Weird and Wonderful: Elephant Dentistry and Roaring Ostriches

Natural Selection
July 03, 2018

Here’s a quick roundup of some of our favourite quirky wildlife facts

 

SPEEDY VOCALS

Ostriches might look a bit daft, but they have a few hidden talents beneath their oft ruffled feathers. They can run faster than horses and the males can actually roar like lions!

 

HEAVY DENTISTRY

Just one elephant tooth can weigh up to a stonking nine pounds! In fact, the first half of their scientific binomial ‘loxodonta’ means lozenge-shaped tooth.

 

TABLE MANNERS

They might be the supermodels of the bird world, but even flamingos can’t do it all. The blushing avians only ever seem to eat when their heads are upside down! Whether that’s because they’re unable to do it the other way around remains to be seen – perhaps it tastes better that way up?

 

FASTER THAN THEY SEEM

Sure, they look like a sack of potatoes, but ask any safari guide which animals he or she is most wary of and hippos are likely to be up there. These bizarre looking characters can run significantly faster than a human, and will happily plough through anyone standing in their way.

 

NIFTY NOSES

It’s perhaps not entirely surprising, given the sizes of their trunks, but elephants can actually detect water, even when they’re up to three miles away from it. This is most likely done through their sense of smell.