Map of China

8 Mammals You Didn’t Know Were Native to China

Posted on Posted in Chinese Culture

China is a such a large country filled with so many unique animals. These facts about China are meant to highlight some of the most interesting (and cute!) animals found in the Middle Kingdom.

 

Pygmy slow lorises

A six-week old pygmy slow lori with its mother
Image credit: i.huffpost.com

These are a species of nocturnal strepsirrhine primates found in the Yunnan Province of China. It is nocturnal and arboreal, crawling along branches using slow movements in search of prey. The teeth in its lower jaw form a comb-like structure called a toothcomb that is used for scraping resin from tree bark.

 

Macaques

A macaque eating some food
Image credit: beijingfromthetopfloor.files.wordpress.com

Macaques are the most commonly found monkeys in China and can be found throughout the country. They have oversized cheeks to store food and live in large troops. Stump-tailed macaques have long, thick, dark brown fur covering their bodies, but their face and short tail, are hairless.

 

Sables

A sable sticking its head out of a hole
Image credit: upload.wikimedia.org

These are a species of marten which inhabit forest environments found in the Manchuria Region in Northeast China and the Altai region of northern Xinjiang Province. They live in burrows, near riverbanks in the thickest parts of woods, commonly made more secure by being dug among tree roots. They are good climbers of cliffs and trees, which helps them hunt their prey.

 

Dugongs

A dugong floating near the ocean floor
Image credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dugong

These are medium-sized marine mammals, related to manatees in the Western Hemisphere, found along the coast of the Guangxi Zhuang Region in China. They are the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal, as all species of manatee use fresh water to some degree, and generally live long lives, sometimes into their 70s.

 

Gibbons

A gibbon sitting on the grass
Image credit: www.wired.co.uk

Gibbons are the only apes native to China other than humans and can be found in the Yunnan Province of China. They are the fastest and most agile tree-dwellers, using their long arms to swing from branches. Gibbons can be recognized by their loud calls, with mating pairs often singing together as a duet.

 

Takins

A takin walking on its own
Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

The largest goat antelope and a relative of the musk ox, live in highlands from the eastern foothills of the Himalayas to the Qinling and shares habitat with the giant panda in Sichuan and Shaanxi. In the summer, herds of up to 300 individuals gather high on the mountain slopes and groups often appear to occur in largest numbers when favorable feeding sites, salt licks, or hot springs are located.

 

Siberian ibexes

Two Siberian ibexes standing on some rocks
Image credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_ibex

The largest and heaviest goats, are found in the Tian Shan range of Xinjiang. Their habitat consists of a mixture of high altitude tundra, alpine meadows, and regions of semidesert. Siberian ibexes seek out lower slopes during the winter in search of food and have also been known to seek out tree lines on hot days.

 

Bactrian camels

A Bactrian camel standing alone
Image credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactrian_camel

Found in the dry deserts of Northern China, have two humps and can go a month or longer without drinking water. A thirsty Bactrian camel can drink 135 liters (30 gallons) in only 13 minutes! They can with withstand extremely hot and cold weather and have broad hooves that do not sink in desert.

 

Cover image: trailsofindochina.com

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