Animals of South and North America

Animals of South and North America

In California, in the United States, there are forests in which the tallest trees on earth grow - sequoias. They grow in a strip approximately 750 km long and 8-75 km wide along the Pacific coast. Trees sometimes grow close to the shore, sometimes they climb to a height of up to 920 meters. Sequoia loves the humidity that sea air brings with it. The tallest and oldest trees grow in gorges and deep ravines, where streams of moist air can reach all year round and where fogs regularly occur.

Do you know the size of this rare tree?

They are not only the tallest, but also the oldest: many of them are 2000 - 3000 years old, their height is more than 100 meters, and their trunk thickness is from 6 to 9 meters. Sequoia cones are the size of a large melon.

The crown is conical, the branches grow horizontally or with a slight downward slope. The bark is very thick, up to 30 cm thick, and relatively soft, fibrous, red-brown in color, and darkens over time after being removed. The root system consists of shallow, widely spreading lateral roots.


This one doesn’t hide from anyone: with its wide white stripes on its almost black body, it attracts attention from afar. But few people dare to approach it: in case of danger, it emits such a disgusting smell that neither animals nor people can stand it - they quickly run away

This black and white cat-sized animal has a large fluffy tail and looks like a plush toy or a cartoon character. But make no mistake: the skunk is a relative of the ferret, and like it, at the base of its tail it has two small glands that produce musk with a disgusting odor! When in danger, he can douse his enemy with this oily, sickening, and corrosive liquid. Fortunately, the skunk only uses this protection as a last resort. In fact, if he is disturbed, he first begins to growl or whistle and quickly beat the ground with his front paws. How does he eat?

The skunk is nocturnal: it feeds at night, tearing the ground with its long claws in search of insects, grubs, plants and small animals.

How does it winter? By the end of autumn, it forms sufficient reserves of fat; and then he chooses a deeper hole, in which he spends the winter and gives birth in the spring to four to six cubs.


On the Amazon River, one of the extraordinary plants in the world is found - the Victoria regia water lily. Its flowers are magnificent; they live for about a day and a half, managing to change their color three times during this time. But the leaves are even more amazing: round with sides, they can be up to 2 meters in diameter.

The discovery of Victoria regia was one of the biggest botanical sensations in history. This happened in 1836. R. Schomburgk discovered a giant two-meter water lily in South America! leaves and huge fragrant flowers. He named the plant Victoria in honor of the eighteen-year-old, very beautiful English Queen Victoria, who had just ascended the throne and was also interested in botany. Later, the water lily began to be called Victoria regia, which means royal Victoria. The news of the discovery of an extraordinary plant spread throughout the world. A few years later, Schomburgk was given the title of baronet “for services to the British Empire.” The displacement of Victoria leaves is so great that the natives use them as a means of floating. In addition, flour from the roots of this plant is used as food.


Llamas are a ruminant, a relative of the camel, but they do not have humps, and they do not live in deserts, but in the highlands of South America.

The llama is very durable and is used mainly as a pack animal: it can carry a load of 50 kg for 12 hours! Local residents have long domesticated llamas. These animals do not suffer from altitude sickness and are not afraid of extreme cold. What are they eating? Llamas chew cud like cows. They swallow the grass, regurgitate it semi-digested, and then chew it again for a long time before finally eating it. Why does the llama spit? The lama spits, but not from a lack of respect, as is often thought, but to frighten and put to flight his enemies! Therefore, try not to provoke her: it’s unpleasant to get caught in a shower of llama saliva. Ew, disgusting!

Why are llamas raised? It is grown mainly for its valuable wool. Warm fabric is made from their long wool, shoes and gloves are made from leather, and candles are made from fat.


Sloths are animals the size of a large cat and live in the tropical forests of South America. Sloth lives up to his name. He sleeps at least 18 hours a day, and when he wakes up he leads a leisurely lifestyle. It slowly climbs trees, hanging on its long arms, which end in three long curved claws. He rarely comes down from the tree. The sloth has adapted so much to a hanging lifestyle that its fur even grows in the opposite direction (from the belly to the back). Its greenish fur allows it to blend in with the foliage.

The sloth is unusually slow. He slowly moves from one branch to another, does not make unnecessary movements - he saves energy. It feeds just as slowly: it picks off leaves, chews them and even digests them, as if in slow motion.

The sloth does not wash himself, although he can swim. Therefore, microscopic algae grow in its skin, giving it a greenish color. Caterpillars feed on blue-green algae, which pupate on the fur and turn into butterflies.

The female gives birth to one cub once a year and does not part with it until it grows up. The baby is lazy from birth. He grabs his mother's back and hangs like that for hours, without changing position, whether she is sleeping or leisurely traveling through the trees.


Look what a strange animal! This bizarre animal has armor made of bone plates covering its entire body from head to tail. At birth the armor is soft, but quickly hardens. This is real armor. For greater flexibility in the middle of the body, these plates are arranged in the form of belts connected to each other by soft hairy skin. Different species have from three to nine.

This animal, from 12 to 100 cm in length, can live almost anywhere, but it cannot tolerate drought or cold. He sleeps in a hole dug at a depth of two meters. He usually lives alone.

Smell allows the armadillo to smell even an animal hidden underground. It digs out prey with powerful claws, raking the soil away from itself with its muzzle. To avoid swallowing earth, the animal holds its breath for several minutes. The armadillo eats insects (ants, termites), mushrooms, roots and carrion.

The nine-banded armadillo is a good swimmer who knows special swimming secrets. Having pumped air into the stomach and intestines, it floats on the water and does not sink like a float. In addition, he can run along the bottom.

When in danger, the armadillo curls up into a ball. Not a single predator can bite through it or turn it around. Sometimes the cunning battleship quickly buries itself right under the enemy’s nose.

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