Wildlife Fact File - Mammals, Pgs. 121-130

August 20, 2017 | Author: ClearMind84 | Category: Gray Wolf, Killer Whale, Leopard, Pack (Canine), Giant Panda
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Clouded Leopard, Red Panda, Cheetah, Serval, Gray Kangaroo, Pangolin, Siamang Gibbon, Gray Wolf, Orca (Killer) Whale, Do...


' (CARD 121




. . ORDER ~ Carnivora .

. . . FAMILY '11IIIIIIII Felidae

. . GENUS &: SPECIES ~ Neofelis nebulosa

KEY FACTS SIZES Height to shoulder: 2'/2 ft. Length: Body 4-4'/2 ft. Tail 3 ft. Weight: 50 lb. Females are smaller. BREEDING Sexual maturity: Not known for certain, but probably 5 years. Mating season: Not known in the wild. Cubs born in captivity from March to May. Gestation: 86-93 days. No. of young: 1-5; usually 2. Weaning period: 5 months. LIFESTYLE Habit: Probably solitary except for the mating season. Diet: Principally birds and monkeys, but any small or weak mammal. Lifespan: 17 years in captivity. RELATED SPECIES The clouded leopard is the only species in its genus.

Range of the clouded leopard.

DISTRIBUTION Found in India and Nepal, east through the Himalayan foothills to southern China, and down through Southeast Asia to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo . Also found in remote parts of Taiwan . CONSERVATION An endangered species. Hunting and habitat destruction have reduced the clouded leopard 's numbers.

FEATURES OF THE CLOUDED LEOPARD Coat: Grayish yellow, marked with large, black-rimmed, dark brown-colored blotches on its back and flanks . Black spots and stripes mark the face. Black stripes run down its back.

The clouded leopard's bold markings blend perfectly with the lichen-covered branches of its forest ho",e. Found only in remote areas of India, Nepal, and Southeast Asia, it is now extremely rare.


Head: Narrow with a broad , blunt snout. Has the same number of teeth as other cats , but its canines are extremely long .


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Also known as the clouded or tree tiger, the clouded leopard is not truly one of the big cats, yet it is too large to be grouped with the small cats. It is the link between the large cats of the genus Panthera, which includes the true leopard, and the small cats grouped in the genus Felis.



Nothing is known about clouded leopards' breeding habits in the wild, but in captivity they produce cubs from March to May. Litters range from one to five cubs, but usually two cubs are born, each weighing five ounces. The cubs are blind at birth but open their eyes after 12 days. They are extremely active by the time they are five weeks old. The cubs begin to eat solid food at 10 weeks but are not fully weaned until they are five months old. At nine months, they become completely independent of their mother. The cubs are not born with the same coloration as adults; their coats develop the characteristic black-rimmed spots when they have reached six months of age.

Man has been responsible for the decline in the clouded leopard's numbers. Humans have long hunted the cat for its fur, and despite the fact that it is a seriously endangered animal and has interna-

Left: The clouded Jeopard's teeth

are similar to those of the extinct saber-toothed tiger.



Within its shrinking range, the clouded leopard inhabits a variety of forests and densely wooded regions, from low country to heights of 8,000 feet. It lives among tree branches, sleeping or watching for prey. At rest, it lies with its forelegs outstretched on the branch and its long tail straight behind it. Little is known about the wild clouded leopard's behavior. Because it lives in inaccessible areas, and because its markings blend into the foliage, it is difficult to spot. It also stays still when danger is near.

• The clouded leopard's canine teeth are similar in shape to those of the extinct saber-toothed tiger. • Borneo natives used clouded leopards' teeth for earrings and their skins for tribal battle dress . • Unlike other big cats, the cloud~d leopard does not roar. A bone in its voice box prevents it. • Clouded leopards in captivity are generally goodtempered and playful. • A clouded leopard's tail can grow to three feet.


FOOD &- FEEDING A true carnivore, the clouded leopard eats only flesh. It eats birds and monkeys in the trees, swatting them with its strong paws to stun them and then slashing them with its sharp claws. It also kills pigs, deer, and goats which it drops on from the trees. The clouded leopard then bites their necks, breaking their spine. On the ground, the clouded leopard has to compete against larger tigers and leopards for food. When pushed out of its natural habitat by humans,

the clouded leopard kills young cattle and buffalo. Once thought to be a true nocturnal hunter, the clouded leopard is now believed to hunt its prey at dawn and dusk, rather than during the darkness of the jungle night. The clouded leopard stalks its prey in the twilight, when the animal is preparing to sleep or to wake, and so is most vulnerable to attack. Right: Like its coat, the clouded leopard's long, bushy tail is a distinguishing characteristic.

tiona I protection, illegal hunting still continues. Man's forest clearance is an even greater threat to the clouded leopard's existence. In many parts of its range, particularly Taiwan, it has

been forced into small areas of inaccessible dense forest. Native tribesmen do not fear the clouded leopard. Below: At one time, the demand

for the clouded Jeopard's coat brought it almost to extinction.

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SIZES Length: l ' /2-2 ft. head to tail. Weight: Male, 8-14 lb. Female, 10-13 lb.


. . . ORDER ~ Carnivora

. . . FAMILY ~ Procyonidae

GENUS &: SPECIES Ailurus fulgens

BREEDING Sexual maturity: 1 8 months. Breeding season: May to July. Gestation: 112-158 days. No. of young: 1-4. LIFESTYLE Habit: Solitary, except in the breeding season. Diet: Mainly bamboo . Occasionally small mammals, birds, eggs, blossoms, and berries.

RELATED SPECIES Closest relative is the giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuco, and 2 subspecies, Ailurus fulgens fulgens and A. f. styani.

Range of the red panda.

