Here’s our big list of 100 greatest animal facts. This includes some of the most asked, fun, surprising and crazy animal facts from across the animal kingdom. The loudest, deadliest, fastest, largest and most bizarre, are all here in our big animal fact list.
1. The loudest animal in the world is a mere 2cm long, prawn. The Pistol Shrimp is capable of snapping it’s claw shut so rapidly, that it creates a bubble which collapses to produce a sonic blast, louder than a Corncode’s sonic boom.
The shock wave can reach 230 decibels, louder than the sound of a gunshot. The imploding bubble for split seconds also generates temperates of 4,400C, nearly as hot as the sun, killing it’s prey. 1
2. Flamingos are not pink. They are born grey, their diet of brine shrimp and blue green algae contains a natural pink dye called canthaxanthin that makes their feathers pink.
Flamingos in zoos often lost their colouring, until zoo keepers supplemented their diets. 2
3. Otters “hold hands” while sleeping, so they don’t float away from each other.
And it’s super-cute. Look.
4. Hummingbirds are the only known birds that can also fly backwards.
They often do this when retreating away from flowers. 3
5. The loudest animal relative to size is the Water Boatman, which measures at just 12mm long, but can produce 99 dB of sound by rubbing its genitalia across its abdomen.
This is the equivalent noise level of operating a circular saw, or a drill. 4
6. The Inland Taipan (also known as, the Western Taipan) is the most venomous snake in the world. A single bite contains enough venom to kill at least 100 fully grown men, and can kill within just 30 minutes, if left untreated.
They very rarely ever come in contact with humans, however. Every reliable identification of a snake bite victim from an Inland Taipan have been herpetologists, when handling or studying the snakes. They have all survived, due to successful treatment with antivenom.
7. The worlds deadliest animal isn’t a shark, bear or tiger, but something far smaller – the mosquito. According to the World Health Organization, 725,000 people are killed each year from mosquito-borne diseases, such as Malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever.
They outnumber every other animal in the world, apart from ants and termites. They can also be found in nearly every part of the world, which all add up in the risk they pose to humans.
8. There are more than 1.4 billion insects for EACH HUMAN on the planet, according to recent estimates.
Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. Their population is estimated as 107–108 billion alone, in comparison to approx. 7 billion humans on the planet. 5
9. The shortest living animal in the world is the Mayfly. It’s entire lifespan is just 24hrs.
The Mayfly reproduces and then dies, during that short 24hr period of life. Some species of Mayfly only live for 8-10 hours.
10. The horned lizard is able to shoot blood from it’s own eyes, up to a distance of 3 feet away. The rather bizarre and disgusting act is a defensive mechanism to confuse predators.
Their blood contains a chemical that is noxious to predators, and this isn’t its only trick – short-horned lizards are also capable of inflating their bodies up to twice their size to scare anything away. 6
11. Roosters prevent themselves from going deaf due to their own loud crowing, by tilting their head backs when they crow, which covers their ear canal completely, serving as a built-in ear-plug.
A study showed that their crowing averages over 100 decibels, which is roughly the same as running a chainsaw. 7
12. Little is known about the elusive Giant squid, however the largest squid ever found measured over 50 feet and weighed nearly a tonne.
To put that in perspective, that’s bigger than a bus. 8
13. A Rhinoceros‘s horns are made of ‘keratin’, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails.
Some species of Rhinos have two horns, while others just have a single horn.
14. Koalas can sleep for up to 22 hours a day.
They need more sleep than most animals, because their diet of eucalyptus leaves contain toxins, are very low in nutrition, and high in fibrous matter – so they take a large amount of energy to digest!
15. Swifts spend most of their lives flying in the air, and can fly for almost an entire year, without ever landing.
A study showed that over a 10-month period, a swift stopped for just 2 hours. 9
16. Even after having its head cut off, a cockroach can still live for weeks.
Even stranger, a cockroach’s head can actually survive by itself for a few hours, too. 10
17. A group of parrots is known as a pandemonium.
And the collective noun for porcupines, is a prickle.
18. Cows poo up to 15 times a day, which can be as much as 115 pounds of manure per day, or approximately 21 tons per year.
The large quantities are often put to good use, though – manure, to fertilizer, to fuel, or biogas to create electricity and heat for developing parts of the world. 11
19. Panda’s must eat 25 – 90 pounds (12-38 kg) of bamboo every day to meet their energy needs.
This is because bamboo contains very little nutritional value, so they have to eat it in vast quantities to survive. Although the giant panda possess the digestive system of a carnivore, they have evolved to depend almost entirely on bamboo.
20. A Blue Whales tongue can weigh as much as a car, or a small adult elephant.
A Blue Whales tongue can weigh approx. 2.7 tonnes, or 6,000 – 8,000 pounds (2,720 – 3,630 kg).
21. The longest living, verified animal is a Madagascar radiated tortoise, which died at an age of 188 years in May 1965.
However, there might be even older. Adwaita, an Aldabra giant tortoise, died at an estimated age of 255 in March 2006 in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata, India. If verified, it will have been the oldest terrestrial animal in the world. 12
Fact Sources & References
- E. Davies (2016), “The Worlds Loudest Animal May Surprise You”, via BBC Earth
- J. Findlay (2009), “Why are flamingos pink?”, via Science Focus
- N. Sapir, R. Dudley (2012). “Backward flight in hummingbirds employs unique kinematic adjustments and entails low metabolic cost”, via Biologists.org.
- J. Sueur, D. Mackie, J.Windmill (2011). “So Small, So Loud: Extremely High Sound Pressure Level from a Pygmy Aquatic Insect”. PLOS One.
- S. Worral (2017). “Without bugs, we might all be dead”, via National Geographic.
- S. Hewitt (2015). “If it has too, horned lizards will shoot blood from their eyes”, via BBC Earth.
- B. Yirka (2015). “Why roosters don’t go deaf from their own loud crowing”, via Phys.org.
- M. Walker (2016), “Giant squid can grow to extraordinary lengths”, via BBC Earth
- A. Williams (2016). “These birds can fly almost 10-months without landing”, via National Geographic.
- C. Choi (2007). “A nuclear war may not trouble them, but does decapitation?”, via Scientific American.
- D. Fischer (1998). “Energy Aspects of Manure Management”, via University of Illinois.
- M.Wittlin (2006). “Charles Dawin Contemporary Marches Towards Her Third Century”, via Seed Magazine.