amazing animal facts

Interesting Facts About Turtle

There's a lot to admire about turtles and tortoises. They seem to have a steadfast character, and a plodding yet undeniable gait that sooner or later gets them to where they are going. Here are some other facts about these creatures that may make you scratch your shell in wonder.

# Testudo, the Latin word for tortoise, shell, arch or vault, was also the name given to a technique used by Roman soldiers in warfare. Standing close together, in the shape of a rectangle, they held their shields flat over their heads, to form a protective dome, allowing them to approach the enemy en masse, unharmed by spears, stones and arrows.

# The black soft-shelled turtle figures importantly in Hindu mythology. The animals are believed to represent the souls of long ago sinners, transformed into reptiles by a 13th century saint, are in a tank attached to a temple in Bangladesh. Each animal is considered sacred, and so none can be removed.

# The oldest known tortoise may have been a radiated tortoise from Madagascar (Astrochelys radiata), which died in 1965. She was at least 188 years old, having been given to the Tonga royal family, by Captain Cook in 1773 or 1777.

# The Galapagos tortoise is the largest living species, weighing in some cases, over 570 pounds.

# The carapace or upper shell of the tortoise or turtle is composed of about 50 bones, which include modified ribs, vertebrae and bony skin plates. The lower shell or plastron has evolved from the clavicles or collarbones and the ribs. The bony structure joining the two is called the bridge. The shell is very much alive, not dead tissue, like nails or hair.

# The growth rings on the scutes or scales on a tortoise cannot be used to determine the animal's age with any degree of accuracy, as in most instances, growth spurts and interruptions in growth are determined largely by environmental conditions.

# In leatherback and soft-shelled turtles, the bony scutes have been replaced with tough, leathery skin.

# Some species have hinges on either the carapace or the plastron, which allow closure of the shell.

# The snapping turtle (Macroclemys sp.) has a worm-like, fleshy structure on its tongue, which it wiggles to attract fish.

# Turtles cannot protrude their tongues from their mouths, but they can smell. Flapping the loose skin under the chin or throat moves air over the Jacobsen's organ.

# Tortoises and turtles do not have teeth.

# Tortoises store sperm and have been known to produce fertile eggs three years after the last mating.

# Stupendemys geographicus was a prehistoric turtle that was 10 feet long and probably weighed 4,000 to 5,000 pounds.

Interesting Facts about Reptile

The first reptiles evolved in the Upper Carboniferous period, at least 300 million years ago. The Class Reptilia consists of three orders:

# Order Crocodilia, consisting of roughly 30 species and subspecies of crocodile, alligator and caiman

# Order Chelonia (tortoises and turtles), at least 244 species

# Order Squamata, includes lizards (over 3,750 species), snakes (about 3,000 species) and the lesser known Amphisbaenians or "worm lizard."

# There are about 160 species of Amphisbaenians, and they are found in Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America. They are burrowing animals, up to 2 feet long, whose ring like scales gives them an earthworm like appearance.

# The fourth Order, Rhynchocephalia, flourished in pre-historic times but is now almost extinct. The number of species making up the single living genus, represented by the Tuatara, is still being argued.

# The Tuatara is extremely rare, found on just a few islands near New Zealand. Superficially lizard like, the Tuatara has unique eye and jaw anatomy, which among other factors separate it taxonomically (that is, the factors which determine its place in our classification of order, family, genus and species). Unusually for reptiles, Tuataras are adapted to life at temperatures as low as 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit).

Other interesting facts:

# Reptiles, like birds, have voluntary control over the muscles in their eyes, which determine their pupil size. This means that they are able to constrict or dilate their pupils at will, not just in response to light.

# The brain of a reptile is not more than 1 percent of his body mass. This means that the brain of a 70-pound python is no larger than a lima bean. Unlike amphibians, however, the reptilian brain has two hemispheres. Since man appears to use very little of his brain mass, the reptilian brain appears to be highly and efficiently adapted. The nervous systems of reptiles are sufficiently complex and similar to those of mammals that we can conclude that their senses and pain perception are highly refined. We are only beginning to understand just how highly specialized these animals are.

