Saturday, December 25, 2010

African Animals - African Lions

Pictures of African Animals African Warthog Pictures and African Warthog Informations

Snow Bunny - Wild Animals

Hippo facts


Polar Bear
Homeland: South America, on the coasts of Chile and Argentina, and the Falkland Islands.

Eats: Fish, squid, and crustaceans

Fun facts:

• Many people think we penguins live way up by the North Pole, but actually, all penguins live in the southern hemisphere. (Unless, of course, we live in a zoo.) Some penguins, like Magellanic penguins, live in places where it’s not always all that cold. In fact, where I live in South America, summers can get downright warm! (The only way Nanuk and I know each other is from being penpals. He lives way at the top of the earth, and I live down toward the bottom.)

• Penguins have wings, yet we can’t fly. But like other birds who can fly, we have feathers. Lots and lots of feathers! I’ve got more than 70 feathers per square inch – far more than the average bird. My feathers are covered with a natural oil to keep me waterproof and warm.

• If you watched Peggy and me swim on the video to get to our little hike, you’ll see that we swim so fast we almost fly through the water. A penguin can swim at speeds of 15 miles per hour – that’s four times as fast as the speediest human swimmer!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Keoladeo Ghana National Park - [ Rajasthan ]

keolado_ghana.jpgJust 176 km. from Delhi is a very special wilderness - the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, one of the finest water-bird sanctuaries in the world. The 28.73 sq. km. lake and wetland was artificially created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in the l9th century. By building small dykes and dams and diverting water from an irrigation canal, he converted this low lying area into a fine wild fowl shooting preserve. In a few years, the new wetland surrounded by marginal forests was able to support thousands of water-birds. Commonly referred to as Bharatpur, the Park is a delight for bird watchers. Over 300 species of birds are found here and raised paths, camouflaged by babul trees and undergrowth make viewing easy.
A quiet ride by boat in the early hours of the morning is also an unforgettable experience. There are mixed heronries on the half submerged babul trees and the cacophony is unbelievable as painted storks, open bills, spoon bills, egrets, cormorants, white ibis and multitudes of others, tend their young. Jacanas with their iridescent colours and elegant tail feathers and purple moorhen can be seen delicately treading over the floating vegetation. While harriers and fishing eagles circle overhead in search of prey, the pied kingfisher hovers dramatically over the water in a flurry of wings. There are varieties of storks and cranes and the local sarus crane is elegant in a livery of grey and red.
Every year Bharatpur waits with bated breath for the arrival of the Siberian cranes. There are only two wintering places for this rare species one in Iran and the other Bharatpur and these beautiful birds with their distinctive red beaks and facial patches, fly over 6400 km from their summer retreats in Siberia, to get to them. In 1996, there was great jubilation as a couple of Siberian cranes with young one made an appearance in Bharatpur after a lapse of three years. The forests around the lake at Bharatpur harbour the sambar, chital, nilgai, jackal, hyena, fox, mongoose and porcupine. Occasionally, a fishing cat can be seen scooping its prey from the water's edge. Pythons are also commonly seen sunning themselves along the edge of the paths or at Python Point.

General Information

Best time to visit :
Throughout the year.

Breeding season:

The Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus)

When you come across an elephant in the wild, or otherwise, you won’t need a book to tell you that it is the largest land mammal walking the earth in our era. Their height, weight and strength are almost legendary. Elephants were used by Asian Empires to gain battle superiority. The Kings used them as carriers of nobility. The common man used them for tasks requiring massive feats of strength, like transporting timber.

The elephant was, and to some extent still is, an integral part of this area, especially in India. Elephants have been around for almost 40 million years now. Although, their appearance has evolved to almost unrecognizable proportions in order to adapt to changing environment conditions. The original ancestor of the elephant, known to man, was the Moeritherium. It stood only around 3.5 feet tall and did not have a pronounced trunk like the one we immediately associate with the mention of an elephant. Due to migrations from one area, caused by adverse conditions created there, to other areas with more suitable but different conditions made the ancestors evolve over this long period of time to what we now recognize as the modern day elephant. In this transition stage, the more well known intermediate ascendants after the "little Moeritherium", were the mammoths and the mastodons. The main changes brought about in these species by evolution was in the over all size, the development of the proboscis (or trunk) and the increase in length of the seconds pair of teeth on the upper jaw (tusks). At this point of time, the elephant species is represented by two kinds. The Asian and The African.

The Asian and the African elephants are similar in general appearance but there are a few definite differences. A list of these differences is given below:

Asian Elephant

African Elephant


Average 2 feet shorter (9-10 feet)

Average 2 feet taller (11-12 feet)


Average 2000 pounds lighter

Average 2000 pounds heavier

(can weigh over 8 tons)


Rounded with slight hump in the middle

Have a dip in the middle



Larger and in the shape of the African continent. A pair can weigh up to 110 pounds


Consists of two domes

Consists of a single dome


Developed only in males. Female tusks too small to be visible outside

Developed in both male and female


Shorter and stockier



Has one "finger" at the tip

Has two "fingers" at the tip


Claimed to be stronger

Not as powerful as the Asian elephant, despite it’s larger size.

General Appearance

Shorter and rounder

Taller and slimmer

The elephant is unique in a couple of characteristics. It is an animal that lives longer in captivity and is also the only domesticated animal, which preferably is taken from the wild for sounder temperament. The average life expectancy of an elephant in the wild is 60 – 70 years, whereas it is around 70 – 80 years in domesticated ones. In the final stages of it’s life, the longevity of it’s life depends on it’s teeth. Elephants go through 6 sets of molars during their life span. The first set of teeth is pushed out by the new set at the age of 2. It is the fourth set at the age of 20 – 25 that is their first set of adult teeth. They get their last set around the age of 60. Once this last set wears out and the elephant can no longer eat, it dies.

Domesticating elephants is an expensive proposition because an elephant in the wild eats approximately 300 pounds of vegetation a day. It’s domesticated counter parts are known to eat even more. It consumes a whopping average of 300 liters of water a day, taking in approximately 60 to 80 liters in a single drink.

Another unique and amusing characteristic of elephants is that, despite their huge size and immense weight, their walk can be compared to the dance of a ballerina. Believe it or not but elephants walk on their toes! The heels are elevated with the five digits coming down at a steep angle. Under the heel is a larger cushioning pad of gristle, which other than relieving stress on the bones also allows the animal to be extremely surefooted and silent while walking. The entire "foot" is enclosed in a cylindrical shape and the external toenails are only superficial. It is possible for the number of nails to be different from the number of toes. It can also attain speeds up to 40 kilometers per hour on these feet.

