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Strange Animals

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Lately, I have discovered a fascination with weird and wonderful animals that I never knew existed in me!

Here is a description of four animals and their amazing skills...this article has made me a bit nervous and I'm now going to check all the walls in my flat to make sure nothing can get in!

Read through the article and then answer the true or false questions below.

Lesson by Caroline


Did you know? A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a ballpoint pen

Mice usually live outside during the summer. But when weather begins to cool, they look for warm houses to move into. Because of their soft bodies they can enter a hole of only 6mm. They can also chew through anything including concrete and plastic. Mice can jump up to 46cm, swim, and climb vertically or upside-down. To mouse proof your house, check all small openings with a ballpoint pen - if it fits the hole, it will let mice in.


Did you know? A swan's wing is strong enough to break a man's arm.

The Next time you are feeding swans in the lake and want to touch one on the back - don't! Swans are very protective of their babies and use their strong wings to keep away other creatures. They have a wing span of around 2.75 meters.


Did you know? Goats have rectangular pupils.

Human pupils are round, but most other animals with hooves are almost rectangular. This means they can see 340 degree around them (humans can only see 160-210 degrees).


Did you know? The Bombardier beetle shoots boiling liquid to defend itself.

The bombardier beetle has a unique ability: when it feels it is in danger it shoots a boiling chemical from its belly! The liquid is powerful enough to kill small insects and animals and can be painful to people.


Vertically - (adverb) from the adjective vertical: Standing or pointing straight up or at an angle of 90°.
Protective - (adjective) wanting to protect someone from danger because you like them very much. Protect (verb); Protection (noun).
Span - (noun) the length of something.
Pupils - (noun) the back circle in the centre of an eye that gets bigger or smaller depending on light.
Hooves - (noun) the plural form of hoof. The foot of an animal such as a horse, cow or pig.
Rectangular - (adjective) from the noun rectangle: a flat shape with four 90° angles and four sides, with opposite sides of equal length. The same shape as a shoe-box.

Now decide if the following statements are true or false:

  • 1. When the weather is warm, mice usually live inside.

  • 2. Mice can fit through extremely small spaces, so it’s important to check your house for holes where they may get in.

  • 3. Swans are graceful and gentle.

  • 4. Goats have a wider vision than humans.

  • 5. The Bombardier beetle protects itself by shooting very hot chemicals.

  • 6. If a human is attacked by a bombardier beetle they will die.