The Animal Kingdom
Those with Backbones and Those Without
The Champions of the Animal Kingdom
Cheetahs can run up to 113 kph.
Dall porpoises can swim up to 56 kph.
Peregrine falcons can dive toward the ground at more than 320 kph.
North African ostriches are the fastest birds on land. They can run at speeds up to 72 kph. They are also the biggest bird. They can weigh 155 kg.
Sailfish can swim up to 109 kph.
The blue whale’s low-frequency pulses are as loud as 188 decibels. This is louder than a jet engine. A blue whale’s call can be detected more than 805 km away. On land, the loudest animals are howler monkeys. Their howls can be heard 4.8 km away.
Arctic terns migrate to and from the Antarctic - about 35,405 km round trip - each year. Among mammals, gray whales and northern elephant seals are the migration champions. They travel up to 20,900 km round trip each year.
Female Anopheles mosquitoes, which carry and transmit malaria, play a role in the deaths of more than a million people each year.
A single sea wasp (a kind of jellyfish with 60 tentacles, each 4 mlong) has enough venom to kill 60 adult humans.
The rhinoceros beetle can lift 850 times its own weight.
Asian elephants are born after a gestation period of 19 to 22 months.
Blue whales are the largest mammals of all time and the largest living animal. Females grow to a length of about 27 m. They may weigh well over 100 metric tons. The heaviest blue whale weighed more than 190 metric tons. The longest ever measured was more than 33 m.
African elephants are the heaviest land animal. They are also the second tallest land animal. Largebulls (males) weigh more than5,895 kg and are 3.5 m tall at the shoulder. Giraffes, which can grow to a height of 5 m, are the tallest land animals. Large males weigh more than 1,800 kg.
Australia's stout infantfish, slightly smaller than the better-known dwarf goby, is less than 1 cm long.
Adult bee hummingbirds, found in Cuba, weigh about 2 g.
Adult bumblebee bats, which live in Thailand, weigh about 2 g.
In the 1770s, British explorer Captain James Cook presented a Madagascar radiated tortoise to the royal family of Tonga. The tortoise lived until 1965. It was at least 188 years old when it died! Several Galápagos tortoises have lived past age 150.