Elephants and Donkeys Aren’t the Only Party Animals

Whether you’re an elephant or a donkey, grab your unlikely animal friend from across the aisle and check out Nat Geo WILD on July 18th for the ultimate animal party this summer. To get you in the celebratory spirit, here are 10 facts about animals who really know how to get down.

1) There are over 24 species of “dancing” frogs.

While they may not be able to do the Macarena or show you how to dougie, these amphibians are the kings of swing in their own right. Known as “foot-flagging,” this behavior is seen more commonly in males during mating season as a way to advertise themselves to females. The movement involves the frog extending its hind leg out and waving a fully webbed foot.

2) A group of flamingos is called a “flamboyance.” 

Flock of greater flamingos
A flamboyance of  flamingos.

Flamingos are social birds who live in groups of varying sizes, with some reaching upwards of thousands. These fluorescent birds will often march, where the entire flock will walk as one in a tightly packed group, often switching direction abruptly.

3) The New Guinea singing dog has a special vocal structure that allows it to sing!

A Singer hitting the high notes!

Nicknamed “Singers,” these dogs are considered to be one of the rarest in the world. Due to the unique vocal structure they’re able to howl with varying intonations, much like yodeling. When in a group, one dog will start singing, with the rest joining in at different pitches, creating a unique sound.

4)  A group of zebras are called a dazzle.

A dazzle of zebras gathered at a watering hole.

Many believe that when a zebra herd is running away from a predator, their collective stripes confuse or “dazzle” the attacker. Zebras live in small family groups usually consisting of a male, several females, and their young. However, it is not unknown for these units to join with one another to form massive herds.

5) Honey bees communicate by dancing.

Known as the “waggle,” the bee will dance in a figure-eight patterns with a walk in between loops while fluttering her wings. A honey bee will dance when she wishes to alert other bees of a nectar source she has found. The longer the dance is, the farther away the nectar is from the hive. 

6) A group of parrots is known as a pandemonium.

Two macaws make a pandemonium!

The term is a reference to noise parrots make when in a large group, for the definition of pandemonium is “a wild uproar of noise.” Parrots are social creatures, living in groups sometimes of up to 1,000 birds!

7) Cows produce more milk when listening to smooth jams.

These cows know how to mooooove to the music.

During a study at the University of Leicester in the UK, researchers played several different types of music to see if a specific genre would increase milk production in cows. The most popular tune? Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” This soothing song relaxed the cows and as a result, yielded up to an extra pint of milk.

8) A group of river otters is called a romp.

Sea Otters
A romp of river otters.

 The name is based off of their playful nature. River otters can often be seen tobogganing off mud banks into the water or chasing each other. Romps are made up of a female and her pups, while males tend to live in “bachelor” groups.

9) Sea lions have shown to be able to keep a beat.

Researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz rescued a seal lion named Ronan who seemed smarter than your average sea lion. So, they taught her to dance. Staring out with a metronome, Ronan was able to follow the steady beat for several months and, a while she was able to follow along with more complex songs, including ones she had never heard before. This means that sea lions are the only other mammal besides humans able to keep a beat and take it all the way to funky town.

10) Houseflies buzz in the key of F.

The common housefly.

Since insects lack vocal cords, they rely on either rubbing their legs together or flapping their wings to create vibrations we interpret as sounds. The common house fly flaps its wing about 190 beats per second, which to the human ear sounds like the F major scale.

Tune in to Secret Life of Elephants tonight at 8/7c, followede by Elephant Queen at 10/9c on Nat Geo WILD.