180+ Fun Facts About Animals

Facts About Animals: Animals are a large group of mostly multicellular, eukaryotic organisms from the state of Animalia or Metazoa. Their anatomy is ultimately fixed as they develop, although some go through a process of change in their later life. Most animals are dynamic (moving), although they can maneuver freely and independently. Every animal is also a parasite, which means it has to swallow other animals to make a living.

The most well-known animal in the fossil record was Phyla, a marine species found during the Cambrian eruption about 542 years ago.

180+ Fun Facts About Animals

Intresting Facts About Animals

  • They often do this when retreating away from flowers.
  • Their legislative powers, however, are still up for debate.
  • Hummingbirds are the only known birds that can also fly backwards.
  • Individual male rhinos are referred to as bulls, and females as cows.
  • According to National Geographic, it's the longest tongue of any known mammal.
  • In busy waters, manatees will nudge alligators to get in front, and alligators generally oblige.
  • A group of parrots is known as a pandemonium. And the collective noun for porcupines, is a prickle.
  • According to a 2018 study published in Copeia, alligators often haven't hit their full size until 33.
  • Only 3-5% of mammals are monogamous. The majority of mammals are not monogamous, making humans unusual.
  • Otters “hold hands” while sleeping, so they don’t float away from each other. And it’s super-cute. Look.
  • Baby elephants suck their trunks for comfort. Just like babies and young children suck their thumbs, awwww.
  • Horned lizards shoot blood out of their eyes. To scare of predators, this lizard shoots blood out of its eyes.
  • While scientists don't exactly think they have a sense of humor, rats will make a laugh-like sound when tickled.
  • Scientists believe that it's so they don't get sunburns while they eat. The animals' tongues are also around 20 inches long.
  • Yes, white-tailed deer can hit top speeds of 35 miles per hour. Think that's fast? Reindeer can run up to 50 miles per hour.
  • Lungfish are the only fish that have both lungs and gills. This allows them to survive when the water in their ponds/lakes dries up.
  • Horses can make 17 facial movements, which is 3 more than chimps and only 10 fewer than humans, according to a 2015 study published in PLOS One.
  • The patu digua is thought to be this smallest spider in the world at just 0.37 mm. This Colombian spider is about one fifth the size of the head of a pin.
  • Certain species of the Amynthas worm, which have recently been identified in the Midwestern United States, can jump and detach their tails when disturbed.
  • Elephants mourn their dead. Elephants will return to the place where family members died and stand in silence over the bones, sometimes bowing their heads.
  • The aptly named colossal squids eyes are as large as a basketball. This allows them to detect the faint light of a predator from over 400 feet (120 metres).

200 Strange Facts About Animals

  • Cat’s were domesticated 9,500 years ago in Ancient Egypt. They were worshiped in Ancient Egypt and some historians report that it was illegal to kill a cat.
  • Elephant calves will suck their trunks to comfort themselves. The babies do it for the same reason humans do (it mimics the action of suckling their mothers).
  • Axolotl are able to regenerate lost limbs and body organs. Mexican walking fish can regrow the same limb up to 5 times, and even regenerate parts of its brain.
  • Even after having its head cut off, a cockroach can still live for weeks. Even stranger, a cockroach’s head can actually survive by itself for a few hours, too.
  • No, it's not because they're so professional—it's a modernized form of "busyness," the word originally used to describe a group of these weasel-related mammals.
  • You might think it's just their fur, but no, tigers have striped skin. And speaking of those stripes, much like our fingerprints, they're unique to every tiger.
  • Gorilla’s have been seen dismantling traps set by poachers. Poaching is a big problem for gorillas, but young gorillas have learnt how to trap and dismantle snares.
  • The Giant Pacific Octopus has 3 hearts, 9 brains and blue blood. They are also able to change their colour and texture to camouflage themselves in a blink of an eye.
  • There is an average of 50,000 spiders per acre in green areas. There’s over 45,000 known spider species, with the venom of a few only known to be dangerous to humans.
  • More than half of all pigs in the world are kept by farmers in China.There are over 440 million pigs in China. United States in comparison has a mere 73 million pigs.
  • The yellowhead jawfish incubates its eggs in its mouth. The male gathers up all of the eggs once they’ve been fertilised and stores them in his mouth until they hatch.
  • The pangolin is able to roll up into an armour-plated ball, so lions can’t eat them. If only this worked for poachers, who simply pick them up when they roll into a ball.
  • A Blue Whales tongue can weigh as much as a car, or a small adult elephant. A Blue Whales tongue can weigh approx. 2.7 tonnes, or 6,000 – 8,000 pounds (2,720 – 3,630 kg).
  • The U.S. military trained bottlenose dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins were used in both the Vietnam and the Gulf to detect enemy swimmers trying to plant explosives on ships.
  • A Rhinoceros‘s horns are made of ‘keratin’, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails. Some species of Rhinos have two horns, while others just have a single horn.
  • Nile crocodiles can live for a full century. And they can do a lot of damage over the course of those 100 years: Approximately 200 people die every year from Nile crocodile attacks.

