Top 10 crazy animal facts

1. Hens can spontaneously become roosters

While rare in the animal world, spontaneous sex changes do happen.

Clowfish, for instance, change from male to female as part of their mating process.

The typical hen-to-rooster transition starts with an end to egg-laying and continues with behavioural changes and physical traits.

The hen starts strutting and crowing, gains weight and grows rooster wattles, dark feathers and a cockscomb.

2. Racoons sometimes wash food before eating

With access to a constant water source, racoons practice a dunking ritual that removes filth from their meal.

For instance, a racoon will hold a halfeaten apple with its front paws and repeatedly dunk it in the water while continuously rotating it.

3. A bald eagle nest can weigh two tons

Bald eagles build their nests in trees, just like most other birds, but the difference is that bald eagle nests can actually break those same trees.

The average nest is 1.5 metres in diameter and 1.8 metres deep.

However, a nest with a diameter of 2.9 metres and a depth of 6 metres was found in the US in the 1960s.

It weighed over 2.2 tons.

The thing is bald eagles tend to use the same nest year after year and keep adding branches, feathers, twigs and moss.

4. Leeches have 300 teeth

Most people would be amazed to learn that those boneless wormy forms that basically seem to have no hard components can have up to 300 razor-sharp teeth, without which they would not be able to suck blood.

5. Butterflies taste with their feet

Butterflies have tiny receptors on their legs that resemble the taste buds found in human mouths.

Only difference is butterflies’ receptors are believed to be 200 times stronger.

Butterflies use them to check for toxins in potential egg-laying sites.

For instance, when a female butterfly lands on a plant, she tastes it and finds out if it could be dangerous for her offspring.

If her receptors do not pick up anything wrong, she knows it is safe to raise her caterpillars there.

6. A green anaconda could in theory swallow a man

Even though there are no confirmed cases of anyone being eaten by an anaconda, the truth is they could still eat a human, considering what they typically eat.

Some of their meals include wild pigs and fish, but also caimans, deer and jaguars.

Some deer are between 2.1 and 2.4 metres and can weigh up to 136 kilograms, which means they are larger than the average man with a weight of 88 kilograms and a height of 1.7 metres.

7. Dachshunds can be more aggressive than pit bulls

It may be counterintuitive to think so, because of their big size, but pit bulls are some of the nicest dogs out there.

They just happen to have ridiculously strong jaws.

A study carried out at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 analysed the behaviour of thousands of dogs from 33 breeds and found out that 20 per cent of the dachshunds had either bitten or tried to bite strangers and 6 per cent had bitten or tried to bite their owners, compared to 7 per cent and 2 per cent of pit bulls.

8. African wild dogs care for their elderly

African wild dogs live in packs that function as actual families.

In fact, pack members stay together for their entire lives and no wild dog goes hungry or gets left behind.

When the pack makes a kill, everybody gets to eat, including those that did not participate in the hunt.

After eating, the young dogs seek out very old pack members and regurgitate some of the kill in their snouts to feed them.

9. Dogs are not that much into hugging

Contrary to popular belief, dogs actually do not enjoy being hugged as much as humans and other primates do.

Canines tend to interpret putting a limb over other animals as a sign of dominance.

10. Cats can sleep for 70 per cent of their lives

The average cat sleeps approximately 16 hours a day, which equates to 70 per cent of their lives.

In fact, cats sleep more than any other mammal in the animal kingdom bedsides bats and opossums.

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