It’s A Jungle Out There

I bought El, my elder son who is turning 3, a book where you can join the dots according to the numbers. It was a cheap book and I got it from a supermarket on my way home one day.

Bumble Bee collecting pollen

Bumble Bee

He was joining some numbers, and asked me what the picture was. I told him that it was a bumblebee. He thought for a while and said, “I think it is a honeybee, not a bumblebee.” Hence I went to google, and golly, he’s right. Honeybees are slender, with uniform black and yellow stripes, and bumblebees are more pudgy and hairier. See this website about honeybee vs bumblebee.

After that, he traced a creature that had spots, and again he asked me what it was. Maybe it’s a snake. No, it should be a salamander, he said. I didn’t even know how salamanders look like, except that they have four legs. His lines were haphazard so it was hard to tell from the picture whether the reptile had legs. However, there were big spots on the animal. Google showed me a salamander with a black body and yellow spots, just like that drawing.

Spotted Salamander on Leaf

Spotted salamader, photo by Tom Tyning.

Looks like I need to read up more on his favourite topics. I guess I better find out what a newt looks like. It took me some time before I discovered how to tell leopard, cheetah, jaguar, cougar, puma, mountain lion, and panther apart. Jaguars are mainly from central and south America, and they are more muscular compared to leopards. Cougar, puma, mountain lion and mountain cat are the same animal, just that they are known differently in different regions. These words come from Spanish, Portuguese, and Quechua among others.

Cheetah is the fastest animal. Its body is quite different. Leopards have rosette shaped markings, a ring with black inside, while cheetahs have solid spots. Leopards can be found in Africa and Asia. Panthers? They are either black jaguars or black leopards.

I’m having a wild guess that Germans really love these animals, to the extent that they name cars, army tanks, and sportswear after these creatures.

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