Giraffes Eat Bones--and Other Things I Learned on Safari [Slide Show]
The amazing things I learned about animals while on safari in South Africa
Credit: Kate Wong
1 The white-eared opossum has a longevity quotient of 0.3, making it unusually short-lived for its size.
2 The Asian house shrew has a 0.4 longevity quotient, and like the white-eared opossum, has and unusually short life span relative to other mammals of its size.
W. A. Djatmiko ( Wie146)/Wikimedia Commons
4 The typical laboratory mouse, also known as the house mouse, has a short lifetime, reflected in its longevity quotient of 0.5.
Rama/ /Wikimedia Commons
5 The giraffe may look odd but its life span is typical for a mammal its size; it has a 1.0 longevity quotient.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Biopics">Hans Hillewaert /Wikimedia Commons Advertisement
6 Like giraffes, the African lion lives about as long as would be expected for its size. Its longevity quotient is 1.1.
7 The southern flying squirrel has a 2.7 longevity quotient, which means it is unusually long-lived.
7 The vampire bat, with a longevity quotient of 3.5, also lives an unusually long time.
8 We humans have a longevity quotient of 5.0, a sign that we generally live longer than would be expected for our size. Jeanne Calment (pictured) died at age 122, having outlived anyone else whose age at death has been well documented.
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9 The naked mole-rat's longevity quotient is 5.3; it is a very long-lived small mammal.
Ltshears—Trisha M Shears/Wikimedia Commons
10 The life span of Brandt's bat is exceptional; it has a longevity quotient of 9.8.
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Forgive me. This post is a bit self-indulgent. But I recently returned from a reporting trip to South Africa for a story on some extraordinary human fossils (more on that later), and while I was there I got to see some wildlife—exciting stuff for a city mouse like me. Going through my photos reminded me of the things I learned about the amazing animals there, and I thought I'd share some of them. I took these photos in two locations: the John Nash Nature Reserve, located 30 kilometers north of Johannesburg, and the Madikwe Game Reserve, which borders Botswana.
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