By Benjamin Morgan
How do bears capture fish from a river? How do we aid endangered species? This booklet enables you to detect the big number of mammals that roam our planet - from lions at the African plains to underwater sealions. It follows their dating rituals, herd lifestyles and hibernation styles and incorporates a part on our evolutionary courting with primates.
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TEMPORARILY DEAD A hibernating dormouse is so cold and motionless in winter that it seems to be temporarily dead. Its body temperature plummets to just one degree above freezing, and its heartbeat and breathing slow to less than a tenth of the usual rate. Dormice can stay like this for seven months. Tent-making bats sleep under leaves during the day and wake up to feed at night. TENT-MAKING BATS Home for a tent-making bat is a folded leaf. These bats bite through the ribs of giant leaves to make them fold into a tent shape.
The bat-eared fox of Africa complements its sensitive nose with huge, swiveling ears that can pick up the rustle of termites and dung beetles underground. Dogs are natural athletes, built to chase prey to exhaustion. They have tall, slender legs and run on their toes, giving a long stride length. Their claws are blunt and nonretractable for a firm grip. The deep chest and large lungs ensure they don’t get out of breath. Five front claws Dogs can tell the strength of their rivals and the size of the pack from the volume and depth of the howls.
The elephant seal is the champion diver of the seal world. 5 km) deep. 50 Sea lions twist and turn through the water with remarkable ease as they chase fish, or play with each other. The water shrew holds its breath for more than 30 seconds as it dives for insects, frogs, and fish. Its long toes have a fringe of stiff hairs to give extra force to its kicks when it swims. This system works so well that the shrew can even run across the surface of the water for several yards without falling in. Its fine fur does the same job as an otter’s, trapping a layer of air to keep the animal warm.