With the guanacos of the Zoo of Maubeuge
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Panoramic photo by Franck Masschelein EXPERT Taken 14:45, 21/08/2011 - Views loading...

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With the guanacos of the Zoo of Maubeuge

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This is a view on the guanacos (lamas) of the zoo of Maubeuge. The shot was taken in august 2011, in the end of the afternoon. Panorama made in HDR version (enfuse).

The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is a camelid native to South America that stands between 107 and 122 cm (3.5 and 4 feet) at the shoulder and weighs about 90 kg (200 lb). The colour varies very little (unlike the domestic llama), ranging from a light brown to dark cinnamon and shading to white underneath. Guanacos have grey faces and small straight ears. They are very striking with their large, alert brown eyes, streamlined form, and energetic pace. The name guanaco comes from the South American language Quechua word wanaku (old spelling, huanaco). Young guanacos are called chulengo(s).
The guanaco is native to the arid, mountainous regions of South America. Guanaco are found in the altiplano of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. In Chile and Argentina, they are more numerous in Patagonian regions, in places like the Torres del Paine National Park, and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. In these areas, they have more robust populations, since there are limitations on grazing competition from livestock. Bolivian Indians have been known to raise guanaco to help them regain their population stability. A guanaco’s typical lifespan is 20 to 25 years.
Estimates, as of 2011, place their numbers at 400,000 to 600,000.
Guanaco live in herds composed of females, their young and a dominant male. Bachelor males form a separate herd. While female groups tend to remain small, often containing no more than ten adults, bachelor herds may contain as many as 50 males. When they feel threatened, guanaco alert the herd to flee with a high-pitched bleating call. The male will usually run behind the herd to defend them. They can run with a speed of 56 km (35 mi) per hour, often over steep and rocky terrain. They are also excellent swimmers. The guanaco have an unusual method of survival - licking all the nutrients and dew from desert cacti.
Guanacos are one of the largest wild mammal species found in South America (along with the manatee, the tapir, and the jaguar). They have only one natural predator, the mountain lion. Guanacos will often spit when threatened.
To protect its neck from harm, the guanaco has developed thicker skin on its neck, a trait still found in its domestic counterparts, the llama and alpaca, and its wild cousin, the vicuña. Bolivians use the necks of these animals to make shoes, flattening and pounding the skin to be used for the soles.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanaco


Web site of the zoo of Maubeuge : http://www.zoodemaubeuge.fr/

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This panorama was taken in France

This is an overview of France

France is affectionately referred to as "the Hexagon" for its overall shape.

French history goes back to the Gauls, a Celtic tribe which inhabited the area circa 300BC until being conquered by Julius Caesar.

The Franks were the first tribe to adopt Catholic Christianity after the Roman Empire collapsed. France became an independent location in the Treaty of Verdun in (843 AD), which divided up Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire into several portions.

The French monarchy reached its zenith during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who stood for seventy-two years as the Monarch of all Monarchs. His palace of Versailles and its Hall of Mirrors are a splendid treasure-trove of Baroque art.

The French Revolution ended the rule of the monarchy with the motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" On July 14th, 1789 angry mobs stormed La Bastille prison and began the Revolution in which Louis XVI, his wife Marie-Antoinette and thousands of others met the guillotine.

One decade after the revolution, Napolean Bonaparte seized control of the Republic and named himself Emperor. His armies conquered most of Europe and his Napoleonic Code became a lasting legal foundation for concepts of personal status and property.

During the period of colonization France controlled the largest empire in the world, second only to Britain.

France is one of the founding members of the European Union and the United Nations, as well as one of the nuclear armed nations of the world.

Text by Steve Smith.

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