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Animal world

 














A white tiger is a tiger with a recessive gene that creates the pale coloration. Another genetic characteristic makes the stripes of the tiger very pale; white tigers of this type are called snow white or "pure white". This occurs when a tiger inherits two copies of the recessive gene for the paler coloration, which is rare. They have a pink nose, pink paw pads, grey mottled skin, ice blue eyes, and white to cream coloured fur with black, ash grey, or chocolate coloured stripes. Mr. H. E. Scott of the Indian police gave this description of a captive white tiger's eyes: "The colourings of the eyes are very distinct. There is no well defined division between the yellow of the comex and the blue of the iris. The eyes in some lights are practically colourless merely showing the black pupil on a light yellow background.



White tigers are not albinos and do not constitute a separate subspecies of their own and can breed with orange ones, although all of the resulting offspring will be heterozygous for the recessive white gene, and their fur will be orange. The only exception would be if the orange parent was itself already a heterozygous tiger, which would give each cub a 50% chance of being either double recessive white or heterozygous orange. If two heterozygous tigers, or heterozygotes, breed on average 25% of their offspring will be white, 50% will be heterozygous orange white gene carriers and 25% will be homozygous orange, with no white genes. In the 1970s a pair of heterozygous orange tigers named Sashi and Ravi produced 13 cubs in Alipore Zoo, of which 3 were white.




If two white tigers breed, 100% of their cubs will be homozygous white tigers. A tiger which is homozygous for the white gene may also be heterozygous or homozygous for many different genes. The question of whether a tiger is heterozygous (a heterozygote) or homozygous (a homozygote) depends on the context of which gene is being discussed. Inbreeding promotes homozygosity and has been used as a strategy to produce white tigers.Compared to orange tigers without the white gene, white tigers tend to be larger both at birth and at full adult size. This may have given them an advantage in the wild despite their unusual coloration. 
 




Heterozygous orange tigers also tend to be larger than other orange tigers. Kailash Sankhala, the director of the New Delhi Zoo in the 1960s, said "One of the functions of the white gene may have been to keep a size gene in the population, in case it's ever needed. Dark striped white individuals are well documented in the Bengal Tigersubspecies, also known as the Royal Bengal or Indian tiger, may also have occurred in captive Siberian Tigers, and may have been reported historically in several other subspecies. White pelage is most closely associated with the Bengal, or Indian subspecies. Currently, several hundred white tigers are in captivity worldwide with about 100 of them in India, and their numbers are on the increase.



The modern population includes both pure Bengals and hybrid Bengal Siberians, but it is unclear whether the recessive gene for white came only from Bengals, or from any of the Siberian ancestors as well. The unusual coloration of white tigers has made them popular in zoos and entertainment that showcases exotic animals. The magicians Siegfried & Roy are famous for having bred and trained two white tigers for their performances, referring to them as "royal white tigers" perhaps from the white tiger's association with the Maharaja of Rewa. The exotic tiger performance trio of Ron Holiday, Joy Holiday and Chuck Lizza subjects of the HBO documentary film Cat Dancers worked with a white tiger which ended up killing two of them.



 

A black panther is a large black cat. Black panthers are melanistic color variants of several species of larger cat. Wild black panthers in Latin America are black jaguars Panthera onca, in Asia and Africa black leopards Panthera pardus, and in North America may be black jaguars or possibly black cougars ,Puma concolor  although this has not been proven to have a black variant, or smaller cats. 



Black panthers are also reported as cryptids in areas such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, and for these if they do exist the species is not known. Captive black panthers may be black jaguars, or more commonly black leopards. Black panthers have sometimes been regarded as forming different species from their normally colored relatives.

The name "panther" is often limited to the black variants of the species, but is also used to refer to those which are normally colored for the species tawny or spotted, or to white color variants: white panthers.



 Today, black panther sightings are frequently recorded in rural Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, and sightings are being recorded closer and closer to urban areas. It has been suggested that the panthers mated with feral domestic cats, although in fact the domestic cat cannot hybridise with any of the panther species. The Australian "phantom panthers" are said to be responsible for the disappearances and deaths of numerous cats, dogs and livestock.



In March 2003, Kenthurst teenager Luke Walker suffered deep cuts that he claims resulted from being attacked by a large cat in the driveway of his home at night. There have been numerous sightings from "credible witnesses" such as pilots and police officers as well as a compilation of over 600 reports. However, testimonials do not constitute reliable evidence.
 


Animal X Natural Mysteries Unit lead an investigation into the phantom panther. They discovered that scats and hair found by locals and sent to a lab came back as dog scat which had feasted on swamp wallaby and hair that had come from a domestic cat. In an experiment, the Animal X team sent in leopard scat and hair collected from a private zoo. These samples came back with the same results.

