Monday, April 25, 2011

Giant Armadillo

True Wild Life | Giant Armadillo | The giant armadillo is the largest of all armadillos and found in South America, east of the Andes, from northwestern Venezuela to northeastern Argentina. Adults grow as long as 35 inches and can weigh over 70 lb. The necks and backs of armadillos are covered with flexible carapaces (shells) consisting of 14 to 17 moveable bands of horn and bone. Their heads are also covered with a similar oval shield. The head, tail and lower edges of the giant armadillo are nearly white, and the rest of the body is dark brown. Underneath the carapace, its naked body appears wrinkly and pinkish in color. It has powerful claws with a very large central claw similar to the claw of the giant anteater. Giant armadillos are very fast on the ground and can sometimes balance themselves on their hind legs and tails, with their forefeet off the ground.

Giant armadillos prefer to live in burrows near water in grassland, brushland, woodland, and forests where termite mounds are present. It is believed that they are very good swimmers. They are active mainly at night and prefer to sleep in the daytime. They are very powerful and quick diggers enabling them to find insects and escape predators by hiding in the ground. Preferred diet is ants and termites, but they will also eat other insects, worms, spiders, larvae, snakes, and carrion. Giant armadillos can consume entire termite mound populations once discovered. Little is known about the mating behavior of this species. Other armadillo species are known to pair up during mating season and share a burrow. Females give birth to one to two young after a gestation period of 120 days. The young armadillos are born with tough leathery skin to protect them from dangerous predators.

Giant armadillos have suffered from loss of habitat due to agricultural development and human settlement, and they are also overhunted by humans for food. Some are killed by farmers because they are thought to damage crops. This species was listed as endangered in 1976, and the continued study of the species and its habitat is necessary to plan additional conservation efforts.
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True Wild Life | Babirusa | The Babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) is a very special member of the pig family. Up until now the relationship between the Babirusa and the other pig species hasn't been resolved completely. There are pieces of research, which suggest the conclusion, that it is closely related to Hippopotamuses, close relatives of pigs themselves. The babirusa is a very strange looking member of the pig family. They are only distantly related to other pigs, and have been given their own subfamily, the Babirousinae. There are three subspecies of the Babirusa corresponding to the areas where they are found; the Sulawesi, Togian, and Moluccan babirusa. These subspecies have different hair covering, hair color, and tusk and body sizes. Fossil studies seem to show that the babirusa may be more closely related to hippopotamuses than pigs.

The name babirusa in Malay means "pig-deer". It got this name from its bizarre tusks. The upper canines actually grow up through the skin of it snout from the inside. These 12 inch long tusks then grow up and curl over towards the forehead, sometimes touching the snout again. The lower canines are also very long and protrude from the sides. The two sets of tusks give the appearance of the antlers of a deer. Only the bottom tusks are used offensively. The top tusks can't be used for foraging or as weapons because they are very fragile and lose in their sockets. Females have shorter tusks, or none at all. Babirusa are smaller than domestic pigs. They are 2.8-3.6 feet in length, and 2.1-2.6 feet at shoulder height. The tail is 8-12 inches long and not twisted. Babirusas weigh from 95-220 pounds.

This curly-tusked pig has a rounded body with almost hairless, bristly skin. The sparse hairs are yellowish in color. Their skin is gray to brown, with a lighter colored underbelly. Their legs are thin and longer than on most pigs. Mature babirusas have large folds near their necks and bellies. Babirusa reach sexual maturity from 1 to 2 years. After mating the pregnancey lasts 150 to 157 days. The babirusa only gives birth to 1 to 3 young at a time, unlike other pigs who will have 7 to 9 piglets. The mother babirusa will lie down to nurse her piglets. Although the young will begin to forage within the first week after birth, they aren't weaned until they are 6 to 8 months old. The babirusa has a life span of 24 years.

The babirusa is usually a solitary animal, although it will sometimes live in small groups. Its habits are duirnal, and it tends to feed in the morning. Its diet consists of fruits, nuts, mangos, mushrooms, leaves, and insects found in rotting wood. Unlike other pigs it doesn't root around the dirt for food with its snout. It moves along well-worn trails along the rainforest floor within their territories. It is a fast runner and a good swimmer, and has been seen swimming to off-shore islands. It has a good sense of smell and makes grunting and moaning sounds. When it gets excited it chatters its teeth. Like most other pigs it loves to wallow in mud baths to rid itself of parasites. In the past babirusa were kept by rulers in Sulawesi and given as gifts to visiting diplomats. Masks of Balinese demons often resemble the stangely tusked babirusa.

