back to top
Animals

15 Things You Always Believed About Animals That Simply Aren't True

"If you touch a baby bird its parents will abandon it."

Posted on

You've probably heard that sharks, despite living in the ocean, would drown if they stopped swimming. But this, like so many other animal "facts," is actually not at all true.

Discovery Channel

Enter True or Poo?, a new book by scientists Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti, and a much-needed field guide in this age of animal ~fake news~.

This Definitive Field Guide to Filthy Animal Facts and Falsehoods — which investigates 80 animal myths, some true, some "poo" — comes from the same authors behind Does It Fart?, published earlier this year.Get True or Poo? from Amazon for $11.13, Barnes & Noble for $14.40, IndieBound, or from your local library.
Hachette Books

This Definitive Field Guide to Filthy Animal Facts and Falsehoods — which investigates 80 animal myths, some true, some "poo" — comes from the same authors behind Does It Fart?, published earlier this year.

Get True or Poo? from Amazon for $11.13, Barnes & Noble for $14.40, IndieBound, or from your local library.

So, without further ado, here are 15 other animal "facts" you might believe are true, but are actually "poo."

1. Contrary to popular belief, birds don't actually abandon their chicks if people touch them — their sense of smell isn't good enough to be able to detect human scent.

You should still avoid touching them, though, unless the chicks are in immediate danger.
Logan Marshall / Getty Images

You should still avoid touching them, though, unless the chicks are in immediate danger.

2. And no, camels don't store water in their humps — they store fat there instead.

Camels can, however, go over 10 days without drinking water!
Ulyssepixel / Getty Images

Camels can, however, go over 10 days without drinking water!

3. Cutting an earthworm in half does not create two earthworms — however, the half containing the head can grow a new tail and survive.

Igreen_images / Getty Images

4. Despite what you've heard, Komodo dragons do not kill their prey with bacteria-ridden saliva — they actually produce deadly venom themselves.

Andreygudkov / Getty Images

5. Anteaters do not suck up ants with their nose — instead, using their tongue, they lap up ants into their mouth, which is also a part of their snout.

Nnehring / Getty Images

6. Rest easy knowing you don't actually eat spiders in your sleep...

It's not impossible, of course, but it doesn't happen even remotely regularly.
Quintanilla / Getty Images

It's not impossible, of course, but it doesn't happen even remotely regularly.

7. ...and that earwigs don't actually seek out people's ears to lay eggs in.

Semenovigor / Getty Images

8. Chameleons do not change color in order to camouflage themselves — instead, their color changes with their temperature and mood.

Kosmos111 / Getty Images

9. Baby snakes are said to be more dangerous than adults because of their inability to control how much venom they inject, but this is actually not the case.

According to the book, "Because smaller snakes contain a lot less venomthan larger snakes, realistically even a partial hit from a larger snakeis likely to contain a lot more venom than a bite from a small one."
Mark Kostich / Getty Images

According to the book, "Because smaller snakes contain a lot less venom

than larger snakes, realistically even a partial hit from a larger snake

is likely to contain a lot more venom than a bite from a small one."

10. Porcupines don't actually shoot their quills at predators — instead, they raise their quills, which detach easily when touched.

Santagig / Getty Images

11. The myth that granddaddy longlegs are deadly but can't bite you is doubly false: One type of granddaddy longlegs actually can bite humans, but neither type is venomous.

Barbi Hofer / Getty Images

12. Sharks, often said to be invulnerable to cancer, are not immune after all.

Alessandro De Maddalena / Getty Images

13. Despite what you were told as a kid, toads can't actually give you warts.

Christinlola / Getty Images

14. Out of 31 species of widow spiders, only female brown widows and Australian redbacks — but not American black widows — eat their mates.

Jasonondreicka / Getty Images

15. And finally the myth that there's always a rat within 6 feet of you is simply not true.

Johnandersonphoto / Getty Images

Get True or Poo? from Amazon for $11.13, Barnes & Noble for $14.40, IndieBound, or from your local library.

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right