The most prominent evolvement in elephants, except the increase in size, is the development of the trunk. The trunk other than being the nose is also the upper lip of the elephant’s mouth. The trunk is a highly efficient tool that consists of 40,000 muscles and tendons having the strength to tear down a tree and yet be nimble enough to pick up a matchbox. The "fingers" at the tip of the trunks enables them to grasp objects they need to left or break off. These trunks also make excellent snorkels for elephants while crossing deep rivers and lakes. Elephants are excellent swimmers. The other evolvement of a pair of teeth into tusks enables it to dig for water, roots, etc other than using them as weapons in a conflict.

The maximum weight is concentrated in the head
The tusks can grow extremely long and heavy. The record length of an African elephant’s tusks extended up to 11 feet 5.5 inches. The heaviest tusks recorded to date, also on an African elephant, weighed a total of 465 pounds. The left tusk was 10 feet 2.5 inches and weighed 240 pounds. The right tusk measured 10 feet 5.5 inches and weighed 225 pounds. The largest and tallest elephant records also come from Africa. The tallest measured 14.5 feet at the shoulders while in a reclining position and weighed 8.8 tons.

The largest measured 13.8 feet but weighed in at 13.5 tons! Some Asian elephants are close to these tusk dimensions but are definitely smaller and shorter by quite a margin.

Due to the size and strength of elephants, they obviously have very few natural enemies. There have been recorded instances of altercations between elephants and tigers but these are rare. One such famous incident is written about in Jim Corbett’s memoirs where two tigers took on the wrath of a tusker in a duel that lasted for many hours through the night. Another more recent incident is supposed to have occurred in Corbett National Park in India, where a crazed female elephant took on a fight with a tiger that had just killed it’s baby. The battle quite uniquely and amazingly ended in the death of all three animals. This lack of natural enemies is good for the elephant because of it’s life cycle. An elephant bears a child only once in approximately 3 – 4 years, although it can conceive from the age of 10 – 15 years till 60. The gestation period also is an extremely long 19 – 21 months, a record in itself. Due to these various factors, there can only be a very slow increase in the overall population, even if the species may be flourishing. The Asian elephant does have one advantage over it’s African cousin while facing one of it’s most dangerous enemies, Man. The absence of tusks of any consequence in female Asian elephants ensures that they are not targets for ivory poachers.

The presence of elephants in an area is a clear indication that the ecosystem there is flourishing. Due to their voracious appetites and large requirement of water to quench their thirst and also to bathe, elephants cannot live in desolate barren areas. Although an exception to this are some elephants living in desert surroundings close to the Skeleton Coast in Africa.

As elephants need to consume a lot of vegetation to satisfy their diet for a day, they are eating through most of it. They have a pretty fixed daily routine, which begins a couple of hours before sunrise. They begin by feeding at this time until the day begins to warm up, which is when they head for a shaded resting place. Elephants rest in a standing position or while reclining on their side. Once the heat of the day has passed by, they move out from these sheltered areas once again to feed. This meal continues till around midnight after which they move back to catch a few hours of sleep before repeating the cycle again.

Elephants live in a matriarchal society. The head of the family is usually an old female who is normally also the largest. Families usually consist of 3 –10 individuals, although many families come together during migrations to form very large herds. These herds sometimes number more than 60 animals. The families consist of cousin sisters, nieces, daughters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers and sub-adult males. The young are looked after and cared for by all the mature females and not just by the mother. The sub-adult males are expelled from the family when they are nearing adulthood. This is probably nature’s way of preventing inbreeding to keep a healthy race going. These expelled males mostly become solitary wanderers, although they have occasionally been known to congregate and form bachelor groups. These bull elephants are known for their more volatile temperament, especially at a time when a secretion is produced from their temporal glands. These are called "musth". In this phase, they have been known to cause a lot of damage to life and property. During the female mating cycle, bachelors join up with families and herds. They stay with them until the female’s cycle ends, which is usually a period of 10 – 15 days. During this period, face-offs and fights over females and territory are common among bulls in the same area. The breeding period is during the summer months.

Elephants make up for poor eyesight with excellent smelling and hearing powers
Elephants have poor eyesight but compensate for this with extremely good smelling and hearing powers. Their ears have another function other than hearing. This function is very similar to that of a radiator is a car. The ears are a maze of criss-crossing arteries carrying blood through them. Due to the thinner skin of the ears and the spread out surface area, they are more easily cooled, especially by fanning them.
This in turn also cools the blood passing through them, which brings down the temperature of the rest of the body. Elephants have a hide, which is more than an inch thick but is still extremely sensitive. It is to protect this skin that elephants have frequent baths, sometimes 3 –4 in a day, and then cover themselves with an armor of mud. This armor protects them from insects, skin diseases, sunburns and skin dehydration. This also helps keep their bodies cool in the warmer months. The brain of elephants is quite well developed and, although not as legendary as some tales claim it to be, they do have a good memory. It is due to this well developed brain and intelligence that elephants taken from the wild can be trained and domesticated.

The Asian elephant is found in India, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Vietnam and Kampuchea. The total population in this area is approximately 20,000. The Indian elephant is found in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam.

In India, the elephant is a revered animal. It is a part of Indian mythology and religion. For the protection of these magnificent animals, the government set up a project in 1991 – 92 called "Project Elephant". The main aims and objectives of this project are:

To create and implement policies and strategies to compensate for the livelihood lost of craftsmen involved earlier in the now banned trade of ivory products.
To educate people about the importance of the elephant in the ecosystem and to bring back the compassionate reverence for them.
To create policies and strategies for the protection of elephants from poaching and other threats.
To protect the habitat of the elephant which is under constant stress and threat from mankind invasion.
To protect, and if required create, transitional natural corridors used by elephants between habitats during their periods of migration.

To sort out man-elephant conflicts. Especially for people living in areas close to the natural habitats of these animals.
To ensure coordination at all levels in the effort to protect elephants and their habitats.
To create infrastructure and facilities, including manpower training for the purpose of this project. These trainings include specialisation required in the fields of veterinary, translocation and tranquilising methods.
To improve the welfare of elephants in domestic use.
In general, to ensure the survival and protection of the presently healthy population of Indian elephants.

The initially recognised reserves under this project :-

Silent Valley,
and Rajaji.

