Stone Zoo, New England



Stone Zoo, Stoneham, Massachusetts







Zoo New England operates the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Massachusetts as wellas the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.


The Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)  s the only species of deer in which boththe males and the females have antlers.  Each spring reindeer shed

their antlers and a new set begins to grow in the summer.  During the

growing phase, the antlers are covered with a furred skin called

“velvet” that carries the blood supply to this rapidly growing

tissue.  Once the antlers are fully grown the velvet dies and is shed

from the now hard antlers.  The antlers at the forward tips branch

out in a unique manner.  They can migrate hundreds of miles between

grazing grounds on the tundra.  In the summer they feed on grass and

other tundra plants.  In winter reindeer feed mainly on lichens,

scraping away the snow with their hooves to get the plants.  Their

coat is dense and waterproof, so they don’t feel the cold.  The

hooves are broad and enables the reindeer to walk easily in deep

snow.  In the fall, the males pursue females in heat.  Duels

between males are rare..  After about eight months the females gives

birth to a single calf.  Once the calves are born, they can start

following the mother within minutes and can run with the herd within a few

hours of their birth.  Their range is: Alaska, Canada, North Europe,

Greenland, Scandinavia to Siberia and Asia.

Yak (Bos grunniens) – West China, Tibetan plateau, North India,Kashmir.  Wild Yak live in mountanous terrain at an altitude of

13,000 to 20,000 feet.  They have wooly, dense blackish-brown hair

that sometimes reaches almost to the ground.  They are sturdy and

sure-footed and able to handle the tough terrain and harsh, cold

climates.  Both the male and female Yak have curved horns which grow

from the sides of their broad and bulky heads.  When  a group is

threatened, they form a phalanx, facing outward with their horns lowered,

the calves being in the middle of the group.

Zebu (Bos tourus indicus) – Tibet.  The Zebu have been domisticatedand raised throughout the world.  The Zebu hump is like a camel’s

hump which stores fat that can be used when food is scarce.



Black-Necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) – During the summer months,Black-Necked Crane breed on the plateaus of Tibet, northeastern India and

northwest China.  In the winter they are in lower altitudes in

southeast China and northern Vietnam.  They do not have webbed feet,

but are good swimmers.  Courtship involves elaborate dancing,

leaping, jumping, calling and preening.  The Black-Necked Crane is

the only Alpine Crane.



Markhor (Capra falconeri) – These largest of the Caprinae (wild goat) canbe found in middle Asian mountains and forests, Afghanistan and the

Himalayas.  Markhor migrate to higher elevations in the spring summer

months returning to lower elevation in the late fall. The male Markhor has

a long beard on the chin and long hair on the throat, chest and

shanks.  The females have smaller fringes of long hair.  Both

the male and female have horns.  The male’s spiral shaped horns are

impressive sometimes reaching 5 feet, whereas the females are

smaller.  The male is usually solitary.  They are sure-footed

and nimble, climbing and jumping over rocky terrain easily.  Even

newborns navigate steep slopes with ease.



Markhor live in herds of from 9 to around 100 females with young. The females usually deliver 1 or 2 kids.  The newborn kids can

navigate steep slopes with ease.



Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) – Central Asia from Northwestern China toTibet and the Himalayas, Pakistan and Afghanistan in high mountains (up to

20,000 feet )  The Snow Leopard has very dense, thick fur that is pale

gray on the back and white on the underside.  A black streak runs

down it’s back.  There are rosettes on the sides of the body and the

long, solid tail.  The rest of the body is spotted with solid circles

on the neck, head and legs.  They are capable of leaping large

ravines with their powerful legs.  The Snow Leopard’s long tail

helps them keep their balance during leaps of 40 feet or more




Snow Leopard has small ears to help reduce the loss of body heat in theextreme cold weather in the Himalayan’s harsh environment.  Large

paws act like snow shoes and keep them from sinking into deep snow.

The thickness of the fur insulates them from the cold.  They are

certainly built for life in the extreme cold mountains.



Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chileniss) – The Chilean Flamingos areslightly smaller than the Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber).The

Chilean Flamingo can be found in Central Peru, South America on both

coasts (mainly in winter), Argentina, Urugray, Paraguay, Southern Brazil,

and some in the Falkland Islands.  They feed primarily on

invertebrates in the water.   Chilean Flamingos have gray legs

with pink bands at the joints.



The female flamingos lay one large egg (3 inches) which is chalkywhite.  If an egg is lost early in incubation, a second replacement

egg may be laid.  This process is called double clutching.

(Thank you to Sea World for some of my info.)  The incubation period

is 26 to 31 days.  The Flamingo make their nests in a mound of mud

that looks like a small volcano.  These mounds help to keep the eggs

above the wet ground.  Both female and male take turns sitting on the

egg in this mound.  A parent will carefully lift and turn the egg

with its bill.  The chick breaks through the shell using a growth on

its bill called an egg tooth.  The egg tooth is not a true tooth and

falls off soon after hatching.    Newly-hatched chicks have

gray or white down feathers, a straight red bill and plump, swollen red or

pink legs.  The leg swelling decrease approx. 48 hours after hatching

and the red bill and leg turn black in seven to ten days.  After

hatching a flamingo chick is not very active.  The chick will leave

the nest in four to seven days when it is strong enough to stand and

walk.  Of course, the parents keep a close watch on them.

Chicks gather in large groups called creches (French for crib).

Parents are able to locate their own chicks in the creche at feeing

time.  Chicks lose their juvenile gray or white color and feathers

turn pink gradually over one, two or even three years.  The last part

of the skin to turn pink is often the ankle or hock joint.

The Cougar (Felis concolor)  (Mountain Lion, panther, Puma)  Thecougar can be found throughout the Western Hemisphere.  In the desert

areas and Mexico, the Central American areas, such as the tropical

forests, The lowlands to mountainous regions in the United States and in

West Central Canada.  The Florida panther, a cougar sub species,

lives in Florida and east of the Mississippi.   The Cougar can

leap as high as fifteen feet.





Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) – Southern Europe, Middle East,Africa, West Asia, India.  This small vulture has a bare face and

shaggy neck feathering, mostly white with black tail section.  When

carcass are not available, they will eat ostrich and flamingo eggs.

It is one of the few species to use a tool.  In order to break into

an ostrich egg, the vulture will drop a rock on it to crack it




Southern Ground-Hornbill (Bucorvus cafer) – Parts of Africa south of theequator.  The Southern Ground-Hornbill is the largest African

hornbills. They walk and forage on the ground most of the time, living in

groups that patrol and defend their territory, pecking and digging at the

ground.  Females lay one to three eggs in a hole in a tree lined with

leaves, but not walled up in the tree.  She is free to go, but covers

the eggs with leaves when she is not sitting on the nest.



These Southern Ground-Hornbills have a distinct red throat wattle andwhite wing patch seen when in flight.


Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)  Upper Nile Valley and Africasouth of the Sahara; introduced in England.  Although it is called a

goose, it is really a species of shelduck.  Seen on land, it grazes

on grass, leaves and seeds.  The female has a trumpet-like quacking,

where the male’s is softer.



Bateleur Eagle – 


Bateleur (Terthopius ecaudatus) – Africa south of the Sahara, SouthwestArabia.  The Bateleur is also known as snake eagles or snake

hawks.   A spectacular bird in flight because of it’s long wings

and very short tail, it can soar for hours.



Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) – Europe, east Siberia and south of Indiaand China.  It has distinct ear tufts and a boldly streaked breast

and mottled plumage.  They are active in the day as well as at




King Vulture (Sarcorampgus papa) – Mexico to Argentina.  They are 31inches in height.  The king vulture is one of the few birds that

relies heavily on its sense of smell in order to detect food.  They

have broad wings and a short tail.



King Vultures live in the rain forest and has a colorful bare head. They are easily recognized by their distinct plumage.  The King

Vulture flies low over the treetops and on warm days it finds rising air

currents (thermals)ll and circles to gain height.  Stranded fish on

river banks are an important food  source.



