Endangered Species by linxiaoqin

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 9

									Pygmy Hippopotamus

Description: The pygmy hippo resembles a miniature hippopotamus. However there are structural differences. It is
considerably smaller, the head is rounder, proportionately smaller and not so broad and flat. The nostrils are large
and almost circular, the eyes are set on the side of the head and do not protrude, the legs are proportionately longer
and only the front toes are webbed. As well, the pygmy hippo has only one pair of upper incisors compared to the
river hippo’s two pairs. The feet have four toes each with sharp nails. Length of head & body: 142 - 172 cm Height
to shoulder: 75 - 100 cm Length of tail: 15 - 28 cm Weight: 160 - 270 kg

Distribution: Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

Habitat: Rain forests, swamps, thickets near water and streams.

Food: They feed on leaves, swamp vegetation (aquatic plants and algae) and fallen fruit and also on roots and tubers
which it digs up.

Skin/Colour/Coat: The barrel-shaped body has smooth, hairless skin, which is black-brown to purple in colour,
with the cheeks often tinted pink. A few bristles are located on the lips. The stubby tail has a wiry tassel of yellow
hair. Glands in the skin produce a clear oily secretion that keeps the hide moist and shiny. In certain lights the
reddish brown tone of the skin is reflected in the beads of secretion, which then look almost blood red.

Vocalization: Normally silent, they have been recorded snorting, grunting, hissing, groaning, and squeaking.

Reproduction and Development: Mating takes place on land and in the water throughout a period of two days. The
estrous cycle is 28 days long and estrous lasts 2-3 days. The gestation period is about 180 - 210 days after which a
single calf is born. The pink newborn weighs between 3.4 and 6.2 kg. The young are born on land or in shallow
water, and nurse 2-3 times in a 24 hour period. After birth, the young lie concealed hidden by their mother for more
than three weeks to protect them from predators and the sun. The calf grows quickly, gaining from 300 - 600 g daily.
It doubles its birth weight in three weeks. After 5 months, it weighs ten times its birth weight. It nurses first on land,
later under water. The calf is weaned after 6-8 months and stays with its mother for up to 3 years. Pygmy hippos
reach sexual maturity at 4-5 years of age. The life span is approximately 35-40 years.

Adaptations: The pygmy hippo is less aquatic than the river hippo, spending most of their time on land. They are
very shy and are nocturnal in nature. Pygmy hippos sleep by day, resting most of the morning and early afternoon in
shelters in thick undergrowth near rivers or streams until they begin to forage during late evening to midnight hours.
When foraging in tropical forests, pygmy hippos make deep paths similar to tunnels within the dense brush. When
foraging in water, they form canal like pathways. It marks these tunnel-like paths by spreading its dung when
vigorously wagging its tail while defecating. When frightened or alarmed the pygmy hippo seeks refuge in dense
cover or in water. They are excellent swimmers and can even walk on the river bottom. They can stay underwater
for over 5 minutes. Pygmy hippos are said to have excellent hearing and eyesight. The oily chemical, which is given
off by the body, helps lubricate their skin so it doesn't dry out.

Threats: Excessive hunting combined with the destruction of large areas of its forest habitat, as a result of
agricultural programs and logging operations, are the main threats.

Status: Vulnerable
Mandrill

Description: The Mandrill is one of 8 species of baboons. Prominent blue ridges run lengthwise down swellings on
each side of the nose. A narrow septum results in nostrils close together, comma shaped and pointing downwards,
(Catarrhini nostrils - or “downward pointing”, a characteristic of Old World monkeys). Canine teeth are very large.
Heavy body, limbs straight and thick. The female is much smaller (about half the size of the male). Almost tail-less.
Length of head and body (male): 82.5 cm Height at shoulder (male): 50 cm Weight of male: 50 kg Weight of
female: 50% of male

Distribution: Equatorial West Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo Republic. Between
sea level and 1,000 m altitude.

Habitat: Ground dwellers in humid forest areas of coastal regions and savanna grasslands in more mountainous and
open rocky areas

Food: Omnivores. Fruits, nuts, plant material, beetles, grubs, worms, small snakes, lizards. Will also kill small
mammals - hares, young ungulates or vervet monkeys.