Fun Facts About Animals for Kids

  • Male horses have 40 to 42 permanent teeth, while females have just 36 to 40. According to the VCA Animal Hospital, the original purpose of these extra teeth was as fighting weaponry.
  • They're thought to have up to one million hairs per square inch. Their fur consists of two layers and is designed to trap a layer of air next to their skin so their skin doesn't get wet.
  • Little is known about the elusive Giant squid, however the largest squid ever found measured over 50 feet and weighed nearly a tonne. To put that in perspective, that’s bigger than a bus.
  • Pea Crabs are miniature crabs that spend their whole lives inside oysters, clams, and mussels. Names so because it is the size of a pea, this tiny crab relies entirely on its host for food.
  • Vampire bats share blood with their friends. Bats need to eat blood at least every 48 hours to survive. Bats will share blood after a good meal with another bat that’s fed them in the past.
  • Swifts spend most of their lives flying in the air, and can fly for almost an entire year, without ever landing. A study showed that over a 10-month period, a swift stopped for just 2 hours.
  • Polar bears have jet black skin under their white fur coats. It helps them absorb heat to keep warm, while the white fur helps provides camouflage in the snowy and icy environment they live.
  • The smell of a skunk is powerful enough for a human to smell it up to 3.5 miles (5.6 km) away. The foul smelling spray from a skunk can also cause skin irritation and even temporary blindness.
  • Cuckoo birds hide their eggs in the nests of other species. The other bird species then raises the cuckoo chick as if it were its own, and the cuckoo mother doesn’t have to do any of the work.
  • Meerkat parents train their offspring to hunt scorpions. They will bring back dead or almost dead scorpions back to the younger ones so that they can practice killing them without getting stung.
  • Relax, pigeons—it's not all catfish. But yes, in southwestern France, a group of European catfish have learned to kill pigeons, launching themselves out of the water to grab the sunbathing birds.
  • Turns out, squirrels have an intense motherly instinct. One 2010 study by researchers at the University of Guelph found that the animals will take in the orphaned pups of their late family members.
  • The Naked Mole-Rat can live in an almost zero oxygen atmosphere. Incredibly, in a zero oxygen environment, the Naked Mole-Rat can still survive for up to 20-minutes without suffering any harm at all.
  • A tigers rear legs are so powerful, that they have been found remaining to stand even after death. Tigers have been witnessed to have been shot, bled out, and died – and remained standing throughout.
  • Octopuses have two more hearts than you do. Two hearts are used to pump blood to their gills, while the third brings blood to the rest of their body. If that's not enough, they also have nine brains.

Mind-blowing Facts About Animals

  • Chimpanzees are very intelligence and make all kinds of tools. For example, some use long sticks to fish out termites from their mounds. Others have been recorded creating “spears” to hunt bushbabies!
  • You already know that dolphins are smart. But did you know that they even have their own names? One 2013 study published in PNAS found that bottlenose dolphins develop specific whistles for one another.
  • While it's not a secret that snails have shells, you probably didn't know that some actually have hairy shells. These hairs are rather handy to have, as they help a snail stick to wet surfaces like leaves.
  • An ostrich legs are so powerful that their kicks can kill a lion. Or a human! Each two-toed foot has a long, sharp claw – making them formidable weapons. Animals often end up running away from the large bird.
  • Sheep can recognise faces. As social animals, sheep are capable of recognising familiar and unfamiliar faces. Studies even suggest that they miss other sheep when they are taken away for a long time afterwards.
  • The salamanders are the only vertebrates that can replace their skin, limbs, tail, jaws, and spines at any age. On the flip side, humans can regenerate lost limb buds as embryos and fingertips as young children.
  • Only 5% of cheetah cubs survive to adulthood. A study in the 90’s in the Serengeti found that 95% of cheetah cubs died before reaching adulthood. Many deaths were due to Lions, but also other predators and disease.
  • The shortest living animal in the world is the Mayfly. It’s entire lifespan is just 24hrs. The Mayfly reproduces and then dies, during that short 24hr period of life. Some species of Mayfly only live for 8-10 hours.
  • The howler monkey is the loudest land animal. Its calls can be heard from 3 miles (5 km) away. At its peak, the howler monkey can produce sounds that reach 140 decibels. That’s as noisy as a jet engine, on take off!
  • The Mariana snailfish is the deepest fish in the ocean, living up to around 8000m below the surface. They live down in the deepest trenches of the ocean where they hunt invertebrates, such as crustaceans and shrimp.
  • Giant vampire bats lived 100,000 years ago and had a wingspan of 50cm (20 inches). These giant bats were roughly 30% larger than the modern vampire bats. The remains of one were recently found in a cave in Argentina.
  • Call it a moo-d. Researchers at the University of Leicester School of Psychology found that cows produced 1.54 more pints per day—a 3 percent increase—when they were played slow music, as opposed to more upbeat tunes.
  • To ensure her dominance, the queen mole rat works to make it impossible for other female mole rats to have litters. In fact, the queen can produce a substance in her urine that renders other female mole rats infertile.
  • Grey-headed Albatross can circle the globe in only 46 days. The incredible round-the-world journey covers 14,000 miles over the 46 day period at a steady 13mph. They perform this feat by making various pit-stops along the way.

