Animal Kingdom: The Cunning Cheaters

“If humans can, why can’t we”, this could be the slogan of some animal cheaters. It is well-known to us that there are some individuals who’ve cheated their way to the top, and for the animal kingdom, this could be true and be done. Read on to know which animals are breaking or bending the rules to gain the initiative or just to survive.

From using deceptive looks to attain what they want, to gaining a headway from uncontrolled circumstances, these cunning animal cheaters might make you think that cheaters at times do win.


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Most of us know what a fox is. Foxes are medium-sized animals that are smaller than a domestic dog. They have long, narrow snout, erect ears and a bushy tail. Foxes regular diet includes; rabbits, rodents, fish, birds, amphibians fruits and berries. But did you know that these animals have a great passion for birds” eggs! However, some birds like the Rhea are bigger than them, so foxes designed a cunning way to snatch the eggs. They wait patiently until mother Rhea leaves her eggs and then quickly steal them. But because Rhea’s eggs are bigger and foxes can’t grab it in their mouth, they use their snout to roll the eggs and knock them against hard objects hoping the eggs will break down eventually. Isn’t that a cunning move?


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Rats are such cunning cheaters when it comes to food. In the United Kingdom, rats are considered food menace and villains. Rats are cunning cheaters, using every advantage they have in their possession to gain the upper hand. With a population of around 70 millions, rats eat their way through more than 200 tons of waste food each year. Add to this, rats are hard to kill, for they are extremely fast, clocking with a 60 miles/hour top speed.


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“Liar” that is the real meaning of the word “Chameleon” in some languages and true enough Chameleons are great liars and cunning cheaters. Their main features include the eyes, tongue and skin. So remarkable are chameleon’s eyes that it is able to observe separate two different objects at the same time. Isn’t it incredible, but before you say Ah! Let us examine a chameleon’s tongue. It has a tongue that is larger the size of its body and can extend faster than the human eye can follow. Also, a chameleon‘s tongue has a muscular and sticky tip it uses to catch prey.

Another cheating act a chameleon is good at is its ability to hide its presence from probable prey or enemy by changing its skin color. These colors may include red, pink, orange, blue, green, yellow, black and brown. Some varieties of chameleon use, their color-changing ability to blend in with their surroundings, as an effective form of camouflage. Also, change in color depends on the animal’s health status, presence of mate, dangers from enemies, temperature change and other environmental factors.


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A caterpillar can be treated as a cunning trickster, employing all the skills he got just to ensure his survival. Some caterpillars are good at mimicking their surroundings, including leaves and branches just to blend in. There are those who can mimic other things, like bird droppings! Other caterpillars are poisonous to predators. They are tricky bandit; stealing poisons and getting their toxicity from the plants they eat. Generally, the brightly colored larva are poisonous; thus warning their predators not to harm them or else take the risk of being poisoned. And did you know that a caterpillar native to Hawaii owns the record as the only flesh-eating caterpillars in the world.

Alligator Snapping Turtle

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The Alligator Snapping Turtle is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world. You can easily recognize it from other turtle by its large head, beak-like jaws, and a spiked shell and thick, scaled tail. Alligator snappers spend most of their lives in the rivers, canals, and lakes. So strong are its jaws, that a single bite can take your finger off. However, the cheat is its unique hunting skill to lure its bait.

The interior of the alligator snapper’s mouth is camouflaged, and the tip of its tongue sports a worm-shaped flesh. This worm-like appendage mimics the movements of a real worm that serve as bait to lure a prospective meal. The turtle, then opens its mouth and wait motionless, and if a suspicious fish moves in for a closer look, the turtle’s awesome speed and its mouth brute strength completes the ambush. it’s a simple ‘now you see-now you don’t’ case of cheating.


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When we speak of fireflies, what come to our mind is a romantic moment with a bright evening sky setting. However, with more than 2,000 firefly species, there’s a big possibility that some individuals may have some sinister intentions. Generally, these fireflies or lightning bugs emit light to lure mates. However, the female Photuris fireflies are known to be good cheaters! They mimic the luminescent signals of other “lightning bugs” to attract them as possible meals, as well. Aren’t they sly cheaters?

Hanuman Monkey

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Having a Hindu monkey god for a namesake could be the best ticket to fame! Thus, the Hanuman monkey took this privilege to the limits. Since, Indian holy men usually travel bringing along with them Hanuman monkey, this highly respected monkey has been blessed with an “Eat all you can” card. Many people leave them unmolested and even allow them free access to anything in their hands could grab–foods, drinks, toys, hankies and other small objects. However, this has made the Hanuman monkey fearless and a total cheat for it steals with impunity! Guess it is not fame he gets but shame.

Virginia Opossum

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The Virginia Opossum is about the size of a house cat. It is typically 38–51 cm long and weigh between 4–6 kg. Its ears are thin and hairless, short legs, clawless big toes and a grayish brown fur. The Virginia opossum has adapted different cunning ways it uses to survive. Among these behaviors are: running, belching, urinating, growling, belching, and even defecating.

