Wildlife Fact File - Mammals - Pgs. 61-70

August 20, 2017 | Author: ClearMind84 | Category: Grizzly Bear, Lion, Dolphin, Mouse, Bears
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Common Dolphin, Lion, Impala, Brown Rat, Norwegian Lemming, Old World Harvest Mouse, European Mole, Grizzly Bear, Dhole,...



' " CARD 61

COMMON DOLPHIN ,,~----------------------------------------~ FAMILY GENUS SPECIES



ORDER Cetacea


SIZES Length: 5-8 ft. Weight: 160 lb . No. of teeth : 80-100.

&: Delphinus delphis

BREEDING Sexual maturity: 5-6 years. Mating: In North Atlantic, October to December. Most births occur from September to October. Gestation: 1 0 months. No. of young : Single calf. LIFESTYLE Call: High-pitched whistles and clicks. Habit: Lives in large schools. Diet: Mainly herring and sardines, but also a wide range of fish. Lifespan: Up to 25 years. RELATED SPECIES The Cape dolphin (Delphinus capensis) and Baird 's dolphin (D. roseiventris) are closely related.

Range of the common dolphin .

DISTRIBUTION Found in the coastal waters of all the tropical and temperate seas, the common dolphin is abundant in the Mediterranean. It is migratory, following schools of fish, its staple food. CONSERVATION The common dolph in was once hunted in large numbers in the Black Sea . Although this has now stopped, an increasing number are becoming entangled in fishermen's nets.

COMPARATIVE SPEEDS The common dolphin is the fastest of the small dolphins, but many whales and sharks are faster.

KILLER WHALE (Orcin us orca) 34 mph MAKO SHARK (Isurus oxyrinchus) 30 mph COMMON DOLPHIN (Delphinus delphis) 27 mph CALIFORNIA SEA LION (Zalophus calitomicus) 25 mph

The common dolphin is the fastest of the small dolphins, attaining speeds over 27 miles per hour. Friendly and sociable, it is often seen traveling in schools numbering several hundred.

SALMON (Salmo salar) 23 mph

15 mph

19 mph

22 mph


25 mph PRINTED IN U.sA

28 mph

30 mph

35 mph

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~ BREEDING The dolphin has a different mate every season. Mating takes place in the fall and a single calf is born 10 months later. The calf emerges tail first, and, while the mother helps it to the surface to breathe, several other females protect them from any sharks that may be attracted by the blood lost in birth. The mother suckles her calf underwater, and feeding is quick and frequent so that the calf can surface and breathe every few seconds.

Its color varies, although most have black or brown backs and white stomachs. The dolphin surfaces every few minutes to breathe through the blowhole on the top of its head.

Above: The dolphin's skin is sleek and offers little resistance to water. It is instrumental in giving the mammal its agility and great speed. Left: Common dolphins cruising in strict formation.

grow teeth which push through its gums much like those of a human baby. Still, the calf does not become independent for many months. Left: Common dolphin calf with mother. The calf will feed by taking hold of one of the nipples that lie in grooves along its mother's stomach.


The common dolphin has a sleek, streamlined body adapted for speed.

For the first two weeks of its life, the young dolph i n stays close to its mother or other females. It can swim rapidly at birth, and it soon begins to

The common dolphin is a friendly, sociable animal that lives in mixed groups of males, females, and young. The dolphin inhabits the warmer coastal waters of the world and is never seen as far north or south as the bottlenose dolphin. It spends its days hunting fish and playing with other dolphins. A dolphin can be sighted as it rises for air, just breaking the surface to expose its blowhole before it dives below the waves. Most dolphin species are fun loving, but the common dolphin appears to be the most playful of all. It can be seen leaping from the water in great curving arcs along with the other dolphins in its group. It often swims on its back, and sometimes slaps the water with its tail. But despite its playful nature, the common dolphin is not easily tamed and does not thrive in captivity.

The common dolphin eats herring, sardines, cuttlefish, octopus, and shrimp. Where herring and sardines are abundant, the dolphin is a common sight, but when the fish migrate or become depleted, the dolphin moves Below: The dolphin must surface frequently to breathe.

on to other feeding grounds in schools often numbering several hundred. Dolphins communicate with each other by using a language consisting of clicking and whistling sounds. Communicating through sound is also important in helping dolphins to hunt. A dolphin will

make a series of high-pitched whistles that travel through the water. When the sounds reach a solid object, such as a school of fish, an echo is created by which the dolphin can identify the speed, size, and direction of the prey. This process is called echolo-


DID YOU KNOW? • The killer whale, one of the common dolphin's most feared predators, is itself a species of dolph in. • The common dolphin can stay submerged for only 3-4 minutes, while the bottlenose dolphin can remain underwater for up to 15 minutes. • A dolphin exchanges as much as 90 percent of the air in its lungs every time it breathes. Most mammals, including man, exchange only 15 percent. • The dolphin has no sweat glands. It stays cool by releasing heat through its flippers .

