If you could have the skill of any other kind, what would it be? The most obvious, like flying and breathing underwater? Do not rush to make this decision.
Let's introduce you to some lesser-known but still amazing body functions that animals have (and we'd love to have, too).
5. Frogs may freeze completely and return to normal after
Every fall, the healthiest animals come out of the colder areas where they live and head for warmer places so as not to freeze to death (or be torn apart by yetis). Minus the Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus), which manages not to give a damn about winter as it does not wait to be frozen: it simply freezes. And when it thaws, months later, it just pops out and goes back to its frog business.
How does he do it? It's not like slowing down your metabolism and taking a nap, like lazy bears do. Wood frogs actually act as if they are dead, having no brain activity during this time. It's literally a cryogenics - when spring comes, they slowly thaw, and are just like it was a few months in the past.
We humans cannot do this because living cells are damaged when the water inside them freezes. How do frogs do then? When they feel winter coming, their livers increase their sugar production, which is then pumped into the cells instead of water. Since sugar does not lose its shape when it is frozen, the cells suffer exactly zero damage.
If you're wondering what happens to all the extra water that comes out of frog cells when sugar comes in, scientists wondered the same. So they threw their decency out the window and dissected a frozen frog to find that it had deposited the water under its skin like some kind of cold suit or armor.
4. Sea cucumbers can turn into liquid, like the T-1000.
Most people probably find the sea cucumber the most boring thing in the animal kingdom. He is known for simply sitting on the ocean floor looking like poop, as well as having such a disgusting ability: when attacked, the sea cucumber literally pours its guts out, and then regenerates every part of its vomiting body. True, if a human being could do that, that ability would be considered a superpower, but you would certainly never give this guy his own movie franchise.
What most people don't know is that sea cucumbers don't just have that ability. He can do something else that is so much nicer, and no other living thing in the world can: he can turn into a liquid.
The sea cucumber, through "neurological control", literally turn its solid tissues into liquids and then back to being solid, just for fun. It is thanks to the special collagen fibers in their tissues that sea cucumbers can liquefy, allowing them to literally shove their bodies into tight spaces and solidify again to hide from predators.
Scientists think that once they unlock the secrets of how cucumbers actually do this, they will be able to reproduce this effect in the laboratory. Will technology someday allow us to liquefy our own bodies, like the T-1000 of Terminator 2, so we can slide under doors and the like?
3. Some squids have built-in headlights
It would be very practical to have lights built into our body that we could turn on and off when necessary so we could see the path in the dark, wouldn't it?
Hawaiian Squids (Euprymna scolopes) have these lights, which work amazingly.
As you may know, many deep-sea creatures have natural bioluminescence - a glow produced by a chemical reaction. The Hawaiian squid does not have this ability. Instead, it forms a relationship with a bacteria it has, called Vibrio fischeri. The squid hosts colonies of these brilliant creatures and can actually control them, literally using their glow as a pair of lighthouses.
If you're wondering why a small, soft-bottomed living animal would want to shine and announce its presence to predators and prey - which would be a very stupid thing - your problem is that you are thinking about how things are going on. land where darkness is bad.
At sea, darkness is the norm. If you are a small squid, predators and prey can see you as you swim below you looking upwards: this allows them to distinguish your silhouette against the filtered light of the distant surface.
And how do you hide your silhouette? You embed a pair of natural headlights on your body and adjust them precisely to cancel your own shadow. Bingo.
2. Chickens Eject Semen From Unwanted Partners
A birth control would be an excellent skill in humans, but totally useless for animals, right? After all, they don't have to worry about family planning or having too many mouths to feed; Their survival depends on trying to reproduce faster than their predators can eat them.
But lack of birth control can be a problem for some species, such as chickens. These animals have a hierarchy in which only the best roosters should be allowed to breed. But they are all huddled together in a small space, and in the heat of a chicken orgy, it can be hard to tell which cock is which (we won't apologize for triggering this mental image - this is science, not for the weak).
But in the midst of the frantic storm of flying feathers, chickens have a plan B - they can eject the sperm from unwanted male suitors so that they don't have the children of those losers.
How did scientists find this out? They did what is possibly the most bizarre experiment involving chickens: they aligned several roosters according to their social status and carefully recorded how much sperm ejected after they had mated with each other.
Unfortunately for less dominant males, the results confirmed that chickens eject semen from these lower animals on the social scale, regardless of the order in which they were presented to females. Conclusion: The chickens are very smart. (Understand as you please).
1. Cats purr to heal and can survive absurd falls
There is a reason for us to say that cats have seven (or nine) lives. For example, scientists think that simply by purring, they help your body heal faster. It's like Wolverine is actually a little furry animal.
The researchers noticed that cats not purred only when they were happy, but also when they were scared or after someone kicked them. So they did an experiment and found that the purr of a cat has an average frequency of about 25 to 150 Hertz. Apparently, the sound frequencies in this range promote bone density, healing and pain relief. This is not just for cats - the sound of a feline purr can also help heal other animals in the immediate vicinity, including humans.
As if that weren't enough, nature has also built cats so that they are virtually immune to falls. This not only means that they can fall off a tree and come out unharmed; A cat could even survive a plane crash! But don't try to throw one from up there, it will probably upset you.
All cats have a terminal speed of about 96 km / h, not even close to the speed of 193 km / h of larger animals. For a cat, there is virtually no difference between a 15 meter drop and a 1500 meter drop, except that it will stay in the air for a few more seconds.
In fact, strangely, a four-story drop is statistically more dangerous for a cat than a 40-story drop. The likelihood of injury after seven floors is much lower for felines because most cats reach their terminal velocity at this distance, allowing them to properly prepare for the fall.