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Dolly Sharma
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Dolphins Jumps

Dolphins are cetacean mammals closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from 1.2 m (4 ft) and 40 kg (90 lb) (Maui's dolphin), up to 9.5 m (30 ft) and 10 tonnes (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons) (the orca or killer whale). They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves and are carnivores, eating mostly fish and squid. The family Delphinidae, the largest in the order Cetacea, evolved relatively recently, about ten million years ago during the Miocene.

Etymology
The name is originally from Greek δελφίς (delphís), "dolphin", which was related to the Greek δελφύς (delphus), "womb". The animal's name can therefore be interpreted as meaning "a 'fish' with a womb". The name was transmitted via the Latin delphinus (the romanization of the later Greek δελφῖνος – delphinos), which in Medieval Latin became dolfinus and in Old French daulphin, which reintroduced the ph into the word. The term mereswine (that is, "sea pig") has also historically been used.
The term 'dolphin' can be used to refer to, under the suborder Odontoceti, all the species in the family Delphinidae (marine dolphins including orcas and pilot whales) and the river dolphin families Iniidae (South American river dolphins), Pontoporiidae (La Plata dolphin), Lipotidae (Yangtze river dolphin) and Platanistidae (Ganges river dolphin and Indus river dolphin). This term has often been misused in the US, mainly in the fishing industry, where all small cetaceans (dolphins and porpoises) are considered porpoises, while the fish dorado is called dolphin fish. In common usage the term 'whale' is used only for the larger cetacean species, while the smaller ones with a beaked or longer nose are considered 'dolphins'. The name 'dolphin' is used casually as a synonym for bottlenose dolphin, the most common and familiar species of dolphin. Killer whales also belong to the family Delphinidae and therefore qualify as dolphins. Though the terms 'dolphin' and 'porpoise' are sometimes used interchangeably, porpoises are not considered dolphins and have different physical features such as a shorter beak and spade-shaped teeth; they also differ in their behavior. Porpoises belong to the family Phocoenidae and share a common ancestry with the Delphinidae.
A group of dolphins is called a "school" or a "pod". Male dolphins are called "bulls", females "cows" and young dolphins are called "calves".

Behavior

Dolphins are often regarded as one of Earth's most intelligent animals, though it is hard to say just how intelligent. Comparing species' relative intelligence is complicated by differences in sensory apparatus, response modes, and nature of cognition. Furthermore, the difficulty and expense of experimental work with large aquatic animals has so far prevented some tests and limited sample size and rigor in others. Compared to many other species, however, dolphin behavior has been studied extensively, both in captivity and in the wild. See cetacean intelligence for more details.

Social behavior
Dolphins surfing at Snapper Rocks, Queensland, Australia
Dolphins are highly social animals, often living in pods of up to a dozen individuals, though pod sizes and structures vary greatly between species and locations. In places with a high abundance of food, pods can merge temporarily, forming a superpod; such groupings may exceed 1,000 dolphins. Membership in pods is not rigid; interchange is common. Dolphins can, however, establish strong social bonds; they will stay with injured or ill individuals, even helping them to breathe by bringing them to the surface if needed. This altruism does not appear to be limited to their own species. The dolphin Moko in New Zealand has been observed guiding a female Pygmy Sperm Whale together with her calf out of shallow water where they had stranded several times.[39] They have also been seen protecting swimmers from sharks by swimming circles around the swimmers or charging the sharks to make them go away.
Dolphins communicate using a variety of clicks, whistle-like sounds and other vocalizations. Dolphins also use nonverbal communication by means of touch and posturing.
Dolphins also display culture, something long believed to be unique to humans (and possibly other primate species). In May 2005, a discovery in Australia found Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) teaching their young to use tools. They cover their snouts with sponges to protect them while foraging. This knowledge is mostly transferred by mothers to daughters, unlike simian primates, where knowledge is generally passed on to both sexes. Using sponges as mouth protection is a learned behavior. Another learned behavior was discovered among river dolphins in Brazil, where some male dolphins use weeds and sticks as part of a sexual display.
Forms of care-giving between fellows and even to different species (see Moko (dolphin)) are recorded in various species such as trying to save weaken fellows to female Pilot Whales holding dead-calf for long periods.
Dolphins engage in acts of aggression towards each other. The older a male dolphin is, the more likely his body is to be covered with bite scars. Male dolphins engage in acts of aggression apparently for the same reasons as humans: disputes between companions and competition for females. Acts of aggression can become so intense that targeted dolphins sometimes go into exile after losing a fight.
Male bottlenose dolphins have been known to engage in infanticide. Dolphins have also been known to kill porpoises for reasons which are not fully understood, as porpoises generally do not share the same diet as dolphins and are therefore not competitors for food supplies.