""" CARD 62

LION \(-----------------------------~~~~~~~~


ORDER Carnivora

GENUS &: SPECIES Panthera leo

KEY FACTS SIZES Length: Males, 9 ft., of which 3 ft. is tail; females are smaller. Weight: 450-550 lb. BREEDING Sexual maturity: 2 years. Mating: Most times of year. Lionesses breed every two years. Gestation: 105-112 days. No. of young: 2-5 cubs. LIFESTYLE Habit: Social and territorial, living in family groups. Young males may live in small bachelor groups. Call: Lions roar to keep rivals out of their territory. Diet: Wildebeest, zebra, impala, antelope, and gazelle.

RELATED SPECIES Leopard, snow leopard, tiger, and jaguar are all in the genus Panthera.

Range of the lion .

DISTRIBUTION Africa, south of the Sahara, and the Gir Forest, India. A small population once believed to have lived in a remote part of Iran is now thought to be ex tinct. CONSERVATION Lives in the wild only in remote areas which have remained undeveloped . The best hope for the lion 's con tinuing survival lies in w ell-managed national parks and game reserves .

HOW LIONS HUNT When lionesses hunt together, several lie j n wait downwind of the herd, while ano1 ir travels around the herd. until she is upwind of it. Suddenly, she breaks ~ cover and chases the frightened herd ''11:{~ fflq~ straight toward the hidden ambush. 1;;;'!J

Known as the king of the jungle, the lion's main habitat is, in fact, the African grasslands. Once common in Africa, Asia, and parts of Europe, this magnificent animal is now a protected species.

If hunting alone, a lioness stalks her prey downwing of it. She gets as close as possible without being seen before attacking.


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~ FOOD &: HUNTING Lions hunt at dusk. They have excellent eyesight and can see well in the dark. The lionesses usually hunt for the entire pride. While the lion plays little or no part in the hunt, he always takes precedence at the kill, dragging the prey to a chosen spot, then gorging himself before the females and cubs can eat. Hunting is an organized event (see back cover). During the dry season when water is scarce, lions often lie in wait close to a water hole, waiting for prey to come to drink. Lions prefer to hunt wildebeest and zebra, as these animals are slower and easier

Largest and most powerful of the African carnivores,

a male lion in his prime is an impressive sight. Male lions usually have a tawny mane which gradually darkens with age. Because of their dark manes, old males are known as black-maned lions.

~ HABITS Unlike most members of the cat family, lions are social animals that live in prides (family groups) of 20-30 individuals. Some prides include a single male, while others have as many as four. Where there is more than one male, the males are most likely litter mates. Males are strongly territorial and will challenge intruders, and lionesses will fight off other females. Males will often fight until one lion

is killed. The winner takes over dominance of the territory, and of the pride. After several seasons with a pride, the male becomes restless and may be disinterested in resisting a challenge from a rival male. If he loses, he will search for another pride to dominate. Old or injured lions who have escaped death after fighting, but have lost their territory, often die trying to fend for themselves.

to catch than small antelopes and gazelles. When prey is scarce, lions eat almost anything, including carrion (dead or rotting animals). Hunger may drive them to attack larger prey, including giraffe, buffalo, or even rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and elephant calves.

~ BREEDING A lioness has cubs approximately every 2 years. Shortly before giving birth, she chooses a suitable site for her lair, which must be well hidden, safe from potential predators, sheltered, and close to water. The cubs are born blind and have spotted coats. For the first 2 months, they drink only their mother's milk. At 6 weeks, they begin to accompany their mother to the kill, acquiring a taste for meat and learning how to hunt. By 15 months, the cubs can hunt small prey. When the cubs reach 2 years of age, their mother is pregnant again and they must leave her. Some young females may be allowed to remain in the pride, but all the male cubs are driven out by the dominant male.

Right: Lionesses eat a wildebeest.

Below: A lion drags a zebra from the scene of the kill. Straddling its shoulders with his forelegs, he lifts it by the neck.

DID YOU KNOW? Right: Lions mating. Normally uninterested in females, the male hardly leaves his partner's side during mating season.

Below: Females share the job of suckling and caring for cubs.

• A lion's territory is determined by the size of the pride and the availability of prey and water. • Lionesses are ferocious when defending their cubs. Several will act together to chase off a predator or an aggressive male lion . • Lions kill only when hungry. Their prey can usually sense if lions are out to kill and, if they are not, will often ignore lions wandering close to them . • The lion's mane makes his body appear larger and more impressive than it really is, which helps to attract females at mating time and frightens off rival males. • Male lions take no interest in the rearing of the young and, on occasion, may even try to kill them .

' " CARD 63





SIZES Height to shoulder: 30-40 in. Length: 55 in . Length of horns: 20-30 in . Weight: 100-175 lb .


. . . ORDER ~ Artiodactyla

FAMILY Bovidae


. ~ Aepyceros melampus

BREEDING Sexual maturity: 1 3 months, but rarely reproduce until 2 years old. Mating season: Varies with area and climate. Gestation: 6-7 months. No. of young: 1 . LIFESTYLE Habit: Sociable herds. Diet: Grasses, herbs, and shrubs. Call: Male roars during mating season. Lifespan: Up to 12 years in the wild; 17 years in captivity. RELATED SPECIES Impala is the only species in the genus. There is a subspecies-the black-faced impala, Aepyceros melampus petersi.

