Equus caballus caballus american miniatureMiniature Horse

Family

  • Equidae

Lifespan

  • 30+ years

Size

  • Height:  36 inches or less at the withers (shoulder)
  • Weight:  150-250 pounds

Origin

  • These tiny equids descend from the same ancestor as standard horses, the wild horse (Tarpan). The tarpan became extinct in the early 1900's. The tarpans range was thought to include north eastern Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, extending through Mongolia.
  • There is conflicting data about where specifically this breed originated

Habitat

  • Ancient horses were found in short grasslands and desert scrubland

DietMiniature Horses

  • Wild:  Wild grasses
  • Zoo:  Alfalfa/Timothy hay mix and occasional horse treats

Reproduction

  • Young become sexually mature around 2 years of age. A single foal is born after a gestation period of 11 months. Foals may graze as early as one month old, but will not become fully weaned until 8-13 months old. A mature female is called a mare. An intact mature male is called a stallion or stud. Castrated males are known as geldings. Female young are fillies, while male young are colts. A juvenile of either sex may be called a foal.

Special adaptations

  • Modern horses (including their wild counterparts) have gone through many skeletal changes, including the fusion of several bones into one – the cannon bone. The cannon bone is a combination of several bones and is located in the horses’ leg.
  • Because of their high intelligence, small stature and long life spans, miniature horses have recently been incorporated in programs for leading the blind
  • Horses can turn their ears independently to capture sounds from all angles (and determine if predators are in the area). Their ears are specially shaped like a funnel to direct sounds where they can be interpreted best.

Facts/infoMiniature Horse

  • Horses are one of the least changed domestic species from its wild ancestor
  • Horse coats can come in several patterns and colors
  • Although horse hooves look big, they are essentially walking on the nail of one of their "fingers"
  • Unlike their wild ancestors, horses manes lay down on one side of their neck and do not shed annually
  • Miniature horses cannot support much weight for a rider, but can pull more than two times their weight!
  • Horses are social by nature and our two minis are extremely attached to each other – they will call to each other if they are ever separated

Conservation status

    • Domestic – not listed
    • There are 3 Equid species which are in need of protection
    • Przewalski's Horse (Mongolian Wild Horse)

 

  • African Wild Ass
  • Asiatic Wild Ass (Onager or Kulan)

 

Sources

  1. Feldhamer, George A. et al., Mammalogy: Adaptation, diversity, and ecology. 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
  2. American Miniature Horse Association. November, 2011 www.amha.org
  3. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  4. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012.  www.iucnredlist.org
Miniature Horses summer vs. winter coats
 

Bos taurusJersey Cow

Family

  • Bovidae

Lifespan

  • 20-25 years

Size

  • Height:
  • Weight: Males: 1200-1800 pounds, Females: 800-1200 pounds

Origin

  • Jersey cattle originate from the Island of Jersey, a small British island in the English channel near the French coastline

Habitat

  • Only found in captivity, this animal can graze in fields and grasslands

Diet

  • Wild:  Not found in the wild; cattle ancestors would have eaten grasses and similar plant matter
  • Zoo:  Hay and high fiber grain in cold weather or for treats

Reproduction

  • Jersey heifers can be bred as early as 13 months of age. A single calf is typical after a gestation of about 9-10 months. The Jersey calf is small compared to other breeds, weighing on average 60 pounds at birth. The calf will quickly gain weight as it nurses on the protein–rich milk, doubling its weight in less than 2 months.

Special adaptations

  • Cattle are ruminant digesters and process food through a 4-chambered stomach. This adaptation allows them to leech as many nutrients from their food as possible, which in turn allows ruminants to be able to survive in places where non-ruminant herbivores could not live. They also do not have to consume as much food to supply their bodies with energy.
  • Cattle tongues are extremely long – they lick their interior nasal cavities to increase the amount of good bacteria in their digestive tract, which help break down the course matter in their diet.

