50 Awesome Animal Facts You Didn’t Know – Part 3

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26Gibraltar Monkeys

During World War II, the British Army had a dedicated monthly budget to feed the monkeys of Gibraltar. Any monkey that became seriously ill or injured was treated in Royal Navy hospitals. They were entitled to the same treatment that a human serviceman would receive.


27. There is only one mammal species that uses stridulation as a means of communication with other members of its group. The lowland streaked tenrec, native to Madagascar, uses its spines to create high-pitched sounds by rubbing them against each other just as crickets use their scrapers to chirp.


28. Fossil evidence suggests there once existed a species of dwarf elephants in Sicily. The male grew the biggest at around a meter tall, while the baby was the size of a pigeon.


29. The Oxpecker not only eats ticks off of African wildlife (like elephants), it also drinks their blood and makes wounds even larger. Scientists now think the birds are actually parasites and not an example of mutualism, where both parties benefit.


30. Anteaters do not produce their own stomach acid. Instead, the ants consumed are digested in the very own acid the ants carry in their bodies: Formic acid.


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31Lemurs

Lemurs chew on, then rub, cyanide-secreting millipedes onto their fur to get high and to protect against mosquitos.


32. Porcupines can often be seen hauling large bones back to their dens. They eat them as they require the nutrients in them for growing their quills.


33. Pangolins are believed to be the world’s most trafficked mammal, accounting for as much as 20% of all illegal wildlife trade. Their scales can cost more than $3,000/kg on the black market.


34. Icelandic horses are not allowed to leave the country. If they do, they are banned from returning. This is because Iceland is an island so they have limited diseases, and this is another measure to prevent it.


35. The donkey is the domesticated descendants of the African Wild Ass. It is a critically endangered West African horse and it is estimated that there are only 570 Wild Asses left in the wild.


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36Zebra Stripes

Flies find it hard to land on striped surfaces and zebras suffer far less from flies, which carry deadly diseases. Zebra stripes are more pronounced in environments that favor horseflies.


37. There is a project underway to bring back an animal from extinction and reintroduce it into its former habitat. The last remaining quagga, a subspecies of the plains zebra, died in 1883, and to date, the Quagga Project has succeeded in producing breeding lineages in 10 locations in South Africa.


38. Tapirs are so well endowed that can step on their penises while mating and trip as a result.


39. Rhinoceros have a 450 days gestation period. This long gestation period is also an obstacle to replenishing the population. All five species of rhinoceros are endangered or considered vulnerable, and three out of the five are considered critically endangered.


40. The Tulu camel is a breed that results from mating a male Bactrian camel with a female Dromedary. A Tulu camel is larger than either of the other two kinds of camels and has traditionally been used as a draft animal. This breed of camel is also used in the sport of Camel wrestling.


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41Dairy Cows

Dairy cows typically are born with horns and they are “de-horned” when young. Dairy farmers overtime use selective breeding to eliminate the recessive gene that causes horns in both male and female cattle.


42. “Opossum” can refer to any one of more than 100 different species of marsupial animals found in the Americas, while “possum” technically refers only to any of 67 marsupial species found in Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.


43. Opossums can survive up to 80 rattlesnake and coral snake bites. Thanks to them, there is a new and very inexpensive antidote for many different snake venom. In addition, they eat ticks and don't get rabies.


44. The last thylacine died in 1936, and, due to the fact that the zoo expected to find a replacement, they did not bother to keep records of the animal. In fact, its gender was only determined in 2011 by a team of researchers looking frame-by-frame at a video of it. When it was last captured on film it bit the cameraman in the butt.


45. The star-nosed mole has 21 fingers on its nose and blows bubbles with it underwater to find food.


46Red-Crested Tree Rat

The red-crested tree rat, thought to have gone extinct 119 years ago, showed up out of the blue at a hotel in Colombia where two conservationists were staying and let them photograph him for a few hours before disappearing again.


47. The Philippine eagle, the national bird of the Philippines, is easily recognized by its shaggy, brown, and white, mane-like crest. It is the only blue-eyed bird of prey in the world and has 8 times the visual acuity of humans. Females lay only one egg every two years. Its lifespan is ~60 years.


48. The red-crested turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus), the national bird of Angola, is one of the more colorful birds in its genus, and its call sounds somewhat like a jungle monkey. Turacos are found in large flocks and feed on fruits. Interestingly, all flock members help new moms with “childcare.”


49. There is a bird named the Cream Colored Woodpecker, also known as the Pikachu Bird. Males have the same coloration as the cartoon character Pikachu, from the Pokémon series, including the red cheeks. These birds are found in South America.


50. Consuming too much lean protein can cause symptoms similar to broad malnutrition in a condition known as protein poisoning, or more colloquially called “rabbit poisoning” due to the first observed cases in frontiersmen who ate nothing but wild rabbits over the winter and developed symptoms.

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