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Fun facts about animals

Updated on January 1, 2017
Bob Bamberg profile image

Bob has been in the pet supply business and writing about pets, livestock, and wildlife in a career that spans three decades.


Interesting Stuff That's Fun To Read

Don’t ask me where I get all this stuff. I read it somewhere, make a note of it, and then use it to fill a column. If it was hard science I’d be a little more careful about sourcing and attribution, but it’s information that’s available from a bunch of sources. So with that in mind, let’s enjoy a little brain candy.

Some monkeys know how to lie. Male vervet monkeys have been caught attracting females by uttering the vervet vocalization for "food." In typical guy fashion, all they really had to offer was a twig or a leaf. Jeez, we guys should have thought of that a long time ago. Think of all the expensive dinners we could have gotten out of!

Hey! Wait a minute…a twig or a leaf is vervet food! Alright now, stop giving male vervets a bad name. It invites unflattering comparisons.

If I told you that about 22 per cent of the world's tuna catch ends up in cans, you’d probably find that to be a reasonable claim. Only it's not as you think. The 22 per cent I'm referring to ends up in canned cat food.

On the subject of cats, of the millions of lost cats that end up in shelters, sadly, only 2 per cent are returned to their owners. But, at least one third of owned cats were acquired as strays.

Americans spend more money on cat food than they do on baby food. Americans own 86.4 million cats and 78.2 million dogs, give or take a few.

One more cat stat: researchers who apparently have a little too much time on their hands, have determined that the typical cat yawns 109,500 times in its lifetime.

Animal Facilitated Therapy enjoys great success in hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities and elsewhere humans need a lift.
Animal Facilitated Therapy enjoys great success in hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities and elsewhere humans need a lift. | Source

Pets reside in approximately 73 million American households. It costs owners of a dog upwards of $1200 a year in food, health care and grooming, toys, treats and miscellaneous expenses.

I've read a bunch of different statistics pertaining to how long the dog has been domesticated. Most say around 10 thousand years, but I read one that says 50 thousand. Maybe that's a metric equivalent.

This year, Americans will spend nearly 53 billion (with a "b") dollars in pet supply stores. 20 and a half billion of that is on food. Worldwide, retail pet food sales will total more than 40 billion dollars, euros, pesos, pounds and yen. But, pets are worth it, aren’t they?

Several studies have shown that interacting with companion animals may speed recovery, reduce stress, and promote family bonding. Maybe that's why, each year, grandparents spend an average of $178.68 on their grandchildren and $195.24 on their pets.

ONE OF THE 9% | Source

About 1.4 million Americans take their dogs to work with them, while 9% of dog owners and 4% of cat owners have had birthday or holiday parties for their pets.

Know when the last animal to be domesticated was domesticated? Some 4,000 years ago. Know what that animal was? Me neither. However, that fact may not be fact at all. I read that the goose was domesticated in Germany around 1500 BC, about the same time the Egyptians domesticated the mongoose; and that reindeer were domesticated in Siberia around 1000 BC, about the same time the Mexicans domesticated the turkey.

In the wild, parrots spend nearly 90 per cent of their time preening their partners and foraging for food. Deprived of those activities in captivity, they can suffer intense boredom and human-like depression.

Hmm...they were here a minute ago.
Hmm...they were here a minute ago. | Source

Here's another statistic that's for the birds. In the United States, more than 82 million people engage in wild bird feeding, including over 40% of all pet owners.

Among folks who don’t own any pets, almost 20% of them said that it’s because of the economy. Among folks who do own pets, over 60% are married. Statistically, ¾ of the “typical” shoppers for pet products are 47 year old women (which hasn’t changed in several years), although men reportedly spend more on gifts for pets than women.

Wait a minute, here, does that mean that men spend more money on gifts for pets than they spend on gifts for women, or are they saying that men spend more money on gifts for pets than women spend on gifts for pets? Just thought I’d confuse the issue.

Okay, enough fun, frolic, mirth and merriment. It’s time to go back to doing something substantial.


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    • Bob Bamberg profile imageAUTHOR

      Bob Bamberg 

      6 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Hi James, good to see you, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. It was a fun write, too.

      When the grandchildren find out that Nana & Grampy are shortchanging them, there's going to be trouble in River City. :)

      I actually thought the party numbers would be a little higher. People meet at dog parks, etc. and arrange for play dates and all sorts of event for their pets.

      Where I live, pets have been elevated to the status of full family member. It's that way in other parts of the country, too...but in other parts, there's a different mind set and pets are pretty much disposable. Thanks for commenting. Regards, Bob

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      I enjoyed your wonderful Hub. Thank you for the good read and the smiles.

      I am a bit surprised that "each year, grandparents spend an average of $178.68 on their grandchildren and $195.24 on their pets!"

      And I am shocked that "9% of dog owners and 4% of cat owners have had birthday or holiday parties for their pets."

      hmmm . . .

    • Bob Bamberg profile imageAUTHOR

      Bob Bamberg 

      6 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Thanks, wetnosedogs, glad you liked it. I had fun writing it...something different. Most of my hubs are pretty dry so it's a treat to give myself a little brain candy now and then.

      A goose would probably kick your dogs' butts. They can be pretty ornery. Around here, Canada geese are a problem on golf course, in industrial parks, apartment complexes...places where there are expanses of grass and not a lot of human activity.

      One of my customers made a business of bringing her dogs to such places to scare the geese away. She told me it wasn't unusual for geese to react aggressively towards the dogs.

      It seems to me that if it was really effective, there would be a lot of people engaging in such businesses. I think the dogs just move them a few hundred feet. They come right back. She only had 1 or 2 clients. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Regards, Bob

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      This is a fun hub to read and I surely learned a few things. Such as the parrots. I would hate to see a depressed parrot.

      I would love to have a goose. That would be one awesome pet. Really don't know what my dogs would think about that or the goose, either.


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