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Interesting facts about squirrels that will prove how special these animals are

6 months ago

Squirrels are cute animals that many tenderly feed nuts in parks. They are widespread all over the world, and everywhere they cause only a positive reaction in people. Shy and nimble, squirrels have a good-natured disposition. True, they are not amenable to taming - caged squirrels wither away, although they live longer than in freedom.


Most interesting facts about squirrels



1. About three thousand nuts are enough for a squirrel to eat all winter.


2. The closest relatives of squirrels are chipmunks (see interesting facts about chipmunks).


3. Squirrels molt twice a year, but their tail hair is renewed half as often.


4. The squirrel's tail serves as a rudder - when jumping, it controls its flight with its help.


5. Sensitive vibrissae in squirrels are available not only on the ears but also on the front paws.


6. Squirrels live on all continents except Australia and Antarctica (see interesting facts about Antarctica).



The squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris fuscoater) is the acrobat of the animal world. She is amazed by her leaps, from one branch to another, at great heights, and by the speed with which she runs on the branches of the trees, to which she clings with her sharp claws.


Its bushy tail, longer than the rest of its body, makes it so easily recognizable by everyone. It is the squirrel, which the ancient Greeks called "skiouros", a name resulting from the juxtaposition of the words "skia" (meaning shadow) and "oura" (tail).


That is, in a translation adapted to our day, "the one who stands in the shadow of his tail." It has lived on Earth since ancient times when American zoologists discovered fossils of gray squirrels in Carolina, whose "age" was estimated to be about 50 million years old!



7. The squirrel's body does not absorb peanuts, so it is absolutely impossible to feed them to squirrels.


8. A squirrel can land without consequences from a height of 20-30 meters, using its tail in the manner of a parachute and thus slowing down the fall.


9. In addition to ordinary squirrels, there are also flying squirrels that are able to change direction in flight (see interesting facts about flying squirrels).


10. Squirrels often forget the places of their numerous hiding places with nuts and other supplies.


11. In a day, a squirrel is able to stock up on nuts from hundreds of pine cones, which it can then eat for several months.


12. Squirrels are excellent swimmers, but at the same time they keep their tail on the surface of the water. If suddenly the tail is wet, for example, by a wave, the squirrel will most likely drown, as the wet fluffy wool will pull it to the bottom.


13. In ancient times, for many peoples, squirrel skins were the equivalent of currency (see interesting facts about currencies).



We still find it in many areas of the globe, especially near wooded land, but even in parks and on the streets of villages near forests, the squirrel easily adapts to living among people.


And people love and protect her because she is cute, playful, and not at all aggressive.


Although there are no major differences between them, there are currently over 300 breeds of squirrels, divided into seven large families, the best known and most numerous being gray squirrels, flying squirrels, and tree squirrels.


Although rodents are not usually beloved animals, in North America a breed of squirrel has become a favorite of all.


This is the striped squirrel (Tamias striatus), which lives in the woods, but spends most of its time on the ground, being a bold and courageous animal that is not afraid of humans. Striped squirrels usually search for seeds and berries, but they also eat leftovers from picnics.



14. Squirrels communicate with each other using tail movements.


15 Squirrels are very trusting, and with a little patience, you can feed them treats from your hands.


16. The average squirrel eats no more than a third of its reserves during the winter.


17. Squirrels in captivity live longer than in nature, but they do not reproduce.


18. The weight of an adult squirrel, even a very well-fed one, does not exceed one and a half 

kilograms, and usually does not even reach one kilogram.


19. A squirrel eats an amount of food equal to its body weight in a week.


20. In addition to plant foods, squirrels willingly eat bird eggs and even attack young hares (see interesting facts about hares).


21. This animal does not breed in captivity. 


22. Statistics on the number of mating periods of squirrels is not true. 



Returning to the usual squirrels and their way of life, let's say that these small animals are active all year round, not entering hibernation in winter. The fact that with the onset of the cold season they do not appear again has another explanation: they retreat into holes or burrows to protect and keep their body warm, leaving their shelter only to replenish their food supplies.


This is also a tactic to protect against predators, which in those times diversified their menu, hunting even small animals that are not usually on the list of preferred victims. One of the few natural enemies of the squirrel remains - regardless of the season - the eagle, this bird of prey often hovering over the land on which the small fluffy mogaldetes top.


A curiosity that zoologists find no other explanation than that of kinship with some rodent species is that the squirrel can move through the water swimming "doggy" and using its tail as a rudder!


Indeed, this happens very rarely: only when the squirrel has no choice does she resort to this extremely tiring means of transportation for her. Otherwise, he runs at very high speeds or makes jumps, the length of the jump can reach almost two meters.


If these jumps take place at height, from one branch to another, or even between two neighboring trees, the jump can be likened to flight, from this comparison comes the name of the flying squirrels.


You just didn't think it flew, did you?



23. Meat squirrels are forbidden to be eaten by pregnant women in Croatia. 


24. Over the past 50 million years, proteins have not changed much. 


25. A newborn squirrel weighs no more than 50 grams. 


26. These animals are born without teeth. 


27. The four front teeth of a rodent grow continuously. 


28. The squirrel is considered the cleanest rodent. 


29. Male squirrels spend more time on their appearance compared to females. 


30. The smallest species of squirrel is the African pygmy squirrel.



31. About 2.5 cm long is the smallest squirrel in the world. 


32. In the modern world, there are about 365 types of squirrels. 


33. All types of squirrels are divided into seven families. 


34. Squirrels have a well-developed sense of smell. 


35. At a distance of one mile, a male squirrel can smell the female. 


36. Baby squirrels are completely blind at the time of birth.


37. At 8 weeks after birth, this rodent can see normally. 


38. Within two months after birth, baby squirrels are completely dependent on their mother. 



39. During the winter, these rodents usually mate. 


40. Winter is considered an active season for squirrels. 


41. The male during the entire mating season tries to attract the attention of the female to himself. 


42. These rodents mate only twice a year. 


43. More than once a female does not mate with the same partner. 


44. A squirrel can fly from one tree to another. 


45. These rodents have excellent night vision.


46. ​​Squirrels are perfectly oriented in the dark. 