 
 
 

 


The grey wolf or gray wolf Canis lupus, often known simply as wolf, is the largest wild member of the Canidae family. It is an ice age survivor originating during the Late Pleistocene around 300,000 years ago. DNA sequencing and genetic drift studies reaffirm that the gray wolf shares a common ancestry with the domestic dog Canis lupus familiaris. Although certain aspects of this conclusion have been questioned, including recently, the main body of evidence confirms it.



A number of other gray wolf subspecies have been identified, though the actual number of subspecies is still open to discussion. Gray wolves are typically apex predators in the ecosystems they occupy. Though not as adaptable as more generalist canid species, wolves have thrived in temperate forests, deserts, mountains, tundra, taiga, grasslands, and even urban areas.



Though once abundant over much of Eurasia and North America, the gray wolf inhabits a very small portion of its former range because of widespread destruction of its territory, human encroachment, and the resulting human wolf encounters that sparked broad extirpation. Even so, the gray wolf is regarded as being of least concern for extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, when the entire gray wolf population is considered as a whole.



Today, wolves are protected in some areas, hunted for sport in others, or may be subject to extermination as perceived threats to livestock and pets. In areas where human cultures and wolves are sympatric, wolves frequently feature in the folklore and mythology of those cultures, both positively and negatively.
  





Wolves will occasionally dwell in human dominated lands, examples of such having been recorded in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and increasingly in some North American cities.

 In Romania, wolves inhabit the streets of Braşov, as well as its municipal garbage dump and a shopping mall. Italian wolves have denned 25 miles 40 km from Rome. In Russia, wolves often strolled the streets of Kirov until the end of WWII, namely, Khlinovskaya, Vodoprovodnaya, and Gorbacheva streets. They are often sighted in large numbers on the outskirts of Moscow. In North America, wolves are reportedly visiting the outskirts large cities in Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin.
 

 


 

The horse Equus ferus caballus is a hoofed ungulate mammal, a subspecies of one of seven extant species of the family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi toed creature into the large, single toed animal of today. Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BCE, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BCE; by 2000 BCE the use of domesticated horses had spread throughout the Eurasian continent. Although most horses today are domesticated, there are still endangered populations of the Przewalski's Horse, the only remaining true wild horse, as well as more common feral horses which live in the wild but are descended from domesticated ancestors.



There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colors, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behavior. Their anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well developed sense of balance and a strong fight or flight instinct. Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down. Female horses, called mares, carry their young for approximately 11 months, and a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth. Most domesticated horses begin training under saddle or in harness between the ages of two and four.




They reach full adult development by age five, and have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years.
Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance; "cold bloods", such as draft horses and some ponies, suitable for slow, heavy work; and "warmbloods", developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods, often focusing on creating breeds for specific riding purposes, particularly in Europe. There are over 300 breeds of horses in the world today, developed for many different uses.

 

Horses and humans interact in many ways, not only in a wide variety of sport competitions and non competitive recreational pursuits, but also in working activities including police work, agriculture, entertainment, assisted learning, and therapy. Horses were historically used in warfare. A wide variety of riding and driving techniques have been developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control. Many products are derived from horses, including meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. Humans provide domesticated horses with food, water and shelter, as well as attention from specialists such as veterinarians and farriers.



Feral horses are born and live in the wild, but are descended from domesticated animals.Many populations of feral horses exist throughout the world. Studies of feral herds have provided useful insights into the behavior of prehistoric horses, as well as greater understanding of the instincts and behaviors that drive horses that live in domesticated conditions.

 
 
 


 

 
The Lion Panthera leo is one of four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg 550 lb in weight, it is the second largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in Sub Saharan Africa and in Asia with a critically endangered remnant population in northwest India, having disappeared from North Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, which was about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans.



They were found in most of Africa, much of Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. Lions live for around 10 to 14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live over 20 years. In the wild, males seldom live longer than ten years, as injuries sustained from continuous fighting with rival males greatly reduces their longevity. They typically inhabit savanna and grassland, although they may take to bush and forest. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats.



The tiger Panthera tigris is a member of the Felidae family; the largest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera. Native to much of eastern and southern Asia, the tiger is an apex predator and an obligate carnivore. Reaching up to 3.3 metres 11 ft in total length and weighing up to 300 kilograms 660 pounds, the larger tiger subspecies are comparable in size to the biggest extinct felids. Aside from their great bulk and power, their most recognisable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes that overlays near white to reddish orange fur, with lighter underparts.



Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. Lions are apex and keystone predators, although they will scavenge if the opportunity arises. While lions do not typically hunt humans selectively, some have been known to become man eaters and seek human prey.
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The leopard Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera, the other three being the tiger, lion and jaguar. Once distributed across southern Asia and Africa, from Korea to South Africa, the leopard's range of distribution has decreased radically due to hunting and loss of habitat, and the greatest concentration of leopards now occurs chiefly in sub Saharan Africa; there are also fragmented populations in Pakistan, India, Indochina, Malaysia, and China. Due to the loss of range and declines in population, it is graded as a "Near Threatened" species.
 
