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ENCYCLOPEDIA

smithsonian

ENCYCLOPEDIA
THE 100 MOST INCREDIBLE
CREATURES ON THE PLANET

Derek Harvey
CONTENTS
8
E1 G
S T B I T E PA
NGE

118
RO

GE
ST

PA
R
TE
RIN
FA S T E S T S P

AMAZING ANIMAL
ANATOMY ATHLETES
MAMMALS 18 MAMMALS 110
BIRDS 46 BIRDS 132
REPTILES 60 REPTILES 144
AMPHIBIANS 74 AMPHIBIANS 000
FISH 82 FISH 148
INVERTEBRATES 88 INVERTEBRATES 156

RECORD-BREAKERS 106 RECORD-BREAKERS 168

DK LONDON DK INDIA
Senior Designer Senior Editor Senior Art Editor Senior Editor
Ina Stradins Angeles Gavira Devika Dwarkadas Soma B. Chowdhury
Designers Editors LONDON, NEW YORK, MELBOURNE, Art Editors Editors
David Ball, Alison Gardner, Anna Hall, Kim Bryan, Jemima Dunne, Wendy Horobin, MUNICH, AND DELHI Suhita Dharamjit, Suefa Lee,
Peter Laws, Fiona Macdonald, Francis Wong Janet Mohun, Steve Setford, Laura Wheadon Parul Gambhir, Neha Pande
DK Picture Library Editorial Assistant Managing Art Editor Managing Editor Rakesh Khundongbam, Managing Editors
Liz Moore Lili Bryant Michelle Baxter Camilla Hallinan Vaibhav Rastogi Rohan Sinha,
Jacket Designers Jacket Editor Art Director Publisher DTP Designers Alka Thakur Hazarika
Laura Brim, Silke Spingies Manisha Majithia Philip Ormerod Sarah Larter Rajesh Singh Adhikari, Production Manager
Production Controllers Production Editor Associate Publishing Arvind Kumar, Tanveer Zaidi Pankaj Sharma
Erika Pepe, Alice Sykes Victoria Khroundina Publishing Director Director Consultant Art Director DTP Manager
US Editor Margaret Parish Jonathan Metcalf Liz Wheeler Shefali Upadhyay Balwant Singh
LIVING PLANET 6 EVER-CHANGING ANIMALS 10 ANIMAL LIFESTYLES 14

ALL SHAPES AND SIZES 8 BODY MATTERS 12

E V O T E D M OT
TD HE
OS R
M PA

GE
21
4

AGE 234
R P
YE
FL
T
EN
SIL

LIFE SUPERNATURAL
STORIES SENSES
MAMMALS 172 MAMMALS 220
BIRDS 188 BIRDS 234
REPTILES 196 INVERTEBRATES 236
FISH 198
INVERTEBRATES 200

RECORD-BREAKERS 216 RECORD-BREAKERS 248

Smithsonian Enterprises: First American Edition, 2012


Vice President Carol LeBlanc
Director of Licensing Brigid Ferraro
Published in the United States by DK Publishing,
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GLOSSARY 250
Licensing Manager Ellen Nanney Copyright 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Smithsonian Product Development All rights reserved
Institution Coordinator Kealy Wilson 12 13 14 15 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 INDEX 253
001183047Sep/2012
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BOREAL FOREST

LIVING PLANET The dense forests of the


far north are made up
mainly of conifer trees.
In the short summer there
is plenty to eat, but food
is scarce in the long, cold
Life began in Earths oceans about 3.5 billion years winter. Some animals
CULTIVATED LAND hibernate in winter,
ago. It has since spread, in a spectacular number of Nearly one-tenth of the others migrate south.
different forms, to every corner of the planet. Among Earths land area is used
for farming. Cultivated 8.5%
the host of animals that inhabit land and sea there are
land supports plant
some true superstars of nature that boast amazing crops and domesticated
abilities, incredible bodies, and fascinating lifestyles. animals, together with
wild species that have
managed to survive
alongside humans.

SAVANNA 9.5%
Tropical savanna grassland is hot all
year round, but there are distinct dry
and wet seasons. A few trees and
shrubs offer some shade. On the
African savanna, grazing animals
such as wildebeest and zebra
follow the rains in search of
fresh grass, preyed on by
lions and other carnivores. 10%

POLAR ICE
The polar regionsthe Arctic
Ocean around the North Pole,
and Antarctica around the
South Poleare mostly
covered by thick ice. Many
polar animals use thick
layers of fur, feathers, or
fat to keep out the cold,
while some sh have 11%
antifreeze in their blood.

TROPICAL FOREST
The lush, evergreen forests near
the equator are home to at
least half of the worlds plant
and animal species. Often
called jungles, these forests are
always warm and wet. Their 17%
owers, fruits, and leaves are a
rich source of food. Animals live
at every level, from the tops of the
tallest trees to the dark forest oor.
The worlds biomes TEMPERATE FOREST OCEAN LIFE
Biologists divide the world into biomes, Broadleaved, deciduous trees ourish Earth is a watery
regions with similar landscapes, climates, in mild (temperate) climates. Summers 71% world, with vast
and wildlife. The gures below show are warm, winters cool, and rain falls oceans covering
how much of the Earths land surface
year-round. Birds, bears, deer, and nearly three-
each biome occupies.
small mammals thrive in such forests.
29% quarters of its
surface. Shallow seas
near land, especially
7% around coral reefs, are
TEMPERATE GRASSLAND rich in wildlife. Animals
Cooler than savanna, temperate that live out in the open ocean
grasslands also have less rainfall and must be strong swimmers to move around in the currents.
so cannot support trees or shrubs. In the deepest ocean, up to 7 miles (11 km) below the
They are home to large grazing surface, animals must cope with total darkness, very cold
animals such as bison and antelope. temperatures, and pressures that would crush a human.

6%
MEDITERRANEAN
Regions with a Mediterranean-
style climate have short, wet,
mild winters and long, dry
summers. Shrubs, short trees,
and cacti and other drought-
resistant plants grow on their
6% rugged landscapes. Animals
include wild goats, lynx,
jackals, boar, and vultures.

TUNDRA
The at, treeless tundra lands
5.5% surrounding the Arctic are
free of ice, but below the
surface layer the soil is
always frozen. The tundra
comes alive with owers
and insects in the summer,
and many birds and
mammals migrate there to
feed and breed.

DESERT
Places with less than 10 in
(25 cm) of rain a year are
INTRODUCTION
called deserts. They are
usually hotup to a
scorching 120F (50C)
19.5% by dayand either
rocky or covered with
shifting sand. Desert
animals can survive on
very little water. Many are
active at night, when it is cooler.

7
ALL SHAPES AND SIZES

Jel er ou
ly sea th
ot a m
The world is bursting with animals. We know of more

h
sh cr su

Cn one es w ded
, a ea rro
by
than 1.5 million different species of living animal, in all

ne tu u

id s, a ith
a

m r n
rin

ar nd
shapes and sizes imaginable. In fact, there are so many go

ia
ft

ns
en
that a whole branch of biologytaxonomyis devoted ta
cle
to classifying them into groups based on shared features. s.

SPINELESS INVERTEBRATES
About two-thirds of all known animal species
are invertebrates. Invertebrate groups
include cnidarians, mollusks, echinoderms,
sponges, worms, and arthropods. These
animals have few features in common, apart M ollu
Soft- sks
from the fact that they all lack a backbone, or that a bodied an
re ofte imals
vertebral column. Familiar invertebrates by a ha np
rd shell rotected
include worms, arthropods such as insects, , as in t
he
Nautilus
crabs, and spiders, and snails, which are (right).
mollusks. However, many invertebrates are
so inconspicuous or tiny that we never
notice them. A lot are found only in the
ocean. Others, such as insects, live on land
and are common worldwide.

Echinoderms
mals with
Marine mam
ften in ve
bodies o have
rts. Most kin.
equal pa im p ly s
p
spiny or

ges s
Spons that rm
Wo , soft
imal he ng nd
m p le an ed to t od h lo e rou ms
Si t a c h r fo i t
at
live and l e wate
te r. ls w at ar wor es.
ma h t
e d t h Ani dies t Some arasi
seab from bo at . as p
or live
s
wi se ske od
joi a nu en ton
p

nt m ed
bo ver ern ro

m e

leg er
l
t
co ext rth

ed b
s.
dy s a al
A

t h g
An

of
There may be

an lig ea ng
40 million

t
i
to ave th a -lay

y igh
k .
e
g

ca tw
b
sk ost als w , eg

.
h
M im red

n
Fe rds

i
a
an athe
undiscovered

d
Bi

ele h
n
species

VERTEBRATE VARIETIES
Most of the animals we know best
including humansare vertebrates. Their
key feature is a backbone, or vertebral
column, made of small bones called
vertebrae. The backbone is the central part
of an internal skeleton, which is moved by
muscles. Most vertebrates have limbs (arms
or legs) or ns arranged in pairs, complex
sense organs, and an obvious brain.
The ve types of vertebrate are: birds,
mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and sh.
Mammals, birds, and certain sh can
control their body temperature, making
them less dependent on external conditions.

Mammals
Animals co
vered with
fur or ha
ir that su
their yo ckle
un
birth to g. Most give
live yo
ung.

Rep
t
Sca iles
l
suc y-skin
h n
cro as sn ed an
INTRODUCTION
c a i
Mo dile kes, l mals
o
st l s iz
ay , and ards,
egg t
s. urtles.
Am
Fish

An ph
Aqu als with
anim shy ns. M .

an ima ibi
or e e using gills
breath

liv d sa ls su ans
atic

alw e pa lama ch as
swim

ay rtly nde fro


s b on rs, gs
re
ed land whi
min
spiny

in ch
wa but
g
ost

ter
.
9
EVER-CHANGING ANIMALS
Nothing stays the same for long in nature. Over many generations
living things gradually change, or adapt, so that they are better suited
to their surroundings. Those that fail to adapt become extinctthey
die out. This process of slow change is called evolution, and it has
produced the amazing variety of animals that we see today.

HOW EVOLUTION WORKS Barapasaurus Body was


Young animals tend to look like their parents because measured 59 ft bulky and
characteristics are copied from parents to offspring. (18 m) from its head heavy
to the tip of its tail
But this copying process is not exact, and sometimes the
young develop new characteristics. If a new characteristic
is usefulsuch as a coat color that provides better
Zebras camouagethe animal is likely to live a longer and more
A striped coat is a useful characteristic successful life, producing more offspring that will
for zebras. It helps them to recognize also have the helpful trait.
and bond with their own kindan
important ability for herd animals.

SUPERSIZED MAMMALS
Major events, such as vast volcanic eruptions or meteorite
strikes, can change animals surroundings so rapidly that
they cannot adapt quickly enough and many species die Flexible tail
out. This is called a mass extinction. helped to
balance the
After a mass extinction 65 million years ago wiped out the
long neck
dinosaurs, large mammals evolved to take their place. They
included a giant rhinoceros, 18 ft (5.5 m) tall, and giant
sloths, beavers, and armadillos.

Giant armadillo
Glyptodon, a distant
relative of modern Thick, scaly skin
armadillos, lived
from around
5 million
to 10,000 Pillarlike legs
years ago.

Barapasaurusa loser
Sauropod dinosaurs, such as this
Barapasaurus, were among the many
Sauropods walked on losers of the mass extinction
the tips of their toes 65 million years ago. The sauropods
included the largest and heaviest
Modern armadillo animals ever to have lived on land.
is much smaller
Short, deep head

Long neck
allowed dinosaur

99.9% of all to reach leaves


high up in trees

animal species Broad teeth


for grinding up
plant food
that have ever
lived are now
extinct Bare skin
on head
and neck

Powerful
bill for
tearing
meat

Vulturea winner
LOSERS AND WINNERS
When you look at a vulture,
We think of dinosaurs as being long-extinct, you are looking at one of evolutions
but that is not strictly truetheir descendants winners. The scaly skin and reptilian
are still with us today. The therapods were a eyes are a reminder that birds are
group of dinosaur that walked on two legs. descended from dinosaurs.
They included the well known Tyrannosaurus
and Velociraptor. About 160 million years
Simple
ago, some smaller theropods grew feathers, feathers
perhaps as a way of keeping warm. Later, they
began using their feathered forelimbs to glide
or y. Eventually, these feathered therapods
evolved into birds. When the dinosaurs died
out after a huge meteorite collided
with Earth around 65 million years
ago, the birds survived.
Three-
ngered
hands

Thick bones
supported the
INTRODUCTION
dinosaur's
huge weight

Stubby feet Bird ancestor


like those of About the height of a human, the therapod
an elephant
Talons on Guanlong was a smaller relative of Tyrannosaurus.
three-toed feet Guanglong had a large crest on its head, and
its skin may have been covered
with simple feathers.
11
BODY MATTERS
Animal bodies are made up of cells, which are grouped together to form
tissues such as muscle and bone, and organs such as brains, kidneys, eyes, Power and stealth
and skin. The arrangement of tissues and organs in animal bodies varies The largest of the big cats, the tiger
is the ultimate hunting machine.
enormously, but it tends to be similar in closely related kinds of animal. Its body is slinky enough to creep
It is almost always the best arrangement for each species unique way of life. unnoticed through low vegetation,
yet powerful enough to bring
Sockets for down prey as large as wild oxen.
forward-facing Backbone is exible,
eyes, which can making the tiger
judge distances graceful and agile
acurately

Short skull has


Teeth include canines attachment points
for stabbing and for powerful
cheek teeth for slicing jaw muscles

Flexible jaw
opens wide
ANIMALS WITH BACKBONES
to engulf Vertebrates (birds, mammals, reptiles,
large prey amphibians, and sh) have an internal
skeleton made of cartilage or bone. Deep chest
The skeleton supports the body, with room for
provides a frame to which muscles large lungs
can attach, and protects internal organs. The
brain is housed inside a skull. The spinal
SIMILAR, BUT DIFFERENT
corda vital part of the nervous systemruns
through a backbone that is made up of Despite natures amazing variety, some species
small, interlocking bones called vertebrae. are very alike. Often look-alikes are related,
but not always. At rst glance, the long-
beaked echidna of Australia resembles
a European hedgehog, but it is actually a
No need for legs Long, powerful
legs allow the cousin of the platypus. Neither hedgehogs
Most vertebrates have either limbs (arms,
tiger to leap up nor echidnas can run fast or ght ercely to
legs, wings, or ippers) or ns. Snakes to 30 ft (10 m) escape danger, but both have evolved a similar
are an exception. The skeleton of a
snakesuch as this cobraconsists of defensesharp spines to keep enemies at bay.
just a skull, backbone, and ribs. The
ribs on the snakes belly can move Hedgehog
apart when it swallows a large meal. When threatened, a
Tail section hedgehog can roll itself into
has no ribs Supersharp,
hooked claws can
a tight, spiked ball that most
Joints between attackers leave alone.
vertebrae are be withdrawn
very strong into the foot

Long-beaked echidna
An echidna can curl up like
a hedgehog. It may also dig
itself into the soil, so that
only its spines are showing.
MADE-TO-MEASURE ARMOR
Arthropodssuch as crabs, insects, millipedes,
and spidershave a jointed external skeleton
that ts like a perfect suit of armor. Called an
exoskeleton, or cuticle, it covers the animals
entire body, including the mouthparts and
eyes. It is made of a light, exible material
called chitin and strengthened with minerals.
An exoskeleton gives excellent support and
protection, but it limits movement and growth.

Tough case
Body is long and In some large arthropods, such as
narrow, perfect for this land crab, the exoskeleton is ROOM TO GROW
moving through reinforced with a chalky substance Unlike the internal skeleton of a
dense forest called calcium carbonate, which vertebrate, the exoskeleton of an
makes it extremely hard. arthropod does not grow with the
animal, so it has to be shed, or
molted, and regrown regularly.
Narrow hips
suited for running This Ecuadorian Brown Velvet
and jumping rather Tarantula Spider will be soft and
than climbing vulnerable for a few hours after
molting. It will hide in a safe place
and wait for its new, roomier
exoskeleton to harden.

Vertebrae have
interlocking shapes
MANAGING WITHOUT A SKELETON
Invertebrates that do not have an external skeleton support their bodies
in a variety of ways. Most worms hold their shape by internal liquid pressure
(a little like a balloon full of water), while starsh and sea urchins grow a
chalky shell immediately under their skin. Many mollusks, including clams
and oysters, have a tough chalky or pearly shell. Others, such as squid and
octopuses, rely mainly on the support of the water in which they live.

Reduced Digestive Muscular arms used


shell, or pen system Large eye for handling prey

Long thigh bones


are embedded in
some of the tiger's
largest muscles

Gill
Squidgy squid Extendable
A squid has no skeleton, but some squid do possess an tentacles used
internal shell called a pen, which protects the animals for attack and
rear. The muscular body relies on the support of seawater, defense
and some species can grow to enormous sizes.

A large lobster
INTRODUCTION

Ankle joints
raised off the Long tail aids
may molt up
balance when

to100 times
ground act as
shock absorbers running and
climbing
Tigers walk

during its life


on four toes
on each foot

13
ANIMAL LIFESTYLES
All animals share the same basic characteristicsthey are all able to grow, feed,
reproduce, move, sense the world around them, and communicate at some level.
But the ways in which animals do these things differ enormously, giving rise to
a spectacular variety of animal lifestyles and behaviors.

Predator and prey


SENSITIVE CREATURES
In order to eat, a chameleons
stealth and precision aiming Senses are vital to an animals survival, helping it to
must triumph over the alert avoid danger and to nd food or a mate. Like humans,
senses, camouage, and most animals can detect light and touch, have a chemical
agility of its insect prey. sense such as taste or smell, and can detect sound waves or
other vibrations. Some animals possess extra senses very different
from our own, such as the way migrating birds can nd their way
using the Earths magnetic eld.

Seeing the invisible


Tongue accelerates
faster than a ghter jet Honeybees can detect ultraviolet light,
which human eyes are unable to see.
Flowers often have ultraviolet markings,
Target snared invisible to us, that direct bees to their
up to 1.5 body pollen and nectar.
lengths away

ENERGY SOURCE
Plants get their energy from sunlight, but animals have to obtain
the energy they need to live and grow by eating other living things,
or their remains. Plant-eating animals are called herbivores, and
meat-eaters are carnivores. Tigers and most other carnivores are
predatorshunters that kill other animals (known as prey) to get
fresh meat. A few carnivores, including vultures, are scavengers;
they do not kill but feed on animal remains. The least fussy eaters
are omnivores, such as rats; they consume a wide variety of foods.

Light collectors
Tongue-twister Most nocturnal animals
The giraffe, a herbivore, is a browser, meaning that it eats leaves have large eyes to gather
that it plucks from trees. Its exible tongue can work around even as much light as possible.
the sharpest thorns. Other herbivores have different feeding habits. The Spectral Tarsiers eyes
Grazers, for example, eat grass, and gramnivores munch seeds. are bigger than its brain!
Bald Eagle landing
Flight uses up a lot of energy, but it offers
birds such as this Bald Eagle great
rewardsincluding the ability to
cover large distances rapidly.
Blue Whale calls
can be heard
halfway around
the world
SENDING SIGNALS
Animals have many ways of communicating with each another,
including visual signals, sounds, and chemical messages. The
messages are usually simplea scent deposit to mark out territory,
a warning cry or a mothers call to nd her young, or a display to
show aggression or attract a mate. Communication also helps social
animals such as wolves and bees to live and work in groups.

Dazzling display
When a male peacock
spreads out his tail
fan, his shimmering
plumage says I am
t and strong to
ANIMALS IN MOTION potential mates.
Most animals live in ever-changing He also rattles his
environments, and they often need to feathers to gain the
move around to nd new food sources, places females attention.
to live, and others of their kind in order to breed. Even animals that
live attached to one spot as adultssuch as barnaclesare usually
mobile when young. More active animals include walkers, runners, Long-distance call
jumpers, crawlers, climbers, swimmers, gliders, and yers. Traveling
Wolves howl to let other pack
uses energy, so animal bodies are usually shaped to make a particular
members know where they are,
style of movement as effortless as possible. and to tell rival packs to stay out
of their territory. In the open,
their calls carry for up to
10 miles (16 km).

Dive! Dive! Dive!


Like many swimming animals, penguins have
streamlined bodies. They use their muscular
ippers to achieve startling speeds, and their feet
as steering rudders. They sometimes leap clear
of the watera stunt known as porpoising.

15
1
AMAZING
ANATOMY
Animals come in all shapes
and sizes. There are big ones,
small ones, hairy ones, and scaly
ones. Some are superstrong or
ultra tough; others can stick to
walls or deliver a nasty bite. Dive
in and discover the ones that
stand out from the crowd.
STRONGEST MAMMAL BITE
TASMANIAN DEVIL
Although scarcely bigger than a year-old bear cub,
the Tasmanian devil has the strongest bite in relation AT A GLANCE
to its size of any mammal. Its jaws can snap bones. Its
an efcient scavenger of carrion, capable of eating a
whole carcass, fur and all. It occasionally turns into
a fearless killereven attacking venomous snakes.

 SIZE Head and body 2132 in (5380 cm)


long, plus tail 912 in (2330 cm) long

 HABITAT Heathland and forest

Bold white  LOCATION Tasmania


chest
marking  DIET Carrion, living animals, and
sometimes plant material

PROTECTIVE MARKINGS
The white chest patch of a Tasmanian
Devil is particularly distinctivealthough
a small number of animals are born
without it. The patch may act as a ag to
draw aggressive bites from other devils away
from the more vulnerable face.

Short legs
give a slow,
rolling gait
CARCASS
COMPETITION
Most Tasmanian Devils are not
aggressive unless threatened
or competing with another
devil for food. When more
than one animal is drawn to
the same carcass, a noisy
squabble might develop, but
only rarely does it escalate
into a ght. At times like this,
growls, snorts, snarls, and
screeches can be heard a very
long distance away.
Broad head with Large pink ears
large jaw muscles with rounded tips
STATS AND FACTS
26
POUNDS
BITE STRENGTH
55 (domestic cat) 418

T
AX H
IMU IG N 200 400 600
M WE
Tasmanian Devils can
eat the equivalent of PREY WEIGHT
up to 10% of their 88 lb
body weight in meat lb 20 40 60 80
a day. When well fed,
they store fat in their kg 15 30 45
tails in case food
becomes scarce.
DISTANCE
210 miles (traveled at night)
SPEED
TO P miles 2 4 6 8 10 12

6.5
km 5 10 15 20

MPH
A Tasmanian
Devils sneeze
can be a sign of
aggression

Coarse, blackish
brown fur

COZY START AMAZING ANATOMY


A female Tasmanian Devil produces a litter
of two to four tiny babies. They spend just
over three months in her pouch, suckling and
growing before they are moved to a den. The
Nocturnal hunter father sometimes helps keep the
The Tasmanian Devil is a stocky, carnivorous babies clean, and when they are
marsupial that spends the day in hollow logs or old enough, the parents take
burrows made by other animals, such as wombats.
turns carrying them around
It emerges at night to search for food, relying
piggyback style.
mostly on its good sense of smell.

19
There can be
WARMEST COAT 800 million
SEA OTTER hairs in an adult
The coat of a Sea Otter is as cozy as a down comforter.
otters coat
There are more hairs in a square inch of its incredibly
thick fur than there are on a whole human head. The Sea
Otter certainly needs it. It lives in the cold waters along
the north Pacic coastlines, but lacks the layer of fatty
blubber under its skin that other sea mammals use as
insulation. Instead, it relies on its dense coat to trap warm
air close to its body. When oating, it holds its paws
above the water to stop them from getting too cold.

AT A GLANCE


Dark fur on
body, white SIZE Head and body 34 ft (11.2 m)
on head long, plus tail 1014 in (2537 cm) long

 HABITAT Shoreline and shallow ocean


waters, within half a mile (1 km) of coast

 LOCATION Japan and western coastal


North America

 DIET Slow-swimming sh, sea urchins,


crabs, and mollusks

STATS AND FACTS


100 DENSITY OF HAIR
1,000,000

POUNDS 1,300 (human)

EC
R

OR HT hair/sq in 650,000 1,300,000


D WEIG

The thickest part of 130 ft (depth) 300 ft (record depth)


the Sea Otter coat is DIVE
ft 100 200 300
the underfur that is
AMAZING ANATOMY

closest to the skin,


m 30 60 90 120
helping the animal
265 sec (record duration)
stay warm when
diving in icy water.
sec 50 100 150 200 250 300
5290 sec (duration)
TEMPERATURE
3459F (surrounding water)
S WIMMING SP F 50 75 100
P
O
EE
T

6
D

C 10 20 30 40
98.6F (body temperature, same as human)

MPH
20
DENS
FUR
EST

LAID-BACK DRIFTERS
Sea Otters rest by oating in the water
on their backsand usually sleep this
way, wrapping themselves in seaweed so
they dont drift out to sea. They even use
their bellies as dinner tables, balancing
a rock on their chests as an anvil to crack
open clam shells.
TALLEST ANIMAL
GIRAFFE
The tallest giraffe could easily look through a second-oor
window without even stretching. A combination of long legs
and long neck means the giraffe can not only eat leaves from
high branches, but it can spot danger farther away, too. Tongue is
about 20 in
(50 cm) long

STATS AND FACTS


WEIGHT OF HEART Horns
24 lb TON are bony
20 GUE TWISTER outgrowths
FEET lb 10 20
of the skulll
A giraffe can reach even farther into
RE
CO T kg 3 6 9 12
RD HE IGH lb (human)
its favorite acacia trees with its long tongue.
The tongue is extremely exible so it can Ligament
Special blood vessels in helps hold
HEARTBEATS wrap around the acacias thorny shoots to
the head stop blood head and
from rushing to it when pluck the succulent leaves. A coating of
neck up
the giraffe stoops down. sticky saliva blankets any thorns that end
bpm 60 (giraffe when resting) 1 min
up being swallowed.
ING SP
INT EE
S PR D
bpm 75 (human) 1 min Neck bones have
ball-and-socket
joints that give
greater exibility
34 MPH
A HIT TO THE NECK Neck muscles
Male giraffes frequently do are strong
battle with one another by to support
heavy bones
swinging their necks and
bashing rivals with their
Every step a heads. This helps more
dominant males keep
their authority within the
giraffe takes herd. Battles are usually
gentle, but if a female is
around, things may escalate
is 15 ft and a male might even be
knocked unconscious.

(4.5 m) long
Back slopes
down
AT A GLANCE

Tail bones

Thigh Large heart


muscles are strong
strong to balance enough
weight of neck to pump
blood up
to the head
SIZE Shoulder height 812 ft (2.53.7 m); total
height 1417 ft (4.35.3 m)

HABITAT Grassland and open woodland


Knee joint Front legs
 are longer
LOCATION Africa than hind
Leg bones
 legs
are strong to
DIET Leaves from trees and shrubs
 support weight of
Heel bone
body and neck

Wrist
joint

Ankle

Tight skin helps


force blood
back up the legs

A long way to go
WALKING AND GALLOPING One remarkable thing about a giraffe
is that its long neck contains the same
When walking, a giraffe moves both feet on one side
Hoofed feet number of bones as a humanseven.
forward at the same time. Because its legs are so long, However, each one can be more than
have two toes
a running giraffe looks ungainlybut can still achieve 10 in (25 cm) long. A powerful heart
enough speed to escape predators. It gallops by rst and high blood pressure are needed
reaching to the ground with its forelegs and then to pump blood such a long
swinging forward with its back legs. distance up to the brain.

23
AMAZING ANATOMY
ICE-COLD KILLER
POLAR BEAR
Polar Bears are the largest animals to prowl the icy wastes of
the Arctic Circle. Size is important in a place that is well below
G E S T
LAR D
freezing for much of the year: a giant body generates warmth
and a thick coat traps it inside. Its size also means that a Polar
Bear can overpower and kill large prey.
A N
LARNIVORE
C
STATS AND FACTS
2,200 TEETH 55 (bite force of
domestic cat)
1,200 (bite force)

POUNDS N 500 1,000 1,500 D

25
in 1 2
A
M

AX H ED ON L
IMU IG
M WE
cm 2 4 6
in (canine length 12 in
Polar Bears prefer to PREY WEIGHT of domestic cat) (canine length)
MPH
SPE

hunt by stalking seals, 222,650 lb


P

but they can run fast


O

lb 1,000 2,000 3,000 T


enough over short
distances to bring kg 500 1,000 1,500
down a caribou.

Mighty Arctic bear


Sharp claws The Polar Bear has thick layers of
for extra grip
fur and blubber to keep warmit
is so well insulated that it could
overheat if the weather becomes
too warm. This bear is also at
home in the cold Arctic waters,
where it dives and swims, using its
rear end as a rudder.

Fur stops
feet slipping

FURRY FEET
The Polar Bear has huge hairy
feet, with small pads, to help it grip
on the slippery ice. Its large round
feet also make excellent paddles when
swimming. A Polar Bear uses its front
paws to catch and kill its preythese Feet act like
are so powerful they can crush the snow shoes
biggest seals and the strongest caribou.
Distinctive
dark eye

Fur-covered
ears

SHARP SENSES
Polar Bears have good
eyesight and hearing.
However, a bear relies mainly
on its nose and excellent sense of
smell to locate its prey, and can sniff out
young seals in dens below the ice.

AT A GLANCE

SIZE Head and body 68 ft (22.5 m) long,


plus tail 35 in (813 cm) long

White fur
HABITAT Arctic pack ice and tundra

helps the
bear hide
LOCATION Coastlines and islands of the
Arctic region
in the snow
DIET Seals, seabirds, caribou, sh, and
sometimes vegetation

AMAZING ANATOMY

Curved claws
help the bear
dig through ice

25
E S T
RG
LA
CAT

WARM COAT
In the cold forests of far eastern Siberia
where winter temperatures plummet far
below freezingtigers are kept warm by
a coat that grows three times longer
than that of tropical Asian tigers.
FELINE GIANT
SIBERIAN TIGER
With a neck-breaking bite and the strength to kill the
biggest stag, the Siberian Tiger is one of the largest land
predators. A tiger catches prey by stalking and pouncing
it gets close to its quarry without being seen, then leaps at
its neck. It clamps its jaws around its victims throat to
suffocate it, or bites the back of the neck to fatally sever
the spinal cord. Long, daggerlike canine teeth grip the
prey and shearing cheek teeth slice through its esh, but
tiger teeth are too fragile to crack bones.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 5127 ft (1.72.1 m)


long, plus tail 3339 in (84100 cm) long

 HABITAT Cold coniferous and broad-


leaved forests

 LOCATION Eastern Russia and some in


northern China

 DIET Deer and smaller prey, such as rabbits


and hares

STATS AND FACTS


15 YEARS
PREY WEIGHT

lb 200
1 lb (hare)700 lb (deer)
400 600 800
M

A
XI
A

MU SP kg 100 200 300 400


M LIFE

The massive skull of a


Siberian Tiger supports BITE STRENGTH
powerful jaw muscles.

AMAZING ANATOMY
They allow the tiger to 55 (domestic cat) 1,500
throttle a big animal,
such as a deer, within N 500 1,000 1,500 2,000
minutes.

