Sure, they look all cute and cuddly when you’re watching that YouTube video, but most animals have a dark side that none of us know about. The animal kingdom can be downright fierce. Below, people from Quora share the animal fact that made them look at their favorite animal in a whole new light.
Comments have been edited for clarity. The source can be found the end of the article.
The fan-favorite chimpanzee. I mean, they can draw, dance, do acrobats, solve math problems, and they can learn skills not just from us, but from each other as well. Pretty impressive. But the fact of how insanely and frighteningly violent they can be, and unpredictable too, is the stuff of nightmares.
Its no surprise that chimpanzees can kill, but thats not the scary part. Chimpanzees will often mutilate the bodies of their victims, whether they are other animals or humans.
Theyll gouge out their faces, dismember their limbs, and even tear their reproductive parts, as seen in the gruesome St. James Davis attack and the terrifying attack on American tourists in Sierra Leone, which National Geographic featured, that left their driver, Issa Kanu, dead with a heavily mutilated body.
Not known to a lot of people, but chimpanzees enjoy eating meat. And what is their favorite type of meat? Neighboring monkeys. Chimpanzees will regularly form groups and go on the hunt for colobus red monkeys.
Once they take a hold of one, they throw it from a treetop down to its death, then climb down to eat it. There are also recorded cases of cannibalism among chimpanzees, although rare. They also on occasions eat their young, sometimes in front of their mothers. And there are recorded incidents of chimpanzees targeting and killing human babies.
Chimpanzees also engage in territorial disputes over resources and mates, often leading to wars that could last a few years, like the Gombe Chimpanzee War.
In these wars, chimpanzees will attack, kill, and sometimes kidnap neighboring groups of chimpanzees. And as mentioned above, often mutilating them in the process.
The strong apes also regularly abuse their female counterparts, who are more than often ranked the lowest in the group. The reason is not exactly known, but it is believed to be for mating rights and exclusivity.
Chimpanzees may be smart and funny, but they definitely have a dark side.
I had always thought my love for my cat was unconditional until I was scraped by his ahem, member. After staring at my burning forearm for a while, I decided I must have had suffered a hallucination. I just couldnt believe it. I rushed to my laptop, wanting to unravel every mystery about this little monster. And this is what I learned:
The males penis is barbed with more than a hundred tiny hooks, made of keratin, a tough, fibrous protein normally found in nails and claws. As the male withdraws, the hooks scrape the walls of the cat’s birth canal.
Male kittens are not born with barbed reproductive organs. Mar Vista Animal Medical Center, a veterinary clinic in California, says that cats reach puberty when they are about 6 months old. The barbs develop at this point because their purpose is to aid in reproduction.
One, they help scratch out any competing sperms from previous mating. Two, they also induce ovulation – the pain from scraping stimulates the females brain to release a specific hormone, which triggers the eggs to begin maturing.
Three, they keep the female cat from escaping before mating is complete. She may attempt to flee because cats are more likely to be loners than dogs and resent the intrusion to some point. Mating is also painful for female cats, both because of the barbs themselves and because the male cat begins by biting the back of the female’s neck.
Needless to say, his right of free access to my bedroom has been permanently deprived. I really wish I could unlearn this fact.
Those little guy couldn’t do anything bad, right?
Well…researchers were trying to train Capuchin monkeys to use money by giving them tokens as currency and some of them realized that they could get more tokens from other monkeys by offering sex. Apparently, we humans aren’t so far removed from other primates, after all.
Want to know what I found out about flamingos recently?
Theyre naturally white.
They take the saying You are what you eat to a whole new level.
Without the pink pigment they eat in things like algae, theyll turn naturally white, losing that awesome shade of pink. To prevent this, zoos feed them special food to supplement for the algae.
Oh, and they smell INSANELY bad.
Hawks and other birds of prey.
You think they’re cute, right? Until they start killing their siblings in the nest.
Hawks and eagles lay about 15 eggs. The time for the eggs to hatch are different and the chicks are of different ages as result. The youngest chick is often out-competed by its older siblings for food. When resources goes down, this often gets to the extreme…
This doesnt always happen though. Sometimes all the chicks of the nest survive, if there are enough resources in the area.