Skin/Colour/Coat: The male has a brown coat with white cheek whiskers, yellow beard and lighter brown crest on
crown of head. The distinguishing feature of the mandrill is the large dog-like muzzle with red nostrils and stripe
down the nose. Genitalia bright red, hindquarters are bare with vivid colouring suffused with red and blue, merging
to mauve in places. In young males the nose has red and blue colouring. The female is more drab brown and do not
have the blue colouring on the ridges on the sides of the nose.

Vocalization: Mandrills are capable of a wide variety of hoots, grunts and screams.

Reproduction and Development: Year round breeding. Female is in oestrus every 33 days, shown by swelling and
bright red colouring of genitalia, beginning at onset of menstruation and peaking at ovulation. Gestation period 220 -
270 days (usually about 245 days). The mother carries the very young baby ventrally, the baby clinging to the hair
of the mother’s chest and supported by the mother’s hand. After 2 - 3 weeks, the baby is able to ride on the mother’s
back. Sexual maturity is reached at about 3 1/2 years. Lifespan in captivity is 40 years or more.

Adaptations: Mandrills live in groups of up to 50 individuals with the females outnumbering the males. There is
fierce competition between males for breeding positions (possibly explaining the comparatively larger size of the
males). The large canines of the male, together with its size, strength and aggressiveness, combine to establish one
male to dominate over others. They search for food on the forest floor by day. They are agile climbers to escape
from predators. They sleep in the middle layer of the forest canopy and range over an area of 100 square km.

Threats: Individual mandrills may be prey to leopards, cheetahs or lions. A group of males, however, are rarely
attacked by an individual predator.

Status: Near threatened in many parts of its range.
Cheetah

Description: Nonretractile claws and hard pads in dog-like feet. Long legs, long tail and small head and ears. Head
and body: 120 to 180 cm (48-72 inches) Tail: 75 to 90 cm (24-30 inches) Height to shoulder: 75 to 90 cm (30-36
inches) Weight: 45 to 59 kg (100-130 pounds)

Distribution: Africa - from Algeria, Morocco and Rio de Oro; south to South Africa, The Transvaal, through Egypt,
Ethiopia, Arabia, Syria and Iran.

Habitat: Open savanna

Food: Small hoofed herbivores: Grant's and Thompson's Gazelle, Wildebeeste, zebra, hares, ostriches, bustards and
guinea fowl. Eats heart and kidneys first, drinks blood, then consumes head, and finally muscle meat. Will only eat
prey which it has killed itself (in the wild) and will not consume carrion.

Skin/Colour/Coat: Ground colour of coat, tawny/yellow to reddish/yellow to light gray with white underparts,
closely covered with black spots merging to black rings on the tail. On each side of the face is a 'tear' stripe from the
inside corner of the eye to the mouth. Young have a silver/blue gray mane, which disappears at ten weeks, and a
brown coat with dark spots.

Vocalization: Cheetahs cannot roar but do make chirping sounds, hiss and spit when they are threatened or angered,
and purr when content.

Reproduction and Development: Breeding occurs throughout the year. Females give birth at intervals of 17- 20
months; however if the young are lost, the mother may soon mate and bear another litter. Estrous lasts two weeks,
and the gestation period is 90-95 days. Usually 2-4 cubs are born and the female brings them up alone. The cubs
weigh 150-300 grams each at birth, open their eyes after 4-11 days and are weaned at 3-6 months. Cheetah cubs are
born with long, grey fur and it is thought that this mimics the ratel, a fierce relative of the badger that few animals
dare attack. The cubs start to follow their mother at 6 weeks, start to wander from her at 15-17 months and attain
sexual maturity at 21-22 months. The young stay with the mother for up to 2 years. There is about 50% mortality
among kittens in their first year. Cheetahs live up to 12 years in the wild and up to 19 years in captivity.

