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ANIMALS around the World

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  1. ANIMALSaround the World

  2. African Elephant Loxodonta africana • World’s largest land mammal • Tusks are present at birth, but the “baby tusks” fall out after a year, and permanent ones replace them • The large surface area of their ears help radiate excess heat under the harsh African sun • The ears are used with the soles of their feet and their trunk to aid in the ability to hear sounds over long distances • They can hear another elephant’s call at 2.5 miles away • They mostly communicate through low frequency sounds called “rumbling” • Communication is vital to elephants, who rely on a social network for survival • Their developed sense of memory allows them to remember lost loved ones, harbor grudges, and recognize long-lost friends Poaching and urban sprawl pose a massive threat to their survival and they are classified as a vulnerable species

  3. Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica • Nicknamed “sea parrots” and “clowns of the sea” • They are often compared to penguins but they are not related • For most of the year they live on the open ocean, with a range spanning from the eastern coast of Canada and the northern United States to the western coast of Europe and northern Russia • 60% of the world’s puffins live near Iceland • Waterproof feathers allow them stay warm as they float at the ocean’s surface or swim underwater • They swim by flapping their wings as if flying through the water and use their feet to steer • They are also excellent fliers • When a puffin is around 3-5 years old, it will choose a partner at sea to mate with for life • After the female lays a single egg, both parents take turn incubating the egg for about 40 days • In the wild, puffins can live around 20 years Their main predator is the great black-backed gull, which can capture a puffin mid-flight or swoop in on a puffin on the ground

  4. Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus • The bald eagle has been the national emblem of the United States of America since 1782 • In the 1950s, this symbol of American patriotism began to dramatically decline in numbers due to the use of the chemical pesticide DDT • After rigorous conservation efforts by the United States government, the bald eagle successfully rejuvenated its population • With a 7ft wing span, the bald eagle is one of the largest raptors in the world • They can reach speeds of up to 100 mph when diving • Using thermal convention currents, they can climb to up to 10,000 ft. in the air • At around 4-5 years old, bald eagles choose a mating partner and they mate for life • Both parents take turns incubating the eggs • While one is incubating, the other searches for food or more nesting materials • In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from endangered and threatened species list While bald eagles have few natural enemies and are no longer considered endangered, threats still exist to the bald eagle, including habitat loss

  5. Bornean Orangutan Pongo pygmaeus • The orangutan is the only ape that inhabits Asia • They share 97% of the same DNA as humans • They travel considerable distances to eat their favorite fruits and know which ones are in season and where to find them • Each night, they build nests in the treetops with leaves and branches • Although orangutans reach maturity at 8 years old, females will stay with their mothers up until their teen years to learn essential parenting skills, observing their mothers care for their younger siblings Due to deforestation and poaching, Bornean orangutans have been restricted to the island of Borneo with their population reduced to 50,000-60,000. They are currently classified on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as an endangered species

  6. Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus • Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds, the cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal • Cheetahs have several special adaptations that allow them to reach top speeds. Wide nostrils and large lungs combined with a powerful heart and strong arteries provide more oxygen to their muscles. Their huge leg muscles mainly consist of fast twitch fibers, which contract faster than normal muscles. Their small body frame is lightweight and aerodynamic. • They can cover 20-25 ft. in one stride • They can only maintain the sprint for about half a minute before burning out • Sometimes confused with leopards, they are distinguished by their “tear-stained” black marks that run from the corners of their eyes to their mouth • They cannot roar, but they can purr and chirp • Young cubs grow a thick yellow-gray coat on their backs called a mantle. It helps camouflage and also makes the cub resemble a honey badger, which is a small feisty carnivore that most predators leave alone Cheetahs are threatened by habitat loss and conflicts with farmers. With low genetic diversity, the IUCN Red List considers them vulnerable of extinction

  7. Giant Panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca • China’s unofficial mascot and the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund • It is also one of the more endangered species in the world, with only about 1600 living in the wild • Their thick hair keeps them warm in the cool, wet mountain zones • They have a protruding wrist bone that acts like a thumb • This helps the pandas hold bamboo while they munch on it with their strong molar teeth • Bamboo makes up nearly the entire diet • Due to the low nutritional value of bamboo, pandas need to eat 20-40 lb. a day • Female pandas are only able to become pregnant for 2-3 days each spring • They do not roar like other bears Due to the fact that pandas reproduce so infrequently, it is very difficult for their population to recover from such a low point. Giant pandas are currently classified as an endangered species. One the main reasons that pandas have become endangered is habitat destruction

  8. Green Anaconda Eunectes murinus • With an average length of 20 ft. and a top length of 29 ft. the green anaconda is one of the longest snakes in the world • With a girth of nearly 12 in. and a weight of 550 lb., is the heaviest of all snakes • Its home is in swamps, marshes and streams • Their enormous size makes it much easier for them to swim in the water than to slither slowly on land • They use both sight and smell to hunt and they also have the ability to sense heat emitted by potential prey • They prey on a variety of animals including fish, birds, tapirs, wild pigs, capybaras, caimans and they’ve even been known to eat jaguars • Not venomous; they use constriction instead to subdue their prey • After a big meal, they can go weeks without eating again • The female will produce eggs inside her body. The eggs develop for 8-12 weeks and then hatch while still inside the mother’s body. She then gives birth to as many as 80 tiny snakes They are very difficult to catch. Their size makes them inconvenient pets, and their skin is not very popular for clothing and shoes. They do face habitat destruction but despite this they are not considered endangered

  9. Short Beaked Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus • Sometimes called the spiny anteater • Echidnas are monotremes, or mammals that lay eggs • Their sharp, creamy-colored spines are 2 in. in length and are composed of keratin, the same material that makes up our fingernails • It has a pointy snout that can sense electrical signals from insect bodies • They do not have teeth, but they do have long tongues and horny pads in their mouths and on the back of their tongues which grind the prey • When confronted by predators they may curl into a ball exposing only the spines or dig into the soil only exposing the spines • At the beginning of the mating season, the female echidna develops a pouch. Then she digs a burrow and lays one soft, leathery egg into her pouch • After 10 days, a blind, hairless baby echidna (known as a puggle) hatches Although short-beaked echidnas are considered common and widespread, they are protected by law in Australia. Threats include road accidents, bush fires, and droughts