Page 7 - Animal Facts

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.


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.


There are venomous fish!

The world’s most venomous fish (not to be confused with the most poisonous fish) is the Synanceia or Stonefish. The stonefish is a fish with sharp fins that can pierce skin and deliver a deadly venom. Stonefish stings are painful, cause swelling, and sometimes they require amputations if not treated quickly enough. A large enough dosage of the venom can even kill someone.

Stonefish get their name because they look like stones. People have stepped on them without even noticing them. This is bad, because they can sting through your shoes.

Some awesome lists!

Brown bears in Russia have become addicted to gasoline fumes and they go to great lengths to get their next 'fix'!

Addiction is not an affliction exclusive to humans. There are brown bears in the east of Russia that like to get high too!

The Kronotsky Nature Reserve in South Kamchatka, is home to more than 700 brown bears and those guys are some of the largest brown bears in the world.

These bears have been seen sniffing at recklessly discarded oil cans containing kerosene and gasoline. They are obviously attracted by the strong scent of these products.

The bears would find these containers and inhale the fumes for minutes at a time until they get so high that they eventually fall over and pass out. They have become so addicted that they will go searching for a ‘fix'!

If they can’t find containers lying around, they resort to stalking helicopters.

The helicopters leave drops of fuel behind after landing. The bears will go and sniff the drops of fuel in a desperate attempt to get high.

These findings could possibly give researchers a clearer insight into the nature of addiction and also reveal information about the presence of addiction in nature, but obviously there is great concern for the well-being of these bears.

Unfortunately they have now been exposed to an addictive substance and there is no clear indication of how they will be helped to recover.


Spiders aren't just hiding in the corners of your home--they are parachuting from the skies!

It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's a—terrifying spider!

That's right, as if spiders weren't scary enough, now they're flying all over the place.

It's a technique called ballooning, or kiting, and spiders or any small invertebrates use it to get around.

Any small enough species of spider or spiderling will climb as high as possible, stand on its hind legs with an abdomen up, and then release several silk threads into the air from its spinnerets.

The silk threads act as a parachute and lift the spider into the air on an updraft, or uses the Earth's static electric field in windless conditions.

The good news is that spiders heavier than 1 milligram won't generally participate in ballooning due to their weight. It's also relatively dangerous to the spider, with plenty of deaths in the ballooning process, which means adult spiders will avoid doing it.

Still, the thought of thousands of tiny, baby spiders flying through the air is a terrifying. Watch the skies!



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