DISTRIBUTION Found between 7,200 and 16,000 feet in the temperate forests of the Himalayas, and the high mountains of northern Burma, western Sichuan, and Yunnan . CONSERVATION In the western part of its range, the red panda is near extinction because of loss of its forest habitat. Conservation measures are increasing its numbers.

FEATURES OF THE RED PANDA Body: Dense fur coat; red on the back and dark brown on the belly. Compact body has strong limbs tipped with long , sharp , semi retractable ~Iaws .

Upper jaw


Tail: Used for balance when climbing and as a pillow to cover its face when sleeping .

Although they all belong to the same family, the red panda, with its bushy tail and chestnut -colored fur, looks more like a raccoon than its relative the giant panda.


and canines are similar to those of a carnivore (meat eater) , but the broad , flattened molars are more like the teeth of an herbivore (plant eater) .


Lower jaw

Feet: Hair on the sales of the feet prevent it from slipping on branches. 0160200331 PACKET 33


RED PANDA &: MAN The red panda is more widespread and numerous than its well-known relative the giant panda, but it has less human contact, except for some raiding of milk and butter supplies in a few villages. The shy red panda, with its rich, red coat, blends into the red-brown trees of its habitat and is rarely seen. In Nepal, the red panda's fur was once used to make caps. The Chinese also used its tail as a duster or brush. Since they are relatively easy to train, red pandas used to be captured in

the lesser panda, inhabits a region that stretches from Nepal to the Sichuan province in China. A nocturnal animal, the red panda spends most of its days asleep, searching actively for food at night.

~ HABITS Nocturnal and mostly active at dawn and dusk, the red panda spends most of its day resting and sleeping in trees. It is an agile climber, using its long tail for support and counterbalance. It sleeps with its legs straddling a branch, or tightly curled up with its head under a hind leg. Its chestnut-brown coat blends in well with the branches. The red panda's long, bushy tail serves as a pillow or as a form of insulation-by covering its face, the tail prevents heat loss. The red panda f6rages on the ground. It marks its territory with urine and substances

secreted from its foot pads, and by depositing feces in specially dug latrines at the area's boundaries. The male red panda fiercely defends its territory. When irritated, it makes a harsh snort. It gives warning by raising its forepaws over its head before lunging to attack. The red panda has a limited vocal repertoire. It squeals when distressed and uses a twittering call to communicate between adults and young. Above: The red panda spends

much of the day draped over the branches of trees.

The normally solitary red pandas form pairs at the beginning of breeding season. The male follows the scent trail of the female, which she intensifies on the day of copulation. The couple mates on the ground and separates immediatelyafterward. Six weeks before birth, the female builds a nest of sticks, grass, and leaves in a low, hollow tree trunk or rock crevice. Up to four young are

born into this nest. The 11-inch cubs have thick, grayish fur. Born with their ears and eyes closed, they lie still for the first 10 days curled around each other or their mother, except when they are suckling. For the first few days, the female rarely leaves her nest and cubs, but after a week she spends more time away from the nest, only returning every few hours to nurse and

small numbers for sale in the pet trade. But now the red panda is protected in most areas of its range and more than 30 zoos

groom the young. The male does not become involved with the cubs, even after they emerge from the nest at three months. When the cubs are weaned at five months, he may begin to play with them. The mother and cubs stay together until the next breeding season starts and they show some mild aggression. Red pandas reach adult size at12 months and can breed six months later.

~ FOOD &: FEEDING Although classed as a carnivore, the red panda's primary food source is bamboo. It also eats small birds, mammals, and reptiles. Clasping bamboo in a single forepaw with its long, sharp claws, it eats either sitting, standing, or lying on its back-only a few other animals can do this. Left: The red panda's face has

distinctive whiskers that it uses to detect food in the dark.

DID YOU KNOW? • Discovered in 1825, the red panda was the only known panda in the west for more than 50 years . • The red panda's Latin name means "fire-colored cat" or "shining cat" because of its resemblance to the cat. • Local names for the red panda include "wha" and "chitwa" because of its twittering call. • Like its closest relative the giant panda, the red panda has an extra "thumb" on both of its forepaws . • Because of its ringed tail, teeth, skull, and fac ial markings, the red panda was originally included in the Procyonidae family with its distant relative the raccoon . Now some experts put both pandas in their own family called Ailuridae. • Red pandas can jump five feet from branch to branch .



~ Mammalia


~ Felidae


~ Acinonyx jubatus

KEY FACTS SIZES Length: Head and body up to 5 ft. Tail up to 2 ft. Weight: 100-1 30 lb. BREEDING Sexual maturity: 20-24 months. Mating season: Throughout the year. Gestation: 90-95 days. Litter size: Up to 8 cubs. LIFESTYLE Habit: Female solitary; male lives in small groups. Diet: Antelope; also hares, rodents, sometimes larger prey such as zebra. Lifespan: About 12 years in the wild, more in captivity. RELATED SPECIES An endangered subspecies of the cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus venatiecus, lives in Asia.

Current range.

Original range of the cheetah.

DISTRIBUTION Found mainly in South and East Africa, the Middle East, and southern Asia. CONSERVATION The cheetah is a vulnerable species. Once widely shot for its fur, the cheetah now suffers more from loss of both habitat and prey. The cheetah became extinct in India in the 1950s. Less than 30,000 remain in Africa.


2. The cheetah follows at high speed, usually catching up with its prey within a minute. It leaps up and brings down the prey with its forepaws. 3. The cheetah suffocates its prey by closing its jaws on the animal's windpipe. It then drags the carcass to a safe place to be eaten, away from other predators.

The cheetah is the fastest of all land mammals, sprinting over 60 miles per hour after its prey. It is no match for a gun, however, and it was long hunted for its fur before gaining protection.

1. When stalking a single prey the cheetah emerges from cover in order to startle the animal into running . Other big cats use attacks that combine surprise, ambush, and hunting in a pack.



