Tigers 5th Grade Language Arts

The tiger is the biggest of all living cats. Its fur is reddish-orange with black stripes that allow for excellent camouflage or the ability to blend in with the background. Each stripe pattern is one of a kind just like our human fingerprints. Male tigers have extra thick fur around their necks. This is called a collar or ruff. Males are usually bigger than females. Tigers are very strong.

Baby tigers are called cubs. They can have up to 7 babies at one time but usually have around 3 in a litter. After they grow up they move away from their family and live alone most of the time. This solitary lifestyle is true of most big cats.

Tigers are meat eaters. Meat eaters are also called carnivores. They hunt between sundown and sunup. Common prey (food) would include deer, pig, crocodiles, young elephants, rhinos, monkeys, birds, fish, leopards and bears. They also eat people. Tigers can eat 35 to 90 pounds in one sitting. Despite their size they are not always successful when they hunt. They will capture prey only 1 time out of 10-20 attempts.

Tigers are from the Continent of Asia where they live in Russia, China, Korea, and Indonesia. Their home or habitats include forests, swamps and jungles. In order to survive their habitats must have dense vegetative cover, large prey and access to water.

They are good swimmers who enjoy the water and swim as far as 20 miles at a time. Tigers will roam an area of 8 to 400 square miles depending on the type of tiger and its needs.

Due to captive breeding more tigers reside in captivity than in the wild. Three types of tigers (Javan, Bali and Caspian) are already extinct due to hunting, habitat loss, the fur trade, and the Asian medicine market. Five types of tigers remain in the wild but are considered to be “Endangered” and are at risk of becoming extinct. The lifespan of a tiger can be longer in captivity due to veterinary care, quality food and no predators to harm them. In the wild a tiger’s lifespan would be around 15 years while they can live nearly 26 years in captivity.

Many are surprised to hear that white tigers are not a separate species of tigers. They are bred in captivity for their color which due to a lack of camouflage would not serve them well in the wild. Due to the nature of their breeding they are often not healthy animals due to birth defects.

FIFTH GRADE:

1.What physical/behavioral characteristics improve the tiger’s chances of survival?

a. Size & strength
b. Camouflage
c. Extremely adept swimmers
d. Live in a wide variety of habitats
e. All of the above

 

 

2.What factors decrease the tiger’s chances of survival?

a. The fur trade
b. Asian medicine market uses tiger parts
c. Tigers have a high mortality rate during the first year of life
d. All of the above

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Ocelots 5th Grade Language Arts

Ocelots have white, tan or reddish gray fur with brown spots outlined in black. Their ears are black with a white or yellow spot. These spots are called flashes. Ocelots weigh between 17-24 pounds. Males are usually larger than females.

Ocelots have 1-2 babies in a litter. These cats have small litters, long gestations and a slow rate of growth. At about one year of age they move away from their family. They are solitary animals meaning they live alone most of their adult life. Female Ocelots have a range of up to 9 square miles which is not shared with other ocelots. Males have a range of up to 35 square miles.

Like other cats, ocelots are meat eaters. Meat eaters are also called carnivores. They are most active at night (nocturnal) which is when they usually hunt. Their diet consists mainly of mice, rats, opossums and armadillos. They also eat deer, squirrel monkeys, tortoises, fish, reptiles, birds and crabs.

Ocelots are from Southern Texas as well as Central and South America. These cats live in rainforest, semi-desert and coastal marsh areas. They can survive in many different areas but don’t live in open country.

In the past these cats were hunted for their beautiful coats. They were also sold as pets. At this time the biggest threat to ocelots is habitat destruction. In the wild they can live from 7-10 years of age. In captivity they have lived more than 20 years.

FIFTH GRADE:

1. What physical characteristics decrease the Ocelots chances of survival?

a. Their beautiful coat has been highly sought after by humans.

b. Their smaller size lead humans to believe they can be made into good pets.  After people realize they don’t make good pets Ocelots are often abandoned.

c. They have small litters, long gestations, slow growth rates and high infant mortality.

d. All of the above

 

2. Why don’t Ocelots make good house pets?

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Lions 5th Grade Language Arts

Adult lions are tan in color while cubs have black rosettes that disappear as they age. They are the only cats with furry tufts at the end of their tails. Lions are the only cats you can tell from a distance are male or female. Males have long fur around their head and neck which is called a mane. Males weigh 385-450 pounds and are usually larger than females who weigh 250-320 pounds.

Baby lions are called cubs. These cats have up to 6 babies in a litter. Mother lions will share the responsibility of rearing their cubs. Unlike other cats, Lions live in large social groups called “Prides”. They share territory and hunt together which helps with survival. Lions roar to locate other pride members and to signal strange male lions to stay away. The roar can be heard by other lions nearly 6 miles away.

Lions are meat eaters. Meat eaters are also called carnivores. Females also called lionesses do most of the hunting although males will hunt if the prey is large. Lions use their powerful jaws to kill prey by biting its neck. Their diet consists of antelope, zebras, wildebeests, buffalo, impalas, wild pigs and other hoofed animals. Some lions will travel to different areas following migratory prey. However, most stay in the same territory all year long.

Lions are from Africa. They live in woodlands and tall grassy areas. They can survive in many different areas but don’t live in deserts and rainforests. They are able to jump into trees but tend to be ground dwellers. Even though lions have been called “King of the Jungle” this is not accurate because they don’t live in the jungle. A more correct phrase would be “King of Beasts”.

