Thursday, June 17, 2010

Canis lupus familiaris | Pomeranian dog

Common Name: Pomeranian, Dwarf Spitz, Toy German Spitz, Pom, Zwergspitz
Family: Canidae

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. lupus
Subspecies: C. l. familiaris
Trinomial name: Canis lupus familiaris

Origins: A miniature Pomeranian from 1915. The forerunners of today's Pomeranian breed were large working dogs from the Arctic regions. These dogs are commonly known as the Wolfspitz or Spitz type, which is German for "sharp point" which was the term originally used by Count Eberhard zu Sayn in the 16th Century as a reference to the features of the dog's nose and muzzle. The Pomeranian is considered to be descended from the German Spitz.

Pomeranians are lively, smart, independent, and strong-willed. If properly socialized, they can usually get along well with other pets. They catch on quickly when training, and can learn lots of tricks. When selecting a Pomeranian, pay special attention to the condition of its eyes and teeth. It is also advisable to check bloodlines for hereditary problems.

Breed Type
The Pomeranian is a toy breed, and is intended to be a house pet. The Pomeranian is rather sensitive to heat, so it does best in fairly cool climates.

The Pomeranian's origins go back to sled dogs from Greenland and Lapland. Selective breeding by English breeders reduced the breed's size. The Pomeranian is known for being very popular among royalty. It can be found in a wide variety of colors.

Pomeranians are very small and fluffy. They have a fox-like face, usually dark eyes, and pointed ears. They are most commonly solid colored, but some are parti-colored. Their average height is 7-12 inches, and they usually weigh between 3 and 7 pounds.

Care and Feeding
Pomeranians do best on a diet of dry food due to the likelihood of tooth and gum problems. Foods containing fish, beef, and wheat are recommended. Giving the dog teeth cleaning chews is also a good idea. Pomeranians need frequent brushing. They can be cleaned with dry shampoo as needed. Their eyes and ears need special attention, and should be cleaned each day. It's also important to take good care of their teeth, brushing them at least once a week.

Pomeranians need annual checkups to keep them healthy.
Vaccinations should be given as follows:
6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

Poms shed heavily, so frequent vacuuming is a must. It's also best not to leave blankets and pillows lying around on the furniture, because your Pomeranian can curl up under them for a nap and potentially be sat on.

Social Behaviors
Pomeranians can do well with other pets, as long as they are familiar with them. They are independent, yet they make wonderful companions for adults, the elderly, and older children. They tend to get nervous around young children.

Overall health

The average life expectancy of a Pomeranian is 12 to 16 years. A well bred dog on a good diet with appropriate exercise will have few health problems, and if kept trim and fit a Pomeranian is a sturdy little dog.

Handling and Training
When training a Pomeranian, being firm is the key to success. They have minds of their own, and trainers must let them know who is boss. They can learn to do tricks, and they usually respond well to crate training. They also make great show dogs.

Pomeranians need regular exercise, but not as much of it as larger breeds. Short daily walks and regular play sessions should take care of their activity needs.

When considering a mate for a Pomeranian, it is important to research the potential mate's bloodline. Pomeranians are susceptible to a number of hereditary problems. Females sometimes need Cesarean sections when giving birth, especially if they are very small.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Centruroides vittatus | Striped bark scorpion


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Buthidae
Genus: Centruroides
Species: C. vittatus
Binomial name : Centruroides vittatus

Background: The striped bark scorpion (Centruroides vittatus) is an extremely common scorpion found throughout the midsection of the United States and northern Mexico; indeed, it is perhaps the most frequently encountered scorpion in the U.S.. The Common Striped Scorpion, Centruroides vittatus, is widely distributed throughout the southwestern United States. It is a member of the Bark Scorpion group (Centruroides spp.) and is the primary scorpion that infests homes in Texas and Oklahoma. Scorpions will sting if disturbed. While the sting is not generally dangerous it is painful and is followed by local swelling and discoloration.

Description: The Striped Scorpion gets its name from two parallel longitudinal dark stripes on the top of its abdomen. This scorpion, about 3 inches long when mature, has four pairs of legs and a five segment posterior terminating at the sting. The scorpion hides during the day under loose bark, rocks, leaves, and tools left in the yard or any place that provides shelter, moisture and potential prey. In areas infested with scorpions, special care must be taken when moving objects on the ground. They are known to infest homes and commercial facilities, living in attics, walls, and crawl spaces. Scorpions are predators only, feeding primarily on insects or other
arachnids, coming out to hunt at night. Scorpions have very poor vision, primarily depending on a sense of feel for movement and hunting. Feeling is accomplished using feathery comb-like organs called pectines, located on the underside of a scorpion’s body between the last pair of legs. These pectines are used to determine what kind of surface the scorpions are on, in detecting low impulse vibrations, and for chemoreception.

Heterometrus Spinifer | Giant Forest Scorpion

Common names : Giant Forest Scorpion, Giant Blue Scorpion, Asian Forest Scorpion

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Scorpionidae
Genus: Heterometrus
Species: Heterometrus spinifer

Heterometrus spinifer is a large, black scorpion native to Thailand and Malaysia. It is known in the pet trade as the Giant Forest Scorpion or the Asian Forest Scorpion (in addition to other regional names) and is often confused with other species of Heterometrus. As its common names imply, it can be found in moist forest habitat where it hides away by day under logs or rocks. It is often kept as a pet, although it cannot be handled without risk since it tends to be aggressive. Its sting is painful but not deadly to humans. While many deadly scorpions have venoms that selectively target neuronal ion channels - H. spinifer venom does not. H. spinifer is easy to keep in captivity. Temperature should be kept between 75 to 90 degrees F. with a high level of humidity. It feeds mainly on insects but will eat any small animal it can subdue. It should be provided with water in a shallow dish, so it can drink. This species should not be confused with the Emperor Scorpion.

The Malaysian Forest Scorpions or Asian Forest Scorpion is hardy, quiet, and easy to care for. It is also impressive to look at. But unlike the Emperor Scorpion it is not handleable. It is quite defensive and will readily sting when it feels cornered or in danger. At a glance these large, shiny black scorpions are often mistaken for the commonly kept Emperor Scorpion. However, the Asian Forest Scorpion is similar to the Emperor Scorpion only in looks and not in behavior. They are very aggressive and unlike the Emperor Scorpion, this species is not as likely to settle down in captivity. It can be distinguished from the Emperor in that it is slightly more elongated and its pedipalps and claws are larger and more elongated.