Adaptations: The cheetah is specialized for speed through many adaptations. It is endowed with a powerful heart,
oversized liver, and large, strong arteries. It has a small head, flat face, reduced muzzle length allowing the large
eyes to be positioned for maximum binocular vision, enlarged nostrils, and extensive air filled sinuses. Its body is
narrow, lightweight with long, slender feet and legs, and specialized muscles, which act simultaneously for high
acceleration and allowing greater swing to the limbs. Its hip and shoulder girdles swivel on a flexible spine that
curves up and down, as the limbs are alternately bunched up and then extended when running, giving greater reach
to the legs. The cheetah’s long and muscular tail acts as a stabilizer or rudder for balance to counteract its body
weight preventing it from rolling over and spinning out in quick, fast turns during a high-speed chase. The cheetah
has blunt semi non-retractable claws that help grip the ground like cleats for traction when running. Their paws are
less rounded than the other cats, and their pads are hard, similar to tire treads, to help them in fast, sharp turns.
Cheetahs can reach a maximum speed of 80-112 km/h which can only be maintained for no more than a few
hundred meters. The cheetah does not ambush its prey or approach it within springing distance but instead stalks the
animals then charges from about 70-100 meters away. If an animal is overtaken, it is usually knocked down by the
force of the cheetah’s charge and then seized by the throat and strangled. Most hunts fail. The coat colour is good
camouflage, enabling it to remain hidden from both prey and predators.

Threats: Hunted by man for skins and trophies as well as for retaliation for killing domestic stock. In Kenya,
Uganda and Tanzania, Cheetah are harried and preyed upon by lions, leopards, hunting dogs and hyenas which steal
the cheetah's food and also kill the kittens. Living in an open grassland environment means that only 5% of Africa
below the Sahara Desert is suitable. They once populated westward from India, across southern Asia and North
Africa, and southward through the African plains and savannah to South Africa. The cheetah's prey species are also
declining. SSP (Species Survival Plan) at Toronto Zoo.

Status: Vulnerable
Black-footed Ferret

Description: The body is typically weasel shaped, long and muscular with short legs. The ears are quite short. Head
& Body Length: 38-50 cm Tail Length: 114-150 mm Weight 964-1100g (males); 765-855g (females)

Distribution: The U.S. prairies from the Canadian border to northern Mexico

Habitat: Temperate grasslands of North America


Skin/Colour/Coat: The body is generally coloured yellow buff and becomes palest on the underparts. The forehead,
muzzle, and throat are nearly white. The top of the head and the middle of the back are brown. The face mask, feet
and terminal fourth of the tail are black

Reproduction and Development: Ferrets generally mate in March and early April. After a gestation period of 42 -
45 days, the female usually bears 3-4 young in an enlarged prairie dog furrow. The young emerge from the burrow
in early July and separate from the mother in September or early October. At this time the young are full size. Both
males and females mature at one year of age. Captives are estimated to live up to 12 years.

Adaptations: Black-footed ferrets are primarily nocturnal but may be active during the day, usually in the early
morning or late afternoon. They are strongly associated with prairie dogs, which they eat almost exclusively. Black-
footed ferrets attack prairie dogs in their burrows and often stay and take up residence in their victim’s home. Their
long slim body and short legs allow it to use prairie dog burrows. Their teeth are highly adapted for killing and
cutting up prey. Black-footed ferrets have keen senses of smell, sight and hearing. Ferrets are skilful climbers and
good swimmers. They have the habit of sitting up on their haunches for a better view. The black-footed ferret is
solitary except during the breeding season. Males are territorial and secrete musk from their anal glands to mark
their territory. As defence, they use their sharp, non-retractile claws. If pursued, they will retreat to a safe position
and then offer a defiance unusual in animals of their size.

Threats: Loss of prey resulting from an extensive campaign to eradicate prairie dogs, mainly through poisoning.
The black-footed ferret has declined in direct proportion to the prairie dog. Canine distemper is fatal for black-
footed ferrets and it has decimated many populations. Conversion of land to agricultural use has led to fragmentation
of black-footed ferret habitat

Status: Endangered

Today, captive-bred ferrets have been reintroduced to the Shirley Basin in Wyoming; UL Bend National Wildlife
Refuge in Montana; the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana; the Badlands National Park in South Dakota; Buffalo
Gap National Grasslands
Jaguar

Description: The jaguar is the largest South American cat. It is a powerfully built cat. It has a large broad head,
barrel chest and short massive legs. Head & Body Length: 1.2 - 1.8 m Length of Tail: 45 - 75 cm Weight: 90 - 120
kg (males); 60 - 90 kg (females)

Distribution: Mexico, Central and South America

Habitat: Mostly deciduous and tropical rain forest, but jaguars can range from montane areas to the wet savanna.
Jaguars are often found near fresh water.

