You are on page 1of 213

Dog

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This article is about the domestic dog. For related
species known as "dogs", see Canidae. For other uses, see
Dog (disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
Domestic dog
Temporal range: 0.033 0Ma
Pre??OSDCPTJKPgN
?
Pleistocene
Recent
Yellow Labrador Retriever, the most registered breed of
2009 with the AKC
Conservation status
Domesticated
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species:
C. lupus
Subspecies:
C. l. familiaris[1]
Trinomial name
Canis lupus familiaris[2]
Synonyms
Species synonymy[show]
The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)[2][3] is a
subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), a member of
the Canidae family of the mammalian order Carnivora. The
term "domestic dog" is generally used for both
domesticated and feral varieties. The dog was the first
domesticated animal[4][5] and has been the most widely
kept working, hunting, and pet animal in human
history.[citation needed] The word "dog" can also refer
to the male of a canine species,[6] as opposed to the
word "bitch" which refers to the female of the species.
Recent studies of "well-preserved remains of a dog-like
canid from the Razboinichya Cave" in the Altai Mountains
of southern Siberia concluded that a particular instance
of early wolf domestication approximately 33,000 years
ago did not result in modern dog lineages, possibly
because of climate disruption during the Last Glacial
Maximum.[4][7] The authors postulate that at least
several such incipient events have occurred. A study of
fossil dogs and wolves in Belgium, Ukraine, and Russia
tentatively dates domestication from 14,000 years ago to
more than 31,700 years ago.[8] Another recent study has
found support for claims of dog domestication between
14,000 and 16,000 years ago, with a range between 9,000
and 34,000 years ago, depending on mutation rate
assumptions.[9] Dogs' value to early human huntergatherers led to them quickly becoming ubiquitous across
world cultures. Dogs perform many roles for people, such
as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting
police and military, companionship, and, more recently,
aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human
society has given them the nickname "man's best friend"

in the Western world. In some cultures, however, dogs are


also a source of meat.[10][11] In 2001, there were
estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.[12]
Most breeds of dog are at most a few hundred years old,
having been artificially selected for particular
morphologies and behaviors by people for specific
functional roles. Through this selective breeding, the
dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and
shows more behavioral and morphological variation than
any other land mammal.[13] For example, height measured
to the withers ranges from 15.2 centimetres (6.0 in) in
the Chihuahua to about 76 cm (30 in) 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.[14] It is common
for most breeds to shed this coat.
Contents [hide]
1 Etymology and related terminology
2 Taxonomy
3 History and evolution
3.1 DNA studies
4 Roles with humans
4.1 Early roles
4.2 As pets
4.3 Work
4.4 Sports and shows
4.5 As a food source
4.6 Health risks to humans
4.7 Health benefits for humans
4.8 Shelters
5 Biology
5.1 Senses
5.1.1 Vision
5.1.2 Hearing
5.1.3 Smell
5.2 Physical characteristics
5.2.1 Coat
5.2.2 Tail
5.3 Types and breeds
5.4 Health
5.4.1 Mortality
5.4.2 Predation
5.5 Diet
5.5.1 Foods toxic to dogs
5.6 Reproduction
5.7 Neutering
5.8 Communication
6 Intelligence and behavior
6.1 Intelligence
6.2 Behavior
6.3 Dog growl
7 Differences from wolves
7.1 Physical characteristics
7.2 Behavioral differences
7.3 Trainability
8 Cultural depictions
8.1 Mythology
8.2 Gallery of dogs in art

9 See also
10 References
11 Bibliography
12 External links
Etymology and related terminology
Dog is the common use term that refers to members of the
subspecies Canis lupus familiaris (canis, "dog"; lupus,
"wolf"; familiaris, "of a household" or "domestic"). The
term can also be used to refer to a wider range of
related species, such as the members of the genus Canis,
or "true dogs", including the wolf, coyote, and jackals,
or it can refer to the members of the tribe Canini, which
would also include the African wild dog, or it can be
used to refer to any member of the family Canidae, which
would also include the foxes, bush dog, raccoon dog, and
others.[15] Some members of the family have dog in their
common names, such as the raccoon dog and the African
wild dog. A few animals have dog in their common names
but are not canids, such as the prairie dog.
The English word dog comes from Middle English dogge,
from Old English docga, a "powerful dog breed".[16] The
term may possibly derive from Proto-Germanic *dukkon,
represented in Old English finger-docce ("fingermuscle").[17] The word also shows the familiar petname
diminutive -ga also seen in frogga "frog", picga "pig",
stagga "stag", wicga "beetle, worm", among others.[18]
The term dog may ultimately derive from the earliest
layer of Proto-Indo-European vocabulary, reflecting the
role of the dog as the earliest domesticated animal.[19]
In 14th-century England, hound (from Old English: hund)
was the general word for all domestic canines, and dog
referred to a subtype of hound, a group including the
mastiff. It is believed this "dog" type was so common, it
eventually became the prototype of the category
"hound".[20] By the 16th century, dog had become the
general word, and hound had begun to refer only to types
used for hunting.[21] Hound, cognate to German Hund,
Dutch hond, common Scandinavian hund, and Icelandic
hundur, is ultimately derived from the Proto-IndoEuropean *kwon- "dog", found in Sanskrit kukuur
(???????),[22] Welsh ci (plural cwn), Latin canis, Greek
kon, and Lithuanian u.[23]
In breeding circles, a male canine is referred to as a
dog, while a female is called a bitch (Middle English
bicche, from Old English bicce, ultimately from Old Norse
bikkja). A group of offspring is a litter. The father of
a litter is called the sire, and the mother is called the
dam. Offspring are, in general, called pups or puppies,
from French poupe, until they are about a year old. The
process of birth is whelping, from the Old English word
hwelp (cf. German Welpe, Dutch welp, Swedish valpa,
Icelandic hvelpur).[24] The term "whelp" can also be used
to refer to the young of any canid, or as a (somewhat
archaic) alternative to "puppy".
Taxonomy
In 1753, the father of modern biological taxonomy, Carl
Linnaeus, listed among the types of quadrupeds familiar
to him, the Latin word for dog, canis. Among the species

within this genus, Linnaeus listed the fox, as Canis


vulpes, wolves (Canis lupus), and the domestic dog,
(Canis canis). In later editions, Linnaeus dropped Canis
canis and greatly expanded his list of the Canis genus of
quadrupeds, and by 1758 included alongside the foxes,
wolves, and jackals and many more terms that are now
listed as synonyms for domestic dog, including aegyptius
(hairless dog), aquaticus, (water dog), and mustelinus
(literally "badger dog"). Among these were two that later
experts have been widely used for domestic dogs as a
species: Canis domesticus and, most predominantly, Canis
familiaris, the "common" or "familiar" dog.[25]
The domestic dog was accepted as a species in its own
right until overwhelming evidence from behavior,
vocalizations, morphology, and molecular biology led to
the contemporary scientific understanding that a single
species, the gray wolf, is the common ancestor for all
breeds of domestic dogs.[26][27][28] In recognition of
this fact, the domestic dog was reclassified in 1993 as
Canis lupus familiaris, a subspecies of the gray wolf
Canis lupus, by the Smithsonian Institution and the
American Society of Mammalogists. C. l. familiaris is
listed as the name for the taxon that is broadly used in
the scientific community and recommended by ITIS,
although Canis familiaris is a recognised synonym.[29]
Since that time, C. domesticus and all taxa referring to
domestic dogs or subspecies of dog listed by Linnaeus,
Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1792, and Christian Smith in
1839, lost their subspecies status and have been listed
as taxonomic synonyms for Canis lupus familiaris.[30]
History and evolution

Domestic dogs are descended from gray wolves.


Main articles: Origin of the domestic dog and Gray wolf
Domestic dogs inherited complex behaviors from their wolf
ancestors, which would have been pack hunters with
complex body language. These sophisticated forms of
social cognition and communication may account for their
trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human
households and social situations, and these attributes
have given dogs a relationship with humans that has
enabled them to become one of the most successful species
on the planet today.[26]
Although experts largely disagree over the details of dog
domestication, it is agreed that human interaction played
a significant role in shaping the subspecies.[31]
Domestication may have occurred initially in separate
areas, particularly Siberia and Europe. Currently it is
thought domestication of our current lineage of dog
occurred sometime as early as 15,000 years ago and
arguably as late as 8500 years ago. Shortly after the
latest domestication, dogs became ubiquitous in human
populations, and spread throughout the world.
Emigrants from Siberia likely crossed the Bering Strait
with dogs in their company, and some experts[32] suggest
the use of sled dogs may have been critical to the
success of the waves that entered North America roughly
12,000 years ago,[32] although the earliest

archaeological evidence of dog-like canids in North


America dates from about 9,400 years ago.[33][34] Dogs
were an important part of life for the Athabascan
population in North America, and were their only
domesticated animal. Dogs also carried much of the load
in the migration of the Apache and Navajo tribes 1,400
years ago. Use of dogs as pack animals in these cultures
often persisted after the introduction of the horse to
North America.[35]
The current consensus among biologists and archaeologists
is that the dating of first domestication is
indeterminate,[31][35] although more recent evidence
shows isolated domestication events as early as 33,000
years ago.[36][37] There is conclusive evidence the
present lineage of dogs genetically diverged from their
wolf ancestors at least 15,000 years
ago,[38][39][40][41][42] but some believe domestication
to have occurred earlier.[31] Evidence is accruing that
there were previous domestication events, but that those
lineages died out.[43]
It is not known whether humans domesticated the wolf as
such to initiate dog's divergence from its ancestors, or
whether dog's evolutionary path had already taken a
different course prior to domestication. For example, it
is hypothesized that some wolves gathered around the
campsites of paleolithic camps to scavenge refuse, and
associated evolutionary pressure developed that favored
those who were less frightened by, and keener in
approaching, humans.[44]
The bulk of the scientific evidence for the evolution of
the domestic dog stems from morphological studies of
archaeological findings and mitochondrial DNA studies.
The divergence date of roughly 15,000 years ago is based
in part on archaeological evidence that demonstrates the
domestication of dogs occurred more than 15,000 years
ago,[26][35] and some genetic evidence indicates the
domestication of dogs from their wolf ancestors began in
the late Upper Paleolithic close to the
Pleistocene/Holocene boundary, between 17,000 and 14,000
years ago.[45] But there is a wide range of other,
contradictory findings that make this issue
controversial.[citation needed] There are findings
beginning currently at 33,000 years ago distinctly
placing them as domesticated dogs evidenced not only by
shortening of the muzzle but widening as well as crowding
of teeth.
Tesem, an old Egyptian sighthound-like dog.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the latest point at
which dogs could have diverged from wolves was roughly
15,000 years ago, although it is possible they diverged
much earlier.[26] In 2008, a team of international
scientists released findings from an excavation at Goyet
Cave in Belgium declaring a large, toothy canine existed
31,700 years ago and ate a diet of horse, musk ox and
reindeer.[46]
Prior to this Belgian discovery, the earliest dog bones
found were two large skulls from Russia and a mandible
from Germany dated from roughly 14,000 years ago.[26][40]

Remains of smaller dogs from Natufian cave deposits in


the Middle East, including the earliest burial of a human
being with a domestic dog, have been dated to around
10,000 to 12,000 years ago.[40][47] There is a great deal
of archaeological evidence for dogs throughout Europe and
Asia around this period and through the next two thousand
years (roughly 8,000 to 10,000 years ago), with specimens
uncovered in Germany, the French Alps, and Iraq, and cave
paintings in Turkey.[26] The oldest remains of a
domesticated dog in the Americas were found in Texas and
have been dated to about 9,400 years ago.[48]
DNA studies
A basenji, one of the earliest domesticated breeds.
DNA studies have provided a wide range of possible
divergence dates, from 15,000 to 40,000 years ago,[40] to
as much as 100,000 to 140,000 years ago.[49] These
results depend on a number of assumptions.[26] Genetic
studies are based on comparisons of genetic diversity
between species, and depend on a calibration date. Some
estimates of divergence dates from DNA evidence use an
estimated wolf coyote divergence date of roughly 700,000
years ago as a calibration.[50] If this estimate is
incorrect, and the actual wolf coyote divergence is
closer to one or two million years ago, or more,[51] then
the DNA evidence that supports specific dog wolf
divergence dates would be interpreted very differently.
Furthermore, it is believed the genetic diversity of
wolves has been in decline for the last 200 years, and
that the genetic diversity of dogs has been reduced by
selective breeding. This could significantly bias DNA
analyses to support an earlier divergence date. The
genetic evidence for the domestication event occurring in
East Asia is also subject to violations of assumptions.
These conclusions are based on the location of maximal
genetic divergence, and assume hybridization does not
occur, and that breeds remain geographically localized.
Although these assumptions hold for many species, there
is good reason to believe that they do not hold for
canines.[26]
Genetic analyses indicate all dogs are likely descended
from a handful of domestication events with a small
number of founding females,[26][45] although there is
evidence domesticated dogs interbred with local
populations of wild wolves on several occasions.[40] Data
suggest dogs first diverged from wolves in East Asia, and
these domesticated dogs then quickly migrated throughout
the world, reaching the North American continent around
8000 BC.[40] The oldest groups of dogs, which show the
greatest genetic variability and are the most similar to
their wolf ancestors, are primarily Asian and African
breeds, including the Basenji, Lhasa Apso, and Siberian
Husky.[52] Some breeds thought to be very old, such as
the Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound, and Norwegian Elkhound,
are now known to have been created more recently.[52]
A great deal of controversy surrounds the evolutionary
framework for the domestication of dogs.[26] Although it
is widely claimed that "man domesticated the wolf,"[53]
man may not have taken such a proactive role in the

process.[26] The nature of the interaction between man


and wolf that led to domestication is unknown and
controversial. At least three early species of the Homo
genus began spreading out of Africa roughly 400,000 years
ago, and thus lived for a considerable time in contact
with canine species.[26]

Ancient Greek rhyton in the shape of a dog's head, made


by Brygos, early 5th century BC. Jrme Carcopino Museum,
Department of Archaeology, Aleria
Despite this, there is no evidence of any adaptation of
canine species to the presence of the close relatives of
modern man. If dogs were domesticated, as believed,
roughly 15,000 years ago, the event (or events) would
have coincided with a large expansion in human territory
and the development of agriculture. This has led some
biologists to suggest one of the forces that led to the
domestication of dogs was a shift in human lifestyle in
the form of established human settlements. Permanent
settlements would have coincided with a greater amount of
disposable food and would have created a barrier between
wild and anthropogenic canine populations.[26]
In 2013 Thalmann, Krause and coworkers revised the view
that dog ancestors came from East Asia and showed using
DNA analysis that "all dogs living today go back to four
genetic lineages, all of which originate in Europe." [54]
Their data indicated that bonding between humans and dog
occurred between 19,000 and 30,000 years ago, likely in
the context of hunting.[54]
Roles with humans

A Siberian Husky used as a pack animal


A German Shepherd with a football
Early roles
Wolves, and their dog descendants, would have derived
significant benefits from living in human camps more
safety, more reliable food, lesser caloric needs, and
more chance to breed.[55] They would have benefited from
humans' upright gait that gives them larger range over
which to see potential predators and prey, as well as
color vision that, at least by day, gives humans better
visual discrimination.[55] Camp dogs would also have
benefitted from human tool use, as in bringing down
larger prey and controlling fire for a range of
purposes.[55]
Humans would also have derived enormous benefit from the
dogs associated with their camps.[56] For instance, dogs
would have improved sanitation by cleaning up food
scraps.[56] Dogs may have provided warmth, as referred to
in the Australian Aboriginal expression "three dog night"
(an exceptionally cold night), and they would have
alerted the camp to the presence of predators or
strangers, using their acute hearing to provide an early
warning.[56]

Anthropologists believe the most significant benefit


would have been the use of dogs' sensitive sense of smell
to assist with the hunt.[56] The relationship between the
presence of a dog and success in the hunt is often
mentioned as a primary reason for the domestication of
the wolf, and a 2004 study of hunter groups with and
without a dog gives quantitative support to the
hypothesis that the benefits of cooperative hunting was
an important factor in wolf domestication.[57]
The cohabitation of dogs and humans would have greatly
improved the chances of survival for early human groups,
and the domestication of dogs may have been one of the
key forces that led to human success.[58]
As pets
Couple sitting on the lawn with a pet British Bulldog
A British Bulldog shares a day at the park.
A young male border terrier with a raccoon toy.
"The most widespread form of interspecies bonding occurs
between humans and dogs"[56] and the keeping of dogs as
companions, particularly by elites, has a long
history.[59] However, pet dog populations grew
significantly after World War II as suburbanization
increased.[59] In the 1950s and 1960s, dogs were kept
outside more often than they tend to be today[60] (using
the expression "in the doghouse" to describe exclusion
from the group signifies the distance between the
doghouse and the home) and were still primarily
functional, acting as a guard, children's playmate, or
walking companion. From the 1980s, there have been
changes in the role of the pet dog, such as the increased
role of dogs in the emotional support of their human
guardians.[61] People and dogs have become increasingly
integrated and implicated in each other's lives,[62] to
the point where pet dogs actively shape the way a family
and home are experienced.[63]
There have been two major trends in the changing status
of pet dogs. The first has been the 'commodification' of
the dog, shaping it to conform to human expectations of
personality and behaviour.[63] The second has been the
broadening of the concept of the family and the home to
include dogs-as-dogs within everyday routines and
practices.[63]
There are a vast range of commodity forms available to
transform a pet dog into an ideal companion.[64] The list
of goods, services and places available is enormous: from
dog perfumes, couture, furniture and housing, to dog
groomers, therapists, trainers and caretakers, dog cafes,
spas, parks and beaches, and dog hotels, airlines and
cemeteries.[64] While dog training as an organized
activity can be traced back to the 18th century, in the
last decades of the 20th century it became a high profile
issue as many normal dog behaviors such as barking,
jumping up, digging, rolling in dung, fighting, and urine
marking[further explanation needed] became increasingly
incompatible with the new role of a pet dog.[65] Dog
training books, classes and television programs
proliferated as the process of commodifying the pet dog

continued.[66]
An Australian Cattle Dog in reindeer antlers sits on
Santa's lap
A pet dog taking part in Christmas traditions
The majority of contemporary people with dogs describe
their pet as part of the family,[63] although some
ambivalence about the relationship is evident in the
popular reconceptualization of the dog human family as a
pack.[63] A dominance model of dog human relationships
has been promoted by some dog trainers, such as on the
television program Dog Whisperer. However it has been
disputed that "trying to achieve status" is
characteristic of dog human interactions.[67] Pet dogs
play an active role in family life; for example, a study
of conversations in dog human families showed how family
members use the dog as a resource, talking to the dog, or
talking through the dog, to mediate their interactions
with each other.[68]
Another study of dogs' roles in families showed many dogs
have set tasks or routines undertaken as family members,
the most common of which was helping with the washing-up
by licking the plates in the dishwasher, and bringing in
the newspaper from the lawn.[63] Increasingly, human
family members are engaging in activities centered on the
perceived needs and interests of the dog, or in which the
dog is an integral partner, such as Dog Dancing and
Doga.[64]
According to the statistics published by the American Pet
Products Manufacturers Association in the National Pet
Owner Survey in 2009 2010, it is estimated there are 77.5
million people with pet dogs in the United States.[69]
The same survey shows nearly 40% of American households
own at least one dog, of which 67% own just one dog, 25%
two dogs and nearly 9% more than two dogs. There does not
seem to be any gender preference among dogs as pets, as
the statistical data reveal an equal number of female and
male dog pets. Yet, although several programs are
undergoing to promote pet adoption, less than a fifth of
the owned dogs come from a shelter.
The latest study using Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
to humans and dogs together proved that dogs have same
response of voices and use the same parts of brain as
humans and made dogs understand of emotional human
voices, made the dogs as friendly social pets to
humans.[70]
Work
Dogs have lived and worked with humans in so many roles
that they have earned the unique nickname, "man's best
friend",[71] a phrase used in other languages as well.
They have been bred for herding livestock,[72] hunting
(e.g. pointers and hounds),[73] rodent control,[3]
guarding, helping fishermen with nets, detection dogs,
and pulling loads, in addition to their roles as
companions.[3] In 1957, a husky-terrier mix named Laika
became the first animal to orbit the Earth.[74][75]
Book of the Hunt, Gaston III, Count of Foix, 1387 88.
Service dogs such as guide dogs, utility dogs, assistance

dogs, hearing dogs, and psychological therapy dogs


provide assistance to individuals with physical or mental
disabilities.[76][77] Some dogs owned by epileptics have
been shown to alert their handler when the handler shows
signs of an impending seizure, sometimes well in advance
of onset, allowing the guardian to seek safety,
medication, or medical care.[78]
Dogs included in human activities in terms of helping out
humans are usually called working dogs. Dogs of several
breeds are considered working dogs. Some working dog
breeds include Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Anatolian
Shepherd Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Black Russian
Terrier, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, Dogue de
Bordeaux, German Pinscher, German Shepherd,[79] Giant
Schnauzer, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Great Swiss
Mountain Dog, Komondor, Kuvasz, Mastiff, Neapolitan
Mastiff, Newfoundland, Portuguese Water Dog, Rottweiler,
Saint Bernard, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Standard
Schnauzer, and Tibetan Mastiff.
Sports and shows
See also: Conformation show
People often enter their dogs in competitions[80] such as
breed-conformation shows or sports, including racing,
sledding and agility competitions.
In conformation shows, also referred to as breed shows, a
judge familiar with the specific dog breed evaluates
individual purebred dogs for conformity with their
established breed type as described in the breed
standard. As the breed standard only deals with the
externally observable qualities of the dog (such as
appearance, movement, and temperament), separately tested
qualities (such as ability or health) are not part of the
judging in conformation shows.
As a food source
Main article: Dog meat
Gaegogi (dog meat) stew being served in a Korean
restaurant
Dog meat is consumed in some East Asian countries,
including Korea, China, and Vietnam, a practice that
dates back to antiquity.[81] It is estimated that 13 16
million dogs are killed and consumed in Asia every
year.[82] The BBC claims that, in 1999, more than 6,000
restaurants served soups made from dog meat in South
Korea.[83] In Korea, the primary dog breed raised for
meat, the nureongi (???), differs from those breeds
raised for pets that Koreans may keep in their homes.[84]
The most popular Korean dog dish is gaejang-guk (also
called bosintang), a spicy stew meant to balance the
body's heat during the summer months; followers of the
custom claim this is done to ensure good health by
balancing one's gi, or vital energy of the body. A 19th
century version of gaejang-guk explains that the dish is
prepared by boiling dog meat with scallions and chili
powder. Variations of the dish contain chicken and bamboo
shoots. While the dishes are still popular in Korea with
a segment of the population, dog is not as widely
consumed as beef, chicken, and pork.[85]
A CNN report in China dated March 2010 includes an

interview with a dog meat vendor who stated that most of


the dogs that are available for selling to restaurants
are raised in special farms but that there is always a
chance that a sold dog is someone's lost pet, although
dog pet breeds are not considered edible.[86]
Other cultures, such as Polynesia and pre-Columbian
Mexico, also consumed dog meat in their history. However,
Western, South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern
cultures, in general, regard consumption of dog meat as
taboo. In some places, however, such as in rural areas of
Poland, dog fat is believed to have medicinal properties
being good for the lungs for instance.[87] Dog meat is
also consumed in some parts of Switzerland.[88]
Health risks to humans
Main article: Dog attack
Pet waste station at a government building.
It is estimated that 4.7 million people are bitten by
dogs each year.[89] In the 1980s and 1990s the US
averaged 17 fatalities per year, while in the 2000s this
has increased to 26.[90] 77% of dog bites are from the
pet of family or friends, and 50% of attacks occur on the
property of the dog's legal owner.[90]
A Colorado study found bites in children were less severe
than bites in adults.[91] The incidence of dog bites in
the US is 12.9 per 10,000 inhabitants, but for boys aged
5 to 9, the incidence rate is 60.7 per 10,000. Moreover,
children have a much higher chance to be bitten in the
face or neck.[92] Sharp claws with powerful muscles
behind them can lacerate flesh in a scratch that can lead
to serious infections.[93]
In the UK between 2003 and 2004, there were 5,868 dog
attacks on humans, resulting in 5,770 working days lost
in sick leave.[94]
In the United States, cats and dogs are a factor in more
than 86,000 falls e
Health benefits for humans
Small dog laying between the hands
A human cuddles a Doberman puppy.
The scientific evidence is mixed as to whether
companionship of a dog can enhance human physical health
and psychological wellbeing.[103] Studies suggesting that
there are benefits to physical health and psychological
wellbeing[104] have been criticised for being poorly
controlled,[105] and finding that "[t]he health of
elderly people is related to their health habits and
social supports but not to their ownership of, or
attachment to, a companion animal." Earlier studies have
shown that people who keep pet dogs or cats exhibit
better mental and physical health than those who do not,
making fewer visits to the doctor and being less likely
to be on medication than non-guardians.[106]
A 2005 paper states "recent research has failed to
support earlier findings that pet ownership is associated
with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a reduced
use of general practitioner services, or any
psychological or physical benefits on health for

community dwelling older people. Research has, however,


pointed to significantly less absenteeism from school
through sickness among children who live with pets."[103]
In one study, new guardians reported a highly significant
reduction in minor health problems during the first month
following pet acquisition, and this effect was sustained
in those with dogs through to the end of the study.[107]
In addition, people with pet dogs took considerably more
physical exercise than those with cats and those without
pets. The group without pets exhibited no statistically
significant changes in health or behaviour. The results
provide evidence that keeping pets may have positive
effects on human health and behaviour, and that for
guardians of dogs these effects are relatively longterm.[107] Pet guardianship has also been associated with
increased coronary artery disease survival, with human
guardians being significantly less likely to die within
one year of an acute myocardial infarction than those who
did not own dogs.[108]
Gunnar Kaasen and Balto, the lead dog on the last relay
team of the 1925 serum run to Nome.
The health benefits of dogs can result from contact with
dogs in general, and not solely from having dogs as pets.
For example, when in the presence of a pet dog, people
show reductions in cardiovascular, behavioral, and
psychological indicators of anxiety.[109] Other health
benefits are gained from exposure to immune-stimulating
microorganisms, which, according to the hygiene
hypothesis, can protect against allergies and autoimmune
diseases. The benefits of contact with a dog also include
social support, as dogs are able to not only provide
companionship and social support themselves, but also to
act as facilitators of social interactions between
humans.[110] One study indicated that wheelchair users
experience more positive social interactions with
strangers when they are accompanied by a dog than when
they are not.[111]
The practice of using dogs and other animals as a part of
therapy dates back to the late 18th century, when animals
were introduced into mental institutions to help
socialize patients with mental disorders.[112] Animalassisted intervention research has shown that animalassisted therapy with a dog can increase social
behaviors, such as smiling and laughing, among people
with Alzheimer's disease.[113] One study demonstrated
that children with ADHD and conduct disorders who
participated in an education program with dogs and other
animals showed increased attendance, increased knowledge
and skill objectives, and decreased antisocial and
violent behavior compared to those who were not in an
animal-assisted program.[114]
Shelters
Main article: Animal shelter
Every year, between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats enter
US animal shelters.[115] The Humane Society of the United
States (HSUS) estimates that approximately 3 to 4 million
of those dogs and cats are euthanized yearly in the
United States.[116] However, the percentage of dogs in US

animal shelters that are eventually adopted and removed


from the shelters by their new legal owners has increased
since the mid-1990s from around 25% to a 2012 average of
40% among reporting shelters[117] (and many shelters
reporting 60 75%).[118]
Biology
Main article: Dog anatomy
Lateral view of a dog's bone structure.
Domestic dogs have been selectively bred for millennia
for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical
attributes.[3] Modern dog breeds show more variation in
size, appearance, and behavior than any other domestic
animal. Nevertheless, their morphology is based on that
of their wild ancestors, gray wolves.[3] Dogs are
predators and scavengers, and like many other predatory
mammals, the dog has powerful muscles, fused wrist bones,
a cardiovascular system that supports both sprinting and
endurance, and teeth for catching and tearing.
Dogs are highly variable in height and weight. The
smallest known adult dog was a Yorkshire Terrier, that
stood only 6.3 cm (2.5 in) at the shoulder, 9.5 cm (3.7
in) in length along the head-and-body, and weighed only
113 grams (4.0 oz). The largest known dog was an English
Mastiff which weighed 155.6 kg (343 lb) and was 250 cm
(98 in) from the snout to the tail.[119] The tallest dog
is a Great Dane that stands 106.7 cm (42.0 in) at the
shoulder.[120]
Senses
This article may be expanded with text translated from
the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (March
2013)
Click [show] on the right to read important instructions
before translating.[show]
Vision
Dog's visual colour perception compared with humans.
Like most mammals, dogs are dichromats and have color
vision equivalent to red green color blindness in humans
(deuteranopia).[121][122][123][124] So, dogs can see blue
and yellow, but difficult to differentiate red and green
because dogs only have two spectral types of cones
photoreceptors, while normal humans have three cones. And
dogs use color instead of brightness to differentiate
light or dark blue/yellow.[125] Dogs are less sensitive
to differences in grey shades than humans and also can
detect brightness at about half the accuracy of
humans.[126]
The dog's visual system has evolved to aid proficient
hunting.[121] While a dog's visual acuity is poor (that
of a poodle's has been estimated to translate to a
Snellen rating of 20/75[121]), their visual
discrimination for moving objects is very high; dogs have
been shown to be able to discriminate between humans
(e.g., identifying their human guardian) at a range of
between 800 and 900 m, however this range decreases to

500 600 m if the object is stationary.[121]


Dogs have a temporal resolution of between 60 and 70 Hz,
which explains why many dogs struggle to watch
television, as most such modern screens are optimized for
humans at 50 60 Hz.[126] Dogs can detect a change in
movement that exists in a single diopter of space within
their eye. Humans, by comparison, require a change of
between 10 and 20 diopters to detect movement.[127][128]
As crepuscular hunters, dogs often rely on their vision
in low light situations: They have very large pupils, a
high density of rods in the fovea, an increased flicker
rate, and a tapetum lucidum.[121] The tapetum is a
reflective surface behind the retina that reflects light
to give the photoreceptors a second chance to catch the
photons. There is also a relationship between body size
and overall diameter of the eye. A range of 9.5 and 11.6
mm can be found between various breeds of dogs. This 20%
variance can be substantial and is associated as an
adaptation toward superior night vision.[129]
The eyes of different breeds of dogs have different
shapes, dimensions, and retina configurations.[130] Many
long-nosed breeds have a "visual streak" a wide foveal
region that runs across the width of the retina and gives
them a very wide field of excellent vision. Some longmuzzled breeds, in particular, the sighthounds, have a
field of vision up to 270 (compared to 180 for humans).
Short-nosed breeds, on the other hand, have an "area
centralis": a central patch with up to three times the
density of nerve endings as the visual streak, giving
them detailed sight much more like a human's. Some broadheaded breeds with short noses have a field of vision
similar to that of humans.[122][123]
Most breeds have good vision, but some show a genetic
predisposition for myopia such as Rottweilers, with
which one out of every two has been found to be
myopic.[121] Dogs also have a greater divergence of the
eye axis than humans, enabling them to rotate their
pupils farther in any direction. The divergence of the
eye axis of dogs ranges from 12 25 depending on the
breed.[127]
Experimentation has proven that dogs can distinguish
between complex visual images such as that of a cube or a
prism. Dogs also show attraction to static visual images
such as the silhouette of a dog on a screen, their own
reflections, or videos of dogs; however, their interest
declines sharply once they are unable to make social
contact with the image.[131]
Hearing
The physiology of a dog ear.
Transformation of the ears of a huskamute puppy in 6 days
The frequency range of dog hearing is approximately 40 Hz
to 60,000 Hz,[132] which means that dogs can detect
sounds far beyond the upper limit of the human auditory
spectrum.[123][132][133] In addition, dogs have ear
mobility, which allows them to rapidly pinpoint the exact
location of a sound.[134] Eighteen or more muscles can

tilt, rotate, raise, or lower a dog's ear. A dog can


identify a sound's location much faster than a human can,
as well as hear sounds at four times the distance.[134]
Smell
The wet, textured nose of a dog
While the human brain is dominated by a large visual
cortex, the dog brain is dominated by an olfactory
cortex.[121] The olfactory bulb in dogs is roughly forty
times bigger than the olfactory bulb in humans, relative
to total brain size, with 125 to 220 million smellsensitive receptors.[121] The bloodhound exceeds this
standard with nearly 300 million receptors.[121]
Consequently, it has been estimated that dogs, in
general, have an olfactory sense ranging from one hundred
thousand to one million times more sensitive than a
human's. In some dog breeds, such as bloodhounds, the
olfactory sense may be up to 100 million times greater
than a human's.[135] The wet nose, or rhinarium, is
essential for determining the direction of the air
current containing the smell. Cold receptors in the skin
are sensitive to the cooling of the skin by evaporation
of the moisture by air currents.[136]
Physical characteristics
Main article: Dog anatomy
Coat
Main article: Coat (dog)
A heavy winter coat with countershading in a mixed-breed
dog
The coats of domestic dogs are of two varieties: "double"
being common with dogs (as well as wolves) originating
from colder climates, made up of a coarse guard hair and
a soft down hair, or "single", with the topcoat only.
Domestic dogs often display the remnants of
countershading, a common natural camouflage pattern. A
countershaded animal will have dark coloring on its upper
surfaces and light coloring below,[137] which reduces its
general visibility. Thus, many breeds will have an
occasional "blaze", stripe, or "star" of white fur on
their chest or underside.[138]
Tail
See also: Docking
There are many different shapes for dog tails: straight,
straight up, sickle, curled, or cork-screw. As with many
canids, one of the primary functions of a dog's tail is
to communicate their emotional state, which can be
important in getting along with others. In some hunting
dogs, however, the tail is traditionally docked to avoid
injuries.[139] In some breeds, such as the Braque du
Bourbonnais, puppies can be born with a short tail or no
tail at all.[140]
Types and breeds
Main article: Dog breed
Further information: Dog type
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels demonstrate with-breed

variation.
While all dogs are genetically very similar,[40] natural
selection and selective breeding have reinforced certain
characteristics in certain populations of dogs, giving
rise to dog types and dog breeds. Dog types are broad
categories based on function, genetics, or
characteristics.[141] Dog breeds are groups of animals
that possess a set of inherited characteristics that
distinguishes them from other animals within the same
species. Modern dog breeds are non-scientific
classifications of dogs kept by modern kennel clubs.
Purebred dogs of one breed are genetically
distinguishable from purebred dogs of other breeds,[52]
but the means by which kennel clubs classify dogs is
unsystematic. Systematic analyses of the dog genome has
revealed only four major types of dogs that can be said
to be statistically distinct.[52] These include the "old
world dogs" (e.g., Malamute and Shar Pei), "Mastiff"-type
(e.g., English Mastiff), "herding"-type (e.g., Border
Collie), and "all others" (also called "modern"- or
"hunting"-type).[52][142]
Health
Main articles: Dog health and CVBD
Dogs are susceptible to various diseases, ailments, and
poisons, some of which can affect humans. To defend
against many common diseases, dogs are often vaccinated.
There are many household plants that are poisonous to
dogs, such as poinsettias, begonia and aloe vera.[143]
Some breeds of dogs are prone to certain genetic ailments
such as elbow or hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness,
pulmonic stenosis, cleft palate, and trick knees. Two
serious medical conditions particularly affecting dogs
are pyometra, affecting unspayed females of all types and
ages, and bloat, which affects the larger breeds or deepchested dogs. Both of these are acute conditions, and can
kill rapidly. Dogs are also susceptible to parasites such
as fleas, ticks, and mites, as well as hookworm,
tapeworm, roundworm, and heartworm.
Dogs are highly susceptible to theobromine poisoning,
typically from ingestion of chocolate. Theobromine is
toxic to dogs because, although the dog's metabolism is
capable of breaking down the chemical, the process is so
slow that even small amounts of chocolate can be fatal,
especially dark chocolate.
Dogs are also vulnerable to some of the same health
conditions as humans, including diabetes, dental and
heart disease, epilepsy, cancer, hypothyroidism, and
arthritis.[144]
Mortality
A mixed-breed terrier. Mixed-breed dogs are generally
healthier than pure-breds.
Main article: Aging in dogs
The typical lifespan of dogs varies widely among breeds,
but for most the median longevity, the age at which half
the dogs in a population have died and half are still
alive, ranges from 10 to 13 years.[145][146][147][148]
Individual dogs may live well beyond the median of their
breed.

The breed with the shortest lifespan (among breeds for


which there is a questionnaire survey with a reasonable
sample size) is the Dogue de Bordeaux, with a median
longevity of about 5.2 years, but several breeds,
including Miniature Bull Terriers, Bloodhounds, and Irish
Wolfhounds are nearly as short-lived, with median
longevities of 6 to 7 years.[148]
The longest-lived breeds, including Toy Poodles, Japanese
Spitz, Border Terriers, and Tibetan Spaniels, have median
longevities of 14 to 15 years.[148] The median longevity
of mixed-breed dogs, taken as an average of all sizes, is
one or more years longer than that of purebred dogs when
all breeds are averaged.[146][147][148][149] The dog
widely reported to be the longest-lived is "Bluey", who
died in 1939 and was claimed to be 29.5 years old at the
time of his death; however, the Bluey record is anecdotal
and unverified.[150] On 5 December 2011, Pusuke, the
world's oldest living dog recognized by Guinness Book of
World Records, died aged 26 years and 9 months.[151]
Predation
Although wild dogs, like wolves, are apex predators, they
can be killed in territory disputes with wild
animals.[152] Furthermore, in areas where both dogs and
other large predators live, dogs can be a major food
source for big cats or canines. Reports from Croatia
indicate wolves kill dogs more frequently than they kill
sheep. Wolves in Russia apparently limit feral dog
populations. In Wisconsin, more compensation has been
paid for dog losses than livestock.[152] Some wolf pairs
have been reported to prey on dogs by having one wolf
lure the dog out into heavy brush where the second animal
waits in ambush.[153] In some instances, wolves have
displayed an uncharacteristic fearlessness of humans and
buildings when attacking dogs, to the extent that
they[which?] have to be beaten off or killed.[154]
Coyotes and big cats have also been known to attack dogs.
Leopards in particular are known to have a predilection
for dogs, and have been recorded to kill and consume them
regardless of the dog's size or ferocity.[155] Tigers in
Manchuria, Indochina, Indonesia, and Malaysia are reputed
to kill dogs with the same vigor as leopards.[156]
Striped Hyenas are major predators of village dogs in
Turkmenistan, India, and the Caucasus.[157] Reptiles such
as alligators and pythons have been known to kill and eat
dogs.
Diet
See also: Dog food
Golden Retriever gnawing a pig's foot
Despite their descent from wolves and classification as
Carnivora, dogs are variously described in scholarly and
other writings as carnivores[158][159] or
omnivores.[3][160][161][162] Unlike obligate carnivores,
such as the cat family with its shorter small intestine,
dogs can adapt to a wide-ranging diet, and are not
dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level
of protein in order to fulfill their basic dietary
requirements. Dogs will healthily digest a variety of
foods, including vegetables and grains, and can consume a

large proportion of these in their diet.[3] Compared to


their wolf ancestors, dogs have adaptations in genes
involved in starch digestion that contribute to an
increased ability to thrive on a starch-rich diet.[163]
Foods toxic to dogs
This article may be expanded with text translated from
the corresponding article in the Catalan Wikipedia.
(September 2013)
Click [show] on the right to read important instructions
before translating.[show]
A number of common human foods and household ingestibles
are toxic to dogs, including chocolate solids
(theobromine poisoning), onion and garlic (thiosulphate,
sulfoxide or disulfide poisoning),[164] grapes and
raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol,[165] as well as various
plants and other potentially ingested
materials.[166][167] The nicotine in tobacco can also be
dangerous. Dogs can get it by scavenging in garbage or
ashtrays; eating cigars and cigarettes. Signs can be
vomiting of large amounts (e.g., from eating cigar butts)
or diarrhea. Some other signs are abdominal pain, loss of
coordination, collapse, or death. To solve, soothe the
stomach irritation by giving charcoal tablets. For severe
signs, get immediate veterinary attention. [168]
Reproduction
Main article: Canine reproduction
In domestic dogs, sexual maturity begins to happen around
age six to twelve months for both males and
females,[3][169] although this can be delayed until up to
two years old for some large breeds. This is the time at
which female dogs will have their first estrous cycle.
They will experience subsequent estrous cycles
biannually, during which the body prepares for pregnancy.
At the peak of the cycle, females will come into estrus,
being mentally and physically receptive to copulation.[3]
Because the ova survive and are capable of being
fertilized for a week after ovulation, it is possible for
a female to mate with more than one male.[3]
2 5 days post conception fertilization occurs, 14 16 days
embryo attaches to uterus 22 23 days heart beat is
detectable.[170][171]
Dogs bear their litters roughly 58 to 68 days after
fertilization,[3][172] with an average of 63 days,
although the length of gestation can vary. An average
litter consists of about six puppies,[173] though this
number may vary widely based on the breed of dog. In
general, toy dogs produce from one to four puppies in
each litter, while much larger breeds may average as many
as twelve.
Some dog breeds have acquired traits through selective
breeding that interfere with reproduction. Male French
Bulldogs, for instance, are incapable of mounting the
female. For many dogs of this breed, the female must be
artificially inseminated in order to reproduce.[174]
Neutering
Globe icon.
The examples and perspective in this article deal
primarily with the United States and do not represent a
worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this

article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (March


2012)
A feral dog from Sri Lanka nursing her four puppies
Neutering refers to the sterilization of animals, usually
by removal of the male's testicles or the female's
ovaries and uterus, in order to eliminate the ability to
procreate and reduce sex drive. Because of the
overpopulation of dogs in some countries, many animal
control agencies, such as the American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), advise that
dogs not intended for further breeding should be
neutered, so that they do not have undesired puppies that
may have to later be euthanized.[175]
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 3 4
million dogs and cats are put down each year in the
United States and many more are confined to cages in
shelters because there are many more animals than there
are homes. Spaying or castrating dogs helps keep
overpopulation down.[176] Local humane societies, SPCAs,
and other animal protection organizations urge people to
neuter their pets and to adopt animals from shelters
instead of purchasing them.
Neutering reduces problems caused by hypersexuality,
especially in male dogs.[177] Spayed female dogs are less
likely to develop some forms of cancer, affecting mammary
glands, ovaries, and other reproductive organs.[178]
However, neutering increases the risk of urinary
incontinence in female dogs,[179] and prostate cancer in
males,[180] as well as osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma,
cruciate ligament rupture, obesity, and diabetes mellitus
in either sex.[181]
Communication
By the age of four weeks, the dog has developed the
majority of its vocalizations.[182] The dog is the most
vocal canid and is unique in its tendency to bark in a
myriad of situations.[182]
Barking appears to have little more communication
functions than excitement, fighting, the presence of a
human, or simply because other dogs are barking.[182]
Subtler signs such as discreet bodily and facial
movements, body odors, whines, yelps, and growls are the
main sources of actual communication.[182] The majority
of these subtle communication techniques are employed at
a close proximity to another, but for long-range
communication only barking and howling are employed.[182]
Intelligence and behavior
Intelligence
Main article: Dog intelligence
The Border Collie is considered to be one of the most
intelligent breeds.[183]
The domestic dog has a predisposition to exhibit a social
intelligence that is uncommon in the animal world.[121]
Dogs are capable of learning in a number of ways, such as
through simple reinforcement (e.g., classical or operant
conditioning) and by observation.[121]

Dogs go through a series of stages of cognitive


development. As with humans, the understanding that
objects not being actively perceived still remain in
existence (called object permanence) is not present at
birth. It develops as the young dog learns to interact
intentionally with objects around it, at roughly 8 weeks
of age.[121]
Puppies learn behaviors quickly by following examples set
by experienced dogs.[121] This form of intelligence is
not peculiar to those tasks dogs have been bred to
perform, but can be generalized to myriad abstract
problems. For example, Dachshund puppies that watched an
experienced dog pull a cart by tugging on an attached
piece of ribbon in order to get a reward from inside the
cart learned the task fifteen times faster than those
left to solve the problem on their own.[121][184]
Dogs can also learn by mimicking human behaviors. In one
study, puppies were presented with a box, and shown that,
when a handler pressed a lever, a ball would roll out of
the box. The handler then allowed the puppy to play with
the ball, making it an intrinsic reward. The pups were
then allowed to interact with the box. Roughly three
quarters of the puppies subsequently touched the lever,
and over half successfully released the ball, compared to
only 6% in a control group that did not watch the human
manipulate the lever.[185] Another study found that
handing an object between experimenters who then used the
object's name in a sentence successfully taught an
observing dog each object's name, allowing the dog to
subsequently retrieve the item.[186]
Sergeant Stubby wearing his uniform and medals. Stubby
participated in four offensives and 17 battles.
Dogs also demonstrate sophisticated social cognition by
associating behavioral cues with abstract meanings.[121]
One such class of social cognition involves the
understanding that others are conscious agents. Research
has shown that dogs are capable of interpreting subtle
social cues, and appear to recognize when a human or
dog's attention is focused on them. To test this,
researchers devised a task in which a reward was hidden
underneath one of two buckets. The experimenter then
attempted to communicate with the dog to indicate the
location of the reward by using a wide range of signals:
tapping the bucket, pointing to the bucket, nodding to
the bucket, or simply looking at the bucket.[187] The
results showed that domestic dogs were better than
chimpanzees, wolves, and human infants at this task, and
even young puppies with limited exposure to humans
performed well.[121]
Psychology research has shown that humans' gaze
instinctively moves to the left in order to watch the
right side of a person's face, which is related to use of
right hemisphere brain for facial recognition, including
human facial emotions. Research at the University of
Lincoln (2008) shows that dogs share this instinct when
meeting a human being, and only when meeting a human
being (i.e., not other animals or other dogs). As such
they are the only non-primate species known to do

so.[188][189]
Stanley Coren, an expert on dog psychology, states that
these results demonstrated the social cognition of dogs
can exceed that of even our closest genetic relatives,
and that this capacity is a recent genetic acquisition
that distinguishes the dog from its ancestor, the
wolf.[121] Studies have also investigated whether dogs
engaged in partnered play change their behavior depending
on the attention-state of their partner.[190] Those
studies showed that play signals were only sent when the
dog was holding the attention of its partner. If the
partner was distracted, the dog instead engaged in
attention-getting behavior before sending a play
signal.[190]
Coren has also argued that dogs demonstrate a
sophisticated theory of mind by engaging in deception,
which he supports with a number of anecdotes, including
one example wherein a dog hid a stolen treat by sitting
on it until the rightful owner of the treat left the
room.[121] Although this could have been accidental,
Coren suggests that the thief understood that the treat's
owner would be unable to find the treat if it were out of
view. Together, the empirical data and anecdotal evidence
points to dogs possessing at least a limited form of
theory of mind.[121][190] Similar research has been
performed by Brian Hare of Duke University, who has shown
that dogs outperform both great apes as well as wolves
raised by humans in reading human communicative
signals.[191][192]
A study found a third of dogs suffered from anxiety when
separated from others.[193]
A border collie named Chaser has learned the names for
1,022 toys after three years of training, so many that
her trainers have had to mark the names of the objects
lest they forget themselves. This is higher than Rico,
another border collie who could remember at least 200
objects.[194]
Behavior
Main article: Dog behavior
Although dogs have been the subject of a great deal of
behaviorist psychology (e.g. Pavlov's dog), they do not
enter the world with a psychological "blank slate".[121]
Rather, dog behavior is affected by genetic factors as
well as environmental factors.[121] Domestic dogs exhibit
a number of behaviors and predispositions that were
inherited from wolves.[121]
The Gray Wolf is a social animal that has evolved a
sophisticated means of communication and social
structure. The domestic dog has inherited some of these
predispositions, but many of the salient characteristics
in dog behavior have been largely shaped by selective
breeding by humans. Thus some of these characteristics,
such as the dog's highly developed social cognition, are
found only in primitive forms in grey wolves.[187]
Properly socialized dogs can interact with unfamiliar
dogs of any size and shape and understand how to
communicate.
The existence and nature of personality traits in dogs

have been studied (15329 dogs of 164 different breeds)


and five consistent and stable "narrow traits"
identified, described as playfulness,
curiosity/fearlessness, chase-proneness, sociability and
aggressiveness. A further higher order axis for shyness
boldness was also identified.[195][196]
The average sleep time of a dog is said to be 10.1 hours
per day.[197] Like humans, dogs have two main types of
sleep: Slow-wave sleep, then Rapid eye movement sleep,
the state in which dreams occur.[198]
Dogs prefer, when they are off the leash and Earth's
magnetic field is calm, to urinate and defecate with
their bodies aligned on a north-south axis.[199]
Dog growl
A new study in Budapest, Hungary, has found that dogs are
able to tell how big another dog is just by listening to
its growl. A specific growl is used by dogs to protect
their food. The research also shows that dogs do not lie
about their size, and this is the first time research has
shown animals can determine another's size by the sound
it makes. The test, using images of many kinds of dogs,
showed a small and big dog and played a growl. The result
showed that 20 of the 24 test dogs looked at the image of
the appropriately sized dog first and looked at it
longest.[200]
Differences from wolves

Some dogs, like this Tamaskan Dog, look very much like
wolves.
Physical characteristics
Further information: Wolf
Compared to equally sized wolves, dogs tend to have 20%
smaller skulls, 30% smaller brains,[201] as well as
proportionately smaller teeth than other canid
species.[202] Dogs require fewer calories to function
than wolves. It is thought by certain experts that the
dog's limp ears are a result of atrophy of the jaw
muscles.[202] The skin of domestic dogs tends to be
thicker than that of wolves, with some Inuit tribes
favoring the former for use as clothing due to its
greater resistance to wear and tear in harsh
weather.[202]
Behavioral differences
Dogs tend to be poorer than wolves at observational
learning, being more responsive to instrumental
conditioning.[202] Feral dogs show little of the complex
social structure or dominance hierarchy present in wolf
packs. For example, unlike wolves, the dominant alpha
pairs of a feral dog pack do not force the other members
to wait for their turn on a meal when scavenging off a
dead ungulate as the whole family is free to join in. For
dogs, other members of their kind are of no help in
locating food items, and are more like competitors.[202]
Feral dogs are primarily scavengers, with studies showing
that unlike their wild cousins, they are poor ungulate
hunters, having little impact on wildlife populations
where they are sympatric. However, feral dogs have been
reported to be effective hunters of reptiles in the

Galpagos Islands,[203] and free ranging pet dogs are


more prone to predatory behavior toward wild animals.
Domestic dogs can be monogamous.[204] Breeding in feral
packs can be, but does not have to be restricted to a
dominant alpha pair (such things also occur in wolf
packs).[205] Male dogs are unusual among canids by the
fact that they mostly seem to play no role in raising
their puppies, and do not kill the young of other females
to increase their own reproductive success.[203] Some
sources say that dogs differ from wolves and most other
large canid species by the fact that they do not
regurgitate food for their young, nor the young of other
dogs in the same territory.[202]
However, this difference was not observed in all domestic
dogs. Regurgitating of food by the females for the young
as well as care for the young by the males has been
observed in domestic dogs, dingos as well as in other
feral or semi-feral dogs. Regurgitating of food by the
females and direct choosing of only one mate has been
observed even in those semi-feral dogs of direct domestic
dog ancestry. Also regurgitating of food by males has
been observed in free-ranging domestic dogs.[204][206]
Trainability
Dogs display much greater tractability than tame wolves,
and are, in general, much more responsive to coercive
techniques involving fear, aversive stimuli, and force
than wolves, which are most responsive toward positive
conditioning and rewards.[207] Unlike tame wolves, dogs
tend to respond more to voice than hand signals.[208]
Cultural depictions
Main article: Cultural depictions of dogs
Mythology
See also category: Mythological dogs
In mythology, dogs often serve as pets or as
watchdogs.[209]
In Greek mythology, Cerberus is a three-headed watchdog
who guards the gates of Hades.[209] In Norse mythology, a
bloody, four-eyed dog called Garmr guards Helheim.[209]
In Persian mythology, two four-eyed dogs guard the
Chinvat Bridge.[209] In Philippine mythology, Kimat who
is the pet of Tadaklan, god of thunder, is responsible
for lightning. In Welsh mythology, Annwn is guarded by
Cwn Annwn.[209]
In Hindu mythology, Yama, the god of death owns two watch
dogs who have four eyes. They are said to watch over the
gates of Naraka.[210]
In Judaism and Islam, dogs are viewed as unclean
scavengers.[209] In Christianity, dogs represent
faithfulness.[209] In Asian countries such as China,
Korea, and Japan, dogs are viewed as kind
protectors.[209] The role of the dog in Chinese mythology
includes a position as one of the twelve animals which
cyclically represent years (the zodiacal dog).
Gallery of dogs in art
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dogs in art.
Ancient Greek black-figure pottery depicting the return
of a hunter and his dog. Made in Athens between 550 530
BC, found in Rhodes.

Riders and dogs. Ancient Greek Attic black-figure hydria,


ca. 510 500 BC, from Vulci. Louvre Museum, Paris.
William McElcheran's Cross Section-dogs Dundas (TTC)
Toronto
Detail of The Imperial Prince and his dog Nero by JeanBaptiste Carpeaux 1865 Marble. Photographed at the Muse
d'Orsay.
A woodcut illustration from The history of four-footed
beasts and serpents by Edward Topsell, 1658
See also
Portal icon
Dogs portal
Portal icon
Mammals portal
Book icon
Book: Dog
Animal track
Argos (dog)
Dog in Chinese mythology
Dogs in art
Dog odor
Dognapping
Ethnocynology
Hachiko a notable example of dog loyalty
Lost pet services
Subspecies of Canis lupus
Wolfdog
Lists:
List of dog breeds
List of fictional dogs
List of individual dogs
List of most popular dog breeds
References
Jump up ^ "Mammal Species of the World
Browse: Canis
lupus familiaris". Bucknell.edu. 2005. Retrieved 12 March
2012.
^ Jump up to: a b "Mammal Species of the World
Browse:
lupus". Bucknell.edu. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k Dewey, T. and S.
Bhagat. 2002. "Canis lupus familiaris", Animal Diversity
Web. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
^ Jump up to: a b Nikolai D. Ovodov, Susan J. Crockford,
Yaroslav V. Kuzmin, Thomas F. G. Higham, Gregory W. L.
Hodgins, Johannes van der Plicht. (2011). A 33,000-YearOld Incipient Dog from the Altai Mountains of Siberia:
Evidence of the Earliest Domestication Disrupted by the
Last Glacial Maximum. Published: July 28, 2011DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0022821.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjou
rnal.pone.0022821
Jump up ^ Greger Larson, Elinor K. Karlsson, Angela
Perri, Matthew T. Webster, Simon Y. W. Ho, Joris Peters,
Peter W. Stahl, Philip J. Piper, Frode Lingaas, Merete
Fredholm, Kenine E. Comstock, Jaime F. Modiano, Claude
Schelling, Alexander I. Agoulnik, Peter A. Leegwater,
Keith Dobney, Jean-Denis Vignes, Carles Vilt, Leif

Anderssond, and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh; Edited by Joachim


Burger. (2012). Rethinking dog domestication by
integrating genetics, archeology, and biogeography. vol.
109 no. 23 > Greger Larson, 8878 8883, doi:
10.1073/pnas.1203005109.
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/23/8878.full
Jump up ^ "Dog". Dictionary.com.
Jump up ^ Druzhkova, Anna S.; Thalmann, Olaf; Trifonov,
Vladimir A.; Leonard, Jennifer A.; Vorobieva, Nadezhda
V.; Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Graphodatsky, Alexander S.;
Wayne, Robert K. (2013). "Ancient DNA Analysis Affirms
the Canid from Altai as a Primitive Dog". In Hofreiter,
Michael. PLoS ONE 8 (3): e57754.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057754. PMC 3590291. PMID
23483925.
Jump up ^ Germonpra, Mietje; Sablin, Mikhail V.;
Stevens, =Rhiannon E.; Hedges, Robert E.M.; Hofreiter,
Michael; Stiller, Mathias; Desprs, Viviane R. (February
2009). Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in
Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA
and stable isotopes. Journal of Archaeological Science 36
(2): 473 90. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.033
Jump up ^ Adam H. Freedman, Ilan Gronau, Rena M.
Schweizer, Diego Ortega-Del Vecchyo, Eunjung Han, Pedro
M. Silva, Marco Galaverni, Zhenxin Fan, Peter Marx, Belen
Lorente-Galdos, Holly Beale, Oscar Ramirez, Farhad
Hormozdiari, Can Alkan, Carles Vil, Kevin Squire, Eli
Geffen, Josip Kusak, Adam R. Boyko, Heidi G. Parker,
Clarence Lee, Vasisht Tadigotla, Adam Siepel, Carlos D.
Bustamante, Timothy T. Harkins, Stanley F. Nelson, Elaine
A. Ostrander, Tomas Marques-Bonet, Robert K. Wayne, John
Novembre. (2013). Genome Sequencing Highlights the
Dynamic Early History of Dogs. PLOS Genetics. Published:
January 16, 2014DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004016.
http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%
2Fjournal.pgen.1004016
Jump up ^ Wingfield-Hayes, Rupert (29 June 2002).
"China's taste for the exotic". BBC News.
Jump up ^ "Vietnam's dog meat tradition". BBC News. 31
December 2001.
Jump up ^ Coppinger, Ray (2001). Dogs: a Startling New
Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution.
New York: Scribner. p. 352. ISBN 0-684-85530-5.
Jump up ^ Spady TC, Ostrander EA (January 2008). "Canine
Behavioral Genetics: Pointing Out the Phenotypes and
Herding up the Genes". American Journal of Human Genetics
82 (1): 10 8. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2007.12.001. PMC
2253978. PMID 18179880.
Jump up ^ The Complete dog book: the photograph, history,
and official standard of every breed admitted to AKC
registration, and the selection, training, breeding,
care, and feeding of pure-bred dogs. New York, N.Y:
Howell Book House. 1992. ISBN 0-87605-464-5.[page needed]
Jump up ^ Rasmussen, G. S. A. (April 1999). "Livestock
predation by the painted hunting dog Lycaon pictus in a
cattle ranching region of Zimbabwe: a case study".
Biological Conservation 88 (1): 133 139.
doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(98)00006-8.
Jump up ^ "Domestic PetDog Classified By Linnaeus In 1758
As Canis Familiaris And Canis Familiarus Domesticus".

www.encyclocentral.com. Retrieved 18 June 2008.


Jump up ^ Seebold, Elmar (2002). Kluge. Etymologisches
Wrterbuch der deutschen Sprache. Berlin/New York: Walter
de Gruyter. p. 207. ISBN 3-11-017473-1.
Jump up ^ "Dictionary of Etymology", Dictionary.com, s.v.
dog, encyclopedia.com retrieved on 27 May 2009.
Jump up ^ Mallory, J. R. (1991). In search of the IndoEuropeans: language, archaeology and myth. London: Thames
and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27616-1.[page needed]
Jump up ^ Broz, Vlatko (2008). "Diachronic Investigations
of False Friends". Contemporary Linguistics (Suvremena
lingvistika) 66 (2): 199 222.
Jump up ^ Ren Dirven; Marjolyn Verspoor (2004).
Cognitive exploration of language and linguistics. John
Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 215 216. ISBN 978-90272-1906-0.
Jump up ^ Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the
English Language: Fourth Edition". www.bartleby.com.
Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved
30 November 2006.
Jump up ^ Gould, Jean (1978). All about dog breeding for
quality and soundness. London, Eng: Pelham. ISBN 0-72071064-2.[page needed]
Jump up ^ Linnaeus, Carolus (1758). Systema naturae per
regna tria naturae:secundum classes, ordines, genera,
species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis,
locis. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Laurentii Salvii). p. 38.
Retrieved 8 September 2008.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m Miklsi[page
needed]
Jump up ^ Serpell, James (1995). The domestic dog: its
evolution, behaviour, and interactions with people.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-52142537-9.[page needed]
Jump up ^ "ITIS Standard Report Page: Canis familiarus
domesticus". Itis.gov. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Jump up ^ "ITIS Report: Canis lupus familiaris". ITIS
Data. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved
16 April 2010.
Jump up ^ "Mammal Species of the World Browse:
familiaris". Bucknell.edu. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
^ Jump up to: a b c Miklsi, pp. 95 136.
^ Jump up to: a b A History of Dogs in the Early
Americas, Marion Schwartz, 1998, 260 p., ISBN 978-0-30007519-9, Yale University Press
Jump up ^ "The University of Maine - UMaine News - UMaine
Student Finds Oldest Known Domesticated Dog in Americas".
Umaine.edu. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
Jump up ^ Miklsi, p. 104.
^ Jump up to: a b c Derr, Mark (2004). A dogs history of
America. North Point Press. p.12
Jump up ^ Dog: man's best friend for over 33,000 years.
FoxNews (24 January 2012)
Jump up ^ Hirst, K. K. Dog History How were Dogs
Domesticated? archaeology.about.com
Jump up ^ Germonpr, Mietje; Sablin, Mikhail V.; Stevens,
Rhiannon E.; Hedges, Robert E.M.; Hofreiter, Michael;
Stiller, Mathias; Desprs, Viviane R. (2009). "Fossil
dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the

Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable


isotopes". Journal of Archaeological Science 36 (2): 473.
doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.033.
Jump up ^ Pionnier-Capitan M, Bemilli C, Bodu P, Clrier
G, Ferri J-G, Fosse P, Garci M, and Vigne J-D (2011).
"New evidence for Upper Palaeolithic small domestic dogs
in South-Western Europe". Journal of Archaeological
Science 38 (9): 2123. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2011.02.028.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Savolainen P, Zhang YP, Luo
J, Lundeberg J, Leitner T (November 2002). "Genetic
evidence for an East Asian origin of domestic dogs".
Science 298 (5598): 1610 3. Bibcode:2002Sci...298.1610S.
doi:10.1126/science.1073906. PMID 12446907.
Jump up ^ Lindblad-Toh K; Wade CM; Mikkelsen TS;
Karlsson, Elinor K.; Jaffe, David B.; Kamal, Michael;
Clamp, Michele; Chang, Jean L.; Kulbokas, Edward J.
(2005). "Genome sequence, comparative analysis and
haplotype structure of the domestic dog". Nature 438
(7069): 803 19. Bibcode:2005Natur.438..803L.
doi:10.1038/nature04338. PMID 16341006.
Jump up ^ Fiennes, Alice; T-W-Fiennes, Richard N. (1968).
The natural history of the dog. London: Weidenfeld &
Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-76455-1.[page needed]
Jump up ^ Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Crockford, Susan J.;
Kuzmin, Yaroslav V.; Higham, Thomas F. G.; Hodgins,
Gregory W. L.; Van Der Plicht, Johannes (2012). "A
33,000-year-old incipient dog from the Altai Mountains of
Siberia: Evidence of the earliest domestication disrupted
by the Last Glacial Maximum". In Stepanova, Anna. PLoS
ONE 6 (7): e22821. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022821. PMC
3145761. PMID 21829526.
Jump up ^ Dale, Steve (January 22, 2014). "Dogs are
smarter than we think, and some are downright brilliant".
Chicago Tribune.
^ Jump up to: a b McGourty, Christine (22 November 2002).
"Origin of dogs traced". BBC News. Retrieved 29 November
2006.
Jump up ^ "World's first dog lived 31,700 years ago, ate
big". MSNBC. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
Jump up ^ Davis, Simon J. M.; Valla, Franois R. (1978).
"Evidence for domestication of the dog 12,000 years ago
in the Natufian of Israel". Nature 276 (5688): 608 10.
Bibcode:1978Natur.276..608D. doi:10.1038/276608a0.
Jump up ^ Clarke Canfield, Old dog, new tricks: Study IDs
9,400-year-old mutt. Associated Press (via The Seattle
Times) (19 January 2010).
Jump up ^ Vil C; Savolainen P; Maldonado JE; Amorim, IR;
Rice, JE; Honeycutt, RL; Crandall, KA; Lundeberg, J et
al. (1997). "Multiple and ancient origins of the domestic
dog". Science 276 (5319): 1687 9.
doi:10.1126/science.276.5319.1687. PMID 9180076.
Jump up ^ Miklsi, p. 110
Jump up ^ "Paleodb.org". Paleodb.org. 4 January 2009.
Retrieved 21 December 2010.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e Parker HG; Kim LV; Sutter NB;
Carlson, S; Lorentzen, TD; Malek, TB; Johnson, GS;
Defrance, HB et al. (2004). "Genetic structure of the
purebred domestic dog". Science 304 (5674): 1160 4.
Bibcode:2004Sci...304.1160P. doi:10.1126/science.1097406.
PMID 15155949.

