Grow the Game®

Tyson Bell breaks down his top five favorite animals, complete with fun facts and some explanations for his off-the-wall choices.
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Fun Facts About My 5 Favorite Animals

Lots of people probably don’t know this about me, but animals are one of my greatest passions. I’ve always had dogs in my life, but it’s more than that. Going to the zoo is one of my favorite activities, and I even considered working there at a time. That didn’t end up coming to fruition, but animals have remained a love of mine my whole life.

Here are my top five animals mixed with some education.

My Top 5 Animals


The lion is my top animal because of its pure strength and status as king of the jungle. Plus, a lion’s mane matches my own mane sitting atop my head.

Speaking of manes, a male lion’s mane can reach up to 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) long and are a sign of dominance. They are also important to attracting females. Now you understand my hairstyle.

Mantis Shrimp

It’s hard for me to articulate why these other four animals make my list, but there’s something about all of them that have all caught my eye with their looks and behaviors.

The mantis shrimp aren’t actually shrimp at all – they’re stomatopods, and they’re rarely available in aquariums. These sea creatures are so ruthless, their dactyl clubs can crack a glass tank, so it takes a unique environment to keep them behind bars, so to speak. If they can break glass, how much of a chance do you think shellfish stand?


If you’re Canadian, you know moose. But did you know a male moose has a flap hanging from neck called a dewlap. It isn’t entirely clear what it does for sure, but it’s thought that its size and shape can illustrate dominance level, and its scent can be used to mark females during mating season.

I have chosen not to adopt this behavior myself. The lion’s mane works better.

Panda Ant

The panda ant also has a misleading name. It’s not much of an ant, more of a wasp. But its black and white coloring is where the name comes from.

These little guys can pack a massive punch in one sting, nicknamed the “cow-killer” because their capability of taking out a cow and other animals significantly larger than themselves. My free piece of advice would be to never, ever, ever get stung by a panda ant.

Snowy Owl

Snowy owls are the heaviest owl species in North America because of all the feathers they need to make it through their frigid environment, including fluffy-looking feet. They are almost completely white, which helps quite a bit when sneaky up on unsuspecting prey.

Because of the length of Arctic summers, snowy owls have to hunt in daylight, a departure from most owls, who are nocturnal. Just another reason why these are the superior owls.