Page 8 - Animal Facts

Spider legs use hydraulic pressure. When they die their legs curl because the liquid dries up!

Spiders' legs curl up is because a spider uses hydraulic pressure to push liquid into it's legs that allow it to move, and when it dies the liquid drains out making the legs curl up

If you've ever killed a spider (without completely squishing it) or come across one that is already dead, you know that their legs curl up beneath them when they die. You may be too busy being grossed out by this eight-legged creature to wonder just why this is. Human's limbs don't curl inward after they die. So what is going on with this posthumous tendency.

It turns out that spiders' legs are hydraulic. Or more specifically, two of the six joints in their legs are hydraulic. In order to straighten these joints and subsequently their legs, spiders flex their muscles and increase the pressure. When the spider dies, it obviously loses control over it's leg system and relaxes. The legs then curl upward automatically because no pressure is keeping them straightened.


Prong-horned antelope can probably see the rings around Saturn on a clear night!

In 1850 there were 60 million antelope in North America, but they were nearly wiped out along with the Buffalo. There are about a million left today.

Scientists studying prong-horned antelope still know very little about these animals.

What IS known is that the rate they metabolize oxygen at is three and a half times higher than even the most fit human runner.

The pronghorns are the best endurance athletes in the world, according to Stan Lindstedt, a biologist from Arizona. They can maintain a speed of 40 miles an hour for more than an hour!

What is probably the most amazing known fact about these antelope is that they have 10X vision. This means that, on a clear night, these mammals can probably see the rings of Saturn!

Their hearts and lungs are three times bigger than that of other mammals of the same weight. They also have twice as much blood circulating through their bodies, and these animals have no body fat whatsoever.

The only humans believed to have ever managed to exhaust these deer through tracking and ‘chasing’ them were the Tarahumara Indians who would persist until “the creature falls from exhaustion."

This was, however, never witnessed by the person who wrote this account in 1935.


This cute-looking animal can live without drinking any water!

The Sand Cat can live without drinking water and feeds on venomous snakes. It’s safe to say that the Sand Cat the Chuck Norris of the animal world, even if it looks like your run of the mill, internet kitty. Like its name suggest, it’s usually found in desert areas in the arid countries of Northern America, Arabia, and some parts of Central Asia and Pakistan. 

It has distinctive, large ears; all the better to hear you with, in the vast expanses of sandy terrain through which sound doesn’t travel very well. The Sand Cat has mastered the art of adapting its environment; it can literally live without drinking water. Instead, it gets all the fluid it requires from its prey like its cousin the Black-footed Cat (another cute but deadly creature). 

The Sand Cat doesn’t discriminate when it comes to its prey. It eats rodents, insects, birds of all sizes, venomous snakes; if the desert has it, then the Sand Cat eats it. Another reason not to get lost in the desert. 


Some awesome lists!

There's a creature that is actually several animals living together, giving the appearance of a jellyfish!

It’s typically called the Portuguese man o’ war, but its proper name is Physalia physalis. The man o’ war appears to be a jellyfish but is actually a siphonophore, meaning it’s not a single creature but many minute individuals living together. Each individual creature, called a zooid, is highly specialized for a specific purpose essential for the survival of the entire organism and are incapable of surviving independently.

The animal usually lives near the surface of the Pacific and Indian oceans and is moved by the wind, tide, and currents because it is incapable of propulsion. The man o’ war is made up of four types of polyp. One makes the gas-filled bladder, known as the sail, and allows the creature to float. The other three are clustered and make up the tentacles, which can reach up to fifty meters or 165 feet long.

These tentacles are responsible for catching fish and other marine creatures and stinging them with venom until they die. Once the man o’ war has killed its prey, it drags the body into digestive polyps that break down the animal and digest it for nutrients. Although it appears to be one organism, when studied closely this amazing creature is an excellent example of the breadth of natural cooperation for survival.


There’s a tiny animal that can survive in such extreme environments that it could stay alive in space

They’re called tardigrades, but are more commonly known as moss piglets or waterbears. They are small water-dwelling animals with eight legs and their name means “slow walker.” However, what is amazing about these creatures is that they can live in environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures close to absolute zero and as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

They can endure over 1,000 times more radiation than other animals and go over a decade without water. These creatures are so amazing that recent studies have found that even when sent into the vacuum of space they returned alive!



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