Have you ever wondered what animals are thinking? More than we realize, actually (see facts after pics below). What’s up with these guys?
(Click on any image to enlarge, or to start slide show)
Did you know that…
- Cats imitate crying babies, called “solicitation purring,” in order to get food or petting, knowing that humans consider it more urgent than regular meowing.
- Dogs prefer to do their business facing north. They can detect Earth’s magnetic fields (magnetoreception). But why?
- Cows face north or south when they graze. Like dogs, they have magnetoreception. Think of it as GPS (Grazing Positioning System). But again, why?
- Koala fingerprints are indistinguishable from those of humans, and have sometimes been confused with human prints in break-in investigations.
- Crows are tricksters. A Swiss Zoologist observed a crow punking a more dominant raven by pretending there was cheese in an empty container, then sneaking away while the raven looked there, and raiding a container he knew to be full.
- Apish addicts. Tori, an Indonesian orangutan, throws tantrums when she doesn’t get her daily tobacco fix at the zoo! Vervet monkeys in St. Kitts crave fermented sugar cane, sometimes going on benders and stealing alcohol from local resorts.
- Rats make giggling sounds when they are tickled, and beg for more!
- Pony Mimes? Horses vocalize for humans, but primarily converse facially with one another, using their ears, nostrils, and eyes to express themselves.
- Operatic Mice. The Alston’s Singing Mouse of Central America communicates with others in sing-song conversations, using around 100 audible notes.
- Bottlenose dolphins are also chatterboxes, and have personal names for each other.
- Killer whales have regional dialects, but adapt them to the community they live in. Orcas housed with bottlenose dolphins have learned to speak Dolphin.
- Cows are folksy. They have BFFs, and show great distress when separated from them. They also like slow, gentle music, and produce more milk when it’s played.
- Alligators like manatees (reason unknown), and will usually politely move aside to let manatees swim past and ahead of them.
- Baby elephants suck their trunks for comfort and security, just as human babies suck their thumbs.
- Juvenile delinquent elephants. Young elephants sometimes join gangs, harassing older elephants and other animals. African park rangers have instituted “big brother” programs, pairing them with older elephants to teach them to be respectful.
- Octopuses have incredible memories, and strong preferences for certain humans. But they’re fickle among their own kind, never settling on a single mate. This is probably due to the fact that they have three hearts (true).