Page 8 - Animal Facts

A nine-banded armadillo always gives birth to identical quadruplets!

Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk. They are extensive burrowers, and a single animal sometimes maintains up to 12 burrows within its range.

Nine-banded armadillos reach sexual maturity at the age of one year, and reproduce every year for the rest of their 12–15 year lifespans.

Mating takes place during July to August in the Northern Hemisphere, and November to January in the Southern Hemisphere. A single egg is fertilized, but implantation is delayed for three to four months to ensure the young will not be born during an unfavorable time.

The gestation period of the nine-banded armadillos is four months and the females of this species always give birth to identical quadruplets! The little ones remain in the burrow, nursing on their mother for approximately three months. They begin to forage with their mother once they are weaned and they eventually leave after six months to a year. A single female can produce up to 56 young over the course of her life.

The leading predator by far of nine-banded armadillos today is humans, as armadillos are locally harvested for their meat and shells. Many thousands of armadillos also fall victim to auto accidents every year.


The largest bird's nest ever belonged to a pair of bald eagles—and was bigger than a Volkswagen Beetle!

When you think of a bird's nest, you likely envision a bundle of twigs and mud. You probably don't think of a two-ton mass—but that's how big the world's largest recorded bird's nest was.

In 1963, a giant nest was found in St. Petersburg, FL. It was made by a pair of bald eagles and was possibly added to by more eagle pairs.

The nest measured 9 feet and 6 inches wide and 20 feet deep.


Dolphins, Killer Whales and Beluga Whales have to keep one half of their brains awake when sleeping. Here's why

Dolphins, killer whales, and beluga whales are all voluntary breathers. This means that unlike humans, their breathing is not automatic. That is why they have to consciously come up to the surface to breathe.

That means their way of sleeping also differs from that of humans and other animals that are voluntary breathers. Studies have now shown that they only shut down one hemisphere of their brains at a time. In this way they can rest and still control their breathing.

In killer whales, resting behaviour depends on whether a whale is alone or part of a pod. If alone, the whale will rest with its blowhole, part of its head and dorsal fin above the water's surface. Reportedly killer whales can sleep like this for as long as eight hours.

In pods, they form a tight circle and synchronize their breathing and movements. They can take up to ten breaths at the surface before submerging and resting for about ten minutes at a time. Resting pods will avoid boats and other animals during this period.

Killer whale calves are active at all times, and the calf and its mother never sleep during the first few months of its life.


Some awesome lists!

The two oldest cats ever recorded had the same owner, who fed the bacon, eggs, broccoli, and coffee. Find out more

The 2010 Guinness Book of World Records lists Cream Puff, a cat owned by an Austin, TX man named Jake Perry, as the oldest cat to ever live. Cream Puff was born on August 3, 1967 and died on August 6, 2005. She lived 38 years and 3 days.

Perry also owned another long-lived cat named Granpa, who died after 34 years and 2 months. Most cats live an average of 12-15 years.

It's unclear why Perry's cats were able to live so much longer than average, but many suggest that the cats' diet had something to do with it. Every morning, Perry would feed Granpa and Cream Puff a meal consisting of bacon, eggs, broccoli and coffee.

Perry was featured in the short documentary "South Paws," which depicts him and his relationship with his cats.


An uninvited visitor at an aquarium almost wiped out the entire crab population. Find out how it snuck in

The aquarists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium noticed that less and less of their crabs in the Shale reef exhibit came out to eat during feeding times. Only once a red octopus, the size of a fist, crawled out of the shale reef onto the aquarium floor, did they realize why.

"We'd noticed that there weren't as many crabs coming out at feeding time in that exhibit. Now we realize that's where they'd all been going — into the octopus's tummy!" Exclaimed Barbara Utter, the senior aquarist.

The octopus managed to get entry to the aquarium on a rock or a sponge when it was still a baby. A baby red octopus is about the size of a fingernail, which explains why the little critter could hide out so successfully.

It spent it's time snacking away on the legitimate residents of the aquarium—the crabs. It was obviously living well, and managed to put on the bulk that made it's presence known to the aquarists.

Seeing that there is no 'undersea law' that can be enforced on the octopus for munching on the aquarium crabs, it is being prepped to live a life of captivity as a legitimate member of the aquarium's Splash Zone.



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