Page 6 - Animal Facts

Sea otters have a skin pouch to store their favorite rocks. Where is it located?

Sea otters are just the most adorable. With their fur and their flippers and their swimming in the kelp forests, they're just like little stuffed animals. And to make them even cuter, they collect their favorite rocks.

Under each forearm, the sea otter has baggy folds of skin. The otters store food in these folds. They also store their favorite rocks. They use these rocks to break open mollusks and clams for food. Otters can crack open sea urchins and crabs with just their teeth.

The adult sea otter is the smallest marine mammal and it is an endangered species. Sea otters are also the only marine mammal that does not have a layer of blubber to keep it warm. Instead, their thick fur insulates them and keeps their body around 100 degrees.


When this animal relieves itself, it sends the drug dogs into a frenzy!

The zoo is a hub of family entertainment and some of the coolest, cuddliest animals you can find on the planet. So then what was up with a full-scale drug bust being implemented at the Rotterdam Zoo?

Turns out one of the animal's urine has a very distinct smell of a certain green plant that many like to smoke!

The Maned wolf is the largest candid of South America and resembles an oversized fox with its red fur, though it does belong to a completely different genus.

It is currently listed as near threatened, but its survival isn't a concern for animal lovers at the moment. They are most often found grazing the grasslands and bushes of Brazil.

Unfortunately, it has a nickname based on its foul odor: the “skunk wolf.”

Its fur isn't the only thing that smells bad. Anytime the animal has to relieve itself you may see stoners or beer lovers flock to the area.

It has the distinct smell of cannabis or hops, most likely from pyrazine in the urine which can be found in both the plants.

The smell resulted in police and drug dogs to scour the Rotterdam Zoo looking for pot smokers, only to find the wolf's habitat.


A disorder lead to the panther's dark skin—they aren't a different species at all!

The majestic panther stalks its prey deep in the jungle, using its unusually black fur and skin to blend in with the dark surroundings.

It turns out, though, that the animal's dark color isn't from evolving over generations, it's just a disorder called melanism that causes the skin to be black, much like an Albino animal's skin would be completely white.

The black panther isn't a separate species of animal at all.

In fact, on different continents they are the same species but called different things, such as the jaguar in the Americas and leopards in Asia and Africa.

The melanism actually gives the black panther a distinct advantage for hunting at night which keeps the breed selectively strong in its habitat. They are better predators, defenders, and their survivability is much greater than their lighter skinned siblings.

The disorder is typically heritable as the dominant gene and can be passed on for generations. It can also be found in other animals such as squirrels, other felines and canids, and snakes.

One of the most notable examples is the peppered moth which is used as a teaching aid for natural selection in the United Kingdom. Sometimes a disorder gives you the edge you need to survive!


Some awesome lists!

Maui dolphins are so endangered, you could probably fit all of them in one big aquarium!

The Maui's dolphin is the world's rarest and smallest of the dolphin community. There are an estimated 55 left that are at least one year old as of 2012—a measly number that could easily deplete to zero if they aren't careful.

Thee dolphin's name comes from the Maori word for New Zealand's North Island (not the Hawaiian island), where is the only place to find them.

They generally stick close to the shoreline in groups, hanging around in 20 meter deep water.

Their numbers have dwindled thanks to set-netting and trawling, killing off an average of almost five per year—a large percentage for a species with very few numbers left. A New Zealand wildlife fund attempted to promote a fishing ban over what is believed to be the dolphin's entire range, which many in the New Zealand government were opposed to.

Instead, as of June 2014, about a quarter of the dolphin's sanctuary, 3000 square kilometers, were opened up to oil drilling. Kind of the opposite of saving the fragile animal's existence.

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This feisty shrimp, an ice loving jellyfish and a fierce looking, strange gecko are just some of the animals on the 2014 Top Ten New Species list

Some weird and wonderful creatures were listed on the 2014 Top Ten New Species list that was published on May 22, 2014 by the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry's International Institute for Species Exploration!

A geology team testing an undersea robot accidentally discovered the first species of anemone known to grow in ice! Edwardsiella andrillae grows upside down from burrows in the Antarctic Ross Ice Shelf with its two dozen tentacles dangling in the icy water below.

Another new discovery is these feisty little shrimp that seems to live to pick fights with each other!

This specimen is 2-3 millimeters long and was found in a cave on Santa Catalina Island off California. It was named Liropus minusculus and despite their love of fighting, they apparently are also very caring mothers.

Saltuarius eximius is a fierce looking gecko that was found living in an isolated rain forest on Australia's Cape Melville. It has a strange flat and broad tail that looks very much like a leaf of lichen.

Even though new species are discovered all the time, scientists estimate Earth will reach mass extinction (defined as the loss of 75 percent or more of plant and animal species) within 300 years if things continue the way they are.



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