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~ CARD 11
~ CARD 11

The blue whole is the largest mammal ever to have lived on earth. Amazingly, it feeds on some of the smallest ocean life-plankton.

it feeds on some of the smallest ocean life-plankton. KEY FACTS Summer • feeding routes. Winter

KEY FACTS

Summer • feeding routes. Winter feeding routes. DISTRIBUTION Limited, scattered areas all around the world;

Summer

• feeding routes.

Winter

feeding routes.

DISTRIBUTION

Limited, scattered areas all around the world; mainly based in Arctic and Antarctic waters.

CONSERVATION

Since 1986, commercial whaling has largely stopped, and blue whales now show signs of breeding success. Still, it will take a century of protection before they are out of danger of extinction.

SIZES

Length: Males average 82 ft. Females, 85 ft. Weight: 175,000-285,000 lb.

BREEDING

Sexual maturity: Males at a length of 74 ft. Females at 75 ft. Mating: Most females breed only once every three years. Gestation: 11-1 2 months. No. of young: Single calf.

LIFESTYLE

Call: Low-frequency moan. Produces ultrasonic chirps and whistles when feeding. Habit: Social and migratory. Diet: Plankton. lifespan: 80 years.

RELATED SPECIES

Pygmy blue whales (B.m. bre- vicouda) are thought to live in the southern Indian Ocean.

T HE BLUE W H A LE'S FEEDING SYSTEM Instead of teeth , the blue
T HE BLUE W H A LE'S FEEDING SYSTEM
Instead of
teeth , the blue
whale has a row of plates
in its mouth , known as
baleen , which functions as
food-collecting device.
The mouth and baleen
a
work
like a strainer, holding
''';' up to 5 tons of water and
p~nkton with each
mouthful.
The blue whale has approximately 320
baleen plates , measuring 40 inches long
by 22 inches wide . Long bristles on the
end of each plate hold the minute prey .
Having forced the water out of its mouth ,
the whale licks the plankton off with its
fleshy tongue.

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0160200021 PACKET 2a

Although blue whales feed in deep water,

they are still mammals, and must come to

the surface to breathe. They exhale air in a cloud of

pressurized steam that rises

straight up for about 20 feet.

DID YOU KNOW?

• The biggest blue whale ever recorded was 102 feet long. The heaviest one recorded weighed 390,000 pounds.

• Blue whales were once

called sulphur-bottom whales by sailors because their bodies became covered with algae . which was greenish-yellow

like sulphur.

~ BREEDING Blue whales form close ties with one another and are often seen in
~
BREEDING
Blue whales form close ties
with one another and are
often seen in groups of two or
four. Mating takes place in
the warm waters of the
tropics, where the young are
born. The mother gives birth
to a single calf with the aid of
other females, who help her
deliver the calf and then
nudge the newborn to the
surface for its first breath of
air.
At birth, the calf measures
about 23 feet and weighs
16,000 pounds. The baby is
suckled in the water, drinking
more than 160 gallons of milk
a day. At 7 months, it is able
to catch its own food.
Below: Mother and calf on their
way to Arctic feeding grounds.
Like other marine mammals,
blue whales are descended
from early land animals. Mil-
lions of years ago, the rich-
ness of life in the sea lured
them to water, and aquatic
life gradually changed their
physical characteristics.
Today, they spend most of
their time in the Arctic and
Antarctic Oceans, where
plankton is plentiful. In
winter, the whales migrate to
the warm waters of the trop-
ics. But food in the tropics is
scarce, so the whales depend
on their thick layer of blubber
for nourishment.
depend on their thick layer of blubber for nourishment. R. Koh er/O xford Sc ien tif

R. Koh er/O xford Sc ien tif ic Films

Ltd

~ FOOD & HUNTING

In the Antarctic, blue whales feed on vast quantities of a plankton called krill. In Arctic waters, they feed on only three species of crustacean (shelled) plankton. Icy water contains more oxygen and carbon dioxide than warm water, which makes it rich in marine life. Plankton is up to twenty times more abundant in the Arctic and Antarctic than it is in the warm waters of the tropics. In spite of its bulk, the blue whale can reach speeds of 10-1 5 knots. But it catches most of its food by diving. It can dive to depths of 1650 feet and lie submerged for up to 2 hours. Rising from the depths, the whale feeds by collecting a large amount of seawater in its mouth and then straining out the plankton (see back page).

Above right: Whales come to the surface to breathe. The spout of pressurized steam that rises into the air is one way to recognize their presence.

rises into the air is one way to recognize their presence. ~ WHALE&MAN Because of ·its

~ WHALE&MAN

Because of ·its great size, the blue whale was a prime target for the whaling industry. Its body was a source of oil and the baleen was used to make women's corsets. Antarctic whalers slaugh- tered 30,000 blue whales from 1930 to 1931. The population has since recov- ered, but there are probably less than 10,000 alive today; they are now protected.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S_IZ_E_SOFTHEBlUEWHAlE & MAN

alive today; they are now protected. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S_IZ_E_SOFTHEBlUEWHAlE & MAN Blue whale 100ft. Man 6 ft

Blue whale 100ft.

Man 6 ft .

MANDRILL GROUP 1: MAMMALS ORDER FAMILY Primates Cercopithecidae GENUS &: SPECIES Mandril/us sphinx
MANDRILL
GROUP 1: MAMMALS
ORDER
FAMILY
Primates
Cercopithecidae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Mandril/us sphinx

The ferocious appearance of the mandrill is misleading. By nature, it is quite peaceable and social. The brilliant coloring of the male IS face distinguishes it from the plainer female.

~ KEY FACTS I ~~ I <S7 SIZES Height: Male, 28-30 in . Tail length:
~
KEY FACTS
I
~~
I
<S7
SIZES
Height: Male, 28-30 in .
Tail length:
2-3 in .
Weight: Up to 120 lb. Females are
half the size and weight of males.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: At least 4 years.
Breeding season: Females come
into estrus every 33 days.
Gestation: 30 weeks.
No. of young: 1.
LIFESTYLE
Call: 3 calls: for contact, alarm,
and banding together.
Habit: Sociable, diurnal.
Range of the mandrill.
Diet: Plants, fruits, roots, seeds,
insects, small mammals.
DISTRIBUTION
Forested areas of western central Africa; southern Cameroon,
Gabon, and the Congo .
Lifespan: ' Up to 46 years.

RELATED SPECIES There are 7 species of baboon. Closely related to the mandrill is the drill, Papia leucaphaeus.

