harbour seal

Nonmigratory, earless seal (Phoca vitulina) found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Harbour seals are whitish or grayish at birth, generally gray with black spots as adults. The adult male may reach a length of about 6 ft (1.8 m) and a weight of almost 300 lb (130 kg); the female is somewhat smaller. Found along coastlines and in a few freshwater lakes in Canada and Alaska, the harbour seal is a gregarious animal that feeds on fish, squid, and crustaceans. It is of little economic value and in some areas is considered a nuisance by fishermen.

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Typhus-like disease first seen in the Rocky Mountain region, caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii (see rickettsia) and transmitted by various ticks. In severe cases the rash bleeds more and is especially prominent on the wrists and ankles. Central nervous system involvement causes restlessness, insomnia, and delirium. Prostration may progress to coma, with death possible in a week or more. Mortality increases with age. Recovery is slow but usually complete as visual disturbances, deafness, and mental confusion pass. Prompt antibiotic treatment hastens it and reduces mortality. Prevention depends on avoiding tick bites, by wearing long, light-coloured clothing and insect repellent and inspecting for ticks. A vaccine reduces the risk of infection somewhat and of death greatly.

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The Spotted-winged Fruit Bat, Balionycteris maculata is the smallest fruit bat in the world. It is found from southern Thailand, across Malaysia, and on Borneo. It lives in the forests where it roosts in small groups in trees and caves. Its name comes from the coloration of its wings, which are dark with a lighter-colored spot at each joint.


  • Hall LS, Gordon G. Grigg, Craig Moritz, Besar Ketol, Isa Sait, Wahab Marni and M.T. Abdullah. 2004. Biogeography of fruit bats in Southeast Asia. Sarawak Museum Journal LX(81):191-284.
  • Karim, C., A.A. Tuen and M.T. Abdullah. 2004. Mammals. Sarawak Museum Journal Special. Issue No. 6. 80: 221—234.
  • Mohd. Azlan J., Ibnu Maryanto , Agus P. Kartono and M.T. Abdullah. 2003 Diversity, Relative Abundance and Conservation of Chiropterans in Kayan Mentarang National Park, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Sarawak Museum Journal 79: 251-265.
  • Hall LS, Richards GC, Abdullah MT. 2002. The bats of Niah National Park, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal. 78: 255-282.

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