral breed of alpacas are vicuñas which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes. Since alpaca wool is very soft the Incas called it the "fleece of the gods". Unlike sheep wool it does not contain any lanolin and is therefore suitable for people with allergies. Nowadays in Germany alpacas are not only kept for their wool. Thanks to their gentle and calming character they are also used in animal assisted therapy.

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Mammal

Alpine ibex

All ibexes have horns - with lengths up to one metre the males' ones get especially large. They serve primarliy for communication with conspecifics. During the late summer the males use their horns to perform courtship displays to impress herds of 10 to 20 females and young animals. They do so by getting up on their hind legs, dropping down forward and colliding with the horns with loud crashing. The winner stays with the herd during the winter, mates with the females and leaves the group in the spring.

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Mammal

Alpine marmot

Alpine marmots spend a large part of their lives underground in self-dug burrows especially during their seven month long hibernation. They have large paws with strong claws for digging. Using their front legs or teeth they loosen the soil and throw it behind them with their strong hind legs. Since their burrows are built over generations there are large mounds of earth in front of the entrances. Alpine marmots usually stay close to one of the numerous entrances in order to quickly escape from predators.

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other

Axolotl

The axolotl is an aquatic tail amphibian from the family of the transverse tooth newts, which only occurs as a permanent larva. Axolotl reach sexual maturity without changing their external larval form and undergoing a metamorphosis that is otherwise common in amphibians (neotonia). So they are not taking the step towards becoming an adult. Their ability to regenerate is also exciting, limbs and organs can be reproduced if lost and are fully functional.

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Mammal

Bactrian camel

Reserves are necessary for bad times - Bactrian camels keep their reserves within their humps. They don‘t contain water, but fat. If they are properly filled, they rise up 25-35 cm. Bactrian camels also deal well with water shortage: They can survive 2-3 weeks without water, since they rarely perspire und only loose small amounts of water when urinating.

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Mammal

Banded mongoose

Banded mongoose have a wide range of feed, which also includes eggs. To be able to consume these, they help themselves with a special technique. The raw egg is taken with their paws and systematically thrown through the straddled hind legs against a stone. The contents of the broken egg are sipped up. Slimy food like snails for example are rolled extensively in the sand to remove the slime before eating.

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Birds

Bar-headed goose

On the train between the winter and the breeding area, many bar-headed geese have to cross the Himalayas. Flight heights of over 9000 meters are sometimes reached: barefoot geese have already been observed flying over Mount Everest. They overcome the lack of oxygen at these altitudes by means of a special adaptation: unlike in mammals or other birds, the red blood pigment, hemoglobin, is able to absorb oxygen particularly quickly at low pressure.

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Birds

Ble-crowed laughingthrush

The blue-crowned laughingthrush is a social bird and never on its own. The birds are nearly constantly chattering in order to keep in contact with the other members of their group in the dense forests they live in. The nesting also takes place in small colonies. Nests are built in close proximity, using twigs and grasses. Subadult birds help raise their younger siblings. The species is critically endangered, less than 250 animals still occur in China.

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Birds

Blue eared-Pheasant

Blue eared pheasant males are very aggressive during mating season and later defend their chicks vigorously even against large predators. Thus, they were considered symbols of bravery and irrepressible courage in China. Generals of the Han and Qing dynasties received helmets with blue eared pheasant tail feathers to inspire them to be as brave as the birds.

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Birds

Blue Peacock

Peacocks are kept in parks due to their gorgeous plumage for 3000 years. Especially eye-catching are their tail feathers, which are decorated with eye patches and can be erected into a fan. Peacocks also display their tail feathers in their natural habitat, the woods and jungles of Southeast Asia. They tremble and rattle with their feathers. This way they want to impress hens as well as rivals and thus show their health, strength and beauty.

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Birds

Bronze turkey

When the Spains conquered Mexico in 1528, the Aztec king Montezuma already kept tame turkeys to decorate himself with their feathers. Their meat was eaten only on festive days as they were of high religious value in funerary cult. After the discovery of America they were brought to Europe and bred especially for their meat. In contrast to the American Indians, Europeans consider turkeys ugly because of their red, naked frontal and neck lobes.

