15 Animal Lies You’ve Believed Outside of April 1st

Experts dispel misguided and very common beliefs about animals (Photo: Pexels/ Alexandr Podvalny/ CreativeCommons)

April 1st is known as April Fools’ Day. The tradition is believed to have started in France in the 17th century. Until then, the new year was celebrated during the week of March 25th to April 1st, but when King Charles IX decided to adopt the Gregorian calendar, the celebrations have been moved to January 1st. This confused some people, who began to be mocked on April 1st, receiving fake party invitations and weird gifts.

To get into the spirit of the date, Insect’s life selected 15 animal lies that you’ve probably believed (or, who knows, still believe) even outside of April 1st. Check it out and be surprised!

1. Dog that barks doesn’t bite

The popular saying is that dogs that bark don’t bite, but that’s not necessarily true. “One thing has nothing to do with the other. There are dogs that signal that they are going to bite, like the pinscher, and others that don’t, like the German shepherd”, he says. Alex Adeodatoneurosurgeon and CEO of CRV Imagem.

2. Cats don’t like water

It is true that most cats are not a big fan of water – they even manage to clean it on their own, dispensing with traditional baths. But the savannah cat is there to prove that every rule has its exception: the feline loves water and can even swim.

Not all cats don't like water (Photo: Unsplash/Nick Sorockin/CreativeCommons)

Not all cats don’t like water (Photo: Unsplash/Nick Sorockin/CreativeCommons)

3. All birds sleep early

Have you ever heard the expression “sleep with the birds” to say that a person sleeps too early? It’s based on the fact that most birds have diurnal habits to avoid predators – that’s why we see little birds retreating to trees before dark.

“But there are nocturnal birds. They are mostly carnivorous, like owls, or insectivorous, like the urutau”, he says. Renato Ordonesveterinarian specializing in wild animals.

4. Sloths are lazy

The name of these mammals leads us to think that they are lazy, but this is not exactly true. The idea we have of laziness is closely linked to human behavior and the lack of desire to do something more stimulating.

In the case of sloths, what happens is that they move very slowly and can sleep up to 16 hours a day, according to Renato. But this is a survival strategy, not discouragement.

The slowness of sloths has nothing to do with discouragement (Photo: Flickr/ Thowra_uk/ CreativeCommons)

The slowness of sloths has nothing to do with discouragement (Photo: Flickr/ Thowra_uk/ CreativeCommons)

5. Monkeys only eat bananas

Although commonly depicted eating a banana, these primates have a much more varied diet. According to Renato, although some species of monkeys are frugivorous (that is, they eat mostly fruits), they can also feed on leaves and insects.

6. Blind snakes cannot see

Blind snakes, contrary to what the name says, are not necessarily blind. “They may or may not have rudimentary eyes, which only perceive the presence of light, without being able to form an image”, says Renato.

7. Centipede is 100 feet

Centipedes have a name that can be a little confusing. Prof. Sinval Silveira Netoformer head of the entomology department at ESALQ-USP, explains that this name is merely illustrative. Centipedes are actually arthropods and therefore have jointed legs. Their body is segmented into rings and, according to the sub-order to which they belong, they may have one or two pairs of legs per segment. The number of segments, in turn, is variable – this means that the number of legs also varies greatly. “You can find individuals with twenty legs and others with more than one hundred”, exemplifies Sinval.

The number of centipede feet can vary greatly (Photo: Unsplash/ Jeremy Bezanger/ CreativeCommons)

The number of centipede feet can vary greatly (Photo: Unsplash/ Jeremy Bezanger/ CreativeCommons)

8. Cats communicate by meowing

No, meowing is not for cats what speech is for humans. In fact, communication between cats is established through smell, through pheromones.

9. Orca is the killer whale

For starters, orcas are not whales – in fact, they belong to the dolphin family, as he explains. Pedro Henrique Magalhaes Cardosoveterinarian who works with aquatic animals. Their reputation as an assassin is somewhat exaggerated: in reality, what happens is that they have great hunting skills in a group.

The orca is the largest dolphin in existence (Photo: Unsplash/Nitesh Jain/CreativeCommons)

The orca is the largest dolphin in existence (Photo: Unsplash/Nitesh Jain/CreativeCommons)

10. Dog only sees in black and white

This is perhaps one of the biggest myths about pets. But the truth is that dogs can see colors, especially bluish and grayish yellow tones.

11. Bulls are irritated by the color red

Perhaps you have seen a representation of a bullfighter waving a red cloth to spur a bull. This image makes many people think that these animals are irritated by the color red, but the truth is that they are not even able to identify this hue. What happens, according to Renato, is that the bulls are stimulated by the movements of the cloth, not by its color.

12. Bats are blind

Bats are essentially oriented by echolocation, a sense that allows them to identify their position through the emission of ultrasonic waves. However, Renato explains that they are not blind.

Bats are not blind (Photo: Unsplash/Rene Riegal/CreativeCommons)

Bats are not blind (Photo: Unsplash/Rene Riegal/CreativeCommons)

13. Mice eat cheese

Several cartoons depict mice delighting in dairy. There is a certain truth behind this – these rodents enjoy the taste of cheese. But that does not mean that your diet is based on this food.

“Rats are omnivorous and have a very varied food habit. In addition, they should not be fed cheese, as it is a food derived from milk that has lactose, and these rodents, in adulthood, no longer produce enzymes to digest this sugar”, explains Renato.

14. Owls turn their necks 360º

Owls, symbol of wisdom and philosophy, are fascinating animals. And indeed, they have good neck mobility – but not enough to turn it 360°! Renato explains that they are able to rotate this joint by up to 180° to each side.

Owls can rotate their necks 180° to each side (Photo: Pexels/ Amol Mande/ CreativeCommons)

Owls can rotate their necks 180° to each side (Photo: Pexels/ Amol Mande/ CreativeCommons)

15. It’s in the nature of dogs and cats not to get along

This idea is widespread, especially in films and cartoons. However, these species can live in harmony, as long as they are properly introduced at the right time, according to the veterinarian. Sabina Scarduawho works with animal behavior and is a columnist for Insect’s life.

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