Adélie penguins live on the Antarctic continent and on many small, surrounding coastal islands. They spend the winter offshore in the seas surrounding the Antarctic pack ice.
Like other penguins, Adélies are sleek and efficient swimmers. They may travel 185 miles round-trip (about 300 kilometers) to procure a meal.
During the spring breeding season (in October), they take tothe rocky Antarctic coastline where they live in large communities called colonies. These groups can include thousands of birds.
African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They are slightly larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa. (Asian elephants have smaller, rounded ears.)Elephant ears radiate heat to help keep these large animals cool, but sometimes the African heat is too much. Elephants are fond of water and enjoy showering by sucking water into their trunks and spraying it all over themselves. Afterwards, they often spray their skin with a protective coating of dust.
An elephant's trunk is actually a long nose used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking,and also for grabbing things—especially a potential meal. The trunk alone contains about 100,000 different muscles. African elephants have two fingerlike features on the end of their trunk that they can use to grab small items.
Lions are the only cats that live in groups, which are called prides. Prides are family units that may include up to three males, a dozen or so females,and their young. All of a pride's lionesses are related, and female cubs typically stay with the group as they age. Young males eventually leave and establish their own prides by taking over a group headed by another male.
Only male lions boast manes, the impressive fringe of long hair that encircles their heads. Males defend the pride's territory, which may include some 100 square miles (259square kilometers) of grasslands, scrub, or open woodlands. These intimidating animals mark the area with urine, roar menacingly to warn intruders, and chase off animals that encroach on their turf.
The bald eagle, with its snowy-feathered (not bald) head and white tail, is the proud national bird symbol of the United States—yet the bird was nearly wiped out there. For many decades,bald eagles were hunted for sport and for the "protection" of fishing grounds. Pesticides like DDT also wreaked havoc on eagles and other birds. These chemicals collect in fish, which make up most of the eagle's diet. They weaken the bird's eggshells and severely limited their ability to reproduce. Since DDT use was heavily restricted in 1972, eagle numbers have rebounded significantly and havebeen aided by reintroduction programs. The result is a wildlife success story—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has upgraded the birds from endangered to threatened.
Tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are renowned for their power and strength.
There were eight tiger subspecies at one time, but three became extinct during the 20th century. Over the last 100years, hunting and forest destruction have reduced tiger populations from hundreds of thousands of animals to perhaps fewer than 2,500.
Bengal tigers live in India and are sometimes called Indian tigers. They are the most common tiger and number about half of all wild tigers. Over many centuries they have become an important part of Indian tradition and lore.
Wolves are legendary becauseof their spine-tingling howl, which they use to communicate. A lone wolf howls to attract the attention of his pack, while communal howls may send territorial messages from one pack to another. Some howls are confrontational. Much like barking domestic dogs, wolves may simply begin howling because a nearby wolf has already begun.
Wolves are the largest members of the dog family.