National GeographicNat Geo Wild


  • Some sources state that koi originated China. Another theory is that they originated in Persia and were later brought to China. 

  • Koi can live thirty years or more.

  • There are over 20 different types of koi, each varying in coloration and scale patterns.

  • Young koi can be as small as three inches, and larger koi can reach over three feet. 

  • Koi can be trained to eat food out of peoples’ hands.  

  • Koi are actually just freshwater carp.

  • Carp have been bred for thousands of years in China. 

  • The Japanese were the first to breed koi for their colors. 

  • Color in plants is used to attract different types of pollinators, which play a crucial role in the food chain in any habitat. 

  • A Kohaku koi is white with red markings.

  • One of the most important things fish need to survive in a pond during wintertime is adequate oxygen levels. 

  • Koi are cold water fish. 

  • Koi get more stressed than usual when it is extremely hot outside.

  • Water current plays a big role in the health of fish in a pond.

  • One good way to protect fish in a pond from cranes and herons is to have a deeper pond, with rocks under which the fish can hide. Swans are also good protection from predatory birds as they will not harm the fish, but allow no other birds in the area.

  • Koi have binocular vision in front of them, meaning the two fields of viewing overlap. But they only have monocular vision to the sides, meaning that each eye is used separately. 

  • Koi have a swim bladder that helps with balance and hearing. It picks up sounds waves and transmits them to the brain for interpretation.

  • Herons have a type of powdery down feather that they scratch, releasing the powder onto fish that they capture to soak up the slime and oil. They also use this powder on their bodies to help keep off slime. 

  • Herons have a specialized vertebrae in their necks to allow them to curve the neck into an ‘S’ shape, which helps them fly more efficiently, and strike prey quickly.

  • The tiger salamander is one of the largest land salamanders in the United States, with the average size of an adult being between 7 and 8 inches long. 

  • The tiger salamander can live up to 16 years in the wild.

  • Map turtles get their name from the shapes on their shells that resemble maps.

  • Map turtles are also known as ‘sawback turtles,’ because of the ridges going from front to back on their shells.

  • The Lincoln Park Zoo one of the oldest zoos in the country; it was started in 1868 when commissioners received a gift of two swans that quickly became a popular attraction. 

  • The Lincoln Park Zoo is home to 1200 specimens of 230 different species.

  • The Lincoln Park Conservatory at the Lincoln Park Zoo was built between 1890 and 1895, and houses various types of exotic plants, ferns and palms.

  • The red wolf was named as an endangered species in 1967. The population was decimated by habitat loss, and by farmers and ranchers who viewed the wolf as a danger to their livelihood. 

  • In 2010, a female Red Wolf at the Lincoln Park zoo gave birth to pups, two of which were selected to be part of a ‘fostering’ program where pups born in captivity are placed in the wild with another mother wolf as part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. 

  • The bird house at the Lincoln Park Zoo was designed by the zoo’s first director, Cyrus DeVry, in 1904.

  • The bird house at the Lincoln Park Zoo houses 10 different habitats ranging from grassy wetlands to the sandy sea coast and more than 36 different species. 

  • In 2012, the Lincoln Park Zoo successfully hatched three rare Bali Mynah chicks after trying for 12 years. The Bali Mynah is critically endangered due to the illegal pet trade.  

  • Red Wolves are mainly nocturnal and they normally live in a pack of the mated parents and their pups (larger packs are occasionally reported).

  • Brown trout have about 40 pairs of chromosomes. Humans have 23.

  • Atlanta is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the entire country.

  • Turtles often bask for several hours a day. 

  • Pound for pound, insects have more protein than beef. 

  • Warblers often migrate to areas just as insect pests emerge. The birds feed on the insects, serving an important function for the ecosystem. 

  • There are over 180 species of woodpecker. 

  • Swallows sometimes gather in enormous groups, up to 2,000-strong, before migrating. 

  • A nuthatch foot has one toe facing backward, and three that face forward. Those backward-facing toes allow them to walk headfirst down tree trunks by clutching onto the bark. 

  • The oldest recorded brown thrasher was nearly 12 years old. 

  • Male spotted towhees sometimes spend up to 90 percent of their mornings singing until they find a mate. 

  • Turtles can slow down their heartbeat when submerged. 

  • Basking helps turtles to synthesize the vitamin D they need for healthy shells.