18 Amazing Animal Behaviors You Might Not Know About
When we first started school, other than learning the alphabets and numbers, we were also made to study animals. We learned how the lion is the king of the jungle, how loyal dogs as pets are and how a camel can store water in its hump and go without drinking a drop of it for days. All this information soon became general knowledge. A few trips to the zoo increased our knowledge regarding the crocodiles, monkeys, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, zebras, giraffes, and stags etcetera. As for the farm animals, we loved them for their harmless nature and quite a life. Some of us even got the chance of petting a fish, rat, cat or dog and observing their activities. And we grew up thinking that that is all there is to animals.
In reality, there is a lot more to them than just different features to tell them apart. Little do we know that nature has granted them behaviors that are bound to surprise you. Some have developed these over the years due to a strange habit or as a consequence of scientific evolutions. These behaviors and habits are so odd, that you may as well think that these animals have some sort of super powers.
With time, as technology got advanced and scientists were able to keep a closer eye on the animals all over the world (and even under the sea), more discoveries were made that can leave anyone astonished. A few odd behaviors are justified through scientific explanations, but a lot of them are still undiscovered.
The struggle to find out why or how they have such conduct is going on. We will surely keep you updated on that, but till that time, let us amaze you with these facts about animal behavior that you, previously, had no idea of.
Once on a road trip through the meadows, you must have been stuck due to a herd of cows passing by. We have seen cows one too many times grazing in the green patches, but none of us have been ever able to figure out something odd about that. Scientists have observed and discovered that all the cows in a herd face one direction, either north or south (never east or west), while eating. The reason behind this behavior is still unknown.
Humans and monkeys have a lot of things in common. Many habits of monkeys are like that of a human being- they peel off the bananas like humans too and they smoke like humans too. Shocked, huh? Well, over the time, as we continuously go through a phase of passive smoking or a few cigarettes every now and then, we end to become addicted to it, hence developing the bad habit. Something similar seems to happen in the case of monkeys, who once get addicted need their daily fix of cigarettes.
3. WORMS, BIRDS, CATS, AND DOGS:
Just before an earthquake is going to hit, you must have observed that noises drop everywhere and all you can hear are the birds beating their wings and chirping hysterically. Your dog jumps up, starts barking and wagging its tail and your lazy cat suddenly becomes active. Do you know why? Because these animals have the ability to sense earthquakes before they actually take place. Some insects, like worms, are even capable of predicting earthquakes a week before.
So you thought that these cute creatures, covered with soft wool were harmless because they were herbivores? Then you are in for a shocking fact. These herbivores can turn carnivores if the time calls for it. Suppose that the cattle’s supply of food is exhausted and they are not getting sufficient nutrients for their growth, then they will look for meat to make up for that. Beware.
5. HORNED LIZARDS:
Just the sight of these ugly, green and scaly creatures with tails, popping out from behind your plants, is enough to cause a shiver down your spine. But, that is not where nature stops in scaring the life out of us. In some specific jungles and deserts, exist creatures that go by the name of Horned Lizards. And what’s more disgusting is that they can squirt blood out of their eyes. It is their way of defense.
6. NAKED MOLE RATS:
Not the type you can pet, naked mole rats are quite ugly. All the more weird about these rats are that they can run in the backward direction as fast as they can in the forward direction. Moreover, in the mole rats community, only the queen out of all the other female rats can produce. The reason behind it is that it gives a really hard time to other females, making them enough stressed to completely reject the idea of procreating.
Who does not perform a jig out of happiness or excitement? We all do right? The feelings of excitement are not confined to humans only- animals can feel it too. The way a dog wags its tail as it sees its owner is its way of showing its happiness upon seeing its master. Similarly, ferrets have their own way of expressing their feelings and when they are excited they tend to hop sideways, which makes them look all the cuter.
