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On the Road Again

November 20, 2015

6 animals that make impressive journeys.

For many of us, Thanksgiving means travel. This year, AAA estimates nearly 47 million Americans will celebrate the holiday with some kind of getaway. Such journeys aren't reserved for our species, though—a number of animals make trips that dwarf ours.

1. Tibetan Antelopes

If you end up tied up in traffic this holiday or caught in a long line at airport security, remind yourself it could always be worse. The Tibetan antelope does its travel in one of the more inhospitable places on the planet: the frigid Tibetan plateau.

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Photo Credit: ©Joel Berger/WCS

2. Arctic Terns

A beautiful bird from up north, where Thanksgiving has already occurred, the Arctic tern makes a mammoth flight each year (40,000 km is almost 25,000 mi).


3. Humpback Whales

These iconic marine mammals may travel 8,000 miles round trip, from colder feeding grounds to tropical breeding areas and back.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

4. Pronghorns

In comparison to some of the other travelers here, the pronghorn migration in Wyoming is puny—a mere 150 miles or so. But the trip is interesting for other reasons. The pronghorn, for instance, is the only animal on this list with its own bridge.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

5. North American Monarchs

Their trip can cover 3,000 miles and takes generations to complete.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

6. Dorado Catfish

A dorado catfish travels about 8,000 km (or 5,000 mi) over its lifetime, along the Amazon River and its tributaries—almost the entire width of South America. This includes the distance it descends downstream as larvae from the Andean foothills to the estuary in the Atlantic Ocean and then back upstream as a young adult looking to spawn in the Amazon headwaters.

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Photo Credit: ©Michael Goulding/WCS

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