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Animals in Indian Sub-Continent

Animals in Indian Sub-Continent
Birds in Indian Sub-Continent
Migratory Birds in India
Reptiles in Indian Sub-Continent
Snakes in Indian Sub-Continent
Vegetation in Indian Sub-Continent
   
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Indian subcontinent has a rich and varied biodiversity to boast of. Infact, the country is home to some of the most rare as well as magnificent wild animals. Most of the wild animals of India are being protected from poaching as well as habitat loss through the numerous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Indian culture preaches respect for each and every form of life, including wildlife. Still, greedy individuals as well as the ever-increasing population are putting pressure on the peaceful existence of Indian wild animals. In this section, we have provided information on the following wild animals living in India:

 

Indian Asiatic Lion
Asiatic Lions once used to roam around the area, stretching from northern Greece, across
Southwest Asia, to central India. However, today, the natural habitat of the majestic animal has been reduced to the Gir forests of India only, making the Asiatic Lion almost synonymous with the Indian Lion. Known scientifically as Panthera Leo persica, the royal animal is depicted on the National Emblem of India, since it represents power, strength and sovereignty. Gir National Park is the only remaining place in the world, where one is likely to see the Asiatic Lion.

indian asiatic lion

   

Bengal Tiger
Bengal tiger is a subspecies of tiger, which is found in the Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent. One of the most common tiger subspecies, it is also found in a number of other Asian countries, like Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tibet, etc. Usually Royal Bengal Tigers of India are reddish-brown to rust-brown in color with black stripes all over. However, a mutation may result in their color being white also. Such a tiger is known as the White tiger. Bengal tiger is the national animal of both the Indian subcontinent as well as Bangladesh. One can visit Bengal Tiger to any Tiger Reserve in India.

bengal tiger

   

Indian Clouded Leopard
The Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is a medium-sized cat found in Southeast Asia. It has a tan or tawny coat, and is distinctively marked with large, irregularly-shaped, dark-edged ellipses which are said to be shaped like clouds. This unique appearance gave the mammal both its common and scientific species name (Nebulosus is the Latin for “cloudy”). The Clouded Leopard was a confusion to scientists for a long time because of the appearance and skeleton. It was what seemed to be a cross in between a big cat and a small cat. The scientific name of the genus, Neofelis, originates from neo, which means “new”, and felis, which means “small cat”, so it literally means new kind of small cat.

indian clouded leopard
   

Indian Leopard
Indian leopard is one of the 8-9 valid leopard subspecies found throughout the world. Known by the scientific name of Panthera pardus, it is the fourth largest of the four 'big cats' of the Panthera genus. At the same time, leopards are also the fifth largest of all cat species. The name 'Leopard' has been derived from a combination of two Greek and Latin words leo and pard, 'leo' meaning lion and 'pard' meaning panther. This name was given to the animal since it was initially believed to be crossbreed of a lion and a panther.

indian leopard
   

Indian Snow Leopard
Snow leopard is a native animal of mountain ranges of central and southern Asia, including India. It is also known as Ounce and has a scientific name of "Panthera uncia". Snow leopards can live for a maximum of 18 years in then wild. In captivity, their lifespan increases to 20 years.

indian snow leopard
   

Indian Black Bear
Indian black bear is also known by the names of Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus), Tibetan black bear, Himalayan black bear and Moon bear. They grow to a length of approximately 4 to 6 feet, right from the nose to the tail. The small eyes of the bear, along with its rounded ears, a long snout, a large body, a short tail, and shaggy hair, differentiate it from the other types of bears. The small shoulder hump, a furry rear instep, a concave facial contour, small and curved claws and narrow ears further accentuate the difference. Last but not the least, Asiatic black bear also has a whitish V-shaped breast patch, not found in the other bear species of India.

The male black bear weighs between 220 and 480 pounds, while the females are110 to 275 pounds in weight. The senses of the Himalayan black bears of India are greatly developed and they boast of almost twice the hearing sensitivity possessed by humans. Black bears have colored vision and their eyesight is very sharp. Even their olfactory senses (ability to smell) are highly evolved. The mating season of the Himalayan black bears is usually from late May to early July. They give birth to two cubs at a time, which stay with the mother for almost seventeen months.

indian black bear
   

Indian Black Buck
Indian black buck is also known by a number of other names like Kala Hiran, Sasin, Iralai Maan and Krishna Jinka. The scientific name of the black buck antelope is Antilope cervicapra and it natural habitat is the Indian subcontinent. Grass forms the staple diet of the blackbucks. However, they do eat pods, flowers and fruits as supplements. The average lifespan of the Indian kala hiran is twelve years and at the maximum, they live for sixteen years. Black bucks are hunted by dogs and wolves.

indian black buck
   

Indian Deer
The name 'Deer' is given to the ruminant mammals belonging to the family Cervidae. They are one of the most beautiful creatures on this earth and extend to approximately 34 species. Male deer, in India as well as the world, are known as stags, harts, bucks or bulls, depending upon the species to which they belong. While, the females are known as hinds, does or cows. One can find deers widely distributed throughout the world, including the Indian subcontinent. The only continents where deer are not found are those of Antarctica and Australia.

