Monday 12 October 2020

American Pikas Calling Out - Cute Animals in Nature

This is cute and adorable - American Pikas Calling Out - Cute Animals in Nature.

The fascinating American Pikas (Ochotona princeps) are calling out in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, British Columbia.  Much of this footage was integrated into an episode of Daily Planet on Discovery Channel Canada in October of 2012.

Pika is a common name for the smallest members of the order Lagomorpha, which also includes rabbits and hares. Pikas are like guinea pigs in size and shape, have relatively short legs, no external tail and almost circular, prominent external ears.

A "pika" is a small, mountain-dwelling mammal found in Asia and North America. With short limbs, very round body, an even coat of fur, and no external tail, they resemble their close relative, the rabbit, but with short, rounded ears. The large-eared pika of the Himalayas and nearby mountains is found at heights of more than 6,000 m (20,000 ft), certainly among the highest of any mammal.

Pikas do prefer rocky slopes and graze on a range of plants, mostly grasses, flowers, and young stems. In the autumn, they pull hay, soft twigs, and other stores of food into their burrows to eat during the long, cold winter. The pika is also well known as the "whistling hare" for its high-pitched alarm call when diving into its burrow.

The name "pika" appears to be derived from the Tungus piika, and the scientific name Ochotona is from the Mongolian word ogdoi, which means pika.

The 2 species found in North America are the American pika, found primarily in the mountains of the western United States and far southwestern Canada, and the collared pika of northern British Columbia, the parts of Yukon, western Northwest Territories, and Alaska.

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