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Serval
The serval (Leptailurus serval) /ˈsɜːrvəl/ is a wild cat native to Africa. It is rare in North Africa
North Africa
and the Sahel, but widespread in sub-Saharan countries except rainforest regions. On the IUCN
IUCN
Red List it is listed as Least Concern.[1] It is the sole member of the genus Leptailurus and was first described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber
Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber
in 1776. Eighteen subspecies are recognised. The serval is a slender, medium-sized cat that stands 54–62 cm (21–24 in) at the shoulder and weighs 9–18 kg (20–40 lb). It is characterised by a small head, large ears, a golden-yellow to buff coat spotted and striped with black, and a short, black-tipped tail. The serval has the longest legs of any cat relative to its body size. Active in the day as well as at night, servals tend to be solitary with minimal social interaction
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Johann Andreas Wagner
Johann Andreas Wagner
Johann Andreas Wagner
(21 March 1797 – 17 December 1861) was a German palaeontologist, zoologist and archaeologist who wrote several important works on palaeontology. Wagner was a professor at the University of Munich, and curator of the Zoologische Staatssammlung (State Zoology Collection)
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Scientific Name
Binomial nomenclature
Binomial nomenclature
("two-term naming system") also called binominal nomenclature ("two-name naming system") or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin
Latin
grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name (which may be shortened to just "binomial"), a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; more informally it is also called a Latin
Latin
name. The first part of the name identifies the genus to which the species belongs; the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong to the genus Homo
Homo
and within this genus to the species Homo
Homo
sapiens
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Saliva
Saliva
Saliva
is a watery substance formed in the mouths of animals, secreted by the salivary glands. Human saliva comprises 98% water, plus electrolytes, mucus, white blood cells, epithelial cells (from which DNA
DNA
can be extracted), glycoproteins, enzymes (such as amylase and lipase), antimicrobial agents such as secretory IgA
IgA
and lysozyme.[1] The enzymes found in saliva are essential in beginning the process of digestion of dietary starches and fats. These enzymes also play a role in breaking down food particles entrapped within dental crevices, thus protecting teeth from bacterial decay.[2] Furthermore, saliva serves a lubricative function, wetting food and permitting the initiation of swallowing, and protecting the mucosal surfaces of the oral cavity from desiccation.[3] Various animal species have special uses for saliva that go beyond predigestion
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Carnivore
A carnivore /ˈkɑːrnɪvɔːr/, meaning "meat eater" (Latin, caro, genitive carnis, meaning "meat" or "flesh" and vorare meaning "to devour"), is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal tissue, whether through predation or scavenging.[1][2] Animals that depend solely on animal flesh for their nutrient requirements are called obligate carnivores while those that also consume non-animal food are called facultative carnivores.[2] Omnivores also consume both animal and non-animal food, and, apart from the more general definition, there is no clearly defined ratio of plant to animal material that would distinguish a facultative carnivore from an omnivore.[3] A carnivore that sits at the top of the food chain is termed an apex predator. The word "carnivore" is only refers to the mammalian order Carnivora, but this is somewhat misleading
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Otomys
26, see textSynonymsAnchotomys Thomas, 1918[1] Euryotis Brants, 1827 Lamotomys Thomas, 1918 Oreinomys Trouessart, 1880 Oreomys Heuglin, 1877 Palaeotomys Broom, 1937 Prototomys Broom, 1948African vlei rats (Otomys), also known as groove-toothed rats, live in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Most species live in marshlands, grasslands, and similar habitats[2] and feed on the vegetation of such areas, occasionally supplementing it with roots and seeds. The name "vlei" refers to the South African term for intermittent, seasonal, or perennial bodies of standing water. Otomys
Otomys
are compact rodents with a tendency to shorter faces and legs than other types of rats. The tails also are shorter than most Muridae, typically between one third and two thirds of the body length.[3] The coat colour varies according to species,[2] but generally they have the typical agouti brown-to-grey coats typical of mice and other small wild rodents
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Bird
Birds (Aves) are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich. They rank as the world’s most numerically-successful class of tetrapods, with approximately ten thousand living species, more than half of these being passerines, sometimes known as perching birds. Birds have wings which are more or less developed depending on the species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which evolved from forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in flightless birds, including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species of birds
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Frog
Archaeobatrachia Mesobatrachia Neobatrachia  – List of Anuran familiesNative distribution of frogs (in green)A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura (Ancient Greek ἀν-, without + οὐρά, tail). The oldest fossil "proto-frog" appeared in the early Triassic
Triassic
