18:00 The Great Outdoors

5 Weird Nature Facts | How Smart Are Squids, Talking Birds & More

Prepare for your nature adventure with Dr. Squatch. Learn about the secret language of birds, the horny tortoise that saved his species, talking mummies, and more.

Welcome to Weird Nature, where we share our favorite nature facts. Our passion for nature is shown in all our products, making a Dr. Squatch shower a wilderness adventure that will have you coming up with excuses to get dirty, just so you can get clean. Prepare for your adventure with these 5 nature facts. 

This week, we learn about some animals that are smarter than we thought, the tortoise with every man’s dream job, some new discoveries about ancient remains and more. Read on to discover more! 

1. Do Birds Have a Language?

Even if you’re not a bird-watching kind of guy, this fact will definitely give you a new perspective the next time you’re out hiking. National Geographic reports that chickadees (those cute little black-capped birds) have about 50 different “words” in their vocabulary. When they tweet out the noise to report danger, their neighbor bird, the Nuthatch will actually “retweet” the news to surrounding birds that a predator is nearby. Interestingly, the Nuthatch will downplay the danger until they can check it out for themselves and report back.

2. How Smart are Squids?

Thinking about getting a new pet? You may want to consider getting a squid, since researchers found that they have similar cognitive abilities to dogs. It’s hard to imagine, but they were able to map out the squid brain by scanning squid in an MRI machine. 

Before you teach your squid to fetch, we’re still not sure which tasks they can actually do. We do know, though, that they can camouflage themselves even though they’re colorblind. Never met a colorblind person that could do that! 

3. The Tortoise with Every Man's Dream Job

Diego had the job of every man’s dream. As one of the only two male giant tortoises remaining of the species, he had a big job ahead of him: to mate like crazy with the remaining tortoise females. He spent 40 years in captivity dutifully performing his end of the deal. Diego is finally retiring at the ripe old age of 130 and returning home to an island in the Galapagos. Talk about a delayed retirement!

4. Modern Day Mummy

If you’ve been using a 3-D printer to make dice or action figures, you’re not using it to its full potential. Researchers from the University of London used a 3-D printer to recreate a mummy’s throat and mouth to bring his voice back to life. Using an electronic synthesizer, a loudspeaker, and this newly constructed larynx, scientists were able to coax a single sound from the mummy’s throat. So was it a growl, a grumble, a terrifying threat? No, it resulted in more of an “ehhh,” sounding more like what you say to your buddines when you don’t want to go to the bar they suggested. Still cool, though. 

5. Dino Discovery

Speaking of fossilized remains, paleontologists in Utah recently discovered a new species of giant, carnivorous dinosaur! These were first found about twenty years ago, but it was recently confirmed to be from a different species than we thought before. This new terrifying reptile reportedly had tall limbs, including a long tail, and three sharp claws. Maybe it’s time to switch out the T. Rex pajamas?

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