The Animal Kingdom
Kingdom Animalia is a mighty fascinating group of creatures. Five different sources will give you five different estimates as to how many species are out there, but guesses range from 3 million to 30 million unique species. The variations are practically endless, but the relationships between species are far more complex. We’re all connected in one way or another, so let’s learn a few facts about our fellow multicellular organisms. After all, we humans share 98.8% of our DNA with chimpanzees, 90% of our DNA with mice, and 65% of our DNA with chickens (we share 50% of our DNA with bananas too, but we’ll save the plant facts for another time). Turn up your speaker, put your learning hat on, and join us for this zoological jam-sesh!
Big Mama Thornton with "Hound Dog”
A bloodhound named Tigger holds the Guinness World Record for “Longest Ears on a Dog.” His right ear measured a lengthy 13.75 inches and his left a very close 13.5 inches. Think of all that earwax....
Elton John with "Crocodile Rock”
Some people confuse crocodiles and alligators—after all, they’re both animals you don’t want to get your hand caught by, so what’s the difference? Here’s an easy way to tell: Alligators have U-shaped snouts and wide upper jaws, which allow their teeth to be concealed. Crocodiles, on the other hand, have pointed, V-shaped snouts that reveal a snarl of teeth, even when closed. But then again, if you’re close enough to tell the difference, you might want to remain calm and back away slowly.
Desiigner with "Panda”
Until recently, the San Diego Zoo was one of four zoos in the United States that had giant pandas. However, the pandas’ residence was part of a larger conservation project that required them to return home at some point. Mother panda, Bai Yun, her longtime partner, Gao Gao, and their cubs have helped increase the population of wild pandas to over 2,000, resulting in a classification change for the species from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” Nice work, team!
Lynyrd Skynyrd with "Free Bird”
Homing pigeons, famously used to deliver messages before the advent of telephones, can find their way home from nearly 1,100 miles away. Scientists aren’t 100% certain about how they do it, but most believe that the birds sense magnetic fields around them, allowing them to determine direction, altitude, and location. So pretty much wherever you travel, if you set these birds free they’ll make it back home just fine.
Heart with "Barracuda”
If you’re going diving, leave your jewelry behind. Barracudas, equipped with a feisty set of razor-sharp chompers, hunt mostly by sight, not smell. Oh yeah, and they like shiny things. Probably better to take off your watch and avoid being the loser of a game called “Is that a tasty little fish? Let me bite it and find out.”
Chubby Checker with "Pony Time”
Ponies are not small, young horses—those are called foals (well, until they reach 1 year old, but that’s a whole other tangent). Although ponies and horses are of the same species, ponies stay small their whole life. There are over 200 different breeds of pony, and pound for pound they are actually stronger than standard-sized horses. Cuter too.
Survivor with "Eye of the Tiger”
In 2019, Knockaround partnered with Project C.A.T. (Conserving Acres for Tigers) in a global effort to double the number of wild tigers by 2022. In collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, the effort “aims to ensure a healthy habitat for future generations of tigers by helping conserve nearly six million acres of protected land across four countries.” While you can’t buy these shades anymore (they sold out quickly!), you can still choose to give resources to various conservation groups to do your part in fighting extinction!
The Tokens with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)”
Lions are the only cats that live in groups, with prides reaching up to 30 members. Also, we hate to break it to you, but The Lion King isn’t very biologically accurate. Females rule the pride (to paraphrase Beyoncé), so really it should be called “The Lion Queen.” Maybe we’ll get a remake some day.
Katy Perry and Juicy Jay with "Dark Horse”
A pair of Knockaround sunglasses weighs 0.11 lbs. Sampson, a Shire horse born in 1846, is the heaviest horse ever recorded, estimated to weigh a whopping 3,360 lbs. That’s the equivalent of 30,545 pairs of Knocks. Sampson was born in Toddington, England, and a 2011 census stated that the population of Toddington is 4,590 people. If ol’ Sampson were still alive today, a pound-for-pound trade of sunglasses could outfit every citizen of Toddington with 6 pairs of Knockarounds each, plus 3,000 extra. Not a bad start at a shades collection!
Crazy Town with "Butterfly”
We’ve all thought about features of animals that would be nifty to have. A bloodhound’s keen sense of smell would be great for tracking down a solid restaurant. Eagle eyesight would make spotting friends on the beach a breeze. Heck, having echolocation like a bat would sure make finding the bathroom at night a little easier. Here’s one you might think twice about though: butterflies taste with their feet. So unless you’re walking around on a pile of fruit salad, you might not like the flavor of the floor (although, Tasty Sock™ could be a million-dollar idea).
The Kinks with "Apeman”
Alright, this one’s a bit of a “grey area.” Sure, we could tell you how humans evolved from apes, how they use tools and communicate a lot like we do, how they blah blah blah… But we’re going a different route: BIGFOOT (A.K.A. Sasquatch A.K.A. The Skunk Ape A.K.A. Yeti A.K.A. a hundred other awesome names). While the U.S. legend of Bigfoot can be pretty easily traced to a 1958 news article lightheartedly describing large footprints discovered by Californian loggers, stories of ape-like creatures can be found throughout history all over the world. Some call it folklore. Some swear they’ve seen huge, hairy figures walking through the woods. Guess the veracity of these stories is up for you to decide!
Bonus: Scorpions with "The Zoo”
The San Diego Zoo is the most visited zoo in the United States, with over 4 million visitors a year. But it’s a lot more than just a place to take the kids on a Saturday. San Diego Zoo Global, the not-for-profit organization that operates the zoo, is committed to saving species worldwide by uniting their expertise in animal care and conservation science with their dedication to inspiring passion for nature. With partnerships across the globe, their work is truly changing the outlook for animals in a positive light.
Bonus Bonus: Jawed Karim (co-founder of YouTube) with "Me at the zoo”
Fun Fact: The first video uploaded to YouTube was a brief clip of Jawed Karim, the co-founder of YouTube, explaining that elephants have long trunks. The location? None other than the San Diego Zoo.