180 Amazing Facts About Animals

  • Cows have stronger social ties than you might think. One 2013 study conducted by researchers at the University of Northampton found that when cows were separated from their BFFs, their heart rates increased as a sign of stress.
  • The earliest found depictions of dogs come from 8000 years ago. Dogs have been human-kinds best friend for a long time, with a carving in a rock face in Saudi Arabia showing a man hunting with 13 dogs. Two of them even have leads!
  • The horned lizard has a pretty impressive trick for evading predators. When a horned lizard finds itself in a perilous situation, it can squirt a stream of blood from its eyes. The predator then runs off, because, well, wouldn't you?
  • Atlantic wolf fish are terrifying predators reaching up to 5 feet in length. They have very sharp teeth and a powerful bite, making them powerful predators. They use this bite force to crush the hard shells of molluscs and crustaceans.
  • When you hear a housefly buzzing around your home, you might be annoyed by the persistent sound. However, the next time it happens, try to soothe yourself by noting that the airborne pest is actually buzzing in an F key. How melodious!
  • Humans aren't the only animals who enjoy a drink or two. A 2015 study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science reveals that chimpanzees in Guinea had a fondness for imbibing fermented palm sap and getting tipsy in the process.
  • And yes, they are called arms, not tentacles. According to the Library of Congress, the animals can taste and grab with the suckers on their arms. Even more impressive? Octopuses are capable of moving at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
  • If you think crocodiles aren't frightening enough, consider this: They used to gallop. While modern-day crocodiles can move surprisingly fast, giant crocodiles during the Cretaceous period could use their legs to chase and kill dinosaurs.
  • The lesula, discovered in 2007, has giant human like eyes and a blue bottom. This relatively newly discovered monkey lives in the Congo. Their eyes are very distinctive because of their human-like appearance, as are their bright blue bums.
  • According to Bat Conservation International, bats give birth to babies—known as pups—that can weigh as much as one-third of the mother's weight. If that doesn't sound like a lot, imagine a person giving birth to a baby that weighed 40 pounds.
  • The loudest animal relative to size is the Water Boatman, which measures at just 12mm long, but can produce 99 dB of sound by rubbing its genitalia across its abdomen. This is the equivalent noise level of operating a circular saw, or a drill.
  • Koalas can sleep for up to 22 hours a day. Koala need more sleep than most animals, because their diet of eucalyptus leaves contain toxins, are very low in nutrition, and high in fibrous matter – so they take a large amount of energy to digest!
  • Great white sharks can detect a drop of blood in 25 gallons (100 litres) of water and can even sense tiny amounts of blood from 3 miles (5 km) away. They use their acute sense of smell to detect blood using an organ called the ‘olfactory bulb’.
  • The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the biggest freshwater turtle in the world. It weighs between 150 to 220 kilograms (330 to 485 pounds) and is over 100cm (39in) in length. They are found primarily in the area of the Yangtze River in China.
  • They may be cute, but their bite can kill. According to Popular Science, these adorable animals secrete toxins from a gland in the crook of their inner arms. Their bites have caused anaphylactic shock and even death in humans. Better watch out!

Cute Fun Facts About Animals

  • Wombats use their droppings to warn other animals to stay off their turf. Luckily, their cube-shaped poop makes it easy to see that a spot is governed by wombats, as the little squares tend to stay put more easily than spherical droppings would.
  • Electric eels are in fact not eels, and give a shock strong enough to knock out a horse. In the Tennessee Aquarium an electric eel’s tank has been hooked up to a computer programmed to send out a tweet whenever the eel produces enough electricity.
  • You probably know that cats love to talk to their humans. But did you know you're unlikely to see your feline friend interact the same way with another cat? That's because other than kittens meowing at their mothers, cats don't meow at other cats.
  • Not only do butterflies taste using their feet—the receptors on their legs are also 200 times stronger than human taste buds. When a butterfly lands on a plant, they use these sensors to determine whether or not what they're standing on is edible.
  • The most venonmous fish in the world is the 30cm Stonefish. They have 13 sharp fin spines on their back, each with two venom glands. Their stings are extremely painful, can be lethal to humans, and mostly occur as a result of stepping on the creature.
  • You can learn a lot from the color of a giraffe's spots. According to a 2019 study in Animal Behaviour, giraffes with darker spots are more dominant than giraffes with lighter spots. And not only that: Dark-spotted giraffes also tend to be more solitary.
  • The male seahorse goes through pregnancy and gives birth to babies. They are the only animal on earth where the male carries the baby rather than the female. The male seahorse has a pouch on its stomach in which to carry babies—as many as 2,000 at a time.
  • Some albatrosses are lesbians. Albatrosses form bonds for life, returning to the same place every year to raise their young. Some of these bonds are between two female albatrosses, with a study finding that in one breeding area 31% of pairs were two females.
  • Flamingos are not pink. They are born grey, their diet of brine shrimp and blue green algae contains a natural pink dye called canthaxanthin that makes their feathers pink. Flamingos in zoos often lost their colouring, until zoo keepers supplemented their diets.
  • Wojtek the bear was a corporal in the polish military during WWII. Wojtek was brought by polish shoulders while in Iran. He was made an officer so that he was allowed rations and eventually was promoted to corporal. He helped out by carrying boxes of ammunition.
  • If you thought your cat was sleepy, just wait until you hear about koalas. According to the Australian Koala Foundation, these cuties sleep between 18 and 22 hours a day. The koalas' diets require a lot of energy to digest, which is why they've got to nap so much.
  • There are more than 1.4 billion insects for EACH HUMAN on the planet, according to recent estimates. Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. Their population is estimated as 107–108 billion alone, in comparison to approx. 7 billion humans on the planet.
  • The Japanese Spider Crab has the longest leg span of any arthropod. From the tip of one claw to the other can be as long as almost 4m! It has 10 legs stretching out from a central body, giving it its spider like appearance. They live deep in the oceans south of Japan.
  • The fastest land animal on the planet is a cheetah. It can reach speeds of up to 75 mph (120 kph). While the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird, with a diving speed of 242 mph (390 kph). The Black Marlin is the fastest sea animal, and can swim up to 80 mph (130 kph).
  • Koala’s have fingerprints almost identical to human. It is so hard to distinguish between the fingerprints of koalas and humans that even under a microscope it is hard to tell. There are even reported cases of a koala’s fingerprints confusing forensics at crime scenes.
  • Shrike’s impale their prey on sticks to save them for later. Also known as “butcherbirds” they are famous for being fairly brutal songbirds. They catch all kinds of animals, including crickets, lizards, and small birds, and impale them on sticks to save them for later.
  • Don't plan on eating a spur-winged goose if you happen to come across one during your travels. These birds, natives of sub-Saharan Africa, have flesh that's often poisonous to humans, thanks to their diet of blister beetles, which contain the deadly cantharidin poison.
  • The little known pangolin is the worlds most poached and trafficked animal. This is due to the high demand of their scales and meat in Asian cultures. 70% of Chinese citizens believe pangolin products have medicinal value, when its been scientifically proven to be false.
  • The Alpine Swift is able to stay airborne for over 6 months without touching down. It holds the world record for the longest recorded uninterrupted flight by a bird, at over 200 days in the air as it hunted flying insects on its wintering range in the skies over West Africa.

