FUN FACTS ABOUT 5 BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS

Animals fascinate people for an endless number of reasons. Whether it's due to their striking looks, amazing abilities, or quirky habits, they can't help but attract human attention. Regardless of why, animal lovers can always find more to learn about their favorite furry (or feathery) friends. Here are just some of the cool facts that make the animal kingdom so intriguing.

Flamingo

These flamboyant birds can thank an unusual diet for their bright pink coloring. Feasting on small crustaceans, diatoms, and algae contributes to their looks. The fact that they are designed to eat with their head upside down and while holding their breath only makes their feeding habits that much more interesting.

Polar Bears

Unlike their fellow bear cousins, these giant white bears of the arctic don't hibernate. Instead, they experience a "walking hibernation" during the winter. At this time a polar bear's heart rate does decrease and it sleeps soundly, but it can also awake and move around its location. The only exception is a pregnant female polar bear—she will enter her den in the fall, give birth, and reemerge in the spring.

Giraffes

Standing between 14 - 19 feet, these zoo favorites are undeniably tall. At 21 inches, even their tongues are long. With legs measuring taller than many humans (around 6 feet), one might assume they are gawky. Giraffes, however, are actually pretty athletic. They can run as fast as 35 mph, which puts them near the top of almost any race.

Dogs

While it's no secret how well dogs smell, science is revealing that their sniffing abilities are even better than originally thought. Thanks to their 220 million smell detecting cells (humans only have 5 million), dogs can smell 1,000 times better than people. This means they not only serve as wonderful police dogs, they can also sniff out termites in a house, and even detect cancer in their owners before anyone else.

American Bald Eagle

Native to North America, this patriotic bird holds a soft spot in Americans' hearts. Yet its name doesn't quite seem to fit, considering this eagle is not bald. The reason why it received this name is because "bald" used to mean "white," not "hairless." Thanks to this bird's snow-capped head, "bald" seemed like an ideal description when it was named.