We’re not saying that the video game series Hitman missed the perfect opportunity to be more gruesome, but we ARE saying that Assassin Bugs are better killers than Agent 47. The bugs will capture ants by first paralyzing them and eating their insides out. One of the strangest animal habits you’ll see involves how these little guys will pile up those dead ants on their backs. They’ll usually be wrapped up in a sticky ball so that the bug can make sure they stick around.
This was done as an evolutionary response to hide from their top predator, Jumping Spiders, who do not like to go after ants. While they very easily could take out one ant or maybe a few, they know that ants rarely travel in a small group. It is the method of being with a group of friends going down a dark alley at night versus being on your own. Ants also use chemical weapons against Spiders too. Due to this, the Assassin Bug will place ants on their back to make the Spider avoid them.
While we all might like watching Cyclops of the X-Men shooting laser beams out of his eyes at potential enemies, we sadly do not have any animals capable of this. Well, not yet at least. Give it time, science. However, we do have one creature that sprays red stuff at potential predators though. One of the strangest animal habits around involves the Horned Lizard and how it sprays blood out of its own eyes as a method of defending itself.
Sure, having a defensive mechanism like this makes some sense. We can assume most predators would leave you alone after this sort of thing happens. Most of the time, that is exactly what happens as it startles the predator enough for it to flee most of the time. The blood comes from the flooded sinuses of the Horned Lizard. They have even been known to remove foreign particles from their eyes using the eye blood. It operates a lot like how tears work for humans. Except we cannot spray them.
For those unaware, there are some ants technically born blind. Most ants actually navigate using their eyesight, a lot like humans. That said, it can be hard to do this if you’re blind yet some Army Ants are. They will become disoriented a lot easier and even march in circles until they end up dying from exhaustion. Yet in one of the strangest animal habits, while also being one of the coolest, ants have a method for getting around this problem.
To help other ants, the Army Ants will use pheromones that leave behind a trail that Ants can sense. They will then be able to follow behind others. However, they can potentially lose the scent. This can be a major problem because once one ant falls victim to the lost scent, others might fall behind them. Some might still be okay, resulting in just a few stragglers, but a lot of the time, the lost scent causes ants just to follow the one in front. If the Front Ant is off, it results in a big ant spiral known as an Ant Mill. They will march until they drop dead, making this a technical suicide march.
It is pretty obvious that one of the creepiest-looking fish on the planet has to be the Anglerfish. You likely recognize it from the Finding Nemo movie, where Marlin and Dory were hypnotized by the light. While the one in that movie was relatively large, a significant portion of the Anglerfish male species is pretty small. That can then lead to one of the strangest animal habits that will likely make you feel gross just reading about it.
If a male is smaller, he will try to connect with a larger female. The idea is that he will find a suitable female and literally bite into her stomach. He will refuse to let go and the two will essentially latch together. Their bodies and even circulatory systems will fuse to become one. The male has essentially become new gonads for the female. What’s creepier is that it does not end there at times. The female might also add other males. Up to eight Anglerfish can fuse like this to one female!!
Male Bowerbirds Trick Females Into Falling For Them Using Magic
Bowerbirds are pretty interesting creatures. Every bird species has some form of compelling mating habit that they might employ. Both males and females engage in them, but for Bowerbirds, they put in the work! They will construct an entire structure known as a “Bower.” It’ll usually be made of sticks, colorful trinkets they find, and even fruits. The female the male is trying to mate with will sit in the bower and watch his mating display, judging his potential mating prowess.
Yet that is also where one of the strangest animal habits comes into play. The male Bowerbird will try to sort of use magic to help himself. He tries to put an illusion in play to make himself look better. He will use small bits of bones and/or shells at the entrance of the bower. He’ll put the largest ones right in front of the female. This will force the perspective eyesight-wise and make the area look smaller. That will, in turn, make the male look larger. Therefore, also more attractive and mate-worthy.
For those unaware, Flatworms happen to be hermaphroditic. To compare them to humans, they would be known as Intersex these days. This means a person was born with both male and female reproductive organs. Of course, only a small few are born like this among humans but ALL Flatworms are born this way. This means they can mate with literally any Flatworm they’d like to do the nasty with. However, there is one small issue when it comes to mating for children; someone must be the mother.
