Dingo

It doesn’t get wilder than a dingo!

  • Dingoes are a wild dog species native to grassy and desert habitats of Australia, and they also exist in parts of South East Asia.
  • The scientific name of a dingo is Canis lupus dingo and it is from the family Canidae, the family of dogs.
  • ‘Dingoes’ are also known as ‘Australian wolves’ and ‘Australian native dogs’, and there are many local native names for them as well.
  • The length of the body of a dingo typically ranges from 86 to 123 centimetres (34 to 48 inches), while the height to the shoulder is usually 44 to 67 centimetres (17 to 26 inches), and its weight ranges from 9.6 to 20 kilograms (21 to 44 pounds).
  • Dingoes typically have fur of a brown colour, from sandy to orange and reddish shades, often with white feet and a lighter coloured muzzle and belly, and they can also have black markings, or be fully black.
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A Dingo
Image courtesy of Sam Fraser-Smith/Flickr
  • The dingo’s diet consists mostly of possums, red kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, rabbits, rats, magpie geese, young cattle and sheep.
  • Dingoes are generally territorial and sometimes live by themselves, though they can form packs of three to twelve, especially to hunt large animals; and they have a lifespan of 7 to 15 years.
  • Dingoes are generally considered problematic in the livestock industry, because of their attacks on farm animals, and this led to a dingo fence being erected across southeast Australia in the late 1800s and early 1900s, to protect livestock in many areas; while shooting, trapping and poisoning have also been methods to reduce numbers of the wild dogs in problem areas.
  • Roughly 65% of a dingo’s communication is a form of growling; while howling is also common, and barking occurs occasionally.
  • Dingoes are listed as vulnerable and are protected in a number of areas in Australia, and they are listed as such as their numbers are decreasing due in part to interbreeding with domestic dogs.
Bibliography:
Burrel S, Dingo, 2015, Australian Museum, http://australianmuseum.net.au/dingo
Hintze M, Canis Lupus Dingo, 2002, Animal Diversity Web, http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Canis_lupus_dingo/
Dingo, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/dingo/
Dingo, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dingo

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Bonobo

A bonobo’s small size does not make it lesser than its great relatives.

  • Bonobos are a species of great ape and one of two species in Pan, the chimpanzee genus, and they are native to Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • ‘Bonobos’ are also known as ‘dwarf chimpanzees’, ‘pygmy chimpanzees’, and ‘gracile chimpanzees’.
  • The scientific name of the bonobo is Pan paniscus, and it is from the family Hominidae, the family of great apes.
  • Bonobos stand at a height of approximately 104 to 124 centimetres (41 to 49 inches) and weigh 25 to 61 kilograms (55 to 134 pounds).
  • The hair colour of bonobos is dark in colour and can be a combination of brown, black and grey, and while they have a similar appearance to their close relatives, the common chimpanzee, their hair is longer and their exposed skin is typically darker, being almost black.

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A Bonobo
Image courtesy of Ted/Flickr
  • It is thought that 30,000 to 50,000 individual bonobos exist, and they are listed as endangered, as their numbers have been decreasing, caused primarily by habitat destruction and human hunting for the pet industry, as well as for food.
  • Bonobos typically live in small groups of three to ten individuals, often as part of a large community, and they spend time on the ground, as well as in the treetops of rainforests where they make nests of leaves and branches to sleep in, and they are also adept at using tools.
  • Individual bonobos generally get along quite well with those in its troop, and there is a social hierarchy where the females are generally more dominant than males, though once mature, female young generally move to another troop; while the social hierarchy of the males is generally dependent on the individual’s mother.
  • A bonobo’s diet consists primarily of fruit, but also other parts of plants, as well as eggs and honey, the occasional meat such as small mammals, insects and earthworms.
  • Adult female bonobos give birth to one baby every four to five years, and the young are dependent on their mothers for three or more years, and they have a lifespan of 20 to 50 years, reaching the upper limit in captivity.
Bibliography:
Bonobo, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/bonobo/
Bonobo, 2016, San Diego Zoo, http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/bonobo
Bonobo, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo
Williams A, Pan Paniscus, 2004, Animal Diversity Web, http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Pan_paniscus/

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Gibbon

Gibbons may be small, but they still are apes.

