Classifying Critters

6 Fascinating Animal Kingdom Facts You Might Not Know

Fascinating Animal Kingdom Facts

Animals: they come in different shapes and sizes, with varying colors and a breadth of breeds. At last count, a whopping 8.7 million species of animal were noted in the world, with new animals being identified, and others going out of existence all the time.

From the tiniest insect, to the grandeur of the Blue Whale, the animal kingdom is made up of a diverse spectrum of animals. Feel like brushing up on your trivia? Then read on for some mind-boggling facts, you’ll be amazed…

Penguin Pee

There are 17 different species of penguin; from the punk-haired Macaroni to the cuddly Empire! They all share their habitat in common, living in the Southern hemisphere - mainly the South Pole. But wait, there’s a catch to their cuteness; nearly three per cent of the ice in the Antarctic is made up of penguin urine. So tread carefully!

All Creatures Great and Small

Balaenoptera musculus, also known as the Blue Whale, is the largest animal in the world. They can measure up to 98ft in length and as much as 173 tonnes. Sadly, this beautiful animal is at risk of extension, with whale hunting and pollution contributing to its demise. The IUCN estimate that there’s between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales left in oceans. The best places to see these captivating creatures in the wild include; Reykjavík in Iceland, Monterey Bay in California and the Western Cape of South Africa.

Pampered Pets

Cats, dogs, birds and bunnies are just some of our favorite household pets. But for some, exotic animals are their family members. Some of the most unusual pets include; the bearded dragon, the hissing cockroach and even skunks! The community for unusual pets has grown so much that there’s even an Expo Pet Show in Nashville dedicated to followers! Fun facts: Michael Jackson owned a monkey, Mike Tyson famously has a pet tiger and Paris Hilton has a kinkajou.

Best Mates

It’s not just humans that mate for life. The animal kingdom is made up of many monogamous creatures seeking loyalty! Some of these include: barn owls, beavers, wolves, penguins and seahorse. There are some animals that partake in same-sex matings. These have been identified as the monogamous Lasyan Albatross, which can be found in Hawaii, the endangered Bonobos and farmyard sheep too.

The Big Five Game

You might have heard of the term "The Big Five Game." This reference can either mean the five most difficult and mighty animals to hunt on foot, or the five animals to spot during safari. They are made up of; the lion, rhinoceros, elephant, leopard and Cape buffalo. The best place to spot The Big Five is on safari in Africa.The Masai Mara in Kenya and Kruger National Park in South Africa are two of main destinations.

The Big Six

Animals tend to fall in to six groups, these are:

Invertebrates: Identified by a lack of backbone and skeleton. These include insects, octopuses and spiders, and shockingly account for a humongous 97 per cent of animal species!
Fish: These need little explanation; these vertebrates breathe through their gills and live in waters, rivers, lakes and oceans.
Amphibians: Frogs and toads make up these cold-blooded species that are semi-aquatic.
Reptiles: From snakes to turtles, these wide-ranging vertebrates are distinguished with plates, scales or a combination of both.
Birds: A popular pet, or animal that hobbyists (ornithologists) follow, they are characterized by their feathers, beautiful song. The vast majority can fly, although some like penguins cannot.
Mammals: Identified by hair or fur and ability to produce milk for their young, mammals are warm-blooded intelligent animals. As well as humans, these include dolphins and seals.