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Mammals

MAMMAL COLLECTION

The collection of mammals consists mainly of animals from Greece and Europe and few that are found in other continents. Nowadays, some of them live in small populations under the risk of extinction and are protected by strict international, EU and Greek legislation. The animals in the collection of the Museum live in almost all forest, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems (forests, plains, plateaus, alpine zone, etc.), as well as in wetlands. Each of them are presented through dioramas, which are configured to resemble their natural living environment. Guests have the opportunity to be informed about the risks these animals face today and hence sharpen their awareness for the necessity to protect the environment and animals that live in it.

Below we present some of our exhibits:

Beech Marten

The Beech marten (Martes foina) can be found in most parts of Europe and Central Asia. It is well adapted to a big range of habitats, living in open areas and woods. It is a nocturnal mammal and it feeds on a wide variety of foods such as rodents, small birds and large amounts of fruits such as cherries, apples and pears. Rarely it attacks poultry. In Greece it can be found both in the mainland and islands.

Bushbuck

Bushbucks (Tragelaphus scriptus) are the most widely spread antelope species in sub-Saharan Africa. It prefers to live in rainy forests, mountain forests and mixed areas with woodland and savanna. It feeds on tree leaves. It is active almost throughout the whole day.

Raccoon

The Raccoon (Phacochoerus africanus) is a medium-sized nocturnal mammal native to North America. The original habitats of the raccoon are mixed and deciduous forests, but it is also well adapted to mountainous regions, coastal States and urban areas. It feeds on small mammals, amphibians, bird eggs, insects and plant matter.

African Warthog

The Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is a wild boar living in the meadows, the savannah and sparse forests of sub-Saharan Africa. The length range is 90 to 150 cm, height is 63 to 85 cm. It weighs about 45 to 150 kg. It feeds on grasses, roots, berries and other fruits, bark, mushrooms, insects, bird eggs and dead animals.

Arctic fox

The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) lives in the Arctic and northern tundra, in the northern regions of Europe, Asia and America. The average length is 110 cm and the weight range is 3 to 9,4 kg. It is well adapted to living in cold environments. It has short limbs and a deep thick fur which is white in winter and brown in summer. It consists of monogamous pairs and gives birth to 5 – 8 cubs, raises and protects them in burrows. It feeds on small rodents, rabbits, birds, eggs and dead animals. In the Museum’s collection there are two forms of the arctic fox, in white and blue coloration.

Gray wolf

The gray wolf (Canis Lupus) lives in North America, Europe and North Africa. It is a social animal and establishes highly territorial behaviors. It consists of families with a mated pair accompanied by the pair’s adult offspring. It lives in a large variety of habitats such as deserts, grasslands, forests and arctic tundra. It feeds on a wide variety of animals, even domestic animals when there are no other food sources.

European Otter

European otter (Lutra lutra) lives in Europe, Asia and North Africa. It prefers to live in clean fresh water such as lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries and lagoons. It feeds mainly on fish, although in winter when the fish consumption is significantly lower, it uses other sources of food, such as birds, frogs, crayfish and insects. In Greece, the European Otter is in danger due to the degradation the wetlands are suffering from, especially drying and destruction of riparian vegetation.

Roe deer

The European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) lives mainly in Europe and Asia, in forests, but also in more open areas. In Greece, it lives in mountainous areas in the mountains of northern and central Greece. Male deer have antlers, that are covered in a thin layer of velvet-like fur, but they fall every autumn and regrow again in late winter. Roe deer population in Greece is not big and very soon it will be threatened with extinction if people continue killing them.

European badger with albinism

The European badger (Meles meles) lives in Europe and in parts of the Middle East. It prefers hiding in burrows, in mixed and deciduous forests, open fields, pastures and heaths. It is a carnivore mammal, although it feeds on a large variety of plants. Badger diet consists of worms, large insects, small mammals, dead animals, cereals and tubers. Albinism is a congenital disorder characterized by a complete or partial absence of skin color. It affects also the eye color, making them red. These disease has been observed in human, but also in animals.

Agouti

Agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) is a rodent that lives in northeastern South America. It is found mainly in Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, and some Caribbean islands, in wooded areas, rainy forests, savannas and cultivated areas. Its length varies at 44 to 76 cm and weight 2.4 to 6 pounds. It feeds on fruits, leaves and roots. The Agouti mates once or twice a year and gives birth of 1 to 3 Agoutis. It has been observed that in captivity Agouti can live up to 15 to 20 years.

European Beaver

European Beaver (Castor fiber) is a rodent and belongs to the family of Kastorides. Its length is 80-100 cm, height 30-40 cm and weighs 11 to 30 pounds. It feeds on aquatic plants, roots, seeds and leaves. It uses trees and branches to build nests. Beavers play an important role in the regulation of river ecosystems and fish fauna. Ecology: Beavers’ population was multitudinous throughout Europe, but they were hunted almost to extinction because of their fur and castor oil. Today their population has been reintroduced in many parts of Europe and Asia.

Canadian Lynx

Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) lives in North America, in the forested areas of Canada and snowy Alaska. It is a mid-sized Lynx, 80 to 106 cm in length, at a weight of 8 to 11 kg. It feeds almost exclusively on rabbits, but also on birds and small mammals. It is smaller than the European one. It’s hair is dark gray in contrast to the Eurasian relative, found in yellow-red or red-brown fur. Lynx moves silently in nature and is quite difficult to observe. It is primarily a nocturnal predator but is active throughout the daytime.Ecology: The Canadian lynx population seems to not be threatened, however it is killed by human for its beautiful fur.

Wild boar

Wild boar (Sus Scrofa) lives in Eurasia and North Africa. Because of human intervention, wild boar spreads its range further, in many other regions of the world. In Europe, it lives in deciduous and mixed forests, mainly oak and beech trees and near meadows and swamps. It is an omnivore that feeds on roots, tubers, nuts, seeds, leaves, bark, worms, insects, snails, small mammals, bird eggs, lizards, dead animals and more.Wild boars main predator is the grey wolf. In the Far East, their biggest enemy are tigers.

Coyote

Coyote (Canis Latrans) is one of the most famous canine of North America. It is related to this area as it is the only place in the world where we can find it. It is smaller than a wolf and it lives in the the open meadows and deserts of North America, up to the highlands of Canada. It lives in nuclear families, led by a dominant female. It feeds on a big variety of preys, such as young bison and insects. The Coyote’s only serious enemies are gray wolves, cougars and human.Coyote has been placed in the diorama of “The Wild Life At Night” along with other mammals and birds that are active during the night.


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