7 Bizarre Animal Behaviors Observed in Nature

Photo by Dmitry Grigoriev on Unsplash
Identity Magazine for Mompreneurs
Written by TeamIdentity

What can you learn from these bizarre animal behaviors? Unwind with some laughs and learn something new–maybe it will inspire you!

There are some bizarre and unusual behaviors that animals can perform that may seem strange to humans. However, when it comes to the animal kingdom, there is still a lot to see and more to discover. For example, cockroaches with superpowers, intelligent ants, and, of course, strange behavior that rodents examine and often are quite difficult to understand. 

That’s why it’s so interesting to observe some of these behaviors. So even though it’s pretty hard to tell why they do these things, they are no less interesting to discuss. 

Unwind with some laughs, enjoy our top 7 weirdest animal behaviors, and let your energy level rise with positivity.

A Rat King

When several rats’ tails are tangled, they form a mass of rodents called a rat king. Rats become entangled due to overcrowding, filth, and lack of space. Their tails tangle and intertwine as they move, making it difficult for them to separate. In time, more rats will become entangled in the mass, resulting in an even larger and grotesque rat king.

It is often believed that rat kings bring bad luck or signify impending disasters. They have historically been associated with disease and filth and were considered bad omens. However, science has shown that rat kings are not the result of supernatural forces but natural phenomena caused by certain environmental factors.

Fortunately, rat kings are rare, and most people will never see one. However, avoid contact with rodents if you encounter them, as they may carry diseases and parasites. Instead, you should call a pest control professional to handle the situation safely and effectively.

A Cockroach Can Live without a Head

Cockroaches can indeed live without their heads for several days. This is because they are not dependent on the head to pump blood around their bodies, as they have an open circulatory system. 

Reflexes and movements can persist for a short period because nerve cells are located throughout the body, not only in the brain. Even without its head, the cockroach’s body can still respond to stimuli such as touch and light. Nevertheless, cockroaches without heads cannot eat or drink and eventually die.

Even though this behaviour isn’t unexplained, it’s still fascinating. It’s not like roaches can live forever without their heads, but they can survive without them for a week, and that’s impressive.

Slavery in Ants

A colony of ants has a complex social system where members perform different tasks to ensure survival. Some ant species have developed strategies for ensuring their colonies’ success, such as “enslaving” other ant species.

Slave-makers are ants from one species that raid the nests of other ants, capture their pupae, and bring them back to their own nest. As the captured ants mature, they are forced to work for their slave-maker masters, performing various tasks such as foraging and nest maintenance.

This species’ behavior is considered a form of social parasitism, in which one species benefits at the expense of another. Although it’s illegal, ants don’t seem to care. Not all ant species engage in this behavior, which is relatively rare. Additionally, some ant species have evolved defenses against enslavement, such as nests with narrow entrances that are difficult to breach.

The Moth That Doesn’t Eat

Several species of moths do not have mouthparts and therefore do not eat during their adult stage. In the insect world, these moths are called “nonfeeding” or “vestigial” moths. Native to North America, the Luna moth (Actias luna) is an example of a nonfeeding moth. 

After emerging from their cocoon, luna moths live for about a week without mouthparts. Their sole purpose at this time is to mate and lay eggs. As a result, Luna moths don’t eat at all! 

While it may seem odd that an animal would not eat during its adult life, it is common among insects such as beetles, flies, and wasps. They rely on stored nutrients from their larval stage to survive as adults. They primarily focus on reproducing and passing genetic material to the next generation.

The clothes moth, however, likes to eat! Therefore, it is best to call a professional moth control company when you notice the first signs of a moth infestation.

Pigeons Fly Fast

Cheetahs are fast, don’t you think? Pigeons are faster…twice as fast. When diving, a pigeon can reach speeds of 180 km/h. This skill is fantastic because of how common this animal is and how we consider it a pest.

The magnetic field of the Earth and the sun are thought to help pigeons navigate. They may use roads and low-frequency seismic waves to find their way home.

Opossums Playing Dead

Playing dead is one of the opossum’s best-known abilities. To protect themselves from predators, they have developed this defense mechanism over time. As soon as an opossum feels threatened, it falls to the ground and becomes very still. Additionally, it often emits a foul-smelling odor in order to deter predators.

This “playing dead” state will last for several minutes until the opossum no longer feels threatened. A strange thing about this behavior is that the opossum is not acting; it is an involuntary reaction. Opossums’ nervous systems trigger this reaction, which results in their bodies becoming limp and their breathing slowing down.

Playing dead might seem like an odd way to protect yourself, but it actually works quite well. Predators prefer hunting live prey, so they lose interest in the opossum once they believe that it is dead. After all, playing dead is a perfect survival strategy for opossums.

Photo by Dmitry Grigoriev on Unsplash

Each Bee Has a Role and Responsibility

Despite having a short lifespan (about 30 days! ), a worker bee will perform the following roles during her short life: housekeeper, nurse, attendant to the queen, architect, ventilator, guard, and forager. When they change it, their brain chemicals will change as well.

Every single bee in the hive contributes to the hive’s work. There is only one job for the queen: laying eggs. Worker bees gather nectar, guard the hive and honey, look after the queen and larvae, keep the hive clean, and produce honey.

In conclusion

There is no doubt that animals can be stunning; however, they can also be downright weird at times. Part of their charm lies in their weirdness. Animals have adapted to survive in their environments and interact with each other and other species in ways that can be exquisitely fine-tuned-and sometimes downright strange.

Almost every year, researchers discover new weird, cool, and occasionally hilarious behaviors that animals can display, and last year was no different. Interaction with animals and pets has been proven to reduce stress levels. In addition, it can reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being.

Photo by Dmitry Grigoriev on Unsplash

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