Quizzes and fun
Matthew Pearson

ZSL London Zoo: Animal Facts

ZSL London Zoo is a perfect place for a family day out. And entry is included with your London Pass. So, to prepare you for your visit to ZSL London Zoo, we thought we’d equip you with some of our favourite facts about the animals kingdom. So read on if you’ve ever wondered...

  • What colours dogs see the world in
  • How many mammals live monogamously
  • And how to stop a lion from eating your cows

Animal Facts

  • If you’ve ever wanted to have a cat which will happily take a bath and pose for cute, wet-look photos afterwards, get a tiger. They are one of the few members of the cat family that like water. In fact, they are very good swimmers.
  • Tigers aren’t very good neighbours. Their roar can be heard from around 3km away. So if you’re next door to them, consider investing in earplugs. Maybe don’t go round at three in the morning to complain. They’re not known for being reasonable when it comes to noise complaints.
  • Wolves often go more than a week without eating. No wonder they wolf it down when you put a plate in front of them.
  • 97 percent of known animals are invertebrates. Just three percent of us have backbones.
  • Owls don’t have eyeballs. Their eyes are tubes and can’t move at all. They are held in place by bones. As a result they can’t roll their eyes. So consider inviting them to see your debut comedy open mic show.
  • Fish are able to see up to 70 time further through the air than they can in water.
  • Elephants are able to hear much better when they lift one leg off the ground. So you should have no problems spotting who’s eavesdropping in on your conversation.
  • Chickens communicate with one another using more than 200 separate sounds.
  • Pandas spend 12 hours a day eating. No wonder they don’t feel like doing that thing that everyone wants them to do and they need to do to ensure the survival of their species. I can barely get round to doing my taxes after a big plate of dhal, let alone 28 pounds of bamboo.
  • Sloths are able to hold their breaths for around 40 minutes at a time.
  • Pigs are unable to see the sky, because of the way their eyes are positioned on their heads.
  • Hippos produce their own skin moisturiser and suntan lotion. Foolishly, they have yet to monetise it.
  • Horses are capable of making more facial expressions than chimpanzees. Three more in fact. So not just the long face.
  • Some turtles can breathe through their anuses. Some humans can talk through theirs.
  • A blue whale’s tongue weighs the same amount as a fully grown elephant.
  • Because they primarily eat eucalyptus leaves—which contain toxins, little nutrition and are high in fibrous matter—it takes koalas a huge amount of time to digest their food. This is why they sleep so much, with some able to kip for up to 22 hours each day.
  • Over the course of a year, all the spiders in the world eat more food than all the whales.
  • Dogs see the world in blue and yellow.
  • Just three percent of mammals are monogamous. These include beavers, wolves and gibbons.
  • Bees are able to recognise different human faces.
  • Ostrich legs are incredibly powerful. Their kicks can kill a lion or a human.
  • Swifts are able to fly for almost a whole year without landing. Studies have shown that over a period of ten months, some land for just two hours.
  • Ostriches are the biggest birds in the world. They can be as much as 2.7 metres tall and have a wingspan of up to 2 metres.
  • An albatross, on the other hand, is so confident when it comes to flying that it’s actually able to fall asleep mid-flight.
  • Female cheetahs have to be chased by a number of males before they can ovulate. This makes breeding cheetahs in captivity particularly difficult.
  • The collective noun for a group of ladybirds is a ‘loveliness’. The collective noun for a group of porcupines is a ‘prickle’, while for parrots it’s a ‘pandemonium’.
  • While they’re sleeping, otters hold hands. They do this to stop themselves from floating away from one another.
  • Cats have whiskers on their front paws as well as on their faces.
  • Baby and young humans are known to suck their thumbs for comfort. Baby elephants do the same with their trunks.
  • There are over a billion insects for every human on the planet. So stop tormenting them when they disrupt your picnic. They will come back with their big brothers and all their friends. We are seriously outnumbered.
  • Fleas can jump up to 200 times the length of their body. That’s like a human jumping the height of the Empire State Building.
  • One of the animal kingdom’s weirdest defence mechanisms belongs to the horned lizard. They shoot blood from their own eyes. They have a reach of about three feet.
  • Sea lions are the first species—other than some humans—to be able to keep a beat. See some IRL at ZSL London Zoo.
  • A radiated tortoise in Madagascar holds the record for the longest-living animal. It died at the ripe old age of 188 in 1965.
  • Penguins, famously, are unable to fly. However, they are pretty good when it comes to jumping. Yep, penguins can jump up to 9 feet.
  • A spider’s silk is stretchier than nylon and stronger than steel. It’s also thinner than human hair.
  • Walking into a microwave isn’t necessarily the end of the road for ants. They are small enough to avoid the waves.
  • Approximately 3% of all ice in Antarctica is penguin urine.
  • Male seahorses get pregnant and give birth to babies. They are the only species in which the male, rather than the female, gets pregnant, carries the baby and then gives birth.
  • To stop lions eating your cows, paint eyes on the cows’ bottoms.

We hope you have a grand old time at the ZSL London Zoo and that these facts have helped get you in the mood for some animal action. Looking for more animal-orientated places in London? Well, look no further.

Love this article? Why not share it:

Buy with confidence

Free cancellation

Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated credits packages are eligible for a refund within 90 days of your purchase date.

Find out more

Got a question?

Check out our FAQs or live chat with our customer service agents now

See our FAQs

The London Pass® is highly rated, but don't just take our word for it!

Have a 10% discount, on us!

Sign up to our newsletter and receive exclusive discounts, trip inspiration and attraction updates straight to your inbox.

  • Thick check Icon