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  • Written by Krisztian Svabik
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 28634

Mixed-species exhibits with herpestids and Madagascar carnivores

 Meerkat and aardvark mixed exhibit, ZSL London Zoo, United Kingdom, 2009 Photo: ChristianCurrently, there are 34 species of mongooses described in the family Herpestidae, although further taxonomic research may lead to this number changing in the future. Twenty-five members of the taxon live in Africa, and nine in Asia. According to the current subdivision of Herpestidae, ― using not only morphology, but also behavioural ecology and molecular markers ― two subfamilies are supported within the taxon. The subfamily Herpestinae involves 23, mostly large and solitary mongoose species (genus Atilax, Bdeogale, Cynictis, Galerella, Herpestes, Ichneumia, Paracynictis, Rhynchogale, Xenogale), while the subfamily Mungotinae comprises 11, mainly small and social species (genus Crossarchus, Dologale, Helogale, Liberiictis, Mungos, Suricata).

In the list below, you can see which species have been kept in mixed exhibits in captivity. Due to the similarities in morphology and lifestyle, an additional species, the narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata) is also mentioned here (recent placement of this taxon is: family Eupleridae, Madagascar Carnivores, subfamily Galidiinae, Mongoose-like Madagascar Carnivores).

  • Written by Tamás Veress
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 5727

Keep Flower Beetles in Zoos!

Pachnoda aemula (photo: Damson)The most popular and most known species in zoos are elephants, monkeys, big cats, penguins, crocodiles and similar larger animals, although there are approximately 5.500 mammal, 10.000 bird and 8.000 reptile species on Earth. However, described insect species are near 1 million! If zoos would like to educate visitors about biodiversity, they need to keep insects as well. Some insects are spectacular due to their size or colours and can be relatively easy to keep. One of them is the species from the genus Pachnoda.

  • Written by Lajos Endrédi
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 6375

Penguin Walk

Walking in Szeged Zoo, Hungary (photo:elajos)There is a certain animal show in many zoos which is very popular among visitors: walking penguins on the road. Its popularity is not surprising, animals outside their enclosures are always interesting, and the clumsy, somewhat human-like toddling of the penguins is very funny to behold. Furthermore there is no need to worry about them escaping by running or flying away… Training the animals for this task is not too difficult, since this group movement is based on their natural behaviour. Nonetheless, this attraction – like other animal shows – is also a subject of criticism, both by experts and some animal right activists. In my opinion this question depends on the methods and context, but I’m open to debate and comments, of course.

  • Written by Tibor Tóth
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 6626

3+1 Simple but Superb Exhibits

Doctor fish; Haus des Meeres, Wien (Photo: Thicius)Perhaps it is not an exaggeration to say that the most popular type of exhibit in all zoos is the "petting zoo". I am primarily thinking of ones where you can see and touch domestic animals such as goats, sheep, rabbits, horses, etc. Animals of this type can be found in almost every institution.
However let us admit, no matter how popular these "see and touch" exhibitions are, the vast majority of animals cannot tolerate the physical contact with visitors well. But what can we do if we really want to create something similar with exotic animals? Actually, we have quite a lot of options. Let us look around in some zoos to solve this task: 3+1 "see and touch" interactive exhibits with fishes and insects.

  • Written by Tibor Tóth
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 11345

An Amazing Critically Endangered Creature from the Philippines

Visayan Warty Pig (photo: Thicius)

Pigs have an important role in many different cultures, religions all over the world. They have become synonymous with both negative and positives attributes. For example, in modern Europe pigs are known as a symbol of good luck, but there are religions where eating pork is sinful as pigs are considered unclean animals. Pigs are present in the Egyptian, ancient Greek, Celtic religions, Buddhism, and in Chinese astrology. Today, they are part of many tales, cartoons, movies, and you can find these animals in many zoo collections where it is religiously permissible to keep them. Like many other animals, some species have been on the edge of extinction, just like the protagonist of this article, the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons negrinus). I will try to shortly introduce this amazing species in this article and give some advice on keeping them.

  • Written by Lajos Endrédi
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 24564

The Apex Predator of America: Keeping Jaguars in Zoos

Female jaguar in Szeged Zoo (photo: elajos)I am often asked by visitors what species I consider to be the most dangerous. When I am in a humorous mood my answer usually includes humans or bacteria, but sometimes I clarify the question: what animal would make me the most frightened if it escaped? Actually, my answer could be the jaguar, even if it is not as dangerous to humans in the wild as lions, leopards and tigers. They are powerful, athletic, brave and aggressive – and tragic zoo events in the past also confirm its dangerousness. Nevertheless, I also admire them for of these features. In the following I will write about this species and some advices on how to keep them in zoos.

Enter the zoo world!