 
Most lionesses will have reproduced by the time they are four years of age. Lions do not mate at any specific time of the year, and the females are polyestrous. As with other cats, the male lion's penis has spines which point backwards. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which may cause ovulation. A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in heat, during a mating bout, which could last several days, the couple copulates twenty to forty times a day and are likely to forgo eating. Lions reproduce very well in captivity.



The cougar Puma concolor, also known as puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount or panther, depending on the region, is a mammal of the family Felidae, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in every major American habitat type. It is the second heaviest cat in the American continents after the jaguar. Although large, the cougar is most closely related to smaller felines. 
 


The leopard has relatively short legs and a long body, with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, although it is of smaller and slighter build. Its fur is marked with similar rosettes to those of the jaguar, though the leopard's rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and the leopard's rosettes do not usually have central spots as the jaguar's do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic completely black or very dark are known as black panthers.

 









 
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. They include for example Moose, Red Deer, Reindeer, Roe and Chital. Animals from related families within the order Artiodactyla even toed ungulates are often also considered to be deer these include muntjac and water deer. Male and a few female deer of all species except the Chinese Water deer who only have short tusks instead grow and shed new antlers each year  in this they differ from permanently horned animals such as antelope these are in the same order as deer and may bear a superficial resemblance.



The musk deer of Asia and Water Chevrotain or Mouse Deer of tropical African and Asian forests are not usually regarded as true deer and form their own families, Moschidae and Tragulidae, respectively.



Deer weights generally range from 40 to 200 kilograms. They generally have lithe, compact bodies and long, powerful legs suited for rugged woodland terrain. Deer are also excellent jumpers and swimmers. Deer are ruminants, or cud-chewers, and have a four-chambered stomach. The teeth of deer are adapted to feeding on vegetation, and like other ruminants, they lack upper incisors, instead having a tough pad at the front of their upper jaw.


 

Some deer, such as those on the island of Rùm do consume meat when it is available. The Chinese water deer, Tufted deer and muntjac have enlarged upper canine teeth forming sharp tusks, while other species often lack upper canines altogether. The cheek teeth of deer have crescent ridges of enamel, which enable them to grind a wide variety of vegetation.


 

Nearly all deer have a facial gland in front of each eye. The gland contains a strongly scented pheromone, used to mark its home range. Bucks of a wide range of species open these glands wide when angry or excited. All deer have a liver without a gallbladder. Deer also have a tapetum lucidum which gives them sufficiently good night vision.

 



Seneca County, New York State maintains the largest herd of white deer. White pigmented White tailed Deer began populating the deer population in the area now known as the Conservation Area of the former Seneca Army Depot. The U.S. Army gave the white deer protection while managing the normal colored deer through hunting. The white deer coloration is the result of a recessive gene.









The hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse" , is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae the other is the Pygmy Hippopotamus. The hippopotamus is the second largest land animal after the elephant and the heaviest extant artiodactyl, despite being considerably shorter than the giraffe.



The hippopotamus is semi aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of 5 to 30 females and young. During the day they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. They emerge at dusk to graze on grass. While hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.



The hippopotamus is recognizable by its barrel shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, nearly hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. It is the third largest land mammal by weight between 1½ and 3 tonnes, behind the white rhinoceros 1½ to 3½ tonnes and both species of elephant 3 to 9 tonnes. Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 30 km/h 19 mph over short distances.



The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as the most ferocious animal in Africa. There is an estimated of 125,000 to 150,000 hippos throughout Sub Saharan Africa; Zambia 40,000 and Tanzania 20,000 to 30,000 possess the largest populations. They are still threatened by habitat loss and poaching  for their meat and ivory canine teeth.








A monkey is any cercopithecoid Old World monkey or platyrrhine New World monkey primate. All primates that are not prosimians lemurs and tarsiers or apes are monkeys. The 264 known extant monkey species represent two of the three groupings of simian primates the third group being the 21 species of apes. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent and, unlike apes, monkeys usually have tails.



The New World monkeys are classified within the parvorder Platyrrhini, whereas the Old World monkeys superfamily Cercopithecoidea form part of the parvorder Catarrhini, which also includes the apes. Thus, scientifically speaking, monkeys are paraphyletic not a single coherent group and Old World monkeys are actually more closely related to the apes than they are to the New World monkeys.
 

  
Due to its size up to 1 m/3 ft the Mandrill is often thought to be an ape, but it is actually an Old World monkey. Also, a few monkey species have the word "ape" in their common name.



Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae family, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Chimpanzees split from human evolution about 6 million years ago and thus the two chimpanzee species are the closest living relatives to humans, all being members of the Hominini tribe along with extinct species of Hominina subtribe. Chimpanzees are the only known members of the Panina subtribe. The two Pan species split only about one million years ago.
 

