Random Animal Facts



Antelope

  • When threatened, deer and antelope will bark to warn the rest of their herd.

  • The 2nd largest antelope species, the common eland, can weigh up to 2,000 lbs-- & jump 8' in the air from a standstill 

Arctic fox

  • Snowshoe hares & arctic foxes both exhibit color morphs: long white fur in winter & short dark fur in summer. This color change offers them camouflage to match the seasons, but for different purposes: one to hunt, one to hide. 

Armadillo


  • An armadillo's shell is made of keratin, the same protein that makes up our hair and nails and animal horn sheaths. 

  • The Southern Three-Banded armadillo is the only armadillo species that can completely curl up into a ball. 
 
Beluga Whale

  • Beluga whale moms who have lost calves have been observed carrying around pieces of driftwood or bone to mourn them. 
Buttefly

  • The morpho butterfly's iridescent wing scales are being studied for tech from currency to microchips to waterproofing. 

Camel

  • The two types of camels are easy to remember: dromedaries have one hump, like the letter D. Bactrians have two, like B. 

  • A camel's humps don't store water. They do, however, store fat-- which provides both moisture & nutrients for desert treks 

Caracal

  • The long, bouncy tufts at the tips of a caracal's ears resemble insects and attract birds down into the cat's reach. 

Cat

  • Cats' penises are barbed. There are several theories why, but the important thing is yes-- it does hurt. 
Cheetah

  • Cheetah females won't even go into estrous (cycle), unless they hear a special vocalization from an attractive male. 

  • You can tell a cheetah apart from a leopard by its spots. A cheetah's spots are solid black, a leopard's are rosettes. 

  • For many years, cheetahs were classified as a canine because their foot structure is more like a dog's than a cat's. 

  • Cheetahs aren't classified as big cats OR small cats. They can purr, like smaller cats, but their size excludes them. 

Club-winged manakin

  • The club-winged manakin is the only flighted bird with solid wing bones, used to make its unique courtship sound. 

Common Eland

  • The 2nd largest antelope species, the common eland, can weigh up to 2,000 lbs-- & jump 8' in the air from a standstill 
Condor

  • In 1982, there were 22 California Condors left in the entire world. Today there are around 400. 
Cuttlefish

  • Cuttlebones (seen in pet stores) come from cuttlefish, and serve as a calcium supplement for birds & other small animals 
Deer

  • When threatened, deer and antelope will bark to warn the rest of their herd. 

Eagle

  • The sound you hear eagles make in movies and on TV is actually a red-tailed hawk vocalization. 
Echidna

  • Like the platypus, echidnas lay eggs. They also have electromagnetic sensors in their snouts for finding live food. 
Elephant

  • An elephant's tusks are modified incisor teeth (the teeth at the front of your mouth). 

  • Speaking of elephants, they can have up to six sets of teeth in their lifetime. 

  • Elephants don't use their trunks like straws. Rather, they suck water up and pour it into their mouths, 1-2 gals. @ a time 

  • An elephant's skull is full of pockets like honeycomb that make it lighter & allow resonation for ultrasound vocalizations 
Fennec Fox

  • A fennec fox's large ears help it hear, but serve mostly to dissipate the extreme heat of its Sahara home. 

Fish

  • If you step on a stonefish, you have nine minutes to get the antidote before cardiac arrest. 


Flamingo

  • Flamingos get their famed pink hue from carotene in the krill/ plankton they eat. 
Giraffe

  • Giraffes have seven vertebrae in their neck, just like humans (and most mammals), but each of theirs is ~11 inches long. 

  • Giraffes engage in a behavior called necking-- but it's nothing like ours. Males arm wrestle with their necks. 

  • A giraffe's tongue is approximately 1" long for every foot they are tall. So an 18' tall giraffe will have an 18" tongue. 
Hawk

  • The sound you hear eagles make in movies and on TV is actually a red-tailed hawk vocalization.
Hyacinth Macaw

  • A bite from the hyacinth macaw, the largest parrot species, is powerful enough to break a human forearm. 
Hyena

  • Hyena females have a psuedo-penis, through which they give birth. 
Jellyfish

  • A jellyfish's stinging nematocysts can still fire even after the animal has died (which is a bit complicated itself! 
JURASSIC PARK

  • Another fun JURASSIC PARK fact: one of the sounds the raptors make comes from a real-life raptor: the Eurasian Eagle Owl 
Killer Whale

  • Killer whales are so named because of their tendency to hunt other whales. More appropriately, they are whale killers. 

