African penguins are a smaller penguin species, standing about 18 inches tall and weighing around seven pounds. They use strong, flipper-like wings to propel themselves through the water and webbed feet to steer. Dense bones help them conserve energy while swimming, and backward-facing spines across their tongue help them catch prey. While in water, their iconic black-and-white plumage camouflages them from prey and predators alike: from above, their black feathers fade into the ocean, and from below, their white feathers blend into the sky.
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With tall, thin legs and a long, flexible neck, Chilean flamingos can reach up to 40 inches in height. They live in large flocks in the wild and require crowded conditions to stimulate breeding. During breeding season, males and females display a variety of behaviors to attract mates, including swiveling their heads from side to side and repeatedly spreading their wings. Upon birth, chicks have gray plumage; they don't gain adult coloration for up to three years.
Standing 19 feet tall, giraffes are the tallest ground-dwelling animals in the world. Females are slightly shorter than males, but both genders have tan and brown coats. Their front legs are longer than their back legs, giving their body a sloping appearance. Both males and females have horn-like structureds called ossicornes on the top of their head, although males develop additional bony growths along their skull as they age. Giraffes gather in fluid herds of up to 40 individuals.
Hoffmann's two-toed sloths are solitary, largely nocturnal, arboreal animals. These sloths spend most of their time in trees, though they may travel across the ground to move to a new tree. Hoffman's two-toed sloths are some of the world's slowest mammals—so slow, in fact, that algae grows on their furry coat. The plant gives them a greenish tint that serves as camouflage in dense rainforests.
Polar bears can grow up to eight feet long and weigh up to 1700 pounds. Their distinctive coat is composed of long, transparent hairs, which reflect light to display a white appearance. Their small ears and short tail help limit heat loss in their icy environment while large paws help them navigate thin ice by spreading out their weight. Polar bears are carnivorous, preying mostly on seals.
Western lowland gorillas, one of the largest living primates, can grow up to six feet tall and over 400 pounds. All gorillas have a black coat but adult males also have a silvery-white "saddle" on their back. Gorillas are herbivorous, primarily feeding on leaves, stems, and fruit. Troops are made up of a dominant silverback, multiple females, and their young. Mating is non-seasonal and offspring are born after nine months. After maturing, males leave to form their own troop or join a bachelor group while females leave to join another established group.