Jumping and playing

Dolphins frequently leap above the water surface, this being done for various reasons. When travelling, jumping can save the dolphin energy as there is less friction while in the air. This type of travel is known as porpoising. Other reasons include orientation, social displays, fighting, non-verbal communication, entertainment and attempting to dislodge parasites.
Dolphins show various types of playful behavior, often including objects, self-made bubble rings, other dolphins or other animals.When playing with objects or small animals, common behavior includes carrying the object or animal along using various parts of the body, passing it along to other members of the group or taking it from another member, or throwing it out of the water. Dolphins have also been observed harassing animals in other ways, for example by dragging birds underwater without showing any intent to eat them. Playful behaviour that involves an other animal species with active participation of the other animal can also be observed however. Playful human interaction with dolphins being the most obvious example, however playful interactions have been observed in the wild with a number of other species as well, such as Humpback Whales and dogs.

Read more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin

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Indian peafowl

The Indian peafowl or blue peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is a large and brightly coloured bird of the pheasant family native to South Asia, but introduced and semi-feral in many other parts of the world. The species was first named and described by Linnaeus in 1758. The name Pavo cristatus is still in use now. The male peacock is predominantly blue with a fan-like crest of spatula-tipped wire-like feathers and is best known for the long train made up of elongated upper-tail covert feathers which bear colourful eyespots. These stiff and elongated feathers are raised into a fan and quivered in a display during courtship. The female lacks the train, has a greenish lower neck and a duller brown plumage. The Indian peafowl is found mainly on the ground in open forest or on land under cultivation where they forage for berries, grains but will also prey on snakes, lizards, and small rodents. Their loud calls make them easy to detect, and in forest areas often indicate the presence of a predator such as a tiger. They forage on the ground in small groups and will usually try to escape on foot through undergrowth and avoid flying, though they will fly into tall trees to roost. The bird is celebrated in Indian and Greek mythology and is the national bird of India. The Indian peafowl is listed as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Indian peafowl was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his work, Systema Naturae, in 1758 and it still bears its original name of Pavo cristatus. The Latin genus name Pavo and the Anglo-Saxon pawe (from which the word "peacock" is derived) are believed to be echoic in their origin and based on the usual call of the bird. The species name cristatus refers to the crest.

The earliest usage of the word in written English is from around 1300 and spelling variants include pecok, pekok, pecokk, peacocke, peocock, pyckock, poucock, pocok, pokok, pokokke, and poocok among others. The current spelling was established in the late 17th century. Chaucer (1343–1400) used the word to refer to a proud and ostentatious person in his simile "proud a pekok" in Troilus and Criseyde.

The Greek word for peacock was taos and was related to the Persian "tavus" (as in Takht-i-Tâvus for the famed Peacock Throne). The Hebrew word tuki (plural tukkiyim) has been said to have been derived from the Tamil tokei but sometimes traced to the Egyptian tekh.

