Are you a sports fan? Perhaps you enjoy a good football match? Or maybe you prefer something cerebral like chess or scrabble? Humans seem to love taking part in all kinds of leisure pursuits, but are we the only ones?
Any good at juggling? I’ll bet otters could teach you a few tricks! Otters are adept at juggling stones, they select a few appropriate pebbles and proceed to quickly pass them from paw to paw, never dropping any – some may even do this whilst laying on their backs! Why do they like to show off such nifty paw-work? It could be that its helpful in building skills on tackling and opening shell fish (their main food source) or then again, it could be just that they fancy a starring role in the circus!
If you’re not into contact sport, then look away now, because kangaroos love to box! They use their smaller front legs to take a swipe or two at their opponents and if that doesn’t do the trick, there’s always those powerful hind legs that can be brought into play for a spot of kick boxing action. Young roos can be seen play fighting, which will help them practice for adulthood, when males box in disputes over mating and territory or even to see off those pesky dingoes – take that!
Bears make a big splash when they go for a swim and the number one ursine swimmer must surely be the polar bear. Brilliantly adapted for taking a dip in the briny, these guys have layers of fat to keep them warm and thick, water-resistant fur coats. In fact, swimming is often their preferred way to get about and is part of their strategy for catching those tasty marine meals – seals scram!
Taken up running as a keep-fit pastime? Young foals too love taking a gallop. These youngsters like nothing better than racing around, kicking up their heels and chasing each other – they might even take a cheeky nip at mum if they get over excited. Of course, all this helps them to get bigger and stronger, but it’s also a great excuse for a good old frolic about.
Brrrh, when the temperature’s dropped, how about a spot of sledging in the snow? Whilst you’re at it, you might spot a few young crows joining you! Believe it or not, crows have been observed rolling down snowy slopes! They lie on their sides and let gravity take them downwards before jumping back up again to head up the slope for a re-run. Whilst scientists suggest this helps them with physical and psychological development, I reckon they just really love a roll in the snow! Weee!
If belting out a few tunes at karaoke takes your fancy, you’d likely be sharing the stage with the hyrax! Hyrax will use any excuse to break into song – and the more appreciative their audience is, the longer and more complex their songs become. They bathe in the limelight and will up the ante by adding, grunts, snorts and warbles to really give some added oomph to their lengthy melodies.
Hop right up for a game of leapfrog! Spring is in the air and the bunnies are bouncing about! Rabbits love bounding over each other, playing leapfrog and jumping for joy – it shows they’re happy, fit and ready to get together for a spot of courtship to produce the next generation of little leapers.
Don’t you just love am-dram darling? The giant waterbug knows a thing or two about acting – despite being quite fearsome predators themselves, if these guys feel threatened, then they immediately channel their method acting abilities and play a totally convincing part of being dead – such a performance is worthy of a standing ovation for survival techniques – bravo!
All you gotta do is play the game!