The animal kingdom has some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth, from killer whales to tiny ants and everything in between. They’re so fascinating, in fact, that you might not realize how many strange facts about wild animals there actually are! These 10 mind-blowing facts about wild animals will make you look at the animal kingdom in an entirely new light.
1) African Elephants
African elephants are the largest land animal on Earth. They can grow up to 13 feet tall and weigh up to 12,000 pounds! African elephants drink about 70 gallons of water every day. That’s equivalent to a human drinking 2,200 gallons!
- Squirrels’ teeth grow six inches a year, so they need to constantly gnaw on things like tree bark and hard nuts to wear them down.
- They are one of the few mammals that can’t jump.
- Their tails are used as a sensory tool, much like whiskers.
- They store food in their cheek pouches.
- The world’s largest squirrel is found in Indonesia and can weigh up to 20 pounds.
Bees are social insects that live in colonies with a queen, drones, and worker bees. They feed on nectar and pollen from flowers and produce honey which is used as food stores by the colony. The presence of hives also has a positive effect on the environment. As pollinators, they contribute to biodiversity and natural plant reproduction by transferring pollen between plants of the same species.
- Did you know that an octopus can change its color?
- Octopuses are very smart creatures and use their tentacles to hunt food.
- They also like to explore their surroundings by feeling and tasting the environment around them with the touch receptors on their tentacles.
- The ocelli, or eye spots, are found in the skin between the suction cups on an octopus’s tentacles which helps them see in dark places where light cannot reach.
Ants are social insects and live in colonies consisting of one queen, a few males, and many workers. Ants communicate by touching each other with their antennae and releasing pheromones. They also follow trails left by other ants to find food or new sources of food. Ants play an important role in the environment because they feed on dead plants and animals, which helps recycle them back into the ecosystem.
- Dolphins are so intelligent that they can be trained to perform tricks and tasks. They have the most complex brains of any animal on earth, with more than 100 billion neurons, each linked to its own thread of memory.
- Dolphins sleep in a way similar to humans, by shutting down one half of their brain at a time while the other half is awake and active.
- Dolphins are long-lived animals and some have been known to live as long as 40 years in captivity!
Gorillas are the second largest primates, after Orangutans. They live in dense forests in central Africa, and can weigh up to 500 pounds. Gorillas are known for their large size and very strong arms.
Gorillas can be found in the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.
Females give birth to one baby every four years or so.
The most famous gorilla was named Koko, who was born at the San Francisco Zoo on July 4th 1971.
Lions live in prides consisting of a few related females, their cubs and a couple male lions. They have excellent eyesight and can spot prey from up to five miles away. Lions are fast runners and have been clocked running speeds of 50 miles per hour. They primarily eat large mammals such as buffalo, zebras, antelopes, deer, wildebeests, pigs and gazelles.
Kangaroos are marsupials that live in Australia. They can grow to be over 6 feet tall and use their powerful hind legs to leap up to 8 meters. But the true strength of the kangaroo is their tail, which is used for balance, communication and as a weapon against predators.
Whales are the largest animals on earth. They can grow up to 30 meters in length and weigh 150 tons. Their heart is the size of a car, their brain weighs as much as an elephant, and their tongue can weigh 500 pounds!