47. In one week, a squirrel can eat food with a mass equal to its body weight. 


48. The hind legs of these rodents are quite well developed. 


49. The front legs of the squirrel are shorter than the hind legs. 


50. A squirrel can jump about 20 pounds.



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Rabbits are not only fluffy animals that are massively bred in many countries. They are also surprisingly tenacious creatures that have successfully survived in the wild for many thousands of years of evolution, despite the fact that they are willingly fed by all predators that surpass them in size. By the way, contrary to the common stereotype, rabbits and hares are by no means the same thing. There are enough differences between them.


Facts about rabbits



1. Rabbits are not rodents, they belong to the hare family


They are not included in the group of rodent mammals because they have an extra pair of incisors and other skeletal features.


2. Rabbits and rodents like hamsters and rats have a common ancestor that lived many millions of years ago. However, rabbits still do not belong to rodents.


3. Rabbits are often confused with hares. But there are many differences between these animals, despite the fact that they are relatives in a biological sense.


4. Rabbits in general are not very intelligent, but nature has perfectly adapted them to survive.


5. Rabbits have been successfully surviving in the wild for many thousands of years of evolution, despite the fact that they are willingly fed by all predators that surpass them in size.


6. More than 50% of all rabbits in the world live in North America.


7. Rabbits reproduce so quickly that they successfully capture vast habitats, and many people also keep them as pets. And it's not just about farmers - some breeds of rabbits are popular as pets.




8. Despite the existence of more than 150 rabbit colors, they have only five different eye colors: brown, blue-gray, blue, pink and marble.


9. Rabbits actually have a lot more teeth than it seems at first glance - as many as 28.


10. There are about 17 thousand taste buds on the rabbit tongue.


11. They chew very quickly. When a rabbit feeds, its jaw makes an average of two chewing movements per second, and it can chew for a very long time without getting tired.


12. Nature has adapted rabbit eyes to a magnificent view so that they can always see a creeping predator. So, rabbits can even see what is happening behind them without turning their heads.


13. A hare can reach a running speed of 72 km/h, while a rabbit can only reach 56 km/h.


14. All 16 species of American rabbits live in forests and swamps and do not dig holes for themselves. In addition, they are great at climbing trees.



15. And outside of North America, all rabbits live exclusively in burrows, and they don’t know how to climb trees.


16. Wild European rabbits dig deep and branched burrows, which sometimes combine into entire underground cities.


17. Rabbits are social animals, that is, in the wild they live in groups. This distinguishes them from hares, which exist more alone.


18. Only American rabbits can live alone, and all other species usually exist in groups.


19. All kinds of rabbits, except for one, live in underground burrows. This distinguishes them from hares that build nests on the surface.


20. Previously, rabbits were specially released on deserted islands so that the shipwrecked would have a source of food before they were rescued.




21. The smallest breed of rabbits is called Little Idaho or pygmy rabbit. The weight of an adult individual reaches a maximum of only 450 grams, and the length is from 22 to 35 centimeters.


22. A rabbit has 18 claws: 4 on the hind legs and 5 on the front.


23. A female rabbit usually feeds her cubs for about 5 minutes a day.


24. Rabbits can snore. Not all rabbits snore, but some do so with great pleasure.


25. Rabbits are very quiet animals, but they are not dumb. They mutter, hiss, squeak, and the male makes a short but rather loud sound immediately after the act of mating.


26. A two-kilogram rabbit can drink as much water as a ten-kilogram dog.


27. In summer, male rabbits can become sterile, reproductive function is restored with the onset of cool weather.


28. Introduced to Australia, rabbits have bred so much on the territory of this mainland that they have become a threat to the entire Australian ecosystem. To contain their spread, the government of this country even had to erect a special fence around places abounding with rabbits.



29. In the Australian state of Queensland, it is illegal to keep rabbits, even decorative breeds. Violators face a fine of 30 thousand Australian dollars.


30. Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk of the day.


31. Rabbits are known to be good jumpers. Rabbits easily jump to a height of a meter and a half.


32. And the longest officially registered jump of a rabbit in length is three meters.


33. On average, rabbit ears are 8-12 centimeters long, but a domestic rabbit entered the book of records, whose ears reached a length of 80 centimeters.


34. Rabbits have tiny teeth behind their front incisors.


35. A cornered rabbit resorts to its last weapon - a blow with its hind legs. With a blow of powerful hind legs armed with sharp claws, a harmless rabbit may well kill or seriously injure a predator.


36. When a danger is detected, for example, a predator, rabbits warn their relatives by drumming with their front paws on the ground or on a tree.


37. A predator can literally scare a rabbit to death.



38. In nature, rabbits live an average of about a year, and in captivity - ten times longer. This is due to the fact that almost all rabbits sooner or later become someone's prey.


39. The record for longevity belongs to the Floppy rabbit, who was born in 1964 on the island of Tasmania and died in 1983 at the age of 18 years 10 months. However, this record is already being broken by another rabbit from Nova Scotia, who recently turned 24 years old.


40. Rabbits are massively bred in many countries.




41. The history of rabbit breeding began about 4000 years ago. The remains of the first rabbit farms of this age have been found during archaeological excavations in Spain and Portugal.


42. President Lincoln allowed his son to keep many pets in the White House, including rabbits.


43. The Prussian king Frederick kept a whole colony of rabbits on a small island in the river near Berlin.


44. Napoleon 3, nephew of Napoleon 1, was one of the most famous rabbit breeders.


45. In one of the myths of the North American Indians, the rabbit, like Prometheus, stole the fire from the "fiery people" and gave it to people.


46. ​​Rabbits bring many offspring at one time, but the female herself usually cannot take out all the newborn rabbits. If you help her, they can all survive. The official litter record is 24 rabbits at a time. Such a record was recorded only twice - in 1978 and 1999.



47. A rabbit can bear two offspring at the same time, conceived at different times and from two different males, since she has a bifurcated uterus. This partly explains the fertility of these animals.


48. Some of their breeds become sexually mature as early as 3 months of age.


49. By law in the United States, rabbits under 8 weeks old are not allowed to be sold because until then they cannot be weaned from their mother. And in order to buy a rabbit there, you need to be at least 18 years old, and in some states they even require a certificate from the police stating that the potential buyer was not convicted of animal husbandry.


