Lion hybrids The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia (where an endangered remnant population resides in Gir Forest National Park in India) while other types of lions have disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. Lions live for 10–14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than 20 years. Highly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognised by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture. Etymology Taxonomy and evolution The lion's closest relatives are the other species of the genus Panthera: the tiger, the jaguar, and the leopard. Subspecies Recent Dubious
8 Best Rivers for Kayaking in the U.S. Whether you prefer a challenge, an easy paddle or you’re more focused on the scenery, there are some rivers that rise above the rest when it comes to kayaking. Some are for the more experienced kayaker, with rough whitewater sections and class V rapids, while others are perfect for the beginner. And all of them are just plain gorgeous. Clackamas River - Oregon Just outside of Portland near the Mt. Hood National Forest is the Clackamas River, a river perfect for more experience kayakers. While the rapids range from class II to class IV, the unpredictable Oregon weather can easily make your trip more difficult, and thus, more dangerous. Allagash Wilderness Waterways - Maine If you decide to paddle the entirety of the Allagash, prepare to spend 7 days out there. Upper Iowa River - Iowa People flock to the Upper Iowa River not for a challenge—since most rapids are Class I—but for the gorgeous water, limestone cliffs and the likelihood of spotting a bald eagle. By Sarah Esterman
Floating One of the Last Wild Rivers: Yampa Journal, Day 3 We stop to kiss Tiger Wall before running Warm Springs rapid. Photo: Susan Bruce Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers organized a trip down Colorado’s Yampa River in early June, to raise awareness about the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin (see interactive map). Day 1 * Day 2 Day 3 Camped on the beach at Harding Hole, I’m in my sleeping bag under an old cottonwood tree. The wild Yampa is an oasis for these animals in the desert. Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River District, describes what happened to the habitat in the basin by comparing the river to a house: “Now all they have is half a bathroom and a couple of closets.” We float for a while in the morning, then pull over on a large cobble bar near one of the few documented pikeminnow spawning sites. Pat Tierney talks to the group about native fish in the Yampa. We gather around Pat Tierney for a talk about native fish. Like Pacific salmon, pikeminnow migrate. What’s the value of a wild Yampa?
waterways Bizarre Animal Friendships (Next Video: The Orangutan and the Hound Dog.) Neither the distance between them on a taxonomic chart, nor a potentially eye-raising age difference, mattered to Owen and Mzee. The baby hippo and the 130-year-old tortoise became close friends when Owen, orphaned after the 2004 tsunami, was taken to Haller Park, an animal sanctuary in Mombasa, Kenya, that was already home to Mzee ("Old Man" in Swahili). They've spawned children's books, a website and a blog, as well as YouTube animations. Eventually, the growing Owen was introduced to Cleo — another hippopotamus. Next The Orangutan and the Hound Dog
Masters of disguise: The gecko that resembles a leaf and nature's other camouflage experts By Wil Longbottom Updated: 07:29 GMT, 8 December 2011 Stare at these pictures for long enough and you might just spot some clever creatures playing the ultimate game of hide and seek. This Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko is barely visible against the leaves in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar. These amazing animals are true masters at blending effortlessly into their environment as a means of survival in the natural world. Blending in: This Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko hides from predators in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar, or is it just a leaf? Nothing to see here: A Bat-faced Toad hides among dead leaves in Amacayacu National Park, Colombia Barking up the wrong tree: It's nearly impossible to pick out this Lichen Spider at the Erawan National Park in Thailand From frogs to fish and bugs to birds, this collection of images shows the animal kingdom's outstanding camouflage ability. Animals use two basic methods of concealment in a bid to hide from predators and catch prey.
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