What could (and couldn't) be sitting
in the back of your car?

A mass of interesting facts about animals
(in approximately descending order of size).
Stop when you're bored!

The blue whale is the world's largest animal.

A blue whale's tongue is so large that fifty people could stand on it.

An adult blue whale's heart beats about 5-6 times a minute.

During the high feeding season, it has been estimated that an adult blue whale can eat up to 40 million krill (shrimp like creatures) in one day.

In a day the blue whale calf drinks approximately 130 gallons of milk.

The blue whale is the loudest animal on the earth; its whistle can reach up to 188 decibels.

The blue whale's voice is so deep and powerful that the sound can travel up to a hundred miles underwater.

The blue whale's whistle is the loudest noise made by an animal.

The size of a blue whale's heart is that of a small car.

An orca whale can hold its breath for up to 15 minutes.

Whale eyes are the size of a grapefruit.

When blue whales are first born, they gain as much as 200 pounds a day while they are calves.

Whale oil was used in some car transmissions until 1973.

Humpback whales are capable of living for up to 95 years.

Orcas (killer) whales, breathe in unison when travelling in groups.

Beluga whales (also called 'white whales') are born grey in colour, but by the age of six are white.

The elephant is the largest land animal.

An elephant can smell water three miles away.

There are two kinds of elephants: the African is larger with large ears; the Indian is smaller with smaller ears.

The elephant is the only mammal that can't jump.

An elephant can live up to over 70.

An elephant in the wild eats between 100 and 1,000 pounds of vegetation in a 16 hour period.

An elephant's tooth can weight as much as three kilograms (nine pounds).

An elephant's trunk can hold up to 2.5 gallons of water.

Elephants have been known to learn up to 60 commands.

In a day, an elephant can drink 80 gallons of water.

The giraffe can run at nearly 50 kmph.

A full grown giraffe's neck can weigh as much as 500 pounds.

A giraffe can go longer without water than a camel.

A giraffe is able to clean its ears with its own tongue.

A giraffe's heart weighs an incredible 24 pounds.

An adult giraffe's kick is so powerful that it can decapitate a lion.

In one minute, the heart of a giraffe can pump 160 gallons of blood.

The tallest mammal in the world is the giraffe.

Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.

Camel can go for several days without food or water. They carry a supply of fat in their humps.

A camel with a sagging hump is a hungry camel!

Camels do not sweat and their urine is solid crystal.

The dromedary camel can drink as much as 100 litres of water in just 10 minutes.

The hump of a camel can weigh up to 35 kilograms.

The world camel population is close to 19 million.

There are two kinds of camels: one is the Arabian that lives in Western Asia and Northern Africa and has one hump; the second is the Bactrian which has two humps and lives in Mongolia and Chinese Turkistan.

The rhino comprises two species: the white (or square-lipped rhino) and the black (or hooked-lipped rhino).

The black rhino has three toes on each foot.

Both the black and white rhino have two horns.

The rhinoceros's horn is made of keratin, the same stuff found in our hair and fingernails.

The African black rhinoceros excretes its own weight in dung every 48 hours.

Baby hippos are born under-water.

During warm weather hippopotamus's secrete sweat that is pink. This substance not only cools them down but also helps fight infections of the skin.

Hippos can live for up to 40 years in the wild.

In one night, an adult hippopotamus eats approximately 150 pounds of grass.

The hippopotamus has the capability to remain underwater for as long as 30 minutes.

A hippopotamus can run faster than a man.

A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside!

On average, male polar bears weigh 1400 pounds while females weight only 550 pounds.

Polar bears are always left-handed (so is Kermit the Frog).

Bison are excellent swimmers; their head, hump and tail never go below the surface of the water.

Bulls are colour blind, therefore will usually charge at a matador's waving cape no matter what colour it is.

A crocodile always grows new teeth to replace the old teeth.

A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.

Crocodiles are the largest reptiles; the estuarine crocodile, at over 8 metres, is the largest of them all.

The esturine crocodile is one of the most dangerous, since it often adds people to its diet of fish and animals.

A crocodile's tongue is attached to the roof of its mouth and cannot stick it out.

A crocodile can't chew but its digestive juices are so strong that it can digest such items as steel nails and pieces of glass.

