Fascinating Animal Facts

This is the main page for interesting facts about animals, where you can read about animal intelligence, animal instinct, behavior, endangered animals, dangerous animals and a lot more.

This page also has a list of 18 pages with animals I have written more about, more pages with funny facts about the animals and things you might not know. Facts about animals like elephants, rhinoceros, birds of all kinds and even cats.

animal facts border

If you like you can go directly to this list to read more about a specific animal:

Jump directly to List of Animals Pages.

This page of animal facts is an introduction to the fascinating world of animals as well as an overview of all the animal fact pages.

When you look at the animal world, it's amazing how many different shapes, colors sizes and types of life there are on our planet. There are more different types of animals living in unusual landscapes all across the globe than most of us can really imagine, from the jungles of South America to the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Kids are often fascinated by animals, especially the exotic animals often seen in zoos like gorillas, elephants and tigers.

When you need clip art of animals, chances are you're also going to need facts to go with the pictures. That's what these pages are here for – even though this is a clip art website, all these facts are accurate and well-researched.
You can use the information here for school projects or any writing that requires lots of information about animals. Here you'll find elephants facts, dolphin facts, owl facts, facts about sharks, eagle facts and a whole range of other animal facts.


12 Random Animal Facts

Here's an assortment of facts about various animals that may surprise you:

 #1: Sharks are fish, but dolphins and whales are mammals

 #2: The largest flightless bird is the ostrich (it's also the fastest bird on land)
Anacondas swallow their prey whole – and they can dislocate their jaw to do it!

 #4: The albatross claims the record for the widest wingspan at 11 feet (around 3 and a half meters)

 #5: Cats sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day on average

 #6: Pigs get sunburned easily

 #7: Armadillos can walk underwater

 #8: Giraffes are the tallest living animals

 #9: The first animal to visit outer space was a dog

 #10: Cheetahs are the fastest mammals on land, with a top speed of around 70 miles per hour (about 115 kilometers per hour)

 #11: There are roughly one million different species identified living on Earth today. It's estimated there may be another 4-14 million species that are yet to be identified by scientists.

 #12: Over 99% of all species that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct

      animal facts green anaconda

Animal Instincts

When we look at the way animals act we often think of them as making choices, just like humans. But in reality, most of the time animals are acting based purely on their animal instincts.

Few animals have the ability to make real, intelligent choices the way humans do.
Most of the time animals are just reacting to what's going on around them based on their emotions. All animals have a few basic instincts in common – the urge to eat, the urge to stay alive and the urge to reproduce (in other words, have babies).

But there are a few animals that have more advanced brains which have allowed them to go beyond purely acting from instinct.
Amongst these animals are the elephants and the dolphins. Both these creatures have very complex social structures and are capable of tasks that require a huge amount of intelligence.

 Animal Intelligence

Animal intelligence has been studied widely.
It turns out that many of the abilities we used to think separated humans from the rest of the animal kingdom can also be found in animal species.
For example, elephants can be trained to paint a picture of an elephant – they are not only able to recognize their own species, they can also create a picture of it.

When scientists look what facts about animals show animal intelligence, they look at a number of different abilities. There's not just one way to measure intelligence – it's made up of various brain functions, like memory, attention, the ability to use tools, communication, and the ability to solve problems.

animal facts testing dolphinThe two groups of animals scientists rate as having the highest intelligence levels are the primates (which includes chimpanzees, monkeys, gorillas and human beings) and the cetaceans (which includes dolphins and whales).
The human brain actually has a lot more in common with a dolphin brain than it does with some species of monkey!

One way scientists study intelligence in animals is by using mathematics tests.

It's been discovered that both rhesus monkeys and elephants are capable of counting and doing basic sums. Chimpanzees have also been found to have a talent for numbers (which is not a surprise, since chimps are the animals most closely related to humans genetically).

But intelligence doesn't seem to be all about brain size – even ants have been found to have some ability to count. Ants and bees are quite interesting in this respect, because they seem to have a 'hive intelligence' which allows them to work together as a group in harmony.


It's hard to give animals a 'ranking' in terms of smartest to dumbest simply because of all these elements that go into making up what we call 'intelligence.'

Corvids, for example – a type of bird – are quite capable of using tools, but they don't perform anywhere near as well as elephants when it comes to things like memory and counting.
Bonobo apes and chimpanzees seem to perform the best when it comes to experiments on language use in animals.
Chimps are capable of having conversations with humans through fairly complex sign language, and Bonobos have even been able to write.

 Facts about Dangerous Animals

Of course, not all animals are cute and cuddly. Many animals are natural predators of humans.