Unfortunately the future doesn't look good for this amazing creature. They have always been scarce, but are an endangered species today. Although the babirusa avoids farmlands, and isn't persucuted by farmers, it is a favorite target for poachers. Their limited and small pockets of rainforests are also being converted into agriculture. Their wild population is estimated at around 4,000 to 5,000 animals. The IUCN put them on their vulnerable list in 1996, and the U.S. ESA considers them endangered They are on CITES Appendix I.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sloth Bear

True Wild Life | Sloth Bear |  The Sloth Bear also known as the Labiated Bear, is a nocturnal insectivorous species of bear found wild within the Indian subcontinent. The sloth bear evolved from ancestral Brown Bears during the Pleistocene and shares features found in insect-eating mammals through convergent evolution. The population isolated in Sri Lanka is considered as a subspecies. Its favourite food is primarily termites and other insects which it snorts and sucks out of termite hills on the ground with a vacuum-cleaner sounding roar that can be heard several hundred yards away.

Using its narrow tongue and long lower lip, which it can extend far beyond its nose, the bear has no difficulty scooping up the tiny morsels. The bear has special adaptations for feeding on termites. It has gap between its front teeth which allows it to suck in the insects, and also the top of its mouth is hollowed and tube-like. The Sloth Bear also eats different insects such as ants and bees, and it also includes fruits, blooms and honey in its menu.

The Sloth Bear has a coarse, shaggy ebony pelt, a white V-shaped mark on its chest and has a protruding lower lip. After mating, there is a period of about 6 to 7 months before the young are born. Generally they breed in June and July and cubs are born from November to January. In South Sri Lanka there appears to be less breeding convergence and cubs may be born at any time of the year. They reach a length from 150 to 190 centimetres. Females reach a weight from 55 to 95 kilograms, while males are clearly heavier and between 80 and 140 kilograms in weight. Although Sloth Bears are rather shy animals, sometimes they are considered as aggressive as other breeds of bear. The total world population of the Sloth Bears is estimated at approximately 7,000 to 10,000 animals, which means that the IUCN lists it as an endangered species .
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Monday, April 11, 2011


True Wild Life | Zorse | The zorse is a cross between a zebra stallion and a domestic mare. It is also possible to use a zebra mare and a domestic stallion, but owners of valuable zebra mares don't want to waste a year of their breeding life producing a hybrid when they could be producing a zebra foal instead. The crosses were originally done in England and Africa to try to produce a domestic horselike animal that was resistant to diseases spread by the tse tse fly in Africa. Zebras have natural resistance, where domestic donkeys and horses do not. The experimental crosses were actually becoming popular until early in the 20th century when the auto displaced the horse and mule. At that point cross-breeding was largely abandoned. A revival of interest came in the early 1990s, with just about every breed of domestic horse imaginable being tried.

A zorse generally inherits the striping pattern and some of the conformation of the zebra sire with the size, colouration, and temperament of the domestic mare. Coarse bad tempered pony mares produce coarse bad tempered zonies. Mares of quality, especially Quarter horses and American Paint horses, produce some very beautiful zorses that have a good working attitude. If the mare has a pattern, such as pinto spotting or Appy spots, the zorse often will also. You only see the striping pattern on the pigmented areas, never on the white areas. Breeders avoid using gray mares because the zorse can inherit the graying gene and lose all his stripes in a few years! You can still see the stripes on the skin.

Like mules, zorses are born anatomically normal males or females. They exhibit normal breeding behaviour. But like mules they are sterile. Males should be gelded as early as a few months old to prevent dangerous studdy behaviour. A breeder in KY keeps two zorse mares in the pasture with his Paint stallion to keep him company. He has bred them both hundreds of times over the years but no offspring have ever resulted.

Zorses tend to be very hardy and live into their 30s with good care. Their temperaments are generally similar to those of their mothers, but like the zebra they do have a strong flight response. Because of this it's best for a first time hybrid owner to get a zedonk instead. When a zedonk startles he freezes up like a donkey rather than bolt blindly like a horse or zebra.
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True Wild Life | Zonkey | The zonkey also known as zebrass, zebronkey,zeasses, zeedonk, zedonk, zebadonk, zenkey, donbra, zebrinny, or deebra, is basically the result of when a zebra and a donkey mate. However, depending on which way round the parents are, determines whether the offspring is classed as a zonkey (male zebra, female donkey) or a zeedonk (female zebra, male donkey). Like with the common mule, it is thought to be almost impossible for the zonkey to breed. The zonkey can be conceived when a zebra and a donkey are in the same territory in south Africa. Both the zebra and the donkey belong to the horse family so this cross-mating is plausible. The courtship behavior of a donkey is much more similar to that of the various zebra species than a horse's courtship behavior. Zebras and donkeys will more readily and easily breed for that reason than zebras and horses.

