Can you guess which animals would make the following resolutions? The answers can be found at the end of the post. These images may, or may not be a hint.
1) “To spend lots of warm, cuddly quality time with my kids.” Before I give birth, I dig out a sleeping chamber in the Arctic snow—you can actually see a fine example of my work at Wild Arctic! My cubs are born November through January in my den. They rest and relax with me until we all emerge from their den in late March or April.
2) “To be a better team player.” We’re the only truly social cat species, and usually every female in our pride is closely related. In fact, we are such team players that we frequently enter breeding season together and even give birth at the same time!
3) “To reuse and recycle.” I live around Antarctica where resources are scarce, so when I build my nest I use things like pebbles, vegetation and reused, molted feathers shed from my body.
4) “To reach new heights in life.” By rearing up onto my hind legs and extending my trunk, I can reach vegetation as high up as 19 feet!
5) “To give to those in need.” I’m one of the most giving animals you’ll ever find—in fact, I give my old homes away! In Florida, I dig out burrows that can be up to 48 feet long and about six feet deep. When I move out, other animals move in. That’s why I’m called a “keystone” animal (a species with an impact far beyond that expected from its numbers) since more than 200 other animal species depend upon my old burrows.
6) “To be the roughest and toughest around.” When you first look at me you may think pink, but I’m actually one of the toughest animals you’ll ever find. Some of my kind will make nests in areas where virtually nothing lives, like extremely salty areas that contain mud pots boiling from the heat of volcanoes or frozen lakes high up in the mountains where few animals can survive. And talk about tough—I can sometimes fly 400 miles in just one night!
7) “Not to take life so seriously.” All work and no play can be boring, so sometimes you just need to play the day away. Both young and old of my kind chase one another and toss, carry or use objects to solicit interaction with others in our group. In fact, some of us at SeaWorld have been seen playing underwater with bubble rings that we create ourselves by blowing out air from our blowholes.
8) “To eat all my greens.” If you invited me out to lunch I’d order a salad…a rather large and expensive one. On the average I eat from 32-108 lb. of aquatic plants daily, so you better think twice before treating me out.
9) “Not to let anything go to waste.” You gonna eat that? If you don’t, I will. Although I’m a skilled hunter and can take down prey three times my weight, I’ll gladly feed off the leftovers of other predators. My jaws are so powerful that I’ll even break apart thick bones and eat them too. Scavengers like me are vital to a healthy ecosystem because we help stop the spread of diseases by getting rid of dead things.
10) “To save for a rainy day.” I work the summer away, hiding nuts that I’ll eat on a cold winter’s day. But I may be a little forgetful and won’t find everything I bury each year—some estimate that millions of the trees on our planet today came from the seeds I didn’t find.
1) Polar Bear (female)
3) Gentoo Penguins
4) Asian Elephants
5) Gopher Tortoises
7) Bottlenose Dolphin
8) Florida Manatee
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