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RUMBLE

The Redgum Yowie

Guardian of the Deserts and Plains. As the leader of the Yowie Pack, Rumble is an excitable, rough and tumble character. Cousin to the red kangaroo, Rumble is always ready to make a stand in defense of desert and plain. Inclined to be impatient, Rumble’s bark is far worse than its bite, and underneath there is a heart of gold.

SQUISH

The Fiddlewood Yowie

Guardian of the Waterways. Part playful platypus, Squish is as bubbly as a babbling brook, sparkling as a waterfall and contented as a slow flowing river. Protector of our waterways, Squish is always happy and energetic – the jester of the Yowie Pack and friend to all.

DITTY

The Lillipilli Yowie

Guardian of the Woodlands and Meadows. Ditty is the poet of the Yowie Pack. In love with its habitat and its wildfolk, Ditty spends time foraging with cousin wombat chasing butterflies and conducting cicada and cricket concerts. Always on the lookout for trouble in the woodlands and meadows, Ditty is a determined protector of its habitat.

BOOF

The Bottlebrush Yowie

Guardian of the Rainforest and Mountains. Ruler of its vast habitat of rainforests and mountains, Boof is delightfully unpredictable and the ever-funny clown of the Yowie Tribe. So brim full of joy, Boof is inclined to be a little clumsy as it trips among tree roots and toadstools with cousin bandicoot. But Boof is always around when needed to help friends and wildfolk.

CRAG

The Mangrove Yowie

Guardian of the Marshland, Swamps and Backwaters. With a touch of cousin crocodile, Crag is the meanest looking of all the Yowie. But behind that crocodilical smile, there beats a heart of gold. Vigilant keeper of marsh, swamp and backwater, Crag leaves nothing to chance when it comes to defending its habitat and all its wet and muddy creatures.

NAP

The Honeygum Yowie

Guardian of the Treetops. Nap is the wise old Yowie of the Pack. Most at home among the tree tops with the kookaburra, the owl, and kinfolk the koala family Nap’s wisdom and understanding are always available. A tendency to doze off at any time at all, caressed in dreams by breeze and gum blossom, doesn’t stop Nap from being an alert and able guardian of its lofty habitat.

African Grass Owl

(Tyto capensis)

Found: Eastern Africa, from Ethiopia to South Africa.
Eats: Mice, rats and other small animals.
Conservation: Under pressure in some areas from farming and urban development. Often hunts near roads, so many are killed at night by cars and trucks.
Species status: Not threatened.

A nocturnal hunter of open, grassy habitats, the African Grass Owl uses its superb eyesight and powerful hearing to zero in on its prey, even in total darkness. The front edges of its large wings are covered in soft, comb-like feathers, which enable air to pass over them with a minimum of noise. This makes the owl’s flight almost completely silent, allowing it to swoop down on prey without warning.

Alpaca

(Vicugna pacos)

Found: Andes Mountains of South America.
Eats: Grasses
Conservation: Widespread as a domestic animal
Species status: Not threatened.

Renowned for its luxuriously soft wool, the Alpaca exists today only as a domestic animal. It is descended from the closely related Vicuña, a wild mammal of the high Andes mountains. The people of the Andes domesticated these animals thousands of years ago, breeding them selectively for their fine fleece. The Alpaca is notorious for its habit of spitting when agitated. This usually happens during disputes between Alpacas, although humans can occasionally become targets.

American Bison

(Bison bison)

Found: The Great Plains of North America.
Eats: Grasses and other low plants.
Conservation: Protected in reserves and national parks, numbers are growing.
Species status: Near threatened.

Also known as buff alo, American Bison once roamed the grasslands of North America in their millions. Hunting in the 19th century almost drove the species to extinction. Bison are well adapted to the extreme climate of the Great Plains, growing a heavy winter coat, then shedding it as summer approaches. Powerful runners, they can reach speeds of 40mph (65km/h) when fleeing predators, especially Gray Wolves.

Brown Bear

(Ursus arctos)

Found: Parts of Europe and the Middle East, northern Asia, north-western North America.
Eats: Roots, berries, acorns, mushrooms, mammals, fish.
Conservation: In some areas under pressure from habitat loss and hunting.
Species status: Not threatened.

