Wildlife Fact File - Mammals, Pgs. 141-150

August 20, 2017 | Author: ClearMind84 | Category: Leopard, Horses, Agriculture, Nature
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Snow Leopard, Przewalski's Horse, Llama, Aardwolf, Pipistrelle, Manatee, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Brown Hare, Gaur, Gra...


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Panthera uncia

Body length: 4-5 ft. Tail: 3ft. Weight: 55-165 lb.

BREEDING Breeding season: Toward the end of winter. Female comes into season twice. Gestation: 98-103 days. No. of young: Each litter contains 2-5 cubs.

LIFESTYLE Habit: Solitary due to scarcity of food and harsh terrain. Each snow leopard remains within its own very large territory. Diet: Wild sheep, goats, deer, wild boar, small mammals, some birds. Lifespan: 20 years in captivity.

RELATED SPECIES The snow leopard is related to the big cats of the Panthera species, but it does not roar.

01 STRI BUTION The snow leopard inhabits northern India, the countries borderi ng the Himalayas, and the Soviet Union .

CONSERVATION The snow leopard is internationally recognized as an endangered species. Hunting for fur trade is banned, but because of the high prices paid for its fur, the snow leopard continues to be a prime target for poachers.


Winter coat: Spots are arranged in distinct rows. They are round and charcoal gray, set against a light gray to yellow background , which grows paler in winter.

The background of the animal's coat turns darker in summer.

The snow leopard is a solitary, high-altitude hunter, but because of the relative scarcity of food in its rocky Himalayan terrain, it often migrates with its prey.

Hind legs: Extremely strong back legs allow leaps of up to 50 feet, useful for surprising prey. ©MCMXCI IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILE TM

Face: High eye placement allows the animal to stay low behind cover when stalking prey.

Paws: Thick cushions of hair protect the large paws from heat and cold . PRINTED IN U.S.A.

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~ HABITAT The snow leopard lives in caves or rock crevices in the high rhododendron forests of the Himalayas and in rocky wasteland above the vegetation line. Its light-colored coat protects it from summer heat Left: Snow leopards live alone, except when mating.

and freezing winters. Thick cushions of hair around its paw pads act like snow shoes, enabling the leopard to move quickly over snow without sinking. In summer the hair cushions protect the animal's feet from jagged rocks and from rocks heated by the sun.

~ BREEDING The snow leopard breeds at the end of winter when the female comes into season for a week. If she does not mate, she comes into season again for up to 70 days. After mating, the female makes a nest among the rocks. She gives birth to two to five cubs 14 weeks later. Much darker than their

mother, the cubs are blind for the first week, but they start to crawl within 10 days. At two months old they can run and eat solid food as well as suckle milk. By midsummer they follow their mother to hunt, staying with her until they are a year old. Right: Male snow leopards

sometimes help rear the cubs.


The snow leopard lives high in the

DID YOU KNOW? Himalayas and has long been hunted by humans for its beautiful coat. Now protected by laws banning the sale

of its fur, it is still illegally hunted and sold for high prices.

~ FOOD & HUNTING The snow leopard hunts alone because the rocky terrain and amount of food available in anyone area cannot support large packs. It preys on blue sheep, ibexes, wild goats, hares, and even birds and mice. In milder lower-altitude weather the snow leopard hunts deer, gazelle, and wild boar. It stalks its prey, then

• The snow leopard is slightly smaller than the leopard, but its dense fur makes it look larger. • Compared to other cats', the snow leopard's tail is longer in proportion to the

actual size of its body. • Hunting kills most snow leopards, but avalanches account for many fatalities. • Snow leopard cubs depend on th~ir mother for at least a year after birth .


springs and fastens onto it. It can leap up to 50 feet to reach high rocky crags where it rests or watches for prey. Like most meat eaters, it devours its prey beginning with the stomach, ripping open the belly and eating the entrails before moving to the rump. Unlike other leopards, the snow leopard does not roar.

Humans rarely see the snow leopard.


The snow leopard has a large territory ranging up to 40 square miles.

Hunted for its fur, the snow leopard is extremely rare. It has been protected in India since 1952, and is protected in the Soviet Union. International pressure has resulted in some protection for the snow leopard; it is now illegal to

possess or sell its fur. Still, the animal continues to be hunted by poachers. Unlike lions and tigers, the snow leopard breeds unsuccessfully in captivity. The snow leopard needs protection in the wild to survive.

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. . GENUS &: SPECIES '1IIIIIIII Equus cabal/us przewalskii

KEY FACTS SIZES Height: From about 12 hands high (1 hand = 4 in .) . Weight: About 800 lb . BREEDING Sexual maturity: 1 -2 years; stallions (males) about 3 years. Mating season: Usually April or May. Gestation: 11-12 months. No. of young: 1 . LIFESTYLE Habit: lives in small herds.

Range of Przewalski's horse.

Call: Neighs a greeting; squeals a threat or warning .


Diet: Grass and plants .

Once found from the Ural Mountains to Mongolia. Now confined to plains on either side of the Altai Mountains on

lifespan: At least 20 years .

the borders of Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Siberia .

RELATED SPECIES Przewalski's horse is the only


subspecies of Equus cabal/us. All

listed as an endangered species, it is probably extinct in the wild. Breeding in captivity has saved it from complete

other horses, asses, and zebras, are members of the same family.

_ ex_t _ i nctio_n_. _ A b_out 300 horses live in zoos around the world.


Mane: Short, stiff, _ brushlike hairs that stand erect. No forelock.

