Tag Archives: mammal

A Win for the Pangolin

The pangolin, of which there are 8 species, is a strange creature that looks like a cross between a reptile and an anteater. In fact, this mammal can climb trees, has a long tongue for finding insects, is covered in keratin scales, can spray foul smelling liquid like a skunk, and are highly endangered (ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered).

Photo by Maria Diekmann
Photo by Maria Diekmann

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OAP: Ringtail

The ringtail, sometimes called the ring-tailed cat, is an interesting and unique part of the landscape in the western United States. I know that many of the Odd Animal Profile’s you’ll find here on Endangered Living tend to be animals from far off places, but it’s good to remember we have incredible wildlife here in our own backyard.

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spontaneous classification

A new study suggests that orangutans (and one young gorilla) may be more capable of identifying types of animals than we had previously given them credit for. In the 1700’s Carolus Linneaus gave two names to each species, organizing species for the first time. He classified them in a hierarchical system, starting broad with kingdom, phylum, class, then getting more specific with family, genus, and finally the most specific, species. It took humans an embarrassingly long time to become so organized and look more critically at the animals we share our planet with.
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olinguito

Hiding deep in the Andean Cloud Forests of Columbia and Ecuador was the little, brown, arboreal animal that avoided detection until very recently. The olinguito is the first carnivore discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. For quite some time it was mislabeled in zoo’s and museums as an olingo, which looks fairly similar but tends to be about double the weight, but with a similar body structure. People simply believed it was just a small olingo.

Photo from National Geographic
Photo from National Geographic

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