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Okapis



Okapis

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.29

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    browsers, low-hanging, partly-digested, combination, banks, rainforest, hearing, prehensile, natural, okapi, resemble, similar, reserve, dense, continue, adult
     content words:    Ituri Forest


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Okapis
By Sheri Skelton
  

1     The okapi looks like a combination of a zebra and a giraffe. The okapi's legs have black and white stripes. The okapi's body and head resemble a giraffe. The okapi is the only living relative of the giraffe. The okapi isn't as tall as a giraffe. It also doesn't have a long neck like the giraffe. The okapi lives in the rainforest. Being shorter makes it easier for the okapi to move around through the dense trees and low-hanging branches in the rainforest.
 
2     The okapi and giraffe have similar tongues. The okapi's tongue is usually about twelve inches long. Its tongue is prehensile, which means that it can grab things. The okapi uses its tongue to strip leaves and buds from trees. The okapi can lick its eyes and its ears with its tongue! The okapi has large ears. Its ears are very sensitive to sounds. This helps the okapi to know when predators are approaching. Okapis make a tasty lunch for leopards.
 
3     Okapis have fur that feels like velvet. Their coats are reddish-brown or dark purple in color. Their fur is oily. Water slides off their coats. This helps okapis stay dry in the rainforest. The stripes on the okapi's legs are good camouflage for the okapi in the rainforest. The stripes also make it easier for young okapis to follow their mothers through the rainforest.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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