Fun Facts About Mammals
  • There are more than 4,200 species of mammals. All but two give birth to live young. The other two - the Duck-Billed Platypus and the Echidna - hatch their young from eggs.
  • Elephants have huge feet and can weigh more than five tons. But they have big, soft, spongy feet that spread their weight out so well they barely even leave footprints.
  • Eucalyptus is used to make cough drops -- and because koala bears eat so much eucalyptus, they smell like cough drops. The smell helps them keep fleas away.
  • A female Pacific Grey Whale gestates and delivers a 2000 pound baby, migrates over 10,000 miles, and produces 6 tons of breastmilk without eating a bite of food -- using just her blubber for fuel.
  • Many mammals spend their childhood running, jumping, and playing, but giraffe calves play less because they need to use their energy to grow. Giraffes protect themselves by being big, so their goal is to grow as large as they can, as fast as they can.
  • Shrews have so little body fat they cannot go more than a couple of hours without food. Missing a meal is a sure way to a quick death. A good night's sleep could be fatal.
  • Hooded Seals go from infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood in just four days - the shortest childhood of any mammal.
  • Bats hang upside-down because they can't stand right-side up. Their leg bones are too thin to hold up their bodies.
  • A polar bear looks white, but he isn't really. His long, shaggy hairs are colorless and hollow. Beneath his hair, the skin is black.
  • Hippopotamuses give birth and breastfeed under water - even though almost all their predators live in the water.
  • Bats live 20-30 years, remarkably long for such a small animal.