The kodiak, which is native to Alaska, is the largest bear and can measure up to eight feet and weigh as much as 1,700 pounds.

Even though a polar bears fur looks white it is actually colourless and is made with hollow tubes. The reason the bear looks white is because the rough inner surface of the tubes make light scatter and reflect at many different angles, giving the white appearance.

Female and male black bears cannot tolerate being around each other except when they breed.

If you spray an antiseptic spray on a polar bear, its fur will turn purple.

In the last 30 years, only seven people have been killed by a polar bear in Canada.

Not all polar bears hibernate; only pregnant females polar bears do.

Polar bear livers contain so much Vitamin A that it can be fatal if eaten by a human.

Polar bears are excellent swimmers; they have been known to swim more than 60 miles without a rest.

Polar bears can eat as much as 10% of their body weight in less than one hour.

The only predator that polar bears have are humans.

98% of brown bears in the United States are in Alaska.

A bear can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (50 km/h).

Bears whose brown fur is tipped with lighter-coloured hairs are called grizzly bears.

The smallest species of bears is called sun or Malayan bears.

Male bears are called boars.

Bears are native to the continents of North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.

Alaskan brown bears are the world's largest meat-eating animals that live on land.

There are two kinds of pandas - the long-tailed Himalayan carnivore that looks like a raccoon and the giant panda bear that lives in Western China.

The giant panda lives only in bamboo forest in a remote, mountainous corner of China.

The giant panda spends most of the day on the ground, feeding on bamboo, but it can climb trees.

'Gorilla gorilla gorilla' is the scientific name for the gorilla.

Just as humans have unique fingerprints, gorilla's have unique nose prints.

Gorillas are considered apes, not monkeys. The way to distinguish between an ape and a monkey is that apes do not have tails.

Gorillas can catch human colds and other illnesses.

Human birth control pills work on gorillas.

In 1972, a gorilla by the name of "Koko" was taught sign language. By the year 2000, the gorilla could understand approximately 2,000 English words.

A full-grown male mountain lion may be 9 feet long, including his tail!

Mountain lions are known by more than 100 names, including panther, catamount, cougar, painter and puma.

A lion feeds once every three to four days.

An adult lion's roar is so resonant, it can be heard up to five miles away.

Lions cannot roar until they reach the age of two.

The Siberian tiger is the largest cat in the world. It weighs up to 300kg (660 lbs) and can eat 27kg (60lb) of meat at one mealtime.

A tiger's stripes help to break up the outline of its body and make it hard to see, also looking like shadows as the tiger stalks through long grass in the moonlight.

Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

A white tiger can only be born when both parents carry the gene for white colouring.

Only a few hundred snow leopards are left because hunters have killed them all for their beautiful fur.

Snow leopards live in the Himalayas, where they are now a protected species.

Cheetahs are the fastest land animal and can reach speeds up to 72mph.

Only between 5 and 10% of cheetah cubs make it to adulthood.

Panthers are known as black leopards, as they are the same species of leopard.

If looked at closely, black spots can be seen on a panther.

A leopard's vision is so good it can practically see in the dark.

Pound for pound, leopards are said to be seven times stronger than humans.

The majority of cats do not have any eyelashes.

Squids move through the ocean using a jet of water forced out of the body by a siphon.

The giant squid is the largest animal without a backbone.

Pythons and boas are large snakes that feed on animals as big as goats and deer. The snake holds its prey in its mouth, then coils itself tightly round the animal so that it cannot breathe. The snake may take several hours to swallow its meal.

The fins of the spiny dogfish shark are sometimes used as sandpaper for wood products.

When baby sharks are born, they swim away from their mothers right away and are on there own. In fact, their mothers might see them as prey.

Every year, 100 million sharks are killed by people.

False Bay, on the southern tip of Africa and close to Cape Town, South Africa, is a breeding ground for great white sharks, which feed off the thousands of seals in the bay. However, it is the only area in the known world in which these sharks are known to breach - they attack the seals by coming up vertically, often leaping clear of the water with their prey in their mouths.

Great white sharks have about 3,000 teeth.

Lake Nicaragua boasts the only fresh-water sharks in the entire world.

More people die from eating sharks then from being eaten by them. This is due to a poison in shark meat.

On average it takes a shark seven days to replace a tooth.

