#1 Some fish can recognize their owner’s face.
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Obviously it depends on the type of fish, but some fish can learn to recognize familiar faces despite not having the same region of the brain that humans use for facial recognition. The study that discovered this fact only used archerfish, but other small fish might be capable of this as well!
#2 There are little tiny harvest mice that sometimes sleep inside flowers.
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Sometimes bees will fall asleep in flowers too, and even snuggle with each other.
#3 Giant pandas are no longer an endangered species, and tiger populations are on the rise.
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Giant panda populations increased by 17% over a decade, downgrading their status from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” Meanwhile, India — which is home to 60% of the global wild tiger population — has seen a 33% increase in the number of tigers in the wild.
#4 There’s an abandoned minefield that has accidentally created a penguin sanctuary. The mines keep poachers out, but the penguins are too small to set them off.
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The mines were set on the Falkland Islands when Argentinian commandos occupied the territory in a 1982 conflict with British forces. Since then, Magellanic penguins have thrived in the area. And since the areas are well marked and fenced off, no civilian has been injured by the mines, either.
#5 Your dog probably dreams about you.
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According to Dr. Dierdre Barrett, a clinical and evolutionary psychologist at Harvard, there’s reason to believe that animals dream similarly to how humans do, thanks to communication with signing gorillas (Koko and Michael, specifically). It’s likely that dogs dream as well, about the usual “dog stuff,” like going on walks or making their owner happy.
#6 When a baby elephant is born, other mothers in the social group will trumpet to celebrate or announce the baby’s arrival.
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Elephants tend to stay in close “family” groups for their whole lives, which are generally made up of female elephants (the males often leave the group to go mate, but sometimes group up with other solitary males). So other female elephants are often present for new births.
#7 Dolphin mothers sing to their babies while they’re in the womb.
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According to a study at the University of Southern Mississippi, dolphin mothers will make a “signature whistle” for the benefit of their calf while it’s in the womb. This whistle is thought to act as a sort of “name” for the mother, allowing the calf and mother to locate each other easily once it’s born. After the calf is born, other nearby adult dolphins will whistle less, likely to help the calf learn and use the right whistle.
#8 Cows have “best friends” and are happier when they’re with them.
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A study from Northampton University found that when cows were paired with another cow that shared a social bond with them, their heart rate was lower and they were more relaxed while they were penned.
#9 Your dog actually loves you, not just because you give them food and walks.
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Studies that measured oxytocin levels, heart rates, and other biometrics showed that levels of bonding hormones rose and heart rates fell in both humans and their dogs after interacting with each other. In other words, when you pet your dog, both of you produce more of the same hormone in your brain that makes you fall in love with people, and both of you relax more.
#10 When dogs appear in movies and TV, sometimes they have to have CGI tails because they wag too much during the scene.
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This happened during filming of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when some husky dog actors didn’t look “menacing” because of their happily wagging tails. It’s possible that they were wagging because they knew they were doing a good job at their acting tasks.
#11 Dogs can tell when you’re due to come home by how much of your scent is remaining in the house.
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Ever wondered how your dog seems to be able to tell time accurately? If you or someone you live with has a daily routine, your dog might go linger by the door or start looking out the window right before their human is due home because they can smell how much your scent has deteriorated in your absence.
#12 Goats and cows have accents.
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Cows tend to moo differently depending on the region they live in. It’s similar for goats, but goats will also adopt a new “accent” if they hang out with new goats for a while.
#13 Hundreds of trees — if not more — become seedlings every year because of squirrels who forgot where they buried their food.
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According to Rob Swihart, a professor of wildlife science at Purdue University, gray squirrels bury their food (nuts, acorns, etc.) all over the place but often forget to dig them back up. Those buried seeds have a good chance of becoming full-grown trees.
#14 Bees make a “whoop!” sound when they bump into each other or are startled.
Scientists recorded the sounds and found that they were happening mostly when bees would bump into each other, which happened more frequently at night.
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