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Why is a Hippopotamus called a River Horse?

Why is a Hippopotamus called a River Horse?

Among Africa’s unusual creatures is a barrel-shaped gigantic animal, the hippopotamus (plural hippopotami). The hippo is the third largest land animal after the elephant and the rhino. Slightly smaller but heavier than a white rhino, a hippo can weigh nearly 1,800 kg. The animal is huge and barrel shaped nearly 12 feet long and five feet at its shoulder, with a short thick neck and small ears. River Horses [Illustration by Anup Singh] Hippos, or to use their biological name, hippopotamus amphibious literally means ‘river horse’....

Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

Thinker, statesman and nationalist leader, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi not only led his own country to independence but also influenced political activists of many persuasions throughout the world with his methods and philosophy of nonviolent confrontation, or civil disobedience. Born in Porbandar in Gujarat on October 2, 1869, his actions inspired the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore to call him “Mahatma” (“great soul”). For him, the universe was regulated by a Supreme Intelligence or Principle, which he preferred to call satya (Truth) and, as a concession to convention, God....

Why is the Mediterranean Sea Blue?

Why is the Mediterranean Sea Blue?

We know that about seventy one per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. The earth’s three main Oceans are the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean is a great mass of water that separates Europe and Africa from America. It is shaped like a great hour-glass-with a ‘waist’ where Africa and South America bulge out towards each other. Although in area it is less than half the Pacific, it has many ‘secondary’ seas, such as the Arctic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea....

Why are Zebras Striped?

Why are Zebras Striped?

As a child I was always full of questions. I remember asking my parents why zebras were striped or why did giraffes have such a long neck. Most of the time the answers were elusive and I used to be very irritated. I could never get the right answer to satisfy my curiosity. I now realize why my parents could not give me a concrete answer. You see I happened to be in the same dilemma when my three-year-old daughter asked me the same question!...

How Many Kinds of Rhinos are There?

How Many Kinds of Rhinos are There?

A modern day rhino or rhinoceros looks pretty much like its ancestor that existed on earth more than 30 million years ago. Its status as an animal “biggie” hasn’t changed much either. The ancestors of the modern-day rhinoceros – the 4 feet tall Uintatherium and the 15 feet high Indricotherium – were the largest land mammals ever. Today’s rhino is the largest living land mammal, after the African elephant, in terms of size and weight....

A New Camel Specie Discovered

A New Camel Specie Discovered

Have you ever sat on a camel? Well, if you have, then you know how scary it is when the camel rises on its long wobbly legs. The rocking motion of a camel is a bit like a ship being tossed around in heaving seas. Small wonder then that the camel is often called the ship of the desert. Actually, the name owes its origins to the fact that camels were brought from the desert, to serve as beasts of burden in other countries....

Is the Red Colobus monkey extinct?

Is the Red Colobus monkey extinct?

Unbelievable but true! A large West African monkey has simply vanished from the earth. It has joined the Dodo, by becoming the first primate to vanish in the 20th century. After a six-year long survey, scientists and wildlife experts have declared the monkey, known as Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus monkey, extinct. Primatologists (people who study the evolution of apes and monkeys) carried out exhaustive surveys in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, in Africa, but failed to spot a single monkey of the species....

The Frog King

The Frog King

In a large marshy swamp in South Africa lived a colony of frogs – happy frogs. The marsh was surrounded by tall weeds, dirt and muck, which attracted lots of flies. Every moment was mealtime for the frogs. It was a happy life, all fun and play. Leapfrog was their favourite game. The younger frogs were dared to jump over a line of frogs from one end to the other end. Each time a young one managed to clear the jump, she or he would be added to the line — until the jumper fell on the last one, when the game ended....

Rhinoceros: On the Comeback Trail

Rhinoceros: On the Comeback Trail

Next to the tusk-bearing elephants, rhinos are the other large animals heavily targeted by poachers. Rhinos are poached for their horns and these are sold in the black market at astonishing prices. Since 1977, trade in rhino horn has been banned but poachers and smugglers still hunt and kill these gentle creatures to meet the demands of the rhino horn in markets in Central Asia and the Far East. For some years now, rhinos have been high on the endangered list....

A Battle Well Fought

June 2: In the war against AIDS, they don’t come any tougher than Xolani Nkosi, better known as Nkosi Johnson since his adoption by a white family. In his short life, he had become one of South Africa’s youngest and boldest campaigners fighting for the rights of AIDS affected people to be accepted by society. At 5:40 am on June 1, he finally lost the battle. Now, there’s nothing more the doctors can do for him....

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