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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: Not evaluated
  • 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

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

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

 

Lontra canadensis North American River Otter

Family  

  • Mustelidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: 10 to 15 years
  • Captivity: Up to 25 years

Size

  • Length: 2 to 3.5 feet
  • Tail length: up to 18 inches
  • Weight: 10 to 33 pounds
    • Females are 1/3 smaller than males.

Range

  • Historically found throughout most of the United States and Canada.

Habitat

  • North American River Otters live in lakes, rivers, streams, and coastal areas.

Diet

  • Wild: River otters mainly eat fish and crustaceans, but will also eat birds, eggs, berries, and small mammals.
  • Zoo: Our otters are offered a Zoo carnivore diet, carrot, apple, and lake smelt.

ReproductionNorth American River Otter in den

  • Every other year, otters bear 2 to 4 pups in an abandoned burrow.
  • Otters have delayed implantation, allowing a fertilized egg to suspend development until it is signaled to resume growth.
    • This may be a response to population growth, food supplies or other factors that would affect the ability of young to thrive.
  • Pup’s eyes typically open at 21 to 35 days.
  • Pups become independent between 1 to 1.5 years of age.
  • They need to be taught how to swim.
    • The mother may throw them in the water for their first swimming lesson.

Unique Characteristics

  • As members of the Mustelidae family, otters have specialized glands that secrete musky smelling oil for identification, marking territory, and for protection.

Special Adaptations

  • Otters have adaptations for an aquatic lifestyle.
    • They have four webbed feet, ears and nostrils that close tightly, a propeller-like tail, a waterproof undercoat, and an insulating outer coat.
    • They are also nearsighted, which actually enables them to see better underwater.
    • During a dive, they can even slow their pulse to conserve oxygen.
  • The otter has a keen sense of smell and very sensitive whiskers, too.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Not evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • River otters are not endangered, but their numbers are declining due to hunting, habitat loss, and pollution, so they are protected.
  • Over 30,000 pelts are still sold annually in Canada and the U.S.
North American River Otter

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. Lontra canadensis (Schreber, 1777). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/pages/328584