Mammals

aardvark

Aardvark

With its anteater’s tongue, piggish snout, and bear-like claws, the aardvark draws many easy comparisons. Its name means “earth pig” in the Afrikaans language, and it has also been called the “ant bear.” However, the aardvark is neither anteater, nor pig, nor bear. It is the only species within its order, Tubulidentata.

African Wild Dog

African wild dogs are also known as "Cape hunting dogs" or “painted dogs” for their unique mottled coats. These highly social animals share some qualities with domestic dogs, wolves, and other canines, but are not closely related to our four-legged best friends. In fact, they are in a distinct genus from domestic dogs and wolves.

Elephants

Asian Elephant

As the largest land animal, elephants come in two types: African and Asian. Asian elephants have smaller ears and only one “finger” at the end of their trunks. The trunk is actually the elephant’s nose, which it uses like a hand and a straw, inserting food and squirting water into its mouth.

Bison

American Bison

The American bison, or buffalo, is a national icon and the largest land mammal in North America. Millions of bison once roamed great distances across the continent. But over-hunting reduced the population to fewer than 1,000 individuals by the end of the 19th century. Since the founding of the American Bison Society at the Bronx Zoo in 1905, the species has been the subject of a great—if still incomplete—conservation success story.

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California Sea Lion

California Sea Lion

The loudest voices in the ocean may be the gregarious sea lion. Though clumsy on land, this marine mammal is a strong swimmer and diver, aided by its oar-like flippers and torpedo-shaped body. Sea lions are considered “pinnipeds,” which means “fin-footed” and refers to their long, flat hands and feet.

Chinchilla

Chinchilla

The chinchilla is a South American rodent with very dense, soft fur. This covering helps it to survive in its cold, mountainous habitat. Though it looks a little like a rabbit, the two are unrelated. But chinchillas are also fast on their feet as they hop, skip, and jump over rocks.

Collared Lemur

Lemurs are a type of primate—the order that includes monkeys, apes, and humans—found exclusively in Madagascar. The collared lemur is a subspecies of brown lemur, and gets its name from its orangey beard. These lemurs are also well known for their strong scent, which they use as a communication calling card.

Sifaka

Coquerel’s Sifaka

The Coquerel’s sifaka (pronounced shee-FAHK) is an acrobatic, tree-dwelling lemur. Lemurs are a type of primate—the order that includes monkeys, apes, and humans—found exclusively in Madagascar. When on the ground, the sifaka bounds along on its long hind legs, with its arms extended for balance like a ballerina.