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The Florida Panther

Based on the article you just read, please answer questions 1-8.

Question 1

Why did the author write this article?

To explain why the panther is better than the mountain lion
To explain why panthers hunt for their food
To tell the reader about the Florida panther
To tell the reader about endangered animals

Review Passage

Florida school children chose the panther as the state animal. They chose the panther over the manatee, the alligator, and the key deer.

What is the Florida panther? Florida panthers are a type of cougar or mountain lion. The Florida panther is the only group of mountain lions east of the Mississippi River. The panther is a symbol of beauty, wilderness, and survival.

Is the Florida panther endangered? In 1967 the federal government listed the Florida panther as endangered. Endangered means that without human help an animal or plant will become extinct. Extinct means that the animal or plant will never again exist on earth.

What do Florida panthers look like? Panthers are about 10 times as big as a housecat. Like all cats they have very sharp claws and teeth. They need sharp claws and teeth to kill and eat their food. Florida panthers are tawny (the same color as deer). The fur on their bellies and the inside of their legs is lighter, and the fur on their backs, tails, and legs is darker.

These are Florida panther paw prints: paws print

Front paw
Length: 3 inches
Width: 3.5 inches

Hind paw
Length: 3 inches
Width: 3 inches

What do Florida panthers eat? Panthers only eat meat. Panthers eat deer, wild hogs, raccoons, armadillos, and rabbits. Sometimes they eat birds and even alligators. No panther has ever even attacked a person.

What kinds of families do panthers have? Panther females and kittens make up the panther family. The father does not help take care of the kittens. Panthers may have from 1 to 4 kittens. Panthers leave their mothers when they are about 2 years old. Growing up is harder for boy panthers than girl panthers. Girls often stay near their mother. Boys must try to find a home range of their own.

Where do Florida panthers live? Panthers need lots of land. The area where a panther hunts is its home range. They prefer hardwood hammocks and pine forest with lots of palmettos for their range. Panthers usually rest during the day hidden in thickets of palmetto. At dusk they begin to travel and hunt. Unless you are very lucky, you will probably never see a panther in the wild. But you can help them by protecting the lands they need to survive. You can support efforts to recover the panther from being endangered.

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4th Grade Reading Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida ©2013.