The 34 species of deer can be divided broadly into two categories, known as the old world group and the new world group. The former comprises of the subfamilies Muntiacinae and Cervinae, while the latter includes the subfamilies Hydropotinae and Odocoileinae. Read on to get more information about the Indian deer.

indian deer
   

Indian Gazelle
Indian Gazelle, also known as Chinkara, is a species of gazelle found in South Asia. It belongs to the Bovidae family and is scientifically known as Gazella bennettii. The life expectancy of a Chinkara is between 12 to 15 years, less than that of many other deer species. Male gazelles are believed to be territorial in nature and are not prone to wandering for large distances. Gazelles come across as very nervous animals and always seem to be on alert. It is believed that the dwindling population of Chinkaras is leading to a decline in the population of Cheetah, their main predators, in India.

indian gazelle
   

Nilgai
Nilgai, also known as Blue Bull, is one of the most commonly found wild animals of northern India as well as eastern Pakistan. Even though it is an antelope, it looks quite similar in appearance to an ox. Therefore, it has been given the name of Blue bull of India. The average lifespan of the Neelgai is 21 years.

nilgai
   

Axis Deer
Axis Deer, also known as Chital Deer or Spotted Deer, is the native animal of the Indian subcontinent. It is found very commonly in India and is one of the most beautiful animals in the country. The spotted deer of India was introduced in the state of Texas in the 1930s. Since that time, axis deer of India has become the most widespread of the entire deer species.

axis deer
   

Brow-antlered Deer
Brow-antlered deer are known by the scientific name of Cervus eldii. They have a number of other names also, like Eld's Deer, Sangai Deer, Thamin Deer and even Dancing Deer. The maximum lifespan of the Thamin deer of India is only ten years and the deer has three subspecies also.

brow antlered deer
   

Hog Deer
Hog Deer is a subspecies of deer, found in the areas stretching from Pakistan, through northern India, to mainland Southeast Asia. A population of the hog deer was introduced in a number of countries, including Australia, the United States and Sri Lanka.

hog deer
   

Muntjac Deer
Muntjac Deer fall in the category of those deer that are shy and elusive. They are also known by the name of Kakad deer or the Barking deer in India. The reason for this name is their alarm call, which seems very much similar to the barking of a dog. Indian Muntjac deer counts amongst the ten subspecies of the Barking deer in the world.

muntjac deer
   

Musk Deer
Musk deer comprise of one of the most endangered deer species, not only in the Indian subcontinent, but also in the whole world. They are classified as a subfamily of the Cervidae and have four sub-species.

musk deer
   

Sambar Deer
Sambar Deer are dark brown in color and attain a height of 102 cm to 160 cm (40 to 63 inches). The weight of the sambar deer of India may touch 300 kg. There are chestnut marks on the rump as well as the underparts. Sambhur deer of India also have beautiful manes. However, they are not spotted by birth. The spots develop gradually after birth.

sambar deer
   

Swamp Deer
Swamp Deer, also known as Barasingha, is one of the most vulnerable species of deer of the Indian subcontinent as well as the world. Presently, one can find them only in the protected sanctuaries of India. Known by the scientific name of Cervus duvauceli, the swamp deep of India derives its name, Barasingha, from its large antlers.

swamp deer
   

Indian Camel
The camels found in India are the single-humped camels, also known as the Dromedary camels. Long-curved neck, deep-narrow chest and a single hump characterize the Indian camel. The hump is used by the camels as reservoir of fatty tissues. In times of scarcity, the tissues are metabolized and the camel receives energy. The size of the hump is not the same in all the camels. It differs from one camel to another, depending upon its nutritional state. In times of starvation, the hump can get reduced to almost a non-existent size.

Indian dromedary camels have a heavy growth of hair on throat, shoulder, and hump, which is longer than the rest of the body. On an average, the camels in India live for a period of 40 to 50 years. They are widely used by the people of Rajasthan as a means of transportation. Infact, the camels are known as the 'Ship of the Desert'. They are used for carrying goods as well as people. Indian camels also provide humans with milk, meat, wool, leather and fuel (from their dried dung).

indian camel
   

Indian Elephant
Indian elephant, known with the scientific name of 'Elephas maximus indicus', is a subspecies of the Asian Elephant. It is mainly found in the Indian subcontinent, that to in the scrub forested areas. The other counties where Asian elephants are found include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Borneo, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Sumatra, and Vietnam. Since Indian elephants are very huge and can trample all other creatures, they have no natural enemies. Even lions, hyenas, and tigers attack only the very young elephants and not adults.

indian elephant
   

Golden Langur
Golden Langur, or Gee's Golden Langur, is known by the scientific name of Trachypithecus geei. An Old World monkey, it was first noticed by the scientific community in the 1950s only. In the Indian subcontinent, Golden langurs are found mainly in the foothills of the Himalayas, along the Assam-Bhutan border. The langurs are considered to be sacred by the Himalayan people. The coat of Indian golden langurs is covered with rich golden to bright creamish hair. The face is black and they have a very long tail, which may measure upto 50 cm in length.

