Wild Animals/Expert Profile

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I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.

Experience in the area

I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.


WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.


Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group


BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

What do you like about this subject?

I like the fact that scientists are finding and studying new species. There are also more books and television programmes about unusual animals.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I want to write a series of animal books. I would like to see living mammals belonging to orders which have eluded me - flying lemurs (sometimes included in primates), marsupial moles, colocolos and rat opossums.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Most mammals are much smaller than humans. People seem to be more attracted to large mammals, rather than small mammals. Over 30% of mammals are rodents and about 20% are bats. There are also many small species of primates, marsupials and insectivores.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Scientists considered that humans were created separately from all other animals. Linnaeus included humans in a distinct order, Bimana, due to having two hands. Recently, great apes have been placed in the same family as humans, namely the Hominidae.

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Karen 06/13/16101010Dear Jonathan, Thank you for your answer .....
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Kathy04/14/161010Did not get much help for wild .....
Leon McBrayer04/09/161010I was provided with ifo on the .....

Recent Answers from Jonathan Wright

2016-09-21 Animal's Life Span in zoos and circuses compared to the wild:

Dear Kellie    Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.    Dr Bob ( http://www.sonic.net/~petdoc/lifespan.htm) gives a list of maximum life spans for many animals

2016-09-09 hierarchy:

Dear Adam    Thank you for your interesting question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.    Please note that my answer includes personal opinions and veers away from the type of answer

2016-09-08 Query re fish and saltwater/freshwater:

Dear Geoffrey    Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.    Remy Melina ( http://www.livescience.com/32167-can-saltwater-fish-live-in-fresh-water.html)says

2016-09-02 Primates:

Dear Adam    Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.    Please note there is some confusion in bonobo behaviour, as bonobos indulge in sexual activity for

2016-07-14 baby robin:

Dear Margie    Thank you for your question. I also want to thank the authors of the websites I used.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_robin#Breeding says all the chicks of a brood leave the nest


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