Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 20

SNOW LEOPARD

ORDER
Carnivora
FAMILY
Felidae
GENUS Ex SPECIES
Panthera uncia
~ C A R D 141J
The snow leopard is a solitary, high-altitude hunter,
but because of the relative scarcity of food in its rocky
Himalayan terrain, it often migrates with its prey.
KEY FACTS
____________________________________________________ -J
SIZES
Body length: 4-5 ft .
Tail: 3ft.
Weight: 55-165 lb.
BREEDING
Breeding season: Toward the
end of winter. Female comes into
season twice.
Gestation: 98-103 days.
No. of young: Each litter
contains 2-5 cubs.
LIFESTYLE
01 STRI BUTION
Habit: Solitary due to scarcity of
food and harsh terrain. Each snow
leopard remains within its own
very large territory.
Diet: Wild sheep, goats, deer, wild
boar, small mammals, some birds.
Lifespan: 20 years in captivity.
The snow leopard inhabits northern India, the countries
borderi ng the Himalayas, and the Soviet Union.
RELATED SPECIES
The snow leopard is related to
the big cats of the Panthera
species, but it does not roar.
CONSERVATION
The snow leopard is internationally recognized as an
endangered species. Hunt ing for fur trade is banned, but
because of the high prices paid for its fur, the snow leopard
continues to be a prime target for poachers.
FEATURES OF THE SNOW LEOPARD
SUMMER COAT
The background of the animal's
coat turns darker in summer.
Hind legs: Extremely strong back
legs allow leaps of up to 50 feet,
useful for surprising prey.
MCMXCI IMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM
Winter coat: Spots are arranged
in distinct rows. They are round
and charcoal gray, set against
a light gray to yellow
background, which
grows paler
in winter.
Paws: Thick
cushions of hair
protect the large
paws from heat and cold.
PRINTED IN U.S.A.
Face: High eye
placement
allows the
animal to stay
low behind
cover when
stalking prey.
0160200301 PACKET 30
The snow leopard lives high in the
Himalayas and has long been hunted by
humans for its beautiful coat. Now
protected by laws banning the sale
of its fur, it is still illegally hunted
and sold for high prices.
FOOD & HUNTING
The snow leopard hunts alone
because the rocky terrain and
amount of food available in
anyone area cannot support
large packs. It preys on blue
sheep, ibexes, wild goats,
hares, and even birds and
mice. In milder lower-altitude
weather the snow leopard
hunts deer, gazelle, and wild
boar.
It stalks its prey, then
springs and fastens onto it.
It can leap up to 50 feet to
reach high rocky crags where
it rests or watches for prey.
Like most meat eaters, it
devours its prey beginning
with the stomach, ripping
open the belly and eating
the entrails before moving
to the rump. Unlike other
leopards, the snow leopard
does not roar.

The snow leopard lives in
caves or rock crevices in the
high rhododendron forests of
the Himalayas and in rocky
wasteland above the vegeta-
tion line. Its light-colored coat
protects it from summer heat
Left: Snow leopards live alone,
except when mating.

The snow leopard breeds at
the end of winter when the
female comes into season for
a week. If she does not mate,
she comes into season again
for up to 70 days.
After mating, the female
makes a nest among the
rocks. She gives birth to two
to five cubs 14 weeks later.
Much darker than their
DID YOU KNOW?
The snow leopard is
slightly smaller than the
leopard, but its dense fur
makes it look larger.
Compared to other cats',
the snow leopard's tail is
longer in proportion to the
and freezing winters.
Thick cushions of hair
around its paw pads act like
snow shoes, enabling the
leopard to move quickly over
snow without sinking. In
summer the hair cushions
protect the animal's feet from
jagged rocks and from rocks
heated by the sun.
mother, the cubs are blind
for the first week, but they
start to crawl within 10 days.
At two months old they can
run and eat solid food as
well as suckle milk. By mid-
summer they follow their
mother to hunt, staying with
her until they are a year old.
Right: Male snow leopards
sometimes help rear the cubs.
actual size of its body.
Hunting kills most snow
leopards, but avalanches
account for many fatalities.
Snow leopard cubs de-
pend on mother for
at least a year after birth.
Left:
Humans
rarely see
the snow
leopard.
Right:
The snow
leopard
has a large
territory
ranging up
to 40 square
miles.
SNOW LEOPARD & MAN
Hunted for its fur, the snow
leopard is extremely rare. It
has been protected in India
since 1952, and is protected
in the Soviet Union. Interna-
tional pressure has resulted in
some protection for the snow
leopard; it is now illegal to
possess or sell its fur. Still, the
animal continues to be
hunted by poachers.
Unlike lions and tigers, the
snow leopard breeds unsuc-
cessfully in captivity. The
snow leopard needs protec-
tion in the wild to survive.
CARD 142
PRZEWALSKI'S HORSE
.. ORDER
'1IIIIIIII Perissodactyla
.. FAMILY
'1IIIIIIII Equidae
GROUP 1: MAMMALS
.. GENUS &: SPECIES
'1IIIIIIII Equus cabal/us przewalskii
Przewalski's horse is the only truly wild horse left in the world.
Descended from a prehistoric breed, it is the ancestor of all
modern horses but can now only be seen in zoos.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Height: From about 12 hands high
(1 hand = 4 in.) .
Weight: About 800 lb.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: 1 -2 years;
stallions (males) about 3 years.
Mating season: Usually April or
May.
Gestation: 11-12 months.
No. of young: 1 .
LIFESTYLE
Habit: lives in small herds.
Call: Neighs a greeting; squeals a
threat or warning.
Diet: Grass and plants.
lifespan: At least 20 years.
RELATED SPECIES
Range of Przewalski's horse.
DISTRIBUTION
Once found from the Ural Mountains to Mongolia. Now
confined to plains on either side of the Altai Mountains on
the borders of Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Siberia.
CONSERVATION
Przewalski's horse is the only
subspecies of Equus cabal/us. All
other horses, asses, and zebras,
are members of the same family.
listed as an endangered species, it is probably extinct in the
wild. Breeding in captivity has saved it from complete
_ ex_t _inctio_n_. _Ab_out 300 horses live in zoos around the world. J
FEATURES OF PRZEWAlSKI'S HORSE
Mane: Short, stiff, _
brushlike hairs
that stand erect.
