March 9-15 is National Wildlife Week.  In our opinion, there’s no better way to raise awareness for the even than to offer a few fun and interesting wildlife facts!  Enjoy!

Myth #1: If you touch a baby bird, it will be rejected by its mother.

False.  This is a long-standing myth, which is pretty far from the truth.  It’s also worth mentioning that birds have a relatively poor sense of smell.  They’re actually not very likely to smell leftover human scent on their babies.

Myth #2: Dolphins swim while sleeping.

True.  Dolphins may float or swim slowly when they sleep, and they’re able to do this because of their unusual way of sleeping.  It’s called “unihemispheric slow-wave sleep”, which means that only one half of their brain sleeps at a time.  They also sleep with only one eye closed at a time.

Myth #3: When a nocturnal animal is seen out during the day, it’s safe to assume that the animal has rabies.

False.  This rumor has been applied mostly to raccoons, and there’s no real evidence to support this belief.  Raccoons, like many other nocturnal animals, will come out when food is most plentiful.  Given the opportunity to choose between food and sleep, these animals will skip the sleep for a tasty meal.

Myth #4:  Flamingos get their bright color from their diet.

True.  Flamingos have a highly-selective diet that consists of organisms (such as shrimp) that are very high in carotenoids.  These carotenoids are the same compound that cause shrimp to turn pink after they are cooked.

As a side note, it’s fun to know that flamingos can only eat when their heads are upside down.

Myth #5: When a domestic cat plays with small wildlife prey animals, it is not actually harming the animal.

False.  When your cat plays with wildlife, he is very likely to cause internal injuries and hemorrhage.  Cats are also natural carriers of a harmful bacteria that can cause serious infection in any prey that gets away alive.  Most importantly, however, is the fact that your beloved companion is also possibly being exposed to disease when playing with wildlife.

Featured Photo Credit: Saparevo via Compfight cc