Animals Facts

Animals are multicellular, organisms of the kingdom Animalia (also called Metazoa). Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their lives. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently. All animals must ingest other organisms or their products for sustenance. 

Here you will find a huge collection of resources and factsheets all about ANIMALS!

Image by: Matt MacGillivray

 

Aardvark.content

Aardvark

Aardvark means 'earth-pig' in Afrikaans. They are very secretive animals so very little is known about their way of life. 

Albatross (wandering).content

Albatross (Wandering)

The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan of any bird and is perhaps the most magnificent of all twelve species of albatross.

Amphibians.content

Amphibians

Amphibians are vertebrates (animals with backbones) which are able, when adult, to live both in water and on land.

Ass.content

Ass

Asses live in desert or semi-desert areas, steppeland (grassy plains) and mountainous regions. They prefer hilly areas but will come down into the ...

Australian wildlife part 1.content

Australian Wildlife Part 1

About 50 million years ago it was joined to a giant landmass called Gondwanaland but it then became separated and it is its isolation that has led ...

Badgers.content

Badgers

There are possibly around 250,000 adult badgers in Britain. About 105,000 cubs are born each year but many of these do not manage to live for more ...

Bat common.content

Bat (Common Long-Eared)

The common long-eared bat is small, usually buff-coloured above, paler underside. Wings thin and translucent. Exceptionally large ears (34-38m...

Bat natterers.content

Bat (Natterer's)

Like all species of bat in Britain, the Natterer's bat is less common than it used to be. The reason for its decline is that its food and shelt...

Bat pipistrelle.content

Bat (Pipistrelle)

The pipistrelle is the smallest and most common of Britain's 14 species of bat. It belongs to the Vespertilionidae family of bats, known as ord...

Bats (british).content

Bats (British)

Bats are quite remarkable animals worthy of our interest and respect. They are the only mammals capable of controlled flight - and their aerobatic ...

Bear grizzly.content

Bear (Grizzly)

Grizzly bears are now found wild only in Canada and Alaska and in parks and reserves in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington. Largest American po...

Polar bear.content

Bear (Polar)

Polar bears are mostly solitary animals and are active at all times of year, always on the look-out for a meal. They are extremely strong and activ...

Stagebeetle.content

Beetle (Stag)

The stag beetle is Britain's largest insect and one of the most well-known of all the beetles. The male is easily recognised because of his mou...

Bird Breeding and Traffic

The great tit, a bird that can be found all over the UK, is one of the birds affected.  Male great tits sing songs to attract females to breed...

Golden eagle.content

Birds

Some lovely birds

Bison (amercian).content

Bison (Amercian)

There are only about 500,000 bison alive today, of these, only about 15,000 are classed as truly 'wild'.  The rest are mainly on ranch...

Blue tit.content

Blue Tit

Although the blue tit is mainly a woodland bird it is one of our best-known garden birds.

Boar (wild).content

Boar (Wild)

The wild boar lives in a family party that has a territory of 10 - 20 sq km but in the autumn, family groups come together to form herds of up to 5...

Swallowtail.content

Butterfly (Swallowtail)

The swallowtail is Britain's largest and most exotic butterfly. Its name refers to the extensions on the hind-wings which look rather like a sw...

Buzzard.content

Buzzard

The buzzard is the most common of Britain's larger birds of prey.

Camel.content

Camel

There are six members of the family Camelidae. Two of these are 'true' camels; one living in Asia and the other in Arabia and North Africa....

Wild cats.content

Cat (Wild)

The wild cat was once common over most of the British Isles, but it is now only found in Scotland and are under threat with an estimated 400 in the...

Big cats.content

Cats (Big)

Leopards, jaguars, snow leopards, pumas, lions, tigers and cheetahs

Cheetah.content

Cheetah

The cheetah is best known for its reputation as the fastest land animal over short distances - up to 70 mph. Its body is built on the lines of a gr...

Chimpanzee.content

Chimpanzee

The chimpanzee resembles man more closely than any other animal. It shows human qualities such as facial expressions, problem-solving abilities and...

King.content

Cobra (King)

King cobras are active by day and night, but are rarely seen. They hunt by smell, 'tasting' the air with their forked tongues to track thei...