Food: Deer, peccaries, monkeys, tapirs, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, small rodents and domestic stock if readily
available. Jaguars can survive on anything from herd animals to insects.

Skin/Color/Coat: Its colouration varies from light yellow to reddish-brown, and pales to white or light buff on the
underparts. The coat is covered with characteristic dark spots. The spots on the head, neck, limbs and the underparts
are large black blotches, whereas the shoulder, back and flanks have spots forming large rosettes that enclose one or
more dots. Melanistic (all black) individuals are common and the spots on such animals can still be seen in certain
light.

Vocalization: The jaguar has a variety of vocalizations, including roars, grunts, and mews.

Reproduction and Development: There is no definite mating season. Breeding occurs at any time of the year.
Several males may pursue a single female, the dominant one eventually mating. The male may stay with the female
up to 4 or 5 weeks. Gestation lasts 93 to 105 days. The female gives birth to one to four cubs, often two young per
litter. She gives birth in a den surrounded by a dense thorn thicket, or under tree roots. Cubs are usually born with
their eyes closed, weigh about 700-900 grams, and have long coarse fur, buff with black spots. They open their eyes
after 3-13 days, at 7 months they take on the adult colouration and at 9-10 months the cubs are half grown. Cubs
suckle for 5 to 6 months and start to follow their mother on hunts when they are about 6 months old. However, they
will not hunt alone until they are one to 2 years of age. At 2 years of age, the cubs leave their mother to look for
their own territory and mate. Female jaguars sexually mature at about 2 years of age; males at 3 to 4 years. Jaguars
may live up to 20 years in the wild and longer in captivity.

Adaptations: Jaguars are nocturnal hunters, hunting mostly on the ground or in the water. Jaguars are excellent
strong swimmers, and will follow their prey into the water during the chase. They are also excellent climbers,
leaping from a tree or a ledge to ambush their prey. With large prey, jaguars commonly bite the head and puncture
the skull with their canine teeth. Jaguars dispatch smaller prey by simply breaking their necks. With smaller prey,
jaguars will devour the animal entirely. However, large carcasses may be dragged some distance and either buried or
hidden in a sheltered area, saved for when the jaguar is hungry again, safeguarding it from scavengers. The jaguar is
also a patient hunter of fish. It waits by the water’s edge, occasionally hitting the surface of the water with its tail,
which inadvertently attracts fish. As the fish approach the shore, the jaguar swats at them, flipping the fish out of the
water then spearing the fish with its sharp claws. The jaguar has the second strongest jaw of any land mammal,
strong enough to crush through a turtle shell.

Threats: Jaguars are persecuted as predator, being viewed as a menace to domestic cattle. They are hunted for sport
and for the fur trade. Also, jaguars are threatened by the loss of habitat due to deforestation.

Status: Lower Risk - Near Threatened
Komodo Dragon

Description: Male Length: 2.6 m Weight: 90-kg Female Length: 1.5 m Weight: 45 kg Very large males have been
recorded at 3 metres in length and a weight of more than 130 kg. The Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the
world, is a heavy, well-muscled lizard with a long thick head and neck. There are long curved claws on all four feet.
The tail, which is about the same length as the body, tapers to a fine tip.
Distribution: The Komodo dragon is found on only a few small islands in the Lesser Sunda archipelago of
Indonesia; the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores and Gili Motang.
Habitat: The climate is hot and dry but includes rocky slopes, savanna, forested valleys, mangrove swamps, coral
reefs and sand bars. Komodo dragons are most commonly found in savanna and forest areas.

Food: Young Komodo dragons eat geckos and live mostly in trees for their first year of life, until they are about 1.3
metres in length. At this stage they begin foraging on the ground for snakes, birds, pigs, goats and deer. Komodo
dragons also scavenge on beaches for dead fish or any other carrion. Large adults are capable of killing animals as
large as a 600-kg water buffalo. Komodo dragons gulp chunks of flesh whole and can consume up to 80% of their
own body weight in one meal. Adult dragons also prey on younger members of their own species.

