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Amazing Animal Facts
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim
I recently heard about a program on the Animal Planet channel that featured the 50 most amazing facts about animals that few people know about.
I thought that some of our readers would find some of the facts that I learned from this program to be as fascinating as I do. What follows is a summary of the facts that surprised me the most.
- The blue whale is the largest creature that has ever lived on earth. It tips the scales at a whopping 170 tons - that's the same as about 22 elephants. Its heart is the size of a small car, and its largest blood vessels are wide enough for an adult to swim through without much difficulty.
- The largest land animal in the world is the Kodiak bear. It weighs about 862 kilograms, which is roughly the same as 14 male gymnasts.
- Woodpeckers slam their heads into wood at a rate of 20 pecks per second. What protects them from injury is a spongy area that sits behind their beaks and acts as a shock absorber.
- Approximately 50 percent of all orangutans have fractured bones, a result of falling off of trees on a regular basis.
- Giraffes and humans have the same number of bones in their necks: seven.
- When a lion wants to mate, he cannot be stopped. Copulation occurs every 15 minutes for one week straight. Luckily for lionesses, lions only want to mate once every two years.
- All clams are born as males. A clam can change to become a female, but only once, and the change is irreversible.
- The brain of a roach is located inside of its body. If a roach loses its head, it can live up to nine days. A decapitated roach dies not because it cannot think, but because it cannot eat.
- The koala does not need to drink liquids; it can obtain all of its liquids from eucalyptus leaves which are 50 percent water.
- African elephants produce approximately 100 kilograms of manure per day. Most of this manure is eaten up by beetles.
- A bird called the great tit produces its waste in enclosed sacs that it later removes from its nest. The average great tit removes approximately 500 sacs of manure from its nest each week.
- Frogs cannot vomit. Whenever a frog absolutely has to vomit, it vomits its entire stomach.
- The hummingbird flaps its wings 55 to 75 times per second. In order to fuel this activity, it eats approximately twice its weight in nectar every day.
- When hunting in packs, wolves use different howls to communicate with one another. Because echoes can distort communication, a wolf's howl does not produce an echo, even when emitted in a valley surrounded by mountains.
- The monarch butterfly can detect its lover's scent eight kilometers away.
- The water spider lives underwater but breathes air by using its web to create an underwater sac that stores air bubbles.
- The whitetail deer causes more harm to humans than any other animals do because of the number of traffic accidents that they are involved in.
- On average, sharks kill 10 humans every year. Approximately 100 people die each year when they are stepped on by cows.
To read through all 50 amazing animal facts presented by Animal Planet, visit:
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