This powerful predator roams the Americas, where it is also known as a puma, mountain lion, and catamount. This big cat of many names is also found in many habitats, from Florida swamps to Canadian forests.
Cougar once roamed nearly all of the United States. They were prized by hunters and despised by farmers and ranchers who suffered livestock losses at their hands. Subsequently, by the dawn of the 20th century, mountain lions were eliminated from nearly all of their range in the Midwest and Eastern U.S.—though the endangered Florida panther survives.
There are eight species of southern fur seals, all smaller than their northern relative. They include the Guadalupe fur seal of Baja California, the South African fur seal, the South American fur seal, and the Australian fur seal.
The giant panda has an insatiable appetite for bamboo. A typical animal eats half the day—a full 12 out of every 24 hours—and relieves itself dozens of times a day. It takes 28 pounds (12.5 kilograms) of bamboo to satisfy a giant panda’s daily dietary needs, and it hungrily plucks the stalks with elongated wrist bones that function rather like thumbs. Pandas will sometimes eat birds or rodents as well.
Wild pandas live only in remote, mountainous regions in central China.
Cheetah mothers typically give birth to a litter of three cubs, all of which will stay with her for one and a half to two years before venturing off on their own. When interacting with her cubs, cheetah mothers purr, just like domestic cats.
There are some 15 species of hedgehog in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Hedgehogs have also been introduced into nontraditional ranges such as New Zealand. The hedgehog was named because of its peculiar foraging methods. These animals root through hedges and other undergrowth in search of the small creatures that compose the bulk of their diet—insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes. As a hedgehog picks its way through the hedges it emits piglike grunts—thus, the hedgehog.
White Tailed Deer
White-tailed deer, the smallest members of the North American deer family, are found from southern Canada to South America. In the heat of summer they typically inhabit fields and meadows using clumps of broad-leaved and coniferous forests for shade. During the winter they generally keep to forests, preferring coniferous stands that provide shelter from the harsh elements.
Twin three-month-old red pandas (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) huddle together at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. Sartore photographed the pair as part of his Photo Ark project, through which he is documenting thousands of rare species.
“Half of all the species on Earth could be headed irreversibly toward extinction by 2100. Not if I can help it,” Sartore says. “That’s the idea behind the Photo Ark: getting the public to look these creatures in the eye, then care enough to save them while there’s still time.”
Female crocs lay their eggs in clutches of 20 to 60. After the eggs have incubated for about three months, the mother opens the nest and helps her young out of their shells.
The American crocodile is considered an endangered species in nearly all parts of its North, Central, and South American range. Survey data, except in the United States, is poor or nonexistent, but conservationists agree that illegal hunting and habitat depletion has reduced populations of this wide-ranging reptile to critical levels.
Chinchillas are medium sized rodents native to the Andes Mountains in South America. They are kept as domestic pets as well as living in the wild. Some claim they are the cutest rodents (except when wet or angry). They get their name from the indigenous South American tribe who hunts them for their dense fur, the Chinchas.
Chinchillas are a nocturnal species and keep hidden during daylight hours. They can get up to about 12 inches (30 cm) in height and weigh up to 1.2 – 4 lbs (0.6 – 1.8 kg). The female is generally bigger than the male.
All but one of the 19 species are found in Asia from Afghanistan to Japan, the Philippines, and Borneo. Macaques can be slight, with very long tails, or stocky, with short limbs and a short tail or, in a few species, no tail. They are highly intelligent and display a great variety of calls and facial expressions. A typical macaque is the rhesus monkey of S Asia.