27 Şubat 2013 Çarşamba

Kentucky State Mammal

Kentucky State Mammal

Gray Squirrel (common name)
Sciurus carolinensis
(scientific name)

Overview

The gray squirrel is extremely common in its range. It is easily recognized by its small, bunchy body and bushy, curving tail. In the wild, a gray squirrel prefers to live in forests with large, old trees for shelter and nut trees for food. This species is also common in urban parks, so it’s the first wild animal many children in the Eastern U.S. see. Though small, it can be destructive, stripping bark from young trees to reach the sap and raiding bird feeders, but it also often plants new trees by storing nuts where they can sprout. Humans may hunt gray squirrels because they consider them a pest or because they enjoy the meat. Hawks, weasels, skunks, raccoons, snakes, owls, dogs, and cats are all possible squirrel predators. The gray squirrel was adopted as Kentucky's state wild animal game species in 1968.

Close-up

STATUS
Official State Wild Animal Game Species
ALSO KNOWN AS
PHYSICAL DETAILS
A gray squirrel is usually gray all over, though its fur sometimes has a reddish cast, especially around the tail. Its belly is cream or white. Black and white squirrels, though rare, do occur and may technically be gray squirrels. This squirrel has small, upright ears and large black eyes on either side of its small head. Its front legs are short, with dexterous paws adapted for shelling nuts. Its rear haunches are bunchy and muscular, allowing a squirrel to bound away quickly when frightened. A gray squirrel has four claws on each of its front feet, five on its rear feet, and pink paw pads. Its tail is about as long as its body and is useful in helping the squirrel keep its balance when it climbs trees or jumps from branch to branch.
 MalesFemales
Sizehead and body length 9 to 12 in (23 to 30 cm); tail 7 to 10 in (19 to 25 cm)head and body length 9 to 12 in (23 to 30 cm); tail 7 to 10 in (19 to 25 cm)
Weight14 to 21 oz (400 to 600 g)14 to 21 oz (400 to 600 g)
LIFESPAN
Up to 20 years; average of 12 years in the wild
HABITAT
Extensive, dense, mature woodlands.
Range: Native to southeast Canada, eastern U.S to Midwestern areas of the U.S. Also introduced to some of the western U.S., Britain, Ireland, and Italy.
Conservation: Least Concern (LC). This squirrel adapts well and produces offspring easily. In areas where it has been introduced, it is often invasive, displacing other species.
BEHAVIOR
Gray squirrels often build dens in sheltered tree hollows or old bird’s nests, which they line with moss, fluffy seeds, feathers, and anything else soft they can find. If necessary a squirrel will build a cover for the den out of twigs and leaves. This squirrel usually forages during the day, though it may stay in its den for days at a time in very bad weather. A gray squirrel stores any extra food it finds and often has a number of hiding places for it. It mates twice a year, in early winter and in late spring. Up to eight young are born blind and hairless about six weeks later. A squirrel nurses her young for seven weeks. At 10 weeks, a young squirrel is usually independent. Most gray squirrels are mature when they’re nine months to a year old, though females can take a few months longer. A gray squirrel will vocalize, chattering or barking, when it’s irritated.
Top land speed recorded: 15 mph (24 kph)
DIET
Bark, nuts, seeds, and fungi. Occasionally insects, eggs, small frogs, rodents, and birds.
OFFSPRING
Breeding interval: Semiannual
Birthing period: Feb–Mar and Jun–Jul
Average litter size: 2–6 young
Size at birth: 0.5 oz (14–15 g)
TRIVIA
  • The gray squirrel’s range overlaps the fox squirrel’s in the Midwest, where it can be difficult to tell the two apart.
  • Fossil records show that squirrels have changed very little in the last five million years.

