Learn about Animals

The word animal comes from the Latin word animal meaning “with soul”.

What do Animals look like?

Animals come in all shapes and sizes. There are hundreds of different types. Some are big, and some are small. Some are tall and some are short. Some have two legs, four legs and even eight legs like a spider. A spider is an animal (arachnid) and not an insect because insects only have six legs. Animals come in all colors and can be stripy like a zebra or come in a single color only. Some even are covered in spots like a dalmation. Some are covered in fur, some in scales and some in feathers. The main thing about animals is their huge variety in the way they look. Like humans, animals come in all different weights, sizes and colors. However, animals are much more diverse. For example a mouse looks very different from a giraffe don’t you think? But most humans look more or less the same and most of us just walk to get around. Animals move in many different ways – swim, hop, fly or run! Animals are an important part of life. They share our beautiful planet with us and are part of our ecosystem. They provide us with food, protection and companionship.

Try this incredible collection of animal books by Tracey Hecht if you are looking for ideas to teach your children about animals in a fresh way. These fantastic books will broaden their understanding of animals, and the activity box we’ve linked to here also includes comes with a plush toy! Click here to buy.

Where do animals live?

Animals live all over our planet. Birds live in the sky, fish in the water and fur animals on dry land. Some live on both the land and the sea like a seal! Some even have their home on their back like a snail (a shell). The shell keeps the snail safe. Snakes shed their skin and then live in a new one. Animals have been around for a very long time. They first signs of animal life (phyla) was back 542 million years ago! Animals can be found literally everywhere. They can be found in cities and towns, forests and jungles, deserts, mountains and the ocean. Animals can be found in any climate (temperature) hot or cold. Some animals even live in the sky, some in salt water or fresh water and some on dry land. Also, some animals are domesticated. Domesticated means that they live with human’s in houses like dogs and cats. Many animals live in the wild and some wild animals even live in a zoo.

What do animals eat?

It depends. Some don’t like meat and will only eat plants like grass. An example of this would be a cow or a giraffe. Some will only eat meat like a tiger. Some animals even eat both (omnivore). A good example of an omnivore would be a rat or a pig. But you can’t always tell just by looking at them if an animal eats meat or just plants. Polar bears are classified as carnivores while pandas are classified as herbivores. Animals also eat differently. Some gulp their food and some chew slowly like donkeys. Some use claws, sharp teeth, beaks or even talons for catching other animals to eat. Here is an interactive book about the diets of animals. This book helps broaden your child’s education and familiarize them with the food of animals. Click here to buy. The author also has another book entitled “Where Do Animals Poop?” As most parents are well aware young kids are obsessed with the word “poop”, so this book is sure to be a big hit in many households.

How are animals important to humans?

Dogs are man’s best friend. Cows provide us with milk and meat. Sheep provide us with wool. Monkeys make us laugh. Chicken lay our eggs for breakfast! And bees provide us with honey for our toast…although bees are in fact insects because they have six legs!

Interesting Facts:

  • Aristotle was the first person to divide the living world between animals and plants.
  • Carl Von Linne created “phylums” for classifications - The three phylums he created are: Chordate, Vertebrates and Invertebrates.
  • Some animals are hatched from eggs like a frog or a chicken but some look like a miniature versions of their parents - a “mini-me”. A good example of this would be a foal which is a baby horse.
  • Just like humans all animals need air, food and water to live.