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Scott's Marvelous Mammals

   

 


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I picked out some of my favorite animals (one for each letter, except X because I couldn't find one).  You can read a little about each animal (where it lives and some cool facts about it), then click on the name to see an awesome picture.

Use your <Back> button to come back here once you are done looking at the photo.

Arctic Fox

Found across the polar regions of mainland North America and Northern Scandinavia, east to Siberia and northward almost to the North Pole.
Cool Facts:
   Enormous resistance to cold and can survive temperatures below  minus 94 degrees Farenheit.  Nearly 70% of its winter coat is made up of a thick, insulating undercoat.

 

Black Rhinoceros

Now reduced to pockets in its former range throughout Africa south of Sahara.  Prefers scrub or wooded terrain to open grassland or humid forests.
Cool Facts:   Fearsome horn acts as a deterrent and as a weapon that can toss a lion into the air.  Surprising agile and capable of charging at speeds reaching 30 mph.  Bulk and thick skin protects it from predators; baby rhinos can fall victim to hyenas and lions.

 

Capybara

Found in Panama, Central America and to the east of the Andes from Colombia and the Guianas south of Uruguay and northeastern Argentina.
Cool Facts:   Largest rodent in the world; full grown it is about the size of a large dog.  Its only defense against predators is to dive in the water.  Unlike most rodents it is very vocal, purring while it eats and barking at any sign of danger.

 

Dwarf Mongoose

Found in sub-Saharan Africa from southern Ethiopia to northeastern South Africa.  Also through Zambia west to Angola and northern Namibia.
Cool Facts:   Miniature hunter of insects and small animals on the grassy plains of Africa.  Always found in packs, it has an unusual social life in which only one pair breeds.  Wary and alert, pack members take turns keeping watch for danger while others feed.

 

European Wildcat

European sub-species are found in highly localized populations throughout Europe.  The other two sub-species are found in western Asia and Africa.
Cool Facts:   A small but fierce predator, it is extremely shy and rarely seen by humans.  It leads a solitary life in a den by day and hunts at night with its sharp eyesight.

 

Fennec Fox

Found across desert areas of North Africa and the Middle East -- from Morocco in the west, east across the Sahara desert to arid parts of the Middle East as far east as the Arabian Desert.
Cool Facts:   Dense, pale coat keeps the fox warm during cold desert nights and provides camouflage.  Huge ears are larger in relation to its size than any other fox.  These big ears help keep it cool by radiating extra body heat.

 

Giant Panda

Found only in the Xifan Mountains of Sichuan province (southwest China) preferring steep terrain (from semi-tropical bamboo forests to snowy mountains);  More than half of the wild Pandas are in preserves.
Cool Facts:   Newborn cub is only 1/900th of its mother's weight.  It spends almost all its time eating to sustain itself on nutritionally poor bamboo leaves and stems.  Acknowledged as a National Treasure by the Chinese government in 1949, it is now an endangered species and is the symbol for the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

 

Huon Tree Kangaroo

Found on Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea and on nearby Umboi Island, north of Australia; lives in mountainous rainforests at altitudes ranging from 2,970 feet to 9,900 feet above sea level.
Cool Facts:   A highly agile kangaroo that is as much at home in the trees as on the ground.  One of the most brilliantly colored of all marsupials.  Able to leap more than 33 feet between trees and 66 feet to the ground without injury.  Female carries young through the trees in the pouch on her belly.

 

Indian Flying Fox

Found over much of the Indian sub-continent through Burma to Malay peninsula; also found on the offshore island groups of the Indian Ocean.
Cool Facts:   Feeds on juice from tree fruit, flying over 30 miles each night to find a ripe crop.  Often flies along rivers, using the clear, open channels as highways into the forest.  Uses soft wing membranes to protect itself from wind and rain and regulate its body temperature.

 

Jaguar

Formerly ranged from the southern U.S. to northern Argentina;  now extremely rare in most regions, probably extinct in Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the southwestern U.S.
Cool Facts:   Looks like a heavy weight leopard.  Stalks and ambushes a range of animals by night, killing its prey with a bite to the throat.  Coat pattern provides excellent camouflage.

 

Kit Fox

Found in the western U.S. from Oregon and Idaho south to parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.  Also in Baja California, northern central Mexico.
Cool Facts:
  Smallest fox in North America and second smallest in the world (only the Fennec fox in Africa is smaller).  It zigzags at amazing speeds to avoid predators.

 

Lesser Bush Baby

Found across Africa south of the Sahara, in wooded areas bordering the rainforest (Senegal east to northern Ethiopia) and from Somali and Mozambique south to Angola and Tanzania.
Cool Facts:
  Huge eyes and large ears to help it detect small prey animals in the treetops at night.  Can spot and grab a moth in flight in total darkness.

