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NYC - Bronx - Bronx Zoo: World of Reptiles - Cuban Crocodile

Some cool endangered species of animals images:

NYC - Bronx - Bronx Zoo: World of Reptiles - Cuban Crocodile
endangered species of animals
Image by wallyg
The Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) is a small species (2.4 meters average length) of crocodile found only in Cuba's Zapata Swamp and the Isle of Youth, though it formerly ranged throughout the Caribbean.

This species has numerous interesting characteristics that set it apart from other crocodilians, such as its brighter adult colors, rougher, more 'pebbled' scales, and long, strong legs. This species is the most terrestrial of crocodiles, and also possibly the most intelligent. A colony of this species at Gatorland, Florida has also exhibited what is strongly suspected to be pack-hunting behavior, which has prompted much interest in the species, usually kept singly and especially so after such reports.

The Cuban Crocodile is an endangered species, listed on CITES appendix 1. Its restricted habitiat and range make it very vulnerable. Humans have hunted this species to near extinction. There is still much research to be done on the remaining wild populations of the Cuban Crocodile. The Cuban Crocodile is represented in captivity in the United States, where breeding projects are taking place. There have been problems in the past with hybridisation, which limits the pure gene pool of this species.

The Bronx Zoo, located within the Bronx Park, is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising 265 acres of parklands and naturalistic habitats and home to over 4,000 animals. Focused on conservation, it opened on November 8, 1899, with 22 exhibits, 843 animals. The zoo's origins date back to 1895, with the establishment of the New York Zoological Society (NYZS), renamed Wild Conservation Society (WCS) in 1993. Only the outer structure of the World of Reptiles remains much as it was in 1899. With the 1941 opening of African Plains, the Bronx Zoo was one of the first U.S. zoos to move away from cages and exhibit animals in naturalistic habitats.

Beauty is in the Aye-aye of the beholder.
endangered species of animals
Image by steve loya
For this week's Illustration Friday topic, "proverb", I went with a more well-known one and tweaked it some. I was searching for images of ugly animals to draw, when the Aye-aye caught my attention. I'm not sure I would call it ugly though, to be honest, compared to some of the others. One reason I keep doing these Illo Friday challenges is because they force me to research and learn things I may not have known too much about. Granted, a search on Google could never compare to a real, honest-to-goodness learning experience, and if I could fly to Madagascar right now and study the Aye-aye, you bet I would right now. What I did learn about this fascinating little lemur is that it is an endangered species. I also learned, unfortunately, that this virtually harmless critter is feared by the native peoples of Madagascar, who believe it is a demon who brings bad luck and death. For instance, some of the natives believe that it can use its elongated middle finger to drill a hole in it's human victims and kill them. The truth however, is this elongated finger is used to pierce a hole in hollowed out trees, where it actively searches for and hunts grubs, its main source of food. Sadly, the natives who believe the Aye-aye is evil, will kill it to prevent danger from coming to their villages. Hopefully, someday soon, those who believe this harmless beast (who is also facing habitat destruction) is evil, will evolve in their thinking and realize the Aye-aye isn't out to get them at all. It's not a good situation to be in, being a victim of too much, as well as too little progress. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! If I could invent my own proverb, it would be "no superstition is a good superstition".

*made for the Illustration Friday topic "proverb", mixed media in A4 watercolor Moleskine, 9/2010


Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal
endangered species of animals
Image by pmarkham
Not far from our hotel is a beach called "Secret Beach" in the community of Ko Olina on the island of Oahu. Three days now when we've walked that beach during the day we've found a 300+ pound Hawaiian Monk Seal sleeping either on the rocks or on the sand of the beach. I learned from a naturalist that was there and from the signs that this species of seal is endangered and is believed to number less than 1000. They only exist in the the Hawaiian Islands. Very cool animal. It reminded me of one of my dogs sleeping on the beach.

Look closely. Do you see the seal in this photo?

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