TIGER, NO LAUGHING JOKE

      How is a tiger's face like your thumb?

      ANSWER: The stripes on the tiger's face are like your  thumbprint.  No
two people have exactly the same thumbprint. And no two tigers have  exactly
the same stripe pattern.

      It takes a lot of muscle to move a 400-pound body (180 kilograms). And
a tiger's body is packed with muscle. So it can leap  10  yards  (9  meters)
over level ground, or jump 15 feet (4.5 meters) in the air. Yet it can  move
so gracefully that it doesn't make a sound.

      Tigers are big-game hunters. They hunt water buffalo, wild pigs, deer,
and  other  large  animals.  Water  buffalo  weigh  more  than  a  ton  (900
kilograms). It would take 13 men to move such an enormous weight.

      Tigers are also big eaters. In a single year, one tiger must eat about
70 deer or other large animals. That is one reason why  tigers  hunt  alone.
If they lived in big groups, they could never find enough prey to feed  them

      Many people think that a big, dangerous tiger could  easily  kill  all
the prey it wants. But that's not true. In fact, the life of this  big  game
hunter isn't easy. Most of the animals it  tries  to  attack  get  away.  It
sometimes goes weeks without eating. And then it may hunt animals  that  can
be dangerous, even for a tiger.

      To get enough food, tigers have to hunt day and night. They often hunt
at night, because that's when deer and  antelope  are  most  active.  Tigers
also hunt at night because they are safe from humans then.

      When it hunts, a tiger usually sneaks close  to  its  prey  by  hiding
behind trees, bushes and rocks.

      Tigers cannot run fast for long distances. So they must get  close  to
their prey before attacking. On their huge,  padded  feet,  they  can  creep
silently to within 20 feet  (6  meters)  of  another  animal  without  being
heard. Its rear legs press beneath it, like a pair of  giant  springs  about
to be released.

      Then, in a series of explosive leaps, it attacks from behind.

      Next, the tiger grabs its prey with its claws  and  pulls  it  to  the
ground. It bites the animal on the throat or on the back of the neck
The tiger has had a long history; the  name  tiger  itself  comes  from  the
Roman word "Tigris", named after the mighty Mesopotamian Tigris  River.  The
tiger's closest living relative is the lion, and believe  it  or  not,  they
can even be interbred. The male tiger can reach sizes of up to 8-10 feet  in
length, with three feet for the tail, the  male  Siberian  tiger  can  reach
lengths of up to 13 feet with weights up to 750 pounds. Tigers can be  found
in a fairly diverse area, from north China and Siberia, to  the  jungles  of
Indonesia, even as far west as Iran and the Caucasus Mountains.

The tiger is a solitary animal, hunting mainly at night. The tiger's  vision
and sense of smell are relatively poor; the tiger will rely strongly on  its
sense of hearing, moving silently through the brush waiting  to  ambush  its
prey. The tiger's main diet consists  of  deer,  antelope,  wild  pigs,  and
cattle. The man-eaters are all too often the sick and injured, too  weak  to
hunt and capture wild animals. The tiger would much rather flee rather  than
stick around and put up a fight.
      Tigers are excellent swimmers and will often rest in  pools  of  water
just to escape the heat, or, will swim from island to island such as in  the
Sumatran islands. Tigers are poor tree climbers,  often  only  doing  so  in
emergencies  or  when  they  are  young,  (and  on  occasion,  just  out  of
curiosity). The Bengal, or, Indian Tiger is the
                               SIBERIAN TIGER

      The largest of all living tigers lives in the coldest climate; but has
thick fur to keep it warm.  Its pale color makes it difficult to spot in
the bleak, snowy landscape of Siberia and also makes it easier to get close
to its prey.  There are no more than 200 Siberian tigers living in the

                                INDIAN TIGER

      The Indian tiger is the most common tiger in the world today.  In all,
there are about 2,500 left, and most of them live in India.

      Hunting tigers used to be a sport for the rich people of India.  But
it wasn't really a sport, because the tigers had little chance of escape.
The hunters rode on elephants, while their servants drove the tigers toward
their guns.  Over the years, thousands and thousands of tigers were killed
this way.

                               SUMATRAN TIGER

      Their stripes hide them as they stalk prey in the jungle.  How?  Their
stripes look like the shadows of tall blades of grass, or like shadows and
light playing across trees.

      For a fierce hunter, you'd think that food would be plentiful.  Not
true as most attacks fail.  There may be weeks without eating.

      Some Sumatran villagers believe that the tiger holds magical powers
and that it's very bad luck to kill them.
                                  SUMATRAN TIGER

Tigers are among the most admired and most feared animals in the world.
When we think of tigers, we think of danger. We think of powerful beasts
hiding in the dark jungle. We think of the strong jaws, big teeth, massive
feet, and long, sharp claws of the tiger.

But we also think of beauty. We picture a tiger running swiftly through a
jungle, or plowing through snowdrifts. Its muscles ripple. Its brilliantly
striped orange and black coat gleams like satin. Its steely eyes glare into
the distance as it looks for prey.

This animal is a hunter. In fact, tigers are probably better than any other
land animal at capturing large prey single-handedly. Even so, the life of a
tiger is not easy. Finding food can be difficult, especially for a tiger
that is old or weak.
When they are desperate, some of them may even attack humans. But tigers
also get blamed unfairly for many deaths. Very few people are really killed
by tigers each year. Most tigers run away when they see people. And with
good reason.

What tigers have done to people is nothing compared to what people have
done to tigers. Over the last 200 years, we have almost eliminated them in
the wild. Today, they are one of the most endangered animals on earth.

If humans do not disturb it, a tiger may live 20 years or more. Females
usually live longer than males, because the males live more dangerously.
They often fight among each other. Sometimes one of them is killed this
way, or wounded so badly that it cannot hunt.

      It isn't easy for people to tell a male tiger from a female, unless
the female happens to be with her cubs, because only females take care of
the young. Otherwise, the most obvious difference between males and females
is size. Male tigers are much bigger. An adult male Bengal or Indian tiger
usually weighs about 420 pounds (190 kilograms), and from head to rear, it
is roughly seven feet long (2 meters). Females are about a foot shorter (30
centimeters), and they weigh about one hundred pounds less (45 kilograms).
Sumatran tigers are generally smaller than Indian or Bengal tigers. The
biggest tiger ever measured was a male Siberian Tiger. It was over 9 feet
long (2.6 meters) and weighed more than 700 pounds (320 kilograms).

      Tigers once roamed over most of Asia. Some trekked over the frozen
north, others climbed the jagged mountains of Central Asia, and many crept
through the steamy jungles of the south. The tigers that lived in these
different places gradually developed into a number of different types, or

      Although tigers have been able to live in different climates and
landscapes, they have not been able to live alongside people. In fact,
people have killed so many tigers that two races may already by extinct.

      The Bengal tiger is the most common tiger in the world today. In all,
there are about 2,500 Bengal tigers, and most of them live in India. The
Caspian tiger is one that you will only see in pictures. This beautiful cat
is now extinct. The Chinese tiger used to live in most parts of China.
Today, there are fewer than a hundred Chinese tigers in the whole country.

