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Preview: About.com Animals / Wildlife: Most Popular Articles

About.com Animals & Wildlife: Most Popular Articles



These articles are the most popular over the last month.



Published: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:10:20 +0000

 



Can You Name the Six Different Types of Animals?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

In this slideshow, you'll discover the six main animal groups, ranging from the simplest (invertebrates) to the most complex (mammals).



Want to Donate Your Money to Wildlife? Here's...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Do you want to donate your money to a reputable, and effective, wildlife conservation organization? Here's our list of the 10 best, ranging from the World Wildlife Fund to the National Audubon Society.



Do You Know These 12 Animals of North America?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

A slideshow of the 12 most important animals of North America, including mammals, birds, lizards, and butterflies.



Do You Know These Basic Facts About Mammals?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

From an evolutionary perspective, mammals are the most advanced animals on our planet. Here are 10 essential facts about mammals that everyone should know.



Do You Know These 10 Essential Owl Facts?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

How much do you know about owls? Here are 10 essential owl facts, ranging from how these predatory birds hunt to how smart they actually are.



What Makes a Reptile a Reptile?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Here are the five main reptile characteristics, ranging from their vertebrate anatomies to their habit of laying hard-shelled eggs.



10 Fun Facts About Reptiles

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

They're nowhere near as common as they were 100 million years ago, but reptiles are still some of the most distinctive animals on earth.



Do You Know These 10 Essential Amphibian Facts?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

A crucial link between water-dwelling fish and land-dwelling reptiles, amphibians are among the most fascinating animals on earth. Here are 10 fascinating amphibian facts.



10 Ways You Can Help Restore the Balance of...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

What can you do to help protect wildlife? Here are 10 useful ideas, ranging from keeping your cat indoors to throwing away your bug zapper.



How Much Do You Know About Arthropods?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Arthropods--which include insects, spiders, and crustaceans--are by far the most common animals on earth. Here's a slideshow of 10 essential arthropod facts.



10 Fun Octopus Facts

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

With their eight tentacles and bigger-than-average brains, octopuses are among the world's most fascinating creatures. Here's a slideshow of 10 essential octopus facts.



Do You Know These 10 Basic Invertebrate Facts?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The vast majority of animals on earth are invertebrates—animals that lack backbones and internal skeletons. Here are 10 invertebrate facts everyone should know.



An Animal Can't Live Without These 12 Organ...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Animals are characterized by their wide array of organ systems, which help these organisms breathe, reproduce, and respond to their environment. Here's a slideshow of the 12 main animal organ systems.



Do You Know These 10 Essential Bird Facts?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

One of the six basic groups of animals, birds are characterized by their feathers and (in most species) the ability to fly. Here are 10 essential bird facts everyone should know.



The Eight Traits That Make an Animal an Animal

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

What exactly is it that defines an animal? Here's a slideshow of the eight main animal characteristics, ranging from multicellularity to sexual reproduction.



How Jellyfish Grow, From Eggs to Polyps to...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Here's a peek at the jellyfish life cycle, all the way from fertilized egg to full-grown adult.



These Eight Traits Separate Mammals From Other...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

What makes mammals different from other vertebrate animals? Here's a slideshow of the eight main mammal characteristics, ranging from hair to four-chambered hearts.



Population Biology Basics

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Explore the nitty gritty of population biology, a fascinating branch of zoology that investigates the ways in which populations change over time.



Meet the Corals, Kraits and Dugongs of the...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Fish, corals, molluscs, echinoderms, sea snakes, sponges, birds, and mammals all make their home on the Great Barrier Reef. Here's a look at the most notable animals of this famous marine habitat.



10 Facts About Marsupials

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Learn interesting facts about marsupials and find out about the characteristics make them different from other animal groups, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.



A Beginner's Guide to Bird Classification

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

In this slideshow, you'll learn about the 30 main bird groups, ranging from albatrosses to woodpeckers.



Endangered Species: A Closer Look

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Scientists and conservationists who study the animal species that face a high risk of extinction refer to such species as endangered species.



