ANIMALS OF NORTH AMERICA

While there are many species that live in North America, the Gray Wolf, River Otter, American Bison, and the North American Porcupine are the ones that call Fort Rickey home. Here are some facts about these animals:

AMERICAN BISON

The American bison, Bison bison, is a large hoofed mammal that inhabits the plains of the United States and Canada. Though sometimes called a buffalo, the American bison is not related to the water buffalo or the African buffalo, which are the only true buffaloes in the world. The American bison is more closely related to cows and goats.

But both the male and female bison have a sizeable head with small curved horns and a scraggly beard.

The American bison was once the symbol of the Great Plains. Vast herds roamed from Canada to Mexico providing food, clothing, and tools to the native people.

Mating season: June to September
Gestation: 9 1/2 months
Litter Size: 1 calf


BROWN BULLHEAD

The brown bullhead, Ameiurus nebulosus, is a fish of the Ictaluridae family that is widely distributed in North America. It is a species of bullhead catfish and is similar to the black bullhead (Ameiurus melas) and yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis). It was originally described as Pimelodus nebulosus by Charles Alexandre Lesueur in 1819, and is also referred to as Ictalurus nebulosus.

The brown bullhead is also widely known as the “mud pout,” “horned pout,” “hornpout,” or simply “mud cat,” along with the other bullhead species.

The brown bullhead is important as a clan symbol of the Ojibwe group of Native Americans. In their tradition, the bullhead or “wawaazisii” is one of six beings that came out of the sea to form the original clans


GRAY WOLF

Gray wolves, Canis lupus, range in color from grizzled gray or black to all-white. As the ancestor of the domestic dog, the gray wolf resembles German shepherds or malamutes. Though they once nearly disappeared from the lower 48 states, today wolves have returned to the Great Lakes, northern Rockies and Southwestern United States.

Wolves have a complex communication system ranging from barks and whines to growls and howls. While they don’t actually howl at the moon, they are more active at dawn and dusk, and they do howl more when it’s lighter at night, which occurs more often when the moon is full.

Mating Season: January or February.
Gestation: 63 days
Litter size: 4-7 pups


NORTH AMERICAN PORCUPINE

Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched.

North American Porcupines are good climbers and spend much of their time in trees, and is the largest of all porcupines. A single animal may have 30,000 or more quills. They use their large front teeth to satisfy a healthy appetite for wood. They eat natural bark and stems, and have been known to invade campgrounds and chew on canoe paddles. North American porcupines also eat fruit, leaves, and springtime buds.

Mating season: September to November
Gestation: 205-215 days
Litter Size: 1 pup



POND CARP

The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a widespread freshwater fish of eutrophic waters in lakes and large rivers in North America, Europe and Asia. The wild populations are considered vulnerable to extinction, but the species has also been domesticated and introduced into environments worldwide, and is often considered a very destructive invasive species, being included in the List of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. It gives its name to the carp family: Cyprinidae.

Pond Carp