CONSERVATION Now an endangered species . Decline caused by habitat loss, excessive hunting for food, and sale to zoos . There is a great need for forest reserves to be established for its protection.

for forest reserves to be established for its protection. FEATURES OF THE MANDRill The adult rna
FEATURES OF THE MANDRill The adult rna e- (rign .t) dtsplays vivid cOlpratl2~ o~his fac
FEATURES OF THE MANDRill
The adult rna e- (rign .t) dtsplays vivid
cOlpratl2~ o~his fac { and r & f11p in hues
of- Sl u e, r.e-e1; and purple The colorilHon
belps maliH:1rills & id 'ntify one anotfler
wh~o they are fgraging . T~.e mal~ also
has long , i5Qwerful cabJne teeth",
Female, and young mandrills' (befow) are )
much less cQl0rful than the adult'male;
their fac s arellrayista tHack and lack any
bright shad .
0.1 color. females are ,i:1alf '
-'
the .size a~d weight of males.
Young mandrills of both sexes have the
same coloration as adult females . Males
attain their full coloration when they are
sexually mature.

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Active by day in the dense rainforests of western and central Africa, the mandrill is

Active by day in the dense rainforests of

western and central Africa, the mandrill

is one of the largest of the ground-dwelling baboons. Only the adult males have the brilliant

coloration that has made the species

so well known .

~

HABITS

Like other species of baboon,

mandrills are sociable animals, living in groups which may number from fifteen to 200 members. Each group contains at least one adult male, five or more adult females, and their young. Some males live alone, which indicates the likelihood of rivalry between adult males for the leader- ship of groups.

Mandrills spend most of the day foraging in the forest for food. While foraging, the animals keep in verbal contact with one another by making grunting and crowing sounds. They also alert one another to possible predators, such as leopards or snakes. At intervals during the day, the group will rest. Adults groom each other while the young play.

Right: Social activities such as grooming help maintain the stability of the group. Below: Foraging
Right: Social
activities such
as grooming
help maintain
the stability of
the group.
Below:
Foraging
mandrills
communicate
through a
series of grunts
and crowing
calls.
Left: A female
mandrill
suckles her
offspring.
Within hours of
its birth, the
young mandrill
can cling
tightly to its
mother's chest.
As the young
grow older,
they play
together,
which is how
they learn the
skills they will
need to survive
in later life.

DID YOU KNOW?

• The mandrill is the largest of all monkeys.

• The mandrill's reputation

for ferocity is exaggerated . When a mandrill bares its teeth, it is not threatening to attack, but rather showing a

submissive behavior.

• Mandrills sometimes feed

on items that other monkeys have dropped from the trees. • Mandrills walk on their fingers and toes, so that the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet do not touch the ground.

• A group of mandrills

typically roams over 5 miles a

day while foraging for food . Their actual range may cover as much as 20 square miles .

~ FOOD &: FEEDING

Mandrills eat fruits, leaves, roots, seeds, insects, eggs, and small animals. Led by the adult males, they begin foraging for food after daybreak. They find much of their food on the ground under stones and among vegetation. Fruit trees are another source of food for the mandrill. Large groups of mandrills, together with other species of monkey, will converge on the trees and feed on the fruit. Within their home range, mandrills are alert to the seasonal sources of food. The mandrill is adept at foraging for food because its fingers work in a coordinated fashion . The mandrill can dig, sort, prepare food, and transfer it to its mouth.

~ BREEDING The dominant male has access to all the females in his harem, and he is most likely to father offspring. He mates randomly with the females when they are in estrus. Dur- ing estrus, the female's sex organs become swollen, indi- cating that she is ready to mate. A single young is born 7 months later. It suckles the mother's milk and travels everywhere with her, clinging tightly to her chest. Gradually, the young mandrill will begin to explore its surroundings. Female mandrills usually remain in the group into which they were born, but as the young males reach maturity, they must often leave the group.

"" CARD 13

AMERICAN BISON ~~----------------------------------------~ ORDER FAMILY GENUS fir SPECIES ~ Artiodactyla ~ Bovidae
AMERICAN BISON
~~----------------------------------------~
ORDER
FAMILY
GENUS fir SPECIES
~
Artiodactyla
~
Bovidae
Bison bison

The bison once ranged freely over much of North America, and massed in herds by the millions for its annual migrations. Today, only SO, 000 bison remain, confined to a few scattered reserves.

KEY FACTS
KEY FACTS
KEY FACTS
KEY FACTS

KEY FACTS

SIZES Height: 5-6 ft. Length: Head and body, 7-11 ft. Tail, 20-24 in. Weight: Males, up to 2,200 lb. Females, up to 1,320 lb.

BREEDING Sexual maturity: Females, 2-4 years. Males, much later. Breeding season: July-September. Gestation: 270-300 days. No. of young: 1.

LIFESTYLE Habit: Sociable and migratory. Diet: Mainly grass. Lifespan: 20 years in wild, up to 40 years in captivity.

RELATED SPECIES Closest relative is the European bison, or wisent, Bison bonasus, found chiefly in eastern Europe.

Range of the American bison. DISTRIBUTION Formerly inhabited the prairies of western Canada and the

Range of the American bison.

DISTRIBUTION Formerly inhabited the prairies of western Canada and the United States . Today found mainly in parks and reserves scattered throughout North America .

CONSERVATION Today the American bison population totals around 50,000, most of which is the plains bison B. b. bison. The wood bison B. b. athabascae remains endangered .

FEATURES OF THE AMERICAN BISON

Defensive wall: When danger is near, bulls form a protective shield around females, who in
Defensive wall: When danger is near,
bulls form a protective shield around
females, who in turn protect young.
shield around females, who in turn protect young. Coat: Thick, heavy mantle on head and forequarters

Coat: Thick, heavy mantle on head and forequarters keeps the bison warm i winter. This is shed in spring for a cooler summer coat.

Horns: Used in defense against rival bulls and predators.

Eyesight: Poor. The bison relies upon its sharp senses of smell and hearing.

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0160200071 PACKET 7

~ The American bison is usually referred to ~ by its more common name, buffalo.

~

The American bison is usually referred to

~

by its more common name, buffalo. It is not only

found on the open prairies; there is also a subspecies, the wood bison, which lives in the

woods and mountains.

~

Bison live in small herds of approximately fifty animals. The herd provides defense against predators such as the wolf and coyote. Although the bison's senses of smell and hearing are sharp, its vision is poor. Since bison often do not recognize danger until it is too late to flee, the females will surround their young and the bulls will

FOOD &: FEEDING

The bison feeds mainly on grass and other succulent vegetation. Methodical graz- ers, a herd can cover up to 2 miles a day in search of grass. Food is chewed and swal- lowed, then regurgitated and chewed again. This method of digestion is known as rumina- tion, more commonly called chewing cud . In addition to its daily forages, the bison also makes seasonal journeys in search of fresh pastures. Before its numbers were reduced, the bison migrated in vast herds, moving north in spring and south in fall. Today, although its range is far more limited, bison in Alberta, Canada still migrate 150 miles each spring and fall.

