With around 8 million different animal species on our planet, it is pretty obvious that there are some beliefs about animals that are totally wrong. So, today we are here to separate facts from fiction and debunk certain ideas and beliefs about animals. Below is the list of the top 10 myths about animals,
Myths About Animals
1. CAMELS STORE WATER IN THEIR HUMPS
Water is scarce in deserts and a camel can survive up to 7 days without a drop of water but this is not because it can store copious amounts of water in its humps. Instead, this is because camels can avoid dehydration largely because they have oval-shaped blood cells. If it is any consolation, the kidneys are the ones which excel at retaining water and the humps are used as a storage for fat. The energy stored in the humps can be used for up to 3 weeks by the camels. It is still one of the most common myths about animals. It is also one of the most useful animals to mankind.
2. BATS ARE BLIND
Often related to witchcraft and black magic, the myth surrounding the bats is that they are blind. They usually come out and hunt at night which fuels this belief. This is absolutely not true as bats have eyes and it is just that they have poor vision. But this hindrance is compensated with its exceptional sense of smell and hearing. In addition to this, bats are capable of using echo-location and sonar abilities to sense what is in front of them. They are so good at this that they are sometimes considered better than the military-grade sonar system.
3. LEMMINGS COMMIT SUICIDE
The fabricated story surrounding lemmings is actually that they commit mass suicides jumping off cliffs and mountains. This myth is both legendary and longstanding. In a 1958 Disney documentary, White Wilderness, there was a footage where large groups of lemmings jump to death from a cliff. Many years later, it was found that they did not actually jump off a cliff but instead launched off with the help of a turntable and that it was all staged. The fact about lemmings is that they actually migrate to a faraway place in large groups every 4 years or so. They would have jumped into the water and swim for immeasurable distances and due to exhaustion and other factors they would die but they were never really committed suicides.
4. DOGS CAN ONLY SEE BLACK AND WHITE AND NO OTHER COLOUR
Dogs can definitely see colours but it’s just that it is not as wide as the human spectrum. Apart from black and white, dogs can recognize grey, blue, violet and yellow among other colours. It would be better if you say dogs are green-blind. According to a research study, it is proven that dogs have both cones and rods but they have two cones whereas we humans have three. If dogs had no cones, then it would be appropriate to say they can see only black and white. Also, read about shortest living dog breeds in the world.
5. A MOTHER BIRD REJECTS ITS YOUNG ONES WHEN THEY ARE TOUCHED BY HUMANS
This statement simply isn’t true. The reality is that birds have a very limited sense of smell and the negligible scent left by a human will definitely go unnoticed. The actual truth is that the parents are very caring and devoted towards their young ones and they won’t throw their children just because of a scent! Younglings are left alone to learn to fly by the mother birds and this myth is probably to keep away people from disturbing or harming the young ones.
6. OSTRICH BURIES ITS HEAD IN SAND WHEN IT IS AFRAID
This fantasy tale arises from the fact that ostriches dig deep holes for their nests and to keep the eggs warm. This also keeps away the predators who cannot see them. One of the fastest land animals, ostriches may be seen looking and tending to the eggs several times a day. So, from a far distance, it looks like the ostrich has its head buried in the sand. Another interesting fact is that when it is frightened the ostrich tends to run away from its eggs and hence taking the predators away from the eggs and since speed is an ostrich’s forte it runs away from the predator and comes to back to make sure the eggs are safe.
7. A GOLDFISH HAS A 3-SECOND MEMORY
There is a mainstream belief that a goldfish has a 3-second memory. This statement cannot be more false. Movies like Finding Nemoin which the protagonist is a goldfish have a short-term memory and this has further fuelled the speculation. Researchers have found that goldfishes have a minimum of past three month’s memory and if properly taught they can remember things from the past year! So this proves that every lap of their fishbowl is not really like seeing the world for the first time.
8. ALPHA WOLF! THE LEADER OF THE WOLFPACK
The Alpha wolf or the leader of the wolf pack will not necessarily fight and dominate his way into the crown by defeating other alpha wolves. It simply does not work that way! Though the word ‘Alpha’ is used everywhere right now, it’s not really true with the wolves. Frankly, it is same as with the human hierarchy. The most elder male is the leader of the pack and the rest listen or follow what he says. So, when the eldest wolf dies, the ‘alpha’ position is assumed by the next eldest male wolf and so on.
9. BULLS HATE THE COLOR RED
Actually, they don’t. Bulls are actually colour blind to red and green. The idea that bulls hate red came from the fact that matadors using red capes. Bulls do not hate red but they are provoked by the movements of the cape and matador. Even with all the facts, it is still commonly believed that bulls hate the red colour. It is one of the most common myths about animals.
10. OWLS ARE THE WISEST AMONG BIRDS
It is commonly seen in children stories and folklore that owls are the wisest. But the truth is, owls are placed on the lower-end of the intelligence list among birds. They give the impression of being wise with their overly large eyes and the thoughtful look, but hey, do not judge a book by its cover. Barn Owl is one of the most beautiful nocturnal animals in the world.
So, these are the myths about animals you should be aware of.