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Birds

Budgerigar

In the Australian outback, budgerigars live in flocks of up to several thousand individuals. They often have to travel large distances searching for food and water.

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other

carp

The carp originally comes from Asia. Even the Romans valued the carp as a food fish and introduced it to the occupied territories. In the Middle Ages (13th-15th centuries) it was spread as a fasting meal by monks all over Europe. A pond culture developed in which the carp were grown in shallow waters, as we still find them today in Lusatia.  

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Mammal

Cashmere goat

Cashmere goats live in the Asian highlands at elevations up to 4,500 m under extreme temperature conditions. During winter with temperaturs of - 30° Celsius, they grow precious hair.

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other

Central bearded dragon

Under threat the Central bearded dragon inflates itself and opens its mouth. In doing so, the spined chin line splays out and appears as an impressive beard. It works, because potential enemies are intimidated by this action. Particularly the lateral spines feel rather soft and rubbery at touch.

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Birds

Chinese bamboo partridge

Bamboo partridges like to be social. During the winter, they form small flocks. The males sing together during dawn and dusk. During breeding season, the pairs sing duets. Nests are on the ground near tree trunks, under shrubs or in higher grasses. Incubation is a woman‘s job: only the female takes care of the three to seven eggs.

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Birds

Cockatiel

Cockatiels are nomads, always looking for food and water. Their breeding season is dependent on rain: Breeding starts with the beginning of the rainy season. Only during this time, they find enough food to raise their offspring. If the rainy season lasts for a longer period, they breed more than once in quick succession.

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other

Corn snake

There are two possible explanations regarding the origin of its most frequently used english common name Corn snake. 1. The main habitat of the Corn snake are grainfields and granaries. There they prey on the abundant rodents. Another explanation provides the colourful Indian corn. Its cob resembles the pattern of the corn snake‘s belly. The Corn snake can reach a body length of 1.8m, but often remains much smaller.

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Birds

crane

Each spring cranes present a terrific spectacle. Mating cranes revolve around each other, bow down, seesaw their bodies and take objects off the ground in order to throw them over their backs. Again and again they jump up into the air gracefully. Then they face each other with their wings wide- spread and trumpet loudly with their beaks pointing skywards. The distinc- tive call is enabled by an air tube extended into loops.

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other

Crocodile lizard

Der Krokodilschwanz und die großen Höckerschuppen auf der Oberseite haben zur Namensgebung dieser nur 40 cm großen Echse geführt. Beim Sonnenbaden schläft sie oft so fest, dass sie von den Chinesen „Echse mit der großen Schläfrigkeit" genannt wird.

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Mammal

Danish protest pig

Bred around Husum, this pig breed was mostly kept by Danes living in North Friesland. They were not allowed to raise the Danish flag, presenting a white cross on a red background. In protest, they bred a red version of the German saddleback. This way, the Danish farmers could fly their flag by keeping a Danish protest pig in their front garden.

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Birds

Danubian goose

Breeding the Danubian goose, the looks stands in the foreground. Because of a mutation the quill of their feathers is firm just until shortly above the skin. Afterwards it gets soft, splits up and starts to twist, thus the unique curled feathers develop. Since the feathers are soft and bulky, they suit excellently as padding material. However, in water they get soaked, therefore the Danubian goose can neither swim nor fly.

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Mammal

Degu

Degus occur in arid regions with sparse vegetation subsisting on meagre food. When fed sugar-rich feeds such as fruits, they easily develop diabetes. Therefore, they are used as model organisms in medical research. Nowadays, the diurnal and social rodents are popular pets. In their native range Chile, degus are mostly considered a plague, as they cause agricultural damage. They dig deep burrows in the fields and feed on seeds and vegetation.

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Birds

Derbyan parakeet

The Chinese parakeet male tries to win the sympathy of the female with a courtship dance. It straightens up and turns its head sharply to the right or left. This is followed by a mock cleaning of the beak and the plumage with the foot. He turns several times in front of the female. Once he has won the affection of the female, the nesting cavity is preferably laid out in poplars.

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Birds

Domestic chicken

German Reichshuhn - this medium-weight, easily fattened breed was created in 1907 with the intention of breeding a German national chicken. Today it is on the red list of endangered pet breeds.

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