of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago. Frogs are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to subarctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforests. There are approximately 4,800 recorded species, accounting for over 85% of extant amphibian species. They are also one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders. The body plan of an adult frog is generally characterized by a stout body, protruding eyes, cleft tongue, limbs folded underneath, and the absence of a tail
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Insect
See text.SynonymsEctognatha EntomidaInsects or Insecta (from Latin
Latin
insectum) are by far the largest group of hexapod invertebrates within the arthropod phylum. Definitions and circumscriptions vary; usually, insects comprise a class within the Phylum
Phylum
Arthropoda. As used here, the term is synonymous with Ectognatha. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae
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Reptile
See text for extinct groups.Global reptile distribution (excluding birds)Reptiles are tetrapod animals in the class Reptilia, comprising today's turtles, crocodilians, snakes, amphisbaenians, lizards, tuatara, and their extinct relatives. The study of these traditional reptile orders, historically combined with that of modern amphibians, is called herpetology. Because some reptiles are more closely related to birds than they are to other reptiles (e.g., crocodiles are more closely related to birds than they are to lizards), the traditional groups of "reptiles" listed above do not together constitute a monophyletic grouping or clade (consisting of all descendants of a common ancestor)
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Wetland
A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem.[2] The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants,[3][4] adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Wetlands occur naturally on every continent except Antarctica,[5] the largest includes the Amazon River
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Savanna
A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses.[1][2][3] Savannas maintain an open canopy despite a high tree density.[4] It is often believed that savannas feature widely spaced, scattered trees. However, in many savannas, tree densities are higher and trees are more regularly spaced than in forests.[5][6][7][8] The South American savanna types cerrado sensu stricto and cerrado dense typically have densities of trees similar to or higher than that found in South American tropical forests,[5][7][8] with savanna ranging from 800–3300 trees per hectare (trees/ha) and adjacent forests with 800–2000 trees/ha
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Genus (biology)
A genus (/ˈdʒiːnəs/, pl. genera /ˈdʒɛnərə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.E.g. Felis catus
Felis catus
and Felis silvestris
Felis silvestris
are two species within the genus Felis. Felis
Felis
is a genus within the family Felidae.The composition of a genus is determined by a taxonomist. The standards for genus classification are not strictly codified, so different authorities often produce different classifications for genera
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Home Range
A home range is the area in which an animal lives and moves on a periodic basis. It is related to the concept of an animal's territory which is the area that is actively defended. The concept of a home range was introduced by W. H. Burt in 1943. He drew maps showing where the animal had been observed at different times. An associated concept is the utilization distribution which examines where the animal is likely to be at any given time. Data for mapping a home range used to be gathered by careful observation, but nowadays, the animal is fitted with a transmission collar or similar GPS
GPS
device. The simplest way of measuring the home range is to construct the smallest possible convex polygon around the data but this tends to overestimate the range. The best known methods for constructing utilization distributions are the so-called bivariate Gaussian or normal distribution kernel density methods
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Scientific Description
A species description is a formal description of a newly discovered species, usually in the form of a scientific paper. Its purpose is to give a clear description of a new species of organism and explain how it differs from species which have been described previously or are related. The species description often contains photographs or other illustrations of the type material and states in which museums it has been deposited. The publication in which the species is described gives the new species a formal scientific name. Today, some 1.9 million species have been described and named, out of some 8.7 million that may actually exist on Earth.[1] Millions more have become extinct. It is customary for scientists to introduce all relevant new findings and research in a scientific manuscript, which is sent to other scientists for peer review
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John Edward Gray
John Edward Gray, FRS (12 February 1800 – 7 March 1875) was a British zoologist. He was the elder brother of zoologist George Robert Gray and son of the pharmacologist and botanist Samuel Frederick Gray (1766–1828). Gray was Keeper of Zoology
Zoology
at the British Museum
British Museum
in London from 1840 until Christmas 1874, before the Natural History
Natural History
holdings were split off to the Natural History
Natural History
Museum. He published several catalogues of the museum collections that included comprehensive discussions of animal groups as well as descriptions of new species
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