Unknown Facts About Animals

  • The Nile crocodiles jaws can apply 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch – the strongest bite of any animal in the world. A human’s jaw produces 100 pounds of pressure per square inch in comparison. A crocodiles bite is 10 times more powerful than that of a great white shark
  • Giraffes are the tallest land animal in the world, reaching heights of 19ft (5.8 m). The ostrich is the world’s tallest bird. It can grow up to 9 feet (2.7m) tall. Over 2 metres (7ft) of a giraffes total size is its famously long neck, which helps it reach leaves in tall trees.
  • White-tailed jackrabbits are the greatest land jumpers, having been recorded leaping an astonishing 21ft (6.4m) vertically. That’s higher than 3 average sized men all stood on top of each other. This large species of hare can also run up to 35mph (55kph) when escaping predators.
  • Certain animals have anti-freeze proteins that allow them to survive extreme temperatures. These anti-freeze proteins prevent water in the cells of the animals from crystalising and forming ice. Examples of animals with this superpower include the winter flounder and the eelpout.
  • Dolphins use toxic pufferfish to ‘get high’. Dolphins deliberately handle pufferfish causing them to release toxins as a defence mechanism. These toxins can be deadly in high doses, but also have a narcotic effect – and are a powerful hallucinogenic, which dolphins appear to enjoy.
  • Greenland sharks are the longest living vertebrates on earth, with one individual thought to be over 400 years old. Greenland sharks are giant, reaching up to 5m in length, and live in the cold deep waters of the North Atlantic. They are rarely seen, and little is known about them.
  • The box jellyfish is considered the most venomous marine species in the world. These cube shaped jellyfish have long tentacles and can be over 3m in length. Their toxin, delivered via stinging cells in their tentacles, is so potent that many die before they can even reach the shore.
  • While many scientists believe that tool use among dolphins is a relatively new phenomenon, a 2017 study published in Biology Letters suggests that otters may have been using tools for millions of years. Sea otters frequently use rocks to break open well-armored prey, such as snails.
  • Cows poo up to 15 times a day, which can be as much as 115 pounds of manure per day, or approximately 21 tons per year. The large quantities are often put to good use, though – manure, to fertilizer, to fuel, or biogas to create electricity and heat for developing parts of the world.
  • The largest insect to ever live was a “dragonfly” with a wingspan of over 75cm (2 and a half feet) across. They are called Meganeuropsis and were around 247 million years ago. They were proficient predators, with large mandibles that they used to capture fish, amphibians and insects.
  • Vampire bats do more than just bite their prey—they also keep the other animal's blood from clotting. Their saliva works as an anticoagulant, so that the blood can flow freely as they feed. Here's another fun fact: The protein in the anticoagulant has been nicknamed "Draculin." Spooky!
  • Japanese Macaques play with snowballs for fun. These snow monkeys have been observed rolling up snowballs, then pushing them down hills just for the heck of it. Others gather lumps of snow in a ball and carry them around, proudly sometimes to the envy of other monkeys who try to steal it.
  • Everything about life is slow for these sleepy mammals. Most sloths will only have a bowel movement once a week, and it can take them up to 30 days to completely digest a single leaf. For comparison, it takes the average human 12 to 48 hours to ingest, digest, and eliminate waste from food.
  • A flea can jump distances 200 times their body length. They are able to jump 10 inches (25cm) vertically and up to 18 inches (45 cm) horizontally, making them one of the planets best jumpers relative to its size. It’s equal to a human jumping as high as the Empire State Building in New York.
  • While you may think that Fido has the same dinnertime experience as you do, he's actually got a much different taste bud arrangement. Humans have about 9,000 taste buds, while dogs have only around 1,700. And while they can identify the same four taste sensations as people, dogs are not fond of salt.
  • Roosters prevent themselves from going deaf due to their own loud crowing, by tilting their head backs when they crow, which covers their ear canal completely, serving as a built-in ear-plug. A study showed that their crowing averages over 100 decibels, which is roughly the same as running a chainsaw.
  • Some corvids (crows, rooks, ravens etc,) can understand physics. Corvids are highly intelligent. They can use tools, solve puzzles, recognise faces, and even understand physics. Tests show that rooks have the same level of understanding of physics as a 6-month-old baby, which is higher than some apes.
  • Groups of killer whales have their own dialects that are further influenced by the company they keep. A 2014 study published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America revealed that orcas housed with bottlenose dolphins over a long period of time were able to replicate the dolphins' language.
  • Sorry, cat owners, you're not just being paranoid: Your pet does know when you're calling their name, and they're ignoring you anyway. In a 2019 study published in Scientific Reports, researchers discovered that while cats can distinguish their own name, they don't necessarily feel obligated to respond.

