Since the beginning of time, mankind has always been curious about animals. Even today, scientists, researchers and inquisitive humans have been trying to understand these creatures and their behavior. The more we study them, the more we realize that in some cases, they are far superior than us. Studies show that many animals experience feelings similar to humans, and behave in incredible ways with one another. Here is a list of amazing animal facts that you will be glad you learned, some of which with make you realize that they are more humane than humans.
1. Dolphins sleep-talk, just like humans.
During a French study, researchers found that dolphins were making whale-like noises late at night, despite the fact that they have only heard whale sounds as recordings during their daytime dolphin shows. According to French researchers, five dolphins were kept for a study, all of whom were born in captivity, and never had the opportunity to hear a real-life whale sing. So, researchers played an audio recording of a whale during the day and observed that at night, when they were sleeping, the dolphins were mimicking the sounds. The sounds occurred only at night during dolphin “rest periods,” mostly between midnight and 3 a.m. Researchers believe that this could be a way of “saving” sounds and reproducing them at night, which is a possible version of sleep-talking in humans.
2. Dogs too, enjoy listening to music.
For most of us, music is an integral part of our lives. The different genres and tempos of music are capable of evoking different emotions in our minds. Interestingly, music affects dogs in similar ways. Dogs like music, too. In a recent study, researchers found that slower tempos, simpler patterns and lower frequencies discharge the canine nervous system. In the study, shelter dogs were found to be more relaxed and quiet when they were listening to classical music. The study also found that the animals were not interested in pop music or radio shows but exhibited more barking when heavy metal was playing.
3. Elephants mourn for their loved ones for years.
We may never know exactly what goes on inside the mind of an elephant, but scientists studying the animals know that like humans, they mourn for their loved ones. In a benign environment, if an elephant loses a loved one, they will mourn for years. Studies also show that they experience stress like humans and if they visit a place they and their loved one used to spend time at, the animals stop and sometimes remained silent for a moment.
4. Rats are also capable of driving cars.
Scientists at the University of Richmond taught rats how to drive tiny little cars. The cars were made out of a plastic food container and retrofitted with an aluminum bar and three copper bars for steering wheels. Scientists then taught the rats how to navigate the custom-built car and were surprised with the results. Not only did the rats manage to learn, but they were extremely good when properly trained. The rats used their tiny little paws to control the direction of the car by gripping the left, middle, or right copper bar. Of course the scientists had to bribe them with Froot Loops every time they touched and moved the plastic car forward.
5. Squirrels adopt and take care of other baby squirrels.
Squirrels too, are compassionate, like “some human beings”. A study found that in a case where a mother has failed to return to her cub, neighboring momma squirrels would adopt the babies as their own. The study by Guelph Prof. Andrew McAdam, along with researchers from the University of Alberta and McGill University, revealed that red squirrels will adopt pups that have lost their mother.
6. Chimpanzees have empathetic personalities.
Scientists studying chimpanzees found that they demonstrate empathetic tendencies, which means that they have the ability to share and understand the emotions of others. The study published in 2017, in the journal Nature Communications, found that when a chimpanzee is sad or distressed, neighboring chimpanzees will spontaneously approach and comfort them. This behavior, known as consolation, and is the best-documented marker of empathetic-concern in nonhuman animals.
7. Pigeons, like humans, can sometimes behave irrationally.
A team of researchers, led by psychologist Thomas Zentall at the University of Kentucky, were trying to identify irrational behaviors in animals. During a series of experiments, researchers found that pigeons make some of the same common reasoning mistakes as humans do. For example, they exhibit a strong tendency to select a riskier option over a smaller, safer reward. While at first they chose the less risky task with the same reward, they switched it up and started taking riskier tasks; a behavior similar to humans, according to researchers.
8. Cows have best friends and become stressed if they are separated.
According to scientist Krista McLennan, cows have best friends and become stressed if they are separated. McLennan made the discovery while working on her PhD at Northampton University, and believes that her findings could help improve milk yields. The 27-year-old measured the heart rates and cortisol levels of cows to see how they cope when isolated, with their best friends and with a stranger cow. Her study found that when the cows were with their best friends, the cortisol levels were at the lowest. When they were isolated and were kept with a stranger cow, it was high. The study proves that cows are very social animals and often form close bonds with friends in their herd.
9. Meowing is a trait cats developed not to communicate with each other, but rather to get the attention of their human friends.
Have you ever seen your cat meow at other cats? Probably not. But your cat meows at you, right? Sometimes or all the time? Well, there’s a reason for this. According to scientists, this “meow” language is a way for them to communicate with us. Adult cats don’t meow at other cats and instead use facial expressions, scent, body language or touch to convey the message. The meow is human-directed communication, which scientists strongly believe was created just for the purpose of interacting with us.
10. Male puppies sometimes allow female puppies to “win” when they play together, in order to get to know them better.
Unlike humans, for young puppies, the desire to play and to keep a game going is more important than winning. Since nobody enjoys repeatedly playing a game that they can never win, even the pups that are good at games understand this. Scientists have observed that in order to ensure that they can still find someone to play with, dogs will sometimes throw their toys and allow their female companion to “win” on occasion, in order to keep them interested and willing to play. The same behavior has been documented before in red-necked wallabies, squirrel monkeys, hamadryas baboons and even humans, all of which frequently take on defensive positions when playing with youngsters, in particular.