By Paula Alvarado, TreeHugger
Bodies that work with the Earth’s magnetic field to determine location. Female-only societies. Telling whether you’re a friend or a jerk there to make trouble with just one whiff. Homes so efficient they keep one steady temperature all the time. No, we’re not talking about new X-Men or other comic book characters, we’re talking about animals with skills we can only dream of.
These seven animals are way smarter than us — just another reason to pay some respect when we encounter them in the wild.
1. Homing Pigeons
While most humans need several types of maps and a compass to find their way home after a long journey, the homing pigeon can return from extremely long distances (more than 1,100 miles) without any guidance.
Well, as a matter of fact, they do have some help: According to research by the University of Frankfurt, these pigeons have iron-containing structures in their beaks, which help them sense the Earth’s magnetic field independent of their motion and posture, and thus identify their geographical position.
Research results released this year indicate this magnetic charm is present in other birds as well.
Image Credit: digitalART2 / Flickr