The dumbest myths you heard about animals

There’s a ton of myths about snakes but one that I found especially odd was this: “If you cut one in half, it’ll split into two snakes.”

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I wonder if that is a variation of “If you cut a worm in half, it will split into 2 new worms”?

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Its happened. There is one recorded death from coyotes, which is a tragedy but when you consider how many people live near coyotes its incredibly rare. Based on a later study it was determined that due to habitat degradation they were desperate and used to going after larger prey than usual

https://web.archive.org/web/20221212233609/https://news.osu.edu/reliance-on-moose-as-prey-led-to-rare-coyote-attack-on-human/

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Which is true – if the worm in question is a planarian.

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There are confirmed cases of healthy coyotes attacking people and pets in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. It probably isn’t their fault though. People feed them directly or because they think they are feeding feral cats. The homeless population also leaves a lot of garbage around that coyotes find palatable. It is a shame that the coyotes get the blame when we are the ones giving them the reason they are attracted to us.

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/3rd-coyote-attack-in-4-days-in-stanley-park-conservation-officer-service-says-1.5547532

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starving and driven to unnatural extremes isn’t exactly what I would call a healthy coyote. In the other case, who knows? They said they don’t know what has caused it. Whatever is the case, it’s a bit weird. Maybe they have found a stash of RedBull? Still, I’d be more afraid of a bobcat than a coyote. Bobcats are not dangerous (I suppose there may be some exceptions?))

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  • as kids we were told: To catch a rabbit you have to put a pinch of salt on its tail.
    we carried salt in our pockets …
    and:
  • an old farmer promised to show us a horse-nest in his cabbage field, with eggs and hatchlings. We should bring carrots to distract the mare. But all had unfortunately already left the nest and flew away when we came back with the veggies - the farmer kept the carrots …
  • dogs that bark, don’t bite ( well, while the dog barks it can not bite … anyway we kids were sceptical about that one)
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Well, good point–certainly that is possible, but the behavior in this case did not seem like flight. The snake had its head up above the vegetation, so could see exactly where I was. It was about 5 meters away, and nobody else was close. As I moved along, taking photographs of other stuff, it kept a constant distance and paralleled my path, head up all along. Racers are visual predators, and the head up hunting posture is called “periscoping”, described in life histories of this snake. Its movements seemed very intentional and not panicked. I’ll see if I can find some references on this hunting strategy. Doing some web searches, I see myths about racers recorded that they approach cows to steal milk. I’m thinking the following of large animals hoping they flush prey is the source of this myth. At any rate, many predators are known to follow herbivores, or other carnivores, in search of prey they flush–Cattle Egrets, for instance.

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I have heard the tale of tail and salt also regarding birds. My father used to say when I doubted that myth: Well, if you are as close as it is necessary to drop salt on the animal you are also near enough to catch it by hand even without the salt.

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During my childhood, there was still one of the last local healers (called Ochsenreiter) active. His advice to get rid of warts was to dig a hole in the moonlight, place a toad in it and last but not least pee on it.

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