Category: animals

Quetzalcoatlus, the largest known flying animal ever, was as tall as a giraffe. It flew over North America during the Late Cretaceous, about 100.5–66 million years ago. The name comes from the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl.

More than 40,000 years ago, Australia used to be home to many species of giant kangaroos. One, the
short-faced kangaroo, had a single-toed clawed foot (modern-day kangaroos have three toes), and weighed more than 260 pounds (118 kilograms, modern-day kangaroos reach only 200 lbs). And the short-faced kangaroo had a box-shaped head. A recent study of the short-faced kangaroo’s odd skull shape found that it was specifically adapted to eat
tough foods like mature leaves, stems, and branches when other food sources were scarce.

That makes the short-faced kangaroo very similar to the modern-day giant panda. They both have thick jaws, and specialized skulls, evolved for eating the toughest plants that other animals can’t.
When times are hard, the short-faced kangaroo and the giant panda both have a competitive edge.

And some other animals’ names, too

Animals who live in polar waters or deep-sea waters tend to evolve into bigger animals than related species who live in shallower waters, in a phenomenon known as “polar gigantism.” Exactly why this happens is unknown.

Westmoreland Recorder, Kansas, July 31, 1913

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The Picture Magazine, 1894

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The Picture Magazine, 1893

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The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York, August 16, 1934

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In German East Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania) during World War I, soldiers painted this pony to resemble one of the local zebras so it could be tethered in the open without being shot. The Imperial War Museum adds, “Two white ponies behind anxiously await their makeovers.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri, May 26, 1907

 

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