golden langur
   

Hanuman Langur
Hanuman Langur is believed to be one of the Old World monkeys, belonging to the Semnopithecus Genus. They comprise of 15 subspecies and are terrestrial in nature. Earlier hanuman langurs were believed to comprise of a single species. However, now they are recognized as seven distinct species. Hanuman langur is also known by the name of Gray Langur, Entellus Langur and Common Indian Langur.

hanuman langur
   

Lion Tailed Macaque
Lion-tailed Macaque is one of the subspecies of macaque, found only in the Western Ghats of South India. Known by the scientific name of Macaca silenus, it has life expectancy of 20 years in the wild and upto 30 years in captivity. Lion-tailed macaques spend most of their time on trees and are excellent swimmers.

lion tailed macaque
   

Long Tailed Macaque
Long-tailed macaque is also known by some other names, like the Crab-eating Macaque or the Cynomolgus Monkey. It is an arboreal macaque, belonging to the Macaca genus, and has the scientific name of Macaca fascicularis. A native of the Southeast Asia, the Crab-eating macaque of India has also been flown into outer space.

long tailed macaque
   

Stump Tailed Macaque
Indian Stump-tailed macaque, also known as Bear macaque, is known by the scientific name of Macaca arctoides. It can reach upto a length of 70 cm, at the maximum, excluding the tail that may grow upto 8 cm in length. Indian Stump-tailed macaques weigh 6 to 13 kg and may live as long as 30 years.

stump tailed macaque
   

Rhesus Macaque
A typical macaque, the Rhesus monkey of India is believed to be one of the best species of the Old World monkeys. It is an excellent swimmer and enjoys water. Rhesus macaques are quite comfortable around humans and have the tendency to move from rural to urban areas in search of easy food. The average lifespan of Rhesus macaques is approximately 15 years in the wild.

rhesus macaque
   

Bonnet Macaque
Bonnet Macaque, an Old World monkey, is also known by the scientific name of Macaca radiata. Found only in India, it has been named so because of its physical appearance. Indian Bonnet macaques have a cap-like whorl of hair on their head, which radiates outward from the center. Since the coil of hair resembles a hat, they have been named as Bonnet macaques.

bonnet macaque
   

Assam Macaque
Assam Macaque is a diurnal primate, which inhabits the regions stretching from Nepal to Vietnam and Southern China. It is yellowish to dark brown in color and has a hairless face. The color of the face is red in case of adults. Assam Macaques are also known by the name of Himalayan Macaque and Hill Monkeys in India.

assam macaque
   

Arunachal Macaque
Arunachal Macaque, scientifically known as Macaca munzala, is a native primate of Arunachal Pradesh state of northeastern India. It is called by the local population as Munzala, meaning monkey of the deep forest. Arunachal Macaques were discovered by the Indian scientists in the year 2004 only.

arunachal macaque
   

Indian Red Panda
Red panda is a beautiful animal, found in only some other countries of the world, including the Indian subcontinent. Scientifically known as Ailurus fulgens, it is slightly bigger than the domestic cat and founds a mention in the list of endangered species. Indian red panda bear is quite apt at climbing trees and is mainly herbivorous. It is also known as the Red fox or the Common panda and is native to the Himalayan ranges of India. A one of its kind animals, Red panda is believed to be a living fossil. The only other fossil close to the panda is that of Parailurus, which lived 3 to 4 million years ago. The lifespan of a Red Panda may range from nine years to fourteen years.

indian red panda
   

Indian Rhinoceros
Indian Rhinoceros holds the distinction of being the fourth largest animal, after the three elephant species. Known by the scientific name of Rhinoceros unicornis, the animal is found in only two places in the world, Assam (India) and Nepal. The Great Indian rhinoceros is a brilliant swimmer and has an acute sense of smell and hearing. Its maximum speed reaches 55 km/h, that to for a short period of time.

The only drawback of the Indian rhino, also known as the Great One-Horned Rhinoceros, is that its eyesight is quite poor. The sheer size of the rhinos has resulted in a few natural enemies. They may be attacked by tigers, but there are hardly any recorded incidents of a tiger killing a full-grown Indian rhino. However, they may kill unguarded calves at times.

indian rhinoceros
   

Indian Striped Hyena
Striped hyena belongs to the Hyaenidae family and is scientifically known as Hyaena hyaena. Strongly related to the Brown hyena, it is basically a solitary creature. The average lifespan of striped hyenas hovers somewhere around 10 to 12 years in the wild. When kept in captivity, they can live longer also.

indian striped hyena
   

Indian Wild Ass
Indian wild ass, also known as khur, is one of the subspecies of wild ass belonging to southern Asia. Its scientific name is Equus hemionus khur. Wild ass of India has an average age of 20-25 years.

indian wild ass
   

Indian Wild Boar
Wild boar is considered to be the wild antecedent of the domestic pig of the Indian subcontinent. It belongs to the Suidae biological family, which also includes the Warthog and Bushpig of Africa, the Pygmy Hog of northern India and the Babirusa of Indonesia. Indian wild boars are also quite closely related to peccary or javelina of North, Central and South America.

indian wild boar
   

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