Tinkle Facts
Animal Discoveries from 2021!
Writer: Devika Soni
Illustrator: Manas Bhagwat


2021 was an interesting year for the animal kingdom. Researchers learnt lots of fascinating things about birds and animals around the world. Let’s find out what fascinating discoveries were made! 

  • Researchers discovered a new species of chameleon in a rainforest in northern Madagascar. This creature, called Brookesia nana or B. nana for short, is the size of a sunflower seed! It might be the smallest reptile on Earth! 
  • Scientists successfully cloned a black-footed ferret to protect this endangered species! It was the first time they were able to clone a native endangered species in the United States. Cells from a female ferret, Willa, who passed away in the 1980s, were used to create the cloned ferret named Elizabeth Anne. 
  • Experts founds 497 species of bees living in an area over 9.5 sq km wide in the San Bernandino Valley between Arizona and Mexico. This is by far the highest concentration of bee diversity on the planet. 
  • Scientists discovered that horses and donkeys can dig over 1.8 metres (or six feet) underground to find water. They found many such wells in the Sonoran Desert in western Arizona and in the Mojave Desert. They also found that over 57 different animal species had visited these water sources. 
  • Usually if an animal loses its head, it also loses its life, right? That’s not the case for two species of sea slugs. These slugs can separate their heads from their bodies and grow new bodies for the heads! Unfortunately, the headless bodies aren’t able to grow a new head and are lost. 
  • Experts noticed that some sulphur-crested cockatoos learned how to open dustbin lids in Sydney, Australia. Soon, they passed on this knowledge to others cockatoos in their group. This skill has introduced a new food source for the birds and given human beings a sneak peek into how birds acquire new skills. 
  • A grey whale set the world record for a marine vertebrate by travelling over 26,800 km, almost halfway around the world. It was also the first grey whale ever to be spotted in the southern hemisphere near Namibia in 2013.  
  • Scientists learned about an interesting competition hosted by Indian jumping ants to pick their queen. The female ant that wins the competition can shrink her brain by up to 25 per cent and expand her ovaries to lay more eggs. But these queens can also be demoted to worker ants. When that happens, their reproductive organs and brains go back to their normal sizes! 
National Geographic

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