50 Fun Facts About Animals of the World

Many animals in the African savanna: Lions, Giraffes, and more.

 

It has been said that humankind has been given stewardship over the world. If we take care of the planet, it will take care of us. But though humans have hunted and raised animals for thousands of years, there is still a lot more to learn and many more interesting facts about our world's co-inhabitants.

 

In the ocean depths and other hard-to-reach areas of the globe, scientists are discovering new species. And even among animals that are generally known and studied, researchers are still uncovering new information about them. So if you are an animal enthusiast or need something interesting to share at school, read on to learn about weird animals fun facts, and possibly funny fun facts about animals to help brighten your day!

 

By the way, once you finish reading these facts, you can enjoy some animal trivia quizzes or answer some animal trivia questions.

Amazing Animal Fun Facts And Their Habits

 1. Holding hands while sleeping

Otters are mammals that actually sleep in the sea, floating on their backs with their heads above the water. To ensure family members do not drift away while resting at night, they hold hands as they sleep. This is also one way for males to ensure their female partner is not stolen away by another male rival while resting.

Source: North American nature

 

Otters are mammals that actually sleep in the sea

2. Yawning is really contagious

Have you noticed that when you see a person yawn, you are likely to yawn as well? Well, research has shown that dogs often yawn when they see their owners do the same. Yawning is contagious indeed!

Source: akc

A dog yawning with his tongue outside.

3. "Popcorning" guinea pigs

When guinea pigs are very happy, they may begin running forward and backward excitedly and repeatedly jump into the air. This is called "popcorning." If it's your first time seeing it, you may think something is wrong - but it is perfectly normal behavior.

Source: guinea pig corner

A funny guinea pig with a flower in his mouth.

4. Kickboxing for the girl

In the animal kingdom (and sometimes even in the human world!), males often fight rival males for the girl. Kangaroos do the same, using their forepaws to box each other and their hind legs to kick. This is one reason why some cartoons may feature a kangaroo wearing boxing gloves. By the way, if talking about the human world - you are officially invited to read the top 50 human body fun facts.

Source: onekindplanet

 

Two Kangaroos are fighting and kickboxing for the female.

5. Dogs appreciate music

We're not sure if you noticed it in your dogs, but one research in the UK showed that dogs react to music. By monitoring their heart rates, researchers found that dogs respond to music. Music such as soft rock and reggae seemed to greatly lower their stress.

Source: bbc.com

 

A funny black dog with headphones.

6. Meowing because it works

When grown cats communicate vocally, they may hiss, shriek, or caterwaul - but they do not meow. It is only as kittens that they meow for their mother. Seemingly, it works on people, which is why even a fully grown cat meows to us because it works. Are you a cat lover? Read our top 52 cats fun facts.

Source: purina.com

 

A cat stands with the word MEOW near him.

7. A fearless fighter

The animal kingdom is full of vicious fighters. But pound for pound, many specialists consider the honey badger as the fiercest one as its prey includes deadly creatures much larger than itself (crocs and pythons). It can even go after venomous snakes, such as the cobra because the honey badger seems to be immune to snake venom - although venomous bites are still very painful.

Source: honeybadger

 

Honey Badger running on the sand.

8. Finding a new queen

As the egg-laying "head" of her colony, it can be devastating to lose a queen bee. However, should she suddenly die, the workers quickly locate eggs or very young larvae and place them in specialized "queen cells" until new queen bees emerge. Said queens then take to the air, mate, and try to kill one another off until only one queen remains.

Source: sciencing.com

Queen bee in the beehive.

9. A devoted daddy

Similar to humans, in the animal world, it is usually the mother that takes care of the kids. However, once the eggs have been laid for the cassowary, it is the male that incubates them and then cares for the chicks after they hatch. For nine months, the dad teaches them how to survive before they permanently leave.

Source: queensland.com

Cassowary near a river.

10. Slightly messy feeders

As a mammal, the mother platypus also produces milk for her young. However, the platypus has no nipples for its babies to latch on to drink. Instead, the mother's milk drips from its mammary glands onto its skin and fur, which is where the babies suck or lap up the milk.

Source: amnh.org

Platypus mother swimming in the river.

 

 

Crazy Fun Facts about the Animal World

11. Playing dead to avoid new boyfriends

To avoid mating again, a female dragonfly might fake its death. After laying her eggs, a female might freeze mid-flight, fall, and then lay motionless on the ground if there are other males around. Believing she is dead, the other males will hopefully fly off in search of other potential mates.

Source: nationalgeographic.com

Female yellow Dragonfly.