 
The orangutans are the only exclusively Asian living genus of great ape. They are the largest living arboreal animals. They have longer arms than other great apes, and their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, they are currently found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, though fossils have been found in Java, the Thai Malay Peninsula, Vietnam and China. There are only two surviving species, both of which are endangered: the Bornean Orangutan Pongo pygmaeus and the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan Pongo abelii. The subfamily Ponginae also includes the extinct genera Gigantopithecus and Sivapithecus.




Gorillas are the largest of the living primates. They are ground dwelling and predominantly herbivorous. They inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and still under debate as of 2008 either four or five subspecies. The DNA of gorillas is 98%–99% identical to that of a human, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species.   Gorillas live in tropical or subtropical forests. Although their range covers a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. 


 
The many species of monkey have varied relationships with humans. Some are kept as pets, others used as model organisms in laboratories or in space missions. They may be killed in monkey drives when they threatened agriculture, or used as service animals for the disabled.
 
 

 



 


Elephants are large land mammals in two genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta. Three species of elephant are living today: the African Bush Elephant, the African Forest Elephant and the Asian Elephant also known as the Indian Elephant. All other species and genera of Elephantidae are extinct, some since the last ice age: dwarf forms of mammoths may have survived as late as 2,000 BC. Elephants and other Elephantidae were once classified with other thick-skinned animals in a now invalid order, Pachydermata.




Elephants are the largest land animals now living. The elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal. At birth it is common for an elephant calf to weigh 120 kilograms 260 lb. They typically live for 50 to 70 years, but the oldest recorded elephant lived for 82 years. The largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1956. This male weighed about 12,000 kilograms 26,000 lb, with a shoulder height of 4.2 metres 14 ft, a metre taller than the average male African elephant.



The smallest elephants, about the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the island of Crete during the Pleistocene epoch. The elephant has appeared in cultures across the world. They are a symbol of wisdom in Asian cultures and are famed for their memory and intelligence, where they are thought to be on par with cetaceans and hominids. Aristotle once said the elephant was the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind. The word "elephant" has its origins in the Greek , meaning "ivory" or "elephant".


 
Healthy adult elephants have no natural predators, although lions may take calves or weak individuals. They are, however, increasingly threatened by human intrusion and poaching. Once numbering in the millions, the African elephant population has dwindled to between 470,000 and 690,000 individuals according to a March 2007 estimate. 



While the elephant is a protected species worldwide, with restrictions in place on capture, domestic use, and trade in products such as ivory, there has been an increase in poaching in recent years, perhaps attributable to the cites reopening of "one time" ivory stock sales. Certain African nations report a decrease of their elephant populations by as much as two thirds, and populations in even some protected areas are in danger of being eliminated. Since recent poaching has increased by as much as 45%, the current population is unknown 2008






 

Rhinoceros, often colloquially abbreviated rhino, is a name used to group five extant species of odd toed ungulates in the family rhinocerotidae. Two of these species are native to Africa and three to southern Asia. Three of the five species the Javan, Sumatran and Black Rhinoceros are critically endangered. The Indian Rhinoceros is endangered, with fewer than 2,700 individuals remaining in the wild. The White is registered as "vulnerable", with approximately 17,500 remaining in the wild, as reported by the International Rhino Foundation.


 
The rhinoceros family is characterized by its large size one of the largest remaining megafauna alive today, with all of the species able to reach one ton or more in weight; herbivorous diet; and a thick protective skin, 1.5–5 cm thick, formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure; relatively small brains for mammals this size 400–600g; and a large horn.

 
They generally eat leafy material, although their ability to ferment food in their hindgut allows them to subsist on more fibrous plant matter, if necessary. Unlike other perissodactyls, the African species of rhinoceros lack teeth at the front of their mouths, relying instead on their powerful premolar and molar teeth to grind up plant food.
 


The rhino is prized for its horn. The horns of a rhinoceros are made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails. Both African species and the Sumatran Rhinoceros have two horns, while the Indian and Javan Rhinoceros have a single horn. Rhinoceroses have acute hearing and sense of smell, but poor eyesight. Most live to be about 60 years old or more. 

 



 


Fox is a common name for many species of carnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium sized canids slightly smaller than the median sized domestic dog, characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail or brush.


Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to the Vulpes genus of 'true foxes'. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox Vulpes, although various species are found on almost every continent.

The presence of fox like carnivores all over the globe has led to their appearance in both popular culture and folklore in many cultures around the world. The gray fox is one of only two canine species known to climb trees; the other is the raccoon dog. 
 
 
The Arctic Fox Alopex lagopus or Vulpes lagopus, also known as the White Fox, Polar Fox or Snow Fox, is a small fox native to cold Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. Although it is often assigned to its own genus Alopex, the definitive mammal taxonomy list, as well as genetic evidence places it in Vulpes with the majority of the other foxes.
 


The red fox is by far the most widespread and abundant species of fox, found in almost every single habitat in the Northern Hemisphere, from the coastal marshes of United States, to the alpine tundras of Tibetan Plateau. It is capable of co existing with more specialized species of foxes, such as Arctic fox, in the same habitat. The red fox could withstand and sometimes thrive in areas with heavy human disturbance. It is nowhere near extinction, and its amazing adaptiveness is driving many other less competent species into extinction.
 



