Saturday Surprise — Who Knew? (Redux)

Good morning and welcome to the weekend!!!  Finally, eh?   I thought you all deserved and likely needed a little break from my usual dark fare, so I am reprising this Saturday Surprise post from July 2018.   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!

26 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Who Knew? (Redux)

  1. No horse is born grey. But every grey horse must have at least one grey parent! I cannot see any survival trait in them being born shades of brown, but there must have been at one time. Two of our grey horses are kind of named after female reindeer, Halory’s Comet and her neice Halory’s Cupid. Halory’s Comet started out as a play on Halley’s Comet, hoping to indicate incredible speed. Maybe she will do so this year.
    On another note, did you know Halley’s Comet in turning around this year out beyond the orbit of Neptune somewhere. It reaches its apehelion in 2023, meaning its furthest distance from the sun. For anyone young enough, it will be back in about 37 or 38 years. Anyone born shortly before 1986 could conceivably see Halley’s Comet twice in their lifetime. Note: Halley’s Comet is not perfectly regular, and can take anywhere from 74 to 79 years to make its full journey around the sun, according to historic records.
    And now you know the rest of the story.


  2. Fascinating the varieties in life. Thanks for that info Jill. Those Langur babies are cute!

    Sorry, this came into my head and will not go away
    ‘🎵Rudolphine the red nosed reindeer
    Was very sensitive about her nose
    But as she had the sharpest antlers
    In reindeer circles the subject never arose 🎵’

    Liked by 1 person

    • That one was a shocker to me, too! I could have sworn their fur was white! Yes, elephants are smart, which is why I cannot understand how the Republican Party can use them as their image/mascot/logo! Glad you enjoyed the critters!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another odd kangaroo fact is that they are reputed to be unable to move/walk/jump backwards. The same is true of the emu, and this is why both animals are featured on the Australian coat of arms – representing a nation that can only move forwards. It’s a myth of course (I’m referring to the nation, not the animals).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fascinating … I had no idea that they couldn’t walk backward, but I suppose it makes sense, if they can’t move their legs independently. Ha ha … I had a good laugh over that about the Australian coat of arms … thanks for a much-needed chuckle!


  4. Pingback: Saturday Surprise — Who Knew? (Redux) | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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