As it turns out, many of the assumptions we have made about certain animals are not true at all. Yet many of us keep repeating these faulty stories from myths and incorrect studies that have since been debunked. Let us examine 7 erroneously believed animal “facts” that really aren’t factual in the least.
7 Common Misconceptions about Animals
1) The Zebra’s Black and White Stripes is not camouflage. This is a myth that has been circulating for years and years. However, scientists have long since debunked this camouflage theory, and we still have no clue why their stripes exist.
This myth most likely came about as humans observed zebras from a perspective of human vision. It seemed like a good reason that by having a confusion of colors it would allow them blend into their surroundings.
2) Piranhas do not devour anyone who jumps into piranha-infested waters. We have seen this myth promoted on TV and it movies which makes us think that it is a death sentence to swim with piranhas. The fact is that they do not kill mammals for food. This is because their normally eat carcasses that are decomposing.
Even when they get desperate for food, they will typically eat other fish and even insects – not an entire cow. This myth was largely promoted after Teddy Roosevelt returned from an Amazon trip.
3) Penguins are not as sweet and adorable as people think. The fact is humans have not had a lot of interaction with penguins, yet we like to view them as lovely creatures that live in under some of the planet’s harshest conditions. Even how they like to walk is seen as cute.
The fact is that these terrible creatures commit perhaps the most heinous acts of depravity in the entire animal kingdom. For instance, the male Adelie penguin who live in Antarctica often engage in rape and necrophilia. This was initially documented by a scientist from Britain who studied them during an expedition that took place from 1910 to 1913.
Also female emperor penguins have actually kidnapped the chicks from other penguins to compensate for a lack of fertility. And if they were opposed, they get extremely violent. In fact, these female emperor penguins have resorted to kidnapping chicks from totally different bird species as well and attempted to raise them as one of their own.
4) Pigs do not sweat and they are not nasty. So when people use the term “sweating like a pig”, it is just plain wrong because pig do not have working sweat glands. This is why they get in the mud, so they can cool off.
Also, contrary to what most people believe, pigs are actually pretty clean animals. In fact, most of them would give some of the cleanest humans in the world a run for their money. We got this misconception about them because of the places on a farm where they are forced to live.
Pigs that live in the wild will not pass any bodily waste near the area where they live. Some of them even wash their food before they eat.
5) The Female Praying Mantis does not always eat its male lover. As far as sexual habits go, there’s probably no other creature as repulsive as the praying mantis. As the Discovery Channel clearly told us, the mating ritual of a praying mantis isn’t complete until the female devours the head of the male with which she’s mating.
But when biologists tested that popular belief, they found that it largely wasn’t true. The praying mantises that had eaten the heads of their mates had done so in captivity.
This environment was completely different from the creature’s preference for an enclosed private space in which to have sex. Instead, they had people in white coats standing over them, eagerly watching their every move.
The praying mantis couples used in the early experiments were also starving. So the males were as likely to eat their partners as the females were.
However, when scientists created conditions that were similar to how praying mantises naturally mate, they got a different result. Out of 69 experiments, only one female praying mantis ate the male after intercourse.
In the wild, too, the female praying mantis has rarely been observed to consume the male during or after intercourse. It does happen, but it’s an exception to the rule.
6) Cockroaches most likely would not survive a nuclear annihilation. of the world has been floating around the Internet, casual dinner conversations, and movie dialogue for years.
The myth probably originates from the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where some cockroaches survived the effects of radiation. However, they were far from the only creatures to have done so.
While it is true that cockroaches have a higher resistance to radiation and extinction than other creatures, more recent studies have indicated that they would be the first bugs to be wiped out when big bombs hit the ground.
As it turns out, flour beetles were the creatures most likely to survive. Many species of microbes would probably also live through a nuclear holocaust.
7) The Alpha Dog Training Technique is not applicable to domestic dogs. When it comes to training dogs, most of us have heard about the alpha dog technique. Assert your dominance and let the pooch know who’s boss because that’s how it works in the wild.
This technique is based on a belief that every wolf pack has an alpha wolf, a dominant leader that calls the shots. So it should be possible to train your pet in a similar manner.
As you may have guessed, it’s a cruel way to train your pet. But it also illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how wolf packs actually work. The alpha male theory is based on early research about pack behavior in unnatural conditions. Later research on packs in the wild has debunked these earlier conclusions.
Wolf packs don’t have a dictatorial male leader because their social structure works more like a biological family than like North Korea. Even with wild dogs—which some may argue are different animals than wolves—research has shown that pack leaders are more experienced elders rather than a static alpha male.