Skin/Colour/Coat: The colour is greyish brown with a thick rough skin, which has a beaded appearance.
Vocalization: Normally silent but can make a hissing sound when agitated.

Reproduction and Development: Komodo dragons become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years. During the breeding
season, May through July, males often fight for hours for access to a female in breeding condition. From July
through September females lay 15 to 30 leathery eggs, 7.5 cm in length, which incubate in unattended underground
nests throughout the rainy season, from December through April. Females may guard their nests for a short period
immediately after laying. Incubation time ranges from 200 to 250 days. At hatching the young are 40 cm in length
and weigh about 100 g each. Hatchling dragons feed on insects and smaller reptiles, spending most of their time in
trees where they are safe from adults of their own kind. By the time they are about 1.3 m in length most young
dragons begin foraging on the ground. Captive Komodo dragons have survived to 35 years of age.

Adaptations: The Komodo dragon is unique among lizards, as it is the top carnivore in its isolated environment.
Long claws and very strong jaws and teeth help Komodo dragons catch and kill their prey. They are remarkably fast
over short distances and can show great endurance in pursuit of deer that are their main prey. The claws are used for
ripping open the bodies of prey animals. Although they have no venom, the saliva of Komodo dragons contains high
concentrations of bacteria that cause severe infections in animals they attack and can eventually kill any prey animal
that manages to escape. The teeth have serrated edges that saw easily through meat. Teeth that are lost are regrown
throughout the life of the dragon. Four or five sets of replacement teeth may be present in the jawbone behind the
exposed teeth. Because Komodo dragons can regulate their body temperature by basking in the sun or seeking shade
to cool themselves, they require much less food than warm blooded carnivores such as a wild dogs or tigers. Adult
Komodo dragons may be able to live on only one tenth the quantity of food needed by mammal predators of the
same size. Their small island habitat therefore can sustain enough prey animals to support a healthy population of
reptile predators where a mammal predator would probably soon eat itself out of "house and home". Komodo
dragons swim well and have been known to cross the narrow ocean barriers between the islands they inhabit.

Threats: Although it is relatively secure in this very limited habitat the Komodo dragon remains vulnerable to
natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves. Grass fires that are often lit by
poachers are also a recurring threat. Habitat on Flores Island, outside the protection of the park is becoming
fragmented due to human encroachment. Indonesia is a country with a very large and growing human population
and human demands for lands the dragon now occupies are likely to intensify. About 30 zoos in the world now
house captive Komodo dragons and in May 1997 the Toronto Zoo joined the Species Survival Plan for this species
when it received a young male and female from Indonesia. Careful breeding of the captive animals in zoos is an
important part of the conservation plans for the Komodo dragon.

Status: Rare, CITES appendix I (no legal trade), SSP (Species Survival Plan) at the Toronto Zoo . The government
of Indonesia recognizes the Komodo dragon as a national treasure and, as early as 1928, declared Komodo Island a
Wilderness Area to help conserve the species.
Grizzly Bear

Description: Length: 2.6 m (8 ft. 7 in.), height to shoulder: 1.3 m (53 in.), weight: 136 - 526 kg. (300 to 1,153
pounds). Cubs weight at birth: 340 to 680 gms. (0.7 to 1.45 pounds). There are five digits on each foot, broad soles.
The claws are nonretractable, 7.6 cm (3 in.) long. The foot remains in contact with the ground as they walk; neither
wrist nor ankle is raised above ground.

Distribution: Scandinavia to Balkans, scattered populations in France, Italy and Spain; Russia; Asia, north of
Himalayas; Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Alberta, and British Columbia; mountainous areas of
W. U.S.A.

Habitat: Coniferous forest: fir, cedar, spruce, hemlock and pine. Prefers high altitude alpine wilderness. Spring:
usually on remote snow-free southwest slopes. Summer: Subalpine feeding areas. Favourite foraging areas are the
alpine meadows and rocky slopes above 2,000 m.

