ion moe

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For this edition of #MongooseMonday, we’d like to introduce you to our trio of dwarf mongoose pups. Fun fact: Eastern yellow-billed hornbills work with dwarf mongooses to gather food in the wild. The mongooses wait for the hornbills to arrive before setting out; if the hornbills arrive before the mongooses are up and about, the birds call down the mongooses’ burrow. Why? The hornbills benefit by eating all the insects stirred up by the foraging mongooses, and the mongooses gain extra eyes and ears to look out for danger. (photos from top to bottom: Ion Moe, Deric Wagner, Mike Wilson, Debbie Beals)

While it may look like the lionesses do all the work in the pride, the males play an important role. While they do eat more than the lionesses and bring in far less food (they hunt less than 10% of the time), males patrol, mark, and guard the pride’s territory. Males also guard the cubs while the lionesses are hunting, and they make sure the cubs get enough food. (photo: Ion Moe)

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The polar bear is the newest of the eight bear species, and scientists believe that the polar bear evolved about 200,000 years ago from brown bear ancestors. Both polar bears and brown bears are big and are the largest land carnivores. But most experts agree that polar bears are the longest bears, as males may measure over 10 feet (3 meters) when standing on their hind legs.

Polar bear snow day at the San Diego Zoo. (photo: Ion Moe)