Just to enrich our knowledge about the animal kingdom; here are seven animals whose names start with the letter “Z”.
The Northern Zigzag Salamander (Plethodon dorsalis) is relatively small as compared to other salamander. It is only about six to 11 cm long. Zigzag salamander’s abdomen carries white and reddish orange markings with zigzag edges. It is widespread in some U.S states that includes: southern Illinois, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, central Indiana as well as Missouri. Zigzag salamanders are usually found in moist or wet habitats hiding in rocks, dead logs and leaf litters. This salamander feasts on small arthropods and earthworms.
Zenaida Dove or Eared dove (Zenaida auriculata) is found throughout South America, inhabiting open fields, agricultural lands and savannahs. The Eared Dove can be distinguished by its brown upper feathers long wedge-shaped tail and black markings on its wings. It may grow to about 24 cm long and weighs about 112 g. Known to be agricultural pests, they feed on seeds found on the ground
Zorilla or the Striped Polecat (Ictonyx striatus), appears like skunk but actually is a member of the weasel family. It is widespread in southern and western Africa living in savannahs and grasslands. Striped polecats have black fur with white stripes, and white spots on the face. On average, they grow to about 26 cm long and weigh 1.21 kg. They are nocturnal and carnivores whose diet include: small rodents, insects, frogs, lizards, snakes and birds.
Zeren or the Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa), is a fairly-sized antelope that is found abundantly in Mongolia, and some part of China. It grows to about 100 to 150 cm in body length and weighs 20 to 39 kg. During summer, Zeren’s coat shows a pinkish tone, but becomes paler during winter. Adult males carry lyre-shaped horns. Zerens are known to be fast runners and swimmers.
Zone-tailed pigeon or The Pink-bellied Imperial Pigeon (Ducula poliocephala),is a fruit-eating bird that is native to the Philippines. It has dark gray plumage, red eyes, pale gray head and tails and pink belly. Due to habitat loss, zone-tailed pigeons fall under the “near threatened” bird species, according to the 2000 IUCN Red List.
Zebu (Bos indicus), is found in India, some parts of East Asia, and Africa. There are about 75 extant species of this so called “humped cattle”. Aside from the fatty humps, Zebu also has big dewlaps, long legs. curving horns and drooping ears. They come in different colors such as; black, gray, or bay. In India, Zebu is used as draught oxen and beef cattle
Zebras are African horses whose distinctive marks are their white and black stripes that is unique to each individual. Zebras are known to be social animals that are found in savannahs, grasslands, and coastal hills living in herds. Zebras can grow up to 3,5 to 5 feet at shoulder height and can weigh between 200 to 450 kg depending upon the type of species. There are three known species of Zebra namely: Plains Zebra or Burchell Zebra, Grévy’s Zebra and the Mountain Zebra. Zebras are herbivore and feed mainly on grass.