Buxa Tiger Reserve - [West Bengal]

Buxa Tiger Reserve was set up in the year of 1982-83 at the north eastern corner of West Bengal bordering Bhutan and Assam. This picturesque reserve with its prodigious Terai, Bhabar as well as Hilly landscape, is dissected by numerous rivulets. Its declared a National Park in January 1992.
The veritable flora and fauna of these wet forests having an annual downpour exceeding 5000 mm, attracts tourists and nature lovers every year. This part of the country is characterized by its high degree of plant & animal bio-diversity where 60% species are endemic to the area. The Generic diversity of mammals is second highest among all the tiger reserves of India. Astonishing bio-diversity of animals comprise of a reach avifauna of more than 230 identified species, 67 mammals (out of which 21 are endangered), 36 species of reptiles (10 numbers are endangered). Apart from Bengal Tiger the flagship species, there are plenty of Leopard, Fishing Cat, Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Indian Civet, Palm Civet, Wild Dogs, Malayan Giant Squirrels, Mangooses, Asian Elephant, Gaur, Small Claws Otter, Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Wild Buffalo, 3 varieties of Pythons, Monitor Lizard and a host of land tortoises. A number of animals like Chinese Pangolin. Regal Python (reticulate) Clouded Leopard are endemic to the region.
The Avifauna is rich in both endemic as well as migratory species. The swift rivers of Rydak and Jainti are visited by Trans Himalayan Migratory Goosanders, the beautiful Ibis Bill, resident Fork-tails, varieties of Red-stars, Wag-tails, the Narathali Lake is visited by migratory Common Teal, Gargani Teal, Large Whistling Teal, White Eyed Poachared etc. The Hornbills including greater Pied Hornbill abound the area. One of the rarest bird of India the Black-necked Crane has been sighted in the Reserve during the early winter. The migratory beautiful Black Stork is a visitor of the area. The monsoon ends and beautiful Minivets, Sultan tits arrive, during summer rare Ashyminivet is also sighted.

Wildlife Central

Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary: Madhya Pradesh

Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1975 Under Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and bio geographical province 4.8.4 (Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest). Moreover the area of the sanctuary is 551.55 Mainly hilly state. Altitude ranges from 200-1000m.Mainly tropical Sal forests with other species at higher altitudes are the vegetation of this region.

Fauna: Leopard, Gaur, Chital, Wild Bear, Tiger, Leopard, Striped Hyaena, Jackal Sloth Bear, Indian Wild Dog, Chital Axis, Sambar, Nilgai, Four-Horned Antelope, Chinkara (mountain gazelle) Gazella, Blackbuck, Wild Boar And Others.

SOUTH AFRICA Cheetah and Kruger Park Adventure

This amazing 14-day trip combines the best of Africa!  Experience hands on conservation work in a Cheetah rehabilitation centre, journey through the wilds of the African savannah, assist researchers with wildlife monitoring and work with local African communities. This trip has it all!
In the Race Against Extinction program, you will help in daily care of many of the animals found at this 38 year old wildlife establishment as well as assisting with maintenance and educational activities. Animals you may encounter include cheetah, wild dog, brown hyena, serval, suni antelope, blue and red duiker and rare Egyptian vultures.  Duties will include daily care of the animals at the wildlife sanctuary, assisting in upgrading the enclosures and promoting conservation to local schools and underprivileged communities. 
The second week sees you flying across Southern African landscape to the wilds near Kruger National Park for the Conservation in Action program, where you will be based on 350 hectares of pristine bushveld at a private wildlife ranch.  The ranch is home to giraffe, wildebeest, kudu, impala, zebra, hyena, crocodiles and will soon be joined by cheetah.  The ranch is also surrounded by two large private wildlife reserves and home to the Big 5 – lions, elephants, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino.  Assist in maintenance around the property, gain conservation training in animal track identification and anti-poaching work and help with important wildlife research on neighbouring reserves.  Get up close to animals on game drives throughout Kruger National Park and appreciate the majestic beauty of the South African wilderness.  There will also be the opportunity to assist local villages and communities, giving you a first-hand experience in African culture and lifestyle.
  • Volunteer work at a Cheetah and African Wild dog research and breeding centre
  • Safari drives in open game viewing vehicle in Kruger National Park
  • Work on a wildlife ranch with many different African species
  • Work on a Big 5 Wildlife reserve
  • Local community work
There will also be opportunities to visit other local attractions and national parks (at own expense).  Accommodation is in comfortable shared facilities at the rehabilitation centre and wildlife ranch.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bison Information

Early History

American Buffalo (Bison bison) It is believed that buffalo, or bison, crossed over a land bridge that once connected the Asian and North American continents. Through the centuries buffalo slowly moved southward, eventually reaching as far south as Mexico and as far east as the Atlantic Coast, extending south to Florida. But the largest herds were found on the plains and prairies from the Rocky Mountains east to the Mississippi River, and from Great Slave Lake in Canada to Texas.

Because the great herds were nearly gone before any organized attempts were made to survey populations, we may never know just how many buffalo once roamed North America, although estimates range from 30 to 75 million. "The moving multitude..darkened the whole plains," wrote Lewis and Clark, who encountered a herd at South Dakota's White River in 1806

By 1800, the small buffalo herds east of the Mississippi River were gone. Buffalo may have been killed to protect livestock and farmlands in that region. With westward expansion of the American frontier, systematic reduction of the plains herds began around 1830, when buffalo hunting became the chief industry of the plains.

Conservation of the buffalo came slowly. In May 1894, Congress enacted a law making buffalo hunting in Yellowstone National Park illegal. Eight years later, money was appropriated to purchase 21 buffalo from private herds to build up the Yellowstone herd. With adequate protection, this herd has steadily increased until it numbers almost 4,000 animals today.

Although the buffalo's size and color, which ranges from light to dark brown, vary in different areas of the country, experts generally agree that all American buffalo belong to the same species. The differences in appearance probably result from the variety of environments in which they live.

Like their close relatives, domestic cattle and sheep, buffalo are cloven-hoofed. Both males and females have a single set of hollow, curved horns. The male buffalo, called bulls, are immense, often weighing a ton or more and standing 5 to 6 feet high at the shoulders. The huge head and great hump covered with dark brown wooly hair contrast sharply with the relatively small hips. The females, or cows, are not as massive. Despite their great size and bulkiness, buffalo have amazing mobility, speed, and agility, and are able to sprint at speeds of up to 30 mph.

