Welcome back to your weekly recap of fun animal facts. We have started doing weekly themes, and have covered Animals of New York, Obscure Creatures and Schools of Fish so far. This week, we are exploring Odd Animals Out, creatures that do not fit their families’ molds.
You know what’s not fun, though? Being critically endangered. When we were composing our list of obscure animals, we kept coming back to the same issue: they are not widely known because they are rare, due to loss of habitat and prevalence of hunters.
Now, don’t get me wrong, hunting, though everyone may not be a fan, proves to be a vital part of keeping species’ populations in check. Animals like deer can become invasive species if their populations get out of control. When that happens, their food sources and shelter are depleted, causing many of them, along with other animals that share their environment, to die of starvation and lack of resources. However, issues like deforestation and trophy killing are the kinds of things animal activists who know what they are doing are trying to prevent. So many species are on the edge of extinction because people are murdering them with no regard to their effect on the ecosystem. Remember, everyone, we are animals, too, and we all have much more of an impact on the world around us than we realize. We all need each other to continue surviving on this earth.
And with that chipper message, let’s get to the Fun Animal Facts:
School of Fish
- Fish school & shoal. Shoaling is when they swim independently, but in a way that they stay connected, forming a social group. Schooling is when they swim, coordinated and in the same direction. Think of Shoaling as recess and Schooling as class time.
- Fish use a variety of low-pitched sounds to convey messages to each other. They do not, however, have vocal chords, so they use various parts of their bodies to make noises.
- There are more than 165 species of freshwater fish in New York State.
- Not every school of fish wants a photo finish! Plankton, for example, can easily be consumed by a Tripod Fish — a stationary, suspension-feeding fish that just stands in place, waiting for a meal to swim by.
- Salmon, arguably, are the fish that travel farthest in their lives — up to 3,800 km during migration!
- Some fish can swim backwards! Two examples of such talented sea life are the Triggerfish and Electric Eel.
- Flying fish propel themselves out of the water and into the air, where their wing-like fins enable them to glide.