50. If rabbits were given the opportunity to breed as freely as possible, then after 90 years the number of rabbits would become equal to the number of square meters on our planet.



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Mice are considered amazing creatures that can survive in the most difficult conditions. These rodents have long been used in laboratories for the purpose of conducting experiments, and in the wild, mice recreate large flocks. As a pet, decorative mice have also proven themselves for a long time.


Scientists at the University of Jerusalem have found that mice resemble humans. If a mouse is enlarged to human height and its skeleton is straightened, it becomes clear that the joints of a person and a rodent are the same, and the bones have an equal amount of detail. Scientists have even said that studying the functions of human genes in mice is easier than in humans.


Interesting facts about mice



1. The family of mice or mice are mammals from the class of rodents.


2. Mice are amazing creatures that can survive in the most difficult conditions. Cunning and tenacious, they are able to exist in a variety of conditions - from semi-deserts to snow-covered tundra.


3. The word "mouse" is derived from the ancient Indo-European word "mush", which translates as "thief."


4. Mice have learned to live side by side with humans and have spread to all corners of the Earth. In terms of numbers, they leave far behind most other mammals.


5. Despite the fact that thousands of predators prey on mice, their population is not declining due to their fecundity.


6. Mice have a characteristic long tail, which is usually longer than half the body, covered with sparse hairs, under which ring-shaped scales are visible.


7. Their hair is tight to the body, the ears are long, well visible. The body of mice is usually small: the smallest mouse is 5 centimeters (baby mouse), the largest is 48 centimeters (southern fine-tailed rat).



8. While the mouse is alive, its teeth are constantly growing, up to 1 millimeter per day, so they need to constantly sharpen them on wood.


9. The ancient Romans considered mice and rats to be the same species - the latter were simply called big mice.


10. Rats and mice are completely different animals, and rats often kill and partially eat their smaller counterparts.


11. Modern scientists distinguish about 130 subspecies of mice. The species of mice differ from each other in appearance and way of life.




12. The body length of a domestic mouse is 6.5-9.5 centimeters. It can be either a brownish-gray or completely black mouse. Ears are rounded. It lives everywhere, except for Antarctica and the Far North. They can live both in natural conditions and where a person lives.


13. Accordingly, if a house mouse lives in a house, then it feeds on leftover food, cereals, and in natural conditions it can be crops, plant foods, insects.


14. A characteristic feature that distinguishes the house mouse from other types of mice is its muscoid odor, which can smell like urine or sweat. They acquired this smell due to the fact that mice mark their territory. On their paws are sweat glands that emit a specific smell. These rodents are bred as live food for reptiles, spiders and birds. This mouse is also a laboratory model in laboratory research.


15. The house mouse is very prolific. At home, it breeds year-round, and in nature in the warm season. Pregnancy lasts 19-21 days. Up to 14 offspring per year, up to 12 cubs in each.




16. Satin mouse is a decorative mouse, bred artificially in the laboratory. The mouse genome, which is responsible for its satin coat, is recessive, so it is necessary to cross individuals that carry this gene. Her body is 7.5-10 centimeters. The tail is long, bald. Ears are long and rounded.


17. The feature that distinguishes satin mice from other species is their shiny, glossy coat. Coat color can range from white to dark colors. The satin mouse originated in Asia.


18. Satin mice feed mainly on cereals, fruits and greens. These rodents are friendly, they are very easy to tame. Their life expectancy is 2-3 years.


19. Mice cannot sleep or stay awake for a long time - they have up to 15-20 periods of activity per day, which last from 25 minutes to an hour and a half.


20. In autumn, mice move from forests to warm places with a large supply of food - to warehouses, a base vegetable or to human homes. At the same time, the range of such migrations can reach 3-5 kilometers.




21. The yellow-throated mouse is a rather large individual, the body length reaches 10-13.5 centimeters. The color of the fur is brown with red, a strip of yellow fur is visible around the neck, a thin black line runs along the back. The ears are well marked, rounded. The tail is bald, long, exceeds the length of the body, sometimes reaches 13 centimeters.


22. This is a forest mouse, it lives in the forest and mountain forest zones of Western Europe. They inhabit nests and hollows, and can also dig holes. The mouse mink is covered with dry twigs, leaves and moss. In order to spend the winter, they settle in human houses, and in the spring they return back to freedom.


23. The yellow-throated mouse feeds on large seeds of deciduous trees. Prefers such fodder breeds as: acorns, maple seeds, lindens, beech nuts. The wood mouse makes large stocks of food for the winter, which can sometimes reach 4 kilograms. They keep them in their homes.


24. This red mouse is an excellent climber, it can climb trees up to 4 meters above the ground. She can also jump up to 1 meter in length. And if we compare the size of the body and the length of the jump, then the yellow-throated mouse is ahead of even the gray kangaroo. In a year, the female gives 5-6 broods, 6 cubs in each.




25. Mouse gerbil. The body of the gerbil is from 5 to 20 centimeters, brownish-gray. The tail is longer than the body, pubescent, at the end there are long hairs that form a brush. The eyes are bulging, large. The ears are clearly visible.


26. The gerbil mouse lives in the deserts, semi-deserts of Asia and Africa. They dig holes where the whole large family of mice settles. Gerbils are diurnal. They feed mainly on various seeds and ground parts of plants. A female gerbil produces up to 13 litters per year, 4-7 cubs in each. Life expectancy is 3-4 years. These mice do not hibernate in winter, but they can become stupor.


27. Although in the wild, the basis of the mouse diet is seeds, in human homes they are happy to eat anything - be it leftover food, soap, candles, or even glue.




28. Under natural conditions, mice rarely live more than one and a half years, but in captivity they often die only at two or three years of age. The record holder for life expectancy among mice is a laboratory rodent that lived for almost 5 years - the record was recorded in 2005.


29. In the wild, these rodents form large flocks.


30. Mice are very sensitive to the cleanliness of their nests - if the litter lining it gets dirty or wet, the mouse leaves the nest and starts building a new one.




