Mammal

Okapi

Area: 
Northeastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo
Habitat: 
Tropical rain forest
Food: 
Leaves, twigs, and fruit
Size: 
5 feet tall
Babies: 
Calves weigh about 35 pounds at birth.
The okapi’s dark tongue is long enough to clean its eyes and ears!
Oh-what?

 

With its white-and-black striped hindquarters and front legs, an okapi (oh-KOP-ee) looks like it must be related to zebras. But it is actually the only living relative of the giraffe.

 

Like giraffes, okapis have very large, upright ears, which catch even small sounds, helping them to avoid trouble. So why does the okapi have zebra-like stripes? These markings, which seem very bold to us, give the animalAny living thing that is not a plant. Most animals can move about freely. All use plants or other animals as food. All have sensory organs. great camouflageThe color or pattern of an animal's covering that is similar to the animal's surroundings, and therefore helps hide it. May also be related to smell, as in lions rolling in elephant dung to camouflage their scent. when hiding in the partial sunlight that filters through the dense rain forestA woodland that receives more than 100 inches (250 centimeters) of rain each year. Tropical rain forests are known for warm temperatures, and have evergreen trees that form a dense, continuous canopy. Temperate rain forests have evergreen and deciduous trees, with temperatures that vary greatly with the season..

 

Okapis mostly travel by themselves, but they still have ways of communicating with others of their kind. A scent gland on each foot leaves behind a sticky, tar-like substance wherever they have walked, marking their territory and leaving their personal "perfume" behind!