Left: The bison 's sleepy gaze its awesome strength.

belies

BISON &:MAN

When North America was first settled, the bison ranged over a third of the continent. Sev- eral hundred years later, it was nearly extinct. The wholesale slaughter of the bison began at the end of

BREEDING

Above: Rival bulls meet in fierce combat to compete for a mate. Right: The female
Above: Rival
bulls meet in
fierce combat
to compete for
a mate.
Right: The
female guards
her young calf,
ready to chase
away any
marauding
wolf or coyote.

herds were quickly wiped out. In 1905, the American Bison Society was formed to preserve the relatively few re- maining animals. Today the species is considered safe from extinction.

DID YOU KNOW?

• It is estimated that there were once between 40 and 60 million bison in North America .

• Some North American

Indian tribes relied almost

entirely on bison for their food and cloth ing.

• In the United States, the

b ison is

buffalo, although it is not closely related to the true buffalo found in Africa .

Zoologists prefer the name bison .

• The only place in the

United States where the bison has never been driven

more often called the

out of its range is Yellow- stone National Park.

~

For most of the year, females and young males live to- gether in small herds. Mature bulls either live alone or band together in smaller groups. During the mating season from July to September, the bulls fight over those females that are ready to mate. In her prime, a female will calve every other year. Rival males attempt to warn one another off by stamping the ground and bellowing loudly. If neither bull backs down, they will charge each other, butting their heads together in a contest of

strength . The winner will

mate with the female and stand guard over her for several days. Calves weigh about 65 pounds at birth and are able to stand within a few hours.

the eighteenth century. Unlike the Plains Indians, who only killed as much as they could use, American settlers shot bison by the thousands for their meat and skin, for farmland, and for sport. Entire

HABITS

surround the females, shielding them from their attackers. Bison spend most of the day grazing in small groups. But where the grazing is particularly good, and during the two annual migrations, hundreds of bison may gather together to feed. They also take frequent mud or dust baths.

The bison is adapted to withstand the great tempera- ture extremes of its range, which once extended from Canada to Mexico. It grows a dark, warm, shaggy coat which is shed each spring. It is replaced by a shorter, lighter summer coat.

Right: A bull takes advantage of a rough tree trunk by scratching to remove fleas.

by a shorter, lighter summer coat. Right: A bull takes advantage of a rough tree trunk
CARD 14 NORTH AMERICAN BEAVER ,,~----------------------------------------~ ORDER FAMILY ~ Rodentia Castoridae
CARD 14
NORTH AMERICAN BEAVER
,,~----------------------------------------~
ORDER
FAMILY
~
Rodentia
Castoridae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Castor canadensis

The industrious beaver plays a vital role in maintaining the natural balance of its habitat. It constructs a complex system of dams and canals that regulates flooding, creates marshland, and prevents the erosion of soil.

creates marshland, and prevents the erosion of soil. KEY FACTS SIZES Body length: 24-32 in. Tail

KEY FACTS

SIZES Body length: 24-32 in. Tail length: 10-18 in. Shoulder height: 12-24 in. Weight: 25-65 lb.

BREEDING Sexual maturity: 3 years. Mating: January-February. Gestation: 105 days. No. of young: Up to 8 kits.

LIFESTYLE Habit: Social, aquatic, mainly nocturnal. Builds dams, flooding large areas to provide suitable habitat for itself. Diet: Mainly bark. Lifespan: 15-21 years.

RELATED SPECIES The genus, Castor, contains only one other species, the European beaver known as C. fiber .

• Range of the North American beaver. DISTRIBUTION The North American beaver's range extends from

• Range of the North American beaver.

DISTRIBUTION The North American beaver's range extends from Canada into most of the United States. European beaver is found in Scandinavia, west and east Europe, central Asia, and northwestern China.

CONSERVATION The North American beaver has been actively repopulated by state and federal wildlife agencies.

actively repopulated by state and federal wildlife agencies. THE BEAVER'S DAM &: LODGE Food Store Dam

THE BEAVER'S DAM &: LODGE

Food Store Dam The dam provides a reservoir in which to construct the lodge. Underwater
Food Store
Dam
The dam provides a reservoir in which to
construct the lodge.
Underwater entrance tunnels lead to the
living chamber. Branches stored nearby
provide a winter food supply.

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0160200071 PACKET 7

Although the beaver is usually thought of as a resident of North America, there is

Although the beaver is usually thought of as

a resident of North America, there is a similar

species that lives in Europe. Still, there are more beavers in North America than anywhere else in the world.

Beavers live in family groups in dams built

across streams and lakes.

~ HABITS

Beavers are found in streams and lakes in both remote and settled areas. Using their huge front teeth, they can fell very large trees and branches. They prefer oak, ash, alder, elm, willow, pop- lar, and birch trees. They use them, together with mud, stones, and sticks, to construct dams across fast- flowing streams. The dam- ming of streams causes the

has made and stores them under water. Beavers do not hibernate in winter, but in the northern parts of their range they gen- erally only leave their lodges to feed from stored food

supplies. During this time, they live in constant darkness and lOSE track of time. Aquatic plants, thistles, meadow-sweet, leaves, twigs, seeds, and roots make up most of the beaver's summer diet.

Top left: A

dammed, tree- lined river is an ideal environ- ment for the beaver.

Left: An

underwater store of branches is kept near the lodge as a winter food supply.

~ BEAVER MAN

Much of the early exploration of North America was carried out by beaver trappers, who hunted the animals for their valuable fur. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the beaver population had declined dramatically. Its numbers are now regu- lated by careful planning that allows beavers to be harvested for their fur and meat. In the 1950s, before regulations were enforced, 600,000 beavers were killed in Canada . During the 1970s, after hunting was controlled, only 100,000-200,000 beavers were killed in the United States.

~ FOOD HUNT I NG

Bark is the beaver's staple food. To ensure a constant supply of food throughout the winter, the beaver spends a great deal of time in the fall felling trees. The beaver tows the logs along the canals it

felling trees. The beaver tows the logs along the canals it Above: Even a young oak

Above: Even a young oak presents no problems to the sharp teeth of the beaver.

Beavers live in large, stable family groups consisting of one adult pair, their latest- born young, and the young born the previous year. Most beavers leave their family groups at two years of age to find territories and mates. Beavers pair for life, and mating occurs during the winter. The kits are born in late spring in a chamber in the lodge. They have full

area behind the dam to flood, producing a large marsh rich in wate r plants, insects, birds, and fish. Within the dam, beavers construct lodges that have various underwater entrance tunnels (see back cover). They excavate mud from portions of the marsh with their front paws, constructing a system of canals along which they travel to and from their

feeding areas. They also push floating logs and tow sticks and branches down the waterways to new dam sites. Beavers use scent to mark their territories. They deposit anal secretions and a strong- smelling substance called castoreum on rocks and mud throughout their territories. Beavers warn each other of danger by slapping their tails violently on the water surface.

coats of fur and are able to swim within several hours of birth. They are nursed for 6 weeks, after which all members of the group share the task of bring- ing them food. They soon venture outside the lodge, but it will be many months before they can survive on their own.

Below: Two week-old kits are nursed by their mother. They may stay at the lodge for up to 2 years.

