Animals and the Creativity of God
One of the most natural ways to get kids excited about faraway places and the people who live there is to talk about the animals you might see if you were to visit. One of the things that always amazes me is the infinitely creative way our Creator designed each animal to live and thrive in its environment. Why do dogs pant? Why do owls see better in the dark? Studying the unique characteristics of any animal can stir wonder and curiosity in a child’s heart. Let’s look at five of the countless animals you would find if you took a safari in Asia. I’ve included some links to pictures of each animal and a cut and paste activity for preschoolers.
There are five species of rhinoceroses living today; the white and the black rhinoceroses live in Africa. There are three species of Asian rhinoceroses: the Indian, the Javan, and the Sumatran. The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest species, but it’s not a little animal by any definition! It grows about eight feet long, five feet tall, and weighs around 1,800 pounds or less. That’s not an animal I want to make angry! But when you compare it to the Indian rhinoceros, you’ll see the difference. An Indian rhinoceros is one of the world’s largest land mammals. Only the white rhinoceros of Africa and both African and Asian elephants are larger. The Indian rhinoceros usually grows about eleven feet long, seven feet high, and weighs between 4,000-6,000 pounds. You might spot a Sumatran rhinoceros munching in a patch of bamboo or in a group of fruit trees. They can even climb ridges to get to the plants that they want to eat!
One thing that makes the Sumatran species of rhinoceros unique is that it is the only one with hair. It has patches of hair all over its hide that helps the mud stick to its hide when it wallows. The mud keeps it cooler and even keeps the insects away!
To see a picture of a Sumatran rhinoceros, click here.
There are two main types of elephants—the African and the Asian. One way to tell them apart is by their size. African elephants can be as much as 4,000 pounds (or 2,000 kg) larger than Asian elephants. African elephants are also known for their huge ears; Asian elephants have small, rounded ears. But don’t think that the Asian elephant does everything on a small scale. It can eat up to 300 pounds (or 136 kg) of food every single day!
But, one thing both kinds of elephants have in common is their trunk. The elephant’s trunk is an amazing feature God designed to do all sorts of things! It helps the elephant breathe, drink, eat, smell, and even throw dust on itself (scientists think the elephants like to do that in order to help keep bugs away). It can pick up things off of the ground like fruit. It has all sorts of special jobs, and it contains more than 100,000 muscles to enable it to do them all.
To see a picture of an Asian elephant, click here.
All About Elephants – African, Asian, Wooly Mammoth, Tusks, Trunks and More!: Another ‘All About’ Book in the Children’s Picture and Fact Book Series.Elephants: Children’s Book About Elephants: Fun Facts And Pictures (Fun To Learn Series 2)
Crocodiles don’t start out big and scary-looking. When they first hatch, they are only about 8-12 inches long. But, they grow about one foot each year, and eventually, they can grow to be as long as twenty feet and weigh over one ton. They can live anywhere from 50 to 75 years. I’m just glad they don’t keep growing all of that time, aren’t you?
Crocodiles like to hide with most of their bodies under the water with just their eyes sticking up until they spot an animal stopping by for a drink of water. Then they’ll grab it with their jaws and hold it under the water until it is dead. Even though that sounds pretty disgusting, the crocodile is an amazing creature. When it is in the water, it uses its long tail to swim; when it is on the land, it walks on its four legs. God gave it a backbone strong enough to hold it up when it is walking, and flexible enough to allow it to swim well in the water.
You can see a picture of a crocodile lurking in the water here.
Asiatic lions used to have a wide range, but today are found only in the Gir National Park in India. Lions used to live all over the land of Israel. You can find them mentioned in the Bible lots of times. Do you remember the verse that talks about the “Lion of the tribe of Judah”? (Revelation 5:5 KJV) Today, there are no Asiatic lions left living in the wild.
One of the unique things about lions is that they are the only cat to live in groups called prides. The female lions live together and sometimes even help each other raise the cubs. Male lions will work together—sometimes. They can also fight each other fiercely. A lion is an extremely powerful animal, with strong jaws and muscles, and is able to hunt animals much larger than itself. It has earned a reputation for being strong, brave, and mighty, giving it the nickname “King of the Beasts.”
To see a picture of an Asiatic lion, click here.
The tiger is the only cat that is larger than the lion. The Bengal tiger commonly grows to over seven feet in length and weighs up to 500 pounds. Yet God knew that even a creature this large would need camouflage in order to survive. He gave it an orange coat with black stripes to help it blend in with its surroundings, but He didn’t stop there. Just as He gives every human being unique fingerprints, He has given every Bengal tiger a unique stripe pattern. No two are exactly alike!
Tigers like to live alone unless it’s a mother tiger and her cubs. Once they are old enough to have their own territory to call home, they strike out and keep pretty much to themselves. A lot of animals band together in herds to help protect each other and so that they can hunt together. Something tells me this huge cat doesn’t need much protection—and he probably doesn’t need much help hunting either!
While tigers are very fierce hunters and can be extremely dangerous to people, they can also have fun with their cubs. To watch some Bengal tiger cubs playing, click here.
Cut and Paste Asian Animals
Today’s project is specially designed for young children, preschool or early elementary age. Parents will need to help with the cutting part, but the little ones should have lots of fun gluing and pasting! This printable contains five scenery backgrounds and the five animals we’ve been learning about. Your little one might want to make five pictures or put all five animals on one picture! It’s up to them. Enjoy watching them be creative as their Creator made them to be!
We love studying animals from Godly authors! Here are some of our favorites!
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Bonnie Rose Hudson’s heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She works as the Director of SchoolhouseTeacher
s.com, the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine®. She would love for you to explore the wonderful curriculum available there and to stop by her author’s blog WriteBonnieRose.com for resources to help teach your children about missions and the persecuted Church, free history and writing printables, and to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.
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