I am an animal lover – always have been.
As I have grown older, however, my love of animals has become more selective. I primarily love mammals, especially fat or furry ones, and birds. I no longer adore insects and reptiles.
Here are my favorite wild animals. Do you agree with my selections?
- “Koala Bears” are not “bears;” they are Australian marsupials.
- Koalas are naturally mellow and carefree.
- They sleep up to 18 hours a day.
- They are fussy eaters, eating primarily eucalyptus leaves
- Eucalyptus leaves do not make them “high” or drunk.” That is a myth.
- They are on the decline due to diminishing habitat
- Giant Pandas or Panda Bears are native to South Central China.
- They have carnivorous teeth but eat bamboo and fruit.
- They are “lazy” and sleep and eat most of their day.
- They eat between 25-80 pounds of bamboo a day, and poop about 60 pounds.
- They are good tree climbers and swimmers.
- Their babies are considered the “cutest” animal.
- They are endangered.
- The entire world celebrates when a giant panda gives birth in a zoo.
- Quokkas are marsupials only found on two Australian islands.
- They are called “the happiest animal in the world” because of their natural perpetual smiles.
- They are nocturnal herbivores.
- One negative – they throw away their babies in order to escape predators.
- They are friendly and #QuokkaSelfies has become very popular on social media.
- They are a vulnerable species.
- These cow-like mammals are thought to have inspired mermaid legends.
- Manatees never leave the water and typically come up for air every 3-5 minutes.
- Their closest living relatives are elephants.
- Manatees are typically found in warm shallow coastal areas and rivers where they feed on sea grass, mangrove leaves, and algae.
- Weigh up to 1200 pounds and eat 10% of the weight each day.
- They have no natural predators; most injuries and death are caused by boats.
- They are a “vulnerable” species
- “Hippopotamus” comes from the Ancient Greek for “river horse”
- Hippo’s cannot swim
- They have very sensitive skin and secrete an oily red “Hippo Sunblock” that protects their skin from the sun’s rays and germs
- They are territorial, but only under water
- They can hold their breath up to 5 minutes
- Can run faster than a human
- Hippos can weight up to 4 tons (8,000 pounds)
- Hippos are the most dangerous African mammal, killing 400-500 people a year
- They are a vulnerable species.
- Elephants are the largest land animal, weighing up to 6 tons (12,000 pounds)
- They are constantly eating (12-18 hrs. every day) and need about 300 pounds of food a day
- The African and Asian species are distinguished by the size of their ears
- Their trunks can be used to smell, eat, drink (“straw”), breathe underwater (“snorkel”), make sounds (“trumpet”), clean and defend themselves, and pick up even tiny objects
- “Elephants never forget,” Their temporal lobe is larger and denser than humans.
- They are good swimmers
- Baby elephants stay with their moms up to ten years
- They use dirt and mud as sunscreens
- Survival information and other knowledge is passed down by their elders.
- The Asian elephant is endangered, and the African elephant is vulnerable.
- During winter bears hibernate up to 100 days
- Bears have excellent senses of smell, sight, and hearing
- Only one bear species lives in the southern hemisphere (“spectacled bear”)
- Polar bears are the largest bears and can swim up to 200 miles.
- Bears have a “sweet tooth” and love sweet berries.
- Mothers and cubs are extremely close
- There are eight species of bears, with brown bears being the most common
- They are natural diggers
- Adult bears are typically solitary
- Six bear species are vulnerable or endangered
- They are the heaviest tree dwelling animal
- They often eat with their feet
- Their powerful arms are stronger and longer than their legs
- They are endangered
- “Orangutan” is Malaysian for “humans of the forest”
- There are three species and they live only on two Asian islands (Borneo, Sumatra)
9. Sea Otters
- Sea otters have the densest fur of all mammals, about 1 million hairs per square inch
- They eat about 25% of their body weight each day (urchins, crabs, clams, snails)
- They can stay under water up to 4 minutes and dive up to 300 feet.
- They use rocks to crack open clams
- They hold hands and entangle themselves in kelp when they sleep to keep them from drifting away
- They can smell under water
- They are busy creatures and like to play
- Baby otters, born in the sea, can float, but not swim.
- The mothers keep busy grooming an aerating their fur to keep them buoyant.
- Mothers often forage 14 hours a day to feed herself and the baby. and forage for the baby. They often wrap the baby in kelp to anchor, it while she hunts.
- Of the 13 species of otters, 5 are endangered, 5 are threatened, and 2 are vulnerable
10. Sea Lions
- They can hold their breath up to 20 minutes
- They can swim up to 25 miles per hour, and dive up to 1,000 feet
- They eat a variety of fish
- They are an endangered species
- Male sea lions eat up 30-45 pounds of food every day. Female lions each 15-25 pounds
- Sea lions are very playful and like to body surf
- There are seven major species
- They are very social and travel in large colonies
- They have ear flaps that keep water out while swimming
- Their whiskers help them navigate
- They have excellent eyesight and the US government trains them to retrieve objects under water.
More Quokkas “Happiest Animal in the World”