Take a break from the whirlwind of December and enjoy these fun and quirky animal facts. To add a little challenge and keep you on your toes, see if you can identify the two statements that I included that are FALSE. (Find out which ones are false on page 2.)
1. Puffer fish use their elastic stomachs and ability to ingest copious amounts of water to blow themselves up into an underwater porcupine when they feel threatened.
2. A giraffe’s legs are taller than most people – about six feet tall. From tip to toes, giraffes ranges from 14 to 19 feet tall.
3. Some scorpion species have such slow metabolisms that they can survive on a single insect per year.
4. The King cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world. The venom from one bite is capable of killing twenty people or one elephant.
5. Poison arrow frogs are carnivorous and kill their prey by squirting highly toxic poison from glands in their brightly-colored skin.
6. Rhino horns are made up not of bone, but keratin, the same material that is found in human fingernails and hair.
7. A bald eagle’s nest can be up to 9.5 feet wide and 20 feet high.
8. Flamingos are born with grey feathers. These feathers eventually turn pink by the time a flamingo is two years old, thanks to the pigment in the shrimp-like crustaceans that they eat.
9. Cougars are the largest cats that purr.
10. A typical adult panda devours about 28 pounds of bamboo a day – and to eat this much bamboo they must spend about half the day munching.
11. The term peacock is commonly used for both sexes of the bird, but technically the females are called peahens.
12. The fastest land animal in North America is the racer snake. They can suddenly bolt at the speed of 60 miles an hour.
13. Emperor penguins are capable of diving up to 1850 feet and thus they hold the world record for deepest diving bird. They can also hold their breath for up to 20 minutes.
14. Vampire bats are the only mammal that feed entirely on blood. A 100-member bat colony is able to drink the blood of 25 cows in a year period.
15. Anteaters use their long tongues to lick up more than 35,000 ants and termites per day – but they do not have any teeth.
The two statements that are false are:
5. Poison arrow frogs, also known as poison dart frogs are famous for their deadly poison, but they use it as a protective measure rather than to kill prey. To grab their typical insect dinner, they use their sticky retractable tongue. Humans, however, have a long history of harvesting the poison from the skin of these frogs which they then apply to the tips of their own hunting arrows.
12. The racer snake has the right name, but it is actually the pronghorn antelope that holds the title of fastest land animal in North America. They can sprint 60 miles an hour and are stellar long distance runners.