7 junio, 2024

20 forest animals and their characteristics

The animal world is truly fascinating, and it is the forests where you can best appreciate the great diversity of animals that exist. If you take a trip to the forest, with luck, you will be able to observe from large animals such as bears or moose, to small ones, but no less interesting, such as woodpeckers, mice or a slow snail.

Each animal has its own characteristics and customs: there are those that feed by hunting other animals, while there are others that live by eating herbs and fruits. Some fly, others run, crawl, swim or climb to survive in the forest.

Knowing the animals that inhabit these places is not only interesting and fun, but also allows us to better understand the planet we live on and our own place in this world full of life. So come with me to learn about 20 forest animals, their characteristics and customs.

List of animals that live in the forest

1. The bear

There are eight different types or species of bears in the world and, except for the polar bear, they all live in forests in Europe, America, Africa and Asia. These animals measure from 1 to almost 3 meters long, weighing up to 800 kilos.

Bears eat all kinds of food, whether they hunt deer, fish for salmon, or eat fruits, roots, leaves, or honey.

2. The wolf

Wolves are brothers to our beloved dogs and live in packs, hunting both small and large animals, as they are carnivores. They are found from North America to Mexico, as well as in Europe and Asia.

These beautiful animals reach up to 90 centimeters in height at the shoulders and weigh up to 60 or 70 kilograms.

3. The lynx

There are 4 species of this elegant cat, characterized by its size of up to 130 centimeters long, without considering its short tail. As well as its strong muscles and its ears ending in pointed tufts of hair.

Like our domestic cat, the lynx is carnivorous and an agile hunter, inhabiting from North America, passing through Europe to Asia.

4. The moose

This gigantic relative of the deer lives in the forests of the north of the planet, from America, passing through Europe to Asia. It can measure up to 2.15 meters high and 3.1 meters long, with huge antlers with flattened antlers, and weigh up to 850 kilograms.

It feeds on grass, tree bark, aquatic plants and young twigs. They even go so far as to dive into lakes in search of the aquatic plants at the bottom.

5. The deer

Many varieties of this beautiful animal characteristic of the forest, with its slender figure and impressive antlers, are known. There are deer from North America, through North Asia and Europe, including the Iberian Peninsula and Great Britain, to North Africa.

The deer can measure up to 2.5 meters in length and weigh about 200 kilograms, feeding on grasses, berries, acorns and chestnuts.

6. The boar

A wild boar is the wild relative of the pig and lives in herds, feeding on whatever it gets. It can eat small animals, especially insects, bird eggs, even vegetables, especially acorns and berries.

They inhabit much of Europe and Asia and have been introduced into the forests of North America and the American southern cone, as well as in Oceania. They measure up to 160 centimeters in length, 65 centimeters in height and weigh up to more than 100 kilos.

7. The Fox

The fox is a forest animal that has a reputation for cunning. It is a magnificent hunter, feeding on all kinds of small animals, including farm chickens. There are around 27 species of foxes in the world and they inhabit all types of forests on the planet.

They vary in color from silver to reddish, reaching almost 8 kilos in weight, showing a fluffy and beautiful tail.

8. The Raccoon

The raccoon is a curious animal from the American forests, characterized by its fluffy tail with black rings. As well as his eyes surrounded by black as if it were a mask. It feeds on small animals, such as frogs, insects, birds and rodents, as well as fruits

If it is near cities, it will raid garbage cans to obtain food, being very skilled with its front legs. It reaches about 55 centimeters in height and about 15 kilos in weight.

9. The Badger

The badger has a well-earned reputation for being brave and ferocious, despite its relatively small size. There are European and American badgers, different in color and size, but all are characterized by being longer and wider than they are tall. The European badger reaches up to 15 kilos in weight and 80 centimeters in length, while the badger is somewhat larger, about 90 centimeters.

They feed on fruits, honey, insects, earthworms, lizards and small mammals, as well as mice and squirrels.