Heterometrus Spinifer Female Video:

Hadogenes troglodytes | Flat Rock Scorpion | South African Flat Rock Scorpion

Flat Rock Scorpion or South African Flat Rock Scorpion

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Hemiscorpiidae
Genus: Hadogenes
Species: H. troglodytes
Binomial name: Hadogenes troglodytes

Description: Flat rock scorpions are native to South Africa. The majority of the sixteen species of this scorpion live there. These scorpions are large averaging seven inches. They have large strong flat pincers well adapted for grabbing prey in cracks. When you first lay eyes on these scorpions they appear so flat it looks like they have been squashed.

Range Most of southern Africa.
Type Terrestrial.
Diet Babies eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults feed on crickets, large insects, and an occasional pinkie mouse.
Full Grown Size : 5.5 to 7.5 inches.
Growth Slow speed.
Temperature 75 to 85° F.
Humidity 70 to 75%. Adults may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.
Temperament Semi-aggressive and nervous.
Housing Babies can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.
Substrate 3 to 4 inches of sand, peat moss, or potting soil.
Decor No decorations are really needed, but you can add rocks, or cork bark.
Other Names: South African Flat Rock Scorpion.

Care and Feeding: In the wild, Flat Rock Scorpions feed almost exclusively on mollusks, but in captivity will switch fairly well to crickets and other insects including wax worms and mealworms.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pandinus imperator | imperial scorpion | emperor scorpion

The emperor scorpion or imperial scorpion (Pandinus imperator) is a species of scorpion native to Africa. The emperor is one of the largest species of scorpion in the world, with adults averaging about 8 inches (20 cm) in length. However, some species of forest scorpions are its equal and one scorpion, Heterometrus swammerdami, holds the record for being the world's largest scorpion at 9 inches (23 cm) in length. Their life span usually ranges from 5–8 years when held in captivity,
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Scorpionidae
Genus: Pandinus
Species: P. imperator
Binomial name: Pandinus imperator
Common Name: imperial scorpion

Diseases: The only disease known so far is cancer or ovarian fibroids. It's a genetic problem involving one generation to the most female sex scorpions causing death. It takes place after the fifth molt (from 15 cm. Pelipalpos to the tail). The disease begins with a small bump on the back or tail of the scorpion. The development of this varies between the first 2 months of moulting up to 3 years after the same.

Distribution: Emperor Scorpions are widely distributed through West Africa in Guinea, Liberia, Togo, Ghana, Chad, Benin, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and in the Congo region.
Social Behavior/Activities: Typically scorpions are loners, but the Emperor Scorpion is a bit of an exception. The young will stay with their mothers and even as adults they can be kept in groups of three or more. They can get into occasional scraps, and it is usually over a cricket. So be sure they are given enough food. It also helps to provide more hiding places than you have scorpions.

Hadrurus spadix | black-back scorpion | Desert Hairy Scorpion

Desert Hairy Scorpion
Hadrurus spadix is a big (around 15 centimeters / 5.51 inches) scorpion native to the southern deserts of North America. It is a burrowing scorpion which spends a lot of time digging in the sand and enlarging its burrow. A similar species is the Giant desert hairy scorpion.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Caraboctonidae
Genus: Hadrurus
Species: H. spadix
Binomial name: Hadrurus spadix

Common Name: black-back scorpion, Desert Hairy Scorpion

Commonly known as the black-back scorpion, it can be differentiated from the giant desert hairy scorpion by its completely black prosoma or Cephalothorax. This scorpion is quite nervous and can display aggressiveness towards its keeper. It should not be kept communally, as fights and cannibalism are frequent. The toxicity of its venom is usually deemed to be low, though its sting can be quite painful. This scorpion and its close relative Hadrurus arizonensis make good pets for a beginner, as they are quite large, very active and typically eat a lot.

Hadrurus Spadix Video

Pogona vitticeps | Bearded Dragon | agamid lizard

Pogona vitticeps, is a species of agamid lizard occurring in a wide range of arid to semi-arid regions of Australia. This species is very popularly kept as a pet and exhibited in zoos.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Pogona
Species: P. vitticeps
Binomial name : Pogona vitticeps
Common Name: Bearded Dragon

Description : Adults of this species usually grow to be about 2 feet in length, with the tail accounting for over half of the total body length. Females are typically smaller than the males, have smaller heads, thinner legs and tails and wider bodies. Bearded dragons come in a wide variety of colors, including brown, grey, reddish-brown, red, yellow, white and orange. They are capable of undergoing very slight changes in the shade of their color to help regulate temperature.

Ecology and behavior : This dragon is native to the semi-arid woodland, arid woodland, and rocky desert regions of Central Australia. They are skilled climbers, and often spend just as much time perching on tree limbs, fence-posts, and in bushes as they do on the ground. They spend the morning and early evening sunning themselves on an exposed branch or rock, and retreat to shady areas or underground burrows during the hottest parts of the afternoon.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

10 Most Intelligent Animals in world | on Earth

1. Great Apes

The 98% genes of the great apes are same as human, the smartest species is chimpanzee. They can also recognise themselves in the mirror, they can make tool (e.g. stone to cut food), use tool (e.g. painting). Like human, they can kiss, snuggle, tickle, laugh, can count very trainable and have language

2. Monkey

Monkey can imitate humans behaviour without training and if well-trained, they can behave like humans (e.g) drink from bottle and ride bicycle). Like human, they have egoism, vain, pride and strong relationship. If two monkeys were fighting, the relatives of one monkey will threaten the relatives of the other monkey.

3. Dolphin

Dolphin is the smartest aquatic animals, they can recognise themselves in the mirror. Very trainable and can hold and use tool with their teeth for painting. They use whistling sound to communicate with best communication system among animals.

4. Whale

They can find their relatives separated miles away in the sea for unknown reason but they have their own language to communicate, can call each other and have a strong friendships in a group. Whales can “sing” with their sound and can make many different “songs” in a good tone.

