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National Parks Wildlife: Pika By Derek Anderson, Joel Anderson, 2023

© 2024 Anderson Design Group, Inc. All rights reserved. It is a Federal Copyright offense to reproduce this image without permission.

A pika is a small, incredibly cute, mountain-dwelling mammal native to Asia and North America. With short limbs, a very round body, an even coat of fur, and no external tail, they resemble their close relative, the rabbit, but with short, rounded ears. Despite their cuddly appearance, American pikas—the smallest members of the lagomorph group—are among North America's toughest animals. Pikas are one of the few mammals in the lower 48 states that can survive their entire lives in alpine terrain, the windswept no-man's-land above tree line in mountainous regions. Pikas are herbivores. They especially love grasses, weeds, and tall wildflowers that grow in their rocky, high-mountain habitat. In the winter months, fewer grasses and flowers grow in the mountains. To prepare for the lean times, pikas like to save up food during the summer. A pika will collect a pile of extra wildflowers and grasses and lay them out in the sun. The sun's heat dries the plants so they don't get moldy. The plants are stored in the pika's den until winter. American pikas are often heard before they are seen. They make calls and sing to define and protect their territory, alert others to the presence of dangers, and attract mates. The call sounds like the bleat of lamb, but more high-pitched and squeaky. To celebrate these cute critters, the artists of Anderson Design Group have made this adorable design ready for you to enjoy as a poster, canvas, metal sign, postcard, or note card. An original illustration fashioned after the National Park poster art and travel art of the mid-20th century, this original illustration would make the perfect gift for the animal lover and National Park enthusiast in your life. And to learn more about pikas in Rocky Mountain National Park, check out the website for the National Park

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