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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.

Topics to Explore

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Learn More / Page 30

Where do butterflies get their striking colors?

The brilliantly colored orange wings of a monarch butterfly are as recognizable as the plumes of a peacock. Why are butterfly colors some of the best and brightest in nature?

How Polar Bears Work

The polar bear's shocking whiteness, ferocity and sheer size make it an icon of purity and power. How do these animals survive in a frigid climate?

How Coral Reefs Work

How do coral polyps mere millimeters in length form the world's largest living structures? Will these giants of the sea last much longer if the present rate of destruction continues?

How Butterflies Work

If you've seen a butterfly in your lifetime, you probably noticed their colorful wings, or saw one basking in the sunlight. But I bet you didn't realize that it would soon die. Why are their life spans so short, and are they nearly extinct?

How Octopuses Work

To elude predators, the octopus will change color in an instant and even alter its shape to look like other sea animals. Does its magic put the chameleon to shame?

What's the difference between a wallaby and a kangaroo?

If you want to determine whether you've got your hands on a wallaby or a kangaroo, you're going to have to pry open the animal's mouth and examine its molars.

How Walruses Work

Each year, thousands of male Pacific walruses pack the beaches of Round Island off the coast of Alaska. Is there a reason for this months-long male bonding?

What's the difference between bees and wasps?

Wasps and bees are different, yes. But how can we distinguish? Here's a hint: The bee's the one near the flowers. The wasp's the one buzzing around your turkey sandwich.

How Frogs Work

Frogs have been around for about 200 million years. In that time, they've adapted to their changing surroundings to ensure their survival. How have they changed, and what's the difference between frogs and toads, anyway?

Why is the birth rate so low for giant pandas?

Since 1990, there have been only five panda cubs born in the United States. This may seem a little low. Getting pandas to mate in captivity is extremely difficult. Why is the birth rate for giant pandas so low? Find out the answer in this article.

How Fainting Goats Work

Fainting goats don't really faint -- their muscles tense up and they fall over when they get scared. But why would anyone want a fainting goat?

Why are cicadas so noisy?

Cicada singing is often heard during the hot summer months. The distinctive high-pitched noise often fills the air. Have you ever wondered why the cicadas produce this noise. Find out the answer to this question in this HowStuffWorks article.

13 Incredible Bat Facts

Contrary to popular belief, bats don't go around biting people and sucking blood. Bats got a bad reputation from the Dracula stories, but they actually prefer eating insects over blood. Find 13 incredible bat facts only at HowStuffWorks.

How and why do bats hang upside down all day?

Bats are often found sleeping upside down during the day. They roost in secluded areas such as hollowed out trees and caves. Have you ever wondered why bats sleep upside down? Find out the answer to this question in this HowStuffWorks article.

Will a turkey really drown if it looks up during a rainstorm?

Some say that during a rainstorm, turkeys will stare up at the sky with their beaks hanging open, transfixed, until they drown. Is this really true?

How Chiggers Work

Chiggers are tiny arachnids that are known for delivering bites that itch intensely. Find out how chiggers work and learn about the chigger reproduction cycle.

How Termites Work

Termites have existed for 50 million years and can be found throughout the world. Learn about termites and find out how termite colonies are structured.

Is there a difference between monkeys and apes?

Monkeys and apes have lots of similarities, but they're not the same animal. In a lot of ways, it all comes down to the tail.

Are chimpanzees evolving in the wild?

Until now, no one has documented a definite case of chimpanzees using tools to hunt in the traditional sense. Find out what a new study on chimpanzees may reveal about human evolution.

How Ticks Work

Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts -- human or otherwise -- and are known for carrying diseases. Learn all about ticks, including how to remove them.

How Fleas Work

Fleas have three real talents – eating, breeding and waiting. If you leave your home and take your pets with you, any fleas inside will just wait for you to return so they can get back to eating blood and making babies.

Why do humans walk on two legs?

Did you know you conserve energy every time you walk across a room? You do, in evolutionary terms at least. Find out how and why humans began walking upright and what this has to do with our body's energy use.

Do cows pollute as much as cars?

Cow flatulence produces the greenhouse gas methane, which is linked to global warming. Find out how scientists are working to reduce cow flatulence in livestock.

Is there a 400 pound lobster out there?

Although no one can yet tell how old lobsters get, they show no apparent signs of aging. Learn why lobsters live so long and get so big, and what this means for other animals, including humans.

How Bees Work

Bees exhibit many traits found in stories and myths -- traits that have led many cultures to view them with reverence or awe. Explore how bees make honey and examine the potential causes and effects of Colony Collapse Disorder.

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