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It's New Year Again!

Tonight, in the evening of the 16th of February, one is able to meet New Year once again. This time it is according to the eastern calender. It is on the 16th of February that the year of Yellow Prairie Dog is coming into ascendant. According to Chinese chronological tradition, this year is 4716. Due to that, special attention is due to Cannidae. It is up to 15 genera and about 35-40 species - wolves, jackals, Arctic foxes, foxes, raccoon dogs, African hunting dogs, fennec foxes, Corsac foxes and many others. Still, there are dogs which are no dogs at all - prairie dogs, dog fruit bats, dogfish etc.

Prairie dogs look like gophers but they let out sounds that resemble whistling growl. They are rodents of squirrel family. The place of their origin is North America. The length of their body is 30-35 cm. Their fur is dun, the upper part of the body is darker than the lower. Their burrows with nest departments are tru works of art. prairie dogs are able to dig underground passages that are up to 15 cm wide and 300 m long. Their favourite passtime is digging in the ground. Prairie dogs have a complicated system of communication signals including dozens of various meainings. Also thay know how to hug and to kiss!



Also there exist dogfish. This is a little fish out of persiforms order. They are often observed in the Black Sea. This fish keeps its territory, it can bite leaving a print like that of dogs' bite. Therefore it acquired its name. However, such a tiny fish (usually not more than 12-13 cm long) can harm only other small fishes. Males are usually bigger than females. They like to fight, they are very gluttonous. In shallow zones of the Black Sea they live almost under each big stone, looking for food among seaweeds. In the Crimea it is called dogfish, in the coasts of the Black Sea that belong to Causasus it is called cowfish as it feeds mostly with seaweeds. 


"Dogs" also master the aerial space. Flying dogs are mammals of Chiroptera order. They belong to fruit bats what are no dogs at all. Fruit bats flutter not making noisy sounds. In the daytime they hang on trees with their heads down. Quite often they hang on one rear paw enwrapping themselves into their wing. In search for food, dog fruit bats can flutter at dozens kilometres' distance. However, they return to their home tree to sleep. They feed on fruit, unlike real dogd.


Egyptian fruit bats aare also kept in Kharkov Zoo. They allow us to obsere their behaviour and they breed regularly.