Deadly 60: 15 Deadly Animal Facts

  1. The hippo is extremely unpredictable, making it the most dangerous mammal in Africa. Hippopotamus is Greek for "river horse." Their teeth are so huge that they need large cavities in their heads to accommodate them!

  2. A general rule of thumb when trying to detect how venomous scorpions are is to look at the size of their pincers and tail. If they have large pincers and a slim tail, it's likely that their sting will not be very venomous, but small pincers and a fat tail spell trouble.

  3. The black mamba has a head the shape of a coffin and is, in fact, grey. It gets its name because its mouth is black. It has extremely fast-acting and potent venom.

  4. African hunting dogs are some of the most efficient predators in Africa with an average 80% of hunts resulting in a successful kill compared with a lion's 10%. An average pack will consume a Thomson's gazelle in 10 minutes.
  5. Fish eagles have remarkable sight and can see well through water. They dive feet first at high speed to grapple their aquatic prey.

  6. Honey badgers have been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as "the most fearless animal on the planet." They have been known to drive lions off their prey.

  7. The bite of a three-meter-long great white shark pushes four tons of pressure through every square centimeter of tooth.
  8. The intelligent and much loved bottlenose dolphins herd fish like dogs herd sheep, singling out weak individuals for attack. Their sophisticated echo system helps them work out how far in front and in what direction their prey is moving.

  9. Regarding redback spiders – only the females are dangerous to humans but they are also deadly to male redbacks and often eat the males when they mate.

  10. Platypuses are one of the few venomous mammals in the world. They have a venomous spur which they use when fighting other males. They use "electrolocation" to detect their prey – the electro-receptors in their bill detect the muscle contractions of their next meal.

  11. Saltwater crocodiles are the largest crocodilians on Earth. They are excellent swimmers, often spotted far out to sea, and can live for up to 70 years.

  12. Ghost bats are the only carnivorous bats in Australia. They get their name from the extremely thin membrane of their wings and their ghostly pale fur.

  13. Sloth bears can be heard feeding on termites up to 100 meters away. They can close their nostrils to create a vacuum and they have huge jaws for tearing through rock-hard termite mounts.

  14. The praying mantis is such a fast and aggressive predator that it even has its own form of Kung Fu named after it.

  15. The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on Earth.



  •  Picture of a Malayan tiger

    Pictures: Tiger Subspecies

    Scientists estimate only about 3,000 wild tigers are left in the entire world. Meet the subspecies and see what threats each is facing.

See more animal photos »

More Shows on Nat Geo WILD

  • Photo: Man holding snake and robot.

    Dangerous Encounters

    Join the adventure as Dr. Brady Barr gets up close to some of Earth's wildest creatures.

  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan

    Dog Whisperer

    Saturdays at 8P et/pt
    Cesar Millan helps dogs—and their humans—overcome behavorial problems.

  • lucy-cooke-tv-blog.jpg

    Freaks & Creeps

    Tuesday, July 17, at 10P et/pt
    Lucy Cooke's on a one-woman mission to find the weird, the ugly, and the unappreciated of the animal world.

  • 100507-DL2-swamp-men.jpg

    Swamp Men

    Welcome to Billie Swamp Safari, where things get wild.

  • Photo: Dr. Pol kisses his pet horse

    The Incredible Dr. Pol

    We'll travel with Dr. Pol across rural Michigan to care for every family pet and livestock in need of his expertise and kindness.

View Full TV Schedule »

From the Magazine

  • Photo of the lions of the Vumbi pride.

    The Surprising Lives of Lions

    In case you missed it: See these breathtaking videos and photos from inside a wild Serengeti pride.

  • Photo: Two adult preen, Ireland

    Gannets Pictures

    Champion divers but clumsy landers, doting parents but hostile neighbors—northern gannets abound in contradictions.