Amur Leopards Stalk Prey in the Cold Russian Wilderness

by Sol-Saray, age 9

Did you know that there are different types of leopards in the world? A really interesting one is called the Amur leopard! These leopards weigh 80 pounds, which is 30 pounds less than the African leopard. They prey on mice, bunnies, boar, and deer.

Many people think that leopards live only in the savannas of Africa, but the Amur leopard inhabits southern Russia and northern China. Its large paws allow the leopard to walk on snow without sinking, working like snowshoes.

The Amur leopard hunts for prey in snowy hillsides. They hunch so low they almost touch the snow with their bellies. Their prey is distracted while finding something to eat in the cold winter of Russia. Then, the leopard unexpectedly jumps on their prey from 10 feet away. Amur leopards often drag their prey up into trees before eating. It's time for the leopard to eat! [read more]

Why You Shouldn't Keep Green Iguanas as Pets

by Malaya Lawson, age 9

Did you know that green iguanas can live up to 20 years in the wild but most live less than one year in captivity?

Green iguanas are very popular reptile pets in the United States, but they are very hard to care for. As a result, the majority of them die within their first year in captivity. Many of the owners end up releasing the iguanas or sending them to reptile rescue groups.

Iguanas are very active in the daytime looking for food and eating leaves, flowers, and fruits. They are exceptional swimmers, which helps them escape from predators. Green iguanas have sharp teeth and tails, which they use against their predators. They live primarily in tree canopies. The iguanas are so strong that they can jump down from as high as 40 feet and survive. They are also very sneaky. If a predator grabs an iguana by its tail, the tail can detach without damage. [read more]

Emperor Penguins: Adapted for Life in the Antarctic Wasteland

by Maya Maclin, age 9

Emperor Penguins live in Antarctica. Penguins are birds and have wings, but they swim with their wings instead of fly.

Emperor Penguin’s main colors are black and white but they also have a bit of orange on their necks. They swim in cold water, that’s why they have a thick coat of feathers. They spend most of their time with other penguins. Their average lifespan is 15 to 20 years. Penguins usually weigh around 88 pounds and can grow to 45 inches. Penguins breed during the winter. The mother lays one egg in December.

Penguins are carnivores so the mother penguin goes to catch fish for two months. The father penguin stands on his feet and he uses his brood pouch to warm the penguin eggs. When the mother penguin comes back, she eats the food and gives it to her babies by bringing it up from her stomach. Then she takes care of her children while the father leaves to get fish. [read more]

The Mysterious Extinction of an Ancient Predator

by Aissata Bah, age 10

Although saber-tooth tigers have been extinct for around 12,000 years, long-held beliefs that they died out due to hunger, climate change, and human hunting are turning out to be incorrect.

In an attempt to find the real reason, researchers have studied the fossil teeth of 15 saber-tooth tigers and 15 American lions that were recovered at the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles. These animal fossils ranged from about 11,500 to 35,000 years in age.

Scientists used a dental microwear analyzer to examine these fossils. The tool was developed by anthropologist Peter Ungar at the University of Arkansas. It generates three-dimensional pictures of the surface of a tooth. Eating red meat creates a parallel set of small scratches, but biting bones leaves larger and deeper pits. The investigation found a pattern of wear on the saber-tooth tiger teeth, and it looks similar to the pattern on the present-day African lion teeth. [read more]

Why You Should Never Race a Moose

by Haliah Berkowitz, age 10

Did you know that moose can run very fast even for their huge size? Moose are the biggest animals in the deer family. On average, they weigh almost 2,000 pounds. Despite their huge size, they are extremely fast, both on land and in water. They can run up to 35 miles per hour or swim up to 10 miles without stopping. In fact, a five day old calf can outrun a grown human.

Given their size, adult male moose don’t have many predators. Animals like bears, wolves and cougars like to prey on moose calves instead. The biggest threat to adult male moose is getting struck by a car.