No forelock.
Head: Large and
thick, with a
broad muzzle.
Sandy-colored
nose.
Coat: Yellow-brown, paler on the
belly, with black mane, tail , and
lower legs. The coat grows very
thick and woolly in the winter.
'flMCMXCIIMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM
Body: Stocky, with short legs.
Low-slung shoulders that blend
into the back. This gives it a more
primitive look than other domestic
horses.
Skull: Heavy jaw, broad muzzle,
and unusually large teeth.
almost to the
ground. The
base has a fan
of short, stiffer
hairs, similar to
the mane.
1
0160200241 PACKET 24
Przewalski's horse is the only one of
several species to survive into the post-
glacial period. Its sturdy and rugged
appearance sets it apart from today's
domestic breeds. It is our last link with
an ancient, primitive breed of horse.
~ HABITAT
At the end of the Ice Age,
dense woodlands began to
grow in areas that had once
been tundra and grasslands.
The horses that had lived
there withdrew with the gla-
ciers and migrated to Eurasia,
where they found more
DID YOU KNOW?
Przewalski's horse is the
only living wild horse
species.
The foal of Przewalski's
horse weighs about five
percent of its mother's
weight at birth. In contrast,
I the foals of domestic horses
weigh about 10 percent of
their mother's weight.
The Altai mountains where
suitable areas of grassy plains.
One of these early horses,
now known as Przewalski's
horse, originally roamed the
Eurasian plains in large herds.
Gradually over the centuries,
its range and numbers dwin-
dled until it only grazed on
Przewalski's horse once
roamed are also known as
The Mountains of the Yellow
Horses.
Although Przewalski's horse
is generally considered to be
the ancestor of the modern
horse, some experts think
that the two descended from
a now-extinct common
ancestor and evolved inde-
~ BREEDING
In its natural habitat, Przewal-
ski's horse roams in small
herds. These herds consist of
a few mares (females) and
young horses, lead by a stal-
lion (male). Mares come into
season at regular intervals, but
usually mate in May so that
the foals are born at about the
the arid, semidesert plains on
either side of the mountains
that form the boundary be-
tween Mongolia and China.
Przewalski's horse was last
sighted in its natural habitat in
1968. It is uncertain whether it
still exists in the wild.
pendently from one another.
The Przewalski's horse's
order, Perissodactyla, includes
all mammals with an odd
number of toes.
The horse's foot is actually
a single fingertip, with the
last bone widened and
rounded into a hoof. This
special adaptation allows the
horse to run swiftly. ____ -1
same time the following year.
A mare usually gives birth
during the night to a single
foal, which is strong enough
by morning to move with the
herd. If a foal lags behind a
herd on the move the stallion
will grip the base of the foal's
Left: Przewalski's horse has
adapted to eat coarse grasses.
~ FOOD & FEEDING
Przewalski's horse is a grazer
and lives on coarse grass and
branches and sparse foliage
from shrubby trees. It feeds at
dusk, constantly on the move
as it tears away at grass and
leaves. In winter it may have to
dig through layers of snow to
find any food .
tail in its teeth and nudge it
along.
The mare suckles her foal for
several months to a year. How-
ever, when the foal is a few
months old its teeth are devel-
oped enough to graze. A filly
(female foal) may stay with the
herd. The stallion drives out
the young males after a year.
Young males wander togeth-
er in small herds until they are
strong enough to gather their
own harems of mares.
Below: The mare protects the foal
during its first year of life.
At daybreak, it returns to its ~
desert habitat to rest until sun- ~ PRZEWALSKI'S HORSE & MAN
set. As the horses move be-
tween resting areas and feed-
ing grounds they etch well-
worn and deeply trodden
paths into the plains.
Below: These rare and wild beasts
are now only seen in zoos.
Przewalski's horse has been
domesticated for centuries, but
man has never truly tamed it.
Although the horse was a
familiar sight to local Asian
tribes, it was deemed discov-
ered in the 1880s by Russian
explorer Nicolai Przhevalsky
and was named after him.
Humans are responsible for
the decline of Przewalski's
horse. It has been slaugh-
tered for its meat, driven
from its sparse grazing areas,
and allowed to interbreed
with other domestic horses.
""CARD 143 I
LLAMA
' ( ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~
ORDER
Artiodactyla
FAMILY
Camelidae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Lamaglama
More attractive than the closely related camel, the llama has the
same facial expression. For many centuries this animal has provided
transportation and food for many South American people.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Length: Head and body, 4-7 ft.
Tail, 6 in.
Height to shoulder: 3
1
/2-4 ft.
Weight: 150-350 lb.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: 1 -2 years.
Breeding season: August to
September in South America.
Gestation: 11-12 months.
No. of young: 1 .
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Sociable and friendly, but
can be stubborn.
Diet: Grasses, herbs, shrubs, and
lichen.
Lifespan: Up to 20 years.
RELATED SPECIES
The llama is related to the bactrian
camel, Camelus bactrianus ferus,
and to the dromedary camel, C.
dromedarius.
Range of the llama.
DISTRIBUTION
Southern Peru through western Bolivia, northwest Argentina,
and northeast Chile.
CONSERVATION
Nearly three and a half million llamas live in South America.
They are being replaced by modern means of transportation,
and their wool is not in great demand.
THE LLAMA AND ITS RELATIVES
The guanaco and vicuna are the only
two species in their genus. The jJ
domesticated llama and alpaca are .-
subspecies derived from the wild
guanaco.
l<JMCMXCI IMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM
Guanaco: A slim animal with a long
neck and a shaggy, reddish brown
coat. These are the most wide-
spread of all the wild llamas.
Alpaca: Its long,
thick coat helps
the alpaca graze
at high altitudes.
Its fine wool is
considered
better than the
llama's.
Vicuna: Smaller and more graceful
than the llama. Its head is shorter
and its ears longer. Has a long white
mane at the base of the neck.
PRINTED IN U.S.A. 0160200331 PACKET 33
Used primarily as a pack animal,
the llama had already been domesticated
by the Indians of South America when the Spanish
conquistadores arrived in the sixteenth century.
It is believed to have been bred from the wild
guanaco, a relative of the camel found on the
South American pampas and plateaus.

