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In each limb there were two distal outer elements radius and ulna in the forelimb; tibia and fibula in the hind limb and a single proximal inner or upper element humerus ; femur. Meat Stock is your answer. Litter size, moreover, may average four or more, and breeding may occur throughout the year in favourable localities. By producing maps and putting pressure on the authorities, we strive to enforce EU legislation that bans trawling over reefs which causes their irreversible destruction. This can include anything from the exterior appearance of an organism for example those that are most easily camouflaged tend to fair better to the temperament of an organism for example, a lion would have more difficulty in hunting prey if it was irrational and clumsy in behaviour instead of being stealthy and systematic in it's actions. Bone Broth is a time honored traditional food that seems to have hit the mainstream recently.
Form and function
Primary producers are also known as autotrophs and are vital to the survival of the animals that follow in the next stages of the food chain. Primary Consumer The primary consumers are the next stage in the food chain behind the sun and the primary producers. The primary consumers are the herbivorous animals of the world and consume the primary producers autotrophs in order to gain their nutrition.
For example, an insect primary consumer will eat the seeds and sprouts that are provided by grass primary producer. Primary consumers are also known as heterotrophs. Secondary Consumer The secondary consumers link in with the food chain as they are the omnivorous animals that eat the primary consumers and the secondary consumers will occasionally eat the primary producers in order to supplement their diet.
For example, a rat secondary consumer will eat an insect primary consumer that has gained its nutrition from eating the grass primary producer. Secondary consumers are also known as heterotrophs.
Tertiary Consumer The secondary consumers are followed by the tertiary consumers, the tertiary consumers tend to be the smaller carnivores of the animal kingdom. The tertiary consumers only eat meat and therefore really on the consistency of the secondary consumer populations in order to continue to thrive as a species. For example, a snake tertiary consumer will eat a rat secondary consumer that has gained its nutrition from eating an insect primary consumer , and the insect has gained its nutrition from eating the grass primary producer.
Tertiary consumers are also known as heterotrophs. Quaternary Consumer The final part to the food chain are the quaternary consumers, and these are the animals that tend to be large carnivores and dominant predators within their natural environment.
Quaternary consumers generally have few, if any, natural predators at all and this tends to be where the food chain ends. For example, an eagle quaternary consumer will eat a snake tertiary consumer , that has eaten a rat secondary consumer , that has eaten an insect primary consumer , that has eaten the grass primary producer that has used the energy from the sun in order to make food. Food Web The interlinking of a collection of food chains from one habitat. Genus A level of classifying animals within a family.
Families are divided into sub-groups called genus which generally contain one or two animal species. Gestation Period The gestation period is the time from conception to birth in which a mammal embryo is developing. The gestation period is different for almost every species of animal, for example, the gestation period for a human embryo is roughly 9 months but the gestation period for a kangaroo embryo is only around 30 days. Gill An external organ used by aquatic animals such as fish, to extract oxygen out of the water.
Group Behaviour How an animal behaves when in a group. For example, Elephants live together in herds, whereas a Jaguar is a solitary animal which lives on its own. Habitat The term habitat is used to describe a specific area where a particular animal lives, within an environment. Many animals have adapted to requiring specific conditions which can only be found in their natural habitat such as those animals that live in the polar regions that have longer, thicker body fur to keep them warm.
Herbivore A herbivore is an animal that only eats plant material, algae and bacteria in order to gain its nutrition. Those animals that are herbivorous have adapted to digest plant material specifically, such as elephants, donkeys and rabbits. Hermaphrodite An animal that has both male and female reproductive organs so that it is able to self-fertilize.
Hibernation When an animal hibernates, it isn't as simple as the animal just sleeping for a long time. When an animal sleeps, the animals brain is still active so the animal is able to move around in their sleep and can also wake up quickly.
When an animal hibernates, the animals heart rate slows down, the animals body temperature drops as it is exposed to cold surroundings and the animals breathing slows down meaning that the animal takes longer than usual to wake up. The animal spends the months before it hibernates eating lots of food to make sure its body has enough energy to survive the winter. Some animals are in hibernation for the duration of the winter meaning they don't wake up at all, others wake up every few weeks to have a snack and walk about before going back into hibernation.
