Mother Nature in all her glory can be both a beautiful and mysterious force. As soon as we think we’ve figured out all her twists and turns, we discover a new species or unlock a portal to a seemingly other dimension finding new underground caves or formations on the bottom of the ocean. In summary? Nature is pretty awesome, and the animal world has some cool characters with even cooler abilities. Check out these 5 awesome facts about nature listed below.
Beavers Used to Be Giant
The eager little beaver; we see him making his little dams and gnawing down trees in the forest. A cute woodland dweller. Well, imagine him the size of a black bear. The giant beaver or Castoroides lived 1.5 million years ago and went extinct about 11 thousand years ago. It was one of the largest rodents to have ever lived from lengths up to 7ft and weighing up to 250lbs! Their front incisors could grow up to 6 inches long. Check out this video from Discovery.com and gnaw on that one for a bit!
So there’s a completely terrifying island off the shore of Brazil called Ilha da Queimada Grande. It’s cutesy, feel-good nickname is Snake Island, and for good reason. Researchers have estimated that the island has between one and five snakes per meter, but not your average garter snake. This island is filled with a unique species of Pit Viper called the Golden Lancehead who’s venom is so strong it can literally melt your flesh. Fun stuff! It’s illegal to visit Queimada Grande, and the Brazillian Navy strongly enforces this. So, this one will not be listed on the unreal deals of the day on Travelocity.com.
Sea Lions Can Keep a Beat
Ronan is a Californian Sea Lion who lives at the Long Marine Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the first non-human mammal convincingly shown to be able to keep a beat. Besides humans, this has only been seen in parrots and other birds. She may be disproving the theory that rhythm and beat keeping require vocal learning and mimicry.
Butterflies Taste With Their Feet
Imagine using your feet to taste things? Stepping on burgers and fries and pizza. This is exactly what butterflies do. Their taste sensors are located in their feet, and they can taste just by standing on their food. Tiny hair like sensors determine chemical changes in plants. They don’t have mouths that allow them to bite or chew things, but a straw like structure called a proboscis they use to drink nectar and juices. This life straw of sorts doesn’t have any taste sensors however, so they rely on their landing gear for savoriness of plants and flowers.
Male Puppies Let Females Win
Supposedly, chivalry isn’t dead in the south, and looks like it’s not in puppy land either! Male puppies will often let their female counterparts win even if they have a physical advantage. While male puppies were usually less likely to initiate play with other males, they are very eager to play with females and will pull out all the stops to keep the play going. They’ll even completely drop to the ground and give up to their female friends…Awwww! It seems that the playing is much more important than who actually wins. Looks like puppies can teach us about our own relationships!
The wonderful and wacky world of nature! If you didn’t know any of these cool facts, well, now ya do!