Factoids

What’s a factoid anyway?

Here’s what Merriam Webster says:

fac·toid
Pronunciation:  'fak-"toid
Function:  noun

1 : an invented fact believed to be true because of its appearance in print

2 : a brief and usually trivial news item

So, are our factoids invented facts or trivia?

To the best of our ability, we have not included any “invented” facts here. Rather, the factoids we present on Paw Prints fit definition number 2, for we are unabashadly enthusiastic fans of trivia in all sizes and shapes. So click any topic below and read some fascinating—albeit trivial—facts about the world we live in and the creatures we share it with.

The Factoids...

partridge in a pear tree

There is one Christmas Carol that has always...

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aardvark, armadillo, anteater

The aardvark gives off its own perfume. An...

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U.S. colonial flag

How many Liberty Bells have there been? Did...

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A Crash of rhinos

From “blessings” to “pods” to “flocks” to “...

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ants

Ants follow an ant trail. If it intersects...

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Inner Solar System asteroid belt

An asteroid is a small planet that revolves...

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atom

An atom is a unit of matter; the smallest unit...

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The Great Auk

The flightless great auk, Pinguinus...

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Le Bateau

In 1961, Henri Matisse’s Painting “Le Bateau...

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Lesser short-nosed fruit bat

The smallest mammal is Thailand’s bumble bee...

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Black bear cub

Bears in Yellowstone can neatly take the...

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American beaver

Have you ever wondered how a beaver can gnaw...

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Bumble bee

A bee’s brain weighs less than four hundred-...

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Kiwi

The left side of the human brain controls...

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Red drop

The blood of lobsters and crabs is blue......

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Blue-footed booby feet

Boobies nest on tropical and subtropical...

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x-ray of a hand

You now have 144 fewer bones than you had as...

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baby bonobo

Bonobos and people share 98.4% of the same...

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Monarch butterfly

There are 300 species of butterflies on...

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Dromedary Camel

Did you know that the two-humped camel is...

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Canary

It’s in the spring when the male canaries...

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Lone Cypress

Trees: The town’s 34,000...

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Carolina Parakeet

The Carolina parakeet was America’s only...

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bad mood cat

Cats can be enigmas, but we reveal some stuff...

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martini

Where’d we get the toast “Here’s mud...

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Cheetah stare

Male cheetahs, often brothers, usually form a...

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Red hen with eggs

A flock of chickens in an artificially lit...

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Chicken head

Ever wondered why chickens look kind of funny...

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smiling baby

An expectant mother will get about 135 labor...

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chimpanzee staring

Although lighter than humans, chimpanzees have...

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Chinese Plate with blue willow pattern

The willow-leaf pattern commonly found on...

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chocolate truffles

Cacao is a tree, native to South America,...

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Santa with bag of toys

Questions and answers from the New York Public...

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cumulus clouds

Clouds are particles of water or ice suspended...

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condor in flight

California condors are extremely rare (owing...

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black and white cow

When a cow dies in Liechtenstein, the...

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illustration of a crab

The fiddler crab is called that because one...

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Roesel's Bush-Cricket

If you hear a cricket chirping and you have a...

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Siamese crocodile

Your closing jaws exert anywhere from 40 to 80...

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T-Rex

Smallest of the flying dinosaurs was about the...

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Dodo Bird

Dodos were descendents of a type of pigeon,...

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James Thurber's howling dog illustration

Q&A of familiar sayings, old wives tales,...

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Pepper

Everything you never new about the faithful...

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Bottlenose dolphin

A baby bottlenose dolphin can whistle the day...

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White pigeon

Mourning doves mate for life. They also breed...

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Dreidel

A delightful Chanukah game is a put-and-take...

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Glass of water

You need the mineral elements in ordinary...

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Red-billed pintail

In an underwater dive, a duck’s heartbeat...

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Bald Eagle

Two eagles build a nest and return each year...