Found in the alpine grass-
lands and shrublands of South
America, the llama is the
principal beast of burden in
the Andes. Unlike horses and
mules, it does not suffer from
mountain sickness at high
altitudes and it can walk sure-
footedly through high moun-
tain paths and gravel slopes.
The llama is docile by na-
ture, but it can be stubborn,
stopping completely or lying
down when its burden is too
heavy. When upset, the llama
will spit up a foul-smelling
liquid from its stomach into
the face of its handler.
Males are used for pack
animals while females breed
and supply wool for the
Indians. Little is known about
their social behavior because
they are domesticated and
most males are castrated at
an early age. Judging from
other members of the Cam-
elidae family, they would
most likely gather in small
herds with a male and a small
harem of breeding females.
Right: The llama's thick, woolly
fleece protects it from the harsh
mountain climate.
DID YOU KNOW?
The llama is the largest
member of the Camelidae
family in South America and
is the only native beast of
burden to be domesticated
in the western hemisphere.
A llama can carry a 110-
pound load 16 miles a day at
altitudes of 1 6,404 feet.

The llama breeds seasonally so
that the birth of its young
coincides with the seasonal
growth of vegetation. In the
southern hemisphere breeding
season lasts from August to
September. Llamas mate in a
sitting position.
The female stands to give
birth to a single young. Unlike
most other mammals, she
neither licks the newborn nor
eats the afterbirth. The young
walks and follows her 30
minutes after birth. It suckles
for about four months.
When the Spaniards
invaded South America to
plunder the Incan riches,
300,000 llamas were used to
carry supplies in and out of
the silver mines.
A llama only allows itself to
be loaded with a heavy pack
when it is part of a group.
FOOD &: FEEDING
An herbivore (plant eater),
the llama grazes mainly on
grasses and herbs. It also eats
shrubs, lichen" and other
plants growing on the high
mountains. It gets most of its
moisture from vegetation and
goes without water for days.
Like camels, the llama is a
Left: Large,
well-fed llamas
can breed
before they are
a year old, but
most breed at
two years.
Far left: The
llama is an
ideal domesti-
cated breed
because it
survives with
little care in
the harsh
Andes
mountains.
ruminant; it has a multi-
chambered stomach and
chews its cud (partly digest-
ed food) twice to help digest
the tough, fibrous vegetable
matter. In this manner the
llama gets plenty of nutrition
from food with low nutritional
value.

Nearly 1,000 years ago,
settled, crop-growing tribes
domesticated the llama as a
source of meat. Since then it
has been used mainly as a
beast of burden.
The Andean Indians use the
llama to carry loads, and to
provide meat, wool, and
leather. They make candles
out of fatty tissue, ropes out
of llamas' braided long hair,
and fuel out of dried dung.
In recent decades the
llama has been introduced
into other countries, mostly
as a novelty pet.
CARD 144
AARDWOLF
'"
" ORDER ..
~ Carnivora ~
FAMILY
Hyaenidae
GROUP 1: MAMMALS
GENUS &: SPECIES
Proteles cristatus
The aardwolf is the smallest member of the hyena family.
It feeds almost exclusively on harvester termites, which it
laps up with its long, sticky tongue.
'\:l KEY FACTS
I ~ ~ I SIZES
~ Height: About 1l,!;1 ft. at shoulder.
Length: Head and body, 1 %-2% ft .
Tail, %-1 ft.
Weight: 18-26 lb.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: 2 years.
Breeding season: Varies with
location.
Gestation: Usually 60 days.
No. of young: 1-5, usually 2 or 3.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Lives in den. Nocturnal,
solitary.
Diet: Termites and other insect
larvae.
Lifespan: Up to 15 years in
captivity.
RELATED SPECIES
There are 3 other species in the
Hyaenidae family: the spotted
hyena, Crocuta crocuta; the striped
hyena, Hyaena hyaena; and the
brown hyena, H. brunnea.
Range of the aardwolf.
DISTRIBUTION
Found in parts of Africa, including southern Egypt, East
Africa, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
CONSERVATION
The aardwolf is hunted for food and for its skin, and because
it is mistakenly thought to prey on livestock. In recent years
the aardwolf population has declined in some areas.
FEATURES OF THE AARDWOLF
Mane: Long mane runs down neck
and back. It is raised to make the
animal appear larger when threatened.
Cubs: Quickly develop adult
color and markings. Usually
stay with mother until next
breeding season.
MCMXCI IMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM
Ears: Large and pointed. Acute
hearing allows aardwolf to
track sound of termites.
PRINTED IN U.S.A. 0160200361 PACKET 36
The aardwolf is a solitary nighttime creature.
It sleeps in a den taken over from other burrowing
animals during the day. At dusk it comes out
to hunt insects using its highly developed hearing
and its acute sense of smell.
~ HABITS
The aardwolf lives on the
open plains and in the bush
country of Africa. It wanders
alone within a territory shared
with other adults. To mark off
its territory, it leaves a musky
secretion on rocks and grass.
Right: The
aardwolf does
not destroy the
colony of the
termites it eats.
In this way it
ensures a
continued food
supply.
The territory contains up to
a dozen dens, which the
aardwolf uses in turn for six
weeks at a time. Although the
aardwolf can dig its own
burrow, it is more likely to
enlarge an abandoned den.
~ BREEDING
During breeding season, the
male aardwolf roams widely
in search of females. It often
strays into another animal's
territory, causing a fight. Each
male barks loudly and raises
his mane to appear fiercer. A
dominant territory holder can
usually drive out intruders,
but two evenly matched
aardwolves may engage in
a violent fight.
Breeding usually occurs in
fall and spring. Most females
mate with the male in their
Left: The aardwolf changes
burrows often, in part to avoid
detection by predators.
territory, but they may also
breed with intruders.
The female gives birth
to two or three cubs in an
underground den. The cubs
stay in the den for up to two
months. At three months
they begin to accompany
their parents on feeding trips.
By about four months they
are self-sufficient, but they
stay with their mother until
the next breeding season,
when they leave to establish
their own territories.
Right: Aardwolf cubs leave the
den at three months to learn
survival skills.
~ FOOD & HUNTING
Unlike the hyena, which is a
scavenger, the aardwolf eats
insects almost exclusively and
rarely feeds on small mam-
mals or birds. Its primary food
is the harvester termite, but it
may eat the larvae and car-
rion beetles on dead animals.
