The animal kingdom is always a source of fascination, inspiration, and exciting discoveries for us humans. Just this year, for example, scientists observed that parrots can be selfless, helping other parrots without any apparent gain. We also learned just that it often takes a month for a sloth to digest a single leaf. These and other mind-blowing animal facts are just the kind of information you’ll learn from this article, deepening your knowledge about 15 wild animals and pets alike.
1. Scientists who observed the feeding behavior of Bottlenose dolphins found that 99% of dolphins are right-handed, or right-flippered, to be precise.
2. African grey parrots are known for high intelligence, but these parrots also selflessly help other birds in their group to obtain food - the first proof of altruistic behavior in non-mammals.
3. Owls are mostly solitary, but when seen in a group, the gathering of owls is called a parliament.
4. Even the digestive system of sloths is "lazy" - the animals poop only once a week, and it can take them up to a month to digest one leaf completely.
5. The shell of some snail species can be covered in hairs, which helps them stick to slippery surfaces like wet leaves more securely.
6. Your suspicion is true: research shows that cats recognize their names, they just typically don't bother responding.
7. Baby Tasmanian devils make lifelong friendships and were even observed to have "friendly sleep-overs" at each other's dens from time to time.
8. The fastest punch in the animal kingdom belongs to the mantis shrimp, whose punch speed is faster than a .22-caliber bullet.
9. Don't be deceived by those charming eyes - the slow loris is the only venomous mammal on Earth, capable of killing an adult human with just one bite.
10. There is a unique ant species that only lives in a small area between 63rd and 76th streets along Broadway in New York City, it's affectionately nicknamed the "ManhattAnt".
11. Some species of frogs are freeze-resistant - their bodies freeze solid in the winter, but the amphibian survives and reanimates as the temperature rises in the spring.
12. A group of ferrets is properly referred to as a 'business'. The word comes from an earlier form 'busyness' that used to describe a group of weasels and the like.
13. A recent animal study found that 7 different crocodile species, but not alligators, can actually gallop to a speed of up to 11 mph (17 km/h). The smaller the croc, the more likely it is to run around like a horse, with large specimens being too heavy to do so.
14. On a lighter note, prairie dogs often 'kiss' and cuddle, actually touching their front teeth as a way to identify each other.
15. And finally, don't be surprised to find a robber with a koala side-kick in an upcoming blockbuster. It turns out that koala fingerprints are so similar to human ones they are considered capable of tainting police records.