10 Ways Wildlife Is More Like Us Than We Thought

Who doesn’t love a little wildlife? Watching geese fly south or deer frolic in a field can be a wonderful experience and make you feel at one with nature. Yet we still separate ourselves from animals and act as though we are a different class of world inhabitant.

Well, check out these wildlife facts and soon you can see that animals are more like us than anyone ever thought.

Sea Otters Hold Hands

Since sea otters spend so much of their time in the water, when they are at rest they form rafts, where multiple otters join together and float as one. They do this while they eat, sleep, and just chill. But when there’s just a few otters together, they will join hands as they sleep so that they stay together and don’t float apart.

Dolphins Have Unique Names

We already know dolphins are smart, but they may be more like us than we previously thought. New research shows that dolphins each have a unique sound, called a “signature whistle.” This sound is used when a dolphin is looking for the rest of the pod, or when¬†another member of the pod is looking for a specific dolphin. They make the whistle sound and the other dolphin will respond with the same sound, much like calling out a buddy’s name.

Crows Pull Pranks

While crows may not be your favorite bird, if you’re a prankster, this may change your mind. Crows have been shown to pull pranks and tricks on other birds. They intentionally manipulate social interactions to get what they want. They may be deceptive and try to get other birds to do x so the crow can do y.

Goats Develop Accents

Spend enough time in Georgia or Texas, and soon you might start talking with a southern drawl. The same is true for goats. As they grow, goats begin to sound more and more like the social group to which they belong. Move a goat from one group to another, and over time, he again modifies his noises to match the new group.

Squirrels Adopt

It’s known that many animals adopt abandoned young, but it has only been seen in social herd animals. Until now. Recent research has shown that although squirrels are asocial and live alone, if a nest of related babies is abandoned, the squirrel will raise them as her own. But it seems she’s only willing to do so if they share common blood. How she knows they are her grandmother’s babies instead of a stranger’s has yet to be discovered.

Rats Laugh

Many used to think that laughter was solely a human phenomenon, but rats have proved that wrong. Although their laugh is too high for the human ear to hear, it does occur, especially when they are tickled. It seems the more rats laugh together, the more likely they are to engage in play and the stronger their bond becomes.

Seahorses Court

Seahorses are one of the few animals on earth that are truly monogamous and mate for life. When a male and female seahorse bond, they act like a young couple in love. They will hold tails while traveling and each morning they greet each other with a special morning “dance” that reinforces their bonding.

Elephants Self-Sooth

Like a human infant sucks its thumb, a baby elephant can often be seen sucking on the end of its trunk. The behavior in both species is natural and mimics the suckling of milk. It is used as a way to self-sooth and give comfort. And as we all know, bad habits are hard to break. The behavior can still be seen in older adult bulls when they are nervous or unsure about their environment.

Dung Beetles Stargaze

According to a new study, dung beetles, like the sailors of old, use the stars to help them navigate. While researchers knew that the beetles used the sun and moon, they are just beginning to understand the role the Milky Way has in the insects’ navigational abilities. It seems the Milky Way provides a way for the beetles to orient themselves and is used as a reference point to where they are.

Orcas Experience Menopause

Did you know that menopause is a rare¬†experience in the animal kingdom? Only the females in three species, killer whales (aka Orcas), short-finned pilot whales, and humans go through it. In all other animals, the females can give birth until they die. Although scientists aren’t sure of the evolutionary cause, many believe in the “grandmother hypothesis,” which states that having a grandmother significantly increases the chance for offspring to survive.

See, humans and wildlife aren’t that much different. We make look different, but at the roots, we are all just the same.

 


What animal characteristics do you know of that are shared with man? Share them in the comments.


 

Additional image: Flickr

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Molly Carter
Molly Carter
Molly is a freelance writer who talks about everything and anything from addiction, to sex. to skinning a deer. You can find her at MollyCarterWriter.com, or Facebook.