      The Siberian tiger is the largest of all living tigers. It also lives
in the coldest climate, but it has very thick fur to keep it warm. And its
pale color makes it hard to see in the bleak, snowy landscape of Siberia.
This makes it easier to get close to its prey. There are no more than 200
Siberian tigers living in the wild.

      Sumatran and Javan tigers live on land south of the Asian continent.
Their islands are covered by heavy, tropical jungles. To help them run and
hide in the jungle, these tigers are smaller than other tigers. Today,
there are fewer than 30 Sumatran and Javan tigers left in the wild.

      The body of a tiger is like a deadly weapon. It has the quickness and
strength to take down animals twice its size. It has long, razor-sharp
claws for grabbing its prey. And it has enormous teeth, which can easily
kill large animals.

      But a tiger is also very quiet. It can sneak up on its prey without
being seen or heard. And its stripes help it do this, because they make it
easier for the tiger to hide. You will also discover another reason why a
tiger's stripes are interesting. You can learn to tell one tiger from
another by its stripes.

      Like other cats, tigers usually keel their claws hidden beneath the
fur. This way the claws do not wear down too quickly. And they won't make
noise when the tiger steps on rocks or hard ground. When it wants to use
its claws for grabbing or scratching, the tiger will extend them.

      Tigers have longer canine teeth than any other predator. One of these
teeth is at least 10 times longer than the biggest tooth in your mouth.
Using its big canine teeth and its broad, powerful paws, a tiger can kill
its prey with one quick bite.

                                  CUB LIFE

      Tigers and other predators play an important role in nature. By
killing deer and other prey, they keep the numbers of these animals under
control. And because of this, the animals that survive are healthier.

      If there were no tigers in the wild, the number of prey animals would
grow too fast. At first, they would eat so much that they would destroy
many plants. And then many of these animals would go hungry.

      A big, hungry tiger can eat about 100 pounds of meat (45 kilograms) at
one sitting. This is about one fifth of its total weight. That would be
like a 10-year-old human eating 40 hamburgers in one meal. Of course, a
tiger has to eat this much because it often goes several days without
eating anything.

      On occasion, a tiger will attack a baby rhino. This can be dangerous
though, because the mother rhino is probably close by. And even a tiger
does not want to make a four-thousand-pound rhino (1,800 kilograms) angry!

      If a tiger is hungry enough, it may even attack a bear. But that may
be a big mistake.

      Baby tigers look like cute kittens. At birth, they are about 12 inches
long (30 centimeters), and they weigh less than two pounds (one kilogram).
But in a year's time, these "kittens" will be big enough to hunt deer and

      A mother tiger usually gives birth to two, three, or four cubs at a
time. This is necessary so that at least one of her cubs will survive. Many
predators attack tiger cubs. To help keep them safe, the mother stays with
her cubs for three or four years. During this time, the young tigers have a
lot to learn from her if they are to hunt and survive on their own.
      Animals, unlike man, must either capture prey, or, evade predators. In
order for these animals, such as the tiger, to get close enough to its  prey
for the attack, these animals must be able to hide, or  blend  in  with  the
background. That way the prey animal does not know that they are there…
      The tiger uses what is known as  disruptive  camouflage,  which  means
that instead of blending in with it's  surroundings,  the  tiger  uses  it's
stripes to break it's outline, or familiar shapes  into  smaller  unfamiliar

      Like all young animals, cubs are full of energy. They spend their days
wrestling, chasing each other, and darting after butterflies. All this
exercise helps prepare them for their first real hunt. And they are ready
for this when they are about six months old.

      It's hard to believe that in just six months, a playful little cub
will be a ferocious hunter. By then, it will weigh almost 200 pounds (90
kilograms) and have four big canine teeth for attacking prey.

      A female tiger is one of the most loving and caring mothers in the
animal kingdom. She cuddles her babies to keep them warm. She feeds them
and protects them from enemies. For three years or more she looks after
them, teaching them how to hunt and survive in the wild.

      This cub is only a few weeks old. In the wild, cubs are usually born
in caves and other protected places. The mother keeps them there and brings
them food for about three months. After that, the cubs are big enough to
follow her as she hunts for prey.

      The life of a baby tiger can be dangerous. If a mother leaves her
cubs, even for a short time, they may be attacked by predators. Some of the
animals that like to eat tiger cubs are leopards (left), pythons (below
left), and hyenas (below right).

                       CLOUDED LEOPARD: PRECIOUS CARGO

      One chapter in the Zoological Society's clouded  leopard  story  began
early in 1983 with the arrival of a young pair of  cats  from  the  People's
Republic of  China.  The  cats  were  a  welcome  addition  to  the  Society
collection. Staff prepared a plan  to  encourage  successful  breeding,  but
unfortunately, tragedy occurred before the plan could be implemented.

      In the exhibit, the female was accidentally exposed to a  male,  which
severely mauled her right foreleg and shoulder. The  injury  was  so  severe
that, because of the initial trauma and resulting fast-spreading  infection,
amputation of the leg and affected scapula were required to save her life.

      The difficult surgery was masterfully conducted.  Intensive  care  was
required for more than two months. The veterinary staff and a hospital  team
kept the cat alive  through  repeated  tube-feeding  and  frequent  hands-on
care, despite the cat's aggressive distrust  of  such  treatment.  Following
many weeks of this regimen, the cat responded and made  sufficient  recovery
to allow her return to the leopard exhibit.

      A primary hurdle had been cleared  --  the  female  had  survived  the
injury. Next to be resolved were her adjustments to life on three  legs  and
finding a method which would allow her reintroduction to the Chinese male.

      First, the mammal staff placed the cat in a program designed  to  help
her grow accustomed to  life  with  three  legs.  After  several  months  of
satisfactory progress, the staff decided to place her  with  the  male,  who
had been kept in a separate but adjoining room. The animals were allowed  to
make contact as they chose. To the relief of  all,  the  reintroduction  was
successful.  The  cats  proved  to  be  compatible,   and,   shortly   after
reintroduction, breeding took place.

      On the morning of April 25, 1984, final proof of the success of a long
and difficult management program arrived-- a litter of  two  cubs.  One  cub
did not survive, but the other was taken to the Children's Zoo to be  raised
by the nursery staff.

                                UNIQUE FELINE

      The clouded Leopard has intrigued its public, been  sought  after  for
its fur, and mystified those who would try  to  categorize  it.  During  the
early morning hours of April 25, 1984, a discovery was made  which  was  the
culmination of a saga, which held elements of zoo  diplomacy  and  goodwill,
tragedy and suspense, cooperation and  success.  The  discovery  climaxed  a
chain of events surrounding this paradoxical cat.

      This cat has behavioral and physical traits typical of the small cats,
genus Felis, and the big cats, genus Panther. A paradox to  taxonomists  and
zoologists, it has been  assigned  to  its  own  genus,  Necrfelis,  and  is
considered a bridge between the two larger genera.  A  relationship  to  the
extinct saber toothed cat has even been suggested,  based  on  the  physical
characteristic of having, in proportion to body size,  the  longest  canines
of all living felines. Its canine structure is also similar to that  of  the
saber-toothed cat.

      The clouded leopard has a body size ranging from 24 to 42 inches (616-
1,066 mm) Its tail adds another 21 to 36  inches  (550-912  mm)  of  length.
This leopard's weight falls between 35 and 50 pounds (16-23 kg). Its fur  is
grayish brown to tawny yellow and has dark markings in a variety of  shapes,
which seem to form cloudlike patterns.

