Stories in the ‘Adaptations’ Category

Naked Mole-rats: The Super Heroes of the Animal World

Posted by in Adaptations,Featured Creatures,Mammals,Natural Encounters

Meet the naked mole-rat!

What can feel no pain, is impervious to cancer or Alzheimer’s, and can chew through pretty much anything in a single bound? The naked mole-rat! These little creatures aren’t the prettiest to look at, but they are possibly some of the most fascinating—and superhero like—animals around. When a naked mole-rat begins life, he pretty much looks […]

Why Do Babirusas Like Mud so Much?

Posted by in Adaptations,Featured Creatures,Mammals

Post written and video created by Joy Oria There’s a good chance when you see our babirusas they’ll be coated in mud. Unable to cool themselves by sweating or panting, babirusas, like other pig species, use wallowing in water or mud to stay cool. Wallowing has the added bonus of providing sunburn protection and removing […]

Horns? Antlers? What’s what?

Posted by in Adaptations,Featured Creatures

This post written by Memory Mays If you have recently visited the Houston Zoo, you may have seen some of our baby antelope who are beginning to grow horns. Surprisingly, horns have several important purposes that not only affect the species’ behavior, but also help them to obtain food, regulate body temperature, and for some […]

Rice University Interns Solve Giraffe Feeder Challenge

Posted by in Adaptations,African Forest,Animal Updates,Giraffes

Written by Mike Tseng, a summer intern at the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership When people think of giraffes, enrichment is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But these adorable, tall animals need enrichment as much as any other animal! In the wild, giraffes like to eat from tall acacia trees. These […]

Rattlesnakes Rock!

Posted by in Adaptations,Conservation News,Reptiles

RATTLESNAKES ROCK!! It’s no secret that the Houston Zoo Reptile House staff love rattlesnakes… but why?  What do we know that you don’t?   For many people, the sight or sound of a rattlesnake results in sheer terror.  Yes, rattlesnakes are potentially dangerous due to their elegant venom delivery system, but they typically give you a […]

Presenting: Paternal Primates

Posted by in Adaptations,Births and Arrivals,Events,Primates

This year in honor of Father’s Day we are having a TOAD-ally Awesome Father’s Day event at the zoo and giving you a chance to name a Houston Toad in honor of Dad. We have a lot of dads here at the Zoo and they come in (literally!) all shapes and sizes.  In the animal kingdom […]

“Ape”titude!

Posted by in Adaptations,Primates

Apes (gorillas, chimps, orangutans, siamangs and gibbons) are very special animals that have unique adaptations that give them the aptitude to accomplish astounding tasks. An adaptation is a characteristic that evolves over time to help an animal be better suited to its habitat. These adaptations give animals the natural ability to do things that other […]

Bee-lieve it or Not…

Posted by in Adaptations,Birds,Conservation News,Endangered Species,Events,Insects,Mammals,Natural Encounters,Naturally Wild Swap Shop,Pollinators,Primates,Reptiles

Honeyeaters are important pollinators of many Australian flowering plants.  All 170 species of honeyeaters have a unique adaptation:  a long tongue with a brush-like tip that they use to get nectar from flowers.  The tongue can be extended into the nectar about 10 times per second! Honeyeaters aren’t the only birds that help pollinate.  Honeycreepers, sunbirds, […]

Bee-lieve it of Not…

Posted by in Adaptations,Birds,Conservation News,Endangered Species,Events,Insects,Mammals,Natural Encounters,Naturally Wild Swap Shop,Pollinators,Primates,Reptiles

In the U.S., the economic value of pollination services provided by native insects (mostly bees) is estimated at $3 billion each year.  Bumblebees are highly efficient in pollinating many crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cranberries, and blue berries.  Yumm!  Best of all, most bumblebees won’t bother you unless you bother them.  When gardening at home, please […]

Bee-lieve it or Not…

Posted by in Adaptations,Birds,Conservation News,Endangered Species,Events,Insects,Mammals,Natural Encounters,Naturally Wild Swap Shop,Pollinators,Primates,Reptiles

  Wait!  Don’t squash that bug! Beetles get a bad wrap due to “messy pollination”.  No one ever taught them not to dedicate where they eat giving them the name “mess and soil pollinators”.  Due to sheer numbers, beetles comprise of the largest set of pollinating animals.  They are responsible for pollinating 88% of the […]

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