Animal facts for the unique creatures that are our neighbors in this world. Know more about their habitats, traits, diet, and peculiar skills through these facts.
- Animal waste is 30 times greater than human waste, generating around 1.4 billion tons yearly.
- Reindeer milk contains more fat content than cow milk.
- Zoophobia refers to the fear of animals.
- Rodent teeth grow continuously.
- Humans share 98.4% DNA with chimps.
- Ostriches are faster runners than horses; male ostriches roar like lions.
- Aside from human females, elephants and humpback whales are the only mammals who menopause.
- A kangaroo with a lifted tail could not hop as it is essential for balance.
- You can flee a crocodile jaw grip by pushing your thumb into its eyeballs.
- Newborn horses can walk and run within a few hours of being born.
- The head of a garden caterpillar contains 248 muscles.
- A woodpecker has a pecking speed of 20 times/second.
- Alcohol makes a scorpion crazy to the point of stinging itself to death, even with a small amount.
- Tigers have stripes as humans have thumbmarks which serve as their identification.
- Humans can detect a skunk’s smell by a mile.
- Alaska bans ear-whispering during moose hunting.
- Tarantula spiders can last over 2 years without food.
- A snail can grow a new eye when it is cut.
- The humming of houseflies is in the F key.
- The ability to recognize landmarks helps birds in navigating.
The tuxedo plumage of Adélie penguin is a form of camouflage.
When viewed from above, its dark back feathers would blend into the depths of eater beneath. But from the view below the Adélie penguin, their white chests would blend into the sunlit surface above.
Ants have 2 stomachs.
They use one to feed themselves, while the other stomach can be used to nurture others. This process of feeding among ants through their second stomach is called trophallaxis.
Anteaters are toothless carnivores.
As edentate animals, anteaters do not need teeth in catching their prey. Instead, they use their narrow tongues which can go up to 2 feet long. The small spines and sticky saliva on their tongues enable them to catch ants and termites easily.
Part of the arctic fox diet is its own waste.
As they digest the food a second time, the arctic fox can then extract extra nourishment. They also eat the waste of other animals. Moreover, eating waste helps the arctic fox in keeping their salt levels in balance.
The hatching of barn owl eggs is asynchronous.
It means that each egg hatches exactly 30 days from when it was laid. Hence, some chicks end up being either younger or older by a few weeks than their siblings. The number of laid barn owl eggs may vary from 4-7 in normal cases, but with recorded cases of up to 14 eggs laid.
Among the mammals on earth, the bat is the slowest in terms of reproduction.
They only start reproducing by age 2 with a typical production count of only 1 offspring each year. Bat gestation periods can last from 40 days to 6 months. Autumn and winter are the mating seasons for bats, with the females carrying the males’ sperm during winter until they ovulate in spring and become pregnant.
In animal testing, beagles are the most used species of dogs.
It contrasts the breed’s popularity as human pets. The beagle is the most trusting of humans among other animals. Unfortunately, their trusting nature makes them fall victim to experiment projects in several industries.
The bearded dragon has an essential beard for a reason.
Both male and female bearded dragons have beards, and they use it in communication processes. When threatened, for one, they open their mouths, raise their chins, and puff the beard out to generate a bigger appearance. A hiss usually accompanies this display.
Beaver has a specially-designed body for its semi-aquatic lifestyle.
They spend their time divided between land and water. Due to its stiff tail and webbed feet, the beaver can efficiently move through the water. Moreover, its thick, waterproof coating keeps out the cold even when it is swimming.
The Bengal tiger boasts of having a built-in first aid kit.
The natural antiseptic contents of its saliva prevent infections on wounds. Thus, healing from injury is fast for a Bengal tiger. This natural defense mechanism proves useful when the Bengal tiger acquires injuries from protecting territories or even while hunting.
In its natural habitat, the blobfish does not always look like a blob.
Immense pressure is customary to blobfish as its natural habitat is somewhere very deep in the waters. However, this pressure goes from 60-120 times greater than that of sea level and is mainly the reason for its varied appearance in different places.
Square undershot jaws are the most prominent distinguishing feature of boxer dogs.
