Zoological Misconceptions!

Now that I’m finally The Dread Zoologist Roberts, I feel a need to help the people. The confused people. People confused about wives tales, folk taxonomy and poorly researched news stories. People confused about whether the appropriate short form of Charles Darwin’s name is Chas D, Char Dar, or Chuck D (in fact, all three are acceptable, along with “Charwin“).

But as my first order of business, I’d like to demolish some zoological misconceptions I commonly come across. I hate zoological misconceptions! Let’s begin:

honey bees are not your friends

1. Assuming you live in the New World, honey bees are not your friends. Nor are they friends with your true bee friends, the native bumblebees. Honey bees were introduced to the Americas by European apiculturalists, making them an ALIEN/INVASIVE species. So, it shouldn’t be any wonder that they are “declining, given that they didn’t belong here in the first place (OH SNAP).

Daddy Long-Legs are not spiders

2. Daddy Long-Legs are not spiders, nor are they poisonous. They are harvestmen. Also, check out the weird pro-harvestmen science bias in the Wikipedia article:

Because they are an ubiquitous order, but species are often restricted to small regions due to their low dispersal rate[citation needed], they are good models for biogeographic studies[dubious ].

Indeed! Dubious!

Polar bears are not a distinct biologically species

3. Polar bears are not a distinct biologically species, separate from grizzly bears and brown bears (which themselves are not biologically distinct). In other words, polar bears, grizzly bears and brown bears are in fact all the same (biological) species, and hybridization is possible!

Monkeys and Apes are different things

4. Monkeys and Apes are different things! Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Gorillas, Orangutans, Gibbons and Humans are apes. Apes, I say! Monkeys are things like Tarmarins, Capuchins, Owl Monkeys (above), etc. So, next time your esteemed associates say “Humans are descended from monkeys!” you can say “That statement is incorrect, associates! They are descended from, and still are, apes!”.

Killer whales are oceanic dolphins

5. Killer whales are oceanic dolphins, not whales. Similarly, Koala bears are not bears.

Do you feel informed? I have many more such facts, stay tuned!

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