40 Terrifying Facts About Animals

21Crane Flies

Crane Flies

Despite being commonly referred to as "mosquito eaters" and resembling giant mosquitos, adult crane flies are anatomically incapable of harming the insect. In fact, their lifespans are so short (less than a week) they typically don't eat anything at all.



The tapir is a large, herbivorous mammal which looks similar to a pig. They are so well endowed that they can step on their penises while mating and trip as a result.

23Tripod Fish

Tripod Fish

The tripod fish walks around the bottom of the ocean floor on their three fins looking for a partner to reproduce with. If they can't find a partner, which is almost always as the ocean floor is giant and completely dark, they reproduce with themselves as they are hermaphrodites.

24New Mexico Whiptail

New Mexico Whiptail

The New Mexico whiptail is a female-male only lizard that reproduces asexually via parthenogenesis (eggs don't need to be fertilized). Despite reproducing asexually, and being an all-female species, the whiptail still engages in mating behavior with other females of its own species, giving rise to the common nickname “lesbian lizards.”

25Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis

Immediately after sexual intercourse, a female praying mantis will rotate her head 180° and eat the head of the male. Therefore male praying mantis has an extra “brain” in its rear, which controls the necessary motions for copulation, so it can continue mating after the female has eaten his head.

26Bruce Effect

Bruce Effect

The male mice have a tendency to woo the female by directing their urine in the female’s direction. Their urine contains pheromones and if a pregnant female rat is exposed to the scent of an unfamiliar male, she will automatically abort her child if she has conceived one. This phenomenon is called 'The Bruce effect'.



Oxpeckers, the small birds you see in photos perching on antelopes and wildebeests (elephants shake them off usually), were once thought to be helping these animals by eating illness-causing ticks. It was later found that these birds open wounds wider and drink the blood of their hosts, so they're parasites themselves.

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28Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Emerald Cockroach Wasp

The Emerald Cockroach Wasp is a parasite. First, it stings its host, the cockroach in the thorax to paralyze it. Then, the second sting goes to the roach's brain to a precise spot to more permanently and thoroughly paralyze it. Then, the wasp leads the roach back to the wasp's burrow by tugging its antennae like a leash. The roach can't initiate walking on its own, because of the venom, but the actual neuromuscular circuitry that physically controls the legs is just fine, so a little tug from the wasp and the zombified cockroach follows its new master to its doom. There the wasp lays an egg in its abdomen, then its larva eats the organs in a specific way to keep the roach alive before it cocoons and leaves its body.

29Green-Eyed Wasp

Green-Eyed Wasp

The green-eyed wasp turns ladybugs into zombie babysitters. Three weeks after a wasp lays its egg inside the hapless beetle, a wasp larva bursts from her belly and weaves itself into a cocoon between her legs. The ladybug doesn’t die but becomes paralyzed, involuntarily twitching her spotted red carapace to ward off predators until the adult wasp emerges a week later. Researchers have found that the wasp uses a virus to attacks the beetle’s brain.



While mating, hermaphroditic species of flatworms engage in penis fencing, battling violently to decide which of the two will be the father. The winner stabs his penis into the loser to inseminate it.

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