 

DI D YOU KNOW?

SPECIAL ADAPTATI O NS

 

A beaver family can fell as

Fur: Waterproof; the silky unde rfur is covered by a coat of lo ng, sh iny guard hairs . Teeth : Coated with a hard, yellowish red enamel to pro- vide a ha rd, sharp edge on the fro nt surface to pre- vent wear. Feet and ta il: The large, scaly

tail is flattened . It can be used close beh in d the front teeth, for propulsion or like a rudde r. while the back of the tongue

many as 300 trees in a single winter. A pair of beavers can

The hind feet are

large

and

seals the throat .

gnaw through a four- inch- thick branch in 15 minutes .

webbed . Scent glands: Paired

scent

Diving adaptations : Nose gla nds release a musky-

The beaver is t he second

and ears close when diving, smelli ng substance that is

la rgest rodent in the world .

and

a membrane

protects the

known as casto reum, with wh ich the beaver marks its

Giant beavers weigh ing as much as 700 pounds existed 10,000 years ago.

eyes . Beavers ca n

gnaw

underwater because the lips territory.

 
existed 10,000 years ago. • eyes . Beavers ca n gnaw underwater because the lips territory.

""CARD 15

INDIAN RHINOCEROS ~~ G_R_O_U_P_l_:_M_A_M_M A~L~S~ ORDER " FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES ~ Perissodactyla ~
INDIAN RHINOCEROS
~~
G_R_O_U_P_l_:_M_A_M_M
A~L~S~
ORDER
"
FAMILY
GENUS & SPECIES
~ Perissodactyla
~ Rhinocerotidae
~ Rhinoceros unicornis

The Indian rhino, properly known as the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, is a descendant of an old species of rhino. Despite its fearsome appearance, it is generally a peaceful animal.

its fearsome appearance, it is generally a peaceful animal. KEY FACTS SIZES Height: 3-7 ft. Length:

KEY FACTS

SIZES Height: 3-7 ft. Length: 7-14 ft. Weight: 3,300-4,400 lb .

BREEDING

Sexual maturity: Males 7-9 years .

Females, 3 years .

Mating: Females come into season every 5-8 weeks until pregnant. Gestation period: 462-489 days. No. of young: 1 calf.

LIFESTYLE Habit: Partly social, partly solitary. Call: Social grunts and snorts; females whistle when in season. Diet: Grass, twigs, bamboo shoots; wheat, lentils, potatoes . Lifespan: About 50 years.

RELATED SPECIES The Javan rhino, Rhinoceros sondaicus is its closest relative .

Range of the Indian rhinoceros. DISTRIBUTION Now limited to ten loc atio ns in Ind

Range of the Indian rhinoceros.

DISTRIBUTION Now limited to ten loc atio ns in Ind ia and two in Nepa l.

CONSERVATION

Su

rvives only in p rotected

areas; however, the population is in danger of exti nction . In two

risi ng steadily and it is not

na tional pa rks, rhinos have also bee n successfull y moved into protected areas within their forme r range .

FEATURES OF THE INDIAN RHINOCEROS The Indian rhino has a single blunt. rather stubby horn.
FEATURES OF THE INDIAN RHINOCEROS
The Indian rhino has a single blunt. rather stubby horn.
which is often ragged in older animals . It is made of a
mass of hair-like fibers clumped together above a bony
knob on the skull. The animal 's thick. dark gray skin falls
in distinct folds at the joints of shoulders and flanks. giving
it an armor-plated appearance.
The white rhino
has two horns.
The front horn
averages about
24 in . in length .
but it can reach
more than 60 in
The black rhino
longer front horn
also has two horns: the
averages 20
in .
~ BEHAVIOR The Indian rhinoceros is somewhat territorial . AI- though rhinos share commu- nal
~
BEHAVIOR
The Indian rhinoceros is
somewhat territorial . AI-
though rhinos share commu-
nal bathing pools, wallows,
and dung heaps, they
establish their own feeding
hottest part of the day .
Wallowing is important for
rhinos because it protects '
them from biting insects and
prevents overheating.
In the morning, the rhinos
and sleeping areas, which feed in open areas, slowly
average 5000 square yards. If
moving toward cover as the
any other animal should sun rises higher. Throughout
wander into its private area,
the rhino will charge at it to
drive it away.
Rhinos remain submerged
the day, local populations of
rhinos come into contact
traveling to wallows and
bathing pools. New arrivals to
in their wallows during the communal areas are chal-
~~;II'r.i~ """'---;;;jj
Measuring over 72 feet long and weighing up
to 2 tons, the Indian rhinoceros is bigger and
heavier than a car. It may appear to be
ponderous and slow, but it can suddenly charge at
frightening speed to drive off rivals or
enemies who stray too close.
~ HABITAT
The Indian rhinoceros lives in
dense growths of tall elephant
grass in swampy areas near
rivers . Here it wallows in the
shallow water and mud to
keep cool during the day. It
may also head for higher
country in search of food .
~
FOOD &; FEEDING
The female Indian rhinoceros
The Indian rhinoceros is prin-
cipallya grazing animal. It
moves around constantly to
take advantage of fresh plant
growth. Adaptable in its
feeding methods, the rhino
has a widely varied diet. It
eats new plant growth as well
as bamboo shoots, water
hyacinths, and a variety of
crops which can make the
rhino a nuisance to farmers.
comes into heat (is ready to
Right: Elephant grass is the
rhino 's principal food, but it also
eats crops and bamboo shoots.
mate) for 24 hours every 5-8
weeks. She attracts the male
by spraying urine and by
making a gentle whistling
sound.
The solitary female seeks
dense cover when she is
ready to give birth. The calf
stays with its mother until the
birth of her next offspring,
between 18 months and 2
years later.
Right: At
birth, a new-
born rhino calf
weighs about
150 lbs. It
begins to
graze at 2
months, but
will continue
to suckle for at
least a year.

DID YOU KNOW?

• Indian rh inoceroses are vul-

nerable to sunburn. By wal- lowing in mud, they protect their skin from the sun .

• The f irst weeks afte r gi vi ng birth, mother rhinos produce 5-7 gallons of milk daily.

• The Baluchitherium , an an-

cesto r o f the Indian rhin o,

was the largest land mammal

that ever lived . It was 18 feet

high

and 36 feet long . It

lived

over

20 milli o n years ago.

~ RHINO&;MAN

Conflict between man and the Indian rhinoceros arises from the damage rhinos do to crops and the damage man does to the rhino's natural food supply-elephant grass. In Nepal, villagers, who use elephant grass for the walls and roofs of their houses, are now allowed to collect grass in national parks at certain times of the year. This arrangement encourages new growth of grass, which in turn benefits the rhinos.

lenged by those already there, until they are permitted to join the group . At dusk, they will move again to their feeding areas and graze until midnight before resting . The females with young calves move into the shelter of tall grass to protect the young from tigers . The others, too big to fear any predators, lie down wher- ever they are feeding .

