I recently was working on a project that had me looking for all the cool, amazing and interesting facts about wildlife. I thought I knew a lot of facts, but I learned a lot with this assignment! And, best of all, I reinvigorated my love of nature, wild things, and crazy, obscure facts. Here is a taste of what I learned (in no particular order of coolness):
A mountain lion can jump 20 vertically… and 40 feet horizontally! But even better than that, a flea can jump 200 times its own height. That would be like a human jumping over the Empire States Building!
A Bar Tailed Godwit has been recorded flying from Alaska to New Zealand… non-stop! That’s 7,145 miles without taking a break. Or, 9 straight days of flying. Better yet, the “Gold Metal” of migration goes to the Arctic Tern which flies over 44,000 miles each year! Its annual migration takes it from Greenland to Antarctic (via Africa) every spring and then again in the fall. Add to that the fact that Arctic Terns can live up to 30 years. Do the math… an Arctic Tern can fly over 1.5 million miles over the course of its life! (Imagine the frequent flyer miles!). This lifetime feat is equivalent to flying to the moon and back three time!
There are a lot of animals that are fast. Of course, the fastest land mammal in the world is the cheetah which can reach speeds of over 70mph. But, what about in North America. This honor goes to the Pronghorn. This amazing prairie species can reach speeds of over 50 mph! But, if you are looking at birds, the honor goes to the Peregrine Falcon which can dive at speeds over 200mph. Imagine you are a pigeon and a Peregrine Falcon comes at you at 200mph. No wonder these Falcons are such good predators! And, of course you can’t over look insects. The fastest flying insect “gold metal” goes to the dragonfly which has been clocked at over 35mph! But, what about crawling insects. The cockroach hold the metal for this one reaching crawling speeds of 3.4mph (ewwwwww!).
Snakes can eat something three times the size of their head… that would be like a human eating a watermelon in one bite! A bat can eat over 1,000 insects in 1 hour (this is why bats are so important in the ecosystem… can you imagine how many mosquitoes we would have if bats were not around!!). An, here is an amazing feat by the Long-tailed Duck. These little diving ducks can dive up to 200 feet down to forage for food. Humans would need scuba gear for this, but not this little feathered friend!
RANDOM COOL FACTS
– for every acre of green space, there are about 50,000 spiders (again, no wonder they are so important at keeping insects in check!)
– an ostrich’s eye is larger than its brain!
– Cope’s Grey Tree Frogs freeze during the winter, then thaw in the spring!
– Elephants can smell water up to 3 miles away.
– Hummingbirds beat their wings 60-80 times per second… try flapping your arms that fast!
– For every person on Earth, there are about 1 million ants (another critical part of the ecosystem!)
– The Dung Beetle can pull something 1,100+ times its own weight. That would be like a 150lb. human pulling something weighing over 171,000 lbs.
So, there you have it… nature is amazing! And, as much fun as you have had reading all these amazing fact, imagine how much better it would be to SEE these amazing feats! So, go outside! Go explore! Go find some of these fascinating creature and watch them amaze you! I guarantee it is better than any Oscar winning movie!