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Koalas

Koalas
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These slow-moving, eucalyptus-eating marsupials native to Australia are beloved for their sweet demeanours and distinctly non-human adorableness. However, they do share one feature in common with homo sapiens: fingerprints. What’s more, their fingerprints, analysed under a microscope, are virtually indistinguishable in the way they loop and whorl from our own. Researchers posit that koalas adapted this feature – which is also present in primates such as chimpanzees – in order to better grasp the branches they climb to forage for leaves.

Elephants

Elephants
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According to Live Science, elephants have “many admirable qualities”, including a fantastic sense of smell, a seeming near-immunity to cancer, and “complex social lives”. Despite all this, here’s a crazy animal fact: elephants are unable to jump. That’s because they have what an evolutionary researcher at the Royal Veterinary College in London calls “wimpy lower-leg muscles” and inflexible ankles – conditions that also make it a challenge for them to run for more than a short distance. Meet the world’s most famous zoo animals.

Butterflies

Butterflies
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Although butterflies have long, tube-like tongues called probosces they unfurl so they can suck in flower nectar, their ability to taste does not come from their mouths. Rather, it lies in their feet. According to the San Diego Zoo, this allows them to discern which flowers they land on are the right ones for laying their eggs on. “[B]y standing on a leaf, they can taste it to see if their caterpillars can eat it,” says the zoo’s website.

Sea otters

Sea otters
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There are 13 species of otter worldwide (everywhere but Antarctica) – and sadly, 12 species of these marine mammals are vulnerable, threatened, or endangered. This is news that’s hard to bear when confronted with their inherent cuteness, witnessed in recently circulating photos of mother-and-child pairs holding hands to avoid drifting away from each other as they snooze. Check out these 28 amazing wildlife encounters experienced by Reader’s Digest readers.

Bunnies

Bunnies
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Sure, they’ve got those long ears, all the better to hear you with – as AskNature.com points out, they can rotate these appendages 270 degrees in order to detect sounds, some from as far as over three kilometres off, in almost every direction. But they also serve another valuable purpose: they shed heat, allowing rabbits, which can’t sweat like humans or pant like dogs, to stay cool in the summer. Check out these 28 ways your pet is trying to say “I love you”.

Pigeons

Pigeons
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Some people call these common urban residents – also, and more accurately, known as rock doves – “rats with wings”. And that’s giving this incredible, intelligent species short shrift. Not only can pigeons be trained to deliver messages across great distances, but researchers at Keio University in Tokyo discovered they could also be trained to distinguish between the paintings of Monet, Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Cézanne, and Renoir. Now that’s an incredible animal fact! Check out five of the funniest ever tweets about animals.

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Dolphins

Dolphins
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Incredible as this animal fact may seem, dolphins call each other by “name”. Research at the University of St. Andrews found that dolphins can call out to other dolphins by mimicking the distinct whistle of the dolphin they want. Discover eight of the world’s smartest animals that learn even faster than you.

Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees
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Not convinced that men and chimps are closely related? In 2015, the Royal Science Open Society reported that scientists in Guinea had discovered that the animals they were studying frequently drank fermented palm sap – an alcoholic, naturally-occurring sort of wine that human locals are also partial to. The cool clincher: the chimps also used utensils to gather and drink this liquor, namely, crushed leaves they used as “sponges” to sop it up and move it to their mouths – often in copious enough quantities that some of them actually got drunk.

Bats

Bats
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Like pigeons, bats are another amazing group of animals that are unjustifiably reviled by humans. Certain species, like the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugous) – currently nearly eradicated across the Northeastern United States due to a fungus called White-nose syndrome – can eat 1,000 mosquitoes an hour (that’s one bat per 1,000 mosquitoes!). Perhaps our favourite bat fact of all: they give birth upside down and catch their newborns in their wings.

Cats

Cats
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There’s no point trying to tempt your puss with a sweet treat – sweet is one taste that domestic and some wild cats cannot detect. That’s because they’re lacking sweet sensors on their tongues and elsewhere in their mouths, according to scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. In fact, this seems to be an ability that strictly carnivorous cats lost over time; cats that are omnivores still appear to be able to distinguish a sugary flavour. Find out 13 things you do that your cat actually hates.

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team