Popular animal myths created by Hollywood
From Bugs Bunny to Jaws to Harry Potter, many films have misrepresented animal behaviour. Sometimes it’s obviously fantasy (sorry, giant eagles will not fly you from Mordor). Other times the popularity of the idea has latched on to where it is now believed by many. Here’s our list of some of the key mistruths…
What’s up, doc? Despite what Bugs Bunny might tell you, carrots are not the main food of choice for rabbits (they need a balanced diet of hay and vegetables).
However Friz Freleng, one of the main animators of Bugs, was a big fan of “It Happened One Night” – a film where Clark Gable eats carrots, talks quickly and is called ‘Doc”. Our Timothy Cakes do have carrots in them, along with timothy hay, yummy mint, parsley and dried apple.
It’s not personal. Sharks cannot smell a drop of blood in the water from miles away. But what was said in Jaws seemed to sink into the minds of viewers as indisputable fact. They’ve got great senses of smell but this is an exaggeration.
Nor, like in Jaws 4: The Revenge, do sharks take things personally and track their victims across oceans. The only thing this film is good for is the fantastic quote from star Michael Caine: “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” Your tropical fish will prefer our insect medley.
Howling mad. But of course wolves howl at the moon! And werewolves go at it even more so if you believe Harry Potter films. Yet despite the cool t-shirts and many, many scenes in films and tv shows, science has proven that wolves don’t howl any more or less when the moon is visible.
Wolves instead howl to reorganise the pack, scare competitors, or alert others about a possible threat. But we shouldn’t let pesky facts get in the way of those great scenes. Howl on!
Dumb Dumbo. In Dumbo there’s a scene where the ostriches bury their heads in the sand when facing danger – the silly birds choose to ignore what’s going on around them in the hope it will go away.
It’s such a pervasive idea that ‘to bury your head in the sand’ has become a common saying for anyone who cowardly hides in their ignorance. Yet ostriches never bury their heads. After all, they’d suffocate or become completely defenceless if they did! Instead the birds might lie down to blend in with their surroundings or run away from any threat.
That’s batty. Some bats apparently use sonar better than others….