Brown Bears are highly adaptable animals capable of living in a wide variety of habitats. Although they have a ferocious reputation, they feed mainly on plants. They are especially fond of roots, digging them out of the earth with their powerful claws. Brown Bears also eat meat, which they obtain by either hunting or, more often, scavenging. They can also catch fish, scooping them out of the water or grabbing them with their teeth.

Caracal

(Caracal caracal)

Range: Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, northern India.
Eats: Small mammals, birds
Conservation: Under pressure in some areas from habitat loss and hunting.
Species status: Not threatened.

The Caracal is a medium-sized wild cat, recognizable by long tufts of hair on its ears. Well adapted to
dry conditions, it can go for long periods without drinking water, surviving on the fluids it digests from its prey. The Caracal is an acrobatic hunter, able to leap more than six and a half feet (2m) into the air to snatch birds in flight. As well as the usual feline noises such as purrs and growls, Caracals also communicate with barking sounds.

Clownfish

(Amphiprion ocellaris)

Found: Warm waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Eats: Small crustaceans, worms, plankton, algae.
Conservation: Targeted by poachers for the pet trade. Coral reef habitat vulnerable to pollution and climate change.
Species status: Near threatened.

While most small fish avoid sea anemones, the Clownfish is perfectly at home among their stinging tentacles. A coating of mucus protects the fish from the anemone’s venom. The Clownfish lays its eggs within the security of the anemone’s tentacles. In return for its safe home the little Clownfish aggressively fights off other fish, often much larger than itself, which might try to nip off the anemone’s soft tentacles.

Emperor Penguin

(Aptenodytes forsteri)

Found: Coastal Antarctica and nearby waters.
Eats: Fish, krill, squid.
Conservation: Faces potential threats from habitat disturbance and loss of prey due to overfishing.
Species status: Near threatened.

Up to four feet (120cm) tall and weighing up to 100lb (45kg), the Emperor Penguin is the largest
of all penguins. To survive in the frigid Antarctic habitat it has a thick layer of fat, and the densest coat of feathers of any bird. During winter male and female take turns to incubate a single egg. The other mate makes the long journey across the ice from the breeding colony to the open sea to hunt, returning to share its catch.

European Rabbit

(Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Found: Native to Spain, Portugal and northwest Africa. Introduced to many other countries.
Eats: Grass, roots, leaves.
Conservation: In its native range vulnerable to disease and overhunting.
Species status: Near threatened.

European Rabbits live in groups sharing networks of burrows called ‘warrens’. They can be highly aggressive, their muscular back legs making powerful weapons. Fights between males can be especially vicious, often leading to injury or death. Females are fiercely protective of their young, and will fight tenaciously to defend them. European Rabbits are constantly alert for danger, as they are important prey for many predators.

Fennec Fox

(Vulpes zerda)

Found: Sahara Desert of North Africa.
Eats: Small mammals, birds, insects.
Conservation: Hunted in some areas for its fur.
Species status: Not threatened.

Only about the size of a house cat, the Fennec Fox is the smallest member of the dog family. It is superbly adapted to the searing heat of its desert habitat. Its paws are covered in thick fur, protecting them from hot sand. The distinctive large ears help to keep the animal cool, acting as radiators for the blood. They also give the Fennec Fox excellent hearing, allowing it to detect prey hiding under the sand.

Galapagos Tortoise

(Chelonoidis nigra)

Found: Galapagos Islands (part of Ecuador, South America).
Eats: Grasses, fruit, berries, cacti.
Conservation: Threatened by habitat damage and predation of eggs and young by feral animals.
Species status: Vulnerable.

Galapagos Tortoises are the world’s largest species of tortoise, sometimes reaching six feet (1.83m) in length and weighing as much as 880lb (400kg). They are among the longest lived of all animals and have been known to live for over 170 years. Galapagos Tortoises are voracious feeders, eating up to 80lb (36kg) of vegetation each day when food is readily available. Yet they can survive for over a year without food or water, living on fat reserves.

 

Giant Anteater

(Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

Found: Central and South America, from Honduras to northern Argentina.
Eats: Ants, termites and their eggs and larvae.
Conservation: Threatened by hunting, wildfires and habitat loss for ranching.
Species status: Vulnerable.

