*Giraffes live in Africa.
*There are 9 subspecies of giraffes.
*Giraffes are classified as vulnerable to endangered.
*Giraffe moms form strong bonds with their babies.
*Giraffe moms also babysit the babies of other giraffes while the moms go foraging for food.
*West African giraffes are known as white giraffes because of their lighter spots.
*Rothschild giraffes have no spots below their knees.
*Giraffes grow about 14-19 feet tall.
*Giraffes have prehensile tongues that are 21 inches long.
*Each giraffe has a unique spot pattern.
*Flamingos that are more vibrant pink are usually healthier.
*No one knows why flamingos stand on one leg, but there are some theories: That it allows their other side to rest, or that it allows them to conserve heat while standing in very cold water.
*Flamingos grow 4-5 feet tall.
*There are 6 kinds of flamingos.
*The feathers under flamingos' wings are black, but are only seen when they're flying.
*Both parents sit on the egg while it's incubating, and both parents feed the baby after it hatches.
*Zebras are equines, like horses and donkeys.
*Zebras live in Africa.
*When they're running from a predator, zebras run side to side.
*Zebras have excellent eyesight and hearing.
*Researchers think that zebras' stripes keep them cooler, and that they keep flies from biting them.
*Some zebras have brown bases instead of black or cream stripes instead of white.
*There are three species of zebra, and some zebras even have spots.
*You can tell apart the species of zebras by looking at their tail ends.
*Skunks can be found throughout most of North and South America.
*Skunks can be striped, spotted, or have a swirl pattern.
*A skunk's musk can be smelled over half a mile away.
*Skunks are omnivores, and will eat insects, small animals, eggs, and plants.
*Skunks hibernate in dens with up to 19 others.
*Skunks do a complex warning dance before spraying, and spotted skunks even do it on their front paws with hind legs and tails in the air.
*Skunks are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and being up at night.
*There are 10 species of skunks, all coming from a single ancester 30 to 40 million years ago.
*Skunks are smart, curious, and have individual personalities like dogs, and in some states are legal to have as pets (with the scent glands removed).
*One in every 1,000 people cannot smell skunk musk.
*Baby skunks are called kits.
*Skunks are immune to snake venom, and can eat poisonous snakes.
*Skunks have poor eyesight, but excellent senses of smell and hearing.
*A group of skunks is called a surfeit.
*American black bears are found in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
*Black bears aren't just black - they can be blue-grey, blue-black, brown, and even white!
*Black bears are expert at climbing trees, and are very strong swimmers.
*American black bears can run 25-30 miles per hour.
*Black bears have a terrific sense of smell, and can smell food over 2 miles away.
*Black bears have excellent hearing and sight, but are nearsighted.
*Black bears are not true hibernators and may be active all year long. During the winter, they enter a state of dormancy called torpor.
*Black bears actively forage for food in the spring after they emerge from dens and in the fall when they are actively preparing for the winter den period.
*When agitated, a black bear may pop its jaws, utter a series of huffs or swat the ground. They will sometimes bluff charge an intruder.
*Black bears stand on their hind legs to obtain a better view of objects and also to assist with detecting scents.
*Lemurs are native only to Madagascar, an island country in East Africa
*A group of lemurs is a troop.
*The lemurs featured in the book are ring-tailed lemurs, but there are over 100 kinds of lemurs, 95% of which are endangered.
*There is one factual error in the book - did you catch it? Lemurs don't have prehensile tails, which means they can't hang from their tails!
*Ring-tailed lemurs spend a lot of time on the ground, which is unusual for lemurs.
*The aye-aye is a small lemur with big ears like a bat. It has long fingers it uses to tap on trees to find the homes of wood-boring insects, which it then scoops out with the long fingers. It also uses them to scoop out fruit and coconuts.
*The greater bamboo lemur is unique in that it relies solely on bamboo to survive.
*The silky sifaka is one of the rarest mammals (and lemurs) on Earth. They have incredibly white, silky fur and are known as the "Ghosts of the Forest."
*The Indri are one of the largest lemur species, at two feet and up to 21 pounds. They have long hind legs that allow them to leap through the tops of trees up to 30 feet at a time. They are known for a loud and eerie call that can be heard over a mile away.
*The smallest primate in the world is the pygmy mouse lemur, one of over 20 species of mouse lemurs.
*The largest mouse lemur is the grey mouse lemur.
*Bobcats are native to North America, and are the most abundant wildcat on the continent.
*A bobcat is not the same as a lynx, although they're closely related. Bobcats are smaller, more aggressive, and have more spots and larger ears.
*Bobcats are stealthy and leap up to 10 feet.
*Bobcats are about twice the size of a domestic housecat.
*Bobcats have been around for over 1.8 million years.
*Bobcats have litters of 1-6 kittens at a time.
*Bobcats are crepuscular, meaning they're most active during dawn and dusk.
*Bobcats can jump as high as 12 feet.
*Bobcats can run up to 34 miles per hour.
*Pancake tortoises live in Kenya and Tanzania.
*These tortoises are small, and take shelter in rock crevices, emerging only for about an hour at a time.
*Pancake tortoises lay 1-2 eggs at a time, every six weeks through the summer.
*The pancake tortoise is thought to be the fastest tortoise and best climber.
*Their habit of climbing rocks causes them to overturn a lot, but their flat shells make it easier for them to right themselves.
*Pancake tortoises are social, with as many as 10 sharing one crevice.