Home Range The area that an animal or group of animals lives in. Horn A hard, pointed growth on the head of some mammals. Incisor Tooth A flat tooth at the front of a mammal's jaw that is used for gnawing and slicing food. Incubation Period The incubation period is the time from when an animal egg is laid to when it hatches. The term incubation period is used to refer to all egg laying mammals like fish, birds and reptiles but also to the platypus and the echidna which are the only egg laying mammals on earth.
The incubation period varies between animal species from the incubation period of a penguin egg which is around 60 days to the incubation period of the an iguana egg which is between three and four months. Insect Insects are invertebrate arthropods, which means that the insects body is made up of sections of shell rather than bones.
There are more than 1 million described species of insect found worldwide, but estimates suggest there to be around 30 million different species of insect still left to identify.
Insects are found in every habitat around the world from the deserts, to the jungles and in the mountains. Some species of insect also live in or around water such as the mosquito and the dragonfly.
Insects generally have a lifespan that is less than a year, although some types of insects such as beetles, have been known to live for more than a few years. Internal Fertilisation Fertilisation that occurs inside the body of the female. Introduced Species A species that has been accidentally or purposefully been introduced, by humans, into an eco-system where it is not found naturally. Keel An enlargement of the breastbone in birds, that secures the muscles during flight.
Keratin A strong and resilient structural protein that is found in an animals hair, nails and horn. Kingdom A level of classifying all living things on earth, as similar species are broken into 5 groups including plants, animals and fungi.
Larva A young insect that is independent of an looks very different from the adult form. Insect larva become adults through a metamorphic process. Lifestyle Whether the animal is solitary or sociable [Top]. Litter Size The typical number of offspring an animal may give birth to at one time.
Location The place in the world where something is found. For example, Chameleons can be found in forests in Madagascar. Mammal Mammals are warm blooded vertebrates that have mammary glands, which means that the females are able to produce milk to feed their young. Mammals are also the only animal group that gives bird to live young, where the others all lay eggs. Mammals are generally land-dwelling animals but there are exceptions like the blue whale, which is the worlds largest mammal and grows to around 20 times the size of the biggest land mammal, the African elephant, average about 33 meters in length..
The smallest mammal in the world is the bumble bee bat which is only 3. There are approximately 5, different species of mammal found worldwide. Mandible The paired jaws of an arthropod such as ants, crabs and spiders.
Melon A large swelling of fatty-fluid that is found in the heads of many toothed whales, that is believed to improve sound focus used in echolocation. Metabolic Rate The rate of an animal's metabolism can be affected by many factors including size and energy.
Metabolism A mixture of chemical processes that occur within the body of an animal to either release energy breaking down food or to consume it muscle movement. Metacarpal The metacarpal is one of a set of bones that is found in either or the arm or the leg in all vertebrates with four limbs.
Metamorphosis The complete change in body shape when certain animals move from being young animals into adults. Metatarsal The metatarsal is one of a set of bones found in the back of the leg in all vertebrates with four limbs. Migration The migration of animals is generally connected with the seasons and involves with travelling between one place and another, often along a well-known route. Mimicry When one animal attempts to camouflage itself by resembling another animal or an object such as a leaf or a stick.
Molar Tooth A flattened or ridged tooth found at the back of the jaw in mammals, that is used for chewing. Mollusc Molluscs are a group of animals that are found in both marine and freshwater habitats. The octopus and the squid are both molluscs. Monogamous Mating with a single partner for life or throughout the breeding season. Moult The shedding of fur, feathers, scales and skin so that it can be renewed and replaced.
Name Of Young The name given to the offspring of an animal, for example a young Cat is called a Kitten. Natural Environment The term environment is used to describe everything in a certain area. This includes the terrain such as mountains and deserts, the natural elements that are found there like water and metal, the climate and all the living and non-living things in that area like animals, plants and objects.
Natural Selection The term natural selection refers to the the process where heritable traits that make it more likely for an organism to survive long enough to reproduce become more common over successive generations of a population. This can include anything from the exterior appearance of an organism for example those that are most easily camouflaged tend to fair better to the temperament of an organism for example, a lion would have more difficulty in hunting prey if it was irrational and clumsy in behaviour instead of being stealthy and systematic in it's actions.