Jump up ^ Koler-Matznick, Janice (2002). "The Origin of


the Dog Revisited". Anthrozoos 15 (2): 98.
doi:10.2752/089279302786992595.
^ Jump up to: a b Zolfagharifard E (2013-11-15). "Best
Friend for 30,000 years: Genetic testing proves that dog
ancestors formed a special bond with man in the Ice
Age.". Mailonline. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
^ Jump up to: a b c Groves, Colin (1999). "The Advantages
and Disadvantages of Being Domesticated". Perspectives in
Human Biology 4: 1 12. ISSN 1038-5762.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e Tacon, Paul; Pardoe, Colin
(2002). "Dogs make us human". Nature Australia 27 (4):
52 61.
Jump up ^ Ruusila, Vesa; Pesonen, Mauri (2004).
"Interspecific cooperation in human (Homo sapiens)
hunting: the benefits of a barking dog (Canis
familiaris)". Annales Zoologici Fennici 41 (4): 545 9.
Jump up ^ Newby, Jonica (1997). The Pact for Survival.
Sydney: ABC Books. ISBN 0-7333-0581-4.[page needed]
^ Jump up to: a b Derr, Mark (1997). Dog's Best Friend.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-14280-9.
Jump up ^ Franklin, A (2006). "Be[a]ware of the Dog: a
post-humanist approach to housing". Housing Theory and
Society 23 (3): 137 156. doi:10.1080/14036090600813760.
ISSN 1403-6096.
Jump up ^ Katz, Jon (2003). The New Work of Dogs. New
York: Villard Books. ISBN 0-375-76055-5.
Jump up ^ Haraway, Donna (2003). The Companion Species
manifesto: Dogs, People and Significant Otherness.
Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press. ISBN 0-9717575-8-5.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f Power, Emma (2008). "Furry
Families: Making a Human-Dog Family through Home". Social
and Cultural Geography 9 (5): 535 555.
doi:10.1080/14649360802217790.
^ Jump up to: a b c Nast, Heidi J. (2006). "Loving ...
Whatever: Alienation, Neoliberalism and Pet-Love in the
Twenty-First Century". ACME: an International E-Journal
for Critical Geographies 5 (2): 300 327. ISSN 1492-9732.
Jump up ^ "A Brief History of Dog Training". Dog Zone. 3
June 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
Jump up ^ Jackson Schebetta, Lisa (2009). "Mythologies
and Commodifications of Dominion in The Dog Whisperer
with Cesar Millan". Journal for Critical Animal Studies
(Institute for Critical Animal Studies) 7 (1): 107 131.
ISSN 1948-352X.
Jump up ^ Bradshaw, John; Blackwell, Emily J.; Casey,
Rachel A. (2009). "Dominance in domestic dogs: useful
construct or bad habit?". Journal of Veterinary Behavior
(Elsevier) 4 (3): 135 144.
doi:10.1016/j.jveb.2008.08.004. Archived from the
original on 27 August 2010.
Jump up ^ Tannen, Deborah (2004). "Talking the Dog:
Framing Pets as Interactional Resources in Family
Discourse". Research on Language and Social Interaction
37 (4): 399 420. doi:10.1207/s15327973rlsi3704_1. ISSN
1532-7973.
Jump up ^ "U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics". Retrieved 24
June 2010.
Jump up ^ James Edgar (February 21, 2014). "Dogs and
humans respons to voices in same way".

Jump up ^ "The Story of Old Drum". Cedarcroft Farm Bed &


Breakfast
Warrensburg, MO. Retrieved 29 November 2006.
Jump up ^ Williams, Tully (2007). Working Sheep Dogs.
Collingwood, Vic.: CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 0-643-09343-5.
Jump up ^ Serpell, James (1995). "Origins of the dog:
domestication and early history". The Domestic Dog.
Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. ISBN 0-521-41529-2.
Jump up ^ "sputnik". Retrieved 25 September 2013.
Jump up ^ Solovyov, Dmitry; Pearce, Tim (ed.) (11 April
2008). "Russia fetes dog Laika, first earthling in
space". Reuters.
Jump up ^ "Psychiatric Service Dog Society".
Psychdog.org. 1 October 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Jump up ^ "About Guide Dogs
Assistance Dogs
International". Assistancedogsinternational.org.
Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Jump up ^ Dalziel DJ, Uthman BM, Mcgorray SP, Reep RL
(2003). "Seizure-alert dogs: a review and preliminary
study". Seizure 12 (2): 115 20.
doi:10.1016/S105913110200225X. PMID 12566236.
Jump up ^ "German Shepherd Dog | American Kennel Club".
American Kennel Club. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
Jump up ^ "A Beginner's Guide to Dog Shows". American
Kennel Club. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
Jump up ^ Simoons, Frederick J. (1994). Eat not this
flesh: food avoidances from prehistory to the present
(second ed.). University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 208 212.
ISBN 978-0-299-14254-4.
Jump up ^ "How many dogs and cats are eaten in Asia?".
Animalpeoplenews.org. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
Jump up ^ "South Korea's dog day". BBC News. 1999-08-17.
Retrieved 2012-12-19.
Jump up ^ Pettid, Michael J., Korean Cuisine: An
Illustrated History, London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2008,
25. ISBN 1-86189-348-5
Jump up ^ Pettid, Michael J., Korean Cuisine: An
Illustrated History, London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2008,
84 85. ISBN 1-86189-348-5
Jump up ^ "Inside the cat and dog meat market in China".
CNN. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
Jump up ^ Day, Matthew (7 August 2009). "Polish couple
accused of making dog meat delicacy". London:
Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Jump up ^ Schwabe, Calvin W. (1979). Unmentionable
Cuisine. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
p. 173. ISBN 0-8139-1162-1.
Jump up ^ Questions and Answers about Dog Bites[dead
link]
^ Jump up to: a b "Statistics about dog bites in the USA
and elsewhere". Dogbitelaw.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
Jump up ^ Whitcomb, Rachael (1 July 2009). "Study:
Chihuahuas bite vets most; Lhaso Apsos inflict worst
injuries". DVM Newsmagazine. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
Jump up ^ Weiss, HB; Friedman, DI; Coben, JH (1998).
"Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency
departments". JAMA 279 (1): 51 3.
doi:10.1001/jama.279.1.51. PMID 9424044.
Jump up ^ Tierney, DM; Strauss, LP; Sanchez, JL (2006).
"Capnocytophaga canimorsus Mycotic Abdominal Aortic
Aneurysm: Why the Mailman Is Afraid of Dogs". Journal of

Clinical Microbiology 44 (2): 649 51.


doi:10.1128/JCM.44.2.649-651.2006. PMC 1392675. PMID
16455937.
Jump up ^ "Mail campaign over dog attacks". BBC News. 11
August 2005.
Jump up ^ "Injury Prevention Bulletin". Northwest
Territories Health and Social Services. 25 March 2009.
Retrieved 7 January 2010.
Jump up ^ Bewley, BR (1985). "Medical hazards from dogs".
British Medical Journal 291 (6498): 760 1.
doi:10.1136/bmj.291.6498.760. PMC 1417177. PMID 3929930.
Jump up ^ Huh, Sun; Lee, Sooung (20 August 2008).
"Toxocariasis". Medscape.com. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
^ Jump up to: a b "Toxocariasis". Kids' Health. The
Nemours Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
Jump up ^ Johnson, Kate (May 2002). "Parasites in pet
feces cause puzzling infections". Pediatric News.
Retrieved 11 May 2009.
Jump up ^ Chiodo, Paula; Basualdo, Juan; Ciarmela, Laura;
Pezzani, Betina; Apeztegua, Mara; Minvielle, Marta
(2006). "Related factors to human toxocariasis in a rural
community of Argentina". Memrias do Instituto Oswaldo
Cruz 101 (4): 397 400. doi:10.1590/S007402762006000400009.
Jump up ^ Talaizadeh, A. H.; Maraghi2, S.; Jelowdar, A.;
Peyvasteh, M. (October December 2007). "Human
toxocariasis: A report of 3 cases". Pakistan Journal of
Medical Sciences Quarterly 23 (5). Part I.
Jump up ^ "Dog fouling". UK: Woking Borough Council.
Retrieved 21 December 2010.
^ Jump up to: a b McNicholas, June; Gilbey, Andrew;
Rennie, Ann; Ahmedzai, Sam; Dono, Jo-Ann; Ormerod,
Elizabeth (2005). "Pet ownership and human health: A
brief review of evidence and issues". BMJ 331 (7527):
1252 4. doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7527.1252. PMC 1289326. PMID
16308387.
Jump up ^ Podberscek, A.L. (2006). "Positive and Negative
Aspects of Our Relationship with Companion Animals".
Veterinary Research Communications 30 (1): 21 27.
doi:10.1007/s11259-006-0005-0.
Jump up ^ Winefield, Helen R.; Black, Anne; Chur-Hansen,
Anna (2008). "Health effects of ownership of and
attachment to companion animals in an older population".
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 15 (4): 303
10. doi:10.1080/10705500802365532. PMID 19005930.
Jump up ^ Headey B. (1999). "Health benefits and health
cost savings due to pets: preliminary estimates from an
Australian national survey". Social Indicators Research
47 (2): 233 243. doi:10.1023/A:1006892908532.
^ Jump up to: a b Serpell J (1991). "Beneficial effects
of pet ownership on some aspects of human health and
behaviour". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 84
(12): 717 20. PMC 1295517. PMID 1774745.
Jump up ^ Friedmann E, Thomas SA (1995). "Pet ownership,
social support, and one-year survival after acute
myocardial infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia
Suppression Trial (CAST)". The American Journal of
Cardiology 76 (17): 1213 7. doi:10.1016/S00029149(99)80343-9. PMID 7502998.
Jump up ^ Wilson CC (1991). "The pet as an anxiolytic

intervention". The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease


179 (8): 482 9. doi:10.1097/00005053-199108000-00006.
PMID 1856711.
Jump up ^ McNicholas, J.; Collis, G. M. (2006). "Animals
as social supports: Insights for understanding animal
assisted therapy". In Fine, Aubrey H. Handbook on animalassisted therapy: theoretical foundations and guidelines
for practice. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press. pp. 49
71. ISBN 0-12-369484-1.
Jump up ^ Eddy J, Hart LA, Boltz RP (1988). "The effects
of service dogs on social acknowledgments of people in
wheelchairs". The Journal of Psychology 122 (1): 39 45.
doi:10.1080/00223980.1988.10542941. PMID 2967371.
Jump up ^ Kruger, K.A. & Serpell, J.A. (2006). Animalassisted
Cat
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the cat species that is commonly kept as a pet. For the
cat family, see Felidae. For other uses, see Cat (disambiguation) and Cats
(disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
Domestic cat[1]
Conservation status
Domesticated
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felis
Species:
F. catus
Binomial name
Felis catus[2]
Linnaeus, 1758[3]
Synonyms
Felis silvestris catus (subjective synonym)[4]
Felis catus domestica (invalid junior synonym)[5]
The domestic cat[1][2] (Felis catus[2] or Felis silvestris catus[4]) is a small,
usually furry, domesticated, and carnivorous mammal. It is often called the
housecat when kept as an indoor pet,[6] or simply the cat when there is no need
to distinguish it from other felids and felines. Cats are often valued by humans
for companionship and their ability to hunt vermin and household pests.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with strong, flexible bodies,
quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small
prey. Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche. Cats can hear
sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by
mice and other small animals. They can see in near darkness. Like most other
mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans.
Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species, and cat communication
includes the use of a variety of vocalizations (mewing, purring, trilling,
hissing, growling and grunting) as well as cat pheromones and types of catspecific body language.[7]

Cats have a rapid breeding rate. Under controlled breeding, they can be bred and
shown as registered pedigree pets, a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to
control the breeding of pet cats by neutering, and the abandonment of former
household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, requiring
population control.[8]
Since cats were cult animals in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to
have been domesticated there,[9] but there may have been instances of
domestication as early as the Neolithic from around 9500 years ago (7500
BC).[10]
A genetic study in 2007 concluded that domestic cats are descended from African
wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) c. 8000 BC, in the Near East.[9][11] Cats are
the most popular pet in the world, and are now found in almost every place where
humans live.[12]
Contents [hide]
1 Nomenclature and etymology
2 Taxonomy and evolution
3 Genetics
4 Anatomy
5 Physiology
6 Senses
7 Health
7.1 Diseases
7.2 Poisoning
8 Behavior
8.1 Sociability
8.2 Grooming
8.3 Fighting
8.4 Hunting and feeding
8.5 Play
8.6 Reproduction
8.7 Vocalizations
9 Ecology
9.1 Habitats
9.2 Impact on prey species
9.3 Impact on birds
10 Cats and humans
10.1 Census
11 Feral cats
12 History and mythology
13 See also
14 References
15 External links
Nomenclature and etymology
Classification based on human interaction[13]
Population
Food source
Shelter Socialized
Pedigree
Fed by guardian Human guardian Yes
Pet
Fed by guardian Human homes
Yes
Semi-feral
General feeding Buildings
Yes
Feral General feeding/foraging
Buildings
No
The English word cat (Old English catt) is in origin a loanword, introduced to
many languages of Europe from Latin cattus[14] and Byzantine Greek ??tta,
including Portuguese and Spanish gato, French chat, German Katze, Lithuanian
kate and Old Church Slavonic kotka, among others.[15] The ultimate source of the
word is Afroasiatic, presumably from Late Egyptian caute,[16] the feminine of

caus "wildcat". The word was introduced, together with the domestic animal
itself, to the Roman Republic by the 1st century BC.[citation needed] An
alternative word with cognates in many languages is English puss (pussycat).
Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes
or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus,
pusekatt. Similar forms exist in Lithuanian pui e and Irish puisn. The
etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound
used to attract a cat.[17][18]
A group of cats is referred to as a "clowder" or a "glaring",[19] a male cat is
called a "tom" or "tomcat"[20] (or a "gib",[21] if neutered), an unaltered
female is called a "queen",[22] and a pre-pubescent juvenile is referred to as a
"kitten". Although spayed females have no commonly used name, in some rare
instances immature or spayed females are referred to as a "molly".[citation
needed] The male progenitor of a cat, especially a pedigreed cat, is its
"sire",[23] and its female progenitor is its "dam".[24] In Early Modern English,
the word kitten was interchangeable with the now-obsolete word catling.[25]
A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization.
A purebred cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same
breed. Many pedigreed and especially purebred cats are exhibited as show cats.
Cats of unrecorded, mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic short-haired or
domestic long-haired cats, by coat type, or commonly as random-bred, moggies
(chiefly British), or (using terms borrowed from dog breeding) mongrels or muttcats.
While the African wildcat is the ancestral subspecies from which domestic cats
are descended, and wildcats and domestic cats can completely interbreed, there
are several intermediate stages between domestic pet and pedigree cats on the
one hand and those entirely wild animals on the other. The semi-feral cat is a
mostly outdoor cat that is not owned by any one individual, but is generally
friendly to people and may be fed by several households. Feral cats are
associated with human habitation areas and may be fed by people or forage in
rubbish, but are typically wary of human interaction.[13]
Taxonomy and evolution
Main article: Cat evolution
The wildcat, Felis silvestris, is the ancestor of the domestic cat.
The felids are a rapidly evolving family of mammals that share a common ancestor
only 10 15 million years ago,[26] and include, in addition to the domestic cat,
lions, tigers, cougars, and many others. Within this family, domestic cats
(Felis catus) are part of the genus Felis, which is a group of small cats
containing approximately seven species (depending upon classification
scheme).[1][27] Members of the genus are found worldwide and include the jungle
cat (Felis chaus) of southeast Asia, European wildcat (F. silvestris
silvestris), African wildcat (F. s. lybica), the Chinese mountain cat (F.
bieti), and the Arabian sand cat (F. margarita), among others.[28]
All the cats in this genus share a common ancestor that probably lived around 6
7 million years ago in Asia.[29] The exact relationships within the Felidae are
close but still uncertain,[30][31] e.g. the Chinese mountain cat is sometimes
classified (under the name Felis silvestris bieti) as a subspecies of the
wildcat, like the North African variety F. s. lybica.[4][30] As domestic cats
are little altered from wildcats, they can readily interbreed. This
hybridization poses a danger to the genetic distinctiveness of wildcat
populations, particularly in Scotland and Hungary, and possibly also the Iberian

Peninsula.[32]
The domestic cat was first classified as Felis catus by Carolus Linnaeus in the
tenth edition of his Systema Naturae in 1758.[1][3] However, because of modern
phylogenetics, domestic cats are now usually regarded as another subspecies of
the wildcat, Felis silvestris.[1][4][33] This has resulted in mixed usage of the
terms, as the domestic cat can be called by its subspecies name, Felis
silvestris catus.[1][4][33] Wildcats have also been referred to as various
subspecies of F. catus,[33] but in 2003 the International Commission on
Zoological Nomenclature fixed the name for wildcats as F. silvestris.[34] The
most common name in use for the domestic cat remains F. catus, following a
convention for domesticated animals of using the earliest (the senior) synonym
proposed.[34] Sometimes the domestic cat has been called Felis domesticus[35] or
Felis domestica,[1] as proposed by German naturalist J. C. P. Erxleben in 1777,
but these are not valid taxonomic names and have been used only rarely in
scientific literature,[36] because Linnaeus's binomial takes precedence.[37]
Cats have either a mutualistic or commensal relationship with humans. However,
in comparison to dogs, cats have not undergone major changes during the
domestication process, as the form and behavior of the domestic cat are not
radically different from those of wildcats, and domestic cats are perfectly
capable of surviving in the wild.[38][39] This limited evolution during
domestication means that domestic cats tend to interbreed freely with wild
relatives,[32] distinguishing them from other domesticated animals.[citation
needed] Fully domesticated house cats also often interbreed with feral F. catus
populations.[13] However, several natural behaviors and characteristics of
wildcats may have pre-adapted them for domestication as pets.[39] These traits
include their small size, social nature, obvious body language, love of play,
and relatively high intelligence;[40]:12 17 they may also have an inborn
tendency towards tameness.[39]
There are two main theories about how cats were domesticated. In one, people
deliberately tamed cats in a process of artificial selection, as they were
useful predators of vermin.[41] However, this has been criticized as
implausible, because there may have been little reward for such an effort: cats
generally do not carry out commands and, although they do eat rodents, other
species such as ferrets or terriers may be better at controlling these pests.[4]
The alternative idea is that cats were simply tolerated by people and gradually
diverged from their wild relatives through natural selection, as they adapted to
hunting the vermin found around humans in towns and villages.[4]
There is a population of Transcaucasian Black feral cats once classified as
Felis daemon (Satunin, 1904), but now this population is considered to be a part
of domestic cat.[42]
Genetics
Main article: Cat genetics
The domesticated cat and its closest wild ancestor are both diploid organisms
that possess 38 chromosomes[43] and roughly 20,000 genes.[44] About 250
heritable genetic disorders have been identified in cats, many similar to human
inborn errors.[45] The high level of similarity among the metabolisms of mammals
allows many of these feline diseases to be diagnosed using genetic tests that
were originally developed for use in humans, as well as the use of cats as
animal models in the study of the human diseases.[46][47]
Anatomy
Main article: Cat anatomy

Diagram of the general anatomy of a male


Domestic cats are similar in size to the other members of the genus Felis,
typically weighing between 4 5 kg (8.8 11.0 lb).[30] However, some breeds, such
as the Maine Coon, can occasionally exceed 11 kg (25 lb). Conversely, very small
cats (less than 1.8 kg (4.0 lb)) have been reported.[48] The world record for
the largest cat is 21.3 kg (47 lb).[49] The smallest adult cat ever officially
recorded weighed around 1.36 kg (3.0 lb).[49] Feral cats tend to be lighter as
they have more limited access to food than house cats. In the Boston area, the
average feral adult male will scale 3.9 kg (8.6 lb) and average feral female 3.3
kg (7.3 lb).[50] Cats average about 23 25 cm (9 10 in) in height and 46 cm (18.1
in) in head/body length (males being larger than females), with tails averaging
30 cm (11.8 in) in length.[51]
Cats have seven cervical vertebrae as do almost all mammals; 13 thoracic
vertebrae (humans have 12); seven lumbar vertebrae (humans have five); three
sacral vertebrae like most mammals (humans have five because of their bipedal
posture); and a variable number of caudal vertebrae in the tail (humans retain
three to five caudal vertebrae, fused into an internal coccyx).[52]:11 The extra
lumbar and thoracic vertebrae account for the cat's spinal mobility and
flexibility. Attached to the spine are 13 ribs, the shoulder, and the
pelvis.[52] :16 Unlike human arms, cat forelimbs are attached to the shoulder by
free-floating clavicle bones which allow them to pass their body through any
space into which they can fit their heads.[53]
Cat skull
The cat skull is unusual among mammals in having very large eye sockets and a
powerful and specialized jaw.[54]:35 Within the jaw, cats have teeth adapted for
killing prey and tearing meat. When it overpowers its prey, a cat delivers a
lethal neck bite with its two long canine teeth, inserting them between two of
the prey's vertebrae and severing its spinal cord, causing irreversible
paralysis and death.[55] Compared to other felines, domestic cats have narrowly
spaced canine teeth, which is an adaptation to their preferred prey of small
rodents, which have small vertebrae.[55] The premolar and first molar together
compose the carnassial pair on each side of the mouth, which efficiently shears
meat into small pieces, like a pair of scissors. These are vital in feeding,
since cats' small molars cannot chew food effectively.[54]:37
Cats, like dogs, are digitigrades. They walk directly on their toes, with the
bones of their feet making up the lower part of the visible leg.[56] Cats are
capable of walking very precisely, because like all felines they directly
register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of
the corresponding forepaw, minimizing noise and visible tracks. This also
provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain.
Unlike most mammals, when cats walk, they use a "pacing" gait; that is, they
move the two legs on one side of the body before the legs on the other side.
This trait is shared with camels and giraffes. As a walk speeds up into a trot,
a cat's gait will change to be a "diagonal" gait, similar to that of most other
mammals (and many other land animals, such as lizards): the diagonally opposite
hind and forelegs will move simultaneously.[57]
Like almost all members of the Felidae family, cats have protractable and
retractable claws.[58] In their normal, relaxed position the claws are sheathed
with the skin and fur around the paw's toe pads. This keeps the claws sharp by
preventing wear from contact with the ground and allows the silent stalking of
prey. The claws on the forefeet are typically sharper than those on the hind
feet.[59] Cats can voluntarily extend their claws on one or more paws. They may

extend their claws in hunting or self-defense, climbing, kneading, or for extra


traction on soft surfaces. Most cats have five claws on their front paws, and
four on their rear paws.[60] The fifth front claw (the dewclaw) is proximal to
the other claws. More proximally, there is a protrusion which appears to be a
sixth "finger". This special feature of the front paws, on the inside of the
wrists, is the carpal pad, also found on the paws of big cats and of dogs. It
has no function in normal walking, but is thought to be an anti-skidding device
used while jumping. Some breeds of cats are prone to polydactyly (extra toes and
claws).[60] These are particularly common along the northeast coast of North
America.[61]
Physiology
Normal physiological values[62]:330
Body temperature
38.6 C (101.5 F)
Heart rate
120 140 beats per minute
Breathing rate 16 40 breaths per minute
As cats are familiar and easily kept animals, their physiology has been
particularly well studied; it generally resembles that of other carnivorous
mammals but displays several unusual features probably attributable to cats'
descent from desert-dwelling species.[35] For instance, cats are able to
tolerate quite high temperatures: Humans generally start to feel uncomfortable
when their skin temperature passes about 38 C (100 F), but cats show no
discomfort until their skin reaches around 52 C (126 F),[54]:46 and can
tolerate temperatures of up to 56 C (133 F) if they have access to water.[63]
Cats conserve heat by reducing the flow of blood to their skin and lose heat by
evaporation through their mouth. Cats have minimal ability to sweat, with glands
located primarily in their paw pads,[64] and pant for heat relief only at very
high temperatures[65] (but may also pant when stressed). A cat's body
temperature does not vary throughout the day; this is part of cats' general lack
of circadian rhythms and may reflect their tendency to be active both during the
day and at night.[66]:1 Cats' feces are comparatively dry and their urine is
highly concentrated, both of which are adaptations that allow cats to retain as
much fluid as possible.[35] Their kidneys are so efficient that cats can survive
on a diet consisting only of meat, with no additional water,[67] and can even
rehydrate by drinking seawater.[66]:29[68]
Cats are obligate carnivores: their physiology has evolved to efficiently
process meat, and they have difficulty digesting plant matter.[35] In contrast
to omnivores such as rats, which only require about 4% protein in their diet,
about 20% of a cat's diet must be protein.[35] Cats are unusually dependent on a
constant supply of the amino acid arginine, and a diet lacking arginine causes
marked weight loss and can be rapidly fatal.[69] Another unusual feature is that
the cat cannot produce taurine, with taurine deficiency causing macular
degeneration, wherein the cat's retina slowly degenerates, causing irreversible
blindness.[35] Since cats tend to eat all of their prey, they obtain minerals by
digesting animal bones, and a diet composed only of meat may cause calcium
deficiency.[35]
A cat's gastrointestinal tract is adapted to meat eating, being much shorter
than that of omnivores and having low levels of several of the digestive enzymes
that are needed to digest carbohydrates.[70] These traits severely limit the
cat's ability to digest and use plant-derived nutrients, as well as certain
fatty acids.[70] Despite the cat's meat-oriented physiology, several vegetarian

or vegan cat foods have been marketed that are supplemented with chemically
synthesized taurine and other nutrients, in attempts to produce a complete diet.
However, some of these products still fail to provide all the nutrients that
cats require,[71] and diets containing no animal products pose the risk of
causing severe nutritional deficiencies.[72]
Cats do eat grass occasionally. Proposed explanations include that grass is a
source of folic acid or dietary fiber.[73]
Senses
Main article: Cat senses
An odd-eyed Turkish Van kitten
Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one sixth the light level
required for human vision.[54]:43 This is partly the result of cat eyes having a
tapetum lucidum, which reflects any light that passes through the retina back
into the eye, thereby increasing the eye's sensitivity to dim light.[74] Another
adaptation to dim light is the large pupils of cats' eyes. Unlike some big cats,
such as tigers, domestic cats have slit pupils.[75] These slit pupils can focus
bright light without chromatic aberration, and are needed since the domestic
cat's pupils are much larger, relative to their eyes, than the pupils of the big
cats.[75] Indeed, at low light levels a cat's pupils will expand to cover most
of the exposed surface of its eyes.[76] However, domestic cats have rather poor
color vision and (like most non-primate mammals) have only two types of cones,
optimized for sensitivity to blue and yellowish green; they have limited ability
to distinguish between red and green.[77] A 1993 paper found a response to midwavelengths from a system other than the rods which might be due to a third type
of cone. However, this appears to be an adaptation to low light levels rather
than representing true trichromatic vision.[78]
Cats have excellent hearing and can detect an extremely broad range of
frequencies. They can hear higher-pitched sounds than either dogs or humans,
detecting frequencies from 55 Hz up to 79 kHz, a range of 10.5 octaves; while
humans can only hear from 31 Hz up to 18 kHz, and dogs hear from 67 Hz to 44
kHz, which are both ranges of about 9 octaves.[79][80] Cats do not use this
ability to hear ultrasound for communication but it is probably important in
hunting,[81] since many species of rodents make ultrasonic calls.[82] Cat
hearing is also extremely sensitive and is among the best of any mammal,[79]
being most acute in the range of 500 Hz to 32 kHz.[83] This sensitivity is
further enhanced by the cat's large movable outer ears (their pinnae), which
both amplify sounds and help a cat sense the direction from which a noise is
coming.[81]
Cats' whiskers are highly sensitive to touch.
Cats have an acute sense of smell, which is due in part to their well-developed
olfactory bulb and also to a large surface of olfactory mucosa, about 5.8 square
centimetres (0.90 sq in) in area, which is about twice that of humans and only
1.7-fold less than the average dog.[84] Cats are very sensitive to pheromones
such as 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol,[85] which they use to communicate through
urine spraying and marking with scent glands.[86] Cats also respond strongly to
plants that contain nepetalactone, especially catnip, as they can detect that

substance at less than one part per billion.[87] This response is also produced
by other plants, such as silver vine (Actinidia polygama) and the herb valerian;
it may be caused by the smell of these plants mimicking a pheromone and
stimulating cats' social or sexual behaviors.[88]
Cats have relatively few taste buds compared to humans. Domestic and wild cats
share a gene mutation that keeps their sweet taste buds from binding to sugary
molecules like carbohydrates, leaving them with no ability to taste
sweetness.[89] Their taste buds instead respond to amino acids, bitter tastes
and acids.[90]
To aid with navigation and sensation, cats have dozens of movable vibrissae
(whiskers) over their body, especially their face. These provide information on
the width of gaps and on the location of objects in the dark, both by touching
objects directly and by sensing air currents; they also trigger protective blink
reflexes to protect the eyes from damage.[54]:47
Health
Main article: Cat health
The average life expectancy for male indoor cats at birth is around 12 to 14
years,[91] with females usually living a year or two longer.[92] However, there
have been reports of cats reaching into their 30s,[93] with the oldest known
cat, Creme Puff, dying at a verified age of 38.[94] Feline life expectancy has
increased significantly in recent decades.[95] Having a cat neutered confers
some health benefits, since castrated males cannot develop testicular cancer,
spayed females cannot develop uterine or ovarian cancer, and both have a reduced
risk of mammary cancer.[96] The lifespan of feral cats is hard to determine
accurately, although one study reported a median age of 4.7 years, with a range
between 0 to 8.3 years.[97]
Diseases
Cats can suffer from a wide range of health problems, including infectious
diseases, parasites, injuries and chronic disease. Vaccinations are available
for many of these diseases, and domestic cats are regularly given treatments to
eliminate parasites such as worms and fleas.
Poisoning
In addition to obvious dangers such as rodenticides, insecticides and
herbicides, cats may be poisoned by many chemicals that are usually considered
safe by their human guardians.[98] This is because their livers are less
effective at some forms of detoxification than those of many other animals,
including humans and dogs.[35][99] Some of the most common causes of poisoning
in cats are antifreeze and rodent baits.[100] It has also been suggested that
cats may be particularly sensitive to environmental pollutants.[98][101] When a
cat has a sudden or prolonged serious illness without any obvious cause, it is
possible that it has been exposed to a toxin.
Many human medicines should never be given to cats. For example, the painkiller
paracetamol (also called acetaminophen, sold as Tylenol and Panadol) is
extremely toxic to cats: even very small doses need immediate treatment and can
be fatal.[102][103] Even aspirin, which is sometimes used to treat arthritis in
cats, is much more toxic to them than to humans[103] and must be administered
cautiously.[98] Similarly, application of minoxidil (Rogaine) to the skin of
cats, either accidentally or by well-meaning guardians attempting to counter
loss of fur, has sometimes been fatal.[104] Essential oils can be toxic to cats
and there have been reported cases of serious illnesses caused by tea tree oil,
including flea treatments and shampoos containing it.[105]
Other common household substances that should be used with caution around cats
include mothballs and other naphthalene products.[98] Phenol-based products
(e.g. Pine-Sol, Dettol (Lysol) or hexachlorophene)[98] are often used for
cleaning and disinfecting near cats' feeding areas or litter boxes but these can

sometimes be fatal.[106] Ethylene glycol, often used as an automotive


antifreeze, is particularly appealing to cats, and as little as a teaspoonful
can be fatal.[107] Some human foods are toxic to cats; for example chocolate can
cause theobromine poisoning, although (unlike dogs) few cats will eat
chocolate.[108] Large amounts of onions or garlic are also poisonous to
cats.[98] Many houseplants are also dangerous,[109] such as Philodendron species
and the leaves of the Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), which can cause
permanent and life-threatening kidney damage.[110]
Behavior
See also: Cat behavior, Cat communication, and Cat intelligence
Free-ranging cats are active both day and night, although they tend to be
slightly more active at night.[111][112] The timing of cats' activity is quite
flexible and varied, which means that house cats may be more active in the
morning and evening (crepuscular behavior), as a response to greater human
activity at these times.[113] Although they spend the majority of their time in
the vicinity of their home, housecats can range many hundreds of meters from
this central point, and are known to establish territories that vary
considerably in size, in one study ranging from 7 to 28 hectares (17 to 69
acres).[112]
Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals, especially as they grow
older. The daily duration of sleep varies, usually 12 16 hours, with 13 14 being
the average. Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours in a 24-hour period. The
term "cat nap" for a short rest refers to the cat's tendency to fall asleep
(lightly) for a brief period. While asleep, cats experience short periods of
rapid eye movement sleep often accompanied by muscle twitches, which suggests
that they are dreaming.[114]
Sociability
Social grooming in a pair
Although wildcats are solitary, the social behavior of domestic cats is much
more variable and ranges from widely dispersed individuals to feral cat colonies
that form around a food source, based on groups of co-operating
females.[115][116] Within such groups one cat is usually dominant over the
others.[36] Each cat in a colony holds a distinct territory, with sexually
active males having the largest territories, which are about ten times larger
than those of female cats and may overlap with several females' territories.[86]
These territories are marked by urine spraying, by rubbing objects at head
height with secretions from facial glands, and by defecation.[86] Between these
territories are neutral areas where cats watch and greet one another without
territorial conflicts. Outside these neutral areas, territory holders usually
chase away stranger cats, at first by staring, hissing, and growling, and if
that does not work, by short but noisy and violent attacks. Despite some cats
cohabiting in colonies, cats do not have a social survival strategy, or a pack
mentality and always hunt alone.[117]
Domestic cats use many vocalizations for communication, including purring,
trilling, hissing, growling/snarling, grunting, and several different forms of
meowing.[7] By contrast, feral cats are generally silent.[118]:208 Their types
of body language, including position of ears and tail, relaxation of whole body,
and kneading of paws, are all indicators of mood. The tail and ears are
particularly important social signal mechanisms in cats,[119][120] e.g. with a
raised tail acting as a friendly greeting, and flattened ears indicating
hostility. Tail-raising also indicates the cat's position in the group's social

hierarchy, with dominant individuals raising their tails less often than
subordinate animals.[120] Nose-to-nose touching is also a common greeting and
may be followed by social grooming, which is solicited by one of the cats
raising and tilting its head.[116]
Domestic cat living together with an Alaskan Malamute dog
However, some pet cats are poorly socialized. In particular, older cats may show
aggressiveness towards newly arrived kittens, which may include biting and
scratching; this type of behavior is known as Feline Asocial Aggression.[121]
Even though cats and dogs are believed to be natural enemies, they can live
together if correctly socialized.[122]
For cats, life in proximity to humans and other animals kept by them amounts to
a symbiotic social adaptation. They may express great affection towards their
human (and even other) companions, especially if they psychologically imprint on
them at a very young age and are treated with consistent affection.[citation
needed] It has been suggested that, ethologically, the human keeper of a cat
functions as a sort of surrogate for the cat's mother,[citation needed] and that
adult housecats live their lives in a kind of extended kittenhood,[123] a form
of behavioral neoteny. It has even been theorized[124] that the high-pitched
sounds housecats make to solicit food may mimic the cries of a hungry human
infant, making them particularly hard for humans to ignore.
Grooming
The hooked papillae on a cat's tongue act like a hairbrush to help clean and
detangle fur.
Cats are known for their cleanliness, spending many hours licking their
coats.[125] The cat's tongue has backwards-facing spines about 500 micrometers
long, which are called papillae. These are quite rigid, as they contain
keratin.[126] These spines allow cats to groom themselves by licking their fur,
with the rows of papillae acting like a hairbrush. Some cats, particularly
longhaired cats, occasionally regurgitate hairballs of fur that have collected
in their stomachs from grooming. These clumps of fur are usually sausage-shaped
and about two to three centimeters long. Hairballs can be prevented with
remedies that ease elimination of the hair through the gut, as well as regular
grooming of the coat with a comb or stiff brush.[125] Some cats can develop a
compulsive behavior known as psychogenic alopecia, or excessive
grooming.[127][clarification needed]
Fighting
Among domestic cats, males are more likely to fight than females.[128] Among
feral cats, the most common reason for cat fighting is competition between two
males to mate with a female. In such cases, most fights will be won by the
heavier male.[129] Another common reason for fighting in domestic cats is the
difficulty of establishing territories within a small home.[128] Female cats
will also fight over territory or to defend their kittens. Neutering will
decrease or eliminate this behavior in many cases, suggesting that the behavior
is linked to sex hormones.[citation needed]
Cats intimidate opponents by arching their backs, raising their fur, turning
sideways, and hissing.
When fighting, cats make themselves appear more impressive and threatening by
raising their fur, arching their backs, and turning sideways, thus increasing
their apparent size.[119] Often, the ears are pointed down and back to avoid
damage to the inner ear and potentially listen for any changes behind them while

focused forward. They may also vocalize loudly and bare their teeth in an effort
to further intimidate their opponent. Fights usually consist of grappling and
delivering powerful slaps to the face and body with the forepaws as well as
bites. Cats will also throw themselves to the ground in a defensive posture to
rake their opponent's belly with their powerful hind legs.[130]
Serious damage is rare as the fights are usually short in duration, with the
loser running away with little more than a few scratches to the face and ears.
However, fights for mating rights are typically more severe and injuries may
include deep puncture wounds and lacerations. Normally, serious injuries from
fighting will be limited to infections of scratches and bites, though these can
occasionally kill cats if untreated. In addition, bites are probably the main
route of transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).[131] Sexually
active males will usually be involved in many fights during their lives, and
often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to the ears and
nose.
Hunting and feeding
A cat that has caught a mouse.
Cats hunt small prey, primarily birds and rodents,[132] and are often used as a
form of pest control.[133][134] Domestic cats are a major predator of wildlife
in the United States killing an estimated 1.4 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 20.7
billion mammals annually.[135][136] The bulk of the predation the United States
is done by 80 million feral and stray cats. Effective measures to reduce this
population are elusive, meeting opposition from cat enthusiasts.[135][136] In
the case of free ranging pets, equipping cats with bells and not letting them
out at night will reduce wildlife predation.[132] Feral cats and house cats that
are free-fed tend to consume many small meals in a single day, although the
frequency and size of meals varies between individuals.[117] Cats use two
hunting strategies, either stalking prey actively, or waiting in ambush until an
animal comes close enough to be captured. Although it is not certain, the type
of strategy used may depend on the prey species in the area, with for example,
cats waiting in ambush outside burrows, but tending to actively stalk
birds.[137]:153
Most breeds of cat have a noted fondness for settling in high places, or
perching. In the wild, a higher place may serve as a concealed site from which
to hunt; domestic cats may strike prey by pouncing from such a perch as a tree
branch, as does a leopard.[138][clarification needed] Other possible
explanations include that height gives the cat a better observation point,
allowing it to survey its territory. During a fall from a high place, a cat can
reflexively twist its body and right itself using its acute sense of balance and
flexibility.[139][clarification needed] This is known as the cat righting
reflex. An individual cat always rights itself in the same way, provided it has
the time to do so, during a fall. The height required for this to occur is
around 90 cm (3 feet). Cats without a tail (e.g. Manx cats) also have this
ability, since a cat mostly moves its hind legs and relies on conservation of
angular momentum to set up for landing, and the tail is in fact little used for
this feat.[140] This leads to the proverb "a cat always lands on its feet".
One poorly understood element of cat hunting behavior is the presentation of
prey to human guardians. Ethologist Paul Leyhausen proposed that cats adopt
humans into their social group, and share excess kill with others in the group
according to the local pecking order, in which humans are placed at or near the
top.[141] Anthropologist and zoologist Desmond Morris, in his 1986 book
Catwatching, suggests that when cats bring home mice or birds, they are
attempting to teach their human to hunt, or trying to help their human as if
feeding "an elderly cat, or an inept kitten".[142][clarification needed]

Morris's theory is inconsistent with the fact that male cats also bring home
prey, despite males having no involvement with raising kittens.[137]:153
Domestic cats select food based on its temperature, smell and texture, strongly
disliking chilled foods and responding most strongly to moist foods rich in
amino acids, which are similar to meat.[72][117] Cats may reject novel flavors
(a response termed neophobia) and learn quickly to avoid foods that have tasted
unpleasant in the past.[117] They may also avoid sugary foods and milk; since
they are lactose intolerant, these sugars are not easily digested and may cause
soft stools or diarrhea.[117][143] They can also develop odd eating habits. Some
cats like to eat or chew on other things, most commonly wool, but also plastic,
paper, string, aluminum foil/Christmas tree tinsel, or even coal. This condition
is called pica and can threaten their health, depending on the amount and
toxicity of the items eaten.[144][145]
Since cats cannot fully close their lips around something to create suction,
they use a lapping method with the tongue to draw liquid upwards into their
mouths. Lapping at a rate of four times a second, the cat touches the smooth tip
of its tongue to the surface of the water, and quickly retracts it, drawing
water upwards.[146]
Play
Main article: Cat play and toys
File:Play fight between cats.webmhd.webm
Play fight between kittens, age 14 weeks.
Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. This
behavior mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to stalk,
capture, and kill prey.[147] Cats will also engage in play fighting, with each
other and with humans. This behavior may be a way for cats to practice the
skills needed for real combat, and might also reduce any fear they associate
with launching attacks on other animals.[148]
Owing to the close similarity between play and hunting, cats prefer to play with
objects that resemble prey, such as small furry toys that move rapidly, but
rapidly lose interest (they become habituated) in a toy they have played with
before.[149] Cats also tend to play with toys more when they are hungry.[150]
String is often used as a toy, but if it is eaten it can become caught at the
base of the cat's tongue and then move into the intestines, a medical emergency
which can cause serious illness, even death.[151] Owing to the risks posed by
cats eating string, it is sometimes replaced with a laser pointer's dot, which
cats may chase.[152] While concerns have been raised about the safety of these
lasers, John Marshall, an ophthalmologist at St Thomas' Hospital, has stated
that it would be "virtually impossible" to blind a cat with a laser
pointer.[153][clarification needed]
Reproduction
When cats mate, the tomcat (male) bites the scruff of the female's neck as she
assumes a position conducive to mating known as lordosis behavior.
See also: Kitten
Female cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means they may have many periods
of heat over the course of a year, the season beginning in spring and ending in
late autumn. Heat periods occur about every two weeks and last about 4 to 7
days.[154] Multiple males will be attracted to a female in heat. The males will
fight over her, and the victor wins the right to mate. At first, the female will
reject the male, but eventually the female will allow the male to mate. The
female will utter a loud yowl as the male pulls out of her. This is because a
male cat's penis has a band of about 120 150 backwards-pointing penile spines,

which are about one millimeter long;[155] upon withdrawal of the penis, the
spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which is a trigger for ovulation.
This act also occurs to clear the vagina of other sperm in the context of a
second (or more) mating, thus giving the later males a larger chance of
conception.[citation needed]
After mating, the female will wash her vulva thoroughly. If a male attempts to
mate with her at this point, the female will attack him. After about 20 to 30
minutes, once the female is finished grooming, the cycle will repeat.[154]
Because ovulation is not always triggered by a single mating, females may not be
impregnated by the first male with which they mate.[156] Furthermore, cats are
superfecund; that is, a female may mate with more than one male when she is in
heat, with the result that different kittens in a litter may have different
fathers.[154]

Parrot
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Parrot (disambiguation).
Parrots
Temporal range: Eocene - Holocene,[1] 54-0Ma
Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Aves
Clade:
Psittacopasserae
Order:
Psittaciformes
Wagler, 1830
Superfamilies
Cacatuoidea (cockatoos)
Psittacoidea (true parrots)
Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots)
Range of Parrots, all species (red)
Parrots, also known as psittacines /'s?t?sa?nz/,[2][3] are birds of the roughly
372 species in 86 genera that make
up the order Psittaciformes,[4] found in most tropical and subtropicalregions. T
he order is subdivided into three
superfamilies: the Psittacoidea ('true' parrots), theCacatuoidea (cockatoos) and
the Strigopoidea (New Zealand
parrots).[5] Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several spec
ies inhabiting temperate regions in
theSouthern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is in South Am
erica andAustralasia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright sta
nce, strong legs, and
clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-co
loured. The plumage of
cockatoos ranges from mostly white to mostly black, with a mobile crest of feath
ers on the tops of their heads.

Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably
sized bird order in terms of
length.
The most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, bud
s and other plant material. A few
species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories andlorikeets are spe
cialised for feeding
on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest intree hollows (or nes
t boxes in captivity), and lay
white eggs from which hatch altricial(helpless) young.
Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are among the most intellig
ent birds, and the ability of some
species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets.Trapping wild
parrots for the pet trade, as well
as hunting, habitat loss and competition frominvasive species, has diminished wi
ld populations, with parrots
being subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds.[6] Measures
taken to conserve the habitats of
some high-profile charismatic species have also protected many of the less chari
smatic species living in the
same ecosystems.[7]
Contents
[hide]
*
1 Taxonomy
o
1.1 Origins and evolution
o
1.2 Phylogeny
o
1.3 Systematics
o
1.4 Other lists
*
2 Morphology
*
3 Distribution and habitat
*
4 Behaviour
o
4.1 Diet
o
4.2 Breeding
o
4.3 Intelligence and learning
?
4.3.1 Sound imitation and speech
?
4.3.2 Cooperation
*
5 Relationship with humans
o
5.1 Pets
o
5.2 Zoos
o
5.3 Trade
o
5.4 Culture
o
5.5 Feral populations
o
5.6 Threats and conservation
*
6 See also
*
7 References
o
7.1 Notes
o
7.2 Cited texts
*
8 External links
Taxonomy[edit]
Origins and evolution[edit]
Blue-and-yellow Macaw eating a walnut held by a foot
Psittaciform diversity in South America and Australasia suggests that the order
may have evolved
in Gondwanaland, centred in Australasia.[8] The scarcity of parrots in the fossi
l record, however, presents
difficulties in supporting the hypothesis.
A single 15 mm (0.6 in) fragment from a large lower bill (UCMP 143274), found in
deposits from the Lance

Creek Formation in Niobrara County, Wyoming, had been thought to be the oldest p
arrot fossil and is presumed
to have originated from the Late Cretaceous period, which makes it about 70 Ma (
million years ago).[9] Other
studies suggest that this fossil is not from a bird, but from a caenagnathid the
ropod or a non-avian dinosaur with
a birdlikebeak.[10][11]
It is now generally assumed that the Psittaciformes, or their common ancestors w
ith several related bird orders,
were present somewhere in the world around the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction e
vent (K-Pg extinction), some
66 Ma If so, they probably had not evolved theirmorphological autapomorphies yet
, but were
generalised arboreal birds, roughly similar (though not necessarily closely rela
ted) to
today's potoos or frogmouths (see alsoPalaeopsittacus below). Though these birds
(Cypselomorphae) are a
phylogenetically challenging group, they seem at least closer to the parrot ance
stors than, for example, the
modern aquatic birds (Aequornithes). The combined evidence supported the hypothe
sis of Psittaciformes being
"near passerines", i.e. the mostly land-living birds that emerged in close proxi
mity to the K-Pg extinction.
Indeed, analysis of transposable element insertions observed in the genomes of p
asserines and parrots, but not in
the genomes of other birds, provides strong evidence that parrots are the sister
group of passerines, forming a
cladePsittacopasserae, to the exclusion of the next closest group, the falcons.[
12]
Europe is the origin of the first undeniable parrot fossils, which date from abo
ut 50 Ma. The climate there and
then was tropical, consistent with the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Initial
ly,
a neoavian named Mopsitta tanta, uncovered in Denmark's Early Eocene Fur Formati
on and dated to 54 Ma, was
assigned to the Psittaciformes; it was described from a single humerus.[13] Howe
ver, the rather nondescript bone
is not unequivocally psittaciform, and more recently it was pointed out that it
may rather belong to a newly
discovered ibis of the genus Rhynchaeites, whose fossil legs were found in the s
ame deposits.
The feathers of a Yellow-headed Amazon. The blue component of the green colourat
ion is due to light scattering while the
yellow is due to pigment.
Fossils assignable to Psittaciformes (though not yet the present-day parrots) da
te from slightly later in
the Eocene, starting around 50 Ma. Several fairly complete skeletons of parrot-l
ike birds have been found
in England and Germany.[14] Some uncertainty remains, but on the whole it seems
more likely that these are not
direct ancestors of the modern parrots, but related lineages which evolved in th
e Northern Hemisphere and have
since died out. These are probably not "missing links" between ancestral and mod
ern parrots, but rather
psittaciform lineages that evolved parallel to true parrots and cockatoos and ha
d their own peculiar
autapomorphies:
*
Psittacopes (Early/Middle Eocene of Geiseltal, Germany)-basal[citation n

eeded]
*
Serudaptus-pseudasturid or psittacid[citation needed]
*
Pseudasturidae (Halcyornithidae may be correct name)
*
Pseudasturides - formerly Pseudastur
*
Vastanavidae
*
Vastanavis (Early Eocene of Vastan, India)
*
Quercypsittidae
*
Quercypsitta (Late Eocene)
The earliest records of modern parrots date to about 23-20 Ma and are also from
Europe. Subsequently, the fossil
record-again mainly from Europe-consists of bones clearly recognisable as belong
ing to parrots of modern
type. The Southern Hemisphere does not have nearly as rich a fossil record for t
he period of interest as the
Northern, and contains no known parrot-like remains earlier than the early to mi
ddle Miocene, around 20 Ma. At
this point, however, is found the first unambiguous parrot fossil (as opposed to
a parrot-like one), an upper jaw
which is indistinguishable from that of modern cockatoos. A few modern genera ar
e tentatively dated to a
Miocene origin, but their unequivocal record stretches back only some 5 million
years (see genus articles for
more).
Fossil skull of a presumed parrot relative from the Eocene Green River Formation
inWyoming.
The named fossil genera of parrots are probably all in the Psittacidae or close
to its ancestry:
*
Archaeopsittacus (Late Oligocene/Early Miocene)
*
Xenopsitta (Early Miocene of Czechia)
*
Psittacidae gen. et spp. indet. (Bathans Early/Middle Miocene of Otago,
New Zealand)-several
species
*
Bavaripsitta (Middle Miocene of Steinberg, Germany)
*
Psittacidae gen. et sp. indet. (Middle Miocene of France)-erroneously pl
aced inPararallus dispar,
includes "Psittacus" lartetianus
Some Paleogene fossils are not unequivocally accepted to be of psittaciforms:
*
Palaeopsittacus (Early - Middle Eocene of NW Europe)-caprimulgiform (pod
argid)[citation needed] or
quercypsittid[citation needed]
*
"Precursor" (Early Eocene)-part of this apparent chimera seems to be of
a pseudasturid or psittacid
*
Pulchrapollia (Early Eocene)-includes "Primobucco" olsoni-psittaciform (
pseudasturid or
psittacid)[citation needed]
Molecular studies suggest that parrots evolved approximately 59 Ma (range 66-51
Ma) in Gondwanaland.[15] The
three major clades of Neotropical parrots originated about 50 Ma (range 57-41 Ma
).
Phylogeny[edit]
Parrots
Psittacoidea

Cacatuoidea

Strigopoidea

Other birds

Phylogenetic relationship between the three parrot


superfamilies based on the available literature[8][16][17]
The Psittaciformes comprise three main lineages: Strigopoidea, Psittacoidea andC
acatuoidea.
The Strigopoidea were considered part of the Psittacoidea, but recent studies pl
ace this group of New Zealand
species at the base of the parrot tree next to the remaining members of the Psit
tacoidea as well as all members of
the Cacatuoidea.[8][16][17]
The Cacatuoidea are quite distinct, having a movable head crest, a different arr
angement of the carotid arteries,
a gall bladder, differences in the skull bones, and lack the Dyck texture feathe
rs which, in the Psittacidae, scatters
light in such a way as to produce the vibrant colours of so many parrots. Colour
ful feathers with high levels
of psittacofulvin resist the feather-degrading bacterium Bacillus licheniformis
better than white ones.[18]
Lorikeets were previously regarded as a third family, Loriidae,[19] but are now
considered a tribe (Loriini) within
the subfamily Lorinae. The two other tribes in the subfamily are the closely rel
ated fig parrots (two genera in the
tribe Cyclopsittini) and Budgerigar (tribe Melopsittacini).[8][16][17]
Systematics[edit]
The following classification is based on the most recent proposal, which in turn
is based on all the relevant recent
findings.[5][8][16][20][21][22][23]
Skeleton of a parrot
Superfamily Strigopoidea: The New Zealand parrots.
*
Family Nestoridae: 2 genera with 2 living (Kea and New Zealand Kaka) and
several extinct species of
the New Zealand region.
*
Family Strigopidae: The flightless, critically endangered Kakapo of New
Zealand.
Superfamily Cacatuoidea: Cockatoos
*
Family Cacatuidae
*
Subfamily Nymphicinae: 1 genus with one species, the Cockatiel.
*
Subfamily Calyptorhynchinae: The black cockatoos
*
Subfamily Cacatuinae
*
Tribe Microglossini: One genus with one species, the black Palm Cockatoo
.

*
Tribe Cacatuini: Four genera of white, pink and grey species.
Superfamily Psittacoidea: true parrots.
*
Family Psittacidae
*
Subfamily Psittacinae: Two African genera, Grey Parrot and Poicephalus
*
Subfamily Arinae
*
Tribe Arini: 15 genera
*
Tribe Androglossini: 7 genera
*
Incertae sedis: 10 genera
*
Family Psittrichasiidae
*
Subfamily Psittrichasinae: One species, Pesquet's Parrot
*
Subfamily Coracopsinae: One genera with several species.
*
Family Psittaculidae
*
Subfamily Platycercinae
*
Tribe Pezoporini: ground parrots and allies
*
Tribe Platycercini: broad-tailed parrots
*
Subfamily Psittacellinae: 1 genus (Psittacella) with several species.
*
Subfamily Loriinae
*
Tribe Loriini: lories and lorikeets
*
Tribe Melopsittacini: 1 genus with one species, the Budgerigar
*
Tribe Cyclopsittini: fig parrots
*
Subfamily Agapornithinae: 3 genera
*
Subfamily Psittaculinae
*
Tribe Polytelini: 3 genera
*
Tribe Psittaculini: Asian psittacines
*
Tribe Micropsittini: Pygmy parrots
Other lists[edit]
*
A list of all parrots sortable by common or binomial name, about 350 spe
cies.
*
Taxonomic list of Cacatuidae species, 21 species in 7 genera
*
Taxonomic list of true parrots which provides the sequence of Psittacida
e genera and species
following a traditional two-subfamily approach, as in the taxobox above, about 3
30 species.
*
List of Strigopidae
*
List of macaws
*
List of Amazon parrots
*
List of Aratinga parakeets
Morphology[edit]
Glossy Black Cockatoo showing the parrot's strong bill, clawed feet, and sideway
s positioned eyes
Extant species range in size from the Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, at under 10 g (0.
4 oz) in weight and 8 cm (3.1 in)
in length, to the Hyacinth Macaw, at 1 m (3.3 ft) in length, and theKakapo, at 4
.0 kg (8.8 lb) in weight. Among
the superfamilies, the three extant Strigopoideaspecies are all large parrots, a
nd the cockatoos tend to be large
birds as well. The Psittacoidea parrots are far more variable, ranging the full
spectrum of sizes shown by the
family.
The most obvious physical characteristic is the strong, curved, broad bill. The
upper mandible is prominent,
curves downward, and comes to a point. It is not fused to the skull, which allow
s it to move independently, and
contributes to the tremendous biting pressure the birds are able to exert. The l
ower mandible is shorter, with a
sharp, upward-facing cutting edge, which moves against the flat portion of the u
pper mandible in an anvil-like
fashion. There are touch receptors along the inner edges of the kerantinised bil

l, which are collectively known as


the 'bill tip organ', allowing for highly dextrous manipulations. Seed-eating pa
rrots have a strong tongue
(containing similar touch receptors to those in the bill tip organ), which helps
to manipulate seeds or position
nuts in the bill so that the mandibles can apply an appropriate cracking force.
The head is large, with eyes
positioned high and laterally in the skull, so the visual field of parrots are u
nlike any other birds. Without turning
its head, a parrot can see from just below its bill tip, all above its head, and
to quite far behind its head. Parrots
also have quite a wide frontal binocular field for a bird, although this is nowh
ere near as large as primate
binocular visual fields.[24]
Parrots have strong zygodactyl feet with sharp, elongated claws, which are used
for climbing and swinging. Most
species are capable of using their feet to manipulate food and other objects wit
h a high degree of dexterity, in a
similar manner to a human using his hands. A study conducted with Australian par
rots has demonstrated that
they exhibit "handedness"-that is a distinct preference with regards to the foot
used to pick up food, with adult
parrots being almost exclusively "left-footed" or "right footed", and with the p
revalence of each preference
within the population varying from species to species.[25]
Cockatoo species have a mobile crest of feathers on the top of their heads which
can be raised for display, and
retracted. No other parrots can do so, but the Pacific lorikeets in the genera V
ini and Phigys are able to ruffle the
feathers of the crown and nape and theRed-fan Parrot (or Hawk-headed Parrot) has
a prominent feather neck
frill which can be raised and lowered at will. The predominant colour of plumage
in parrots is green, though most
species have some red or another colour in small quantities. Cockatoos are the m
ain exception to this, having lost
the green and blue plumage colours in their evolutionary history they are now pr
edominately black or white with
some red, pink or yellow. Strong sexual dimorphism in plumage is not typical amo
ng parrots, with some notable
exceptions, the most striking being the Eclectus Parrot.
Distribution and habitat[edit]
Most parrot species are tropical but a few species, like this Austral Parakeet,
range deeply into temperate zones
See also: List of Psittaciformes by population
Parrots are found on all tropical and subtropical continents including Australia
and Oceania,South
Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America and Africa. Some Caribbean
and Pacific islands are home
to endemic species. By far the greatest number of parrot species come from Austr
alasia and South America. The
lories and lorikeets range fromSulawesi and the Philippines in the north to Aust
ralia and across the Pacific as far
as French Polynesia, with the greatest diversity being found in and around New G
uinea. The
subfamilyArinae encompasses all the Neotropical parrots, including the Amazons,
macaws and conures, and
ranges from northern Mexico and the Bahamas to Tierra del Fuego in the southern
tip of South America. The

pygmy parrots, tribe Micropsittini, form a small genus restricted to New Guinea.
The superfamily Strigopoidea
contains three living species of aberrant parrots from New Zealand. The broad-ta
iled parrots,
subfamily Platycercinae, are restricted to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacifi
c islands as far eastwards as Fiji.
The true parrot superfamily, Psittacoidea, includes a range of species from Aust
ralia and New Guinea to South
Asia and Africa. The centre of cockatoo biodiversity is Australia and New Guinea
, although some species reach
the Solomon Islands (and one formerly occurred inNew Caledonia),[26] Wallacea an
d the Philippines.
Several parrots inhabit the cool, temperate regions of South America and New Zea
land. One, the Carolina
Parakeet, lived in temperate North America, but was hunted to extinction in the
early 20th century. Many parrots
have been introduced to areas with temperate climates, and have established stab
le populations in parts of
the United States (including New York City),[27] the United Kingdom,[28]Belgium[
29] and Spain,[30][31] as well as
in Greece.[32][33]
Few parrots are wholly sedentary or fully migratory. Most fall somewhere between
the two extremes, making
poorly understood regional movements, with some adopting an entirely nomadic lif
estyle.[34]
Behaviour[edit]
There are numerous challenges in studying wild parrots, as they are difficult to
catch and once caught they are
difficult to mark. Most wild bird studies rely on banding or wing tagging, but p
arrots chew off such
attachments.[34] Parrots also tend to range widely and consequently there are ma
ny gaps in knowledge of their
behaviour. Some parrots have a strong, direct flight. Most species spend much of
their time perched or climbing
in tree canopies. They often use their bills for climbing by gripping or hooking
on branches and other supports.
On the ground parrots often walk with a rolling gait.
Diet[edit]
A Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo using its strong bill to search for grubs
A White-eyed Parakeet couple eating Queen Palm seeds. Parrots have sharp and str
ong beaks, that can break very hard seeds.
The diet of parrots consists of seeds, fruit, nectar, pollen, buds, and sometime
s arthropods and other animal prey.
The most important of these for most true parrots and cockatoos are seeds; the e
volution of the large and
powerful bill can be explained primarily as an adaptation to opening and consumi
ng seeds. All true
parrots except the Pesquet's Parrot employ the same method to obtain the seed fr
om the husk; the seed is held
between the mandibles and the lower mandible crushes the husk, whereupon the see
d is rotated in the bill and the
remaining husk is removed.[34] A foot is sometimes used to help holding large se
eds in place. Parrots are
seed predators rather than seed dispersers; and in many cases where species are
recorded as consuming fruit they
are only eating the fruit to get at the seed. As seeds often have poisons to pro

tect them, parrots are careful to


remove seed coats and other fruit parts which are chemically well defended, prio
r to ingestion. Many species in
the Americas, Africa, and Papua New Guinea consume clay which both releases mine
rals and absorbs toxic
compounds from the gut.[35]
Parrots at a clay lick in Ecuador.
The lories and lorikeets, hanging parrots and Swift Parrot are primarily nectar
and pollen consumers, and
have tongues with brush tips to collect this source of food, as well as some spe
cialised gut adaptations to
accommodate this diet.[36] Many other species also consume nectar as well when i
t becomes available.
In addition to feeding on seeds and flowers, some parrot species prey on animals
, especially invertebrate
larvae. Golden-winged Parakeets prey on water snails, and famously the Keas of N
ew Zealand kill
juvenile petrels and even attack and indirectly kill adult sheep.[37] Another Ne
w Zealand parrot, the Antipodes
Parakeet, enters the burrows of nesting Grey-backed Storm Petrels and kills the
incubating
adults.[38] Somecockatoos and the Kaka excavate branches and wood to obtain grub
s; the bulk of theYellowtailed Black Cockatoo's diet is made up of insects.[39]
Breeding[edit]
Although there are a few exceptions, parrots are monogamous breeders which nest
in cavities and hold
no territories other than their nesting sites.[34][40] The pair bonds of the par
rots and cockatoos are strong and a pair
remains close even during the non-breeding season, even if they join larger floc
ks. As with many birds, pair bond
formation is preceded by courtship displays; these are relatively simple in the
case of cockatoos. In Psittacidae
parrots common breeding displays, usually undertaken by the male, include slow d
eliberate steps known as a
"parade" or "stately walk" and the "eye-blaze", where the pupil of the eye const
ricts to reveal the edge of the
iris.[34] Allopreening is used by the pair to help maintain the bond. Cooperativ
e breeding, where birds other than
the breeding pair help the pair raise the young and is common in some bird famil
ies, is extremely rare in parrots,
and has only unambiguously been demonstrated in the Golden Parakeet (which may a
lso exhibitpolyamorous, or
group breeding, behaviour with multiple females contributing to the clutch).[41]
The vast majority of parrots are, like this feral Rose-ringed Parakeet, cavity n
esters.
Only the Monk Parakeet and five species of Agapornis lovebird build nests in tre
es,[42] and three Australian and
New Zealand ground parrots nest on the ground. All other parrots and cockatoos n
est in cavities, either tree
hollows or cavities dug into cliffs, banks or the ground. The use of holes in cl
iffs is more common in the
Americas. Many species use termite nests, possibly to reduce the conspicuousness
of the nesting site or to create
a favourablemicroclimate.[43] In most cases both parents participate in the nest
excavation. The length of the

burrow varies with species, but is usually between 0.5-2 m (1.6-6.6 ft) in lengt
h. The nests of cockatoos are
often lined with sticks, wood chips and other plant material. In the larger spec
ies of parrot and cockatoo the
availability of nesting hollows may be limited, leading to intense competition f
or them both within the species
and between species, as well as with other bird families. The intensity of this
competition can limit breeding
success in some cases.[44][45] Some species are colonial, with the Burrowing Par
rot nesting in colonies up to
70,000 strong.[46] Coloniality is not as common in parrots as might be expected,
possibly because most species
adopt old cavities rather than excavate their own.[47]
The eggs of parrots are white. In most species the female undertakes all the inc
ubation, although incubation is
shared in cockatoos, theBlue Lorikeet, and the Vernal Hanging Parrot. The female
remains in the nest for almost
all of the incubation period and is fed both by the male and during short breaks
. Incubation varies from 17 to 35
days, with larger species having longer incubation periods. The newly born young
are altricial, either lacking
feathers or with sparse white down. The young spend anything from three weeks to
four months in the nest,
depending on species, and may receive parental care for several months thereafte
r.[48]
As typical of K-selected species, the macaws and other larger parrot species hav
e low reproductive rates. They
require several years to reach maturity, produce one or very few young per year,
and do not necessarily breed
every year.
Intelligence and learning[edit]
Sun Conure demonstrating parrots' puzzle-solving skills
Studies with captive birds have given insight into which birds are the most inte
lligent. While parrots are able to
mimic human speech, studies with the African Grey Parrot have shown that some ar
e able to associate words
with their meanings and form simple sentences (seeAlex and N'kisi). Along with c
rows, ravens,
and jays (family Corvidae), parrots are considered the most intelligent of birds
. The brain-to body size ratio of
psittacines and corvines is actually comparable to that of higher primates.[49]
One argument against the supposed
intelligent capabilities of bird species is that birds have a relatively small c
erebral cortex, which is the part of the
brain considered to be the main area of intelligence in other animals. However,
birds use a different part of the
brain, the medio-rostral HVC, as the seat of their intelligence. Research has sh
own that these species tend to have
the largest hyperstriata, and Harvey J. Karten, a neuroscientist at the Universi
ty of California, San Diego, who
studied bird physiology, has discovered that the lower part of the avian brain i
s functionally similar to that in
humans. Not only have parrots demonstrated intelligence through scientific testi
ng of their language-using
ability, but some species of parrot such as the Kea are also highly skilled at u
sing tools and solving puzzles.[50]
Learning in early life is apparently important to all parrots, and much of that
learning is social learning. Social

interactions are often practised with siblings, and in several species creches a
re formed with several broods, and
these as well are important for learning social skills. Foraging behaviour is ge
nerally learnt from parents, and can
be a very protracted affair. Supra-generalists and specialists are generally ind
ependent of their parents much
quicker than partly specialised species which may have to learn skills over a lo
ng period of time as various
resources become seasonally available. Play forms a large part of learning in pa
rrots; it can be solitary, and
related to motor skills, or social. Species may engage in play fights or wild fl
ights to practice predator evasion.
An absence of stimuli can retard the development of young birds, as demonstrated
by a group of Vasa
Parrots kept in tiny cages with domesticated chickens from the age of 3 months;
at 9 months these birds still
behaved in the same way as 3-month-olds, but had adopted some chicken behaviour.
[34] In a similar fashion
captive birds in zoo collections or pets can, if deprived of stimuli, develop st
ereotyped behaviours and harmful
behaviours like self plucking. Aviculturists working with parrots have identifie
d the need for environmental
enrichment to keep parrots stimulated.
Sound imitation and speech[edit]
Main article: Talking bird
See also: Animal language
Video of an Orange-winged Amazon saying "Hello" having been prompted by some peo
ple
Many parrots can imitate human speech or other sounds. A study by Irene Pepperbe
rgsuggested a high learning
ability in an African Grey Parrot named Alex. Alex was trained to use words to i
dentify objects, describe them,
count them, and even answer complex questions such as "How many red squares?" wi
th over 80%
accuracy. N'kisi, another African grey, has been shown to have a vocabulary of a
pproximately a thousand words,
and has displayed an ability to invent as well as use words in context and in th
e correct tense.
Parrots do not have vocal cords, so sound is accomplished by expelling air acros
s the mouth of the bifurcated
trachea. Different sounds are produced by changing the depth and shape of trache
a. African Grey Parrots of all
subspecies are known for their superior ability to imitate sounds and human spee
ch. This ability has made them
prized as pets from ancient time to the present. In the Masnavi, a writing by Ru
mi of Persia, AD 1250, the author
talks about an ancient method for training parrots to speak.
Although most parrot species are able to imitate, some of the Amazon parrots are
generally regarded as the nextbest imitators and speakers of the parrot world. The question of why birds imita
te remains open, but those that do
often score very high on tests designed to measure problem solving ability. Wild
African Grey Parrots have been
observed imitating other birds.[51] Most other wild parrots have not been observ
ed imitating other species.
Cooperation[edit]
The journal Animal Cognition stated that some birds preferred to work alone, whi
le others like to work together

as with African Grey Parrots. With two parrots, they know the order of tasks or
when they should do something
together at once, but they have trouble exchanging roles. With three parrots, on
e parrot usually prefers to
cooperate with one of the other two, but all of them are cooperating to solve th
e task.[52]
Relationship with humans[edit]
Video of a Blue-fronted Amazon mimicking a human laughing
Humans and parrots have a complicated relationship. Economically they can be ben
eficial to communities as
sources of income from the pet trade and are highly marketable tourism draws and
symbols. But some species are
also economically important pests, particularly some cockatoo species in Austral
ia. Some parrots have also
benefited from human changes to the environment in some instances, and have expa
nded their ranges alongside
agricultural activity, but many species have declined as well.
There exist a number of careers and professions devoted to parrots. Zoos and aqu
ariums employ keepers to care
for and shape the behaviour of parrots. Some veterinarians who specialise in avi
an medicine treat parrots
exclusively. Biologists study parrot populations in the wild and help to conserv
e wild populations. Aviculturalists
breed and sell parrots for the pet trade.
Tens of millions of parrots have been removed from the wild, and parrots have be
en traded in greater numbers
and for far longer than any other group of wild animals.[53] Many parrot species
are still threatened by this trade
as well as habitat loss, predation by introduced species, and hunting for food o
r feathers. Some parrot species are
agricultural pests,[54] eating fruits, grains, and other crops, but parrots can
also benefit economies
through birdwatching based ecotourism.[55]
Pets[edit]
Pet Cuban Amazons in Cuba
Further information: Companion parrot
Parrots do not make good pets for most people because of their natural wild inst
incts such as screaming and
chewing. Although parrots can be very affectionate and cute when immature, once
mature, they often become
aggressive and may bite, causing serious injury, partly due to mishandling and p
oor training. For this reason,
parrot rescue groups estimate that most parrots are surrendered and rehomed at l
east five homes before reaching
their permanent destinations or before dying prematurely from unintentional or i
ntentional neglect and abuse.
Sadly, the parrot's ability to mimic human words and their bright colors and bea
uty prompt impulse buying from
unsuspecting consumers. The domesticated Budgerigar, a small parrot, is the most
popular of all pet bird species
and the most discarded. In 1992 the newspaper USA Today published that there wer
e 11 million pet birds in the
United States alone,[56] many of them parrots. Europeans kept birds matching the
description of the Rose-ringed
Parakeet (or called the ring-necked parrot), documented particularly in a firstcentury account by Pliny the