# Reptiles were the first vertebrates to evolve with 12 cranial nerves. "Lower" vertebrates have 10 pairs of these important nerves, which govern activities of the senses, such as sight, hearing and taste.

# The jaw structure of a reptile does not permit chewing; they can only tear their food.

# Some reptile species are known to store sperm and produce young 3 and perhaps 6 or more years after a single, successful mating. In some cases, it is possible to have an infertile clutch followed by a fertile clutch without further matings.

# The sex of a turtle is determined by the temperature at which the egg is incubated, with warmer temperatures producing females, cooler temperatures producing males and temperatures in the middle resulting in a mixed clutch. The situation is reversed for crocodiles, with males predominating at higher temperatures. The gender of a snake is determined by chromosomes, as it is in the case of mammals and birds.

# Reptiles do not have sweat or sebaceous glands; therefore, they are not slimy. They are, however, waterproof, and this, in addition to lacking a metamorphic stage is one of the distinctions between amphibians and reptiles (tadpoles metamorphose, or change, into frogs). The reptilian egg, with calcium in its shell is not dependant on development in water, as is the amphibian egg.

# Reptiles are not "cold blooded"; rather they are ectothermic animals, which rely on heat to be provided by the environment, as they produce little of their own. Behavior, such as seeking shade, gaping and shunting blood toward or away from the body surface allows impressively fine control of body temperature several degrees above or below the ambient temperature. When housed in suitable environments, most reptiles when active, maintain a body temperature similar to that of mammals.

Interesting Facts about Dolphins

How do dolphins sleep?

Dolphins have to be conscious to breath. This means that they cannot go into a full deep sleep, because then they would suffocate. Dolphins have "solved" that by letting one half of their brain sleep at a time. This has been determined by doing EEG studies on dolphins. Dolphins sleep about 8 hours day in this fashion.

A dolphin's behavior when sleeping/resting depends on the circumstances and possibly on individual preferences. They can either:
1. swim slowly and surface every now and then for a breath
2. rest at the surface with their blowhole exposed
3. rest on the bottom (in shallow water) and rise to the surface every now and then to breath.

How smart are dolphins?

The short answer to this is that we do not know. There is no reliable method to measure intelligence in humans across cultures, so it is not surprising that comparing humans, dolphins, apes, dogs, etc. is impossible. There are some indications of their potential: they are fast learners and can generalize (which is also true of pigs). Also they can learn to understand complicated language-like commands (which is also true of the great apes).

How much do dolphins eat?

Bottlenose dolphins eat several kinds of fish (including mullet, mackerel, herring, cod) and squid. The compostion of the diet depends very much on what is available in the area they live in and also on the season. The amount of fish they eat depends on the fish species they are feeding on: mackerel and herring have a very high fat content and consequently have a high caloric value, whereas squid has a very low caloric value, so to get the same energy intake (calories) they will need to eat much more if they feed on squid than if they feed on mackerel or herring. On average an adult dolphin will eat 4-9% of its body weight in fish, so a 250 kg (550 lb) dolphin will eat 10-22.5 kg (22-50 lb) fish per day.

How long do dolphins live?

The maximum age for bottlenose dolphins is between 40 and 50 years. The average age a dolphin can get (the life expectancy) can be calculated from the ASR Annual Survival Rate (the percentage of animals alive at a certain point, that is still alive one year later). For the dolphin population in Sarasota Bay, the ASR has been measured to be about 0.961. This yields a life expectancy of about 25 years. For the population in the Indian/Banana River area, the ASR is between 0.908 and 0.931. This yields a life expectance between 10.3 and 14 years. So the actual life expectancy differs per region.

How deep can a dolphin dive?