Natural selection is a key mechanism of evolution. New World monkeys differ from other groupings of monkeys and primates, such as the Old World monkeys and the apes, mainly in the fact that New World monkeys tend to be small to medium in size.
The New World monkey group includes the world's smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset. New World moneys are different from the Old World monkeys in many ways, including the fact that the nose of New World monkeys is flat and has side facing nostrils, the lack of opposable thumbs and due to the fact that most New World monkeys are arboreal, they often have prehensile tails.
Nocturnal If an animal is nocturnal it means that the animal tends to sleep during the daylight hours and wakes up to hunt when night falls. Raccoons, koalas and hedgehogs are all considered to be nocturnal animals. Nymph A young insect that is similar in appearance to it's parents but it does not yet have functioning organs or is able to fly.
Offspring An offspring is an animal's child or children. For example, a Kitten is the offspring of a Cat. Old World Monkeys The Old World monkeys are native to Africa and Asia today, inhabiting a range of environments from tropical rain forest to savannah, scrubland, and mountainous terrain, and are also known from Europe in the fossil record. However, a possibly introduced free-roaming group of monkeys still survives in Gibraltar Europe to this day. Old World monkeys include many of the most familiar species of non-human primates such as baboons and macaques.
Old World monkeys tend to be medium to large in size and tend to have a predominantly herbivorous diet preferring to eat plant matter rather than other animals. Old World monkeys are known to have an opposable thumb and rarely have prehensile tails. Omnivore An omnivore is an animal that eats both plant material and other animals in order to get enough food.
Animals that are omnivores have complex digestive systems that are able to deal with both plant animal material equally well, like kangaroos, otters and humans. Opposable Digits that are able to be pressed together from opposite directions, like thumbs in humans and apes. Optimum pH Level The perfect acidity conditions for the animal.
Order A level used to classify animals. Classes are broken into sub-groups known as order, which are broken down further into families. Organ A structure found in an animal's body that is made up of tissues and does a specific task.
Organism In biological terms, an organism is used to describe a living thing whether animal, plant, fungi or micro-organisms. Some organisms are single-celled organisms meaning that they consist of one cell that has a central nerve in the middle, for example bacteria. Other organisms are multi-celled organisms meaning that they consist of many cells all working together, for example humans. Origin The area where the animal first came from [Top].
Other Name s Different names which an animal may be called. Paratoid Gland A gland found behind the eyes of some amphibians that secretes poison onto the surface of their skin. Partial Migrant An animal species where some individuals migrate but others don't.
Pectoral Fin One of the two pairs of fins that are found at the front of the body of a fish. Pelvic Fins The last pair of fins on the body of a fish, found on the underside, close to the tail.
Pheromone A chemical produced by an animal which has an effect on animals from the same species but also on other animal species too. Photosynthesis The chemical process which plants use to create energy.
Phylum A level of classifying animals within the animal kingdom. Phylum are further divided into subgroups called classes.
Placenta An organ that is produced by a developing animal that allows it to absorb nutrients from the mother's bloodstream when it is in the womb. Plankton Floating microscopic organisms that drift close to the surface of the sea in open water.
Plant Types The typical types of plants which are found in a particular location. Polygamous When male animals often made with several female animals throughout the breeding season. Predator When an animal is referred to as a predator, it means that the animal either hunts or catches other animals.
Predatory animals are generally dominant within their environment and will generally hunt animals smaller than themselves. Prehensile Prehensile is the term that is given the appendages of animals that have evolved to grasp or hold onto things. For example, some species of monkey and most species of lizard have prehensile tails which allows them to hold onto tree branches with their tails so that they can reach down to collect food.
Most species of primates have prehensile hands and cats are known to have prehensile claws. The tongues of many animals are prehensile, particularly that of the giraffe. Elephants and tapirs are known to have prehensile noses, and horses and rhinos have prehensile lips. Premolar Tooth A specialised tooth that is found about half-way along the jaw in mammals, that is often used for slicing through flesh.