Elder.[57] As they have been prized for thousands of years for their beauty and
ability to talk, they have also often
been misunderstood. For example, author Wolfgang de Grahl discusses in his 1987
book The Grey Parrot that
some importers allowed parrots to drink only coffee while they were being shippe
d by boat considering pure
water to be detrimental and believing that their actions would increase survival
rates during shipping. (Nowadays
it is commonly accepted that the caffeine in coffee is toxic to birds.)
Pet parrots may be kept in a cage or aviary; though generally, tame parrots shou
ld be allowed out regularly on a
stand or gym. Depending on locality, parrots may be either wild caught or be cap
tive bred, though in most areas
without native parrots, pet parrots are captive bred. Parrot species that are co
mmonly kept
as pets include conures, macaws, Amazons, cockatoos, African
Greys, lovebirds,cockatiels, Budgerigars, Eclectus, Caiques, parakeets, Pionus a
nd Poicephalus. Temperaments
and personalities vary even within a species, just as dog breeds do. Even though
African Grey parrots are thought
to be excellent talkers, not all African Grey parrots want to talk, therefore ev
en though they have the capability to
do so. Noise level, talking ability, cuddliness with people, and care needs, can
sometimes depend on how the bird
is cared for and the attention he/she regularly receives.
Parrots invariably require an enormous amount of attention, care and intellectua
l stimulation to thrive, akin to
that required by a three-year-old child, which many people find themselves unabl
e to provide in the long
term.[58] Parrots that are bred for pets may be hand fed or otherwise accustomed
to interacting with people from a
young age to help ensure they will be tame and trusting. However, even when hand
fed, parrots revert to biting
and aggression during hormonal surges and if mishandled or neglected. Parrots ar
e not low maintenance pets;
they require feeding, grooming, veterinary care, training, environmental enrichm
ent through the provision of
toys, exercise, and social interaction (with other parrots or humans) for good h
ealth.
Some large parrot species, including large cockatoos, amazons, and macaws, have
very long lifespans, with 80
years being reported and record ages of over one hundred.[citation needed] Small
parrots, such as lovebirds, hanging
parrots, and budgies have shorter life spans of up to 15-20 years. Some parrot s
pecies can be quite loud, and
many of the larger parrots can be destructive and require a very large cage, and
a regular supply of new toys,
branches, or other items to chew up. The intelligence of parrots means they are
quick to learn tricks and other
behaviours-both good and bad-that get them what they want, such as attention or
treats.
The popularity, longevity, and intelligence of many of the larger kinds of pet p
arrot and their wild traits such as
screaming, has led to many birds needing to be re-homed during the course of the
ir long lifespans. A common
problem is that large parrots which are cuddly and gentle as juveniles mature in
to intelligent, complex, often
demanding adults that can outlive their owners can also become aggressive and ev
en dangerous. Due to these
problems, homeless parrots are being euthanised like dogs and cats, and parrot a

doption centres and sanctuaries


are becoming more common. Parrots don't often do well in captivity, causing some
parrots to go insane and
develop repetitive behaviors, such as swaying, screaming, or they become riddled
with intense fear. Feather
destruction and self-mutilation, although not commonly seen in the wild, occur f
requently in captivity.
Zoos[edit]
Scarlet Macaw riding a tricycle at a show in Spain
Parrot species are found in most zoos, and a few zoos participate in breeding an
d conservation programs. Some
zoos have organized displays of trained parrots and other birds doing tricks.
Trade[edit]
Main article: International parrot trade
10,000 Hyacinth Macaws were taken from the wild for the pet trade in the 1980s.[
59][dead link] As a result Brazil now has only a
very small number of breeding pairs left in the wild.[citation needed]
The popularity of parrots as pets has led to a thriving-and often illegal-trade
in the birds, and some species are
now threatened with extinction. A combination of trapping of wild birds and dama
ge to parrot habitats makes
survival difficult or even impossible for some species of parrot. Importation of
wild caught parrots into the US
and Europe is illegal.
The trade continues unabated in some countries. A report published in January 20
07 presents a clear picture of
the wild-caught parrot trade in Mexico, stating: "The majority of parrots captur
ed in Mexico stay in the country
for the domestic trade. A small percentage of this capture, 4% to 14%, is smuggl
ed into the USA."[60]
The scale of the problem can be seen in the Tony Silva case of 1996, in which a
parrot expert and former director
at Tenerife's Loro Parque (Europe's largest parrot park) was jailed in the Unite
d States for 82 months and fined
$100,000 for smuggling Hyacinth Macaws.[61](Such birds command a very high price
). The case led to calls for
greater protection and control over trade in the birds. Different nations have d
ifferent methods of handling
internal and international trade. Australia has banned the export of its native
birds since 1960. Following years of
campaigning by hundreds of NGOs and outbreaks of avian flu, in July 2007, the Eu
ropean Union halted the
importation of all wild birds with a permanent ban on their import. Prior to an
earlier temporary ban started in
late October 2005, the EU was importing approximately two million live birds a y
ear, about 90% of
the international market: hundreds of thousands of these were parrots. There are
no national laws protecting feral
parrot populations in the U.S. Mexico has a licensing system for capturing and s
elling native birds (though the
laws are not well enforced).
Culture[edit]
Moche Parrot. 200 A.D. Larco Museum Collection Lima, Peru
Parrots have featured in human writings, story, art, humor, religion and music f

or thousands of years.
From Aesop's fable "The parrot and the cat" and the Roman poet Ovid's "The Dead
Parrot"(Latin), (English) to Monty Python's Dead Parrot Sketch millennia later,
parrots have existed in the
consciousness of many cultures. Recent books about parrots in human culture incl
ude Parrot Culture.[62]
In ancient times and current, parrot feathers have been used in ceremonies, and
for decoration. The "idea" of the
parrot has been used to represent the human condition inmedieval literature such
as the bestiary. They also have a
long history as pets.
In Polynesian legend as current in the Marquesas Islands, the hero Laka/Aka is m
entioned as having undertaken
a long and dangerous voyage to Aotona in what are now the Cook Islands, to obtai
n the highly prized feathers of
a red parrot as gifts for his son and daughter. On the voyage a hundred out of h
is 140 rowers died of hunger on
their way, but the survivors reached Aotona and captured enough parrots to fill
140 bags with their
feathers.[63][64] By at least some versions, the feathers were plucked off livin
g parrots without killing them.[65]
Currently parrots feature in many media. There are magazines devoted to parrots
as pets, and to the conservation
of parrots.[66]Fictional films include Paulie and Rio, and documentaries include
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph
Hill.
Parrots have also been considered sacred. The Moche people of ancient Peru worsh
ipped birds and often depicted
parrots in their art.[67]
Parrots are used as symbols of nations and nationalism. A parrot is found on the
flag of Dominica. The St.
Vincent parrot is the national bird of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a Caribbe
an nation.
Parrots are popular in Buddhist scripture and there are many writings about them
. For example, Amitabha once
changed itself into a parrot to aid in converting people. Another old story tell
s how after a forest caught fire, the
parrot was so concerned it carried water to try and put out the flames. The rule
r of heaven was so moved upon
seeing the parrot's act, that he sent rain to put out the fire. In Chinese Buddh
ist iconography, a parrot is
sometimes depicted hovering on the upper right side Guan Yin clasping a pearl or
prayer beads in its beak.
Sayings about parrots colour the modern English language. The verb "parroting" c
an be found in the dictionary,
and means "to repeat by rote." There are also clichs such as the British expressi
on "sick as a parrot"; although
this refers to extreme disappointment rather than illness, it may originate from
the disease of psittacosis which
can be passed to humans.[68][69] The first occurrence of a related expression is
in Aphra Behn's 1681 play The
False Count.[70]
Feral populations[edit]
Main article: Feral parrots
Feral Red-masked Parakeets in San Francisco. The population is the subject of th
e book and film The Wild Parrots of
Telegraph Hill.
Escaped parrots of several species have become established in the wild outside t

heir natural ranges and in some


cases outside the natural range of parrots. Among the earliest instances were pe
t Red Shiningparrots from Fiji which established a population on the islands of southern Tong
a. These introductions were
prehistoric and Red-shining Parrots were recorded in Tonga by Captain Cook in th
e 1770s.[26] Escapees first
began breeding in cities inCalifornia, Texas and Florida in the 1950s (with unpr
oven earlier claims dating back to
the 1920s in Texas and Florida).[30] They have proved surprisingly hardy in adap
ting to conditions in Europe and
North America. They sometimes even multiply to the point of becoming a nuisance
or pest, and a threat to local
ecosystems, and control measures have been used on some feral populations.[71]
Threats and conservation[edit]
A mounted specimen of the Carolina Parakeet, which was hunted to extinction
Deforestation pushed the Puerto Rican Amazon to the brink of extinction, still r
emaining among the world's rarest birds
despite conservation efforts.[72]
Many parrot species are in decline and several are extinct. Of the 350 or so liv
ing species, 130 are listed as near
threatened or worse by theIUCN of which 16 are currently considered Critically E
ndangered.[73] There are
several reasons for the decline of so many species, the principal threats being
habitat loss and degradation,
hunting and, for certain species, the wild-bird trade. Parrots are persecuted be
cause, in some areas, they are (or
have been) hunted for food and feathers, and as agricultural pests. For a time,
Argentina offered a bounty
on Monk Parakeets (an agricultural pest), resulting in hundreds of thousands of
birds being killed, though
apparently this did not greatly affect the overall population.[74]
Capture for the pet trade is a threat to many of the rarer or slower to breed pa
rrots. Habitat loss or degradation,
most often for agriculture, is a threat to many species. Parrots, being cavity n
esters, are vulnerable to the loss of
nesting sites and to competition with introduced species for those sites. The lo
ss of old trees is a particular
problem in some areas, particularly in Australia where trees suitable for nestin
g need to be centuries old. Many
parrots occur only on islands and are vulnerable to introduced species such as r
ats andcats, as they lack
the appropriate anti-predator behaviours needed to deal with mammalian predators
. Controlling such predators
can help in maintaining or increasing the numbers of endangered species.[75] Ins
ular species, which have small
populations in restricted habitat, are also vulnerable to unpredictable events s
uch as hurricanes and volcanic
eruptions.
There are many active conservation groups whose goal is the conservation of wild
parrot populations. One of the
largest is the World Parrot Trust,[76] an international organisation. The group
gives assistance to worthwhile
projects as well as producing a magazine[77] and raising funds through donations
and memberships, often from
pet parrot owners. They state they have helped conservation work in 22 countries

. On a smaller scale local parrot


clubs raise money to donate to a conservation cause. Zoo and wildlife centres us
ually provide public education,
to change habits that cause damage to wild populations. Recent conservation meas
ures to conserve the habitats of
some of the high-profile charismatic parrot species has also protected many of t
he less charismatic species living
in the ecosystem.[7]A popular attraction that many zoos employ is a feeding stat
ion for lories and lorikeets, where
visitors feed small parrots with cups of liquid food. This is usually done in as
sociation with educational signs and
lectures.
Several projects aimed specifically at parrot conservation have met with success
. Translocation of
vulnerable Kakapo, followed by intensive management and supplementary feeding, h
as increased the population
from 50 individuals to 123.[78] In New Caledonia theOuvea Parakeet was threatene
d by trapping for the pet trade
and loss of habitat. Community based conservation, which eliminated the threat o
f poaching, has allowed the
population to increase from around 600 birds in 1993 to over 2000 birds in 2009.
[79]
At present the IUCN recognises 19 species of parrot as extinct since 1600 (the d
ate used to denote modern
extinctions).[80] This does not include species like the New Caledonian Lorikeet
which has not been officially
seen for 100 years yet is still listed as critically endangered.
Trade, export and import of all wild-caught parrots is regulated and only permit
ted under special licensed
circumstances in countries party to CITES, the Convention on the International T
rade in Endangered Species,
that came into force in 1975 to regulate the international trade of all endanger
ed wild caught animal and plant
species. In 1975, 24 parrot species were included on Appendix I of CITES, thus p
rohibiting commercial
international trade in these birds. Since that initial listing, continuing threa
ts from international trade led CITES
to add an additional 32 parrot varieties to Appendix I.[81] All the other parrot
species are protected on Appendix II
of CITES. In addition, individual countries may have laws to regulate trade in c
ertain species.
See also[edit]
Birds portal
*
Parrots International
References[edit]
Notes[edit]
1.
Jump up^ Waterhouse, David M. (2006). "Parrots in a nutshell: The fossil
record of Psittaciformes
(Aves)". Historical Biology 18 (2): 223-234.doi:10.1080/08912960600641224.
2.
Jump up^ "Psittacine". American Heritage Dictionary of the English Langu
age, Fourth Edition.
Houghton Mifflin Company. 2000. Archived fromthe original on 2007-08-27. Retriev
ed 2007-09-09.
3.
Jump up^ "Psittacine". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webste
r, Inc. Retrieved
2007-09-09.
4.
Jump up^ "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.01
3)".

www.zoonomen.net. 2008-12-29.
5.
^ Jump up to:a b Joseph, Leo et al. (2012). "A revised nomenclature and
classification for familygroup taxa of parrots (Psittaciformes)". Zootaxa3205: 26-40.
6.
Jump up^ Snyder, N; McGowan, P; Gilardi, J; & A Grajal (2000), Parrots:
Status Survey and
Conservation Action Plan, 2000-2004. Chapter 1. vii.IUCN ISBN 2-8317-0504-5. Cha
pter 1. vii.
7.
^ Jump up to:a b Snyder, N; McGowan, P; Gilardi, J; & A Grajal (2000), P
arrots: Status Survey and
Conservation Action Plan, 2000-2004. Chapter 1. vii. IUCN ISBN 2-8317-0504-5. Ch
apter 2. page 12.
8.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e Wright, T.F.; Schirtzinger E. E., Matsumoto T., E
berhard J. R., Graves G. R.,
Sanchez J. J., Capelli S., Muller H., Scharpegge J., Chambers G. K. & Fleischer
R. C. (2008). "A Multilocus
Molecular Phylogeny of the Parrots (Psittaciformes): Support for a Gondwanan Ori
gin during the
Cretaceous". Mol Biol Evol 25 (10): 21412156. doi:10.1093/molbev/msn160. PMC 2727385. PMID 18653733.
9.
Jump up^ Stidham, T. (1998). "A lower jaw from a Cretaceous parrot". Nat
ure 396 (6706): 2930. doi:10.1038/23841.
10.
Jump up^ Dyke, GJ; Mayr, G. (1999). "Did parrots exist in the Cretaceous
period?". Nature 399 (6734): 317-318. doi:10.1038/20583.
11.
Jump up^ Waterhouse DM (2006). "Parrots in a nutshell: The fossil record
of Psittaciformes
(Aves)". Historical Biology 18 (2): 227.doi:10.1080/08912960600641224.
12.
Jump up^ Suh A, Paus M, Kiefmann M, et al (2011). "Mesozoic retroposons
reveal parrots as the
closest living relatives of passerine birds".Nature Communications 2 (8): 4438. doi:10.1038/ncomms1448. PMC 3265382. PMID 21863010.
13.
Jump up^ Waterhouse, D.M.; Lindow, B.E.K.; Zelenkov, N.; Dyke, G.J. (200
8). "Two new fossil
parrots (Psittaciformes) from the Lower Eocene Fur Formation of Denmark". Palaeo
ntology 51 (3): 575582. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2008.00777.x.
14.
Jump up^ Dyke, GJ; Cooper, JH (2000). "A new psittaciform bird from the
London clay (Lower
Eocene) of England". Palaeontology 43 (2): 271-285. doi:10.1111/1475-4983.00126.
15.
Jump up^ Tavares ES, Baker AJ, Pereira SL, Miyaki CY (2006). "Phylogenet
ic relationships and
historical biogeography of neotropical parrots (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae: Ari
ni) inferred from
mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences". Syst Biol. 55 (3): 454470.doi:10.1080/10635150600697390. PMID 16861209.
16.
^ Jump up to:a b c d de Kloet, RS; de Kloet SR (2005). "The evolution of
the spindlin gene in birds:
Sequence analysis of an intron of the spindlin W and Z gene reveals four major d
ivisions of the
Psittaciformes". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36 (3): 706721.doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.03.013. PMID 16099384.
17.
^ Jump up to:a b c Tokita, M; Kiyoshi T and Armstrong KN (2007). "Evolut
ion of craniofacial
novelty in parrots through developmental modularity and heterochrony". Evolution
& Development 9 (6):
590-601. doi:10.1111/j.1525-142X.2007.00199.x. PMID 17976055.
18.
Jump up^ Burtt, E. H.; Schroeder, M. R.; Smith, L. A.; Sroka, J. E.; McG
raw, K. J.

(2010). "Colourful parrot feathers resist bacterial degradation".Biology Letters


7 (2): 214216. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0716. PMC 3061162. PMID 20926430.
19.
Jump up^ Forshaw, Joseph M.; Cooper, William T. (1978) [1973]. Parrots o
f the World (2nd ed.).
Melbourne Australia: Landsdowne Editions. p. 45.ISBN 0-7018-0690-7.
20.
Jump up^ White, Nicole E. et al. (2011). "The evolutionary history of co
ckatoos (Aves:
Psittaciformes: Cacatuidae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59 (3): 615622. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.03.011. PMID 21419232.
21.
Jump up^ Schweizer, Manuel; Seehausen, Ole and Hertwig, Stefan T. (2011)
. "Macroevolutionary
patterns in the diversification of parrots: effects of climate change, geologica
l events and key
innovations". Journal of Biogeography 38 (11): 2176-2194. doi:10.1111/j.1365-269
9.2011.02555.x.
22.
Jump up^ Joseph, Leo; Toon, Alicia; Schirtzinger, Erin E. and Wright, Ti
mothy F. (2011).
"Molecular systematics of two enigmatic genera Psittacellaand Pezoporus illumina
te the ecological radiation
of Australo-Papuan parrots (Aves: Psittaciformes)". Molecular Phylogenetics and
Evolution 59 (3): 675684. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.03.017. PMID 21453777.
23.
Jump up^ Schweizer, M.; Seehausen O, Gntert M and Hertwig ST (2009). "The
evolutionary
diversification of parrots supports a taxon pulse model with multiple trans-ocea
nic dispersal events and local
radiations". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54 (3): 98494.doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.08.021. PMID 19699808.
24.
Jump up^ Demery, Zoe P.; Chappell, J., Martin, G. R. (2011). "Vision, to
uch and object
manipulation in Senegal parrots Poicephalus senegalus". Proceedings of the Royal
Society B 278 (1725):
3687-3693. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0374. PMC 3203496.PMID 21525059.
25.
Jump up^ Brennand, Emma (2011-02-02). "Parrots prefer 'left handedness'"
. BBC Earth News.
Retrieved 5 February 2011.
26.
^ Jump up to:a b Steadman D, (2006). Extinction and Biogeography in Trop
ical Pacific Birds,
University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-77142-7pp.342-351
27.
Jump up^ Steve Baldwin. "about the Wild Parrots of Brooklyn". BrooklynPa
rrots.com. Retrieved
2013-02-27.
28.
Jump up^ Coughlan, Sean (2004-07-06). "Wild parrots settle in suburbs".
BBC News.
29.
Jump up^ "The Brussels Connection". Thebrusselsconnection.be. Retrieved
2013-02-27.
30.
^ Jump up to:a b Butler, C (2005). "Feral Parrots in the Continental Uni
ted States and United
Kingdom: Past, Present, and Future". Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 19 (2
): 142149. doi:10.1647/183.
31.
Jump up^ Sol, Daniel; Santos, David M. ; Feria, Elas & Jordi Clavell (199
7). "Habitat Selection
by the Monk Parakeet during Colonization of a New Area in Spain". Condor 99 (1):
3946. doi:10.2307/1370222. JSTOR 1370222.
32.
Jump up^ http://petbirds.gr/forum/t5395/
33.
Jump up^ http://petbirds.gr/forum/t517/
34.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Collar N (1997) "Family Psittacidae (Parrots)"

in Handbook of the Birds of


the World Volume 4; Sandgrouse to Cuckoos (eds del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargat
al, J.), Barcelona: Lynx
Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-22-9
35.
Jump up^ Diamond, J (1999). "Evolutionary biology: Dirty eating for heal
thy
living". Nature 400 (6740): 120-121. doi:10.1038/22014.PMID 10408435.
36.
Jump up^ Gartrell, B; Jones, S; Brereton, R; Astheimer, L (2000). "Morph
ological Adaptations to
Nectarivory of the Alimentary Tract of the Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor". Emu
100 (4): 274279. doi:10.1071/MU9916.
37.
Jump up^ Kea - Mountain Parrot, NHNZ. (1 hour documentary)
38.
Jump up^ Greene, Terry (1999 November/December). "Aspects of the ecology
of Antipodes
Parakeet (Cyanoramphus unicolor) and Reischek's Parakeet (C. novaezelandiae hoch
stetten) on Antipodes
Island" (PDF). Notornis (Ornithological Society of New Zealand) 46 (2): 301-310.
39.
Jump up^ Cameron 2007, p. 114.
40.
Jump up^ Rowley I (1997) "Family Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)" in Handbook of
the Birds of the
World Volume 4; Sandgrouse to Cuckoos', del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J.
(eds.) Barcelona: Lynx
Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-22-9
41.
Jump up^ Oren, David C.; Novaes, Fernando (1986). "Observations on the g
olden
parakeet Aratinga guarouba in Northern Brazil". Biological Conservation 36 (4):
329337. doi:10.1016/0006-3207(86)90008-X.
42.
Jump up^ Eberhard, J (1998). "Evolution of nest-building behavior
in Agapornis parrots" (PDF). Auk 115 (2): 455-464. doi:10.2307/4089204.
43.
Jump up^ Sanchez-Martinez, Tania; Katherine Renton (2009). "Availability
and selection of
arboreal termitaria as nest-sites by Orange-fronted Parakeets Aratinga canicular
is in conserved and modified
landscapes in Mexico". Ibis 151 (2): 311-320. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2009.00911
.x.
44.
Jump up^ Heinsohn, Robert; Murphy, Stephen & Legge, Sarah (2003). "Overl
ap and competition
for nest holes among eclectus parrots, palm cockatoos and sulphur-crested cockat
oos". Australian Journal of
Zoology 51 (1): 81-94. doi:10.1071/ZO02003.
45.
Jump up^ Pell, A; Tidemann, C (1997). "The impact of two exotic hollow-n
esting birds on two
native parrots in savannah and woodland in eastern Australia". Biological Conser
vation 79 (2): 145153. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(96)00112-7.
46.
Jump up^ Masello, J; Pagnossin, M; Sommer, C; Quillfeldt, P (2006). "Pop
ulation size,
provisioning frequency, flock size and foraging range at the largest known colon
y of Psittaciformes: the
Burrowing Parrots of the north-eastern Patagonian coastal cliffs". Emu 106 (1):
6979.doi:10.1071/MU04047.
47.
Jump up^ Eberhard, Jessica (2002). "Cavity adoption and the evolution of
coloniality in cavitynesting birds". Condor 104 (2): 240-247.doi:10.1650/00105422(2002)104[0240:CAATEO]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0010-5422.
48.
Jump up^ Forshaw, Joseph (1991). Forshaw, Joseph, ed. Encyclopaedia of A
nimals: Birds.

London: Merehurst Press. pp. 118-124. ISBN 1-85391-186-0.


49.
Jump up^ Iwaniuk, Andrew (2004-02-09). "This Bird Is No Airhead". Natura
l Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
50.
Jump up^ Beynon, Mike (April 2000). "Who's a clever bird, then?". BBC Ne
ws. Archived
from the original on 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
51.
Jump up^ Cruickshank, A; Gautier, J & Chappuis, C (1993). "Vocal mimicry
in wild African
Grey Parrots Psittacus erithacus". Ibis 135 (3): 293-299.doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X
.1993.tb02846.x.
52.
Jump up^ Gill, Victoria (18 May 2011). Parrots choose to work together.
BBC
53.
Jump up^ IUCN, Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, 2000-2004, Pa
rrots, Foreword
54.
Jump up^ Warburton, L. S.; Perrin, M. R. (2006). "The Black-cheeked Love
bird (Agapornis
nigrigenis) as an agricultural pest in Zambia". Emu 106(4): 321-328. doi:10.1071
/MU04037.
55.
Jump up^ Christian, C; Potts, T; Burnett, G; Lacher, Jr (1999). "Parrot
Conservation and
Ecotourism in the Windward Islands". Journal of Biogeography 23 (3): 387-393. do
i:10.1046/j.13652699.1996.00041.x.
56.
Jump up^ Ward, Sam (1992-12-21). "USA Snapshots: Most Popular Pets". USA
Today. Retrieved
2009-09-06.
57.
Jump up^ "Parrot". The Medieval Bestiary. 2008-02-13.
58.
Jump up^ The National Parrot Sanctuary. "The National Parrot Sanctuary Europe's Only
Dedicated Parrot Zoo". parrotsanctuary.co.uk.
59.
Jump up^ BirdLife International (2012). Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus. In:
IUCN 2012. IUCN Red
List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2
60.
Jump up^ "Stopping the Illegal Mexican Parrot Trade". Defenders of Wildl
ife. Retrieved 23
December 2007.
61.
Jump up^ Lowther, Jason; Cook, Dee; Roberts, Martin (2002-08-05). Crime
and Punishment in
the Wildlife Trade (PDF). World Wildlife Federation. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
62.
Jump up^ Boehrer, Bruce (2004). Parrot Culture. Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania
Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-3793-1.
63.
Jump up^ Craig, Robert D. (1989). Dictionary of Polynesian mythology. Gr
eenwood Publishing
Group. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-313-25890-9.
64.
Jump up^ Handy, E.S.C. (1930) Marquesan Legends, Bernice P. Bishop Museu
m Press:
Honolulu, pp. 130-1
65.
Jump up^ Craighill Handy, E.S. Aka's Voyage for Red Feathers (Marquesas
Islands). hawaii.edu
66.
Jump up^ PsittaScene Magazine. parrots.org
67.
Jump up^ Berrin, Katherine & Larco Museum (1997). The Spirit of Ancient
Peru:Treasures from
the Museo Arqueolgico Rafael Larco Herrera.New York: Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0500
018022.
68.
Jump up^ Quinion, Michael (10 June 2000). "Sick as a.". World Wide Words
. Retrieved 13
October 2011.
69.
Jump up^ Swithenbank, G. Expressions and Sayings. Retrieved 13 October 2

011.
70.
Jump up^ Behn, Aphra (1681). "The False Count". Project Gutenberg. "'Lor
d, Madam, you are as
melancholy as a sick Parrot.' 'And can you blame me, Jacinta? have I not many Re
asons to be sad?'"
71.
Jump up^ Department of Conservation (2008). "DOC's work with rainbow lor
ikeet". Retrieved
2008-07-14.
72.
Jump up^ "Natural Resources - Endangered and Threatened Species". USDA.
Retrieved 2013-0821.
73.
Jump up^ "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN. 2006. Retrieved 31
August 2007.
74.
Jump up^ Campbell, T. S. (December 2000). "The Monk Parakeet". The Insti
tute for Biological
Invasions.
75.
Jump up^ Moorhouse, Ron; Greene, Terry; Dilks, Peter; Powlesland, Ralph;
Moran, Les; Taylor,
Genevieve; Jones, Alan; Knegtmans, Jaap et al. (2002). "Control of introduced ma
mmalian predators
improves kaka Nestor meridionalis breeding success: reversing the decline of a t
hreatened New Zealand
parrot". Biological Conservation 110 (1): 33-44. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00173
-8.
76.
Jump up^ "Current homepage". The World Parrot Trust.
77.
Jump up^ "Our publications: PsittaScene Magazine". World Parrot Trust.
78.
Jump up^ Kakapo Recovery Programme (2010). "Then and Now". Kakapo Recove
ry Programme.
Retrieved 1 April 2010.
79.
Jump up^ Barr, Nicholas; Theuerkauf, Jrn; Verfaille, Ludovic ; Primot, Pie
rre and Maurice
Saoumo (2010). "Exponential population increase in the endangered Ouva Parakeet (E
unymphicus
uvaeensis) after community-based protection from nest poaching". Journal of Orni
thology151 (3):
695. doi:10.1007/s10336-010-0499-7.
80.
Jump up^ IUCN (2007). "2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species" . Downl
oaded on 14 July
2008.
81.
Jump up^ A group of 226 non-governmental organisations (2005-05-19). "Th
e European Union
Wild Bird Declaration" (PDF). www.birdsareforwatching.org.
Cited texts[edit]
*
Cameron, Matt (2007). Cockatoos. Collingwood, VIC, Australia: CSIRO Publ
ishing. ISBN 978-0-64309232-7.
External links[edit]
Find more about Parrot at Wikipedia's sister
projects
Definitions and translations from
Wiktionary
Media from Commons
Quotations from Wikiquote
Source texts from Wikisource
Textbooks from Wikibooks

Hamster
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hamster
Temporal range: Middle Miocene Current
Syrian hamster
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Rodentia
Suborder:
Myomorpha
Superfamily:
Muroidea
Family:
Cricetidae
Subfamily:
Cricetinae
Fischer de Waldheim, 1817
Genera
Mesocricetus
Phodopus
Cricetus
Cricetulus
Allocricetulus
Cansumys
Tscherskia
Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. The subfamily contai
ns about
25 species, classified in six or seven genera.[1]
Hamsters are crepuscular and remain underground during the day to avoid being ca
ught by predators.
In the wild, they feed primarily on seeds, fruits, and vegetation, and will occa
sionally eat
burrowing insects.[2] They have elongated cheek pouches extending to their shoul
ders in which they
carry food back to their burrows. Hamsters tend to sleep during the day and are
wide awake at night,
which may be irritating to some people because of their cage-biting and wheel-ru
nning.
Hamster behavior varies depending on their environment, genetics, and interactio
n with people.
Because they are easy to breed in captivity, hamsters are often used aslaborator
y animals. Hamsters
have also become established as popular small housepets,[3] and are sometimes ac
cepted even in
areas where other rodents are disliked, and their typically solitary nature can
reduce the risk of
excessive litters developing in households.

Contents
[hide]
*
1 History
o
1.1 Early literature
*
2 Etymology
*
3 Description
o
3.1 Senses
o
3.2 Diet
*
4 Behavior
o
4.1 Social behavior
o
4.2 Chronobiology
o
4.3 Burrowing behavior
*
5 Reproduction
o
5.1 Fertility
o
5.2 Gestation and fecundity
o
5.3 Intersexual aggression and cannibalism
o
5.4 Weaning
o
5.5 Longevity
*
6 Hamsters as pets
o
6.1 Gallery
*
7 Classification
o
7.1 Relationships among hamster species
*
8 Similar animals
*
9 Media depictions
*
10 See also
*
11 References
*
12 External links
History
Although the Syrian hamster or golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) was first d
escribed
scientifically by George Robert Waterhousein 1839, researchers were not able to
successfully breed
and domesticate hamsters until 1939.[3] The entire laboratory and pet population
s of Syrian hamsters
appear to be descendants of a single brother-sister pairing. These littermates w
ere captured and
imported in 1930 from Aleppo [Syria] by Israel Aharoni, a zoologist of the Unive
rsity of Jerusalem.[4] In
Jerusalem, the hamsters bred very successfully. Years later, animals of this ori
ginal breeding colony
were exported to the USA, where Syrian hamsters became one of the most popular p
ets and
laboratory animals. Comparative studies of domestic and wild Syrian hamsters hav
e shown reduced
genetic variability in the domestic strain. However, the differences in behavior
al, chronobiological,
morphometrical, hematological, and biochemical parameters are relatively small a
nd fall into the
expected range of interstrain variations in other laboratory animals.[5]
Early literature
In 1774, Friedrich Gabriel Sulzer, a companion of Johann-Wolfgang von Goethe, de
voted a whole
academic monograph in the domain of social sciences and natural history to hamst
ers, entitled "An
approach to a natural history of the hamster" ("Versuch einer Naturgeschichte de
s Hamsters"). In
several instances, he used the hamster to document the equal rights of all being
s, including Homo
sapiens.[6]
Etymology

The name "hamster" is a loanword from the German, which itself derives from earl
ier Old High
German hamustro. It is possibly related toOld Russian chom?str?, which is either
a blend of the root
of Russian khomiak "hamster" and a Baltic word (cf. Lithuanian staras"hamster")[
7] or of Persian origin
(cf. Av hama?star "oppressor").[8]
Description
Skeleton of European hamster
Hamsters are typically stout-bodied, with tails shorter than body length, and ha
ve small, furry ears,
short, stocky legs, and wide feet. They have thick, silky fur, which can be long
or short, colored black,
grey, honey, white, brown, yellow, red, or a mix, depending on the species. Two
species of hamster
belonging to the genus Phodopus, Campbell's dwarf hamster (P. campbelli) and the
Djungarian
hamster (P. sungorus), and two of the genus Cricetulus, theChinese striped hamst
er (C. barabensis)
and the Chinese hamster (C. griseus) have a dark stripe down their heads to thei
r tails. The species of
genus Phodopus are the smallest, with bodies 5.5 to 10.5 cm (2.2 to 4.1 in) long
; the largest is
the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus), measuring up to 34 cm (13.4 in) long,
not including a short
tail of up to 6 cm (2.4 in). The Angora hamster, also known as the long-haired o
r teddy bear hamster,
which is a type of the golden hamster is the second-largest hamster breed, measu
ring up to 18 cm
(7.1 in) long.[3]
A white Syrian hamster showing large incisors
The hamster tail can be difficult to see, as it is usually not very long (about
1/6 the length of the body),
with the exception of the Chinese dwarf hamster, which has a tail the same lengt
h as the body. One
rodent characteristic that can be highly visible in hamsters is their sharpincis
ors; they have an upper
pair and lower pair which grow continuously throughout life, so must be regularl
y worn down. Hamsters
are very flexible, but their bones are somewhat fragile. They are extremely susc
eptible to rapid
temperature changes and drafts, as well as extreme heat or cold.
Senses
Hamsters have poor eyesight; they are nearsighted and colorblind.[9] [10] Hamste
rs have scent glands
on their flanks (and abdomens in Chinese and dwarf hamsters) which they rubs aga
inst the substrate
leaveing a scent trail to follow to return to its home.[citation needed]Hamsters
also use their sense of smell to
identify pheromones and gender, and to locate food. They are also particularly s
ensitive to highpitched noises and can hear and communicate in the ultrasonic range.[4]
Diet
Hamsters are omnivores. Although pet hamsters can survive on a diet of exclusive
ly commercial
hamster food, other items, such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts, can be g

iven. Hamsters in the


Middle East have been known to hunt in packs to find insects for food.[11] Hamst
ers are hindgut
fermenters and eat their own feces (coprophagy) to recover nutrients digested in
the hindgut, but not
absorbed.[1]
Behavior
The dissected-out cheek pouches of aEuropean hamster
A behavioral characteristic of hamsters is food hoarding. They carry food in the
ir spacious cheek
pouches to their underground storage chambers. When full, the cheeks can make th
eir heads double,
or even triple in size.[1]
Social behavior
Hamsters fighting
Most hamsters are strictly solitary. If housed together, acute and chronic stres
s may occur,[5] and they
may fight fiercely, sometimes fatally. Some dwarf hamster species may tolerate c
onspecifics. Russian
hamsters form close, monogamous bonds with their mates, and if separated, they m
ay become very
depressed. This happens especially in males. Males will become inactive, eat mor
e, and even show
some behavioral changes similar to some types of depression in humans.[citation
needed] This can even
cause obesity in the hamster.
Chronobiology
Evidence conflicts as to whether hamsters are crepuscular or nocturnal. Khunen w
rites, "Hamsters are
nocturnal rodents who [sic] are active during the night...",[5] but others have
written that because
hamsters live underground during most of the day, only leaving their burrows abo
ut an hour before
sundown and then returning when it gets dark, their behavior is primarily crepus
cular.[citation
needed] Fritzsche indicated although some species have been observed to show mor
e nocturnal activity
than others, they are all primarily crepuscular.[4]
Wild Syrian hamsters are true hibernators and allow their body temperature to fa
ll close to ambient
temperature (but not below 20C). This kind of thermoregulation diminishes themeta
bolic rate to about
5% and helps the animal to considerably reduce the need for food during the wint
er.[5] Hamsters may
not hibernate per se, but instead reduce the rate of a number of physiological s
ystems, such as
breathing and heart rate, for short periods of time. These periods of torpor (de
fined as "a state of
mental or physical inactivity or insensibility"[12]) can last up 10 days.[citati
on needed]
Burrowing behavior
All hamsters are excellent diggers, constructing burrows with one or more entran
ces, with galleries
connected to chambers for nesting, food storage, and other activities.[1] They u
se their fore- and
hindlegs, as well as their snouts and teeth, for digging. In the wild, the burro

w buffers extreme ambient


temperatures, offers relatively stable climatic conditions, and protects against
predators. Syrian
hamsters dig their burrows generally at a depth of 0.7 m.[13] A burrow includes
a steep entrance pipe
(4 5 cm in diameter), a nesting and a hoarding chamber and a blind-ending branch f
or urination.
Laboratory hamsters have not lost their ability to dig burrows; in fact, they wi
ll do this with great vigor
and skill if they are provided with the appropriate substrate.[5]
Wild hamsters will also appropriate tunnels made by other mammals; the Djungaria
n hamster, for
instance, uses paths and burrows of the pika.[citation needed]
Reproduction
A mother Syrian hamster with pups less than one week old
Fertility
Hamsters become fertile at different ages depending on their species. Both Syria
n and Russian
hamsters mature quickly and can begin reproducing at a young age (4 5 weeks), wher
eas Chinese
hamsters will usually begin reproducing at two to three months of age, and Robor
ovskis at three to four
months of age. The female's reproductive life lasts about 18 months, but male ha
msters remain fertile
much longer. Females are in estrus about every four days, which is indicated by
a reddening of genital
areas, a musky smell, and a hissing, squeaking vocalisation she will emit if she
believes a male is
nearby.[3]
When seen from above, a sexually mature female hamster has a trim tail line; a m
ale's tail line bulges
on both sides. This might not be very visible in all species. Male hamsters typi
cally have very
large testes in relation to their body size. Before sexual maturity occurs, it i
s more difficult to determine
a young hamster's sex. When examined, female hamsters have their anal and genita
l openings close
together, whereas males have these two holes farther apart (the penis is usually
withdrawn into the
coat and thus appears as a hole or pink pimple).[3]
Gestation and fecundity
Hamsters are seasonal breeders and will produce several litters a year with seve
ral pups in each litter.
The breeding season is from April to October in the Northern Hemisphere, with tw
o to five litters of one
to 13 young being born after a gestation period of 16 to 23 days.[11]Gestation l
asts 16 to 18 days for
Syrian hamsters, 18 to 21 days for Russian hamsters, 21 to 23 days for Chinese h
amsters and 23 to
30 for Roborovski hamsters. The average litter size for Syrian hamsters is about
seven pups, but can
be as great as 24, which is the maximum number of pups that can be contained in
the
uterus. Campbell's dwarf hamsters tend to have four to eight pups in a litter, b
ut can have up to 13.
Djungarian hamsters tend to have slightly smaller litters, as do Chinese and Rob
orovski hamsters.
Intersexual aggression and cannibalism

Female Chinese and Syrian hamsters are known for being aggressive toward the mal
e if kept together
for too long after mating. In some cases, male hamsters can die after being atta
cked by the female. If
breeding hamsters, separation of the pair after mating is recommended, or they w
ill attack each other.
Female hamsters are also particularly sensitive to disturbances while giving bir
th, and may even eat
their own young if they think they are in danger, although sometimes they are ju
st carrying the pups in
their cheek pouches.[4] If captive female hamsters are left for extended periods
(three weeks or more)
with their litter, they may cannibalize the litter, so the litter must be remove
d by the time the young can
feed and drink independently.
Weaning
An adult female and several juvenile dwarf hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) feeding
Hamsters are born hairless and blind in a nest the mother will have prepared in
advance.[3] After one
week, they begin to explore outside the nest. They are completely weaned after t
hree weeks, or four
for Roborovski hamsters. Most breeders will sell the hamsters to shops when they
are three to nine
weeks old.
Longevity
Syrian hamsters typically live no more than two to three years in captivity, and
less in the wild. Russian
hamsters (Campbell's and Djungarian) live about two to four years in captivity,
and Chinese hamsters
21?2 3 years. The smaller Roborovski hamster often lives to three years in captivi
ty.[1]
Hamsters as pets
The best-known species of hamster is the golden or Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus
auratus), which is
the type most commonly kept as pets. It is also sometimes called a "fancy" hamst
er. Pet stores also
have taken to calling them "honey bears", "panda bears", "black bears", "Europea
n black bears", "polar
bears", "teddy bears", and "Dalmatian", depending on their coloration.[14] Sever
al variations, including
long-haired varieties, grow hair several centimeters long and often require spec
ial care. British
zoologist Leonard Goodwin claimed most hamsters kept in the United Kingdom were
descended from
the colony he introduced for medical research purposes during the Second World W
ar.[15]
Other hamsters kept as pets are the various species of "dwarf hamster". Campbell
's dwarf
hamster (Phodopus campbelli) is the most common they are also sometimes called "Ru
ssian
dwarfs"; however, many hamsters are from Russia, so this ambiguous name does not
distinguish them
from other species appropriately. The coat of the Djungarian or winter-white Rus
sian dwarf hamster
(Phodopus sungorus) turns almost white during winter (when the hours of daylight
decrease).[3] The Roborovski hamster (Phodopus roborovskii) is extremely small a
nd fast, making it

difficult to keep as a pet.[1] The Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus), althoug


h not technically a true
"dwarf hamster", is the only hamster with a prehensile tail (about 4 cm long)[ci
tation needed] most
hamsters have very short, nonprehensile tails.
Many breeders also show their hamsters, so breed towards producing a good, healt
hy, show hamster
with a view to keeping one or two themselves, so quality and temperament are of
vital importance
when planning the breeding.
Gallery
*
A sable, short-haired golden hamster
*
A Russian dwarf hamster
*
A Roborovski hamster
Classification
Taxonomists generally disagree about the most appropriate placement of the
subfamily Cricetinae within the superfamily Muroidea. Some place it in a family
Cricetidae that also
includes voles, lemmings, and New World rats and mice; others group all these in
to a large family
called Muridae. Their evolutionary history is recorded by 15 extinct fossil gene
ra and extends back
11.2 million to 16.4 million years to the Middle Miocene Epoch in Europe and Nor
th Africa; in Asia it
extends 6 million to 11 million years. Four of the seven living genera include e
xtinct species. One
extinct hamster of Cricetus, for example, lived in North Africa during the Middl
e Miocene, but the only
extant member of that genus is the European or common hamster of Eurasia.
*
Subfamily Cricetinae
*
Genus Allocricetulus
*
Species A. curtatus Mongolian hamster
*
Species A. eversmanni Eversmann's or Kazakh hamster
*
Genus Cansumys
*
Species C. canus Gansu hamster
*
Genus Cricetulus
*
Species C. alticola Tibetan dwarf or Ladak hamster
*
Species C. barabensis, including "C. pseudogriseus" and "C. obscurus"
Chinese striped hamster, also called Chinese hamster; striped dwarf hamster
*
Species C. griseus Chinese (dwarf) hamster, also called rat hamster
*
Species C. kamensis Kam dwarf hamster or Tibetan hamster
*
Species C. longicaudatus long-tailed dwarf hamster
*
Species C. migratorius gray dwarf hamster, Armenian hamster, migratory
grey hamster; grey hamster; migratory hamster
*
Species C. sokolovi Sokolov's dwarf hamster
*
Genus Cricetus
*
Species C. cricetus European hamster, also called common hamster or
black-bellied field hamster
*
Genus Mesocricetus golden hamsters
*
Species M. auratus golden or Syrian hamster
*
Species M. brandti Turkish hamster, also called Brandt's hamster;
Azerbaijani hamster
*
Species M. newtoni Romanian hamster
*
Species M. raddei Ciscaucasian hamster
*
Genus Phodopus dwarf hamsters

*
Species P. campbelli Campbell's dwarf hamster
*
Species P. roborovskii Roborovski hamster
*
Species P. sungorus Djungarian hamster or winter-white Russian dwarf
hamster
*
Genus Tscherskia
*
Species T. triton greater long-tailed hamster, also called Korean hamster
Relationships among hamster species
Neumann et al. (2006) conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of 12 of the a
bove 17 species
using DNA sequence from threegenes: 12S rRNA, cytochrome b, and von Willebrand f
actor. They
uncovered the following relationships:[16]
Phodopus group
The genus Phodopus was found to represent the earliest split among hamsters. The
ir analysis
included both species. The results of another study[17] suggest Cricetulus kamen
sis (and presumably
the related C. alticola) might belong to either this Phodopus group or hold a si
milar basal position.
Mesocricetus group
The genus Mesocricetus also forms a clade. Their analysis included all four spec
ies, with M.
auratus and M. raddei forming one subclade and M. brandti and M. newtoni another
.
Remaining genera
The remaining genera of hamsters formed a third major clade. Two of the three sa
mpled species
within Cricetulus represent the earliest split. This clade contains C. barabensi
s (and presumably the
related C. sokolovi) and C. longicaudatus.
Miscellaneous
The remaining clade contains members of Allocricetulus, Tscherskia, Cricetus, an
d C.
migratorius. Allocricetulus and Cricetus weresister taxa. Cricetulus migratorius
was their next closest
relative, and Tscherskia was basal.
Similar animals
Some similar rodents sometimes called "hamsters" are not currently classified in
the hamster
subfamily Cricetinae. These include the maned hamster, or crested hamster, which
is really the maned
rat (Lophiomys imhausi). Others are the mouse-like hamsters(Calomyscus spp.), an
d the white-tailed
rat (Mystromys albicaudatus).
Media depictions
A hamster called Rhino features in the 2008 animated film Bolt and the spin-off
2009 short film Super
Rhino.[18]
In "Tales of the Riverbank", narrated by Johnny Morris, the main character was H
ammy the Hamster.
See also
*
Chinchilla
*
Ebichu
*
Gerbil
*
Guinea pig
*
Hampster Dance
*
Hamster racing
*
Hamster wheel
*
Hamtaro
*
Rat

References
1.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Fox, Sue. 2006. Hamsters. T.F.H. Publications I
nc.
2.
Jump up^ Patricia Pope Bartlett ([2003). The Hamster Handbook. Barron's
Educational
Series. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-7641-2294-1.
3.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Barrie, Anmarie. 1995. Hamsters as a New Pet.
T.F.H.
Publications Inc., NJ ISBN 0-86622-610-9.
4.
^ Jump up to:a b c d Fritzsche, Peter. 2008. Hamsters: A Complete Pet Ow
ner s Manual.
Barron s Educational Series Inc., NY ISBN 0-7641-3927-4.
5.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e Kuhnen, G. (2002). Comfortable quarters for hamst
ers in research
institutions. In "Comfortable Quarters for Laboratory Animals" Eds V. Reinhardt
and A. Reinhardt.
Animal Welfare Institute, Washington DC. pp.33-37
6.
Jump up^ Friedrich Gabriel Sulzer (1774). Versuch einer Naturgeschichte
des Hamsters.
Dieterich. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
7.
Jump up^ Douglas Harper, The Online Etymology Dictionary, entry for "ham
ster"
8.
Jump up^ Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, s.v. "hamster" (29 May
2008) Merriam-Webster.com
9.
Jump up^ King, LeeAnne Engfer ; photographs by Andy (1997). My pet hamst
er &
gerbils (ed. ed.). Minneapolis: Lerner. p. 13. ISBN 0822522616.
10.
Jump up^ translated; Scott, revised by Thomas A. (1995). Concise encyclo
pedia
biology (Rev. ed.). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. p. 299.ISBN 3110106612.
11.
^ Jump up to:a b "hamster." Encyclopdia Britannica. Standard Edition. Chi
cago:
Encyclopdia Britannica, 2007.
12.
Jump up^ torpor. Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
13.
Jump up^ Gattermann, R., Fritzsche, P., Neumann, K., Al-Hussein, I., Kay
ser, A., Abiad,
M. and Yakti, R., (2001). Notes on the current distribution and ecology of wild
golden hamsters
(Mesocricetus auratus). Journal of Zoology, 254: 359-365
14.
Jump up^ "Syrian Hamsters". about.com Syrian Hamsters. 2012. Retrieved 2
012-04-05.
15.
Jump up^ "Leonard Goodwin
Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. 14 January 20
09.
Retrieved 18 January 2009.
16.
Jump up^ Neumann, K; Michaux, J; Lebedev, V; Yigit, N; Colak, E; Ivanova
, N;
Poltoraus, A; Surov, A; Markov, G (2006). "Molecular phylogeny of the Cricetinae
subfamily based
on the mitochondrial cytochrome b and 12S rRNA genes and the nuclear vWF gene".
Molecular
Phylogenetics & Evolution 39 (1): 135 48. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.01.010. PMID 16
483801.
17.
Jump up^ Lebedev, V. S., N. V. Ivanova, N. K. Pavlova, and A. B. Poltora
us. 2003.
Molecular phylogeny of the Palearctic hamsters. In Proceedings of the Internatio
nal Conference
Devoted to the 90th Anniversary of Prof. I. M. Gromov on Systematics, Phylogeny
and
Paleontology of Small Mammals (A. Averianov and N. Abramson eds.). St. Petersbur

g.
18.
Jump up^ Barnes, Brooks (14 November 2008). "The Voice Behind the Drawin
g
Board". New York Times.
Rabbit
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Bunny" redirects here. For other uses, see Bunny (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Rabbet.
For other uses, see Rabbit (disambiguation).
Rabbit
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Lagomorpha
Family:
Leporidae
in part
Genera
Pentalagus
Bunolagus
Nesolagus
Romerolagus
Brachylagus
Sylvilagus
Oryctolagus
Poelagus
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found
in several parts of
the world. There are eight different genera in the family classified as rabbits,
including the European
rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), cottontail rabbits (genusSylvilagus; 13 species)
, and the Amami
rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi, an endangered species on Amami ?shima, Japan). Ther
e are many other
species of rabbit, and these, along with pikas and hares, make up the order Lago
morpha. The male is
called a buckand the female is a doe; a young rabbit is a kitten or kit.
Contents
[hide]
*
1 Habitat and range
*
2 Biology
o
2.1 Evolution
o
2.2 Morphology
o
2.3 Ecology
o
2.4 Sleep
o
2.5 Lifespan
*
3 Diet and eating habits
*
4 Rabbit diseases

*
*
o
*
*
*
o
o
o
*
*
*
*
*
Habitat

5 Differences from hares


6 As pets
6.1 Aggression
7 As food and clothing
8 Environmental problems
9 In culture and literature
9.1 Folklore and mythology
9.2 Other fictional rabbits
9.3 Urban legends
10 Classifications
11 See also
12 References
13 Further reading
14 External links
and range

Outdoor entrance to a rabbit burrow


Rabbit habitats include meadows, woods, forests, grasslands, deserts and wetland
s.[1]Rabbits live in
groups, and the best known species, the European rabbit, lives in undergroundbur
rows, or rabbit
holes. A group of burrows is called a warren.[1]
More than half the world's rabbit population resides in North America.[1] They a
re also native to
southwestern Europe, Southeast Asia, Sumatra, some islands of Japan, and in part
s
ofAfrica and South America. They are not naturally found in most of Eurasia, whe
re a number of
species of hares are present. Rabbits first entered South America relatively rec
ently, as part of
the Great American Interchange. Much of the continent has just one species of ra
bbit, the tapeti, while
most of South America's southern cone is without rabbits.
The European rabbit has been introduced to many places around the world.[2]
Biology
A skin-skeletal preparation showing its incisors
Evolution
Because the rabbit's epiglottis is engaged over the soft palate except when swal
lowing, the rabbit is
an obligate nasal breather. Rabbits have two sets of incisor teeth, one behind t
he other. This way they
can be distinguished from rodents, with which they are often confused.[3] Carl L
innaeus originally
grouped rabbits and rodents under the class Glires; later, they were separated a
s the scientific
consensus is that many of their similarities were a result of convergent evoluti
on. However, recent
DNA analysis and the discovery of a common ancestor has supported the view that
they share a
common lineage, and thus rabbits and rodents are now often referred to together
as members of the
superclass Glires.[4]
Morphology
Video of a European rabbit, showing ears twitching and a jump
The rabbit's long ears, which can be more than 10 cm (4 in) long, are probably a

n adaptation for
detecting predators. They have large, powerful hind legs. The two front paws hav
e 5 toes, the extra
called the dewclaw. The hind feet have 4 toes.[5] They are plantigrade animals w
hile at rest; however,
they move around on their toes while running, assuming a more digitigradeform. W
ild rabbits do not
differ much in their body proportions or stance, with full, egg-shaped bodies. T
heir size can range
anywhere from 20 cm (8 in) in length and 0.4 kg in weight to 50 cm (20 in) and m
ore than 2 kg. The fur
is most commonly long and soft, with colors such as shades of brown, gray, and b
uff. The tail is a little
plume of brownish fur (white on top forcottontails).[2] Rabbits can see nearly 3
60 degrees, with a small
blind spot at the bridge of the nose.[6]
Ecology
Rabbits are hindgut digesters. This means that most of their digestion takes pla
ce in theirlarge
intestine and cecum. In rabbits the cecum is about 10 times bigger than the stom
ach and it along with
the large intestine makes up roughly 40% of the rabbit's digestive tract.[7]The
unique musculature of
the cecum allows the intestinal tract of the rabbit to separate fibrous material
from more digestible
material; the fibrous material is passed as feces, while the more nutritious mat
erial is encased in a
mucous lining as a cecotrope. Cecotropes, sometimes called "night feces", are hi
gh
in minerals, vitamins and proteins that are necessary to the rabbit's health. Ra
bbits eat these to meet
their nutritional requirements; the mucous coating allows the nutrients to pass
through the acidic
stomach for digestion in the intestines. This process allows rabbits to extract
the necessary nutrients
from their food.[8]
Rabbits are prey animals and are therefore constantly aware of their surrounding
s. For instances, in
Mediterranean Europe, rabbits are the main prey of red foxes, badgers, and Iberi
an lynxes.[9] If
confronted by a potential threat, a rabbit may freeze and observe then warn othe
rs in the warren with
powerful thumps on the ground. Rabbits have a remarkably wide field of vision, a
nd a good deal of it is
devoted to overhead scanning.[10] They survive predation by burrowing, hopping a
way in a zig-zag
motion, and, if captured, delivering powerful kicks with their hind legs. Their
strong teeth allow them to
eat and to bite in order to escape a struggle.[11]
Sleep
Further information: Sleep (non-human)
Rabbits are crepuscular, most active at dawn and dusk. The average sleep time of
a rabbit in captivity
is said to be 8.4 hours.[12] As with other prey animals, rabbits often sleep wit
h their eyes open so
sudden movements will wake the rabbit and alert it to dangers.[13]
Lifespan
A litter of rabbit kits (baby rabbits)

A nest containing baby rabbits


The expected rabbit lifespan is about 9 12 years;[14][15] the world's oldest rabbi
t on record lived 18
years.[16]
Diet and eating habits
A young rabbit looking through the grass.
Rabbits are herbivores that feed by grazing on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds. In
consequence, their
diet contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits solve
this problem by passing
two distinct types of feces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the
latter of which are known
as caecotrophs and are immediately eaten (a behaviour known as coprophagy). Rabb
its reingest their
own droppings (rather than chewing the cud as do cows and many other herbivores)
to digest their
food further and extract sufficient nutrients.[17]
Rabbits graze heavily and rapidly for roughly the first half hour of a grazing p
eriod (usually in the late
afternoon), followed by about half an hour of more selective feeding. In this ti
me, the rabbit will also
excrete many hard fecal pellets, being waste pellets that will not be reingested
. If the environment is
relatively non-threatening, the rabbit will remain outdoors for many hours, graz
ing at intervals. While
out of the burrow, the rabbit will occasionally reingest its soft, partially dig
ested pellets; this is rarely
observed, since the pellets are reingested as they are produced. Reingestion is
most common within
the burrow between 8 o'clock in the morning and 5 o'clock in the evening, being
carried out
intermittently within that period.
Hard pellets are made up of hay-like fragments of plant cuticle and stalk, being
the final waste product
after redigestion of soft pellets. These are only released outside the burrow an
d are not reingested.
Soft pellets are usually produced several hours after grazing, after the hard pe
llets have all been
excreted. They are made up of micro-organisms and undigested plant cell walls.
The chewed plant material collects in the large cecum, a secondary chamber betwe
en the large and
small intestine containing large quantities of symbiotic bacteria that help with
the digestion of cellulose
and also produce certain B vitamins. The pellets are about 56% bacteria by dry w
eight, largely
accounting for the pellets being 24.4% protein on average. These pellets remain
intact for up to six
hours in the stomach; the bacteria within continue to digest the plant carbohydr
ates. The soft feces
form here and contain up to five times the vitamins of hard feces. After being e
xcreted, they are eaten
whole by the rabbit and redigested in a special part of the stomach. This double
-digestion process
enables rabbits to use nutrients that they may have missed during the first pass
age through the gut, as
well as the nutrients formed by the microbial activity and thus ensures that max

imum nutrition is
derived from the food they eat.[2] This process serves the same purpose within t
he rabbit
as rumination does in cattle and sheep.[18]
Rabbits are incapable of vomiting.[19]
Rabbit diseases
For a more comprehensive list, see Category:Rabbit diseases.
Rabbits can be affected by a number of diseases. These include pathogens that al
so affect other
animals and/or humans, such asBordetella bronchiseptica and Escherichia coli', a
s well as diseases
unique to rabbits such as rabbit haemorrhagic disease andmyxomatosis.
Rabbits and hares are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not
been known to
transmit rabies to humans.[20]
Among the parasites that infect rabbits are tapeworms such as Taenia serialis, e
xternal parasites like
fleas and mites, coccidia species, and Toxoplasma gondii.[21][22]
Differences from hares
Main article: Hare
The most obvious difference between rabbits and hares is how their kits are born
. Rabbits are altricial,
having young that are born blind and hairless. In contrast, hares are precocial,
born with hair and good
vision. All rabbits except cottontail rabbits live underground inburrows or warr
ens, while hares live in
simple nests above the ground (as do cottontail rabbits), and usually do not liv
e in groups. Hares are
generally larger than rabbits, with longer ears, larger and longer hind legs and
have black markings on
their fur. Hares have not beendomesticated, while European rabbits are both rais
ed for meat and kept
as pets.
As pets
See also: House rabbit and Domestic rabbit
Rabbit in the snow
European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Domestic rabbits can be kept as pets in a back yard hutch or indoors in a cage o
r house trained to
have free roam. Rabbits kept indoors are often referred to as house rabbits. Hou
se rabbits typically
have an indoor pen or cage and a rabbit-safe place to run and exercise, such as
an exercise pen,
living room or family room. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box and some
can learn to come when
called. Domestic rabbits that do not live indoors can also serve as companions f
or their owners,
typically living in a protected hutch outdoors. Some pet rabbits live in runs/ar
ks during the day for the
benefit of fresh air and natural daylight and are brought inside at night.
Whether indoor or outdoor, pet rabbits' pens are often equipped with enrichment
activities such as
shelves, tunnels, balls, and other toys. Pet rabbits are often provided addition
al space in which to get
exercise, simulating the open space a rabbit would traverse in the wild. Exercis
e pens or lawn pens

are often used to provide a safe place for rabbits to run.