Range of the impala.

DISTRIBUTION Found over most of southern and eastern Africa . Impalas also live in national parks and reserves . CONSERVATION Impalas have disappeared from parts of their southern range because of overhunting by man, but they have been introduced into new areas .



Impalas bound high into the air to escape predators. At the same time , the raised hairs on their rumps serve as a warn.ing to the rest of the herd that predators are approaching.


With its sleek, tawny coat, large eyes, and curved horns, the male impala is one of the most agile-as well as most commo~of all of Africa's antelopes.

When chased by a predator, an impala can run as fast as 40 miles an haur. It can also j~mp 10 feet in the air and cover 30·fee1 in a single leap. Impalas have been known to jump over obstacles more than eight fee1 high.



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Impalas feed mainly on grasses, but they also eat a wide variety of leaves, fruits, and seeds. The amount they eat of anyone food depends on season and location . In most parts of their range, impalas graze the new proteinrich grasses that flourish during the rainy season. When the grasses die during periods of drought, the animals browse on bushes, herbs, and shrubs. Because predators often lie in wait near water holes at dusk, impalas drink during the hottest part of the day, when lions are likely to be asleep.

Throughout most of southern and eastern Africa, impalas live in open forest country and wooded grasslands. Only the males sport the long, curved horns, which are ridged on the front surface and take several years to grow.


territories have abundant food. Other males are tolerated as long as they show no interest in the females. During the dry season impalas of both sexes and all ages form a single, nonterritorial herd to forage for food away from their home ranges. After the dry season is over the dominant males return to their home ranges. They often must reclaim their territories from rival males.



The principal mating season is April through June in the southernmost part of the impala's range, and from February to April in East Africa. Males do not search for females; instead, they mate with those that wander into their territories. When a

Right: Young impalas suckle for five or six months.


Impalas are sociable animals that travel in herds. Females and young form herds as large as 100 animals, while males live in small bachelor herds. The herds occupy a large range and make seasonal migrations according to the availability of food . While most males live together peacefully, dominant males may establish their own territories, to which they try to attract females. The most successful males are those whose


Right: A male impala grazes on protein-rich grass. All impalas have black-tipped ears and black stripes on their rumps and tails.

Below: During mating season male impalas fight off rivals. The loser retires to a bachelor group and the victor takes over the territory.

female is ready to give birth, she seeks a secluded spot away from the herd. After the birth, she and her calf remain separate from the group for several days. When the female rejoins the herd, her calf joins a large group of calves that are

similar in age. Females are not usually sexually mature until they are two years old. A male is unlikely to win his own territory, or females, until he is four years old, even though he is sexually mature at one year.

• The male impala's horns take many years to reach full length . • Most young impalas are born in the middle of the day, when predators are usually resting . • Impalas are preyed upon by lions, leopards, and cheetahs, so they are constantly on the alert for danger. • The male impala produces a scent from his forehead . ' The greater his rank in the herd, the stronger the scent. When a male loses his rank, he produces less scent. • In addition to leaping forward, impalas can also jump straight up and turn in midair. • Living in herds helps to protect impalas ,from predators. If the herd is attacked, the impalas scatter in all directions.

"" CARD 64

BROWN RAT ~~_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _~~~_ '_ ~"'M . . . ORDER ~







Rattus norvegicus

KEY FACTS SIZES Body length: Up to 12 in. Tail length: Slightly shorter than body. Weight: Variable: 3-21 oz. Males slightly heavier than females. BREEDING Sexual maturity: Females, 11 weeks. Mating: Throughout the year. Gestation: 21-24 days. litter size: 6-11, depending on size of mother. No. of litters: Up to 5 per year. LIFESTYLE Call: Shrill squeaks and squeals. Habit: Mostly nocturnal, living in colonies. Diet: Prefers food rich in protein and starch, but will eat anything . lifespan: 1-2 years, but very few live longer than 1 year.

Range of the brown rat.

DISTRIBUTION Throughout the world w ith the exception of polar regions. CONSERVATION The rat is regarded as a pest because it is the carrier of many diseases including salmonella, and man has tried for centuries to exterminate it without success. The rat's successful breeding habits and its ability to survive on any food and in most habitats ensure its survival.



Fur: Coarser and longer than that of the sleek black rat. Protects against cold . damp co itions.

I ~~

Teeth: The brown rat has 16 teeth: 2 incisors and 6 molars in each jaw. It has no pre-molars and, like all rodents, no canine teeth .

Ears: Small , furrier than those of the black rat. The brown rat has very sharphearing. Sense of smell: Very acute. Good for -~~~eo:~ sniffing out food supplies.

The brown rat is considered to be a pest throughout most of its range. Still, it rarely lives in occupied houses or buildings but, rather, makes its home in areas uninhabited by people.

Forepaws: Often used to hold food while the rat eats, although food is carried in the mouth.



