Animal Facts

Learn about some of the strange and unusual facts and terms in the animal kingdom.

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Distressed birds will peck out their feathers until they expose their flesh to infection. Whales will die stranded on beaches for no obvious reason. But do animals willingly end their own lives?

By Jessika Toothman

Whether you're talking about a swarm of bees buzzing about, a cluster of butterflies sucking down nectar or a nest of cockroaches hidden in a corner of your house, insects are really plentiful. How plentiful?

By Chris Jones

Most of us know not to pet an angry dog with a foaming mouth, and that perhaps snuggling with a bat isn't the brightest rabies-prevention plan. But how does rabies choose its victims, and what can it do to humans?

By Chris Obenschain

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Coyotes and badgers? This unlikely partnership is actually a surefire thing when it comes to catching a tasty dinner.

By Cristen Conger

As you visit each amazing exhibit at your local zoo, do you ever feel a twinge of guilt or remorse when watching these enclosed creatures? Are zoos helping or hurting animals?

By Jennifer Horton

Many kinds of animals are native only to Africa, such as gorillas, chimpanzees, zebras, giraffes, hippopotamuses. Take a gander at these amazing African animals and see how many you recognize.

By Marie Bobel

The next "CSI" spin-off may not take place at a zoo or wildlife preserve, but there are real-life detectives working to solve cases of the furry, feathered variety.

By Maria Trimarchi

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A Komodo dragon's bite is a deadly cocktail of bacteria and venom. But is it worse than a cobra's bite? Who would win in the hypothetical battle of lizards versus snakes?

By Julia Layton

Ever since Teddy Roosevelt witnessed a piranha feeding frenzy, the fish have been known as fearsome predators. But can they really strip a cow to the bone?

By Julia Layton

Arctic animals, such as polar bears, puffins and narwhals, have developed amazing adaptations to be able to survive in the arctic tundra. Check out these Arctic animal pictures to catch a glimpse of animals that you'll probably never see up close.

By Marie Bobel

Approximately 10,000 species of birds make up the class Aves--a diverse group that has long fascinated the human race with peculiar behaviors and adaptations.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

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Where do we get all the fish and other seafood that we eat? How do fish farmers keep up with the heavy demand?

By Sarah Winkler

Forks. Knives. Spoons. Chopsticks. All those utensils are a pain to pick up and set down again. What if you could just open your mouth wide?

By Molly Edmonds

Surprisingly, the gentle, loafing moose could be more threatening than a grizzly bear. Find out what you should do if that looming moose barrels at you like a bull.

By Cristen Conger & Kathryn Whitbourne

Domesticated animals provide us with innumerable products, hours of labor and even loving companionship. Find out why the dog was so easily domesticated and why you'll never see someone riding a zebra.

By Jane McGrath

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Well, duh. Of course animals have personalities, right? Find out how scientists are proving what pets owners have always suspected: animals -- both pets and wild animals -- possess personality.

By Jane McGrath

Walking, breathing, thinking: All of these activities burn energy. But in the winter when food supplies are scarce, some animals conserve their energy -- by hibernating.

By Ed Grabianowski

The droopy-faced bloodhound. The prancing poodle. The small Maltese you could easily mistake for a mop. How can these impossibly different dogs compete for the same prize?

By Jane McGrath

Dogsled race officials and mushers say that they put the welfare of the dogs first. But animal rights activists say they will continue to protest the Iditarod and other sled dog races.

By Kathleen Seiler Neary

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Caribou travel 2,000 miles over arctic tundra in order to migrate. The annual migration of monarch butterflies lasts longer than a typical monarch's lifespan. What makes these animals so determined to move?

By Ed Grabianowski

What would happen if birds were released into space? Well, we don't know, but we think that birds in space would actually do quite well because their wings would help stabilize them as they float through space.

By Marshall Brain

The Audubon Society promotes legislation that protects wildlife, birds and the ecosystems that support them. Learn about the society's past and present.

By Sarah Dowdey

Skunks pack a punch, so if you want to avoid being sprayed, it's best to stay away. Because of their small size, skunks have to use their pungent spray for self-defense purposes. See our list of 10 things to do if you've been skunked.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

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You think cell phone users are loud? Some of these animals can be heard for miles. A blue whale can produce a 188 decibel sound that can be heard hundreds of miles away. See our list of 7 animals that can be heard for long distances.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Many animal species are designed with built-in protection in the form of their skin color. There are also some animals that have developed appendages that mimic the appearance of leaves and plant branches. Learn about 11 animals that use camouflage.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.