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Cartoon worm

The technical term for someone who studies...

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electric eel

The eel’s vital organs are located immediately...

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Elephant Bird illustration

When humans first came to the island of...

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elephant closeup

An elephant emits low-frequency sounds—not...

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Gone with the wind image

Whom did author Margaret Mitchell suggest to...

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cat door

The man history remembers as the brilliant...

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Cat going fishing

Cyanide is deadly poison but the poison in a...

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scratching

It is said that fleas will abandon your pup in...

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Baby flying squirrel

Flying squirrels are not true members of the...

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Tree Frog

You can examine the internal organs of a...

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cowboy

(1) A cowboy never takes unfair advantage—even...

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An authority on jungle beasts says that almost...

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Giraffe

If a giraffe didn’t have a six-foot neck, it...

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goat

The second most widespread sort of...

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goliath beetle

The goliath beetle of West Africa is the world...

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Gopher

The gopher got its name from French settlers...

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Gorilla dinner

Western lowland gorillas eat more fruit than...

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Gorilla gazing at you

It has been said that gorillas can’t swim. But...

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The great apes

There are four kinds of great apes: gorillas,...

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Grizzly Bear

A grizzly bear cub does not instinctively know...

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Hamster with cookie

Why was the guinea pig called that? Because it...

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Baby hand in adult hand

Why the incidence of left-handedness among...

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Redtail Hawk

In early falconry, a man no longer young...

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dandelion blown

Many people experience sniffling, sneezing,...

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cadeusus

The Hippocratic Oath is a traditional oath of...

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hippo

A hippo can walk for about six minutes...

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Baby hog

Hedgehogs use the spines on their backs to...

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Horse

If a horse has a small white patch near the...

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Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man

Every primate has pigment in the palms of the...

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hummingbird

If you were to burn up as much energy as a...

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The longest recorded flight of a chicken is...

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A mathematical wonder: 111,111,111 multiplied...

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Ice cream cone

The average American eats about a ton of ice...

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Iditarod dogs

The youngest musher to ever compete in the...

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dog scratching

If you can start the day without caffeine or...

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A purple-striped jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The longest critter on land or sea was a...

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Grey kangaroo and joey

A male kangaroo is called a boomer. A female...

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tortoise

The Greek dramatist Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.)...

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Baby kiwi chick

The kiwi is the only bird with nostrils at the...

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Koala

The koala spends almost all his time in...

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ladybug in the garden

Ladybugs came from Australia...at least the...

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Languages

The word “queueing” is the only English word...

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Ganymede, Jupiter's moon

The largest satellite of any planet in the...

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Teotihuacan pyramid

The biggest pyramid in the world isn’t in...

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O’Hanlon was the last name of the eight-year-...

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Typewriter with letter Z

The last thing to escape Pandora’s box was...

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa

On August 9, 1173, construction began of a...

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lemming

Lemmings are small rodents who live throughout...

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Jaguar closeup

Shine a strong light on a black panther and...

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African lion

Male lions don't hunt for food ... or at least...

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Lizard sitting on wood

There are about 40 species of lizards, and in...

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Two llamas

Campers use llamas in Colorado — not to ride...

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Photo of Loch Ness monster

Many lakes of Northern Scotland have ancient...

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Milk Stamp

Milk is the best-selling item in the...

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Mann's Chinese Theatre

On January 5, 1926, at 7pm, Grauman’s Chinese...

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mouse in swiss cheese

Mice don’t care much for cheese. But they do...

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The U.S. Standard railroad gauge (distance...

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piggy bank

The lowest figure reached by the Dow Jones...

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Japanese macaques

Monkeys don’t have fleas. When they groom each...

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mosquito

The chemical serotonin is in bananas and...

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Mount Everest

Since it was first scaled in 1953, Everest...

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Millions of years ago, India was an island....

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King Tut

A mummy can be a human being or an animal,...

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dog singing

Do you know the “real” title of...

