12 Unbelievable Animal Facts That Are Actually True
Animal (from Latin anima, meaning that which has breath) is a general term that encompasses an extensive variety of living creatures. Most animals have bodies covered with fur or feathers and feed on organic material such as plants, fruit, and small animals. The animal kingdom includes many different groups of species like jawless fish or insects.
The earliest animals appear in the fossil record about 530 million years ago in the Cambrian explosion and are believed to be similar to modern sponges. They lacked a backbone, eyes, gills, or jaws but had simple forms such as spines where calcium was deposited near sections of their body to form shells.
Most animals are divided into two groups: vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrates, which include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, have a backbone. They have more sensory cells than invertebrates and better eyesight. The invertebrates include all those species that do not have a backbone and are made up of insects, mollusks (such as squid and octopus), arthropods (including crabs), sponges, and worms.
1. A study found that goats have accents
Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London have found that goats have accents – and their accents change depending on what they are saying.
The team tested over 200 goats across seven different countries including England, Sweden, Georgia, and Germany. They then played back recordings of the goats to other participants who had to guess where the animal was from based on its accent.
The results showed that goat accents vary geographically with country clear differences emerging between those raised in Sweden as opposed to Switzerland or for example Georgia (the birthplace of Borjomi mineral water). Unsurprisingly the researchers did not find any significant difference in accent when comparing animals from different regions within the same country.
2. In order to avoid mating, female dragonflies will often feign death
The male dragonfly is known for its persistence in chasing down females, and if they don’t respond to his advances, the male will resort to physical violence. This behavior has created such a problem that female dragonflies have evolved an avoidance tactic of “playing dead.”
Dragonflies’ mating behavior takes place on the ground instead of in-flight as seen with many other insects. Males will chase down females and use their front legs to hold onto her head so she can’t fly away. When the female attempts to flee from his grasp he’ll start struggling with her until she finally agrees to mate with him.
3. Koala fingerprints are similar to humans, so they might mess up crime scenes
Koala paws are so similar to humans. This could cause a problem for crime scene investigators, who need reliable evidence to work with. And with the recent boom in koala populations across metropolitan Australia, it’s likely that human and koala fingerprints will come into contact more often than ever before.
In response, scientists have developed a new type of fingerprinting technology that is able to distinguish between the two species of animal. This will enable police and forensic experts to work accurately at crime scenes where both humans and koalas have left their mark.
4. Parrots are known to be selfless creatures
When given the chance, they’ll even sacrifice their own food to help a fellow parrot in the group. This behavior has been observed in parrot species around the world, and researchers believe that it’s an instinctive trait. They say that when it comes to making sacrifices for another animal, humans are outliers (but not because they’re worse than other animals).
5. A shrimp’s heart is located in its head
The shrimp’s heart is located near the top of the head between the eyes, but only visible when it is removed. The blood vessels are connected to this heart as well as other organs in the body.
There are 3 chambers in a shrimp’s left atrium and they are separated by septa. The right atrium has 2 large chambers that have a common wall for communications with one another.
6. A hibernating snail can sleep for three years
The apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) lives in the wild in Southeast Asia, and when it senses dry conditions or other dangers it enters a state of deep hibernation called aestivation. This allows the snail’s body fluids to decrease with water content until it reaches levels similar to those of arid deserts or dunes. In this state, the animal is able to survive without food and water for up to three years before it can recover enough energy and moisture to resume its normal life cycle.
7. A bat can eat up to 1000 insects per hour
A bat uses echolocation to find insects. Bats emit calls through their nose, mouth, or both and these sound waves bounce off of objects and back to the bat. The time it takes for the reflected sound waves to return is used by the bat to judge the distance, size, and shape of objects in their environment.
8. Octopuses have three hearts
One of the most interesting facts about octopuses is that they have three hearts. One heart circulates blood from the gills, another heart circulates blood from the body. The third heart is much smaller and slows down when it’s not needed so it only beats about once a minute or less to conserve energy.
Octopuses also have blue blood because their blood contains hemocyanin which carries oxygen around the octopus’s body, unlike our red blood which contains hemoglobin and carries oxygen bubbles through the bloodstream.
9. A polar bear’s hair isn’t white, it’s transparent
The polar bear, one of the world’s largest and most magnificent animals, has been endowed with one of the world’s strangest adaptations: its fur is transparent.
Not white. Not black. Not brown, or yellow, or any color of the rainbow. The hairs are literally colorless – so much so that if you saw a polar bear on a snowy field, you might think it was wearing invisible clothing.
Their colorlessness is due to their shape; they have an air space between them called a vacuole which reflects light back to your eye in such a way that it has no color at all.
10. Giraffes have seven bones in their necks, the same as humans
A giraffe’s neck has seven bones in it, just like a human. The only difference is that a giraffe’s neck bones are much larger. In fact, the bottom of the giraffe’s neck averages about 4 feet off the ground while they are standing upright. The giraffe’s neck is also very flexible and can rotate 180 degrees. The giraffe’s long neck helps it to get leaves off trees that have high branches.
11. The lines on a gorilla’s nose are unique to each one and are called a ‘nose print’
Gorillas are one, of the world’s most endangered species. For this reason, scientists have taken to tracking gorillas by way of their noses.
The pattern on a gorilla’s nose is distinctive and like human fingerprints is unique to each individual.
This makes it easier for caregivers or conservationists to identify and track individual animals in order to offer them appropriate care and protection, while also giving us an opportunity to understand these intelligent, social primates better.
12. It’s a little-known fact that owls don’t have eyeballs. They have what are known as eye tubes instead
Eye tubes are the structural support that helps with an owl’s ability to see. The eye sockets create a hollow area where the skull is, and that’s where the eye tubes go. They stretch from the front of an owl’s head to just behind their ears.