5. Elephant

Elephant can recognise themselves in the mirror, very altruistic. Among other animals, elephant has they’re own “death ritual”. They use their trunk to take a bath, drink, get food, play, even use tool (e.g. painting). They can mimic sounds, few human words and can understand the meaning if they’re well-trained.

6. Parrot

Parrot can mimic human words, understand the meanings, can remember many words and make sentences. Well-trained, can count up to 6 and can identify many objects. They can answer simple questions and can use tools with their beak (e.g.painting).

7. Dog

The man’s best friend, very trainable, sociable to humans, can understand commands and obedience. Can identify and remember animal or human faces they’ve met, they can recognise radio, television, etc. Dogs can be sensitive, jealous and they won’t forget someone hurting them in their entire life.

8. Cat

Trainable, can recognize radio, television, they can even check traffic before crossing the street. They’re smart enough to get attention (meow, rub near ankle, follow you, sit on your lap, etc.). Cats can hear and recognise their owner’s footstep or stranger’s footstep.

9. Rat

Once they’ve experienced rat trap, they wont get trap anymore. They have a strong social relationship, maybe stress even die after their partner died. Like dogs, can be trained to sniff out land mines and bombs.

10. Pigeon

They have a great memory that can recognise themselves in the mirror, can remember hundreds of different images/photos and learn routes to their home from long distances.

How Many Animal Species Inhabit Our Planet

Animals: estimated 3-30 million species
|--Invertebrates: 97% of all known species
| `--+--Sponges: 10,000 species
| |--Cnidarians: 8,000-9,000 species
| |--Molluscs: 100,000 species
| |--Platyhelminths: 13,000 species
| |--Nematodes: 20,000+ species
| |--Annelida: 12,000 species
| `--Arthropods
| `--+--Crustaceans: 40,000 species
| |--Insects: 1-30 million+ species
| `--Arachnids: 75,500 species
`--Vertebrates: 3% of all known species
`--+--Reptiles: 7,984 species
|--Amphibians: 5,400 species
|--Birds: 9,000-10,000 species
|--Mammals: 4,475-5,000 species
`--Ray-Finned Fishes: 23,500 species


Birds (Class Aves) are a diverse group of vertebrates that evolved from reptiles during the Mesazoic Era about 150 million years ago. Today, an estimated 300 billion birds belonging to more than 9000 species inhabit virtually every terrestrial habitat on the planet (Gill 1990). There are even many species of birds that are at home in the water as skilled swimmers and divers. Birds range in size from the massive Ostrich (Struthio camelus) to the minute Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae). They have diversified into a wide variety of forms:

"From a fundamental anatomy evolved huge, flightless ground birds such as ostriches; small, agile erching birds such as chickadees; nocturnal hunters such as owls; aquatic divers such as penguins; aerial masters such as albatrosses; and shoreline waders such as herons." (Gill 1990, 13)

Birds possess distinct characteristics that make them one of the most distinguishable group of vertebrates. The following characteristics are unique to birds:

* feathers - provide insulation and enable flight; feathers are modifications of a bird's epidermis (outer skin)
* bills - birds do not possess teeth or the heavy jawbones seen in other vertebrates; instead, birds have a pair of toothless mandibles covered with a horny sheath of keratin (also called ramphotheca).
* furcula - also known as the 'wishbone', the furcula is a bone located in the bird's chest that prevents compression of the chest cavity during the downstroke of a wingbeat.

Birds also exhibit the following characteristics:

* Fused bones in pelvis, feet, hands, and head
* Lightweight bones (bones that are either hollow or spongy/strutted)
* No teeth or maxillary bones of the jaw (reduces anterior weight)
* Endothermic
* Possess a four-chambered heart and in general exhibit high metabolic rates
* Produce large, richly provisioned external eggs
* Adept navigational abilities in many species
* Extraordinary communication and song production


* Kingdom: Animalia
* Phylum: Chordata
* Class: Aves
The Class Aves contains the following subgroups:
o Order: Anseriformes (ducks, geese, screamers, swans, and waterfowl)
o Order: Apodiformes (hummingbirds and swifts)
o Order: Apterygiformes (kiwis)
o Order: Caprimulgiformes (nightbirds)
o Order: Casuariiformes (emus, cassowaires)
o Order: Charadriiformes (shorebirds and relatives)
o Order: Ciconiiformes (storks, herons, egrets, ibises, spoonbills, and relatives)
o Order: Coliiformes (mousebirds and colies)
o Order: Columbiformes (pigeons and doves)
o Order: Coraciiformes (kingfishers)
o Order: Craciformes (megapodes, curassows)
o Order: Cuculiformes (cuckoos, hoatzin, relatives, and turacoss)
o Order: Falconiformes (birds of prey)
o Order: Galliformes (chickens, fowls)
o Order: Gaviiformes (loons)
o Order: Gruiformes (coots, cranes, and railss)
o Order: Passeriformes (songbirds)
o Order: Pelecaniformes (pelicans and relatives)
o Order: Phoenicopteriformes (flamingos)
o Order: Piciformes (woodpeckers)
o Order: Podicipediformes (grebess)
o Order: Procellariiformes (tube-nosed seabirds)
o Order: Psittaciformes (parrots)
o Order: Rheiformes (rheas)
o Order: Sphenisciformes (penguin)
o Order: Strigiformes (owls)
o Order: Struthioniformes (kiwis, ostriches)
o Order: Tinamiformes (tinamous)
o Order: Trogoniformes (trogons)
o Order: Turniciformes (buttonquail)


Mammals (Class Mammalia) belong to a group of vertebrates that includes approximately 5,400 extant species. Mammals display a remarkable array of adaptations that enable them to inhabit a wide range of habitats. Mammals range in size from the minute Bumblebee Bat which measures a mere three centimeters in length, to the magnificent blue whale, which can measure 33 metres head to tail—at such immense dimension, it is undoubtedly the largest animal alive today.

Hair is a defining characteristic of mammals: no other organisms possess true hair and all mammals have hair covering at least part of their body at some time during their life. Hair grows from skin cells known as follicles. The hair shaft is made of a protein called keratin. Hair serves numerous functions.

When present as a thick covering over the animal's body (known as pelage), it provides insulation. The pelage of most mammals is a mosaic of different kinds of individual hairs (such as guard hairs, barbs, bristles, awns, underfur, wool, fur, and velli; each of these has a different structure and serves a slightly different purpose).