Cormorant.content

Cormorant

Cormorants are members of the pelican family, with all four toes on each foot webbed, which helps them in swimming and chasing fish underwater.

Crocodile.content

Crocodile

Crocodilians are the closest surviving relatives of the great dinosaurs and they have changed very little during the 150 million years that they ha...

Deer (fallow).content

Deer (Fallow)

The fallow deer was introduced into Britain by the Normans and wild herds have lived for centuries in ancient forests such as the New Forest, Eppin...

Deer (red).content

Deer (Red)

The red deer is Britain's largest land mammal. Although native to Britain, it is also found in southern Scandinavia, Turkey and as far as China...

Dinosaurs.content

Dinosaurs

Reptiles dominated life on land during the Mesozoic era, a period of time which extended from approximately 225 million to 65 million years ago.

Dolphin (bottle nosed).content

Dolphin (Bottle-Nosed)

When dolphins and humans fish in the same area, there can be conflict. Many thousands of dolphins drown in fishing nets each year. However, bottle-...

Dolphins.content

Dolphins

Many kinds of dolphins and porpoises are sociable animals and live in schools varying in size from a family group to around 1,000 individuals. 

Donkeys.content

Donkeys

The donkey is a descendant of the African wild ass, which is now rare in the wild and found in only a few remote parts of north-eastern Africa.

Dormouse.content

Dormouse

The word dormouse comes from the French word 'dormir' - to sleep. The dormouse is one of the most attractive of Britain's small mammals.

Dragonflies.content

Dragonflies

Dragonflies are fast-flying, four-winged insects with long bodies and enormous eyes. The adult dragonfly has the biggest eyes in the insect world a...

Golden eagle.content

Eagle (Golden)

The golden eagle is one of the largest and most impressive of British birds, especially when seen soaring over a Highland glen or searching for pre...

Elephant (african).content

Elephant (African)

The african Elephant is the largest land mammal and the fastest elephants can charge at speeds of up to 25mph!

Elephant (asian).content

Elephant (Asian)

Elephants are good swimmers despite their size, and use their trunks as snorkels. They love water and bathe frequently.

Fer de lance.content

Fer de Lance

The fer-de-lance's name means 'spearhead' in French.  It is the most dangerous snake of Central and South America, and causes more...

Fox arctic.content

Fox (Arctic)

The arctic fox is the main predator in the arctic feeding on birds, small mammals, including seal pups, and carcasses left behind by polar bears.

Fox (fennec).content

Fox (Fennec)

The fennec is one of the smallest of all foxes, but it has the largest ears. Its head and body measure 35-41cm, and ears measure 15cm.

Fox (red).content

Fox (Red)

The red fox is the most widespread and numerous predator in Britain. Although man has persecuted the fox for centuries, it is still a very common a...

Giraffe.content

Giraffe

Giraffes are sociable creatures, but do not form herds. Instead, they meet in groups each day, but the composition of a group changes from day to d...

Gorilla.content

Gorilla

Largest of the four great apes (the chimpanzees and orang-utan being the other two), the gorilla is a shy, gentle, peaceful animal, quite unlike th...

Guillemot.content

Guillemot

The Guillemot is penguin-like in appearance; slim, pointed bill, dark brown head and upperparts, white underparts.

Gull (herring).content

Gull (Herring)

The well-known yodelling call of the herring gull conjures up pictures of the seaside perhaps more than any other sound. 'Herring' gull is ...

Hamster.content

Hamster

Most hamsters live in dry places such as the edges of deserts, but the common hamster lives among crops, in ploughed fields and along river banks, ...

Hare (brown).content

Hare (Brown)

The brown hare is a larger, more athletic relative of the rabbit. It is able to adapt to a variety of habitats and so is one of the most widely dis...

Hedgehog.content

Hedgehog

The hedgehog is the most easily recognised of British mammals yet they are steadily disappearing from the wild. 

Heron (grey).content

Heron (Grey)

Except when they are breeding, herons spend much of their time alone, feeding in damp places or wading in water. Sometimes large numbers of birds c...

