There are many amazing creatures in the world and each with their own incredible attributes that help them to survive. We give you our top ten animals that are capable of feats we can only dream of.
10. Plumed Basilisk
First up we have the plumed basilisk, and no, it has nothing to do with Harry Potter, rather, this lizard from Central America shares a similarity with Jesus! When threatened it stands upright on its hind legs and walks across water to escape predators, such is its talent it has even been nicknamed the ‘Jesus Christ lizard’. But that’s not all this little guy can do. Hiding underwater for up to 30 minutes isn’t beyond it and it can run at a respectable 7mph while on land.
9. Dung Beetle
This amazing creature has already made itself known to the world by rolling around perfectly formed balls of dung, but it would appear the dung beetle is not finished yet and still has a few more tricks up its sleeve. It is believed the African Scarabaeus zambesianus, a specific species of dung beetle, uses the patterns moonlight creates when it interacts with particles in our atmosphere in order to steer its dung pile in a straight line. Interestingly if there has been no moonlight these talented creepy crawlies are suddenly stripped of their navigational prowess and start meandering their pooh balls in anything BUT a straight line.
Imagine having a sense of smell almost a million times greater than your own. Well, that’s what life is like for the bloodhound. Their super nose has over 200 million special cells that allow them to pick up someone’s scent days after they have left a place. It’s the ultimate tracking machine and there’s little hope of escape.
Among the many powers and perks of being a bat (being the only mammal that can fly is a pretty big one) a bat’s in-built sonar is not something to be sniffed at. Their echolocation enables them to hunt with excellent precision, shooting out high pitch sound-waves into the night and then using the echoes to pin point the location of prey. As a result calling a bat an effective hunter is an understatement.
It’s common knowledge that birds of prey have eyesight far superior to our own but eagles soar far above the rest. Nature lends these majestic birds a big helping hand providing them with eyes that have a high concentration of cone cells. These cells are used by the eagle in perceiving colour, pin pointing rapid movement, and providing exquisitely fine detail. A ridge over each eye to keep the sun out and larger pupils to reduce diffraction also come in handy. Their eyesight is estimated to be 4 times as good as our own that is 4 times the amount of detail you would be able to see.
With a list of other talents that put it on par with some of the world’s greatest predators the puma’s extraordinary jumping ability is the reason it’s on our list; if you allow it the chance to build up some steam a puma, with a running start, can leap (horizontally) an incredible 40ft, as if it were nothing. It is also capable of leaping into the air (vertically) some 15ft. Combine this with super strength and lightning speed and you have one kitty cat you’d not be too keen telling off for putting holes in the cushions.
This group of underwater creatures, that includes octopuses and squids, possess the power of jet propulsion. Water finds its way into the creature’s mantle cavity where it is pressurised, the only water that escapes does so through something called a funnel. When the muscles in the mantle contract, water is pushed with great force back through the funnel and Speedy the Squid flies through the ocean at a neat 25mph, able to control both direction and speed at will. It can come in handy for quickly jetting towards prey or away from becoming it.
With some species of humming bird capable of beating their wings up to 80 times a second it’s no wonder this bird is able to surpass all others in the aerial tricks department. With wing joints designed to aid suppleness in the air and amazing maneuverability, these aerial aces can fly upside down, backwards and are even able to hover.
If you are the prey of a shark you have little hope of escape due to their electroreception ability. A shark has specially designed pores on the top of its head that can pick up the electrical impulses of a fish’s movement. These pores link up to a shark’s lateral line system that is part of its sensory system. As a result a shark can snatch prey with terrifying accuracy even in the darkest of waters.
Capable of speeds up to almost 70mph zooming in to take our number one spot is the cheetah, the fastest creature on earth. The only downside to the cheetah’s speed is the fact it can only keep it up for a very limited amount of time. 10 – 20 seconds is the average time it can maintain its pace before the African sun takes its toll and the cheetah has to take a break. Still, it comes in very handy for catching prey and leaves the best we have to offer lost in the cheetah’s dust.