Prey When an animal is referred to prey, it means that the animal is either hunted or caught for food. Animals that are referred to as prey are generally hunted by bigger animals, although there are a number of exceptions. Proboscis The nose of an animal, or parts of the mouth which are nose-like in shape. Pupa In stage in the development of insects when the body of the larva is broken down and turned into the body of an adult.
Reproduction Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. Reproduction is a fundamental feature of all known life as each individual organism exists as the result of reproduction. Reproduction requires a male and female counterpart in order to create new offspring. Reptile Reptiles are cold blooded vertebrates that have scales covering their skin rather than hair or feathers. Reptiles are found on every continent worldwide with the exception of the polar Antarctica.
There are more than 8, species of recorded reptile split into four main groups. The order Crocodilia contains 23 species that are crocodiles, gavials, caimans, and alligators; the order Sphenodontia are the tuatara from New Zealand, of which there are 2 different species; the order Squamata is lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenids or worm-lizards, of which there are approximately 7, species; the order Testudines covers turtles, tortoises, and terrapins with around species found worldwide.
Reptiles are also egg laying animal and are known to bask for long hours during the day in the hot sun to heat up the reptiles cold blood, so the reptile has enough energy to hunt at night. Respiratory System All animals have a respiratory system which allows the animal to take in oxygen from the environment breath in that the animals blood needs to stay healthy. The process of respiration produces carbon dioxide as a waste product, which is then eliminated from the animal breath out and back into the environment.
Ruminant A hoofed and herbivorous mammals that has a specialised digestive system with more than one stomach chamber. Scientific Name The scientific name is the name used by scientists to refer to a particular species of animal. Sedentary Having a lifestyle that involves little movement. Sessile A sessile animal attaches itself to another object and cannot move independently.
Sexual Dimorphism The physical differences between males and females. Silk A fibrous material that is produced by spiders and some insects. Skeletal System The animals skeletal system is made up of all the bones, joints and cartilage in the animals body. The animals skeletal system is not only essential for protecting supporting the animals body, but also helps to make new blood cells and stores vital minerals. Species A group of similar animals that are capable of interbreeding that results in the production of fertile offspring.
Subfamily A division of the family classification before the genus classification. Suspension Feeder An animal that feeds on the organic particles that are suspended in the water. Terrestrial An animals that spends it's whole life or the majority of it's life on the ground. Territory An area that is defended by an animal or a group of animals, against animals of the same species. Tibia The bone found in the shin of all vertebrates with four limbs.
Trachea A breathing tube found in vertebrates, which is known as the windpipe. Tubercle A hard swelling somewhere on the body of an animal. Tusk A modified tooth to protrudes out of the mouth of some mammals. Types Variations of a particular habitat. For example, there are two kinds of mountain, temperate and tropical. Underfur The dense layer of fur that is closet to the body of the animal to keep it warm. Uterus The part of the body in female mammals where the young are developed.
Vertebrate Vertebrates are animals with a spinal column back bone and include mammals, reptiles, birds and fish. Previously isolated otter populations are now breeding successfully on the Plym. The River Tamar is 50 miles long and is a natural boundary between Devon and Cornwall. Otters frequent the whole length of the river. The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon has a special room devoted to Tarka, which is well worth a visit. Otter numbers are increasing along this beautiful river.
Otter signs are infrequently found around the urban areas of Newton Abbot, where the river is joined by the rivers Lemon, Bovey, and Aller, emptying into the Teign Estuary. The Torridge catchment supports one of the best otter populations in England. Scientists who spend years studying the otter seldom see one in the wild. Otters are nocturnal, nomadic, semi-aquatic and secretive. Their finely tuned senses mean that they almost certainly will be aware of your presence before you see them, and they will be gone.
You may not be lucky enough to see a wild otter but the following accessible areas, where otters are known to visit, are good places to look for field signs of otter activity. Beam Weir is frequently visited by otters. Above the weir, a footpath and cycle trail crosses the River Torridge three times in less than half a mile, each bridge giving good views of typical otter habitat.
Buried in a steep-sided, wooded valley, the reserve overlooks the River Torridge. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest comprising 57 hectares of deciduous river valley woodland, riverside meadows, marsh and river. Otters are sometimes seen from a hide overlooking the river.
