Sheep are a familiar sight in the British countryside. But how much do you really know about these gentle, good-natured animals? The following 10 facts about the personalities, intelligence and skills of rams, lambs and ewes might surprise you:
1. Sheep have extremely good memories. They can remember approximately 50 individuals (sheep and humans!) for years at a time.
Sheffield Tiger / cc by 2.0
2. Sheep have been shown to display and recognise emotion by facial expressions with other sheep. Some are noticeable from their ears.
foxypar4 / cc by 2.0
3. … Read more.
Poor old spiders. The much-maligned little critters often have a hard time of it at the hands of humans – getting squashed, washed down the plughole or sprayed with toxic insecticides.
Recent reports about the rising numbers of false widow spiders in this country have made things even worse, inspiring an epidemic of hysterical spider-swatting, despite the fact that the vast majority of the UK’s 600 species of spiders are completely harmless. As for false widow spiders, they are not aggressive towards humans, and in most cases their bites are no more … Read more.
Weymouth’s Sea Life aquarium recently launched an appeal to its visitors asking them not to eat octopuses because of the fact that they are “as intelligent as the average pet dog”.
Studies have shown that octopuses are among the cleverest animals in the sea, capable of complex thought processes. They also have short- and long-term memories as well as distinct personalities and can use tools. They’ve been known to cause havoc in aquariums by escaping from their tanks, short-circuiting the lights, unscrewing water pipes and even pilfering fish from adjacent tanks on … Read more.
If you’ve ever seen Babe, it should come as no surprise to learn that pigs are interesting, intelligent and sensitive. They’re also some of the most intensively farmed animals in the world.
Right now, an intensive pig “prison” that would keep 25,000 animals at a time under lock and key is being considered in Foston, Derbyshire. Please check out these 10 facts to learn why pigs deserve better than being turned into bacon:
1.Pigs are one of the smartest animals (ahead of dogs and toddlers!).
Meneer Zjeroen / cc by … Read more.
Shy, elusive, nocturnal – just some of the words that spring to mind when you try to describe the badger. This most ancient Briton is adapted for life underground, and spottings are rare – yet beneath the mysterious surface, these are remarkable animals.
The following are some reasons why we should be celebrating badgers, not planning to massacre them:
- Badgers have been present in the British Isles for at least 300,000 to 400,000 years.
- Badgers are great builders. Their underground homes, or setts, are often highly complex, with
… Read more.
Spring is in the air, which means that all over the country, hedgehogs may be starting to blink in the sunlight and wake up from their winter hibernation.
You probably don’t need much persuasion to let these adorable nocturnal animals into your heart. But to give you some extra motivation to love them, here are five of our favourite things about them – and five pieces of advice about how to help them out.
Five Reasons to Love Hedgehogs
- Hedgehogs are unique. They’re the only UK mammal with spines: each hedgehog has
… Read more.
People around the world are celebrating the Chinese New Year today – it’s the Year of the Snake. To mark the occasion, here are some lesser-known facts about these fascinating reptiles:
- Snakes and other reptiles have pain receptors and respond to painful stimuli just as humans do.
- In the exotic-skins industry, hunters often nail snakes to trees and skin them alive before tossing them in a pile to die.
- Flying tree snakes can glide between trees over distances of 24 metres or more.
- To make it easier for workers to
… Read more.
Today is World Cancer Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about the causes of cancer, which is still one of Britains’ biggest killers. In an article in the Independent today, Dr Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explains that eating meat is up there with smoking as a lifestyle choice that increases our risk of this devastating disease.
Going vegan is one of the most effective ways to protect our health – here are some key points from Dr Barnard’s article that explain why:
- Unlike foods from
… Read more.
Turkeys are fascinating birds, and like all animals, they deserve to be kept off the table this (and every) Christmas.
Image: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Here are some things that you might not know about them:
- Turkeys are protective, intelligent animals with distinct personalities. Tweet this.
- About 25 thousand tonnes of turkey carcasses were produced in the UK in October 2012 – equivalent to the weight of 154 jumbo jets. Tweet this.
- Ten years is a turkey’s natural lifespan, but on factory farms, they’re slaughtered when they’re only 5 months old.
… Read more.