A pet rabbit's diet typically consists of timothy-grass or other hay, a small am
ount of pellets, and a fair
quantity of fresh vegetables. They also need unrestricted access to fresh clean
water. Rabbits are
social animals. Rabbits as pets can find their companionship with a variety of c
reatures, including
humans, other rabbits, birds, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and sometimes even cats
and dogs (however
they require supervision when with dogs and cats, as they might be preyed upon o
r attacked by these
animals). Rabbits can make good pets for younger children when proper parental s
upervision is
provided. As prey animals, rabbits are alert, timid creatures that startle fairl
y easily. They have fragile
bones, especially in their backs, that require support on the belly and bottom w
hen picked up. Older
children and teenagers usually have the maturity required to care for a rabbit.[
23]
Aggression
Rabbits may grunt, lunge and even bite or scratch. Usually they do not bite hard
enough to break skin.
Rabbits become aggressive when they feel threatened or are cornered. The House R
abbit Society
says that the owner of the pet needs to win its trust, with certain behavioral t
ools.[24]
As food and clothing
See also: Domestic rabbit
Rabbit meat sold commercially
Tanned rabbit pelt; rabbit pelt is prized for its softness.
An Australian 'Rabbiter' circa 1900
An old wooden cart, piled with rabbit skins, in New South Wales, Australia
Leporids such as European rabbits and hares are a food meat in Europe, South Ame
rica, North
America, some parts of the Middle East.
Rabbit is still sold in UK butchers and markets, and some supermarkets sell froz
en rabbit meat.
Additionally, some have begun selling fresh rabbit meat alongside other types of
game. At farmers
markets and the famous Borough Market in London, rabbits will be displayed dead
and hanging
unbutchered in the traditional style next to braces of pheasantand other small g
ame. Rabbit meat was
once commonly sold in Sydney, Australia, the sellers of which giving the name to
the rugby
league team the South Sydney Rabbitohs, but quickly became unpopular after the
disease myxomatosis was introduced in an attempt to wipe out the feral rabbit po
pulation (see
also Rabbits in Australia). Rabbit meat is also commonly used in Moroccan cuisin
e, where it is cooked
in a tajine with "raisins and grilled almonds added a few minutes before serving
".[25] Rabbit meat is

unpopular in the Asia-Pacific.


When used for food, rabbits are both hunted and bred for meat. Snares or guns ar
e usually employed
when catching wild rabbits for food. In many regions, rabbits are also bred for
meat, a practice
called cuniculture. Rabbits can then be killed by hitting the back of their head
s, a practice from which
the term rabbit punch is derived. Rabbit meat is a source of high quality protei
n.[26] It can be used in
most ways chicken meat is used. In fact, well-known chef Mark Bittman says that
domesticated
rabbit tastes like chicken because both are blank palettes upon which any desire
d flavors can be
layered.[27] Rabbit meat is leaner than beef, pork, and chicken meat. Rabbit pro
ducts are generally
labeled in three ways, the first being Fryer. This is a young rabbit between 2.0
and 2.3 kilograms (4.5
and 5 lb) and up to 9 weeks in age.[28] This type of meat is tender and fine gra
ined. The next product is
a Roaster; they are usually over 2.3 kilograms (5 lb) and up to 8 months in age.
The flesh is firm and
coarse grained and less tender than a fryer. Then there are giblets which includ
e the liver and heart.
One of the most common types of rabbit to be bred for meat is New Zealand white
rabbit.
There are several health issues associated with the use of rabbits for meat, one
of which istularemia or
rabbit fever.[29] Another is so-called rabbit starvation, due most likely to def
iciency of essential fatty
acids in rabbit meat.
Rabbit pelts are sometimes used for clothing and accessories, such as scarves or
hats.Angora
rabbits are bred for their long, fine hair, which can be sheared and harvested l
ikesheep wool. Rabbits
are very good producers of manure; additionally, their urine, being high in nitr
ogen, makes lemon trees
very productive. Their milk may also be of great medicinal or nutritional benefi
t due to its high protein
content.[30]
Environmental problems
See also: Rabbits in Australia
Rabbits have been a source of environmental problems when introduced into the wi
ld by humans. As a
result of their appetites, and the rate at which they breed, feral rabbit depred
ation can be problematic
for agriculture. Gassing, barriers (fences), shooting, snaring, and ferreting ha
ve been used to control
rabbit populations, but the most effective measures are diseases such as myxomat
osis (myxo or mixi,
colloquially) and calicivirus. In Europe, where rabbits are farmed on a large sc
ale, they are protected
against myxomatosis and calicivirus with a genetically modified virus. The virus
was developed in
Spain, and is beneficial to rabbit farmers. If it were to make its way into wild
populations in areas such
as Australia, it could create a population boom, as those diseases are the most
serious threats to
rabbit survival. Rabbits in Australia and New Zealand are considered to be such
a pest that land
owners are legally obliged to control them.[31][32]

When introduced into a new area, rabbits can overpopulate rapidly, becoming a nu
isance, as on this university
campus
European Rabbit in Shropshire, England, infected with myxomatosis, a diseasecaus
ed by the Myxoma virus
In culture and literature
See also: List of fictional hares and rabbits
Rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility or rebirth, and have long been a
ssociated
withspring and Easter as the Easter Bunny. The species' role as a prey animal al
so lends itself as a
symbol of innocence, another Easter connotation.
Additionally, rabbits are often used as symbols of playful sexuality, which also
relates to the human
perception of innocence, as well as its reputation as a prolific breeder.
Folklore and mythology
The rabbit often appears in folklore as the trickster archetype, as he uses his
cunning to outwit his
enemies.
*
In Aztec mythology, a pantheon of four hundred rabbit gods known as Cent
zon Totochtin, led
by Ometotchtli or Two Rabbit, represented fertility, parties, and drunkenness.
*
In Central Africa, the common hare (Kalulu), is "inevitably described" a
s a trickster figure.[33]
*
In Chinese folklore, rabbits accompany Chang'e on the Moon. Also associa
ted with
theChinese New Year (or Lunar New Year), rabbits are also one of the twelve cele
stial animals in
the Chinese Zodiac for the Chinese calendar. It is interesting to note that the
Vietnamese lunar
new year replaced the rabbit with a cat in their calendar, as rabbits did not in
habit Vietnam.
*
A rabbit's foot is carried as an amulet believed to bring good luck. Thi
s is found in many parts
of the world, and with the earliest use being in Europe around 600 B.C.[34]
*
In Japanese tradition, rabbits live on the Moon where they make mochi, t
he popular snack of
mashed sticky rice. This comes from interpreting the pattern of dark patches on
the moon as a
rabbit standing on tiptoes on the left pounding on an usu, a Japanese mortar (Se
e also: Moon
rabbit).
*
In Jewish folklore, rabbits (shfanim ?????) are associated with cowardic
e, a usage still current
in contemporary Israeli spokenHebrew (similar to English colloquial use of "chic
ken" to denote
cowardice).
*
In Korean mythology, like in Japanese, presents rabbits living on the mo
on making rice cakes
(Tteok in Korean).
*
In Anishinaabe traditional beliefs, held by the Ojibwe and some other Na
tive
American peoples, Nanabozho, or Great Rabbit, is an important deity related to t
he creation of the
world.
*
A Vietnamese mythological story portrays the rabbit of innocence and you

thfulness. The Gods


of the myth are shown to be hunting and killing rabbits to show off their power.
On the Isle of Portland in Dorset, UK, the rabbit is said to be unlucky and spea
king its name can cause
upset with older residents. This is thought to date back to early times in the q
uarrying industry, where
piles of extracted stone (not fit for sale) were built into tall rough walls (to
save space) directly behind
the working quarry face; the rabbit's natural tendency to burrow would weaken th
ese "walls" and cause
collapse, often resulting in injuries or even death. The name rabbit is often su
bstituted with words such
as long ears or underground mutton , so as not to have to say the actual word and bri
ng bad luck to
oneself. It is said that a public house (on the island) can be cleared of people
by calling out the word
rabbit and while this was very true in the past, it has gradually become more fa
ble than fact over the
past 50 years. See also Three hares.
Other fictional rabbits
Main article: List of fictional hares and rabbits
The rabbit as trickster appears in American popular culture; for example the Br'
er Rabbit character
from African-American folktales andDisney animation; and the Warner Bros. cartoo
n character Bugs
Bunny.
Anthropomorphized rabbits have appeared in a host of works of film, literature,
and technology,
notably the White Rabbit and the March Hare in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventure
s in Wonderland; in
the popular novels Watership Down, by Richard Adams (which has also been made in
to a
movie), Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson, as well as in Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbi
t stories and Oswald
the Lucky Rabbitfrom 1920s and 1930s cartoons.
Urban legends
Main article: Rabbit test
It was commonly believed that pregnancy tests were based on the idea that a rabb
it would die if
injected with a pregnant woman's urine. This is not true. However, in the 1920s
it was discovered that
if the urine contained the hCG, a hormone found in the bodies of pregnant women,
the rabbit would
display ovarian changes. The rabbit would then be killed to have its ovaries ins
pected, but the death of
the rabbit was not the indicator of the results. Later revisions of the test all
owed technicians to inspect
the ovaries without killing the animal. A similar test involved injecting Xenopu
s frogs to make them lay
eggs, but animal tests for pregnancy have been made obsolete by faster, cheaper,
and simpler
modern methods.
Classifications
Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
Wikimedia Commons has
media related to Rabbit
breeds.

Rabbits and hares were formerly classified in the order Rodentia (rodent) until
1912, when they were
moved into a new order Lagomorpha. This order also includes pikas.
Order Lagomorpha
*
Family Leporidae
*
Genus Pentalagus
*
Amami Rabbit/Ry?ky? Rabbit, Pentalagus furnessi
*
Genus Bunolagus
*
Bushman Rabbit, Bunolagus monticularis
*
Genus Nesolagus
*
Sumatran Striped Rabbit, Nesolagus netscheri
*
Annamite Striped Rabbit, Nesolagus timminsi
*
Genus Romerolagus
*
Volcano Rabbit, Romerolagus diazi
*
Genus Brachylagus
*
Pygmy Rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis
*
Genus Sylvilagus
*
Forest Rabbit, Sylvilagus brasiliensis
*
Dice's Cottontail, Sylvilagus dicei
*
Brush Rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani
*
San Jose Brush Rabbit, Sylvilagus mansuetus
*
Swamp Rabbit, Sylvilagus aquaticus
*
Marsh Rabbit, Sylvilagus palustris
*
Eastern Cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus
*
New England Cottontail, Sylvilagus transitionalis
*
Mountain Cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii
*
Desert Cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii
*
Omilteme Cottontail, Sylvilagus insonus
*
Mexican Cottontail, Sylvilagus cunicularis
*
Tres Marias Rabbit, Sylvilagus graysoni
*
Genus Oryctolagus
*
European Rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus
*
Genus Poelagus
*
Central African Rabbit, Poelagus marjorita
*
Three other genera in family, regarded as hares, not rabbits
See also
Rabbits and hares portal
*
Book: Pet rabbits
*
Book: Fictional
rabbits
*
Animal track
*
Dwarf rabbit
*
Hare games
*
Jackalope
*
List of animal names
*
Rabbits in the arts
*
Rabbit show jumping
References
1.
^ Jump up to:a b c "Rabbit Habitats". Retrieved 2009-07-07.
2.
^ Jump up to:a b c "rabbit". Encyclopdia Britannica (Standard ed.).
Chicago: Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc. 2007.
3.
Jump up^ Brown, Louise (2001). How to Care for Your Rabbit. Kingdom Book
s.
p. 6. ISBN 978-1-85279-167-4.
4.
Jump up^ Katherine Quesenberry & James W. Carpenter, Ferrets, Rabbits, a
nd Rodents:
Clinical Medicine and Surgery (3rd ed. 2011).
5.
Jump up^ "Rabbits: Rabbit feet". Retrieved 2010-07-13.

6.
Jump up^ http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/vision.html?1
7.
Jump up^ "Feeding the Pet Rabbit"
8.
Jump up^ Dr. Byron de la Navarre's "Care of Rabbits" Susan A. Brown, DVM
's "Overview
of Common Rabbit Diseases: Diseases Related to Diet"
9.
Jump up^ Fedriani, J.M., Palomares, F., Delibes, M (1999).23/Fedriani.pd
f "Niche
relations among three sympatric Mediterranean carnivores". Oecologia 121: 138
148.doi:10.1007/s004420050915. JSTOR 4222449.
10.
Jump up^ Tynes, Valarie V. Behavior of Exotic Pets. Wiley Blackwell, 201
0, p. 70
11.
Jump up^ Davis, Susan E. and DeMello, Margo Stories Rabbits Tell: A Natu
ral And
Cultural History of A Misunderstood Creature.Lantern Books, 2003, p. 27.
12.
Jump up^ "40 Winks?" Jennifer S. Holland, National Geographic Vol. 220,
No. 1. July
2011.
13.
Jump up^ Wright, Samantha (2011). For The Love of Parsley. A Guide To Yo
ur Rabbit's
Most Common Behaviours. Lulu. pp. 35 36.ISBN 1446791114.
14.
Jump up^ Animal Lifespans from Tesarta Online (Internet Archive)
15.
Jump up^ The Life Span of Animals from Dr Bob's All Creatures Site
16.
Jump up^ "What's the lifespan of a rabbit?". House Rabbit Society. Retri
eved 2010-0927.
17.
Jump up^ "Information for Rabbit Owners
Oak Tree Veterinary Centre".
Oaktreevet.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
18.
Jump up^ The Private Life of the Rabbit, R. M. Lockley, 1964. Chapter 10
.
19.
Jump up^ "True or False? Rabbits are physically incapable of vomiting. (
Answer to Pop
Quiz)".
20.
Jump up^ "Rabies: Other Wild Animals". Centers for Disease Control and P
revention. 15
November 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
21.
Jump up^ Wood, Maggie. "Parasites of Rabbits". Chicago Exotics, PC. Retr
ieved 8 April
2013.
22.
Jump up^ Boschert, Ken. "Internal Parasites of Rabbits". Net Vet. Retrie
ved 8 April 2013.
23.
Jump up^ "Children and Rabbits". Rabbit.org. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
24.
Jump up^ House Rabbit Society
25.
Jump up^ 'Traditional Moroccan Cooking, Recipes from Fez', by Madame Gui
nadeau.
(Serif, London, 2003). ISBN 1-897959-43-5.
26.
Jump up^ "Rabbit: From Farm to Table".
27.
Jump up^ "How to Cook Everything :: Braised Rabbit with Olives". 2008. A
rchived
from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
28.
Jump up^ Sell, Randy Rabbit. North Dakota Department of Agricultural Eco
nomics.
29.
Jump up^ "Tularemia (Rabbit fever)". Health.utah.gov. 2003-06-16. Retrie
ved 2010-0830.
30.
Jump up^ Houdebine, Louis-Marie; Fan, Jianglin (1 June 2009). Rabbit Bio
technology:
Rabbit Genomics, Transgenesis, Cloning and Models. ????????????????.
pp. 68 72.ISBN 978-90-481-2226-4. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
31.
Jump up^ "Feral animals in Australia Invasive species". Environment.gov.
au. 2010-02-

01. Retrieved 2010-08-30.


32.
Jump up^ "Rabbits
The role of government Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zeal
and".
Teara.govt.nz. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
33.
Jump up^ Brian Morris, The Power of Animals: An Ethnography, p. 177 (200
0).
34.
Jump up^ Ellis, Bill: Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popu
lar Culture
(University of Kentucky, 2004) ISBN 0-8131-2289-9
Further reading
*
Windling, Terri. The Symbolism of Rabbits and Hares
External links
Wikimedia Commons has
media related to Rabbit.
Wikibooks Cookbook has a
recipe/module on
*
Rabbit
*
American Rabbit Breeders Association organization which promotes all pha
ses of rabbit
keeping
*
House Rabbit Society an activist organization which promotes keeping rab
bits indoors.
*
RabbitShows.com an informational site on the hobby of showing rabbits.
*
The (mostly) silent language of rabbits
*
World Rabbit Science Association an international rabbit-health sciencebased organization
*
The Year of the Rabbit slideshow by Life magazine
*
House Rabbit Society- FAQ: Aggression
[show]
*
V
*
T
*
E
Extant Lagomorpha species
[show]
*
V
*
T
*
E
Game animals and shooting in the United Kingdom
[show]
*
V
*
T
*
E
Game animals and shooting in the United States
[show]
*
V
*
T
*
E
Meat
Categories:
*
Rabbits and hares

*
Herbivorous animals
*
Meat
*
Mythological rabbits and hares
Navigation menu
*
Create account
*
Log in
*
Article
*
Talk
*
Read
*
View source
*
View history
*
Main page
*
Contents
*
Featured content
*
Current events
*
Random article
*
Donate to Wikipedia
*
Wikimedia Shop
Interaction
*
Help
*
About Wikipedia
*
Community portal
*
Recent changes
*
Contact page
Tools
Print/export
Languages
*
???????
*
Arpetan
*
Avae'?
*
?????
*
Bahasa Banjar
*
??????????
*
?????????? (???????????)?
*
Bosanski
*
Catal
*
?e tina
*
ChiShona
*
Cymraeg
*
Deitsch
*
Deutsch
*
Din bizaad
*
Eesti
*
????????
*
Emilin e rumagnl
*
Esperanto
*
?????
*
Froyskt
*
Franais
*
Frysk
*
Gaeilge
*
Gidhlig
*
???/Hak-k-ng
*
Hawai`i
*
???????
*
??????
*
Hrvatski
*
Ido

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Bahasa Indonesia
Interlingua
??????/inuktitut
slenska
Italiano
?????
Basa Jawa
?????
???????
Kaszbsczi
Kreyl ayisyen
Latina
Latvie u
Lietuvi?
Lojban
Lumbaart
??????
Malti
?????
Bahasa Melayu
??????????
N?huatl
Nedersaksies
??????
???
???????
?????
??????
Picard
Polski
Portugus
Romn?
Runa Simi
???????
?????????
Scots
Sesotho sa Leboa
Shqip
Sicilianu
?????
Simple English
Soomaaliga
?????
?????? / srpski
Basa Sunda
Svenska
Tagalog
?????
??????
Tsetshesthese
Trke
??????????
????
Vneto
Ti?ng Vi?t
Walon
West-Vlams
??
??
Edit links

*
This page was last modified on 2 March 2014 at 05:03.
*
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Lice
nse; additional terms may
apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use andPrivacy Policy.
Wikipedia is a registered trademark
Turtle
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Turtle (disambiguation).
Turtles
Temporal range: Late Triassic
0Ma
Pre?
?
O
S
D
C
P
T
J
K
Pg
N

Holocene, 215

Florida box turtle Terrapene carolina


Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Reptilia
Order:
Procolophonomorpha
Clade:
Testudinata
Order:
Testudines (=Chelonii)
Linnaeus, 1758 [1]
Suborders
Cryptodira
Pleurodira
Proganochelydia
and see text
Diversity
14 extant families with ca. 300 species
blue: sea turtles, black: land turtles
Turtles are reptiles of the order Chelonii[2] or Testudines characterised by a
special bony orcartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shi
eld.[3] Turtle may refer
to the chelonian order as a whole (American English) or to fresh-water and sea-d
welling chelonians
(British English).[4]
The order Chelonii or Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct speci
es. The earliest known

turtles date from 220 million years ago,[5] making turtles one of the oldest rep
tile groups and a more
ancient group than lizards, snakes or crocodiles. Of the many speciesalive today
, some are
highly endangered.[6]
Like all other extant reptiles, turtles are ectotherms their internal temperature
varies according to the
ambient environment, commonly called cold-blooded. However, because of their hig
h metabolic
rate, leatherback sea turtles have a body temperature that is noticeably higher
than that of the
surrounding water.
Turtles are classified as amniotes, along with other reptiles (including birds)
and mammals. Like other
amniotes, turtles breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many spec
ies live in or around
water.
Contents
[hide]
*
1 Turtle, tortoise, or terrapin
*
2 Anatomy and morphology
o
2.1 Neck folding
o
2.2 Head
?
2.2.1 Intelligence
o
2.3 Shell
o
2.4 Skin and molting
o
2.5 Limbs
*
3 Ecology and life history
o
3.1 Diet
*
4 Systematics and evolution
o
4.1 Classification of turtles[40]
*
5 Fossil record
*
6 Genomics
*
7 As pets
*
8 As food, traditional medicine, and cosmetics
*
9 Conservation status
*
10 See also
*
11 Notes
*
12 References
*
13 Further reading
*
14 External links
Turtle, tortoise, or terrapin
The word chelonian is popular among veterinarians, scientists, and conservationi
sts working with
these animals as a catch-all name for any member of the superorder Chelonia, whi
ch includes all
turtles living and extinct, as well as their immediate ancestors.[citation neede
d]Chelonia is based on the
Greek word kelone,[7] for armour or interlocking shields.[8] "Turtle" may either
refer to the order as a
whole, or to particular turtles which make up a form taxon that is not monophyle
tic.
The meaning of the word turtle differs from region to region. In North America,
all chelonians are
commonly called turtles, including terrapins and tortoises.[9][10] In Great Brit
ain, the word turtle is used
for sea-dwelling species, but not for tortoises.
The term tortoise usually refers to any land-dwelling, non-swimming chelonian.[1
0] Most land-dwelling
chelonians are in the Testudinidaefamily, only one of the 14 extant turtle famil

ies.[11]
Terrapin is used to describe several species of small, edible, hard-shell turtle
s, typically those found in
brackish waters and is anAlgonquian word for turtle.[9]
Some languages do not have this problem, as all of these are referred to by the
same name. For
example, in Spanish, the word tortugais used for turtles, tortoises, and terrapi
ns. A sea-dwelling turtle
is tortuga marina, a freshwater species tortuga de rio, and a tortoisetortuga te
rrestre.[citation needed]
Anatomy and morphology
Chelonia mydas in Kona, Hawaii
The largest living chelonian is the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea
), which reaches a
shell length of 200 cm (6.6 ft) and can reach a weight of over 900 kg (2,000 lb)
. Freshwater turtles are
generally smaller, but with the largest species, the Asian softshell turtle Pelo
chelys cantorii, a few
individuals have been reported up to 200 cm (6.6 ft). This dwarfs even the bette
r-known alligator
snapping turtle, the largest chelonian in North America, which attains a shell l
ength of up to 80 cm
(2.6 ft) and weighs as much as 113.4 kg (250 lb).[12] Giant tortoises of the
genera Geochelone, Meiolania, and others were relatively widely distributed arou
nd the world into
prehistoric times, and are known to have existed in North and South America, Aus
tralia, and Africa.
They became extinct at the same time as the appearance of man, and it is assumed
humans hunted
them for food. The only survivinggiant tortoises are on the Seychelles and Galpag
os Islands, and can
grow to over 130 cm (51 in) in length, and weigh about 300 kg (660 lb).[13]
The largest ever chelonian was Archelon ischyros, a Late Cretaceous sea turtle k
nown to have been
up to 4.6 m (15 ft) long.[14]
The smallest turtle is the speckled padloper tortoise of South Africa. It measur
es no more than 8 cm
(3.1 in) in length and weighs about 140 g (4.9 oz). Two other species of small t
urtles are the
American mud turtles and musk turtles that live in an area that ranges fromCanad
a to South America.
The shell length of many species in this group is less than 13 cm (5.1 in) in le
ngth.
A red-eared slider turtle with eyes closer to the end of the head, keeping only
the nostrils and the eyes above the
water surface
African spurred tortoise in the zoo ofSharm el-Sheikh
African spurred tortoise at a zoo in theCzech Republic
Neck folding
Turtles are divided into two groups, according to how they evolved a solution to
the problem of
withdrawing their necks into their shells (something the ancestral Proganochelys

could not do):


the Cryptodira, which can draw their necks in while contracting it under their s
pine; and the Pleurodira,
which contract their necks to the side.
Head
Most turtles that spend most of their lives on land have their eyes looking down
at objects in front of
them. Some aquatic turtles, such as snapping turtles and soft-shelled turtles, h
ave eyes closer to the
top of the head. These species of turtles can hide from predators in shallow wat
er, where they lie
entirely submerged except for their eyes and nostrils. Near their eyes, sea turt
les possess glands that
produce salty tears that rid their body of excesssalt taken in from the water th
ey drink.
Turtles are thought to have exceptional night vision due to the unusually large
number of rod cells in
their retinas. Turtles have color vision with a wealth of cone subtypes with sen
sitivities ranging from the
near ultraviolet (UV A) to red. Some land turtles have very poorpursuit movement
abilities, which are
normally found only in predators that hunt quick-moving prey, but carnivorous tu
rtles are able to move
their heads quickly to snap.
Turtles have rigid beaks, and use their jaws to cut and chew food. Instead of ha
ving teeth, the upper
and lower jaws of the turtle are covered by horny ridges. Carnivorous turtles us
ually have knife-sharp
ridges for slicing through their prey. Herbivorous turtles have serrated-edged r
idges that help them cut
through tough plants. They use their tongues to swallow food, but unlike most re
ptiles, they cannot
stick out their tongues to catch food.
Intelligence
See also: Animal cognition
One study found that wood turtles were better than white rats at learning to nav
igate mazes. They are
considered to be social creatures and sometimes switch between monogamy and prom
iscuity in their
sexual behavior. Case studies also exist of turtles that have enjoyed playing.[1
5]
Shell
Main article: Turtle shell
The upper shell of the turtle is called the carapace. The lower shell that encas
es the belly is called
the plastron. The carapace and plastron are joined together on the turtle's side
s by bony structures
called bridges. The inner layer of a turtle's shell is made up of about 60 bones
that include portions of
the backbone and the ribs, meaning the turtle cannot crawl out of its shell. In
most turtles, the outer
layer of the shell is covered by horny scales calledscutes that are part of its
outer skin, or epidermis.
Scutes are made up of the fibrous protein keratin that also makes up the scales
of other reptiles.
These scutes overlap the seams between the shell bones and add strength to the s
hell. Some turtles
do not have horny scutes. For example, the leatherback sea turtle and the soft-s
helled turtles have
shells covered with leathery skin, instead.

The rigid shell means turtles cannot breathe as other reptiles do, by changing t
he volume of their chest
cavities via expansion and contraction of the ribs. Instead, they breathe in two
ways. First, they
employ buccal pumping, pulling air into their mouths, then pushing it into their
lungs via oscillations of
the floor of the throat. Secondly, when the abdominal muscles that cover the pos
terior opening of the
shell contract, the internal volume of the shell increases, drawing air into the
lungs, allowing these
muscles to function in much the same way as the mammalian diaphragm.
The shape of the shell gives helpful clues about how a turtle lives. Most tortoi
ses have a large, domeshaped shell that makes it difficult for predators to crush the shell between th
eir jaws. One of the few
exceptions is the African pancake tortoise, which has a flat, flexible shell tha
t allows it to hide in rock
crevices. Most aquatic turtles have flat, streamlined shells which aid in swimmi
ng and diving.
American snapping turtles and musk turtles have small, cross-shaped plastrons th
at give them more
efficient leg movement for walking along the bottom of ponds and streams.
The color of a turtle's shell may vary. Shells are commonly colored brown, black
, or olive green. In
some species, shells may have red, orange, yellow, or grey markings, often spots
, lines, or irregular
blotches. One of the most colorful turtles is the eastern painted turtle, which
includes a yellow plastron
and a black or olive shell with red markings around the rim.
Tortoises, being land-based, have rather heavy shells. In contrast, aquatic and
soft-shelled turtles
have lighter shells that help them avoid sinking in water and swim faster with m
ore agility. These
lighter shells have large spaces called fontanelles between the shell bones. The
shells of leatherback
sea turtles are extremely light because they lack scutes and contain many fontan
elles.
It has been suggested by Jackson (2002) that the turtle shell can function as pH
buffer. To endure
through anoxic conditions, such as winter periods trapped beneath ice or within
anoxic mud at the
bottom of ponds, turtles utilize two general physiological mechanisms. In the ca
se of prolonged periods
of anoxia, it has been shown that the turtle shell both releases carbonate buffe
rs and uptakes lactic
acid.[16]
Skin and molting
Snapping turtle tail, Blue Hills Reservation, Massachusetts
As mentioned above, the outer layer of the shell is part of the skin; each scute
(or plate) on the shell
corresponds to a single modified scale. The remainder of the skin is composed of
skin with much
smaller scales, similar to the skin of other reptiles. Turtles do not molt their
skins all at once, as snakes
do, but continuously, in small pieces. When turtles are kept in aquaria, small s
heets of dead skin can
be seen in the water (often appearing to be a thin piece of plastic) having been
sloughed off when the

animals deliberately rub themselves against a piece of wood or stone. Tortoises


also shed skin, but
dead skin is allowed to accumulate into thick knobs and plates that provide prot
ection to parts of the
body outside the shell.
By counting the rings formed by the stack of smaller, older scutes on top of the
larger, newer ones, it is
possible to estimate the age of a turtle, if one knows how many scutes are produ
ced in a year.[17] This
method is not very accurate, partly because growth rate is not constant, but als
o because some of the
scutes eventually fall away from the shell.
Limbs
Terrestrial tortoises have short, sturdy feet. Tortoises are famous for moving s
lowly, in part because of
their heavy, cumbersome shells, which restrict stride length.
Skeleton of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
Amphibious turtles normally have limbs similar to those of tortoises, except the
feet are webbed and
often have long claws. These turtles swim using all four feet in a way similar t
o the dog paddle, with
the feet on the left and right side of the body alternately providing thrust. La
rge turtles tend to swim
less than smaller ones, and the very big species, such as alligator snapping tur
tles, hardly swim at all,
preferring to walk along the bottom of the river or lake. As well as webbed feet
, turtles have very long
claws, used to help them clamber onto riverbanks and floating logs upon which th
ey bask. Male turtles
tend to have particularly long claws, and these appear to be used to stimulate t
he female while mating.
While most turtles have webbed feet, some, such as the pig-nosed turtle, have tr
ue flippers, with the
digits being fused into paddles and the claws being relatively small. These spec
ies swim in the same
way as sea turtles do (see below).
Sea turtles are almost entirely aquatic and have flippers instead of feet. Sea t
urtles fly through the
water, using the up-and-down motion of the front flippers to generate thrust; th
e back feet are not used
for propulsion, but may be used as rudders for steering. Compared with freshwate
r turtles, sea turtles
have very limited mobility on land, and apart from the dash from the nest to the
sea as hatchlings,
male sea turtles normally never leave the sea. Females must come back onto land
to lay eggs. They
move very slowly and laboriously, dragging themselves forwards with their flippe
rs.
Ecology and life history
Sea turtle swimming
Although many turtles spend large amounts of their lives underwater, all turtles
and tortoises breathe
air, and must surface at regular intervals to refill their lungs. They can also
spend much or all of their
lives on dry land. Aquatic respiration in Australian freshwater turtles is curre
ntly being studied. Some

species have large cloacal cavities that are lined with many finger-like project
ions. These projections,
called papillae, have a rich blood supply, and increase the surface area of the
cloaca. The turtles can
take up dissolved oxygen from the water using these papillae, in much the same w
ay that fish
use gills to respire.[18]
Like other reptiles, turtles lay eggs which are slightly soft and leathery. The
eggs of the largest species
are spherical, while the eggs of the rest are elongated. Their albumen is white
and contains a different
protein from bird eggs, such that it will not coagulate when cooked. Turtle eggs
prepared to eat consist
mainly of yolk. In some species, temperature determines whether an egg develops
into a male or a
female: a higher temperature causes a female, a lower temperature causes a male.
Large numbers of
eggs are deposited in holes dug into mud or sand. They are then covered and left
to incubate by
themselves. Depending on the species, the eggs will typically take 70 120 days to
hatch.[19] When the
turtles hatch, they squirm their way to the surface and head toward the water. T
here are no known
species in which the mother cares for her young.
Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry, sandy beaches. Immature sea turtles are not c
ared for by the adults.
Turtles can take many years to reach breeding age, and in many cases breed every
few years rather
than annually.
Researchers have recently discovered a turtle s organs do not gradually break down
or become less
efficient over time, unlike most other animals. It was found that the liver, lun
gs, and kidneys of a
centenarian turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its immature co
unterpart. This has
inspired genetic researchers to begin examining the turtle genome for longevity
genes.[20]
A group of turtles is known as a bale.[citation needed]
Diet
A Green sea turtle grazing on seagrass at Akumal, Mexico
A turtle's diet varies greatly depending on the environment in which it lives. A
dult turtles typically
eat aquatic plants;[citation needed] invertebrates such as insects, snails and w
orms; and have been reported
to occasionally eat dead marine animals. Several small freshwater species are ca
rnivorous, eating
small fish and a wide range of aquatic life. However, protein is essential to tu
rtle growth and juvenile
turtles are purely carnivorous.
Sea turtles typically feed on jellyfish, sponge and other soft-bodied organisms.
Some species of sea
turtle with stronger jaws have been observed to eat shellfish while some species
, such as the green
sea turtle do not eat any meat at all and, instead, have a diet largely made up
of algae.[21]
Systematics and evolution
Main article: Turtle classification
See also: List of Testudines families

Odontochelys is the oldest known turtle genus


"Chelonia" from Ernst Haeckel'sKunstformen der Natur, 1904
The first proto-turtles are believed to have existed in the late Triassic Period
of the Mesozoic era,
about 220 million years ago, and their shell, which has remained a remarkably st
able body plan, is
thought to have evolved from bony extensions of their backbones and broad ribs t
hat expanded and
grew together to form a complete shell that offered protection at every stage of
its evolution, even
when the bony component of the shell was not complete. This is supported by foss
ils of the
freshwater Odontochelys semitestacea or "half-shelled turtle with teeth", from t
he late Triassic, which
have been found nearGuangling in southwest China. Odontochelysdisplays a complet
e bony plastron
and an incomplete carapace, similar to an early stage of turtle embryonic develo
pment.[5] Prior to this
discovery, the earliest-known fossil turtles were terrestrial and had a complete
shell, offering no clue to
the evolution of this remarkable anatomical feature. By the late Jurassic, turtl
es had radiated widely,
and their fossil history becomes easier to read.
Their exact ancestry has been disputed. It was believed they are the only surviv
ing branch of the
ancient evolutionary grade Anapsida, which includes groups such
as procolophonids, millerettids, protorothyrids, and pareiasaurs. All anapsid sk
ulls lack a temporal
opening, while all other extant amniotes have temporal openings (although in mam
mals the hole has
become the zygomatic arch). The millerettids, protorothyrids, and pareiasaurs be
came extinct in the
late Permian period, and the procolophonoids during the Triassic.[22]
However, it was later suggested the anapsid-like turtle skull may be due to reve
rsion rather than to
anapsid descent. More recent morphological phylogenetic studies with this in min
d placed turtles firmly
within diapsids, slightly closer to Squamata than toArchosauria.[23][24] All mol
ecular studies have
strongly upheld the placement of turtles within diapsids; some place turtles wit
hin Archosauria,[25] or,
more commonly, as a sister group to extant archosaurs,[26][27][28][29] though an
analysis conducted by
Lyson et al.(2012) recovered turtles as the sister group of lepidosaurs instead.
[30] Reanalysis of prior
phylogenies suggests they classified turtles as anapsids both because they assum
ed this classification
(most of them studying what sort of anapsid turtles are) and because they did no
t sample fossil and
extant taxa broadly enough for constructing the cladogram. Testudines were sugge
sted to have
diverged from other diapsids between 200 and 279 million years ago, though the d
ebate is far from
settled.[23][26][31] Even the traditional placement of turtles outside Diapsida
cannot be ruled out at this
point. A combined analysis of morphological and molecular data conducted by Lee

(2001) found turtles


to be anapsids (though a relationship with archosaurs couldn't be statistically
rejected).[32] Similarly, a
morphological study conducted by Lyson et al. (2010) recovered them as anapsids
most closely
related to Eunotosaurus.[33] A molecular analysis of 248 nuclear genes from 16 v
ertebrate taxa
suggests that turtles are a sister group to birds and crocodiles (theArchosauria
).[34] The date of
separation of turtles and birds and crocodiles was estimated to be 255 million y
ears ago. The most
recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Ple
urodira and Cryptodira,
was estimated to have occurred around157 million years ago. This last estimate m
ay conflict with the
fossil record depending on whether the genus Kayentachelys, whose fossils date t
o around 190 million
years ago, is the earliest known member of Cryptodira[35] or lies outside the le
ast inclusive clade
containing Cryptodira and Pleurodira.[36][37] Through utilizing the first genomi
c-scale phylogenetic
analysis of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) to investigate the placement of turtl
es within reptiles,
Crawford et al. (2012) also suggest that turtles are a sister group to birds and
crocodiles (the
Archosauria).[38]
The first genome-wide phylogenetic analysis was completed by Wang et al. (2013).
Using the draft
genomes of Chelonia mydas andPelodiscus sinensis, the team used the largest turt
le data set to date
in their analysis and concluded that turtles are likely a sister group of crocod
ilians and birds
(Archosauria).[39] This placement within the diapsids suggests that the turtle l
ineage lost diapsid skull
characteristics as it now possesses an anapsid skull.
The earliest known fully shelled turtle is the late-Triassic Proganochelys. This
genus already
possessed many advanced turtle traits, and thus probably indicates many millions
of years of
preceding turtle evolution. It lacked the ability to pull its head into its shel
l, had a long neck, and had a
long, spiked tail ending in a club. While this body form is similar to that of a
nkylosaurs, it resulted
from convergent evolution.
Turtles are divided into two extant suborders: the Cryptodira and the Pleurodira
. The Cryptodira is the
larger of the two groups and includes all the marine turtles, the terrestrial to
rtoises, and many of the
freshwater turtles. The Pleurodira are sometimes known as the side-necked turtle
s, a reference to the
way they withdraw their heads into their shells. This smaller group consists pri
marily of various
freshwater turtles.
A two month old Hypomelantistic Snapping Turtle.
Chart of the two extant suborders, extinct groups that existed within these two
suborders are shown as well

Classification of turtles[40]
*
Incertae sedis
*
Genus Murrhardtia (a possible junior synonym of Proterochersis[41])
*
Genus Chinlechelys (Proganochelydia or basal Testudines)
*
Genus Chelycarapookus (Testudines incertae sedis)
*
Genus Chitracephalus (Testudines incertae sedis)
*
Genus Neusticemys (Testudines incertae sedis)
*
Genus Scutemys (Testudines incertae sedis)
*
Genus Odontochelys
Fossil of Proganochelys quenstedti, one of the oldest true turtles presently kno
wn. Unlike modern
Testudines, Proganochelyswas not able to hide its head under the shell.
*
Clade Testudinata
*
Genus Proganochelys
*
Family Australochelyidae
*
Genus Palaeochersis
*
Genus Australochelys
*
Genus Proterochersis
*
Genus Kayentachelys (an early member of Cryptodira[35] or a basal turtle
belonging
neither to Pleurodira nor Cryptodira[36][37])
*
Genus Condorchelys
*
Genus Indochelys
*
Genus Heckerochelys
*
Genus Eileanchelys
*
Suborder Meiolaniformes[42]
*
Genus Chubutemys[42]
*
Genus Patagoniaemys[42]
*
Family Mongolochelyidae[36][37]
*
Genus Mongolochelys[42]
*
Genus Peligrochelys[42]
*
Genus Otwayemys[42]
*
Genus Kallokibotion[42]
*
Family Meiolaniidae (horned turtles; members of Cryptodira[43] or basal
turtles belonging neither to Pleurodira nor Cryptodira[36][37])
*
Genus Chengyuchelys
*
Genus Siamochelys
*
Family Pleurosternidae
*
Genus Dorsetochelys
*
Family Baenidae
*
Family Plesiochelyidae
*
Order Testudines
*
Genus Xinjianchelys
*
Genus Hangaiemys
*
Family Thalassemydidae
*
Genus Solnhofia
*
Genus Thalassemys
*
Genus Santanachelys
*
Family Sinemydidae
*
Suborder Pleurodira
The African helmeted turtle (Pelomedusa subrufa) is a pleurodire. Pleurodires hi
de their head
sideways.
*
Family Araripemydidae
*
Superfamily Pelomedusoides
*
Family Bothremydidae

*
*
headed
*
*

Family Pelomedusidae (African sideneck turtles)


Family Podocnemididae (Madagascan bigand American sideneck river turtles)
Family Chelidae
Suborder Cryptodira

The Western Hermann's tortoise(Testudo hermanni hermanni) is acryptodire.


Cryptodires hide their head inwards.
*
Family Solemydidae
*
Infraorder Eucryptodira
*
Basal and incertae sedis
*
"Sinemys" wuerhoensis
*
Genus Judithemys
*
Genus Osteopygis
*
Genus Planetochelys
*
Genus Protochelydra
*
Genus Platysternon
*
Family Chelydridae (snapping turtles)
*
Family Eurysternidae
*
Family Macrobaenidae
*
Family Plesiochelyidae
*
Family Xinjiangchelyidae
*
Superfamily Chelonioidea (sea turtles)
Sea turtle at Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha NE
*
Family Toxochelyidae
*
Family Cheloniidae (green sea turtles and
relatives)
*
Family Dermochelyidae (leatherback sea turtles)
*
Superfamily Testudinoidea
*
Family Haichemydidae
*
Family Lindholmemydidae
*
Family Sinochelyidae
*
Family Emydidae (pond, box, and water turtles)
*
Family Geoemydidae (Asian river turtles, Asian leaf
turtles, Asian box turtles, and roofed turtles)
*
Family Testudinidae (true tortoises)
*
Superfamily Trionychoidea
*
Family Adocidae
*
Family Carettochelyidae (pignose turtles)
*
Family Dermatemydidae (river turtles)
*
Family Kinosternidae (mud turtles)
*
Family Trionychidae (softshell turtles)
Fossil record
Turtle fossils of hatchling and nestling size have been documented in the scient
ific
literature.[44] Paleontologists from North Carolina State University have found
the fossilized remains of
the world's largest turtle in a coal mine in Colombia. The specimen named asCarb
onemys cofrinii is
around 60 million years old and nearly 8 ft long.[45]
On a few rare occasions, paleontologists have succeeded in unearthing large numb
ers
of Jurassic or Cretaceous turtle skeletons accumulated in a single area (the Nem
egt Formation in
Mongolia, the Turtle Graveyard in North Dakota, or the Black Mountain Turtle Lay
er in Wyoming). The
most spectacular find of this kind to date occurred in 2009 in Shanshan County i

n Xinjiang, where over


a thousand ancient freshwater turtles apparently died after the last water hole
in an area dried out
during a major drought.[46][47]
Genomics
Turtles possess diverse chromosome numbers (2N = 28-66) and a myriad of chromoso
mal
rearrangements have occurred during evolution.[48]
As pets
Red-eared slider basking on a floating platform under a sun lamp
Turtles, particularly small terrestrial and freshwater turtles, are commonly kep
t as pets. Among the
most popular are Russian tortoises, spur-thighed tortoises, and red-eared slider
s.[49]
In the United States, due to the ease of contracting salmonellosis through casua
l contact with turtles,
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established a regulation in 1975 to
discontinue the sale
of turtles under 4 in (100 mm).[50] It is illegal in every state in the U.S. for
anyone to sell any turtles
under 4 inches (10 cm) long. Many stores and flea markets still sell small turtl
es due to a loophole in
the FDA regulation which allows turtles under 4 in (100 mm) to be sold for educa
tional purposes.[51][52]
Some states have other laws and regulations regarding possession of red-eared sl
iders as pets
because they are looked upon as invasive species or pests where they are not nat
ive, but have been
introduced through the pet trade. As of July 1, 2007, it is illegal in Florida t
o sell any wild type redeared slider. Unusual color varieties such as albino and pastel red-eared slider
s, which are derived
from captive breeding, are still allowed for sale.[53]
As food, traditional medicine, and cosmetics
Left: The window of a restaurant servingguilinggao, decorated with a ? ("turtle"
) character
Right: Turtle plastrons among other plants and animals parts are used in traditi
onal Chinese medicines. (Other
items in the image are driedlingzhi, snake, luo han guo, and ginseng)
The flesh of turtles, calipash or calipee, was, and still is, considered a delic
acy in a number of
cultures.[6] Turtle soup has been a prized dish in Anglo-American cuisine,[54]an
d still remains so in
some parts of Asia.[which?] Gopher tortoise stew was popular with some groups in
Florida.[55]
Turtles remain a part of the traditional diet on the island of Grand Cayman, so
much so that when wild
stocks became depleted, a turtle farm was established specifically to raise sea
turtles for their meat.
The farm also releases specimens to the wild as part of an effort to repopulate
the Caribbean Sea.[56]
Fat from turtles is also used in the Caribbean and in Mexico as a main ingredien
t in cosmetics,
marketed under its Spanish name crema de tortuga.[57]
Turtle plastrons (the part of the shell that covers a tortoise from the bottom)
are widely used

in traditional Chinese medicine; according to statistics, Taiwan imports hundred


s of tons of plastrons
every year.[58] A popular medicinal preparation based on powdered turtle plastro
n (and a variety of
herbs) is theguilinggao jelly;[59] these days, though, it is typically made with
only herbal ingredients.
Conservation status
In February 2011, the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group published
a report about the
top 25 species of turtles most likely to become extinct, with a further 40 speci
es at very high risk of
becoming extinct. This list excludes sea turtles, however both theleatherback an
d the Kemp's
ridley would make the top 25 list. The report is due to be updated in four years
time allowing to follow
the evolution of the list. Between 48 to 54% of all 328 of their species conside
red threatened, turtles
and tortoises are at a much higher risk of extinction than many other vertebrate
s. Of the 263 species of
freshwater and terrestrial turtles, 117 species are considered Threatened, 73 ar
e either Endangered or
Critically Endangered and 1 is Extinct. Of the 58 species belonging to the Testu
dinidae family, 33
species are Threatened, 18 are either Endangered or Critically Endangered, 1 is
Extinct in the wild and
7 species are Extinct. 71% of all tortoise species are either gone or almost gon
e. Asian species are the
most endangered, closely followed by the five endemic species from Madagascar. T
urtles face many
threats, including habitat destruction, harvesting for consumption, and the pet
trade. The high
extinction risk for Asian species is primarily due to the long-term unsustainabl
e exploitation of turtles
and tortoises for consumption and traditional Chinese medicine, and to a lesser
extent for the
international pet trade.[60]
Efforts have been made by Chinese entrepreneurs to satisfy increasing demand for
turtle meat as
gourmet food and traditional medicine with farmed turtles, instead of wild-caugh
t ones; according to a
study published in 2007, over a thousand turtle farms operated in China.[61][62]
Turtle farms
in Oklahoma and Louisiana raise turtles for export to China as well.[62]
Turtles on tree branch over a lake inNew Jersey.
Nonetheless, wild turtles continue to be caught and sent to market in large numb
er (as well as to turtle
farms, to be used as breeding stock[61]), resulting in a situation described by
conservationists as "the
Asian turtle crisis".[63] In the words of the biologist George Amato, "the amoun
t and the volume of
captured turtles... vacuumed up entire species from areas in Southeast Asia", ev
en as biologists still
did not know how many distinct turtle species live in the region.[64] About 75%
of Asia's 90 tortoise and
freshwater turtle species are estimated to have become threatened.[62]
Harvesting wild turtles is legal in a number of states in the USA.[62] In one of
these states, Florida, just
a single seafood company inFort Lauderdale was reported in 2008 as buying about

5,000 pounds
of softshell turtles a week. The harvesters (hunters) are paid about $2 a pound;
some manage to catch
as many as 30 40 turtles (500 pounds) on a good day. Some of the catch gets to the
local restaurants,
while most of it is exported to Asia. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission estimated
in 2008 that around 3,000 pounds of softshell turtles were exported each week vi
a Tampa International
Airport.[65]
Nonetheless, the great majority of turtles exported from the USA are farm raised
. According to one
estimate by the World Chelonian Trust, about 97% of 31.8 million animals harvest
ed in the U.S. over a
three-year period (November 4, 2002
November 26, 2005) were exported.[62][66] It
has been
estimated (presumably, over the same 2002 2005 period) that about 47% of the US tu
rtle exports go
toPeople's Republic of China (predominantly to Hong Kong), another 20% to Taiwan
, and 11%
to Mexico.[67][68]
See also
*

Book: Turtles

Turtles portal
*
Animal track
*
Cultural depictions of turtles and tortoises
*
Symposium on Turtle Evolution
Notes
1.
Jump up^ "Testudines". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
2.
Jump up^ Dubois & Bour 2010
3.
Jump up^ Hutchinson 1996
4.
Jump up^ "Oxford English Dictionary: Turtle".
5.
^ Jump up to:a b Li et al. 2008
6.
^ Jump up to:a b Barzyk 1999
7.
Jump up^ Stone 2006, p. 85
8.
Jump up^ Brennessel 2006, p. 10
9.
^ Jump up to:a b Ernst & Lovich 2009, p. 3
10.
^ Jump up to:a b Fergus 2007
11.
Jump up^ Iverson, Kimerling & Kiester 1999
12.
Jump up^ National Geographic 2011.
13.
Jump up^ Connor 2009
14.
Jump up^ Everhart 2012
15.
Jump up^ Angier, Natalie (December 16, 2006). "Ask Science". The New Yor
k Times.
Retrieved September 15, 2013.
16.
Jump up^ Jackson 2002
17.
Jump up^ Pet Education 2012.
18.
Jump up^ Priest & Franklin 2002
19.
Jump up^ Librarian50 (June 2007). "How long does it take turtle eggs to
hatch once the
female turtle has buried them?". Askville by Amazon. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
20.
Jump up^ Angier 2012
21.
Jump up^ "What Do Turtles Eat?". what-do-turtles-eat.info. Retrieved 31
May 2013.
22.
Jump up^ Laurin 1996
23.
^ Jump up to:a b Rieppel & DeBraga 1996
24.
Jump up^ Mller 2004

25.
Jump up^ Mannen & Li 1999
26.
^ Jump up to:a b Zardoya & Meyer 1998
27.
Jump up^ Iwabe et al. 2004
28.
Jump up^ Roos, Aggarwal & Janke 2007
29.
Jump up^ Katsu et al. 2010
30.
Jump up^ Lyson et al. 2012
31.
Jump up^ Benton 2000
32.
Jump up^ Lee 2001
33.
Jump up^ Lyson et al. 2010
34.
Jump up^ Chiari et al. 2012
35.
^ Jump up to:a b Gafney et al. 1987
36.
^ Jump up to:a b c d Joyce 2007
37.
^ Jump up to:a b c d Anquetin 2012
38.
Jump up^ Crawford et al. 2012
39.
Jump up^ Wang (27 March 2013). "The draft genomes of soft-shell turtle a
nd green sea
turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle-specific
body plan". Nature
Genetics 45(701-706). doi:10.1038/ng.2615. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
40.
Jump up^ Sterli, J.; Pol, D.; Laurin, M. (2013). "Incorporating phylogen
etic uncertainty on
phylogeny-based palaeontological dating and the timing of turtle diversification
". Cladistics 29 (3):
233.doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2012.00425.x. edit
41.
Jump up^ Gaffney, Tong & Meylan 2006
42.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Sterli, J.; de la Fuente, M. S.; Umazano, A.
M. (2013). "New
remains and new insights on the Gondwanan meiolaniform turtle Chubutemys copello
i from the
Lower Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina". Gondwana
Research.doi:10.1016/j.gr.2013.08.016. edit
43.
Jump up^ Gaffney 1996
44.
Jump up^ Tanke & Brett-Surman 2001, pp. 206 18
45.
Jump up^ Maugh II 2012
46.
Jump up^ Wings et al. 2012
47.
Jump up^ Gannon 2012
48.
Jump up^ Valenzuela & Adams 2011
49.
Jump up^ Alderton 1986
50.
Jump up^ CDC 2007.
51.
Jump up^ GCTTS 2007.
52.
Jump up^ FDA 2012.
53.
Jump up^ "Turtle ban begins today; New state law". newszap.com. 2007-0701.
Retrieved 2007-07-06.[dead link]
54.
Jump up^ Turtle Soup Recipe 1881.
55.
Jump up^ Smithonian Magazine 2001.
56.
Jump up^ "Cayman Islands Turtle Farm". Retrieved 2009-10-28.[dead link]
57.
Jump up^ NOAA 2003.
58.
Jump up^ Chen, Chang & Lue 2009
59.
Jump up^ Dharmananda 2011
60.
Jump up^ Rhodin et al. 2011
61.
^ Jump up to:a b Fish Farmer 2007.
62.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e Hylton 2007
63.
Jump up^ Cheung & Dudgeon 2006
64.
Jump up^ Amato 2007
65.
Jump up^ Pittman 2008
66.
Jump up^ World Chelonian Trust: Totals 2006.
67.
Jump up^ World Chelonian Trust: Destinations 2006.
68.
Jump up^ World Chelonian Trust: Observations 2006.
References

Alderton, D. (1986). An Interpret Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians. London


& New York:
Salamander Books. ASIN B0010NVLQS.
*
Amato, George (2007). A Conversation at the Museum of Natural History (v
ideo) (.flv). POV25.
Retrieved November 2012.. Filmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar, the creator of the film
The Chances of the
World Changing, talks to George Amato, the director of conservation genetics at
the American Museum
of Natural Historyabout turtle conservation and the relationship between evoluti
on and extinction
*
Angier, N. (December 12, 2012). "All but Ageless, Turtles Face Their Big
gest Threat: Humans".
The New York Times.
*
Anquetin, J. (2012). "Reassessment of the phylogenetic interrelationship
s of basal turtles
(Testudinata)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10 (1): 3 45.doi:10.1080/14772
019.2011.558928.
*
Barzyk, J.E. (November 1999). "Turtles in Crisis: The Asian Food Markets
". Tortoise Trust.
Retrieved November 2012.
*
Benton, M.J. (2000). Vertebrate Paleontology (2nd ed.). London: Blackwel
l Science. ISBN 0-63205614-2. (3rd ed. 2004 ISBN 0-632-05637-1)
*
Brennessel, B. (2006). Diamonds in the Marsh: A Natural History of the D
iamondback Terrapin.
UPNE. ISBN 1584655364.
*
"Turtles as Pets | CDC Healthy Pets Healthy People". Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
October 2007. Retrieved August 2012.
*
Marshall Cavendish (2001). Endangered Wildlife and Plants of the World.
ISBN 0761471944.
*
Chen, T.-H.; Chang, H.-C.; Lue, K.-Y. (2009). "Unregulated Trade in Turt
le Shells for Chinese
Traditional Medicine in East and Southeast Asia: The Case of Taiwan". Chelonian
Conservation and
Biology 8 (1): 11 18. doi:10.2744/CCB-0747.1.
*
Cheung, S.M.; Dudgeon, D. (November December 2006). "Quantifying the Asian
turtle crisis:
market surveys in southern China, 2000 2003". Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Fre
shwater
Ecosystems 16 (7): 751 770. doi:10.1002/aqc.803.
*
Chiari, Y.; Cahais, V.; Galtier, N.; Delsuc, F. (2012). "Phylogenomic an
alyses support the position
of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria)". BMC
Biol 10 (65). doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-65.
*
Connor, Michael J. (2009). "CTTC's Turtle Trivia". California Turtle & T
ortoise Club. Retrieved
March 2009.
*
Crawford, N.G.; Faircloth, B.C.; McCormack, J.E.; Brumfield, R.T.; Winke
r, K.; Glenn, T.C.
(2012). "More than 1000 ultraconserved elements provide evidence that turtles ar
e the sister group to
archosaurs". Biology Letters 8: 783 6.doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0331.
*
Dharmananda, S. (2011). "Endangered Species Issues Affecting Turtles and
Tortoises Used in
Chinese Medicine: Appendix 1, 2, and 3". Institute for Traditional Medicine. Ret
rieved November 2012.
*
Dubois, A.; Bour, R. (2010). "The distinction between family-series and
class-series nomina in

zoological nomenclature, with emphasis on the nomina created by Batsch (1788, 17


89) and on the
higher nomenclature of turtles". Bonn zoological Bulletin 57(2): 149 171. ISSN 000
6-7172.
*
Ernst, C.H.; Lovich, J.E. (2009). Turtles of the United States and Canad
a. JHU
Press. ISBN 9780801891212.
*
Everhart, Mike (2012). "Marine Turtles". Oceans of Kansas Paleontology.
Retrieved March 2009.
*
"CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21: FDA Regulation, Sec. 1240.6
2, page 678 part d1".
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2012. Retrieved November 2012.
*
Fergus, Charles (2007). Turtles: Wild Guide. Wild guide. Mechanicsburg,
PA: Stackpole books.
p. viii. ISBN 9780811734202.
*
"Turtle farms threaten rare species, experts say". Fish Farmer. 30 March
2007. Retrieved
November 2012. Their source is an article by James Parham, Shi Haitao, and two o
ther authors,
published in Feb 2007 in the journal Conservation Biology
*
Doctors Foster and Smith educational staff (2012). "Anatomy and Diseases
of the Shells of Turtles
and Tortoises". Pet Education. Retrieved March 2009.
*
Gaffney, E.S. (1996). "The postcranial morphology of Meiolania platyceps
and a review of the
Meiolaniidae". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 229: 1 166.
*
Gaffney, E.S.; Tong, H.; Meylan, P.A. (2006). "Evolution of the side-nec
ked turtles: the families
Bothremydidae, Euraxemydidae, and Araripemydidae". Bulletin of the American Muse
um of Natural
History 300: 1 698. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2006)300[1:EOTSTT]2.0.CO;2.
*
Gafney, E.; Hutchinson, H.; Jenkins, F.; Meeker, L. (1987). "Modern turt
le origins; the oldest known
cryptodire". Science 237 (4812): 289 291. doi:10.1126/science.237.4812.289.PMID 17
772056.
*
Gannon, Megan (October 31, 2012). "Jurassic turtle graveyard found in Ch
ina". Livescience.com.
*
"Isn't it against the law to sell turtles that are smaller than 4 inches
?". Gulf Coast Turtle and
Tortoise Society. November 2007. Retrieved November 2012.
*
Hylton, H. (May 8, 2007). "Keeping U.S. Turtles Out of China". Time Maga
zine. Retrieved
November 2012.There is also a copyof the article at the TSA site. Articles by Pe
ter Paul van Dijk are
mentioned as the main source.
*
Hutchinson, J. (1996). "Introduction to Testudines: The Turtles". Univer
sity of California Museum of
Paleontology.
*
Iwabe, N.; Hara, Y.; Kumazawa, Y.; Shibamoto, K.; Saito, Y.; Miyata, T.;
Katoh, K. (December
2004). "Sister group relationship of turtles to the bird-crocodilian clade revea
led by nuclear DNA-coded
proteins". Molecular Biology and Evolution 22 (4): 810
813.doi:10.1093/molbev/msi075. PMID 15625185. Retrieved December 2010.
*
Iverson, J.B.; Kimerling, A. Jon; Kiester, A. Ross (1999). "List of All
Families". Terra Cognita
Laboratory, Geosciences Department of Oregon State University. Retrieved October
2012.
*
Jackson, D. C. (2002). "Hibernating without oxygen: Physiological adapta
tions of the painted

turtle". Journal of Physiology 543: 731


7. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2002.024729. PMC 2290531.PMID 12231634.
*
Joyce, Walter G. (2007). "Phylogenetic relationships of Mesozoic turtles
". Bulletin of the Peabody
Museum of Natural History 48(1): 3 102.
*
Katsu, Y.; Braun, E. L.; Guillette, L.J. Jr.; Iguchi, T. (March 2010). "
From reptilian phylogenomics to
reptilian genomes: analyses of c-Jun and DJ-1 proto-oncogenes". Cytogenetic and
Genome
Research 127 (2 4): 79 93. doi:10.1159/000297715.PMID 20234127.
*
King, G.L.; Berrow, S.D. (2009). Marine turtles in Irish waters (Supplem
ent to the Irish Naturalists
Journal). ISBN 978-0956970404.
*
Laurin, Michel (1996). "Introduction to Procolophonoidea". University of
California Museum of
Paleontology. Retrieved March 2009.
*
Lee, M.S.Y. (2001). "Molecules, morphology, and the monophyly of diapsid
reptiles". Contributions
to Zoology 70 (1). Unknown parameter |rmid= ignored (help)
*
Li, C; Wu, XC; Rieppel, O; Wang, LT; Zhao, LJ (November 2008). "An ances
tral turtle from the Late
Triassic of southwestern China".Nature 456 (7221): 497
501. doi:10.1038/nature07533.PMID 19037315.
*
Lyson, T.R.; Sperling, E.A.; Heimberg, A.M.; Gauthier, J.A.; King, B.L.;
Peterson, K.J. (2012).
"MicroRNAs support a turtle + lizard clade". Biology Letters 8 (1): 104
107.doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0477. PMID 21775315.
*
Lyson, T.R.; Bever, G.S.; Bhullar, B.-A.S.; Joyce, W.G.; Gauthier, J.A.
(2010). "Transitional fossils
and the origin of turtles". Biology Letters 6 (6): 830 833. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.
0371.
*
Mannen, Hideyuki; Li, Steven S.-L. (October 1999). "Molecular evidence f
or a clade of
turtles". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 13 (1): 144
148. doi:10.1006/mpev.1999.0640.PMID 10508547.
*
Maugh II, T.H. (May 18, 2012). "Researchers find fossil of a turtle that
was size of a Smart car". =
Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2012.
*
Mller, Johannes (2004). "The relationships among diapsid reptiles and the
influence of taxon
selection". In Arratia, G; Wilson, M.V.H.; Cloutier, R. Recent Advances in the O
rigin and Early Radiation
of Vertebrates. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil. pp. 379 408.ISBN 978-3-89937-052-2.
*
"Alligator Snapping Turtle". nationalgeographic.com. 2011. Retrieved Aug
ust 2011.
*
"NOAA S Marine Forensics Laboratory". August 2003. Retrieved November 2012
.
*
Pittman, C. (October 9, 2008). "China Gobbling Up Florida Turtles". St.
Petersburg Times.
Retrieved November 2012.
*
Priest, Toni E.; Franklin, Craig E. (December 2002). "Effect of Water Te
mperature and Oxygen
Levels on the Diving Behavior of Two Freshwater Turtles: Rheodytes leukops and E
mydura
macquarii". Journal of Herpetology (The Society for the Study of Amphibians and
Reptiles) 36 (4): 555
561. doi:10.1043/0022-1511(2002)036(0555:EOWTAO)2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0022-1511.
*
Rieppel, O.; DeBraga, M. (1996). "Turtles as diapsid reptiles".Nature 38
4 (6608): 453
5. doi:10.1038/384453a0.

