Though pets may be the lights of our lives, they aren’t always cute and cuddly. At the end of the day, an animal is an animal, and they don’t adhere to human scruples. Wild creatures in particular have some pretty shocking, yucky, and even ruthless behaviors, and after finding out about a few of them, we’ve got to get rid of the burden of this knowledge by passing it to you.
Hippopotami don’t poop normally. No, they use their tails and “helicopter” the poop all over the place. We can attest to the disgustingness of the sight after one horrible visit to the Washington D.C. National Zoo. It was very stinky, very green, and very everywhere. Stay away from that tail!
970souk / Reddit
As if the human race needed another reason to hate seagulls, we now know that their subspecies, the kelp gull, eats the eyes out of baby seals. Yep, the really cute baby seals. The newly-blind seal slowly dies of starvation while the gulls wait around to feast on its corpse.
Ladybugs are cute, right? Wrong. They are cannibals. While they’re still in the larva stage, the ladybugs that only have two spots will eat their siblings in order to get more nutrients, develop faster, and have less survival competition.
TheSmittenImage / YouTube
Emperor penguins want to be parents so badly that if their own babies die, they’ll just kidnap other penguins’ babies. If the rightful parents try to reclaim their child, the kidnappers fight them to injury or death. The kidnapped baby often gets abandoned after the kidnappers get bored.
Lemurs, like skunks, are always ready to rumble. They emit lots of funky odor from scent glands on their wrists and shoulders, and use their tails to establish dominance by flicking the funk at male opponents. Sounds like those Axe body-spray fights that used to happen outside the gym in middle school.
Don’t pet a male capuchin monkey. Not only are they mischievous little scamps, but they wash themselves with their own pee. Apparently this makes them more attractive to female monkeys with whom they wish to mate; to this I can only say, lady capuchins, you have the bar set way too low.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage
These little armored Humvee creatures are so, so cute. They snuffle around for bugs, they roll up into a ball when frightened — and they also carry leprosy, which they can spread. 95% of humans are immune, but there’s always that 5% chance…
EpicRav / Reddit
Chimpanzee life seems pretty casual, until you realize that adult makes eat newborn chimps. It doesn’t even matter if the baby is their son! Mama chimps tend to go into hiding for a while when the baby is born, so their little bundle of joy doesn’t get savagely consumed.
Surely nothing could be wrong with these delightful creatures…nope, think again. They eat blood, sweat, tears, pee, poop, rotting carcasses, mud, and so much more! The next time one lands on you, you may want to think twice about that photo op.
Talk about constipation nation. Sloths poop in holes on the ground, but because they move so slowly, this activity makes them vulnerable to predators. So, they only poop once per week — and can even go up to a month if things are really dangerous.
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica
Frogs have a really nice, cool way to throw up. While most of us gag up waterfalls over the nearest bowl-shaped receptacle, the frog just coughs up its actual stomach, turning it inside out like a little pocket before gulping it back down again.
Emperor penguins have such significant pooping capabilities that you can see their excrement from space. Scientists actually use satellites to track the colonies’ movement based on how much poop is visible on the snow.
Chris and Chris Break Free
The plot of Finding Nemo would’ve gone a little differently in real life. If a clownfish suspects that its offspring will have a deformity — like Nemo’s small fin — they’ll eat the eggs that are damaged.
The slow loris is awfully cute. It’s also the only primate that is venomous, thanks to venom-secreting glands in its armpit. In a pinch, it’ll lick its armpits and then bite you, which isn’t just weird — it sends the victim into anaphylactic shock, or even death.
These birds are no holy rollers when it comes to self-defense; they get down, and they get dirty. When threatened, the chicks will puke all over themselves and the attacker. The smell is so pungent that it makes them unappetizing, and alerts their parents to the danger.
The margays are wild cats, but they don’t mew like their brethren. Instead, they copy the mewling cries of baby Tamarin monkeys, a prey species they like to eat. Then, when mama monkey shows up looking for the crying baby she heard, the margay kills her.
Just when you though koalas were safe, we’re here to tell you that after a few weeks of nursing, adorable koala babies begin to eat their mom’s poop. This is probably a sign that they should start eating leaves, like all the other koala kids.
Andrew Taylor/G20 Australia via Getty Images
These fluffy, jumpy lil’ snuggle muffins eat their own poop too. Apparently they don’t absorb enough nutrients from hay the first time around, so they have to double-digest it. Sounds like a major design flaw, if you ask me.
