As your kids get older, it gets harder to impress them with your smarts. But these fun and surprising animal facts are sure to blow their minds!
We sort of miss the days when our kids were small and were endlessly impressed by our vast knowledge. But as they get older, kids start to get wise to the fact that our knowledge? isn’t so vast! It’s just easier to impress young minds that haven’t yet begun to collect their own treasure trove of completely useless but nevertheless fascinating bits of trivia and knowledge. However, that doesn’t mean we should ever stop trying!
The satisfaction of dropping some random facts on your kids and watching their minds get blown in real time will never get old. So it’s our duty as parents to constantly up our game in the random facts department. And there’s no better category for random, fascinating facts than the animal world. We could live to be 150 and never know even half of what there is to know about animals!
But we can definitely file away some of these fun animal facts for kids for when we need to make them smile, laugh, or just help them remember that parents are all-knowing and will always come through a mind-blowing bit of trivia.
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10 First up in fun animal facts for kids: polar bears are playing tricks on us with their snowy fur.
When you think of polar bears, you think white fur, right? Well, you’d be wrong! Polar bear fur isn’t really white – it’s actually colorless. Every strand of hair is hollow, so it reflects light, making it appear white. And there’s more! A polar bear’s skin is actually black, which helps them retain warmth and keep them as toasty as possible in their frigid habitats.
9 Sea otters hold each other down, so to speak.
We can’t help but AWWWWWW every time we see a picture of a pair of otters floating around and holding hands. But that sweet sign of affection is a bit more meaningful. Sea otters sleep floating on their backs, so they hold hands with each other to keep from drifting apart. Sea otters also have the densest fur out of any mammal on the planet, with large males averaging around 800 million strands.
8 Chimpanzees: our closest animal relative?
You may have heard that humans and primates share a common ancestry and many characteristics. But did you know that humans and chimpanzees actually share 98.8% of DNA? Even with that molecular connection, there are still tens of millions of differences between the two species.
7 Puffins are in it for the long haul.
Now for a little fun fact about our bird friends! Puffins are petty cool little birds, mostly found in Iceland. But what makes them really special is how they set up their “homes” with partners. Puffins mate for life, and typically pair up with the same partner during each mating season – some partners stay together for decades! They also don’t build nests. Instead, they lives in burrows they dig with their beaks and feet, and they even dig a separate burrow as their bathroom.
6 You’ve got a friend in moo.
If you’re one of those people who says, “Cows!” every time they see cows out to pasture when you’re driving along, this fun animal fact is right up your alley. Cows are actually super social creatures and don’t like to be alone; if you ever see a cow standing off away from the herd for an extended period of time, they’re likely sick or about to give birth. In fact, cows actually have best friends who they tend to spend all their time with!
5 A little fun fact about a murder.
A murder of crows, that is! Crows are actually some of the smartest creatures on the planet. They’re so intelligent that they’ve been observed playing pranks on one another, they have regional dialects that they can change if needed, they recognize faces and often bring trinkets and gifts to humans they like, and they can even hold grudges against other animals and people. They’re also incredibly empathetic and sensitive, and hold funerals when a crow from their murder dies.
4 We’re nuts about squirrels!
These little critters are just too cute, and as it turns out, they’re pretty good for the planet, too! In fact, squirrels help the spread of oak trees more than any other animal. They hide or bury acorns in the ground to store food, but only end up recovering about 70% of them, so those forgotten acorns eventually sprout and grow into new oak trees.
3 Break me off a piece of that … starfish?
Starfish are a bit oddly named, since they aren’t actually fish. A starfish is actually an echinoderm, and more closely related to sand dollars and sea urchins. Starfish also have no brain and no blood! Starfish store all or most of their vital organs in their arms, which means that they are capable of regeneration. In fact some species, if they break into five separate pieces, can actually regenerate five entirely new starfish as long as each piece contains part of the central disk.
2 Oh, mama-dillo!
The armadillo might not top anyone’s list of favorite animals, but we think they’re pretty cool. For example, their outer body armor provides natural protection against predator. But what makes the nine-banded armadillo even cooler is their reproduction! Female nine-banded armadillos can actually delay birth in stressful situations, and females almost always give birth to four identical babies. Congrats, it’s quadruplets!
1 The best-dressed bird, always in a tuxedo.
Penguins are just about the cutest birds around, and we love how they don’t give a hoot about gender norms! Emperor penguins are serially monogamous and will stay with the same partner for the entire mating season. And even though female penguins lay the eggs, it’s daddy who carries the load during the egg’s incubation period! Male penguins carry their eggs on their feet and warm them with their breeding patch for two straight months. He also doesn’t eat during the entire incubation period!
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