6 Weirdly Human Things You Won't Believe Animals Do

#3. Puppies Let Girls Win

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Remember when you were a kid and you first started to actually enjoy playing with the opposite sex? Well, if you did, then you probably let your girl pal win from time to time, like giving her the opening to make that basket by "accidentally" tripping. You didn't do it because you were sexist, you did it because you were a kid and you wanted to play as long as possible. Or maybe you were going through what famed physician Dr. P. Anka aptly called "puppy love," seeing as the exact same behavior is often observed among young dogs.

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Although the puppies don't pop as many awkward boners.

Studies have shown that puppies actually treat girls very differently when it comes to play fighting, often exposing sensitive areas such as the neck or muzzle and letting their partner bite them there, which apparently wins you all the points in doggy-style wrestling. It's important to note that in such cases, the male puppies are always at a physical advantage, yet often fall to the ground like a boxer taking a dive whenever they are playing with girl dogs. However, when going against wiener dogs with wieners, the puppies turn into Rocky as trained by Cobra Kai, showing no mercy to their opponents.

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"THIS IS WHAT I THINK OF YOUR GENITALS!"

Camille Ward from the University of Michigan claims that the puppies allow themselves to lose to endear themselves to the females, which will hopefully be followed by more hours of play fighting and eventually some sexy times.

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Because it's hard to lay down an effective pick-up line when you look goofy in sunglasses.

This is interesting because nature usually prefers that their adolescents sweat testosterone through their wife-beaters and dominatingly impregnate as many females as possible. With puppies, though, it's almost as if they've all learned about male-female interactions by reading old Calvin and Hobbes comic strips.

#2. Pigeons Screw Themselves Over With Gambling

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Gambling is probably one of the more nonsensical human activities, as it involves betting a sure thing like money in your pocket on a tiny chance of winning more money, which usually ends with you poorer and none the wiser ... but could the same behavior be found among pigeons? If you've ever wondered that, then congratulations, you are psychologist Thomas Zentall at the University of Kentucky, or someone who really needs to get out of the house more.

Uky.edu
Or both.

Armed with some relatively smart birds, Zentall decided to test why living organisms seem to ignore our many losses and focus solely on the rare wins. The study presented Zentall's pigeons with two randomly colored lights to peck at. Pecking at the "safe" light would produce three food pellets every time, while the "gamble" light would flash green 80 percent of the time and award nothing or red 20 percent of the time and award 10 pellets. In the long run, this means that the birds who play it safe will receive one extra pellet per try, while the gamblers, despite the occasional big win, will statistically always receive less food.

Uky.edu
"No, no, man. I have a system!"

After dozens of run-throughs to get the pigeons comfortable with the set-up, the real trial began, where the pigeons chose to gamble 82 percent of the time, getting less food every time and apparently sustaining themselves on nothing more than the rush and the blinking of the pretty lights. As Zentall put it, the pigeons were willing to get less food simply because the rare jackpot payout went against their expectations, which their bodies somehow managed to metabolize into nourishment, by the looks of it. It's the same reason why hardcore gamblers manage to waste days in front of slot machines without breaks for lunch or even going to the toilet.

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That might not be the only reason.

However, just like with human gambling, once you remove the false allure of hope, like by making the pigeons' green and red lights both dispense 10 pellets 20 percent of the time, the birds immediately started pecking the "safe" three-pellet light instead of gambling and telling themselves that "It's about to pay out aaaaany minute now. I can feel it."

#1. Termites Have Political Campaigns

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With the news media already in partial 2016 election mode three fucking years before the damn thing is scheduled, we're good with calling "political campaigning" the most bullshit thing about humanity since barnyard porn. Every other species on the planet makes their specimens fight to the death for the title of leader instead of going around shaking hands and making themselves appear less revolting than the other candidates ... every other species, that is, except for Cryptotermes secundus termites, which hold what looks just like political campaigns for the title of king or queen, aka Termocracy: The Fight for Capitol Mound.

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It's been a tense election season, with Occupy Cedar in full swing.

These termites usually congregate in small groups of 50 to 100 where every worker insect has the chance to one day become king or queen after one of the royal termites kicks it. However, when that time comes, only about 12 percent of the eligible bugs make the physical transformation necessary to sit on the Chewed-Up Wooden Throne, after which things go pretty much as you'd expect. The opponents fight each other and the injured are left to be devoured by other termites, which we still say would vastly improve our own political system. After the initial electoral coliseum, however, the surviving termites begin, well, canvassing.

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"A vote for me is a vote for a continuous brutal monarchy! And extra wood rations!"

The surviving termite candidates suddenly become much more social, spending a lot of time feeling others with antennae to get everyone familiar with them, which, no matter how you look at it, sounds exactly like a candidate going around shaking random people's babies and kissing their hands, unless we got that confused somehow. The campaigning termites even occasionally sweeten the deal by feeding workers surplus food that is produced from their butts, because the animal world is pretty upfront about the fact that all politicians are feeding their constituents shit.

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"Buckle up, Jack; I've been eating particle board all week."

There is also one other trait that sets the termite elections apart from our own, and it's the fact that they are efficient as hell, with the new king or queen being accepted by the colony and instated on the throne up to 11 days after the first batch of candidates emerges. We suspect that it's mainly because becoming termite royalty means that you are the only one with the right to breed, and you can bet that if our politics involved socially sanctioned nookie, every election cycle would last like two weeks tops.

Andrew is a writer, musician, and aspiring wildlife biologist who appreciates your left clicks more than your right.

Related Reading: Some animals have weirdly human sex lives- did you know goats are turned on by lesbian porn? Even human emotions aren't unique among the animal kingdom: tigers have been known to seek revenge. Need further convincing that our species ain't that special? Check out how close these robots are to homo sapiens.

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