Nature is full of wandering creatures that will never cease to amaze us.
From suicide bombing termites to dogs using their snout to tell the time, here’s seven amazing fun facts about animals you might not have known before.
Dogs can smell the passage of time
It’s no secret that dogs can detect smells a thousand times better than humans.
But apart from sniffing for the fragrance of other living objects, they can also use their cute snouts to detect yet another category: the time itself.
Or more precisely, dogs can detect the passage of time. According to researcher and author Alexandra Horowitz, dogs can detect the changes in smells over the day. Which means that if you live in a regular regime, dogs can adjust it just because of the change of the smell over time.
For instance, if you leave your house in the morning, your order is slowly vanishing from your home over the days.
Your dog can then tell when the amount of your odour reaches the level when you usually get back home, which kicks in the feeling of anticipation for them. Live in a regular way, and the dog will.
Termites can deliberately explode to protect their colony
Die for the queen or die trying. If you thought that suicide bombing is just a human thing, then you should take a look in the natural kingdom.
However, in contrast to humans, animal suicide bombers sacrifice themselves for a truly altruistic reason.
According to Robert Hanus, from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague, Certain types of termites found in French Guiana use this strategy to protect their colonies from invaders.
Old members of their complex society grow sacks of toxic blue liquid overtime. If the danger emerges, they explode not only to harm the enemies but also to block the route to the nest for other invaders, which is making them the true martyrs.
Horses can't vomit
Majestic creatures that used to make traveling way more easier for humans lack a handy ability that could have saved their life in case of poisoning.
In contrast to humans and other mammals, horses can’t vomit.
It’s because they have a strong lower esophageal sphincter that prevents food from coming up.
Attached to their stomach, it gives food and water a strong push to proceed to the belly.
But its strength makes the whole process one-way only.
Ants can recognize themselves in the mirror
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the strongest of them all?
Another super-altruistic animal that dedicates its short life to its community isn’t as selfless as it might appear.
According to a paper published in the Journal of Science, ants are able to recognize their reflection in the mirror.
In an experiment, the researchers observed a situation in which ants were looking through a transparent glass to another section of their nest.
They compared it to the scenario in which the animals were looking in the mirror. And they realized that the behavior of the individuals was completely different.
The ability to recognize oneself in the mirror is rare in the animal kingdom. Only a few species have shown the ability, among which are bonobos, dolphins, magpies, or even elephants.
But if you are a dog or cat person, I might have bad news for you. Nor cats or dogs seem to recognize themselves in the mirror.
Even though speculations have emerged, they are able to determine themselves by their odor, as it’s their primary sense overall.
Elephants have a special word for humans
Elephants are without a doubt majestic creatures that never cease to surprise. But these giants also have a quality almost no other species on the planet has.
Apart from their long memory and even the predisposition to learn how to draw and recognize their reflection in the mirror, elephants also have a complex communication system.
They use a vocal sound similar to the one of a trumpet, as well as non-verbal communication. Besides, they can also use vibrations of the ground to transfer signals to the herd.
Interestingly, elephants also have a special vocal signal for “humans” meaning that they do know a thing or two about us.
Hummingbirds can fly backward and upside down
The tiny hummingbirds belong to some of the most interesting creatures that live on our planet. And that’s one of the reasons why Squeekly has chosen the animal as our mascot!
Apart from being able to see colors people can’t even imagine, they happen to be the only bird species in the world able to fly backward as well as upside down.
It’s because of the unique structure of their wings. They have a ball and socket joint in their shoulder that allows them to rotate the wings 180 degrees.
Cats cannot taste sweet flavor
All the nine lives of cats can turn to be quite bitter. In contrast to other mammals, cats, lions, tigers and other felines don’t have taste buds that could tell sugar.
The animals simply didn’t evolve all five taste determination senses as humans have. People can tell five different flavors: salt, bitter, sour, sweet, and umami.
For cats, it’s the umami and saltiness of their preys’ blood that makes it for the day.