This condition means that their lower jaw juts beyond their upper jaw and has a slight upwards curve. With the square jaw of boxer dogs, their lower-jaw incisor and canine teeth form a straight line. Thus, the doggie smile unique to their species.
Among all predators on Earth, the brown bear is the only species that eat both meat and plants.
It is the reason why the brown bear has 2 separate sets of teeth that they use for each of the types of food they eat.
Camel humps are adaptable fat storages.
These distinctive body parts of the camel grow into mini hills when filled with food and water and diminish in size upon the usage of the stored fat. Moreover, the humps can store around 80 lbs of fat which allows the camel to have energy and water resources when sustenance becomes scarce.
Cats are superior to dogs when it comes to intelligence.
The cerebral cortex of cats contains around 300 million neurons while dogs only have 160 million. Cats can also make different sounds with 10 times more types than dogs do. While cats are more able to solve difficult cognitive problems, dogs still have higher social IQs.
Mating among tigers and lions is more common than you think.
A ‘tigon’ refers to the offspring produced by a male tiger and a female lion. Meanwhile, a ‘liger’ is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.
Cheetah vision sees from 3 miles away.
While its sense of smell is at par with its sense of sight, the cheetah utilizes its superior vision as its main weapon when hunting. Even the sun is not much of an obstacle as the tear mark beneath its eyes are specially designed to keep the sunlight away.
Chicken vision is better than that of humans.
Human eyes possess only 3 cone types, enabling the sight for blue, green, and red color. Meanwhile, chickens have additional 2 cone types, allowing them to detect violet and ultraviolet light. Their ability to see the sunrise about an hour before humans can is the reason why chickens crow early in the morning.
The color of eggs that chickens produce is predictable from their ear lobe colors.
Brown eggs hail from chickens with red ear lobes while white eggs lay from chickens with white ear lobes.
Chimpanzees are bipedal animals.
It means that chimpanzees can get around by swinging around using their long arms and by walking. Moreover, chimpanzees can either walk on all fours or on 2 legs only.
Clownfish are immune to the sting of sea anemones.
It is also the reason why clownfish can make their homes withing the sea anemones. Hence, being there makes clownfish safe from other predators as they go unnoticed from where they are.
A headless cockroach can still survive for up to 2 weeks.
Unlike other insects, the cockroach has its brain inside its body instead of its head. This unique body feature enables the cockroach to still have control over the rest of its body even with the absence of its head.
Despite being a wild cat, the cougar does not have the ability to roar.
The cougar would purr like a domesticated house cat instead, regardless of its being a fierce cat by nature. Still, there have been accounts claiming of hearing the cougar hiss, scream, squeak, and whistle.
Determining a cow’s age is possible by counting its horn rings.
The average lifespan of a cow is between 15-20 years, although cattle raised for dairy and meat do not reach anywhere near that age. Otherwise, longer-living cattle reveal their age through the number of rings on their horns.
The fur of coyote varies from the location of its residence.
In colder latitudes, the usual coat for resident coyotes has light grey fur featuring dark patches. In warmer latitudes, the fur would be light red in color with lighter patches. Fur texture also varies. While coyotes in North America have longer, denser fur, coyotes from Central America have short, bristle-like fur.
Crocodile boasts of the strongest bite among any other creature in the world.
The jaw of a crocodile applies 5,000 lbs of pressure per sq in while the pressure of a human bite is only at 100 lbs per sq in. Still, the jaw-opening muscles of crocodiles are small and weak that human hands or even a rubber band can close its mouth.
The island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean once served as the only habitat of the dodo bird.
Due to their flightlessness, the dodo bird was not able to reach any other landmass. Hence, the dodo bird was unable to propagate its population to neighboring islands, leaving them in complete isolation on the island.
Dog nose prints are as unique as human thumbprints.
It might as well serve as the individual identification for every single dog on the planet. Upon closer look, one can see the distinctive serial bumps and ridges on their noses.
Dolphins are susceptible to drowning.
As mammals, dolphins can only breathe by coming to the surface, depriving them of the luxuries of deep sleep in the ocean. Hence, they have to choose between 2 sleeping methods. Dolphins can sleep either by resting vertically or horizontally in the water or by sleeping while swimming slowly alongside another dolphin.
