Fantastic Animal Facts

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
  • The anole (Anolis Carolinesis), or American chameleon, is a small lizard found in the southeastern United States. Not a true chameleon, the anole is a member of the iguana family and is noted for its color changes.
  • A chameleon can move its eyes in two directions at the same time.
  • Dolphins sleep at night just below the surface of the water. They frequently rise to the surface for air.
  • A cockroach can live for up to a week without a head.
  • An albatross can sleep while it flies. It apparently dozes while cruising at 25 mph.
  • Amazon ants (red ants found in the western U.S.) steal the larvae of other ants to keep as slaves. The slave ants build homes for and feed the Amazon ants, who cannot do anything but fight. They depend completely on their slaves for survival.
  • The hummingbird is the only bird that can hover and fly straight up, down, or backward!
  • A leech is a worm that feeds on blood. It will pierce its victim's skin, fill itself with three to four times its own body weight in blood, and will not feed again for months. Leeches were once used by doctors to drain “bad blood” from sick patients.
  • Lovebirds are small parakeets who live in pairs. Male and female lovebirds look alike, but most other male birds have brighter colors than the females.
  • Only female mosquitoes bite. Females need the protein from blood to produce their eggs.
  • Cats have about 250 muscles in each ear.
  • African elephants are the largest and heaviest mammals on land. They weigh up to 14,000 pounds, and can eat as much as 600 pounds of food a day!
  • The inland Taipan is considered the most poisonous snake on the planet. One bite from this shy reptile, which is native to Australia, contains enough toxin to kill about 100 people.
  • The blue whale is the world's biggest animal, even larger than any known dinosaur. An average-sized adult is 80 feet long and weighs about 120 tons. This giant is also the loudest animal on Earth. Its call, which is louder than a jet, can be heard for hundreds of miles.
  • Giraffes not only have long necks, they also have enormous tongues, which can be 18 inches long.
  • Kangaroos can jump up to 30 feet in one leap!
  • Hippopotamuses are quick-footed giants. They can weigh up to 9,000 pounds and run up to 20 miles per hour.
  • The anopheles mosquito is the deadliest creature on Earth. It’s responsible for more than 300 million cases of malaria each year and causes between one and three million deaths.
  • The smallest fish in the world is believed to be the Paedocypris progenetica, which was recently discovered in Indonesia. It measures just over one-third of an inch long and has a see-through body.
  • Horned lizards can shoot blood from their eyes.
  • The giant tortoise can live up to about 175 years. In fact, Harriet, a Galapagos tortoise and probably the world’s oldest creature, died in Australia in June 2006. She was 176 years old!
  • There are about 1 million species of insects in the world.
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