  • A killer whale's dorsal fin is made of cartilage & can soften and bend in whales that spend a lot of time @ the surface. Despite popular belief, both wild & captive whales have it @ about the same rate of occurrence. Level of care not a factor 
Komodo Dragon

  • A solitary komodo dragon female can still lay eggs that hatch live young, despite being unfertilized. 
Kookaburra

  • The sound you often hear monkeys make in movies & tv (except credible nature docs), is actually a kookaburra (Aussie bird) 
Lemur

  • Until as recently as ~550 years ago, lemurs the size of male gorillas existed on Madagascar. 
Leopard

  • You can tell a cheetah apart from a leopard by its spots. A cheetah's spots are solid black, a leopard's are rosettes. 
Lion


  • The black tuft at the tip of a lion's tail can conceal a claw. 

  • Lions are the only big cats to form lasting social groups. A female lion will stay with her mother most of her life. 
Marsupials

  • Most marsupials have bifurcated penises-- meaning their penis splits in 2 and can target both of a female's uteri. 
Monkeys

  • The sound you often hear monkeys make in movies & tv (except credible nature docs), is actually a kookaburra (Aussie bird) 
Octopus

  • An octopus can fit through any opening that its beak, the only hard part of its body, can fit through. 
Owl

  • Another fun JURASSIC PARK fact: one of the sounds the raptors make comes from a real-life raptor: the Eurasian Eagle Owl 
Penguin

  • Many penguins build their nests with rocks. To begin courting, 1 penguin will present the 1st rock to the other with a bow 

  • Unlike flighted birds, a penguin's bones aren't hollow-- they'd float! Instead, they use the extra density to dive deep. 

  • Of the 17 penguin species, only 2 never leave the Antarctic continent: the Emperor, and Adelie. 

  • Though often depicted together, polar bears are only found naturally in the No. hemisphere, penguins in the So. The only place you'll find them together is at a zoo. 
Platypus

  • Like the platypus, echidnas lay eggs. They also have electromagnetic sensors in their snouts for finding live food. 

  • The duck-billed platypus, though classified as a mammal, lays eggs and has venomous spines near the male's rear feet. 
Polar Bear

  • To hunt seals, polar bears will camp out near a breathing hole. They cover their black nose & close their eyes to hide. 

  • Though often depicted together, polar bears are only found naturally in the No. hemisphere, penguins in the So. The only place you'll find them together is at a zoo. 

  • Though a polar bear's fur looks white, each hair is clear-- this allows sunlight to get to their black skin for warmth. 
Rabbit
  • A baby rabbit is called a kit, or, sometimes, a kitten. 

  • Rabbits are not rodents; they are lagomorphs. The main difference? Lagomorphs have 4 upper incisors. Rodents have 2. 

  • Snowshoe hares & arctic foxes both exhibit color morphs: long white fur in winter & short dark fur in summer. This color change offers them camouflage to match the seasons, but for different purposes: one to hunt, one to hide. 
Rat

  • A rat's teeth grow 5-6 inches in a single year. 
Reindeer

  • Reindeer, or caribou, are the only deer species where both males and females have antlers. 
Reptiles

  • Snakes and lizards will keep growing throughout their entire lifetime. 
Rhino

  • The Indian rhino's courtship involves the female & male running & fighting until she's convinced of his fitness. 

  • A rhino's horn is not a true horn. It's made entirely of keratin, the same material that makes up our fingernails and hair 
Sardines, etc.

  • Sardines and other mass schooling fish are able to synchronize movement through electromagnetic sensors on their sides. 
Sea Star

  • "Starfish" are more correctly called sea stars-- they don't have gills or fins and therefore aren't fish. 
Sharks

  • Sharks grow teeth continuously throughout their lifetime. They can have about 3 rows of teeth showing at any time 


  • Sharks have a 6th sense: electromagnetic sensitivity. Special organs on their sides & nose help them zero in on prey 

  • Sharks may go through 20,000-40,000 teeth in their lifetime. 
Squid

  • Giant squid can be up to fifty feet long. 

  • Squid have a thin structure in their mantle called a quill. It's firm and made of chitin. They also have an ink sac, so if you're ever stuck on a deserted island and just DESPERATE to write, find a squid! 
Sugar Glider

  • Sugar gliders are so named because they can glide from tree to tree. Up to 100' in one jump! 
Tiger

  • Tigers have whiskers not only on their face, but all over their body. 


  • If you shaved a tiger, you would still see its stripes-- the pattern is not only in the fur, but in the skin. 

  • White tigers are not an endangered species. They are a recessive color mutation of the Bengal tiger (which is endangered) 
Turaco

  • A fruit-eating small turaco (bird), has such a loud alarm call that early explorers stayed out of the Congo to avoid it. 

  • The turacos are the only birds with true pigmentation. You can grind a feather into water and use it as a dye. 
Zebra

  • A zebra's stripes are unique to each animal, much like fingerprints. They will memorize each other's stripes to ID family. 

  • A zebra's stripes are for camouflage, but not how you expect. They blend in w/ each other, making 1lg. animal out of 5-10 






2 comments:

  1. I read through all of that!! Learnt me some things...

    ReplyDelete