Humans, as you may know, are related to the apes – and before we developed the ability to use tools and weapons, humans were very vulnerable to big predators like lions, tigers and wolves.
What eventually saved humans was our big brains – we got smart enough to start building houses and making weapons to protect ourselves.animal facts tiger sumatrae tigris

Still, there are lots of animals you wouldn't want to get stuck alone in a cage with.

Amongst the most dangerous animals to humans are lions, tigers, leopards, bears, and sharks.
But there are other animals you might not usually think of as being dangerous – such as chimpanzees – which can do a great deal of damage to a person in the wrong situation.

Of course, there are also small poisonous animals like snakes and frogs which can harm people, and even tiny insects like spiders and mosquitoes can harm people.
In fact, mosquitoes are often called the most dangerous animals on Earth because of the way they spread diseases like malaria. And the poison dart frog of South America carries one of the most deadly natural toxins known to man. The box jellyfish is one of the most deadly marine creatures in the world.


But there are many other dangerous animals that we often don't think of, because many of them aren't predators that would normally attack humans.

For example, a buffalo only eats plants but they can be very dangerous to humans in the wrong situation. Animals like buffalo, elephants, and giraffes can all be extremely dangerous if they are put in a position where they feel like humans are threatening them.

animal facts saltwater crocodileAlso on the list of very dangerous animals are polar bears and saltwater crocodiles. Crocodiles are particularly dangerous because they're so hard to spot when they're in the water.

However, it's worth remembering one of the most important facts about animals:
The most dangerous animal in the world is humans. Because we are at the 'top of the food chain,' humans are capable of eating virtually any other animal in the world.
Our use of technology has made us dangerous to many species of animal which otherwise would be a danger to us, like the tigers.

Humans are a threat not just to the animals we eat – human activity like logging and overfishing has led to declining numbers of many types of animals.
Humans have already been responsible for many extinctions (when there are no animals of a particular species left alive).safari hunter animal facts







 Arctic Animals

The Arctic (top of the world) and Antarctic (bottom of the world) are some of the most difficult regions for animals to survive in because of the incredibly low temperatures.
Still, an amazing variety of creatures have managed to adapt to living in these harsh conditions -  it's not all just polar bears and penguins.

arctic fox summer coat animal factsThe Arctic fox is one of the unique creatures to be found in the Arctic.
These foxes stand not much more than 10 inches tall at the shoulder (about 25 centimeters).
They are completely white to blend in with the snow, so their prey can't see them when they hunt (although some have a blue tinge to their fur, the color of Arctic ice).
When the summer comes, they lose their warm white coat and it's replaced by light brown fur so they can continue to blend in with the warmer snow-free surroundings. The mainly hunt small animals such as lemmings and some birds.

The walrus is one of the most unique and impressive of the Arctic animals.
They look similar to elephant seals in terms of their body shape, but the most distinguishing feature of the walrus is their long tusks which point straight down.
A male walrus is called a bull and can grow up to 12 feet long (3.6 meters) and weigh 2 tons (about 4400 pounds).

In the Antarctic, the variety of animals is a lot more limited because Antarctica does not join up to any other continents.
Unlike the Arctic, where large areas are snow-free during the summer, the entire Antarctic is mostly covered in snow and ice all year round.
That means land animals can't migrate to warmer areas when they need to. As a result, the Antarctic is populated mainly by sea life and by animals that can both swim long distances and live on land, like penguins and sea lions

 Endangered Animals and Rare Animals

There are many species in the world today which are classed as endangered or threatened.

There are many reasons for this.
While species have always gone extinct because of natural changes in the environment, a large number of the extinctions that are happening today are the direct result of human activities.
Many things we do endanger other animals, including things like hunting and fishing too much and polluting the environment.
Recently, the biggest concern for endangered species has been climate change caused by humans.
Human activity is changing temperatures around the world which can have severe effects on some species and the food chains that depend on them.

Sometimes animals become endangered because humans introduce new animals into an area which puts the ecosystem (the food chain) out of balance.
The kiwi is one such endangered animal. It's a flightless bird native to New Zealand.
Before the arrival of humans in New Zealand, the kiwi – and the many other flightless birds in that country – had no natural predators. They lost the need to fly over many years because there was nothing to fly away from.
Unfortunately, when humans arrived they brought with them all kinds of predators – cats, dogs, pigs and ferrets, for instance.
The kiwi has little chance of escaping from one of these predators, which is why this bird is now seriously at risk.
animal facts kiwi

The way a food chain works means that even species that don't seem 'important' can have a big impact if they disappear.

There really is a 'circle of life' in nature where nothing is wasted – in an ecosystem, each species depends on each other species playing its role in order for the system to stay in balance.