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~ FOOD &: FEEDIN G The cheetah preys on hoofed animals such as impala and gazelle, as well as hares and rodents. Most big cats lie in wait for prey and pounce when it comes within range, but the cheetah's hunting technique is wholly original. The cheetah first stalks the herd . At the right moment it shows itself and panics the animals into running . The cheetah follows at high speed, usually catching up to its prey within a minute. If forced to run longer than this the cheetah gives up. The cheetah does most of its hunting during the day when other predators are sleeping . This is probably because the cheetah is easily frightened off its food-even

The cheetah is easily distinguished from other spotted big cats by its lithe build, small head, and long legs. These features, together with its large lungs, are perfect adaptations for high-speed chases after antelope in the African grasslands that are its home.

~ HABITS The male and female cheetah have different lifestyles. The female spends up to 20 months looking after each litter of cubs. She lives an otherwise solitary life. She is not aggressive to other cheetahs, preferring retreat to attack. Nor is she territorial, although her range may overlap with those of other females . The male is rarely solitary. He lives and hunts in an allmale group of four or five animals. The group may be

brothers from the same litter that stay together for life. Fiercely territorial, each male group scent-marks its boundaries with urine. If other males encroach on the territory of an established group, fights occur, sometimes resulting in the death of an intruder. The female's scent tells a male when she is sexually receptive, although once the male has picked up her scent the pair communicate using a series of calls.

vultures can force a cheetah to abandon its kill. The cheetah often drags its prey to a safe place and eats its fill. It then leaves the remains to other animals. Left: Cheetahs sniff the air for prey in Masai Mara, Kenya.

Below: A cheetah bares its teeth in warning.

DID YOU KNOW? The cubs may be born at any time of the year. After mating the ma le leaves the female, who rears the young when they are born, about three months later. The cubs are born in a den and are blind and helpless for about 11 days. Once their

eyes open the mother carries them to different dens every few days. These moves ensure a clean den and reduce the risk of predators, such as lions, sniffing out the vulnerable cubs. The young are weaned at about three months; then Left: A female and her cubs rest under a tree. Landmarks such as these are marked with urine to set a territorial boundary.

Right: Cubs stay close to their mother. She carries them in her mouth when moving to a new den.

they follow their mother to each kill and share her catch. They leave her after 1 3 to 20 months but remain together as a litter for a few more months when fully mature. The females leave first, followed by the males, who set off together.

• The cheetah was trained by man for hunting as long ago as 3000 B.C. • Cheetahs were once raced against greyhounds. • From a standstill, the cheetah can reach its top speed in about three seconds.

" CARD 124 1


,,---------------------------------------------~ & ~

ORDER Carnivora

FAMILY Felidae


KEY FACTS SIZES Length: 2-3 ft. Tail, 1-1 '/2 ft. Height: 1'/2-2 ft. at shoulder. Weight: 20AO lb. BREEDING Mating season: Varies according to region and climate. Gestation: 74 days. Litter size: 1-4. Suckling: Up to 7 months. LIFESTYLE Habit: Solitary, territorial. Active mainly at dusk and night. Diet: Small mammals, birds, lizards, insects, and occasionally fish and plant matter. Call: High pitched cry. Lifespan: 13 years in captivity. Longest recorded in captivity: 1 9 years 9 months. RELATED SPECIES The genus Felis comprises 28 species of small cat.

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Range of the serval.

DISTRIBUTION Widespread in Africa south of the Sahara, though absent from the dense rainforest and the drier regions . CONSERVATION Widespread but uncommon over most of its range . Hunting pressure in eastern and southern Africa has driven the serval from many areas.

Hunting: The serval hunts by stealth . It waits in the undergrowth , turning its ears to listen for prey. At the slightest rustle, the cat leaps in a graceful arc and pounces on its victim with a 50 percent success rate.

Ears: Large, broad at the base, rising to a point.

legs: Hind legs longer than forelegs, giving extra power for attackIng prey.

The serval is a quick, graceful predator of the African bush. A versatile hunter, it may stalk, pounce, spring in the air, or simply lie in wait to ambush its prey. ©MCMXCI IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM


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The serval, with its long legs, narrow head, slender build, and prominent ears, is one of the most distinctive of the smaller cats. It may lack the strength and power of

larger cats, but it makes up for it with its swiftness and agility.

~ FOOD &: HUNTING The serval usually hunts at dusk and night, but it will sometimes hunt prey that is active during the day. In populated areas such as farmland, the serval reverts to its nocturnal habits. When hunting, the serval

left: Active in the morning and late afternoon, the serval spends its day resting from the heat. Right: In the cool early evening, a serval drinks before starting its nightly hunt. Below: When

annoyed, the serval snarls, growls, and spits.

covers two to three miles of its territory searching for food. It preys mainly on rodents but will eat hares, hyraxes, and small antelopes such as duikers and oribi. It kills birds the size of guinea fowl, along with frogs and lizards. Occasionally it eats termites, grasshoppers, and plants. The serval uses many hunting techniques. Because its hearing is so acute, the serval hunts by stealth. It lies hidden in the cover of dense vegetation and waits for prey to approach. It also stalks larger prey through cover, lunging forward over the last few feet in a surprise attack. It sometimes moves through tall grass, listening for prey. Standing on its long legs, the serval accurately pinpoints the exact location of its prey before leaping with a powerful thrust, forming a graceful arc, and landing on its victim (see back cover).

-------------------The serval, a widespread but uncommon mammal, inhabits much of the sub-Saharan African savannah. It also occurs in high-altitude moorland, bamboo forest, and the edges of the rainforest. It shuns very dry terrain and is most common under dense cover near water. Its long legs help it to stride across the swampy ground of reed beds and marshes. Although it can climb and swim well, the serval spends most of its time on the ground resting or hunting. It runs swiftly, and, if disturbed, it races away with high bounds

over the tall grass. Like all small cats, the serval lives alone in a well-defined territory marked by the scent of urine. The female keeps her cubs for a short time before forcing them out. They wander long distances over rough terrain before establishing their own territories. The serval remains close to the area for many years. Servais fighting with each other use threat postures, loud calls, and slashing movements with the forepaws. As well as emitting shrill cries, this species often growls and purrs.


Above: A serval cub stays with

its mother for a year until it learns survival hunting techniques.

The mating season varies in different regions, and some females give birth twice in one year. The female attracts the

male with a call to mate. She purrs and rubs her cheek against the male. The female gives birth to

one to four cubs in a den hidden by dense vegetation and lined with dry leaves. At birth the cubs are blind

• The servaline, a small, woodland-dwelling species with a coat of fine spots, was once thought to be a separate species. • An all-black species of the serval lives in highland areas of East Africa such as the Aberdares Mountain range in Kenya . • Servais can leap up to 10 feet in the air to catch birds.

and helpless. The mother suckles them for many months until they learn to fend for themselves.

'\: CARD 125




SIZES Length: 5 ft. Weight: Up to 200 lb.

'(~--------------------------~~~~~ GENUS &: SPECIES FAMILY ORDER ~



Macropus giganteus

BREEDING Sexual maturity: 18 months-2 years . Mating: Spring to early summer. Gestation: 29-38 days. At least 300 days in pouch. No. of young: 1 . LIFESTYLE Habit: Lives in mobs (family groups). Diet: Grasses, shrubs, and leaves. Lifespan: Up to 18 years .

RELATED SPECIES There are 14 other members of the genus Macropus, including the red kangaroo, Macropus rufus, and the walla roo, Macropus robustus . The closest relative is the western gray kangaroo,

Range of the gray kangaroo.

DISTRIBUTION The gray kangaroo is found throughout forest s and woodlands in eastern Australia, includ ing Tasman ia. CONSERVATION Although it is less numerous than the red kangaroo, and despite large-scale killing by farmers, the gray kangaroo numbers more than 1 .5 million and is not in immediate danger of extinction .

Macropus fuliginosus .


FEATURES OF THE GRAY KANGAROO Hearing: Very acute. The kangaroo can swivel its ears to detect the faintest sounds from many directions.


Tail : lJfiek and m(JsGutar. TtlB kaoQa.fOo props f[seH on its tail when grazing or standing upright and stretches it out behind as a balance when

The gray kangaroo lives on the grasslands and open woodlands of eastern Australia, including Tasmania. A peaceful grazer, it will defend itself fiercely when necessary.

Grazing posture: The kangaroo crawls slowly on all fours , moving its limbs forward


To hop into the pouch , the joey reaches up with its forepaws and dives in headfirst.

With its forequarters in the pouch , the joey twists around to bring its head back to the opening . Hindquarters: Powerfu l lim o with greatly extended feet enable the kangaroo to move fast over open terrain. Can leap more than 24 feet. Safely inside, only its head, paws, and tail tip show.



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~ FOOD & FEEDING Like all kangaroos, the gray species eats only plants. In hot weather it grazes in the cool early morning and night, so it does not need to drink very much.

The gray kangaroo feeds anywhere, even alongside sheep and cattle. It eats less than sheep and survives on poor-quality grass with a low nitrogen content.

Left: Regular grooming keeps the kangaroo cool and clean in the hot Australian summer.

Right: Two male gray kangaroos box for the right to mate with a receptive female.

DID YOU KNOW? • The gray kangaroo has tremendous endurance. A man on a horse once chased one for 19 miles out of its home range, and then watched as it swam another

The gray kangaroo is slightly smaller than its close relative the red kangaroo. Although each female gives birth to only one young each year, the gray kangaroo is a successful breeder with a steady population, and its voracious grazing habits have made it unpopular with farmers.

~ GRAY KANGAROO & MAN Australian farmers have put up miles of fencing to keep kangaroos off their pastures. But the kangaroos still jump over or squeeze under the fences. Left: On open ground the gray kangaroo can move at speeds of 40 miles per hour.

The farmers believe the gray kangaroos eat too much of their grazing land, so they shoot large numbers. The gray kangaroo also causes many car accidents in Australia by leaping out unexpectedly in front of cars.


~ HABITS A sociable species, the gray kangaroo lives in groups known as mobs. A mob has a large mature male, two or three females with joeys (young), and two or three young males. Many mobs graze together. The gray kangaroo has a good sense of smell and sight, and its large, flexible ears swivel to hear intruders approaching from any direction. An alarmed kangaroo thumps the ground hard with its hind legs to warn the mob .

two miles out to sea. • The gray kangaroo can jump as far as 44 feet. • Early naturalists thought that the joey actually grew out from its mother's teat.

A grazing or slow-moving gray kangaroo walks on all fours, using its tail as a balance or support. The tail also stretches out to steady the kangaroo when it bounds forward at high speeds. During the hot days, the gray kangaroo stays under shade trees. In intense heat, the kangaroo digs a hole and sleeps in the cool soil. Mother and joey kangaroos squeak and cluck to each other. The males grunt and cough when they fight.

The gray kangaroo mates and gives birth in spring and early summer, but it may breed in other seasons if the climate and rainfall are good. The female leaves the mob to give birth, first licking clean her pouch and birth canal. A single joey is born 29 to 38 days after mating. Only an inch long and weighing less than half an ounce, the pink joey crawls out of the birth Left: The joey spends several months in its mother's pouch before venturing outside.

canal opening and into the mother's pouch. The joey clamps its mouth onto one of the four teats, which swells in the mouth to keep the joey in place. The joey stays there for 300 days or more, the longest pouch life of all marsupials. It grows slowly the first three months. It develops faster after 15 weeks when the mother's milk increases its fat and protein. The joey suckles for 18 months until it begins eating grass.


