Sand Cat

Sand Cat

The sand cat is not a good climber or jumper, but it is an excellent digger. It uses this digging ability to dig burrows in the sand to escape the heat of the day.

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Fun Facts

Did You Know?

  • that barn owls have a heart shaped face.
  • that the reticulated python is the longest animal at the zoo.
  • that the fisher's favorite food is the porcupine (ouch!).
  • that male sea horses give birth to the young.
  • that a crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  • that a hummingbird egg weighs less than a penny.
  • that the placement of a donkey's eyes are such that it can see all four feet at the same time.
  • that the sloth moves so slowly that green algae can grow undisturbed on its fur.
  • that seahorses produce snapping or clicking noises by tossing their heads. These clicks and a "greeting dance" are thought to help attract a mate!
  • that cheetahs are the only cats that cannot retract their claws.
  • that flamingos must turn their heads upside down to eat.
  • that lions, jaguars, tigers and leopards are the only cats that can roar.
  • that an ostrich egg is about the size of a medium cantaloupe.
  • that jaguars and tigers are the only big cats that like to swim.
  • that New York City has the largest population of peregrine falcons in the world.
  • that tigers are the largest member of the cat family.
  • that the cheetah is the fastest mammal in the world. It can sprint at speeds up to 62mph.
  • that the albatross is able to sleep and fly at the same time.
  • that American goldeneye ducks are capable of making dives of more than 20 feet deep.
  • that a fennec fox has the largest ears of any canid. These huge ears help them hear potential prey that is digging in the sand, listen for approaching danger, and they also cool off the fox as the Sahara Desert temperatures rise!
  • that hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.
  • that the peregrine falcon can dive at 200 mph when hunting its prey.
  • when sea stars eat, their stomach comes out of their mouth, wraps around the food and pulls it back in.
  • that the American crow is found in every state in America, except Hawaii.
  • that snakes do not have eyelids! They have a scale covering their eye for protection, and it is shed at the same time they shed their skin.
  • that an owl's eyes are so large in their head that they cannot move them around like we can; they always face forward! That's why they have to turn their head!
  • that white-lipped deer have hooves that "click." This helps them find each other in snowstorms.
  • that a female cuckoo will destroy eggs in other birds' nests and replace them with her own.
  • that siamang apes make the loudest sound that a land animal can make! They use this howl to help keep the distance between siamang families.
  • that porcupines have approximately 30,000 quills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I want to work in a zoo someday. What types of jobs are there at a zoo?

A: There are many different types of jobs at today's modern zoos. The types of jobs depend on the individual zoo, how it is run and how large it is. Below is a link that will show you a listing of some of the common jobs found at most accredited AZA zoos: www.aza.org/ForEveryone/Careers.

Q: What exactly do zookeepers do? And what is it like to be a zookeeper?

A: Zookeeping is a very interesting career. In addition to daily care of the animals (feeding, cleaning, etc.), zookeepers are involved in medical care and training of the animals. Click here for more information.

Q: I need to do a report on animals, where can I get information?

A: So, you have a book report due tomorrow on an animal of your choice. What should you do? Don't panic! There are many places you can look to find just the right information on your animal. Here are some places to check:

  1. Go to the library. Look up your animal in books on mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians. The library might even have a good book just on your specific animal. Don't forget to look up information in magazines such as "Ranger Rick" and "Zoo Books." You can purchase Zoo Books at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo's gift shop! If you don't live near our zoo, call your local zoo to see if they sell them.
  2. Look it up on the Web! Use a search engine to look up your animal. Check out other zoo Web sites. Just be sure that you double check the information on the Web page you use. Not all information on these Web sites is accurate.
  3. Check out our Animal Gallery for fact sheets about many of the animals living at the zoo.