Do You Know These 10 Fascinating Jellyfish Facts?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Ninety-five percent water, equipped with millions of stinging cells, jellyfish are some of the most beautiful (and most dangerous) animals on earth.



How Much Do You Know About Mollusks?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Mollusks include creatures as widely divergent in appearance and behavior as snails, clams and cuttlefish. In this slideshow, you'll learn 10 facts about these fascinating invertebrates.



The 20 Biggest Mammals, from Whales to Rodents

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

A comprehensive list of the world's biggest mammals by type, ranging from whales to hedgehogs.



How Much Do You Know About Giraffes?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

With their long necks, richly patterned coats and stubby ossicones, Giraffes are among the most recognizable animals on earth. Here are 10 essential Giraffe facts.



Animals: Multicellular Creatures That Move

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Explore the vast diversity of animal life, from arrow worms to waterbears, and discover how these remarkable organisms differ from all other living things.



Cute Birds: The Top 10 Most Adorable Birds

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Get a glimpse of some of the most adorable birds alive today and discover why each species is more than just cute, it is also entirely unique.



What Are Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

All living organisms can be sorted into one of two groups depending on the fundamental structure of their cells - prokaryotes or eukaryotes.



How Much Do You Really Know About Bears?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Here are 10 essential bear facts, ranging from how these animals hibernate to how they communicate.



The 4 Basic Reptile Groups

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

An introduction to the four basic groups of reptiles including crocodilians, lizards, snakes and turtles.



Facts About Great Horned Owls

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Great horned owls are a large species of true owls that inhabits many parts of North and South America.



Vertebrates: Famous for Their Backbones

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Discover how the innovation of a supportive backbone enabled the vertebrates to stand tall and go beyond their chordate ancestors.



Understanding Communities and Ecosystems

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Decode some of the jargon that is used in the science of ecology to describe natural communities, populations, and ecosystems.



Animal Profiles: By Scientific Name

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

An A to Z list of animal profiles available at this site, sorted alphabetically by scientific name.



How Do Species Interact?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

It gets complicated when species share the same habitat. This guide will help you to untangle the many interactions that arise when species mingle.



Meet the 21 Orders of Mammals

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Are you familiar with the 21 orders, or groups, of mammals? This slideshow will take you on a guided tour, ranging from tiny aardvarks (order Tubulidentata) to much bigger whales and dolphins (order Cetacea).



The Biggest Threats to Animals and Wildlife

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Living organisms face a constant barrage of external stresses or threats that challenge their ability to survive and reproduce.



What Do Turtles Eat?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

From leaves and grasses to fish and crustaceans, the diet of today's turtles is really quite varied.



Squamates: The Flexible-Jawed Reptiles

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Squamates are a group of reptiles that sheds their skin periodically in patches and have uniquely jointed skulls and jaws.



The 3 Basic Amphibian Groups: A Beginner's...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Decode the secrets of amphibian classification in this beginner's guide to the three basic amphibian groups.



Lion: The Most Social of the Big Cats

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The lion is a species of large cat that has a buff colored coat, white underparts, and a long tail that ends in a black tuft of fur.



The Evolutionary Lessons of Marsupials

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

By 110 million years ago, mammals had diverged into two groups: the placental mammals and the marsupial mammals.



The Basics of Chimp Technology

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Chimpanzees are second only to humans in the variety of tools they use and the innovative ways they employ those tools.



Do You Know These 10 Essential Fish Facts?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The world's oceans, lakes, and rivers harbor tens of thousands of fish species. Here are 10 essential facts about fish that everyone should know.



How Many Animal Species Are There on Earth?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Find out how scientists estimate and count the many millions of animal species that live on our planet today.



Lion Pride: The Social Circle Lions Keep

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Gain an intimate view of the social lives of lions, the only species of cat that hangs out in groups called prides.



Learn About Appalachian Mountain Habitat

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Profile of the Appalachian Mountain Range, an ancient band of mountains that stretches in a southwestern arc from Newfoundland to Alabama.