       The clouded leopard was once believed to be exclusively arboreal  and
nocturnal. Recent observations  in  captivity  and  in  the  wild  indicate,
however, that it may be  considerably  more  terrestrial  and  diurnal  than
previously thought. It is  believed  to  prey  upon  birds,  young  buffalo,
cattle,  deer,  goats,  monkeys,  pigs,  and  porcupines.  The  species   is
difficult to manage  in  captivity  because  of  a  tendency  to  be  highly
aggressive toward other species and humans. The  exceptionally  long  canine
teeth can easily inflict mortal injury. True to its paradoxical  reputation,
however, some cats may become extremely  affectionate  toward  humans,  even
permitting and seeking physical contact.

                            NORTH CHINESE LEOPARD

      This leopard is so rare that humans almost never see it in  the  wild.
It roams the forests and mountain meadows of northern China and Korea.

      It makes its home in a great tangle of fallen trees and shrubs.   When
it kills smaller animals it devours them right away.  But when it  comes  to
larger prey, like deer and wild goats, the leopard drags the animal home  to
save for several meals.

      Don't be scared. The teeth of this snarling leopard won't hurt you.

      On the contrary. It's the snow leopard that  should  be  afraid.   Its
relatives in the wild are in constant  danger  from  poachers  who  want  to
shoot them for their pelts and teeth.

      Even though  shooting  leopards  is  illegal,  it's  considered  "good
business." That's because some people still  wear  leopard  fur  coats,  and
others believe that  leopard  teeth  earrings  and  necklaces  have  special

                       SNOW LEOPARD: COLD WEATHER CAT

      The shy, nocturnal and virtually unknown Snow  Leopard  is  classified
with the big cats, but shares some small cat  characteristics,  for  example
it doesn't roar and it feeds in a crouched position.

      The Snow leopard has to contend with extremes of climate and its  coat
varies from fine in summer to thick in winter. The surfaces of its paws  are
covered by a cushion  of  hair,  which  increases  the  surface  area,  thus
distributing the animal's with more evenly over  soft  snow  and  protecting
its soles from the cold.

      Snow leopards are solitary except during the breeding season, (January
to May), when male and female hunt together, or when  a  female  has  young.
One to four young are born in spring or early  summer  in  a  well-concealed
den lined with the mother's fur. Initially, the spots are completely  black.
The young open their eyes at 7-9 days, are quite active by two  months,  and
remain with their mother through their first winter

      Snow leopards are extremely rare in many parts of their range  due  to
the demand for their skins by the fur trade. Although in many  countries  it
is now illegal to use these  furs,  the  trade  continues  and  the  species
remains under threat.

                                SNOW LEOPARD

      They live in the snow-covered mountain peaks  of  Central  Asia.   How
high do these Asian Mountains rise?  They reach 20,000 feet in altitude.

      The snow leopard's long, thick fur keeps it warm even  in  the  frosty
air, and its creamy white  and  gray  color  camouflages  it  in  the  snow.
Because humans are fond  of  turning  its  beautiful  coat  into  coats  for
themselves, the species is on the brink of extinction.

                                SPOTTED HYENA

      This hyena is also known as the "laughing" hyena.  Sometimes  a  hyena
lets out a cry that resembles a wild human cackle.

      Did you know that a hyena can gorge up to 33 pounds of meat  extremely
fast?  It needs to eat fast because as many as 50 other  hungry  hyenas  may
be next to it, noisily feeding on the same piece of meat.   Scientists  have
seen 38 hyenas devour a zebra in 15  minutes,  leaving  only  a  few  scraps

      The hyena is famous for eating animal  parts  that  other  meat-eaters
won't touch.  You might even see it stamping and biting on an  ostrich  egg,
trying to eat it.  After devouring everything in sight, the hyena spits  out
the horns, hooves, and bone  pieces,  ligaments  and  hair.   If  there  are
leftovers, it buries the meat in a muddy  pool.   The  hyena's  good  memory
leads it back to the hidden food when it's hungry again.

      The spotted hyena hunts at night.  Hyenas were once thought to be just
scavengers (animals that eat the meat left behind by predators). But now  we
know that they're very good at finding their own food, too.

      Hunting together in large packs, hyenas have a very effective  way  of
catching their favorite food.  One hyena scares a herd of wildebeest,  looks
for the weakest member of the herd, and  then  begins  a  chase.  The  other
hyenas join in the attack, and a wildebeest feast is soon ready.

      If you've ever heard the  expression  "laughing  hyena"  and  wondered
where it came from, it was inspired  by  the  strange,  laughter-like  sound
hyenas make when they're being attacked or chased.

                                EATING HABITS

      True hyenas have thickset muzzles with large ears and  eyes,  powerful
jaws and big cheek teeth to deal with a carnivorous diet. They walk on four-
toed feet with five asymmetrical pads and nonretractile claws. The  tail  is
long and bushy (less so in the  spotted  hyena).  Spotted  hyenas  will  eat
almost anything, but in the wild much  of  their  food  comes  from  mammals
heavier than 44 lb. which they mostly kill for themselves. The frequency  of
hunting depends on the availability of carrion;  spotted  hyenas  will  loot
the kills of other carnivores,  including  lions.  Group  feeding  is  often
noisy, but rarely involves serious  fighting.  Instead,  each  hyena  gorges
extremely rapidly on up to 33 lb. of flesh.  Pieces  of  a  carcass  may  be
carried away to be consumed at leisure or, occasionally, stored underwater.

      It seems that  the  success  of  spotted  hyenas  is  ensured  through
individual and cooperative hunting  and  sharing  of  food  between  adults.
Cooperation also extends to communal marking and defense of  the  territory,
in which both sexes play a similar role, whether or not  they  are  related.
Competition within  the  clan  can,  however,  be  intense.  The  system  of
communication shows adaptations,  which  reduce  aggression  and  coordinate
group activities. Such competition probably provided the selection  pressure
whereby females evolved their large size and  dominant  position,  which  in
turn  relates  also  to  levels  of  testosterone  in  the  blood  that  are
indistinguishable from those of the male. Thus  female  spotted  hyenas  are
able to feed a small number of offspring alone and  protect  them  from  the
more serious consequences of  interference  by  other  hyenas,  particularly
unrelated males.

                               WHY THEY LAUGH

      Hyenas are often called "solitary," a label which  obscures  the  fact
that their social systems are among the  most  complex  known  for  mammals.
Spotted hyenas employ elaborate meeting ceremonies and efficient  long-range
communication by scent and sound. Even when  moving  alone,  spotted  hyenas
maintain some direct contact with their fellows.  They  respond  to  sounds,
which are  only  audible  to  humans  with  the  aid  of  an  amplifier  and

      Calls audible to the unaided human ear include  whoops,  fast  whoops,
yells and a kind of demented cackle that gives this species its  alternative
name of laughing hyena. Whoop calls, in particular, are well-suited to long-
 range communication as they carry over several  kilometers;  each  call  is
repeated a number of times, which helps the listener to locate  the  caller,
and each hyena has a distinctive voice. Infant hyenas will answer  the  pre-
recorded whoops of their mothers, but not those of other clan hyenas.

