Adopt An Animal from World Animal Foundation - make a difference for animals and the environment.

 

Choose Your AnimalChoose Your AnimalYour WAF Adopt An Animal Kit comes in a deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
 
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Animal & Fact Sheet
  • Animal Adoption Certificate In Deluxe Cover
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Animal Species
  • Animal Action Cards Packed With Information On How You Can Help Animals
 
WAF's Adopt An Animal symbolic adoption (rather than adopting an individual animal you are symbolicly adopting the entire species) is a one time fee of $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals.
 

Choose Your Animal

The Perfect Gift For The Animal Lover You Love!
 
Adopt an animal for yourself or order an Adopt An Animal as a gift. Have it sent directly to your recipient by supplying their information for shipping. 
 
Messages can be included for the recipient when adding Adopt An Animal Kits to your shopping cart.
 
Fast & Affordable Shipping!
 
Shipping time averages 2 to 4 business days - USA. Allow additional time for orders outside the U.S.  Your packet will arrive approximately 2 to 4 business days following shipping date. Shipping & Handling only $6.50!
 
Adopt An Animal Packets are shipped U.S.P.S.
 
International Orders
 
INTERNATIONAL ORDERS: Adopt An Animal Packets can be shipped to any country. Average shipping time for outside of the U.S.A. is 5 to 12 business days, including Canada.
 
World Animal Foundation Adopt An Animal Kits provided by Tree Frog Trading Co. with a portion of proceeds donated to World Animal Foundation.
 

ADOPT AN ANIMAL SPECIES DETAILS

  1. ADOPT A POLAR BEAR 
  2. ADOPT A PENGUIN
  3. ADOPT A PANDA
  4. ADOPT A GIRAFFE
  5. MANATEE ADOPTION
  6. ADOPT AN ORCA
  7. ADOPT A LEOPARD
  8. ADOPT A BOBCAT
  9. ADOPT A GRIZZLY BEAR
  10. ADOPT A GORILLA
  11. ADOPT A LION
  12. ADOPT AN ORANGUTAN
  13. ADOPT AN ELEPHANT
  14. ADOPT A DOLPHIN
  15. ADOPT A CHIMPANZEE
  16. ADOPT A CHEETAH
  17. ADOPT A KANGAROO
  18. ADOPT A KOALA
  19. ADOPT A JAGUAR
  20. ADOPT A PANTHER
  21. ADOPT A BAT
  22. ADOPT A BISON
  23. ADOPT A LEMUR
  24. ADOPT A WOLF
  25. ADOPT A SEA TURTLE
  26. ADOPT A RHINOCEROS
  27. ADOPT A WHALE
  28. ADOPT A ZEBRA
  29. ADOPT A SEAL
  30. ADOPT A WALRUS
  31. ADOPT A MONKEY
  32. ADOPT AN EAGLE
  33. ADOPT A DEER
  34. ADOPT A MOOSE
  35. ADOPT A HIPPO
  36. ADOPT A SHARK
  37. ADOPT A KOMODO DRAGON
  38. ADOPT A CROCODILE
  39. ADOPT AN ALLIGATOR
  40. ADOPT A COW
  41. ADOPT A CHICKEN
  42. ADOPT A PIG
  43. ADOPT A GOOSE
  44. ADOPT A DUCK
  45. ADOPT A TURKEY
  46. ADOPT A LAMB
  47. ADOPT A GOAT
  48. ADOPT A TIGER
  49. ADOPT A CAMEL
  50. ADOPT A MEERKAT
  51. ADOPT A HAWK
  52. ADOPT AN OCTOPUS
  53. ADOPT A PELICAN
  54. ADOPT AN OWL
  55. ADOPT A FALCON
  56. ADOPT A FLAMINGO
  57. ADOPT A SEAHORSE
  58. ADOPT A STINGRAY
  59. ADOPT A PYTHON
  60. ADOPT A BLACK-FOOTED FERRET
  61. ADOPT A SQUIRREL MONKEY
  62. ADOPT A SLOTH
  63. ADOPT A BLACK BEAR
  64. ADOPT A BABOON
  65. ADOPT A FOX
  66. ADOPT AN OCELOT
  67. ADOPT A CAPUCHIN
  68. ADOPT A SPIDER MONKEY
  69. ADOPT A COYOTE
  70. ADOPT A COPPERHEAD
  71. ADOPT A ELK
  72. ADOPT A FROG
  73. ADOPT A TREE FROG
  74. ADOPT A TURTLE/TORTOISE
  75. ADOPT A REINDEER
 

 

ADOPT A POLAR BEAR

 
STATUS:
Not federally listed as endangered or threatened. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Polar Bear Specialist Group lists most populations as "stable."
 
DESCRIPTION:
The polar bear rivals the Kodiak bear as the largest four-footed carnivore on Earth and can live up to 25 years. Although the polar bear’s coat appears white, each individual hair is actually a clear hollow tube that channels the sun’s energy directly to the bear’s skin and helps it stay warm. The polar bear’s entire body is furred, even the bottom of its paws. That helps prevent bears from slipping on the ice. The polar bear is classified as a marine mammal. Its feet are partially webbed for swimming, and its fur is water-repellent. A formidable predator, it has extremely sharp claws.
 
SIZE:
Males are 8 to 11 feet long and weigh 500 to 1,100 pounds but can reach as much as 1,500 pounds. Females are smaller, measuring 6 to 8 feet long, and weigh from 350 to 600 pounds, occasionally reaching 700 pounds.
 
POPULATION:
Worldwide there are thought to be 22,000-27,000 polar bears in 19 separate populations. They can be found in the United States, Canada, Russia, Greenland and on the Arctic islands of Norway. There are estimated to be about 3,000 to 5,000 polar bears in Alaska.
 
RANGE:
Polar bears are found throughout the Arctic and are the most nomadic of all bear species. They travel an average of 5,500 miles a year or 15 miles a day. In the United States, polar bears are located in two Alaskan populations: the Chukchi/Bering Seas of western Alaska and the Beaufort Sea off northern Alaska.
 
HABITAT:
The entire circumpolar Arctic region is polar bear habitat. They are equally comfortable in the water and on land. Polar bears can be found on pack ice, coastal islands, coastlines and even out in Arctic waters. They are exceptional swimmers and have been observed in the sea more than 100 miles from the nearest land or pack ice.
 
FOOD:
Polar bears are strictly carnivores and feed or scavenge only meat. Their primary prey is the ringed seal though they also take bearded, harp and hooded seals and the occasional walrus youngster. They will also scavenge walrus and whale carcasses. That sometimes results in temporary aggregations of polar bears at such sites. Other species, such as the Arctic fox, rely entirely upon "polar bear left-overs" after the bears have eaten their fill of seal skin and blubber, leaving the remaining meat for such scavengers.
 
BEHAVIOR:
The two main focuses of this solitary creature's life are to conserve energy and to hunt. Only pregnant females dig dens and hibernate in the traditional sense for extended periods. The other bears may enter into what is referred to as "walking hibernation" where they remain active and continue to hunt and feed, even though some of their metabolic processes may slow (decreased heart rates, respiration, lowered temperatures, etc.). Polar bears depend mostly on their sense of smell to determine the location of prey. Their white coats make great camouflage for hunting seals, and they will wait patiently for hours next to a seal’s air hole waiting for the seal to take a breath. Once the seal arrives, the polar bear will use its immense strength and sharp claws to clutch the seal and drag it through the small blowhole.
 
OFFSPRING:
Females are able to breed at the age of five years. They dig dens either on the coastal mainland or out on the drifting pack ice in late October or early November, and then remain denned until the next spring. An average of two cubs are born, each weighing about 1 pound at birth and growing to about 15 pounds by the time they emerge in the spring. The cubs have much to learn and usually remain with their mothers for more than two years.
 
THREATS:
Polar bear populations are distributed in Artic regions throughout Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway. They must have pack ice to survive and can travel thousands of miles over the course of a year, following the advance and retreat of sea ice. Seal populations are abundant on pack ice, where currents and wind interact with the ice, continually melting and refreezing the edges, making it accessible to both predator and prey.
 
Older, stable pack ice is essential to the polar bear’s continued existence. It is where polar bears hunt, mate and den. Pregnant females make dens in the soft deep snows of the ice. They will give birth in these dens and the snow will insulate both mother and cubs over the harsh Arctic winter. Without a stable ice pack to accumulate sufficient snow, there can be no dens. The ice is also the seal’s habitat. Polar bears are strong swimmers, but they are not adept at catching seals in open water. The ice is necessary for successful hunts, where the bears stalk the seals using their breathing holes. Changes in the conditions of the ice have forced seals to move and give birth in different areas, making it more difficult for the polar bears to find and feed on them. Without ready and plentiful food, pregnant female polar bears cannot build the fat reserves they need to survive a denning period.
 
With shrinking ice and inaccessibility to prey, polar bears could be extinct by 2050. Their habitat is melting away. When animals lose their natural habitat they will seek other means to secure food. Just as black bears will come into towns and communities in search of food, polar bears, attracted by garbage or animal carcasses, will enter areas of human population. When they do so, they can be killed. Although it is illegal to kill a polar bear, human caused mortality still remains a factor in the decline of this endangered animal.
 
To help save the polar bear, we must support strengthening of the Endangered Species Act and include the polar bears’ prey base, suspend new Arctic gas and oil development until the bear population and their sea-ice habitat are fully protected and eliminate all trophy hunting throughout the Artic, while remaining sensitive to indigenous people and their subsistence needs. Laws against poaching must be strictly enforced and programs implemented that offer rewards for information leading to their conviction.
 
 
Adopt A Polar Bear from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Polar Bear from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Polar Bear Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Polar Bear
  • Adopt A Polar Bear Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Polar Bear
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Polar Bear Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Polar Bear is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Polar Bear symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a polar bear for yourself or order an Adopt A Polar Bear as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Polar Bear Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A PENGUIN

 
STATUS (U.S.):
The Galapagos penguin is listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Penguins are flightless sea birds. They can be many different colors from the chest up. Most species have black backs and white fronts. Penguins are able to control their body temperature on land by facing either their black back or white front to the sun. This coloration also camouflages them in the water. They have a thick layer of blubber that helps keep them warm.
 
SIZE:
There are 17 penguin species, varying greatly in size. The largest is the emperor penguin at 4 feet tall and about 65 to 90 pounds. The smallest is the little penguin, also known as the blue or fairy penguin, which weighs 2 pounds.
 
LIFESPAN:
Penguins can live up to 15 to 20 years in the wild.
 
RANGE:
Penguins are found on every continent in the southern hemisphere, from the Antarctic to the Galapagos Islands.
 
FOOD:
Penguins are carnivores and mostly eat krill, a tiny shrimp-like animal, and other fish. Their sharp, spine-like teeth allow them to catch fish up to 10 inches long, which they swallow head first.
 
BEHAVIOR:
With compact, streamlined bodies, penguins can swim an average of 2.5 to 5 miles per hour – using their wings as paddles – with some species swimming as fast as 7.5 miles per hour. They also "toboggan," laying on their belly and pushing themselves along the ice with their flippers and feet. Most penguin species spend several hours a day preening and waterproofing their feathers with an oil produced from a gland located above their tail feathers. Feathers are important to keep penguins warm and to keep cold water from touching their skin.
 
OFFSPRING:
Most penguin species gather in colonies in areas free from land predators during nesting. Many penguins build a nest of rocks, sticks or grass where one or two eggs are laid. Because penguins only eat in the ocean, they must fast while mating, incubating eggs and guarding chicks. The male and female usually take turns tending to the eggs and raising the chicks while the other mate returns to the ocean to eat. Adult feathers replace a chick’s down at about two to four months. Once the chick has adult feathers, it is ready to swim and hunt on its own.
 
ANATOMY:
Penguins are superbly adapted to an aquatic life. Their wings have become flippers, useless for flight in the air. In the water, however, penguins are astonishingly agile. Within the smooth plumage a layer of air is preserved, ensuring buoyancy. The air layer also helps insulate the birds in cold waters. On land, penguins use their tails and wings to maintain balance for their upright stance.
 
All penguins have a white underside and a dark (mostly black) upperside. This is for camouflage. A predator looking up from below (such as an orca or a leopard seal) has difficulty distinguishing between a white penguin belly and the reflective water surface. The dark plumage on their backs camouflages them from above.
 
Diving penguins reach 6 to 12 km/h, though there are reports of velocities of 27 km/h (which are probably realistic in the case of startled flight). The small penguins do not usually dive deep; they catch their prey near the surface in dives that normally last only one or two minutes. Larger penguins can dive deep in case of need. Dives of the large Emperor Penguin have been recorded which reach a depth of 565 m (1870 ft) and last up to 20 minutes.
 
Penguins either waddle on their feet or slide on their bellies across the snow, a movement called "tobogganing", which allows them to conserve energy and move relatively fast at the same time.
 
Penguins have an excellent sense of hearing. Their eyes are adapted for underwater vision, and are their primary means of locating prey and avoiding predators; in air, conversely, they are nearsighted. Their sense of smell has not been researched so far.
 
They are able to drink salt water safely because their supraorbital gland filters excess salt from the bloodstream. The salt is excreted in a concentrated fluid from the nasal passages.
 
Penguins have no external genitalia.
 
THREATS:
Penguins living more than 60 degrees south of the equator are protected from hunting by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. Penguins are currently threatened by human activity. Threats include oil spills, human exploitation for guano and food, entanglement in fishing gear, human encroachment, over-fishing of food sources and introduced predators such as dogs.
 
 
Adopt A Penguin from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Penguin from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Penguin Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Penguin
  • Adopt A Penguin Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Penguin
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Penguin Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Penguin is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Penguin symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an penguin for yourself or order an Adopt A Penguin as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Penguin Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A PANDA


STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
Pandas are famous for their black and white markings. The legs, shoulders, ears and oval patches around the eyes are black, and the rest of the coat is white. Good tree climbers, pandas can also swim to escape predators. Pandas use an enlarged wrist bone that looks like a thumb to grasp objects like bamboo.
 
SIZE:
Pandas weigh an average of 200 to 300 pounds and reach six feet in length.
 
POPULATION:
Only 1,000 pandas exist in the wild and 60 in zoos.
 
LIFESPAN:
The panda’s lifespan in the wild is unknown but in captivity averages more than 20 years.
 
RANGE:
The shrinking range of the panda is limited to parts of Szechuan, Shensi and Kansu provinces in central and western China.
 
HABITAT:
The panda lives in thick bamboo and coniferous forests (evergreens with seed cones) at 8,500 to 11,500 feet elevation.
 
FOOD:
Pandas feed mostly on bamboo, a tall woody plant full of fiber. The panda’s digestive system does not absorb the fiber, so it must eat a lot. Pandas also eat flowers, vines, tufted grasses, green corn, honey and rodents.
 
BEHAVIOR:
These solitary animals spend most of their days feeding. Although they live in cold forests, pandas do not hibernate. They move to lower elevations during winter to keep warm and to higher elevations in summer to stay cool. They do not have permanent homes but sleep at the bottom of trees and under stumps and rock ledges.
 
OFFSPRING:
After a gestation period of 125 to 150 days, a mother panda gives birth to one or two young, but only one survives. Eyes open at six to eight weeks, and the cub starts to move around at three months. Weaned at six months, the cub becomes independent after a year.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION:
The giant panda lives in mountainous regions, such as Sichuan and Tibet. Since the latter half of the 20th century, the panda has become an informal national emblem for China, and its image is found on many Chinese gold coins.
 
Despite being taxonomically a carnivore, the panda has a diet that is overwhelmingly herbivorous. The giant panda eats shoots and leaves, living almost entirely on bamboo. Pandas are also known to eat eggs, the occasional fish, and some insects along with their bamboo diet. These are necessary sources of protein. Like other subtropical mammals, the giant panda does not hibernate.
 
For many decades the precise taxonomic classification of the panda was under debate as both the giant panda and the distantly related red panda share characteristics of both bears and raccoons. However, genetic testing seems to have revealed that giant pandas are true bears and part of the Ursidae family. Its closest bear relative is the Spectacled Bear of South America.
 
Giant pandas are an endangered species, threatened by continued habitat loss and by a very low birthrate, both in the wild and in captivity. Poaching is uncommon; killing a panda was punishable in China by death until a 1997 law changed the penalty to 20 years imprisonment.
 
The giant panda has an unusual paw, with a "thumb" and five fingers; the "thumb" is actually a modified sesamoid bone. The giant panda has a short tail, approximately 15 cm long. The giant panda has long been a favorite of the public, at least partly on account of the fact that the species has an appealing baby like cuteness that makes it seem to resemble a living teddy bear. The fact that it is usually depicted reclining peacefully eating bamboo, as opposed to hunting, also adds to its image of innocence. Though the giant panda is often assumed docile because of their cuteness, they have been known to attack humans, usually assumed to be out of irritation rather than predatory behavior.
 
Giant pandas can usually live to be 20 30 years old.
THREATS:
 
Habitat loss to increasing human populations; poaching; periodic bamboo die-offs.
 
 
Adopt A Panda from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Panda from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Panda Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Panda
  • Adopt A Panda Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Panda
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Panda Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Panda is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Panda symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a panda for yourself or order an Adopt A Panda as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Panda Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A GIRAFFE

 
STATUS:
Vulnerable.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Giraffes are one of the world's tallest mammals. They are well known for their long necks, long legs, and spotted patterns. Giraffes have small "horns" or knobs on top of their heads that grow to be about five inches long. These knobs are used to protect the head in fights.
 
SIZE:
Male giraffes are larger than females. Males weigh between 2,400 and 3,000 pounds and stand up to 19 feet tall. Female giraffes weigh between 1,600 and 2,600 pounds and grow to be 16 feet tall.
 
POPULATION:
Giraffe populations are relatively stable.
 
LIFESPAN:
Healthy giraffes live about 25 years in the wild.
 
RANGE:
Giraffes can be found in central, eastern and southern Africa.
 
HABITAT:
Giraffes live in the savannas of Africa, where they roam freely among the tall trees, arid land, dense forests and open plains.
 
FOOD:
Their long necks help giraffes eat leaves from tall trees, typically acacia trees. If they need to, giraffes can go for several days without water. Instead of drinking, giraffes stay hydrated by the moisture from leaves.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Giraffes are non-territorial, social animals. They travel in large herds that are not organized in any way. Herds may consist of any combination of sexes or ages.
 
OFFSPRING:
Female giraffes typically give birth to one calf after a fifteen-month gestation period. During the first week of its life, the mother carefully guards her calf. Young giraffes are very vulnerable and cannot defend themselves. While mothers feed, the young are kept in small nursery groups.
 
CHARACTERISTICS:
Giraffes have spots covering their entire bodies, except their underbellies, with each giraffe having a unique pattern of spots. Giraffes have long necks, which they use to browse the leaves of trees. They also have slightly elongated forelegs, about 10% longer than their hind legs. Like nearly all mammals, a giraffe has seven neck vertebrae, which are extremely elongated. These bones produce bud like horns called ossicorns.
 
Modifications to the giraffe's structure have evolved, particularly to the circulatory system. A giraffe's heart, which can weigh up to 10 kg (24 lb), has to generate around double the normal blood pressure for a large mammal in order to maintain blood flow to the brain against gravity. In the upper neck, a complex pressure regulation system called the rete mirabile prevents excess blood flow to the brain when the giraffe lowers its head to drink. Conversely, the blood vessels in the lower legs are under great pressure (because of the weight of fluid pressing down on them). In other animals such pressure would force the blood out through the capillary walls; giraffes, however, have a very tight sheath of thick skin over their lower limbs which maintains high extravascular pressure in exactly the same way as a pilot's g suit.
 
Male giraffes determine female fertility by tasting the female's urine to detect estrus in a multi step process known as the Flehmen response. Giraffe gestation lasts between 14 and 15 months, after which a single calf is born. The mother gives birth standing up and the embryonic sack actually bursts when the baby falls to the ground. Newborn giraffes are about 1.8 meters tall. Within a few hours of being born, calves can run around and are indistinguishable from a week old calf; however, for the first two weeks, they spend most of their time lying down, guarded by the mother. While adult giraffes are too large to be attacked by most predators, the young can fall prey to lions, leopards, hyenas, and African Wild Dogs. It has been speculated that their characteristic spotted pattern provides a certain degree of camouflage. Only 25 to 50% of giraffe calves reach adulthood; the life expectancy is between 20 and 25 years in the wild and 28 years in captivity.
 
The giraffe browses on the twigs of trees, preferring plants of the Mimosa genus; but it appears that it can, without inconvenience, live on other vegetable food. A giraffe can eat 63 kg (140 lb) of leaves and twigs daily. The pace of the giraffe is an amble, though when pursued it can run extremely fast. It cannot sustain a lengthened chase. Its leg length compels an unusual gait with the left legs moving together followed by right (similar to pacing) at low speed, and the back legs crossing outside the front at high speed.
 
The giraffe defends itself against threats by kicking with great force. A single well placed kick of an adult giraffe can shatter a lion's skull or break its spine. The giraffe has one of the shortest sleep requirements of any mammal, which is between 20 minutes and two hours in a 24 hour period.
 
A giraffe will clean off any bugs that appear on its face with its extremely long tongue (about 18 inches). The tongue is tough on account of the giraffe's diet, which includes thorns from the tree it is making a meal of. In Southern Africa, giraffes are partial to all acacias — especially Acacia erioloba — and possess a specially adapted tongue and lips that appear to be immune to the vicious thorns.
 
Giraffes are thought to be mute. However, recent research has shown evidence that the animal communicates at an infrasound level.
 
THREATS:
Giraffes are hunted for their meat, coat and tails. The tail is prized for good luck bracelets, fly whisks and string for sewing beads. The coat is used for shield coverings. Habitat destruction and fragmentation are also threats to giraffe populations.
 
 
Adopt A Giraffe from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Giraffe from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Giraffe Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Giraffe
  • Adopt A Giraffe Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Giraffe
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Giraffe Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Giraffe is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Giraffe symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a giraffe for yourself or order an Adopt A Giraffe as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Giraffe Today!
 
 

 

MANATEE ADOPTION


STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
Manatees range in color from gray to brown. They use their two small front flippers to crawl along ocean or river bottoms. Their flat, horizontal tails are pumped up and down to move them along. Despite their small eyes and lack of outer ears, manatees are thought to see and hear quite well.
 
One of the closest surviving relatives of the manatee is the elephant. Manatees have many anatomical parallels with elephants, including a long, flexible nose or trunk, whiskers, and toenails.
 
SIZE:
The average adult manatee weighs 1,500 to
1,800 pounds and measures ten to 12 feet
in length.
 
POPULATION:
The largest population of manatees is found in
Florida, where 5,067 individuals now live.
 
LIFESPAN:
Manatees are thought to live 50 to 60 years in the wild.
 
RANGE:
Manatees take up residence primarily in Florida’s coastal waters during winter and migrate either as far north as the Carolinas or as far west as Louisiana during the summer months. Manatees inhabit the shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (T. manatus, West Indian Manatee), the Amazon Basin (T. inunguis, Amazonian Manatee), and West Africa (T. senegalensis, West African Manatee). West Indian Manatees enjoy warmer waters and are known to congregate in shallow waters, and frequently migrate through brackish water estuaries to freshwater springs. Their natural source for warmth during winter is warm-spring fed rivers.
 
HABITAT:
Manatees can be found in the warm waters of shallow rivers, bays, estuaries and coastal waters. Rarely do individuals venture into waters that are below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Manatees often congregate near power plants, which warm the waters. Some have become reliant on this source of unnatural heat and have ceased migrating to warmer waters.
 
FOOD:
Manatees are herbivores and eat marine and freshwater plants.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Well known for their gentle, slow-moving nature, manatees have also been known to body surf or barrel roll when playing. Normally they rest and feed often. Manatees communicate by squealing under water to demonstrate fear, stress or excitement.
 
They emit a wide range of sounds used in communication, especially between cows and their calves. Adults communicate to maintain contact and during sexual and play behaviors. Taste and smell, in addition to sight, sound, and touch, may also be forms of communication.
 
Manatees are capable of understanding discrimination tasks, and show signs of complex associated learning and advanced long term memory. They demonstrate complex discrimination and task-learning similar to dolphins and pinnipeds in acoustic and visual studies.
 
OFFSPRING:
After a one-year gestation period, calves are born weighing between 60 and 70 pounds and measuring about three to four feet.
 
THREATS:
Most manatees have a pattern of scars on their backs or tails from collisions with boats. Scientists use these patterns to identify individuals. But these collisions can be fatal for the manatee. Besides boating accidents, manatees have been found crushed or drowned in flood-control gates and also suffer from pollution and habitat loss.
 
All three species of manatee are listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable to extinction. Although it does not have any natural predators, human expansion has reduced its natural habitat in the coastal marsh areas and many manatees are injured or killed by collisions with powerboats. Manatees occasionally ingest fishing gear (hooks, metal weights, etc.) during feeding. These foreign materials do not seem to harm manatees, except for monofilament line or string. This can get clogged in the animal's digestive system and slowly kill the animal. They can also be crushed in water control structures (navigation locks, flood gates, etc.), drown in pipes and culverts, and are occasionally killed from entanglement in fishing gear, primarily crab pot float lines.
 
On June 8, 2006, the manatee was removed from Florida's endangered species list, and now has a "threatened" status in that state. While none of the state laws protecting manatees have changed, many wildlife conservationists are disappointed with the removal decision.
 
 
Manatee Adoption Kit by World Animal Foundation
 
Purchase a Manatee Adoption Kit from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Manatee Adoption Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Manatee
  • Manatee Adoption Kit Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Manatee
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Manatee Adoption Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Manatee Adoption Kit is from you.
 
WAF's Manatee Adoption Kit symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Purchase a Manatee Adoption Kit for yourself or order a Manatee Adoption Kit as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - purchase a Manatee Adoption Kit Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT AN ORCA

 
STATUS:
Vulnerable.
 
DESCRIPTION:
The orca, or "killer whale”, is the largest member of the dolphin family. Orcas have long, rounded bodies with large dorsal fins at the middle of their backs. Their black bodies are marked with white patches on the underside and near the eyes.
 
SIZE:
The average male orca grows to 23 feet long and weighs 7 to 10 tons. Females average 21 feet long and weigh 4 to 6 tons.
 
POPULATION:
The worldwide population of orcas is unknown.
 
LIFESPAN:
Orcas live 30 to 50 years in the wild.
 
RANGE:
Found in all oceans of the world, orcas are most common in the Arctic and Antarctic and are often spotted off the west coast of the United States and Canada.
 
HABITAT:
Orcas are found in both coastal waters and open ocean.
 
FOOD:
Like dolphins, orcas use echolocation - bouncing sound off of objects to determine their location - to hunt and use a series of high-pitched clicks to stun prey. Orcas feed on fish, squid, birds, and marine mammals. Orca pods often work together to catch a meal. Pods sometimes will force many fish into one area and take turns feeding or will beach (slide out of the water onto the shore) themselves to scare seals or penguins into the water where other whales are waiting to feed.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Orcas are highly social animals that travel in groups called pods. Pods usually consist of 5 to 30 whales, although some pods may combine to form a group of 100 or more. Orcas establish social hierarchies, and pods are lead by females. The animals are thought to have a complex form of communication with different dialects (slightly different language) from one pod to another.
 
OFFSPRING:
Orca gestation is 13 to 16 months. A calf is born in autumn weighing almost 400 pounds and measuring up to 7 feet in length. A calf will remain with its mother for at least two years.
 
THREATS:
Recent studies have found that orcas are among the most contaminated marine mammals in the world. Pollution and chemical contamination make orcas more susceptible to disease and likely cause reproductive difficulties.
 
 
Adopt An Orca from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt An Orca from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt An Orca Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Orca
  • Adopt An Orca Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Orca
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt An Orca Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt An Orca is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt An Orca symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an orca for yourself or order an Adopt An Orca as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt An Orca Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A LEOPARD


STATUS:
Endangered in Asia and parts of Africa. Threatened south of, and including, Gabon, Congo, Zaire, Uganda, Kenya in Africa.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Leopards are medium-sized cats found in a range of colors from pale yellow to gray to chestnut. A leopard’s shoulders, upper arms, back and haunches are marked with dark spots in a rosette pattern, while the head, chest and throat are marked with small black spots. Large black spots cover the leopard’s white belly. Black, or melanistic, leopards are common, especially in dense forests.
 
SIZE:
Leopards are 1.5 to 2.6 feet tall at the shoulder. They are three to six feet long, with a tail that is two to 3.5 feet long. Males weigh between 82 and 200 pounds, females are slightly smaller.
 
LIFESPAN:
Leopards live for up to 20 years.
 
RANGE:
Leopards are found throughout most of Africa and Asia from the middle east to the Soviet Union, Korea, China, India, and Malaysia.
 
HABITAT:
Leopards are found in a variety of habitats including forests, mountains, grassland and deserts.
 
FOOD:
Leopards eat small hoofstock such as gazelle, impala, deer and wildebeast. On occasion, they may also hunt monkeys, rodents and birds.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Leopards are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active at night. During the day, they rest in thick brush or in trees. Leopards are solitary, preferring to live alone. They are very agile and good swimmers. They are able to leap more than 20 feet.
 
OFFSPRING:
Following a 90 to 105 day gestation, one to six kittens are born. The average litter size is two or three. Kittens weigh about one pound when they are born. They will stay with their mother for 18 to 24 months.
 
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES:
The big cats, especially the spotted cats, are easy to confuse for those who see them in captivity or in photographs. The leopard is closely related to, and appears very similar to, the jaguar; it is less often confused with the cheetah. The ranges, habitats, and activities of the three cats make them easy to distinguish in the wild.
 
Since wild leopards live only in Africa and Asia, while wild jaguars live only in the Americas, there is no possibility of confusing them in the wild. There are also visual markings that set them apart. Leopards do not have the spots within the rosettes that jaguars always have, and the jaguar's spots are larger than the leopard's. The Amur leopard and the North Chinese leopard are occasional exceptions. The leopard is smaller and less stocky than the jaguar, although it is more heavyset than the cheetah.
 
Besides appearance, the leopard and jaguar have similar behavior patterns. Jaguars can adapt to a range of habitats from rainforest to ranchlands, while leopards are even more adaptable ranging in from deserts and mountains, savanna and woodlands.
 
The cheetah, although its range overlaps extensively with that of the leopard, is easily distinguished. The leopard is heavier, stockier, and has a larger head in proportion to the body. The cheetah tends to run rather fast and goes much more quickly than the leopard. The cheetah also has dark 'teardrop' like markings running down the sides of its face, whereas the leopard does not. Cheetahs are usually diurnal, while leopards are more active at night (nocturnal); cheetahs are also exclusively terrestrial (except when young), while leopards often climb trees.
 
DISTRIBUTION AND CONSERVATION:
Prior to the human induced changes of the last few hundred years, Leopards were the most widely distributed of all felids other than the domestic cat: they were found through most of Africa (with the exception of the Sahara Desert), as well as parts of Asia Minor. They are still found in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, China, Siberia, much of mainland South East Asia, and the islands of Java and Sri Lanka.
 
The leopard is doing surprisingly well for a large predator. It is estimated that there are as many as 500,000 leopards worldwide. But like many other big cats, leopards are increasingly under threat of habitat loss and are facing increased hunting pressure. Because of their stealthy habits and camouflage, they can go undetected even in close proximity to human settlements. Despite the leopard's abilities, it is no match for habitat destruction and poachers, and several subspecies are endangered, namely, the Amur, Anatolian, Barbary, North Chinese, and South Arabian leopards.
 
THREATS:
Fur trade, human encroachment.
 
 
Adopt A Leopard from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Leopard from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Leopard Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Leopard
  • Adopt A Leopard Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Leopard
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Leopard Adoption Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Leopard is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Leopard symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a leopard for yourself or order an Adopt A Leopard as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Leopard Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A BOBCAT

 
STATUS:
Vulnerable.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Named for their short, bobbed tail, bobcats are medium-sized cats, slightly smaller and similar in appearance to their cousin the lynx. Their coat varies in color from shades of buff or brown fur with spotted or lined markings in dark brown or black.
 
SIZE:
On average, bobcats measure 17 to 23 inches in height and 25 to 41 inches in length. Males weigh approximately 16 to 28 pounds, while females typically weigh 10 to 18 pounds. The bobcat is approximately two feet tall.
 
POPULATION:
Approximately 725,000 to 1,020,000 bobcats remain in the wild.
 
LIFESPAN:
Bobcats live an average of 12 to 13 years.
 
RANGE:
Bobcats can be found from southern Canada to northern Mexico, although they have been extirpated (can no longer be found) in some midwestern and eastern states in the United States.
 
HABITAT:
Bobcat habitat varies widely from forests and mountainous areas to semideserts and brush land. A habitat dense with vegetation and lots of prey is ideal. Although adapted to a variety of habitats across the country, they do not tolerate the deep snows. Bobcats move about their home ranges most actively in the hours near dawn and dusk, hunting small mammals. They seek cover in conifer stands and on rocky ledges. Unlike the larger Canada Lynx, which they resemble, Bobcats are often highly adaptable to human caused changes in environmental conditions; some biologists believe that there are more bobcats in the United States today than in colonial times. They have vanished from parts of the midwest where most suitable habitat has been replaced by cultivated fields.
 
FOOD:
While rabbits are the staple of their diet, bobcats are also known to eat rodents, birds, bats and even adult deer (usually killed during the winter months).
 
BEHAVIOR:
Bobcats are excellent hunters, stalking prey with stealth and patience, then capturing their meal with one great leap. They are typically solitary and territorial animals. Females never share territory with each other, however, male territories tend to overlap. Territories are established with scent marking and range approximately 25 to 30 square miles for males and about five square miles for females.
 
OFFSPRING:
Mating usually occurs in late winter. Cubs are usually born in early spring after a 50 to 70 day gestation period. Litter sizes vary from one to six cubs. Cubs stay with their mother for a year.
 
THREATS:
In Mexico, bobcats are persecuted as a sheep predator and are frequently killed by farmers. Bobcats are hunted and inhumanely trapped for their fur throughout much of their range. Between 1991 to 1992, about 22,000 pelts were sold and traded.
 
CAPTIVITY:
Even under the best of circumstances, captivity can be hell for animals meant to roam free. Kept in small, barren cages, forced to sleep on concrete slabs, and imprisoned behind iron bars, performing animals often suffer from malnutrition, loneliness, the denial of all normal pleasures and behaviors, loss of freedom and independence, even lack of veterinary care, and filthy quarters. Attracting customers is the first consideration and the animals' welfare is often the last. Even when the mere display of the animals themselves is the "draw," the animals rarely receive proper care--and almost never the socialization and stimulation they crave.
 
Confined to tiny cages and gawked at by crowds, animals in exhibits and acts endure constant stress. They may suffer from temperature extremes and irregular feeding and watering. Without exercise, they become listless, their immune systems are weakened, and they become prone to sickness; many resort to self-mutilation in reaction to stress or boredom. Mental illness is rampant among confined animals. Torn from their families and deprived of all dignity, every part of their lives is controlled by their captors.
 
While zoos and aquariums may appear to be educational and conservation-oriented, most are designed with the needs and desires of the visitors in mind, not the needs of the animals. Many animals in zoos and aquariums exhibit abnormal behavior as a result of being deprived of their natural environments and social structures. Some zoos and aquariums do rescue some animals and work to save endangered species, but most animals in zoos were either captured from the wild or bred in captivity for the purpose of public display, not species protection. The vast majority of captive-bred animals will never be returned to the wild. When the facility breeds too many animals they become "surplus" and often are sold to laboratories, traveling shows, shooting ranches, or to private individuals who may be unqualified to care for them.
 
PROTECTION:
*CITES, Appendix II
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if it does not harm their survival.
 
 
Adopt A Bobcat from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Bobcat from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Bobcat Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Bobcat
  • Adopt A Bobcat Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Bobcat
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Bobcat Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Bobcat is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Bobcat symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a bobcat for yourself or order an Adopt A Bobcat as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Bobcat Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A GRIZZLY BEAR


STATUS:
In 1975, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the brown (grizzly) bear as a threatened species in the Lower 48 states, under the Endangered Species Act, meaning it is considered likely to become endangered. In Alaska, where there are estimated to be over 30,000 brown bears, they are classified as a game animal with regionally established regulations.
 
DESCRIPTION:
The brown bear (known as the grizzly in the Lower 48 states) is a large predator distinguished from black bears by a distinctive hump on the shoulders, a dished profile to the face, and long claws about the length of a human finger. Coloration is usually darkish brown but can vary from very light cream to black. The long guard hairs on their back and shoulders often have white tips and give the bears a "grizzled" appearance, hence the name "grizzly."
 
SIZE:
Brown bears vary greatly in size. Adult males can weigh from 300 to 850 pounds while females weigh in between 200 and 450 pounds. The largest brown bears are found along the coast of Alaska and British Columbia, and islands such as Kodiak and Admiralty Islands. Here, because of a consistent diet of high protein salmon, males average over 700 pounds and females average about 450 pounds. European brown bears and brown bears from the interior of North America average about two-thirds the size of these large coastal brown bears. Despite this large size, brown bears are extremely agile and fast, reaching speeds of 35 to 40 mph.
 
HABITAT:
Brown bears are found in a variety of habitats, from dense forests, to subalpine meadows and arctic tundra. The brown bear is thought to have adapted to the life of a plains or steppe animal and was once common on the Great Plains of North America. Human encroachment has forced the remaining brown bear populations to select rugged mountains and remote forests that are undisturbed by humans.
 
RANGE:
Brown bears are found in North America, eastern and western Europe, northern Asia and in Japan. In North America, brown bears are found in western Canada, Alaska, and in the states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Brown bears have the widest distribution of any bear species and occupy a wide range of habitats. Historically, they could be found from Alaksa to Mexico, California to Ohio.
 
POPULATION:
In the Lower 48 states there are 800 - 1,020 brown bears surviving. Of these, about 350 live in northwestern Montana, 350-400 live in or around Yellowstone National Park, about 30 in the Selkirk Mountains in northern Idaho/northeast Washington, about 30 live in the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem in northern Idaho/western Montana, and perhaps 20 live in the North Cascades of upper Washington State. In Alaska, there are about 30,000.
 
OFFSPRING:
Females reach sexual maturity at 4 to 7 years old and breed in early May through mid-July. Bears experience "delayed implantation" so that the fertilized egg does not begin to develop until November, enabling the young to be born in January or February while the mothers are hibernating in a den. Cubs are about 1 - 1½ pounds when born and litter sizes range from 1 - 3, but two is most common. Cubs will remain with their mothers for at least 2 - 4 years, and females won’t breed again while in the company of their young. Thus, the breeding interval is three or more years between successive litters.
 
FOOD:
Brown bears are omnivores and will eat both vegetation and animals. Grasses, sedges, roots, berries, insects, fish, carrion and small and large mammals are all part of a bear's diet. In some areas they have become significant predators of large hoofed mammals such as moose, caribou and elk. In other areas a large, consistent supply of food like salmon have led to behavioral changes that allow large congregations of brown bears to share an abundant resource. The diet of brown bears varies depending on what foods are available in that particular season or habitat.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Bears live solitary lives except during breeding, cub rearing, and in those areas with a super-abundant food supply such as salmon streams. Brown bears hibernate during the winter for 5-8 months, depending on the location, and usually dig their dens on north-facing slopes to ensure good snow cover. Brown bears need to eat a lot in the summer and fall in order to build up sufficient fat reserves for surviving the denning period. This is particularly true for pregnant females who give birth to one-pound cubs and then nurse them to about 20 pounds before emerging from the den in April - May. All the time without eating or drinking a thing! These bears will defend their territories, and mothers are known for their ferocity in defending their cubs.
 
LONGEVITY:
Brown bears can live up to 30 years in the wild, though 20 - 25 is normal.
 
THREATS:
Most of the threats to the survival of brown bears are associated with degradation of habitat due to development, logging, road-building and energy and mineral exploration. Habitat destruction in valley bottoms and riparian areas is particularly harmful to grizzlies because they use these as "corridors" to travel from one area to another. Another major threat to the brown bear is human-caused mortality. Some brown bears are killed by hunters who mistake them for black bears, a legal game species. Other bears become habituated to humans because of what biologists call "attractants," which include garbage, pet foods, livestock carcasses, and improper camping practices. This can eventually lead to conflicts between people and bears - not only in populated areas of the grizzly's range, but also in back-country recreation sites and removal of the bear. And lastly, illegal killing (poaching) of bears remains another factor leading to their decline.
 
 
Adopt A Grizzly Bear from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Grizzly Bear from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Grizzly Bear Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Grizzly Bear
  • Adopt A Grizzly Bear Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Grizzly Bear
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Grizzly Bear Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Grizzly Bear is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Grizzly Bear symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a grizzly bear for yourself or order an Adopt A Grizzly Bear as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Grizzly Bear Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A GORILLA

 
STATUS:
Endangered.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Of the three subspecies of gorilla, the mountain gorilla is the largest and rarest. Remarkably strong, the mountain gorilla has a short trunk and a broad chest and shoulders. Males develop a streak of silver hair on their backs when they mature and are called "silverbacks."
 
SIZE:
Male mountain gorillas reach an average of 6 feet tall (when standing upright) and weigh 400 to 500 pounds, making them the largest of the great apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas). Females are smaller, standing an average of 4 to 5 feet tall and weighing 150 to 200 pounds.
 
POPULATION:
Fewer than 650 mountain gorillas survive today in two geographically isolated populations. Approximately 320 gorillas inhabit the Virunga volcanoes region of Rwanda, Zaire, and Uganda, while the remaining number inhabits Uganda's Bwindi National Park.
 
LIFESPAN:
Mountain gorillas live up to 53 years in captivity.
 
RANGE:
Mountain gorillas can be found only in the forest ecosystems of Rwanda, Zaire, and Uganda.
 
HABITAT:
The dense, forest ecosystems of the mountains of East Africa are the last remaining habitat of the mountain gorilla.
 
