OKAPI

This an­i­mal odd-bod has an amaz­ing party trick

World of Animals - - Tongue-Fu Masters -

Okapis might not have in­her­ited the genes for stature boasted by their lofty cousins, the gi­raffes, but they do share some traits, an ex­tremely long, pre­hen­sile tongue be­ing one. In fact, pro­por­tion­ate to body size, the okapi out­does its taller rel­a­tive in this area.

Na­tive to the low­land rain­forests of the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, they use this ap­pendage – which can grow up to 45.7 cen­time­tres (18 inches) – to wrap around low-hang­ing branches and strip off the leaves. It also comes in handy as a groom­ing tool for clean­ing both calves and them­selves; it’s long and flex­i­ble enough to reach most of their bod­ies, in­clud­ing their eye­lids and their ears!

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