50 More Facts About Fascinating Plants & Animals Species – Part 2

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26Sable Island Horse's Evolution

Sable Island Horse's Evolution

The Sable Island Horse, a wild species found only on a low-lying sandbar in the Atlantic off the coast of Nova Scotia, was released on Sable Island in the 1700s. Over time, they have evolved into their own species, and about 500 horses currently exist, now legally protected by the Canadian government.

27. Two spade-toothed whales were beached in New Zealand in 2012, allowing researchers to observe this species alive for the first time. Previously, the species was only known from its skull remains. No one has ever seen it alive.

28. In 1960, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley gave Prince Akihito of Japan bluegill fish to be bred in Japan for food. They escaped captivity and are now an invasive species in Japan.

29. During conservation efforts to save the critically endangered toolache wallaby, conservationists accidentally killed ten of the last surviving members of the species while attempting to capture them for a breeding program. The species is now extinct.

30. In 1984, researchers found a Red Sea Cliff Swallow in Sudan, and no second bird of this species has ever been found. Conclusive evidence is lacking to determine if it matches any other species of swallow; thus, it remains listed as its own species.

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31Lemon Ant's Devil's Garden

Lemon Ant's Devil's Garden

The "lemon ant," named for its lemon-like taste when eaten, is also known for creating a "devil's garden" by releasing its own herbicide. This herbicide creates a natural clearing on the rainforest floor where at most three plant species can survive.

32. The Western hooknose is a snake species that employs farting as a defense mechanism. Some of these snakes produce such strong farts that they can lift themselves off the ground.

33. The theory of sexual selection posits that giving gifts increases a male's chances of mating in the face of heavy competition. Some species of spiders continue to hold the gift between their legs even after copulation begins, refusing to give it up and running away with it as soon as the process is over.

34. The Hemlock Water Dropwort is the most poisonous plant in the UK. Its poison constricts the muscles, causing death by asphyxia, which also results in a rictus-like death grin. The use of this plant in Phoenician Sardinia for executions is the origin of the term "Sardonic Grin."

35. Ophiocordycep is a species of mushroom that infects and zombifies carpenter ants. The mushroom slowly takes control of the ant's motor functions and leads them away from the colony to die in a place ideal for growing. Then the mushroom grows out of the ant's head.

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36Welwitschia Plant: Living Fossil

Welwitschia Plant: Living Fossil

The Welwitschia plant is a living fossil that existed before South America split from Africa 200 million years ago. It can live for more than 2000 years and maintain the same two leaves throughout its entire life.

37. An unidentified species of whale calls at the unusual frequency of 52 hertz, earning it the nickname "the 52-hertz whale." This pitch is higher than that of other whale species-blue and fin whales-that follow its migration pattern. It is known as "the world's loneliest whale."

38. Salvia divinorum is a plant in the Mint family that produces the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen by mass. Salvia produces the most intense peak in roughly a minute, which lasts for 1-5 minutes. Users usually return to a sense of the everyday and familiar, then to baseline, after about 15-20 minutes.

39. Mountain gorillas almost never drink water. They obtain hydration from their plant diet and morning dew. Despite living in rainforests, they also tend to dislike rain and try to stay dry when crossing a stream. In 2013, researchers first observed them drinking water in the wild.

40. The males of the moth species Cosmosoma myrodora shoot layers of hair drenched in plant toxins onto the female to protect her from predators during mating, as copulation takes a significant amount of time. This practice is called protective nuptial festooning.

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41Herbivorous Spider: Bagheera kiplingi

Herbivorous Spider: Bagheera kiplingi

Bagheera kiplingi is the only mostly herbivorous spider that we know of. It feeds on the nectar of swollen-thorn acacias in a symbiotic relationship with Pseudomyrmex ants.

42. The tailorbird is a songbird from the Asian tropics that uses its pointed beak to sew nests with large leaves using plant fiber as thread.

43. There is a genus of plants in the pea family called Clitoria. Its name comes from its flowers, which resemble human vulvas. Some species' flowers are edible and commonly used in Southeast and South Asian cuisines and traditional medicine.

44. Kentucky Bluegrass, a common grass planted in suburban lawns in North America, does not originate from Kentucky and is not native to North America. It originates from Europe, North Asia, and Northern Africa, which was imported by the Spanish Empire to the Americas.

45. Albino redwood trees exist, but they cannot produce their own food, so they are considered parasites, relying on nutrients from neighboring trees.

46Sandbox Tree: Explosive Fruits

Sandbox Tree: Explosive Fruits

The sandbox tree, also known as the 'dynamite tree,' is covered in poison-filled spikes. Its pumpkin-shaped fruits, when ripe, explode and fling seeds at 250 km/h (160 mph).

47. Strangler figs begin their life as a seed on a tree branch, typically left there by an animal. As they grow, their long roots extend down along the trunk of the host tree, eventually engulfing the host tree trunk and cutting off its nutrient and water supply.

48. Ant queens can take over other colonies by killing the reigning queen and bathing in her bodily fluids to avoid detection. Some ants may decorate their homes with the heads of other ant species to mask their own scent, speculating that this behavior is a way to parasitize specific species.

49. After the last bucardo, a wild goat species, died, scientists brought a clone to life, making the bucardo the first species to become de-extinct. The clone died after seven minutes, making it the first species to go extinct twice.

50. Humans are a tropical species. Human evolution has produced bodies adapted to live in hot and humid conditions. Physiologically speaking, our bodies are not adapted to survive in cold-weather environments.

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