No one knows it all. We may think that we know everything about the thousands of creatures around us, but we are mistaken. Scientists discover new life every day, and there’s much about the animals we do know that we don’t understand, including the below list of amazing facts, some of which will probably blow your mind.
10 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know about Animals
1. Cows have friends.
First of all, the friendly bovine we all know and love, contrary to popular belief, does have best friends. Below the cow’s calm exterior is a mass of feelings. The poet and butcher Beat Sterchi described its stance as “cowpeaceable.” It seems to have, more than other animals, developed total tranquility.
The cow may not seem bright but is an intelligent creature. It is also more social than you may think. Researchers at Northampton University discovered that cows have emotional depth and are capable of forming friendships with other members of their herds.
2. House flies are musical
There’s also the humble housefly. It has a short lifespan (14 days) but doesn’t let that get in the way of its musicality. Did you know that it hums in the key of F?
3. Raccoons are hygienic
Another amazing animal fact that may surprise you is that raccoons are clean creatures. They may scavenge your garbage but will wash the scraps they collect before eating them.
Raccoons will find a water source and practice a dunking ritual that removes dirt from their meals. They will keep dunking their food in the water and turn it until it’s clean. These animals have sensitive fingers and probably enjoy the feeling of the routine.
4. Bald eagle nests are amazingly big
The national bird of the United States has a humongous wingspan of up to 8 feet. Furthermore, it flies fast. Another trait that is known for is nest building.
Bald eagle nests are often big enough to break trees. A Nest found in Florida weighed 2.2 tons. How do bald eagles build these big nests? These birds reuse them, adding twigs, branches, and other materials they collect as they do.
5. Hens can turn into roosters spontaneously
Also, unexpected changes in the animal world are not unknown. Clownfish change from male to female when they mate. Some chickens undergo a similar transformation.
A hen has an inactive gonad and an ovary. The gonad may turn into an ovary or testicle. A sudden physical change, like a tumor, may destroy a hen’s ovary. The gonad becomes active and develops into a testicle. A sex change results when it starts to release androgens.
6. The Echnida has a four-headed penis
The male organ is always a fascinating subject. It’s not odd to find unusual penises in the animal world. Snakes have two of them, and sea slugs have disposable ones.
Then, there’s the Echnida, the spiny anteater from Australia which has a single penis with four heads. Each one can ejaculate. Only one functions at a time. What’s more fascinating than this? The female spiny anteater has two vaginas.
When the two mate, one side of the penis becomes active and ready to fertilize the female’s eggs. After ejaculation, the other becomes active. The process repeats.
7. Pandas are lazy
You probably know the Panda as the adorable bear from China that only eats bamboo. What’s lesser-known is how sluggish it is. A study shows that pandas are as slow as Sloth bears. These creatures spend 14 hours a day eating up to 27 lb of bamboo. They move slowly and can sleep anywhere, likely because they have underactive thyroids.
8. Oysters change gender
You will probably gobble them at the buffet table, or wear the pearls they create. But there’s likely more about this prized mollusk that you didn’t know. Like chickens or clownfish, oysters can change their gender. Their sex depends on which contributes to successful mating.
9. A leech has 300 teeth
This creature makes some people afraid of gardening. It has a painful bite, and this is why. This worm-like creature seems to have no hard parts at all. But it has a complete set of 300 teeth.
When it attaches itself to a human body, each of these teeth makes a separate incision. It then begins to suck blood. Leeches have become favorite tools for re-establishing blood flow to reattached body parts.
10. Butterflies use their feet to taste
Yes, insects taste. They just don’t do it the way we do. Butterflies have receptors that are similar to those in the human mouth. These receptors test possible egg-laying sites for poisons. Caterpillars begin feeding on the leaves around the chosen site where they were born. Picking the wrong leaves is disastrous.
In all, these amazing facts are sure to make you change the way you look at animals forever.