The superior visual range of dragonflies comes with the ability to see across several spectrums.
The 3 opsins in human eyes allow for seeing the visible rainbow colors. Meanwhile, dragonflies have 5 opsins, making them able to see UV light that is invisible to human eyes. Their ability to see all around them in darkness and light make dragonflies difficult to catch.
A sleeping duck can keep one of its eyes open and control which brain side stays awake.
Duck flocks normally sleep side by side, forming a long row. Usually, the ducks at each end leave the eye facing away from the row open. It lets them rest while still literally keeping an eye open for possible dangers.
No matter how intimidating an earwig might appear, it is harmless to humans.
The earwig is even helpful in a way that it feeds on other insects and steering clear of homes when reproducing. However, earwigs pose risks in having the potential to invade crops and flowers among other types of plants.
The echidna is an egg-laying mammal.
It belongs to the order of monotremes endemic to Australia, a group of mammals that lay eggs. The females of the echidna species lay small, soft-shelled and leathery eggs into their pouches. Ten days later, the baby echidna called ‘echidna puggle’ would hatch.
Elephants boast of having very developed memories.
Like humans, elephants have the ability to hold grudges, remember past grievances, remember loved ones who have died, and even hold rituals to honor their dead. Elephants also remember old friends who have strayed and returned. Moreover, they express feelings of excitement in such reunions by trumpeting.
The flamingo eats upside-down.
The curved bill of the flamingo features a special design that filters food from water and mud. Moreover, they feed by combing their feet through the mud and catching it in their beaks while hanging their heads upside-down.
As a ruminant, the giraffe has 4 stomachs.
Finishing a meal is not the end of food processing for giraffes. After swallowing, the giraffe transfers the food into the first stomach for the initial processing. The output then returns to the mouth for a second round of chewing, then it proceeds to the rest of the digestive system.
While the golden retriever makes a great watchdog, it is not the best security dog.
The golden retriever has a tendency to bark loudly upon the approach of a stranger. However, they also tend to become friendly towards strangers, allowing petting upon themselves and even letting them get inside the house.
The digestive tract of a goldfish does not have a stomach.
They only need to consume small quantities of food, hence, it is crucial not to overfeed them. Goldfish must eat at least 5 times per day. However, they produce a lot of waste due to their lack of stomach for food digestion.
Grasshoppers have 5 eyes.
Either side of the head of the grasshopper has a large eye packed with thousands of lenses, enabling them to see in all directions. Moreover, the grasshopper has one eye at the base of each antenna, and then another between the two antennae. However, the purpose of the three other eyes is yet to be known.
Gray wolf can communicate to another of its kind from over 50 sq mi of land.
The howl of the gray wolf can mean many things. It could be passing on alarms, finding each other, or assembling the pack prior to a hunt. When a pack howls, they harmonize instead of chorusing the same note so as to give the impression of having more wolves than one.
Another feces-eating animal is the guinea pig.
The soft pellets that the guinea pig defecates are called cecotropes. When they eat these cecotropes, the guinea pig is able to recycle B vitamins and fiber. Still, they also eat other things like pellets, hay, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
The hippopotamus sweat blood.
While it is not real blood, the clear liquid that the skin of the hippopotamus secretes turns red to orange until it turns brown. It happens when they had to travel far from water but they need to keep their skin moisturized. Hence, the ‘blood’ fluid serves as bacteria protection, sunlight reflector, a sunscreen, a moisturizer, and a disinfectant.
The honey badger has a reputation for being violent predators.
It has been known for castrating its prey, waiting for the victim to weaken, then begin eating them. Moreover, the honey badger also drinks blood, making the liquid as a main source of water.
Horse’s teeth reveal its age.
Baby horses start growing teeth soon after birth whereas the first adult teeth only grow by age 2-3. However, horses are susceptible to tooth loss around their late 20s. Dental care for horses can help in retaining healthy teeth.
The hummingbird is the only bird species that can fly backward.
This special ability enables the hummingbird to reverse from flowers after feeding. Aside from being a way to save energy, the ability to fly backward also proves to be an efficient flying method and requires about the same amount of energy as typical flying.
4 layers of feathers cover up the king penguin.