 

Zebras are African equids best known for their distinctive white and black stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns unique to each individual. They are generally social animals and can be seen in small harems to large herds. In addition to their stripes, zebras have erect, mohawk-like manes. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and asses, zebras have never been truly domesticated.



There are three species of zebra: the Plains Zebra, Grévy's Zebra and the Mountain Zebra. The Plains zebra and the Mountain zebra belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, but Grevy's zebra is the sole species of subgenus Dolichohippus. The latter resembles an ass while the former two are more horse-like. Nevertheless, DNA and molecular data show that zebras do indeed have monophyletic origins.

 All three belong to the genus Equus along with other living equids. In certain regions of Kenya, Plains zebras and Grevy's zebras coexist. The unique stripes and behaviors of zebras make these among the animals most familiar to people. They can be found in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains and coastal hills. However, various anthropogenic factors have had a severe impact on zebra populations, in particular hunting for skins and habitat destruction.

Grevy's zebra and the Mountain zebra are endangered. While Plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the quagga, went extinct in the late nineteenth century. The name "zebra" comes from the Old Portuguese word zevra which means "wild ass". The pronunciation is /ˈzɛbrə/ ZEB-rə internationally, or ˈzi:brə/ ZEE-brə in North American.
 



 
 

The Giant Panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca, literally meaning "cat foot black and white" is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the Giant Panda's diet is 99% bamboo.
 

 


Other parts of its diet include honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, and bananas when available. The Giant Panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Due to farming, deforestation, and other development, the Giant Panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived. 

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The Giant Panda is a conservation reliantendangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 Giant Pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000.
 


Some reports also show that the number of Giant Pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable. While the dragon has historically served as China's national emblem, in recent decades the Giant Panda has also served as an emblem for the country.
 


 Its image appears on a large number of modern Chinese commemorative silver, gold, and platinum coins. Though the Giant Panda is often assumed to be docile, it has been known to attack humans, presumably out of irritation rather than predatory behavior.





 


The polar bear Ursus maritimus is a bear native largely within the Arctic circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak bear, which is approximately the same size. An adult male weighs around 350–680 kg (770–1,500 lb).



 while an adult female is about half that size. Although it is closely related to the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrow ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet.



 Although most polar bears are born on land, it spends most of its time at sea, hence its scientific name meaning "maritime bear", and can hunt consistently only from sea ice, spending much of the year on the frozen sea. The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with 8 of the 19 polar bear subpopulations in declin. For decades, 
unrestricted hunting raised international concern for the future of the species; populations have rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect.




For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous peoples, and the hunting of polar bears remains important in their cultures. The IUCN now lists global warming as the most significant threat to the polar bear, primarily because the melting of its sea ice habitat reduces its ability to find sufficient food. The IUCN states, "If climatic trends continue polar bears may become extirpated from most of their range within 100 years.






Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere. Bears are found in the continents of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Common characteristics of modern bears include a large body with stocky legs, a long snout, shaggy hair, plantigrade paws with five nonretractile claws, and a short tail. While the polar bear is mostly carnivorous and the giant panda feeds almost entirely on bamboo, the remaining six species are omnivorous, with largely varied diets including both plants and animals. With the exceptions of courting individuals and mothers with their young, bears are typically solitary animals.



They are generally diurnal, but may be active during the night nocturnal or twilight crepuscular, particularly around humans. Bears are aided by an excellent sense of smell, and despite their heavy build and awkward gait, they can run quickly and are adept climbers and swimmers. In autumn some bear species forage large amounts of fermented fruits which affects their behaviour. Bears use shelters such as caves and burrows as their dens, which are occupied by most species during the winter for a long period of sleep similar to hibernation.

Bears have been hunted since prehistoric times for their meat and fur. To this day, they play a prominent role in the arts, mythology, and other cultural aspects of various human societies. In modern times, the bear's existence has been pressured through the encroachment on its habitats and the illegal trade of bears and bear parts, including the Asian bile bear market. The IUCN lists six bear species as vulnerable or endangered, and even least concern species such as the brown bear are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations is prohibited, but still ongoing. 
 

 



A squirrel is one of many small or medium sized rodents in the family Sciuridae. In the English speaking world, squirrel commonly refers to members of this family's genera Sciurus and Tamiasciurus, which are tree squirrels with large bushy tails, indigenous to Asia, the Americas and Europe. Similar genera are found in Africa.



The Sciuridae family also includes flying squirrels, as well as ground squirrels such as the chipmunks, prairie dogs, and woodchucks. Members of the family Anomaluridae are sometimes misleadingly referred to as "scaly tailed flying squirrels" although they are not closely related to the true squirrels.



