Strange Creatures

Strange and Unusual Facts and Myths About the Animal Kingdom

The animal kingdom is full of one remarkable fact after another. Do cats really have nine lives? Does licking a toad’s back can really get you high? And do vampire bats have the ability to donate blood? Keep on reading because we are here to debunk some strange and unusual facts and myths about the animal kingdom.

Strange and Unusual Facts and Myths About the Animal Kingdom

Facts

1. Vampire bats can donate blood to other bats

Even if bats have a sinister reputation, there are three species of vampire bats that live in Central America who enjoys living in large colonies alongside one another. And if one bat failed to find food on its hunting trips, another bat from the colony will share its meal, which is usually bird blood, mouth-to-mouth.

2. You can get high by licking a toad

One of the strangest thing humans have done to get recreationally high is to lick a toad. The cane toad and the Colorado River toad produces a chemical called 5-methoxy-N and N-dimethyltryptamine. These chemicals help make the toads indigestible to predators but to us humans, these chemicals triggers our brain to release serotonin, a feel-good substance that can produce powerful hallucinations. 

3. Cats can stay hydrated by drinking seawater

Thanks to their efficient kidneys, cats can survive on a diet of meat and can rehydrate by drinking seawater. But their carnivorous ways are mandatory. Cats have a hard time digesting plants even if they are often seen chewing on grass. 

4. Toads will give you warts

Even if their skin looks like it has a lot of warts, touching a toad will not give you warts, however, being touchy with a person who has warts will.

5. White sand is composed of fish waste

Ever dreamed of indulging underneath the sun while laying in the fine white sands in the Maldives? Well, we have news for you. These gorgeous, fine white sands are actually composed of one giant accumulation of fish filth. The sands are formed by the bumphead parrotfish which feeds entirely on corals that contains an appetizing type of algae. The fish then excretes this into fine sand. One bumphead parrotfish can produce up to 90 kilos of sand a year. 

6. Some scorpions can live up to 25 years

The lifespan of these creepy crawlies varies for each species, but some species of scorpions have been known to live for as long as 25 years. 

7. Jellyfish have 24 eyes

Jellyfish have existed on Earth for over 500 years. In a research done by Current Biology showed that jellyfishes have 24 different types of eyes including eyes that is the same as the vertebrates. But despite having 24 eyes, the jellyfish visuals are restricted to basic object avoidance which means it’s not clear why they have so many eyes.

8. Horses cannot vomit

When we vomit, our stomach is squeezed in between our abdomen and diaphragm. But horses cannot do this because of their powerful valve that is located at the bottom of their esophagus. It prevents foods from rising up through their stomach.

9. Newts stab themselves so that their predators won’t swallow them

In a research done by a German zoologist named Franz Leydig in 1879, he observed that the Iberian ribbed newt releases sharp spines along its side when startled. It goes to show that the sharp spines are actually the newt’s ribs. It actually forces its way through the newt’s skin to make it harder for the predators to swallow them. Luckily, the newt has an ability to regenerate its skin after.

10. Octopuses have a detachable penis

When a male argonaut octopus spots a mate, it launches its penis, a sperm-filled tentacle, towards its mate. The penis of the octopus attaches to the mantle behind the female’s head and stores it in a cavity. The female octopus can store the sperm of multiple males in its cavities to fertilize the eggs. The male argonaut octopus dies shortly after detaching their penis.

11. Male seahorses are the ones who give birth

Male seahorses have a stomach pouch just like a kangaroo. The female will deposit the eggs in the pouch to be fertilized after a courtship dance. The male will regulate the temperature of the pouch and transfer nutrients through its skin to the eggs. While the male seahorse fertilizes the eggs, the female seahorse produces more eggs to replace that will hatch on the male’s pouch.


Myths

1. Cats have nine lives

Contrary to what many of us believes, cats only have one life just like us humans. Cats just have an amazing skill of landing perfectly on their feet from giant heights.


2. Cutting a worm in half can create two earthworms

If you split a worm into two, you will notice that the other half still wriggles but it doesn’t mean that it will become a new worm. Earthworms are known of their ability to regenerate tissues but a tail will only grow back from the half that still contains the head. The other half can still appear to be moving but it will not turn into a new worm.


3. Elephants always forget

Elephants have a very sharp memory, they usually remember faces. And elephants can live up to 70 years old that is why you should never mistreat an elephant because it will remember you until the day it dies.


4. Elephants are afraid of mice

This large mammal is not afraid of a little mouse. However, they become frightened easily by sudden movements because they have poor eyesight.

5. Bears hibernate throughout the winter

Hibernating animals sleep throughout the entire winter season and lower their bodies’ temperature to match their surroundings. But contrary to what we believe, most bears do not do this. They just don’t go out frequently during the winter season and they take longer naps but do not fully hibernate.

6. Bats are blind

Bats are not entirely blind. They may not have a 20/20 vision but they can see. Because they hunt during the night, they need more than their eyesight to hunt fruits and small animals. That’s why they use echolocation to bounce sound off objects and measure distances even if they are in the dark. 

7. Sharks can smell blood from miles away

Sharks won’t come for you from miles across the ocean if you bleed in the water. Although sharks have an enlarge brain region for smelling, like allowing them to detect as little as one part of blood per 10 billion parts water that’s like a drop in an Olympic size swimming pool. But the ocean is way too bigger than that and it takes some time for the odor molecules to drift. And when the currents are favorable, a shark can smell its prey’s blood from a few football fields away but not miles. 

8. Camels can store water in their humps

It’s a fact that camels can live up to ten days without water but that is not because they store water in their humps. Camels stay hydrated because they have coats and nostrils that help limit sweating. They also can chug 200 liters of water in just three minutes. 

9. Goldfish cannot remember for longer than a second

Contrary to what many of us believe, a goldfish can remember things for as long as one month.

These are the amazing facts and myths about the animal kingdom we gathered for you. Which one is your favorite?

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