Birds form one of six basic animal groups, with the others being amphibians, fish, invertebrates, mammals and reptiles. They are endothermic vertebrates, characterized by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. They reproduce by laying of hard-shelled eggs (eggs fertilize inside the female). The fossil record indicates that birds are the last surviving group of dinosaurs. So, they are also termed avian dinosaurs.
Birds (Aves) range in size and weight from the 5 cm (2 in) and 1.6-2 grams bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) and 104-156 kg (229-344 lbs) ostrich. Here are the top 15 largest (by body weight) living bird species.
Continue reading Top 15 Largest Living Bird Species
An alligator’s brain weighs only 8 or 9 grams, and it has the size of a walnut, but that don’t mean they are stupid. In fact, they’re much smarter than you’d think. In Everglades National Park in the United States, a 400-pound (181 kg) gator displays a clever way and uses a bait branch stick to catch egrets during breeding season.
Continue reading Gator Uses Bait Stick to Catch Egrets (Video)
Like crocodiles, snakes also suffer from a prevalence of “big fish” stories and over-exaggeration in the internet era. In fact, it is very difficult to measure how large actually a snake is, especially if it’s really big.
Continue reading Largest snakes of the world
If you search for the fastest land animals on the Internet, you will find many “fastest animals” lists, most of them are popular “top list” sites. But, in fact, there is a tendency to overestimate the speed of fast animals. Even the speed of the world’s fastest land animal, cheetah’s speed is usually highly overestimated.
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Here are the top five largest living fish species (within around 33,100 described species).
But, first of all, what is a fish? At first, it looks like an easy question, but in fact it is not. There are a wide range of animals we call “fish”, so it is not easy to define what makes a fish “a fish”. A general description: “a fish is any member of a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits” (wikipedia).
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Crocodiles (subfamily Crocodylinae) or true crocodiles are large aquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Although they are big, they suffer from a prevalence of “big fish” stories and over-exaggeration. In the Internet age, photographs of crocodiles manipulated digitally to make the animal look much larger than it is. But how big are they actually? Here are the top
five ten largest crocodiles ever recorded (when I wrote the post, I didn’t know about Gomek; and after I published it, the Guinness World Record book has accepted a claim that a 23 ft/7.01 meters male saltwater crocodile weighing 2,000 kg lives within Bhitarkanika Park in the state of Orissa, India).
Continue reading World’s Top 5 Largest Crocodiles Ever Recorded
Four Nile crocodiles have been found in Florida by scientists from the University of Florida. Between 2002 and 2004, the researchers have studied populations of crocodiles in the state. Previously, using DNA analysis, they found three Nile crocs: one was a foot long hatchling sitting on a porch in Miami. Another was found on the property of a private zoo in Homestead, and a third, also in Homestead, a 10-pound (4.5 kg) female, was captured in a public park.
Continue reading Nile Crocodiles Have Been Found in Florida
After the extinction of the dinosaurs, approximately 66 million years ago, the rise of mammals begun. There were mammals on earth before that date, but after the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event (a mass extinction of some three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth—including all non-avian dinosaurs), mammals took over the medium- to large-sized ecological niches.
Some of them reached enormous sizes, usually they were larger than today’s counterparts (with the exception of whales). Here are some of the largest known prehistoric mammals.
Continue reading Largest prehistoric mammals
Bite force is an important property of carnivore ecology, because these amazing animals need to kill their prey as easily as possible, and the bite force is an vital factor in this context. Here are the top 22 most powerful bites in carnivore land mammals.
Continue reading Top 22 most powerful bite forces in carnivore land mammals
An amazing and wonderful video that I came across a few years ago: Michael Fishbach, co-founder of The Great Whale Conservancy, his family and friends rescued a Humpback Whale from fishnets, and after being freed, the whale shows amazing appreciation to the rescuers.
Continue reading Humpback Whale Thanks to its Rescuers After Being Freed From Nets