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Animal Facts

All informative and interesting articles about the world of animals. Curiosities about fauna, information about the animal kingdom, its protection and many other contents about the species that compose it.

Knobbed Hornbill, Rhyticeros cassidix, from Sulawesi, Indonesia. By Ondrej Prosicky | Shutterstock.com

Birds, their different beaks and the functions they perform

Birds are a class of vertebrates with more than 18,000 different species. Of the various features that are common to all birds, perhaps the most characteristic is their beak. All birds have one, but it has evolved differently in each species has evolved to improve its functions in response...
Tiny chameleon Brookesia micra on human inch, smallest known chameleon and among the smallest reptiles of the world. Antsiranana Province, Madagascar wildlife. By Artush | Shutterstock.com

Why does dwarfism occur in nature? Pygmy animals and their evolution

Size matters in the animal world. In colder climates, being large helps minimise the loss of body heat. For a large predator, body size may be the key to overpowering its prey. Whereas, for a large herbivore, like a bison, body size may be its greatest defence. And, even...
Humpback Whale Heatrun. By Tomas Kotouc | Shutterstock.com

Cetaceans. The small and giant mammals of the oceans

We’re all able to recognise a dolphin, an orca or one of the whale species. These animals are part of the order of cetaceans (Cetacea). But…. Did you know that there are 80 species of cetaceans, and that there are huge differences between them? What is a cetacean? The first thing to...
Corvus corax, raven. By fernando sanchez | Shutterstock.com

The feathered ape: crows, ravens and human culture

What are Corvids? And what are ‘True Crows’? The Corvidae family is made up of more than 120 species of bird. In English, we commonly refer to them as the crow family, but it would be more accurate to call them Corvids. This family includes choughs, jays, nutcrackers and magpies,...
Two male lions. By Nick Biemans | Shutterstock.com

Are there gay animals in nature? Homosexuality in the animal world

When it comes to homosexuality, for many people the recurring idea is that it’s something unnatural. But what does unnatural really mean? The definition of the term is something that goes against natural or human laws, especially in relation to morality. Homosexuality is something that has always been  exclusively associated...
Ant. By Balkhi | Shutterstock.com

Insatiable invertebrates: 4 predatory insects and arachnids

What’s the difference between insects and arachnids? Class insecta Of the 1.5 million species that scientists have catalogued, around two thirds are insects. Insects come in all shapes and sizes and display diverse behaviours. But they all share a set of defining features. What do ants, flies and beetles have in common?...
Tyrannosaurus Rex and its young feeding on an Alamosaurus carcass in Hell Creek 66 million years ago. By Herschel Hoffmeyer | Shutterstock.com

How many false myths about dinosaurs do you know?

If we were to list the number of false claims out there about dinosaurs, it’d be never-ending. From the belief that they only inhabited warm habitats (they also lived in frozen areas), that they were all enormous (there were also very small dinosaurs), to the misconception that their size...
Twins sisters with Appaloosa horse and Dalmatian dogs in rainy autumn park. By Julia Shepeleva | Shutterstock.com

Do other animals give birth to twins? Examples from the animal kingdom

Assuming you’re human, the likelihood of having twins is quite little. But, depending where you’re from, there’s a surprising amount of variation. In Central Africa, the twinning rate is almost 30 in every 1,000 births; in much of Asia and Latin America, the average is as low as eight...
The Amazon molly does not produce any male offspring. The females reproduce asexually through gynogenesis. Nevertheless they need sperm to trigger the cloning process. By Manfred Schartl

The Amazon molly: the small fish making a big splash in science

What is the Amazon molly and how did it get its name? The Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa) is a small, inconspicuous freshwater fish. It belongs to a genus of around 40 fish species, which includes the well-known guppy. Amazon mollies are omnivores and spend their days feeding on small invertebrates,...
Common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus. By Natalia Kuzmina | Shutterstock.com

Do vampires exist? From vampire myths to the truth about bloodsucking bats

When we hear the word vampire, we automatically think of a human-like creaturewith long fangs that feeds on people’s blood. Vampire myths have been around for ages and they continue to be a part of our culture today. According to popular folklore, a vampire is a creature that feeds on...
A group of wild rabbits sitting outside their warren in New Zealand. By William Booth | Shutterstock.com

The extraordinary world of animal poo: 5 stories of adaptation and survival

Yes, today we’re taking a closer look at animal poo, along with some extraordinary adaptations. If you’re just about to sit down for lunch, you might want to bookmark this one for later. But if you think you can stomach it, read on for some nuggets of information from...
A young tokay gecko is resting on driftwood. By Cathy Keifer | Shutterstock.com

How do animals see? The most impressive eyes in the animal world

The eye In order to understand how different species see the world, it is important to understand how the eye works. Images, in the form of light, are received through the pupil, using the dilation of the iris to regulate the amount of light that enters. At the back of...
Portrait of a baby chimpanzee. Republic of the Congo. Reserve Conkouati-Douli. By Gudkov Andrey | Shutterstock.com

One of the Great Apes: chimpanzee life in numbers

The Great Apes and us We’re all guilty of anthropomorphism. It’s something Yago tapped into when he first came up with the idea for Zoo Portraits. But – more than with any other animal – when we look at apes,  we see ourselves. The likening of the great apes to humans...
Spirit bear (Kermode). By Anette Holmberg | Shutterstock.com

Have you ever heard of the Kermode bear, also known as the Spirit bear?

The Kemode bear: Spirit of the forest Deep within the Great Bear Rainforest, in Canada, all is not as it seems. The unique ecosystem produces strange natural scenes. On this coastal land, dampened by dense mist, we can still find indigenous tribes who began living there long before the white...
Reindeer migration to breeding grounds. By mellow | Shutterstock.com

Festive animal facts: Camel vs. Reindeer

Christmas and nature The Christmas holidays are rich in tradition. Some (like decorating a tree) date back hundreds of years; others (like wearing tasteless woolen jumpers) are much more recent! Although customs differ from country to country, they all have a strong connection to nature. In the UK, the robin, mistletoe...