40 Lesser-Known Facts About Animals That Made People Say ‘Aww’ (New Pics)
In all the time we humans have been discovering and describing the world around us, we've only just scratched the surface. In fact, scientists have estimated that there are about 8.7 million species of plants and animals in existence, however, only around 1.2 million of them have been identified and described so far (most of which are insects). This means that millions of other organisms remain a complete mystery.
But of course, even such a "small" number is too big for us regular folk to keep up with. And the subreddit 'Awwducational' is a great example of that. Its 4.9 million members keep sharing lesser-known facts about the animal kingdom, and even though the online community was founded all the way back in 2012, it doesn't seem to be running out of cute and educational titbits to surprise everyone with.
So even though we at Bored Panda have already written about 'Awwducational' here and here, we decided to compile the best posts that have since gone viral within the sub since our last publication. They're just too good to pass up!
New Study Reveals That Bumblebees Will Roll Wooden Balls For Seemingly No Other Reason Than Fun, Becoming The First Insect Known To 'Play'
Arctic Foxes Are 'Ecosystem Engineers' Who Grow Beautiful Gardens. Organic Waste From The Foxes & Their Kills Make The Area Surrounding Their Dens More Fertile, Leading To Almost Three Times As Many Dune Grasses, Willows & Wildflowers To Sprout Up, Compared To The Rest Of The Tundra
As Olivia Lai pointed out on Earth, as much as we want to marvel at nature and our planet’s biodiversity, we need to remember that the creatures we share our home with are currently under overwhelming stress due to centuries of widespread human activities and climate change.
Deforestation and land clearing for agricultural and farming purposes remain to be the biggest threats to animal and plant species across the world, reducing millions of hectares of natural habitats every year.
Here's Twinzy, A Half-Sider Budgie, Half-Siders Are Budgies With A Condition Called "Chimerism" Which, In Genetics, Means That It's The Result Of Non-Identical Twins Fusing Together Early In Their Development To Become One!
This Is An African Black Footed Cat. Despite Its Adorable Looks, It’s A Killing Machine. It’s Hunting Success Rate Is 60%, Compare That To A Lion’s 25%
Bat Toes Are Specially Designed To Relax In A Locked Position. This Means That When Bats Are Clinging On To The Roof Of A Cave Or Tree, They Are Actually Relaxing Their Feet
It takes energy to release their grip and open up their little toes before taking off to fly in the night
As the world continues its current trend of environmental degradation, we have driven another 1 million animal and plant species to the brink of extinction, all of which could disappear from the Earth within decades, according to the UN’s 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service.
This devastating rate of extinction highlights the fact we’re in the midst of a sixth mass extinction event, and even more worryingly, it’s accelerating. Scientists note that without the human destruction of nature, this rate of loss would have taken thousands of years.
The Australian Western Pygmy Possum Is Actually One Of The Largest Pygmy Possums In The World Despite Being No Larger Than A Typical Kiwi Fruit
Kodkods Are The Smallest Wild Felid In The Americas And Have The Smallest Distribution Of Any Cat In The Americas. They Occur Only In Central And Southern Chile, With Marginal Populations In Adjoining Areas Of Argentina
The Resplendent Quetzal Is A Sacred Symbol In Mesoamerica And Guatemala's National Bird, Pictured On The Country's Flag. They Favor Eating Fruit In The Avocado Family, Eating Them Whole Before Regurgitating The Pits. Essentially Making Them The Avocado "Gardeners" Of Their Forest Habitats
They favor eating fruit in the avocado family, eating them whole before regurgitating the pits. Essentially making them the avocado "Gardeners" of their forest habitats
Although It Takes Newborn Elephants Only A Few Hours To Master Standing And Walking, They Need 1 Year To Figure Out How To Use Their Trunks To Drink Water
In the meantime they will flop around as they try different techniques to control it
There are currently at least 38,500 species under threat, and over 16,300 species believed to be endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi, and plant species.
Based on only 28% of all assessed species, 41% of known endangered species are amphibians, 37% are sharks and rays, 33% are corals, 26% are mammals, and 14% are birds.