                          AFRICAN LION: FAMILY CATS

      Lions are among the most admired animals on earth. Their strength  and
beauty, combined with their bold nature, have fascinated  people  for  ages.
In fact, the lion has often been called the "king of the beasts."  And  when
you see a big male lion, with its magnificent  main  and  proud  walk,  it's
easy to understand why. Lions really do look like kings.

      But lions don't always lead the easy lives of kings. They  often  need
to work hard to survive. Lions are meat eaters, or carnivores, so they  must
hunt other animals for food. And sometimes prey is hard to find.  When  food
is scarce, a lion may go for days without eating.

      Lions are members of  the  big  cat  family,  which  includes  tigers,
leopards, and jaguars. The main difference between  the  big  cats  and  all
other cats is that generally big cats can roar but cannot purr.  Other  cats
can purr but cannot roar.

      The lion is one of the biggest cats in the world.  Only  the  Siberian
tiger is larger. A male lion may be 9 to 10 feet long  (3  meters)  and  can
weigh 500 pounds (227 kilograms) or more.  Female  lions  are  smaller.  The
average female is 7 to 8 feet long (2 l/2 meters)  and  weighs  270  to  350
pounds (140 kilograms).

      Lions are different from most other cats in that they live  in  groups
called prides. They hunt  together,  guard  their  territory  together,  and
raise their young together. Lions that live in groups can  catch  more  food
than a single lion can. And they can protect themselves better. Also,  lions
that are born into groups have a large family to care for them.

      There are two different kinds, or subspecies, of  lions:  the  African
and the Asiatic. Most of the lions in the world  today  are  African  lions.
These animals live on the grassy plains of Africa.  The  few  Asiatic  lions
that remain live on a small wildlife preserve  in  India.  There  were  once
many other kinds of lions in the world but all of these are now extinct.

      Lions sometimes climb high up into trees to rest on their branches and
escape the biting insects below.

      The body of a lion is made for catching prey. Most of the time,  lions
try to get very close to their prey before they attack it. Then they make  a
big leap and grab the prey. To help  them  get  close  without  being  seen,
lions have golden-brown coats that blend in with the land around  them.  And
to help them leap, they have strong muscles in their legs. A lion  can  leap
35 feet (10.5 meters) through the air in a single jump.

      Lions do most of their  hunting  at  night,  so  they  have  wonderful
hearing and eyesight to help them find prey in the dark.  Their  hearing  is
so sharp, they can hear prey that is more than a mile away. Lions  can  turn
their ears from side  to  side  to  catch  sounds  coming  from  almost  any
direction. When a lion is moving through tall grass, it may  not  always  be
able to see its prey -- but it can always hear it. The  eyes  of  lions  are
the biggest of any meat-eating animal. Like the eyes  of  other  cats,  they
are specially made for seeing at night.

      Lions often work together when they hunt. By doing this, they increase
their chances of getting food. A lion that hunts alone may have a hard  time
catching prey.

      Most of the hunting is done by a team of females. They divide the  job
among them, with each female doing part of the work to catch the prey.  Some
of the females scare prey animals and make them run -- while  other  females
lie in ambush to grab the fleeing animals.

      The extra strength of a male is sometimes needed to bring down  larger
animals, like wildebeest or buffalo. And larger animals are the  best  prey,
because they provide more meat.

      No matter how good a lion is at hunting, it misses more prey  than  it
catches. Sometimes lions will go for days without  eating.  If  lions  can't
find enough of their regular prey, they will eat smaller animals like  hares
and tortoises -- and even porcupines.

      When they can, lions get their food  by  taking  it  away  from  other
animals. This is often easier than hunting. In some parts  of  Africa,  much
of the food that lions eat is taken away from hyenas. When  food  is  really
scarce, lions will eat almost anything they can find  --  including  snakes,
locusts, termites, peanuts, fruit, and rotten wood.

      Baby lions are called cubs. And like most baby animals they need  lots
of loving care. A lion cub is totally helpless at birth.  It  is  blind  and
can barely crawl. And it weighs less than 5 pounds (2 kg).

      Cubs are born in-groups called litters. Usually, there are three  cubs
in a litter. But sometimes there are as many as  five.  For  the  first  few
weeks of their lives, the cubs stay hidden in a safe  place  away  from  the
pride. Then their mother brings them out to join the "family."

      In a pride, all of the females help take care of the  cubs.  When  one
mother is away hunting, the other lions feed and watch over her  young.  But
sometimes, all of the adults join the hunt. Then the cubs are hidden in  the
tall grass or among the rocks.

      A cub is born with dark spots all over its  body.  Some  people  think
that the spots may make it harder for predators to see the  cubs  when  they
are hidden.

      A mother lion  carries  her  babies  in  her  mouth  --  just  like  a
motherhouse cat. To keep predators from finding the cubs, she moves them  to
a new hiding place every few days.

                            AFRICAN LION: FUTURE

      Asiatic lions are endangered, and African lions have less living space
than in times past. This is because people are taking away their  homes,  or
habitats. The human population in Africa and Asia is  rapidly  growing,  and
people are turning more and more land into farms  and  ranches.  This  means
that the lions have less food to eat and so it is harder for them to live.

      Fortunately, wildlife organizations throughout the world  are  working
hard to save the lions' habitats. And governments in both Africa  and  India
have set aside special land where lions can live in safety.

                         AFRICAN LION: THE MANE CAT

      Most experts agree that a lion will attack a human only  if  provoked.
But the experts also  suggest  that  knowledge  of  the  warning  signs  are
mandatory for anyone who travels by foot in the bush.  An  angry  lion  will
drop to a crouch, flatten its ears, and flick  its  tail  tip  rapidly  from
side to side. Low grunts and growls can often be heard; and just prior to  a
charge, the tail is jerked up  and  down.  While  these  warning  signs  are
important, it is perhaps of greater importance that a lion can bolt  from  a
crouch and travel 40 yards in less than 2.7 seconds.

      The lion is the largest of  the  African  cats,  weighing  up  to  200
kilograms (440 pounds). Of the big cats, only the tiger is of greater  size.
The mane of a male lion is the most  distinguishing  characteristic  of  the
species, although a small percentage of lionesses also have manes. The  mane
adds to the apparent size of a male lion, and it is believed that  the  mane
provides added protection during male-to-male combat.  The  mane  begins  to
develop at about one year of age but remains short and  scraggly  until  the
male is three or four years old. Another physical  characteristic  of  lions
is the tuft of long hairs at the end of the tail. This black  tassel  occurs
in both males and females. Often,  when  females  have  cubs  or  are  being
courted by males,  the  tail  tassel  is  carried  high  above  the  ground.
Researchers believe that this behavior allows  cubs  or  males  to  maintain
visual contact with the female when  she  moves  through  dense  vegetation.
Fortunately for us, it is also an  excellent  way  for  humans  to  maintain
visual contact.

                            LION: NO LONGER KING

      You may have believed that African lions are the kings of the  jungle.
Well, that's just not true. But the reason isn't because  lions  aren't  the
lordly animals that you thought them to be; it's just that lions don't  live
in the jungle. They live in the open savannas in Africa,  which  are  grassy
plains with a few scattered trees.

