A Few Strange Facts about Animals

There is no end to the strange facts about animals.  For example, did you know the “teeth” of an aardvark are actually soft?  Or that beavers are very strict disciplinarians who will chew out their offspring when they violate beaver “etiquette”?  Or, that feline noses are so unique that if you wanted to catch a cat burglar you should use nose prints instead of fingerprints? 

These oddities and curiosities are just some of the fascinating facts about animals that science has turned up in its inexhaustible quest to know all there is to know about our furry, scaly, and feathered friends who share this eco-system we call “Earth.”  You may even be surprised at some of the unusual things that you can learn about our non-human friends.

Surprising Facts about Animals

There are many facts about animals that may outright surprise because you thought you already knew about it, but it turns out you were wrong.  Here’s a fact you probably thought you knew about dogs, for example: dogs have a better sense of smell than we do. 

It turns out this is actually not true.  As it turns out, a dog’s nose is just as capable of distinguishing scents as a human’s nose.  Actually, the reason why a dog is able to pick up scents that are far more subtle has to do with other aspects of his anatomy.  Mainly, it is because dogs have their noses much closer to the ground and, as you no doubt know their noses are wet.  These two factors make it so that they encounter far more scents than we do.  If you don’t believe that, then take a moment to put your face down near your carpet.  Smell that complicated mix of smells?  Well, so does your dog.  In addition, your dog has had years of training analyzing these smells, so not surprisingly, he can pick up on variations that your dry, elevated nose simply can’t.

Humanizing Facts

Some of the most unusual facts are those that show animals not doing strange things, but doing things that we thought only we do.  For example, you might be surprised to learn that elephants seem to have funerals for their fallen comrades.  They bring things over and put them onto the fallen body in some kind of an elaborate ritual.  It is really quite striking.

Truly Strange Facts about Animals

Then, or course, there are the facts that are just plain off the wall.  Take these facts about frogs.  First, they lay 4000 eggs and they don’t drink water, instead they absorb it through their skin.  This is not however, the truly strange fact.  Here is what is truly strange.  Frogs can see in three different directions all at once.  So don’t even bother trying to sneak up on a frog, because you’re unlikely to find an angle he doesn’t have covered.  In addition, don’t try to do it at bedtime either, because frogs literally sleep with their eyes open.

Here’s another one.  It turns out polar bears are southpaws.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that scientists have been giving polar bears Bic’s and seeing with which hand they write.  It just means that their dominant hand—the hand they use for highly coordinated tasks, happens to be their left ones.

Enviable Facts

Then there are the traits that we just find enviable in other animals.  The obvious ones are the ability to fly in birds, or to swim nimbly through the water like fish.  Here, however, is one that is not so obvious.  Scientists have observed lions doing the “wild thing” more than four dozen times in just one 24-hour period.  Impressive huh?  No wonder he is the King of the Jungle.     



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