These animal facts are too absurd to be true — or are they? Check out these ridiculous “myths” that are aren’t so ridiculous after all.
Flickr/normanackThose noses are useful for sniffing out more than just treats. It turns out dogs are capable of detecting specific smells linked to cancer. In one study the dogs had an accuracy rate of 98 percent for sniffing out colorectal cancer in humans.
Flickr/CopperCatStudiosAnecdotal evidence of animals being able to predict earthquakes has been popping up since Ancient Greece. Scientists aren’t entirely certain what’s going on, but many believe animals arecapable of detecting small tremors that precede earthquakes and that they can sense changes in the atmosphere and oxidization due to impending quakes.
Flickr/InfollatusElephants have the biggest brains of any land mammal and they put them to good use. Studies have shown elephants never forget a face and go decades without seeing their friends and still remember them when reintroduced. Older elephants are also more likely to huddle in defensive positions when seeing a stranger than younger ones, because their vast memories teach them to remember the dangers of strange creatures.
When someone pretends to feel remorse and they let loose a fake show of tears, we sometimes refer to these as crocodile tears. The term comes from the belief that crocodiles cry while eating their prey. Turns out it’s true! Researches believe it’s due to the jaw muscles squeezing moisture out of the lacrimal glands when chewing, or the result of too much hissing and huffing causing an overflow of fluid in the eyes.
Flickr/smerikalFemale chickens have only one functional ovary, on the left, and a nonfunctional gonad on the right. If the chicken develops a tumor or cyst, or other similar medical condition, the functional left ovary can regress and become dormant. In response, the right gonad is capable of becoming active and giving the hen a more rooster-like appearance. Functionally, though, the new rooster will only have phenotypically switched genders and won’t be able to produce offspring.
Flickr/Eric KilbyIt might be more accurate to say their fingerprints are human-esque — so much so, in fact, that it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference! Marsupials and primates diverged on the evolutionary path 70 million years ago, so scientists are baffled as to why we share these markings, but they’ve mostly chalked it up to a koala’s ability to grasp things like we do. However it happened, it’s sure to make an excellent plot for a future episode of “CSI.”
Flickr/KumaravelDon’t worry, they’re not after our brains. “Zombie” ants are actually ants infected with a particular type of fungus that takes over the nervous system. The fungus forces the ant’s body to find a cool, moist place for it to reproduce and spread, completely controlling the actions of the “zombified” ant and eventually killing it, most often, oddly, right at high noon.
photo credit: A pyrosome (Pyrostremma spinosum). Screen capture from EaglehawkDive YouTube video / Michael Baron
“One long pyrosome is actually a collection of thousands of clones, with each individual capable of copying itself and adding to the colony,” writes marine biologist Rebecca Helm in Deep Sea News.
The creature’s name means “fiery body” due to its bioluminescence, a bright green-blue glow that can light up the colony when disturbed. This intense light even inspired 19th century scientist Thomas Huxley to write, “I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water.”
These “cylinders in the water” can grow to formidable sizes, sometimes exceeding 12 meters (40 ft) in length. Each zooid feeds by sucking in water, filtering small particles and blowing the waste back out. This is also the method that propels the colony into motion, albeit at a very slow pace. When the zooids pause this process, the colony can sink 500-700 (1,640-2,295 ft) meters below the surface of the sea, according to New Scientist.
Cute dog pictures to cheer you up…
The adorable pooch is smaller than a can of coke, a little bigger than a pear and can fit in the palm of your hand.
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Tiny Toudi: This little pup from Poland is shorter than a can of coke and can easily fit in the palm of your hand
Some mock the little Chihuahua, claiming he looks more like a hamster, while others are mesmerised by him
No comparison: Toudi’s sister may be much bigger than he is, but he is arguably far more adorable
The three-month-old, from Wroclaw, Poland is considerably smaller than his sister and eats very little food each day.
Toudi’s owner says he provides a lot of fun for the family but that they have to be careful where they stand because he is the same colour as the floor.
Some mock the little Chihuahua, claiming he looks more like a hamster, while others are mesmerised by him.
It is hoped Toudi will soon appear in the Guinness World Records book.
Toudi’s owner says he provides a lot of fun for the family. These sunglasses are maybe a little too big for this pup
Perfect pear: Toudi is a only slightly bigger than a pear, but he can’t even be described as ‘pint-sized’ because he’s smaller than a can of coke
Fun and games: It is hoped little Toudi, from Poland, will soon appear in the Guinness World Records book