Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Wow, that was intense

I just completed putting together the “lecture” for the very last lecture of my biology class: Biomes.

That took practically forever. Adding a zillion pictures was obligatory. I will be grading lab projects and making the final exam all weekend. Since I don’t have time to write a post, here are a few of the pictures from this lecture, some of which obviously illustrate various biomes and others of which I tossed into the “lecture” partly to provide a visual aid for “animals of this biome,” but mainly because they’re just neat.

In absolutely no order, but in each case with the biome first and then a characteristic animal from that biome, here we go.

Bonus if you can recognize the first animal. Or for that matter the second.

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10 Comments Wow, that was intense

  1. Elaine T

    Is that first one a takin? I think I remember Roy Chapman Andrews discussing hunting them and their golden fur.

  2. Rachel Neumeier

    Yes! Though plenty of takin are not this gold, in fact. They are often a darkish sable.

    Takin are in the order Artiodactyla, the family Bovidae, and the subfamily Caprinae. They are goat-antelopes, a category American students are highly unlikely to know anything about.

    Textbooks for the American market support a thoroughly parochial view of world ecology; 100% of the time, they illustrate every possible biome with American fauna. In this case, grasslands = bison. I detest this because the world is vastly diverse and no one knows this. Therefore I make a point of illustrating everything possible with non-American fauna.

    Plus hey, perhaps somebody will someday be playing Scrabble and maybe they will get the right letters to spell “takin.”

  3. Kim Aippersbach

    I was going to say mountain goat because the face looks a lot like mountain goats, but then there was the grass, and it didn’t really look like a mountain goat, so then I had no idea! Which grasslands are they native to? (Very glad to get another ‘k’ word for Scrabble, by the way!)

    Is the jungle guy a gibbon?

  4. Elaine T

    Andrews was in the Gobi, more or less – Mongolia and China heading for the Gobi – from what I recall of his book (which I can’t find at the moment).

    But if you ever want to read the voice of the explorers and adventurers of yesteryear, look up his stuff.

    Online search says they range in the eastern Himalayas.

  5. Rachel

    Takin are found in Asian woodlands, including bamboo woodlands, alpine valleys, and grasslands in Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.

    Nope, not a gibbon. Let me remind you that gibbons are lesser apes and don’t have tails. These guys certainly have tails, nice fluffy ones. To me this species looks like a cross between a Persian kitten and Abraham Lincoln. I’ll narrow it down and say these are little-known South American monkeys. You might see them in Venezuela, for example.

  6. SarahZ

    My daughter (4 yrs) had wanted to learn more about the polar regions so we’ve got a couple books about tundras among the last haul we got before the library closed bc of pandemic. Plus, I saw musk oxen when I visited family in AK. That’s the only one I got, though.

  7. Rachel

    The monkey is a bearded saki, Chiropotes satanus, which for some reason is not at all well-known even though I think they’re very attractive, interesting monkeys. They’re in the family Pitheciidae, which includes 44 species, mostly various titi monkeys — which are also not at all well-known.

    I’ve never been to the tundra, but someday maybe. It’s beautiful as long as you don’t expect it to be lush.

  8. Kim Aippersbach

    What a great name for an animal, and perfect for one who does look a little like Abraham Lincoln! And hey, there’s another ‘k’ word for Scrabble!

  9. Rachel

    I didn’t realize I was providing another K word, but yes. You know, it’s really astonishing (and disappointing) how seldom I’ve managed to use a weird animal name in Scrabble. I do try. “Gaur” is the one that I most often think of when I have the letters. I’ve never spelled “Saki,” I think, and while we’re on the subject of “K” words, I’ve definitely never used “uakari,” which you’d think would be possible now and then. I very much hope you’ll eventually have a chance to use that one, Kim! Hopefully someone will challenge you on it and you will have an excuse to pull up a picture and point to one of the weirdest, and most villainous-looking, monkeys in the world.

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