With an estimated 7.77 million species of animals on the planet, the animal kingdom is an undeniably diverse place. However, while the breadth of earthly biodiversity may be well-known, the amazing things our animal counterparts do are often hidden to humans.
From furry creatures you never realized could use tools to those who enjoy getting tipsy, these amazing animal facts are sure to wow even the biggest animal lovers out there. And when you want to know how weird and wonderful the world really is, check out the 100 Awesome Facts About Everything!
Cows Have Best Friends
According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Northampton, cows have strong social bonds and display physical symptoms of stress when they’re away from their BFF. And when you want a companion of your own, This Is the Best Way to Make New Friends.
Pigeons Can Do Math
Research suggests that pigeons are capable of doing math at a similar level to monkeys. Think that’s amazing? Wait until you discover the 15 Animal Species Miraculously Saved From Extinction!
Zebra Stripes Work as Bug Repellent
Research published in the Journal of Experimental Biology suggests that zebras’ black and white stripes may be an evolutionary feature to fend off bugs. And for more knowledge you can drop on people, check out the 20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About Your Own Body.
Wild Chimps Like to Drink
Research published in Royal Society Open Science reveals that chimpanzees in Guinea had a fondness for imbibing fermented palm sap, getting tipsy in the process. And if you’re doing some human drinking, start by learning the 20 Cocktails Every Man Should Know How to Make.
Sea Otters Are Adept at Using Tools
While many scientists believe that tool use among dolphins is a relatively new phenomenon, a study published in Biology Letters suggests that otters may have been using tools for millions of years. And if you’re thinking of getting a furry friend, the 15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet are sure to convince you.
Frogs Can Freeze Without Dying
According to a professor at Carleton University, they simply thaw out in the spring, good as new. And for more astonishing truth bombs you can drop on others, here are 40 Facts You Learned in the 20th Century That Are Totally Bogus Today.
Male Horses Have More Teeth Than Their Female Counterparts
Male horses have 40 permanent teeth, while females have just 36.
Koalas Sleep Up to 22 Hours a Day
Koalas spend even more time napping than your average house cat.
A Group of Ferrets is Called a Business
However, it’s not because they’re so professional; it’s a modernized form of “busyness,” the word originally used to describe a group of these weasel-related mammals. Think animal facts are wild? Try these 50 Crazy Celebrity Facts.
Octopuses Can Taste With Their Arms
They can detect flavorful molecules in the water using their suckers.
Dolphins Have Names for One Another
According to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, bottlenose dolphins have specific names for one another. And for some facts that come with laughs, see these 40 Facts So Funny They’re Hard to Believe.
Reindeer Eyes Turn Blue in the Winter
Their eyes become lighter in the winter to capture more sunlight.
Giraffes Have Black Tongues
Scientists believe that it’s so they don’t get sunburns while they eat.
Alligators Will Let Manatees Swim Ahead of Them
In busy waters, manatees will nudge alligators to get in front, and alligators generally oblige.
Sloths Can Take a Week to Digest Their Food
Everything about life is slow for these sleepy mammals. And for more crazy stuff, here are 20 Crazy Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.
Crocodiles Can Grow For More Than 30 Years
According to research published in Copeia, alligators often haven’t hit their full size until 33.
Cats Only Meow at Their Moms and Humans
Adult cats won’t meow to greet each other, but they will meow at their owners for food and cuddles. And if you’re looking for some even more useful knowledge, consider these 50 New Uses for Everyday Items.
Elephants and Humans Have Similar Self-Soothing Techniques
Elephant calves will suck their trunks to comfort themselves.
Female Bats Will Help Take Care of Other Bat Babies
It takes a village.
Sea Turtle Embryos Can Breathe Through Their Shells
Sea turtle eggshells are porous, allowing embryos to breathe through them.
Dogs Have Way More Taste Buds Than Cats
Your feline friend likely has under 500 taste buds, while dogs can have over 1,700.
Otters Have the World’s Thickest Fur
They’re thought to have up to one million hairs per square inch.
A Group of Owls is Called a Parliament
Their legislative powers, however, are still up for debate.
Snow Leopards Don’t Roar
Snow leopards have less-developed vocal chords than their fellow large cats, meaning that they can’t roar, but make a purr-like sound called a chuff instead.
