On the Move

Animals & Gardens

May 13, 2021

Lincoln Park Zoo is home to nearly 200 unique species from around the world. From the slow-moving Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth to the spirited Grevy’s zebra, species at the zoo move in many different ways. There are a variety of different benefits to having slow moving or fast moving adaptions.

Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House is home to one of the slowest moving mammals—the sloth. Did you know that sloths move so slow that algae can actually grow on their fur, giving them a greenish tint? This greenish tint surprisingly serves as camouflage and helps the species blend into the tree canopies that they call home.

Photo courtesy of Kristen Ortiz-Jenkins.

Over at Camel & Zebra, the spirited Grevy’s zebra can be spotted frolicking. Grevy’s zebras can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Newborn zebra foals can walk after 20 minutes and run after just an hour, which is a critical survival adaptation in the wild for this endangered grazing prey species.

As the world’s largest marsupial, red kangaroos can reach more than five feet tall and weigh up to 190 pounds. Thanks to the powerful muscles in their legs, these marsupials are master jumpers. They can jump as far as 30 feet in one leap and move as fast as 35 miles per hour over short distances.

And, at Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove, a colony of 21 bright-eyed birds can be seen zipping past under water. Don’t let their slow waddle on land deceive you. These energetic birds are fast swimmers, allowing them to catch a variety of prey. African penguins use their strong, flipper-like wings to propel themselves through water and a pair of webbed feet to steer.

Photo courtesy of Megan Ross, Ph.D.

This spring, challenge yourself to stay active and to move like an animal. Between Saturday, June 5-Sunday, June 13, run, walk, or even hop in your own community during Virtual Run for the Zoo. Choose between a 5K, 10K, or children’s package. All proceeds support Lincoln Park Zoo during this critical time.

Waddle you waiting for? Move like an animal!