Animal and Habitat Fact Sheets
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The fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah is a marvel of evolution. The cheetah’s slender, long-legged body is built for speed.
Closely linked by DNA, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are one of the four species of great apes that are the closest living relatives of humans – the other two being gorillas and orangutans. Great apes are different from monkeys for a variety of reasons: they are larger, walk upright for a longer period of time, don’t have tails and have much larger, more developed brains.
These leopards, named for their large, cloud-like spots, are one of the best climbers in the cat family.
Many fish species in the Colorado River Basin can be found nowhere else in the world – and 4 of them are endangered.
Coral reefs contain some of the largest diversity of life in the world. They are home to thousands of different plants and animals. For example, coral reefs in the Florida Keys sustain 500 species of fish, more than 1700 species of mollusks, five species of sea turtles, and hundreds of species of sponges.
American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) are well-armored with tough, scaly skin. They are gray-green or olive-green with long, slender snouts, which distinguish them from their cousin, the alligator. American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) are well-armored with tough, scaly skin.
Though they contain very harsh conditions, deserts are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.
The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a large herbivore and the official reptile in the states of California and Nevada. No other tortoise in North America shares the extreme conditions of habitats occupied by the desert tortoise.
These turtles are named for the diamond-shaped growth rings on their shells.
Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals and are part of the family of toothed whales that includes orcas and pilot whales. They are found worldwide, mostly in shallow seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating fish and squid.