“Let us remember that animals are not mere resources for human consumption. They are splendid beings in their own right, who have evolved alongside us as co-inheritors of all the beauty and abundance of life on this planet”
Marc Bekoff, Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respect
Every species of animal (including humans) is unique and gifted in its own way. From the navigational abilities of a honey bee to the loving care of a mother whale, our fellow animals are awe inspiring, to say the least.
Did you know that each dolphin has a uniquely identifying signature whistle? Or that cows are able to smell odors that may be five or six miles away?
Read on and learn about some of the amazing traits and knowledge that our fellow animals possess!
Elephants can smell water up to three miles away. They live in matriarchal societies with strong social bonds that endure for decades. Elephants grieve at the death of a family member or friend. Touching is an important form of communication among elephants (Individuals greet each other by stroking or wrapping their trunks.)
An elephant’s trunk is a multi-tasking instrument used for breathing, syphoning and spraying water, smelling, touching, grasping and making sound. An elephant can lift up to 770 pounds with her trunk, but it can also be used for delicate tasks like wiping an eye. When under water, an elephant uses his or her trunk as a snorkel.
If you put a honey bee in school they would ace physical ed, geography and geometry! That’s because honey bees dance to communicate important information, such as where food or a new home can be found. Scientists have decoded these dances to discover that honey bees know the world is round (they probably knew it long before we did) and can calculate precise angles as well (which is very helpful when you’re giving a fellow honey bee directions.)
Hummingbirds have wings that beat up to 200 times a second. They are also the only birds able to hover, and they can fly backwards and even upside down!
Dolphins are known to show altruism. They will stay with injured or ill pod mates, even helping them to breathe by bringing them to the surface if needed. This altruism is not limited to members of their own species, but has crossed species boundaries throughout time. They have preformed such heroic tasks as protecting humans from sharks and guiding a sperm whale and her calf out of shallow water to safety. Each dolphin has a uniquely identifying signature whistle, much like an individual name.
Dolphin clicks are among the loudest sounds made by marine animals. Although they lack vocal cords, these sounds are produced using six air sacs near their blowholes.
A dog can identify a sound’s location much faster than a human can, as well as hear sounds four times farther away than humans. Dogs have a sense of smell ranging from 100,000 to 1,000,000 times more sensitive than a human’s; 100 million times greater in bloodhounds. To locate a smell, a dog uses his/her wet nose to determine the direction of the air current that contains the smell they are following.
Cows are devoted mothers and have been known to walk for miles to find their calves. Cows have almost total 360-degree panoramic vision. They also have an excellent sense of smell and are able to detect odors 5-6 miles away. They can also hear both high and low frequency sounds beyond human capability.
The oldest cow on record, Big Bertha, was born in Ireland, and died three months shy of her 49th birthday. An average cow‘s natural lifespan is 20-25 years.
Lobsters can live up to 60 years. They grow throughout their lifespan, and are able to add new muscle cells at each molt. They can stay mobile, agile and fertile as they age and older lobsters may in fact be more fertile than younger lobsters. This is possibly because of a special enzyme they produce that repairs DNA sequences.