The zonkey is extremely rare in the wild, but a number of zoos have successfully been able to breed the zonkey. The first zoo to breed a zonkey was Colchester Zoo in Essex, south east England. Zonkeys are hybrid animals and the zonkey is bred by mating together two species from within the same genus (donkey and zebra). The resulting zonkey offspring have traits and characteristics of both parents. The tallest zonkey at the top of the page is sired by a Grevy zebra. The result is a taller animal with a bigger head, wither hump, and a Grevy pinstriping pattern. The rest of the zonkies are sired by the common or plains zebra. Their conformation is more ponylike and they are generally smaller. Their striping pattern is like that of the parent zebra species. Look carefully - there are two zorses among the zedonks. Notice their more horselike conformation and much smaller ears.

Zonkeys vary considerably in both looks and temperament depending on which species of zebra is used for the cross. Grevy hybrids tend to be more aggressive like the Grevy parent. Zonkeys from plains zebra (Grant, Chapman, etc) are much mellower. A Zonkey is a cross between a zebra stallion (male) and a donkey jennet (female). The zonkey gets its the colour or dominant colour gene of the donkey and the zebra sire gives the zonkey its species specific striping pattern.

The zonkey is generally more easily bred than a zorse (the mix-breeding of a zebra and a horse) as the donkey and zebra use similar methods of communication and have similar behavioural patterns where the horse and the zebra have many more differences.
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True Wild Life | Zebu | The zebu is a species of cattle that is native to the jungles of South Asia and the Zebu is the only cattle species that can easily adapt to life in the hot tropics. The zebu is also known as the humped cattle as the zebu has a very distinctive hump on its upper back, located behind the head and neck of the zebu. Today the zebu can also be found in Africa, as the zebu was transported there from Asia many years ago. There are thought to be around 75 different species of zebu, with roughly half the zebu species found in Africa and the other half of the zebu species found in South Asia. The zebu has also been taken to South America from Africa, where zebu populations are continuously growing.

The zebu is one of the smallest species of cattle in the world with adult zebus reaching a height of just over a meter. The zebu is also about half the weight of a typical cow as the zebu is considered to have less meat. The small size of the zebu is thought to be the reason why the zebu is able to thrive in tropical climates, where other species of cattle do not fair so well. The zebu is a distinctive breed of cattle and besides the hump found on the shoulders of the zebu, the zebu also has a large flap of skin below its lower jaw, known as a dewlap, and the zebu also has long drooping ears. The hump-less cattle found throughout Africa today are considered to be a subspecies of the zebu that have adapted to life without their characteristic hump. Nevertheless, these hump free cattle are able to survive without complaint in their subtropical environment.

Due to the manageable size of the zebu, and the ability of the zebu to cope with the tropicals climates, the zebu has been domesticated in both its Native home in Southern Asia and in Africa as the zebu is predominantly used for lighter agricultural work. The zebu is also farmed for meat in some areas and the zebu is considered to be holy in India where the zebu is thought to have originated from.

The zebu is thought to have both parasite and disease resistant properties which is another reason why the zebu are thought to thrive so successfully in their native tropical environments. The zebu has also been interbred with the native cattle of both Africa and Brazil, where the zebu is most common outside of Asia, and many farmers consider the presence of a hump and droopy ears to be a sign that their cattle is purely bred. There are thought to be nearly 4 million zebu in farms around the world today, with the highest number of these being found in India, Brazil and the United States. The wild zebu can still be found in small herds in Southern Asia but the wild zebu populations are not nearly as high, mainly because of habitat loss due to deforestation.
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Zebra Shark

True Wild Life | Zebra Shark | The zebra shark is a medium-sized species of shark, that is found in the warmer coastal waters and around tropical coral reefs. Zebra sharks are most commonly found in the Indian and South Pacific oceans. Zebra sharks can grow to nearly 3 meters in length and can get to be 30 years old in the wild. Zebra sharks that are kept in captivity generally do not exceed 15 years of age. Zebra sharks can be identified by the yellow spots that are present on the back of the zebra shark.

