Being a Biology teacher I obviously LOVE animals. I love everything about zoology (the study of animals) and I enjoy reading about it every day. I am obsessed with passing on my passion for zoology to kids and I know that children thrive on hearing about weird and wonderful facts during their years of enchantment. So here are my favourite weird animal facts for kids… I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed finding them!
- Komodo dragons can smell through their tongues!
- If a cockroach loses its head, it can continue to live for more than a week before starving to death!
- Tapeworms can grow up to 50 feet long inside a human intestine and they don’t need a mate to reproduce!
- With enough venom to kill 100 people, the poison arrow frog is the world’s most poisonous creature!
- Sea cucumbers sacrifice their own guts to escape predators!
- Female octopuses can be up to 40,000 times heavier than their male partners!
- Found in the deep oceanic abyss, the lantern fish attracts prey with built-in headlights!
- A bald eagle’s nest can weigh as much as a large car and be nine feet wide!
The pink fairy armadillo is active during the night. It usually moves incredibly slowly but if threatened it is able to dig a burrow and completely bury itself, just within a few seconds. It then is able to plug the burrow opening using its flat rear armour plate, just like a cork. Cool protection!
The coelacanth (actually pronounced see-la-kanth) is a super old fish. Scientists have been able to find fossils of coelacanths that were around 60, 000, 000 years old and we assumed this awesome fish was extinct. However, they were extremely surprised when a fisherman managed to catch a coelacanth in the Indian Ocean. That’s surely got to make you wonder how many other ‘extinct’ creatures are still alive somewhere…?
There are millions of bacteria that live in your body. Most can reproduce by themselves once every 15 minutes. This means that in 24 hours one bacterium can produce 4, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 new cells. In fact, there are probably more bacteria living in your own mouth now than the total number of human being that have ever lived on our planet. Crazy, right!?
There are spiders bigger than your hands!
Are you scared of spiders? You might want to be careful reading this… there is a bird-eating spider found in South America. It has a body that is 9cm long and it has a 25cm leg span!
Ready, steady, go!
Believe it or not, Jackrabbits are not really rabbits. They are actually fast-moving hares that have long and powerful hind legs. Just like all hares, they do not build nests. Instead, the mother chooses a place that she likes to look of and her young are born there with their eyes wide open and ready to run!
Sometimes known as the “white death” or “man-eater” the great white shark is widely known as one of the most deadly hunters in the sea. It has around 600 teeth that are as sharp as daggers and when one tooth is broken off or wears out it is replaced with another. Sadly their numbers are in decline due to hunting.
When fruit overrippens the juice within it can change into alcohol. In fact, some fruit-eating birds have been known to eat overripe cherries and have appeared to look slightly drunk!
Ostriches lay gigantic eggs. Also, the shell of an ostrich is so strong that a human is able to stand on it and the egg won’t break. An ordinary ostrich egg is actually roughly 25 times larger than a chicken’s egg. In fact, an ostrich that lived on a farm in China laid an egg that weighed 2.35kg. Amazing, right!?
Living in Australia I see plenty of kangaroos. In fact, red kangaroos are able to jump over 12 meters in a single bound. Also, when they are going at top speed they can go faster than 64 kmph, or 40 miles per hour!
Keep the noise down!
Bushbabies hunt for food during the night. They have such awesome hearing that when they sleep throughout the day, they need to fold up their ears to cover their ear holes. This prevents the sounds of the forest from waking them up. Awwwww, cute!
Now that’s slow…
The world’s fastest snails are able to move 100 meters in approximately 2 hours. Now, compare that to Usain Bolt who can run 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. But think about it… an athlete is not carrying a house on their back, so we can give the snails some credit!
Flies need to flap their wings incredibly quickly to stay flying in the air. In fact, the hover fly needs to beat its wings 100 times every second when taking off. Imagine that work out to get in the air!?
Water bears are very small animals, but they are extremely tough. In fact, they can survive anywhere from the frozen arctic to the tropical forests. They are a little bit like worms, but they are smaller than the head of a pin and have legs!
Did you say gills and lungs!?
The axolotl normally behaves like a fish by living underwater and breathing through its gills. However, if the water gets too shallow it can stop using its gills and start to use its lungs to breath instead. Now that’s an amazing adaptation!
Soaring like a condor!
The Andean condor has massive wings that are perfect for soaring through the sky. The condor takes advantage of the rising air that is warmed by the sun to stay in flight. This means that the condor hardly ever needs to flap its wings so that it can stay in the air for a long time with hardly any effort. Imagine that!
Chewing is important!
In fact, giraffes believe that chewing is so important that they do it twice. Once the chewed food is swallowed, it then travels all the way back up the giraffe’s long neck to be chewed again!
Check out this awesome video:
If this list just isn’t long enough and you’re dying to hear more animal facts, let’s dive into the jungle and check out this video:
So, there you have it! My favourite weird and wonderful animal facts. I hope that you enjoyed reading them. I’d love it if you could leave a comment in the box below if you have any thoughts, questions or want to share some more weird things you know about animals. Thanks for reading 🙂