  • Gibbons are a group of around 17 species of primate, that live in family groups in trees, in tropical forests of southeast Asia.
  • The scientific name of the gibbon family is Hylobatidae, and they are from the superfamily Hominoidea, which is the group of apes.
  • ‘Gibbons’ are also known as the ‘smaller apes’ or ‘lesser apes’, in comparison to the more well known ‘great apes’, and as an ape, they do not possess a tail.
  • Gibbons grow to be around 44 to 90 centimetres (17 to 35 inches) in height and they generally weigh between 4 to 13 kilograms (9 to 29 pounds), depending on the species.
  • The diet of gibbons is predominately fruit, especially figs, but it also consists of insects, leaves, flowers and sometimes bird eggs.
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Gibbon
Image courtesy of Leszek Leszczynski/Flickr
  • Typically, gibbons will have one partner for life, and the females usually give birth to one baby every two to three years, with the young taking roughly six to seven years to become independent; and they can have a lifespan of 25 years or more.
  • The colour of gibbon hair is determined by the species and gender, and it can range from brown, grey, black, cream, and white – which is often evident around the face and sometimes on the feet and hands.
  • Gibbons have a ball-and-socket like joint at their wrists, as well as long arms, that allow for swinging between trees at speeds of 56 kilometres per hour (35 miles per hour), making them one of the fastest tree-dwelling mammals in the world.
  • When walking on two feet, either on the ground or on branches, gibbons use their arms to assist in balance; and they communicate with each other via calls and ‘songs’ with their loud voices.
  • Primarily due to habitat destruction, all gibbon species in 2015, bar one, were considered critically endangered or endangered, which led the primate to come into the spotlight as the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s 2015 animal, to further encourage its conservation.
Bibliography:
Gibbon, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/gibbon/
Gibbon, 2016, National Geographic, http://animals.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/mammals/gibbon/
Gibbon, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbon

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Bengal Tiger

Bengal tigers are in common in the world of tigers!

  • Bengal tigers are the most abundant subspecies of tiger alive and they are found in the Asian countries of Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
  • ‘Bengal tigers’ are also known as ‘royal Bengal tigers’ and ‘Indian tigers’, and they live mostly alone and occupy mangrove areas, forests and jungles.
  • The scientific name of a Bengal tiger is Panthera tigris tigris, and it is from the family Felidae, the family of cats.
  • Bengal tigers generally range from 2
    .4 to 3.3 metres (7.9 to 11 feet) in length, and they can weigh between 75 to 300 kilograms (165 to 661 pounds) or more.
  • The pelt of Bengal tigers is an orange to yellow colour striped with black, while the underside and some areas of the face and limbs are coloured white with black stripes.
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Bengal Tiger
Image courtesy of Paul Mannix/Flickr
  • The diet of Bengal tigers consists primarily of small to medium sized mammals, including wild boars, buffalo, deer and hares.
  • Despite the animal numbers of the Bengal tiger being the greatest among tigers, it is classified as an endangered species due to extensive poaching for its fur and other body components (often used in traditional medicine), and habitat loss which also decreases numbers of prey.
  • Female Bengal tigers have litters that range from one to five cubs, every three or four years, as the young remain dependent for at least 18 months; and they can have a lifespan of 18 to 25 years.
  • The speed of a Bengal tiger can reach 65 kilometres per hour (40 miles per hour); and its only predators are humans.
  • In 2010, approximately 2000 to 2500 Bengal tigers populated the wild, with the highest population concentrated in India; and in recent years, there has been significant government effort, especially in India, to protect and increase tiger numbers.
Bibliography:
Bengal Tower, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/bengal-tiger/
Bengal Tiger, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_tiger
Bengal Tiger, 2016, World Wildlife Fund, http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/bengal-tiger

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Woolly Monkey

Are woolly monkeys the long-lost cousins of woolly mammoths?