In United States and Canada, common squirrels include the Fox Squirrel S. niger; the Western Gray Squirrel S. griseus; the Douglas Squirrel Tamiasciurus douglasii; the American Red Squirrel T. hudsonicus; and the Eastern Grey Squirrel S. carolinensis, of which the "Black Squirrel" is a variant.



In Europe the Red Squirrel or Eurasian red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris is the most common native species, although the Eastern Grey Squirrel S. carolinensis has been introduced in some countries and has displaced the red in many areas, including most of Britain.





 

Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. There are seven different genera in the family classified as rabbits, including the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus, Cottontail rabbit genus Sylvilagus; 13 species, and the Amami rabbit Pentalagus furnessi, endangered species on Amami Ōshima, Japan. There are many other species of rabbit, and these, along with pikas and hares, make up the order Lagomorpha.



The rabbit lives in many areas around the world. Rabbits live in groups, and the best known species, the European rabbit lives in underground burrows, or rabbit holes. A group of burrows is called a warren. Meadows, woods, forests, thickets, and grasslands are areas in which rabbits live. They also inhabit deserts and wetlands. More than half the world's rabbit population resides in North America. They also live in Europe, India, Sumatra, Japan, and parts of Africa. The European rabbit has been introduced to many places around the world.

Rabbits, being prey animals, tend to be exploratory in new spaces and when confronted with a threat, they tend to freeze and observe. Rabbit vision has a remarkably wide field of vision, and a good deal of it is devoted to overhead scanning. Even indoors, rabbits will scan for overhead threats. Rabbits have a complex social structure, and like dogs, will attempt to establish a hierarchy and dominance.



Rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility or rebirth, and have long been associated with spring and Easter as the Easter Bunny. The species' role as a prey animal also lends itself as a symbol of innocence, another Easter connotation.




New Bizarre Discovery.



An odd looking creature has been discovered in the mountains of the African country Tanzania. It’s proper name is Rhynochocyon udzungwensis rino mouse, it’s the size of a cat and looks like a cross between a tiny antelope and a small ant eater.



The mammal has a grey face, a long, flexible snout, a tubby, amber-colored body, a jet black behind and it stands on spindly legs. Experts are now going to find out how many of these strange animals exist. “This is one of the most exciting discoveries of my career,” said Galen Rathbun, who was part of an international team which confirmed that the animal was a new species.



As well as having different coloring than any other elephant shrew, the new mammal is much larger, weighing 700g and measuring about 30cm in length.
Dr Rathbun said they were amazing: “They are not like a dog or cat you can interact with – but they are so bizarre-looking and a lot of their behavioral ecology is so unique and interesting, you kind of get wrapped up with them.”




The dog Canis lupus familiaris, is a domesticated form of the wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The domestic dog has been one of the most widely kept working and companion animals in human history. The word "dog" may also mean the male of a canine species,as opposed to the word "bitch" for the female of the species.



The dog quickly became ubiquitous across culture across the world, and was extremely valuable to early human settlements. For instance, it is believed that the successful emigration across the Bering Strait might not have been possible without sled dogs. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This versatility, more than almost any other known animal, has given them the nickname "Man's best friend" in the western world. Currently, there are estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.



Over the 15,000 year span that the dog had been domesticated, it diverged into only a handful of landraces, groups of similar animals whose morphology and behavior have been shaped by environmental factors and functional roles. As the modern understanding of genetics developed, humans began to intentionally breed dogs for a wide range of specific traits. Through this process, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal.



For example, height measured to the withers ranges from a few inches in the Chihuahua to a few feet in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays usually called "blue'" to black, and browns from light tan to dark "red" or "chocolate" in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse haired to wool like, straight, curly, or smooth. It is common for most breeds to shed this coat, but non shedding breeds are also popular.

 



The cat Felis silvestris catus, also known as the domestic cat or housecat to distinguish it from other felines and felids, is a small carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and its ability to hunt vermin and household pests. Cats have been associated with humans for at least 9,500 years and are currently the most popular pet in the world. 


 
Due to their close association with humans, cats are now found almost everywhere on Earth. This extreme adaptability and their worrying impacts on native animals has led to them being classed as an invasive species. Most of these problems are caused by the large number of feral cats worldwide, with a population of up to 60 million of these animals in the United States alone.



Cats are similar in size and anatomy to the other Felids, with light, flexible bodies and teeth adapted to killing small prey. A skilled predator, the cat hunts over 1,000 species for food, using its excellent eyesight and hearing. Unusually, cats have lost the ability to taste sugar and in some breeds show hereditary deafness.



Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species and use a variety of vocalizations, pheromones and types of body language for communication. These include meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling, squeaking, chirping, clicking, and grunting. They are also bred and shown as registered pedigree pets. This hobby is known as cat fancy.




You'd have to see it to believe it.