FOOD:
Mountain gorillas eat large amounts of vegetation and spend about 30 percent of each day foraging for food. They consume roots, leaves, stems of herbs, vines, bark from trees, shrub-sized plants, and bamboo shoots.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Mountain gorillas are shy, retiring animals. They live in social groups of 2 to 35 individuals. An adult male silverback is the leader and protector of his band, which consists of females and offspring. Silverbacks will charge anything that threatens them or their group and are known for their chest beating displays when in danger.
 
A silverback is an adult male gorilla, typically more than 12 years of age and named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on his back. A silverback gorilla has large canines that come with maturity. Blackbacks are sexually mature males of up to 11 years of age. Silverbacks are the strong, dominant troop leaders. Each typically leads a troop of 5 to 30 gorillas and is the center of the troop's attention, making all the decisions, mediating conflicts, determining the movements of the group, leading the others to feeding sites and taking responsibility for the safety and well being of the troop.
 
Males will slowly begin to leave their original troop when they are about 11 years old, travelling alone or with a group of other males for 2–5 years before being able to attract females to form a new group and start breeding. While infant gorillas normally stay with their mother for 3–4 years, silverbacks will care for weaned young orphans.
 
If challenged by a younger or even by an outsider male, a silverback will scream, beat his chest, break branches, bare his teeth, then charge forward. Sometimes a younger male in the group can take over leadership from an old male. If the leader is killed by disease, accident, fighting or poachers, the group will split up, as animals disperse to look for a new protective male. Very occasionally, a group might be taken over in its entirety by another male. There is a strong risk that the new male may kill the infants of the dead silverback.
 
OFFSPRING:
Females reach breeding age at about 10 years old. They typically bear young every four to five years, giving birth after a gestation period of eight to nine months. Young gorillas cling to their mother's chests until they are old enough to ride on her back. A young gorilla remains with its mother until 5 years of age.
 
INTELLIGENCE:
Gorillas are closely related to humans and are considered highly intelligent. A few individuals in captivity, such as Koko, have been taught a subset of sign language. Gorillas are now known to use tools in the wild. A female gorilla in the Nouabalé Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo was recorded using a stick as if to gauge the depth of water while crossing a swamp. A second female was seen using a tree stump as a bridge and also as a support while fishing in the swamp. This means that all of the great apes are now known to use tools.
 
In September 2005, a two and a half year old gorilla in the Republic of Congo was discovered using rocks to smash open palm nuts. While this was the first such observation for a gorilla, over forty years previously chimpanzees had been seen using tools in the wild, famously 'fishing' for termites.
 
It is a common tale among native peoples that gorillas have used rocks and sticks to thwart predators, even rebuking large mammals. Great apes are endowed with a semi precision grip, and certainly have been able to use both simple tools and even weapons, by improvising a club from a convenient fallen branch.
 
 
Adopt A Gorilla from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Gorilla from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Gorilla Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Gorilla
  • Adopt A Gorilla Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Gorilla
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Gorilla Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Gorilla is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Gorilla symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a gorilla for yourself or order an Adopt A Gorilla as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Gorilla Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A LION


STATUS:
Although the population of lions is declining, they are not currently listed as endangered or threatened. (The Asiatic lion is endangered.)
 
DESCRIPTION:
Renowned for their majesty and nicknamed the King of the Jungle, lions possess both beauty and strength. Males are distinguishable by their manes which protect them while fighting. Lions vary in color but are typically a light, yellowish-brown.
 
SIZE:
Males stand at a shoulder height of about 4 feet and reach about 5 ½ to 8 feet in length. Their tails average a length of 3 to 3 ½ feet, and they can weigh as much as 330 to 550 pounds. Females are smaller than males.
 
POPULATION:
Since the early 1950s, the lion population in Africa has been reduced by half. Today fewer than 21,000 remain in all of Africa.
 
LIFESPAN:
15 years in the wild, 24 years in captivity.
 
RANGE:
The lion is found throughout the south Sahara desert and in parts of southern and eastern Africa.
 
HABITAT:
The African lion inhabits grassy plains, savannahs, open woodlands and scrub country.
 
FOOD:
Lions feed upon a wide array of animals, including wildebeest, impala, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and wild hogs. They will also feed on smaller animals such as hares, birds and reptiles.
 
BEHAVIOR:
The only social member of the cat (Felidae) family, lions live in large groups called "prides," consisting of about 15 lions. Related females and their young make up the majority of the pride. A single male, or sometimes a small group of two to three males, will join a pride for an indefinite period, usually about three years or until another group of males takes over. Females do almost all of the hunting. They are mainly nocturnal and work in teams to stalk and ambush prey. A lion can run for short distances at 50 miles per hour and leap as far as 36 feet. They are also territorial, males roar and use scent markings to establish their domain.
 
OFFSPRING:
A female gives birth to litters averaging three to four cubs. If the entire litter dies, she will mate again within a few days. They begin hunting at 11 months and remain with their mother for at least two years.
 
 
Adopt A Lion from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Lion from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Lion Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Lion
  • Adopt A Lion Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Lion
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Lion Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Lion is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Lion symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a lion for yourself or order an Adopt A Lion as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Lion Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT AN ORANGUTAN

 
STATUS:
Endangered.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Orangutans have thin, shaggy, reddish-brown hair. They have long, powerful arms and strong hands that they can use to manipulate tools. Orangutans have the ability to make 13 to15 different types of vocalizations.
 
SIZE:
Most orangutans are four to five feet long, some can reach a length of six feet. Adult males weigh between 100 and 200 pounds and adult females weigh between 65 and 100 pounds. Orangutans have an arm spread of about five feet.
 
POPULATION:
An estimated 19,000 to 25,000 orangutans live in the wild. Another 900 live in captivity.
 
LIFESPAN:
In the wild, orangutans live for about 35 to 40 years.
 
RANGE:
Orangutans are only found on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Southeast Asia.
 
HABITAT:
Orangutans are arboreal creatures, which means they spend most of their lives slowly walking, swinging and climbing through dense rain forests.
 
FOOD:
Orangutans feed mainly on fruits, especially wild figs. They also eat other kinds of vegetation, insects, small vertebrates and birds eggs.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Orangutans are solitary creatures. Adult males live primarily alone and only come together with females to mate. Adult females live with their young. Occasionally, adults will live with other adults for short periods in small temporary groups.
 
Orangutans spend most of their lives in a "home range" of 0.4 to 3.7 square miles. Females have a smaller home range than males. Sometimes the home ranges of individual orangutans overlap.
 
OFFSPRING:
Females are able to give birth after age seven, but in the wild they generally do not mate until age 12. They give birth to one young at a time, which clings to its mother’s stomach until it is about a year old. When an orangutan reaches adolescence at about four or five years, it becomes more independent but may seek protection from its mother until it reaches seven to eight years.
 
THREATS:
The orangutan’s most serious threat is the destruction of forest habitat from excessive logging. Female orangutans are also killed and their young are taken and illegally placed in circuses and zoos. Orangutans are highly endangered in the wild. Orangutan habitat destruction due to logging, mining and forest fires has been increasing rapidly in the last decade. Much of this activity is illegal, occurring in national parks that are officially off limits to loggers, miners and plantation development. There is also a major problem with the illegal trapping of baby orangutans for sale into the pet trade; the trappers usually kill the mother to steal the baby.
 
 
Adopt An Orangutan from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt An Orangutan from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt An Orangutan Kit comes in a deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Orangutan
  • Adopt An Orangutan Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Orangutan
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt An Orangutan Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt An Orangutan is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt An Orangutan symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an orangutan for yourself or order an Adopt An Orangutan as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt An Orangutan Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT AN ELEPHANT

 
STATUS:
Threatened
 
DESCRIPTION:
The African elephant is the largest land mammal on Earth and perhaps one of the most intelligent. The trunk of the African elephant has two finger-like structures at its tip that allow the animal to perform both delicate and powerful movements. Its remarkable tusks first appear when the animal is two years of age and continue to grow throughout life. Elephants use tusks for peeling bark off trees, digging for roots, herding young, “drilling” for water and sometimes as a weapon.
 
SIZE:
Males reach a length of 18 to 21 feet and weigh up to 13,200 pounds. Females are about two feet shorter and weigh half as much.
 
POPULATION:
400,000 to 600,000 (down from perhaps 10 million early in this century.)
 
LIFESPAN:
Elephants can live 50 to 60 years.
 
RANGE:
Throughout Africa south of the Sahara desert.
 
HABITAT:
Elephants are capable of surviving in nearly any habitat that has adequate quantities of food and water.
 
FOOD:
Elephants spend about 16 hours a day eating. Their diet is varied and includes grass, leaves, twigs, bark and fruit.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Elephants form deep family bonds and live in tight social units. A family is led by an older matriarch and typically includes three or four of her offspring and their young. Males leave the family unit between the ages of 12 and 15 and may lead solitary adult lives. Elephants live in a very structured social order. The social lives of male and female elephants are very different. The females spend their entire lives in tightly knit family groups made up of mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts. These groups are led by the eldest female, or matriarch. Adult males, on the other hand, live mostly solitary lives. The social circle of the female elephant does not end with the small family unit. In addition to encountering the local males that live on the fringes of one or more groups, the female's life also involves interaction with other families, clans, and subpopulations. Most immediate family groups range from five to fifteen adults, as well as a number of immature males and females. When a group gets too big, a few of the elder daughters will break off and form their own small group. They remain very aware of which local herds are relatives and which are not. The life of the adult male is very different. As he gets older, he begins to spend more time at the edge of the herd, gradually going off on his own for hours or days at a time. Eventually, days become weeks, and somewhere around the age of fourteen, the mature male, or bull, sets out from his natal group for good. While males do live primarily solitary lives, they will occasionally form loose associations with other males. These groups are called bachelor herds. The males spend much more time than the females fighting for dominance with each other. Only the most dominant males will be permitted to breed with cycling females. The less dominant ones must wait their turn. It is usually the older bulls, forty to fifty years old, that do most of the breeding. The dominance battles between males can look very fierce, but typically they inflict very little injury. Most of the bouts are in the form of aggressive displays and bluffs. Ordinarily, the smaller, younger, and less confident animal will back off before any real damage can be done. However, during the breeding season, the battles can get extremely aggressive, and the occasional elephant is injured. During this season, known as musth, a bull will fight with almost any other male it encounters, and it will spend most of its time hovering around the female herds, trying to find a receptive mate.
 
OFFSPRING:
Females carry their young for almost two years. At birth, the calf weighs about 250 pounds. A cow may give birth every three to four years. Elephant social life, in many ways, revolves around breeding and raising of the calves. A female will usually be ready to breed around the age of thirteen, at which time she will seek out the most fit male to mate with. Elephants have a very long childhood. They are born with fewer survival instincts than many other animals. Instead, they must rely on their elders to teach them the things they need to know. The ability to pass on information and knowledge to their young has always been a major asset in the elephant's struggle to survive. Today, however, the pressures humans have put on the wild elephant populations, from poaching to habitat destruction, mean that the elderly often die at a younger age, leaving fewer teachers for the young. All members of the tightly knit female group participate in the care and protection of the young. Since everyone in the herd is related, there is never a shortage of baby sitters. In fact, a new calf is usually the center of attention for all herd members. All the adults and most of the other young will gather around the newborn, touching and caressing it with their trunks. The baby is born nearly blind and at first relies, almost completely, on its trunk to discover the world around it. After the initial excitement dies down, the mother will usually select several full time baby sitters, or "allomothers", from her group. They walk with the young as the herd travels, helping the calves along if they fall or get stuck in the mud. The more allomothers a baby has, the more free time its mother has to feed herself.
 
THREATS:
Habitat loss and the ivory trade are the greatest threats to the elephants’ future. The threat to the African elephant presented by the ivory trade is unique to the species. Another threat to elephant's survival in general is the ongoing cultivation of their habitats with increasing risk of conflicts of interest with human cohabitants. Lacking the massive tusks of its African cousins, the Asian elephant's demise can be attributed mostly to loss of its habitat. Elephants need massive tracts of land because, much like the slash and burn farmers, they are used to crashing through the forest, tearing down trees and shrubs for food and then cycling back later on, when the area has regrown. As forests are reduced to small pockets, elephants become part of the problem, quickly destroying all the vegetation in an area, eliminating all their resources. Larger, long lived, slow breeding animals, like the elephant, are more susceptible to overhunting than other animals. They cannot hide, and it takes many years for an elephant to grow and reproduce.
 
CAPTIVITY:
Elephants in captivity lead miserable lives. In stark contrast to their natural tendency to roam several miles each day, they are bound in shackles and chains and forced to perform tasks that are the antithesis of their innate instincts. For a short time, it was illegal to capture a wild elephant for use in a circus or zoo, but the CITES decision in 1997 changed all of that. The training endured by circus animals is almost always based on intimidation; trainers must break the spirit of the animals in order to control them. It is not uncommon for an elephant to be tied down and beaten for several days while being trained to perform. While zoos may appear to be educational and conservation-oriented, most are designed with the needs and desires of the visitors in mind, not the needs of the animals. Many animals in zoos exhibit abnormal behavior as a result of being deprived of their natural environments and social structures. Most animals in zoos were either captured from the wild or bred in captivity for the purpose of public display, not species protection.
 
PROTECTION:
*CITES, Appendix I (except in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, where they are listed as Appendix II), African Elephant Conservation Act, Endangered Species Act
 
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if trade does not harm their survival.
 
 
Adopt An Elephant from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt An Elephant from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt An Elephant Kit comes in a deluxe WAF folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Elephant
  • Adopt An Elephant Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Elephant
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt An Elephant Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt An Elephant is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt An Elephant symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an Elephant for yourself or order an Adopt An Elephant as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt An Elephant Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A DOLPHIN

 
STATUS:
The Chinese River dolphin and Indus River dolphin are classified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Dolphins belong to the same zoological order as whales. They are part of the family of toothed whales that also includes killer and pilot whales. They are mammals and breathe through a blowhole on the top of their head. Most dolphins have acute eyesight, both in and out of the water, and their sense of hearing is superior to that of humans. Though they have a small ear opening on each side of their head, it is believed that hearing underwater is also, if not exclusively, done with the lower jaw which conducts the sound vibrations to the middle ear via a fat filled cavity in the lower jaw bone. Hearing is also used for echolocation, which is an ability all dolphins have. The dolphin's sense of touch is also well developed.
 
SIZE:
The tucuxi is the smallest of the dolphin species. It is about five feet in length and weighs about 100 pounds. The largest dolphin species is the orca. Male orcas are about 18 feet in length and weigh about 19,000 pounds.
 
LIFESPAN:
Most species have a long lifespan. Some individuals may have lived for more than 100 years.
 
RANGE:
Most species live in tropical and temperate oceans throughout the world. Five species live in rivers.
 
HABITAT:
All but five of the 34 dolphin species live in tropical and temperate oceans. Five species live in rivers: baiji (Chinese River dolphin), boto (Amazon River dolphin), franciscana (La Plata River dolphin), Ganges River dolphin and Indus River dolphin.
 
FOOD:
Using echolocation to find prey, dolphins eat a variety of food including fish, squid and crustaceans. Dolphins often hunt together, surrounding a school of fish, trapping the fish, and taking turns swimming through the school and catching fish. Dolphins will also follow seabirds, other whales and fishing boats to feed opportunistically on the fish they scare up or discard.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Dolphins are well known for their agility and playful behavior, making them a favorite of wildlife watchers. Many species will leap out of the water, spy-hop (rise vertically out of the water to view their surroundings) and follow ships, often synchronizing their movements with one another. Scientists believe that by swimming alongside ships, a practice known as bow-riding, dolphins conserve energy. Dolphins live in social groups of five to several hundred.
 
OFFSPRING:
Following a 9.5 to 17 month gestation, a single calf is born.
 
INTELLIGENCE:
Dolphins are widely believed to be amongst the most intelligent of all animals. Dolphins often leap above the water surface, sometimes performing acrobatic figures. Scientists aren't quite certain about the purpose of this behavior, but it may be to locate schools of fish by looking at above water signs, like feeding birds. They could also be communicating to other dolphins to join a hunt, attempting to dislodge parasites, or simply doing it for fun. Play is a very important part of dolphins' lives and they can often be observed playing with seaweed or playfighting with other dolphins. They have even been seen harassing other creatures, like seabirds and turtles. Dolphins also seem to enjoy riding waves and are frequently seen 'surfing' coastal swells and the bow waves of boats. They are also famous for their willingness to occasionally approach humans and playfully interact with them in the water. There are many stories of dolphins protecting shipwrecked sailors against sharks by swimming circles around the swimmers. A school of dolphins is also said to have pushed a fishing boat that was returning back out to sea after sensing the underwater disturbances generated by the 2004 Asian Tsunami.
 
Dolphins are social animals, living in pods (also called "schools") of up to a dozen animals. In places with a high abundance of food, schools can join temporarily, forming an aggregation called a superpod; such groupings may exceed 1000 dolphins. The individuals communicate using a variety of clicks, whistles and other vocalizations. They also use ultrasonic sounds for echolocation. Membership in schools is not rigid; interchange is common. However, the animals can establish strong bonds between each other. This leads to them staying with injured or ill fellows for support.
 
Some dolphins teach their offspring to use tools. The animals break off sponges and put them onto their mouths, protecting the delicate body part during their hunt for fish on the seabed. This knowledge of how to use a tool is mostly transferred from mothers to daughters in dolphins, unlike simian primates, where the knowledge is generally passed onto all the offspring, irrespective of sex. The technology to use sponges as mouth protection is not genetically inherited, but a taught cultural behavior.
 
THREATS:
Marine pollution, habitat degradation, harvesting, low frequency sonar, entrapment in fishing gear.
 
 
Adopt A Dolphin from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Dolphin from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Dolphin Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Dolphin
  • Adopt A Dolphin Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Dolphin
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Dolphin Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Dolphin is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Dolphin symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a dolphin for yourself or order an Adopt A Dolphin as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Dolphin Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A CHIMPANZEE


STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
Chimpanzee faces are pinkish to black, and the apes' bodies are covered with long black hair. Chimps lack a tail. Their opposable thumbs and toes help them grasp objects easily. Chimpanzees are quadrupedal, which means that they walk on all four limbs, although they can also walk upright (bipedal) for short distances.
 
SIZE:
Standing approximately 4 feet high, males weigh between 90 and 120 pounds, while females weigh between 60 and 110 pounds.
 
POPULATION:
An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 chimpanzees remain in the wild.
 
LIFESPAN:
Chimpanzees rarely live past the age of 50 in the wild, but have been known to reach the age of 60 in captivity.
 
RANGE:
Chimpanzees can be found in 21 African countries.
 
HABITAT:
Chimps prefer dense tropical rainforests but can also be found in secondary-growth forests, woodlands, bamboo forests, swamps, and even open savannah.
 
FOOD:
Chimpanzees are omnivores, meaning they eat a wide variety of foods that includes fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects. Chimps occasionally hunt and eat meat.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Chimps live in communities. These communities are composed of family groups of three to six individuals, totaling about 50 animals. Hierarchies are formed by the adult males of the community, which is led by one alpha (the highest) male. Adolescent females may move freely between communities, although territory is strictly patrolled and conflicts can occur between neighbors.
 
OFFSPRING:

Most mothers give birth to one young an average of every five to six years in the wild. Young chimps stay with their mothers for up to 10 years. 

THREATS:
Habitat destruction is the greatest threat of the chimpanzee. Large population decreases are also blamed on hunting and commercial exportation. Fewer than 250,000 chimpanzees still exist in western and central Africa. Chimpanzees now occupy only a fraction of their former territory. Chimpanzee habitats, already small and isolated, are being further destroyed by increased commercial and agricultural development. In Africa, both species of chimpanzees--pan paniscus and pan troglodytes--are considered endangered. The U.S. Department of the Interior also lists them as endangered.
 
There are approximately 2,000 captive chimpanzees in the United States. About 300 are in zoos, and the remaining 1,700 were bred for inhumane medical research. Many are the offspring of chimpanzees captured in the wild before 1973, when the United States agreed to abide by an international treaty prohibiting the capture and importation of wild chimpanzees.
Chimpanzee meat is no longer exclusively the food of the forest peoples, but is now commercially available in urban areas too. Bushmeat, including chimpanzee flesh, is also eaten by people in logging camps.
 
CITES prohibits chimpanzees caught in the wild being used in circuses, but in countries where CITES has not been ratified or where it cannot be enforced, chimpanzees may be taken from the wild as infants, which often means the killing of the adults in their group.
 
Chimpanzees have been used in brain and skull research and in social deprivation studies. Chimpanzees are now popular subjects for AIDS research, although their immune system does not succumb to the virus. Chimpanzees are also used in painful cancer, hepatitis, and psychological tests, as well as for research into artificial insemination and birth control methods, blood diseases, organ transplants, and experimental surgery. Their use in military experiments is suspected, but such information is kept secret and is hard to verify. Because they are in short supply, captive chimps are often subjected to multiple experiments, each of which can last an average of two to four years.
 
During the late 1980s, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed its so-called "National Chimpanzee Management Plan." This plan is, in reality, just a funding mechanism for five breeding colonies to maintain a steady supply of chimpanzees for vivisectors. Current CMP guidelines do not prohibit any potentially painful or psychologically damaging experiment from being performed on chimpanzees, nor do they establish minimum housing standards. The plan has no provision for retiring old or "worn out" chimps, nor does it require that infant chimps be raised by their mothers. Two-thirds of the chimps raised under the CMP are released to research projects. The rest are used for breeding.
 
The National Institutes of Health is now considering giving $3.3 million to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York to breed chimps that would be killed to provide hearts and other organs for human transplants. Each transplanted chimp heart would be used only until a human heart became available. No chimp-to-human heart transplant has yet been successful.
 
 
Adopt A Chimpanzee from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Chimpanzee from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Chimpanzee Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Chimpanzee
  • Adopt A Chimpanzee Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Chimpanzee
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Chimpanzee Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Chimpanzee is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Chimpanzee symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a chimpanzee for yourself or order an Adopt A Chimpanzee as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Chimpanzee Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A CHEETAH

 
STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
The fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah is a marvel of evolution. Capable of running up to 70 miles per hour, the cheetah’s slender, long-legged body is built for speed. Its spotted coat, small head and ears, and distinctive "tear stripes" from the corner of the eyes down the sides of the nose make the cheetah highly recognizable among the large cats of Africa.
 
SIZE:
The cheetah is smaller than other big cats, measuring 44 to 53 inches long with a tail length of 26 to 33 inches. Cheetahs usually weigh 110 to 140 pounds.
 
POPULATION:
An estimated 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs remain in the wild.
 
LIFESPAN:
Cheetahs live an average of 10 to 12 years.
 
RANGE:
Once found throughout Africa and Asia, cheetahs are now confined to parts of eastern and southwestern Africa.
 
HABITAT:
Cheetahs thrive in areas with vast expanses of land where prey is abundant. In Namibia cheetahs have been found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, savannahs, dense vegetation, and mountainous terrain. Ninety five percent live on commercial farms. Cheetahs are found in the wild primarily in Africa, but in the past their range extended into northern and southern India. Conservationists using camera traps have recently discovered surviving populations in Iran and are taking steps to protect them. In much of their former range they were domesticated by aristocrats and used to hunt antelopes in much the same way as is still done with members of the greyhound group of dogs. Aside from an estimated 200 cheetahs living in Iran (Khorasan Province), the distribution of cheetahs is now limited to Africa. There are 5 subspecies of cheetah in the genus Acinonyx: four in Africa and one in Iran. The endangered subspecies Acinonyx jubatus venaticus lives in Asia (Iran). In 1990, there were reports in the Times of India of a cheetah sighting in eastern India. There is a chance some cheetahs remain in India, though it is doubtful. There have also been reports of Asiatic cheetahs in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan, though these continue to be unverified. The cheetah prefers to live in an open biotope, such as semi desert, prairie, and thick brush.
 
FOOD:
Cheetahs rely on a burst of speed to catch such swift prey as gazelles, wildebeest calves, impalas and smaller hoofed animals, knocking their prey to the ground and delivering a suffocating bite to the neck. They must eat quickly to avoid losing their kill to other carnivores.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Cheetahs are typically solitary creatures. Females raise their cubs for about a year. Males sometimes live with a small group of brothers from the same litter. Cheetahs hunt in late mornings and early evenings. Chases last from 20 to 60 seconds. Only half are successful. Cheetahs reach sexual maturity in 20 to 24 months. Mating season is throughout the year. The cheetah can live over twenty years, but their life is often short, for they lose their speed with old age. Unlike other felines, the adult females do not have true territories and seem to avoid each other, though some mother/daughter pairs have been known to continue for small periods of time. Cheetahs have a unique, well structured social order. Females live alone except when they are raising cubs. The females raise the cubs on their own. The first 18 months of a cub's life are important; cubs learn many lessons because survival depends on knowing how to hunt wild prey species and avoid other predators such as leopards, lions, hyenas, and baboons. At 18 months, the mother leaves the cubs, which then form a sibling group, that will stay together for another 6 months. At about 2 years, the female siblings leave the group, and the young males remain together for life. Males live alone or in coalitions made up of brothers from the same litter. Some coalitions maintain territories in order to find females with which they will mate. Territories are often located in areas where there is a rich supply of wild game and/or water. Fierce fights between male coalitions, resulting in serious injury or death, can occur when defending territories. Coalitions of many male cheetahs are much more successful at winning and keeping territories than the ones who live alone. Life span is up to 12 years in wild.
 
OFFSPRING:
Two to four cubs are born to a litter. Cubs are smoky grey in color with long wooly hair, called a mantle, running along their backs. This mantle is thought to help camouflage cubs in grass, concealing them from predators. Mothers move cubs to new hiding places every few days. At five to six weeks, cubs follow the mother and begin eating from her kills. Cubs stay with their mother for about a year.
 
THREATS:
The future of the cheetah is doubtful because of increasing loss of habitat, declines in prey, high cub mortality rates and conflict with ranchers. Cheetah fur was formerly regarded as a status symbol. Today, cheetahs have a growing economic importance for ecotourism and they are also found in zoos. Because cheetahs are far less aggressive than other big cats, kittens are sometimes sold as pets. This is an illegal trade, because international conventions forbid private ownership of wild animals or species threatened with extinction. Cheetahs were formerly, and are sometimes still, hunted because many farmers believe that they eat livestock. When the species came under threat, numerous campaigns were launched to try to educate farmers and encourage them to conserve cheetahs. Recent evidence has shown that if cheetahs can avoid it they will not attack and eat livestock, preferring their wild prey. However, they have no problem with including farmland as part of their territory, leading to conflict. Cheetah cubs have a high mortality rate due to genetic factors and predation by carnivores in competition with the cheetah, such as the lion and hyena. Some biologists now believe that they are too inbred to flourish as a species.
 
 
Adopt A Cheetah from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Cheetah from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Cheetah Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Cheetah
  • Adopt A Cheetah Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Cheetah
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Cheetah Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Cheetah is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Cheetah symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a cheetah for yourself or order an Adopt A Cheetah as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Cheetah Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A KANGAROO


STATUS:
Vulnerable, except for the Tasmanian forester kangaroo, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Kangaroos have powerful hind legs and short, thumbless forelimbs. Kangaroos can travel at speeds up to 30 miles per hour and can leap some 30 feet. Kangaroos use their long tails for balancing. Their bodies are covered in thick, coarse, wooly hair that can be shades of gray, brown or red. Kangaroos are marsupials, which means that females carry newborns, or "joeys," in a pouch on the front of their abdomens.
 
Kangaroos have developed a number of adaptations to a dry, infertile continent and a highly variable climate. As with all marsupials, the young are born at a very early stage of development after a gestation of 31 to 36 days. At this stage, only the forelimbs are somewhat developed, to allow the newborn to climb to the pouch and attach to a teat. In comparison, a human embryo at a similar stage of development would be about 7 weeks old, and premature babies born at less than 23 weeks are usually not mature enough to survive.
 
SIZE:
Red and gray kangaroos stand between five and six feet tall. Most weigh between 50 and 120 pounds, though some can reach 200 pounds. Female kangaroos are generally smaller than males of the same species.
 
POPULATION:
Macropus giganteus (eastern gray kangaroo): 8,978,000.
Macropus fuliginosus (western gray kangaroo): 1,774,000.
Macropus rufus (red kangaroo): 8,351,000.
 
LIFESPAN:
On average, kangaroos live in the wild for six to eight years.
 
RANGE:
Kangaroos are found in Australia and Tasmania, as well as on surrounding islands.
 
HABITAT:
Kangaroos live in varied habitats, from forests and woodland areas to grassy plains and savannas.
 
FOOD:
Kangaroos are grazing herbivores, which means their diet consists mainly of grasses. They can survive long periods without water.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Kangaroos live and travel in organized groups or "mobs," dominated by the largest male. A mob may have ten or more males and females. The dominant male (called a boomer) is based on his size and age. A boomer has temporary exclusive access to females in a mob for mating. A boomer may find himself wandering in and out of a mob checking out the females and intimidating the other males who try to mate with the females within the mob. Courtship behavior in most species of kangaroos includes the male "checking" the female's cloaca. The males are often rejected by the females for their smaller size, but in the case of a larger kangaroo, the female may instead simply move away.
 
Often, when the female is being checked, it urinates. The male kangaroo will then make a practice of sniffing the urine multiple times until it is satisfied, then proceed to the mating cycle. Studies of Kangaroo reproduction conclude that this ritual is typical for a male kangaroo to check if the female kangaroo is receptive to the male. The sexually aroused male follows the responsive female (she raises her tail). Tail scratching (a form of foreplay) can occur between the male and female. The arched tail is indicative that either one or both kangaroos are ready to mate. The male kangaroo may sometimes be found giving the female kangaroo a back rub before mating.
 
Kangaroos are shy and retiring by nature, and in normal circumstances present no threat to humans. Male kangaroos often "box" amongst each other, playfully, for dominance, or in competition for mates. The dexterity of their forepaws is utilized in both punching and grappling with the foe, but the real danger lies in a serious kick with the hindleg. The sharpened toenails can disembowel an opponent, and this is the fate of many dogs that wrestle with a boomer.
 
OFFSPRING:
Usually, female kangaroos give birth to one joey at a time. Newborns weigh as little as 0.03 ounces at birth. After birth, the joey crawls into its mother’s pouch, where it will nurse and continue to grow and develop. Red kangaroo joeys do not leave the pouch for good until they are more than eight months old. Gray kangaroo joeys wait until they are almost a year old. A female kangaroo has the ability to freeze the development of an embryo until the previous joey is able to leave the pouch. The composition of the milk produced by the mother varies according to the needs of the joey. In addition, she is able to simultaneously produce two different kinds of milk for the newborn and the older joey who still lives in the pouch.
 
THREATS:
Humans hunt kangaroos for their meat and hides. Also, the introduction of domestic herbivores, such as sheep, cattle and rabbits, increases competition for many plants and may cause food scarcity in times of drought.
 
 
Adopt A Kangaroo from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Kangaroo from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Kangaroo Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Kangaroo
  • Adopt A Kangaroo Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Kangaroo
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Kangaroo Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Kangaroo is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Kangaroo symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a kangaroo for yourself or order an Adopt A  Kangaroo as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A  Kangaroo Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A KOALA

 
STATUS:
Vulnerable.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Koalas have soft, wool-like fur that is gray above and white below. Their fur is mostly white on the underside below the neck, and their ears have long white hairs on the tips. The koala resembles a bear, but is actually a marsupial, a special kind of mammal which carries its young in a pouch.
 
SIZE:
Koalas are rather small, round animals. They weigh about 30 pounds and on average grow to be 2 feet tall.
 
POPULATION:
There are fewer than 100,000 koalas.
 
LIFESPAN:
Koalas can live as long as 17 years, although high mortality rates (due to car fatalities and dogs) for males lower their life expectancy to 2 to 10 years.
 
RANGE:
The koala's historic range stretches across Australia. Today they can be found only in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.
 
HABITAT:
Koalas prefer to live in eucalyptus forests, coastal islands, and low woodlands.
 
FOOD:
Koalas consume eucalyptus leaves and bark from 12 different eucalyptus tree species. They also consume mistletoe and box leaves.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Nocturnal mammals, koalas sleep for up to 16 hours a day. They are arboreal, which means that they live in trees. They do not live in big groups but rather prefer to be alone. Females are solitary and occupy distinct home ranges that they rarely leave. In the more fertile areas, these ranges overlap; in areas where suitable food trees are scarce they tend to be larger and more exclusive. Males are not territorial, but do not tolerate one another, particularly not during the breeding season: dominant individuals attack subordinate ones, and most adult males carry scars on their face, ears and forearms as a result.
 
The koala is almost entirely arboreal. It does not make nests, but sleeps in a tree fork or on a branch. It climbs using its powerful claws for grip, usually moving quite slowly but can climb rapidly when needed.
 
The koala will leap confidently from one tree to another if they are reasonably close together. Its climbing is aided by a pair of thumbs on each paw, and it is the only other animal aside from primates to possess fingerprints. Longer distances are traversed on the ground in a slow but effective waddle. If threatened, the koala breaks into a surprisingly athletic gallop, heading for the nearest tree and bounding up it to a safe height. There the koala waits for the intruder to go away with the patience of a creature that routinely sleeps for 18 hours a day. The koala is also rather adept at swimming.
 
OFFSPRING:
Koalas breed once a year. Gestation lasts 35 days, after which one koala is born. A baby koala is referred to as a joey and is hairless, blind, and earless. At birth the joey, only the size of a jelly bean, crawls into the downward facing pouch on the mother's belly (which is closed by a drawstring like muscle that the mother can tighten at will) and attaches itself to one of the two teats. Young remain hidden in the pouch for about six months, only feeding on milk. During this time they grow ears, eyes, and fur. The joey then begins to explore outside of the pouch. At about 30 weeks it has begun to eat the semi liquid form of the mother’s excrement called "pap". The baby koala will remain with the mother for another six months or so, riding on her back, and feeding on both milk and gum leaves until weaning is complete at about 12 months of age. Young females disperse to nearby areas at that time; young males often stay in the mother's home range until they are two or three years old.
 
THREATS:
Once numbering in the millions, koalas suffered major declines in population during the 1920s when they were hunted for their fur. Today, habitat destruction, traffic deaths, and attacks by dogs kill an estimated 4,000 koalas yearly. The koala was hunted almost to extinction in the early 20th century. In recent years, some colonies have been hard hit by disease, especially chlamydia. The koala requires large areas of healthy, connected forest and will travel long distances along tree corridors in search of new territory and mates. The ever increasing human population of the coastal parts of the continent continues to cut these corridors by agricultural and residential development, forestry and road building, marooning koala colonies in decreasing areas of bush. The Australian Koala Foundation has mapped 40,000 km² of land for koala habitat and claims it has strong evidence to suggest wild koala populations are in serious decline throughout the species' natural range. Although the species covers a massive area, only 'pieces' of Koala habitat remain. These pieces need to be managed, protected and restored in a coordinated way. Presently, many are being lost to weeds, cleared for agriculture, or carved up by developers. Other threats come from logging, poor management, attacks from feral and domestic animals, disease and roads.
 
In contrast to the situation on much of the mainland, where populations are declining, the koalas of many island and isolated populations have reached what some have described as "plague" proportions. On Kangaroo Island in South Australia, koalas introduced some 90 years ago have thrived in the absence of predators and competition. Combined with an inability to migrate to new areas, this has caused the koala populations to become unsustainable and threaten the Island's unique ecology. In particular, species of Manna Gum, native to the island, are being stripped by koalas at a rate faster than they can regenerate, endangering local birds and invertebrates that rely on them, and causing the extinction of at least one isolated population of manna. Koala numbers are estimated at over 30,000, with ecologists suggesting that the Island can sustain 10,000 at most. Although culling has been suggested as a means to reduce koala numbers, this has met with fierce opposition both domestically and internationally, and the species remains protected. The popularity of the koala has made the possibility of a cull politically improbable, with any negative perception likely to impact on tourism and a government's electability. In place of a cull, sterilization and translocation programs have had only limited success in reducing numbers thus far, and remain expensive. There is evidence that koalas relocated to the mainland have difficulty establishing themselves in the different circumstances. A mooted alternative to the complex sterilization method, wherein the animal must first be captured, are hormonal implants that can be injected via darts.
 
 
Adopt A Koala from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Koala from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Koala Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Koala
  • Adopt A Koala Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Koala
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Koala Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Koala is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Koala symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a koala for yourself or order an Adopt A Koala as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Koala Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A JAGUAR


STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
The jaguar is one of the most majestic and mysterious animals in nature. Its beautiful spotted fur coat once was a sought-after commodity for the fashion industry. The jaguar has a compact body, a broad head and powerful jaws. It is the largest cat in the Americas.
 
SIZE:
The jaguar measures five to six feet from its nose to the tip of its tail and weighs 140 to 220 pounds (females are slightly smaller).
 
POPULATION:
Only an estimated 15,000 jaguars remain in the wild.
 
LIFESPAN:
Jaguars can live between 12 and 20 years.
 
RANGE:
Found mainly in Central and South America, some continue to survive in Mexico. Two confirmed sightings of male jaguars occurred in 1996 in Arizona and New Mexico about ten miles north of the Mexico border. They are rarely seen in mountainous regions. The species has declined numbers in some areas due to habitat loss, especially in rain forests and grassland turned into cropland and hunting for their pelts.
 
HABITAT:
Although they prefer thick forest or swamps with good cover and water access, jaguars have been known to hunt in arid, open areas.
 
FOOD:
Jaguars are hunters that do not work with one another outside the breeding season. They hunt around 85 different species including: deer, tapirs, peccaries, and even caiman, up to a certain size. They are opportunists and will take anything from frogs, mice, birds, fish, to domestic livestock. A jaguar's bite can pierce the shell of a turtle. Jaguars are considered a stalk and ambush predator that do not run over long distances, but prefer to surprise unsuspecting prey.
 
The jaguar uses a different killing method from most cats to kill its prey. Instead of biting the neck, to suffocate or sever the spinal cord, the jaguar delivers a fatal bite directly to the skull, piercing the brain. It is because of this killing technique that jaguars often break teeth as they progress in age.
 
BEHAVIOR:
The South American name jaguara is said to mean "carnivore that overcomes prey with a single bound." Jaguars stalk and ambush their prey, often dragging carcasses to safe locations some distance away before eating.
 
They are solitary animals, denning in caves and canyons close to a source of freshwater. Known for their strong swimming abilities, the jaguar is one of the few cats besides tigers that enjoy water. They often prefer to live by rivers, swamps, and in dense forest with thick cover for stalking prey. They are the largest carnivore in the Western Hemisphere.
 
OFFSPRING:
Young jaguar males reach sexual maturity at about three to four years of age, with females reaching maturity about a year earlier than males. Females give birth to as many as four cubs after a 90 to 110 day gestation, but raise no more than two of them to adulthood. The young are born blind and can see after two weeks. They remain with their mother for up to two years before leaving to establish a territory for themselves, which can be anywhere between 25 and 150 square kilometers in size (depending on the availability of suitable prey). Typical lifespan is 10 or 11 years in the wild; they can live up to 20 years.
 
THREATS:
Jaguars continue to be threatened by hunting, but their populations are suffering chiefly from habitat loss and fragmentation. The ecological role of the jaguar most closely resembles the tiger. They are considered an umbrella species. An umbrella species is defined as a species that generally cover large areas in their daily or seasonal movements. They serve as "mobile links" at the landscape scale, through predation, seed dispersal or pollination. Protecting enough habitat and connectivity to assure viable population of these organisms benefits many other species more restricted in their range.
 
 
Adopt A Jaguar from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Jaguar from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Jaguar Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Jaguar
  • Adopt A Jaguar Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Jaguar
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Jaguar Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Jaguar is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Jaguar symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a jaguar for yourself or order an Adopt A Jaguar as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Jaguar Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A PANTHER

 
STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
One of 30 cougar subspecies, the Florida panther is tawny brown on the back and pale gray underneath, with white flecks on the head, neck and shoulder.
 
SIZE:
Males, up to 130 pounds; females, 70 pounds.
 
HABITAT:
Cypress swamps, pine and hardwood hammock forests.
 
RANGE:
Originally from western Texas and throughout the southeastern states; now only in Florida.
 
FOOD:
Mostly white-tailed deer, sometimes wild hog, rabbit, raccoon, armadillo and birds.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Solitary, territorial, often travel at night. Males have a home range of up to 400 square miles and females about 50-100 square miles.30-50 individuals.
 
OFFSPRING:
Reach sexual maturity at about 3 years. Mating season is December through February. Gestation lasts about 90 days and females bear 2-6 kittens. Young stay with mother for about two years. Females do not mate again until young have left.
 
THREATS:
Habitat loss because of human development, collision with vehicles, parasites, feline distemper, feline calicivirus (an upper respiratory infection), and other diseases. The biggest threat to their survival is human encroachment. Historical persecution reduced this wide-ranging, large carnivore to a small area of south Florida. This created a tiny isolated population that became inbred. The number of living Florida panthers is estimated to be between 80 and 100.
 
PROTECTION:
*CITES Appendix I, Endangered Species Act
 
CONSERVATION:
Reduced speeding zones, construction of panther underpasses, public education, captive breeding programs and research.
 
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if it does not harm their survival.
 
BLACK PANTHER
 
The black panther is the common name for a black specimen (a genetic variant) of several species of cats. Zoologically, a panther is the same as a leopard, while the term Panthera describes the whole family of big cats. But, in North America, the term panther is also used for puma. In South America it could also mean a jaguar. Elsewhere in the world it refers to leopard (originally individual animals with longer tails were deemed panthers and others were leopards; it is a common misconception that panther means a melanistic individual).
 
It does not exist as a separate species. The genetic variant is most common in jaguars (Panthera onca) where it is due to a dominant gene mutation, and leopards (Panthera pardus) where it is due to a recessive gene mutation. Close examination of one of these black cats will show that the typical markings are still there, and are simply hidden by the surplus of the black pigment melanin. Cats with melanism can coexist with litter mates that do not have this condition. In cats that hunt mainly at night, the condition is not detrimental. White panthers also exist, these being albino or leucistic individuals of the same three species.
 
