Allen’s rule describes a pattern in animals’ lankiness and size (surface-area to volume ratio) across related species, where hotter climates yield skinny or small animals whereas colder climates yield bulky or large animals.
The domestic animals of the Faroe Islands are a result of 1200 years of isolated breeding. As a result, many of the islands’ domestic animals are found nowhere else in the world.
Thomas Jefferson sent a giant moose carcass to Paris to prove that America’s animals were bigger than Europe’s.
When giraffes are born, they fall six feet on their head, but it’s the fall that gets them to start breathing. Giraffe babies are actually in an inception type dream world and they need the “drop” to wake them up. Without this drop they stay in their giraffe dreams forever.
In the Middle Ages there was a belief animals understood the concept of morality and possessed rationality. They were summoned to court, put on trial for a variety of offenses, and given the same punishments as humans. Lawyers defended pigs, rats, and sheep. Even flies and slugs faced judgement.
European bison herds move by majority rule: each bison “votes” by facing the direction it wants to go, and the herd goes in the direction chosen by the largest number.
From 1881-1890, a baboon named Jack was the assistant of a disabled railway signalman in South Africa. The signalman trained Jack to push his wheelchair and to operate the railways signals. After Jack’s job competency was verified, he was paid 20¢ a day, and half a bottle of beer each week.
Horses evolved on the great plains of North America. They migrated across the Bering land bridge to Asia, and all remaining horses died out in America. When the Spanish brought horses with them in the 16th century, they were returning them to their ancestral ranges.
Prairie dog language is complex. They don’t just have a call for “danger”: their calls differentiate human, hawk, domesticated dog, coyote etc. and specify size & color. One study found that they can communicate “Here comes the short human in the yellow” (vs the tall human in blue) to each other.
Ken Allen, a Borneo orangutan in the San Diego Zoo, escaped his enclosure three times. He never acted aggressively towards anyone during his escapes, and generally wandered around the zoo looking at other animals.