When it comes to the living conditions for moose, they tend to inhabit cold snowy areas. Their hooves are wide and allow them to walk on the snow with ease. During warmer temperatures, moose like to spend their time in the water to keep cool. [read more]

The Giant Panda Is a Gentle and Shy Creature

by Penelope Lawson, age 7

The giant panda is an endangered animal that lives in bamboo forests in China. There are only about 1,500 giant pandas left in the wild and their natural habitat is getting smaller, since they do not like living around people and there are fewer bamboo species in the forests too.

Since giant pandas live in bamboo forests, bamboo makes up 99 percent of what they eat. They eat almost every part of the bamboo plants, both the shoots and the leaves. However, pandas do not eat only plants. They are omnivores, meaning that they can also eat small animals, like fish and mice. Pandas only digest 20 percent of the food they eat. Because of this, they have to eat a lot of food, often 15 percent of their body weight in 12 hours.

Through time, pandas evolved to be able to eat bamboo. They have big, flat molars to chew on the thick stems. Pandas can hold bamboo in their front paws because they have bigger wrist bones that play the role of thumbs. [read more]

Did you know that there are different types of leopards in the world? A really interesting one is called the Amur leopard! These leopards weigh 80 pounds, which is 30 pounds less than the African leopard. They prey on mice, bunnies, boar, and deer. [read more...]
Did you know that green iguanas can live up to 20 years in the wild but most live less than one year in captivity? [read more...]
Emperor Penguins live in Antarctica. Penguins are birds and have wings, but they swim with their wings instead of fly. [read more...]
Although saber-tooth tigers have been extinct for around 12,000 years, long-held beliefs that they died out due to hunger, climate change, and human hunting are turning out to be incorrect. [read more...]
Did you know that moose can run very fast even for their huge size? Moose are the biggest animals in the deer family. On average, they weigh almost 2,000 pounds. Despite their huge size, they are extremely fast, both on land and in water. They can run up to 35 miles per hour or swim up to 10 miles without stopping. In fact, a five day old calf can outrun a grown human. [read more...]
Penguins are an amazing species. They have excellent vision and can swim at up to nine miles an hour. Here are a couple of interesting facts about penguins. [read more...]
The giant panda is an endangered animal that lives in bamboo forests in China. There are only about 1,500 giant pandas left in the wild and their natural habitat is getting smaller, since they do not like living around people and there are fewer bamboo species in the forests too. [read more...]
If you see a king cobra, you should probably run away! King cobras are able to raise their heads off the ground enabling them to look directly at an adult’s eye. This isn't the only frightening fact about them, in fact, the king cobra’s venom is so deadly that it can kill 20 people, or even an animal as big as an elephant with one bite. [read more...]
Except for humans, wolves (Canis Lupus) are the largest land mammals most commonly found all over the world. Some wolves were tamed for the first time in East Asia 15,000 years ago; they are the ancestors of dogs and are the largest members of the dog family. [read more...]
Plastic and garbage can hurt many animals, including young black bears. One Wisconsin family found a bear that had its head stuck in a plastic food container at Marsh Miller Lake in Chippewa County. [read more...]
The Axolotl, also known as the “water monster” in the Aztec language, is a unique animal that only lives in the mountains of Mexico. [read more...]
Did you know anacondas eat their prey whole, even crocodiles? [read more...]
When the boomslang snake bites a chameleon, its blood-destroying venom kills the chameleon in a few seconds. Next, it swallows the prey whole. [read more...]
Fennec foxes have different body parts that help them manage with the extreme temperatures of the deserts in Northern Africa and the Middle East. It has a diet of small prey. [read more...]
Penguins coats are black and white which serves as camouflage in order to hide from predators. All 17 different species of penguins look different but similar. Evolution scientists don't know how penguins got their name but it may have came from the word pinguis which means fat in Latin. [read more...]
Did you know the first land animals lived 450 million years ago? [read more...]
Many people are afraid of sharks. But here are some facts that make sharks interesting and not as scary as we imagine. [read more...]
Did you know cats can make over 100 vocal sounds while dogs can only make ten? [read more...]