31. A spiny mouse is a mouse with a long nose. Body length 7-12 centimeters. The tail of a mouse reaches 13 centimeters. The color of spiny mice is white, reddish, brown. The ears are round and clearly visible. The spiny mouse has large bulging eyes. The spiny mouse on its back has needles like a hedgehog. The underside of the body is white. Needle mice are capable of regeneration. In case of danger, they can shed their skin, which quickly regenerates.


32. The spiny mouse lives in Africa, on the islands of Crete, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia. The spiny mouse settles in holes, which it digs itself or occupies the holes of other rodents. The mouse hole is paved in the middle with grass and dry leaves. It is a nocturnal mouse, active at night and early in the morning. The spiny mouse lives in colonies.


33. A mouse needs to drink up to 3 milliliters of water per day, otherwise it will die from dehydration in a couple of weeks.


34. Male mice make ultrasonic calls to attract females. In their complexity, these mating signals are comparable to birdsong.


35. While running, mice can reach speeds of up to 13 km / h. They are also good at climbing different surfaces, jumping and swimming.




36. The shrew mouse has a body from 30 to 50 millimeters, brownish-gray. The muzzle is elongated, with a long sharp nose. The eyes are small. Legs are short. The tail can be short or long, depending on the species.


37. They are distributed everywhere, except for the polar regions. They prefer a humid environment. They dig holes or hide near stumps, less often in human dwellings. The mouse hole is paved in the middle with soft grass and dry leaves.


38. Shrews feed on insects, their larvae, they can also eat small lizards, frogs, cubs of other rodents. Reproduction occurs 1-3 times a year. Each offspring has 4-14 cubs. A pregnant mouse bears cubs for 13-28 days. The life expectancy of shrews reaches 18 months.


39. As pets, decorative mice have long and firmly established themselves as affectionate animals attached to their owners.


40. Mice reach sexual maturity early - already at the age of two or three months they can acquire their own offspring, and mice often give birth, up to six times a year.




41. Albino mice. Why are almost all experimental mice albino mice? Because these animals are distinguished by their calm and complaisant nature. They are also very smart and not afraid of people. Whatever experiment is put on them, they endure it with humility.


42. In nature, albino mice are also born, but a wild albino mouse lives very little, and white mice bred genetically live long enough. Albino mice are very easy to work with: the white mouse bites very rarely and does not fight with its relatives. Their white fur color is due to the fact that the pigment that gives color to the skin is not produced. The white mouse has red eyes, the color of which betrays the blood.




43. All mice suffer from farsightedness, but the poor vision of rodents is compensated by excellent hearing - they are able to pick up sounds with a frequency of up to 100 kHz (in humans, the upper hearing threshold does not exceed 20 kHz).


44. Contrary to popular myth, elephants are not afraid of mice at all.


45. The most famous mouse is, perhaps, Mickey Mouse, who was first born in 1928.




46. ​​Shrews - a genus of rodents that belongs to the family of shrews. These are quite small mice about 7 centimeters, gray or brownish in color. They have an elongated, cone-shaped head and a long, pointed nose. The tail is not longer than half the body.


47. Shrews live in the forests of Asia, Europe (Italian, Spanish, French regions) and North America. They build nests in other people's holes, old stumps. The mouse mink is lined with moss, leaves and twigs. Reproduction occurs in late spring.


48. They feed on insects, earthworms, arachnids, small amphibians. They can also eat plant foods. During the warm period, they give 2-3 offspring, 7-8 cubs in each. Shrews dig the ground in search of food and for the construction of holes, which contribute to the ingress of oxygen into the soil and the natural renewal of plantings.


49. As you know, mice are used for experiments in different laboratories. Many people are against such manipulations. Yes, it’s really a pity for rodents, but in order to test cosmetics or invent a new drug, you need to experiment on someone. Mice rodents are quite prolific, so their population will not decrease due to experiments on them.


50. In captivity, mice can easily live five to ten times longer than in the wild. This is due to the fact that in nature a huge number of various predators prey on mice.



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Sable is a fluffy forest predator, the closest relative of the marten. This intelligent animal is characterized by mobility, energy and perky disposition. Unfortunately, its thick coat has put it at risk - the predatory extermination of sable by poachers has the most unfavorable effect on its population. Fortunately, measures have recently been taken to protect sables from the incessant hunting for them.


Facts about sables



1. Sable is a fluffy forest animal with valuable fur, the closest relative of the marten.


2. Due to intensive hunting in the 20th century, the number and range of distribution of sables has significantly decreased.


3. In the 19th century, sables lived on the territory from the Pacific Ocean to Scandinavia, but today these animals are not found in the wild in Europe.


4. Once they were found in Poland, Finland and the Baltic countries, but they were all exterminated there, a few centuries ago.


5. Scientists distinguish about 17 varieties of sables, which not only have different colors and quality of wool, but also different sizes. Sables come in a variety of colors, ranging from light yellow to almost black. But all varieties of sable are predators.




6. The Barguzin species is found on the eastern shores of Lake Baikal and is considered the most valuable. The barguzin sable has a rich black color of the skin, soft and silky fur.


7. According to the value of fur, the first place is traditionally occupied by the Barguzin sable, followed by the Yakut and Kamchatka subspecies.


8. Subspecies, common in other areas, are distinguished by lighter shades of wool.


9. Sakhalin, Yenisei and Sayan sables have coarser and shorter fur.


10. The body of a sable is elongated, slender and flexible. In length, these predators grow up to 40-60 centimeters and weigh about 2 kilograms. A strongly fluffy tail is one third of the animal's body length.


11. The head of a sable is wedge-shaped and visually looks large. The muzzle of the animal is pointed, the ears are triangular in shape, large, with a wide base, the neck is long and thin.


12. The paws of the sable are wide in shape, but relatively short, and therefore the back of the animal has a characteristic arch.


13. The color of the sable skin is changeable and depends on the season. In winter, the fur is a little lighter, in summer - several shades darker. On the chest of these animals there is a small light yellow spot.


14. The brown color becomes darker on the paws of the sable. In winter, wool covers the pads of the paws and even the claws of the beast. The fur of the animal is soft, dense and warm, and therefore is of particular value.



