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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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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.

The Predatory Snakehead Fish, or 'Frankenfish,' Can 'Walk' on Dry Land

The snakehead fish can breathe air, double its population in 15 months and has a huge appetite, which is not a good thing for native species.

Spider Monkeys Are the Trapeze Artists of the Treetops

Spider monkeys, an endangered species, are the largest monkeys in the Americas and live in the forest canopy, where they swing through the trees with the greatest of ease.

The Huge Hellbender Salamander, or 'Snot Otter,' Needs Our Help

These four-legged salamanders look like they've been rolled flat and can weigh up to 5 pounds, but polluted streams put these amphibians in danger of extinction.

If a Woodchuck Can't Chuck Wood, What Can It 'Chuck'?

It's an age-old question. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck? Turns out, none at all. So what would a woodchuck chuck if it couldn't chuck wood?

Is It a Zebra? A Giraffe? No, It's an Okapi

The okapi may look like a zebra-horse combo, but its closest relative is the giraffe. Here are nine fascinating facts about this curious creature.

Moths Are Mother Nature's Secret Pollinators

Bees get a lot of credit for pollinating important food crops, but they get a lot of secret help from their nocturnal friends, the moths.

The Elephant Hawk Moth Is the 'Ugly Duckling' of Moths

The elephant hawk moth is breathtakingly beautiful as an adult, but as a baby ... not so much.

The Cassowary Is the World's Most Dangerous Bird

This exotic bird could seriously injure or kill a person or a dog in an instant with its deadly claws.

Some Aphid Babies Are Born Already Pregnant

Born pregnant? You bet. It's a survival instinct but could also explain how these garden pests spread like wildfire.

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a: A Long Name for a Little Fish

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, the colorful little fish with the craaaaazy long name, is Hawaii's state fish, but it wasn't always.

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