Body: Stocky, with short legs. Low-slung shoulders that blend into the back. This gives it a more primitive look than other domestic horses.

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Skull: Heavy jaw, broad muzzle, and unusually large teeth.

Head: Large and thick, with a broad muzzle . Sandy-colored nose.

Coat: Yellow-brown, paler on the belly, with black mane, tail , and lower legs. The coat grows very thick and woolly in the winter.

Przewalski's horse is the only truly wild horse left in the world. Descended from a prehistoric breed, it is the ancestor of all modern horses but can now only be seen in zoos.


almost to the ground . The base has a fan of short, stiffer hairs, similar to the mane.

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Przewalski's horse is the only one of several species to survive into the postglacial period. Its sturdy and rugged appearance sets it apart from today's domestic breeds. It is our last link with an ancient, primitive breed of horse.

~ BREEDING In its natural habitat, Przewalski's horse roams in small herds. These herds consist of a few mares (females) and young horses, lead by a stallion (male). Mares come into season at regular intervals, but usually mate in May so that the foals are born at about the

same time the following year. A mare usually gives birth during the night to a single foal, which is strong enough by morning to move with the herd. If a foal lags behind a herd on the move the stallion will grip the base of the foal's

tail in its teeth and nudge it along. The mare suckles her foal for several months to a year. However, when the foal is a few months old its teeth are developed enough to graze. A filly (female foal) may stay with the

herd. The stallion drives out the young males after a year. Young males wander together in small herds until they are strong enough to gather their own harems of mares. Below: The mare protects the foal

during its first year of life.

Left: Przewalski's horse has

adapted to eat coarse grasses.



HABITAT At the end of the Ice Age, dense woodlands began to grow in areas that had once been tundra and grasslands. The horses that had lived there withdrew with the glaciers and migrated to Eurasia, where they found more

suitable areas of grassy plains. One of these early horses, now known as Przewalski's horse, originally roamed the Eurasian plains in large herds. Gradually over the centuries, its range and numbers dwindled until it only grazed on

the arid, semidesert plains on either side of the mountains that form the boundary between Mongolia and China . Przewalski's horse was last sighted in its natural habitat in 1968. It is uncertain whether it still exists in the wild.

Przewalski's horse once roamed are also known as The Mountains of the Yellow Horses. • Although Przewalski's horse is generally considered to be the ancestor of the modern horse, some experts think that the two descended from a now-extinct common ancestor and evolved inde-

pendently from one another. • The Przewalski's horse's order, Perissodactyla, includes all mammals with an odd number of toes. • The horse's foot is actually a single fingertip, with the last bone widened and rounded into a hoof. This special adaptation allows the horse to run swiftly. _ _ _ _-1

DID YOU KNOW? • Przewalski's horse is the only living wild horse species. • The foal of Przewalski's horse weighs about five percent of its mother's weight at birth . In contrast, I the foals of domestic horses weigh about 10 percent of their mother's weight. • The Altai mountains where

FOOD & FEEDING Przewalski's horse is a grazer and lives on coarse grass and branches and sparse foliage from shrubby trees. It feeds at dusk, constantly on the move as it tears away at grass and leaves. In winter it may have to dig through layers of snow to find any food . At daybreak, it returns to its desert habitat to rest until sunset. As the horses move between resting areas and feeding grounds they etch wellworn and deeply trodden paths into the plains. Below: These rare and wild beasts

are now only seen in zoos.

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PRZEWALSKI'S HORSE Przewalski's horse has been domesticated for centuries, but man has never truly tamed it. Although the horse was a familiar sight to local Asian tribes, it was deemed discovered in the 1880s by Russian explorer Nicolai Przhevalsky

& MAN and was named after him. Humans are responsible for the decline of Przewalski's horse. It has been slaughtered for its meat, driven from its sparse grazing areas, and allowed to interbreed with other domestic horses.

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LLAMA '(~----------------------------~~~~~~~~~ GENUS &: SPECIES ORDER FAMILY Lamaglama ~ Artiodactyla Camelidae


KEY FACTS SIZES Length: Head and body, 4-7 ft. Tail, 6 in. Height to shoulder: 31/2-4 ft. Weight: 150-350 lb. BREEDING Sexual maturity: 1-2 years. Breeding season: August to September in South America. Gestation: 11-12 months. No. of young: 1 . LIFESTYLE Habit: Sociable and friendly, but can be stubborn. Diet: Grasses, herbs, shrubs, and lichen. Lifespan: Up to 20 years. RELATED SPECIES The llama is related to the bactrian camel, Camelus bactrianus ferus, and to the dromedary camel, C. dromedarius.

Range of the llama.

DISTRIBUTION Southern Peru through western Bolivia, northwest Argentina, and northeast Chile. CONSERVATION Nearly three and a half million llamas live in South America. They are being replaced by modern means of transportation, and their wool is not in great demand.

THE LLAMA AND ITS RELATIVES The guanaco and vicuna are the only two species in their genus. The domesticated llama and alpaca are subspecies derived from the wild guanaco.

More attractive than the closely related camel, the llama has the same facial expression. For many centuries this animal has provided transportation and food for many South American people.

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Guanaco: A slim animal with a long neck and a shaggy, reddish brown coat. These are the most widespread of all the wild llamas.

Alpaca: Its long, thick coat helps the alpaca graze at high altitudes. Its fine wool is considered better than the llama's.

Vicuna: Smaller and more graceful than the llama. Its head is shorter and its ears longer. Has a long white mane at the base of the neck. l
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