Saturday Surprise — Who Knew?

Good morning and welcome to the weekend!!!  Finally, eh?  Been one of those weeks that I just wanted to crawl under a rock more than once.  But here it is, Saturday morning, and the whole weekend lies ahead.  What adventures do you guys have planned for the weekend?  I was initially planning to take you all on a fun journey today, but unfortunately, my Tiny Timely Travel machine is on the fritz and I think I am going to have to take it to the shop.  When I asked it to take me to Italy yesterday, I ended up in Sri Lanka, and when I was trying to go to Hawaii for a bit of r&r, I found myself in Calcutta.  So, instead I found some really cool things that I didn’t know about my favourite topic — animals!!!  I think you’ll find these fun and interesting, I guarantee you’ll learn something new!

reindeerWho knew that reindeer are the only deer species where both males and females grow antlers? The males shed theirs the beginning of December, the females shed theirs in the spring.  Now think about this one for a minute, folks.  Reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, toward the end of December.  The reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh always have antlers, yet male reindeer shed their antlers the beginning of December.  Perhaps all those male names like Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen need to be changed to Susie, Clara, Angela, Cassandra, etc!

elephantWho knew that elephants are one of only a handful of animals that can pass the mirror test — in other words, they can recognize their own reflection (and not think it’s another animal, as dogs and cats usually do)? They tested this by placing a chalk mark on an elephant’s forehead and then showing it a mirror. The elephant investigated the mark on its own forehead, indicating it knew that it was looking at itself. Now, I might argue that part about dogs and cats, for one of our Sig-Seven, Pandora, spends a good part of her day sitting on the vanity in the bathroom and looking at herself in the mirror.  She doesn’t attack her reflection, nor does she try to snuggle with it, she just stares at it.  But then, all of our Sig-Seven are strange, weird critters.

flamingoWho knew that while we have always thought flamingo’s knees bent backward, those are really their ankles?  Their knees are actually up by their body, and it bends the same way ours does.  Okaaaaaay … I guess I can see it.  So I wonder where they keep their hips?

pumaWho knew that big cats are classified as being either roaring or purring cats?  Lions and tigers are, obviously, of the roaring variety, while bobcats and lynxes are purrers.  The largest of the purring sort is the puma, also known as the mountain lion.  Its purr is quite loud and is said to sound much like an idling motorcycle.

polar bear.jpgWho knew that polar bears’ fur is not white?  Yep, you heard me right … their fur is actually transparent and only appears white because it reflects visible light.  Now, can you guess what the colour of their skin underneath that transparent fur is?  Black!  Sometimes you’ll notice a yellowish or greenish tint to their fur.  The yellow is a sign of aging, or sometimes dirt, while the green is from the algae that can grow on polar bear fur in unnaturally warm and humid environments such as are found in polar bearWhile the biggest polar bear ever recorded weighed a whopping 2,209 pounds, when they are born they weigh barely one pound!

kangaroo-3Who knew that Kangaroos cannot move their legs independently of each other, they have to move them in sync, but only when they’re on land? When they’re swimming, they can move them separately. Hopping is their most efficient way to move — a walking kangaroo is extremely awkward. They swing both legs forward using their tail as a third leg to prop up while their legs swing.

Who knew that although adult Langur monkeys are silvery-grey in colour, their babies are bright orange? Their fur begins to change to grey starting with its head so that for a short period of time it looks quite strange with only its body a bright orange.


There are three main theories as to why the babies are born such a bright orange:

  • The babies are orange so mothers do not lose them when they explore the forest
  • Their bright colour helps them blend into their surroundings as predators are often colour blind and mistake orange for green
  • The orange colouring of infants makes it obvious there are babies in the troop so other adults should start to share the care for them

I think the first one seems the most likely.

And because I just cannot get enough of adorable polar bear babies …

Okay, friends, that’s all I’ve got for today.  I hope you learned something fun today, and that you have an absolutely wonderful weekend, whatever you do!

39 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Who Knew?

  1. Dear Jill,

    These animals are fun to learn about and to see. The orange monkeys and the baby polar bears were adorable. I would love to meet a purring big cat who didn’t want to eat me.

    I loved the nursing mommy story in the comments section as well.

