Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Amazing Animal Facts

I found these on another blog (thank you!) Since I love animals, I thought I would post this here today, along with some of my own commentary based on my own life experiences with animals.

The koala is the world’s fussiest eater and feeds uniquely on eucalyptus leaves. (I can be an even fussier eater!)

An elephant's tooth can weigh as much as 12 pounds.

In Alaska, it is legal to shoot a bear - but you'll break the law if you wake up a bear to take its photograph.

Americans own 55 million dogs, and 60 million cats. (None of that 60 million is mine! I prefer the first pet mentioned if they are no bigger than a cat!)

Adult fleas can live for up to 2 years during which time the female can lay up to 1,200 eggs. (I hope someday these get totally eradicated!)

Elephant seals are air-breathing mammals, but they can hold their breath for up to two hours while diving. (They also have the most flexible spine in the animal kingdom)

Apart from humans the only land animal that cries is the elephant.

The longest snake is the reticulated python, which can reach over 33 ft.

In Lousiana, you can be jailed for ten years for stealing an alligator. (When I lived in Lousiana, I almost never saw an alligator)

Dragonflies have the largest eyes and sharpest eyesight of any insect. Each eye is made up of more than 30,000 separate rod-like units. (Jumping spiders come in an amazing second, but they are not insects)

Desert rats can copulate 122 times an hour. (Hmmm. Some rat hanky-panky!)

One of the many Tarzans, Karmuala Searlel, was mauled to death on the set by a raging elephant. (and another one of them managed to really kill a lion on the set because the script called for it)

A scientist at Michigan State University has calculated that the production of a single hens egg requires about 120 gallons of water, a loaf of bread requires 300 gallons, and a pound of beef 3,500 gallons.

Great Whites can swim at up to 25 mph. They must swim continually or they would sink, as they don't have a swim bladder to keep them afloat like a bony fish.

Strands of spider web are stronger than steel wire of the same thickness.

The collective name for a group of frogs is an “army of frogs”; in the case of their warty cousins, it’s a “knot of toads”.

Dolphins are the only other animals besides humans that get pleasure out of sex. They are also the only other animals that have sex for reasons other than reproduction.

Contrary to popular belief, biblical Jonah was swallowed by a Great White Shark, not a whale. It is thought that a shark may have been landed with a man's body inside, prompting the myth to arise.

Not all polar bears hibernate; only pregnant females polar bears do. (and polar bear cubs are the size of a rat when they are born)

Most scientists agree that Great White Shark attacks on humans often stem from territorial aggression because of a perceived invasion of their space, and are usually non-predatory in nature. (I always heard it was because their first impression of us is we're their favorite prey, seals and sea lions)

Naked mole rats are the only hairless mammals. (they have whisker-like hairs coming from their skin instead to feel around with)

One 15 foot great white was found with 200 plus crabs in its stomach. (are they sure it was a great white?? It would have to capture the crab as it was swimming in the open ocean)

An armadillo can walk under water.

House mice are able to drop vertically down 12 feet without injury. (that's about the equivolent of a human falling off a 20-story building)

Goldfish history can be traced back over 1500 years to Ancient China.

Only 2% of male red deer are seriously injured in their antler-rattling contests.

An American Animal Hospital Association poll showed that 33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away. (Me being one of them, plus I read stories to my dogs too! They are my very first audience when I release a story)

Frogs may be hypnotised by placing them on their back and gently stroking their stomach.

The African driver ant Dorylus lives in colonies of up to twenty-two million workers. Their combined mass is more than fifty kilograms, and they feed off and protect a territory of a massive fifty thousand square metres.

Twenty-eight species of anemone fishes are known, along with 10 species of anemones that act as hosts. (they don't all resemble Nemo either)

The average body temperature of a sparrow is 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit. (I'd hate to feel what an abnormal temperature is for a sparrow)

Sheep's milk is used to produce Roquefort cheese.

A female donkey's milk is closest to human milk.

Stone-aged people tamed dogs to help them track game. (dogs are darned good multi-taskers, unlike cats)

A seagull can drink salt water because it has special glands that filter out the salt. (so can albatrosses and penguins)

The difference in weight between a 'newborn' caterpillar and the fully grown larva is typically 1000-fold or even more.

Snake venom is ninety percent protein.

