4 Crazy Animal Kingdom Myths And 1 Straight Up Lie
Animals are pretty awesome, whichever way you look at it. They have entire ecosystems and ways of life that would be totally fine without us bumbling humans constantly ruining things around them. Us bumbling humans have also dropped some pretty big myths when it comes to animals, five of which we will discuss now. Because it is important to discuss myths.
1. Micro-pigs aren’t real
Micro-pigs, sometimes known as teacup pigs, don’t actually exist. According to Freedom Farms, teacup pigs aren’t a real breed of pig, simply a marketing ploy. Often the people who think they’re buying a micro-pig are grossly misinformed. Our local pig, the kunekune, is considered a small breed. It grows to around 50cm high and can weigh anywhere between 60 and a whopping 200kg. The New Zealand Kunekune Association is developing a policy to inform people about miniature kunekune pigs in response to an uptick of queries. Sadly, breeders overseas are going to great lengths to create a “real” micro-pig by inbreeding for genetic abnormalities. This results in animals with heartbreaking health issues, like squished snouts that cause fatal breathing issues as they grow. Malnourishment is also touted as a way to keep pigs “micro”, with owners being told that a pig will only grow if you feed it too much. Obviously this causes plenty of problems too, such as weak immune systems, skin and hoof issues and weak bones.
2. Warthogs don’t have warts
Everyone knows warthogs after their rise to fame with Pumbaa’s appearance in The Lion King. But what may (or may not) shock you is that warthogs don’t actually have warts. The “warts” on their face that gave the wild pig their name are actually protective bumps. They store fat that can help cushion blows during fights.
3. Goldfish don’t have a 3-second memory
Despite popular opinion, goldfish don’t have a memory of 3 seconds. In fact, they can remember things for up to 5 months, studies have shown. Researchers from the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel trained young fish to associate a sound with feeding time. They spent a month traning the fish, then released them into the sea. Four to five months later, the sound was played, and the fish returned. Previous studies have shown that goldfish are capable of remembering and learning, doing better than trout more often than not.
4. Camel’s don’t store water in their humps
This one probably harks back to your primary school days. Everyone thought camels’ humps were to store water for long treks across the desert, when in reality they’re there to store fat. Fat is much better for the desert as it gives cames energy to maintain their metabolism and keep moving. Of course they need water as well, but a camel’s body doesn’t work like a humans does. Camels can stay cool for much longer than us. They have special cells that prevent blood pressure from dropping when body volume drops. This all adds up to camels surviving for much longer in a desert than a human.
5. Bulls don’t get angry at the colour red
Okay. Bulls don’t get angry at a little red pillowcase – in fact, bulls are colour blind. They get pissed at the flapping of the cloth… as well as being starved, stabbed and generally abused. Surprised? I hope not.
There you go, now get out there and astound the world by debunking animal myths. Everyone likes that guy, right?