Essay Example on The American pika is assumed to have started out with its ancestors from Beringia









The American pika is assumed to have started out with its ancestors from Beringia They then moved across the Bering Land Bridge into what is now the Americas and they evolved into the collared pika evolution The Collard pika lives more northern in Alaska and Canada and most importantly for our purposes the American pika which lives more southern along the edges of the western mountain ranges and into the top of Colorado Now zoom forward a few thousand years and the American pika has evolved into what it looks like now somewhat resembling a rabbit except with shorter rounded ears and no visible tail It has a somewhat round body and is also known as the little chief hare Their bodies are usually between 162 to 216mm or A little over half a foot to 8 inches They have hind feet that are somewhat larger than their front ranging from 1 1 and a half inches 

They weigh almost nothing around 170 grams, All in all, they are small enough to hold The males are usually larger than the females although not by much Its feet are completely covered in fur except for black pads on the end of its toes Its ears are covered in fur on both sides and are normally dark except for white highlights around the edges As I said before it has no visible tail but it has one and it is long compared to its body and most other animals in its family Its skull is mostly rounded with a large flat area at the bottom Their fur is between gray and brown and is often lighter browns in the summer and greyer longer fur in the winter Pika s get their food by eating thistle grasses and fireweed

They can get their water from their food but if there is a nearby water source they will drink from it When the forage for their food they have 2 different ways of doing it First they consume the food directly in summer and secondly they gather food and put in into a hay pile for winter Pika s do not hibernate meaning they need more food during winter than animals that do hibernate 

Because they live at the bottom of mountains they are somewhat camouflaged with the brown of the rocks around them in summer and in the winter greyer fur to fit the white snow This helps give them protection from predators like eagles hawks coyotes bobcats and weasels The pika is somewhat territorial and have a home range of anywhere between 410 709 square meters and can depend on how close food is and the quality of it The pikas home range may overlap with the home range of a mate but not with another pika of the same sex The distance between 2 adults is larger during early to mid-summer but get smaller during late summer and early autumn Pikas are territorial more so during winter but aggressiveness is rare and only between those unfamiliar with each other and sometimes of the same sex Pikas form matted pairs when they have adjacent territories and are of different sex A female pika can have up to 2 litter per year with each one around 3 baby pikas each 

They reproduce around one month before the snow starts to melt The gestation period for a pika is around 30 days The pikas are born in March in lower elevations and in higher elevations, it occurs in April to June Pikas are born blind with only some hair but having fully grown in teeth At birth they weigh between 10 to 12 grams After 9 days they can open their eyes The mother forages most days and goes home every 2 hours to care for the babies After 4 weeks they become independent

They might stay at their home or an adjourning range Young pika occupy areas away from their relatives as much as possible possibly because of competition for territory Pikas are very vocal using both songs and calls to communicate 

The call is for when a predator is near while the song is used by males during breeding season The pika is very sensitive to high temperatures and are supposed to be one of the most reliable early warnings for global warming in the western US Because temperatures are increasing the pikas are moving to higher elevations for better habitat and colder temperatures Unfortunately the American pika cannot migrate easily because they are restricted to small habitat ranges in mountain ranges Did you know the pika can die when exposed to temperatures above 77 9 degrees Fahrenheit in six hours To combat this during midday when the sun is at its peak pikas are inactive and withdraw into a talus a collection of broken rocks where it is typically cooler Pika population is declining In 2010 the pika was considered for the US Endangered Species Act but was decided against by the US Fish And Wildlife service twice Pika Wikipedia So help stop global warming and save the pikas

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