Researchers have shot footage of orcas (killer whales) attacking and killing great white sharks.

Sharks are capable of going at least 6 weeks without eating; the record observed in an aquarium is 15 months by a species of shark known as the swell shark.

Sharks are so powerful that their bite can generate a force of up to 18 tons per square inch.

Sharks can sense a drop of blood from a mile away.

Sharks have upper and lower eyelids, but they do not blink.

The great white shark can grow to be more than 20 feet long and can weigh approximately 4,000 pounds.

The lemon shark grows about 24,000 new teeth a year - new set of teeth grow approximately every 14 days.

Octopi (Octopuses?) change colours when they become frightened. Normally they are a brownish colour, but can change to green or blue when fear sets in.

Some octopuses (octopi?) have been known to eat their arms off when they are exposed to stressful situations.

Octopus and squid are thought to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates.

Horses often go to sleep standing up as well as lying down.

A full grown horse's intestines are approximately 89 feet long.

There are approximately 75,000,000 horses in the world.

It's not only zebra's fur that is striped, their skin is also striped.

There are no two zebras who have stripes that are exactly the same.

Many caribou live in Arctic Canada. In winter the ground is covered in ice so the caribou move south in search of moss and lichen, returning to the north in the spring.

Reindeer eat moss because it contains a chemical that stops their body from freezing.

A cow averages 40,000 jaw movements a day.

A cow has four compartments in its stomach.

A cow releases about 125 gallons of gas per day. (Don't stand close!)

Cows are able to hear lower and higher frequencies better than human beings.

Cows can detect odours up to five miles away.

Cows do not have any upper front teeth. Instead they have a thick pad on the top jaw.

Cows drink anywhere from 25-50 gallons of water each day.

Dairy cows can produce 20 to 35 gallons of saliva a day.

Dexter is the smallest type of cow. This cow was bred to be a small size for household living.

Humans and cows have the same gestation period.

On average, 350 squirts are needed from milking a cow to make a gallon of milk.

A female donkey's milk is closest to human milk.

The placement of a donkey's eyes in its head enables it to see all four feet at all times.

The sloth (a mammal) moves so slowly that green algae can grow undisturbed on its fur!

The royal antelopes live in thick forests of West Africa. They are the smallest of the antelopes, only 25 or 30 centimetres high at the shoulder.

The fastest human swimmer can swim at 6 miles per hour. The fastest mammal - the dolphin - can swim up to 35 miles per hour.

Dolphins can swim and sleep at the same time. The dolphin's brain divides itself in two - one half is awake, the other asleep.

Some dolphins can swim up to 40 kilometers an hour.

Some species of dolphin sleep with one eye open.

There are dolphins that live in the Amazon River that are pink in colour.

Next to man, the porpoise is the most intelligent creature on earth.

Kangaroos hop across the grassy plains of Australia at high speed. They cruise at 40 kph and reach 60kph for short bursts.

Kangaroos use their long tail to help them balance.

One red kangaroo made a record breaking long-jump of almost 13 metres.

The Kangaroo's ancestors lived in trees. Today there are eight different kinds of tree kangaroos.

A newborn kangaroo weighs approximately 0.03 ounces and is small enough to fit in a teaspoon.

Unlike other four-legged mammals, kangaroos cannot walk backwards.

When they are in danger, kangaroos will beat the ground loudly with their hind feet.

The African ostrich makes up for not being able to fly by running faster than anyother bird. Its strong thighs and long legs enable it to run at 50 km/hr for as long as half an hour, and it can reach 70 km/hr for a short burst.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

The ostrich has two toes on each feet which gives it greater speed.

Flamingos are able to fly at a speed of approximately 55 km/hr. In one night they can travel about 600 km.

In 1681, the last dodo bird died.

Turtles have no teeth.

Sea turtles absorb a lot of salt from the sea water in which they live. They excrete excess salt from their eyes, so it often looks as though they're crying.

Only one out of 1,000 baby sea turtles survives after hatching.

The incubation temperature of a sea turtle's nest is a major factor in the determination of the sea turtle's sex. Females are more likely to be produced in warmer temperatures.

In 1999, a three headed turtle was discovered in Taiwan.

Police detectives have used snapping turtles to help them locate dead bodies.

