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WHY DO THEY DO IT OR A KIPLING-LIKE TALE

Many people know the tale of Rudyard Kipling about a curious elephant cub who got on other animals' nerves with his questions. The cub was interested to know everything - why the Ostrich female has got such plumage, why the Giraffe has spotted skin, why the Behemoth female has got red eyes etc. 

But not only kids are that curious. When we look at our neighbours in this planet, we never stop wondering at how wonderfully the world is designed. Many peculiarities of different species have appeared during evolution. They are needed for survival of the species in its habitat. Elephant would not survive neither without its huge ears nor ots trunk. The trunk is used for getting food, for protevction against enelies, for communication. Huge ears are neede for termoregulation. The giraffe would not get enough food without its long legs or it neck. 

Многие знают и любят сказку Редьярда Киплинга о страшно любопытном слоненке, который ко всей Африке приставал с расспросами. Малыша интересовало все — и почему у Страусихи перья растут так, а не этак, и почему у Жирафа на шкуре пятна, и отчего у Бегемотихи красные глаза, и многое другое. The physiology of giraffes lets them feed on leafage of tree crowns that are not accessible to other animals.  They can reach high branches and feed themselves on leafage as there is little long grass in African savannah. A hippo is adjusted for living in water. Its eyes, nostrils and ears are lifted and placed in one plane. The hippo can breathe, look and hear while it is almost fully underwater. 

Animals that are lesser in size are also perfectly adjusted to challenging climate of Africa. Monkeys, especially Hamadryas baboons. have always attracted much human interest. In ancient Egypt these monkeys were considered holy. Modern people are fascinated by "peculiar treats of anatomy" of Hamadryas baboons, their rump callosities. Huge, bright-coloured skin "bags" are of great service to the animals. Hamadryas baboons spend many hours sitting on hot rocks heated by African sun. These rump callosities let them not to get burnt. At nighttime when rocks are cool, the baboons will never get cold. Rump callosities are brightly coloured due to the presence of many blood vessels. The colour of these skin bags are connected with the condition of the animals. When the baboon gets excited, its colour becomes especially bright. When the animal does not feel well, the rump callosity becomes pale. Females who want to attract males, have crimson-coloured rump callosities that makes them look wonderful  in males' eyes. 

 

All these unique adjustments let the animal survive and compose its one-of-a-kind look. After the reconstruction of the Zoo you will meet these African continent  representatives at the "African Savannah" exhibition complex.