Defying the laws of nature itself, animal forge friendships under the most peculiar circumstances. But in the process, they show us that humans aren't the only members of the animal kingdom to demonstrate complex emotions and traits.  "To know that these animals are capable of emotions like love and understanding and caring, like we are, is quite an eye-opener,"



Tiger Cub, Baby Orangutan Find Comfort

Dema, a 26 day old Sumatran tiger cub, cuddles up to 5 month old orangutan Irma at an animal hospital in West Java, Indonesia, February 2007. Both babies were rejected by their mothers at birth.

 



A unlikely friendship between a Bird and a Mouse ,who ever said that different
animals can't get along.

Sobe,recently acquired an adoptive brother named Johann.  He was only a few weeks old and more dead than alive with an upper respiratory infection, severe bilateral eye infection, blind in one eye due to severe ulceration secondary to the infection, chunks of fur missing from a flea infestation, with extremely labored breathing  and emaciated to the point of being too weak to eat.Sobe initially was defensive and territorial and tried to lunge at Johann several times. In the beginning they were separated, and gradually introduced to each other and within a couple of days they were best friends!

Consider little Manni that's him on the right among the world's luckiest wild boars. He was found in rural Ehringhausen, Germany, starving in a field. Apparently abandoned by his mother, he was only a few weeks old, and he'd certainly started out life on the wrong foot. Fortunately, Manni was adopted, and was bottle feed
and introduced to an unlikely friend: Candy a Jack Russell terrier. Manni and Candy "play together every day.


Hamster and Snake Coexist Peacefully

A hamster called Gohan the name is a tasty rice dish in Japan has a nibble beside his cage mate, a rat snake that refuses to eat him, in Tokyo, January 2006.



Here Is A tiger and a pig that are unlikely to be friends but are, 
Animals of all forms demonstrate how they can put aside their differences or predator instincts and hang out with each other. 
 






  
Pick a boo



The giraffe is an African even toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all land living animal species, and the largest ruminant. It is covered in large, irregular patches of yellow to black fur separated by white, off white, or dark yellowish brown background. The average mass for an adult male giraffe is 1,200 kilograms 2,600 lb while the average mass for an adult female is 830 kilograms 1,800 lb It is approximately 4.3 metres 14 ft to 5.2 metres 17 ft tall, although the tallest male recorded stood almost 6 metres 20 ft.



 

The giraffe is related to deer and cattle, but is placed in a separate family, the Giraffidae, consisting of only the giraffe and its closest relative, the okapi. Its range extends from Chad in Central Africa to South Africa.



Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands, or open woodlands. However, when food is scarce they will venture into areas with denser vegetation. They prefer areas with plenty of acacia growth. They will drink large quantities of water when available, which enables them to live for extended periods in dry, arid areas.



Overall, the giraffe is regarded as "Least Concern" from a conservation perspective by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, at least one subspecies, the West African or Nigerian Giraffe, has been classified as endangered. Giraffes are hunted for their tails, hides and meat. The tails are used as good luck charms, thread and flyswatters.In addition, habitat destruction also hurts the giraffe. In the Sahel trees are cut down for firewood and to make way for livestock. Normally, giraffes are able to cope with livestock since they feed in the trees above their heads.



The giraffe population is shrinking in West Africa. However, the populations in eastern and southern Africa are stable and, due to the popularity of privately owned game ranches and sanctuaries are expanding. The giraffe is a protected species in most of its range. The total African giraffe population has been estimated to range from 110,000 to 150,000. Kenya 45,000, Tanzania 30,000, and Botswana 12,000, have the largest national populations.






The American Bison is a North American species of bison, also commonly known as the American Buffalo. "Buffalo" is somewhat of a misnomer for this animal, as it is only distantly related to either of the two "true buffaloes", the Asian Water Buffalo and the African Buffalo. However, "bison" is a Greek word meaning ox like animal, while "buffalo" originated with the French fur trappers who called these massive beasts boeufs, meaning ox or bullock so both names, "bison" and "buffalo," have a similar meaning.



Known as one of the "big five" or "Black Death" in Africa, the African Buffalo is widely regarded as a very dangerous animal, as it gores and kills over 200 people every year. Buffalo are sometimes reported to kill more people in Africa than any other animal, although the same claim is sometimes made of Hippopotami, or Crocodiles. Buffalo are notorious among big game hunters as very dangerous animals, with wounded animals reported to ambush and attack pursuers.

 
In reference to this animal, the term "buffalo," which dates to 1635, has a much longer history than the term "bison," which was first recorded in 1774. The American Bison is more closely related to the Wisent or European Bison. These bison once inhabited the grasslands of North America in massive herds; their range roughly formed a triangle between the Great Bear Lake in Canada's far northwest, south to the Mexican states of Durango and Nuevo León, and east along the western boundary of the Appalachian Mountains. Two subspecies or ecotypes have been described: the Plains Bison, smaller in size and with a more rounded hump, and the Wood Bison, which is the larger of the two and with a taller, square hump. Furthermore, it has been suggested that the Plains Bison consists of a northern and a southern subspecies, bringing the total to three. However, this is generally not supported. The Wood Bison is one of the largest species of cattle in the world, surpassed only by the Asian gaur and Wild Asian Water Buffalo. It is the largest extant land animal in North America.



