17 Awesome animals with unique skills. Hulk, Spiderman, Iron Man, Catwoman… Who doesn’t know these superheroes? But have you heard that the animal world has superheroes of its own?
There are creatures that live forever and those who ignore the law of gravity, critters that are immune to venom and those that can run on water. But wait, this is just the beginning! Here are 17 Awesome animals with unique skills:
#1. No Water Needed.
It’s common knowledge that you can’t survive without water for longer than 3 days. But kangaroo rats can keep going way longer, as in years! They live in extremely arid desert areas and have to get water from the seeds and plants they eat.
And although it may sound a bit unsettling, kangaroo rats also know how to extract water from their urine before they set off on a bathroom trip. This way, they don’t waste a single drop of precious moisture.
#2. Running on Water.
Plumed basilisk lizards have an uncanny ability to run on water! First of all, their hind feet are equipped with long toes which have fringes of skin that can spread out in water.
As a result, a bigger surface of the lizard’s foot comes into contact with water. Then, when the it runs on water, it pumps its legs incredibly fast. This creates little pockets of air that prevent the animal from drowning by keeping it on the surface.
#3. Spitting Fire.
The cardinal fish has been called “firework-spitting” for a reason! The thing is, when this little critter guzzles too many Ostracods, which are a type of zooplankton, the tiny creatures start to glow inside the fish’s body due to their bioluminescence.
As a result, the cardinal fish becomes more visible, and this can expose it to predators. That’s why the fish spits the Ostracods out, which looks as if it breathes out bursts of bluish fire!
#4. Eternal Life.
Have you ever dreamed of immortality? Well, one animal has already figured it out! There is a particular jellyfish species spread throughout the world’s oceans which can live forever!
When the creature reaches the end of its life, it transforms back into its polyp state and, thus, restarts its life cycle over and over again.
#5. Spiderman of the Animal World.
The animal world has its own analogy of Spiderman, and that’s the gecko lizard. This critter has a marvelous ability to climb up all kinds of vertical surfaces and can even go for a walk on the ceiling.
This gravity-defying feat is possible thanks to the lizard’s unique foot pads covered with tiny hairs. They can cling to almost any kind of surface, no matter whether it’s smooth, hard, rough, or soft.
#6. Night Vision.
Tarsiers are tiny primates that live in Southeast Asia. Excluding the tail, the average height of this animal is only 4 inches, but at the same time, its eyes are about half an inch wide!
As you may guess, it means that the eyes take up almost the whole head! It makes tarsiers the animals with the most impressive eye-to-body-size ratio among other living things. But that’s not all!
These huge eyes are so efficient that tarsiers can see in the dark as clearly as during the day. On the other hand, to look around, the primates have to turn their heads for nearly 180°. It can’t be terribly convenient, right?
#7. Sonic Boom.
A 1-inch-long sub-tropical shrimp disorients its prey with… a sonic boom! Despite its modest size, the pistol shrimp is one of the loudest marine animals.
When the shrimp snaps its claws, it creates a noise as loud as a sonic boom. Naturally, this sound stuns the prey, and the shrimp can catch it without too much effort.
#8. Immunity to Venom.
Opossums are known for their handy trick of playing dead when a predator attacks them. But that’s not the end of the story. These critters are also immune to snake venom!
The secret is a peptide that helps opossums neutralize dangerous chemicals. This is the reason why snakes are a favorite treat on opossums’ diet.
#9. Natural Sunscreen.
Hippos know how to save a fortune on sun protection! Living under the harsh African sun, these animals secrete a sweat-like red oily substance which evaporates and keeps the animals’ bodies cool. Besides, the fluid works as a moisturizer, sunscreen, and antibiotic, all in one!
#10. Built-In Sunglasses.
Meerkats have dark patches around their eyes which makes them look even cuter. But these black circles aren’t there just to make the critters more adorable; they also function as built-in sunglasses.
The dark fur on the patches blocks the blazing sun, and as a result, meerkats can gaze directly at the sky. On top of that, the sentry, a meerkat that watches out for birds and other predators, can easily see danger coming and alert its mates.
#11. A Professional Mimic.
If you’ve been struggling with learning a new language, you might feel pretty envious of the lyrebird! In their attempts to attract a mate, lyrebird males can mimic the sounds of 20 other bird species as well as some artificial sounds, such as chainsaws, car engines and alarms, fire alarms, barking dogs, and even mobile phone ring tones!
Interestingly, female lyrebirds can also mimic different sounds, but during courtship, they prefer to stay silent.
#12. “No” to Gravity.
Wild goats are famous for their climbing skills, but the alpine ibex from northern Italy is the champion! This critter can climb nearly any vertical surface, defying several physical laws in the process.
Interestingly, the animals that do walk on the steepest cliff walls are typically mother goats with their little ones. Large males prefer to keep their distance and use flat horizontal surfaces.
#13. Underwater Wolverine.
The axolotl, aka the Mexican walking fish, is an underwater salamander which has truly impressive regenerative abilities. Not only can they regrow their limbs, but they can also regenerate complex organs like the brain or the heart.
Oh, and the following fact may sound a bit creepy, so brace yourself: axolotls are also known to absorb other axolotls’ dismembered parts. Hmm…
#14. Built-In GPS.
Salmon are skilled navigators who could put most drivers to shame. However, this competition wouldn’t be fair: after all, salmon can sense the magnetic field of the planet and use this knowledge if they get lost. No compass or the north-star needed, thank you.
#15 Boiling Hot Protection.
When the bombardier beetle feels threatened, it sprays scorching liquid from the tip of its abdomen with a loud popping sound. As soon as the beetle senses danger, a chemical reaction starts in special reservoirs in its abdomen.
The heat from this process nearly reaches the boiling point and also produces special gas that triggers the ejection. This super protection is usually fatal for the attacking insects.
#16. Jumping Superbugs.
Fleas can be really annoying, but it doesn’t make them any less amazing. These tiny critters can leap more than 200 times their body length. If people could do the same, we would be jumping almost a quarter of a mile into the air!
The most curious thing about the fleas’ astonishing ability is that they take most of the power for leaps from their toes, not knees.
#17. Chemical Weapon.
Some animals protect themselves with venom or nasty bites while others use… chemical weapons! Listen to this: some species of millipedes produce hydrogen cyanide and exude it when they feel threatened.
One little millipede can’t seriously hurt you, but you may have burns or even blisters if your skin is overly sensitive. Plus, to make the picture even scarier, some millipedes glow in the dark.
So watch out, and if you see a crawling spot of light at night, run away as fast as you can. Which animal has the most supernatural abilities? Write your opinion in the comment section below! Remember to rate this article “17 Awesome animals with unique skills by Bright Side“, share it with your friends!
Credit: Bright Side – TED ed