The lyrebird is a ground dwelling bird native to Australia that can mimic almost any sound that it hears! They have been recorded mimicking the sounds of everything from a children’s toy laser gun, to chainsaws, drills, hammers, car alarms and cameras as well as pretty much any other bird that they have heard in the wild.
Researchers near the New England National Park in northern coastal New South Wales have even recorded lyrebirds mimicking the near perfect sounds of a flute. It was subsequently discovered that back in the 1930’s, a flute player lived near the park and would play tunes to his pet lyrebird. After the bird was released back into the wild it kept the flute songs in its vocal repertoire and they were adopted by other lyrebirds that heard them. The songs are still performed by lyrebirds to this day.
There is estimated to be about 22,000 different species of ant on Earth. They are one of the most resilient animals on the planet and are now native to every continent except Antarctica. Their colonies have a very sophisticated social structure divided into many different roles and responsibilities. An ant colony is considered to be a superorganism because the ants operate in unity, collectively working together to support the settlement.
Learning behavior has even been seen in some species with experienced foragers leading younger ants to newly discovered food sources. One species was observed responding to flooding by drinking the excess water within the nest then excreting it outside.
But as amazing as these facts are the superpower that ants possess is definitely their strength and speed. They can carry up to 50 times their own body weight which is the equivalent of a human lifting a killer whale!
Ants are extremely fast too. They can run at approximately 300 meters and hour which is the same as a human running at speeds of 83 km/h (52 mph)! That is nearly twice as fast as Usain Bolt’s maximum speed of 44.72 km/h (27.8 mph) that he achieved when he set the world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100 meters final at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin!
3. Mimic Octopus
Native to the Indo-Pacific Oceans, the mimic octopus possesses the super power of extreme camouflage. Not only can it change colour to match its surroundings, it can also mimic other animals’ shapes, colours and behaviours. The octopus has been observed mimicking up to 15 different types of marine creatures. One specimen was seen to immediately change its behavior from docile while resting on the ocean floor to sudden overt swimming motions, matching the movement of a school of flounder.
When attacked by damselfish, the octopus has even been observed mimicking the colour patterns and movement of a black and yellow banded sea snake – a natural predator of the fish.
Also known as moss piglets or water bears, tardigrades are micro-animals that are practically indestructible. They have been found everywhere from tropical rain forests to the icy antarctic. Living in volcanoes, on top of freezing mountains and even in the deep sea.
Looking like a caterpillar wearing some sort of ‘space suit’, these remarkable creatures can withstand ionizing radiation hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human.
They can survive in extreme temperatures from just above absolute zero to higher than the boiling point of water. They can even live without food and water for more than 10 years!
The European Space Agency even sent some into space where it was discovered that they can also survive the vacuum of outer space.
1. Immortal Jellyfish
There is a species of jellyfish known as turritopsis dohrnii that has the ability to live forever! Known as the immortal jellyfish, it can revert back to its juvenile form if it gets injured, sick or too old. It does this by a process called transdifferentiation in which the cells of the jellyfish’s body change from one state to another. It then returns to its ground-dwelling polyp form. In this state, the jellyfish can reproduce asexually, meaning it is able to spawn an army of identical clones without needing to mate with a jellyfish of the opposite sex. This amazing super-creature can then transform back into its adult form and repeat the process indefinitely.
Previously only found in the Mediterranean Sea and the waters off the coast of Japan, the immortal jellyfish is spreading all over the world at a rapid pace. It is believed that it hitches a ride inside ships in the ballast water and is then released in new locations as the ship releases the water.
While the immortal jellyfish can theoretically live forever it can be killed if it is eaten by a predator or succumbs to disease while in its juvenile form. But with its super powers of immortality and clone spawning, it does pose the question – Is this silent super-villain of the sea gradually taking over the world’s oceans?
That was 10 amazing animals with extraordinary superpowers. Can you think of any other animals with powers that could rival those of a superhero? Let us know!