Madagascar, it can be said, is the greatest stronghold of chameleons in the world. Of the 200 or so species, almost half can be found on this huge island. The rest are primarily found in Africa, with a few in Asia, and two species – the common chameleon and the African chameleon – even extending into southern Europe. It may even be the case that the chameleon family as a whole originated in what is now Madagascar before it split off from mainland Africa.
Animal World Records
The common ostrich is the tallest and heaviest bird alive today. It can grow up to 2.8 metres in height and weigh up to 150 kg, which is 50,000 times heavier than the smallest bird, the bee hummingbird. Unsurprisingly, the eggs that the ostrich lays are the largest produced by any bird. Weighing about 1.4 kg on average – the equivalent of two dozen chicken eggs, or around 3,000 hummingbird eggs – it takes about 50 minutes to soft boil one and over an hour and a half to hard boil.
A few weeks ago, in one of our British Wildlife of the Week articles, we looked at the goldcrest and the firecrest – the two smallest birds in Britain and Europe. But although they are undoubtedly miniature marvels in their own right, they’re not the smallest birds in the whole world. That title goes to the bee hummingbird.
If you read our previous article on the European mole, you’ll know that The Nature Nook is celebrating moles of all kinds throughout January. Today, we’ll be looking at a mole that happens to be a record holder. It’s the iconically bizarre star-nosed mole, and it has been named the fastest eating mammal in the world.
The great salmon run of North America. The famous wildebeest trek across the Serengeti. The mammoth migration of the green sea turtle to lay its eggs. These are just a few examples of epic journeys undertaken by animals. But even these pale in comparison to the migration of a small, slender, white seabird with a forked tail that weighs less than half a pound: the Arctic tern.