Animals | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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    Abalone (Haliotis), genus of primitive marine gastropod molluscs with over 70 species worldwide. There are 2 species in Canada. The pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) also known as the Japanese or northern ear shell, is found along the entire BC coast.

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    Alderfly, small (13-18 mm), dark, soft-bodied insect of order Megaloptera, family Sialidae, found in freshwater habitats bordered by alder.

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    American Bullfrog

    The American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) is a large bullfrog native to Eastern and central North America. Within Canada, it is native to Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and introduced in British Columbia. The bullfrog is the largest frog species in North America. It is known to be an opportunistic predator and will often attempt to eat anything smaller than itself. (See also Frog Species in Canada.)

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    American Eel

    The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is an elongated fish with a round body and long dorsal fin. It is one of about 35 eel species found in Canadian waters and the only freshwater eel species found in North America. In Canada, the American eel is treasured and valued as food by many Indigenous peoples, including the Mi’kmaq, Innu, Abenaki, Haudenosaunee and Cree. Common names for the American eel include Atlantic eel, common eel and freshwater eel. Indigenous peoples in Canada have their own names for eel. For example, the Mi’kmaq call the eel katew (singular) and kataq (plural) while the Cree refer to it as kinebikoinkosew. Eels are fished recreationally and commercially in Canada.

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    American Robin

    The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is the largest and best-known member of the thrush family in Canada.

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    American Toad

    The American toad (Anaxyrus americanus, formerly Bufo americanus) is a large toad native throughout most of Eastern North America. They are the most broadly distributed toad species on the continent. In Canada, American toads are found in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. Typically brown, tan or grey, in the northern reaches of their Canadian range — which extends as far north as Labrador’s Arctic coast — American toads are brighter, with brick-red, white, yellow and black patterning.

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    Amphibians are members of a group of tetrapod (4-legged) vertebrate animals derived from fishes, and are the common ancestor to mammals and reptiles.

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    Animal evolution has resulted in a vast number of adaptations for successful life under all sorts of conditions, so that there are now more kinds of animals than of all other living things combined.

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    Annelids are mostly vermiform (worm-shaped), with an anterior (frontal) mouth preceded only by the prostomium, bearing sensory organs; the anus is posterior. Most have bristles (chaetae or setae), usually arranged in 4 groups on each segment.

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    Ant, common name for small, mostly ground-dwelling social insects of family Formicidae, order Hymenoptera.

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    Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that suck plant sap. They belong to the order Hemiptera and the suborder Sternorrhyncha (along with whiteflies, scale insects and jumping plant lice). Aphids belong to the family Aphididae, although many species in the families Adelgidae and Phylloxeridae are also commonly called aphids. Over 5,000 species are known worldwide, over 800 of which are found in Canada. Aphids originated at least 250 million years ago, but most of their present diversity arose in the last 66 million years alongside flowering plants. Their great success as a group has made them familiar and prolific pests of gardens and agricultural crops.

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    Arachnida is a large class of chelicerate arthropods (segmented, jointed-limbed animals) including the orders Araneae, Scorpiones, Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones, Solifugae and the subclass Acari.

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    Arctic Animals

    Arctic animals are those that have adapted physically and behaviourally to the particular conditions of life in the most northerly regions on the planet.

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    Arthropoda, phylum of bilaterally symmetrical animals having external skeletons (exoskeletons), multisegmented bodies and paired, jointed appendages.

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    Artiodactyla is an order of even-toed mammals that walk on their toenails (unguis). This and the other order of hoofed mammals, the Perissodactyla, are collectively called ungulates.

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