Dinosaurs at the Denver Zoo with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Ducks, let’s go to the zoo!   Some of our favorite words.   But what is this?   Dinosaurs at the zoo?   Aren’t they extinct?   Let’s look around here.   This is Coelophysis.

Coelophysis dinosaur

Coelophysis is the earliest dinosaur known to have a wishbone (or furcular), a feature once believed to be unique to birds.

Coelophysis dinosaur

They were social animals, living and hunting in groups.  When you go to the zoo, be prepared.   These dinosaurs move their heads and make a ferocious sound.   You might be startled at first, we were.   Next we saw Carnotaurus.

Carnotaurus dinosaur

This dinosaur may have had something in common with the modern day Komodo dragon; highly flexible jaws that allowed it to swallow large chunks of flesh whole.  But, please, not to swallow ducks…

Moving along, Edmontonia dinosaur was a sight to see.

Edmontonia dinosaur

This dinosaur would have been a poor choice of prey for a predator due to the bony lumps, or osteoderms, that dotted its already rough hide.   It is theorized that Edmontonia had a highly developed sense of smell, thanks to extensive nasal passages within the skull.

Diabloceratops was the most unusual dinosaur we saw.

Diabloceratops dinosaur

Diabloceratops is estimated to have tipped the scales at roughly 4,000 pounds, the same weight as a modern Indian rhinoceros.   In addition, like the rhino, it was an herbivore despite its dangerous looking horns.  About 79 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period, Diabloceratops lived in Utah.   Hey, that is less than 300 miles from where we live.

But look at these baby diabloceratops.

Baby diabloceratops dinosaur

Aren’t they so cute?  The last dinosaur we saw was Iguanodon.

Iguanodon dinosaur

We learned that Iguanodon is one of three dinosaurs used as inspiration for Godzilla?   The other two were T Rex and Stegosaurus.   About 125 million years ago Iguanodon roamed around what is now Belgium in Europe.

There are more dinosaurs for you to discover at the Denver Zoo.   But don’t wait too long.   After October 31, 2017 the dinosaurs will once again become extinct.   While we were at the zoo, we stopped to visit a few of our favorite animals.   Mom just loves tigers.

Tiger

We like them also.   The okapi is always interesting to us.

Okapi

The okapi is a relative of giraffes and lives deep in the equatorial rain forests of Africa.  Okapi can eat up to 65 pounds of leaves a day.  That’s a lot of leaves!  We love that the okapi only has some stripes.  That makes him very unusual and favorite of ours.  Of course, no trip to the zoo would be complete with seeing the majestic lion.

Lion

And here is the fastest land animal on earth, the cheetah.  The cheetah can sprint up to 70 miles per hour.

Cheetah

Look at those eyes.  The sign said the black “tear marks” along the side of a cheetah’s nose may help reduce glare, just like the black grease some football players smear under their eyes.   Is the cheetah a trend setter? Perhaps.

Zeb the Duck Continues Exploring South Africa’s Kruger National Park

Welcome back.   I am still showing you what I discovered in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.   Chris is our guide and driver in the part, and Samson is our guide and driver outside the park.   Samson got us at our hotel and will return us there tonight.   Rhinos are really huge.

Rhinos

Rhinos

Rhinos are endangered because they are poached, or killed illegally.   Chris says that if the current rate of rhino poaching continues, Kruger many not have any rhinos in 3-5 years.   That would be sad.   The rhinos are poached, or killed, for the horn on their nose.   These elephants are really close to us.

Elephants are really close

Elephants are really close

Mom let me sit on the vehicle to see them.   We are really close now.   Cape Buffalo are also in Kruger National Park.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

So big and their horns are against their head, rather than in the air like animals that live by me.   Always something different to see and learn.   I love to travel and learn.   Another fabulous zebra.

Love the zebra

Love the zebra

This rhino crossed the road right in front of our vehicle.

Rhino crossed in front of our safari vehicle.

Rhino crossed in front of our safari vehicle.

So big and so massive.   OK, this is what the humans have been looking for.

First lion sighting for Zeb the Duck

First lion sighting for Zeb the Duck

This lion just finished breakfast and is relaxing and enjoying the shade of this tree.   He is majestic!  This giraffe is resting also.

Giraffe at rest

Giraffe at rest

Even lounging on the ground, he is very tall.   The monkey also wanted a snack.

Monkey

Monkey

We saw many large elephants.

Elephant

Elephant

This one is also eating.   Elephants are vegetarians, so they eat most of the day.   Remember the kudu from Chobe Park in Botswana?

Kudu. Love those twisted horns

Kudu. Love those twisted horns

Here is another kudu.   The twisted horns are very distinctive.   We admire those horns.   OK, mom said I should put this photo in here.   I am not sure. This is droppings from a hyena.

From the hyena. Much calcium

From the hyena. Much calcium

The hyena eats many bones and his droppings are almost all calcium.   Chris told us that.   The giraffe also wanted a snack.

Giraffe enjoying a snack

Giraffe enjoying a snack

I love to see giraffes eating leaves.   The are so tall and regal.   We stopped at the lodge on the river and I enjoyed the view.

View of the river in Kruger National Park

View of the river in Kruger National Park

There are hippos in that river also.   We are heading to the exit of Kruger Park, but look at this.

Elephants by the river in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Elephants by the river in Kruger National Park, South Africa

These elephants by the river could be an advertisement for Kruger Park.  And about elephants.   You know they are very big and they can do what they want.

This elephant is king of the road

This elephant is king of the road

There were three large elephants in the middle of the road, stopping traffic from each direction.   They are close to us and so much in charge of the situation.   We loved watching them before we left the park to go back to our hotel in Maputo, Mozambique.   This was my last African safari for this trip, so I, Zeb the Duck, am very happy that we saw so many wonderful wild animals.   We hope you go on an African safari.   The animals are so majestic.   I love safaris.