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World Wildlife Day: Classifying wildlife on both sides of spectrums

Team StoryWeavers|March 04, 2022, 01:01 IST|

Hello young learners, it’s me again, Kiki, with another episode of Knowledge Corner. So far, I am very happy to have been learning so much about the human body and other things around us, such as stars and the food we eat. However, today being World Wildlife Day, I am all the more excited! That’s because we are going to explore interesting facts about wild animals, birds, and insects. 

Before we begin our lesson, it’s important that you understand that: wildlife includes not just lions, tigers, and bears, but also sea animals and insects.

Keeping that in mind, let us do something interesting. In today’s episode, we are going to look at the smallest vs biggest, meanest vs friendliest, and longest-living vs shortest-living among all animals!

Are you excited? Let’s begin.

SIZE IT UP

The smallest wild animal is….

A newly-discovered land snail in Vietnam – Psammion! 

Psammion snails near the tip of a pen

These snails are as small as grains of sand. Found in countries like Laos and Vietnam, they are called Psammion –- which also means ‘grain of sand’ in Greek.  To understand in terms of numbers, they are only 0.6 mm long. That’s really small, right? In the picture above, see how small they look in comparison to the tip of a pen!

The largest wild animal is…

Antarctic Blue Whale

This huge whale is found in the waters of Antarctica, as the name suggests. They weigh up to four lakh pounds( almost 2 lakh kilos) – equal to the weight of 33 elephants put together! That’s really heavy, isn’t it?

These whales are quite big too! One whale can measure as long as 98 feet!  To put that in perspective for you,  one Antarctic blue whale is as long as 30 children (4/6-year-olds) put together in a row. Another fun fact about this whale is that it eats 8000 pounds (3600 kilograms) of small fish called krill in just one day! These big whales do have a big appetite, right?! 

OF LOVE AND FEAR

The fiercest wild animal is….

Honey Badger 

Well, that’s surprising, isn’t it? A lot of badgers are harmless animals, but not this honey-loving kind. These badgers, which are found in Africa, Saudi Arabia and some parts of Asia, are fierce animals and can fight all kinds of animals, regardless of their size. In fact, there have been instances where honey badgers have attacked wild animals like cheetahs. A group of them can even defeat a lion!

Here is one more surprising fact – when they want to attack, they release a really strong odour and let out a loud roar with their hair standing on end – similar to the goosebumps that we experience. This makes the badger look  scary, thereby driving the predators away. Along with their unique attacking style, honey badgers are also capable of fighting predators, thanks to their tough skin. They also have immunity against a snake bite. With these traits, honey badgers are called the meanest wild animal. 

The friendliest wild animal is…

Capybara

 

This name may sound uncommon, and it is! The animal is found in South America. In the picture given below, they look large and a bit scary, don’t they? But appearances can be deceptive. Contrary to their looks, they are quite friendly creatures.

They enjoy being petted and love the company of their own kind and other animals too. Sometimes, they can be  seen carrying small birds and animals on their back, in a way of getting along with them. However, on rare occasions, they do have the habit of biting in order to defend themselves, especially if they fear an attack. And their bite can really hurt, because their teeth don’t stop growing!

LIVING ON THE EDGE

The longest-living wild animal is… 

The Immortal Jellyfish

 

It’s a species of jellyfish that has the capacity to grow its organs back when they begin to grow old and inch closer to death! This means that this particular species of jellyfish can live forever. Wow, doesn’t it sound mystical? Scientists have been really surprised with how they can age in reverse and live forever. 

However, I must add here that, sometimes, jellyfish are eaten by predators, but those that escape, live forever!

The shortest-living wild animal is..

Mayfly

A Mayfly gets one day to live! Yes, you read that right – its lifespan is only 24 hours.  These small fly-like insects, which inhabit rivers and freshwater, rarely live for two days. Some unlucky mayflies die within five minutes from when they hatch. 

However, it’s surprising to know how much they get done in the one day that they get to live. They are so busy with different activities that they don’t eat at all – in fact, they don’t even have a mouth! Here is what their day looks like: Once they are born, they try and find partners, have babies, and then they die because their life cycle is over within a day! 

Did you enjoy reading about these interesting animals? Do you know any interesting facts about other amazing animals? Share your answers with us in the comments below.

About the Author


Aparna is a mom, singer and dreamer. At BYJU\'S, she writes stories about learning for children. She believes in the power of music, especially ghazal, the magic of the universe and happy learners. When not writing or singing, you will find her intensely engaged in conversations about life and the power of words.

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