In this article I will detail 10 different endangered species. They exhibit the importance of preserving our environment. (Note: these are 10 relatively well-known species, not in any particular intended order)
1. Giant Panda
You might have seen it if/when you went to China, or maybe the San Diego Zoo. Known worldwide as our classical black-and-white bamboo shoot muncher, the giant panda has been fading from existence as a result of deforesting and other environmental issues. They generally weigh (depending on gender) from 200 to 250 pounds and are about 5 feet long as adults. Their only natural habitat is southwestern forested China. Although they may seem cute and fuzzy (Kung Fu Panda 2 baby Po anyone?) giant pandas are just as dangerous as any other bear, so take caution. Although you probably won’t be getting that near one anyway…
2. Galapagos Tortoise
The aptly named Galapagos Tortoise hails from the Galapagos islands east of Africa. These islands were where Charles Darwin began formulating his ideas of natural selection by watching the various subspecies of these tortoises and finches. As with most of its family, the Galapagos Tortoise is slow and lethargic-looking and is colored a dull, muddy brown. They range widely in size and weight. They maintain several symbiotic relationships with other Galapagos inhabitants such as the finch.
The cheetah is popularly hailed as the fastest land animal on Earth, reaching speeds of over 60 miles per hour. However, the cheetah only has great acceleration capabilities, and in terms of endurance and stamina, it is lacking. Cheetahs grow to about 110 pounds and live for approximately 11 years. They have been prey to a relatively recent “bottleneck” evolution stage, in which cheetahs display surprising low species diversity.
4. African Elephant
The African Elephant is the largest land animal, and like the cheetah, it is native to the savannah plains of Africa. It weighs about 10k pounds. The African Elephant, if it were to disappear from the world, would have a profound impact upon the African savannah ecosystem. Not only does it free up land by consuming massive amounts of vegetation, the African elephant also serves as a bulky protector for smaller animals, as it is too large for any predator to attempt to individually defeat. These elephants have been subject to poachers searching for the fabulously expensive ivory from their tusks.