The only species of turtle that lives in the open ocean is the sea turtle.

Pigs are the fourth most intelligent animal in the world.

On average, pigs live for about 15 years.

Pigs have no sweat glands, which is why they stay in water or mud to keep cool.

The largest pig on record was a Poland-China hog named Big Bill, who weighed 2,552lbs.

There are more pigs than humans in Denmark.

A pig's tongue contains 15,000 taste buds. For comparison, the human tongue has 9,000 taste buds.

The cheetah races across the grassy plains of Africa at 100 km/hr, maybe more, arching and stretching its body to run faster. It is the fastest runner in the world, but it can only stay at top speed for a few hundred metres.

Pumas are very agile. They bound from rock to rock and can cover 18 metres in a single leap.

In Japan, where macaque monkey live, the winters are very cold. The Japanese macaques have shaggy coats to keep them warm and some keep out the cold by sitting in the hot water from volcanic springs.

The male howler monkey of Central and South America is the noisiest land animal, which can be heard clearly from a distance of ten miles away.

Zanzibar is the only place where you will find the Kirk's Red Colobus monkey.

In the Middle Ages, peacocks and swans were sometimes served at Christmas dinners.

A dog's sense of smell is 1,000 times more sensitive than a human's.

The Basenji is the only dog which does not bark.

Nose prints are used to identify dogs, just like humans use fingerprints.

The coyote's scientific name (Canis Latrans) means 'barking dog'.

The prairie dog makes burrows which is called Town. The town may contain 1,000 animals, and it can stretch under the ground for miles.

A dog by the name of Laika was launched into space aboard the Russian spacecraft Sputnik 2 in 1957.

About 30% of American admit to talking to their dogs or leaving messages on their answering machines for their dogs while out of the house.

All dogs are the descendant of the wolf.

An average city dog lives approximately three years longer than an average country dog.

Approximately 87% of dog owners say that when they watch TV their dog curls up beside them or at their feet.

Bloodhounds have been used since the 1600's for tracking criminals.

Border collies are the most intelligent breed of dog.

Chocolate can be fatal to dogs. Chocolate contains a chemical theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs.

Dalmation puppies do not have any spots on them when they are born. They actually develop them as they get older.

If you were to remove the scent receptors from a dog's nose and lay them out flat, they would cover an area greater than the dog itself.

In the world, the United States and France have the most pet dogs. Approximately one out of every three families has a pet dog. Switzerland and Germany are the lowest only having one dog per every ten families.

Irish Wolfhound dogs have a short lifespan, living about 7-8 years.

Flamingos are pink because shrimp is one of their main sources of food.

Flamingos eat with their heads upside down to strain the water out of their food.

A penguin swims at a speed of approximately 15 miles per hour.

All penguins live south of the equator.

Emperor penguins spend much of their time in the waters of the Antarctic, but they move on to the ice to breed. They cannot fly so they have to jump up out of the water.

Before its name was changed, the African penguin used be called the jackass penguin because of its donkey-like braying call.

The deepest underwater penguin dive is 1,772 feet by an Emperor Penguin.

The largest type of penguin is the Emperor Penguin which can stand to be almost 3.5 feet tall and weigh more than 90 pounds.

Penguins can jump 6 feet in the air.

The two-foot long bird called a Kea that lives in New Zealand likes to eat the strips of rubber around car windows!

On average, a beaver can cut down two hundred trees a year.

A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein!

An armadillo can walk under water.

Armadillo's do not have any enamel on their teeth.

Armadillos breed in July, but get pregnant in November after delaying implantation, allowing the young to be born during the spring when food is plentiful.

Armadillos can be housebroken.

Armadillos have four babies at a time, and they are always the same sex.

Besides humans, the only animal that can get leprosy is the armadillo.

While digging, an armadillo can hold its breath for up to six minutes.

Armadillos, opossums and sloths spend up to 80 percent of their lives sleeping.

Beavers can hold their breathe for 45 minutes under water.

Before the fur trade had started in Canada, it was estimated that there were over 6 million beavers.

Beavers build their home's entrance underwater.

The rusty numbat is rare Australian mammal. Its other name is banded anteater, although its favourite food is termites.

Koala bears almost never drink water. They get fluids from the eucalyptus leaves they eat.