      Lions, of course, are big cats, but  they're  different  from  tigers,
leopards and other big cats because they are very social animals. They  live
in a group called a "pride," which can have as  many  as  35  lions  in  it.
Adult female lions, or lionesses, and cubs  make  up  most  of  each  pride,
although two or three adult males live in it, too.

      Hunting is how the lions get their food.  They  eat  animals  such  as
zebras, gazelles, hartebeests, gnus and even buffalo. Lionesses do  most  of
the hunting but when it comes to eating, the adult  males  get  their  share

      Lions often hunt together. A couple of lions may chase  the  prey  and
herd it toward other lions hiding in the grass. Then the hiding  lions  leap
out and ambush the prey.

      When lions eat, they often eat a whole lot of meat all at  once.  It's
possible for a wild lion to eat up to 40 pounds of meat at one sitting.  But
then it may fast for several days and not eat anything. While it's  fasting,
the lion may be very, very lazy and just sleep a lot ... until its  time  to
eat again.

      If you've ever heard the roar of a lion, you know  what  a  thundering
sound it is. It's very possible for a lion's roar to  be  heard  five  miles
away if the wind conditions are right. Lions often roar just after  the  sun
goes down.

      Male lions have manes around their necks. A young male will  start  to
grow a mane when he's about a year old. It's believed that  the  mane  helps
protect the neck areas of males when they fight with each other.

      Baby lions are called cubs. A lioness will usually have three or  four
cubs in an area protected by rocks or brush.  Many  animals  are  born  with
their eyes closed, but it's possible for a lion cub  to  be  born  with  its
eyes open. The cubs are very playful and love  to  wrestle  and  stalk  each
other. Lionesses often care for each other's cubs, which  is  a  little  bit
like baby-sitting.

      Although African lions aren't an endangered species,  there's  a  lion
subspecies that lives in Asia that is very rare and endangered.

      So remember: While you may not be able to call a lion the king of  the
jungle, there's certainly no reason you can't call him the king of beasts.

                                 ASIAN LION

      In the past, you could find hundreds of thousands of  these  lions  in
the Middle East and Asia.  Now, they number only  180,  living  on  a  small
wildlife preserve in India.  Like the African lion,  they've  suffered  from
the destruction of wild lands and from over hunting.

      Once, people thought that Asian lions had shorter manes  than  African
lions, but that's not the case.  Both can have either long or short manes.

                       COYOTE: PLACE IN THE FOOD CHAIN

      Every animal on earth lives by eating some other  living  organism  --
plant or animal. The sequence of eaten and eater is  called  a  food  chain.
The ultimate source of the energy contained in food comes from the  sun.  It
is stored in the grass, and passed on to  the  grasshoppers.  The  alligator
lizard, which eats the grasshopper, is the next link in the food chain.  It,
in turn, is eaten by a roadrunner, which then falls victim to the coyote.

      The coyote is called an ultimate consumer because nothing hunts it for

      But this food chain is a closed circle, the final link  --  coyote  --
being fastened to the  first  --  the  grass.  When  the  coyote  dies,  its
chemicals are broken down by bacteria and returned to the soil,  where  they
nurture more plant growth.

      Like many wild dogs, the coyote is usually active at  night,  when  it
can hunt safely.  You can often see  a  coyote  in  the  early  evening  and
morning, as it goes to and from its nighttime activities.

      Coyotes can run as fast as 40 miles per hour, and at  slightly  slower
speeds, they can run for miles.  If a coyote can stay close to its prey,  it
has a good chance of getting a meal.


      In hunting style, the dhole is like the hyena. It hunts in a pack with
other dholes, whining, barking and whistling as they go.  Whistling  usually
means that the hunt is unsuccessful, and  the  pack  should  reassemble  for
another try.

      It is almost impossible for a single dhole to kill a deer, but five to
twelve dholes can manage it together. After the  kill,  dholes  compete  for
the morsels by eating very fast. A dhole can chew up almost nine  pounds  of
meat in an hour.

      Strong, wise, brave -- all these words describe  the  gray  wolf.  But
another word needs to be added to the list: endangered.

      Two hundred years ago, the gray wolf roamed throughout North  America.
But many of them were shot by European settlers and pioneers, who were  busy
cutting down the wolves' forest home for  houses  and  towns.  Those  wolves
that remained found fewer deer, moose and beaver to eat.

      Today, the gray wolf continues to feel  the  impact  of  an  expanding
human population. That, and the popular belief that  wolves  shouldn't  live
near humans, continues to threaten their presence on our planet.

                                  GRAY WOLF

      Did you know that the gray wolf is  the  largest  member  of  the  dog
family? Apart from man, it once was the most widespread mammal  outside  the
tropics. As humans move into its habitat, the wolf had to move out.

      Did you know that after humans,  wolves  may  be  the  most  adaptable
creatures of all? They're able to live in a wider variety  of  climates  and
habitats than most other animals and can survive on many different kinds  of

                            BEST LEFT UNPROVOKED

      Wolves prey on many species in the north -- musk ox,  caribou,  moose,
deer, hares and even rodents. These carnivores are among the  most  maligned
of all animals, victims of false myths and legends and  systematic  programs
of extinction. They are accused of attacking humans  and  destroying  entire
herds of domestic animals. But their  depredations  of  livestock  are  less
severe than often claimed. And  unprovoked  attacks  by  healthy  wolves  in
North America on humans are unknown. Those  recorded  from  Europe's  Middle
Ages are thought to have been by rabid animals or hybrids.

      The world will be a far lonelier place  if  the  last  wolf  dies.  As
biologist Ernest P. Walker wrote in his book, MAMMALS  OF  THE  WORLD,  "The
howl of the wolf and coyote, which  to  some  people  is  of  more  enduring
significance than superhighways and  skyscrapers,  should  always  remain  a
part of our heritage."


                                APES: FUTURE

      The future of apes is up to us. All of the great apes are  already  on
the endangered species list, and  all  of  the  lesser  apes  are  as  well.
Scientists who have studied them agree that all great  apes  will  soon  die
out in the wild unless steps are taken now to protect them.

      Gorillas and  orangutans  appear  to  have  no  natural  enemies,  and
chimpanzees have very few. Gibbons, because they move so fast  and  live  so
high up in the trees, are safe from any animal. Nothing could  threaten  any
of the apes with extinction until man started hunting them, capturing  them,
and destroying the wild lands in which they live.

      Today, hunting of apes is against the law everywhere,  and  there  are
strict regulations  controlling  the  capture  of  wild  apes.  But  illegal
hunting and trapping continues. And  the  greatest  threat  of  all  --  the
destruction of wild lands -- grows greater every day. Tropical  forests  are
being cut down faster today than ever before ... at the  rate  of  one  acre
every second, according to a recent report. At  this  incredible  pace,  the
homes of many wild creatures -- including apes -- are simply disappearing.

      Most endangered of the apes are the mountain  gorillas.  Today,  there
are less than 500 in Central Africa.

      And the other apes are not much better off. Nobody is really sure  how
many pygmy chimpanzees or bonobos survive in the jungles south of the  Congo
River -- but it is probably less than 10,000. There  are  fewer  than  5,000
orangutans still alive in scattered areas of Borneo  and  Sumatra.  And  the
numbers of lowland gorillas and chimpanzees are declining rapidly.

