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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Polar Bear

The hearty polar bear is the largest land carnivore in the world. Because they live on the ice-caps and not typically on land masses, these bears are considered to be marine mammals. Thick layers of blubber and dense, waterproof coats help them survive the harsh Arctic winter. Their oar-like feet act as flippers in the water and snowshoes on land, and insulating, hairy soles allow the bears to walk atop snow and ice.

Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy Marmoset

The world’s smallest monkey is certainly not short on personality…or hair. The pygmy marmoset’s tiny, expressive face is set inside a halo of gold-tinged, salt-and-pepper fur. These agile primates are extremely curious and busy as they dart between tree branches.

Red Panda

Red pandas have gone by many names over the years, including firefox, red cat-bear, and bright panda. In fact, these bushy-tailed mammals are most closely related to raccoons and skunks. Red pandas live throughout the foothills of the Himalayas.

Red-ruffed Lemur

Lemurs are a type of primate—the order that includes monkeys, apes, and humans—found exclusively in Madagascar. One of the largest lemurs, red-ruffs have a dark face ringed by a halo of rust-colored fur, which hides their ears from view. These lemurs spend much of their time hanging upside-down, like fruit bats.