Gray Fox – fetal position 1

Gray Fox | Urocyon cinereoargenteus

This gyotaku-style mammal print deserves close consideration, there is a depth to the ink that makes this print unique and beautiful.  We’ve yet to recreate it I think, though we do keep stumbling on new methods and textures that are equally intriguing.   The fox is in a fetal position which obscures the form a bit.  But I think I like that subtle display.  Its in contrast to many of our other prints, especially the traditional fish gyotaku prints that are very direct and apparent.  Sometimes the imagination fills in the gaps nicely.

This is also one of the few done on a black background.  If you like it, check out the Mexican Freetail Bats 1 and 2.

 


 

 

Atlantic Croaker


Atlantic Croaker by Inked Animal

Atlantic Croaker | Micropogon undulatus 

 


 

Atlantic Croaker info via Wikipedia:

Atlantic croaker
Micropogonias undulatus (line art).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Sciaenidae
Genus: Micropogonias
Species: M. undulatus
Binomial name
Micropogonias undulatus
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) is a species of marine ray-finned fish belonging to the family Sciaenidae and is closely related to the black drum (Pogonias cromis), the silver perch (Bairdiella chrysoura), the spot croaker (Leiostomus xanthurus), the red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), the spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), and the weakfish (Cynoscion regalis). This fish is commonly found in sounds and estuaries from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico.

Description

Atlantic croaker in Pass Christian, Mississippi

The name croaker is descriptive of the noise the fish makes by vibrating strong muscles against its swim bladder, which acts as a resonating chamber much like a ball. The Atlantic croaker is the loudest of the drum family. The fish is also referred to as a hardhead, with smaller ones called pin heads. During spawning season (August to October), croakers turn a deep golden color, from this comes the name golden croaker. Beginning in August, tiny young enter the Chesapeake Bay and travel to low-salinity and freshwater creeks. They move to deeper parts of tidal rivers for the winter. Juveniles leave the Bay with the adults the following autumn.[1] When full-grown (two to three years), croakers reach between 1-1/2 feet long and 4-5 pounds, but on average are 1/2-2 pounds. The Chesapeake Bay record Atlantic croaker, caught in August 2007 off New Point Comfort Lighthouse in Virginia, weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 27 inches long. They have traditionally been used for food by Native Americans, and their remains are found in shell middens. [2] These fish are popular catches among recreational anglers.

Distribution and habitat

The Atlantic croaker is native to coastal waters in the western Atlantic Ocean. Its range extends from Massachusetts to Mexico and includes the northern half of the Caribbean Sea but possibly not the southern Gulf of Mexico or the Antilles. It is also thought to live on the coasts of southern Brazil and Argentina. It is usually found in bays and estuaries over sandy or muddy bottoms where it feeds on polychaete worms, crustaceans and small fish.[3] The croaker visits the Chesapeake Bay from March through October and is found throughout the Bay as far north as the Susquehanna Flats.[4]

Management

Croaker populations greatly vary from year to year, and can be dependent on the conditions of their habitats. Their management is challenging due to the variability in their numbers.<Linnaeus, 1758ref name=FishBase/>

References

  1. ^ Program, Chesapeake Bay. "Atlantic Croaker - Chesapeake Bay Program". www.chesapeakebay.net. 
  2. ^ "Atlantic Croaker_ Taxonomy and Basic Description" (PDF). 
  3. ^ " Micropogonias undulatus (Linnaeus, 1766): Atlantic croaker". FishBase. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  4. ^ "Atlantic Croaker". Chesapeake Bay Program. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  • Robins, C. Richard, G. Carleton Ray, and John Douglass. A Field Guide to Atlantic Coast Fishes-North America. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York. 1986. 184-188.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_croaker

 

Nine-banded Armadillo

Nine-banded Armadillo by Inked Animal

Nine-banded Armadillo | Dasypus novemcinctus

This was a fun one to print!  Armadillo in Texas are reported to have Leprosy, most with the disease are from the coastal area.  So we tried to be extra careful doing this print.  We wore gloves and did the print as fast as possible.   This is one of our favorites as the morphology lends well to the gyotaku style print.

 


 

Nine-banded Armadillo on wikipedia:

Nine-banded armadillo
Florida-015.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cingulata
Family: Dasypodidae
Genus: Dasypus
Species: D. novemcinctus
Binomial name
Dasypus novemcinctus
Linnaeus, 1758
Common Long-nosed Armadillo area.png
Nine-banded armadillo range

The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos.[2] Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal[3][4] animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump 3–4 ft (91–122 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads.[5] It is the state small mammal of Texas.

Habitat

The nine-banded armadillo evolved in a warm, rainy environment, and is still most commonly found in regions resembling its ancestral home. As a very adaptable animal, though, it can also be found in scrublands, open prairies, and tropical rainforests. It cannot thrive in particularly cold or dry environments, as its large surface area, which is not well insulated by fat, makes it especially susceptible to heat and water loss.[6]

Range

The current (circa 2009–2010) range (shaded red), and predicted future range (shaded pink) of the nine-banded armadillo in the USA

The nine-banded armadillo has been rapidly expanding its range both north and east within the United States, where it is the only regularly occurring species of armadillo. The armadillo crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico in the late 19th century, and was introduced in Florida at about the same time by humans. By 1995, the species had become well established in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and had been sighted as far afield as Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. A decade later, the armadillo had become established in all of those areas and continued its migration, being sighted as far north as southern Nebraska, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana.[7] The primary cause of this rapid expansion is explained simply by the species having few natural predators within the United States, little desire on the part of Americans to hunt or eat the armadillo, and the animals' high reproductive rate. The northern expansion of the armadillo is expected to continue until the species reaches as far north as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, and all points southward on the East Coast of the United States. Further northward and westward expansion will probably be limited by the armadillo's poor tolerance of harsh winters, due to its lack of insulating fat and its inability to hibernate.[7] As of 2009, newspaper reports indicated the nine-banded armadillo seems to have expanded its range northward as far as Omaha, Nebraska in the west, and Kentucky Dam and Evansville, Indiana, in the east.[8][9][10] In 1995, armadillos were only seen in the southern tip of South Carolina, and within two to three years, they had swept across most of the state.[6] In late 2009, North Carolina began considering the establishment of a hunting season for armadillo, following reports that the species has been moving into the southern reaches of the state (roughly between the areas of Charlotte and Wilmington).[11][12] Outside the United States, the nine-banded armadillo ranges southward through Central and South America into northern Argentina and Uruguay, where it is still expanding its range.[6]

Diet

Nine-banded armadillos are generally insectivores. They forage for meals by thrusting their snouts into loose soil and leaf litter and frantically digging in erratic patterns, stopping occasionally to dig up grubs, beetles (perhaps the main portion of this species' prey selection), ants, termites, and worms, which their sensitive noses can detect through 8 in (20 cm) of soil. They then lap up the insects with their sticky tongues. Nine-banded armadillos have been observed to roll about on ant hills to dislodge and consume the resident ants. They supplement their diets with amphibians and small reptiles, especially in more wintery months when such prey tends to be more sluggish, and occasionally bird eggs and baby mammals. Carrion is also eaten, although perhaps the species is most attracted to the maggots borne by carcasses rather than the meat itself. Less than 10% of the diet of this species is composed by nonanimal matter, though fungi, tubers, fruits, and seeds are occasionally eaten.[13][14]

Anatomy

Nine-banded armadillo in natural habitat (near Memphis, TN, 2010)
Taxidermized armadillo shell