It is probable that melanism is a favorable evolutionary mutation with a selective advantage under certain conditions for its possessor, since it is more commonly found in regions of dense forest, where light levels are lower. Melanism can also be linked to beneficial mutations in the immune system.
 
Black Jaguar
In jaguars, the mutation is dominant hence black jaguars can produce both black and spotted cubs, but spotted jaguars only produce spotted cubs when bred together. In leopards, the mutation is recessive and some spotted leopards can produce black cubs (if both parents carry the gene in hidden form) while black leopards always breed true when mated together. The black jaguar was considered a separate species by indigenous peoples.
 
Black Leopard
These are the most common form of black panther in captivity and have been selectively bred for decades as exhibits or exotic pets (this inhumane inbreeding for the sake of appearance has adversely affected temperament). They are smaller and more lightly built than jaguars. The spotted pattern is still visible on black leopards.
 
Black leopards are reported from moist densely forested areas in south western China, Burma, Assam and Nepal; from Travancore and other parts of southern India and are said to be common in Java and the southern part of the Malay Peninsula where they may be more numerous than spotted leopards. They are less common in tropical Africa, but have been reported from Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia), the forests of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares. One was recorded by Peter Turnbull Kemp in the equatorial forest of Cameroon.
 
Adult black panthers (leopards) are more temperamental (nervous or vicious) than their spotted counterparts. It is a myth that their mothers often reject them at a young age because of their color. In actuality, they are more temperamental because they have been inbred (e.g. brother/sister, father/daughter, mother/son matings) to preserve the coloration. The poor temperament has been bred into the strain as a side effect of inbreeding. It is this poor temperament that leads to problems of maternal care in captivity as the proximity of humans stresses the mother.
 
 
Adopt A Panther from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Panther from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Panther Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Panther
  • Adopt A Panther Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Panther
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Panther Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Panther is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Panther symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a panther for yourself or order an Adopt A Panther as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Panther Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A BAT


STATUS:
Thirteen species of bat are listed as endangered.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight. The bat's wing anatomically resembles the human hand, with extremely elongated fingers and a wing membrane stretched between. Over 1,000 bat species can be found worldwide. In fact, bats make up a quarter of all mammal species on Earth!
 
Because their wings are much thinner than those of birds, bats can maneuver more quickly and more precisely than birds. The surface of their wings are also equipped with touch sensitive receptors on small bumbs called "Merkel cells", which is found in most mammals, including humans. But these sensitive areas are different in bats as there are tiny hairs in the center, making it even more sensitive and they detect and collect information about the air flowing over the wings. Another kind of receptor cells are found in the wing membrane in species who are using their wings to catch prey, and is sensitive to the stretching of the membrane. These cells are concentrated in the areas of the membrane where insects hit the wings when the bats capture them.
 
SIZE:
Bats are divided into two suborders: Megachiroptera, meaning large bat, and Microchiroptera, meaning small bat. The largest bats have a 6 foot wing span. The bodies of the smallest bats are no more than an inch long.
 
POPULATION:
While some bat populations number in the millions, others are dangerously low or in decline.
 
LIFESPAN:
Most bats live longer than most mammals of their size. The longest known lifespan of a bat in the wild is 30 years for a little brown bat.
 
RANGE:
Bats can be found almost anywhere in the world except the polar regions and extreme deserts.
 
HABITAT:
Bats find shelter in caves, crevices, tree cavities, and buildings.
 
FOOD:
Bats specialize in different foods. Seventy percent of all bats consume insects. There are also fruit-eating bats; nectar-eating bats; carnivorous bats that prey on small mammals, birds, lizards, and frogs; fish-eating bats; and the blood-eating vampire bats of South America. There are estimated to be about 1,100 species of bats worldwide: about 20% of all mammal species. Some of the smaller bat species are important pollinators of some tropical flowers. Indeed, many tropical plants are now found to be totally dependent on them, not just for pollination, but for spreading their seeds by eating the resulting fruits.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Some bats have evolved a highly sophisticated sense of hearing. They emit sounds that bounce off of objects in their path, sending echoes back to the bats. From these echoes, the bats can determine the size of objects, how far away they are, how fast they are traveling, and even their texture — all in a split second.
 
Bats vary in social structure, with some bats leading a solitary life and others living in caves colonized by more than a million bats. The fission fusion social structure is seen among several species of bats. The fusion part is all the individuals in a roosting area. The fission part is the breaking apart and mixing of subgroups by switching roosts with bats, ending up with bats in different trees and often with different roostmates. Studies also show that bats make all kinds of sounds to communicate with each other. Scientists in the field have listened to bats and have been able to identify some sounds with some behavior bats will make right after the sounds are made.
 
OFFSPRING:
For their size, bats are the slowest reproducing mammals on Earth. The vast majority of bats bear only one offspring a year. A baby bat at birth weighs up to 25 percent of its mother's body weight, which is like a human mother giving birth to a 31-pound baby! Offspring typically are cared for in maternity colonies, where females congregate to bear and raise their young.
A baby bat is referred to as a pup. Pups are usually left in the roost when they are not nursing. However, a newborn bat can cling to the fur of the mother like pouch and be transported, although they soon grow too large for this. It would be difficult for an adult bat to carry more than one young, but normally only one young is born. Bats often form nursery roosts, with many females giving birth in the same area, be it a cave, a tree hole, or a cavity in a building. Mother bats are able to find their young in huge colonies of millions of other pups. Pups have even been seen to feed on other mothers' milk if their mother is dry. Only the mother cares for the young, and there is no continuous partnership with male bats. The ability to fly is congenital, but after birth the wings are too small to fly. Young microbats become independent at the age of 6 to 8 weeks, megabats not until they are four months old. At the age of two years bats are sexually mature.
 
THREATS:
The greatest threat to bats is people. Habitat destruction and fear are a lethal combination for bats. In some areas, people have even been known to set fires in caves, destroying thousands of roosting bats.
 
PROTECTION:
Endangered Species Act, *CITES, Appendix I
 
 
Adopt A Bat from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Bat from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Bat Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Bat
  • Adopt A Bat Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Bat
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Bat Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Bat is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Bat symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a bat for yourself or order an Adopt A Bat as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Bat Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A BISON

 
DESCRIPTION:
A symbol of the wild west, the American bison is the heaviest land mammal in North America. Also called the American buffalo, the bison has a large head with relatively small, curving horns. It has a shaggy coat of brown hair on its shoulders and legs, while its body has shorter, finer hair.
 
SIZE:
Bison are 5 to 6½ feet long and weigh 900 to 2,200 pounds. Males are larger than females on average.
 
POPULATION:
Historically, bison numbered an estimated 20 million to 30 million. Today, approximately 250,000 remain in the United States. Of those, only 16,000 roam in the wild. Yellowstone National Park has the only population of free-roaming bison.
 
LIFESPAN:
Bison typically live between 12 to 15 years.
 
RANGE:
In the wild, bison are found in parts of Canada and the western United States.
 
HABITAT:
The Great Plains, prairies, and forests.
 
FOOD:
Bison eat grasses and sedges, moving continuously as they eat so that they rarely overgraze an area.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Bison live in herds of 20 to 50 animals. The females, or cows, lead family groups. Bulls (males) remain either solitary or in small groups for most of the year. Bison travel as a group and roam great distances in the wild. They can reach speeds of up to 30 mph.
 
OFFSPRING:
Females produce one calf after a gestation period of nine and a half months. Calves are born in late April to mid-May. The cow protects the young. The offspring may remain with the mother for as long as three years after birth.
 
THREATS:
Shooting bison for their hides was a favorite frontier sport in the 19th century. Hunters practically eliminated the bison by 1890. In 1893, the first efforts were made to protect the animals. Today, the bison of Yellowstone National Park face the threat of slaughter when they exit the park and enter the state of Montana.
 
The Montana Department of Agriculture fears the contamination of cattle by bison carrying the disease brucellosis, although there are no known cases of brucellosis passed by bison to domestic cattle in the wild.
 
Along with the bald eagle, the bison perhaps best symbolizes the spirit of American wilderness. While many people are aware that both animals teetered on the brink of extinction in the past due to human encroachment, few realize that wild bison continue to be the victims of a calculated, annual slaughter in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
 
During the mid to late 1800s, government agents orchestrated one of the most aggressive and wanton animal massacres in history, killing bison indiscriminately in an attempt to subjugate Native Americans. With the addition of market hunters and settlers killing bison for profit and for fun, America's wild bison herds were reduced from an estimated 60 million to perhaps as few as 100.
 
With the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 and the National Park Service in 1916, the 25 bison remaining in the Park finally were afforded some protection. Initially, management policies allowed for the active manipulation of populations by culling what was perceived as "surplus" animals. But eventually, the management strategy evolved to an approach which permitted natural regulation to occur, for the most part letting nature take its course rather than relying on human intervention.
 
This was good news for the bison, but sadly their fortune was short lived. Since the mid 1980s, more than 3,000 bison have been massacred under the supervision of government officials bowing to the pressures of the livestock industry and its cohorts.
 
The livestock industry and federal and state livestock agencies contend that bison can transmit the Brucella abortus bacteria to cattle under natural conditions. In reality, there has never been a documented case of this occurring. Despite this fact, they continue to wage a war against Yellowstone bison.
 
In 1917, officials discovered that some Yellowstone bison were infected with Brucella abortus, the bacteria which causes the disease brucellosis in domestic cattle. In cattle, the disease produces spontaneous abortions, but bison do not appear to be similarly affected. In fact, over the past 80 years in the entire Greater Yellowstone Area, there have been only four documented bison abortions, which may or may not have been caused by the bacteria.
 
Over the past decade, bison have been emigrating from the Park over its northern and western boundaries into the state of Montana during winter months. Because of several mild winters, and the National Park Service's continued grooming of snowmobile trails which makes it easier for bison to exit the Park, more and more bison have been stepping hoof over Park boundaries.
 
The U.S. Forest Service issues grazing permits on lands adjoining Yellowstone National Park, generally for the months of June through October. Cattle grazing is even allowed in Grand Teton National Park. The interests of wildlife, and not cattle, should take precedence on public lands. The grazing allotments should be either closed or modified to minimize any contact between bison and cattle. Also, mandatory vaccination of domestic calves against brucellosis within the counties surrounding the Park could further reduce the risk, if any risk exits at all, of infection. Currently, vaccinations are not mandatory in Montana or Wyoming.
 
In addition to bison, elk can also be infected with the bacteria and can carry the disease. With more than 90,000 elk in the Greater Yellowstone Area, the likelihood of eliminating the bacteria using available technologies is virtually nonexistent. Moreover, if all infected bison were destroyed, exposure to elk would result in reinfection in the remainder.
 
This is particularly a problem in Wyoming where over 23,000 elk congregate on artificial feedgrounds, creating prime conditions for bacteria transmission. In fact, bison from Grand Teton National Park, just south of Yellowstone, have discovered the "free meals" being provided on the National Elk Refuge each winter in the Jackson Hole area. It is speculated that this herd of bison contracted the bacteria from elk on the feedground.
 
State officials rarely admit that elk may also carry the disease. Elk, of course, are a prime money maker for Montana and Wyoming state officials, who encourage propagation of elk herds so they can profit from the sale of sport hunting licenses.
 
Ironically, bison are being targeted allegedly to protect the livestock industry, but the general consensus among scientists is that cattle probably introduced the bacteria into the Yellowstone bison herd shortly before 1917.
 
 
Adopt A Bison from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Bison from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Bison Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Bison
  • Adopt A Bison Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Bison
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Bison Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Bison is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Bison symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a bison for yourself or order an Adopt A Bison as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Bison Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A LEMUR


STATUS:
16% of all lemur species are Critically Endangered, 23% are Endangered, 25% are Vulnerable, 28% are "Data Deficient", and 8% are Least Concern.
 
DESCRIPTION:
There are nearly 100 species of lemurs. Lemurs share many common primate traits, such as divergent digits on their hands and feet, and nails instead of claws (in most species). Their brain-to-body size ratio is smaller than that of anthropoid primates, and they have a "wet nose".
 
SIZE:
Lemurs range in size from 30 g (1.1 oz) to 9 kg (20 lb).
 
LIFESPAN:
Lemurs can reach 30 years old or more.
 
RANGE:
Lemurs are found naturally only on the island of Madagascar and some smaller surrounding islands, including the Comoros (where it is likely they were introduced by humans). Fossil evidence indicates that they made their way across the ocean after Madagascar broke away from the continent of Africa. While their ancestors were displaced in the rest of the world by monkeys, apes, and other primates, the lemurs were safe from competition on Madagascar and differentiated into a number of species. These range in size from the tiny 30 gram Peters' Mouse Lemur to the 10 kilogram Indri. The larger species have all become extinct since humans settled on Madagascar, and since the early 20th century the largest lemurs reach about 7 kilograms. Until shortly after humans arrived on the island around 2,000 years ago, there were lemurs as large as a male gorilla. Typically, the smaller lemurs are active at night (nocturnal), while the larger ones are active during the day (diurnal).
 
The small cheirogaleoids are generally omnivores, eating a variety of fruits, flowers and leaves (and sometimes nectar) as well as insects, spiders and small vertebrates. The remainder of the lemurs, the lemuroids, are primarily herbivores, although some species supplement their diet with insects.
 
HABITAT:
Lemurs inhabit highland country and thinly wooded forests.
 
FOOD:
Lemurs eat fruits, leaves, and occasionally insects.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Lemurs are social and live in groups that usually include less than 15 individuals. Nocturnal lemurs are mostly solitary but social, foraging alone at night but often nesting in groups during the day. In many nocturnal species, the females, along with their young, will share nests with other females and possibly one male, whose larger home range happens to overlap one or more female nesting groups. In sportive lemurs and fork-marked lemurs, one or two females may share a home range, possibly with a male. In addition to sharing nests, they will also interact vocally or physically with their range and mate. Diurnal lemurs live in relatively permanent and cohesive social groups. Multi-male groups are the most common. True lemurs utilize this social system, often living in groups of ten or less. Dwarf lemurs are solitary but social, foraging alone but often sleeping in groups. Some lemurs exhibit female philopatry, where females stay within their natal range and the males migrate upon reaching maturity, and in other species both sexes will migrate. The presence of female social dominance sets lemurs apart from most other primates and mammals; in most primate societies, males are dominant unless females band together to form coalitions that displace them.
 
Lemur communication can be transmitted through sound, sight, and smell (olfaction), using complex behaviors such as scent-marking and vocalizations. Lemurs have demonstrated distinct facial expressions including a threat stare, pulled back lips for submission, and pulled back ears along with flared nostrils during scent-marking. They have also been observed using yawns as threats. Their tails also communicate distance, warn off neighboring troops, and help locate troop members. Olfaction can communicate information about age, sex, reproductive status, as well as demarcate the boundaries of a territory. Small, nocturnal lemurs mark their territories with urine, while the larger, diurnal species use scent glands located on various parts of their anatomy. The ring-tailed lemur engages in "stink fights" by rubbing its tail across scent glands on its wrists, and then flicking its tail at other male opponents. Some lemurs defecate in specific areas, otherwise known as latrine behavior. Although many animals exhibit this behavior, it is a rare trait among primates. Latrine behavior can represent territorial marking and aid in interspecies signaling. Some of the most common calls among lemurs are predator alarm calls.
 
Lemurs not only respond to alarm calls of their own species, but also alarm calls of other species and those of non-predatory birds. The Ring-tailed Lemur and a few other species have different calls and reactions to specific types of predators. Lemur calls can also be very loud and carry long distances. Both ruffed lemurs and the indri exhibit contagious calling, where one individual or group starts a loud call and others within the area join in. The song of the indri can last 45 seconds to more than 3 minutes and tends to coordinate to form a stable duet. Tactile communication (touch) is mostly used by lemurs in the form of grooming, although the ring-tailed lemur also clumps together to sleep (in an order determined by rank), reaches out and touches adjacent members, and cuffs other members. Reaching out and touching another individual in this species has been shown to be a submissive behavior, done by younger or submissive animals towards older and more dominant members of the troop. Unlike anthropoid primates, lemur grooming seems to be more intimate and mutual, often directly reciprocated.
 
THREATS:
The habitat of lemurs is disappearing because of fires, overgrazing of domestic livestock and logging. Lemurs are also threatened by hunting. All lemurs are endangered species, due mainly to habitat destruction (deforestation) and hunting. Although conservation efforts are under way, options are limited because of the lemurs' limited range and because Madagascar is desperately poor. Currently, there are approximately 52 living lemur species. In some remote areas of Madagascar, the cultural motivation behind posting lemur hunting traps is that of indigenous superstition that lemurs are omens and harbingers of bad fortune. This hindsight is commonly inspired by the lemur's unique features.
 
 
Adopt A Lemur from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Lemur from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Lemur Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Lemur
  • Adopt A Lemur Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Lemur
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Lemur Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Lemur is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Lemur symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a lemur for yourself or order an Adopt A Lemur as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Lemur Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A WOLF

 
STATUS:
Gray wolves are listed as endangered in the Southwest under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and threatened throughout the lower 48 states. Wolves in Alaska are not listed under the ESA. Endangered means a species is considered in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and threatened means a species may become endangered in the foreseeable future. Regions of Yellowstone, central Idaho and the Southwest are designated as non-essential experimental populations, which isolate geographically-described groups from other existing populations and offer special regulations.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Wolves range in color from grizzled gray or black to all-white. As the ancestor of the domestic dog, the gray wolf resembles German shepherds or huskies. Wolves are built for stamina, possessing features tailored for long distance travel. Narrow chests and powerful backs and legs contribute to the wolf's proficiency for efficient locomotion. They are capable of covering several miles trotting at about a 10 km/h (6 mph) pace, though they have been known to reach speeds approaching 65 km/h (40 mph) during a chase.
 
SIZE:
The wolf is the largest member of the canine family. On average, wolves stand 26 to 32 inches at the shoulder and weigh 55 to 115 pounds. Females are usually slightly smaller than males.
 
POPULATION:
There are an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 wolves in Alaska and more than 3,500 in the lower 48 states. Around the world there are an estimated 200,000 in some 57 countries, compared to up to 2 million in earlier times.
 
LIFESPAN:
Wolves live eight to 12 years.
 
RANGE:
Today the range of the gray wolf has been reduced to the following portions of the United States: Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
 
HABITAT:
Wolves can be found in forests, and on tundra, deserts, plains and mountains.
 
FOOD:
Wolves normally prey on large hoofed mammals such as deer and elk but occasionally prey on smaller animals such as beavers or rabbits.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Wolves live in packs, which are complex social structures that include the breeding adult pair (the alpha male and female) and their offspring. A hierarchy of dominant and subordinate animals within the pack help it to function as a unit. Wolves communicate by scent-marking, vocalizing (including howling), facial expressions and body postures.
 
Wolves can visually communicate an impressive variety of expressions and moods that range from subtler signals – such as a slight shift in weight – to the more obvious ones – like rolling on the back as a sign of complete submission.
 
Wolves howl for several reasons. Howling helps pack members keep in touch, allowing them to effectively communicate in thickly forested areas or over great distances. Furthermore, howling helps to summon pack members to a specific location. Howling can also serve as a declaration of territory, as portrayed by a dominant wolf's tendency to respond to a human imitation of a "rival" individual in an area that the wolf considers its own. This behavior is also stimulated when a pack has something to protect, such as a fresh kill. Wolves will also howl for communal reasons—similar to community singing among humans.
 
Wolves, like other canines, use scent marking to lay claim to anything from territory to fresh kills.
 
The pack is led by the two individuals that sit atop the social hierarchy — the alpha male and the alpha female. The alpha pair (of whom only one may be the "top" alpha) has the greatest amount of social freedom compared to the rest of the pack, but they are not "leaders" in the human sense of the term. The alphas do not give the other wolves orders; rather, they simply have the most freedom in choosing where to go, what to do, and when to do it. Possessing strong instincts for fellowship, the rest of the pack usually follows.
 
Usually, only the alpha pair is able to successfully rear a litter of pups (other wolves in a pack may breed, but will usually lack the resources required to raise the pups to maturity). All the wolves in the pack assist in raising wolf pups. Some mature individuals, usually females, may choose to stay in the original pack so as to reinforce it and help rear more pups. Most, males particularly, will disperse however.
 
The size of the pack may change over time and is controlled by several factors, including habitat, personalities of individual wolves within a pack, and food supply. Packs can contain between two and 20 wolves, though an average pack consists of six or seven. New packs are formed when a wolf leaves its birth pack and claims a territory. Lone wolves searching for other individuals can travel very long distances seeking out suitable territories.
 
OFFSPRING:
Wolves mate in January or February. Females give birth two months later to a litter of pups. An average litter is four to seven pups.
 
THREATS:
The illegal killing of wolves has become a leading threat to their survival. Another serious problem is human encroachment into wolf territory, which leads to habitat loss for wolves. As long as there is enough prey, wolves seem to avoid taking livestock, often ignoring them entirely. However, some wolves or packs can specialize in hunting livestock once the behavior is learned. In some areas across the world, hunters or state officials will hunt wolves from helicopters or light planes to "control" populations (or, in some instances, for sport), claiming it is the most effective way to control wolf numbers. Wolves are frequently trapped, in the areas where it is legal, using inhumane snares or leg hold traps. The economic value of wolf pelts is limited, so it is mainly a recreation activity. Wolf trapping has come under heavy fire from animal rights groups. Wolves are also inhumanely bred for their fur in some locations.
 
 
Adopt A Wolf from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Wolf from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Wolf Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Wolf
  • Adopt A Wolf Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Wolf
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Wolf Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Wolf is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Wolf symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an wolf for yourself or order an Adopt A Wolf as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Wolf Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A SEA TURTLE


STATUS:
All sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act, which lists all species as endangered except the loggerhead, which is listed as threatened.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Marine turtles are one of the Earth's most ancient creatures, with a fossil record going back 150 million years. Some estimates suggest they first appeared on Earth as much as 230 million years ago, making them 224 million years older than humans! There are seven species of sea turtles:
 
Green (Chelonia mydas): Medium to large sized, brownish turtle with mottled patterns of markings on its shell. The green sea turtle usually lives among sea grass. The green turtle measures 36 to 43 inches and weighs 200 to 300 pounds.
 
Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata): Small-to medium-sized turtle with shield-like plates on its shell. The hawksbill turtle is the source of the term "tortoise shell" because of the pattern of markings on its shell. Their beautiful shells were once prized until the hunting of sea turtles became illegal. The hawksbill gets its name from its beak which is shaped like a hawk’s. They measure 30 to 36 inches and weighs 100 to 200 pounds.
 
Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii): The smallest and the most endangered of all the sea turtles, the Kemp’s Ridley has an oval-shaped shell that is olive-gray in color. On average, it reaches up to 30 inches long and weighs 80 to 100 pounds.
 
Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea): This turtle is named for its olive-colored shell. The Olive Ridley has a wide, heart-shaped shell and a greenish-white underside. It is 24 to 30 inches long and weighs 90 to 100 pounds.
 
Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea): This species is the largest living sea turtle. They average six feet long and can weigh 1,400 pounds. The leatherback has large limbs and no claws. It does not have a shell but instead has a leathery back with raised gray stripes.
 
Loggerhead (Caretta caretta): The loggerhead has reddish-brown markings, it can reach 33 to 40 inches in length and weigh 150 to 400 pounds. One of the two main loggerhead nesting areas is located along the Atlantic coast of Florida.
 
Australian Flatback (Natator depressus): This turtle is named for its flat back and because it is found only in the waters of Australia. The Australian flatback can weigh up to 200 pounds and reach 40 inches in length.
 
POPULATION:
The worldwide population for each species is unknown.
 
LIFESPAN:
Most sea turtles live approximately 15 to 20 years and may live to be 80 years old.
 
RANGE:
Sea turtles are found in warm and temperate waters throughout the world and migrate hundreds of miles between nesting and feeding grounds.
 
FOOD:
Sea turtles eat jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, shrimp, snails, algae and mollusks.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Sea turtles spend most of their time in the water. When they do come to the shore, to lay eggs for example, traveling on land is awkward.
 
OFFSPRING:
Pregnant females pull themselves ashore, dig a pit into the sandy beach, and lay 70-170 eggs. Female turtles typically return to the same beach where they were hatched to lay eggs. Six to ten weeks later, baby turtles break out of this nest and scuttle down the beach into the sea. Young sea turtles swim towards kelp beds several miles offshore, where they shelter, feed and grow. During their early life stages, baby sea turtles are highly vulnerable and most do not reach adulthood.
 
THREATS:
Sea turtles are threatened with capture, harvesting of eggs, destruction of nesting beaches, ocean pollution, oil spills and entanglement in fishing and shrimp nets. Major threats to sea turtles in the U.S. include, but are not limited to: destruction and alteration of nesting and foraging habitats; incidental capture in commercial and recreational fisheries; entanglement in marine debris; and vessel strikes. To reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles in commercial fisheries, NOAA Fisheries has enacted regulations to restrict certain U.S. commercial fishing gears (gillnets, longlines, pound nets, and trawls) that have known, significant bycatch of sea turtles. To effectively address all threats to marine turtles, NOAA Fisheries and the USFWS have developed recovery plans to direct research and management efforts for each sea turtle species.
 
The tourist trade is the main reason why turtle numbers are in decline. Tourism poses the greatest threat to turtles for a number of reasons. Turtles migrate huge distances but during certain times of the year they congregate in shallow waters to breed. Females go ashore to lay clutches of up to 150 eggs. Two months later, tiny hatchlings emerge from the sand and make their way to the sea. But many of the tropical and sub-tropical beaches that turtles have used for millions of years are now inhabited by tourists. Many females will not lay their eggs if there is too much noise or lighting from local resorts. Also, nests can be damaged by sunbathers and newly hatched turtles can become disoriented by beachfront developments and may never reach the sea. In the Mediterranean, the nesting period of the loggerhead and green turtle coincide almost exactly with the peak tourist season (May to August).
 
Speedboats can be deadly, especially during the mating season when turtles spend long periods of time close to the surface.
 
Turtles are still killed for their shells, which are made into souvenirs such as combs and ashtrays.
 
The conservation and recovery of sea turtles requires multi-lateral cooperation and agreements to ensure the survival of these highly migratory animals. NOAA Fisheries has a broad national and international program for the conservation and recovery of marine turtles. The Office of Protected Resources works closely with 2 international environmental agreements that deal exclusively with sea turtle conservation.
 
 
Adopt A Sea Turtle from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Sea Turtle from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Sea Turtle Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Sea Turtle
  • Adopt A Sea Turtle Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Sea Turtle
  • Help Animals Info Packet Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Sea Turtle Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Sea Turtle is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Sea Turtle symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an sea turtle for yourself or order an Adopt A Sea Turtle as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Sea Turtle Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A RHINOCEROS

 
STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
There are five species of rhinos — two African and three Asian. The African species are the white and black rhinos. Both species have two horns. Asian rhinos include the Indian and the Javan, each with one horn, and the Sumatran, which has two.
 
SIZE:
The white rhino is the second largest land mammal next to the elephant. The five species range in weight from 750 pounds to 8,000 pounds and stand anywhere from four and a half to six feet tall.
 
POPULATION:
Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis): 2,400
White Rhino (Ceratotherium
simum): 7,500
Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis): 400
Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus): fewer than 100
Indian Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis): more than 2,000
 
LIFESPAN:
Biologists estimate that wild rhinos live up to 35 years. In captivity, a rhino may live 40 years.
 
RANGE:
Rhinos are found in parts of Africa and Asia.
 
HABITAT:
Rhino habitat ranges from savannas to dense forests in tropical and subtropical regions.
 
FOOD:
Rhinos are herbivores, meaning they eat only plants. White rhinos, with their square-shaped lips, are ideally suited to graze on grass. Other rhinos prefer to eat the foliage of trees or bushes.
 
BEHAVIOR:
As solitary creatures, both male and female rhinos establish territories. Males mark and defend their territories. Rhinos use their horns not only in battles for territory or females but also to defend themselves from lions, tigers and hyenas.
 
OFFSPRING:
Males and females frequently fight during courtship, sometimes leading to serious wounds inflicted by their horns. After mating, the pair goes their separate ways. A calf is born 14 to 18 months later. Although they nurse for a year, calves are able to begin eating vegetation one week after birth.
 
THREATS:
Rhinos rank among the most endangered species on Earth. Valued for their horns, they face a serious threat from poaching. Some cultures believe that the powdered rhino horn will cure everything from fever to food poisoning and will enhance sexual stamina.
 
In the wild, adult rhinoceros have few natural predators other than humans. Young rhinos can fall prey to predators such as big cats, crocodiles, wild dogs, and hyena. Although rhinos are of large size and have a reputation of being tough, they are actually very easily poached. Because it visits water holes daily, the rhinoceros is easily killed while taking a drink. As of December 2009 poaching has been on a "global" increase while efforts to protect the rhinoceros are being considered increasingly ineffective. The worst estimate, that only 3% of poachers are successfully countered, is reported of Zimbabwe.
 
Rhinoceros horns are used for dagger handles in Yemen and Oman. None of the five rhinoceros species have secure futures; the White Rhinoceros is perhaps the least endangered, the Javan Rhinoceros survives in only tiny numbers and is one of the two or three most endangered large mammals anywhere in the world.
 
Rhino protection campaigns began in the 1970s, but rhino populations have continued to decline dramatically. Trade in rhinoceros parts is forbidden under the CITES agreements, but poaching remains a severe threat to all rhinoceros species.
 
 
Adopt A Rhinoceros from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Rhinoceros from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Rhinoceros Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Rhinoceros
  • Adopt A Rhinoceros Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Rhinoceros
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Rhinoceros Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Rhinoceros is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Rhinoceros symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a rhinoceros for yourself or order an Adopt A Rhinoceros as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Rhinoceros Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A WHALE

 
BLUE WHALE
 
STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
The blue whale is the largest animal ever to inhabit the Earth. This gentle giant has grayish-blue skin with light spots. It has about 300 to 400 baleen plates instead of teeth which it uses to strain food from the ocean water.
 
SIZE:
Measuring 70 to 80 feet in length (the longest recorded length was 106 feet), blue whales can weigh as much as 90 to 150 tons. The female is larger than the male.
 
POPULATION:
1,300 to 2,000, the population of blue whales is dangerously low.
 
LIFESPAN:
The lifespan of a blue whale is estimated to be 80 years.
 
HABITAT:
Blue whales are found throughout the world's oceans.
 
FOOD:
A blue whale can eat up to 7,715 pounds of krill (small shrimp-like organisms) per day!
 
BEHAVIOR:
Blue whales swim 14 miles per hour (with bursts as fast as 30 mph) and feed at depths of less than 330 feet (but can dive as deep as 1,640 feet). Dives last from 10 to 20 minutes. Usually they travel alone or in small groups of two to four, although off the coast of California some groups as large as 60 have been seen.
 
OFFSPRING:
Sexual maturity is reached between 5 to 10 years. Females give birth every two to three years to one calf. Gestation is 10 to 12 months; average calf is 23 feet long and weighs 4,440 pounds. A calf is fed by its mother for seven to eight months.
 
HISTORY:
Blue whales once were considered too difficult to hunt because of their speed and size. With the introduction of factory ships and the harpoon gun in the 1920s, blue whales were hunted intensively. By the 1960s they were nearly extinct.
 
THREATS:
Blue whales face threats from entanglement in fishing nets, pollution, and illegal whaling.
 
PROTECTION:
*CITES Appendix 1, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if trade does not harm their survival.
 
GRAY WHALE
 
STATUS:
The western Pacific population of gray whales is listed as threatened. The California population was recently delisted.
 
DESCRIPTION:
The gray whale ranges from slate gray to black with many white spots (usually patches of barnacles) and skin blotches (usually "whale lice" which are yellowish-white crustaceans). A baleen (toothless) whale, it has a long rigid snout and a double blow-hole. The gray whale does not have a dorsal fin but does have a low hump on its back and a series of small knobs or "knuckles" running down to the flukes.
 
SIZE:
A female gray whale may reach a length of 40 to 50 feet and weigh up to 16 tons. Males are slightly smaller.
 
POPULATION:
After years of intensive whaling, the gray whale population numbered only a few hundred, but today their population has bounced back to approximately 21,000.
 
RANGE:
Gray whales migrate along the coast of North America from California to the Arctic or from coastal Korea to Siberia to spend the summer in arctic regions. For the winter, they return to warmer waters. This 4,000 mile annual migration is the longest made by any mammal.
 
HABITAT:
Gray whales prefer shallow waters and are often within a mile and a half of shore in coastal waters and breeding lagoons.
 
FOOD:
Gray whales feed on bottom-dwelling organisms such as amphipods (small crustaceans), mollusks, and worms. They dive to the bottom, turn on their sides, and swim along the ocean floor scooping up sand and food, then strain the sand and water (through baleen filters), leaving the food inside.
 
BEHAVIOUR:
Gray whales often play in the surf and shallow waters and surf the waves occasionally. They also sometimes leap completely out of the water, or spyhop, lifting their heads vertically out of the water to observe their surroundings.
 
OFFSPRING:
Females bear one calf every two years after a gestation period of 13 months. Calves nurse for seven months.
 
THREATS:
Pollution and the disturbance of calving lagoons by humans are the main threats to the gray whale.
 
PROTECTION:
*CITES, Appendix I, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act.
 
HUMPBACK WHALE
 
STATUS:
Endangered
 
DESCRIPTION:
The humpback whale is black or gray with a white, grooved underbelly. Megaptera means 'giant wings' and refers to the their large front flippers, which are up to 15 feet.
 
SIZE:
Humpback whales measure 35 to 48 feet long and weigh up to 65 tons. The female is larger than the male.
 
POPULATION:
In the 1870s humpback whales numbered around 125,000, but early in the 20th century whaling drastically reduced the population. Humpbacks now number around 5,000 to 7,500.
 
LIFESPAN:
The humpback whale is capable of living up to 95 years.
 
HABITAT:
Humpbacks are found in all the world's oceans. Humpback whales migrate annually from the tropics to polar regions.
 
FOOD:
Humpbacks sometimes engage in social hunting in which several whales encircle a school (group) of fish and blow bubbles that form a 'net' around the fish, then move in with their mouths open to devour their prey. Their favorite foods include krill and small schooling fish such as herring and mackerel, consuming between 2,000 and 9,000 pounds a day.
 
BEHAVIOR:
The 'songs' of humpback whales are complex vocalizations made only by the males. Humpbacks are well known for hurling their massive bodies out of the water in magnificent displays called breaching. Scientists are unsure why humpbacks breach, but believe it may be related to courtship or play activity.
 
OFFSPRING:
Humpback whales mate during winter migration to warmer waters. Eleven to 12 months later the female gives birth to a single calf, weighing about two tons and measuring up to 13 feet long.
 
THREATS:
Whales suffer from illegal whaling, entanglement in fishing nets and death from pollution.
 
PROTECTION:
*CITES, Appendix I, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if trade does not harm their survival.
 
SPERM WHALE
 
STATUS:
Endangered.
 
DESCRIPTION:
The largest toothed mammal in the world. Males are significantly larger. They are dark blue-gray to black in color. Males pale as they age. Sperm whales have a gigantic, square-shaped head with a slender lower jaw. Their head makes up one-third of their length. They do not have a dorsal fin. The head houses a large spermaceti organ filled with spermaceti oil that turns from liquid to solid as the water turns colder. Because a solid is generally heavier than a liquid, this "weight" in the whales' head allows it to dive deep to find food, up to 4,000 feet.
 
SIZE:
Males can reach 66 feet in length, though most are about 50 feet in length. Females are rarely longer than 40 feet in length. Male sperm whales weigh between 77,000 and 110,000 pounds; females weigh only one-third as much as males.
 
POPULATION:
There are an estimated 500,000 sperm whales in the world.
 
LIFESPAN:
Sperm whales can live up to 77 years.
 
RANGE:
Found in all the oceans of the world, but concentrate in areas of plentiful food such as the coast of South America, the coast of Africa, the north Atlantic sea, the Arabian sea, the western north Pacific and near the equator.
 
FOOD:
Giant squid, schooling fish, seals and sharks. Sperm whales consume approximately one ton of food each day.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Sperm whales are found in mixed groups of 20 to 40 individuals including adult females, calves and juveniles. After weaned from their mother, juveniles leave their group to form juvenile schools. Females will return to a mixed group before reaching maturity while males form bachelor groups or become solitary. Sperm whales do not migrate over large distances as some other whale species do. Sperm whales mate in the spring and have calves in the fall. A single calf is born after a 14 to 19 month gestation. Newborn calves weigh about 2,000 pounds and are about 13 feet in length.
 
THREATS:
In the past, sperm whales were hunted for their ambergris, a waxy oil substance. This oil was used for lighting fuel. Spermaceti oil was also used to make candles and lubricant.
 
PROTECTION:
*CITES, Appendix I, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act.
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if it does not harm their survival.
 
 
Adopt A Whale from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Whale from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Whale Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Whale
  • Adopt A Whale Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Whale
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Whale Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Whale is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Whale symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a whale for yourself or order an Adopt A Whale as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Whale Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A ZEBRA

 
STATUS:
The Plains Zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchelli) is the most common, and has or had about five subspecies distributed across much of southern and eastern Africa. It, or particular subspecies of it, have also been known as the Common Zebra, the Dauw, Burchell's Zebra (actually the extinct subspecies, Equus quagga burchelli), and the Quagga (another extinct subspecies, Equus quagga quagga).
 
The Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra) of southwest Africa tends to have a sleek coat with a white belly and narrower stripes than the Plains Zebra. It has two subspecies and is classified as endangered.
 
Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) is the largest type, with an erect mane, and a long, narrow head making it appear rather mule like. It is a creature of the semi arid grasslands of Ethiopia, Somalia, and northern Kenya. It is endangered too. There are two subspecies of mountain zebra. Equus zebra is endangered and Equus zebra hartmannae is threatened.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Zebras have black and white stripes all over their bodies except their stomachs, which are white. They have four one-toed hoofs. Their slender, pointed ears reach up to eight inches in length. Zebras have manes of short hair that stick straight up from their necks. The stripes on their bodies continue to the mane. They also have a tuft of hair at the end of their tails. The Grevy's Zebra differs from all other zebras in its primitive characteristics and different behavior.
 
SIZE:
Zebras reach six to eight-and-a-half feet in length. Their tails are an additional one-and-a-half feet long. Zebras weigh between 530 and 820 pounds. They are four to five feet tall at the shoulder. Equus zebra is generally larger than Equus zebra hartmannae.
 
POPULATION:
Equus zebra: 600-700 in the wild.
Equus zebra hartmannae: 8,000-13,000 in the wild.
 
LIFESPAN:
Members of the genus Equus (horses, donkeys and zebras) can live 25 to 45 years.
 
RANGE:
Zebras occur in southwestern Africa. Equus zebra inhabits South Africa and Equus zebra hartmannae inhabits Namibia and Angola. The primary habitats of zebras are the slopes and plateaus of mountainous regions. Zebras inhabit elevations of up to 6,500 feet. Plains Zebras are much less numerous than they once were, because of human activities such as hunting them for their meat and hides, as well as encroachment on much of their former habitat, but they remain common in game reserves. The Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi), sometimes known as the Imperial Zebra, is the largest species of zebra. It is found in the wild in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, and is considered endangered, partly due to hunting for its skin which fetches a high price on the world market. Compared to other zebras, it is tall, has large ears, and its stripes are narrower.
 
FOOD:
Zebras feed on a variety of grasses.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Zebras are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. They spend up to half of the daylight hours feeding. A zebra can travel at a top speed of fifty five kilometers per hour, slower than a horse. However, it has much greater stamina. During the course of a day the plains zebra can walk around forty kilometers (from its herd, and back again in the evening.) Zebras are highly social and usually form small family groups consisting of a single stallion, one, two, or several mares, and their recent offspring. Groups are permanent, and group size tends to vary with habitat: in poor country the groups are small. From time to time, Plains Zebra families group together into large herds, both with one another and with other grazing species, notably Blue Wildebeests.
 
Unlike many of the large ungulates of Africa, Plains Zebras prefer but do not require short grass to graze on. In consequence, they range more widely than many other species, even into woodland, and they are often the first grazing species to appear in a well vegetated area. Only after zebras have cropped and trampled the long grasses do wildebeests and gazelles move in. Nevertheless, for protection from predators, Plains Zebras retreat into open areas with good visibility at night time, and take it in turns standing watch. They eat a wide range of different grasses, preferring young, fresh growth where available, and also browse on leaves and shoots from time to time.
 
Grevy's Zebra has a social system characterized by small groups of adults associated for short time periods of a few months. Adult males spend their time mostly alone in territories of 2 12 km². The territories are marked by dung piles and females within the territory mate solely with the resident male. Small bachelor herds are known. This social structure is well adapted for the dry and arid scrubland and plains that Grevy's Zebra primarily inhabits, less for the more lush habitats used by the other zebras. Like all zebras, Grevy's Zebra males fight amongst themselves over territory and females. The Grevy's is vocal during fights, braying loudly. The Grevy's communicates over long distances.
 
OFFSPRING:
Foals (baby zebras) weigh 55 pounds at birth. Mares normally give birth to their first foal when they are between three and six years of. Normally they then give birth to one foal every one to three years until they are 24.
 
THREATS:
The spread of agriculture is one of the main threats to zebra. Their habitat is destroyed to make room for new farmland, and they are hunted and killed so that domestic livestock can graze on the land. Zebras are also hunted for their skins.
 
 
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  • Adopt A Zebra Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Zebra
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Zebra Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Zebra is from you.
 
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ADOPT A SEAL

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Carnivora
 
SUBORDER:
Caniformia
 
FAMILIES:
Odobenidae, Otariidae, Phocidae
 
Seals are carnivorous aquatic mammals with front and hind feet modified as flippers, or fin-feet. The name seal is sometimes applied broadly to any of the fin-footed mammals, or pinnipeds, including the walrus, the eared seals (sea lion and fur seal), and the true seals, also called earless seals, hair seals, or phocid seals. More narrowly the term is applied only to true seals.
 
CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF ALL SEALS:
Pinnipeds have streamlined bodies, rounded in the middle and tapered at the ends, with a thick layer of fat beneath the skin. Their limbs are short and their feet are long and webbed, forming flippers. The sea lions and fur seals (family Otariidae) and the walrus (family Odobenidae) are able to turn their hind flippers forward for walking on land; they swim chiefly by a rowing action of the long front flippers. The true seals (family Phocidae) are unable to rotate the hind flippers. They progress on land by wriggling on their bellies, pulling themselves with the short front flippers; in the water they are propelled by a side-to-side sweeping action of the hind flippers.
 
Nearly all pinnipeds are marine, and most inhabit cold or temperate regions. Some spend most of the year in the open ocean, while others inhabit coastal waters and spend varying amounts of time on shores, islands, or ice floes. Occasionally they ascend rivers. All pinnipeds leave the water at least once a year, at breeding time. In nearly all species the females give birth a year after mating, so that the births take place on land, just before breeding begins. The pups are nursed during the period, usually of several months duration, spent on land. Some species spend most of the year far from their breeding grounds; the northern fur seals make particularly lengthy migrations each year. Most pinnipeds have diets of fish and shellfish; many are bottom feeders, with physiological adaptations for deep diving. They have acute hearing and some, if not all, make use of echolocation (sonar) for underwater navigation.
 
TRUE SEALS:
True seals are called earless seals because they lack external ear projections; they have functional inner ears. They have short, coarse hair, usually with a close, dense undercoat. Their color and pattern vary with the species. Many are spotted. The pups of most species have fluffy coats of a light color. True seals are generally polygamous and gregarious, but most do not form harems at breeding time, as do the eared seals. Some species have definite migrations, but in most the seals spread out after breeding, singly or in groups, over a wide area of ocean. Some polar species migrate in winter to avoid the advancing ice; members of other species winter under the ice, surfacing through holes to breathe.
 
Most true seal species fall into one of three geographical groups: northern, antarctic, and warm-water species. Nearly all are marine, but the Baykal seal (Pusa siberica) is confined to the freshwater Lake Baykal of Siberia, and the Caspian seal (P. caspica) to the brackish Caspian Sea. In addition, several populations of the normally marine harbor seals and ringed seals are found in freshwater lakes. The northern seals include two species of temperate coastal waters: the common seal, or harbor seal, of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and the larger gray seal of the North Atlantic. The former is the only seal frequently seen off U.S. coasts. The Greenland seal, or harp seal, is found in the arctic Atlantic; the ribbon seal in the arctic Pacific. The small ringed seal and the larger bearded seal are circumpolar arctic species. Antarctic seals include the voracious leopard seal, which feeds on penguins and other sea birds, and the Ross, Weddell, and crabeater seals. The warm-water seals are the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Hawaiian species of monk seal. A fourth group includes the elephant seal and hooded seal. There are two elephant seal species, one of the Northern and one of the Southern Hemisphere. They are distinguished by their immense size and trunklike snouts. The hooded seal, distinguished by an inflatable bladder over the snout, is found in the arctic Atlantic.
 
 
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  • Adopt A Seal Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Seal
  • Help Animals Info Packet Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt A Seal Adoption Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Seal is from you.
 
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ADOPT A WALRUS

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Carnivora
 
FAMILY:
Odobenidae (Allen, 1880)
 
GENUS:
Odobenus (Brisson, 1762)
 
SPECIES:
O. rosmarus
 
BINOMIAL NAME:
Odobenus rosmarus (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
SUBSPECIES:
O. rosmarus rosmarus, O. rosmarus divergens
 
Walrus, a marine mammal, Odobenus rosmarus, found in Arctic seas. Largest of the fin-footed mammals, or pinnipeds, the walrus is also distinguished by its long tusks and by cheek pads bearing quill-like bristles. Adult males are 10 ft (3 m) long or more, and weigh up to 3,000 lb (1,400 kg); females weigh about two thirds as much as males. The tusks, which are elongated upper canine teeth, may reach a length of 3 ft (90 cm) in large males and weigh over 10 lb (4.5 kg). The hide is very thick and wrinkled, and is light brown and nearly hairless. Beneath the hide is a layer of fat several inches thick.
 
Like sea lions, walruses can turn their hind flippers forward for walking on land; their foreflippers are weaker than those of sea lions and they are not as strong swimmers. They live in shallow water and spend much of the time on ice floes and beaches, where they congregate in herds of about 100 animals of both sexes. They can dive to a depth of 240 ft (70 m) to find food, relying primarily on touch; their diet consists chiefly of shellfish, especially mollusks. The cheek teeth are rounded and are used for crushing shells. Walruses use their tusks for prying shellfish from the ocean floor, as well as for pulling themselves up onto ice floes. The herds tend to follow the ice line, moving south in winter and north in summer. Walruses mate in the water and give birth on land or ice floes. Male walruses compete for territory, often fighting each other; the winners in these fights breed with large numbers of females. Older male walruses frequently bear large scars from these bloody but rarely fatal battles. Walruses have been known to kill polar bears.
 
Pacific walruses spend the summer north of the Bering Strait in the Chukchi Sea along the north shore of eastern Siberia, around Wrangel Island, in the Beaufort Sea along the north shore of Alaska, and in the waters between those locations.
 
Smaller numbers of males summer in the Gulf of Anadyr on the south shore of the Chukchi Peninsula of Siberia and in Bristol Bay off the south shore of southern Alaska west of the Alaska Peninsula. In the spring and fall they congregate in the Bering Strait, adjacent to the west shores of Alaska, and in the Gulf of Anadyr. They winter to the south in the Bering Sea along the eastern shore of Siberia south to the northern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula, and along the southern shore of Alaska.
 
Walruses have a breeding season in mid winter, a time spent in the southern Bering sea. The males show off in the water for the females who view them from pack ice. Males compete with each other aggressively for this display space. Mating probably takes place in the water. After fertilization the fertilized egg remains dormant for several months, and then a gestation period of 11 months follows. When a calf is born it is over 3 ft (1 m) long and able to swim. Birth takes place on the pack ice; the calf nurses for about 2 years, spending 3 to 5 years with its mother. Females mature at about 6 years, males at 9 or 10. A walrus lives about 50 years.
 
Walruses spend about half their time in the water and half their time on beaches or ice floes where they gather in large herds. They may spend several days at a stretch either on land or in the sea. In the sea they sometimes catch fish but generally graze along the sea bottom for clams which they suck from their shells. Abrasion patterns of the tusks show that they are dragged through the sediment, but are not used to dig up prey. They can also spit jets of water to look for clams. Walruses have been observed to attack narwhal and seals if they cannot find any other food source. This has mainly been observed in large males and the ingestion of seal flesh causes their blubber to appear "greasy".
 
The Eskimo hunt them for food and clothing; the introduction of firearms greatly increased the size of the kill. Commercial hunting of walruses for blubber, hides, and ivory has been extensive since the 16th century and has greatly reduced the walrus population. Several nations now have protective laws; Canada and Russia prohibit walrus hunting except by peoples for whom it is a traditional part of the economy.
 
There are two walrus races, the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Atlantic race, formerly found as far South as Nova Scotia and occasionally Massachusetts, is now considered endangered. The walrus's nearest living relatives are the fur seals, with which it evolved from bearlike ancestors, the Enaliarctidae, in the North Pacific Ocean about 20 million years ago. Walruses are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, suborder Pinnipedia, family Odobenidae.
 
 
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  • Adopt A Walrus Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Walrus
  • Help Animals Info Packet Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Walrus Adoption Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Walrus is from you.
 
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ADOPT A MONKEY


Monkeys are a large and varied group of mammals of the primate order. The term monkey includes all primates that do not belong to the categories human, ape, or prosimian; however, monkeys do have certain common features. All are excellent climbers, and most are primarily arboreal. Nearly all live in tropical or sub-tropical climates. Unlike most of the prosimians, or lower primates, they are almost all day-active animals. Their faces are usually flat and rather human in appearance, their eyes point forward, and they have stereoscopic color vision. Their hands and feet are highly developed for grasping; the big toes and, where present, the thumbs are opposable. Nearly all have flat nails. Monkeys habitually sit in an erect posture. Unlike the apes, most cannot swing arm-over-arm (the spider monkey is an exception) but move about in trees by running along the branches on all fours; their skeletal structure is similar to that of other four-footed animals. Monkeys live in troops of up to several hundred individuals and travel about in search of food, having no permanent shelter. As in apes and humans, the female has a monthly reproductive cycle, and mating may occur at any time, but in some species mating is seasonal. Usually only one infant is born at a time; it is cared for by the mother for a long period. There are two large groups, or superfamilies, of monkeys: Old World monkeys (Cercopithecoidea) and New World monkeys (Ceboidea).
 
OLD WORLD MONKEYS:
The Old World monkeys are found in South Asia, with a few species as far North as Japan and North China, and in all of Africa except the deserts. Most are arboreal, but a few, such as baboons and some macaque species, are ground dwellers. Some Old World monkeys lack tails; when a tail is present it may be long or short but is never prehensile (grasping). The nostrils are close together and tend to point downward. Many species have cheek pouches for holding food, and many have thick pads (called ischial callosities), on the buttocks. Their gestation period is five to nine months. Adult Old World monkeys have 32 teeth. The Old World monkeys, sometimes called true monkeys, are more closely related to the apes and humans than they are to the New World monkeys; the two monkey groups probably evolved separately from ancestral primates.
 
The Old World monkeys include the many species of macaque, widely distributed throughout Africa and Asia. The rhesus monkey, commonly used in laboratory experiments, is an Asian macaque. Related to the macaques are the baboons of Africa and South West Asia, as well as the mandrill and mangabey of Africa. The guerezas, or colobus monkeys (genus Colobus), are very large, long-tailed, leaf-eating African monkeys. Their Asian relatives, the langurs and leaf monkeys, include the sacred monkeys of India. The snub-nosed monkey of China and the proboscis monkey of Borneo are langurlike monkeys with peculiar snouts. The guenons (Cercopithecus) are a large group of long-legged, long-tailed, omnivorous monkeys found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. One very widespread guenon species is the green monkey, or vervet, with olive-brown fur.
 
NEW WORLD MONKEYS:
The New World monkeys are found from South Mexico to central South America, except in the high mountains, and are classified into two families (Callatrichids and Cebids). The Callatrichids are very small, while the Cebids are similar in size to the Old World monkeys. They are all thoroughly arboreal and most have long, prehensile tails with which they can manipulate objects and hang from branches. In most the thumb is lacking. They have widely separated nostrils that tend to point outward; they lack cheek pouches and ischial callosities. Their gestation period is four to five months. Adults of most New World species have 36 teeth. The New World monkeys include the marmosets and tamarins, small monkeys with claws that are classified in a family of their own, the Callithricidae. The rest of the New World monkeys are classified in the family Cebidae. They include the capuchin (genus Cebus), commonly seen in captivity, which has a partially prehensile tail. Prehensile tails are found in the spider monkey and woolly monkey as well as in the howler monkey, the largest member of the family, which has a voice that carries several miles. Smaller forms with nonprehensile tails are the squirrel monkey and titi, the nocturnal douroucouli, or owl monkey, the saki, and the ouakari.
 
 
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  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Monkey
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Monkey Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Monkey is from you.
 
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ADOPT AN EAGLE

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Aves
 
ORDER:
Accipitriformes
 
FAMILY:
Accipitridae
 
Eagle, common name for large predatory birds of the family Falconidae (hawk family), are found in all parts of the world. Eagles are similar to the buteos, or buzzard hawks, but are larger both in length and in wingspread (up to 71⁄2 ft/228 cm) and have beaks nearly as long as their heads.
 
Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh. In most cases, the females are considerably larger than the males. Because of their predatory lifestyle, often at the top of the food chain, they face distinct conservation concerns.
 
Eagles differ from many other birds of prey mainly by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and beak. Even the smallest eagles, like the Booted Eagle, have relatively longer and more evenly broad wings, and more direct, faster flight. Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from the vultures. Species named as eagles range in size from the South Nicobar Serpent Eagle, at 500 g (1.1 lb) and 40 cm (16 in), to the 6.7 kg (14.7 lb) Steller's Sea Eagle and the 100 cm (39 in) Philippine Eagle. Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons. They also have extremely keen eyesight which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance. This keen eyesight is primarily contributed by their extremely large pupils which ensure minimal diffraction (scattering) of the incoming light.
 
Eagles build their nests, called eyries, in tall trees or on high cliffs. Many species lay two eggs, but the older, larger chick frequently kills its younger sibling once it has hatched. The dominant chick tends to be the female, as they are bigger than the male. The parents take no action to stop the killing.
 
They are solitary birds that mate for life. The nest of twigs and sticks is built at a vantage point high in a tree or on a cliff in a permanent feeding territory and is added to year after year; the refuse of the previous nests decomposing beneath the new additions. Nests can become enormous, measuring up to ten feet across and weighing well over 1,000 pounds. The eaglets (usually two) do not develop adult markings until their third year, when they leave parental protection and seek their own mates and territories.
 
The American bald, or white-headed, eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) is found in all parts of North America near water and feeds chiefly on dead fish (sometimes robbing the osprey's catch) and rodents. It is dark brown with white head, neck, and tail plumage. The northern species (found chiefly in Canada) is slightly larger than the southern, which ranges throughout the United States.
 
With only 417 known breeding pairs in the 48 contiguous states in 1963, the bald eagle population was dwindling alarmingly; a decade later they were placed on the endangered species list. In one of the greatest success stories in species recovery, conservation methods such as the banning of DDT and the prohibition against eagle hunting had by the beginning of the 21st century increased the breeding population in the lower 48 states to some 5,000 pairs. The bald eagle was removed from endangered status in 1995 and is now classified as threatened.
 
The golden, or mountain, eagle is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, in the United States found mostly in the West. Unlike the bald eagle, it is an aggressive predator. In Asia it is trained to hunt small game. The adult is sooty brown with tawny head and neck feathers; unlike those of the bald eagle, its legs are feathered to the toes.
 
The gray and Steller's sea eagles are native to colder areas of the Northern Hemisphere; the king or imperial eagle to South Europe and Asia; and the rare monkey-eating eagle to the Philippines.
 
The harpy, or harpy eagle, of Central and South America, the largest (38 in/95 cm long) of the hawks, eats macaws and sloths. It was named for the winged monsters of Greek myth and was called "winged wolf" by the Aztecs.
 
Eagles–impressive both in size and for their fearsome beauty–have long been symbols of royal power and have appeared on coins, seals, flags, and standards since ancient times. The eagle was the emblem of one of the Ptolemies of Egypt and was born on the standards of the Roman armies and of Napoleon's troops. The American bald eagle became the national emblem of the United States by act of Congress in 1782. In folklore the eagle's ability to carry off prey, including children, has been exaggerated; even the powerful golden eagle can lift no more than 8 lb (3.6 kg).
 
Eagles are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Falconiformes, family Accipitridae.
 
 
Adopt An Eagle from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt An Eagle from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
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  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Eagle
  • Adopt An Eagle Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Eagle
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt An Eagle Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt An Eagle is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt An Eagle symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an eagle for yourself or order an Adopt An Eagle as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt An Eagle Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A DEER


KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Artiodactyla
 
SUBORDER:
Ruminantia
 
FAMILY:
Cervidae (Goldfuss, 1820)
 
SUBFAMILIES:
Capreolinae
 
CERVINAE:
Hydropotinae, Muntiacinae
 
Deer, ruminant mammal of the family Cervidae, are found in most parts of the world except Australia. Antlers, solid bony outgrowths of the skull, develop in the males of most species and are shed and renewed annually. They are at first covered by "velvet," a soft, hairy skin permeated by blood vessels. The stem of the antler is called the beam, and the branches are the tines. Antlers are used as weapons during breeding season combats between bucks. In deer that lack antlers (the musk deer and Chinese river deer), long upper canines serve as weapons.
 
Deer are polygamous. They eat a variety of herbaceous plants, lichens, mosses, and tree leaves and bark.
 
The white-tailed deer that live in woodlands throughout the United States and in Central America and South America was a source of food, buckskin, and other necessities for Native Americans and white settlers. Slaughter through the years nearly exterminated the whitetail, but it is now restored in large numbers in the Eastern United States, and to a lesser extent in the West. In summer its upper parts are reddish brown; in winter grayish. The mule deer exists in reduced numbers from the Plains region westward, and the closely related black-tailed deer is a Pacific coast form.
 
Old World deer include the red deer, closely related to the North American wapiti, the fallow deer, and the axis deer. The only deer in Africa are small numbers of red deer found in the north in a forested area. The barking deer, or muntjac, is a small deer of South Asia. A muntjac discovered in North Myanmar (formerly Burma) in 1997 is believed to be the smallest deer in the world. Called the leaf deer, Muntiacus putaoensis, it stands about 20 in. (45 cm) at the shoulder. The misleadingly named mouse deer, or chevrotain, is not a deer, but belongs to a related family (Tragulidae).
 
Many species of deer are threatened with extinction. Deer are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Cervidae.
 
Deer live in a variety of biomes ranging from tundra to the tropical rainforest. While often associated with forests, many deer are ecotone species that live in transitional areas between forests and thickets (for cover) and prairie and savanna (open space). The majority of large deer species inhabit temperate mixed deciduous forest, mountain mixed coniferous forest, tropical seasonal/dry forest, and savanna habitats around the world. Clearing open areas within forests to some extent may actually benefit deer populations by exposing the understory and allowing the types of grasses, weeds, and herbs to grow that deer like to eat. Additionally, access to adjacent croplands may also benefit deer. However, adequate forest or brush cover must still be provided for populations to grow and thrive.
 
Nearly all cervids are so-called uniparental species: the fawns are cared for by the mother only. A doe generally has one or two fawns at a time (triplets, while not unknown, are uncommon). The gestation period is anywhere up to ten months for the European Roe Deer. Most fawns are born with their fur covered with white spots, though in many species they lose these spots by the end of their first winter. In the first twenty minutes of a fawn's life, the fawn begins to take its first steps. Its mother licks it clean until it is almost free of scent, so predators will not find it. Its mother leaves often, and the fawn does not like to be left behind. Sometimes its mother must gently push it down with her foot. The fawn stays hidden in the grass for one week until it is strong enough to walk with its mother. The fawn and its mother stay together for about one year. A male usually never sees his mother again, but females sometimes come back with their own fawns and form small herds.
 
Deer are selective feeders. They are usually browsers, and primarily feed on leaves. They have small, unspecialized stomachs by ruminant standards, and high nutrition requirements. Rather than attempt to digest vast quantities of low-grade, fibrous food as, for example, sheep and cattle do, deer select easily digestible shoots, young leaves, fresh grasses, soft twigs, fruit, fungi, and lichens.
 
With the exception of the musk deer and Chinese river deer, which have tusks, all male deer have antlers. Sometimes a female will have a small stub. The only female deer with antlers are Reindeer (Caribou). Antlers grow as highly vascular spongy tissue covered in a skin called velvet. Before the beginning of a species' mating season, the antlers calcify under the velvet and become hard bone. The velvet is then rubbed off leaving dead bone which forms the hard antlers. After the mating season, the pedicle and the antler base are separated by a layer of softer tissue, and the antler falls off.
 
During the mating season, bucks use their antlers to fight one another for the opportunity to attract mates in a given herd. The two bucks circle each other, bend back their legs, lower their heads, and charge.
 
Each species has its own characteristic antler structure – for example white-tailed deer antlers include a series of tines sprouting upward from a forward-curving main beam, while Fallow Deer and Moose antlers are palmate, with a broad central portion. Mule deer (and Black-tailed Deer), species within the same genus as the white-tailed deer, instead have bifurcated (or branched) antlers—that is, the main beam splits into two, each of which may split into two more. Young males of many deer, and the adults of some species, such as brocket deer and pudus, have antlers which are single spikes.
 
A rub is used to deposit scent from glands near the eye and forehead and physically mark territory.
 
 
Adopt A Deer from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Deer from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Deer Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Deer
  • Adopt A Deer Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Deer
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Deer Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Deer is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Deer symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a deer for yourself or order an Adopt A Deer as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Deer Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A MOOSE

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Artiodactyla
 
FAMILY:
Cervidae
 
GENUS:
Alces (Gray, 1821)
 
SPECIES:
A. alces
 
BINOMIAL NAME:
Alces alces (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
Moose, the largest member of the deer family, genus Alces, found in the northern parts of Eurasia and North America. The Eurasian species, A. alces, is known in Europe as the elk, a name which in North America is applied to another large deer, the wapiti. The Eurasian and the American moose are quite similar, but the American moose is somewhat larger and is considered by some to be a separate species, A. americana. It inhabits the coniferous forests of Alaska, Canada, and the northern conterminous United States.
 
The moose has a heavy brown body with humped shoulders, and long, lighter-colored legs; the front pair longer than the hind ones. It has a thick, overhanging, almost trunk like muzzle and a short neck; a flap of skin covered with long hair and called the bell hangs from the throat. The male has broad, extremely flattened antlers, with a spread of up to 6 ft (180 cm). The largest variety is the Alaska moose; the adult male weighs from 1,000 to 1,800 lb (450—820 kg) and stands as much as 71⁄2 ft (2.3 m) high at the shoulder.
 
Browsers rather than grazers, moose eat leaves, twigs, buds, and the bark of some woody plants, as well as lichens, aquatic plants, and some of the taller herbaceous land plants. Moose live in small groups during the summer, sometimes forming large herds in the winter. They are polygamous, the males becoming very aggressive during the mating season. They are strong swimmers, reportedly crossing lakes many miles wide.
 
Although moose are generally timid, the males become very bold during the autumn breeding season; it is not uncommon for them to charge at moving trains. The females utter a loud call, similar to the lowing of cattle. During breeding (the rut), males will compete for females by fighting with their antlers and hoofs and by fierce clashing of antlers. As well as bellowing, the female moose emits a strong, odoriferous pheromone in order to attract a mate.
 
She also secretes pheromones in her urine which lets the males know that she is in estrus. Females may begin to breed at 2, but more usually 3 years of age.
 
The female gives birth to one or (occasionally) two calves at a time, in spring. The gestation period for a moose is about 216 to 240 days.
 
Moose calves grow very quickly, nourished by their mother's milk, which is very high in fat and other nutrients.
 
In North America, during the winter, moose may form loose aggregations in fairly dense conifer forests, which they keep open by trampling the snow.
 
In the spring, moose can often be seen in drainage ditches at the side of roads, taking advantage of road salt which has run off the road. These minerals replace electrolytes missing from their winter diet.
 
In North America, changes in land use patterns, mainly the clearing of northern forests for settlement and agriculture, have led to the range of the White tailed deer expanding northward. Where their ranges overlap, moose may become infected by parasites carried by the deer such as brain worm, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, and winter ticks, Dermacentor albipictus, which, though fairly harmless to deer, can be fatal to moose.
 
A moose's body structure, with a large heavy body suspended on long spindly legs, makes these animals particularly dangerous when hit by motor vehicles. Such collisions are often fatal for both the moose and motorist. Moose are reported to kill more people in Canada than any other animal except, perhaps, for bees (far exceeding the toll of, for example, the grizzly bear). The overwhelming majority of human fatalities attributable to moose occur in motor vehicle collisions with moose.
 
Females can be extremely protective of their young, and extreme caution should be exercised when approaching a cow moose.
 
The lifespan of a moose in the wild is roughly 15 to 25 years.
 
Protection in national parks and reserves in Canada and the United States has saved the moose from extermination. Hunting of moose is strictly regulated.
 
The Eurasian moose, or elk, is found from Scandinavia to E Siberia. Moose are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, Class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Cervidae.
 
 
Adopt A Moose from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Moose from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Moose Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Moose
  • Adopt A Moose Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Moose
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Moose Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Moose is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Moose symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a moose for yourself or order an Adopt A Moose as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Moose Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A HIPPO

KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Artiodactyla
 
FAMILY:
Hippopotamidae
 
GENUS:
Hippopotamus
 
SPECIES:
H. amphibius
 
BINOMIAL NAME:
Hippopotamus amphibius (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
Hippopotamus is an herbivorous, river-living mammal of tropical Africa. The large hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius, has a short-legged, broad body with a tough gray or brown hide. The male stands about 5 ft (160 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 5 tons (4,500 kg); the female is slightly smaller. The mouth is wide, and the incisors and lower canines are large ivory tusks that grow throughout life. The eyes are near the top of the head, so the animal can see when nearly submerged.
 
Hippopotamuses usually live in herds of about 15 animals. Much of their time is spent standing or swimming underwater, where they feed on aquatic plants; they must rise to breathe every 5 minutes or so. At night groups of animals feed on the shore.
 
The hippopotamus is hunted for meat, and Africans have used the hide for shields and whips. Once widespread in Africa, the animal is now rare except in unsettled areas and reserves. The pygmy hippopotamus, Choeropsis liberiensis, is found in West Africa. It is about 30 in (75 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs about 400 lb (180 kg). It tends to be solitary and spends much of its time on the shore, sleeping by day in thickets. 
 
The hippopotamus outweighs all the many fresh water semi-aquatic mammals that inhabit our rivers, lakes and streams.
 
The ancient Egyptians both feared and revered the hippopotamus. The word hippopotamus comes from the Greek for “river horse” and the hippo, once indigenous to Egypt, flourished there, grazing along the fertile banks of the Nile River and swimming in its muddy waters. Hippos may seem slow and lumbering, but they can be ferocious, deadly killers. These prolific animals multiplied until the river was thick with them. They destroyed crops, up ended fishing boats and killed the men as they fell into the river. The ancient kings found sport in great hippopotamus hunts that would thin out the herds. Hunts became bloody battles between man and beast. The hippo is no longer found in Egypt. They were wiped out of that country in modern times because of the crop damage they caused, but the hippo still thrives in other parts of Africa.
 
After elephants and the white rhinoceros, the hippopotamus is the third largest land mammal on Earth. Its hide alone can weigh half a ton. Hippopotamus are of the Order Artiodactyla: Even-toed ungulates. On land, the enormous weight of a hippo is distributed evenly and is adequately supported by the four webbed toes on each of its feet. These animals are grayish in color with thick skin that is virtually hairless. The hippo has no sweat or sebaceous glands and must rely on the water to keep cool. A hippo’s hide has the unusual property of secreting a viscous red fluid that protects it from the sun. This specialized excretion may also be a healing agent.
 
Female hippopotamus bear a single young and will give birth either on land or in shallow water. The mother helps the newborn to the surface of the water. In time, she will teach her baby to swim. Newborns can be seen in the river, resting on their mothers' backs. At birth, a baby hippo will weigh from 55 to 120 pounds. The mother must protect it from crocodiles in the water and lions on land. She must also ward off male hippos. Strangely, males do not bother baby hippos when on land, but they will attack them in the water.
 
Adult hippos can stay under water for up to six minutes. A young hippo can only stay submerged for about half a minute. In order to suckle under water, the baby must take a deep breath, close its nostrils and ears and then wrap its tongue tightly around the teat to suck. This instinctive behavior is the same when the baby suckles on land. Baby hippos start to eat grass at 3 weeks, but will continue to nurse until they are about one year old.
 
Hippos are usually found in groups of just over a dozen, presided over by a territorial bull. They have flexible social systems defined by food and water conditions and hierarchy. Periods of drought will force them to congregate in large numbers around a limited water supply. This overcrowding disrupts the system and under these conditions, there will be higher levels of aggression. Fights for dominance will be brutal with loud and frequent vocalization. Hippos can bear the scars of old, deep wounds sustained in such battles. A hippo establishes status and marks territory by spreading its excrement with its flat, paddle-like tail.
 
Hippos move surprisingly well, climbing adeptly up steep riverbanks to grazing areas. They spend the heat of the day in the water, leaving it to graze at night. Apparently creatures of habit, they enter and exit the water at the same spot. They will graze four to five hours, usually covering one or two miles. The amount of grass consumed is relatively modest for animals their size. A hippo’s appetite is in proportion to its sedentary life.
 
Despite the fact that ditches and low fences can easily deter them from encroaching on cultivated areas, hippopotamus are slaughtered by the hundreds each year. These “controlled management” schemes are put forth less for crop protection than for the meat they yield. The fat and ivory tusks of the hippo are also of value to humans, as is the hippo’s grazing land. The hippos’ range was once from the Nile delta to the Cape, but the mighty river horse is now mostly confined to protected areas.
 
Recent DNA (genetic material) studies indicate that whales are most closely related to hippopotamuses. Hippopotamuses are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Hippopotamidae. 
 
 
Adopt A Hippo from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Hippo from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Hippo Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Hippo
  • Adopt A Hippo Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Hippo
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Hippo Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Hippo is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Hippo symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a hippo for yourself or order an Adopt A Hippo as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Hippo Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A SHARK

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
SUBPHYLUM:
Vertebrata
 
CLASS:
Chondrichthyes
 
SUBCLASS:
Elasmobranchii
 
SUPERORDER:
Selachimorpha
 
ORDERS:
Carcharhiniformes, Heterodontiformes, Hexanchiformes, Lamniformes, Orectolobiformes, Pristiophoriformes, Squaliformes, Squatiniformes
 
Sharks are members of a group of almost exclusively marine and predaceous fishes. There are about 250 species of sharks, ranging from the 2 ft (60 cm) pygmy shark to 50 ft (15 m) giants. They are found in all seas, but are most abundant in warm waters. Some may enter large rivers, and one ferocious freshwater species lives in Lake Nicaragua. Most are predatory, but the largest species, the whale shark and the basking shark, are harmless plankton eaters. Dogfish is the name for members of several families of small sharks; these should not be confused with the bony dogfishes of the mud minnow and bowfin families.
 
CHARACTERISTICS:
Sharks are heavy fishes, possessing neither lungs nor swim bladders. Their skeletons are made of cartilage rather than bone, and this, along with large deposits of fat, partially solves their weight problem. Nevertheless, most sharks must keep moving in order to breathe and to stay afloat. They are good swimmers; the wide spread of the pectoral fins and the upward curve of the tail fin provide lift, and the sweeping movements of the tail provide drive. Their tough hides are studded with minute, toothlike structures called denticles. Sharks have pointed snouts. Their crescent-shaped mouths are set on the underside of the body and contain several rows of sharp, triangular teeth. They have respiratory organs called gills, usually five on each side, with individual gill slits opening on the body surface. These slits form a conspicuous row and lack the covering found over the gills of bony fishes.
 
Like most fishes, sharks breathe by taking water in through the mouth and passing it out over the gills. Usually there are two additional respiratory openings on the head, called spiracles. A shark's intestine has a unique spiral valve, which increases the area of absorption. Fertilization is internal in sharks; the male has paired organs called claspers for introducing sperm into the cloaca of the female. Members of most species bear live young, but a few of the smaller sharks lay eggs containing much yolk and enclosed in horny shells. Compared to bony fishes, sharks tend to mature later and reproduce slowly.
 
PREDATION:
Only a small number of the predatory species are definitely known to occasionally engage in unprovoked attacks on humans. The largest and most feared of these is the great white shark, which may reach 20 ft (6 m) in length and is probably responsible for more such attacks than any other species. Other sharks reputed to be slightly dangerous are the tiger and blue sharks and the mako. Sharks are extremely sensitive to motion and to the scent of blood. Swimmers in areas where dangerous varieties occur should leave the water quietly if they are cut. In some places bathing areas are guarded by nets. A number of substances have been used as shark repellents, but their effectiveness is variable. Sharks usually circle their prey before attacking. Since they seldom swim near the surface, an exposed dorsal fin is more likely to be that of a swordfish or ray than that of a shark.
 
THREATS:
Don't be afraid OF sharks; be afraid FOR them. There are more misunderstandings and untruths about sharks than almost any other group of animals on the planet. While many people fear sharks, it is the sharks who should be fearing us.
 
According to the shark attack file, maintained by the Florida Museum of Natural History, on average 5 people die worldwide from shark attacks. Research published in 2006 found that up to 70 million sharks are killed by humans each year, mostly for their fins. This is a devastating death toll for a long-living species that is as slow to reproduce as sharks.
 
Sharks have roamed the oceans far longer than most land animals have been here. They were here before many of the dinosaurs and have outlasted them. But an international assessment of sharks undertaken by the World Conservation Union reveals that their future is in doubt. Of 546 shark species assessed, 111 species were at significant risk of global extinction. Twenty species are listed as critically endangered and 25 as endangered. A 2003 study published in the journal Science concluded that some shark species have lost 80% of their populations just in the past 40 years including hammerhead sharks, thresher sharks, and porbeagle sharks. While hammerhead shark is a name familiar to most, most people have never heard of porbeagle sharks, some of the lesser known sharks are in even greater danger.
 
Sharks can range from being just inches in length (like the tiny cookie cutter shark) to being larger than a school bus (like the giant plankton-eating whale shark). Though sharks perform the same role in the ocean ecosystem that is performed by well-known predators such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs on land, the fact that they live in such an alien world makes it hard for us to know about their lives. What we do know is pretty fascinating.
 
Sharks shed their teeth. A single shark may lose thousands of teeth over its life and this accounts for the many shark teeth found by beach combers throughout the world. Their teeth are connected to a membrane in their mouth that is constantly being pushed forward as new teeth form. New teeth are generally slightly larger than the ones before. This allows the size of the shark's teeth to keep pace with the growth of the rest of the body.
 
Sharks are picky eaters. Some sharks eat only plankton, others eat small fish or squid, and still others eat large fish and marine mammals. The type of teeth a shark has will show you what it eats. Great white sharks have teeth with serrated edges for slicing off pieces from larger prey, the teeth of mako sharks are thin and pointed for grabbing onto slippery fish. Nurse sharks and other bottom dwellers tend to have thicker teeth for crushing shellfish. No matter the tooth shape, sharks never chew their food.
 
You're more likely to die as a result of being electrocuted by holiday lighting than being attacked by a shark. More deadly than shark attacks each year are crocodile attacks, hippo attacks, and even attacks by pigs.
 
Many sharks are warm blooded. Unlike the rest of the fishy world, many large sharks can maintain their body temperature higher than the ocean temperature around them. Some sharks lay eggs, but others give birth to live young and may not be sexually mature until they are over the age of 10. We don't know whether sharks sleep. Sometimes they seem to rest, but their eyes don't close and if they sleep, they certainly don't sleep the way that mammals can.
 
There is a lot we don't know about sharks, but we DO know that if we don't act soon to stop overfishing, some of the most ancient and magnificent animals on the planet may soon disappear.
 
 
Adopt A Shark from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Shark from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Shark Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Shark
  • Adopt A Shark Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Shark
  • Help Animals Info Packet Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt A Shark Adoption Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Shark is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Shark symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a shark for yourself or order an Adopt A Shark as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Shark Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A KOMODO DRAGON


KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Reptilia
 
ORDER:
Squamata
 
SUBORDER:
Sauria
 
FAMILY:
Varanidae
 
GENUS:
Varanus
 
SPECIES:
V. komodoensis
 
BINOMIAL NAME:
Varanus komodoensis (Ouwens, 1912)
 
Komodo dragons are monitors, any of various dragonlike, mostly tropical lizards. A monitor lizard has a heavy body, long head and neck, long tail that comes to a whiplike end, and strong legs with sharp claws. Its slender, forked tongue is protrusible. Monitors range in size from the 8 in (20 cm) short-tailed species of West Australia to the 10 ft, 300 lb (3 m, 136 kg).
 
Some monitor species spend their lives in trees, and others inhabit lakes and rivers; they can be found on the oceanic islands and continents of the Eastern Hemisphere in all types of warm habitats, from tropical forest to desert. Komodo dragons, the giant among living lizards, live on the small Indonesian island of Komodo. Monitors feed on various kinds of animal matter, including eggs, rats, frogs, and decaying meat. The larger species will attack small deer and pigs. They often tear the prey with claws and teeth, but generally swallow it whole or in large chunks. Monitors lay from 7 to 35 leathery eggs, usually in holes in the ground or in trees.
 
Reptiles are of the order Squamata, which also includes the snake. Lizards form the suborder Sauria, and there are over 3,000 lizard species distributed throughout the world (except for the polar regions), with the greatest number found in warm climates. Lizards typically have four legs with five toes on each foot, although a few, such as the worm lizard and the so-called glass snake, are limbless, retaining only internal vestiges of legs. Lizards are also distinguished from snakes by having ear openings, movable eyelids, and less flexible jaws. As in snakes, there is a chemosensory organ opening in the roof of the mouth. The tongue, which may be short and wide, slender and forked, or highly extendible, conveys particles from the environment to this organ. The skin of the lizard is scaly and in most species is molted in irregular patches. Members of several lizard families, notably the chameleons, undergo color changes under the influence of environmental and emotional stimuli.
 
Many lizards are arboreal, and many terrestrial species are well adapted for climbing. They are often fast runners, some achieving speeds of over 15 mi (24 km) per hr. Some are adapted for burrowing. Most can swim and a few lead a semiaquatic existence, among them the single marine species, an iguana of the Galapagos Islands. Gliding forms, the flying dragons, are found in the forests of South East Asia.
 
The gila monster and the related beaded lizard of the North American deserts are the only known poisonous lizards; despite folklore, the bite of the gecko is not poisonous. Members of most species are carnivorous, feeding especially on insects, but some are herbivorous or omnivorous.
 
Fertilization is internal in lizards; males have paired copulatory organs, characteristic of the order. In most species females lay eggs, which they bury in the ground, but in some the eggs are incubated in the oviducts and hatched as they are laid. In both types the young have a special temporary tooth for rupturing the shell. In a few species there is true viviparity, or live birth, with the young nourished by a simple placenta.
 
The greatest number of species in the United States is found in the South and West. The majority are members of the iguana family, including the collared lizards, swifts, utas, horned lizards (popularly known as horned toads), and the so-called American chameleon, or anole. These are day-active lizards commonly seen basking on rocks. Most are valuable destroyers of insects.
 
Lizards are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, suborder Sauria.
 
The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the largest living lizard in the world, growing to an average length of 2-3 meters (10 feet). In the wild large adults tend to weigh around 70kg (154 pounds). Captive specimens often weigh more. The largest verified specimen was 3.13 meters (10 feet 3 inches) long and weighed 166 kg (365 pounds), including undigested food. It is a member of the monitor lizard family, Varanidae, and inhabits various islands in Indonesia. The Papua monitor, Varanus salvadorii may surpass the Komodo in length but it is slimmer and weighs less.
 
Sightings of the Komodo dragon were first reported to Europeans in 1910. Widespread knowledge came after 1912, in which Peter Ouwens, the director of the Zoological Museum at Bogor, Java, published a paper on the topic. In 1980 the Komodo National Park was founded to help protect their population.
 
DIET AND FEEDING:
Komodo dragons are carnivorous. Although they seem to like carrion, studies show that they also hunt live prey with a stealthy approach followed by a sudden short charge, during which they can run briefly at speeds up to 20 km/h (~13 mph). Komodo dragons have not traditionally been considered venomous, but the serrations along their teeth are an ideal niche for over 50 strains of bacteria. If the initial bite does not kill the prey, and it escapes, the deadly infections caused by the bacteria living in the dragon's teeth kill the prey within a week. Then the Komodo dragon descends upon its victim, tracking by smell to feed upon its dead flesh. The dragon also has large claws that are used when they are younger to climb trees, but when they are older these are used mainly as weapons.
 
The Komodo dragon's prey is wide ranging, and includes wild pigs, goats, deer, and water buffaloes. In the wild they have also been observed to eat other smaller dragons. Occasionally they have been known to eat humans and human corpses. Over a dozen human deaths have been attributed to dragon bites in the last century, though there are reports of survivors of the resulting septicemia. Not many live to tell their story of how they escaped the Komodo dragon.
 
POPULATION:
There are approximately 6,000 living Komodo dragons. Their populations are restricted to the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia, including the islands of Komodo (1,700), Rinca (1,300), Gili Motang (100) and Flores (maybe 2,000).
 
REPRODUCTION:
Mating occurs between May and August, with the eggs laid in September. The female lays her eggs in the ground or in tree hollows, lending them some protection. Clutches usually contain an average of 20 eggs, and have an incubation period of 7 months. However, after the hatchlings are born, they are generally defenseless and many do not survive. Young Komodo dragons generally spend their first few years living in trees where they have a greater chance of survival. Komodo dragons take around five years to mature, growing to 2 meters in length, and they can live for up to 30 years.
 
 
Adopt A Komodo Dragon from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Komodo Dragon from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Komodo Dragon Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Komodo Dragon
  • Adopt A Komodo Dragon Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Komodo Dragon
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Komodo Dragon Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Komodo Dragon is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Komodo Dragon symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a komodo dragon for yourself or order an Adopt A Komodo Dragon as a gift. Help make a difference for animals -Adopt A Komodo Dragon Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A CROCODILE

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Reptilia
 
ORDER:
Crocodilia
 
FAMILY:
Crocodylidae (Cuvier, 1807)
 
GENERA:
Mecistops, Crocodylus, Osteolaemus
 
Crocodiles are large, carnivorous reptiles of the order Crocodilia, found in tropical and subtropical regions. Crocodiles live in swamps or on river banks and catch their prey in the water. They have flattened bodies and tails, short legs, and powerful jaws. The eyes, ears, and nostrils are located near the top of the head and are exposed when the crocodile floats on the surface of the water. The ears and nostrils have valves that close when the animal is submerged.
 
Most crocodiles are more aggressive than the related alligators. The two forms are distinguished by the long lower fourth tooth: in crocodiles, but not in alligators, this tooth protrudes on the side of the head when the mouth is closed. Also, the snouts of most crocodiles are narrower than those of alligators.
 
The larger species of crocodiles can be very dangerous to humans. The Saltwater and Nile Crocodiles are the most dangerous, killing hundreds of people each year in parts of South East Asia and Africa. American Alligators, and possibly the endangered Black Caiman, can also be dangerous to humans.
 