The Maned Wolf Is The One Of Largest Canid In South America. This Species Is The Only Member Of Its Genus. Although Technically, It Is Not A Fox Or A Wolf. Its Long Legs Are Likely An Adaptation To The Tall Grasslands Of Its Native Habitat
Fun Fact, You Can Rent Goats To Clear Brush Off Your Property. They Eat Everything, Including Poison Ivy, And It's Much More Eco Friendly Than Weed Killer
The Wild Iberian Lynx Population Has Increased Tenfold In The Last Two Decades, From 94 Individuals In 2002 To 1,111 Lynxes In 2021, A True Success Story Owing To Conservation Efforts And Public Awareness. Listed As "Endangered", The Lynx Lives In Fragmented Wilderness Areas In Spain And Portugal
Songbirds Like This Indigo Bunting Use The Stars To Navigate While Migrating. Studies Show That The Birds Especially Rely On The North Star, Ursa Major, And Cassiopeia
Up to 70% of the world’s assessed plants are under threat, and nearly a third of global tree species are facing extinction including well-known species such as magnolias, oaks, maple and ebonies.
In the US alone, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are currently over 1,300 endangered or threatened species.
Platypuses/Platypi Are Extremely Affectionate, Also Have The Most Rem Sleep Of Any Animal (5.8-8 H/Day)
The Olinguito (Bassaricyon Neblina) Made Global Headlines When Scientists Announced Its Discovery In 2013, A Notable Event As This Was The First Carnivore Described In The Western Hemisphere Since The 1970s. It Is Native To The Forests Of Colombia And Ecuador. This Is A Photo Of A Baby Olinguito
The Indian Giant Squirrel Can Grow To A Full Length Of Over A Metre
Blue-Footed Boobies Have Bright Blue Feet Due To Their Diet, And The Level Of Brightness Shows How Healthy The Bird Is To Their Mate!
According to a 2020 analysis published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists have identified 515 species with populations below 1,000, and about half of these had fewer than 250 individuals remaining.
Black-Footed Ferrets Are Among The Most Endangered And Rarest Mammals Native To North America. In Fact, The Species Was Declared Extinct In 1979, However, In 1981 A Residual Wild Population Was Discovered In Wyoming. This Ferret, Born In 2020, Was The First Ever U.S. Endangered Animal To Be Cloned
Bat-Eared Foxes Sleep Mostly During The Day In Their Burrows And Emerge At Dusk To Feed Mainly On Termites And Other Insects. As You Can Guess, They Have An Incredible Sense Of Hearing
Gray Wolves Eating Blueberries; Wolves Actually Covet Berries And Other Fruits, During Their Growing Seasons Berries Can Make Up 80% Of Wolf Packs' Diet
The Little Hands On These Cuties Are Their Pelvic Fins Which Form Suction Disks. The Suction Disks Are Used To Strongly Attach Themselves To Rocks And Other Objects
There are also 388 species of land vertebrates with populations under 5,000 individuals, 84% of them live in the same regions as the species with populations under 1,000, creating conditions for a domino effect where close ecological interactions of species on the brink tend to move other species towards extinction.
The Blue Fairy Penguin Is Indigenous To The Southern Coastlines Of Australia And New Zealand. They Are The Smallest Species Of Penguin In The World
The Appaloosa Is An American Horse Breed Known For Its Distinctive And Colorful Leopard Complex-Spotted Coat. Each Horse's Color Pattern Is Genetically The Result Of Various Overlay Patterns On One Of Several Recognized Base Coat Colors. This Particular Appaloosa Is Sporting A Peacock-Leopard Coat
This Is A Baby Giraffe, Giraffes Are The Tallest Mammals On The Planet. Baby Giraffes Usually Will Be Able To Stand And Walk Within 5 Hours Of Being Born. They Stand Most Of Their Life And Need Very Little Sleep. Plus They Have The Most Adorable Babies
This Is The Astounding ‘Babysitter’ Bone Bed Containing Multiple, Exceptionally Preserved Baby Psittacosaurus Dinosaurs
What was most astonishing was that the larger animal wasn't sexually mature, meaning it wasn't the parent, suggesting communal child-rearing behavior, hence the find's name
As forests are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals, plants, and insects, it is crucial we halt and reverse deforestation if we want to restore and protect the world's animal and plant species.