Food: Omnivorous. Grizzly bears are opportunistic feeders. A wide variety of vegetation, grubs, honey, eggs, birds,
dead and decayed fish, amphibians, insects, reptiles, mice, ground squirrels, badgers, pika, marmots, wapiti, moose,
deer, black bear, wolf pups, mountain sheep and goats. Grizzly bears can eat 40.9 kg (90 pounds) per day.

Skin/Colour/Coat: The colour of their coat is variable, from creamy yellow to almost black. The long hairs of the
shoulders and back are frosted with white. Their ears are small, rounded and heavily furred. The head is broad with a
high forehead. The grizzly's hair is very long, coarse and glossy, especially the ruff on the shoulders.

Vocalization: Grizzly bears are not particularly vocal but they can champ, smack their jaws, woof, growl and even
roar when they are angry. Females and cubs may make a humming sound when they are content and cubs often bleat
or bawl when aggravated.

Reproduction and Development: Both the males and females are polygamous, having several mates. They mate
from late May to early July in specific areas, usually on isolated ridges. Females are sexually mature by 3 to 6 years,
males at 6 to 7 years. Females breed every 2 or 3 years and produce litters of 1 to 4 young after a gestation period of
6 to 8 months. Delayed implantation (the fertilized egg does not implant and grow immediately) occurs in bears.
Possible reasons are short food supply and weather conditions. Cubs are born between mid-January and early March
while the female is in dormancy. This allows for the longest possible time period for the cubs to grow before facing
next winter’s harsh conditions. Cubs are born blind, toothless, and almost hairless. They are about 20 cm long and
weigh from 450 to 700 grams. Their eyes open at about 6 weeks and they grow very rapidly (15 kg at 3 months and
25 kg at 6 month). The female will often sit up to nurse the cubs. She has 9 mammae. Cubs are weaned at 4 to 5
months. Nursing females command a territorial range of up to several hundred meters. Mature males tend to be
hostile toward cubs, so mothers try to avoid them by frequenting rougher terrain and higher elevation. Female
grizzly bears carry their cubs by holding the whole head in their mouth with the body dangling. The cubs stay close
to her during the first summer, learning essential survival skills. In all the cubs spend about two years with their
mother. They may even den with her in their second winter while she is pregnant with her next litter. Life span in
the wild is 15 - 34 years, in captivity about 28 years.

Adaptations: The stomach is large and simple. A well developed foregut is useful for food storage, digestion, and
absorption. They have a short hindgut. This enables the bear to feast when the food is plentiful and go without when
the food is scarce. Bears have a remarkable sense of balance; they can sit up and walk upright for a few paces. They
have heavy teeth with flattened molars. They do not cut and tear as well as true carnivores. The food has to be
chewed and crushed instead of being cut into pieces. The jaws are powerful. Mostly active in twilight or early
morning, but feeds during the day when food is scarce. Sleeps in beds of alder thickets or on high alpine slopes.

Threats: Habitat loss to ranching and logging, hunting, body parts for folk medicine.

Status: Threatened
Clouded Leopard

Description: The tail is long, the legs are short and stout giving the animal a slouching gait. The paws are broad
with hard pads. The skull is long and narrow. The upper canine teeth are relatively long, longer than those of any
other living cat (6cm long). Adult clouded leopards have brownish-yellow or grayish-green eyes. Head & Body
Length: 62 - 107 cm Tail Length: 55 – 91 cm Weight: 16 - 23 kg

Distribution: South central and southeastern Asia in the countries of India, China, Nepal, Burma, Malaysia,
Indonesia (Borneo and Sumatra) and Taiwan

Habitat: Various types of dense tropical and dry forests and are found at elevations of up to 2,000m.

Food: Birds, monkeys, squirrels, wild pigs, young buffalo, small deer, goats and fish. They will take poultry and
domestic animals when available; enjoy raw eggs. Vegetation occasionally.

Skin/Colour/Coat: The coat is grayish or yellow with dark markings (clouds) in the form of ovals, circles and
rosettes. The forehead, legs and base of tail have dark solid spots. The rest of the tail is banded. The under parts are
white or pale tawny. Melanistic specimens have been reported.

