Page 8 - Animal Facts

Cows have "best friends" and lower stress rates when they are penned with them


Before you bite into that next burger, you may want to stop and think about the life of the cow that sits before you. Morbid? Maybe a little, but they deserve a little afterthought when you learn how emotionally deep they are.

According to research at Northampton University, cows have "best friends" and are distressed if they're separated. That's right, despite their calm exterior and completely "at peace" blank stare, they have some troubles too. In every herd there are aggressive cows that act out and push their way to the front when it's time to be milked, and submissive cows that try to stay out of the way.

The cow's heart rates and cortisol levels were measured when they were isolated, penned with their best friend, and penned with a stranger cow. The heart rates were significantly lower when they were with their friends, which could provide some real benefits.Milk yields will be higher and bettering their welfare by reducing the stress.

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Dogs prefer toys that squeak, but not for the reason you think


Coming home from the pet store is probably one of the most exciting moments in a dog's life. Here, he gets to enjoy his bounty of treats, pillows, and most of all, loud, squeaky toys. But why on Earth do dogs love the sound that could drive nearly every other species insane?

The squeaky toys often resemble animals, or live prey that dogs love to hear. The squeaks resemble an injured field mouse, bird, or any other small prey, that gives away their position and condition that dogs thrive on with their hunting instincts.

Others feel like the squeak is just arbitrary, completely unnecessary to satisfy a dog. All the pup really wants in a rubber toy is complete access to it so he can enjoy chewing on it, fulfilling his natural instincts. The squeaking does amplify the dog's pleasure, providing a pleasant cause-and-effect relationship with the toy.

Some simple tips to dog lovers: Squeaky toys do better with smaller, gentler dogs to avoid dislodging the squeaker and choking them. Also, rubberized toys are the better choice, since they are often dragged outside where plush toys pick up much more dirt and grime.

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Another reason to love cats: the sound frequency of a cat's purr can increase bone density and promote healing


Cats have adapted to conserve energy via long periods of rest and sleep. Purring is a low energy mechanism that stimulates muscles and bones without wasting a lot of energy.

As a result, cats do not display as many muscle and bone abnormalities as the domestic dog. It could be that a cat's purring helps alleviate the dysplasia or osteoporotic conditions that are common in dogs.

Cats purr when inhaling and also when exhaling, with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. Various investigations have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and speed up healing.

This link between the sound frequency of a cat's purr and the accelerated healing of bones and muscles could prove helpful for some humans. Bone density loss and muscle atrophy are a serious concern for astronauts during extended periods at zero gravity.

Cats do not only purr when they are happy. Although cats purr when nursing their kittens, or when being petted by their human, they also do so when recovering from an injury. It is therefore more plausible that cat purring is not only a means of communication, but also a potential source of self-healing.

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Some awesome lists!

A nine-banded armadillo always gives birth to identical quadruplets!


Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk. They are extensive burrowers, and a single animal sometimes maintains up to 12 burrows within its range.

Nine-banded armadillos reach sexual maturity at the age of one year, and reproduce every year for the rest of their 12–15 year lifespans.

Mating takes place during July to August in the Northern Hemisphere, and November to January in the Southern Hemisphere. A single egg is fertilized, but implantation is delayed for three to four months to ensure the young will not be born during an unfavorable time.

The gestation period of the nine-banded armadillos is four months and the females of this species always give birth to identical quadruplets! The little ones remain in the burrow, nursing on their mother for approximately three months. They begin to forage with their mother once they are weaned and they eventually leave after six months to a year. A single female can produce up to 56 young over the course of her life.

The leading predator by far of nine-banded armadillos today is humans, as armadillos are locally harvested for their meat and shells. Many thousands of armadillos also fall victim to auto accidents every year.

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The largest bird's nest ever belonged to a pair of bald eagles—and was bigger than a Volkswagen Beetle!


When you think of a bird's nest, you likely envision a bundle of twigs and mud. You probably don't think of a two-ton mass—but that's how big the world's largest recorded bird's nest was.

In 1963, a giant nest was found in St. Petersburg, FL. It was made by a pair of bald eagles and was possibly added to by more eagle pairs.

The nest measured 9 feet and 6 inches wide and 20 feet deep.

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