Category Archives: Animals

Did Unicorns Ever Exist?

Kara asks: Did unicorns ever exist? On November 30, 2012, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s government “news” agency, reported that scientists had “reconfirmed” the existence and location of the final resting place of the unicorn ridden by King Dongmyeong, the founding father of Goguryeo of an ancient Korean kingdom. The unicorn’s grave was located under a rock near […]

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Seagulls Will Not Blow Up if They Eat Alka-Seltzer

Seagulls, or gulls depending on how much you dislike syllables, are considered a pest to many, a minor, avoidable annoyance to many more and the harbingers of death OH GOD LOOK AT THEIR COLD DEAD EYES! to my neighbour who doesn’t get out much.  Over the years, there has been a persistent and rather macabre urban myth circulating that gulls […]

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Robins Can See Magnetic Fields, But Only In One Eye

Despite its unassuming looks and gentle temperament, the humble red breasted robin (Erithacus rubecula) boasts a superhero-like ability. They can see magnetic fields, giving them an almost perfect sense of direction. Just to be clear, we don’t mean that a robin can sense the Earth’s magnetic field or something like that as many other birds can, it can literally see […]

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WWII Files: Pigeon-Guided Missiles and Bat Bombs

Today I found out about Project Pigeon and Project X-Ray, WWII plans to use pigeons to guide missiles and (literal) bat bombers. The man behind Project Pigeon was famed American behaviorist and Harvard professor B.F. Skinner, who teamed with the U.S. Army to develop such a system.  Pigeons were trained using operant conditioning, a type of learning pioneered by Skinner […]

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What’s Wrong with Giant Pandas?

With the possible exception of boozy, reckless ingénues, there is no animal more bent on its own ruin than the giant panda. With its low population (only 1600 remain in the wild and 300 in captivity) and self-destructive lifestyle, giant pandas are in danger of extinction. Luckily, scientists and conservationists are hard at work unlocking the secrets of panda behavior […]

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Do Moths Really Eat Clothes?

Gracen asks: Do moths really eat clothes? The common “clothes moth”, “clothing moth” or to give its street name, Tineola bisselliella, doesn’t actually eat clothes. In fact, clothing moths don’t even possess the ability to eat- they don’t have a mouth. Once they become a moth, rather than waste their time eating, they simply mate, the female lays her eggs, […]

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Whales Don’t Spray Water Out of Their Blowholes Nor are Their Throats and Blowhole Connected

Myth: Whales spray water out of their blowholes. Contrary to what you may have seen in such movies as Pixar’s otherwise extremely entertaining Finding Nemo, whales don’t  spray water out of their blowholes.  Further, the whale’s trachea doesn’t connect to the esophagus of the whale; so when Dory and Marlin went down the whale’s throat, in real life, they’d have […]

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