 

Mandrill

Found only in tropical, closed canopy rainforests in Central Africa; from the banks of the Sanaga River in Cameroon, south to Equatorial Guinea, Gabo and Congo.
Cool Facts:
  Male has bright blue and scarlet ridges on his nasal bones and on his back end to attract females.

 

Northern Lynx

Found across most of Canada, Alaska and northern U.S.; also some in parts of Europe, across northern and central Asia to Siberia and south as far as Tibet.
Cool Facts:
  Ear tufts, furry jowls and large, hairy feet.  Eats a wide range of prey and is capable of killing an animal as large as a deer.  Solitary and thrives in the cold.

 

Ocelot

Found from U.S. - Mexico border through Central America, across most of tropical South America (except central Andes) to northern Uruguay and northeastern Argentina.
Cool Facts:
  Largest of several small cats living in the forests of South and Central America.  Long hunted by fur traders, it is now on the CITES endangered species list.

 

Polar Bear

Found off the northern coasts of North America, northern Russia east to Siberia, Greenland and other Artic Ocean islands, to the southern limits of the pack ice.
Cool Facts:
  Dense, waterproof coat helps it survive the coldest temperatures on earth.  Large, powerful body helps it retain heat.  Preys on seals, which it kills with a bite or blow to the head.

 

Quoll

Once widespread across Australia, various species are now confined to northern, eastern and southwestern areas.  Also found on Tasmania and Papua New Guinea.
Cool Facts:
  Carnivorous marsupial that lives in a variety of habitats including the suburbs of Australian cities.  Female produces more than 20 young, but can suckle less than half that number.  Emerges from a daytime shelter to ambush or stalk prey either on the ground or in trees.

 

Red Panda

In Nepal, northern Burma, Bhutan, southern Tibet and the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China; may still occur in the Indian states of Sikkim and Assam.
Cool Facts:
  Lives a solitary life high in the Himilayas.  Soft, dense fur protects it in the cold winter months.  An agile climber, it moves quickly through trees.  It was once thought to be in the same family as the Giant Panda it is named for, but this is not true.  The Giant Panda is in the bear family and the Red Panda is in the raccoon family.

 

Sugar Glider

Found in coastal northern and eastern Australia, New Guinea and surrounding islands; European settlers introduced the sugar glider to Tasmania in the early part of the 19th century.
Cool Facts:
  Glides on flight membranes from tree to tree to feed on nectar from flowers.  It steers itself while gliding by adjusting the tension in its flight membranes and using its long tail like a rudder on a boat.

 

Tarsiers

The 4 species of tarsier are found on many of the islands of Southeast Asia, including Borneo, southern Sumatra, Java, and the southeastern Philippines, Sulawesi and a number of small islands in between.
Cool Facts:
  Tiny nocturnal predators that have enormous eyes and a head that can turn all the way around to see behind it.  They live in trees and can leap up to 20 feet between branches (30 times their own body length).  They are "living fossils" because they have barely changed since they first appeared about 45 million years ago.


Vicuna

Found in South America, along the Andes mountain range from southern Peru to northern Chile and into nearby parts of Bolivia and Argentina.
Cool Facts:
  A wild relative of the domestic llama that lives on dry, grassy plateaus.  It travels daily between defined resting and feeding areas.  Demand for its fleecy, soft fur nearly caused its extinction and it is now a protected species.

 

Wolverine

Found in northern North America, the northern sub-Arctic islands and northern Eurasia from Scandinavia east to Siberia; also in Greenland.
Cool Facts:
  Nocturnal, except during the the long days of the Arctic summer, when it comes out for brief periods during the day.  Dense, warm fur allows it to hunt during the sub-zero Arctic nights.  Tracks prey by using sense of smell.  Has large, wide feet that act like snow shoes.  Known for being ferocious, it can kill caribou ten times its weight.

 

Yak Found in the high plateaus and mountains of Central Asia, where the climate is cold and dry.
Cool Facts:  The wild yak is considered an endangered species.  It has a thick coat of long, blackish-brown hair.  Males can be almost 7 feet high at the shoulder and can weigh up to 2,200 pounds.  The back of the Yak is humped at the shoulders.  The horns are long and the tail is long-haired and bushy.

 

Zebra

There are 3 zebra species that all are found in Africa:  Plains Zebra, Grevy's Zebra and Mountain Zebra.  This picture is of the Plains Zebra which lives in eastern Africa, from the semi-deserts of Somalia in the north, through the grasslands of East Africa, to Southern Africa.
Cool Facts:
  Can gallop at nearly 42 mph.  The striped pattern is like a human fingerprint -- no two are exactly the same.  The stripes help it blend in with the herd so it is hard for predators to select one zebra to attack.  They live in family groups led by a stallion.

 

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