Wacky mammals

Wacky mammals

Red squirrel by Peter Cairns/2020VISION

Top examples of weird mammal behaviour

Mammals are a class of animal. They are warm-blooded and have fur and hair. They can also be a bit wacky! Here are our favourite examples of some pretty strange habits.


© Andy Rouse/2020VISION

Stoats get their boogie on doing something called a War Dance! It’s thought that they use this dance to hypnotise or distract their prey. They jump around, standing on their hind legs and doing a shimmy, then they pounce on their confused prey.


© Carl Wright

Shrews really are hungry fellows - they must eat every 2-3 hours to survive. This means they can’t hibernate in the winter, as they would starve. However, amazingly, common shrews shrink during winter so that they don’t need to eat as much! This makes them more likely to survive the winter, when there isn’t as much food around. Their skulls shrink by nearly 20%. Wow!

Harbour porpoise

© Niki Clear

Harbour porpoise
The harbour porpoise has another name – ‘puffing pig’! This is because of the puffing noise they sometimes make when surface and breathe. The word porpoise also comes from a Latin word that meant pig fish. Can you see the resemblance?

Red squirrel

© Mike Snelle

Red squirrels
Red squirrels have double-jointed ankles which help them to climb up and down trees well. They can also be either right or left handed, just like us! The teeth marks left behind on pine cones are good indicators on whether they’re righties or lefties.


© Russell Savory

Did you know that hares can run far faster than the fastest human, Usain Bolt? When they’re escaping predators, hares can run at a top speed of 43 miles per hour – Bolt’s top speed is 28 miles per hour. Our humble hare would leave him far behind!


Tom Marshall

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