US P 6001 12010 PACKET 10

~ HABITAT The brown rat is found worldwide, with the exception of the polar regions. It can survive in almost any environment, but it is most commonly found near farms, in garbage dumps, and in sewers. It likes dense cover, where it will dig a series of linking bu rrows in sloping ground or in the side of a ditch . It also prefers to live near water and is a good swimmer. The brown rat lives in colonies left: Sewers provide rats with a safe habitat and plentiful food, but sewer-dwelling rats hasten the spread of disease.

The brown rat inhabits all parts of the world populated by humans and breeds rapidly in colonies located in sewers and garbage dumps. It arrived in the Americas by way of ships belonging to early European explorers and settlers.

where every member recognizes each other by smell. There is a social structure in a colony, but the dominant rats are tolerant of others. Where there is plenty of food available, the rat may need to colonize only small areas no more than several yards in length. In large colonies, such as those found in sewers and garbage dumps, the highest-ranking rat will live in the choice spot, close to the food source. The lowranking rats must often struggle to survive.


DID YOU KNOW? • A single female brown rat can give birth to more than forty young in one year. • The brown rat is also called the sewer rat, the barn rat, and the Norwegian rat. Its species name. is derived from the latter name. • The rat needs a large

left: Rats will eat almost any food they can find. People have tried for centuries to poison the rat, but it breeds so quickly that new litters develop an inbuilt resistance to even the deadliest poisons.

amount of food to survive and eats the equivalent of a th ird of its body weight in food every day. • The black rat, a brown rat relative, is thought to have been responsible for transmitting bubonic plague in fourteenth -century Europe.

The brown rat feeds at night and sleeps through the day. It is most active at dawn and dusk. Although its eyesight is poor, the brown rat has a very keen sense of smell which it uses to locate food. The rat prefers to eat stored or cultivated cereal grains but also eats meat. It eats various

types of poultry, including ducklings. Food is usually carried in its mouth to a safe place where it is eaten . Large items are dragged to a hiding place. The food the rat leaves uneaten is left behind since, unlike many rodents, the brown rat does not hoard food.

~ BREEDI NG A female brown rat is ready to breed when she is 11 weeks old and weighs four ounces. After mating, the male plays no part in rea ring the young. The female builds a round nest of loose material such as straw. The nest is often located in an underground burrow. After 21-24 days, 6 to 11 young are born blind and hairless. They are totally dependent on their mother, who suckles them for three weeks . At the end of this

time, they are ready to leave the nest. A female may sometimes give birth to three to five litters in one year. A large colony is often started by a single pregnant female. The black rat, or ship rat, is rarer and can produce almost as many litters as the brown rat, but its females are not ready to breed until they are four months old. Right: A mother rat carries her newborn along a log. Her long, scaly tail helps her to balance.

NATUREWATCH scavenging for food near garbage dumps or abandoned bui ldings. In t he country, sloping ground is often t he site of rat burrows that are 2-3 inches in diameter. Narrow, well-used paths are often signs t hat a rat colony is nearby. In build ings, the rat leaves dark, greasy trails near food sources. Rats can also be spotted swimm ing across canals or rivers.



~ GENUS & SPECIES ~ Lemmus lemmus

SIZES Length: 4-6 in. Weight: 1 -4 oz.

BREEDING Sexual maturity: Can be as young as 14 days in females. Mating: Year-round in favorable conditions. Gestation: 16-21 days. No. of young: Up to 12. May have 3 or more litters a year. LIFESTYLE Habit: Solitary. Sociable when moving to new feeding areas. Diet: A variety of plant matter. Lifespan: Rarely more than 2 years. RELATED SPECIES There are 12 species of lemming, grouped in 4 genera, living throughout cold regions in the northern hemisphere.

Range of the Norwegian lemming.

DISTRIBUTION The Norwegian lemming is confined to the northern alpine and tundra areas of Scandinavia and the Soviet Union . CONSERVATION The lemming is in no danger of extinction . Population is con trolled by predators and by the lemming's self-regulating mechanism that reduces reproduction when conditions are unfavorable.

I THE LEMMING'S MIGRATION As .the lemming population increases there is more competition for available food resources. Every few years the lemmings are forced to either migrate to new habitats or die of starvation. They travel in huge groups, heading downhill from the tundra. They are so desperate to find food that little deters them from moving forward.

The lemming resembles a mouse but has a short tail and fur-covered feet. The rodent is the most numerous animal in its habitat and is a source of food for many predators.

t emmings may travel long distances to find new feeding grounds, and many die on the journey.



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When their population levels become too high lemmings undertake mass migrations to find new feeding grounds. Many drown while trying to cross the sea. In the year 1532 it was believed that the lemmings were committing suicide.