White-necked Raven (Corvus albicollis) – East and South Africa.  ThisRaven has a massive bill reinforced by an arched top ridge.  They are

very smart and learn quickly.  This raven usualy stays in mountains

and crag, flying strongly with the powerful wings, soaring easily on the

updrafts.  They can roll and swoop in an aerobatic




Yellow Headed Amazon or Yellow Crowned (Amazona ochrocephala) – Coastalregions of Mexico, Central America, South to East Peru, North Bolivia, and

North Brazil, Trinidad, Tobago.  The “Amazons” refer tp the

medium-sized parrots with predominantly green plumage and some brilliant

markings.  They are amazing mimics and talkers as this one is

demonstrating.   During the day groups of parrots feed in the

treetops for seeds, berries, cuts and blossoms.  This species uses

its foot to hold food up to its bill.  The red wing patches can be

seen in flight.



Red-Legged Seriema (Cariama cristata) – East Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay,Uruguay, North Argentina in tropical and subtropical grasslands.

They are very fast runners with powerful legs, using this running ability

to escape danger instead of flight.  The feather tuft on its forehead

makes this bird look rather silly. The red-legged Seriema from South

America has much in common with the Secretary Bird of Africa.  Both

are ground-dwelling birds that live in grasslands.




Red-legged Seriema – 


Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucoephalus) – North America, Southern UnitedStates and parts of Mexico.  the Bald Eagles are fishing

eagles.  Their talons enable them to pluck fish out of the water to

carry them to a nearby perch to eat.  When the salmon swim upstream

the eagles have a feast.  They get other food from a wide range of

sources.  The female is larger than the male.  The Bald Eagle

has a pure white head and neck with a white tail and rump.  The

juvenile eagle will not get their white head and tail feather for two or

three years.  Pairs remain together and reestablish bonds each year

with spectacular courtship displays.  The eagles lock talons in

mid-air and somersault through the air together in a marvelous

display.    Their nests are large made of sticks sometimes

measuring over 8 feet wide.  Each year they add to the nest.

The Bald Eagle is our National Symbol of the United States.




Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) – Peregrine Falcon are found on everycontinent except Antarctic.  They like open areas with high cliffs

near water.  They are the fastest animals in the world.  They

can reach speeds of 200 mph while diving for prey.  Because of its

skills it is the most highly prized bird for falconry.  They weigh

one to two and a half pounds.  The wingspan is from 38 to 46 inches.

The wings are tapered and pointed. Length, 15 to 19 inches.

North American Otter (Lontra canadensis) – United States, Canada andAlaska.   The River Otter moves rapidly and playfully from the

banks of the river, loving to slide down into the water.  This

weasel-like mammal is about 46 inches long with a rich brown coat of

fur.  They have a rudder-like tail that is more than half the size of

the body of the otter.  The Otter will weigh around 21 to 25

pounds.  This streamlined character has a heavy growth of sensitive

whiskers on its upper lip and special muscles for closing its nostrils and

its ears when it dives.  In the water the otter is insulated against

the cold by the air bubbles trapped in the fur.  They have good eye

sight underwater, but their sense of touch helps them, too. The whiskers

on its muzzle are sensitive so that the otter can move and fish in muddy

waters.   They will travel over land to visit other ponds and




The Otter is very sensitive to only being in clean, unpolluted rivers,lakes or ponds.  The den is called a holt and is either in a hollow

in a banking, under the roots of a tree but always near the river or

lake.   The otter cubs can be born any time of the year.

Usually two or three cubs are born in a litter.  The otter cubs have

to be pushed into the water by the mother, not taking to the water

willingly.  Once in the water they take to it




We observed this otter as he turned on his back to eat what he’d found inthe water.  They eat fresh water fish, crustaceans, frogs,

invertebrates, reptiles  crayfish and small mammals.  The

Otters intestine is specially adapted for dealing with fish.  Fish

bones cannot damage the intestine because its walls shrink immediately and

form a small obstruction which pushes the bone away.   Their webbed feet, oily fur

and tube shaped body is well adapted to swimming.




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