The Science Behind 5 Well-Known Animal Facts
You can find all sorts of fun facts and trivia about animals on the internet. But we’re often left without a real explanation.
Why do deer freeze in the headlights? Why doesn’t a duck’s quack produce an echo? Why does the color red seem to enrage bulls?
These are the types of questions that we will explore in today’s post.
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1. Why Do Deer Freeze in the Headlights?
If you’ve ever driven through a wooded area early in the morning, you may have noticed that deer seem to stop in their tracks in the middle of the road. But why?
Since deer are most active at twilight, their eyes are adapted for very dim light. A car’s headlights actually temporarily blind the deer!
While their eyes re-adjust, the deer will stand still, giving the appearance that it is staring straight at the car driving towards it.
It turns out deer aren’t as stupid as we thought! But that doesn’t mean they’ll clear out of your way…
2. Why Don’t Duck Quacks Produce Echoes?
You may have heard that a duck’s quack doesn’t produce an echo, but is this really true?
Ducks mainly reside on the water and in open spaces, where there aren’t many reflective surfaces that would produce echoes.
But when scientists tested the sound of a duck’s quack near a cliffside, they did hear an echo -- but unfortunately, the quack took longer to fade to silence, than it did to produce the echo.
This makes it difficult for the naked ear to isolate where the quack ends and the echo begins.
3. Does a Cat’s Meow Imitate a Baby’s Cry?
You may have heard that your cat is manipulating you…
While kittens meow at their mothers for food, adult cats don’t meow at each other. Instead, they direct their cries at us! And for the same reason!
After a while of experimentation, cats discover how to meow with a frequency that actually subconsciously resembles a crying baby.
This evokes a sense of caring from us, so we give them what they’re asking for.
So while it does seem a tad manipulative, it’s actually a clever survival method that your cat learns all on its own!
4. Why Do Dogs Pant Instead of Sweating?
Most dogs’ fur is too thick for sweat to evaporate, so they only have sweat glands on their paws. So they must rely on panting to regulate their body heat.
Panting helps increase airflow to your dog’s respiratory system. Dog’s bodies store water in membranes in their lungs, and the additional air intake evaporates this water, cooling their bodies.
Additionally, exposing their tongues while panting allows some of their body heat to dissipate off of the surface.
For this reason, dog breeds with shorter snouts are worse at regulating heat, and may require special care to prevent overheating.
5. Why Are Bulls Aggravated By the Color Red?
If you’re familiar with bull fighting and/or rodeos, you’ve likely seen a bull aggressively charging towards a matador’s cape or a brightly-dressed rodeo clown.
But why does the color red seem to irritate bulls so much?
It turns out, the color isn’t the issue. Bulls are somewhat colorblind. They can see a small range of colors, but they can’t actually see red.
The real reason they’re enraged is the way the object or performer moves. The bull feels threatened by this erratic movement, and so it charges towards the offender.
In nature, there’s never really a simple explanation. Hopefully today’s post has given you a greater appreciation for the strange ways that animals have adapted to life on Earth.
Are You Stumped by a Pest Problem?
Nature is full of amazing creatures, but their adaptations and behaviors don’t always sit well with us, and they can cause us quite a bit of trouble.
If you’re concerned about a wildlife infestation on your property, please contact us at 855-WILDLIFE or visit www.wildlifexteam.com for some helpful information.
Thanks for reading!
- Wildlife x Team International