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  1. AThumbCut_161128-191539.png AThumbCut_161128-191539.png

    The newspapers for Monday, November 28, focus on an alleged plot by President Buhari to replace Osinbajo with Kalu.

    The Point newspaper reports that the camp of President Muhammadu Buhari may be planning to replace vice president Yemi Osinbajo with a politician from the southeast ahead of the 2019 elections.
    The paper reports that the presidency plans to woo a former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, as a possible replacement for Osinbajo in the next general elections so as to pacify the southeast.

    According to The point, the Buhari camp, sensing a potential loss of support and electoral votes from the south west, in the event of the Tinubu forces pulling out, is tinkering with options to win over the south east and perhaps south south blocs.

    “With many gladiators, who joined forces to see APC through to victory during the last elections already fingered in the movement to form a new mega party, there is intense calculation being done to get a crowd-puller from the South East geo-political zone. This is to garner substantial votes from the region to shore up what may be lost should the South West go with Tinubu,” one of the sources said.

    Betrayal? Buhari plots Osinbajo’s replacement, newspaper review ▷ NAIJ.COM
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    Jaguar Classification and Evolution
    The Jaguar is the largest feline on the American continent, and is the only one of the world's 'big' cats to be found in the New World. Jaguars are closely related to Leopards and have a number of similar characteristics including the distinctive spotted pattern on their fur. The Jaguar is the third biggest Cat in the world behind the Tiger and the Lion and is well known for it's immense power and agility. In fact, the name Jaguar is said to come from the Native American word yaguar which means "he who kills with one leap". Despite their incredible power however, Jaguars have been hunted through the ages mainly for their staggeringly beautiful fur. Although hunting for Jaguar fur is now prohibited, population numbers have declined throughout much of their natural range, with Jaguars having completely disappeared from a number of areas.
    Jaguar Anatomy and Appearance
    The Jaguar is a large and muscular animal that has a heavier and sturdier body than that of a Leopard. They have a large, broad head with jaws so strong that they are said to have the most powerful bite of all the world's Cats. Jaguars tend to have a cover of either tan or dark yellow fur, which is dotted with darker rose-like patterns that are similar to those of a Leopard (besides the fact that they have dark spots in the middles). Known as rosetting, the pattern on the Jaguar's fur is unique to each animal much like fingerprints are unique to individual people, and despite it's beauty, it actually acts as the perfect camouflage in the surrounding jungle. This camouflage turns out to be so vital to their chances of survival, that those Jaguars found in the rainforest are darker in colour and often smaller than those found in more open areas.
    Jaguar Distribution and Habitat
    The Jaguar is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere, where it primarily inhabits the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Although the historic range of the Jaguar stretched across the whole continent and even into the southern states of the USA, they are today confined to remote pockets of rainforest particularly in the moist Amazon Basin. Jaguars tend to prefer thick, dense, moist jungle where there is plenty of cover in order to successfully hunt and then ambush prey. They are nearly always found close to water and prefer either permanent swampland or seasonally flooded forests. The Jaguar has been severely affected by habitat loss throughout much of it's natural range along with poachers who shoot them when they get too close to the growing Cattle ranches.
    Jaguar Behaviour and Lifestyle
    Although this elusive animal spends most of it's time either resting in the safety of the trees or hunting in the dense undergrowth, Jaguars love to be in the close proximity of water such as floodplains and slow-moving rivers (which is rare amongst felines), and they rarely venture into arid, more desert-like areas. The Jaguar is an excellent swimmer and can move through the water at surprising speed particularly when in pursuit of prey. As with many other Cat species, the Jaguar is a solitary animal with the exception of the first couple of years that Jaguar cubs spend with their mother. Males are particularly territorial and although their home range will overlap those of a number of females, they will defend their patch fiercely from other males. Jaguars mark their territories with urine, by scratching marks onto trees, and asserting themselves with growling vocal calls.
