Skip to Content

60 Fun Facts About US Animals You Probably Didn’t Know

60 Fun Facts About US Animals You Probably Didn't Know
60 Fun Facts About US Animals You Probably Didn't Know. Background image via Pexels.

Let’s dive into these 60 fun facts about US animals that showcase the surprising and intriguing traits of wildlife from across the United States.

From the astounding hunting abilities of eagles to the quirky behaviors of skunks, this list promises to amaze and educate with each fact, revealing the hidden wonders of American fauna.

1. Hummingbirds Can’t Walk

Hummingbirds’ legs are so small and their flying so efficient that they rarely use their legs for walking. Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Image via depositphotos.

Hummingbirds’ legs are so small and their flying so efficient that they rarely use their legs for walking.

2. Alligators Can Live Up to 100 Years

Alligator
Some American alligators have been known to live from 70 to over 100 years in the wild.
Image via Depositphotos.

Some American alligators have been known to live from 70 to over 100 years in the wild.

3. Turkeys Can Change Colour

When a turkey becomes excited, its skin can change color from red to blue to white.
Wild Turkey. Image via depositphotos.

When a turkey becomes excited, its skin can change color from red to blue to white.

4. Bison Have Excellent Memories

American Bison.
Bison are known to remember migration paths and grazing areas year after year.
American Bison. Image by dmbaker via Depositphotos

Bison are known to remember migration paths and grazing areas year after year.

5. Pronghorns Are the Fastest Land Mammals in North America

Pronghorns
Pronghorns can run at speeds close to 60 miles per hour, outpacing predators easily.
Pronghorn. Image by Brett Sayles via Pexels.

Pronghorns can run at speeds close to 60 miles per hour, outpacing predators easily.

6. North American Beavers Are Second Only to Humans in Their Ability to Manipulate and Change Their Environment

North American Beaver
Beavers build complex dam systems that can dramatically alter the ecosystem.
North American beaver (Castor canadensis), also known as the Canadian beaver. Image by Wrangel via Depositphotos.

Beavers build complex dam systems that can dramatically alter the ecosystem.

7. The Monarch Butterfly’s Migration Can Cover 3,000 Miles

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch butterflies travel from Mexico to the northern USA and back again each year.

Monarch Butterfly. By Holmes Ron, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – http://www.public-domain-image.com/public-domain-images-pictures-free-stock-photos/fauna-animals-public-domain-images-pictures/insects-and-bugs-public-domain-images-pictures/butterflies-and-moths-pictures/monarch-butterfly/monarch-butterfly-insect-danaus-plexippus.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24866914

Monarch butterflies travel from Mexico to the northern USA and back again each year.

8. Moose Are Excellent Swimmers

Moose are known to dive underwater for up to 30 seconds to forage for aquatic plants.
Moose in Velvet in Northern Newfoundland via Depositphotos.

Moose are known to dive underwater for up to 30 seconds to forage for aquatic plants.

9. Skunks Can Spray Up to 10 Feet

Skunk
Skunk spray is a defense mechanism that can reach predators at a distance, giving the skunk time to escape.
Skunk in Illinois. Image via American Lotus, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Skunk spray is a defense mechanism that can reach predators at a distance, giving the skunk time to escape.

10. The Opossum Has 50 Teeth

Opossum
Opossums have more teeth than any other North American mammal.

North American Opossum with winter coat. Image via Cody Pope, CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Opossums have more teeth than any other North American mammal.

11. Bald Eagles Build the Largest Tree Nests of Any Animal

bald eagle family
Their nests can be up to 13 feet deep and weigh over a ton.
Image by ABC News via Youtube.

Their nests can be up to 13 feet deep and weigh over a ton.

12. Raccoons Are Excellent Problem Solvers

Racoon
They are known to open complex locks in lab experiments.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor) in cumberland Wildpark Grünau, upper Austria. Image via Isiwal/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They are known to open complex locks in lab experiments.

13. Coyotes Can Detect Hunters from Over a Mile Away

Coyote
Their keen senses make them elusive and hard to catch.

Big Run Wolf Ranch Lemont Illinois. Image via Bob Haarmans, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Their keen senses make them elusive and hard to catch.

14. Sea Otters Hold Hands While They Sleep

Otters
This adorable behavior prevents them from drifting apart in the water.
Otters by Luke Seago via Pexels.

This adorable behavior prevents them from drifting apart in the water.

15. The American Badger Digs Faster Than a Person with a Shovel

dog vs. badger
Their powerful claws allow them to burrow rapidly when in danger or searching for food.
Image by Andy Ballard via Pixabay

Their powerful claws allow them to burrow rapidly when in danger or searching for food.

