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Wild Animals

Whether they crawl, fly, swim, slither, walk, run or pounce, wild animals rely on their instincts. Read about all kinds of wild animals, mammals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles and amphibians.

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From the Rhino to the Corn: 10 Facts From the Wide World of Rat Snakes

Despite their name, rat snakes don't eat just rodents. This huge family of snakes, which lives on every continent except Antarctica, also eats lizards and amphibians.

The Echidna Is One of the World's Strangest Mammals

From the four-headed male reproductive organ to hosting the world's largest flea and sporting a body covered in spiny hairs, this cute little creature takes the cake for mammalian weirdness.

The Deep-ocean Anglerfish Catches Prey With the Lure on Its Head

Most species of the rarely seen anglerfish live up to a mile beneath the ocean, where the females lure prey with a head-dangling hook appendage and permanently fuse with male suitors. It doesn't get much stranger than that.

Can a Black Widow Spider Kill You?

Black widow spider venom can be deadly but how likely are you to be bitten? It might surprise you that these arachnids are on the shy side.

Don't Mess With the Black Mamba, One of the Deadliest Snakes Alive

One of the most venomous snakes alive, the black mamba warns off encroachment with a fearsome hiss and the ominous flaring of its two cobra-like neck flaps.

Tapir: The Ancient Fruitarian With the Tiny Trunk

The protection of these strange looking, ancient animals, and creatures like them, may be a key component in helping a planet in climate catastrophe.

The Fast and Furious Peregrine Falcon Is a Midair Hunting Machine

While the cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, the peregrine falcon, a large predatory raptor, is by far the fastest bird on planet Earth.

The Amazing Mantis Shrimp Punches Its Prey, Plus More Colorful Facts

These brightly colored crustaceans can smash aquarium glass or quickly cut through a human finger, so whatever you do, keep your distance.

Pikas Are the Pikachus of the Wild

Pikas are little mammals that, though they may look like rodents, are more closely related to rabbits.

The Freaky and Formidable Shoebill Stork Is One Strange Bird

Biochemically like a heron and anatomically similar to a pelican, the shoebill stork has been called "Monsterface" and even "Death Pelican." But wait until you hear the staccato rat-a-tat-tat of its booming machine-gun call.

The Rusty-spotted Cat Is a Teeny-tiny Wild Cat

This kitten-looking wild cat is known as the 'hummingbird of the cat family' and could almost fit in the palm of your hand, but its diminutive size belies a ferocious personality.

Aardwolf: Aaarvark? Wolf? Nope, It's a Tiny Hyena

Aardwolves aren't closely related to either aardvarks or wolves, but these little hyenas resemble both in some ways.

The Luna Moth Is Beautiful and Common — But Rarely Seen

While luna moths aren't exactly rare, they're hard to find so every encounter seems extra special.

The Toucan Is Far More Than the Froot Loops Mascot

Generations of cereal eaters grew up sharing the breakfast table with Toucan Sam, famous for following his long, colorful nose — but what's that bill for besides hawking cereal?

Daddy Longlegs Aren't (Necessarily) Spiders; So What Are They?

That's right – daddy longlegs isn't an actual kind of spider, but a colloquial name that's been applied to a wide range of spiders and non-spiders, insects and non-insects.

What's the Difference Between a Stoat and a Weasel?

The stoat and the weasel might look alike, but they're not the same animal. The stoat is a serious predator that kills its prey like a vampire!

The Andean Condor: 100 Miles, 5 Hours, 0 Flaps of Its Wings

The energy efficiency of the Andean condor is the avian embodiment of the phrase "work smarter, not harder."

Lemmings Jumping Off Cliffs En Masse Is a Myth

Lemmings don't commit mass suicide as is popularly believed, but they are aggressive and have even been known to charge larger predators.

Is It a Dog? A Raccoon? No, It's a Raccoon Dog!

Technically they're called tanuki, but these furry critters might as well be called raccoon dogs because that's what they look like. So are they just as domesticated and loving as the canines we know?

What's the Difference Between Manta Rays and Stingrays?

These two sea creatures can be easy to confuse. But they're actually quite different. We talked to experts to find out how to tell them apart.

Sea Snakes Can Be More Venomous Than Rattlesnakes

There are more than 50 species of snakes that live in the seas. Some are super venomous and they can zip through the water with ease.

Swordfish Are the Natural-born Gladiators of the Sea

The swordfish's nose might look crazy weird, but these gladiators of the sea are perfectly outfitted for ocean battle.

Honeyguide Birds Lead Humans Straight to Beehives

A remarkable partnership has formed over centuries between honeyguide birds and humans — and both species benefit when the honey is found and the comb is cracked.

Alligator Snapping Turtles Lure Prey With Wriggling Worm-like Tongue Appendage

The prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America and has a bite that, it's said, can snap a wooden broom handle in half.

'Roly-poly' Bugs Are Great Garden Composters

Roly-poly bugs are natural soil conditioners because they process decomposing matter, helping keep your garden soil clean and healthy. And — fun fact — they're crustaceans, not insects.

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