I bet you didn’t know about these wildlife facts!
Animals are such amazing creatures! Since I was a kid, I have been simply fascinated by them, mostly because I grew up reading about and documenting wild animals. I also used to collect every single poster from various magazines, and my goal was to have at least ten different animals hanging on my wall. And in my opinion, learning facts about wildlife is still one of the best things both kids and adults have access to!
Do you know how many animals are living on the same planet as ourselves? There are 1.2 million animal species worldwide, yet this number might be far higher because, according to scientists, there are still thousands of undiscovered species.
Out of the species that are known, there are about 5000 mammals, close to 10,000 birds, and close to 1 million insects. Curious about some mind-blowing facts about wildlife? Continue reading because we have a ton of surprises for you. Let’s start!
1. Koalas can sleep almost the entire day
One of the first facts about wildlife is connected to one of the sweetest animals out there: koalas. Those fuzzy balls that seem ready to cuddle all the time are most likely ready to sleep all the time. Because of the food they eat, mainly eucalyptus, the digestive system of these wild animals needs to work a lot harder to break down the toxins. Yep, for those who aren’t aware of this fact, eucalyptus is a toxic plant!
We don’t know for sure how they manage to survive by eating only this, but I guess a life full of sleeping doesn’t sound bad at all.
2. Some parrots like to eat pepper seeds
Since they cannot feel the heat, some bird species don’t mind eating chili peppers. Peppers have a specific chemical called capsaicin that causes mouth burns in humans, but most wild birds (parrots in particular) lack the taste receptors to experience its effects.
I wish we were so lucky since I prefer eating spices like wasabi and horseradish daily and with anything, honestly. But man, it hurts my tongue so bad haha.
3. Elephants can’t jump
Adult elephants cannot jump, although they are not the only land animals that are incapable of doing so. Both the large rhino and the primarily aquatic hippo don’t jump. When you get big enough, you can avoid predators by jumping instead of running away, which is how most animals survive. Young elephants can jump, which is important to know since they are far more vulnerable to predators than adults.
4. Kangaroos may…fart
Another interesting fact about wildlife is related to kangaroos. Methane, a major contributor to climate change and a greenhouse gas frequently detected in the farts of herbivores, was once thought not to be produced by kangaroos.
This is how the myth about kangaroos and farts first spread. They do, in fact, fart, as was discovered after confining a bunch in an enclosed space, giving them a range of foods, and monitoring the resulting air quality. Hopefully, after the study was completed, they were soon let out into the open air.
5. Octopuses have arms that can taste
Did you know that an octopus’s arm’s undersides are covered in suckers that are used for more than just holding? These structures resemble the taste buds seen on human tongues, but they are also used for smell. These cephalopods think with their arms as well, since each arm is packed with neurons.
6. Slugs have just one nose!
Despite the rumors that have been circulating, it’s time to debunk this myth: slugs don’t have four noses! However, they have two retractable pairs of tentacles, and each of them has different sensory functions. They employ vision and olfaction because they don’t have a conventional nose. Instead, they have olfactory organs that resemble tentacles.
7. Anteaters don’t have teeth
Another interesting fact about wildlife is about anteaters. Although the anteater lacks teeth, it’s not a problem. This adorable critter can grab food at a greater distance because of its extraordinarily long tongue. Every day, a typical-sized anteater consumes up to 35,000 termites and ants. What a filling dinner!
8. Gorillas can catch human colds
It shouldn’t surprise you that the majority of diseases may spread easily between humans and animals. One of the first things that comes to mind is zoonotic disease, which is when a disease spreads from animals to people, just like the pandemic did in 2020. Gorillas are especially vulnerable to respiratory illnesses and reverse zoonosis.
For instance, in Africa, the ecotourism sector exposes wild animals to these diseases, posing serious threats to populations that are already highly vulnerable.
9. The deadliest animals are… mosquitoes!
One of the most despicable insects in wildlife is the mosquito. Carrying diseases from one human to another, they are even more dangerous than a lion, a tiger, or even a shark. These small, bothersome villains are actually “mini-killers” because they can kill seven hundred and twenty-five thousand people a year! Of course, it’s not about their “bite”, it’s more about the transmission of deadly diseases like malaria, which is by far the most dangerous one.
Ugh, I already got goosebumps by simply thinking that summer is just around the corner and these uninvited guests are patiently waiting to start butchering.
What do you think about this fact in particular? Did you know that mosquitoes can be that dangerous? Tell us in the comments.
10. Flamingos aren’t pink
There are no pink feathers on these incredible wild birds. A diet consisting of brine shrimp and blue-green algae, which they consume after birth, contains canthaxanthin, a naturally occurring pink dye that gives their feathers a pink color. Furthermore, until zoo keepers topped their diets, flamingos in zoos frequently lost their color.
11. Giraffes can murmur
Another interesting fact about wildlife is about giraffes and the fact that they can’t really “speak” like other animals. Scientists dare to say that because of their long necks, which somehow affect their vocal cords, they aren’t able to provide any sounds at all. Apparently, in recent years, it has been discovered that giraffes can murmur, but only at night. Why this? Maybe they are afraid somebody will hear them and then report that to everybody! Shh! Let’s keep this secret between us so we don’t invade giraffes’ personal space!
12. Axolotl or the immortal salamander
Do you know what an axolotl looks like? Incredible, tiny, and lively colored, with small eyes and members, they make you wonder what it would be like if you could hug them. But what makes them so special that we had to include them in our list of wildlife facts? Well, these creatures can regenerate their body organs and lost members. However, they can do that only five times in their lives. So after all, they aren’t that much of an immortal creature, right?
And in case you wondered, throughout their 20 years of life, they will keep their brains super fresh and young since they have the superpower of regenerating parts of the brain too! Now that’s amazing indeed.
Did you know about these wildlife facts? Is there something you already knew that we forgot to mention? Please tell us in the comments! And if you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to subscribe to our page! We have a lot more that might be worth checking out. These 7 Wild Animals Are Invading US Cities This Year.