  • Woolly monkeys are a genus of four species of monkey, native to South America’s rainforest habitats.
  • The scientific name of a woolly monkey is Lagothrix and it is from the family Atelidae, a family of New World monkeys.
  • The height of woolly monkeys is usually from 40 to 70 centimetres (16 to 28 inches) and they typically weigh betweeen 3 to 11 kilograms (6.6 to 24 pounds).
  • Woolly monkeys have thick, furry hair, and it ranges from a combination of black, grey, brown or red-brown in colour, depending on the species.
  • The diet of woolly monkeys consists primarily of fruit, but also flowers, insects, immature seeds, and leaves.
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Woolly Monkey
Image courtesy of Liz Lister/Flickr
  • Woolly monkeys live in trees in troops of 10 to 70 individuals; however will generally break off into small groups for tasks such as foraging.
  • Female woolly monkeys typically have a single baby at a time, every second year, and the young becomes mostly independent at six months of age, and they can have a lifespan of up to 30 years.
  • Generally, woolly monkeys remain among the treetops where they sleep and search for food, however, they do occasionally set foot on ground.
  • The long tail of a woolly monkey is prehensile and very strong, having the ability to support its entire body weight as well as provide balance.
  • Woolly monkeys are considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered, depending on the species, due to loss of habitat and hunting by humans for food, fur, and the pet industry.
Bibliography:
Common Woolly Monkey, n.d, Wildsreen Arkive, http://www.arkive.org/common-woolly-monkey/lagothrix-lagotricha/
Woolly Monkey, 2011, University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/woolly_monkey/taxon
Woolly Monkey, 2014, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolly_monkey
Woolly Monkey, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/woolly-monkey/

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Arctic Hare

Don’t lose your hair over the Arctic hare.

  • Arctic hares are a species of hare native to the Arctic Circle, primarily in northern parts of Canada, Greenland, and islands of the Arctic.
  • The scientific name of Arctic hares is Lepus arcticus and it is from the family Leporidae, the family of rabbits and hares.
  • ‘Arctic hares’ are also known as ‘polar hares’ and ‘polar rabbits’, and they are said to be the largest species of hare in existence.
  • Arctic hares generally range from 48 to 67 centimetres (19 to 26 inches) in length and weigh 2.5 to 5.5 kilograms (5.5 to 12.1 pounds), though they can be heavier.
  • The diet of Arctic hares consists primarily of leaves from certain species of low growing plants, as well as twigs, roots, grass, moss and flowers depending on the season, while sometimes they are known to consume meat.
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Arctic Hare
Image courtesy of Jodie Wilson/Flickr
  • In winter, Arctic hares are generally white in colour to blend into their environment, and they become a blue-grey or brown-grey colour in the months without snow, so that they are more camouflaged in their habitat; however, hares in the northern regions, with short summers, may remain white or grey all year round.
  • Female Arctic hares typically have two to eight young each year, during a period between April to September, and the young are generally able to fend for themselves after nine weeks.
  • It is common for Arctic hares to live alone, however some gather in groups reaching hundreds of individuals; and they have an average lifespan of three to five years.
  • Arctic hares can reach speeds of 64 kilometres per hour (40 miles per hour), achieving such speeds when threatened by predators like wolves, foxes, and large birds of prey; and they are also proficient swimmers and diggers.
  • The Arctic hare has been hunted by humans for its meat, as well as its soft, thick and absorbent fur which is used for clothes, throughout much of North America’s history.
Bibliography:
Arctic Hare, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/arctic-hare/
Arctic Hare, 2016, National Geographic, http://animals.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/mammals/arctic-hare/
Arctic Hare, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_hare
Lepus Arcticus, 2014, Animal Diversity Web, http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Lepus_arcticus/

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