Featured Animal: Short-beaked Echidna

Meet our featured animal, the short-beaked echidna (e-KID-nuh)!

short-beaked echidna

Here are five fun facts about short-beaked echidnas:

  • Echidnas are monotremes, or mammals that lay eggs.
  • Similar to reptiles, echidnas’ legs protrude outwards and then downwards, resulting in a waddling effect when they walk.
  • The echidna has a pointy snout that can sense electrical signals from insect bodies.
  • Echidnas do not have teeth, but they do have horny pads in their mouths and on the back of their tongues which grind the prey.
  • Baby echidnas are called puggles!

Learn more about short-beaked echidnas >

Featured Animal: Atlantic Puffin

Meet our featured animal, the Atlantic puffin!

Atlantic puffin

Here are five facts about Atlantic puffins:

  • Despite their black and white plumage, puffins are not related to penguins at all. They are members of the Alcidae (auk) family.
  • For most of the year, Atlantic puffins live on the open ocean.
  • Diving as deep as 60 m (200 ft.), they swim by flapping their wings as if flying through the water and use their feet to steer.
  • Atlantic puffins are excellent fliers. Flapping their wings at up to 400 beats per minute, puffins can reach speeds of 88 km/h (55mph).
  • When a puffin is around 3-5 years old, it will choose a partner at sea to mate with for life.

Learn more about Atlantic puffins >

Featured Animal: Bald Eagle

Meet our featured animal, the bald eagle!

Bald eagle soaring

Here are five fun facts about bald eagles:

  • The bald eagle is one of the largest raptors in the world.
  • Bald eagles can reach speeds of up to 160 km/hr (100 mph) when diving.
  • Using thermal convention currents, bald eagles can climb to up to 3000 m (10,000 ft.) in the air. They can soar for hours using these currents.
  • Once coupled, bald eagles will mate for life.
  • Bald eagles build enormous nests, called eyries, out of sticks. These substantial nests have been known to weigh up to 900 kg (1 ton).

Learn more about bald eagles >

Featured Animal: Green Anaconda

Meet our featured animal, the green anaconda!

Green anaconda

Here are five facts about green anacondas:

  • The green anaconda is one of the longest snakes in the world. It is also the heaviest.
  • The green anaconda is native to South America, making its home in swamps, marshes and streams.
  • Although they use both sight and smell to hunt, green anacondas also have the ability to sense heat emitted by potential prey.
  • Anacondas are not venomous; they use constriction instead to subdue their prey.
  • For larger prey, the green anaconda can unhinge its jaw to stretch its mouth around the body, consuming the carcass whole.

Learn more about green anacondas >

Featured Animal: Capybara

Meet our featured animal, the capybara!

Capybara

Here are five facts about capybaras:

  • The capybara takes the title of world’s largest rodent.
  • Capybaras are semi-aquatic, spending a lot of time in the water.
  • Capybaras can stay submerged underwater for up to 5 minutes.
  • Capybaras have special digestive adaptations that allow them to absorb enough nutrients from their highly fibrous diet.
  • Very social animals, capybaras live in small family groups of about 10-20.

Learn more about capybaras >

Featured Animal: Bonobo

BonoboMeet our featured animal, the bonobo!

Here are five facts about bonobos:

  • Bonobos share 98.5% of our DNA.
  • In captivity, bonobos have learned how to communicate in human languages, use tools, and play music.
  • Although they resemble chimpanzees, bonobos have the ability to walk bipedally, or on two legs, more easily and for longer amounts of time than chimps.
  • Bonobos live harmoniously in matriarchal groups of up to 100 members.
  • Bonobos communicate with high-pitched barking sounds.

Learn more about bonobos >

Featured Animal: Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Meet our featured animal, the black-tailed prairie dog!

Prairie dog looking

Here are five facts about black-tailed prairie dogs:

  • Prairie dogs live in small, close-knit families called coteries.
  • Groups of neighboring coteries form a prairie dog colony.
  • Prairie dogs communicate with each other through barking. They can describe a predator by varying the frequency and pitch of their barks.
  • Prairie dogs perform jump-yip calls, in which they stand on the mound, throw their head back, and let out a high-pitched bark, sometimes evening toppling onto their backs due to the exertion.
  • Although they once numbered in the hundreds of millions, prairie dog populations are now estimated at around 10-20 million.

Learn more about prairie dogs >

 

Featured Animal: Narwhal

Meet our featured animal, the narwhal!

Narwhal

Here are five facts about narwhals:

  • The horn on a narwhal is actually a giant, spiraled tooth.
  • The long tooth can reach up to 3 m (10 ft.) in length and grows continually to replace wear.
  • The name narwhal derives from the old Norse word nar meaning corpse.
  • Narwhals travel in groups (or pods) of 15-20 whales.
  • Preying on creatures primarily on the bottom of the sea, they dive on average 800 m (.5 mi.), but can go twice that.

Learn more about narwhals >

Featured Animal: Tasmanian Devil

Meet our featured animal, the Tasmanian devil!

Tasmanian devil

Here are five facts about Tasmanian devils:

  • Tasmanian devils inhabit the island state of Tasmania, although they once lived throughout Australia.
  • The Tasmanian devil is the size of a small dog.
  • Tasmanian devils are not picky eaters. They eat carrion (dead animals), including rotten flesh, fur, and bones!
  • Female Tasmanian devils give birth to up to 50 babies (joeys).
  • Tasmanian devils are considered endangered. Threats include being hit by cars and Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

Learn more >