Hippopotamus.content

Hippopotamus

The common hippopotamus is the second largest living land animal, only rivalled by the great Indian rhinoceros (the elephant is the largest). Its n...

Horse (przewalskis).content

Horse (Przewalski's)

Przewalski's horse (pronounced 'ji-vaal-ski') is the only truly wild horse left in the world. It is believed that it has changed very l...

Horses.content

Horses

The horse may not be used to such a great extent by Man these days, but it is still an important and useful animal and its future - or at least, th...

Hyaenas.content

Hyaenas

The hyaena is a fairly large carnivore, heavily built and hairy, with large powerful jaws and sloping hind quarters. Although somewhat dog-like in ...

Stagebeetle.content

In The Garden

You are only a few steps away from an amazing environmental adventure... Where? In your own back garden! Just check out some of these beasties.

Jackal (golden).content

Jackal (Golden)

Jackals are true members of the dog family and can actually interbreed with both domestic dogs and wolves.

Jerboas.content

Jerboas

The Jerboa family is a very interesting group of rodents which have adapted themselves to living in both hot and cold deserts. They are unusual loo...

Kanagroo (grey).content

Kangaroo (Grey)

The grey kangaroo, sometimes known as the great grey, is one of the best-known of all kangaroo species, along with the similar-sized red kangaroo. ...

Koala.content

Koala

The koala is perhaps the best-loved of all Australia's marsupial, or pouched, mammals. Although it is rather bear-like in appearance, its near...

Leopard (snow).content

Leopard (Snow)

The snow leopard has a head and body length of about 1.2 - 1.5m (4-5ft) with a tail measuring 90cm (35.5ins). The thick fur is about 5cm long on th...

Lion.content

Lion

A lion is a large, powerful carnivore and was once common in Asia and parts of Europe as well as in Africa. This impressive member of the big cat f...

Lionfish.content

Lionfish

This flamboyant fish is beautiful with it's frilly fins and hypnotic stripes but don't be fooled by it's looks - it is trying to tell y...

Macaw.content

Macaw

Macaws are members of the parrot family which has 340 species. There are 16 species of macaw at the moment but some of these are close to extinctio...

Jamal.content

Manatee

There are 3 species of Manatee, one in West Africa, one in the Caribbean from the south-eastern United States to northern South America and one in ...

Minibeasts.content

Minibeasts

Quite literally, a ‘minibeast’ is simply a small animal. Spiders, snails, slugs, beetles, centipedes, worms, earwigs, caterpillars are ...

Mole.content

Mole

The mole is not seen very often but it is one of our best known small mammals. The heaps of soil (molehills) which it makes whilst tunnelling gives...

Monkey (red howler).content

Monkey (Red Howler)

Red howler monkeys have naked faces, framed by fur, with protruding muzzles and snub noses. They have long, silky, reddish-gold coats and long, mus...

Monkey (vervet).content

Monkey (Vervet)

Vervet monkeys have long arms and legs which allow them to move at speed on the ground. 

Mouse (harvest).content

Mouse (Harvest)

The harvest mouse is the smallest rodent in Britain and weighs less than a 2 pence coin! It was first described accurately in 1767 by Gilbert White...

Mouse (wood).content

Mouse (Wood)

The wood mouse, also known as the long-tailed field mouse, though rarely seen as it is nocturnal, is probably Britain's most numerous mammal.&n...

No new pandas for Edinburgh Zoo

In a strange way, I see the giant panda as a kind of anti-dodo.  Whereas dodos seemingly delivered themselves willingly to death and ultimatel...

Octopus (common).content

Octopus (Common)

The octopus is an invertebrate animal (it has no backbone) and belong to the phylum (group) Mollusca. Its closest relatives are the various species...

Orangutan.content

Orangutan

'Orang' and 'utan' are the Malay words meaning 'person' and 'forest'; the orangutan is literally a 'person of t...

Otter (eurasian).content

Otter (Eurasian)

The otter is an appealing, playful animal but unfortunately few people ever see a wild otter in Britain. Until the 1950s they could be found throug...

Otter (sea).content

Otter (Sea)

The sea otter is an almost exclusively marine animal, spending little time ashore. Its fur is thick and glossy and ranges in colour from black to d...