*
Rhodin, A.G.J.; Walde, A.D.; Horne, B.D.; van Dijk, P.P.; Blanck, T.; Hu
dson, R., eds.
(2011). Turtles in Trouble: The World s 25+ Most Endangered Tortoises and Freshwat
er Turtles 2011.
Lunenburg, MA: Turtle Conservation Coalition.
*
Roos, J.; Aggarwal, R.K.; Janke, A. (November 2007). "Extended mitogenom
ic phylogenetic
analyses yield new insight into crocodylian evolution and their survival of the
Cretaceous Tertiary
boundary". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (2): 663
673.doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.06.018. PMID 17719245.
*
"Gopher Tortoise Stew". Smithsonian magazine. October 2001., from Recipe
s from Another Time:
Savor the flavor of old St. Augustine and try a couple of these original recipes
*
Stone, Hector Burgos (2006). Amerika: Timeless World. Lulu.com.ISBN 1411
681444.
*
Tanke, D.H.; Brett-Surman, M.K. (2001). "Evidence of Hatchling and Nestl
ing-Size Hadrosaurs
(Reptilia:Ornithischia) from Dinosaur Provincial Park (Dinosaur Park Formation:
Campanian), Alberta,
Canada". In Tanke, D.H.; Carpenter, K. Mesozoic Vertebrate Life New Research Inspi
red by the
Paleontology of Philip J. Currie. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
*
"Old fashioned turtle soup recipe". The Household Cyclopedia of General
Information.
LoveToKnow Corp. 1881.
*
Wings, O.; Rabi, M.; Schneider, J.W.; Schwermann, L.; Sun, G.; Zhou, C.F.; Joyce, W.G.
(2012). "An enormous Jurassic turtle bone bed from the Turpan Basin of Xinjiang,
China".Naturwissenschaften: The Science of Nature 114.doi:10.1007/s00114-012-097
4-5.
*
Valenzuela, N.; Adams, D.C. (2011). "Chromosome number and sex determina
tion coevolve in
turtles". Evolution 65 (6): 1808 13.doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01258.x.
*
"Declared Turtle Trade From the United States
Totals". World Chelonian T
rust. May 2006.
Retrieved November 2012.
*
"Declared Turtle Trade From the United States: Destinations". World Chel
onian Trust. May 2006.
Retrieved November 2012. ( (Major destinations: 13,625,673 animals to Hong Kong,
1,365,687 to the
rest of the PRC, 6,238,300 to Taiwan, 3,478,275 to Mexico, and 1,527,771 to Japa
n, 945,257 to
Singapore, and 596,966 to Spain.)
*
"Declared Turtle Trade From the United States: Observations". World Chel
onian Trust. May 2006.
Retrieved November 2012.
*
Zardoya, R.; Meyer, A. (1998). "Complete mitochondrial genome suggests d
iapsid affinities of
turtles". PNAS 95 (24): 14226 14231. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.24.14226. ISSN 00278424.PMC 24355. PMID 9826682.
Further reading
*
Iskandar, DT (2000). Turtles and Crocodiles of Insular Southeast Asia an
d New Guinea.
Bandung: Palmedia
ITB.
*
Pritchard, Peter Charles Howard (1979). Encyclopedia of turtles. Neptune
, NJ: T.F.H.
Publications. ISBN 0-87666-918-6.
External links

The Wikibook Animal


Care has a page on the topic
of: Turtle
*
Data related to Testudines at Wikispecies
*
The dictionary definition of Turtle at Wiktionary
*
Media related to Turtle at Wikimedia Commons
*
Chelonian studbook Collection and display of the weights/sizes of captiv
e turtles
*
Biogeography and Phylogeny of the Chelonia (taxonomy, maps)
*
New Scientist article (including v

Dog
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the domestic dog. For related
species known as "dogs", see Canidae. For other uses, see
Dog (disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
Domestic dog
Temporal range: 0.033 0Ma
Pre??OSDCPTJKPgN
?
Pleistocene
Recent
Yellow Labrador Retriever, the most registered breed of
2009 with the AKC
Conservation status
Domesticated
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species:
C. lupus
Subspecies:
C. l. familiaris[1]
Trinomial name
Canis lupus familiaris[2]
Synonyms
Species synonymy[show]
The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)[2][3] is a
subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), a member of
the Canidae family of the mammalian order Carnivora. The
term "domestic dog" is generally used for both
domesticated and feral varieties. The dog was the first
domesticated animal[4][5] and has been the most widely
kept working, hunting, and pet animal in human
history.[citation needed] The word "dog" can also refer
to the male of a canine species,[6] as opposed to the
word "bitch" which refers to the female of the species.
Recent studies of "well-preserved remains of a dog-like
canid from the Razboinichya Cave" in the Altai Mountains
of southern Siberia concluded that a particular instance
of early wolf domestication approximately 33,000 years
ago did not result in modern dog lineages, possibly
because of climate disruption during the Last Glacial

Maximum.[4][7] The authors postulate that at least


several such incipient events have occurred. A study of
fossil dogs and wolves in Belgium, Ukraine, and Russia
tentatively dates domestication from 14,000 years ago to
more than 31,700 years ago.[8] Another recent study has
found support for claims of dog domestication between
14,000 and 16,000 years ago, with a range between 9,000
and 34,000 years ago, depending on mutation rate
assumptions.[9] Dogs' value to early human huntergatherers led to them quickly becoming ubiquitous across
world cultures. Dogs perform many roles for people, such
as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting
police and military, companionship, and, more recently,
aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human
society has given them the nickname "man's best friend"
in the Western world. In some cultures, however, dogs are
also a source of meat.[10][11] In 2001, there were
estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.[12]
Most breeds of dog are at most a few hundred years old,
having been artificially selected for particular
morphologies and behaviors by people for specific
functional roles. Through this selective breeding, the
dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and
shows more behavioral and morphological variation than
any other land mammal.[13] For example, height measured
to the withers ranges from 15.2 centimetres (6.0 in) in
the Chihuahua to about 76 cm (30 in) 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.[14] It is common
for most breeds to shed this coat.
Contents [hide]
1 Etymology and related terminology
2 Taxonomy
3 History and evolution
3.1 DNA studies
4 Roles with humans
4.1 Early roles
4.2 As pets
4.3 Work
4.4 Sports and shows
4.5 As a food source
4.6 Health risks to humans
4.7 Health benefits for humans
4.8 Shelters
5 Biology
5.1 Senses
5.1.1 Vision
5.1.2 Hearing
5.1.3 Smell
5.2 Physical characteristics
5.2.1 Coat
5.2.2 Tail
5.3 Types and breeds
5.4 Health
5.4.1 Mortality
5.4.2 Predation
5.5 Diet

5.5.1 Foods toxic to dogs


5.6 Reproduction
5.7 Neutering
5.8 Communication
6 Intelligence and behavior
6.1 Intelligence
6.2 Behavior
6.3 Dog growl
7 Differences from wolves
7.1 Physical characteristics
7.2 Behavioral differences
7.3 Trainability
8 Cultural depictions
8.1 Mythology
8.2 Gallery of dogs in art
9 See also
10 References
11 Bibliography
12 External links
Etymology and related terminology
Dog is the common use term that refers to members of the
subspecies Canis lupus familiaris (canis, "dog"; lupus,
"wolf"; familiaris, "of a household" or "domestic"). The
term can also be used to refer to a wider range of
related species, such as the members of the genus Canis,
or "true dogs", including the wolf, coyote, and jackals,
or it can refer to the members of the tribe Canini, which
would also include the African wild dog, or it can be
used to refer to any member of the family Canidae, which
would also include the foxes, bush dog, raccoon dog, and
others.[15] Some members of the family have dog in their
common names, such as the raccoon dog and the African
wild dog. A few animals have dog in their common names
but are not canids, such as the prairie dog.
The English word dog comes from Middle English dogge,
from Old English docga, a "powerful dog breed".[16] The
term may possibly derive from Proto-Germanic *dukkon,
represented in Old English finger-docce ("fingermuscle").[17] The word also shows the familiar petname
diminutive -ga also seen in frogga "frog", picga "pig",
stagga "stag", wicga "beetle, worm", among others.[18]
The term dog may ultimately derive from the earliest
layer of Proto-Indo-European vocabulary, reflecting the
role of the dog as the earliest domesticated animal.[19]
In 14th-century England, hound (from Old English: hund)
was the general word for all domestic canines, and dog
referred to a subtype of hound, a group including the
mastiff. It is believed this "dog" type was so common, it
eventually became the prototype of the category
"hound".[20] By the 16th century, dog had become the
general word, and hound had begun to refer only to types
used for hunting.[21] Hound, cognate to German Hund,
Dutch hond, common Scandinavian hund, and Icelandic
hundur, is ultimately derived from the Proto-IndoEuropean *kwon- "dog", found in Sanskrit kukuur
(???????),[22] Welsh ci (plural cwn), Latin canis, Greek
kon, and Lithuanian u.[23]
In breeding circles, a male canine is referred to as a
dog, while a female is called a bitch (Middle English

bicche, from Old English bicce, ultimately from Old Norse


bikkja). A group of offspring is a litter. The father of
a litter is called the sire, and the mother is called the
dam. Offspring are, in general, called pups or puppies,
from French poupe, until they are about a year old. The
process of birth is whelping, from the Old English word
hwelp (cf. German Welpe, Dutch welp, Swedish valpa,
Icelandic hvelpur).[24] The term "whelp" can also be used
to refer to the young of any canid, or as a (somewhat
archaic) alternative to "puppy".
Taxonomy
In 1753, the father of modern biological taxonomy, Carl
Linnaeus, listed among the types of quadrupeds familiar
to him, the Latin word for dog, canis. Among the species
within this genus, Linnaeus listed the fox, as Canis
vulpes, wolves (Canis lupus), and the domestic dog,
(Canis canis). In later editions, Linnaeus dropped Canis
canis and greatly expanded his list of the Canis genus of
quadrupeds, and by 1758 included alongside the foxes,
wolves, and jackals and many more terms that are now
listed as synonyms for domestic dog, including aegyptius
(hairless dog), aquaticus, (water dog), and mustelinus
(literally "badger dog"). Among these were two that later
experts have been widely used for domestic dogs as a
species: Canis domesticus and, most predominantly, Canis
familiaris, the "common" or "familiar" dog.[25]
The domestic dog was accepted as a species in its own
right until overwhelming evidence from behavior,
vocalizations, morphology, and molecular biology led to
the contemporary scientific understanding that a single
species, the gray wolf, is the common ancestor for all
breeds of domestic dogs.[26][27][28] In recognition of
this fact, the domestic dog was reclassified in 1993 as
Canis lupus familiaris, a subspecies of the gray wolf
Canis lupus, by the Smithsonian Institution and the
American Society of Mammalogists. C. l. familiaris is
listed as the name for the taxon that is broadly used in
the scientific community and recommended by ITIS,
although Canis familiaris is a recognised synonym.[29]
Since that time, C. domesticus and all taxa referring to
domestic dogs or subspecies of dog listed by Linnaeus,
Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1792, and Christian Smith in
1839, lost their subspecies status and have been listed
as taxonomic synonyms for Canis lupus familiaris.[30]
History and evolution

Domestic dogs are descended from gray wolves.


Main articles: Origin of the domestic dog and Gray wolf
Domestic dogs inherited complex behaviors from their wolf
ancestors, which would have been pack hunters with
complex body language. These sophisticated forms of
social cognition and communication may account for their
trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human
households and social situations, and these attributes
have given dogs a relationship with humans that has
enabled them to become one of the most successful species
on the planet today.[26]

Although experts largely disagree over the details of dog


domestication, it is agreed that human interaction played
a significant role in shaping the subspecies.[31]
Domestication may have occurred initially in separate
areas, particularly Siberia and Europe. Currently it is
thought domestication of our current lineage of dog
occurred sometime as early as 15,000 years ago and
arguably as late as 8500 years ago. Shortly after the
latest domestication, dogs became ubiquitous in human
populations, and spread throughout the world.
Emigrants from Siberia likely crossed the Bering Strait
with dogs in their company, and some experts[32] suggest
the use of sled dogs may have been critical to the
success of the waves that entered North America roughly
12,000 years ago,[32] although the earliest
archaeological evidence of dog-like canids in North
America dates from about 9,400 years ago.[33][34] Dogs
were an important part of life for the Athabascan
population in North America, and were their only
domesticated animal. Dogs also carried much of the load
in the migration of the Apache and Navajo tribes 1,400
years ago. Use of dogs as pack animals in these cultures
often persisted after the introduction of the horse to
North America.[35]
The current consensus among biologists and archaeologists
is that the dating of first domestication is
indeterminate,[31][35] although more recent evidence
shows isolated domestication events as early as 33,000
years ago.[36][37] There is conclusive evidence the
present lineage of dogs genetically diverged from their
wolf ancestors at least 15,000 years
ago,[38][39][40][41][42] but some believe domestication
to have occurred earlier.[31] Evidence is accruing that
there were previous domestication events, but that those
lineages died out.[43]
It is not known whether humans domesticated the wolf as
such to initiate dog's divergence from its ancestors, or
whether dog's evolutionary path had already taken a
different course prior to domestication. For example, it
is hypothesized that some wolves gathered around the
campsites of paleolithic camps to scavenge refuse, and
associated evolutionary pressure developed that favored
those who were less frightened by, and keener in
approaching, humans.[44]
The bulk of the scientific evidence for the evolution of
the domestic dog stems from morphological studies of
archaeological findings and mitochondrial DNA studies.
The divergence date of roughly 15,000 years ago is based
in part on archaeological evidence that demonstrates the
domestication of dogs occurred more than 15,000 years
ago,[26][35] and some genetic evidence indicates the
domestication of dogs from their wolf ancestors began in
the late Upper Paleolithic close to the
Pleistocene/Holocene boundary, between 17,000 and 14,000
years ago.[45] But there is a wide range of other,
contradictory findings that make this issue
controversial.[citation needed] There are findings
beginning currently at 33,000 years ago distinctly
placing them as domesticated dogs evidenced not only by
shortening of the muzzle but widening as well as crowding

of teeth.
Tesem, an old Egyptian sighthound-like dog.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the latest point at
which dogs could have diverged from wolves was roughly
15,000 years ago, although it is possible they diverged
much earlier.[26] In 2008, a team of international
scientists released findings from an excavation at Goyet
Cave in Belgium declaring a large, toothy canine existed
31,700 years ago and ate a diet of horse, musk ox and
reindeer.[46]
Prior to this Belgian discovery, the earliest dog bones
found were two large skulls from Russia and a mandible
from Germany dated from roughly 14,000 years ago.[26][40]
Remains of smaller dogs from Natufian cave deposits in
the Middle East, including the earliest burial of a human
being with a domestic dog, have been dated to around
10,000 to 12,000 years ago.[40][47] There is a great deal
of archaeological evidence for dogs throughout Europe and
Asia around this period and through the next two thousand
years (roughly 8,000 to 10,000 years ago), with specimens
uncovered in Germany, the French Alps, and Iraq, and cave
paintings in Turkey.[26] The oldest remains of a
domesticated dog in the Americas were found in Texas and
have been dated to about 9,400 years ago.[48]
DNA studies
A basenji, one of the earliest domesticated breeds.
DNA studies have provided a wide range of possible
divergence dates, from 15,000 to 40,000 years ago,[40] to
as much as 100,000 to 140,000 years ago.[49] These
results depend on a number of assumptions.[26] Genetic
studies are based on comparisons of genetic diversity
between species, and depend on a calibration date. Some
estimates of divergence dates from DNA evidence use an
estimated wolf coyote divergence date of roughly 700,000
years ago as a calibration.[50] If this estimate is
incorrect, and the actual wolf coyote divergence is
closer to one or two million years ago, or more,[51] then
the DNA evidence that supports specific dog wolf
divergence dates would be interpreted very differently.
Furthermore, it is believed the genetic diversity of
wolves has been in decline for the last 200 years, and
that the genetic diversity of dogs has been reduced by
selective breeding. This could significantly bias DNA
analyses to support an earlier divergence date. The
genetic evidence for the domestication event occurring in
East Asia is also subject to violations of assumptions.
These conclusions are based on the location of maximal
genetic divergence, and assume hybridization does not
occur, and that breeds remain geographically localized.
Although these assumptions hold for many species, there
is good reason to believe that they do not hold for
canines.[26]
Genetic analyses indicate all dogs are likely descended
from a handful of domestication events with a small
number of founding females,[26][45] although there is
evidence domesticated dogs interbred with local

populations of wild wolves on several occasions.[40] Data


suggest dogs first diverged from wolves in East Asia, and
these domesticated dogs then quickly migrated throughout
the world, reaching the North American continent around
8000 BC.[40] The oldest groups of dogs, which show the
greatest genetic variability and are the most similar to
their wolf ancestors, are primarily Asian and African
breeds, including the Basenji, Lhasa Apso, and Siberian
Husky.[52] Some breeds thought to be very old, such as
the Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound, and Norwegian Elkhound,
are now known to have been created more recently.[52]
A great deal of controversy surrounds the evolutionary
framework for the domestication of dogs.[26] Although it
is widely claimed that "man domesticated the wolf,"[53]
man may not have taken such a proactive role in the
process.[26] The nature of the interaction between man
and wolf that led to domestication is unknown and
controversial. At least three early species of the Homo
genus began spreading out of Africa roughly 400,000 years
ago, and thus lived for a considerable time in contact
with canine species.[26]

Ancient Greek rhyton in the shape of a dog's head, made


by Brygos, early 5th century BC. Jrme Carcopino Museum,
Department of Archaeology, Aleria
Despite this, there is no evidence of any adaptation of
canine species to the presence of the close relatives of
modern man. If dogs were domesticated, as believed,
roughly 15,000 years ago, the event (or events) would
have coincided with a large expansion in human territory
and the development of agriculture. This has led some
biologists to suggest one of the forces that led to the
domestication of dogs was a shift in human lifestyle in
the form of established human settlements. Permanent
settlements would have coincided with a greater amount of
disposable food and would have created a barrier between
wild and anthropogenic canine populations.[26]
In 2013 Thalmann, Krause and coworkers revised the view
that dog ancestors came from East Asia and showed using
DNA analysis that "all dogs living today go back to four
genetic lineages, all of which originate in Europe." [54]
Their data indicated that bonding between humans and dog
occurred between 19,000 and 30,000 years ago, likely in
the context of hunting.[54]
Roles with humans

A Siberian Husky used as a pack animal


A German Shepherd with a football
Early roles
Wolves, and their dog descendants, would have derived
significant benefits from living in human camps more
safety, more reliable food, lesser caloric needs, and
more chance to breed.[55] They would have benefited from
humans' upright gait that gives them larger range over

which to see potential predators and prey, as well as


color vision that, at least by day, gives humans better
visual discrimination.[55] Camp dogs would also have
benefitted from human tool use, as in bringing down
larger prey and controlling fire for a range of
purposes.[55]
Humans would also have derived enormous benefit from the
dogs associated with their camps.[56] For instance, dogs
would have improved sanitation by cleaning up food
scraps.[56] Dogs may have provided warmth, as referred to
in the Australian Aboriginal expression "three dog night"
(an exceptionally cold night), and they would have
alerted the camp to the presence of predators or
strangers, using their acute hearing to provide an early
warning.[56]
Anthropologists believe the most significant benefit
would have been the use of dogs' sensitive sense of smell
to assist with the hunt.[56] The relationship between the
presence of a dog and success in the hunt is often
mentioned as a primary reason for the domestication of
the wolf, and a 2004 study of hunter groups with and
without a dog gives quantitative support to the
hypothesis that the benefits of cooperative hunting was
an important factor in wolf domestication.[57]
The cohabitation of dogs and humans would have greatly
improved the chances of survival for early human groups,
and the domestication of dogs may have been one of the
key forces that led to human success.[58]
As pets
Couple sitting on the lawn with a pet British Bulldog
A British Bulldog shares a day at the park.
A young male border terrier with a raccoon toy.
"The most widespread form of interspecies bonding occurs
between humans and dogs"[56] and the keeping of dogs as
companions, particularly by elites, has a long
history.[59] However, pet dog populations grew
significantly after World War II as suburbanization
increased.[59] In the 1950s and 1960s, dogs were kept
outside more often than they tend to be today[60] (using
the expression "in the doghouse" to describe exclusion
from the group signifies the distance between the
doghouse and the home) and were still primarily
functional, acting as a guard, children's playmate, or
walking companion. From the 1980s, there have been
changes in the role of the pet dog, such as the increased
role of dogs in the emotional support of their human
guardians.[61] People and dogs have become increasingly
integrated and implicated in each other's lives,[62] to
the point where pet dogs actively shape the way a family
and home are experienced.[63]
There have been two major trends in the changing status
of pet dogs. The first has been the 'commodification' of
the dog, shaping it to conform to human expectations of
personality and behaviour.[63] The second has been the
broadening of the concept of the family and the home to
include dogs-as-dogs within everyday routines and
practices.[63]

There are a vast range of commodity forms available to


transform a pet dog into an ideal companion.[64] The list
of goods, services and places available is enormous: from
dog perfumes, couture, furniture and housing, to dog
groomers, therapists, trainers and caretakers, dog cafes,
spas, parks and beaches, and dog hotels, airlines and
cemeteries.[64] While dog training as an organized
activity can be traced back to the 18th century, in the
last decades of the 20th century it became a high profile
issue as many normal dog behaviors such as barking,
jumping up, digging, rolling in dung, fighting, and urine
marking[further explanation needed] became increasingly
incompatible with the new role of a pet dog.[65] Dog
training books, classes and television programs
proliferated as the process of commodifying the pet dog
continued.[66]
An Australian Cattle Dog in reindeer antlers sits on
Santa's lap
A pet dog taking part in Christmas traditions
The majority of contemporary people with dogs describe
their pet as part of the family,[63] although some
ambivalence about the relationship is evident in the
popular reconceptualization of the dog human family as a
pack.[63] A dominance model of dog human relationships
has been promoted by some dog trainers, such as on the
television program Dog Whisperer. However it has been
disputed that "trying to achieve status" is
characteristic of dog human interactions.[67] Pet dogs
play an active role in family life; for example, a study
of conversations in dog human families showed how family
members use the dog as a resource, talking to the dog, or
talking through the dog, to mediate their interactions
with each other.[68]
Another study of dogs' roles in families showed many dogs
have set tasks or routines undertaken as family members,
the most common of which was helping with the washing-up
by licking the plates in the dishwasher, and bringing in
the newspaper from the lawn.[63] Increasingly, human
family members are engaging in activities centered on the
perceived needs and interests of the dog, or in which the
dog is an integral partner, such as Dog Dancing and
Doga.[64]
According to the statistics published by the American Pet
Products Manufacturers Association in the National Pet
Owner Survey in 2009 2010, it is estimated there are 77.5
million people with pet dogs in the United States.[69]
The same survey shows nearly 40% of American households
own at least one dog, of which 67% own just one dog, 25%
two dogs and nearly 9% more than two dogs. There does not
seem to be any gender preference among dogs as pets, as
the statistical data reveal an equal number of female and
male dog pets. Yet, although several programs are
undergoing to promote pet adoption, less than a fifth of
the owned dogs come from a shelter.
The latest study using Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
to humans and dogs together proved that dogs have same
response of voices and use the same parts of brain as
humans and made dogs understand of emotional human
voices, made the dogs as friendly social pets to

humans.[70]
Work
Dogs have lived and worked with humans in so many roles
that they have earned the unique nickname, "man's best
friend",[71] a phrase used in other languages as well.
They have been bred for herding livestock,[72] hunting
(e.g. pointers and hounds),[73] rodent control,[3]
guarding, helping fishermen with nets, detection dogs,
and pulling loads, in addition to their roles as
companions.[3] In 1957, a husky-terrier mix named Laika
became the first animal to orbit the Earth.[74][75]
Book of the Hunt, Gaston III, Count of Foix, 1387 88.
Service dogs such as guide dogs, utility dogs, assistance
dogs, hearing dogs, and psychological therapy dogs
provide assistance to individuals with physical or mental
disabilities.[76][77] Some dogs owned by epileptics have
been shown to alert their handler when the handler shows
signs of an impending seizure, sometimes well in advance
of onset, allowing the guardian to seek safety,
medication, or medical care.[78]
Dogs included in human activities in terms of helping out
humans are usually called working dogs. Dogs of several
breeds are considered working dogs. Some working dog
breeds include Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Anatolian
Shepherd Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Black Russian
Terrier, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, Dogue de
Bordeaux, German Pinscher, German Shepherd,[79] Giant
Schnauzer, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Great Swiss
Mountain Dog, Komondor, Kuvasz, Mastiff, Neapolitan
Mastiff, Newfoundland, Portuguese Water Dog, Rottweiler,
Saint Bernard, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Standard
Schnauzer, and Tibetan Mastiff.
Sports and shows
See also: Conformation show
People often enter their dogs in competitions[80] such as
breed-conformation shows or sports, including racing,
sledding and agility competitions.
In conformation shows, also referred to as breed shows, a
judge familiar with the specific dog breed evaluates
individual purebred dogs for conformity with their
established breed type as described in the breed
standard. As the breed standard only deals with the
externally observable qualities of the dog (such as
appearance, movement, and temperament), separately tested
qualities (such as ability or health) are not part of the
judging in conformation shows.
As a food source
Main article: Dog meat
Gaegogi (dog meat) stew being served in a Korean
restaurant
Dog meat is consumed in some East Asian countries,
including Korea, China, and Vietnam, a practice that
dates back to antiquity.[81] It is estimated that 13 16
million dogs are killed and consumed in Asia every
year.[82] The BBC claims that, in 1999, more than 6,000
restaurants served soups made from dog meat in South

Korea.[83] In Korea, the primary dog breed raised for


meat, the nureongi (???), differs from those breeds
raised for pets that Koreans may keep in their homes.[84]
The most popular Korean dog dish is gaejang-guk (also
called bosintang), a spicy stew meant to balance the
body's heat during the summer months; followers of the
custom claim this is done to ensure good health by
balancing one's gi, or vital energy of the body. A 19th
century version of gaejang-guk explains that the dish is
prepared by boiling dog meat with scallions and chili
powder. Variations of the dish contain chicken and bamboo
shoots. While the dishes are still popular in Korea with
a segment of the population, dog is not as widely
consumed as beef, chicken, and pork.[85]
A CNN report in China dated March 2010 includes an
interview with a dog meat vendor who stated that most of
the dogs that are available for selling to restaurants
are raised in special farms but that there is always a
chance that a sold dog is someone's lost pet, although
dog pet breeds are not considered edible.[86]
Other cultures, such as Polynesia and pre-Columbian
Mexico, also consumed dog meat in their history. However,
Western, South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern
cultures, in general, regard consumption of dog meat as
taboo. In some places, however, such as in rural areas of
Poland, dog fat is believed to have medicinal properties
being good for the lungs for instance.[87] Dog meat is
also consumed in some parts of Switzerland.[88]
Health risks to humans
Main article: Dog attack
Pet waste station at a government building.
It is estimated that 4.7 million people are bitten by
dogs each year.[89] In the 1980s and 1990s the US
averaged 17 fatalities per year, while in the 2000s this
has increased to 26.[90] 77% of dog bites are from the
pet of family or friends, and 50% of attacks occur on the
property of the dog's legal owner.[90]
A Colorado study found bites in children were less severe
than bites in adults.[91] The incidence of dog bites in
the US is 12.9 per 10,000 inhabitants, but for boys aged
5 to 9, the incidence rate is 60.7 per 10,000. Moreover,
children have a much higher chance to be bitten in the
face or neck.[92] Sharp claws with powerful muscles
behind them can lacerate flesh in a scratch that can lead
to serious infections.[93]
In the UK between 2003 and 2004, there were 5,868 dog
attacks on humans, resulting in 5,770 working days lost
in sick leave.[94]
In the United States, cats and dogs are a factor in more
than 86,000 falls e
Health benefits for humans
Small dog laying between the hands
A human cuddles a Doberman puppy.
The scientific evidence is mixed as to whether
companionship of a dog can enhance human physical health
and psychological wellbeing.[103] Studies suggesting that

there are benefits to physical health and psychological


wellbeing[104] have been criticised for being poorly
controlled,[105] and finding that "[t]he health of
elderly people is related to their health habits and
social supports but not to their ownership of, or
attachment to, a companion animal." Earlier studies have
shown that people who keep pet dogs or cats exhibit
better mental and physical health than those who do not,
making fewer visits to the doctor and being less likely
to be on medication than non-guardians.[106]
A 2005 paper states "recent research has failed to
support earlier findings that pet ownership is associated
with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a reduced
use of general practitioner services, or any
psychological or physical benefits on health for
community dwelling older people. Research has, however,
pointed to significantly less absenteeism from school
through sickness among children who live with pets."[103]
In one study, new guardians reported a highly significant
reduction in minor health problems during the first month
following pet acquisition, and this effect was sustained
in those with dogs through to the end of the study.[107]
In addition, people with pet dogs took considerably more
physical exercise than those with cats and those without
pets. The group without pets exhibited no statistically
significant changes in health or behaviour. The results
provide evidence that keeping pets may have positive
effects on human health and behaviour, and that for
guardians of dogs these effects are relatively longterm.[107] Pet guardianship has also been associated with
increased coronary artery disease survival, with human
guardians being significantly less likely to die within
one year of an acute myocardial infarction than those who
did not own dogs.[108]
Gunnar Kaasen and Balto, the lead dog on the last relay
team of the 1925 serum run to Nome.
The health benefits of dogs can result from contact with
dogs in general, and not solely from having dogs as pets.
For example, when in the presence of a pet dog, people
show reductions in cardiovascular, behavioral, and
psychological indicators of anxiety.[109] Other health
benefits are gained from exposure to immune-stimulating
microorganisms, which, according to the hygiene
hypothesis, can protect against allergies and autoimmune
diseases. The benefits of contact with a dog also include
social support, as dogs are able to not only provide
companionship and social support themselves, but also to
act as facilitators of social interactions between
humans.[110] One study indicated that wheelchair users
experience more positive social interactions with
strangers when they are accompanied by a dog than when
they are not.[111]
The practice of using dogs and other animals as a part of
therapy dates back to the late 18th century, when animals
were introduced into mental institutions to help
socialize patients with mental disorders.[112] Animalassisted intervention research has shown that animalassisted therapy with a dog can increase social

behaviors, such as smiling and laughing, among people


with Alzheimer's disease.[113] One study demonstrated
that children with ADHD and conduct disorders who
participated in an education program with dogs and other
animals showed increased attendance, increased knowledge
and skill objectives, and decreased antisocial and
violent behavior compared to those who were not in an
animal-assisted program.[114]
Shelters
Main article: Animal shelter
Every year, between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats enter
US animal shelters.[115] The Humane Society of the United
States (HSUS) estimates that approximately 3 to 4 million
of those dogs and cats are euthanized yearly in the
United States.[116] However, the percentage of dogs in US
animal shelters that are eventually adopted and removed
from the shelters by their new legal owners has increased
since the mid-1990s from around 25% to a 2012 average of
40% among reporting shelters[117] (and many shelters
reporting 60 75%).[118]
Biology
Main article: Dog anatomy
Lateral view of a dog's bone structure.
Domestic dogs have been selectively bred for millennia
for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical
attributes.[3] Modern dog breeds show more variation in
size, appearance, and behavior than any other domestic
animal. Nevertheless, their morphology is based on that
of their wild ancestors, gray wolves.[3] Dogs are
predators and scavengers, and like many other predatory
mammals, the dog has powerful muscles, fused wrist bones,
a cardiovascular system that supports both sprinting and
endurance, and teeth for catching and tearing.
Dogs are highly variable in height and weight. The
smallest known adult dog was a Yorkshire Terrier, that
stood only 6.3 cm (2.5 in) at the shoulder, 9.5 cm (3.7
in) in length along the head-and-body, and weighed only
113 grams (4.0 oz). The largest known dog was an English
Mastiff which weighed 155.6 kg (343 lb) and was 250 cm
(98 in) from the snout to the tail.[119] The tallest dog
is a Great Dane that stands 106.7 cm (42.0 in) at the
shoulder.[120]
Senses
This article may be expanded with text translated from
the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (March
2013)
Click [show] on the right to read important instructions
before translating.[show]
Vision
Dog's visual colour perception compared with humans.
Like most mammals, dogs are dichromats and have color
vision equivalent to red green color blindness in humans
(deuteranopia).[121][122][123][124] So, dogs can see blue
and yellow, but difficult to differentiate red and green

because dogs only have two spectral types of cones


photoreceptors, while normal humans have three cones. And
dogs use color instead of brightness to differentiate
light or dark blue/yellow.[125] Dogs are less sensitive
to differences in grey shades than humans and also can
detect brightness at about half the accuracy of
humans.[126]
The dog's visual system has evolved to aid proficient
hunting.[121] While a dog's visual acuity is poor (that
of a poodle's has been estimated to translate to a
Snellen rating of 20/75[121]), their visual
discrimination for moving objects is very high; dogs have
been shown to be able to discriminate between humans
(e.g., identifying their human guardian) at a range of
between 800 and 900 m, however this range decreases to
500 600 m if the object is stationary.[121]
Dogs have a temporal resolution of between 60 and 70 Hz,
which explains why many dogs struggle to watch
television, as most such modern screens are optimized for
humans at 50 60 Hz.[126] Dogs can detect a change in
movement that exists in a single diopter of space within
their eye. Humans, by comparison, require a change of
between 10 and 20 diopters to detect movement.[127][128]
As crepuscular hunters, dogs often rely on their vision
in low light situations: They have very large pupils, a
high density of rods in the fovea, an increased flicker
rate, and a tapetum lucidum.[121] The tapetum is a
reflective surface behind the retina that reflects light
to give the photoreceptors a second chance to catch the
photons. There is also a relationship between body size
and overall diameter of the eye. A range of 9.5 and 11.6
mm can be found between various breeds of dogs. This 20%
variance can be substantial and is associated as an
adaptation toward superior night vision.[129]
The eyes of different breeds of dogs have different
shapes, dimensions, and retina configurations.[130] Many
long-nosed breeds have a "visual streak" a wide foveal
region that runs across the width of the retina and gives
them a very wide field of excellent vision. Some longmuzzled breeds, in particular, the sighthounds, have a
field of vision up to 270 (compared to 180 for humans).
Short-nosed breeds, on the other hand, have an "area
centralis": a central patch with up to three times the
density of nerve endings as the visual streak, giving
them detailed sight much more like a human's. Some broadheaded breeds with short noses have a field of vision
similar to that of humans.[122][123]
Most breeds have good vision, but some show a genetic
predisposition for myopia such as Rottweilers, with
which one out of every two has been found to be
myopic.[121] Dogs also have a greater divergence of the
eye axis than humans, enabling them to rotate their
pupils farther in any direction. The divergence of the
eye axis of dogs ranges from 12 25 depending on the
breed.[127]
Experimentation has proven that dogs can distinguish
between complex visual images such as that of a cube or a
prism. Dogs also show attraction to static visual images
such as the silhouette of a dog on a screen, their own
reflections, or videos of dogs; however, their interest

declines sharply once they are unable to make social


contact with the image.[131]
Hearing
The physiology of a dog ear.
Transformation of the ears of a huskamute puppy in 6 days
The frequency range of dog hearing is approximately 40 Hz
to 60,000 Hz,[132] which means that dogs can detect
sounds far beyond the upper limit of the human auditory
spectrum.[123][132][133] In addition, dogs have ear
mobility, which allows them to rapidly pinpoint the exact
location of a sound.[134] Eighteen or more muscles can
tilt, rotate, raise, or lower a dog's ear. A dog can
identify a sound's location much faster than a human can,
as well as hear sounds at four times the distance.[134]
Smell
The wet, textured nose of a dog
While the human brain is dominated by a large visual
cortex, the dog brain is dominated by an olfactory
cortex.[121] The olfactory bulb in dogs is roughly forty
times bigger than the olfactory bulb in humans, relative
to total brain size, with 125 to 220 million smellsensitive receptors.[121] The bloodhound exceeds this
standard with nearly 300 million receptors.[121]
Consequently, it has been estimated that dogs, in
general, have an olfactory sense ranging from one hundred
thousand to one million times more sensitive than a
human's. In some dog breeds, such as bloodhounds, the
olfactory sense may be up to 100 million times greater
than a human's.[135] The wet nose, or rhinarium, is
essential for determining the direction of the air
current containing the smell. Cold receptors in the skin
are sensitive to the cooling of the skin by evaporation
of the moisture by air currents.[136]
Physical characteristics
Main article: Dog anatomy
Coat
Main article: Coat (dog)
A heavy winter coat with countershading in a mixed-breed
dog
The coats of domestic dogs are of two varieties: "double"
being common with dogs (as well as wolves) originating
from colder climates, made up of a coarse guard hair and
a soft down hair, or "single", with the topcoat only.
Domestic dogs often display the remnants of
countershading, a common natural camouflage pattern. A
countershaded animal will have dark coloring on its upper
surfaces and light coloring below,[137] which reduces its
general visibility. Thus, many breeds will have an
occasional "blaze", stripe, or "star" of white fur on
their chest or underside.[138]
Tail
See also: Docking

There are many different shapes for dog tails: straight,


straight up, sickle, curled, or cork-screw. As with many
canids, one of the primary functions of a dog's tail is
to communicate their emotional state, which can be
important in getting along with others. In some hunting
dogs, however, the tail is traditionally docked to avoid
injuries.[139] In some breeds, such as the Braque du
Bourbonnais, puppies can be born with a short tail or no
tail at all.[140]
Types and breeds
Main article: Dog breed
Further information: Dog type
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels demonstrate with-breed
variation.
While all dogs are genetically very similar,[40] natural
selection and selective breeding have reinforced certain
characteristics in certain populations of dogs, giving
rise to dog types and dog breeds. Dog types are broad
categories based on function, genetics, or
characteristics.[141] Dog breeds are groups of animals
that possess a set of inherited characteristics that
distinguishes them from other animals within the same
species. Modern dog breeds are non-scientific
classifications of dogs kept by modern kennel clubs.
Purebred dogs of one breed are genetically
distinguishable from purebred dogs of other breeds,[52]
but the means by which kennel clubs classify dogs is
unsystematic. Systematic analyses of the dog genome has
revealed only four major types of dogs that can be said
to be statistically distinct.[52] These include the "old
world dogs" (e.g., Malamute and Shar Pei), "Mastiff"-type
(e.g., English Mastiff), "herding"-type (e.g., Border
Collie), and "all others" (also called "modern"- or
"hunting"-type).[52][142]
Health
Main articles: Dog health and CVBD
Dogs are susceptible to various diseases, ailments, and
poisons, some of which can affect humans. To defend
against many common diseases, dogs are often vaccinated.
There are many household plants that are poisonous to
dogs, such as poinsettias, begonia and aloe vera.[143]
Some breeds of dogs are prone to certain genetic ailments
such as elbow or hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness,
pulmonic stenosis, cleft palate, and trick knees. Two
serious medical conditions particularly affecting dogs
are pyometra, affecting unspayed females of all types and
ages, and bloat, which affects the larger breeds or deepchested dogs. Both of these are acute conditions, and can
kill rapidly. Dogs are also susceptible to parasites such
as fleas, ticks, and mites, as well as hookworm,
tapeworm, roundworm, and heartworm.
Dogs are highly susceptible to theobromine poisoning,
typically from ingestion of chocolate. Theobromine is
toxic to dogs because, although the dog's metabolism is
capable of breaking down the chemical, the process is so
slow that even small amounts of chocolate can be fatal,
especially dark chocolate.
Dogs are also vulnerable to some of the same health

conditions as humans, including diabetes, dental and


heart disease, epilepsy, cancer, hypothyroidism, and
arthritis.[144]
Mortality
A mixed-breed terrier. Mixed-breed dogs are generally
healthier than pure-breds.
Main article: Aging in dogs
The typical lifespan of dogs varies widely among breeds,
but for most the median longevity, the age at which half
the dogs in a population have died and half are still
alive, ranges from 10 to 13 years.[145][146][147][148]
Individual dogs may live well beyond the median of their
breed.
The breed with the shortest lifespan (among breeds for
which there is a questionnaire survey with a reasonable
sample size) is the Dogue de Bordeaux, with a median
longevity of about 5.2 years, but several breeds,
including Miniature Bull Terriers, Bloodhounds, and Irish
Wolfhounds are nearly as short-lived, with median
longevities of 6 to 7 years.[148]
The longest-lived breeds, including Toy Poodles, Japanese
Spitz, Border Terriers, and Tibetan Spaniels, have median
longevities of 14 to 15 years.[148] The median longevity
of mixed-breed dogs, taken as an average of all sizes, is
one or more years longer than that of purebred dogs when
all breeds are averaged.[146][147][148][149] The dog
widely reported to be the longest-lived is "Bluey", who
died in 1939 and was claimed to be 29.5 years old at the
time of his death; however, the Bluey record is anecdotal
and unverified.[150] On 5 December 2011, Pusuke, the
world's oldest living dog recognized by Guinness Book of
World Records, died aged 26 years and 9 months.[151]
Predation
Although wild dogs, like wolves, are apex predators, they
can be killed in territory disputes with wild
animals.[152] Furthermore, in areas where both dogs and
other large predators live, dogs can be a major food
source for big cats or canines. Reports from Croatia
indicate wolves kill dogs more frequently than they kill
sheep. Wolves in Russia apparently limit feral dog
populations. In Wisconsin, more compensation has been
paid for dog losses than livestock.[152] Some wolf pairs
have been reported to prey on dogs by having one wolf
lure the dog out into heavy brush where the second animal
waits in ambush.[153] In some instances, wolves have
displayed an uncharacteristic fearlessness of humans and
buildings when attacking dogs, to the extent that
they[which?] have to be beaten off or killed.[154]
Coyotes and big cats have also been known to attack dogs.
Leopards in particular are known to have a predilection
for dogs, and have been recorded to kill and consume them
regardless of the dog's size or ferocity.[155] Tigers in
Manchuria, Indochina, Indonesia, and Malaysia are reputed
to kill dogs with the same vigor as leopards.[156]
Striped Hyenas are major predators of village dogs in
Turkmenistan, India, and the Caucasus.[157] Reptiles such
as alligators and pythons have been known to kill and eat
dogs.

Diet
See also: Dog food
Golden Retriever gnawing a pig's foot
Despite their descent from wolves and classification as
Carnivora, dogs are variously described in scholarly and
other writings as carnivores[158][159] or
omnivores.[3][160][161][162] Unlike obligate carnivores,
such as the cat family with its shorter small intestine,
dogs can adapt to a wide-ranging diet, and are not
dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level
of protein in order to fulfill their basic dietary
requirements. Dogs will healthily digest a variety of
foods, including vegetables and grains, and can consume a
large proportion of these in their diet.[3] Compared to
their wolf ancestors, dogs have adaptations in genes
involved in starch digestion that contribute to an
increased ability to thrive on a starch-rich diet.[163]
Foods toxic to dogs
This article may be expanded with text translated from
the corresponding article in the Catalan Wikipedia.
(September 2013)
Click [show] on the right to read important instructions
before translating.[show]
A number of common human foods and household ingestibles
are toxic to dogs, including chocolate solids
(theobromine poisoning), onion and garlic (thiosulphate,
sulfoxide or disulfide poisoning),[164] grapes and
raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol,[165] as well as various
plants and other potentially ingested
materials.[166][167] The nicotine in tobacco can also be
dangerous. Dogs can get it by scavenging in garbage or
ashtrays; eating cigars and cigarettes. Signs can be
vomiting of large amounts (e.g., from eating cigar butts)
or diarrhea. Some other signs are abdominal pain, loss of
coordination, collapse, or death. To solve, soothe the
stomach irritation by giving charcoal tablets. For severe
signs, get immediate veterinary attention. [168]
Reproduction
Main article: Canine reproduction
In domestic dogs, sexual maturity begins to happen around
age six to twelve months for both males and
females,[3][169] although this can be delayed until up to
two years old for some large breeds. This is the time at
which female dogs will have their first estrous cycle.
They will experience subsequent estrous cycles
biannually, during which the body prepares for pregnancy.
At the peak of the cycle, females will come into estrus,
being mentally and physically receptive to copulation.[3]
Because the ova survive and are capable of being
fertilized for a week after ovulation, it is possible for
a female to mate with more than one male.[3]
2 5 days post conception fertilization occurs, 14 16 days
embryo attaches to uterus 22 23 days heart beat is
detectable.[170][171]
Dogs bear their litters roughly 58 to 68 days after
fertilization,[3][172] with an average of 63 days,
although the length of gestation can vary. An average

litter consists of about six puppies,[173] though this


number may vary widely based on the breed of dog. In
general, toy dogs produce from one to four puppies in
each litter, while much larger breeds may average as many
as twelve.
Some dog breeds have acquired traits through selective
breeding that interfere with reproduction. Male French
Bulldogs, for instance, are incapable of mounting the
female. For many dogs of this breed, the female must be
artificially inseminated in order to reproduce.[174]
Neutering
Globe icon.
The examples and perspective in this article deal
primarily with the United States and do not represent a
worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this
article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (March
2012)
A feral dog from Sri Lanka nursing her four puppies
Neutering refers to the sterilization of animals, usually
by removal of the male's testicles or the female's
ovaries and uterus, in order to eliminate the ability to
procreate and reduce sex drive. Because of the
overpopulation of dogs in some countries, many animal
control agencies, such as the American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), advise that
dogs not intended for further breeding should be
neutered, so that they do not have undesired puppies that
may have to later be euthanized.[175]
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 3 4
million dogs and cats are put down each year in the
United States and many more are confined to cages in
shelters because there are many more animals than there
are homes. Spaying or castrating dogs helps keep
overpopulation down.[176] Local humane societies, SPCAs,
and other animal protection organizations urge people to
neuter their pets and to adopt animals from shelters
instead of purchasing them.
Neutering reduces problems caused by hypersexuality,
especially in male dogs.[177] Spayed female dogs are less
likely to develop some forms of cancer, affecting mammary
glands, ovaries, and other reproductive organs.[178]
However, neutering increases the risk of urinary
incontinence in female dogs,[179] and prostate cancer in
males,[180] as well as osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma,
cruciate ligament rupture, obesity, and diabetes mellitus
in either sex.[181]
Communication
By the age of four weeks, the dog has developed the
majority of its vocalizations.[182] The dog is the most
vocal canid and is unique in its tendency to bark in a
myriad of situations.[182]
Barking appears to have little more communication
functions than excitement, fighting, the presence of a
human, or simply because other dogs are barking.[182]
Subtler signs such as discreet bodily and facial
movements, body odors, whines, yelps, and growls are the
main sources of actual communication.[182] The majority
of these subtle communication techniques are employed at

a close proximity to another, but for long-range


communication only barking and howling are employed.[182]
Intelligence and behavior
Intelligence
Main article: Dog intelligence
The Border Collie is considered to be one of the most
intelligent breeds.[183]
The domestic dog has a predisposition to exhibit a social
intelligence that is uncommon in the animal world.[121]
Dogs are capable of learning in a number of ways, such as
through simple reinforcement (e.g., classical or operant
conditioning) and by observation.[121]
Dogs go through a series of stages of cognitive
development. As with humans, the understanding that
objects not being actively perceived still remain in
existence (called object permanence) is not present at
birth. It develops as the young dog learns to interact
intentionally with objects around it, at roughly 8 weeks
of age.[121]
Puppies learn behaviors quickly by following examples set
by experienced dogs.[121] This form of intelligence is
not peculiar to those tasks dogs have been bred to
perform, but can be generalized to myriad abstract
problems. For example, Dachshund puppies that watched an
experienced dog pull a cart by tugging on an attached
piece of ribbon in order to get a reward from inside the
cart learned the task fifteen times faster than those
left to solve the problem on their own.[121][184]
Dogs can also learn by mimicking human behaviors. In one
study, puppies were presented with a box, and shown that,
when a handler pressed a lever, a ball would roll out of
the box. The handler then allowed the puppy to play with
the ball, making it an intrinsic reward. The pups were
then allowed to interact with the box. Roughly three
quarters of the puppies subsequently touched the lever,
and over half successfully released the ball, compared to
only 6% in a control group that did not watch the human
manipulate the lever.[185] Another study found that
handing an object between experimenters who then used the
object's name in a sentence successfully taught an
observing dog each object's name, allowing the dog to
subsequently retrieve the item.[186]
Sergeant Stubby wearing his uniform and medals. Stubby
participated in four offensives and 17 battles.
Dogs also demonstrate sophisticated social cognition by
associating behavioral cues with abstract meanings.[121]
One such class of social cognition involves the
understanding that others are conscious agents. Research
has shown that dogs are capable of interpreting subtle
social cues, and appear to recognize when a human or
dog's attention is focused on them. To test this,
researchers devised a task in which a reward was hidden
underneath one of two buckets. The experimenter then
attempted to communicate with the dog to indicate the
location of the reward by using a wide range of signals:

tapping the bucket, pointing to the bucket, nodding to


the bucket, or simply looking at the bucket.[187] The
results showed that domestic dogs were better than
chimpanzees, wolves, and human infants at this task, and
even young puppies with limited exposure to humans
performed well.[121]
Psychology research has shown that humans' gaze
instinctively moves to the left in order to watch the
right side of a person's face, which is related to use of
right hemisphere brain for facial recognition, including
human facial emotions. Research at the University of
Lincoln (2008) shows that dogs share this instinct when
meeting a human being, and only when meeting a human
being (i.e., not other animals or other dogs). As such
they are the only non-primate species known to do
so.[188][189]
Stanley Coren, an expert on dog psychology, states that
these results demonstrated the social cognition of dogs
can exceed that of even our closest genetic relatives,
and that this capacity is a recent genetic acquisition
that distinguishes the dog from its ancestor, the
wolf.[121] Studies have also investigated whether dogs
engaged in partnered play change their behavior depending
on the attention-state of their partner.[190] Those
studies showed that play signals were only sent when the
dog was holding the attention of its partner. If the
partner was distracted, the dog instead engaged in
attention-getting behavior before sending a play
signal.[190]
Coren has also argued that dogs demonstrate a
sophisticated theory of mind by engaging in deception,
which he supports with a number of anecdotes, including
one example wherein a dog hid a stolen treat by sitting
on it until the rightful owner of the treat left the
room.[121] Although this could have been accidental,
Coren suggests that the thief understood that the treat's
owner would be unable to find the treat if it were out of
view. Together, the empirical data and anecdotal evidence
points to dogs possessing at least a limited form of
theory of mind.[121][190] Similar research has been
performed by Brian Hare of Duke University, who has shown
that dogs outperform both great apes as well as wolves
raised by humans in reading human communicative
signals.[191][192]
A study found a third of dogs suffered from anxiety when
separated from others.[193]
A border collie named Chaser has learned the names for
1,022 toys after three years of training, so many that
her trainers have had to mark the names of the objects
lest they forget themselves. This is higher than Rico,
another border collie who could remember at least 200
objects.[194]
Behavior
Main article: Dog behavior
Although dogs have been the subject of a great deal of
behaviorist psychology (e.g. Pavlov's dog), they do not
enter the world with a psychological "blank slate".[121]
Rather, dog behavior is affected by genetic factors as
well as environmental factors.[121] Domestic dogs exhibit
a number of behaviors and predispositions that were

inherited from wolves.[121]


The Gray Wolf is a social animal that has evolved a
sophisticated means of communication and social
structure. The domestic dog has inherited some of these
predispositions, but many of the salient characteristics
in dog behavior have been largely shaped by selective
breeding by humans. Thus some of these characteristics,
such as the dog's highly developed social cognition, are
found only in primitive forms in grey wolves.[187]
Properly socialized dogs can interact with unfamiliar
dogs of any size and shape and understand how to
communicate.
The existence and nature of personality traits in dogs
have been studied (15329 dogs of 164 different breeds)
and five consistent and stable "narrow traits"
identified, described as playfulness,
curiosity/fearlessness, chase-proneness, sociability and
aggressiveness. A further higher order axis for shyness
boldness was also identified.[195][196]
The average sleep time of a dog is said to be 10.1 hours
per day.[197] Like humans, dogs have two main types of
sleep: Slow-wave sleep, then Rapid eye movement sleep,
the state in which dreams occur.[198]
Dogs prefer, when they are off the leash and Earth's
magnetic field is calm, to urinate and defecate with
their bodies aligned on a north-south axis.[199]
Dog growl
A new study in Budapest, Hungary, has found that dogs are
able to tell how big another dog is just by listening to
its growl. A specific growl is used by dogs to protect
their food. The research also shows that dogs do not lie
about their size, and this is the first time research has
shown animals can determine another's size by the sound
it makes. The test, using images of many kinds of dogs,
showed a small and big dog and played a growl. The result
showed that 20 of the 24 test dogs looked at the image of
the appropriately sized dog first and looked at it
longest.[200]
Differences from wolves

Some dogs, like this Tamaskan Dog, look very much like
wolves.
Physical characteristics
Further information: Wolf
Compared to equally sized wolves, dogs tend to have 20%
smaller skulls, 30% smaller brains,[201] as well as
proportionately smaller teeth than other canid
species.[202] Dogs require fewer calories to function
than wolves. It is thought by certain experts that the
dog's limp ears are a result of atrophy of the jaw
muscles.[202] The skin of domestic dogs tends to be
thicker than that of wolves, with some Inuit tribes
favoring the former for use as clothing due to its
greater resistance to wear and tear in harsh
weather.[202]
Behavioral differences

Dogs tend to be poorer than wolves at observational


learning, being more responsive to instrumental
conditioning.[202] Feral dogs show little of the complex
social structure or dominance hierarchy present in wolf
packs. For example, unlike wolves, the dominant alpha
pairs of a feral dog pack do not force the other members
to wait for their turn on a meal when scavenging off a
dead ungulate as the whole family is free to join in. For
dogs, other members of their kind are of no help in
locating food items, and are more like competitors.[202]
Feral dogs are primarily scavengers, with studies showing
that unlike their wild cousins, they are poor ungulate
hunters, having little impact on wildlife populations
where they are sympatric. However, feral dogs have been
reported to be effective hunters of reptiles in the
Galpagos Islands,[203] and free ranging pet dogs are
more prone to predatory behavior toward wild animals.
Domestic dogs can be monogamous.[204] Breeding in feral
packs can be, but does not have to be restricted to a
dominant alpha pair (such things also occur in wolf
packs).[205] Male dogs are unusual among canids by the
fact that they mostly seem to play no role in raising
their puppies, and do not kill the young of other females
to increase their own reproductive success.[203] Some
sources say that dogs differ from wolves and most other
large canid species by the fact that they do not
regurgitate food for their young, nor the young of other
dogs in the same territory.[202]
However, this difference was not observed in all domestic
dogs. Regurgitating of food by the females for the young
as well as care for the young by the males has been
observed in domestic dogs, dingos as well as in other
feral or semi-feral dogs. Regurgitating of food by the
females and direct choosing of only one mate has been
observed even in those semi-feral dogs of direct domestic
dog ancestry. Also regurgitating of food by males has
been observed in free-ranging domestic dogs.[204][206]
Trainability
Dogs display much greater tractability than tame wolves,
and are, in general, much more responsive to coercive
techniques involving fear, aversive stimuli, and force
than wolves, which are most responsive toward positive
conditioning and rewards.[207] Unlike tame wolves, dogs
tend to respond more to voice than hand signals.[208]
Cultural depictions
Main article: Cultural depictions of dogs
Mythology
See also category: Mythological dogs
In mythology, dogs often serve as pets or as
watchdogs.[209]
In Greek mythology, Cerberus is a three-headed watchdog
who guards the gates of Hades.[209] In Norse mythology, a
bloody, four-eyed dog called Garmr guards Helheim.[209]
In Persian mythology, two four-eyed dogs guard the
Chinvat Bridge.[209] In Philippine mythology, Kimat who
is the pet of Tadaklan, god of thunder, is responsible
for lightning. In Welsh mythology, Annwn is guarded by
Cwn Annwn.[209]
In Hindu mythology, Yama, the god of death owns two watch

dogs who have four eyes. They are said to watch over the
gates of Naraka.[210]
In Judaism and Islam, dogs are viewed as unclean
scavengers.[209] In Christianity, dogs represent
faithfulness.[209] In Asian countries such as China,
Korea, and Japan, dogs are viewed as kind
protectors.[209] The role of the dog in Chinese mythology
includes a position as one of the twelve animals which
cyclically represent years (the zodiacal dog).
Gallery of dogs in art
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dogs in art.
Ancient Greek black-figure pottery depicting the return
of a hunter and his dog. Made in Athens between 550 530
BC, found in Rhodes.
Riders and dogs. Ancient Greek Attic black-figure hydria,
ca. 510 500 BC, from Vulci. Louvre Museum, Paris.
William McElcheran's Cross Section-dogs Dundas (TTC)
Toronto
Detail of The Imperial Prince and his dog Nero by JeanBaptiste Carpeaux 1865 Marble. Photographed at the Muse
d'Orsay.
A woodcut illustration from The history of four-footed
beasts and serpents by Edward Topsell, 1658
See also
Portal icon
Dogs portal
Portal icon
Mammals portal
Book icon
Book: Dog
Animal track
Argos (dog)
Dog in Chinese mythology
Dogs in art
Dog odor
Dognapping
Ethnocynology
Hachiko a notable example of dog loyalty
Lost pet services
Subspecies of Canis lupus
Wolfdog
Lists:
List of dog breeds
List of fictional dogs
List of individual dogs
List of most popular dog breeds
References
Jump up ^ "Mammal Species of the World
Browse: Canis
lupus familiaris". Bucknell.edu. 2005. Retrieved 12 March
2012.
^ Jump up to: a b "Mammal Species of the World
Browse:
lupus". Bucknell.edu. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k Dewey, T. and S.
Bhagat. 2002. "Canis lupus familiaris", Animal Diversity
Web. Retrieved 6 January 2009.

^ Jump up to: a b Nikolai D. Ovodov, Susan J. Crockford,


Yaroslav V. Kuzmin, Thomas F. G. Higham, Gregory W. L.
Hodgins, Johannes van der Plicht. (2011). A 33,000-YearOld Incipient Dog from the Altai Mountains of Siberia:
Evidence of the Earliest Domestication Disrupted by the
Last Glacial Maximum. Published: July 28, 2011DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0022821.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjou
rnal.pone.0022821
Jump up ^ Greger Larson, Elinor K. Karlsson, Angela
Perri, Matthew T. Webster, Simon Y. W. Ho, Joris Peters,
Peter W. Stahl, Philip J. Piper, Frode Lingaas, Merete
Fredholm, Kenine E. Comstock, Jaime F. Modiano, Claude
Schelling, Alexander I. Agoulnik, Peter A. Leegwater,
Keith Dobney, Jean-Denis Vignes, Carles Vilt, Leif
Anderssond, and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh; Edited by Joachim
Burger. (2012). Rethinking dog domestication by
integrating genetics, archeology, and biogeography. vol.
109 no. 23 > Greger Larson, 8878 8883, doi:
10.1073/pnas.1203005109.
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/23/8878.full
Jump up ^ "Dog". Dictionary.com.
Jump up ^ Druzhkova, Anna S.; Thalmann, Olaf; Trifonov,
Vladimir A.; Leonard, Jennifer A.; Vorobieva, Nadezhda
V.; Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Graphodatsky, Alexander S.;
Wayne, Robert K. (2013). "Ancient DNA Analysis Affirms
the Canid from Altai as a Primitive Dog". In Hofreiter,
Michael. PLoS ONE 8 (3): e57754.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057754. PMC 3590291. PMID
23483925.
Jump up ^ Germonpra, Mietje; Sablin, Mikhail V.;
Stevens, =Rhiannon E.; Hedges, Robert E.M.; Hofreiter,
Michael; Stiller, Mathias; Desprs, Viviane R. (February
2009). Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in
Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA
and stable isotopes. Journal of Archaeological Science 36
(2): 473 90. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.033
Jump up ^ Adam H. Freedman, Ilan Gronau, Rena M.
Schweizer, Diego Ortega-Del Vecchyo, Eunjung Han, Pedro
M. Silva, Marco Galaverni, Zhenxin Fan, Peter Marx, Belen
Lorente-Galdos, Holly Beale, Oscar Ramirez, Farhad
Hormozdiari, Can Alkan, Carles Vil, Kevin Squire, Eli
Geffen, Josip Kusak, Adam R. Boyko, Heidi G. Parker,
Clarence Lee, Vasisht Tadigotla, Adam Siepel, Carlos D.
Bustamante, Timothy T. Harkins, Stanley F. Nelson, Elaine
A. Ostrander, Tomas Marques-Bonet, Robert K. Wayne, John
Novembre. (2013). Genome Sequencing Highlights the
Dynamic Early History of Dogs. PLOS Genetics. Published:
January 16, 2014DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004016.
http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%
2Fjournal.pgen.1004016
Jump up ^ Wingfield-Hayes, Rupert (29 June 2002).
"China's taste for the exotic". BBC News.
Jump up ^ "Vietnam's dog meat tradition". BBC News. 31
December 2001.
Jump up ^ Coppinger, Ray (2001). Dogs: a Startling New
Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution.
New York: Scribner. p. 352. ISBN 0-684-85530-5.
Jump up ^ Spady TC, Ostrander EA (January 2008). "Canine
Behavioral Genetics: Pointing Out the Phenotypes and

Herding up the Genes". American Journal of Human Genetics


82 (1): 10 8. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2007.12.001. PMC
2253978. PMID 18179880.
Jump up ^ The Complete dog book: the photograph, history,
and official standard of every breed admitted to AKC
registration, and the selection, training, breeding,
care, and feeding of pure-bred dogs. New York, N.Y:
Howell Book House. 1992. ISBN 0-87605-464-5.[page needed]
Jump up ^ Rasmussen, G. S. A. (April 1999). "Livestock
predation by the painted hunting dog Lycaon pictus in a
cattle ranching region of Zimbabwe: a case study".
Biological Conservation 88 (1): 133 139.
doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(98)00006-8.
Jump up ^ "Domestic PetDog Classified By Linnaeus In 1758
As Canis Familiaris And Canis Familiarus Domesticus".
www.encyclocentral.com. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
Jump up ^ Seebold, Elmar (2002). Kluge. Etymologisches
Wrterbuch der deutschen Sprache. Berlin/New York: Walter
de Gruyter. p. 207. ISBN 3-11-017473-1.
Jump up ^ "Dictionary of Etymology", Dictionary.com, s.v.
dog, encyclopedia.com retrieved on 27 May 2009.
Jump up ^ Mallory, J. R. (1991). In search of the IndoEuropeans: language, archaeology and myth. London: Thames
and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27616-1.[page needed]
Jump up ^ Broz, Vlatko (2008). "Diachronic Investigations
of False Friends". Contemporary Linguistics (Suvremena
lingvistika) 66 (2): 199 222.
Jump up ^ Ren Dirven; Marjolyn Verspoor (2004).
Cognitive exploration of language and linguistics. John
Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 215 216. ISBN 978-90272-1906-0.
Jump up ^ Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the
English Language: Fourth Edition". www.bartleby.com.
Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved
30 November 2006.
Jump up ^ Gould, Jean (1978). All about dog breeding for
quality and soundness. London, Eng: Pelham. ISBN 0-72071064-2.[page needed]
Jump up ^ Linnaeus, Carolus (1758). Systema naturae per
regna tria naturae:secundum classes, ordines, genera,
species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis,
locis. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Laurentii Salvii). p. 38.
Retrieved 8 September 2008.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m Miklsi[page
needed]
Jump up ^ Serpell, James (1995). The domestic dog: its
evolution, behaviour, and interactions with people.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-52142537-9.[page needed]
Jump up ^ "ITIS Standard Report Page: Canis familiarus
domesticus". Itis.gov. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Jump up ^ "ITIS Report: Canis lupus familiaris". ITIS
Data. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved
16 April 2010.
Jump up ^ "Mammal Species of the World Browse:
familiaris". Bucknell.edu. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
^ Jump up to: a b c Miklsi, pp. 95 136.
^ Jump up to: a b A History of Dogs in the Early
Americas, Marion Schwartz, 1998, 260 p., ISBN 978-0-300-

07519-9, Yale University Press


Jump up ^ "The University of Maine - UMaine News - UMaine
Student Finds Oldest Known Domesticated Dog in Americas".
Umaine.edu. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
Jump up ^ Miklsi, p. 104.
^ Jump up to: a b c Derr, Mark (2004). A dogs history of
America. North Point Press. p.12
Jump up ^ Dog: man's best friend for over 33,000 years.
FoxNews (24 January 2012)
Jump up ^ Hirst, K. K. Dog History
How were Dogs
Domesticated? archaeology.about.com
Jump up ^ Germonpr, Mietje; Sablin, Mikhail V.; Stevens,
Rhiannon E.; Hedges, Robert E.M.; Hofreiter, Michael;
Stiller, Mathias; Desprs, Viviane R. (2009). "Fossil
dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the
Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable
isotopes". Journal of Archaeological Science 36 (2): 473.
doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.033.
Jump up ^ Pionnier-Capitan M, Bemilli C, Bodu P, Clrier
G, Ferri J-G, Fosse P, Garci M, and Vigne J-D (2011).
"New evidence for Upper Palaeolithic small domestic dogs
in South-Western Europe". Journal of Archaeological
Science 38 (9): 2123. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2011.02.028.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Savolainen P, Zhang YP, Luo
J, Lundeberg J, Leitner T (November 2002). "Genetic
evidence for an East Asian origin of domestic dogs".
Science 298 (5598): 1610 3. Bibcode:2002Sci...298.1610S.
doi:10.1126/science.1073906. PMID 12446907.
Jump up ^ Lindblad-Toh K; Wade CM; Mikkelsen TS;
Karlsson, Elinor K.; Jaffe, David B.; Kamal, Michael;
Clamp, Michele; Chang, Jean L.; Kulbokas, Edward J.
(2005). "Genome sequence, comparative analysis and
haplotype structure of the domestic dog". Nature 438
(7069): 803 19. Bibcode:2005Natur.438..803L.
doi:10.1038/nature04338. PMID 16341006.
Jump up ^ Fiennes, Alice; T-W-Fiennes, Richard N. (1968).
The natural history of the dog. London: Weidenfeld &
Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-76455-1.[page needed]
Jump up ^ Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Crockford, Susan J.;
Kuzmin, Yaroslav V.; Higham, Thomas F. G.; Hodgins,
Gregory W. L.; Van Der Plicht, Johannes (2012). "A
33,000-year-old incipient dog from the Altai Mountains of
Siberia: Evidence of the earliest domestication disrupted
by the Last Glacial Maximum". In Stepanova, Anna. PLoS
ONE 6 (7): e22821. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022821. PMC
3145761. PMID 21829526.
Jump up ^ Dale, Steve (January 22, 2014). "Dogs are
smarter than we think, and some are downright brilliant".
Chicago Tribune.
^ Jump up to: a b McGourty, Christine (22 November 2002).
"Origin of dogs traced". BBC News. Retrieved 29 November
2006.
Jump up ^ "World's first dog lived 31,700 years ago, ate
big". MSNBC. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
Jump up ^ Davis, Simon J. M.; Valla, Franois R. (1978).
"Evidence for domestication of the dog 12,000 years ago
in the Natufian of Israel". Nature 276 (5688): 608 10.
Bibcode:1978Natur.276..608D. doi:10.1038/276608a0.
Jump up ^ Clarke Canfield, Old dog, new tricks: Study IDs
9,400-year-old mutt. Associated Press (via The Seattle

Times) (19 January 2010).


