Earth Science

Examples of Strange Animal Behavior

examples-of-strange-animal-behavior

A lot of animals display an extremely strange behavior that will make you go, “What the heck nature!” Fascinating, nevertheless. Check them out!

1-a-gentle-mama-crocodile

Although Nile crocodiles are physically and morally capable of killing a human being, they are otherwise gentle parents of their own offspring. Newborn crocodiles, being tiny, make an attractive prey for several kinds of predators. To protect these babies, the mother crocodile picks them up with her deadly jaws and slips them into the pouch inside her mouth. She carries her babies to the water where they are welcomed by the adult male crocodiles.

2-gastric-brooding-frog

These frogs, now extinct, were native to Queensland in eastern Australia. This frog species was unique because of the female’s unusual manner of bearing her young. She swallowed her eggs, turned her stomach into uterus where she incubated the eggs, and gave birth to a fully formed offspring which emerged from her mouth.

3-farmer-ants

A lot of human farmers keep animals like cattle and fowl, for food. Some species of ants exhibit pretty much the same behavior such as farming other insects as a source of food.

In this case, the so-called “farmer” or “rancher” ants keep a herd of aphids to collect honeydew. A honeydew is a sticky, sugary substance that the aphids secrete, and these farmer ants feed on it.

The farmer ants have learned to gather the aphids to their nests, and then feed them. When the ants are hungry for the honeydew, they tickle the aphids with their antennae. In this way, the tickling sensation forces the aphids to secrete honeydew, which the ants drink fresh.

4-incestuous-mites

The female mite, Histiostoma murchiei, would not need to be jealous of other mites because she creates her own husbands from scratch!

A lone female lays her eggs which turn into adults without the need for fertilization. Then she mates with her own sons within three to four days of laying the eggs. After that, the sons die off, rather quickly.

5-not-so-nurturing-cuckoos

Many species of the cuckoo birds lay their eggs on the nests of an entirely different bird species. The other birds then incubate the cuckoo’s eggs and raise the offspring until the they can fly on their own.

This behavior by the cuckoo is called “brood parasitism” in which organisms depend on other organisms to raise their young. It also exists among other species of fish or insects.

6-codependent-angler-fish

If you believe in forever and OTP or “one true pairing,” then take a cue from the anglerfish!

Some male anglerfish are known to be sexually parasitic. Because the male anglerfish’s body is quite underdeveloped, he must seek out a female for his own survival.

As the male anglerfish matures sexually, he begins a desperate search for a mate in the deep, dark waters. Once he finds a likely prospect, the male attaches himself to the female — not just figuratively, but literally! He bites into the skin of the much bigger female anglerfish, never letting her go for the rest of his life.

As a matter of fact, the moment the male anglerfish attaches himself to his enormous ladylove, their vascular systems become one, and he sort of transforms himself into an appendage of the female anglerfish’s body. He becomes entirely dependent on the female for his survival, feeding on her blood for nutrition. In return, the male provides the female with sperm. At least the female won’t have any trouble looking for a mate.

7-torturing-ichneumon-wasps

Most ichneumon wasps are harmless, but their own parasitic life cycle is scary enough to inspire horror films.

Once the female ichneumon wasp finds a victim, such as a caterpillar, she lays eggs near or on the body of the host. She may even inject her eggs inside the poor victim’s body using her long ovipositor. Often, she also injects a venom that paralyzes the caterpillar. The mother ichneumon wasp doesn’t kill the caterpillar because it would be rendered useless for her developing baby wasps if the victim’s dead. So they find a way to keep the caterpillar alive by dining on its fatty deposits and the digestive organs first, and saving the heart and the nervous system for last. Once the developing wasps are ready to pupate, they finally kill the victim.

8-child-laboring-weaver-ants

There is also a “child labor” in the ants society. Several species of ants, like the weaver ants, have a bizarre way of building their nests which involves a sort of child labor.

While a group of worker ants hold the two leaves, another group of worker ants holds a larva. Then they will squeeze a silky thread out of the young larva’s body which they use to join the two leaves together.

9-threesome-geese

Geese sometimes display a homosexual behavior, especially between the ganders (male geese). Homosexual ganders may prefer each other’s company to any female goose. But sometimes, the female goose may intervene the ganders’ relationship and get quickly fertilized. The two gay geese will accept her, and three weeks later they will be a picture of a happy family of three parents and their newborn goslings.

10-a-frigatebirds-display-of-love

That fanciful peacock’s tail? It’s nothing compared to the male frigatebird! He will show his love to the female firgatebird of his dreams by inflating his throat sac into one big heart-shaped balloon! Inflating it must be some real hard work, as it takes the male frigatebird about 20 minutes to show his heart on his sleeve… we mean, his throat.

The female will choose the male with the biggest, reddest and shiniest balloon. During their intercourse, the male will cover her eyes so that she will not be distracted or tempted by the other males with even nicer-looking balloons!

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