Zebra sharks have a long, flattened body which helps them to remain unnoticed on the seabed. The zebra shark also has a long tail which allows it to be more agile in the water. Zebra sharks move their tails from side to side when they swim, in an eel-like manner.

Zebra sharks are omnivorous animals but tend to have a more meat-based diet. Zebra sharks feed on small fish, crabs, shrimp, snails and other small invertebrates along with squid and sea snakes which they forage for in the coral reefs.

Due to their relatively large size, zebra sharks have few natural predators as they are fairly dominant predators in their environment. Larger species of shark such as tiger sharks and bull sharks are the main predators of the zebra shark, along with humans who hunt them for their meat and fins. The female zebra shark lays an average of ten large eggs which hatch after an incubation period of around 5 months. The baby zebra sharks are nearly half a meter long when they first hatch.
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True Wild Life | Zebra | The zebra is best known for the black and white striping pattern unique to each of the 3 species of zebra . Within a species, the pattern of the stripes is unique to each individual zebra, like with a human's fingerprint. There is some evidence that zebras recognize herdmates by their patterns. The plains zebra grows to around 1.5m high and about 2 m long. The Grevy can be much taller, some up to 15 hh. The average zebra weighs around 300kg, which is a similar weight to a horse.

There are 3 species of zebra, all three zebra species are found in Africa. The mountain zebra is sadly an endangered species and there are only a few left in the wild. The Hartman subspecies has a distinct dewlap on the throat. The striping pattern of a mountain zebra is similar to that of a plains zebra, but it has a unique gridiron pattern on the top of the rump. You would think that the zebra's stripes would make the zebra vulnerable to predators as it would be difficult to hide itself. If the zebra has to run away, the zebra's stripes actually help it to blend in with the rest of the fleeing herd, visually confusing predators who are trying to zero in on one specific animal.

One extinct subspecies of the Plains zebra, which was once found in great numbers in South Africa's Cape Province was the quagga. The quagga was distinguished from other zebras by having the usual zebra stripes on the front part of the body only. The stripes on the quagga gradually fade so its rear was only chestnut. The only quagga to have ever been photographed alive was a mare at the Zoological Society of London's Zoo in Regent's Park in 1870. She was 28 at the time and died a year or two later. Only after she died did zoologists realize she was the very last of her kind. The zebra is a common target for large carnivorous animals that are found in the zebra's habitat. The predators of the zebra include the lion, hyena and the crocodile along with other large mammals such as cheetahs and leopards that tend to hunt the smaller and more vulnerable members of the zebra herd. The zebra's defenses include its very powerful kick, which can break the jaw of a lion. It also has an explosive takeoff and can sprint at good speed for a short distance.

Zebras live together on the African plains in large herds often with or close to other herbivorous mammals such as antelope and wildebeest. Along with the wildebeest , the zebra takes part in the annual great migration following the rains across Africa. Herbivores do this in order to get the best grazing as the grass is at its best after the rain has passed over it. The female zebra usually gives birth to just one zebra foal after a 12 month gestation period. Female zebras have been known to give birth to zebra twins but it is a fairly fair occurrence. Zebra foals are able to stand and run about just hours after birth and remain close the mother zebra until they are big enough to look out for themselves.

It has been known for zebras to occasionally mate with donkeys and horses resulting in a zonkey foal. This is thought to happen extremely rarely in the wild and the zonkey is infertile meaning that it cannot produce offspring of its own. There has also been a documented case of a Grevy zebra mating with a Grant zebra in the wild, producing an interspecies zebra hybrid. The conformation is intermediate between the two. It has Grevy pinstripes arranged in a Grantlike pattern. Like other interspecies hybrids it is sterile.
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Friday, April 8, 2011

Yellow-Eyed Penguin

True Wild Life | Yellow-Eyed Penguin | The yellow-eyed penguin is one of the few penguin species found north of the Antarctic Ocean, and as it's name suggests, this species of penguin is easily idenitfied by it's yellow coloured eyes and bright yellow band that runs from it's eyes round the back of the yellow-eyed penguin's head. The yellow-eyed penguin is found off the coast of the south island of New Zealand where this species gathers in colonies along the beaches and boulder fields. The yellow-eyed penguin is also found on a few of the islands of the main island including Stewart, Auckland and the Campbell Islands.