FOOD CONSUMPTION

IMUM SPE 20 lb meat required per day


AX E D
M

37
4588 lb can be consumed in one meal

MPH
27
SMALLEST CARNIVORE
LEAST WEASEL STATS AND FACTS
19 oz (weasel)
10 WEIGHT oz 50 100
YEARS

LIF
g 1,000 2,000 3,000

IT

E
SP
AN T IV oz 50 100
Size can be deceptivethe Least Weasel is so small that it could squeeze IN CAP

through a hole the diameter of a mans nger. It usually hunts mice, but can kill The Least Weasel is g 1,000 2,000 3,000
active throughout 70 oz (prey)
much bigger prey, such as rabbits. Least Weasels have lightning-quick reexes, TIME
the year and even 1215 (to reach adult size)
and live life at a fast pace, too. Within 6 months, newborn weasels have grown breeds in winter. 5 (gestation period)

into miniature killers, fully capable of looking after themselves. M WE


IMU IG
AX H weeks 5 10 15 20
M T
68 (to wean)

Long ARMED TO KILL


braincase
A Least Weasel has an elongated
9
OUNCES
skull and a short face. The eye
sockets are large and it has long,
sharp canine teeth to puncture
the head or neck of prey and
break its bones. Like all mammal
carnivores, there are special
cheek teeth called carnassials on
each side of the upper and lower
jaws that are used for cutting
Carnassial
teeth through hide, esh, and bone.

Kills prey
SMALL AND LIGHT 10 times
Weasels vary a lot in size across
their geographic range and
females are always smaller than its own body
males. Both sexes have a brown
upper coat that provides them
with some camouagebut weight
over most of their range they
turn completely white in the
winter to match the snow. Only
in the far south, where it is
warmer, do they stay brown.
Fast and athletic
Short Chestnut brown The long, sinuous body and
tail coat with white short legs of the Least Weasel
underparts allow it to bolt down narrow
burrows in search of prey.
Long-distance jumps and fast
RAPID GROWTH chases make the weasel tricky
Weighing only oz (5 g) to catch but it also keeps
at birth, a Least Weasel close to cover to keep from
kit grows very quickly. being seen by predators.
It reaches adult size in about
15 weeks. Females mature rst
and can produce their own kits Sharp claws
when only three months old.

Soles of feet
are furred in
winter

AT A GLANCE

PINT-SIZE PREDATOR
Least Weasels take on prey much
larger than themselves. Because the
males can be twice the weight of
the females, they are more likely
to hunt rabbits, but will also take
hares and birds as large as
capercaillies. Females mostly
go after mouselike rodents or
baby rabbits.
SIZE Head and body 410 in (1226 cm) long,

plus tail 3 in (28 cm) long

HABITAT Woodland, grassland, and tundra



LOCATION North America, Europe, and Asia

DIET Mostly rodents; sometimes bigger prey

such as rabbits
ARMED FOR COMBAT
Antlers are covered in velvety
skin. This velvet contains
blood vessels that nourish the
growing bone underneath. It is
rubbed off during the fall,
exposing the bony weaponry
used by males during combat.
FASTEST-
GROWING BONES
MOOSE
The worlds largest deer grows the heaviest antlers in
record time. A male moose regrows its antlers every year
because they fall off at the end of each breeding season
an achievement that is equivalent to growing an adult
human skeleton in just a few months. As in other kinds
of deer, antlers are used for combat: males use them for
shoving each other when they compete for females.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body length 73410 ft (2.43.2 m), plus


2434 in (512 cm) tail length

 HABITAT Marshes, and open woodland


that is snow covered in winter

Large antlers  LOCATION North America and northern


Eurasia

can be 6 ft  DIET Shoots, stems, and roots of woody


and aquatic plants

(1.8 m) across
STATS AND FACTS
80
POUNDS
GROWTH RATE OF ANTLERS
11 lb 62 lb 70 lb 77lb
RE

T
GH

O
C

RD EI
ANTLER W days 25 50 75 100

An additional 1020%
nutrition is required DAILY FOOD CONSUMPTION
to grow antlers each

AMAZING ANATOMY
815 cal/lb of body (during antler growth)
year. The calcium and
phosphorus needed
for bone growth come
from the plants a 712 cal/lb of body (at other times)
moose eats.
HOME RANGE
0.86.5 sq miles
LERS GROW sq miles 2
NT
4 6
IN
A

4
sq km 5 10 15 20

MONTHS
31
GIANT-JAWED
FIGHT, NOT BITE
The longest teeth in a
hippopotamus's mouth are
its pointed canines, at 23 in

GRAZER
(60 cm) tall. These are used for
ghting rather than grazing
instead, it uses its horny lips to
crop grass low to the ground.

HIPPOPOTAMUS
The hippopotamus is a huge animal, equally at home in
water or on land. It also has the biggest mouth. Despite
being a vegetarian, the hippos mouth is equipped with
strong tusklike teeth for ghting rivals. Thisas well the
fact that it can easily outrun a humanmakes it
extremely dangerous. Hippos spend most of their day
in water, but leave it at night to graze on land plants.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 91216 ft (2.95 m) long,


tail 1622 in (4056 cm) long; weight 15 tons
(14.5 metric tons)

 HABITAT Pools near grassland and


reed beds

 LOCATION Africa south of


the Sahara Desert

 DIET Vegetationmainly
grass

STATS AND FACTS


3
FEET
BITE STRENGTH
55 (domestic cat) 8,000

OP
ENS TH N 3,000 6,000 9,000
MOU
Even the thickest skin
cracks in the sun, so ORGAN WEIGHT 56 oz (brain)
the hippopotamus
AMAZING ANATOMY

produces its own oz 20 40 60


reddish moisturizer
in its skin glands, g 500 1,000 1,500 2,000
which gave rise to the
46 oz (human brain)
mistaken belief that
it sweats blood. SKIN THICKNESS 158 in (rear and back)
3
ED ON L 8 in (belly)
SPE AN in 1 1
P
O
D
T

30
cm 1 2 3 4 5
1
8 in (human) 118 in (elephant)

MPH
32
BIGG
M O U EST
ON L TH
AND
LARGEST PRIMATE
GORILLA
The biggest Gorilla weighs as much as four men. But this heavyweight primate is actually Spine

a vegetarianit never eats meat and has a specially big stomach to help it digest the
toughest plant material. A Gorilla spends most of its time on the ground and does
Pelvis
sometimes stand up on two feet. Males, in particular, stand upright to make
their chest-thumping displays look more impressive.

LONG BONES Wide


ribcage
Although the Gorilla
can stand on two legs,
its skeleton is not built to
stay this way for long. Its
legs are shorter for its Thigh
body size than in humans bone
and have to support a
large body with a wide
chest. Seen upright, the
extra-long arms reach way
down past the knees. Long
Long upper arms and arm
big hands are good for bones
grasping.

Powerful mover
AT A GLANCE Although Gorillas can
climb trees, they spend
most of their time on the
ground, moving on all fours. Intestines
The back feet are at on the are very
ground and knuckles support long
the body at the front.
Powerful muscles give
Thigh
enormous strength.
bone

Knee

Lower
SIZE Height on two feet 45 ft (1.251.75 m) leg bone
Toe

HABITAT Rainforest bones

LOCATION Central and East Africa

DIET Leaves, shoots, and stems of plants,


especially bamboo; sometimes owers and fruit Heel
Shoulder
blades at back
allow large
Skull CHEWING IT OVER
range of Gorillas may spend up to 14
movement hours a day eating. About
85 percent of their diet
is made up of leaves,
shoots, and stemsall of
which they collect with
their hands. They can
get through up to 55 lb
(25 kg) of plant material
in a day. Despite their
large size, Gorillas are
gentle giants and will even
leave helpless birds nests well
alone when searching for food.

Jaw bone
STATS AND FACTS
50 YEARS
ARM SPAN

ft 4 8
69 ft
12
Upper arm

N
M
A

A
bone XI SP
MU
M LIFE m 1 2 3 4
56 ft (human)
Compared with
humans, the Gorilla has ORGAN WEIGHT 13 oz (heart)
a relatively small brain 1619 oz (brain)
Muscles about a third of the size oz 15 25 35 45
are larger of a human brain. But
and much the Gorillas heart is g 300 600 900
stronger bigger to enable it to 10 oz (human heart)
than those pump blood around 46 oz (human brain)
of humans the much larger body. DISTANCE
M WE
IMU IG
AX H ft 20 40 60
M
T

m 5 10 15 20

600
59 ft (covered on two legs)
Large
stomach
to digest POUNDS FAMILY LIFE
plant food
Gorillas live in groups led by a dominant
male (a silverback). The group will often
have an immature male (a blackback), a
few females, and several youngsters. The
Forearm silverback may lead the group for many
bone Wrist bone years before his son takes over.

AMAZING ANATOMY

Knuckle
The
supports
the massive
weight
biggest is
as strong as
ve men 35
At sea, elephant
seals spend 90%
BEACH BULLDOZER of their time
SOUTHERN underwater
ELEPHANT SEAL
The biggest carnivore that breeds on land, the male
Southern Elephant Seal is up to ten times heavier than a
Polar Bear. The males also weigh ve times more than the
females. Elephant seals spend up to eight months out in
the open sea, traveling huge distances in search of food.
During shing dives, they can hold their breath for up to
two hoursthe longest for any marine mammal.

AT A GLANCE

SIZE 620 ft (26 m) long; 79011,025 lb


(3605,000 kg) in weight (males much
longer and heavier than females)

HABITAT Stony beaches and adjoining


seas

LOCATION Islands around the Antarctic


and southern tip of South America

DIET Fishes and squid

STATS AND FACTS


11,000
7
8 mile (record depth)
DIVE 1 1 3
miles 4 2 4 1 114
POUNDS
km 0.5 1 1.5 2
RE 120 (record duration)
CO HT
RD WEIG
min 60 120 180
When elephant seals
dive in cold water their HEARTBEATS
heart rate drops to
AMAZING ANATOMY

concentrate circulating
bpm 60 (resting on land) 1 min
blood around vital
organs. This dive reex
happens in humans,
bpm 30 (during dive) 1 min
too, but is less
effective. BREATHING RATE
MING SP
IM EE 10 (resting on land) 16 (human)
SW D

15
breaths/min 10 20

MPH
36
LAR
GES
SEA T
L

BRUISING BATTLES
In September, Southern Elephant Seals
come ashore to breed. Males ght for
groups of females, roaring and lunging
at each other with their canine teeth.
The males long nose helps to resonate
their roars and makes them even louder.
Pups may get squashed in the struggle.
LARGEST RODENT
CAPYBARA
South American swamps are home to a rodent the size
of a pig. The Capybara, which means master of grasses
in the local language, is a social animal that lives in herds.
On land, it runs like a horse and in water it swims like a
beaver. When grazing, the Capybara uses its front incisor
teeth to crop grass close to the ground. Its intestines are
long to aid digestion and, like the cattle that may mingle
with them, the Capybara sometimes regurgitates partially
digested grass to give it a second chew.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 34 ft (11.3 m) long and up to


20 in (50 cm) high at the shoulder

 HABITAT Flooded grassland and


riverside forest

 LOCATION South America east of the


Andes

 DIET Mainly grasses and aquatic plants,


but also grain and melons

STATS AND FACTS


10 YEARS
INCISOR LENGTH

in 0.5
1 in
1 1.5

LIFE cm 1 2 3 4
S PA N
Like many bigger
herbivores, such as HOME RANGE AREA
cattle, the enormous 0.040.8 sq miles
AMAZING ANATOMY

intestines of a sq miles 0.5 1


Capybara contains a
rich soup of microbes sq km 1 2 3
that helps it to digest
tough plant material.
HERD SIZE
20100 individuals
ORD WEIG HT
R EC

0 25 50 75 100 125

200
POUNDS
38
Chisel-edged SAFETY IN NUMBERS

incisor teeth Living in herds, Capybara have


many pairs of eyes on the
lookout for predators, such as

grow throughout jaguars. If danger threatens,


they ee into the water and
swim away using their partially

a Capybaras webbed feet as paddles.

life
PRICKLE POWER
CRESTED PORCUPINE
Its a bad idea to get on the wrong side of
a porcupine. With sharp quills to defend
themselves, porcupines have been known
to take on attackers as dangerous as lions and
hyenas. An angry porcupine charges backward,
jabbing its spikes in the direction of an enemy.
An infected quill wound can even kill.

I E S T
PIK

AT A GLANCE
SIZE Head and body 231/234 in (6085 cm)
long, plus tail 31/46 in (815 cm) long
S
H A I R
 HABITAT Grassland, open
woodland, and forest

 LOCATION
Mediterranean, Africa

 DIET Roots, fruit, bark;


sometimes small
animals

Coat is coarse
and bristly

SHARP TEETH
Porcupines have
chisel-like front teeth
and powerful jaw
muscles. Although
they are mainly
vegetarian, their
burrows are sometimes
littered with bones, since
porcupines gnaw on them for
calcium and to sharpen their teeth.
STATS AND FACTS
20 YEARS
QUILLS
in

cm
2 in long
on tail

10
6
14 in long on body

20
12

30 40

LIF

Y
IT
1 3 5
SP V in 4 8 8

E
AN TI
IN CAP
cm 0.5 1 1.5
Fanning and lifting
in (diameter of tail quills)
its crest of quills makes BURROW LENGTH
the porcupine look
33 ft
twice as big to its ft 15 30 45
attackers. Like ordinary
hairs, each quill has
m 5 10 15
a muscle in the skin
SOUND EFFECTS that raises it.
A porcupine is equipped with special ACTIVITY
quills on the tip of its tail. The ends of WEIGH
M AX. T
the quills are swollen and hollow, so 0.53 hours (during the day)
when the porcupine shakes its tail they

65
make a rattling sound. This scary noise 9 hours (during the night)

warns predators to keep away.

POUNDS
Black and
white quills
FLAT-FOOTED RODENT
The porcupine walks on the ats of
its broad feet. It has short toes,
but strong claws, which it uses
for digging. Porcupines tunnel
complex underground
burrow systems for housing
a whole family group.

This is the
biggest
rodent in
Africa

AMAZING ANATOMY

Spiny crest
A porcupines quills
are actually spiky hairs.
They are extra long
on the head and back.
Babies are born with
short, soft quills but they
Short, thick legs
harden within a week.
41
BIGGEST BAT
LARGE FLYING FOX
The large ying fox is a nocturnal fruit-eater that roosts by day in NO TABLE MANNERS
trees and ies out at dusk to sniff out food. A noisy troop of ying Flying foxes are messy
eaters. They squeeze fruit
foxes gathered in their favorite fruiting tree can be heard squabbling to get at the juiceand
over territory from half a mile away. then throw away the pith
and seeds, which soon
accumulate at the base of the
STATS AND FACTS tree. Only very soft fruit is
swallowed after chewing.
2 /4
POUNDS
3 WINGS
ft 2
45 ft (wingspan)
4 6
Brain
Ears are small
and pointed
m 0.5 1 1.5 2

25
RE

YING PEED
CO HT
RD WEIG
wbpm 100120 1 min S
Flying foxes split into COLONY SIZE
groups or family units MPH
FL

2,00015,000
of up to 50 bats when
feeding, but roost in
much bigger ocks 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000
during the day.

Second digit Wrist connects Forearm


ngers to forearm

Strong chest
muscles
power wings

JUICE EXTRACTOR Eye socket


The foxlike head is quite unlike that of smaller
Fifth digit
stretches membrane
insect-eating bats. Flying foxes have a long
out from body pointed muzzle and large sockets for big eyes.
Unlike smaller insect-eating bats (which hunt
Fourth digit
by echolocation), ying foxes nd food by
sight, even at night. The roof of the mouth
is ridgedthe bat crushes fruit against these Canine teeth are
ridges with its tongue to suck out the juice. grooved on inside
"Thumb",

It can eat or rst digit

a quarter of its
weight in fruit in
one sitting

Upper arm

HANGING OUT
After a night spent
eating fruit, ocks of
ying foxes return to
their roosting tree at
dawn. The bats ght and
Elbow growl at each other as they nd
places to settle. They sleep with
their heads downward, and wings
wrapped around their bodies. If it gets too
Wings have hot, they fan themselves with outstretched
two layers of
wings to cool down.
skin with little
esh between
them

AT A GLANCE

AMAZING ANATOMY
Flying foxes
have no tail

Skin wings
The worlds largest bat is a slow yer.
 SIZE Head and body 1416 in (3540 cm) long,
wingspan 5 ft (1.5 m)


Wing membrane
stretches down leg The enormous membranes of the HABITAT Forest
wings lack fur and are made up of two
layers of skin. Like other bats, the
 LOCATION Southeast Asia


Toesve on each bones of the wing are equivalent to
DIET Fruit, owers, and nectar
footwith claws the bones of the hand in other
for gripping mammalsand the wing is supported
branches by the long nger bones, called digits.
43
Its blood
vessels are so wide
you could swim
along them

ACCORDION MOUTH
This whale is called a rorqual,
meaning furrow whale,"
because its throat is marked by
lots of grooves. These allow the
throat to expand so that the
whale can take more water into
its mouth when collecting krill.
MARINE
SUPERGIANT
BLUE WHALE
This huge whale is nearly twice the size of the next-
biggest living animalthe Fin Whale. But this giant feeds
on some of the worlds smallest animalsshrimplike
crustaceans known as krill. It gulps mouthfuls of seawater
as it swims, straining it through bristle-edged mouth
arches called baleen plates, which trap the food.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Male average: 74 ft (22.5 m) long;


female average: 79 ft (24 m) long

 HABITAT Ocean

 LOCATION Worldwide, but mostly in the


Southern Ocean

 DIET Almost entirely krill

STATS AND FACTS


200 WEIGHT
11 lb (brain) 1,300 lb (heart)
TONS lb 500 1,000 1,500
RE
HT

BIG
CO
RD WEIG kg 250 500 750

G
During the southern

M ES
ANI
2,000 ft (maximum depth)
summer, Blue Whales DIVE

T
ft 1,000 2,000
migrate close to
THE A AMAZING ANATOMY
PLAL ON
Antarctica, where the
sea is rich with krill. m 250 500 750
At other times they
NET live farther north and
mostly survive on
min 15 30
36 (record duration)
45 60

stored body fat. CALL


155188
IMUM SPE
AX E D
M

30
dB 50 100 150 200
80 (human)

MPH
45
AT A GLANCE

TALLEST BIRD
OSTRICH
SIZE 59 ft (1.752.75 m) long (males are
This extraordinary ightless bird is the worlds biggest and it also lays the bigger than females)
Head and
worlds largest egg. Even so, the Ostrich egg is only a fraction of the size of neck are HABITAT Grassland, desert, and open
the bird that laid it. One female can lay up to 10 eggs and, remarkably, other covered with woodland
thin down
lower-ranking females add to her nest so it may hold up to 30 eggs. LOCATION Africa

DIET Grasses, seeds, and leaves;


sometimes small animals
FLIGHTLESS FEATHERS
Ostrich feathers are soft and uffy, since the Huge wings
with a span of
individual barbs are not held together by
up to 6 ft
hooks like they are in the feathers of birds Thigh is the (2 m) provide Back is
that can y. Ostriches also have no oil shortest leg balance when shorter than
gland so their feathers are not waterproof bone running neck
and become soaked when it rains.
Ovaries and
Flexible
reproductive
neck has 17
Barbs are system of
vertebrae
separated female

Rib cage
protects
body organs

Heart is
bigger than
a humans

Knee cap
Fused
pelvic bones
hold the
Ostrichs gut
in place Big bird
The tallest and
heaviest bird, the ightless
Ostrich is well adapted to life on
the African grasslands. Its long legs and
neck give it height so it can spot predators
easily. Although it has a small head, its
eyes are the biggest of any land vertebrate.

Powerful
muscles enable BIG TOES
Long legs give Ostrich to outrun
the bird height This is the
predators
only bird with
two-toed feetthe
inner one being the
biggest. This helps minimize contact
Ankle with the ground when its running,
joint which combined with its powerful
CARING PARENTS leg muscles and massive
Ostriches can stride, makes this bird a
Ostrich chicks leave the nest top sprinter.
within three days of hatching, Legs are
featherless
then follow their parents run faster
everywhere for four to ve
months. In hot weather they Powerful toes
shelter under Mom or Dads can kick
enemies and
enormous wings. If a predator
than any other
injure them
threatens, one parent mounts a
diversion while the other takes
Inner toe is
the chicks to safety.
bird the only one
with a toenail

COMMUNAL NEST STATS AND FACTS


An Ostrich nest is a ORGAN WEIGHT
2 lb (heart)
small pit in the ground. 344 1 oz (brain)
While other females lay lb 1 2 3
POUNDS
T

eggs in the nest, only the H


AX
IG kg 0.5 1 1.5
2
dominant female and her IMU
M WE /3 lb (human heart)
2 7/8 lb (human brain)
SPEED

mate incubate themthe


pale dirt-colored female This enormous bird WEIGHT OF EGG
40
TO P

has a tiny brain and a 3 lb


MPH
sits by day, and the
big heart. The newly lb 1 2 3
black-feathered male hatched chicks are
sits at night. The eggs take cared for in large kg 0.5 1 1.5
42 to 46 days to hatch. multifamily nurseries. 1 oz (chicken egg)

47
AMAZING ANATOMY
BEAKIEST BIRD
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN
Pelicans have the largest bills in the animal kingdom,
and the Australian Pelican has the biggest bill of all.
Its enormous bill has a very practical purposeto catch
sh. A huge pouch of skin hangs from the lower part
of the beak. While swimming, the pelican sweeps its
pouch below the surface, where it acts like a shing net,
trapping sh near the surface. The bird catches dozens
of sh at a time, then lifts its catch to drain the water
and gulp its prey down whole.
A pelican
can live from
AT A GLANCE
10 to 25 years
 SIZE Head to tail 56 ft (1.51.9 m) long

 HABITAT Lakes, rivers, swamps, and


sea coast
in the wild
 LOCATION New Guinea and Australia

 DIET Mainly sh; sometimes other


animals, such as insects and frogs

STATS AND FACTS


20
INCHES
FOOD
in 2
210 in (size of sh eaten)
4 6 8 10

cm 10 20 30
LE lb 5 10 15 20
NG LL
TH OF BI
kg 2 4 6 8 10
During their time in
1121 lb (weight of sh needed per day)
the nest, juvenile WEIGHT
Australian Pelicans pile 22 lb (edgling)
AMAZING ANATOMY

on the weight. They lb 5 10 15 20 25


start to lose it as they
begin to move around kg 2 4 6 8 10 12
after edging. 915 lb

POUCH WEIGHT
31 lb (when full)
LY I N G S P E
O PF ED lb 10 20 30
T

30
kg 3 6 9 12 15

MPH
48
BIG
TAKING A BREATHER

BIL GE
Pelicans have large, powerful
wings for soaring and gliding,

ST and strong legs with webbed

L
feet. Between shing trips, they
rest on exposed hot places and
utter their pouches to keep
themselves cool.
FEATHERIEST
FLYER
TUNDRA SWAN
No swan breeds farther north than the Tundra Swan.
Its dense winter plumage has the highest feather count of
any bird, which is needed to trap in body warmth. It nests
within the Arctic Circle and makes the most of the brief
Arctic summer to do it. Its eggs hatch more quickly and
its chicks mature in half the time of other swans. Within
three months the family is ready to y south.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 45 ft (1.21.5 m) long;


91221 lb (4.39.6 kg)

 HABITAT Breeds on tundra


lakes; overwinters on grasslands
and coastlines

 LOCATION Breeds on Arctic tundra; overwinters


in North America, Europe, and Asia

 DIET Aquatic plants and grasses

STATS AND FACTS


20 YEARS
SURROUNDING TEMPERATURE
F

C 3
40

6 9
50
3757F (summer)

12
60

15 18
M

A
XI F 40 50 60
A

MU SP
M LIFE
C 3 6 9 12 15 18
Tundra Swans migrate 3950F (winter)
north in spring as the DISTANCE COVERED DAILY
Arctic ice retreats. 2087 miles (during migration)
AMAZING ANATOMY

Once they have raised miles 30 60 90 120 150


their young, they
migrate south again to km 50 100 150 200 250
avoid the worst of the
severe Arctic winter. ALL IN A FLAP
7 ft (wingspan)
WINGS Tundra Swans spend most of the
ft 3 6 9 12 15
RS IN WIN winter on water, even sleeping
HE
AT TE m 1 2 3 4 5 aoat. They need a lot of space to
FE

take off and land, wildly apping


R

their wings as they go. Their other


wbpm 120 1 min
25,000
name of whistling swan comes
from the swooshing sound their
wings make in ight.
50
Migrating
Tundra Swans
y as high as
5 miles (8 km)
TOUGHEST HEADBANGER
WOODPECKER AT A GLANCE

Its a wonder that woodpeckers never get headaches. They spend most of the
day hammering holes in trees with 10 times the force needed to knock out a
human. All this headbanging has a purposeto nd food, to create a safe place
to nest and raise young, and to communicate with other woodpeckers.

SIZE Head and body 423 in (1058 cm) long, depending

INSECT EXTRACTOR

on the species

The tongue of a woodpecker is so HABITAT Mostly forest; some in open habitats, such as
long it has to wrap around inside

grassland

the skull when not in use. It has LOCATION Worldwide except Madagascar, Australia, and
muscles that stiffen it when its 
oceanic islands
poked into tree holes. Sharp,
DIET Insects, nuts, fruit, and tree sap
sticky barbs at its tip help grip 
insects as it pulls them out.
Some woodpeckers drink the Inner eyelid closes
a millisecond
tree sap, too. before impact
to prevent injury

Tongue wraps
around skull to Special cells at
cushion the brain tip repair any
against the impact damage to bill

SHOCK ABSORBERS
A woodpeckers skull is made
of spongy bone that Bill is so strong
it does not bend
absorbs vibrations from
or break
the impact. Its brain
sits very tightly
inside the skull to
stop it from bouncing off the
bone when the bill strikes. Dense
muscles in the neck also help divert
the impact away from the brain.
Toe muscles
contract to
lock them
onto trunk

Claws dig
into bark

HOLD ON TIGHT
Woodpeckers have strong feet and claws
for climbing tree trunks. When perched,
two toes face forward and two backbut
when scaling a trunk, one of the hind toes is
extended sideways to give a better grip so that
the bird holds tight, even when hammering.

Feel the beat


Woodpeckers proclaim
their territory by their
Woodpeckers can loud, rhythmic drum
rollsand each type of
woodpecker has its own
even make holes distinctive beat. The Pileated
Woodpeckerthe largest living
in North Americadoes two
short drum rolls a minute, each
lasting just a couple of seconds.
in concrete

STATS AND FACTS


DRUMMING RATE
16 YEARS times/sec 1822 1 sec
ED

M
E

A
XI P
MU
M LIF ES
drums 4,000 8,000 12,000 16,000
ING SP

It takes a pair of 8,00012,000/day


HAMMERING STRENGTH
woodpeckers around
8
MM

MPH
a month to hammer
RU

30 (force of impact)
D

out a hole for a nest,


which is lined with
N 10 20 30 40 50 60 Stiff tail feathers
the wood chips.
brace the bird
against the tree

53
AMAZING ANATOMY
Kakapos use
GIANT PARROT their wings for
KAKAPO balance,
The Kakapo is so heavy that it cannot y. Although it not ying
has wings, it lacks the large breastbone that other birds
have for supporting wing muscles, and the feathers are
soft and downy, rather than stiff for ying. The worlds
only ightless parrot is a slow, owl-faced plant-eater that
sleeps all day and ventures out at night. If threatened,
it stands still and tries to blend into the background.
However, this makes it an easy target for predatory
rats and cats, and it is now critically endangered.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body length 25 in (64 cm); weight


18 lb (0.853.6 kg)

 HABITAT Mossy forest and grassy


meadows

 LOCATION Three islands off New Zealand

 DIET Leaf buds, roots, stems, nuts, fruit,


bark, moss, and fungi. It is particularly
fond of the fruit of the rimu tree.

STATS AND FACTS


120
YEARS
WINGSPAN

in 10 20 30
35 in
M

A
XI
A

MU SP cm 20 40 60 80 100
M LIFE

Males attract females


by making a loud JOGGING SPEED
booming call that 1.2 mph
AMAZING ANATOMY

can travel several mph 1 2


miles. After mating,
a female retires km/h 1 2 3 4 5
to her nest in a
burrow to raise her
brood alone. EGGS LAID IN A CLUTCH
OF KA
BER KA 14
U M P
N

OS

0 1 2 3 4 5

131
IN THE
WILD
54
BIG
PA GES
RR T
OT

MOONLIGHT FORAGER
A Kakapo walks a few miles every night
in its search for food. It has strong claws
for clambering through thickets and
whiskers for sensing its surroundings in
the dark. A keen sense of smell helps it
nd its favorite leaves, which it strains
through its beak to suck out the juices.
One bird traveled
3,700 miles
(6,000 km) in
12 days

LOVELY TO SEE YOU AGAIN


Albatrosses are devoted partners.
A male and a female will pair up for
life, only meeting to breed every two
years. They rear a single chick, which
remains in the nest for nine months.
Once it has edged it will not return
to land for another six years.
SUPER-SOARING
SEABIRD
WANDERING ALBATROSS
Carried by the worlds longest wings, the Wandering
Albatross soars above the southern oceans, hardly
apping its wings at all. It rarely returns to land, except
to breed. Its wings lock when fully extended and the
bird relies on rising air currents to gain height above
the waves, dropping only 3 ft (1 m) for every 72 ft
(22 m) it glides.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body length 34 ft (1.071.35 m);


weight 1328 lb (5.912.7 kg)

 HABITAT Open ocean and oceanic islands

 LOCATION Southern oceans and islands


around Antarctica

 DIET Squid, sh, and carrion

STATS AND FACTS


1,650
12 ft (wingspan)
WINGS
ft 5 10 15

FEET m 1 2 3 4 5
LO
NG DE
E ST GLI
wbpm 15 (concentrated in rst 6 sec) 1 min
Gliding ight is not

LARGES
strenuous, so the birds DISTANCE TRAVELED IN A DAY
heartbeat rate is only 125310 miles

AMAZING ANATOMY
WINGSP T
slightly different when miles 100 200 300
it is ying than when

AN
it is resting. It needs km 100 200 300 400 500 600
a lot more energy for
takeoff and landing.
HEARTBEATS 60 (resting)80 (gliding)
SPEED
TO P
bpm 1 min

25 MPH
bpm 150 (takeoff and landing) 1 min

57
FEATHERY SHOW-OFF
KING OF SAXONY BIRD OF PARADISE
The King of Saxony Bird of Paradise is so bizarre that when people in AT A GLANCE
Europe rst heard of it, they didnt think it could be real. Males have two
long head featherseach with a row of aglike plates running along the
lengththat are like nothing else in any other bird. The males use these
extraordinary feathers in courtship dances, to attract a mate.

