Million animal species
God must love animals – He made so many of them!
Some animals are so small that you need a microscope to see them. Others are huge. All are interesting.
There are more than a million animal species. There are 6,000 species of reptiles, 73,000 kinds of spiders, and 3,000 types of lice. For each person there is about 200 million insects. The 4,600 kinds of mammals represent a mere 0,3% of animals and the 9,000 kinds of birds only 0,7%. The most abundant bird species is the red-billed quelea of sub-Saharan Africa, numbering almost 2 billion.
Even so, about one third of animals have been driven to extinction as a result of mismanagement and polution by the fast-growing human population. Please take good care of the animals around you. Make your garden bird and bee-friendly. Contribute time or money to animal associations wherever possible.
The bee is a remarkable animal – flowers are pollinated mostly by bees. Bees do not have ears, but they have an excellent sense of smell with chemoreceptors in their antennae.
The hippo is the third biggest land animal, slightly smaller but heavier than a white rhino – the elephant is the biggest. But no animal has killed more people than the hippo.
Whether your kitty meows or roars, it is a descendant of the Felis silvestris species, which is divided into the African wildcat, European wildcat and Steppe wildcat. The domestic originally was not so domestic.
Adult frogs are carnivorous and will eat just about anything smaller than themselves, including insects, worms and even other frogs. Some frogs are tiny but the largest, the Goliath frog, is the size of a baby deer! There are more to frogs than you imagined.
During World War II a cat called Oscar served on the German battleship Bismarck. When the Bismarck was torpedoed Oscar was rescued by a British sailor on board HMS Cossack. Five months later HMS Cossack was sunk but Oscar was rescued by HMS Ark Royal. Only 3 weeks later a German U-boat destroyed Ark Royal and Oscar was rescued again. The naval authorities then decided that Oscar had had enough and posted him on land. According to British naval records, Oscar died peacefully in 1955.