PANGOLIN ,,~--------------------------~~~~~~~~ GENUS FAMILY ORDER ~




CARD 126 1


SIZES Length: Body and tail up to 5 ft. Weight: 50-75 lb. Male heavier than female. BREEDING Sexual maturity: 2 years. Gestation: 140 days. Birth: November to March. No. of young : 1; rarely 2. LIFESTYLE Habit: Usually solitary. Diet: Ants and termites; other soft-bodied insects and larvae. lifespan: At least 1 3 years in captivity (Indian pangolin). RELATED SPECIES The Asian species are the Indian pangolin, Manis crassicaudata, the Chinese pangolin, M. pentadactyla, and the Malayan pangolin, M. javanica.

Range of the pangolin.

DISTRIBUTION African pangolins range from Senegal east to Uganda, Angola, western Kenya, and south to Zambia and northern Mozambique, Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, to Namibia and South Africa . CONSERVATION The Cape pangolin is now seriously endangered . Asian pangolins are hunted although international trade of all species is restricted . Few thrive in captivity.

THE AFRICAN PANGOLINS Tree-dwelling species: Agile climbers, aided by prehensile (gripping) tail that has a bare sensory pad at its tip.

long-tailed tree pangolin, Manis tetradactyla: Feeds by day and by night.

Ground-living species: Live in holes dug in the ground. Walk on knuckles with claws pointed inward. May also climb trees.

The pangolin has a long, tapering body that is almost completely covered with overlapping scales. This covering provides nearly impenetrable protection when the pangolin curls up.

White-bellied pangolin, Manis tricuspis: Forages by night in rainforests and plantations. Common . Giant pangolin, Manis gigantea: Forages on the ground, usually at night. Like most pango- - - - l i n s is also capable of

Cape pangolin, Manis temmincki: Lives in a burrow; capable of swimming and climbing . Favors dry prairie and savannah . Feeds mainly on ants.

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~ FOOD &: FEEDING Ants and termites are the pangolin's favorite foods. The pangolin has no teeth. In many ways it is similar to the anteater of South America: both animals have a long, saliva-coated tongue that penetrates insect nests and a tough stomach to grind down the hard outer skeletons of termites. A ground-living pangolin sniffs out an ant or ground termite nest and rips it open with long, sharp claws. The pangolin relies on its thick skin to defend it from ant bites. For total protection, its

This solitary, nocturnal animal lives on a diet of ants and termites that it digs up with

its powerful forefeet and extracts with its long, sticky tongue. Shy and protective toward their young, all seven species are becoming extremely rare as a result of hunting.


Of the four species of pangolin that live in Africa, two inhabit the trees and two live on the ground. The larger, ground-living pangolins inhabit both open grassland and forests. The ground-burrowing giant pangolin can be six feet long, head to tail. The two smaller. species that live in trees in Africa's rainforests curl up to sleep in the fork of a branch or lie among the plants. They have prehensile (capable of grasping) tails to help them climb.

~ HABITS A pangolin walks on its front knuckles with its claws tucked underneath like a clenched fist. This prevents the digging claws from wearing down. If necessary, the pangolin can move much faster, rearing up and walking on its hind legs and using its tail for balance. The pangolin rushes for its burrow if disturbed, or it rolls up into a ball if it cannot reach safety in time. Its scales protect its soft belly. The pangolin can also raise the scales in defense so that their sharp edges point outward.

nostrils can seal up. Its eyes are small and thickly lidded. The long-tailed tree-living species feeds on ant nests and tree termite nests, or the armies of ants moving on the trees. It is the only pangolin that feeds mostly by day. Below: This giant pangolin is

chiefly ground-living and is most likely to emerge at night. It climbs by digging its large foreclaws into the trunk and then drawing up its body and hind feet.

The female pangolin produces one or two young each year. The baby tree-living pangolin clings to its mother's tail after birth. She carries it until it is weaned three months later. A ground-living baby is born inside the burrow. Its scales arE soft at first, hardening later. It rides on its mother's back at two to four weeks. When threatened, the mother curls up with the young hidden inside her rolled up body.

DID YOU KNOW? • A ground-living pangolin remains in its burrow during the day. When inside it seals the entrance with earth, opening it up again when it comes out to feed at night. • Locals tell of the pangolin's "ant baths." It settles on an ant nest, raises its scales and allows the insects to crawl underneath . Then it lowers the scales, crushing the ants,

Above: A pangolin scours the

ground for termites. Right: The pangolin's eyes and nose are small. Its armor reaches almost to the tip of the nose.

The pangolin marks its range by scattering feces along its track and by marking trees with urine or a secretion from a gland near its anus. It also squirts the foulsmelling fluid at enemies.

and enters the water, where it raises the scales again and lets the dead ants float out. The ants may act like a mild abrasive and clean beneath the scales. • A pangolin that has curled itself up is almost impossible to unroll. Only predators with very powerful jaws, such as hyenas and larger cats, can do so.

~ PANGOLIN &: MAN Pangolin meat is popular with local African people, particularly the flesh of the Cape pangolin. In Asia, where relatives of the African species live, the scales are powdered and used for medicine and as an aphrodisiac (love potion). This has lead to reduced pangolin populations. A ban on commercial trade in all pangolin species is not always easy to enforce.



FAMILY Hy/obatidae

GENUS & SPECIES Hy/obates syndacty/epops

SIZES Height: Both male and female about 3 ft. Weight: About 22 Ibs. BREEDING Sexual maturity: 7-8 years. Mating season : None in particular. Gestation: 230-235 days. No. of young: 1 .

