When it comes to wildlife, we’ve believed some pretty silly things over the years.
If you cross your eyes they might stay that way. If you swallow gum it’ll stay in your stomach for seven years. How many silly lies have you believed in your life? Well there are plenty of lies we’ve been told about wildlife that many people still believe.
We’re here to set the record straight.
MYTH #1: Bat poo will make you sick.
Not true! So many people blame bats when a lot of different poo can make you sick. The fact of the matter is that the fungal spores that cause histoplasmosis (a lung infection) can be found in all sorts of poo. Yes that includes bat poo (also called guano) but also human, horse, dog, cattle, cat, bird, skunk, rat and opossum feces as well! You wouldn’t kick Fido out for that, would you? Truthfully, when you come into contact with any decaying organic material, you’re at risk of harming your health.
MYTH #2: If you touch a baby bird, its parents will abandon it.
Birds don’t ditch their young just because someone touched them. It doesn’t seem like birds recognize their young by smell in the first place. But that’s not because they have a terrible sense of smell, like some people think. Research is definitely showing otherwise. It is now known that turkey vultures and seabirds actually have a well-developed sense of smell. And research on zebra finches show that these songbirds use smell to recognize relatives.
MYTH #3: If you touch a toad, you’ll get warts.
Really? Errrr…I hate to break it to you but it’s the grubby shower floors at your local gym that’s given you those lovely plantar warts, not toads. Toads might look bumpy but that’s just their skin! Some toads have bumpy skin that actually releases toxins to keep predators at bay.
MYTH #4: Bats are blind
Bats can see very well, thank you very much. I think people most often get confused on this point because they know most bats are reliant on echolocation to make their way. Since most bats can’t see in the dark, when they are most active, they rely on their built in sonar system to navigate at incredibly high speeds in absolute darkness!
MYTH #5: Sharks can smell a drop of blood from miles away.
Sharks absolutely use their sense of smell to sniff out prey. But you’re going to have to bleed a heck of a lot more to get their attention. A drop of blood might attract a shark if it was living in a small swimming pool, but not in the vast ocean.