No matter how much time you spend with your pet, the crazy things they do will never cease to amuse and confuse you.
Animal behavior can seem obscene to humans, when you look at some species who eat their young, for example. Some can be just plain amazing, like animals that can literally sense earthquakes, tremors and even incoming storms hours before its occurrence. But in a lot of ways, these attributes can make them similar to people.
Many of these traits have been hard-wired into them for survival, while others are just the way they interact with each other. Here are 10 animals who exhibit some very unique behaviors:
Our primate brethren aren’t as far apart from us as we’d like to think. Most species of primates show determinedly human characteristics, from basic levels of affection to sentience and organizational skills.
Chimpanzees are, in fact, well known for their strategic planning and tactical skills when warring among each other. There is even an Orangutan from Indonesia named Tori, who became addicted to smoking cigarettes. That’s as human as it gets.
2. Zebra Finches
For many different species of birds, an unattractive mate generally means the female will lay smaller eggs.
In the case of the Zebra Finches, however, it is reversed. In a way, as if to almost compensate for the unattractive appearance of the father, the mother Finch lays a much larger egg for the hatchling to grow in.
The hope would be that the somewhat less-than-stellar gene pool of the father can be offset by more room to grow and a greater supply of nutrients, which are the benefits of larger eggs.
3. Naked Mole Rats
These creatures aren’t strange in appearance alone. They have pale shriveled skin and extremely large teeth, and are neither moles, nor rats. They also have the uncanny ability to run backwards as fast as they can run forward.
The Queen Naked Mole Rat is usually the only female that procreates. This is no coincidence. The Queen pushes the other female mole rats to make them stressed, which causes them to release a hormone that impairs their ability to reproduce.
The Queen of the Colony is the ultimate Mean Girl of the rodent family.
These big mammals have extraordinarily big hearts, too. A large amount of the unique behavior seen in elephants is emotionally-driven. They are extremely empathetic creatures, and have been known to identify members of their herd that have died from just the bones.
Elephants usually linger around their fallen fellows remains, until thirst or starvation kicks in and they have to leave. They even have rituals for the dead, and cover up the bodies of other elephants, or even humans and dogs, with dirt, branches and leaves. They have a tremendous respect for the departed.
That being said, a new trend emerged over the past few years among younger elephants, “troubled teens”, if you will, hunting down and killing Rhinos, seemingly at random. After being paired with older elephants and observed, the killing of rhinos reduced.
The Myotonic Goat takes anxiety attacks to the next level. This type of goat, also known as the Wooden Leg Goat and the Tennessee Fainting goat, has an interesting defense mechanism. Whenever it feels panic, the muscles in its entire body tend to freeze, almost perfectly mimicking death.
This usually causes it to fall down onto its side, and also explains where its nicknames came from. These domestic goats are among the few that are indigenous to the United States.
In some states, like Texas, these goats are bred larger for their meat. In many others, this species has made its way to the pet market.
The behavior of cows is absolutely alien to us, but makes perfect sense to them. One strange habit that has recently been observed by scientists, is that cows tend to only face one particular direction while grazing.
Cows in a herd will face either north or south while munching on grass, even if its with the rest of the herd. For reasons known only to them, cows will never face east or west when they are feeding.
It’s a very specific type of OCD shared by the entire species. And I doubt they’ll ever let us in on the secret.
The Angler Fish has the most disturbingly unique appearance and mating habits. This fish is absolutely terrifying when you look at it. It’s like a Piranha with a light attached to its head. The light is supposed to draw you in and make you lower your guard. But as it turns out, this long-toothed sea-beast is only the female of the species.
This species absolutely stumped scientists until the 1930’s, who could not figure out where the males of the species were, as they only ever found the females. It was finally discovered that the males were underneath their noses the entire time. Literally.
The males of the species (denoted by the arrow) are more than twenty times smaller than the females, and mate for life in their own strange way. When they pick a female to mate with, they latch themselves onto her belly and over time, fuse with her skin.
Once attached, they steadily consume nutrients from the female and provide her with sperm when she is ready to procreate. The male and female together essentially become one single being.
Have you ever heard of the whale song? Its just the predictable pattern of sounds made by different types of baleen whales, which include the blue whale and the humpback whale.
The sounds emitted in that pattern by the whale eventually form an eerie, but beautiful melody, like a song of the sea. In humpback whales, you can even consider it a love song, because when mating season comes around, the males sing it to the females.
However, due to a number of factors, like the rising level of noise pollution that is severely harming the whale populations around the globe, this love song is starting to take on a different tone.
Over the last 4 decades, scientists have observed that the whale songs have become deeper by a few hertz. The impact of this change on the whales is still being understood.
Herbivores are what we like to think of as the pure vegetarians of the animal kingdom, like cows, sheep, even giraffes and zebras.
We usually consider them to be on the lower end of the food chain, and prey to some of the bigger predators in the wild. But these seemingly harmless creatures have a dark streak, too.
Like most animals, they can turn violent when they, or their young are threatened. However, it has also been observed that if a cow or a sheep is low on nutrients, it will kill and feed on other animals in the farm for sustenance.
In certain circumstances, these animals become carnivores. Survival is an instinct wired into every creature that can turn even the gentle animals into beasts.
Source: Geoff Gallice
These tiny red insects are one incredibly destructive force of nature. Like soldiers, they are extremely efficient and well-organized. To keep things simple, they communicate through a series of chemical messages, and fill in the gaps with trail pheromones.
In fact, as army ants are blind, trail pheromones and other odors are usually how these troops get around. They also have a tendency to shift their nests every few weeks. So on some occasions, the ants are unable to find their way back to the nest.
As a few ants begin to revolve around the nest in a vain attempt to find it, others begin to join in. Eventually, all the squadrons have joined what becomes a massive constantly-moving circle around the nest.
The circle finally breaks only when the ants have become exhausted. Futile, yes, but I admire their sheer spirit and determination.
Scientists are still attempting to understand how and why most animals behave the way they do. That being said, scientists are also still attempting to understand the same thing about many humans! Every species comes with its own quirks and remarkableness. It may not always be pretty, but it’s all a part of what makes up this colorful planet we live on.