Owl (barn).content

Owl (Barn)

Of the five species of owl which breed in Britain the barn owl is becoming much less common generally - and in some places, rare. A recent report s...

Owl (little).content

Owl (Little)

The little owl was introduced to Britain from Holland in 1889 and it was then known as the 'fierce little foreigner'. As its Latin name imp...

Owl (long eared).content

Owl (Long-Eared)

The long-eared owl may be found in many areas of Britain and Ireland, but it is not common and, being nocturnal, it is rarely seen.

Owl (short eared).content

Owl (Short-Eared)

The short-eared owl is a widespread species, found in many countries. Its 'ears' are not ears at all but little tufts of feathers. The actu...

Tawny).content

Owl (Tawny)

The tawny owl is nocturnal and therefore not often seen during daylight. Its familiar hooting 'hoo hoo - hoohoo' call is usually heard at n...

Panda (giant).content

Panda (Giant)

Giant pandas are very good climbers, and use this skill to escape from predators. They are flat-footed and ungainly when on the ground, but are abl...

Penguin (emperor).content

Penguin (Emperor)

Emperor penguins are very sociable creatures and live in colonies of anything from five hundred to twenty thousand pairs of penguins. It is very ra...

Penguins.content

Penguins

Penguins are flightless sea - birds with short tails and paddle-like wings. The plumage is very dense and covers the whole of the body. The legs ar...

Penguins gallery.content

Penguins

Just check out these happy feet! Image credit: Antarctica Bound

Peregrine falcon.content

Peregrine Falcon

The peregrine falcon is the largest British falcon and perhaps the most impressive hunter of them all. It is one of Britain's endangered specie...

Pine marten.content

Pine Marten

The pine marten is a carnivorous, arboreal (tree-living) member of the weasel family. It was once widespread in Britain but now it is rare. 

Polar bear.content

Polar Bear

The polar bear is the world's largest land carnivore and one of the largest of the bear family, alongside with the omnivorous Kodiak bear which...

Polecat.content

Polecat

The polecat used to be called a 'foul mart' because of its strong smell. The name polecat is said to be from the French poule chat,'the...

Puffin.content

Puffin

The puffin's distinctive bill has given it the nicknames of 'sea parrot' and 'bottle nose'. Although it looks a bit like a peng...

Rabbit.content

Rabbit

Rabbits are sociable animals and live in colonies in burrow systems known as warrens.

Razorbill.content

Razorbill

Razorbills belong to the auk family, along with guillemots and puffins. The razorbill is well-named because the edges of its hooked upper beak are ...

Reptiles (british).content

Reptiles (British)

Of the four living groups of reptiles, only one, the snakes and lizards is represented in Britain. Reptiles bodies are covered with scales. Li...

Rhinoceros.content

Rhinoceros

The name 'rhinoceros' comes from ancient Greek and means 'horned nose'. There now are only 5 species of rhino left making them one ...

Robin.content

Robin

The robin is a popular visitor to gardens and is well-known for its tameness. In the winter they will regularly visit a bird-table to eat kitc...

Seal (grey).content

Seal (Grey)

The grey seal is Britain's largest carnivorous mammal. Its thick, insulating layer of blubber and waterproof fur allow it to survive in cold wa...

Seal (harp).content

Seal (Harp)

The Harp seal can be found in both in coastal waters or on pack ice, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and across the Arctic to Siberia.

Seal (leopard).content

Seal (Leopard)

The leopard seal is so-called because of its spotted markings and leopard-like ferocity. They live mainly in the sea and on the pack ice aroun...

Shag.content

Shag

Like its larger relative, the Cormorant, the shag is a member of the pelican family. It spends more time on the coasts and out at sea than the Corm...

Shark (great white).content

Shark (Great White)

The great white shark has long had a reputation as a fearsome 'man-eater' and is probably the most feared of all animals that live in the o...

Shrew (common).content

Shrew (Common)

The common shrew is one of Britain's smallest mammals and is closely related to the mole and hedgehog.

Shrew (water).content

Shrew (Water)

The water shrew is the largest of the five species of British shrews and like all shrews leads a hectic life, busy by day and night on the look-out...