Peacocks are a larger sized bird with a length from bill to tail of 100 to 115 cm (40 to 46 inches) and to the end of a fully grown train as much as 195 to 225 cm (78 to 90 inches) and weigh 4–6 kg (8.8–13.2 lbs). The females, or peahens, are smaller at around 95 cm (38 inches) in length and weigh 2.75–4 kg (6–8.8 lbs). Indian peafowl are among the largest and heaviest representatives of the Phasianidae. Their size, colour and shape of crest make them unmistakable within their native distribution range. The male is metallic blue on the crown, the feathers of the head being short and curled. The fan-shaped crest on the head is made of feathers with bare black shafts and tipped with blush-green webbing. A white stripe above the eye and a crescent shaped white patch below the eye are formed by bare white skin. The sides of the head have iridescent greenish blue feathers. The back has scaly bronze-green feathers with black and copper markings. The scapular and the wings are buff and barred in black, the primaries are chestnut and the secondaries are black. The tail is dark brown and the "train" is made up of elongated upper tail coverts (more than 200 feathers, the actual tail has only 20 feathers) and nearly all of these feathers end with an elaborate eye-spot. A few of the outer feathers lack the spot and end in a crescent shaped black tip. The underside is dark glossy green shading into blackish under the tail. The thighs are buff coloured. The male has a spur on the leg above the hind toe.

The adult peahen has a rufous-brown head with a crest as in the male but the tips are chestnut edged with green. The upper body is brownish with pale mottling. The primaries, secondaries and tail are dark brown. The lower neck is metallic green and the breast feathers are dark brown glossed with green. The remaining underparts are whitish. Downy young are pale buff with a dark brown mark on the nape that connects with the eyes. Young males look like the females but the wings are chestnut coloured.

The most common calls are a loud pia-ow or may-awe. The frequency of calling increases before the Monsoon season and may be delivered in alarm or when disturbed by loud noises. In forests, their calls often indicate the presence of a predators such as the tiger. They also make many other calls such as a rapid series of ka-aan..ka-aan or a rapid kok-kok.

There are several colour mutations of Indian peafowl. These very rarely occur in the wild, but selective breeding has made them common in captivity. The Black-shouldered or Japanned mutation was initially considered as a subspecies P. c. nigripennis (or even a species), and was a topic of some interest during Darwin's time. It is however only a case of genetic variation within the population. In this mutation, the adult male is melanistic with black wings. Young birds with the nigripennis mutation are creamy white with fulvous tipped wings. The gene produces melanism in the male and in the peahen it produces a dilution of colour with creamy white and brown markings. Other variations include the pied and white forms all of which are the result of allelic variation at specific loci.

Cross between a male green peafowl, Pavo muticus and a female Indian peafowl, P. cristatus, produces a stable hybrid called a "spalding", named after Mrs. Keith Spalding, a bird fancier in California. There can be problems if birds of unknown pedigree are released into the wild, as the viability of such hybrids and their offspring is often reduced (see Haldane's Rule and outbreeding depression).

Credit - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Peafowl

#peafowl #indianbirds #peacock #birds #gif  
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Gerry’s Wash

Kurnell, Sydney, NSW, Australia
NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm, 248 sec at f/16, ISO 50 + Lee 0.6 GND + Lee BigStopper + Heliopan CPL

http://www.rc.au.net/blog/2014/06/28/kurnell-pastels-oils/

When we were nearly back to where we’d started at Kurnell – +Gerard Blacklock was quite keen to do a BigStopper long exposure to end the morning. We were looking for that lone rock out in the ocean getting washed in waves. Alas we never found it but this was one Gerry was keen to try. Personally I thought it was a lost cause but as we were here and I was going to be waiting for 10+ minutes anyway… got the gear out and fired off two frames – he was much lower down on the rock shelf below me – I shot using a more tele focal length from up the top. At the time I figured – ok that was terrible :)

However back in Lightroom I was warming to the images – I think because of the way the streaky white lines appear from the moving waves during the 250 second exposure – I think thats what elevates it just out of the garbage can for me :)…

