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Cebus capucinusCapuchin

Family

  • Cebidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: 12 to 25 years
  • Captivity: Up to 47 years

Size

  • Length: 11 to 20 inch body, with a 12 to 20 inch tail.
  • Weight: About 3 to 11 pounds.
    • Males are slightly larger than females.

Origin

  • Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama

Habitat 

  • Main canopy levels in evergreen rainforests, mangroves, deciduous dry forest.

Lifestyle

  • Capuchins are omnivorous (eats both plant and animal matter, primarily fruits and insects), diurnal (active during the day), and are primarily arboreal (spending most of their time in trees).
  • Capuchins move quadrupedally, or by using four limbs.

Diet

  • Wild: Fruits, nuts, leaves, insects, birds, lizards, eggs, and small mammals like nesting coatis.
  • Zoo: New World Primate biscuits, fruits and vegetables.

Reproduction

  • Capuchins have a polygamous mating system.
  • Gestation lasts around 157 to 167 days.
  • Females give birth to a single young which will cling to its mother from birth. 
  • Young are weaned by the age of 12 months and young males leave their birthplace as early as two years old. 
  • Males do not share in childcare. White-throated Capuchins

Unique Characteristics

  • Capuchins travel in an ordered, single line through the treetops.
  • They communicate vocally, through facial expression, and through grooming.
  • They can swim rather well.
  • They have a poor sense of smell and use urine-washing (rubbing urine on hands and feet) to mark territory.

Special Adaptations

  • Capuchins have an opposable thumb and big toe, as well as a partially prehensile tail.
  • The molars are square shaped with thick enamel to help crack nuts.
  • They have the most highly developed brain of the New World monkeys, and have been observed using weapons, tools, and problem-solving skills to adapt to their changing environment.

What’s in a Name

  • Capuchins have a tuft of hair on their head similar to a capuche worn by Franciscan monks, hence their name.
  • They are also known as "ring tails" because the tail is carried with the tip coiled up.

Humans and Capuchins

  • The most famous relationship of man to the capuchin is that of the organ grinder.
  • Capuchins are also used in research due to their intelligence, sometimes even placed with paraplegics to perform tasks. 
     
    White-throated capuchin

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II (trade controlled)
  • Capuchins are prone to habitat loss, as many other species are
  • Importation is now illegal to protect the wild populations.  

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
  3. Cebus capucinus (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/pages/323944

Leptailurus servalServal

Family

  • Felidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: 10 to 12 years
  • Captivity: 13 to 20 years

Size

  • Length: 2 to 3 feet, head and body, with a 12 inch tail
  • Weight: 20 to 40 pounds

Range

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat

  • Long-grass savannahs near water and wetlands

Diet

  • Wild: Mainly eats rodents and small mammals but will also eat frogs, lizards, insects, and small birds
  • Zoo: Ground beef with vitamins mixed in, chicks, and knucklebones to help keep his teeth healthy.

Reproduction

  • The serval reaches maturity at approximately 18 months.
  • Servals lead solitary lives and come together in pairs only for a few days when the female is in heat.
  • Gestation is approximately 75 days and an average litter is 1 to 3 kittens.

Special Adaptations

  • The serval has excellent hearing as indicated by its very large ears.
    • Those ears trap sound waves, allowing the serval to detect tunneling rodents underground, which it digs up and eats.
  • The servals black-spotted, tawny to yellow-orange coat camouflage it well in the long grasses and foliage of the savannahs and wetlands it inhabits.

Feline Facts

  • Like other felines, the serval stalks and pounces on its prey.
  • Its sharp teeth and claws allow it to swiftly subdue its victim.

Unique Characteristics

  • The serval is among the swiftest and most agile of the wild cats.
    • Its long muscular legs provide it with good climbing and great leaping abilities.
    • This enables it to flush out a bird on the ground and then catch it in mid flight jumping straight up from the ground, up to 13 feet in the air!