12. Teeth like the Alien

A very iconic movie sight is the alien of the movie series "Alien" with its scary second set of teeth. Here on Earth, it turns out that the moray eel also has a second set of jaws that move almost similar to the alien. After gripping its prey with the first set, the second set moves up to pull the prey into the esophagus. 

Source: discovermagazine.com

 

Moray eel has teeth like alien

 

13. The fainting goat

One interesting video many have seen is that of "fainting goats." The Myotonic goat, however, does not really lose consciousness. Instead, its muscles freeze when frightened, which makes it fall as if it fainted. Although funny to see, it is not nice to intentionally scare it since it could get hurt.

Source: spca.bc.ca

The myotonic goat standing on wood.

14. Researchers need blue blood

For researchers to detect bacteria contamination, they use a special concoction that uses the blueish blood of the horseshoe crab. This mixture alerts scientists if their vaccine or medical instrument has been contaminated by bacteria, compromising its effectiveness. Since there is currently no synthetic alternative, this crab's blood is worth thousands of dollars per gallon.

Source: businessinsider.com

A horseshoe crab on the sand.

15. Flexing for the ladies

Known to be the pugilists of the animal world, male kangaroos use their arms a lot to fight its rivals. It has been observed that they seemingly flex their arms to impress the ladies. For female kangaroos, big biceps might make the males seem more appealing or display a potential mate's strength.

Source: smithsonianmag.com

Two male kangaroos fight and flex their arm.

16. Almost identical fingerprints to people

When you see pictures of the cute koalas of Australia, most people notice the claws they use to hold onto tree trunks. But it turns out that koalas do have fingerprints and that these prints look very similar to a human's. Even if you used a microscope, you would still think that such prints belonged to a person, not an animal.

Source:livescience.com

Koalas on a tree eating leaves.

17. The wild pig with strange tusks

The babirusa of Malaysia has very strange tusks that are very long and grow in weird-looking ways. The upper canines go right through the skin and curve towards the head. If not broken off, said tusks might even penetrate the babirusa's forehead.

Source: animals.sandiegozoo.org

The Babirusa of Malaysia.

18. Barking fish

When facing off with a potential rival, the red-bellied piranha intimidates the other by "barking." It does this by manipulating the muscles around its swimbladder to create the "bark-like" sound. Should its opponent not stand down, then the fight is on.

Source: smithsonianmag.com

 The barking fish on the land.

19. The mammal that lives like organized insects

Some insects, such as ants and bees, live in an organized community where there is a queen, many soldiers, and a lot more workers. The naked mole-rat is one of the two-mole species that have the same hierarchy. One colony in the wild can have up to 80 members living and working together as an organized unit.

Source: smithsonianmag.com

 The mole-rat eating a fruit.

20. The lucky 13

A mother possum may give birth to around 20 to 25 babies at one time. Once born, the babies must scramble to their mother's pouch, where only 13 nipples are available. Usually, less than half of the newborns make it safely to the pouch.

Source: northernwoodlands.org

A mother possum on the grass.

Mind-Blowing Facts About the Animal Kingdom

 21. Elephants can't jump

Although their size and power do not require them to jump away from anything, anatomically, elephants really cannot jump. The bones of their feet are pointed downwards as if they are tiptoeing, which means they cannot spring upwards. Their legs and feet are designed to support their great weight, not to allow them to leap over obstacles like smaller creatures.

Source: smithsonianmag.com

A memory (herd) of elephants on the grass at sunset time.

22. A donut-shaped brain

The giant squid, which can reach a length of 40-plus feet, has a brain that looks like a donut. The giant squid's esophagus goes through the middle of the "donut hole," which might indicate that eating is a very important priority.

Source: ocean.si.edu

A red giant squid illustration.

23. Delicious Type O

As insects reliant upon blood, it is not surprising that mosquitoes have a favorite blood type. Researchers have found that Type O, the universal donor blood type, is seemingly more "delicious" than the other kinds. Type B is their next preferred choice, followed by Type A as the least favored option.

Source: smithsonianmag.com

A brown mosquito on a green leaf.

24. The African unicorn

Although the okapi has two horns, not just one, it is known as the "African unicorn." The tag came about because Europeans had heard of the okapi's existence from locals, but they never saw one until the 1900s. So for the longest time, this very shy relative of the giraffe was believed to be a myth by Europeans.If you love Africa & geography - you will enjoy reading these top 50 geography fun facts.

Source: africageographic.com

A unique Okapi in the middle of the forest.

25. The dumbo octopus

Similar to Dumbo of Disney fame, the dumbo octopus has swimming appendages that look like ears, though they are not. It uses them to move forward as it swims just above the ocean floor. As it stays in very deep waters, it is rare for humans to encounter them. Read more of the best 50 Disney fun facts.

