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Hyenas

Hyenas
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Hyenas are generally thought of and portrayed as dog-like creatures, but these wild animals are actually more closely related to cats, according to National Geographic! Their scientific classification puts them in the ‘Feliformia’ suborder, one of two suborders in the Carnivora order. Feliformia is the ‘cat-like’ carnivores; the other suborder, unsurprisingly, is ‘Caniformia’. But hyenas are still different enough from big cats to have their own separate family classification, entirely their own family, ‘Hyaenidae’.

Honey badgers

Honey badgers
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Though honey badgers have developed a reputation for being ferocious and just about indestructible, partly because of their taste for poisonous snakes, they’re actually not naturally immune to poison. When they’re young, their mothers slowly introduce them to poisonous animals like tiny scorpions so that they develop an immunity. Oh, and their name might be something of a misnomer. Though they do look similar, they’re not actually closely related to European badgers; they’re actually part of the weasel family.

Toucan

Toucan
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If their colourful appearance and huge, almost plush-looking beaks give you the impression that toucans are a fun-loving species, well…you’d be right! According to National Geographic, as part of a mating ritual, a pair of toucans will toss fruit back and forth with their beaks!

Narwhals

Narwhals
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This ‘sea unicorn’ is a double-take-worthy creature if there ever was one. And learning facts about narwhals doesn’t make them any less bizarre! In fact, get a load of this weird fact: the ‘horn’ or ‘tusk’ that makes them so famous is actually a tooth! It juts right through the male narwhal’s upper lip and reportedly plays a role in attracting a mate.

Quokkas

Quokkas
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These smiley mammals are all over Instagram, but they’re more than a pretty face! The creatures are native to the western Australian island of Rottnest, a nature reserve where freshwater is scarce. Luckily, though, these little guys can survive for a full month without drinking water, mainly because their diet includes leaves and vegetation that contain a lot of moisture.

Lemurs

Lemurs
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Though there are more than 100 different species of lemur, lemurs are considered among the most critically endangered mammals in the world due to their low overall number. Some of the most notable types of these Madagascar-dwelling creatures are the ring-tailed lemurs, whose tails are longer than their bodies, and the blue-eyed black lemur, which, is the only primate besides humans that can have blue eyes.

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Camels

Camels
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These gentle giants (well, mostly – you certainly wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of a kick or spit from one!) have been nicknamed ‘the ships of the desert’. While that’s partly because they’ve carried cargo across the desert throughout much of human history, it’s also because of the ‘rolling’ way they walk. Their distinctive walk is achieved by moving the legs on each side of their body at the same time (their two left legs, then their two right legs, and so on), making them ‘rock’ back and forth when they walk.

Bearded dragons

Bearded dragons
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With a name like that, you’d think these creatures would be the epitome of ferocity, and they certainly look pretty intimidating. But, they’re actually quite friendly, and they have the adorable quirk of waving their arms in an almost human-like manner to demonstrate recognition.

Butterflies

Butterflies
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Although butterflies have long, tube-like tongues called probosces they unfurl so they can suck in flower nectar, their ability to taste does not come from their mouths. Rather, it lies in their feet. This allows them to discern whether the flowers they land on are the right ones for laying their eggs. According to the San Diego Zoo, “By standing on a leaf, they can taste it to see if their caterpillars can eat it.”

Sea Otters

Sea Otters
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There are 13 species of otter worldwide (everywhere but Antarctica), and sadly, 12 species of these marine mammals are on the threatened species list. This is news that’s hard to bear when confronted with their inherent cuteness, witnessed in recently circulating photos of mother-and-child pairs holding hands to avoid drifting away from each other as they snooze.

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team