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27 Fun Facts About Animals To Share With Your Friends!

Fill the trivia part of your brain with these fun facts about the weird and wonderful world of animals!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  January 16th 2023

If you're a fan animals and love weird and wonderful facts, then this is the page for you! Want to know interesting trivia about cat ears, how many birthdays a tortoise named Jonathan has celebrated, or even why grizzly bears should be banned from 10 pin bowling alleys? Then read on!

1. The mantis shrimp has the fastest punch!

You may think professional boxers have lightning quick punches, but the mantis shrimp makes them all look like a bunch of tired snails by comparison. This shrimp's arms can move at around 50 miles per hour and have been known to knock the arm off a crab. Keep your distance, crabs!

2. Cows poo up to 15 times a day!

The average cow produces around 4.5 stones of manure a day, or about 12 tons every year! This makes our bovine pals very busy when it comes to going to the loo – well, the field – and have a poo around 15 times a day.

3. Dalmatians are born without spots!

Dalmatian puppies have white coats when they're born, but develop spots in about a week. Their markings are unique too, meaning no two Dalmatians look alike!

4. Some male songbirds sing up to 2000 times a day!

That's a lot of tunes in a 24 hour period. We're not sure if they repeat any of their favourite songs, but it sounds beautiful all the same. A scientist friend was unable to confirm whether these songbirds take requests.

5. Koala means 'no drink'

You won't see a koala clutching a water bottle when it's up a tree. That's because they get their moisture from eucalyptus leaves. It's thought that the name koala comes from an Aboriginal word meaning 'no water' or 'no drink'. We're sure they'd appreciate a cold glass of water on a hot summer's day, though.

6. The name for a group of hyenas makes total sense!

A collection of hyenas is called a clan, or a cackle! The noisy spotted hyena makes a laughing sound, but they're not chuckling at a joke. It's a way of communicating with their group, whether it's aggression, fear or warning each other about danger ahead. They may laugh at one of their friends falling over, but that's just a guess.

7. A cat has 32 muscles in each ear!

A cat in a vampire cape

If you've been staring at a cat, then you'll notice how often their ears move around. Because of the large number of muscles in their ears, it means they can independently move them 180 degrees, allowing it to work out exactly where particular sounds are coming from.

8. The honey bee has been around for absolutely ages!

A honey bee sitting on a violet flower

Research has shown that honey bees have probably been around for around 130 million years. If you've ever spent time in a queue at the post office, then you'll know that's a long time.

9. There are more plastic flamingos in the USA than actual flamingos!

Flamingo Jokes Thumbnail

Plastic pink flamingos are a regular sight on lawns in the USA, after it was designed in 1957 by Don Featherstone. They are now more common in the US than actual flamingos. They are also the official mascot of Madison, Wisconsin! Go, Madison!

10. A woodpecker can peck 20 times per second!

With their extra tough beaks, woodpeckers can move their heads at 15 miles per hour and peck 20 times a second. On a busy day of wood-pecking, they can get around 12,000 pecks in before having a well-deserved rest!

11. A zebra foal can run shortly after its birth!

After being born, a baby zebra can stand on its own and begin walking within 20 minutes. Within the hour, it can run! This helps a group's new arrival to keep up with the pack while they search for food. Human babies tend to nap.

12. The oldest tortoise celebrated his 190th birthday in 2022!

Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise, was born in 1832 and is STILL ALIVE! Yes, you read that right! He's 190 years old and has lived through Queen Victoria's entire reign, the invention of the telephone, World War II and every World Cup!

13. Don't go bowling with a grizzly bear!

A grizzly bear has amazingly powerful jaws and they're strong enough to crush a bowling ball. We're not sure how badly their game of 10-pin bowling went for someone to find that out, but it's pretty impressive.

14. Elephants can run pretty fast!

An elephant in running shoes

Elephants have an average speed of 15 miles per hour, which means they could do the London Marathon in a very good time. But due to entry rules, this is unlikely to happen.

15. The scientific name for a red fox is Vulpes vulpes

A fox in the rain

Its name comes from Latin word for fox, so the red fox's scientific name is basically 'fox fox'. It's a fox, basically.

16. Chameleons can look at two different things at once!

Not only can a chameleon change colour to adapt to its surroundings, they almost have 360 degree vision! With the ability to see 180 degrees from side to side, and 90 degrees up and down, there's no way anyone could sneak up on a chameleon. Unless it was daydreaming and not paying attention.

17. A crocodile can't poke its tongue out!

A crocodile tongue is held in place, which means this reptile can never stick its tongue out. This is a safety feature so it remains safe when it closes its jaws quickly on its prey.

18. Horses breathe differently to us!

Horses don't breathe through their mouths. The scientific term for this is 'obligate nose breathing' and it happens because their noses and mouths are totally separate. A human's nose and mouth are joined up at the back, which probably has an equally fancy term but we're too excited to tell you about rhinos, to really get into it.

19. Rhino comes from a Greek word!

Rhinoceros is an ancient Greek word, which means 'nose horn'. Makes sense, doesn't it? We also use the word 'rhino' to refer to our noses today. For example, rhinorrhea means runny nose!

20. Tiger stripes are unique!

Tigers can be identified by their stripes, like fingerprints! It's not just their fur which has amazing stripes – they're also on their skin, too!

21. Hummingbirds can fly backwards!

A hummingbird can move their wings up and down, forwards and backwards. This means they can hover in the air. They're also the only type of bird who can move backwards!

22. Fleas can jump ridiculously high!

Fleas can't fly. They can jump 8 inches into the air, which is around 150 times their height. DC comics once created a Batman villain called Human Flea. His real name was Martin.

23. There's a type of ant that is unique to Manhattan!

There are thousands of types of ants, but there's one species in New York City which appears to be unique. Scientists have named it ManhattAnt, which is very clever. But that's scientists for you.

24. Killer whales aren't whales!

Here's a puzzling fact. Killer whales – or orcas – are not whales. They're actually the largest type of dolphins but nowhere as friendly as the smiling variety. Ancient sailors named them 'killer whales' when they noticed them attacking an actual whale. Ah.

25. A dog's nose is like a fingerprint!

Dog noses are amazing. They have a sense of smell that is 100,000 times better than ours and that's thanks to around 300 million receptors in their nose. And like tiger stripes and Dalmatian spots, their noses have patterns which gives them a unique fingerprint. Well, noseprint.

26. An octopus has THREE hearts!

One of these hearts pumps blood around the body, while the other two pump blood to the gills, which is how they breathe. They also have nine brains, which would make doing Beano quizzes a breeze.

27. Parrots help each other out!

African gray parrots are not selfish. Zoologists noticed they understand when a fellow bird needs help and will assist them, even if they aren't part of their flock. Nice!