Putting on a show


One head feather can be more than twice the
length of the birds body, but muscles at their SIZE 9 in (22 cm) long


base are strong enough to raise them up Colorful
aqua-blue HABITAT Mountain rainforest
for a display. The male chooses a good


mouth
position before bobbing up and LOCATION New Guinea


down with his feathers held high.
DIET Fruit and insects

Brightly
colored yellow

AL
breast

SU
UNUR
T
E
Head feathers

MOS
AT H
look like a row

FE
of bunting

STATS AND FACTS


20
INCHES
INCUBATION PERIOD
22
SP
LA
Y

1
DI
LE

RS

N E
GT
BOBBING

days 5 10 15 20 25
H O F F E AT H

The female not only ALTITUDE


MIN
Females raise
their young
OF

builds her own nest, 5,9008,200 ft


but she also incubates
H

ft 3,000 6,000 9,000


the eggs and rears the GT
LEN
young without any m 1,000 2,000 3,000
help from the male.
alone
TINY ATHLETE AT A GLANCE

AMETHYST WOODSTAR
The heart of a ying hummingbird can beat as many times per
hour as a human heart beats in a whole day. These tiny birds are
fuelled by nectar, and can visit as many as a thousand owers in a
day just to get enough food to keep going. One of the smallest of all 
SIZE 22 in (67 cm) long

birds, the Amethyst Woodstar has a body that ticks over like a tiny 
HABITAT Rainforest, open woodland, and
grassland
revving engine, and burns up ve hundred times more energy than
a human just to stay alive. 
LOCATION South America

Wings beat
quickly so bird

DIET Nectar and insects

can hover

Deep sleepers
When awake, the Amethyst Woodstar has to
drink plenty of nectar to fuel its hectic lifestyle.
At night, however, it cant feed, so it has to take
desperate measures to save energy. Its body Long bill to
temperature plummets and it enters a state of reach nectar
in owers
mini-hibernation.

Hummingbird
nests are the size
of a golf ball
STATS AND FACTS
80
PER MIN
HEARTBEATS

bpm
200 (resting)

1 min
AMAZING ANATOMY

T
D
F LY I N G S P E E

50 E S
WI
N G B E AT S

S T ISM
bpm 1,200 (in ight) 1 min

FAETABOL
This tiny bird has a DAILY FOOD CONSUMPTION
very strong heart. MPH
P

392 cal/oz of body


TO

Rapid beating delivers


plenty of oxygen to
power the hovering 0.7 cal/oz of body (human)
M
wing muscles.

59
COLOSSAL COBRA
KING COBRA AT A GLANCE

The worlds longest venomous snake can be so erce that even other
snakes fear it. The King Cobra has the strength and the venom to kill and
eat small pythons, ratsnakes, and even other cobras. But this predator has
a caring side, too. Unlike other snakes, the female builds a nest for her eggs
and keeps guard until they hatch, attacking anything that comes close.

Sharp fangs
 SIZE 9 3/413 ft (34 m) long

This snakes  HABITAT Forests

LOCATION India and Southeast Asia

strike range  DIET Other snakes

is up to 6 ft
(2 m)

KING COBRA SKULL Hooded snake


When cobras feel threatened,
The needle-sharp fangs of a King they raise their heads and
Cobra are positioned at the front of atten their necks to form
the mouth. Although many other a hood. This makes them
snakes have stronger venom, the appear biggerand they
King Cobra injects a greater amount can strike an enemy from
to maximize its effect. this position, too.

STATS AND FACTS


18 FEET
FANG LENGTH

in 1
4 1
2
5
/8 in
3
4

6
RE
RIKE SPEED

CO TH cm 0.5 1 1.5 2
RD LENG

The King Cobras venom VENOM


attacks the nervous
FT/SEC
ST

30140 (amount in a single bite)


system. The poison rst
paralyzes the body then
kills by stopping the drops 30 60 90 120 150
heart and lungs.
20 (minimum amount to kill a human)
Keen eyesight for
spotting prey HATCHLINGS
After guarding her eggs for
two or three months, a
mother King Cobra will
abandon them once they start
hatchingperhaps so she is
not tempted to treat them as
prey and eat them. Unlike
their parents, hatchlings
have a striped pattern,
but already have
dangerous venom.

Fully extended
hood

SCALY SKIN
The scales of an adult
King Cobra are
smooth, shiny, and
dark olive-brown in
color. Adults shed
their skin four to six
times per year.

LONGE
VENOM ST AMAZING ANATOMY
OUS
SNAKE

61
SLOBBERY STALKER
There are so many bacteria in the saliva
of a Komodo Dragon that bites quickly
become septic. This weakens prey too
big to bring down by force. The saliva is
also known to contain a mild venom.
After biting, a dragon will stalk its victim
by tracking it with its tongue, waiting for
its prey to drop dead.

E S T
LA RG D
A R
LIZ
Eats 80%
of its body MONSTER
weight in LIZARD
one meal KOMODO DRAGON
On Komodo Island giant dragons rule the land with
long claws and sawlike teeth. A Komodo Dragon eats
meatand nds it by tasting the air with a icking
tongue. Dead pigs and deer are smelled half an island
away, but living animals, such as wild pigs and deer,
are also targeted by this surprisingly fast-moving reptile.
These are knocked down by a swipe of its powerful
tail and killed with a bite to the throat. Small prey is
swallowed whole. Indigestible horns, hair, and teeth
are later spewed back up in a slimy pellet.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Up to 10 ft (3.1 m) long, including


a tail as long as the body

 HABITAT Tropical grassland and dry forest


up to 2,300 ft (700 m) above sea level

 LOCATION Komodo and four neighboring


islands in Indonesia, Southeast Asia

 DIET Carrion and almost any living animal

STATS AND FACTS


365 SMELL DETECTION
2 miles
POUNDS miles 1 2 3
RE
HT
AMAZING ANATOMY
CO km 1 2 3 4 5
RD WEIG

A stretchy stomach
1 in (length of tooth)
allows the Komodo BITE
in 1 1
Dragon to eat every
part of its prey.
cm 1 2 3 4
40100 (bite strength)
IMUM SPE
AX E D
M
N 20 40 60 80 100 120

12
55 (bite strength
of domestic cat)

MPH
63
SUPER SQUEEZER
GREEN ANACONDA
A hug from a Green Anaconda is not
V I E S T
HEA
AT A GLANCE
E
friendlyits actually an embrace to the
death. This massively muscular snake coils
around its prey and squeezes hard to stop
its victims heart beating. Although slow SN A K
and heavy on land, it can easily
overpower an animal as
Liver is the Stomach holds
big as a deer or Tapir. largest organ and digests
in the body large prey

 SIZE Up to 20 ft (6 m) long, possibly longer;


diameter of body 12 in (30 cm)

 HABITAT Slow waters and swamps of


rainforests and open grassland

 LOCATION South America

 DIET Mammals, birds, reptiles,


amphibians, and shes

OPEN WIDE
The jaw bones of an anaconda
are loosely connected, allowing
them to splay open at the front
so that the snake can swallow prey
wider than the size of its head. Like
other boas, the anaconda is not venomous,
andlike all snakesit doesnt chew, but
swallows its prey whole. Stretchy skin around
the mouth allows it to
seize large prey
Backward-pointing
teeth ensure a strong
grip on struggling prey

Jaw is loosely
hinged Windpipe toward the front of
the mouth enables it to breathe
while swallowing
SPEEDY SWIMMER
The anaconda is completely at
home in its swamp habitat. With
water to support its bulky body
this snake is a fast and agile
swimmer. It waits for prey just
below the surfaceits eyes and
nostrils are positioned high on Skin is olive green
the head so it can remain almost with darker ovals to
totally submerged for long provide camouage
periods and still breathe.

Small
intestine is
simple with
few loops

Spleen lters BIG EATER


the blood Fully grown anacondas
swallow large prey, such as
Gall bladder
Capybara, head rst. It takes
releases body the snake many days to complete
chemicals that digestion, during which time the
help digestion animal is sluggish. Such a large meal will
sustain the snake for a long time and it may be
months before it needs to feed again.

STATS AND FACTS


10 YEARS
STRENGTH
40,000 (constriction)
AMAZING ANATOMY
T
M

A
H

XI
A

SP
RD WEIG

N 20,000 40,000 60,000

220
MU
M LIFE
400 (human grip)
Tight t
Once an anaconda
The Green Anaconda has
PREY WEIGHT
POUNDS
CO

starts to swallow large 1130 lb


the widest girth of any snake.
RE

prey, it has to keep lb 50 100 150


Even so, its internal organs are all long going. Its curved teeth
and thin to t in the body cavity. Unlike wont let it spit the
kg 20 40 60 80
most snakes, which have only one lung, prey back out again.
the anaconda has two.
65
FANG-TASTIC BITER
GABOON VIPER
A bite from a Gaboon Viper is potentially fatal,
especially if left untreated. This giant viper is found
in forests and grassland across Africa, where it preys
on birds and mammals up to the size of a dwarf
antelope. Unlike smaller vipers, which retreat after
biting to allow the venom to work, the Gaboon Viper
has the strength to hold on until its victim is dead.

LIGHTNING
STRIKER
This vipers strike is
one of the fastest of all
snakes and a bite from
the long, hinged fangs
is very painful. In spite
of its scary appearance,
the Gaboon Viper will
only attack when
provokedit is not
usually agressive.

Produces more
venom than any
other snake
Jacobsons organ
Fangs

Smells are transferred from


the tongue to the sensor
TASTING THE AIR
SKULL Like other snakes, the Gaboon Viper has a sensor called the
The lower jaw of a snake is only loosely Jacobsons organ in the roof of its mouth for detecting smells. After
attached to its skull. It can even stretch tasting the air, the snake inserts its tongue into the organ pit, where
apart at the front to allow the snake to its smell sensors analyze the scent particles from its prey.
swallow large animals.
AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 45 ft (1.21.5 m) long

 HABITAT Forest and open scrubland

 LOCATION Central Africa

 DIET Mammals and birds large enough


to swallow comfortably

LONGES
FANGEDT Strike force

SNAKE
The large triangular head of the Gaboon Viper is
highly distinctive, with two small horns between
its nostrils. If disturbed by an intruder, this viper
inates its body and hisses loudly before striking.
It rises up as it attacks, injecting its venom deep
into its victim.

STATS AND FACTS


35 POUNDS
FANG LENGTH

in 1
2 in
2
RE
CO HT cm 2 4 6
RD WEIG

The Gaboon Viper


has highly moveable VENOM
eyes and can x its

AMAZING ANATOMY
100180 drops in single bite
Forked tongue focus on prey with
used to collect deadly accuracy to
smells ensure a successful 0 50 100 150 200
strike. 320 drops can kill a human

PREY SIZE
1 oz (mouse)70 oz (rabbit)
BLENDING IN RIKE SPEE D
ST oz 20 40 60 80

Boldly patterned with patches of brown,

7
g 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500
black, and cream, the Gaboon Vipers skin
provides an excellent disguise against a
leaf litter background. It can sit motionless
for hours, waiting for prey to come close. FT/SEC
67
CHAMPION CLIMBER
GECKO
Large eyes help
a gecko search
There are lots of insects that can walk on a smooth upright surfacebut many for food
types of gecko can manage it, too, even though they can weigh a million times
more. This lizards trick lies on the toe pads of its feet. Each foot is covered with
millions of tiny hairlike structures, so small that 30 would make up the thickness
of a single human hair. Each hair can stick to a surface and, because there are
so many of them, together they can support the weight of the small reptile.

Soft, scaly
STICKING POWER skin
The toe pads of a gecko have rows
of thin platelike structures called
lamellae, each of which is covered
in the microscopic hairs that it Day gecko
Platelike uses to grip with. In the wild, these There are hundreds of
structures lizards climb smooth surfaces such as different kinds of gecko; most
bamboo stemsbut a geckos grip is are dull-colored and active at
so good that it can even stick to glass. night. But the day geckos that
live on Madagascar and other
islands of the Indian Ocean are
bright green for camouage
among leaves. A day geckos eyes
also have round pupils (nocturnal
geckos have long, vertical ones).
Characteristic
orange spots
AT A GLANCE on back

SIZE 114 in (435 cm) long



HABITAT All warm habitats, but most species

live in forests

LOCATION Worldwide, except in colder



regions

DIET Insects

SPOTLESS EYES
Most geckos have
no eyelids. Instead,
to protect their eyes
Toes can and keep them clean
cling to any Saliva keeps
they constantly lick eyeball moist
surface
the surface of the eyes
with their tongues, using
their saliva to clean and
moisten the eyeball.

STATS AND FACTS


FOOT 0.10 mm (length of one hair)
12
OUNCES mm 0.10 0.15 0.20
T

AX H 14,000
IMU
MW EIG
Tail can be foot hairs/ 5,000 10,000 15,000
The more hair-fringed sq mm
the same plates, or lamellae, WEIGHT
length as A geckos toes there are on a geckos 0.00512 oz (adult)
the body foot, the greater its oz 5 10
sticking power. Geckos
are so sticky it need to keep their feet g 100 200 300 400
spotless, since dirt can
affect their grip.
SPEED
can walk across AL CLIMB 115
TIC SP
ER
V
EE
D

a ceiling strides/sec 5 10 15 20

3
FT/SEC

AMAZING ANATOMY

69
SWAMP MONSTER
SALTWATER CROCODILE
Not much can escape the jaws of a crocodile. AT A GLANCE
Weighing as much as a small car, the
saltwater croc is a top predator of large
mammals, including humans. It
prefers freshwater swamps
but often swims
out to sea.
Eyes on top of
head so it can
SIZE Males up to 23 ft (7 m) long; females are
around half this size

Teeth are
see above water
while body is HABITAT Rivers, estuaries, and salt water
strong and
sharp
submerged
LOCATION India, Southeast Asia, New Guinea,
and Australia

DIET Animals up to the size of a water buffalo

CROC TEETH
The long toothy snout of a Saltwater
Crocodile acts like a vice for clamping
down on struggling prey. The fourth
lower tooth ts into a notch in the
upper jawwhich is how you can tell Feet are webbed
a crocodile from an alligator. for swimming
Heart has four
chambers to deliver
oxygen to muscles
1
STATS AND FACTS
BITE 5,800 (bite strength)

TON N 2,000 4,000 6,000 ED

PE
18
in 2 4

T
AX H

IMMING S
IMU IG
M WE
cm 5 10 15
Its massive jaw 45 in (tooth length)
DIVE DURATION
MPH

SW
strength and its ability
to remain submerged 12

P
for a long period TO
make this reptile a
hours 1 2 3
dangerous predator.

SCA
LE S AND PLATE
S
LARG DEATH ROLL

The hard scales on the back of a


REPT EST When a Saltwater Crocodile
lunges out of the water and
crocodile are reinforced with plates
of bone, providing tough protective
armor. Young crocs are bright
ILE seizes its prey, it immediately
rolls over. This throws the
prey off balance so the croc
yellowish with dark banding, but the can drown it or deliver a
banding fades as the animal ages. deadly bite to the skull.
Hunters body
Bony plates These reptiles have a powerful tail that they
cover body use to push themselves out of the water, and
Strong legs
superstrong jaws. A transparent third eyelid can allow the Saltwater
be closed to protect the eye under water. Crocodile to walk
on land

Diaphragm muscle pulls on


Lungs are large, Liver removes the liver, which in turn pulls
allowing croc to harmful substances on the lungs and helps the
dive for 15 minutes from the blood crocodile breathe in
FASTEST TONGUE
CHAMELEON AT A GLANCE


SIZE 125 in (465 cm) long

The fastest tongue in the forest belongs to the 


HABITAT Mostly forest

chameleona bizarre tree-dwelling reptile with 


LOCATION Mediterranean, Africa, Madagascar,
and India
feet that grasp like hands and eyes that swivel
independently of one another. Chameleons are

DIET Insects

expert at catching fast-moving insect prey. They


shoot out their incredibly long tongue, a eshy
sucker on the end sticks to the target, and within
a fraction of a second its pulled into the mouth.

Ridge of spines
on belly

Bright colors of
body change
with mood

GRASPING TAIL
Like other tree-dwelling chameleons, the Panther
Chameleon has a long tail that can grasp and acts
like a fth leg. The tail provides extra grip as the
chameleon moves through branches.

Tail tends to curl up when


not gripping branches The tongue
is often longer
than the body
Crest on back is generally
paler than the body

Small, round eyes


sit in the center of
scaly, fused eyelids

ROTATING EYES
Chameleon eyes are unique: they are in
Toes grasp
the branches turrets that swivel independently of
Colorful feelings one another. This helps the animal scan
Chameleons dont change all directions in search of insects. When
color to camouage themselves, but found, both eyes focus on the target so
instead do it to indicate mood, mainly
the chameleon can judge the right
to communicate with other chameleons.
distance for an accurate tongue-strike.
They cling to the trees with their
grasping toes. Each foot is divided in two
for gripthree toes face inward and
two face outward.
1 READY TO ATTACK
A chameleon moves slowly
STATS AND FACTS
6
toward its prey, rocking
back and forth until it gets
TONGUE LENGTH within range. It then opens
418 in
its mouth, ready to strike.
TIMES in 5 10 15 20
TO

BY

N S
GU
E EXTEND cm 20 40 60
2 CATCHING THE PREY
The muscles that The tongue is rapidly
control a chameleons PULLING FORCE OF TONGUE extended. Once the sticky tip
tongue have to work makes contact with the insect,
AMAZING ANATOMY
0.60.7
lightning-fast in order
there is no escape.
to catch insects, and
are among the fastest N 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
muscles in the animal
kingdom.
WEIGHT 3 Grasshopper
up to 25 oz (chameleon)
ONGUE SPE
O
PT E
oz 5 10 15 20 PULLING THE PREY IN
D
T

The tongue with the prey

20
g 200 400 600 800
up to 3 oz (prey)
attached is then pulled back
into the mouth almost as
quickly as it was extended.
FT/SEC
73
STAYING ALIVE
A soft-bodied frog (especially one smaller
than a coin) can dry up and die very
quickly, so it needs damp surroundings
to survive. The Amau Frog is only active
at dawn and dusk, when it makes high-
pitched chirps that sound more like those
of an insect than a frog.
SMA
VER LLES TEENY TINY
RAT T
TEB
E FROG
AMAU FROG
Because it is so very small, the Amau Frog could sit
comfortably on a human thumbnail and still have room
to spare. It lives among the wet leaves that carpet the
oor of the Papua New Guinea rainforest, where it is
perfectly camouaged against predators. Here it can
complete its entire life cyclelaying soft, wet eggs on
moist ground that bypass the tadpole stage and hatch
into even tinier versions of the adults. For this tiny frog,
even the smallest insect that creeps along the forest
oor makes a lling meal.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body about 14 in


(78 mm) long

 HABITAT Leaf litter of rainforest oor

 LOCATION Papua New Guinea

 DIET Small insects and mites

STATS AND FACTS


3
8
INCH
SIZE

in 1
8
3
16 in (lower leg length)
1
4
M

AMAZING ANATOMY
AX E
IMUM SIZ mm 2 4 6 8
1
8 in (head width)
In the noisy rainforest,
frogs call out with CALL 8.49.4 (pitch)
distinctive patterns of
notes to communicate.
kHz 20 40 60 80 100
O F D I S COV
E AR ER
Y

min 1 2 3 4
13 (duration)

2009
75
E S T
B REG
E N ER AT OR

SCIENTIFIC WONDER
The wild Axolotl is rare and found in
only two small lakes on the outskirts
of Mexico City. Its ability to regenerate
its body is of great interest to scientists
it can make transplanted organs from
other axolotls work again, and can even
regrow some areas of its brain.
FOREVER YOUNG
AXOLOTL
Imagine being able to grow a new limb. The Axolotl
a type of aquatic salamandercan do just that. If an
Axolotl is injured, its body responds by regrowing the
lost part instead of forming a scar. This is a handy trick
when youve just had a close encounter with a heron
the Axolotls main predator. Although they live for
1015 years, Axolotls also never really grow up. Other
amphibians have gills when young and develop air-
breathing lungs when they mature, but Axolotls keep
their branchlike gills as they grow biggerand only
lose them if their habitat dries up.

AT A GLANCE
 SIZE Up to 12 in (30 cm) head to tail

 HABITAT Freshwater lakes and drainage channels

 LOCATION Lakes Xochimilco and Chalco in Mexico

 DIET Algae when young, aquatic insects and other small animals when older

Captive axolotls
are often albinos,
with pale skin

STATS AND FACTS


15
YEARS
GROWTH
1 (larva with front legs)

VE
A

RA PA
GE LIFE S weeks 1 2 3

Like all cold-blooded


amphibians, Axolotls 5 ( 114-in adult)
AMAZING ANATOMY
become more active
and grow faster as the
temperature rises. weeks 5 10 15

NEW LI
WS M 70 (10-in adult)
RO B
G

IN

2
MONTHS
weeks 25 50 75

77
BIGGEST TOAD
CANE TOAD
This is one of the largest toads in the world. The Cane Toad may look harmless,
but its packed with a powerful foul-tasting poison, which it releases to drive
away an attacking predator. In its native South America few animals try to eat it,
and when the Cane Toad was introduced to control pests in Australia, it became
a problem itselfpreying on the native wildlife.

AT A GLANCE It can eat


a rodent or
Ear just
small snake
behind eye

 SIZE 49 in (1024 cm) long

 HABITAT Everywhere from forests to open elds Skin color


provides
LOCATION Native to South America, but camouage
introduced to many parts of the world

 DIET Insects, worms, and other small animals

WEBBED HIND FEET


Many frogs and toads have broad
webbed feet for swimming in water,
Translucent
but the Cane Toads feet are only webbing
partially webbed. It spends most of between
its time on drier grasslands and only long toes
goes in water to breed.
STATS AND FACTS
15
Large,
bulging
eyes TIME
13 (eggs hatch) 21140 (tadpole stage)
YEARS

LIF

T
IT

H
SP V

E
TI

5 3/4
days 50 100 150

RD WEIG
AN
IN CAP

With few predators EGGS POUNDS

CO
willing to tackle the 8,000 35,000 ( produced at a time)

RE
Cane Toad, its numbers
increased rapidly after
it was introduced to
0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000
Australia in 1935.

Adult Cane Toad


Ear protected
This toad is almost indestructible. Both adults
by thin
and tadpoles are poisonous and taste foul membrane
to most predators, and the warty skin of
the males develops sharp spines in the
breeding season. Its mouth is big enough Breathes
to swallow small mammals. through
nostril

SHARP SENSES
The Cane Toad relies more on
its sense of smell to nd food than
other toads. It also has a good sense
of hearing, which allows it to hear the
calls of other toads. Many amphibians use their
skin to help them breathe but the Cane Toad
relies more on its nostrils and lungs.

AMAZING ANATOMY

POISON GLANDS
The poison of a Cane Toad is packaged
in two large glands found toward the
back of its head, one on each side. The
foul-tasting poison is released when
the toad is stressed or the glands are
squeezed by an unsuspecting predator.

79
MOST POISONOUS
ANIMAL
GOLDEN POISON FROG
This bright-yellow frog is scarcely the size of your
thumb, but it is extremely dangerous. It lives on the
rainforest oor, where it feasts on insects caught with
its sticky tongue. Some of these insects contain a poison
that the frog then stores in its skin. The frog is unaffected
by it, as are its tadpoles. They ride on their fathers back
until he nds a tiny pool of water to drop them into.

AT A GLANCE
 SIZE Up to 134 in (4.7 cm) long, from
nose to bottom

 HABITAT On the ground among the leaf


litter in rainforests. Tadpoles are deposited
in pools of water that have collected in
the leaf rosettes of bromeliad plants.

 LOCATION Foothills of the Andes


Mountains, Colombia (South America)

 DIET Insects and other small invertebrates

STATS AND FACTS


3
YEARS
POISON 1
20 th of drop can kill 1,000 mice
1
10 th of drop can kill one human
LIF

E
IL

SP
AN I THE W 0 Poison in one frog = 1 drop
N
The Golden Poison
Frog produces 20 FOOD CONSUMPTION 33% (other invertebrates)
times more poison
AMAZING ANATOMY

33% (beetles)
than other South 33% (ants)
American poison frogs.
This poison paralyzes 0 100%
the predators muscles
and ultimately stops its
heart from beating. PITCH OF CALL

ROG CAN K 1.8


EF IL
N
O

10
kHz 20 40 60 80 100
0.12 (human)

PEOPLE
80
Just touching
its skin could
kill you

WARNING COLORS
Young frogs are black with gold stripes
and become completely golden when
several months old. The color warns
predators that they are deadly. Native
hunters in the rainforest use the frogs to
poison the tips of their blow-gun darts.
TOOTHY TERROR B I G G E S T
SLOANES VIPERFISH TEETH
FOR SIZ
EOF HEAD

At the bottom of the ocean lurks a sh whose teeth


are the stuff of nightmares. In deep, dark water food is
difcult to nd, so predators need to be sure of a catch.
The vipersh does this by enticing prey with a light-
emitting lure on its dorsal n, then quickly snapping its
mouth shut so its target has no time to escape. The
vipershs long, needlelike fangs hold the struggling
victim securely while it relaxes its throat to allow even
the biggest prey to slip down easily.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 814 in (2035 cm) long

 HABITAT Deep sea

 LOCATION Tropical and subtropical


oceans around the world

 DIET Any animals that can t into the


mouthmainly shrimp, squid, crabs,
and small sh

STATS AND FACTS


3,300 PREY SIZE 48 in (63% of
vipershs length)

FEET in 2 4 6 8
D T
EP A
TH F cm 5 10 15 20 25
OUND

Food is so scarce in
the deep ocean that TEETH 8 (upper jaw) 1018 (lower jaw)
vipersh stock up
AMAZING ANATOMY

whenever possible.
0 4 8 12 16 20
The stomach can
in 1
4 1
2 3
4 1 114 112
stretch to twice its
normal size when
cm 1 2 3 4
food is plentiful.
in (maximum length of tooth)
HEAD LENGTH
MING SPE
IM E in 1
2 1 112 2 212 3
SW D

cm 2 4 6 8

1 1 in

MPH
82
FORMIDABLE FANGS
Extra-long teeth are good for
snagging prey, but the vipersh
has to open its mouth almost
vertically to grab its catch. The
transparent teeth cant be seen
in the darkideal for trapping
the unwary.
STRONGEST BITE
GREAT WHITE SHARK
The Great White Shark is the most terrifying sh in the sea. RAZOR SHARP
Its scary reputation comes from its preference for large, warm- Each triangular tooth
has a serrated edge as
blooded preyseals, seabirds, and occasionally humans. Powerful sharp as a kitchen knife.
muscles warm its blood, giving it speed to chase down prey or ram There are more than 300
it from below. A single bite from a great white can inict terrible of them arranged in rows
within the mouth.
woundseven in the most thickly blubbered skin.
Sensitive
snout

Teeth
set in
jaw of
cartilage

FEELING THE BUZZ


In addition to the usual
ve, sharks have an extra
sensethey can detect
the electrical activity given
off by all living animals.
The tiny detectors sit
inside jelly-lled pores Powerful jaw Gill arches
around the head of the sh. muscles give the support the gills
bite its strength
Pectoral n
used for steering
STATS AND FACTS
AT A GLANCE
3 /2 1 BITE
18,000 (bite strength at

TONS the back of the mouth)

RE
Dorsal n stops CO HT N 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000
the body from RD WEIG
9,000 (bite strength) 300
rolling during After biting, a shark
rapid movements will wait to let its
biggest prey weaken number 150 300 450
through shock and of teeth
22 in (size of tooth)
blood loss. Smaller in 1 2 3
victims are dragged

SIZE Up to 20 ft (6 m) long
deep into the water
and drowned.
cm 2 4 6 8

HABITAT Most coastal and offshore ocean


waters SPEED
PREY WEIGHT
23,300 lb
TO P lb 1,000 2,000 3,000
LOCATION Worldwide

24
kg 400 800 1,200 1,600
DIET Seals, dolphins, turtles, seabirds, and
large sh

MPH

Spine
TOUGH SWIMSUIT
The skin of a shark is tougher
than leather and rougher than
Stomach
sandpaper. It is made up of tiny
toothlike scales called denticles,
each tipped with hard enamel-
like substance. In addition to
providing protection, the denticles
also reduce drag in the water,
helping the shark to swim faster.

Tail (caudal)
n moves from
side to side to
power shark
forward

Fussy eater
This shark can sniff out its dinner over great
distancesit can detect a single drop of blood
from 3 miles (5 km) away. However, it doesnt
Short intestine Pelvic eat everything it bitessometimes it just takes a
has spiral valve to n sample and spits it out. In reality, Great Whites
slow passage of don't like the taste of humans.
food through gut
85
This sh
MEGAMOUTH has a huge
WHALE SHARK mouth, but a
While slowly cruising the sunlit ocean surface, a Whale tiny throat
Shark feeds on vast quantities of tiny oating animals
called plankton. It has about 4,000 small teeth but these
are useless for eating. Instead, its giant mouth and gill
arches are covered with small prickles that strain the
plankton from the watera process known as lter
feeding. Every minute the Whale Shark passes gallons
of water through its mouth and out via its gill slits and
any trapped plankton is swallowed.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 32 ft (9.7 m) long

 HABITAT Surface waters of the open


ocean

 LOCATION Warm and tropical oceans


around the world

 DIET Plankton (including krill


shrimplike animals of open water),
small sh, and squid

STATS AND FACTS


100
YEARS
DAILY FOOD CONSUMPTION

ton 1 2
23 tons of plankton
3 4
ES

TI
A

M
AT E SP metric 1 2 3 4 5
D LIFE ton
One of the biggest
animals preys on SIZE OF PLANKTON PREY
some of the smallest. 0.072 in
AMAZING ANATOMY

The Whale Shark in 1 2 3


prefers plankton-rich
surface watersbut mm 20 40 60 80 100
can dive deeper than
3,300 ft (1,000 m).
DISTANCE COVERED PER DAY
19 miles
SPEED
TO P miles 10 20 30

km 10 20 30 40 50

3.3
MPH
86
LAR
FISH
GES
T THICK SKIN
At 6 in (15 cm) thick, the rough
skin of the Whale Shark is thicker
than that of any other animal. It
protects this sh from all but the
largest of predators. Suckersh
often hitch a ride on a Whale
Sharkeven entering the mouth.
POISON DARTS
The stingers of a Box Jellysh
are microscopic capsules
of venom, each equipped with
a tiny harpoon for injecting
venom into skin. Each tentacle
is armed with many thousands
of stingers.
The shock
of its sting can DEADLY SEA
stop a heart STINGER
from beating BOX JELLYFISH
Box Jellysh can inict one of the most painful of all
stings: their venom is so strong that it can kill a human.
They swim in tropical waters and sometimes come close
to the shoreand to swimmers. Unlike other jellyshes,
they have clusters of eyes on their box-shaped swimming
MO
ST P bell and powerful muscles that help them swim against

VEN OTE
N
the currents. Box Jellysh have transparent bodies, so

OM T
they may not be noticed by swimmers until it is too late.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Bell up to 12 in (30 cm) wide; tentacles 39 ft


(13 m) long, fully extended

 HABITAT Open ocean

 LOCATION Worldwide in tropical and


subtropical waters

 DIET Fish and zooplankton

STATS AND FACTS


4
POUNDS
VENOM 515 to kill a man 10 per sting

drops 5 10 15 20
M

AX H 2 (honey bee) 34
IMU
MW EIG
sting intensity 2 3 4 5
Box Jellysh swim
AMAZING ANATOMY
4 (bullet ant)
faster than typical
jellyshes, and their TENTACLES up to 15 on each corner of the bell
painful stings can be
so damaging, they
can leave lasting scars. Max. tentacles = 60
in 25 50 75 100 125 150
IMMING
SW SP
P cm 100 200 300 400
O
EE

6 in long when contracted


T

8
D

118 in long when expanded

MPH

89
BIGGEST E S TE
GG MAD
BANI IMAL- TURE
COMMUNITY STR
U C
GREAT BARRIER REEF
The Great Barrier Reef is the worlds biggest coral reef,
and the single biggest structure made by animals. It is so
big that it runs down half the coast of Australia and can
be seen from space. It was formed over thousands of
years by coralan animal that grows as a colony of tiny
anenomelike structures, called polyps. As the coral grows,
it lays down a skeleton of chalky rock that forms the reef.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 1,600 miles (2,600 km) long

 HABITAT Coastal ocean waters

 LOCATION Off the northeastern coast


of Australia

 DIET Coral feeds on plankton; also on


sugars from the algae living in the esh
of the coral

STATS AND FACTS


20,000 DISTANCE FROM COASTLINE
19161 miles
YEARS miles 40 80 120 160
PP
A

RO AG km 50 100 150 200 250 300


X I M AT E

The coral forms the


basis of the reef in the COMPOSITION 1,600 (sh species)
same way that trees
AMAZING ANATOMY

400 (coral species)


form the basis of a
forest. Thousands of
other types of animal species 400 800 1,200 1,600
live and grow on and
around the coral.
TEMPERATURE OF WATER
70F (winter)82F (summer)
TH OF RE
NG EF F 50 70 90 110
LE
C 10 20 30 40 50

1,600
MILES
90
5% of the
worlds sh
species live
here

ALL SHAPES AND SIZES


Coral grows in an amazing
variety of forms. The outer
skeleton of hard coral forms
rocky outcrops, but there are
soft, eshy corals growing
among them, too. Some even
look like brains or fat ngers.
LARGEST SPIDER
GOLIATH SPIDER
Muscle relaxes
If you dont like spiders, then you wouldnt want to meet this and leg straightens
onethe biggest in the world. Its fangs can be more than
an inch long and its body can grow to the size of an
orange. Such a giant spider takes big preybut despite Flow of
their common name of bird eater, they are more likely to uid

tackle big insects and the occasional lizard or small rodent.