LIFESTYLE Habit: Sociable; lives in small family groups . Call : Female barks; male screams . Diet: Mainly fruit and leaves. lifespan: About 25 years. RELATED SPECIES There are 9 species of gibbon, of which the siamang is the largest. All of the gibbon species are found in Southeast Asia.

Range of the siamang gibbon.

DISTRIBUTION Found in the rainforests of Sumatra and Malaysia. CONSERVATION All gibbon species are rapidly declining in numbers. Unless the destruction of their rainforest home stops, many species will become endangered .

Throat sac: Enlarges to amplify its call over long distances.

define territories. This develops the bond between them.

The siamang gibbon is the largest of the nine gibbon species. It is found swinging agilely from tree to tree in the rainforests of Sumatra and Malaysia.

Legs: Strong ; uses back legs to walk upright.



Rump: Has calluslike pads for cushioning .

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Almost totally vegetarian, the siamang's diet consists mainly of leaves and ripe fruit, particularly figs. It also gets some protein from insects and occasionally from birds' eggs. The siamang feeds during the day. A siamang family occupies a home range of up to 1 00 acres. Family members seldom need to travel more than a mile to get food.

• The gibbon's arms have a spread of five feet. If it stands erect, they dangle on the ground. It often carries its arms above its head so they do not trail on the ground. • Except for humans, the gibbon is the only primate to walk upright. • The gibbon hates water and cannot swim. When it has to drink, the gibbon usually cups the water in its large hands . • The gibbon has binocular vision, which allows it to focus ahead on the next branches to grab.

Left: Siamang gibbons live high up in treetops and swing from tree to tree.

Right: The large throat sac amplifies its call, which can be heard two miles away.

The siamang gibbon lives in close-knit family groups. The parents usually mate for life, and both father and mother take an active role in rearing and training their offspring.

~ HABITS The siamang gibbon lives high up in the rainforests of Malaysia and Sumatra. It travels rapidly through the trees by moving arm over arm or swinging from branch to branch. It walks along the branches if they are too big to grip with its cupshaped hands. Although all gibbons communicate by calling to each other, the siamang's call is the loudest and can be heard two miles away. Its large throat sac, which can be inflated to almost the size of

its head, helps to amplify the call. A male and female pair sing in unison, and at the start of the song the young join in. The song reaches its climax with the great call of the female. Calling serves to announce territories and to develop the bond between male and female. At night the siamang sleeps sitting upright high in the branches of the trees in the center of its range. The special pads on its rump help it rest more comfortably.

The siamang mates for life. After a seven- to eight-month gestation period, a single baby is born. For the first year of its life, the baby is fed and cared for only by its mother. Then the father takes charge of its education, although the mother contlnuestofeed it for another year. By the time it is three years old, the father has taught it how to walk, swing through trees, and behave within the group. Because of the long period of parental care, the siamang produces only one offspring every two to three years . Above right: The siamang's arms are almost a third longer than its body length. Left: The mother is protective of her offspring, which clings to her for warmth.

~ FAMILY LIFE The siamang gibbon lives in a small, close-knit family group consisting of an adult male and female and two or three youngsters. Grooming is a major social activity that strengthens the family bond . At age six the youngsters become sexually aware and seek out mates. The young male will avoid its mother, so as not to anger its father. At age eight it moves out to start its own family.

"'CARD 128


'(---------------------------------------------~ ORDER FAMILY GENUS SPECIES ~



&: Canis/upus


KEY FACTS SIZES Length: Up to 5 ft. Male slightly larger then female. Tail length: 1-2 ft. Weight: 35-175 lb. BREEDING Sexual maturity: 2-3 years. Breeding season: February to April. Those in warm climates mate first. Gestation: 61-63 days. No. of young: 4-7. LIFESTYLE Habit: Highly social. Lives in packs of up to 10 animals. Diet: Moose, elk, small deer, wild sheep, and domestic livestock. Lifespan: 10 years in the wild.

RELATED SPECIES There are many subspecies of wolf, including the red wolf.

Range of the gray wolf.

DISTRIBUTION Found mainly in Canada, the eastern Soviet Union, and parts of the United States and Europe. Small numbers occur in the Abbruzzi Mountains in Italy. CONSERVATION Although protected by a number of organizations, the gray wolf is close to extinction. In Europe it is still shot despite legal protection .

FEATURES OF THE GRAY WOLF Hunting: The wolf's body is built for stamina rather than speed: it can cover 37 miles a day when hunting. It has a large skull with extremely powerful jaws.

The gray wolf has been the notorious villain of fables and fairy tales for centuries, yet this highly intelligent and sociable animal is wary of humans and avoids them whenever possible.

Teeth: Grips prey with canines while the incisors scrape the flesh off the bone.

Coat: Thick coat varies in color from nearly white to almost black.

Senses: The gray wolf uses its excellent sense of smell and its efficient sight and hearing to track prey.


Tail: Holds its thick tail high when running .


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The gray wolf sexually matures at two years. Once a wolf pair is formed, it stays together for life. Wolves mate at the end of every winter, causing tension among the pack. Since only dominant wolves mate, subordinate males and females compete for a higher place in the hierarchy. Many wolves do not mate; instead they help to rear young by hunting game for them. The wolf pair mates one to two times a day for 14 days. The female gives birth nine weeks later to 3 to 10 cubs in

an underground den she has dug. Sometimes she enlarges another animal's unused den rather than digging her own. The mother feeds the helpless, blind cubs for six to eight weeks. If she leaves, the father or another wolf guards them while she is away. The cubs learn to eat the meat brought by the adults. An adult sometimes carries the meat for the pups in its mouth, but when it travels long distances, it swallows the meat and regurgitates it for the pups in the den.

left: Despite legal protection, the gray wolf is still hunted throughout Europe.

Right: Cubs spend the first few months of their life in a nursery den prepared by the mother.