As a result, taking away one species from the ecosystem can have knock-on effects for every other species.
If a bear relies on a particular type of fish to survive and the fish dies out because of river pollution, the bear will then be in danger as well because it has lost a food source.

One of the most endangered animals in Europe is the Iberian lynx.
A lynx is a type of wild cat. The Iberian lynx population dropped as low as 60 in 2002, but it is now increasing again slowly thanks to conservation work and captive breeding programs.

         animal facts iberian lynx pardinus

The sea otter is another endangered species, although the sea otter's story is somewhat happier than that of many other endangered animals.
The sea otter came close to extinction in the early 1900s after many decades of being hunted for its fur. At its lowest level the population is thought to have dropped to around 1000 otters.
But after the hunting of these animals was banned, the population has recovered somewhat on its own. However, they are still protected and still classed as endangered.


List of Animals Facts Pages, 18 Pages:


1.-The Bald Eagle

animal facts bald eagleConsidered sacred and otherworldly in numerous Native American cultures, the bald eagle plays a central role in spiritual and religious rituals and customs, especially its feathers, wing bones and claws.

Read all about this great bird on the page Bald Eagle Facts, and find pictures of bald eagles and drawings on the pages Bald Eagle Pictures and Bald Eagle Drawings.


2.-Facts About Cats

You will find some cat facts here that I am pretty sure you know - and some that I am pretty sure you don't know about cats.

Read about cats taste buds, different types of cats, and about the Turkish van which has a water resistant coat.

3.-Caracal Cat:

Cute Caracal kittenThis feline lives in most parts of Africa, in The Middle East and there are still a few living in India.

It has it's name after the black tufts on the tip of the ears, and the back of the ears is also black.

Here you will find facts about the Caracal and some pictures of Caracal kittens and fully grown females.

4.-Cheetah Facts 

animal facts head of cheetahNow you can impress all your friends and family with your amazing list of cheetah facts! Read all about the cheetah on the page Cheetah Facts.And you can find a  lot of pictures of cheetahs, this beautiful animal, on the page Cheetah Pictures.


5.-Dinosaur Facts, Types of Dinosaurs

animal facts t rexA great page, where you will find about all you need to know about dinosaur information, types of dinosaurs, and even some dinosaur jokes!

Read more about all that on the page here on this site, Dinosaur Facts, and find drawings of dinosaurs on the page Dinosaur Clipart.

You will also find more dinosaur information below on this page.  

6.-Facts about Dogs 

dog facts head of dog

Dogs have long been called “man's best friend,” but how many facts about dogs do you know? If you want to learn more about dog facts, take a look at the page here Facts about Dogs, and find great pictures and drawings on the pages Dog Pictures and Dog Clip Art and Dog Sketches.

7.-Bottlenose Dolphin

Thisanimal facts bottlenose dolphin calf page of bottlenose dolphin facts will tell you some of the most interesting and surprising tidbits of information about the world's most common species of dolphin.

Jump to the page Bottlenose Dolphin Facts

8.-Dolphin Facts

animal facts dolphin picturesDolphins are considered to be the most intelligent ocean creatures and have many mental abilities that mirror those of humans. Dolphins are hunters, working together to catch small fish and squid (as well as the occasional crab). Dolphins are so smart they are capable of learning complicated tricks in captivity and even learning to use tools in the wild. They are the only marine animal apart from otters which are known to use tools. Click here for more amazing dolphin facts.

Read more about dolphins at the pages Dolphin Facts , Bottlenose Dolphin Facts and find pictures of dolphins on the pages Pictures of Dolphins and Dolphin Clipart. 

9.-Elephant Facts

animal facts african elephantYou might not think it when you first see one, but elephants are actually similar to humans in many ways. Alright, so they may be a lot bigger than us – the biggest creature currently living on land, by weight – but they are similar in some of their behaviors and their biology. Elephants and humans are both mammals – they give birth to babies one at a time (usually) and nurse them with milk. It takes a long time for baby elephants to reach full maturity, just like humans (although not quite as long as us). Click here to learn some more fascinating animal facts at the pages Elephant FactsElephant Pictures and Elephant Clip Art.


10.-Giraffe Facts, Giraffe Information

giraffe facts head of giraffeGiraffes are a favorite topic for school projects for kids, and giraffe facts and lots of giraffe pictures make up the key ingredients. You'll find plenty of both right here on the pages Giraffe Facts, Giraffe clipart and Giraffe Pictures.


11.-Lion Facts, African Lions

animal facts lion picturesWe all have seen films and heard stories about lions, but it is still amazing to hear about the lives of this great cat. Here on this page with facts about animals you like and know you can read all about the lion on the page Lion Facts.

You can also find a lot of pictures of lions on the page Lion Pictures, and drawings on Lion Clipart.

