The size and diversity of the animal kingdom may be incredible, but what these animals tend to do is often even more amazing. That is why we had to prepare a list of the most exciting facts about animals that we know today.
We have a lot of fascinating information for you, so prepare to be blown away.
General animal facts
Planet Earth is home to approximately 8.7 million animal species. There’s probably even more to it than that, but we’ve only had to pick facts about a handful of them yet, so here’s a selection of facts about some of the most exciting animals in the world.
1. The fastest land animal in the world is the cheetah, reaching speeds of up to 75 mph.
Many birds and sea creatures are faster, but the Cheetah is the undefeated champion of the land.
Although they can reach 75 mph, the maximum recorded speed is 61 mph. And, of course, cheetahs can only achieve this in short accelerations, so their average speed is closer to 40 mph.
The current record holder is Sarah, a cheetah which managed to run 100 meters in just 5.95 seconds.
2. The most poisonous snake in the world is the Inner Taipan.
The snake is also known as Western Taipan, and a single bite from this animal contains enough poison to kill up to 100 adult males. Plus, the poison can kill you in just half an hour if you don’t treat the bite.
Fortunately, Inland Taipan is not the most dangerous snake, as it is quite timid and rarely encountered.
3. The animal that kills humans the most each year is the mosquito.
Moving on to the deadly facts about jungle animals, mosquitoes are technically the deadliest animals in the world. However, that’s only because they kill the most humans per year. The current estimate says they kill around one million people every year.
To keep things interesting, the second deadliest animal to humans is, well, other humans. People kill around 475,000 people every year. This, of course, only counts recorded homicides. Otherwise, the number would be much higher.
4. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.
The hummingbird can move its wings 180 degrees in any direction, allowing it to fly backwards, upside down, sideways, change direction in mid-flight, and even hover in place.
It is the only known bird species that can do this.
5. Common swifts can fly for ten months without landing.
They can both eat and sleep in the air, and what’s more, scientists have so far found three fast-paced species that can fly for incredibly long periods of time.
And if the sleeping part seems impossible, they manage to do it after reaching higher altitudes, so that they glide and sleep effectively simultaneously.
6. Bees pollinate over 30% of the world’s crops.
In addition, statistics show that 71 of the 100 cultivated species depend to some extent on bees. So if you’ve ever wondered how animals help humans, you don’t have to look any further than bees.
They help pollinate much of the crops we eat, provide us with countless amounts of honey, and over 90% of wild plants depend on bees and other pollinators for reproduction.
Facts about animals in the tropical rainforest
The tropical rainforests of the world have always been incredibly fascinating, and it’s not just for the flora. People are just as excited about wildlife, so let’s take a look at some facts.
7. The largest spider in the world is the Goliath bird eater of South America.
You can find this monstrosity in the Amazon rainforests of Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana, southern Venezuela, and northern Brazil.
This member of the Guinness Book of Records is as big as a man’s fist or a young puppy. Specifically, they can have a leg span of 30 centimeters.
With all of this in mind, it’s not hard to see why nearly 500 million people are afraid of spiders.
9. The sloth spends 98% of its life in trees.
It may seem impossible, but these animals rarely need to leave the tree. They relieve themselves once a week, and this is one of the rare cases where they descend to the ground.
This is also when they are most likely to die. Some estimates indicate that up to half of all sloth deaths is linked to these dangerous trips to the toilet.
Animal facts about hibernation and sleep
Hibernation and sleep can be fascinating in animals. That’s why we’ve prepared some really mind-blowing facts about the two.
10. Real hibernating animals can significantly reduce body temperature and heart rate while sleeping.
True hibernators are animals that can drop their body temperatures below the freezing point, but they don’t sleep all winter. They still wake up every few weeks to relieve themselves and eat small amounts of food.
Bears, even though they are associated with hibernation, actually go through a different, albeit very similar, process called torpor. It is indeed a state of deep sleep, from which they can wake up quite easily.
11. Koalas sleep 18 to 22 hours a day.
This is mainly because of their limited diet which consists only of eucalyptus leaves, which are nutrient poor and toxic to boot. This means their digestive systems have to work really hard to get everything they need – and they don’t get much energy from such a diet.
12. During hibernation, a chipmunk heart rate drops from 350 beats per minute to just four.
Dwarf lemurs are also close, as their heart rate drops from 300 to less than six per minute. Even their breathing slows down – they can go on for up to 10 minutes without breathing a single time.
Interesting facts about animals
You have seen a lot of fascinating facts about all kinds of animals, but now is the time to check out some amazing facts that are so unique that you have probably never heard of them before.
13. Despite what most people think, flamingos are not born pink.
We always think of flamingos as pink-colored birds with long necks and legs. But in fact, they weren’t born that way.
Birds are born gray, but they turn pink over time from the food they eat. The algae, brine shrimp, and larvae that flamingos eat the most are filled with beta-carotene, a specific red-orange pigment.
The flamingo’s body breaks down these foods and deposits pigments in the skin, causing its feathers and skin to turn pink.
14. Roosters can become deaf, but they prevent it by tilting their head back.
Their song is so loud that it could theoretically make them deaf. Fortunately, they can almost completely cover their ear canals by tilting their head back.
By the way, the vocals can reach 142.3 decibels which is louder than some rock concerts and even thunderclaps.
15. The only animal on the planet whose males give birth is the seahorse.
What is unique about this small marine animal is that the female lays her eggs in the male’s brood pouch, where the male fertilizes them and carries them until giving birth.
One theory for this gender role reversal is that it allows the female to develop a new set of eggs while the male takes care of them.
16. Otters hold hands while they sleep.
You might think there are cuddles here, but otters hold hands while sleeping so they don’t get lost in the water while sleeping. Another reason is to keep their partner close, as competition is stiff in the otter world.
17. Horned lizards can draw blood from their eyes.
Horned lizards can do this through blood-filled sinuses in their sockets, and they use it as a defense mechanism. They can increase the pressure in the sinuses until they burst and spray blood up to 4 feet away.
Surprisingly, they can do these multiple times for a short time, if needed.
Plus, they use the same mechanism to clean their eyes, without the auto-hemorrhage.
18. A species of salamander, the Mexican axolotl, can regenerate parts of the body.
Regeneration is an essential capacity of all living organisms. However, some can do this more effectively than others.
This aquatic species of the salamander can regenerate limbs multiple times, and it can even regenerate internal organs, including the heart and brain.
19. Baby elephants are known to suck their proboscis for comfort.
This is effectively the same thing human babies do with their thumbs. Baby elephants and baby humans share the same sucking reflex, which also helps them know how to feed near their mothers.
In addition, this action helps young elephants to learn to use their trunk, which is not an easy task given that they contain 50,000 individual muscles.
20. The giant octopus has three hearts and nine brains.
One of the strangest animals on the planet has to be the giant octopus for the sheer number of hearts and brains it has.
It uses these extra hearts to pump blood to all of the gills, while the central heart sends oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.
As for the brain, it has one in each tentacle, which allows them to act independently in each other and take the strain off the central brain.
21. The kick of an ostrich can kill a lion.
Ostriches are the largest birds on the planet, and their kick can kill a lion for the strength of their paws.
Specifically, given that they can weigh up to 350 pounds and kick with a force of around 2,000 psi, it’s safe to say that there isn’t a lot of land animals that they couldn’t kill with a kick.