Large Eyed Pika Introduction
Pikas are small, rabbit-like mammals that live in rocky, mountainous regions all over the world. The large-eared pika is native to central Asia, where it makes its home in the rock fields in the mountains of Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, and surrounding countries. They are grayish brown in color, with short legs, a round body, and no visible tail. Like rabbits, pikas are mountainous , and they share many characteristics with their long-eared cousins. As their name suggests, large-eared pikas have the largest ears in the Pika family. They use these ears to stay alert for predators, as hiding is their best defense mechanism. Pikas love the cold, and they are well suited to live on rocky mountain sides high up in the Himalayas. In fact, pikas require cold temperatures to live. They can even die if they are exposed to warmer temperatures. The natural rock crevices in these regions are the perfect home for the large-eared pika, and they build their nests in these holes for shelter. These nests are made of plant matter and lined with soft fur, providing a comfortable shelter and keeping them out of sight. If the rock crevice is too small, predators may be able to find the large-eared pika. Pikas are diurnal, spending most of the day above ground looking for food. Pikas are not picky eaters. In general, they will consume all available plant-based foods in their area. These foods could be twigs, flowers, grasses, and other hearty mountain-growing vegetation. Because they do not hibernate, large-eared pikas spend much of the spring and summer months gathering food for the winter. Vegetation is stored in heaps hidden between rocks and stones. These piles of food are defended by the pikas, and large-eared pikas even have specific sounds and vocalizations related to haypile defense. Even with this food storage, pikas often grow hungry during the winter months, and early spring is a period of feeding frenzy—with each pika trying to make up for lost time. Because humans have not encroached on their habitat a great deal, large-eared pika populations are relatively stable.
Keywords to learn
Diurnal: active during the day
Lagomorph: a member of the Lagomorpha family, which includes rabbits, hares, and pikas
Hey Kids, my name is Lee the Large-eared Pika and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
Key Yellow-Eyed Penguin Data
Lifespan:1 to 3 years.
Scientific Name:Ochotona macrotis.
Length:115cm – 20cm (6in – 8in).
Region found:Mountainous regions of central Asia.
Population Status:Least concern.
Current population trend:Decreasing.
Sexual maturity:1 year.
The large-eared pika is an interesting animal with many unique characteristics. Although they are similar in many ways to rabbits, they are also shaped by the harsh mountain landscape that they call home.
Now that you know more about the Larged-eared pika by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
Download questions about the Larged-eared pika here: Large-eared pika (answers are on this page)
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Yellow-Eyed Penguin Fun Facts for Kids
- # 1. Predators of the Large-eared pika include weasels, hawks, owls, and canines.
- # 2. Large-eared pikas create calls (known as barks) in order to warn each other of danger
- # 3. Male Large-eared pikas are highly territorial and will fight for mates during mating season.
- # 4. Pikas do in fact have a tail, but it is so short that their dense fur makes it practically invisible.
- # 5. Pikas are also known as the “whistling hare” because of their high pitched barks.
- # 1. What order does the large-eared pika belong to?
- # 2. Do Large-eared pikas have a tail?
- # 3. How long do Large-eared pikas live?
- # 4. Name three predators of the Large-eared pika?
- # 5. Where does the large-eared pika live?