5 Amazing Ways Animals Can Control Their Bodies

#2. Hens Eject Semen from Unwanted Mates


OK, if there is one technology where you'd think that animals would absolutely have no advantage over humans, it's birth control. Hell, what other creatures even want contraception? Animals don't worry about family planning or having too many mouths to feed; their survival depends on trying to breed faster than their predators can eat them. A dog will try to impregnate your leg. Hell, a male turkey will try to mate with a severed turkey head on a stick.

"On the plus side, no pillow talk."

But a lack of birth control can be a problem for some species, like chickens. They rely on a pecking order, when only the top roosters are supposed to be allowed to reproduce. But everybody is crammed together in one tiny coop, and in the heat of a hardcore chicken orgy, it can be difficult to tell which cock is which (we're not sorry for that mental image -- this is science, it's not for pussies). But in that frantic storm of flying feathers and rooster boners, hens have a backup plan -- they can actually eject the sperm of unwanted male suitors so that they don't get knocked up by a loser.

"I ain't laying just any eggs."

How in the possible hell did scientists ever figure this out? They lined up various roosters on a scale of one to six as determined by their social status and, in what must have been one of the most awkward experiments ever performed involving chickens, the researchers carefully recorded how much sperm the hens ejected after they finished mating.

Unfortunately for the less-dominant males, the results did confirm that hens will eject the semen from the lesser males regardless of what order the males were "presented" to the hens. And then, presumably, the researchers went home, poured a stiff drink, and thought hard about where their lives were headed.

"Don't pretend this isn't hot."

#1. Cats Use Purring to Self-Heal, Can Survive a Fall from a Tall Building


Hey, don't tell us we're pandering to the Internet by putting cats on here. If we were doing that, we would have put them at the start of the article instead of saving them for the end.

Speaking of cats, look at this one! He's in a bag!

Besides, there's a reason why cats are said to have nine lives. For instance, scientists think that, simply by purring, cats are helping to rapidly heal themselves. So it's kind of like if Wolverine were actually a small, furry animal.

What, you thought that cats purr only when they're happy? Experts were pretty sure that wasn't the whole story, considering that cats also purr when they're frightened or after you kick them. So they set up their special cat microphones and got their science on, and they found that a cat's purr has an average frequency of around 25 to 150 Hertz. And, apparently, sound frequencies in this range have been shown to promote bone density, healing, and pain relief. This doesn't just apply to cats, either -- the sound of a cat purring can also help heal other animals in the immediate vicinity of the cat, including humans. Holy shit! They cast an area healing spell.

"Keep this up and I'll adorable the shit out of your leukemia."

As if that's not enough, nature also built cats to be virtually immune to falling. We don't just mean that they could fall out of a tree and walk it off; we mean that you could throw a cat out of a plane and it would be perfectly fine, albeit incredibly pissed off. This is due to the fact that all cats have a built-in terminal velocity of around 60 mph, nowhere near the sidewalk-ruining 120 mph that larger animals have.

For a cat, there's no difference between a fall of 50 feet and a fall of 5,000 feet except that one means that it can give birds the finger for about 20 seconds longer. Weirdly, a fall from four stories up is statistically more dangerous for a cat than a fall of 40 stories, as the world's most depressing graph will attest to.

Nature via ScienceBlogs

The sharp decline in injuries after seven stories is because most cats reach their terminal velocity after falling that distance, allowing them to adequately prepare for the fall. And even then, they can just purr themselves back together again anyway.

Find more from Karl on his Twitter or his blog. If you want to, that is. Want Micah to write you a limerick?

For more insane things animals can do, check out 7 Superpowered Animal Senses You Won't Believe Are Possible and 8 Animals With Real Superpowers.

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