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Wildlife Fact File - Mammals, Pgs. 191-200

Wildlife Fact File - Mammals, Pgs. 191-200

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Published by ClearMind84
Zorilla, Mountain Viscacha, Grevy's Zebra, Sika Deer, Axis Deer, Shire Horse, Indian Buffalo, Cane Rat, Husky, White Rhinoceros
Zorilla, Mountain Viscacha, Grevy's Zebra, Sika Deer, Axis Deer, Shire Horse, Indian Buffalo, Cane Rat, Husky, White Rhinoceros

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Published by: ClearMind84 on Jan 28, 2013
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ZORILLA
..
RDER
~
Carnivora
FAMILY
Mustelidae
CARD 191J
GROUP1:MAMMALS
GENUS
&-
SPECIES
Ictonyx striatus
The
zorilla
is
a
small mammal
that
is
widespread throughout much
of
Africa south
of
the Sahara Desert. It
is
related
to
the weaseland
is
also known as the African,
or
striped, polecat.
KEY
FACTS
---------
~~
-------
SIZES
Height:
4-5in.
Length:
Body,
12-15
in.Tail,
8-12
in.
Weight:
Male, over
3
lb
.Female,
2
lb.BREEDINGSexual
maturity: About
1 year.
Mating:
Spring
to
summer.
Gestation: About
5
weeks.
No.
of
young:
1-
3.
LIFESTYLE
Habit:
Solitary
nighttime
hunter.Diet: Small mammals, particularlyrodents. Birds and their eggs, largeinsects,andreptiles includinglizards and
snakes.
Lifespan:
Unknown
in the wild. Up
to
1 3
years in captivity.RELATED
SPECIES
T~e
zorilla
is
related
to
the European polecat,
Mustela putorius,
and
the
marbled polecat,
Vormelaperegusna.
FEATURE
S
OF
THE
ZORILLA
Spray
defense
:
Two
glands
near
the
anus
contain
a
oul-smelling fluid that
the
zorilla
sprays
at
a
predator's
faceto cause
temporary
blindness.
Range
of
the
zorilla.
--~~--------------
DISTRIBUTIONThezorilla
is
common
in open country, grassland, and
lowmountain
ranges in Africa south
of
the
Sahara.CONSERVATIONThe zorilla
is
widespread
throughout
its range.
It
adapts easily
to many
habitats, including those near
human
habitation.
It
s
not
yet
in need
of
protection.
I
~at:
Longand
s
lky
above,
shorter
-
~
belo
w.
Tai
l
slong
a
nd
bushy. Four
whitest
rip
es
c
ontrast
with
narrower
black
bands
from
th
e
nape
down
the
lengthof
the
upperbody
.
White
cheek
flashes
and
forehead spot.
Black
belly
,
legs
,
and paws.
Senses:
Hearingand
smell
are
very sharp
.
Eyesare
small but
give
good
night-
time
visionfor
hunting
prey
.
_.
-
-<:.
_
Claws:
Longand
PRNTFn
NA
-
strong,
enabling
~
the
zorilla
to
dig
its
own
burrow
in
soft
soil.
11:?A71
Dl'V=T
A7
 
