by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson
Some things that really jumped out at me: polar bears will eat toothpaste. Apparently they find the smell of it irresistible. There is a moth that smells like goats (and another one that smells like chocolate). The area of an echidna's brain that has to do with reasoning and personality is very large in proportion to the rest of it- even bigger than that in "higher" mammals. No one's figured out why. Female ferrets actually get sick if they're not mated when in heat. Also: ferrets have been used to thread cables through long tunnels or pipes, and Boeing used them to run cables through inaccessible parts of airplanes- until apparently the ferrets started getting bored and taking naps halfway through finishing their task! Some frogs will vomit by turning their stomach inside out and cleaning it with their hands before swallowing it again! (I think that's nearly as gross as the sea cucumber's defensive mechanism of vomiting up its guts). The giraffe's tongue is dark blue to keep it from getting sunburned (it is used so much to pluck leaves off trees). Echidnas may appear brainy for their size, koalas are not. Their brain is so small it floats in the cranial cavity, surrounded by twice as much empty space! There is a calculator made from the neurons of leeches?? I don't understand this one, really. There is a specific species of louse that infects almost every animal- except for bats, echidnas and the platypus (why?) The Romans used to eat parrots, when their novelty as pets wore off. There is a species of rabbit that has stripes- it is extremely rare. The tuatara (primitive reptile related to lizards) has a third eye. An earthworm has ten hearts!
Very interesting article this book lead me to look up: Humboldt's Parrot: Endangered species and endangered languages. Want to know more crazy stuff about animals? Read the book!
Rating: 3/5 241 pages, 2007