From a one-horned rhinoceros, to a rare Japanese cat, down to the biggest living lemur… meet these intriguing animals whose names start with the letter “I”.
The Indri (Indri indri), along with the Diademed Sifara are the world’s largest living lemurs. Also called the Babakoto, this diurnal tree-dweller inhabits the lowland and mountainous forests of Madagascar. Adults grow to about 64–72 cm in head-body length and can weigh between 6 to 9.5kg. Indri has large greenish eyes, round ears, long, sturdy legs and a very short tail about 5 cm long. Its black, silky fur is marked with some white patches along the neck, legs, and lower back.
The Ibisbill (Ibidorhyncha struthersii) is a unique bird related to the waders that inhabits stony riverbanks of wide high-altitude plateau across the Himalayas and central Asia.
This bird has gray plumage with a white belly, a black face, short reddish legs, a black breast band and a long down-curved bill. Adults grow to about 38-41 cm. Ibisbill diet includes small water invertebrates and occasionally small fish. It has to probe under rocks on river and stream beds to find its food source.
An iguana is a type of lizard found in South and Central America and as far as the Caribbean. These reptiles have exceptional vision that enables them to see clearly objects at long distances; and for searching food. It has four powerful legs, a long tail and come in different colors; green, yellow to brown.
Iguanas are mainly herbivores; its food source, includes leaves, flowers, fruit as well as worms, insects and other small animals. Females usually lay between 20-70 eggs in shallow ditches later cover these eggs with moist soil. Iguana predators include snakes, foxes, some large birds of prey, and people.
The inchworms, also called cankerworms, measuring worms, or spanworms, are the larvae of moths belonging to the Geometridae family. These moths numbering over 1000 species are native to North America. .Inchworms are about 2.5 cm long with smooth, hairless bodies and can be green, brown, or black. Adult males sport brownish-gray front wings while female adults are wingless.
They may be small, but inchworms are voracious little monsters that wreck havoc on crops, shrubs and trees! Many considered them as pests, but the best part is… adult moths lay eggs only once every year.
The Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) or the Great One-horned Rhinoceros is a large herbivorous animal found in Nepal and India. These prehistoric-looking rhinoceros inhabit forest, marshy areas, and tall grasslands. Males are bigger than females, where adult males weigh from 2,200 to 3,000 kg, stand between 1.7 to 2 m tall and can reach up to 4 m long.
It has silver-brown ‘armor plating’ skin with minimal body hair, and a single black horn. Males grow thick neck-folds. It has sharp hearing and an excellent sense of smell, but has inferior eyesight. Indian Rhinos are friendly, agile, change direction quickly and an exceptional swimmer. They are excellent grazers, feeding mainly on grasses. However, their diet also includes fruits, branches, leaves, shrubs as well as some aquatic animals. Feeding occurs at night and early morning. To escape the midday heat, Indian rhino flounders or submerge themselves in water.
Impalas are graceful antelopes found in savannahs and grasslands of eastern and southern Africa. Impalas have glossy, reddish-brown coat with white stripes around the eyes and black marking on the ears’ edges. Also, adult males sport long, “S”-shaped horns. This amazing antelopes grow between 120-160 cm long and weigh between 40-80 kg.
Impalas spend the day grazing on grasses, fruits, flowers and shoots. They are known to be fleet runners that can jump distances up to 10 meters and can clear obstacles by leaping to about 3 meters in the air. Impalas are social animals that go in herds numbering to around 200 individuals.
The Iriomote cat (Prionailurus iriomotensis), is a very rare cat found only on the Japanese island of Iriomote. A threatened species of cat (with an estimated population of around 100 individuals), Iriomote cat has grayish-brown fur marked with dark spots across its body, dark rounded ears and a relatively short but hairy tail.
Adult males average 53-56 cm long excluding the tail, stand about 25 cm at shoulder height and normally weigh 3-7 kg. The tail averages 16-45 cm long. Later studies showed that Iriomote cats are generally nocturnal animals; hiding in tree cavities during the day and emerging to hunt at dusk. Studies also showed that the cat’s diet includes: insects, fish, small mammals, reptiles, and birds.
The ibises are a group of medium-sized wading birds with long, slender, down curved bills comprising the family Threskiornithidae. Ibises are found in warm areas worldwide except on South Pacific islands. They grow from 55 to 75 cm in body length. Though, they come in different plumage colors, most ibises sport white plumage with colored heads.
Ibises feed as a group, wading and probing in shallow lagoons, marshes, lakes, ponds and mud on fish, crustaceans and other small aquatic animals. Most species breed in colonies; building nests in bushes or trees. Females lay three to five greenish eggs. Both parents take turns in caring for the eggs and chicks.
The Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) is a thick-tailed Pangolin inhabiting forests and grasslands of India and Sri Lanka. This nocturnal animal lives primarily in burrows, but some will climb trees. Indian Pangolin eyes, ears and head are small but has a long tongue. The skin is brown in color, with large brownish to yellowish armored scales and five sharp claws on each foot.
The Indian Pangolin grows between 60-65 cm in head-body length and weighs about 8-9 kilograms. Also, it has a 45-55 long armored tail that comes in handy in climbing trees or balancing. Indian Pangolins are insectivore and feast on ants and termites. Since, they don’t have teeth, Indian Pangolins have two chambered stomachs that do the food-crushing process. Indian Pangolins breed all-year round. After a gestation of about 65-75 days, females give birth to one or two young.
The Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina) is a small passerine bird in the genus Hippolais . Its habitat ranges from France, Scandinavia, and southwest Siberia. This bird is found in open woodland, forests, parks, and orchards gardens.
Icterine Warbler is about 12–13.5 cm long and weighs about 8–23 g. Male and female carry similar plumage and colors; the head is green, long brownish bill, the eye is brown, greenish-brown back, and legs are blue. It feeds on insects, but at times eat fruits especially berries. This warbler is monogamous, seeking a new partner only when its mate dies.