11 Weird And Wonderful Facts About Animals You Never Knew
Jan 14, 2016 01:31
One thing I love about the animal kingdom is how diverse it is! Many of us only know about a small subsection of the animals that share our planet with us. In fact, most of us won't even encounter 10% of the animals on Earth!
I've had the opportunity to see and even care for many kinds of animals in my lifetime. Still, it's only a small subset of the creatures I'd like to see in real life!
It's no secret there are all kinds of animals out there, some of which have yet to get discovered by man. How much do you know about the more common animals that you know about? Test your knowledge with these eleven weird and wonderful facts:
It's no secret that ships, submarines and some other sea-going vessels use sonar. It's a way of detecting what else is nearby in the water. What you might not know is that dolphins have a biological sonar system built into their bodies!
They have impressive eyesight and are ten times better at hearing stuff than we are. Dolphins use echolocation to navigate and are guided by the Earth's magnetic field.
2. Jellyfish have lots of eyes
In fact, they have 24 eyes, would you believe! Jellyfish are always found in the world's oceans and have been around for more than 500 million years.
You might not think it, but they have 24 eyes. They aren't created equally. You would assume the many eyes they have give them extra optical powers. But, the truth is they only offer basic object avoidance.
3. Orca whales are rather cultured
Some years ago scientists did studies on orcas to learn more about their habits and behavior. It turns out they are quite cultured! MRI scans and observations have shown they can learn local "dialects" for example.
They can also learn complex hunting methods and transfer behavioral traits to other whales. In essence, they are like the humans of the maritime world! Of course, the only trouble is orcas can't survive on land as we can. But then we can't live underwater. Not unless we're in a submarine or something!
4. Arctic ground squirrels are good at DIY insulation
They are cute little animals to look at but what you may not know is how intelligent they are! When it gets cold outside, they insulate their burrows with things like musk ox hair and leaves.
When they go to sleep, they slow their heart rate down. Their body temperature also drops to just about freezing. They are perhaps one type of animal that has adapted well to the colder climates of our world. Check out conservationinstitute.org to learn more about them and their tundra buddies.
5. Scorpions can live for up to 25 years
One would assume that all small animals have a limited lifespan. Still, that not always the case with scorpions. Did you know that some species can live up to 25 years of age?
What's more, a few have venom so deadly that they can kill an adult human. Perhaps it's wise not to cross paths with any scorpions on your travels!
You might follow a vegetarian diet, but unfortunately, your cat cannot follow suit. It's not so much a lifestyle choice but more a biological one. Cats find it hard to digest plant-based materials, and so they need to eat meat.
Yes, you might find that some cats chew on grass from time to time. But, that doesn't mean your cat has turned into a vegetarian. It probably means they aren't getting the right nutrients in their bodies. Grass provides them with essential enzymes to help them break down vegetable matter.
7. The Shoebill is better at standing still than we are
Have you ever come across the Shoebill before? If not, let me tell you a bit about them. They are large stork-like birds that have shoe-like bills (hence the name). The shoebill is an African bird, and calls countries like Sudan and Zambia home.
Aside from their appearance, what's interesting is their stoic nature. They can stand still for long periods, and many people mistake them for statues!
8. Snakes cannot get charmed
Ever travelled to India? If so, you might have come across a person "charming" a cobra snake with a pungi (a wind instrument). To the untrained eye, it might appear the snake is getting charmed by the music.
In reality, what's happening is quite different. The cobra is viewing the charmer and the pungi as things that might attack them. Yes, you can see them moving in time to the tune played. But, that is just their defensive pose. Snake “charming” is not a safe occupation and many charmers got bitten by their snakes!
9. The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth isn't a bird
One shining example of convergent evolution is the hummingbird hawk-moth. It can get found across northern and central Europe, and parts of Asia. Many people mistake it for a hummingbird hence the name.
It's a moth that can distinguish colors, unlike some insects. Appearance aside, another unique trait of this insect is how it can hover and hum. Just like a hummingbird!
10. Blobfish are the world's most ugliest animals
Poor blobfish! According to the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, the blobfish is an award-winner. But, alas, not for the happiest of reasons. Their rather grotesque appearance has earned them the name "the world's ugliest animal."
Blobfish are deep-sea fish that often get brought to the surface from trawlers. A surprising fact about blobfish is how different they look underwater. In fact, they look like most other fish. It's only when they aren't in water that they look "ugly."
11. A rattlesnake's rattle isn't caused by small metal bearings
It might shock you to learn that some folks think rattlesnakes have ball bearings in their tails! Obviously, they don't. The noise a rattlesnake makes is the sound of interlocked voids of keratin.
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