The hippopotamus has the world's shortest sperm. (Amazing considering hippos are the 4th largest land animals)

A rabbit's teeth never stops growing. They are kept worn down by gnawing on food. (and anything else they can find! Food or not!)

Scientists estimate that there are currently 1.4 million animal species known to science; with possibly as many as 30 million on the planet. (Most of which are probably found in the deep-sea oceans or underground)

The only two mammals to lay eggs are the platypus and the echidna. The mothers nurse their babies through pores in their skin.

Kittens can clock an amazing 31 miles per hour at full speed, and can cover about three times their body length per leap. (and when they get to be older cats, they can run at 45 mph, but they don't become any better at leaping)

The tuatara lizard's metabolism is so slow they only have to breathe once an hour. (Anyone doesn't know what a tuatara lizard is, here's a pic:

Male bees will try to attract sex partners with orchid fragrance.

The giant cricket of Africa enjoys eating human hair. (All I can say is YUK!!! No wonder a lot of African natives don't have any hair!)

The octopus's testicles are located in its head. (That's one creature that literally has sex on the brain!)

The tuatara lizard of New Zealand has three eyes - two in the center of its head and one on top.

It takes the deep-sea clam 100 years to grow to a length of one-third inch. (You can just imagine how old those giant clams that get up to 6 feet wide are!)

The Venus flytrap can eat a whole cheeseburger. (Imagine what a good-sized Venus flytrap can eat)

Hamsters love to eat crickets. (So do dormice, a small pet emerging in popularity)

Dinosaurs lived on Earth for around 165 million years before they became extinct. (Humans have been around less than 2 million, and look what they have done to the planet in that short length of time! What would happen if we would have been around for 165 million years?!)

The rare Hawaiian monk seal has been known to dive to about 1,650 feet.

The female green turtle sheds tears as she lays her eggs on the beach. This washes sand particles out of her eyes and rids her body of excess salt.

Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over a million descendants.

The color a head louse will be as an adult can depend on the color of the person's hair in which it lives.

The kangaroo and the emu are the two animals found on the Australian coat of arms.

Elephants and short-tailed shrews get by on only two hours of sleep a day. (Short tailed shrews are also the only mammals with a venomous bite)

Urine from male cape water buffaloes is so flammable that some tribes use it for lantern fuel. (a new source of global energy!)

One way to tell seals and sea lions apart is that, sea lions have external ears and testicles. (Sea lions also crawl on all fours like a dog, while seals move by rubbing their bellies along the ground like an inchworm)

Sharks can go up to at least 6 weeks without feeding. The record for a shark fasting was observed in an aquarium with the Swell Shark, which did not eat for 15 months.

The shell of an egg constitutes 12% of its weight.

In ancient Egypt, entire families would shave their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when the family cat died. (Shows how much cats were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians)

The Sanskrit word for 'war' means 'desire for more cows'.

Using its web-like skin between its arms, an octopus can carry up to a dozen crabs back to its den. (Pinch! Pinch! Pinch!)

Electric Eels can reach up to 2 metres in length and larger specimens can generate 500 volts of electricity.

The zorilla is the smelliest animal on the planet. Its anal glands can be smelled from a half mile away. (Anyone doesn't know what a zorilla looks like, they are related to weasels and look like this:

Sheep can survive for up to two weeks buried in snow drifts. (I don't know how they found this one out!)

Bats can eat from one-half to three quarters their weight per evening. (Think about how many mosquitoes that is next time you want to bad-mouth about bats!)

It takes 24 hours for a tiny newborn swan to peck its way out of its shell. (It takes 3 days for an ostrich chick to break out of it's shell)

Certain fireflies emit a light so penetrating that it can pass through flesh and wood.

The porcupine's love for salt often leads the animal to roadways or walkways where salt has been sprinkled to melt the ice. They will lick and gnaw on anything containing salt, such as saddles, canoe paddles and axe handles. (That's how so many porcupines are killed on the highway)

There are more species of fish than mammals, reptiles and birds combined. (True, there are 10,000 bird species, 4,000 mammals, and about 3,000 reptiles, while there are about 20,000 fish. But there are 100,000 insect species known)

When angered, the Tazmanian devil turns pinkish red. (So do a lot of people)

Penguins can jump as high as 6 feet in the air. (They can from the water too because they can swim so fast)

When cornered, the horned toad shoots blood from its eyes. (Despite it's name, the "horned toad" is not a toad, it's a relative of the iguana)

In 1740 a cow was found guilty of sorcery in France and publicly hanged. (What the Hell did the cow do?? Put a curse on anyone who milked it? What a stupid waste of life!)