15. Since the sable is a predator, he preys on everyone who is smaller than his size. Quite often mice become its victims of sables.


16. Given their modest size, the sable is much stronger than most other animals of similar dimensions.


17. Sable lives mainly in the taiga, its element is the forest. Moreover, the sable never leaves the taiga forests. The basis of the habitat of sables is precisely the taiga forests of Siberia.


18. Typical habitats of sables are the taiga of Eurasia. These animals are distributed from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific coast. The main part of the territory where sables live belongs to Russia.


19. Also, animals with valuable fur can be found in the North of China and Mongolia, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, in North Korea.


20. Sables settle in the territory of mountainous and lowland taiga. They find suitable shelters for themselves in poorly passable coniferous forests, where fir, cedar, and spruce grow. Sometimes deciduous forests are also chosen for arranging holes.


21. In mountainous areas, animals live in bushes, near kurums - rocky placers. They often choose remote and wild places for living, but they can also settle close to settlements.



22. These small predators make their shelter in the crevices of rocks and hollows of fallen old trees, they use voids under the roots. Inside, sables line their dwelling with dry leaves or grass; the toilet is equipped separately from the main nesting chamber.


23. Since the closest relative of the sable is the pine marten, sables and martens sometimes interbreed, bringing offspring called kidas. Unlike other interspecific hybrids, kidas are usually not sterile.


24. Male sables are usually larger than females. The false rut in sables begins in February-March, but mating takes place in June-July. Pregnancy of females is characterized by a long latent phase of development, lasting approximately 250-290 days (9-10 months).


25. A female mates with only one male sable. He does not leave the "lady" until she herself drives him away. If several males claim one female at once, violent fights occur. As a result, the winning sable moves away with the female away from the rivals.


26. Female sable nesting shelters for the birth of babies are arranged in stone placers, in hollows of low standing and fallen trees, under the roots of shrubs, sometimes in earthen burrows. Inside, the expectant mother lines the nest with soft grass, moss or hay, the hair of eaten rodents.




27. From 1 to 7 puppies are born in a litter, usually 3-4. Babies are born blind, weigh about 30 grams with a body length of up to 12 centimeters. The eyes of small sables open on the 30-35th day, the ears - a little later.


28. Up to about 1 month, the mother feeds sable cubs with breast milk, and already at the age of two months, the cubs begin to try adult food. Babies are growing fast. The mother often takes the grown-up sable cubs with her to teach them to get food on their own.


29. The female boldly protects her babies in case of danger and can even attack a dog that is close to the nesting shelter. If the litter was disturbed, a caring mother transfers the cubs to another nest.


30. At the end of summer, when the next rut begins for the female, the brood breaks up, and each sable begins to lead an independent life. Young animals with valuable fur reach puberty at the age of 2-3 years and breed up to 13-15 years.


31. In addition to meat, sables love to feast on honey, for which they ruin bee hives. However, they also eat the bees themselves. True, since the bee swarm is dangerous for sables, they prefer to raid the hives in the winter.


32. In nature, there is also a white sable - a very rare representative of the marten family. This beast lives with incredibly valuable fur in the impenetrable taiga, it is impossible to breed white sables in captivity.



33. Relatively small sables usually prefer to avoid encounters with larger predators, but if it is impossible to escape, they fearlessly defend themselves to the last.


34. Sables lead a terrestrial lifestyle, they are most active in the evening and in the morning, but they can hunt at any time of the day. Since sables are active mainly at night, they sleep during the day.


35. Animals with valuable fur prefer to move along the ground, into the water or into the trees only in case of danger.


36. Sables do not know how to build nests on their own, but they perfectly adapt and “equip” natural shelters for housing - crevices in rocks, abandoned burrows, and the like.


37. Sable is a well-known neat person. His hideout is always clean, as he periodically cleans up the remnants of meals, and he goes to the toilet somewhere far away from his home.


38. Sables eat proteins with pleasure. Every year, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory alone, sables eat several million squirrels. Moreover, the basis of their diet is made up of other animals, mainly mice and chipmunks.


39. Cunning and dexterous sables often attack even hares. Since they are usually unable to catch up with them, they attack from an ambush.




40. Sables are easily tamed and quickly get used to people. However, only those animals that are grown by a person from almost a blind age or raised by a tame female become absolutely tame.


41. These beautiful animals are very active and during the transition period (usually lasts 2-3 months) they can show aggression. This applies to sables that have experienced life in the wild. In this case, you just need to wait a little while the predator adapts to the conditions of life in captivity.


42. Sables are quick-witted animals, they are easy to educate. The animal is easy to accustom to the tray, it does not have an unpleasant smell inherent in other members of the weasel family.


43. In an apartment or house, the animal needs to equip a spacious shelter - buy a cage or prepare a balcony, covering it with a metal mesh.


44. Sables like to play, and therefore you can’t do without a large number of different plastic toys. Also, these animals get along well with other pets.


45. If there is such an opportunity, sables should be taken for a walk as often as possible. It does not have to be a street, a separate room in a house or apartment is quite suitable.


46. ​​Veterinarians recommend feeding domestic sables several times a day. They will be happy to eat berries and cereals, minced meat, dairy products and even cat food. With good care in an apartment, a sable can live up to 20 years.




47. Thick, silky and beautiful sable fur is highly valued. It is sometimes referred to as "soft gold". Luxurious fur coats and hats are sewn from sable skins.


48. At the moment, sable fur is the most expensive in the world.


49. Just 200 years ago, sable hunting was about 200,000 individuals per year. As a result of predatory extermination, the animal with valuable fur was on the verge of extinction. In an attempt to preserve the number of these animals in the wild, special conservation measures have been taken. For a while, hunting for sables was completely banned, predators began to be bred in nature reserves and resettled in their original territories. As a result of such measures, it was possible to slightly restore the population.


50. Nowadays, sable hunting is allowed only with licenses. Also, these animals with valuable fur are bred on fur farms.



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Impala (Aepyceros melampus) is an inhabitant of the southeastern part of the African continent. Typical habitats of these animals are savannas overgrown with shrubs, gallery forests, less often open spaces.


