20 amazing facts about animals

Here are 20 amazing facts about animals featured in the film Earth: One Amazing Day.

  1. The serval cat has the biggest ears (in relation to its body) and longest legs in the world of cats.

  1. The harvest mouse is the smallest rodent in Europe and weighs less than a 2 pence coin.

  2. It is thought the babies of white-headed langur monkeys are born ginger so they don’t get lost.

  3. A brown bear can run 30 miles per hour (mph). That is faster than Usain Bolt who can only manage 27mph.

  4. The marine iguana (a kind of lizard) has the ability to forage in the sea, making it the only sea-going lizard.

  1. Galapagos racers (a kind of snake) are solitary for most of the year, hunting insects, lizards and even fish when there isn’t a baby iguana buffet on offer.

  2. The body of a whitetip reef shark allows it to pump water over its gills without propelling forward, so the shark can sit motionless on the seafloor for hours at a time.

  3. A panda digests just 17% of the 20 to 30lbs of dry food it consumes each day.

  1. To catch their prey, glow worms have vertical lines with regularly placed droplets of mucus on them, giving them the appearance of a string of beads. This mucus helps to entangle insects.

  2. A plains zebra’s stripes act like a fingerprint — each pattern is individual. This helps foals to recognise their mothers by the unique markings.

  1. The narwhal (a kind of whale) lacks a dorsal fin. It may have evolved this way because the smooth shape enables the creature to swim under the ice.

  2. A giraffe’s heart weighs approximately 11 kilograms, the biggest of any land mammal. It pumps 60 litres of blood every minute at a blood pressure twice that of an average human.

  1. The sperm whale generates the loudest noise of any animal. Its communicative clicks have been recorded at 230dB.

  2. Extra vertebrae in sloths’ necks mean that some species can turn their head a full 270°. This helps them reach food without moving their sluggish body, and allows them to rest their head on their chest while sleeping.

  1. Bioluminescent fungi don’t just leave the lights on. Instead, they have a temperature-regulated internal clock, that turns on the glow when it’s dark enough for them to stand out to passing insects.

  2. Tisza mayflies (an aquatic insect) have no working mouth parts so are unable to eat. Their only priority is to find a mate to pass on their genes.

  3. Chinstrap penguins fish for food up to 50 miles offshore.

  1. The daily energy output of a hummingbird leading its ordinary life — if calculated for a 170-pound man — is equivalent to about 155,000 calories.

  2. The aurora, a mysterious and unpredictable display of light in the night sky, is named for the Roman goddess of dawn.

  3. The energy output from the sun is huge. According to NASA scientist Dr Louis Barbier, it’s enough to melt a block of ice a mile thick, a mile high, and as long as the distance between the sun and the Earth, in just one second.