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Favorite Facts

Did You Know?
  • That Shrews are not rodents? 
  • That Humans have one hair per follicle, but Short-Tailed Chinchillas have up to 100?
  • That the Steller's Sea Cow went extinct only 27 years after it was discovered?
  • That according to tradition, at least six Ravens must be kept at the Tower of London, otherwise the monarchy will fall?
  • That the two largest species of shark eat mostly tiny plankton?
  • That the now-extinct Caribbean Monk Seal was first described by Christopher Columbus? And that he ordered his crew to kill and butcher eight of them for food?
  • That the Nene, or Hawaiian Goose, evolved from the same common ancestor as the Canadian Goose?
  • That Fainting Goats don't actually faint?
  • That the 150lbs Cabybara is considered to be a fish by the Catholic Church in Venezuela?
  • That the creation of Ligers is frowned upon?
  • That a Hector's Dolphin could fit in your bathtub?
  • That European Starlings came to a America because of an avid Shakespeare fan?
  • That Pronghorns are not closely related to any other Antelope?
  • That there once lived a 1,500lb Guinea Pig?
  • That high levels of Oxygen allowed for gigantic insects to exist 300 million years go?
  • That a Lungfish named Granddad has been living at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium since 1933?
  • That Bowhead Whales might be able to live for 200 years or more?
  • That Turacos are the only birds with true Green and Red Pigmentation?

Popular posts from this blog

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful!

And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles.

I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out!

Thanks again for four awesome years!


Harpy Eagle

I think we'll just start his post off with a video.

Yup. That's what Harpy Eagles (Harpia harpyja) do. They soar above the treetops of the Amazon, and swoop in to grab unsuspecting sloths, monkeys, opossums, anteaters.... but sloths are apparently their favorites. They are one of the largest species of raptor in the world.

Harpy Eagles are the only member of genus Harpia, so named after the Harpies, winged death spirits in Greek Mythology that had eagle-like bodies and the heads of women. In the Jason and the Argonauts story, the Harpies tortured king Phineas by always snatching food out of his hands, leaving him perpetually hungry until Jason and his band relieved him. They resorted to similar snatching in The Aeneid, and were also said to have grabbed who people in other myths as well. In short, a very appropriate name for an eagle that makes its living grabbing tree dwellers while they are just doing their thing.

Though it is the only member in its genus, the Harpy Eagle is …

Common Brushtail Possum

The Common Brushtail Possum is a species of Marsupial found in Australia. As the name probably suggests, they are a common animal, and have the largest range and most abundant population of any Australian Marsupial.

The Brushtails do in fact have very bushy tails, though the underside had a naked patch. This is because the Possum's tail is prehensile, and that patch allows them to grip things better. They feed on a variety of plants, including fruits and Eucalyptus, and have also been known to eat the occasional animal. The species is also nocturnal, meaning that they need to find dark places to sleep in during the daytime- possibly even inside a house roof!

Common Brushtail Possums are arboreal creatures, and are excellent climbers. The females even have front-facing pouches for their offspring, in part so that they don't lose them. Some other marsupials, especially those that dig, have backwards facing pouches to keep dirt and debris away from their developing infants.

A ba…