The gray wolf lives in a variety of habitats, from the arctic tundra and open steppes of the Soviet Union to the mountainous regions and forests of North America. Once found throughout the northern hemisphere, its numbers have been vastly reduced: man continues to hunt it and its natural prey has become scarce.


• A wolf that is driven from the pack or that has left on its own is called a lone wolf. It avoids contact with packs and rarely howls. • Wary and shy, wolves generally avoid people. Most attacks have been

made by rabid animals. • Wolf packs in the far north often follow migrating herds hundreds of miles each year. • Centuries ago, wolves were "tried" by people and burned at the stake.

Humans have long feared and killed the gray wolf, but its intelligence, cunning, and adaptability have saved it from extinction. Once widespread throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East, the gray wolf is now found in large numbers only in the Soviet Union,

North America, and eastern Europe. The wolf has declined in number because of the reduction of its natural prey, which was replaced by domestic animals. Farmers protect their livestock from the gray wolf with poison, traps, and guns.



The gray wolf has a cooperative social structure for hunting, communicating, and defending its territory. The gray wolf lives in packs of 5 to 10 animals. The pack has family units made up of a dominant male and female and offspring from several years. The pack hierarchy is maintained through dominant or submissive body posturing and other behavior


such as communal care of young. The pack's territory size depends on available prey, but it usually covers several hundred square miles. The gray wolf makes scent-mark boundaries and howls to other pack members. Rival packs may answer the calls. Right: Wolves prey on diseased or weaker members of species such as deer and caribou.

Of all the members of the dog family (Canidae), only the gray wolf hunts large, hoofed animals. One wolf can kill a deer by itself, but when it comes to large animals such as moose, wolves hunt in packs. Using its hearing and sense of smell to track prey, the wolf will follow its target all day and night if necessary. The wolf only runs at 28 miles per hour, but its remarkable en-

durance helps it to hunt. After a kill, each wolf, starting with the most dominant, eats as much as a fifth of its body weight. Scavengers eat the leftovers. The wolf may have to wait three to four days before catching the next meal. All pack members hunt, except for the very young . The young stay in the den and wait for food.

"' CARD 129

ORCA (KILLER) WHALE ,,~------------------------~~~~~~~~ .... GENUS & SPECIES . . . FAMILY . . . ORDER "1IIIIIIII





Orcin us orca


KEY FACTS SIZES Length: Male, 26-30 ft. Female, 23-26 ft . Weight: 9,000-14,000 lb.

BREEDING Sexual maturity: 8-16 years. Mating season: Early winter. Females breed every 3-8 years. Gestation: 1 3-1 6 months. No. of young: 1 calf. LIFESTYLE Habit: Lives and hunts in a pod (group) . Call: Clicking sounds. Diet: Fish, squid, seals, and other whales. Lifespan: Up to 100 years. RELATED SPECIES Related to the dolphins. Some scientists group the orca whale ,with the pilot whales in the family G/obicepha/idae.

Range of the orca.

DISTRIBUTION Found in every ocean as far as the ice packs of the Arctic and Antarctic and in cooler inshore waters. CONSERVATION The orca is widespread and is in no danger of extinction. Some are hunted by fishermen who claim that orcas deplete their fish stocks. They were often captured live for marine parks, but this activity is now controlled in the United States .

FEATURES OF THE ORCA Dorsal fin: Male's fin can be as tall as seven feet.

White markings: Flashes above eyes. Belly and undersides of tail flukes and head are all white.


Female's fin is short and curves toward the back.

Length: Female measures 23 to 26 feet; male 26 to 30 feet. The sexes are alike except for size and fin shape . Flippers: Rounded , paddle-shaped .

The orca, or killer, whale is the only whale that preys on other warm-blooded animals. Using teamwork, it hunts in a group and will even attack larger whales.

Teeth: 40 to 50, sharp, curved, and oval. They interlock when the broad jaws close.

Tail flukes: Very powerful. They propel the orca to a top speed of 30 miles per hour. ©MCMXCIIMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILE TM


0160200301 PACKET 30



The male reaches sexual maturity between the ages of 10 and 1 6 years; the female usually matures two years earlier. Little is known about the orca's breeding habits. Some sort of courtship behavior probably exists, and a single male most likely breeds with several females. The female gives birth to a single calf after a 12-month gestation (pregnancy), usually in November or December. At

birth the calf measures about seven feet, which is almost a third of its mother's size. It suckles for about a year, but continues to stay close to its

mother for several more years. Below: The calf rarely strays far from its mother although it can swim well from birth.

Left: The orca whale is an attentive parent both in the wild and in captivity.

Sailors have spun tales around the orca


The orca whale hunts in whale's reputation for killing, yet this groups, or pods, in coastal wamammal has never been known to attack ters . When hunting for food, the orca whale uses echolocaa human being. Its notoriously huge appetite is tion: it sends out clicking noises that bounce back in the form normal in proportion to its great size. of sound waves. These waves form a "sound picture" by which the whale identifies and locates prey. Once located, The orca whale lives in closelows a series of 30-second dives prey is driven toward shore so knit pods of 5 to 30 members. with a longer dive of four minit cannot escape. A smaller pod contains at least utes; when it hunts the dives In colder waters the pod may one adult male along with sev- can last longer. tip up a small ice floe to catch While the orca spends most of eral adult females and young. any basking seals that slide off A larger pod contains two to its time hunting food, it is also into the water. three adult males . very playful. Pods race along In open water the orca Each female stays in the same the surface of the water o r spyhops, or raises its head high pod for life, but the males regbreach (leap out of the water). out of the water and looks ularly move between pods. If the pod becomes too large, some of the whales break away DID YOU KNOW? to form new pods. When travbaleen whales. The orca is a • When an orca breaches, eling together, pod members toothed whale and catches the splash can be heard stay in line, rarely spreading its prey with its teeth . Baleen several miles away. out wider than half a mile . whales have no teeth. In• The orca can toss 600Although capable of diving to stead they strain food from pound prey into the air. 1,000 feet, the orca whale the water through their • There are two types of usually stays close to the surcomblike baleen plates. whale: toothed whales and face. When traveling, it fol-


around the surface for prey. When attacking large whales, the whole pod joins in for the kill. Some seize the prey's tail in an attempt to immobilize it, while the others in the pod attack from all directions . Right: A pod moves out to feed. Below: Mammals such as these sea lions form only a fraction of the orca's mainly fish-and-squid diet.

