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A Look at Some of Earth's Rarest Baby Animals

This summer you may have taken a trip to your local zoo, but you probably didn't see what we had on "The Early Show" plaza Tuesday.

Take another, up-close look at some of the cutest and rarest baby animals in the world with "Early Show" Correspondent and Resident Veterinarian Dr. Debbye Turner Bell

(Click on the video at the end of the story to see the baby animals in action!)

WHITE LION CUB
Male, "Prince Nemacolin", five weeks old,
Weighs seven lbs, was three and a half lbs at birth, dad weighs 500 lbs, dad was a white lion, but mother was not (she was a carrier of the recessive gene), baby is bottle-fed every two to three hours.
These are not albino animals, but carriers of a recessive gene that causes the light colored hair. (Like people with blue eyes). They have colored eyes (usually blue or gold), a black-tipped nose, and black patches behind their eyes.
Only occurred naturally in the wild in the Timbavati region of South Africa. Few if any are known the still exist in the wild, except for two prides being observed and researched in semi-free area by the Global White Lion Protection Trust. It is estimated that 300 white lions exist around the world in captivity. The last white lion seen in the wild was in 1994. Because white lions are genetically classified in the same subspecies as tawny lions, they are not classified as endangered. The first documentation of human sighting of white lions was in 1938.
Mortality is very high for lions. Only 20 percent of lion cubs survive to adulthood.

AFRICAN LEOPARD CUB
Female, "Mabaka", (in Swahili means "spotted, freckled or blemished") 13 weeks old.
Leopards are among the smallest of the so-called "big cats." They are superior athletes, master hunters, solitary, and exceedingly intelligent. Leopards are also expert climbers. They are primarily nocturnal.
Found in Africa and Asia. Fairly adaptable and can live in warm and cold climates.
Leopards are so elusive and solitary that is rare, if not impossible, to see one in the wild. Great effort and expense is undertaken to just get a picture of these magnificent animals. They are territorial and will mark their range with urine and claw marks.
Can weigh up to 50 pounds.
Females give birth to two or three cubs. Mother leopards keep her cubs hidden until eight weeks old. She will hunt and feed them meat starting at six weeks old but will continue nursing until they are three months or older.
The markings on a leopard cub are barely visible at birth and become more prominent with age. The leopard's markings are known as rosettes.
Eat a wide variety of prey including rodents, reptiles, fish, hares, warthogs, antelopes, monkey, and hyraxes. Leopards have been known to carry their kill up a tree to prevent lions and hyenas from stealing it.

AFRICAN CRESTED PORCUPINE
Female, "Izzy," 3 months old.
Largest rodent in Africa, and the largest porcupine on earth. Can grow up to 29 inches long, and weigh up to 50 pounds. Found in North Africa, southeastern Egypt, and eastern Africa.
The quills are a modified type of hair. They are soft at birth and begin to harden within hours of delivery. The quills can be up to 24 to 26 inches long and make a rattling sound if the porcupine feels threatened. (American porcupines have much shorter quills.)
Contrary to popular belief, porcupines don't "throw" their quills. If they are threatened or cornered, they will raise the quills erect and charge backwards toward their attacker. There is a barb on the tip of the quill, so once they puncture the skin, they are hard to get out and can cause infection. Porcupines will also growl, stomp their feet or grunt when threatened.
Nocturnal. Eat bark, roots, fruits, berries, and insects. Usually live in caves, crevices, holes, and burrows. Like all other rodents, they have razor sharp, continuously growing incisors. They will gnaw on bone to sharpen their front teeth. They do not climb or jump.
Have one to two litters per year with one to three pups per litter.
Gestation is approximately 110 days. Babies leave the den after about a week when their quills have fully hardened.

EUROPEAN LEGLESS LIZARD
(HAS NOT BEEN NAMED), six months old.
Look like snakes but are actually a lizard. Unlike snakes, they have movable eyes, outer ears, and the ability to regenerate its tail. They have small vestigial (remnant) legs and a pelvic girdle (hip bones) can be seen on X-rays. Scientist believe these lizards' leglessness is an adaptation for burrowing.
They are also known as "glass lizards" because when threatened or attacked, the legless lizard can break off its tail into many pieces (giving the appearance that it shattered). Over a period of months, the lizard's tail will regrow.
Found in North and South Americas, Southeast Europe, and Southwest and Central Asia. They are typically found in dry areas where there are rocks, brush, stone piles, and dry embankments.
Eat bird eggs, worms, insects, and mice. They have a strong jaw and large teeth. They use that combination to break the tough shell of snails in order to eat them.
Can live up to 50 years in captivity. Can grow up to three and a half feet long.
Female lizards curl around her clutch of eggs after they are laid to protect them until they hatch. She then leaves the hatchlings to fend for themselves.

PENICILLATA MARMOSET
Male, "Stitch," three months old.
Weighs two ounces, he's bottle-fed plus eats grapes, canned monkey food, very active.
Third smallest primate and world's smallest true monkey (not all monkeys are primates!). Adults grow to about five inches long with an eight-inch tail and weigh up to seven ounces (about the weight of a stick of butter!). Marmoset comes from a French word that means "shrimp" or "dwarf."
Found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil
Their movements are reminiscent of a squirrel with lightening fast burst of movement then abrupt stillness.
They are arboreal, or tree-dwellers, and diurnal or active during the day. They are very territorial and will fight to defend it. They live in groups that are made up of a mother and father and their offspring. Usually only the dominant female reproduces in an group. Her presence can suppress the ovulation in other females in the group. Sometimes other adults will exist in a group.
Marmosets mate for life. After a mother gives birth, the father will help deliver the baby, clean her up and then carry the baby on his back while he gathers food. He brings the baby back to the mother for feedings.
They make a high-pitched sound like a bird call. They live up to 20 years in captivity, 11 to 12 in the wild.
Two-thirds of the marmoset's diet is sap or gum from trees. The can bore holes in trees with their teeth to get to the sap. They can bore up to 1,300 holes in one tree.
Hawks and eagles are marmoset's main predators.
The U.S. has banned the import of marmosets and most South American countries have banned the export of them, but still some people in South America keep them as pets. These animals DO NOT make good pets and should not be kept as such.

Special thanks to The Nemacolin for providing the white lion, and to Wild World of Animals for providing the animals.

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