In the spring, buffalo begin to shed their heavy winter coats, and soon their hair hangs in tatters. To hasten shedding and possibly to relieve their itching skin, buffalo rub against large stones and trees. By late spring, the only remaining long hairs are on the head, forelegs, and hump. To escape the torment of attacking insects, buffalo wallow in dust or sand.

Later History

Two hundred years ago, anywhere from 30 to 70 million bison, or buffalo, roamed free in North America. The aboriginal people who lived on the Great Plains relied on these wild mammals for food, clothing, and shelter. During the late 1800s, commercial hide hunters, settlers, and thrill seekers shot literally millions of bison. This killing spree brought the species to the verge of extinction and opened up the prairies for agriculture.

Since about 1900, the population of bison in North America has increased, but not to anything near its original numbers. The great free-ranging herds have disappeared. The centuries-old migratory trails that the great beasts scored across the western grasslands have given way to freeways and farms. The wild herds that remain move freely only within parks and other wildlife sanctuaries, many of which are fenced.

Distribution and population

There are two living subspecies of wild bison in North America: the plains bison Bison bison bison and the wood bison Bison bison athabascae. The map shows the bison's present, historic, and prehistoric distribution.

Two hundred years ago, the plains bison was by far the more common of the two subspecies. It was the dominant grazing animal of the interior plains of the continent, and it often occurred in large herds. A smaller population occurred east of the Mississippi.

Today, there are comparatively few plains bison. A herd of about 600 is fenced in at Elk Island National Park, 64km east of Edmonton. There are small numbers at Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan, Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, and Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. There are at least 25 herds of plains bison in national and state parks and wildlife refuges in the United States, numbering more than 14,000 animals. There are more than 140,000 in private collections and on a large number of commercial ranches in both Canada and the United States.

The wood bison has always lived to the north of its prairie cousin. In historic times its range was centered in northern Alberta and the adjacent parts of British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan. Herds made use of aspen parkland, the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the lowlands of the Peace and Slave rivers, and the coniferous forests and wetland meadows of the upper Mackenzie Valley. The wood bison was never as abundant as the plains bison, probably numbering no more than 170,000 at its peak.

In April 1994, there were approximately 3000 wood bison in Canada, most in five "free-roaming" herds, the largest of which consists of more than 2000 animals in the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary near Fort Providence, N.W.T. The source herd of 350 animals for the recovery program is at Elk Island National Park. The total population is small enough that the wood bison is considered "threatened" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

The other large free-roaming herd of bison is in Wood Buffalo National Park, where there are about 2000 animals, descendants of mixed plains and wood bison stock.


A Boar is a male pig gone wild. Adult females are known as sows. The name also applies to the wild boar that originated in Europe and formerly ranged the entire continent, northern Africa, and western Asia. The European wild boar is a different color, grayish-black and about 1.2 m (about 4 ft) long and 91 cm (36 in) high at the shoulder, with short, woolly hair interspersed with bristles forming a mane along the spine. The lower teeth grow into formidable tusks, which turn up and are sometimes 30 cm (12 in) long.

The tusks are used for defense and digging. The boar usually inhabits marshy forestland, feeding largely on roots and grain, although occasionally it kills and eats small animals. Boars travel in small groups. Size and body variation in boars is probably due to interbreeding between wild boars and domestic stock that have escaped and become wild. Wild boars have been introduced to 20 states in the United States.

Boar hunting was formerly a popular sport throughout Europe, but is now confined chiefly to central and eastern Europe, the only part of the continent where the animal is still abundant. In India a wild boar, larger than its European counterpart, is hunted by people on horseback with lances in the sport called pigsticking. Scientific classification: The wild boar belongs to the family Suidae

Cobra in India

Cobra in India
For Tour Enquiry - Contact us
Class: Reptiles
Diet: Small mammals, reptiles, amphibians
Size: Body:1.8 - 2.2 m (6 - 7 1/4 ft)
Scientific Name: Naja naja
Habitat: Rainforest, Rice fields, Cultivated land
Range: India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia
About Cobra in India
The Indian Cobra is known around the world as highly venomous snake that feeds on rodents, lizards, and frogs. As well as biting, the Indian cobra can attack or defend itself from a distance by "spitting" venom, which, if it enters the opponent's eyes, causes severe pain and damage. The snake actually forces the venom through its fangs, by exerting muscular pressure on the venom glands, so that it sprays out in twin jets for 2 m (6 1/2 ft) or more.

Behaviour of Indian Cobra
When threatened, the Indian Cobra will assume its characteristic posture. It will raise the front one-third of its body and elongate its long, flexible neck ribs and loose skin to form its distinctive hood, on which are resembled eyes. .

Status of Cobra in India
Although the Indian Cobra is not an endangered species, it has recently been hunted for its distinctive hood markings in the production of handbags. It is listed under the treaty because it closely resembles other species that are threatened and in need of protection.

Physical Characteristics of Indian Cobra
The Indian Cobra's most known characteristic features are the wide black band on the underside of the neck, and the hood marking design which shows half-rings on either side of the hood. It is a smooth-scaled snake with black eyes, a wide neck and head, and a medium-sized body. Its colouring varies from black, to dark brown, to a creamy white. The body is usually covered with a spectacled white or yellow pattern, which sometimes forms ragged bands. The Indian cobra may grow from 1.8m to 2.2m.

Those Cobras which have the single ring on the hood are found in Assam and Eastern India and spit venom like the Ringhals Cobra of South Africa which can eject a spray for a distance of more than two meters and cause severe eye pain, sometimes blindness. Keepers who attend this particular variety of Cobra sensibly wear goggles.

Most Poisonous - The King Cobra or Hamadryad
The King Cobra or Hamadryad, is the largest of all poisonous snakes. This sometimes 5 meter long, lethal creature is entirely a snake eater. It enjoys Pythons, other Cobras, and even its own species. The King is aggressive, unpredictable, and can strike without provocation. It is most intelligent. When erect it can stand up to 2 meters in height. In certain fertility rites in Burma, a woman desirous of offspring is required not only to approach the King Cobra but to plant a kiss on its mouth. If she is successful in doing so she will bear many children; if she fails, obviously none.

Natural History
The Indian cobra feeds on rodents, lizards and frogs. It bites quickly, and then waits while its venom damages the nervous system of the prey, paralyzing and often killing it. Like all snakes, N. naja swallows its prey whole. This species sometimes enters buildings in search of rodent prey. In its characteristic threat posture, the Indian cobra raises the front one-third of its body and spreads out its long, flexible neck ribs and loose skin to form a disklike hood, on the back of which there are markings resembling eyes.