Facts/info

  • Jerseys are one of the most popular dairy cattle breeds
  • The cow on Borden sweetened condensed milk cans (Elsie) is a Jersey
  • The bull head on Elmer’s glue is a Jersey
  • Ruminants usually do not have upper incisors or canines, just a rough pad on the roof of their mouths
  • Cattle are considered to be the most important livestock animal and are among the most populous domestic animal
  • Our Jersey, Andy, is a fixed male – known as a steer
  • Andy is very gentle and comfortable around his keepers

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Not Evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • Although domestic cattle are not threatened, there are 5 Bovid species which are in need of protections:
    • Bos gaurus (Gaur)
      • IUCN: Vulnerable
      • CITES: Appendix I
      • Found in India, China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia
    • Bos javanicus (Banteng)
      • IUCN: Endangered
      • CITES: Not Listed
      • Found in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and sporadically in Indonesia.  Small population introduced to Australia
    • Bos mutus (Wild Yak)
      • IUCN: Vulnerable
      • CITES: Appendix I
      • Found in China.  Historically found in China and India.  Believed to be extinct in all countries except China
    • Bos sauveli (Grey Ox/Kouprey)
      • IUCN: Critically Endangered
      • CITES: Appendix I
      • Found in Cambodia and southern Laos
    • Bubalus arnee (Indian Water Buffalo)
      • IUCN: Endangered
      • CITES: Appendix III
      • Found in India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia; all extremely fragmented

Sources:

  1. American Jersey Cattle Association. Ed Zirkle. 9 November 2011. American Jersey Cattle Association. 13 November 2011 www.usjersey.com
  2. Jersey. 12 December 1997. Oklahoma State University. 13 November 2011 http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/jersey/
  3. Feldhamer, George A. et al., Mammalogy: Adaptation, diversity, and ecology. 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
  4. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  5. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Jersey Cow

Anas platyrhynchos Campbell Ducks

Family

  • Anatidae

Lifespan

  • Around 10 years with good care

Size

  • Around 4 pounds

Origin

  • This breed originated in the late 1800’s in Gloucestershire, England.

Habitat

  • Domestic; no real habitat but prefer areas near calm water

Diet

  • Waterfowl chow and greens
  • Can be seen foraging under water for aquatic vegetation and bugs

Reproduction

  • Female Campbell ducks are reported to be excellent egg-layers. Females will lay their first eggs at 5-7 months old. After incubation time of around 28 days the ducklings will hatch. Ducklings are covered in downy feathers and are not waterproof and can easily drown, but will swim following their mother. Ducks are social and can live in large flocks.

Special adaptationsCampbell Duck butt

  • Ducks are specially suited to live near the water. They have webbed feet which can propel them swiftly through the water, and flattened bills to strain out materials from the water to eat.

Facts/info

  • Domestic ducks are too large to fly, but wild ducks are able to migrate
  • Males often have a curled feather at the tip of their tail

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Not Evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed

Sources

  1. Campbell Duck. 1993. Accessed November 2011 http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/waterfowl/campbell.html
  2. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  3. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
Campbell Duck

 

Bos taurusHolstein Cow

Family

  • Bovidae

Lifespan

  • 6 years*

Size

  • Height:  58-60 inches at shoulder
  • Weight:  1500-2000 pounds

Origin

  • This breed originated in the Netherlands about 2000 years ago

Habitat

  • Only found in captivity, this animal can graze in fields and grasslands

Diet

  • Wild:  Not found in the wild; cattle ancestors would have eaten grasses and similar plant matter
  • Zoo:  Hay and high fiber grain in cold weather or for treats

Reproduction

  • Holstein heifers (young female cattle that have not yet been bred) can be bred as young as 15 months old but the ideal age to first breed a female is between 24 and 27 months. 1-2 young are born after a gestation of 9 months.