Don’t let their cute snuggly looks fool you: male otters are gnarly. They have sharp teeth, sharp claws, and they’ll hump anything within accessible size. Whether it be a small dog, a baby seal, or even a dead otter corpse, those boy otters do not care.
Once mama dolphins have a baby, they devote all their time to caring for it, and are off the table for mating for several years. Male dolphins are so eager to get it on, they’ll murder the babies to mate with their mothers.
Cows “go to the bathroom” around 15 times per day. They also produce, on average, 65 pounds of manure per day — or 12 tons in a year! No wonder farms are so fragrant.
Certain species of female dragonflies will actually freeze mid-flight and go crashing down to the ground in an effort to fake their own deaths. They do this because they are trying to avoid mating with certain males.
Starfish have the ability to regenerate lost limbs. They are known to rip off one of their appendages if they feel like they’re in danger. The original starfish will regrow its lost appendage, and the lost appendage will actually grow an entirely new starfish.
BBC / YouTube
Manatees regulate their buoyancy by using flatulence. The gas they naturally hold within them makes them float near the surface of the water. When they want to dive deeper, they will pass gas, which helps them sink.
Paul Nicklen / National Geographic Creative
The Turritopsis Dohrnii jellyfish can make itself younger. Once the jellyfish reaches maturity, it has the ability, under certain environmental stresses or threats, to revert back to its immature state.
Takashi Murai / The New York Times Syndicate / Redux
Finally, Mantis shrimp are extremely strong for only being several inches long. They can throw a punch with the same speed as a rifle bullet and only needs three-thousandths of a second to hit its target. Don’t mess with the mantis shrimp.
Chameleons’ tongues are extremely fast. They can go from zero to 60 miles an hour in a 100th of a second, so they only need 20 milliseconds to snatch their next meals. Their tongues can also be up to twice the length of their bodies.
Smarter Every Day / YouTube
The blue whale is the largest known mammal to ever exist. The largest recorded blue whale was 98.09 feet in length and weighed 173 tons. Their tongues alone are about 3 tons each, which is about twice the weight of a Toyota Camry.
Bats can range in weight anywhere from less than an ounce to several pounds. The bones in their legs and feet are so thin that even the smallest of bat’s legs are too weak to hold them up.
Just as humans have a dominant hand, either right or left, Elephants do, too. Well, they are either right-tusk or left-tusk dominant. You can tell which side they favor because one tusk will be more worn down than the other.
Hippopotamus sweat acts as a natural sunscreen. Initially, their sweat is clear and dries to a red-orange color, then to a brown color. Good thing! The sun in the sub-Saharan African terrain is extremely strong.
Elephant seals spend their days hunting in the deep sea. In fact, the deepest recorded elephant seal dive was to a whopping depth of 7,835 feet. They can hold their breathes for up to two hours while deep diving, and they’ll even stop blood from circulating to certain organs in the process.
Justin Hofman / Nature’s Best Photography
Dolphins can stay awake for about two weeks at a time. When a dolphin does need to recharge, it has the ability to let half of its brain go to sleep and keep the other half awake. This allows them to come up for air and be alert to impending predators.
Earth, Wind, and Daisies
Once a mother kangaroo is pregnant, she will give birth about 30-36 days after conception. The joey is born about 2 cm long — or about the size of a lima bean. Then, they crawl into their mother’s pouch and develop further for the next 9 months.
Homo sapiens have been around for about 200,000 years; meanwhile, the oldest known bee fossil was found in a mine in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar (Burma), and is about 100 million years old.
It’s a common misconception that camels store water in their humps and that’s how they go long periods of time without water. In reality, on average, a camel can drink about 30 gallons of water in around 13 minutes.
A reindeer’s eyes will change color based on the season. During the summer months, their eyes are golden, but in the winter, they change to blue. This helps them see better during the dark Arctic days.
African buffaloes hold votes to determine which direction the herd should go. This is decided based on what direction the majority of the females in the heard are facing. That’s right: only the females are allowed to vote!
Living Like Water
Koalas have fingerprints that are similar to humans’. They are so similar, in fact, that there have been reports of crime scene investigators collecting the animals’ fingerprints at the scene!
San Diego Zoo
Sloths spend the majority of their lives hanging upside down in the trees, and it can take up to 30 days for a sloth to digest a single leaf. Because of these two facts, sloths will only leave the trees to defecate about once a week.