Fun Fact Friday From Zoo 4 You!
1.) Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
These Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are one of the largest species of cockroach. They are named hissing cockroaches due to the noise they make when they feel threatened. They also make this hissing sound during battle with other cockroaches. The noise is made by air being forced through holes in the abdomen known as spiracles. Amazingly, the sound that the cockroaches make is around 90 decibels which is the equivalent to that of a lawnmower or a hair dryer!
These Hissing Cockroaches are our Zoo 4 You animal of the week!
2.) The Red Lionfish
Red Lionfish are natively found in the South Pacific and Indian oceans. They have now become much more widespread, being found in Florida, North Carolina and Bermuda. It is thought that this species of Lionfish have been released into the wild from aquariums and this is the reason they have established themselves in the Atlantic. Lionfish eat a variety of fish, shrimp and crabs in the wild but research has shown that Lionfish are able to live without food for up to 3 months without losing much body fat! Probably the most interesting thing about the Red Lionfish is that they are a venomous species of fish! They have needle like spines across their body that they use in order to ward of possible predators, although it is believed that the native Lionfish do not have any predators.
3.) The Atlantic Puffin
Puffins are a rather distinct looking bird that are often compared to the penguin because of their black and white markings, yet, they are actually completely unrelated. They are around 10 inches in height and have a vibrant, coloured beak. These birds are specially adapted to living out at sea. They have waterproof feathers that enable them to keep warm whilst floating on the surface of the water, or whilst swimming. Puffins are able to dive into the water as far as 200ft to catch prey! They use their wings to swim, flapping to get back to the surface. Their wings are not only used for swimming but they are rather efficient at flying too and can fly up to 55mph, flapping their wings up to 400 beats per minute!
4.) The Bumblebee Bat
Their official name is ‘Kitti’s Hog-Nosed bat’ but they are more commonly known as bumblebee bats. Bumblebee bats are not only the worlds smallest bat, but they are also the worlds smallest mammal, hence their nickname! They are around 3cm in length and have a wing span of about 17cms. The bumblebee bat was only discovered in the early 1970s so there is still a great deal that scientists do not know about them. They are now considered to be endangered in the wild due to destruction of their habitat by humans.
5.) The Rhinoceros
The name Rhinoceros comes from a combination of two Greek words, ‘Rhino’ meaning nose and ‘Ceros’ meaning horn. Their horns are made out of keratin, which is the same substance that our hair and nails are made from, not bone which is a common misconception. Their horns continue to grow throughout their life (just like our hair and nails) and the largest recorded horn was that of a White Rhino which measured a massive 5 feet! Rhinos are also the second largest land mammal after the Elephant!
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