Some animals will do whatever it takes to survive. Cockatoos turn to vandalism, boxer crabs hold anemones hostage, sloths become filthy, puff adders have an ‘invisibility cloak’ to hide themselves, and chimps use violence to stay in power.
- Sulphur-crested cockatoos are notorious for vandalizing and littering Sydney, Australia on garbage day. These inquisitive and clever birds have figured out which colored bins they can find scraps of food in, and this adaptation to the urban environment has made them curious to try to discover other food sources around the city, even if it means damaging property.
- Stone martens have found a new haven in the cities of central Europe and are causing extensive damage to cars; there’s been an estimated $75 million worth of damage per year in Germany alone. Research suggests the destructive behavior is tied to the need to secure a mate through scent-marking of territories. Cars carry the scent marks around the city and confuse the Stone martens into thinking their territory is being encroached upon.
- Boxer crabs carry glove-like sea anemones full of toxins in order to defend themselves. One courageous boxer crab fights off a pufferfish, throwing a punch with a powerful sting.
- In the rainforests of Central America, algae grows on a three-toed sloth’s fur, acting as camouflage against predators. The algae needs nutrients to flourish, which it gets from hundreds of moths also stuck in sloth fur. Once a week, the sloth makes a perilous journey down to the forest floor to go to the bathroom and replenish its moth collection.
- The Striated caracaras, birds of prey, on the Falkland Islands carve out territory to feast on the eggs and chicks of the island’s vast seabird colonies. In order to get past the adults guarding the food, the adolescent falcons form a gang in order to overpower their elders.