Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Visit to the Zoo (Part 2)

Note: Continued from here.

IMG_6363 (by changyang1230)
We came across the meerkat. Meerkat is one of the most popular animals in all Australian zoos I have been. They are just so small, so hairy and so cute. Being one of those hyperactive animals, they are also quite difficult to shoot because they just don't stand still most of the time.

IMG_6460 (by changyang1230)
Despite sharing the name "kat", the meerkat is not at all related to the cat. On the contrary, the big fella here is quite a close relative to the cat. The tiger is one of the four so-called "big cats", the other three being lion, leopard and jaguar. Interestingly, the Chinese nickname given to the tiger is the "big worm" (大虫). The reason is that "worm" was used as an umbrella term for all animals.

IMG_6511 (by changyang1230)
In Melbourne Zoo, we have an even bigger resident. This mother elephant here is pregnant, and she's probably going to be pregnant for quite a while - an elephant's gestation period is 22 months. The white stuff on her is not dandruff, it's water droplets from showering.

IMG_6389 (by changyang1230)
On the other extreme of the dimension, we have the very tall giraffes. This fellow here is drooling in the public. Not a very good demeanour indeed. By the way, we all know that each of us has seven bones in our neck; but do you know how many neck bones a giraffe has? Surprise, surprise - Seven!

Lovey Dovey (by changyang1230)
The range of human-like behaviours amongst animals is fascinating. We can occasionally observe what seems like deep affection (the not-so-romantic truth: they are cleaning each other's beaks),

IMG_6545 (by changyang1230)
or thoughtfulness;

IMG_6567 (by changyang1230)
but more often than not I see an expression of boredom

and depression.

I have probably been pretentious in the last few pictures and made them more "meaningful" than they really are. However, this hand here carries an entirely different dimension of emotional content. What do you see in it? A struggle? Determination? Imprisonment? Or just a hand?

IMG_6518 (by changyang1230)
The last few shots of our fellow primates must have bored you out. So let's take a short break to enjoy some flowers

IMG_6618 (by changyang1230)
and leaves.

IMG_6548 (by changyang1230)
I must apologise though that I have to end this series of pictures with my favourite shot of the day. This orangutan is just soo cute.


WP said...

Hehe, I didn't know that we had 7 bones in our neck :P So I guess a giraffe's neck isn't that flexible, huh?

nhang said...

Loved the captions! And of course the brilliantly-taken photographs too. :)