Did you know that the female bearded dragon can lay up to 35 eggs in a burrow? [read more...]
Did you know that baby penguins are called chicks? 95 percent of chicks make it through childhood. [read more...]
Did you know that there were prehistoric giant animals? Well, here are just a few, and they are pretty amazing. [read more...]
Did you know that millions of years ago, there were fish with armor? [read more...]
Everyone knows that dinosaurs lived a long time ago. But do you know about the other ancient animals that roamed the Earth then too? [read more...]
Do you know where Tasmanian Devils live? Tasmanian Devils live in Tasmania, which is an island near Australia, where they get their name. [read more...]
Did you know that in the United States, there is one dog for every three people? Dogs not only make great pets, they are also very unique. [read more...]
Do you know that an octopus can camouflage when it feels threatened? It does this by changing its color, pattern, and texture. [read more...]
There are different dogs in the dog family. They are all a little different. [read more...]
There are about 37 different species of wildcats. Some of these species are cat cousins such as the serval, ocelot, and lynx. These cats are scary because they can bite you and jump on you. However, they can also change colors depending on the season. Here are some more facts about these cat cousin [read more...]
Animals today are different from South American animals that lived 100,000 years ago when the continent used to be an island. It had animals that weren’t found anywhere else. Here are some of those animals. [read more...]
Poison dart frogs are found in South and Central America. [read more...]
Did you know that the cottonmouth snake is venomous? [read more...]
Did you know that pumas go by many different names? [read more...]
Have you seen a white-tailed deer in Wisconsin? Did you know they have unique skills that can help them survive? [read more...]
Vancouver Island is home to the coastal wolves. These wolves can survive on land and in water. [read more...]
Clouded leopards are very rare and one of the most mysterious cats in the world. [read more...]
Little Whale begins her first journey north at one-month-old. She is a baby humpback. She and her mom are swimming to the North Atlantic ocean for food. Little Whale’s mom has not eaten all winter. They swim 30 to 60 miles each day, only stopping to rest or nurse. Little Whale’s mom feeds her milk from her nipples tucked into slits in her skin. Little Whale has to come up to the surface for air every five minutes, as her lungs are not fully developed. Her mother, on the other hand, can last 40 minutes under water. [read more...]
You may think that animals can’t use camouflage, but they can. They use camouflage to hide from enemies like eagles and lions. [read more...]
Wolves run in packs, which function like a family. They cooperate to raise pups and find food, but dogs are much different. A new study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that wolves are much better at cooperation than dogs. [read more...]
Tiger sharks are very unique and are only found in a few places around the world. Their population might be small, but they are creatures to be feared. [read more...]
Snow leopards do not live in the Antarctic, but most do live in cold climates. To keep warm, they store fat and have lots of layers. The extra fat is very important for cold weather animals like snow leopards so that they keep warm throughout the winter. [read more...]
Armed with sharp teeth and night vision, the Bengal tiger is one of the most powerful hunters in the wild. [read more...]
Snowy owls, also known as arctic owls or great white owls, are really interesting animals because of what they eat and where they live. Snowy owls eat all sorts of things including rats, small birds, lemmings, and even animals like large hares or medium-sized geese. These animals reside in the arctic tundra, near lakes and the ocean, since they like to be around colder temperatures. [read more...]
Water-holding frogs have superpower like abilities. [read more...]
Did you know that gibbons are a type of ape? Great apes are related to the gibbons, but the gibbons are called lesser apes because they are smaller. [read more...]
Compared to other western lowland gorillas, Koko's ability to interact and mimic with humans was superior. Koko the Gorilla became well known around the world with her knowledge of human sign language. She also took a picture of herself in a mirror for the cover of National Geographic in 1978, and adopted a cat named All Ball. [read more...]
At first glance, an Umboina, otherwise known as a tree-hopper, looks just like another thorn on a branch. The tree-hopper is very small, measuring only one centimeter long. It can escape predators because it is camouflaged to look like a thorn, which makes it hard to find. If it were discovered, the tree-hopper’s spiky shape would make it hard to swallow, discouraging the predator from eating it. [read more...]