The adaptive benefits of mammalian hair are numerous. Hair provides insulation from extreme cold, enabling mammals to inhabit some of the harshest habitats on Earth. It also provides mammals with protection for their skin from abrasions and damaging UV rays. Many mammals have pelage that displays cryptic coloration, which helps to conceal them from predators (or in some cases prey).

Another characteristic unique to mammals is the presence of mammary glands. Mammary glands, like hair, are a uniquely mammalian trait. Though present in both males and females, mammary glands only fully develop in females. Mammary glands consist of ducts and glandular tissues that secrete milk through nipples. Young mammals obtain milk from their mother by feeding from her nipples. The milk provides the young with much needed protein, sugars, fat, vitamins, and salts.

A third characteristic unique to mammals is the presence of the presence of three middle ear bones. These ear bones (the malleus, incus, and stapes) transform sound vibrations into neural impulses.

Mammals are also characterized by having a diaphram, a four-chambered heart, and a large cereberal cortex. Additionally, some mammals hibernate during time periods when resources are scarce, such as during the winter season.

* Kindom: Animalia
* Phylum: Chordata
* Class: Mammalia
The Class Mammalia includes the following subgroups:
o Order: Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates)
o Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
o Order: Cetacea (cetaceans)
o Order: Chiroptera (bats)
o Order: Dermoptera (flying lemurs)
o Order: Hyracoidea (hyraxes)
o Order: Insectivora (insectivores)
o Order: Lagomorpha (rabbits, hares, and pikas)
o Order: Macroscelidea (elephant shrews)
o Order: Marsupialia (marsupials)
o Order: Montremata (monotremes)
o Order: Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates)
o Order: Pholidota (pangolins)
o Order: Pinnipedia (seals and sea lions)
o Order: Primates (primates)
o Order: Proboscidae (elephants)
o Order: Rodentia (rodents)
o Order: Scandentia (tree shrews)
o Order: Sirenia (dugong and manatees)
o Order: Tubulidentata (aardvark)
o Order: Xenarthra (anteaters and relatives)


Reptiles (Class Reptilia) are cold-blooded vertebrates that diverged from ancestral amphibians about 340 million years ago. There are two characteristics that distinguished early reptiles from amphibians and enabled them to colonize terrestrial habitats more extensively than their ancestors, scales and the ability to lay hard-shelled amniotic eggs. Scales protect reptiles from abrasion and loss of body moisture. Hard-shelled eggs provide a protective environment in which the embryo can develop.

Reptiles includes snakes, amphisbaenians, lizards, alligators, caimans, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, and tuataras. There are over 7900 species of reptiles. Since reptiles do not produce their own body heat (they are cold-blooded, also known as ectothermic), they modify their activity and behavior to best adapt to changing environmental temperatures.

When air temperatures are low (night, early morning, evening) a reptile, for example a lizard, often seeks shelter. As the temperature increases in the morning, the lizard might bask in the sunlight to increase its body temperature. It may then be active for several hours, seeking shelter if afternoon heat is too extreme (Source: Burnie and Wilson 364).

* Kingdom: Animalia
* Phylum: Chordata
* Class: Reptilia
The Class Reptilia contains the following subgroups:
o Order: Testudines (tortoises and turtles)
o Order: Squamata (amphisbaenians, snakes, and lizards)
o Order: Crocodilia (crocodiles, alligators, and caimans)

Where to See:
Reptiles have worldwide distribution and inhabit a wide range of environments including marine, terrestrial, and freshwater aquatic habitats.


Amphibians are a group of tetrapod vertebrates that include modern-day frogs and toads, caecilians, and newts and salamanders. The first amphibians evolved from lobe-finned fishes approximately 370 million years ago during the Devonian Period. The world of those early amphibians was quite different than it is today.
There were no birds, no mammals, and no reptiles on land (or in the water for that matter). There were only invertebrates and an assortment of prehistoric plants. It was a silent place, void of birdsong and lacking the growl of predators. The land lay wide open to amphibians and those with the evolutionary tenacity to set forth from the shallow shores began a new and important stage in the history of life on our planet. Several types of fishes had developed lungs. Among those lung-bearing fishes were the lobe-finned fish and the lungfishes.
The Crossopterygians, a group of primative lobe-finned fish are believed to be the ancestors of amphibians. They evolved several key features that enabled them to colonize land:

* a more rigid skeleton that would support the animal's body weight on land
* nostrils
* leg bones

Early amphibians included creatures such as Diplocaulus, Ophiderpeton, Adelospondylus, Diplocaulus, and Pelodosotis.
Most lineages of amphibians never fully severed their ties with aquatic habitats. A majority of amphibian species return to the water to breed and some species remain entirely aquatic throughout their entire life cycle. Most amphibians go through a complex metamorphosis process as they grow to adulthood.
The life cycles of amphibians reflects their evolutionary history of bridging land and water. Most amphibians lay their eggs in freshwater. A few species tolerate brackish water and some species lay their eggs on land. Extraordinarily, some species even carry their eggs inside their body. Although life cycles of amphibians vary from species to species, they all share the following three basic stages of development: egg, larva, adult.
Amphibian eggs do not have a hardened shells which means amphibians are not amniotes like reptiles, birds, and mammals. Instead, amphibian eggs consist of a gelatinous envelope that must remain moist to survive. Eggs hatch to release tiny larvae which later undergo a metamorphosis into the adult form.
Many amphibians can absorb oxygen directly into their bloodstream through their skin and are also able to expell carbon dioxide waste back into the air. The skin of amphibians lacks scales and hair. It is smooth and sometimes moist, making it quite permeable to gases and water. This permeability is thought to make amphibians particularly vulnerable to toxins in air and water such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants. Amphibians have been sharp decline throughout many areas worldwide. This is thought to be an early warning sign of a troubled environment.

* Kingdom: Animalia
* Phylum Chordata
* Class Amphibia
* Subclass Lissamphibia
The Subclass Lissamphibia contains the following subgroups:
o Order: Caudata (newts and salamanders)
o Order: Gymnophiona (caecilians)
o Order: Anura (frogs and toads)

Invertebrates are animals that lack a backbone

Definition: Invertebrates are animals that lack a backbone. Invertebrates account for more than 97% of all species alive today. They include animal groups such as sponges, cnidarians, flatworms, molluscs, arthropods, insects, segmented worms, and echinoderms as well as many other lesser-known groups of animals.

