Animals are amazing things. Like every human being, they are unique and exhibit unusual behavior. Fascinated by all things nature, we have gathered a list of facts about animals that will make you laugh, smile and say “wait…what?”.
1. This is how baby giraffes sleep.
Giraffes might be animals with one of the strangest sleeping habits in the animal kingdom. While young, they lay down with their legs tucked beneath their bodies and rest their heads… on their rumps. Some adult giraffes are also known to exhibit this behavior. Apparently, they’re their own best pillows!
2. Atlantic puffins mate for life, and share parental responsibilities equally.
The Atlantic puffin is one such animal that mates for life. Once they find a partner, they are known to return to the same burrow each season, as well as share egg-incubating and parenting duties. Also, during the mating ceremony, the little ones perform a ritual where they rub their beaks together. While they might be small, the Atlantic puffins are extremely fast. Thanks to their wings, which are capable of flapping 400 times per minute, they can reach up to speeds of 55 miles per hour.
3. Seagulls often stomp on the ground — often referred to as their “rain dance” — to attract earthworms and other food.
In order to catch worms and other sources of foods, seagulls have developed a technique called the “rain dance”. Basically, they stomp on the ground with enough pressure to mimic the vibrations of raindrops falling on Earth. Apparently, earthworms will instinctively rise to the surface during heavy rain since the moist soil allows them to migrate far distances. So, when seagulls stomp and mimic the vibrations, worms will come to the surface and the seagulls have their lunch served.
4. Even though they have super long necks, giraffes only have seven vertebrae — the same number as in a human neck!
Giraffes are the tallest animals on land and one would assume that their long necks require hundreds of vertebrae. It turns out that just like humans, giraffes have seven neck vertebrae. For giraffes, however, each one can be over 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) long!
5. Golden moles have eyeballs, but they’re covered by skin — so essentially, they’re useless.
For long, it was believed that moles have no eyes and they rather use senses such as touch and vibrations to move underground. A new study however found that they do in fact have eyes but it’s covered by skin, rendering them useless to navigate. The study however, also found that their eyes are capable of detecting light, which means it does help them know what time of the day it is.
6. Elephants can and will exact revenge.
Elephants have the ability to remember things for a looooong period of time. According to some scientists, they can remember it throughout their lives and if they come across someone who has wronged them in the past, they can and will exact revenge.
7. All clownfish are born male and have the ability to switch to become the dominant female of the group.
All clownfish are males in their different stages of maturity (a phenomenon known as protandry). If for some reason the female of the group is gone, the most aggressive and largest male in the group will take its place by becoming a female. At the same time, the second largest and most aggressive clownfish becomes the alpha male. Once a clownfish makes this change, though, it is irreversible.
8. The water bear is the only animal that can survive in space.
Tardigrades or the water bear, are one of the most fascinating creatures on Earth and the moon. They have eight legs, and hands with four to eight claws on each. During one study, scientists discovered that these tiny creatures can withstand environments as cold as minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 200 Celsius) or highs of more than 300 degrees F (148.9 C). They can also survive radiation, boiling liquids, massive amounts of pressure of up to six times the pressure of the deepest part of the ocean and even the vacuum of space without any protection. Another 2008 study found that the water bear can survive 10 days at low Earth orbit while being exposed to a space vacuum and radiation.
9. The fingerprints of a koala are so indistinguishable from humans that they have on occasion been confused by police officers.
It’s not just koala’s, but apes and chimps also share this trait with humans. Their fingerprints are so identical to humans that there have been instances where police officers have mistakenly linked crimes to humans.
10. The most dangerous animal in Africa is not the crocodile but rather the hippopotamus.
Most people assume crocodiles to be the most dangerous but actually, the hippopotamus is the one animal that has caused more harm to human beings than crocodiles.
11. It is possible to hypnotize a frog by placing it on its back and gently stroking its stomach.
It may sound strange, but one of the most fascinating phenomena of nature is the fact that you can actually hypnotize animals. The alligator method also works on lizards and frogs. In order to hypnotize a lizard or a frog, put it on its back and hold it still for a few seconds and gently rub its stomach. Remove your hands, and it will remain motionless. To remove the hypnosis, flip it back over.
12. A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.
To put things in perspective, the average dairy cow produces 22.5 quarts (60 lbs) or 90 glasses of milk a day, 1,500 gallons or 16,000 glasses of milk a year, and 18,750 gallons or 200,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.
13. A rhinoceros’ horn is made of hair.
The horns are made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails.
14. The heart of a shrimp is located in its head.
According to the exact anatomy of a shrimp, its heart is located in its thorax which is just after the head.
15. There is a whale known as “The Loneliest Whale in the world” because it can’t communicate in the same frequency as other whales, so other whales cannot find it.
The “World’s Loneliest Whale,” or “Whale 52” was first discovered by biologist Bill Watkins, who noticed that the whale’s songs were being sung at 52 hertz — too high for any other whale to hear. Today, no one knows if the whale is alive and if so, where on Earth it’s located.