PUSH AND PULL Muscle


contracts
AT A GLANCE Spider legs are hollow and and leg
lled with uid. When the spider bends
contracts its leg muscles these pull
on the inner walls and the leg
bends at the joint. To straighten
Head and
the joint, the spider pumps chest are
uid down the joined
legs to push them
out again.

SIZE Head and body 45 in (1214 cm) long

HABITAT Rainforest

LOCATION South America

DIET Large insects and other invertebrates;


sometimes small vertebrates

Claws
on end
of foot

Abdomen can have bald


patches where the spider
has rubbed off hairs
POISON PUMPS
The fangs are strong enough to pierce skin.
Behind each fang is a venom gland. When
a spider bites, tiny muscles pump venom to
the tip of the fang.
The venom can
It rears
Venom
gland
kill or paralyze
the spiders prey. up on its
Muscular Venom
walls push
out venom
channel hind legs when
Head Fang
threatened
Venom

STATS AND FACTS


25 YEARS
LEGSPAN

in 5 10
12 in

15

N
A
XI

A
cm
MU SP 10 20 30 40
M LIFE

As spiders grow bigger


they have to shed their PREY WEIGHT up to 1 oz
Leglike outer skin so that the
Knee palps are body can expand oz 1
2 1 112 2
used as underneath. The
feelers Goliath Spider may do g 20 40 60
this dozens of times in
its long life.
FANG LENGTH 3
/4 in
RD WEIG
CO
1 1 3
H in 4 2 4
RE T

6
cm 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5

OUNCES

Fangs
overhang
the mouth

Mouthparts

AMAZING ANATOMY
suck up
liqueed food

HOR
RIBLY HAIRY
Creepy crawler
A bite from a Goliath Spider is like being
With a legspan as wide as a dinner plate,
the Goliath Spider is big enough to prey on stung by a wasp, but humans are more
mice and lizards. It is a nocturnal predator, resting by likely to be irritated by its hairs. When
day in burrows in the ground and coming out at night disturbed, it rubs its body with its hind
to prowl the rainforest oor. It sneaks up on its prey, legs to dislodge a cloud of hairs, which
pounces, and then injects its victim with venom and can lodge in the eyes or throat and cause
carries it back to its lair to eat at its leisure. great discomfort.
93
REPELLING INTRUDERS
The male dung beetles horns arent
just for pushing dungthey are also a
powerful weapon against rivals. A male
will lock horns with any intruder that
invades his tunnel to steal his mate or
his dung ball. Weaker males are simply
pushed out of the way.
WEIGHTLIFTING
WONDER
HORNED DUNG BEETLE
Imagine moving a pile of dung the size of a house and
you have some idea of what a dung beetle can do. It is
the muscles of the insect world, feeding itself and its
young on dung. The Horned Dung Beetle tunnels under
dung pats, where a hornless female lays eggs on
underground storehouses of dung. The male guards the
entrance and uses brute force to repel any intruders.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 1/31/2 in (0.81 cm) long

 HABITAT Open country on sandy soil

 LOCATION Mediterranean as far east as


Turkey and Iran; introduced to Australia
and the southern United States

 DIET Dung

STATS AND FACTS


3
MONTHS
WEIGHT PULLED

oz 1
1 oz (hornless male and
unfed horned male)
2 3 4
A
DU N
LT L I F E S PA g 30 60 90 120
3 oz (well-fed horned male)
The strongest males
guard the tunnel TUNNEL LENGTH
entrances. However, 812 in

AMAZING ANATOMY
their horns are a in 3 6 9 12 15
hindrance inside the
tunnels, so more agile cm 10 20 30 40
hornless males may
slip by and mate with

STRON
the female instead. TIME TO RUN THROUGH TUNNEL

GEST
INSECT
EIGHT P 45 seconds (hornless male)
.W UL
AX L
M

ED

4
57 seconds (horned male)

OUNCES
95
MEGABUG I E S T
HE AV C T
LITTLE BARRIER
NS E
GIANT WETA I
Wetas are huge ightless crickets from New Zealand.
The heaviest of them all, which weighs as much as a
blackbird, lives only on a tiny island called Little Barrier.
Whereas other wetas eat insects, the Giant Weta feeds on
leaves. It is too big to jump so makes a hissing sound to
scare off enemies. If that doesnt work, it can lash out
with its spiny legs, causing a painful injury. They only
bite humans if they are provoked.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body 4 in (10 cm) long

 HABITAT Forest; adults lives in trees, but


females go to the ground to lay eggs

 LOCATION Little Barrier Island in New


Zealand

 DIET Leaves

STATS AND FACTS


2
YEARS
GROWTH
in
in (length when newly hatched)
1 2 3

cm 2 4 6 8 10
23 in (length of adult)
LIFE
S PA N
0 5 10 15
Wetas grow and breed 10 (number of molts)
3
slowly compared with EGGS 16 in (length)
1 1
in 4 2
most insects. They lay
AMAZING ANATOMY

their eggs in warm,


cm 0.5 1 1.5
damp soil. As wetas 1 2
in
grow they periodically
shed their thick outer
cm 2 4 6
casing (exoskeleton)
2 in (depth at which buried)
and grow a new one. LEGSPAN
8 in
ORD WEIG HT
R EC in 2 4 6 8

cm 5 10 15 20 25

2 1/2
OUNCES
96
Giant Wetas can
weigh up to UGLY BUG
In the local Maori language, the Giant

2 oz (71 g) Wetas name wetapunga means the


god of ugly things. It is largely
nocturnal, preferring to hide during the
day to avoid predators, but it often gives
itself away by the large droppings (as big
as a rats) that it leaves beneath its tree.
MOST SPECTACULAR WINGS
ATLAS MOTH
The large, papery wings of the Atlas
Moth are among the most colorful of
all moths. However, they are also fragile
and only work well in calm conditions. The
female is larger and heavier than the male with
a wingspan thats as big as a birds. Her sole function
is to attract a male to mate with. Afterward, she lays
her eggs on the underside of a leaf and dies.

A giant among moths


AT A GLANCE Although some big moths have
longer wings, the Atlas Moths
wings cover a larger area. Adults
lack mouthparts and cannot feed.
They survive for a short time by
living off the body fat they stored
when they were caterpillars.

E S T
IGG
 B
OT H
M
SIZE Wingspan 10 in (25 cm)

 HABITAT Rainforests

N G AR EA
 LOCATION Southeastern Asia
YW I
B
 DIET Adults do not feed; caterpillars eat leaves
of certain trees
Wings are covered
with tiny scales

STATS AND FACTS


2
WEEKS
WINGS
sq in

sq cm 100
20
62 sq in (surface area)

200
40

300
60

400 500 N

10
TH

PA

IF
L

ES O
D WINGS

PA N O F M
wbpm 80150 1 min

The wings of the Atlas TIME 1015 (eggs hatch)


INCHES
OR

Moth are boldly


EC

patternedperhaps R
to deter predators. The days 5 10 15 20
6 (as a caterpillar)
exact pattern varies
between subspecies.
weeks 2 4 6 8 10
68 (as a chrysalis)
FEATHERY ANTENNAE
The long, feathered antennae of the male Atlas
Moth are covered with sensor cells called
Patterning on wing tips
chemoreceptors. They are so sensitive that
looks like a snakes head
they can pick up the scent of a female
several miles away.

Antennae of
females have
less feathering

Adult Atlas
Moths only
live for two
weeks

AMAZING ANATOMY
FEEDING STAGE
Strongly scented Most of an Atlas Moths life is spent as a
chemicals are caterpillar. It feeds voraciously, munching
released from a
gland at the tip of
its way through the leaves of citrus trees
the female's until its about 4 in (11.5 cm) long and
abdomen ready to pupate. It then spins a silk
cocoon around itself and changes into an
adult moth over about four weeks.

99
A NEW SUIT OF ARMOR
The longer a spider crab lives, the bigger it
gets, but over time, other animals such as
sponges and anemones grow on its shell.
These hitchhikers dont last: spider crabs
must molt their shells to grow bigger. With
such long legs, this can take around two
hours to complete.

This crab can


grow to the size of
a small car
LAR
GES
CRA T SEAFLOOR
B SCUTTLER
JAPANESE SPIDER CRAB
Picking its way slowly across the ocean oor is a crab
that looks like a huge mechanical spider. Despite its long,
gangly legs, the Japanese Spider Crabs body is scarcely
the size of a basketball. Armed with strong claws for
tearing apart its food, this crab is actually a gentle giant.
It prefers to live by scavenging on the seaoorits weight
makes it too slow to chase after fast-moving prey.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Legspan 812 ft (2.53.8 m)

 HABITAT Coastal waters at depths down


to 2,000 ft (600 m)

 LOCATION Northwestern Pacic off


Japan and Taiwan

 DIET Smaller crabs, snails, and carcasses

STATS AND FACTS


100 LENGTH
5 ft (longest leg)
YEARS ft 2 4 6
EC
R

OR A
D LIFE SP m 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5

A spider crab is a
decapodit has 10 DIAMETER
16 in (body)
legs. Eight of these are

AMAZING ANATOMY
used for walking and in 5 10 15
the other, shorter pair
end in pincers that are cm 10 20 30 40 50
used for feeding.

WEIGHT
46 lb (record)
R D L E G S PA
E CO N lb 20 40 60
R
kg 10 20 30

12 12
3344 lb (normal range)

FEET

101
MAGNIFICENT
MOLLUSK
GIANT CLAM
Shelled giants of the ocean, these clams grow all their
lives. The oldest can weigh as much as a dolphin. Unlike
smaller clams, they can thrive in nutrient-poor waters
because each Giant Clam has microscopic algae living
in its esh that make energy-rich sugarsjust like plants
which they share with the clam. It also feeds on plankton,
which it sucks out of the seawater.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Up to 4 ft (1.2 m) long

 HABITAT Shallow ocean waters

 LOCATION Tropical oceans of the


Indo-Pacic

 DIET Plankton and food produced by


live-in algae

STATS AND FACTS


100
YEARS
STRENGTH
4,500 (muscle strength to close shell)
M

A
XI
A

MU SP N 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000


M LIFE
400 (human grip)
The Giant Clam has
powerful muscles to FOOD
65% (food made by algae) 35% (plankton)
open and close its
AMAZING ANATOMY

shell, but contrary to


Young
popular opinion, these
65% (plankton)
work too slowly to trap
human beings. Not all
Old
species can close 35% (food made by algae)
completely. DEPTH BIG-LIPPED BIVALVE
RD WEIG
1
6 /266 ft The main body of a clam consists of a
CO HT ft 20 40 60 80
RE thick, eshy tissue called the mantle. In
Giant Clams this is brightly colored and
m 5 10 15 20 25

550
contains the algae that provide the clam
with food. When the clam is open, the
mantle extends out over the shell to
POUNDS
expose the maximum area to sunlight.
102
Giant Clams
release 500
million eggs
at once
TREE-CLIMBING
COCONUT SMASHER
Robber Crabs are often seen climbing
trees in search of food, such as bananas
and coconuts. They dehusk a fallen

COLOSSUS
coconut and then either haul it back up
the tree to drop it and crack it open, or
they simply smash or snip the tough
shell with their claws.

ROBBER CRAB
You wont nd these crabs hiding in a rock poolthey
cant swim and they don't like the water. Robber Crabs
are land-dwelling hermit crabs, and are so well adapted
to life on land that they drown in the ocean. However,
this is a risk every female must take, since she needs to
release her eggs in the rising tides. These eggs hatch into
larvae, which settle on the seaoor. As a soft-bodied
juvenile, the crab lives in discarded snail shells and uses
gills to breathe. When it leaves the water it starts to
breathe air and its body hardens into a tough shell.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 16 in (40 cm) long;


legspan 35 in (90 cm)

 HABITAT Coastal areas

 LOCATION Islands of the Indian Ocean and


Western Pacic

 DIET Seeds, fruit, coconuts, and carrion

STATS AND FACTS


9
POUNDS
HOME RANGE

sq ft 1,000
4302,700 sq ft
2,000 3,000

RE
HT
AMAZING ANATOMY
sq m 100 200 300
LAR
CO
RD WEIG

CRAGES
T LA
ND
Robber Crabs nd
food using the highly
SMELL
DETECTION
165 ft (crab smells unripe banana)

B
ft 40 80 120 160 200
sensitive smell sensors
on their antennae.
m 30 60
3 ft (human smells food)
IMUM SIZE
AX AT
M
sensors 500 1,000 1,500 2,000

60
1,6001,800 (smell sensors on each antenna)

YEARS
105
RECORD-BREAKERS
Animals have a staggering range of body shapes and sizes, from
microscopic rotifers to gigantic whales. This breathtaking variety of
forms depends on many factors, including whether an animal lives
on land or in water, how it moves, the temperature of its habitat, and
what it eats. Big animals can overpower competitors or their prey,
The Duck-billed
while small animals can hide more easily from enemies. Each group
of animal has its own record-breakers
Platypus is the
when it comes to unusual size and
interesting body features. most venomous
SUPER
SNAKE
The longest snake is the
mammal
Reticulated Python. The biggest
one ever caught and measured
was a whopping 33 ft (10.2 m). RETICULATED
They usually average 1020 ft PYTHON
(36 m) in the wild.

PLATYPUS
BONIEST
ANIMAL
HEAVIEST ANIMALS The Snipe Eel has the most

Blue Whale 198 tons (180 metric tons)


bones of any animal, often with
more than 750 bones in its

Whale Shark 23.7 tons (21.5 metric tons) spine. Its body is so thin that
it is 75 times longer than
African
Elephant
Savanna
13.5 tons (12.25 metric tons)
it is wide.

Colossal Squid 1,090 lb (495 kg)


BEE
HUMMINGBIRD

Saltwater Crocodile 990 lb (450 kg) TINIEST CREATURES


Leatherback Turtle 800 lb (364 kg)
Ostrich 344 lb (156 kg)
Moss Rotifer 1
512 in (0.05 mm)

Giant Salamander 140 lb (64 kg)


Amau Frog 1
4 in (8 mm)

Goliath Spider Paedocypris Fish


AFRICAN
ELEPHANT 5 oz (170 g) 3
8 in (1 cm)

Dwarf Sphaero Gecko 1


2 in (1.6 cm)

Bumblebee Bat 112 in (4 cm)

6 Bee Hummingbird 2 in (5 cm)


BIGGEST
AMPHIBIAN SMALLEST
FEET INSECT
The Chinese Giant Salamander
is the biggest amphibian in the The tiniest insects are Fairy

/64
world. It can grow up to 6 ft Wasps at just 164 in (0.2 mm) long.
(1.8 m) long and weigh up Female Fairy Wasps lay their eggs 1
to 140 lb (64 kg), although on the eggs of other insects and
large specimens are getting when their eggs hatch, the INCH
harder to nd in their larvae feed on the contents
native habitat. of the host egg.
The sting of
a Bullet Ant feels as
painful as walking LARGE FLYING
FOX

on hot coals
GREATEST WINGSPANS
 Wandering Albatross 12 ft (3.7 m)

 Andean Condor 10 ft (3.2 m)

 Large Flying Fox 6 ft (1.8 m)

LION  Bornean Giant Dragony 6 in (15 cm)

MIGHTIEST
POISONOUS MOTH
PUFFERS The insect with the longest
wingspan11 in (28 cm)is
Puffershes are the most the White Witch Moth of Central
poisonous creatures in the ocean. and South America. Like
They give predators plenty of most moths, this giant is active

11
warning by inating themselves at night and is sometimes
into balls, which makes their mistaken for a bat.
sharp spines stick out.
INCHES

STRONGEST BITES
Great White Shark 9,000 newtons

Saltwater Crocodile 5,800 newtons

Lion
Spotted Hyena
1,770 newtons
770 newtons
A Blue Whales
Tasmanian Devil 418 newtons
PUFFERFISH
heart weighs up to
1,300 lb (600 kg)
STRONGEST
MAMMAL BITE and is the size of a
AMAZING ANATOMY
Mammals tend to have strong
bites because of their powerful
jaw muscles. The mightiest bite of
small car
any mammal is not that of a big
8,000 predator, such as a lion or
tiger, but the plant-eating
NEWTONS hippopotamus!

HIPPOPOTAMUS 107
2
ANIMAL
ATHLETES
However good a human is at
running, jumping, or swimming,
there is always an animal that can
do it better. Animals have other
spectacular talents, too, ranging
from architecture and decoration
to mimicry and walking on water.
To an animal, these achievements
are simply a way of life.
Honey possums
depend on
owers more
than any other
mammal
FUSSIEST
EATER
HONEY POSSUM
One of the tiniest of marsupials is devoted to owers.
The Honey Possum lives on Australian heathland, where
it drinks nectar from the blossoms. Lots of other
mammals eat nectar, but most need protein in the form
of insects. The Honey Possum, instead, gets protein from
pollen, and so relies completely on owers to survive. It
has a long, bristle-tipped tongue for licking up its food
and is so attentive that it rarely misses a single bloom.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 2 3 in (79 cm)


long, plus tail 2 4 in (710 cm) long

 HABITAT Heathland and woodland

 LOCATION Southwestern Australia

 DIET Nectar and pollen

2
STATS AND FACTS
TONGUE LENGTH
11
/16 in
YEARS in 1
M

A
XI
A

MU SP cm 1 2 3
M LIFE

Newborn Honey
Possums are the TIME
smallest of any 32 (to reach adult weight)
mammal, but grow 34 (gestation period)
fast on energy-rich ANIMAL ATHLETES
milk. They spend weeks 10 20 30 40
two months in their 10 (to wean)
mothers miniature
SURVIVAL STRATEGY pouch. WEIGHT
Because the Honey Possum is so light,
ERS VISIT
it can climb up slender stems and right OW ED
FL 0.005 g (newborn)
into the owers to feed. Its hands and
feet are excellent for keeping a grip as it 716 g (adult)
licks up the nectar, but this tiny animal 2,400
has an extra trickits tail can wrap PER NIGHT
around branches like a safety rope.
111
BONE CRUSHER
HYENA
Little is left of a carcass once a hyena has nished with it. Its
Pointed ears can
powerful jaws can crunch right through bone, which it swallows follow sound from
along with the marrow inside. Only the grass-lled stomachs of any direction

herbivores are left uneaten. Almost everything can be processed


because its stomach has such powerful digestive juices.

NOSE FOR TROUBLE


A keen sense of smell is
important for nding food
and for communicating
with other Striped Hyenas.
Territorial boundaries
are marked with a
strong-smelling, yellow
paste to warn off intruders.

Short, blunt
muzzle

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body


3763 in (95160 cm)
BONE CRACKERS
long, plus tail 1018 in
(2747 cm) long Carnivorous mammals have a


cheek tooth on each side of the
HABITAT Grassland
Carnassial upper and lower jaws, called
 LOCATION Africa, Middle
East, and eastern India
tooth is used
for cutting
through hide,
a carnassial. These teeth are
extremely strong and with the

 DIET Carrion, living prey,


and fruit
esh, and bone powerful jaw muscles make the
hyenas bite particularly good
at crushing bones.

Front feet are


larger than the
hind feet, but all
have four toes
STATS AND FACTS
190POUNDS
FOOD CONSUMPTION

Spotted Hyena
70% (live prey) 30% (carrion)

100%

38
2040% (live prey and plant material)
M

AX T
GH

SPEED
IMU I
M WE
Striped Hyena 100%
6080% (carrion)
The bite of a hyena is

TO P
stronger than that of
BITE STRENGTH
MPH
many animals of a 55 (domestic cat) 550770
similar size.
N 200 400 600 800

SPOTTED HYENA
Mane is raised when The Spotted Hyena lacks the mane of the
excited or alarmed
Striped Hyena and is redder in color. This
species kills more animals than it
scavenges. A solitary Spotted Hyena
tackles small prey, but by working in a
pack, hyenas can hunt large animals and
will spend up to two hours chasing a
weak zebra to bring it down.

Medium length,
bushy tail

Cubs ght
so aggressively
that 25% of ANIMAL ATHLETES
them die
Striped Hyena
The hyenas strength is concentrated at the front
of its body. Its shoulder and neck muscles are so
powerful it can pull its own body weight in
carrion. The back end is weakerand the hind
legs are shorter than the front legs so that the
back slopes down toward the tail.
113
CHAMPION LONG EBIG

T
A G I L

A
T
MOS
JUMPER
SNOW LEOPARD C
In the cold, rocky mountains of Tibet, this sleek predator
scales heights and clears chasms with such graceful agility
that few highland animals can escape it. The Snow
Leopards long-haired coat keeps it warm, while a long
thick tailup to three-quarters its body lengthhelps it
balance. When it sleeps, the tail doubles up as a blanket
to protect its face and paws against freezing winds.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 34 ft (11.3 m)


long, plus tail 23 ft (0.81 m) long

 HABITAT Mountains, alpine


meadows, and foothill forest

 LOCATION Central Asia

 DIET Mountain goats, deer,


marmots, and
livestock

STATS AND FACTS


56 FEET
ALTITUDE

ft 6,000
5,900 ft (winter)
12,000 18,000 24,000

LO P
NGE m 1,500 3,000 4,500 6,000 7,500
ST J U M
20,000 ft (summer)
Thick fur insulates the
Snow Leopard in the TEMPERATURE
cold mountains. Its 100.4F (body)
high-domed skull even F -100 -50 0 50 100
has extra-large nose
ANIMAL ATHLETES

cavities to warm the C -50 0 50


chilled air when it 98.6F
breathes in. -40104F (surroundings)
LENGTH OF HAIR
1 in (belly)
SPEED
TO P in 1 1 2 2

36
mm 15 30 45 60
2 in (back)

MPH
114
FURRY FEET
Wide paws with furry undersides
give the Snow Leopard a sure
footing on slippery slopes, and keep
out the cold. Even so, it prefers to
hunt on sun-warmed slopes where
its coat provides better camouage
against the dappled gray rocks.
EXTREME SURVIVOR
BACTRIAN CAMEL
A Bactrian Camel is well adapted to living in the desert. It can go for weeks
without water, and when it nds some, it can gulp down half a bathful in
just 10 minutesit can even drink salty water if necessary. Contrary to
popular opinion, the camels humps store fat, not water. The Bactrian
Camels homeland in Central Asia, high above sea level, gets little rainfall,
and is either freezing cold or very hot. There are few animals as big as
the Bactrian Camel that can survive in such extremes.

AT A GLANCE It can go
 SIZE 67 ft (1.82.3 m)
high at the shoulder three
 HABITAT Desert and dry


grassland

LOCATION Central Asia,


including the Gobi Desert
weeks
 DIET Any plant matter;
it will even eat carrion
without
Belly does not
when very hungry

water need sun


protection so
coat is thinner

E S T
A S T E R
F RINK
TREADING
THE SAND

D
The Bactrian Camels
feet each have two
toes and one very
wide, tough padded
sole, which can be as Feet adapted
large a dinner plate. This for any terrain
means that the camel
can cope equally well
with walking over sharp
stony ground, very hot
soft sand, or compacted
TWO TOES TOUGH PADDED SOLE winter snow.
EXTRA-THICK EYELASHES
Sandstorms are common in the desert. Two rows of
Fat is stored in
two humps eyelashes protect the eyes from ying gritand help
shield them from strong sunlight, too. This means the
camel can even save the water in its tears.

Layers of
eyelashes
Each eye has
three eyelids

Coat traps
warmth in winter
and screens out
sun in summer

Groove from the


nostril to the lip
catches moisture

Food pantry RECHEWING FOOD


Food can be hard to
Camels tear off food with
come by in the desert so
when food is available, the
their large teeth and swallow
Bactrian Camel builds up fat it mostly unchewed. They bring
stores in its humps to use in it back into their mouths later, or
harder times. As the fat stores regurgitate it, and chew it againknown as
are used up, the camels humps chewing the cud. They will eat almost any
shrink and op to one side. plant material they can nd.

STATS AND FACTS


26
GALLONS
TEMPERATURE

F -50
-40131F (surroundings)
0 50
93104F (body)

100
ANIMAL ATHLETES

40
RU E
N K AT O N C C -30 0 30 60
SPEED

98.6F (human)
Camels can survive
TO P

WEIGHT OF FAT
losing up to 40% of 5577 lb (stored in one hump) MPH
their body weight in lb 20 40 60 80
moisture. Then when
they nd water, they
kg 10 20 30 40 60
drink it very quickly.

117
FASTEST SPRINTER
CHEETAH AT A GLANCE

Never try to outrun a Cheetahwhen it comes to fast acceleration,


nothing on two or four legs can beat it. Although its slimline physique is
too light to ambush heavy-bodied prey, its astonishing speed allows it to
outpace nimble animals, like gazelles. It trips its victim mid-sprint, and
kills it with a bite to the throat.  SIZE Up to 7 ft (2.3 m) long, plus tail
2634 in (6585 cm) long


Skull is small and
made of thin bone HABITAT Mainly savanna but also semidesert
and dense bush

Neck is Skeleton is
 LOCATION Southern and eastern Africa


long lightweight
DIET Small hoofed mammals

AN EYE FOR DETAIL


Forward-facing eyes help
the Cheetah to see detail
several miles away and
judge distance for a
chase. Black tear
marks make its face Heart is large,
look ercer when pumping blood
it snarls to scare around the body
fast to cope with
larger predators. muscle demand
for oxygen

FAST TWITCH
Cheetahs have lots of fast-
twitch bers in their muscles.
These are good for reaching
high speeds but tire quickly.
This means the Cheetah can
only run for a short time
(about 2060 seconds) over a
maximum of 550 yd (500 m) Claws only partially
before needing to rest so pull back, giving
these muscles can recover. extra grip
Its large STATS AND FACTS

nostrils help 8
YEARS
BODY TEMPERATURE

F 60
98.6F (human)
90
102.2F
120

N
A
XI
it take in more

A
MU SP C 10 20 30 40 50
M LIFE

Running at speed puts

Spine is
extremely
oxygen the Cheetahs body
under strain. Its
temperature rises so
fast that it has to rest
BREATHING RATE
16 (resting) 150 (sprinting)

exible before eating its prey. breaths/ 50 100 150 200


Rapid breathing allows min
1020 (human up to 100 (human
maximum oxygen while resting) while exercising)
supply to muscles. HEARTBEATS
Fast-twitch
bers are SPEED
TO P
concentrated bpm 250 (maximum) 1 min
in powerful

68
leg muscles
bpm 100 (resting) 1 min

MPH

This cat can


reach 40 mph
(64 km/h) in
three seconds
Cut to the chase
High-speed chases use a lot of
Tail is long to help
energy. To be sure of success, the
the Cheetah balance
Cheetah must stalk its prey very
in tight turns
closely before rushing from cover.

SUPER-FLEXIBLE SPINE
The Cheetah has the longest spine in
proportion to the rest of its body of any
Legs are long cat. It is also very exible and is alternately
to maximize
stride length straightened and exed when the animal is
galloping, to maximize stride length for greater allows the back feet to move in front of the
speed. This movement is controlled by powerful forefeet. Extended claws give the cat grip as it
back muscles that make up half the bodys hurtles along. It then reaches as far as it can
muscle weight. The spine curves so much that it before curling itself up for the next stride.
ANIMAL ATHLETES

STRAIGHTENED FLEXED

119
ENDURANCE Pronghorns are
the marathon
CHAMPION runners of the
PRONGHORN
animal world
The Pronghorn has lungs like bellows and a powerful
heart, which together can deliver large amounts of
oxygen to its leg muscles over a long period of time. This
lightweight grassland animal can leap distances of 20 feet
(6 m), too. Only the very young, sick, or injured are in
danger from predators because even the swiftest meat-
eater tires out long before a Pronghorn does.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 35 ft (11.5 m)


long, plus tail 37 in (818 cm) long
(males are bigger than females)

 HABITAT Grassland and desert

 LOCATION Eastern and central North


America

 DIET Grasses, cacti, and other low


vegetation

STATS AND FACTS


12
YEARS
WEIGHT OF HEART
oz
121/4231/2 oz (Pronghorn)
10 20

g 250 500 750


LIF

Y
IT

SP V oz 10 20
E

AN TI
IN CAP
g 250 500 750
Although a champion 41/2164/5 oz (goat)
runner and long- SPEED
jumper, the Pronghorn 30 mph (cruising)
cannot jump very high mph 20 40 60
and prefers to go
ANIMAL ATHLETES

under obstacles, rather km/h 20 40 60 80 100


than over them. 4052 mph (fast run)

DISTANCE COVERED
33 miles (in fast run)
SPEED
TO P miles 1 2 3 4

60
km 2 4 6 8

MPH
120
FAS
T
ANI EST
DANGER SIGNAL

MAL
A Pronghorn needs to be able to spot
OVE predators in time to make a speedy
RA escape. It has very large eyes for its size,
LON
GD which are ever watchful for danger. If a
ISTA
NCE predator is spotted, a Pronghorn raises
its white rump hairs, making the patch
more visible to the animals around it.
The whole herd will then ee.
FASTEST
DRUMMER
AYE-AYE
The strange-looking Aye-Aye from Madagascar likes
nothing better than a juicy grub. But the best insects live
hidden inside trees, so to nd them the Aye-Aye uses its
drumming skills and exceptional hearing. It taps at the
bark and listens carefully for the tell-tale sign of a hollow
tunnel. Then it gnaws a hole and uses its special twiglike
middle nger to hook out the grub inside.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 1417 1/2 in (3644 cm) long,


plus tail 2023 1/2 in (5060 cm) long

 HABITAT Rainforest

 LOCATION Madagascar

 DIET Insect larvae, seeds, and nectar

STATS AND FACTS


2 /2 1
MILES
LENGTH OF FINGERS

in 2
3 in (thin 2nd nger)
4 6
MO

HT
IG

EM
V

ENT EN cm 4 8 12 16
IN ON 1 in (thumb)
In addition to the 4 in (3rd nger)
grubs that the Aye-Aye TIME
scoops out with its 0.33 (to scoop food into mouth)
twiggy ngers,
it also eats fruit, ANIMAL ATHLETES
fungus, and seeds seconds 0.5 1
that it gathers from
the rainforest trees.
NIGHT VISION FOOD CONSUMPTION 25% (fruit and fungus)
The Aye-Aye is nocturnal, so P I N G R AT 8% (nectar) 47% (seeds and nuts)
has big eyes and ears for T AP E

8
sensing its way through the
0 100%
dark forestsometimes leaping 20% (insect larvae)
from tree to tree. It spends its
days resting in a treetop nest
woven from twigs and leaves. TAPS/SEC
123
EXPERT ENGINEERS
BEAVER
No animal, except a human, alters its habitat quite like a group of AT A GLANCE
beavers. These big rodents are the lumberjacks of the natural world. They
have powerful jaws and use their chisel-like teeth to fell small trees, which
they use to dam a stream or river and build a lodge. Here, they can raise
a family safely out of the reach of predators.

