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18 Fun Facts About Some of the Most Adorable and Curious Animals

There are so many curious and wonderful creatures on this planet with us. But there is so much that many of us don’t know about them. Animals can really surprise us and have some amazing skills. From animal soulmates to names and intelligence — there are so many stunning facts out there about all different kinds of animals.

That’s why Bright Side has collected these facts about the most curious animals. We hope you learn something new and are surprised at the amazing things that creatures on our planet can do.

1. Most penguins are monogamous.

Most penguins do indeed stay with the same partner for life. And they even propose! Male penguins present the female with a pebble, and if she accepts, they mate for life. These types of penguins use pebbles to build their nests, as they live on rocky shores. During courtship, the male gives the female a pebble as a gift, and if she accepts, she uses it, and they continue building the nest together.

2. Dolphins basically have names.

Dolphins communicate using whistles. An analysis of whistles has shown that they can indeed name each other. They use distinct whistles to call other dolphins, who reply in turn.

3. Elephants can’t jump.

They can run fast — up to 15 miles per hour, in fact — but they can’t jump. This is because of their weight, and they have pretty weak leg muscles and inflexible ankles. In order to jump, animals need strong Achilles tendons and calf muscles.

4. Crocodiles are really sensitive.

Crocodiles have small sensory bumps all over their body to help detect changes in water pressure, but they also help them detect movement in the water when they are hunting. Their faces and possibly their entire bodies are covered with these tiny bumps, which are touch sensors. So a crocodile’s face might be more sensitive than a human fingertip.

5. Rhinos are related to horses.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at them, as many people assume that rhinos’ closest relatives are hippos. But that isn’t the case. In fact, one of the rhinos’ closest genetic relations is, in fact, horses. Donkeys and zebras are also in this same genetic family, showing how this “family” has evolved to adapt to different environments.

6. The narwhal’s horn is actually a tooth.

People think the narwhal is like a unicorn, but its “horn” is just a tooth that grows outside its mouth. Males usually have this tusk that can grow as long as 10 feet. In fact, it has up to 10 million nerve endings inside, so it’s extremely sensitive.

7. Male bats sing.

Male bats sing intricate “love songs” to attract a mate. In fact, it has been discovered that they use a defined grammar and order of syllables in their songs. This is very unusual in mammals and makes them almost closer to bird songs than anything else.

8. Gorillas are incredibly strong.

In fact, they can lift up to 10 times their own weight — so while we may share a lot of DNA with gorillas, they are more powerful than any human. Fully grown Silverback gorillas are stronger than 20 adult humans combined. They can lift 4,000 lb on a bench press and even have a stronger bite force than lions.

9. Prairie dogs kiss.

Prairie dogs touch their mouths as a greeting. They also sometimes touch tongues. The kissing is often accompanied by other loving behavior, like cuddling, playing, or grooming each other. Scientists also discovered that they do it more in zoos when people are watching, as they enjoy the attention.

10. Hippos spend time in water because of their dry skin.

The reason hippos spend so much time in water is that their unusually dry skin needs to be hydrated. They spend up to 16 hours a day in water to keep their skin cool and moist. When they are not in the water though, they “sweat” this oily red substance, which is actually a skin moistener and sunblock.

11. Llamas are really sociable.

Llamas especially love being sociable with people they know, as well as with groups of other llamas and alpacas. Llamas don’t actually like to live alone. They are even gaining popularity as a pet because of their reputation as being like dogs and wanting to be your friend.

12. Lions sleep a lot.

In fact, male lions sleep up to 20 hours a day. Female lions tend to sleep 15-18 hours a day, as they spend more time hunting and caring for cubs, so they get slightly less sleep. As they are predators, they don’t have to worry about their safety. They reserve their energy for hunting at night.

13. Monkeys and apes can do math.

They understand written numbers and can count, solve puzzles and do basic addition. Some clever monkeys and apes can even do multiplication. Scientists have been really interested in investigating this, not just because of how clever they are, but because it sheds light on how humans understand numbers.

14. Tigers are good at doing impressions.

Tigers mimic the sounds of other animals. They do this when they are hunting, which makes them very effective predators. They imitate the call of a prey animal, for instance, to lure the animal to them so they can hunt it.

15. Polar bears aren’t actually white.

Polar bears actually have black skin and their fur has no white pigment but is translucent — it just looks white when reflected by the sun. This translucent fur is an advantage as it allows them to camouflage in the Arctic environment. They also have a thick layer of body fat to insulate them while swimming and a double layer of fur to keep them warm from cold Arctic winds.

16. Flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp.

Flamingos are actually white, but the shrimp they eat makes them turn pink. Beta-carotene, a red-orange pigment found in the shrimp and algae they eat is deposited in their feathers and skin. So the darker pink the flamingo, the more well-fed they are.

17. Koalas have fingerprints.

And they are actually indistinguishable from human fingerprints — even scientists can’t find the difference. Fingerprints are useful so they can grip trees and also because they increase the sensitivity of the fingers. For koalas, they are picky eaters, and their sensitive fingertips allow them to inspect their food before they eat it.

18. Sloths can hold their breath longer than dolphins.

Sloths are very slow animals. And this is no different in the water. They can slow their breathing and heart rate, so they can stay underwater for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, dolphins have to come up for air every 10 minutes.

What is your favorite animal? Which of these facts surprised you the most? Do you know any fun animal facts?

Preview photo credit Shutterstock.com, Shutterstock.com
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