Totnes Weir on the River Dart separates the freshwater from the tidal stretch of the river that winds down to the sea at Dartmouth. The sandbank below the weir is a gathering place for gulls, geese and wildfowl. Alongside the weir is a salmon ladder, fished by heron, and the weir pool is visited by migrating sea trout.
Otters have been spotted along the banks of the river and spraints can often be found. Slapton Ley, which includes a large natural lake separated from the sea by a narrow shingle bar, is a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Otters are found here, and tend to stay at the back of the ley, away from human contact. The Field Studies Council Field Centre at Slapton village has maps and information about the area and a circular nature trail walk provides good wildlife viewing areas.
The River Axe traces the Somerset and Dorset borders in the east of the county. The reserve is important for shore birds so there is no access to sensitive open tidal areas. However with this protection from disturbance, resident otters have become used to being openly active during day time, first seen in The River Exe passes through a pinch point at Exe bridges, a canalised stretch under the central roundabout in the city with no vegetation cover.
Interestingly otter signs are sometimes found alongside the smaller brooks and leats that connect to the main river. There have been rare sitings of otters from the Mill on the Exe pub garden, near the Millennium bridge.
Signs can sometimes be found around Riverside Valley Park south of the city centre, and an otter has been spotted visiting the allotments by the river. An easy two-hour circular walk on good, flat paths, starts from the wharf at Exeter and crosses wetlands, canal and river bridges, leats and woodlands.
Grey mullet can be seen from Ducks Marsh Bridge and snipe, heron and dragonflies around wet grasslands near Double Locks. Otters are known to frequent this area and have been seen on rare occasions from the canal path. Because otters are largely nocturnal and elusive, direct observations are difficult and surveys are based principally on the observation and recording of spraints. Finding spraint is the most commonly used survey technique.
This can be used mainly to reveal presence, though not finding any spraint need not denote absence of otters. Tracks, when clear, can also provide definitive evidence of presence. Spraints vary in size from a tiny blob or smear of tar to a compact, tubular dropping up to 6 cm long. Fresh spraints have a characteristic sweet-musky smell, often said to be like jasmine tea.
This smell is the most reliable diagnostic feature for identifying otter droppings. As spraints age, they dry out, turn grey and crumbly, and gradually lose their scent, though old spraints can retain some of the distinctive smell for over a year.
Another deposit very occasionally found is anal jelly, a clear — translucent gel, which does not contain bone fragments, and which also bears the characteristic ottery smell. A very rare find would be milky spraint produced by cubs. Because spraints are a form of communication, they are left in prominent places where they can easily be found by other otters.
Look for spraints by rivers and streams on rocks and boulders, fallen tree trunks, logs, on concrete ledges under bridges, and on otter paths especially where the animal leaves and enters the water. Spraints are often left where a side tributary joins the main river. Where there are no such obvious locations, a trick might be to provide a strategically-positioned rock, brick or other suitable object for otters to use obtain landowner permission for this, as appropriate.
It is usually 5 to 7 cm wide. In soft ground, claw marks and webs may be seen and print impressions can be deeper and look larger; the tail may also leave a mark. Male, female and cub prints might be distinguished by comparative size: Sometimes not all five toes are visible and, depending on gait, prints can overlap, making tracks more difficult to separate from those of other mammals, particularly those of domestic dogs.
Mink tracks are considerably smaller at only 2 to 4 cm wide, and the toes are more pointed than those of the otter; mink, stoat, and otter cub tracks may be very difficult to tell apart. Badger tracks are similar in size to otter tracks, but all five toes point forwards and are in front of the heel pad.
Some feeding signs are said to be typical of otter predation e. The way otters handle frogs and toads is also said to be distinctive: Holts and couches comprise other field signs: With rapid evolution of camera technology, relatively inexpensive motion-activated filming apparatus is becoming another useful method to survey for otters, in certain places. For repeated surveys, such as regular monitoring of the same spraint sites, comparisons of activity over time are possible.