To decide who the mother will be, Flatworms will “swordfight” by battling with their male organs. They will do this until there is a winner. Of course, the winner is the one that gets to inseminate the other. You do not want to be the loser (and thus, the mother) because it takes a lot more energy to make eggs than sperm anyway. Plus, you have to carry and eventually have the eggs. The Father Flatworm can essentially run along and never be seen again. Just like a deadbeat father, those Flatworms.
So you’re just a nice, happy-go-lucky cockroach just minding your own cockroachy business. Suddenly, a Jewel Wasp is on top of you and committing an assault that would put a human in prison for a decade. Your brain took a sting from this Wasp and you are now pretty much immobile, unable to move very well. This is when the true assault begins. Like some sick serial killer, the Jewel Wasp will drag the roach back to its burrow where it’ll lay one egg inside the roach’s abdomen.
The Wasp will even allow the cockroach to go back to its own home after such a traumatic incident. But this is where one of the strangest animal habits gets worse. The Wasp follows the roach home and blocks up its home once it goes inside. The roach is now trapped, unable to escape. Roughly three days later, the wasp larva will hatch inside the roach and begin to literally eat its way out. Once it does, it’ll get out of the burrow and do Waspy things. We think we should call a therapist now.
It is possible that you’ve been around Pigeons here and there in life. They are all over the place, especially cities for some reason. Have you ever wondered why they seem to walk on the ground a lot rather than fly? How about their seemingly weird inability to move when something is coming at them? In one of the strangest animal habits we’ve ever seen, it seems that Pigeons are apparently the worst procrastinators.
When studied, researchers found that when a Pigeon knew something had to be done such as a task, it would fly away from the situation rather than handle the problem. The issue here is that when they need to do something, the problem only grows into a bigger one. Pigeons cannot seem to handle all of this happening at once. This is why you might see a Pigeon refuse to fly away when a car is coming straight at them. Inside their little bird brain, they are too freaked out to think of the best move.
There is a huge problem that can occur in life. Say you’re some dude who sees a pretty girl you want to talk to. Yet you’re not the only one who might want to talk. If you try to talk to her, another dude might interfere, thus stopping you from having a talk with your future wife. Cuttlefish have a way of avoiding this problem, and it’s one of the strangest animal habits that has ever been observed by science.
When they see a prospective mate, male cuttlefish will morph half their body to look like a female. This allows them to go up to a female cuttlefish with their male side facing them. Meanwhile, other male cuttlefish see the other side and what appears to be two females. This allows the male to court the female without dealing with potential competition from other males. By doing this, the male can ensure he’ll get to mate with the female before other males get the chance.
While some people think birds are dumb, Crows prove this to be completely untrue. In fact, they are some of the smartest animals on the planet. Moreover, they have memories on par with human beings! Researchers found that crows remembered their abductors. We know they did because they dived at them in an attempt to attack. To further test this, researchers had other crows captured by abductors who wore a “threatening mask.”
Over the span of four weeks, researchers would have people feed the crows wearing “caring masks.” The idea was that the crows should feel like the people wearing the caring mask were good while those with threatening masks were bad. As a way to test the theory, the crows were shown the two faces and then given a brain scan. When shown the caring face, Crows acted neutral. Meanwhile, when shown the threatening face, they were distressed. Meaning they remembered both. More than this, they only saw the threatening masks once (the day of their abduction), so they remembered those who wronged them.
You might think you’ve seen some of the strangest animal habits thus far, but one such issue in Asia might shock you. Over in Japan, there are major problems between Native Bees and the infamous Asian Giant Hornet species. Essentially, the Hornets like to get inside Beehives and murder pretty much every bee they come across. If more than one breaks in, they could slaughter about 20 bees per second. Resulting in thousands in a mere few hours.
The only way the Giant Hornets can do this is by first sending a scout out to find a potential Beehive to break into. Yet the Japanese Honeybees are wise to this. They will often capture the Hornet Scout and then cluster around it, vibrating incredibly fast. As you might know because of, well, science, vibrations moving at a high speed can generate heat. In this instance, the bees are generating so much that they literally cook the Giant Hornet to death. Preventing it from going back to his clan.
