These slow-moving, eucalyptus-eating marsupials native to Australia are beloved for their sweet demeanours and distinctly non-human adorableness. However, they do share one feature in common with homo sapiens: fingerprints. What’s more, their fingerprints, analysed under a microscope, are virtually indistinguishable in the way they loop and whorl from our own. Researchers posit that koalas adapted this feature – which is also present in primates such as chimpanzees – in order to better grasp the branches they climb to forage for leaves.
According to Live Science, elephants have “many admirable qualities”, including a fantastic sense of smell, a seeming near-immunity to cancer, and “complex social lives”. Despite all this, here’s a crazy animal fact: elephants are unable to jump. That’s because they have what an evolutionary researcher at the Royal Veterinary College in London calls “wimpy lower-leg muscles” and inflexible ankles – conditions that also make it a challenge for them to run for more than a short distance. Meet the world’s most famous zoo animals.
Although butterflies have long, tube-like tongues called probosces they unfurl so they can suck in flower nectar, their ability to taste does not come from their mouths. Rather, it lies in their feet. According to the San Diego Zoo, this allows them to discern which flowers they land on are the right ones for laying their eggs on. “[B]y standing on a leaf, they can taste it to see if their caterpillars can eat it,” says the zoo’s website.