From Hardworking to Hardly Working!

In Wildlife
© Rob Webster / WWF

This Labour Day, check out some of our most hardworking counterparts in the animal kingdom.

Labour day is a time to honour individuals for their hard work. However, we have to acknowledge other equally hard working species; animals. This labour day, the spotlight is on the animals that do not get enough credit!

The Man Of The Forest

orangutan

Singapore’s favorite furry friend is not only lovable, but is also a major hard worker. Don’t let their seemingly relaxed demeanor fool you, as they go above and beyond other animals. Every night, orangutans construct a new sleeping nest from branches, usually 3 to 30 metres (change to metres) up in a tree; that’s almost 14,600 treetop beds in their lifetime!

The Royal Flyers

butterfly

They may be small, but they are mighty. Monarch butterflies are known to be one of the few large-scale migratory insects present in the world. They are not only known for their distinctive appearance, but are also known to migrate during cold weather. North American monarchs, in particular, leave their homes in Canada and United States. They fly south until they reach Southern California or central Mexico more than 2,000 miles away. Their total distance clocked is enough to circle the Earth more than 12 times!

The Beauticians

wrasse

Measuring an average of only two to three inches, these underwater ‘beauticians’ spend their days cleaning other marine life, ensuring that they are rid of any parasites and dead scales. From harmless herbivores to intimidating predators, the Cleaner Wrasse meticulously cleans these marine animals from head-to-toe. As exhausting as it is, the Cleaner Wrasse does not work without a reward. They are carnivores themselves who feed on the tiny parasites found on their counterparts, making it a mutually beneficial agreement between the two!

The Dam Builders

beaver

Beavers are iconic long-toothed mammals that have a knack for building and construct dams to build their homes. The imminence of winter pushes them to start building their homes in early fall. They are great at multitasking, gathering wood with their tails while they use their teeth to chip away at the trunks simultaneously. Once they break them down to smaller pieces, they then carry it back to the site and begin constructing the dams by placing the sticks in mud and layering them vertically upwards. As if that isn’t enough, beavers carve out their living spaces and stock up on wood for consumption during winter months; ensuring a smooth and easy winter.

Now, for a not so hardworking (but equally appreciated) animal…

The Sleepyheads

sloth latest

Sloths are adorable, slow moving creatures who are known to be some of the laziest animals in the world. They sleep for up to 20 hours a day and bathe once a week – saying that they epitomize laziness would be an understatement! In fact, sloths move so slowly that algae grows on their fur, allowing them to camouflage in the jungle, protecting them from their predators. Who would have thought that being lazy could have its perks as well?

Want to see one of these species in a virtual setting? Visit the free Into The Wild exhibit at the ArtScience Museum!

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