Click to enlarge an image
State Animal
Gray Squirrel Eating
State Animal
Gray Squirrels Are Adept Climbers
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Sleeping Gray Squirrel
State Animal
Cleaning My Tail

CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Sciuridae
Genus:Sciurus
Species:S. carolinensis
Data Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Author: World Trade Press

Kentucky State Mammal

Thoroughbred (common name)
Equus ferus caballus
(scientific name)

Overview

As the fastest of all horses, the thoroughbred has held undisputed reign as king of horse racing. All modern thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees to three stallions originally imported into England from the Middle East in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and to 74 foundation mares of English and Oriental blood. Over the following centuries, thoroughbreds spread throughout the world. They were imported into North America starting in 1730 and into Australia, Europe, Japan, and South America during the 1800s. After the American Revolution, the centers of thoroughbred breeding and racing in the United States moved from Maryland and Virginia to Kentucky and Tennessee. Millions of thoroughbreds exist worldwide today, with over 118,000 foals registered each year. The thoroughbred was designated the official state horse of Kentucky, the home of the world-famous Kentucky Derby horse race, in 1996. It became the state horse of Maryland in 2003.

Close-up

STATUS
Official State Horse
ALSO KNOWN AS
English running horse
PHYSICAL DETAILS
Thoroughbreds are most often bay, seal brown, chestnut, black, or gray. The face and lower legs may be marked with white, but white does generally not appear on the body. Thoroughbreds have a well-chiseled head on a long neck, high withers, a deep chest, a short back, good depth of hindquarters, a lean body, and long legs. They are classified among the "hot-blooded" breeds, which are animals bred for agility and speed that are generally considered spirited and bold.
  MalesFemales
Size15.2–17.0 hands (62–68 inches/157–173 cm), averaging 16 hands (64 inches/163 cm)15.2–17.0 hands (62–68 inches/157–173 cm), averaging 16 hands (64 inches/163 cm)
Weightaround 1,100 lb (500 kg)around 1,100 lb (500 kg)
LIFESPAN
25-30 years
HABITAT
North America (about 37,000 foals annually), Australia (about 18,250 foals annually), Britain (about 5,000 foals annually). Worldwide there are more than 195,000 active broodmares, and there were 118,000 newly registered foals in 2006 alone.
BEHAVIOR
Thoroughbreds have been specially bred for hundreds of years and are usually specially raised for racing. Their behavior—including when and where they breed, what they eat, where they live, and many of their regular activities—is closely controlled by humans. The thoroughbred has a nervous temperament and is known for its agility, speed, and spirit. Thoroughbreds are used mainly for racing, but are also bred for other riding disciplines, such as show jumping, combined training, dressage, and (in western riding) speed events such as barrel racing. Mounted police divisions employ them in non-competitive work, and recreational riders also use them.
Thoroughbreds are also one of the most common breeds for use in polo in the United States. They are often seen in the fox hunting field as well. Thoroughbred racehorses perform with maximum exertion, which has resulted in high rates of accidents and other health problems. They are also commonly cross-bred with other breeds to create new breeds or to improve existing ones.
Land speed: A thoroughbred can achieve a speed of just less than 40 mph (64 kph) for a distance of a mile (1.6 km).
DIET
Most horses only need quality forage, water, and a salt or mineral block. Grain or other concentrates are often not necessary. Horses prefer to eat small amounts of food steadily throughout the day, as they do in nature when grazing on pasture.
OFFSPRING
Breeding interval: Annual
Average litter size: 1 foal
Foal height: At the withers, a foal has 60 percent of its mature height at birth.
Foal weight: Approximately 10 percent of the dam's weight.
TRIVIA
  • Thoroughbreds born in the northern hemisphere are officially considered a year older on the first of January each year. Those born in the southern hemisphere officially become one year older on the first of August. These artificial dates have been set to enable the standardization of races and other competitions for horses in certain age groups.
  • All modern thoroughbreds trace back to three stallions imported into England from the Middle East: the Byerley Turk (1680s), the Darley Arabian (1704), and the Godolphin Arabian (1729).
  • One tenth of all thoroughbreds suffer orthopedic problems, including fractures. Thoroughbreds are also prone to other health complications, including bleeding from the lungs, low fertility, abnormally small hearts and a small hoof to body mass ratio.

Click to enlarge an image
State Animal
Young Thoroughbred
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Thoroughbreds in Action
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Handsome Thoroughbred
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Thoroughbred Profile
State Animal
Off to the Races

CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Perissodactyla
Family:Equidae
Subfamily:Capreolinae
Genus:Equus
Species:E. ferus
Subspecies:E. f. caballus
Data Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Author: World Trade Press


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