Not only do these layers incubate the king penguin, but they also serve as protection from the harsh cold climate of their habitat. Down feathers make up the inner three layers, forming a thick insulator layer. Meanwhile, the outermost layer consists of an oiled, waterproof coating. The feathers of the king penguin sometimes give the impression of fur.
Mother’s milk is more important to a kitten than it seems.
It is the only liquid that the kitten must drink in its early days. Milk from the mother cat is an excellent source of nutrients such as protein and fat among other vitamins. Aside from helping the kitten in growth and development, mother’s milk also improves their immune system while serving as infection protection as well.
The tail of a lemur is longer than the length of its body.
When the lemur walks, it holds and arches its tail above its head. This gesture gives the lemur more balance as they walk or run and is also essential in moving around in high trees and in communicating with other lemurs.
A typical day for a lion consists of 16-20 hours of sleep.
As nocturnal animals, the lion hunts after dusk with nothing much to do during the day. The lion prepares for the evening as soon as the sun sets as it is also their time to groom and socialize. After a successful hunt, a lion’s meal can last for about an hour.
The lobster executes waste excretion from their faces.
Located at the base of its second antennae, openings on the face of the lobster serves as the exit door for its urine. The green glands are the organs from where the lobster excretes waste, and it includes a sac linked to its bladder.
Macaroni penguin is an aggressive lover.
No matter how sociable macaroni penguins are, they still tend to be aggressive when it comes to getting the attention of the opposite sex with whom they desire to mate. The macaroni penguin is also protective of their young.
Humans are similar to monkeys when it comes to expressing emotions.
For one, the mother primate mourns the loss of a child. The monkey is also capable of showing anger, jealousy, and affection towards other monkeys.
Contrary to popular belief, mountain gorillas are usually calm.
Unless feeling challenged or disturbed, the mountain gorilla would show little to know aggressive behavior. A male leader under threat would bark, hoot, or roar loud, with a complementary upright stance, chest-pounding, or throwing things. Even females of the species protect their offspring until death.
The tail of the otter serves as both a rudder and a weapon.
They have muscular tails with an average length of 1 foot, making up around ⅓ of its body length. Moreover, these tails work as navigational tools, guides, steerers and even as defense and protection weapons for otters.
Owls are the quietest among the birds of prey.
Branded as silent killers, owls have the reputation of swooping down onto their unsuspecting prey, snatching them up before they even know what hit them. Their muted flight is what sets the owl apart from other birds of its species.
Pandas have a unique way of communicating.
While other bear species communicate through facial expressions, the panda stares their opponent down as means of intimidation. One theory as to why they do this is how their black ears appear like a second pair of eyes glaring at their opponent.
The scales of the pangolin are made of the same material as that of human fingernails.
Made of keratin, the scales of the pangolin are sturdy enough to resist a lion’s bite. Other items made of the said material are human fingernails and hair.
On a closer look, the panther is not as black as it seems.
Even the panther has similar markings as that of the jaguar and leopard. The pattern is still visible beneath its dark coat, disguised by and effect known as ‘ghost striping.’
The lung fluke became the earliest known parasite in humans.
Indications of the organisms appeared in recovered fossilized feces from northern Chile, believed to be dating back to 5,900 B.C. It even led to the belief that 2,000 B.C. ancient Egyptian mummies also carried parasites in the form of tapeworms.
The tail of the peacock makes up over 60% of its body’s total length.
However, the name ‘peacock’ only refers to the male peafowls and they are the only ones who can boast of ornamental feathers. Their tails feature colorful eye-shaped markings which can vary from blue, gold and red among other hues.
Seeing a platypus is only possible in the wildlife sanctuaries of Australia.
None of its species survived in captivity outside of Australia despite numerous attempts of bringing some to the Bronx Zoo in 1922, 1947, and 1958. Hence, there is only one country in the world that serves as home to the platypus.
Polar bears count among the most untracked species on Earth.
Tracking of the polar bears only initiated in the mid-1980s. Since then, all the compiled data are still not very reliable. An accurate method is by sedating them through tranquilizer darts and tagging them with a tracking device. However, it costs a hefty amount of time and money.
The title ‘The Happiest Animals in The World’ goes to the quokkas.
