Eager as a beaver, dead as a dodo, graceful as a gazelle, bald as a coot are similies that stand the test of truth. But how true are the tales about bats and goldfish? We investigate
Blind as a bat
Every book of idioms has this phrase as blind as a bat, but is a bat really blind? No. Bats primarily use a form of sonar to navigate through dark areas and avoid obstacles. However, their eyes, while small and sometimes poorly developed, are also completely functional, not to mention the fact that they have excellent hearing and sense of smell. So we should try and give the bats some credit and may become up with a new idiom — As smart as a bat?
Mother birds reject chicks touched by humans
If this were true then children would be blamed for making orphans out of all the birds. It was just a story told to keep people from harming the chicks and if anybody found one outside its nest, it would be safe. Parents especially made this up to prevent children from killing birds. Birds do not have very heightened olfactory senses and so it would be difficult for a bird to get the human scent. One exception is the vulture which sniffs out its dinner.
The memory of a Goldfish
Is not as shallow as you think. Next time anyone says you have the memory of a goldfish (who are famously thought to have a mere three-second memory), you should inform them, studies have shown goldfish can retain memories for as long as five months. Which is more than most of us can say. They have also shown to be able to recognise their masters. So show some respect to these beautiful fish, we say! By the way, if you were wondering, hamsters are supposed to have the shortest memories with the recall capacity of five seconds. Is that another myth? You’ll never know.
Hummingbirds eat their weight’s worth each day
Unlike other birds, the very size of hummingbirds makes their survival a tale of adventure. Hummingbirds have to eat more than their weight in food everyday or risk starvation. Which means that they follow a frantic eating schedule and much like humans, they eat their food in meals. An adult ruby-throated hummingbird might eat as much as twice its body weight in food each day which helps fuel its rapid flight pattern. These little birds can beat their wings 53 times a second and fly in an acrobatic style matched by few other birds.
Penguins fall backward looking up at the sky
Alright, alright. Make fun of the penguins’ gait all you want but trust us when we say all 17 species of penguins are perfectly capable of maintaining their footing, whether their looking upwards, downwards or sideways. They do not topple over like dominoes when planes fly overhead, as once claimed by Falkands pilots. A royal navy mission to the Antarctica, put the legend to rest when they conducted an experimental run with 17 flights flying back and forth across the Antarctica. But as it turns out low-flying aircrafts cause panic among penguins who leave their nests in a bid to run away from the noise.