With the recent success of all those superhero movies, we figured we'd get in on the action - but with a little twist. In this episode, we're going to look at 10 of the coolest super powers in the animal kingdom.
Despite being both the tallest and the heaviest penguin species, the emperor penguin is capable of jumping upwards of 7 feet or 2.1 meters out of the water. They developed this ability so they could escape predators by jumping onto icebergs. These penguins do this when they swim to the surface and gather pockets of air inside their feathers. They then dive down and compress their feathers - forcing the air out to act an underwater jet boost of sort.
This frog's favorite X-Man must have been Wolverine... it grew the incredible sideburns, but what about claws? Yup, it has them too... well, sort of. When in danger, the hairy frog breaks the bones in its toes to give itself claws. Researchers believe that this is most likely done as a defensive measure and that they don't use them to hunt for prey. Either way, that's a pretty intense way to defend yourself.
Indigenous to Australia, these birds are noted for their incredible ability to mimic sounds they hear. Able to imitate over twenty other bird species, they're also able to imitate things such as car alarms, chainsaws, and cameras. The male, in particular, is known for doing this as a way to attract a mate, coupled with some bright and colorful plumage.
This Jellyfish is immortal in the sense that it's capable of reverting back to its colonial stage after it reaches sexual maturity; in essence, it grows up, populates and then goes back into being a kid again. It can do this over and over again, essentially being able to live forever. Sadly, those creatures in the depths of the water that prey on the Jellyfish don't share our fascination with its abilities and still like to munch on them - so the jellyfish probably won't live to see forever.
First discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia, the mimic octopus has the ability, as all octopi do, to change its color. What's even more impressive though is the fact that it can impersonate other creatures found in the ocean, such as lionfish, sea snakes and sole fish - all of which other animals tend to avoid. The creature is also capable of mimicking jellyfish, stingrays, and even the little ol' mantis shrimp from #10 back on our list.
A tiny little insect known as Issus Coleoptratus turns out to be the first creature to use a gear, as far as we know. Biologists, Malcolm Burrows and Gregory Sutton discovered the juveniles of the species have a set of gears used to lock their back legs together, allowing them to jump further. Scientists clock the speed of their jumps to be around eight and a half miles an hour, which is astounding considering the creature is just millimeters in length.
Kangaroo rats live in the harsh, arid environment of western North America. In order to do this, they have adapted to be able to live their entire life without ever having to take a drink of water. How do they do this incredible act? The same way a camel does, by concentrating its urine. It may not be glamorous, but it is highly useful as the kangaroo rat will get all the water it ever needs off of its grain and seed diet.
Growing to sizes as large as 1-foot or 30-centimeters in length, the Axolotl, known also as the Mexican Salamander has the uncanny ability to heal like a superhero right from your favorite comic book. The regeneration of this salamander is so impressive, it can heal from wounds, restore missing limbs in just a couple of months and if that isn't awesome enough, it can even regrow certain damaged parts of its brain.
We know the last one was a shrimp, too, but they're just too cool to leave off the list... and we promise, there are no more shrimp on our list. The Pistol shrimp, though no bigger than your finger has developed an incredible way to hunt. It uses one of its claws like a gun. The shrimp's claw is capable of firing so quickly that it projects what can only be described as a bubble bullet. The projectile travels around 60 miles or 96 kilometers an hour, stunning its prey long enough for the shrimp to finish what it had started.
Peacock Mantis Shrimp
Fairly large... for a shrimp, the peacock mantis shrimp is native to Indo-Pacific waters. These shrimp can strike with the force of a .22 caliber bullet. It does this by storing energy within its arm, releasing it like a spring-loaded mechanism. Not only does this creature have one heck of a punch, it also has probably the best eyes in all of nature. Thousands of small units make up the eye and each detect light separately, leading scientists to believe they can see a massive spectrum of colors.