By Nk Soon, Youth Manager
Humans are known to be unique, one of a kind, but are we really? Orangutans are one of humankind’s closest relatives. We share about 97% of the same DNA and both humans and orangutans are born with the ability to think and reason. Orangutans have also been seen with tools and spurring huge leaves as umbrellas. They are also the only one out of the four great apes to come from Asia.
Whistles, squeals, moos, chirps, and clicks might not be the sounds that you think that a whale could make. However, one whale can make all of those sounds, the Beluga Whale. With their highly carnivorous diet and adorable, unique appearance, Beluga Whales are smart and interactive.
The African Wild Dog is definitely not a ‘friendly dog’. These wild canines that have been endangered for more than 20 years are one of the most endangered mammals, as less than 7,000 of them remain in the wild. The African Wild Dog typically lives up to 12 years, and grows to be 60 pounds and around 35 inches. Strangely, they have four toes on their feet instead of the normal five. With spots and white, red, black, brown, and yellow fur, you would never find one African Wild Dog identical to another. These Dogs like to be social and live in packs with up to 40 dogs in it. They live in Africa, especially around Southern Africa.
Black Spider Monkeys make their home in the rainforests of South and Central America. These primates form a community with many other members of their species and work together to survive life in the rainforest. They are masters of their environment and manage to work with the earth and each other. These Monkeys are currently vulnerable as a species, meaning they face a high risk of extinction in the near future. They swing among the branches of the Amazon rainforest and can hopefully continue to do so if we make a sustained effort to protect them.
Fire-breathing dragons may be fantasy, but Komodo Dragons are not. With the yellow color of its long, forked tongue that is a spitting image of fire, and it being an actual lizard, Komodo Dragons are the closest thing you can get to the mythical creatures.
The Siberian Tiger or Amur Tiger, is the largest cat in the world and averages eleven feet in length! They are known for their orange fur with black stripes which are unique to each and every Siberian Tiger, just like our DNA. Siberian Tigers are most different from the other tigers because they have manes like lions.
Chimpanzees, originated from Africa, are categorized as great apes. A common misconception about Chimpanzees are that they are monkeys, this is false. A big thing that differentiates them is that monkeys have tails while Chimpanzees do not. Chimpanzees are very similar to human beings, as we share 98% of DNA; therefore it is important that we keep these animals from becoming extinct.
The civil unrest in the Republic of Congo has taken its toll on the Eastern Lowland Gorilla. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla rests in the lowland rain forests in eastern Congo. As a result, its home has decreased from 8,100 square miles (about the size of the state of Massachusetts) to about 4,600 square miles in the past fifty years.
Sea Lions are, as their name suggests, ocean animals. They are heavy animals most known for their external ear flaps and ability to walk on all fours. There are many different types of Sea Lions living in different climates, from subarctic to tropical. Not all sea lions are considered endangered, though. The IUCN Red List shows the Australian, New Zealand, and Galápagos Sea Lions as endangered animals.
The largest sea turtle that we know of is called the Leatherback Turtle, and it also migrates the most, as we see in Finding Nemo! When the Leatherback Turtle migrates, it crosses the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans going from the coral Triangle all the way to the California coast. According to the IUCN, the Leatherback Turtle is listed as vulnerable, but many sub-populations are critically endangered.
To empower young people to be environmental leaders