The yellow-eyed penguin generally searches for food up 10 miles offshore, and travels (on average) around 15 miles away from the colonies nesting site. The yellow-eyed penguin leaves the colony at dawn and returns the same evening during chick rearing, although may spend 2 or 3 days at sea at other times. The yellow-eyed penguin is one of the larger species of penguin with adult individuals reaching 75cm in height, with the males generally being slightly larger than the female yellow-eyed penguins. The yellow-eyed penguin was thought to have been closely related to the tiny little penguin found in a similar area, although recent research suggests that the two are actually fairly genetically different.

The yellow-eyed penguin is a carnivorous animal, that like all other penguin species, survives on a diet that is only comprised of marine animals. Krill and small crustaceans make up the bulk of the yellow-eyed penguin's diet along with larger organisms including squid and various species of fish. The yellow-eyed penguin is usually found nesting in the forests and scrub that line the New Zealand coast and although historically undisturbed, the yellow-eyed penguin now has a number of land-dwelling predators including cats, dogs and foxes along with rats and weasels that hunt their eggs.

On average, the yellow-eyed penguin breeds once a year, forming pairs that usually remain faithful to one another. The female yellow-eyed penguin lays two eggs in her nest in the forest which are incubated by both parents for up to a couple of months, when only one of the eggs will usually hatch. The yellow-eyed penguin chicks are fed and kept warm by their parents and remain with them until the chicks are nearly a year old. Today, the yellow-eyed penguin listed as an endangered animal with an estimated wild population of less than 4,000 individuals. It is now the rarest penguin in the world due to deforestation and the introduction of mammalian predators.
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True Wild Life | Yak | The yak is a herd animal found in the mountainous regions of central Asia. The yak tend to gather in herds from 10 yaks to 100 yaks, most of which are female. There are only a few male yaks per herd. Although there is a large domestic population of yak, there are only a few wild yak remaining . The yak is still used in many parts of central Asia, for pulling heavy farm machines and transporting large loads through the mountain passes.

The average male yak can grow to about 2meters tall, with the female yak being about 1/3 the size of the male yak. All yak have very long hair to keep them warm. The yak belongs to the same cow family as the Asian water buffalo, the African buffalo and the American bison. However, the yak is slightly more like the American bison in appearance as both the yak and the bison have long hair in order to withstand the colder climates, the bison of the North American winters and the yak of the mid-Asian mountains.

The yak breeds in the warmer months of September and after a gestation period of nine months the female yak gives birth to a single yak calf. A female yak will occasionally give birth to twins but it is very rare. Some female yak give birth to a calf almost every year but it depends on the environment in which the yak lives and the yak individual. Yak babies are completely independent by the time that they are a year old and they are fully grown when they are between 7 and 8 years old. The average lifespan of a yak is about 20 years in the wild and slightly longer when in captivity.

Like other species of cow, the yak is a herbivore and spends a great deal of time on grassy plains in the mountains grazing on grasses, herbs and wild flowers. In a similar way to other cow species the yak has more than one stomach which the yak uses to successfully get all of the nutrients out of the plants that it eats. The yak has firm, dense horns which the yak uses to break through snow in order to get the plants that are buried beneath it and the yak will also use it's horns in defence. They have long shaggy hairthat covers their bodies that keep them warm and dry.

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X-Ray Tetra

True Wild Life | X-Ray Tetra | The X-Ray Tetra is a small species of schooling Fish that is naturally found in the Amazon River's coastal waters in South America. The X-Ray Tetra is also known as the Golden Pristella Tetra and the Water Goldfinch due to the faint golden colouration of their translucent skin. They were first described by Ulrey in 1894 and have since become one of the most popular freshwater Fish kept in artificial aquariums today. Although the X-Ray Tetra is the only known species in it's genus, it is closely related to other small and colourful South American Fish, including the nearly 100 other Tetra species.

The most distinctive feature of the X-Ray Tetra is the translucent layer of skin that covers it's small body, allowing the Fish's backbone to be clearly seen. The scales of the X-Ray Tetra are a silvery-yellowish colour that is very faint, looking almost golden in some lights. The X-Ray Tetra also has a re-tipped tail and strikingly striped dorsal and anal fins that are yellow, black and white in colour. This is a relatively small species of Fish that actually has a bony internal structure known as the Weberian apparatus, which is used in picking up sound waves, and contributes to their acute sense of hearing (this bony structure is also found in many of their relatives). Females are generally slightly larger and rounder than the more slender males, although the two are very similar in appearance.

