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The animals portal

""Animal diversity October 2007 for thumbnail.jpg

"Animals are "multicellular, "eukaryotic "organisms of the "kingdom Animalia (also called Metazoa). Their "body plan eventually becomes fixed as they "develop, although some undergo a process of "metamorphosis later on in their "lives. Most animals are "motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently. Most all animals must ingest other organisms or their products for "sustenance, with the exception of those that form "symbiotic relationships with photosynthetic organisms.

Most known animal "phyla appeared in the fossil record as marine species during the "Cambrian explosion, about 542 million years ago. Animals are divided into various sub-groups, some of which are: "vertebrates ("birds, "mammals, "amphibians, "reptiles, "fish); "mollusks ("clams, "oysters, "octopuses, "squid, "snails); "arthropods ("millipedes, "centipedes, "insects, "spiders, "scorpions, "crabs, "lobsters, "shrimp); "annelids ("earthworms, "leeches); "sponges; and "jellyfish.

Selected article

""Meerkats in Namibia

"Meerkat Manor is a British television programme produced by "Oxford Scientific Films for "Animal Planet International that ran for four series between September 2005 and August 2008. Blending more traditional animal "documentary style footage with dramatic narration, the series told the story of the Whiskers, one of more than a dozen families of "meerkats in the "Kalahari Desert being studied as part of the "Kalahari Meerkat Project, a long-term "field study into the ecological causes and evolutionary consequences of the cooperative nature of meerkats. With the success of the programme in the UK, Animal Planet started broadcasting it on its national channels in Australia, Canada, and the US. It has since been rebroadcast in more than 160 other countries. Although the show faced criticism from viewers for not intervening when a meerkat was injured and faced death, as a whole Meerkat Manor enjoyed considerable success, and its experimental format broke new ground in animal documentary filming techniques. It was nominated for two "Primetime Emmy Awards in 2007, and was a winner at the 2006 Omni Awards and at the 2006 and 2007 New York Festivals Award Galas.

Selected picture

""Phidippus audax portrait
Credit: Opoterser

A portrait of a male "Phidippus audax, also known as the daring or bold jumping spider. Here its iridescent "chelicerae ("mouthparts) are visible, as are its large forward-facing "eyes, which give it good "stereoscopic vision.

Selected quote of the month

When the fox dies, fowls do not mourn.

—Anonymous

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Selected animal

""Photograph of the Javan rhinoceros in the London Zoo, 1884
The "Javan rhinoceros is a member of the family "Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant "rhinoceroses. Its horn is usually less than 25 cm (10 inches), smaller than those of the other rhino species. Once the most widespread of Asian rhinoceroses, the Javan rhinoceros ranged from the islands of "Java and "Sumatra, throughout Southeast Asia, and into India and China. The species is "critically endangered, with only one known population in the wild, and no individuals in captivity. It is possibly the rarest large mammal on earth, with a population of as few as 40 in "Ujung Kulon National Park on "Java in "Indonesia. The decline of the Javan rhinoceros is attributed to poaching, primarily for their horns, which are highly valued in "traditional Chinese medicine. The Javan rhino can live approximately 30–45 years in the wild. It historically inhabited lowland "rain forest, wet grasslands and large floodplains. The Javan rhino is mostly solitary, except for courtship and offspring-rearing, though groups may occasionally congregate near wallows and salt licks. Aside from humans, adults have no "predators in their range. Scientists and conservationists rarely study the animals directly due to their extreme rarity and the danger of interfering with such an endangered species. Researchers rely on "camera traps and fecal samples to gauge health and behavior. Consequently, the Javan rhino is the least studied of all rhino species.

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"Bottlenose dolphins breaching


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