Traditionally, the term wildlife has conjured images of species which are of economic or emotional importance to humans. However wildlife life encompasses a much broader array of life on earth, referring to any undomesticated species, from the European Fire-bellied toad to the Siberian tiger.
As humans have encroached on the natural habitats of the world's wildlife, contaminated the far reaches of earth and hunted or fished some species to extinction, understanding qualities like habitat requirements, lifecycles and nutritional needs for all wildlife species has become a primary focus of many scientists and conservationists.
For many species, their survival depends upon our ability to identify the basic needs for wildlife populations to survive and thrive and act upon that knowledge.
The Indus River dolphin (scientific name: Platanista minor) is fresh water cetacean closely related to the Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica). These two endangered...
MammalLast Updated on 2014-10-15 22:58:09
Mammalia is a group of warm-blooded, air breathing vertebrates. With the common name mammal, each species is endowed with the characteristic of fur and three-boned middle ear; but the most remarkable element of group identity is an advanced brain element known as the neocortex, that functions as a center of complex cognition; no species except mammals have this well defined brain structure. Having pronounced inherent sexual dimorphism, the females have mammary glands capable of producing milk. There are approximately 5400 described mammalian species comprising around 1200 genera.
Mammals span a size range from the three centimeter Bumblebee Bat to the 33 meter long Blue Whale. Feeding habits vary widely among species, including carnivores and insectivores who prey on animals, to frugivores and granivores who eat fruit or seeds. Earliest mammals arose approximately 200 to 130... More »
India’s Western Ghats: Biodiversity and Medicinal PlantsLast Updated on 2014-08-25 12:44:43
India’s Western Ghats is a rolling mountain range containing such great biodiversity that it has been named as one of the world's eight ‘hottest hotspots of biological diversity. Spread along the entire west coast of India, this mountain range contains a large proportion of the country's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. Over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 species of mammals, 508 species of birds, including 22 endemics, 225 species of reptiles, and 179 species of amphibians live in the region.
Starting from the northern part of Mumbai, this extensive mountain range extends over Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu to the southern tip of India.
The northern part of the range contains almost half of the reptiles, one third of the plants, and more than three fourths of the amphibians found in India. The southwestern Ghats... More »
Galapagos IslandsLast Updated on 2014-08-21 21:02:05The Galapagos Islands include 31 individual islands, 42 islets and 26 emergent rocks that form an archipelago located about 600 miles west of South American in the Pacific Ocean. The islands, which are part of Ecuador, have been designated as a National Park and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Galapagos Islands are known for being home to many species of plants and animals that are not found anywhere else on the planet. The Galapagos Islands were named from the old Spanish word "galapago" (saddle) because of the shape of the shells of the islands' giant tortoises.
The Galapagos Islands are oceanic islands that have never been connected to any landmass. Instead these islands were produced by volcanic activity. Isabella, was formed by six volcanoes, but most islands were formed by the activity of only a... More »
Amphibian ecology and evolutionLast Updated on 2014-07-23 18:38:53
Amphibians are found in ponds, streams, wetlands of all types, under rotten logs, in leaf litter, in trees, underground, even in pools of rain water inside large leaves. However, they are not able to osmoregulate in salt water and, therefore, are not found in the ocean. Although some amphibians defy the rules and thrive in cold or dry conditions, the group reaches its highest diversity and numbers in warm, humid climates.
In the wet tropics, amphibians remain active all year around, but in the temperate zone, winter temperatures cool their bodies, forcing them to become inactive.
In the autumn, environmental cues direct amphibians to find moist, sheltered places like muddy pond bottoms or deep leaf litter to hibernate.
The wood frog (Rana sylvatica) has the most northerly range of any amphibian, crossing the Arctic circle, into the Mackenzie River valley in the Northwest... More »
PinnipedLast Updated on 2014-07-21 17:04:25Pinnipeds ("finned-feet") are are group of marine mammals, that includes seals, sea lions, and walruses. The word pinniped is sometimes treated as a synonym for "seal" since all pinnipeds except for the the sole species of Walrus are seals (sea lions are eared seals).
Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Class:------ Mammalia (Mammals)
Order:-------- Carnivora (Carnivores)
Family:-------- Otariidae (Eared seals)
Pinnipeds differ form other marine mammals like whales, dolphins and porpoises in that they do not spend their entire lives in water. Pinnipeds "haul out" onto land and ice to mate, give birth, moult, and rest.
Pinnipeds were agressively hunted until the early twentieth century for their skins, oil, meat and, in the case of... More »
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