Learning about animals

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Learning about animals

Postby Shine » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:47 pm

I think a thread of learning about creatures that inhabit our planet would be nice, so I'll start the first post.

The peregrine falcon

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The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known simply as the Peregrine, and historically as the "Duck Hawk" in North America, is a cosmopolitan bird of prey in the family Falconidae. It is a large, crow-sized falcon, with a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache". It can reach speeds over 320 km/h (200 mph) in a dive, making it the fastest animal in the world. As is common with bird-eating raptors, the female is much bigger than the male. Experts recognize 17–19 subspecies, which vary in appearance and range; there is disagreement over whether the distinctive Barbary Falcon is a subspecies or a distinct species.

The Peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the Tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This makes it the world's most widespread bird of prey.[7] Both the English and scientific names of this species mean "wandering falcon", referring to the migratory habits of many northern populations.

While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles or even insects. It reaches sexual maturity at one year, and mates for life. It nests in a scrape, normally on cliff edges or, in recent times, on tall human-made structures.[8] The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species in many areas due to the use of pesticides, especially DDT. Since the ban on DDT from the beginning of the 1970s onwards, the populations recovered, supported by large scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild.[9]
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Bella » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:23 pm

I'll add a couple of video's of the peregrine in flight ,we get quite a few peregrine's here in Cumbria. They are not not popular with Pigeon fanciers though.



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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Major » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:32 pm

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The fox is the smallest member of family Canidae, which also includes wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. It can be found in many habitats (Arctic tundra, desert, forest areas or city centers), and has adapted very well to living near humans.

Foxes have short legs, an elongated narrow muzzle, erect triangular ears, a thick fur and a long tail. They can live close to human habitat without being easily noticed, but are usually wary of humans. The most common species of the fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

Many people mistakenly believe that the presence of a fox in the garden can be dangerous to both humans and other pets that are living there but this is rarely the case. It is extremely rare for a fox to attack a cat and it will never take on a dog. Even rabbits and smaller animals are usually quite safe as long as their hutch is secured. They may be more vulnerable in late spring/early summer when foxes are rearing their cubs but providing the hutch is built sturdily and is completely secured you shouldn’t have a problem. In fact, you might want to keep the hutch in a secure garage, shed or even bring it indoors if you’re that concerned. In fact, the reality is that the most damage caused by the presence of foxes in your garden is likely to be on your ears and nose! Their mating calls, usually between December and February, can resemble a screaming sound which will keep you awake long into the night. They can also dig up the garden looking for worms and their excretions to mark their territories are often highly pungent. For some wildlife enthusiasts, however, having foxes in the garden can be a privilege.
Last edited by Major on Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Stooo » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:36 pm

Major Starbold wrote:Image

The fox is the smallest member of family Canidae, which also includes wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. It can be found in many habitats (Arctic tundra, desert, forest areas or city centers), and has adapted very well to living near humans.

Foxes have short legs, an elongated narrow muzzle, erect triangular ears, a thick fur and a long tail. They can live close to human habitat without being easily noticed, but are usually wary of humans. The most common species of the fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes).


Do you still have the wonderful pictures of your fox visitors, Major?
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Major » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:48 pm

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Wild Rabbits - The Rabbit Community
Wild rabbits live in burrows or underground passages which they excavate, by means of their strong hind-feet, in the soil of sandbanks, fields, woods, etc. The animals are sociable, and the burrows belonging to any one community are collectively known as a warren. The passages of the warren communicate with the outside world by means of openings, some of which are in common use, while others seem to be used mainly as "bolt-holes" in cases of sudden alarm. A rabbit which is bolting to its burrow exposes the white underside of its tail, and thus acts as a danger signal and guide to its fellows. When a rabbit is startled, or puzzled by seeing some unusual object, it generally thumps the ground with its long hind-foot; other rabbits in the neighbourhood are thereby warned.

It is common to find outside a rabbit warren a number of intersecting paths, perhaps nine inches wide, and worn smooth by the patter of little feet. These are the highways, or "runs," which lead from the holes of the warren to the various feeding-grounds.

Rabbits breed very rapidly; it has been estimated that in five years a single pair might have about a million descendants, were it not for the countless mishaps to which rabbits are exposed. The young are born and suckled in a special shallow burrow, which the doe excavates and lines with dry leaves, fur, etc. When she leaves the nest for any purpose she covers up the entrance with soil.

The proportions of the parts of the body of a very young rabbit are markedly different from those of the adult. The head is relatively larger, the tail longer, and the ears shorter; while the hind limbs and fore limbs are of almost equal length. During the first six months of its life the animal gradually takes on the proportions of the adult - with small head, long ears, large hind legs with long feet, and small, upwardly-turned tail.

A rabbit is able to stand upright on its hind legs, and to maintain itself in this position for a considerable time. It thus obtains a wider view and a greater choice of food. The great difference in the length of the fore and hind legs gives the animal a characteristic gait. In a freely moving rabbit both fore-feet stop when the hinder come up - one hinder foot slightly behind the other, and rather wide apart. Rabbits are exclusively vegetarian feeders, living on green herbs and on the tender shoots and bark of shrubs and young trees.

The External Characters of the Rabbit
The outside of the rabbit's body is almost entirely covered with fur. This consists of two kinds of hair - coarse and fine. The coarser hairs are fewer in number and longer than the fine ones, which they protect from wet. The fine hairs are extremely closely-set, and stand straight out from the skin.

The longest hairs of the rabbit are the stiff whiskers which stand out from the upper lip, the cheeks, and above the eyes. They are extremely sensitive to touch, and are of great assistance to the animal in finding its way through the dark burrows.

