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8 Animal Facts That Will Blow Your Kids' Minds

k-12

Your child has a wild imagination and a voracious appetite for odd trivia, and shares these gifts generously. Take a turn at dumbfounding your child with these eight bizarre facts from a rich natural source of astonishing factoids: the animal kingdom.

Hunting for Fresh Trivia

You want to encourage your child's sense of curiosity and wonder. But do you ever have days when you feel like you're being hounded by a budding scientist who swallowed The Guinness Book of World Records? Wouldn't it be great to preemptively strike out with some stupefying facts of your own?

Here are just a few incredible animal facts you can spout off to flaunt your impressive knowledge.

Fact #1: You Could Fit a Shark in Your Hand

Rumor has it that a dwarf lanternshark is in negotiations with the producers of Shark Week to star in an upcoming special called Bathtub: The Lair of the Mini-Shark. At less than eight inches long—just a little longer than the average human hand—this relative unknown is sure to make a big splash.

A dwarf lanternshark could fit in your hand.

Fact #2: A Giraffe's Legs are Strong Enough to Support Two Grand Pianos

A giraffe has spindly legs that look like they could easily fit into a four-legged pair of skinny jeans, yet they're capable of supporting almost one-and-a-half tons of weight. Nonetheless, they probably won't volunteer to move your piano or classic roadster…they're too busy carrying around their graceful, six-hundred-pound necks.

Giraffes can carry the weight of two grand pianos on their skinny legs.

Fact #3: 98% of All Animal Species are Spineless

Almost a million different kinds of animals fit into a category called ''invertebrates,'' since they lack a backbone. But just because they're spineless doesn't mean they're cowardly.

Fact #4: Hummingbirds Can Fly Upside Down and Backwards—and Cruise at Highway Speed

Because of the way their wings are attached to their bodies, hummingbirds can fly both forwards and backwards, and even upside down.

Hummingbirds can fly both backwards and upside down.

Their powerful pectoral muscles pump their wings up to 200 times every second, a speed not even visible to the human eye. And when male hummingbirds are out cruising for chicks, those feathers really fly…at about 60 miles per hour.

Fact #5: A Tarantula's Bite is Not as Bad as a Bee Sting

These overgrown, hairy spiders may be an arachnophobic's worst nightmare. But a bite from a tarantula's fangs is not nearly as painful as a bumblebee sting.

No wonder Muhammad Ali wanted to ''sting like a bee'' and not bite like a tarantula!

A bee

Fact #6: Electric Eels Have Their Own Batteries

The animal kingdom has a real battery-powered animal, and it isn't a pink rabbit pounding on a toy drum—it's the electric eel. An electric eel's ''power plant'' uses internal cells called ''electrocytes,'' that can store up a stunning amount of power, allowing the eel to dish out shocks of up to 600 volts.

Electric eels store a stunning amount of power in their electrocytes.

Fact #7: Cats' Purrs Can Rebuild Bone

Cats have it all figured out: They can sleep through half the day, get catered meals and maid service, and maintain healthy bones without pumping iron.

Scientists have found that the frequency of a cat's purr, around 26 Hertz, can actually help their bones to regenerate.

Fact #8: Tuataras Predated Dinosaurs

Is your child a walking encyclopedia of dinosaur facts? Your own knowledge of dinosaurs may owe more to The Flintstones than Jurassic Park, but imagine telling your child that you know about a kind of reptile that lived on the earth before dinosaurs came, millions of years ago.

Tuataras predate dinosaurs.

Weighing in at three pounds max, the tuatara almost looks like a mini-dragon, or a cross between a dragon and a dinosaur. You can still see live tuataras today, but you'll need to visit the land of kiwis and Bilbo Baggins: New Zealand.

A Treasure-Trove of Scientific Wonder

Wild about these animal kingdom facts? To explore more fascinating scientific wonders with your child, check out Study.com's Science for Kids. Our growing library of over 900 lessons will take you on a journey of exploration through the animal kingdom, and beyond.

By Michelle Baumgartner
November 2018
k-12 parent tips

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