Red-crowned Crane

From Academic Kids

Red-crowned Crane
Conservation status: Endangered
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Gruidae
Genus:Grus
Species:G. japonensis
Binomial name
Grus japonensis
(Statius Muller, 1776)

The Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) is a large crane and is the second rarest crane in the world. In SE Asia, it is known as a symbol of luck and fidelity. At 53 inches high, the crane does not make easy prey, for all that it stands out in its natural habitat of marshes and swamps. When it matures, the Red-crowned Crane is snow white with a patch of red skin on its head. This patch of skin becomes bright red when the crane becomes angry or excited.

In the spring and summer, the Red-crowned Crane lives in Russia and Siberia, where their eggs hatch. The crane normally lays 2 eggs, with only one normally surviving. Later, in the fall, it migrates in flocks to Korea, China, and other countries in SE Asia to spend the winter. All Red-crowned Cranes migrate, except for a flock that stays in Hokkaido, Japan year long.

The crane eats small amphibians, aquatic invertebrates, insects, and plants that grow in marshes and swamps.

Range: Amur River Basin, to Vietnam.

Habitat: Marshes, river banks, rice fields, and any place with water, standing dead vegetation, and food.

Population

The estimated population of the species is only 1,700 - 2,000 individuals in the wild, making it one of the most endangered species of bird. The National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania runs a program where U.S. zoos donate eggs which are flown to Russia and raised in the Khinganski Nature Reserve and released into the wild. This program sent 150 eggs between 1995-2005.

Mythology

In Japan, this crane, known as tancho, is said to live 1000 years.

Though the crane doesn't live that long, there are cranes known to live to 87 years. In China, the Red-crowned Crane is often featured in fairytales, normally with a sage or an immortal being riding them. Red-crowned Cranes are called xian he, or fairy crane.

External link


ja:タンチョウ

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