    Jaguar Reproduction and Life Cycles
    Despite the fact that most Jaguar cubs are generally born between the months of December and March, it is not uncommon for them to be born at other times of the year. During the mating season, the female Jaguar will use loud vocal calls to attract a male into her territory. Female Jaguars typically give birth to two or three cubs. Once their cubs are born however, the female Jaguar will not tolerate the male in her territory as she becomes very protective of her young at this stage. Jaguar cubs are born blind and gain their sight after about two weeks. They are weaned by their mother when they are around 3 months old, although the cubs will rely on their mother to hunt and provide for them until they are about 6 months old. At 6 months, the Jaguar cubs will then start to accompany the female jaguar on hunts but will not venture out on their own until they are one or two years old and have established a territory for themselves.
    Jaguar Diet and Prey
    The majority of a Jaguar's hunting is done down on the ground but they are also known to hunt for prey both in the water and from the trees, from where the Jaguar can easily ambush it's prey often killing it with one powerful bite. Medium sized mammals make up the majority of the Jaguar's diet including Deer, Capybara, Peccaries and Tapirs, which they stalk in silence through the dense jungle. When in the water, Jaguars hunt Turtles, Fish and even small Caiman when the opportunity presents itself. The Jaguar is known to be a formidable and aggressive hunter and is thought to eat more than 80 different animal species in order to supplement it's diet. With growing Human settlements, the Jaguar has also been blamed by ranch owners for stealing their livestock, particularly in areas that encroach on the Jaguar's territory.
    Jaguar Predators and Threats
    Due to the large size and dominant nature of the Jaguar, there are no other wild animals that are known to actually consider it as prey. Once found throughout the South American continent, they have been hunted by Humans mainly for their fur which has led to drastic declines in Jaguar population numbers everywhere. Despite now having legal protection and a reduction in the hunting of them for their fur, the Jaguar is at increasing risk from loss of habitat mainly in the form of deforestation to make way for agriculture or growing Human settlements, which means these large and majestic animals are being pushed into more remote regions of their native range.
    Jaguar Interesting Facts and Features
    Jaguars have the strongest bite force of all Cats and like other 'big' Cats they can roar (other Cats cannot). The Jaguar is undoubtedly a strikingly beautiful animal, and has naturally caught the attention of both scientists and hunters alike, with many individuals sadly having been poached for their distinctively patterned fur. Although Jaguars usually have yellowish coloured fur, other colours are also known including black and white. As with black Leopards, they are not completely black as you can still see the spotting (although faint) in strong sunlight. Jaguars are said to be able to cross breed with both Leopards and Lions. A Lepjag was produced by the film industry to produce a Cat that had the appearance of a Jaguar but was easier to handle with the temperament of a Leopard. He lives in retirement now in a Big Cat sanctuary, and like other 'big' cat hybrids he is sterile.
    Jaguar Relationship with Humans
    Historically, Jaguars have featured throughout Native American culture, as these people were well aware of the power of this dominant predator with some believing that the Jaguar was the lord of the underworld. They are feared by Humans who inhabit areas close to the jungle and are also often blamed by ranch owners for their missing livestock. Although Jaguars hold the reputation for being very aggressive, unprovoked attacks on Humans are rare. Jaguars have been severely affected by deforestation throughout much of Central and South America, primarily for agriculture with the highest numbers now found in the Amazon Basin.
    Jaguar Conservation Status and Life Today
    The Jaguar was once found from the tip of South America right up to and beyond, the Mexico-USA border but hunting for their fur and habitat loss has led to drastic declines in population numbers. They are today very, very rarely seen in the USA and are considered endangered throughout much of their natural range, although the Jaguar is listed by the IUCN Red List as an animal that is Threatened in it's surrounding environment. Although the exact population number is unknown, there are an estimated 15,000 Jaguar individuals left roaming the rainforest today.

