Amazing animals: Guinness Book Of Records special pull-out; THE SECOND PART OF A SUPER THREE-PART SERIES TO PULL OUT AND KEEP.
Discover the lethal killers - the spiders, snakes and scorpions which set their own chilling records. Then there's the cat who travelled 600,000 miles by plane and the supermodel poodle who earns pounds 100 a day.
The Guinness Book Of Records is one of the world's biggest-selling publications. It's the ultimate authority on the most extraordinary facts and figures of life on our planet.
You can collect fascinating extracts from the 1999 edition free in The Look. To find out more, read on...
Most maternal spider
In many spider species, the maternal relationship ends when the eggs are laid, and the mother never sees her young. Theridion sisyphium females, however, feed their offspring liquid from their own mouths. When they are a few days old the infants begin to share their mother's prey and help her hunt. The relationship comes to an end when the mother dies and is eaten by her young.
Most prolific mammal
The brown rat has spread from its original habitat in Mongolia and Kazakhstan and can be found almost everywhere. It is estimated that the number of rats in the world today is roughly equal to the number of humans - 5.3 billion. A British survey in 1993 estimated that rat infestations in large towns and cities have increased by 43 per cent over the past 20 years. The female common rat starts to mate when she is just two or three months old, thereby facilitating such huge population explosions.
Most vulnerable young
The smaller dasyurids (Australian carnivorous marsupials) have a precarious start in life because the female only has six teats, but gives birth to 12 or more young. Once the first six babies have reached the teats, the rest of the brood die.
Most dependant male
A dwarf male anglerfish permanently attaches itself to the female. The male is unusually small and latches on by biting the female. The male's mouth fuses to the skin of his mate and the bloodstreams of the two fish become connected. The male is totally dependent on the female for nourishment.
The female true lemming can get pregnant at the age of 14 days and give birth 16 to 23 days later. One lemming couple produced eight litters in 167 days after which the male died.
Most fertile insect
With unlimited food and no predators, one cabbage aphid could theoretically create an 822 million tonne mass of descendants every year - more than three times the weight of the world's human population.
Most destructive insect
The desert locust can eat its own weight in food every day. In a single day, a swarm of 50 million specimens can eat food that would sustain 500 people for a year.
Most time spent eating
Apart from cattle, weasels spend the most time eating. Their long, thin bodies lose a great deal of heat, so they have to consume protein and fat-rich food ceaselessly. They require 100 times more energy per gram of body weight than the elephant.
The Koala of eastern Australia feeds almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. It browses regularly on about six of the 500 species and selects certain trees and leaves in preference to others. Sometimes they sift through 20lb of leaves a day to find the 11/4lb they need.
Most meagre diet
The Arabian camel can lose up to a quarter of its body fluid without suffering dehydration or overheating and can survive on the most meagre diet, drawing on large fat reserves in its hump for sustenance.
A colony of black-tailed prairie dogs found in 1901 contained about 400 million individuals and was estimated to cover 24,000 miles - almost the size of the Republic of Ireland.
Highest rodent density
A colony of house mice discovered in the dry bed of Buena Vista Lake, Kern County, California in 1926, contained a total of 83,000 per acre.
The North American beaver is the best mammalian builder - as opposed to excavator - constructing dams that are 16 to 96ft long.
Greatest concentration of insects
In July 1874 a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts covered an estimated 198,600 mile area as they flew over the state of Nebraska, US. The swarm contained an estimated 12.5 trillion insects.
Most people at a pet funeral
When Jimmy the canary died in 1929, his funeral in New Jersey, USA, was attended by 10,000 mourners. His devoted owner Eddie Rosomanno, had his body placed in a white casket. The funeral cortege was followed by two coaches and a 15-piece band.
Best travelled cat
Hamlet the cat escaped from his cage while on a flight out of Toronto, Canada, and travelled more than 600,000 miles in the next seven weeks. He was caught in February 1984 after flying to Jamaica, Kuwait, Singapore and Australia.
Most jet-setting dog
Pumpkin Matthews, a tiny champagne-coloured toy poodle used to commute by Concorde between her homes in New York and St Tropez, France, in the '80s. By the time she was ten, she had visited Paris 50 times. Her successor, Precious Pi, now travels as frequently as Pumpkin.
The richest dog
The biggest legacy ever left to a dog was pounds 3 million by Ella Wendel of New York to her standard poodle Toby in 1931. Ella was part of an eccentric family whose dogs were served prime lamb chops by butlers and had their own hand-carved miniature four-poster beds with silk sheets.
Chi Chi, a rare African sand dog, has won the World Championship Ugly Dog Contest in California, USA, a total of five times. He then won the Ring of Champions which pits the winners from the previous 25 years against one another. Television star Chi Chi has been described by his owner Doris Beezley as a "bow-legged, pig-like dog".
Most successful canine supermodels
English bulldog Rosie Lee - who lives in New York - starred in shoe designer Patrick Cox's 1996 spring campaign, posed for fashion photographer Bruce Weber for a Pepe Jeans commercial and appeared in an IBM ad. Top French fashion poodle Francky won't get out of his basket for less than pounds 100 a day. He has starred in catwalk shows for Jean-Paul Gaultier and appeared in Robert Altman's film Pret a Porter.
MOST GLAMOROUS PET WEDDING
In September 1996 two rare diamond-eyed cats, Phet and Play, were married at a lavish ceremony at Phoebus House, Thailand's biggest nightclub. It cost their owner Wichan Jaratarcha pounds 9,933, plus a dowry of pounds 14,190. Phet arrived in a Rolls-Royce, while Play arrived by helicopter. The bride and groom wore matching pink outfits.
The tropical Emperor scorpion can reach lengths of 7in. It is totally harmless and makes a good pet.
Certain species of armadillos, opossums and sloths can spend 80 per cent of their lives sleeping or dozing. This efficient use of energy is due to their low body temperature, slow metabolic rates and a low-quality plant-based diet.
Chanda-Leah, a champagne-coloured toy poodle from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, has a repertoire of more than 300 tricks. Owner Sharon Robinson has taught the four-year-old to play the piano, count and spell. The dog has appeared on numerous television shows and even has its own publicist.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Dec 5, 1998|
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