Mother hamsters often eat their own newborns when they think they’re not lactating enough for the other newborns. Mother hamsters aren’t afraid of making sacrifices for the good of the litter.
The worst possible example of parenting I know of. I mean, give them a chance at least?
I’ll have to fight it out with my siblings if I’m born a hamster in my next life. Because the formula here is – eat well, or get eaten.
This happened the other day at the Lisbon zoo, when my friend and I visited. My friend is a huge fan of rodents and marsupials – for example, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, prairie dogs, and meerkats. We spotted a couple of meerkats in an unmarked enclosure,and my friend immediately exclaimed surikats! (another name for meerkat is surikat).
Shortly thereafter, the zookeeper emerged in view and brought with him a bowl of grapes and unidentified pile that was a soft shade of pastel yellow.
We both stared over the glass barricade curiously, eager to watch them stuff their cute faces full.
It was barely a moment later when we realized that the pastel yellow pile was a pile of dead baby chicks. Each of the meerkats grabbed a dead chick between its jaws and quickly scurried off, no doubt to do unspeakable things to the fuzzy carcass under the cover of darkness.
My friend turns away once he realized and yowls, Nooo!.
It was the sound of innocence lost.
I love chickens. I still do. But they do bad, bad, bad things.
They can eat each other.
For some reason, domesticated hens are prone to cannibalism, attacking their housemates by pecking away at an injured birds feathers, devouring its flesh and eventually, killing the attacked bird (note that devouring its flesh comes before killing the bird).
Cannibalism is a learned behavior that can spread quickly through a flock.
Poultry have a tendency to imitate each other, so when one member of the flock begins aggressive pecking, others will follow suit. If cannibalism is not closely monitored, the resulting losses to the flock due to flesh injuries and death can be quite high.
Perhaps the most curious solution is red-tinted sunglasses, designed especially for hen house chickens. Chickens are opportunistic in their cannibalism — they attack only when they see that another chicken is bleeding, and go after that chicken. By putting red-tinted lenses over the chickens eyes, the birds cannot as easily tell the difference between blood and other things in their surroundings, and, in absence of blood, remain docile. Also, if they get meat theyre not so likely to eat each other.
The Tasmanian devil. They appear cute, dont they, with their cute little faces and small beady eyes? Well sure, until you know of their mating habits. These little buggers partake in BDSM and also adultery.
The Tasmanian devil breeding takes place when the females selects the male for mating.She goes for the strongest of the lot and may sometimes beat any timid males that approach her. The male then has to chase her and tire her out into submission.
The males bite and scratch the females until she submits.
The mating takes place over two days period during which the male keeps guard and does not let the female go and the female tries her best to escape and mate with other males to get the best quality of father for her offsprings. A litter may even have offspring from different fathers.
The real devil aren’t they?!
Grey squirrels are cute, right? What happens to be less adorable is the way grey squirrels have utterly screwed over the red squirrel population in the United Kingdom. Red squirrels were the original native species in Britain.
For thousands of years, they lived peacefully; eating nuts and minding their own business.
Until the 1870s—when the first grey squirrels were introduced. Greys were bigger, stronger and meaner than the red natives. They took over the food source, devouring sources of acorns and nuts, and leaving none for reds.
Grey squirrels also carried a virus which was harmless to them, but killed thousands upon thousands of natives. Consequently, the red squirrel population plummeted from 3.5 million in the 1870s to less than a twentieth of that today. They have been virtually eradicated from England and Wales, and the only sizeable population remains in Scotland.
Fortunately, widespread conservation efforts means that red squirrel numbers are making a rebound. But they are still far, far outnumbered by greys.
Screw grey squirrels.
Cute little bunny rabbits are Coprophagic. If you like bunnies and don’t know what that means, please do not scroll further…
That means they eat their own poop. You never see this because they know ahead of time that they are going to do it, so they just suck it out of their butt.
They do this because blah blah incomplete digestion blah blah hind-gut fermentation blah blah reasons etc.
Youll never watch Bugs Bunny the same way.
Butterflies are known for their color and vibrance, but there is more to them than meets the eye.
Butterflies are known to eat mud, blood and decaying flesh, sweat and tears, urine and poop-it drinks its own urine at times.