Animals that have backbones, and are therefore not invertebrates, are called vertebrates. Vertebrates include amphibians, birds, mammals, fishes, and reptiles.

The first animals to have evolved were invertebrates. Fossil evidence of invertebrates dates back to the late Precambrian, 600 million years ago. Invertebrates evolved from single-celled microorganisms.

Since invertebrates do not have bones, a bony skeleton, or a backbone, they must instead gain structural support for their bodies in different ways. For example, sea anemones have a hydrostatic skeleton that produces support via sheets of muscles and an internal cavity filled with fluid. Other invertebrates such as insects and crustaceans have a hard outer shell or exoskeleton.

Some species of invertebrates form large colonies. Colonies are groups of animals of the same species that remain together throughout most of their life cycle. Members of a colony are often closely related and benefit from living together by dividing up the work of obtaining food, protecting themselves, and reproducing. Invertebrate colonies are most common in marine habitats where the members of the colony are often physically joined. Marine invertebrate colonies include corals, hydrozoans, Portuguese man-of-war, and sea squirts. Invertebrate colonies that occur on land have individuals that are separated. The best known terrestrial colonial invertebrates are the social insects—bees, ants, termites, and wasps.

10 Facts About Animals | Amphibians, Birds, Insects, Fishes, Mammals and Reptiles

10 Facts About Animals

Animals are one of the basic groups of life on Earth. All animals share a set of fundamental characteristics—they move, they feed on other organisms, they're multicellular and they reproduce sexually. Animals belong to the Kingdom Animalia, a group also known as the Metazoa. Animals include organisms such as amphibians, birds, fishes, invertebrates, mammals, and reptiles. The first animals evolved about 600 million years ago during the late Precambrian.

1. Animals are divided into six basic groups which include amphibians, birds, fishes, invertebrates, mammals and reptiles.

Invertebrates were the first animals to evolve. Fossil evidence of invertebrates dates back to the late Precambrian, 600 million years ago.

Fishes were among the first vertebrates to evolve. The earliest known fishes were the ostracoderms, a now-extinct group of jawless fish that appeared in the Cambrian Period. Fish later evolved jaws and diversified into a number of lineages including cartilaginous fish, ray-finned fish and lobe-finned fish.

Amphibians (Class Amphibia) were the first vertebrates to make the move from life in water to life on land. Despite their early colonization of terrestrial habitats, most lineages of amphibians have never fully severed their ties with aquatic habitats. Amphibians include newts and salamanders, frogs and toads, and caecilians.

Reptiles (Class Reptilia) are cold-blooded vertebrates that diverged from ancestral amphibians about 340 million years ago during the Carboniferous Period. Reptiles include turtles, squamates, crocodiles, and tuataras. There are about 8,000 species of reptiles alive today.

Mammals (Class Mammalia) are vertebrates that evolved from therapsid reptiles during the Jurassic Period about 200 million years ago. There are approximately 5,400 species of mammals alive today. Some of the better-known mammal groups include carnivores, rodents, elephants, marsupials, rabbits, bats, primates, seals, anteaters, cetaceans, odd-toed ungulates, and even-toed ungulates.

Birds (Class Aves) evolved from reptiles during the Mesozoic Era about 150 million years ago. Birds have a number of characteristics that sets them apart from other vertebrates such as feathers, bills, and a furcula.

2. There are between 3 and 30 million species of animals.

Scientists estimate that there are in the ballpark of 3 and 30 million species of animals alive today. Of those species, about 97% are invertebrates and 3% are vertebrates. The insects are the most numerous of all animal groups, with 1 to 29 million species. In addition to insects, invertebrate animals include about 100,000 species of molluscs, 75,000 species of arachnids, 10,000 species of sponges, and more than 20,000 nematotes. Vertebrate animals include 8,000 reptiles, 10,000 birds, 23,000 fish, and 5,000 mammal species.

3. The first animals appeared approximately 600 million years ago during the late Precambrian.

The oldest evidence of life, fossilized stromatolites unearthed from Bolivia, is about 3.8 billion years old. It wasn't until the late Precambrian that the first animals appear in the fossil record. Among the earliest animals are those known as the Ediacara biota, an assortment of tubular and frond-shaped creatures that lived between 635 and 543 million years ago. The Ediacara fossils appear to have vanished by the end of the Precambrian.

4. Early animals diversified during the Cambrian Explosion.

The Cambrian Explosion (570 to 530 million years ago) refers to an unprecedented and unsurpassed period of evolutionary innovation in the history of our planet. During the Cambrian Explosion, early organisms evolved into many different, more complex forms. During this time period, nearly all of the basic metazoan body plans that persist today were established.

5. Animals are multicellular eukaryotes.

All animals have bodies that consist of multiple cells—they are multicellular. In addition to being multicellular, animals are also eukaryotes—their bodies are composed of eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells are complex cells that have membrane-bound nuclei and organelles. The DNA in a eukaryotic cell is linear and organized into chromosomes. With the exception of the sponges, animal cells are organized into tissues that perform different functions. Animal tissues include connective tissue, muscle tissue, epithelial tissue, and nervous tissue.

6. Most animals are capable of movement.

Unlike plants, which are fixed to the substrate in which they grow, most animals are motile (capable of movement). One exception is the sponges, which are considered to be sedentary for most of their life cycle, although it has been shown that some species can move at a very slow rate (a few millimeters per day).

7. Animals rely on other organisms for food.

All animals are heterotrophs which means they cannot produce their own food. Instead, they must ingest plants and other organisms as a way to get the carbon and energy they need to live.

8. Animals undergo sexual reproduction at some point in their life cycle.

Most animals undergo sexual reproduction at some point during their life cycle. Sexual reproduction is a process that combines the genetic material of parent organisms to form the genetic material of offspring. Sexual reproduction augments genetic diversity within a population.

9. Animal cells are held together by a matrix that contains collagen.

Animal cells are embedded in an extracellular matrix that consists of collagen and glycoproteins. Collagen is a protein found exclusively in animals. It is the primary protein of which connective tissue is constructed.

