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Last year, I was lucky enough to work as a Science Teacher at Zeta Bronx 1. Given my mild obsession with animals, Mr. Utter’s science class learned endless random animal facts. So as we all try to maintain a six-foot distance from one another, I am going to teach you a few fun facts about animals that are six feet long! Next time you’re trying to maintain proper social distance, try to imagine one of these animals between you and your friend.
This species, which lives in South America, is quite different from other, usually much smaller, anteaters in appearance. These anteaters are known for their long, hairy tails, which, no doubt, helps them reach that six-foot mark. These incredible animals use their long nose and tongue to lap up about 35,000 ants per day! Bad day to be an ant if this guy finds your ant hill…
South American Tapir
A smaller relative of my favorite zoo animal of all time (the Malayan Tapir), the South American Tapir, while quite large, is actually a master of stealth as it makes its way through the rainforest. The best, and usually only, way to know that these animals are around you is to listen for their high-pitched squeals. Their unique shortened trunks make these noises possible, while also serving as a handy snorkel in the rivers.
While the name might be deceiving, these are actually fish, not reptiles. Like alligators though, these large freshwater fish can be traced all the way back to prehistoric times, and their bodies haven’t changed much since then. In fact, similar to a very small number of other fish species, they are actually able to breathe in both air and water. They also have incredibly thick skin that almost acts like armor to go along with their dual rows of sharp teeth.
Another alligator-esque creature on this list, this is a very close cousin to the alligator, albeit about half the size (usually). Native to Central and South America, the Caiman is actually not at the top of the food chain in parts of its domain. Anacondas often share the same waters as these aquatic reptiles, and they are capable of swallowing Caimans whole. That snake is definitely larger than six feet, so I will stop speaking about them now. Moving on.
Large Female Lion
The average lion sleeps between 16 and 20 hours a day. If you had to hunt massive Cape Buffalo, Zebras, and Wildebeests, you’d need to conserve your energy, too! So stop judging. Another fun fact that I love about lions is about their cubs. Next time you see one, either casually on your way to work or something, take a look at the backs of its ears. You will notice that they are black. While I will leave it up to you to figure out exactly why, think about why your mom made you wear a bright neon shirt through the airport (or was that just me…).
Wingspan of a Bald Eagle
Our national bird. While not the most intelligent-looking bird if you look at it head on (I would definitely search for “Bald Eagle Straight On” if you haven’t before), these birds possess massive wingspans and incredible vision. Their eyesight, which is about six times stronger than that of humans, enables them to spot rabbits from about two miles away. The term “Eagle Eye” doesn’t come from nowhere…
While these comparisons might make the six-foot social distancing rule more complicated for you, I encourage you to continue to practice such rules, as it keeps our entire community safe. So, while animals might work for me, pick something that works for you, and stay clear and stay safe!