      Fortunately, there are people who are trying to save  the  magnificent
apes. In Central  Africa,  governments  are  working  to  protect  the  last
remaining homes of mountain gorillas. They have even organized  guards  that
patrol the borders of gorilla preserves  to  keep  the  gorillas  safe  from
hunters. The World Wildlife Fund and other groups are raising money  to  buy
land and make  sure  that  it  will  never  be  taken  away  from  gorillas,
chimpanzees,  orangutans,  and  gibbons.  And  scientists   everywhere   are
studying the apes to find new ways to help them.

                         BONOBO OR PYGMY CHIMPANZEE

      Biologists who have studied the behavior of these animals say they are
the smarter of two species of chimpanzees.  Their  hair  is  parted  at  the
middle and wisps out to the sides  of  the  head,  giving  them  an  obvious
physical distinction from the common chimpanzee.

      Both species of chimps are intelligent.  They  belong  to  the  select
animals that make and use tools. You might see a chimp defend  himself  with
a tree branch, or take  a  twig  and  turn  it  into  a  useful  devise  for
gathering or eating foods. Chimps also communicate with  many  gestures  and

      People may feel especially drawn to chimps  because  of  some  similar
behaviors. Young chimps laugh when they're  tickled.  Bonobos  quarrel  over
food, but hug and kiss to make up.


      The bonobo or pygmy chimpanzee, is one of only four living species  of
great apes. The other three species,  the  gorilla,  orangutan,  and  common
chimpanzee,  have  received  far  greater  attention  until  now.  Not  even
recognized as a separate species until 1929, the bonobo still  remains  much
of a mystery in its native habitat,  the  central  rain  forests  of  Zaire.
Often confused with the common  chimpanzee,  the  bonobo  is  only  slightly
smaller but has a more graceful, slender body; the head is smaller  but  the
legs are longer than those of common chimps. The most  outstanding  physical
difference is the bonobo's hairstyle, an attractive coiffure of  long  black
hairs neatly parted down the middle. To the experienced eye, the  difference
between the chimpanzee and the bonobo is as great as the difference  between
a leopard and a cheetah.

      The bonobo is as rare in zoos (there are less  than  80  in  captivity
worldwide) as it is in the wild (estimates range from 5,000 to  20,000).  In
1989, the entire San Diego Zoo group of 11  animals  was  relocated  to  the
Wild Animal Park.

      No effective conservation plan  for  the  bonobo  could  be  developed
without firsthand knowledge of  the  only  country  that  is  home  to  this
critically endangered ape. International conservation projects are  as  much
a people issue as an  animal  issue;  therefore,  the  needs  of  the  local
Zairian  people  must  be  taken  into  account.  Political,  cultural,  and
economic problems are just as important to consider as the biological  needs
of the species we are attempting to save. For these reasons, the  San  Diego
Bonobo  Workshop  continually  emphasizes  the  need  for  an  international
cooperative effort with the people and government of Zaire.

      In light of the increasing awareness  of  the  need  to  preserve  the
world's biodiversity, it is quite surprising how little attention Zaire  has
received. The extent and variety of  the  biological  resources  in  Zaire's
forest ecosystems is matched by few other tropical countries. After  Brazil,
Zaire has the second largest tropical forest  in  the  world.  Despite  this
fact, Zaire is among the last of the countries in the tropical  forest  belt
without a comprehensive program to protect  its  tropical  forest.  Programs
like  the  one  developed  at  the  San  Diego  Bonobo  Workshop   will   be
instrumental in obtaining funds from organizations like the  World  Bank  to
protect the bonobo and its forest habitat.

                           THE GORILLA SUBSPECIES

      Three subspecies of gorillas are currently recognized. Almost all  zoo
gorillas are western  lowland  gorilla  (Gorilla  gorilla)  native  to  west
African nations such as  Cameroon,  the  Central  African  Republic,  Gabon,
Nigeria, and Rio Muni. The total population of western lowland  gorillas  is
estimated  to  be  between  30,000  to  50,000  individuals,  and  they  are
classified as threatened by the IUCN (International Union  for  Conservation
of Nature and Natural Resources). Studying these gorillas  in  the  wild  is
extremely difficult, because their preferred habitat is dense jungle.

      A very few eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla  graueri)  native
to eastern Zaire,  live  in  zoos.  Mbongo  and  Ngagi,  the  two  "mountain
gorillas" who lived at the San Diego Zoo in the 1930s and 1940s,  would  now
be classified as eastern lowland gorillas.  These  gorillas  are  considered
the largest subspecies on average, and  generally  have  blacker  hair  than
western lowland gorillas. They number approximately 3,000 to 4,000  and  are
classified as endangered.

      No mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei)  exist  in  captivity,
but these are the most-studied gorillas  in  the  wild.  They  live  in  the
mountainous border regions of Rwanda, Uganda,  and  Zaire.  Only  about  600
individuals exist, in two separate populations, and they are  classified  as
endangered. Mountain gorillas are distinguished physically  by  their  large
size and extra-long, silky black hair.  A  number  of  skeletal  differences
exist between the three subspecies as well.

      It would be interesting to see if DNA sequence comparisons could  help
us understand the phylogenetic (evolution of a genetically related group  as
distinguished   from   the   development   of   the   individual   organism)
relationships of the gorilla subspecies.  This  could  help  anthropologists
understand the mechanisms and rates of primate evolution. It could  also  be
important if gorilla populations ever become  so  critically  depleted  that
interbreeding of different subspecies were contemplated.  At  CRES,  we  are
comparing DNA sequences from gorillas of all three subspecies.  Only  a  few
gorillas have  been  tested  so  far,  but  to  date  it  appears  that  the
relationships  between  the  subspecies  generally  follows  the  geographic
location of populations.

      Western lowland gorillas have a large range,  and  many  DNA  sequence
differences exist between different individuals of this subspecies.  Western
lowland gorillas are separated by 600 miles from eastern  lowland  gorillas,
and substantial sequence differences exist between the two groups  as  well.
The eastern lowland and mountain gorilla populations  are  found  relatively
close together, but they have been isolated from each other for  an  unknown
amount of time. They  are  presently  separated  by  substantial  geographic
barriers: portions of the Rift Valley and  a  variety  of  mountain  ranges.
However, we find much less genetic difference between  the  eastern  lowland
gorillas and the mountain gorillas than there  is  between  certain  western
lowland gorillas. The distinct physical differences between eastern  lowland
and  mountain  gorillas  probably  reflect  recent  adaptations   to   their
respective habitats -- lowlands  versus  mountains  --  and  not  a  distant
genetic relationship.


      The macaques, a genus of some 13 to 20 species (there is  disagreement
among taxonomists on the actual number),  are  found  in  North  Africa  and
throughout southern Asia from Afghanistan to Japan.  The most familiar  form
is the rhesus monkey, which is often seen  by  tourists  in  the  towns  and
cities of India. Fossils dating to  six  million  years  indicate  that  the
macaques originated in northern Africa and once roamed over  Europe  as  far
north  as  London.  These  earlier  macaques  were  not  very  different  in
appearance from the Barbary monkeys that survive today in Morocco,  Algeria,
and on Gibraltar. However, once the  Macaques  reached  Asia,  at  least  by
three million years ago, they diversified into a variety of forms.  Few  are
as distinctly different as the lion-tails, with their  black  coats,  silver
facial ruffs, and strongly arboreal habitats. Lion-tails are one of the  two
macaque species that are listed as in  danger  of  extinction,  but  we  may
realistically expect the Tibetan, Formosan, and Sulawesian species  to  fall
into that category before the year 2000.