16. Grey Wolves Can Hear As Far as Six Miles Away in the Forest

Grey wolf
Their acute hearing helps them locate prey and members of their pack over great distances.
Image of a grey wolf in spring. Image via Pexels.

Their acute hearing helps them locate prey and members of their pack over great distances.

17. The American Crocodile is the Only Crocodile Native to North America

american crocodile
It mainly lives in the saltwaters of South Florida.
Biscayne Americann Crocodile on rock near water. Image via Pexels

It mainly lives in the saltwaters of South Florida.

18. Box Turtles Can Live Where They Were Born Their Entire Life

They often occupy a home range of less than 200 yards throughout their life.

Ornate box turtle. Peter Paplanus from St. Louis, Missouri, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They often occupy a home range of less than 200 yards throughout their life.

19. Armadillos Have Four Identical Offspring at a Time

Armadillo
They are the only mammal that gives birth to quadruplets every time.

Southern Naked-tailed Armadillo.
Image by Ondrej Prosicky via depositphotos.com

They are the only mammal that gives birth to quadruplets every time.

20. The Peregrine Falcon Is the Fastest Bird

It can dive at over 240 miles per hour to capture prey.
Peregrine Falcon.
Image via depositphotos.

It can dive at over 240 miles per hour to capture prey.

21. Gila Monsters are One of the Few Venomous Lizards

Gila monsters carry venom in their saliva, which they use to subdue small mammal prey.

Gila monster poison lizard. Image by DesignPicsInc on depositphotos.

Gila monsters carry venom in their saliva, which they use to subdue small mammal prey.

22. Elk Antlers Can Grow an Inch Per Day

elk at night
During the summer, elk antlers are among the fastest growing living tissues on earth.
Roosevelt Elk. Image via depositphotos.

During the summer, elk antlers are among the fastest growing living tissues on earth.

23. Golden Eagles Have Remarkable Hunting Skills

Golden Eagle
Golden eagles are skilled hunters that can dive at speeds of over 150 miles per hour to catch prey, ranging from rabbits to even deer in their rugged mountainous habitats.

Golden Eagle in Valencia Birding Photography Hides.
Image by Mark van Jaarsveld via Unsplash

Golden eagles are skilled hunters that can dive at speeds of over 150 miles per hour to catch prey, ranging from rabbits to even deer in their rugged mountainous habitats.

24. Painted Turtles Hibernate in the Mud

They survive winter by burying themselves in the mud and slowing their metabolism drastically.
A painted turtle.
Image via depositphotos.

They survive winter by burying themselves in the mud and slowing their metabolism drastically.

25. California Condors Have the Largest Wingspan of Any North American Bird

California Condor in flight.
Their wings can stretch nearly 10 feet from tip to tip, allowing them to soar effortlessly.

California Condor in flight. By Don Graham from Redlands, CA, USA – God bless it! – california-condor-gymnogyps-californianus-078, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45477993

Their wings can stretch nearly 10 feet from tip to tip, allowing them to soar effortlessly.

26. Eastern Grey Squirrels Can Fall 30 Feet Without Injury

Eastern grey squirrel
Their bushy tails and agile bodies allow them to survive falls from high places.

An Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in St James’s Park, London, England. Image via Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Their bushy tails and agile bodies allow them to survive falls from high places.

27. American Kestrels Use Ultraviolet Light to Hunt

They can see ultraviolet light, which helps them track the urine trails of small prey.

American Kestrel via Pixabay.

They can see ultraviolet light, which helps them track the urine trails of small prey.

28. Manatees Can Hear Ten Times Better Underwater Than Humans

Manatee Family
Their hearing is adapted to the underwater environment where they spend most of their lives.
Image by Noaa via Unsplash

Their hearing is adapted to the underwater environment where they spend most of their lives.

29. The American Pika Does Not Hibernate

Instead, pikas collect and store dried grasses to eat through the winter months.

American Pika in Canada. Image by Shawn.ccf via deposit images.

Instead, pikas collect and store dried grasses to eat through the winter months.

30. The Green Heron Uses Tools to Fish

Grey heron
They drop bait onto the surface of the water to attract fish within striking range.

Grey heron in Parc Georges-Valbon, France. Image via Alexis Lours, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They drop bait onto the surface of the water to attract fish within striking range.

31. Ring-Tailed Cats Are Not Actually Cats

ringtail cat
Despite their name, these creatures are closer relatives to raccoons and coatimundis.
Image by slowmotiongli via Depositphotos

Despite their name, these creatures are closer relatives to raccoons and coatimundis.