#kurnell #seascape #focusgroup
#Sydney +Sydney
+LongExposure Thursday curated by +Francesco Gola +Luca Gerardi #longexposurethursday
#sundaysubtlelandscapes +Sunday Sublte Landscapes curated by +Steve Sieren
+Photo Mania Australia by +Tony Heyward, +David Tomek & +Gerard Blacklock #PhotoManiaAustralia
+Landscape Photography curated by +Landscape Photography Show +Margaret Tompkins +Jim Warthman +Kevin Rowe +Johan Peijnenburg +David Heath Williams +Tom Hierl +Carolyn Lim +Tom Sloan +Howard L. Smith +Kai Kosonen +Tony Heyward +Sheila B. DuBois +Sandra Brown +Vishal Kumar +Toshi Nakamura #LandscapePhotography
#soothingphotography +Soothing Photography curated by +E Cindy +Massimo Marengo +Tomoaki Matsushita
#hqspmotion +HQSP Motion curated by +Sean McLean +Anja Wessels
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                      Firefly

Lampyridae is a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, and commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescence to attract mates or prey. Wikipedia

#insect #firefly #animatedgif #insects #gifs #favoritegifs   
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Early Morning on Mount Zugspitze - High in the Alps, #Germany   

The Zugspitze, at 2,962 m above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany.
Photo by Torsten Muehlbacher
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CHENNAKESAVA TEMPLE

The Chennakesava Temple, originally called Vijayanarayana Temple, was built on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, by the Hoysala Empire King Vishnuvardhana. Belur, which was an early Hoysala capital is in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. It is 40 km from Hassan city and 220 km from Bangalore. Chennakesava (lit, "handsome Kesava") is a form of the Hindu god Vishnu. Belur is well known for its marvelous temples built during the rule of the Hoysala dynasty, making it and nearby Halebidu favored tourist destinations in Karnataka state. These temple complexes have been proposed to be listed under UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The temple was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD. Scholars are divided about the reasons for the construction of the temple. The military successes of Vishnuvardhana is considered a probable reason. Some scholars believe Vishnuvardhana commissioned the temple to surpass his overlord, King Vikramaditya VI of the Western Chalukya Empire (who ruled from Basavakalyan), after his initial military victories against the Chalukyas. According to another theory, Vishnuvardhana was celebrating his famous victory against the Chola dynasty of Tamil country in the battle of Talakad (1116 AD), which resulted in the annexation of Gangavadi (modern southern Karnataka) by the Hoysalas.

Another theory points to Vishnuvardhana's conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism (a sect of Hinduism) after coming under the influence of saint Ramanujacharya, considering this is a predominantly Vaishnava temple in sculptural iconography. The Hoysalas employed many noted architects and artisans who developed a new architectural tradition, which art critic Adam Hardy called the Karnata Dravida tradition. In all 118 inscriptions have been recovered from the temple complex, covering the period 1117 AD to the 18th century, giving historians details of the artists employed, grants made to the temple and renovations committed during later times
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How to Hand Feed Hummingbirds

Hand feeding hummingbirds can be a magical, enchanting experience for any backyard birder, and with patience and perseverance it can be surprisingly easy to arrange.

Feeding Hummingbirds by Hand

Any backyard birder with a hummingbird feeder can feed hummingbirds by hand. The key to success is to gain the birds’ trust, however, and it takes several steps to do so.

    Attract Hummingbirds: First, it is necessary to attract hummingbirds. Plant hummingbird flowers, put out several suitable feeders and make your backyard a hummingbird haven. To make it easier to hand feed hummingbirds, arrange the feeders and flowers in a single location to concentrate where the birds visit and help them become familiar with where food is available.

    Take Notes: As the hummingbirds visit your yard, note when the most popular feeding times are each day and how many birds take advantage of the feeders. If there is one feeder that is especially popular, study the birds’ behavior to learn why they prefer it.

    Be Present: Once hummingbirds regularly visit the feeding station, it is time to get them used to your presence. During the most popular feeding times, sit outside several feet away from the feeders. Each day, move a small step or two closer to the feeders, but remain still so the birds are not threatened. Avoid any sudden moves or unnecessary sounds while the birds gradually learn that you won’t hurt them.