Slow Lorises Are the Only Venomous Primate
They may be cute, but their bite can be toxic.
Axolotls Can Regenerate Their Parts
Axolotls can regenerate their skin, limbs, tail, jaws, and even their spines.
A Group of Rhinos is Called a Crash
Individual male rhinos are referred to as bulls, females as cows.
Squirrels Will Adopt Orphans
Researchers at the University of Guelph have found that squirrels will take in the orphaned pups of their late family members.
Giant Anteaters Have Two-Foot Tongues
It’s the longest tongue of any known mammal.
Moths Can Track Down a Mate’s Scent From Miles Away
That’s even more impressive when you consider that they don’t have noses.
Horses Have Distinct Facial Expressions
Horses use their ears, nostrils, and eyes to communicate with other horses.
Deer Can Run Up to 30 Miles Per Hour
Take that, Usain Bolt.
An Octopus Has Three Hearts
Two hearts are used to pump blood to its gills, while the third brings blood to the rest of its body.
Some Worms Can Jump
Certain species of the Amynthas worm, which have recently been identified in the Midwestern United States, can jump and detach their tails.
Alligators Can Live to 100
Nile crocodiles can reportedly live for a full century.
Crows Play Tricks on One Another
Researchers have found that crows are fond of playing pranks on one another.
While scientists don’t exactly think they have a sense of humor, rats will make a laugh-like sound when tickled.
Tigers Have Striped Skin
It’s not just their fur that bears a distinctive pattern.
Chameleons Can Move Their Eyes in Different Directions at the Same Time
Of course, the skin-color-changing trick is pretty neat, too.
Cows Produce More Milk When Listening to Slow Music
According to researchers at the University of Leicester School of Psychology found that cows produced 1.54 more pints per day when slow music was played for them, versus more upbeat tunes.
Butterflies Taste With Their Feet
Most butterflies lack the ability to bite or chew, so they taste by using their feet. When a butterfly lands on a plant, they use sensors on their feet to determine whether or not what they’re standing on is edible.
The Spur-Winged Goose’s Diet Makes it Poisonous
Don’t plan on eating a spur-winged goose if you happen to come across one during your travels. These birds, natives of sub-Saharan Africa, often have flesh that’s poisonous to humans, thanks to their diet of blister beetles, with secrete the potentially-deadly cantharidin poison.
Vampire Bat Saliva Keeps Blood From Clotting
Vampire bats do more than just bite their prey: they keep the other animal’s blood from clotting. Vampire bat saliva works as an anticoagulant, keeping the blood flowing freely as they feed.
Wombat Poop Is Cube-Shaped
Wombats use their droppings to warn other animals to stay off their turf. Luckily, their cube-shaped poop makes it easy to see that a spot is governed by wombats, as the little squares tend to stay put more easily than spherical droppings would.
Tortoises in Hotter Environments Come in Lighter Colors
While residents of cooler climates may be used to seeing tortoises with dark skin and shells, in warmer climates, they’re often lighter. The African spurred tortoise, also known as the sulcate tortoise, is often a light tan hue.
Orcas Can Learn to Speak Dolphin
Groups of killer whales have their own dialects that are further influenced by the company they keep. Research published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America reveals that orcas housed with bottlenose dolphins over a long period of time were able to replicate the dolphins’ language.
Queen Mole Rats Make Other Female Mole Rats Infertile
To ensure her dominance, the queen mole rat works to make it impossible for other female mole rats to have litters. In fact, the queen can produce a substance in her urine that renders other female mole rats infertile.
Horned Lizards Squirt Blood From Their Eyes
The horned lizard has a pretty impressive trick for evading predators. When a horned lizard finds itself in a perilous situation, it can squirt a stream of blood at a predator or into its mouth to get them to scamper off.
Male Emperor Penguins Can Go Months Without Eating to Protect Their Young
Male emperor penguins take an active role in raising their young, often going without food for months at a time to guard their mate’s eggs. Male penguins are known to lose up to 26 pounds during this process, and only eat when their mate has returned to care for their newly-hatched chick.
Crocodiles Can Gallop
If you think crocodiles aren’t frightening enough, consider this: they can gallop. While some modern-day crocodiles can run surprisingly fast, even more horrifyingly, giant crocodiles during the Cretaceous period were so large and so fast they could catch and eat dinosaurs.
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