Friday, February 27, 2009

Don't Get Too Tired: The Weekend is Almost Here!

Happy Friday! If you’re a little tired from a long week’s work, you’re not alone! In fact, all animals yawn when they’re tired. So, check out these different examples of yawning — but beware! — it’s contagious.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shockingly Pink

Ever wonder why a flamingo is so pink? It is directly linked to the shrimp-like crustaceans that they eat. If these shrimp-like creatures are not a part of their diet, they stay quite pale. Young flamingos are born gray and white, and don’t turn pink for two years.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Full Night's Rest?

Don’t ever mess with dolphins when they’re asleep: They sleep with one eye open! They rest in a state of unihemispheric sleep, which means that only half of their brain sleeps at a time while the other half stays awake. Throughout a sleep cycle, dolphins will alternate sleep between both sides of the brain, opening and closing each eye whenever the change occurs. Part of them has to be conscious at all times because dolphins are conscious breathers. If they lost complete consciousness during sleep, like humans do, they would suffocate or drown. When they do sleep, they float at the surface of the water with — amazingly enough —one eye wide open.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Emperor Penguins Protect Their Young

And we think we’ve got it hard! Emperor penguins breed during the long, Antarctic winter. Once an egg is laid, the female penguin begins a long search for food, which can sometimes take up to 50 miles over a two-month period! The male penguin stays behind to protect the egg, which he keeps on his feet, covered with a feathered flap. He doesn’t eat anything the entire time, and some fathers lose up to 25 pounds. Once the egg hatches, the male feeds the chick a special liquid from his throat. When the mother penguin returns with a belly full of food, she regurgitates to feed her new chick. And the male emperor is relieved of duty, off to find food and some much-needed rest.

One more emperor penguin fact: They can dive up to 1,850 feet — more than any other bird — and stay under water for more than 20 minutes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Intimidating Frilled Lizard

Whenever the Australian frilled lizard (a member of the dragon family) feels threatened, it stands on its hind legs, opens its mouth and expands a flap of skin that creates a circle around its head. If that doesn’t intimidate its predator, it turns and scurries off with its frill still wide open.

This circle of frill, not only helps in the warding-off-others department, but it also can be used to help the lizard regulate its body temperature. Because of these attributes, I think the frilled lizard is truly inspiring: Can you imagine if you could scare others off like this on those days when you’re simply not in the mood to talk? That would be a sight to see!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Today is Love Your Pet Day!

Feb. 20 is Love Your Pet Day, so today’s animal fact is pet-related. Did you know that there are 65 million dogs in the United States and 77 million cats? And roughly 75 percent of households own a pet — mine being one of them. So, if you’re a pet fan too, make sure to go home today and pamper that special animal by showing it some love. Here are some ways to do that:

- Play with your animal outside.
- Give it a bath.
- Buy it its favorite toy.
- Get it a special treat.
- Pet it or scratch its back.
- Just spend some extra time with it.

People get very busy with their lives and sometimes forget about the important things in life, one being their pets. While they should be thoughtful of their pets every day, sometimes people need a little reminder of why they love their animals’ cute cuddly faces so much. My puppy is almost too spoiled, but I plan on taking her on a long walk when I get home from work. What will you do for your pet? Please comment below.

For an even better pet day, check out some of the animal-themed products at the Jungle Store and really celebrate your pet in style.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Katy Perry Holds a Giraffe

She kissed a girl and she liked it. But recently Katy Perry seems to like these vibrant, animal inflatables sold here at the Jungle Store. No, they’re not the inflatable fruit or lipstick that Perry fans are used to, but these inflatables fit perfectly with Perry’s more-often-than-not outrageous style. In this photo shoot for Blender magazine, Perry is holding one of the Jungle Store’s 71-inch giraffes and wearing an orange dress to match. So, flirt a little with your wild side, and check out the Jungle Store’s wide array of inflatable animals that vary in shape, size and price. Look for your favorite here!

For more photos from the Blender photo shoot, click here.

Seahorses Are Tiny, But Unique

The seahorse is a true aquatic gem that adds another splash of originality to life under the sea. Not only does it have a unique shape, it is one of few fish that are monogamous and mate for life. Even more interesting, the seahorse is the only animal species where the male — not the female — bears the eggs until they hatch. When they do hatch, they release as fully-formed, tiny seahorses.

Another seahorse tidbit: Seahorses don’t have a stomach. Because food passes through them so quickly, they have to eat constantly to stay alive. They can consume more than 3,000 brine shrimp each day!

For more on seahorses, visit

- Photo by Laurent Ballesta/ National Geographic

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gorillas Are Picky Eaters

Did you know that gorillas are fussy eaters? They know what they like, and that's all they will usually eat. With some plants, they may eat only the leaves. With others, only the stalk or the roots. As they eat, they may carefully stack the parts they don't want in a neat pile.

Bonus fact: It is rare for gorillas to drink water in the wild. Most of the time, they get all the moisture that they need from the plants they eat.