Facts about impalas


Due to the graceful structure of the body, for a long time it was ranked among the gazelles, but studies have shown that it is much more closely related to the bubals. The growth of an adult at the withers can reach 90 centimeters, weight - 40-60 kg. The impala's tail reaches a length of almost half a meter and ends in a panicle of white hair. On the relatively small and neat head of this antelope, large eyes and ears with black tips stand out. In addition, males have horns on their heads that grow in length from 60 to 90 cm, which simultaneously grow to the sides, back and up. Above the base of the hooves of the hind legs, the impala grows a tuft of black hair, which is why it is also called the black-heeled antelope.



1. Impala antelopes are one of the most beautiful and most numerous antelopes living in Africa.


2. Impalas belong to the order of artiodactyl mammals, the suborder of ruminants, the family of bovid artiodactyls.


3. The Impala is the only species of its kind. Six subspecies are known.


4. The habitat of the animal extends to the southeastern regions of Africa up to South Africa. This type of antelope is widespread, ranging from Uganda to Kenya, up to Botswana and South Africa.


5. An isolated population exists in southwestern Africa in the border zone between Angola and Namibia. This is a separate subspecies, these artiodactyls have a dark muzzle.


6. Impala antelopes have a lot in common with bulls, they have common features, similar hooves. Therefore, the antelope is classified as artiodactyl.


7. One of the most important signs of all antelopes is their horns, it can also be said from the horns that these animals are relatives of bulls. Antelope's horn is a sharp bone rod that develops from the frontal bones on outgrowths. The bone rod is covered with a horn sheath, and this whole horn sheath, together with the rod, grows throughout life, as long as the animal lives and exists.


8. Impala is a slender, beautiful animal of medium size. The coat of animals is smooth, shiny, on the hind legs, right above the "heel" of the hoof there is a bunch of coarse, black hairs. Therefore, impalas are called black-footed antelopes.


9. Their head is small in relation to the body, their ears are long, their eyes are large. The coat is short, on the back and sides it has a red-brown color. The lower part of the sides is lighter. The belly, chest and lower part of the head are covered with white wool.


10. In the back of the rump, impalas have black stripes. Black tufts of hair that grow on the hind limbs above the hooves cover special odorous glands.



11. At home, in East and South Africa, impalas are more willing to live in two-tier biotopes, that is, in light forests or on grassy plains overgrown with rare trees.


12. In addition to living in untouched areas of East and South Africa, impalas also live in many African national parks and reserves, where they create the appropriate conditions for the existence of these animals.


13. Sometimes the impala seems to “hang” in the air. Yes, one gets the impression when you watch this “beauty” for a long time, when, sensing danger, she soars into the air with lightning speed, tucking her legs under her and throwing her head back, and then, as if the animal freezes for a few seconds, and ... headlong rushes away, away from the enemy overtaking her.


14. A young female impala antelope can give birth to her very first cub at 4 years old. And males begin to take part in reproduction when they are 5 years old.


15. Active impala in the morning and evening. From the heat, they take refuge in the shade of bushes, where they rest and chew food.


16. Impala feed primarily on plants, they also eat a lot of leaves, buds, shoots, fruits and seeds of plants.


17. Throughout most of their range, impalas prefer fresh, protein-rich grass, which is especially thick during the rainy season.


18. When the grass wilts during the dry season, antelopes feed on the leaves of shrubs and perennials.



19. These animals never move away from water bodies. During the dry season, they must drink daily.


20. Impalas, like other antelopes, often come to the water during the hottest hours, because their main enemies (lions, leopards, hyenas and other predators) usually hunt at night and wait for their prey at a watering hole.


21. Male impalas are larger than females. They weigh from 40 to 70 kilograms. Females weigh 30-50 kilograms. The height at the withers is 65-95 centimeters.


22. Horns grow only in males. Their horns grow back, up or to the sides. In length, they reach 45-90 centimeters, and their shape resembles a musical instrument, a lyre. The beautiful ringed impala horns grow over the years.


23. In the southern regions of the range, the mating season of the impala antelope usually occurs in April-June. Then the antelopes mate again in September-October.


24. In East Africa, the first breeding season is from February to April, and the second from September to October.


25. Between adult males at this time there are fights for the territory in which the winner mates with females, whose favor he managed to attract.


26. The female impala for the first time brings offspring in the second year of life. Males reach sexual maturity as early as a year, but rarely mate before 4 years of age, as young individuals are too weak to conquer and retain territory.



27. Pregnancy in impala lasts 6-7 months. Before giving birth, the female chooses a place protected and remote from the herd. They have in the midst of rains, only one cub is born, whose mass is 1.5 - 2.4 kilograms, very rarely two babies can be born.


28. At this time, the female and her cub are the most vulnerable, since most often they all fall into the field of view of predators. That is why many antelope cubs do not live up to their puberty.


29. Most impala cubs are born at noon when their enemies are resting. Noon for these antelopes is the safest part of the day. The female stays with the cub for a few more days away from the herd, and then they return together.


30. When a female with a calf enters the herd, she ends up in a group of antelopes of the same age, in the "nursery". Each cub recognizes the mother among dozens of other females in the herd.


31. Impalas are herd animals. Living in a herd provides impalas with the best defense against predators. In a large herd, the chances of spotting an enemy that is about to attack increase earlier. In the event of an unexpected attack by predators, antelopes rush in different directions.


32. Females with small antelopes live in large groups, the number of such groups can be 10-100 individuals.


33. Elderly and even young males sometimes form bachelor, unstable herds.



34. The strongest males, not elderly, may have their own territories in order to vigilantly protect their territory from strangers and competitors.


35. If it happens that a whole herd of females runs through the territory of one male, the male “takes” them to himself, takes care of each of them, believing that now each female is his.


36. During the dry season, animals migrate. This creates mixed herds. They include both females and males of different ages. In a new place, strong males again equip themselves with personal possessions.


37. Male impalas use horns during the rut, in fights for territory and females. At the same time, they tilt their heads, cross their horns and push. The one who backs up is considered the loser.


38. During the mating season, males arrange ritual battles for the possession of a harem. There are no bloody fights with these aimalas.


