Ostrich mothers lay their eggs in a communal nest, allowing the eggs and young to all be cared for by one bonded pair; up to 380 chicks have been seen being escorted by loving parents.
Mother cheetahs become so exhausted from tending to their boisterous youngsters that they are known to fall asleep while stalking prey.
Giant South African bullfrogs are devoted fathers who have attacked lions and elephants while defending tadpoles.
Ravens and crows like to play and have been observed sliding down snow banks on their backs, cavorting in updrafts and sliding repeatedly down sloping church windows.
Much of elephants’ complex language is based on infrasound—below the level of human hearing---and enables separated family members to communicate with each other over vast distances.
Parrots cannot bear to be alone; While most mate for life, all live in large social groups, sometimes with multiple species of birds.
Pigeons are actually domesticated rock doves who were set free. They are marvelous parents: the father builds the nest, and both parents take turns incubating the eggs and even making milk in their crops for the young.
Bees alert other hive members to food and new home locations and to conditions within their own hive (such as nectar supply) through intricate “dance” movements.
Mother squirrels are so protective of their babies that they kick the fathers out of the nests for the spring and summer, but may allow them back to bunk with the family during winter.
Wood roaches are monogamous, raise one group of children, and live in one log for their entire life.
Alaskan buffalo have been observed charging down hills and sliding across icy ponds, bellowing with delight, and then climbing back up the hill to do it again.
Opossums, who are marsupials, are great at insect control; a neighborhood with opossums is less buggy than one without.
Some male frogs in the rainforest, who send messages by drumming with their feet are the sole caretakers of their young. After the mother lays eggs, the father guard s the nest and carries his kids on his back.
Orphaned chimpanzees are adopted by their aunts, older siblings, or other members of their tribe who teach them how to find natural antibiotics, avoid poisonous plants, and build tree nests.
Baboons are very family-oriented and have conducted “sit-ins,” blocked traffic, and thrown rocks at cars after their youngsters were struck and killed by vehicles.
Prairie dogs speak to one another in a complex language which includes nouns and verbs that has different dialects depending on where they’re from.
Desert rats do not sweat or pant. They get their water by collecting seeds, burying them until they’ve dried out, and then using them as sponges to gather humidity from the air.
Ringed seals build snow caves above their breathing holes in the ice to protect their young from predators.
Octopuses collect bottle caps, attractive stones and other finds from the ocean floor and decorate their dens with them, repositioning an object if it doesn’t seen to suit the design.
Dolphins crave physical attention and will stroke each other with their flippers.
Emperor penguins are the only Antarctic animals that have babies during the winter. Since there are no bedding materials, fathers use their feet and chest to keep the eggs warm.
Mantis shrimp are believed to have the most sophisticated eyes of any animal on Earth. They are also the only known sea animal to use fluorescence as a form of communication.
Some fish protect their babies by opening their mouths and letting the babies swim inside until the predator has passed by.
Squid can change their body color and texture to not only blend in to their surroundings, but to convey different messages on both sides of their bodies, such as projecting a mating color on one side and warning off a predator on the other.
Fish live in groups with social hierarchies. They are able to recognize individual family members, form bonds with other fish, cooperate and even tell time.
Lobsters have the same 9 month gestation period as humans.
Pigs wag their tails when they’re happy, and mother pigs in nature build nests from twigs to give birth in.
Mother cows have crashed fences and traveled for miles to reunite with calves sold to other farms.
Pigs like good sleeping weather: when given the chance, they adjust the thermostat to keep their environment at 80 degrees during the day and at 60 degrees at night.
Every sheep has a different face, and flockmates can recognize each other, even from photographs and even if they’ve been separated for years.
When presented with a round object like a melon ball, groups of turkeys and chickens will toss it around for fun, much like they’re playing football.
Chickens have 24 distinct cries to communicate to one another, including separate alarm calls depending on what kind of predator is threatening them.
The leader of a flock of sheep is usually the oldest and wisest sheep, not the biggest or strongest.
A bond between a chicken and her chick begins a day before the egg hatches; the baby will make peeping noises from inside the shell and the mother will respond in soothing tones.
Geese mate for life and grieve for a long time. if one is killed the other may mourn the loss forever and never remarry.
Dogs study human faces to read our expressions, which help them communicate with their guardians and anticipate their guardians’ plans.
A typical cat spends over 10,000 hours of his or her life purring.
When truly content, rabbits will softly grind their molars in a way that makes them sound like a cats purring.