Animal FAQs

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Do animals cry?

Most animals don't (with the exception of human beings), but there is a large, gentle marine mammal called a dugong who lives in the Indian Ocean and sheds tears when in trouble or pain.

Do woodpeckers get headaches from all their hammering?

No. Woodpeckers' heads are filled with pockets of air that cushion their head bones as they drill for food or bore the tunnels that lead to their nests.

What's the difference between teeth and tusks?

Nothing! Tusks are simply large teeth that protrude outside an animal's mouth.

How do chicks break out of their shells?

Baby birds have an “egg tooth,” (a small notch on the front of the beak) which they use to peck out of the egg. Once hatched, the chick loses the tooth.

Does each bird have one song?

No, birds have many songs. Birds “sing” to communicate about feeding, nesting, flying, defending, and many other aspects of their lives.

Are the stripes of any two zebras alike?

No, each zebra has its own stripe pattern, just as each person has his or her own fingerprint.

What's the difference between an antler and a horn?

An antler is made up of solid bone; it is shaped like a branch and is shed yearly. Moose, caribou, and deer are some animals with antlers. A horn is hollow, made up of a hard skin tissue similar to a fingernail. A horn has no branches and is permanent. Some horned animals are antelope, buffalo, and goats. Rhinoceros horns are not true horns at all, but are made of solidified hair!

Why do birds fly in a V formation?

It's efficient! A V formation helps the birds conserve energy because the V-shaped air streams created by the birds in front reduce the wind resistance for the other birds. When the lead bird gets tired, another bird takes over.

What's the difference between extinct and endangered?

Extinct is forever. It means the entire species of animal has died out and can never return. Passenger pigeons are extinct. Endangered animals are in immediate danger of becoming extinct. The California condor is an endangered animal. Captive breeding programs, preservation of habitat and reduction of toxins in the environment has kept some endangered animals and plants from becoming extinct.

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