39. Impalas do not shed their horns every year, as happens with roe deer and deer.


40. Interestingly, in these animals, if the situation with food is difficult, then the female can delay childbirth for a month.


41. Among the enemies of representatives of this species are leopards, lions, cheetahs, hyenas. Impalas escape from them by running or hiding in a shelter.



42. It is very difficult for a predator to catch up with a strong young animal. Therefore, mainly cubs die, as well as sick and old antelopes that do not have the strength to run fast.


43. Fleeing from a predator, the impala releases a fragrant liquid from the glands located under the tufts of hair on the hind legs. To do this, it rears up and hits the ground with its limbs.


44. Artiodactyls escape from people in conservation areas. About 50% of these animals live in them. They are also kept in private farms.


45. The population living in the west of the mainland is protected by the Etosha National Park and farms located in Namibia. In general, this species is considered the most common of all antelope species in Africa.


46. ​​An impala that runs away from a pursuer can make magnificent jumps: having taken off into the air, it seems to hang for a moment, pressing its legs under it and throwing its head back. The jump can be up to 3 meters in height, and even up to 10 meters in length.




47. If this animal runs in zigzags, then it develops a speed of up to 60 km / h. It can run in a straight line at a speed of 80 km / h.


48. Impala raises hair on end on the back of the body, thus alerting the rest of the herd of the danger.


49. In the past, these antelopes were hunted so intensively that they disappeared in many regions. Recently, however, these animals have settled in new areas.


50. The life expectancy of impalas is up to 12 years in freedom, in captivity - up to 17.


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People sparsely populate the high mountains. The cultivation of the land is difficult here, and it can only be used in summer as a pasture for domestic animals. In the last century, the mountains have become a popular place of entertainment - at first, they were chosen by climbers, later by skiers. The laying of ski tracks, the construction of lifting devices, hotels, and recreation centers sometimes cause adverse changes in the natural environment.


Mountain animals


High in the mountains, even on the rocks, flowers of extraordinary beauty grow, such as aquilegia. The highest city in the world is Lhasa (China), located in Tibet at an altitude of 3,630 meters.



1. Living conditions in the mountains are very different from the plains.


As you climb the mountains, the climate changes rapidly: the temperature drops, the amount of precipitation increases, the air becomes more rarefied—changes from the foot of the mountains to the peaks and the nature of the vegetation. Therefore, mountain habitats vary greatly from the base to the mountain peaks.


2. The variety of living conditions contributes to the fact that the mountains are inhabited by many species of animals. On the mountains, each vertical zone has its own fauna, to some extent similar to the fauna of the corresponding latitudinal zones of the Earth.


3. By the number of species of mountain animals, the forest zone is the richest. Highlands are much poorer than them. The higher up the mountains, the fewer species of animals - this is typical for most mountainous countries. On the mountain peaks, the ambient temperature is low, the atmosphere is rarefied, and the level of ultraviolet radiation is high. The most elevated parts of the high mountains are covered with eternal snow and are almost completely devoid of life.


4. Most animal species live at lower altitudes, only in a few or even in one zone of mountains. And only the most enduring representatives of the fauna have adapted to the difficult conditions of life on the tops of the world.




5. Mountain goats and sheep can enter very high mountains - up to almost 6000 meters. Of the vertebrates, only vultures and eagles penetrate above them, and occasionally other smaller birds fly in.


6. The wild yak is a large wild animal native to the Himalayas in Central Asia. It is the ancestor of the domesticated yak. Yaks are common in treeless areas, at an altitude of 3000 to 6100 meters. They are most often found in alpine tundras with relatively high amounts of grasses and sedges.




7. This animal is characterized by a massive body, with strong legs and rounded hooves. The fur is extremely dense, long, hanging below the belly, and perfectly protects from the cold. The color of the coat, as a rule, varies from light brown to black.


8. The fauna of the alpine zone is most peculiar, where many animals are found that are unknown on the plains: various types of mountain goats (in Western Europe - stone ibex, in the Caucasus - tour, in the mountains of Asia - Siberian ibex), chamois, Asian red wolf, some rodents , vulture, mountain turkey, or snowcock, alpine jackdaw and others.


9. It is interesting that the fauna of the Alpine zone in Europe, Asia, North America and northern Africa is generally homogeneous. This is due to the fact that in the highlands of different parts of the world, living conditions are very similar.




10. Orongo is a medium-sized artiodactyl mammal native to the Tibetan Plateau. Males have long, curved horns, while females lack them. The color of the back is reddish-brown, and the lower part of the body is light.


11. On the Tibetan plateau, orongos live in open alpine and cold steppe regions, at an altitude of 3250 to 5500 meters. These animals are found almost entirely in China, where they are found in Tibet, the provinces of Xinjiang and Qinghai; some populations are also found in Ladakh, India.




12. The Tibetan fox is a species from the canine family. These foxes are found in the Tibetan plateau, in India, China, the Sutlej valley in northwestern India and parts of Nepal, in particular in the Mustang region. Tibetan foxes are known to prefer barren slopes and streams.


13. The maximum height at which these mammals were seen was 5300 meters. Among all types of foxes, the Tibetan has the most elongated muzzle. Its coat color on the back, legs and head is reddish, and on the sides it is gray.


14. Hares are found in almost all areas of the mountains.


15. In many mountains, screes are formed; the life of interesting animals is connected with them - snow voles and mountain pikas (otherwise it is called hay rate).




16. Brown bears have the widest range, and are found in the northern part of Eurasia and North America. The animals do not appear to have specific altitude restrictions and are found from sea level up to 5,000 meters (in the Himalayas).


17. Brown bears are the largest land predators, after polar bears, and can weigh up to 750 kilograms. Brown bears are adapted to high altitude conditions due to their thick fur and ability to climb mountains.


18. Many mountain animals live only where there are rocks.




19. Musk deer, mountain goats and goral antelope are saved in the rocks from predators.


20. Now on many mountains one can meet argali and other wild sheep in the rocks. This is apparently due to the long pursuit of them by hunters.


21. Where wild sheep are little disturbed, they prefer to live on relatively gentle slopes, and only the bighorn sheep, or chubuk, living in the mountains of Northeast Asia, lives very similar to mountain goats.


