Animal Kingdom: The Misconceptions

From flying fish, dancing snakes to an immortal jellyfish, the animal kingdom is not spared with misconceptions. Read on to learn which is true and which is not.

If human have myths, legends and tales to live on, the animal kingdom can boast of some fascinating if not strange misconceptions. From flying fish, dancing snakes to an immortal jellyfish, the animal kingdom is not spared with misconceptions. Read on to learn which is true and which is not.

Fish can fly

We all know that fish spent its entire life swimming below the surface of water and need to stay underwater for its survival. But did you know that there are some species who have also learned, practiced and mastered the art of flying. Those flying fish belong to the fish family Exocoetidae, consisting of 64 species grouped in seven to nine genera.

To get away from its predator, flying fish using its large pectoral fins take short glided flights to propel themselves out of the water. By swishing its tail to about 50-70 times per second, flying fish are able to muster up enough momentum to burst through the surface. In so doing, it could rise into the air up to 11 meters and glide up to 50 meters.

Fish can walk

Believe or not, fish can walk! Yes, underwater and on land, these exceptional creatures are capable of walking. On land, some species like the Climbing Perch or the famous Walking Catfish (Clarias batrachus) can do the trick. Storing and using oxygen to survive, they can leave their natural habitat and walk on land to get to another stretch of water.

If you”re not impressed by the capability of the fish species mentioned above, then take a look at the batfish! Though a poor swimmer, batfish have adapted well to its environment and mastered the art of walking underwater. Yes, literally walking using its limb-like pectoral fins! What a spectacular act for a small, slimmed-bodied fish that grows to about 36 cm.

Turtles can’t crawl out of their shells

By watching cartoons and animated films, we can be misled into believing that turtles can crawl out of its shell. That’s a lot of non-sense! The true fact is–a turtle’s shell is basically an integral part of its skeleton consisting of hard bony plates that are merged to its spine and ribs. If you want to see a brutal way to kill a turtle, then try separating the turtle’s body from its shell. I bet you’ll not do it.

Males can get pregnant

For humans, giving birth is definitely a woman’s responsibility. But definitely, this ‘childbirth thing’ does not hold true apply to all creatures. In the animal kingdom, the male seahorse is literally the one who gets pregnant. The male seahorse is equipped with a pouch on his front side. During mating season, the female seahorse deposit’s the eggs in the male’s abdominal pouch, where they are fertilized. The male seahorse holds the eggs until they are hatched, expelling them out in the water. On average, these baby seahorse numbers between 100 to 200.

Electric eels aren’t eels

The electric eel gets its name by its capability to stun prey and deter predators using massive amount of electrical charge its body generates. These notorious creatures live in the muddy ponds and streams of the Amazon basins in South America. Their bodies contain electric organs which when threatened or attacking prey, is capable of generating electric shocks. Electric shocks can cause respiratory or heart failure and in some rare cases led to death. But did you know that electric eels are not true eels but rather a knife fish (Gymnotiformes), more closely related to carp and catfishes.

Bats aren’t blind

Contrary to common belief, bats are not blind! Most species depend heavily on their remarkable sense of hearing to sense their preys. This process, called “echolocation” aid bats to navigate even through darkness. However, there is a species of bat known as Fruit bat or flying fox that uses its eyes to determine its locations. Flying fox locates and catches its prey such as small insect in midair using smell and acute vision. Rather than, relying on its ears, it instead uses excellent eyesight to track down its prey. Flying fox feeding ranges extend up to 40 miles.

Flamingoes aren’t born pink

Genetics and not food is the major factor determining color of animals. However, there is an exception to this view. In general, flamingoes are born with white plumage, but why then they undergo color transformation as they grow older. The culprit– the food they eat. Flamingoes’ diet includes insect larvae and saltwater shrimps which both contain pigments called “carotenoids” in turn responsible for the change in feather color (from white to pink).