      Their geographical range snakes along the slope's and  highest  crests
of the Western Ghat Mountains where, today, the forest is reduced  to  about
one percent of the total land cover. Like its captive counterpart, the  wild
living lion-tail was ignored by primatologists until well  into  the  1970s.
Although opinions vary, most would agree  that  the  wild  population  today
numbers between 2,000 and 5,000 individuals. Initial field reports  indicate
that wild lion-tails prefer to spend about 99 percent of their time  in  the
trees. Like other macaques, their diet is  dominated  by  wild  fruits,  but
includes a variety of flowers, leaves, buds, grasses, insects,  and  even  a
few nestlings of birds and mammals. One of the  more  interesting  forms  of
feeding reported by Dr. Steven Green of Miami University involves  a  simple
form of tool use. In order to protect their hands while feeding on  stinging
caterpillars, lion-tails have been seen to pluck large tree leaves  and  lay
them over the caterpillars before pouncing on them.

      In the wild state, lion-tail  groups  average  about  20  individuals,
usually with more than a single adult male present. Males  are  larger  than
females by about a third and are typically ranked relative  to  one  another
in a social hierarchy. Males usually emigrate  from  their  natal  group  to
join another during the early stages of  adulthood.  Being  macaques,  lion-
tails are intensely social  and  are  highly  aggressive  toward  unfamiliar
individuals. Preliminary work on our captive population indicates that  much
of the behavior between group members is dependent upon  one's  relationship
to a small number of female-headed lineages. It is possible to  have  up  to
four living generations within each matriline and four  or  five  matrilines
within a group. Dominance relationships among and within matrilines  play  a
crucial role in the everyday life of females and their  offspring,  as  they
do for adult males. One's social position  determines  access  to  essential
resources such as food, perches, and social partners.


      This highly endangered primate has been exhibited at the San Diego Zoo
since 1923. In 1979, the  existing  population  of  three  males  and  three
females was relocated to the Primate Research Pad for concentrated study  of
their reproductive  biology.  Within  the  next  decade  their  reproductive
cycles were  characterized,  as  were  their  sexual  and  social  behavior,
parturition and infant rearing, and various other  aspects  of  the  captive
experience. Nearly a dozen scientific papers from these  studies  have  been
published in peer-reviewed journals or as book chapters.

      BY 1989 the Zoo's captive population had grown to 38 individuals. This
same year the program undertook a significant  change  in  direction.  Seven
individuals, including five born at the Primate Research Pad, were  released
into  a  state-of-the-art  exhibit  in  Sun  Bear  Forest.  Although   these
individuals are no longer under study, it  was  knowledge  gained  over  the
previous decade that contributed  to  the  design  of  an  exhibit  facility
which, by anyone's criteria, is an outstanding success.

      A second troop of 11 individuals was simultaneously relocated  to  the
newly constructed 3/4-acre breeding kraal at the Wild  Animal  Park.  It  is
this population which will be a major research focus during  the  next  five
years. This troop has been exempted from Species Survival  Plan  management,
a program of the American Association of  Zoological  Parks  and  Aquariums,
providing freedom to pursue several interesting lines  of  inquiry.  One  of
these has to do  with  the  impact  of  traditional  management  regimes  on
certain life  history  parameters.  The  second  investigation  will  pursue
experiments designed to prepare the troop  for  reintroduction  to  suitable
habitat in India in five to seven years.

      The lion-tailed macaque is by nature a  highly  social  mammal.  Group
members are organized in a social hierarchy that appears  to  remain  stable
over many years.  Individual  troops  are  highly  xenophobic.  This  trait,
combined with natural aggressiveness, results in potentially fatal  conflict
when new individuals are introduced. In the wild  state,  males  will  leave
their natal troop at sexual maturity and join a new one. Females  remain  in
their natal troops throughout their lives.

      Transfer  by  males  is  accompanied  by  a  substantial   amount   of
aggression, but is presumably a  necessary  event  to  preclude  inbreeding.
These natural attributes  of  wild  troops  would  seemingly  have  profound
implications  for  the  transfer  of  individuals,  especially  of  females,
between  zoological  institutions  to  satisfy  genetic   and   reproductive

      It is relevant to ask if the ongoing disturbance of the  social  order
through frequent inter-institutional transfers might  negatively  impact  on
such parameters as infant mortality, female fecundity, and perhaps even  the
neonatal sex ratio. Our kraal group  has  been  together  for  the  past  24
years, the only social disturbances having been the replacement of  breeding
males. We have learned how  to  integrate  new  males  into  groups  with  a
minimum of social upheaval.  We  therefore  have  a  unique  opportunity  to
compare findings from our relatively undisturbed population with those  from
more traditionally managed populations in other zoos over the  next  several

      Preparation of this same troop for reintroduction to the wild has  two
components. The first entails a number of experimental  procedures  designed
to "teach" natural foraging, avoidance of predators (including humans),  and
appropriate social cohesiveness. In addition, the troop  must  be  routinely
evaluated for any pathogens that would pose a hazard to  the  existing  wild

      The second component is evaluation of potential release sites  in  the
wild. The area selected for a test-case  reintroduction  must  not  only  be
protected from human activity, but must contain adequate  food  and  shelter
to insure the long-term survival of  the  troop.  CRES  anticipates  working
closely with Indian colleagues on this aspect.


      Lion-tailed macaque neonates (newborns) are born with black  fur,  and
their faces, hands, and feet are pink  and  hairless.  Their  characteristic
silver manes do not begin to grow in until  the  babies  are  several  weeks
old, and their faces gradually acquire the black pigmentation of adults.

      When the lion-tailed macaque breeding and management program began  at
the CRES primate facility more than ten years ago, little  was  known  about
the gestation, labor, and delivery of infants in  this  species.  There  was
extensive documentation of  parturition  in  some  other  macaques,  but  no
comparable data were available on the much rarer  lion-tailed  macaque.  How
long is the normal gestation length? At what time are births most likely  to
occur? How long does labor last? What factors indicate that there may  be  a
delivery problem requiring veterinary intervention?  Answers  to  these  and
other important questions were needed in order to ensure  the  best  captive
management  procedures  and  to  maximize  the  breeding  success  for  this

      The primary reason these data had not  been  collected  previously  is
that most new infants were usually discovered  in  the  morning,  after  the
keepers arrived at work.  We  began  collecting  data  on  each  lion-tailed
macaque birth by setting up 24-hour "birth watches" that began several  days
before the  dam  was  due  to  deliver.  Conception  dates  were  determined
partially through hormone  data  from  daily  urine  samples,  and  also  by
keeping careful  track  of  menstruation,  sex-skin  swellings,  and  mating
episodes. Parturition-date predictions were based on the  168-day  gestation
length documented for the  rhesus  macaque.  However,  because  this  is  an
average length, we began our observations about  ten  days  before  the  due
date in order not to miss the early deliveries.