~ HABITAT The Norwegian lemming lives 3,250 feet above sea level in the open, swampy flatlands of the tundra (arctic plain) . In summer it burrows under tree stumps, fallen tree trunks, or rocks, where it digs a short tunnel and a small chamber that it lines with grass. In winter the lemming

retreats to a meadow, where it builds a dry, rounded nest of grass that it lines with moss and lichen. The nest is located on the ground under the snow or in the branches of a small, snow-covered shrub. In the spring thaw, when its nest in the meadow becomes flooded, the lemming moves

DID YOU KNOW? • The first known account of the lemmings' mass migration is from t he year 1532. At that time people believed that the lemmings were comm itting su icide. • One pair of lemmings kept in captivity produced eight litters in 167 days. • Contrary to popular belief, to higher ground . In fall the lemming travels from its summer to winter quarters and lives temporarily in woody marshes. Below: In winter, when the ground is covered with snow, the lemming lives in a dry, underground nest.

lemmings are not good swimmers. They are easily exhausted and drown within 15 to 25 minutes of entering the water. • The lemmings' waterproof fur is essential to its survival in the cold northern climate . • Females can become preg nant at 14 days of age.

~ FOOD & FEEDING The lemming eats the tender shoots of grasses and other grasslike plants, as well as bark, leaves, berries, moss, and lichens. Even when the ground is covered with snow, the lemming feeds by digging tunnels to reach vegetation that is buried under the snow. The lemming searches for food day and night, alternately feeding and resting every two hours.

The Norwegian lemming is the most plentiful of all the plant-eating animals in its habitat. It is an important part of the food chain and is itself food for many predators. Birds such as skua, snowy and great gray owls, buzzards, gyrfalcons, and gulls, and mammals such as wolves, bears, wolverines, ermines, and foxes all prey on the lemming.

Below: A lemming feeds on grasses

Above: The lemming 's teeth are

and other ground vegetation.

sharp enough to chew bark.


The lemming can produce a litter as large as 12 young every month, year-round. Females from the first and second litters often breed within a few weeks of being born.

Lemmings are born blind. But they mature quickly and need only a short period of maternal care. The female nurses the newborn for 16 days, after which they can

Norwegian lemmings make two kinds of migration: seasonal and periodic. Their seasonal migrations between summer and winter quarters cover only short distances. But their periodic migrations take them great distances to much lower altitudes than the tundra. Every three to four years the lemming population becomes too large for the available food resources. Many lemmings are forced to migrate in search of food. The usually solitary lemmings become part of a mass migration. When lemmings migrate they do not travel to a specific destination. They are simply moving away from their crowded feeding grounds in search of new ones. They sometimes follow paths and roads that lead them directly through areas of human habitation. The lemmings show little fear of people. Many lemmings die during the migration from disease, starvation, accident, drowning, and attack from predators. While they are moving in such large numbers, the lemmings make easy prey for their predators. Thus, the periodic migration helps to control the lemmings' numbers.

fend for themselves. When food is scarce, or when lemmings are forced to migrate to new feeding areas, their reproductive capacity automatically slows down.

~ CARD66

OLD WORLD HARVEST MOUSE \(~--------------------------------


ORDER Rodenta

. . . FAMILY ~ Muridae

GENUS & SPECIES Micromys minutus


KEY FACTS SIZES Length: Head and body, 2-3 in. Tail, 2-3 in. Weight: Adult, 2 oz. BREEDING Sexual maturity: 45 days. Mating season: May to October. Gestation: 17-19 days. No. of young: 3-8 per litter. May have 3 litters a year. LIFESTYLE Habit: Solitary. Active at night in summer and by day in winter. Diet: Mainly seeds and insects, also some fruit. lifespan: In the wild, up to 18 months, but usually 6 months. Up to 5 years in captivity. RELATED SPECIES Although it belongs to the same family as other mice, the old world harvest mouse is the only species in its genus.

Range of the old world harvest mouse.

DISTRIBUTION Throughout Europe and northern A~ia. CONSERVATION Although not endangered, numbers have been greatly reduced by modern agricultural methods, such as combine harvesting, spraying, and stubble burning.


The tiny harvest mouse is only slightly larger than the garden snail. Its small size and flexible tail enable it to scamper up and down the slender plant stems on which it builds its nest.

She then weaves pieces of grass { among the leaves, forming a rounded structure three to . four inches in diameter. She covers the entrance with grass after the young are born.



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BREEDING Harvest mice breed from May to early October, often producing three litters of three to eight young in a single year. The newborns stay in the nest for 11 days, where they grow rapidly. The mother leaves to search for food but returns at regular intervals to feed and clean the young. She eats droppings so that predators are not attracted by the smell. At two days old the young mice can push themselves around the nest. Four days later they start grooming themselves, and by the eighth day they can see clearly. At

The harvest mouse is among the smallest of all rodents. Its specially adapted tail functions as a fifth limb and allows it to keep its paws free for gathering food as it climbs up plant stems.


HABITAT Harvest mice live in tall grass, grain fields, vacant lots, and along roadsides. During severe winters they sometimes seek shelter in sheds and houses. The male roams over a ter-

ritory of approximately 500 square yards, while females have smaller territories. In summer they are active at night, but in winter they are active during the day.

DID YOU KNOW? • American harvest mice, like old world harvest mice, also build their nests on grass stems. • The old world harvest mouse is the only mammal in Europe with a tail that is prehensile-that is, adapted for seizing and grasping .