Jump up ^ Vil C; Savolainen P; Maldonado JE; Amorim, IR;
Rice, JE; Honeycutt, RL; Crandall, KA; Lundeberg, J et
al. (1997). "Multiple and ancient origins of the domestic
dog". Science 276 (5319): 1687 9.
doi:10.1126/science.276.5319.1687. PMID 9180076.
Jump up ^ Miklsi, p. 110
Jump up ^ "Paleodb.org". Paleodb.org. 4 January 2009.
Retrieved 21 December 2010.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e Parker HG; Kim LV; Sutter NB;
Carlson, S; Lorentzen, TD; Malek, TB; Johnson, GS;
Defrance, HB et al. (2004). "Genetic structure of the
purebred domestic dog". Science 304 (5674): 1160 4.
Bibcode:2004Sci...304.1160P. doi:10.1126/science.1097406.
PMID 15155949.
Jump up ^ Koler-Matznick, Janice (2002). "The Origin of
the Dog Revisited". Anthrozoos 15 (2): 98.
doi:10.2752/089279302786992595.
^ Jump up to: a b Zolfagharifard E (2013-11-15). "Best
Friend for 30,000 years: Genetic testing proves that dog
ancestors formed a special bond with man in the Ice
Age.". Mailonline. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
^ Jump up to: a b c Groves, Colin (1999). "The Advantages
and Disadvantages of Being Domesticated". Perspectives in
Human Biology 4: 1 12. ISSN 1038-5762.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e Tacon, Paul; Pardoe, Colin
(2002). "Dogs make us human". Nature Australia 27 (4):
52 61.
Jump up ^ Ruusila, Vesa; Pesonen, Mauri (2004).
"Interspecific cooperation in human (Homo sapiens)
hunting: the benefits of a barking dog (Canis
familiaris)". Annales Zoologici Fennici 41 (4): 545 9.
Jump up ^ Newby, Jonica (1997). The Pact for Survival.
Sydney: ABC Books. ISBN 0-7333-0581-4.[page needed]
^ Jump up to: a b Derr, Mark (1997). Dog's Best Friend.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-14280-9.
Jump up ^ Franklin, A (2006). "Be[a]ware of the Dog: a
post-humanist approach to housing". Housing Theory and
Society 23 (3): 137 156. doi:10.1080/14036090600813760.
ISSN 1403-6096.
Jump up ^ Katz, Jon (2003). The New Work of Dogs. New
York: Villard Books. ISBN 0-375-76055-5.
Jump up ^ Haraway, Donna (2003). The Companion Species
manifesto: Dogs, People and Significant Otherness.
Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press. ISBN 0-9717575-8-5.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f Power, Emma (2008). "Furry
Families: Making a Human-Dog Family through Home". Social
and Cultural Geography 9 (5): 535 555.
doi:10.1080/14649360802217790.
^ Jump up to: a b c Nast, Heidi J. (2006). "Loving ...
Whatever: Alienation, Neoliberalism and Pet-Love in the
Twenty-First Century". ACME: an International E-Journal
for Critical Geographies 5 (2): 300 327. ISSN 1492-9732.
Jump up ^ "A Brief History of Dog Training". Dog Zone. 3
June 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
Jump up ^ Jackson Schebetta, Lisa (2009). "Mythologies
and Commodifications of Dominion in The Dog Whisperer
with Cesar Millan". Journal for Critical Animal Studies
(Institute for Critical Animal Studies) 7 (1): 107 131.
ISSN 1948-352X.

Jump up ^ Bradshaw, John; Blackwell, Emily J.; Casey,


Rachel A. (2009). "Dominance in domestic dogs: useful
construct or bad habit?". Journal of Veterinary Behavior
(Elsevier) 4 (3): 135 144.
doi:10.1016/j.jveb.2008.08.004. Archived from the
original on 27 August 2010.
Jump up ^ Tannen, Deborah (2004). "Talking the Dog:
Framing Pets as Interactional Resources in Family
Discourse". Research on Language and Social Interaction
37 (4): 399 420. doi:10.1207/s15327973rlsi3704_1. ISSN
1532-7973.
Jump up ^ "U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics". Retrieved 24
June 2010.
Jump up ^ James Edgar (February 21, 2014). "Dogs and
humans respons to voices in same way".
Jump up ^ "The Story of Old Drum". Cedarcroft Farm Bed &
Breakfast
Warrensburg, MO. Retrieved 29 November 2006.
Jump up ^ Williams, Tully (2007). Working Sheep Dogs.
Collingwood, Vic.: CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 0-643-09343-5.
Jump up ^ Serpell, James (1995). "Origins of the dog:
domestication and early history". The Domestic Dog.
Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. ISBN 0-521-41529-2.
Jump up ^ "sputnik". Retrieved 25 September 2013.
Jump up ^ Solovyov, Dmitry; Pearce, Tim (ed.) (11 April
2008). "Russia fetes dog Laika, first earthling in
space". Reuters.
Jump up ^ "Psychiatric Service Dog Society".
Psychdog.org. 1 October 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Jump up ^ "About Guide Dogs
Assistance Dogs
International". Assistancedogsinternational.org.
Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Jump up ^ Dalziel DJ, Uthman BM, Mcgorray SP, Reep RL
(2003). "Seizure-alert dogs: a review and preliminary
study". Seizure 12 (2): 115 20.
doi:10.1016/S105913110200225X. PMID 12566236.
Jump up ^ "German Shepherd Dog | American Kennel Club".
American Kennel Club. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
Jump up ^ "A Beginner's Guide to Dog Shows". American
Kennel Club. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
Jump up ^ Simoons, Frederick J. (1994). Eat not this
flesh: food avoidances from prehistory to the present
(second ed.). University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 208 212.
ISBN 978-0-299-14254-4.
Jump up ^ "How many dogs and cats are eaten in Asia?".
Animalpeoplenews.org. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
Jump up ^ "South Korea's dog day". BBC News. 1999-08-17.
Retrieved 2012-12-19.
Jump up ^ Pettid, Michael J., Korean Cuisine: An
Illustrated History, London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2008,
25. ISBN 1-86189-348-5
Jump up ^ Pettid, Michael J., Korean Cuisine: An
Illustrated History, London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2008,
84 85. ISBN 1-86189-348-5
Jump up ^ "Inside the cat and dog meat market in China".
CNN. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
Jump up ^ Day, Matthew (7 August 2009). "Polish couple
accused of making dog meat delicacy". London:
Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Jump up ^ Schwabe, Calvin W. (1979). Unmentionable
Cuisine. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.

p. 173. ISBN 0-8139-1162-1.


Jump up ^ Questions and Answers about Dog Bites[dead
link]
^ Jump up to: a b "Statistics about dog bites in the USA
and elsewhere". Dogbitelaw.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
Jump up ^ Whitcomb, Rachael (1 July 2009). "Study:
Chihuahuas bite vets most; Lhaso Apsos inflict worst
injuries". DVM Newsmagazine. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
Jump up ^ Weiss, HB; Friedman, DI; Coben, JH (1998).
"Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency
departments". JAMA 279 (1): 51 3.
doi:10.1001/jama.279.1.51. PMID 9424044.
Jump up ^ Tierney, DM; Strauss, LP; Sanchez, JL (2006).
"Capnocytophaga canimorsus Mycotic Abdominal Aortic
Aneurysm: Why the Mailman Is Afraid of Dogs". Journal of
Clinical Microbiology 44 (2): 649 51.
doi:10.1128/JCM.44.2.649-651.2006. PMC 1392675. PMID
16455937.
Jump up ^ "Mail campaign over dog attacks". BBC News. 11
August 2005.
Jump up ^ "Injury Prevention Bulletin". Northwest
Territories Health and Social Services. 25 March 2009.
Retrieved 7 January 2010.
Jump up ^ Bewley, BR (1985). "Medical hazards from dogs".
British Medical Journal 291 (6498): 760 1.
doi:10.1136/bmj.291.6498.760. PMC 1417177. PMID 3929930.
Jump up ^ Huh, Sun; Lee, Sooung (20 August 2008).
"Toxocariasis". Medscape.com. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
^ Jump up to: a b "Toxocariasis". Kids' Health. The
Nemours Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
Jump up ^ Johnson, Kate (May 2002). "Parasites in pet
feces cause puzzling infections". Pediatric News.
Retrieved 11 May 2009.
Jump up ^ Chiodo, Paula; Basualdo, Juan; Ciarmela, Laura;
Pezzani, Betina; Apeztegua, Mara; Minvielle, Marta
(2006). "Related factors to human toxocariasis in a rural
community of Argentina". Memrias do Instituto Oswaldo
Cruz 101 (4): 397 400. doi:10.1590/S007402762006000400009.
Jump up ^ Talaizadeh, A. H.; Maraghi2, S.; Jelowdar, A.;
Peyvasteh, M. (October December 2007). "Human
toxocariasis: A report of 3 cases". Pakistan Journal of
Medical Sciences Quarterly 23 (5). Part I.
Jump up ^ "Dog fouling". UK: Woking Borough Council.
Retrieved 21 December 2010.
^ Jump up to: a b McNicholas, June; Gilbey, Andrew;
Rennie, Ann; Ahmedzai, Sam; Dono, Jo-Ann; Ormerod,
Elizabeth (2005). "Pet ownership and human health: A
brief review of evidence and issues". BMJ 331 (7527):
1252 4. doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7527.1252. PMC 1289326. PMID
16308387.
Jump up ^ Podberscek, A.L. (2006). "Positive and Negative
Aspects of Our Relationship with Companion Animals".
Veterinary Research Communications 30 (1): 21 27.
doi:10.1007/s11259-006-0005-0.
Jump up ^ Winefield, Helen R.; Black, Anne; Chur-Hansen,
Anna (2008). "Health effects of ownership of and
attachment to companion animals in an older population".
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 15 (4): 303
10. doi:10.1080/10705500802365532. PMID 19005930.

Jump up ^ Headey B. (1999). "Health benefits and health


cost savings due to pets: preliminary estimates from an
Australian national survey". Social Indicators Research
47 (2): 233 243. doi:10.1023/A:1006892908532.
^ Jump up to: a b Serpell J (1991). "Beneficial effects
of pet ownership on some aspects of human health and
behaviour". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 84
(12): 717 20. PMC 1295517. PMID 1774745.
Jump up ^ Friedmann E, Thomas SA (1995). "Pet ownership,
social support, and one-year survival after acute
myocardial infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia
Suppression Trial (CAST)". The American Journal of
Cardiology 76 (17): 1213 7. doi:10.1016/S00029149(99)80343-9. PMID 7502998.
Jump up ^ Wilson CC (1991). "The pet as an anxiolytic
intervention". The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
179 (8): 482 9. doi:10.1097/00005053-199108000-00006.
PMID 1856711.
Jump up ^ McNicholas, J.; Collis, G. M. (2006). "Animals
as social supports: Insights for understanding animal
assisted therapy". In Fine, Aubrey H. Handbook on animalassisted therapy: theoretical foundations and guidelines
for practice. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press. pp. 49
71. ISBN 0-12-369484-1.
Jump up ^ Eddy J, Hart LA, Boltz RP (1988). "The effects
of service dogs on social acknowledgments of people in
wheelchairs". The Journal of Psychology 122 (1): 39 45.
doi:10.1080/00223980.1988.10542941. PMID 2967371.
Jump up ^ Kruger, K.A. & Serpell, J.A. (2006). Animalassisted
Cat
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the cat species that is commonly kept as a pet. For the
cat family, see Felidae. For other uses, see Cat (disambiguation) and Cats
(disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
Domestic cat[1]
Conservation status
Domesticated
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felis
Species:
F. catus
Binomial name
Felis catus[2]
Linnaeus, 1758[3]
Synonyms
Felis silvestris catus (subjective synonym)[4]
Felis catus domestica (invalid junior synonym)[5]
The domestic cat[1][2] (Felis catus[2] or Felis silvestris catus[4]) is a small,
usually furry, domesticated, and carnivorous mammal. It is often called the
housecat when kept as an indoor pet,[6] or simply the cat when there is no need

to distinguish it from other felids and felines. Cats are often valued by humans
for companionship and their ability to hunt vermin and household pests.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with strong, flexible bodies,
quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small
prey. Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche. Cats can hear
sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by
mice and other small animals. They can see in near darkness. Like most other
mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans.
Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species, and cat communication
includes the use of a variety of vocalizations (mewing, purring, trilling,
hissing, growling and grunting) as well as cat pheromones and types of catspecific body language.[7]
Cats have a rapid breeding rate. Under controlled breeding, they can be bred and
shown as registered pedigree pets, a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to
control the breeding of pet cats by neutering, and the abandonment of former
household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, requiring
population control.[8]
Since cats were cult animals in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to
have been domesticated there,[9] but there may have been instances of
domestication as early as the Neolithic from around 9500 years ago (7500
BC).[10]
A genetic study in 2007 concluded that domestic cats are descended from African
wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) c. 8000 BC, in the Near East.[9][11] Cats are
the most popular pet in the world, and are now found in almost every place where
humans live.[12]
Contents [hide]
1 Nomenclature and etymology
2 Taxonomy and evolution
3 Genetics
4 Anatomy
5 Physiology
6 Senses
7 Health
7.1 Diseases
7.2 Poisoning
8 Behavior
8.1 Sociability
8.2 Grooming
8.3 Fighting
8.4 Hunting and feeding
8.5 Play
8.6 Reproduction
8.7 Vocalizations
9 Ecology
9.1 Habitats
9.2 Impact on prey species
9.3 Impact on birds
10 Cats and humans
10.1 Census
11 Feral cats
12 History and mythology
13 See also
14 References

15 External links
Nomenclature and etymology
Classification based on human interaction[13]
Population
Food source
Shelter Socialized
Pedigree
Fed by guardian Human guardian Yes
Pet
Fed by guardian Human homes
Yes
Semi-feral
General feeding Buildings
Yes
Feral General feeding/foraging
Buildings
No
The English word cat (Old English catt) is in origin a loanword, introduced to
many languages of Europe from Latin cattus[14] and Byzantine Greek ??tta,
including Portuguese and Spanish gato, French chat, German Katze, Lithuanian
kate and Old Church Slavonic kotka, among others.[15] The ultimate source of the
word is Afroasiatic, presumably from Late Egyptian caute,[16] the feminine of
caus "wildcat". The word was introduced, together with the domestic animal
itself, to the Roman Republic by the 1st century BC.[citation needed] An
alternative word with cognates in many languages is English puss (pussycat).
Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes
or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus,
pusekatt. Similar forms exist in Lithuanian pui e and Irish puisn. The
etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound
used to attract a cat.[17][18]
A group of cats is referred to as a "clowder" or a "glaring",[19] a male cat is
called a "tom" or "tomcat"[20] (or a "gib",[21] if neutered), an unaltered
female is called a "queen",[22] and a pre-pubescent juvenile is referred to as a
"kitten". Although spayed females have no commonly used name, in some rare
instances immature or spayed females are referred to as a "molly".[citation
needed] The male progenitor of a cat, especially a pedigreed cat, is its
"sire",[23] and its female progenitor is its "dam".[24] In Early Modern English,
the word kitten was interchangeable with the now-obsolete word catling.[25]
A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization.
A purebred cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same
breed. Many pedigreed and especially purebred cats are exhibited as show cats.
Cats of unrecorded, mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic short-haired or
domestic long-haired cats, by coat type, or commonly as random-bred, moggies
(chiefly British), or (using terms borrowed from dog breeding) mongrels or muttcats.
While the African wildcat is the ancestral subspecies from which domestic cats
are descended, and wildcats and domestic cats can completely interbreed, there
are several intermediate stages between domestic pet and pedigree cats on the
one hand and those entirely wild animals on the other. The semi-feral cat is a
mostly outdoor cat that is not owned by any one individual, but is generally
friendly to people and may be fed by several households. Feral cats are
associated with human habitation areas and may be fed by people or forage in
rubbish, but are typically wary of human interaction.[13]
Taxonomy and evolution
Main article: Cat evolution
The wildcat, Felis silvestris, is the ancestor of the domestic cat.
The felids are a rapidly evolving family of mammals that share a common ancestor
only 10 15 million years ago,[26] and include, in addition to the domestic cat,
lions, tigers, cougars, and many others. Within this family, domestic cats

(Felis catus) are part of the genus Felis, which is a group of small cats
containing approximately seven species (depending upon classification
scheme).[1][27] Members of the genus are found worldwide and include the jungle
cat (Felis chaus) of southeast Asia, European wildcat (F. silvestris
silvestris), African wildcat (F. s. lybica), the Chinese mountain cat (F.
bieti), and the Arabian sand cat (F. margarita), among others.[28]
All the cats in this genus share a common ancestor that probably lived around 6
7 million years ago in Asia.[29] The exact relationships within the Felidae are
close but still uncertain,[30][31] e.g. the Chinese mountain cat is sometimes
classified (under the name Felis silvestris bieti) as a subspecies of the
wildcat, like the North African variety F. s. lybica.[4][30] As domestic cats
are little altered from wildcats, they can readily interbreed. This
hybridization poses a danger to the genetic distinctiveness of wildcat
populations, particularly in Scotland and Hungary, and possibly also the Iberian
Peninsula.[32]
The domestic cat was first classified as Felis catus by Carolus Linnaeus in the
tenth edition of his Systema Naturae in 1758.[1][3] However, because of modern
phylogenetics, domestic cats are now usually regarded as another subspecies of
the wildcat, Felis silvestris.[1][4][33] This has resulted in mixed usage of the
terms, as the domestic cat can be called by its subspecies name, Felis
silvestris catus.[1][4][33] Wildcats have also been referred to as various
subspecies of F. catus,[33] but in 2003 the International Commission on
Zoological Nomenclature fixed the name for wildcats as F. silvestris.[34] The
most common name in use for the domestic cat remains F. catus, following a
convention for domesticated animals of using the earliest (the senior) synonym
proposed.[34] Sometimes the domestic cat has been called Felis domesticus[35] or
Felis domestica,[1] as proposed by German naturalist J. C. P. Erxleben in 1777,
but these are not valid taxonomic names and have been used only rarely in
scientific literature,[36] because Linnaeus's binomial takes precedence.[37]
Cats have either a mutualistic or commensal relationship with humans. However,
in comparison to dogs, cats have not undergone major changes during the
domestication process, as the form and behavior of the domestic cat are not
radically different from those of wildcats, and domestic cats are perfectly
capable of surviving in the wild.[38][39] This limited evolution during
domestication means that domestic cats tend to interbreed freely with wild
relatives,[32] distinguishing them from other domesticated animals.[citation
needed] Fully domesticated house cats also often interbreed with feral F. catus
populations.[13] However, several natural behaviors and characteristics of
wildcats may have pre-adapted them for domestication as pets.[39] These traits
include their small size, social nature, obvious body language, love of play,
and relatively high intelligence;[40]:12 17 they may also have an inborn
tendency towards tameness.[39]
There are two main theories about how cats were domesticated. In one, people
deliberately tamed cats in a process of artificial selection, as they were
useful predators of vermin.[41] However, this has been criticized as
implausible, because there may have been little reward for such an effort: cats
generally do not carry out commands and, although they do eat rodents, other
species such as ferrets or terriers may be better at controlling these pests.[4]
The alternative idea is that cats were simply tolerated by people and gradually
diverged from their wild relatives through natural selection, as they adapted to
hunting the vermin found around humans in towns and villages.[4]
There is a population of Transcaucasian Black feral cats once classified as
Felis daemon (Satunin, 1904), but now this population is considered to be a part
of domestic cat.[42]

Genetics
Main article: Cat genetics
The domesticated cat and its closest wild ancestor are both diploid organisms
that possess 38 chromosomes[43] and roughly 20,000 genes.[44] About 250
heritable genetic disorders have been identified in cats, many similar to human
inborn errors.[45] The high level of similarity among the metabolisms of mammals
allows many of these feline diseases to be diagnosed using genetic tests that
were originally developed for use in humans, as well as the use of cats as
animal models in the study of the human diseases.[46][47]
Anatomy
Main article: Cat anatomy
Diagram of the general anatomy of a male
Domestic cats are similar in size to the other members of the genus Felis,
typically weighing between 4 5 kg (8.8 11.0 lb).[30] However, some breeds, such
as the Maine Coon, can occasionally exceed 11 kg (25 lb). Conversely, very small
cats (less than 1.8 kg (4.0 lb)) have been reported.[48] The world record for
the largest cat is 21.3 kg (47 lb).[49] The smallest adult cat ever officially
recorded weighed around 1.36 kg (3.0 lb).[49] Feral cats tend to be lighter as
they have more limited access to food than house cats. In the Boston area, the
average feral adult male will scale 3.9 kg (8.6 lb) and average feral female 3.3
kg (7.3 lb).[50] Cats average about 23 25 cm (9 10 in) in height and 46 cm (18.1
in) in head/body length (males being larger than females), with tails averaging
30 cm (11.8 in) in length.[51]
Cats have seven cervical vertebrae as do almost all mammals; 13 thoracic
vertebrae (humans have 12); seven lumbar vertebrae (humans have five); three
sacral vertebrae like most mammals (humans have five because of their bipedal
posture); and a variable number of caudal vertebrae in the tail (humans retain
three to five caudal vertebrae, fused into an internal coccyx).[52]:11 The extra
lumbar and thoracic vertebrae account for the cat's spinal mobility and
flexibility. Attached to the spine are 13 ribs, the shoulder, and the
pelvis.[52] :16 Unlike human arms, cat forelimbs are attached to the shoulder by
free-floating clavicle bones which allow them to pass their body through any
space into which they can fit their heads.[53]
Cat skull
The cat skull is unusual among mammals in having very large eye sockets and a
powerful and specialized jaw.[54]:35 Within the jaw, cats have teeth adapted for
killing prey and tearing meat. When it overpowers its prey, a cat delivers a
lethal neck bite with its two long canine teeth, inserting them between two of
the prey's vertebrae and severing its spinal cord, causing irreversible
paralysis and death.[55] Compared to other felines, domestic cats have narrowly
spaced canine teeth, which is an adaptation to their preferred prey of small
rodents, which have small vertebrae.[55] The premolar and first molar together
compose the carnassial pair on each side of the mouth, which efficiently shears
meat into small pieces, like a pair of scissors. These are vital in feeding,
since cats' small molars cannot chew food effectively.[54]:37
Cats, like dogs, are digitigrades. They walk directly on their toes, with the
bones of their feet making up the lower part of the visible leg.[56] Cats are
capable of walking very precisely, because like all felines they directly

register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of
the corresponding forepaw, minimizing noise and visible tracks. This also
provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain.
Unlike most mammals, when cats walk, they use a "pacing" gait; that is, they
move the two legs on one side of the body before the legs on the other side.
This trait is shared with camels and giraffes. As a walk speeds up into a trot,
a cat's gait will change to be a "diagonal" gait, similar to that of most other
mammals (and many other land animals, such as lizards): the diagonally opposite
hind and forelegs will move simultaneously.[57]
Like almost all members of the Felidae family, cats have protractable and
retractable claws.[58] In their normal, relaxed position the claws are sheathed
with the skin and fur around the paw's toe pads. This keeps the claws sharp by
preventing wear from contact with the ground and allows the silent stalking of
prey. The claws on the forefeet are typically sharper than those on the hind
feet.[59] Cats can voluntarily extend their claws on one or more paws. They may
extend their claws in hunting or self-defense, climbing, kneading, or for extra
traction on soft surfaces. Most cats have five claws on their front paws, and
four on their rear paws.[60] The fifth front claw (the dewclaw) is proximal to
the other claws. More proximally, there is a protrusion which appears to be a
sixth "finger". This special feature of the front paws, on the inside of the
wrists, is the carpal pad, also found on the paws of big cats and of dogs. It
has no function in normal walking, but is thought to be an anti-skidding device
used while jumping. Some breeds of cats are prone to polydactyly (extra toes and
claws).[60] These are particularly common along the northeast coast of North
America.[61]
Physiology
Normal physiological values[62]:330
Body temperature
38.6 C (101.5 F)
Heart rate
120 140 beats per minute
Breathing rate 16 40 breaths per minute
As cats are familiar and easily kept animals, their physiology has been
particularly well studied; it generally resembles that of other carnivorous
mammals but displays several unusual features probably attributable to cats'
descent from desert-dwelling species.[35] For instance, cats are able to
tolerate quite high temperatures: Humans generally start to feel uncomfortable
when their skin temperature passes about 38 C (100 F), but cats show no
discomfort until their skin reaches around 52 C (126 F),[54]:46 and can
tolerate temperatures of up to 56 C (133 F) if they have access to water.[63]
Cats conserve heat by reducing the flow of blood to their skin and lose heat by
evaporation through their mouth. Cats have minimal ability to sweat, with glands
located primarily in their paw pads,[64] and pant for heat relief only at very
high temperatures[65] (but may also pant when stressed). A cat's body
temperature does not vary throughout the day; this is part of cats' general lack
of circadian rhythms and may reflect their tendency to be active both during the
day and at night.[66]:1 Cats' feces are comparatively dry and their urine is
highly concentrated, both of which are adaptations that allow cats to retain as
much fluid as possible.[35] Their kidneys are so efficient that cats can survive
on a diet consisting only of meat, with no additional water,[67] and can even
rehydrate by drinking seawater.[66]:29[68]
Cats are obligate carnivores: their physiology has evolved to efficiently
process meat, and they have difficulty digesting plant matter.[35] In contrast
to omnivores such as rats, which only require about 4% protein in their diet,
about 20% of a cat's diet must be protein.[35] Cats are unusually dependent on a

constant supply of the amino acid arginine, and a diet lacking arginine causes
marked weight loss and can be rapidly fatal.[69] Another unusual feature is that
the cat cannot produce taurine, with taurine deficiency causing macular
degeneration, wherein the cat's retina slowly degenerates, causing irreversible
blindness.[35] Since cats tend to eat all of their prey, they obtain minerals by
digesting animal bones, and a diet composed only of meat may cause calcium
deficiency.[35]
A cat's gastrointestinal tract is adapted to meat eating, being much shorter
than that of omnivores and having low levels of several of the digestive enzymes
that are needed to digest carbohydrates.[70] These traits severely limit the
cat's ability to digest and use plant-derived nutrients, as well as certain
fatty acids.[70] Despite the cat's meat-oriented physiology, several vegetarian
or vegan cat foods have been marketed that are supplemented with chemically
synthesized taurine and other nutrients, in attempts to produce a complete diet.
However, some of these products still fail to provide all the nutrients that
cats require,[71] and diets containing no animal products pose the risk of
causing severe nutritional deficiencies.[72]
Cats do eat grass occasionally. Proposed explanations include that grass is a
source of folic acid or dietary fiber.[73]
Senses
Main article: Cat senses
An odd-eyed Turkish Van kitten
Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one sixth the light level
required for human vision.[54]:43 This is partly the result of cat eyes having a
tapetum lucidum, which reflects any light that passes through the retina back
into the eye, thereby increasing the eye's sensitivity to dim light.[74] Another
adaptation to dim light is the large pupils of cats' eyes. Unlike some big cats,
such as tigers, domestic cats have slit pupils.[75] These slit pupils can focus
bright light without chromatic aberration, and are needed since the domestic
cat's pupils are much larger, relative to their eyes, than the pupils of the big
cats.[75] Indeed, at low light levels a cat's pupils will expand to cover most
of the exposed surface of its eyes.[76] However, domestic cats have rather poor
color vision and (like most non-primate mammals) have only two types of cones,
optimized for sensitivity to blue and yellowish green; they have limited ability
to distinguish between red and green.[77] A 1993 paper found a response to midwavelengths from a system other than the rods which might be due to a third type
of cone. However, this appears to be an adaptation to low light levels rather
than representing true trichromatic vision.[78]
Cats have excellent hearing and can detect an extremely broad range of
frequencies. They can hear higher-pitched sounds than either dogs or humans,
detecting frequencies from 55 Hz up to 79 kHz, a range of 10.5 octaves; while
humans can only hear from 31 Hz up to 18 kHz, and dogs hear from 67 Hz to 44
kHz, which are both ranges of about 9 octaves.[79][80] Cats do not use this
ability to hear ultrasound for communication but it is probably important in
hunting,[81] since many species of rodents make ultrasonic calls.[82] Cat
hearing is also extremely sensitive and is among the best of any mammal,[79]
being most acute in the range of 500 Hz to 32 kHz.[83] This sensitivity is

further enhanced by the cat's large movable outer ears (their pinnae), which
both amplify sounds and help a cat sense the direction from which a noise is
coming.[81]
Cats' whiskers are highly sensitive to touch.
Cats have an acute sense of smell, which is due in part to their well-developed
olfactory bulb and also to a large surface of olfactory mucosa, about 5.8 square
centimetres (0.90 sq in) in area, which is about twice that of humans and only
1.7-fold less than the average dog.[84] Cats are very sensitive to pheromones
such as 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol,[85] which they use to communicate through
urine spraying and marking with scent glands.[86] Cats also respond strongly to
plants that contain nepetalactone, especially catnip, as they can detect that
substance at less than one part per billion.[87] This response is also produced
by other plants, such as silver vine (Actinidia polygama) and the herb valerian;
it may be caused by the smell of these plants mimicking a pheromone and
stimulating cats' social or sexual behaviors.[88]
Cats have relatively few taste buds compared to humans. Domestic and wild cats
share a gene mutation that keeps their sweet taste buds from binding to sugary
molecules like carbohydrates, leaving them with no ability to taste
sweetness.[89] Their taste buds instead respond to amino acids, bitter tastes
and acids.[90]
To aid with navigation and sensation, cats have dozens of movable vibrissae
(whiskers) over their body, especially their face. These provide information on
the width of gaps and on the location of objects in the dark, both by touching
objects directly and by sensing air currents; they also trigger protective blink
reflexes to protect the eyes from damage.[54]:47
Health
Main article: Cat health
The average life expectancy for male indoor cats at birth is around 12 to 14
years,[91] with females usually living a year or two longer.[92] However, there
have been reports of cats reaching into their 30s,[93] with the oldest known
cat, Creme Puff, dying at a verified age of 38.[94] Feline life expectancy has
increased significantly in recent decades.[95] Having a cat neutered confers
some health benefits, since castrated males cannot develop testicular cancer,
spayed females cannot develop uterine or ovarian cancer, and both have a reduced
risk of mammary cancer.[96] The lifespan of feral cats is hard to determine
accurately, although one study reported a median age of 4.7 years, with a range
between 0 to 8.3 years.[97]
Diseases
Cats can suffer from a wide range of health problems, including infectious
diseases, parasites, injuries and chronic disease. Vaccinations are available
for many of these diseases, and domestic cats are regularly given treatments to
eliminate parasites such as worms and fleas.
Poisoning
In addition to obvious dangers such as rodenticides, insecticides and
herbicides, cats may be poisoned by many chemicals that are usually considered
safe by their human guardians.[98] This is because their livers are less
effective at some forms of detoxification than those of many other animals,
including humans and dogs.[35][99] Some of the most common causes of poisoning
in cats are antifreeze and rodent baits.[100] It has also been suggested that
cats may be particularly sensitive to environmental pollutants.[98][101] When a
cat has a sudden or prolonged serious illness without any obvious cause, it is
possible that it has been exposed to a toxin.

Many human medicines should never be given to cats. For example, the painkiller
paracetamol (also called acetaminophen, sold as Tylenol and Panadol) is
extremely toxic to cats: even very small doses need immediate treatment and can
be fatal.[102][103] Even aspirin, which is sometimes used to treat arthritis in
cats, is much more toxic to them than to humans[103] and must be administered
cautiously.[98] Similarly, application of minoxidil (Rogaine) to the skin of
cats, either accidentally or by well-meaning guardians attempting to counter
loss of fur, has sometimes been fatal.[104] Essential oils can be toxic to cats
and there have been reported cases of serious illnesses caused by tea tree oil,
including flea treatments and shampoos containing it.[105]
Other common household substances that should be used with caution around cats
include mothballs and other naphthalene products.[98] Phenol-based products
(e.g. Pine-Sol, Dettol (Lysol) or hexachlorophene)[98] are often used for
cleaning and disinfecting near cats' feeding areas or litter boxes but these can
sometimes be fatal.[106] Ethylene glycol, often used as an automotive
antifreeze, is particularly appealing to cats, and as little as a teaspoonful
can be fatal.[107] Some human foods are toxic to cats; for example chocolate can
cause theobromine poisoning, although (unlike dogs) few cats will eat
chocolate.[108] Large amounts of onions or garlic are also poisonous to
cats.[98] Many houseplants are also dangerous,[109] such as Philodendron species
and the leaves of the Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), which can cause
permanent and life-threatening kidney damage.[110]
Behavior
See also: Cat behavior, Cat communication, and Cat intelligence
Free-ranging cats are active both day and night, although they tend to be
slightly more active at night.[111][112] The timing of cats' activity is quite
flexible and varied, which means that house cats may be more active in the
morning and evening (crepuscular behavior), as a response to greater human
activity at these times.[113] Although they spend the majority of their time in
the vicinity of their home, housecats can range many hundreds of meters from
this central point, and are known to establish territories that vary
considerably in size, in one study ranging from 7 to 28 hectares (17 to 69
acres).[112]
Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals, especially as they grow
older. The daily duration of sleep varies, usually 12 16 hours, with 13 14 being
the average. Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours in a 24-hour period. The
term "cat nap" for a short rest refers to the cat's tendency to fall asleep
(lightly) for a brief period. While asleep, cats experience short periods of
rapid eye movement sleep often accompanied by muscle twitches, which suggests
that they are dreaming.[114]
Sociability
Social grooming in a pair
Although wildcats are solitary, the social behavior of domestic cats is much
more variable and ranges from widely dispersed individuals to feral cat colonies
that form around a food source, based on groups of co-operating
females.[115][116] Within such groups one cat is usually dominant over the
others.[36] Each cat in a colony holds a distinct territory, with sexually
active males having the largest territories, which are about ten times larger
than those of female cats and may overlap with several females' territories.[86]
These territories are marked by urine spraying, by rubbing objects at head
height with secretions from facial glands, and by defecation.[86] Between these

territories are neutral areas where cats watch and greet one another without
territorial conflicts. Outside these neutral areas, territory holders usually
chase away stranger cats, at first by staring, hissing, and growling, and if
that does not work, by short but noisy and violent attacks. Despite some cats
cohabiting in colonies, cats do not have a social survival strategy, or a pack
mentality and always hunt alone.[117]
Domestic cats use many vocalizations for communication, including purring,
trilling, hissing, growling/snarling, grunting, and several different forms of
meowing.[7] By contrast, feral cats are generally silent.[118]:208 Their types
of body language, including position of ears and tail, relaxation of whole body,
and kneading of paws, are all indicators of mood. The tail and ears are
particularly important social signal mechanisms in cats,[119][120] e.g. with a
raised tail acting as a friendly greeting, and flattened ears indicating
hostility. Tail-raising also indicates the cat's position in the group's social
hierarchy, with dominant individuals raising their tails less often than
subordinate animals.[120] Nose-to-nose touching is also a common greeting and
may be followed by social grooming, which is solicited by one of the cats
raising and tilting its head.[116]
Domestic cat living together with an Alaskan Malamute dog
However, some pet cats are poorly socialized. In particular, older cats may show
aggressiveness towards newly arrived kittens, which may include biting and
scratching; this type of behavior is known as Feline Asocial Aggression.[121]
Even though cats and dogs are believed to be natural enemies, they can live
together if correctly socialized.[122]
For cats, life in proximity to humans and other animals kept by them amounts to
a symbiotic social adaptation. They may express great affection towards their
human (and even other) companions, especially if they psychologically imprint on
them at a very young age and are treated with consistent affection.[citation
needed] It has been suggested that, ethologically, the human keeper of a cat
functions as a sort of surrogate for the cat's mother,[citation needed] and that
adult housecats live their lives in a kind of extended kittenhood,[123] a form
of behavioral neoteny. It has even been theorized[124] that the high-pitched
sounds housecats make to solicit food may mimic the cries of a hungry human
infant, making them particularly hard for humans to ignore.
Grooming
The hooked papillae on a cat's tongue act like a hairbrush to help clean and
detangle fur.
Cats are known for their cleanliness, spending many hours licking their
coats.[125] The cat's tongue has backwards-facing spines about 500 micrometers
long, which are called papillae. These are quite rigid, as they contain
keratin.[126] These spines allow cats to groom themselves by licking their fur,
with the rows of papillae acting like a hairbrush. Some cats, particularly
longhaired cats, occasionally regurgitate hairballs of fur that have collected
in their stomachs from grooming. These clumps of fur are usually sausage-shaped
and about two to three centimeters long. Hairballs can be prevented with
remedies that ease elimination of the hair through the gut, as well as regular
grooming of the coat with a comb or stiff brush.[125] Some cats can develop a
compulsive behavior known as psychogenic alopecia, or excessive
grooming.[127][clarification needed]
Fighting
Among domestic cats, males are more likely to fight than females.[128] Among
feral cats, the most common reason for cat fighting is competition between two

males to mate with a female. In such cases, most fights will be won by the
heavier male.[129] Another common reason for fighting in domestic cats is the
difficulty of establishing territories within a small home.[128] Female cats
will also fight over territory or to defend their kittens. Neutering will
decrease or eliminate this behavior in many cases, suggesting that the behavior
is linked to sex hormones.[citation needed]
Cats intimidate opponents by arching their backs, raising their fur, turning
sideways, and hissing.
When fighting, cats make themselves appear more impressive and threatening by
raising their fur, arching their backs, and turning sideways, thus increasing
their apparent size.[119] Often, the ears are pointed down and back to avoid
damage to the inner ear and potentially listen for any changes behind them while
focused forward. They may also vocalize loudly and bare their teeth in an effort
to further intimidate their opponent. Fights usually consist of grappling and
delivering powerful slaps to the face and body with the forepaws as well as
bites. Cats will also throw themselves to the ground in a defensive posture to
rake their opponent's belly with their powerful hind legs.[130]
Serious damage is rare as the fights are usually short in duration, with the
loser running away with little more than a few scratches to the face and ears.
However, fights for mating rights are typically more severe and injuries may
include deep puncture wounds and lacerations. Normally, serious injuries from
fighting will be limited to infections of scratches and bites, though these can
occasionally kill cats if untreated. In addition, bites are probably the main
route of transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).[131] Sexually
active males will usually be involved in many fights during their lives, and
often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to the ears and
nose.
Hunting and feeding
A cat that has caught a mouse.
Cats hunt small prey, primarily birds and rodents,[132] and are often used as a
form of pest control.[133][134] Domestic cats are a major predator of wildlife
in the United States killing an estimated 1.4 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 20.7
billion mammals annually.[135][136] The bulk of the predation the United States
is done by 80 million feral and stray cats. Effective measures to reduce this
population are elusive, meeting opposition from cat enthusiasts.[135][136] In
the case of free ranging pets, equipping cats with bells and not letting them
out at night will reduce wildlife predation.[132] Feral cats and house cats that
are free-fed tend to consume many small meals in a single day, although the
frequency and size of meals varies between individuals.[117] Cats use two
hunting strategies, either stalking prey actively, or waiting in ambush until an
animal comes close enough to be captured. Although it is not certain, the type
of strategy used may depend on the prey species in the area, with for example,
cats waiting in ambush outside burrows, but tending to actively stalk
birds.[137]:153
Most breeds of cat have a noted fondness for settling in high places, or
perching. In the wild, a higher place may serve as a concealed site from which
to hunt; domestic cats may strike prey by pouncing from such a perch as a tree
branch, as does a leopard.[138][clarification needed] Other possible
explanations include that height gives the cat a better observation point,
allowing it to survey its territory. During a fall from a high place, a cat can
reflexively twist its body and right itself using its acute sense of balance and

flexibility.[139][clarification needed] This is known as the cat righting


reflex. An individual cat always rights itself in the same way, provided it has
the time to do so, during a fall. The height required for this to occur is
around 90 cm (3 feet). Cats without a tail (e.g. Manx cats) also have this
ability, since a cat mostly moves its hind legs and relies on conservation of
angular momentum to set up for landing, and the tail is in fact little used for
this feat.[140] This leads to the proverb "a cat always lands on its feet".
One poorly understood element of cat hunting behavior is the presentation of
prey to human guardians. Ethologist Paul Leyhausen proposed that cats adopt
humans into their social group, and share excess kill with others in the group
according to the local pecking order, in which humans are placed at or near the
top.[141] Anthropologist and zoologist Desmond Morris, in his 1986 book
Catwatching, suggests that when cats bring home mice or birds, they are
attempting to teach their human to hunt, or trying to help their human as if
feeding "an elderly cat, or an inept kitten".[142][clarification needed]
Morris's theory is inconsistent with the fact that male cats also bring home
prey, despite males having no involvement with raising kittens.[137]:153
Domestic cats select food based on its temperature, smell and texture, strongly
disliking chilled foods and responding most strongly to moist foods rich in
amino acids, which are similar to meat.[72][117] Cats may reject novel flavors
(a response termed neophobia) and learn quickly to avoid foods that have tasted
unpleasant in the past.[117] They may also avoid sugary foods and milk; since
they are lactose intolerant, these sugars are not easily digested and may cause
soft stools or diarrhea.[117][143] They can also develop odd eating habits. Some
cats like to eat or chew on other things, most commonly wool, but also plastic,
paper, string, aluminum foil/Christmas tree tinsel, or even coal. This condition
is called pica and can threaten their health, depending on the amount and
toxicity of the items eaten.[144][145]
Since cats cannot fully close their lips around something to create suction,
they use a lapping method with the tongue to draw liquid upwards into their
mouths. Lapping at a rate of four times a second, the cat touches the smooth tip
of its tongue to the surface of the water, and quickly retracts it, drawing
water upwards.[146]
Play
Main article: Cat play and toys
File:Play fight between cats.webmhd.webm
Play fight between kittens, age 14 weeks.
Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. This
behavior mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to stalk,
capture, and kill prey.[147] Cats will also engage in play fighting, with each
other and with humans. This behavior may be a way for cats to practice the
skills needed for real combat, and might also reduce any fear they associate
with launching attacks on other animals.[148]
Owing to the close similarity between play and hunting, cats prefer to play with
objects that resemble prey, such as small furry toys that move rapidly, but
rapidly lose interest (they become habituated) in a toy they have played with
before.[149] Cats also tend to play with toys more when they are hungry.[150]
String is often used as a toy, but if it is eaten it can become caught at the
base of the cat's tongue and then move into the intestines, a medical emergency
which can cause serious illness, even death.[151] Owing to the risks posed by
cats eating string, it is sometimes replaced with a laser pointer's dot, which
cats may chase.[152] While concerns have been raised about the safety of these
lasers, John Marshall, an ophthalmologist at St Thomas' Hospital, has stated
that it would be "virtually impossible" to blind a cat with a laser
pointer.[153][clarification needed]

Reproduction
When cats mate, the tomcat (male) bites the scruff of the female's neck as she
assumes a position conducive to mating known as lordosis behavior.
See also: Kitten
Female cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means they may have many periods
of heat over the course of a year, the season beginning in spring and ending in
late autumn. Heat periods occur about every two weeks and last about 4 to 7
days.[154] Multiple males will be attracted to a female in heat. The males will
fight over her, and the victor wins the right to mate. At first, the female will
reject the male, but eventually the female will allow the male to mate. The
female will utter a loud yowl as the male pulls out of her. This is because a
male cat's penis has a band of about 120 150 backwards-pointing penile spines,
which are about one millimeter long;[155] upon withdrawal of the penis, the
spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which is a trigger for ovulation.
This act also occurs to clear the vagina of other sperm in the context of a
second (or more) mating, thus giving the later males a larger chance of
conception.[citation needed]
After mating, the female will wash her vulva thoroughly. If a male attempts to
mate with her at this point, the female will attack him. After about 20 to 30
minutes, once the female is finished grooming, the cycle will repeat.[154]
Because ovulation is not always triggered by a single mating, females may not be
impregnated by the first male with which they mate.[156] Furthermore, cats are
superfecund; that is, a female may mate with more than one male when she is in
heat, with the result that different kittens in a litter may have different
fathers.[154]

Parrot
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Parrot (disambiguation).
Parrots
Temporal range: Eocene - Holocene,[1] 54-0Ma
Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Aves
Clade:
Psittacopasserae
Order:
Psittaciformes
Wagler, 1830
Superfamilies
Cacatuoidea (cockatoos)
Psittacoidea (true parrots)
Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots)
Range of Parrots, all species (red)
Parrots, also known as psittacines /'s?t?sa?nz/,[2][3] are birds of the roughly

372 species in 86 genera that make


up the order Psittaciformes,[4] found in most tropical and subtropicalregions. T
he order is subdivided into three
superfamilies: the Psittacoidea ('true' parrots), theCacatuoidea (cockatoos) and
the Strigopoidea (New Zealand
parrots).[5] Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several spec
ies inhabiting temperate regions in
theSouthern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is in South Am
erica andAustralasia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright sta
nce, strong legs, and
clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-co
loured. The plumage of
cockatoos ranges from mostly white to mostly black, with a mobile crest of feath
ers on the tops of their heads.
Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably
sized bird order in terms of
length.
The most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, bud
s and other plant material. A few
species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories andlorikeets are spe
cialised for feeding
on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest intree hollows (or nes
t boxes in captivity), and lay
white eggs from which hatch altricial(helpless) young.
Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are among the most intellig
ent birds, and the ability of some
species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets.Trapping wild
parrots for the pet trade, as well
as hunting, habitat loss and competition frominvasive species, has diminished wi
ld populations, with parrots
being subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds.[6] Measures
taken to conserve the habitats of
some high-profile charismatic species have also protected many of the less chari
smatic species living in the
same ecosystems.[7]
Contents
[hide]
*
1 Taxonomy
o
1.1 Origins and evolution
o
1.2 Phylogeny
o
1.3 Systematics
o
1.4 Other lists
*
2 Morphology
*
3 Distribution and habitat
*
4 Behaviour
o
4.1 Diet
o
4.2 Breeding
o
4.3 Intelligence and learning
?
4.3.1 Sound imitation and speech
?
4.3.2 Cooperation
*
5 Relationship with humans
o
5.1 Pets
o
5.2 Zoos
o
5.3 Trade
o
5.4 Culture
o
5.5 Feral populations
o
5.6 Threats and conservation
*
6 See also
*
7 References

o
7.1 Notes
o
7.2 Cited texts
*
8 External links
Taxonomy[edit]
Origins and evolution[edit]
Blue-and-yellow Macaw eating a walnut held by a foot
Psittaciform diversity in South America and Australasia suggests that the order
may have evolved
in Gondwanaland, centred in Australasia.[8] The scarcity of parrots in the fossi
l record, however, presents
difficulties in supporting the hypothesis.
A single 15 mm (0.6 in) fragment from a large lower bill (UCMP 143274), found in
deposits from the Lance
Creek Formation in Niobrara County, Wyoming, had been thought to be the oldest p
arrot fossil and is presumed
to have originated from the Late Cretaceous period, which makes it about 70 Ma (
million years ago).[9] Other
studies suggest that this fossil is not from a bird, but from a caenagnathid the
ropod or a non-avian dinosaur with
a birdlikebeak.[10][11]
It is now generally assumed that the Psittaciformes, or their common ancestors w
ith several related bird orders,
were present somewhere in the world around the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction e
vent (K-Pg extinction), some
66 Ma If so, they probably had not evolved theirmorphological autapomorphies yet
, but were
generalised arboreal birds, roughly similar (though not necessarily closely rela
ted) to
today's potoos or frogmouths (see alsoPalaeopsittacus below). Though these birds
(Cypselomorphae) are a
phylogenetically challenging group, they seem at least closer to the parrot ance
stors than, for example, the
modern aquatic birds (Aequornithes). The combined evidence supported the hypothe
sis of Psittaciformes being
"near passerines", i.e. the mostly land-living birds that emerged in close proxi
mity to the K-Pg extinction.
Indeed, analysis of transposable element insertions observed in the genomes of p
asserines and parrots, but not in
the genomes of other birds, provides strong evidence that parrots are the sister
group of passerines, forming a
cladePsittacopasserae, to the exclusion of the next closest group, the falcons.[
12]
Europe is the origin of the first undeniable parrot fossils, which date from abo
ut 50 Ma. The climate there and
then was tropical, consistent with the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Initial
ly,
a neoavian named Mopsitta tanta, uncovered in Denmark's Early Eocene Fur Formati
on and dated to 54 Ma, was
assigned to the Psittaciformes; it was described from a single humerus.[13] Howe
ver, the rather nondescript bone
is not unequivocally psittaciform, and more recently it was pointed out that it
may rather belong to a newly
discovered ibis of the genus Rhynchaeites, whose fossil legs were found in the s
ame deposits.
The feathers of a Yellow-headed Amazon. The blue component of the green colourat
ion is due to light scattering while the

yellow is due to pigment.


Fossils assignable to Psittaciformes (though not yet the present-day parrots) da
te from slightly later in
the Eocene, starting around 50 Ma. Several fairly complete skeletons of parrot-l
ike birds have been found
in England and Germany.[14] Some uncertainty remains, but on the whole it seems
more likely that these are not
direct ancestors of the modern parrots, but related lineages which evolved in th
e Northern Hemisphere and have
since died out. These are probably not "missing links" between ancestral and mod
ern parrots, but rather
psittaciform lineages that evolved parallel to true parrots and cockatoos and ha
d their own peculiar
autapomorphies:
*
Psittacopes (Early/Middle Eocene of Geiseltal, Germany)-basal[citation n
eeded]
*
Serudaptus-pseudasturid or psittacid[citation needed]
*
Pseudasturidae (Halcyornithidae may be correct name)
*
Pseudasturides - formerly Pseudastur
*
Vastanavidae
*
Vastanavis (Early Eocene of Vastan, India)
*
Quercypsittidae
*
Quercypsitta (Late Eocene)
The earliest records of modern parrots date to about 23-20 Ma and are also from
Europe. Subsequently, the fossil
record-again mainly from Europe-consists of bones clearly recognisable as belong
ing to parrots of modern
type. The Southern Hemisphere does not have nearly as rich a fossil record for t
he period of interest as the
Northern, and contains no known parrot-like remains earlier than the early to mi
ddle Miocene, around 20 Ma. At
this point, however, is found the first unambiguous parrot fossil (as opposed to
a parrot-like one), an upper jaw
which is indistinguishable from that of modern cockatoos. A few modern genera ar
e tentatively dated to a
Miocene origin, but their unequivocal record stretches back only some 5 million
years (see genus articles for
more).
Fossil skull of a presumed parrot relative from the Eocene Green River Formation
inWyoming.
The named fossil genera of parrots are probably all in the Psittacidae or close
to its ancestry:
*
Archaeopsittacus (Late Oligocene/Early Miocene)
*
Xenopsitta (Early Miocene of Czechia)
*
Psittacidae gen. et spp. indet. (Bathans Early/Middle Miocene of Otago,
New Zealand)-several
species
*
Bavaripsitta (Middle Miocene of Steinberg, Germany)
*
Psittacidae gen. et sp. indet. (Middle Miocene of France)-erroneously pl
aced inPararallus dispar,
includes "Psittacus" lartetianus
Some Paleogene fossils are not unequivocally accepted to be of psittaciforms:
*
Palaeopsittacus (Early - Middle Eocene of NW Europe)-caprimulgiform (pod
argid)[citation needed] or
quercypsittid[citation needed]
*
"Precursor" (Early Eocene)-part of this apparent chimera seems to be of
a pseudasturid or psittacid
*
Pulchrapollia (Early Eocene)-includes "Primobucco" olsoni-psittaciform (

pseudasturid or
psittacid)[citation needed]
Molecular studies suggest that parrots evolved approximately 59 Ma (range 66-51
Ma) in Gondwanaland.[15] The
three major clades of Neotropical parrots originated about 50 Ma (range 57-41 Ma
).
Phylogeny[edit]
Parrots
Psittacoidea

Cacatuoidea

Strigopoidea

Other birds

Phylogenetic relationship between the three parrot


superfamilies based on the available literature[8][16][17]
The Psittaciformes comprise three main lineages: Strigopoidea, Psittacoidea andC
acatuoidea.
The Strigopoidea were considered part of the Psittacoidea, but recent studies pl
ace this group of New Zealand
species at the base of the parrot tree next to the remaining members of the Psit
tacoidea as well as all members of
the Cacatuoidea.[8][16][17]
The Cacatuoidea are quite distinct, having a movable head crest, a different arr
angement of the carotid arteries,
a gall bladder, differences in the skull bones, and lack the Dyck texture feathe
rs which, in the Psittacidae, scatters
light in such a way as to produce the vibrant colours of so many parrots. Colour
ful feathers with high levels
of psittacofulvin resist the feather-degrading bacterium Bacillus licheniformis
better than white ones.[18]
Lorikeets were previously regarded as a third family, Loriidae,[19] but are now
considered a tribe (Loriini) within
the subfamily Lorinae. The two other tribes in the subfamily are the closely rel
ated fig parrots (two genera in the
tribe Cyclopsittini) and Budgerigar (tribe Melopsittacini).[8][16][17]
Systematics[edit]
The following classification is based on the most recent proposal, which in turn
is based on all the relevant recent
findings.[5][8][16][20][21][22][23]

Skeleton of a parrot
Superfamily Strigopoidea: The New Zealand parrots.
*
Family Nestoridae: 2 genera with 2 living (Kea and New Zealand Kaka) and
several extinct species of
the New Zealand region.
*
Family Strigopidae: The flightless, critically endangered Kakapo of New
Zealand.
Superfamily Cacatuoidea: Cockatoos
*
Family Cacatuidae
*
Subfamily Nymphicinae: 1 genus with one species, the Cockatiel.
*
Subfamily Calyptorhynchinae: The black cockatoos
*
Subfamily Cacatuinae
*
Tribe Microglossini: One genus with one species, the black Palm Cockatoo
.
*
Tribe Cacatuini: Four genera of white, pink and grey species.
Superfamily Psittacoidea: true parrots.
*
Family Psittacidae
*
Subfamily Psittacinae: Two African genera, Grey Parrot and Poicephalus
*
Subfamily Arinae
*
Tribe Arini: 15 genera
*
Tribe Androglossini: 7 genera
*
Incertae sedis: 10 genera
*
Family Psittrichasiidae
*
Subfamily Psittrichasinae: One species, Pesquet's Parrot
*
Subfamily Coracopsinae: One genera with several species.
*
Family Psittaculidae
*
Subfamily Platycercinae
*
Tribe Pezoporini: ground parrots and allies
*
Tribe Platycercini: broad-tailed parrots
*
Subfamily Psittacellinae: 1 genus (Psittacella) with several species.
*
Subfamily Loriinae
*
Tribe Loriini: lories and lorikeets
*
Tribe Melopsittacini: 1 genus with one species, the Budgerigar
*
Tribe Cyclopsittini: fig parrots
*
Subfamily Agapornithinae: 3 genera
*
Subfamily Psittaculinae
*
Tribe Polytelini: 3 genera
*
Tribe Psittaculini: Asian psittacines
*
Tribe Micropsittini: Pygmy parrots
Other lists[edit]
*
A list of all parrots sortable by common or binomial name, about 350 spe
cies.
*
Taxonomic list of Cacatuidae species, 21 species in 7 genera
*
Taxonomic list of true parrots which provides the sequence of Psittacida
e genera and species
following a traditional two-subfamily approach, as in the taxobox above, about 3
30 species.
*
List of Strigopidae
*
List of macaws
*
List of Amazon parrots
*
List of Aratinga parakeets
Morphology[edit]
Glossy Black Cockatoo showing the parrot's strong bill, clawed feet, and sideway
s positioned eyes
Extant species range in size from the Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, at under 10 g (0.
4 oz) in weight and 8 cm (3.1 in)
in length, to the Hyacinth Macaw, at 1 m (3.3 ft) in length, and theKakapo, at 4

.0 kg (8.8 lb) in weight. Among


the superfamilies, the three extant Strigopoideaspecies are all large parrots, a
nd the cockatoos tend to be large
birds as well. The Psittacoidea parrots are far more variable, ranging the full
spectrum of sizes shown by the
family.
The most obvious physical characteristic is the strong, curved, broad bill. The
upper mandible is prominent,
curves downward, and comes to a point. It is not fused to the skull, which allow
s it to move independently, and
contributes to the tremendous biting pressure the birds are able to exert. The l
ower mandible is shorter, with a
sharp, upward-facing cutting edge, which moves against the flat portion of the u
pper mandible in an anvil-like
fashion. There are touch receptors along the inner edges of the kerantinised bil
l, which are collectively known as
the 'bill tip organ', allowing for highly dextrous manipulations. Seed-eating pa
rrots have a strong tongue
(containing similar touch receptors to those in the bill tip organ), which helps
to manipulate seeds or position
nuts in the bill so that the mandibles can apply an appropriate cracking force.
The head is large, with eyes
positioned high and laterally in the skull, so the visual field of parrots are u
nlike any other birds. Without turning
its head, a parrot can see from just below its bill tip, all above its head, and
to quite far behind its head. Parrots
also have quite a wide frontal binocular field for a bird, although this is nowh
ere near as large as primate
binocular visual fields.[24]
Parrots have strong zygodactyl feet with sharp, elongated claws, which are used
for climbing and swinging. Most
species are capable of using their feet to manipulate food and other objects wit
h a high degree of dexterity, in a
similar manner to a human using his hands. A study conducted with Australian par
rots has demonstrated that
they exhibit "handedness"-that is a distinct preference with regards to the foot
used to pick up food, with adult
parrots being almost exclusively "left-footed" or "right footed", and with the p
revalence of each preference
within the population varying from species to species.[25]
Cockatoo species have a mobile crest of feathers on the top of their heads which
can be raised for display, and
retracted. No other parrots can do so, but the Pacific lorikeets in the genera V
ini and Phigys are able to ruffle the
feathers of the crown and nape and theRed-fan Parrot (or Hawk-headed Parrot) has
a prominent feather neck
frill which can be raised and lowered at will. The predominant colour of plumage
in parrots is green, though most
species have some red or another colour in small quantities. Cockatoos are the m
ain exception to this, having lost
the green and blue plumage colours in their evolutionary history they are now pr
edominately black or white with
some red, pink or yellow. Strong sexual dimorphism in plumage is not typical amo
ng parrots, with some notable
exceptions, the most striking being the Eclectus Parrot.
Distribution and habitat[edit]
Most parrot species are tropical but a few species, like this Austral Parakeet,
range deeply into temperate zones

See also: List of Psittaciformes by population


Parrots are found on all tropical and subtropical continents including Australia
and Oceania,South
Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America and Africa. Some Caribbean
and Pacific islands are home
to endemic species. By far the greatest number of parrot species come from Austr
alasia and South America. The
lories and lorikeets range fromSulawesi and the Philippines in the north to Aust
ralia and across the Pacific as far
as French Polynesia, with the greatest diversity being found in and around New G
uinea. The
subfamilyArinae encompasses all the Neotropical parrots, including the Amazons,
macaws and conures, and
ranges from northern Mexico and the Bahamas to Tierra del Fuego in the southern
tip of South America. The
pygmy parrots, tribe Micropsittini, form a small genus restricted to New Guinea.
The superfamily Strigopoidea
contains three living species of aberrant parrots from New Zealand. The broad-ta
iled parrots,
subfamily Platycercinae, are restricted to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacifi
c islands as far eastwards as Fiji.
The true parrot superfamily, Psittacoidea, includes a range of species from Aust
ralia and New Guinea to South
Asia and Africa. The centre of cockatoo biodiversity is Australia and New Guinea
, although some species reach
the Solomon Islands (and one formerly occurred inNew Caledonia),[26] Wallacea an
d the Philippines.
Several parrots inhabit the cool, temperate regions of South America and New Zea
land. One, the Carolina
Parakeet, lived in temperate North America, but was hunted to extinction in the
early 20th century. Many parrots
have been introduced to areas with temperate climates, and have established stab
le populations in parts of
the United States (including New York City),[27] the United Kingdom,[28]Belgium[
29] and Spain,[30][31] as well as
in Greece.[32][33]
Few parrots are wholly sedentary or fully migratory. Most fall somewhere between
the two extremes, making
poorly understood regional movements, with some adopting an entirely nomadic lif
estyle.[34]
Behaviour[edit]
There are numerous challenges in studying wild parrots, as they are difficult to
catch and once caught they are
difficult to mark. Most wild bird studies rely on banding or wing tagging, but p
arrots chew off such
attachments.[34] Parrots also tend to range widely and consequently there are ma
ny gaps in knowledge of their
behaviour. Some parrots have a strong, direct flight. Most species spend much of
their time perched or climbing
in tree canopies. They often use their bills for climbing by gripping or hooking
on branches and other supports.
On the ground parrots often walk with a rolling gait.
Diet[edit]
A Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo using its strong bill to search for grubs
A White-eyed Parakeet couple eating Queen Palm seeds. Parrots have sharp and str
ong beaks, that can break very hard seeds.