Source: oceana.org

The Dumbo octopus in the blue ocean.

26. A case against the bald eagle

The bald eagle is well known as a symbol of the US. However, not everyone agreed to make it the country's national bird. Because bald eagles often engage in scavenging and thievery of other animals' food, Benjamin Franklin (the guy on the 100-dollar bill) disagreed with the choice as it did not seem to be an honorable creature, in his view.

Source: nationalgeographic.com

The bald eagle with the American flag of the united states

27. Venom, not bad bacteria

For quite some time, scientists believed that deadly bacteria in the komodo dragon's saliva was what eventually killed its wounded prey, allowing the komodo to just follow and eat its victim once it collapses. Researchers, however, have now confirmed that it is the komodo's venom, not bacteria, that is responsible.

Source: nationalgeographic.com

The Komodo dragon on the grass in a forest.

28. A taste for snakes and other things

Those who do not know much about the mongoose wrongly believe that it only eats snakes. While snakes are a part of the diet, a mongoose is omnivorous. It may also eat birds, rodents, worms, seeds, berries, fruits, and nuts.

Source: livescience.com

The omnivore mongoose in the forest.

29. Cousins of elephants, not cows

Called the sea cow, as it grazes like a cow in the rivers or seas, the manatee is more closely related to the elephant, not the cow. Similar to an elephant's foot, the manatee has 3 to 4 fingernails on its flippers. Other shared characteristics to the elephant include its heart structure, teeth arrangement, and the number of mammary glands.

Source: travel4wildlife.com

The sea cow swimming in the ocean.

30. Not white or black

The white rhino and black rhino are both grey, not white or black. Early colonialists misunderstood the Afrikaans term "wyd" ("wide" in English), thinking they said "white." As for the black rhino, it is believed the color dispute comes from the darkness of the mud on its body that makes it look black.

 

The white rhino with mountains in the background.

Really Weird Animals Facts 

31. Cubed poop

Animal poop comes in a variety of forms, but it is only the wombat that has poop in the shape of cubes. The purpose behind cubed poo is not very clear, although the shape can be traced to the wombat's intestines' design.

Source: nationalgeographic.com

A cute wombat walking on the grass on a sunny day.

32. Poop for breakfast

The capybara, a huge rodent of Central and South America, feasts on its poop in the morning. Aside from giving the capybara added protein (due to microbes enriching the poop), poop-eating allows the capybara to fully process the tough grass it eats.

Source: nationalgeographic.com

A family of 3 capybaras in the river.

33. The vindictive cat

Poacher Vladimir Markov met a gruesome end in 1997 after wounding a tiger and taking a portion of the tiger's meal. The injured tiger apparently stalked the poacher back to his cabin and waited for several hours (perhaps even more than a day) for a chance to kill and eat its "enemy."

Source: wbur.org

A beautiful Tiger is coming out of the dark.

34. Tale of the headless chicken

In 1945, a chicken lived for one and a half years despite missing its head. Despite its head being lopped off, the portion of the brain that controlled many key functions remained. The owner took his headless chicken on tour, becoming so popular that an article about it was written in Time magazine.

Source: britannica.com

A woman feeding many chickens.

35. Zombie ants

In the tropics, there is a type of fungus (zombie ant fungus) that takes control of foraging ants' muscles. It causes them to behave differently for the benefit of the fungus. In the end, the ant ends up as the birthplace for fungal spores.

Source: earthsky.org

An insect with a zombie fungus.

36. Why the manatee farts a lot

Scientists have discovered that the manatee controls its ability to float in the water by holding gas in or releasing it. When gas is held in, its body is more buoyant, allowing it to float above or midway in the water. But if it wants to sink lower, it farts, which is why you often see a lot of bubbles around this water creature as it grazes underwater.

Source: research.ufl.edu

 A Manatee is swimming in the sea with fish around him.

37. Mate or die

For a female ferret, mating season is a matter of life or death. During this time, the female ferret remains in heat until it can mate. If she is not able to do mate soon, dangerous levels of estrogen may interfere with its red blood cell production, leading to anemia and possible death.

Source: readersdigest.ca

A female white ferret.

38. Death by starvation

The luna moth is a beautiful, green-winged moth with a white body and pink legs that is very rare to see. If you do see one, chances are you only have a few days left to see it alive. Adult luna moths have no mouths, so they do not feed after emerging from their cocoon, giving them just a week to mate and reproduce before they die.

Source: thespruce.com

A beautiful green Luna Moth.