Indian cobras pay more attention to their eggs than is usual in snakes. The 8 to 45 eggs (usually 12 to 20) are laid in a hollow tree, a termite mound or earth into which the snakes tunnel. The female guards the clutch throughout the incubation period, leaving them only for a short time each day to feed.

Economic Importance for Humans
The Indian Cobra eats rats and mice that carry disease and eat human food. Also, cobra venom is a potential source of medicines, including anti-cancer drugs and pain-killers.

This species is highly venomous, and its bite can be lethal. Because it hunts rodents that live around people, it is often encountered by accident, and many people die each year from N. naja bites.

The Festival of the Serpents
Nagapanchami or the Serpent Festival occurs in India generally in August after the monsoon rains. It is then that the full impact of Cobra power is manifest. Throughout the country Cobras are either brought into the villages and fed, or effigies of the snake are anointed and worshipped. Rarely has it ever been recorded that a fatality has occurred from snakebite during this occasion; the Cobras appear to sense they are being revered.

Although there may be variations in the date and in the local traditions and modes of observance, Nagapanchami is celebrated according to ancient rites. The festival continues to testify to the feelings of awe and veneration which the Cobra evokes in the minds of the population since the earliest times remembered. The Cobra is a graceful animal and appears always to carry an air of dignity and nobility. The physical charisma with which it is endowed is without doubt also one of the reasons why it, among all snakes, was chosen by the Nagas to be their totem.

Snake Charming
Snake charming is fascinating and at times mystifying. The eyes of the Cobra are hauntingly black and hypnotic; the snake is beautiful to watch when it is being worked by a skilled charmer. The hood is then spread and the markings apparent. The colours of the hood merge from black to brown to beige and, when framed against the sunlight, it appears almost translucent. No visit to India is complete without experiencing it.

But the true essence of the art is not observed by the tourist. There are initiates of the Shiva cult who handle Cobras without any danger of being bitten. The ‘Commercial’ snakes, generally the Spectacled Cobra, have either had their fangs extracted or the poison sacs removed. In general their lifespan is shortened due to mouth rot. The performance, nevertheless, is spectacular and colourful.

Geographic Range
Palearctic, Oriental: Pakistan, India (throughout most of the country),

Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, possibly E. Afghanistan.

Indian Peacock

The male Indian Peafowl, commonly known as the peacock, is one of the most recognizable birds in the world. These large, brightly colored birds have a distinctive crest and an unmistakable ornamental train. The train (1.4-1.6 meters in length) accounts for more than 60% of their total body length (2.3 meters). Combined with a large wingspan (1.4-1.6 meters), this train makes the male peafowl one of the largest flying birds in the world. The train is formed by 100-150 highly specialized uppertail-coverts. Each of these feathers sports an ornamental ocellus, or eye-spot, and has long disintegrated barbs, giving the feathers a loose, fluffy appearance. When displaying to a female, the peacock erects this train into a spectacular fan, displaying the ocelli to their best advantage.
The more subtly colored female Peafowl is mostly brown above with a white belly. Her ornamentation is limited to a prominent crest and green neck feathers. Though females (2.75-4.0 kg) weigh nearly as much as the males (4.0-6.0 kg), they rarely exceed 1.0 meter in total body length.

National Insignia
The Indian peacock,Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), the national bird of India, is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck.

The peacock is widely found in the Indian sub-continent from the south and east of the Indus river, Jammu and Kashmir, east Assam, south Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula. The peacock enjoys immense protection. It is fully protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection) Act, 1972.

Distribution and Habitat
The Indian Peafowl occurs from eastern Pakistan through India, south from the Himalayas to Sri Lanka. Though once common in Bangladesh, it may now be extinct in that country. Its highly ornamental appearance motivated early seafarers to transplant the peafowl to their homelands in other parts of the western world. Phoenician traders in the time of King Solomon (1000 B.C.) introduced the birds to present-day Syria and the Egyptian Pharaohs.

In its native India, the peafowl is a creature of the open forests and riparian undergrowth. In southern India, it also prefers stream-side forests but may also be found in orchards and other cultivated areas.

Indian Peafowl do most of their foraging in the early morning and shortly before sunset. They retreat to the shade and security of the forest for the hottest portion of the day. Foods include grains, insects, small reptiles, small mammals, berries, drupes, wild figs, and some cultivated crops.

Conservation and History of Relationship with Man
The great beauty and popularity of the Indian Peafowl has guaranteed its protection throughout most of its native and introduced ranges. It is the national bird of India. The peafowl is prominent in the mythology and folklore of the Indian people. The Hindus consider the bird to be sacred because the god Kartikeya (son of the Lord Shiva and Parvati and brother to the god Ganesh) rides on its back. Legends hold that the peafowl can charm snakes and addle their eggs.

Greek mythology describes how the peacock acquired the many eyes in his ornamental train. The goddess Hera had a beautiful priestess named Io. Io was greatly admired by Zeus. To protect her from Hera’s jealousy Zeus transformed Io into a heifer. Hera tricked Zeus into giving the heifer to her as a gift and set her faithful servant Argus to watch over her. Argus had numerous eyes all over his body, making him a natural choice for the assignment. Zeus sent the god Hermes to free Io from Hera’s watchman. Hermes charmed Argus to sleep until all of his eyes were closed and then killed him. To honor her faithful watchman, Hera took Argus’ eyes and placed them on the tail of the peacock.

This long and close association with humans has proven the peafowl’s adaptability to human-altered landscapes. This species does not appear to need any additional legal protection or conservation attention.

Camel in India

Camel in India
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Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Family: Camelidae
Genus: Camelus
Species: Dromedarius

The dromedary camel is characterized by a long-curved neck, deep-narrow chest, and a single hump. Hair length is longer on the throat, shoulder, and hump. The size of the hump varies with the nutritional status of the camel, becoming smaller to non-existent during times of starvation.

Average Statistics
Lifespan 40-50 yrs
Geographic Range Africa, the Middle East, & Africa.

The dromedary camel is a herbivore, eating primarily thorny plants and dry grasses.

Social Habbits
Dromedaries usually form groups of 2-20 individuals. The group, or family, consists of one male, and one to several females, subadults, and young. The male is the dominant member of the family group and directs the family from the rear while the females take turns leading. Dromedaries tend to travel by walking single file.

Camels typically have 1 offspring at a time, after a gestation period of 15 months. Young are raised for a period of 2 years, before reaching adulthood. Camels reach secual maturity and begin mating at approximately 4-5 years of age.

