From the world’s loudest creatures … to flying frogs and immortal jellyfish ... Here are 16 animals with unexpected powers and abilities
Subscribe to Epic Wildlife http://goo.gl/6rzs5u
#6 Stealth Mode
Several animal species display abilities that serve to make them near-invisible to prey. Owls can descend on field mice without making a detectable flutter of their wings. Researchers are still attempting to puzzle out how their wings and feathers mitigate aerodynamic noise. The Western Barbastelle bat of Europe preys primarily on moths. Because those insects can detect the echolocation calls of bats, these flying mammals will whisper their calls. Experts say this species emits a pinging sound that is up to 100 times quieter than that of their cousins. That essentially renders the bats undetectable to prey and makes it easier to ambush them.
Fleas are notorious as parasites feeding off the blood of their hosts. Did you know they have powerful hind legs, which enable them to jump great distances? They can vault up to 100 times their body length! Some other critters share this athletic ability. That includes Jumping Spiders, which can make leaps of around 50 times their body length. And measuring about 5 inches (13 cm), Kangaroo Rats can jump distances of 9 feet (2.75 m), or more than 20 times their body length. If humans had this type of proportionate strength, we’d have no worries about leaping over tall buildings in a single bound! If you know of any more examples, tell us in the comments below.
#4 Sound and Fury
What does the surface of the sun have in common with the Pistol Shrimp? They can both produce incredibly intense heat. The common name refers to the animal’s disproportionately huge claw, which is larger than half the shrimp’s body length. Instead of pincers, this claw has two parts which resemble a pistol. When the ‘hammer’ part is released into the other part, it creates an explosive wave of bubbles that can blow away larger predators, and can smash through glass. The wave is technically known as a cavitation bubble which can generate speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and produces a noise of 200 decibels or more. When it collapses, temperatures can reach nearly 8,500 degrees Fahrenheit (4,700 degrees Celsius). That’s not as scorching as the sun’s surface, but it’s pretty close. And it’s phenomenal for a shrimp that measures about 2 inches long (5 cm). Did you know that if the snapping claw is damaged, a smaller claw will regenerate in its place? That causes the original, small appendage to grow into a larger snapping claw. That ability to reverse claws has only been documented in the Pistol Shrimp!
#3 Slippery Skin
The Spiny Mouse gets its common name from uniquely stiff guard hairs that resemble the spines of a hedgehog. That’s one unusual feature. What really sets this critter apart is their unusual defense mechanism. When caught by a predator, they can literally slip out of their skin to escape. They’re the only animals known that can deliberately self-amputate parts of their body to avoid capture. Any skin tissue that’s been released or damaged will regenerate with minimal scarring. That includes not only their skin, but hair follicles, fur, and cartilage. Experts think that similar genes for regeneration could exist in other mammals, including humans.
#2 Loud and Clear
The Water Boatman is a minuscule insect that measures about 2 millimeters long. They're commonly found in European ponds, and there doesn’t seem to be anything so exceptional about them. But it has a talent that is unlike any other animal on this list. The males of this species are regarded to make the loudest noise of any animal proportionate to its size. Sound engineers have documented the noise at 99.2 decibels, or about the volume of a passing freight train. The sound is audible to humans as they walk past the pond shore. Researchers know the noise is created underwater by the males as a type of courtship ritual. But why it’s so loud is still a mystery.