Sometimes it’s hard to separate fact from fiction, especially with the many myths that involve animals. Their behavior can certainly be mysterious to say the least, so it’s no wonder that some of these creatures have become the focal point of speculation. Take a peek at these 10 animal myths and discover which ones are actually true and which are merely urban legend.
10. An Elephant Never Forgets
This expression likely stemmed from the fact that the elephant has the biggest brain of all land animals — and apparently, the bigger the mass, the better the memory. Elephants are able to retain a mental map of their entire home range — we’re talking an area the size of Rhode Island! Elephants also travel in packs and when the group gets too big, the eldest daughter breaks off to start her own contingent, yet she never forgets her roots. One researcher witnessed a mother and daughter elephant recognizing each other after 23 years of separation. MYTH VERDICT: TRUE
Image credit: sarahemcc via Flickr
9. Crocodiles Are Crybabies
Terence Trent D’arby sang about crocodile tears in his hit song “Wishing Well,” but the phrase that implies expressing fake emotion actually comes from an ancient fable that crocodiles weep while both luring and killing their prey. In reality, crocodiles can’t chew, so they are forced to rip their food into chunks and swallow them whole. As luck would have it, the glands that keep their eyes moist are right near their throats, so their eating habits actually force tears into their eyes. MYTH VERDICT: TRUE
8. March Hares Are Mad
The expression “Mad as a March Hare” may be foreign to many, except for those who spent a lot of time hobnobbing during the 1500s when the saying first came into fashion. Back then, “mad” meant crazy or wild, and this could certainly be used to describe the behavior that was commonly exhibited by the normally shy and quiet hare during the spring mating season (which in Europe primarily meant the month of March). Their odd conduct included boxing with potential paramours, but contrary to early belief, it was the female throwing the one-two punch. MYTH VERDICT: TRUE