Lions are shrinking in numbers for several reasons. Hunting and Habitat loss due to growing human populations are the main reasons for their decline. In captivity lions can live 25-30 years while in the wild their lifespan is 12 years for males and 15-16 for females.

FIFTH GRADE:

1. What physical characteristics improve the lion’s chances of survival?

a. Mane
b. Powerful jaws
c. Ability to roar which is heard over long distances
d. All of the above

 

2. What behavioral characteristics improve the lion’s chances of survival?

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Leopards 5th Grade Language Arts

Leopards can be orange with black spots or brownish black with black spots. The spots are on the cat’s skin and are unique for each animal just like our human fingerprints. This is the smallest of the great cats and resembles the Jaguar. Males range in size from 80-150 pounds and are usually larger than females which range from 62-100 pounds. Leopards have a heavy torso, thick neck, short powerful limbs and a long tail.

Baby leopards are called cubs. They usually have 1-3 babies in a litter. After they grow up, they move away from their family and live alone most of the time. In captivity leopards can live over 23 years while in the wild the average lifespan is 10-11 years.

Leopards are meat eaters. Meat eaters are also called carnivores. As with most cats they are opportunistic animals who have an extremely flexible diet. Their diet includes small creatures such as beetles, hares and birds. They also eat creatures twice their weight such as antelope, wildebeest and zebra. Leopards pull their prey into a tree where they can return nightly to feast.

These cats are from Africa and Asia. They can adapt to almost any habitat except for large deserts. In order to survive their habitat must provide food, shelter, water and sufficient space. Leopards are hunted by man for sport as well as their fur.

Leopards define their territory by scent marking, feces, and scratch marks. Communication is also through many different sounds. They grunt, growl, hiss and meow. One of the most unusual sounds is a distance call that sounds like sawing wood.

FIFTH GRADE:

1. What physical characteristics improve the Leopard’s chances of survival?

a. Powerful limbs
b. Spotted coloration
c. Claws + teeth
d. Long tail
e. All of the above

 

 

2. What behavioral characteristics improve the leopards’ chances of survival?

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Florida Panther 5th Grade Science

Florida Panthers are a type of Cougar that live in Florida. Adult Florida Panthers have brown fur and golden eyes. Males are usually bigger than females.

Baby Florida Panthers are called kittens. These cats have 1-3 babies in a litter. Kittens have spots on their fur and have blue eyes. After about 18 months of age the kittens leave their mother. They live alone for most of their lives. This is known as a solitary lifestyle.

Florida Panthers are meat eaters also called carnivores. Their diet includes deer, wild hogs, raccoons, armadillos and alligators. These cats are efficient hunters who can run up to 35 miles per hour briefly. These cats are crepuscular. This means they rest during the day and are most active at dusk and dawn. Panthers are good swimmers, have a keen sense of smell and excellent depth perception.

These cats are found in pinelands, hardwoods hammocks and swamp forests. Living in an area with a lot of plants helps to protect these cats. Plants make it easier to hide; there may be fewer people and more food/prey nearby. Males have a range/area of over 200 square miles. Females have a range/area of over 70-80 square miles. They make other animals aware of their territory by scent marking.

Fewer than 100 of these cats are believed to remain in Florida. They are one of the rarest mammals in the world. These cats have an unusual number of health problems. Humans are the biggest threat to the Florida Panther. Although it is against the law they are shot by hunters. They become accustomed to man-made noises and frequently cross roads. Since they are crepuscular animals, drivers have a hard time seeing them resulting in many being hit by cars. As with many animals a loss of habitat is also impacting their ability to survive.

Plans to try and save the Florida Panther focuses on 3 efforts. First is adding and improving habitat/space for this cat. Second is breeding panthers in captivity that will later be released into the wild. Third is breeding the Florida Panther with other types of cougars that live in other parts of the country. This last effort may also help to improve their health.

FIFTH GRADE:

1. What physical characteristics decrease the Florida Panthers chances of survival?

 

2. What behavioral characteristics decrease the Florida Panthers chances of survival?

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Bobcats 5th Grade Language Arts

Bobcats have fur that is gray or brown in color. The fur on their belly is white. They have spots and short tails. The short tail is how the bobcat got its name. These cats weigh between 13 and 30 pounds. Males are usually larger than females. As is true with many animals, Northern bobcats are usually larger than Southern bobcats.

Baby bobcats are called kittens. Litters can be as large as 8. However, they usually have 2 to 3 babies in a litter. Their eyes will open at around 6 days of age. After they grow up, they move away from their family and live alone most of the time. As with most cats they are solitary and territorial. Females have completely separate territories. Males may have some overlap to their territories.

Bobcats are meat eaters. Meat eaters are also called carnivores. Their main food is rabbit. Other food includes rodents, beaver, birds, bats and deer. These cats are scavengers who will eat almost anything and are natural born survivors.

These cats live in Canada and the United States. Bobcats live in Florida including Hillsborough County. Habitats include forests, swamps, desert and scrubland.

Bobcats are hunted for their soft, beautiful fur as well as for sport. They also compete with humans for habitat. People bring bobcats to Big Cat Rescue that have been hit by cars or orphaned. Attempts are made to rehabilitate and release those that are healthy enough to be returned to the wild.

FIFTH GRADE:

1.What physical characteristics decrease the Bobcats chances of survival?

 

2.What behavioral characteristic improves the Bobcats chances of survival?

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