Reproduction and Development: Births primarily occur from March to August. After a gestation period of 86 to
93 days, a litter of 1-5 young, usually two, are born. Females give birth in hollow trees, ground-level dens or other
private places, which are protected from weather. At birth, the cubs’ eyes are closed, they weigh 140 - 170 grams
each and are completely dependent on their mother. They open their eyes after 12 days. Young will be nursed for
about five months but can eat small pieces of meat about 40 days after birth. Juvenile coat is initially black in the
patterned areas with the adult colouration occurring at about the age of 6 months. Young are usually born with blue
eyes, which change gradually to the adult coloring. Cubs become independent of their mother at about 9 months of
age and attain sexual maturity at about age 2 for females and by age 3 males. In captivity, clouded leopards have
lived up to 17 years, and in the wild average 11 years.

Adaptations: Clouded leopards are one the most acrobatic cats in trees, and are considered arboreal. It sleeps and is
said to hunt in trees springing onto the ground for prey from overhanging branches. It can climb about on horizontal
branches in an inverted position, dropping directly onto its prey from above. It has the unique ability, among cats, to
run down a tree head first. Very flexible ankle joints enable them to do so. As well, these cats can hang from their
back feet from tree branches. The long tail provides balance. Though a small cat, powerful jaws, long canines and its
sturdy build allow it to kill fairly large animals, like deer and boar. Clouded leopards are also quite adept at
swimming and readily take to water.

Threats: The biggest threat for the clouded leopard is deforestation. The second threat is that they are widely hunted
for their beautiful coat and their bones and teeth, which are used for decorative purposes and traditional Asian
medicine.

Status: Vulnerable
Spider Monkey

Description: Spider monkeys have small heads with prominent muzzles. Their legs and tail are very long in
proportion to the body length. Thumbs are greatly reduced or non-existent. Hands are hook-like. Their muscular tail
is the most mobile and dexterous prehensile tail of any primate, the underside of the last 25 cm is covered with
finely ridged skin to provide grip. The nose is platyrrhini (“broad nosed”) or with a broad nasal septum. Males and
females are approximately the same weight and size. Length of body and head: 38.2 - 63.5 cm Length of tail: 50.8 -
89.0 cm Weight: 8 - 9 kg

Distribution: Central Mexico, Bolivia, and Brazil.

Habitat: Tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Tree dwellers in the lower and upper canopy of the rain
forest.

Food: They eat mostly fruit, along with nuts, seeds, buds, flowers, insects, and eggs

Skin/Colour/Coat: The coloration can vary from a yellowish-gray to dark brown to black, with golden yellow sides
and a whitish or yellowish underside. There are white markings, or ocular rings on the face. The hands and feet are
dark brown.

Vocalization: Spider monkeys have one of the most highly developed larynx among monkeys, giving them the
ability to produce a wide range of vocalizations from barking to guttural grunting.

Reproduction and Development: There is no regular breeding season. After a gestation period of 226-232 days a
single offspring is born. The young is carried on the mother's abdomen for about four months, then carried on the
back. Infants use their prehensile tail to hold onto the mother's tail. The young remain dependent on the mother until
about 10 months old. Sexual maturity is reached at 4 years of age for females and 5 years of age for males. Life
expectancy is 25 years.

Adaptations: The most outstanding physical adaptations are the prehensile tail and the hook-like hands - both
making the spider monkey ideal for arboreal life. The prehensile tail is longer than the monkeys' body and composed
of twenty-three vertebrae, which gives it suppleness and strength. It is longer and narrower than any of the monkey's
other limbs and can be used to reach farther and into smaller places than can the animal’s arms and legs. The
monkey can hang by it, swing by it, pick fruit with it, even throw things with it. The shoulders are very flexible
which allows them to swing from tree to tree. Spider monkeys are social animals and tend to form groups of
approximately thirty individuals. For the most part, these large groups split into smaller subgroups of 3-4 individuals
to forage and only for a few weeks out of the year is the whole group together. Group size varies with habitat type
and seems to depend largely on the productivity of the area. These spider monkeys live mainly in the top of the tree
canopy where they forage diurnally. They tend to feed heavily in the early morning and to rest for the remainder of
the day.

Threats: Poaching and habitat destruction are the main threats.

Status: Vulnerable

								
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