Thursday, January 31, 2008

A look-alike

Olingos closely resemble the kinkajou though they lack prehensile tails and extrudable tongues. They are native to the rainforests of Central and South America from Nicaragua to Peru and are actually closer related to the coati than the kinkajou. Olingos are also nocturnal and arboreal.

Be patient with this video as at first it is hard to see the animal. But you will get a clear shot of the olingo.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not a ferret or a monkey

The Kinkajou from Central and South America is also known as the Honey Bear, Sugar Bear, or Cat-Monkey. An adult only weighs 4 to 7 pounds! These noctural mammals primarily eat fruit. Kinkajous have a prehensile tail.

That long tongue is useful for getting nectar.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Raccoon relation

The Coatimundi is native to South, Central and southwestern North America. Coatis are able to descend a tree head first! Though related to the raccoon, they walk on the soles of their feet like a Grizzly Bear.

This picture is of a ring-tailed coatimundi.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Masket Bandit

Over the next few days I plan to share about the raccoon family, starting with the familiar Raccoon. My first up close and personal view of a raccoon was the one my 9th grade biology teacher had. He introduced the raccoon to us by showing us the muddy paw prints left on his white shirt. Of course, then we were dying to see the raccoon in person and the teacher obliged.

Did you know raccoons are also called Northern Raccoon, Common Raccoon, Washer Bear or Coon? The farther north they live in North America the larger they tend to be. Raccoons in Southern Florida are the smallest.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weird Cat video

Okay, I just had to share this video I found of a housecat. Well, not your ordinary domestic cat. Most cats don’t like water. But check this one out.

free video hosting

I’d say that’s one unique cat!

Jungle Jane

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Not related to the Persian

Pallas' Cat is also known as the Manul in Central Asia. Pallas’ Cats have a flat face and round pupils!

Pallas’ Cats make dens in caves, crevices, or burrows dug by other animals. They are a long-haired cold tolerant cat. Their call sounds similar to the barking of a small dog.

Friday, January 25, 2008

From Southeast Asia

The Leopard Cat varies in size, coloration, and whether it has spots or rosettes, depending on the subspecies. On average it is about the size of the domestic cat.

Leopard Cats live in forests and rainforest. They are found anywhere from North Korea to Bali, Pakistan, India and some Japanese islands.

Unlike other cats, male leopard cats help rear their young!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Perhaps the smallest wildcat

Weighing from 2 to 3.3 pounds, the Rusty Spotted Cat, is a very small wild cat. This cat from India and Sri Lanka is related to the Leopard Cat. The Rusty Spotted Cat is extremely agile and active.

For more info and a picture of the whole cat, go here. Isn't that some tail?

Jungle Jane

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chinese Mountain Cat

The Chinese Mountain Cat is called the Chinese Desert Cat, the Pale Cat, the Grass Cat or the Pale Desert Cat. This cat is larger than a domestic cat. Its coat is pale yellowish gray and peppered with black guard hairs. In winter its coat is lighter. Like the Sand Cat the Chinese Desert Cat has fur on the bottom of its feet. This protects the paws from hot sand in summer, although it is not really a desert animal, and snow and ice in winter.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rare Cat

The Bay Cat from Borneo is also known as the Bornean Cat, Bornean Red Cat or Bornean Bay Cat. It is also related to the Asian Golden Cat, although it is smaller and has a different skull structure. Bay Cats are about the size of a domestic cat.

Not a lot is known about these cats. There were no recorded sightings of them between 1928 and 1992! For more details check out this article where you can also see a picture.

Jungle Jane

Monday, January 21, 2008

And yet another Asian Cat

The Flat-headed Cat is not able to retract its claws. The other three cats with this characteristic are the Cheetah, Fishing Cat, and Iriomote Cat.

Flat-headed Cats prefer to live in rainforests close to bodies of water. It eats fish, aquatic animals, birds, and small rodents.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Big cat in miniature

The Marbled Cat is closely related to the Asian Golden Cat. They are similar in size to domestic cats, though they have a much longer, more thickly furred tail. Their markings are comparable to the much larger Clouded Leopard.

To see what one looks like, go to Big Cat Rescue, where they have 3 photos.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Asian Cats

Yesterday’s cat was a small wild cat. Today’s is another medium size cat. The Asian Golden Cat is also called the Temminck's Golden Cat.

Asian Golden Cats prefer to live in forest habitats interspersed with rocky areas. Not a lot is known about these cats in the wild. In captivity they live up to 20 years.

Photo courtesy of OpenCage.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Felis margarita

The Sand Cat’s Latin name above basically means pearl cat. They are native to the arid areas of Northern Africa, Arabia, Central Asia, and Pakistan. Like the Black-footed Cat, the Sand Cat can live without drinking water! Instead it obtains the fluid it requires from its prey. Sand Cats live in the sandy desert. (No surprise there!)

Sand Cats have large ears and acute hearing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

African and Asian Cats

The Jungle Cat is also called the Swamp Cat or Swamp Lynx (though not related) and the Reed Cat. In Ancient Egypt the Jungle Cat was trained for hunting wildfowl. These cats are bigger than a domestic cat and are found in Egypt, West and Central Asia, India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

They are endangered partially due to the fur trade. Twelve adult jungle cats are killed to make one fur coat.
Jungle Jane

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One of the smallest wild cats

Some people think the Black-footed Cat’s head looks broad in proportion to its body; I think it’s cute. And I just love this mixture of stripes and spots.

