The Scrappy Hunters of the African Savannah

by Dani Williams, age 13

The brown hyena is a dog-like animal found in southern Africa. The hyena’s strong bite, varied diet, and recognizable smell are is not the only amazing facts about these animals, however.

A brown hyena usually weighs 81.6 to 110.2 pounds: females average 83 to 89 pounds, while males average 89 to 96 pounds. Hyenas mainly feed on carrion, which is the flesh of a dead animal. If they need to, though, they will also catch live prey. Hyenas supplement their diets with vegetables, eggs, and fruit. They also sometimes rely on the leftovers of other predators. They are very good hunters, which is a useful skill in the wild. [Read More]

Rare Creatures Lurk in the Vanishing Forests of Madagascar

by Callan Bird Bear, age 13

The forests of Madagascar, an island located off the east coast of Africa, are host to many unique plants and animals. Madagascar was first discovered by humans approximately two thousand years ago. Now, less than ten percent of the lush forest remains – the sole habitat of many indigenous animals.

The fossa, scientific name cryptoprocta ferox, is a relative to the mongoose and dwells in Madagascar’s forests. The fossa is a cat-like creature with reddish-brown fur. Its lean body and long tail, which it uses for balance, allows the mammal to quickly and easily move throughout the trees. [Read More]

The Sand Cat: An Adept Desert Animal

by Rory Schaefer, age 12

The sand cat, or Felis margarita, may look like a typical house cat. However, it is actually a diminutive predator whose unique characteristics allow it to survive in the harsh deserts of the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa.

The sand cat is roughly 50 times smaller than a lion, weighing six to nine pounds and measuring 30 to 37 inches. The sand cat's gray-blond coat helps it camouflage when hunting and hiding from predators. The animal has short stocky limbs to help it dig, definitive rust-red markings along its cheeks, and dense wiry hairs that protect its paw pads from the scorching desert sand. [Read More]

Believe It or Not, Living Rocks Do Exist

by Zella Milfred, age 14

Think about how often you see rocks every day. Have you ever imagined that one could be alive? Unless you are in Chile or Peru, this probably isn’t the case. But then again, after reading about this creature, you may believe anything is possible.

Pyura chilensis, better known as the living rock, inhabits the Pacific coasts of Chile and Peru. This creature belongs to the Ascidiacea class of non-moving marine invertebrates normally known as “sea squirts.” It eats by inhaling the water surrounding it and filtering the nutritious microalgae in its pharynx, which essentially serves as its mouth. This organ is connected to the animal's digestive tract. After filtering the water, the rock exhales the non-essential fluid once again. [Read More]