Koala bears sleep for up to 19 hours a day.

Male koala bears mark their territory by rubbing their chests on a tree they have a dark scent gland in the middle of their chest.

The koala bear is not really a bear; it's related to the kangaroo and the wombat.

The vibration of shell-like rings on the end of the rattlesnake's tail makes the rattling sound. The rattle is made up of dry, hard pieces of unshed skin. As the snake grows, the number of rings increases. So the louder the rattle, bigger the snake.

It can take up to a month for a rattlesnake to re-supply its venom.

A snake charmer in Bangladesh once found 3,500 poisonous cobras and their eggs hidden underneath the floors of two suburban homes.

Most snakes have six rows of teeth.

Snake is a delicacy in China.

Snake venom is 90% protein.

Taipan snakes have 50 times more toxic than a cobra snake.

The Australian brown snake's venom is so powerful that only 1/14,000th of an ounce is needed to kill a human being.

The king cobra has enough venom in its bite to kill up to 20 adults (or one elephant).

The fastest moving land snake is the black mamba, which can move up to 7 miles per hour.

The longest fangs of a snake are found on the gaboon viper, reaching over 2 inches in length.

There are no snakes in New Zealand.

The hog-nosed skunk can spray up to fifteen feet with incredible accuracy. Its spray not only stinks but also if it hits the eyes, will blind the skunk's target for up to two days.

When subjected to an electric current of at least 50 volts, a cat's tail always points toward the north.

5% of cat owners blow dry the cat's hair after giving it a bath.

A fall of 30 feet can be survived my most cats.

A house cat spends 70% of its time sleeping.

In a lifetime, the average house cat spends approximately 11,000 hours purring.

Just like fingerprints, every cat's nose pad is different.

Cat urine glows under a black-light!

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, but dogs only have about ten.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A chicken is 75% water.

A chicken with red earlobes will produce brown eggs, and a chicken with white earlobes will produce white eggs.

A chicken loses its feathers when it becomes stressed.

Hens produce larger eggs as they grow older.

A mother hen turns her egg approximately 50 times in a day. This is so the yolk does not stick to the shell.

The largest chicken egg ever laid weighed 1lb and had a double yolk and shell.

To produce a dozen eggs, a hen has to eat about four pounds of feed.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds!

Porcupines float in water!

When the porcupine meets an enemy it turns its back towards its foe and rattles its long black and white spines.

The artic tern flies from the North Pole to the South Pole and then back again to spend summer in each place.

A Siberian red crane bird is the world's oldest known bird. The bird died in 1988 and lived to be 82 years old.

The bird that can fly the fastest is called a White. It can fly at up to 95 miles per hour.

In order to scare away predators, giant petrels, a type of seabird, throw up all over the intruder.

A seagull can drink salt water because it has special glands that filter out the salt.

In 1995, 15 iguanas that were swept out to sea on a raft of water-logged trees traveled over 200 miles from Guadeloupe to Anquilla in the Caribbean!

On average a hedgehog's heart beats 300 times a minute. (Bit faster when there's a car coming!)

Social weaver birds live in Africa. In the breeding season, many pairs come together to build their nests. Together, the flock build one huge domed roof of grass and straw. Then each pair builds its own nest under the roof, each with its own entrance.

The Egyptian plovers pick off tiny animals that live on the crocodile's body, even climbing into its mouth without being harmed.

A few animals, like the flying squirrel, have a flap of skin between their front and back legs which helps them glide from tree to tree.

Several animals that live in the far north, like stoat, become white in the winter to blend in with the snow. They moult and grow a thicker coat.

Some Arctic birds change colour in the winter, growing white feathers.

Some snakes, for example the grass snake, escape capture by pretending to be dead already. Most meat-eating animals only feed on freshly-killed prey, and avoid animals that may have been dead for some time.

Many snakes never stop growing. That's one reason they must shed their skin.

Snakes can see through their eyelids.

The adult electric eel can produce a five hundred volt shock, which is enough to stun a horse.

A hawk's vision is so good that it can see a mouse from a height of one mile.

Birds do not sweat, as they do not have sweat glands.

Blue jays can imitate the calls of hawks.

The desert tortoise can live without having to drink any water - it extracts the water it needs from the vegetation it eats.

