Did you know that the kangaroo can jump up to nine meters high and cover distances of over thirty meters in a single leap? And that the platypus is one of the few venomous mammals in the world? Or that the giant panda has an incredibly strong grip, allowing it to hold bamboo shoots between its teeth and strip them of leaves with ease?
If these facts about animals have left you reeling, just wait until you read about some of the other stranger habits and abilities of different animals! These creatures are truly unique, from salmon who can navigate their way back upstream to bears who can eat grass. So sit back, relax, and prepare to have your mind blown by some animals that will make you see the world in a whole new way!
The echidna is the only known mammal that lays eggs. It has a furry pouch, similar to that of a kangaroo, on its stomach. Where it carries around the four to six babies wrapped in their pouches for safety and warmth. Although most of their diet consists of ants, termites, and other bugs, they also eat worms and insect larvae. Nobody really knows how an echidna can tell where they are going. They have very poor eyesight but use their snout to feel the ground in front of them, so they know where to place their feet, so they don’t fall.
Salmon who swim upriver to reproduce have the capability to remember where they came from and how to get back. They can even memorize the specific water currents, smells, and temperatures that lead home. In some cases, salmon can jump over waterfalls as high as 12 meters and over dams by migrating into the river above the dam. Then jumping out of the water on the other side. Unfortunately, salmon who can’t follow a stream due to man-made structures have to wait until the river level drops in winter. At which point they have to go even higher upstream. However, because of this, they have evolved an ability to find their way back home no matter what.
When a kangaroo jumps, its powerful tail propels it into the air to achieve heights of up to nine meters. In addition, they can both run and hop at speeds up to 64 kilometers per hour. They also have an incredible sense of balance and never lose their footing, even on steep cliffs and rocky terrain. The kangaroo’s muscular legs allow them to jump with ease, reaching heights of one-and-a-half meters at every hop. Their tail also helps them maintain balance while hopping. The kangaroo’s legs are so powerful that they can hop along at speeds of over 31 miles per hour for several kilometers without stopping to rest!
Although it is a carnivore, the giant panda prefers to eat bamboo. Actually, it eats almost nothing but bamboo and drinks up to 40 gallons of water every day! The panda’s hands and feet are incredibly flexible. Allowing them to grasp branches as thick as 28 centimeters with virtually no effort at all. Although they do not have many enemies, the giant panda can be quite dangerous when threatened.
It is the only bear with a false thumb to assist it in holding bamboo. This thumb is an elongated wrist bone that helps protect its real fingers from damage as it easily strips the leaves off of bamboo shoots. If you’ve ever wondered how this animal gets its black and white coloring, the answer is simple: it’s an optical illusion! The black comes from fur above its eyes that naturally blocks out light. The white fur makes the panda appear bigger when viewed from a distance to scare away potential predators.
Zebras have a bold pattern of stripes that are perfect for keeping them safe in the wild. The distinctive black and white print of zebra’s stripes acts as camouflage. Which surprisingly helps zebras blend into their surroundings. So that their predators have difficulty spotting them. Zebras can even coordinate with other zebras before storming through herds of buffalo or stampeding across the African plains. They rarely fight each other, but their battles are usually brutal and often lethal when they do. Their classic gait is known as “loping” or “galloping.” This movement has earned them yet another nickname: the horse of the savannah!
These carnivorous little creatures eat almost anything, including insects, small mammals, and reptiles. The Tasmanian devil typically doesn’t stalk its prey as other animals do when hunting. Instead, it surprises them from underneath. At first glance, they may look cute and cuddly with their big brown eyes and solid shoulders but don’t let appearances fool you. These are feisty little guys with a gripping jaw that is over 20 times stronger than the jaws of a large dog. They are known to eat their young if they happen to be in the same den as the mother.
Orcas, also called killer whales, are the only mammals in which both females and males grow larger than any other mammal. When fully matured, males can reach lengths of up to nine meters and weigh eight tons. In addition, they have a thick layer of blubber that helps them stay warm in the colder waters they swim in. Orcas typically swim at speeds of around 30 miles per hour. However, some have been recorded swimming as fast as 47 miles per hour! If you’ve ever heard those incredible stories about orcas rescuing drowning sailors, now you know where those rumors came from!
Elephants are mammals that have been on earth for at least 25 million years and span nearly every continent except Australia and Antarctica. They’re the only mammal with a movable trunk and one of the world’s most intelligent creatures. As social creatures, elephants live in matriarchal herds where they care for their young, feed on vegetation, and protect each other from predators. The Elephant Communion Foundation conducted a study that revealed elephants could actually communicate across continents through low-frequency sounds that we’re unable to hear! These sounds contain tons of information!
This falcon is powerful and fast! Reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour when diving to catch its prey. It’s one of the few predators that can attack both land and water-based animals with equal ease. The peregrine falcon can prey on small to mid-sized birds during flight. If it spots its prey from a high distance, the peregrine will use its momentum to carry it through the air. While using gravity to dive at its insane speed. The impact knocks the small bird out for just long enough for the peregrine to pick it up and carry it off.
This little black-capped bird is one of the most common birds found in North America. However, if you were to take a closer look at it, you would be surprised by its unique habits! The black-capped chickadee actually has a “password” to help them recognize each other. They are one of the only animals known to be able to distinguish between different human voices. Which allows them to essentially “tell” if someone is friend or foe! In addition, these little birds will repeat their own names in order to let others know who they are and how they’re feeling.
As you can see, these animals each have some fascinating and unique qualities! You never know what will happen next or how they’ll surprise you. Animals are just as diverse as humans and deserve to be studied more! So they can find out just where they come from and what more there is to learn about their behavior! Like humans, each animal is unique and has a story to tell!