[Simon Thurgood Images] [Simon Thurgood Images]

Gallery - Carnivores


Typically meat-eating mammals with claws, small incisors and large canines. A pair of carnassial teeth usually developed for cutting and shearing. Powerful jaw muscles with hinged jaw joint.

[polarbear1]Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

The polar bear is a hypercarnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear. A boar (adult male) weighs around 350700 kg, while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Polar bears are the largest land carnivores currently in existence, rivaled only by the Kodiak bear. Although it is the sister species of the brown bear,it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice and open water, and for hunting seals, which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time on the sea ice. Their scientific name means "maritime bear" and derives from this fact. Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present. Because of their dependence on the sea ice, polar bears are classified as marine mammals.

[More information about Red Fox][Video clip about Red Fox][redfox7]Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

The Red Fox has long had a reputation for cunning and slyness, and not without good reason. It is an amazingly adaptable Mammal and this combined with its high reproductive rate, means that it has managed to overcome many barriers and has successfully colonised an increasing number of new habitats. Foxs are now even found in inner cities and suburban areas in many parts of here range.This section has several pictures of foxes, many of them are cubs at play which I hope you enjoy

[foxsigns1]Fox signs

Here are some pictures to help ID Foxs.

[arcticfox3]Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus)

The Arctic fox, also known as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox, is a small fox native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. It is well adapted to living in cold environments, and is best known for its thick, warm fur that is also used as camouflage. On average, Arctic foxes only live 34 years in the wild. Its body length ranges from 46 to 68 cm (18 to 27 in), with a generally rounded body shape to minimize the escape of body heat.

[More information about Badger][Video clip about Badger][bdgr8]Badger (Meles meles)

Lives mainly in woods and copses in extensive burrow systems called sets, may also liv in fields and hedgerows. The badger feeds on a wide range of animals and plants including earthworms, small mammals, carrion,fruit, nuts and bulbs. lives in family groups and is nocturnal.

[badsigns1]Badger Signs

Here are some pictures to help identify Badgers

[More information about Otters][Video clip about Otters][ot7]Otters (Lutra lutra)

Otters are one of the most threatened European mammal species. otters are somewhat ungainly when moving on land but are superbly adapted to life in the water, being excellent swimmers and divers.for slow swimming they use their webbed feet, the toes of which can be spread very wide.When swimming fast they move by swaying their whole body and tail from side to side,trailing their front feet next to the body.both ears and nostrils close when diving.otter fur has an oily secrection covering it which makes it waterproof.The thick underfur retains a layer of air which simultaneously prevents water-logging and also keeps the body warm.

[ottersigns1]Otter signs

Here are some pictures to help identify Otters.

[americanmink1]American Mink (Mustela vison)

The mink we have in Britain are not native here. They are American mink, which originated from mink brought here for fur-farming.

In continental Europe, there is also a European mink (Mustela lutreola), a somewhat different species and now endangered. The European mink has apparently never existed in the British Isles.

A widespread modern misconception is that the UK's wild population of American mink originated from mass releases of mink from fur farms by animal rights activists in the 1990s. Many people will remember these dramatic events for the sheer numbers of mink involved. In fact, the wild population was established decades earlier from multiple escapes (and perhaps deliberate releases) all over the country.

[minksigns1]Mink Signs

Here are picture to help identify mink

[More information about Stoat][stoat4]Stoat (Mustela erminea)

Stoats mainly hunt small rodents up to the size of a Rat, although they will occasionaly kill mammals as large as Rabbits or evan Hares. On detecting their prey they creep as low as possible along the ground and then attack with a quick jump. They prey is then usually killed by a lethal bite to the back of the head or neck.

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