35 Weird Animal Facts That’ll Leave You Amazed
Did you know that there are over 8.7 million species of animals on Earth? It would take more than 1,000 years to identify them all. Some of these creatures are so strange that we still aren’t entirely sure how they got here. Others are just plain bizarre. Many animals and birds have weird fascinating facts. Here are some of our favorite strange, bizarre, and weird animal facts.
Fire Ants Can Create Living Rafts During Flood-Like Conditions
Ever wonder what those ant colonies are floating on the surface of lakes and ponds? Those are groups of fire ants that stick together to travel through flood waters. Since they are eusocial by nature, they need each other to survive. So during heavy rainfall or flood conditions, about 50,000 ants with a queen in the center, form a floating raft by linking with each other and forming a large structure. Below is a floating fire ant “raft” in floodwaters in Houston in 2017.
Vultures Urinate on Their Legs During Days of Hot Temperature to Cool Down
When animals experience extreme heat, they get involved in urohidrosis. It is a habit where birds or animals defecate on scaly portions of their legs to cool down the temperature. Moreover, vultures use this technique to reduce body heat and to get rid of any bacteria that may be present on their legs.
More than 90% of Greenland Sharks are Blind, due to a Parasite that Resides in Their Eye
A parasite called “Ommatokoita elongate” lives in the Greenland sharks’ eyes and also damages their corneas. These parasites make them partially blind. Surprisingly, despite being blind, they can catch fish and mammals at a faster rate. This is due to their very good sense of smell and the icy darkness of the Arctic Sea.
Penguins Have a Specialized Gland that Allows them to Drink Salt Water
Penguins can drink salt water because a gland that is present near their eyes, the supraorbital gland, removes salt from their bloodstream, and then they can sneeze out the extra salt. The gland functions are similar to that of the kidney. It filters salt water and helps penguins to survive without fresh water for a longer time.
A Turkey Vulture Throws Vomit as a Self-Defense Technique
When vultures feel threatened their acidic stomach comes to their rescue. Vultures throw off vomit on their attackers. The pH level of their stomach acid is between 1 and 2. This acid is powerful enough to scare away predators. They have the potential to stay healthy even after eating a deadly rotten sick animal.
An Unbelievable Fact About Snails Is that they Have 14,000 Teeth
A garden snail has 14,000 microscopic teeth. The teeth run along a flexible structure called a “radula.” However, they use their teeth just to grind the food and use their tongue to pass their food. When the teeth become weak they fall out and regrow.
Armadillos Can Fill Their Stomachs and Intestines with Air and Float Across the Water
Armadillos can cross water bodies in two ways. One way is by inflating their stomach and intestine with air. The other one is by sinking deep down in the water and using their sharp claws to walk across the bottom. Moreover, they can hold their breath for six minutes or more!
The Woodpecker’s Tongue Is So Long and Extended, that it Can Wrap its Tongue on its Skull to Protect its Brain from over 1,000 g(force) While Hammering Wood.
The woodpecker uses its tongue as a helmet to protect its brain from injury. Due to frequent wood pecks, there are chances of brain damage to their skull. So because of their extraordinary tongue, which is nearly three times longer than their beak, they wrap their tongue on its skull to protect their head.
Pandas Defecate up to 40 Times a Day
Since pandas spend around 10-16 hours of the day just eating food, they defecate up to 40 times a day. Pandas are 99% vegetarian and the diet consists mainly of different bamboo species and leaves. The other 1% are eggs or meat. The food stays in their stomachs for only eight to 12 hours. Also, Pandas need two different species of bamboo to avoid starvation. Most of their time is spent eating or sleeping.
When Ready to Mate, the Male Giraffe will Taste the Urine of the Female Giraffe to Confirm Whether the Female is Ovulating
Male giraffes are usually not interested in mating all the time. They wait to see if their mate is fertile. The mating ritual begins only when he realizes that his mate is in the heat after tasting her urine. During this period, the male giraffe will try to keep other males away from the female ones as he decides to pursue her. On the other hand, the female tries to get a better male to become interested in her so that she can leave the current male.
