Oh say can you see why we’re celebrating these top 10 iconic American Animals? With Independence Day approaching, it’s only appropriate to honor our nation’s coolest creatures! Check out these fun facts:
1. Bald Eagle
As our national bird and symbol for freedom, the Bald Eagle wins for most iconic American animal. The Bald eagle is only found in North America and lives off fish and small animals. They are considered to be monogamous; the birds mate for life.
Beware the bison. They are powerful beasts and remain the heaviest land animal in North America. They can get up to 6 feet tall and weigh over a ton. Despite their massive size, bison are quick on their feet and can run up to 40 miles an hour.
3. Brown Bear
The brown bear lives in the forests and mountains of northern North America. They are known as top apex predators even though most of their diet is made up of fruit, nuts, and leaves. On average, they weigh 700 pounds and can get up to 8 feet in size.
Elk are found across mountains and valley pastures. Bull elk have velvet antlers. During breeding season, the males battle against one another for mating territory.
Often called antelope, pronghorns are some of the fastest animals in North America and are the second speediest land animal in the world. They can run great distances at more than 53 miles an hour. When spring comes, females give birth to one or two young, which can outrun any human after only a few days.
As the symbol of Thanksgiving, wild turkeys are classic American icon. Benjamin Franklin even proposed the turkey for the United States’s national bird. When we think of turkeys, we often picture the males, as only male turkeys have the iconic ruffled feathers, fan-like tail, and bright beard.
7. American Alligator
American alligators live in freshwater rivers, swamps, and lakes across the southeastern region of the United States. Scientists say the species has been around for more than 150 million years.
8. Prairie Dog
Prairie dogs are community-oriented. They are highly social and work with each other to gather food and protect their burrow. When group members meet each other, they give them a prairie dog kiss or nuzzle.
9. Mountain Lion
The mountain lion has many names, such as cougar, panther, and puma. They can survive in any type of American ecosystem and make up one of the strongest and most resilient species of land predators.
Beavers have the ability to hold their breath for up to 15 minutes! They also have an additional clear eyelid that helps them see underwater.
For more amazing animals, go to natgeowild.com.