A rabbit is not able to vomit.

A rabbit's teeth never stops growing. They are kept worn down by gnawing on food.

Jackrabbits can reach a speed of 50 miles per hour and can leap as far as 20 feet.

Rabbits can live for up to ten years.

If a lobster loses an eye or a claw it can usually grow a new one.

A lobster's blood is colourless; when the blood is exposed to oxygen it becomes a bluish colour.

About 1 in 5,000 North Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue.

Australia's box jellyfish has toxins more potent than the venom in cobras; a stung person can die within minutes.

The Australian box jellyfish has eight eyes.

Most birds sit on their eggs to incubate them, but not the common scrub hen. Instead, it uses the heat from volcanoes to keep its eggs warm. It buries its eggs in the side of a volcano on the pacific island where it lives.

A starfish can turn its stomach inside out.

A rat can last longer without water than a camel.

The typical laboratory mouse runs 2.5 miles per night on its treadmill.

A mole can dig a tunnel 300ft long in just one night!

The chameleon snatches up its insect prey in a fraction of a second. It waits for an insect to land within range, then it shoots out its long, sticky-tipped, tongue.

The chameleon's tongue is as long as its body.

The chameleon can focus its eyes seperately to watch two objects at once.

The Gila monster is one of the two poisonous lizards in the world. When it bites its prey, such as mice and rabbits, it squirts poison down through grooves in its teeth.

The greater honeyguide bird leads the ratel, or honey badger, to a bee's nest by calling out and flying in front of it. The ratel eats the honey, then the bird eats the honeycomb wax.

The pygmy marmoset, whose body is only 10 centimetres long, lives in the forests along the Amazon river, in South America and is the smallest monkey in the world.

There are over 900 different types of bats and they can all fly.

The vampire bat has less teeth than the other bats because it doesn't chew its food - it lives on the blood of mammals.

Bats do not need to see when they fly, they use sound to help them figure out where they are going.

Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.

Bats emit ultrasonic sounds to communicate with each other.

Bats sleep during the day and feed at night.

African heart-nosed bats can have such a keen sense of sound that they can hear the footsteps of a beetle walking on sand from six feet away.

Frog-eating bats identify edible frogs from poisonous ones by listening to the mating calls of male frogs. Frogs counter this by hiding and using short, difficult to locate calls.

Giant flying foxes, which are a type of bat, live in Indonesia have wingspans of nearly six feet.

Vampire bat saliva has been responsible for many advances in research into stroke recovery.

A woodpecker can peck 20 times per second.

Woodpeckers don't get headaches from all that pecking; their skulls have air pockets to cushion the brain.

A swordfish can live as long as 25 years and weigh up to 1,200 pounds.

A salmon with two mouths, two sets of teeth and two tongues was caught in Canada.

A single pond in Brazil can sustain a greater variety of fish than are found in all of Europe's rivers.

Atlantic salmon can jump as high as 4.5 meters out of the water.

Catfish have tastebuds located on their whiskers.

In order to mate, a male deep sea anglerfish will bite a female when he finds her. The male will never let go and will eventually merge his body into the female and spend the rest of his life inside the female mate. The males internal organs will disappear apart from the testes that are needed for breeding.

Some fishes can 'talk' to each other, communicating by making noises in their throats by rasping their teeth, others use their swim bladders to make sounds.

Lake Malawi has the largest number of fish species in the world.

The clown fish has the ability to change its sex. If a breeding female dies, the male fish will change its sex and mate with another male.

Male sea horses are the ones that get impregnated rather than the females. Males have a pouch on their belly that provides incubation for the female's eggs which can hold up to 1500 babies at one time.

95% of tropical fish sold in North America originate from Florida.

The blind cavefish is born with eyes, but they fall off as the fish grows.

The candlefish is so oily that it was once burned for fuel.

The smallest bird in the world is the hummingbird, weighing less than 1 oz (or 1g).

A hummingbird's heart beats 615 beats in a minute.

An oyster can change its gender.

Pearls are rarely found in North American oysters.

Depending on the size, it can take an oyster anywhere from few months to many years to form a pearl.

There are many frog species in the world that have no tongues; one of these is the African dwarf frog.