32. The American Bison’s Hump Is Made of Muscle

bison
This muscular hump enables them to plow through snow to find food in winter.

Side profile close up of an American bison, also known as buffalo, with its tongue sticking out in Yellowstone National Park. Image by ruhuntn@hotmail.com via depositphotos.com

This muscular hump enables them to plow through snow to find food in winter.

33. Loggerhead Turtles Can Use the Earth’s Magnetic Field to Navigate

loggerhead turtle
They return to the exact beach where they were born to lay their own eggs using magnetic cues.
Image by Tanguy Sauvin via Unsplash.

They return to the exact beach where they were born to lay their own eggs using magnetic cues.

34. The Florida Panther Can Leap More Than 15 Feet in the Air

Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi).
This ability helps them catch prey and navigate their swampy habitat.

Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi). By U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Flickr, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31364438

This ability helps them catch prey and navigate their swampy habitat.

35. The Snapping Turtle Can Bite with a Force of Over 1000 Pounds Per Square Inch

snapping turtle
Their powerful jaws help them catch a variety of prey.

Snapping Turtle in someone’s hand. Image by Scottslm via pixabay

Their powerful jaws help them catch a variety of prey.

36. The Eastern Mole Is Virtually Blind

Eastern moles rely almost exclusively on their keen sense of touch and vibrations in the ground to navigate and find food, rather than on their very limited vision.
Image via wikimedia commons.

Eastern moles rely almost exclusively on their keen sense of touch and vibrations in the ground to navigate and find food, rather than on their very limited vision.

37. Northern Flying Squirrels Don’t Actually Fly

Northern Flying Squirrel Yosemite National Park
Instead, they glide between trees using a flap of skin along their bodies.

Northern Flying Squirrel. Image by dwiputra18@gmail.com via Depositphotos

Instead, they glide between trees using a flap of skin along their bodies.

38. The Hoary Bat Is One of the Most Widespread Bats in America

Hawaiian hoary bat
It can be found in most parts of the U.S. and even parts of Canada.

Hawaiian hoary bat. Image by Sally Dixon via Unsplash

It can be found in most parts of the U.S. and even parts of Canada.

39. Desert Tortoises Can Live Without Water for Over a Year

Their ability to store water and metabolize efficiently makes them well-suited for arid environments.

Large tortoise reptile walking on sandy ground through an arid desert landscape.
Image by paulvinten via Depositphotos

Their ability to store water and metabolize efficiently makes them well-suited for arid environments.

40. The Blue Jay Mimics the Calls of Hawks

This clever bird can mimic the calls of hawks to scare off other birds.

Blue Jay perched on a branch with a blur background in the forest environment and habitat.
Image via depositphotos.

This clever bird can mimic the calls of hawks to scare off other birds.

41. The Great Basin Spadefoot Toad Can Burrow Up to a Meter Underground

They use their specially adapted hind feet to dig into the ground for protection.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Spadefoot_pic.jpg
Great Spadefoot Toad. Image by National Park Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

They use their specially adapted hind feet to dig into the ground for protection.

42. Bobcats Can Survive in Diverse Environments

bobcat
From forests to deserts, bobcats are highly adaptable and can live almost anywhere in North America.

Bobcat lazily yawning.
Image via Pixabay.

From forests to deserts, bobcats are highly adaptable and can live almost anywhere in North America.

43. The Eastern Chipmunk Can Gather Up to 165 Acorns in a Day

Eastern Chipmunk
They store these acorns and other seeds in their extensive burrows.

Eastern Chipmunk with cheeks filled of food supply, Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Quebec, Canada. Image via Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They store these acorns and other seeds in their extensive burrows.

44. The American Goldfinch Changes Color with the Seasons

60 Fun Facts About US Animals You Probably Didn't Know
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Quebec, Canada. Image via Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They sport a bright yellow coat in summer, which fades to a drab brown in winter.

45. Mountain Lions Can Jump Up to 15 Feet High from a Standstill

Mountain lion
Their powerful hind legs give them exceptional jumping ability.

Mountain lion in Glacier National Park. National Park Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Their powerful hind legs give them exceptional jumping ability.

46. The Alaskan Malamute Can Carry Nearly Half Its Weight

Alaskan Malamute
This strength made them valuable as sled dogs during the gold rush.

Alaskan Malamute. Image via depositphotos.

This strength made them valuable as sled dogs during the gold rush.

47. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Weighs Less Than a Penny

Ruby-throated hummingbird sitting on a wooden pole. Joe Schneid, Louisville, Kentucky, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Yet, it can migrate over 1000 miles each year.