The Giant Anteater is found in a range of habitats, from grassland to rainforest. It has poor eyesight, but an excellent sense of smell, which it uses to locate the nests of ants and termites. Once it finds a nest, the Giant Anteater uses its powerful claws to rip it open. It then probes inside the exposed nest with its snout, licking up the insects with a long, sticky tongue that can extend as far as two feet (60cm).

Giant Panda

(Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

Found: Mountain ranges in central China.
Eats: Bamboo shoots.
Conservation: Threatened by habitat loss and poaching for skins.
Species status: Endangered.

The Giant Panda is an endangered bear found in the misty hills and mountains of central China. Although classified as a carnivore, it feeds almost entirely on bamboo shoots, eating up to 30lb (14kg) each day. The Panda’s digestive system contains special microbes that enable it to extract energy and nutrients from the tough bamboo. Each front paw has a specially modified bone that acts as a thumb, allowing the Panda to grasp the bamboo as it eats.

Gray Wolf

(Canis lupus)

Found: Parts of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America.
Eats:
Mainly large mammals, also small mammals, birds, reptiles.
Conservation: In some areas under pressure from habitat loss and hunting.
Species status: Not threatened.

The Gray Wolf is a highly intelligent, social animal that lives in family groups called packs. Pack members communicate through complex facial expressions, as well as a variety of sounds including their well-known howling. Gray Wolves have great stamina and hunt large prey by tiring it out in long chases that can go for many miles. In spite of their bad reputation, attacks by Gray Wolves on humans are rare, as they usually avoid contact with people.

North American Beaver

(Castor canadensis)

Found: Rivers and streams in North America.
Eats: Leaves and inner bark of trees.
Conservation: Beaver dam building causes occasional conflict with humans, leading to beavers being removed or destroyed.
Species status: Not threatened.

The North American Beaver is famous for its dam building. The pond formed by the dam provides the animal with a safe place to build its home, or ‘lodge’. It also allows the beaver to swim to nearby trees, its main food source. Beaver dams create an important habitat for fish, waterfowl, otters and other animals. Once trapped in the millions for their fur, North American Beavers are now protected and their numbers are increasing.

Platypus

(Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Found: Streams and rivers of eastern Australia.
Eats: Crayfish, shrimp, worms, insect larvae.
Conservation: Locally vulnerable to habitat loss and pollution.
Species status: Not threatened.

With its duck-like bill and beaver-like tail, the Platypus is one of the strangest of all mammals. It is one of only three species of egg-laying mammals. The Platypus feeds entirely underwater, using its supersensitive bill to detect electrical signals given off by prey. It does not open its eyes underwater, relying entirely on its bill to navigate and hunt. The male has sharp, venomous spurs on its hind feet, making it one of the world’s few venomous mammals.

Polar Bear

(Ursus maritimus)

Found: Arctic regions.
Eats: Seals, walruses, small whales.
Conservation: Threatened by loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change.
Species status: Vulnerable.

The Polar Bear is a powerful predator of the icy Arctic. It feeds mainly on seals, which it usually hunts by lying in wait next to their breathing holes. When a seal surfaces for air, the bear seizes the prey with its sharp claws and crushing teeth. Polar Bears are excellent swimmers, and have been known to cross more than 200 miles (320km) of open sea. A thick layer of blubber protects them from the frigid water.

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat

(Lasiorhinus latifrons)

Found: Arid areas of southern Australia.
Eats: Grasses, leaves.
Conservation: In some areas under pressure from habitat loss and competition for food from livestock.
Species status: Not threatened.

The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is a large burrowing marsupial with powerful legs and strong claws for digging. Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats live in burrows joined together to form colonies, each of which can house up to ten animals. These colonies are like rabbit warrens, with multiple entrances and underground sleeping chambers. In the heat of summer the wombats stay in the cool of their burrows during the day, emerging to feed as the sun goes down.

Red Kangaroo

(Macropus rufus)

Found: Inland Australia.
Eats: Grasses, other low plants.
Conservation: Subject to commercial hunting and competition for food from livestock.
Species status: Not threatened.

The Red Kangaroo is the world’s largest marsupial. Males can stand nearly six feet (1.83m) in height.
Females are smaller, and often have bluish fur, giving them the nickname ‘blue flyers’. The young, known as ‘joeys’, stay in the mother’s pouch for about six months before venturing out. The Red Kangaroo is well adapted to its hot, dry habitat, usually resting in the shade during the heat of the day and feeding after sunset.