Top 10 Common Misconceptions About Biology

The Top Ten
1 People swallow spiders during sleep

Let's be honest, we've all heard this "fact" coming from your grandmother's tales. Common sense will assure you that humans don't swallow several spiders during their sleep. Even a spider would have the common sense not to kill itself in a human's esophagus.

2 Wolves howl at the moon

It's common for movies and other pieces of media to depict wolves howling at the full moon, but in real life, the phases of the moon are not connected to the wolves' howling. Howls are often communicated as a call for a group, a sign of affection, or when stepping in unknown territory.

3 Humans evolved from chimpanzees

Humans, apes, and chimpanzees all share a common ancestor, but they are all considered cousins as they are all classified as primates.

4 The "eagle" cry in movies is made by an eagle

If you've watched movies, you've likely heard the iconic "eagle" sound screeching. Many of us unconsciously assume the cry is associated with the eagle. Nope, it's actually a red-tailed hawk. The screeches of the eagle are actually weaker than you think. It comes off more as a high-pitched chirp.

5 Carrots are a part of a rabbit's diet

This myth spawned from famous rabbit characters such as Bugs Bunny being depicted holding a carrot. Contrary to belief, carrots are not a part of a rabbit's natural diet and actually become unhealthy when fed in large amounts due to the sugars inside them. While it is a vegetable, it is a sweet treat for a rabbit.

I knew that they eat other things unlike cartoon rabbits, but I didn't realize that they don't eat carrots at all in the wild.

6 Bats are blind

Bats actually have sharper vision than humans. While plenty of people associate their sharp hearing with blindness, it doesn't necessarily mean that. Bats typically use echolocation to navigate through their surroundings, yet many prefer to use their eyesight while hunting.

7 Mice love cheese

Once again, cartoons and other media depicting mice snatching cheese lead to this misconception. Surprisingly, mice actually prefer sweeter foods but will choose to eat cheese whenever they cannot satisfy their preferences.

8 Houseflies only live for a day

It's commonly thought that flies live for a few hours, or several days. However, it's much longer than you think. The average housefly can last for two weeks to up to a whole month.

Mayflies are one of the few species that can last a day, but some species live even shorter lifespans than that.

9 Male lions don't hunt

It's been commonly believed that male lions rely on females for doing the hunting. However, they do hunt occasionally and they mostly succeed in it, but they're more inclined to patrolling their territory.

10 Sharks are the ultimate predators in the ocean

Many people think that sharks are the apex predators of the ocean, but in fact, it's orcas that are the highest in the food chain, even topping sharks. They even dominate over the largest animal - the blue whale.

The Contenders
11 Velociraptors were the fastest dinosaurs Velociraptors are known for reaching up to 40 mph, but only for a short duration of time. The average speed of velociraptors is 24 mph. The fastest dinosaurs were ornithomimids, reaching up to 50 mph.
12 Bulls get angry when they see red

Since bulls are colorblind, we tend to assume bulls charge over something that has the color red. Actually, bulls cannot even see red as they are colorblind. In bullfighting, the bull gets provoked by the movements of the "red" cape.

13 Sunflowers point to the sun

While this is true for younger sunflowers, a mature sunflower actually does not track the position of the sun and will always face east regardless of where the sun is.

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