    Be Consistent: As the birds are getting used to your presence, be consistent with what time you’re at the feeders, how you stand or sit and what you wear. Keeping your behavior similar day after day will help the birds become accustomed to you more quickly, but it may still take several days or weeks for them to feel comfortable with you nearby.

    Hold the Feeder: When the birds have become used to you and you’re able to sit or stand very close to the feeder without disturbing them, it is time to try holding the feeder for them to eat. Remove other feeders to concentrate their activity at the feeder you’re holding, and keep the feeder very still to avoid startling the birds. If you are patient, a hummingbird may sip from the feeder within just a few minutes.

    Provide a Perch: If you want an even more intimate experience hand feeding hummingbirds, offer your finger or hand as a perch in front of the feeder’s feeding ports. This is easy to do by cupping the feeder in your hand or placing your fingers alongside an existing perch.

For many birders, having a hummingbird land on their finger to feed is an amazing experience. If you want to have an even more intimate encounter with these flying jewels, consider using a very small dish as a feeder, such as a red bottle cap, a test tube or a floral tube and rest it in your palm or hold it in a closed fist. Once the birds are used to landing on your hand to feed, you can even put a small splash of nectar directly in your hand.
Tips for Hand Feeding Hummingbirds

It can take several weeks for hummingbirds to become accustomed to your presence and feel safe feeding from your hands. To make the process easier…

    Wear a red shirt or hat or a floral print to attract the birds to you. Even small red accents such as a red bead bracelet or red nail polish can help guide the birds to the feeder you’re holding.

    Choose a simple feeder style with only a single feeding port. This will allow you to position the feeder so the birds will land on your hand or give you good views while you’re feeding them.

    Try feeding hummingbirds by hand only late in the season when there are more birds visiting your feeders. The more competition there is for food, the more likely a bold bird will be to land on your hand or visit a hand-held feeder.

    Remove multiple feeders and deadhead nearby red flowers to help concentrate hummingbirds’ activity closer to the feeder you are holding. This reduces the availability of alternative feeding locations and may encourage a more reluctant bird to try a hand-held feeder.

    Brace your hand or arm on a table, stool or other steady support. It may take up to an hour before a hummingbird tries your feeder, and if your hand is shaking or unsteady they will be less likely to come close enough to feed.

    Always be patient. Hummingbirds may be curious and adventurous, but they are still wild birds and can be unpredictable. If you aren’t able to hand feed hummingbirds one day, try again the next day for better success.

Feeding Hummingbirds Away From Home

If you aren’t able to feed hummingbirds by hand at home, contact local nature centers and bird sanctuaries to see if they offer a hummingbird feeding program. Two popular destinations for hand feeding hummingbirds are Lake Hope State Park in Ohio and Rocklands Bird Sanctuary in Jamaica, and both facilities have worked for years to condition hummingbirds to be relaxed around visitors in order to make hand feeding possible. While other sanctuaries and parks may not have ongoing hummingbird hand feeding programs, they may be able to arrange an opportunity for you to try.
Hummingbird Feeding Safety

When you’re feeding hummingbirds by hand, always keep the birds’ safety in mind. Do not allow very young children to try feeding the birds if they may be scared or impatient, and keep pets indoors at all times when the hummingbirds are feeding. Avoid the temptation to touch or stroke a bird’s wings or heads, as their delicate plumage can be easily damaged and a strong touch can injure the bird and will destroy the trust you’ve built with them.

Feeding hummingbirds by hand may seem exotic, but with patience and adequate preparation, any birder with hummingbirds in their backyard can be feeding them by hand before they know it.