The aardwolf is so depen-
dent on termites that its
range and habits closely mir-
ror those of its insect prey. It
hunts at night when the
termites leave their nest to
Left: An aardwolf feeds from the
same termite nest several times.
DID YOU KNOW?
An aardwolf can eat as
many as 200,000 termites
in one night.
If an aardwolf is threat-
ened, it may spray its
attacker with a strong-
smelling fluid. This musky
substance is secreted by a
feed. Because the termite
sites are scattered, the aard-
wolf hunts alone. In cold or
wet seasons the night-active
harvester termites are hard to
find. Then the aardwolf feeds
on larger, day-active termites.
The aardwolf can remember
the location of various termite
nests in its territory. It also
tracks termites through the
sound they make as they
move over hard ground.
When it locates its prey, the
aardwolf laps the insect up
with its long, sticky tongue.
special anal gland. The
aardwolf also uses this
substance to mark off
its territory.
The aardwolf often loses
its teeth later in life. But it
does not need them for its
diet of soft-bodied insects.
'" CARD 145 I
PIPISTRELLE
, , ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~
~
ORDER
Chiroptera
FAMILY
Vespertilionidae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Pipistrellus pipistrellus
The pipistrelle emerges at dusk to hunt for flying insects. The
smallest of the European bats, it beats its wings rapidly as it
twists and turns through the air in pursuit of prey.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Length: 1-2 in.
Wingspan: 7
1
/2-10 in.
Weight: Up to 1/2 oz.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: Female, 1 year.
Male, 2 years.
Mating season: Fall.
Gestation: 44-50 days.
No. of young: Usually 1.
Weaning: 30-40 days.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Nocturnal. Occurs in
colonies up to 1,000. Hibernates
in winter.
Diet: Small flying insects.
Lifespan: Average 4-5 years.
RELATED SPECIES
There are 48 species of pipistrelle
distributed throughout most of
the world.
Range of the pipistrelle.
DISTRIBUTION
Europe, except t he far north, east across western Asia as f ar
as Lake Baikal in the Sovi et Union and down to Kashmir and
the Altai mountain range.
CONSERVATION
One of t he more common bats across its range, t he
pipistrelle has recently suffered sharp population declines in
some areas.
FEATURES OF THE PIPISTREllE
THE PIPISTRELLE'S EARS
Fleshy spike in the center of the
ears is known as the tragus. Its
shape varies between species.
MCMXCI IMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM
Wings: Modified hands made up of
a tough membrane stretched between
the bat's four digits and the feet.
T a i l ~
PRINTED IN U.S.A.
Body: Small ,
mouselike body
entirely covered
with fur and
supported by
large wings.
0160200281 PACKET 28
The pipistrelle is widespread and common
over much of its range. Versatile and adaptable, it
thrives in a variety of habitats from woodlands to the
middle of cities. Many colonies have set up house
at artificial roosting sites in buildings.

Pipistrelles form summer
nursing colonies and winter
hibernation colonies that can
contain up to 1,000 bats.
They roost in trees, rock
crevices, buildings, and hay-
stacks. The small pipistrelle
can fit in gaps just half an
inch wide.
From spring to fall the
pipistrelle sleeps during the
day. It feeds after sunset but
occasionally appears during
the day in midsummer. The
DID YOU KNOW?
Most pipistrelles have
brown fur, but some may
be gray, olive, reddish
brown, black, or white.
Pipistrelles have been
found in a variety of un-
usual places: in curtains
and vases, under floor-
boards, and between the
panes of double glass.
Nearly 100,000 pipi-
strelles hibernate in a
certain Romanian cave.
Scientists attach coded
bands to the pipistrelle's
forearm to track its long-
distance migration. Some
of those banded in the
Ukraine were found to
have flown more than
650 miles in fall to
Bulgaria and Greece.
bat is most active at dusk
and just before dawn. Each
bat spends two to five hours
every day away from the
colony making short feeding
flights and stopping off at
temporary roosts.
Above:
Dense, warm
fur protects
the bat
during the
cold winter
hibernation.
left: During
the summer
males live
together in
small groups.
Above right:
The pipistrelle
must perch to
eat larger
insects.
HIBERNATION
The pipistrelle goes into
hibernation in October to
avoid the cold winter. The
colony gradually stops feed-
ing and finds a sheltered ,site.
During the next few months
each bat uses up its fat stores
to stay alive. After hiberna-
tion the bat weighs only a
fraction of an ounce.
The pipistrelle hibernates in
quiet spots in large houses,
church roofs, bell towers,
gaps behind shutters, hollow
FOOD &: FEEDING
The pipistrelle mainly feeds
on small flying insects, catch-
ing and eating them while in
the air. It eats larger prey on
a perch. The bat must eat
several hundred insects every
day to survive.
The pipistrelle usually
hunts in the same open area
near a tree or building. It
flies quickly and erratically,
with rapid wing beats,
dodging and turning in the
air 20 feet above ground.
trees, and rock crevices. The
bat hangs or wedges itself
head-down, gripping the
surface with its feet.
The pipistrelle does not sleep
as deeply as other hibernating
mammals and it regularly
awakens, often because it
needs to expel waste. At other
times, it is disturbed by other
bats and wakes up. During
winter warm spells it may
temporarily come out of
hibernation and fly around.
NATUREWATCH
Common t hroughout Eu-
rope, the pipistrelle lives in
a wide range of habitats in
both rural and urban areas.
These include woodlands,
wetlands, grasslands, farms,
and gardens.
It prefers open grassy
areas surrounded by trees
or bushes, but it also flies
low over the water to feed
on and insects.
Above: Pipistrelles cling together
for warmth during hibernation.
Below: An archway provides an
ideal roost for a pipistrelle.

Pipistrelles mate before
hibernation in September, but
the sperm does not fertilize the
female's eggs until spring. The
young's development depends
on the weather and food sup-
ply. Poor conditions halt the
development of the fetus.
Female pipistrelles form
roosting groups in early sum-
mer. They move apart from
the roosting group to give
birth but then carry their blind
newborn back to the nursery
group. The young develop
rapidly and fly after about
three weeks.