Unknown Facts About Animals

  • There are an estimated 8.7 million species on earth and more than 80% of them are undiscovered. Based on current data, complex statistics, and models we can predict how many species there are on Earth, telling us how many are still left to be found. It will likely take another 500 years to find them all.
  • Giant anteaters consume up to 35,000 ants and termites in a single day. They use their long sticky tongues to slurp up hundreds of ants per minute. Interestingly, anteaters purposefully never destroy an ant nest, preferring to leave some ants alive to rebuild, so it can return and feed again in the future.
  • The blood ‘Dracula ant’ has the fastest recorded animal movement when it snaps its mandible. This cannibalistic ant can go from zero to 200mph in 0.000015 seconds when it snaps its mandibles, that’s roughly 5,000 times faster than humans blink. 5 This is the fastest recorded movement in the animal kingdom.
  • Echidna’s are relatives of duck-billed platypuses and have a beak, spikes, a kangaroo-like pouch, and lays eggs. They are small at just 30–45cm and are known as spiny anteaters. One of the few egg-laying mammals, they lay a tiny egg which is then transferred into a kangaroo-like pouch where it then hatches.
  • The desperate leaf chameleon is less than 3cm long. One of the tiniest reptiles in the world, this tiny chameleon is native only to Madagascar. It can change colour to match its environment and lays huge eggs compared to its body size. They are named “desperate” due to their status as critically endangered.
  • Tardigrades can survive in space and go without eating for more than 10 years. Tardigrades are microscopic animals with crazy endurance abilities. They can survive in temperatures as high as 149oC or as low as -272oC and pressures 6 times more intense than the bottom of the ocean. They also look like tiny bears!
  • Honeypot ants swell up to a huge size with food. Honeypot ants have to be seen to be believed. During wet season, certain ants consume huge amounts of nectar, making their abdomens swell up to the size of a grape. Then, during dry season, they provide the other ants with food by throwing the nectar back up again. Yum!
  • When a male moth catches a whiff of a female moth, he'll travel miles to find her⁠—based off her scent alone. According to the experts at Audobon, "they don't know what the female sounds like, or even what she looks like. But when they smell her, boy, do they know it, and they use her seductive musk to track her down."
  • Just how smart are ravens? A 2002 study published in Animal Behaviour found that these tricky birds have the ability to deceive each other. The entire corvid family—which includes crows, ravens, and jays—is exceptionally intelligent. These birds have also been known to play pranks on one another, and to tease other animals.
  • The shoebill stork has a huge beak and swallows lungfish whole. These huge birds are over a meter tall (up to 5 feet) and have a wingspan of more than 2 m (almost 8 feet!). Its name comes from its huge beak which is over 20cm long and almost that wide. Along with lungfish, it also eats baby turtles and baby crocodiles whole.
  • Panda’s must eat 25 – 90 pounds (12-38 kg) of bamboo every day to meet their energy needs. This is because bamboo contains very little nutritional value, so they have to eat it in vast quantities to survive. Although the giant panda possess the digestive system of a carnivore, they have evolved to depend almost entirely on bamboo.
  • If you already thought that eels were kind of creepy, then this fact isn't going to make you feel any better about them. Moray eels have what's called pharyngeal jaws, which are a second pair of "Alien-style" jaws that are located in the throat and emerge to grasp prey before pulling the unfortunate meal down into the eel's gullet.
  • Cuvier’s Beaked whales are one of the deepest diving mammals and can collapse their lungs to survive the high pressure. One of the deepest diving mammals, one individual was recorded diving down to 2,992 m (9,816ft) below the surface. The pressure at these depths is so high that in order to survive it they have to collapse their lungs.
  • The longest living, verified animal is a Madagascar radiated tortoise, which died at an age of 188 years in May 1965. However, there might be even older. Adwaita, an Aldabra giant tortoise, died at an estimated age of 255 in March 2006 in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata, India. If verified, it will have been the oldest terrestrial animal in the world.
  • Orangutans are the heaviest tree-dwelling animals. There are three species of orangutan and adult males of all three typically weigh around 75kg (165lb) while females are ~37 kg (82 lb). They are ~1.5m(5ft) tall and have a huge arm span of ~2m (6ft). They spend most of their time up in the canopy, making them the heaviest tree-dwelling animal.
  • The wood frog spends 7 months of the year frozen. These Alaskan frogs freeze almost completely at the start of winter, with two-thirds of their body water turning into ice. To all intents and purposes, they seem dead; their heart stops beating, and their blood flow stops. However, once winter starts to thaw so do they and they hop back to life.
  • Frilled sharks are 2-meter-long living fossils that eat their prey whole. They are considered living fossils, meaning they’ve gone unchanged for a long period of time and most of their closest relatives can only be found in the form of fossils. They get their names from their “frilly” gills and they are predators which swallow their prey whole.
  • Emperor penguins are the world’s biggest penguins, and they trek 50–120 km (31–75 m) across the Antarctic to reach breeding colonies. These impressive penguins reach 100 cm (39 in) in length and weigh 22 to 45 kg (49 to 99 lb). They breed during winter, when they emerge from their more natural habitat in the ocean to trek long distances over treacherous ice.
  • While male lions attract their fair share of attention thanks to their impressive manes, it's the female lions who do the bulk of the work when it comes to feeding their families. "Lionesses, not male lions, do the majority of hunting for their pride," according to CBS News. "Lionesses hunt around 90 percent of the time, while the males protect their pride."
  • Narwhals are unlike most other whales because they have what appears to be a giant tusk. But that's not actually a tusk at all—what you're seeing is a tooth. Harvard University's Martin Nweeia told the BBC that the "tooth is almost like a piece of skin in the sense that it has all these sensory nerve endings," adding that it's "essentially built inside out."

