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Brown bear goes for a green safari swim

October 6, 2014 | Latest Photo Prev Next
Sun bear swimmingSun bear swimmingPhoto: Alex Jilitsky / Flickr
October 6, 2014 | Latest Photo

The colorful Ramat Gan Safari hosts an array of exotic animals, from the bright pink American flamingo to the deep orange orangutan. Even the ponds in the safari add a splash of color with a green coating of duckweed.

Though it may resemble algae in color, duckweeds are actually tiny plants without leaves or stems, floating on top of the water like aquatic soybeans. Animals that take a dip in water that contains duckweed help the plants to spread from pond to pond — and soon enough an entire park can be filled with the brightly colored plants.

Whether or not you think duckweed is attractive, it plays an important role in the wetland ecosystem. These plants are a food source for waterfowl (with more protein than soybeans!), a place to hide for vulnerable marine species like young fish and small frogs, and even a natural water filtering system for wild animals and humans alike. Duckweed can grace the ponds of any region, barring exceptionally cold climates. 

Though at first glance it may seem as though this brown bear is making its way through a pond filled with muck, it is actually playing its part in the larger safari ecosystem by transferring these tiny plants from one area to another. 

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Related Topics: Animals