Like many other small, colourful Fish, the X-Ray Tetra is a schooling species of Fish inhabiting the region between the bottom and middle of the water as a group. They are incredibly peaceful and are often tolerant of the other species that they share their habitats with. The X-Ray Tetra is one of the most adaptable species of Tetra as it is able to inhabit both fresh and brackish water happily, in both acidic and alkaline conditions. It is widely observed that those X-Ray Tetra that are kept in tanks, can change quickly from being peaceful to becoming skittish in the presence of larger, predatory Fish, with the same behaviour known to be displayed if the school size is not big enough.

During the rainy season. the X-Ray Tetra return to the flood-lands to spawn. Unlike many similar Fish who give birth to live young, the female X-Ray Tetra lays between 300 - 400 eggs by scattering them amongst the vegetation (when she is ready to spawn, the see-through skin means that her eggs can also be easily seen). X-Ray Tetra fry begin to hatch as early as 24 hours later, and become free swimming within a few days. Once able to swim, the small and dull white young, are able to find better food sources and soon develop their characteristic adult markings. X-Ray Tetra usually live for three or four years in the wild but can get to older ages in captivity.

Like many other small species of Fish that live in the Amazon River, the X-Ray Tetra is an omnivorous animal whose diet is made up of both animals and plants. X-Ray Tetra primarily hunt Worms, Insects and small Crustaceans that live close to the river bed and their fry tend to feed on Insect larvae. Although they are also known to supplement their diet with aquatic plants, they are predominantly micro-predators that feed on small invertebrates. In artificial communities, X-Ray Tetra need a variety of food sources including Brine Shrimp and Bloodworm alongside the standard flakes and pellets to ensure that they have a fully nutritious diet.

The Weberian apparatus (the bony structure) in the X-Ray Tetra's body works by transmitting sound waves through their vertebrate, that have been received by the swim bladder and are then taken to the inner ear, meaning that the X-Ray Tetra has excellent hearing. The transparency of their skin is thought to be a form of protection as predators find it much harder to spot them (along with their light yellow markings) amongst the dense vegetation, and shimmering water. Not only is the yellowish X-Ray Tetra popular in tanks, but an albino version of the species is also now commonly found in artificial communities worldwide.
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Woolly Monkey

True Wild Life | Woolly Monkey | The woolly monkey is a medium to large sized primate, that inhabits the tropical forests of north-west South America. The woolly monkey is most well known for it's round-shaped head and dense fur that covers the body of the woolly monkey. Woolly monkeys are found throughout Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and parts of Venezuela where they live an arboreal lifestyle. Woolly monkeys have long and very strong prehensile tails which allows them to balance and grip onto branches without having to give up the use of their hands.

There are four different species of woolly monkey found in the South American jungles today. These are the brown woolly monkey (also known as the common woolly monkey), the grey woolly monkey, the Columbian woolly monkey and the silvery woolly monkey. All four of the different woolly monkey species are found in the same regions of South America. The woolly monkey gets its name from its soft and thick, curled fur which ranges from brown to black to grey, depending on the species of woolly monkey. Woolly monkeys have relatively stocky bodies, with powerful shoulders and hips.

Like many other primate species, woolly monkeys live together in fairly large groups known as troops. The woolly monkey troops contain both male woolly monkeys and female woolly monkeys. The woolly monkey troop is also known to split up into smaller groups when it is time to forage for food. The woolly monkey is an omnivorous animal, meaning that it feeds on both plants and other animals. Fruit is the primary source of food for woolly monkeys, but they will also eat nuts, seeds, leaves, flowers, nectar, insects and even small rodents and reptiles.

Due to their relatively large size, woolly monkeys have few natural predators within their jungle environment. Large birds of prey such as eagles, are the main predators of the young woolly monkeys, and wildcats such as ocelot and jaguars are the main predators of the adult woolly monkeys. The human is also one of the main predators of the woolly monkey as they are hunted for their meat and fur. The alpha male woolly monkey will mate with the females in his troop. After a gestation period of between 7 and 8 months, the baby woolly monkey is born. Woolly monkeys tend to only have one baby at a time although twins have been known to occur. The baby woolly monkey clings to it's mothers underside, before climbing up onto her back when it is around a week old. The baby woolly monkey is independent and no longer needs it's mother when it is around 6 months old.

Due to deforestation and therefore habitat loss, the woolly monkey population numbers are drastically decreasing, with the woolly monkey now considered to be an animal species that is vulnerable to extinction.
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