Unbelievable Animal Facts That Are Actually True

  • The Edible Dormouse (Glis glis) is able to hibernate the longest – up to 11-months of the year when food availability is low. To be able to pull of this feat, they double or even triple their body weight before hibernation. During hibernation they are able to reduce their metabolic rate and the animal may stop breathing for periods of up to an hour at a time.
  • Hoatzin’s are the only bird species with a ruminant digestive system, and they smell like cow-dung. A ruminant digestive system is one that uses fermentation to digest food, cows being a well- known example of this. It’s this digestive system that gives it it’s lovely cow-dung smell. These birds are found in the amazon and have a dinosaur like appearance to them.
  • Sperm whales are the world’s largest predator. They can be up to 18m long and weigh up to 53 tonnes. These giant whales dive down to almost 3000m below the surface where they hunt giant squid. Giant squid can be the same size or bigger than sperm whales and will fight viciously with them. Adult whales can be seen with scars on their heads from the beaks of giant squid.
  • The horned lizard is able to shoot blood from it’s own eyes, up to a distance of 3 feet away. The rather bizarre and disgusting act is a defensive mechanism to confuse predators. Their blood contains a chemical that is noxious to predators, and this isn’t its only trick – short-horned lizards are also capable of inflating their bodies up to twice their size to scare anything away.
  • Snow leopards have less-developed vocal cords than their fellow large cats, meaning that they can't roar, but make a purr-like sound called a chuff instead. For a 2010 study published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, scientists researched why some cats have a higher-pitched meow than others. They found that it's not size that determines a kitty's call, but habitat.
  • Reindeers have beautiful baby blues—but only in the winter! According to the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, "the eyes of Arctic reindeer change color through the seasons from gold to blue, adapting to extreme changes of light levels in their environment." The change in color impacts how light is reflected through the animals' retina, and improves their vision.
  • In Nanning, the capital of China's Guangxi province, a man named Pang Cong has a rather remarkable animal living on his farm: a 1,102-pound pig. That's roughly the same size as a full-grown adult male polar bear. According to Bloomberg, massive swine of that size "can sell for more than 10,000 yuan ($1,399), over three times higher than the average monthly disposable income" in the area.
  • Those who find themselves in the presence of a grizzly bear will surely want to stay out of reach of this animal's super sharp claws. But they'll certainly also want to keep out of the grizzly's mouth, because these creatures "have a bite-force of over 8,000,000 pascals," according to National Geographic. That means grizzly bears can literally crush a bowling ball between their jaws. Yikes!
  • Yaks are specially adapted to high altitudes, with a huge lung capacity and small red blood cells. Native originally to Tibet, these giant oxen-like animals live at high altitudes in the Himalayas (4,000–6,000 metres). They are specifically adapted to the low oxygen levels with a lung capacity that is ~3 times that of normal cattle, and have smaller red blood cells to improve oxygen transport.
  • Cows may benefit from artificial stripes, but zebras have the real deal. One 2012 report published in the Journal of Experimental Biology suggests that zebras' black and white stripes may be an evolutionary feature to fend off harmful horsefly bites. "A zebra-striped horse model attracts far fewer horseflies than either homogeneous black, brown, grey or white equivalents," the researchers wrote.
  • You might think that a whale's massive size is the only edge they'd need when it comes to hunting in the open waters. But humpback whales actually team up to use a "bubble-net" technique in order to catch their prey. "Sometimes, the whales will swim in an upward spiral and blow bubbles underwater, creating a circular 'net' of bubbles that makes it harder for fish to escape," Science News reports.
  • People who come from different areas around the world tend to speak with inflections, fluctuations, and patterns that are specific to their home regions. Apparently, the same can be said for whales. Researchers from Dalhousie University in Canada and the University of St. Andrews in the UK have found evidence that seems to show whales in the Caribbean have a different "accent" than whales in other oceans.
  • The loudest animal in the world is a mere 2cm long, prawn. The Pistol Shrimp is capable of snapping its claw shut so rapidly, that it creates a bubble which collapses to produce a sonic blast, louder than a Concorde’s sonic boom. The shock wave can reach 230 decibels, louder than the sound of a gunshot. The imploding bubble for split seconds also generates temperates of 4,400C, nearly as hot as the sun, killing its prey.
  • Cats have also been hanging around humans for thousands of years. Guinness World Records reports that we've been domesticating cats for 9,500 years. Proof of this came in 2004 when the "bones of a cat were discovered in the neolithic village of Shillourokambos on Cyprus. The position of the cat in the ground was next to the bones of a human, whose similar state of preservation strongly suggests they were buried together."
  • Why tolerate the cold when you could just freeze yourself solid? According to Kenneth Storey, a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, frogs undergo repeated freeze-thaw cycles. "We have false springs here all the time where it gets really warm and all the snow melts and then suddenly—bam—the wind comes from the north and it's back down to minus 10, minus 15 [Celsius], and they're fine," Storey told National Geographic.
