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Animals

Marsupials

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ImageMarsupials are animals that have a built-in baby carrier. Marsupial mothers have a pouch on the front of their bodies. A marsupial mom puts her newborn baby in her pouch. She carries the baby around until it is ready to go out on its own.

Kangaroos are one kind of marsupial. But there are many other kinds, too.

WHERE DO MARSUPIALS LIVE?

Most marsupials live in Australia and New Zealand. A kind of opossum is the only marsupial that lives in North America. A few other kinds of marsupials live in Central and South America.

Microscopic Life

in Animals

ImageThere is a world all around you that you cannot see. Billions of tiny creatures slither and slide over tables and floors. They float and wiggle in drops of water. They stick to your skin. Sometimes they get in your eyes, nose, and throat.

You can see most of these tiny things only if you put them under a microscope. These tiny life forms are called microscopic life or microorganisms. They are also called microbes. Most microbes are made of just one cell. Your body, by contrast, has billions of cells.

MANY KINDS OF MICROBES

There are thousands of different kinds of microbes. Microbes called bacteria are the smallest living things. Bacteria live almost everywhere: on land, in water, and even inside you.

Penguins

in Animals

ImageWould you put on your bathing suit and jump into icy water? Would you slide down a snowy hill on your bare stomach? Imagine how cold that would feel! You would freeze. Penguins, however, do this all the time. Penguins swim in cold water. They slide on their bellies over ice and snow.

WHAT ARE PENGUINS?

Penguins are birds. They have wings, but they cannot fly. Instead, they use their wings as flippers to paddle in water. They also paddle with their webbed feet. Penguins are very good swimmers.

Monkeys

in Animals

ImageImagine what it would be like to live in the treetops. You could sit on a limb and watch what happens on the ground. You might grab some leaves and fruit to eat for lunch. You might swing over to your neighbor’s tree to play with some friends. This is how a lot of monkeys live.

Of course, most monkeys have something you don’t have that helps them swing easily from branch to branch. They have a long, strong tail.

WHERE DO MONKEYS LIVE?

One group of monkeys, called New World monkeys, lives in Central and South America. Marmosets, capuchin monkeys, douroucoulis, spider monkeys, woolly monkeys, and howler monkeys are kinds of New World monkeys.

Pets

in Animals

ImageThey may be cuddly, playful, and fun. They can delight us with their grace and beauty. They’re part of our families. Sometimes, they’re our best friends. It’s easy to see why people love their pets!

THE MOST POPULAR PETS

More than half of the homes in the United States have a pet. Cats and dogs are the most popular pets. One out of three households has a cat or dog. The most popular purebred dog is the Labrador retriever. However, cats outnumber dogs in American homes.

Birds rank next in popularity, but they’re far behind cats and dogs. The most popular pet bird is the parakeet. Many people keep small animals like rabbits, hamsters, and gerbils as pets. Fish also are popular. Turtles are the reptiles most often kept as pets.