Left: Rhinos and their young spend the day wallowing in an area of shallow water and mud. Communal wallowing holes are shared by groups of rhinos with no sign of aggression.

in an area of shallow water and mud. Communal wallowing holes are shared by groups of
CHIMPANZEE ORDER FAMILY Primates Pongidae
CHIMPANZEE
ORDER
FAMILY
Primates
Pongidae

Intelligent and lively, the sociable chimpanzee shows an ability to learn as well as to act instinctively. Its behavior could provide a clue to that of our early ancestors.

could provide a clue to that of our early ancestors. ~ KEY FACTS rn:l SIZES ~

~ KEY FACTS

rn:l

SIZES

~ Height: Males, 5 1 /2ft. Females 4 1 / 4 ft. Weight: 100-175 lb .

BREEDING

Sexual maturity: 8-10 years . Mating: Female mates when previous offspring is about 3 years. Gestation: 202-261 days. No. of young: 1-2.

LIFESTYLE

Habit: Sociable, in small troops. Diet: Mainly fruit, but also leaves,

buds, blossoms, bark, resin, honey, termites, and ants. Occasionally other mammals. lifespan: 40-50 years.

RELATED SPECIES

The pygmy chimpanzee, Pan paniscus, found in Zaire.

Range of the ch i mpanzee . DISTRIBUTION In Africa, from Guinea to western Uganda
Range of the ch i mpanzee .
DISTRIBUTION
In Africa, from Guinea to western Uganda and Tanzania, in
forest and savannah country.
CONSERVATION
Not endangered at present, except in a
few locations .
Trapping for medical experiments once posed the greatest
threat to the chimpanzee, but this danger is now decreasing
under pressure of public opinion .
FACIAL EXPRESSIONS OF THE CHIMPANZEE Like humans, chimpanzees can use their faces to show emotion.
FACIAL EXPRESSIONS OF
THE CHIMPANZEE
Like humans, chimpanzees can use their faces to
show emotion. Researchers have discovered that they
have a wide range of expressions , conveying several
different emotions.
Aggressive expression, left. The
chimp is showing anger or
warning a rival not to further
annoy him.
Friendly expression, right. A
chimpanzee greets another
peacefully.
Passive expression, above. The
chimpanzee is calm and at ease.
Pleased expression,
left. This smile, showing
only the bottom teeth,
conveys active enjoy-
ment or pleasure.

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The chimpanzee is the animal that

resembles man most closely. It shares

familiar human characteristics such as

problem-solving abilities, a high

degree of parental care,

and a variety of facial expressions.

of parental care, and a variety of facial expressions. ~ HAB ITS The chimpanzee lives in

~ HAB ITS

The chimpanzee lives in a troop that numbers between 25 and 80. Each troop has a dominant male. The troop's home range varies in size from 7-8 square miles in the forest to 40-75 square miles in the open country. Active by day, the chimpan-

zee sleeps at night in a nest it makes in a tree, well above ground, safe from its preda- tors. The same nest may be used for several nights if the troop is not on the move. Chimps stay mainly in trees during the wet season and on the ground when it is dry.

~ FOOD & FEEDI NG

The chimp has two intensive feeding periods each day:

early morning and late afternoon. Fruits of all kinds make up the majority of the chimpan- zee's diet. It will also eat insects and honey. It gets

most of the water it needs from fruit. It was only recently discov- ered that the chimpanzee eats meat . It is now known that it hunts, kills, and feeds on a variety of mammals, including other primates such as the

colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and baboons. The killing is almost always done by one adult male who smashes the animal's head on the ground. The male eats his fill before sharing with the rest of the troop.

DID YOU KNOW?

• Chimpanzees suffer from

many human diseases, including malaria.

• Chimpanzees are the only

animals, apart from humans, that can recognize themselves

in mirrors.

~ BR EED I NG

Breeding takes place year- round. When one of the females in the group comes into season, or heat, she will mate with several different males . The males show no sign of competition between themselves. Females have menstrual cycles much like humans and come into estrus every 36 days unless they are pregnant. They give birth about every three years after a gestation period of seven to eight months. The young chimp is carr ied everywhere for its first five months and is dependent on its mother for two years. By the time the youngster is four years old, it spends most of its time with other chimpanzees close to its own age. It reaches sexual maturity at eight to ten years.

\ SPECIAL --1 t ADAPTATION

Of t he few an ima ls t ha t use tools, the ch im p is th e most skilled . It uses sti c ks as wea p- ons a nd to di g ou t t he con - ten ts of insect nests . Some wi ll wet a long stick with sal iva so t ha t sol d ie r a nts w ill stic k t o it.

Top: Chimpanzees may live to 50 years, graying with age. Above: The males will drum
Top: Chimpanzees may live to 50
years, graying with age.
Above: The males will drum the
ground and scream when trying
to establish dominance.
Right: A mother carries her
youngster everywhere.
Right: A mother carries her youngster everywhere. ~ CHIMPANZEES & MAN The chimpanzee's survival is

~ CHIMPANZEES & MAN

The chimpanzee's survival is more threatened by man than by anything else. Chimpan- zees were driven away when large human populations took over their habitats. Today, hunting and trapping chim- panzees for zoos and experi- mental use is a highly profit-

able business in several parts of Africa. Because of their biological and behavioral similarities to humans, chimpanzees have been used extensively for testing drugs . There is grow- ing opposition to this practice, but it is still widespread.

"" CARD 17

BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN ~ . GROUP 1: MAMMALS~~~) ORDER ~S " SUB-ORDER FAMILY GENUS &: SPECIES
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN
~
.
GROUP 1: MAMMALS~~~)
ORDER
~S
"
SUB-ORDER
FAMILY
GENUS
&: SPECIES
Cetacea
~ Odontoceti
~
Oelphinidae
~ Tursiops truncatus

The playful bottlenose dolphin, found in coastal waters around the world, is one of the best-known and most loved marine mammals.

"lis one of the best-known and most loved marine mammals. KEY FACTS I i~ 1 SIZES

KEY FACTS

I

i~

1

SIZES

~ Length: 11-1 3 ft. Weight: 330-440 lb.

BREEDING Sexual maturity: About 8 years . Mating: Mating can occur at any time, but most births take place during the summer. No. of young : Single calf.

LIFESTYLE Call: Extensive vocabulary of whistles and clicks. Habit: Sociable. Diet: A wide range of inshore fish ,

particularly capelin, anchovy, salmon, and shrimp .

Lifespan: Up to 50 years.

RELATED SPECIES There are about 40 species of dolphin and their close relation, the porpoise.

• Range of the bottlenose dolphin. DISTRIBUTION Coastal waters of the Atlantic, the temperate North
• Range of the bottlenose dolphin. DISTRIBUTION Coastal waters of the Atlantic, the temperate North

• Range of the bottlenose dolphin.

