When you really think about it, animals are not that different from humans. Most people believe that because they don’t communicate like us that it’s a sign of their supposed lack of intelligence. But there are many animals who exceed our expectations: some are capable of problem solving, others enjoy music just as much as we do and most of them know the power of teamwork. Here are some of the quirky and fascinating things animals do that make them more human.
1. Problem Solving
Survival of the fittest does not only boil down to brawn – brains also play a huge role in ensuring that a species is able to make it through hardships. There are many animals that know how to come up with innovative solutions for their ongoing problems. Take for instance, crows who strip off tree bark before bending it into a hook to dig out food from the ground. Or pigs who need a regular dose of mental stimulation, otherwise they become really aggressive. They are also shown to perform really well on video games that involve matching corresponding shapes.
2. Make Music
In the world of crickets and grasshoppers, it’s usually the guys, not the gals, who are singing ballads every night. Their vocalizations are also really complex and much longer than the females’. It’s called stridulation, a technique where the insect produces sound by rubbing both their wings and legs together. Ever noticed that there are moments when the chirping sounds much faster? This is due to the heat which increases their energy levels. On the other hand, cooler nights result in a much slower chirping.
3. Working Together
Hyenas are really social animals that often get a bad rap from us humans. But even they seem to understand the concept that two heads are better than one. During a study, researchers constructed a trap door with some food inside it. The only way to get the food was by pulling on the two ropes on the outside in unison. The hyenas quickly figured this out on their own and successfully got themselves a free meal in the end. They didn’t even need to be trained for this! Moreover, the Einsteins of the group were able to successfully teach the trick to the youngsters.
4. Cool Hygiene Practices
Even animals know how crucial it is to maintain their hygiene. Insects, mammals and birds alike have all shown to freshen up themselves every now and then. Bees will clean themselves while flying by using their entire body to shake off the excess pollen. Chickens douse themselves in dust which helps get rid of parasites. Other birds love splashing in puddles of water. Monkeys have been seen using limes and onions as part of their hygiene routines. Sometimes they’ll even cover themselves with ants and millipedes. And elephants, rhinos and pigs can’t seem to do without mud baths!
5. Form Unlikely Friendships
It’s not a very common occurrence, but there are many moments where animals form extremely unlikely bonds. Such as Humphrey the hippo with Pygmy the goat in South Africa or Koko the gorilla with Ball the kitten. There’s also the bobcat kitten and the fawn, as well as the elephant and stray dog duo at a Tennessee elephant sanctuary. In the wild, many animals befriend each other in order to protect the other from predators, to keep parasites at bay or for shelter. Even researchers still don’t fully understand why certain animals feel so drawn to one another.
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