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Amazing animals - Pikas

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Uploaded on Dec 21, 2009

Fragment from BBC's Attenborough Explores Our Fragile World about Pikas. The pika, a cousin of the rabbit, is a small chinchilla-like animal, with short limbs, rounded ears, and short tail. The name pika (pronounced /ˈpaɪkə/ PYE-kə, archaically spelled pica) 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. Pikas are also called rock rabbits or coneys. It is also known as the "whistling hare" due to its high-pitched alarm call when diving into its burrow. The name "pika" appears to be derived from the Tungus piika, or perhaps from the Russian pikat "to squeak".

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