  • The dementor wasp paralyses cockroaches with venom to its head, turning them into a zombie-like state. The toxins leave the cockroach unable to control its own movements, which incredibly makes it run into the wasps nest to meet its demise. The venom is thought to cut brain activity that makes cockroaches sense fear and run away to safety. The dementor wasp will then lay eggs on the cockroach to act as an incubator for its young.
  • Monkeys are undeniably cute. They can also be pretty darn gross. Capuchin monkeys, for example, urinate on their hands and feet when they're feeling "randy." "We think the alpha males might use urine-washing to convey warm, fuzzy feelings to females, that their solicitation is working and that there's no need to run away," primatologist Kimran Miller told NBC News. "Or they could be doing it because they're excited." Either way, ew!
  • Pufferfish can contain a tetrodoxin, a toxin that is up to 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide to humans. There is enough toxin in one pufferfish to kill 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote. Amazingly despite this, some pufferfish meat is considered a delicacy in Japan. The meat called Fugu, is expensive and only prepared by licenced chefs with over 3 years of rigorous training who remove toxic parts of the meat for diners.
  • The Donald Trump caterpillar looks identical to the ex-president’s hair. This species of caterpillar, prior to 2016, was known as the Flannel Moth Caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis). It gained popularity as it is very furry and bright orange, giving it an uncanny resemblance to Trump’s hair (wig?). This ‘fur’ however, is actually composed of multiple venomous ‘hairs’. Grabbing hold of one of these caterpillars is a painful experience.
  • The worlds deadliest animal isn’t a shark, bear or tiger, but something far smaller – the mosquito. According to the World Health Organization, 725,000 people are killed each year from mosquito-borne diseases, such as Malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever. They outnumber every other animal in the world, apart from ants and termites. They can also be found in nearly every part of the world, which all add up in the risk they pose to humans.
  • Over in New Zealand, surfers have noticed the same thing that those who ride the waves in California have witnessed: ducks can surf. The birds do so in order to catch food or simply to move through the water quickly. Sports reporter Francis Malley spotted a female duck and her babies catching a wave and told the New Zealand Herald, "The mother was surfing on her belly on the whitewash. I've never surfed with ducks before so this was a first."
  • Prairie dogs are quirky creatures for a number of reasons: They're giant rodents, they dig massive interconnected underground homes, and they kiss. While they're actually touching their front teeth in order to identify each other when they seem to be sweetly sharing a smooch, the BBC explains that scientists believe prairie dogs "'kiss and cuddle' more when they are being watched by zoo visitors," because they "appeared to enjoy the attention."
  • Not all creatures head to warmer climates when it gets cold out, and that means they need to learn to survive in chilly conditions. Painted turtles need to adapt to frozen ponds, which restrict their access to the air above the water. They do that by breathing through their butts—specifically, the all-purpose orifice called the cloaca. Thanks to a process called cloacal respiration, the turtles are able to get oxygen directly from the water around them.
  • Koalas might not seem to have a lot in common with us, but if you were to take a closer look at their hands, you'd see that they have fingerprints that are just like humans'. In fact, they're so similar when it comes to the distinctive loops and arches, that in Australia, "police feared that criminal investigations may have been hampered by koala prints," according to Ripley's Believe It or Not. Any koalas who want to commit crimes would be wise to do so wearing gloves.
  • Puffins surely have enough to be proud of with their beautiful beaks, but the seabirds also happen to be quite clever. According to a 2019 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Atlantic puffins in both Wales and Iceland were observed "spontaneously using a small wooden stick to scratch their bodies." Indeed, in a video shared by Science, a little puffin can be seen picking up a tiny twig before using it to scratch an itchy spot on its belly.
  • Cowbirds lay their eggs in other bird species' nests, which means that the little ones eventually need to reconnect with their own kind when the time is right. And when that time comes, the young birds have a trick for figuring out who to reach out to. "Juvenile cowbirds readily recognize and affiliate with other cowbirds. That's because they have a secret handshake or password," according to Science Daily. To put it more simply, they use "a specific chatter call" to beckon each other.
  • The Inland Taipan (also known as, the Western Taipan) is the most venomous snake in the world. A single bite contains enough venom to kill at least 100 fully grown men, and can kill within just 30 minutes, if left untreated. They very rarely ever come in contact with humans, however. Every reliable identification of a snake bite victim from an Inland Taipan have been herpetologists, when handling or studying the snakes. They have all survived, due to successful treatment with antivenom.