Ruby-throated hummingbird sitting on a wooden pole. Joe Schneid, Louisville, Kentucky, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Yet, it can migrate over 1000 miles each year.

48. The Eastern Screech-Owl Has Perfectly Camouflaged Feathers

Their plumage allows them to blend seamlessly into the bark of trees.

Screech Owl. Image via depositphotos.

Their plumage allows them to blend seamlessly into the bark of trees.

49. Sea Otters Have the Densest Fur in the Animal Kingdom

Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) swimming in the sea.
With up to a million hair follicles per square inch, their fur is vital for insulation.

Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) swimming in the sea. Image by wrangel via Depositphotos

With up to a million hair follicles per square inch, their fur is vital for insulation.

50. The Northern Cardinal Is Monogamous

Cardinal
They often mate for life and sing duet songs with their partners.

A male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) at the bird viewing blind in Abilene State Park, Texas. Image via Larry D. Moore, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They often mate for life and sing duet songs with their partners.

51. The Antillean Manatee Communicates Using High-Pitched Sounds

manatee under water
These sounds help them stay in contact in murky waters.

Endangered Florida Manatee Underwater with Snorkelers in Background. Image via Depositphotos

These sounds help them stay in contact in murky waters.

52. The North American Porcupine Has Over 30,000 Quills

North American Porcupine
Each quill has a barbed tip that makes it difficult to remove once embedded.

Porcupine in a tree. Image by Bernell via Pixabay.

Each quill has a barbed tip that makes it difficult to remove once embedded.

53. The Mink Frog Breath Through their Skin

edible frog
Unlike many other animals, mink frogs can absorb oxygen through their skin, which allows them to “breathe” underwater during winter.

Edible frogs found in lakes and streams Image by Dennis Jacobsen via Depositphotos

Unlike many other animals, mink frogs can absorb oxygen through their skin, which allows them to “breathe” underwater during winter.

54. The Black-footed Ferret Was Once Thought to be Extinct

Black-Footed Ferret
Rediscovered in 1981, these ferrets are now part of a successful breeding and reintroduction program.

Black-Footed Ferret. By USFWS Mountain-Prairie – https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/26003368476/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48369591

Rediscovered in 1981, these ferrets are now part of a successful breeding and reintroduction program.

55. The White-nosed Coati Forages with Its Flexible Snout

Coati
This feature helps it rummage through leaf litter and soil to find insects and fruits.
Image by ByChelo via Pexels.

This feature helps it rummage through leaf litter and soil to find insects and fruits.

56. The American Alligator Can Grow New Teeth

Alligator
They have the ability to replace each of their 80 teeth up to 50 times over their lifetime.

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) photographed in Chambers Co., Texas, USA. Image via Wilafa, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They have the ability to replace each of their 80 teeth up to 50 times over their lifetime.

57. The Harris’s Hawk Hunts in Groups

Harris's Hawk
This behavior is unusual for raptors and allows them to take down larger prey.
Image by James Lee via Unsplash

This behavior is unusual for raptors and allows them to take down larger prey.

58. Spotted Skunks Perform Handstands to Deter Threats

Western spotted skunk Yosemite National Park
Spotted skunks perform a unique defensive handstand to make themselves appear larger and display their warning markings to potential predators before spraying.

Western spotted skunk By This file was contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Colorado State University Libraries as part of a cooperation project. The donation was facilitated by the Digital Public Library of America, via its partner Plains to Peaks Collective.Record in source catalogDPLA identifier: 61507d6d7c851b601f5f6d74ca406678, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116303677

Spotted skunks perform a unique defensive handstand to make themselves appear larger and display their warning markings to potential predators before spraying.

59. The American Woodcock’s Intricate Mating Dance

60 Fun Facts About US Animals You Probably Didn't Know
American Woodcock via Flickr

The American woodcock engages in an elaborate mating ritual called the “sky dance,” which involves spiraling flights and musical twittering sounds made by their wings to attract mates in their woodland habitats.

60. The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Is the Largest Venomous Snake in North America

They can reach lengths of up to 8 feet and are known for their potent venom.

Head of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). Image via Pexels.

They can reach lengths of up to 8 feet and are known for their potent venom.

Next Up:

Top 10 States With The Most Bison

Discover Animals and Wildlife in the USA

Join our Forum for free today!

Animal Forum
Click Here
Grizzly Bear Spotted Feet From Alaskan Campsite Top 10 States With The Most Cougar Top 10 States With The Most Moose Top 10 States With The Most Coyote Top 10 States With The Most Elk