Some further inferences about population size from quantity and freshness of spraint might be made, but the accuracy of this method is not universally accepted. For monitoring otter presence, the standard survey protocols and a discussion of these are set out in Chanin, P. An Understanding of the Otter in Britain , offers the following advice for novice otter spotters. When asked about his best otter moment, James Williams, Chairman of the Somerset Otter Group, told this remarkable story:.
He was getting things out of the base of the reeds, pulling little fish out of the base of the roots as he came up, and as he passed me he kicked off against my leg. I think he thought I was a post or a rock or something, he carried on doing it. Each volunteer is allocated a stretch of river. He or she selects several sites within the allocated stretch where a passing otter would be likely to leave signs. The volunteer visits the river four times a year and records signs, spraints and tracks at each of the survey sites.
The survey records are sent to the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre for inclusion in their database of species records. Information obtained from the surveys is used by the Devon Wildlife Trust to help target conservation efforts. Somerset, Dorset, and Devon. Twice per year on the same weekends in April and October, members from all three county otter groups carry out spot check surveys of the same locations each year, covering the River Axe and tributaries such as the Coly, Yarty, and the Umborne.
This regular snapshot survey gives an idea of current otter activity and comparisons between years. Otters killed by vehicles have been collected by The Environment Agency and sent to Vic Simpson, and independent veterinarian working in Cornwall, for post mortem.
Many aspects of otter health were recorded. Findings are published in: The Environment Agency funds researchers to conduct post-mortem examinations of dead otters.
In addition, the location of mortality incidents has been used to put in place mitigation on roads to reduce the number of future casualties. Current and local status Devon has always been a stronghold for otters, but during the s and 60s populations crashed. LEGS Short legs with webbed feet. Each foot has five toes and blunted, curved claws.
Habitat Otters are solitary, territorial animals, nearly always found beside water. SX Common survey techniques Because otters are largely nocturnal and elusive, direct observations are difficult and surveys are based principally on the observation and recording of spraints.
A survey might involve: Checking m length of riverbank habitat for otter spraints and signs. For large scale surveys, m sections should be spaced at intervals of km and there should be survey sites covering the catchment. Likely sprainting sites, such as underneath bridges, within the m transect, can usefully be prioritised as the starting point. Record the number of spraints and categorise each according to age: Not fully dry, Dried intact, Dried fragmented Record any other otter signs e.
Look early in the morning rather than late at night. Give the otter some space. Try to get back a little, away from the river. So fishermen wading sometimes see them, surprisingly. Get downwind of the river. Expect to be disappointed. It could be five miles away. It will come back — within a fortnight. Leave your dog at home. Stay downwind from the river — if an otter catches wind of you it will go in the other direction.
Waterfalls are good places to look because oxygenated waters attract fish which, in turn, attract otters. Look for holts in upturned waterside trees. An otter may have up to five holts in a ten mile radius so keep walking and looking. Narrow tracks or chutes from the river to the bank are important escape routes for otters. You may see many such chutes along riverbanks frequented by otters. Otters appear in unexpected places. A close encounter When asked about his best otter moment, James Williams, Chairman of the Somerset Otter Group, told this remarkable story: This project aims to improve established techniques for using DNA extracted from spraint to census otter populations.
The technique will be used to count and determine the genetic diversity of otter populations using the River Camel catchment in Cornwall and the River Itchen catchment in Hampshire. This study uses otter specific microsatellite primers to analyse muscle samples and aims to examine sub-structuring within otter populations, determine source populations involved in the re-colonisation of England, and assess the contribution made by reintroduced animals to population recovery.
In searching for ectoparasites in otters, CUOP has identified several species of ticks. Future analysis should determine seasonal and spatial patterns of infestation. During examination of the digestive tract, endoparasites are removed for identification. In addition, animals are screened for Angiostrongylus vasorum canine heart worm , a parasite capable of causing severe respiratory and heart problems to dogs and occasionally members of the mustelid family.
A recent concern has been the finding of bile fluke infestation in otter populations Pseudamphistomum truncatum: In light of the recent finding of the bile fluke P. Research is being undertaken to genotype the fluke and assess routes of spread, and to develop a DNA screening method that can be applied to spraint.
Toxoplasma gondi is a common parasite which causes the infection known as Toxoplasmosis. Examination of otter skulls to reveal sexual dimorphism in size and shape.