What adjectives come to mind when you think of pets like dogs, cats, pigs, and sloths? Are qualities such as loyalty, indifference, coolness and loitering, for example?
For, according to Beth Brindle of how stuff works, all these stereotypes are not only common but universal - though they don't always correspond to reality. So, how about checking 7 facts that we believe about animals, but we're wrong about?
1 - Koalas are cute
It will say that it does not make sense to hug and lull the cute and all hairy pet in the image above! For, according to Beth, to begin with, koalas' fur, contrary to what it seems, is not soft and silky, but rough and similar in texture to sheep's wool. In addition, these animals have strong, muscular limbs, and their little toes are equipped with long, sharp claws that help them cling to trees.
Although koalas are not aggressive animals, they can use their nails and teeth to defend themselves when they feel threatened, and one way to get them scared is to try to pick one up.
2 - Pigs are… pigs
We usually associate the image of pigs rolling in the mud with dirty animals, right? So much so that most of us do not take the positive side when we are called "pig" or "pig." However, the truth is that these animals are not as dirty as they seem. By the way, believe me, they are among the least pigs on the farm!
According to Beth, they are unable to sweat, and if they can choose, they will never defecate near their sleeping or feeding places. Rolling in mud is, in fact, associated with inability to perspire, and serves to regulate body temperature and protect the skin from sun and insect bites. With respect to the unpleasant smell we feel as we approach the pigsties, well, it's the fault of humans.
On pig farms, these animals are usually confined in places with many other mates while being fattened for slaughter. And in these environments, pigs are simply unable to follow their own instincts and end up doing well… pigs.
3 - Dolphins are always happy
Don't you think dolphins always look happy and smiling? For these animals are unable to change their expressions, and the impression that they are constantly happy - especially when performing their tricks before human audiences - is because of the structure of their jaws and because their mouths are curved upwards.
However, don't be fooled. Many of the dolphins that are held captive - whether in aquariums or theme parks - show signs of stress, depression and sadness, and many of those free in the wild can be aggressive when needed.
4 - Cows are not very smart
When we see images of cows - constantly chewing on those friendly faces - we hardly associate these animals with qualities such as intelligence or cunning. However, despite appearances, these animals are capable of reproducing some common behaviors in humans, such as maintaining social relationships and even choosing another kitty as a best friend.
In addition, studies have shown that cows can be grudging and suffer when calves or friends die. And research from Cambridge University has shown that these animals are capable of learning tricks - such as opening a gate to get a reward in the form of food - and that they are aware that they are learning something new.
5 - Dogs are loyal
One of the biggest stereotypes associated with animals may be that dogs are extremely loyal animals and fully deserving the title of "man's best friend." By the way, there is no shortage of dog owners - as well as thousands of videos, testimonials and stories - that support this idea.
However, according to Beth, a study by Hungarian researchers has shown that in some cases this loyalty can be "bought". Scientists did an experiment in which a robot was programmed to speak with a certain tone of voice and use a gloved hand to point in the direction where food was hidden.
Then the researchers included some humans in the experiment - who didn't point to any food - and guess which side the dogs preferred to sit on? It was not the people who participated in the study! Sold…
6 - Cats don't care about owners
Just as the notion that dogs are faithful circulates, so does the notion that cats are independent creatures who don't care about their owners. But a recent study showed that cats are able to react when they hear their owners' voices, even when they are out of sight, suggesting that instead of being indifferent, felines can differentiate between familiar and unknown people.
Also, if you talk to someone who has or has had cats at home, these people will probably say that, in fact, cats often show their affection in peculiar ways, such as sitting near or over their owners, rubbing their bodies against their legs. or by licking. They are only less eloquent and poorly understood!
7 - Sloths are… lazy
The idea here is that pigs are pigs - or you will say that you never got inspired by the poor sloths to complain about that stray friend of yours! However, while there is no doubt that these little animals are really slow (moving at top speeds of 1.8 to 2.4 meters per minute), this has nothing to do with vagabonding.
Contrary to popular belief, sloths do not spend all their time sleeping in nature - their sleep periods occupy an average of 9.6 hours a day - and their apparently inactive bodies are in constant activity. The diet of these animals consists mainly of leaves, for example. So while they are parading in the trees “watching life go by”, their stomachs and intestines are diligently digesting their meals.
And this process - in which your bodies work hard to extract every available nutrient - can take up to 50 days. Thus, the slowness of the sloth is not related to the sloth, but to the activity of its metabolism.