10. The largest animal alive today is the blue whale.

The blue whale is the largest animal alive today and is perhaps the largest animal ever to have lived. It weighs in the range of 110 to 160 tonnes and grows to lengths of between 20 and 30 meters. But blue whales break more than just size records. They produce vocalizations at volumes in excess of 180 decibels, earning them the title of the loudest animal on the planet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

ELEPHANT | Elephas maximus

Scientific name : Elephas maximus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Elephas
Species: E. maximus
Local name : Aana.

Habitat : All habitats namely evergreen, semi evergreen, moist deciduous, dry deciduous forests, grass lands and plantations.

Distribution : All over Kerala in the forest areas.
Indirect evidences : Dung, foot prints, calls, feeding signs, smell, tracks and rubbing marks n the tree trunks.

Dung : Boli are seen in heaps which can be identified easily. Rain or sunshine may change the appearance of the dung.

Size :Diameter may vary from 4 cm to 18 cm.

Foot prints : Foot prints can be used even to estimate the height of elephants. Double the circumference of the front foot will be the shoulder height of an elephant. Number of foot prints also indicate whether the animals are solitary or in herd.

Calls and sounds : Presence of elephants can be detected from a distance fro the feeding sounds and the noise of ear flapping.

Where to look for elephants : All over the forest especially areas with water and reed breaks or bamboo.

BLACKNAPED HARE | Lepus nigricollic F. Cuvier

Only one species of hare is found in Kerala. The Induan hare or blacknaped hare is seen in natural forests and plantations. Pellets of spherical shape are the best indirect evidence left by these animals. Generally found in grasslands and rocky patches in forest areas. Difficult to sight at day time . Stony patches are preferred by the species and nibbling can be seen on young shoots of plants.

Scientific name : Lepus nigricollic F. Cuvier

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae
Genus: Lepus
Species: L. nigricollis

Local names : Muyal, Cheviyan.

Habitat : All habitats except wet evergreen.

Distribution : Distributed all over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Pellets and feeding sings.

Faecal matters : Pellets are round and spherical in shape and greenish in colour.

Size : 2 to 2.5 cm.
Where to look : Active at night and frequents open lands with grass for feeding.


This nocturnal rodent is distributed throughout Kerala. Presence of this animal can be easily detected from the quills or faecal pellets.

Scientific name : Hystrix indica

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Hystricidae
Genus: Hystrix
Subgenus: Hystrix
Species: H. indica

Local name : Mullan panni.

Habitats : All habitats.

Distribution : Present in most of the wildlife sanctuaries. Common in Parabikulam, Chinnar, Chimmony, Peppara and in Silent Valley National Park and Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Indirect evidences : Droppings, quills, diggings, remains of gnawed bone portions by the animal near the entrance of the caves and tracks. Dragging marks produced by the quills can be seen on the ground.

Faecal matters : Blackish in colour, normally on rocks and open ground. Diameter of each pellet varies from 11 mm to 12 mm.

Quills : Fallen quills can be seen on the areas where the porcupines frequent.

Habits : Active only at night.

Where to look for the indirect evidences : Found in all the forest areas and gnawing can be seen on the bark of trees.

THE GAUR | INDIAN BISON | Bos gaurus H. Smith

Occur in forest areas where grasslands and water are available in plenty. They are frequently sighted in, open marshy areas. Dung and foot prints are the best indirect signs which will help in the identification of these animals

Scientific name :Bos gaurus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Bos
Species: B. gaurus
Binomial name: Bos gaurus

Local names : Kattu poth, Katti,Kattu madu.
Habitat : All habitats.

Distribution : All over Kerala. Frequently seen in Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Indirect evidences : Dung, feeding signs and hoof marks.

Faecal matters : Dung is similar to cattle but occupy larger areas due to the large quantity and have Tiger liquid.

Hoof marks : Hoof marks are found near the water holes and marshy areas. Tracks created by frequent walking of herds also can be taken as an indication of the species.

Where to look for gaur : Open areas with grass and water; Plantatipns, with grass as the under growth.

THE NILGIRI TAHR | Hemitragus hylocrius

Among the two tahr species occurring in india, the Nilgiri tahr is endemic to Western Ghats and is seen in the hill ranges at an elevation from 600 m to 2,000 m. This highly endangered animal is found in isolated hillocks all over the Western Ghats. The largest population of tahr is found in Eravikulam National park where it can be easily seen. Best indirect signs are the pellets.

Scientific name : Hemitragus hylocrius

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Nilgiritragus
Ropiquet & Hassanin, 2005
Species: N. hylocrius
Binomial name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius

Local names : Varayadu, Kattadu

Habitat : High elevation areas with grassland shoal forests.

Distribution : Found in Eravikulam National Park and Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and in many isolated hillocks all over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Pellets and hoof marks.

Faecal matters : Mean pellet length is 11.19 mm, mean diameter 7.49 mm and mean weight is 29.9 gm. Similar to that of deer but slightly spherical. Colour varying from grayish to green. Texture of the pellets is smooth compared to deer species.

Size : Length of the pellets is one to one and half times more than the width.

Where to look for the animal : Cliffs with grass.

THE SAMBAR | Cervus unicolor

Largest deer found in India, abundant in wildlife sanctuaries and also in the Reserve Forests of Kerala. Seen in herds of four or five animals. But lager herds of up to 50 have been reported from Periyar and Parambikulam. Only the makes have the antlers and are shed annually. If the area is disturbed by human pressure, we will have to depend on indirect signs for recording the presence of sambar.Pellets and hoof marks are the best indirect signs.

Scientific name : Cervus unicolor

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder: Ruminantia
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Genus: Rusa
Species: R. unicolor
Binomial name: Rusa unicolor

Local names : Mlavu, Kadaman, Kalaman.

Habitat : All habitats in hill areas, evergreen, semi evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests.
Distribution : Widely distributed. Seen in all forest areas in Kerala. Frequent in Parambikulam, Chinnar wildlife sanctuaries and Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Indirect evidences : Pellets, hoof marks, feeding signs, shed antlers, rubbing on trees, alarm calls and remains of kills. The alarm calla of the animal when chased is typical and echo’s the whole forest.
Faecal matters : Pellets are found in groups. Sambar has the biggest sized pellets compared to other deer species in Kerala. Pellets are elongated in shape with colour varying from back to green. Texture of the pellet is rough. Mean pellet length is 10.5 mm and mean diameter 10.6 mm. Hoof marks are seen near water holes and on the river banks.