The colour of the wild rabbit is greyish brown, except on the belly and under the tail, where it is white. This colour harmonises well with the surroundings, and renders the animal much less noticeable. Wild rabbits are exposed to so many enemies, that individuals which happen to be born with conspicuously coloured fur have generally but a poor chance of surviving and leaving offspring to inherit their disadvantages. There is thus in each generation a natural selection of the animals which are best protected by their colour from observation. Among tame rabbits, on the other hand, protective colouration is of very little importance, and one variation of colour is as likely as another to be transmitted by heredity to the next generation.[img][img][img][img][img][img][img][img][/img][/img][/img][/img][/img][/img][/img][/img]
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Major » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:00 pm

Stooo wrote:
Major Starbold wrote:Image

The fox is the smallest member of family Canidae, which also includes wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. It can be found in many habitats (Arctic tundra, desert, forest areas or city centers), and has adapted very well to living near humans.

Foxes have short legs, an elongated narrow muzzle, erect triangular ears, a thick fur and a long tail. They can live close to human habitat without being easily noticed, but are usually wary of humans. The most common species of the fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes).


Do you still have the wonderful pictures of your fox visitors, Major?


I am unsure what happened to them Stooo, I asked someone to improve them for me and i have not seen them since, must find out, but I fear they are lost.

Mind you, they are all on Mr.Morningstarr. There were 6 out last night feeding 6 out tonight but only one fed,
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Stooo » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:25 pm

Major Starbold wrote:
Stooo wrote:
Major Starbold wrote:Image

The fox is the smallest member of family Canidae, which also includes wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. It can be found in many habitats (Arctic tundra, desert, forest areas or city centers), and has adapted very well to living near humans.

Foxes have short legs, an elongated narrow muzzle, erect triangular ears, a thick fur and a long tail. They can live close to human habitat without being easily noticed, but are usually wary of humans. The most common species of the fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes).


Do you still have the wonderful pictures of your fox visitors, Major?


I am unsure what happened to them Stooo, I asked someone to improve them for me and i have not seen them since, must find out, but I fear they are lost.

Mind you, they are all on Mr.Morningstarr. There were 6 out last night feeding 6 out tonight but only one fed,


I'll have a look for them later, Major and with your permission post them. ;)
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Major » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:14 pm

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Last edited by Stooo on Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Major » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:17 pm

I have found a picture of 7 of the little bugguz Stooo but it will not go through on Tinypics as normal or through properties.
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Shine » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:07 pm

They're excellent pics, Major, and an asset to your character.

Many have known you, Major, and your thoughts have suffered more attack than the trolls on Dogs, but still your persevere, and this, to me, is admirable, and demonstrates a steadfast belief in what you think. But all that, Major, I admire, without reserve, your ability to contest the most sinful of posters without bad language. This skill of yours, Major, I learnt, and would like to thank you: thank you, Major.
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Stooo » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:13 pm

Major Starbold wrote:Image


I have taken the liberty of editing your post as to show your wonderful picture, Major.
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Major » Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:12 pm

Stooo wrote:
Major Starbold wrote:Image


I have taken the liberty of editing your post as to show your wonderful picture, Major.


Clever bleeda. :major: Appreciated.
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Major » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:54 pm

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http://www.garden-birds.co.uk/birds/robin.htm

There is a nice read here.

I have had one robin on my patio for ages.
When fishing the little devils will come a perch on your rod and pick up dropped maggots, lovely little creatures but can get stroppy with other birds if they feel threatened.
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Shine » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:38 am

It's many years since I have seen a robin, Major. They are beautiful birds and fine choice too, I might add.
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Re: Learning about animals

Postby Shine » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:42 am

The Plight of the ocelot in Texas

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Highly endangered in the United States and rarely seen in the wild, the Texas ocelot is a magificent creature by any standard. Once abundant and healthy, these reatures are now hanging onto the thread of continued existence, in danger of extinction as civilization crowds further into the backwoods of Nature's realm.

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The Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), also known as the Painted Leopard, McKenney's Wildcat or Manigordo (in Costa Rica), is a wild cat distributed over South and Central America and Mexico, but is also native to deep South Texas, the only place in North America where the sdmall wildcat can be found in its natural habitat.


The Ocelot's appearance is similar to that of the domestic cat. Its fur resembles that of a Jaguar and was once regarded as particularly valuable. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Ocelots have been killed for their fur. The feline was been classified as a "vulnerable" endangered species.

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The Ocelot is mostly nocturnal and very territorial. It will fight fiercely, sometimes to the death, in territorial disputes. Like most felines, it is solitary, usually meeting only to mate. However, during the day it rests in trees or other dense foliage, and will occasionally share its spot with another Ocelot of the same sex. When mating, the female will find a den in a cave in a rocky bluff, a hollow tree, or a dense (preferably thorny) thicket. The gestation period is estimated to be 70 days. Generally the female will have 2–4 kittens, born in the autumn with their eyes closed and a thin covering of hair.

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While the Ocelot is well equipped for an arboreal lifestyle and will sometimes take to the trees, it is mostly terrestrial. Prey includes almost any small animal: monkeys, snakes, rodents, fish, amphibians and birds are common prey, as are small domestic animals such as baby pigs and poultry. Almost all of the prey that the Ocelot hunts is far smaller than itself. Studies suggest that it follows and finds prey via odor trails, but the Ocelot also has very keen vision, including night vision.


The 9th Annual Ocelot Festival in February focuses attention on this rare breed of wildlife deep in South Texas. All proceeds from the festival go to supporting research and conservation measures to ensure the long-term survival of this small cat whose numbers are now less than 100 in the United States.

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