Tuesday, August 30, 2016

July 27 -- zoo -- small mammals


I knew there were young fennec foxes at the zoo.

We saw one larger individual, and then two smaller ones.  I suspect these are the babies.  Or "kids" -- they are hardly babies now.

They were not happy.  They were very nervous.  I took over 35 pics of them, most of which look like this.

And then when one stood still for more than half a second, the images had many distracting reflections.

This is the same as above, cropped and with distractions removed.  This is the look of a dog who is *not* feeling safe and happy.....

I wonder if they had just been moved to a new habitat.  Or something.  Poor little guys.  They seemed very anxious.  We did see them both at once, but they were never both still at the same time.  Darting skittishly from one place to another.....

Moving along.  Here is something else I had my eye out for.  The prehensile-tailed porcupines have a baby, born on July 18.  This is one of the adults. The top of its head is in the upper right corner of the next image.

I wonder if all the long wispy stuff we can see in the bottom right corner is whiskers, or something else mixed in with the quills?

Here is a much better picture than any of mine.  Though it doesn't show the cuteness............
Prehensile-tailed porcupine

(This picture was taken by Wikinoobie1, who graciously allows others to share it via Creative Commons.)

In addition to two sleepy adults in the national zoo's prehensile-tailed porcupine enclosure, there was one other creature, also asleep.  A red-brown fuzzy creature (in contrast to the two black-and-white spiky ones).

I knew they had a baby, and I knew that baby was less than two weeks old.  This critter's body was at least 8-9" long.  Far too big to be the new baby of someone well under 2' long, right?  That's certainly what I thought.

Luckily there was a helpful volunteer standing by the enclosure, to tell us the brown one really was the 9-day-old porcupette (yes, that's what they are really called).

Here's a an article with a pic of the new porcupette, awake, and in someone's hand for scale.

Panda babies, like the babies of other bears, are very tiny in comparison to the size of the mother.  I believe Bei Bei weighed weighed well under 200 grams when he was born.   This porcupette weighed in at 378 grams (13.3 ounces).  !!!  That's a lot of baby.  At least it's long and slender.  And squishy, unlike a kiwi egg.  Easier, one hopes, to put out into the world.

You never know what you're going to learn, or see, at a zoo.  It's sort of like shopping at a thrift store.  You may have an idea what you are looking for (you know there are pandas at the national zoo, so you go to their space to see what you may see), but you can't count on the critters being visible, let alone awake and *doing stuff*.  What happens on any given day is largely due to luck.

And paying attention.  :-)

I certainly never expected to learn that a newborn porcupette is much larger than a newborn panda!

Greater Malayan Chevrotains are the smallest hoofstock in the world, according to the zoo's website.  (Wiktionary:  hoofstock -- ruminants and members of the horse family)

It's a tusk, not a fang, according to the zoo's website.  At the top of those long skinny legs, this guy was on the order of a foot tall.  Maybe a little more.

From the link above:  "Greater Malayan Chevrotains have not evolved much over the past 30 million years and are believed to be the link between non-ruminating ungulates like pigs, and ruminating artiodactyls, like deer."  News to me!

I believe these are red ruffed lemurs.  They have babies, too, but I didn't see any babies.

There was lots of enrichment available, on the 27th.  See the paper bag, tied to the rope?  I believe this one intends to get into that bag.

Or not -- the bag is still up there, and the lemur above is one of these three.  I believe the one at right is looking at that bag.

Agouti.  I'm not sure I'd ever seen one of these before.  Though this bears some resemblance to the chevrotain, it's a cousin to a guinea pig (rather than an ancient link between pigs and deer).  I wonder if they fill similar niches in their environments -- about the same size, both with tall skinny legs.....

This is one of a very few small mammals that were awake and yet still when we visited.

"Agouti" is the name we give to hairs that have bands of different colors.  The agouti above certainly looks to me like it has agouti hair........

These dwarf mongooses also seem to have agouti hair.  And enrichment!  I suspect the newspaper inside the toy is crinkled around mealworms.  Or something of the sort.  So the critters have to work to get the food out, rather than just snatching it off the sand.....

These guys are not very big.  Maybe a foot, from nose tip to rump?  And they move quickly.  I took lots of blurry pics of them.

Banded mongoose.  Also very quick and active.  I believe there are two of them in the bag.  When we walked up to the window, there was clearly some sort of animal in the bag (it was squirming).  A mongoose came and investigated the bag, and joined whoever was in there.  I believe this is a third one, checking out the haps.........

I actually managed to think to capture the info on this one.  This is a southern tamandua.  It is a lot like an anteater.

Sometimes it's hard to figure out which bits are which, on an unfamiliar critter.  I think I've got this right, but wouldn't swear to it.  It's nose and mouth are the dark shiny bits pretty much below the "ye" in "eye."

Here's another active and quick little one -- meerkat.

This one was posing for pics.  This is a Prevost's squirrel.  I have seen them somewhere else.  Denver, I think.....  They look and act like our squirrels, in my limited experience, but are more strikingly marked.

Can't hardly argue with this.............. 

(I have no idea what this is.  Invertebrate, land animal (rather than sea creature), I think.)


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