Crocodiles tend to congregate in slow moving rivers and lakes, and feed on a wide variety of living and dead mammals and fish. Some species, notably the Saltwater Crocodile of Australia and the Pacific islands, have been known to venture far out to sea. They are an ancient lineage, and are believed to have changed little since the time of the dinosaurs.
 
Small crocodiles feed on fish and small aquatic animals; larger crocodiles also catch land mammals and birds that approach the water. Members of some large species sometimes attack and eat humans.
 
Crocodiles are very fast over short distances, even out of water. They have extremely powerful jaws and sharp teeth for tearing flesh. All large crocodiles also have sharp welters and powerful claws. They have limited lateral movement in their neck, so on land one can find protection by getting even a small tree between the crocodile's jaws and oneself.
 
Crocodiles are ambush hunters, waiting for fish or land animals to come close, then rushing out to attack. As cold blooded predators, they can survive long periods without food, and rarely need to actively go hunting.
 
The crocodile's bite strength is up to 3000 pounds per square inch, comparing to just 100 psi for a large dog. Despite their slow appearance, crocodiles are the top predators in their environment, and various species have been observed attacking and killing lions, large ungulates and even sharks.
 
A famous exception is the Egyptian Plover which is said to enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the crocodile. According to unauthenticated reports, the plover feeds on parasites that infest the crocodile's mouth and the reptile will open its jaws and allow the bird to enter to clean out the mouth.
 
Wild crocodiles are protected in many parts of the world, but they also are inhumanely farmed commercially. Their hide is tanned and used to make leather goods such as shoes and handbags, while crocodile meat is also considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. The most commonly farmed species are the Saltwater and Nile crocodiles, while a hybrid of the Saltwater and the rare Siamese Crocodile is also bred in Asian farms.
 
Crocodiles are more closely related to birds and dinosaurs than to most animals classified as reptiles (though all of these are thought to probably be more closely related to each other than to Testudines (turtles and tortoises), and have correspondingly unusual features for reptiles, such as a four chambered heart).
 
The female crocodile deposits her eggs, usually about 20 in number, in a nest of rotting vegetation or in a shallow pit on the river bank, and digs them up when she hears them hatching.
 
In most species the average adult length is between 6 and 10 ft (1.8—3 m). The largest crocodile (the saltwater crocodile) is often 14 ft (4.3 m) long and may exceed 20 ft (6 m) in length. The Nile, American, and Orinoco crocodiles are commonly 12 ft (3.7 m) long, and specimens up to 23 ft (7 m) long have been reported for the last two species. The extinct Sarcosuchus imperator, which lived during the Cretaceous period, may have approached 40 ft (12 m) in length. The smallest crocodile (the Congo dwarf crocodile) averages 31/2 ft (105 cm) long.
 
With the exception of the two African dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus) and the so-called false gavial (Tomistoma) of Asia, crocodiles are classified in the genus Crocodylus, with about a dozen species.
 
The Nile crocodile (C. niloticus) is found in fresh and saltwater throughout South and Central Africa. In early historic times it ranged north to the Nile delta and the Mediterranean coast. It sometimes attacks humans, as does the saltwater crocodile (C. porosus), found on islands and in straits from South East Asia to Australia and Melanesia.
 
The marsh crocodile, or mugger (C. palustris), is a freshwater species of India and Sir Lanka, regarded as sacred in some regions.
 
The American crocodile (C. acutus) is found in fresh and saltwater in South Florida, the West Indies, Central America, and North West South America. It does not attack humans without provocation.
 
The Orinoco crocodile (C. intermedius) is a freshwater species of the Orinoco basin of Colombia and Venezuela. Two smaller species are found in limited areas of Central America and Cuba.
 
 
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  • Adopt A Crocodile Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Crocodile
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Crocodile Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Crocodile is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt An Animal Adopt A Crocodile symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a crocodile for yourself or order an Adopt A Crocodile as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Crocodile Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT AN ALLIGATOR


KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Reptilia
 
ORDER:
Crocodilia
 
FAMILY:
Alligatoridae
 
GENUS:
Alligator
 
SPECIES:
Alligator mississippiensis, Alligator sinensis
An alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. There are two living alligator species: the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis). They are closely related to crocodiles.
 
DESCRIPTION:
Alligators are characterized by a broader snout and eyes more dorsally located than their crocodile cousins. Both living species also tend to be darker in color, often nearly black (although the Chinese alligator has some light patterning.) Also, in alligators only the upper teeth can be seen with the jaws closed (in contrast to true crocodiles, in which upper and lower teeth can be seen), though many individuals bear jaw deformities which complicate this means of identification.
 
HABITAT:
There are only two countries on earth that have alligators: the United States and China. The Chinese alligator is endangered and lives only in the Yangtze River valley. The American Alligator is found in the United States from the Carolinas to Florida and along the Gulf Coast. The majority of American Alligators inhabit Florida and Louisiana. In Florida alone there are an estimated more than 1 million alligators. The United States is the only nation on earth to have both alligators and crocodiles. American Alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, and swamps. In China, they live only along the fresh water of the Yangtze River.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Alligators are solitary, territorial animals. The largest of the species (both males and females) will defend prime territory; smaller alligators have a higher tolerance of other alligators within a similar size class. Although alligators have heavy bodies and slow metabolisms, they are capable of short bursts of speed that can exceed 30 miles per hour. Alligators' main prey are smaller animals that they can kill and eat with a single bite. Alligators may kill larger prey by grabbing it and dragging it in the water to drown. Alligators consume food that cannot be eaten in one bite by allowing it to rot or by biting and then spinning or convulsing wildly until bite size pieces are torn off. This is referred to as the "death roll."
 
DIET:
Alligators are opportunistic feeders, eating almost anything they can catch. When they are young they eat fish, insects, snails, and crustaceans. As they grow they take progressively larger prey items, including: larger fish such as gar, turtles, various mammals, birds, and other reptiles, including smaller alligators. They will even consume carrion if they are sufficiently hungry. As humans encroach onto to their habitat, attacks on humans are not unknown, but are few and far between.
 
REPRODUCTION:
Alligators are seasonal breeders. The mating season is in spring when the water warms. The female builds a nest of vegetation that rots, incubating the eggs. The mother will defend the nest from predators and will assist the babies to water once they hatch. She will provide protection to the young for about a year if they remain in the area.
 
FACTS:
There are two species–a large type found in the United States and a small type found in China. Alligators differ from crocodiles in several ways. They have broader, blunter snouts, which give their heads a triangular appearance; also, the lower fourth tooth does not protrude when the mouth is closed, as it does in the crocodile.
 
The American alligator, Alligator mississipiensis, is found in swamps and sluggish streams from North Carolina to Florida and along the Gulf Coast. When young, it is dark brown or black with yellow transverse bands. The bands fade as the animal grows, and the adult is black.
 
Males commonly reach a length of 9 ft (2.7 m) and a weight of 250 lbs (110 kg); females are smaller. Males 18 ft (5.4 m) long were once fairly common, but intensive hunting for alligator leather eliminated larger individuals (a specimen over 10 ft/3 m long is now unusual) and threatened the species as a whole.
 
The wild American alligator is now protected by law, but it is also inhumanely raised on farms for commercial uses.
 
Alligators spend the day floating just below the surface of the water or resting on the bank, lying in holes in hot weather. They hunt by night, in the water and on the bank. Young alligators feed on water insects, crustaceans, frogs, and fish; as they grow they catch proportionally larger animals. Large alligators may occasionally capture deer and cows as they come to drink; they do not commonly attack humans.
 
Alligators hibernate from October to March. In summer the female builds a nest of rotting vegetation on the bank and deposits in it 20 to 70 eggs, which she guards for 9 to 10 weeks until they hatch.
 
The Chinese alligator, A. sinensis, which grows to about 6 ft (1.8 m) long, is found in the Chang (Yangtze) River valley near Shanghai. This species is nearly extinct.
 
Caimans are similar, but distinct members of the Alligatoridae family found in Central and South America. There are several species, classified in three genera. The largest grow up to 15 ft (4.8 m) long. Unlike alligators, caimans have bony overlapping scales on their bellies. Baby caimans are often sold in the United States as baby alligators. Caimans and alligators are wild animals and should not be kept as pets for human amusement.
 
Alligators and caimans are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Crocodilia, family Alligatoridae.
 
 
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  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Alligator
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
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ADOPT A COW

 
Cattle, as individuals or as a herd, possess many unique traits, the most distinctive being their social disposition. They are extremely social animals and rely heavily on "safety in numbers" — herds can form with up to 300 animals. Each animal can recognize more than 100 individuals and will closely bond to some herd members, while carefully avoiding others. While the bond between mothers and daughters is particularly strong, calves also maintain lifelong relationships with their peers.
 
It is thought that cattle were first domesticated in 6,500 B.C. from wild cattle (aurochs) in Europe and the Near East. Only in the past two centuries have cattle been differentiated into breeds raised for beef or milk. Some cattle still exist as "dual purpose" breeds.
 
Some people incorrectly refer to all cattle as "cows." Cows are actually mature females who have, usually through reproduction, developed prominent hips and other adult physical characteristics. Heifers are immature females who have not yet calved or developed the mature characteristics of a cow.
 
Male cattle can be divided into three groups: bullocks, steers and bulls. A bullock is a young, uncastrated male who has begun to display secondary sexual characteristics. A steer is a castrated male bovine, whereas a bull is a mature, uncastrated male.
 
Cows are sturdy yet gentle animals. They are social animals and form strong bonds with their families and friends that can last their entire lives. The bond between a cow and her calf is especially powerful. If a mother cow is caught on the opposite side of a fence from her calf, she will become alarmed, agitated and call frantically. If they remain separated, she will stay by the fence through blizzards, hunger, and thirst, waiting to be reunited with her baby. This bond continues even after the calf is fully grown.
 
Cows "moo" to each other fairly frequently, allowing them to maintain contact even when they cannot see each other. But when they can see each other, they also communicate through a series of different body positions and some facial expressions. Cattle usually stand between 4 feet, 9 inches and 5 feet, 6 inches, and beef cattle range from 850 to 2,500 pounds depending on breed and gender. In non-commercial herds, cows have been observed nursing their male calves for up to three years.
 
Cattle have almost panoramic vision, which allows them to watch for predators or humans. They can see in color, except for red. They have an amazing sense of smell, and can detect scents more than six miles away.
 
Cattle are ruminant herbivores and will swallow vegetation whole, then later masticate their "cud" (chew their partially digested food).
 
The scientific name for the cattle group is "bos taurus," a subfamily of the bovidae family, which includes other hollow-horned animals. Interestingly, bulls are much less likely to use their horns than cows. However, the level of aggression can be influenced by the degree of confinement.
 
Cattle will learn from each other's mistakes: If an individual is shocked by an electric fence, others in the herd will become alarmed and avoid it. If a herd is confined by an electric fence, only 30% will ever be shocked. Cattle enjoy swimming and running in the moonlight, as they have been shown to remain active for a longer period between their two sleep sessions when the moon is full.
 
The lifespan of cattle averages 20 to 25 years. However, the lifespan of cattle raised for beef is significantly abbreviated. These animals are typically weaned at 6 to 10 months, live 3 to 5 months on range, spend 4 to 5 months being fattened in a feedlot, and are typically slaughtered at 15 to 20 months.
 
 
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  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Cow
  • Adopt A Cow Adoption Certificate
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  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
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ADOPT A CHICKEN


Chickens form strong family ties. A mother hen begins bonding with her chicks before they are even born. She will turn her eggs as many as five times an hour and softly cluck to her unborn chicks, who will chirp back to her and to one another. After they are hatched, the devoted mother dotes over her brood, teaching them what to eat, how to drink, where to roost, and how to avoid enemies.
 
Male chickens (called roosters) are most famous for greeting each sunrise with loud crows, often acting as alarm clocks for farmers.
 
Chickens are fascinating creatures. They have more bones in their necks than giraffes, yet they have no teeth. They swallow their food whole and use a part of their stomach called the gizzard to grind it up.
 
Chickens actually have many similarities to humans: the majority are right-footed (just as most humans are right-handed), they see a similar color range, and they love to watch television. Many also enjoy classical music, preferring the faster symphonies to the slower ones.
 
Having a private nest in which to lay eggs is extremely important to hens. The desire is so strong, in fact, that a hen will often go without food and water, if necessary, to use a nest. The nest-building process is fascinating. A hen will first scratch a shallow hole in the ground, then reach out to pick up twigs and leaves, which she drops onto her back. After she has gathered some material, she'll settle back in the hole and let the material fall off around the rim. She will continue to do this until her nest is completed.
 
As highly social animals, chickens can bond very closely to other animals, including humans. They will fight to protect their family and will mourn when a loved one is lost. When they have bonded with a human, chickens will often jump into his or her lap to get a massage that they enjoy fully with their eyes closed, giving every indication of being in ecstasy.
 
"It's just a chicken" is a retort heard often when concern for the welfare of chickens is exhibited. This comment reflects just how misunderstood these animals are. Chickens are just as deserving of our respect and compassion as are all other animals.
 
 
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Your WAF Adopt A Chicken Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Chicken
  • Adopt A Chicken Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Chicken
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Chicken Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Chicken is from you.
 
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ADOPT A PIG

 
Despite their reputation, pigs have many positive attributes including cleanliness, intelligence, and a social nature. Pigs are indeed clean animals. Yes, they do roll in mud, but only because they can't sweat like people do; the mud (or water) actually keeps them cool. If available, pigs, who are excellent swimmers, prefer water to mud. Pigs also carefully keep their sleeping area clean, and will designate a spot as far from this area as possible for waste. Even piglets only a few hours old will leave the nest to relieve themselves.
 
Those who know pigs can't help but be charmed by their intelligent, highly social, and sensitive nature. Pigs are actually more intelligent than any breed of dog. Like dogs, piglets learn their names by two to three weeks of age and respond when called. They are also very discriminating eaters, and are particular about their living space. Pigs enjoy novelty and are extremely active and inquisitive.
 
When free to roam, pigs spend much of their day enthusiastically smelling, nibbling, manipulating objects with their snouts, and rooting ("nosing") about in the soil for tidbits. Rooting is so essential to a pig that some animal scientists say that "a rooting pig is a happy pig." Their powerful but sensitive snout is a highly developed sense organ. A pig's sense of smell is so keen that the animal is trained in France to unearth truffles. Using their snouts as shovels, pigs toss clumps of soil and twigs high into the air, searching for the rare and delicious fungus that grows underground near the roots of oak trees. They are also used by police to help search for drugs.
 
Few species are more social than pigs; they form close bonds with each other and other species, including humans. They are quite gregarious and cooperate with, and defend, one another. Adults in the entire social group will protect a piglet, leaving their own litters if necessary to defend an endangered youngster. If one pig starts to dig out tree roots, others invariably join in.
 
Touch and bodily contact are especially important to pigs. They seek out and enjoy close contact, and will lie close together when resting. They also enjoy close contact with people familiar to them; they like being scratched behind the ears and shoulders, and, at the touch of your hand, will grunt contentedly and roll over for a belly rub.
 
Pigs are vocal and communicate constantly with one another. More than 20 of their vocalizations have been identified. Pigs most often say "gronk" (more commonly known as "oink"), and will say "baawrp" when happy. They have an elaborate courtship ritual, including a song between males and females. Newborn piglets learn to run to their mother's voice, and the mother pig sings to her young while nursing. After nursing, a piglet will sometimes run to her mother's face to rub snouts and grunt. Pigs also enjoy music.
 
When she is ready to give birth, a sow selects a clean, dry area apart from the group, sometimes walking several miles to search for a good nest site and to gather preferred bedding materials. She hollows out a depression in the ground and lines it with grass, straw, or other materials. For several days after her babies are born, she defends the nest against intruders. When her babies are five to ten days old, she encourages them to leave the nest to socialize with the other pigs.
Weaning occurs naturally at three months of age, but young pigs continue to live with their mothers in a close family group. Two or more sows and their piglets usually join together in an extended family, with particularly close friendships developing between sows. Young piglets play with great enthusiasm, play-fighting and moving or throwing objects into the air. Pigs appear to have a good sense of direction, too, as they have found their way home over great distances. Adults can run at speeds around 11 miles an hour, and can trot for relatively long distances.
 
Yet many pigs do not lead such noble lives; the hog industry confines many female pigs to farrowing crates, claiming these are necessary to protect piglets from being crushed by their careless mothers. Yet when given more room, sows are very gentle with their piglets. Before a mother pig lies down in a bed of straw, she roots around to make sure all the piglets are out, a safeguard against accidentally harming one of them.
 
 
Adopt A Pig from World Animal Foundation
 
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Your WAF Adopt A Pig Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Pig
  • Adopt A Pig Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Pig
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Pig Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Pig is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Pig symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a pig for yourself or order an Adopt A Pig as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Pig Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A GOOSE

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Aves
 
ORDER:
Anseriformes
 
FAMILY:
Anatidae
 
SUBFAMILY:
Anserinae
 
GENERA:
Anser, Branta, Chen, Cereopsis, Cnemiornis (extinct)
 
Goose is the name for a considerable number of birds, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than geese, and ducks, which are smaller.
 
True geese are medium to large birds, always (with the exception of the Néné) associated to a greater or lesser extent with water. Most species in Europe, Asia and North America are strongly migratory as wild birds, breeding in the far north and wintering much further south. However, escapes and introductions have led to resident feral populations of several species.
 
A pair of geese will get together to raise a family and, for the most part, will stay together the rest of their lives (up to 25 years), raising new families each year.
 
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of geese is that they form a giant "V" across the sky. This amazing trick actually helps each bird fly further than if flying alone. When a goose falls out of formation, she will feel the drag and move quickly back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front of her. When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back into formation leaving another goose in the front position. They even honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
 
Geese have very strong affections for others in their group (known as a gaggle). If one in the gaggle gets sick, wounded, or shot, a couple of others may drop out of formation and follow the ailing goose down to help and protect him.
 
They try to stay with the disabled goose until he dies or is able to fly again, then they catch up with the group or launch out with another formation.
 
Much of a goose's time is spent foraging for food, most of which is obtained by grazing. All geese eat an exclusively vegetarian diet.
 
They honk loudly and can stretch their long necks out to great length when scared or threatened.
 
Ducks and geese are wild animals, but they have domesticated counterparts who are raised for their eggs and meat, down and feathers. They're less commonly known as farm animals, yet they can certainly fall within this category.
 
Geese have been domesticated for centuries. In the West, farmyard geese are descended from the Greylag, but in Asia the swan goose has been farmed for at least as long.
 
Geese tend to lay a smaller number of eggs than ducks. However, both parents protect the nest and young, which usually results in a higher survival rate for the young geese, known as goslings.
 
A group on the ground is called a gaggle. When flying, a group of geese is known as a wedge or a skein.
 
 
Adopt A Goose from World Animal Foundation
 
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Your WAF Adopt A Goose Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Goose
  • Adopt A Goose Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Goose
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Goose Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Goose is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Goose symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a goose for yourself or order an Adopt A Goose as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Goose Today!
 
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ADOPT A DUCK


Duck is the common name for a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. Ducks are divided between several subfamilies. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than their relatives the swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water. Swimming gracefully across a pond or waddling comically across the land, ducks are a common feature of the landscape of most of America.
 
Ducks are very social animals. Males (drakes) and females sometimes live in pairs or together with their ducklings. They communicate both vocally and with body language. At other times ducks spend much of their time—during both day and night—in larger groups. The domestic duck has a normal life span of ten years.
 
Most ducks have a wide flat beak adapted for dredging. They exploit a variety of food sources such as grasses, grains and aquatic plants, fish, and insects. Some (the diving ducks) forage deep underwater; the others (the dabbling ducks) feed from the surface of water or on land. To be able to submerge easier, the diving ducks are heavier for size than dabbling ducks, and therefore have more difficulty taking off to fly. A few specialized species (the goosander and the mergansers) are adapted to catch large fish. In a wildlife pond, the bottom over most of the area should be too deep for dabbling wild ducks to reach the bottom, to protect bottom living life from being constantly disturbed and eaten by ducks dredging.
 
The sound made by some female ducks is called a "quack"; a common (and false) urban legend is that quacks do not produce an echo. The males of northern species often have showy plumage, but this is molted in summer to give a more female like appearance, the "eclipse" plumage. Many species of ducks are temporarily flightless while molting; they seek out protected habitat with good food supplies during this period. This molt typically precedes migration. Some duck species, mainly those breeding in the temperate and arctic Northern Hemisphere, are migratory, but others are not. Some, particularly in Australia where rainfall is patchy and erratic, are nomadic, seeking out the temporary lakes and pools that form after localized heavy rain.
 
In many areas, wild ducks of various species (including ducks farmed and released into the wild) are hunted for food or sport, by shooting, or formerly by decoys. Ducks and geese are wild animals, but they have domesticated counterparts who are raised for their eggs and meat, down and feathers. They're less commonly known as farm animals, yet they can certainly fall within this category.
 
 
Adopt A Duck from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Duck from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Duck Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Duck
  • Adopt A Duck Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Duck
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Duck Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Duck is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Duck symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a duck for yourself or order an Adopt A Duck as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Duck Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A TURKEY

 
A bald eagle, as the nation's official bird, adorns the Great Seal of the United States of America. But if Benjamin Franklin had had his way, a turkey, not a bald eagle, might have famously gripped those 13 arrows and an olive branch as part of the seal. Franklin knew, like others who have spent time around this large bird, that it would have been an honor for the turkey to represent the United States.
 
Originating from the Mexican wild turkey, the turkey was domesticated by Native Americans in prehistoric times and introduced to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. Early American settlers brought descendants of the Mexican wild turkey into the United States, and eventually crossed them with another subspecies of wild turkey indigenous to eastern North America to produce the forerunner of the modern domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).
 
Turkeys are usually characterized by large tail feathers that spread into a fan when they are courting or alarmed. Turkeys also have several oddly named appendages: the caruncle, snood, wattle, and beard. A caruncle is a red fleshy growth on the head and upper neck of the turkey, a snood is the red fleshy growth from the base of the beak which hangs over the side of the beak, and a wattle is the red, loose appendage at the turkey's neck. A beard is the black lock of hairy feathers found on a male turkey's chest.
 
Commercial Turkeys
 
The American Poultry Association recognizes eight breeds of turkeys—Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, Black, Slate, Bourbon Red, Beltsville Small White, and Royal Palm. The most commonly raised commercial turkey today is the Broad-Breasted White variety, which has all-white plumage and descends from the White Holland. The brown-colored Bronze turkey used to be the bird of choice, but turkey producers found that white pin feathers left less discoloration in the meat than brown ones.
 
Some small farmers are trying to bring back "heritage breeds"—turkeys that originated in North America—by raising breeds other than the Broad-Breasted White. Certain breeds are listed as "critical" by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy: those having fewer than 500 breeding birds in North America, with five or fewer primary breeding flocks. These include Beltsville Small White, Black, Jersey Buff, Narragansett, Slate, Bronze, White Holland, and White Midget. Royal Palm is listed as "rare," with fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in North America, and seven or fewer primary breeding flocks.
 
Most turkeys raised for food have been genetically selected to have large breast meat, and they are unable to fly or reproduce without artificial insemination. They are fed a mix of corn and soybeans during their short life. Over 260 million turkeys were slaughtered for food in 2003 in the United States, most at about 14–18 weeks of age. Commercial, domestic hens (or female turkeys) weigh 15–18 pounds by 14–16 weeks of age, and heavy toms (or male turkeys) weigh 25-32 pounds by 16–18 weeks.
 
Wild Turkeys
 
Five subspecies of wild turkeys still inhabit much of the United States, with a population estimated at 6.5 million. The most prevalent bird is the Eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris), whose forest territory ranges from Maine to parts of Kansas and Oklahoma. Wild turkeys are smaller in size than their domestic counterparts, with a longer neck and body. They have a rich, brown-shaded plumage with a metallic or iridescent sheen, and white and black bars on their primary wing feathers. Toms can stand up to 4 feet tall and weigh more than 20 pounds, while hens are about half that size and weight. Wild turkeys eat nuts, greens, insects, seeds, and fruit, and can live 3–4 years. Their predators include human hunters and animals who disturb their nests, such as crows, raccoons, skunks, snakes, and opossums.
 
Hens begin nesting in late March or early April, laying one egg a day until the clutch reaches 10–12 eggs. They nest on the ground, in a hidden area in the forest or fields of tall grass. Incubation lasts for 28 days, and hatching occurs over a 24–36 hour period in late May or early June. Poults, or baby turkeys, stay near the nest until they are about 4 weeks old and can fly 25–50 feet. This allows them to escape predators by roosting in trees for the night, usually near their mother.
 
By three months of age, turkey groups will begin to form a social hierarchy, and an established pecking order is set by five months of age, at which time groups show subdivision by gender. As full-grown adults, wild turkeys can fly at 55 miles per hour and run at 25 miles per hour.
 
Hens are protective of their young. They will hiss and ruffle their feathers to scare away trespassers, and will only abandon the nest as a last option. Hatching begins with pipping, where the poult rotates inside the egg, breaking the shell in a circular pattern with its egg tooth (a sharp spike on its beak). Hens cluck as they check the eggs, beginning the critical imprinting process. Social cohesion among the poults is evident the first day after hatching, as is attachment to the hen. Vocal and visual signals are used to maintain close contact. This facilitates the learning of certain important activities, particularly feeding. Turkeys are social animals who prefer to live and feed together in flocks.
 
Protections or Lack Thereof
 
Like most species hunted for sport or food, wild turkeys are not protected by legislation. Likewise, commercial turkeys are not even included in the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, although poultry make up over 95% of the animals killed for food in America. They are raised in crowded factory farms where they are not able to nest or feed like their wild cousins.
 
 
Adopt A Turkey from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Turkey from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Turkey Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Turkey
  • Adopt A Turkey Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Turkey
  • Help Animals Info Packet Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Turkey Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Turkey is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Turkey symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a turkey for yourself or order an Adopt A Turkey as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Turkey Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A LAMB


The domestic sheep is the most common species of the sheep genus. They probably descend from the wild mouflon of south-central and south west Asia. Sheep breeders refer to female sheep as ewes, intact males as rams, castrated males as wethers, yearlings as hoggets, and younger sheep as lambs. In sheep husbandry, a group of sheep is called a flock or mob.
 
Sheep are ruminant animals. They have a four-chambered stomach, using the first chamber to store food (cud) which they then bring back into their mouths to chew again before fully digesting it. These grazing animals often prefer noxious weeds and plants, which makes them great environmentalists.
 
Sheep like to stick close to one another for comfort and security. Either black or white, these animals are incredibly gentle. Lambs form strong bonds with their mothers, but they have also been known to bond closely with humans. If a person hangs a piece of clothing outside, a goat who has bonded with that person will run to it for safety when frightened.
Some breeds of sheep exhibit a strong flocking behavior. This was used as an example to Israelites in the Christian bible to instruct them to obey their shepherd, or master. Flocking behavior is advantageous to non predatory animals; the strongest animals fight their way to the center of the flock which offers them great protection from predators. It can be disadvantageous when food sources are limited and sheep are almost as prone to overgrazing a pasture as goats. In Iceland, where sheep have no natural predators, and grasses grow slowly, none of the various breeds of sheep exhibit a strong flocking behavior.
 
Sheep flocking behavior is so prevalent in some English breeds that special names apply to the different roles sheep play in a flock. One calls a sheep that roams furthest away from the others an outlier, a term originally used to refer to someone who lives far from where they work. This sheep ventures further away from the safety of the flock to graze, due to a larger flight zone or a weakness that prevents it from obtaining enough forage when with the herd. Another sheep, the bellwether, leads the others. Traditionally this was a castrated Ram (or wether) with a bell hung off a string around its neck. The tendency to act as an outlier, bellwether or to fight for the middle of the flock stays with sheep throughout their adulthood; that is unless they have a scary experience which causes them to increase their flight zone.
 
 
Adopt A Lamb from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Lamb from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Lamb Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Lamb
  • Adopt A Lamb Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Lamb
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Lamb Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Lamb is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Lamb symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a lamb for yourself or order an Adopt A Lamb as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Lamb Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A GOAT


Goats, like cows, are ruminant animals. They have a four chambered stomach, using the first chamber to store food (cud) which they then bring back into their mouths to chew again before fully digesting it. These grazing animals often prefer noxious weeds and plants, which makes them great environmentalists.
 
Goats are shy at first, but will show adoration and devotion once you have gained their trust. They're frolicsome and have a gentle disposition, but when angered, they can retaliate quickly with a strong head butt. Goats are also clever animals who have been known to use their horns to open gates and feed bins, create and enlarge holes in fences, and batter down boards in confined areas. They also use their horns as back scratchers. Goats are most comfortable in groups, which are known as "tribes."
 
Goats seem to have been first domesticated roughly 10,000 years ago in the Zagros Mountains of Iran. Domestic goats were generally kept in herds that wandered on hills or other grazing areas, often tended by goatherds who were frequently children or adolescents, similar to the more widely known shepherd. These methods of herding are still utilized today.
 
Goats are reputed to be willing to eat almost anything. Contrary to this reputation, they are quite fastidious in their habits, preferring to browse on the tips of woody shrubs and trees, as well as the occasional broad leaved plant.
 
It can fairly be said that goats will eat almost anything in the botanical world. Their plant diet is extremely varied and includes some species which are toxic or detrimental to cattle and sheep. This makes them valuable for controlling noxious weeds and clearing brush and undergrowth. They will seldom eat soiled food or water unless facing starvation.
 
Goats do not actually consume garbage, tin cans, or clothing, although they will occasionally eat items made primarily of plant material, which can include wood. Their reputation for doing so is most likely due to their intensely inquisitive and intelligent nature: they will explore anything new or unfamiliar in their surroundings. They do so primarily with their prehensile upper lip and tongue.
 
In some climates goats, like humans, are able to breed at any time of the year. In northern climates and among the Swiss breeds, the breeding season commences as the day length shortens, and ends in early spring. Does of any breed come into heat every 21 days for 2 to 48 hours. A doe in heat typically flags her tail often, stays near the buck if one is present, becomes more vocal, and may also show a decrease in appetite and milk production for the duration of the heat.
 
Bucks (intact males) of Swiss and northern breeds come into rut in the fall as with the doe's heat cycles. Rut is characterized by a decrease in appetite, obsessive interest in the does, fighting between bucks, display behavior, and, most notably, a strong, musky odor. This odor is singular to bucks in rut; the does do not have it unless the buck has rubbed his scent onto them or the doe is in actuality a hermaphrodite. It is instrumental in bringing the does into a strong heat.
 
Gestation length is approximately 150 days. Twins are the usual result, with single and triplet births also common. Less frequent are litters of quadruplet, quintuplet, and even sextuplet kids. Birthing, known as kidding, generally occurs uneventfully with few complications. The mother often eats the placenta, which gives her much needed nutrients, helps staunch her bleeding, and reduces the lure of the birth scent to predators. After kidding, the kids conceal themselves in small places and lay immobile for hours at a time while their mother feeds. Upon her return, she calls for them and they come out to nurse and play.
 
 
Adopt A Goat from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Goat from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Goat Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Goat
  • Adopt A Goat Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Goat
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Goat Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Goat is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Goat symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a goat for yourself or order an Adopt A Goat as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Goat Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A TIGER

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Carnivora
 
FAMILY:
Felidae
 
GENUS:
Panthera
 
SPECIES:
P. tigris
 
Tigers (Panthera tigris) are mammals of the Felidae family and one of four "big cats" in the panthera genus. They are predatory carnivores and the largest and most powerful of all living cat species. The Indian subcontinent is home to more than 80% of the wild tigers in the world. Tigers breed well in captivity, and the captive population in the United States may rival the wild population of the world.
 
Most tigers live in forests or grasslands, for which their camouflage is ideally suited, and where it is easy to hunt prey that is faster or more agile. Among the big cats, only the tiger and jaguar are strong swimmers; tigers are often found bathing in ponds, lakes, and rivers. Tigers hunt alone and eat primarily medium-sized herbivores such as deer, wild pigs, and buffalo. However, they will also take larger or smaller prey on occasion. Humans are the tiger's only serious predator, who often kill tigers illegally for their fur. Also, their bones and nearly all body parts are used in Chinese medicine for a range of purported uses including pain killers and aphrodisiacs. Poaching for fur and destruction of habitat have greatly reduced tiger populations in the wild, and it has been placed on the endangered species list.
 
PHYSICAL TRAITS:
Although different subspecies of tiger have different characteristics, in general male tigers weigh between 180 and 325 kg (400 lb and 715 lb) and females between 120 and 180 kg (264 lb and 400 lb). The males are between 2.6 and 3.3 meters (5 feet 10 inches to 9 feet 1 inch) in length, and the females are between 2.3 and 2.75 meters (7 ft 6 in and 9 ft) in length. Of the living subspecies, Sumatran tigers are the smallest, and Amur or Siberian Tigers are the largest.
 
The stripes of most tigers vary from brown or hay to pure black, although White tigers have far fewer apparent stripes. The form and density of stripes differs between subspecies, but most tigers have in excess of 100 stripes. The now extinct Javan tiger may have had far more than this. The pattern of stripes is unique to each animal, and thus could potentially be used to identify individuals, much in the same way as fingerprints are used to identify people.
 
This is not, however, a preferred method of identification, due to the difficulty of recording the stripe pattern of a wild tiger. It seems likely that the function of stripes is camouflage, serving to hide these animals from their prey. Few large animals have color vision as capable as that of humans, so the color is not as great of a problem as one might suppose. The tigers have red color visions. The stripe pattern is found on a tiger's skin, and if you shaved one, you would find that its distinctive camouflage pattern would be preserved.
 
Tigers have the longest and biggest canine teeth of all the wild cats. A tiger's canines are larger and longer than those of a similar-sized lion. The reason for this is likely due to the habit of preying on large herbivores in its habitat whose bones are thick and large; the tiger's canines have to be strong enough to break the bones of their prey. Moreover, as tigers hunt alone to bring down their prey, they have to work harder than lions, which hunt in groups.
 
HUNTING METHODS:
Tigers often ambush their prey as other cats (including the domestic cat) do, overpowering their prey from any angle, using their body size and strength to knock prey off balance. Once prone, the tiger bites the back of the neck, often breaking the prey's spinal cord, piercing the windpipe, or severing the jugular vein or carotid artery. For large prey, a bite to the throat is preferred. After biting, the tiger then uses its muscled forelimbs to hold onto the prey, bringing it to the ground. The tiger remains latched onto the neck until its prey dies. Powerful swimmers, tigers are known to kill prey while swimming. Some tigers have even ambushed boats for the fishermen on board or their catch of fish.
 
In the wild, tigers are one of the highest-jumping mammals, perhaps second only to the puma. Their forelimbs, massive and heavily muscled, are used to hold tightly onto the prey and to avoid being dislodged, especially by large prey such as gaurs. A single tremendous blow of the paw can kill a full-grown wolf.
 
BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY:
Adult tigers are mostly solitary. They do not maintain strict territories, but their home ranges are often maintained unless threatened by other tigers. They follow specific trails within their ranges. Male home ranges may overlap those of many females, but males are intolerant of other males within their territory. Because of their aggressive nature, territorial disputes are violent and often end in the death of one of the males. To identify his territory, the male marks trees by spraying urine and anal gland secretions on trees as well as by marking trails with scat.
 
Males show a behavior called flehmen, a grimacing face, when identifying the condition of a female's reproductive condition by sniffing their urine markings. A female is only receptive for a few days and mating is frequent during that time period. A pair will copulate frequently and noisily, like other cats. The gestation period is 103 days and 3-4 cubs are born. The females rear them alone. Wandering male tigers may kill cubs to make the female receptive. At 8 weeks, the cubs are ready to follow their mother out of the den. The cubs become independent around 18 months of age, but it is not until they are around 2-2 1/2 years old that they leave their mother. The cubs reach sexual maturity by 3-4 years of age. The female tigers generally own territory near their mother, while males tend to wander in search of territory, which they acquire by fighting and eliminating a territorial male.
 
In the wild, tigers mostly feed on deer, wild boar, and wild cattle, including gaur and water buffaloes, young rhinos and elephants, and sometimes leopards and bears. Siberian tigers and brown bears are a serious threat to each other and both tend to avoid each other. Of all the land carnivores, the tiger is the only species that has been known to charge and take down a full-grown male elephant, one-on-one. However, due to the depletion of both species, these extraordinary confrontations become exceedingly rare and are hardly ever witnessed by humans in the wild.
 
 
Adopt A Tiger from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Tiger from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Tiger Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Tiger
  • Adopt A Tiger Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Tiger
  • Help Animals Info Packet Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Tiger Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Tiger is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Tiger symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a tiger for yourself or order an Adopt A Tiger as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Tiger Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A CAMEL


KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Artiodactyla
 
FAMILY:
Camelidae
 
GENUS:
Camelus (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
SPECIES:
Camelus bactrianus, Camelus dromedarius
 
A camel is either of the two species of large even-toed ungulate in the genus Camelus, the Dromedary (single hump) and the Bactrian Camel (double hump). Both are native to the dry and desert areas of Asia and northern Africa. The average life expectancy of a camel is 30 to 50 years. Humans first domesticated camels approximately 5,000 years ago.
 
DISTRIBUTION AND NUMBERS:
Although there are almost 13 million Dromedaries alive today, the species is extinct in the wild. There is, however, a substantial feral population estimated at 700,000 in central parts of Australia, descended from individuals that escaped from captivity in the late 19th century. This population is growing at approximately 11% per year and in recent times the state government of South Australia has decided to cull the animals using aerial marksmen, claiming the camels use too much of the limited resources needed by sheep farmers.
 
The Bactrian Camel once had an enormous range, but is now reduced to an estimated 1.4 million animals, mostly domesticated. It is thought that there are about 1000 wild Bactrian Camels in the Gobi Desert, and small numbers in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and Russia.
 
A small population of introduced camels, Dromedaries and Bactrians, survived in the Southwest United States until the 1900s. These animals, imported from Turkey, were part of the US Camel Corps experiment, used as draft animals in mines, and escaped or were released after the project fell through.
 
CAMEL HYBRIDS:
Bactrian camel have two humps and are rugged cold-climate camels, while Dromedaries have one hump and are desert dwellers. Dromedary hybrids are called Bukhts. The females can be mated back to a Bactrian to produce ¾-bred riding camels. These hybrids are found in Kazakhstan. The Cama is a camel/llama hybrid bred by scientists who wanted to see how closely related the parent species were. The Dromedary Camel is six times the weight of a Llama. Though born even smaller than a Llama calf, the Cama had the short ears and long tail of a camel, no hump and Llama-like cloven hooves rather than the Dromedary-like pads. At four years old, the Cama became sexually mature and interested in Llama and Guanaco females. A second Cama (female) has since been produced using artificial insemination. The Cama apparently inherited the poor temperament of both parents as well as demonstrating the relatedness of the New World and Old World camelids.
 
ADAPTATIONS TO DESERT ENVIRONMENT:
Camels are well known for their humps. They do not, however, literally store water in them as is commonly believed, though they do serve this purpose through roundabout means. Their humps are a reservoir of fatty tissue, while water is stored in their blood. However, when this tissue is metabolized, it is not only a source of energy, but yields through reaction with oxygen from the air 1111 g of water per 1000 g of fat. This allows them to survive without water for about two weeks, and without food for up to a month.
 
Their red blood cells have an oval shape, unlike those of other mammals, which are circular. This is to facilitate their flow in a dehydrated state. These cells are also more stable, in order to withstand high osmotic variation without rupturing when drinking large amounts of water.
 
Camels are able to withstand changes in body temperature and water content that would kill most other animals. Their temperature ranges from 93 degrees F at night, up to 106 degrees F at day; only above this threshold they start to sweat. This allows them to preserve about five liters of water a day. However, they can withstand at least 25% weight loss due to sweating.
 
The thick coat reflects sunlight. A shaved camel has to sweat 50% more to avoid overheating. It also insulates them from the intense heat that radiates from hot desert sand. Their long legs also help with this by keeping them further away from the sand.
 
Their mouth is very sturdy, to be able to eat thorny desert plants. Long eyelashes and ear hairs, together with sealable nostrils, prevent sand from entering. Their pace (always moving both legs of one side at the same time) and their widened feet help them move without sinking in.
 
 
Adopt A Camel from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Camel from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Camel Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Camel
  • Adopt A Camel Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Camel
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Camel Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Camel is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Camel symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a camel for yourself or order an Adopt A Camel as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Camel Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A MEERKAT

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Carnivora
 
FAMILY:
Herpestidae
 
GENUS:
Suricata (Desmarest, 1804)
 
SPECIES:
S. suricatta
 
BINOMIAL NAME:
Suricata suricatta (Schreber, 1776)
 
The meerkat or suricate, is a small mammal and a member of the mongoose family. It inhabits all parts of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob" or "gang".
 
ANATOMY:
The meerkat is a small diurnal herpestid. Its tail, which is not bushy like all other mongoose species, is long and thin and tapering to a pointed tip which is black or reddish colored. The meerkat will use its tail to balance when standing vertical. Its face also tapers coming to a point at the nose, which is brown. The meerkat's eyes always have black patches surrounding them. The meerkat has small, black, crescent-shaped ears that have the ability to close when digging to prevent sand entering.
 
Meerkats have strong, curved claws used for digging for prey and altering their underground burrows. They have four toes on each foot and long, slender limbs. The color of the coat is usually fawn peppered with gray, tan, or brown with a silver tint. They have short, parallel stripes across their backs; these extend from the base of the tail to the shoulders and are unique to each animal. The underside of the meerkat has no markings but instead a patch on their belly which is only sparsely covered in hair and shows the black skin underneath. The meerkat uses this area on its belly to absorb heat when it stands on its rear legs, which is usually done first thing in the morning to warm up after cold desert nights.
 
The meerkat's diet is mainly insectivorous, but they will also consume lizards, snakes, spiders, plants, eggs and small mammals. Like all mongoose species, the meerkat has developed an immunity to many venoms. This allows them to eat scorpions (including the stinger) and some snakes without fear of illness, poison or death. They have no fat stores so if they don't forage for food every day they will die.
 
