FLORA OF INDIA

NOBLE K VARGHESE

TIGER
Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae Genus species: Panthera (panther, leopard) tigris (tiger) The tiger has a magnificent appearance. The coat colour of this wildcat is reddish orange with narrow black, gray or brown stripes, generally in a vertical direction. The underside is creamy or white; a rare variant has a chalky white coat with darker stripes and icy blue eyes that will freeze you with fear! Tigers dwell in tropical jungles, brush, marsh lands, and tall grasslands in fragmented areas of Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Burma. Tigers, are seated at the top-of-the-food-chain predators help in maintaining the ecological balance of populations by keeping prey populations in check.

LION

Class: MAMMALIA Order: CARNIVORA Family: FELIDAE Genus species: Panthera leo The Asiatic Lion is rated the most endangered large carnivore globally. And India has the distinction of being the last earthly refuge of the Asiatic lion. The Gir National Park and Lion Sanctuary is the one and only remaining habitat of this proud and majestic species.

Lions live for ten to fourteen years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than twenty years. In the wild, males seldom live longer than ten years, as injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity

ELEPHANT

Class: Mammalia Order: Proboscidea Family: Elephantidae Genus species: Elephas maximus indicus

The Asian elephant is one of the largest land mammals on Earth. The trunk of the Asian elephant has two finger-like structures at its tip that allow the animal to perform both delicate and powerful movements. Elephants have long, coarse hairs sparsely covering their body. Their skin is brown to dark gray. They have been very important to Asian culture for thousands of years - they have been domesticated and are used for transportation and to move heavy objects. Nothing can compare the majestic build up of an elephant and when you ride on when, it feels like you've gone back to the times of the royal. Elephants always catch the attention of every onlooker, but just like Tigers and Lions this animal has also come under threat of extinction.

RHINOCEROS

Class: Mammalia Order: Perissodactyla Family: Rhinocerotidae. Genus species: Rhinoceros unicornis

The Indian rhinoceros ("rhino") has one horn, and it has skin with loose folds which make it appear armored. These characteristics distinguish it from the African (black and white) rhinos. It weighs 1600 (female) - 2200 (male) kg (3500 - 4800 lb). The Indian rhino has been recorded from a number of habitats, including marshy lowland and reedbeds; tall grass or bush with patches of savanna and occasional streams and swamps; thick tree and scrub riverine forest; and dry, mixed forest. The Indian rhino mainly eats grass, reeds and twigs, feeding mostly in the morning and evening. It is usually solitary and spends long periods lying in water and wallowing in mud.

GIRAFFE

Class: Mammalia Order: Artiodactyla Family: Giraffidae Genus species: Giraffa Camelopardalis Being the tallest of all land-living species, the giraffe is a very fascinating animal. The male giraffe is known to have a height of 4.8 to 5.5 metres (16 to 18 feet tall) and weighs up to 1300 kilograms (i.e. 3,000 pounds). The female giraffe is comparatively short in height and also weighs less. The name µgiraffe¶ is born out of an Arab word, µXirapha¶ meaning µone that can walk very fast¶. This animal is one unique creature because despite its very long neck, the giraffe has equal number of cervical vertebrae as a human being.

PEACOCK

Class: Aves Order:Galliformes Family: Phasianidae Genus species: Pavo cristatus

The male Indian Peafowl, commonly known as the peacock, is one of the most recognizable birds in the world. These large, brightly colored birds have a distinctive crest and an unmistakable ornamental train. Each of these feathers sports an ornamental ocellus, or eye-spot, and has long disintegrated barbs, giving the feathers a loose, fluffy appearance. When displaying to a female, the peacock erects this train into a spectacular fan, displaying the ocelli to their best advantage.

CRANE

Class: Aves Order: Gruiformes Family: Gruidae Genus species: Grus antigone

The Sarus crane is the world's tallest flying bird; a large male may stand six feet tall. There are three recognized subspecies of the sarus crane. The Indian sarus cranes live, as their name implies, predominately in Asia's subcontinent. In areas dominated by the Hindu religion, the Indian sarus suffers little persecution. They have, as a result, lost much of their fear of humans and often nest in rice paddies where they are regarded as omens for good crops, especially in India.

BULBUL

Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes

Family: Pycnonotidae Genus species: Grus antigone

The Red-vented Bulbul is easily identified by its short crest giving the head a squarish appearance. The body is dark brown with a scaly pattern while the head is darker or black. The rump is white while the vent is red. The black tail is tipped in white. The Himalayan races have a more prominent crest and are more streaked on the underside.

EAGLE

Class: Aves Order: Falconiformes Family: Accipitridae Genus species: Aquila hastate

The Indian Spotted Eagle is about 60 cm in length and has a wingspan of 150 cm. It is broadheaded, with the widest mouth of all spotted eagles[1]. This species has a lighter coloration overall compared to its relatives, with a darker iris that makes the eyes appear darker than the plumage (rather than the other way around as in the northern spotted eagles).

MYNA

Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Sturnidae Genus species: Acridotheres Tristis he bird is of a dark chocolate brown colour with bright yellow bill, legs and orbital skin. The ones found on the island country of Sri Lanka tend to be of a darker shade of brown. Indian myna has a conspicuous white patch which shows when the bird is in flight. This bird has a variety of sharp calls that is uttered with an absurd bobbing of the head.

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