    Jaguar (Panthera onca) - Animals - A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Information, Pictures, Videos, Resources and Links

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    The caiman is a large aquatic reptile found in the swamps and tropical rivers that cover Central and South America. Although the caimans have much narrower bodies, they are most closely related to alligators and crocodiles.
    Caimans are found in a variety of habitats throughout Central and South America from marshes and swamps to mangrove rivers and lakes. As with other reptiles, caimans have scaly skin and live a fairly nocturnal existence.
    Caimans range in size from the dwarf caiman which measures just over a meter in length, to the black caiman which can to grow to be nearly 5 meters long. The black caiman is the largest caiman species in the world and is found in the slow-moving rivers and lakes that surround the Amazon basin.
    There are six different species of caiman found throughout the watery, jungle habitats of Central and Southern America. The average length for most of the other caiman species if about 2.5 meters long.
    The caiman is a carnivorous predators and, like the alligator and the crocodile, the caiman has a diet that consists of a great deal of fish. The caiman also hunts insects, birds and small mammals and reptiles.
    Due to the large size and ferocious nature of the caiman, it has few natural predators within its environment. Humans are the main predators of the caiman as they have been hunted for their meat and skin. Jaguars are the only other predator of the caiman.
    Female caimans build a large nest in which to lay their eggs, which can be more than 1.5 meters wide. Female caimans lay between 10 and 50 eggs which hatch within about 6 weeks. Once they have hatched, the mother caiman takes her young to a shallow pool of water where they can learn how to hunt and swim.

    Caiman (Caimaninae) - Animals - A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Information, Pictures, Videos, Resources and Links
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    Crocodiles are one of the planets oldest living creatures, thought to be around 200 million years old which means that crocodiles were around in dinosaur times.
    Crocodiles live throughout the watery tropics of Africa, Asia, America and Australia, congregating in freshwater environments in the worlds lakes and rivers. Crocodiles feed on fish, reptiles and mammals, the prey size generally dependent on the size of the crocodile.
    Legend has it that if you are being chased by a crocodile, the only chance you have of getting away is by outsmarting the crocodile. Apparently the way to do this is to run away from the crocodile diagonally down a hill! The myth says that crocodiles have a very slow turning circle meaning that if you run diagonally, the crocodile theoretically cant catch you!
    As crazy as it sounds, crocodiles are known to swallow stones when they are on the banks of the water. The crocodile does this to not only help its digestive system but also to aid the crocodiles water buoyancy. It is thought that by swallowing stones, the crocodile may also be able to swim to deeper parts of the water.
    The crocodile is also unable to stick out its tongue (probably from all those stones in the crocodiles stomach)! The crocodile is able to regrow new teeth very quickly after losing the old ones, throughout the crocodiles life.