The deepest dive ever recorded for a bottlenose dolphin was a 300 meters (990 feet). This was accomplished by Tuffy, a dolphin trained by the US Navy. Most likely dolphins do not dive very deep, though. Many bottlenose dolphins live in fairly shallow water. In the Sarasota Bay area, the dolphins spend a considarable time in waters that are less than 2 meters (7 feet) deep.

Other whale and dolphin species are able to dive to much greater depths even. The pilot whale (Globicephala melaena) can dive to at least 600 meters (2000 feet) and a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) has been found entangled in a cable at more that 900 meters (500 fathoms) depth.

Recent studies on the behavior of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) has revealed that they regularly dive to depths of 800 meters. The deepest dive recorded of a beluga was to 1250 meters.

Do dolphins drink salt water?

Most dolphins live in the ocean and the ocean water is too salty for them to drink! If they would drink sea water, they would actually use more water trying to get rid of the salt than they drank in the first place. Most of their water comes from their food (fish and squid). Also, when they metabolize (burn) their fat, water is released in the process. Their kidneys are also adapted to retaining as much water as possible. Although they live in water, they live as desert animals with no direct source of drinkable water.

Mass strandings: Why?

If a single whale or dolphin strands, it usually is a very sick (and exhausted) animal. Such an animal often has some infections (pneumonia is almost always one of them) and a lot of parasites (worms in the nasal passages are very common). Sometimes these animals can be rehabilitated, but often they are so sick they won't make it.

Some species of whales and dolphins occassionally strand in groups. A stranding of 2 or more animals is usually called a mass stranding. There are a number of theories that try to explain the occurrence of mass strandings. No theory can adequately explain all of them. In some cases it will be a combination of causes. The most common explanations are:

*deep water animals (the species that most often are the victim of mass strandings) can not "see" a sloping sandy beach properly with its sonar. They detect the beach only when they are almost stranded already and they will panic and run aground.

*whales and dolphins may be navigating by the earth's magnetic field. When the magnetic field is disturbed (this occurs at certain locations) the animals get lost and may run into a beach.

*in some highly social species, the group leader may be sick and wash ashore. The other members try to stay close and may strand with the group leader.

*when under severe stress or in panic, the animals may fall back to the behavior of their early ancestors and run to shore to find safety.

Interesting Facts About The Woolly Mammoth

The Age of Mammals

Small mammals were alive when dinosaurs roamed the earth. No one is quite certain why dinosaurs died out. Some scientists think it could have been a change in the climate. Others have said that there might have been a major disaster, like a comet crashing into the earth. With these large creatures out of the way, the mammals could develop. It took many millions of years. The woolly mammoth lived during one of the ice ages. When scientists named it, they called it Elephus Primigenius. This means 'first born elephant'. Scientist called it this because when fossils were discovered they thought it was a very early kind of elephant, but this was not correct. Other fossil remains which have been discovered show that it was one of the later elephants. Many other elephants had been on the earth before the woolly mammoths appeared. The first true elephants had lived millions of years before the woolly mammoth.

Creature of the Ice Age

There were Ice Ages which lasted for 200,000 years. When this happened the earth was covered with a coat of ice. Plants did grow and the woolly mammoth was able to feed on them. The temperatures were very low, however. To overcome these conditions the woolly mammoth developed a very thick coat of hair. It was a long shaggy coat. To keep the animal warm in these very cold conditions, there were two layers to the coat.

Where did they live?

The remains of the woolly mammoths have been found in the northern parts of Asia, America, and Europe. They lived in the selocations from about the middle of the Pleistocene until the end of that period. The last of the large woolly mammoths probably died out about 10,000 years ago. The Pleistocene was the last period in the Cenozoic era. It is because mammals became the main creatures on the earth during the era that it is often called the 'Age of Mammals'.

How do we know about the mammoth?