More Recent Animal Watch Articles

The sand cat, or Felis margarita, may look like a typical house cat. However, it is actually a diminutive predator whose unique characteristics allow it to survive in the harsh deserts of the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa. [read more...]
The brown hyena is a dog-like animal found in southern Africa. The hyena’s strong bite, varied diet, and recognizable smell are is not the only amazing facts about these animals, however. [read more...]
The forests of Madagascar, an island located off the east coast of Africa, are host to many unique plants and animals. Madagascar was first discovered by humans approximately two thousand years ago. Now, less than ten percent of the lush forest remains – the sole habitat of many indigenous animals. [read more...]
Imagine a world without sea turtles. It would certainly be a less interesting place. The sea turtle is amazing, but it is also endangered. In fact, researchers estimate that only 85,000 of these aquatic animals are alive today. [read more...]
Think about how often you see rocks every day. Have you ever imagined that one could be alive? Unless you are in Chile or Peru, this probably isn’t the case. But then again, after reading about this creature, you may believe anything is possible. [read more...]
Both King Penguins and Emperor Penguins are fascinating subspecies of the adorable and intelligent penguin. So what makes these two creatures different? [read more...]
Mayflies are a sub-species of dragonfly that live underwater for three years before emerging as adults and dying within hours. These fascinating insects lose their digestive systems upon becoming adults, hence their inevitable deaths. But mayflies are only one of about 8,600 dragonfly-related bugs, each with their own unique features. [read more...]
Sea pigs live in all the world’s oceans, but most of us will never see them. These pigs can make up to 95 percent of the total weight of animals on the ocean floor. [read more...]
African wild dogs used to be widespread across the southern Sahara in Africa, but they are now limited to scattered localities in eastern and western Africa. [read more...]
The snow leopard is an endangered animal. In fact, only 4,500 to 7,500 of these creatures are estimated alive today. [read more...]
The Spectacled Bear's ancestors arrived in North America approximately two million years ago. Originally from Central and South American countries including Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, these ginormous mammals are one of eight in the bear family. [read more...]
What creature is smaller than an ocelot and bigger than a wildcat, but looks like both? The margay, that's what! [read more...]
A species of arachnids, spiders are widely unique creatures. Spiders have a number of interesting physical features. [read more...]
What is the ugliest, strangest, grumpiest looking animal? According to the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, it’s the blobfish. [read more...]
The red panda is a mammal famous for its resemblance to panda bears. Red pandas typically weigh between six and 13.2 pounds and measure 51 to 63 centimeters long. They tend to mate in January through March and can have up to four babies, though on average they only have two. [read more...]
Did you know that several generations of the giant forest hog’s offspring live with their families in extended family groups just like humans do? [read more...]
The Burmese python is an invasive species currently causing severe problems in Florida. In recent years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many other organizations have spent more than six million dollars trying to find a solution to curb this problem. [read more...]
Bald eagles rule the North American skies with amazing eyesight. In fact, their vision is four to eight times stronger than the average human being's. [read more...]
Jaguars are not only strong swimmers – they're also the only wildcats that enjoy going in water. This is just one of their many unique characteristics. [read more...]
Many vertebrates use their teeth, jaws, or breaks to capture and eat their prey. The type of tooth, beak, or jaw depends on where the vertebrae lives and what exactly it eats. [read more...]
Organisms as different as penguins, cacti and zebras all share planet earth based on rainfall and temperature, they each occupy different habitats. The habitats that make up planet earth are oceans, wetlands, forest, grasslands, deserts, mountains, and polar habitats. [read more...]
Over 3,400 snake species exist on planet Earth-about 50 in America and 21 in Wisconsin. Both, major differences and similarities can be found among the species. [read more...]
About 100,000 years ago tigers roamed the Indochinese region. Thus deemed “Indochinese Tigers,” these powerful beasts are said to be the ancestors of all other tiger subspecies. [read more...]
The Malayan tiger, or panthera tigris jacksonipanthera tigris jacksoni, is a subspecies of the Indochinese tiger. Though this subspecies is more numerous than other types of tiger, its population is dwindling. , is a subspecies of the Indochinese tiger. Though this subspecies is more numerous than other types of tiger, its population is dwindling. [read more...]
For hundreds of years during the age of exploration, western scientists heard stories about giant dragons living on jungle islands in southeast Asia. Sailors and explorers from Europe and America didn't believe the tales. Today, however, scientists know that the seemingly ridiculous myths are actually true. [read more...]
>Every year, scientists discover close to 20,000 new species of animals, most of which are insects. The discovery of a mammal is much rarer. For that reason, scientists were recently surprised to find a new species of mole rat in Africa. [read more...]
La Western Diamondback serpiente de cascabel (crotalus atrox) es la única serpiente que actualmente traquetea. Estas serpientes de cascabel son “generalistas,” que significa que no son tan delicadas respecto a su hábitat. Se pueden encontrar en el suroeste de los Estados Unidos y México en los desiertos, llanuras, bosques, laderas rocosas y áreas a lo largo de la costa. [read more...]
Eight years ago, the smallest breed of rabbits in North America -- the pygmy rabbit -- was close to extinction. Currently, scientists are trying to help this species survive. [read more...]
Carnivorous animals all have one thing in common: they eat meat to survive. However, the strategic ways in which they capture their meat differs vastly. [read more...]
What crawls on eight legs and hunts to stay alive? Spiders, scorpions, ticks, and mites all fit this description. [read more...]
¿Cómo afecta el cambio climático a los animales del Norte en el Ártico? [read more...]
¿Sabías que hay aproximadamente 400 tipos de ranas en el grupo de anfibios? Los anfibios respiran con sus branquias cuando son renacuajos y con sus bronquios cuando son adultos. Dentro de los anfibios existe el grupo de anuros que incluye las ranas y los sapos. Los anuros cuentan con mas de 5.000 especies, de las cuales 400 son ranas y 300 son sapos. [read more...]