When people think of this specific spider, they often imagine what they believe to be the most poisonous spider in the world. However, the moniker often given to spiders with skinny, long legs is not exactly accurate. Many pholcid spiders are referred to as daddy long legs when they actually have a different name (via Ranker). Moreover, if you happen to encounter one of these spiders (or spider-like creatures, because some critters that people refer to as “daddy long legs” are not even spiders), you do not need to worry about a poisonous bite. There are simply no records of these spiders biting a human and causing any level of harm (via NCBI).
If there were the potential for harm, scientists would have done studies involving milking the spiders for venom and injecting the poison into a test subject to determine the reaction. After all, if there is the potential for harm, pharmaceutical companies would want to capitalize on any potential antidote! This experiment has never been done because there has never been the threat of harm. In fact, there have never been toxicology studies performed on any pholcid spiders, as they do not pose a threat to humans (via Healtline). Some spiders do. Daddy long legs and other pholcids are just not in that category but keep reading about other animal myths.
There are several animal myths surrounding man’s best friend. Popular wisdom suggests that a dog with a wet nose is healthy, and a dog with a dry nose is sick. However, this is simply not true. The wetness on a dog’s nose is very similar to the sweat on a human’s skin and indicates the level of activity, not overall health (via VCA). Dogs actually have mucous glands on their nose that help them smell better, and when they lick their noses, they are sampling whatever it is that they have just smelled. If you are concerned that your dog may not feel well, do not touch its nose to determine for yourself. A wet and cold nose has nothing to do with dog sickness.
If you are concerned about determining whether or not your dog is sick, look for significant changes in your dog’s behavior (via Ranker). If Fido is not eating as much as usual or acting lethargic instead of his energetic self, there is probably a problem. Generally, you should call your vet if you have a concern. If the vet does not say to bring the dog in right away, monitor its condition for 24 hours to see if things worsen. If they do, bring the dog in right away. A dog who is listless, wheezing, or has a runny nose should be taken to the vet immediately because its condition is likely life-threatening.
Bears and hibernation go together like peanut butter and jelly. Whenever children learn about bears in school, one of the first things that they are taught is that bears sleep through the winter during a period called hibernation. Nevertheless, in reality, what bears do is not true hibernation, meaning they do not go entirely dormant for the entire season. They go into more of a state of suspended animation that includes a very deep and long sleep that resembles hibernation. However, these bears will undoubtedly wake up if necessary. So, if you ever encounter a sleeping bear during the winter, do not try to poke at it! It very well could wake up and give you a very, very bad time.
Let’s put some true behind these myths. Rodents are the champions of hibernation, particularly Arctic squirrels (via BBC). These guys usually have a body temperature of about 99 degrees Fahrenheit. However, during the winter months, they can drop their body temperatures to below freezing. Then, bears go into a period of complete dormancy for several weeks. They then wake up to warm their body temperatures up, then go back to sleep for the remainder of the winter. Unlike squirrels, bears do not cool their body temperatures in the winter, and this drop is a core component of true hibernation. They take a long nap that helps them survive food scarcity (via Ranker).
Here is the final one of the wildest animal myths that most people still believe. This myth may be one of the last to die in the world of animal mythology (via Ranker). Matadors, or Spanish bullfighters, began using red capes in the 1700s as part of their technique of getting the bull to charge and exciting the crowd. However, the trigger that gets bulls to charge is the cape itself, not the color. They will charge at capes that are purple, blue, yellow, green, or any other color. Nevertheless, red seems to be a fan favorite and a tradition in this Spanish pastime. The tradition is so deep that matadors generally wear costumes that match the red cape and never fathom any other color.
There are many other myths about animals. One is that the wolfpack leader is alpha when in reality, wolfpacks function much more like human families and have a complex social structure (via Mental Floss). Another is that lice prefer long and oily hair. Nevertheless, lice are equal opportunity invaders. Moreover, that hump on a camel’s back does not store water. A camel can go for up to a week without water, but not because it is sucking up fluids from underneath its ubiquitous hump. The hump is actually full of fatty tissue to help the animal survive long stretches without food. In reality, they are so effective at extracting water from their food and storing it in their kidneys that they can go without fluids for several days.