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ucme's avatar

What would be one fascinating fact you could mention about any particular animal?

Asked by ucme (39515 points ) February 27th, 2014

Let’s just agree for the purposes of this question that “animal” refers to any living creature, birds/reptiles/mammals, but humans should not be considered.

Quick example of what I mean, giraffes only sleep for two hours a day
Elephants are the only mammal that can’t jump.

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88 Answers

janbb's avatar

Blue footed boobies have blue feet.

KNOWITALL's avatar

According to National Geographic, scientists have an answer for the age old dispute over which came first, the chicken or the egg. Reptiles were laying eggs thousands of years before chickens appeared. The first chicken came from an egg laid by a bird that was not quite a chicken. Therefore, the egg came first.

http://www.mspca.org/programs/pet-owner-resources/pet-owner-guides/bird-care-adoption/interesting-facts-trivia.html

ucme's avatar

@janbb That link only takes me to the general section of Fluther.

thorninmud's avatar

I’m still processing the recent finding that dogs tend to align themselves north-south when they poop.

Coloma's avatar

Chinese geese are the longest lived of most domestic breeds, they can easily love 20+ years and are also highly intelligent, talkative, like routine and imprint on you to the exclusion of their own kind when raised from goslings.

janbb's avatar

@ucme Tried to correct it but there is something wrong with linking for me at the moment.

josie's avatar

Not that it is an obscure fact, but I am always fascinated by the fact the giraffes, like all mammals, have 7 cervical (neck) vertebrae. Pretty wild.

janbb's avatar

@thorninmud I was with the article you linked to until it told me to download a spreadsheet. For my dog’s poop – no thank you!

RocketGuy's avatar

Giraffes are supposed to be the only 4 legged animals that walk left-left right-right. Other animals walk left-right left-right.

GloPro's avatar

Hummingbirds are amazing. The max heart rate is 1,270 beats per minute.
Woodpeckers can peck 20 times per second, and have air pockets surrounding the brain to cushion it from injury.

My dog shits in 360 degree turns, and sometimes walks while pooping.

thorninmud's avatar

Speaking of hummingbirds, they have to basically hibernate every night, because they have to constantly eat to maintain their body temperature. To last the whole night without eating, they have to nearly shut down their metabolism.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

All Clown Fish are born as males.

janbb's avatar

Penguins mate for life (well, some do!) and take turns sitting on the egg and caring for the young while the other partner goes off for several months to feed.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Mantis shrimp have the fastest strike force of any animal as well as having some of the most advanced eyes that can even see polarized light.

There are 7 billion people on this planet. There are 24 billion chickens.

@Tropical_Willie to add to that, which I also find fascinating, is that they only transition to female when the need for one arises in their group and it is normally the alpha male that undergoes this transition. When that clown fish dies the next male will make the transition.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I just saw a PBS nature program about Honey Badgers.(No, not Wild Kratts) They are more trouble than a whole pack of wolves! A rancher had troubles with one. He trapped it and had it sent to a preserve. The guy who “Saved” it went nuts over it. It was SMART, and dangerous. It made the rhino run around pouting little squeeks, ate guinea pigs like crazy, dug under the fence of the lion enclosure just to pick a fight. He chased around the male lions attacking there goodies!
They got him a girlfriend, hoping he’d calm down. They worked as a team, climbing on each other to unlock the double bolt gate, the one on the bottom unlocking the one at ground level, the one on top unlocking the one halfway up the gate, even tough THAT latch was WIRED SHUT! They built an all concrete enclosure for them. They stacked things to get out, digging up rocks and finding branches. When all was removed, they spilled their water, made big mud balls, and stacked those.
I couldn’t figure what was most noteable about these guys, their unbelievable smarts, or their unrelenting desire to not play nice.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Tardigrades will survive in the vacuum of space, at temperatures near absolute zero, while being exposed to the ionizing radiation of the sun. They will also survive in pressures greater than those seen at the bottom of the ocean and at temperatures well above the boiling point of water.
I hope they never get mad at humans.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Opossums have more teeth than any other mammal, 50 or more, but they are very non-aggressive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I saw that one @Jonesn4burgers. Crazy critters! Smart, too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@uberbatman I knew a giant German Shepherd who couldn’t jump.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Are you sure? The ones in my ‘hood seem huge and vicious, they scare me with all those teeth.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m sure. I peed on one in the dark on accident. He didn’t even move. If he’d been aggressive I would have had a hard time explaining the bite marks on my butt to the doctors at the hospital!

Had two get into my house in the space of a couple of days. They weren’t aggressive. The first time he was in a corner of the dining room where my computer is. I had called animal control, then went on fb. So I was sitting here, talking to fb with a possum sitting about 5 feet behind me.