Snake (black mamba).content

Snake (Black Mamba)

After the king cobra, the black mamba is the longest venomous snake in the world. It is also the fastest-moving snake in the world, reaching u...

Snake (smooth).content

Snake (Smooth)

Smooth snakes are extremely rare in this country and you are unlikely to see one. They live only in a few isolated areas of heathland in ...

Squirrel (grey).content

Squirrel (Grey)

The grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the mid-19th century. There is now an estimated population of 2 million making them ...

Squirrel (red).content

Squirrel (Red)

The red squirrel, the original 'Squirrel Nutkin' of Beatrix Potter fame, is one of our favourite British mammals but it is declining in num...

Stickleback (three spined).content

Stickleback (Three-spined)

The three-spined stickleback is one of the most familiar fish of Britain's freshwater streams and ponds. The breeding behaviour of stickle...

Stoat.content

Stoat

The stoat is widespread throughout the British Isles, the rest of northern Europe, temperate forest regions of Asia and North America. It is&n...

Swan (mute).content

Swan (Mute)

For centuries, mute swans were known as 'birds royal' because only the king or a few specially favoured subjects could keep them. They were...

Tamarin (golden lion).content

Tamarin (Golden Lion)

Tamarins and marmosets are the smallest monkeys (primates) in the world. The golden lion tamarin is the largest and related to the golden headed an...

Tapir (bairds).content

Tapir (Baird's)

About the size of a shetland pony, the tapir is a rather odd looking animal. Not only has it a long and flexible snout like a short trunk, but it h...

Tarantulas.content

Tarantulas

The name tarantula is generally applied to any large, hairy spider, especially to the furry, bird eating spiders of South America.

Tiger (bengal).content

Tiger (Bengal)

The tiger is the largest member of the cat family, and the Bengal tiger is one of the five surviving races of tiger and has been protected since 19...

Tiger (siberian).content

Tiger (Siberian)

The Siberian tiger is a very rare species of tiger. Estimates vary from source to source, however, the total number in 2005 was calculate...

Tortoise (galapagos).content

Tortoise (Galapagos)

There were originally fifteen different races of Galapagos giant tortoise each evolved to suit the conditions on the different islands. Four of the...

Chelonia mydas.content

Turtle (Green)

Green Turtles are found in all the warmer oceans and in the Mediterranean. They have thick, heavy, bony shells, covered in plate-like scales.

Vole (field).content

Vole (Field)

The field vole is also called the short-tailed vole. It is very similar to the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) but the latter has red-brown fur...

Vole (water).content

Vole (Water)

Water voles are often mistakenly called water rats, but they are only distantly related to rats. Water voles have a chubby face with a blunt nose a...

Walrus.content

Walrus

Walruses are found in the sub-zero temperature Arctic seas from Alaska, Canada and Greenland to Russia.

Warthog.content

Warthog

Warthogs are mostly found in central, eastern and southern Africa. Both sexes have the prominent tusks and two warts on either side of the face.

Weasel.content

Weasel

The weasel is Britain's smallest carnivore and belongs to the same family as the stoat and otter. It is a fierce hunter and is usually only spo...

Balaenoptera musculus.content

Whale (Blue)

The blue whale is not only the largest living animal but probably the largest creature the world has ever known. The greatest recorded length for a...

Whale (humpback).content

Whale (Humpback)

The humpback whale can reach a maximum length of 17 metres, with the female larger than the male. The size and weight is also impressive. A 15m hum...

Whale (killer).content

Whale (Killer)

Killer whales are the only whale to prey on other warm-blooded animals. Like wolves, they are pack hunters and will even attack a lame blue whale. ...

Wolf (arctic).content

Wolf (Arctic)

Wolves are the largest wild members of the dog family. They live in packs and have to co-operate in order to survive. The Arctic Wolf is a highly r...

Woodpecker (green).content

Woodpecker (Green)

Green woodpeckers are most common in old parkland but will live happily in any habitat that offers a mixture of large old trees and areas of close ...

Zebra (grevys).content

Zebra (Grevy's)

Grevy's zebra is the largest of all the zebras and it is an endangered species. Grevy was not the discoverer of this species, but a President o...