Browse "Animals"

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Beaver

A herbivorous mammal weighing 16–35 kg and measuring up to 1.3 m from snout to paddled tail, the beaver (Castor canadensis) is Canada's largest rodent and the second-largest rodent in the world (after the capybara). It is primarily nocturnal and lives a semi-aquatic life.

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Bee

Bees are members of the insect order Hymenoptera (including sawflies, wasps, bees and ants) whose habits of feeding on plant pollen and nectar have made them important pollinators of flowering plants and crops. There are more than 20,000 species worldwide, and nearly 800 can be found in Canada. Bees’ nesting habits range from solitary to highly eusocial. Most bees are solitary, wild species, but some are kept or managed for pollination of crops or to produce honey, including the non-native western honey bee (Apis mellifera). Other familiar bees include bumble bees (genus Bombus), mason bees (genus Osmia) and leafcutter bees (genus Megachile). More than a third of all bee species found in Canada are either mining bees in the genus Andrena, or sweat bees in the genus Lasioglossum.

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Beekeeping

The complex social organization, the biology and the industrious nature of honeybees (genus Apis) have long fascinated people.

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Beetle

Beetles are an extremely diverse group of insects, which together make up the order Coleoptera (from Greek koleos, meaning, “sheath,” and ptera, “wings”). So named for their hardened forewings, which conceal a second pair of flight wings, beetles have the greatest number of known species of any comparable group of living things. There are an estimated 380,000 described beetle species worldwide, representing about 40 per cent of the world’s known insects. Beetles occupy nearly every available terrestrial and freshwater habitat, having evolved to fulfill more ecological roles than probably any other group of organisms. As such, beetles are found all over the world. In Canada, over 8,150 species are known, representing 121 of the world’s 176 families of beetles. Familiar beetles include lady beetles, fireflies, scarabs, weevils, tiger, ground, blister and leaf beetles.

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Beluga Whale

The beluga, or white whale, is a type of toothed whale found in Canada’s Arctic, Hudson Bay and St. Lawrence estuary.

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Beneficial Insect

Most insects are beneficial, playing many ecological roles. Less than 1% are pests. They are the principal food of many birds and reptiles, and the survival of insect-pollinated plants depends on them.

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Biology

Biological studies of individuals and groups of organisms can occur at various levels (eg, molecular, cellular, anatomical, functional, behavioural, ecological and evolutionary).

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Bird

 A Bird is a member of a unique group of vertebrates, Class Aves. The fossil record, comparative anatomy and embryology indicate that Birds have a common ancestry with Reptiles and Dinosaurs.

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Bird Distribution and Habitat

Animals' lives are circumscribed by 2 imperatives: finding food for survival, growth and reproduction and avoiding becoming prey before reproducing. For an animal to occupy a habitat, it must be able to survive and reproduce within it. Birds have evolved many ways of meeting these challenges.

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Bird Feathers

Feathers are only found on birds. They probably evolved as a temperature-control device from scales, much like those of modern reptiles.

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Bird Flight

Wing evolution has been affected by the habitats to which birds have adapted (e.g. the open ocean, cliff tops or the closed environment of forests) and by the need to reduce drag, or air resistance.

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Bird Sanctuaries and Reserves

Protection may be achieved by various means, including land-use zoning, long-term agreements with landowners and outright acquisition of land by wildlife agencies. Protected land areas may be designated as national wildlife areas, conservation areas, game reserves, etc.

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Bird Watching

Bird watching is the field observation of birds. The popularity of bird watching has burgeoned, especially since WWII, assisted by increased leisure time, a rich literature of books and periodicals, more organizations and better educational, communication and travel facilities.

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Birds of Prey

Birds of prey could be defined as birds that prey on other living animals; however, the term is usually reserved for species with hooked bills and large, strong, sharp talons.

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Bison

Bison are large, even-toed hoofed mammals of the family Bovidae. Two subspecies of bison exist in North America: the plains bison (Bison bison bison) and the wood bison (Bison bison athabascae). Historically, the plains bison lived primarily in the Great Plains of central North America, while the wood bison lived further north, from Alaska into the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and in the northern portions of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, it’s estimated that plains bison numbered 30 million and wood bison 170,000. Various aspects of European colonization led to the rapid depopulation of North America’s bison. By the late 1800s, plains bison no longer existed in Canada, and wood bison numbered about 200. Conservation efforts in both Canada and the United States mean that today, North America’s plains bison population fluctuates between 350,000 and 400,000, and wood bison between 5,000 and 7,000.

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Black Bear

The most common and widespread bear in Canada, the black bear (Ursus americanus) is found predominantly in forests of every province and territory, with the exception of Prince Edward Island.

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Black Fly

Black flies are insects found throughout Canada, particularly in northern wooded regions.