Indian Animal Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

India is a country on the continent of Asia that has many interesting animals. Come learn about some of these animals, what they look like, what they eat, how they live and some other cool facts about them.

Animals of India

Imagine flying to India for summer vacation. As you travel around, you see many animals in the wild that are familiar, like leopards, Asian elephants, Indian rhinoceroses and Bengal tigers. But you also notice that India is home to other animals you've never seen before, and you want to know more about them.

The Nilgai

The nilgai (pronounced NIL-guy) is the largest kind of antelope that lives in India. It looks like a cross between a cow, horse and antelope, and its name means 'blue bull'. A large nilgai can weigh almost 530 pounds, which is almost as heavy as four mountain lions!

Nilgai
Nilgai

Males are usually grayish-blue and have pointy horns, while the females are a brownish color with no horns. Nilgais have a mane on the tops of their necks and a clump of hair that hangs down from their throats like a necklace.

Nilgais are diurnal, which means they're most active during the day just like you. They hang out in grasslands, farmlands, savannahs and open forests and usually live in separate groups of all males and all females.

Just like you have favorite snacks, a nilgai's favorite foods are leaves and fruits from the jujube tree (pronounced JUE-jube). But unlike you, they don't drink water very often.

The Lion-Tailed Macaque

Lion-tailed macaques (pronounced muh-KAKS) are monkeys that live in the tropical rainforests of India. They got their name because their fur tails and manes look a lot like that of a lion. The biggest males can weigh up to 25 pounds, which is a little more than 28 cans of soda.

Lion-tailed macaque
Lion-tailed macaque

Lion-tailed macaques live in groups called troops. They spend most of their time hanging out in trees where it's safer but will sometimes come down and play on the ground or jump around in the water, like you splash in a pool.

Lion-tailed macaques are omnivores and eat both plants and animals, including bark, fruit, leaves, insects, eggs, baby birds, lizards and tree frogs. And though your mom probably tells you not to stuff food in your mouth, that is exactly what a lion-tailed macaque does before it eats.

Because it's risky to leave the trees to grab a snack, lion-tailed macaques stuff their food in special pockets in their cheeks - the same amount their stomachs can hold. When their cheeks are full, they zip back up to the treetops where they can eat and not become another animal's snack.

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