Cool Animal Facts for Kids
- The blue morpho butterfly has iridescent scales on its wings so when it is viewed from different angles it appears to change colour from light blue to purple.
- The red admiral butterfly can be found on several continents in the world. It makes a round trip from journey between Africa and Europe. Monarch butterflies make a similar journey between Canada and Mexico.
- Butterflies can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. Scientists who specialise in butterflies (known as Lepidopterists) estimate that there are about 20,000 species of butterflies in the world.
- The smallest butterfly discovered is the grass blue butterfly, which is about the small size as an English penny coin.
- Elephants are believed to have very good memories and will continue to visit place they like repeatedly over many years.
- Elephants have been used to help humans in many ways. In 2004 when a tsunami destroyed parts of southern Africa elephants helped out using their strong trunks to lift motorcycles and cars from the wreckages. Elephants have also been trained to lift heavy logs and clear weed clogged waterways.
- Elephants have also been known to come to the aid of each other when needed such as saving each other from drowning.
- Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Their wings are actually folds of skins that are stretched between their extra-long fingers and hand bones.
- Bat droppings are very rich in nitrogen which is a valuable ingredient in plant food. The ancient Incas protected bats as they viewed them as a valuable source of fertilizer for their crops.
- A brown bat can eat as many as a thousand insects in an hour.
- Hoary bats migrate up to 1,000 miles from Canada each year in the autumn and can travel at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour.
- A lion’s roar can be heard up to five miles away.
- An adult male lion eats around 15 pounds (7kg) of meat in a typical meal.
- White lions are not a separate species of cat but are a result of a rare colour gene mutation. When both the male and female lion carry the mutation they may have cubs that have white fur rather than the normal golden colour.
- Each year harp seals migrate more than 6,000 miles to spend the summer feeding in the northern Arctic waters and then travel back south in the autumn to breed.
- When harp seals are born their coats have a yellow tint but turn completely white within a few days. The fine fur is almost transparent which allows the pup’s skin to absorb the heat from the sun and stay warm.
- Harp seals can stay underwater for as long as 20 minutes and dive to depths of 800ft.
- Harp seals get their name from a distinctive black pattern that is shaped like a harp.
- Great white sharks can swim at speeds up to 35 miles an hour.
- Great white sharks have ears but they cannot be seen from the outside.
- 375 species of shark have been discovered all over the world.
- A great white shark has 26 top and 24 lower teeth. The razor sharp teeth have many rows of replacement teeth behind them that can move forward when any are lost.
- Bees are the only food eaten by man.
- Honey bees have compound eyes which are made up of thousands of tiny lenses.
- On average a worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in their lifetime.
- A bee’s brain is about the size of a sesame seed.
- The sun bear has the shortest fur of any bear so that it can keep cool in the hot forests of southeast Asia where it lives.
- Only the polar bear is a true carnivore. All other bears eat plants and meat so are omnivores.
- Koala bears are not actually bears, they are marsupials.
- A polar bear can swim up to 100 miles without resting.
- There are eight species of bear, four live in the northern hemisphere and four in the southern hemisphere.
- Slugs are hermaphrodites: they have both male and female reproductive systems.
- There are 30 species of slugs in the UK.
- The black slug can grow to be eight inches long.
- Slug eggs can laid dominate in the soil for years and only hatch when the conditions are corrects.
- Slugs play an important role in ecology as they eat decomposing vegetation.
- Hamsters are nocturnal which means they sleep during the day and only come out at night.
- Hamsters are omnivores and like to eat seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables and grains. They also store food that they find to ensure they have enough to eat if food is scarce at a later time.
- Hamsters are able to fit through very small gaps and so are very good at escaping.
- The first hamsters are believed to have been domesticated in 1930 when a zoologist found a mother and twelve young hamsters in the Syrian Desert.
- There are four types of hamster: Syrian, Russian dwarf, Chinese and Roborovski hamsters.
- Snakes do not have eyelids.
- Snakes can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
- There are believed to be 3000 species of snake in the world.
- Snakes smell with their tongue.
- Snakes have very flexible jaws and can swallow prey larger than their head.
© 2014 Claire