We know about most of the animals which lived in the past because of the fossil remains which have been found. Much of what has been written and drawn has been pieced together. There has also been a great deal of guesswork. In the case of the woolly mammoth the situation is different. Although much of the ice disappeared at the end of the last Ice Age, there were still parts of the world which were very cold. They have been very cold since that time. During the Ice Age, mammoths died and were trapped in the ice. The ice has preserved them. Instead of just having bones to examine, as we do with most extinct creatures, whole mammoths have been discovered. With most prehistoric animals we have to guess what the skin looked like. It is very different with the woolly mammoth. Because whole animals have been preserved, we can look at the hair and tusks. In fact, we can look at the entire body.

What did they eat?

Although they were large creatures, woolly mammoths fed on plants. They ate willow, fir, and alder leaves. They also ate the leaves from bushes. We know what the woolly mammoth ate because complete dead animals have been found in Siberia. When the stomach contents were examined many different kinds of leaves were found. Woolly mammoths probably used their tusks to clear snow from the ground so they could get at their food.

What was the earliest elephant like?

The earliest elephants were small. They were like pygmy hippopotamuses or pigs. They grew larger as new species evolved over a long period of time. One of the largest elephants was the imperial mammoth which measured about 13 feet at the shoulder. The woolly mammoth was about 10 feet tall.

Why did the mammoth become extinct?

No one is quite sure why woolly mammoths became extinct. Various suggestions have been made. It could have been due to changes in the climate. When the woolly mammoth lived it was during one of the Ice Ages. The ice gradually melted and the earth got warmer. This change could have affected the woolly mammoth. Man also appeared on the scene. He might have hunted and killed the creature. It is also likely that man moved into the places where mammoths had lived. Man would have used some of their feeding grounds to grow his crops. The woolly mammoths would have been driven out with no where to go.

Interesting Facts about Penguins

  • Penguins are birds.
  • The name is derived from Welsh terms ‘pen’, meaning head and ‘gwyn’, meaning white.
  • Penguin is an unofficial symbol of the United States Libertarian Party.
  • They mate for life.
  • Linux mascot tux is also a penguin.
  • They are ancient species that appeared 40 million years ago in the Eocene.
  • Penguins don't fly, they swim.
  • Penguins lay eggs.
  • Penguin chicks have fluffy feathers.

  • A group of penguins is called colonies or rookery.
  • They usually move in huge groups.
  • Penguins use their wings for swimming.
  • Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Some penguins live in Antarctica, Coast of South America, South Africa, Galapagos, Southern Australia and New Zealand.
  • Penguins hunt for fish, squid or shrimp like krill in the oceans to fill their stomach.
  • Most penguins can swim about 15 miles per hour.
  • Penguins have insulating layers of air, skin, and blubber.
  • Penguins have tightly packed feathers that help them to keep warm.
  • Penguins open their feather to feel the cold.
  • There are at least 18 different species of penguins.
  • There may be as many as 100 million penguins in the world.
  • Penguins can be endangered by oil spills, water pollution, and the over harvesting

                                                        Penguins Fun Facts
  • Penguins are social creatures.
  • They adapt to various climates.
  • They live in large colonies called rookeries.
  • They waddle when they walk.
  • Penguins are dresses in classic black and white.
  • Penguins communicate with each other through body language.
  • They spend most of their lives in water.
  • They don’t fear humans but are endangered by oil spills, water pollution, and the over harvesting of ocean fish.
  • Their body is insulated with a thick layer of blubber that keeps them warm.
  • They leap out of water while swimming.
  • They can walk faster than humans.
  • They can hold their breath for about 20 minutes under water.
  • They have more feathers per square inch that keeps them warm in frigid waters.
  • They are counter-shaded for camouflage.
  • Baby penguins have soft feathers known as down.
  • They count on their parents for food until they grow up with waterproof juvenile feathers.
  • They pick up stones and store them in their crop. This helps them to float when they are in water.
  • They can control blood flow through fat.
  • Rockhopper penguins have very loud calls.

Interesting Facts About Dogs

1. It is a myth that dogs are color blind. They can actually see in color, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk.