The diet of parrots consists of seeds, fruit, nectar, pollen, buds, and sometime
s arthropods and other animal prey.
The most important of these for most true parrots and cockatoos are seeds; the e
volution of the large and
powerful bill can be explained primarily as an adaptation to opening and consumi
ng seeds. All true
parrots except the Pesquet's Parrot employ the same method to obtain the seed fr
om the husk; the seed is held
between the mandibles and the lower mandible crushes the husk, whereupon the see
d is rotated in the bill and the
remaining husk is removed.[34] A foot is sometimes used to help holding large se
eds in place. Parrots are
seed predators rather than seed dispersers; and in many cases where species are
recorded as consuming fruit they
are only eating the fruit to get at the seed. As seeds often have poisons to pro
tect them, parrots are careful to
remove seed coats and other fruit parts which are chemically well defended, prio
r to ingestion. Many species in
the Americas, Africa, and Papua New Guinea consume clay which both releases mine
rals and absorbs toxic
compounds from the gut.[35]
Parrots at a clay lick in Ecuador.
The lories and lorikeets, hanging parrots and Swift Parrot are primarily nectar
and pollen consumers, and
have tongues with brush tips to collect this source of food, as well as some spe
cialised gut adaptations to
accommodate this diet.[36] Many other species also consume nectar as well when i
t becomes available.
In addition to feeding on seeds and flowers, some parrot species prey on animals
, especially invertebrate
larvae. Golden-winged Parakeets prey on water snails, and famously the Keas of N
ew Zealand kill
juvenile petrels and even attack and indirectly kill adult sheep.[37] Another Ne
w Zealand parrot, the Antipodes
Parakeet, enters the burrows of nesting Grey-backed Storm Petrels and kills the
incubating
adults.[38] Somecockatoos and the Kaka excavate branches and wood to obtain grub
s; the bulk of theYellowtailed Black Cockatoo's diet is made up of insects.[39]
Breeding[edit]
Although there are a few exceptions, parrots are monogamous breeders which nest
in cavities and hold
no territories other than their nesting sites.[34][40] The pair bonds of the par
rots and cockatoos are strong and a pair
remains close even during the non-breeding season, even if they join larger floc
ks. As with many birds, pair bond
formation is preceded by courtship displays; these are relatively simple in the
case of cockatoos. In Psittacidae
parrots common breeding displays, usually undertaken by the male, include slow d
eliberate steps known as a
"parade" or "stately walk" and the "eye-blaze", where the pupil of the eye const
ricts to reveal the edge of the
iris.[34] Allopreening is used by the pair to help maintain the bond. Cooperativ
e breeding, where birds other than
the breeding pair help the pair raise the young and is common in some bird famil
ies, is extremely rare in parrots,
and has only unambiguously been demonstrated in the Golden Parakeet (which may a
lso exhibitpolyamorous, or

group breeding, behaviour with multiple females contributing to the clutch).[41]


The vast majority of parrots are, like this feral Rose-ringed Parakeet, cavity n
esters.
Only the Monk Parakeet and five species of Agapornis lovebird build nests in tre
es,[42] and three Australian and
New Zealand ground parrots nest on the ground. All other parrots and cockatoos n
est in cavities, either tree
hollows or cavities dug into cliffs, banks or the ground. The use of holes in cl
iffs is more common in the
Americas. Many species use termite nests, possibly to reduce the conspicuousness
of the nesting site or to create
a favourablemicroclimate.[43] In most cases both parents participate in the nest
excavation. The length of the
burrow varies with species, but is usually between 0.5-2 m (1.6-6.6 ft) in lengt
h. The nests of cockatoos are
often lined with sticks, wood chips and other plant material. In the larger spec
ies of parrot and cockatoo the
availability of nesting hollows may be limited, leading to intense competition f
or them both within the species
and between species, as well as with other bird families. The intensity of this
competition can limit breeding
success in some cases.[44][45] Some species are colonial, with the Burrowing Par
rot nesting in colonies up to
70,000 strong.[46] Coloniality is not as common in parrots as might be expected,
possibly because most species
adopt old cavities rather than excavate their own.[47]
The eggs of parrots are white. In most species the female undertakes all the inc
ubation, although incubation is
shared in cockatoos, theBlue Lorikeet, and the Vernal Hanging Parrot. The female
remains in the nest for almost
all of the incubation period and is fed both by the male and during short breaks
. Incubation varies from 17 to 35
days, with larger species having longer incubation periods. The newly born young
are altricial, either lacking
feathers or with sparse white down. The young spend anything from three weeks to
four months in the nest,
depending on species, and may receive parental care for several months thereafte
r.[48]
As typical of K-selected species, the macaws and other larger parrot species hav
e low reproductive rates. They
require several years to reach maturity, produce one or very few young per year,
and do not necessarily breed
every year.
Intelligence and learning[edit]
Sun Conure demonstrating parrots' puzzle-solving skills
Studies with captive birds have given insight into which birds are the most inte
lligent. While parrots are able to
mimic human speech, studies with the African Grey Parrot have shown that some ar
e able to associate words
with their meanings and form simple sentences (seeAlex and N'kisi). Along with c
rows, ravens,
and jays (family Corvidae), parrots are considered the most intelligent of birds
. The brain-to body size ratio of
psittacines and corvines is actually comparable to that of higher primates.[49]
One argument against the supposed
intelligent capabilities of bird species is that birds have a relatively small c

erebral cortex, which is the part of the


brain considered to be the main area of intelligence in other animals. However,
birds use a different part of the
brain, the medio-rostral HVC, as the seat of their intelligence. Research has sh
own that these species tend to have
the largest hyperstriata, and Harvey J. Karten, a neuroscientist at the Universi
ty of California, San Diego, who
studied bird physiology, has discovered that the lower part of the avian brain i
s functionally similar to that in
humans. Not only have parrots demonstrated intelligence through scientific testi
ng of their language-using
ability, but some species of parrot such as the Kea are also highly skilled at u
sing tools and solving puzzles.[50]
Learning in early life is apparently important to all parrots, and much of that
learning is social learning. Social
interactions are often practised with siblings, and in several species creches a
re formed with several broods, and
these as well are important for learning social skills. Foraging behaviour is ge
nerally learnt from parents, and can
be a very protracted affair. Supra-generalists and specialists are generally ind
ependent of their parents much
quicker than partly specialised species which may have to learn skills over a lo
ng period of time as various
resources become seasonally available. Play forms a large part of learning in pa
rrots; it can be solitary, and
related to motor skills, or social. Species may engage in play fights or wild fl
ights to practice predator evasion.
An absence of stimuli can retard the development of young birds, as demonstrated
by a group of Vasa
Parrots kept in tiny cages with domesticated chickens from the age of 3 months;
at 9 months these birds still
behaved in the same way as 3-month-olds, but had adopted some chicken behaviour.
[34] In a similar fashion
captive birds in zoo collections or pets can, if deprived of stimuli, develop st
ereotyped behaviours and harmful
behaviours like self plucking. Aviculturists working with parrots have identifie
d the need for environmental
enrichment to keep parrots stimulated.
Sound imitation and speech[edit]
Main article: Talking bird
See also: Animal language
Video of an Orange-winged Amazon saying "Hello" having been prompted by some peo
ple
Many parrots can imitate human speech or other sounds. A study by Irene Pepperbe
rgsuggested a high learning
ability in an African Grey Parrot named Alex. Alex was trained to use words to i
dentify objects, describe them,
count them, and even answer complex questions such as "How many red squares?" wi
th over 80%
accuracy. N'kisi, another African grey, has been shown to have a vocabulary of a
pproximately a thousand words,
and has displayed an ability to invent as well as use words in context and in th
e correct tense.
Parrots do not have vocal cords, so sound is accomplished by expelling air acros
s the mouth of the bifurcated
trachea. Different sounds are produced by changing the depth and shape of trache
a. African Grey Parrots of all
subspecies are known for their superior ability to imitate sounds and human spee

ch. This ability has made them


prized as pets from ancient time to the present. In the Masnavi, a writing by Ru
mi of Persia, AD 1250, the author
talks about an ancient method for training parrots to speak.
Although most parrot species are able to imitate, some of the Amazon parrots are
generally regarded as the nextbest imitators and speakers of the parrot world. The question of why birds imita
te remains open, but those that do
often score very high on tests designed to measure problem solving ability. Wild
African Grey Parrots have been
observed imitating other birds.[51] Most other wild parrots have not been observ
ed imitating other species.
Cooperation[edit]
The journal Animal Cognition stated that some birds preferred to work alone, whi
le others like to work together
as with African Grey Parrots. With two parrots, they know the order of tasks or
when they should do something
together at once, but they have trouble exchanging roles. With three parrots, on
e parrot usually prefers to
cooperate with one of the other two, but all of them are cooperating to solve th
e task.[52]
Relationship with humans[edit]
Video of a Blue-fronted Amazon mimicking a human laughing
Humans and parrots have a complicated relationship. Economically they can be ben
eficial to communities as
sources of income from the pet trade and are highly marketable tourism draws and
symbols. But some species are
also economically important pests, particularly some cockatoo species in Austral
ia. Some parrots have also
benefited from human changes to the environment in some instances, and have expa
nded their ranges alongside
agricultural activity, but many species have declined as well.
There exist a number of careers and professions devoted to parrots. Zoos and aqu
ariums employ keepers to care
for and shape the behaviour of parrots. Some veterinarians who specialise in avi
an medicine treat parrots
exclusively. Biologists study parrot populations in the wild and help to conserv
e wild populations. Aviculturalists
breed and sell parrots for the pet trade.
Tens of millions of parrots have been removed from the wild, and parrots have be
en traded in greater numbers
and for far longer than any other group of wild animals.[53] Many parrot species
are still threatened by this trade
as well as habitat loss, predation by introduced species, and hunting for food o
r feathers. Some parrot species are
agricultural pests,[54] eating fruits, grains, and other crops, but parrots can
also benefit economies
through birdwatching based ecotourism.[55]
Pets[edit]
Pet Cuban Amazons in Cuba
Further information: Companion parrot
Parrots do not make good pets for most people because of their natural wild inst
incts such as screaming and
chewing. Although parrots can be very affectionate and cute when immature, once
mature, they often become
aggressive and may bite, causing serious injury, partly due to mishandling and p

oor training. For this reason,


parrot rescue groups estimate that most parrots are surrendered and rehomed at l
east five homes before reaching
their permanent destinations or before dying prematurely from unintentional or i
ntentional neglect and abuse.
Sadly, the parrot's ability to mimic human words and their bright colors and bea
uty prompt impulse buying from
unsuspecting consumers. The domesticated Budgerigar, a small parrot, is the most
popular of all pet bird species
and the most discarded. In 1992 the newspaper USA Today published that there wer
e 11 million pet birds in the
United States alone,[56] many of them parrots. Europeans kept birds matching the
description of the Rose-ringed
Parakeet (or called the ring-necked parrot), documented particularly in a firstcentury account by Pliny the
Elder.[57] As they have been prized for thousands of years for their beauty and
ability to talk, they have also often
been misunderstood. For example, author Wolfgang de Grahl discusses in his 1987
book The Grey Parrot that
some importers allowed parrots to drink only coffee while they were being shippe
d by boat considering pure
water to be detrimental and believing that their actions would increase survival
rates during shipping. (Nowadays
it is commonly accepted that the caffeine in coffee is toxic to birds.)
Pet parrots may be kept in a cage or aviary; though generally, tame parrots shou
ld be allowed out regularly on a
stand or gym. Depending on locality, parrots may be either wild caught or be cap
tive bred, though in most areas
without native parrots, pet parrots are captive bred. Parrot species that are co
mmonly kept
as pets include conures, macaws, Amazons, cockatoos, African
Greys, lovebirds,cockatiels, Budgerigars, Eclectus, Caiques, parakeets, Pionus a
nd Poicephalus. Temperaments
and personalities vary even within a species, just as dog breeds do. Even though
African Grey parrots are thought
to be excellent talkers, not all African Grey parrots want to talk, therefore ev
en though they have the capability to
do so. Noise level, talking ability, cuddliness with people, and care needs, can
sometimes depend on how the bird
is cared for and the attention he/she regularly receives.
Parrots invariably require an enormous amount of attention, care and intellectua
l stimulation to thrive, akin to
that required by a three-year-old child, which many people find themselves unabl
e to provide in the long
term.[58] Parrots that are bred for pets may be hand fed or otherwise accustomed
to interacting with people from a
young age to help ensure they will be tame and trusting. However, even when hand
fed, parrots revert to biting
and aggression during hormonal surges and if mishandled or neglected. Parrots ar
e not low maintenance pets;
they require feeding, grooming, veterinary care, training, environmental enrichm
ent through the provision of
toys, exercise, and social interaction (with other parrots or humans) for good h
ealth.
Some large parrot species, including large cockatoos, amazons, and macaws, have
very long lifespans, with 80
years being reported and record ages of over one hundred.[citation needed] Small
parrots, such as lovebirds, hanging
parrots, and budgies have shorter life spans of up to 15-20 years. Some parrot s
pecies can be quite loud, and

many of the larger parrots can be destructive and require a very large cage, and
a regular supply of new toys,
branches, or other items to chew up. The intelligence of parrots means they are
quick to learn tricks and other
behaviours-both good and bad-that get them what they want, such as attention or
treats.
The popularity, longevity, and intelligence of many of the larger kinds of pet p
arrot and their wild traits such as
screaming, has led to many birds needing to be re-homed during the course of the
ir long lifespans. A common
problem is that large parrots which are cuddly and gentle as juveniles mature in
to intelligent, complex, often
demanding adults that can outlive their owners can also become aggressive and ev
en dangerous. Due to these
problems, homeless parrots are being euthanised like dogs and cats, and parrot a
doption centres and sanctuaries
are becoming more common. Parrots don't often do well in captivity, causing some
parrots to go insane and
develop repetitive behaviors, such as swaying, screaming, or they become riddled
with intense fear. Feather
destruction and self-mutilation, although not commonly seen in the wild, occur f
requently in captivity.
Zoos[edit]
Scarlet Macaw riding a tricycle at a show in Spain
Parrot species are found in most zoos, and a few zoos participate in breeding an
d conservation programs. Some
zoos have organized displays of trained parrots and other birds doing tricks.
Trade[edit]
Main article: International parrot trade
10,000 Hyacinth Macaws were taken from the wild for the pet trade in the 1980s.[
59][dead link] As a result Brazil now has only a
very small number of breeding pairs left in the wild.[citation needed]
The popularity of parrots as pets has led to a thriving-and often illegal-trade
in the birds, and some species are
now threatened with extinction. A combination of trapping of wild birds and dama
ge to parrot habitats makes
survival difficult or even impossible for some species of parrot. Importation of
wild caught parrots into the US
and Europe is illegal.
The trade continues unabated in some countries. A report published in January 20
07 presents a clear picture of
the wild-caught parrot trade in Mexico, stating: "The majority of parrots captur
ed in Mexico stay in the country
for the domestic trade. A small percentage of this capture, 4% to 14%, is smuggl
ed into the USA."[60]
The scale of the problem can be seen in the Tony Silva case of 1996, in which a
parrot expert and former director
at Tenerife's Loro Parque (Europe's largest parrot park) was jailed in the Unite
d States for 82 months and fined
$100,000 for smuggling Hyacinth Macaws.[61](Such birds command a very high price
). The case led to calls for
greater protection and control over trade in the birds. Different nations have d
ifferent methods of handling
internal and international trade. Australia has banned the export of its native
birds since 1960. Following years of
campaigning by hundreds of NGOs and outbreaks of avian flu, in July 2007, the Eu

ropean Union halted the


importation of all wild birds with a permanent ban on their import. Prior to an
earlier temporary ban started in
late October 2005, the EU was importing approximately two million live birds a y
ear, about 90% of
the international market: hundreds of thousands of these were parrots. There are
no national laws protecting feral
parrot populations in the U.S. Mexico has a licensing system for capturing and s
elling native birds (though the
laws are not well enforced).
Culture[edit]
Moche Parrot. 200 A.D. Larco Museum Collection Lima, Peru
Parrots have featured in human writings, story, art, humor, religion and music f
or thousands of years.
From Aesop's fable "The parrot and the cat" and the Roman poet Ovid's "The Dead
Parrot"(Latin), (English) to Monty Python's Dead Parrot Sketch millennia later,
parrots have existed in the
consciousness of many cultures. Recent books about parrots in human culture incl
ude Parrot Culture.[62]
In ancient times and current, parrot feathers have been used in ceremonies, and
for decoration. The "idea" of the
parrot has been used to represent the human condition inmedieval literature such
as the bestiary. They also have a
long history as pets.
In Polynesian legend as current in the Marquesas Islands, the hero Laka/Aka is m
entioned as having undertaken
a long and dangerous voyage to Aotona in what are now the Cook Islands, to obtai
n the highly prized feathers of
a red parrot as gifts for his son and daughter. On the voyage a hundred out of h
is 140 rowers died of hunger on
their way, but the survivors reached Aotona and captured enough parrots to fill
140 bags with their
feathers.[63][64] By at least some versions, the feathers were plucked off livin
g parrots without killing them.[65]
Currently parrots feature in many media. There are magazines devoted to parrots
as pets, and to the conservation
of parrots.[66]Fictional films include Paulie and Rio, and documentaries include
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph
Hill.
Parrots have also been considered sacred. The Moche people of ancient Peru worsh
ipped birds and often depicted
parrots in their art.[67]
Parrots are used as symbols of nations and nationalism. A parrot is found on the
flag of Dominica. The St.
Vincent parrot is the national bird of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a Caribbe
an nation.
Parrots are popular in Buddhist scripture and there are many writings about them
. For example, Amitabha once
changed itself into a parrot to aid in converting people. Another old story tell
s how after a forest caught fire, the
parrot was so concerned it carried water to try and put out the flames. The rule
r of heaven was so moved upon
seeing the parrot's act, that he sent rain to put out the fire. In Chinese Buddh
ist iconography, a parrot is
sometimes depicted hovering on the upper right side Guan Yin clasping a pearl or
prayer beads in its beak.
Sayings about parrots colour the modern English language. The verb "parroting" c
an be found in the dictionary,

and means "to repeat by rote." There are also clichs such as the British expressi
on "sick as a parrot"; although
this refers to extreme disappointment rather than illness, it may originate from
the disease of psittacosis which
can be passed to humans.[68][69] The first occurrence of a related expression is
in Aphra Behn's 1681 play The
False Count.[70]
Feral populations[edit]
Main article: Feral parrots
Feral Red-masked Parakeets in San Francisco. The population is the subject of th
e book and film The Wild Parrots of
Telegraph Hill.
Escaped parrots of several species have become established in the wild outside t
heir natural ranges and in some
cases outside the natural range of parrots. Among the earliest instances were pe
t Red Shiningparrots from Fiji which established a population on the islands of southern Tong
a. These introductions were
prehistoric and Red-shining Parrots were recorded in Tonga by Captain Cook in th
e 1770s.[26] Escapees first
began breeding in cities inCalifornia, Texas and Florida in the 1950s (with unpr
oven earlier claims dating back to
the 1920s in Texas and Florida).[30] They have proved surprisingly hardy in adap
ting to conditions in Europe and
North America. They sometimes even multiply to the point of becoming a nuisance
or pest, and a threat to local
ecosystems, and control measures have been used on some feral populations.[71]
Threats and conservation[edit]
A mounted specimen of the Carolina Parakeet, which was hunted to extinction
Deforestation pushed the Puerto Rican Amazon to the brink of extinction, still r
emaining among the world's rarest birds
despite conservation efforts.[72]
Many parrot species are in decline and several are extinct. Of the 350 or so liv
ing species, 130 are listed as near
threatened or worse by theIUCN of which 16 are currently considered Critically E
ndangered.[73] There are
several reasons for the decline of so many species, the principal threats being
habitat loss and degradation,
hunting and, for certain species, the wild-bird trade. Parrots are persecuted be
cause, in some areas, they are (or
have been) hunted for food and feathers, and as agricultural pests. For a time,
Argentina offered a bounty
on Monk Parakeets (an agricultural pest), resulting in hundreds of thousands of
birds being killed, though
apparently this did not greatly affect the overall population.[74]
Capture for the pet trade is a threat to many of the rarer or slower to breed pa
rrots. Habitat loss or degradation,
most often for agriculture, is a threat to many species. Parrots, being cavity n
esters, are vulnerable to the loss of
nesting sites and to competition with introduced species for those sites. The lo
ss of old trees is a particular
problem in some areas, particularly in Australia where trees suitable for nestin
g need to be centuries old. Many
parrots occur only on islands and are vulnerable to introduced species such as r

ats andcats, as they lack


the appropriate anti-predator behaviours needed to deal with mammalian predators
. Controlling such predators
can help in maintaining or increasing the numbers of endangered species.[75] Ins
ular species, which have small
populations in restricted habitat, are also vulnerable to unpredictable events s
uch as hurricanes and volcanic
eruptions.
There are many active conservation groups whose goal is the conservation of wild
parrot populations. One of the
largest is the World Parrot Trust,[76] an international organisation. The group
gives assistance to worthwhile
projects as well as producing a magazine[77] and raising funds through donations
and memberships, often from
pet parrot owners. They state they have helped conservation work in 22 countries
. On a smaller scale local parrot
clubs raise money to donate to a conservation cause. Zoo and wildlife centres us
ually provide public education,
to change habits that cause damage to wild populations. Recent conservation meas
ures to conserve the habitats of
some of the high-profile charismatic parrot species has also protected many of t
he less charismatic species living
in the ecosystem.[7]A popular attraction that many zoos employ is a feeding stat
ion for lories and lorikeets, where
visitors feed small parrots with cups of liquid food. This is usually done in as
sociation with educational signs and
lectures.
Several projects aimed specifically at parrot conservation have met with success
. Translocation of
vulnerable Kakapo, followed by intensive management and supplementary feeding, h
as increased the population
from 50 individuals to 123.[78] In New Caledonia theOuvea Parakeet was threatene
d by trapping for the pet trade
and loss of habitat. Community based conservation, which eliminated the threat o
f poaching, has allowed the
population to increase from around 600 birds in 1993 to over 2000 birds in 2009.
[79]
At present the IUCN recognises 19 species of parrot as extinct since 1600 (the d
ate used to denote modern
extinctions).[80] This does not include species like the New Caledonian Lorikeet
which has not been officially
seen for 100 years yet is still listed as critically endangered.
Trade, export and import of all wild-caught parrots is regulated and only permit
ted under special licensed
circumstances in countries party to CITES, the Convention on the International T
rade in Endangered Species,
that came into force in 1975 to regulate the international trade of all endanger
ed wild caught animal and plant
species. In 1975, 24 parrot species were included on Appendix I of CITES, thus p
rohibiting commercial
international trade in these birds. Since that initial listing, continuing threa
ts from international trade led CITES
to add an additional 32 parrot varieties to Appendix I.[81] All the other parrot
species are protected on Appendix II
of CITES. In addition, individual countries may have laws to regulate trade in c
ertain species.
See also[edit]
Birds portal

*
Parrots International
References[edit]
Notes[edit]
1.
Jump up^ Waterhouse, David M. (2006). "Parrots in a nutshell: The fossil
record of Psittaciformes
(Aves)". Historical Biology 18 (2): 223-234.doi:10.1080/08912960600641224.
2.
Jump up^ "Psittacine". American Heritage Dictionary of the English Langu
age, Fourth Edition.
Houghton Mifflin Company. 2000. Archived fromthe original on 2007-08-27. Retriev
ed 2007-09-09.
3.
Jump up^ "Psittacine". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webste
r, Inc. Retrieved
2007-09-09.
4.
Jump up^ "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.01
3)".
www.zoonomen.net. 2008-12-29.
5.
^ Jump up to:a b Joseph, Leo et al. (2012). "A revised nomenclature and
classification for familygroup taxa of parrots (Psittaciformes)". Zootaxa3205: 26-40.
6.
Jump up^ Snyder, N; McGowan, P; Gilardi, J; & A Grajal (2000), Parrots:
Status Survey and
Conservation Action Plan, 2000-2004. Chapter 1. vii.IUCN ISBN 2-8317-0504-5. Cha
pter 1. vii.
7.
^ Jump up to:a b Snyder, N; McGowan, P; Gilardi, J; & A Grajal (2000), P
arrots: Status Survey and
Conservation Action Plan, 2000-2004. Chapter 1. vii. IUCN ISBN 2-8317-0504-5. Ch
apter 2. page 12.
8.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e Wright, T.F.; Schirtzinger E. E., Matsumoto T., E
berhard J. R., Graves G. R.,
Sanchez J. J., Capelli S., Muller H., Scharpegge J., Chambers G. K. & Fleischer
R. C. (2008). "A Multilocus
Molecular Phylogeny of the Parrots (Psittaciformes): Support for a Gondwanan Ori
gin during the
Cretaceous". Mol Biol Evol 25 (10): 21412156. doi:10.1093/molbev/msn160. PMC 2727385. PMID 18653733.
9.
Jump up^ Stidham, T. (1998). "A lower jaw from a Cretaceous parrot". Nat
ure 396 (6706): 2930. doi:10.1038/23841.
10.
Jump up^ Dyke, GJ; Mayr, G. (1999). "Did parrots exist in the Cretaceous
period?". Nature 399 (6734): 317-318. doi:10.1038/20583.
11.
Jump up^ Waterhouse DM (2006). "Parrots in a nutshell: The fossil record
of Psittaciformes
(Aves)". Historical Biology 18 (2): 227.doi:10.1080/08912960600641224.
12.
Jump up^ Suh A, Paus M, Kiefmann M, et al (2011). "Mesozoic retroposons
reveal parrots as the
closest living relatives of passerine birds".Nature Communications 2 (8): 4438. doi:10.1038/ncomms1448. PMC 3265382. PMID 21863010.
13.
Jump up^ Waterhouse, D.M.; Lindow, B.E.K.; Zelenkov, N.; Dyke, G.J. (200
8). "Two new fossil
parrots (Psittaciformes) from the Lower Eocene Fur Formation of Denmark". Palaeo
ntology 51 (3): 575582. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2008.00777.x.
14.
Jump up^ Dyke, GJ; Cooper, JH (2000). "A new psittaciform bird from the
London clay (Lower
Eocene) of England". Palaeontology 43 (2): 271-285. doi:10.1111/1475-4983.00126.
15.
Jump up^ Tavares ES, Baker AJ, Pereira SL, Miyaki CY (2006). "Phylogenet
ic relationships and
historical biogeography of neotropical parrots (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae: Ari
ni) inferred from

mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences". Syst Biol. 55 (3): 454470.doi:10.1080/10635150600697390. PMID 16861209.
16.
^ Jump up to:a b c d de Kloet, RS; de Kloet SR (2005). "The evolution of
the spindlin gene in birds:
Sequence analysis of an intron of the spindlin W and Z gene reveals four major d
ivisions of the
Psittaciformes". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36 (3): 706721.doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.03.013. PMID 16099384.
17.
^ Jump up to:a b c Tokita, M; Kiyoshi T and Armstrong KN (2007). "Evolut
ion of craniofacial
novelty in parrots through developmental modularity and heterochrony". Evolution
& Development 9 (6):
590-601. doi:10.1111/j.1525-142X.2007.00199.x. PMID 17976055.
18.
Jump up^ Burtt, E. H.; Schroeder, M. R.; Smith, L. A.; Sroka, J. E.; McG
raw, K. J.
(2010). "Colourful parrot feathers resist bacterial degradation".Biology Letters
7 (2): 214216. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0716. PMC 3061162. PMID 20926430.
19.
Jump up^ Forshaw, Joseph M.; Cooper, William T. (1978) [1973]. Parrots o
f the World (2nd ed.).
Melbourne Australia: Landsdowne Editions. p. 45.ISBN 0-7018-0690-7.
20.
Jump up^ White, Nicole E. et al. (2011). "The evolutionary history of co
ckatoos (Aves:
Psittaciformes: Cacatuidae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59 (3): 615622. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.03.011. PMID 21419232.
21.
Jump up^ Schweizer, Manuel; Seehausen, Ole and Hertwig, Stefan T. (2011)
. "Macroevolutionary
patterns in the diversification of parrots: effects of climate change, geologica
l events and key
innovations". Journal of Biogeography 38 (11): 2176-2194. doi:10.1111/j.1365-269
9.2011.02555.x.
22.
Jump up^ Joseph, Leo; Toon, Alicia; Schirtzinger, Erin E. and Wright, Ti
mothy F. (2011).
"Molecular systematics of two enigmatic genera Psittacellaand Pezoporus illumina
te the ecological radiation
of Australo-Papuan parrots (Aves: Psittaciformes)". Molecular Phylogenetics and
Evolution 59 (3): 675684. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.03.017. PMID 21453777.
23.
Jump up^ Schweizer, M.; Seehausen O, Gntert M and Hertwig ST (2009). "The
evolutionary
diversification of parrots supports a taxon pulse model with multiple trans-ocea
nic dispersal events and local
radiations". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54 (3): 98494.doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.08.021. PMID 19699808.
24.
Jump up^ Demery, Zoe P.; Chappell, J., Martin, G. R. (2011). "Vision, to
uch and object
manipulation in Senegal parrots Poicephalus senegalus". Proceedings of the Royal
Society B 278 (1725):
3687-3693. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0374. PMC 3203496.PMID 21525059.
25.
Jump up^ Brennand, Emma (2011-02-02). "Parrots prefer 'left handedness'"
. BBC Earth News.
Retrieved 5 February 2011.
26.
^ Jump up to:a b Steadman D, (2006). Extinction and Biogeography in Trop
ical Pacific Birds,
University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-77142-7pp.342-351
27.
Jump up^ Steve Baldwin. "about the Wild Parrots of Brooklyn". BrooklynPa
rrots.com. Retrieved
2013-02-27.
28.
Jump up^ Coughlan, Sean (2004-07-06). "Wild parrots settle in suburbs".
BBC News.

29.
Jump up^ "The Brussels Connection". Thebrusselsconnection.be. Retrieved
2013-02-27.
30.
^ Jump up to:a b Butler, C (2005). "Feral Parrots in the Continental Uni
ted States and United
Kingdom: Past, Present, and Future". Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 19 (2
): 142149. doi:10.1647/183.
31.
Jump up^ Sol, Daniel; Santos, David M. ; Feria, Elas & Jordi Clavell (199
7). "Habitat Selection
by the Monk Parakeet during Colonization of a New Area in Spain". Condor 99 (1):
3946. doi:10.2307/1370222. JSTOR 1370222.
32.
Jump up^ http://petbirds.gr/forum/t5395/
33.
Jump up^ http://petbirds.gr/forum/t517/
34.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Collar N (1997) "Family Psittacidae (Parrots)"
in Handbook of the Birds of
the World Volume 4; Sandgrouse to Cuckoos (eds del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargat
al, J.), Barcelona: Lynx
Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-22-9
35.
Jump up^ Diamond, J (1999). "Evolutionary biology: Dirty eating for heal
thy
living". Nature 400 (6740): 120-121. doi:10.1038/22014.PMID 10408435.
36.
Jump up^ Gartrell, B; Jones, S; Brereton, R; Astheimer, L (2000). "Morph
ological Adaptations to
Nectarivory of the Alimentary Tract of the Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor". Emu
100 (4): 274279. doi:10.1071/MU9916.
37.
Jump up^ Kea - Mountain Parrot, NHNZ. (1 hour documentary)
38.
Jump up^ Greene, Terry (1999 November/December). "Aspects of the ecology
of Antipodes
Parakeet (Cyanoramphus unicolor) and Reischek's Parakeet (C. novaezelandiae hoch
stetten) on Antipodes
Island" (PDF). Notornis (Ornithological Society of New Zealand) 46 (2): 301-310.
39.
Jump up^ Cameron 2007, p. 114.
40.
Jump up^ Rowley I (1997) "Family Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)" in Handbook of
the Birds of the
World Volume 4; Sandgrouse to Cuckoos', del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J.
(eds.) Barcelona: Lynx
Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-22-9
41.
Jump up^ Oren, David C.; Novaes, Fernando (1986). "Observations on the g
olden
parakeet Aratinga guarouba in Northern Brazil". Biological Conservation 36 (4):
329337. doi:10.1016/0006-3207(86)90008-X.
42.
Jump up^ Eberhard, J (1998). "Evolution of nest-building behavior
in Agapornis parrots" (PDF). Auk 115 (2): 455-464. doi:10.2307/4089204.
43.
Jump up^ Sanchez-Martinez, Tania; Katherine Renton (2009). "Availability
and selection of
arboreal termitaria as nest-sites by Orange-fronted Parakeets Aratinga canicular
is in conserved and modified
landscapes in Mexico". Ibis 151 (2): 311-320. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2009.00911
.x.
44.
Jump up^ Heinsohn, Robert; Murphy, Stephen & Legge, Sarah (2003). "Overl
ap and competition
for nest holes among eclectus parrots, palm cockatoos and sulphur-crested cockat
oos". Australian Journal of
Zoology 51 (1): 81-94. doi:10.1071/ZO02003.
45.
Jump up^ Pell, A; Tidemann, C (1997). "The impact of two exotic hollow-n
esting birds on two
native parrots in savannah and woodland in eastern Australia". Biological Conser

vation 79 (2): 145153. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(96)00112-7.


46.
Jump up^ Masello, J; Pagnossin, M; Sommer, C; Quillfeldt, P (2006). "Pop
ulation size,
provisioning frequency, flock size and foraging range at the largest known colon
y of Psittaciformes: the
Burrowing Parrots of the north-eastern Patagonian coastal cliffs". Emu 106 (1):
6979.doi:10.1071/MU04047.
47.
Jump up^ Eberhard, Jessica (2002). "Cavity adoption and the evolution of
coloniality in cavitynesting birds". Condor 104 (2): 240-247.doi:10.1650/00105422(2002)104[0240:CAATEO]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0010-5422.
48.
Jump up^ Forshaw, Joseph (1991). Forshaw, Joseph, ed. Encyclopaedia of A
nimals: Birds.
London: Merehurst Press. pp. 118-124. ISBN 1-85391-186-0.
49.
Jump up^ Iwaniuk, Andrew (2004-02-09). "This Bird Is No Airhead". Natura
l Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
50.
Jump up^ Beynon, Mike (April 2000). "Who's a clever bird, then?". BBC Ne
ws. Archived
from the original on 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
51.
Jump up^ Cruickshank, A; Gautier, J & Chappuis, C (1993). "Vocal mimicry
in wild African
Grey Parrots Psittacus erithacus". Ibis 135 (3): 293-299.doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X
.1993.tb02846.x.
52.
Jump up^ Gill, Victoria (18 May 2011). Parrots choose to work together.
BBC
53.
Jump up^ IUCN, Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, 2000-2004, Pa
rrots, Foreword
54.
Jump up^ Warburton, L. S.; Perrin, M. R. (2006). "The Black-cheeked Love
bird (Agapornis
nigrigenis) as an agricultural pest in Zambia". Emu 106(4): 321-328. doi:10.1071
/MU04037.
55.
Jump up^ Christian, C; Potts, T; Burnett, G; Lacher, Jr (1999). "Parrot
Conservation and
Ecotourism in the Windward Islands". Journal of Biogeography 23 (3): 387-393. do
i:10.1046/j.13652699.1996.00041.x.
56.
Jump up^ Ward, Sam (1992-12-21). "USA Snapshots: Most Popular Pets". USA
Today. Retrieved
2009-09-06.
57.
Jump up^ "Parrot". The Medieval Bestiary. 2008-02-13.
58.
Jump up^ The National Parrot Sanctuary. "The National Parrot Sanctuary Europe's Only
Dedicated Parrot Zoo". parrotsanctuary.co.uk.
59.
Jump up^ BirdLife International (2012). Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus. In:
IUCN 2012. IUCN Red
List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2
60.
Jump up^ "Stopping the Illegal Mexican Parrot Trade". Defenders of Wildl
ife. Retrieved 23
December 2007.
61.
Jump up^ Lowther, Jason; Cook, Dee; Roberts, Martin (2002-08-05). Crime
and Punishment in
the Wildlife Trade (PDF). World Wildlife Federation. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
62.
Jump up^ Boehrer, Bruce (2004). Parrot Culture. Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania
Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-3793-1.
63.
Jump up^ Craig, Robert D. (1989). Dictionary of Polynesian mythology. Gr
eenwood Publishing

Group. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-313-25890-9.


64.
Jump up^ Handy, E.S.C. (1930) Marquesan Legends, Bernice P. Bishop Museu
m Press:
Honolulu, pp. 130-1
65.
Jump up^ Craighill Handy, E.S. Aka's Voyage for Red Feathers (Marquesas
Islands). hawaii.edu
66.
Jump up^ PsittaScene Magazine. parrots.org
67.
Jump up^ Berrin, Katherine & Larco Museum (1997). The Spirit of Ancient
Peru:Treasures from
the Museo Arqueolgico Rafael Larco Herrera.New York: Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0500
018022.
68.
Jump up^ Quinion, Michael (10 June 2000). "Sick as a.". World Wide Words
. Retrieved 13
October 2011.
69.
Jump up^ Swithenbank, G. Expressions and Sayings. Retrieved 13 October 2
011.
70.
Jump up^ Behn, Aphra (1681). "The False Count". Project Gutenberg. "'Lor
d, Madam, you are as
melancholy as a sick Parrot.' 'And can you blame me, Jacinta? have I not many Re
asons to be sad?'"
71.
Jump up^ Department of Conservation (2008). "DOC's work with rainbow lor
ikeet". Retrieved
2008-07-14.
72.
Jump up^ "Natural Resources - Endangered and Threatened Species". USDA.
Retrieved 2013-0821.
73.
Jump up^ "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN. 2006. Retrieved 31
August 2007.
74.
Jump up^ Campbell, T. S. (December 2000). "The Monk Parakeet". The Insti
tute for Biological
Invasions.
75.
Jump up^ Moorhouse, Ron; Greene, Terry; Dilks, Peter; Powlesland, Ralph;
Moran, Les; Taylor,
Genevieve; Jones, Alan; Knegtmans, Jaap et al. (2002). "Control of introduced ma
mmalian predators
improves kaka Nestor meridionalis breeding success: reversing the decline of a t
hreatened New Zealand
parrot". Biological Conservation 110 (1): 33-44. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00173
-8.
76.
Jump up^ "Current homepage". The World Parrot Trust.
77.
Jump up^ "Our publications: PsittaScene Magazine". World Parrot Trust.
78.
Jump up^ Kakapo Recovery Programme (2010). "Then and Now". Kakapo Recove
ry Programme.
Retrieved 1 April 2010.
79.
Jump up^ Barr, Nicholas; Theuerkauf, Jrn; Verfaille, Ludovic ; Primot, Pie
rre and Maurice
Saoumo (2010). "Exponential population increase in the endangered Ouva Parakeet (E
unymphicus
uvaeensis) after community-based protection from nest poaching". Journal of Orni
thology151 (3):
695. doi:10.1007/s10336-010-0499-7.
80.
Jump up^ IUCN (2007). "2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species" . Downl
oaded on 14 July
2008.
81.
Jump up^ A group of 226 non-governmental organisations (2005-05-19). "Th
e European Union
Wild Bird Declaration" (PDF). www.birdsareforwatching.org.
Cited texts[edit]
*
Cameron, Matt (2007). Cockatoos. Collingwood, VIC, Australia: CSIRO Publ
ishing. ISBN 978-0-643-

09232-7.
External links[edit]
Find more about Parrot at Wikipedia's sister
projects
Definitions and translations from
Wiktionary
Media from Commons
Quotations from Wikiquote
Source texts from Wikisource
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Hamster
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hamster
Temporal range: Middle Miocene Current
Syrian hamster
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Rodentia
Suborder:
Myomorpha
Superfamily:
Muroidea
Family:
Cricetidae
Subfamily:
Cricetinae
Fischer de Waldheim, 1817
Genera
Mesocricetus
Phodopus
Cricetus
Cricetulus
Allocricetulus
Cansumys
Tscherskia
Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. The subfamily contai
ns about
25 species, classified in six or seven genera.[1]
Hamsters are crepuscular and remain underground during the day to avoid being ca
ught by predators.
In the wild, they feed primarily on seeds, fruits, and vegetation, and will occa
sionally eat

burrowing insects.[2] They have elongated cheek pouches extending to their shoul
ders in which they
carry food back to their burrows. Hamsters tend to sleep during the day and are
wide awake at night,
which may be irritating to some people because of their cage-biting and wheel-ru
nning.
Hamster behavior varies depending on their environment, genetics, and interactio
n with people.
Because they are easy to breed in captivity, hamsters are often used aslaborator
y animals. Hamsters
have also become established as popular small housepets,[3] and are sometimes ac
cepted even in
areas where other rodents are disliked, and their typically solitary nature can
reduce the risk of
excessive litters developing in households.
Contents
[hide]
*
1 History
o
1.1 Early literature
*
2 Etymology
*
3 Description
o
3.1 Senses
o
3.2 Diet
*
4 Behavior
o
4.1 Social behavior
o
4.2 Chronobiology
o
4.3 Burrowing behavior
*
5 Reproduction
o
5.1 Fertility
o
5.2 Gestation and fecundity
o
5.3 Intersexual aggression and cannibalism
o
5.4 Weaning
o
5.5 Longevity
*
6 Hamsters as pets
o
6.1 Gallery
*
7 Classification
o
7.1 Relationships among hamster species
*
8 Similar animals
*
9 Media depictions
*
10 See also
*
11 References
*
12 External links
History
Although the Syrian hamster or golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) was first d
escribed
scientifically by George Robert Waterhousein 1839, researchers were not able to
successfully breed
and domesticate hamsters until 1939.[3] The entire laboratory and pet population
s of Syrian hamsters
appear to be descendants of a single brother-sister pairing. These littermates w
ere captured and
imported in 1930 from Aleppo [Syria] by Israel Aharoni, a zoologist of the Unive
rsity of Jerusalem.[4] In
Jerusalem, the hamsters bred very successfully. Years later, animals of this ori
ginal breeding colony
were exported to the USA, where Syrian hamsters became one of the most popular p
ets and
laboratory animals. Comparative studies of domestic and wild Syrian hamsters hav
e shown reduced
genetic variability in the domestic strain. However, the differences in behavior

al, chronobiological,
morphometrical, hematological, and biochemical parameters are relatively small a
nd fall into the
expected range of interstrain variations in other laboratory animals.[5]
Early literature
In 1774, Friedrich Gabriel Sulzer, a companion of Johann-Wolfgang von Goethe, de
voted a whole
academic monograph in the domain of social sciences and natural history to hamst
ers, entitled "An
approach to a natural history of the hamster" ("Versuch einer Naturgeschichte de
s Hamsters"). In
several instances, he used the hamster to document the equal rights of all being
s, including Homo
sapiens.[6]
Etymology
The name "hamster" is a loanword from the German, which itself derives from earl
ier Old High
German hamustro. It is possibly related toOld Russian chom?str?, which is either
a blend of the root
of Russian khomiak "hamster" and a Baltic word (cf. Lithuanian staras"hamster")[
7] or of Persian origin
(cf. Av hama?star "oppressor").[8]
Description
Skeleton of European hamster
Hamsters are typically stout-bodied, with tails shorter than body length, and ha
ve small, furry ears,
short, stocky legs, and wide feet. They have thick, silky fur, which can be long
or short, colored black,
grey, honey, white, brown, yellow, red, or a mix, depending on the species. Two
species of hamster
belonging to the genus Phodopus, Campbell's dwarf hamster (P. campbelli) and the
Djungarian
hamster (P. sungorus), and two of the genus Cricetulus, theChinese striped hamst
er (C. barabensis)
and the Chinese hamster (C. griseus) have a dark stripe down their heads to thei
r tails. The species of
genus Phodopus are the smallest, with bodies 5.5 to 10.5 cm (2.2 to 4.1 in) long
; the largest is
the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus), measuring up to 34 cm (13.4 in) long,
not including a short
tail of up to 6 cm (2.4 in). The Angora hamster, also known as the long-haired o
r teddy bear hamster,
which is a type of the golden hamster is the second-largest hamster breed, measu
ring up to 18 cm
(7.1 in) long.[3]
A white Syrian hamster showing large incisors
The hamster tail can be difficult to see, as it is usually not very long (about
1/6 the length of the body),
with the exception of the Chinese dwarf hamster, which has a tail the same lengt
h as the body. One
rodent characteristic that can be highly visible in hamsters is their sharpincis
ors; they have an upper
pair and lower pair which grow continuously throughout life, so must be regularl
y worn down. Hamsters
are very flexible, but their bones are somewhat fragile. They are extremely susc
eptible to rapid

temperature changes and drafts, as well as extreme heat or cold.


Senses
Hamsters have poor eyesight; they are nearsighted and colorblind.[9] [10] Hamste
rs have scent glands
on their flanks (and abdomens in Chinese and dwarf hamsters) which they rubs aga
inst the substrate
leaveing a scent trail to follow to return to its home.[citation needed]Hamsters
also use their sense of smell to
identify pheromones and gender, and to locate food. They are also particularly s
ensitive to highpitched noises and can hear and communicate in the ultrasonic range.[4]
Diet
Hamsters are omnivores. Although pet hamsters can survive on a diet of exclusive
ly commercial
hamster food, other items, such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts, can be g
iven. Hamsters in the
Middle East have been known to hunt in packs to find insects for food.[11] Hamst
ers are hindgut
fermenters and eat their own feces (coprophagy) to recover nutrients digested in
the hindgut, but not
absorbed.[1]
Behavior
The dissected-out cheek pouches of aEuropean hamster
A behavioral characteristic of hamsters is food hoarding. They carry food in the
ir spacious cheek
pouches to their underground storage chambers. When full, the cheeks can make th
eir heads double,
or even triple in size.[1]
Social behavior
Hamsters fighting
Most hamsters are strictly solitary. If housed together, acute and chronic stres
s may occur,[5] and they
may fight fiercely, sometimes fatally. Some dwarf hamster species may tolerate c
onspecifics. Russian
hamsters form close, monogamous bonds with their mates, and if separated, they m
ay become very
depressed. This happens especially in males. Males will become inactive, eat mor
e, and even show
some behavioral changes similar to some types of depression in humans.[citation
needed] This can even
cause obesity in the hamster.
Chronobiology
Evidence conflicts as to whether hamsters are crepuscular or nocturnal. Khunen w
rites, "Hamsters are
nocturnal rodents who [sic] are active during the night...",[5] but others have
written that because
hamsters live underground during most of the day, only leaving their burrows abo
ut an hour before
sundown and then returning when it gets dark, their behavior is primarily crepus
cular.[citation
needed] Fritzsche indicated although some species have been observed to show mor
e nocturnal activity
than others, they are all primarily crepuscular.[4]
Wild Syrian hamsters are true hibernators and allow their body temperature to fa
ll close to ambient
temperature (but not below 20C). This kind of thermoregulation diminishes themeta

bolic rate to about


5% and helps the animal to considerably reduce the need for food during the wint
er.[5] Hamsters may
not hibernate per se, but instead reduce the rate of a number of physiological s
ystems, such as
breathing and heart rate, for short periods of time. These periods of torpor (de
fined as "a state of
mental or physical inactivity or insensibility"[12]) can last up 10 days.[citati
on needed]
Burrowing behavior
All hamsters are excellent diggers, constructing burrows with one or more entran
ces, with galleries
connected to chambers for nesting, food storage, and other activities.[1] They u
se their fore- and
hindlegs, as well as their snouts and teeth, for digging. In the wild, the burro
w buffers extreme ambient
temperatures, offers relatively stable climatic conditions, and protects against
predators. Syrian
hamsters dig their burrows generally at a depth of 0.7 m.[13] A burrow includes
a steep entrance pipe
(4 5 cm in diameter), a nesting and a hoarding chamber and a blind-ending branch f
or urination.
Laboratory hamsters have not lost their ability to dig burrows; in fact, they wi
ll do this with great vigor
and skill if they are provided with the appropriate substrate.[5]
Wild hamsters will also appropriate tunnels made by other mammals; the Djungaria
n hamster, for
instance, uses paths and burrows of the pika.[citation needed]
Reproduction
A mother Syrian hamster with pups less than one week old
Fertility
Hamsters become fertile at different ages depending on their species. Both Syria
n and Russian
hamsters mature quickly and can begin reproducing at a young age (4 5 weeks), wher
eas Chinese
hamsters will usually begin reproducing at two to three months of age, and Robor
ovskis at three to four
months of age. The female's reproductive life lasts about 18 months, but male ha
msters remain fertile
much longer. Females are in estrus about every four days, which is indicated by
a reddening of genital
areas, a musky smell, and a hissing, squeaking vocalisation she will emit if she
believes a male is
nearby.[3]
When seen from above, a sexually mature female hamster has a trim tail line; a m
ale's tail line bulges
on both sides. This might not be very visible in all species. Male hamsters typi
cally have very
large testes in relation to their body size. Before sexual maturity occurs, it i
s more difficult to determine
a young hamster's sex. When examined, female hamsters have their anal and genita
l openings close
together, whereas males have these two holes farther apart (the penis is usually
withdrawn into the
coat and thus appears as a hole or pink pimple).[3]
Gestation and fecundity
Hamsters are seasonal breeders and will produce several litters a year with seve
ral pups in each litter.

The breeding season is from April to October in the Northern Hemisphere, with tw
o to five litters of one
to 13 young being born after a gestation period of 16 to 23 days.[11]Gestation l
asts 16 to 18 days for
Syrian hamsters, 18 to 21 days for Russian hamsters, 21 to 23 days for Chinese h
amsters and 23 to
30 for Roborovski hamsters. The average litter size for Syrian hamsters is about
seven pups, but can
be as great as 24, which is the maximum number of pups that can be contained in
the
uterus. Campbell's dwarf hamsters tend to have four to eight pups in a litter, b
ut can have up to 13.
Djungarian hamsters tend to have slightly smaller litters, as do Chinese and Rob
orovski hamsters.
Intersexual aggression and cannibalism
Female Chinese and Syrian hamsters are known for being aggressive toward the mal
e if kept together
for too long after mating. In some cases, male hamsters can die after being atta
cked by the female. If
breeding hamsters, separation of the pair after mating is recommended, or they w
ill attack each other.
Female hamsters are also particularly sensitive to disturbances while giving bir
th, and may even eat
their own young if they think they are in danger, although sometimes they are ju
st carrying the pups in
their cheek pouches.[4] If captive female hamsters are left for extended periods
(three weeks or more)
with their litter, they may cannibalize the litter, so the litter must be remove
d by the time the young can
feed and drink independently.
Weaning
An adult female and several juvenile dwarf hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) feeding
Hamsters are born hairless and blind in a nest the mother will have prepared in
advance.[3] After one
week, they begin to explore outside the nest. They are completely weaned after t
hree weeks, or four
for Roborovski hamsters. Most breeders will sell the hamsters to shops when they
are three to nine
weeks old.
Longevity
Syrian hamsters typically live no more than two to three years in captivity, and
less in the wild. Russian
hamsters (Campbell's and Djungarian) live about two to four years in captivity,
and Chinese hamsters
21?2 3 years. The smaller Roborovski hamster often lives to three years in captivi
ty.[1]
Hamsters as pets
The best-known species of hamster is the golden or Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus
auratus), which is
the type most commonly kept as pets. It is also sometimes called a "fancy" hamst
er. Pet stores also
have taken to calling them "honey bears", "panda bears", "black bears", "Europea
n black bears", "polar
bears", "teddy bears", and "Dalmatian", depending on their coloration.[14] Sever
al variations, including
long-haired varieties, grow hair several centimeters long and often require spec
ial care. British
zoologist Leonard Goodwin claimed most hamsters kept in the United Kingdom were

descended from
the colony he introduced for medical research purposes during the Second World W
ar.[15]
Other hamsters kept as pets are the various species of "dwarf hamster". Campbell
's dwarf
hamster (Phodopus campbelli) is the most common they are also sometimes called "Ru
ssian
dwarfs"; however, many hamsters are from Russia, so this ambiguous name does not
distinguish them
from other species appropriately. The coat of the Djungarian or winter-white Rus
sian dwarf hamster
(Phodopus sungorus) turns almost white during winter (when the hours of daylight
decrease).[3] The Roborovski hamster (Phodopus roborovskii) is extremely small a
nd fast, making it
difficult to keep as a pet.[1] The Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus), althoug
h not technically a true
"dwarf hamster", is the only hamster with a prehensile tail (about 4 cm long)[ci
tation needed] most
hamsters have very short, nonprehensile tails.
Many breeders also show their hamsters, so breed towards producing a good, healt
hy, show hamster
with a view to keeping one or two themselves, so quality and temperament are of
vital importance
when planning the breeding.
Gallery
*
A sable, short-haired golden hamster
*
A Russian dwarf hamster
*
A Roborovski hamster
Classification
Taxonomists generally disagree about the most appropriate placement of the
subfamily Cricetinae within the superfamily Muroidea. Some place it in a family
Cricetidae that also
includes voles, lemmings, and New World rats and mice; others group all these in
to a large family
called Muridae. Their evolutionary history is recorded by 15 extinct fossil gene
ra and extends back
11.2 million to 16.4 million years to the Middle Miocene Epoch in Europe and Nor
th Africa; in Asia it
extends 6 million to 11 million years. Four of the seven living genera include e
xtinct species. One
extinct hamster of Cricetus, for example, lived in North Africa during the Middl
e Miocene, but the only
extant member of that genus is the European or common hamster of Eurasia.
*
Subfamily Cricetinae
*
Genus Allocricetulus
*
Species A. curtatus Mongolian hamster
*
Species A. eversmanni Eversmann's or Kazakh hamster
*
Genus Cansumys
*
Species C. canus Gansu hamster
*
Genus Cricetulus
*
Species C. alticola Tibetan dwarf or Ladak hamster
*
Species C. barabensis, including "C. pseudogriseus" and "C. obscurus"
Chinese striped hamster, also called Chinese hamster; striped dwarf hamster
*
Species C. griseus Chinese (dwarf) hamster, also called rat hamster

*
Species C. kamensis Kam dwarf hamster or Tibetan hamster
*
Species C. longicaudatus long-tailed dwarf hamster
*
Species C. migratorius gray dwarf hamster, Armenian hamster, migratory
grey hamster; grey hamster; migratory hamster
*
Species C. sokolovi Sokolov's dwarf hamster
*
Genus Cricetus
*
Species C. cricetus European hamster, also called common hamster or
black-bellied field hamster
*
Genus Mesocricetus golden hamsters
*
Species M. auratus golden or Syrian hamster
*
Species M. brandti Turkish hamster, also called Brandt's hamster;
Azerbaijani hamster
*
Species M. newtoni Romanian hamster
*
Species M. raddei Ciscaucasian hamster
*
Genus Phodopus dwarf hamsters
*
Species P. campbelli Campbell's dwarf hamster
*
Species P. roborovskii Roborovski hamster
*
Species P. sungorus Djungarian hamster or winter-white Russian dwarf
hamster
*
Genus Tscherskia
*
Species T. triton greater long-tailed hamster, also called Korean hamster
Relationships among hamster species
Neumann et al. (2006) conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of 12 of the a
bove 17 species
using DNA sequence from threegenes: 12S rRNA, cytochrome b, and von Willebrand f
actor. They
uncovered the following relationships:[16]
Phodopus group
The genus Phodopus was found to represent the earliest split among hamsters. The
ir analysis
included both species. The results of another study[17] suggest Cricetulus kamen
sis (and presumably
the related C. alticola) might belong to either this Phodopus group or hold a si
milar basal position.
Mesocricetus group
The genus Mesocricetus also forms a clade. Their analysis included all four spec
ies, with M.
auratus and M. raddei forming one subclade and M. brandti and M. newtoni another
.
Remaining genera
The remaining genera of hamsters formed a third major clade. Two of the three sa
mpled species
within Cricetulus represent the earliest split. This clade contains C. barabensi
s (and presumably the
related C. sokolovi) and C. longicaudatus.
Miscellaneous
The remaining clade contains members of Allocricetulus, Tscherskia, Cricetus, an
d C.
migratorius. Allocricetulus and Cricetus weresister taxa. Cricetulus migratorius
was their next closest
relative, and Tscherskia was basal.
Similar animals
Some similar rodents sometimes called "hamsters" are not currently classified in
the hamster
subfamily Cricetinae. These include the maned hamster, or crested hamster, which
is really the maned
rat (Lophiomys imhausi). Others are the mouse-like hamsters(Calomyscus spp.), an
d the white-tailed
rat (Mystromys albicaudatus).
Media depictions

A hamster called Rhino features in the 2008 animated film Bolt and the spin-off
2009 short film Super
Rhino.[18]
In "Tales of the Riverbank", narrated by Johnny Morris, the main character was H
ammy the Hamster.
See also
*
Chinchilla
*
Ebichu
*
Gerbil
*
Guinea pig
*
Hampster Dance
*
Hamster racing
*
Hamster wheel
*
Hamtaro
*
Rat
References
1.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Fox, Sue. 2006. Hamsters. T.F.H. Publications I
nc.
2.
Jump up^ Patricia Pope Bartlett ([2003). The Hamster Handbook. Barron's
Educational
Series. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-7641-2294-1.
3.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Barrie, Anmarie. 1995. Hamsters as a New Pet.
T.F.H.
Publications Inc., NJ ISBN 0-86622-610-9.
4.
^ Jump up to:a b c d Fritzsche, Peter. 2008. Hamsters: A Complete Pet Ow
ner s Manual.
Barron s Educational Series Inc., NY ISBN 0-7641-3927-4.
5.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e Kuhnen, G. (2002). Comfortable quarters for hamst
ers in research
institutions. In "Comfortable Quarters for Laboratory Animals" Eds V. Reinhardt
and A. Reinhardt.
Animal Welfare Institute, Washington DC. pp.33-37
6.
Jump up^ Friedrich Gabriel Sulzer (1774). Versuch einer Naturgeschichte
des Hamsters.
Dieterich. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
7.
Jump up^ Douglas Harper, The Online Etymology Dictionary, entry for "ham
ster"
8.
Jump up^ Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, s.v. "hamster" (29 May
2008) Merriam-Webster.com
9.
Jump up^ King, LeeAnne Engfer ; photographs by Andy (1997). My pet hamst
er &
gerbils (ed. ed.). Minneapolis: Lerner. p. 13. ISBN 0822522616.
10.
Jump up^ translated; Scott, revised by Thomas A. (1995). Concise encyclo
pedia
biology (Rev. ed.). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. p. 299.ISBN 3110106612.
11.
^ Jump up to:a b "hamster." Encyclopdia Britannica. Standard Edition. Chi
cago:
Encyclopdia Britannica, 2007.
12.
Jump up^ torpor. Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
13.
Jump up^ Gattermann, R., Fritzsche, P., Neumann, K., Al-Hussein, I., Kay
ser, A., Abiad,
M. and Yakti, R., (2001). Notes on the current distribution and ecology of wild
golden hamsters
(Mesocricetus auratus). Journal of Zoology, 254: 359-365
14.
Jump up^ "Syrian Hamsters". about.com Syrian Hamsters. 2012. Retrieved 2
012-04-05.
15.
Jump up^ "Leonard Goodwin
Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. 14 January 20
09.
Retrieved 18 January 2009.

16.
Jump up^ Neumann, K; Michaux, J; Lebedev, V; Yigit, N; Colak, E; Ivanova
, N;
Poltoraus, A; Surov, A; Markov, G (2006). "Molecular phylogeny of the Cricetinae
subfamily based
on the mitochondrial cytochrome b and 12S rRNA genes and the nuclear vWF gene".
Molecular
Phylogenetics & Evolution 39 (1): 135 48. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.01.010. PMID 16
483801.
17.
Jump up^ Lebedev, V. S., N. V. Ivanova, N. K. Pavlova, and A. B. Poltora
us. 2003.
Molecular phylogeny of the Palearctic hamsters. In Proceedings of the Internatio
nal Conference
Devoted to the 90th Anniversary of Prof. I. M. Gromov on Systematics, Phylogeny
and
Paleontology of Small Mammals (A. Averianov and N. Abramson eds.). St. Petersbur
g.
18.
Jump up^ Barnes, Brooks (14 November 2008). "The Voice Behind the Drawin
g
Board". New York Times.
Rabbit
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Bunny" redirects here. For other uses, see Bunny (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Rabbet.
For other uses, see Rabbit (disambiguation).
Rabbit
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Lagomorpha
Family:
Leporidae
in part
Genera
Pentalagus
Bunolagus
Nesolagus
Romerolagus
Brachylagus
Sylvilagus
Oryctolagus
Poelagus
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found
in several parts of
the world. There are eight different genera in the family classified as rabbits,
including the European
rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), cottontail rabbits (genusSylvilagus; 13 species)
, and the Amami
rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi, an endangered species on Amami ?shima, Japan). Ther

e are many other


species of rabbit, and these, along with pikas and hares, make up the order Lago
morpha. The male is
called a buckand the female is a doe; a young rabbit is a kitten or kit.
Contents
[hide]
*
1 Habitat and range
*
2 Biology
o
2.1 Evolution
o
2.2 Morphology
o
2.3 Ecology
o
2.4 Sleep
o
2.5 Lifespan
*
3 Diet and eating habits
*
4 Rabbit diseases
*
5 Differences from hares
*
6 As pets
o
6.1 Aggression
*
7 As food and clothing
*
8 Environmental problems
*
9 In culture and literature
o
9.1 Folklore and mythology
o
9.2 Other fictional rabbits
o
9.3 Urban legends
*
10 Classifications
*
11 See also
*
12 References
*
13 Further reading
*
14 External links
Habitat and range
Outdoor entrance to a rabbit burrow
Rabbit habitats include meadows, woods, forests, grasslands, deserts and wetland
s.[1]Rabbits live in
groups, and the best known species, the European rabbit, lives in undergroundbur
rows, or rabbit
holes. A group of burrows is called a warren.[1]
More than half the world's rabbit population resides in North America.[1] They a
re also native to
southwestern Europe, Southeast Asia, Sumatra, some islands of Japan, and in part
s
ofAfrica and South America. They are not naturally found in most of Eurasia, whe
re a number of
species of hares are present. Rabbits first entered South America relatively rec
ently, as part of
the Great American Interchange. Much of the continent has just one species of ra
bbit, the tapeti, while
most of South America's southern cone is without rabbits.
The European rabbit has been introduced to many places around the world.[2]
Biology
A skin-skeletal preparation showing its incisors
Evolution
Because the rabbit's epiglottis is engaged over the soft palate except when swal
lowing, the rabbit is
an obligate nasal breather. Rabbits have two sets of incisor teeth, one behind t
he other. This way they
can be distinguished from rodents, with which they are often confused.[3] Carl L

innaeus originally
grouped rabbits and rodents under the class Glires; later, they were separated a
s the scientific
consensus is that many of their similarities were a result of convergent evoluti
on. However, recent
DNA analysis and the discovery of a common ancestor has supported the view that
they share a
common lineage, and thus rabbits and rodents are now often referred to together
as members of the
superclass Glires.[4]
Morphology
Video of a European rabbit, showing ears twitching and a jump
The rabbit's long ears, which can be more than 10 cm (4 in) long, are probably a
n adaptation for
detecting predators. They have large, powerful hind legs. The two front paws hav
e 5 toes, the extra
called the dewclaw. The hind feet have 4 toes.[5] They are plantigrade animals w
hile at rest; however,
they move around on their toes while running, assuming a more digitigradeform. W
ild rabbits do not
differ much in their body proportions or stance, with full, egg-shaped bodies. T
heir size can range
anywhere from 20 cm (8 in) in length and 0.4 kg in weight to 50 cm (20 in) and m
ore than 2 kg. The fur
is most commonly long and soft, with colors such as shades of brown, gray, and b
uff. The tail is a little
plume of brownish fur (white on top forcottontails).[2] Rabbits can see nearly 3
60 degrees, with a small
blind spot at the bridge of the nose.[6]
Ecology
Rabbits are hindgut digesters. This means that most of their digestion takes pla
ce in theirlarge
intestine and cecum. In rabbits the cecum is about 10 times bigger than the stom
ach and it along with
the large intestine makes up roughly 40% of the rabbit's digestive tract.[7]The
unique musculature of
the cecum allows the intestinal tract of the rabbit to separate fibrous material
from more digestible
material; the fibrous material is passed as feces, while the more nutritious mat
erial is encased in a
mucous lining as a cecotrope. Cecotropes, sometimes called "night feces", are hi
gh
in minerals, vitamins and proteins that are necessary to the rabbit's health. Ra
bbits eat these to meet
their nutritional requirements; the mucous coating allows the nutrients to pass
through the acidic
stomach for digestion in the intestines. This process allows rabbits to extract
the necessary nutrients
from their food.[8]
Rabbits are prey animals and are therefore constantly aware of their surrounding
s. For instances, in
Mediterranean Europe, rabbits are the main prey of red foxes, badgers, and Iberi
an lynxes.[9] If
confronted by a potential threat, a rabbit may freeze and observe then warn othe
rs in the warren with
powerful thumps on the ground. Rabbits have a remarkably wide field of vision, a
nd a good deal of it is
devoted to overhead scanning.[10] They survive predation by burrowing, hopping a

way in a zig-zag
motion, and, if captured, delivering powerful kicks with their hind legs. Their
strong teeth allow them to
eat and to bite in order to escape a struggle.[11]
Sleep
Further information: Sleep (non-human)
Rabbits are crepuscular, most active at dawn and dusk. The average sleep time of
a rabbit in captivity
is said to be 8.4 hours.[12] As with other prey animals, rabbits often sleep wit
h their eyes open so
sudden movements will wake the rabbit and alert it to dangers.[13]
Lifespan
A litter of rabbit kits (baby rabbits)
A nest containing baby rabbits
The expected rabbit lifespan is about 9 12 years;[14][15] the world's oldest rabbi
t on record lived 18
years.[16]
Diet and eating habits
A young rabbit looking through the grass.
Rabbits are herbivores that feed by grazing on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds. In
consequence, their
diet contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits solve
this problem by passing
two distinct types of feces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the
latter of which are known
as caecotrophs and are immediately eaten (a behaviour known as coprophagy). Rabb
its reingest their
own droppings (rather than chewing the cud as do cows and many other herbivores)
to digest their
food further and extract sufficient nutrients.[17]
Rabbits graze heavily and rapidly for roughly the first half hour of a grazing p
eriod (usually in the late
afternoon), followed by about half an hour of more selective feeding. In this ti
me, the rabbit will also
excrete many hard fecal pellets, being waste pellets that will not be reingested
. If the environment is
relatively non-threatening, the rabbit will remain outdoors for many hours, graz
ing at intervals. While
out of the burrow, the rabbit will occasionally reingest its soft, partially dig
ested pellets; this is rarely
observed, since the pellets are reingested as they are produced. Reingestion is
most common within
the burrow between 8 o'clock in the morning and 5 o'clock in the evening, being
carried out
intermittently within that period.
Hard pellets are made up of hay-like fragments of plant cuticle and stalk, being
the final waste product
after redigestion of soft pellets. These are only released outside the burrow an
d are not reingested.
Soft pellets are usually produced several hours after grazing, after the hard pe
llets have all been
excreted. They are made up of micro-organisms and undigested plant cell walls.
The chewed plant material collects in the large cecum, a secondary chamber betwe
en the large and

small intestine containing large quantities of symbiotic bacteria that help with
the digestion of cellulose
and also produce certain B vitamins. The pellets are about 56% bacteria by dry w
eight, largely
accounting for the pellets being 24.4% protein on average. These pellets remain
intact for up to six
hours in the stomach; the bacteria within continue to digest the plant carbohydr
ates. The soft feces
form here and contain up to five times the vitamins of hard feces. After being e
xcreted, they are eaten
whole by the rabbit and redigested in a special part of the stomach. This double
-digestion process
enables rabbits to use nutrients that they may have missed during the first pass
age through the gut, as
well as the nutrients formed by the microbial activity and thus ensures that max
imum nutrition is
derived from the food they eat.[2] This process serves the same purpose within t
he rabbit
as rumination does in cattle and sheep.[18]
Rabbits are incapable of vomiting.[19]
Rabbit diseases
For a more comprehensive list, see Category:Rabbit diseases.
Rabbits can be affected by a number of diseases. These include pathogens that al
so affect other
animals and/or humans, such asBordetella bronchiseptica and Escherichia coli', a
s well as diseases
unique to rabbits such as rabbit haemorrhagic disease andmyxomatosis.
Rabbits and hares are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not
been known to
transmit rabies to humans.[20]
Among the parasites that infect rabbits are tapeworms such as Taenia serialis, e
xternal parasites like
fleas and mites, coccidia species, and Toxoplasma gondii.[21][22]
Differences from hares
Main article: Hare
The most obvious difference between rabbits and hares is how their kits are born
. Rabbits are altricial,
having young that are born blind and hairless. In contrast, hares are precocial,
born with hair and good
vision. All rabbits except cottontail rabbits live underground inburrows or warr
ens, while hares live in
simple nests above the ground (as do cottontail rabbits), and usually do not liv
e in groups. Hares are
generally larger than rabbits, with longer ears, larger and longer hind legs and
have black markings on
their fur. Hares have not beendomesticated, while European rabbits are both rais
ed for meat and kept
as pets.
As pets
See also: House rabbit and Domestic rabbit
Rabbit in the snow
European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Domestic rabbits can be kept as pets in a back yard hutch or indoors in a cage o
r house trained to
have free roam. Rabbits kept indoors are often referred to as house rabbits. Hou
se rabbits typically

have an indoor pen or cage and a rabbit-safe place to run and exercise, such as
an exercise pen,
living room or family room. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box and some
can learn to come when
called. Domestic rabbits that do not live indoors can also serve as companions f
or their owners,
typically living in a protected hutch outdoors. Some pet rabbits live in runs/ar
ks during the day for the
benefit of fresh air and natural daylight and are brought inside at night.
Whether indoor or outdoor, pet rabbits' pens are often equipped with enrichment
activities such as
shelves, tunnels, balls, and other toys. Pet rabbits are often provided addition
al space in which to get
exercise, simulating the open space a rabbit would traverse in the wild. Exercis
e pens or lawn pens
are often used to provide a safe place for rabbits to run.
A pet rabbit's diet typically consists of timothy-grass or other hay, a small am
ount of pellets, and a fair
quantity of fresh vegetables. They also need unrestricted access to fresh clean
water. Rabbits are
social animals. Rabbits as pets can find their companionship with a variety of c
reatures, including
humans, other rabbits, birds, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and sometimes even cats
and dogs (however
they require supervision when with dogs and cats, as they might be preyed upon o
r attacked by these
animals). Rabbits can make good pets for younger children when proper parental s
upervision is
provided. As prey animals, rabbits are alert, timid creatures that startle fairl
y easily. They have fragile
bones, especially in their backs, that require support on the belly and bottom w
hen picked up. Older
children and teenagers usually have the maturity required to care for a rabbit.[
23]
Aggression
Rabbits may grunt, lunge and even bite or scratch. Usually they do not bite hard
enough to break skin.
Rabbits become aggressive when they feel threatened or are cornered. The House R
abbit Society
says that the owner of the pet needs to win its trust, with certain behavioral t
ools.[24]
As food and clothing
See also: Domestic rabbit
Rabbit meat sold commercially
Tanned rabbit pelt; rabbit pelt is prized for its softness.
An Australian 'Rabbiter' circa 1900
An old wooden cart, piled with rabbit skins, in New South Wales, Australia
Leporids such as European rabbits and hares are a food meat in Europe, South Ame
rica, North
America, some parts of the Middle East.
Rabbit is still sold in UK butchers and markets, and some supermarkets sell froz
en rabbit meat.

