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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!
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.
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.
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
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 newlyhatched 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.