DAMMING THE FLOW


Beavers build a dam to create a pond of deep,
quiet water, where they can feed and make their
lodge. First, they make a foundation of stones 
SIZE Head and body 2332 in (6080 cm)
long, plus tail 1018 in (2545 cm) long
and mud, on which they pile branches and
small tree trunks. Then they strengthen it by 
HABITAT Streams and lakes bordered by trees
plastering more mud and water plants on
top. A family of beavers will look after their 
LOCATION North America and northern Asia

dam for many generations. 


DIET Bark, twigs, leaves, and roots of trees;
aquatic plants
Dam

Water level between


dam and lodge

Water level
on stream side
of dam is lower
than in pond

WOOD CHIPPER
The beaver is one of the biggest
rodents and is strong enough to Pond forms
carry large logs. It has powerful behind the dam,
cheek muscles for cutting through slowing the ow
of the river and
wood, and its long orange front making it easier
teeth are hard and sharp for for the beavers
chiseling wood. The ridged cheek to build a lodge
teeth provide a good grinding
surface for chewing tough plants.
SAFE HAVEN
The lodge provides shelter from
Beavers can
the elements and protection from
predators. Inside it the cozy living
chamber is raised above the water
rebuild a broken
level and carpeted with dry plant
material. The chamber is
reached by one or more
dam overnight
entrances, which can
only be accessed
underwater.

Outer branches are


plastered with more mud in
autumn to provide insulation
against the cold

Underwater
entrance to
lodge

Small living chamber


sometimes there is a
separate area where the
beavers dry off before
entering the main den

STATS AND FACTS


50YEARS
DIAMETER

ft 10 20
39 ft (lodge)
30 40
ANIMAL ATHLETES
LIF

Y
IT

N G E S T DA M

SP V
E

AN TI m 3 6 9 12 15
IN CAP
2,800
One beaver dam in WIDTH FEET
Canada is so big it can 6 ft (internal chamber)
LO

be seen from space. It ft 3 6 9


is twice as long as the
Hoover Dam on the m 1 2 3
Colorado River.

125
FASTEST
DIGGER
AARDVARK
The word Aardvark means earth pig and this animal
deserves its nameno creature can dig into the ground
faster. An Aardvark digs to nd food, escape predators,
and to make burrows where it lives. It can break through
the hardest sun-baked ground, and when the soil is soft,
its muscular body gives it the strength to tunnel away
within minutes and stay hidden below ground.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 35 ft (11.58 m)


long, plus tail 1728 in (4471 cm) long

 HABITAT Grassland and open woodland

 LOCATION Africa, south of the Sahara


Desert

 DIET Ants and termites

STATS AND FACTS


220
POUNDS
BURROW LENGTH

ft 15
643 ft
30 45
M

AX H
IMU IG m 3 6 9 12 15
M WE
An Aardvark digs
with its front legs and HOME RANGE
shifts the loose soil 1 sq miles (average)
backward with its hind sq miles 1
2 1
legs. Young Aardvarks ANIMAL ATHLETES
become diggers at sq km 1 2 3 4
around 6 months old.

BURIED TREASURE TONGUE LENGTH


1012 in
Aardvarks eat mostly ants and
S UP PREY I
termites. Because of their large D IG N in 5 10 15

2
size, they need to eat a lot of the cm 10 20 30 40
tiny insects. They dig to open
the hardest ant nests with their
strong claws, and a long tongue
helps them gobble up their prey. MIN
127
LAZIEST ANIMAL
SLOTH AT A GLANCE

It can take a whole day for a sloth to cross from one


tree to the nextwhile another may scarcely ever move
from a favorite tree. Sloths have little need to speed up,
since they are surrounded by their leafy food and well
camouaged from predators. Hanging upside down with
their long claws hooked over the branches, their shaggy
bodies blend in perfectly with the treetops. Color helps
camouage
sloth

 SIZE Head and body 1629 in (4174 cm) long;


tailin three-toed sloths only3 in (29 cm)

 HABITAT Rainforest

 LOCATION Central and South America

 DIET Leaves and shoots of rainforest trees

Strongly
curved claws

LEAFY DIET
Sloths are vegetarian Long, shaggy fur
and have large hangs down
from the belly
complicated stomachs toward the back
to help them digest their
food. Two-toed sloths travel
from tree to tree in search of
food, but three-toed sloths are
usually fussier and stick to one tree.

STATS AND FACTS


40
YEARS
TOP SPEED

mph 1
8
3
/8 mph (in trees)
1
4 3
8 1
2
D

1
EE
LIF

E
IT

IMBING SP

SP V
AN TI km/h 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8
IN CAP 1
/6 mph (on ground)

Sloths spend little time NIGHTTIME BEHAVIOR


awake; they rest for MPH
CL

hours with their eyes 3 (active) 4 (resting) 6 (sleeping)


P
O

T
open. They take a
month to digest a hours
meal completely.
Sloth muscles
work very
Slowly does it
A sloth wouldnt win any races, but it is
an expert climber. Its hands and feet

slowly have eshy pads for gripping


branchesand the long, curved
claws act like hooks. Some
species are two-toed, others
are three-toed, but all can
climb a vertical tree trunk.

SLOTH MOTH
The fur of a sloth often
appears greenish. The
color is due to the
growth of algae, which
thrives in the humidity of
the rainforest. The coat is
also home to the sloth
mothwhich lives
nowhere else.

CRAWLING ON LAND
Sloths rarely come down to the ground,
because they are vulnerable there and
can only move by crawling awkwardly.
Sometimes they descend to change trees,
but otherwise they only do so to urinate
and defecatesomething that happens
just once or twice a week.
ANIMAL ATHLETES

129
EXPERT GLIDER A gliding
COLUGO colugo is as fast
Gliding through the air is an excellent way to get
as a bird
around the forest. In addition to being quick, it saves
energy because it doesnt use much muscle power. There
are a few kinds of mammal that can air glide, such as
ying squirrels and gliding possumsbut the colugo is
the best glider of all. The aps of skin that stretch along
the body of this unusual mammal act like a parachute.
When it jumps from tree to tree, it can easily cross a
forest clearing without losing much height.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 1316 in (3442 cm) long,


plus tail 711 in (1827 cm) long; weight 4 lb (1 kg)

 HABITAT Rainforest

 LOCATION Southeast Asia

 DIET Young leaves and buds

STATS AND FACTS


18YEARS
LENGTH OF GLIDE

ft 200
up to 500 ft
400 600
LIF

Y
IT

SP V
E

AN TI m 50 100 150 200


IN CAP
100 ft (average)
When not gliding,
colugos keep their DURATION OF GLIDE
parachute folded out 115
of the way. Though
graceful in the air, they
ANIMAL ATHLETES

climb slowly and are sec 5 10 15 20


virtually helpless on
the ground.
SPEED
13 ft/s (landing) 33 ft/s (gliding)
ES PER NIG
ID H ft/sec 10 20 30 40
GL T

m/sec 5 10 15

429
130
LON
MA GEST-GL
MM IDING
AL

FLYING HIGH
A large and brilliantly efcient
parachute gives the colugo
the edge. In other gliders, the
ap of skin only connects the
limbs, but the colugos is huge,
reaching to the ends of its toes,
and all along its tail.
CHAMPION CHATTERBOX
AFRICAN GRAY PARROT
The best talking parrots speak hundreds of words, and
the African Gray Parrot is the chattiest of all. Many birds AT A GLANCE
copy sounds in the wildstarlings and mynahs mimic other
birds, and can even do a great impersonation of a car  SIZE Body 1115 in (2839 cm) long; adult weight
1417 oz (402490 g)


alarm. Although wild parrots are not great mimics, HABITAT Rainforest and open woodland
domestic parrots have particularly clear talking voices,
which make them popularthough often noisypets.  LOCATION Central Africa

 DIET Fruits, seeds, and grains

Feet covered
Red tail
in scaly skin
feathers

Two toes face


forward and
two backward

CLIMBING CLAWS
African Gray Parrots are great at
grabbing and holding things. The Long, narrow
feeteach with two toes in front and wings for
acrobatic ying
two behindare excellent for grasping,
perching, and climbing. They also use them
to hold food up to their bills while feeding.

STATS AND FACTS


60YEARS
VOCABULARY OF FAMOUS PARROTS

100 (Alex) 800 (Prudle)


950 (Nkisi)

RY
LA

EC
R

VOCABU

OR A words 200 400 600 800 1,000


D LIFE SP
Some parrots have
become well known
300 (Bidi)
950
LEVELS OF UNDERSTANDING (ALEX)
WORDS
E ST

for their talking skills.


counted up to 6
RG

Alex was particularly


famous because his LA
recognized 7 colors
amazing talents were
studied by scientists. recognized 50 objects
Adult birds have
pale yellow eyes

Nostrils at
top of bill

Moveable
upper bill

WH
OS A PRETTY BOY?
Pet parrots are valued companions with friendly
personalities. They can be taught to speak full
sentences and may become closely attached
to their owners.

Short, rounded
chest feathers

This parrot
Feathered friends is as clever as
Most parrot species
have bright green
feathers, but the African a ve-year-old
Gray Parrot is less colorful.
Some are darker gray than
others, but they all have a
bright red tail and a white
child
patch around the eyes.

NOT A BIRD BRAIN


Parrots are smart birds, and many
people think they may have the
intelligence of a human toddler. It ANIMAL ATHLETES
used to be thought that they copied
the sounds of words without
understanding what they were saying,
but scientists now suspect that they do.
Some birds understand shapes, colors,
and numbersand can even solve simple
problems for reward of food. They are
also good at manipulating objects, using their
hinged bill like an extra foot to help them
grasp and hook on to things.

133
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Penguin feathers are short, but dense
and well oiled. This traps a layer of
air close to the skin, which locks in
heat and helps to keep the penguins
warm when swimming in icy seas.
The trapped air also keeps the bird
buoyant in water.

Gentoos can
stay underwater
for 7 minutes
when diving
SPEEDY
SWIMMER
GENTOO PENGUIN
Penguins look comical on land but become speedy
torpedoes at sea, and the Gentoo Penguin is the fastest
of the bunch. Its streamlined body is perfect for cutting
through the water, and paddlelike wingsuseless for
yinggive it strong swimming power. Speed can be a
matter of life or death in an Antarctic Ocean lled with
predators, but Gentoos swim so fast that they can launch
out of the water like a missile to land on pack ice.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 3032 in (7681 cm) body length

 HABITAT Rocky coastlines and


adjoining seas

 LOCATION Islands around Antarctica

 DIET Krill, shes, worms, and squid

STATS AND FACTS


15
YEARS
TEMPERATURE

F 0
550F (surroundings)

25 50
102F (body)
75 100
M

A
XI
A

MU SP C -15 0 15 30 45
M LIFE
20 ft deep (average 1550 ft deep
Gentoo Penguins search dive) (diving range)
make short, shallow DIVE
ft 200 400 600
dives to search for
prey and deeper,
m 40 80 120 160 200
longer ones to catch ANIMAL ATHLETES
300 ft (average food dive)
it. When diving, their
heart rate drops as
sec 25 50 100 150 200
they use up oxygen
stored in their muscles. HEARTBEATS 50170 (duration)

IMMING
SW SP
P
O bpm 3050 (during dive) 1 min
EE
T

22 MPH
bpm 86 (resting) 1 min

135
HIGHEST FLYER
RPPELL'S VULTURE
You dont expect to see a bird ying alongside a jet airplane, but then Thick feathers
keep bird warm
none can climb as high as a Rppells Vulture. Several miles up, the at high altitudes
air is very thin and its hard to breathe, but a high vantage point is perfect
for spotting carcasses. Its exceptional eyesight means that it can quickly
pinpoint a mealand be the rst on the scene to gorge to its ll.

CRUISING FOR CARCASSES


Rppells Vulture is a bird that really hits the heightsone
reportedly collided with an aircraft at more than 36,000 ft
(11,000 m). They regularly soar at 20,000 ft (6,000 m), riding
rising columns of warm air to gain height. When a vulture
spots a carcass it starts circling, alerting other members
of the ock to its nd.

MOTTLED BROWN PLUMAGE


Vultures wing feathers are broadexcellent for soaring
and gliding. In the Rppells Vulture they are distinctly
patterneddark brown with white tipswhich gives the
bird a white-spotted appearance from a distance.
STATS AND FACTS
AT A GLANCE
37,000 WINGS 8 ft (wingspan)
ft 4 8 12 16
FEET
m 1 2 3 4 5
 SIZE 3 ft (1 m) long; 1520 lb (6.89 kg)
in weight
RE

HT

D
F LY I N G S P E E
O


21
C

G
RD E I
F LY I N G H HABITAT Open grassland and mountains
wbpm 100150 1 min

Rppells Vulture has


such sharp vision it
VISION RANGE
97513,000 ft
MPH
 LOCATION Central Africa, south of the
Sahara Desert

P
TO
can spot an elephant ft 4,000 8,000 12,000 DIET Carrion from large carcasses
carcass up to 2 miles
(4 km) below it. m 1,500 3,000 4,500
Broad wings
up to 6,500 ft (human)
are ideal for
soaring

Dressed for dinner


The most succulent parts of a carcass
are the soft esh and organsbut
getting at them is a messy business.
A vulture has only a light covering Bare legs
are easy to
of uff or bare skin on its head
keep clean
and neck to stop them from
getting sticky with blood
and guts as it reaches
inside a body.

Hooked bill
for ripping
tough skin

It will y
90 miles
(150 km)
to nd food
Ruff of white feathers
around base of neck

ANIMAL ATHLETES

Talons rip
rather than
spear esh
GRIPPING CLAWS
Vultures are heavy birds, especially after they have gorged
themselves on a carcass. Their strong feet bear their
weight when walking on the ground, but because they are
scavengers and rarely have to kill, they lack sharp talons.

137
FASTEST
ANIMAL
PEREGRINE FALCON
Oxygen boost
The high-speed lifestyle
Diving downward at over 180 mph (300 km/h), a Peregrine of the Peregrine demands
Falcon moves faster than any other animal. It spots its victim lots of oxygen. Although its
from a high vantage point, then gives chase, closing in with a lungs are not that big, its
breathing system has nine
nal drop, and grabbing its prey with its feet. The force of large air sacs that act like Talons
impact alone is usually enough to kill or stun the target. bellows. These ush air sharply
through the lungs so curved for
that more oxygen can tearing
enter the blood. esh
Flight feathers
are long and rigid,
reducing drag
Tail acts as
a rudder
during ight

BEA
K AND CLAWS
Falcons need good weaponry to catch their
prey. The tip of the bill is notched, which
helps the bird grip its prey and kill it
quickly. The legs are short and stout and
armed with fearsome talonsthey can hit
prey in midair with great force.
AT A GLANCE
Bones are
hollow to
minimize
body weight

Air sac at back


receives inhaled
air, which later
transfers to
the lungs
SIZE 1320 in (3450 cm) long

HABITAT Forest, grassland, desert,
 towns, and coasts

LOCATION Worldwide

DIET Mainly other birds; sometimes
 small mammals

EXCELLENT EYESIGHT
When perched, a Peregrine Falcon Keel bone is large,
bobs its head to make its target move in providing a bigger area
relation to the horizon. This helps the for attachment of HOL
powerful ight muscles LOW BONES
falcon to judge how far away its quarry
is. During midair dives, the eyes are Most birds have hollow bones
swept clean by a third eyelid and kept Lungs and
air sacs are that reduce the birds weight so it
moist by an extra tear gland. interconnected in can y. They are strengthened by
a one-way system struts that help the skeleton cope
with the stresses and strains
associated with ying.

STATS AND FACTS


BODY WEIGHT 80% wing muscles (Peregrine)
5,000
FEET
0 100%
D

M
CE

A
X.
Beak is D I V E D I ST AN
strongly 0 100%
12% wing muscles (kestrel)
hooked 200
. DIVE SPEE

As with other falcons, HEARTBEATS


female Peregrine MPH
AX
M

Falcons are bigger than


malesand so they bpm 150 (resting) 1 min
take the biggest prey.
bpm 350 (in ight) 1 min
AERIAL ARCHITECT
BALD EAGLE
This large sea eagle likes the high life. It is a champion nest builder,
choosing the tallest tree or cliff to raise its chicks in safety. Pairs mate for
life and use the same nesta tangle of branches and sticksfrom year to
year. That doesnt mean the nest is nished: every year they add new
material, so the nests get wider, heavier, and deeper as time goes by.
Its grip is
SPACE TO GROW
ten times
Chicks hatch after 35 days of
incubation, and at rst are
stronger
dwarfed by their giant nest.
There are usually between one
and three chicks in the nest but
than that of
a human
not all will survive. One parent
tends the chicks while the other
hunts for food. The chicks spend
up to three months in the nest
before ying. They will be ready
to breed themselves after about
four years, returning to the area
where they were born.

STATS AND FACTS


1 TON
NEST DIAMETER

ft 3
8 ft (average)
6 9 12
W
EIG ST m 1 2 3 4
HT OF NE

The same taloned feet


400 (human) 3,5004,000
that Bald Eagles use for GRIP STRENGTH
grabbing slippery sh
are put to good use in
N 2,000 4,000 6,000
lifting branches for the
lb 5 10 15
nest. This eagle is so
strong it can even lift a
kg 2 4 6 8
small deer.
15 lb (max weight lifted)
LENGTH OF CLAWS
2 in
YING SPEED
FL in 1 2 3

65
cm 2 4 6 8 10

MPH
LETHAL WEAPONS
The Bald Eagle has a massive hooked
bill that is used to tear prey apart.
However, the kill is usually carried
out with the feetits sharply-
hooked talons grip the victim and
may pierce its vital organs. Fish supper
Bald Eagles take a variety
of prey, but have a particular
preference for shespecially
salmon, which they snatch
from the rivers of their native North
America. The youngsters grow fast on
their protein-rich diet.

AT A GLANCE


SIZE Head to tail 2838 in (7196 cm) long,
weight 61214 lb (36.3 kg)


BIGG
HABITAT Tundra and open land near water


EST
LOCATION North America

TREE Adult birds will



DIET Fish, mammals, other birds, and carrion

NEST
tear food into

BUILT
strips for feeding
to the young White feathers on
BY A the head and tail
BIRD

Nests are built in


Young birds are large trees or on
mainly brown rocky outcrops near
in color rivers or coasts

ANIMAL ATHLETES

141
GREATEST
MATCHING ACCESSORIES
Some male bowerbirds are brightly
colored to add even more color to their
displays. The Satin Bowerbird is electric

ARTIST
blue and his favorite color is blue, too
(his mate is paler). If he cannot nd
blue owers and berries, he will use
discarded garbage for decorations.

SATIN BOWERBIRD
A supreme show-off, the male Satin Bowerbird woos
females with his artistic skills. He builds a bower of sticks
or straw in a specially cleared arena and decorates it with
anything in the forest that he likes. Flowers, berrieseven
brightly colored bottle topsmay be added to complete
the effect. Females that approve of his efforts mate with
him, then leave to raise their families alone.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 91012 in (2327 cm) long

 HABITAT Rainforest and the edges of


drier eucalyptus forest

 LOCATION Coastal and adjacent inland


areas of Eastern Australia

 DIET Fruits, seeds, leaves, nectar, and


small animals

STATS AND FACTS

36 BOWER

in 5
14 in (height of bower)
12 in (length of central avenue)
10 15
NU

NS
IO
M

BE
RO AT
F DECOR cm 10 20 30 40

The arch of the Satin


Bowerbirds bower BOWER COLORS PREFERRED
runs north-south,
forming an avenue 35% white 20% blue
with a decorated area
ANIMAL ATHLETES

at each end. 25% purple 15% yellow


5% purple and yellow

DISTANCE 330 ft (distance between


competing bowers)
O MAKE B
ET OW ft 100 200 300 400
IM
T

ER

2
m 50 100 150

DAYS
142
Males
often steal
decorations
from rivals
E ST
G E
L RTL
A R
TU

TOUGH-SKINNED TURTLE
Unlike other turtles, the Leatherback has
thick, ridged skin on its back instead of a hard
bony shell. Its body is countershadeddarker
above than belowso it is less likely to be
seen by predators searching for a big dinner.
Its pale belly looks like sunlight to anything
looking up, while from above a predator sees
only a dim shadow in the dark ocean.
POWER SWIMMER
LEATHERBACK TURTLE
Speeding through the water, the Leatherback is the
largest turtle and the fastest reptile. Enormous front
ippers and a slimlined body help make it a champion
swimmer, even in very cold waters. Unlike most reptiles,
the Leatherback can generate a lot of body heat, and this
keeps its muscles at peak performance. It makes the
most of this central heating by spending almost all its
waking hours swimming. This frantic lifestyle is fueled
by a diet made up almost entirely of jellysh.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Usually up to 6 ft (2 m) long, but


record-breaking individuals are around
10 ft (3 m) long

 HABITAT Open ocean waters

 LOCATION Worldwide, even reaching into


the Arctic Circle

 DIET Almost entirely jellysh, but


sometimes squid and other soft prey

STATS AND FACTS


4,200 DISTANCE SWUM DAILY
1940 miles
FEET miles 10 20 30 40
RE

TH

CO P
RD E km 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
DIVE D

Leatherbacks A Leatherback
Turtles blood ows
around its body in a
way that traps heat
DIVE
1215 (duration)
85 (record duration)

min 20 40 60 80 100

spend less than close to its vital


organs. This enables
it to swim in colder
ft 250 500 750
ANIMAL ATHLETES
m 100 200 300

15 minutes waters than other


marine reptiles.

CORD SPEE
BODY TEMPERATURE
650 ft (dive depth)

77F
RE D

a day resting
F 50 70

22
C 10 20 30

MPH
145
SPLASHY SPRINTER
BASILISK LIZARD AT A GLANCE

In the ooded forest habitat of a Basilisk Lizard, predators lurk in the trees,
as well as in the water. Sometimes, the fastest escape route is a quick dash
on two legs across the surface of a stream. Basilisks are also called Jesus
Christ lizards after the Bible story of Jesus walking on water, but in fact
they run rather than walk.

MIRACLE FEET

SIZE 2335 in (6090 cm) long (males are
larger than females)


Powerful
hind legs for Basilisk lizards have specially HABITAT Flooded forests and river edges


running adapted feet to help them make
LOCATION Central and South America
their water crossings. Their back
feet are unusually large, and
each toe is edged with aps of 
DIET Insects, other small animals, owers,
and fruit
skin. These are kept folded when
the lizard runs on land, but are
unfolded when it runs on water
to create a greater surface area
and help it to stay aoat.

Long ngers

Tail helps lizard


to balance

STATS AND FACTS


13YEARS
RUNNING ON WATER

sec 2
27 (duration)

4 6 8 AT
ER
LIF

6
W
IT

ft 30 60 90
SP V
E

PEED ON

AN TI
IN CAP
m 10 20 30
Younger, more 1665 ft (distance before sinking)
lightweight Basilisks are STRIDE LENGTH
MPH
GS

the best water runners. 6 in (when standing on 2 legs)


IN

As they get older they in 2 4 6


N

N
eventually become too RU
heavy to do it at all. cm 5 10 15 20
1 2 3

IN MOTION
Each stride the Basilisk Lizard takes over the the lizard kicks its leg back, pushing itself
water has three phases. During the rst phase, forward. Each foot only makes brief contact
the lizards foot goes straight down, moving with the water surface, and the lizard has to
water aside and making a bubble of air around keep moving quickly to keep from sinking.
the foot. In the second phase, the
upward force created by the rst
phase is enough to keep the lizards
CLIM
BING CLAWS body above water. In the nal phase,

In addition to their
extraordinary ability to run
across water, Basilisk Lizards are
expert swimmers and climbers,
too. Long, sharp claws help the
lizard to grip as it climbs forest
trees to escape predators.

Green
coloring
camouages
lizard in
forest

Bubbles
under its feet
keep the lizard
Arms held
The need for speed
Many tiny insects can stand on still water because
their weight is supported by the tightness of the
out as it runs
aoat
water surface, which acts like an elastic lm.
But a Basilisk is too heavy for this and can only Strong back legs
be supported when it runs. It leaves a trail of
water droplets as it races across the surface.
ANIMAL ATHLETES
HEA
WA V
- IE
AN TER
WA ST
I M A ING
LK

L
147
FASTEST
SWIMMER
SAILFISH
Nothing can out-swim a sailsh. Its sleek body is built
for speed. The body muscles are ushed blood-red
because they contain a pigment that can store oxygen to
provide an energy boost when needed. A sailsh chases
down its prey of smaller sh and squid by ashing its sail
to herd schools together into a bait ball and thrashing the
water with its bill to stun as many as possible.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Length 711 ft (2.43.5 m);


maximum recorded weight 220 lb
(100 kg)

 HABITAT Warm surface waters of the


open ocean

 LOCATION Worldwide

 DIET Smaller sh and squid

STATS AND FACTS


13 YEARS
DISTANCE SWUM

miles 6,000
21,500 miles (in a lifetime)
12,000 18,000 24,000
M

A
XI
A

MU SP km 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000


M LIFE

In addition to
oxygen-storing SWIMMING DEPTH
0650 ft
muscle, a sailsh
also has a heat ft 200 400 600 800
generator in its
ANIMAL ATHLETES

head to keep its m 50 100 150 200 250


brain and eyes
warm, maximizing
their performance. TEMPERATURE
UM SP 6886F (surroundings) 9395C (brain)
A XIM E ED F 50 70 90 110
M

65
C 10 20 30 40 50

MPH
148
A sailsh can
swim faster
than a sprinting
Cheetah

COLOR CHANGE
During high-speed chases, the
sailshs sail is folded and so not
clearly visible, but when excitedor
when closing in on a killthe sail can
be raised. Like a chameleon, the
sailsh can rapidly change its skin
color, depending on its mood.
COCOONED CORAL
CRUNCHER
PARROTFISH
Many of Earths white-sand beaches have been created
by sh. In warm, shallow tropical seas, parrotshes are
responsible for dumping tons of sand each yearand in
calm coastal waters this can build up to form a beach.
Parrotshes get their name from their teeth, which are
fused together to form a hard beakused for rasping at
hard coral. The algae living in the coral are nutritious, but
the hard rocky skeleton is not. It crumbles inside the sh,
but then passes straight through the digestive system
and emerges at the other end as white coral sand.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 14 ft (0.31.3 m) long, depending


on the species

 HABITAT Shallow ocean waters and


coral reefs

 LOCATION Worldwide, but especially in


the tropics

 DIET Coral and algae

STATS AND FACTS


15 YEARS
FOOD CONSUMPTION

50% chalky rock 20% algae


M

A
XI
A

MU SP
ANIMAL ATHLETES

M LIFE 25% sand


5% other organisms and detritus
Around three-quarters
of a parrotshs diet is WEIGHT OF SAND PRODUCED
hard rock.

AT WHICH F 200 lb/year by one parrotsh


P TH O
E
UN
D

2,200 lb/year by parrotshes on one acre of reef


D

650
FEET
150
SWEET DREAMS
During the day, the queen parrotsh
is busy rasping at coral, but at night
it sleeps in a bubblelike cocoon,
made from its own mucus. The
function of the cocoon is uncertain,
but it may help to disguise the scent
of the parrotsh from predators.

BEST
BEAC
H BU
ILDE
R
HITTING THE TARGET
When the archersh xes its tongue
against a groove running along the roof
of the mouth it forms a narrow tube.
By squeezing its gills, it can shoot a jet
of water through the tube. Young
archershes get better at shooting
down insects with practice.

Archershes jump
12 in (30 cm)
out of the water
to grab prey
BEST SHOT
ARCHERFISH
Rarely missing a target, the archersh produces a jet
of water from its mouth to knock prey into the water.
It can shoot the waterjet nearly seven feet (2 m) into
the air to catch an unwary insect or a spider resting on
an overhanging leaf. Not only does the archersh have
excellent eyesight, but it can even adjust its aim to make
up for the fact that from below the water, the targets
position looks different to what it really is. The power of
its shot depends upon the size of its prey.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 416 in (1040 cm), depending


on the species

 HABITAT Typically in brackish water of


estuaries and mangroves

 LOCATION From India to the west Pacic


islands, New Guinea, and North Australia

 DIET Insects, spiders, small sh, and


crustaceans

STATS AND FACTS


10
YEARS
WATERJET ANGLE

45110 (best waterjet angle)


TY
LIF

VI

SP TI
E

AN
IN CAP 0 25 50 75 100 125
74 (best hit rate angle)
Less than a quarter of
the food eaten by an SPEED 45 ft/sec (speed when
archersh is obtained chasing prey)
by shooting a waterjet. ft/sec 5 10
Most of its food comes ANIMAL ATHLETES
from animals that live m/sec 1 2 3 4
in the water. 10 ft/sec (spitting speed)

FOOD CONSUMPTION
5% (shrimp)
ERJET RAN
AT GE 70% (small crabs) 10% (ants)
W

7
10% (beetles)
5% (spiders)

FEET
153
SLOW MOVER
SEAHORSE
Seahorses are built for hanging onnot for speed. Even if a seahorse
were in a hurry, it could still take half an hour to swim the length of a
human arm. Most shes have a thrashing tail that they use to propel
themselves forward. A seahorse has a long, thin tail with a coil at the
end that it uses uses to clutch onto seaweed and other underwater
objects, but not for swimming. Instead, a seahorse swims slowly
forward by ickering a n on its backbut it prefers to cover short
distances, staying close to the protection of seaweed.