Some South American frogs have poison in their skin, although the poison is not always deadly. They are known as poison-arrow frogs because Indian hunters use the poison to tip their arrows.

The poison-arrow frog has enough poison to kill about 2,200 people!

The water-holding frog lives in the desert. When it rains, the frog absorbs water through its skin before burrowing into the sand, where it can stay for over two years until the next rainfall.

The biggest frog in the world, the Goliath frog, is also the best high-jumper. It can leap 3 metres into the air.

The longest life span of a frog was 40 years.

The flying frog uses flaps of skin between its toes to glide.

The fire-bellied toad turns on its back when it is alarmed to display its bright belly. This sudden show of colour is often enough to startle its enemy; it is also a warning that the toad's skin is poisonous.

Most lipstick contains fish scales!

Minnows have teeth located on a bone in their throat.

The stickleback is one of the few fishes that builds a nest. The male, in his red breeding colors, makes a nest of weeds where the female lays her eggs; the male stays by the nest to guard the eggs until they hatch.

Scorpions use their poison for attack and defence. Some kinds of scorpion have a sting that is so powerful it can kill people.

A scorpion can have up to 12 eyes.

Annually, 1,000 people are killed by scorpions in Mexico.

Some monarch butterflies fly from Canada to Mexico, where they mass together on trees to hibernate for the winter.

Butterflies taste sensors are in their feet. They taste their food by standing on it.

A butterfly can see the colours red, green, and yellow.

A butterfly has to have a body temperature greater than 86 degrees to be able to fly.

The colour in a butterfly's wings does not come from pigment; it's produced prism-like by light reflected by their transparent wing scales.

The fastest flying butterfly is the monarch, which has been clocked with a speed as high as 17 mph.

The largest butterfly is the Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterfly from Papua New Guinea with a wingspan which can reach almost one foot.

There are over 2,000 species of butterflies in the rainforests of South America.

Moths are not really attracted to light; they fly towards the blackest point - which is behind the light.

The silkworm moth has lost the ability to fly ever since it has been domesticated.

There is a certain type of hawk moth caterpillar from Brazil which, when it feels in danger or alarmed, inflates its thorax, making its head look like a head of a snake.

A snail can sleep for three years.

Earthworms have five pairs of hearts, close to the front of their bodies.

There are approximately 1,300 species of scorpion but only 25 of them are deadly.

A dragonfly has a lifespan of up to seven weeks.

The Goliath beetle is about the size of your fist and can weigh as much as 3-4 ounces.

The most poisonous spider of all is probably the American black widow; only the female's bite is dangerous.

A spider's web is not its home but a food trap.

You are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.

More people fear spiders more than they do death.

Spiders have claws at the ends of their legs.

Spiders usually have eight eyes, but still they cannot see that well.

Fried spiders taste like nuts.

The skeleton of a spider is located on the outside of the body.

Certain female species of spiders such as the Australian crab spider, sacrifice their bodies as a food source for their offspring.

There are about 34,000 species of spiders.

The reason why locusts swarm are because when they are in groups, a 'hot-spot' behind their hind legs is stimulated, which in turn causes their destructive nature.

A large swarm of locusts can eat 80,000 tons of corn in a day.

Locusts swarms may travel 5,000 kilometres, eating thousands of tonnes of green plants on the way.

In July 1874, a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts flew over Nebraska covering an area estimated at 198,600 square miles. It is estimated that the swarm contained about 12.5 trillion insects. These insects became extinct 30 years later.

When the female grasshopper lays eggs, she covers her eggs with a pasty liquid that protects the eggs throughout the winter.

The loudest insect in the world is the male cicadas, which are like crickets. When they rub their abdomens, the sound made can be heard from 1,300 ft away.

Cricket chirping can tell the temperature outside. Counting how many times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds and then adding 40 to that number will approximately tell you what the temperature is in Fahrenheit.

As it gets older the cockle just adds another layer to its outer shell. To work out their age, count the rings on them, just like a tree.

A snail can crawl across a razor blade without getting injured; they excrete a slime that protects them.

Desert snails can stay in their shell for up to three years.

Most snails are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both female and male reproductive organs.

Snails eat with a rasping mouth called a 'radula', which has thousands of teeth.

Some desert snails have been known to sleep for three to four years.

The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees.