Cows Have No Upper Teeth Pattern
Cows are called as ruminants. Their upper teeth are not visible like other animals because they have a dental pad and lower incisors. Moreover, they have premolars and molars that are located in the upper and lower jaws. When they chew foods like grasses, the upper premolars help them to break their food into smaller pieces.
Wolverine Frogs Break Their Own Bones to Create Claws as a Defense Mechanism
Wolverine frogs, also known as ” horror frogs,” have got some bizarre defense mechanism strategies. When the animal is threatened, it contracts a muscle that pulls the claw downwards. The sharp point then breaks away from the bony tip and cuts through the toe pad, emerging on the underside.
Droppings of Bats Can Be Used to Make Gunpowder
Gunpowder made from bats, known as “bat guano,” was used as an important resource during the American Civil War. Guano is rich in potassium nitrate (saltpeter). Saltpeter is especially used in explosives and to preserve fossil fuels.
Ducks Can Half-sleep While Keeping One Side of Their Brains Awake
Researchers have come to the fact that ducks can trick their predators by half-sleep. By shutting one eye, they can keep their half-brain in sleep mode while the other is in awake mode. The whole mechanism is called “unihemispheric.”
When an Anglerfish Male Finds a Suitable Mate, He Bites into Her Belly and Latches on Until His Body Fuses with Hers
Anglerfish are just weird deep killers of the sea. When a male encounters a female, he latches the female angler with his sharp teeth and physically fuses with her by connecting to her bloodstream. But he loses his eyes and other organs except for the testes. He feeds from her blood and then becomes like a sperm factory. A male anglerfish will die if he doesn’t find a suitable mate within the first few months of his life.
The golden poison dart frog is said to have enough toxin to kill 10-20 men.
According to Salaman, president of the nonprofit Rainforest Trust, people used to rub their darts on the back skin of these frogs. They did so to bring down their target. Some even stated that a dart fell out on humans which resulted in instant death. Research shows that the dart frog is so toxic that it could kill 13 adult humans.
Sheep Can See Behind Themselves Without Turning Their Heads
The University of California reported that the sheep have an elongated pupil that helps them to watch predators from all directions even when behind them.
Polar Bears Are Actually Black
Although polar bears look white, their fur is black in color. They get the white color because of their hollow hair structure. When the bear stands in the sun, the light bounces off their hair structure and they appear white.
The Immortal Jellyfish Is Considered Among the Few Animals on Earth that Appear to live Forever
The official name of the immortal jellyfish is called “Turritopsis dohrnii.” When attacked, instead of dying, they turn into tiny, bob-like caterpillars, and then go back to the polyp stage. The process behind the jellyfish’s remarkable transformation is called “transdifferentiation” and is extremely rare. Technically they regenerate which is closest to being immortal.
Lobsters Chew with Their Stomach and Taste with Their Feet
Lobsters don’t have teeth in their mouth. Their stomach is closely located near the mouth. So they technically chew from the stomach. They use a gastric mill which is a tough plate that grinds down the food. This helps them break up their food for digestion!. Their legs have tiny little hairs that are similar to our taste buds. So they use their legs to taste the food. This sounds weird.
The First Poisonous Bird to Be Recorded Is the Hooded Pitohui, with its Feathers, Skin, and Tissues Having a Dangerous Neurotoxin called “Batrachotoxin”
In the forests of New Guinea, the hooded pitohui, a dangerous bird with orange and black feathers, is laced with poison. Simply touching those feathers is enough to make your hands burn like fire. In high enough doses, such toxins can lead to paralysis and death. Also, if you ingest it, you can experience slight irritation and numbness.
Female Vampire Bats Bring Up Bloody Dinners for Their Starving Girlfriends
Bats are known to be hospitable creatures. These blood-sucking monsters have rare, good sharing habits and are quite social. When a bat is starved of blood for a night, its friends will throw up the food from last night’s dinner as a “food donation.” They find comfort in donating bloody food to one another.
