Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|1m - 1.4m (40in - 55in)|
The measurement from one wing tip to the other
|1.8m - 2.4m (71in - 95in)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|3.7kg - 10kg (8.2lbs - 22lbs)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|15 - 30 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|White, Black, Grey, Brown, Red, Blue|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Average Clutch Size:|
The average number of eggs laid at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Insects. Fish, Grain|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Fox, Eagle, Wildcats|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Large body size and long beak|
The crane is a large, long-beaked bird that is found all over the world. There are 15 different species of crane found on Earth today, but despite their similar appearance, cranes are not related to other long-necked birds such as herons.
Cranes are found on every continent with the exceptions of the Antarctic and South America, where they are found inhabiting the temperate wetlands and swamps throughout the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
Cranes are large sized birds that grow to an average of 1 metre in height. Some species of crane, such as the Red-Crowned crane of Eastern Asia, can grow to nearly 1.5 metres tall. Other crane species can be slightly smaller although they are in general, very large birds.
Despite their seemingly enormous body size, cranes are actually quite agile flyers, getting their practice as they migrate between Siberia, China and Japan. Unlike herons, cranes fly with their necks outstretched which helps them to control their large bodies when soaring through the skies.
Despite its large size, the crane is an omnivorous bird meaning that it feeds on both plants and animals alike. Spending their lives close to water, cranes primarily feed on aquatic organisms including insects, fish and amphibians, along with a variety of plants including grains and tree bark.
Due to the sheer size of adult cranes, they have few natural predators within their native environment. Foxes, wildcats and large birds of prey including owls and eagles are the most common predators of the crane and mainly their chicks.
Cranes generally breed in the warmer summer months although the exact breeding season depends on the crane species. Female cranes construct large nests, generally in the trees, where they lay between 3 and 5 eggs. Once hatched the crane chicks are nursed by their parents until they are strong enough to fledge (fly away from the family nest).
Today, many of the 15 crane species are either considered to be vulnerable in the wild or critically endangered. The drastic decline of the world's crane populations is primarily due to habitat loss and pollution in their native environments.
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First Published: 14th June 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Jun 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 14 Jun 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Jun 2010]