Did you know that the Arctic fox can outsmart predators like wolves or polar bears? [read more...]
Parrots belong to the order of psittaciformes which includes more than 350 birds. To recognize a parrot, a bird must have a curved beak and its feet must have four toes: two that point forward and two that point backward. Parrots’ size can range from about three and a half to 40 inches. The heaviest bird is called the Kakapo, which can weigh about nine pounds. The smallest parrot is the buff-faced pygmy parrot, which weighs one quarter of a pound. [read more...]
Many people are interested in lions because of their extreme strength and their diet. It is rare for lions to eat humans or even attack them, but in the 1930s and 1940s, prides of lions in Tanzania didn’t eat like normal lions. Instead, they were hungry for human flesh! During those times, they hunted and killed nearly 1,500 people in 15 years. [read more...]
The Saber Tooth Tiger was a carnivorous prehistoric mammal. Its most famous features, two long canines on its upper jaws, could grow up to eight inches long. These ferocious tigers’ teeth helped them kill their prey, including horses, bison, and mastodons. Although their canines were long and powerful, they were also fragile and could easily break while hunting. Saber Tooth Tigers also had small canine teeth on their lower jaws, which were about the same size as human molars. [read more...]
Even though tigers only hunt once every five to six days, they are experts at killing. Tigers have orange fur with black stripes. Their fur helps them hide in tall grass, especially at night when they are more active. [read more...]
Wisconsin is known for many things including dairy and fishing. Walleye is a favorite fish of tourists to Wisconsin, but unfortunately these sought-after fish are currently at risk. [read more...]
Researchers from the University of Western Australia have discovered a rare male dolphin sexual display. Male dolphins often try to get a mate by showing off their strength to impress female dolphins. Researchers recently found out male dolphins also give gifts, such as sea sponges. Male dolphins use their beaks to take sea sponges from the sea floor and bring them to the female dolphins as a gift. This behavior has not been observed in other non-human mammals. Scientists think dolphins likely give gifts for the same reasons humans do—to impress females. [read more...]
The aye-aye is a type of lemur that only lives in Madagascar, an island of Africa. Aye-ayes have long black fur with white tips. Each hair is about four inches long. These interesting-looking creatures also have dark rings around their eyes and long bushy tails. Like all lemurs, aye-ayes have a fleshy nose. [read more...]
by Camila Cruz, age 10 There are many types of apes in the world, one of which is called the orangutan. Orangutans live in the lowland rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo—two islands in Southeast Asia. To protect them from heavy rains, orangutans have long body hair, especially around their shoulders, which protects them from the rain. They can’t stand on their legs for too long because they are short and weak and cannot hold their weight. Their hands have four long fingers and their thumbs are opposable. They also have large toes, their big toe is also opposable To swing and climb through the trees they use their long strong arms. [read more...]
The lazy leaf-eating animals known as Sloths are slow because of the food they eat. Leaves provide very little nutrients, meaning sloths don’t have much energy to spend. [read more...]
Finding partners can be a lot more fun than eating worms when you are an animal. [read more...]
A red panda looks like a bear and a raccoon mixed together. They can be found in Nepal, Bhutan, Southern Tibet, Northern Burma, Yunnan, and the Sichuan provinces of china. You may also find some in India. [read more...]
Did you know the Dodo bird was once the biggest bird in the world? Sadly, they’re now extinct because people hunted them down. Before humans found them in 1590, Dodo birds lived a good life on the island of Mauritius. [read more...]
Polar bears and black bears are part of the same family, although they live in different parts of the world. Polar bears are giants that live in the Arctic Circle, while black bears live in the forests of Canada, the United States and Mexico. [read more...]
Lions, cheetahs, and jaguars are often placed in the same category, but they are very different. [read more...]
Aunque los tigres sólo matan cada cinco o seis días, son cazadores expertos. Los tigres tienen rayas negras y piel naranja, lo cual les ayuda a esconderse en la hierba alta, especialmente en la noche cuando son más activos para cazar. [read more...]
