I have some very interesting friends and I wanted to share a bit about them with you. If you have more fascinating facts that you would like to contribute, please email them my way.
PS: This page is set at a reading level for age 13+.
A baby bear is called a cub. There are eight species of bears; three of which live in North American. How many can you name? My friend Wendy will sometimes sees black bears strolling down her street and in her local forests.
The beaver is the national animal of Canada. Their sharp teeth help them cut down trees to make dams. Their flat tails and webbed back feet help them swim in the water.
The echidnas and playtypus are the only known egg-laying mammals. This spiny anteater has modified hair, called quills, that are not poisonous. The baby echidna is called a puggle and it is smaller than a jellybean when it is born.
Due its tiny wings, this bird cannot fly but thanks to its long legs, the emu can run 50 kilometers in 1 hour. Also, as a result of its long legs, the emu is the second tallest bird in the world. Can you guess which bird is the tallest bird in the world? Usually, the male Emu sits on the eggs. He does not eat or drink for about 8 weeks while brooding the eggs. The emu egg is so large that it can make an omelette to feed at least four people. Use the illustration to figure out the unusual color of Emu eggs.
Kangaroos are the largest of the marsupials. Their only natural habitat is Australia. Baby kangaroos, more affectionately called joeys, are born incompletely developed. When they are born, they are the size of a thumbnail, have no ears and back legs, and are blind. They will grow in their mother’s pouch until around six months. There can be two joeys in the pouch at once; one tiny and one fully developed.
Koalas are also marsupials which means that they are mammals who have a pouch to carry their young. They sleep about 23 hours a day and really like to eat eucalyptus leaves.
The largest of the manta rays can have a wingspan over 7 meters which is about the height of a two-story house. The graceful way it swims through the water looks like a bird flying.
Male moose can have antlers that weigh 30 kilograms! Just like cattle, a male moose is called a bull, a female moose is called a cow and a young one is called a calf. Most moose are found in North America.
Do you know the plural of moose? How about the plural of goose?
Quokkas also have a pouch for their young babies. They are about the size of a domestic cat. They are mainly nocturnal which means that they are awake at night and sleep during the day. Naturally, they only exist in a few places in Australia. They have been dubbed “the happiest animal on the planet” because of their very cute smile. In 1696, a Dutch explorer saw them on an island off the coast of Western Australia. He thought they were rats and so he called that island Rottnest (Rats’ Nest) Island.
SOUTHERN CROSS (also called Crux Constellation)
In the Southern Hemisphere, the Southern Cross Constellation (group of stars) can be used to calculate due south. Historically, these four bright stars were such an important navigational tool that this constellation is on Australia and New Zealand’s national flags. In fact, five countries in the Southern Hemisphere have the Southern Cross on their national flag. Can you find the Southern Cross in the book?
Some turtles can live to be 100 years old. The females return to the beach they were born at to mate and lay their eggs. Conversely, many male turtles will never return to the beach they were born at. Scientists claim that they have been on earth for hundreds of millions of years.
There are about 90 different species of whales. Whales, kangaroos and humans are mammals. The one Mamma Kangaroo visited is a Southern Right Whale. The Blue Whale is the largest animal on the earth and some weigh more than the heaviest dinosaur. Impressively, compared to humans, they barely use the world’s resources and don’t pollute. They help to provide a significant amount of the oxygen you breathe. According to the International Monetary Fund, “one whale is worth thousands of trees.”
WHISKY JACK/CANADIAN JAY
The Whisky Jack name comes from the Algonquin name for these friendly birds, namely Wiskedjak.They have a mutually beneficial relationship with moose because it eats the parasites off its back.
Currently, there is a movement in Canada to make this bird its national bird.