Fin controls
movement

Small mouth
Tail at end of
grabs tubular snout
hold of
weeds
SLO Strange sh
DORSAL FIN WE
ST- Seahorses are unusual shes in many ways.
The uttering dorsal (back) n of a seahorse provides all SW A seahorse swims upright, it has a exible
the propulsion for swimmingbut it doesnt generate much IMM
ING neck, and it holds its head at right angles to
speed. This n utters from side to side around 40 times the rest of its body. It has no scales, instead
per second. In comparison, most other shes have bony rings of armor lie under the skin. A
a dorsal n that hardly moves at all. The seahorse uses seahorse also has a very small mouth. This
FIS
another a pair of ns located just behind its head to steer means it can only eat tiny animals that live
around underwater weeds.
itself through the water.
H
AT A GLANCE

SIZE 114 in (335 cm) long



HABITAT Shallow coastal ocean waters

LOCATION Worldwide

DIET Tiny swimming animals, such as Fathers belly swollen

crustaceans with fertilized eggs

CARING FATHERS
Male seahorses do all the parental
Prehensile tail caring. After an elaborate courtship, the
can wrap female lays her eggs in the belly pouch
around coral of a male, and he fertilizes them. The
or seaweed eggs hatch in this pouch and when the
seahorses are big enough to be released,
their father actually gives birth.

Eggs hatch in the


fathers pouch

The dwarf STATS AND FACTS


HOME RANGE
300 104,300 sq ft

1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 E ST


seahorse from FEET sq ft
W
O
SL

M
H

AX T sq m 100 200 300 400 500


IMUM DEP
the Bahamas is the
OUR OF

A seahorse may move PREY SIZE


5
RH

slowly, but its possible up to 18 in FEET


PE

that its uttering n 1 1 3


slowest of all confuses predators
in 16 8 16 ED
SPE
and helps camouage mm 1 2 3 4 5
the sh in the weeds.

ANIMAL ATHLETES

155
SLIMIEST ANIMAL
HAGFISH
Short sensory tentacles
When threatened, a hagsh squirts slime from up to 200 pores along are used to detect food
the sides of its body to distract its attacker. Predatory sh learn to leave
hagshes alone, since an encounter could leave them with clogged
gills and unable to breathe. The hagsh is a deep-sea scavenger,
often burrowing into whale corpses to get at the esh.

Hagsh have three


pairs of sensory
tentacles around
the mouth

The hagsh
is also known as
the snot eel
Slime is produced from
two rows of tiny pores on
both sides of the body
FILING ITS FOOD
Instead of jaws, the hagsh has a circular
mouth with a hard plate made of cartilage
that it can push in and out. On the plate are
two rows of triangular teeth that are used for
clasping and rasping at dead esh, like a le. AT A GLANCE

Backward-pointing
teeth direct food
towards the throat

CONTORTIONIST
The body of a hagsh is so exible that it can

SIZE Length 851 in (20130 cm) long, depending
on the species

tie itself into a knot. The lack of a backbone 


HABITAT Cool ocean waters and the deep sea
and a higher than average amount of body
uid allow it to do this. A hagsh deliberately Body twisted 
LOCATION Worldwide

knots itself so that more of its body can push


against the wall of a carcass. This gives it the
into a knot

DIET Carcasses of larger animals and living worms

power to tear off large chunks of esh.


STATS AND FACTS
10 1/2 SLIME-SQUIRTING DISTANCE
461/2 in
PINTS in 2 4 6
EE
D

SP
LI ED
S

cm 5 10 15 20

IRTING
ME
PRODUC

The knot-forming

SQU
TIME TAKEN TO SLIME A PREDATOR
ability of the hagsh
allows it to scrape its Less than 0.4
MPH

E-
M
body free of slime I
SL
and stop its gills from
becoming clogged. sec 1 2 3 4

Underwater wonder
Although it looks like an eel, the hagsh is DEFENSIVE SLIME
not a close relative because it has no backbone. The slime from a hagsh quickly expands
These strange animals live on the seaoor, where
when it mixes with water. The result is a
they can make the most of dead and dying
thick goo that sticks to anything it touches
animals that have sunk to the bottom.
and is horrible enough to repel predators.

Flexible body
allows it to wriggle
inside carcasses

Paddle-
like tail

ANIMAL ATHLETES

Scaleless skin
varies in color
from pink to gray

157
DEADLIEST
ANIMAL
ANOPHELES MOSQUITO
It only takes one bite from a very small insect to pass on
a potentially fatal disease. Malaria is an illness caused by
a microscopic parasite that infects the blood. It is carried
by the Anopheles Mosquito, which lives in tropical areas
around the globe. Males drink nectar but the females also
need blood to make their eggs. When a female bites and
sucks blood, she passes on the malaria parasite, too.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body length 18 in (36 mm)

 HABITAT Any warm habitat close to


water, where the eggs are laid and larval
and pupal stages mature

 LOCATION Tropical zone and other


warm regions

 DIET Females drink nectar and feed on


blood to make eggs; males drink nectar

STATS AND FACTS


2
WEEKS
BITE 26 (blood sucked by 100 mosquitoes)

drops 1 2 3 4 5 6
LI

LE

E A
F

SP
AN OF FEM
min 1 2 3 4
Anopheles Mosquitoes 23 (duration of bite)
feed when it is dark, POPULATION
so their bites go up to 10,000 mosquitoes in a small village
unnoticed and can last
for minutes. Malaria
ANIMAL ATHLETES

carriers y close to the


1,000 malaria-carrying mosquitoes
ground, so most bites
are to the ankle.
INCUBATION PERIOD

S F RO M M malaria symptoms appear in 714 days


TH AL
EA A
D

RI
A

days 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

665,000
DEATHS/YEAR

158
A mosquitos
salivary gland may
contain 200,000
malaria parasites

PASSING ON MALARIA
Once she has landed on human
skin, the female Anopheles
Mosquito cuts through it. She
injects saliva, which helps the
blood ow, but it may contain
malaria parasites that matured
in the wall of her stomach.
HOT SHOT
BOMBARDIER BEETLE
AT A GLANCE

When a Bombardier Beetle senses that it is under attack,


it takes drastic action to defend itselfit blasts its assailant
with a jet of boiling uid from its rear end. In addition to
being extremely hot, this liquid also stings the attacker. The
beetle can aim its spray with extreme accuracy, hitting its
targetsuch as marauding ants with dangerous bites and
stingssquare on.

SIZE 1 in (0.53 cm) long

TAKING AIM 
HABITAT Forest and grassland

Ants will attack from any angle, so 


LOCATION Worldwide

the bombardiers spray has to be


able to reach its front legs (1), back 
DIET Other insects

legs (2), and behind itself (3). Its


abdomen can curl up or down and
there are tiny shieldlike deectors
in the nozzle exit that help angle
the spray. The mystery behind this

T
amazing weapon is how the beetle

S
remains unharmed by its effects.

MEXPL OOSIVE L
IM A
AN
2

3
STATS AND FACTS
212
F
SPEED OF EMERGING SPRAY

ft/sec 20
865 ft/s
40 60 80 FL
UID
F

TE

Y
RA

O
M
PE P

HAMBER
m/sec
RA
TURE O FS 5 10 15 20 25

The Bombardier SPRAYING DISTANCE


2029

RC
Beetles strike is not 812 in for a 1 in-long beetle

PE
only fast and accurate, in 4 8 12 16 S
but it can spray an AY
SPR
attacker some cm 10 20 30 40
distance away.

Spray nozzle

Abdomen
raised to
spray over Chemical
its head storage

Mixing
chamber

Ejection
nozzle

CH E
MICAL COCKTAIL
The explosion is created by mixing two
chemicals that are stored in separate chambers
in the beetles abdomen. The reaction is so fast it
generates a huge amount of heat. The spray is
red out from a revolving nozzle at the tip of the
beetle's abdomen with a loud pop.

They can squirt Keep off!

20 times Although the beetles have hard wing


covers, these may not give them
enough protection when under

before running attack. Squirting their scalding spray ANIMAL ATHLETES


gives them more time to unfurl
their wings and get away.

out of uid

161
SMALL, BUT MIGHTY
COPEPOD AT A GLANCE

Copepods are tiny creatures that live in the worlds ponds and oceans.
They look simple but they hold more records than almost any other
animal. First, they are the most numerous animal, with trillions of times
more living now than the number of humans who have ever lived. They
also contend for the titles of fastest and strongest animals for their size.

1
BILLION
STATS AND FACTS
JUMP
20 in (distance)  SIZE 38 in (0.510 mm) long

TRILLION in 5 10 15 20
 HABITAT Mostly oceans; also freshwater

2
CO


PE
N

PO EA cm 20 40 60 LOCATION Worldwide
DS IN OC SPEED

Copepods do not tire


easily. They use some
50140 (while jumping)
FT/SEC
 DIET Algae and bacteria in plankton

legs for swimming, and


others for jumping to leg beats/sec. 50 100 150
escape predators.

There are Antennae for


sensing predators
Tear-shaped
body is almost
clear

13,000 species and prey

of copepod Females
have two
egg sacs at
rear of body

Speed and strength


A copepods leg muscles allow it to
Tail thrust through water at record speed,
pushing forward with a jerky, jumping
motion. Moving through water for
a copepod is like swimming through
syrup for a human, so it is also 10
times stronger than any animal
for its size.
WALK THIS WAY
MILLIPEDE AT A GLANCE
Each body
segment has two
Millipede means a thousand legs, and this creature tries hard to live pairs of legs
up to its name. Despite their impressive number of legs, millipedes
cannot run fast but are excellent burrowers, using their leg power to
push into the soil.
Millipedes  SIZE 1/8 15 1/2 in (0.339 cm) long

coil to expose a
 HABITAT All land habitats


thick, protective
armor LOCATION Worldwide

 DIET Mostly rotting vegetation

MO
LEG ST
Pair of short
antennae
on head S
Body armor
Millipedes are not very speedy
so to escape predators they coil
up and rely on their armor, or
release poisonous oils to warn off
attackers. When a millipede walks,
its legs work together and a wave of
movement ripples down its body.

STATS AND FACTS


Millipedes 10YEARS
NUMBER OF LEGS
usually 40400
ANIMAL ATHLETES

hatch with GS
LIF

LE
IT

SP V
E

TI 0 100 200 300 400 500


MBER O

AN
IN CAP

only 6 legs The multiple leg WALKING SPEED 750


NU

strength of a millipede 0.0060.06 mph


X.

means that some mph 1


4 1
2 3
4 1 114 A
kinds can push easily M
through the hardest,
km/h 0.5 1 1.5 2
driest soil. 0.040.9 mph (centipede)

163
STUNNING SNAPPER
PISTOL SHRIMP
Meet the shrimp with a sonic weapon. The snapping claws of Pistol Shrimp
make so much noise in the ocean that they are said to interfere with ships
sonar and whale songs. The Pistol Shrimps enlarged claw snaps shut so fast
it creates a shock wave, which can be used to kill prey. Heart pumps
blood into body
Hard carapace is cavity via a few
produced by the skin blood vessels Stomach
Cells will form
new carapace
TOUGH SHELL SUIT when shrimp
Unlike a human, a shrimp wears molts
its skeleton on the outsidein
the form of hard armor called a
carapace. Its skin produces this
coating using a tough substance
called chitin. A few parts stay thin
and exiblesuch as around the
movable leg jointsbut the whole
carapace has to be shed at intervals so
the body inside can grow.

TL
Fleshy

E S
inner skin

D
LOU OF AL
AL
ANIM Tail fan

AT A GLANCE

Swimming legs
(ve pairs)

 SIZE Up to 2 in (5 cm) long

 HABITAT Coastal waters, mostly on coral reefs


and in tidal pools
Feeling the pinch
Like other crustaceans, Pistol Shrimp
Walking legs
(three pairs)

 LOCATION Worldwide
have two front claws. One claw is used as a
pincer to manipulate food, the other is much

 DIET Other shrimp, crabs, and small sh larger. The movable part of this claw acts like
a miniature hammer that snaps down to create
a sudden pulse of sound energy that can
knock out its prey.
STATS AND FACTS Being shot by
200 LOUDNESS
100 (Howler
Monkey call)
220 (snapping
claw sound) a Pistol Shrimp is
FEET H
UT

S
like being icked

S N A P C L AW
US dB 50 100 150 200 250
UA L D E P T H
80 (human shout) 1
/1000
with a rubber
A snap from this shrimp LENGTH
carries more sound 1 in (snapping claw) SECOND

TO
energy than a gunshot in 1
2 1 112

E
but is so fast that to a TIM
human ear it sounds
like snapping ngers.
cm 1 2 3 4
band
Antennae used 1 2 3
for sensing the
environment

KILLER BUBBLE
For such a tiny animal, the Pistol Shrimp packs which makes a snapping sound as it expands.
a real punch. The shrimp rst opens its claw The shock of this sound wave can stun or kill
wide (1). When the claw snaps shut it creates a its prey (3). The bubble immediately collapses,
jet of water that travels at 60 mph (97 km/h). heating almost to the temperature of the sun
This produces a bubble of vaporized water (2), and producing a tiny ash of light.

Antennules are smaller


Mouthparts antennae; the shrimp
larvae also use them
for swimming

Powerful
muscles snap claw
shut in an instant

Second pincer will


grow larger if snapping
claw is damaged

Hinged upper
claw acts like
hammer

FOR S
E VER FRIEND ANIMAL ATHLETES
Not all shes fall victim to the Pistol
Shrimp. Some Pistol Shrimp share their
burrow with a Goby Fish. The shrimp
are almost blind, so the Gobies act as
minders and watch out for large
predators. In return, the Goby gets
a place to shelter.
Lower claw
acts as anvil

165
MASTER OF DISGUISE
MIMIC OCTOPUS
In shallow Asian seas lives perhaps the best impersonator in the natural world.
Discovered in 1998, the Mimic Octopus is a superb imitator of other sea creatures,
switching from one to another in an instant. It uses its patterned arms and ability
to change color to full effect, turning into a drifting jellysh one minute and
wriggling like a brittle star the next. Its antics are good enough to repel attackers
and are its only defense in waters that are full of predators.

FOR MY NEXT IMPRESSION


The Mimic Octopuss favorite impersonation is of a oundera type
of atsh. The at shape is perfect for swimming quickly through
water. When threatened, however, it can change into more dangerous
characterssuch as a deadly sea snake or a
scorpion shin less than 10 seconds.

BRITTLE STAR

Folds all its arms


behind its body to
FLOUNDER
look like a atsh
Partially buries its
body and six arms and
waves the other two
to look like a snake SEA SNAKE

STATS AND FACTS

13 DEPTH

ft 10 20
739 ft
30 40
ED
It changes
SP

PE
TE

CI
E

IMMING S

ES A m 2 4 6 8 10 12 14
IMPERSON

The Mimic Octopus DAILY 3 hours (sitting)


0.6 shape to fool its
controls the pigment ACTIVITIES 1.5 hours (crawling) MPH
SW

in its skin with its 1.5 hours (swimming)

predators
P

nervous system, and 6 hours out of den TO


so can change color
very quickly. 18 hours in den
AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 2 ft (60 cm) armspan

HABITAT Muddy-bottomed shallow waters,


usually at the mouths of rivers

LOCATION Tropical Southeast Asia

DIET Small animals, such as sh


and crabs

Brown and white


patterning can
quickly change
to brown all over

ANIMAL ATHLETES
That sinking feeling
The Mimic Octopus is also
thought to impersonate a
jellysh. When swimming in
the upper levels of the ocean,
it sometimes puts its arms above
its head to look like the bell of a
jellysh, then lets itself sink slowly
to the bottom. This impersonation may
deter predators that fear a jellyshs sting.

167
RECORD-BREAKERS
Animals move around to search for food, patrol their territories,
nd mates, and escape from attack. Many have developed startling
athletic prowess due to their strength, speed, and stamina. Bigger
muscles make animals stronger, and some animals have muscles
Bolas Spiders
that can work faster, too. Animals also show amazing agility and skill
when they catch their food, defend themselves, or build their
catch their prey
homes. Some even make and use tools.
by swinging a
FASTEST WINGBEATS sticky blob of silk
Honey bee 230 beats per second
on a line
Club-Winged
(displaying)
Manakin 100 beats
per second

Horned Sungem 90 beats per second HONEY BEE

Skipper Buttery 20 beats per second


TINIEST
NEST
FASTEST The Vervain Hummingbird
builds the smallest nest,
FLAPPER just 34 in (2 cm) in
True ight occurs in bats, and diameterabout
most insects and birds. They all the size of half
need wings to y and the fastest a walnut. WALNUT
apper of all is the midge, a small y
that beats its wings a staggering

1,046 1,046 times every second. The


rapid wingbeat also allows
TIMES the midge to hover. LONGEST GLIDES
650 Colugo 500 ft (150 m)
FEET
Paradise Tree Snake 330 ft (100 m)

Flying squirrel 300 ft (90 m)

Flying Dragon 200 ft (60 m)

SURPRISE EASY
GLIDER
Gliding Treefrog 100 ft (30 m)

TACTICS Riding on updrafts of air as


When under attack, they jump out of the water,
a Horned Lizard squirts a jet of ying sh can glide for 650 ft
blood from its eyes to scare (200 m) or farther. They can reach
away its enemy. The gory jet speeds of 37 mph (60 km/h)
can be shot as far HORNED and rise as high as 4 ft
as 4 ft (1.2 m). LIZARD (1.2 m) above the
PARADISE
ocean.
TREE SNAKE
CHEETAH

FASTEST ANIMALS
Peregrine Falcon 220 mph (350 km/h)
Cheetah 70 mph (114 km/h) PATIENT
Atlantic Sailsh 62 mph (100 km/h) EATER
Pronghorn 60 mph (98 km/h) The Lahore Sheep Ticka

Ostrich 44 mph (70 km/h)


bloodsucking parasitehas
phenomenal stamina. It can
Sei Whale 37 mph (60 km/h) survive for 18 years CHIMPANZEE

Spiny-tailed Iguana 22 mph (35 km/h)


between meals.

Camel Spider 10 mph (16 km/h)

SWIFTEST
FLYERS
Some wild chimps
A Peregrine Falcon may move
more rapidly when diving in make spears from
pursuit of prey, but the fastest
bird in apping ight is the
Spine-tail Swift, which can sharpened sticks to
reach speeds of 100 mph

100 (160 km/h).


skewer small prey
MPH

PEREGRINE
FALCON
HIGH LONGEST JUMPS
JUMPER
Many sh leap out of the Snow Leopard 56 ft (17 m)
water, but the highest American Bullfrog 6 ft (2 m)
jumper is the Mackerel
Shark. It leaps as high Kangaroo Rat 6 ft (2 m)
as 20 ft (6 m).
Jumping Spider 2 ft (0.8 m)

39 FEET
BIG ANIMAL ATHLETES
BOUNDER
Bouncing over the Australian
outback, the red kangaroo is
the champion long jumper of
the marsupials. Its powerful, AMERICAN
springy back legs allow it to BULLFROG
hop in bounds of up to 39 ft
(12 m) for long periods
without tiring.
KANGAROO
169
3
LIFE
STORIES
Life on planet Earth can be tough.
Conditions may be difculttoo
hot, too cold, not enough food
so animals have had to adapt
their lifestyles to cope. Some
animals go to extreme lengths
to ensure that they and their
offspring survive.
BEAN-SIZED BABY
RED KANGAROO
Baby kangaroos are born very small. They are no bigger than a bean and so
underdeveloped that their hind legs are just stumps. Like other marsupials, a
kangaroo baby, or joey, spends little time in the wombinstead, most growth
is fueled by milk and happens in the pouch after birth.

RAISING A FAMILY
A kangaroo can have a joey
that is old enough to leave the
pouch, another developing
on a teat, and a third waiting
to be born. Because each of
the mothers teats has entirely
separate plumbing, different
milk can be produced from
each to cater for the specic
needs of each joey. After a
year they start to eat grass.

STATS AND FACTS


27
YEARS
TIME
235 (permanently leaves the pouch)
33 (gestation period)

LIFE days 100 200 300


S PA N
190 (rst leaves the pouch)
Joeys continue to
suckle even after GROWTH RATE
leaving the pouch.
0.04 oz 8 oz 80 oz 220 oz
ORN WEIG
E WB H
N days 100 200 300
S

.04 OUNCES Muscular tail acts


as support when Waiting for a space
standing upright Female kangaroos usually
mate again soon after giving
birth. However, the embryo does
not develop immediately and will
not be born until the existing joey is
old enough to leave the pouch.
Adults are 90,000 Large,
mobile
ears AT A GLANCE
times heavier
than newborns
Large eyes are
very sensitive
to movement

 SIZE Head and body 25 ft (0.81.6 m) long,


plus tail 24 ft (0.71.2 m) long

 HABITAT Grassland and semidesert

 LOCATION Most of Australia

 DIET Mostly grass and other low vegetation

NOURISHED
BY MILK
Tiny grasping
forelimbs pull the
newborn kangaroo up
into its mothers pouch
where it attaches to one
of the teats. The teat
swells in the joeys
mouth so it remains
rmly attached.
Kangaroos lick
forearms to
aid cooling
SM
IN P ALL
PAR RO EST
POR BA
TIO BY
ENTNT
O

KEEPING SAFE
At 130 days old, a joey
is still hidden away in
its mothers pouch,
Joey riding in
but is no longer
mothers pouch
LIFE STORIES

attached to a teat. It
will remain there for
Large hind feet are another 60 days,
good for jumping gaining strength and
growing fur before
leaving the pouch for
the rst time.

173
LONGEST PREGNANCY
AFRICAN ELEPHANT
Womb, inside
which calf develops
The worlds heaviest land mammal also has the (dotted line shows
how the womb
longest pregnancy. Elephants do things over long AT A GLANCE expands when a
periods of time: it takes nearly two years before a baby is in it)
baby is ready to be born and youngsters need to
reach their teens before they become fully
independent from their mothers.
TEMPERATURE CONTROL
An animal the size of an elephant
generates a lot of heat. To keep
from overheating, the blood is
cooled as it travels through a  SIZE Shoulder height 513 ft (1.64 m). Males
are bigger than females; forest elephants are
network of blood vessels that lie smaller than savanna elephants.


just below the skin in the ears.
HABITAT Grassland, semidesert, forest, and
marshes
Enamel ridges
grind down food
 LOCATION Africa

 DIET Grass and other vegetation

TOOTH REPLACEMENT
Birth canal
In most mammals replacement teeth
push up from below, but in elephants Neck is short and
broad to support
worn teeth are replaced from behind.
large head and tusks
The elephants mouth is so short that
usually only one large cheek tooth is
ever in use on each side, above and below.

STATS AND FACTS


22 MONTHS
TUSK
ft 4
11 ft (record tusk length)
57 ft (tusk length)
8 12

RE
P

GN ST m 1 2 3 4
ANCY LA
lb 100 200
Continuously growing
tusks are giant teeth kg 40 80 120
236 Ib (record tusk weight)
made of a bonelike ORGAN WEIGHT 50100 lb (tusk weight)
substance called ivory. 44 lb (heart)
lb 20 40 60
IM UM WEI
GH
AX
M kg 10 20 30
T

13 lb (brain)

8 1/4
TONS
Multipurpose organ Skull has air
spaces to reduce
Used for drinking, feeding, washing, its weight
and socializing, an elephants trunk
can do many things. A newborn
calf has little control of its trunk
and has to learn how to use it in
a coordinated way.

Rib cage
is large
Kneecap

Elbow

Calves weigh Tusks are


present in
males and
females

up to 260 lb
Trunk is an

(120 kg) at extension of


the upper lip
LIFE STORIES

birth Legs are


thick and like
columns to
support body

175
SENSITIVE S T
BLOODSUCKER MO L
CAR
ING
M
, SH
A
ARING

M AM
VAMPIRE BAT
Vampire bats have a scary reputation, but theyre not
as bad as theyre made out to be. They y out each night
from their caves to feast on the blood of warm-blooded
animalsbut not all of them nd what they want. Back in
the cave, hungry bats are kept going by their full-bellied
neighbors who share what they have eatenthe hungry
ones beg, and the well-fed regurgitate some blood.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 2 3 in


(79 cm) long

 HABITAT Forest and pasture

 LOCATION Central and South America

 DIET Blood of mammals and sometimes


large birds

1
STATS AND FACTS
TEETH 20 (number of teeth)

OUNCE
ED
BL

0 10 20 30
FE
OO

1 1 3
D in 16 8 16
E

DR N
UNK IN O

Vampire bats have


razor-sharp teeth that
are rst used to shave
TIME
mm
5
1 2 3 4
/32 in (length of canine and incisor)
5
In one year a
120 min (to nd prey and bite)
off some fur before
biting away a skin ap
to lap up blood. Their 940 min (spent feeding)
colony can drink
saliva stops the blood
from clotting.
the blood equivalent
LIFE STORIES

WINGSPAN
7 7/8 in

of a small herd
YING SPEED
FL in 4 8 12

8
cm 10 20 30 40

MPH
of cows
176
A NOSE FOR BLOOD
Vampire bats have special
sensors in their noses that help
them detect the heat of blood
vessels close to the skin of their
prey. Vampire bats are also
good at detecting the breathing
sounds of the sleeping animals
that they feed on.
LONGEST CHILDHOOD
ORANGUTAN
Orangutans have already lived up to a third of their lives by the time they
leave home. There is a lot for young Orangutans to learn about living in the
rainforestand they must learn it all from their mother. Even when they
are grown up, some offspring stay so close that they end up helping their
mother to raise their younger brothers and sisters.

AT A GLANCE
Adults have
darker fur
than babies

 SIZE Head and body 45 ft (1.251.5 m) long

 HABITAT Rainforest

 LOCATION Sumatra and Borneo

 DIET Mainly fruit; sometimes leaves and


small animals

Single life
Except for mothers and
babies, Orangutans
choose to live alone in
the forest. Even if feeding
from the same tree, they
ignore each other. Every
evening, they bend
branches together to
make a solitary nest
to sleep in.
Orangutan STATS AND FACTS

means man of 40
TIME
227275 (gestation period)
YEARS O
D

the forest

O
M

N
A

15

H
XI

A
SP

F CHILD
MU days 73 146 219 292 365
M LIFE 243298 (human)

Young females have the BABIES


YEARS

HO
longest childhood of

GT
all. They may stay with 45 (produced in a lifetime)
N
their mother into their LE
teens to learn how to
0 2 4 6
be mothers themselves.

LOVING BOND
The bond between mother
and infant is strong in Orangutans.
The baby spends a year clinging
to its mothers belly, and continues
to drink its mothers milk until it
is almost four years old. At least
the same amount of time
is then spent learning
how to survive in
the rainforest.

Long,
strong
ngers for
grasping

LONG ARMS
Of all the great apes, the Orangutan
is least comfortable on the
ground. Its arms are long and
strong for climbing and swinging
among the branches, but its legs
are short and weak. It spends
most of its life in the trees.

LIFE STORIES

179
Caribou can live
LONG-DISTANCE in temperatures
of 58F
TRAVELLER (50C)
AMERICAN CARIBOU
Traveling in enormous herds, American Caribou cover
up to 30 miles (50 km) a day for three months to reach
their summer and winter ranges. They start to move
northward in April to spend the summer on the Arctic
tundra, where they give birth to their calves. During the
fall, the caribou start to move southward again to winter
on more sheltered, wooded land.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 47 ft (1.22.2 m) head and body


length, plus 234812 in (721 cm) tail length

 HABITAT Tundra and coniferous forest

 LOCATION Arctic region, traveling south


into the US

 DIET Shoots and leaves of birch and


willow, grass, and other ground-dwelling
plants, lichen

STATS AND FACTS


3,000 HERD SIZE
MILES/YEAR 50,000500,000 individuals
DI

ED

ST
AN EL 200,000 400,000 600,000
C E T R AV 0

Caribou burn up a
great deal of energy DAILY FOOD CONSUMPTION
because they live in 27 cal/lb of body (winter and migration)
a cold climate and
need to keep warm.
Females use most
energy when they 45 cal/lb of body (when calving)
calve in summer.
LIFE STORIES

TEMPERATURE
55 F (legs) 104 F (body)
SPEED
TO P F 50 70 90 110

50
C 10 20 30 40 50
98.6 F (human body)

MPH
180
LON
OVE GEST
MIG RLAND
RAT
ION

STRONG SWIMMERS
During migrations, caribou swim
across any river or lake that blocks
their path. Their large feet, which
act as snowshoes on land in winter,
make excellent paddles. In most
deer only males grow antlers, but
in caribou females have them, too.
BIG-EARED BURROWER
FENNEC FOX
Fur coat keeps
The tiny Fennec Fox thrives in one of the hottest and driest places on Earth it warm during
the Sahara Desert. It is so used to desert life that if temperatures drop below cold nights

68F (20C) it starts to shiver. Its earsthe biggest in proportion to the head
of any carnivorefunnel the sound of the smallest prey, but also radiate the
bloods heat for cooling. Fennecs get all the water they need in the food they
eat and may even go through their entire life without touching a single drop.

THE FOXS LAIR


A burrow protects the Fennec
from bigger predators, but also
keeps it cool. Fennecs dig large
dens that are often close to or
connect with those of other
families. They are more sociable
than other types of fox, with the
previous years litter staying in
the family den to help raise the
new cubs. This fox also uses its
digging skills to hunt prey, such
as rodents and insectsand is so
fast that it can quickly vanish
beneath the sand.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 1416 in (3641 cm) long,


plus tail 712 in (1831 cm) long


Black-tipped
HABITAT Desert tail

 LOCATION Northern Africa and Middle East

 DIET Small animals, such as rodents, birds,


and insects

Furry soles
protect paws
from hot sand
Fennecs are
the smallest
of all foxes

Large ears
help it
lose heat

RAPID PANTING
A Fennec is in danger of
overheating after chasing
prey, so it pants to cool down: it
loses heat when water evaporates
from its mouth and tongue. It can pant
hundreds of times a minutethe fastest
rate known for any animal.
Dark stripe runs
from eye to muzzle

STATS AND FACTS


Beating the heat
In the desert landscape, the pale
15
YEARS
TEMPERATURE

F 50 70
100.4F
98.6F (human)
90 110
LIF

Y
IT

color of the Fennecs coat serves SP V


E

AN TI C 10 20 30 40 50
not only as camouage, but also IN CAP
helps reect the erce heat of the 50104F (surroundings)
sun. A thick coat protects the Fennec Fennec Foxes tolerate
drought even better SOUND DETECTION
from the cold desert night, which is 0.9 miles (hears a mouse)
than heat because
when it does most of its hunting. Even their kidneys are miles 0.5 1
the soles of its feet are hairy to stop adapted to release
them from getting burned. only small amounts km 0.5 1 1.5 2
of water in their <0.06 miles (human hears sound)
urine.
LIFE STORIES

JUMP
27 in (height)
PER MIN
N TS UT in 10 20 30 40
A
P

cm 25 50 75 100 125

690
47 in (length)

183
SOLE SURVIVOR
PRZEWALSKI'S HORSE
Powerful Spine is relatively
The only surviving wild horse, Przewalskis Horse lives on the plains of hind quarters rigid compared to
generate speed that of a carnivore
Central Asia at the extreme north of the area where it used to live. It can
survive in this harsh environment because its digestive system can extract
nourishment from the tough, stringy grass that is worthless to other grazers.
Tail has short hairs
at top and longer
hairs lower down

Large pouch in
hind gut contains
microbes that help
break down grass

E S T
WI LD E
S
FLICKING TAILS

OR
During hot summer weather, insects can

H
be a nuisance. Przewalskis Horses will often
Knee
stand head to tail, making use of each
others tails as y whisks. This behavior
has another advantagewith eyes looking
out for predators in all directions, it is
much easier to relax.

