Posted in Nature

A love of bite-size facts

Factfiles about mute swans and macaw parrots

Recently I wrote a post about planets and a reader’s comment about bite-size facts reminded me of how much I too love quirky and fascinating, interesting and informative facts. I was further reminded when I met my friend and godchildren. Noah, eight, presented me with various factsheets about swans, parrots and peregrine falcons. It turned out to be a very educational weekend – for me!

So here are some facts, courtesy of Noah…

Photo by Anthony on
  1. All the swans in Britain belong to the Queen.
  2. Swans can live for 25 years.
  3. It is illegal to kill swans in Britain.
  4. Peregrine falcons can reach up to 200mph when diving – they are the fastest animals.
  5. There are only 10,000 blue and gold macaw parrots left in the wild and 1,500 scarlet macaws left. This is due to the pet industry and loss of habitat because of deforestation.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on

And here are some extra facts, courtesy of me (and The Miles Kelly Book of Life):

  1. There are at least 360,000 types of beetle – they make up about one-third of all animal species.
  2. Most spiders have six or eight eyes.
  3. Spiders sometimes run fast but it won’t be for very long. The Miles Kelly Book of Life states: ‘Their breathing system is not good enough for sustained exertion’. So don’t worry, spiders can’t catch you!
  4. What is the simplest animal? It is the sponge, which has no proper brain, muscles, nerves – or even eyes.
  5. What mysterious animal that’s rarely seen alive and lives in the deep ocean? Answer? The giant squid.

If I am ever stranded on a desert island, please supply me with a good book of facts and I will be quite content!