Mammals Encyclopedia

Wildebeest

Wildebeest — The wildebeest, is an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. It is a hooved (ungulate) mammal. Connochaetes includes two species, both native to Africa: the Black Wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu (C. gnou), and the Blue Wildebeest, or brindled gnu (C. taurinus). Gnus belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, and other even-toed horned ungulates. Wildebeest grow …

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Wildcat

Wildcat — The Wildcat (Felis silvestris), sometimes Wild Cat or Wild-cat, is a small felid native to Europe, the western part of Asia, and Africa. It is a hunter of small mammals, birds, and other creatures of a similar size. There are several subspecies distributed in different regions. Sometimes included is the ubiquitous domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus), which has …

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Whale

Whale — According to modern terminology, whales are the larger members of the order Cetacea. This order of aquatic mammals is divided into three suborders: the Mysticeti, the baleen whales; the Odontoceti, the toothed whales; and the Archaeoceti, an extinct group known only through fossils. The toothed whales (Odontoceti) also include the smaller DOLPHIN and PORPOISE. The large baleen whales …

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Weasel

Weasel — Weasels are mammals in the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. Originally, the name “weasel” was applied to one species of the genus, the European form of the Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis). Early literary references to weasels, for example their common appearances in fables, refer to this species rather than to the genus as a whole, reflecting what …

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Warthog

Warthog — The Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) (“African Lens-Pig”) is a wild member of the pig family that lives in Africa. The common name comes from the four large wart-like tusks found on the head of the warthog, which serve the purpose of defense when males fight. They are the only widely recognised species in their genus, though some authors divide …

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Walrus

Walrus — The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the Arctic Ocean and sub-Arctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species in the Odobenidae family and is further subdivided into two or three subspecies; the Atlantic walrus (O. rosmarus rosmarus), the Pacific walrus (O. rosmarus divergens) …

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Wallaby

Wallaby — A wallaby is any of about thirty species of macropod (Family Macropodidae). It is an informal designation generally used for any macropod that is smaller than a kangaroo or wallaroo that has not been given some other name. Very small forest-dwelling wallabies are known as pademelons (genus Thylogale) and dorcopsises (genera Dorcopsis and Dorcopsulus). The name wallaby comes …

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Tree Shrew

Tree Shrew — The treeshrews (or tree shrews) are small mammals native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. They make up the families Tupaiidae and Ptilocercidae and the entire order Scandentia. There are 20 species in 5 genera. Treeshrews have the highest brain to body mass ratio of any animal, even higher than humans. Although called treeshrews, they are …

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