A newborn Chinese water deer is so small that it can almost be held in the palm of the hand. (That is sweet, but not really difficult to believe, the deer it's self is about 4 feet long as an adult)

A 1,200-pound horse eats about seven times it's own weight each year.

A butterfly has to have a body temperature greater than 86 degrees to be able to fly. (That must be why I've not seen any butterflies out here. 80 degree temperatures are rare here!)

The tsetse fly infests 36 African countries and a total of 9-10 million square kilometres of land.
(That's about 10-million square miles too many! Too many chances of catching trypanosomiasis, or "sleeping sickness")

It takes 35 to 65 minks to produce the average mink coat. The numbers for other types of fur coats are: beaver - 15; fox - 15 to 25; ermine - 150; chinchilla - 60 to 100. (Who cares!? I don't like wearing furs anyway! I always say the fur looks better on the animals, not us!)

Carnivorous animals will not eat another animal that has been hit by a lightning strike. (Why not? Cooking the animal gives it flavor. Although seriously, that could be an indication that lightening emits some amount of toxins in the animal's body it strikes)

About 600 species of plants are carnivorous. Most eat insects but also on the menu are frogs, birds and even small monkeys. (I once saw in a documentary a pitcher-plant eating a hummingbird!)

The 1st buffalo ever born in captivity was born at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo in 1884. (was it a buffalo or a bison? They are 2 distinct animals)

Squirrels are immune to rabies. (There shoots the theory that you can get rabies from a squirrel)

Unlike a frog, a toad cannot jump. (True, they crawl, not hop)

All racehorses in the U.S. celebrate their birthday on January 1st.

The candlefish is so oily that it was once burned for fuel. (I guess that's how it got that common name!)

The snow leopard protects itself from extreme cold when it sleeps by wrapping its 3-foot-long tail around its nose. (Snow leopards: the one and only feline I am forever loyal to)

The venom of a female black widow spider is more potent than that of a rattlesnake. (That doesn't surprise me at all!! I hate spiders!!!)

Lassie was played by several male dogs, despite the female name, because male collies were thought to look better on camera. The main "actor" was named Pal. (Males are also friendlier by default than females)

All pet hamsters are descended from a single female wild golden hamster found with a litter of 12 young in Syria in 1930. (They were first caught and bred for labratory use)

A chicken once had its head cut off and survived for over eighteen months, headless. (Singing: "Don't Lose Your Head" by INXS)

Octopus and squid are thought to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates. (They are! Snails sure don't deserve that rank!)

During warm weather hippopotamus's secrete sweat that is pink. This substance not only cools them down but also helps fight infections of the skin.

By feeding hens certain dyes they can be made to lay eggs with varicolored yolks. (great idea for Easter!)

A baby octopus is about the size of a flea when it is born. (True, no matter how big they are as adults, and some can be anywhere from 3 inches to 18 feet in length)

The female dairy goat is a doe; the male, a buck; the young, kids; and a castrated male, a wether. Their life span is eight to twelve years.

In 1888, an estimated 300,000 mummified cats were found at Beni Hassan, Egypt. They were sold at $18.43 per ton, and shipped to England to be ground up and used for fertilizer. (EWW!! But I guess that's one good use for a cat)

The anaconda, one of the world's largest snakes, gives birth to its young instead of laying eggs. (Hmm, and 10 years ago, they would have been classed as THE largest snake!)

In the 1800's cats were used to deliver mail. In 1879, in Belgium 37 cats were used to deliver mail to villages, however they found that the cats were not disciplined enough to do this. (Cats are lousy multi-taskers!!!)

In a day, an elephant can drink 80 gallons of water. (Having worked in an aquarium store before, 80 gallons is a LOT of water!!!!)

The name of the dog on the Cracker Jack box is Bingo. (I wonder if he was the inspiration for the song about a dog named Bingo?)

There are more plastic flamingos in America than real ones. (one of those useless facts)

Aphids are born pregnant without the benefit of sex. Aphids can give birth 10 days after being born themselves. (And humans aren't allowed to have sex until they are at least 13)

More than 99.9% of all the animal species that have ever lived on earth were extinct before the coming of man. (and most now are becoming extinct because of man!)

