Different Ways of Living

Some animals live in families. Some live in great big groups. And others live mostly by themselves. Animals have to find the right way of living together so they can stay safe, take care of their babies, and find food.

A giant panda mainly eats bamboo, and it takes lots of bamboo to fill up a panda! To make sure there's enough bamboo for everyone, each panda has a territory where it lives alone, except during mating time or when a mother is rearing her cub.

Some Animals Live Alone

Tigers are stealthy hunters who sneak up on prey such as deer or wild pigs—then pounce! But hunting is hard. It can take 10 tries before a tiger nabs a meal. Living alone means there's enough prey to eat and makes quiet hunting easier.

Lions are hunters, too. But they live in groups called prides. On the African plains, finding enough wildebeest, zebra, and antelope to eat is no problem. But catching them is. Lions have better luck when they hunt together, surrounding a herd and then flushing out their prey.

Others Like a Little Company

Eagles live and hunt together in lifelong pairs. A male and female both help to build a nest of sticks and twigs, lined with soft grasses. When the eggs hatch, one parent stays home to protect the young eaglets while the other searches for mice or fish to eat.

Herds of muskoxen huddle together for protection. If a wolf comes too close, cousins, aunts, and uncles form a tight circle, with their sharp horns facing outward and their young safe inside.

What brings ladybugs together? It's time to hibernate for the winter. By bunching together, the ladybugs keep each other warm.

Vocabulary

flushing out:
Separating from a group.

hibernate:
To spend the winter sleeping.

huddled:
To crowd close together.

nab:
To grab.

rearing:
Bringing up.

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Activity

  1. How is the way a tiger gets food different from the way a lion gets food?
    [anno: Both cats hunt. The tiger hunts alone, and the lion hunts in a group.]
  2. How do eagles care for their babies?
    [anno: The eagles build a soft nest for the eggs. One of the parents always protects the babies. The parents hunt for fish and mice to feed the babies.]
  3. What other animals care for their babies until the babies grow up? Name three other animals that care for their babies.
    [anno: Answers will vary but should include the names of animals that care for their babies.]