A list of my favorite images of pikas.
A pika is a small mammal with short limbs, very round body, rounded ears and no external tail.
They resemble their close cousin the rabbit but with shorter ears.
They are about 15 to 23 centimetres (5.9 to 9.1 in) in body length and weigh between 120 and 350 grams (4.2 and 12.3 oz), depending on species.
They live in mountainous countries in Asia with two species also in North America.
Most pikas prefer rocky slopes. The large-eared pika of the Himalayas and nearby mountains is one of the highest living mammals, found at heights of more than 6,000 metres (20,000 ft).
Pikas graze on a range of plants, mostly grasses, flowers and young stems. In the autumn, they pull hay, soft twigs and other stores of food into their burrows to eat during the long, cold winter.
The name "pika" is used for any member of the Ochotonidae, a family within the order of lagomorphs, which also includes the Leporidae (rabbits and hares).
One genus, Ochotona, is recognised within the family, and it includes 30 species. It is also known as the "whistling hare" due to its high-pitched alarm call when diving into its burrow.
In the United States, the pika is colloquially called a "coney", a nonspecific term also used for rabbits, hares and hyraxes.
The name "pika" appears to be derived from the Tungus piika and the scientific name Ochotona is from the Mongolian word ogdoi which means pika.
Pikas are native to cold climates, mostly in Asia, North America and parts of Eastern Europe.
Most species live on rocky mountain sides, where numerous crevices in which to shelter occur, although some pikas also construct crude burrows. A few burrowing species are native to open steppe land. In the mountains of Eurasia, pikas often share their burrows with snowfinches, which build their nests there.
Rock-dwelling pikas have small litters of fewer than five young, while the burrowing species tend to give birth to more young, and to breed more frequently, possibly due to a greater availability of resources in their native habitats. The young are born after a gestation period of between 25 and 30 days.
The average lifespan in pikas is roughly seven years in the wild.
There are 30 species listed:
Family: Ochotonidae: pikas
SUBGENUS PIKA: NORTHERN PIKAS
*Alpine pika or Altai Pika (Ochotona alpina)
*American pika (Ochotona princeps)
*Collared pika (Ochotona collaris)
*Helan Shan pika or Silver pika (Ochotona argentata)
*Hoffmann's pika (Ochotona hoffmanni)
*Northern pika or Siberian pika (Ochotona hyperborea)
*Pallas's pika (Ochotona pallasi)
*Turuchan pika (Ochotona turuchanensis)
SUBGENUS OCHOTONA: SHRUB-STEPPE PIKAS:
*Afghan pika (Ochotona rufescens)
*Daurian pika (Ochotona dauurica)
*Gansu pika or Gray pika (Ochotona cansus)
*Moupin pika (Ochotona thibetana)
*Nubra pika (Ochotona nubrica)
*Plateau pika or Black-lipped pika (Ochotona curzoniae)
*Steppe pika (Ochotona pusilla)
*Thomas's pika (Ochotona thomasi)
*Tsing-ling pika (Ochotona huangensis)
*SUBGENUS CONOTHOA: MOUNTAIN PIKAS
*Black pika (Ochotona nigritia)
*Chinese red pika (Ochotona erythrotis)
*Forrest's pika (Ochotona forresti)
*Gaoligong pika (Ochotona gaoligongensis)
*Glover's pika (Ochotona gloveri)
*Himalayan pika (Ochotona himalayana)
*Ili pika (Ochotona iliensis)
*Koslov's pika (Ochotona koslowi)
*Ladak pika (Ochotona ladacensis)
*Large-eared pika (Ochotona macrotis)
*Muli pika (Ochotona muliensis)
*Royle's pika (Ochotona roylei)
*Turkestan red pika (Ochotona rutila)
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