Aside from Pig, penguin, panda, pigeon, pelican, puma, panther, pug…. the animal Kingdom offers as with other awesome animals whose names start with the letter P. Here is a list of what I consider, least-known “P” animals.
Puffins are stocky penguin-like seabirds inhabiting open sea, steep cliffs and islands of the North Atlantic Ocean and North Pacific Ocean. All three extant species (Horned Puffin, Tufted Puffin, and Atlantic Puffin) have large beaks, short-wings and short-tails, wide webbed feet, and generally sporting black and white plumage. These pelagic seabirds average 30 cm long and weigh 345 – 488g. Generally, males are bigger than females. Puffins are excellent divers, feeding mostly on sand eels, fish larvae and other aquatic invertebrates.
A pademelon is a small marsupial found inhabiting dense forests of Queensland , New South Wales, Tasmania and parts of New Guinea. Majority of the seven known species have dark-brown upperparts and red-brown underparts. It has relatively short tail and legs. Adult males which are bigger than females average around 1 – 1.2 m long, including the tail and can weigh up to 12 kg. This solitary and nocturnal animal, feeds on green grasses, green shoots and herbs.
Found mostly in tundra areas, the Ptarmigan is a small chicken-like bird that lives year round in the Arctic. It has stocky body, rounded white wings, feathered feet, and short tails. This odd bird changes its plumage color thrice in a year. It sports a brownish with dark stripes plumage in summer, grayish color in fall and white during winter. Its diet includes: leaves, berries and sometimes other small insects.
The proboscis monkey or long-nosed monkey, is a reddish-brown monkey that is widespread in the island of Borneo, Malaysia. It is found living along riverbanks, swamps and mangrove forests. A remarkable feature of this arboreal monkey is the male’s large, fleshy nose that can reach up to 7 inches long. Juveniles have blackish fur and blue face with relatively normal nose. Adults are generally reddish-brown in color and with grayish limbs. On average, males grow to about 72 cm in length and weighing up to 24 kg. Proboscis monkey feeds mainly on leaves, mangrove shoots, fruits and seed. The IUCN listed this monkey as Endangered.
Peccary, often called javelina, is a medium-sized mammal resembling a wild pig that is widespread in southwestern United States, South and Central America. Just like wild pigs, peccaries have large head, small ears and tails, circular snout, spear-like canine teeth and sport dark coarse hair. On average, they measure between 90 to 130 centimeters and can reach 20 to 40 kilograms in weight. Generally omnivores, their diet consist of grass, fruits, roots and seed.
The pika is any member of the Ochotonidae, which is characterized by its rounded ears, short limbs. and short tail. This small animal native to cold climates is found in North America and central Asia. Recognizable by its high-pitched alarm call, pika is often referred to as the “whistling hare”. Adult pikas measure 15-25 cm in length and about 170-400 g in weight. This diurnal 9active at night) animal has big ears and sports soft fur; gray-brown upperparts and white on the belly. A known herbivore, it feeds on grasses, leaves, twigs, herbs and bark.
The pied tamarin (Saguinus bicolor) is a small, endangered monkey inhabiting tropical forests of Manaus, Brazil. This diurnal and arboreal primate exhibit black hairless face, a white chest, brown or tan hind legs and brown to black tail. Adults average 20.8–28.3 cm in body length with about 33.5–42.0 cm long tail and weigh between 400 – 430 grams. and a black hairless face. Tamarins are omnivorous, they feed on insects, spiders, birds eggs, other small vertebrates, flowers, fruits and nectar.
A polecat is a solitary animal belonging to the weasel family, found in Asia, Europe, and certain parts of Africa. Its favored habitat includes, riverbanks, farmlands and woodlands. It has a long, slender body, rounded ears, short muzzles, short tail, and sensitive whiskers. It sports a long, black fur with yellow patches on the face and ears. On average, a polecat measures 55 centimeters long with a 10 centimeters long tail. Most polecats are nocturnal and carnivores, feeding on fish, small birds, reptiles, eggs, and other small mammals.
The pudú is any of two species of small deer native to South America. Considered as the world’s smallest deer, pudus measure about 32 to 44 centimeters at shoulder high, about 85 centimeters long and weigh up to 12 kilograms. They have small hooves, small black eyes, dewclaws, rounded ears, black noses and short tails. The long and coarse fur varies in color, from a dark brown to reddish brown hue. Pudus are solitary and herbivore animals, feeding on leaves, vines, young sprouts, herbs, flowers, buds and fallen fruits.
A pangolin, also called the “scaly anteater”, is a long-tailed mammal inhabiting warm regions of Asia and Africa. its preferred habitats include savannas and woodlands close to waters. This nocturnal animal is distinguishable by its large, hardened, plate-like scales, powerful claws, and elongated tongue. Pangolins range in sizes from 30 cm to 100 cm. Pangolins feed on ants, termites and other small insects.