This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/42389547@N00/3742108635/sizes/o/in/photostream/ The Southern Toad is a small toad that ranges from 1-5 inches in length. Their colors can be red, black, or brown and will very rarely have darker spots. The Southern Toad will have very few warts on it. It also has highly pronounced knobs on the side of its head. They most often live in swamps, marshes, or sandy areas. During the day, the Southern Toad burrows under the ground to hide. It comes out at night to hunt for small invertebrates like snails and beetles. They have also been known anything they can fit in their mouth. They are found in the southern part of America, near Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/42389547@N00/526158135/ Ground Skinks are small skinny lizards that have long tails and short legs. Their colors range from golden to black with a black stripe down the sides and whitish belly. They are found in Georgia and South Carolina, most often in moist places. Because of their short legs, they don’t climb, but rather “slither” through the leaves. They will break their tails off in dangerous situations. Ground Skinks eat tiny invertebrates, like insects and spiders.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nophun201/4694571802/ Water Moccasins are venomous snakes that have large triangular heads and large jowls that house their venom glands. They are typically 24-48 inches in length. Water Moccasins' coloring ranges from brown or yellow with distinct stripes or black and gray with very dull stripes. Their bellies are dark with brown and yellow splotches and their tails can be yellow to black. They are found all throughout the southeast, all the way up to Virginia. They like to populate in wetland areas, making it easy to trap and eat small fish and amphibians. They are also known to eat anything small enough to fit into their mouths, including other water moccasins. They can be found even in the wintertime sunning on a rock. Early summer is their mating season, and males have head-to-head battle for the females. Females can have as many as 20 babies every few years. The babies are born live and have bright yellow tails. The water moccasin can be recognized by the bright white color of its mouth, where it received the name "cotton mouth."
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/8272102@N04/497208595/ Wild turkeys are large game birds. Their bodies can be as large as 4 feet across and they can weigh between 5 and 20 pounds. They live all over North America, excluding desert and mountains. They forage for their food on forest floors, finding and eating nuts, fruits, leaves, insects, and small amphibians. They have a distinctive gobble which can be heard a mile away. Male turkeys have fan-like feathers that they use to attract their mate. After mating, females can lay between 4 and 17 eggs. Mothers only take care of their hatchlings for a few days, and are forced to be a part of the group, which can have as many as 12 turkeys in it. On average, turkeys live 3 to 4 years in the wild.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/dracobotanicus/3485591969/in/photostream Wild turkeys are large game birds. Their bodies can be as large as 4 feet across and they can weigh between 5 and 20 pounds. They live all over North America, excluding desert and mountains. They forage for their food on forest floors, finding and eating nuts, fruits, leaves, insects, and small amphibians. They have a distinctive gobble which can be heard a mile away. Male turkeys have fan-like feathers that they use to attract their mate. After mating, females can lay between 4 and 17 eggs. Mothers only take care of their hatchlings for a few days, and are forced to be a part of the group, which can have as many as 12 turkeys in it. On average, turkeys live 3 to 4 years in the wild.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/zygzee/412303645/ Gophers are small rodents that live in North America and burrow under the ground. They can be between 4 and 12 inches in length and weigh 7 to 36 ounces. They are mostly brown or tan and can be identified by their puffy face and long front teeth. Gophers eat roots, fruit, and leaves, and store their food in their cheeks to take back to their burrow, where large amounts of food are hoarded. Adult gophers hibernate from July until springtime, while young gophers generally start hibernation in early fall. The males come out of hibernation first to claim their territories, and then mating begins. Female gophers have, on average, 6 gophers per litter. The average lifespan of a gopher is 3 to 5 years.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsbrown99/2251871430/ Komodo Dragons are a relatively new species to humans, only having been discovered on the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia about 100 years ago. Komodo dragons are the heaviest lizards on the earth, reaching up to 300 pounds and 10 feet in length. Komodo dragons have large heads and huge muscular tails. They have scaly skin and a mouth that is lethal. It uses its sharp claws and teeth the capture prey including deer, pigs, water buffalo, and even humans. Animals bitten by the dragon will likely die within 24 hours of being bitten due to the high concentration of bacteria in the saliva. The komodo dragon will follow the dying prey and eat it once it's dead. They can eat up to 80% of their own body weight in one feeding. Although komodo dragons can live more than 30 years in the wild, they are on the endangered species list due to poaching, encroachment, and natural disasters.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/oncho88/6009974484/ Lemurs are primates that live on the island of Madagascar and some neighboring islands in Africa. Ringtailed lemurs can be spotted by their black and white striped tails. They can weigh anywhere from 5 to 8 pounds and can be up to two feet from head to tail. Lemurs have human-like hands and feet used to grip and climb trees. They forage for food in the trees and on the ground , searching for fruit, leaves, bark, and sap. Lemurs have scent glands used to mark territory and males battle for the “worst scent award” during mating season. Groups of lemurs are known as “troops” and often have between 6 and 30 members. Although lemurs can live up to 18 years in the wild, they are part of the endangered species list.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/thowra/2081428662/ The three-toed sloth is a mammal that lives in the rainforests of Central and South America. They can grow to almost 2 feet in length and weigh close to 9 pounds. The sloth is the world’s slowest mammal, which explains the greenish color of its fur. Algae grows on the fur of the sloth, camouflaging it in the tree tops. Another identifying feature of the three-toed sloth is its three long claws, useful for efficiency in clinging to the trees. Sloths sleep for most of the day, only being active for 9 to 4 hours a day. At night, the sloths get all of their food and water from the surrounding plants. Sloths mate in the trees, as well as have and care for their young. Baby sloths will hold onto their mothers for the first nine months of life. Though, clumsy on land, sloths are efficient swimmers and can swim in rivers when in danger. A unique feature to sloths is an extra neck vertebrae, making them capable of turning their head almost completely around. Sloths are on the endangered species list.
Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Even more unique to vampire bats is the fact that their diet consists completely of blood. These vicious bats can be 7 inches from wingtip to wingtip and, with an empty stomach, weigh 2 ounces. During the day, these bats sleep upside down on the roofs of caves throughout Mexico, Central, and South America. These caves can contain as many 1,000 bats at any given period of time. Vampire bats awake to feed at night, usually targeting the blood of cows or horses. On some occasions, they have been known to drink the blood of humans. The bats do not suck enough blood to harm the host, though infections from the bite can be fatal. The bat will land on the ground and “creep” up behind its victim. They sense where the blood of the victim is flowing the most and bite them with razor sharp teeth. The saliva of the bat prevents the animals blood from clotting, making feeding easy for the bat.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/steves-lense/3252184129/ Emus are the flightless birds of Australia, found in all areas except for the deserts. These large birds reach a maximum of 2 meters tall and 45 kilograms. Emus are covered with many long, dark brown or gray feathers. Their heads have shorter, fluffier feathers, a pointy beak, and very bright eyes. Unlike most species of animal, female emus are generally larger than the males. They have three toes on their feet, which enable them to escape from predators quickly. They can run up to 31 miles per hour. Emus start breeding around the age of 2. After mating, males will build a large nest for the female to lay the eggs in. She will lay between 5 and 20 large, dark green eggs. Males sit on the eggs until they hatch and care for them for the first months of their life. Emus eat grass, flower, seeds, and insects, and drink water very few times a day.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/bagoogoo/3358096782/ Flamingos are large water birds that can be found on most warm continents. Rather than living on the waters edge, flamingos prefer muddier areas for feeding and breeding. From wingtip to wingtip, they can reach 60 inches, and surprisingly only weigh around 9 pounds. Flamingos are not only easy to spot by their stature, but also by their downturned beak, long neck, black tips, and their unique pink coloring, which is obtained by eating a shrimplike crustacean. In addition to these, flamingos also eat whatever small organisms that they filter out of the mud. Feeding is done in a large colony, as well as breeding. Once mating is complete, a pair of flamingos will take care of their one egg mutually. Young flamingos have a greyish color and take many years to develop their distinctive pink color.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/verzo/3285583510/ Fire bellied toads live throughout Asia and Russia. They spend most of their time in still water. They can grow to about 2 inches long, and can be identified by their bright orange bellies, used to warn predators of the poison that leaks from their skin. Their backs are lumpy and green, and dark spots cover their whole body. Fire bellied toads hibernate between the months of September and May. After they come out of hibernation, mating season begins, and many tadpoles are born into watery areas. Tadpoles feed on small organisms that they find in the water. Adult toads feed on small invertebrates. Fire bellied toads can live up to 20 years in the wild.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/moonauto/3537840266/ Tigers are the largest member of the cat family, reaching heights of 3.5 feet and lengths of between 4 and 9 feet. Some of the largest tigers weigh almost 700 pounds. Tigers have a coat of thick reddish fur with unique black stripes. They have white bellies. Tigers eat large vertebrates such as deer, pigs, crocodiles, and pythons. They are mostly nocturnal and are fantastic swimmers. A tiger will generally live on its own, except during mating season, which falls between November and April. Tiger cubs only develop for around 3 months before being born. Three or four cubs can be born at one time. Tiger cubs become independent at 18 months, but choose not to leave the mother. They may not leave the mother for a few years. Tigers can live 10-15 years, but every species of tiger is on the endangered species list.
This image was used under a CC License from http://www.flickr.com/photos/mulazimoglu/5014815331/ Peacocks are large, iridescent colored birds that are native to India, but also live in many places around the world. Peacocks are known for their large tails that are used to attract mates and ward off predators. The females are generally smaller and dull colored. The females often lay their eggs while surrounded by a group, called a party. They will lay between three and five eggs. Their diet consists of small plants, insects, and other creatures, They can live up to 20 years in the wild.