Little known facts about leopard tortoises, honey badgers and aardwolf

At certain times of the year during winter, sparse vegetation or drought, a leopard tortoise will eat calcified dung to help with shell development or egg laying; giraffe will suck on large bones, using their tongue to manipulate the bone in and out of their mouth to obtain trace elements such as calcium and phosphorous.

Honey badgers are short tempered, aggressive and very dangerous when harassed or annoyed. They have thick loose skin which allows them to turn on attackers when being held. Combined with powerful jaws equipped with broad crushing teeth they are a formidable opponent, even lions and leopard tending to avoid them.

The aardwolf is a termite-eater with ridges on its palate that help catch termites during the five licks per second. They have papillae on the tongue to prevent abrasion from sand as it licks its prey from the soil surface. Their stomachs grind the food that their cheek teeth can't, and vast amounts of saliva neutralise any toxic secretions from prey. When threatened, an aardwolf consciously erects the mane of long hairs along the neck, back and tail, making themselves look a lot bigger in the hopes of deterring an attack.

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