      The birth watch involved  round-the-clock  observations  at  15-minute
intervals during successive, 4-hour shifts. Observations  were  recorded  by
keepers, technicians, and trained  volunteers.  As  soon  as  any  signs  of
straining or birth fluids were noted, continuous notes were  kept  and  each
subsequent contraction  or  birth-related  event  was  timed  and  recorded.
Behavioral indications of impending labor included restlessness  and  manual
exploration of the vaginal area.  Although  these  signs  eventually  proved
reliable, we used the first, clear contraction as  the  starting  point  for
measuring the duration of labor. (In human  terms,  this  is  equivalent  to
second-stage labor. The  usual  criterion  of  first-stage  labor,  cervical
dilatation, cannot be observed in  the  wild  primate  unless  restraint  is
used.) During actual labor, several  straining  postures  were  noted;  most
common were variations of squatting postures and arched-back stretches.

      The first birth was to an  experienced  mother  (this  was  her  third
delivery) and was documented on videotape. After  nearly  8  full  hours  of
labor and 188 contractions, the dam gave birth to a healthy, female  infant.
These initial observations led us to believe that a labor of  this  duration
was not a basis for concern; however, we soon  learned  that  this  was  far
beyond the average labor length and number of contractions common  for  this

      Over an 8-year period, we were able to collect data on 18 births  from
8 different mothers in our colony. Our program has  provided  some  valuable
information about species-typical birth patterns that  we  can  now  use  to
direct management decisions. We found that the average length  of  labor  to
expulsion of the fetus was about 2 hours and 15 minutes,  and  the  shortest
labor was only 50 minutes total. The female that  required  eight  hours  to
deliver in the first case observed then delivered her subsequent  infant  in
only a little over an hour! Although our sample is  still  small,  it  would
appear that, on  the  average,  first-time  mothers  have  longer  and  more
difficult labors.

      Our study determined  that  the  average  number  of  contractions  to
delivery for lion-tails was 54. The female with the longest labor  also  had
the largest number of contractions (454). In her next delivery,  the  infant
arrived after only 14 contractions, the lowest number  recorded  during  the
entire birth study. Based on the average number of contractions seen  in  17
successful  deliveries,  and   one   ending   in   stillbirth,   contraction
frequencies approaching 75 to 100 in number may  serve  as  a  warning  that
intervention will be necessary.

      The average length of gestation for 14 pregnancies in our  colony  was
169.5 days, with a range of 163 to 176 days. This is very  similar  to  what
has been reported for other macaques. Our observers quickly discovered  that
those who watched during the 7 to 11 P.M. shifts were  the  most  successful
at being present when births occurred: labor  began  between  the  hours  of
7:15 P.M. and 3:15 A.M. in every case but one. The exception was one  first-
time mother that began straining in the early afternoon. This female  had  a
difficult labor, and a dead fetus was  later  removed  by  cesarean  section
after 8 hours of straining  and  193  contractions.  All  the  other  births
resulted in live offspring and occurred between the hours of 8:05  P.M.  and
6:28 A.M. Based on previous primate birth records, daytime  births  are  not
the norm and may indicate an increased risk to both fetus and dam.

      Expulsion of the placenta always took place within  about  20  minutes
after parturition, and usually it was immediately consumed  by  the  mother.
In a few cases, first-time mothers carried the placenta around  for  several
hours, along with  the  infant,  until  it  could  be  removed  by  keepers.
Whenever possible, a sample of the placenta is saved  for  analysis  by  Zoo
pathologists, who check it for abnormalities. After  delivery,  the  mothers
carefully lick the birth fluids off their infants, and  the  neonates  begin
nursing within a few hours. Each and every  female  in  the  study  provided
excellent maternal care immediately following parturition.

      The lion-tailed macaque breeding colonies are now located in  the  Sun
Bear Forest exhibit at the Zoo (one adult male and six  females)  and  in  a
large, off-exhibit kraal at the  Wild  Animal  Park  (one  adult  male,  two
juvenile males, one infant male, and ten females). Together these  represent
the largest captive group of lion-tailed macaques in the world --  about  20
percent of the total captive population. Eight years of patient  monitoring,
birth watches, record keeping, and evaluation have brought us a long way  in
the breeding and captive management of this macaque species.

      ZOONOOZ, May, 1990 "Nighttime Is the Norm: Labor and Birth in the Lion-
tailed Macaque," by Helena  Fitch-Snyder,  Animal  Behavior  Specialist/CRES
and Donald Lindburg, Ph.D. Behaviorist/CRES.

                               MORE ON IGUANAS

      The environment in which a lizard lives may determine how  easily  its
scent  marks  can  be  located  by  other  lizards.  Both   desert   iguanas
(Dipsosaurus dorsalis )and green iguanas  (Iguana  iguana)  possess  femoral
glands on the underside of the hind  legs.  They  use  pheromone  secretions
from these  glands  to  mark  their  territories.  Desert  iguanas  live  in
extremely hot and  arid  habitats,  whereas  green  iguanas  live  in  humid
tropical forests. Because these two  species  of  lizards  live  under  such
different environmental conditions, it is not surprising that the way  their
pheromone signals are transmitted differs.

      Desert iguanas have scent marks that are nonvolatile, which means that
they evaporate very  slowly  into  the  atmosphere.  These  marks  are  also
extremely resistant to chemical breakdown  at  high  temperatures.  The  low
volatility and thermal stability of desert iguana scent marks  ensures  that
they persist under harsh desert conditions, a necessary quality if they  are
to   be   used   effectively   for   territory   marking.   Although   these
characteristics make scent marks more durable in desert  environments,  they
pose a problem for desert iguanas attempting to detect  them  if  the  marks
are not volatile;  they may be  difficult  or  impossible  to  locate  using
smell. Desert iguanas avoid this problem  by  combining  a  unique  type  of
visual signal with their scent marks.

      One striking property of  desert  iguana  scent  marks  is  that  they
strongly absorb ultraviolet light. Although these wavelengths are  invisible
to human eyes, they appear dark to animals able to see ultraviolet light  --
much as ultraviolet-absorbing honey guides on flowers look  black  when  UV-
sensitive camera film is used to view them. Recent studies have  shown  that
desert iguanas are able to see long-wave ultraviolet  light,  and  they  may
use this adaptation to detect scent  marks  from  a  distance.  After  scent
marks are localized using visual  cues,  desert  iguanas  can  approach  and
investigate them in more detail through tongue-flicking. Although it is  not
known to occur in mammals, visual sensitivity to ultraviolet light has  been
shown in certain insects, spiders, fish, frogs, and birds.  The  ability  of
desert iguanas to detect ultraviolet light may help them solve some  of  the
problems associated with finding scent marks in a desert environment.

      In contrast to those of desert  iguanas,  the  scent  marks  of  green
iguanas contain a variety of volatile chemical compounds, and  they  do  not
absorb ultraviolet light. Behavioral studies indicate  that  green  iguanas,
unlike desert iguanas, can detect these scent marks by smell alone.  Because
the chemical components of  green  iguana  scent  marks  remain  active  and
transmit well under the humid conditions of tropical forests, green  iguanas
do not appear to need a visual cue in order to locate scent marks.  Research
on both iguana species demonstrates how the  environment  in  which  animals
live can influence the nature of the communication signals they employ.