Illicit poaching and wildlife trafficking remain huge threats to biodiversity and animal species to this day, with nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants reported in illegal trade involving 120 countries. While far stricter enforcement and conservation efforts have already helped many historically poached species to recover, we must continue these efforts to save the critters we see in the pictures.
The Tufted Coquette Is A Hummingbird That Breeds In Eastern Venezuela, Trinidad, Guiana, And Northern Brazil. The Male, Pictured Here, Has A Rufous Head Crest And A Coppery Green Back With A Whitish Rump Band That Is Prominent In Flight. Tufted Coquettes Are Known For Being Quite Approachable
In Most Deer Species, Only The Males Grow Antlers. For Reindeer, Both The Males And Females Grow Them. A Female Reindeer Begins Growing Antlers In May And Keeps Them All The Way Until After The Winter Birthing Season To Protect Their Young From Predators (Perfect Mother's Day Fact)
The Rusty-Spotted Cat Is The Smallest Wild Cat In Asia, And It Competes With The Black-Footed Cat Of Africa For The Title Of 'World's Smallest Wild Cat'. Adult Rusty-Spotted Cats Weigh Up To 1.6kg/3.5lbs. They Are Native To Nepal, India And Sri Lanka, And They Are Listed As 'Near Threatened'
The Male Of The Purple-Gold Jumping Spider (Irura Bidenticulata) Is Recognized By Its Striking, Shiny Magenta-Gold Patterned Body. It Was Discovered In 2011 In Southeast Asia. The Purple-Gold Jumping Spider Typically Measures 5–6 Mm. It Is Not Considered Harmful To Humans
Desert Rain Frogs Live In Clusters (Also Called Armies), Are Near Threatened Species As Of 2016, And Love Burrowing!
Bohemian Waxwings Have An Uncanny Ability To Find Fruit Nearly Everywhere, Almost Like They Have A Gps Tracker For Berries. Flocks Sometimes Turn Up In Desert Areas, Find An Isolated Shrub, Devour Its Fruit In Minutes, And Move On
Researchers At The Tel Aviv University Found Out That Bat Squeaks Are Not Random. They Actually Argue With Each Other. They Even Use Different To Es Of Voice While "Talking" To Different Individuals
A Black Heron Using Its Wings Like An Umbrella, Creating Shade To Attract Fish, A Behavior Known As Canopy Feeding
While Donkeys May Have A Notorious Reputation For Being Stubborn, They Are Actually Quite Fearless Dealing With Predators As Well As Intelligent, Playful And Curious
When this donkey in Arkansas received presents a few days ago, his owner reported he "always gets so excited when he gets a new one"
Costasiella Kuroshimae (Leaf Sheep) Are Capable Of A Chemical Process Called Kleptoplasty, In Which They Retain The Chloroplasts From The Algae They Feed On. Absorbing The Chloroplasts From Algae Then Enables Them To Indirectly Perform Photosynthesis
The Black Tear Lines Under A Cheetah’s Eyes Protect Them From Glare And Strong Sunlight
The Pink Fairy Armadillo Is The Smallest Species Of Its Kind. They Can Be Found In Central Argentina Amongst Sandy Plains And Dunes
The Giant Wood Moth Is One Of The Largest Moth Species In The World. According To The Australian Museum, Adult Females Are About Twice As Large As Males, Can Weigh Up To 30 Grams, And Have A Wingspan Of Up To 25 Centimeters. They Live In The Forests Of Australia And New Zealand
Rats Enjoy Being Groomed, And It's Actually Good For Them. It Releases Endorphins And Oxytocin, Promoting Happiness And Social Bonding. It Reduces Stress And Promotes Good Health. Research Found That Rats That Were Groomed More As Babies Were Calmer, Braver And Had Better Immune Systems
Note: this post originally had 120 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.