Our planet once was home to the most beautiful, diverse and colorful species. But we humans caused the extinction of many such animals which had a great significance on our environment. Increase in activities like hunting, urbanization and industrialization resulted in the reduction and disappearance of habitats and species. Let’s here try and look at some of those beautiful and lovable species which are now facing extinction due to human insatiability.
Natives of the Arctic region, the Polar bear is considered the world’s largest carnivorous bear. Its favorite habitat is the Arctic inter-island archipelagos, areas which are known as the “Arctic ring of life”. They can withstand the ice with their 10 cm (3.9 in) of blubber and their fur. The animal is largely chased for its fur used in clothing.
The Magellanic Penguin was named after traveler Ferdinand Magellan. The bird has a body with tightly packed feathers and fat which keep them insulated from cold. These seabirds can also adjust to warm temperatures. During the summer, they shed their feathers. They travel in large flocks when hunting for food. They can dive more than 250 feet beneath the water service.
Markhor is a member of the wild goat species found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is the national animal of Pakistan. In Persian, word mar means snake and khor, meaning eater. The name may have come due to the belief that the animal can kill snakes, or as a reference to its corkscrewing horns, which are somewhat reminiscent of coiling snakes. In India-Pakistan borders they are still hunted for food and horns. Their horns are believed to have medicinal value.
The animal lives mainly in grasslands, woodlands, and riverine forests. Leopard’s are known for their ability in climbing and drag their kills up trees and hanging them there. They are good swimmers and rest on tree tops during day time. The animal can run at over 58 kilometers per hour (36 mph), leap over 6 meters (20 ft) horizontally, and jump up to 3 meters vertically.
Bengal tigers are otherwise called Indian tigers and had a close connection with Indian tradition. They are nocturnal hunters and feeds mainly on buffalo, deer, wild pigs and other large mammals. The Bengal tiger’s body color is yellow to light orange, with stripes ranging from dark brown to black. The belly and the interior parts of the limbs are white, and the tail is orange with black rings.
The giant panda is a bear native to central-western and south western China. Panda’s are easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. The mainly feed bamboo but occasionally eats other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. It is the rarest among the bear family and the most threatened animal. The animal has a special significance as it finds its place in the WWF logo.
The snow leopard generally inhabits the Alpine and sub-Alpine areas generally 3,350 and 6,700 m above sea level in Central Asia. The animal got several adaptations to live in the cold mountainous environment like stocky body, thick fur, small and rounded ears which help in minimal heat loss. Their wide paws help in distributing their weight better for walking on snow. The snow leopard’s long and flexible tail helps in maintaining their balance and it also stores fats. The animal cannot roar.
Namdapha Flying Squirrel
This nocturnal flying squirrel common in India and it is listed as a critically endangered species due to habitat loss. The animal was hunted for food, skin and fur. The body has reddish, grizzled fur with white above. The crown is pale grey, its patagium is orangish and under parts are white. This flying squirrel measures 40.5 cm from head to vent and has 60 cm long tail.
Flamingos are commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas. They feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae. Their beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, with a unique upside-down position. These social birds normally live in a colony. Young flamingos possess greyish reddish color and the adults range from light pink to bright red. The red hue is due to the aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply.
This beautiful small bird makes its home in the island of Narcondam, east of the Andaman Islands, India. The bird is 45-50cm long with dark hornbill with pale blue gular pouch and all-white tail. Males possess a rufous head, neck and upper breast, blackish remainder of under parts and reddish base to bill.
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