Lifestyle

102 Animal Facts That Might Change The Way You See Animals


1.

The average length of a giraffe’s tongue is 20 inches. And they can grab things with it.

a giraffe sticking out it's tongue

2.

Sea lion pups and their mom communicate through special vocalizations so they can identify one another.


3.

“Puppy-dog eyes” are a result of dogs co-evolving with humans.


4.

Giraffes’ tongues are black in color to prevent them from getting sunburnt. They actually stick their tongues out that much.

a giraffe black tongue

5.

Baby elephants can’t see very well when they’re first born so they identify their mom through “touch, scent and sound.”

Portrait of a mother elephant nursing her young calf in soft sunlit grass while cattle egret looks on at Amboseli National Park, Kenya.

6.

Male giraffes will use their extremely long tongues to taste the pee of female giraffes to determine if they’re ovulating.

a giraffe sticking out it's tongue

7.

The Dumbo octopus’s fins look like ears, giving it its Disney-inspired name.

8.

It’s extremely common for male giraffes to have sex with each other. Like, extremely common. As in 50% of all male giraffes have no problem sexing up other male giraffes.

Two giraffes walking onto a safari trail

9.

Hippopotamuses have pink sweat, a thick red-ish substance they produce that acts as sunscreen.

hippo in a tank of water

10.

Wolves get scared of strangers and hide.

11.

Ostriches swallow pebbles to be able to grind their food.

an ostrich

12.

Giraffes can sprint up to 35 miles per hour, which is pretty fast for an animal that is practically wearing stilts.

a giraffe running

13.

And because their legs are so long, giraffes walk at 10 miles per hour without even trying.

giraffes walking

14.

Goats and cows have accents.

15.

There’s an abandoned minefield that has accidentally created a penguin sanctuary. The mines keep poachers out, but the penguins are too small to set them off.

16.

Cats can nurse hedgehogs.

17.

Giraffes can live without water longer than a camel can. At this point, it’s OK to suspect that they’re indestructible.

Giraffes (Camelopardalis) and Burchell's zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) drinking from the Boteti River.

18.

They’re probably a little tense: Their blood pressure is twice that of humans.

The pressure is necessary to keep blood flowing all the way up to their heads.

19.

In fact, their system for regulating blood pressure has been replicated by aeronautical engineers for use in spacesuits.

A lone astronaut standing facing away from the camera dressed in full space suit with backpack, stands still looking towards a distant planet Earth. The sun illuminates a side of Earth and hundreds of stars are visible in deep space.

20.

No two giraffes have the same pattern of spots, but giraffes that live in the same area tend to have similar coats.

A giraffe puts his neck around another as they interact with each other at Amboseli National Park, Kenya in June.

21.

Seagulls often stomp on the ground — often referred to as their “rain dance” — to attract earthworms and other food.

22.

Giraffe herds have almost no defined social structure or hierarchy.

Masai Giraffe herd at wild with Plains Zebra Herd.

23.

Cats are responsible for the global extinction of 33 species.

24.

Dogs prefer to poop facing the North Pole.

25.

Your dog probably dreams about you.

26.

Umm Nyolokh is a substance made from the liver and bone marrow of a giraffe. If ingested, it allegedly produces giraffe-themed hallucinations.

A late evening storm brings a dark sky enhancing the illumination of a giraffe grazing in the foreground at Maasai Mara, Kenya in July 2021.

27.

Zebra moms keep their babies in the center of the herd to keep them safe from predators.

28.

There are deer in Eastern Europe that still won’t cross where the Iron Curtain was.

graphic of deer stopping in front of a rabbit

29.

The oldest living creature was a clam that lived 507 years.

graphic of a clam

30.

Millions of years ago, there were 6’8″ penguins that weighed 250 pounds.

graphic of a large penguin standing tall over a human

31.

Ants can survive a fall from any height. Even from an airplane.

graphic of an ant reading while falling from the sky

32.

Some fish can recognize their owner’s face.

fish

33.

Giant pandas are no longer an endangered species, and tiger populations are on the rise.

panda eating

34.

When a baby elephant is born, other mothers in the social group will trumpet to celebrate or announce the baby’s arrival.

35.

Dolphin mothers sing to their babies while they’re in the womb.

36.

The first animal to orbit the moon was a tortoise.

37.

Cows have “best friends” and are happier when they’re with them.

38.

The Latin word for giraffe is “camelopardalis,” which is a throwback to the Roman idea that they look like a hybrid between camels and leopards.

a giraffe

39.

The only thing keeping the nine different species of giraffe from regularly interbreeding is rain. It disrupts their migration patterns.

rain

40.

Your dog ~actually~ loves you, not just because you give them food and walks.

41.

When dogs appear in movies and TV, sometimes they have to have CGI tails because they wag too much during the scene.

42.

Dogs can tell when you’re due to come home by how much of your scent is remaining in the house.

43.

Chinchilla fur is so dense that it’s very bad for them to get wet. So instead of bathing in water, they bathe in dust like this:

44.

Giraffes give birth standing up, which means the first thing a baby giraffe experiences is a six-foot-drop onto the cold, hard ground.

a giraffe giving birth

45.

Hundreds of trees — if not more — become seedlings every year because of squirrels who forgot where they buried their food.

46.

There is a hotel in Kenya that doubles as a giraffe sanctuary, where you can hang out with giraffes all day.

