Hop on the internet and without a doubt, you can find a life hack for just about anything: work, school, cooking, you name it. But it’s not just us humans who engage in life hacks: even our buddies in the animal kingdom have their unique tricks up their sleeves that makes it easier to navigate life in the wild. They may not have technology, but they sure know how to make the most of what they have. Here are some of the coolest animals and their equally cool life hacks that you didn’t know about.
1. Dolphin Sleeping Hack
Although dolphins live in the water, they’re still mammals and if they fall asleep fully, they can drown because breathing is a conscious function. To prevent this, dolphins have evolved to sleep with only one half of their brain asleep at a time. This is known as unihemispheric sleep, and using this technique, dolphins can stay awake for up to 15 days at a time. It also allows them to remain alert for attacks from predators such as sharks, something they wouldn’t be able to do if they were fully asleep.
2. Crocodile Diving Hack
While humans need special gears and equipment to dive into the ocean, crocodiles have a much simpler way of getting this done. When this ferocious predator needs to scan the floor of a river to catch dinner, they’ll simply gulp down a few stones and rocks. By doing this, they’re actually increasing their body weight which allows them to sink down below with ease. Not only does the rock aid in swimming, but it also plays a crucial role in digestion by breaking down any of the tougher shelled prey that the creature eats.
3. Plumed Basilisk Walking Hack
The animal kingdom has a messiah of their own known as the plumed basilisk lizard which is appropriately nicknamed the “Jesus Christ lizard” due to the reptile’s unique ability to sprint across bodies of water. When threatened by predators, the basilisk lizard will drop from the tree into the water and make a run for it. The basilisk lizard is able to pull this off thanks to the skin-like scales on their rear feet which expands when hitting liquid to increase the surface area of each foot that contacts the water.
4. Rhino Cleaning Hack
Life in the wild means that animals are prone to blood-sucking ticks which irritates their skin. Unable to get rid of it on their own, rhinos have developed a mutual and trusting relationship with oxpeckers that eat all the ticks as part of the birds’ blood-based diet. Oxpeckers also notify their friends of nearby predators. This is because rhinos are shortsighted and can’t tell that predators are nearby until it’s too late. Though the oxpecker is most likely less worried about the rhino and more so that it doesn’t want another animal to eat its lunch!
5. Stick Insect Birth Hack
Some human women will shout at the rooftops that they don’t need a man, but for female stick insects, this is a reality. If well-fed, the female stick insect is able to give birth through parthenogenesis, a method of procreation that allows the female to lay unfertilized eggs all on her own. But it doesn’t end there: it turns out that the females really don’t want to mate at all. They have also developed an anti-aphrodisiac chemical which they spray at random males to keep them away.
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