DISTRIBUTION Coastal waters of the Atlantic, the temperate North Pacific and the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific region are home to three species

of bottlenose dolphin -- Tursiops truncatus truncatus, T. t.

and T.t. aduncus respectively.

gilli,

CONSERVATION Bottlenose dolphins are in no danger of extinction . This is not true of other dolphin species.

HOW DOLPHINS "SEE" Dolphins commun icate by means of hi gh· pitched whistles and cli
HOW DOLPHINS "SEE"
Dolphins commun icate by means of
hi gh· pitched whistles
and cli ck s wh ich
create sound wav es. The sound waves
travel through the water and bounce off
solid objects, causing an echo.
A dolphin's brain is adapted to
understan d the echoes that travel
through the
water . By
using this kind of
echolocation. a dolphi n can
interpret a
detailed "pictu re" of its
environment.
from which it is able to quickly identify
the direct ion , si ze. and distance of prey .

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Bottlenose dolphins, with their steely gray backs, dome- shaped heads and short beaks, are intelligent and

friendly. The whistling calls they make are actually a

form of language.

~ BREEDING

Bottlenose dolphins usually mate in the spring and summer. The females give birth underwater to a single calf 10-12 months later. Several dolphins surround the mother to assist with her delivery and to protect her and the baby from shark attacks. Sharks are attracted to the scene by the blood which is released during birth . Sometimes the dolphin helpers will tug gently at the baby's tail as it emerges, whistling encouragement to

mother and youngster. They swim together as a group to guide the newborn dolphin to the surface for its first breath of air. The mother nurses her calf for at least 16 months, so she usually breeds only once every two to three years . Each time, she is likely to breed with a different mate.

Below: Dolphin calves develop a close bond with their mothers, staying close to them for about sixteen months.

mothers, staying close to them for about sixteen months. Dolphins are very sociable animals that generally

Dolphins are very sociable animals that generally live in groups. Their friendly, coopera- tive behavior is vital to their survival. When a dolphin is sick or injured, its cries of distress summon immediate aid from

other dolphins, who try to support it to the surface so that it can breathe. Dolphins spend a large part of the day playing. They use whistles and clicks to contact each other.

Left: Dolphins may leap in the air to spot the location of hunting seabirds, whose
Left: Dolphins
may leap in the
air to spot the
location of
hunting
seabirds,
whose presence
shows them
where to find
schools of fish.
Below: The
familiar
"smile" of the
bottlenose
~ dolphin reveals
.i 20 to 26 pairs
~ of small,
~ teeth in each
~jaw.
even
~ FOOD & HUNTING
Dolphins eat a wide varie·ty of
fish, and their hunting
behavior varies according to
the availability of food . When
large schools of fish are
present, as many as several
water, making it impossible
for the fish to escape. They
also emit loud sounds to
further confuse the prey.
Dolphins usually hunt
during the day. However,
g
Ql
hundred dolphins will
:if
cooperate in catching the fish
when fish begin migrating or c
are scarce, dolphins become ~
Ql
§
by communicating with one
nocturnal hunters. They
~
Ql
~
another. They drive the fish
search for squid and bottom- ~
-.:::
~
into a dense mass and force
dwelling fish which are active
~
(5
j
them to the surface of the
at night.
Cl
u.:
~
DOLPHIN & MAN
DID YOU KNOW?
• Dolphins can eat at depths
of 6 feet and can stay sub-
merged
for
up to 15
minutes .
asleep, females lie on the
water's surface with their
blowholes exposed to the air;
• Sharks do not prey on
bottlenose dolph i ns as they will
males sleep just below the
surface and rise to breathe
attack the sharks.
periodically
as a reflex action .
• To breathe when they are
Man and dolphins conflict
when they compete for fish;
each year, thousands of
dolphins drown in nets. Some-
times schools of dolphins get
stranded on shore. Conserva-
tionists try to return them to
deep water but are rarely
successful. Scientists believe
that schools become stranded
when a single dolphin's echo-
location system is upset. Its
distress calls cause others to
follow it to their deaths.

""

CARD 18 1

SPERM WHALE GROU P 1: MAMMAL~ ORDER SUB-ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES Cetacea Odonoceti ~
SPERM WHALE
GROU P 1: MAMMAL~
ORDER
SUB-ORDER
FAMILY
GENUS & SPECIES
Cetacea
Odonoceti
~
Peridae
~
Physeter macrocephalus

The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales and can reach a length of 6S feet. Its massive round head accounts for about one third of its total body length.

KEY FACTS

KEY FACTS

SIZES Length: Males, 50-65 ft. Females, 35-55 ft. Weight: Males average 80,000 lb. Females, 44,000 lb.

BREEDING Sexual maturity: About 10 years (40 ft. long) for males, but they usually breed after 25 years. Mating: Males, annually. Females, about every 4 years. Gestation: 14-16 months. No. of young: Single calf.

LIFESTYLE Habit: Sociable, living in groups. Call: Whistles and clicks. Diet: Bottom-dwelling fish . Lifespan: Up to 70 years.

RELATED SPECIES The pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) and the dwarf sperm whale (K. simus).

Range of the sperm whale. DISTRIBUTION The sperm whale lives in the oceans of the

Range of the sperm whale.

DISTRIBUTION The sperm whale lives in the oceans of the world in two distinct groups-one migrating north of the equator to the Arctic and the other south of the equator to the Antarctic.

CONSERVATION Despite protection from the International Whaling Commis- sion, numbers have dropped from 170,000 males and slightly fewer females to only 71 , 000 males and 125,000 females .

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS OF THE SPERM WHALE Blowhole : The sperm whale can hold its breath
SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS OF THE SPERM WHALE
Blowhole : The sperm whale can hold its
breath for more than an hour underwater .
It returns to the surface to blow (expel)
spent air from its blowhole.
Spermaceti
wax
Blowhole
-.,< '-----
Sku ll
L
--fi~jjC-~
~ ------
Nasal passage
Spermaceti wax: The whale
controls its buoyancy when
ascending or diving by drawing
water throl:Jgh the nasal passages
to heat or cool the vast amount of
spermaceti wax.
Sperm whales will protect an
injured member of their
group by gathering around it
in a Marguerite formation .

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It is believed that the sperm whale dives deeper than any other marine mammal and

It is believed that the sperm whale dives deeper

than any other marine mammal and may reach

depths of more than 10,000 feet-although the deepest recorded dive is 4,000 feet. A large bull whale can dive deepest and for the longest period of time,

staying underwater for up to 45 minutes.

After mating, the female gives birth 14-16 months later. The other females protect her while she is giving birth and then help the calf to the surface to take its first breath. The mother feeds her calf with fat-rich milk for as long as 2 years, by which time it has grown to a length of 23 feet.

Right: A female sperm whale with her day-old calf.

23 feet. Right: A female sperm whale with her day-old calf. catches its prey, but it

catches its prey, but it is be- lieved that the whale stuns it with very loud sound waves. The sperm whale will al~o eat snapper, lobster, and even shark. It swallows its prey whole. An adult whale will eat up to one ton of food every day.

