Lions, Tigers, and Bears — Oh My!: Interesting Facts About the Animal Kingdom

by | Feb 11, 2022 | Animal World | 0 comments

Unbeknownst to most humans, the world is so vastly biodiverse. The animal kingdom alone has over 7 million different species. And within those 7 million species are animals with such amazing characteristics that animal enthusiasts have noticed. These animals are so unique and unforgettable that many volumes are written about them, like that one book about most unique mammals by Geigert

Below are some of the more interesting facts about the animal kingdom:

  1. The loudest animal in the world is only between 2 and 4cm long. 

That’s right. The loudest animal in the world is the 2cm to 4cm long pistol shrimp. The pistol shrimp has one relatively large claw that fires a bubble bullet to produce a shockwave of up to 230 decibels. That is around 60 decibels higher than an actual gunshot. The pistol shrimp builds up a ton of pressure in their claw and then fires a bubble at over 100 feet per second. The speed is so fast that the bubble bullet vaporizes the water around it, making it 8,000 degrees hotter. They use it to kill their prey. These shrimp also can re-grow their “gun” arm should it get damaged. There is no need for concern, though, as these shrimp are not harmful to humans and only shoot small fish. And they are so small that their bubble bullets won’t do much damage to humans. 

  1. Koala fingerprints are identical to human fingerprints.

Police in Australia were afraid that koala fingerprints might have misled some criminal investigations. Human and koala fingerprints are so identical that even seasoned investigators could mistake koala fingerprints for human fingerprints and be led on a wild goose chase to look for a human match. 

Their fingerprints help koalas choose just the right eucalyptus leaves to eat. And they help koalas grip onto trees as well. Humans use fingerprints the same way: for gripping and enhancing the sense of touch. What makes the fact that human and koala fingerprints are identical noteworthy is that evolution-wise, koalas are pretty distant from humans. Those cartoons with criminal Koalas actually make sense now. 

  1. Dolphins like getting high

There are videos over the internet showing a group of young dolphins “playing” with a pufferfish. One dolphin would put the pufferfish in its mouth and gently chew on it before passing it off to their other dolphin friends. To the unsuspecting eye, it looks like a bunch of dolphins playing football. But what they are doing is agitating the pufferfish enough to cause them to deploy their defense mechanism: release a deadly toxin. This toxin is powerful enough to kill a person. But to dolphins, it has a hallucinogenic effect. Like an underwater doobie. 420, man!

  1. African gray parrots are selfless.

Despite the bad rap they get from Hollywood associating them with pirates, real-life African gray parrots are capable of selflessness. A 2020 study found that African grey parrots help each other in obtaining food rewards, even if these parrots aren’t friends. And when one parrot helps the other, reciprocity occurs once the opportunity presents itself. This study showed that selflessness is intrinsic to African gray parrots. It looks like humans can learn a few things from these little guys. 

  1. Caribbean sperm whales have an accent.

Accents are not exclusive to humans. In a paper published in the Royal Society Open Science, researchers found evidence that sperm whales in the Caribbean have a different “accent” compared to other whales populating other oceans. The whale language is composed of clicks and pauses, comparable to human words or letters. Whales use them as a way to communicate with each other. The stretches of clicks and pauses are called codas. 

The researchers studied nine groups of whales for six years. They found that whales in the Caribbean use a particular coda that sperm whales in other oceans don’t. It would be interesting to find out what whales talk about with each other. 

  1. Tasmanian devils make lifelong friendships.

Baby Tasmanian devils can have best friends. These cute little babies form bonds while young, and these bonds last throughout their lives. They even have sleepovers like human children do. It would be wonderful to be invited to a Tasmanian devil sleepover. Though what pajamas to wear to their sleepover is a tough decision. 

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