Fibula (one
of the lower

AT A GLANCE leg bones)


is short
and thin

 SIZE Shoulder height 45 ft (1.21.5 m)

 HABITAT Grassland

 LOCATION Central Asia

 DIET Mainly grass, some other low


vegetation Supreme grazer
Grazing animals have microbes in their
gut to help them digest plant matter.
Hoof
Horses graze all day, pushing grass
encloses a
single toe through their intestines where microbes
have plenty of time to break it down.
Ears are large
and mobile
Long muzzle
Mane is gives an excellent
upright sense of smell

SOCIAL GROUPS
Przewalskis Horse is a highly sociable animal
that lives in herds, comprising a dominant
stallion, his mares, and their foals. The
stallion is highly protective of his mares
and regularly rounds them up. Young
males live in bachelor herds,
before getting harems of
their own.

Neck is
long and Cheek teeth
exible for chewing

TEETH
Horses have chisel-like
front teeth (incisors) for
cropping grass close to the
ground. It is then crushed by Incisor teeth
the broad cheek teeth. Cheek for biting
teeth grow until old age to make
up for the wear caused by silica,
a hard, gritty compound in the grass.

DOMINANCE FIGHTS
Conicts between stallions
can be aggressive and ghts
Large lungs may break out during which
provide stallions bite and kick each
oxygen for other. Bouts of anger can also
stamina
break out in a family group
when young males reach two
years of age and are about to
become independent.

STATS AND FACTS


750 TIME 320343 (gestation period)

POUNDS days 150 300 450


D

LIFE STORIES
IMUM SPEE
M

38
T

AX H
IMU IG
M WE
days 200 400 600 800
730 (foal remains with mother)
All the Przewalskis POPULATION
Lower leg
horses alive today are MPH
AX

lacks muscle 1,900 (in captivity)


descended from 13
M

or 14 individuals of
the rst intensive 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000
breeding program.
nearly 306 (reintroduced into wild)
185
SLEEPIEST SQUIRRELS
ALPINE MARMOT

T
Imagine spending more than half the year asleep. That is exactly what the

E S
NG ION
Alpine Marmota type of ground-living squirreldoes. For a vegetarian that

LOBERNAT
relies on tender shoots, this is the best thing to do when a long, cold, winter
stops plants from growing. After a frantic summer of raising families and
building up their body fat, Alpine Marmots retreat to their burrows as early HI
as October and dont emerge again until the following spring.
One marmot
is always on
lookout duty

AT A GLANCE
Adult
marmots need to
weigh 15 lb (7 kg)
 SIZE Head and body 1622 in (4055 cm) long, plus tail
56 in (1315 cm) long
to survive
 HABITAT Alpine meadows
hibernation
 LOCATION European Alps; related species are found in
mountainous areas of Europe, Asia, and North America

 DIET Grasses and other low plants and grain, sometimes


insects and worms

SOCIAL SKILLS
Marmot families are
occasionally the focus of
squabbles, even at playtime.
Youngsters stand upright and
box one another or wrestle
with each other on the ground.
STATS AND FACTS
10,500 BODY TEMPERATURE 98.6F (human)
5095 F
FEET F 50 70 90 110
IG
H

E D
HE
S T A LT I T U C 10 20 30 40 50

The Alpine Marmot


lives off its body fat BREATHS/MIN
during its long
hibernation and slows 13 breaths (hibernation)
its body functions to
save energy. Only 100150 breaths (awake and resting)
those animals with
enough stored fat
will last the winter. HEARTBEATS CUDDLING UP
ST HIBERNA
Alpine Marmots produce up to seven babies. The mother
E
NG TI
BPM 5 (hibernating) 1 min suckles them for just over a month before they emerge
O
O
L

from the nest to start eating plants. It is especially


N

9 BPM 130160 (awake) 1 min


important that small youngsters build up enough fat to
survive the long hibernation. The colony hibernates as a
grouphuddling together gives the young marmots a
MONTHS better chance of surviving
Young marmots live through the winter.
with their family until
they are two years old
Defending the territory
Alpine Marmots live in colonies consisting
of a number of females and offspring,
and a dominant male. He jealously
defends his patch from
intruding males.

Thick fur
protects
against
chilly winds
DADDY COOL
EMPEROR PENGUIN AT A GLANCE

The worlds biggest penguin goes through a lot to raise a family. Emperor
Penguin pairs walk to their breeding stations on the Antarctic continent just
before winter sets inand travel up to 125 miles (200 km) to get there. As the
temperatures drop to their lowest, the males huddle together in colonies,
each incubating a single egg. Meanwhile, the females
Bright yellow
have returned to feed out at sea, leaving the males ear patches SIZE 4445 in (112115 cm) long

alone to mind the babies.



HABITAT Icy coastlines and adjoining seas;

breeds inland

LOCATION Antarctica

DIET Mainly sh and squid
M 
Pinky orange
D O
lower bill
Long wait for dinner
An Antarctic winter is harsh,
EVO ST
with temperatures up to 76F
FAT TE
D (60C) below freezing and
constant darkness. The male
HE
Emperor Penguin will not eat
R
until his mate returns with
some regurgitated sh for
him and the newly
hatched chick. If she is
GROUP HUG late he can feed the
Male Emperors spend chick with an
several months emergency meal
enduring the howling using a special curd
gales of an Antarctic produced in his
winter. To keep warm food pipe.
they huddle close
together with their
heads down, slowly
shufing from the
outside of the group to
the centre. That way,
everyone gets a turn
at being in the middle.
Direction of
blood ow

Returning blood
is warmed by
blood going
Chick is kept warm
down to foot
through contact
with the males skin
under the ap
Cooler
blood

KEEPING WARM
Penguins have a special way of preventing heat
loss through their feet. Blood vessels going from
the lower leg into the foot transfer some of their
heat across to vessels returning from the foot,
warming it up. Because the blood in the foot is
already cooler, the foot loses heat less quickly.

Chicks are held


above the ice on the
male penguins feet

BALANCING ACT
Emperor Penguins
dont build nests. When STATS AND FACTS
the female has laid the TIME 9 weeks (incubation period)
egg she quickly shufes
RED
it across from her feet to
50 YEARS weeks 5 10 15 20 25 N
DU
E

the males. He balances it A 20 weeks (edging period)


A

XI
there for months, covering MU SP
M LIFE
it with a bare patch of skin weeks 5 10 15 20 25
E RAT U R E

The Emperor Penguin


on his belly to keep it warm. WEIGHT OF EGG 1618 oz
-76
MP

If the egg were to roll away it is the only animal F


TE

that breeds on the oz 5 10 15 20


would quickly freeze, and the T
Antarctic continent in ES
chick inside would die. the middle of winter.
LO W
g 200 400 600
1.52.5 oz (chicken egg)

LIFE STORIES

189
G E S T
LON ION
G R AT
M I

AERIAL ATTACKER
The Arctic Tern is a graceful
seagoing acrobat, with long wings
and a forked tail. It hovers in the air
while searching for food, before
plunge-diving to snatch small sh.
Occasionally terns will harass other
seabirds to steal their catch.
INCREDIBLE
JOURNEY
ARCTIC TERN
No other animal travels as far as an Arctic Ternfrom
the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again every year.
Over the course of its lifetime it may cover more than
1.5 million miles (2.4 million km). The Arctic Tern breeds
in the north and rests in the south, synchronizing its visits
with the northern and southern summers to feast on
plentiful food supplies.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body length 1314 in (3336 cm)

 HABITAT Coastal regions, nesting on


tundra, beaches, and grassland; on open
sea when not breeding

 LOCATION Mostly breeds north of the


Arctic Circle; migrates to Antarctica when
not breeding

 DIET Mainly small sh and invertebrates

STATS AND FACTS


34
YEARS
DURATION OF MIGRATION
93 days (NS)
M

AX
IM PA 40 days (SN)
UM LIFE S

Arctic Terns feed at


sea, which enables WINGS 3033 in (wingspan)
in 10 20 30
them to make such
an epic migration.

This bird sees They also follow wind


currents when moving
north for a speedier
cm

wbpm
25 50

250 (hovering)
75 100

1 min

more daylight
return journey.
LIFE STORIES

DAILY FOOD CONSUMPTION

NCE COVE 0.7338.8 cal/oz of body


TA RE
IS
than any other
D

13.4 cal/oz of body (human)

44,000
animal MILES/
YEAR
191
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Each pair of amingos lays a
single egg. A few days after
hatching, the chick is strong
enough to leave the nest and
joins other chicks in a huge
amingo nursery. Chicks return
to their parents at feeding time.
The largest
recorded ock of BIGGEST
amingos had over NURSERY
2 million birds LESSER FLAMINGO
Lesser Flamingos breed in huge numbers in the shallows
of alkaline soda lakes. In places the soda is so strong that
it burns the skin, but this keeps predators at bay. When
the chicks hatch they must be taken to fresher drinking
water. A few adults herd all the ightless babies together
into a huge nursery and lead the way on foot across many
miles of sun-baked land.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body 3235 in (8090 cm) long

 HABITAT Soda lakes and coastal lagoons

 LOCATION Africa and northwestern India

 DIET Mostly blue-green algae


Pink coloring
comes from
pigments in food

STATS AND FACTS


300,000 COLONY SIZE
up to 2,200,000 birds
CHICKS
M

ZE

AX
.N SI 0 1,000,000 2,000,000 3,000,000
URSERY

At rst, the nursery is


under the supervision TIME
of one adult bird for 28 (incubation) 6590 (edging)
every 10 chicks. But
as the babies get older,
just one adult is days 20 40 60 80 100
enough for several
hundred chicks.
LIFE STORIES

DISTANCE
22 miles (babies escorted to freshwater)
YING SPEED
FL miles 3 10 15 20

36
km 10 20 30 40

MPH
193
This birds gut
can shrink to
make way for
extra muscle
LON
N O N GES
MIG S T O T
MARATHON
RAT P
ION FLYER
BAR-TAILED GODWIT
Many birds migrate long distances, but the Bar-tailed
Godwit makes the most epic journey of all. Godwits that
breed in Europe and Asia migrate overland and along the
coastlines to Africa and Southern Asia. Those that breed
in Alaska y nonstop across across the Pacic Ocean to
Australia and New Zealand in a journey that takes over
a week. No other animal travels so far without resting.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body 14 1/216 in (3741 cm) long

 HABITAT Tundra, wetlands, coastlines,


and meadows

 LOCATION Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia,


and Alaska; breeds near the Arctic

 DIET Insects, worms, mollusks, seeds,


and berries

STATS AND FACTS


7,000 MIGRATION DISTANCE 7,258 miles (in 8 days)
4,355 miles (in 5 days)
MILES
T

miles 3,000 6,000 9,000


LO

GH
NG

LI

ES F
TN km 4,000 8,000 12,000 16,000
O N S TO P

Taking the nonstop


route across the Pacic WEIGHT
may be hard, but there 1618 oz (start of migration)
are advantages: the
distance is shorter
than following the 68 oz (end of migration)
coastlines, and there
are fewer predators.
IN GOOD SHAPE
LIFE STORIES

WINGSPAN 2732 in
The Bar-tailed Godwits huge R AG E S P EE
journey requires stamina and A VE D in 10 20 30

plenty of fuel. These birds build

33
cm 20 40 60 80 100
up muscle and body fat on
coastal mudats in Alaska to
ensure they are in peak
condition before setting off.
MPH
195
LONGEST-LIVING ANIMAL
ALDABRA TORTOISE
Horny
Tortoises live life in the slow laneand do it for a very long plates cover
time. Island giants, such as those from Aldabra in the Indian the bony shell

Ocean, are lumbering plant-eaters that survive up to 200


years or more. One male who lived in a zoo since 1875
was at least 130 when he died in 2006, and may have
hatched from an egg as early as 1750.

Head is small
and rounded

BEAKED BROWSER
An Aldabra Tortoise has no teeth, and
instead uses a sharp-edged horny beak
to browse on vegetation. The tapering Strong jaws
for chewing
shape enables it to crop grass and
tough plants
other low-growing plants close to the
ground, and the tortoise is the biggest Flexible neck
and most important grazer on Aldabra. can pull head
back into shell

Reaching out
AT A GLANCE Aldabra Tortoises have long necks to help
them reach up to more succulent leaves.
On some individuals, the shell curves up at
the front so they can reach into low trees.
This tortoise can drink water from the
shallowest puddles through its nostrils.

They knock over


SIZE Males up to 4 ft (1.2 m) long; females up
to 3 ft (0.9 m) long
small trees
HABITAT Grazes on open grassland but prefers
to stay under shady vegetation
to reach juicy


LOCATION Aldabra Island, Seychelles

DIET Grass, leaves, plant stems, and


occasionally carrion
leaves
STATS AND FACTS
792
Lungs are moved in and
out by contractions of Intestines GROWTH RATE
muscles in the body; the complete the
POUNDS AN
220 lb 441550 lb (max. size)
rib cage is part of the digestive SP
shell so it cannot move process

IFE
RE
CO HT years 25 50

255

MAX. L
RD WEIG

Of the four species EGGS YEARS

ED
of giant tortoise

AT
from the Seychelles, 425 (per clutch)

M
I
only the Aldabra E ST
is not extinct in
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
the wild.

Kidney removes
waste from the GROWTH RINGS
blood and turns The outer surface of the shell is covered
it into urine with a mosaic of horny plates that forms a
hard, protective shell. These plates grow wider
as the animal gets bigger, producing rings.
The rings can indicate
seasons of fast and
slow growth.

Short tail

Stomach is where Bladder is


tough plant material is used to store
stored while digestive water when it
juices get to work rainsuseful Skin is
on a dry island scaly and
LIFE STORIES

like Aldabra armored

Clawed
toes on
each foot

197
O D U C ES
PR GGS
MOST E

A female produces
almost as many
eggs as there
are people in
the US
MOTHER OF
MILLIONS
OCEAN SUNFISH
At rst sight, a sunsh, or mola, looks strangely
incompletejust a massive head with no obvious
body or tail. Instead of a full tail n, its upper and lower
body ns meet around its rear end to form a frilly
rudder. Despite its huge size, the sunsh has very few
bones in its spine, giving it a unique, dumpy shape.
Although its the heaviest bony sh, its skeleton is
made of lightweight cartilage, like that of a shark.
Female sunsh produce a vast number of tiny eggs
more than any other backboned animalalthough
few survive to adulthood.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body length up to 11 ft (3.3 m) long;


weight up to 2 tons (2 metric tons)

 HABITAT Warm ocean waters

 LOCATION Worldwide

 DIET Mainly jellysh, occasionally squid,


sponges, small sh, and crustaceans

STATS AND FACTS


10 YEARS
SKIN THICKNESS

in 1
1 in (elephant)
2
2 34 in

3
LIF

Y
IT

SP V
E

AN TI cm 2 4 6 8 10
IN CAP
1
8 in (human)
Thick-skinned sunsh
grow quickly. They dive SWIMMING DEPTH up to 340 ft (at night)
deeper during the day
SHORT-SPINED SUNBATHER to follow their prey.
LIFE STORIES

ft 250 500 750 1,000 1,250

The Ocean Sunsh has an appropriate FEM


ALE PR
O m 100 200 300 400
name: it is often seen basking in warm CH D
EA

UC

up to 984 ft (during day)


sunshine just below the ocean surface.

300
ES

Considering its size, it has a small brain


and a spinal cord just 1 in (3 cm)
longthe shortest in proportion to body MILLION
size for any animal. EGGS
199
O S T
MEAT-PROOF
HOTTEST HOME L
POMPEII WORM
H
AN I M A
Colonies of this deep-sea worm live on hot volcanic
chimneys on the ocean oor. Here, water heated inside
the Earths crust pours out and animals living near these
vents have to survive or die. Named after an ancient
Roman city destroyed by a volcanic eruption, the
Pompeii Worm can take the heat. Each worm builds a
mineral-encrusted tube to live in, with its tail end near
the hot rock and its head sticking out to breathe and
feed in the cooler surrounding water.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE 4 in (10 cm) long and less than


1
2 in (1 cm) in diameter

 HABITAT On volcanic chimney vents


of the ocean oor

 LOCATION Eastern Pacic Ocean

 DIET Bacteria that live on its body


hairs

STATS AND FACTS


1-2 MILES
TEMPERATURE OF WATER AROUND WORM TUBE

F 50
43113F
70 90 110
DE

E
AC

TH
P

B E LO RF C 10 20 30 40 50
W SU
The Pompeii Worm
makes its mineral- TEMPERATURE INSIDE WORM TUBE
encrusted tubes from 57F (head end)
keratin, the same F 50 100 150 200
tough material that
strengthens human C 20 40 60 80 100
skin, but its version is 183F (tail end)
far more heat resistant.
Its tail almost
LIFE STORIES

TEMPERATURE OF ROCK UNDER WORM TUBE

reaches boiling
104347F
O FORM CO
ET LO F 100 200 300
IM
T

NY

2
C 40 80 120 160 200

point
MONTHS
200
FLEECY FRIENDS
A Pompeii worm has red
feathery gills on its head and a
slimy eece along its back that
is home to billions of bacteria.
The worm helps the bacteria
grow and in turn they provide
the worm with nutrients.
SPACE TRAVELER
TARDIGRADE
The biggest tardigrades are hardly longer than
a millimeter but these tiny invertebrates can
survive some extreme conditions. In 2007,
the European Space Agency sent some
into space to see if they could survive
the subzero temperatures and solar
winds in spaceremarkably, they did.

AT A GLANCE

SIZE less than 1/32 in (0.051.2 mm) long

HABITAT Films of moisture on mosses, mud,


and aquatic weeds

LOCATION Worldwide

DIET Microbes, plants, and other tiny animals

LEG AND CLAWS


Tardigrades clamber
through their
microscopic world
using four pairs of
short legs. Each leg
ends in claws or
sticky disks that
help the animal
cling to a variety of
surfaces and even to
walk on ice.
Short, stumpy
legs
DORMANT TUN
A tardigrade can survive
STATS AND FACTS
extreme conditions for
many years by turning 100 TEMPERATURE
-458304F (survival as a tun)
into a dehydrated YEARS F -300 0 300
FE

LI

N
bundle called a tun. S PA T U C -150 0 150 300
Its head and bottom N AS A
contract inward, the When it enters its
legs disappear, and its inactive state as a tun, RADIATION
life processes only just a tardigrade can lose 570,000 (kills a tardigrade)
more than 90% of its 500 (kills a human)
keep going.
water, and its body
processes slow down units of 200,000 400,000 600,000
to just one 10,000th radiation

UL
of their active level.

SU TIM
WATER CONTENT OF BODY
AL IN SP
VIV

RV AT
AC
UR 3% (as a tun)

E
IVO E
10
85% (when active)

R DAYS

STARLIKE EGG
The eggs of tardigrades
have nely sculpted hard
casings that protect them
from drying out. This way,
the eggs can still hatch
after months with
no moisture. Female
tardigrades lay up
to 30 eggs at a time.

It can survive
at 392F (200C)
below
freezing
Lumbering water bear
These animals live in thin lms
LIFE STORIES

of moisture and are sometimes


called water bears, because of
their appearance. Their bodies are
protected by tough skin, which
they molt to grow. If active, they
live for a few months. But if their
habitat dries up, they do, too, and
survive until revived by water.
203
This tiny spider
lives on the slopes
of Mt. Everest

EYE ON THE PRIZE


Jumping spiders have the best
vision of all spidersvital when
you live where prey is scarce
and a successful catch can be
the difference between life and
death. Two big forward-facing
eyes help them judge distance.
HIG

LAN ON TOP OF
HES
T-L
IVING

IMA D
AN THE WORLD
L HIMALAYAN JUMPING
SPIDER
Surviving at the top of a mountain is tough. Some
animals just visit the cold, snowy peaks, but the tiny
Himalayan Jumping Spider lives there all the time.
It shelters between rocks and hunts insects that graze
on bits of vegetation blown up by mountain winds.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Body 1/8 in (34 mm) long

 HABITAT Hidden among rocks on


mountains at 22,000 ft (6,700 m)

 LOCATION Himalayas

 DIET Small insects and springtails

STATS AND FACTS


22,000 SURROUNDING TEMPERATURE
532F
FEET F 0 32 60

A LT C -15 0 15 30
ITUDE

Himalayan Jumping
Spiders are small but EXTENT OF ONE LEAP
24 in
mighty. They survive
on little food in in 2 4 6 8
freezing temperatures,
and can jump up to a cm 5 10 15 20
whopping 25 times
their own body length.
LIFE STORIES

FOOD CONSUMPTION 50% (springtails)


50% (small ies)
M PING SPE ED
JU

0 100%

2 /4 1
FT/SEC
205
Spends
17 years in
the soil
4 weeks
above it

E S TD
AT IZE
GRYNECHRONENCE
S E R G
EM
MASS BREAKOUT
PERIODICAL CICADA
On a warm spring morning in North America, the air
may suddenly be lled with swarms of large insects
called Periodical Cicadas erupting from the ground. It
happens when the temperatures start to rise and occurs
just once every 13 or 17 years. The wingless juveniles have
spent all this time underground, feeding on the roots of
plants. When they nally see the light of day, they molt,
unfold their wings, and the males sing to attract a mate.
Within just weeks, they have mated, laid eggs, and died.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Adults 1112 in (2.53.5 cm) long, depending


on the species

 HABITAT Woodland, towns, and gardens; juvenile


nymphs live underground

 LOCATION Eastern North America

 DIET Plant sap

STATS AND FACTS


5,600 TEMPERATURE 63F (nymphs
emerge underground)
PER SQ MILE
F 40 50 60 70 80
U
N

M N
BER GI C 5 10 15 20 25 30
EMER
4177F (spring soil in eastern US)
The deafening songs
of male cicadas LOUDNESS
sometimes sounding 100 (singing cicada males)
like a lawnmower
starting upare
precisely tuned to dB 20 40 60 80 100 120
attract females of 80 (human shout)
the correct species.
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
LIFE STORIES

EGGS
Emerging together has its advantages: N DE R G R O
thousands of cicadas can overwhelm EU U 20 in each batch
IM
N
T

potential predators. Even though the


D

17
insect-eaters gorge themselves on the 600 laid in total
cicadas, there are always plenty left over
to nd mates and reproduce. The long
cycle can then start all over again. YEARS
207
HIGH-RISE BUILDER
AFRICAN TERMITE
STATS AND FACTS
Termites are the supreme architects of the insect world.
WEIGHT
Each mound houses a supercolonya giant family born to 22,000 lb (one mound)

a single queen and her mate. The mound is staffed by their


20YEARS lb 10,000 20,000

LI
FE
blind offspring. Some are large-jawed soldiers that ght off S PA EE kg 3,000 6,000 9,000 12,000
N OF QU
22 lb (termites in one mound)
intruders. Others are workers that build the mound from
Termite mounds extend
clay, collect food, and look after the queen and the young. above and below the TEMPERATURE
ground. They may 7989 F (inside mound)
house hundreds of F 50 70 90 110
thousands of insects
and weigh hundreds C 15 30 45
AT A GLANCE of pounds.
59107 F (outside mound)
Central
ventilation shaft COLONY SIZE
lets stale air out
L E ST M O U N up to 1,000,000 individuals
T AL D

0 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000

30 FEET
Chimney allows
SIZE Queen 434 in (12 cm) long; soldier cool, fresh air in
 1 2
3 3 in (918 mm); worker 1513 in (59 mm)

HABITAT Savanna, open woodland, and dry


 forest

LOCATION Africa, south of the Sahara Desert



DIET Fungus cultivated on dead plant material

Clay wall
is built by
worker
termites
FUNGUS GARDEN
Air conditioning Termites eat wood but are unable to digest
A complex system of channels ventilate it. Instead, they grow fungus on the wood
the mound, keeping its internal pulp in their faeces. This fungus absorbs
temperature stable. The temperature the nutrients in the pulp and is then eaten
will vary by only a few degrees over the by the termites as food.
course of a day. Air is drawn in to
freshen and cool the colony.
E S T
RG UILT
LNASECT-BTURE
I U C
STR

ROYAL CHAMBER
Base of The queen is looked after and fed by her
mound workers. She grows so much she becomes a
massive egg-producing body. At this stage she
Ground-level
cannot move and is totally dependent on her
entrance to carers. The workers build a large chamber
mound around her and remove the eggs as she lays
them, taking them to nursery chambers.

Nutritious
fungus grown on
stored wood and
other dead plant
material
Main living
Nursery quarters in
galleries where underground
eggs are tended chambers
by workers

Cellar absorbs
moisture from
the colony above,
which helps to
cool the mound

LIFE STORIES

209
Despite being
chewed, the
larvae suffer no
real harm
BLOODSUCKING
LIQUID LUNCH
Adult Dracula Ants cant eat solid food
because their waists are too tiny for it
to pass through, but their larvae can. In

BABYSITTERS
other ant species the larvae regurgitate
some food as a liquid for adults to
drink. Dracula Ant larvae cant do this,
so the adults drink their blood instead.

DRACULA ANT
Life as a baby Dracula Ant is a mixture of good and
bad. Like other ants, these larvae hatch in a protective
nest that is tended by a colony of workers. The worker
ants keep the nest clean and feed the larvae and the main
queen, who is the mother of all of them. But when the
workers get hungry, the tables are turnedthey chew
into the thin skin of the larvae and drink their blood.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Workers average 18 in (3 mm) long

 HABITAT Rotting logs in tropical rainforest


and dry forest

 LOCATION Madagascar

 DIET Larvae eat insect prey captured and


stung by workers; workers drink the blood
of the larvae

STATS AND FACTS


95 PERCENT
COLONY SIZE

0
1,0005,000 workers (female)

2,000 4,000 6,000


LA

RS

RV A 1,0005,000 drones (male)


AE C
WITH S
0 2,000 4,000 6,000
Worker ants have
stingers for killing 1,0003,000 larvae
insect prey. They bring
them back to the 0 2,000 4,000 6,000
underground colony 510 queens
to nourish the larvae,
so the larvae can make 0 2,000 4,000 6,000
more blood.
LIFE STORIES

FOOD CONSUMPTION

A CENTIPE DE
10% (small insects and their larvae)
S
AT
IN
E

0 100

24
90% (centipedes)

HOURS
211
GROWING UP FAST
WATER FLEA FAS
P T E
EXP LATIOST
OPU
LOS N
Water ea populations can multiply rapidly. ION
Females can reproduce very quickly because they
dont have to wait for fertilization from a male. Within
days, a quiet summer pond could be teeming with
thousands of these little crustaceans.
Large eye

STATS AND FACTS


2
MONTHS
TIME

1 (eggs hatch) 510 (young produce eggs)


GG
S
Oarlike antennae
are used for
swimming
LIF

FE
IT

SP V
E

TI
L U TC H O
AN days 5 10 15
IN CAP

100
3 (young leave brood chamber)

Water eas reproduce POPULATION GROWTH


TC

so quickly that there 1,000 (day 30)


ES

can be ten times as 100 (day 1) 150 (day 10) 300 (day 20)
G

many of them within G


BI
the space of a month.
days 10 20 30

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Less than in (0.218 mm) long,


depending on the species
Eggs in
brood pouch

 HABITAT Mostly fresh water; sometimes ocean Females Winter survivor


 LOCATION Worldwide The water eas outer shell

 DIET Microbes, detritus, and sometimes other


small animals
carry eggs is transparent, so you can see
the algae-lled gut (green), as well as the
females brood of eggs. At the end of the season,

in a pouch she mates with males and produces hard-shelled


winter eggs that can survive cold, dry conditions.
GIRL POWER
PLANKTONIC ROTIFER AT A GLANCE

Mothers rule among Rotifers. Many populations of these tiny


aquatic animals dont have any males at all, so the females reproduce
by making eggs that can develop into babies without being fertilized.
In those types of rotifer that have two sexes, the males are small,
cannot feed, and only live long enough to fertilize eggs.  SIZE up to 116 in (0.052 mm) long

 HABITAT Mostly freshwater; some in soil


or the ocean

Wheel-like  LOCATION Worldwide

fringe of hair
 DIET Microbes and debris

Foot is
sometimes
used for
attaching to
surfaces

Whats in a name?
Rotifers live in nearly all watery habitats
and get their name from a unique fringe of
beating hairs that looks like a rotating wheel.
This wheel organ is used for collecting food
or in some species, for swimming.

STATS AND FACTS


10X SIZE

MO
ST
0.052 mm
MALE in 1
16
AR
FEM
YE

SI
POPALE-DO
40
ONS PER

ZE LE mm 1 2 3
LIFE STORIES

OF FEMA

ULA MINATE
A single female rotifer POPULATION
TIO D
AT I

N
and her descendants
ER

can produce up to 50% males up to 100% females


N

thousands of GE
babieswithout
0 25% 50% 75% 100%
a male.

213
SELFLESS MOM
COMMON OCTOPUS
A female octopus goes to enormous lengths to protect her
babies before they hatch. Male octopuses die soon after mating, A hungry mother
so its up to the female to raise her brood alone. After laying up
to 500,000 eggs, she gives up hunting for food to take care of her may eat her own
offspring. When they hatch a month later, she will be so weak that
she will probably be killed by predators. tentacle
GUARDING THE EGGS
After laying her eggs in an
Bag-like body,
underwater cavern, the female or mantle
octopus starves while she
defends her brood from
predators. She keeps the
eggs clean and supplied
with oxygen by blowing sea
water over them with her
tubelike funnel.

Cluster of
eggs

SUCKERS
Each of the octopuss
eight arms has two rows of circular suction
cups underneath. The octopus uses the
suckers to grip rocks on the seabed and grasp
preyit can even smell and taste with them.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Tentacle span 113 ft


(0.54 m)

 HABITAT Oceans

 LOCATION Worldwide

 DIET Crabs, mollusks, and


sh

Eight long
tentacles
STATS AND FACTS
18
MONTHS
TIME
4 (caring for eggs)

M A L E S L AY
LIFE weeks 1 2 3 4 5
S PA N
500,000
WEIGHT lb (clutch of eggs) 24 lb (mother)
EGGS
Once hatched, baby

FE
octopuses must fend
lb 1 2 3 4
for themselves. Few
survive, but those
kg 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
that do grow quickly.