  • Dogs are well known for being man's best friend, and it turns out that's a relationship that goes back longer than you might expect. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest known breed of domesticated dog goes all the way back to 329 BC. "Saluki dogs were revered in ancient Egypt, being kept as royal pets and being mummified after death," they note. "There are carvings found in Sumer (present-day southern Iraq) which represent a dog, closely resembling a saluki, which date back to 7000 BC."
  • You might think of pigeons as… not that smart. But it turns out, they're actually quite intelligent. In fact, one 2011 study published in the journal Science found that the birds are capable of doing math at the same level as monkeys. During the study, the pigeons were asked to compare nine images, each containing a different number of objects. The researchers found that the birds were able to rank the images in order of how many objects they contained. Put simply, they learned that the birds could count!
  • Parrots may be associated with pirates, but it turns out African grey parrots are nothing like the infamously greedy, treasure-seeking criminals. Instead, researchers have discovered that the colorful birds will "voluntarily help each other obtain food rewards" and perform "selfless" acts, according to a 2020 study published in Current Biology. Study co-author Auguste von Bayern noted, "African grey parrots were intrinsically motivated to help others, even if the other individual was not their friend, so they behaved very 'prosocially.'"
  • If you have best friends who have been around since you were a child, then you have something in common with Tasmanian devils. Research has shown that Tasmanian devils form bonds when they're young that last for the rest of their lives. As Zoos Victoria's Marissa Parrott told IFL Science, "In the wild, when baby devils leave their mums, we believe they all socialize together." As the website notes, "young devils have their own dens," "engage in friendly sleep-overs," and when given the chance, they prefer "to share with their … original friends."
  • If you're ever in the area of "the Broadway medians at 63rd and 76th streets" in New York City, keep an eye on the ground for crawling critters and you might spot something rare. That's where the "ManhattAnt" can be found, an ant that only lives in the one small area of the city. "It's a relative of the cornfield ant, and it looks like it's from Europe, but we can't match it up with any of the European species," Rob Dunn, a biology professor at North Carolina State University, told the New York Post. Dunn and his team discovered the isolated ant variety in 2012.
  • Sharks boast some enviable—and terrifying—features, like their sleek design and razor-sharp teeth. And while glow-in-the-dark sharks sound like something you'd see in a sci-fi film, they're totally real, as noted in a 2019 study published in iScience. Researchers were already aware that some shark species produce a glow that only other sharks can see, but now scientists have discovered that "previously unknown small-molecule metabolites are the cause of the green glow," according to CNN. This glow "helps sharks identify each other and even fight against infection on a microbial level."
  • Cows have to deal with pesky flies that are beyond annoying for the docile creatures. Luckily, farmers can now protect their animals by painting them with zebra-like stripes. According to a 2019 study published in PLOS One, "the numbers of biting flies on Japanese Black cows painted with black-and-white stripes were significantly lower than those on non-painted cows and cows painted only with black stripes." IFL Science suggests this might work because "the stripes may cause a kind of motion camouflage targeted at the insects' vision, confusing them much in the way that optical illusions … confuse us."
  • "Most humans (say 70 percent to 95 percent) are right-handed, a minority (say 5 percent to 30 percent) are left-handed," according to Scientific American. And the same holds true for bottlenose dolphins. In fact, the savvy swimmers are even more right-handed than we are. A team led by Florida's Dolphin Communication Project took a look at the feeding behavior of bottlenose dolphins and found that the animals were turning to their left side 99.44 percent of the time, which "actually suggests a right-side bias," according to IFL Science. "It places the dolphin's right side and right eye close to the ocean floor as it hunts."
  • Crabs may be able to intimidate other creatures with their claws, but if that's not enough, ghost crabs will growl at their enemies like a dog. However, unlike our canine friends, crabs make these fearsome noises using teeth located in their stomachs. "There are three main teeth—a medial tooth and two lateral teeth—that are essentially elongated, hard (calcified) structures. They are part of the gastric mill apparatus in the stomach, where they rub against each other to grind up food," Jennifer Taylor, from the University of California, San Diego, told Newsweek. She and her colleagues were able to nail down the source of the noise after noticing that "the crabs [were] 'growling' at" them.
  • You might think that boxers have the most impressive jabs, hooks, and uppercuts on the planet, but it's the mantis shrimp that boasts the world's fastest punch. Traveling at about 50 mph, when a shrimp punches, its little fist of fury (which, of course, isn't a fist at all) is "accelerating faster than a .22-caliber bullet," according to Science. National Geographic shared the tale of one such small smasher, explaining that "in April 1998, an aggressive creature named Tyson smashed through the quarter-inch-thick glass wall of his cell. He was soon subdued by nervous attendants and moved to a more secure facility in Great Yarmouth. Unlike his heavyweight namesake [former professional boxer Mike Tyson], Tyson was only four inches long. But scientists have recently found that Tyson, like all his kin, can throw one of the fastest and most powerful punches in nature."

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