8. HIPPOPOTAMUS AND GIRAFFES:
Different species have different ways of attracting the opposite gender and conceiving. But the oddest of these ways are the ones adopted by giraffes and hippopotamuses. Whilst a female giraffe will urinate in the mouth of the male giraffe to let it know that it is willing to mate with it, hippopotamuses choose to urinate and defecate at the same time to let the opposite gender know that it is attracted to it.
9. ARMY ANTS:
The interesting thing about army ants is that they are blind and they use odor of their fellow ants, to figure out which way to go. Sometimes, none of them can figure out the proper way back to the nest and keep revolving around it. The circle keeps enlarging as the whole plague joins in without realizing. They only stop when they are fully exhausted. Poor creatures.
If you have enough space for furry, cute little goats to graze around, then you may as well pet a few and breed them for a personal farm. These harmless creatures go by the name of myotonic goats and although you may have had the experience of encountering one too many in the meadows and thought of them as cute, you probably do not know this fact that will make you find them cute all the more. When afraid of something or panicked to a high level, the muscles of the goats get frozen and they appear to be stone-dead for approximately 10 seconds.
11. YOUNG ELEPHANTS:
The teenagers of today have gradually turned quite furious. No, it is not only the human teenagers that we are discussing here but young elephants too. It was found that a lot of rhinoceroses were targeted by young elephants and killed due to some odd reason. Scientists tried to associate the young elephants with the older ones in the hope that they would help to get them well-behaved. Miraculously, this idea worked and the deaths of rhinoceroses at the hands of the young elephants greatly reduced.
Imagine the sounds a whale would make. Hard to do that right? Probably because the majority of us is unaware of the fact that whales can make noises. Only a few would know that whales have the ability to do so, thanks to Animal Planet. But what they won’t know, is that the voices of whales all over the oceans have been getting deeper by a few hertz over the past few decades. Scientists are still researching as to why this is happening.
Recent studies show that chimpanzees are blessed with a very sharp brain- sharper than that of a human being. A test was carried by some scientists to figure out the brain development of chimpanzees and it was found that they have a relatively more active brain than other animals and humans too, as they have the ability to learn things quickly and retain them in their memory too. Which is perhaps why, they are clever enough to go on wars the human way- taking revenge or invading territory using tactics like raiding rather than physically fighting.
14. ZEBRA FINCHES:
Apparently, tiny creatures that these birds are, they would normally not be conscious about their beauty. Well, surprise, surprise! Zebra finches are quite beauty conscious. Which is why if they find their partner to be unfortunately physically unattractive, they tend to lay larger eggs. The reason being that a larger egg will provide more nutrients and will be spacious enough for the baby to grow stronger. This way, the chances of the baby, inheriting poor genes from either of its parents, reduce.
Despite their huge masses, elephants have been known to have a friendly nature towards other species. Perhaps, none of the other animals have a heart as big as elephants when it comes to loving each other. If elephants lose a loved one, they can be very upset, grieving around the body for a long time. They even respectfully bury the dead and visit the grave on a regular basis.
A long time ago, scientists captured a few crows with the intention of checking out their behavior and other things. What they observed and discovered was that crows do not forget a single face they come across. And if they do not have a fond memory of you then they will certainly not forget your face as they will hold a grudge against you. Interestingly, this grudge is carried on by their next generation.
17. ICHNEUMON WASPS:
Their tiny appearance may lead you to think that there is not much to these wasps. But what is so surprising about these wasps is that their cruelty knows no bounds. It is known for producing painful deaths. Upon finding its prey, usually a caterpillar, it first injects its venom inside it so as to make it completely paralyze. And while it is still alive, it starts consuming its digestive system and parts where fat is accumulated. This way the caterpillar stays alive for a long time, till the wasp completely devours it.
You would think that he only weird feature associated to the skunks is that they look really cute but send of awful smells. But you are totally underestimating nature in producing things beyond your imagination. The spotted skunk will stand on its hands whenever it feels the danger of a predator being near.