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dog singing

Do you know the “real” title of...

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dog singing

Do you know the “real” title of...

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Narrowest house in the world

The house with the world’s narrowest front is...

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Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls consists of both American Falls...

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Octopus tentacle

An unhatched baby octopus, even inside its egg...

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OK

From the Presidential election of 1840. The...

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Onager

The onager was a wild donkey that lived in the...

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Virginia Opossum baby

Consider the opossum. If wounded while playing...

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baby orangutans

Indigenous peoples of Indonesia and Malaysia...

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Ostrich close-up

The eye of an ostrich is bigger than its brain...

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owl on alert

The owl is the only bird that can look at...

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Giant Panda and cub

The Giant Panda looks like a bear. But it has...

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colorful parrot

Parrots don’t care how food smells. If it...

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Peacock

A male peacock becomes fully feathered at 3...

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Pengins

Can you name a place on Earth that has both...

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IPA Diacritics

Here is the military phonetic alphabet (also...

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Baby pig

Entertain your pig — it’ll pay off at the...

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Polar bear napping

A polar bear’s fur absorbs nearly all the...

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Pony Express poster

The Pony Express service ran between St....

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Porpoise

Porpoises in the wild can remember strings of...

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sonogram

Healthiest babies are born to women who gain...

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U.S. Presidential seal

The United States Constitution names the...

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Reticulated python

Pythons (like boas) are constrictors. They...

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cigarette in ashtray

According to the American Cancer Society and...

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QWERTY keys

Almost every alphabetic keyboard in the world...

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baby rabbit

A mother rabbit tells whether a baby is hers...

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raccoon

If that footprint looks like the footprint of...

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Millions of people wear some type of dentures...

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reindeer

Laplanders who still herd reindeer use...

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pink rose

Roses have been cultivated from the earliest...

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Salt shaker

The word “salary” comes from solarium,...

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Eye of the pelican

The real name for a “gooney bird” is laysan...

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Cushion starfish

Even a swift seahorse only swims about a foot...

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Sea Lion

The richest milk is said to come from the...

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tiger shark

Sharks have no bones except in their teeth and...

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wooly sheep

Mongolia’s sheep outnumber its people 15...

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Silly Putty

The history of Silly Putty and how a failed...

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Scarlet kingsnake

Most popular pet snake is the king. Most...

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spiderweb

Am told a single thread of spider silk long...

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From the look of it, you might think that a...

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U.S. states

All of the United States’ 50 states have a...

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The Statue of Liberty closeup

The face of the Statue of Liberty was modeled...

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Stellars Sea Cow restoration

The Stellar’s Sea Cow (Hydramalis gigas...

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four-leaf clover

Green is the dominant color in Ireland’s...

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North American Wild Turkey

Wild Turkeys usually get around by walking or...

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floral teacup

Some teas can be slightly bitter and...

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Sumatran tiger

Tigers are the largest living species of cat....

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World Time Zones

By convention, weather scientists use the...

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question mark

Are poinsettias poisonous? Where are Panama...

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Trilobite

Trilobites are the single most diverse group...

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Turtle

The only reptile not disliked or despised by...

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Tortoise

In the USA — a turtle is found in or around...

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U.S. Route 6 sign

February 1865 is the only month in recorded...

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Hmmmmm

What do you get outside — rain, snow, or what...

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Volcano

Tsunamis are often called tidal waves,...

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Walrus

The walrus likes to eat clams...not by the...

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Orca

Marine scientists can now take a whale’s pulse...

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Your name is probably the first thing you...

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Whistler's Mother

The painting popularly known as “...

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The White Cliffs of Dover

The famous white cliffs of Dover...

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Gray wolf

The “lone wolf” is an overly romanticized...

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Red Bellied Woodpecker

Ever wonder why woodpeckers don’t get...

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silkworm

The light from a glowworm comes from an area...

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Zebra Couple

Zebras like to pal around with ostriches...and...

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