The Black-footed Cat is found in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Southern Angola. Not only are its feet black, but the pads are black and surrounded by long black hair which protects its paws from heat.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More African Cats

The African Golden Cat is related both to the Caracal and the Serval. It is a medium size cat about 19 inches high, and weighing 24-31 pounds. Golden cats are typically cinnamon or reddish brown in color, but sometimes they are black or gray. Wish I had a photo to share with you. But you can see one at Big Cat Rescue.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Greater and Lesser

The Greater African Flamingo (right) is the largest flamingo. Males are almost five feet tall.

There are more Lesser Flamingoes (below) than Greater Flamingos. They are the ones you usually see in pictures with massive numbers on the African lakes in the Rift Valley of Kenya and Tanzania.

Read more about flamingos here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

African Peafowl

Both male and female Congo Peafowl resemble immature Asian Peafowl. The picture left is a male. He can fan his tail feathers similar to other peacocks. His red neck has no feathers.

Below is a female Congo Peafowl.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Arabian camel

The Dromedary or one hump camel is also called the Arabian camel. They are domesticated. During mating season males inflate their soft palate which makes a deep pink sack that hangs out of the sides of their mouth to attract females. Umm, lovely . . . or something . . .

Originally native to western Asia and East Africa, none survive in the wild in their original range.
Jungle Jane

Friday, January 11, 2008

Think skunk in armor

The pangolin, or scaly anteater, got its name from a Malay word that means “something that rolls up.” In fact, pangolins do roll up into a scaly ball when scared. They also can emit a noxious smelling acid. I’d love to see one roll up, but only if it was just a little bit scared so it was odorfree!

Pangolins are native to Africa and Asia.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's a, a, a wolf!

The Ethiopian Wolf is one of the rarest of the dog family. It is sometimes called the Red or Simian Jackal, the Abyssinian Wolf, or the Red Fox. It is more closely related to wolves than jackals or foxes. As its name implies it is an African animal. Unfortunately, it is also endangered. More info can be found on our wolf animal facts page.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A runner

Jackals are not just scavengers, but are also predators of small to medium-sized animals, plus they are omnivorous.

Jackals are native to Africa, Asia, and Southeastern Europe. They are nocturnal and can maintain a speed of 10 miles per hour for expended periods of time. They serve a similar purpose as our coyotes.

Doesn't this one have interesting markings? To see what kind he is read our animal fact page on jackals.

Jungle Jane

Photo by Clara Natoli

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A dog? Not so much.

Photo by Jo Phillips

Hyenas are native to Africa, Arabia, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Though doglike in appearance, they are more closely related to meerkats and mongooses. Hyenas have longer front legs than back legs. Some are striped, while others are spotted. Hyenas are carnivores. For more info check out our animal facts.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Who is that masked pig?

Not a warthog, though there is some resemblance. It’s a Red River Hog—a type of wild pig from Africa. These omnivorous hogs are mostly nocturnal. Red river hogs are good swimmers and fast runners. They will eat almost anything and using their snout as a plow can cause considerable damage to agricultural crops.

This picture is courtesy of Matthew Hull.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

African Lens-Pig

It’s their tusks that makes warthogs, also known as African Lens-Pigs, so recognizable. They use their tusks for digging, defense against predators and when males fight each other.

Warthogs are fast runners. And they’re bigger than they look, ranging in size from 110 to 330 pounds.

Derek Nutley took this picture. I'm hoping he used a telephoto lens!

Jungle Jane

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Rhinocerceros: Not Just African Animals

When I think of rhinos I remember the old John Wayne movie Hitari that I saw as a kid. I can still see those images of the rhinos. Maybe that’s why I often think of rhinos only as African animals, but in reality there are two species are from Africa and also three species in Asia.

The African rhinoceros are the Black Rhinoceros and the White Rhinoceros (this name has nothing to do with color – see the animal facts page for an explanation). African rhinos don’t have teeth at the front of their mouths.

The Asian rhinoceros are the Javan, Sumatran and Indian. Only the white rhino is not endangered

Friday, January 4, 2008

And you thought you eat a lot?

Photo by Ray Forester.

Adult male gorillas can eat about 45 pounds of food a day. They spend most of the day eating. (I can see why! That's a lot of food to shovel in...) Gorillas mainly eat fruit, leaves, and shoots, though they do eat a small amount of insects, too.
Both species of gorilla are endangered. For more info on gorillas check out our animal facts page. Or watch videos at this site. I watched the “Plight of Baby Gorillas.” Poor babies!

Jungle Jane

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jumping Gazelles

This picture of Thomson's Gazelles (East Africa) was taken by Matthew Hull. Tommies exhibit a distinctive behavior of running slowly and jumping high before fleeing when threatened by predators. This is called stotting.

There are 14 types of gazelles. Most are found in Africa, but some are native to Southeast Asia (Goitered Gazelle or Persian Gazelle, Chinkara or Indian Gazelle, Mongolian Gazelle, Tibetan Gazelle, Przewalski’s Gazelle).

Left - a Mhorr Gazelle (Morocco and North Africa) – a desert gazelle now extinct in the wild.

Gazelles are a type of antelope and are known for being speedy animals. They can run up to 50 miles per hour for a long time.

Cuvier's Gazelle above is an endangered gazelle in Tunisia.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Water or mud creatures by day

Picture by Bert Glibbery.

A group of hippos, usually up to 40, is called a pod, herd, dale, or bloat. The word hippopotamus originated from the Greek and could be translated “river horse.” A hippo can run faster than a human and they have been clocked at 30 miles per hour for short distances. Hippos average 11 feet long!

Some pluralize hippopotamus as "hippopotamuses" and others as "hippopotami." No wonder many of us just use "hippos."

Jungle Jane