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Meet and Greet

 
You've heard of Dogs and Cats.
Of Sheep, you are aware.
But have you heard of these,
Which are a bit more rare?

Some are wild looking,
Others will intrigue.
But compared to common animals,
They're in a different league!

Some of these poor critters
Are losing habitat.
While you are reading this,
Please remember that!

Earth is not just ours,
With others we do share.
Unique plants and animals,
For them we must care.

Let's dive into our list.
I hope you'll find it fun!
You can read more on your own
After we are done!

There's a shy sea creature
Known as an Axolotl.
It has long and fuzzy gills
With skin that's sometimes mottled.

They live in Mexico,
In canals and lakes they swim.
Amazingly they can
Regrow a lost limb!

The Aztecs knew of them
When they existed in the thousands.
There's only a few left,
So their homes we must defend.

Have you seen the Harpy Eagle?
The coolest looking bird?
They do not make much noise,
But croak and mew if heard.

They can weigh twenty pounds!
With wings six feet when spread!
They have these distinct feathers
That look like crowns upon their head.

Their claws are longer than a bear's,
Are you not impressed?
Only in the biggest trees
Will you find their nests.

Their nests are so enormous
You'll be shocked at this result-
That the Harpy's home can fit
A grown human adult!

From South and Central America
They live in rainforests.
We must protect the Amazon
To visit as tourists!

You may have heard of Rodents
Like Squirrels, Mice and Rats.
But the giant Capybara
Gets bigger than that!

The largest Rodent in the world,
It eats water plants and grass.
I bet it has to eat a lot
To support its mass!

Their noses, eyes and ears
Are as high as they can be.
They spend lots of time in water-
This lets them breath and hear and see.

They live in quite large groups,
As big as ten or twenty.
And being very social,
Their vocal range is plenty.

They have their own language
With many different sounds.
And each group has their differences
Scientists have found!

Birds descend from Dinosaurs.
Is this something you knew?
It can be hard to picture,
Looking at crows or a curlew.

But look at the Cassowary
And you will agree
This can be an easy link
You can clearly see.

Flightless birds from Australia,
They're over six feet tall.
The heaviest bird Down Under,
A deep rumbling is their call.

Their tones are low in frequency,
Starting in their neck and chest.
Then the sound is strengthened through
Their casque-it's like a crest.

But what's most like a Dinosaur
Are the talons on their feet.
They are used for self defense-
I'd make a fast retreat!

This incredibly cool creature,
This beautiful, strange bird
Is another animal on our list
That's sadly endangered.

Their role is so important-
They help plants populate.
Without the Cassowary,
Forest size would be less great.

Let's finish with a scaly friend,
This is the Pangolin.
It's the only mammal in the world
To have it's unique skin!

It's covered all in keratin 
In the form of unique scales.
Keratin is the same stuff
That makes up all your nails!

Found in Africa and Asia,
Some spend their time in trees.
Others bury in the ground,
But all can barely see.

Sense of smell and sound is strong-
They hunt ants and termites.
They are all nocturnal too
Which means they hunt at night.

When they're scared, they curl right up
Into a tight, hard ball.
Lions and other predators?
Their scales protect from all!

These amazing Pangolins
Are sadly under threat.
They might one day disappear,
But they are not gone yet!

There's so much unique life here,
Many to learn about.
In all four corners of the Earth,
We'll find more!  No doubt!

But it's our duty to make sure
That they stay safe and sound.
That their homes are preserved-
The sea, the trees and ground.

Once they're gone they can't come back.
We must appreciate
The diversity that our world has
Before it is too late.

We are not so powerless-
We can all unite
To stand for those who cannot speak
And fight for what is right!

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