Read More: http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/handfeedhummingbirds.htm

#birds #gif #birdsgallery #birds4all #birdgif #birdloversworldwide #birdphotography #birdphotographs #birdphotos #animals #animallovers #animalphotography #animalgifs  
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Kangaroo Kickboxing

Things can get downright deadly when male kangaroos fight over mating rights. With their gigantic feet, these "boomers" deliver kicks that can crush bone... and even kill their opponents.


Kangaroos are vegetarians, but they can be fiercely competitive when it comes to courting females.

And when they combat each other, feet are their weapon of choice.

They're armed with extremely muscular hind legs and enormous feet, which help them to execute broad jumps with every hop.

This Bigfoot can cross the vast reaches of the Australian Outback with ease, at peak speeds of almost 45 miles an hour.

But one thing can stop this speed demon in his tracks: A potential mate.

For days during mating season, a male kangaroo, also called boomer, will follow a female.

He shadows her every move.

But there are plenty of boomers out there, and fights between them will break out often.

And that's when the weapons are unleashed.

It starts with a quick right jab...then descends into an all-out brawl.

This is not just boxing; it's more like ultimate fighting.

A favorite tactic: using the forepaws to grip the opponent and then quickly kicking with their huge clawed hind feet.

It's a move that can crush bones, disembowel the opponent...even bring death.

Fortunately, a referee breaks up this match before it goes too far.

But he can't stop the next generation of Joeys from trying some of their own shadow boxing.



#kangaroo #animals #animalgifs #gif #gifoftheday #gifoftheweek #gifofthedayindeed #loop #bestgif  #funnygifs #nationalgeographic #animallovers  #animallovers #cute #cuteanimals #cuteness #cutenessoverload #animaloftheday #gifoftheday #gifofthedayindeed #gifoftheweek
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Paradise
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Caught on camera: A police officer has pushed over a man in a wheelchair into a street in America.

Police in Indiana were responding to reports that the wheelchair user was carrying a handgun in his rucksack. As they were about to leave, having not found a gun, the man ran over an officer's foot. The policeman responded by pushing him over into the road.

#Police #CCTV #Wheelchair #Disabled #Disability #America #Indiana
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Church of Peace | Świdnica, Poland

Built in one year completely from wood, the Church of Peace is a result of the fight between Catholicism and evangelists in the 17th century. What’s so special about this church and how did +Daria Stolarz  almost become model for National Geographic?

Read my blog entry at http://bit.ly/sum140703
Deutscher Blogeintrag: http://bit.ly/sum140703d

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#Silesia   #poland   #polandphotography   #polska   #unesco   #unescoworldheritage   #travel   #travelphotography   #church   #faith   #photography  
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SOME FACTS ABOUT BATS

Bats make up a quarter of all mammals. Yep, you read that right. A quarter of all mammals are bats. There are more than 1,100 species of bats in the world. That's a lot of bats!

More than 50 percent of bat species in the United States are either in severe decline or are listed as endangered. You don't know what you've got until it's gone. Industry, deforestation, pollution, and good old-fashioned killing have wiped out many bats and their habitats. For information on how to help keep bats around, contact your local conservation society.

Cold night? Curl up next to a bat! Inside those drafty caves they like so much, bats keep warm by folding their wings around them, trapping air against their bodies for instant insulation.

An anticoagulant found in vampire bat saliva may soon be used to treat human cardiac patients. The same stuff that keeps blood flowing from vampire bats' prey seems to keep blood flowing in human beings, too. Scientists in several countries are trying to copy the enzymes found in vampire bat saliva to treat heart conditions and stop the effects of strokes in humans.

Bats have only one pup a year. Most mammals of smallish size have way more offspring than that. Think cats, rabbits, and rats.

The average bat will probably outlive your pet dog. The average lifespan of a bat varies, but some species of brown bat can live to be 30 years old. Considering that other small mammals live only two years or so, that's impressive.

Bats wash behind their ears. Bats spend more time grooming themselves than even the most image-obsessed teenager. They clean themselves and each other meticulously by licking and scratching for hours.


Source: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/
image: photobucket http://bit.ly/1sFsD6x
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