There are different kinds of apes, including the bonobo and the chimpanzee. Both are considered great apes, a group that includes gorillas—and humans. [read more...]
Lurking in the waters of southeastern Asia, the gharial crocodile is one of the most ancient-looking animals in existence. [read more...]
The Arctic wolf lives in northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland and northern Europe. This furry, fierce species is capable of doing many great things. [read more...]
Cavia Porcellus is the scientific name for guinea pigs, plump and tailless rodents who are also known as “cavies.” [read more...]
The stonefish is the most venomous fish on planet earth. A delicacy in Asia, stonefish are sometimes displayed in aquariums because of their strange features. [read more...]
Did you know that there are many levels of endangered species, not just one? Being “endangered” means the population of a species is becoming dangerously low. [read more...]
Wolves are ferocious, dangerous animals. These animals have 42 deadly teeth and powerful jaws, which they use when hunting together in packs. [read more...]
Paleontologists have argued over the years about whether dinosaurs were cold-blooded or warm-blooded. Due to varying evidence, multiple theories have emerged. [read more...]
Dragonflies are usually seen as dainty insects, but in reality they are very ferocious. Dragonflies gobble down their prey after catching it in mid-air. They seem to have an infinite appetite, they will continue eating as long as there is still food available. [read more...]
The aye-aye is an interesting animal related to chimpanzees and apes. Some people consider this creature bad luck. Aye-ayes are only found on the island of Madagascar. These animals do not look like primates at first sight, but they are family to monkeys and humans. [read more...]
Es un mito que la sangre de los reptiles es fría. Se dice que tienen la sangre fría porque no pueden regular la temperatura de sus cuerpos de la misma manera que los mamíferos. Dependen del sol para calentarse y retomar la energía. Por lo tanto, los reptiles cuando se ven perezosos calentándose al sol, no más tienen frío. [read more...]
Home to millions of species, the rainforest has many levels. The highest level is called the canopy. [read more...]
Unlike most beetles, giraffe weevils have long necks. This unique species has many other interesting characteristics to learn about, too! [read more...]
Polar bears are gigantic creatures with big appetites. While they subsist mostly on ringed seals, they eat many things including beluga whales. In winter, polar bears also eat walrus calves, fish, and muskox. During the Arctic summer, they eat small mammals, birds, and eggs. They hunt by stalking resting seals or by using their webbed paws to dog-paddle to reach prey in the ocean. [read more...]
Jaguars are one of the biggest hunters that live in the rainforest. These predators eat a variety of smaller animals, including armadillos, monkeys and deer. Jaguars kill their prey by creeping up on them and using their sharp teeth to bite through the prey's skull. [read more...]
Did you know that crocodiles cry? They cry because their eyes are dry and tears refresh them. [read more...]
The mako shark has a reputation for being one of the deadliest killers in the world's temperate, tropical, and sub-tropical oceans and seas. With jaw-dropping speed, this lethal predator sinks its sharp teeth into its victim’s flesh, making escape nearly impossible. [read more...]
Dogs by Sarah Phillips is an informative book about different kinds of dogs. This book also offers advice about what humans should do to take care of their dogs. [read more...]
With the appearance of a mini dinosaur, the Australian frilled lizard is one of the most strangely awesome reptiles. Only 20 inches long and fewer than two pounds, this little lizard wanders the tropical and wooded areas of Australia and New Guinea. [read more...]
One might not think that penguins can live in warm places. However, a variety of penguin species actually live in South America, Australia, New Zealand, and even South Africa. [read more...]
Chimpanzees are among the smartest and most resourceful of animals. They even know how to make shoes to protect their feet! [read more...]
The Komodo dragon is one of the largest lizards in the world. With a mouthful of sharp, deadly teeth it can kill its victim in one bite. [read more...]
Unfortunately, animals are unable to call 911 when they are in danger. However, many species are able to protect themselves in a different way—through camouflage. Animals practice camouflage, the ability to look like their surroundings, by changing their color or by having a skin pattern that looks like the environment around them. [read more...]