*Pancake tortoises eat dry grasses, fallen fruit, and aloe.
*This is a great grey gangaroo, rather than a red kangaroo like the ones in the book.
*Red kangaroos are the largest type of kangaroo and largest marsupial on Earth.
*Red kangaroos are also the largest mammal in Australia.
*When it's born, the joey (baby) of a red kangaroo is the size of a cherry.
*Kangaroos are native only to Australia.
*A group of kangaroos is called a "mob" or a "troop," and consists of 50 or more kangaroos.
*A kangaroo's strong tail helps it balance while jumping.
*Kangaroos have strong punches and kicks.
*Capybaras are the largest rodents, weighing about 140 lbs.
*Capybaras eat mostly grasses and underwater vegetation.
*Capybaras have slightly webbed feet, and can stay underwater for 5 minutes.
*Capybaras have been known to sleep underwater with just their noses in the air.
*They usually live in herds of 20, but have been seen in herds as large as 100.
*The one dominant male in the group marks out the herd's territory using a scent gland on his nose.
*Capybaras are found in northern and central South America.
*The word hippopotamus is actually Greek for "river horse."
*Hippos are good swimmers and graceful in water.
*They spend up to 16 hours a day in the water.
*Hippos secrete an oily red liquid that acts as a skin moisturizer and sunblock for them. It also kills disease-causing bacteria.
*Hippos consume up to 150 pounds of grass a night, walking 6 miles to do so.
*Hippo calves weigh nearly 100 pounds at birth, and are born under water.
*They are native to Africa.
*An emu's wings stabilize it and steer it in the right direction while it's running. They're also used to cool down the emu.
*Emus' feet are long, with three toes, one of which has a long talon for fighting.
*Emus have two sets of eyelids. One set blinks, while the other keeps out dust.
*Emus need a lot of water, and drink 2-4 gallons a day.
*Their feathers are soft and fluffy.
*Emus eat plants and insects.
*A group of emus is called a "mob."
*Emus are related to ostriches, cassowaries, and rheas.
*Their feathers are a natural sunscreen.
*Koalas are not actually bears.
*The closest living relative of the koala is the wombat.
*Like the kangaroo, the koala's baby is called a "joey."
*When it's born, a koala's joey is only about 1/4 an inch big.
*The koala mom's pouch has a muscle that acts like a drawstring so the joey doesn't fall out.
*Koala fingerprints are a lot like human fingerprints.
*Koalas live in Australia.
*The elephant is the largest land animal on the planet, African elephants slightly larger than Asian elephants.
*To tell the difference between the two types of elephants, look at their ears. Asian elephants have small, round ears, while African elephants have large ears, coincidentally shaped a lot like Africa.
*Elephants' ears are perfect for radiating heat and keeping them cool.
*Where African elephants have two finger-like protrusions at the end of their trunks, Asian elephants have one.
*After playing in water, elephants will cover themselves with sand, using the dust to protect themselves from the sun.
*Both male and female African elephants have tusks that grow to 7 feet long and weigh 50-100 pounds. They use the tusks to dig in the ground for food and water, strip bark from trees, and battle.
*Elephants have been known to protect injured humans, displaying altruism.
*Elephants are the only animals besides humans to have a death ritual like a funeral.
*Although bats do wonderful things and you should not be afraid of them, if a bat enters your house or you see an injured bat, please do not handle it yourself. Instead, call your local animal authorities to contain it appropriately and bring it to a knowledgeable veterinarian or rehabilitation center.
*As of 2020, there are 1,421 known species of bats, which means about 20% of the types of mammals in the world are bats, but we discover about 20 new bat species every year.
*Bats vary drastically in size and in look.
*The bumblebee bat, an insectivore, is the world's smallest mammal, growing only to just over an inch long.
*The golden crowned flying fox is the largest bat in the world, with a wingspan of five and a half feet. It's a fruit bat native to the Phillipines.
*The horseshoe bat is named for the leaf-like structures coming from its nose, which they use to assist in echolocation. They're insectivores and live in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
*The spectacled flying fox grows to almost a foot long, and is black with yellow fur "spectacles" around its eyes. Unlike other bats, it does not use echolocation, but instead has an excellent sense of smell and night vision.
*The common pipistrelle is the smallest European bat, but eats about 3,000 insects a night - about 90,000 a month.
*The Central American wrinkle faced bat has an odd skull shape that give it greater jaw strength and allows it to eat harder fruits than other bats.
*Banana bats have long snouts and are also called trumpet-nosed bats. They feed on all different plant nectars, including cactus nectar, but are especially important to the pollination of banana trees.
*The pallid bat, which lives from Canada to the center of Mexico, has oversized eyes and ears. Its ears are half as long as its head and body combined. It eats ground-dwelling insects and animals, like scorpions, crickets, and rodents.
*Greater spear-nosed bat moms help take care of each other's babies.
*Vampire bats are real, and are found in the tropics of Mexico, Central America, and South America, but make up only about 2/10 of a percent of all bat species. They cannot go two nights in a row without food, and are the only mammal with a diet entirely comprised of blood, usually from cows, horses, pigs, and birds. They don't take enough blood to actually harm an animal, but the wound can become infected.
*The insectivore little brown bat is the most common in North America, but is threatened because of an ailment called "white nose syndrome," which is a fungus that causes them to awake from their hibernation (torpor) too early, before their insect food is available.
*Bats all around the world are threatened or endangered by disease, hunting, being disturbed by humans during hibernation, and loss of habitat.