FLEXIBLE FUNNEL
Y
AG E OUSL Sticking out from the side of the

T
T E D
COUR
octopuss body is its funnel. By squirting

. EVO R
MOS water from the body cavity through this

D E
funnel, octopuses and squid can jet

T H propel themselves quickly through the

MO
water. Mother octopuses also use it to
squirt clean water over their eggs.
HARD BEAK
Although an octopus has no
bones, it has a hard, parrotlike
beak in the center of its body. This
tough beak is used for killing prey On the move
and biting it in to pieces. In addition to moving by jet propulsion,
octopuses can use their suckers and tentacles
to pull themselves slowly along the ocean oor.
The Common Octopuss
brown color helps it stay
camouaged on
the seabed.

Excellent eyesight
for spotting prey
RECORD-BREAKERS
Animals have many different ways of producing young. Insects and
most sh lay hundreds or thousands of eggs in the hope that some
will live survive into adulthood. Birds and mammals on the other hand
have a few young and take care of them once they are born or hatch,
Some cichlid sh
to increase their chances of survival. During their lives, animals do
whatever it takes to survive, and raise their families successfully. This
keep their eggs in
may even involve traveling long distances to look for food, attract
a mate, or nd somewhere warm to spend the winter. their mouths until
MOST EGGS OR YOUNG
they hatch to
Ocean Sunsh 300 million eggs protect them
African Driver Ant 34 million eggs
Australian Ghost Moth 29,100 eggs SHORTEST
Hawksbill Turtle 264 eggs LIFE SPAN
Tenrec 32 young The gastrotrich is a tiny
animal that lives in water
Gray Partridge 24 eggs BLUE TIT between grains of sand. Its MBUNA

Blue Tit
NEST
19 eggs average life spanfrom CICHLID
hatching to dyingis
just three days.

BEST LONGEST MIGRATION (ONE WAY)


BREEDERS
Like ants and bees, Naked Mole Rats Arctic Tern 21,500 miles (34,600 km)
live in colonies controlled by a single
queen. She is the only female in the Leatherback
Turtle 12,775 miles (20,560 km)

Bluen Tuna
colony that has babies. One queen is
6,200 miles (10,000 km)
known to have given birth to 33
pups, the largest recorded litter
of any mammal. Humpback
Whale 5,220 miles (8,400 km)

33 BABIES
MONARCH
BUTTERFLY Eel
Monarch
3,100 miles (5,000 km)

Buttery 2,880 miles (4,635 km)

Caribou 1,550 miles (2,500 km)

NAKED MOLE RAT MARATHON


BUBBLE MILEAGE
SIAMESE BLOWER Every year, Globe Skimmer
FIGHTING
The male Siamese Fighting Dragonies migrate from southern
FISH
Fish makes an unusual nest. He India to Africa. They stop off in the

5,400
blows a mass of saliva bubbles Maldive Islands to rest, but have to
and places the eggs in it. He keep going because theres very little
then guards his nest for freshwater there for them to lay MILES
several days until the their eggs. This trip is the
eggs hatch. farthest-known insect
migration.
LONGEST LIVES In some animals,
Giant Barrel Sponge 2,300 years
Arctica islandica Mollusk 400 years males and
Aldabra Giant Tortoise 255 years

Bowhead Whale 211 years females look


Rougheye Rocksh 140 years

Tuatara 111 years completely


Olm 100 years
ASIAN
different
Asian Elephant 86 years ELEPHANT

Macaw 80 years

Spiny Dogsh 70 years


PARADOXICAL
FROG

OCEAN
OLDIES
Corals are colonies made up of LARGEST
tiny living animals, called polyps, MALE AND FEMALE
and their stony skeletons. Scientists
TADPOLE ECLECTUS PARROTS

have discovered that some of the The tadpoles of the


black corals that grow as deep as Paradoxical Frog grow to
2 miles (3 km) below the sea are 10 in (25 cm) long, but shrink
truly ancient. One black coral to about a fth of that length DEEPEST
when they become
4,265 was found to have started life
4,265 years ago. adult frogs. DWELLER
YEARS A type of roundworm,
dubbed the devil worm and
just 164 in (0.5 mm) long, has
been found living 214 miles
DEEPEST SWIMMERS (3.5 km) underground
by South African

Snailsh 434 miles (7.7 km) gold miners.

Dumbo Octopus 412 miles (7 km)

Supergiant Amphipod 412 miles (7 km)

Leatherback Turtles
2
3
4 miles (1.28 km)

Emperor Penguin 1
6 mile (0.275 km)
KIWI
MILES

DIVING
CHAMPIONS
Sperm Whales are one of
the deepest-diving mammals and
Kiwis lay the can reach depths of 2 miles (3 km)
in search of their favorite food
LIFE STORIES

giant squid. Other challengers for


biggest eggs in the title are Elephant Seals and
Cuviers Beaked Whales.

relation to their
body size EMPEROR
PENGUIN 217
4
SUPERNATURAL
SENSES
Many animals have extraordinary
powers of sight, hearing, touch,
and smell, which they use for
sensing the world around them.
These outstanding abilities help
them avoid danger, nd food, or
communicate with others of
their kindsometimes to
spectacular effect.
MIXED-UP MAMMAL
PLATYPUS
The Platypus looks like its made from parts of different animalswhen Thick coat of fur
scientists rst saw one, they thought somebody was playing a joke. But the keeps the
platypus warm
Platypus is well adapted to river life. Its beaverlike tail and webbed feet are
perfect for swimming, and its sensitive bill helps it nd prey in murky waters.

AT A GLANCE Strong, webbed


feet are excellent
for swimming

The Platypus
 SIZE Head and body 1218 in (3045 cm) long,
plus tail 46 in (1015 cm) long
is a mammal
 HABITAT Streams, rivers, and lakes
that lays eggs
 LOCATION Eastern Australia and Tasmania

 DIET Craysh, shrimp, insect larvae, worms,


snails, and small shes

STATS AND FACTS


21 YEARS
BILL
in 1
22 in (length)
2 3

cm 2 4 6 8
LIF

Y
IT

SP V 60,000 (to detect movement)


E

AN TI
IN CAP
bill 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000
The Platypus has sensors
40,000 (to detect electrical activity)
relatively big lungs DIVE 0.52 (duration) 11 (record duration)
to hold its breath
underwater. Like other
min 3 6 9 12
diving mammals, it ft 10 20 30
can reduce its heart
rate when swimming m 2 4 6 8 10
to save oxygen. 315 ft (depth) 29 ft (record depth)
HEARTBEATS

P SWIM SPE ED
TO bpm 10120 (while diving) 1 min

1.5 bpm 120240 (while resting) 1 min

MPH
Life by the river POISONOUS SPUR
The Platypus is an excellent All Platypuses are born with spiked ankle spurs, but only
swimmer and can stay underwater males keep them as adults. The spurs develop poison
for up to ve minutes to search for
glands, and are used for jabbing other males as well as
food. When on land, it digs burrows in
for ghting off predators. The effect of the venom is very
riverbanks for shelter. The tunnel leading
from the water to its nest is so narrow that painful, so territorial males keep their distance.
it squeezes the water from the animals coat,
helping it to dry out.

M
S OS
ENSI T
BILL TIVE

WEBBED FEET
The Platypuss unique
webbed feet pull it
through the water as
it swims. Each foot is also
equipped with ve strong,
clawed toes, which help
the Platypus to dig burrows
on the riverbank.

SENSITIVE SNOUT

SUPERNATURAL SENSES
The Platypuss rubbery bill is extra
sensitive, and helps it to nd
food in the muddy water. The
bill is able to sense the
movement of tiny animals,
and can even pick up electrical
signals from their muscles. As
the Platypus sweeps its head
from side to side, it collects all
these signals from the space The bill senses signals in
around the bill to form a kind of the water to map the
location of prey
map. From this, it can instantly gure
out the direction and distance of a meal.

221
SMELLIEST MAMMAL
SKUNK AT A GLANCE

A squirt from a skunks behind is the very


worst kind of stink bomb, smelling like a mixture
of burned rubber, rotten onions, and rotten eggs.
Predators soon learn to link the skunks striking
black-and-white markings with a stench that is
strong enough to make their eyes water. A direct

SIZE Head and body 419 in (1249 cm)
long, plus tail 217 in (743 cm) long

hit in the face can cause temporary blindness, 


HABITAT Woodland, grassland, and desert

and even the biggest enemies steer clear.



LOCATION North, Central, and South America


DIET Small animals, vegetation,
grain, and fruit
NEWBORN BABIES
Skunks usually have four or ve
babies in underground dens,
though they may have up to
10. Born during summer, by
fall the youngsters are fully
independent.

The skunks own


sense of smell is
very sensitive
You can smell a
skunk mile
EASY PICKINGS
Skunks make the most
of anything nutritious

(1 km) away they can nd,


including birds eggs.
Their eating habits
may keep pests such
as rodents and insects
down, although they
sometimes make
themselves unpopular
with humans by
raiding poultry farms.

Spray is squirted
from scent glands
either side of the
skunks bottom

STINKY
SPRAY
When its tail is raised
and its bottom is facing your
way, stand back. To be sure its
enemy has gotten the message,
an angry skunk arches its back
and stamps its feet. It then looks
back to be sure it hits its target.

STATS AND FACTS


13 VOLUME

SUPERNATURAL SENSES
1
/25/8 oz (uid in scent glands)

YEARS
1 1
oz 4 2
LIF

Y
IT

SP V
E

AN TI
IN CAP ml 5 10 15 20

A skunk can spray quite


a distance, but is only DISTANCE
accurate up to about 61/220 ft (distance scent sprayed)
10 ft (3 m). ft 10 20

ING SPE
NN E
Back off RU D m 2 4 6 8

10
The striped skunks black-and-white coat is
a warning to keep away. During a spraying
attack, the long hairs on the back and tail are
fanned out to make the skunk look scarier.
MPH
223
D E ST
L LO OU N
D
E
T IMA
H
AN
LA N

DAWN CHORUS
Howler monkeys make most
of their calls at dawn and dusk.
Their large lower jaws and wide
throats help to make the call
sound louder. They are expert
climbers and spend most of
their time in the trees.
NOISY NEIGHBOR
HOWLER MONKEY
The jungle can be a noisy place, and the thundering
calls of the South American Howler Monkey can be
heard echoing through the thickest of forests. Male
howlers roar like lions, and a troop of 20 animals can be
heard up to 3 miles (5 km) away across open space, and
2 miles (3 km) through forest. By calling out, howlers
prevent dangerous conicts with their rivals over
territory or food. They usually live in groups of up to
11, but may form troops with as many as 65 animals.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head to tail 3753 in (95135 cm)


long; weight 825 lb (411.5 kg); males are
larger than females

 HABITAT Rainforest, dry forest, mangroves

 LOCATION Tropical South America, from


southern Mexico to northern Argentina

 DIET Prefers fruit (even unripe) if available;


otherwise young leaves, owers, and seeds

STATS AND FACTS


20 YEARS
HOME RANGE

sq ft
345,000810,000 sq ft
400,000 800,000
M

A
XI
A

MU SP sq m 30,000 60,000 90,000


M LIFE

Howlers are the largest

SUPERNATURAL SENSES
monkeys in South CALL 100
America. When not
20 (human whisper)
calling, much of their
day is spent snoozing
in the tree canopy, dB 30 60 90 120
digesting leaves. 70 (human shout)

DAYTIME ACTIVITY 1% (social activity)

OOP SIZE 80% (resting) 2% (movement and travel)


TR

0 100%
17% (feeding)

2-65
225
BIG BUG EYES
Tarsiers have the biggest eyes for their
size of any mammal. Although the eyes
are xed in their sockets, tarsiers can
twist their heads almost full circle to give
them an all-around view. Once their prey
is spotted, they can leap great distances
to grab it with their grasping hands.
A tarsier can
leap 70 times SILENT
its own body SQUEAKER
length TARSIER
Tarsiers are tiny tree-dwelling primates that come out
at night to hunt in the rainforest. Unlike their noisy
monkey cousins, tarsiers call at such a high pitch that
humans cannot hear them. Using this ultrasound
frequency could be a way of avoiding danger, since
it lets them communicate with one another without
attracting the attentions of large predators.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 3126 in (916 cm) long, plus tail
51211 in (1428 cm) long

 HABITAT Rainforest

 LOCATION Sumatra, Borneo, Philippines, and


Sulawesi (Southeast Asia)

 DIET Insects, small lizards, sometimes birds


and snakes

STATS AND FACTS


13 YEARS
CALL human can hear up to 20 kHz
6779 (pitch)

kHz 20 40 60 80 100
M

A 60 dB
XI
A

MU SP
M LIFE
dB 30 60 90
With each eye as big
80 dB (human)

SUPERNATURAL SENSES
as its brain and its NIGHT VISION
constantly moving 95,000 (human) 300,000
ears, the tarsiers
senses of sight and
hearing are vital in receptors/ 150,000 300,000 450,000
sq mm
judging how far to
jump to catch prey.
HOME RANGE
110,000325,000 sq ft
L EAPING D I ST sq ft 200,000 400,000
A X.
A
M

NC

sq m 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000

23
E

FEET
227
BEST TEAMWORK
ORCA
The arrival of a group of Orcas causes panic among
other ocean animals. The largest members of the dolphin AT A GLANCE
family, Orcas travel in fearsome groups called pods.
No other sea predator is so calculated when attacking
prey, and none hunts so well in groups.

STATS AND FACTS


90 YEARS
POD SIZE

240
 SIZE 2832 ft (8.59.8 m) long (males are
bigger than females)
M

A
XI


A

MU SP 0 20 40 60
M LIFE HABITAT Oceans; mainly coastal and
3,300 ft (record depth) cooler waters
Orcas usually live


165825 ft (depth)
together in pods of DIVE LOCATION Worldwide
ft 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000
40 or so animals, but
may sometimes form
even larger groups. m 250
14 (duration)
500 750 1,000 1,250  DIET Mammals, sh, and seabirds

Clans may be formed


by several pods with
min 5 10 15 20 25
similar habits or
21 (record duration)
family links. PREY WEIGHT
2220 lb
MING SPE
IM E lb 100 200
SW D

27
kg 25 50 75 100 125

MPH

POINTED TEETH
Orcas have large, sharp teeth. The
teeth are very strong and curve
backward to help this dolphin
hold on to large, struggling
prey, such as sharks, seals,
and sea lions.
BEACH ATTACK HUNTING IN TEAMS
Although some types of Orcas are excellent at working together to catch seals
Orca only eat sh, others on icebergs. First, they lift their heads to spot their prey.
eat seals and even prey Then they swim under the ice, making a huge wave that
on other whales. These washes over it and knocks the seal off. If that fails, they
determined hunters nudge the ice to make sure the seal falls in to the water.
will sometimes nearly
Orca is
strand themselves Seal resting on
poised to
on a beach in a risky nudge the ice block of ice
move to catch a seal.
Orcas surface
to spy for prey

Orcas swim
together to make
a big wave

Wave begins
to form

Seal is pushed
into the orcas
waiting mouth

Wave washes
over ice

Water acrobat
When swimming at speed Orcas will
jump out of the water, which helps them
move even faster. They slap their tails
and ippers on the water to establish
dominance and communicate with
each other by using a series of screams
and whistles.

SUPERNATURAL SENSES

Orcas can
eat a small seal
whole 229
MOST COMPLEX SONG
HUMPBACK WHALE
Whales communicate with one another through songand the song
of the Humpback Whale is incredibly complicated. Like a piece of music,
the songs are made up of different sounds and phrases that
are repeated and built up into tunes lasting
around 30 minutes, which the
whale then sings
all day long.

Bristles on baleen
plates sieve food

Krill are swept


into mouth
when it opens

KRILL FEAST
Krill are shrimp-
like animals that
swim in the open ocean.
Swarms contain so many of them
that they can easily provide all the
protein-rich food that a giant
Humpback Whale needs.

AT A GLANCE Throat grooves

Blow hole ap Blow hole

Windpipe

Digestive Gut

 SIZE 3839 ft (11.611.9 m) long, females


are bigger than males; weight 2228 tons
tract
Windpipe
(2025 metric tons)

 HABITAT Open ocean; migrating to shallow


tropical waters during the breeding season, a
WHALE SONG U-shaped fold

round trip of about 6,000 miles (10,000 km) The whales voice box contains a U-shaped Inated air sac

 LOCATION Worldwide
fold of skin. As air ows over it, the edges
of this fold vibrate, producing sound. As
 DIET Small sh and krill the sound passes through the air sac of the
voice box, the sac may change shape or
Sound
pressure
size to alter the note or its loudness. waves
Flipper is one-third
the length of the body

Finger bones
in exible ipper

Flipping fantastic
The Humpbacks ippers are
not only the biggest of any whale, but
they are the biggest of any animal. Flippers
have the same kind of bones as human arms,
but are adapted for swimming.

SUPERNATURAL SENSES
STATS AND FACTS
24
HOURS
LOUDNESS OF SONG
160190

O
NG
S
TI

M
OF A INGLE

35
N

ES I dB 50 150 200
P E NT S I N G 100

M AK 80 (human shout)
ING A SPLASH
S

Males from a single BREATHING RATE


The Humpback is one of the most population sing very MIN
TH

similar songs and 90 surfacings per hour (max.)


acrobatic whales. Its streamlined, scientists are able to
G
N
LE
torpedolike body makes it great for tell groups apart by 20 surfacings per hour (resting)
swimming, but it can also leap out of listening to their songs.
the water with belly-up somersaults.
231
VE
TOUCHIEST E SENS
ITI

S
T
MOS

SNOUT NO
STAR-NOSED MOLE
Looking like an alien from another world, the Star-
nosed Mole has a unique face. Its nose has 22 short
tentacles that wiggle around to sense the surroundings
more by touch than smell, alerting it to small animal prey
practically all the time. The mole has a frantic lifecycle
always moving, always huntingand has a lightning-
speed reaction time that some scientists believe makes
it the natural worlds fastest eater. It also searches for food
underwater by blowing air bubbles toward its prey then
breathing them back in to capture its scent.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Head and body 45 in (1013 cm)


long, plus tail 2143 in (68 cm) long

 HABITAT Burrows in wet ground, swims


and dives in ponds and streams

 LOCATION North America

 DIET Aquatic insects, earthworms,


crustaceans, and small sh

STATS AND FACTS


25,000
PREY SIZE
0.0004114 in
SUPERNATURAL SENSES

in 1 1
TO

E
OS
UC

H
N

SEN N mm 10 20 30 40
SORS O

The moles rapid


responses help it make FOOD CONSUMPTION RATE
the most of its ddly 13 invertebrates/second
invertebrate prey.
N D E AT S
SA P 0 1 2 3 4 5
OT R
SP

EY
IN

1
10
SECOND

232
INSECT DETECTOR
The nose tentacles of a star-nosed mole
are packed with microscopic touch
sensors. With its tiny eyes and poor
vision, feeling around is the best way
to explore a dark burrow. Other moles
have these sensors too, but the Star-
nosed Mole has ve times as many.
SILENT HUNTER
BARN OWL
Not only can the Barn Owl nd a mouse in total darkness, but it can also swoop
down and catch it without making a sound. Flying so quietly helps it listen for prey,
so that it can even home in on a mouse hidden beneath a layer of grass or
snow, judging its position with deadly accuracy.

Upswept wings
provide a strong
downstroke for
takeoff
Hooked
beak for
tearing prey

Silent ight
When the owl locates its prey,
it takes to the air. Its broad wings
are so good at creating lift
that the owl doesnt need
to ap them very often.
The feathers are softly
fringed around the
edge to mufe any
wingbeat sound.

STATS AND FACTS


20YEARS
PREY WEIGHT

oz 1 2
1
/1031/2 oz
3 4 5
LIF

ED
IT

50
SP V
LY I N G S P E
E

AN TI g 50 100 150
IN CAP

Broad wings help DETECTION DISTANCE


MPH
PF

make a Barn Owl silent 65 ft (hears mouse)


TO

in the air, but also help ft 30 60 90


it carry heavy prey
back to a nest of
m 10 20 30
hungry chicks. 616 ft (human hears mouse)
Barn Owls AT A GLANCE

dont hoot:
they screech


SIZE Body 1117 in (2944 cm) long

BIRD
S EYE VIEW 
HABITAT Forest, farmland, towns, grassland,
and semidesert
An owls eyes are so big that they cannot move.
Instead, the owls exible neck allows it to 
LOCATION Worldwide, except for the far north

swivel its head in an almost complete circle to


look behind it, or twist sideways to

DIET Mostly small mammals; sometimes birds

examine something in front.

Eyes are
adapted for
dim light

Sharp claws
are ready to
Wings spread out
grab prey
like a parachute
for landing

QU
PR IETEST F
EDA LYIN
TO G
R
SUPERNATURAL SENSES
BUNDLES OF FLUFF
PINPOINTING PREY Female Barn Owls usually
The owls heart-shaped face lay between four and
reects sound to amplify the seven eggs, but they
quietest squeak. Having an ear may not all survive. At
on each side of the face and around ve weeks, the
one higher than the other owlets start to lose
helps the brain calculate the their downy uff and
direction and height of a target. begin to grow their
adult ying feathers.
235
BEST DANCER
HONEY BEE
Forewing is
Female worker bees are great on the danceoor. Whenever one larger than
Thorax, or chest hindwing
nds a rich source of nectar she performs a dance that tells her fellow section of the
workers where it is. While the queen bee stays at home and lays eggs, bee contains
ight muscles
surrounded by hundreds of male bees called drones, thousands
of workers y out to collect energy-rich nectar and
protein-rich pollen to fuel the activities in the hive.

Antennae
help the bee
detect odors

Compound
The faster eye made up
she dances, of thousands
the nearer of tiny cells
the food
DANCING WORKER
When a worker nds food she doesnt keep it to Champion worker
herself. She returns to the hive and performs a Nectar is collected
Workers have many jobs: they keep the
dance to her sisters to let them know where to through its tubelike
mouthparts, or hive clean, defend it from intruders,
nd it. She does a round dance if its nearby and a and care for the young. They drink
proboscis
gure-eight or waggle dance if its farther away. nectar and process it in their stomachs
to make honey, and collect pollen in
special baskets on their legs.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE in (12 cm) long


A honey bee
 HABITAT Woodland and gardens
can tell workers
 LOCATION Europe, Africa, and Southern
Asia; introduced elsewhere
about food
 DIET Nectar and pollen

6 miles (10 km)


away
STATS AND FACTS
80
THOUSAND
COLONY SIZE

0
20,00080,000 workers

30,000 60,000 90,000

ED
M

VE
AX

40
25,00030,000 larvae & pupae
HI

ERS VISIT
BEE
S IN A
0 30,000 60,000 90,000
Wings are thin
A hive is home to 300800 drones
membranes PER MIN

OW
supported thousands of bees. If it
becomes overcrowded,

FL
by veins 0 30,000 60,000 90,000
a new queen is created. 1 queen
She then leaves to start
a new hive elsewhere. 0 30,000 60,000 90,000

Honey stomach is
where it stores nectar
to take back to hive

Stomach is where the


bee digests nectar and
pollen as food

Abdomen color warns


enemies of danger

Intestine

PANTRY
Worker bees build
a honeycomb from
beeswax produced by
glands on the underside of
the abdomen. The queen lays her eggs in
some of the cells; others are used to store
honey. The cells at the base of the hive
have thicker walls to support the extra
weight. The honey cupboard sustains the
hive during periods when food is scarce.

Venom sac is Hair traps


connected to pollen and
the stinger keeps bee
warm

SUPERNATURAL SENSES
Legsat least
three remain in
contact with
Pollen sac
surface when
is held in a LETHAL STING
walking
groove in the
leg called the Bees have a stinger
pollen basket that delivers venom
from a poison gland.
They are most likely to use
it when defending the hive.
Lower legs have
structures used A bee stinger is jagged, so when
for grooming and the insect attacks a thick-skinned
pollen removal enemy the stinger gets stuck. When the bee ies
away, part of its abdomen is torn off and it dies.
237
HAWK-EYED PREDATOR
DRAGONFLY
With enormous eyes that have an all-around view of their surroundings,
and two sets of independently moving wings, dragonies are fearsome Each eye is
made of lots
predators. Brilliant sight and acrobatic ying skills make them expert of tiny units
at catching moving insect targets.

Eyes are
large and
AT A GLANCE powerful

 SIZE Body 4 in (1.512 cm) long

 HABITAT Most habitats near fresh water

 LOCATION Worldwide

 DIET Other ying insects

Strong jaws to
tear up prey

6
STATS AND FACTS
VISION

MONTHS 30,000 Eye on the prize


MA

)
LT

.L Like nearly all insects, dragonies have


U
X

IFE A D
S PA N ( lenses per eye 25,000 50,000 compound eyes. This means that each

T
one is made up of thousands of tiny sight

S
The eyes of a dragony

E ND
units called lenses. Each lens is too small
are so big that they BRAIN

G OU
20% (information from other senses) and simple to see anything in detail,
cover most of the

G
I
S
insects head. 80% (visual information) but all the units work together to

B MP
help the dragony spot other

E
SPEED
TO P 0 100%
insects moving around it.

CO
36 MPH EY
HEAT-SEEKING INSECT
KISSING BUG AT A GLANCE

The Kissing Bug is attracted to the body heat of warm-blooded animals,


including humans. Most victims are asleep, so hardly notice when it lands on
their skin looking for a meal. The bite itself is harmless but the insect can carry
a nasty illness called Chagas disease, which can be fatal to humans.

STATS AND FACTS


18
MONTHS
BITE
80 (blood taken by one bug)

SIZE Body in (12 cm) long


HABITAT Grassland and human habitations


TE
LOCATION Central and South America
M

BI
30
XI


A

P
MU ES drops 20 40 60 80 100
M LIF N OF DIET Blood
AT I O
Once it bites, a Kissing TIME
Bug makes the most of 94% (to drink blood) MIN
UR

its meal. It can swell up 6% (to probe for blood vessel)


D

to four times its body


weight with blood 0 100%
before it lets go.

Pucker up
The name Kissing Bug comes from the
insects preference for parts of the body
where skin is thinlike the lips.

Long
mouthparts for
drinking blood

239
A female moth
can attract up
to 100 males
with her scent

TUNING IN
Emperor Moths smell with their
antennaeeach is coated with sensors
that pick up scent in the air. When one
antenna detects a stronger scent than
the other, the moth changes its course
so that it is always following the most
direct path to the source of the smell.
SUPER-SENSITIVE
SNIFFER
EMPEROR MOTH
A moths sense of smell is astonishing: a single molecule
of scent can be sensed 6 miles (10 km) awaythats even
better than a person smelling someone elses perfume in
another country. For an insect that ies by night, scent is
the best way to let others know where you are. Female
moths produce tiny quantities of a pheromone (air
chemical), which males follow in order to nd them.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Moth body length in (2 cm);


caterpillar body length up to 2 in (6 cm)

 HABITAT Heathland and open country

 LOCATION Europe and northern Asia

 DIET Adults do not feed; caterpillars eat


heather and bramble

4
STATS AND FACTS
WINGSPAN
12 in

WEEKS in 1 2 3
M

A
XI
A

MU SP cm 2 4 6 8
M LIFE

Adult moths do not


6+ miles (detects one

SUPERNATURAL SENSES
feed and do not live SMELL DETECTION
molecule of scent)
long, so they need to
nd a mate quickly. miles 2 4 6
Pheromone attraction
brings males and km 2 4 6 8 10 12
females together <0.006 miles (human)
even over long
distances. EGGS

H OF ANTE 100
GT N
EN
N
L

1
4
0 25 50 75 100 125

INCH
241
STRONGEST
PUNCH
MANTIS SHRIMP
Lightning-quick predators with a devastating punch,
mantis shrimp can kill with one blow. They probably
have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom and
are expert at detecting movement and judging distance.
They even have better color vision than humans. Seeing
their surroundings in such detail means that few animals
escape their notice.

AT A GLANCE

 SIZE Up to 14 in (35 cm) long,


depending on the species

 HABITAT Muddy, sandy, and gravelly


ocean oors and coral reefs, in shallow
coastal waters

 LOCATION Worldwide, with more


species in the tropics

 DIET Crabs, snails, and sh

STATS AND FACTS


20 YEARS
VISION 12 different color receptors
3 receptors (human)

0 3 6 9 12 15
M

A 10,000 units in one eye


XI
A

MU SP
M LIFE
0 5,000 10,000 15,000
The claws of the
SUPERNATURAL SENSES

mantis shrimp are STRIKE FORCE


lethal weapons that 4001,500
may be used as clubs
or spears. Each of its
eyes is a compound N 500 1,000 1,500 2,000
eye, made up of
many different units.
DEPTH SHARP EYESIGHT
up to 4,920 ft
Mantis shrimp have compound eyes.
RIKE SPEED
ST ft 1,500 3,000 4,500 6,000
Upper and lower bands of each eye
detect movement and can judge

75
m 500 1,000 1,500 2,000
distance for striking prey. A central
band concentrates on color vision,
allowing shrimp to see colors that
FT/SEC humans cannot, such as ultraviolet.
242
BEST
COLO
R VIS
ION
MOST EYES
SCALLOP
Most shelled mollusks seem to be dull-witted, slow-moving animals, but Rows of eyes
scallops have rows of complex eyes to see the world, and can swim rapidly Scallops cannot see detail as humans
can, but are able to detect shadows
by clapping their shells together. The soft body of the scallop is enclosed by and movementwhich is enough
a pair of hinged shells that open so they can feed on plankton on to spot predators. Scallop eyes also
detect the size of plankton so they
muddy and sandy seabeds. Shells create can open up their shells to get the
movement by most amount of food in.
clapping together
Tiny eyes
along edge of
eshy body

AT A GLANCE

STATS AND FACTS


18
MONTHS
EYE

number of eyes 50
40100 (usual range)

100 150 ES
EY

1
in 2 1


MBER OF

LIFE
S PA N

110
SIZE Shell 230 cm (12 in) long
mm 10 20 30


1
32 in (eyeball diameter)
The scallops eyes SHELL OPENS
7
8 in (human HABITAT Mostly coastal ocean waters
NU

eyeball diameter)


contain tiny mirrors
23% (around specks of food) LOCATION Worldwide
X

that improve the


A

amount of light they



M
DIET Mostly plankton
can gather, which
helps in muddy waters. 2550% (around bigger particles)
BEST AMBUSHER
TRAPDOOR SPIDER STATS AND FACTS
20 YEARS
BURROW
in 5
416 in (depth)
10 15

cm 10 20 30 40 50

N
A
Invisible under a lid made of silk and soil that XI in 1
2 1

A
MU SP
M LIFE
covers the entrance to its burrow, a Trapdoor Spider cm 1 2 3
A Trapdoor Spider has
waits patiently for its prey. When a passing insect superfast reactions to FOOD CONSUMPTION
1 in (trapdoor diameter)

triggers one of the silk trip lines that fan out from the ambush prey walking 90% (insects) 10% (other invertebrates)
across its trip lines.
burrow entrance, the Trapdoor Spider pounces.
T AMBU
S TES SH 0 100%
FA
Multipurpose fangs
A Trapdoor Spiders fangs inject venom
into its prey. The fangs also have small
barbs, which act like rakes to move soil
0 .03
around when the spider digs its burrow. SEC

Thick, shiny
black legs

AT A GLANCE

SUPERNATURAL SENSES

 SIZE H