Friday, August 31, 2007


In literature Owls are often considered to be wise. Some cultures have believed they warn of death and doom. If you lived at Hogwarts, they deliver your mail. I guess what this says is that they fascinate us. Part of it, I’m sure, is how it looks like their heads are on a swivel. They can turn their head 135 degrees, so can really look over their own shoulder.

Did you know that in the US and Australia, it is illegal to own a native owl? There are exceptions for those who have falconry and rehabilitation licenses.

In Houston, Minnesota they actually hold an International Festival of Owls. There they will even feature owl themed food – click here to see some samples.

There are over 200 species of owls. They live on all continents except Antarctica.

People talk about an owl hooting or calling “who, who, who?” But that’s not all they say. Go to the page below and you can listen to all kinds of owl sounds. Discover how different species of owls make different sounds at this site:

Jungle Jane

Thursday, August 30, 2007

One big bird!

And not from Sesame Street either. Meet the Ostrich!

It takes 42-46 days for an Ostrich egg to hatch—moms usually take day duty for setting on the egg, and dads the nighttime. An Ostrich chick grows one foot taller each month until it is 7-8 months old. Males can reach a height between 6.9 and 9 feet—they’d make good basketball candidates, except that they aren’t the brightest bird . . . Females are only in the 5.7 to 6.2 foot range.

Last Friday I showed you a video of a kangaroo that packs a punch. An ostrich can deliver a kick of up to 500 pounds per square inch, which could kill a lion!

Some places people ride or race ostrich. Check out the video below. My favorite is the bird that runs in circles even when they are trying to “round him up.”

Jungle Jane

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't mess with an oryx

Sounds sort of like a Dr. Seuss animal, doesn't it? However, an oryx is a real animal.

Oryx are a "horse antelope" with long spear-like horns, which gave them the nickname of "spear antelope." In medieval England their horns were sold as unicorn horns. Their white or light faces with black markings are striking.

Living in east Africa are two types of oryx: the beisa oryx and the fringe-eared oryx. Scimitar-horned oryx from north Africa are believe to be extinct in the wild, but are one of the most common oryx in zoos. Their horns are curved lie a scimitar (an Arabian sword).

An Arabian oryx, mostly white, and smaller, were hunted to extinction in the wild in the late 1960s. Fortunately, though some Arabian oryx in captivity have been bred and they’ve been reintroduced to the wild.

Here’s an interesting video where an oryx fights off lions.

Jungle Jane

P.S. If you want to know more about antelope in general, I recently posted a whole page of information about them here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Not related to the zebra, despite those stripes

Okapi (pronounced o-COP-e), a relation of the giraffe family, has a short neck and coloration definitely different from a giraffe. Okapis are reddish brown, but their legs have black and white zebra stripes!

Like giraffes, their tongues are blue. Okapi tongues are long enough that they can wash their own eyelids and ears. (Not many mammals can do that, and frankly, I don’t want to!)

Okapis are about 6 ft long and 5 to 5.5 ft high at the shoulder. This picture is of a mom and baby from the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. Only the males have horns.

From the Ituri Rainforest in central Africa, okapis are not classified as endangered. But they are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching.

Jungle Jane

Monday, August 27, 2007

You otter like this one

Another favorite is the Otter. A group of them is called a “romp,” which is pretty appropriate for how they act.

Otters rely on air-pockets trapped in their fur to keep themselves warm in the cold waters where they live. Otters live all over the world in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Most species hunt for 3 to 5 hours a day. Otters can whistle, growl, scream, bark, chirp, and coo.

I love watching the sea otters at the Seattle aquarium where you can see them from above the water and from the side in the water.

Otters appear in fiction. One of my favorite representations is in Brian Jacques’ Redwall books. In the famous Harry Potter books, an otter is Hermione Granger’s patronus.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Animals that begin with O

This week I thought I’d focus on animals that begin with O. I’ll start with one of my favorites—the Ocelot.

Bigger than a domestic cat, but small compared to other “big cats,” the Ocelot is also called the Painted Leopard. Its fur is similar to a jaguar’s.

Ocelots live in South and Central American, Mexico, and sometimes can be found in Texas.

The artist Salvador DalĂ­ frequently traveled with his pet ocelot, even bringing it aboard the luxury cruise liner SS France. However, they are not common as pets.

Here’s a video of a an ocelot kitten and his mom at the Oregon zoo:

Isn't he cute?

smiley fox

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Earth Pig"

This animal is not from Australian, but reminds me of a weird cross of a bandicoot and a kangaroo. Aardvarks live in Africa. Their name came from the Afrikaans/Dutch for "earth pig," pig smiley though they are not related to pigs at all.

Speaking of weird, Aardvark’s teeth aren’t protected by enamel, so they are continually worn away and continually regrowing.

Aardvarks can weigh up to 145 pounds (65 kg) and be 7.2 feet (2.2 meters) long. Yikes, that’s pretty big for a creature that lives by eating ants and termites.

Jungle Jane

Friday, August 24, 2007

A jumpy subject – don’t make him mad

The kangaroo is one of the animals on the Australian coat of arms.

