You’ve probably heard of some fun facts that you’d love to know more about. But did you know there are even more interesting tidbits to discover?
From competitive eaters to secrets behind famous paintings, here are some fascinating facts you probably didn’t know. You’ll want to put them in your back pocket!
1. Cats Can’t Taste Sweets
There are many fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about your pets. Here are a few:
Cats can smell more than we can, they have heightened senses of hearing and vision, and they can taste things like pheromones.
They also have a special organ in their mouth called the Jacobson’s organ that lets them detect flavors in a way humans can’t.
But the one thing cats can’t taste is sweets.
This is because they have a dysfunctional gene that prevents them from tasting sweetness.
The gene in question is called Tas1r2 and it’s the key to detecting sweet foods.
Interestingly, this has only recently been discovered in cats — even big ones like tigers and lions.
Since they can’t taste sweets, cats aren’t able to seek out high-carbohydrate foods that could be unhealthy for them. It might be a good thing for their health. This also helps researchers and pet food makers make better cat foods.
2. Dolphins Are Smart
Dolphins are cute, playful, and super-intelligent creatures. They’re also famous for their ability to communicate and learn complex tricks.
Intelligence is a complicated concept, and it can be hard to measure in animals. It’s a combination of many different factors including the size and architecture of an animal’s brain, their social nature, and how they behave.
There are some fascinating experiments that suggest that dolphins may be smarter than we think. One example is a dolphin named Kelly at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi.
Whenever she sees litter fall into her tank, Kelly collects it and hands it to the trainer the next time she comes back. She quickly learned that she can get a fish for each piece of litter, but instead of handing it over immediately, she stores it under rock and tears it into smaller pieces to receive more fish in the future.
Another fascinating aspect of dolphin intelligence is their ability to remember other dolphins’ whistles for years. It’s called “signature whistles” and it’s how they rejoin their social groups when they separate.
3. Sea Lions Clap
Sea lions clap with their flippers underwater. It’s a fascinating behavior you probably didn’t know about.
Seals, like humans, often clap when they’re trying to get the attention of other animals. It’s a way of sending out a message, which can be helpful to ward off competitors and attract mates.
Researchers discovered the clapping behaviour in grey seals, a species of seal that breeds on shore around the UK and Ireland. They’ve been seen performing the behaviour in zoos and aquariums before, but this is the first time it’s been caught on video.
The team tracked the claps by recording 120 frames per second and marking the location of the flipper in each frame. Then, they plotted the motion of the flipper over time to create a 3D image of the movement.
4. Koalas Have Individual Fingerprints
Unlike other mammals, which share similar fingerprint patterns, like human and gorilla prints, koalas have individual fingerprints. They are eerily human-like, with characteristic arches, loops and whorls.
Koalas are a type of marsupial, which means they have a pouch where they carry their young (called joeys). These babies are born in the pouch, and when they grow bigger, they start to crawl out.
They have a gestational period of around 35 days. Once they’ve reached their full size, they become sexually mature and can breed with their mothers.
Adult male koalas have a pouch with an opening facing more towards the bottom of their pouch than the top. This is called a ‘backward-opening’ pouch.