Nine-banded armadillos generally weigh from 2.5–6.5 kg (5.5–14.3 lb), though the largest specimens can scale up to 10 kg (22 lb). They are one of the largest species of armadillos.[15] Head and body length is 38–58 cm (15–23 in), which combines with the 26–53 cm (10–21 in) tail, for a total length of 64–107 cm (25–42 in). They stand 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) tall at the top of the shell.[15][16] The outer shell is composed of ossified dermal scutes covered by nonoverlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin. This armor covers the back, sides, head, tail, and outside surfaces of the legs. The underside of the body and the inner surfaces of the legs have no armored protection. Instead, they are covered by tough skin and a layer of coarse hair. The vertebrae attach to the carapace.[17] The claws on the middle toes of the forefeet are elongated for digging, though not to the same degree as those of the much larger giant armadillo of South America.[6] Their low metabolic rate and poor thermoregulation make them best suited for semitropical environments.[17] Unlike the South American three-banded armadillos, the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll itself into a ball. It is, however, capable of floating across rivers by inflating its intestines, or by sinking and running across riverbeds. The second is possible due to its ability to hold its breath for up to six minutes, an adaptation originally developed for allowing the animal to keep its snout submerged in soil for extended periods while foraging.[17] Although nine is the typical number of bands on the nine-banded armadillo, the actual number varies by geographic range.[17] Armadillos possess the teeth typical of all sloths and anteaters. The teeth are all small, peg-like molars with open roots and no enamel. Incisors do form in the embryos, but quickly degenerate and are usually absent by birth.[17]

Nine-banded armadillo on its hind legs

Behavior

Armadillo burrow
in Nuevo León, Mexico

Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, largely nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk. They are extensive burrowers, with a single animal sometimes maintaining up to 12 burrows on its range. These burrows are roughly 8 in (20 cm) wide, 7 ft (2.1 m) deep, and 25 ft (7.6 m) long. Armadillos mark their territory with urine, feces, and excretions from scent glands found on the eyelids, nose, and feet. Males hold breeding territories and may become aggressive in order to keep other males out of their home range to increase chances of pairing with a female.[18] Territorial disputes are settled by kicking and chasing. When they are not foraging, armadillos shuffle along fairly slowly, stopping occasionally to sniff the air for signs of danger.

Predation

If alarmed, nine-banded armadillos can flee with surprising speed. Occasionally, a large predator may be able to ambush the armadillo before it can clear a distance, and breach the hard carapace with a well-placed bite or swipe. If the fleeing escape fails, the armadillo may quickly dig a shallow trench and lodge itself inside. Predators are rarely able to dislodge the animal once it has burrowed itself, and abandon their prey when they cannot breach the armadillo’s armor or grasp its tapered tail.[6] Due to their softer carapaces, juvenile armadillos are more likely to fall victim to natural predation and their cautious behavior generally reflects this. Young nine-banded armadillos tend to forage earlier in the day and are more wary of the approach of an unknown animal (including humans) than are adults. Their known natural predators include cougars (perhaps the leading predator), maned wolves, coyotes, black bears, red wolves, jaguars, alligators, bobcats, fruit bats, and large raptors. By far the leading predator of nine-banded armadillos today is humans, as armadillos are locally harvested for their meat and shells and many thousands fall victim to auto accidents every year.[19][20]

Reproduction

Mating takes place during a two-to-three month long mating season, which occurs from July–August in the Northern Hemisphere and November–January in the Southern Hemisphere. A single egg is fertilized, but implantation is delayed for three to four months to ensure the young will not be born during an unfavorable time. Once the zygote does implant in the uterus, a gestation period of four months occurs, during which the zygote splits into four identical embryos, each of which develops its own placenta, so blood and nutrients are not mixed between them. They are born in March and weighs 3 oz (85 g).[21] After birth, the quadruplets remain in the burrow, living off the mother’s milk for about three months. They then begin to forage with the mother, eventually leaving after six months to a year.[6][17]

Nine-banded armadillos reach sexual maturity at the age of one year, and reproduce every year for the rest of their 12–to-15 year lifespans. A single female can produce up to 56 young over the course of her life. This high reproductive rate is a major cause of the species’ rapid expansion.[6]

Effect on the environment

The foraging of nine-banded armadillo can cause mild damage to the root systems of certain plants. Skunks, cotton rats, burrowing owls, pine snakes, and rattlesnakes can be found living in abandoned armadillo burrows.[6] Occasionally, the armadillo may threaten the endangered gopher tortoise by aggressively displacing them from their burrows and claiming the burrows for themselves.[13] Studies have shown the fan-tailed warbler habitually follows armadillos to feed on insects and other invertebrates displaced by them.[22]

They are typically hunted for their meat, which is said to taste like pork, but are more frequently killed as a result of their tendency to steal the eggs of poultry and game birds. This has caused certain populations of the nine-banded armadillo to become threatened, although the species as a whole is under no immediate threat.[6] They are also valuable for use in medical research, as they are among the few mammals other than humans susceptible to leprosy.[17] In Texas, nine-banded armadillos are raised to participate in armadillo racing, a small-scale, but well-established sport in which the animals scurry down a 40-foot track.[6]

Hoover hog

During the Great Depression, the species was hunted for its meat in East Texas, where it was known as poor man’s pork,[23] or the "Hoover hog" by those who considered President Herbert Hoover to be responsible for the Depression.[24] Earlier, German settlers in Texas would often refer to the armadillo as Panzerschwein ("armored pig").[citation needed] In 1995, the nine-banded armadillo was, with some resistance, made the state small mammal of Texas,[25] where it is considered a pest and is often seen dead on the roadside. They first forayed into Texas across the Rio Grande from Mexico in the 19th century, eventually spreading across the southeast United States.[24]

Subspecies

  • D. n. aequatorialis Lönnberg, 1913
  • D. n. fenestratus Peters, 1864
  • D. n. hoplites G.M. Allen, 1911
  • D. n. mexianae Hagmann, 1908
  • D. n. mexicanus Peters, 1864
  • D. n. novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758

North American subspecies exhibit reduced genetic variability compared with the subspecies of South America, indicating the armadillos of North America are descended from a relatively small number of individuals that migrated from south of the Rio Grande.[17]

References

  1. ^ Loughry, J.; McDonough, C. & Abba, A.M. (2014). "Dasypus novemcinctus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  2. ^ Gardner, A.L. (2005). "Order Cingulata". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Armadillo Observation. Msu.edu. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Mammals of Kansas – Kansas University. Ksr.ku.edu. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "How high can a nine-banded armadillo jump?". Everyday Mysteries. Library of Congress. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Wildlife Explorer: Nine-Banded Armadillo. USA: International Masters Publishers, 1998.[dubious ]
  7. ^ a b "Armadillo Expansion". Armadillo Online. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ Schroeder, Owen (October 4, 2008) Armadillos take up residence in Tenn. theleafchronicle.com
  9. ^ "Armadillo sightings becoming common". Evansville Courier and Press. 2008-06-29. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ Venable, Sam (2009). "Keeping all fingers intact". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ Windham, Steve. "Public Hearings Applying to 2010–2011 Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Seasons" (PDF). North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-20. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  12. ^ Weaver, Jefferson (December 9, 2009). "New regulations feature armored possums". The News Reporter. Retrieved June 8, 2010. [dead link]
  13. ^ a b Chapman, J. and Feldhamer, G. (1982) Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Economics, Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0801823536.
  14. ^ Schmidly, D. and William, D. (2004) "Nine-banded Armadillo" in The Mammals of Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, ISBN 0292702418.
  15. ^ a b 3.8 Armadillos. Fao.org. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  16. ^ Burnie D and Wilson DE (Eds.) (2005) Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult, ISBN 0789477645
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Feldhamer, George A.; Lee C. Drickhamer; Stephen H. Vessey; Joseph F. Merritt; Carey Krajewski (2007). Mammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity, Ecology. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8695-9. 
  18. ^ McDonough, Colleen M. (1997-01-01). "Pairing Behavior of the Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)". The American Midland Naturalist. 138 (2): 290–298. doi:10.2307/2426822. 
  19. ^ Moeller, W. (1990) "Modern Xenarthrans", pp. 583–626 in S Parker (ed.) Grzimek’s Encyclopedia of Mammals, Vol. 2, English Language Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., ISBN 0079095089
  20. ^ Weckel, M.; Giuliano, W.; Silver, S. (2006). "Cockscomb Revisited: Jaguar Diet in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize1". Biotropica. 38 (5): 687. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00190.x. 
  21. ^ Field guide to mammals. 1996. ISBN 0-679-44631-1
  22. ^ Schaefer, R. R.; Fagan, J. F. (2006). Husak, Michael, ed. "Commensal Foraging by a Fan-Tailed Warbler (Euthlypis Lachrymosa) with a Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus Novemcinctus) in Southwestern Mexico". The Southwestern Naturalist. 51 (4): 560. doi:10.1894/0038-4909(2006)51[560:CFBAFW]2.0.CO;2. 
  23. ^ TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE, Armadillos. Tpwd.state.tx.us (October 25, 2006). Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  24. ^ a b Armadillo from the Handbook of Texas Online
  25. ^ Texas State Symbols - Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Accessed January 17, 2014.