They just LOOK mean.

Cruiser's avatar

The only mammals to undergo menopause are elephants, humpback whales and human females.

I know there has to be a connection there just not sure what it means o_O

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Cruiser You saying I’m fat?????

stanleybmanly's avatar

The bar headed goose can fly (and honk) at altitudes beyond 29,500 feet. The birds actually cross the Himalayas on their migrations. It is believed that the birds have actually been around for longer than the mountains, and adapted as the hills rose through the eons beneath them.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@LuckyGuy thanks for the water bears comment.

downtide's avatar

The European Swift is a small, swallow-like bird that spends almost its entire life in the air. They stop flying only to make a nest (which is made mostly of their own spit and feathers), lay eggs and care for their chicks. They mate in the air and sleep in short spurts by flying up to a high altitude, then nodding off and gliding down, then waking and doing it again. In Medieval England they were called Devil’s Birds because of their screaming cries and their habit of flying round church towers; they make their nests in high places because their legs have evolved to be near-useless and they can only take to the wing by falling off a ledge.

bea2345's avatar

I once saw a woodpecker beating its brains out on a metal electric pole. The noise was incredible, as the pole was a hollow tube. On closer inspection, I learned that ants used the inside of the pole as a thoroughfare and the bird could hear (and probably smell) them.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III No…it wasn’t the size of the mammals as the connection between the 3…I think it may be more of the sounds they make during menopause! ;)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Cruiser You’re a funny fella!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok. I will let you live for now @Cruiser.

zenvelo's avatar

Elephants are the only mammal with four knees.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^thinking. Why wouldn’t dogs be considered to have 4 knees?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@LuckyGuy heh there was an article about them on io9 yesterday.

downtide's avatar

The front leg “knees” are actually their wrists, as with most mammals. You can see it best on a horse. The shoulder joint and upper arm is all within the body. The top of the foreleg is the elbow. The joint in the middle is the wrist. The fetlock (joint above the hoof) is the equivalent of the joint where our middle finger joins the hand. They effectively run on the tips of their middle fingers; all the others having evolved away to nothing.

janbb's avatar

@thorninmud I just observed an east-west alignment at 45 degrees latitdue 40 degrees longitude. Didn’t put it on my spreadsheet though.

thorninmud's avatar

@janbb Defective dog

Dutchess_III's avatar

Don’t let my dog hear you say that! YOU’LL wind up defective @thorninmud!

janbb's avatar

Defecative dog maybe!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Tropical_Willie If we don’t watch out, those critters will take over the world.

Kropotkin's avatar

“Elephants are the only mammal with four knees.”

@zenvelo It’s really only two.

El_Cadejo's avatar

There are only two mammals that lay eggs. Most people know the platypus to be one of the two, but the other is the echinda . This is also the animal that knuckles is based on.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s a porcupine @uberbatman!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Kropotkin Here is where he explained about the 4 knees.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Dutchess_III close, but not quite.

ucme's avatar

Cheers folks, good stuff.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ucme You didn’t give us one, it’s your thread, come on, I bet you can tell us which has the biggest schlong or something crazy….lol

ucme's avatar

@KNOWITALL Ahem, I beg to differ m’dear, check out my details & you’ll see a couple of examples, not rude either…now there’s a first :)

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL I believe a species of whale and certain duck species have the largest/longest penises. link wouldn’t work..crap.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Duck????? You are so funny @Coloma. I did see a whale on t.v. which had beached itself. Conditions were rough, and their time to bserve it was limited. The woman who was pointing out a variety of features asked a few people to come over and move the moby Dick so it could be better seen. A FEW PEOPLE TO MOVE JUST THE LIMP MOBY MEMBER!

longgone's avatar

Crocodiles’ jaws close with the same force as a truck falling off a cliff. The muscles which open their jaws, on the other hand, are incredibly weak. An ordinary rubber band would hold them closed.

Coloma's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers Seriously, ducks have like 10 inch penises. haha

ucme's avatar

So, when Donald grows a boner, does he yell DUCK for fear of poking Daisy’s eye out?

GloPro's avatar

Male Koalas have two penises. Females have two vaginas.

A pig’s orgasm can last up to 30 minutes.

GloPro's avatar

@ucme, now we know why it’s duck, duck, goose

ibstubro's avatar

Funny you should ask, as i just read this on Wiki. I went back and looked it up:
Starfish are voracious predators, either swallowing their prey whole or turning their stomachs inside out to engulf it. They have complex life cycles and can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Most can regenerate damaged parts and many can shed arms as a means of defense.