Relationship with Humans
The dromedary camel is used as a beast of burden by humans and also provides humans with milk, meat, wool, leather, and fuel from dried manure. Through these services, the dromedary camel has enabled humans to inhabit the seemingly inhabitable desert.

Bengal Tiger in India

About Royal Bengal Tiger
Since the era of gods and goddesses, Tiger has been of great importance in India. It has been mentioned in every myth, epic and literature. The only place where Royal Bengal Tiger is found is the land of natural heritage, India. The Bengal Tiger is native to the Indian Peninsular. It also lives in Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Bhutan and in Burma. A powerful hunter with sharp teeth, strong jaws, and an agile body, the Royal Bengal Tiger is the largest member of the cat family. It is also the largest land-living mammal whose diet consists entirely of meat. Its length can measure up to 10 feet and has a weight ranging from 180 to 260 kgs. Following are the details of Royal Bengal Tiger.
Bengal Tiger
Latin Name of Bengal Tiger: Panthera tigris

Length :
Males: 8.8 feet-10.2 fee
Females: 7 .11 feet - 8.7 feet

Males: 419-569 pounds
Females: 221-353 pounds

Diet: Consists of pigs, deer, antelopes and buffalo.

Habitat of Bengal Tiger
The habitat of this exquisite Tiger varies from the largest estuarine delta Sundarban, which is the biggest colony of the `Royal Bengal Tigers' to the desert land of Ranthambore, from the magnificent hills of Himalayas to Bandipur in the peninsular India.
Bengal Tiger
The Royal Bengal Tiger - The Endangered Species
The Bengal tiger is endangered from loss of habitat. It's estimated that less than 3,000 Bengal tigers are left in the wild today. In India we had over forty thousand tigers in the beginning of the 20th century, but the number has decreased considerably. For example, the authorities of the Buxa Tiger Reserve in North Bengal estimated the number of Royal Bengal tigers in the reserved areas as 32, as per the census in 1997, a notch above the figure of 31, as per the 1995 census. The reasons for tiger becoming an endangered species are uncontrolled cutting of trees resulting in the shrinkage of the habitat of the tiger, decrease of preys and an increase of poaching for its beautiful skin. To stop this and to increase the number of tigers, Government of India initiated the 'Project Tiger' in 1973, when the number of tigers in India was less than 2000. This project entailed the creation of nine tiger reserves, now this number has increased.

Due to above measures, it can thus be seen that out of five surviving sub-species of tigers, the position of the Bengal tiger animal is the most satisfactory and India accounts for 75 per cent of the species, which is roughly 60 percent of the global population of all tiger sub species put together.

The Royal Bengal Tiger animal lives in varied habitats open jungles, humid evergreen forests and mango grove swamps. Its diet consists mainly of deer, antelopes, gaursand wild pigs. Sometimes it also captures birds, lizards, turtles, fishes, frogs and crabs. Royal Bengal Tigers hunt on their own and usually lead a solitary existence, each in its own territory.

Characterstics of Bengal Tiger
Tigers lead solitary lives, and the courtship period, and association between mother and cub is their only interaction and association. Tigers are entirely different in their hunting habits from lions, and hence they are mutually exclusive in their distribution. Tigers rest during the day in the shade, and begin to hunt for food at dusk. They have keen eye sights and a sharp hearing that helps them stalk their prey. Tiger killings are split second affairs where the prey hardly has any chance of survival. Its formidable and retractile claws play a significant role in capturing and holding on to its prey.

Tigresses are devoted mothers who are very protective of their cubs. They look after their young till they are about two and a half years old.

Black Buck Antelope in India

About Black Buck Antelope
Black Buck, common name for an antelope, mainly of India but with other small populations in Pakistan and Nepal. The black buck has ringed horns that have a moderate spiral twist of three to four turns and are up to 70 cm (28 in) long. The name black buck has also been applied to the sable antelope of Africa. The adult male stands about 80 cm (about 32 in) at the shoulder and weighs 32 to 43 kg (71 to 95 lb). The body's upper parts are black; the underparts and a ring around the eyes are white. The light-brown female is usually hornless. Males are dark brown. Black bucks frequent the open plains in herds. When the rut (mating season) reaches a peak, one male establishes dominance.Black Buck

Kala Hiran also called Indian Black Buck Antelope (Antelope cervicapra L.). It has four sub species, they are:
» Antelope cervicapra cervicapra
» Antelope cervicapra rajputanae
» Antelope cervicapra centralis
» Antelope cervicapra rupicapra

It used to be found all over India except the northeast. Now it is seen in Panjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and central India. It does not live in dense forest but in open plains. It is one of the fastest animals on earth and can out run any animal over long distances. Open plains, which allows it to move fast, are therefore needed to protect it from predators.

The males darken at maturity and the most dominant male in the herd has a black coat. White highlights the eyes, ears, chin, under parts, and rump. Even fawns have these markings. They are brown but turn tan after about a month. Grown males have ringed horns spiraling in a V at least thirty-three centimeters above the head. Record trophies exceed fifty centimeters. The black buck eats mainly grasses. Pods, fruits, and flowers supplement this diet. Few black bucks live longer than twelve years, and their maximum life span is about sixteen years.

Importance of Black Buck
Biological importance
As other animal it is also a part of Nature and we need to conserve it for future generation. Black buck is one of 26 species of mammals, which have been declared endangered and protected by low in Nepal .

Genetic importance
Cross breeding and development of high breed for domestic use.

Economic importance
Each species has value and meaning. In present context Biodiversity richness is greater than monetary value.

Local importance
Tourist, researcher, animal lover may come to see this important animal and it will help the diffusion of local culture or production to the external national or international visitor.

National importance
Tourism development and decentralization of tourist flow.

Ecological importance
System within a system
Black Buck

Tourism and Eco-tourism
Cultural important in Hinduism and Buddhism: Black buck is a vehicle of Chandrama (soma or chandra) (moon). This is a symbol of purity prosperity and peace. Its skin use in the time of taking secret thread (bratabanda) as well as at the time of worshipping. In Buddhism, a pair of buck symbolizes Buddha when he turned to the Sarnath India. The horns and skin are also regarded as sacred object in Hinduism.