Additionally, some have begun selling fresh rabbit meat alongside other types of
game. At farmers
markets and the famous Borough Market in London, rabbits will be displayed dead
and hanging
unbutchered in the traditional style next to braces of pheasantand other small g
ame. Rabbit meat was
once commonly sold in Sydney, Australia, the sellers of which giving the name to
the rugby
league team the South Sydney Rabbitohs, but quickly became unpopular after the
disease myxomatosis was introduced in an attempt to wipe out the feral rabbit po
pulation (see
also Rabbits in Australia). Rabbit meat is also commonly used in Moroccan cuisin
e, where it is cooked
in a tajine with "raisins and grilled almonds added a few minutes before serving
".[25] Rabbit meat is
unpopular in the Asia-Pacific.
When used for food, rabbits are both hunted and bred for meat. Snares or guns ar
e usually employed
when catching wild rabbits for food. In many regions, rabbits are also bred for
meat, a practice
called cuniculture. Rabbits can then be killed by hitting the back of their head
s, a practice from which
the term rabbit punch is derived. Rabbit meat is a source of high quality protei
n.[26] It can be used in
most ways chicken meat is used. In fact, well-known chef Mark Bittman says that
domesticated
rabbit tastes like chicken because both are blank palettes upon which any desire
d flavors can be
layered.[27] Rabbit meat is leaner than beef, pork, and chicken meat. Rabbit pro
ducts are generally
labeled in three ways, the first being Fryer. This is a young rabbit between 2.0
and 2.3 kilograms (4.5
and 5 lb) and up to 9 weeks in age.[28] This type of meat is tender and fine gra
ined. The next product is
a Roaster; they are usually over 2.3 kilograms (5 lb) and up to 8 months in age.
The flesh is firm and
coarse grained and less tender than a fryer. Then there are giblets which includ
e the liver and heart.
One of the most common types of rabbit to be bred for meat is New Zealand white
rabbit.
There are several health issues associated with the use of rabbits for meat, one
of which istularemia or
rabbit fever.[29] Another is so-called rabbit starvation, due most likely to def
iciency of essential fatty
acids in rabbit meat.
Rabbit pelts are sometimes used for clothing and accessories, such as scarves or
hats.Angora
rabbits are bred for their long, fine hair, which can be sheared and harvested l
ikesheep wool. Rabbits
are very good producers of manure; additionally, their urine, being high in nitr
ogen, makes lemon trees
very productive. Their milk may also be of great medicinal or nutritional benefi
t due to its high protein
content.[30]
Environmental problems
See also: Rabbits in Australia
Rabbits have been a source of environmental problems when introduced into the wi
ld by humans. As a
result of their appetites, and the rate at which they breed, feral rabbit depred
ation can be problematic

for agriculture. Gassing, barriers (fences), shooting, snaring, and ferreting ha


ve been used to control
rabbit populations, but the most effective measures are diseases such as myxomat
osis (myxo or mixi,
colloquially) and calicivirus. In Europe, where rabbits are farmed on a large sc
ale, they are protected
against myxomatosis and calicivirus with a genetically modified virus. The virus
was developed in
Spain, and is beneficial to rabbit farmers. If it were to make its way into wild
populations in areas such
as Australia, it could create a population boom, as those diseases are the most
serious threats to
rabbit survival. Rabbits in Australia and New Zealand are considered to be such
a pest that land
owners are legally obliged to control them.[31][32]
When introduced into a new area, rabbits can overpopulate rapidly, becoming a nu
isance, as on this university
campus
European Rabbit in Shropshire, England, infected with myxomatosis, a diseasecaus
ed by the Myxoma virus
In culture and literature
See also: List of fictional hares and rabbits
Rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility or rebirth, and have long been a
ssociated
withspring and Easter as the Easter Bunny. The species' role as a prey animal al
so lends itself as a
symbol of innocence, another Easter connotation.
Additionally, rabbits are often used as symbols of playful sexuality, which also
relates to the human
perception of innocence, as well as its reputation as a prolific breeder.
Folklore and mythology
The rabbit often appears in folklore as the trickster archetype, as he uses his
cunning to outwit his
enemies.
*
In Aztec mythology, a pantheon of four hundred rabbit gods known as Cent
zon Totochtin, led
by Ometotchtli or Two Rabbit, represented fertility, parties, and drunkenness.
*
In Central Africa, the common hare (Kalulu), is "inevitably described" a
s a trickster figure.[33]
*
In Chinese folklore, rabbits accompany Chang'e on the Moon. Also associa
ted with
theChinese New Year (or Lunar New Year), rabbits are also one of the twelve cele
stial animals in
the Chinese Zodiac for the Chinese calendar. It is interesting to note that the
Vietnamese lunar
new year replaced the rabbit with a cat in their calendar, as rabbits did not in
habit Vietnam.
*
A rabbit's foot is carried as an amulet believed to bring good luck. Thi
s is found in many parts
of the world, and with the earliest use being in Europe around 600 B.C.[34]
*
In Japanese tradition, rabbits live on the Moon where they make mochi, t
he popular snack of
mashed sticky rice. This comes from interpreting the pattern of dark patches on
the moon as a
rabbit standing on tiptoes on the left pounding on an usu, a Japanese mortar (Se
e also: Moon

rabbit).
*
In Jewish folklore, rabbits (shfanim ?????) are associated with cowardic
e, a usage still current
in contemporary Israeli spokenHebrew (similar to English colloquial use of "chic
ken" to denote
cowardice).
*
In Korean mythology, like in Japanese, presents rabbits living on the mo
on making rice cakes
(Tteok in Korean).
*
In Anishinaabe traditional beliefs, held by the Ojibwe and some other Na
tive
American peoples, Nanabozho, or Great Rabbit, is an important deity related to t
he creation of the
world.
*
A Vietnamese mythological story portrays the rabbit of innocence and you
thfulness. The Gods
of the myth are shown to be hunting and killing rabbits to show off their power.
On the Isle of Portland in Dorset, UK, the rabbit is said to be unlucky and spea
king its name can cause
upset with older residents. This is thought to date back to early times in the q
uarrying industry, where
piles of extracted stone (not fit for sale) were built into tall rough walls (to
save space) directly behind
the working quarry face; the rabbit's natural tendency to burrow would weaken th
ese "walls" and cause
collapse, often resulting in injuries or even death. The name rabbit is often su
bstituted with words such
as long ears or underground mutton , so as not to have to say the actual word and bri
ng bad luck to
oneself. It is said that a public house (on the island) can be cleared of people
by calling out the word
rabbit and while this was very true in the past, it has gradually become more fa
ble than fact over the
past 50 years. See also Three hares.
Other fictional rabbits
Main article: List of fictional hares and rabbits
The rabbit as trickster appears in American popular culture; for example the Br'
er Rabbit character
from African-American folktales andDisney animation; and the Warner Bros. cartoo
n character Bugs
Bunny.
Anthropomorphized rabbits have appeared in a host of works of film, literature,
and technology,
notably the White Rabbit and the March Hare in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventure
s in Wonderland; in
the popular novels Watership Down, by Richard Adams (which has also been made in
to a
movie), Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson, as well as in Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbi
t stories and Oswald
the Lucky Rabbitfrom 1920s and 1930s cartoons.
Urban legends
Main article: Rabbit test
It was commonly believed that pregnancy tests were based on the idea that a rabb
it would die if
injected with a pregnant woman's urine. This is not true. However, in the 1920s
it was discovered that
if the urine contained the hCG, a hormone found in the bodies of pregnant women,
the rabbit would
display ovarian changes. The rabbit would then be killed to have its ovaries ins
pected, but the death of

the rabbit was not the indicator of the results. Later revisions of the test all
owed technicians to inspect
the ovaries without killing the animal. A similar test involved injecting Xenopu
s frogs to make them lay
eggs, but animal tests for pregnancy have been made obsolete by faster, cheaper,
and simpler
modern methods.
Classifications
Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
Wikimedia Commons has
media related to Rabbit
breeds.
Rabbits and hares were formerly classified in the order Rodentia (rodent) until
1912, when they were
moved into a new order Lagomorpha. This order also includes pikas.
Order Lagomorpha
*
Family Leporidae
*
Genus Pentalagus
*
Amami Rabbit/Ry?ky? Rabbit, Pentalagus furnessi
*
Genus Bunolagus
*
Bushman Rabbit, Bunolagus monticularis
*
Genus Nesolagus
*
Sumatran Striped Rabbit, Nesolagus netscheri
*
Annamite Striped Rabbit, Nesolagus timminsi
*
Genus Romerolagus
*
Volcano Rabbit, Romerolagus diazi
*
Genus Brachylagus
*
Pygmy Rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis
*
Genus Sylvilagus
*
Forest Rabbit, Sylvilagus brasiliensis
*
Dice's Cottontail, Sylvilagus dicei
*
Brush Rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani
*
San Jose Brush Rabbit, Sylvilagus mansuetus
*
Swamp Rabbit, Sylvilagus aquaticus
*
Marsh Rabbit, Sylvilagus palustris
*
Eastern Cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus
*
New England Cottontail, Sylvilagus transitionalis
*
Mountain Cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii
*
Desert Cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii
*
Omilteme Cottontail, Sylvilagus insonus
*
Mexican Cottontail, Sylvilagus cunicularis
*
Tres Marias Rabbit, Sylvilagus graysoni
*
Genus Oryctolagus
*
European Rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus
*
Genus Poelagus
*
Central African Rabbit, Poelagus marjorita
*
Three other genera in family, regarded as hares, not rabbits
See also
Rabbits and hares portal
*
*
rabbits
*
*
*

Book: Pet rabbits


Book: Fictional
Animal track
Dwarf rabbit
Hare games

*
Jackalope
*
List of animal names
*
Rabbits in the arts
*
Rabbit show jumping
References
1.
^ Jump up to:a b c "Rabbit Habitats". Retrieved 2009-07-07.
2.
^ Jump up to:a b c "rabbit". Encyclopdia Britannica (Standard ed.).
Chicago: Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc. 2007.
3.
Jump up^ Brown, Louise (2001). How to Care for Your Rabbit. Kingdom Book
s.
p. 6. ISBN 978-1-85279-167-4.
4.
Jump up^ Katherine Quesenberry & James W. Carpenter, Ferrets, Rabbits, a
nd Rodents:
Clinical Medicine and Surgery (3rd ed. 2011).
5.
Jump up^ "Rabbits: Rabbit feet". Retrieved 2010-07-13.
6.
Jump up^ http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/vision.html?1
7.
Jump up^ "Feeding the Pet Rabbit"
8.
Jump up^ Dr. Byron de la Navarre's "Care of Rabbits" Susan A. Brown, DVM
's "Overview
of Common Rabbit Diseases: Diseases Related to Diet"
9.
Jump up^ Fedriani, J.M., Palomares, F., Delibes, M (1999).23/Fedriani.pd
f "Niche
relations among three sympatric Mediterranean carnivores". Oecologia 121: 138
148.doi:10.1007/s004420050915. JSTOR 4222449.
10.
Jump up^ Tynes, Valarie V. Behavior of Exotic Pets. Wiley Blackwell, 201
0, p. 70
11.
Jump up^ Davis, Susan E. and DeMello, Margo Stories Rabbits Tell: A Natu
ral And
Cultural History of A Misunderstood Creature.Lantern Books, 2003, p. 27.
12.
Jump up^ "40 Winks?" Jennifer S. Holland, National Geographic Vol. 220,
No. 1. July
2011.
13.
Jump up^ Wright, Samantha (2011). For The Love of Parsley. A Guide To Yo
ur Rabbit's
Most Common Behaviours. Lulu. pp. 35 36.ISBN 1446791114.
14.
Jump up^ Animal Lifespans from Tesarta Online (Internet Archive)
15.
Jump up^ The Life Span of Animals from Dr Bob's All Creatures Site
16.
Jump up^ "What's the lifespan of a rabbit?". House Rabbit Society. Retri
eved 2010-0927.
17.
Jump up^ "Information for Rabbit Owners
Oak Tree Veterinary Centre".
Oaktreevet.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
18.
Jump up^ The Private Life of the Rabbit, R. M. Lockley, 1964. Chapter 10
.
19.
Jump up^ "True or False? Rabbits are physically incapable of vomiting. (
Answer to Pop
Quiz)".
20.
Jump up^ "Rabies: Other Wild Animals". Centers for Disease Control and P
revention. 15
November 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
21.
Jump up^ Wood, Maggie. "Parasites of Rabbits". Chicago Exotics, PC. Retr
ieved 8 April
2013.
22.
Jump up^ Boschert, Ken. "Internal Parasites of Rabbits". Net Vet. Retrie
ved 8 April 2013.
23.
Jump up^ "Children and Rabbits". Rabbit.org. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
24.
Jump up^ House Rabbit Society
25.
Jump up^ 'Traditional Moroccan Cooking, Recipes from Fez', by Madame Gui
nadeau.
(Serif, London, 2003). ISBN 1-897959-43-5.

26.
Jump up^ "Rabbit: From Farm to Table".
27.
Jump up^ "How to Cook Everything :: Braised Rabbit with Olives". 2008. A
rchived
from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
28.
Jump up^ Sell, Randy Rabbit. North Dakota Department of Agricultural Eco
nomics.
29.
Jump up^ "Tularemia (Rabbit fever)". Health.utah.gov. 2003-06-16. Retrie
ved 2010-0830.
30.
Jump up^ Houdebine, Louis-Marie; Fan, Jianglin (1 June 2009). Rabbit Bio
technology:
Rabbit Genomics, Transgenesis, Cloning and Models. ????????????????.
pp. 68 72.ISBN 978-90-481-2226-4. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
31.
Jump up^ "Feral animals in Australia Invasive species". Environment.gov.
au. 2010-0201. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
32.
Jump up^ "Rabbits
The role of government Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zeal
and".
Teara.govt.nz. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
33.
Jump up^ Brian Morris, The Power of Animals: An Ethnography, p. 177 (200
0).
34.
Jump up^ Ellis, Bill: Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popu
lar Culture
(University of Kentucky, 2004) ISBN 0-8131-2289-9
Further reading
*
Windling, Terri. The Symbolism of Rabbits and Hares
External links
Wikimedia Commons has
media related to Rabbit.
Wikibooks Cookbook has a
recipe/module on
*
Rabbit
*
American Rabbit Breeders Association organization which promotes all pha
ses of rabbit
keeping
*
House Rabbit Society an activist organization which promotes keeping rab
bits indoors.
*
RabbitShows.com an informational site on the hobby of showing rabbits.
*
The (mostly) silent language of rabbits
*
World Rabbit Science Association an international rabbit-health sciencebased organization
*
The Year of the Rabbit slideshow by Life magazine
*
House Rabbit Society- FAQ: Aggression
[show]
*
V
*
T
*
E
Extant Lagomorpha species
[show]
*
V
*
T
*
E
Game animals and shooting in the United Kingdom

[show]
*
V
*
T
*
E
Game animals and shooting in the United States
[show]
*
V
*
T
*
E
Meat
Categories:
*
Rabbits and hares
*
Herbivorous animals
*
Meat
*
Mythological rabbits and hares
Navigation menu
*
Create account
*
Log in
*
Article
*
Talk
*
Read
*
View source
*
View history
*
Main page
*
Contents
*
Featured content
*
Current events
*
Random article
*
Donate to Wikipedia
*
Wikimedia Shop
Interaction
*
Help
*
About Wikipedia
*
Community portal
*
Recent changes
*
Contact page
Tools
Print/export
Languages
*
???????
*
Arpetan
*
Avae'?
*
?????
*
Bahasa Banjar
*
??????????
*
?????????? (???????????)?
*
Bosanski
*
Catal
*
?e tina
*
ChiShona
*
Cymraeg
*
Deitsch
*
Deutsch
*
Din bizaad
*
Eesti

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

????????
Emilin e rumagnl
Esperanto
?????
Froyskt
Franais
Frysk
Gaeilge
Gidhlig
???/Hak-k-ng
Hawai`i
???????
??????
Hrvatski
Ido
Bahasa Indonesia
Interlingua
??????/inuktitut
slenska
Italiano
?????
Basa Jawa
?????
???????
Kaszbsczi
Kreyl ayisyen
Latina
Latvie u
Lietuvi?
Lojban
Lumbaart
??????
Malti
?????
Bahasa Melayu
??????????
N?huatl
Nedersaksies
??????
???
???????
?????
??????
Picard
Polski
Portugus
Romn?
Runa Simi
???????
?????????
Scots
Sesotho sa Leboa
Shqip
Sicilianu
?????
Simple English
Soomaaliga
?????
?????? / srpski
Basa Sunda

*
Svenska
*
Tagalog
*
?????
*
??????
*
Tsetshesthese
*
Trke
*
??????????
*
????
*
Vneto
*
Ti?ng Vi?t
*
Walon
*
West-Vlams
*
??
*
??
*
Edit links
*
This page was last modified on 2 March 2014 at 05:03.
*
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Lice
nse; additional terms may
apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use andPrivacy Policy.
Wikipedia is a registered trademark
Turtle
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Turtle (disambiguation).
Turtles
Temporal range: Late Triassic
0Ma
Pre?
?
O
S
D
C
P
T
J
K
Pg
N

Holocene, 215

Florida box turtle Terrapene carolina


Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Reptilia
Order:
Procolophonomorpha
Clade:
Testudinata
Order:
Testudines (=Chelonii)
Linnaeus, 1758 [1]
Suborders
Cryptodira

Pleurodira
Proganochelydia
and see text
Diversity
14 extant families with ca. 300 species
blue: sea turtles, black: land turtles
Turtles are reptiles of the order Chelonii[2] or Testudines characterised by a
special bony orcartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shi
eld.[3] Turtle may refer
to the chelonian order as a whole (American English) or to fresh-water and sea-d
welling chelonians
(British English).[4]
The order Chelonii or Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct speci
es. The earliest known
turtles date from 220 million years ago,[5] making turtles one of the oldest rep
tile groups and a more
ancient group than lizards, snakes or crocodiles. Of the many speciesalive today
, some are
highly endangered.[6]
Like all other extant reptiles, turtles are ectotherms their internal temperature
varies according to the
ambient environment, commonly called cold-blooded. However, because of their hig
h metabolic
rate, leatherback sea turtles have a body temperature that is noticeably higher
than that of the
surrounding water.
Turtles are classified as amniotes, along with other reptiles (including birds)
and mammals. Like other
amniotes, turtles breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many spec
ies live in or around
water.
Contents
[hide]
*
1 Turtle, tortoise, or terrapin
*
2 Anatomy and morphology
o
2.1 Neck folding
o
2.2 Head
?
2.2.1 Intelligence
o
2.3 Shell
o
2.4 Skin and molting
o
2.5 Limbs
*
3 Ecology and life history
o
3.1 Diet
*
4 Systematics and evolution
o
4.1 Classification of turtles[40]
*
5 Fossil record
*
6 Genomics
*
7 As pets
*
8 As food, traditional medicine, and cosmetics
*
9 Conservation status
*
10 See also
*
11 Notes
*
12 References
*
13 Further reading
*
14 External links
Turtle, tortoise, or terrapin
The word chelonian is popular among veterinarians, scientists, and conservationi
sts working with
these animals as a catch-all name for any member of the superorder Chelonia, whi

ch includes all
turtles living and extinct, as well as their immediate ancestors.[citation neede
d]Chelonia is based on the
Greek word kelone,[7] for armour or interlocking shields.[8] "Turtle" may either
refer to the order as a
whole, or to particular turtles which make up a form taxon that is not monophyle
tic.
The meaning of the word turtle differs from region to region. In North America,
all chelonians are
commonly called turtles, including terrapins and tortoises.[9][10] In Great Brit
ain, the word turtle is used
for sea-dwelling species, but not for tortoises.
The term tortoise usually refers to any land-dwelling, non-swimming chelonian.[1
0] Most land-dwelling
chelonians are in the Testudinidaefamily, only one of the 14 extant turtle famil
ies.[11]
Terrapin is used to describe several species of small, edible, hard-shell turtle
s, typically those found in
brackish waters and is anAlgonquian word for turtle.[9]
Some languages do not have this problem, as all of these are referred to by the
same name. For
example, in Spanish, the word tortugais used for turtles, tortoises, and terrapi
ns. A sea-dwelling turtle
is tortuga marina, a freshwater species tortuga de rio, and a tortoisetortuga te
rrestre.[citation needed]
Anatomy and morphology
Chelonia mydas in Kona, Hawaii
The largest living chelonian is the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea
), which reaches a
shell length of 200 cm (6.6 ft) and can reach a weight of over 900 kg (2,000 lb)
. Freshwater turtles are
generally smaller, but with the largest species, the Asian softshell turtle Pelo
chelys cantorii, a few
individuals have been reported up to 200 cm (6.6 ft). This dwarfs even the bette
r-known alligator
snapping turtle, the largest chelonian in North America, which attains a shell l
ength of up to 80 cm
(2.6 ft) and weighs as much as 113.4 kg (250 lb).[12] Giant tortoises of the
genera Geochelone, Meiolania, and others were relatively widely distributed arou
nd the world into
prehistoric times, and are known to have existed in North and South America, Aus
tralia, and Africa.
They became extinct at the same time as the appearance of man, and it is assumed
humans hunted
them for food. The only survivinggiant tortoises are on the Seychelles and Galpag
os Islands, and can
grow to over 130 cm (51 in) in length, and weigh about 300 kg (660 lb).[13]
The largest ever chelonian was Archelon ischyros, a Late Cretaceous sea turtle k
nown to have been
up to 4.6 m (15 ft) long.[14]
The smallest turtle is the speckled padloper tortoise of South Africa. It measur
es no more than 8 cm
(3.1 in) in length and weighs about 140 g (4.9 oz). Two other species of small t
urtles are the
American mud turtles and musk turtles that live in an area that ranges fromCanad
a to South America.
The shell length of many species in this group is less than 13 cm (5.1 in) in le
ngth.

A red-eared slider turtle with eyes closer to the end of the head, keeping only
the nostrils and the eyes above the
water surface
African spurred tortoise in the zoo ofSharm el-Sheikh
African spurred tortoise at a zoo in theCzech Republic
Neck folding
Turtles are divided into two groups, according to how they evolved a solution to
the problem of
withdrawing their necks into their shells (something the ancestral Proganochelys
could not do):
the Cryptodira, which can draw their necks in while contracting it under their s
pine; and the Pleurodira,
which contract their necks to the side.
Head
Most turtles that spend most of their lives on land have their eyes looking down
at objects in front of
them. Some aquatic turtles, such as snapping turtles and soft-shelled turtles, h
ave eyes closer to the
top of the head. These species of turtles can hide from predators in shallow wat
er, where they lie
entirely submerged except for their eyes and nostrils. Near their eyes, sea turt
les possess glands that
produce salty tears that rid their body of excesssalt taken in from the water th
ey drink.
Turtles are thought to have exceptional night vision due to the unusually large
number of rod cells in
their retinas. Turtles have color vision with a wealth of cone subtypes with sen
sitivities ranging from the
near ultraviolet (UV A) to red. Some land turtles have very poorpursuit movement
abilities, which are
normally found only in predators that hunt quick-moving prey, but carnivorous tu
rtles are able to move
their heads quickly to snap.
Turtles have rigid beaks, and use their jaws to cut and chew food. Instead of ha
ving teeth, the upper
and lower jaws of the turtle are covered by horny ridges. Carnivorous turtles us
ually have knife-sharp
ridges for slicing through their prey. Herbivorous turtles have serrated-edged r
idges that help them cut
through tough plants. They use their tongues to swallow food, but unlike most re
ptiles, they cannot
stick out their tongues to catch food.
Intelligence
See also: Animal cognition
One study found that wood turtles were better than white rats at learning to nav
igate mazes. They are
considered to be social creatures and sometimes switch between monogamy and prom
iscuity in their
sexual behavior. Case studies also exist of turtles that have enjoyed playing.[1
5]
Shell
Main article: Turtle shell
The upper shell of the turtle is called the carapace. The lower shell that encas
es the belly is called

the plastron. The carapace and plastron are joined together on the turtle's side
s by bony structures
called bridges. The inner layer of a turtle's shell is made up of about 60 bones
that include portions of
the backbone and the ribs, meaning the turtle cannot crawl out of its shell. In
most turtles, the outer
layer of the shell is covered by horny scales calledscutes that are part of its
outer skin, or epidermis.
Scutes are made up of the fibrous protein keratin that also makes up the scales
of other reptiles.
These scutes overlap the seams between the shell bones and add strength to the s
hell. Some turtles
do not have horny scutes. For example, the leatherback sea turtle and the soft-s
helled turtles have
shells covered with leathery skin, instead.
The rigid shell means turtles cannot breathe as other reptiles do, by changing t
he volume of their chest
cavities via expansion and contraction of the ribs. Instead, they breathe in two
ways. First, they
employ buccal pumping, pulling air into their mouths, then pushing it into their
lungs via oscillations of
the floor of the throat. Secondly, when the abdominal muscles that cover the pos
terior opening of the
shell contract, the internal volume of the shell increases, drawing air into the
lungs, allowing these
muscles to function in much the same way as the mammalian diaphragm.
The shape of the shell gives helpful clues about how a turtle lives. Most tortoi
ses have a large, domeshaped shell that makes it difficult for predators to crush the shell between th
eir jaws. One of the few
exceptions is the African pancake tortoise, which has a flat, flexible shell tha
t allows it to hide in rock
crevices. Most aquatic turtles have flat, streamlined shells which aid in swimmi
ng and diving.
American snapping turtles and musk turtles have small, cross-shaped plastrons th
at give them more
efficient leg movement for walking along the bottom of ponds and streams.
The color of a turtle's shell may vary. Shells are commonly colored brown, black
, or olive green. In
some species, shells may have red, orange, yellow, or grey markings, often spots
, lines, or irregular
blotches. One of the most colorful turtles is the eastern painted turtle, which
includes a yellow plastron
and a black or olive shell with red markings around the rim.
Tortoises, being land-based, have rather heavy shells. In contrast, aquatic and
soft-shelled turtles
have lighter shells that help them avoid sinking in water and swim faster with m
ore agility. These
lighter shells have large spaces called fontanelles between the shell bones. The
shells of leatherback
sea turtles are extremely light because they lack scutes and contain many fontan
elles.
It has been suggested by Jackson (2002) that the turtle shell can function as pH
buffer. To endure
through anoxic conditions, such as winter periods trapped beneath ice or within
anoxic mud at the
bottom of ponds, turtles utilize two general physiological mechanisms. In the ca
se of prolonged periods
of anoxia, it has been shown that the turtle shell both releases carbonate buffe
rs and uptakes lactic

acid.[16]
Skin and molting
Snapping turtle tail, Blue Hills Reservation, Massachusetts
As mentioned above, the outer layer of the shell is part of the skin; each scute
(or plate) on the shell
corresponds to a single modified scale. The remainder of the skin is composed of
skin with much
smaller scales, similar to the skin of other reptiles. Turtles do not molt their
skins all at once, as snakes
do, but continuously, in small pieces. When turtles are kept in aquaria, small s
heets of dead skin can
be seen in the water (often appearing to be a thin piece of plastic) having been
sloughed off when the
animals deliberately rub themselves against a piece of wood or stone. Tortoises
also shed skin, but
dead skin is allowed to accumulate into thick knobs and plates that provide prot
ection to parts of the
body outside the shell.
By counting the rings formed by the stack of smaller, older scutes on top of the
larger, newer ones, it is
possible to estimate the age of a turtle, if one knows how many scutes are produ
ced in a year.[17] This
method is not very accurate, partly because growth rate is not constant, but als
o because some of the
scutes eventually fall away from the shell.
Limbs
Terrestrial tortoises have short, sturdy feet. Tortoises are famous for moving s
lowly, in part because of
their heavy, cumbersome shells, which restrict stride length.
Skeleton of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
Amphibious turtles normally have limbs similar to those of tortoises, except the
feet are webbed and
often have long claws. These turtles swim using all four feet in a way similar t
o the dog paddle, with
the feet on the left and right side of the body alternately providing thrust. La
rge turtles tend to swim
less than smaller ones, and the very big species, such as alligator snapping tur
tles, hardly swim at all,
preferring to walk along the bottom of the river or lake. As well as webbed feet
, turtles have very long
claws, used to help them clamber onto riverbanks and floating logs upon which th
ey bask. Male turtles
tend to have particularly long claws, and these appear to be used to stimulate t
he female while mating.
While most turtles have webbed feet, some, such as the pig-nosed turtle, have tr
ue flippers, with the
digits being fused into paddles and the claws being relatively small. These spec
ies swim in the same
way as sea turtles do (see below).
Sea turtles are almost entirely aquatic and have flippers instead of feet. Sea t
urtles fly through the
water, using the up-and-down motion of the front flippers to generate thrust; th
e back feet are not used
for propulsion, but may be used as rudders for steering. Compared with freshwate
r turtles, sea turtles
have very limited mobility on land, and apart from the dash from the nest to the

sea as hatchlings,
male sea turtles normally never leave the sea. Females must come back onto land
to lay eggs. They
move very slowly and laboriously, dragging themselves forwards with their flippe
rs.
Ecology and life history
Sea turtle swimming
Although many turtles spend large amounts of their lives underwater, all turtles
and tortoises breathe
air, and must surface at regular intervals to refill their lungs. They can also
spend much or all of their
lives on dry land. Aquatic respiration in Australian freshwater turtles is curre
ntly being studied. Some
species have large cloacal cavities that are lined with many finger-like project
ions. These projections,
called papillae, have a rich blood supply, and increase the surface area of the
cloaca. The turtles can
take up dissolved oxygen from the water using these papillae, in much the same w
ay that fish
use gills to respire.[18]
Like other reptiles, turtles lay eggs which are slightly soft and leathery. The
eggs of the largest species
are spherical, while the eggs of the rest are elongated. Their albumen is white
and contains a different
protein from bird eggs, such that it will not coagulate when cooked. Turtle eggs
prepared to eat consist
mainly of yolk. In some species, temperature determines whether an egg develops
into a male or a
female: a higher temperature causes a female, a lower temperature causes a male.
Large numbers of
eggs are deposited in holes dug into mud or sand. They are then covered and left
to incubate by
themselves. Depending on the species, the eggs will typically take 70 120 days to
hatch.[19] When the
turtles hatch, they squirm their way to the surface and head toward the water. T
here are no known
species in which the mother cares for her young.
Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry, sandy beaches. Immature sea turtles are not c
ared for by the adults.
Turtles can take many years to reach breeding age, and in many cases breed every
few years rather
than annually.
Researchers have recently discovered a turtle s organs do not gradually break down
or become less
efficient over time, unlike most other animals. It was found that the liver, lun
gs, and kidneys of a
centenarian turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its immature co
unterpart. This has
inspired genetic researchers to begin examining the turtle genome for longevity
genes.[20]
A group of turtles is known as a bale.[citation needed]
Diet
A Green sea turtle grazing on seagrass at Akumal, Mexico
A turtle's diet varies greatly depending on the environment in which it lives. A
dult turtles typically
eat aquatic plants;[citation needed] invertebrates such as insects, snails and w

orms; and have been reported


to occasionally eat dead marine animals. Several small freshwater species are ca
rnivorous, eating
small fish and a wide range of aquatic life. However, protein is essential to tu
rtle growth and juvenile
turtles are purely carnivorous.
Sea turtles typically feed on jellyfish, sponge and other soft-bodied organisms.
Some species of sea
turtle with stronger jaws have been observed to eat shellfish while some species
, such as the green
sea turtle do not eat any meat at all and, instead, have a diet largely made up
of algae.[21]
Systematics and evolution
Main article: Turtle classification
See also: List of Testudines families
Odontochelys is the oldest known turtle genus
"Chelonia" from Ernst Haeckel'sKunstformen der Natur, 1904
The first proto-turtles are believed to have existed in the late Triassic Period
of the Mesozoic era,
about 220 million years ago, and their shell, which has remained a remarkably st
able body plan, is
thought to have evolved from bony extensions of their backbones and broad ribs t
hat expanded and
grew together to form a complete shell that offered protection at every stage of
its evolution, even
when the bony component of the shell was not complete. This is supported by foss
ils of the
freshwater Odontochelys semitestacea or "half-shelled turtle with teeth", from t
he late Triassic, which
have been found nearGuangling in southwest China. Odontochelysdisplays a complet
e bony plastron
and an incomplete carapace, similar to an early stage of turtle embryonic develo
pment.[5] Prior to this
discovery, the earliest-known fossil turtles were terrestrial and had a complete
shell, offering no clue to
the evolution of this remarkable anatomical feature. By the late Jurassic, turtl
es had radiated widely,
and their fossil history becomes easier to read.
Their exact ancestry has been disputed. It was believed they are the only surviv
ing branch of the
ancient evolutionary grade Anapsida, which includes groups such
as procolophonids, millerettids, protorothyrids, and pareiasaurs. All anapsid sk
ulls lack a temporal
opening, while all other extant amniotes have temporal openings (although in mam
mals the hole has
become the zygomatic arch). The millerettids, protorothyrids, and pareiasaurs be
came extinct in the
late Permian period, and the procolophonoids during the Triassic.[22]
However, it was later suggested the anapsid-like turtle skull may be due to reve
rsion rather than to
anapsid descent. More recent morphological phylogenetic studies with this in min
d placed turtles firmly
within diapsids, slightly closer to Squamata than toArchosauria.[23][24] All mol
ecular studies have
strongly upheld the placement of turtles within diapsids; some place turtles wit
hin Archosauria,[25] or,

more commonly, as a sister group to extant archosaurs,[26][27][28][29] though an


analysis conducted by
Lyson et al.(2012) recovered turtles as the sister group of lepidosaurs instead.
[30] Reanalysis of prior
phylogenies suggests they classified turtles as anapsids both because they assum
ed this classification
(most of them studying what sort of anapsid turtles are) and because they did no
t sample fossil and
extant taxa broadly enough for constructing the cladogram. Testudines were sugge
sted to have
diverged from other diapsids between 200 and 279 million years ago, though the d
ebate is far from
settled.[23][26][31] Even the traditional placement of turtles outside Diapsida
cannot be ruled out at this
point. A combined analysis of morphological and molecular data conducted by Lee
(2001) found turtles
to be anapsids (though a relationship with archosaurs couldn't be statistically
rejected).[32] Similarly, a
morphological study conducted by Lyson et al. (2010) recovered them as anapsids
most closely
related to Eunotosaurus.[33] A molecular analysis of 248 nuclear genes from 16 v
ertebrate taxa
suggests that turtles are a sister group to birds and crocodiles (theArchosauria
).[34] The date of
separation of turtles and birds and crocodiles was estimated to be 255 million y
ears ago. The most
recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Ple
urodira and Cryptodira,
was estimated to have occurred around157 million years ago. This last estimate m
ay conflict with the
fossil record depending on whether the genus Kayentachelys, whose fossils date t
o around 190 million
years ago, is the earliest known member of Cryptodira[35] or lies outside the le
ast inclusive clade
containing Cryptodira and Pleurodira.[36][37] Through utilizing the first genomi
c-scale phylogenetic
analysis of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) to investigate the placement of turtl
es within reptiles,
Crawford et al. (2012) also suggest that turtles are a sister group to birds and
crocodiles (the
Archosauria).[38]
The first genome-wide phylogenetic analysis was completed by Wang et al. (2013).
Using the draft
genomes of Chelonia mydas andPelodiscus sinensis, the team used the largest turt
le data set to date
in their analysis and concluded that turtles are likely a sister group of crocod
ilians and birds
(Archosauria).[39] This placement within the diapsids suggests that the turtle l
ineage lost diapsid skull
characteristics as it now possesses an anapsid skull.
The earliest known fully shelled turtle is the late-Triassic Proganochelys. This
genus already
possessed many advanced turtle traits, and thus probably indicates many millions
of years of
preceding turtle evolution. It lacked the ability to pull its head into its shel
l, had a long neck, and had a
long, spiked tail ending in a club. While this body form is similar to that of a
nkylosaurs, it resulted
from convergent evolution.
Turtles are divided into two extant suborders: the Cryptodira and the Pleurodira

. The Cryptodira is the


larger of the two groups and includes all the marine turtles, the terrestrial to
rtoises, and many of the
freshwater turtles. The Pleurodira are sometimes known as the side-necked turtle
s, a reference to the
way they withdraw their heads into their shells. This smaller group consists pri
marily of various
freshwater turtles.
A two month old Hypomelantistic Snapping Turtle.
Chart of the two extant suborders, extinct groups that existed within these two
suborders are shown as well
Classification of turtles[40]
*
Incertae sedis
*
Genus Murrhardtia (a possible junior synonym of Proterochersis[41])
*
Genus Chinlechelys (Proganochelydia or basal Testudines)
*
Genus Chelycarapookus (Testudines incertae sedis)
*
Genus Chitracephalus (Testudines incertae sedis)
*
Genus Neusticemys (Testudines incertae sedis)
*
Genus Scutemys (Testudines incertae sedis)
*
Genus Odontochelys
Fossil of Proganochelys quenstedti, one of the oldest true turtles presently kno
wn. Unlike modern
Testudines, Proganochelyswas not able to hide its head under the shell.
*
Clade Testudinata
*
Genus Proganochelys
*
Family Australochelyidae
*
Genus Palaeochersis
*
Genus Australochelys
*
Genus Proterochersis
*
Genus Kayentachelys (an early member of Cryptodira[35] or a basal turtle
belonging
neither to Pleurodira nor Cryptodira[36][37])
*
Genus Condorchelys
*
Genus Indochelys
*
Genus Heckerochelys
*
Genus Eileanchelys
*
Suborder Meiolaniformes[42]
*
Genus Chubutemys[42]
*
Genus Patagoniaemys[42]
*
Family Mongolochelyidae[36][37]
*
Genus Mongolochelys[42]
*
Genus Peligrochelys[42]
*
Genus Otwayemys[42]
*
Genus Kallokibotion[42]
*
Family Meiolaniidae (horned turtles; members of Cryptodira[43] or basal
turtles belonging neither to Pleurodira nor Cryptodira[36][37])
*
Genus Chengyuchelys
*
Genus Siamochelys
*
Family Pleurosternidae
*
Genus Dorsetochelys
*
Family Baenidae
*
Family Plesiochelyidae
*
Order Testudines
*
Genus Xinjianchelys

*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Genus Hangaiemys
Family Thalassemydidae
Genus Solnhofia
Genus Thalassemys
Genus Santanachelys
Family Sinemydidae
Suborder Pleurodira

The African helmeted turtle (Pelomedusa subrufa) is a pleurodire. Pleurodires hi


de their head
sideways.
*
Family Araripemydidae
*
Superfamily Pelomedusoides
*
Family Bothremydidae
*
Family Pelomedusidae (African sideneck turtles)
*
Family Podocnemididae (Madagascan bigheaded and American sideneck river turtles)
*
Family Chelidae
*
Suborder Cryptodira
The Western Hermann's tortoise(Testudo hermanni hermanni) is acryptodire.
Cryptodires hide their head inwards.
*
Family Solemydidae
*
Infraorder Eucryptodira
*
Basal and incertae sedis
*
"Sinemys" wuerhoensis
*
Genus Judithemys
*
Genus Osteopygis
*
Genus Planetochelys
*
Genus Protochelydra
*
Genus Platysternon
*
Family Chelydridae (snapping turtles)
*
Family Eurysternidae
*
Family Macrobaenidae
*
Family Plesiochelyidae
*
Family Xinjiangchelyidae
*
Superfamily Chelonioidea (sea turtles)
Sea turtle at Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha NE
*
Family Toxochelyidae
*
Family Cheloniidae (green sea turtles and
relatives)
*
Family Dermochelyidae (leatherback sea turtles)
*
Superfamily Testudinoidea
*
Family Haichemydidae
*
Family Lindholmemydidae
*
Family Sinochelyidae
*
Family Emydidae (pond, box, and water turtles)
*
Family Geoemydidae (Asian river turtles, Asian leaf
turtles, Asian box turtles, and roofed turtles)
*
Family Testudinidae (true tortoises)
*
Superfamily Trionychoidea
*
Family Adocidae
*
Family Carettochelyidae (pignose turtles)
*
Family Dermatemydidae (river turtles)
*
Family Kinosternidae (mud turtles)
*
Family Trionychidae (softshell turtles)

Fossil record
Turtle fossils of hatchling and nestling size have been documented in the scient
ific
literature.[44] Paleontologists from North Carolina State University have found
the fossilized remains of
the world's largest turtle in a coal mine in Colombia. The specimen named asCarb
onemys cofrinii is
around 60 million years old and nearly 8 ft long.[45]
On a few rare occasions, paleontologists have succeeded in unearthing large numb
ers
of Jurassic or Cretaceous turtle skeletons accumulated in a single area (the Nem
egt Formation in
Mongolia, the Turtle Graveyard in North Dakota, or the Black Mountain Turtle Lay
er in Wyoming). The
most spectacular find of this kind to date occurred in 2009 in Shanshan County i
n Xinjiang, where over
a thousand ancient freshwater turtles apparently died after the last water hole
in an area dried out
during a major drought.[46][47]
Genomics
Turtles possess diverse chromosome numbers (2N = 28-66) and a myriad of chromoso
mal
rearrangements have occurred during evolution.[48]
As pets
Red-eared slider basking on a floating platform under a sun lamp
Turtles, particularly small terrestrial and freshwater turtles, are commonly kep
t as pets. Among the
most popular are Russian tortoises, spur-thighed tortoises, and red-eared slider
s.[49]
In the United States, due to the ease of contracting salmonellosis through casua
l contact with turtles,
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established a regulation in 1975 to
discontinue the sale
of turtles under 4 in (100 mm).[50] It is illegal in every state in the U.S. for
anyone to sell any turtles
under 4 inches (10 cm) long. Many stores and flea markets still sell small turtl
es due to a loophole in
the FDA regulation which allows turtles under 4 in (100 mm) to be sold for educa
tional purposes.[51][52]
Some states have other laws and regulations regarding possession of red-eared sl
iders as pets
because they are looked upon as invasive species or pests where they are not nat
ive, but have been
introduced through the pet trade. As of July 1, 2007, it is illegal in Florida t
o sell any wild type redeared slider. Unusual color varieties such as albino and pastel red-eared slider
s, which are derived
from captive breeding, are still allowed for sale.[53]
As food, traditional medicine, and cosmetics
Left: The window of a restaurant servingguilinggao, decorated with a ? ("turtle"
) character
Right: Turtle plastrons among other plants and animals parts are used in traditi
onal Chinese medicines. (Other
items in the image are driedlingzhi, snake, luo han guo, and ginseng)
The flesh of turtles, calipash or calipee, was, and still is, considered a delic
acy in a number of

cultures.[6] Turtle soup has been a prized dish in Anglo-American cuisine,[54]an


d still remains so in
some parts of Asia.[which?] Gopher tortoise stew was popular with some groups in
Florida.[55]
Turtles remain a part of the traditional diet on the island of Grand Cayman, so
much so that when wild
stocks became depleted, a turtle farm was established specifically to raise sea
turtles for their meat.
The farm also releases specimens to the wild as part of an effort to repopulate
the Caribbean Sea.[56]
Fat from turtles is also used in the Caribbean and in Mexico as a main ingredien
t in cosmetics,
marketed under its Spanish name crema de tortuga.[57]
Turtle plastrons (the part of the shell that covers a tortoise from the bottom)
are widely used
in traditional Chinese medicine; according to statistics, Taiwan imports hundred
s of tons of plastrons
every year.[58] A popular medicinal preparation based on powdered turtle plastro
n (and a variety of
herbs) is theguilinggao jelly;[59] these days, though, it is typically made with
only herbal ingredients.
Conservation status
In February 2011, the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group published
a report about the
top 25 species of turtles most likely to become extinct, with a further 40 speci
es at very high risk of
becoming extinct. This list excludes sea turtles, however both theleatherback an
d the Kemp's
ridley would make the top 25 list. The report is due to be updated in four years
time allowing to follow
the evolution of the list. Between 48 to 54% of all 328 of their species conside
red threatened, turtles
and tortoises are at a much higher risk of extinction than many other vertebrate
s. Of the 263 species of
freshwater and terrestrial turtles, 117 species are considered Threatened, 73 ar
e either Endangered or
Critically Endangered and 1 is Extinct. Of the 58 species belonging to the Testu
dinidae family, 33
species are Threatened, 18 are either Endangered or Critically Endangered, 1 is
Extinct in the wild and
7 species are Extinct. 71% of all tortoise species are either gone or almost gon
e. Asian species are the
most endangered, closely followed by the five endemic species from Madagascar. T
urtles face many
threats, including habitat destruction, harvesting for consumption, and the pet
trade. The high
extinction risk for Asian species is primarily due to the long-term unsustainabl
e exploitation of turtles
and tortoises for consumption and traditional Chinese medicine, and to a lesser
extent for the
international pet trade.[60]
Efforts have been made by Chinese entrepreneurs to satisfy increasing demand for
turtle meat as
gourmet food and traditional medicine with farmed turtles, instead of wild-caugh
t ones; according to a
study published in 2007, over a thousand turtle farms operated in China.[61][62]
Turtle farms
in Oklahoma and Louisiana raise turtles for export to China as well.[62]

Turtles on tree branch over a lake inNew Jersey.


Nonetheless, wild turtles continue to be caught and sent to market in large numb
er (as well as to turtle
farms, to be used as breeding stock[61]), resulting in a situation described by
conservationists as "the
Asian turtle crisis".[63] In the words of the biologist George Amato, "the amoun
t and the volume of
captured turtles... vacuumed up entire species from areas in Southeast Asia", ev
en as biologists still
did not know how many distinct turtle species live in the region.[64] About 75%
of Asia's 90 tortoise and
freshwater turtle species are estimated to have become threatened.[62]
Harvesting wild turtles is legal in a number of states in the USA.[62] In one of
these states, Florida, just
a single seafood company inFort Lauderdale was reported in 2008 as buying about
5,000 pounds
of softshell turtles a week. The harvesters (hunters) are paid about $2 a pound;
some manage to catch
as many as 30 40 turtles (500 pounds) on a good day. Some of the catch gets to the
local restaurants,
while most of it is exported to Asia. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission estimated
in 2008 that around 3,000 pounds of softshell turtles were exported each week vi
a Tampa International
Airport.[65]
Nonetheless, the great majority of turtles exported from the USA are farm raised
. According to one
estimate by the World Chelonian Trust, about 97% of 31.8 million animals harvest
ed in the U.S. over a
three-year period (November 4, 2002
November 26, 2005) were exported.[62][66] It
has been
estimated (presumably, over the same 2002 2005 period) that about 47% of the US tu
rtle exports go
toPeople's Republic of China (predominantly to Hong Kong), another 20% to Taiwan
, and 11%
to Mexico.[67][68]
See also
*

Book: Turtles

Turtles
*
*
*
Notes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.

portal
Animal track
Cultural depictions of turtles and tortoises
Symposium on Turtle Evolution
Jump up^ "Testudines". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
Jump up^ Dubois & Bour 2010
Jump up^ Hutchinson 1996
Jump up^ "Oxford English Dictionary: Turtle".
^ Jump up to:a b Li et al. 2008
^ Jump up to:a b Barzyk 1999
Jump up^ Stone 2006, p. 85
Jump up^ Brennessel 2006, p. 10
^ Jump up to:a b Ernst & Lovich 2009, p. 3
^ Jump up to:a b Fergus 2007
Jump up^ Iverson, Kimerling & Kiester 1999
Jump up^ National Geographic 2011.
Jump up^ Connor 2009
Jump up^ Everhart 2012

15.
Jump up^ Angier, Natalie (December 16, 2006). "Ask Science". The New Yor
k Times.
Retrieved September 15, 2013.
16.
Jump up^ Jackson 2002
17.
Jump up^ Pet Education 2012.
18.
Jump up^ Priest & Franklin 2002
19.
Jump up^ Librarian50 (June 2007). "How long does it take turtle eggs to
hatch once the
female turtle has buried them?". Askville by Amazon. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
20.
Jump up^ Angier 2012
21.
Jump up^ "What Do Turtles Eat?". what-do-turtles-eat.info. Retrieved 31
May 2013.
22.
Jump up^ Laurin 1996
23.
^ Jump up to:a b Rieppel & DeBraga 1996
24.
Jump up^ Mller 2004
25.
Jump up^ Mannen & Li 1999
26.
^ Jump up to:a b Zardoya & Meyer 1998
27.
Jump up^ Iwabe et al. 2004
28.
Jump up^ Roos, Aggarwal & Janke 2007
29.
Jump up^ Katsu et al. 2010
30.
Jump up^ Lyson et al. 2012
31.
Jump up^ Benton 2000
32.
Jump up^ Lee 2001
33.
Jump up^ Lyson et al. 2010
34.
Jump up^ Chiari et al. 2012
35.
^ Jump up to:a b Gafney et al. 1987
36.
^ Jump up to:a b c d Joyce 2007
37.
^ Jump up to:a b c d Anquetin 2012
38.
Jump up^ Crawford et al. 2012
39.
Jump up^ Wang (27 March 2013). "The draft genomes of soft-shell turtle a
nd green sea
turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle-specific
body plan". Nature
Genetics 45(701-706). doi:10.1038/ng.2615. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
40.
Jump up^ Sterli, J.; Pol, D.; Laurin, M. (2013). "Incorporating phylogen
etic uncertainty on
phylogeny-based palaeontological dating and the timing of turtle diversification
". Cladistics 29 (3):
233.doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2012.00425.x. edit
41.
Jump up^ Gaffney, Tong & Meylan 2006
42.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Sterli, J.; de la Fuente, M. S.; Umazano, A.
M. (2013). "New
remains and new insights on the Gondwanan meiolaniform turtle Chubutemys copello
i from the
Lower Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina". Gondwana
Research.doi:10.1016/j.gr.2013.08.016. edit
43.
Jump up^ Gaffney 1996
44.
Jump up^ Tanke & Brett-Surman 2001, pp. 206 18
45.
Jump up^ Maugh II 2012
46.
Jump up^ Wings et al. 2012
47.
Jump up^ Gannon 2012
48.
Jump up^ Valenzuela & Adams 2011
49.
Jump up^ Alderton 1986
50.
Jump up^ CDC 2007.
51.
Jump up^ GCTTS 2007.
52.
Jump up^ FDA 2012.
53.
Jump up^ "Turtle ban begins today; New state law". newszap.com. 2007-0701.
Retrieved 2007-07-06.[dead link]
54.
Jump up^ Turtle Soup Recipe 1881.

55.
Jump up^ Smithonian Magazine 2001.
56.
Jump up^ "Cayman Islands Turtle Farm". Retrieved 2009-10-28.[dead link]
57.
Jump up^ NOAA 2003.
58.
Jump up^ Chen, Chang & Lue 2009
59.
Jump up^ Dharmananda 2011
60.
Jump up^ Rhodin et al. 2011
61.
^ Jump up to:a b Fish Farmer 2007.
62.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e Hylton 2007
63.
Jump up^ Cheung & Dudgeon 2006
64.
Jump up^ Amato 2007
65.
Jump up^ Pittman 2008
66.
Jump up^ World Chelonian Trust: Totals 2006.
67.
Jump up^ World Chelonian Trust: Destinations 2006.
68.
Jump up^ World Chelonian Trust: Observations 2006.
References
*
Alderton, D. (1986). An Interpret Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians. London
& New York:
Salamander Books. ASIN B0010NVLQS.
*
Amato, George (2007). A Conversation at the Museum of Natural History (v
ideo) (.flv). POV25.
Retrieved November 2012.. Filmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar, the creator of the film
The Chances of the
World Changing, talks to George Amato, the director of conservation genetics at
the American Museum
of Natural Historyabout turtle conservation and the relationship between evoluti
on and extinction
*
Angier, N. (December 12, 2012). "All but Ageless, Turtles Face Their Big
gest Threat: Humans".
The New York Times.
*
Anquetin, J. (2012). "Reassessment of the phylogenetic interrelationship
s of basal turtles
(Testudinata)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10 (1): 3 45.doi:10.1080/14772
019.2011.558928.
*
Barzyk, J.E. (November 1999). "Turtles in Crisis: The Asian Food Markets
". Tortoise Trust.
Retrieved November 2012.
*
Benton, M.J. (2000). Vertebrate Paleontology (2nd ed.). London: Blackwel
l Science. ISBN 0-63205614-2. (3rd ed. 2004 ISBN 0-632-05637-1)
*
Brennessel, B. (2006). Diamonds in the Marsh: A Natural History of the D
iamondback Terrapin.
UPNE. ISBN 1584655364.
*
"Turtles as Pets | CDC Healthy Pets Healthy People". Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
October 2007. Retrieved August 2012.
*
Marshall Cavendish (2001). Endangered Wildlife and Plants of the World.
ISBN 0761471944.
*
Chen, T.-H.; Chang, H.-C.; Lue, K.-Y. (2009). "Unregulated Trade in Turt
le Shells for Chinese
Traditional Medicine in East and Southeast Asia: The Case of Taiwan". Chelonian
Conservation and
Biology 8 (1): 11 18. doi:10.2744/CCB-0747.1.
*
Cheung, S.M.; Dudgeon, D. (November December 2006). "Quantifying the Asian
turtle crisis:
market surveys in southern China, 2000 2003". Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Fre
shwater
Ecosystems 16 (7): 751 770. doi:10.1002/aqc.803.
*
Chiari, Y.; Cahais, V.; Galtier, N.; Delsuc, F. (2012). "Phylogenomic an
alyses support the position
of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria)". BMC

Biol 10 (65). doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-65.


*
Connor, Michael J. (2009). "CTTC's Turtle Trivia". California Turtle & T
ortoise Club. Retrieved
March 2009.
*
Crawford, N.G.; Faircloth, B.C.; McCormack, J.E.; Brumfield, R.T.; Winke
r, K.; Glenn, T.C.
(2012). "More than 1000 ultraconserved elements provide evidence that turtles ar
e the sister group to
archosaurs". Biology Letters 8: 783 6.doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0331.
*
Dharmananda, S. (2011). "Endangered Species Issues Affecting Turtles and
Tortoises Used in
Chinese Medicine: Appendix 1, 2, and 3". Institute for Traditional Medicine. Ret
rieved November 2012.
*
Dubois, A.; Bour, R. (2010). "The distinction between family-series and
class-series nomina in
zoological nomenclature, with emphasis on the nomina created by Batsch (1788, 17
89) and on the
higher nomenclature of turtles". Bonn zoological Bulletin 57(2): 149 171. ISSN 000
6-7172.
*
Ernst, C.H.; Lovich, J.E. (2009). Turtles of the United States and Canad
a. JHU
Press. ISBN 9780801891212.
*
Everhart, Mike (2012). "Marine Turtles". Oceans of Kansas Paleontology.
Retrieved March 2009.
*
"CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21: FDA Regulation, Sec. 1240.6
2, page 678 part d1".
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2012. Retrieved November 2012.
*
Fergus, Charles (2007). Turtles: Wild Guide. Wild guide. Mechanicsburg,
PA: Stackpole books.
p. viii. ISBN 9780811734202.
*
"Turtle farms threaten rare species, experts say". Fish Farmer. 30 March
2007. Retrieved
November 2012. Their source is an article by James Parham, Shi Haitao, and two o
ther authors,
published in Feb 2007 in the journal Conservation Biology
*
Doctors Foster and Smith educational staff (2012). "Anatomy and Diseases
of the Shells of Turtles
and Tortoises". Pet Education. Retrieved March 2009.
*
Gaffney, E.S. (1996). "The postcranial morphology of Meiolania platyceps
and a review of the
Meiolaniidae". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 229: 1 166.
*
Gaffney, E.S.; Tong, H.; Meylan, P.A. (2006). "Evolution of the side-nec
ked turtles: the families
Bothremydidae, Euraxemydidae, and Araripemydidae". Bulletin of the American Muse
um of Natural
History 300: 1 698. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2006)300[1:EOTSTT]2.0.CO;2.
*
Gafney, E.; Hutchinson, H.; Jenkins, F.; Meeker, L. (1987). "Modern turt
le origins; the oldest known
cryptodire". Science 237 (4812): 289 291. doi:10.1126/science.237.4812.289.PMID 17
772056.
*
Gannon, Megan (October 31, 2012). "Jurassic turtle graveyard found in Ch
ina". Livescience.com.
*
"Isn't it against the law to sell turtles that are smaller than 4 inches
?". Gulf Coast Turtle and
Tortoise Society. November 2007. Retrieved November 2012.
*
Hylton, H. (May 8, 2007). "Keeping U.S. Turtles Out of China". Time Maga
zine. Retrieved
November 2012.There is also a copyof the article at the TSA site. Articles by Pe
ter Paul van Dijk are
mentioned as the main source.

*
Hutchinson, J. (1996). "Introduction to Testudines: The Turtles". Univer
sity of California Museum of
Paleontology.
*
Iwabe, N.; Hara, Y.; Kumazawa, Y.; Shibamoto, K.; Saito, Y.; Miyata, T.;
Katoh, K. (December
2004). "Sister group relationship of turtles to the bird-crocodilian clade revea
led by nuclear DNA-coded
proteins". Molecular Biology and Evolution 22 (4): 810
813.doi:10.1093/molbev/msi075. PMID 15625185. Retrieved December 2010.
*
Iverson, J.B.; Kimerling, A. Jon; Kiester, A. Ross (1999). "List of All
Families". Terra Cognita
Laboratory, Geosciences Department of Oregon State University. Retrieved October
2012.
*
Jackson, D. C. (2002). "Hibernating without oxygen: Physiological adapta
tions of the painted
turtle". Journal of Physiology 543: 731
7. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2002.024729. PMC 2290531.PMID 12231634.
*
Joyce, Walter G. (2007). "Phylogenetic relationships of Mesozoic turtles
". Bulletin of the Peabody
Museum of Natural History 48(1): 3 102.
*
Katsu, Y.; Braun, E. L.; Guillette, L.J. Jr.; Iguchi, T. (March 2010). "
From reptilian phylogenomics to
reptilian genomes: analyses of c-Jun and DJ-1 proto-oncogenes". Cytogenetic and
Genome
Research 127 (2 4): 79 93. doi:10.1159/000297715.PMID 20234127.
*
King, G.L.; Berrow, S.D. (2009). Marine turtles in Irish waters (Supplem
ent to the Irish Naturalists
Journal). ISBN 978-0956970404.
*
Laurin, Michel (1996). "Introduction to Procolophonoidea". University of
California Museum of
Paleontology. Retrieved March 2009.
*
Lee, M.S.Y. (2001). "Molecules, morphology, and the monophyly of diapsid
reptiles". Contributions
to Zoology 70 (1). Unknown parameter |rmid= ignored (help)
*
Li, C; Wu, XC; Rieppel, O; Wang, LT; Zhao, LJ (November 2008). "An ances
tral turtle from the Late
Triassic of southwestern China".Nature 456 (7221): 497
501. doi:10.1038/nature07533.PMID 19037315.
*
Lyson, T.R.; Sperling, E.A.; Heimberg, A.M.; Gauthier, J.A.; King, B.L.;
Peterson, K.J. (2012).
"MicroRNAs support a turtle + lizard clade". Biology Letters 8 (1): 104
107.doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0477. PMID 21775315.
*
Lyson, T.R.; Bever, G.S.; Bhullar, B.-A.S.; Joyce, W.G.; Gauthier, J.A.
(2010). "Transitional fossils
and the origin of turtles". Biology Letters 6 (6): 830 833. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.
0371.
*
Mannen, Hideyuki; Li, Steven S.-L. (October 1999). "Molecular evidence f
or a clade of
turtles". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 13 (1): 144
148. doi:10.1006/mpev.1999.0640.PMID 10508547.
*
Maugh II, T.H. (May 18, 2012). "Researchers find fossil of a turtle that
was size of a Smart car". =
Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2012.
*
Mller, Johannes (2004). "The relationships among diapsid reptiles and the
influence of taxon
selection". In Arratia, G; Wilson, M.V.H.; Cloutier, R. Recent Advances in the O
rigin and Early Radiation
of Vertebrates. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil. pp. 379 408.ISBN 978-3-89937-052-2.
*
"Alligator Snapping Turtle". nationalgeographic.com. 2011. Retrieved Aug
ust 2011.

*
"NOAA S Marine Forensics Laboratory". August 2003. Retrieved November 2012
.
*
Pittman, C. (October 9, 2008). "China Gobbling Up Florida Turtles". St.
Petersburg Times.
Retrieved November 2012.
*
Priest, Toni E.; Franklin, Craig E. (December 2002). "Effect of Water Te
mperature and Oxygen
Levels on the Diving Behavior of Two Freshwater Turtles: Rheodytes leukops and E
mydura
macquarii". Journal of Herpetology (The Society for the Study of Amphibians and
Reptiles) 36 (4): 555
561. doi:10.1043/0022-1511(2002)036(0555:EOWTAO)2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0022-1511.
*
Rieppel, O.; DeBraga, M. (1996). "Turtles as diapsid reptiles".Nature 38
4 (6608): 453
5. doi:10.1038/384453a0.
*
Rhodin, A.G.J.; Walde, A.D.; Horne, B.D.; van Dijk, P.P.; Blanck, T.; Hu
dson, R., eds.
(2011). Turtles in Trouble: The World s 25+ Most Endangered Tortoises and Freshwat
er Turtles 2011.
Lunenburg, MA: Turtle Conservation Coalition.
*
Roos, J.; Aggarwal, R.K.; Janke, A. (November 2007). "Extended mitogenom
ic phylogenetic
analyses yield new insight into crocodylian evolution and their survival of the
Cretaceous Tertiary
boundary". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (2): 663
673.doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.06.018. PMID 17719245.
*
"Gopher Tortoise Stew". Smithsonian magazine. October 2001., from Recipe
s from Another Time:
Savor the flavor of old St. Augustine and try a couple of these original recipes
*
Stone, Hector Burgos (2006). Amerika: Timeless World. Lulu.com.ISBN 1411
681444.
*
Tanke, D.H.; Brett-Surman, M.K. (2001). "Evidence of Hatchling and Nestl
ing-Size Hadrosaurs
(Reptilia:Ornithischia) from Dinosaur Provincial Park (Dinosaur Park Formation:
Campanian), Alberta,
Canada". In Tanke, D.H.; Carpenter, K. Mesozoic Vertebrate Life New Research Inspi
red by the
Paleontology of Philip J. Currie. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
*
"Old fashioned turtle soup recipe". The Household Cyclopedia of General
Information.
LoveToKnow Corp. 1881.
*
Wings, O.; Rabi, M.; Schneider, J.W.; Schwermann, L.; Sun, G.; Zhou, C.F.; Joyce, W.G.
(2012). "An enormous Jurassic turtle bone bed from the Turpan Basin of Xinjiang,
China".Naturwissenschaften: The Science of Nature 114.doi:10.1007/s00114-012-097
4-5.
*
Valenzuela, N.; Adams, D.C. (2011). "Chromosome number and sex determina
tion coevolve in
turtles". Evolution 65 (6): 1808 13.doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01258.x.
*
"Declared Turtle Trade From the United States
Totals". World Chelonian T
rust. May 2006.
Retrieved November 2012.
*
"Declared Turtle Trade From the United States: Destinations". World Chel
onian Trust. May 2006.
Retrieved November 2012. ( (Major destinations: 13,625,673 animals to Hong Kong,
1,365,687 to the
rest of the PRC, 6,238,300 to Taiwan, 3,478,275 to Mexico, and 1,527,771 to Japa
n, 945,257 to
Singapore, and 596,966 to Spain.)

*
"Declared Turtle Trade From the United States: Observations". World Chel
onian Trust. May 2006.
Retrieved November 2012.
*
Zardoya, R.; Meyer, A. (1998). "Complete mitochondrial genome suggests d
iapsid affinities of
turtles". PNAS 95 (24): 14226 14231. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.24.14226. ISSN 00278424.PMC 24355. PMID 9826682.
Further reading
*
Iskandar, DT (2000). Turtles and Crocodiles of Insular Southeast Asia an
d New Guinea.
Bandung: Palmedia
ITB.
*
Pritchard, Peter Charles Howard (1979). Encyclopedia of turtles. Neptune
, NJ: T.F.H.
Publications. ISBN 0-87666-918-6.
External links
The Wikibook Animal
Care has a page on the topic
of: Turtle
*
Data related to Testudines at Wikispecies
*
The dictionary definition of Turtle at Wiktionary
*
Media related to Turtle at Wikimedia Commons
*
Chelonian studbook Collection and display of the weights/sizes of captiv
e turtles
*
Biogeography and Phylogeny of the Chelonia (taxonomy, maps)
*
New Scientist article (including v