Category Archives: Animals

Chickens Were Initially Domesticated for Cockfighting, Not Food

cockfight

Anyone who’s been chased around the yard by a pissed off chicken knows these birds are neither purposeless nor fearful. Descended from some of the fiercest creatures ever to roam the planet, the blood of today’s Gallus domesticus carries all of the pride, courage, fury and viciousness of its ancestors. Harnessing these qualities by the simple expedient of sticking two […]

Read more

The Parasite that Becomes a Tongue

fish-tongue

In warm Pacific waters from the Gulf of California to the Gulf of Guayaquil thrives a parasite that has a very twisted relationship with its host. The Tongue-Eating Louse A member of the family Cymothoidae, the tiny Cymothoa exigua, or tongue eating louse, enters its victim through the gills. Once inside, the female latches onto the base of the fish’s […]

Read more

Elephants Really Do Have Exceptionally Good Memories

elphants

Hannah asks: Do elephants really “never forget”? It is obviously impossible to say that elephants never forget anything- and it seems likely they do forget things- but studies have shown that elephants do have exceptionally long memories for certain types of things. For instance, in 1999, an elephant named Jenny was living at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. When […]

Read more

Why and How a Cat Purrs

happy-cat

Rachel asks: Why and how do cats purr? As any cat owner—or even someone who’s seen a cat—knows, cats often purr when they’re being petted or getting their chin scratched. They also purr when they want food and when they’re eating. Sometimes, they’ll purr as they drift off into sleep. Purring is most known to be a sign that cats […]

Read more

The “Australian” Shepherd Breed was Developed in America

jack

Today I found out the Australian Shepherd breed of dog was developed in the United States, not Australia. The Australian Shepherd is a popular breed throughout the United States, prized for its intelligence and good temperament. However, in spite of its name, the Australian Shepherd does not originate from Australia, but was developed on American soil. The breed was developed […]

Read more

The Amazing Tardigrade- The Toughest Known Creature on Earth and Beyond

targigrade

It is surely the stuff of science fiction: An extraordinary being arrives on Earth that can withstand a tortuous array of conditions: boiling, freezing, tremendous atmospheric pressure, near total dehydration, and exposure to massive amounts of ionizing radiation. While many joke that “cockroaches would be the only thing to survive an extreme global nuclear war”, in fact, cockroaches would not.  […]

Read more

The Bizarre World of Animal Reproduction

hyena-mothers

As weird and whacky as some human mating practices can sometimes be, other animals’ reproductive habits can be even stranger at times.  While one species gives birth through a penis, another’s testicles’ explode after sex. Further, post-coital cannibalism and V-shaped penises are not all that uncommon. We’ll start with the hyena.  Depending on if you notice her udders, the female […]

Read more

The Monkey Artist Hoax

monkey-artist

In 1964, a new avant-garde artist was introduced to the art scene in the Swedish city of Gōteborg. The fresh new artist was Pierre Brassau and his work received rave reviews from critics and art fans alike. Brassau featured four paintings in the 1964 exhibition at Gallerie Christinae, and even sold one “masterpiece” to a collector named Bertil Eklöt for […]

Read more

The Dogs Aboard the Titanic

dog-boat

On April 15, 1912, the legendary, ill-fated ship RMS Titanic sank. It remains, to this day, the most famous disaster in maritime history.  There were approximately 2,223 passengers aboard the ship, of which 1,502 perished. (Some sources site the figures at 2,228, with 1,503 dying.) Besides humans, a dozen dogs were aboard the ship on its luckless maiden voyage.  Just […]

Read more
1 4 5 6 7 8 10