Threat for Black Buck in India
The main reason of population loss are:
• Poaching
• Predation
• Habitat destruction
• Overgrazing
• Diseases
• Inbreeding and
• Visitors

Constant persecution by man has sadly reduced their number. Their large herds, which once freely roamed in the plains of North India where they thrive best, are no longer visible. During the eighteenth, nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century, black buck was the most hunted wild beast all over India. Till Independence, many princely states used to hunt this Indian Antelope and gazelle with cheetahs. Within Black Buck habitat people are leaving and domestic animals are free to graze this area as well. In one hand there is very limited land for Black Buck and there is high pressure of domestic animal as well as the people.

Home of the Indian Black Buck
Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary
This is the home of the Indian black buck. Velavadar in the Bhal region of Saurashtra is a unique grassland ecosystem that has attracted fame for the successful conservation of the black buck - the fastest of the Indian antelopes, the wolf and the lesser florican.

Once found in open plains throughout the country and the state of Gujarat, its largest population at present occurs in Velvadar National Park. This exclusively Indian animal is perhaps the most graceful and beautiful of its kind. It has ringed horns that have a spiral twist of three to four turns and are upto 70 cm long. The body's upper parts are black and the underparts and a ring around the eyes are white. The female, light brown in colour is usually hornless.

The fastest of the Indian antelopes, they move off in a series of amazing leaps and bounds when threatened and then break into a lightening run.

A word of praise would not be out of place for the Kathi community who like the Bishnoi community have protected the black buck with vigour and zeal as it is associated with their past history of valour and religious practices.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Siberiean Tiger

Siberiean Tiger 
Siberiean Tiger ( Panthera tigris altaica )

Asian Wild Ass

There are altogether five subspecies of the Asian Wild Ass. All of them can be found in Central Asia. There it inhabits deserts and steppes. It has got bright brown colour with white belly and black stripe on the back. It is approximately 2.6 meters long (over 8 feet) with a tail of 40 cm (16 inches). Its height is 1.2 meters (4 feet). It is an agile mammal with the weight of 250 kg (550 pounds). In comparison to a horse its legs are short and feet are small.
Equus hemionus usually lives in small groups however sometimes it is seen in a herd of 50 animals. In comparison to other asses or horses, the Asian wild ass is the best runner! It can reach the speed of 70 km per hour (45 mph). The ass is a vegetarian and feeds on grass, bark etc. The mating occurs from April till October with the gestation period of 11 months. One offspring is born.
Nowadays the Wild Asian Ass belongs to endangered species for two main reasons. Firstly it is hunted by poachers because of fur and meat. Secondly its habitat is getting smaller.

Asian Wild Ass ( Equus hemionus kulan ) 

your-big-catch of fish


Caught by: sdameron  -- "This little bass is my first catch of the spring! I caught him in Bullock, North Carolina in Kerr Lake."


Caught by Ed Pritchard  -- "On a recent fishing trip with a friend, I caught this 39 pound Permit off my hometown of Jupiter, Florida. The fish was caught about 300 yards off the beach in eight feet of water on 20 pound test. This big fellow was released without incident."


Bongo ( Tragelaphus euryceros )

Bongo ( Tragelaphus euryceros )
Bongo - Bongo information - Bongo facts, pictures, photos

Bongo ( Tragelaphus euryceros )

Broadbill Swordfish

Broadbill Swordfish

By Patrick Kiger


broadbill swordfish

Size: up to nearly 15 feet and 1,400 pounds maximum in the Pacific 
Hiding places: medium depths in tropical, temperate and sometimes in cooler waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans 
Favorite baits: a wide variety of baits, from tuna and mahi-mahi to sardines and mackerel 

In sportfishing heaven, an angler on a sundrenched, brilliant blue expanse of ocean wrestles with an automobile-sized broadbill swordfish. The broadbill, or Xiphias gladius, which is found in tropical, temperate and sometimes even cold waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, is a powerful, aggressive and majestic-looking creature, and is perhaps the ultimate quarry in fishing. It's the true gladiator of the deep. It will fight an epic battle with a fisherman and often will win. In fact, you could fill volumes with "fish that got away" stories involving broadbills.
But the broadbill is also under pressure. Because it's a sportfishing prize as well as a popular food fish, it's a dying breed. Although consumers' fears of the fish's mercury content and government conservation efforts have helped the species, marine scientists don't yet have sufficient data to gauge its future prospects for survival.
The Gladiator of the Deep
If you had to design a fish with the perfect physique for brawling with an angler, it'd look something like a broadbill. In the Pacific, this burly, robust fish can grow to nearly 15 feet in length and 1.5 tons in weight. Its coloration is an undistinguished blackish-brown. But its size and the intimidating, saberlike protrusion on its head -- its bill -- set it apart.
The kingfish is the biggest of the mackerels, topping out at 5.5 feet in length and around 100 pounds, though on average, kingfish are closer to 20 inches and 20 pounds. It's a strikingly handsome fish, with an iridescent silver and iron-gray exterior and a mouth full of nasty-looking teeth. It differs from its cousin the Spanish mackerel in having a sharply dipping lateral line and a gray anterior dorsal fin instead of a black one.
The broadbill uses its bill to kill its prey, which include Atlantic mackerel, silver hake, redfish, herring and lanternfish, in addition to crustaceans and squid. The adult broadbill is preyed upon by killer whales. Its young are tempting meals for a variety of sharks, blue marlin, yellowfin tuna, dolphinfish and sailfish.
The broadbill primarily lives in ocean depths of 650 to 1,970 feet, though it's been observed swimming even deeper than that. It has an ingenious evolutionary adaptation: a bundle of highly vascularized tissue that provides heat to its brain when it descends into colder waters. Broadbills reach sexual maturity at five to six years of age and generally spawn year-round in equatorial waters and in the spring and summer in cooler regions. Its lifespan is about nine years.
Fish at Night and Troll Deep
The traditional method of fishing for broadbills has been to drift at night and set a range of baits at various depths, from 65 to 500 feet below the surface. Recently, though, fishermen have been trolling with a whole squid or tuna as bait, attached to breakaway sinkers or a downrigger. Use the strongest gear and line you can find, since the broadbill is tremendously strong. A broadbill's strike isn't quite what you might expect, given its size and power -- the reel will click slowly at first, and then increase as the broadbill picks up speed. The fish has a soft mouth, so hooks sometimes come unstuck, leaving you with another a great fish story and no fish. But if the hook sticks, be prepared for the fight of your life.
Why You Should Throw It Back
Because most fisherman can't reel in the biggest adults, they usually end up catching juveniles that haven't reproduced yet. This is not good news. You want to give the species a chance to replenish itself, which will help ensure that you and others can enjoy some epic fights with broadbills in the future. So if you catch a small one, release it.