2. Dogs DO have better low-light vision than humans because of a special light-reflecting layer behind their retinas.

3. A German Shepherd guide dog led her blind companion the entire 2100-mile Appalachian Trail.

4. If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years!

5. Dogs' only sweat glands are between their paw pads.

6. Like human babies, Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot in their skull, which closes with age.

7. The breed Lundehune has 6 toes and can close its ears.

8.Teddy Roosevelt's dog, Pete, ripped a French ambassador's pants off at the White House.

9. President Lyndon Johnson had two beagles named Him and Her.

10. Franklin Roosevelt spent $15,000 for a destroyer to pick up his Scottie in the Aleutian Islands.

11. In Roman times, Mastiffs donned light armor and were sent after mounted knights.

12. The Russians trained dogs during WWII to run suicide missions with mines strapped to their backs.

13. A dog's mouth exerts 150-200 pounds of pressure per square inch

with some dogs exerting up to 450 pounds per square inch.

14. A one-year-old dog is as mature, physically, as a 15-year-old human.

15. The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world.

16. France has the 2nd highest.

17. The average city dog lives 3 years longer than a country dog.

18. 87% of dog owners say their dog curls up beside them or at their feet while they watch T.V.

19. Dogs can be trained to detect epileptic seizures.

20. 15 people die in the U.S. every year from dog bites.

21.In 2002 alone, more people in the U.S. were killed by dogs than by sharks in the past 100 years.

22. Gidget is the name of the Taco Bell dog.

23. Newfoundlands are great swimmers because of their webbed feet.

24. Basset Hounds cannot swim.

25. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.

26. Bingo is the name of the dog on the side of the Cracker Jack box.

27. The bible mentions dogs 14 times.

28. Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic - a Newfoundland, a Pomeranian, and a Pekingese.

29. The Labrador Retriever is the #1 favorite breed in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

30. Obesity is the #1 health problem among dogs.

31. An estimated 1,000,000 dogs in the U.S. have been named as the primary beneficiaries in their owner's will.

32. An American Animal Hospital Assoc. poll found that 33% of dog owners admit to talking to their dogs on the phone and leaving answering machine messages for them while away.

33. Dog's nose prints are as unique as a human's fingerprints and can be used to accurately identify them.

34. At the end of the Beatles' song "A Day in the Life", a high-pitched dog whistle was recorded by Paul McCartney for his sheepdog.

35. 70% of people sign their pet's name on greeting and holiday cards.

36. 58% put pets in family and holiday portraits.

37. There are only 350 Cisky Terriers in the world - perhaps the rarest breed.

38. The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th century England when it is believed that many cats and dogs drowned during heavy periods of rain.

39. Dogs have no sense of "time".

40. Humans have kept dogs as pets for over 12,000 years.

41. The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound.

42. The world's smallest dog breed is the Chihuahua.

43. The St. Bernard is the heaviest.

44. Only dogs and humans have prostates.

45. But dogs do not have an appendix.

46. Every dog on earth likely descended from a species knows as the Tomarctus - a creature that roamed the earth over 15 million years ago.

47. The oldest known breed is likely the Saluki - originally trained by Egyptians to help them track game.

48. In 1957, Laika became the first living being in space via an earth satellite, while JFK's terrier, Charlie, father 4 puppies with Laika's daughter.

50. An African wolf dog known as the basenji is the only dog in the world that cannot bark.

51. There are 703 breeds of purebred dogs.

52. Dachshunds were originally bred for fighting badgers.

53. The world's smartest dogs are thought to be (1) the border collie, (2) the poodle, and (3) the golden retriever, while the dumbest dog is believed to be the Afghan hound.

54. A dog's smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human's, which they need because their eyesight is not as keen as a human's.

55. Dogs judge objects first by their movement, then by their brightness, and lastly by their shape.

56. Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine (similar to caffeine), which can kill dogs or at the very least make them violently ill.