But one intriguing behavior Virginia opossum exhibits to cheat death is by attempting to fake death. This is where the term “playing possum” originated, meaning an attempt to pretend to be dead or injured with intent to deceive. This marsupial will roll over, become stiff, and produced a slow and shallow breathing. It will remain in this state for several hours or until its predator walks away thinking that he really is dead. What a cunning way to cheat death.


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According to several researches, experts agreed that orangutans are the world’s most intelligent animal other than humans. They are more intelligent than chimpanzees when it comes to higher learning and problem solving ability. And like humans, orangutans have learned the skill to craft tools out of the objects they found.

For example, they have found a way to keep dry during rainy days by making umbrellas out of leaves, also, they have used the leaves as cups for drinking water. However, orangutans use their craftiness to cheat on humans– often using their tools to pick the locks of their own cages. Zookeepers in return, use orangutans to test other zoo animals cages security stability.

Cuckoo Bird

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Topping our list of cunning animal cheaters is the female cuckoo bird. Though most cuckoo species are monogamous, the Anis and the Guira Cuckoo are exceptions. And unlike non-parasitic cuckoos that lay white eggs; these two species are parasitic cuckoos; laying colored eggs which they put in communal nests.

In accomplishing this feat, femaleAnis and the Guira Cuckoos raid other birds nests and snatch the eggs. Then they will leave their eggs behind as a replacement for the stolen eggs. That is cheating #1, soon as the eggs are hatched, the young cuckoo must learn to adapt to its new environment along with the other chicks to ensure its survival. There goes cheat #2 and what a classic “Mother and Child” tandem.

24 thoughts on “Animal Kingdom: The Cunning Cheaters

  1. mhie@smarlk

    Interesting post. I never thought about this one. Thanks for always sharing this valuable lessons to us.

  2. Chubskulit Rose

    I love Chameleons but hates rats. We had a couple last summer and we had a hard time getting rid of them.

  3. ms. len

    Oh my, the alligator snapping turtle is so scary. I don't want to encounter them even in my dreams.

  4. ems

    This why human and animals are sometimes alike.. But it's more acceptable if animals cheat than humans..

  5. Pinx

    They cheat in order to survive in the animal kingdom. If they don't then they would surely become prey. With your post, I can say that our Maker is indeed very amazing.

  6. kulasa

    very interesting! the mother and child tandem is to beat:) I Often see caterpillars When I pass by leaves and so mesmerised by their color…I Would not dare touch them though:) the FireFly stint is truly cunning-., the alligator snapping turtle scares me….glad I am not in a place Where alligators abound…-just wondering why snakes aren't on the list:) happy blogging po:)

  7. Chubskulit Rose

    We have foxes around here in West Virginia, my BIL who owns a big land always sees them during hunting season.

  8. Cheerful

    wow, this is another interesting post, didn't imagined that animals can be a good cheater too, hahaha, well…sabi nga once a cheater will always be a cheater…:) maybe in animals its in their nature or else they will lose their life, that's why they need to be pretty smart…:)

  9. Sef Tiburcio

    to be honest i find chameleon and cuckoos really cute but apparently they are cheaters.:(

  10. Gil Camporazo

    I am interested with Virginia Opposum, especially its ability to play dead. This trait or behavior is a defense mechanism of every creature to survive.

  11. Fina Jenny

    natuwa naman ako sa position nung monkey parang yung model haha :)…of all things I did not really expect the rat to be on the list. well to be honest except for the fox i did not expect any of them to be on the list… well kasi naman first meeting din lang namin ng mga hayop na yan.. haha 🙂 at least next time kilala ko na sila

  12. Sky Summer

    Couldn't agree more with Orang utan. We had witness how cunningly cheaters they are in front of our very own eyes.

  13. Franc Ramon

    I like the fox before because it so wily and smart. I'm also amazed here with the Alligator Snapping Turtles as most turtle project such a friendly image.

  14. Sarah

    I've always known foxes to be cheaters, that's why they are always described as the sly one. I'm surprised about the others and their ability to cheat. 🙂

  15. Teresa Martinez

    I think foxes have long been associated with slyness thus the cheating reputation. I didn't have an idea though that fireflies are cheaters as well.

  16. Riza Acebuche

    these animals are wild, I don't want to touch them I think they will gonna hurt me :p

  17. Shie

    Very informative, well they need to survive! I'm interested to know those animals that won't cheat.

  18. Justin Buenagua

    always a fan of chameleon.. and will always remain a fan! haha! I just love them.. 🙂

  19. MaryJane Tauyan

    that is very true! i love the slogan haha. this would be best go to the chameleon and the monkey which I often see to many countries i've visited cheating and playing with the other tourists.

  20. Algene

    Everytime I see a photo of caterpillars, natutuwa ako although they don't look really appealing. They remind me of the fact that someday, they will become butterflies 🙂

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