Mammals can swim, but have strange exception
The experiments, many of which were strange and even cruel, showed that most mammals — even giraffes and pigs instinctively begins to swim when placed in water. But not everyone has this instinct.
Popular myth says that some mammals — including camels and pigs can’t swim. Browser, BBC Earth found that it is not: afloat with difficulty held only one kind of mammals. Guess what.
Grandparents of my girlfriend (whose name is Audrey and Hamish) are very inquisitive. Both of them are very interested in biology, and once they decided to test the pet theory of Audrey.
“I always thought that all mammals can, first, produce milk and, secondly, to swim, she says. Not simultaneously, of course.”
And once they, along with daughters gathered around the pond in the garden, taking with him his pet Guinea pigs.
“In case something goes wrong, we had a fishing net. We put the pig in the water, she dog — if you can say that about a Guinea crossed from one side of the pond to the other”.
“While this is our one experiment,” says Hamish.
He believes that since most mammals walk on four limbs, they have to stay afloat and instinctively know how to swim doggy-style. But is he right?
Some mammals, of course, a natural born swimmers. Whales, seals and otters in the process of evolution has acquired the ability to easily move through the water.
Many terrestrial mammals can also be called skilled swimmers is, of course, dogs, but other Pets are not far behind, including sheep and cows.
Even cats can swim well, although most of them are not very fond of this process.
At the same time, other types have a reputation for inept swimmers — for example, camels. Yes, they are called ships of the desert, but what they the ability to swim if the water they see rarely?
From conversations with veterinarians specializing in camels, and breeders of these animals revealed that four-legged humpback, oddly enough, are willing to go into the water, which is found in their way.
This is especially true of camels breed kharay known as floating camels Gujarat.
If we talk about the pigs, he immediately remembered a poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in which God watches over floating down the river pig, gleefully anticipating what she’s going to slit his throat with his sharp hooves.
But it is very unfair to pigs, and the Ministry of tourism of the Bahamas gladly confirm this.
On the island of big major Cay settled there a colony of pig-Maritime, which has become a landmark of the archipelago, proudly calling itself “the Official residence of the floating pigs”.
Previously, scientists had suggested that elephants, the largest land animals existing today, do not know how to swim.
If this were so, biogeography would have to look for a complicated explanation of the presence of fossil remains of elephants on Islands off the coast of California and China, as well as in the Mediterranean sea.
In fact, elephants are excellent swimmers, able to swim up to 50 km. Scholars even suggest that the elephant’s trunk originally acted as a snorkel while swimming.
Even the battleship, despite the presence of bulky carapace, can float on the water, swallowing air and thereby inflating the stomach and intestines, which helps him to compensate for your weight.
Well, it’s a good start. But there is world known 5416 species of mammals. To prove that they know how to swim, in the pond will have to throw a lot of creatures that are not from this delighted.
“It should be noted that similar experiments had already been carried out,” says Frank fish, an expert in swimming from the University of West Chester (PA, USA).
To assess swimming ability is absolutely all mammals could not be anyone, however, there were times when the animal was just thrown into the water.
In the framework of his scientific work, published in 1973, Anne Dagg and Doug Windsor put land animals of 27 species, from shrews to skunks in a tank of water with a length of three meters and watched, could they stay afloat.
Fortunately, all were able to swim, even a bat, moving “with heavy strokes of the wings, resembling human movement, floating butterfly.”
Unfortunately, they often were not sufficient to determine whether the animal is able to swim or not.
In the work of Dagg and Windsor mentioned carried out in the late 50s and the 60s series “inhuman experiments, in which animals of various kinds were forced to swim until then, until they are exhausted or will not perish.”
Today, fortunately, such experiments are hardly possible. “Ethics is changing, and what was acceptable then isn’t allowed now,” confirms fish.
Anyway, these experiments can serve as confirmation of the theory of Audrey, especially when you consider that move on water may even are not adapted to living in water animals, such as bats.