REPRODUCTION:
Meerkats become sexually mature at about one year of age and have, on average, three young per litter. The wild meerkat will have up to three litters a year. Meerkats are iteroparous and can reproduce any time of the year but most births occur in the warmer seasons. Reports show that there is no precopulatory display; the male will fight with the female until she submits to him and copulation will begin. Gestation lasts approximately eleven weeks and the young are born within the underground burrow and are altricial. The young's ears will open at about 10 days of age, and eyes at 10-14 days; they are weaned between 49 and 63 days. They will not come above ground until at least three weeks of age and will stay with babysitters near the burrow. It will be another week or so until they join the adults on a foraging party. Usually, the alpha pair reserve the right to mate and will normally kill any young not their own to ensure that their offspring has the best chance of survival. They may also exile or kill the mothers of the offending offspring.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Meerkats are burrowing animals, living in large underground networks with multiple entrances which they leave only during the day. They are very social, living in colonies of up to forty. Animals from within the same group will often groom each other to strengthen social bonds. The alpha pair will often scent mark subordinates of the group to express their authority, and such actions are usually followed by the subordinates licking the faces of, and grooming, the alphas. These actions are also usually practiced when members of the group are reunited after a short period apart. Most meerkats within the same group are all siblings and offspring of the alpha pair.
 
Meerkats demonstrate altruistic behavior within their colonies; one or more meerkats will stand sentry (lookout) while other members are foraging or playing in order to warn them of approaching dangers. When a predator is spotted, the meerkat performing as sentry will give a warning bark, and all other members of the gang will run and hide in one of the many bolt holes the meerkats will have spread across their territory. The sentry meerkat will be the first to reappear from the burrow and search for predators, constantly barking to keep the others underground. If there is no threat, the sentry meerkat will stop barking and the others will be safe to emerge. Meerkats will also babysit any young that may be in the group. Females that have never produced offspring of their own will often lactate to feed the alpha pair's young while the dominant female is away with the rest of the group. They will also protect the young from any threat, often endangering their own lives to do so. On warning of a danger, the babysitter will either take the young underground to safety and be prepared to defend them if the danger is able to follow, or collect all young together and lie on top of them if retreating underground is not possible.
Meerkats have been known to engage in social activities, including what appear to be wrestling matches and foot races.
Despite their normally-altruistic behavior, meerkats have contradicted this by killing young members of their societies. Subordinate meerkats have been seen killing the offspring of more senior members in order to advance their own offsprings' positions.
 
VOCALIZATION:
Meerkat calls have recently been noted to carry an element of meaning, with specific calls alerting to the approach of snakes, birds of prey, or other predators. How these calls work is not clear. They are a demonstration that meaning is not solely the domain of human language.
 
More than one field researcher has reported witnessing meerkats in some sort of singing ceremony they compared with yodelling.
 
HABITAT:
Meerkats live in southern parts of Africa which is dominated by the Kalahari desert. The Kalahari desert has little rainfall and an arid climate with open plains. It spreads across the Southern part of Africa covering over one million square miles and is 10 times the size of Great Britain. The land is covered by a porous or soft sand that in many places is bright orange color.
 
 
Adopt A Meerkat from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Meerkat from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Meerkat Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Meerkat
  • Adopt A Meerkat Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Meerkat
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Meerkat Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Meerkat is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Meerkat symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a meerkat for yourself or order an Adopt A Meerkat as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Meerkat Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A HAWK

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Aves
 
ORDER:
Accipitriformes
 
FAMILY:
Accipitridae
 
SUBFAMILY:
Accipitrinae
 
The term hawk refers to birds of prey in any of three senses: Strictly, to mean any of the species in the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis, and Megatriorchis. The widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks, sparrowhawks, the Sharp-shinned Hawk and others. They are mainly woodland birds that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. They usually have long tails and high visual acuity.
 
More generally, to mean small to medium-sized birds that are members of the Accipitridae, the family which includes the true hawks (Accipiters) and also eagles, kites, harriers, buzzards, and Old World vultures.
 
Loosely, to mean almost any bird of prey.
 
The common names of birds in various parts of the world often use hawk loosely. For example, in North America, the buzzards (Buteo) are often called "hawks".
 
The true hawks form the sub-family Accipitrinae and most are in the genus Accipiter.
 
Hawks are among the most intelligent birds. They are believed to have vision as well as 20/2, about eight times more acute than humans with good eyesight. This is because of many photoreceptors in the retina, very high number of nerves connecting the receptors to the brain, a second set of eye muscles not found in other animals, and an indented fovea which magnifies the central part of the visual field.
 
GOSHAWK:
The Goshawk is a medium large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards and harriers. It is a widespread species throughout the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. In North America it is named as the Northern Goshawk. It is mainly resident, but birds from colder regions of north Asia and Canada migrate south for the winter.
 
This species nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It hunts birds and mammals in woodland, relying on surprise as it flies from a perch or hedge-hops to catch its prey unaware. Animals as large as hares and pheasant are taken. Its call is a fierce screech.
 
This bird is a raptor with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to maneuvering through trees. The male is blue-grey above and barred grey below, 49-56 cm long with a 93-105 cm (37"-41") wingspan. The much larger female is 58-64 cm long with a 108-127 cm (42"-50") wingspan, slate grey above grey below. The juvenile is brown above and barred brown below. The flight is a characteristic "slow flap – slow flap – straight glide".
 
In Eurasia, the male is confusable with a female Sparrowhawk, but is larger, much bulkier and has relatively longer wings. In spring, he has a spectacular roller-coaster display, and this is the best time to see this secretive forest bird.
The name "Goshawk" is derived from "goose hawk" and may refer to this bird's barred plumage as well as its ability to take large prey.
 
SPARROWHAWK:
The Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) is a small bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards and harriers.
 
It is a widespread species throughout the temperate and subtropical parts of the Old World. It is mainly resident, but birds from colder regions of north Europe and Asia migrate south for the winter, as far as North Africa and India.
 
This species nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It hunts birds in woodland or cultivated areas, relying on surprise as it flies from a perch or hedge-hops to catch its prey unaware.
 
This bird is a small raptor with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to maneuvering through trees. The male is 29-34 cm long with a 59-64 cm wingspan, and is slate-grey above and barred reddish below. The male was formerly called a musket, and the gun called a musket was named after the bird.
 
The female is much larger at 35-41 cm length and a 67-80 cm wingspan. She is barred grey below, and can be confused with the similarly sized male Goshawk, but lacks the bulk of that species. The juvenile is brown above and barred brown below. The flight is a characteristic "flap – flap – glide".
 
The New World species formerly known as the Sparrow Hawk (Falco sparverius) is now called the American Kestrel. The new name is preferable, since this bird is not a hawk but a falcon.
 
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK:
The Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) is a small hawk. Adults have short broad wings and a long square-ended tail with dark bands. They have a dark cap, blue-grey upperparts and white underparts with red bars. Mature birds have dark red eyes and yellow legs. Adult females are slightly larger. They are easily mistaken for the slightly larger and lankier Cooper's Hawk.
 
Their breeding habitat is forested areas across most of North America and parts of Central America, although they are more common in the boreal forest. They build a stick nest in a large conifer or dense group of deciduous trees.
In some parts of the United States, they are permanent residents. Northern birds migrate to the southern U.S. and south to South America.
 
These birds surprise and capture small birds from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. They often pluck the feathers off their prey on a post or other perch. They also eat rodents, lizards, frogs, snakes, and large insects.
 
This bird declined in numbers in the 1960s and 1970s, probably as a result of the use of DDT and other pesticides. Their population rebounded since and might even exceed historical numbers today. This is probably due to the combination of the ban on DDT and the proliferation of backyard birdfeeders in North America which create unnaturally reliable and easy prey for Accipiters.
 
 
Adopt A Hawk from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Hawk from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Hawk Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Hawk
  • Adopt A Hawk Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Hawk
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Hawk Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Hawk is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Hawk symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a hawk for yourself or order an Adopt A Hawk as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Hawk Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT AN OCTOPUS

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Mollusca
 
CLASS:
Cephalopoda
 
SUBCLASS:
Coleoidea
 
SUPERORDER:
Octopodiformes
 
ORDER:
Octopoda (Leach, 1818)
 
The octopus is a cephalopod of the order Octopoda that inhabits many diverse regions of the ocean, especially coral reefs. The term may also refer to only those creatures in the genus Octopus. In the larger sense, there are 289 different octopus species, which is over one-third the total number of cephalopod species.
 
PHYSIOLOGY:
Octopuses are characterized by their eight arms (not tentacles), usually bearing suction cups. These arms are a type of muscular hydrostat. Unlike most other cephalopods, the majority of octopuses — those in the suborder most commonly known, Incirrata — have almost entirely soft bodies with no internal skeleton. They have neither a protective outer shell like the nautilus, nor any vestige of an internal shell or bones, like cuttlefish or squids. A beak, similar in shape to a parrot's beak, is their only hard part. This enables them to squeeze through very narrow slits between underwater rocks, which is very helpful when they are fleeing from morays or other predatory fish. The octopuses in the less familiar Cirrata suborder have two fins and an internal shell, generally lessening their ability to squeeze into small spaces.
 
Octopuses have a relatively short life span, and some species live for as little as six months. Larger species, such as the North Pacific Giant Octopus, may live for up to five years under suitable circumstances. However, reproduction is a cause of death: males can only live for a few months after mating, and females die shortly after their eggs hatch, for they neglect to eat during the (roughly) one month period spent taking care of their unhatched eggs.
 
Octopuses have three hearts. Two pump blood through each of the two gills, while the third pumps blood through the body. Octopus blood contains the copper-rich protein hemocyanin for transporting oxygen. Less efficient than the iron-rich hemoglobin of vertebrates, the hemocyanin is dissolved in the plasma instead of being bound in red blood cells and gives the blood a blue color. Octopuses draw water into their mantle cavity where it passes through its gills. As a mollusc, octopus gills are finely divided and vascularilzed outgrowths of either the outer or the inner body surface.
 
DEFENSE:
Three defensive mechanisms are typical of octopuses: ink sacs, camouflage, and autotomising limbs. Most octopuses can eject a thick blackish ink in a large cloud to aid in escaping from predators. They also have specialized skin cells, called chromatophores, for both color changing and light reflection and refraction. They use this ability to blend into the environment to hide, communicate with other octopuses, or warn other octopuses. The very poisonous Blue-ringed Octopus becomes bright yellow with blue rings when it is provoked. When under attack, some octopuses can autotomise their limbs, in a similar manner to skinks and other lizards. The crawling arm serves as a distraction to would-be predators; this ability is also used in mating. A few species, such as the Mimic Octopus, have a fourth defense mechanism. They can combine their highly flexible bodies with their color changing ability to accurately mimic other, more dangerous animals such as lionfish and eels.
 
REPRODUCTION:
When octopuses reproduce, males use a specialized arm called a hectocotylus to insert spermatophores (packets of sperm) into the female's mantle cavity. The hectocotylus is usually the third right arm. In some species, the female octopus can keep the sperm alive inside her for weeks until her eggs are mature. After they have been fertilized, the female lays roughly 200,000 eggs (this figure dramatically varies between families, genera, species and also individuals). The female hangs these eggs in strings from the ceiling of her lair, or individually attached to the substratum depending on the species. After the eggs hatch, the young larval octopuses must spend a period of time drifting in clouds of plankton, where they feed on copepods, larval crabs and larval seastars until they are ready to sink down to the bottom of the ocean, where the cycle repeats itself. In some deeper dwelling species, the young do not go through this period. This is a dangerous time for the octopuses; as they become part of the plankton cloud they are vulnerable to many plankton eaters.
 
INTELLIGENCE:
Octopuses are highly intelligent, probably the most intelligent of any of the invertebrates, with their intelligence supposedly comparable to that of the average housecat. Maze and problem-solving experiments show that they have both short- and long-term memory, although their short lifespans limit the amount they can ultimately learn. An octopus has a highly complex nervous system, only part of which is localized in its brain. Two-thirds of an octopus's neurons are found in the nerve cords of its arms, which have a remarkable amount of autonomy. Octopus arms show a wide variety of complex reflex actions arising on at least three different levels of the nervous system. Some octopuses, such as the mimic octopus, will move their arms in ways that emulate the movements of other sea creatures.Octopuses can be readily trained to distinguish between different shapes and patterns. They are able to open jars after learning from observation. Octopuses have also been observed in what may be described as play; repeatedly releasing bottles or toys into a circular current in their aquariums and then catching them. Octopuses often break out of their aquariums and sometimes into others in search of food. They have even boarded fishing ships and opened holds to eat crabs.
 
SENSATION:
Octopuses have keen eyesight. Although their slit-shaped pupils might be expected to afflict them with astigmatism, it appears that this is not a problem in the light levels in which an octopus typically hunts. Surprisingly, they do not appear to have color vision, although they can distinguish the polarization of light. Attached to the brain are two special organs, called statocysts, that allow the octopus to sense the orientation of its body relative to horizontal. An autonomic response keeps the octopus's eyes oriented so that the pupil slit is always horizontal. Octopuses also have an excellent sense of touch. The octopus's suckers are equipped with chemoreceptors so that the octopus can taste what it is touching. The arms contain tension sensors so that the octopus knows whether its arms are stretched out.
 
LOCOMOTION:
Octopuses move about by crawling or swimming. Their main means of slow travel is crawling, with some swimming. Their only means of fast travel is swimming. Their fastest movements only occur when provoked by hunger or if in danger. They crawl by walking on their arms, usually on many at once, on solid surfaces, while supported in water. They swim by expelling a jet of water from a contractile mantle, and aiming it via a muscular siphon.
 
 
Adopt An Octopus from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt An Octopus from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt An Octopus Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Octopus
  • Adopt An Octopus Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Octopus
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt An Octopus Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt An Octopus is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt An Octopus symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an octopus for yourself or order an Adopt An Octopus as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt An Octopus Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A PELICAN


A pelican is any of several very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae. Along with the darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds, they make up the order Pelecaniformes. Like other birds in that group, pelicans have all four toes webbed (they are totipalmate).
 
Pelicans use two different ways to feed. Group fishing is used by white pelicans all over the world. They will form a line to chase schools of small fish into shallow water, and then simply scoop them up. Large fish are caught with the bill-tip, and then tossed up in the air to be caught and slid into the gullet head first. Plunge-diving is used almost exclusively by the American Brown Pelican; only rarely by white pelicans like the Peruvian Pelican of the western South American coast or the Australian Pelican.
 
Pelicans can grow to a wingspan of three meters and weigh 13 kilograms, males being a little larger than females and having a longer bill. From the fossil record, it is known that pelicans have been around for over 40 million years. Modern pelicans are found on all continents except Antarctica; they are birds of inland and coastal waters and are absent from polar regions, the deep ocean, oceanic islands, and inland South America. Pelicans are gregarious and nest colonially, the male bringing the material, the female heaping it up to form a simple structure. Pairs are monogamous for a single season but the pair bond extends only to the nesting area. Away from the nest mates are independent.
 
BROWN PELICAN:
The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is the smallest (42"-54") member of the seven species of the pelican family. It lives strictly on coasts from Washington and Cape Cod to the mouth of the Amazon River. Some immature birds may stray to inland freshwater lakes. After nesting, North American birds move further north along the coasts in flocks, returning to warmer waters for winter. This bird is distinguished from the American White Pelican by its brown body and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface. It dines mostly on herring-like fish. Groups of these birds often travel in single file, flying low over the water's surface. The nest location varies from a simple scrape on the ground on an island to a bulky stick nest in a low tree. These birds nest in colonies, usually on islands. Pesticides like DDT and dieldrin threatened its future in the southeast United States and California in the early 1970s. Pesticides also threatened the pelican population in Florida in this time period. DDT caused the pelican eggshells to be overly-thin and incapable of supporting the embryo to maturity. As a result, DDT usage was eliminated in Florida and the rest of the country.
 
PERUVIAN PELICAN:
The Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus) lives on the west coast of South America, from Lobos de Tierra Island in Peru to Pupuya Islet in Chile. These birds are dark in color with a white stripe from the top of the bill, up to the crown and down the sides of the neck. They have long tufted feathers on the top of their heads. The main breeding season occurs from September to March. Clutch size is usually two or three eggs. Eggs are incubated for approximately 4 to 5 weeks, with the rearing period lasting about 3 months. This bird feeds on several fish species, showing a strong preference for Peruvian Anchovies. It feeds by plunge-diving, like its close relative the Brown Pelican.
 
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN:
The American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is a very large (50"–70") white bird with black wing tips and an enormous orange bill. They have a wing span of approximately 3 m. They are graceful in flight, moving their wings in slow powerful strokes. Unlike the Brown Pelican, the American White Pelican does not dive for its food. Instead it practices cooperative fishing. Each bird eats more than 4 pounds of fish a day, mostly carp, chubs, shiners, yellow perch, catfish, and jackfish. White Pelicans nest in colonies of several hundred pairs on islands in remote brackish and freshwater lakes of inland North America. The female lays 2 or 3 eggs in a shallow depression on the ground. Both parents incubate. They winter in central California and along the Pacific coast of Guatemala; also along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Shooting by poachers is the largest known cause of mortality. Colonies are sensitive to disturbance and visits by humans can cause the pelicans to leave and abandon their nests. This species is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1972.
 
WHITE PELICAN:
The White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia in swamps and shallow lakes. The tree nest is a crude heap of vegetation. This is a large pelican, at 160cm length and with a 280cm wingspan. It differs from the Dalmatian Pelican by its pure white, rather than greyish-white, plumage; a bare pink facial patch around the eye and pinkish legs. Immature birds are grey and have dark flight feathers. More than 50% of White Pelicans breed in the Danube Delta. This pelican migrates short distances, wintering in northeast Africa. In flight, it is an elegant soaring bird, with the neck held back like a heron's. Pelicans catch fish in their huge bill pouches, most while swimming at the surface. Like the Dalmatian Pelican, this species has declined greatly through habitat loss and persecution.
 
DALMATIAN PELICAN:
The Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is a member of the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia to China in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation. This is a large pelican, at 170 cm length and with a 3 m wingspan. It differs from the White Pelican in that it has curly nape feathers, grey legs and greyish-white (rather than pure white plumage). It has a red lower mandible in the breeding season. Immatures are grey and lack the pink facial patch of immature White Pelicans. The latter also has darker flight feathers. This pelican migrates short distances. In flight, it is an elegant soaring bird, with the flock moving in synchrony. The neck is held back like a heron's. Like the White Pelican, this species has declined greatly through habitat loss and persecution. As of 1994, there are around 1,000 breeding pairs in Europe, most of them in Russia, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria.
 
PINK-BACKED PELICAN:
The Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) is a resident breeder in Africa, southern Arabia and Madagascar in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a large heap of sticks, into which 2-3 large white eggs are laid. The chicks feed by plunging their heads deep into the adult’s pouch and taking the partially digested, regurgitated fish. This is a small pelican, but the wingspan is still around 2.4 m. It is much smaller and duller than the Great White Pelican. The plumage is grey and white, with a pink back. The top of the bill is yellow and the pouch is usually greyish. Breeding adults have long feather plumes on the head. Food is usually fish and amphibians and is usually obtained by fishing in groups.
 
SPOT-BILLED PELICAN:
The Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) breeds in southern Asia from India to Indonesia. It is a bird of large inland and coastal waters, especially shallow lakes. The nest is a heap of vegetation in a tree. 3-4 eggs is the usual clutch size. This is a small pelican, at 125-150 cm length. It is mainly white, with a grey crest, hind neck and tail. In breeding plumage, there is a pink tone to the rump and underwings. Non-breeders are off-white in these areas, and immature birds are more extensively brown. As the species' name implies, there are grey spots on the pink bill in the breeding season. Spot-billed Pelican is sedentary resident with local movements and is distributed more widely in the non-breeding season. Like most other pelicans, it catches fish in its huge bill pouch while swimming at the surface.
 
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN:
The Australian Pelican or Goolayyalibee (Pelecanus conspicillatus) is an unmistakable large water bird, widespread on the inland and coastal waters of Australia and New Guinea, also in Fiji, parts of Indonesia and as a vagrant to New Zealand. Australian Pelicans are medium-sized by pelican standards: 1.6 to 1.8 m long with a wingspan of 2.3 to 2.5 m and weighing between 4 and almost 7 kilograms. They are predominantly white, with black and white wings and a pale, pinkish bill. Australian Pelicans prefer large expanses of open water without too much aquatic vegetation. The surrounding environment is unimportant: it can be forest, grassland, desert, estuarine mudflats, an ornamental city park, or industrial wasteland, provided only that there is open water able to support a sufficient supply of fish. Australian Pelicans follow no particular schedule of regular movement, simply following the availability of food supplies. When the normally barren Lake Eyre filled during 1974 to '76, for example, only a handful of pelicans remained around the coastal cities: when the great inland lakes dried again, the population dispersed once more, flocks of thousands being seen on the northern coasts and some individuals reaching Christmas Island, Palau and New Zealand.
 
 
Adopt A Pelican from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Pelican from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Pelican Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Pelican
  • Adopt A Pelican Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Pelican
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Pelican Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Pelican is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Pelican symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a pelican for yourself or order an Adopt A Pelican as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Pelican Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT AN OWL

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Aves
 
ORDER:
Strigiformes (Wagler, 1830)
 
FAMILIES:
Strigidae, Tytonidae
 
An owl is a member of any of 222 currently known species of solitary, mainly nocturnal birds of prey in the order Strigiformes. Owls mostly hunt small mammals, insects, and other birds, though a few species specialize in hunting fish. They are found on all continents of the Earth except Antarctica, most of Greenland, and some remote islands. Owls are classified in two families: the typical owls, Strigidae, and the barn owls, Tytonidae.
 
Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disc. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, and they must turn their entire head to change views. Owls are far-sighted, and are unable to clearly see anything within a few inches of their eyes. Their far vision, particularly in low light, is incredibly good, and they can turn their head 180 degrees around.
 
Many owls can also hunt by sound in total darkness. Different species of owls make different sounds, one of which is the widely recognizable, drawn-out "hoo" sound. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears, which are widely spaced. In some species, they are placed asymmetrically, for better directional location.
 
Owls' powerful clawed feet and sharp beak enable them to tear their prey to pieces before eating, although most items are swallowed whole. Their muffled wings and dull feathers allow them to fly practically silent and unseen. Owls disgorge the indigestible parts of their prey (bones, scales, fur, etc.) in the form of pellets.
 
Owl eggs are white and almost spherical, and range in number from a few to a dozen dependent on species. Their nests are crudely built and may be in trees, underground burrows or barns and caves.
 
Most owls are nocturnal, but several, including the pygmy owls (Glaucidium), are crepuscular, or twilight active, hunting mainly at dawn and dusk. A few owls, such as the Burrowing Owl (Speotyto cunicularia) and the Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus), are also active during the day.
 
The smallest owls include the pygmy owls, some of which are only 13 cm (5.1 in) long, have a 32-cm (12.6-in) wingspan, and weigh only 50 g (1.76 oz). The largest owls are the eagle owls, the Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo and Verreaux's Eagle Owl B. lacteus, which may reach 71 cm (28 in) long, have a wingspan of just over 2 m (6.6 ft), and weigh about 4 kg (almost 9 lb).
 
In many parts of the world, owls have been associated with death and misfortune, likely due to their nocturnal activity and common screeching call. However, owls have also been associated with wisdom and prosperity as a result of frequently being companion animals for goddesses. Ancient Egyptians used a representation of an owl for their hieroglyph for the sound m, although they would often draw this hieroglyph with its legs broken to keep this bird of prey from coming to life. In the culture of the Native American Hopi nation, taboos surround owls, as they are closely associated with evil sorcery. The possession of owl feathers is considered an indication of witchcraft. The Aztecs and Mayans, along with other natives of Mesoamerica, considered the Owl a symbol of death and destruction. In fact, the Aztec god of death, Mictlantecuhtli, was often depicted with owls. There is a saying in Spanish that still exists today: cuando el tecolote canta, el indio se muere ("when the owl cries/sings, the Indian dies"). In Japanese culture, owls were seen as either negative or positive symbols depending on species. Eagle Owls were seen as divine messengers of the gods while Barn or Horned owls were perceived as demonic figures. In Indian culture, a white owl is considered a companion of the goddess of wealth, and therefore a harbinger of prosperity. In the ancient region of Akkadia (located in present-day Iraq), the goddess Lilith is thought to have been associated with owls as well. However, prior to the rise of Islam, owls were considered evil omens and bad luck in most Middle Eastern pagan traditions. In modern times, although such superstitions are less prevalent, owls are still popularly considered "evil" because of their fierce, horrific appearance. In Greek mythology, the owl, and specifically the Little Owl, was often associated with the Greek goddess Athena, a bird goddess who often assumed the form of an owl. Athena was also the goddess of wisdom, the Arts, and skills, and as a result, owls also became symbols of teaching and of institutions of learning, being included in the crest of arms of many universities. In the Western world, owls continue to be traditionally associated with wisdom. The Romans, in addition to having borrowed the Greek associations of the owl, also considered owls to be funerary birds, due to their nocturnal activity and often having their nests in inaccessible places. As a result, seeing an owl in the daytime was considered a bad omen. The vampiric strix of Roman mythology was in part based on the owl. Likewise, in Romanian culture, the mournful call of an owl is thought to predict the death of somebody living in the neighborhood. Such superstitions caused a minor disturbance when an owl showed up at Romanian President's residence, Cotroceni Palace.
 
TYTONIDAE:
Barn owls (family Tytonidae) are one of the two generally accepted families of owls, the other being the typical owls, Strigidae. They are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. The barn owls comprise two sub-families: the Tytoninae or Tyto owls (including the Common Barn Owl) and the Phodilinae or bay-owls.
 
The fossil record of the barn owls goes back to the Eocene, with the family eventually losing ground to the true owls after the radiation of rodents and owls during the Neogene epoch. Two sub-families are only known from the fossil record, the Necrobyinae and the Selenornithinae.
 
The barn owls are a wide ranging family, absent only from northern North America, Saharan Africa and large areas of Asia. They live in a wide range of habitats from deserts to forests, and from temperate latitudes to the tropics. The majority of the 16 recognized species of barn owls are poorly known, some, like the Madagascar Red Owl, have barely been seen or studied since their discovery, in contrast to the Common Barn Owl, which is one of the best known owl species in the world.
5 species of barn owl are threatened, and some island species have gone extinct (like the species Tyto letocarti, known from the fossil record of New Caledonia). The barn owls are mostly nocturnal, and generally non-migratory, living in pairs or singly.
 
The barn owl’s main characteristic is the heart-shaped facial disc, formed by stiff feathers which serve to amplify and locate the source of sounds when hunting. Further adaptations in the wing feathers eliminate sound caused by flying, aiding both the hearing of the owl listening for hidden prey and keeping the prey unaware of the owl. Barn owls overall are darker on the back than the front, usually an orange-brown color, the front being a paler version of the back or mottled, although there is considerable variation even among species. The bay owls closely resemble the Tyto owls but have a divided facial disc, and tend to be smaller.
 
STRIGIDAE:
Typical owls (family Strigidae) are one of the two generally accepted families of owls, the other being the barn owls.
 
 
Adopt An Owl from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt An Owl from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt An Owl Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Owl
  • Adopt An Owl Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Owl
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt An Owl Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt An Owl is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt An Owl symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an owl for yourself or order an Adopt An Owl as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt An Owl Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A FALCON


A Falcon is any of several species of bird of the genus Falco, such as the Peregrine Falcon which are raptors or birds of prey. These birds have thin, pointed wings, which allow them to dive at extremely high speeds. Peregrine Falcons, the fastest birds on Earth, are said to have reached speeds of up to 200 mph. Other falcons include the Gyrfalcon, Lanner Falcon, and the Merlin. Some small insectivorous falcons with long, narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover as they hunt for small rodents are named as kestrels. The traditional term for a male falcon is a "tiercel". It is so called because it is roughly a third smaller than the female. The falcons are part of the family Falconidae, which also includes the caracaras, Laughing Falcon, forest falcons, and falconets. Falcons are among the most intelligent birds. The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), sometimes formerly known in North America as Duck Hawk, is a medium-sized falcon about the size of a large crow: 38-53 cm (15 to 21 inches) long. The English and scientific species names mean "wandering falcon", and refer to the fact that some populations are migratory. It has a wingspan of about 1 m (40 inches). Males weigh 570-710 grams; the noticeably larger females weigh 910-1190 grams.
 
PEREGRINE FALCON:
Peregrine Falcons live mostly along mountain ranges, river valleys, and coastlines, and increasingly in cities. They are widespread throughout the entire world and are found on all continents except Antarctica. Peregrines in mild-winter regions are usually permanent residents, and some birds, especially adult males, will remain on the breeding territory. However, the Arctic subspecies migrate; tundrius birds from Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland migrate to Central and South America, and all calidus birds from northern Eurasia move further south or to coasts in winter. Peregrine Falcons feed almost exclusively on birds, such as doves, waterfowl and songbirds, but occasionally they hunt small mammals, including bats, rats, voles and rabbits. Insects and reptiles make up a relatively small proportion of their diet. On the other hand, a growing number of city-dwelling Falcons find that feral pigeons and Common Starlings provide plenty of food. Peregrine Falcons breed at approximately two to three years of age. They mate for life and return to the same nesting spot annually. Their courtship includes a mix of aerial acrobatics, precise spirals, and steep dives. Females lay an average of three to four eggs. Scrapes are normally made on cliff edges or, increasingly more so, on tall buildings or bridges. They occasionally nest in tree hollows or in the disused nest of other large birds. The laying date varies according to locality, but is generally from February to March. The females incubate the eggs for twenty-nine to thirty-two days at which point the eggs hatch. Thirty-five to forty-two days after hatching, the chicks will fledge, but they tend to remain dependent on their parents for a further two months. The tercel, or male, provides most of the food for himself, the female, and the chicks; the falcon, or female, stays and watches the young. Because of their high metabolic rates, Peregrine Falcons must consume more food in proportion to their size than most animals. To be efficient flyers, the digestive system of birds has to be both as light as possible and as efficient as possible. The need to keep weight as low as possible also means that, except perhaps prior to migration, there is a limit to the amount of fat the Peregrine Falcon can store. The respiratory system is also unique; the Peregrine Falcon maintains a one-way flow of air so that it can breathe while flying. The Peregrine Falcon also has cones in its nostrils to help regulate breathing at high speeds. Its circulatory system also needs to be exceptionally strong, because flying takes lots of oxygen. A bird's heart beats much faster than the human heart does, approximately 600-900 beats per minute. The average life span of a peregrine falcon is approximately eight to ten years, although some have been recorded to live until slightly more than twenty years of age.
 
GYR FALCON:
The Gyr Falcon (Falco rusticolus) is a large bird of prey. This species breeds on Arctic coasts and islands of North America, Europe and Asia. It is mainly resident, but some birds disperse more widely after the breeding season, or in winter. Its male is sometimes called a Gyrkin and is smaller than the female. The Gyr Falcon is a bird of tundra and mountains, with cliffs or a few patches of trees. It lays 2-6 eggs on a cliff ledge nest. This is the largest falcon, at more than 60 cm in length with a wingspan up to 130 cm, similar to the Common Buzzard. The female is larger than the male. This species is like a large Peregrine Falcon in general structure, but broader-winged and longer-tailed than the Peregrine. It usually hunts by horizontal pursuit, rather than the Peregrine's stoop from a height, and takes bird and small mammal prey such as Ptarmigans and lemmings. Plumage is very variable in this species, although typically adults have slate-grey back and wings, and young birds are browner. Sexes are similar. Greenland Gyr Falcons have white plumage, flecked with grey on the back and wings. Other geographical forms are varying intensities of grey in coloration: the Icelandic form is the palest, and Eurasian forms are considerably darker.
 
LANNER FALCON:
The Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) is a large bird of prey that breeds in Africa, southeast Europe and just into Asia. It is mainly resident, but some birds disperse more widely after the breeding season. The scientific or Latin name biarmicus comes from the fact that the Lanner has a sharp raised point located on its beak's edge about half the distance from the end of the beak to the corner of the mouth. Thus it is doubly armed with two cutting weapons on its beak. Nearly all falcons have this same type of beak structure. It is a bird of open country and savannah. It lays 3-4 eggs on a cliff ledge nest, or occasionally in an old stick nest in a tree. Lanner Falcon is a large falcon, at 43-50 cm length with a wingspan of 95-105 cm. It is like a large Peregrine Falcon in general structure. It usually hunts by horizontal pursuit, rather than the Peregrine's stoop from a height, and takes mainly bird prey in flight. European Lanner Falcons have slate grey or brown-grey upperparts, but the African birds are a paler blue grey above. The breast is streaked, but the belly is whitish, unlike Saker Falcon. Sexes are similar, but the browner young birds resemble Saker. However, they never show the all-dark thighs of the larger species. Bred in captivity for falconry, their numbers are in something of a decline in Europe, though they remain relatively common in parts of Africa.
 
KESTREL:
The name kestrel is given to several different members of the falcon genus, Falco. Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behavior which is to hover at a height of around 10-20 m over open country and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects. Other falcons are more adapted to active hunting on the wing. Kestrels require a slight headwind in order to hover, hence a local name of windhover for Common Kestrel. Their ability to spot prey is enhanced by being able to see ultra-violet which is strongly reflected by vole urine. Plumage typically differs between male and female, and (as is usual with monogamous raptors) the female is slightly larger than the male. This allows a pair to fill different feeding niches over their home range. Kestrels are bold and have adapted well to human encroachment, nesting in buildings and hunting by major roads. Kestrels do not build their own nests, but use nests built by other species.
 
THREATS:
The Peregrine Falcon became endangered because of the overuse of pesticides during the 1950s and 1960s. Pesticide build-up interfered with reproduction, thinning eggshells and severely restricting the ability of birds to reproduce. The DDT buildup in the falcon's fat tissues would result in less calcium in the eggshells, leading to flimsier, more fragile eggs. In several parts of the world, this species was wiped out by pesticides. Eggs and chicks are often targeted by thieves and collectors.
 
RECOVERY:
Wildlife services around the world organized Peregrine Falcon recovery teams to breed them in captivity. The birds were fed through a chute so they could not see the human trainers. Then, when they were old enough, the box was opened. This allowed the bird to test its wings. As the bird got stronger, the food was reduced because the bird could hunt its own food. This procedure is called hacking. To release a captive-bred falcon, the bird was placed in a special box at the top of a tower or cliff ledge. Worldwide recovery efforts have been remarkably successful.
 
In the United States, the banning of DDT eventually allowed released birds to breed successfully. The Peregrine Falcon was removed from the U.S. Threatened and Endangered Species list on August 25, 1999. In 2003, some states began issuing limited numbers of falconry permits for Peregrines due to the success of the recovery program. In the UK, there has been a good recovery of populations since the 1960s.
 
 
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  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
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ADOPT A FLAMINGO

 
Flamingos (genus Phoenicopterus monotypic in family Phoenicopteridae) are gregarious wading birds, usually 3–5 feet in height living in large flocks around aquatic areas. The bird is found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres and is more numerous in the latter. There are four species in the Americas while two exist in the Old World.
 
DIET:
Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly-shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume, and are uniquely used upside-down. The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae which line the mandibles, and the large rough-surfaced tongue. Flamingos are also noted for balancing themselves on one leg while standing and feeding. Flamingos also stand on one leg when sleeping.
 
COLOR:
The young hatch with white plumage, but the feathers of a flamingo in adulthood range from light pink to bright red, due to carotenoids obtained from their food supply. A flamingo that is well fed and healthy is vibrantly colored. The pinker a flamingo is, the more desirable it is as a mate. A white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or suffering from a lack of food. All flamingos have 12 black flight feathers in each wing.
 
FEEDING:
Flamingos produce a “milk” like pigeon milk due to the action of a hormone called prolactin. It contains more fat and less protein than the latter does, and it is produced in glands lining the whole of the upper digestive tract, not just the crop. Both parents nurse their chick, and young flamingos feed on this milk, which also contains red and white blood cells, for about two months until their bills are developed enough to filter feed.
 
ONE-LEGGED POSE:
Flamingos are known to stand on one leg while sleeping. This is done in order to minimize body heat escaping into the water in which their feet are submerged.
 
EXTINCT SPECIES:
Flamingos were native to Australia 20 million years ago.
 
CHILEAN FLAMINGO:
The Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) is a large species (110-130 cm) closely related to Caribbean Flamingo and Greater Flamingo, with which it is sometimes considered conspecific. It occurs in temperate South America. Like all flamingos, it lays a single chalky white egg on a mud mound. The plumage is pinker than the slightly larger Greater Flamingo, but less so than Caribbean Flamingo. It can be differentiated from these species by its grayish legs with pink "knees", and also by the larger amount of black on the bill (more than half).
 
LESSER FLAMINGO:
The Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) is a species in the flamingo family of birds which occurs in Africa (principally in the Great Rift Valley), across to northwest India. It is the smallest and most numerous flamingo, probably numbering up to a million individual birds. Like all flamingos, it lays a single chalky white egg on a mud mound. Most of the plumage is pinkish white. Its clearest difference from Greater Flamingo, the only other Old World species, is the much more extensive black on the bill. Size is less helpful unless the species are together, since the sexes of each species are also different in height. This species feeds exclusively on the alga Spirulina plantensis, which occurs only in very alkaline lakes. Their deep bill is specialized for tiny food items. The population in the two key east African lakes, Nakuru and Bogoria, have been adversely affected in recent years by suspected heavy metal poisoning.
 
JAMES'S FLAMINGO:
The James's Flamingo (Phoenicopterus jamesi), also known as the Puna Flamingo, is a South American flamingo. It breeds on the high Andean plateaus of Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. It is related to the Chilean Flamingo and the Andean Flamingo. It is a small and delicate flamingo, approximately 3 feet in height. Its plumage is pale pink, with bright carmine streaks around the neck and on the back. When perched, a small amount of black can be seen in the wings. There is bright red skin around the eye. The legs are brick-red and the bill is bright yellow with a black tip. Immature birds are grayish. James's Flamingo is similar to other South American flamingoes, but the Chilean Flamingo is pinker, with a paler and longer bill, and the Andean Flamingo is larger with more black in the wings and bill, and yellow legs.
 
ANDEAN FLAMINGO:
The Andean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus andinus) is a bird species in the Flamingo family restricted to the Chilean Andes. It is closely related to James's Flamingo. Like all flamingos it lays a single chalky white egg on a mud mound. Its population in Northern Chile was badly hit by drought, which cause the breeding lagoon areas to dry up, either preventing nest building, or allowing predation especially from the Culpeo Fox, Pseudalopex culpaeus. Andean Flamingos, like all the group, feed by filtering small items from water with their specialized bills. They have a deep, narrow lower mandible, which allows them to eat small foods such as diatoms, in contrast to the wider bill of larger species, which take bigger prey items. Most of the plumage is pinkish white. The Andean Flamingo is the only species that has yellow legs and feet.
 
GREATER FLAMINGO:
The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread species of the Flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southwest Asia (including Turkey), southern Asia (coastal regions of India) and southern Europe (including Spain, Portugal, and the Camargue region of France). Some populations are short distance migrants. This is a large species, averaging 120-140 cm tall, and is closely related to the Caribbean Flamingo and Chilean Flamingo, with which it is sometimes considered conspecific. Like all flamingos, this species lays a single chalky-white egg on a mud mound. Most of the plumage is pinkish-white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking.
 
CARIBBEAN FLAMINGO:
The Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a large species of flamingo closely related to the Greater Flamingo and Chilean Flamingo, with which it is sometimes considered conspecific. It breeds in the Galapagos Islands, coastal Colombia and Venezuela and nearby islands, the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, and in the northern Caribbean in the Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba and Turks and Caicos. Most sightings in southern Florida are usually considered to be escapees, although at least one bird banded as a chick in the Yucatán Peninsula has been sighted in Everglades National Park, and others may be genuine wanderers from Cuba. The habitat is similar to that of its relatives, including saline lagoons, mudflats and shallow brackish coastal or inland lakes. Like all flamingos, it lays a single chalky white egg on a mud mound. The Caribbean Flamingo is 120–140 cm in length; males weigh 2.8 kg and females 2.2 kg. Most of the plumage is pink, giving rise to its earlier name of Rosy Flamingo and differentiating adults from the much paler European species. The wing coverts are red, and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. It is the only flamingo which naturally occurs in North America. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking.
 
 
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  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
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ADOPT A SEAHORSE


KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Actinopterygii
 
ORDER:
Syngnathiformes
 
FAMILY:
Syngnathidae
 
GENUS:
Hippocampus (Cuvier 1816)
 
Seahorses are marine fish belonging to the genus Hippocampus of the family Syngnathidae. They are found in temperate and tropical waters all over the world.
 
Seahorses range in size from 16 mm to 35 cm. They are notable for being the only species where the males get pregnant.
The seahorse is a true fish, with a dorsal fin located on the lower body and pectoral fins located on the head near their gills. Some species of seahorse are partly transparent.
 
Seahorse populations have been endangered in recent years by overfishing. The seahorse is used in traditional Chinese herbology, and as many as 20 million seahorses may be caught each year and sold for this purpose.
 
Import and export of seahorses is controlled under CITES since May 15, 2004.
 
Sea dragons are close relatives of seahorses but have bigger bodies and leaf-like appendages which enable them to hide among floating seaweed or kelp beds. Sea dragons feed on larval fishes and amphipods, such as small shrimp-like crustaceans called mysids (sea lice), sucking up their prey with their small mouths. Many of these amphipods feed on red algae that thrives in the shade of the kelp forests where the sea dragons live.
 
REPRODUCTION:
Seahorses reproduce in an unusual way: the male becomes pregnant. Most seahorse species pregnancies last approximately two to three weeks.
 
The male seahorse has a brood pouch where he carries eggs deposited by the female. The mating pair entwines their tails and the female aligns a long tube, called ovipositor, with the male's pouch. The eggs move through the tube into the male's pouch where he then fertilizes them. The embryos will develop between ten days and six weeks, depending on species and water conditions. When the male gives birth, he pumps his tail until the baby seahorses emerge.
 
