From shape-shifting to living forever, the animal kingdom seems to have unlocked the secrets to all the crazy abilities we wish we had. In this list, we will explore the incredible and surprising talents of a range of animals—from the domestic dog to the curious chameleon.
See Different Colors
There are a vast collection of other colors which we as humans are unable to comprehend. Birds have the fascinating ability to see colors which are invisible to humans. This is due to the extra color cones in their retina which are sensitive to the ultraviolet range. To us, the female and male versions of each bird look pretty much the same, perhaps with a slight difference to distinguish between genders. To the birds with their UV vision, each bird could actually look quite different. This would suggest that birds are actually more selective about their mates.
Run On Water
Adult basilisks tend to weigh around 200 grams (7 oz). The lizard uses its hind legs to propel itself across the water, usually reaching a maximum distance of 5 meters (15 ft) before beginning to sink. The stride used by the lizard can be divided into three sections. The lizard slaps his foot against the water by moving it vertically downward, then strokes the water by moving his foot backward, and finally brings his foot back out of the water and returns to the starting position.
Meet the Alpine ibex goat. Just looking at him, you might not be impressed but wait until you hear what he can do. Ibex goats have the incredible ability to run up hills that are almost perfectly vertical. Not only that but they can hold their balance on the tiniest of ledges. They also have the power to jump 2 meters (6 ft), which makes galloping up vertical terrain barely even a challenge. The ibex goat uses its gravity-defying powers to escape its predators, which include wolves, bears, foxes, and lynx.
When the Turritopsis nutricula (more commonly known as the immortal jellyfish) reaches its adult form of 4.5 millimeters (0.2 in) and has reproduced, it reverts to its beginning stages of life. Instead of dying, the jellyfish transforms back to how it started life by shrinking its body, retracting its tentacles, and allowing itself to sink to the bottom of the ocean floor. The immortal jellyfish can continue to repeat this process for, well, forever. As long as this incredible creature can avoid the mouths of sea predators and stay away from fatal diseases, it can live forever.
Axolotls, the exotic amphibian have the ability to regenerate encoded into its immune system. Immune cells named macrophages assist the axolotl in regenerating parts of its body.
Have 360-Degree Vision
The human visual field covers approximately 50–60 degrees horizontally and 50–70 degrees vertically. However, for the chameleon, the human visual field is laughable. Chameleons are one of two animals which are able to see in full 360-degree vision. The chameleon has unique eye anatomy, which enables it to rotate its eyes with a high degree of freedom. The dragonfly uses its 360-degree vision mainly for the purposes of hunting. Of all insects, the dragonfly has the largest eyes—hardly surprising since 80 percent of its brain is dedicated to the control and process of sight.
There is one incredible animal with the bizarre ability to mimic the shape of other animals. The mimic octopus is a curious variety of octopus which was first discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Although the ability to change the exterior color of the skin is common to all varieties of octopus, this intelligent creature takes that one step further. It can physically reform itself to appear like a different animal. The mimic octopus’s list of impersonations includes sole, lionfish, jellyfish, and sea snakes.
Sleep With Half Of Their Brain
Cetaceans are a group of marine mammals—consisting of dolphins, whales, orcas, and porpoises—that have the unique ability to sleep with one hemisphere of their brain at a time. This kind of sleep is called “unihemispheric slow-wave sleep.” It allows the brain to recover from daily happenings and fuse new memories. While the left hemisphere sleeps, the cetacean closes the right eye and uses the right hemisphere to control breathing functions and keep the creature aware of its environment. When the right hemisphere sleeps, the opposite happens.
Reach 188 Decibels
The loudest shout ever produced by a human was achieved by an Irish teacher who ironically screamed the word “quiet.” She managed to reach 121.7 decibels. But it has nothing on the blue whale. As the largest creature known to man, it’s hardly surprising that the blue whale is able to produce the loudest sound. But what might surprise you is the amplitude of that sound. The low-frequency vocalization of the blue whale can reach an incredible 188 decibels. That is much louder than a jet, which peaks at 140 decibels. In fact, that blue whale’s sound is so loud that it is way above our threshold of pain, which peaks at 130 decibels. It’s thought that blue whales use their loud projection to attract mates from across the ocean.
Predict The Future
Some animals have the ability to sense danger before it happens is part of their instinctive nature. A group of researchers looking at the migration of golden-winged warblers concluded that the birds were capable of predicting when a storm was going to hit days before it happened. With their incredible sense of smell, dogs can actually be trained to sniff out cancer. This is truly a phenomenal ability and could save the lives of hundreds of cancer victims by detecting the disease early and allowing time for treatment.