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Animal Information

Here is information about some animals that you might know.

Mammals:

The Polar Bear

Did you know?

   The polar bear can eat 10% of its body weight in 30 min.
   A big male's stomach can hold up to 154 lb.. of food (weight of medium-sized human).
   The polar bear's dense coat and body fat insulate so efficiently that the bear can easily overheat in the summer.  To cool off, it may plunge into the sea or relax in the snow.
Order:                        Family:                         Genus & Species
 Carnivora                    Ursidae                            Ursus maritimus


Where Polar Bears are Found:
    Polar bears are found off the northern coasts of North America, northern Russia east to Siberia, Greenland and other Arctic Ocean islands to the southern limits of the pack ice.
    
Habitat:
    Polar bears live on shifting ice-sheets and floes that surround the Arctic land masses.  Ice provides a base that the polar bears hunt their main prey, seals.   

Food and Hunting:
    A polar bear relies on surprising its victims in the ice, because they are not very agile in the water, like the seal.  When the seal comes up to its breathing hole, the polar bear strikes its pray with its paw or open jaw.  Its then drags that seals carcass onto the ice to eat the meat and thick fat.  During the summer, instead, the polar bear stalks the seal out of the water, onto the ice, and then attacks.

Breeding:
    Polar bears mate in the spring season.  In order to mate, male polar bears must fight one another to tell who get to mate with the female.  After mating, the female eat heavily in order to build fat reserves.  Cubs are born in a snow den and are usually weighing 1 lb.  Most mothers have 2 cubs.  With the help of their mothers milk, that grow tremendously and may end up weighing 29 lb.. by the time they emerge from theirs dens in the spring.  

Behavior:
    Polar bears are mainly solitary animals.  Males are very aggressive and will kill young cubs.  A strong polar bear may swim up to 60 miles with out stopping to rest.  

Statistics:

Weight: Up to 1,595 lb. for males
         up to 548 lb. for females
Length: 7.9 to 9.9 in.
Mating Season: Mainly April to May
Number of young: 1 to 4
Usual Diet: Seals
Life Span: Up to 30 yrs., usually 15-18



Birds:

The Bald Eagle

Did You Know?

   Bald eagles hunt young sea otters by listening for the noises they make while feeding on kelp beds.
   By fitting birds with radio-transmitters, researchers show that northerly nesting bald eagles may cover 1,200 miles when migrating to the south for winter.




Order:                                        Family:                                     Genus & Species:
   Falconiformes                            Accipitridae                            Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Where Bald Eagles are Found:
    Bald eagles are found over the coastlines and inland waterways of Canada, the U.S. and northwest Mexico.

Habitat:
    The bald eagle is found in a range of habitats from rugged, Arctic coasts to inland freshwater lakes and rivers.  

Food and Hunting:
    Bald eagles find their prey by scanning the water for fish. Once it has found it, if swoops down from its perch and at the last moment, it throws its feet down and forward to grab the fish just beneath the water.  With its fish in its talons, the bald eagle brings his prey up to his perch.



Breeding:
    It all depends on the location, and then the eagle will decide where to put his nest.  Nest are reused over and over for years, and will eventually become huge.  Females usually lay two eggs, that are laid days apart.  The stronger chick usually is the one born first because it feed the most by the parents.  The weaker chick most likely ends up dying of starvation.

Behavior:
    As common with most raptors (birds or pray) the larger or the bald eagles are the females.  The size in the eagles also make the fight over food great between the males because the females can most likely fight off aggressive males for their food.

Statistics:

Weight:  6.6 to 13.9 lb.
Length: 30.4 to 36.4 inch.
Wingspan: 5.5 to 8 inch.
Maturity: 4 yrs.
Breeding Season: south=October to April, North= April to August
Number of Eggs: 1 to 3
Usually Diet: Fish and seabirds
Life span: 47 yrs. in cap., 25 in wild



Reptiles & Amphibians:

The Green Anaconda

Did You Know?

   Despite reports of giant anacondas measuring up to 40 feet long, none have been authenticated.
   About 25 years ago, the New York Zoological Society offered a bounty of $5,000 to anyone who could produce an anaconda measuring 30 feet or longer.  To this day, the reward remains unclaimed.
   The anaconda has an extraordinarily capacious stomach.  In one meal, it can consume 300 times its daily food requirement.

Order:                Family:              Genus & Species:
Squamata              Boidae                 Eunectes murinus




Where Green Anaconda's are Found:
    The green anaconda is found in rain forests and swamp areas on Trinidad and through most of tropical South America.

Habitat:
    The anaconda, or water boa, is the most aquatic of all giant snakes.  It love large bodies of freshwater surrounded by vegetation.  It uses the vegetation for cover when hunting down prey.  

Food and Hunting:
    When floating in the water like a log, the anaconda's scales camouflage it perfectly.  When in striking distance of its prey, the anaconda extends its neck, then lunging its teeth into its prey.  Then, it hauls the animal into the water with its massive coils, around the animal.  The animal will most likely drown or be squeezed to death by this massive snake's coils.  Finally, head first, the snake draws its victim into its large mouth.


Breeding:
    The male anaconda tracks its mate by its highly developed sense of smell.  Once he has found her, he flick his tongue excitedly, and attempt to slither over her.  Six or seven months later the female gives birth.  Unlike most snakes, the anaconda gives birth the live young instead of eggs.

Behavior:
    The anaconda's secret weapon is its ability to glide noiselessly, attacking its prey by surprise.  Hearing and eyesight are the two main things that the green anaconda has poorly.  Its best though are its senses of smell and taste.  

Statistics:

Weight: Up to 300 lb.
Length: 18 to 25 feet
Maturity: 4 yrs.
Number of young: Varies with the adult's size
Usual Diet: Aquatic and semi-aquatic animals, including, fish, caimans,capybaras and waterbirds.
Life span: Up to 20 yrs. in captivity


    


    
    



    

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