Saturday, July 28, 2012

Strange Animal Facts...!

This is a bit off the norm, but it is very fascinating!

Wild and wooly way to start the Saturday! I love these weird things!

1. The tuatara is a lizard-like creature endemic to New Zealand, and it is thought to have existed for at least 200 million years (if you believe in evolution, or 6,000 years if you believe in special creation). The most fascinating aspect of tuataras is their third eye – complete with lens, cornea, rods and nerve tissue connecting it to their brain. This suggests that the eye was a fully functioning eye in times gone by. By six months of age the eye is covered by scales. Tuataras are the only remaining species of the sphenodontia genus.

2. Another fascinating fact about ants is that some species send their queen into neighboring nests, where she will bite the head off the resident queen and begin laying her own eggs to take over.

3. On average, sharks kill 10 humans every year. But here is the thing: approximately 100 people die each year when they are stepped on by cows. Remember that next time you are in a field of cattle.

4. Woodpeckers slam their heads into wood at a rate of 20 pecks per second. What protects them from injury is a spongy area that sits behind their beaks and acts as a shock absorber.

5. In the seventeenth century, when anti-Catholicism and anti-papacy was rife throughout the puritan world, puritans would stuff wicker effigies of the Pope with live cats and then set it on fire – taking much glee in the screaming anguish of the poor cats.

6. Unlike most animals, the word for butterfly in European languages do not resemble each other. In German it is schmetterling, in French it is papillon, in Spanish it is mariposa, in Italian it is farfalla, in Dutch it is vlinder, and in portuguese it is borboleta.

7. To vomit, some frogs spew out their entire stomach, rinse it off with their right hand, and then push it back in.

8. The hoatzin (pronounced watseen) bird is a vegetarian which, due to its strict vegetable diet, has stomachs similar to a cows to help it digest. The need for large amounts of food makes these birds very heavy, and consequently bad fliers.

9. Manatees have two teets beneath their forelimbs, which is very likely to be the cause of the many tales of mermaids heard around the world in the days of great sea voyages.

10. Here is one for all the animal rights activists. The giant tortoise was often killed for its delicious oil, which was considered by the Dutch the only way to make the flesh of the now extinct Dodo bird palatable. The flesh of the giant turtle is sufficient to feed several men and virtually every part of it is a taste sensation (including the bone marrow and eggs).

Over at Listverse where I found this article, they had pictures but I decided against including them here. I haven't had my coffee yet and I wasn't quite ready to face this yet!

Speaking of coffee, let's have ours out on the patio this morning. Hopefully it won't rain!


Sixbears said...

I've watched a nursing manatee close up from in the water. The baby looks like it's nosed into mom's arm pit. Sailors had to be at sea a long long time for that to look like a mermaid.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I like it, but beware of cows.

JOJO said...

Fun facts except for 5. Always fun to learn new facts.

I hope my patio will be set up today. Of course that will depend on the rain also. But I'll come sit with you on yours any day.:)

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
Maybe it was a case of wishful thinking! Pretty ugly mermaid if you ask me!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Dizzy...
I had no idea that cows were the cause of so many deaths!

No wonder cowboys road horses!

Thanks, buddy, for coming over this morning!

Hey JoJo...
Hope you get the patio all set up!

Are ya gonna have a cook-out to celebrate?

You know you are always welcome at my patio table, sweetie! Thanks for the visit today!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Fascinating facts, as usual, HR. The one about the queen ants made me realize that you never want to one and get on the bad side of another. Hope you do get some of that needed rain. Coffee inside will be just as good and the plants will be happier too!

HermitJim said...

Hey Beatrice...
One thing about ants...I don't like 'em! We have a pretty good agreement. I leave them alone and they leave me alone.

So far, it works out pretty good!

Hey, I sure appreciate you coming over today!

The Griper said...

hey, are we talking about strange animals and the facts about them or are we talking about some animals and the strange facts about them? :)

HermitJim said...

Hey Griper...
Reckon we have a little of both in this post, so take your pick!

Bette yet, follow the link to Listverse and read about all the others in the original article!

Thanks for coming by today!

JMD said...

Thanks for not posting the pictures. Gag. Speaking of ants....we think we are built on top of an ant hill. Been after those critters for a year now. Every poison, home remedy, etc. We think they like the challenge.

HermitJim said...

Hey JMD...
I can totally feel your pain, not being able to get rid of the unwanted critters.

Luckily, I haven't had that much of a problem with ants for the past couple of years! Knock on wood!

Thanks for coming over today!