Monday, November 30, 2009

Free Shipping at The Jungle Store

Back after a great long weekend? Well, I'm here to make your Monday much better. I'm skipping the animal fact today to let all readers know about The Jungle Store's free shipping for orders over $25. The sale is valid now thru Dec. 2, so start buying whatever stuffed animal, animal fact book, or animal print bedding your loved ones may want this holiday season before the offer's over. Happy Monday!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Elk Fight For Mate

Elk shed their antlers each March, but they start to grow back as early as May so they're fully grown again by the late-summer breeding season. During the breeding season, bull elk strip the velvet from their new antlers, using them in fights that determine who can mate with whom. Usually the males with the biggest antlers win; they're typically the older males of the herd.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Animal Facts - Turkey Senses

Aside from their underdeveloped smell and taste, turkeys have very strong senses. They can see in color and have a wide field of vision (around 270 degrees) due to the position of their eyes, which also enables them to see two objects at once. They also have excellent hearing even though they don't have external ears, and can pinpoint sounds from as far as a mile away. Their beaks and feet highly sensitive to touch, which helps them while foraging for food.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Typical Male Turkeys

Only male turkeys have the "typical" turkey attributes, including the ruffled feathers, fanned tail and bright-colored beard. Like a peacock, the male turkey, which is called a "tom", uses its tail plumage to attract females. It also has a distinctive gobble can be heard a mile away.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Animal Facts - Funny Turkey Names

Turkeys have some funny names for the parts around their head and neck. They include: the caruncle (fleshy bumps on the head and neck); the snood (long flap of flesh that hangs over the beak); and the wattle (red skin that hangs from the neck).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Avoid Skunk's Spray

Skunks are known for their horrible-smelling spray, which is an oily liquid produced by glands under a skunk's tail. Whenever a skunk feels threatened, it can blast its spray as far as ten feet. Although the skunk's spray doesn't harm other animals, it certainly deters predators from hunting it, unless they have no other option.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dinosaur Turtles Living Among Us

The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America, and because of its unique spiked shell, it's known as the "dinosaur of the turtle world." Males average 26 inches long and weigh 175 pounds. 
This particular turtle can be found in rivers, canals and lakes, and it can stay submerged for 40 to 50 minutes at a time. Their unique tongue has a bright-red, worm-shaped piece of flesh on it that attracts prey to the motionless turtle at the river bottom.

Bonus Fact: A 403-pound alligator snapping turtle was supposedly found in the Neosho River in Kansas in 1937.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stealth Mountain Lions

Mountain Lions, also known as pumas, cougars and catamounts, can be found all over the Americas. In the early 20th century, mountain lions were killed off in the Midwestern and Eastern states by farmers whose livestock were attacked by these stealth animals. While there are still many in the Western states and Canada, only four attacks and one human death happen each year in all of the U.S. and Canada.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Squirrels Across the Globe

Whether you hate them or love them, almost everyone runs into a squirrel on a daily basis because over 200 species live across the globe. However, they don't live in Australia. The smallest squirrel is a total of five inches long from head to tail, while the largest can grow up to three feet. Because it's a rodent, its teeth never stop growing to keep up with the squirrel's constant gnawing on a diet of nuts, leaves, roots, seeds and other plants.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beware of Territorial Frogs

The Amazon horned frog is known for its size, growing up to 8 inches long. They feed on just about anything that is smaller than them, and they swallow their prey whole. They are so territorial and aggressive that Amazon villagers wear specific leather boots called botas escuerzas to prevent the frog from attacking.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hyenas Can Be Pests

Hyenas are famous scavengers, but they actually kill and eat several birds, lizards, snakes and insects. In Africa, hyenas and humans come in contact so frequently that the Maasai people actually leave their dead to be eaten by hyenas. However, the hyenas also raid food stores and crops and often kill livestock and sometimes even humans. Because of these incidents, the hyena is thought of as a pest. While many think that the hyena is related to the dog, it's actually more closely related to the cat.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Falcons Swoop Fast

Peregrine falcons are one of the world's most common birds of prey, living on all continents except Antarctica. They hunt from the sky, and after seeing their prey, they drop down at 200 miles an hour to swoop up their next meal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Diving Seals Take A Nap

When elephant seals migrate from California to the mid-Pacific and around Alaska, they can spend two to eight months without stopping. Because there's no land to bask in the sun on and the seabed is miles below the surface, scientists didn't know how they slept during this period. However, a new study shows that elephant seals may use their long dives — sometimes up to 984 feet — to take a little nap. During the dives, they lay back and allow themselves to sink.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Arctic Foxes Survive Everyday Blizzards

The Arctic Fox can survive in some of the harshest climates, as cold as –58°F (-50°C). Its white coat camouflages well against any arctic tundra. In the summer, its coat changes to a brown or gray color to adapt to the fox's surroundings. In order to stay out of blizzards, the arctic fox lives in burrows; however, sometimes it creates tunnels in the snow for shelter.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ferrets Sleep the Day Away

Black-footed ferrets sleep up to 21 hours a day, and mostly hunt during the night. They mainly prey on prairie dogs, hunting them in burrows and taking their shelter. Due to a government-assisted wipeout of prairie dog towns in the 20th century (because their underground burrows are destructive to farmers' fields), the black-footed ferret also suffered from lack of food and shelter. As a result, the animal is still endangered.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hear Tigers Roar

At one point, there were eight tiger subspecies, and now there are only five. In the last 100 years, tiger populations have gone from hundreds of thousands to around 1,500. All of the remaining five subspecies are endangered because of hunting and deforestation issues.

Bonus Fact: A tiger's roar can be heard as far as 2 miles away.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Butterflyfish Camouflage With Patterns

There are over 114 species of butterflyfish. Most of them have intricate patterns with beautiful colors. These patterns work to their advantage too. Many have dark bands near their eyes, and dots on their flanks that make it hard for predators to figure out which end is their face. At night, butterflyfish stay in dark crevices where their colors camouflage with the natural reef surroundings.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Pesty Cane Toad

The venomous cane toad was originally let out into the Australian wild in 1935 because scientists believed that they could help control the destructive cane beetle population. Unfortunately, the toads weren't very good at controlling beetles; however, they were quite good at reproducing themselves. When they were first released, there were about 3,000 of them; now there are over a million. Today they are considered pests, and the Australian government encourages the collection and disposal of them. Their venom can be painful, but very rarely does it kill humans.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pandas Love Bamboo

The giant panda loves bamboo. On average, a single panda eats up to 28 pounds a day. It often takes them 12 hours to do so, and because of all that eating, the panda also spends a lot of time relieving itself — more than a dozen times a day. Talk about a feeding frenzy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Porcupines have soft hair, but they have sharp quills mixed in on their back, sides and tail. The quills of Africa's crested porcupine can even grow up to a foot long.