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Macaques

Macaques
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The videos are all over YouTube: macaque monkeys in Japan and elsewhere picking the pockets of tourists and taking their coins. What could possibly be inspiring these acts of larceny? Hunger. The clever macaques take their coins straight to vending machines and use them to buy themselves a little snack.

Giant pandas

Giant pandas
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Fact: Pandas are endangered. Fact: Pandas are ADORABLE. Fact: Pandas don’t just eat bamboo, as most of us have been lead to believe (although bamboo does comprise a whopping 99 percent of their diets). Actually, giant pandas are omnivores and when they can get their paws on other comestibles, they also enjoy noshing on small animals and fish.

Snails

Snails
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Living on land or in the water, snails are gastropods that in some cases can grow up to 30cm (ugh). Notorious for their slime trails, researchers have found these may actually have some surprising uses, as antioxidants that can also reportedly regenerate human skin and act as all-natural wound-healers.

Vultures

Vultures
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Sure, they eat roadkill (actually doing us a huge ecological favour). But that’s not the least party-friendly behaviour exhibited by vultures. According to Animal Planet, since these massive birds do not have any sweat glands, they’re forced to find another way to keep cool in the hot months. That way: pooping on their own feet.

Sheep

Sheep
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According to Modern Farmer magazine, sheep have a lot more going for them than might be immediately apparent. They “have rectangular pupils that give them amazing peripheral vision – it’s estimated their field of vision is between 270 and 320 degrees; humans average about 155 degrees – and depth perception.” Good luck sneaking up on these herbivores!

Goats

Goats
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Not to be outdone for unusualness in the farmyard, goats have a few odd traits themselves. For starters, they have no teeth in their upper jaws. They’ve also got accents, which vary from country to county. And as if all that wasn’t peculiar enough, reports Mental Floss, one species of goat is known to have its muscles freeze up when it startles, causing it to fall over in a faint-like action.

Stories from the farmyard, goats that care.

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Chickens

Chickens
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Turns out, humans aren’t the only animals that experience REM – the rapid eye movement of sleep during which we dream. Chickens have REM sleep, too, says ThePoultrySite.com. And more than that, they also experience something called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, in which one half of their brain stays awake while the other one rests.

Did you know you can combat loneliness with the company of hens?

Raccoons

Raccoons
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Like possums, raccoons have the annoying habit of rummaging through people’s garbage for a meal – making an almighty mess. But did you know that these masked scavengers have been seen dunking their food in water in what looks suspiciously like they’re giving it a preliminary wash.

Honeybees

Honeybees
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Honeybees living in a colony perform all sorts of tasks – cleaning and guarding the hive, feeding larvae, collecting pollen and flower nectar. In 2012, scientists at the University of Illinois reported findings that bees have personalities that allow them to do well at the jobs they’re best suited to, for example ‘thrill seekers’ excel in scouting out new nest sites.

Leeches

Leeches
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Few folks since the end of the Victorian era, when leeches were (misguidedly) used as a curative, have any fondness for these predatory worms. And it turns out, the distaste for them is well-founded. According to the American Museum of Natural History, leeches have “three separate jaws with 100 teeth each…[E]ach of the jaws and teeth makes a separate incision”… all the better to suck out your blood. Er, no thank you.

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