THE CHITAL | Axis axis Erxleben | SPOTTED DEER

Occur in open areas mostly in dry zones of the state. It is not found in the southern part of the State strating from Periyar Tiger Reserve. Common in Parambikulam, Wayanad, Chinnar and in Peechi – Vazhani wildlife sanctuaries. Seen in groups of up to 50 animals.

Scientific name : Axis axis Erxeleben
Domain: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Eutheria
Ordo: Artiodactyla
Subordo: Ruminantia
Familia: Cervidae
Subfamilia: Cervinae
Genus: Axis
Species: Axis axis

Local names : Pulliman, Maan.

Habitat : Dry open area with grasslands and moist and dry deciduous forests.

Distribution : All the forest areas of Kerala north of Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Indirect evidences : Pellets, hoof prints, shed antlers, feeding signs, antler rubbing marks on tree, alarm calls and remains of body parts fed by carnivores.

Faecal matters : Spotted deer pellets are smaller in size than that of sambar and rough in texture. Colour varies from black to green. Mean length of the pellets is 13.43 mm and mean diameter 8.86 mm.

Hoof marks : Similar to sambar but small in size.

Where to look for the indirect evidences : Open areas with grass.


Difficult to sight because of its cryptic and silent behavior and is usually solitary. Calls are very distinct and similar to the barking of domestic dogs and hence the name.

Scientific name : Muntiacus muntjak

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder: Ruminantia
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Muntiacinae
Genus: Muntiacus

Local names : Kezhaman, Kezhayad.

Habitat : All habitats. Common in moist and dry deciduous forests.

Distribution : All over Kerala. Reported from most of the sanctuaries. Present in Periyar Tiger Reserve, Wayanad, Parambikulam, Chimmony, Peppara and Chinnar wildlife sanctuaries.

Indirect evidences : Pellets, hoof marks, calls, remains of kill.

Faecal matters : Pellets are small in size compared to sambar and spotted deer. Colour varies from black to green.

Size : Mean pellet length is 8.2 mm and mean diameter is 5.88 mm.
Hoof marks : Length of the hoof marks is around 3.5 cm and breadth 2.5 cm. Hoof prints are smaller in size than that of sambar and spotted deer.

Calls and sound : Calls are very distinct and similar to barking of dogs


Nocturnal, solitary and moves in areas with undergrowth. Rare and difficult to sight due to the camouflaging colouration. The only way to identify the presence of the species is by looking at the pellets and occational hoof marks.

Scientific name : Tragulus meminna

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Tragulidae
Genus: Moschiola
Species: M. indica
Binomial name: Moschiola indica

Local names : Kooran, Kooraman.

Habitat : Wet evergreen and deciduous forests.

Distribution : All over Kerala. Reported from Silent Valley National Park, Parambikulam, Chimmony and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuaries and Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Indirect evidences : Pellets and hoof marks.

Faecal matters : Small pellets.

Foot prints : Very small and difficult to detect in the field. Similar to the marks made with two small sticks on the ground.

INDIAN PANGOLIN | Manis crassicaudata Gray


Scientific name : Manis crassicaudata Gray

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Pholidota
Family: Manidae
Genus: Manis
Species: M. crassicaudata
Binomial name: Manis crassicaudata

Local names : Urumbutheeni, Eenampaechi.

Habitat : Moist and dry deciduous forests and dry village side.

Distribution : All over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Burrows and walking signs on the ground.

Burrows : In the ground, usually under a rock or heavy stone.

Where to look for the animals : Dry area with rocky patches, where there is enough ant or termite mounds.

THE INDIAN WILD BOAR | Sus scrofa Linnaeus


Scientific name : Sus scrofa Linnaeus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Suidae
Genus: Sus
Species: S. scrofa
Binomial name : Sus scrofa

Local names :, Kattu panni Panni.

Habitat : Evergreen, semi evergreen and moist and dry deciduous forests and also in cultivated lands.

Distribution : All over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Hoof marks, digging signs and nests made of leaf and twigs. When wild boar leaves an area after feeding it appears like a ploughed field.

Faecal matters : Found in the forest areas and is round or elongated in shape.

Colour : Brownish to black in colour.

Size : Diameter 2.3 to 2.4 cm.

Foot prints : Width of hoof marks may vary between 3.6 to 5.5 cm and length differ from 3.1 to 6.2 cm.

Nests : Made of leaf and twigs on the ground and will look like a small mount of leaf litter.

Where to look for the indirect evidences : Open areas in forest and also near cultivations near the forest.


Seen in all the protected areas especially Periyar Tiger Reserve, Wayanad and Parambikulam Wildlife Sanct uaries and Silent Valley National Park. Dreys are very prominent, found on lofty trees and customarily built on top of the tree branches.
Scientific name: Ratufa indica

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Ratufa
Species: R. indica
Binomial name : Ratufa indica

Local name : Malayannan

Habitats : All habitats, except plantations.

Distribution : All over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Calls, remains of seeds on the ground and dreys on trees. Remains of fruits and nuts are found on the ground after feeding.

Nests : Build dreys using leaves and twigs.

Calls : “Chle…chle… chle…“ Very loud shrill calls which are audible over long distances. Produces loud calls when a bird of prey is sighted above the sky.
Where to look for indirect signs : Fruiting trees. In disturbed areas, it may stay on tree holes during the day time and freeze on the branches after sighting humans.


This is an endangered giant squirrel reported in Kerala only from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki District. Frequently seen in the riverine belt of Chinnar and Pambar river. As in the case of Malabar giant squirrel, the dreys and calls are the best indirect signs. Only about 150 anials are reported to occur in Chinnar.
Scientific name : Ratufa macroura
Local names : Puliyannan, Chambal annan.
Habitat : Riverine forests in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Distribution : Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki District.
Indirect evidences : Nests, calls and remains of seeds on the ground.
Dreys : Made of leaves and twigs on top of the trees.
Calls : Similar to Malabar giant squirrel. Produces a shrill sound.
Where to look : Riverine belt all along the Chinnar, Athioda and Pambar rivers in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.

TIGER | Panthera tigris

Direct sighting is rare but pug marks can be often seen near the waterholes, lack shore, stream side and on the forest roads.
Scientific name : Panthera tigris

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Binomial name: Panthera tigris

Local names : Kaduva, Puli, Varayan puli.

Habitat : Evergreen forest, moist deciduous forest, dry deciduous forest and shoal grass lands.

Distribution : Distributed all over Kerala in the forests.

Indirect evidences : Pug marks, scats, kill and claw marks on trees.

Faecal matters : Scats will be larger in size compared to that of leopard. Usually with hairs and bones of prey animals and with foul smell when it is fresh. Often difficult to distinguish with that of a leopard unless confirmed by the presence of pug marks nearby.

Colour : Black to grey.

Size (Diameter) : Size ranges from 35 mm to 44 mm.

Pug marks : Bigger than the leopard pug mark. The pug mark of a tiger cub is always with that of an adult tiger. This often helps to identify a leopard from the tiger. Sex of the tiger can be distinguished by looking at the shape of the pug mark. If the length and breadth measurements shows a square shape it will be of a male tiger and a rectangle shape, indicates a female.

Kills : kill are characterized with an intact stomach. The remaining portoin of the prey after feeding id left in the same place and return for the meat the next day. But, some times kills are dragged and hidden under vegetation. The mode if fedding from the rear of the prey has given the tiger the title ‘the ugly feeder’.

Claw marks : Very rare but can be seen on the bark of trees.
Where to look for the indirect evidences: Pug marks are found in dusty Soils near the forest road in the mud on the side of rivulets or water holes.

THE LEOPARD | PANTHER | Panthera pardus

Leopards are found in the forests of Kerala and in the outskirts of villages. Occasionally strays to the home steads and preys on cattle also. Is Kerala, it is frequently sighted in Wayanad, Parambikulam and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuaries

Scientific name : Panthera pardus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. pardus
Binomial name: Panthera pardus

Local names : Pulli puli,Puli, Nari.

Habitat : Evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests.

Distribution : Distributed all over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Pug marks, scats, kills and claw marks on trees.

Scats : Scat will be at a point in single piles. Blackish grey in colour. The colour will turn into white, when exposed to sun . Smells heavily and hairs and bones of prey species are seen in the scats. Difficult to distinguish from a tiger scat unless confirmed by the pug marks nearby. About 8 mm to 11 mm in diameter.

Pugmarks : Smaller than that of tiger.

Size: Length may vary from 6 cm to 10 cm and breadth from 5 cm to 9 cm . Width of paw will be around 4 cm to 6 cm.

Kills : After feeding , the remains of the prey are kept on tree tops. Prey animals include arboreal animals also. Often prey on dogs when they come near villages, a unique behavior which is not found in tigers.

Claw marks : Very rare but can be noticed on the bark of trees.
Where to look for the indirect evidences: Same as that of tiger.

JUNGLE CAT | Felis chaus Guldenstaedt

Cryptic animals and difficult to sight directly. Indirect signs can be seen frequently in the forests and in the outskirts of villages.

Scientific name :Felis chaus Gueldenstaedtii

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felis
Species: F. chaus
Binomial name: Felis chaus

Local name : Kattu poocha.

Habitat : Prefers dry open forest areas with grassland and scrub jungle and near forest villages.

Indirect evidences : Pug marks and scats.

Distribution : No detailed data available, but reported from most of the wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala.

Faecal matters Colour : Grey to black.

Size : 13 mm to 17 mm.

Pugmark Size : Smaller than that of leopard with a width of about 2 to 3 cm.

Habit : Often come to villages for poultry.

Where to look for the indirect evidences : Near the forest roads, tree holes and under the culverts.

THE SMALL INDIAN CIVET | Viuerricula indica | Viverricula indica


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Viverridae
Subfamily: Viverrinae
Genus: Viverricula
Species: V. indica
Binomial name: Viverricula indica

Scientific name : Viverricula indica

Local names : Veruku, Meru, Cheruveruku, Kodimeru, Poomeru.

Habitat : Country side, villages and forests.

Distribution : Distributed all over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Scat and pug marks.

Faecal matters : Contains plant seeds and is often watery.

Colour : Black to brownish in colour.

Size : Length may vary from 3.00 to 4.6 cm. drippings are seen on rock or on long in the forest.

Pug marks : A small pad and four finger prints can be seen clearly.

Size : Width may vary from 3.00 cm to 3.6 cm.

Where to look for the indirect evidences : Near the fruiting trees when the fruits ripens. Active at dusk and dawn. Pug marks are clear near the river sides.

THE COMMON PALM CIVET OR TODDY CAT | Paradoxurus hermaphrodites

Common in the villages and country side and feed on fruits and seeds. The only indirect evidences of this nocturnal animal are the faecal matter and pug marks.
Scientific name : Paradoxurus hermaphrodites
Local names : Marappatti, Pazhamunni, Marameu, Panameru, Kallukudian meru.
Habitat : Villages , forest areas and coffee plantation.
Distribution : Distributed all over Kerala.
Indirect evidences : Scat, pug marks.
Scat : Grayish to brown in colour, seeds of fruits consumed can be seen in the scat.
Size : 19 mm to 20 mm.
Where to look for the indirect evidences : Found in the upstairs of old house. Occasionally drinks toddy from the coconut palms and can be located near the fruiting trees.

JACKAL | Canis aureus Linnaeus

JACKAL | Canis aureus Linnaeus
Found in villages and around the abandoned places. Pug marks and scats are similar to dogs.

Scientific name : Canis aureus Linnaeus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. aureus
Binomial name: Canis aureus

Local names : Kurukkan, Kurunari, Oolan.

Habitat : In and around villages and in all forest types.

Distribution : Distributed all over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Scats, pug marks and calls.

Scat : Black in colour.

Size : 8 to 10 mm.

Foot prints : Similar to that of dogs and 4 to 5 cm in width.

Call and sound : Howling at dusk.

Habit : Mainly a scavenger but prey upon small mammals, poultry and even invertebrates. Catches fowls and goats from the villages.

Where to look for the animal : Small rocky bushes and thickets near the outskirts of cities and villages.