li '1l



Speed: The orca is the fastest member of the dolphin family, reaching speeds of 30 miles per hour, but its normal speed is 6 to 10 miles per hour. Teeth: The orca has 40 to 50 conical teet h that point backward . These enable t he orca to tea r big chunks of flesh from la rge prey. Jaws : The orca's jaws open so w ide that it can swallow seals whole.

"'" CARD 130

DORMOUSE ,,----------------------------------------------~~~,,~ ORDER FAMILY GENUS &: SPECIES ~ Rodentia Gliridae Muscordinus avellanarius


KEY FACTS SIZES Length: Head and body 2-3 in. Tail2-2 1 Jz in . Weight: 3/4 oz. (up to 1 oz. before hibernation). BREEDING Sexual maturity: 1 year. Mating: May to August. Usually 1 litter per year. Gestation: 21 days. Litter size: 2-7, average 4. LIFESTYLE Habit: Pairs often nest together in summer; hibernate separately. Call: Ultrasonic squeaks. Color: Rich orange-brown. Pale underside. White on throat. Diet: Tree flowers and fruits; some insects. Lifespan: About 4 years. RELATED SPECIES The largest species is the fat dormouse, Glis glis, from Europe.

Range of the common dormouse.

DISTRIBUTION Found throughout most of Europe from Sweden to northern Spain and eastward to the Middle East. CONSERVATION The decline of the dormouse in Europe coincides with the loss of ancient forests, woodlands, and hedgerows throughout its range.

THE COMMON DORMOUSE AND ITS NE Breeding nest: About six inches across, woven by the female in a tree hollow.

est site: Usually about th ree feet off the ground; sometimes over 65 feet up in a tree.

On or underground; enclosed.

The dormouse is active by night, and in years gone by it was a common sight scampering along the branches of nut and fruit trees throughout Europe. It is now rare in parts of its range. ©MCMXCI IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM


to enable the dormouse to grip branches.

0160200291 PACKET 29



The dormouse gathers all its foqd in treetops and bushes. It eats ma inly tree flowers, berries, and nuts. In spring it eats tree flowers such as the hawthorn and picks honeysuckle berries and flowers when they are available. Sometimes the common dormouse is called the hazel dormouse because of its liking hazelnuts. It also eats acorns and chestnuts. Left: The dormouse enjoys a meal of berries from a tree.

The dormouse spends about half of its life asleep. When it does awaken it spends all of its time in the trees, moving acrobatically along the thinnest of branches and using its tail as a balance.

~ HABITS The nocturnal dormouse is the smallest of all the dormouse species. It spends all of its life in trees and shrubs. It has excellent hearing coupled with the large round eyes of many nocturnal animals. The dormouse sleeps during the day in a round nest that it weaves from grasses and

The start and length of the dormouse's breeding season depends upon the weather. After a pair mates, the female makes a nest above the ground. It is larger than the sleeping nest. The mother gives birth to her

young about 24 days later. She usually has four or five babies. Born blind and naked, they grow their first fur about a week later. This coat is molted (shed) at two weeks and replaced by a gray verAbove: The

bark. This snug sleeping nest is about three feet off the ground or at the top of a mature tree, sometimes over 65 feet high . At night the dormouse looks for food in the treetops . Its padded feet and mobile wrist and ankle joints enable it to grip the branches as it runs.

DID YOU KNOW? • During hibernation a dormouse sleeps so soundly that it can be rolled along the ground w ithout waking . • The dormouse's ability to sleep very deeply was made famous in the Mad Hatter's tea party, a story from Lewis Carroll's book Alice's Adven-


tures in Wonderland. • During the nineteenth century the dormouse was kept by children as a pet. • In different parts of Europe the dormouse is also called the sleepmouse, the derrymouse, or the dozing mouse.

dormouse loves hazelnuts-so much so that it used to be known as the hazel dormouse.

Left: The nest ·is snug for the long winter sleep.

sion of the adult coat. At about 10 days their eyes open. The young stay with their mother for two months and are ready to breed the next spring . The mother may have a second litter in mild years.

The dormouse's sleeping habits make th is creature d iffi cu lt to spot du ri ng the day. Look for its nest in the canopies of young hazelnut trees, brambles, and ho neysuckle vines in deciduous woodlands (where trees lose their leaves every fall) . Like many rodents, t he do rmouse drops empty nutshells after eati ng t heir contents. It leaves a smooth, round hole in the shell, unlike the roug h edges left by m ice or voles . You ca n encourage a do rmouse population to stay in your a rea by putti ng a birdhouse about 10 feet above grou nd level in a t ree . If you do spot a nest, do not d ist urb it.


HIBERNATION The dormouse sleeps through winter in a nest on or underground. This period lasts from October to April. If it warms up outside the dormouse will wake briefly to feed. Before hibernating, the dormouse doubles its weight. This seasonal overeating is essential to the dormouse's survival Right: While the dormouse hibernates, its body cools down to about 41 "F.

Left: A mother guards her 12day-old young.

throughout the winter. The dormouse sleeps rolled up in a ball. Its breathing and heart rate slow down and its body temperature falls. It lives on built-up body fat. If the dormouse wakes up during the winter months it may burn its fat reserves too soon and starve.

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