Quokkas have a rep for being sociable, playful, fearless and curious. Their species can adapt well whether it is to people visiting them in isolated islands or those from populated areas. While zoologists do not agree as much, people have made their general interpretation of the quokkas.
Different habitats are no issue to the red-tailed hawks.
The red-tailed hawks can adapt to almost anywhere as long as the location has a wide, open space where they can hunt. Among the habitats wherein the red-tailed hawks reside are the deserts, fields, grasslands, pastures, parks, roadsides, scrublands, and tropical rainforests.
The red wolf has a unique physiological feature ideal for its excellent running and hunting.
Due to its elevated heels, the toes of the red wolf are the only body parts that make contact with the ground. Moreover, its slightly-inward elbows and narrow chest makes them agile and quick.
Playtime for river otters is also time to learn survival skills.
As playful creatures, river otters have been known to play games of chasing and wrestling. These games are not purely for enjoyment but serve as grounds to learn vital survival skills like fighting and hunting as well.
Sharks have their ears inside their head.
In contrast to what most people believe, sharks do have ears. However, theirs are not as visible as that of other species.
Detecting whether a snake is venomous or not is possible by looking at their eyes.
Snakes that have elliptical or slitted pupils are the venomous ones. Meanwhile, the snakes with round pupils are non-venomous.
Squids are special in a way that they have 3 hearts instead of only one.
The complex body of the squid contains 2 smaller hearts as gills and 1 larger heart as a blood pump. All the hearts of the squid have a faint greenish color with layouts enclosing them with renal sacks.
In 2007 Iran, 14 squirrels were taken into custody.
When the Iranian police found them close to the border, the squirrels faced allegations of them carrying various spyware. Official Iranian news later reported how the squirrels were suspects of collecting information for foreign agencies.
The tough, leathery skin of the stingray serves several purposes.
A variety of products hail from the sturdy skin of the stingray. Some examples are belts, boots, cellphone cases, jackets, and shoes. The most famous use for them is as underlayers of Japanese swords.
Sugar gliders treat smell as a way of life.
Where humans use language, writing, and signs in communication, sugar gliders use smell. Their saliva, as well as the scent emanating from their chests and foreheads, is vital in getting their messages across.
The Tasmanian devil has been known to feed on and sleep inside corpses.
Even when the Tasmanian devil has slept within a rotten carcass, it can still continue feeding on it once it wakes up. The smell does is not even an issue.
In terms of memories, the tiger is superior to humans.
Aside from having more detailed memories, tigers also have short-term memory that lasts 30 times longer than that of humans. Tigers are less forgetful than humans as well.
Toucans do not migrate, therefore making them resident breeders.
Despite being a bird species, the toucan is not very good at flying. It is also the reason why they do not move from their habitat unless there comes a scarcity of food and other resources. Even when they do plan to relocate, their inability to fly would be a huge hindrance.
Among bat species, the vampire bat is the only one that can walk, hop, and run.
The vampire bat has earned its reputation from its ability to hunt prey from afar. Landing a few feet away from their prey, the vampire bat looks for the best spot to bite. Once it has sunk a bite, it will then hop back to safety, then go back and forth when it has made sure that the animal does not attack them back.
The record of being the largest animal in the world goes to the whale.
The whale is a mammal in the sea, which also means that they are warm-blooded and breathe air. Moreover, the whale joins the dolphins and porpoises in a group called cetaceans.
Despite their color, the white tiger is not albino.
The rarity of the white tiger only naturally occurs once per 10,000 births and requires an unusual gene from both parents. As Bengal tigers are the only subspecies that can boast of different colors, it makes the number of white tigers in the wild only smaller.
The eating capacity of a wolf is unparalleled.
Always on the lookout for the next meal, a wolf can end up being hungry enough to devour 20 pounds of meat in a single meal. It is equivalent to a human downing 100 hamburgers in one sitting.
Wombat buttocks are essential defense mechanisms.
Hard, bone-like material cartilage makes up the bottoms of the wombat. This specially designed body part enables the wombat to block the entrance of their burrows to keep predators out and even to protect the young inside. Even when a wombat gets swiped from behind, it would not feel much pain.