9 Fascinating Facts About Animals
After reading this post, and you’ll be even more in love with animals than you already are.
1. Clams Are Complicated
They can change gender once during their lifetime, right after their juvenile stage, but only from male to female. Many other mollusks are either hermaphroditic or have the ability to change sex.
2. Jewel Wasps Should Consider Starring in a Horror Movie
Jewel wasps (or emerald cockroach wasps) employ a creepy procedure to lay their eggs. They first inject a venomous cocktail into the brains of cockroaches, manipulating their decision-making process and rendering them zombies. The cockroaches become unable to move on their own and will follow the wasps’ “orders.” The wasps then lay an egg on the cockroaches’ legs, and after the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the roaches’ internal organs for several days.
3. Whales Trap Prey by Blowing Bubbles
Humpback whales engage in “bubble net feeding” by forming a circle and blowing bubbles beneath a school of prey fish. They gradually make the circle tighter, while a second group goes below the prey to push them to the surface and a third group makes a sound that is intended to concentrate the fish. Now that’s what I call teamwork.
4. Ants Are Skilled Farmers
Evidence suggests that ants developed agriculture as early as 70 million years ago in the early Tertiary Period. They grow mushrooms to feed their colonies, which require a sophisticated system of 2,000 chambers, vents and tunnels to control humidity and temperature, and they secrete chemicals with antibiotic properties in order to inhibit mold growth.
5. Little Brown Bats Know How to “Chill”
While hibernating, little brown bats can reduce their heart rate from 200 to 20 beats per minute and can even stop breathing for approximately 45 minutes. This state of torpor, or regulated hypothermia, allows the bats to survive through periods of food scarcity and can last from a few hours to a few months.
6. Squirrels Are Deceptive
When squirrels know that they are being watched by potential thieves, they will pretend to bury an acorn while, in fact, concealing it in their mouth. Squirrel expert Dr. Michael A. Steele explains, “Deceptive caching involves some pretty serious decision making. It meets the criteria of tactical deception, which previously was thought to only occur in primates.”
7. Crocodiles Can Potentially Live Forever
“Senescence” is a term used to describe the gradual deterioration of the body because of aging. It occurs in humans but not in crocodiles. Crocs die only from disease, accidents, starvation or predation. Sea urchins, lobsters, clams, tortoises, turtles and alligators also do not age biologically. As crocodiles age, they continue to become bigger and require more food. When that amount of food is unavailable, they will often die from starvation.
8. Manta Rays Can Weigh up to 3,000 lbs
That’s more than a Prius!
9. The Migration of Monarch Butterflies Takes Longer Than Their Life Spans
These astonishing creatures migrate up to hundreds or even thousands of miles every year from Canada to Mexico, but individual monarch butterflies do not make the entire round trip because of their short life spans. Even so, the swarms of butterflies always reach their destination! Scientists think they use the sun’s pathway to navigate.
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Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
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