• In the wild, pregnant females drive away the males, whereas in captivity, they tolerate their presence. • In parts of Europe, harvest mice have been found living in ham curing rooms and larders, earning them the name "bacon" mice.

nine days they have teeth and begin eating solid food; at 10 days, the mother begins to wean them . The young are fully independent two weeks after birth. The mother is usually pregnant again by this time, and she abandons he r litter to look for a new nesting site. The young remain near the nest for several more days and then leave to find territories of their own. Right: Blind, naked, and

helpless, the newborn mice lie in the nest built by their mother.


FOOD & FEEDING The harvest mouse eats seeds, fruits, berries, and insects such as moths, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. What it eats depends on what is available during each season. Although grain is one of its main foods, the mouse compensates somewhat for any damage it may do to grain crops by eating the pests that threaten those crops. Wheat aphids, such as blackfly, secrete a honeydew that harvest mice eat. To feed on grain, the tiny harvest mouse climbs up the stalk to the seed head . It uses its prehensile (adapted for holding) tail to grip the plant stalk and to b,alance itself. Then it breaks off a seed by grasping it in its teeth and moving its head with a sideways motion. It holds the seed in its front paws, removes the husk, and gnaws into the center of the seed .

Left: Harvest

mice feed on blackberries when they are in season. They like the sweet taste of the fruit. Below: A

harvest mouse balances on a stem, gripping the stalk with its strong, flexible tail while it feeds on grains of wheat.



Evidence that an old world harvest mouse is nearby can be found by looking closely among tall grasses and most crop fields except barley. Its nest of shredded grass and leaves is wedged between plant stems and attached to

them, usually one to two feet above the ground. The nest is well hidden in summer when the vegetation is lush, but it is easier to spot in late fall and early winter when the plants lose thei r leaves.


I i__ 1

"'""~~-----------------------. . . ORDER ~ /nsectivara


. . . FAMILY ~ To/pidoe


SIZES Length: 4-6 in . Weight: About 4 oz. Males are heavier than females. BREEDING Sexual maturity: About 10 months. Mating: March-May. Gestation: 30 days. No. in litter: 2-7; average 4. LIFESTYLE Habit: Solitary, except in breeding season . Diet: Mainly earthworms. Also insect larvae and small invertebrates. lifespan: Up to 3 years. RELATED SPECIES There are 29 species of mole, desman, and shrew-mole, including Russian desman, Desmona maschoto, star-nosed mole, Candy/ura cristoto, found in North America, and Mediterranean mole, To/po caeca.


Range of the European mole.

DISTRIBUTION Throughout Europe including Great Britain (but not Ireland), and in northwestern Asia. CONSERVATION Regarded as a pest in cultivated areas. Where they cause damage to lawns and pastures, they are poisoned to control their numbers.

MOLEHILLS &: MOLE FEATURES The mole's cylindrically shaped body is covered with very short fur that aids its passage and helps prevent friction as it through the vertical and horizontal tunnel system.


i Although it is seldom seen, the velvety-coated mole is one of the best-known small mammals. Living almost entirely underground, surface molehills are the only tell-tale signs of its presence. ©MCMXCI IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM


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Most common in grassland and pasture, European moles are found at sea level and at

Moles have an exceptionally short breeding season; the male goes to the female's tunnel, where mating takes place. He then leaves the female and she raises the young alone. Birth takes place from April to June, and the young are born in

high altitudes in almost every type of soil. But they avoid areas where the soil is very rocky, waterlogged, or acidic. They are well adapted for their underground life.

left: The usual mole litter has four young. Each is born naked and will not grow fur for 14 days. The young leave the nest ~ at 35 days.

BREEDING a special nest chamber dug by the female. Naked at birth, the young develop rapidly, feeding on their mother's milk. They are covered with fur after 14 days and are ready to leave the nest after 35 days.

_ ~'\1!~~'';'(1 cL

~ FOOD &: FEEDING Earthworms are the mole's staple food, although it also eats large quantities of insect larvae and slugs. It locates food by traveling along its tunnels and feeding on whatever worms or insects it finds. A mole requires a very large intake of food, eating half of its body weight in food every day. During the fall and winter, when earthworms are plentiful, the mole catches them, bites off their heads, and pushes them into the ground to eat

DID YOU KNOW? and is able to sense minute vibrations in the soil around it. Its snout is covered by

thousands of tiny hairs that transmit information about its surroundings. left: The


mole's incisors, or cutting teeth, are small but sharp. Its chewing teeth are of variable sizes. Most feeding occurs underground, and worms form the largest part of its diet.

~....~IiJI~.f~~ "--- later. 3l

The mole does not have a


good sense of smell, nor can it


extremely sensitive to touch

I stumbled on a molehill and

~ hear very well. Instead, it is

~~au~~r;.~~:·~w~t~~~3 · J ----'


~ HABITS Moles are active during the day and night, digging their tunnels and searching for food. Mole tunnels vary in depth from just below the surface to 28 inches beneath the ground. When moles dig close to the surface, they make piles of dirt called molehills. The tunnels must be located in suitable sites to avoid flooding, as young moles often drown during heavy rain. Each mole occupies its own network of underground

passages that extend 100 to 165 feet. Moles spend four hours at a time looking for food in their tunnels, after which they spend an equal amount of time resting. The territories of several moles may overlap slightly, but the moles will avoid each other unless it is breeding season. Some scientists believe that moles mark their tunnels with ~ scent from their bellies as they travel along underground.