Chameleons are known for their remarkable camouflaging abilities; however, one species, the Jackson’s chameleon, also has the unique ability to move its eyes independently. Because its eyes lie at the tip of swiveling turrets, the Jackson’s chameleon can see in two different directions at once. [read more...]
Emperor penguins on the world’s coldest continent have recently been observed sitting in traffic. Temperatures as low as -60°F have forced these Antartican creatures to huddle in large masses to conserve energy and keep their young warm. [read more...]
Since cheetahs have reputations for being fast and powerful cats, some might not know that they are actually endangered. [read more...]
Decades ago, the great roadrunner got its name for running in front of stagecoaches. Found in Mexico and parts of the southwestern United States, this species eats a variety of creatures including insects, lizards, snakes, birds, rodents, eggs, fruit and seeds. [read more...]
Crocodiles have been around since the dinosaur era. Crocodiles are large fierce hunters. [read more...]
About 30 million years ago cats, dogs and bears were seen differently from how we see them now. It was a completely different time period; things that may not be acceptable now, were in fact a part of daily life back then. [read more...]
Did you know that cookie-cutter sharks glow luminous green under natural lighting? This tiny shark uses this glow to lure its victims when hunting. [read more...]
The black mamba is an incredible reptile. It is a large poisonous snake, in fact, the largest venomous snake in Africa. [read more...]
There are many animals that spend their entire life in trees. Throughout their lives, koalas will only go down from a tree to move between them. [read more...]
While lions are often referred to as ‘Kings of the jungle,’ it is actually tigers that are native to this environment. Shadows casted from tall trees along with tigers’ stripes help them blend into the deep jungles and tall grasses where they most commonly live. [read more...]
The gray wolf is an interesting animal that was recently saved from extinction by over-hunting. The population is starting to increase again because of laws that restrict people from hurting them. [read more...]
Birds are big, bold and strong. Their light skeletons are what allow them to fly above all the other animals. [read more...]
Peafowl are fascinating animals to learn about. Peafowl are huge birds that don’t fly very well, and spend most of their time on the ground searching for food and a place to nest. [read more...]
Flamingos are amazing creatures. They have a lot of physical characteristics that make them unique. [read more...]
Clown fish are at risk of being endangered. Clown fish live in sea anemones that grow on coral reefs. Because of climate change, scientists fear that coral reefs will die and the clown fish won’t have a place to live. [read more...]
Some animals are too small to fight other animals so they have to come up with ways to hide. They do this by camouflaging themselves. [read more...]
Lions are unique animals. They can be sociable, cruel, mean, and lazy all at the same time. [read more...]
Dogs were the first animals to be tamed. The word tamed means trained to live with human beings. Domestic dog fossils dating back 10,500 years were found in Idaho. The fact that dogs are natural scavengers, and were always around human camps searching for scraps was the beginning of the training relationship between humans and dogs. [read more...]
Mammals are creatures with warm blood and fur. They also feed their babies with milk that they produce themselves. [read more...]
The Siberian tiger is one of the world’s most dangerous predators. It is found in China, Russia, and North and South Korea. They are the largest living cats in the world. [read more...]
Some of the first creatures to make their home in the ocean were worms, trilobites, and sea scorpions. [read more...]
Walking on water may seem impossible, but some animals are able to do it. Surprisingly, even large, heavy animals can! While you would expect that only small, light animals could do this balancing act, but animals like geese and lizards can too – as long as they are quick. [read more...]
The Giant Panda is a beautiful bear that only lives in Xifan Mountains in Sichuan, China. It is very rare and is an endangered species. Giant pandas have unique physical features. [read more...]
Dolphins are more similar to people then we may realize. They communicate, drink water, need air, and use body language like us. They are also mammals like we are. [read more...]
Many people think that reptiles and amphibians are the same, but they are actually very different. [read more...]
Did you know that some turtles can live to be over 50 years old? There are many different types of turtles living all over the world. [read more...]
A mysterious infection is endangering the bat population. [read more...]
Oil spills can harm many animals. [read more...]