Serval

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II (trade controlled)
  • Though current populations of servals are reasonably widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the principle threats they face are habitat loss and persecution.
  • Servals are coveted for their fur, and their pelts are marketed through domestic and tourist trade.
  • Servals are reputed to be easy to hunt.
    • They will run up a tree if chased by dogs, where they can then be easily shot.
  • Though international commerce in serval products has been banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), actual legislation to protect or regulate the hunting of servals does not exist in many African nations, and serval pelts continue to be exported

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
  3. Leptailurus serval serval (Schreber, 1776). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/pages/1240956

Python regiusRoyal Python

Family

  • Pythonidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: average 10 years
  • Captivity: 20 to 35 years

Size

  • Length: 3 to 5 feet
  • Weight: 5 to 15 pounds

Habitat

  • Mixed grasslands and forests

Lifestyle Royal Python

  • Royal pythons are carnivorous (meat eater), crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), and terrestrial (ground-dwelling).

Origin

  • West-Central Africa

Diet

  • Wild: almost exclusively eat rodents: rats, gerbils and gerboas
  • Zoo: Frozen thawed rats

Reproduction

  • Sexual maturity is reached at approximately 5 years of age.
  • The female will lay 5-9 eggs per clutch once a year.
  • The female incubates the eggs by coiling herself around them and shivering to maintain a constant warm temperature.
    • Incubation lasts 75 to 80 days.
    • Hatchlings are 9 to 17 inches long at birth.

Unique Characteristics

  • The name "ball" python comes from the fact that this snake rolls into a ball to hide and protect its head.
  • The name "royal" python is due to a legend that many African rulers were known to have worn live pythons as jewelry, especially Cleopatra.

Special AdaptationsRoyal Python soaking

  • To hunt, snakes stick out their forked tongue to collect data.
    • Once collected, the snake will insert the tips of the forked tongue into its Jacobson’s organ, where the data can be analyzed.
    • The Jacobson’s organ interprets the chemicals such as pheromones to aid the snake with finding its next meal, or even a mate.
  • They are well camouflaged for life in the trees or on the ground, with varying coloration on the top and bottom of their body.
  • They shed their skin every 6 to 8 weeks to reveal a new skin underneath.

Python Facts

  • Pythons are constrictors, meaning they kill their prey by coiling around and suffocating it.
  • They are also excellent swimmers and have the ability to pump air inside their body to prevent sinking.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II (trade is controlled)
  • Although they are not listed as endangered or threatened, their numbers continue to decrease in the wild due to over collection for the pet trade and habitat loss.
Royal Python
 

Sources

  1.  CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012.  www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
  3. Burnie, David and Don E. Wilson. Smithsonian Institution. Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. New York, New York. DK Publishing, Inc. 2001.
  4. Walls, Jerry G. The Living Python. Neptune City, NJ. TFH Publications. 1998.
  5. Rangel, E. 2002 "Python regius SHAW 1802". Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed 24 September 2009 www.eol.org/pages/1055460

 

Sus scrofa domesticaPot-belly Pig

Family

  • Suidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: Up to 10 years
  • Captivity: 12 to 15 years

Size

  • Height: Shoulder height is 35-45 cm
  • Weight: Up to 150 lbs.

Origin

  • Vietnam

Diet

  • Wild: Omnivores, eating grasses, eggs, frogs, snakes, and fish
  • Zoo: Mazuri pig diet and lettuce

Habitat Pot-belly pig

  • Open woodlands

Reproduction

  • Pot-bellied pigs reach maturity at around 6 to 7 months of age.
  • Gestation lasts approximately 114 days and a mother may produce between 4 and 12 young.
  • The mother’s milk is the primary food for the first 2 to 3 months.

Special Adaptations

  • Pot-bellied pigs have terrible vision, but they have an excellent sense of smell and hearing.
  • They also have a snout, composed of a cartilaginous disc supported and strengthened by a pre-nasal bone, providing the pig with an excellent digging tool.
  • Law enforcement agencies have even employed pig sniffing power for drug searches.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • Pot-bellied pigs are domestic, and therefore not listed as endangered or threatened

Pot-belly Pig

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
  3. Sus (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/date_objects/22928043