Further reading

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-banded_Armadillo

Nine-banded Armadillo Head

Nine-banded Armadillo Head | Dasypus novemcinctus

This was a fun one to print!  Armadillo in Texas are reported to have Leprosy, but most of the individuals with the disease are from the coastal area.  So we tried to be extra careful doing this print.  We wore gloves, masks, and did the print as fast as possible.  This is one of our favorites as the morphology lends well to this gyotaku style print.

 


 

Nine-banded Armadillo on wikipedia:

Nine-banded armadillo
Florida-015.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cingulata
Family: Dasypodidae
Genus: Dasypus
Species: D. novemcinctus
Binomial name
Dasypus novemcinctus
Linnaeus, 1758
Common Long-nosed Armadillo area.png
Nine-banded armadillo range

The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos.[2] Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal[3][4] animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump 3–4 ft (91–122 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads.[5] It is the state small mammal of Texas.

Habitat

The nine-banded armadillo evolved in a warm, rainy environment, and is still most commonly found in regions resembling its ancestral home. As a very adaptable animal, though, it can also be found in scrublands, open prairies, and tropical rainforests. It cannot thrive in particularly cold or dry environments, as its large surface area, which is not well insulated by fat, makes it especially susceptible to heat and water loss.[6]

Range

The current (circa 2009–2010) range (shaded red), and predicted future range (shaded pink) of the nine-banded armadillo in the USA

The nine-banded armadillo has been rapidly expanding its range both north and east within the United States, where it is the only regularly occurring species of armadillo. The armadillo crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico in the late 19th century, and was introduced in Florida at about the same time by humans. By 1995, the species had become well established in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and had been sighted as far afield as Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. A decade later, the armadillo had become established in all of those areas and continued its migration, being sighted as far north as southern Nebraska, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana.[7] The primary cause of this rapid expansion is explained simply by the species having few natural predators within the United States, little desire on the part of Americans to hunt or eat the armadillo, and the animals' high reproductive rate. The northern expansion of the armadillo is expected to continue until the species reaches as far north as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, and all points southward on the East Coast of the United States. Further northward and westward expansion will probably be limited by the armadillo's poor tolerance of harsh winters, due to its lack of insulating fat and its inability to hibernate.[7] As of 2009, newspaper reports indicated the nine-banded armadillo seems to have expanded its range northward as far as Omaha, Nebraska in the west, and Kentucky Dam and Evansville, Indiana, in the east.[8][9][10] In 1995, armadillos were only seen in the southern tip of South Carolina, and within two to three years, they had swept across most of the state.[6] In late 2009, North Carolina began considering the establishment of a hunting season for armadillo, following reports that the species has been moving into the southern reaches of the state (roughly between the areas of Charlotte and Wilmington).[11][12] Outside the United States, the nine-banded armadillo ranges southward through Central and South America into northern Argentina and Uruguay, where it is still expanding its range.[6]

Diet

Nine-banded armadillos are generally insectivores. They forage for meals by thrusting their snouts into loose soil and leaf litter and frantically digging in erratic patterns, stopping occasionally to dig up grubs, beetles (perhaps the main portion of this species' prey selection), ants, termites, and worms, which their sensitive noses can detect through 8 in (20 cm) of soil. They then lap up the insects with their sticky tongues. Nine-banded armadillos have been observed to roll about on ant hills to dislodge and consume the resident ants. They supplement their diets with amphibians and small reptiles, especially in more wintery months when such prey tends to be more sluggish, and occasionally bird eggs and baby mammals. Carrion is also eaten, although perhaps the species is most attracted to the maggots borne by carcasses rather than the meat itself. Less than 10% of the diet of this species is composed by nonanimal matter, though fungi, tubers, fruits, and seeds are occasionally eaten.[13][14]

Anatomy

Nine-banded armadillo in natural habitat (near Memphis, TN, 2010)
Taxidermized armadillo shell

Nine-banded armadillos generally weigh from 2.5–6.5 kg (5.5–14.3 lb), though the largest specimens can scale up to 10 kg (22 lb). They are one of the largest species of armadillos.[15] Head and body length is 38–58 cm (15–23 in), which combines with the 26–53 cm (10–21 in) tail, for a total length of 64–107 cm (25–42 in). They stand 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) tall at the top of the shell.[15][16] The outer shell is composed of ossified dermal scutes covered by nonoverlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin. This armor covers the back, sides, head, tail, and outside surfaces of the legs. The underside of the body and the inner surfaces of the legs have no armored protection. Instead, they are covered by tough skin and a layer of coarse hair. The vertebrae attach to the carapace.[17] The claws on the middle toes of the forefeet are elongated for digging, though not to the same degree as those of the much larger giant armadillo of South America.[6] Their low metabolic rate and poor thermoregulation make them best suited for semitropical environments.[17] Unlike the South American three-banded armadillos, the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll itself into a ball. It is, however, capable of floating across rivers by inflating its intestines, or by sinking and running across riverbeds. The second is possible due to its ability to hold its breath for up to six minutes, an adaptation originally developed for allowing the animal to keep its snout submerged in soil for extended periods while foraging.[17] Although nine is the typical number of bands on the nine-banded armadillo, the actual number varies by geographic range.[17] Armadillos possess the teeth typical of all sloths and anteaters. The teeth are all small, peg-like molars with open roots and no enamel. Incisors do form in the embryos, but quickly degenerate and are usually absent by birth.[17]

Nine-banded armadillo on its hind legs

Behavior

Armadillo burrow
in Nuevo León, Mexico

Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, largely nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk. They are extensive burrowers, with a single animal sometimes maintaining up to 12 burrows on its range. These burrows are roughly 8 in (20 cm) wide, 7 ft (2.1 m) deep, and 25 ft (7.6 m) long. Armadillos mark their territory with urine, feces, and excretions from scent glands found on the eyelids, nose, and feet. Males hold breeding territories and may become aggressive in order to keep other males out of their home range to increase chances of pairing with a female.[18] Territorial disputes are settled by kicking and chasing. When they are not foraging, armadillos shuffle along fairly slowly, stopping occasionally to sniff the air for signs of danger.

Predation

If alarmed, nine-banded armadillos can flee with surprising speed. Occasionally, a large predator may be able to ambush the armadillo before it can clear a distance, and breach the hard carapace with a well-placed bite or swipe. If the fleeing escape fails, the armadillo may quickly dig a shallow trench and lodge itself inside. Predators are rarely able to dislodge the animal once it has burrowed itself, and abandon their prey when they cannot breach the armadillo’s armor or grasp its tapered tail.[6] Due to their softer carapaces, juvenile armadillos are more likely to fall victim to natural predation and their cautious behavior generally reflects this. Young nine-banded armadillos tend to forage earlier in the day and are more wary of the approach of an unknown animal (including humans) than are adults. Their known natural predators include cougars (perhaps the leading predator), maned wolves, coyotes, black bears, red wolves, jaguars, alligators, bobcats, fruit bats, and large raptors. By far the leading predator of nine-banded armadillos today is humans, as armadillos are locally harvested for their meat and shells and many thousands fall victim to auto accidents every year.[19][20]

Reproduction

Mating takes place during a two-to-three month long mating season, which occurs from July–August in the Northern Hemisphere and November–January in the Southern Hemisphere. A single egg is fertilized, but implantation is delayed for three to four months to ensure the young will not be born during an unfavorable time. Once the zygote does implant in the uterus, a gestation period of four months occurs, during which the zygote splits into four identical embryos, each of which develops its own placenta, so blood and nutrients are not mixed between them. They are born in March and weighs 3 oz (85 g).[21] After birth, the quadruplets remain in the burrow, living off the mother’s milk for about three months. They then begin to forage with the mother, eventually leaving after six months to a year.[6][17]

