The beaver is North America's largest rodent and is most often identified by its large visible front teeth and flattened, scaly tail. It is most valued for its fur, which spurred a large expansion of colonial activities across Canada and the United States through the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. This expansion almost saw the complete collapse of beaver populations across the continent, however, due to its history it was given protection and is now recognized as an emblem of Canada.
Human-wildlife conflicts are common especially where people and carnivores live in close proximity. Narratives of sorcery and witchcraft surrounding large carnivores and other predatory animals are not uncommon in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, and in Zanzibar leopards that approach settlements and attack people are thought to be the agents of malevolent individuals’ nefarious plots.
Pacific lamprey have a large mouth with three large sharp teeth, and adults parasitize other fish and sometimes whales. They are an important cultural food and medicine for peoples of the mid-Columbia River Plateau, and are also ecologically important in the coastal ecosystem they inhabit.
Escamoles, the eggs of the velvety tree ant L. apiculatum, are a culturally important Mexican delicacy. They are gathered from the wild by escamoleros (escamole farmers), but knowledge of when, how and where to gather them is thought to be declining.
Samia cynthia are domesticated for consumption in the larval and pupa stages but is most highly regarded for the cocoon, which is distinguished from other species by its elongated, soft wooly, white, and peduncleless characteristics.
The European robin is an insectivorous, passerine bird with orange-red breast feathers. The Celtic and Anglo-Saxon peoples regarded the robin as the avian King of Winter—a contrast to the wren, the King of Summer.In a more modern context, there are many sports teams named after the redbreasted avian, citing the small bird’s agility.
The Prehensile-tailed Skink measures around 75cm from head to tail and is found in the Solomon Islands archipelago. This culturally important totem species of arboreal lizard occupies the niche of a small monkey on continental forest ecosystems and is classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.
The Mexican Hairless Dog is a small to medium sized dog that resides primarily in Mexico and a few areas in Central and South America where it has existed for almost 3,000 years. The Aztecs and other indigenous groups in the region saw this animal as a companion not only in this world but through all of a soul's journey through life and the afterlife. While this has changed over time, the view that these dogs are healers has not.