Page 3 - Animal Facts

When you pet a cat and it lifts its behind, it is inviting you to sniff its anal glands!


Cats have over 30 different sounds to relay their feelings. Cats are sociable and mix with other cats constantly. They don’t live in packs like dogs do. They use very subtle and complex body language and speak with each other. 

There are at least 25 different visual signals used in 16 different combinations used by cats to intercommunicate. The main goal when they use body language is to avoid or end physical confrontation. The body language is broken down into parts- the head, the body, and the tail. 

They must be seen as a whole, though, to understand what the cat is trying to communicate. The eyes, mouth, and ears must also be paid close attention to. Most cat owners adapt and learn some of what their cat is trying to communicate through body language. 

No one understands it all, though. Interestingly, when a cat lifts its behind after you pet it, it is inviting you to sniff its anal glands. It is a way of being friendly and inviting you to be close with them and get to know them. 

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Magpies hold funerals for their dead.


Dr. Bekoff, a professor at the University of Colorado, studied magpies and managed to elaborate on one very strange phenomenon.

Bekoff said the funeral-like rituals the magpies hold prove that the birds normally seen as aggressive have a compassionate side!

Magpies aren't unique in this behavior in the animal kingdom. Gorillas, elephants, and dolphins have all been noted to mourn the dead.
What magpies typically do when they discover a corpse is first peck at it to make sure it is dead. Then they fly off to find grass and lay it by the corpse.
After that, the magpies will stand by the dead one for a few moments before flying off. It's pretty bizarre, but it shows that, at the very least, magpies do react to the deaths of others.

The Venus flytrap is only found natively within a 60 mile radius of Wilmington, North Carolina.


Venus flytraps are the man-eating plants we all know and love from horror movies and perhaps nightmares.

They don’t actually eat humans, though. They feed on beetles, spiders and other crawling arthropods. Perhaps more interesting than their diet, however, is their habitat.

The Venus flytrap doesn’t grow many places naturally. In fact, it’s found natively only in North and South Carolina in the United States, specifically within a 60-mile radius of Wilmington, North Carolina!

They have been found naturally in northern Florida as well.

This doesn’t mean those are the only places the plant will grow. It’s hard to grow a Venus flytrap, but not that hard. It has been successfully transplanted and grown in many locales around the world. There is now an introduced population in western Washington State.

Venus flytraps are a very popular as cultivated plants, but have a reputation for being difficult to grow. It’s not surprising that people want a plant that actually eats insects! This is such a fascination that many growers remove the plants flowering stem early, as flowering consumes some of the plant's energy, and reduces the rate of trap production.

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Some awesome lists!

Elephants can distinguish different human languages and know which ones belong to people with a history of confrontation with elephants


Elephants are known as one of the more intelligent animals out there. The phrase “memory like an elephant” didn’t start from nowhere, after all.

We already knew that they could distinguish between different groups of people by their clothes and smells, but a recent study has shown that they can actually do this with sound too.

The researchers took recordings of two tribes in Africa; one who hunted elephants and one who didn’t. When they played these recordings to 47 elephant families, the results suggested that the elephants reacted more defensively to the hostile tribe.

Not only that, but the elephants knew that men were more dangerous than women. The voices of woman and young boys from the peaceful tribe made the elephants react even less than the man from that tribe.

Most intriguingly, the researchers noted that elephant families led by matriarchs more than 42 years old never retreated when they heard the voices of boys, but those led by younger matriarchs retreated roughly 40% of the time. This means that it’s likely that elephants learn to better distinguish threats as they age.

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Australian Koalas are in danger of extinction because over half of them have chlamydia


Koalas live between 13 to 18 years in the wild. Males tend to not live near as long as the females due to their lives being more hazardous. They can all be subject to pathogens like chlamydia, too.

Among many issues it can cause reproductive tract infection. The infection easily spreads to mainland areas and the koala retrovirus can cause Koala Immune Deficiency Syndrome which is similar to AIDS. Koalas are close to extinction in Australia and a good portion of the reason is from diseases like chlamydia. Another portion is due to poaching the animals.

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