Life of Pi Animal Behavior

Topics: Yann Martel, Tiger, Wildlife Pages: 9 (2735 words) Published: March 29, 2008

In his book the “Life of Pi” by Yann Martell, the author makes multiple references to animal behavior. Through this project we have researched each of the four animals: the zebra, Orangutan, Hyena, and the Tiger on their lifestyles and behavior. In order to write this book Yann Martel explained that he had to do a lot of research on zoo biology and animal psychology. In addition he spent 6 months doing research in India, where he visited every single zoo he could find in southern India. We will analyze the description of the animals in the book, to show you how the author provides a realistic representation of how these animals live, act and interact.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Zebra, Oranguan, Hyena, Tiger
Firstly we started off by researching some interesting facts about each of the animals

The Zebra:
Zebras belong to the Equidae family (the family of horse-like animals) which are native to Africa in the eastern, southern and southwesten regions. The Equidae family: large/medium mamals with the following characteristics: with long heads, and necks with Mohawk like manes (hair that grows from the neck). Zebras are generally 8ft long and are 4-5ft tall at shoulder length. They weigh around 650lbs. Zebras are best known for their white and black stripes. There are 3 species of Zebras: Plain Zebras (known as the common Zebra), Grevy’s Zebra (known as the imperial zebra), and Mountain Zebra. Zebras are found in different habitats mainly: grasslands, savannas, woodlands, mountains and costal hills. Zebra have never truly been domesticated animals however some still appear in zoos and other exhibitions. Behavior in the wild: the zebra are very social animasl who congregate in large groups and travel together. The stronger males have the role of protecting the group from predators. A kick from a Zebra’s hove is deadly and they are extremely courageous and are known to fight off predators.

The Orangutan:
Orangutans belong to the great apes specie, they are known for their intelligence and reddish brown hair. They are one of man’s closest relative sharing 97% of the same DNA. They have the ability to think and to speak. The origin of their name came from the indigenous people of Indonesia and Malaysia which called these apes: “Orang Hutan” which means: person of the forest. They are currently found in rainforests throughout Asia. Male orangutans: generally reach a height of 5 ft 9 weighing 250+ lbs While female orangutans: generally only weigh 100lbs and grow to 4 feet Behavior in the wild: Orangutans are shy, solitary animals that are active during the day. These apes live mainly in trees and swing from branch to branch using their strong arms. They sleep in nests which they construct in the trees. They live alone in large territories mainly. In order to get enough food and too many orangutans in one area might lead to starvation.

The Hyena:
Hyenas are natives to Africa and Asia. They are members of the Hyaenidae family comprised of four different species of hyenas. They are large terrestrial carnivores and highly intelligent (strategic hunting methods). Behavior in the wild: They generally are found in baron environments like African savannahs and desserts. Hyenas range in sizes from medium to large weighing anywhere between 10 to 80kg. They are known for their massive jaws and large teeth. Scientists show that when hyenas devour their prey they eat the whole thing (including the bones). Hyenas are known to be extremely aggressive animals, while hunting in clans they will challenge even lions and force them back from their prey.

The Tiger is a mammal of the Felidae family, it is the largest in the “big cats” family. Native to eastern and southern Asia. The tiger is a top level predator and a carnivore “meat eater”. Reaching up to 4 meters in length weighing up to 660 pounds. Tigers are recognizable by the dark pattern of vertical black stripes that surround their fur....
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