Mammals are the most developed class in the animal kingdom. They are over 200 million yeas old and lived even at the age of the dinosaurs. As their name reveals they feed their young with mammary glands. They give birth to live young and have hair compared to feathers or scales which other animal classes have. 

Anatomy: From the anatomical point of view, their skeleton is in many ways similar to the human body. Their body is covered with a fur. They have got a bony skeleton. The spine can be divided into cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and a tail part. The cervical consists of 7 parts / vertebrae (just like the humans), thoracic of 12-18 vertebrae and lumbar of 2-8 vertebrae. Sacral vertebrae are together fixed in the sacral bone. The number of vertebrae in the tail part may vary a lot. The first two vertebrae (atlas and axis) enable mammals to move their head to the sides (left / right) as well as up and down. Ribs are fixed to the thoracic vertebrae. They are also used as a great protection. 

Physiology: Lungs consist of many small alveoli - this rapidly increases their inner surface. Diaphragm is between the thorax and the abdominal part. It also participates in breathing and is an inevitable inhaling muscle. The heart is made of four completely separated parts. There are two atriums and two ventricles. Deoxygenated blood flows through the right heart whereas the oxygenated blood flows through the left heart. So there are two separated blood circulations. The blood circulation starts in the right atrium and then the blood flows into the right ventricle. From the right ventricle the blood flows into the lungs where it is oxygenated. Consequently it flows into the left atrium and then into the left ventricle. From the left ventricle the oxygenated blood flows into the entire body to all organs. There it gives inevitable oxygen to tissues and last but not least the deoxygenated blood comes through veins into the right atrium. And in the right atrium it starts all over again. Mammals have got a constant body temperature, they are endothermic. They also do have sweat glands which enable them to cool themselves.

The alimentary canal starts with a mouth with teeth. Teeth have got different shape and different functions too. A food comes through the pharynx and esophagus into the stomach (gaster). Chemical digestion starts in stomach and is finished in duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Pancreas and gall bladder participate in digestion. Gall helps to digest fat and pancreatic enzymes proteins and sugars. Intestunum tenue (duodenum, jejunum and ileum) participates (apart from digestion) in resorption too. The concentration of indigestible food takes place in colon. Only water is digested there. The alimentary canal ends as an anus.

Mammals have got pair of kidneys, which excrete toxic and abundant fluid. They are placed in the lumbar area on the both sides. Nervous system is extraordinary developed. The frontal part has got the most impact over other brain parts. Sensory organs are well developed as well. 

Reproduction: There is always an internal fertilisation. Development of a new young takes place in the female’s organ called uterus. During the intrauterine development the small young is/are connected to the mother’s body with placenta. The placenta fulfils plenty of functions. Firstly it enables breathing, then nutrition and last but not least it excretes toxic substances. Intrauterine period is finished by giving birth. After the birth, a small offspring breaths an atmospheric air with its lungs and starts to suck mother’s milk (=mammals).

Systematically we can divide Mammalia Class into two Suclasses: Prototheria (Monotremes) and Theria Subclass. Consequently Theria Subclass is divided into two other Infraclasses: Metatheria/Marsupialia Infraclass (Marsiupial mammals) and Eutheria/Placentalia Infraclass (Placenal mammals). 

Prototheria (Monotremes) are primitive mammals. They live in Australia and nearby islands. They still have got some features reminding of birds. Jaws are prolonged. Alimentary tract, secretory and sex organs have the same end called cloaca. They lay eggs and small ones suck mother’s milk, however nipples are not developed. This Subclass includes animals such as Ornithorhynchus and Echidna (Spiny anteater). 

Metatheria/Marsupialia Infraclass (Marsiupial mammals) includes animals for instance Macropus (kangaroo), Didelphis, Notoryctes, Petaurus, Phascolaretos (koala). Females have got 2 uteruses and a special sack (marsupium) on the abdomen. There is an underdeveloped placenta in the uterus and cannot enable the full foetus development. Therefore Marsupial mammals give birth to immature small young. Their development continues and is finished in a unique marsupial pouch outside the mother’s belly which also contains nipples. 

Placentalia Infaclass include a huge number of animals. They are spread all around the world. They create a placenta, which enables foetus a complete intrauterine development. This infraclass can be also divided into several subcategories. Insectivora have teeth which are underdeveloped. Their brain is very small and hemispheres are smooth and do no contain any gyruses. Their food mainly consists of insects. This group includes Erinaceus (hedgehog) and a Mole (Talpa). Chiroptera (Bats) are mammals which are able to fly! Their body structure is ideal for flying (strong clavicles, long fingers etc.). Their sense of hearing is developed exceptionally well. They move by using echolocation. On the other hand their sight is very poor. Edentata: these animals live in South America. Their teeth are very weak. Rodentia: their jaws are very strong and include sharp teeth. They breed several times per year and have plenty of small young. These young mature rather early. This group includes a mouse (Mus), a rat (Ratus) etc. Carnivora have very strong jaws with knife-sharp teeth. This group includes animals such as a cat (Felis), a lion (Felis), a jaguar (Panthera), a tiger (Felis), a dog (Canis), a fox (Vulpes), a bear (Ursus), hyena (Hyena) etc. Pinnipedia is another group. These animals live in water (for instance: a seal (Phoca). Whales (Cetacea) also live in water. They have got a huge amount of fat located under the skin. It is a great isolation layer. This group can be divided into two subgroups: whales with teeth (e.g.: Balaena) and whales without any teeth (e.g.: a dolphin (Delphinus)). Horses (Equus), rhinos (Rhinoceros) belong to Perissodactyla group. Artiodactyla have only four fingers. The first finger (thumb) is not developed. Almost the entire weight of the animal is on the third and the fourth finger. Some animals from this group have got only a simple stomach (Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus)) whereas other animals have got a stomach made of four parts (e.g.: a bison (Bison), a deer (Cervus), a camel (Camelus) etc.). Elephants belong to Proboscidae.

Primates (Primates) have got five fingers on each extremity. The thumb can oppose other fingers which enable to grab things. Some primates have nails others claws. Lemurs (Lemur), Monkeys (Simiae) have got nails. Their brain is well developed then hemispheres are big and contain gyruses. Some animals have a wide nose septum (Hapalidae) whereas others a thin one (Catarrhina). Others have only a subtle nose (e.g.: Gorillas (Gorilla), Orang-utans (Pongo)). 


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