Animal Myths Debunked

Scientific justice for maligned critters

Every animal has its rep. Rats are dirty; monkeys are cheeky; bats are blind. As anyone who’s known an incurious cat can verify, though, these stereotypes are often false.

Here, modern scientific research takes a closer look at the truth about our animal friends.

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Sloths Are Lazy

Researchers have found that wild sloths sleep for only 10 hours a day. Their captive counterparts are to blame for this myth—since they don’t need to stay awake to find food, they sleep for upward of 16 hours daily.

Alpha Males Always Get The Ladies

University of California at Davis biologists found that female fruit flies don’t always mate with aggressive males, possibly because even the worst fighters have some allure.

Goldfish Have Short Memories

This year, an Australian high-school student taught his goldfish to expect food when shown a red Lego and then waited a few days. The fish still recalled the trick a week later.