Kangaroos are famous for their hopping, but did you know that as their feet leave the ground, the air is expelled from their lungs? In preparation for landing, a kangaroo's legs come forward and they breathe in to fill their lungs.

This guy could definitely knock the air out of your lungs. Check out the video below:

Still laughing,

Jungle Jane
smiley fox

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It’s a shrew. No, a rat. No, it’s a bandicoot!

Another Australian resident is the bandicoot. They can hop like a rabbit, and use the paired claws of their back legs for grooming. They can be as small as a rat or as big as a rabbit.

Bandicoots are normally nocturnal.

JJ smiley fox

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ankle spurs - for males only

You may have heard that the platypus is an egg laying mammal, but you may not know it is also venomous like the scorpion! But only the males come equipped with poison. Their venom is located in ankle spurs on the hind feet.

A platypus also stores fat in its tail. This is a trait is shares with the Tasmanian Devil (no, they’re not just a cartoon!) Both of these critters live in Australia—another place I’d like to visit.

smiley fox

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Watch out for that stinger!

Yesterday, we talked about meerkats. Did you know that meerkats EAT scorpions? They do take off the stinger first.

Scorpions, like spiders, have 8 legs. (I didn't know that!) There are about 90 different types of scorpions in the US, with 86 species living west of the Mississippi River. They are mostly common in parts of Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma.

Some people actually choose to have scorpions as pets. Guess you have to be careful not to get stung! I think I’ll pass . . .


smiley fox

Monday, August 20, 2007

Meerkat - not a cat at all

We have fingerprints that are individual to each of us, but meerkats have stripe patterns that make them unique. The meerkat is a type of mongoose—think Timon in the Disney movie “The Lion King.” Animal Planet has a show about the real animals called “Meerkat Manor.” Here's a video of a mob of meerkats chasing off a snake.

I might run, too, if I had that big a group chasing me!

Jungle Jane

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Not just a pet

Domestic ferrets may have descended from the European polecats. They vary in color from sable, albino, silver, cinnamon, to chocolate. Most people today are familiar with them as pets. They are vary playful animals and will even make friends with other species, such as cats and some dogs.

Ferrets like to explore holes and can typically fit through any hole as small as the size of their head. The Romans used ferrets to hunt rabbits. Ferrets have even been used to run wires and cables through large conduits. Now that's an interesting pet trick!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

A fun guy who eats fungi

Yesterday I mentioned how big a capybara can get. Let’s check out a small sized rodent—the chipmunk. Chipmunks, part of the squirrel family, only weigh from 1 to 5 ounces! These little guys have stripes on their faces, which helps differentiate them from the golden mantled ground squirrel, sometimes mistakenly called a chipmunk. Baby chipmunks are called pups. Chipmunks eat nuts, berries, birds' eggs, grain, insects, worms and fungi.

Chipmunks were made famous in the 1960s when they made it into cartoons. If you aren't familiar with Alvin and the Chipmunks, you can check them out on the big screen soon.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Now that’s just nutty!

Did you know that a squirrel's brain is about the size of a walnut? Is that with or without the shell . . .

The cleanest animal in the rodent family, the male tree squirrel takes twice as long, as the female, to groom itself. We guarantee all of our squirrels are clean, too.

Speaking of Rodentia or the rodent family, the largest members is the capybara. From Central and South America, these guys can reach a length of 4 feet (120 cm) and a weight of 75 to 100 lb (34–45 kg). You know, I'm not sure I'd want to meet one of these guys face to face--that's bigger than my dog! And she's a German Shepherd/Yellow Lab mix.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

New kid swinging through the trees

Yesterday, was my first blog--I've taken this blog over from the company president--so I figured I should introduce myself. My name is Jungle Jane and I've been fascinated by wild animals since I was a child. My favorites are big cats: tigers, lions, leopards, etc. But I also like elephants, zebras, and giraffes as you'd be able to tell if you came to my house.

I've never been to Africa--a dream I hope to fulfill someday--but I've been to Asia, where I got to feed bananas to a baby elephant. Did you know they eat the whole thing including peel and stem?!

I've also petted two cheetahs in a wildlife park in Oregon. They're the only big cat who purrs, and just like my kitty cats at home, one cheetah rubbed his head against my arm to say "more petting please."

If you, like me, love jungle animals, you'll love what you find at our store.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A good bug to have around

It may not look like it, but a dragonfly is a predator. They eat other insects such as mosquitoes, midges, flies, and bees. The largest dragonfly lives in Hawaii and is a whopping 7.5 inches long. That’s one big bug!

Fortunately, the dragonflies on our website are not dangerous.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Musical Elephants

This is probably not going to be a top selling CD but here are some talented elephants.

With a mass just over 5 kg (11 lb), elephant brains are larger than those of any land animal, and although the largest whales have body masses twentyfold those of a typical elephant, whale brains are barely twice the mass of an elephant's.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Cool Leopard Video

Leopards are the most popular animal at The Jungle Store. We have more items in leopard print than any other item. Here is a cool video of "Leopard Domination".

Here is your fact--
Cubs are usually born in a litter of 2–3, but infant mortality is high and mothers are not commonly seen with more than 1–2 cubs.