"" CARD 1461
MANATEE
, , ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~
~ ORDER
~ Sirenia
FAMILY
Trichechidae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Trichechu5 manatu5
One of the most endangered aquatic species, the manatee
gives birth every other year at most. It keeps waterways free
of vegetation by consuming large amounts of food.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Length: Up to 15 ft. Average 8-1 3 ft.
Weight: Up to 1,500 lb. Average
300-800 lb.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: 4-8 years.
Breeding season: Any time of year.
Gestation: 1 year.
No. of young: Usually 1, occasion-
ally twins.
Weaning time: 12-18 months.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Generally solitary, or small
groups. Larger groups form in cool
waters.
Diet: Aquatic vegetation.
Lifespan: 30 years or more.
RELATED SPECIES
There are 3 related species: the West
Indian manatee, the Amazonian
manatee, and the West African
manatee.
MCMXCI IMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM
Range of the manatee.
DISTRIBUTION
Tropical and subtropical waters of southwestern United
States as f ar west as Texas. Also off West Indies and along
coast of northern South America.
CONSERVATION
Listed as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union, it has
legal protection in most countries, but this protection is not
always enforced.
PRINTED IN U.S.A 0160200251 PACKET 25
Exploited for its meat and hide
since the eighteenth century, the harmless
manatee is now a protected species.
Certain parts of the world value its
voracious appetite for underwater plants,
which keeps vital waterways clear of
choking vegetation.
The manatee favors muddy
bays, lagoons, slow rivers, and
estuaries. It prefers water
temperatures of 68 F or
above, since it cannot survive
in temperatures below 46 F. It
migrates in the winter to
warmer spots. The Amazonian
manatee lives only in fresh
water, but the other two
species can survive in both
fresh and saltwater.
The manatee occurs singly
DID YOU KNOW?
Spanish colonists in the West
Indies named the manatee
from mana, meaning "hand"
and tener, meaning "to hold."
Known as sea cows, mana-
tees and the related dugong-
members of the Sirenian
or in small family groups, but
during tropical cold spells
large numbers gather around
heated water from power
plants or the warm outflow
of a spring. They float
vertically in the water during
cold mornings with just their
snouts showing. As the sun
gets hotter, more of their
bodies rise above the surface.
In large groups, manatees
have been observed pressing
family-are the only mam-
mals that eat sea vegetation.
The manatee's intestines
measure more than 150
feet long.
The manatee uses its ex-
tremely sensitive mouth
~ FOOD &: FEEDING
As an herbivore, the manatee
eats only aquatic vegetation. It
feeds and rests in short periods
throughout the day. It uses its
dextrous forelimbs or large,
deeply split upper lip to put
vegetation in its mouth.
The manatee's teeth wear
down very quickly from sea
grass and the large amounts of
sand that it takes in with each
mouthful. New teeth con-
stantly grow at the back of the
mouth and move forward at a
rate of .04 inch a month,
pushing out worn front teeth
at regular intervals.
Left: The manatee swims well,
and it relies completely on its
aquatic environment.
Right: The manatee uses its
forelimbs like hands and arms
to gather its food.
their big snouts together as if
kissing, in what is thought to be
a greeting gesture.
The manatee is a mammal, so
it comes to the water's surface
to breathe. It can stay sub-
merged for up to 15 minutes
but usually surfaces at 5- to 10-
minute intervals. It cannot
survive out of water because it
can't move, and its body
weight makes it impossible to
breathe without water support.
when searching for food and
when communicating and
bonding with other manatees,
which is called mouthing.
Nearly all mammals have
seven neck vertebrae; the
manatee has only six.
The manatee needs large
amounts of food to maintain
its great weight. It eats 8 to
1 5 percent of its own body
we ht each . Its dense
~ BREEDING
The manatee reproduces
slowly. The female gives birth
to a single calf every other
year at most.
Groups of males gather
around a female ready to
mate, nuzzling her and
bulk keeps it steady in the
water as it feeds. The manatee
usually feeds while submerged,
but it sometimes rises above
the water.
attempting to push rivals
away. She may mate with
more than one male.
More than a year later, she
gives birth underwater,
immediately bringing the
calf up to the surface on her
~ MANATEE &: MAN
The manatee has no natural
enemies. It is man who has
brought the manatee to its
current vulnerable state. The
manatee has long been
hunted for its meat, hide,
and oil. Between 1838 and
1942, several thousand
manatee hides and countless
cans of meat were exported
from Brazil.
More recently, pollution
and loss of habitat through
the damming of waterways
have threatened the mana-
tee's existence.
Manatees are slow-
moving, inquisitive animals,
and a great number of them
have sustained injury or have
died after being caught in
the propellers of high-speed
boats.
back to take its first breath.
She suckles the calf for 12 to
18 months, feeding it vegeta-
tion as well.
Below: "Mouthing" confirms the
strong bond between mothers
and calves.
LONG-NOSED BANDICOOT
'\
GROUP 1: MAMMALS
.... ORDER
'11IIIIIIII Marsupialia
FAMILY GENUS
Peramelidae Perameles
Long-nosed bandicoots look like a cross between a small kangaroo
and a shrew. These insect-eating marsupials are found only
in Australia and Tasmania.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Length: Head and body, 8-17 in.
Tail, 3 ~ - 7 in .
Weight: About 6 ~ lb. Male larger
than female.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: Possibly 3
months but usually later.
Mating season: Any month.
Gestation: About 12 days.
No. of young: 1-7, usually 2-4.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Solitary; feeds at night.
Diet: Mainly insects and grubs but
also roots, tubers, and small
mammals.
Lifespan: Not known exactly but
probably 3-5 years.
RELATED SPECIES
There are 19 bandicoot species in
8 genera. The family Peramelidae
has 7 genera.
Range of long-nosed bandicoots.
DISTRIBUTION
Found in an isolated area in central Australia and around
the Australian coast. Also found throughout Tasmania.
CONSERVATION
Long-nosed bandicoots are protected by law in Australia.
They are not as endangered as many of the other bandi-
coot species.
FEATURES OF LONG-NOSED BANDICOOTS
Coat: Sleek, coarse hairs, generally
a light grayish brown. They lack the
darker stripes on the back and rump
of all the other bandicoot species in
the family.
Nose: Long
and slender,
tapering to a
point. Adapted
for rooting in
soil , rotting
wood, or
crevices.
Limbs: Hind legs are longer and
stronger than forelegs and carry
most of the weight. Long, sharp
toes are adapted for digging.
