Wednesday, January 14, 2009

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Animals

What color is the black mamba, the dangerous African snake?

Anywhere from light gray to dark brown - but not black. The black in its name describes the color inside its mouth, which is inky black.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Hi Becky,

Interesting fact on the Black Mamba. I for one will not stop the snake to open its mouth. I'd be outta there!

One worth asking is why are the Rhino named the Black Rhino and White Rhino, two variants of the Rhino in Africa. It has nothing to do with colour at all (they are both grey) but was a bad translation into English from the Afrikaans language.

The White Rhino is now correctly named as the Square Lip Rhino and the Black Rhino is the Hook Lip Rhino.

The Afrikaans original name included the word "wyd" (pronounced vayt as in the sound of "late") referring to the "wide" lip. This was corrupted when translated into English to "white". The Black Rhino was just called that to differentiate from the "White" Rhino.

So, how does one tell the difference if one sees the animal in the wild but cannot see the mouth. Easy, by the posture of the head. The Square lip Rhino is a grazer (eats grass)and holds the head low (pointing to the ground) and the Hook Lip Rhino is a browser (eats leaves from trees) and holds the head high. There are other differences but these are the easiest to see.

Enjoyed your blog

Kevin Fraser
(Johannesburg, South Africa)