What on Earth is in this picture? Scroll to find out!
Answer: Okapi Hide
You may have thought this was the hide of a zebra, but it is actually the hide of the allusive Okapi! Native to Ituri Forest, a dense rain forest in central Africa, okapis have excellent hearing due to their large, upright ears. They are shy and good at running away and hiding from predators, so they are difficult to spot in the wild. So difficult, in fact, that scientists did not know of their existence until 1900!
The stripes on their hindquarters and front legs allow them to camouflage into the vegetation of the dark rainforest, and also help their young follow their mother by following the stripes. While these stripes make them look like zebras, okapis are actually the only living relative of the giraffe! Male okapis have horns similar to giraffes, and all okapis have a long prehensile tongue that allows them to help them grab buds and leaves from understory brush.
The okapi’s adaptations, like their tongue and stripes, allow them to live in their rainforest environment—and also avoid human sight! At SKELETONS, you can learn about how many animals disguise themselves and use other adaptations to move around, eat, and altogether survive in the environment in which they live. Our Educational Programs give participants the opportunity to study these adaptations from skeletal specimen in their own hands. Listed below are our programs involving animal adaptations!
Pre-K and Kindergaten
Locomotion: Move Like an Animal
1st and 2nd Grade
Locomotion: How Animals Move
3rd - 5th Grade
Locomotion and Skeletal Adaptation
Amazing Animal Adaptations
6th - 8th Grade
Mastering Mammal Classification