• Moles will avoid very wet ground when possible, yet they are strong swimmers. They can also climb . • When moles are feeding entirely on earthworms, they do not need to drink because earthworms consist of 85 percent water. • A mole's skin is more sensitive to touch than that of any other mammal. • Moles make various noises, including squeaks and purrs. • In 1702, the King of England, William of Orange, was killed when his horse threw him.

Moles have long claws on each forefoot for digging

(far left, top) and short, strong "arms." The hind feet

(far left, bottom) press against the tunnel sides when digging. Above ground, it moves using the hind feet and inside edges of the forefeet.


The presence of moles can be confirmed by their tell-tale molehills. The molehills are mounds of fresh earth, up to a foot in diameter. Sometimes a mole will come out of its tunnel for a few seconds. In hot, dry summer weather, moles are sometimes seen on the surface for extended periods, forced above ground to look for water. In very dry weather, they can die of dehydration .





FAMILY Ursidae


GENUS &. SPECIES Ursus arctos horribilis

Standing height: Average 6 ft. Weight: Varies from 200-650 lb. according to location. BREEDING Sexual maturity: Males, 4 years. Females, 3 years. Mating: June. Gestation: 180-250 days. No. of young: Usually 2. LIFESTYLE Habit: Solitary, except during mating season . Diet: Wide variety of fruit, berries,

Range of the grizzly bear.

bulbs, tubers, and nuts; also insects and grubs, honey, fish, rodents,


and lizards.

The wild grizzly is found only in Canada, Alaska, and reserves

Lifespan: Maximum 30 years. RELATED SPECIES The grizzly is a subspecies of the

in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Washington . The largest United States population is in Yellowstone National Park. CONSERVATION

European and Asian brown bear.

Once widespread throughout North America, the grizzly was

There are 5 other closely related

wiped out by hunting and habitat disturbance. It was listed

species, including black and polar

as an endangered species in 1975 and is now protected.


FEATURES OF THE GRIZZLY A grizzly cub's length at birth measures only one tenth of its mother's length. (The average human baby measures about one third of its adult height.)

Its paws are broad and flat, with long claws that cannot be drawn back. The grizzly uses its front paws as clubs and to catch fish. One blow from a grizzly's paw can kill an animal of equal size .

The grizzly bear takes its name from the long, silver-tipped hairs on its back and shoulders. They give its coat a grizzled appearance. The grizzly is the fiercest and most aggressive of all bears.



0160200091 PACKET 9

~ FOOD Ex HUNTING The grizzly is an omnivore, which means it is equally satisfied by both vegetable and animal matter. Its diet includes fruits, berries, nuts, roots, fish, rodents, and occasionally other mammals. It even eats carrion (dead flesh), which it can smell from as far as 18 miles away. The grizzly's teeth have become modified over the centuries to suit its varied diet. When a grizzly kills a large animal, such as caribou, it

The grizzly bear, found only in North America, is a subspecies of the more widespread brown bear. It leads an almost solitary existence in

wild mountains and thick forests.

~ HABITS In its natural home the grizzly has no enemies or predators. It is not especially territorial and will tolerate other grizzlies. The grizzly rarely fights, but when it does it usually wins. Most fights occur during the mating season or when a sow (adult female) must defend her cubs from attack. Grizzlies forage for food in the spring and summer. They feed heavily in the fall to build reserves for their winter sleep. Most grizzlies move into their dens when the ground is covered with snow and stay there until spring . The bears


usually dig their dens in the fall. They fall into a torpor (deep sleep) during cold weather, similar to hibernation. On warm, sunny days, however, they awaken and search for food . Male and female grizzlies without cubs generally emerge first, but the timing depends on climate and on the individual bear. After they leave their dens in the spring, the grizzlies need food. They will feed near their dens and return to them at night until the weather is milder.

DID YOU KNOW? • Fossil records show that the first bears appeared in Europe about 13 million years ago. • An estimated 50,000 grizzlies still live in Canada and Alaska, but there are less than 1,000 in the rest of

North America. • The phrase "licked into shape" comes from an old belief that bears were born so soft and shapeless that their mothers had to lick them into the shape of a bear.

Above and


Male grizzlies attract mates by making low snorts and nibbling the females' backs and necks. Although mating occurs in June, the fertilized eggs are not implanted into the womb until fall. This gives the pregnant sow time to feed and store food for herself and her cubs. Gestation takes 180 to 250 days, and birth occurs in the den during the winter. The newborn cubs are blind, toothless, and almost hairless. They are 8 inches long and weigh between

~~i&~~•.:i~~~~ chooses one that is young, weakened, or wounded. The

1-1' /2pounds. The cubs remain in the den with their mother until spring, feeding on her rich milk. In April or May the mother takes the cubs out and teaches them to forage and hunt. They stay with her during the first winter after birth . In the second year they may stay with their mother or share dens with other young bears.