MCMXCI IMP BV/I MP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM PRINTED IN USA.
Pouch: Opens
to the rear to
protect the young
from soil when
the mother is
digging. It
contains 8 teats
from which the
~ r - : - ~ __ young feed.
0160200361 PACKET 36
Long-nosed bandicoots are odd-looking members
of the marsupial family. They have a trunklike snout,
powerful hind legs, and a pouch that opens
to the rear. They feed at night, darting quickly
here and there to avoid detection
by their many predators.
~ H A B I T A T
The four species of long-nosed
bandicoot inhabit open plains,
cleared grassland, and wooded
areas along the coasts of Aus-
tralia and in Tasmania. They
also live in undergrowth and
even in drainpipes near towns.
Both the males and the fe-
males have home ranges. The
male's range is larger than
the female's, and he often has
to defend it from invading
males, sometimes fighting
with teeth and claws.
Long-nosed bandicoots are
active mainly at night and
sleep most of the day in a
nest. They build their nests
from grasses or sticks in a
sheltered spot on the ground.
Left: Using
their powerful
hind legs, ban-
dicoots run
with sudden
bursts of speed
and change
direction
quickly to
outmaneuver
predators.
Right:
Bandicoots
hunt and feed
at night. They
have good
hearing and
excellent night
vision.
DID YOU KNOW?
The name bandicoot de-
rives from a word in an
Indian dialect meaning "pig
rat./I It was originally ap-
plied to a rodent of the
genus Bandicota found in
India and Sri Lanka.
Long-nosed bandicoots
are among the few bandi-
~ FOOD & FEEDING
Long-nosed bandicoots eat
mostly insects and larvae.
They use their powerful claws
to dig prey out of the ground
and their long snouts to root
prey out of crevices. Usually
they find insects in the top
four inches of soil. After a
nightly forage, the area may
Left: Having caught an insect, a
bandicoot crushes it with small,
needle-sharp teeth.
coots that make a noise.
They emit a high-pitched
call if disturbed.
Bandicoot species range
in size from one foot to
more than two feet long.
Bandicoots have the high-
est rate of reproduction
among marsupials.
be dotted with shallow holes.
Besides insects, long-nosed
bandicoots dig and eat roots
and tubers. They also kill
small rodents such as mice.
After catching an animal, a
bandicoot rapidly kneads it
into a pulp with its forefeet
before eating it.
Right: A bandicoot uses its toes
and snout to dig insects and roots
from the ground.
~ BREEDING
Bandicoots are solitary ani-
mals and come together only
to mate. They can breed at
any time of year. During his
nightly forages for food, the
male searches for females that
are ready to mate.
The gestation period is about
12 days. Newborns crawl into
the mother's pouch and re-
~ ENEMIES
Bandicoots are prey to many
predators, including dingoes,
snakes, and foxes. The Abor-
igines hunt them for food,
and farmers and gardeners
often kill them because they
damage crops and gardens as
they dig for insects.
Even though bandicoots
have a high rate of repro-
duction, many species are
threatened with extinction
and some are already extinct.
The main threat comes from
humans, who have destroyed
bandicoots' habitats through
cultivation. Another problem
is the introduction of rabbits,
whose grazing pattern alters
the land and renders it un-
suitable for bandicoots.
main attached to her by a
placental cord that nourishes
them from her uterus.
Long-nosed bandicoots'
pouches open backward, un-
like kangaroos', which open
to the front. The young stay
in the pouch for about seven
weeks. After another week,
they are weaned and leave.
'" CARD 148 1, KEY FACTS

BROWN HARE
. j

ORDER
Lagomorpha
FAMILY
Lepridae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Lepus europaeus
A sleeker, larger, and more athletic relative of the rabbit,
the brown hare is able to adapt to a variety of climates. It has
one of the largest distributions of any mammal species.
SIZES
Length: Head and body 11/2-2 ft.
Ears 4 in. Tail 4 in. Hind feet 5-6 in.
Weight: 8
1
/2-13 lb.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: 1 year.
Breeding season: January to
October.
Gestation: 42-44 days.
No. of young: 2-4 per litter.
Litters per year: 3-4.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Active mainly at night.
Normally solitary outside the
breeding season.
Diet: Mainly grasses and herbs,
but also occasionally cereal crops,
roots, and bark.
Lifespan: 10-12 years.
RELATED SPECIES
There are about 18 species in the
genus Lepus. Related to all other
hares, rabbits, and pikas.
Range of the brown hare.
DISTRIBUTION
Widespread across Europe except in Ireland and Scotland.
Also found in Asia to central China and in parts of Africa.
Introduced to Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and the United
States.
CONSERVATION
Modern farming techniques have eliminated many of the
hare's food plants thus causing its numbers to decline.
FEATURES OF THE BROWN HARE
OTHER SPECIES OF HARE
Ears: Longer
than the head
and tipped with
black. Laid flat
along the head
when the hare
lies low to hide
from predators
or when it feeds
in the open.
Legs: Long,
with powerful
hind limbs
IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM
Coat: Brown fur with white
underside. Yellow fur on
cheeks and insides of limbs.
Coat becomes denser and
redder from late summer to
early fall. The tai l has a black
stripe on its upper surface.
Mountain hare: Smaller anD
stockier than brown hare, with
shorter ears. Coat is similar to
brown hare but is not as rich in
color.
Arctic hare: Pure white winter
coat with black-tipped ears.
PRINTED IN U.S.A. 0160200301 PACKET 30
During springtime, brown hares
can be seen running around, leaping in the air,
and engaging in bouts of boxing. This frantic display
occurs before mating and has given rise to the
expression "mad as a March hare."
~ HABITS
The brown hare lives in many
habitats, favoring farmland,
meadows, pastures, and fields
of cereal crops. It also lives in
marshes, open woodlands,
and sand dunes, and up to
5,000 feet high in the Alps.
Instead of digging burrows
like the rabbit, the brown hare
rests and sleeps by day in a
form. A form is a shallow hole
the hare scrapes out in a
sheltered spot in the ground.
The hare lies with its hind-
quarters in the deepest part,
with its coat color blending
into the surroundings.
If disturbed, the brown
hare lies still with its ears
flat against its body. If the
enemy comes too close, the
hare can outrun most preda-
tors with its long hind legs
and sleek body. The brown
hare outwits them by swerv-
ing and running a zigzag
route, backtracking and
recrossing its own path.
