The other day, I got mail from Bobs & Bitz. It was a spread from a weekly German newspaper about extinct animals. The lovely Beaverhausen ladies had sent it to my attention because of the animal series at produzentin.com.
As my favourite extinct animal the Tasmanian Tiger (aka Beutelwolf) was featured in the article, I thought I should feature it too. But then, I saw the quagga:
One of only 5 existing pictures of a living quagga (source)
I already hear you saying: produzentin, are you kiddin’ us? This is just an okapi with the stripes on backwards! Or it’s a zorse! Don’t be foolin’ us, please!
Hold on, hold on, dear readers: The quagga is fo’ real. It has a close relation to the zebra, whereas the closest relative to the okapi is the giraffe. We have to get that family tree straightened out, right?
Anyways, the quagga lived in South Africa and is extinct since 1883. But this is not the end of the story. The Quagga Project aims to reproduce the quagga through back breeding of specific zebra stock. I can’t wait for the quagga to come back.
More on the quagga.
Source: Berliner Zeitung
I’m not sure if I ever told you about one of my favourite animals, the okapi. My dear friend Sabs sent me the newspaper clipping above. That reminded me on how bad I want to see an okapi baby.
Need to know facts about okapis (source, source):
- The tongue of an okapi is long enough for the animal to wash its eyelids and clean its ears: it is one of the few mammals that can lick its own ears.
- Until the beginning of the 20th century, okapis were known to the native people only
- The okapi was known to the ancient Egyptians; shortly after its discovery by Europeans, an ancient carved image of the animal was discovered in Egypt. For years, Europeans in Africa had heard of an animal that they came to call ‘the African unicorn’.
- The okapi is the symbol of cryptozoology – the search for animals that are rumoured to exist, but for which conclusive proof is missing.
Don’t you wish you had a tongue as long as an okapi tongue? You could lick some nuts off of the table with minimal motion. Evenings on the couch would never be the same.
Have a look at a long okapi tongue in action.
I took this photo of an okapi at the Frankfurt Zoo.
Supposedly, there was a baby but it was too shy to come out. I was smad.