Male Clownfish Changes Sex if Their “Wife” Dies and Mates with Male
If a male clownfish’s mate dies, he will change his sex and become a reproductive female. After turning female, she then mates with the largest sub-adult male to lay eggs. Ricardo, a marine biologist reported that because of the sex change, the same individual can have an opportunity to breed as a male and a female. The couple defends the anemone together in their own way and they both need each other to survive and reproduce.
Hummingbirds Can Fly Backward and Upside Down!
Hummingbirds are the only birds who can fly in any direction because their wings differ from other types of birds. Their unique wings allow them to turn 180 degrees in all directions. Their incredible flying mechanism also makes them able to stop within a fraction of a second.
Kangaroos Cannot Walk Backward
Kangaroos cannot walk or jump backward because they have large feet and a big muscular tail, which prevents them to jump or walk in the backward direction. Their muscular tail acts as a counterbalance to their front-facing movements.
Due to Their Small Brains, Koalas Are Unable to Perform Complex, Unfamiliar Tasks such as Eating Leaves off of Flat Surfaces
Koalas are considered the least intelligent mammal because the volume of their brain is very small as compared to their whole body weight. So, they are not able to perform even simple tasks. Also, their brain gets affected due to the constant eating of toxic eucalyptus leaves. Their brains only take up 61% of their brain cavity, and it is pressed against the inside surface by cerebrospinal fluid.
Cheetahs Can’t Roar, so Instead they Meow Similar to House Cats
Cheetahs can just purr and not roar because their voice box structure is similar to that of domesticated cats. The divided vocal cords make them unable to roar. This fact is funny and weird too.
Snakes Suffer From Stargazing Syndrome
Stargazing is a disorder where snakes stare upwards for long periods. Whenever a disease affects the snake’s central nervous system, the snake starts stargazing. The illness causes them to gaze in an upward direction.
Female Dragonflies Fake Their Deaths to Avoid Male Suitors
Whenever a male dragonfly tries to approach the female ones, she will pretend to be dead to avoid sex and unwanted suitors. Moorland Hawker dragonflies are vulnerable to harassment. Since they are not always guarded by male partners, they get worried. If she encounters another male, this could damage her reproductive system. So, to avoid interaction, she just lies down motionless on her back. Seeing this, the male suitor flies away.
Lobsters Pee out of Their Faces
They have urine-release nozzles right under their eyes. They urinate in each other’s faces as a way of communicating, either when fighting or mating.
Crocodiles Can Climb Trees
New research has shown that four species of crocodiles can climb trees to survey their territory. The smaller ones can climb up to higher branches, while bigger and heavier ones can only climb up to lower branches.
Some Species of Lizards Squirt Blood From Their Eyeballs
Horned Lizards, native to the US and Mexico, shoot blood from their eyes when they are in the jaws of a predator. They squirt blood to hit their target.
Some Crows in Japan Observe Traffic Signals to Crack Nuts
Carrion crows in Japan have found some clever way to crack their nuts. They initially observe the traffic signal. Once the traffic signal turns red, they place the uncracked nut on the road. They patiently wait for the vehicle to run over the nut during the green signal. Once the signal turns red again they pick it up or place another uncracked nut.
Because of Ostrich’s Attraction Toward Humans, Farmers have a Tough Time with Breeding on Farms
According to researchgate, in the farming environment it was observed that, in the presence of human beings, courtship behavior was significant between male and female ostrich. Also, the ostriches were attracted to farmers too. But in the absence of farmers, there was a decrease in mating between ostriches. So human presence may be important for the reproductive process of ostrich.
Did You Know that Dogs Have Three Eyelids, but what Does the Third One Do?
Dogs have an extra eyelid that is not visible. The third eye is called a “nictitating membrane,” which is located inside the corner of the eyes. The third eyelid ensures protection to the eyes and helps to distribute the tear film.
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