The Asiatic Lion

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  • Topic: India, Mammals of India, Megafauna of Eurasia
  • Pages : 5 (1913 words )
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  • Published : October 16, 2010
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The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) is a subspecies of the lion which survives today only in the Gir Forest of Gujarat, India where it is also known as the Indian lion or Persian lion.[2][3] In 2005, the Gujarat government reported that 359 Asiatic lions were sighted in the Gir forest.[4] The Asiatic lion is one of the three major big cats found in India, other being the Bengal tiger and the Indian leopard.[5] The Asiatic lions once ranged from the Mediterranean to the north-eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent, but excessive hunting, water pollution and decline in natural prey reduced their habitat.[6] Historically, Asiatic lions were classified into three kinds – Bengal, Arabian and Persian lions.[7] Asiatic lion are smaller and lighter than their African counterparts, but are equally aggressive. the Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus or Selenarctos thibetanus), also known as the Asiatic Black Bear, Tibetan black bear, the Himalayan black bear, or the Moon bear, is an Asiatic species of medium sized bear with a distinctive white or cream "V" marking on its chest. It is a close relative of the American black bear, with which it is thought to share a European common ancestor[2] which is thought to have diverged 3 million years ago, though genetic evidence is inconclusive. Both American and Asiatic species are considered sister taxa, and are more closely related to each other than other species of bear. The Indian Rhinoceros or the Great One-horned Rhinoceros or the Asian One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is a large mammal primarily found in north-eastern India and Nepal. It is confined to the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Indian Rhinoceros once ranged throughout the entire stretch of the Indo-Gangetic Plain but excessive hunting reduced their natural habitat drastically. Today, about 3,000 Indian Rhinos live in the wild, 1,800 of which are found in India's Assam alone.[3] In 2008, more than 400 Indian Rhinos were sighted in Nepal's Chitwan National Park.[4] The Indian Rhinoceros can run at speeds of up to 25 mph (40 km/h) for short periods of time and is also an excellent swimmer. It has excellent senses of hearing and smell, but relatively poor eyesight. The Nilgiri Langur (Trachypithecus johnii) is a lutung (a type of Old World monkey) found in the Nilgiri hills of the Western Ghats in South India. Its range also includes Kodagu in Karnataka, Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu and many other hilly areas in Kerala. This primate has glossy black fur on its body and golden brown fur on its head. It is similar in size and long tailed like the gray langurs. Females have a white patch of fur on the inner thigh. It lives in troops of five to 16 monkeys. The animal is often seen encroaching into agricultural lands. Its diet consists of fruits, shoots and leaves. The species is endangered due to deforestation and poaching for its fur and flesh, the latter believed to have aphrodisiac properties. The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus), sometimes known by the name of one of its subspecies – the Indian Elephant, is one of the three living species of elephant, and the only living species of the genus Elephas. It is the largest living land animal in Asia. The species is found primarily in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Indochina and parts of Nepal and Indonesia (primarily Borneo), and Thailand. It is considered endangered, with between 41,410 and 52,345 left in the wild.[2] This animal is widely domesticated, and has been used in forestry in South and Southeast Asia for centuries and also in ceremonial purposes. Historical sources indicate that they were sometimes used during the harvest season primarily for milling. Wild elephants attract tourist money to the areas where they can most readily be seen, but damage crops, and may enter villages to raid gardens. The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales (called Mysticeti).[3]...
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