10. The Skunk

Also called skunks, its most notable feature is that it launches a foul-smelling substance at its enemies as a defense. They turn around, raise their tail and shoot a stream of liquid towards whoever bothers or harasses them. That unpleasant and unbearable bad smell can last from weeks to a month.

They live in forests in America and Asia, with their characteristic black and white color, feeding on fruits, insects, eggs, small birds, lizards, and small mammals.

11. The Rabbit

This small animal is native to Europe, but has been introduced to many parts of the world. It is characterized by its long ears, long and strong hind legs, and its tail like a furry speck. They measure up to 50 centimeters long and weigh 2.5 kilos.

They feed on grasses and roots, inhabiting burrows in the ground and fleeing from predators with great leaps.

12. The Hare

It is very similar to the rabbit; however, they tend to be longer-bodied, with longer ears and legs, and are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Their eating habits are similar to those of rabbits and they run faster than rabbits.

Also, they do not care for their young in burrows like rabbits, but in small depressions in the ground, like a nest.

13. The squirrel

A characteristic image of the forest is the squirrel, with its large and furry tail, sitting on a branch, eating an acorn or other fruit. They are brown, gray, silver and even black.

Their ears are short, they have large eyes and they are very agile climbers, living in cavities in trunks, always alert for possible predators.

14. The hedgehog

The back of the hedgehog is completely covered with long spines. Faced with any threat, they roll into a ball and their spines stand up like an impenetrable defense.

They are nocturnal animals that inhabit Europe, Asia and Africa, feeding on insects and vegetables, especially fruits. In America there are similar animals, called porcupines, whose spines are sharp, unlike those of the hedgehog.

15. The Mouse

This animal even lives in our houses. However, there are species of mice that are typical of the forest, where it originally came from. These small rodents feed on seeds, roots, and fruits, living in burrows.

They are characterized by their small size, their long hairless tail, their large ears and somewhat prominent muzzle with hairs like a mustache.

16. The snake

In the world’s forests there are all kinds of snakes, from harmless to humans to others whose bite injects deadly venom. All are carnivorous, grabbing their prey in their jaws, injecting it with venom, or suffocating it by coiling around it.

They are elongated reptiles, without legs and with a body covered in scales, with a characteristic forked tongue that they constantly stick out, as it helps them to smell their surroundings.

17. The owl

One of the typical birds of the forests is the owl, with its rounded head with a heart-shaped face, short hooked beak, large eyes and enormous wings. They are nocturnal birds of prey, spotting their prey in mid-flight, silently swooping down to grab it with their talons.

They mainly hunt small rodents, squirrels and hares, and inhabit almost the entire planet, in cavities in logs, bell towers and dark places.

18. The owl

These birds are similar to owls, with the difference that they present some folds and tufts of feathers in the ears that give the impression of pointed ears. Like barn owls, they are mainly nocturnal birds of prey and also feed on small rodents, birds, and reptiles.

Also, along with owls, they have the ability to turn their heads 70 degrees; that is, almost completely turn it around. Owl species are found almost everywhere on the planet.

19. The woodpecker

Sometimes you are walking through the forest and you hear an insistent tapping on wood and, when you look closely, you see a small bird trying to hit a trunk with its sharp and long beak. The intention of the woodpecker is to bore into the wood and locate the larvae and adult insects that are its food.

There are many species of woodpeckers, with most males being highly colored with showy tufts of feathers on their heads.

20. The snail

This slow and silent forest dweller is characterized by its soft body and large spiral-shaped shell carried on its back. There are numerous species, which differ in size, color, and shell shape.

They reproduce by laying eggs and feeding on plant matter, such as leaves and dead plant debris. When they move, they secrete a mucus that makes it easier for them to move and leaves a mark where they pass. They have a pair of tentacles on their head, on which their eyes go, and generally a shorter second lower pair with olfactory functions, that is, to smell.

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