Advertisement

Incredible animal facts you probably didn’t know before (part 3)

Incredible animal facts you probably didn’t know before (part 3)
Getty Images

Get ahead of your trivia competition with these weird and wonderful animal facts!

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds
Getty Images

Tiny, iridescent hummingbirds sure move fast, darting from flower to tube-shaped flower so fast you can hardly see them. But their wingbeats – of 40 to 80 every second – don’t just propel them forward. They also help them to move backwards, which is a feat that no other bird can accomplish without the help from the wind.

Flamingos

Flamingos
Getty Images

It’s a strange but true animal fact that is worth repeating, just because it’s so darn cool: pink flamingos aren’t pink. They’re actually born grey. And they’d stay that way, too, if it weren’t for their highly specialised diet of shrimp and blue-green algae. According to BBC’s Science Focus, these foods contain a natural dye called canthaxanthin, which causes flamingo feathers to gradually turn pink over time.

Shrimp

Shrimp
Getty Images

Speaking of shrimp, they are uniquely odd little critters, anatomically speaking. They’ve got ten legs instead of a backbone and all of their vital organs – not just brain but heart, stomach, ovaries, and testicles – are located inside their heads. And although the words ‘shrimp’ and ‘prawns’ are often used interchangeably, scientifically speaking, they’re members of different suborders.

Caddisflies

Caddisflies
Getty Images

Able to survive and thrive only in the cleanest, clearest, fast-moving fresh water, caddisflies are mothlike insects that have an enviable ability: they can make their own protective houses. Using the same ‘silk’ they produce to make cocoons as larvae, they stick together tiny bits of river detritus like pebbles, pine needles and leaves which they fashion into tubelike caves, reports the Hitchcock Center. They add on to these portable homes as they grow bigger.

Cows

Cows
Getty Images

They moo. They chew grass. They make milk. And they also…make friends! You heard that right. According to an article in Frontier magazine, scientists have discovered that bovines can have besties and just being around them causes them to feel relaxed and free of stress.

Advertisement

Adélie penguins

Adélie penguins
Getty Images

Forget about buying the love of your life a diamond ring. If you’re a male penguin, what you’re really interested in finding is a pebble to lay at the feet of your beloved. This gift has a practical purpose, though. The Adélie species of penguin make their nests out of pebbles and rocks to keep the eggs inside safe from melting snows.

Emperor penguins

Emperor penguins
Getty Images

There’s something so joyful about the site of a bunch of penguins jumping into the air before plunging from the ocean onto the ice. Here again, penguins are eminently practical. According to BBC’s Blue Planet, just before they make this little move “they release air bubbles from their feathers. This cuts the drag on their bodies, allowing them to double or triple their swimming speed quickly and launch into the air.”

Even more penguins

Even more penguins
Getty Images

These (arguably) cutest of all possible animals have a less attractive side. Once a year they go through what’s called a ‘catastrophic molt’ and it’s as shocking as it sounds; they lose all their feathers at once, which means no swimming or fishing for dinner for the two weeks or longer it takes for new feathers to grow in.

Squirrels

Squirrels
Getty Images

They eat tulip bulbs in people’s gardens in spring and in the autumn, they dig up all the garden beds to hide their acorns. All winter long they chase hungry birds away from garden bird feeders. Still, these backyard thugs are surprisingly good neighbours. According to scientists, they’ll actually adopt orphaned baby squirrels as their own.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: