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The lion is known as the king of the jungle! Thousands of years ago, lions lived on almost every continent. Today, you will find prides of lions lazily laying in the shade of trees in the savannahs of Africa or in the dry forests of India. Lions have no natural predators!
Lions are known for their golden fur, sharp teeth and loud roar. Lions spend about 20 hours a day sleeping and only two hunting! Male lions can be more than eight feet long, and have a golden mane of hair like a king’s crown! The lionesses are smaller, but take care of the pride and the cubs by doing most of the hunting.
The American bison is making a come back! The native peoples used the bison for food, clothing, and even used the skins for tents. But hunters almost made this mammal extinct in the last century. Today, you will find the American bison roaming the prairies, plains of the western U.S.
Bison look dangerous horns, but they are herbivores! The American bison is hairier than its European cousin, but just as big! An adult bison weighs more than one thousand pounds and can stand six feet tall! Male bison and female bison do not live in herds together. Instead, mother bison live in herds together with their babies.
Commonly called the Moose or the Eurasian Elk, this is the largest species of the deer family. Moose live in almost all the forests of the northern hemisphere. The name moose is from the native Americans and first became part of the English language in 1606.
Unlike most deer species, moose are solitary and live alone, never forming herds. Moose have palmate (leaf shaped) antlers unlike deer, which have dendritic (twig-like) antlers. Moose live are herbivores and can eat plants with their heads underwater.
Snow leopard tails are about three feet long! Their tails helps them with their balance when running along rocky mountain sides. Snow leopards hunt and wander alone! Mothers stay with their babies in their dens. They are rarely seen and are an endangered species. Their habitat is threatened by global warming.
The African elephant is a very large and majestic mammal. In fact, the African bush elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal! African elephants live in family herds in the dry plains and bush. They can use their trunks like an arm. African elephants have four to six sets of teeth in their lives.
African elephants have big ears to help them cool down in the hot sun. Male African elephants can weigh up to thirteen thousand pounds and stand more than ten feet tall! Both male and female African elephants have long white tusks. African elephants’ trunks have two lips, unlike Asian elephants.
The polar bear is one of the only land mammals that spends most of its time in the water! That is because one of the polar bear's favorite meals is a seal. Sadly, the polar bears arctic habitat is in danger of melting away. Today, there are only about twenty thousand polar bears living in the wild. Fun Fact: Polar bears can smell a seal up to a mile away!
The polar bear is famous for its white fur and very large claws. The boar, or male polar bear, can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and stand ten feet tall! The sow, or female polar bear, weighs about half as much. What about the baby bears? They weigh just about two pounds when they are born, and they cannot see right away. Fun Fact: The longest polar bear swim recorded was 220 miles.
The llama is the little, softer cousin to the camel! Llamas have been around for millions of years, but spent the last ten thousand in the Andean mountains. The Ilama is an important animal found in Incan art. Their fur is soft and can be woven like cotton. Today, llamas are domesticated and most live on farms.
Llamas are herbivores! Llamas have long necks like a giraffe and are furry like a sheep. They might be funny-looking, but they are smart animals and can be well-trained. A baby llama is called a cria, a Spanish word for baby.
Tapirs are known for their flexible, long snouts. They found in jungles and forests in the Americas and Asia. They are often found bathing in freshwater rivers to stay cool. Tapirs will sink to the bottom of a river to let small fish eat the parasites living on their skin!
Tapirs are round and have snouts like a pig, which they use to grab plants and make noises to scare off predators or warn other tapirs of danger. They have oval, white tipped ears. An average tapir is about seven feet long and stands three feet tall. Tapirs can live for up to thirty years.
French Guiana, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica
The kangaroo is famous for its ability to jump! They have two small front arms, but their strong hind legs and a muscular tail help them outrun predators. Kangaroos live in family groups called mobs. The biggest kangaroos are up to seven feet tall and weigh up to two hundred pounds!
Kangaroos are herbivores. They have adapted over time to survive in a dry climate. Like elephants and manatees, kangaroos have multiple sets of teeth in their lives! Female kangaroos have a pouch, or marsupium, to hold their babies safely before they are old enough to walk.
Red Pandas live in the Himalayas and forests of Central Asia. They are similar to cats but look more like pandas or raccoons. Red pandas have reddish-brown fur and long, fluffy tails. They eat lots of bamboo, also eggs, insects, birds and other small mammals. Red pandas do not like hot weather!
Red pandas can climb down a tree head first! They use their ankles to control their speed, which is a special talent among climbing animals! They are usually less than two feet tall and weigh less than 13 pounds. A red panda will stand up on its hind legs to appear larger to a predator.