The sheer size and variety of the animal kingdom means there are plenty of interesting facts about animals many people simply don’t know. With millions of years of evolution behind them, coupled with the fact that creatures live in a variety of different environments, it should come as no surprise that there are lots of animal facts that sound fake.
Whether it is the seemingly depressing lives some creatures live or the crazy behavior they rely on to attract mates, you’ll certainly be surprised by these amazing animal facts. There are even some pieces of information that correct common myths or misunderstandings about living things still believed to this day. Whatever you think you know about animals, chances are you're about to learn something new.
Mammals that live in the water have a unique problem in that they have to come to the surface regularly in order to breathe. Dolphins have seemingly come up with a unique way of addressing this issue. They are able to stay awake and active for extended periods of time by only allowing half of their brain to sleep. Researchers found that they didn’t become exhausted after 15 days of continuous activity despite the fact that other animals would have had to sleep at some point. They effectively give one half of their brain a rest and sleep with just one eye closed, allowing them to stay alert for potential threats and travel to the surface of the water for oxygen.
Ever since they were first discovered in the 1700s, tardigrades have been considered one of the hardiest of all earth's creatures. They can survive an incredible range of temperatures, including just one degree above absolute zero and a staggering 150°C. They are capable of repairing their DNA, allowing them to live without water for decades in a state of suspended animation, only coming back to life when they make contact with water. Researchers have even found that they can survive the vacuum of space without any harm coming to them.
The antechinus is an Australian mammal that closely resembles a common mouse. When they reach one year of age they suddenly stop producing sperm as they prepare for their mating season. With no way to create more sperm, the creatures have to spend the next few weeks having sex as much as possible in order to pass on their genes as they will not get another chance. This forces them to do almost nothing other than mating – something which completely exhausts them. In fact, the constant mating causes their immune system to fail as their bodies are filled with so much testosterone. They literally begin to fall apart as infections ravage their defenseless bodies.
Armadillos Often Give Birth To Identical Quadruplets
The distinctive female reproductive system of nine-banded armadillos has a rather strange quirk: the animals almost always give birth to sets of identical quadruplets. This is because armadillos only produce a single egg that then splits into four parts after being fertilized. The exact reason for why this happens has never been fully explained, though some researchers believe it may help stop interbreeding if the quadruplets are all the same sex as they would not be able to mate.