You’re probably thinking. “Animal facts? I’ve seen every episode of Animal Planet, I’ve got this covered.” But the animal kingdom is teeming with outrageous, mind-boggling, and downright bizarre truths that are stranger than fiction. These 12 critter facts will have you saying, “No way, that can’t be right!”
Elephants Can Recognize Their Reflections
Image credit: Kiko Janneman via Canva. comNo kidding! Studies have shown that elephants, like dolphins, great apes, and magpies, have passed the mirror test. This reveals a level of self-consciousness usually only associated with humans and a few other primates.
Cheetahs Can’t Roar
Unlike lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars, who have a two-piece hyoid bone in their throat that enables them to roar, the cheetah’s hyoid bone is one solid piece. Instead of a spine-tingling roar, they purr, hiss, growl, and make a variety of vocalizations called “chirping” or “chittering.”
Ostriches Can Outrun Horses
While a horse clocks in at about 55 mph tops, the ostrich – with its long, skinny legs and surprisingly speedy stride – can hit ground speeds of up to 60 mph. In other words, if the ostrich had a need for speed and entered the Kentucky Derby, it’d leave those thoroughbreds eating its dust.
A Snail Can Sleep for up to Three Years
Imagine the level of beauty rest that could provide! So how does this work? It’s called estivation, a prolonged sleep that allows them to conserve energy when their surroundings are too hot or dry. It’s nature’s built-in snooze button!
Flamingos Are Naturally White
Flamingos are actually born with greyish-white feathers. They get that iconic pink hue from their diet, which is rich in beta-carotene, a red-orange pigment in shrimps and algae. Over time, the pigment accumulates in their feathers, giving them a pink or reddish appearance.
Giraffes Have the Same Number of Neck Vertebrae as Humans
Both species possess seven cervical vertebrae in total. Try not to feel too short-changed, though. While ours are a mere couple of centimeters long, a giraffe’s can be up to 10 inches long.
Hummingbirds Can Fly Backwards
They are the only group of birds capable of this aerobatic marvel. These petite powerhouses flap their wings up to 70 times per second, achieving not only backward flight but also the ability to hover in one place, dart side to side, and even fly upside down momentarily.
Sharks Predate Trees
It’s true that these ancient underwater predators have been around for more than 400 million years, according to the fossil record. Meanwhile, the first tree-like plants started sprouting about 350 million years ago.
A Tarantula Spider Can Go Two Years Without Food
How’s that for a fasting routine? You might ask, “How on earth…?” Well, tarantulas have an incredibly slow metabolism, which is further slowed down in the absence of food. This survival tactic is essential in the wild, where food scarcity is a real challenge.
A Blue Whale’s Tongue Weighs the Same as an Elephant
These oceanic giants, the largest creatures on Earth, have tongues that can weigh in at around 6,000 pounds. It’s like they’re carrying a mini safari in their mouths!
Polar Bears Have Black Skin and Transparent Fur
This dark dermis absorbs and retains heat from the sun, helping these Arctic wanderers stay warm in freezing conditions. Contrary to popular belief, polar bear fur isn’t white but transparent. The shafts are hollow and filled with air, which helps insulate them and gives the fur a white appearance as it scatters and reflects light.
Ants Never Sleep
These industrious little creatures are always on the go, operating in shifts 24/7 but never taking a moment to snooze. Ever. Scientists suspect this is because their colonies work like a superorganism, where every ant has a specific role that contributes to the success of the whole. Can you imagine pulling a lifelong all-nighter? Pass the coffee, please!
15 Misconceptions About Animals Perpetuated by Pop Culture
Don’t you love how movies and cartoons paint such a vivid picture of the animal kingdom? From the stealthy, spaghetti-slurping rat in “Ratatouille” to the adorable, honey-obsessed bear in “Winnie the Pooh,” pop culture gives us a wonderfully colorful view of our furry, scaly, and feathery friends. But let’s throw a wrench in this picturesque world and spill the beans on some of the biggest misconceptions about animals perpetuated by pop culture.
Beyond Cats and Dogs: 12 Unconventional Animals Kept as Pets
Cats and dogs make for sensational pets, as they’re often willing to cuddle and have distinct personalities. However, not everyone wants a cat or dog as a pet.
12 Science Facts That Sound Like BS – But Aren’t
Welcome to the land of peculiar paradoxes and mysteriously mind-boggling science facts. These are not your average, run-of-the-mill trivia tidbits. Oh no, these facts will make you squint your eyes, scratch your head, and shout, “That’s got to be BS!”
25 Facts and Statistics That Sound Made Up But Are Actually True
Welcome, brave seekers of truth and bizarre trivia! Prepare to have your minds blown with 25 bombshell facts that, while sounding like the stuff of legend, are 100% true.
19 Common “Facts” About Dogs That Are Actually False
When it comes to our furry friends, there’s a ton of info out there, leading to all sorts of perceptions and ‘facts’ about dogs. But you know what? Not everything we hear or read is true.