Then there’s “The most obvious difference between rabbits and hares is how their kits are born. Rabbits are altricial, having young that are born blind and hairless. In contrast, hares are precocial, born with hair and good vision.” [Wasn’t Bugs Bunny rabbit a hare?]

*Here’s what I was looking for! “The phenomenon of superfetation, where embryos from different menstrual cycles are present in the uterus, results in hares and rabbits being able to give birth seemingly without having been impregnated, which caused them to be seen as symbols of virginity.” Rabbits can give birth, and give birth again, without a sex act between births.

dxs's avatar

Slugs have four noses.

Brian1946's avatar

Raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and crows will eat dry cat food.

In the process of “washing” the food, racoons will also put their dirty feet in the drinking water, which causes an annoying mess.

GloPro's avatar

Small children also eat dry cat food. Or dog food. Or anything found on the floor. I guess they try to wash it, too, because I find food floating in their cups.

janbb's avatar

@GloPro How do you think small children get to be big children? They gotta eat something!

GloPro's avatar

Anything is better than vegetables, apparently.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Brian1946 My 13 month old twins will eat dry dog food too. They will track it down!

Cruiser's avatar

@GloPro My dog will eat anything BUT vegetables! Between kids and the dog….I think that should tell us the truth about vegetables.

GloPro's avatar

Hahaha! Well, more for me then.

GloPro's avatar

@Coloma -ah, yes. You reminded me of the most wonderful bird fact of them all: there are only 4 species of birds that even have penises at all. Crazy!
talk about penis envy

Dutchess_III's avatar

Talk about I’m glad I’m not a a girl bird of that species!

Coloma's avatar

@GloPro I found that out years ago when I raised my old pet goose, Marwyn, that trans-gandered from Marilyn to Marwyn. lol

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III I dunno….I’ll take a Bower bird that builds me an amazing house. More twigs and berries please. lol

Adagio's avatar

How nice to finally get to use a piece of useless knowledge I have stored in my brain for years and years, I knew it would come in handy one day.

Did you know pigs have corkscrew shaped penises, quite true, I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Fluther is amazing like that @Adagio.

Coloma's avatar

Rabbits scream and fall over when they orgasm. It is hilarious. They are one of a few species that have orgasms, forget the others, Porpoises maybe and a monkey species???

GloPro's avatar

@Coloma Pigs. They have 30 minute orgasms. A horse has a clitoris. Several primates use sex to ease tension (genital rubbing, etc).

If my orgasms lasted 30 minutes I’d waste half my day, lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Rabits scream and fall over when the cat gets them,and they scream and fall over even louder when husband goes outside at night and beats said cat on the head with a flash light.

Brian1946's avatar

Surely there must be a rhyme somewhere about Mr. Ed’s wife and her horse clitoris. ;-p

Coloma's avatar

LOL all of you ^^^

Dutchess_III's avatar

A 30 minute orgasm would be a nightmare.

Coloma's avatar

Yeah, I’d be afraid of a heart attack these days. lolol

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

It’s a good way to stay occupied until he’s ready for round 2. HA!

Cruiser's avatar

@Coloma HS you are so right about the bunnies! My best friends family raised rabbits and it was quite the spectacle and splashtical when bunnies went at it. That scream and the kick off the wall of the pen was an OMG moment. I was young and impressionable at the time and then for a while thought that is how mom and dad did it! lol! I was very afraid of sex for quite a while after seeing that! o_O

wildpotato's avatar

When a male porcupine wants to have sex he stands on his hind legs and hoses down the female with a strong spray of urine. If she approves they have very careful sex that looks especially silly because the male can’t grip and leaves his arms hanging at his sides.

Barnacles have the longest penis, proportionally.

Echidnas have four heads on their penis. The females have two canals, so the males use two heads at a time.

It’s a lot of effort for giraffes to do it, so when a male encounters a female he’ll nudge her butt to induce her to pee, and grabs a mouthful of urine. This tells him if she’s at the receptive stage or not. If she is, he’ll follow her around till she lets him have a pity mount.

ucme's avatar

@Adagio Yeah i’m amazing like that :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ve noticed quite a few of these facts have to do with relatively small part, possessed by almost half of the animal kingdom. I’ll grant you they are amazing facts.
A couple made me wince.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@wildpotato mmmm just what i wanted to see first thing in the morning -_ -. Quite interesting though…

GloPro's avatar

@LuckyGuy not, birds, though, Lucky, not birds. Except ducks, who apparently got enough for everybird.

@wildpotato That is hilarious. My favorite submission so far.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The lucky ducks.

Hmm… I wonder if they have prostates.

Coloma's avatar

I killed a baby Vole once by ODing it on a carrot. haha
Poor thing, it died happy at least.

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