39. Not all sand is "sand."

Although beach sand may result from crushed rock or lava, Hawaii's powdery sand consists of parrotfish poop. Using its powerful beak, the parrotfish grinds up the tough coral skeleton to reach the nutritious portion underneath. After digestion, the parrotfish poops out white coral dust, which is the powdery white sand that everybody loves in Hawaii.

Source: washingtonpost.com

A colorful parrotfish swimming in the ocean.

40. The hidden anus

The cat-like fossa of Madagascar is the top predator on the island. The meaning of its scientific name, Cryptoprocta ferox, is "hidden anus fierce/wild." It was named like this because there is a pouch covering its anus, and it was deemed a fearsome animal.

 

A cat-like fossa of Madagascar between stones.

Interesting Facts about Animal Capabilities

41. The immortal jellyfish

A particular jellyfish, called the immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii), can possibly keep returning to its younger state. Though many of its kind do die, this jellyfish's cells can revert to its polyp stage in certain emergencies, allowing it to begin life again. Scientists are intrigued by this, studying the process in the hope that a cure for cancer may be found.

Source: nationalgeographic.com

The mysteries immortal jellyfish.

42. Dolphins have "names"

Research before has shown that each dolphin has a distinctive whistle that it uses when it is in large pods of other dolphins. More recent studies have tested this possible "name" by recording a dolphin's particular whistle and playing it back. Most of the time, the said dolphin would whistle back with the same sound as if it was confirming its presence.

Source: nationalgeographic.com

 A dolphin is jumping out of the water.

43. The toughest creature in the world

The tardigrade, also known as the "water bear," has been labeled as the world's toughest creature. This miniature animal (1mm in size) can survive in extreme cold conditions and in very dry conditions. When things are not favorable, it goes into a state of suspended animation, reviving only when the situation is better.

Source: britannica.com

 The tardigrade is also known as the water bear.

44. Seeing in slow-mo

Many have wondered why it is so difficult to hit a fly. Aside from its fast flight, the fly's eyes perceive things faster than humans, allowing them to zip by since we are moving slowly to them. Generally, it seems that smaller creatures have a quicker vision, especially if the animal can take to the air.

Source: bigthink.com

 A close up of the eyes of a fly.

45. A Guinness world record holder in multiple categories

As the largest animal on the planet, the blue whale has multiple record-breaking attributes. Some of these include the largest tongue (8,800 pounds), heaviest heart (1500 pounds), and most massive lungs (1320 gallons of air - good for 90 minutes underwater). Not even the dinosaurs could rival the statistics of the gigantic blue whale.

Source: guinnessworldrecords.com

 A beautiful giant blue whale with the sunshine penetrating the water above him.

46. Amazing protection for the skin

Although hippos stay in the water, they are still exposed to the heat of the sun. Luckily for them, their sticky sweat acts as a sunscreen. Not only that, but this skin protection of theirs also regulates their temperature and even protects them from bacteria growth - something particularly useful as these mean-tempered animals get a lot of bites and cuts when fighting one another.

Source: news.bbc.co.uk

A hippo mom with her calf.

47. A very powerful bite

When people think of powerful animal bites, the lion may come to mind. But the Nile crocodile has a much stronger bite with a force of 22,000 newtons. This is five times stronger than the lion's (4450 newtons), which is why the crocodile is one of the deadliest creatures in Africa.

Source: activewild.com

The Nile crocodile hiding in the grass.

48. Deadly headless snakes

Even if you have decapitated a snake, it is always safer to stay away from its head. Unlike a warm-blooded creature that will die if its head is cut off, a cold-blooded one, like a snake, can still live on since its brain requires less oxygen. It is just not safe to be near a snake's head, whether alive or barely alive.

Source: livescience.com

A green snake with his mouth opens wide.

49. An intentional heart-stopper

One of the biggest dangers to the marine iguanas of the Galapagos islands is sharks. Like the great white sharks, most sharks can smell blood and have good hearing, allowing them to detect a marine iguana's heartbeat from roughly 12 feet away. To protect itself, a marine iguana can stop its heartbeat while in the water.

Source: discovercreation.org

Two marine iguanas on the cliff.

50. Super sensitive hands

The paws of the raccoon are very sensitive. Aside from climbing and manipulating different objects, the raccoon's paws have many sensory cells that allow it to "see" what it is holding. This powerful sense of touch is one reason why raccoons are adept at obtaining prey in the water and a wide variety of food from people's homes.

Source: northernwoodlands.org

A raccoon is looking for food in the trash can.

 

So those were 50 interesting fun facts about our amazing animal friends. We hope that you uncovered something new and interesting about them. Thank you for reading!
If you didn't have enough, read more animal fun facts.