BREEDING

~

Groups of sperm whales begin their migration to the equator from the Arctic and Antarctic every fall for the winter breeding season. The bulls attempt to form harems of up to thirty adult females. Fierce fights between rival males for females are not uncommon. Once the harem is established, the bull mates with any female not already pregnant or with young.

DID YOU KNOW?

• The sperm whale is born

without teeth, which do not begin to grow until it reaches sexual maturity. The largest

teeth are

• A small group of whales is called a pod.

11 inches long .

• The sperm whale can dive 560 feet per minute; it ascends to the surface at 460 feet per minute. When the whale expels air after a deep

dive, the noise it makes can be heard half a mile away .

~ FOOD &: HUNTING

The sperm whale feeds on bottom-dwelling organisms such as squid. Sometimes giant squid put up such a struggle that scars are made on the whale's head by the tentacles. Scientists are not certain how the sperm whale

~

HABITS

The sperm whale is a sociable animal that lives in groups. The group structure varies according to the age and sex of the whale. Males generally live apart from females. The females form groups together with their young, numbering from five to thirty animals. There are also smaller bachelor pods of young, non-breeding whales

as well as the much larger harem groups consisting of many females, young, and a dominant, sexually mature bull. The whales swim, dive, feed, and sleep together within their group. They also have a language of sonar clicks with which to communicate. In summer, the whales migrate to feed in the Arctic and Antarctic.

the whales migrate to feed in the Arctic and Antarctic. WHALE&:MAN ~ The sperm whale has

WHALE&:MAN

~

The sperm whale has been ruthlessly hunted by man for centuries, and continues to be persecuted. Whalers have taken advantage of the whale's protective instinct, whereby all members of a group will surround an injured animal in what is known as a Marguerite formation. They harpoon a single sperm whale to attract other whales who come to its rescue and then kill them as well. Man hunts the sperm whale for food, and for the oil its blubber provides. It is also hunted for the sperma- ceti wax found in its head and for a substance called ambergris found in the intestines.

Top Left:

An adult sperm whale is about 150 times the size of a man.

Left: The

sperm whale dives deeper than any other marine mammal.

Right: Human

exploitation of the sperm whale has left the species engaged in a fierce struggle for survival.

mammal. Right: Human exploitation of the sperm whale has left the species engaged in a fierce
mammal. Right: Human exploitation of the sperm whale has left the species engaged in a fierce
mammal. Right: Human exploitation of the sperm whale has left the species engaged in a fierce

"" CARD 19

BACTRIAN CAMEL ~~--------------------------~~~~~~~ ORDER FAMILY ~ Artiodactyla Camelidae GENUS & SPECIES
BACTRIAN CAMEL
~~--------------------------~~~~~~~
ORDER
FAMILY
~
Artiodactyla
Camelidae
GENUS & SPECIES
Camelus bactrianus

The Bactrian camel is the only truly wild, two-humped camel in the world. It lives in the Cobi Desert and, like the one-humped camel, it can go for long periods without water.

one-humped camel, it can go for long periods without water. KEY FACTS Range of the Bactrian

KEY FACTS

Range of the Bactrian camel. DISTRIBUTION In its wild state, it is found only in

Range of the Bactrian camel.

DISTRIBUTION In its wild state, it is found only in the Gobi Desert in Mongo- lia . In a domesticated form, it is also found in Afghanistan , Turkey, the Soviet Union, Iran, and China .

CONSERVATION There are thought to be less than 1,000 wi ld camels living in the Gobi Desert. It is now considered an endangered species.

SIZES Height to shoulder: 6 ft. Height to hump: Up to 7 ft. Length: 11-12 ft., includ ing tail (21-25 in. long).

Weight: 1,000-1,500 lb.

BREEDING Sexual maturity: 5 years. Mating: February. Gestation: About 13 months. No. of young: 1 calf.

LIFESTYLE Habit: Females live in small herds with 1 male. Other males solitary. Diet: Grasses and shrubs. Call: Low grunts. lifespan: Longest recorded, 50 years.

RELATED SPECIES The one-humped camel, Camelus dromedarius. Camelidae is the only family in the suborder Tylopoda.

SPEC IAL ADAP TAT IONS O F THE BACTR IAN CAM El Nostrils: Can be
SPEC IAL ADAP TAT IONS O F THE
BACTR IAN CAM El
Nostrils: Can be closed in a sandstorm.
Humps: Two,
conical shaped.
These are food
Eyelashes: Long , in double rows
to protect eyes from windblown
dust and sand.
Thick, wooly fleece to
combat cold in winter
and reduce perspira-
tion. Kept in summer
to act as protection
against sun.
feet: Soles have thick, elastic
.
pads which expand to distribute
animal 's weight. They
help to
support camel in soft sand .

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The Bactrian camel is named after the part of the

region it inhabits, Bactria, on the border of

Afghanistan and Uzbekistan (former Soviet Union).

The first camels appeared in North America 40-50

million years ago, descended from an animal the

size of a small dog. They migrated to Europe and

Asia two million years ago and became nearly

extinct in their original habitat.

HABITAT

~

Once found over a vast range in Asia, Bactrian camels now inhabit only Mongolia's remote Gobi Desert. They are specially adapted to cope with the extremes of climate found in this region. They form small groups of six to twenty animals that are led by a mature male. Young males spend most of their time wandering alone. Within their habitat, the camels may be found in desert,

semidesert, grassy steppes and mountainous regions up to 6,500 feet. In the summer, they are most likely to be found in dry valleys and on nearby hills. During the winter, they frequent dried-up creek and stream beds and oases.

Below: The wild landscape of the Gobi Desert is now the last refuge of the Bactrian camel in its natural habitat.

last refuge of the Bactrian camel in its natural habitat. BREEDING ambling gait that is character-

BREEDING

ambling gait that is character- istic of the adult camel. The females nurse the young for 5 years until they reach sexual maturity. Young males are then driven out to form bachelor herds; young females remain with their mothers. Older males return to the herd during mating season but are often driven out by younger, rival males.

left: Thick,

shaggy fur

insulates the

camel from

extremes of

temperature,

preventing it

from losing

warmth at

night and

slowing the

warming

process during

the day.

at night and slowing the warming process during the day. FOOD & FEEDING ~ Like domestic

FOOD & FEEDING

~

Like domestic cows, camels are ruminants-that is, they feed and then regurgitate the food and chew it again. This is also called chewing cud. Able to survive on extremely sparse vegetation, they eat the tough grass, herbs, thin branches, and foliage of shrubs that grow in their arid environment. They search for food in the morning and evening and chew their cud in the afternoon.

left: A calf will remain close to its mother for the first 5 years of its life. The young camel's coat eventually becomes the same color as its mother's.