    Thanks a million for another fun post.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All our cats pass the mirror test, I actually think they are evolving in front of our very eyes. They eat vegetables, they love sauces on their food, and you can’t tell me cats are colour-blind. Our babies both have coil toys. The male loves the green one, the female claims the yellow one. They both play fetch, and they never fetch the other’s toy.
    Meanwhile, never knew about the flamingoes, and they are my next favourite birds after penguins. But I have to ask: are those the kangaroos’ ankles halfway up their legs too. They look mighty similar to the flamingos’ legs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I knew a silver and white tabby once who thought he was a tiger and who would preen himself in front of a full length mirror. Jeez, what an ego! I was kind of his uncle, having been around him since his birth. He was the dominant kitten in the litter by far. He never purred, and never made any vocalizations whatsoever as far as I know. But, he considered everyone and everything around him as his subordinate! I love cats, but this guy was a J.E.R.K.! Once in the middle of the night, he knocked open my door and jumped onto my chest as I was sleeping. He just stared at me as if to say, “I’m the boss here!” I was tempted a couple of times to teach him a lesson, but it wouldn’t have done any good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha Ha … I can just picture that! We have had a variety of cats in our lives and their personas are all so different … they never cease to amaze me. We have one now who is very tiny, 3-years-old, part Persian, very fluffy … a beautiful cat … to look at. But she is the cat from hell! She begs for pets, looks at you with those gorgeous, soulful eyes, and as soon as you touch her … CHOMP! I have so many scars … I finally learned. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I think your little Persian is upset about something. I’ve seen that behavior in cats before, and it usually means they are trying to express some frustration they’re feeling.

        Persians have a tendency to be “high maintenance” cats. While more affectionate than other breeds, they also want more attention from their human guardians. If you notice that her biting behavior increases after she’s been ignored or left alone for longer periods of time, then you’ll know what she’s upset about. Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have long said that she would be much happier in a home where she is an only child, for she is horribly jealous of the other 6 moggies! The only one in the family, interestingly, who can pet her without suffering bodily harm is my granddaughter, Miss Goose. I call her the “Cat Whisperer”, for even the one who is autistic, Izzy, will go to the Goose.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. The ability to present education as entertainment is an art…YOU just nailed it! When Benjamin joins me in exploring my emails, I read to him an edited post as he examines the pictures. We then discuss what the post is presenting and this leads to great learning experiences, for both of us. Videos are always a bonus. He will LOVE this entire post! Thank-you x 2!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!!! I’m excited to know you’ll be sharing it with Benjamin! Funny story … as I was working on this post last evening, there was another I was going to use, but it pertained to Kangaroos nursing their young, and I deleted it because I thought of Benjamin and thought it was, perhaps, a bit much information for a 4-year-old! 😀


      • Benjamin is quite savvy about the art of nursing. His parents having many friends that are quite reproductive. The sight of babies being nursed by their mothers is not an uncommon occurrence in his world…the mothers do use those covers that are a marvelous invention, and his Mommy has her old one close at hand just in case. Which all leads to saying…feel free to post said video. It does bring to mind a bit of family history, that is often retold. When my son was about 4 years old, a friend was visiting with a newborn baby. My son was standing at her elbow observing, when the baby began wailing. The mother suddenly parted a nursing blouse and began feeding. My son stood there staring with his eyes growing larger and his mouth in an “O”. Young mother asked him what was wrong? Whereupon, he pointed his finger and said : “My Mommy has two of those, but nobody eats hers!” Later that day he went next door to our neighbor’s house to visit his little friend, Missy. She was sitting on the steps feeding her baby doll a bottle. My son pulled the strap to his shortall over and pointed to himself and told her : “You feed a baby with these Missy!” He was promptly sent home by Missy’s mother! Times have changed!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Oh that story is hilarious!!! You have made me laugh … no easy task these days!!! Thanks!!!! Yes, times have changed, but did you hear a few weeks ago that the Trump administration defied WHO (World Health Organization) and claims that feeding a baby processed formula is better than breast milk? Why? Because Trump wants the big corporations that manufacture the infant formula to see more profits! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


  5. Thanks, I didn’t know most of these things. I did know about elephants — apes and (I think) dolphins also pass the mirror test. It’s a good indicator of the presence of higher-order thinking.

    On the langur monkey babies, all three explanations could actually be true. Most mammals are color-blind, but primates are the exception, probably because primates largely eat fruit and color vision makes fruit stand out against the green jungle background, as well as showing whether it’s ripe or not. So the orange color is highly visible to other langur monkeys, but not to mammal predators.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Patty! I’m so glad you liked the animals … I had much fun with this one, for it was all news to me! You have a great weekend too. It’s too hot here (95 today, with 70% humidity) to get out very much.


    • Yes, I once had friends, both with brown hair, nobody in either family had red hair as far as anybody knew, and they had a red-haired baby. He was so sure it wasn’t his that he insisted on DNA testing! It was his. 😀 I thought the Langurs were adorable, but then I am a sucker for any sort of critter.


  6. Great stuff –most of whichI did not know! An animal trainer rented a barn on my uncle’s farm years ago when I spent summers with him helping him with his horses. The trainer was working with leopards and I got to see them up close and personal. They also purr!! Have a great weekend! (Here is Cottonwood we have “Coming Home Days” which are a bit crazy!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Now that sounds like fun — getting to play with leopards! I didn’t know they purred, too … I would have guessed they roared … but then, until I did this post, I thought all the big cats roared! I had fun with this one and learned a lot! Have fun at Coming Home Days … is that rather like a carnival with food & music & such?

      Liked by 1 person

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