Ten Animals that have mastered social distancing
With the Covid-19 crisis, physical isolation is proving difficult for many people. However, there are animals that like the solitary life, with exceptions only when mating or raising their young ones, writes CLIFFORD AKUMU
Pangolins are mammals of the order Pholidota and are mostly found in Asia and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.
They have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin; the only known mammals with the feature.
Pangolins live in hollow trees and burrows, depending on the species. They are nocturnal and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites, which they capture with their long tongues.
They are threatened by poaching for their meat and scales that are used in Chinese traditional medicine for a variety of ailments including excessive anxiety and hysterical crying in children and malarial fever.
They are the most trafficked mammals in the world. They live a solitary life except when mating.
The platypus is a semi-aquatic animal, native to Australia. Although a mammal, the platypus lays eggs.
It has a distinctive physical appearance with a flat horny bill, webbed feet like a duck and peddle shaped tail much like a beaver1s.
They are also solitary animals for most of their lives-although on occasion they can be seen in pairs. But mothers stay with their young ones for some months.
They are small mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle (animals adapted to digging, which lives primarily, but not solely, underground).
Moles dig networks of tunnels to make their homes in the ground, and they don’t like sharing the space that has taken such an effort to make.
They play alone in their tunnels where there is never room for more than one mole and are rarely seen above the surface.
In their reclusive and solitary nature, they avoid meeting other moles, and when their territories overlap, they may end up fighting.
Sloths are adorable and lethargic animals living in treetops and mostly found in the tropical forests of Central and South America (Brazil and Panama).
The sloth is so named because of its low metabolism and deliberate movements. They spend much of their lives in the canopy, snoozing and remaining hidden from predators such as hawks and cats that hunt by sight.
They only gather in groups when they are mating, and travel from tree to tree using canopy vines.
Bears are canivoran mammals of the Ursidae family. They are found in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
All bears—from the polar to grizzly—are typically solitary animals with exception of courting individuals and mothers with their young.
Interestingly, bears prefer the company of a tree or a nice patch of ice—in the case of polar bears.
They are primarily nocturnal and diverse carnivores that live in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts, forests, and mountains.
Most skunks are about the size of a housecat, but some are significantly smaller. Also called polecat, skunks are black-and-white mammals, found primarily in the Western Hemisphere that uses extremely well developed scent glands to release a noxious odour in defense.
There are different species of skunks and they are all mostly solitary. But in colder climates, they may share dens, especially among females.
Male skunks, however, mate with more than one female, but they don’t live together after that. Female skunks stay with their young ones for only a year.
The solitary sandpiper is a small shorebird. It is a dumpy wader with a dark green back, greyish head and breast and otherwise white under parts.
The solitary sandpiper breeds in woodlands across Alaska and Canada. It is a migratory bird wintering in Central and South America, especially in the Amazon River basin and the Caribbean.
Although all sandpiper birds travel in groups, the solitary sandpipers do things the opposite.
When it comes to finding a place to lay their eggs, they make do with being alone by borrowing nests from other birds.
Tiger is the largest extant cat species. It is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on orange-brown fur with a lighter underside.
The tiger has a muscular body with powerful forelimbs, large head and a tail that is about half the length of its body.
It is an apex predator, primarily preying on deer or wild boar. Tigers love alone time so much they claim large areas of forest all to themselves once they’re old enough to leave their mothers.
But tiger cubs stay with their mother for about two years before they become independent.
Sea turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines and of the suborder Cryptodira.There are seven existing species of sea turtles.
They can journey between land and sea and swim thousands of ocean miles during their long lifetimes.
They wait decades until they can reproduce, returning to the same beaches where they were born to lay their eggs.
They meet up for mating and nesting seasons, but otherwise they’re happy on their own.
The orangutans are three extant species of great apes native to Indonesia and Malasyia.They are currently found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.
They are the most arboreal (locomotion of animals in trees) of the great apes and spend most of their time in trees.
Thanks to their hand-like feet, the species are incredibly dexterous and agile travelling with ease through trees.
Orangutans prefer to spend their lives alone hanging out in trees, only meeting others when it’s time to mate.