Asian tree frogs build nests in trees over water. When their tadpoles hatch, they drop directly into the water. (They also have African cousins that do the same)

It is estimated that a single toad may catch and eat as many as 10,000 insects in the course of a summer. (great alternatives to spiders in grape vineyards, and not venomous)

In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated. (the last animal to be domesticated completely was the european polecat, we know them as "ferrets")

The world's oldest known captive goldfish, Tish, died peacefully at home in his tank at the age of at least 43 in 1999. (And I can't get A goldfish to last me more than 2 weeks!)

It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog throws up its stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of its mouth. Then the frog uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows the stomach back down again. (WTF was a frog doing in outer space?)

Despite man's fear and hatred of the wolf, it has not ever been proved that a non-rabid wolf ever attacked a human. (Anything rabid will attack anything that moves, even a rabid skunk has been known to attack humans!)

Goldfish lose their color if they are kept in dim light or are placed in a body of running water, such as a stream.

On June 20th, 1782, the United States Congress made the "American Eagle" the national emblem of the United States. (I heard Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey)

You're more likely to get stung by a bee on a windy day than in any other weather. (The one and only time I was stung was on a cloudy day, no wind)

The 'Silverback' gorilla is 30 per cent taller and almost twice as heavy as the females in the group he dominates.

The pom-pom cut was originally developed to increase the Poodle's swimming abilities as a retriever. The haircut allowed for faster swimming but the pom-poms were left to keep the joints warm.

Before the enactment of the 1978 law that made it mandatory for dog owners in New York City to clean up after their pets, approximately 40 million pounds of dog excrement were deposited on the streets every year. (I always thought New York was full of crap!)

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit. (HAHAHA!!! I've been called a twit a lot!! I'll have to remember this one!)

The biggest pig in recorded history was Big Boy of Black Mountain, North Carolina, who was weighed at 1,904 pounds in 1939.

When ants find food, they lay down a chemical trail, called a pheromone, so that other ants can find their way from the nest to the food source.

There are more than 100 million dogs and cats in the United States. (At least 2 of those dogs live here at my home and are here to stay!)

Americans spend more than 5.4 billion dollars on their pets each year. (I cannot afford that! I just keep the same toys and stuff for my babies. The only thing new I buy for them is food and water and vet care when they need it)

Snails produce a colorless, sticky discharge that forms a protective carpet under them as they travel along. The discharge is so effective that they can crawl along the edge of a razor without cutting themselves.

A duck's quack doesn't echo anywhere, and no one knows why. (I think this was already proven wrong)

Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads of their feet. (Itty-Bitty corn-chip feet!!!!!)

The heart of a blue whale is the size of a small car.

Lewis and Clark traveled with a 150-pound Newfoundland named "Seaman." This pooch was a respected member of the expedition team and his antics were included in the extensive diaries of the famous explorers.

'Zorro' means 'fox' in Spanish. (That's why the TV hero was so quick!!)

For Stephen King's "Cujo" (1983), five St. Bernards were used, one mechanical head, and an actor in a dog costume to play the title character.

A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as feelers or antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage. (Cats are not bad contortionists!)

The Venus flytrap takes less than half a second to slam shut on an insect.

Brazil has the most species of mammals (524), fresh water fish, insects and parrots of anywhere. (Personally, I think the most colorful parrots live in Australia, not the Amazon)

Dogs and humans are the only animals with prostate glands.

The world record frog jump is 33 feet 5.5 inches over the course of 3 consecutive leaps, achieved in May 1977 by a South African sharp-nosed frog called Santjie.

A 7-year study, which concluded in the summer of 2000, found that 33 U.S. deaths were caused by rottweilers. Pit bulls were responsible for 27 deaths. (Cats are no better! More people are killed by wild felines than by any dogs)

The underside of a horse's hoof is called a frog. The frog peels off several times a year with new growth.

German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog. (Hmm, and I always thought chihuahuas were the biggest culprits of biting!)

Swans are the only birds with penises. (How do other birds have sex?)

Though human noses have an impressive 5 million olfactory cells with which to smell, sheepdogs have 220 million, enabling them to smell 44 times better than man. (I think bloodhounds have even more than a sheepdog)

When the Black Death swept across England one theory was that cats caused the plague. Thousands were slaughtered. Ironically, those that kept their cats were less affected, because they kept their houses clear of the real culprits, rats. (One of very few tasks a cat is good at)

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