13 Surprising Animal Facts
Please enjoy this handful of interesting animal facts – and to make it a little more interesting, see if you can identify the two statements that are FALSE. (Find out which ones are false on page 2.)
1. Houseflies buzz in the key of F.
2. Snow leopards can leap up to 50 feet in a single bound.
3. The longest worm on record is 100 feet long.
4. Only female bees sting.
5. Some elephant trunks are six feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds.
6. Rhinos have unique footprints just like human fingerprints.
7. Some species of bats can shoot blood out of their eyes (autohaemorrhaging) as a defense mechanism.
8. The lower teeth of a mature hippo can be up to 1 1/2 feet long.
9. Opossums enjoy napping on hot days by hanging from tree limbs with their tails.
10. Alligators have three pairs of eyelids. The third pair of eyelids is transparent and act like goggles when the gator is under water.
11. Captive chimps have learned up to 300 signs in American sign language — and a few especially smart chimps scored higher on memory tests than teenagers.
12. Approximately 95% of all animals are invertebrates (animals without backbones).
13. If available, a tiger will scarf down fifty plus pounds in one night – that is equal to about 100 steak dinners.
14. Sea Slugs get their mates in the mood by stabbing them between the eyes with a hypodermic needle-like appendage.
15. A group of Kangaroos is known as a mob. This “mob” can also be referred to as a troop or a herd.
The two statements that are false are #7 and # 9:
Bats cannot shoot blood from their eyes, but four species of horned lizard can – and up to five feet away! The official term for this gross-out feat is autohaemorrhaging. The lizard accomplishes autohaemorrhaging by accumulating extra blood in their heads thus increasing their blood pressure and ultimately rupturing their eyelid vessels.
Opossums do use their prehensile tails to grasp tree branches, but they are too heavy to actually hang by their tails – and even if they could, hanging in the open while napping would not be a very good survival strategy. Unfortunately, the myth that opossums do hang by their tails from trees was further perpetuated by the recent movie Ice Age, where not only cartoon opossums hang by their tails, but one teaches a wooly mammoth to do the same trick!