Family of four Giraffes feeding in the middle of a forest

47.

Vampire bats love to share.

bats

48.

Scorpions glow under ultraviolet lights

49.

Wasps taught us how to make paper!

50.

Some sharks are loners.

51.

Sharks “taste test” everything.

52.

Lions love to cuddle.

53.

Eels travel for months just to mate.

54.

Male coyotes dote on female coyotes as they dote on their babies.

55.

Female giraffes are pregnant for 15 months.

a pregnant giraffe

56.

Wolves mourn when one of their own dies.

57.

Baby giraffes sleep with their heads on their butts.

a giraffe laying in a field asleep

58.

Black widow spiders flick silk at attackers.

black widow

59.

Alligators pretend their heads are trees to attract birds.

an alligator

60.

Giraffes sleep a maximum of two hours a day, and usually for under 10 minutes at a time.

a sleeping giraffe

61.

Alligators blow bubbles to mate.

62.

Giraffes fight by whipping their heads at each other.

giraffes fighting

63.

“Giraffe” is pronounced similarly in almost every language except for Cherokee, which calls them “digalisdugisgi.”

Beautiful giraffe at Kruger National Park, South Africa

64.

Atlantic puffins mate for life, and share parental responsibilities equally.

65.

Wombats poop cubes.

66.

Sheep are actually born with long tails.

67.

Alex the parrot is the only animal to ever ask an existential question.

parrot

68.

Egyptian fruit bats exchange food for sex.

bat

69.

Cows are either natural optimists or pessimists — just like humans!!!

70.

Ginger cats are predominantly male, while calicos are predominantly female.

71.

Stoats — weasel-like mammals — are thought to have had their name derive from the Dutch word for “naughty.”

72.

While most owls are nocturnal, snowy owls are actually diurnal.

a white owl in snow

73.

Even though they have suuuuper long necks, giraffes only have seven vertebrae — the same number as in a human neck!

74.

Golden moles have eyeballs, but they’re covered by skin — so essentially, they’re useless.

mole

75.

The Turritopsis Dohrnii jellyfish can revert back to a younger version of itself, it’s basically immortal.

a turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish

76.

A horned lizard can shoot blood from its eyes.

a horned lizard

77.

Alligators have permanently erect penises that are hidden inside their body.

an alligator

78.

Rabbits practice cecotropy, which means they eat their own poop.

a rabbit in grass

79.

Snakes have two penises hidden in the base of their tails.

a snake hissing

80.

The Binturong, also known as the Asian Bearcat, smells like buttered popcorn.

a binturong

81.

All male felines have a barbed penis with more than 100 hooks made of kerotin that help induce ovulation.

a lion and lioness

82.

There are about 370 species of lungless amphibians that depend on cutaneous respiration (the exchange of gas through moistened skin) to breathe.

small snake in woods

83.

Giraffes are the only animals born with their horns, which are actually called ossicones.

Rothschild's giraffe

84.

Tigers have stripes underneath their fur on their skin.

tiger

85.

Killer whales can go through menopause.

a killer whale

86.

Gorillas can catch human illnesses.

baby gorilla

87.

Crocodiles can’t move their tongues because they have a membrane that holds it in place.

crocodiles

88.

Lions are capable of mating over 100 times a day.

lion cubs

89.

Snails can regenerate their eyes completely approximately 25 days after amputation.

snail

90.

Once a baby joey becomes too big for her pouch, a koala bear mom will carry him on her back.

Mother and baby koalas in Australia

91.

Polar bears cubs stay with their mom for at least two years, learning the ropes about hunting and diving.

Polar she-bear with cubs. A Polar she-bear with two small bear cubs on the snow

92.

Emperor penguin moms and dads alternate roles while raising a chick, one will hunt for food while the other stays at the breeding site to keep the baby warm and safe.

Emperor Penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri, brooding chick on feet

93.

A Harp seal mom can identify her baby from “hundreds of others based on smell alone.”

seal and baby seals

94.

For the first two years of their life, young orangutans are dependent on their mom for food and transportation.

95.

Each night before going to sleep, gorillas make a cozy bed out of leaves. Gorilla moms share these nests with their nursing babies.

A female adult mountain gorilla sits between plants with her baby in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

96.

Giraffe mothers “often return to where they were born to have their own babies.”

97.

Baby rhinoceroses are born with no horn so they depend entirely on their mother for protection.

male infant rhinoceros

98.

If joeys are frightened, they’ll jump headfirst into their mother’s pouch!

Western Grey Kangaroo youngster comfortable in its mother's pouch.

99.

Wolf pups are born blind and deaf, so they need constant attention from their mom!

100.

A moose calf can stay with it’s mom for up to a year before it’s time for mom to have another baby.

101.

A mother hippopotamus gives birth to her baby underwater, then helps him to the surface, so he’s able to breathe.

A baby Pygmy Hippo calf makes its first appearance with its mother at Taronga Zoo

102.

And finally, a lioness will hide her cubs in a dense bush until they’re old enough to join the pride.

a lioness carrying her cub

Do you know any super random but super cool animal facts that weren’t included in this list? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

This article contains content from Syd Robinson, Andy Golder, Pedro Fequiere, Alana Mohamed, Dan Meth, Kaelin Tully, and Alexis Nedd. It was compiled by Salimah McCullough.


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