22. Viviparous species of reptiles penetrate the mountains above others: some lizards, vipers, in northern Africa - chameleons.




23. In Tibet, at an altitude of more than 5000 meters, there is a viviparous round-headed lizard. Roundheads, living on the plains, where the climate is warmer, lay eggs.


24. When a lot of snow falls in the mountains, it is very difficult for ungulates: it prevents them not only from moving around, but also from getting food.


25. In the mountains of the Western Caucasus in 1931-1932 there was a very snowy winter. The layer of snow in some places exceeded 6 meters. Many deer, roe deer and other animals migrated to the lower parts of the mountains, where the snow cover was less. In this winter, roe deer ran into the villages and were easily given into hands. They were caught and kept in barns along with cattle until the snow melted in the mountains.




26. The Himalayan marmot is distributed throughout the Himalayas and on the Tibetan plateau at an altitude of 3500 to 5200 meters. These animals live in groups and dig deep burrows in which they sleep. The body size of the Himalayan marmot is comparable to that of a domestic cat. It has a dark chocolate brown coat with contrasting yellow spots on its head and chest.


27. The peculiar conditions of life in the mountains affected the external appearance of animals, the forms of their bodies, their way of life and habits.


28. Many generations of these animals lived in the mountains, and therefore they developed characteristic adaptations that help in the struggle for existence.




29. Mountain goats, chamois, American bighorn goats, bighorn sheep have large, mobile hooves that can move widely apart. Along the edges of the hooves - from the sides and in front - a protrusion (welt) is well defined, the pads of the fingers are relatively soft.


30. All this allows animals to cling to barely noticeable bumps when moving on rocks and steep slopes, and not to slip when running on icy snow.


31. The horny substance of their hooves grows very strong and quickly, so the hooves never “wear out” from abrasion on sharp stones. The legs of mountain ungulates allow them to make strong jumps on steep slopes and quickly reach rocks where they can hide from persecution.




32. Kiang is a large mammal from the horse family, which has a size at the withers of up to 142 centimeters, a body length of up to 214 centimeters, and a weight of up to 400 kilograms. Kiangs are common on the Tibetan Plateau, between the Himalayas in the south and the Kunlun Mountains in the north. Their range is almost entirely limited to China, but small populations are found in the Ladakh and Sikkim regions of India, and along the northern border of Nepal.


33. Kiangs live in alpine meadows and steppes, at an altitude of 2700 to 5400 meters above sea level. They prefer relatively flat plateaus, wide valleys, and low hills dominated by grasses, sedges, and a small amount of other low vegetation. This open area, in addition to a good prey base, helps them spot and hide from predators. Their only real natural enemy other than humans is the wolf.




34. In the spring, as the snow melts, the animals that descend down migrate to the upper zones of the mountains. Among wild ungulates, adult males are the first to rise, later - females with recently born, not yet strong enough babies.


35. Chamois, mountain goats, wild sheep and other ungulates living in the mountains often die in winter and early spring during snowfalls. In the Alps in the winter of 1905-1906, one of the snow avalanches buried a herd of chamois - about 70 heads.




36. Tibetan gazelle is a relatively small antelope, with a slender and graceful body. Males have long, tapering, ribbed horns, up to 32 centimeters long. Most of the body is grayish brown. Their fur has no undercoat, and consists only of long protective hairs, which thicken considerably in winter.


37. The Tibetan gazelle is native to the Tibetan plateau and is widely distributed throughout the region, at altitudes between 3,000 and 5,750 meters. They are limited to the Chinese provinces of Gansu, Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai and Sichuan, and small populations are found in the Ladakh and Sikkim regions of India.


38. Alpine meadows and steppes are the main habitats of these animals. Unlike some other ungulates, Tibetan gazelles do not form large herds and are usually found in small family groups. These artiodactyls feed on local vegetation, including forbs. Their main predator is the wolf.




39. In the Caucasian Reserve, it was possible to observe goat-turs during a heavy snowfall. Snow avalanches fell from the opposite slope of the gorge. But the tours, usually very cautious, did not pay attention to this. Apparently, they are accustomed to the menacing sounds of a snow avalanche.


40. At the end of December 1936, snowfall continued for four days in the Caucasian Reserve. At the upper border of the forest, a layer of new loose snow reached a meter. The scientists of the reserve went out to explore the state of the snow and noticed a fresh deep path that went down the slope. They skied down this trail and soon overtook a large tur. Only a head with horns was visible from the snow.


41. The tour was so helpless that one of the employees could even afford liberties in handling him - he sat on a wild tour on horseback! Another employee photographed the scene. Tur was helped out of the snow and left. The next day, his tracks were found much lower - in the forest on a steep slope, where the aurochs could feed on lichens hanging from fir branches.




42. The snow leopard living in the high mountains of Asia has unusually long and lush fur, while its tropical relative, the leopard, has short and rarer fur.


43. Animals living in the mountains molt in the spring much later than the animals of the plains, and in the fall their hair begins to grow back earlier.


44. One of the remarkable adaptations caused by living conditions in the mountains is vertical migrations, or migrations.


45. In autumn, when it becomes cold high in the mountains, snowfalls begin and, most importantly, food is difficult to obtain, many animals migrate down the slopes of the mountains.


46. ​​Deer, roe deer and wild boars are found in the mountains up to alpine meadows; in autumn they descend into the forest. Most of the chamois go here for the winter.


47. Mountain goats migrate to the forest part of the mountains and settle here on steep rocky slopes. Sometimes they move to the southern slopes, where snow melts in alpine meadows in the very first hours or days after a snowfall, or to steeper windward slopes, where the snow is simply blown away by the winds.


48. Following wild ungulates, predators hunting them migrate - wolves, lynxes, snow leopards.


49. The variety of natural conditions in the mountains allows animals to find places for wintering near the areas where they live in summer. Therefore, the seasonal migrations of animals in the mountains are, as a rule, much shorter than the migrations of animals and birds on the plains.


50. In the mountains of Altai, Sayan and North-Eastern Siberia, wild reindeer make seasonal migrations of only a few tens of kilometers, and deer living in the far north sometimes travel a thousand kilometers to reach their wintering grounds.



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