57. George Washington had thirty-six dogs - all foxhounds - with one-named Sweet lips.

58. All dogs are identical in anatomy - 321 bones and 42 permanent teeth.

59. Smaller breeds mature faster than larger breeds.

60. Female dogs are only ready to mate - "in heat" - twice a year for a total of roughly 20 days.

61. Puppies sleep ninety percent of the day for their first few weeks.

62. Rin Tin Tin was the first Hollywood Dog Star and he really signed his movie contracts - all 22 of them - with a paw print.

63. The Wizard of Oz's Toto was played by a female Cairn Terrier named Terry.

64. Up until the late 1800's, Collies were known as Scottish Sheepdogs.

65. Dogs have two times as many muscles to move their ears as people.

66. The longer a dog's nose, the more effective it's internal cooling system.

67. An elderly woman was saved by her 12-pound Yorkshire Terrier who fought off an 80-pound Akita and survived with only 9 stitches.

68. U.S. Customs dogs "Rocky" and "Barco" were so good at patrolling the border that Mexican drug lords put a $300,000 bounty on their heads.

69. Dogs are all direct descendants of wolves.

70. Wolves and dogs can mate to produce fertal offspring.

71. Female wolves have been known to travel great distances to regurgitate full meals for their hungry pups.

72. Cerberus was the tri-headed dog that guarded the underworld in Greek mythology.

73. Female dogs bear their young for 60 days before they're born.

74. Dogs' sense of hearing is more than ten times more acute than a human's.

75. Humans can detect sounds at 20,000 times per second, while dogs can sense frequencies of 30,000 times per second.

76. The earliest dog-fossil dates back to nearly 10,000 B.C.

77. Bloodhounds are prized their ability to single out and identify a number of scents simultaneously.

78. Dalmatian puppies are born completely white.

79. The Ancient Chinese carried Pekingese puppies in the sleeves of their robes.

80. Boxers are so named because of their manner of playing with their front paws.

81. All breeds of dog have been found to attack livestock - from 3-month-old puppies, all the way up to thirteen-year-old poodles.

82. A dog's heart beats up to 120 times per minute, or 50% faster than the average human heartbeat of 80 times per minute.

83. The oldest dog on record - a Queensland "Heeler" named Bluey - was 29 years, 5 months old.

84. Davy Crockett had a dog named Sport.

85. Dogs were first domesticated by cavemen.

86. Dogs live 15 years on average.

87. Many foot disorders inn dogs are simply an issue of long toenails.

88. More than 5,000,000 puppies are born in the U.S. every year.

89. More than 1 in 3 American families own a dog.

90. Average body temperature for a dog is 101.2 degrees.

91. The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts both offer merit badges in dog care.

92. Dogs are natural pack animals.

93. They are naturally submissive to any creature with higher pack status - human or canine.

94. Dogs instinctively require the pack leader's approval.

95. Dogs with little human contact in the first three months typically don't make good pets.

96. The Chihuahua was named after the state in Mexico where they were discovered.

97. After birth, puppies' eyes do not fully open until they're about 12 days old.

98. Their vision is not fully developed until after the 1st month.

amazing animal-Two headed Albino snake

Have you ever known there are such creatures as an albino two-headed snake? It has two brains. Each head, principal and subordinate, thinks and feeds separately. The snake was brought to Yalta from Germany within the framework of the project realized in collaboration with the Kiev zoo. With its help it was planned to attract customers’ attention to the exhibition of poisonous snakes.
Such a snake is a rare phenomenon as it seldom survives in natural environment. It is 3 years old and 70 cm long. The wonder of nature prefers eating mice of certain size once a week. The process of feeding requires manual separation of the heads. Otherwise one head can be swallowed by the other one.

Dead leaf Butterfly

they come in all manner of colors and shapes. But when their wings fold up they look like leaves in green or browns if fallen and dead.

Amazing fact- ant life

Two days after an ant dies, it gives off an odor that lets the other ants know it is dead. The ants then pick it up and carry it to a graveyard.
The odor is oleic acid. Oleic acid is emitted by the decaying corpses of a number of insects, including bees and Pogonomyrmex ants.

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