Bison are among the most dangerous animals encountered by visitors to the various U.S. and Canadian National Parks, especially Yellowstone National Park. Although they are not carnivorous, they will attack humans if provoked. They appear slow because of their lethargic movements, but they can easily outrun humans, they have been observed running as fast as 35 miles per hour 56 km/h. Between 1978 and 1992, nearly five times as many people in Yellowstone National Park were killed or injured by bison as by bears 12 by bears, 56 by bison. Bison are also more agile than one might expect, given the animal's size and body structure. In 2009, a bison named Gracie escaped from a local farm and ran through the streets of St. Joseph, Mich. Police shot the animal after it ran into a house and a vehicles. 
 

 



The Hyaenidae is a mammalian family of order Carnivora. The Hyaenidae family, native to both African and Asian continents, consists of four living species, the Striped Hyena and Brown Hyena, the Spotted Hyena, and the Aardwolf.
 


Hyenas seem to have originated 26 million years ago from arboreal ancestors bearing similarities to the modern Banded Palm Civet. Plioviverrops, one of the earliest hyenas, was a lithe civet-like creature that inhabited Eurasia 20-22 million years ago. Details from the middle ear and dental structure marked it as a primitive hyena. This genus proved successful, its descendants flourishing with more pointed jowls and racier legs, much as the Canidae had done in North America.
 



Fifteen million years ago, dog like hyenas flourished, with 30 different species being identified. Unlike some of their modern descendants, these hyenas were not specialized bone crushers, but were more nimble, wolf like animals. The dog like hyenas had canid-like molars, allowing them to supplement their carnivorous diet with vegetation and invertebrates.


Five to seven million years ago, the hyenas were outcompeted by canids traveling from North America to Eurasia via the Bering land bridge.The ancestral aardwolves survived by having adapted themselves to an insectivorous diet to which few canids had specialized. Some hyenas evolved bone crushing teeth, which allowed them to avoid competition with the canids, resulting in the hyenas eventually outcompeting a family of similarly built bone-crushers called "percrocutoids". The percrocutoids became extinct 7 million years ago, coinciding exactly with the rise of bone-crushing hyena species. Unlike the canids who flourished in the newly colonized Eurasian continent, only one hyena species, the cheetah like Chasmaporthetes, managed to cross to North America. It became extinct 1.5 million years ago.







Wild boar is a species of pig, including at least 16 subspecies, and part of the biological family Suidae. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises. Wild boar are native across much of Northern and Central Europe, the Mediterranean Region including North Africa's Atlas Mountains and much of Asia as far south as Indonesia.



Populations have also been artificially introduced in some parts of the world, most notably the Americas and Australasia; principally for hunting. Elsewhere, populations have also become established after escapes of wild boar from captivity.



The term boar is used to denote an adult male of certain species including, confusingly, domestic pigs. However, for wild boar, it applies to the whole species, including, for instance, "sow wild boar" or "wild boar piglet. Wild boar are also known by various names, including wild hogs or simply boars. In America they are often referred to as razorbacks, pineywoods, rooters and European boars.







A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae and the order Erinaceomorpha. There are 17 species of hedgehog in five genera, found through parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand.



 There are no hedgehogs native to Australia, and no living species native to North America; those in New Zealand are introduced. Hedgehogs have changed little over the last 15 million years. Like many of the first mammals they have adapted to a nocturnal, insectivorous way of life.



The name 'hedgehog' came into use around the year 1450, derived from the Middle English 'heyghoge', because it frequents hedgerows, and 'hoge', 'hogge' = hog, from its piglike snout. Other folk names include 'urchin', 'hedgepig' and 'furze pig'.



Hedgehogs are easily recognized by their spines, which are hollow hairs made stiff with keratin. Their spines are not poisonous or barbed and, unlike the quills of a porcupine, cannot easily be removed from the hedgehog.


 

 However, spines normally come out when a hedgehog sheds baby spines and replaces them with adult spines. This is called "quilling." When under extreme stress or during sickness, a hedgehog can also lose spines.


 
 


Bats are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera. The forelimbs of bats are webbed and developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums and colugos, glide rather than fly, and only for short distances. Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, like birds, but instead flap their spread out digits.which are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium.

 


There are about 1,100 bat species worldwide, which represent about twenty percent of all classified mammal species. About seventy percent of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters. A few species feed from animals other than insects. Bats are present throughout most of the world and perform vital ecological roles such as pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds. Many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds. 




Bats range in size from Kitti's Hog nosed Bat measuring 29–33 mm (1.14–1.30 in) in length and 2 g (0.07 oz) in mass. to the Giant Golden crowned Flying fox which has a wing span of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) and weighs approximately 1.2 kg 3 lb.
 

 



 

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