Here are some fascinating facts about mammals that you probably don”t know! Read and learn.
Fastest-Panting Wild Dog
The big-eared Fennec fox (Fennecus zerda) has a novel way of cooling down in its Saharan home. When the temperature reaches 38°C (100°F), it loses heat by panting at a rapid rate of 690 breaths per minute!
Strongest Mammal Family
In tests, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) produced a bite force quotient (the scientific measure of the power of an animal bite relative to its size) of 181. By comparison, the tiger’s bite force quotient is 127 and the lion’s mere 112.
Largest Mammal Family
Native to the dry savannah and open woodland areas of sub-Saharan Africa, a typical adult male giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) measure between 4.6 m and 5.5 m (15-18 ft) tall. The tallest recorded giraffe was a 5.8 m (19 ft) Masai bull (G.c. tippelskirchi) named George, received by Chester Zoo, UK, on 8 January 1959.
Despite its undeserved reputation, the Three-toed sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)of tropical South America is not really a lazy creature-it is just very slow. On the ground, its average speed is 1.8-2.4 m (6-8 ft) per minute (0.1-0.16 km/h; 0.07-0.1 mph), but in the trees it can accelerate to 4.6 m (15 ft) per minute (0.27 km/h;0.17 mph)!
Africa’s hyraces are small mammals that superficially resemble rodents but are most closely related to the Africa elephant (Loxodonta Africana) – the largest mammal at 4-7 tonnes (8,800-15,400lb). Despite links to the biggest of land beasts. The Yellow-spotted rock hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei), is no bigger than 47 cm (18.5 in) in total length –adult specimens can be as short as 32.5 cm (12.7in)- and weighs a mere 2.4 kg (5.29 lb), at most.
By comparison, the smallest land-dwelling mammal is Savi’s pygmy shrew (Suncus etruscus), a tiny insect-eating mammal that inhabits the Mediterranean and southern Asia regions. The shrew is about the size of a human thumb, with an average body length of 36-53 mm (1.4-2 in), tail length of 24-29 mm (0.9-1 in) and weighs just 1.5-2.6 g (0.05-0.09 oz).
Lightest Egg-Laying Mammal
Of the five species of monotreme, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) of mainland Australia and Tasmania is the lightest. Male platypuses typically weigh 1.0-2.4 kg (2.2-5.2 lb) while females weigh just 0.7-1.6 kg (1.5-3.5 lb).
The Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) can only digest around 21% of all the bamboo that it consumes. Consequently, it must eat up to 38% of its own weight in bamboo shoots each day.
Largest Mammal Genoma
An animal’s genome is the map of all of its genetic information and is found in the nucleus of every cell in its body. The Red vizcacha rat (Tympanoctomys barrerae) has a genome containing 16.8 picograms (1 picogram =1 trillionth of a gram) of DNA. Most other mammals have a genome containing only 6-8 picograms. The red vizcacha also has the most chromosomes of any mammal with a total of 102 chromosomes, split into 51 pairs. By comparison, humans have only 46 chromosomes, divided into 23 pairs.
The Naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is a bizarre-looking mammal that spends its life in underground burrow systems beneath East Africa’s drier tropical grasslands. An extremely social creature, mole rats reside in colonies and can live for up to 28 years.
Fastest Land Mammal over Short Distances
When measured over a short distance, the Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) can maintain a steady maximum speed of approximately 100 km/h (62 mph) on level ground, making it the fastest land mammal over short distances.
Fastest 100 m by a Land Mammal
A prime example of a speedy cheetah is Sarah, an eight-year-old that ran 100 m (328 ft) in 6.13 seconds at Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, USA, on 10 September 2009, giving her the record for the fastest 100 m by a land mammal, trouncing Usain Bolt’s (Jamaica) 100 m time of 9.59 seconds.
Fastest Land Mammal over Long Distances
However, Sarah’s speed has no staying power compared with that of a pronghorn (Antilocapra Americana). Native to western North America, pronghorns have been recorded traveling continuously at 56 km/h (35 mph) for as far as 6 km (4 miles), giving them the title of the fastest land mammal over long distances.
Fastest Marine Mammal
Finally, the fastest marine mammal is the bull Killer whale (Orcinus orca). On 12 October 1958, one specimen was recorded travelling at 55.5 km/h (34.5 mph) in the north-eastern Pacific.
Boniest Mammal Tail
The Long-tailed pangolin (Manis tetradactylus) has up to 47 vertebrae in its tail-more than any other mammal. All eight species of pangolin, or scaly anteater, have impressive spines and claws that are composed of keratin, the same substance as human fingernails.
Longest Whale Tooth
The ivory tusk of the male narwhal (Monodon monoceros) grows to an average length of roughly 2 m (6 ft 6 in) but can exceed 3 m (9 ft 10 in) and weigh up to 10 kg (22 lb). In past centuries, the single (or, very rarely, paired) spiraled tusks were sometimes thought to be unicorn horns when found washed up on the beach.