~

In the wild, Bactrian camels mate in February. The males chase off young animals in order to have access to the

females. Mating takes place while the camels are sitting down, but the females give birth in a standing position a year and a

month later. A single young is

born. Within several days, it can walk perfectly with the

is born. Within several days, it can walk perfectly with the The camel can tolerate great

The camel can tolerate great variations in its body tempera- ture-from 86 0 F-1 05 0 F-and therefore loses little water through perspiration. Al- though camels can go for long periods without water, they do not actually store it in their humps. The humps are, in fact, reserves of fat that are converted into water when the camel becomes dehy- drated.

converted into water when the camel becomes dehy- drated. DID YOU KNOW? • A Bactrian camel

DID YOU KNOW?

• A Bactrian camel can drink

quantities up to 30 percent of

its body weight at one time.

• In the desert, without water,

a camel can survive up to ten times as long as a human and four times as long as a donkey .

• Camels do not like wet con-

ditions, but they can tolerate variations in temperature ranging from -16 0 Fto 120 0 F.

• Males, females, and young

camels are known respectively as stallions, mares, and calves .

• In 1860, fifteen Bactrian

camels were imported to the United States to haul salt across 200 miles of desert.

~

At the end of the nineteenth century, Bactrian camels were discovered in the Lobnor Desert in China by the Russian explorer, Nikolai Przewalski, and it was established that, in

its natural state, the Bactrian camel is truly a wild, rather than domesticated, animal. The camel is also an impor- tant source of wool, milk, meat, and fuel in the desert.

left: Camels can drink up to 25 gallons at once and can suffer huge losses of water without ill effect.

CAMEL & MAN

It is thought that the Bac- trian camel was domesti- cated by man as early as

2,000 B.C. It is presumed to be a descendant of the feral camel.

Bac- trian camel was domesti- cated by man as early as 2,000 B.C. It is presumed
'" CARD 20 RED DEER ~~. G_ ROUP 1: M""AMMA~ ~~ ) ~~--------------------- ~ ORDER
'" CARD 20
RED DEER
~~.
G_ ROUP 1: M""AMMA~ ~~ )
~~---------------------
~
ORDER
~
FAMILY
~
!I
Artiodactyla
"IIIIIIII
Cervidae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Cervus elaphus
"lIIIIIIIII
c
o
-g
.s
ell
Q)
D
~
Q)
E
C1l
Q)
co

The antlered red deer is an awesome sight. The stag uses his antlers as a weapon when fighting other males for access to females during the mating season each fall.

KEY FACTS
KEY FACTS
KEY FACTS
KEY FACTS

KEY FACTS

SIZES Height: Males 4-5 ft. Females a little smaller. Length: 5-9 ft. Weight: 220-265 lb.

Antlers: 35-39 in. fully grown .

BREEDING Sexual maturity: Females 2-4 years. Males breed at 5-6 years. Mating: Early fall. Gestation: Average 235 days. No. of young: 1 (twins are rare).

LIFESTYLE Habit: Sociable; males form separate herds during non- breeding season. Diet: Grass, heather, twigs, leaves, and fruits. lifespan: 17-20 years.

RELATED SPECIES There are 23 subspecies of deer, of which 6 are endangered.

Range of the red deer. DISTRIBUTION Red deer are found in southern Scandinavia, most of

Range of the red deer.

DISTRIBUTION Red deer are found in southern Scandinavia, most of western Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor. They have also been introduced to Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand.

CONSERVATION Common and increasing . Culling is carefully

many places and red deer are protected both as game and as ornamental animals.

controlled in

THE RED DEER'S ANTLERS

It takes a few days for the velvet to

disappear and for the antlers to become clean. An adult stag can have many

branches on his antlers . Stags over 2 years old grow branching antlers called prickets.
branches
on his antlers .
Stags over 2 years old
grow branching antlers
called prickets.
The velvet dies in July
and the stag will rub it off
and eat it.

Antlers begin as knobs covered in soft thin skin called velvet.

New antlers take about 100 days to grow and are shed in April.

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In summer, the coats of these attractive and DID YOU KNOW? impressive animals are a
In summer, the coats of these attractive and
DID YOU KNOW?
impressive animals are a bright chestnut brown.
the old antlers serve as a
valuable nutritive source.
In the fall, the deer grow waterproof guard hairs,
• Fighting stags sometimes lock
which turn the coats much darker.
Wild herds are found in forests and
their antlers together and can-
not separate. When this hap-
pens, both will starve to death .
• A stag with twelve points on
parkland throughout their range.
• While most deer eat only
the velvet as it falls off their
antlers, stags in the High-
lands of Scotland eat their
shedded antlers as well. The
soil is so deficient in the
minerals the deer need to
grow new sets of antlers, that
his antlers is called a "royal."
The autumn mating season,
called the rut, is the time when
the dominant stags challenge
and fight one another for
access to the females. Several
of the successful stags corner a
group of thirty to forty females,
called hinds, and will mate with
each sexually mature member
as she comes into season.
Younger stags are excluded
from breeding by the
older, more aggressive males.
At the end of the rut, when the
stags are exhausted, the
younger stags may mate with
any hinds which are late
coming into season.
The stags leave the females
when the rut is over, forming
bachelor herds for the rest of
the year. The larger animals
are still dominant, chasing
away rivals from the best
feeding places.
The calves are born after a
gestation period of 8' /2
months. They are able to
stand unsteadily at 20
minutes old, and are able to
take milk 10 minutes later.
A calf will stay with its
mother until she gives birth
again . At this time she
drives
it away so that it will not
compete with the new calf.
Left: Mature stag bellowing a
warning to another. If this threat
is ignored, the stags will fight (see
top picture).
Right: A calf suckles from its
mother. The calf's coat is
speckled until after its first molt
the following May.
~
RED DEER & MAN
Forests are the red deer's
natural habitat. Where the
forest has been cleared, the
deer move onto open land.
Even where forests have
been replanted, deer rarely
return because the dense re-
growth of the conifers makes
it difficult for them to feed.
Some deer live on open land
year round; others retreat to
wooded glens in the worst
winter weather.
Red deer are primarily
grazing animals. They feed
on grass by cutting it
between their sharp lower
incisor teeth and their hard
upper gums. They also have
strong teeth in their cheeks
that enable them to eat
twigs in the winter when
grass is scarce.
Right: The red deer feed on grass
in the summer.
Deer hunting is a popular,
though controversial, sport.
But the number of deer must
be controlled each year, to
prevent the herds from ex-
hausting their food supply.
Hunting, therefore, is seen as a
necessary population control.
Some species of deer are
bred I.ike cattle, but red deer
are not suitable to be raised on
ranches, since they are
dangerous during the rut.
~ NATUREWATCH
Red deer are easiest to spot in
summer, in wooded country
during the early hours of the
morning. Deer watchers must
be stealthy since, like most
herbivores (plant eaters), deer
are very wary and alert and
will quickly detect unfamiliar
movements, sounds, or
scents. Deer can rarely be
spotted on open land.