1. Bulls get angry when they see the color red
Surprise! Bulls are actually colorbl.in.d to red and green. What really gets them riled up during a bullfight is the cape’s movement, and they’re more likely to charge at an object that’s moving the most, no matter what color it is. Red became associated with bulls because matadors use a red cape in the final stage of a bullfight. They likely picked the color to hide the b l.o.od after k.i.lling the animal—not to get it angrier.
2. Crocodiles fake tears
The expression “crocodile tears” means insincere emotion or sadness. The saying stems from the fact that crocodiles cry while eating, but there’s more to the story than that. Researchers found that crocodiles do t.ear up when they eat, but for still undetermined biological reasons. One theory is that when crocodiles hiss and huff while eating, air pushed through the nose mixes with tears and empties into the eyes.
3. Giraffes sleep for only 30 minutes a day
Giraffes do have some strange sleeping habits, but they definitely sleep more than the 30 minutes a day rumor. According to research from the European Sleep Research Society, giraffes actually sleep 4.6 hours a day.
4. The king of the jungle is a freeloader
Lions have gotten a bad rap for not helping out their ladies when it comes to hu.nting. But a new study reveals the king of beasts might be doing his share after all. According to NBC News, by combining GPS collars that track lions’ movements with airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) measurements that provide 3-D maps of the landscape and vegetation, the research team was able to reveal that male lions are solitary pre.dat.ors who leap out of thick vegetation to ambush their prey. That’s in contrast to the social hu.nting behaviors of lionesses that hu.nt in packs. And female lions live together for life. Their female cubs also stay with the pride, even after they’re grown, but male cubs must venture out on their own once they reach maturity. So lions may still hu.nt as loners, but they’re far from lazy.
5. Bats are bl.in.d
Contrary to myth, bats aren’t bl.in.d. In fact, research shows that depending on the circumstances, bats sometimes prefer using eyesight to sound when hu.nting. And many fruit bats, which drink nectar rather than hu.nt insects, don’t echolocate at all. These species have particularly sharp vision, and some can even see ultraviolet light. So, the next time you get ready to call someone “bl.in.d as a bat,” you may want to think about the visual capabilities of these nighttime fliers.
6. If you c.u t a worm in half, it will survive as two worms
Earthworms have two distinct ends: a head and a tail. The head is on the end closer to its thick band, and the head can grow a new tail if it’s c.u t below that band. The tail might wiggle for a little bit after you’ve c.u t it, but it won’t be able to grow a new head to create a new worm. There only exception is the planarian flatworm, which can regrow its body even from a slice one three-hundredth of its original size. It can even form a new head, complete with all its old memories, found a 2013 study.
7. Goldfish have a three-second memory
You’ll never look the same way at that goldfish in a baggie again: The poor little guys have a memory span of at least three months, according to researchers at Plymouth University—long enough to remember being t.ra.pped in a sandwich bag. In fact, goldfish may even be able to tell time. By training fish to nudge a lever to get food at certain times of the day, the researchers discovered the fish would hover around the lever as feeding time approached, apparently recalling it was chow time.
8. Chameleons blend in with their surroundings
Many people believe chameleons change colors to disguise themselves and hide from pre.dat.ors. However, chameleons are very fast — many can run up to 21 miles per hour — and can avoid most pre.dat.ors quite easily. Camouflage is thus only a secondary reason why most chameleons change color. Scientists believe that chameleons change color to reflect their moods. By doing so, they send social signals to other chameleons. For example, darker colors tend to mean a chameleon is angry. Lighter colors might be used to attract mates.
Some chameleons also change colors to help their bodies adjust to changes in temperature or light. For example, a chameleon that gets cold might change to a darker color to absorb more heat and warm its body.
9. Felines and canines are colorbl.in.d
Although it was long believed that our furry companions had limited vision and only saw certain colors, it’s not the case. Cats and dogs have much better color eyesight than we thought. Both can see shades of blue and green. In fact, cats have way more light-sensing cells or rods in their eyes than humans do, and that’s why they can see better in low-light situations. Of course that doesn’t explain why they sometimes act that way they do. According to ScienceABC, they have an extra “mirror” layer at the back of their eye behind their retina, which means that the incoming light has two chances to hit the rods. In the human eye, if it misses, the light is absorbed in a black layer behind the retina and is gone forever. Pups have less color-sensing cells in their eyes so their color vision may be only 1/7th as vibrant as ours. According to the American Kennel Club, scientists believe that a dog’s color vision is similar to that of a person who has red–green colorbl.in.dness.
10. Bees can only st.in.g once
Bumble bees and carpenter bees have smooth st.in.gers and are capable of st.in.ging multiple times without d.yi.ng. Fortunately, they are both relatively docile species.
For honey bees, on the other hand, st.in.ging is typically fat.al. This is because, unlike other species, honey bees have barbed st.in.gers. These can get stuck in the skin of animals, including humans. When the bee flies away, the st.in.ger is left behind, effectively d.is.em.bow.eling the insect and causing it to d.i e. Honey bee st.in.gers will continue to pump v.e.no.m into their v.ict i.m after the bee is gone.