Page 4 - Animal Facts

Every single panda is owned by China--zoos only get to rent them!

Pandas are majestic creatures whose lack of mating has left them endangered. They are native only to south central China and have a diet of 88% bamboo, though they will occasionally feast on other grasses, wild tubers and meat from birds, rodents, and carrion. Oh, and every single one is owned by China.

As of 2004 there were about 1,600 pandas alive, according to the World Wildlife Fund. 350 of those live under the watchful eyes of humans at zoos or breeding centers, with only 50 existing outside of China. It makes them a hot ticket item for any zoo who can manage to get their hands on one, but they come at a price.

China rents them out selectively to other countries. The renters fee for a pair is normally $1 million for a single year with increasing fees for China's conservation efforts. Rentals normally last up to 10 years and can be renewed—if the zoo can afford it! Chances are the zoos can sell an extra few plush panda bears at their gift shop to make up for the cost.


On the Norwegian island of Svalbard, every citizen has to own a gun. The reason why has to do with polar bears...

Polar bears are beautiful, fearsome animals. Perhaps the most aggressive of all bear species, multiple towns around the world have laws specifically designed to protect their citizens from these beasts.

The island of Svalbard off the coast of Norway is one of the more interesting examples. Popular with nature tourists for its beautiful landscapes, Svalbard is also popular with polar bears. Although citizens and visitors aren't allowed to hunt or otherwise actively harm the bears, killing them in self defense is allowed. In fact, every person venturing outside the city must carry a rifle for protection!

Another town with an interesting, if less deadly, law is Churchill, Manitoba. Churchill is the only town where it's illegal to lock your doors. The reasoning behind this strange law is simple: when you're being chased by a hungry polar bear, a car is an excellent place to hide!


Blue whales are the largest animals ever to exist, EVER. Find out more about these amazing creatures

Blue whales are incredibly, incredibly large. Measuring 100 ft long and weighing in at 190 tons, blue whales are the largest known creatures to exist, ever. Even the largest known dinosaur Argentinosaurus only clocked in at 99 tons—a little more than half the size of a full grown blue whale!

The feeding habits of blue whale are equally massive. Blue whales feed primarily on a small zooplankton known as krill, which are individually quite tiny. That means that in order to eat the almost 8,000 lbs of krill they need on a daily basis to survive, they can eat in excess of 40 million krill every day.

Because of their massive size, many of their individual organs are some of the largest in the animal kingdom as well. A blue whale's tongue can clock in at more than 3 tons, making it about the same weight as your typical minivan.

Adolescent blue whales are equally impressive. Able to drink in excess of 100 gallons of milk a day, growing whales gain 200 lb every 24 hours on average. Even when they're born, a baby blue whale weighs almost as much as a fully grown hippo!


Some awesome lists!

Manatees have fingernails! Here are 5 more amazing facts about the manatee

Yes, that's right. Manatees, also known as sea cows, really do have fingernails.

They are large aquatic mammals, and therefore have the same internal bone structure as other mammals, very similar to that of humans.

The eyes of manatees don't blink up-and-down like ours, though. They actually open and close in a radial motion, similar to that of a camera shutter!

A manatee tail is called a paddle, unlike the split fluke of a dolphin or whale. However, they use them to move in the same way, moving them up and down to locomote.

Manatees can also hear just like us. Although they don't have external ears like many other mammals, as aquatic animals, they don't need them. Instead, they have small pinholes on the side of their head that let in vibrations in the water that they then translate into sound.


Bald Eagle talons are huge! But the best thing might be that they're no longer an endangered species

The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States, but for a long time we were in serious danger of wiping them out completely. As of 2007, they are now in the category "of least concern", but you won't believe just how close we came to never seeing another one.

In 1963, there were a low of only 413 breeding pairs of bald eagles—and even then, there was no guarantee that those breeding pairs would successfully have offspring. The problem lied in the pesticide DDT.

DDT was used in an incredibly widespread way following WWII. However, an unexpected side effect of the use of DDT was that it thinned the shells of birds of all kinds, eagles especially. So, when nesting mothers would sit on the their eggs, they would crush them—completely decimating the population.

Thankfully, the government banned the use of DDT in 1972, and by 2007, the population of eagles grew to almost 50,000 birds!



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