~ FOOD & FEEDI NG
At dusk the brown hare feeds,
staying close to the ground
with its ears flattened along
its back. Instead of hopping,
it moves carefully, taking one
step at a time.
The brown hare mainly eats
grasses and herbs, roots, cul-
tivated cereal crops, buds,
twigs, and tree bark.
Rabbits and hares have
Left: The brown hare uses its keen
senses of smell and hearing to
detect predators.
NATUREWATCH
The brown hare rests dur-
ing the day in long grass,
scrub, or open woodland.
Look for it feeding at dawn
or dusk in fi elds of short
DID YOU KNOW?
When frightened or hurt,
the hare screams loudly. It
also grates its teeth to-
gether to make a warning
noise when annoyed.
Some say the brown hare
special ways to digest large
amounts of plant food . Dur-
ing the day they produce soft
feces, which they eat to digest
the food a second time.
In addition to nutritional
value, the feces also contain
bacteria that help to break
down the food in the stom-
ach. The hares pass round,
hard feces during the night.
Right: A leveret (young hare)
feeds on solid food at two to
three weeks old.
crops such as winter corn.
The brown hare's foot-
prints are larger and deeper
than the rabbit's. Forefeet
pri nts are side-by-side.
is the original Easter Bunny
and that the Greek goddess
of spring, Ester, created the
first hare from a bird.
In isolated cases, hares
have eaten their own young.
Left: The
leveret (baby
hare) is well
developed at
birth and has
its own nest.
Right:
Boxing oc-
curs during
breeding
when females
defend them-
selves from
aggressive
males.
The brown hare breeds
throughout the year, but it
mates mainly in spring. Most
young are born from March
to September. Males race
around fields, leaping in the
air, chasing and boxing with
males and females during
"mad March."
The male mates aggres-
sively, often mauling the
female. She gives birth in
early spring to two to four
young and may have up to
three litters a year.
The leverets (young) .are
born in a grass-lined nest in
a form. Unlike rabbits, the
hares are born fully furred
with their eyes open. The
mother puts each leveret in
its own form and visit s each
night to suckle them. She
gives a low call and they an-
swer to help her to locate
them in the dark.
The leverets are indepen-
dent of t heir mother at three
weeks; they reach adult
weight at eight months.
GAUR
ORDER
Artiodactyla
FAMILY
Bovidae
CARD 149
GROUP 1: MAMMALS
GENUS &: SPECIES
Bas gaurus
With its rich dark coat and long white socks, the gaur is the largest
and most impressive of all the wild cattle. This rare animal lives
in a few mountainous forest areas in Asia.

[j]
SIZES
Length: 8-10 ft.
Height: About 5 ft.
Horn length: Male, up to 3)1 ft.
Weight: Female, 1,500 lb. Male,
2,1001bs.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: Female, 3 years.
Male, much later.
Breeding season: Summer.
Gestation: 9 months.
No. of young: 1.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Forms small herds.
Diet: Grass, herbs, and shrubs.
Calls: Sharp, loud snort for alarm.
Long, loud bellow for bull's
mating call.
RELATED SPECIES
The gayal is a domesticated form
of the gaur. It is slightly smaller
and is highly valued for the quality
of its meat and hide.
FEATURES OF THE GAUR
Range of the gaur.
DISTRIBUTION
Scattered herds on the Indian peninsula, Mayanmar, Nepal,
western Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.
CONSERVATION
The gaur is threatened by a reduction in its upland forest
habitat. There have probably never been large numbers of
gaur because their habitat requirements are very specific.
Forehead: Raised ridge of bone
between horns. Lowered against
opponent in threat display.
Dorsal hump: Flexed and displayed
by the bull to impress a rival with his
bulk. In this way males can establish
dominance without fighting.
Horns: 2 to 3J.f
feet long, curving
upward and in-
ward. Horns of old
bulls are some-
times shorter
because they are
broken or have
worn down.
Dewlap:
Loose folds of
skin that give
off body heat
and cool the
animal.
'\ .
MCMXCI IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM PRINTED IN U.S.A. 0160200361 PACKET 36
The gaur is a wild ox that lives mainly in small herds
of no more than a dozen animals. Active during
the day and most of the night, the gaur
alternates between grazing, chewing cud,
and sleeping for short spells.
~ HABITS
The gaur lives in herds to pro-
tect itself. Its main enemy is
the tiger, which can kill a full-
grown adult.
Related females and their
young make up the largest
herds. They are joined by a
mature bull during breeding
season. Individual bulls some-
times stay with the cows all
year and keep watch for pred-
ators. The gaur benefits from
sharing its range with wild
pigs, deer, and birds that give
loud warnings if there is an
enemy approaching.
The gaur favors upland
tropical forests. In the high
mountain areas where it re-
sides, cold is not a problem.
But this wild ox needs wood-
land to protect it from the
burning midday sun.
In place of the long, hairy
coat of yak and bison from
cold climates, the gaur has
folds of loose skin that hang
from the neck, known as
dewlaps. It also has a hairy
hump called the dorsal ridge.
Both disperse body heat to
cool the animal.
~ BREEDING
The gaur mates in summer,
and the young are born in
spring when grass is plentiful.
A bull knows when a cow
is in heat (ready to mate) by
sniffing her genitals and her
urine. He then challenges his
rivals for a chance to mate
with her. Fighting is rare.
Instead, the winner is usually
the one that threatens loud-
est. The dominant bull may
mate with 10 cows in one
season, but the hierarchy of
bulls changes regularly.
A cow leaves her herd to
give birth alone. She keeps a
careful watch for predators,
left: The gaur has a high ridge
on its forehead between its two
curved horns.
since unattended calves are
often killed by tigers.
About four days after birth,
the mother and calf rejoin the
herd. The calf soon copies its
mother's feeding posture. It
noses the ground but does
not yet nibble the grass.
The calf remains close to its
mother and nurses for about
two months. The young are
very playful, chasing each
other and leaping around.
But they are closely guarded
on all sides by cows.
Young cows mature in the
herd. At three years the bull
joins a bachelor group.
Right: Despite its size, the gaur is
shy and retreats if it detects an
unfamiliar scent.
