Brrr! It’s cold outside! Sometimes, people worry about the Red River Zoo Animals. There is no need to fret, many of the animals have natural adaptations which help them stay healthy and warm in the winter. An adaptation is a change that makes a plant or animal able to live better in a particular place or situation. There are many ways that animals instinctively prepare for a chilly winter.
Animals that adapt well to Fargo’s climate are Pallas’ Cats, because Fargo’s climate resembles their natural climate. They like it cold and can withstand arid and cold climates with temperatures that reach 60 degrees below zero. Pallas’ cats have the longest hair of all wild cats. The hair on their bellies and tail is twice the length of the hair on the top side of their bodies. This helps and adds extra insulation when lying on frozen ground and snow. Hair covers their entire body, even ears, protecting them from frost bite.
Bactrian Camels are incredible animals that are known to adapt and survive in many different kinds of harsh environments. Natively they can be found in Northern Asia, specifically in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Much like Fargo, the Gobi Desert has hot summers and freezing winters. When winter is near they grow a thick shaggy coat to protect them from the extreme cold. They have an additional set of eyelashes that protect their eyes from blowing sand and snow in the desert. Did you know that camels have special noses? Extra capillaries (special blood vessels) allow their nostrils to heat air as they inhale. This prevents the air from freezing inside their lungs.
Mammals, like the deer and wolves, have coats that get thicker. They also gain extra weight and store fat to keep them warm and healthy throughout the cold months. Animal’s bodies are naturally able to prepare them for the long winter.
The Red River Zoo is the perfect place to explore in the winter. The Zoo is home to over 80 different species of cold climate animals that would naturally live in areas that resemble and feel like Fargo, North Dakota. It is interesting to learn about all the different animal species and how their bodies naturally prepare for the colder weather.
The Zoo is open 10 am to 5 pm every Saturday and Sunday. Make sure you check www.redriverzoo.org for more information!
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