Nine-banded armadillos reach sexual maturity at the age of one year, and reproduce every year for the rest of their 12–to-15 year lifespans. A single female can produce up to 56 young over the course of her life. This high reproductive rate is a major cause of the species’ rapid expansion.[6]

Effect on the environment

The foraging of nine-banded armadillo can cause mild damage to the root systems of certain plants. Skunks, cotton rats, burrowing owls, pine snakes, and rattlesnakes can be found living in abandoned armadillo burrows.[6] Occasionally, the armadillo may threaten the endangered gopher tortoise by aggressively displacing them from their burrows and claiming the burrows for themselves.[13] Studies have shown the fan-tailed warbler habitually follows armadillos to feed on insects and other invertebrates displaced by them.[22]

They are typically hunted for their meat, which is said to taste like pork, but are more frequently killed as a result of their tendency to steal the eggs of poultry and game birds. This has caused certain populations of the nine-banded armadillo to become threatened, although the species as a whole is under no immediate threat.[6] They are also valuable for use in medical research, as they are among the few mammals other than humans susceptible to leprosy.[17] In Texas, nine-banded armadillos are raised to participate in armadillo racing, a small-scale, but well-established sport in which the animals scurry down a 40-foot track.[6]

Hoover hog

During the Great Depression, the species was hunted for its meat in East Texas, where it was known as poor man’s pork,[23] or the "Hoover hog" by those who considered President Herbert Hoover to be responsible for the Depression.[24] Earlier, German settlers in Texas would often refer to the armadillo as Panzerschwein ("armored pig").[citation needed] In 1995, the nine-banded armadillo was, with some resistance, made the state small mammal of Texas,[25] where it is considered a pest and is often seen dead on the roadside. They first forayed into Texas across the Rio Grande from Mexico in the 19th century, eventually spreading across the southeast United States.[24]

Subspecies

  • D. n. aequatorialis Lönnberg, 1913
  • D. n. fenestratus Peters, 1864
  • D. n. hoplites G.M. Allen, 1911
  • D. n. mexianae Hagmann, 1908
  • D. n. mexicanus Peters, 1864
  • D. n. novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758

North American subspecies exhibit reduced genetic variability compared with the subspecies of South America, indicating the armadillos of North America are descended from a relatively small number of individuals that migrated from south of the Rio Grande.[17]

References

  1. ^ Loughry, J.; McDonough, C. & Abba, A.M. (2014). "Dasypus novemcinctus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  2. ^ Gardner, A.L. (2005). "Order Cingulata". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Armadillo Observation. Msu.edu. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Mammals of Kansas – Kansas University. Ksr.ku.edu. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "How high can a nine-banded armadillo jump?". Everyday Mysteries. Library of Congress. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Wildlife Explorer: Nine-Banded Armadillo. USA: International Masters Publishers, 1998.[dubious ]
  7. ^ a b "Armadillo Expansion". Armadillo Online. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ Schroeder, Owen (October 4, 2008) Armadillos take up residence in Tenn. theleafchronicle.com
  9. ^ "Armadillo sightings becoming common". Evansville Courier and Press. 2008-06-29. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ Venable, Sam (2009). "Keeping all fingers intact". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ Windham, Steve. "Public Hearings Applying to 2010–2011 Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Seasons" (PDF). North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-20. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  12. ^ Weaver, Jefferson (December 9, 2009). "New regulations feature armored possums". The News Reporter. Retrieved June 8, 2010. [dead link]
  13. ^ a b Chapman, J. and Feldhamer, G. (1982) Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Economics, Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0801823536.
  14. ^ Schmidly, D. and William, D. (2004) "Nine-banded Armadillo" in The Mammals of Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, ISBN 0292702418.
  15. ^ a b 3.8 Armadillos. Fao.org. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  16. ^ Burnie D and Wilson DE (Eds.) (2005) Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult, ISBN 0789477645
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Feldhamer, George A.; Lee C. Drickhamer; Stephen H. Vessey; Joseph F. Merritt; Carey Krajewski (2007). Mammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity, Ecology. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8695-9. 
  18. ^ McDonough, Colleen M. (1997-01-01). "Pairing Behavior of the Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)". The American Midland Naturalist. 138 (2): 290–298. doi:10.2307/2426822. 
  19. ^ Moeller, W. (1990) "Modern Xenarthrans", pp. 583–626 in S Parker (ed.) Grzimek’s Encyclopedia of Mammals, Vol. 2, English Language Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., ISBN 0079095089
  20. ^ Weckel, M.; Giuliano, W.; Silver, S. (2006). "Cockscomb Revisited: Jaguar Diet in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize1". Biotropica. 38 (5): 687. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00190.x. 
  21. ^ Field guide to mammals. 1996. ISBN 0-679-44631-1
  22. ^ Schaefer, R. R.; Fagan, J. F. (2006). Husak, Michael, ed. "Commensal Foraging by a Fan-Tailed Warbler (Euthlypis Lachrymosa) with a Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus Novemcinctus) in Southwestern Mexico". The Southwestern Naturalist. 51 (4): 560. doi:10.1894/0038-4909(2006)51[560:CFBAFW]2.0.CO;2. 
  23. ^ TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE, Armadillos. Tpwd.state.tx.us (October 25, 2006). Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  24. ^ a b Armadillo from the Handbook of Texas Online
  25. ^ Texas State Symbols - Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Accessed January 17, 2014.

Further reading

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-banded_Armadillo

 

Nine-banded Armadillo top-view

 

Nine-banded Armadillo | Dasypus novemcinctus

  This was a fun one to print!  Armadillo in Texas are reported to have Leprosy, but most of the individuals with the disease are from the coastal area.  So we tried to be extra careful doing this print.  We wore gloves, masks, and did the print as fast as possible.  This is one of our favorites as the morphology lends well to this gyotaku style print.


Nine-banded Armadillo on wikipedia:

Nine-banded armadillo
Florida-015.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cingulata
Family: Dasypodidae
Genus: Dasypus
Species: D. novemcinctus
Binomial name
Dasypus novemcinctus
Linnaeus, 1758
Common Long-nosed Armadillo area.png
Nine-banded armadillo range

The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos.[2] Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal[3][4] animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump 3–4 ft (91–122 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads.[5] It is the state small mammal of Texas.

Habitat

The nine-banded armadillo evolved in a warm, rainy environment, and is still most commonly found in regions resembling its ancestral home. As a very adaptable animal, though, it can also be found in scrublands, open prairies, and tropical rainforests. It cannot thrive in particularly cold or dry environments, as its large surface area, which is not well insulated by fat, makes it especially susceptible to heat and water loss.[6]

Range

The current (circa 2009–2010) range (shaded red), and predicted future range (shaded pink) of the nine-banded armadillo in the USA

The nine-banded armadillo has been rapidly expanding its range both north and east within the United States, where it is the only regularly occurring species of armadillo. The armadillo crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico in the late 19th century, and was introduced in Florida at about the same time by humans. By 1995, the species had become well established in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and had been sighted as far afield as Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. A decade later, the armadillo had become established in all of those areas and continued its migration, being sighted as far north as southern Nebraska, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana.[7] The primary cause of this rapid expansion is explained simply by the species having few natural predators within the United States, little desire on the part of Americans to hunt or eat the armadillo, and the animals' high reproductive rate. The northern expansion of the armadillo is expected to continue until the species reaches as far north as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, and all points southward on the East Coast of the United States. Further northward and westward expansion will probably be limited by the armadillo's poor tolerance of harsh winters, due to its lack of insulating fat and its inability to hibernate.[7] As of 2009, newspaper reports indicated the nine-banded armadillo seems to have expanded its range northward as far as Omaha, Nebraska in the west, and Kentucky Dam and Evansville, Indiana, in the east.[8][9][10] In 1995, armadillos were only seen in the southern tip of South Carolina, and within two to three years, they had swept across most of the state.[6] In late 2009, North Carolina began considering the establishment of a hunting season for armadillo, following reports that the species has been moving into the southern reaches of the state (roughly between the areas of Charlotte and Wilmington).[11][12] Outside the United States, the nine-banded armadillo ranges southward through Central and South America into northern Argentina and Uruguay, where it is still expanding its range.[6]

