Weird and wonderful animal facts of the week

 

Three animals in one?

The platypus is quite the interesting animal. It has a beak like a duck, the body of an otter and the tail of a beaver. In fact, it’s so weird that the scientists who first discovered it thought someone was playing a trick on them! Pretty cute though right?

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Run Ostrich run!

The Ostrich is the biggest bird in the world, being 2.7 metres tall (8.8 feet!) which makes them taller than basketball players! They can also weigh more than 150 kilograms- no wonder they can’t fly… Their long legs make them pretty difficult to keep up with though. In an animal sports day Ostriches would outrun even horses!

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Sea Cows

The dugong looks like a small whale with the tail of a dolphin, however scientists discovered it’s actually related to elephants. Dugongs are also known as sea cows because they graze on seagrasses on the ocean floor. Funny fact? In the past, people used to mistake them for mermaids! Would you be fooled?

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Scorpion surprise

With their hard shells, scorpions might remind you of lobsters, but they are in fact related to spiders. Scorpions can be found in almost every continent, but especially in the desert. Think twice before sneaking up on one though- their long tails have a poisonous tip which they use to defend themselves from predators and immobilise insects so they can gobble them up!

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Curious cats

Did you know cats can’t taste sweet things? Scientists believe that evolution made it impossible for them to identify anything sugary, unlike dogs who have a major sweet-tooth.  In addition to eating, cats spend most of their lives sleeping. That means that a 9-year-old cat will have only been awake for three years of its life!

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