Right: In spite of their mother's care, many young grizzlies die, often from attacks by mature bears.

right: Bears living near rivers become skilled at catching the salmon that swim upstream to their spawning grounds. They will seize leaping fish and eat them on a nearby rock.

kill can last a sow and her cubs for four or five days. The mother hides the carcass from other animals between feeding times. Grizzlies may also dig out smaller prey, such as ground squirrels, with their long, sharp claws . Grizzlies that live near rivers are skillful at catching fish . Sometimes the bear stands close to the bank and flips salmon out of the water with its paw. Or it may wait for a salmon to swim past and then dive in and break its back by pinning it to the riverbed .

CARD 69 ]








Cuon a/pinus

KEY FACTS SIZES Length: Head and body, 3-4 ft. Tail, about 1 ft . Shoulder height: About 11/2 ft. Weight: Up to 40 lb. BREEDING Mating: Usually winter. Gestation: About 60 days. No. of young: 2-6 . LIFESTYLE Habit: Solitary and nocturnal. Call: Whine, yelp, chatter, howl, whistle, and hiss: Diet: Hoofed mammals, .small mammals, and birds.

RELATED SPECIES Some of the southern animals of the genus Cuon grouped in species primoevus, sumatrensis, dukhunensis, ruti/ans, or javanicus .

Range of the dhole.

DISTRIBUTION Southeast Asia from India to Indonesia; parts of the Soviet Union, Ch ina, and Ko rea . CONSERVATION Depletion of its prey makes the dhole vulnerable throughout much of its range. Th e dhole is killed in areas where it preys on herds of deer.

FEATURES OF THE DHOLE Tail: Bushy, like a fox's tail , almost touching the ground . Darker than the body, with a black, brown, or white tip.

Hair: Upper parts bright red . Top of head , neck, and shoulders duller, with yellow-brown tint. Shorter and brighter in southern range; thick woolly undercoat in north. Underparts lighter.

The dhole is an efficient hunter. Like many other wild dogs it hunts in packs and is capable of killing an animal the size of a buffalo by steadily wearing its victim down. ©MCMXCI IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM


0160200191 PACKET 19

~ FOOD & HUNTING The dhole preys on hoofed mammals. In India it eats deer, wild pig, buffalo, and wild goats; in southeast Asia it feeds on deer, gaur, and banteng; and in Siberia it eats deer, wild sheep, and caribou. The dhole is a tireless hunter. It tracks its prey at a steady trot for several miles. When the prey is exhausted, the chase is over, and the dhole makes an easy kill. Although one dhole can overtake a deer without

assistance, large animals such as the Indian buffalo require a highly organized pack of dholes. Then, some of them distract the prey by biting its head while others attack its flanks and belly. When prey is migratory, the dhole migrates too . In Siberia, dholes follow the caribou . They both live high in the Sayan mountains during the summer and move down to the lowlands in the winter. Above: The females of the pack give birth at different times. Other adults help to rear the pups. They bring food to the den and regurgitate it for the pups. They also help protect them from predators.

Left: The dhole uses its highly developed sense of smell to hunt.

Below: Dholes hunt in packs to kill large prey.

The dhole is also known as the Indian wild dog. It is a social animal that lives in packs, cooperating to hunt and rear young. Despite its ferocity as a hunter, the dhole is a shy animal that keeps away from humans.

~ HABITS The dhole prefers to live in forested, mountainous country . In the parts of its range with no forest, such as Tibet, it lives on the high plains. The dhole lives in a wider variety of climates than any other canid (genus Canidae)-from freezing cold to tropical heat. Packs of dholes can be made

up of one family or several families banded together. Before prey became scarce, the dhole migrated only when its prey did. But in recent years the dhole's territory has expanded,' since increasingly smaller food supplies have forced it to move farther afield .

~ BREEDING In its southern range the dhole has no set breeding season. Further north, breeding usually takes place in late winter, with pups born from February to April. During the breeding season the female makes her den in a cave, a crevice, or a burrow. She often shares it with other females. When she comes into heat, the male pursues her until they mate. The pups are born about 60 days later, blind and fluffy. They grow

DID YOU KNOW? fast, but their eyes do not open for two weeks. After a month the pups start being weaned, and they

begin to chew on small bits of meat. Six weeks later they become more independent.

• According to legend, the dhole uses its urine to blind its prey temporarily, making it easier to catch . • A male dhole once escaped from its pen in the Moscow zoo by leaping a series of ditches and fences 20 feet long and seven feet high . • One of the dhole's calls is a whistle . Indian hunters imitate this sound to attract t he animals to them .



SIZES Length: Up to 3 ft., including tail. Height: 12 in. to shoulder . Weight: 18-35 lb. Male heavier than female.

'\ . . . ORDER "IIIIIIIIIII Carnivora

FAMILY Mustelidae

'y,. ~ f;>/'?

~ .

BREEDING Sexual maturity: Not known. Mating: Not known. Gestation: 6-7 months. Litter size: 1-2 young .

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