10 Facts About Snowy Owls

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Snowy owls are large owls with white plumage and their extreme northerly range which includes tundra habitat throughout Alaska, Canada and Eurasia.



10 Facts About Dolphins

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Learn interesting facts about dolphins and find out about the characteristics make them different from other animal groups, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.



Top 10 Facts About Animals

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Expand your understanding of animals and learn some of the basics behind their biology as well as a handful of lesser-known animal facts.



The 3 Basic Fish Groups

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

An introduction to the basic fish groups including bony fishes and cartilaginous fishes.



How Animals Are Shaped by Their Environment

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Discover the remarkable ways that animals are shaped by the natural environment in which they live.



What Is Sexual Dimorphism?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Sexual dimorphism is the difference in form between male and female members of the same species.



The Basics of Vertebrate Evolution

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

An overview of vertebrate evolution that explores the key developments in the evolution of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.



Zoology: The Science and Study of Animals

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Zoology is the study of animals; yet this definition implies a simplicity that does not exist; instead, zoology is a complex discipline, drawing upon a diverse body of scientific observation and theory.



Can You Identify These 30 Different Invertebrat...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

A slideshow of the 31 different types of invertebrates, ranging from amoeba-like placozoans to worms, lobsters, and octopuses.



Aquatic Biome: Reefs, Mangroves, and More

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The aquatic biome consists of habitats around the world that are dominated by water, from tropical reefs, to brackish mangroves, to Arctic lakes.



Animal Profiles: By Common Name

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

An A to Z list of animal profiles available in The Animal Encyclopedia, sorted alphabetically by common name.



What Is Descent with Modification?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Descent with modification refers to the passing on of traits from parent organisms to their offspring.



Myriapods: The Many-Legged Arthropods

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Myriapods are a group of arthropods that includes millipedes, centipedes, pauropods, and symphylans. Myriapods are noted for their having many legs.



Great Barrier Reef

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. It is located off the shores of eastern Australia from Bamaga to Bundaberg, Queensland.



The Mystery of North America's Black Wolves

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Despite their name, gray wolves are colorful canines. Their coat color ranges from white to gray to black and is regulated by complex genetic factors.



Tetrapods And The Tricky Transition to Life On...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

During the Devonian Period, about 375 million years ago, a group of vertebrates clamoured their way out of the water and onto land.



Echinoderms: Famous For Their Five-Point Symmetry

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Echinoderms are a group of marine invertebrates that includes star fish, sea lilies, feather stars, brittle stars, sea cucumbers and sea urchins.



Cetaceans: Mammals of the Sea

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Cetaceans are highly specialized mammals with numerous adaptations that make them well-suited for living in water.



Edge Habitats and Their Animal Inhabitants

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Across the globe, human development now fragments a once-continuous landscape into isolated patches of natural habitats.



Meet the Mammals, Birds and Reptiles of the...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

A slideshow of the most notable animals inhabiting the Amazon River Basin, including toucans, sloths and piranhas.



The 10 Most Important Carnivore Facts

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Carnivores, including dogs, cats, hyenas, and other mammals, are some of the most dangerous animals on earth. Here are 10 carnivore facts everyone should know.



What Do Reptiles Eat? That Depends on How Big...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Here's a guide to the favorite meals of the major reptile groups: snakes, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, and tuataras.



Tundra Biome: The Coldest Biome

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Explore the tundra, a remarkable biome where extreme cold, long winters, and nutrient-poor soils push life to its limits.



Camouflage

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Definition of Camouflage and how it helps animals.



Why Species Have Niches

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Definition of a niche, a term used to describe the role an organism or population plays within its community or ecosystem.



10 Facts About Zebras

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Facts about zebras, a group of equids with a distinct black and white striping pattern.



Segmented Worms: More Than Merely Earthworms

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Segmented worms are bilaterally symmetrical invertebrates that include more than 12,000 species such as earthworms, ragworms and leeches.