The
zorilla
looks very
similar
to
its
distant
relative
the
American
striped
skunk.
The
two
species also
havemany habits
in
common.
Both
hunt rodent
prey
at
night and depend
on
their
boldly patterned coats
to
deter
enemies.
In
times
of
real
danger the
zorilla,
like
the
skunk,
lifts its tail
and squirts
a
foul-smelling
fluid
that temporarily blinds
its
attacker.
~
HABITS
The zorilla
is
usually solitary. It
s
active at dusk and at night when
it
searches
its
territory
for
prey.
The zorilla
uses
its long claws
todig
its
ownburrow
in softground.
On
harder
groundit
takes over
an
abandoned bur
rowor
hides under a barn.The zorilla
is
territorial, and amale may have a territory
of
asquare mile
or
more,
which
hemarks
with
anal gland secretions. Males often
fight to
protect their territories, particularlyin the
mating
season. Femaleshave
their own,
smaller
home
ranges,
which
may overlapthose
of other
zorillas.The zorilla moves slowly, relying
for
protection on its distinc-tive coat, which
serves
to
warnpredators
of
something unpleasant. When surprised by a largeanimal such
as
a lion, the zorilla
may
play dead.When cornered, the zorilla
raises
the hairs on its back andturns its rear end
toward
theaggressor. If further provoked,
it
stiffens its tail and sprays theattacker
with
a foul-smellingfluid
from
two
anal glands. Itaims
toward
the
eyes
and
is
usually accurate, even
up to
13 feet. The fluid can blind
another
animal long enough
for the
zorilla
to
run away.
Right:
The
zorilla raises its
tail
to
warn
predators
that
it
will
spray
ifit
s
attacked.
~
FOOD
&
HUNTING
The zorilla preys
on
lizards,frogs, snakes, birds, and smallmammals. It devours
them
inchunks,
almost
without
chew
ing. It also eats eggs, earthworms, and insects.When
hunting
burrowing
rodentslike
mole
rats,
the
zorilla follows
them underground
andtraps
them
in
their
burrows.
Left:
The
zorilla
moves with
a
slightly hunched
gait
as
it
seeks
its prey
at
night.
DID YOU KNOW?
If food
is
scarce, the zorillawill eat prey killed
by
other animals. One zorilla kept
several
lions away
from
a dead zebra
it
was
eating
by
raising
its
tailand threatening
to
spray.
The zorilla's vision
is
betterat
night
than
during
the day.If tamed when young, a zor-When
it
lives near human settlements, the zorilla may preyon poultry,
but it
is
usually tolerated because
it
keeps
down
harmful rodent populations.
Like
the wolverine and
other
members
of
the family
Musteli-
doe,
the zorilla often kills
more
than
it
can eat and hides thesurplus
for
future
use.
Right:
The zorilla's
broad
diet in-cludes rodents, birds, reptiles,
and
even
insects.
ilia
can
be a gentle pet. A petzorilla will spray only when
it
s
very frightened.
In
the Sudan the zorilla
is
called
by
a name that means"father
of
stinks."• The zorilla
can
swim shortdistances or climb after preywhen
necessary.
~
BREEDING
The zorilla's
mating
season begins in March and
probably
lasts
through
summer. There
is
usually only one litter. The maleleaves his territory
during
this
time
and travels long distancesin search
of
a mate.The female makes a nest
of
Left:
Whenthreatened by a
predator
suchas
a
big cat
or
a
jackal, the
zorillamaylie
down and
pre-tend
to
be
dead.
It
runs
away
to
safetywhen the dan-
ger
has
passed.
dry
grass and
leaves
in her bur
row
and gives birth
to
one tothree
young about
five weeksafter mating.
She
guards themcarefully and rarely
leaves
thenest
for the
first
few
days afterthey
are
born.The female suckles her litter
for about
a
month
and bringsthe
young
small pieces
of
meatbefore
they
are weaned. Afterweaning, the
young
follow thefemale
out
of
the nest and investigate their surroundings,quickly learning
to
play,
explore,and hunt. They are soon welldeveloped enough
to
be able
to
fend
for
themselves.
Left:
The
zorilla
has exceptional
senses
of
smell
and
hearing.
 
'"
CARD
192
I
MOUNTAIN
VISCACHA
, , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ ~ 
~
ORDER
Rodentia
FAMILY
Chinchillidae
,.
GENUS
"IIIIIIII
Lagidium
Mountain viscachas are small rodents
that
look like long-tailedrabbits. They
start
the
day
by
sunbathing
on
a well-positioned rock
and
carefully grooming their luxuriant
fur.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Length:
Head and body, 12-18 in.
Tail,
8-16in.
Weight:
2-6 lb.BREEDINGSexual
maturity:
1 year.
Mating
season:
October
andNovember.Gestation:
17-20
weeks.
No.
of
young:
1 per season. If thisoffspring dies, the viscacha maybreed and give birth a second time.LIFESTYLE
Habit:
Sociable; lives in colonies.
lifespan:
Approximately 3 years inthe wild.RELATED
SPECIES
The 4 species
of
mountain viscacha
are
Lagidium
viscacia,
L.
peruanum,
L.
wolff
ohni,
and
L.
boxi.
The familyChinchillidae
also
includes thechinchilla and
the
plains viscacha.
Range
of
mountain
viscachas.
DISTRIBUTIONFound in
Peru,
Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. All four species
of
mountain viscachas live on the slopes
of
the Andes at elevations
of
650
to
20,000 feet.CONSERVATIONMountain viscachas seem
to
be flourishing. Although their coat
is
dense and fine,
it
has
no
commercial value,
so
these animalshave
not
been widely trapped.
FEATURES
OF
MOUNTAIN
VISCACHAS
Ears: Large
withrounded
tips.
Completely covered
with
fur. Provide
keen
hearing
.
Paws: Thick
pads
allow
a
good
grip
on
rocks
.
Stiff
bris-
tles
on
soles
are used
to
groom
fur
.
Tail:
Long
and
bushy,
curling
up
toward
a
black or
red
browntip
.
Straightensout
when the
vis-
cacha moves
quickly
.
Coat: Very
thick
and
soft,except
on
the
upper part
of the
tail, where the
fur
is coarse.
Color varies according
tothe
elevation
at
which
the
animal lives. Usually it
isdark
gray
to
chocolate brown
on
the upper parts
and
white
,
ight
gray
,
or
yellow
on
the
underparts
.
The
fur
has
no
guard hairs
and
thereforeoffers
no
protection from
heavyrain
.

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