Diet

Nine-banded armadillos are generally insectivores. They forage for meals by thrusting their snouts into loose soil and leaf litter and frantically digging in erratic patterns, stopping occasionally to dig up grubs, beetles (perhaps the main portion of this species' prey selection), ants, termites, and worms, which their sensitive noses can detect through 8 in (20 cm) of soil. They then lap up the insects with their sticky tongues. Nine-banded armadillos have been observed to roll about on ant hills to dislodge and consume the resident ants. They supplement their diets with amphibians and small reptiles, especially in more wintery months when such prey tends to be more sluggish, and occasionally bird eggs and baby mammals. Carrion is also eaten, although perhaps the species is most attracted to the maggots borne by carcasses rather than the meat itself. Less than 10% of the diet of this species is composed by nonanimal matter, though fungi, tubers, fruits, and seeds are occasionally eaten.[13][14]

Anatomy

Nine-banded armadillo in natural habitat (near Memphis, TN, 2010)
Taxidermized armadillo shell

Nine-banded armadillos generally weigh from 2.5–6.5 kg (5.5–14.3 lb), though the largest specimens can scale up to 10 kg (22 lb). They are one of the largest species of armadillos.[15] Head and body length is 38–58 cm (15–23 in), which combines with the 26–53 cm (10–21 in) tail, for a total length of 64–107 cm (25–42 in). They stand 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) tall at the top of the shell.[15][16] The outer shell is composed of ossified dermal scutes covered by nonoverlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin. This armor covers the back, sides, head, tail, and outside surfaces of the legs. The underside of the body and the inner surfaces of the legs have no armored protection. Instead, they are covered by tough skin and a layer of coarse hair. The vertebrae attach to the carapace.[17] The claws on the middle toes of the forefeet are elongated for digging, though not to the same degree as those of the much larger giant armadillo of South America.[6] Their low metabolic rate and poor thermoregulation make them best suited for semitropical environments.[17] Unlike the South American three-banded armadillos, the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll itself into a ball. It is, however, capable of floating across rivers by inflating its intestines, or by sinking and running across riverbeds. The second is possible due to its ability to hold its breath for up to six minutes, an adaptation originally developed for allowing the animal to keep its snout submerged in soil for extended periods while foraging.[17] Although nine is the typical number of bands on the nine-banded armadillo, the actual number varies by geographic range.[17] Armadillos possess the teeth typical of all sloths and anteaters. The teeth are all small, peg-like molars with open roots and no enamel. Incisors do form in the embryos, but quickly degenerate and are usually absent by birth.[17]

Nine-banded armadillo on its hind legs

Behavior

Armadillo burrow
in Nuevo León, Mexico

Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, largely nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk. They are extensive burrowers, with a single animal sometimes maintaining up to 12 burrows on its range. These burrows are roughly 8 in (20 cm) wide, 7 ft (2.1 m) deep, and 25 ft (7.6 m) long. Armadillos mark their territory with urine, feces, and excretions from scent glands found on the eyelids, nose, and feet. Males hold breeding territories and may become aggressive in order to keep other males out of their home range to increase chances of pairing with a female.[18] Territorial disputes are settled by kicking and chasing. When they are not foraging, armadillos shuffle along fairly slowly, stopping occasionally to sniff the air for signs of danger.

Predation

If alarmed, nine-banded armadillos can flee with surprising speed. Occasionally, a large predator may be able to ambush the armadillo before it can clear a distance, and breach the hard carapace with a well-placed bite or swipe. If the fleeing escape fails, the armadillo may quickly dig a shallow trench and lodge itself inside. Predators are rarely able to dislodge the animal once it has burrowed itself, and abandon their prey when they cannot breach the armadillo’s armor or grasp its tapered tail.[6] Due to their softer carapaces, juvenile armadillos are more likely to fall victim to natural predation and their cautious behavior generally reflects this. Young nine-banded armadillos tend to forage earlier in the day and are more wary of the approach of an unknown animal (including humans) than are adults. Their known natural predators include cougars (perhaps the leading predator), maned wolves, coyotes, black bears, red wolves, jaguars, alligators, bobcats, fruit bats, and large raptors. By far the leading predator of nine-banded armadillos today is humans, as armadillos are locally harvested for their meat and shells and many thousands fall victim to auto accidents every year.[19][20]

Reproduction

Mating takes place during a two-to-three month long mating season, which occurs from July–August in the Northern Hemisphere and November–January in the Southern Hemisphere. A single egg is fertilized, but implantation is delayed for three to four months to ensure the young will not be born during an unfavorable time. Once the zygote does implant in the uterus, a gestation period of four months occurs, during which the zygote splits into four identical embryos, each of which develops its own placenta, so blood and nutrients are not mixed between them. They are born in March and weighs 3 oz (85 g).[21] After birth, the quadruplets remain in the burrow, living off the mother’s milk for about three months. They then begin to forage with the mother, eventually leaving after six months to a year.[6][17]

Nine-banded armadillos reach sexual maturity at the age of one year, and reproduce every year for the rest of their 12–to-15 year lifespans. A single female can produce up to 56 young over the course of her life. This high reproductive rate is a major cause of the species’ rapid expansion.[6]

Effect on the environment

The foraging of nine-banded armadillo can cause mild damage to the root systems of certain plants. Skunks, cotton rats, burrowing owls, pine snakes, and rattlesnakes can be found living in abandoned armadillo burrows.[6] Occasionally, the armadillo may threaten the endangered gopher tortoise by aggressively displacing them from their burrows and claiming the burrows for themselves.[13] Studies have shown the fan-tailed warbler habitually follows armadillos to feed on insects and other invertebrates displaced by them.[22]

They are typically hunted for their meat, which is said to taste like pork, but are more frequently killed as a result of their tendency to steal the eggs of poultry and game birds. This has caused certain populations of the nine-banded armadillo to become threatened, although the species as a whole is under no immediate threat.[6] They are also valuable for use in medical research, as they are among the few mammals other than humans susceptible to leprosy.[17] In Texas, nine-banded armadillos are raised to participate in armadillo racing, a small-scale, but well-established sport in which the animals scurry down a 40-foot track.[6]

Hoover hog

During the Great Depression, the species was hunted for its meat in East Texas, where it was known as poor man’s pork,[23] or the "Hoover hog" by those who considered President Herbert Hoover to be responsible for the Depression.[24] Earlier, German settlers in Texas would often refer to the armadillo as Panzerschwein ("armored pig").[citation needed] In 1995, the nine-banded armadillo was, with some resistance, made the state small mammal of Texas,[25] where it is considered a pest and is often seen dead on the roadside. They first forayed into Texas across the Rio Grande from Mexico in the 19th century, eventually spreading across the southeast United States.[24]

Subspecies

  • D. n. aequatorialis Lönnberg, 1913
  • D. n. fenestratus Peters, 1864
  • D. n. hoplites G.M. Allen, 1911
  • D. n. mexianae Hagmann, 1908
  • D. n. mexicanus Peters, 1864
  • D. n. novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758

North American subspecies exhibit reduced genetic variability compared with the subspecies of South America, indicating the armadillos of North America are descended from a relatively small number of individuals that migrated from south of the Rio Grande.[17]