12.-Octopus Facts

octopus facts small octopusThe most interesting octopus facts concern this underwater animal's intelligence and ability to learn and master a variety of tasks. Experiments conducted by animal behaviorists indicate that octopuses or octopi possess a rudimentary sort of both long-term and short-term memory somehow enhanced by its complex nervous system.

Read more about this interesting animal on the page Octopus Facts.

On the page here on this site, Octopus Picture, you will find a lot of beautiful octopus pictures, and on the page Octopus Clipart you will find lots of beautiful old and new octopus images.


13.-Owl Facts

animal facts orange eyed owlOwls are amongst the most effective night-time hunters. They have been the centre of myths and legends for centuries, with many cultures counting them as signs and omens. Owls have extremely sharp eyesight – and equally sharp talons to go with them! Owls also have the unique ability to turn their heads 270 degrees.

Visit the pages Owl Facts, Owl Pictures and Owl Clip Art.


14.-Penguin Facts

animal facts penguin picturePenguin facts are fascinating and descriptive of an unusual creature found in several areas of the world including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Antarctica.

Read more about this unique bird on Penguin Facts, and find lots of pictures and clip art on Penguin Pictures and Penguin Clipart. 

 15.-Polar Bears

animal facts polar bear naptimeThe bad situation of the polar bears has become particularly well known in recent years because of concerns that they may be one of the first species to become instinct as a direct result of climate change. The loss of sea ice around the Arctic is making life hard for the polar bears, who rely on the ice because of the way they use it to hunt seals. When the sea ice melts, the polar bears are unable to get out to sea to hunt. Here are some random fun facts about these fascinating creatures:

 polar bears are the largest living predator on land
 the polar bear's favorite meal is the ringed seal
 a fully-grown male polar bear can weigh up to 1700 pounds (about 770 kilograms)
 polar bears have special rough paw pads for extra grip on the ice
 males can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) long

There's a common myth that polar bears use their paws to cover their noses when they hunt (so their prey can't see them against the snowy background). Scientists who have observed polar bears for years have said this isn't true.

Read more about the Polar bear on the page Polar Bear Facts, and find lots of pictures on Polar Bear Pictures and Polar Bear Clip Art.

16.-Rhinoceros Pictures and Facts:


White african rhino
All five species of the living rhino are endangered, one of them, the Javan rhinoceros, actually one of the most if not THE most endangered animal today.

On this page you will find a lot of pictures of the rhino, and facts about all five species.

17.-Tapir Pictures and Facts:

Young tapir
This page Tapir Pictures and Facts are half pictures half facts, so I thought it better to make a link to it on both this page and the page about animal pictures.

You will find some extraordinary photos of a female tapir and her young, take in the zoo in Copenhagen.

18.-Turtle facts

animal facts snapping turtle close up

On the page Turtle Pictures you can find a lot of interesting facts about turles, both tortoises and sea turtles.



Facts about Animals like Dinosaur Facts (And Other Extinct Animals)

Although they largely disappeared from the Earth around 65 million years ago, dinosaurs are still a source of fascination to young and old alike.

Did you know there are still some creatures alive today that are considered living dinosaurs?
The tuatara of New Zealand is a creature which has barely changed for millions of years and looks like a mini-dinosaur.

                 tuatara animals facts

The movies have given us an idea of dinosaurs being huge creatures, like the T-rex and the diplodocus.
While these creatures where some of the largest ever to roam the Earth, the average dinosaur was only about the size of a chicken!

The largest dinosaur fossil found to date was the Argentinosauras, which from head to tail was about 120 feet long (36 meters).
There may have been dinosaurs even larger than this, although scientists have been yet to find any larger complete fossils.
The largest meat-eating dinosaur was not the T-Rex but was in fact theSpinosauras, which is believed to have weighed up to 8 tons – making it tiny in comparison to the blue whales that swim through our oceans today, which weigh up to 180 metric tons.

Another big predator from the distant past that few people have heard of is Megalodon, the biggest shark that ever existed.
Megalodon may have been over 60 feet long (18.2 meters) and had teeth 7 inches long (about 18 centimeters), making the great white shark of today look like a dwarf by comparison.

mammoth clip artIn more recent times there have been extinctions of some other fantastic creatures that walked the Earth at the same time as humans.

Amongst these extinct animals were the Moa bird and the Woolly mammoth.
The giant Moa was one of the largest flightless birds of all time, standing up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) tall. (Ostriches, which are the largest living flightless bird today, only reach around 9 feet tall). The Woolly mammoth was a type of fur-covered elephant with giant tusks.
Most of the mammoths disappeared during the last ice Age about 10,000 years ago, although the last of them died off about 4,000 years ago.   



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