Penguins have long legs

Another animal misconception is about “Do penguins have short legs”. Definitely, this isn’t true, people arrived at this notion since penguins waddle and their fur conceal their true body shapes. In reality, penguins have surprisingly long legs. We are misled to believe that these flightless birds own short legs because penguin stand in a crouching position. But why take this posture–simply to retain as much heat as possible.

Snakes are deaf

Here’s another misconception that arises when we see snake charmers do their trick. It is believed that snakes are charmed or hypnotized as they hear music from a snake charmer’s flute. Believe it not, in reality, snakes are deaf! The snake charmer body movement plus the vibrations picked up from the ground are the reasons why charmed snakes respond to the music.

Not all animals have to die

Even before the time of Cleopatra, men have been in continuous search for the “fountain of youth”, but sad to say that a species of immortal jellyfish has beaten us to the draw. Turritopsis nutricula, a tiny species of jellyfish has found the secret of immortality. It is capable of reverting completely to a polyp stage after having reached sexual maturity. To be biologically immortal, this metazoan undergoes a process called “transdifferentiation” whereby the cycle can repeat indefinitely. Only when the nerve center is separated from the body that this process comes to a halt.

25 thoughts on “Animal Kingdom: The Misconceptions

  1. Phioxee

    OMG! the last one. is that really true? then, why wouldnt scientist just try to copy how the process works?

  2. betchai

    oh wow, did not know snakes are deaf, very useful info especially for those who loves to hike, love the video of the walking catfish 🙂

  3. Lainy

    WOW! Amazing information here! I am learning a helluva lot from this post. Now I am feeling wiser again swinging by this blog 😉


    Interesting facts Kuya! And I could have sworn, that brown fish looks like a brown doggie underwater. 🙂

    Ria C

  5. lencilicious

    The immortal jellyfish amazed me most. I am so interested to know if there's a concrete study of their unique characteristic.

  6. Franc Ramon

    Maybe there are some medicinal value to the regenerative properties of a jelly fish.

  7. Ganessa Archival

    Awesome! Interesting facts about animals… I was impressed with Males carries the pregnancy lol

  8. Janine Daquio

    those are just really amazing.. I remember the flying fish and the jelly fish from the movie, Life of Pi. BTW, the batfish is so scary…. it's like it is going to eat me.

  9. Rochkirstin Santos

    For a long time now, I had been thinking that bats are blind. Wahaha. We even have a phrase which says "blind as a bat," so now we know that it's not entirely true.

  10. Traveling Morion

    This is great information that has debunked my knowledge of animals. I believed in some of the myths listed here but now I know better.

  11. Sarah

    I've enjoyed reading the trivia's specially the on about the seahorses. And now, I will never wish to be a seahorse on my next

  12. MaryJane Tauyan

    I saw some of these before, but never heard of the immortal jellyfish yet. Also, did you know that some species of clams and oysters can change gender? 😉

  13. lovemindanao

    amazing flamingos!! well thats another knowledge for me!!! thanks for the info We all learn and learn a lot everyday very interesting topic for me

  14. sef tiburcio

    i want to become like that of jellyfish to live an immortal life … har har har .. kidding of course. As a biologist , i have known these facts and it is quite interesting reading them back .

  15. Raine Pal

    there are full of mysteries in this world that we don't know but waiting to be uncovered.

  16. Joseph Holguin

    the last one is really amazing.. I wonder if their genetics can be used to modify our genetics as well.. speak of cross genetics! 🙂

  17. ♣ lily ♣

    The animal kingdom indeed provides as insight on how the species on this planet is not the same. Some are these, some are that. Thank you for a very informational post.

  18. RM Nisperos

    Woah nice info here! I've already read some of the facts listed here but it's only now that I've learned that snakes are deaf and some fish could walk! 🙂

  19. Ron Leyba

    Very Informative.. Now, I have things to brag about. Nature at its finest. I never though immortality is real!

  20. Anonymous

    This is sooo informative! I've known some of these, but I had to search for the penguins since I didn't know that for sure! Anyway, thanks for sharing these amusing trivia to us 🙂

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