References

  1. ^ Loughry, J.; McDonough, C. & Abba, A.M. (2014). "Dasypus novemcinctus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  2. ^ Gardner, A.L. (2005). "Order Cingulata". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Armadillo Observation. Msu.edu. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Mammals of Kansas – Kansas University. Ksr.ku.edu. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "How high can a nine-banded armadillo jump?". Everyday Mysteries. Library of Congress. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Wildlife Explorer: Nine-Banded Armadillo. USA: International Masters Publishers, 1998.[dubious ]
  7. ^ a b "Armadillo Expansion". Armadillo Online. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ Schroeder, Owen (October 4, 2008) Armadillos take up residence in Tenn. theleafchronicle.com
  9. ^ "Armadillo sightings becoming common". Evansville Courier and Press. 2008-06-29. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ Venable, Sam (2009). "Keeping all fingers intact". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ Windham, Steve. "Public Hearings Applying to 2010–2011 Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Seasons" (PDF). North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-20. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  12. ^ Weaver, Jefferson (December 9, 2009). "New regulations feature armored possums". The News Reporter. Retrieved June 8, 2010. [dead link]
  13. ^ a b Chapman, J. and Feldhamer, G. (1982) Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Economics, Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0801823536.
  14. ^ Schmidly, D. and William, D. (2004) "Nine-banded Armadillo" in The Mammals of Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, ISBN 0292702418.
  15. ^ a b 3.8 Armadillos. Fao.org. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  16. ^ Burnie D and Wilson DE (Eds.) (2005) Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult, ISBN 0789477645
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Feldhamer, George A.; Lee C. Drickhamer; Stephen H. Vessey; Joseph F. Merritt; Carey Krajewski (2007). Mammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity, Ecology. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8695-9. 
  18. ^ McDonough, Colleen M. (1997-01-01). "Pairing Behavior of the Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)". The American Midland Naturalist. 138 (2): 290–298. doi:10.2307/2426822. 
  19. ^ Moeller, W. (1990) "Modern Xenarthrans", pp. 583–626 in S Parker (ed.) Grzimek’s Encyclopedia of Mammals, Vol. 2, English Language Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., ISBN 0079095089
  20. ^ Weckel, M.; Giuliano, W.; Silver, S. (2006). "Cockscomb Revisited: Jaguar Diet in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize1". Biotropica. 38 (5): 687. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00190.x. 
  21. ^ Field guide to mammals. 1996. ISBN 0-679-44631-1
  22. ^ Schaefer, R. R.; Fagan, J. F. (2006). Husak, Michael, ed. "Commensal Foraging by a Fan-Tailed Warbler (Euthlypis Lachrymosa) with a Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus Novemcinctus) in Southwestern Mexico". The Southwestern Naturalist. 51 (4): 560. doi:10.1894/0038-4909(2006)51[560:CFBAFW]2.0.CO;2. 
  23. ^ TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE, Armadillos. Tpwd.state.tx.us (October 25, 2006). Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  24. ^ a b Armadillo from the Handbook of Texas Online
  25. ^ Texas State Symbols - Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Accessed January 17, 2014.

Further reading

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-banded_Armadillo

 

North American Beaver – mouth

 

Oh the beaver!  Yes there are beavers in Texas, they just don’t build dams or dens very often down here so aren’t seen as frequently.   It’s printed with clay, our first attempt with that material, so we didn’t ruin the coat.

 



 

North American Beaver

North American Beaver | Castor canadensis

Oh the beaver! Yes there are beavers in Texas, they just don’t build dams or dens very often down here so aren’t seen as frequently.  It’s printed with clay, our first attempt with that material, so we didn’t ruin the coat.

 



 

Gray Fox

 Gray Fox | Urocyon cinereoargenteus

 


 


 

Gray Squirrel

Gray Squirrel | Sciurus carolinensis

India ink on paper

printed September 2008

 

 


 

Gray Squirrel on Wikipedia:

Eastern gray squirrel
Eastern Grey Squirrel.jpg
Calls recorded in Surrey, England
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Sciurus
Subgenus: Sciurus
Species: S. carolinensis
Binomial name
Sciurus carolinensis
Gmelin, 1788
Subspecies[2]
  • S. c. carolinensis
  • S. c. extimus
  • S. c. fuliginosus
  • S. c. hypophaeus
  • S. c. pennsylvanicus
Sciurus carolinensis range map.svg
Range in red
(excludes introduced populations)
Synonyms
  • S. pennsylvanica
  • S. hiemalis
  • S. leucotis
  • S. fulginosus
  • S. migratorius

Sciurus carolinensis, common name eastern gray squirrel or grey squirrel depending on region, is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus. It is native to eastern North America, where it is the most prodigious and ecologically essential natural forest regenerator.[3][4]The eastern grey squirrel in Europe is regarded as an invasive species.

Distribution

Sciurus carolinensis is native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada. The native range of the eastern gray squirrel overlaps with that of the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), with which it is sometimes confused, although the core of the fox squirrel's range is slightly more to the west. The eastern gray squirrel is found from New Brunswick to Manitoba, south to East Texas and Florida.[1] Breeding eastern gray squirrels are found in Nova Scotia, but whether this population was introduced or came from natural range expansion is not known.[5] It has also been introduced into Ireland,[6] Britain, Italy, South Africa, and Australia (where it was extirpated by 1973).[1]Eastern grey squirrels in Europe are a concern because they have displaced some of the native squirrels there. This squirrel has also been introduced to Vancouver Island in Western Canada in 1966 in the area of Metchosin and has spread widely from there. The squirrels are considered highly invasive and a threat to both the local ecosystem and the native red squirrel.[7]

A prolific and adaptable species, the eastern gray squirrel has been introduced to, and thrives in, several regions of the western United States. The gray squirrel is an invasive species in Britain; it has spread across the country and has largely displaced the native red squirrel, S. vulgaris. In Ireland, the red squirrel has been displaced in several eastern counties, though it still remains common in the south and west of the country.[8] That such displacement might happen in Italy is of concern, and gray squirrels might spread from Italy to other parts of mainland Europe.[9]

Etymology

The generic name, Sciurus, is derived from two Greek words, skia, meaning shadow, and oura, meaning tail. This name alludes to the squirrel sitting in the shadow of its tail.[10] The specific epithet, carolinensis, refers to the Carolinas, where the species was first recorded and where the animal is still extremely common. In the United Kingdom and Canada, it is simply referred to as the "grey squirrel". In the US, "eastern" is used to differentiate the species from the western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus).

Description

Bounding tracks in concrete
Close-up of an eastern gray squirrel's head; note the brownish fur on its face, the gray fur on its back and the white fur on its underside.

The eastern gray squirrel has predominantly gray fur, but it can have a brownish color. It has a usual white underside as compared to the typical brownish-orange underside of the fox squirrel.[11] It has a large bushy tail. Particularly in urban situations where the risk of predation is reduced, both white[12] – and black-colored individuals are quite often found. The melanistic form, which is almost entirely black, is predominant in certain populations and in certain geographic areas, such as in large parts of southeastern Canada. Genetic variations within these include individuals with black tails and black-colored squirrels with white tails. (See Tree squirrel for more information on these color variations.)

The head and body length is from 23 to 30 cm (9.1 to 11.8 in), the tail from 19 to 25 cm (7.5 to 9.8 in), and the adult weight varies between 400 and 600 g (14 and 21 oz).[13][14] They do not display sexual dimorphism, meaning there is no gender difference in size or coloration.[15]

The tracks of an eastern gray squirrel are difficult to distinguish from the related fox squirrel and Abert's squirrel, though the latter's range is almost entirely different from the gray's. Like all squirrels, the eastern gray shows four toes on the front feet and five on the hind feet. The hind foot-pad is often not visible in the track. When bounding or moving at speed, the front foot tracks will be behind the hind foot tracks. The bounding stride can be two to three feet long.[16]

Behavior

Reaching out for food on a garden bird feeder, this squirrel can rotate its hind feet, allowing it to descend a tree head-first.

Like many members of the family Sciuridae, the eastern gray squirrel is a scatter-hoarder; it hoards food in numerous small caches for later recovery.[1] Some caches are quite temporary, especially those made near the site of a sudden abundance of food which can be retrieved within hours or days for reburial in a more secure site. Others are more permanent and are not retrieved until months later. Each squirrel is estimated to make several thousand caches each season. The squirrels have very accurate spatial memory for the locations of these caches, and use distant and nearby landmarks to retrieve them. Smell is used partly to uncover food caches, and also to find food in other squirrels' caches. Scent can be unreliable when the ground is too dry or covered in snow.[17]

Squirrels sometimes use deceptive behavior to prevent other animals from retrieving cached food. They will pretend to bury the object if they feel that they are being watched. They do this by preparing the spot as usual, for instance, digging a hole or widening a crack, miming the placement of the food, while actually concealing it in their mouths, and then covering up the "cache" as if they had deposited the object. They also hide behind vegetation while burying food or hide it high up in trees (if their rival is not arboreal). Such a complex repertoire suggests that the behaviors are not innate, and imply theory of mind thinking.[18][19]

The eastern gray squirrel is one of very few mammalian species that can descend a tree head-first. It does this by turning its feet so the claws of its hind paws are backward-pointing and can grip the tree bark.[20][21]

Eastern gray squirrels build a type of nest, known as a drey, in the forks of trees, consisting mainly of dry leaves and twigs. The dreys are roughly spherical, about 30~60 cm in diameter and are usually insulated with moss, thistledown, dried grass, and feathers to reduce heat loss.[15] Males and females may share the same nest for short times during the breeding season, and during cold winter spells. Squirrels may share a drey to stay warm. They may also nest in the attic or exterior walls of a house, where they may be regarded as pests, as well as fire hazards due to their habit of gnawing on electrical cables. In addition, squirrels may inhabit a permanent tree den hollowed out in the trunk or a large branch of a tree.[22]

Eastern gray squirrels are crepuscular,[14] or more active during the early and late hours of the day, and tend to avoid the heat in the middle of a summer day.[22] They do not hibernate.[23]

Predation

Predators include humans, hawks, weasels, raccoons, foxes, domestic and feral cats, snakes, owls, and dogs.[22] In its introduced range in South Africa, it has been preyed on by African harrier-hawks.[24]

Reproduction

Eastern gray squirrels are born hairless with their eyes closed

Eastern gray squirrels can breed twice a year, but younger and less experienced mothers normally have a single litter per year in the spring. Depending on forage availability, older and more experienced females may breed again in summer.[25] In a year of abundant food, 36% of females bear two litters, but none will do so in a year of poor food.[26] Their breeding seasons are December to February and May to June, though this is slightly delayed in more northern latitudes.[14][22] The first litter is born in February or March, the second in June or July, though, again, bearing may be advanced or delayed by a few weeks depending on climate, temperature, and forage availability. In any given breeding season, an average of 61 – 66% of females bear young.[26] If a female fails to conceive or loses her young to unusually cold weather or predation, she re-enters estrus and has a later litter.

Eastern gray squirrel drey

Normally, one to four young are born in each litter, but the largest possible litter size is eight.[26] The gestation period is about 44 days.[26] The young are weaned around 10 weeks, though some may wean up to six weeks later in the wild. They begin to leave the nest after 12 weeks, with autumn born young often wintering with their mother. Only one in four squirrel kits survives to one year of age, with mortality around 55% for the following year. Mortality rates then decrease to around 30% for following years until they increase sharply at eight years of age.[26]

Eastern gray females can rarely enter estrus as early as five and a half months old,[22] but females are not normally fertile before at least one year of age. Their mean age of first estrus is 1.25 years.[26] Male eastern grays are sexually mature between one and two years of age.[27] These squirrels can live to be 20 years old in captivity, but in the wild live much shorter lives due to predation and the challenges of their habitat. At birth, their life expectancy is 1–2 years, an adult typically can live to be six, with exceptional individuals making it to 12 years.

Communication

Calls recorded in Surrey, England

As in most other mammals, communication among eastern gray squirrel individuals involves both vocalizations and posturing. The species has a quite varied repertoire of vocalizations, including a squeak similar to that of a mouse, a low-pitched noise, a chatter, and a raspy "mehr mehr mehr". Other methods of communication include tail-flicking and other gestures, including facial expressions. Tail flicking and the "kuk" or "quaa" call are used to ward off and warn other squirrels about predators, as well as to announce when a predator is leaving the area.[28] Squirrels also make an affectionate coo-purring sound that biologists call the "muk-muk" sound. This is used as a contact sound between a mother and her kits and in adulthood, by the male when he courts the female during mating season.[28]

The use of vocal and visual communication has been shown to vary by location, based on elements such as noise pollution and the amount of open space. For instance, populations living in large cities generally rely more on the visual signals, due to the generally louder environment with more areas without much visual restriction. However, in heavily wooded areas, vocal signals are used more often due to the relatively lower noise levels and a dense canopy restricting visual range.[29]

Diet

Hazelnuts gnawed by gray squirrel; the curved cut marks left by the sharp incisors are visible around the holes

Eastern gray squirrels eat a range of foods, such as tree bark, tree buds, berries, many types of seeds and acorns, walnuts, and other nuts, and some types of fungi found in the forests, including fly agaric mushrooms (Amanita muscaria).[30] They can cause damage to trees by tearing the bark and eating the soft cambial tissue underneath. In Europe, sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) and beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) suffer the greatest damage.[31]

Eastern gray squirrels have a high enough tolerance for humans to inhabit residential neighborhoods and raid bird feeders for millet, corn, and sunflower seeds. Some people who feed and watch birds for entertainment also intentionally feed seeds and nuts to the squirrels for the same reason.[32] The squirrels also raid gardens for tomatoes, corn, strawberries, and other garden crops.[33] Sometimes they eat the tomato seeds and discard the rest. On very rare occasions, when their usual food sources are scarce, eastern gray squirrels also prey upon insects, frogs, small rodents including other squirrels, and small birds, their eggs, and young.[1][22] They also gnaw on bones, antlers, and turtle shells – likely as a source of minerals scarce in their normal diet.[30]

Habitat

In the wild, eastern gray squirrels can be found inhabiting large areas of mature, dense woodland ecosystems, generally covering 100 acres (40 hectares) of land.[22] These forests usually contain large amounts of dense understory vegetation that provides them sufficient amount of food sources and favorable shelters. Oak-hickory hardwood forests are preferred over coniferous forests.[14]

Eastern gray squirrels generally prefer constructing their dens upon large tree branches and within the hollow trunks of trees. They also have been known to take shelter within abandoned bird nests. The dens are usually lined with moss plants, thistledown, dried grass, and feathers. These perhaps provide and assist in the insulation of the den, used to reduce heat loss. A cover to the den is usually built afterwards.[citation needed]

Close to human settlements, eastern gray squirrels are found in parks and back yards of houses within urban environments and in the farmlands of rural environments.[34]

Introductions

The eastern gray squirrel is considered an invasive species in the UK (Bunhill Fields, London)

The eastern gray squirrel is an introduced species in a variety of locations in western North America: in western Canada, to the southwest corner of British Columbia and to the city of Calgary, Alberta;[10] in the United States, to the states of Washington and Oregon and, in California, to the city of San Francisco and the San Francisco Peninsula area in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, south of the city. It has become the most common squirrel in many urban and suburban habitats in western North America, from north of central California to southwest British Columbia. At the turn of the 20th century, the eastern gray squirrel was introduced into South Africa, Ireland, Hawaii, Bermuda, Madeira Island, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Italy and the United Kingdom.[35]

In South Africa, though exotic, it is not usually considered an invasive species owing to its small range (only found in the extreme southwestern part of the Western Cape, going north as far as the small farming town of Franschhoek), as well because it inhabits urban areas and places greatly affected by humans, such as agricultural areas and exotic pine plantations. Here, it mostly eats acorns and pine seeds, although it will take indigenous and commercial fruit, as well.[36] Even so, it is unable to use the natural vegetation (fynbos) found in the area, a factor which has helped to limit its spread.[37] It does not come into contact with native squirrels due to geographic isolation (a native tree squirrel, Paraxerus cepapi, is found only in the savanna regions in the northeast of the country)[38] and different habitats.

It spread rapidly across England and then became established in both Wales and parts of southern Scotland. On mainland Britain, it has almost entirely displaced the populations of native red squirrels. On the island of Ireland, this displacement has not been as rapid because only a single introduction was made, in County Longford. Schemes have been introduced to control the population in Ireland to encourage the native red squirrels. Eastern gray squirrels have also been introduced to Italy, and the European Union has expressed concern it will similarly displace the red squirrel from parts of the European continent.

