A Study of the Unique Appearance and Behavior of the Okapi

Topics: Appearance

The animal kingdom is home to millions of fantastic species. Genetic variations create the uniqueness of animal classifications; each species is marked by specific chromosomal composures and variations in DNA. Since there are so many different genetic combinations in the natural world, the species list continues to grow as time progresses. The number of species also becomes more abundant due to factors such as adaptations, evolution, and artificial cross- breeding. One extremely unique creature is the okapi, noted for its strange appearance, rare family classification, and its peculiarly lonesome behavior.

Okapi, unlike most animals, stands out in their environment. Their natural color, a reddish brown, contrasts heavily with its rainforest surroundings; however, what is most unusual are the okapis zebra-like stripes on their legs. These stripes lead many to associate okapis with the family Equidae, though okapis are most closely related to giraffes. Okapis and giraffes are the only two surviving members of the Giraffidae family. Other obscure physical traits of the Okapi include an elongated body and neck, radiantly white ankles, and, in males, ossicones.

Ossicones are roughly six inch long horns that are covered in fur.

Okapis, which are found exclusively in central Africa, are highly endangered due to threats such as habitat loss, poaching, and human colonization. Okapis live specifically inhabit the Ituri Rainforest where logging has caused a steady decrease in the Okapi population. The giraffe relative also faces being hunted for their unique pelts and meat. Unfortunately, okapis are so monetarily valuable that poachers go to extreme lengths to ensure the capture of the creatures.

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In the recent years, several guarded okapi reserves have been breached, resulting in the murders of both human guards and animals. Human settlement is also a large problem for okapi living in

the wild. Even humans with non-malicious intentions cause harm to the creatures once they disturb the natural environment. The damage human settlement causes to the okapi includes resource competition, pollution, and introducing invasive species.

Approximately 94% of mammals bond together in packs, gangs, prides, etc. Creatures, such as birds and fish, also exhibit social tendencies by grouping together in flocks or schools. Such associations promote survival of the species; therefore, it is unlikely for the vast majority of animals to be spotted completely alone. Okapis distinctively separate themselves away from other members of their species. Zoologists have found only a few other mammals intentionally live solitarily. The okapi are not top predators, meaning they are consumed by another creature on the food chain. The primary predator of the okapi is the leopard. Zoologists have theorized that okapi grouping together would only attract packs of leopards, resulting in mass deaths for the species. Although nothing is concrete, it is theorized that the okapi uniquely thrive most efficiently living a solitary lifestyle.

Overall, the okapi are a very distinct species. From the okapis strange appearance and genetic classification to their lone existence, the creature has shown unique qualities in all aspects of life. Although there are numerous organizations dedicated to saving the okapi, the stable decline in the species population demonstrates little hope for their survival. Human interference has heavily influenced the Okapis way of life and continues to harm the species more effectively than assist them. In the future, the okapi is speculated to survive solely in human captivity, where their flamboyant color scheme and natural predators can no longer impact the species population.

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A Study of the Unique Appearance and Behavior of the Okapi. (2023, Jan 16). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-study-of-the-unique-appearance-and-behavior-of-the-okapi/

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