The males pouch regulates salinity for the eggs, slowly increasing in the pouch to match the water outside as the eggs mature. Once the offspring hatch, the male releases them and is done caring for them.
 
Once released, the offspring are independent of their parents. Some spend time among the ocean plankton developing before settling down and hitching as their parents do. Other species (H. zosterae) hitch immediately and begin life in the benthos.
 
Seahorses are frequently monogamous, though several species (H. zosterae and H. abdominalis) are highly gregarious. In monogamous pairs, the male and female will greet one another with courtship displays in the morning, and in the evening to reinforce their pair bond. They spend the rest of the day separate from each other hunting for food.
 
 
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ADOPT A STINGRAY

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Chondrichthyes
 
ORDER:
Rajiformes
 
FAMILY:
Dasyatidae
 
GENERA:
Dasyatis, Himantura, Pastinachus, Pteroplatytrygon, Taeniura, Urogymnus
 
Dasyatidae is a family of rays, cartilaginous marine fishes.
 
Dasyatids are common in tropical coastal waters throughout the world, and there are fresh water species in Asia (Himantura sp.), Africa, and Florida (Dasyatis sabina). Most dasyatids are neither threatened nor endangered.
 
Dasyatids swim with a "flying" motion, propelled by motion of their large pectoral fins (commonly referred to as "wings").
 
Their stinger is a razor-sharp, barbed or serrated cartilaginous spine which grows from the ray's whip-like tail (like a fingernail). It is coated with a toxic venom. This gives them their common name of stingrays.
 
Dasyatids do not attack aggressively, or even actively defend themselves. When threatened, their primary reaction is to swim away. However, when they are attacked by predators or stepped on, the barbed stinger in their tail is mechanically whipped up, usually into the offending foot; it is also possible, although less likely, to be stung "accidentally" by brushing against the stinger.
 
Contact with the stinger causes local trauma (from the cut itself), pain and swelling from the venom, and possible infection from parts of the stinger left in the wound, as well as from seawater entering the wound. It is possible for ray stings to be fatal if they sever major arteries, are in the chest or pelvic region, or are improperly treated.
 
Their stingers are normally ineffective against their main predator, sharks.
 
Treatment for stings includes hot water (as hot as the victim can stand), which helps ease pain and break down the venom, and antibiotics. Pain normally lasts up to 48 hours but is most severe in the first 30-60 minutes and may be accompanied by nausea, fatigue, headaches, fever, and chills.
 
Like other rays, dasyatids are viviparous (bearing live young in litters of 5–10). Since their eyes are on top of their head, and their mouths on the bottom, they cannot see their prey, and instead use their sense of smell and electro-receptors similar to those of the shark. They feed primarily on mollusks and crustaceans, as their mouths contain powerful, shell-crushing teeth, or occasionally on smaller fish. Rays settle on the bottom while feeding, sometimes leaving only the eyes and tail visible.
 
Dasyatids are not normally visible to swimmers, but divers and snorkelers may find them in shallow sandy waters; more so when the water is unseasonably warm.
 
 
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  • Adopt A Stingray Adoption Certificate
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  • Help Animals Info Packet Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Stingray Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Stingray is from you.
 
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ADOPT A PYTHON


KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Reptilia
 
SUBCLASS:
Lepidosauria
 
ORDER:
Squamata
 
SUBORDER:
Serpentes
 
SUPERFAMILY:
Henophidia
 
FAMILY:
Pythonidae
 
GENERA:
Aspidites, Antaresia, Apodora, Bothrochilus, Leiopython, Liasis, Morelia, Python
 
Python is the common name for a group of non-venomous constricting snakes, specifically the family Pythonidae. Other sources consider this group a subfamily of the Boas (Pythoninae). Pythons are more related to boas than to any other snake-family. There is also a genus within Pythonidae which carries the name Python (Daudin, 1803). Pythons are distinguishable from boas in that they have teeth on the premaxilla, a small bone at the very front and center of the upper jaw. Most boas produce live young, while pythons produce eggs. Some species of sandboas (Ericinae) are also called python.
 
Pythons are found in Australia, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. Most pythons live in the dense underbrush of rugged tropical rainforest regions. They are excellent climbers; some species, like the Green Tree Python, are arboreal. Like all snakes, they are also capable swimmers.
 
Pythons range in size from 4.5 to 6 m (15 to 20 feet) in length. They are among the longest species of snake in the world. The Reticulated Python holds the record for longest snake at 10 m (32ft 9.5in). Some species exhibit vestigial bones of the pelvis and rear legs, which are externally apparent in the form of a pair of anal spurs on each side of the cloaca. These spurs are larger in males than females, and are used by the male to stimulate the female during copulation. Some pythons display vivid patterns on their scales, while others are a nondescript brown. They usually reflect appropriate camouflage for their native habitat.
 
Pythons are constrictors, and feed on birds and mammals, killing them by squeezing them to death. They coil themselves up around their prey, tighten, but merely squeeze hard enough to stop the prey's breathing and/or blood circulation. Large pythons will usually eat something about the size of a house cat, but larger food items are not unknown. They swallow their prey whole, and take several days or even weeks to fully digest it. Despite their intimidating size and muscular power, they are generally not dangerous to humans. While a large adult python could kill a human being (most likely by strangling rather than actual crushing), humans are outside the normal size range for prey. Reports of python attacks on humans are extremely rare. Despite this, pythons have been aggressively hunted, driving some species (like the Indian Python) to the brink of extinction. Most pythons have heat-sensing organs in their lips. These enable them to detect objects that are hotter than the surrounding environment. Pythons that do not have heat-sensing organs identify their prey by smell. Pythons are ambush predators: they typically stay in a camouflaged position and then suddenly strike at passing prey. They then grasp the prey in their teeth, and kill by constriction. Death is usually a result of suffocation or heart failure rather than crushing. Pythons will not usually attack humans unless startled or provoked, although females protecting their eggs can be aggressive.
 
Pythons lay eggs which they arrange in a pile. They coil around the pile until all eggs have hatched. Since pythons cannot regulate their internal body temperature, they cannot incubate their eggs per se; instead, they raise the temperature of their eggs by small movements of their body—essentially, they "shiver".
 

 
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  • Adopt A Python Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Python
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Python Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient.  Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information.  We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Python is from you.
 
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ADOPT A BLACK-FOOTED FERRET

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Carnivora
 
FAMILY:
Mustelidae
 
GENUS:
Mustela
 
SPECIES:
M. nigripes
 
BINOMIAL NAME:
Mustela nigripes (Audubon & Bachman, 1851)
 
The Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes) is a small carnivorous North American mammal closely related to the Steppe Polecat of Russia, and a member of the diverse family Mustelidae which also includes weasels, mink, polecats, martens, otters, and badgers. It should not be confused with the domesticated ferret.
 
The Black-footed Ferret is the most endangered mammal in North America, according to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). They became extinct in the wild in Canada in 1937, and were classified as endangered in the U.S. in 1967. The last known wild population was taken into captivity in the mid-1980s, a few years after its accidental discovery in Wyoming.
 
Black-footed Ferrets are about 45 cm (18 inches) long, with a furry 15 cm (6 inch) tail, and they weigh roughly 1 kg (2 pounds). Like most members of the family, they are very low to the ground with an elongated body and very short legs. Their fur is white at the base but darkens at the tips, making them appear yellowish-brown overall, with black feet and tail-tip, and a distinctive black face mask. These blend in well with the prairie ecosystem in which they live. They do not change their habitat over the seasons.
 
Even before their numbers declined, Black-footed Ferrets were rarely seen: they weren't officially recognized as a species by scientists until 1851, following publication of a book by naturalist John James Audubon and Rev. John Bachman. Even then, their existence was questioned since no other Black-footed Ferrets were reported for over twenty years.
 
They are nocturnal hunters that are almost entirely dependent on a plentiful supply of prairie dogs to prey on, and shelter in a prairie dog burrow during the day. A single family of four Black-footed Ferrets eats about 250 prairie dogs each year and cannot survive without access to large colonies of them.
 
The loss of their prairie grassland habitat, the drastic reduction of prairie dog numbers (through both habitat loss and poisoning), and the effects of canine distemper and sylvatic plague (similar to bubonic plague) have all contributed to the near-extinction of the species during the 19th and 20th centuries.
 
In 1981, a very small population of about 130 animals was discovered near Meeteetse, Wyoming. Soon after discovery, the population began a rapid decline due to disease. By 1986, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department led a cooperative program to capture the 18 remaining animals and begin an intensive captive breeding program. At that time, the entire world population amounted to about 50 individuals in captivity.
 
U.S. federal and state agencies, in cooperation with private landowners, conservation groups, Native Americans, and North American zoos, have been actively reintroducing ferrets back into the wild since 1991. Beginning in Wyoming, reintroduction efforts have since expanded to sites in Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Chihuahua, Mexico. Proposed reintroduction sites have been identified in Canada.
 
As of 2005, conservationists estimate a total wild population of 400 black-footed ferrets in the United States. The recovery plan calls for the establishment of 10 or more separate, self-sustaining wild populations, 1500 Black-footed Ferrets established in the wild, with at least 30 breeding adults in each population. Meeting this objective would allow the conservation status of the species to be downgraded to threatened.
 
MUSTELIDAE:
Mustelidae (from Latin mustela, weasel) is a family of carnivorous mammals. Many kinds of mustelids are maligned by some humans. However, Mustelidae is among the most successful and diverse families in order Carnivora. Mustelids range from the Least weasel, not much larger than a mouse, which can live in the high Arctic; to the wolverine, a 50 pound (23 kg) animal that can dispatch reindeer, crush bones as thick as the femur of a moose to get at the marrow, and has been known to drive bears from kills; to the ratel, which has a unique symbiosis with a bird called the honey guide bird; to the tropical, largely fruit-eating tayra; to the aquatic otters. Other mustelids include mink, badgers, weasels, polecats, zorilla, and martens.
 
Mustelidae is one of the most species-rich families in order Carnivora, as well as one of the older ones. Mustelid-like forms have existed for the past 40 million years and roughly coincided with the appearance of rodents.
 
Several members of the family are aquatic to varying degrees, ranging from the semi-aquatic mink, the river otters, and the highly aquatic sea otter. The Sea otter is also the only non-primate mammal known to use a tool while foraging. It uses "anvil" stones to crack open the shellfish that form a significant part of its diet. It is a "keystone species," keeping its prey populations in balance so some do not outcompete the others and they do not destroy the kelp in which they live.
 
Just as otters are adapted to swimming, several groups of badgers are adapted to digging. Many species of badgers and otters have evolved social groupings.
 
The fisher, a type of marten, has a unique system to kill porcupines: it attacks the porcupine's face until the animal is so weak it can be flipped over, giving the fisher access to the porcupine's vulnerable belly. In some areas porcupines form as much as a quarter of the fisher's diet.
 
The Least weasel, adapted for eating small rodents such as mice and voles, reproduces up to three times a year (unusual for carnivores, who typically reproduce annually) to take advantage of the fluctuations in rodent populations. Because of its small body size and fast metabolism it must eat every few hours to survive, so it runs through multiple cycles of sleep and wakefulness every day.
 
Mustelids also have some of the most exquisite furs—the mink, the sable (a type of marten) and the ermine (stoat) are all members of the family. This has led to the inhumane skinning of these animals, especially in the past. One species, the Sea mink (Mustela macrodon) of New England and Canada, was driven to extinction by fur trappers around the same time that the Passenger pigeon was declining. Its appearance and habits are almost unknown because no one seems to have preserved even a single complete specimen, let alone conducted a systematic study.
 
Today, some mustelids are in trouble for other reasons. The Sea otter, who almost shared the fate of the Sea mink, now risks being destroyed by oil spills and the side effects of overfishing; the Black-footed ferret, a relative of the European polecat, suffers from the disappearance of the American prairie; and the wolverine is in a long, slow decline because of habitat destruction and persecution.
 
 
Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Black-Footed Ferret
  • Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Black-Footed Ferret
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a black-footed ferret for yourself or order an Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Black-Footed Ferret Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A SQUIRREL MONKEY


KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Primates
 
FAMILY:
Cebidae
 
SUBFAMILY:
Saimiriinae (Miller, 1912 1900)
 
GENUS:
Saimiri (Voigt, 1831)
 
TYPE SPECIES:
Simia sciurea (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
SPECIES:
Saimiri oerstedii, Saimiri sciureus, Saimiri ustus, Saimiri boliviensis, Saimiri vanzolini
 
The squirrel monkeys are the New World monkeys of the genus Saimiri. They are the only genus in the subfamily Saimirinae. Squirrel monkeys live in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Their range extends from Costa Rica through central Brazil and Bolivia. Squirrel monkey fur is short and close, colored olive at the back and yellowish orange on its belly and extremities. Their throat and the ears are white and their mouths are black. The upper part of their head is hairy. This black and white face gives them their German name, "death's head monkeys". Squirrel monkeys grow to 25 to 35 cm, with a 35 to 42 cm tail. They weigh 750 to 1100 g. Remarkably, the brain mass to body mass ratio for squirrel monkeys is 1:17, which gives them the largest brain, proportionately, of all the primates. Humans have a 1:35 ratio.
 
Like most of their New World monkey relatives, squirrel monkeys are diurnal and arboreal. Unlike the other New World monkeys, their tail is not used for climbing, but as a kind of "balancing pole" and also as a tool. Their movements in the branches are extremely speedy. They live together in multi-male/multi-female groups with up to 500 members. These large groups can, however, occasionally break into smaller troops. They have a number of vocal calls, including warning sounds to protect themselves from large falcons, which are a natural threat to them. Their small body size also makes them susceptible to predators such as snakes and felids. For marking territory, squirrel monkeys rub their tail and their skin in with their own urine. Squirrel monkeys are omnivores, eating primarily fruits and insects. Occasionally they also eat nuts, buds, eggs and small vertebrates.
 
The mating of the squirrel monkeys is subject to seasonal influences. Females give birth to young during the rainy season, after a 150 to 170 day gestation. The mothers exclusively care for the young. Saimiri oerstedti are weaned by 4 months of age, while S. boliviensis are not fully weaned until 18 months old. Female squirrel monkeys reach sexual maturity at age 3 years, while males take until age 5. They live to about 15 years old in the wild, about 20 years in captivity.
 
Three squirrel monkey species are in danger of extinction. S. o. oerstedti is listed as "endangered," S. o. citrinellus is listed as "critically endangered" and S. vanzolinii is listed as "Vulnerable."
 
 
Adopt A Squirrel Monkey from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Squirrel Monkey from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Squirrel Monkey Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Squirrel Monkey
  • Adopt A Squirrel Monkey Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Squirrel Monkey
  • Help Animals Info Packet Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Squirrel Monkey Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Squirrel Monkey is from you.
 
Donation for WAF's Adopt A Squirrel Monkey symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a squirrel monkey for yourself or order an Adopt A Squirrel Monkey as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Squirrel Monkey Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A SLOTH

 
Sloths are medium-sized South American mammals belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, part of the order Pilosa. Most scientists call these two families the Folivora suborder, while some call it Phyllophaga. Sloths are herbivores, eating very little other than leaves.
 
Sloths have made extraordinary adaptations to an arboreal browsing lifestyle. Leaves, their main food source, provide very little energy or nutrition and do not digest easily: sloths have very large, specialized, slow-acting stomachs with multiple compartments in which symbiotic bacteria break down the tough leaves. Sloths may also eat insects and small lizards and carrion. As much as two-thirds of a well-fed sloth's body-weight consists of the contents of its stomach, and the digestive process can take as long as a month or more to complete. Even so, leaves provide little energy, and sloths deal with this by a range of economy measures: they have very low metabolic rates (less than half of that expected for a creature of their size), and maintain low body temperatures when active (30 to 34 degrees Celsius), and still lower temperatures when resting.
 
Sloth fur also exhibits specialized functions: the outer hairs grow in the opposite direction to that of other mammals, pointing away from their extremities (so as to provide protection from the elements despite living legs-uppermost), and in moist conditions host two species of symbiotic cyanobacteria, which may provide camouflage. Their outer fur coat is usually a thick brown, but occasionally wild sloths appear to have a green tinge to their fur because of the presence of these bacteria. The bacteria provide nutrients to the sloth, and are licked. Sloths have short, flat heads, big eyes, a short snout, long legs, and tiny ears.
 
Their claws serve as their only natural defense. A cornered sloth may swipe at its attackers in an effort to scare them away or wound them. Despite sloths' apparent defenselessness, predators do not pose special problems: in the trees sloths have good camouflage and, moving only slowly, do not attract attention. Only during their infrequent visits to ground level do they become vulnerable. The main predators of sloths are the jaguar, the harpy eagle, and humans. The majority of sloth deaths in Costa Rica are from sloths getting into electrical lines and from poachers. Despite their adaptation to living in trees, sloths make competent swimmers. Their claws also provide a further unexpected defense from human hunters - when hanging upside-down in a tree they are held in place by the claws themselves and do not fall down even if shot from below, thus making them not worth shooting in the first place.
 
Sloths move only when necessary and then very slowly; they have about half as much muscle tissue as other animals of similar weight. They can move at a marginally higher speed if they are in immediate danger from a predator, but they burn large amounts of energy doing so. Their specialized hands and feet have long, curved claws to allow them to hang upside-down from branches without effort. While they sometimes sit on top of branches, they usually eat, sleep, and even give birth hanging from limbs.
 
Sloths are medium-sized South American mammals belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, part of the order Pilosa. Most scientists call these two families the Folivora suborder, while some call it Phyllophaga. Sloths are herbivores, eating very little other than leaves.
 
Sloths have made extraordinary adaptations to an arboreal browsing lifestyle. Leaves, their main food source, provide very little energy or nutrition and do not digest easily: sloths have very large, specialized, slow-acting stomachs with multiple compartments in which symbiotic bacteria break down the tough leaves. Sloths may also eat insects and small lizards and carrion. As much as two-thirds of a well-fed sloth's body-weight consists of the contents of its stomach, and the digestive process can take as long as a month or more to complete. Even so, leaves provide little energy, and sloths deal with this by a range of economy measures: they have very low metabolic rates (less than half of that expected for a creature of their size), and maintain low body temperatures when active (30 to 34 degrees Celsius), and still lower temperatures when resting.
 
Sloth fur also exhibits specialized functions: the outer hairs grow in the opposite direction to that of other mammals, pointing away from their extremities (so as to provide protection from the elements despite living legs-uppermost), and in moist conditions host two species of symbiotic cyanobacteria, which may provide camouflage. Their outer fur coat is usually a thick brown, but occasionally wild sloths appear to have a green tinge to their fur because of the presence of these bacteria. The bacteria provide nutrients to the sloth, and are licked. Sloths have short, flat heads, big eyes, a short snout, long legs, and tiny ears.
 
Their claws serve as their only natural defense. A cornered sloth may swipe at its attackers in an effort to scare them away or wound them. Despite sloths' apparent defenselessness, predators do not pose special problems: in the trees sloths have good camouflage and, moving only slowly, do not attract attention. Only during their infrequent visits to ground level do they become vulnerable. The main predators of sloths are the jaguar, the harpy eagle, and humans. The majority of sloth deaths in Costa Rica are from sloths getting into electrical lines and from poachers. Despite their adaptation to living in trees, sloths make competent swimmers. Their claws also provide a further unexpected defense from human hunters - when hanging upside-down in a tree they are held in place by the claws themselves and do not fall down even if shot from below, thus making them not worth shooting in the first place.
 
Sloths move only when necessary and then very slowly; they have about half as much muscle tissue as other animals of similar weight. They can move at a marginally higher speed if they are in immediate danger from a predator, but they burn large amounts of energy doing so. Their specialized hands and feet have long, curved claws to allow them to hang upside-down from branches without effort. While they sometimes sit on top of branches, they usually eat, sleep, and even give birth hanging from limbs.
 
 
Adopt A Sloth from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Sloth from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Sloth Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Sloth
  • Adopt A Sloth Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Sloth
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Sloth Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Sloth is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Sloth symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a sloth for yourself or order an Adopt A Sloth as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Sloth Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A BLACK BEAR


The American black bear (Ursus americanus), also known as the cinnamon bear, is the most common bear species native to North America. The black bear occurs throughout much of the continent, from northern Canada and Alaska south into Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This includes 39 of the 50 U.S. states and all Canadian provinces. Populations in east-central and the southern United States remain in the protected mountains and woodlands of parks and preserves, though bears will occasionally wander outside the parks' boundaries and have setup new territories in recent years in this manner. While there were probably once as many as two million black bears in North America, the population declined to a low of 200,000 before rebounding in recent decades, partly due to conservation measures. By current estimates, more than 600,000 are living today.
 
The black bear is about 1.5 m (5 feet) long. Females weigh between 40 and 180 kg (90 and 400 pounds), while males weigh between 50 and 400 kg (110 and 880 pounds). Cubs usually weigh between 200 and 450 g (between seven ounces and one pound) at birth. The adult black bear has small eyes, rounded ears, a long snout, a large body, and a short tail. They have an excellent sense of smell. Though these bears indeed generally have shaggy black hair, the coat can vary in color depending on the subspecies: from white through chocolate brown, cinnamon brown, and blonde, found mostly west of the Mississippi River, to black in the east (the same is generally true in Canada with the border being between Manitoba and Ontario). Further adding to the confusion, black bears occasionally sport a slight white chest blaze on either side of the river.
 
While black bears are able to stand and walk on their hind legs, they usually stand or walk on all four legs. (When they do stand it usually is to get a better look at something.) The black bear's characteristic shuffle results from walking flat-footed, with the hind legs slightly longer than the front legs. Each paw has five strong claws used for tearing, digging, and climbing. One blow from a powerful front paw is enough to kill an adult elk. Black bears prefer forested and shrubby areas but use wet meadows, high tidelands, ridgetops, burned areas, riparian areas, and avalanche chutes. They also frequent swampy hardwood and conifer forests. After emerging from their winter dens in spring, they seek southerly slopes at lower elevations for forage and move to northerly and easterly slopes at higher elevations as summer progresses. Black bears use dense cover for hiding and thermal protection, as well as for bedding. They climb trees to escape danger and use forested areas as travel corridors. Black bears hibernate during winter and may build dens in tree cavities, under logs, rocks, in banks, caves, or culverts, and in shallow depressions.
 
Black bears reach breeding maturity at about 4 or 5 years of age, and breed every 2 to 3 years. Black bears breed in the spring, usually in May and June, but the embryos do not begin to develop until the mother dens in the fall to hibernate through the winter months (delayed implantation.) However, if food was scarce and the mother has not gained enough fat to sustain herself during hibernation as well as produce cubs, the embryos do not implant (develop). Black bear cubs are generally born in January or February. They are blind when born, and twins are most common, though up to four cubs is not unheard of and first-time mothers typically have only a single cub. By spring thaw, when the bears start leaving their dens, the cubs are fur-balls of energy, inquisitive and playful.
 
When their mother senses danger she grunts to the cubs to climb high up a tree. They are weaned between July and September of their first year, and stay with the mother through the first winter. They are usually independent by the second winter. Cub survival is totally dependent on the skill of the mother in teaching her cubs what to eat, where and how to forage (find food), where to den, and when and where to seek shelter from heat or danger.
 
Black bears are omnivores. They eat a wide variety of foods, relying most heavily on grasses, herbs, fruits, and mast. They also feed on carrion and insects such as carpenter ants, yellow jackets, bees and termites. Black bears sometimes kill and eat small rodents and ungulate fawns. Unlike the brown bear, black bears like to attack and eat dead creatures, which makes humans feigning death at bear attacks ineffective. Like many animals, black bears seldom attack unless cornered or threatened. They are less likely to attack man than grizzly bears and typically have long since run for cover before one catches sight of them. Black bear predation on man is extremely rare. It is estimated that there have been only 56 documented killings of humans by black bears in North America in the past 100 years. Black bear predators include other black bears, man, and the grizzly (Ursus arctos horriblis). Coyotes (Canis latrans) and mountain lions (Puma concolor) may prey on cubs.
 
Because their behavior has been little understood until recently, black bears have been feared and hated. Before the 20th century these bears were shot intermittently as vermin, food, and trophies being seen as either a vicious beast or an endless commodity; in many areas, bounties were paid, until recently, for black bears. Paradoxically, black bears have also been portrayed as harmless and cuddly. For example, the "teddy bear" owes its existence to a young black bear cub Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot.
 
Their tendencies to follow their stomachs and habitat encroachment by man have created human-bear conflicts. This is true especially in areas where they may have been uncommon or absent for a long time, as in many parts of the eastern United States.
 
Today, a major threat to the American black bear is poaching, or illegal killing, to supply Asian markets with bear galls and paws, considered to have medicinal value in China, Japan, and Korea. The demand for these parts also affects grizzly and polar bears. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a treaty among more than 120 nations, provides measures to curb illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products across international boundaries, helping to protect the black bear from poaching.
 
Black bears are abundant in much of the West, in portions of the Midwest and in most of Canada. Conversely, Iowa, where land is heavily used for agriculture, has virtually none. Most eastern populations in the United States are seeing a marked, steady increase in population with bears moving back into places where they may not have been present for over a century as suitable habitat has come back. In North Carolina there were 11,000 bears at last count, Pennsylvania estimates 15,000 bears currently, and even tiny Rhode Island has seen evidence of bears moving into areas where they haven't been in decades. Unfortunately, not all is well. Two populations are at critically low levels. Two subspecies, the Louisiana black bear and the Florida black bear, still face decline mainly due to habitat loss and degradation. In Mexico, the indigenous black bear population is listed as endangered and is mostly limited to increasingly fragmented habitat in the northern parts of the country.
 
In 1992, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Louisiana black bear subspecies as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, meaning it could be in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range in the near future. The American black bear also is protected by legislation in the affected states (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) due to its close resemblance to this subspecies. The Florida black bear is a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
 
 
Adopt A Black Bear from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Black Bear from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Black Bear Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Black Bear
  • Adopt A Black Bear Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Black Bear
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Black Bear Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Black Bear is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Black Bear symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a black bear for yourself or order an Adopt A Black Bear as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Black Bear Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A BABOON

 
The baboons are some of the largest non-hominid members of the primate order; only the Mandrill and the Drill are larger. Baboons have long dog-like muzzles, close-set eyes, heavy powerful jaws, thick fur except on their muzzle, a short tail and rough spots on their rear-ends called ischial callosities. These calluses are nerveless, hairless pads of skin which provide for the sitting comfort of the baboon (and other Old World monkeys). Males of the Hamadryas Baboon species also have a large white mane. There is considerable variation in size and weight depending on species. The Chacma Baboon can be 120 cm (47 inches) and weigh 40 kg (90 lb) while the biggest Guinea Baboon is 50 cm (20 inches) and weighs only 14 kg (30 lb). In all baboon species there is pronounced sexual dimorphism, usually in size but also sometimes in color or canine development.
 
Baboons are terrestrial (ground dwelling) and are found in savanna, open woodland and hills across Africa. Their diet is omnivorous, but is usually vegetarian. They are foragers and are active at irregular times throughout the day and night. They can raid human dwellings and in South Africa they have been known to prey on sheep and goats. Their principal predators are man and the leopard, although they are tough prey for a leopard and large males will often confront them. Baboons in captivity have been known to live up to 45 years, while in the wild their life expectancy is about 30 years.
 
SOCIETY:
Most baboons live in hierarchical troops of 5 to 250 animals (50 or so is common), depending on specific circumstances, especially species and time of year. The structure within the troop varies considerably between Hamadryas Baboons and the remaining species, sometimes collectively referred to as savannah baboons. The Hamadryas Baboon has very large groups comprised of many smaller harems (one male with four or so females), to which females from elsewhere in the troop are recruited while still too young to breed. The other baboon species have a more promiscuous structure with a strict dominance hierarchy based on the female matriline. The Hamadryas Baboon group will typically include a younger male, but he will not attempt to mate with the females unless the older male is removed. Baboons can determine from vocal exchanges what the dominance relations between individuals are. When a confrontation occurs between different families or where a lower-ranking baboon takes the offensive, baboons show more interest in the exchange than exchanges between members of the same family or when a higher-ranking baboon takes the offensive. This is because confrontations between different families or rank challenges can have a wider impact on the whole troop than an internal conflict in a family or a baboon reinforcing its dominance.
 
MATING AND BIRTH:
Baboon mating behavior varies greatly depending on the social structure. In the mixed groups of savannah baboons, each male can mate with any female. The allowed mating order among the males depends partially on the ranking, and fights between males are not unusual. There are however also subtler possibilities; some males try to win the "friendship" of some females. To garner this friendship, they may help groom the female, help care for her young, or supply them with food. Some females actually prefer such "friendly" males as mates.
 
A female initiates mating by presenting her swollen rump to the male. But 'presenting' can also be used as a submissive gesture and is observed in males as well. In the harems of Hamadryas baboons, the males jealously guard their females, to the point of grabbing and biting the females when they wander too far away. Despite this, some males will raid harems for females. In such situations it often comes to aggressive fights by the males. Some males succeed in taking a female from another's harem. This is called a 'takeover'. Usually every other year, and after an approximately six month gestation, the female gives birth to a single young. The young baboon weighs approximately one kilogram and is colored black. The females tend to be the primary caretaker of the young, although several females will share the duties for all of their offspring. In mixed groups males sometimes help in caring for the young of the females they are "friendly" with, for instance they gather food for them and play with them. The probability is high that those young are their offspring. After about one year, the young animals are weaned. They reach sexual maturity in five to eight years. Males leave their birth group usually before they reach sexual maturity; females are 'philopatric' and stay in the same group their whole life.
 
 
Adopt A Baboon from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Baboon from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Baboon Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Baboon
  • Adopt A Baboon Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Baboon
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Baboon Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Baboon is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Baboon symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a baboon for yourself or order an Adopt A Baboon as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Baboon Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A FOX


KINGDOM: Animalia
 
PHYLUM: Chordata
 
CLASS: Mammalia
 
ORDER: Carnivora
 
FAMILY: Canidae
 
TRIBE: Vulpini
 
A fox is a member of any of 27 species of small omnivorous canids. The animal most commonly called a fox in the Western world is the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), although different species of foxes can be found on almost every continent. With most species roughly the size of a domestic cat, foxes are smaller than other members of the family Canidae, such as wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. Recognizable characteristics also include pointed muzzles and bushy tails. Other physical characteristics vary according to their habitat. For example, the Desert Fox has large ears and short fur, whereas the Arctic Fox has small ears and thick, insulating fur. Unlike many canids, foxes are not pack animals.
 
Foxes are solitary, opportunistic feeders that hunt live prey (especially rodents). Using a pouncing technique practiced from an early age, they are usually able to kill their prey quickly. Foxes also gather a wide variety of other foods ranging from grasshoppers to fruit and berries. Foxes are nearly always extremely wary of humans, and are not kept as pets. However, foxes are to be readily found in cities and domestic gardens.
 
Foxes do not come together in chorus like wolves or coyotes do. Fox families, however, keep in contact with a wide array of different sounds. These sounds grade into one another and span five octaves; each fox has its own characteristically individual voice. Fox noises can be divided, with a few exceptions, into two different groups: contact sounds and interaction sounds. The former is used by foxes communicating over long distances, the latter in close quarters. "Wow-wow-wow": The most well-known vulpine noise is a sort of barking that spans three to five syllables. Conversations made up of these noises often occur between widely spaced foxes. As their distance decreases, the sound becomes quieter. A cub is greeted with the quietest version of this sound. The alarm bark: This monosyllabic sound is made by an adult to warn cubs of danger. From far away it sounds like a sharp bark, but at closer range it resembles a muffled cough, like a football rattle or a stick along a picket fence. Gekkering: This is a stuttering, throaty noise made at aggressive encounters. It is most frequently heard in the courting season, or when kits are at play. The vixen's wail: This is a long, drawn-out, monosyllabic, and rather eerie wail most commonly made during the breeding season; it is widely thought that it is made by a vixen in heat summoning dog-foxes. Contrary to common belief, however, it is also made by the males, evidently serving some other purpose as well. This noise fits into neither the contact nor the interaction group.
 
 
Adopt A Fox from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Fox from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Fox Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Fox
  • Adopt A Fox Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Fox
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Fox Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Fox is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Fox symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a fox for yourself or order an Adopt A Fox as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Fox Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT AN OCELOT

 
KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Carnivora
 
FAMILY:
Felidae
 
GENUS:
Leopardus
 
SPECIES:
L. pardalis
 
The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis, previously Felis pardalis, from Latin pardalis, "leopard-like") is a wild cat distributed over South and Central America and Mexico. Its northernmost occurrence is Texas. It also occurs on the island of Trinidad in the West Indies.
 
It is up to 100 cm (3'2") in length, plus 45 cm (1'6") tail length, and weighs 10-15 kg (about 20-33 pounds). While similar in appearance to the oncilla and the margay, who inhabit the same region, the ocelot is larger.
 
The ocelot is mostly nocturnal and very territorial. They will fight fiercely, sometimes to the death, in territorial disputes.
 
Like most felines, they are solitary, usually meeting only to mate. However, during the day they rest in trees or other dense foliage, and will occasionally share their spot with another ocelot of the same gender. When mating, the female will find a den in a cave in a rocky bluff, a hollow tree, or a dense (preferably thorny) thicket. The gestation period is estimated to be 70 days. Generally the female will have 2-4 cubs, born in the autumn with their eyes closed and a thin covering of hair.
 
Ocelots typically breed only once every other year, although the female may mate again shortly after losing a litter. Mating can occur at any time of year, and estrus lasts from seven to ten days. The small litter size and relative infrequency of breeding make the ocelot particularly vulnerable to population loss.
 
Compared with other small cats, ocelot kittens grow quite slowly. They weigh around 250 grams (8.8 oz) at birth, and do not open their eyes for fifteen to eighteen days. They begin to leave the den at three months, but remain with their mother for up to two years, before dispersing to establish their own territory. Ocelots live for up to twenty years.
 
While ocelots are well equipped for an arboreal lifestyle, and will sometimes take to the trees, they are mostly terrestrial. Prey includes almost any small animal: monkeys, snakes, rodents, fish, amphibians and birds are common prey, as are small domestic animals such as baby pigs and poultry. Almost all of the prey that the ocelot hunts is far smaller than it is. Studies suggest that they follow and find prey via odor trails, but ocelots also have very keen vision; including, as their large dark eyes would suggest, night vision.
 
The ocelot's fur resembles that of a jaguar; it was once regarded as particularly valuable, and because it was so popular the ocelot remains one of the best known of the small wildcats. Several hundreds of thousands of ocelots were killed for their fur; therefore this cat is now an endangered species in many countries, although the IUCN lists them as "Least Concern".
 
Ocelots once inhabited the chaparral thickets of the Gulf coast in south and eastern Texas, and were found in Arizona. In the United States, they now range only in several small areas of dense thicket in South Texas. The ocelot's continued presence in the U.S. is questionable, due largely to the introduction of dogs, the loss of habitat, and the introduction of highways. Young male ocelots are frequently killed by cars during their search for a territory.
 
 
Adopt An Ocelot World Animal Foundation
 
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  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Ocelot
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt An Ocelot Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt An Ocelot is from you.
 
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ADOPT A CAPUCHIN


KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Primates
 
FAMILY:
Cebidae
 
SUBFAMILY:
Cebinae Bonaparte, 1831
 
GENUS:
Cebus Erxleben, 1777
 
The capuchins are the group of New World monkeys classified as genus Cebus. Their name comes from their coloration, which resembles the cowls worn by the Capuchin order of Roman Catholic friars. Cebus is the only genus in subfamily Cebinae. The range of the capuchin monkeys includes Central America (Honduras) and middle South America (middle Brazil, eastern Peru, Paraguay). Capuchins generally resemble the friars of their namesake. Their body, arms, legs and tail are all darkly (black or brown) colored, while the face, throat and chest are white colored, and their head has a black cap. This general pattern varies from species to species, as well as among individuals within a species. They reach a length of 30 to 56 cm (12 - 22 inches), with tails that are just as long as the body. They weigh up to 1.3 kg (2 lb, 13 oz).
 
Like most New World monkeys, capuchins are diurnal and arboreal. With the exception of a midday nap, they spend their entire day searching for food. At night they sleep in the trees, wedged between branches. They are undemanding regarding their habitat and can thus be found in many differing areas. Among the natural enemies of the capuchins are large falcons, cats and snakes. The diet of the capuchins is more varied than other monkeys in the family Cebidae. They are omnivores, eating not only fruits, nuts, seeds and buds, but also insects, spiders, bird eggs and small vertebrate. Capuchins living near water will also eat crabs and shells by cracking their shells with stones.
 
Capuchins live together in groups of six to 40 members. These groups consist of related females and their offspring, as well as several males. Usually groups are dominated by a single male, who has primary rights to mate with the females of the group. Mutual grooming as well as vocalization serves as communication and stabilization of the group dynamics. These primates are territorial animals, distinctly marking a central area of their territory with urine and defending it against intruders, though outer zones of these areas may overlap.
 
Females bear young every two years following a 160 to 180 day gestation. The young cling to their mother's chest until they are larger, when they move to her back. Adult male capuchins rarely take part in caring for the young. Within four years for females and eight years for males, juveniles become fully mature. In captivity, individuals have reached an age of 45 years, although life expectancy in nature is only 15 to 25 years.
 
Capuchins are considered the most intelligent New World. The Tufted Capuchin is especially noted for its long-term tool usage, one of the few examples of primate tool use other than by apes. When it sees macaws eating palm nuts, cracking them open with their beaks, these capuchins will select a few of the ripest fruits, nip off the tip of the fruit and drink down the juice, then seemingly discard the rest of the fruit with the nut inside. When these discarded fruits have hardened and become slightly brittle, the capuchins will gather them up again and take them to a large flat boulder where they have previously gathered a few river stones from up to a mile away. They will then use these stones, some of them weighing as much as the monkeys, to crack open the fruit to get to the nut inside. Young capuchins will watch this process to learn from the older, more experienced adults. During the mosquito season, they crush up millipedes and rub the remains on their backs. This acts as a natural bug repellant. When presented with a reflection, capuchin monkeys react in a way that indicates an intermediate state between seeing the mirror as another individual and recognizing the image as self.
 
 
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Your WAF Adopt A Capuchin Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
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  • Adopt A Capuchin Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Capuchin
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Capuchin Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Capuchin is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Capuchin symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a capuchin for yourself or order an Adopt A Capuchin as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Capuchin Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A SPIDER MONKEY

 
KINGDOM: Animalia
 
PHYLUM: Chordata
 
CLASS: Mammalia
 
INFRACLASS: Eutheria
 
ORDER: Primates
 
FAMILY: Atelidae
 
SUBFAMILY: Atelinae
 
GENUS: Ateles E. Geoffroy, 1806
 
Spider monkeys are New World monkeys of the family Atelidae, subfamily Atelinae. Found in tropical forests from southern Mexico to Brazil, spider monkeys belong to the genus Ateles; the closely related woolly spider monkeys, are in the genus Brachyteles.
 
As they require large tracts of undisturbed forest and specialize on ripe fruits, spider monkeys may be considered an indicator species; the monkeys are threatened by habitat destruction through continued growth in South American agriculture. Disproportionately long, spindly limbs inspired the spider monkey's common name. Their deftly prehensile tails, which may measure up to 89 centimeters, have highly flexible hairless tips 20 inches and a weight of 6.4 cm.
Spider monkeys have hook-like, narrow and thumbless hands; the fingers are elongate and recurved. The hair is coarse, ranging in color from a ruddy gold to brown and black; the hands and feet are usually black. Heads are small with hairless faces. An unusually long labia in females may be mistaken for a penis; it is used to attract the males. A female will urinate and that scent will stay on her labia with the scent attracting the males.
 
Forming loose groups of 15-25 individuals, spider monkeys are highly agile; they are said to be second only to the gibbons in this respect. During the day, spider monkey groups break up into smaller subgroups of 2-8 individuals; this social structure ('fission-fusion') is found in only one other primate, the chimpanzee. The size of subgroups and the degree to which they will avoid each other during the day is determined by food competition and the risk of predation. Also less common in primates, females rather than males disperse at puberty to join new groups. Males tend to stick together for their whole life. Hence males in a group are more likely to be related and have closer bonds than females. The strongest social bonds are formed between females and young offspring.
 
Spider monkeys are diurnal and spend the night in carefully selected sleeping trees. Groups are thought to be directed by a lead female who is responsible for planning an efficient route for the day's feeding activities. Grooming is not as important to social interaction, due perhaps to a lack of thumbs.
 
Spider monkeys mate year round. The female monkey chooses a male from her group with whom to mate. Both male and female spider monkeys sniff their mates to check their readiness for copulation. This process is known as “anogenital sniffing.” On average, only one offspring at a time is produced from each female. The gestation period for spider monkeys ranges from 226 to 232 days. For the first four months of life, baby spider monkeys cling to their mother's belly. Soon after, they climb to her back, eventually developing enough independence to travel on their own. Male spider monkeys have nothing to do with the raising of offspring.
 
At 107 grams, the spider monkey brain is twice the size of a howler monkey's of equivalent body size; this is thought to be a result of the spider monkeys' complex social system as well as their diet, which consists primarily of ripe fruit from a wide variety (over 150 species) of plants. The slow rate of development in spider monkeys may also play a role, females giving birth once every 3-4 years. Spider monkeys may live for 20 years or more.
 
 
Adopt A Spider Monkey from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Spider Monkey from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Spider Monkey Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
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  • Adopt A Spider Monkey Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Spider Monkey
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Spider Monkey Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Spider Monkey is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Capuchin symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a spider monkey for yourself or order an Adopt A Capuchin as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Spider Monkey Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A COYOTE

KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
INFRACLASS:
Eutheria
 
ORDER:
Carnivora
 
FAMILY:
Canidae
 
GENUS:
Canis
 
SPECIES:
C. latrans
 
The coyote, also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada. It occurs as far north as Alaska and all but the northernmost portions of Canada. There are currently 19 recognized subspecies, with 16 in Canada, Mexico and the United States, and 3 in Central America. Unlike its cousin the gray wolf, which is Eurasian in origin, evolutionary theory suggests the coyote evolved in North America during the Pleistocene epoch 1.81 million years ago alongside the Dire Wolf. Unlike the wolf, the coyote's range has expanded in the wake of human civilization, and coyotes readily reproduce in metropolitan areas.
 