Special adaptations

  • Cattle are ruminant digesters and process food through a 4-chambered stomach. This adaptation allows them to leech as many nutrients from their food as possible, which in turn allows ruminants to be able to survive in places where non-ruminant herbivores could not live. They also do not have to consume as much food to supply their bodies with energy.
  • Cattle tongues are extremely long – they lick their interior nasal cavities to increase the amount of good bacteria in their digestive tract, which help break down the course matter in their diet.

Facts/info

  • Holsteins are one of the most easily recognizable dairy cows in the world
  • Cutie Pie, our resident Holstein, loves attention and people. She can almost always be found at her fence line waiting to greet visitors!
  • Ruminants usually do not have upper incisors or canines, just a rough pad on the roof of their mouths
  • Cattle are considered to be the most important livestock animal and are among the most populous domestic animal

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Not evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • Although domestic cattle are not threatened, there are 5 Bovid species which are in need of protections:
    • Bos gaurus (Gaur)
      • IUCN: Vulnerable
      • CITES: Appendix I
      • Found in India, China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia
    • Bos javanicus (Banteng)
      • IUCN: Endangered
      • CITES: Not Listed
      • Found in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and sporadically in Indonesia.  Small population introduced to Australia
    • Bos mutus (Wild Yak)
      • IUCN: Vulnerable
      • CITES: Appendix I
      • Found in China.  Historically found in China and India.  Believed to be extinct in all countries except China
    • Bos sauveli (Grey Ox/Kouprey)
      • IUCN: Critically Endangered
      • CITES: Appendix I
      • Found in Cambodia and southern Laos
    • Bubalus arnee (Indian Water Buffalo)
      • IUCN: Endangered
      • CITES: Appendix III
      • Found in India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia; all extremely fragmented

*It is likely they can live much longer, but most owners do not keep cattle past prime production, which is around 6 years.

Sources

  1. Feldhamer, George A. et al., Mammalogy: Adaptation, diversity, and ecology. 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
  2. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  3. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. www.iucnredlist.org

Holstein Cow

Gallus gallus domesticusBantam chicken

Family

  • Phasianidae

Lifespan

  • Up to 20 years in captivity

Size

  • Height: 4-7 inches
  • Weight:  16-25 ounces

Origin

  • Domestic chickens are bred in many places
  • All domestic chickens are descendents of the Red Jungle Fowl

Habitat

  • Domestic breed only, not found in the wild

Diet

  • Zoo:  Mazuri brand Gamebird chow and greens

Reproduction

  • Chickens lay eggs like all birds.
  • Chickens reach sexual maturity around 18 months.
  • Clutch size can vary depending on breed, age, health, and nutrition.
    • After 21-30 days the chicks will make their way out of the shell.
    • Newly hatched chicks are moist and covered in downy feathers.
    • Within 4-5 weeks the chicks should be fully feathered.
    • Chicks will flock near their mother for protection until reaching adult size.

Special adaptationsBantam Chicken and rooster

  • Chickens have a comb and waddle, red skin flaps on the top of their head and under their beak, which help dissipate heat
  • Roosters will have a larger comb and waddle which are a form of ornamentation.  Roosters with larger combs and waddles tend to appear more attractive to hens
  • Some bantam chicken breeds are considered a "fancy chicken" and will have ornamental feathers surrounding their feet

Facts/info

  • Domestic chickens are too large to fly, but can glide and perch on tall objects
  • Chickens love the occasional worm or bug and will scratch at the ground in hopes of uncovering a tasty treat
  • Today bantam chickens are mostly used for show or kept as a hobby
  • True bantams are breeds that do not have a full size counterpart
  • There are several color variations (breeds) of Bantam Chickens.  At the zoo we have a bantam Leghorn, bantam Porcelain Mille Fleure Barbu D'Uccle, and bantam Sebright

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Not Evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • As a domestic species, the chicken is not listed under protective status

Sources

  1. Henderson, John R. Henderson’s Handy Dandy Chicken Chart. Accessed November 29, 2009 http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
  2. Gallus gallus (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed November 29, 2009 http://www.eol.org/pages/1049263
  3. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  4. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org