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China's Animals


China's great diversity of wildlife includes more than 6,266 species of vertebrates, about 10 percent of the world's total. Among them 2,404 are terrestrials and 3,862 are fish. More than 100 species of wild animals can be found only in China, including such rare animals as the giant panda, golden monkey, South China tiger, brown-eared pheasant, red-crowned crane, red ibis, white-flag dolphin and Chinese alligator. The giant panda weighs on average 135 kg and lives on tender bamboo leaves and bamboo shoots. Because the panda is extremely rare-just over 1,000 are left at present-it has become the symbol of the world's protected wild animals. The red-crowned crane, 1.2 m tall on average, is covered with white feathers, and a distinctive patch of exposed red skin tops its head, which is regarded as the symbol of longevity in East Asia. The white-flag dolphin is one of only two species of freshwater whales in the world. In 1980, a male white-flag dolphin was caught for the first time in the Yangtze River, which aroused great interest among dolphin researchers worldwide.



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