A-Z of animals : Manatee to Otter
Manatee or Sea Cow: any of three of the four living species of the order Sirenia (the other species is the Dugong). A manatee grows up to 4m (13 ft) long and weighs up to 590 kg (1,300 lb).
West Indian Manatee, the subspecies being the Antillian Manatee (Caribbean Manatee) and the Florida Manatee.
The Margay is similar in appearance to the Ocelot but smaller, growing to 69 cm (27in). Its range extends from Mexico to Argentina. Totally at home in tree tops, its specially adapted claws and ankle joints can move through 180 degrees, enabling it to move with almost monkey like ease.
Marmot: Marmots are large squirrels in the genus Marmota, of which there are 15 species. Some species live in mountainous areas while other species prefer rough grassland. A marmot is about the size of a prairie dog.
Marten: Slender, agile, short legs, rounded ears, bushy tails. Martens constitute several weasel-like carnivores of the genus Martes (family Mustelidae): American marten, Yellow-throated marten, Beech marten, Nilgiri marten, Pine marten, Japanese marten, Fisher and Sable.
Massasauga: small North American rattle snake.
Meerkat: Found in the Kalahari desert in Southern Africa, male and female meerkats are hard to identify from each other mainly because they are both the same size, at 50 cm (20 in) with the tail itself at 20 cm (8 in) long. They eat insects, small mammals, scorpions, lizards, and snakes. Meerkats are immune to scorpion venom. The meerkats’ society is formed into groups, called “colonies” or “mobs”, with up to 40 inhabitants each. They have a lifespan of about 10 years.
Moose: the largest member of the deer family Cervidae. Found mostly in Alaska, Canada, New England, Russia and Scandinavia. In Europe it is called an Elk.
Mountain Beaver: a North American rodent not related to the Beaver. Due to the presence of a host of primitive characteristics it is considered a living fossil.
Alabama Beach Mouse
Arizona Pocket Mouse
Bailey’s Pocket Mouse
California Pocket Mouse
Desert Pocket Mouse
Eastern Harvest Mouse
Fulvous Harvest Mouse
Great Basin Pocket Mouse
Little Pocket Mouse
Marsh Rice Mouse
Meadow Jumping Mouse
Mearns’ Grasshopper Mouse
Northern Grasshopper Mouse
Pacific Jumping Mouse
Pacific Pocket Mouse
Pale Kangaroo Mouse
Perdido Key Beach Mouse
Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse
Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
San Diego Pocket Mouse
Silky Pocket Mouse
Southern Grasshopper Mouse
Spiny Pocket Mouse
Western Harvest Mouse
Western Jumping Mouse
Woodland Jumping Mouse
Muskox or Musk Ox, an Arctic mammal of the family Bovidae (hooved animals). The biggest bulls stand about 135 cm (53 in) at the shoulder and weigh about 340 kg (750 lb); cows weigh about 250 kg (550 lb).
Mule: Hybrid offspring of a male ass and a female horse. (The offspring of a female ass and male horse is called a hinny and is smaller than a mule.)
Muskrat, a large amphibious rodent, weighing up to 1.8 kg (4 lb).
Myotis (mouse-eared bats):
Eastern Small-footed Myotis
Nutria, or Coypu or River Rat: a large, herbivorous, semiaquatic rodent.
Nyala or inyala: slender antelope of southeastern Africa, member of the spiral-horned antelope tribe Tragelaphini (which includes the kudu and eland). The nyala stands up to 130 cm (51 inches) and weighs up to 300 kg (660 pounds). It is considered the most sexually dimorphic antelope, meaning the males look almost completely different than the females.
Ocelot: swims well and although not as adept in climbing as the Margay, will hunt for birds and also sleep in the lower tree branches in its forest habitat of Central America and the northern countries of South America. Ocelots weigh up to 14 kg and have a lifespan of 8-11 years.
Octopus, an eight-armed cephalopod (octopod) mollusk. The smallest is about 5 cm (2in) long while the largest species grow to 5.4m (18 feet) with an armspan of almost 9m (30 ft).
The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball but its poison is powerful enough to kill an adult human in minutes. The last thing the victim sees are the blue rings – visible only when it is about to attack. It is brown or yellow in its natural state, found in the shallow pools around the Australian coast.
Okapi: has striped markings reminiscent of a zebra but is most closely related to the giraffe with which it is placed in the family Giraffidae (order Artiodactyla). often called the “forest giraffe.” About 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long, 1.5m (5 ft) tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 300 kg (660 lb). Found only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.
Opossum, the largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, including 103 or more species in 19 genera. Male opossums are called jacks, females are called jills and the young are called joeys. A group of opossums is called a passel.
Human as they seem, Orangutans are wild animals perfectly suited to their forest environment in Sumatra and Borneo. They are the largest animals to dwell in trees. Weighing in at a hefty 90 kg (200 lb), an adult male orangutan is four times stronger than a man. Orangutans have been observed making simple tools to scratch themselves, to probe into narrow openings for hidden food and to gain leverage.
Oribi: a graceful, small antelope found in the grassland savannahs south of the Sahara, Africa. An oribi stands 51-76 cm (20-30 inches) high and weighs 12-22 kg (26-49 lb). There are several subspecies.
Otter: semiaquatic mammals of the subfamily Lutrinae of the family Mustelidae (which includes badgers, ferrets, martens, minks, weasels and wolverines). Otters are playful animals and appear to engage in various behaviors for sheer enjoyment. There are 13 species of otter:
African clawless otter or Cape clawless otter.
Congo clawless otter
European otter or Common otter.
Giant otter, also known as the River wolf, the largest otter; up to 1,8 m (6 ft) long and weighs up to 32 kg (70 lb).
Neotropical river otter
North American river otter
Oriental small-clawed otter
Southern river otter