Wasps that feed on ferment occasionally get drunk and pass out.

Bumble bees live high up in the mountains in Europe, where they feed on the pollen and nectar of the flowers that grow there.

Some insects fly over the snowy peaks of the Himalayas as they migrate.

A honey bee has four wings.

A honey bee strokes its wings about 11,500 times a minute.

Bees can communicate with other bees by dancing. Their dance can alert other bees as to which direction and the distance nectar and pollen is located.

Honey bees use the sun as a compass which helps them navigate.

The beeswax that is produced by honey bees comes from eight paired glands that are located on the underside of their stomach.

A colony of bees have to fly almost 55,000 miles and tap 2,000,000 flowers to make 1lb of honey.

Honey bees fly at 15 mph.

In one day, a queen bee can lay up to 1,500 eggs.

In one trip, a honey bee visits about 75 flowers.

The sole purpose of a drone bee is to mate with the queen bee.

Over their lifetimes, it takes 12 honeybees to make one teaspoon of honey.

Although the worker honey bee's brain is only a cubic millimeter, it has the densest neuropile tissue of any animal.

Beetles taste like apples, wasps like pine nuts, and worms like fried bacon.

The strongest animal in the world is the rhinoceros beetle; it can lift 850 times its own weight.

A caterpillar grows roughly 27,000 times its size when it first emerges as an egg.

A cockroach can change directions up to 25 times in a second.

Cockroaches can survive for up to one month without food and two weeks without water.

If a cockroach breaks a leg it can grow another one.

A cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off - until it dies from starvation!

Scientists have actually performed brain surgery on cockroaches.

Ladybirds are actually beetles - their correct name is the ladybird beetle.

When the puss moth caterpillar is disturbed, it lifts up its red face, and two long red 'whips' flick out of its tail. It also produces a smelly fluid, which it can even spray at its attacker.

The lifespan of a firefly is about seven days. During these days, they are busy trying to find a mate.

One of the most dangerous insect in the world is the common housefly. They carry and transmit more diseases than any other animal in the world.

A housefly's feet are 10 million times more sensitive than a human tongue.

A housefly can only ingest liquid material; they regurgitate their food to liquify the food they're going to eat.

Mosquitoes are attracted to the colour blue more than any other colour.

Mosquitoes prefer to bite children rather than adults.

The amount of blood a female mosquito drinks per serving is five millionths of a litre.

The average life span of a mosquito is two weeks.

The itch from a mosquito bite can be soothed by cutting open a clove of garlic and rubbing it on the bite.

There are approximately 2,700 different species of mosquitoes.

The black bulldog ant from Australia is the most dangerous ant in the world. It stings and bites at the same time and has killed humans.

Ants carry the caterpillars of the large blue butterfly into their nest. There, the ants feed on the sweet honeydew produced by the caterpillars, which in return feed on the tiny ant larvae.

The ant always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

Ants can lift an object up to 50 times their body-weight and carry it over their heads. They don't do this with their feet, but with their mouths.

A column of army ants may consist of 150,000 insects and take several hours to march past one spot. They prey on almost any animal that cannot escape from them.

For every human in the world there are 1,000,000 ants.

The sense of smell of an ant is as good as a dog's.

When the only queen ant dies, so does the entire colony, because no new workers are born.

The average life expectancy of an ant is about 90 days.

The brain of an ant has about 250,000 brain cells.

For more than 3,000 years, Carpenter ants have been used to close wounds in India, Asia and South America.

In Australia, termites build towers 6 metres high and 30 metres wide. Ten tonnes of mud are collected bit by bit by millions of insects. Soldier termites guard the mud castle, where the queen lays her eggs and is fed by worker termites.

The world's termites outweigh the world's humans by 10 to 1.

Termites work 24 hours per day - they do not sleep.

There are more than 2,400 flea species in the world.

A flea can jump 150 times its size. That is the same as a person able to jump up 1,000 feet in the air.

Most fleas do not live past a year old.

Ticks can be as small as a grain of rice and grow to be as big as a marble.

A lice's reproductive cycle is so fast that females are born pregnant.

And finally:

If all the insects in the world were put on a scale, they would out-weigh all creatures.

(And the name for insect poop is frass!)


Last updated: 28 January 2010

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