They may not be as popular as Rabbit, Rat, Robin, Rhinoceros, Rooster or Rottweiler….but these charming animals deserve their spot on our list of animals whose names begin with the letter R.
Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are medium-sized mammals endemic to North and South America. These nocturnal are found in different habitats such as prairies, forests, marshes, and urban areas. Raccoons are easily identified by the black markings around their eyes resembling a mask. They have clawed feet with long fingers and toes. The dense furs varies from gray to brown. They have pointed snouts and bushy, black-ringed tails. Adults measure about 60 to 95 cm long and weigh around 1.8 to 10.4 kg. Raccoons are omnivores; they feed on fish, frogs, mice, birds, other small mammals, plants, fruits, nuts and even human garbage. In the wild, raccoons can live from 2 to 3 years.
Redpolls are small passerine birds found mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. There are three known species of redpolls namely: Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea), Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret), and the Arctic Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni). They are generally brown or gray-brown in color and with the distinguishable red markings on their foreheads. The bill is small and yellow. Adults average 11.5-14.5 cm long with 20-25 cm wingspan and weigh between 12-16 g. Redpolls are generally seed-eaters but at times feed on small insects.
The Red Brocket (Mazama americana), is a species of brocket deer widespread in the dense forests of Central and South America. These small diurnal animals inhabit swamps, rivers and marshes. When fully-grown, Red Brocket deer measure 70-130 cm long, 69-71 cm tall, and weigh 16-25 kg. Generally, they have reddish brown coats, arched back, and slender body. Males sport anthers that can measure 10-13 cm 4-in length. They feed mostly on leaves, grasses, buds and fruits. Red Brocket deer are excellent swimmers.
The Redhead (Aythya americana) is a medium-sized diving duck found across North America, Australia and New Zealand. These migratory birds are found in variety of habitat including ponds, freshwater lakes, coastal waters, marshlands and bays. Adults grow to about 37 cm long with an 84 cm wingspan and weigh up to 0.95-1.4 kg. Redhead adult males sport reddish-chestnut head, black breast, and gray back. It has red neck, yellow eyes and blue bill. The adult females have white breast, brown head and back. These birds find food by diving or dabbling. They feed on leaves, tubers, muskgrass, wild celery, duckweeks, bulrush seeds, water lily seeds and wild rice.
The Red Uakari (Cacajao calvus), is relatively a small monkey found in the jungles of South America in particular Brazil, Columbia and Peru. It is roughly 58 cm tall and weighs around 4 kg. The fur color varies from white to golden to red depending on the subspecies. All Red Uakaris are characterized by their shaggy coats, bald heads, pink two red faces, wide eyes and short tails. These agile primates feed mainly on fruits, flowers, seeds as well as small animals. Their population is in a decline due to rampant hunting and habitat loss.Currently, the IUCN lists the Red Uakari as “vulnerable”.
Rheas are either of two species of large, flightless birds endemic to South America. The two known extant species are the Greater Rhea (Rhea Americana) and the Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata). Resembling an ostrich but are smaller, Rheas have gray-brown plumage, small heads with pointed beaks, long necks, rounded bodies, and powerful ling legs. These shy but agile birds can reach 120 cm tall and weigh up to 20 kg. They are omnivorous and feed on leaves, beetles, lizards and grasshoppers.
The Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a medium-sized primate native only on the African island of Madagascar. It has a distinctive long, bushy, vividly striped, black-and-white tail. The skin is smooth and dark gray or black in color. It sports a white head marked with large, dark patches around the eyes. It also has a dark, pointed snout and a long tail longer than its body. The ring-tailed lemur averages 39 – 46 cm in head–body length with a 56 – 63 cm tail and weighs around 2.2 kilograms. A diurnal animal, it feeds mainly on fruits but also eat leaves, flowers and sap. The IUCN listed the Ring-tailed lemurs as “endangered” due to habitat loss. In the wild, it has a life span of lives 16 to 19 years and can live up to 27 years in captivity.
Redstarts are any of several species of small passerine birds widespread in the Western Hemisphere. Adults can reach 13-14.5 cm long with 21-24 cm wing span and 12-20 g. Redstarts have black faces, black bill, black legs, gray upperparts, orange breasts and long, red tail. Most species are migratory and breed almost anywhere including woodlands, gardens, orchards, parks and :and quarries. Redstarts are insectivores feeding mainly on insects and their larvae.
The roadrunners (also known as Ground Cuckoo),are two species of fast-running terrestrial birds native to North and Central America. The two existing species of these ground foraging cuckoos are: Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) and Lesser Roadrunner (Geococcyx velox.) Their habitats include deserts, open grasslands, and thorny scrubs. Roadrunners are sprint runners that can run at speeds of up to 24 km per hour. On average, they can reach 50 -58 cm long from tail to beak. They are known for their distinctive head crest, oversized dark bill, long legs and black-and-white, plumage. Roadrunners are and feed on anything including fruits, insects, small reptiles, rodents, and small animals.
Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) are small passerine birds widely distributed in north and central Europe and some parts of Asia. They prefer farmlands and wooded steppes. They sport a distinctive all-black plumage with gray-white face. They have black legs and feet, feathered, rounded nostrils, and strong, thin beaks. Adults can reach 45 to 47 cm in size and weighs from about 337 – 531 grams. Rooks feed mainly on earthworms, insect larvae, other small mammals, fruits, and cereal grains.
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