Sometimes, humans can get such an immense level of emotion that we might pass out. This is often triggered by a potential issue such as low or high blood pressure. Both can result in a person passing out. Humans should not feel weird about this issue, however. Another species happens to be famous for its fainting problems. They are called the Myotonic Goats. While they were not originally from Tennessee, four of these goats were brought there in the 1880s.
The goats apparently “got busy,” and resulted in quite a few being born. They are still relatively endangered, however. They are often referred to as “The Fainting Goats” or the “Tennessee Fainting Goats” due to their issue. When these little guys get startled, their bodies will freeze up for roughly 10 seconds. This results in them falling over, appearing to faint. Described in 1939 as “congenital myotonia,” it would later be found to be a mutation in their genes in 1996.
One of the strangest animal habits known is also one of the most destructive to all bird species. The Cuckoo Bird is known for doing some absolutely horrible things. Females will lay their eggs in other nests that do not belong to them, and will then abandon those eggs entirely. Like leaving a baby at the entrance of a Hospital, Fire Department, or Adoption Center. Most of the time, the baby birds are eventually raised and fed. They might even indirectly kill their “fake” siblings.
Cuckoo Birds are naturally bigger and pretty loud compared to others. This results in the Cuckoos being fed more and they’ll even steal food right from their “mother’s” mouth. Once the bird grows up, they will leave the nest. Females will then go lay another egg in yet another nest that does not belong to them and become a problem for yet another mother. Keep in mind, Cuckoo Birds do not just do this with other Cuckoo nests. Meaning a Robin could just as easily have a potential Cuckoo child to raise. This act from the Cuckoo Bird is known as Brood Parasitism.
Clownfish Transition Sexes, Sometimes Faster Than They’d Like
While human beings can only transition our genders, other animals can transition their sex. This is not common among most animals, but it does happen with all Clownfish. When the Matriarch of the Clownfish clan dies off, a male Clownfish will take its place and become the new female. Usually, this occurs with the largest male in the clan. Potentially, due to the fact that Female Clownfish need to be a bit larger for all the babymaking.
Since Clownfish will have usually just one female around compared to several males, they will live in a Polyamorous society where there will be several Brother-Husbands. The female will only take one mate at a time, so males have to move up in the hierarchy. However, all Clownfish start out as males. Of course, Clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites. Meaning, they start male but will eventually transition to female in their lives. All of them. Finding Nemo is somehow weirder to watch now.
When we say that there might never be another creature more important to their species than Koko the Gorilla, we truly mean that. She sadly died in 2018, but when she was alive, Koko was able to show a level of intelligence that would impress anyone. We know that Gorillas cannot speak English or any other known human language. However, her instructor and caregiver Francine Patterson realized she could teach Koko sign language to communicate with humans.
While it was a version of Gorilla signing, Koko learned more than 1,000 signs to communicate with. That put her on the same level as a three-year-old human. Koko also was able to understand around 2,000 words of English, in addition to Sign Language. Perhaps, the most amazing thing was her recognition skill. When meeting Robin Williams, Koko remembered him from a movie she watched, identified him on the cover of the tape, and was excited to interact with him personally.
While there are some asexual creatures, mostly in the ocean, most of the time you need a mate to create new life. Yet due to problems with a species, some creatures are unable to mate for one reason or another. This led to some animals developing an evolutionary response. In one of the strangest animal habits in history, a Komodo Dragon surprised her caregivers at the London Chester Zoo when she ended up laying eggs.
This would have made sense if the Dragon had a mate, but she didn’t. In fact, she had not been around a male Komodo Dragon in quite some time. You could see how it would surprise everyone. What ended up happening was a “virgin birth,” where the female dragon laid exact clones of herself. The children are literal clones of their mother, down to their DNA. This last-ditch evolutionary response to pass along genes can also be found in Pythons and Swellsharks. Each time, it’s absolutely incredible.
Where did we find this stuff? Here are Our Sources: