Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
(Statius Muller, 1776)
The Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) is a large crane and is the second rarest crane in the world. In SE Asia, it is known as a symbol of luck and fidelity. At 53 inches high, the crane does not make easy prey, for all that it stands out in its natural habitat of marshes and swamps. When it matures, the Red-crowned Crane is snow white with a patch of red skin on its head. This patch of skin becomes bright red when the crane becomes angry or excited.
In the spring and summer, the Red-crowned Crane lives in Russia and Siberia, where their eggs hatch. The crane normally lays 2 eggs, with only one normally surviving. Later, in the fall, it migrates in flocks to Korea, China, and other countries in SE Asia to spend the winter. All red crowned cranes migrate, except for a flock that stays in Hokkaido, Japan year long.
The crane eats small amphibians, aquatic invertebrates, insects, and plants that grow in marshes and swamps.
Habitat: Marshes, river banks, rice fields, and any place with water, standing dead vegetation, and food.
In Japan, this crane, known as tancho, is said to live 1000 years.
Though the crane doesn't live that long, there are cranes known to live to 87 years. In China, the Red-crowned Crane is often featured in fairytales, normally with a sage or an immortal being riding them. Red-crowned Cranes are called xian he, or fairy crane.
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