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Non-aquatic animals

Non-aquatic animals

Humans do not swim instinctively, but they feel attracted to water and show a broader range of swimming movements than other non-aquatic animals (Bender 1999: 119-169). In contrast, many monkeys can naturally swim and some, like the proboscis monkey, crab-eating macaque, and Rhesus macaque swim regularly.

A dog swimming

A dog swimming

Some breeds of dog swim recreationally. Umbra, a world record-holding dog, can swim 4 miles (6.4 km) in 73 minutes, placing her in the top 25% in human long-distance swimming competitions[2]. Although most cats hate water, adult cats are good swimmers. The fishing cat is one wild species of cat that has evolved special adaptations for an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle – webbed digits. Tigers and some individual jaguars are the only big cats known go into water readily, though other big cats, including lions, have been observed swimming. A few domestic cat breeds also like swimming, such as the Turkish Van. In a unpublished research carried out 2002 at the University of Bern (Switzerland) , Bender & Hirt showed that the Turkish Van has less inhibition to enter in shallow water compared to another breed, the Russian Blue. This behavior can be partially explained by the character of the Turkish Van, who seems to be more curious and enterprising than other cat breeds (see Widmer 1990).

Horses, moose, and elk are very powerful swimmers, and can travel long distances in the water. Elephants are also capable of swimming, even in deep waters. Eyewitnesses have confirmed that camels, including Dromedaries and Bactrians, can swim[3], despite the fact that there is little deep water in their natural habitats.

Both domestic and wild rabbits can swim. Domestic rabbits are sometimes trained to swim as a circus attraction. A wild rabbit famously swam in an apparent attack on U.S. President Jimmy Carter‘s boat when it was threatened in its natural habitat.[4]

The Guinea pig (or cavy) is noted as having an excellent swimming ability.[5]. Mice can swim quite well. They do panic when placed in water, but many lab mice are used in the Morris water maze, a test to measure learning. When mice swim, they use their tails like flagella and kick with their legs.

Many species of snakes are aquatic and live their entire lives in the water, but all terrestrial snakes are excellent swimmers as well. The larger pythons and anacondas spend the majority of their time in the water; their skeletons are not able to support their body weight well on dry land. Many Beetles are able to swim, some species of diving beetle spend most of their time in the water.

Source:  Fox News Posted: Just One More Pet by Ask Marion

July 22, 2010 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet | , | Leave a comment