So yes, butterflies are disgusting and adorable.
Just a regular old armadillo. I adore these things. I always wanted one as a pet when I was a kid. Sometimes they wander into my yard to dig up bugs (and boy can they get BIG). Its the only animal that my cats and dogs seem to give a complete pass on entering their territory. They just look at it and let it go about its business, even though my dog will kill any other animal that dares enter his home zone. Possums, woodchucks, beavers, etc.
Whats the but? Oh, they are well known to carry leprosy. Yknow, the oops my nose just fell off disease. So needless to say theyve dropped off substantially in my boy Id like to have one power rankings.
Theres a whole neighborhood of them living in the graveyard right in front of my workplace, a police station. How close is this graveyard to my office? Hardly eight feet from my door. I see mongooses roaming around all the time.
I know this species possesses the skill of killing snakes, which to me, is very impressive for an animal of its size. Im impressed with their audacity. So I didnt have any problem with mongooses until say… three days ago.
Coming to the point now.
I was in my office, minding my own business, browsing Facebook posts, when I came across a video.
It showed some village where people were catching mongooses out of a graveyard because according to them a mongoose digs into graves and eats dead bodies. Over dozens of mongooses were shown caged up and being moved away.
I was surprised. Id never thought of this. Could this information be correct?
After a few minutes, I asked a colleague the same question. Why do I see mongooses in the graveyard outside?
He replied, Because a mongoose will dig holes into the graves to feast on the freshly buried bodies.
And I thought…oh my goodness.
How did I not know of this? I mean… I did wonder about their presence around here but had never imagined.
I mean look at them. They look unique in shape alone and they have very fascinating colors and structures. They even have these little tiny tentacles that moves in very interesting ways.
But heres the fact. Like most other invertebrates out there including sea anemones, jellyfishes, sea cucumber etc… they eat and poop out of the same hole! Yes imagine that kind of life. Well, they always have the water to rinse it off but still, it’s disgusting.
Scorpions. I almost feel sorry for them.
Scorpions shed their tails, and when they do… they lose their anus. You can see where Im going with this, right? RIGHT? Well, if you cant see where this is going, let me elaborate further.
Once scorpions lose their anus, what do you think happens to all the anal secretions that should come out of it? Well, it doesnt come out of their mouths, thats for sure. Instead, it piles and piles and piles on until the scorpions die from constipation, in what I like to call a poopsplosion.
I knew that porpoises eat fish, but just assumed that the food was eaten whole in the wild, just like at Seaworld. Then, I saw a documentary film showing them nipping the fins off of large sunfish (mola mola), so that the sunfish was forced to drift helplessly with the current, presumably so that the porpoises could go back for snacking at their leisure. Would a human carve up a cow, one steak or hamburger at a time, while it was still alive? I hope never to see such a thing.
PENGUINS! I used to really like penguins. Then, one day on some animal show, I saw how they all gather around a big hole in the ice. They all want to jump in, go swimming, chase after fish, and so forth. But they don’t know if there’s a shark or an orca beneath, waiting for them in there.
So they all jostle and push each other until one of them falls in. If he comes up shaking his flipper at them and cussing ’em out in penguin… then they all jump in. But, if he doesn’t come back up, and the water turns red, well, let’s go see what’s on the flatscreen, have some munchies, maybe shoot a little pool and come back later, jostle each other until someone falls in, check it out again.
Take a really cute bear that isnt a bear. Everyone loves them.
Now give them STDs, the smallest brain-to-body ratio, a diet of leaves that clearly do not want to be eaten, and a fail-safe cerebral fluid bumper for when these stupid creatures fall out of the tree so that they dont damage their already-impeded intelligence.
They could literally starve to death if placed in a room of eucalyptus leaves that were picked and lying flat, instead of on a branch.
Koalas are adorable, but bloody awful at the whole life thing.
Apparently the female giraffe urinates in the male giraffes mouth as a mating ritual. It is done so that the male giraffe can judge if she’ll be a good partner.
Well I happened to see the pee-drinking part in the zoo when I was eight. I turned to my mother and said that I wouldnt want to become a giraffe in my next life. Nah, not so cute anymore, mate.