So Generous! Meet 7 Animals Who Love Giving Gifts
These animals don't need to sign up for Secret Santa. They're leaving presents for their fellow critters anyhow.
1. Great grey shrikes
The great grey shrike is an adorable little bird who woos his partner with presents during courtship. Males offer the females food like crickets, lizards and small animals. These tiny morsels go a long way, as females who are offered more nutritious meals can lay more eggs. It's the gift that keeps on giving!
Bonobos give food like apples and bananas to other bonobos who aren't a part of their group. These cuddly primates give presents to strangers because they enjoy having new interactions and expanding their social network. Bonobos from different groups will even travel together for days at a time.
Many cat lovers can attest to the generous spirit of their feline companions. The dead birds and mice that cats leave for their owners can change the phrase "You shouldn't have!" to a more realistic "No seriously, you shouldn't have done this." Wild cat mothers bring home dead or dying animals in order to teach their kittens how to hunt. Domestic cats do the same thing, bringing home prey so that their owners can learn how to kill their food. Consider it a lesson in feline tradition from generations past!
4. Scorpion flies
Behind its science-fiction-ready exterior, this unique-looking insect has a heart of gold. Though the majority of males offer their mates presents made from saliva, some males will present dead insects as a gift in order to mate with a female. But the scorpion fly is far from monogamous, as both males and females have multiple partners.
Cowbirds generously offer their own offspring as gifts - whether you like it or not! These tiny birds lay their eggs in the nests of unsuspecting birds, which then become the oblivious foster parents of cowbird chicks. The chicks oftentimes hatch quicker, grow faster and eat more than the host chicks. While that doesn't make them the best houseguests, at least they're incredibly cute.
Cats aren't the only ones who have a generous streak when it comes to humans. Dolphins have also been observed giving food to people, and these nautical treats can include eels, tuna and octopuses.
These birds in tuxedos offer gifts as part of their courtship ritual. Male penguins in particular give pebbles to females, as pebbles are commonly used to build nests. These gifts form the cornerstone of a serious commitment, as many penguins develop monogamous relationships.