Displacement of red squirrels

In Britain and Ireland, the eastern gray squirrel is not regulated by natural predators,[39] other than the European pine marten, which is generally absent from England and Wales.[40] This has aided its rapid population growth and has led to the species being classed as a pest. Measures are being devised to reduce its numbers, including one plan for celebrity television chefs to promote the idea of eating the squirrels.[41] In areas where relict populations of red squirrels survive, such as the islands of Anglesey and Brownsea, programs exist to eradicate gray squirrels in an effort to allow red squirrel populations to recover.[42]

Melanistic eastern gray squirrel carrying a peanut

Although complex and controversial, the main factor in the eastern gray squirrel's displacement of the red squirrel is thought to be its greater fitness, hence a competitive advantage over the red squirrel on all measures.[43] The eastern gray squirrel tends to be larger and stronger than the red squirrel and has been shown to have a greater ability to store fat for winter. The squirrel can, therefore, compete more effectively for a larger share of the available food, resulting in relatively lower survival and breeding rates among the red squirrel. Parapoxvirus may also be a strongly contributing factor; red squirrels have long been fatally affected by the disease, while the eastern gray squirrels are unaffected, but thought to be carriers – although how the virus is transmitted has yet to be determined. However, several cases of red squirrels surviving have been reported, as they have developed an immunity – although their population is still being massively affected. The red squirrel is also less tolerant of habitat destruction and fragmentation, which has led to its population decline, while the more adaptable eastern gray squirrel has taken advantage and expanded.

Similar factors appear to have been at play in the Pacific region of North America, where the native American red squirrel has been largely displaced by the eastern gray squirrel in parks and forests throughout much of the region.

Ironically, "fears" for the future of the eastern gray squirrel arose in 2008, as the melanistic form (black) began to spread through the southern British population.[44][45] In the UK, if a "grey squirrel" (eastern gray squirrel) is trapped, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is illegal to release it or to allow it to escape into the wild; instead, it should be humanely destroyed.[46]

As food

Gray squirrels were eaten in earlier times by Native Americans and their meat is still popular with hunters across most of their range in North America. Today, it is still available for human consumption and is occasionally sold in the United Kingdom.[47] However, physicians in the United States have warned that squirrel brains should not be eaten, because of the risk that they may carry Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.[48]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Linzey, A.V.; Koprowski, J. & NatureServe (2008). "Sciurus carolinensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  2. ^ Thorington, R.W. Jr.; Hoffmann, R.S. (2005). "Sciurus (Sciurus) carolinensis". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: a taxonomic and geographic reference (3rd ed.). The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 754–818. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4. OCLC 26158608. 
  3. ^ Goheen, J.R. & Swihart, R.K. (2003) Food-hoarding behavior of gray squirrels and North American red squirrels in the central hardwoods region: implications for forest regeneration. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 81: 1636-1639
  4. ^ Steele, M.A., Hadj-Chikh, L.Z. & Hazeltine, J. (1996) Caching and Feeding Decisions by Sciurus carolinensis: Responses to Weevil-Infested Acorns. Journal of Mammalogy 77: 305-314
  5. ^ Huynh H.; Williams G.; McAlpine D.; Thorington R. (2010). "Establishment of the Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Nova Scotia, Canada". Northeastern Naturalist. 17 (4): 673–677. doi:10.1656/045.017.0414. 
  6. ^ McGoldrick, M.; Rochford, J. (2009). "Recent range expansion by the Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin 1788". I. Nat. J. 30: 24–28. JSTOR 20764520. 
  7. ^ "Alien Species Alert" (PDF). Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Carey, M., Hamilton, G., Poole, A., and Lawton, C. (2007) The Irish Squirrel Survey 2007. COFORD, Dublin, ISBN 1902696603
  9. ^ "Summary (of Bertolino S., Lurz. P.W.W., Rushton S.P. 2006, DIVAPRA Entomology & Zoology)". Europeansquirrelinitiative.org. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Hamilton, H. (1990). Smith, D., ed. Eastern Grey Squirrel. Hinterland Who's Who. ISBN 0-660-13634-1. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2008. 
  11. ^ "New York's Wildlife Resources" (PDF). Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Nelson, Rob. "White and Albino Squirrel Research Initiative". UntamedScience.com. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  13. ^ BBC: Science and Nature, "Grey squirrel: Sciurus carolinensis"
  14. ^ a b c d "Red & Gray Squirrels in Massachusetts". MassWildlife. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "Basic information about squirrels". ICSRS. Interactive Centre for Scientific Research about Squirrels. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  16. ^ Murie, Olaus Johan and Elbroch, Mark (2005). Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, p. 79, ISBN 061851743X.
  17. ^ McCracken, Brian. "DO SQUIRRELS REALLY KNOW WHERE THEY BURY THEIR FOOD?". Animals – mom.me. 
  18. ^ Grant, Steve (21 October 2004). "The Squirrel's Bag Of Tricks: They Can't Get Out Of The Way Of Cars, But Other Behaviors Demonstrate Advanced Thinking (for A Rodent)", The Hartford Courant.
  19. ^ "Smart squirrels fool food thieves", BBC Home, 17 January 2008.
  20. ^ Alexander, R. McNeill (2003). Principles of animal locomotion. Princeton University Press. p. 162. ISBN 0691086788. 
  21. ^ Nations, Johnathan A.; Link, Olson. "Scansoriality in Mammals". Animal Diversity Web. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Lawniczak, M. (2002). "Sciurus carolinensis". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 10 July 2008. 
  23. ^ "The Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)" (PDF). Grey squirrel Advisory. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-02-07. Retrieved 10 July 2008. 
  24. ^ "Polyboroides typus (African harrier-hawk, Gymnogene)". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  25. ^ Curtis, Paul D. and Sullivan, Kristi L. (2001) Tree Squirrels, Wildlife Damage Management Fact Sheet Series, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, N.Y.
  26. ^ a b c d e f Koprowski, John L. (2 December 1994). "Sciurus carolinensis" (PDF). Mammalian Species. 480 (480): 1–9. JSTOR 3504224. doi:10.2307/3504224. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  27. ^ Webley, G. E.; Pope, G. S.; Johnson, E (1985). "Seasonal changes in the testes and accessory reproductive organs and seasonal and circadian changes in plasma testosterone concentrations in the male grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)". General and comparative endocrinology. 59 (1): 15–23. PMID 4018551. 
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  34. ^ "The Leading America Zoo Site on the Net". americazoo.com. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  35. ^ Long, J. L. (2003). Introduced Mammals of the World: Their History, Distribution and Influence. Csiro Publishing, Collingwood, Australia. ISBN 9780643099166
  36. ^ "The Grey Squirrel – Sciurus carolinensis of Southern Africa". Home.intekom.com. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
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  39. ^ The grey squirrel policy and action statement. forestry.gov.uk
  40. ^ Emma Sheehy; Colin Lawton (March 2014). "Population crash in an invasive species following the recovery of a native predator: the case of the American grey squirrel and the European pine marten in Ireland". Biodiversity and Conservation. 23 (3): 753–774. doi:10.1007/s10531-014-0632-7. 
  41. ^ "Jamie 'must back squirrel-eating'". BBC News. 23 March 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2007. 
  42. ^ "Red squirrel conservation, squirrel ecology and grey squirrel management". The Friends of the Anglesey Red Squirrels. Retrieved 22 August 2007. 
  43. ^ Wauters, L. A.; Gurnell, J.; Martinoli, A. & Tosi, G. (2002). "Interspecific competition between native Eurasian red squirrels and alien grey squirrels: does resource partitioning occur?". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 52 (4): 332–341. doi:10.1007/s00265-002-0516-9. 
  44. ^ "Black squirrels set to dominate". BBC News. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  45. ^ "The pack of mutant black squirrels that are giving Britain's grey population a taste of their own medicine". Daily Mail. London. 26 April 2008. 
  46. ^ "Defra Rural Development Service Technical Advice Note 09" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-01. 
  47. ^ "Wild meat: Squirrel nutcase". The Economist, Vol. 402 Number 8772 (3 March 2012).
  48. ^ Blakeslee, Sandra (1997-08-27). "Kentucky Doctors Warn Against a Regional Dish: Squirrels' Brains". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-15. 

Further reading

External links

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_gray_squirrel

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