Sponges: Glass Sponges, Demosponges, and...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Sponges are a group of simple aquatic invertebrates that include glass sponges, demisponges, and calcareous sponges.



Jellyfish: Flimsy, Floating Carnivores

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Jellyfish are a group of carnivorous cnidarians with a bell-shaped body and tentacles. Jellyfish are delicate, soft-bodied animals.



A Guide to the Cnidarians

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Cnidarians are diverse and come in many shapes and sizes but there are some basic anatomical features that most members of the group share in common.



Keystone Species: Animals With Critical Roles

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Discover how some species can be the glue that holds an entire ecosystem together. And find out why such keystone species are sometimes the least likely critter.



Toothed Whales: Belugas, Narwhals, and More

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Toothed whales, as their name implies, have teeth, a characteristic that distinguishes them from their baleen whales.



10 Facts About Corals

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Learn about corals and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other invertebrate groups.



Do You Know These 10 Basic Primate Facts?

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The mammalian order of primates includes monkeys, apes, lemurs, and human beings. Here are 10 facts about primates that every scientifically literate person should know.



Temperate Forests: The Mild-Climate Forests

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Temperate forests evolved 65 million years ago when global temperatures dropped and, in areas further from the equator, cooler climates emerged.



Desert Biome: The Driest of All Terrestrial...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The desert biome covers one-fifth of the earth's surface and includes habitats that receive very little rainfall each year.



Crocodilians: Good Reptilian Parents

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Crocodilians are a group of large reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and the gharial.



Rocky Mountains: The Backbone of the West

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The Rocky Mountains stretch through western North America from Alaska to New Mexico, forming the middle section of the Western Cordillera.



The Great Lakes: Erie, Huron, Michigan,...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

The Great Lakes is a chain of five large, freshwater lakes that are located in central North America astride the Canada-Unisted States border.



Habitat Loss, Fragmentation, and Destruction

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Habitat destruction is fueled by a fast-growing human population. As human populations increase, we use more land for agriculture, cities, and towns.



Tetrapods: The Four-By-Fours of the Vertebrate...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

When tetrapods arrived on the evolutionary stage, the world was forever changed. Find out how these unique vertebrates paved the way for life on land.



Vipers: The Notorious, Venomous, Long-Fanged...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Vipers are a group of snakes that include true vipers, bush vipers, rattlesnakes, pit vipers, adders and night adders.



Tiger: The World's Largest and Most Powerful Cat

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Tigers are the largest and most powerful of all cats. Tigers have a distinct orange coat, black stripes and white markings.



Monotremes: The Egg-Laying Mammals

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Monotremes are a group of mammals that include echidnas and the platypus.



Barn Owls: The Heart-Shaped Face Owls

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Barn owls are a group of owls that have a heart-shaped face, long legs and powerful talons. Barn owls are medium-sized birds with a large wingspan.



Chordates: Bilaterally Symmetrical Critters

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

From vertebrates to tunicates to lancelets, chordates are a diverse group of animals notable for a rather innovative structure called a notochord.



Brittle Stars: The Sea Stars' Cousins

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Brittle stars are a group of echinoderms that includes about 1500 species. Most species inhabit marine habitats with depths greater than 1500 feet.



Turtles: The Carapace-Clad Reptiles

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Turtles are a group of reptiles best known for the hard shell which is a modification of their ribcage and vertebral column.



Cnidarians: The Radially Symmetrical Invertebra...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Cnidarians are a group of aquatic invertebrates that includes jellyfish, corals, sea anemones and hydras.



Top 10 Facts About Frogs

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Explore the fascinating world of frogs in this fact-packed guide to the most celebrated and farthest-hopping of all amphibians.



Starfish: The Stellar Echinoderms

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Famous for having five arms, starfish are fascinating invertebrates that move across the seafloor using an intricate hydraulic system and tiny tube feet.



From Forest Floor to Canopy: The Layers of a...

2016-12-05T11:10:20Z

Mature forests often have several distinct layers including the forest floor, herb layer, shrub layer, understory, canopy, and emergents.