~ FOOD & FEEDING
The gaur grazes most of the
day, although it takes time off
early in the morning and in
the afternoon to sleep and to
chew cud (regurgitated food).
Glades within the forest
provide grass, but the gaur
may also feed on lower slopes
in the cool of the evening.
Despite its size and bulk, the
left: A herd of gaur drinks at a
water hole.
DID YOU KNOW?
Wild cattle species often
synchronize their actions.
When threatened, a herd of
gaur all thump the ground
with their forelegs in unison.
At one time the gaur was
prized by big game hunters,
who considered it a chal-
lenging quarry because of its
elusive habits.
gaur is agile and can climb
down steep gullies for food.
The gaur grazes at night as
well. Research suggests that
wild cattle rarely sleep longer
than an hour in any 24-hour
period. Even this short period
of sleep is made up of a large
number of short, five-minute
naps. In areas where a herd
is constantly disturbed, this
timetable may be confused.
Cattle farmers sometimes
allow their herds to share
pastures with the gaur. This
practice can endanger the
wild herd, which may catch
diseases, such as foot-and-
mouth disease.
The gaur can attack a
predatory tiger and gore it
on its massive horns.
GRAY WHALE
, , ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~
ORDER
Cetacea
FAMILY
Eschrichtiidae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Eschrichtius robustus
The huge gray whale can be readily identified as it cruises coastal
waters. Its skin is dotted with white blotches and encrusted
with patches of white barnacles.
KEY FACTS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~
SIZES
Length: 30-50 ft. Female slightly
larger than male.
Width of tail: 10ft.
Weight: 25-40 tons.
BREEDING
Breeding season: Winter.
Gestation: 11-12 months.
No. of young: Single calf.
Weaning: 6-8 months.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Yearly coastal migrations of
up to 6,200 miles (each way).
Migrate in groups of 1-3.
Range of the gray whale.
Diet: Plankton, shrimp, mollusks,
and small fish.
RELATED SPECIES
The gray whale is the only mem-
ber of this whale family. Its closest
relatives are the 9 other baleen
whale species, including the blue
whale, the right whale, and the
minke whale.
DISTRIBUTION
Mainly confined to the coastal seas of the North Pacific.
CONSERVATION
Whaling has greatly reduced the number of gray whales.
There are fewer than 200 on the Asian coast, but there are
about 17,000 on the North American coast, where the whale
is protected. Until the 1 600s there were gray whales in the I
North Atlantic, but they were hunted to extinction. ----.-J
FEATURES OF THE GRAY WHALE
Dorsal bumps:
The gray whale
has no dorsal
fin. Instead it
has a series of
7 to 10 bumps
running along
the lower back.
MCMXCI IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILpM
Coloring: Dark gray but varies with
individuals. Some have light blotches
resulting from skin discoloration and
from patches of barnacles.
Barnacles: These
crustaceans are
found mainly on the
head, around the
mouth, and on the
tail fin. One species
is unique to the
gray whale.
PRINTED IN U.S.A.
Blowhole: There are actually
two holes through which the
whale breathes. The blast
rises to 13 feet and on a still
day can be heard over a half-
mile away. The spout of water
rises vertically and appears as
a single column of spray.
Whale lice: The
whale is infested
with small crus-
taceans, found
mainly on the
flippers and in
the folds of skin
around the eyes
and throat.
0160200371 PACKET 37
The gray whale differs from other species of whales in
many of its habits. Every year it travels up to 12,500
miles round-trip between its feeding and breeding
grounds. This journey is the longest migration
undertaken by a mammal.
~ HABITS
The gray whale may be the
most coastal of the great
whales and often appears
within half a mile of shore. It
is found along the northern
Pacific coast, with separate
populations on the Asian and
North American coasts.
The whale's year is divided
into distinct phases of feed-
ing, migrating, and breeding.
The North American popu-
lation spends the summer in
the rich feeding grounds of
the Bering and Chukchi seas
off Alaska's coast. At the end
of summer the whales begin
a three-month journey south,
swimming down the Cana-
dian and U.S. coasts to their
Mexican breeding grounds.
The pregnant females give
birth in these warm win-
ter waters, but after a few
months they return to the
northern feeding waters.
The small Asian population
of gray whales, which may be
close to extinction, feeds in
northern stretches of the Sea
of Okhotsk off Siberia.
Above: During migration the
whale swims close to shore at
five to six miles per hour.
Right: Gray whales twist their
bodies to the right when feeding
and use their snouts to rake up
prey from the bottom.
~ BREEDING
Mating and birth take place in
winter in the warm waters off
Baja California and Korea. On
the migration south, a female
may be accompanied by two
males, but she mates with only
one. Not long after mating,
the whales return north.
Gestation takes 11 to 1 2
months. When the females
swim south the next year,
they are ready to give birth.
Calves are 13 to 16 feet
long at birth and grow rapid-
ly, adding another 16 feet in
the first year. At two months,
they accompany their moth-
ers on the migration north.
Weaning takes place in late
summer. From then on, the
calf fends for itself. It makes
the next southward migration
~ FOOD & FEEDING
The gray whale does most of
its feeding in summer, taking
in great quantities of plank-
ton, shrimp, mollusks, and
small fish. It must build up fat
reserves to live on during mi-
gration and breeding.
Like most great whales, the
gray whale feeds by taking in
water and straining it through
rows of baleen plates on the
sides of its mouth. Unlike oth-
er whales, the gray whale is a
bottom feeder. It dives down
and stirs up sediment with its
snout. After sucking in this
cloud, it expels water and silt
through its baleen but traps
the bottom-dwelling animals.
Above: Two calves frolic off the
shore of Baja California.
alone. By then its mother is
ready to mate again.
Left: Baleen
plates are
made of com-
pressed hair
that becomes
frayed. As
water rushes
out, food is
trapped in
the fibers.
DID YOU KNOW?
Instead of a small dorsal
fin, the gray whale has a
line of up to 10 ridges
along its lower back.
Gray whales may help an
injured or sick companion
by pushing it to the sur-
face to breathe.
On the Siberian coast,
where ice-cold waterfalls
descend some of the sea
cliffs, gray whales have
been seen taking "show-
ers." They may drive off
skin parasites in this way.
A count on the body of
one gray whale revealed
100,000 whale lice.

Похожие интересы