DESCRIPTION:
The color of the coyote's pelt varies from grayish brown to yellowish gray on the upper parts, while the throat and belly tend to have a buff or white color. The forelegs, sides of the head, muzzle and paws are reddish brown. The back has tawny-colored underfur and long, black-tipped guard hairs that form a black dorsal stripe and a dark cross on the shoulder area. The black-tipped tail has a scent gland located on its dorsal base.
 
Coyotes shed once a year, beginning in May with light hair loss, ending in July after heavy shedding. The ears are proportionately large in relation to the head, while the feet are relatively small in relation to the rest of the body. Coyotes typically grow to up to 30–34 in (76–86 cm) in length, not counting a tail of 12–16 in (30–41 cm), stand about 23–26 in (58–66 cm) at the shoulder and, on average, weigh from 15–46 lb (6.8–21 kg). Northern coyotes are typically larger than southern subspecies, with the largest coyotes on record weighing 74¾ pounds (33.7 kg) and measuring over five feet in total length.
 
REPRODUCTION:
Female coyotes are monoestrous, and remain in heat for 2–5 days between late January and late March, during which mating occurs. Once the female chooses a partner, the mated pair may remain temporarily monogamous for a number of years. Depending on geographic location, spermatogenesis in males takes around 54 days, and occurs between January and February. The gestation period lasts from 60 to 63 days. Litter size ranges from 1 to 19 pups; the average is 6. These large litters act as compensatory measures against the high juvenile mortality rate, with approximately 50–70% of pups not surviving to adulthood. The pups weigh approximately 250 grams at birth, and are initially blind and limp-eared. Coyote growth rate is faster than that of wolves. The eyes open and ears become erect after 10 days. Around 21–28 days after birth, the young begin to emerge from the den, and by 35 days they are fully weaned. Both parents feed the weaned pups with regurgitated food. Male pups will disperse from their dens between months 6 and 9, while females usually remain with the parents and form the basis of the pack. The pups attain full growth between 9 and 12 months. Sexual maturity is reached by 12 months.
 
COMMUNICATION:
The calls a coyote makes are high-pitched and variously described as howls, yips, yelps, and barks. These calls may be a long rising and falling note (a howl) or a series of short notes (yips). These calls are most often heard at dusk or night, but may sometimes be heard in the day or in the middle of the day. Although these calls are made throughout the year, they are most common during the spring mating season and in the fall when the pups leave their families to establish new territories. When a coyote calls his pack together, he howls at one high note. When the pack is together, he howls higher and higher, and then they yip and yelp and also do a yi-yi sound, very shrill, with the howl.
 
DIET:
Coyotes are opportunistic, versatile carnivores with a 90% mammalian diet, depending on the season. They primarily eat small mammals, such as voles, prairie dogs, eastern cottontails, ground squirrels, and mice, though they will eat birds, snakes, lizards, deer, javelina, and livestock, as well as large insects and other large invertebrates. The coyote will also target any species of bird that nests on the ground. Though they will consume large amounts of carrion, they tend to prefer fresh meat. Fruits and vegetables are a significant part of the coyote's diet in the autumn and winter months. Part of the coyote's success as a species is its dietary adaptability. As such, coyotes have been known to eat human rubbish and domestic pets. They catch cats and dogs when they come too close to the pack. Urban populations of coyotes have been known to actively hunt cats, and to leap shorter fences to take small dogs. In particularly bold urban packs, coyotes have also been reported to shadow human joggers or larger dogs, and even to take small dogs while the dog is still on a leash. However, this behavior is often reported when normal urban prey, such as brown rats, black rats and rabbits, have become scarce. Coyotes shift their hunting techniques in accordance with their prey. When hunting small animals such as mice, they slowly stalk through the grass, and use their acute sense of smell to track down the prey. When the prey is located, the coyotes stiffen and pounce on the prey in a cat-like manner. Coyotes will commonly work in teams when hunting large ungulates such as deer, which is more common in winter (when large prey is likely weakened) and in larger-bodied Northern coyotes. Coyotes may take turns in baiting and pursuing the deer to exhaustion, or they may drive it towards a hidden member of the pack. When attacking large prey, coyotes attack from the rear and the flanks of their prey. Occasionally they also grab the neck and head, pulling the animal down to the ground. Coyotes are persistent hunters, with successful attacks sometimes lasting as long as 21 hours; even unsuccessful ones can continue more than 8 hours before the coyotes give up. Packs of coyotes can bring down prey as large as adult elk.
 
ADAPTATION TO HUMAN ENVIRONMENT:
Despite being extensively hunted, the coyote is one of the few medium-to-large-sized animals that has enlarged its range since human encroachment began. It originally ranged primarily in the western half of North America, but it has adapted readily to the changes caused by human presence and, since the early 19th century, has been steadily and dramatically extending its range. Sightings now commonly occur in a majority of the United States and Canada. Coyotes inhabit nearly every contiguous U.S. state and Alaska. Coyotes have moved into most of the areas of North America formerly occupied by wolves, and are often observed foraging in suburban garbage bins. Coyotes thrive in suburban settings and even some urban ones. Urban coyotes tend to live longer than their rural counterparts, kill rodents and small pets, and live anywhere from parks to industrial areas.
 
 
Adopt A Coyote from World Animal Foundation
 
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  • Adopt A Coyote Adoption Certificate
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  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Coyote Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Coyote is from you.
 
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ADOPT A COPPERHEAD

KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
SUBPHYLUM:
Vertebrata
 
CLASS:
Reptilia
 
ORDER:
Squamata
 
SUBORDER:
Serpentes
 
FAMILY:
Viperidae
 
SUBFAMILY:
Crotalinae
 
GENUS:
Agkistrodon
 
SPECIES:
A. contortrix
 
Agkistrodon contortrix is a species of venomous snake found in North America, a member of the Crotalinae (pit viper) subfamily. The more common name for the species is "copperhead". The behavior of Agkistrodon contortrix may lead to accidental encounters with humans. Five subspecies are currently recognized.
 
Adults usually grow to a total length of 50–95 cm (20–37 in), although some may exceed 1 m (3.3 ft). Males are usually larger than females. The body is relatively stout and the head is broad and distinct from the neck. Because the snout slopes down and back, it appears less blunt than that of the cottonmouth, A. piscivorus. Consequently, the top of the head extends further forward than the mouth. The color pattern consists of a pale tan to pinkish tan ground color that becomes darker towards the midline. The crossbands are light tan to pinkish tan to pale brown in the center, but darker towards the edges. A series of dark brown spots is also present on the flanks, next to the belly, and are largest and darkest in the spaces between the crossbands.
 
HABITAT:
Within its range it occupies a variety of different habitats. In most of North America it favors deciduous forest and mixed woodlands. It is often associated with rock outcroppings and ledges, but is also found in low-lying swampy regions. In the states around the Gulf of Mexico, however, this species is also found in coniferous forest.
 
In the Chihuahuan Desert of west Texas and northern Mexico, it occurs in riparian habitats, usually near permanent or semipermanent water and sometimes in dry arroyos (brooks).
 
CONSERVATION STATUS:
This species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001). Species are listed as such due to their wide distribution, presumed large population, or because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The population trend is stable.
 
GEOGRAPHIC RANGE:
Found in the United States in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In Mexico it occurs in Chihuahua and Coahuila.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Like all pit vipers, A. contortrix is generally an ambush predator: it takes up a promising position and waits for suitable prey to arrive. One exception to ambush foraging occurs when copperheads feed on insects such as caterpillars and freshly molted cicadas. When hunting insects, copperheads actively pursue their prey. Juveniles use a brightly colored tail to attract frogs and perhaps lizards, a behavior termed caudal luring. In the southern United States, they are nocturnal during the hot summer months, but are commonly active during the day during the spring and fall.
 
Like most North American viperids, these snakes prefer to avoid humans and, given the opportunity, will leave the area without biting. However, unlike other viperids, they will often "freeze" instead of slithering away, and as a result many bites occur from people unknowingly stepping on or near them. This tendency to freeze likely evolved because of the extreme effectiveness of their camouflage. When lying on dead leaves or red clay they can be almost impossible to notice. They will frequently stay still even when approached closely, and will generally strike only if physical contact is made.
 
FEEDING:
Roughly 90% of its diet consists of small rodents, such as mice and voles. They have also shown fondness for large insects and frogs, and though highly terrestrial, have been known to climb trees to gorge on emerging cicadas.
 
REPRODUCTION:
A. contortrix breeds in late summer, but not every year: sometimes a female will produce young for several years running, then not breed at all for a time. They give birth to live young about 20 cm long: a typical litter is 4 to 7, but it can be as few as one or as many as 20. Their size apart, the young are similar to the adults, but lighter in color, and with a yellow-marked tip to the tail, which is used to lure lizards and frogs.
 
VENOM:
Although venomous, these snakes are generally non-aggressive and bites are almost never fatal. Copperhead venom has an estimated lethal dose of around 100 mg, and its potency is among the lowest of all pit vipers, and slightly weaker than that of its close relative, the cottonmouth. Copperheads often employ a "warning bite" when stepped on or agitated and inject a relatively small amount of venom, if any at all. "Dry bites" involving no venom are particularly common with the copperhead, though all pit vipers are capable of a dry bite.
 
Bite symptoms include intense pain, tingling, throbbing, swelling, and severe nausea. Damage can occur to muscle and bone tissue, especially when the bite occurs in the outer extremities such as the hands and feet, areas in which there is not a large muscle mass to absorb the venom. A bite from any venomous snake should be taken very seriously and immediate medical attention sought, as allergic reaction and secondary infection are always possible. Pain management, antibiotics, and medical supervision in the case of complications is usually the course of action.
 
 
Adopt A Copperhead from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Copperhead from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Copperhead Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Copperhead
  • Adopt A Copperhead Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Copperhead
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Copperhead Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Copperhead is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Copperhead symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a copperhead for yourself or order an Adopt A Copperhead as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Copperhead Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT AN ELK

 

KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Mammalia
 
ORDER:
Artiodactyla
 
SUBORDER:
Ruminantia
 
FAMILY:
Cervidae
 
SUBFAMILY:
Cervinae
 
GENUS:
Cervus
 
SPECIES:
C. canadensis
 
The elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia. In the deer family (Cervidae), only the larger moose (Alces alces), which is called an "elk" in Europe, and the sambar (Rusa unicolor) rival the elk in size. Elk are similar to the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) found in Europe. Elk range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark. Although native to North America and Eastern Asia, they have adapted well to countries where they have been introduced, including Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Males also engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling (sparring), and bugling, a loud series of vocalizations which establishes dominance over other males and attracts females. Elk are susceptible to a number of infectious diseases, some of which can be transmitted to livestock. Efforts to eliminate infectious diseases from elk populations, largely through vaccination, have had mixed success.
 
BEHAVIOR:
Adult elk usually stay in single-sex groups for most of the year. During the mating period known as the rut, mature bulls compete for the attentions of the cows and will try to defend females in their harem. Rival bulls challenge opponents by bellowing and by paralleling each other, walking back and forth. This allows potential combatants to assess the other's antlers, body size and fighting prowess. If neither bull backs down, they engage in antler wrestling, and bulls sometimes sustain serious injuries. Bulls also dig holes in the ground, in which they urinate and roll their body. The urine soaks into their hair and gives them a distinct smell which attracts cows. Dominant bulls follow groups of cows during the rut, from August into early winter. A bull will defend his harem of 20 cows or more from competing bulls and predators. Only mature bulls have large harems and breeding success peaks at about eight years of age. Bulls between two to four years and over 11 years of age rarely have harems, and spend most of the rut on the periphery of larger harems. A bull with a harem rarely feeds and he may lose up to 20 percent of his body weight. Bulls that enter the rut in poor condition are less likely to make it through to the peak conception period or have the strength to survive the rigors of the oncoming winter. Bulls have a loud vocalization consisting of screams known as bugling, which can be heard for miles. Bugling is often associated with an adaptation to open environments such as parklands, meadows, and savannas, where sound can travel great distances. Females are attracted to the males that bugle more often and have the loudest call. Bugling is most common early and late in the day, and is one of the most distinctive sounds in nature, akin to the howl of the gray wolf.
 
REPRODUCTION AND LIFECYCLE:
Female elk have a short estrus cycle of only a day or two, and matings usually involve a dozen or more attempts. By the autumn of their second year, females can produce one and, very rarely, two offspring. Gestation period is 240 to 262 days and the offspring weigh between 15 and 16 kilograms (33 and 35 lb). When the females are near to giving birth, they tend to isolate themselves from the main herd, and will remain isolated until the calf is large enough to escape predators. Calves are born spotted, as is common with many deer species, and they lose their spots by the end of summer. Manchurian wapiti may retain a few orange spots on the back of their summer coats until they are older. After two weeks, calves are able to join the herd, and are fully weaned at two months of age. Elk calves are as large as an adult white-tailed deer by the time they are six months old. The offspring will remain with their mothers for almost a year, leaving about the time that the next season's offspring are produced. The gestation period is the same for all subspecies. Elk live 10 to 20 years.
 
PREDATORS AND DEFENSIVE TACTICS:
Wolf and coyote packs and the solitary cougar are the most likely predators, although brown and black bears also prey on elk. Coyote packs mostly prey on elk calves, though they can sometimes take a winter-weakened adult. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem which includes Yellowstone National Park, bears are the most significant predators of calves. Major predators in Asia include the wolf, dhole, brown bear, Siberian tiger, Amur Leopard, and Snow Leopard. Eurasian Lynx and Wild boar sometimes prey on Asian elk calves. Historically, tigers in the Lake Baikal region fed on Manchurian wapiti, and continue to do so in the Amur region.
 
Male elk retain their antlers for more than half the year and are less likely to group with other males when they have antlers. Antlers provide a means of defense, as does a strong front-leg kick, which is performed by either sex if provoked. Once the antlers have been shed, bulls tend to form bachelor groups which allow them to work cooperatively at fending off predators. Herds tend to employ one or more scouts while the remaining members eat and rest. After the rut, females form large herds of up to 50 individuals. Newborn calves are kept close by a series of vocalizations; larger nurseries have an ongoing and constant chatter during the daytime hours. When approached by predators, the largest and most robust females may make a stand, using their front legs to kick at their attackers. Guttural grunts and posturing effectively deter all but the most determined predators.
 
MIGRATION:
As is true for many species of deer, especially those in mountainous regions, elk migrate into areas of higher altitude in the spring, following the retreating snows, and the opposite direction in the fall. During the winter, they favor wooded areas and sheltered valleys for protection from the wind and availability of tree bark to eat. Roosevelt elk are generally non-migratory due to less seasonal variability of food sources.
 
DIET:
Elk are ruminants and therefore have four-chambered stomachs. Unlike white-tailed deer and moose which are primarily browsers, elk have a similarity to cattle as they are primarily grazers, but like other deer, they also browse. Elk have a tendency to do most of their feeding in the mornings and evenings, seeking sheltered areas in between feedings to digest. Their diets vary somewhat depending on the season with native grasses being a year round supplement, tree bark being consumed in winter and forbs and tree sprouts during the summer. Elk consume an average of 9.1 kilograms (20 lb) of various foodstuffs daily.
 
 
Adopt An Elk from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt An Elk from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt An Elk Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Elk
  • Adopt An Elk Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Elk
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt An Elk Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt An Elk is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt An Elk symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt an elk for yourself or order an Adopt An Elk as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt An Elk Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A FROG

 

KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Amphibia
 
SUBCLASS:
Lissamphibia
 
ORDER:
Anura Merrem, 1820
 
Frogs are amphibians characterized by a short body, webbed digits (fingers or toes), protruding eyes and the absence of a tail. Frogs are widely known as exceptional jumpers, and many of the anatomical characteristics of frogs, particularly their long, powerful legs, are adaptations to improve jumping performance. Due to their permeable skin, frogs are often semi-aquatic or inhabit humid areas, but move easily on land. They typically lay their eggs in puddles, ponds or lakes, and their larvae, called tadpoles, have gills and develop in water. Adult frogs follow a carnivorous diet, mostly of arthropods, annelids and gastropods. Frogs are most noticeable by their call, which can be widely heard during the night or day, mainly in their mating season. The distribution of frogs ranges from tropic to subarctic regions, but most species are found in tropical rainforests. Consisting of more than 5,000 species, they are among the most diverse groups of vertebrates. However, populations of certain frog species are declining significantly. A popular distinction is often made between frogs and toads on the basis of their appearance, but this has no taxonomic basis. From a taxonomic perspective, all members of the order Anura are frogs, but only members of the family Bufonidae are considered "true toads". The use of the term "frog" in common names usually refers to species that are aquatic or semi-aquatic with smooth and/or moist skins, and the term "toad" generally refers to species that tend to be terrestrial with dry, warty skin. An exception is the fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina): while its skin is slightly warty, it prefers a watery habitat. Frogs are generally recognized as exceptional jumpers, and the best jumper of all vertebrates. The Australian rocket frog, Litoria nasuta, can leap over 50 times its body length.
 
TREE FROGS:
A tree frog is any frog that spends a major portion of its lifespan in trees, known as an arboreal state. These frogs are typically found in very tall trees or other high-growing vegetation. They do not normally descend to the ground, except to mate and spawn, though some build foam nests on leaves and rarely leave the trees at all as adults. Many tree frogs can change their color for better camouflage. Tree frogs are usually tiny, as their weight has to be carried by the branches and twigs of their habitat. Typical for tree frogs are the well-developed discs at the finger and toe tips; the fingers and toes themselves as well as the limbs tend to be rather long, resulting in a superior grasping ability.
 
SKIN:
Many frogs are able to absorb water and oxygen directly through the skin, especially around the pelvic area. However, the permeability of a frog's skin can also result in water loss. Some tree frogs reduce water loss with a waterproof layer of skin. Others have adapted behaviors to conserve water, including engaging in nocturnal activity and resting in a water-conserving position. Camouflage is a common defensive mechanism in frogs. Most camouflaged frogs are nocturnal, which adds to their ability to hide. Nocturnal frogs usually find the ideal camouflaged position during the day to sleep.
 
Some frogs have the ability to change color, usually restricted to shades of one or two colors. Features such as warts and skin folds are usually found on ground-dwelling frogs, where a smooth skin would not disguise them. Tree frogs usually have smooth skin, enabling them to disguise themselves as leaves. Some frogs change color between night and day.
 
POISON:
Many frogs contain mild toxins that make them unpalatable to potential predators. For example, all toads have large poison glands—the parotoid glands—located behind the eyes, on the top of the head. Some frogs, such as some poison dart frogs, are especially toxic. The chemical makeup of toxins in frogs varies from irritants to hallucinogens, convulsants, nerve poisons, and vasoconstrictors. Many predators of frogs have adapted to tolerate high levels of these poisons. Others, including humans, may be severely affected. Some frogs obtain poisons from the ants and other arthropods they eat; others can manufacture an alkaloid not derived from their diet. Some native people of South America extract poison from the poison dart frogs and apply it to their darts for hunting, although few species are toxic enough to be used for this purpose. Poisonous frogs tend to advertise their toxicity with bright colors, an adaptive strategy known as aposematism. Some non-poisonous species of frogs mimic the coloration of poison frogs' coloration for self-protection.
 
LIFE CYCLE:
The life cycle of a frog starts with an egg. A female generally lays gelatinous egg masses containing thousands of eggs in water. The eggs are highly vulnerable to predation, so frogs have evolved many techniques to ensure the survival of the next generation. In colder areas the embryo is black to absorb more heat from the sun, which speeds up the development. Many individuals will breed at the same time, overwhelming the actions of predators. Another way in which some species avoid the predators and pathogens eggs are exposed to in ponds is to lay eggs on leaves above the pond, with a gelatinous coating designed to retain moisture. In these species, the tadpoles drop into the water upon hatching. The eggs of some species laid out of water can detect vibrations of nearby predatory wasps or snakes, and will hatch early to avoid being eaten. Some species lay poisonous eggs to minimize predation. While the length of the egg stage depends on the species and environmental conditions, aquatic eggs generally hatch within one week. Other species go through their whole larval phase inside the eggs or the mother, or have direct development. Unlike salamanders and newts, frogs and toads never become sexually mature while still in their larval stage. Eggs hatch and continue life as tadpoles. Tadpoles are typically herbivorous, feeding mostly on algae, including diatoms filtered from the water through the gills. Some species are carnivorous at the tadpole stage, eating insects, smaller tadpoles, and fish. Cannibalism has been observed among tadpoles. Early developers who gain legs may be eaten by the others, so the late bloomers survive longer. At the end of the tadpole stage, frogs undergo metamorphosis, in which they undergo a transition into the adult form. This metamorphosis last typically only 24 hours. The disappearance of the tail is somewhat later. The material of the tail is used for a quick growth of the legs. After the tail has been reabsorbed, the animals are ready to leave the water and disperse into terrestrial habitats, or continue to live in the aquatic habitat as adults. Almost all species of frogs are carnivorous as adults, eating invertebrates such as arthropods, annelids and gastropods. A few of the larger species may eat prey such as small mammals, fish and smaller frogs. Some frogs use their sticky tongues to catch fast-moving prey, while others capture their prey and force it into their mouths with their hands. There are some species that primarily eat plants. Adult frogs are preyed upon by birds, large fish, snakes, otters, foxes, badgers, coatis, and other animals. Frogs can live for many years; recorded living up to 40 years. Frogs from temperate climates hibernate through the winter.
 
REPRODUCTION:
Once adult frogs reach maturity, they will assemble at a water source such as a pond or stream to breed. Many frogs return to the bodies of water where they were born, often resulting in annual migrations involving thousands of frogs. Once at the breeding ground, male frogs call to attract a mate, collectively becoming a chorus of frogs. The call is unique to the species. Some species have satellite males who do not call, but intercept females that are approaching a calling male. The male and female frogs then undergo amplexus. This involves the male mounting the female and gripping her tightly. Fertilization is external: the egg and sperm meet outside of the body. The female releases her eggs, which the male frog covers with a sperm solution. The eggs then swell and develop a protective coating. Some species of frog lay eggs on the forest floor and protect them, guarding the eggs from predation and keeping them moist. The frog will urinate on them if they become too dry. After hatching, a parent will move them, on its back, to a water-holding bromeliad. The parent then feeds them by laying unfertilized eggs in the bromeliad until the young have metamorphosed. Other frogs carry the eggs and tadpoles on their hind legs. Some frogs even protect their offspring inside their own bodies with pouches along their side. Some swallow their tadpoles, which then develop in the stomach. Some will put the tadpoles in their vocal sac for development. Some species of frog will leave a 'babysitter' to watch over the frogspawn until it hatches.
 
THREATS:
Frog populations have declined dramatically since the 1950s: more than one third of species are believed to be threatened with extinction and more than 120 species are suspected to be extinct since the 1980s. Habitat loss is a significant cause of frog population decline, as are pollutants, the introduction of non-indigenous predators/competitors, and emerging infectious diseases.
 
 
Adopt A Frog from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Frog from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Frog Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Frog
  • Adopt A Frog Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Frog
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Frog Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Frog is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Frog symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a frog for yourself or order an Adopt A Frog as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Frog Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A TREE FROG

KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Amphibia
 
SUBCLASS:
Lissamphibia
 
ORDER:
Anura Merrem, 1820
 
A tree frog is any frog that spends a major portion of its lifespan in trees, known as an arboreal state. These frogs are typically found in very tall trees or other high-growing vegetation. They do not normally descend to the ground, except to mate and spawn, though some build foam nests on leaves and rarely leave the trees at all as adults. Many tree frogs can change their color for better camouflage. Tree frogs are usually tiny, as their weight has to be carried by the branches and twigs of their habitat. Typical for tree frogs are the well-developed discs at the finger and toe tips; the fingers and toes themselves as well as the limbs tend to be rather long, resulting in a superior grasping ability.
 
Frogs are amphibians characterized by a short body, webbed digits (fingers or toes), protruding eyes and the absence of a tail. Frogs are widely known as exceptional jumpers, and many of the anatomical characteristics of frogs, particularly their long, powerful legs, are adaptations to improve jumping performance. Due to their permeable skin, frogs are often semi-aquatic or inhabit humid areas, but move easily on land. They typically lay their eggs in puddles, ponds or lakes, and their larvae, called tadpoles, have gills and develop in water. Adult frogs follow a carnivorous diet, mostly of arthropods, annelids and gastropods. Frogs are most noticeable by their call, which can be widely heard during the night or day, mainly in their mating season. The distribution of frogs ranges from tropic to subarctic regions, but most species are found in tropical rainforests. Consisting of more than 5,000 species, they are among the most diverse groups of vertebrates. However, populations of certain frog species are declining significantly. A popular distinction is often made between frogs and toads on the basis of their appearance, but this has no taxonomic basis. From a taxonomic perspective, all members of the order Anura are frogs, but only members of the family Bufonidae are considered "true toads". The use of the term "frog" in common names usually refers to species that are aquatic or semi-aquatic with smooth and/or moist skins, and the term "toad" generally refers to species that tend to be terrestrial with dry, warty skin. An exception is the fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina): while its skin is slightly warty, it prefers a watery habitat. Frogs are generally recognized as exceptional jumpers, and the best jumper of all vertebrates. The Australian rocket frog, Litoria nasuta, can leap over 50 times its body length.
 
SKIN:
Many frogs are able to absorb water and oxygen directly through the skin, especially around the pelvic area. However, the permeability of a frog's skin can also result in water loss. Some tree frogs reduce water loss with a waterproof layer of skin. Others have adapted behaviors to conserve water, including engaging in nocturnal activity and resting in a water-conserving position. Camouflage is a common defensive mechanism in frogs. Most camouflaged frogs are nocturnal, which adds to their ability to hide. Nocturnal frogs usually find the ideal camouflaged position during the day to sleep.
 
Some frogs have the ability to change color, usually restricted to shades of one or two colors. Features such as warts and skin folds are usually found on ground-dwelling frogs, where a smooth skin would not disguise them. Tree frogs usually have smooth skin, enabling them to disguise themselves as leaves. Some frogs change color between night and day.
 
POISON:
Many frogs contain mild toxins that make them unpalatable to potential predators. For example, all toads have large poison glands—the parotoid glands—located behind the eyes, on the top of the head. Some frogs, such as some poison dart frogs, are especially toxic. The chemical makeup of toxins in frogs varies from irritants to hallucinogens, convulsants, nerve poisons, and vasoconstrictors. Many predators of frogs have adapted to tolerate high levels of these poisons. Others, including humans, may be severely affected. Some frogs obtain poisons from the ants and other arthropods they eat; others can manufacture an alkaloid not derived from their diet. Some native people of South America extract poison from the poison dart frogs and apply it to their darts for hunting, although few species are toxic enough to be used for this purpose. Poisonous frogs tend to advertise their toxicity with bright colors, an adaptive strategy known as aposematism. Some non-poisonous species of frogs mimic the coloration of poison frogs' coloration for self-protection.
 
LIFE CYCLE:
The life cycle of a frog starts with an egg. A female generally lays gelatinous egg masses containing thousands of eggs in water. The eggs are highly vulnerable to predation, so frogs have evolved many techniques to ensure the survival of the next generation. In colder areas the embryo is black to absorb more heat from the sun, which speeds up the development. Many individuals will breed at the same time, overwhelming the actions of predators. Another way in which some species avoid the predators and pathogens eggs are exposed to in ponds is to lay eggs on leaves above the pond, with a gelatinous coating designed to retain moisture. In these species, the tadpoles drop into the water upon hatching. The eggs of some species laid out of water can detect vibrations of nearby predatory wasps or snakes, and will hatch early to avoid being eaten. Some species lay poisonous eggs to minimize predation. While the length of the egg stage depends on the species and environmental conditions, aquatic eggs generally hatch within one week. Other species go through their whole larval phase inside the eggs or the mother, or have direct development. Unlike salamanders and newts, frogs and toads never become sexually mature while still in their larval stage. Eggs hatch and continue life as tadpoles. Tadpoles are typically herbivorous, feeding mostly on algae, including diatoms filtered from the water through the gills. Some species are carnivorous at the tadpole stage, eating insects, smaller tadpoles, and fish. Cannibalism has been observed among tadpoles. Early developers who gain legs may be eaten by the others, so the late bloomers survive longer. At the end of the tadpole stage, frogs undergo metamorphosis, in which they undergo a transition into the adult form. This metamorphosis last typically only 24 hours. The disappearance of the tail is somewhat later. The material of the tail is used for a quick growth of the legs. After the tail has been reabsorbed, the animals are ready to leave the water and disperse into terrestrial habitats, or continue to live in the aquatic habitat as adults. Almost all species of frogs are carnivorous as adults, eating invertebrates such as arthropods, annelids and gastropods. A few of the larger species may eat prey such as small mammals, fish and smaller frogs. Some frogs use their sticky tongues to catch fast-moving prey, while others capture their prey and force it into their mouths with their hands. There are some species that primarily eat plants. Adult frogs are preyed upon by birds, large fish, snakes, otters, foxes, badgers, coatis, and other animals. Frogs can live for many years; recorded living up to 40 years. Frogs from temperate climates hibernate through the winter.
 
REPRODUCTION:
Once adult frogs reach maturity, they will assemble at a water source such as a pond or stream to breed. Many frogs return to the bodies of water where they were born, often resulting in annual migrations involving thousands of frogs. Once at the breeding ground, male frogs call to attract a mate, collectively becoming a chorus of frogs. The call is unique to the species. Some species have satellite males who do not call, but intercept females that are approaching a calling male. The male and female frogs then undergo amplexus. This involves the male mounting the female and gripping her tightly. Fertilization is external: the egg and sperm meet outside of the body. The female releases her eggs, which the male frog covers with a sperm solution. The eggs then swell and develop a protective coating. Some species of frog lay eggs on the forest floor and protect them, guarding the eggs from predation and keeping them moist. The frog will urinate on them if they become too dry. After hatching, a parent will move them, on its back, to a water-holding bromeliad. The parent then feeds them by laying unfertilized eggs in the bromeliad until the young have metamorphosed. Other frogs carry the eggs and tadpoles on their hind legs. Some frogs even protect their offspring inside their own bodies with pouches along their side. Some swallow their tadpoles, which then develop in the stomach. Some will put the tadpoles in their vocal sac for development. Some species of frog will leave a 'babysitter' to watch over the frogspawn until it hatches.
 
THREATS:
Frog populations have declined dramatically since the 1950s: more than one third of species are believed to be threatened with extinction and more than 120 species are suspected to be extinct since the 1980s. Habitat loss is a significant cause of frog population decline, as are pollutants, the introduction of non-indigenous predators/competitors, and emerging infectious diseases.
 
 
Adopt A Tree Frog from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Tree Frog from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Tree Frog Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Tree Frog
  • Adopt A Tree Frog Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Tree Frog
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Tree Frog Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Tree Frog is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Tree Frog symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a tree frog for yourself or order an Adopt A Tree Frog as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Tree Frog Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A TURTLE/TORTOISE

 

KINGDOM:
Animalia
 
PHYLUM:
Chordata
 
CLASS:
Reptilia
 
SUPERORDER:
Chelonia Macartney, 1802
 
ORDER:
Testudines Linnaeus, 1758
 
Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines characterized by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield. "Turtle" may refer to terrapins, tortoises or sea turtles. The earliest known turtles date from 215 million years ago, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and a more ancient group than lizards, snakes and crocodiles. Of the many species alive today, several are highly endangered.
 
Like other reptiles, turtles are ectotherms—their internal temperature varies according to the ambient environment, commonly called cold-blooded. Like other amniotes (reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals), they breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many species live in or around water. The largest turtles are aquatic, reaching a shell length of 200 centimeters (6.6 ft). The smallest turtle is the speckled padloper tortoise of South Africa. It measures no more than 8 centimeters (3.1 in).
 
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: the Cryptodira, which can draw their necks in while contracting it under their spine; 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, have eyes closer to the top of the head. These species of turtles can hide from predators in shallow water, where they lie entirely submerged except for their eyes and nostrils. Sea turtles possess glands near their eyes that produce salty tears that rid their body of excess salt taken in from the water they drink. Turtles are thought to have exceptional night vision and have color vision. Some land turtles have very poor pursuit movement abilities, which are normally reserved for predators that hunt quick moving prey, but carnivorous turtles are able to move their heads quickly to snap. Turtles have a rigid beak. They use their jaws to cut and chew food. Instead of teeth, the upper and lower jaws of the turtle are covered by horny ridges. Carnivorous turtles usually have knife-sharp ridges for slicing through their prey. Herbivorous turtles have serrated-edged ridges that help them cut through tough plants. Turtles use their tongues to swallow food, but they cannot, unlike most reptiles, stick out their tongues to catch food.
 
SHELL:
The upper shell of the turtle is called the carapace. The lower shell that encases the belly is called the plastron. The carapace and plastron are joined together on the turtle's sides 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. The shape of the shell gives helpful clues to how a turtle lives. Most tortoises have a large, dome-shaped shell that makes it difficult for predators to crush the shell between their jaws. Most aquatic turtles have flat, streamlined shells which aid in swimming and diving. American snapping turtles and musk turtles have small, cross-shaped plastrons that 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 and these markings are 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 more agility.
 
SKIN AND MOLTING:
Turtles do not molt their skins all at once, as snakes do, but continuously, in small pieces. Tortoises also shed skin, but a lot of dead skin is allowed to accumulate into thick knobs and plates that provide protection to parts of the body outside the shell. By counting the rings it is possible to estimate the age of a turtle.
 
LIMBS:
Terrestrial tortoises have short, sturdy feet. Tortoises are famous for moving slowly, in part because of their heavy, cumbersome shell, which restricts stride length. The 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 to the dog paddle, with the feet on the left and right side of the body alternately providing thrust. Large turtles tend to swim less than smaller ones, and the very big species, such as alligator snapping turtles, hardly swim at all, preferring to simply 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 they like to bask. Male turtles tend to have particularly long claws, and these appear to be used to stimulate the female while mating. Sea turtles are almost entirely aquatic and have flippers instead of feet. Sea turtles fly through the water, using the up-and-down motion of the front flippers to generate thrust; the back feet are not used for propulsion, but may be used as rudders for steering. Compared with freshwater 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 flippers.
 
ECOLOGY:
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 of their lives on dry land. Turtles lay eggs, like other reptiles, which are slightly soft and leathery. The eggs of the largest species are spherical, while the eggs of the rest are elongated. 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. Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry, sandy beaches. They are then covered and left to incubate by themselves. When the turtles hatch, they squirm their way to the surface and head toward the water. There are no known species in which the mother cares for the young. Turtles can take many years to reach breeding age, and in many cases breed every few years rather than annually.
 
AGING:
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, lungs, and kidneys of a centenarian turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its immature counterpart.
 
CONSERVATION:
25 species of turtles will most likely become extinct, with another 40 species at very high risk of becoming extinct. Between 48 to 54% of all 328 of their species are considered threatened. Turtles and tortoises are at a much higher risk of extinction than many other vertebrates. Asian species are the most endangered, closely followed by species from Madagascar. Turtles face many threats, including habitat destruction, harvesting for consumption and pet trade. The high extinction risk for Asian species is primarily due to the long-term unsustainable exploitation of turtles and tortoises for consumption and traditional Chinese medicine, and the inhumane international turtle pet trade.
 
 
Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Turtle/Tortoise
  • Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Turtle/Tortoise
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a turtle/tortoise for yourself or order an Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Turtle/Tortoise Today!
 
 

 

ADOPT A REINDEER

The reindeer, also known as the caribou in North America, is a deer from the Arctic and Subarctic, including both resident and migratory populations. While overall widespread and numerous, some of its subspecies are rare and one has already gone extinct.
 
Reindeer vary considerably in color and size. Both sexes grow antlers, though they are typically larger in males. There are a few populations where females lack antlers completely.
 
Even far outside its range, the reindeer is well known due to the myth, probably originating in early 19th century America, in which Santa Claus's sleigh is pulled by flying reindeer, a popular secular element of Christmas.
 
The reindeer is a widespread and numerous species in the northern Holarctic. In North America, it was found in Canada, Alaska, and the northern conterminous USA from Washington to Maine. Wild reindeer have disappeared from many areas. Large populations of wild reindeer are still found in Norway, Finland, Siberia, Greenland, Alaska, and Canada.
 
Size:
The females usually measure 162–205 cm (64–81 in) in length and weigh 79–120 kg (170–260 lb). The males (or "bulls") are typically larger (although the extent to which varies in the different subspecies), measuring 180–214 cm (71–84 in) in length and usually weighing 92–210 kg (200–460 lb), though exceptionally large males have weighed as much as 318 kg (700 lb). Shoulder height typically measure from 85 to 150 cm (33 to 59 in), and the tail is 14 to 20 cm (5.5 to 7.9 in) long. The subspecies R. t. platyrhynchus from Svalbard Island is very small compared to other subspecies.
 
Antlers:
In most populations both sexes grow antlers, which (in the Scandinavian variety) for old males fall off in December, for young males in the early spring, and for females in the summer. The antlers typically have two separate groups of points, a lower and upper. There is considerable subspecific variation in the size of the antlers (e.g., rather small and spindly in the northernmost subspecies), but in some subspecies the bull reindeer's antlers are the second largest of any extant deer, after the moose, and can range up to 100 cm (39 in) in width and 135 cm (53 in) in beam length. They have the largest antlers relative to body size among deer.
 
Nose and Hooves:
Reindeer have specialized noses featuring nasal turbinate bones that dramatically increase the surface area within the nostrils. Incoming cold air is warmed by the animal's body heat before entering the lungs, and water is condensed from the expired air and captured before the deer's breath is exhaled, used to moisten dry incoming air and possibly absorbed into the blood through the mucous membranes.
 
Reindeer hooves adapt to the season: in the summer, when the tundra is soft and wet, the footpads become sponge-like and provide extra traction. In the winter, the pads shrink and tighten, exposing the rim of the hoof, which cuts into the ice and crusted snow to keep it from slipping. This also enables them to dig down (an activity known as "cratering") through the snow to their favorite food, a lichen known as reindeer moss. The knees of many species of reindeer are adapted to 
produce a clicking sound as they walk.
 
Vision:
Reindeer are thought to be the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light. A study conducted by researchers from the University College London in 2011 revealed that reindeer can see light with wavelengths as low as 320 nm, considerably below the human threshold of 400 nm. It is thought that this ability helps them to survive in the Arctic, because many objects that blend into the landscape in normally visible light, such as urine and fur, produce sharp contrasts in ultraviolet.
 
Diet:
Reindeer are ruminants, having a four-chambered stomach. They mainly eat lichens in winter, especially reindeer moss. However, they also eat the leaves of willows and birches, as well as sedges and grasses. There is some evidence to suggest that on occasion they will also feed on lemmings, arctic char, and bird eggs.
 
Reproduction:
Mating occurs from late September to early November. Males battle for access to females. Two males will lock each other's antlers together and try to push each other away. The most dominant males can collect as many as 15-20 females to mate with. A male will stop eating during this time and lose much of its body reserves. Calves may be born the following May or June. After 45 days, the calves are able to graze and forage but continue suckling until the following autumn and 
become independent from their mothers.
 
Migration:
Some populations of the North American caribou migrate the furthest of any terrestrial mammal, travelling up to 5,000 km (3,100 mi) a year, and covering 1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi). Other populations (e.g., in Europe) have a shorter migration, and some, for example the subspecies R. t. pearsoni and R. t. platyrhynchus (both restricted to islands), are residents that only make local movements.
 
Normally travelling about 19–55 km (12–34 mi) a day while migrating, the caribou can run at speeds of 60–80 km/h (37–50 mph). During the spring migration smaller herds will group together to form larger herds of 50,000 to 500,000 animals, but during autumn migrations the groups become smaller, and the reindeer begin to mate.
 
During the winter, reindeer travel to forested areas to forage under the snow. By spring, groups leave their winter grounds to go to the calving grounds. A reindeer can swim easily and quickly, normally at 6.5 km/h (4.0 mph), but if necessary at 10 km/h (6.2 mph) and migrating herds will not hesitate to swim across a large lake or broad river.
 
Predators:
A variety of predators prey heavily on reindeer. Golden Eagles prey on calves and are the most prolific hunter on calving grounds. Wolverine will take newborn calves or birthing cows, as well as (less commonly) infirm adults. Brown Bears and polar bears prey on reindeer of all ages, but like the wolverines they are most likely to attack weaker animals, such as calves and sick deer. The Gray Wolf is the most effective natural predator of adult reindeer, especially during the winter. As carrion, caribou are fed on by foxes, ravens and hawks. Blood-sucking insects, such as black flies and mosquitoes, are a plague to reindeer during the summer and can cause enough stress to inhibit feeding and calving behaviors.
 
 
Adopt A Reindeer from World Animal Foundation
 
Adopt A Reindeer from World Animal Foundation and make a difference for animals and the environment.
 
Your WAF Adopt A Reindeer Kit comes in a Deluxe WAF Folder and includes:
  • Glossy Photo of Your Adopted Reindeer
  • Adopt A Reindeer Adoption Certificate
  • Fact Sheet About Your Adopted Reindeer
  • Help Animals Info Cards Packed With Information On Animal Issues & How You Can Help Animals And The Environment
Adopt An Animal Adopt A Reindeer Kits make great gifts and can be sent directly to the recipient. Simply supply the recipient's name and mailing address as shipping information. We'll even include a letter stating the Adopt A Reindeer is from you.
 
WAF's Adopt A Reindeer symbolic adoption is $35 and helps the World Animal Foundation to preserve the planet and protect its animals. Adopt a reindeer for yourself or order an Adopt A Reindeer as a gift. Help make a difference for animals - Adopt A Reindeer Today!
 
 
 
 

 

  

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