Scientists think that there are about 1-2 million animal species on Earth. That’s 1-2 million different behavioral habits, mating patterns, diets, and so much more. We tend to focus only on one of those species, ourselves, and forget that we’re sharing the Earth with so many interesting creatures. Here are 10 random animal facts you may find surprising.
1. There is a type of jellyfish that, when threatened, can regenerate its cells, meaning that it can potentially live forever. They only gain this ability after they reach sexual maturity, but its a pretty amazing survival mechanism. When the tiny jellyfish is threatened, it attaches to something solid, turns into a kind of blob, and begins to regenerate its cells. Scientists are studying these “immortal jellyfish” hoping that, just maybe, humans can try to adopt their skills.
2. 10 million more sharks are killed by humans than humans killed by sharks. Yep, you read that right. Sharks are among humans’ greatest fears, but in reality it’s the sharks that should be afraid of us . Only 10 humans are killed by sharks each year, and 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year due to over fishing and pollution.
3. Baby goats pick up “accents” and vocal patterns from their family. Goats don’t have a ‘language’, but they do adopt noise patterns from the goats around them that differ from other goats.
4. Horses use their eyes and ears to communicate with one another through facial expressions.
5. Polar bears have black skin. Their noses are black, so it makes sense, but its pretty weird to picture a shaven black polar bear. Their thick, black skin helps keep polar bears warm, insulating them and absorbing available sunlight.
6. Honeybees can flap their wings 200 times per second, which is why we here that ‘bzzzz’ noise. Actually, bees in general are pretty incredible. See this video for more.
7. Spider silk is crazy strong. One strand is thinner than human hair, but one strand is also five times stronger than a piece of steel the same width as it. Researchers say that a strand of spider’s silk 2 inches long could stop a Boeing 747.
8. Snails can sleep for three years. Jealous? Me too. In this form of hibernation, snails bury themselves in the ground when it gets cold and can stay there for three whole years.
9. Sloths take two weeks to digest their food.
10. Koalas have almost human fingerprints. In fact, they’re so indistinguishable that koalas and humans have been confused at crime scenes.
We forget how fascinating the animals around us are, but the truth is, they have some pretty amazing abilities. Now you know ten facts about ten animals you never knew you needed to know. Dinner table conversation starters? I think yes.