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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.

Wolf tracks (footprint) in the frozen snow. By Maksymus | Shutterstock.com

Field guide: identifying animal footprints, traces and signs

Habitat loss or destruction is a direct consequence of our current economic and social system, as well as one of the greatest threats to animal species and to wildlife sustainability. Biodiversity reduction and the extinction of species are some of the devastating effects of this degradation, which is at...
Peacock with spread wings in profile. By Viliam.M | Shutterstock.com

Animal communication: honest, dishonest and costly signalling

How do animals communicate? Animal communication is the transfer of information between individuals and groups of animals. This could be intraspecies communication, such as sounds and vocalisations produced by whales in a pod. But it also includes interspecies communication, which can be seen in cases of great apes being taught...
Sexual selection. Great crested grebe. By Pim Leijen | Shutterstock.com

Reproductive strategies and mating systems: the foundations of sexual selection in animals

For many years, it has been been thought that living beings were basically organisms that are born, grow, reproduce and die, or that they were organisms that fulfilled their physiologic functions: nutrition, relation and reproduction. Such statements are, with some nuances, valid definitions of a “living being” and they...
White Camargue Horses galloping through water. Parc Regional de Camargue - Provence, France. By Sergey Uryadnikov | Shutterstock.com

Animal’s social behavior: Group living

The need for socialization is not exclusive to human beings. Instances of social activity can be found in many species in the animal kingdom. Some animals connect, interact and live together in a more complex way than we could imagine. When thinking of animals that display this kind of...
Migrating grey cranes over Agamon Hula bird refuge, at sunrise. Hula Valley, North of Israel. By Alla Khananashvili | Shutterstock.com

Creatures on the move: understanding animal migration

When you think of animal migration, which animals first come to mind? Geese? Seabirds? Well, it’s true that many birds migrate during the year. In fact, at least 4,000 species of birds are considered regular migrants, which is equal to around 40% of all birds. However, migration - the long...
Fennec fox. By hagit berkovich | Shutterstock.com

Too hot? Too cold? How animals survive in extreme temperatures

In Barcelona, summer has just arrived. Temperatures are rising and behaviours begin to change. We start to drink more, wear less and switch on the air-conditioning in our homes and offices. Nevertheless, as people travel around the city, there is no shortage of red faces and sweaty bodies! These are...
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...
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?...
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...