    Crocodile (Crocodylus) - Animals - A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Information, Pictures, Videos, Resources and Links
  5. AThumbCut_161128-121936.png Alligator Classification and Evolution
    Alligators are in the same family as other large reptiles like Crocodiles but are native to only two countries, which are the southern USA and China (where the Alligator is now nearly extinct). Alligators tend to be smaller than their Crocodile cousins but have been known to move at speeds of up to 15mph on land making them one of the fastest large reptiles in the world. Despite their size, there are a number of distinct differences between Alligators and Crocodiles as an Alligator's snout is shorter than that of a Crocodile, and with their mouths shut, an Alligator's teeth cannot be seen but a Crocodile's can. Alligators are also commonly known as Gators in their native, southern North American habitats.
    Alligator Anatomy and Appearance
    Alligators are very large reptiles, with males growing up to 4.5 meters in length. The female Alligator tends to be slightly smaller, with a total body and tail length of between 3 and 3.5 meters. The Chinese Alligator is a much smaller species, almost half the size of a female American Alligator. Alligators have an armour-plated body that varies in colour from yellow, to green, to brown, finally turning almost completely black in old age. The tail of the Alligator is incredibly muscular and is used to propel the animal when it is in the water. Alligators have short, stocky legs with webbing between their toes. This not only helps them when they are swimming but also means that they can negotiate the muddy river banks with ease.
    Alligator Distribution and Habitat
    The American Alligators are found in the south-eastern USA, throughout all of Florida and Louisiana, the southern parts of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, coastal South and North Carolina, eastern Texas, the south-eastern corner of Oklahoma and the southern tip of Arkansas. The majority of American Alligators inhabit Florida and Louisiana, with over a million alligators thought to be found between the two states. The American Alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and swamps, as well as brackish environments. Southern Florida is the only place in the world where both Alligators and Crocodiles are known to live in the same place.
    Alligator Behaviour and Lifestyle
    The Alligator is a solitary predator that is actually surprisingly clunky when moving about on land. They tend to be quite slow, moving themselves by either crawling or sliding along the slippery banks on their bellies. They are highly territorial animals that are known to make a variety of noises to represent different things, including the declaration of territory, finding a mate and the young warning their mother that they are in danger. Male Alligators however, do not appear to have such a prominent voice box and make very little noise outside of the breeding season, when they are known to growl and bellow to fend off competing males.
    Alligator Reproduction and Life Cycles
    Alligators tend to breed during the spring when they come together in large groups to find a suitable partner. The female constructs a nest out of mud, leaves and twigs on the ground where she lays up to 50 eggs. The hatchlings emerge after a 2 month incubation period which is done by the rotting vegetation in the nest. Females do not incubate their eggs as they would break them but still guard their nest from hungry predators. The baby Alligators are between 15 and 20 long when they hatch and are vulnerable to predation from a number of species. They usually remain with their mother for the first 2 years. Alligators tend to live to about 50 years old or so but some have been known to live at least another 20 years when in captivity.
    Alligator Diet and Prey
    The Alligator is generally a solitary predator, but smaller and younger Alligator individuals however, are known to stay together in groups especially when hunting. The Alligator eats fish, small mammals and birds, but the Alligator has also been known to attack much larger animals. Adult alligators have been known to hunt Deer and are well known to kill and eat smaller Alligators. In some cases, larger alligators have been known to hunt the Florida Panther and Black Bears, making the alligator the dominant predator throughout the their environment. Attacks on pets and even people are also not unknown.
    Alligator Predators and Threats
    The Alligator is an apex predator in it's environment, known to even hunt animals that are much larger in size. Humans are the only predator of adult Alligators as they were hunted almost to extinction for their meat, and for their unique skin which was used in the manufacture of a variety of products. The smaller, baby Alligators however, are prey to a number of species including Raccoons, Birds, Bobcats and even other Alligators. Despite being protected from hunting in much of it's North American range today, Alligators are threatened by loss of their natural habitats and high levels of pollution in the water.
    Alligator Interesting Facts and Features
    Alligator DNA is thought to date back to even before Dinosaur times meaning that the Alligators survived whatever it was that the dinosaurs didn't, with the scientific estimates first dating the species 150 million years ago. The Chinese Alligator is currently found only in the Yangtze River Valley and the Chinese Alligator is now extremely endangered with less than 100 Chinese Alligators believed to be left in the wild. There are actually many more Chinese Alligators that live in zoos around the world than can be found in the wild today. Alligators are known to have up to 80 teeth which are perfectly shaped for biting down on prey. They are even able to regrow those teeth that are lost.
    Alligator Relationship with Humans
    Unlike large Crocodiles, Alligators do not immediately regard a Human upon encounter as prey, but the Alligator may still attack in self-defence if provoked. Alligator attacks are uncommon but Alligators have definitely been known to attack Humans if the Human is in the Alligator's territory and particularly if the animal feels threatened. They are however known to commonly prey on domestic animals including pets and sometimes livestock when they are close to Human settlements. Hunting towards the end of the last century almost completely obliterated the entire American Alligator population (and has pretty much done so to the Chinese Alligator). Fortunately the gravity of the situation in the USA was realised before it was too late, with the protection of the species having led to an increase in population numbers now.
    Alligator Conservation Status and Life Today
    The American Alligator was once an Endangered species but thanks to habitat protection and federal laws protecting them, populations throughout Florida and Louisiana have recovered really well, with over a million Alligators thought to exist in the USA today. They are however now threatened by habitat degradation, mainly in the form of deforestation and pollution in the water. The story of the Chinese Alligator however is very different, with less than 100 individuals thought to be left in the Yangtze River Valley, this species is Critically Endangered in the wild and is sadly on the verge of extinction.

    A to Z Index of Animals - A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Information, Pictures, Videos, Resources and Links

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