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Plant and Animal Life

The Philippines is home to some of the world's rarest animal and marine forms some of which are endangered species. These includes the world's largest eagle, the Philippine Eagle, which can have a wing span of ten feet and the two smallest freshwater fish, the nine milimetter pandaka pygmaea, found in Malabon River of Manila Bay and the 11-millimeter tabios or sinarapan, found in Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur Province. The nine orders of Philippine fauna include shrews; the flying lemurs, at least seven bat families; the skunks, clawless otters, civet cats, pam civets, and wild cats, squirrels, flying squirrels, rats, mice, and porcupines; the scaly anteater, lemurs, tarsiers, and monkeys; several species of pigs, tamaraw and carabao; and the dugong ( or sea cow).
The water bufallo or carabao, the pig, the cat, and the dog are genrally believed to have entered the Philippines in prehistoric times, while the cow, the sheep, the goat, and the horse were introduce by early Spaniards. The tamaraw (anoan mindorensis), a type of small, wild water bufallo found only in Mindoro Island appears to be a unique Philippine animal. Its ancestor was related to the carabao, its diminutive size is owed to its insular isolation. The rarest Philippine animal is the seldom-seen bushy-tailed "cloud rat" that inhabits the mountains of Northern Luzon, Mindoro and Marinduque.
Bird types reflect the pattern of animal distribution. In terms of ornitological geography, the Philippines is classified as a subregion of the Oriental region. Only in the Palawan area is bird life characteristically Malaysia with strong Bornean elements. Some 39,000 bird specimen representing some 910 forms have been collected from the Philippines.
Philippine plant life is similar to that of Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of Australia. Of floral species in the country, some 60 percent are indigenous. The most beautiful flowers to be found in the Pihilippines are rarely glimpsed, for they are blooms of deep forest trees rising to great heights. These wild environs are Philippine orchid country. There are more than 940 species of Philippine Orhids distributed throughout the archipelago with about 790 of these endemic. The queen of these orchids, the waling-waling, was discovered in Mindanao in 1882.

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