If we believed in cartoons, it would be like this, but in reality, mice love to eat anything else, especially foods rich in sugar
Mice and Their Love For Cheese
So what are the foods that attract mice? Well, actually, what mice like the most are the sweetest foods. In fact, their natural diet consists of fruits, seeds, grains, and foods high in sugar.
In addition, as anyone who has found the house "inhabited" by these rodents well knows, they also often try wood, electrical cables, fabrics, and even plastic material. And in case of need, they are also willing to eat their own feces to survive. It is true, however, that mice drink little and obtain the water they need to survive directly from the food they eat.
Why The Cheese Belief?
The cheese, on the other hand, was on the shelves. That made it an easy target for unwanted pantry visitors, including mice. So, the mice ate cheese because they had nothing else to eat, not because they liked it and thus they ended up being represented as lovers of this food in cartoons.
So I have gotten to know these critters better than many neighbors: I read twenty or thirty scientific articles and some manuals; I watched half a dozen documentaries. And for that reason, I did not expect it. Never. Never. No way did I see anything like this coming: Turns out mice don't really like cheese.
My first reaction when I found out (by chance, a few days ago) was to feel cheated. The problem is that I couldn't take it personally: the idea that mice are crazy about cheese is one of the most widespread zoological myths in history. David Holmes, an animal behavior expert at Manchester Metropolitan University, has traced this tale back to Shakespeare's play and dozens of paintings from the Middle Ages.
However, he did not find any scientific study that supported the love for cheese. What's more, after looking in detail at the eating patterns of rodents (both domestic and wild), he realized that cheese wasn't even among their favorite foods. They can eat it, and in fact, as I mentioned earlier, they eat it when nothing else is available. But it would never be its first choice.
What Other Myths Do We Find In The Animal World?
A curious case is that of the suicidal tendency of lemmings. This type of rodent does not kill itself on purpose. According to various researchers, these little animals have the instinct to move en masse in search of food, but when they come across lakes or rivers, many do not reach the other shore due to their poor ability to swim.
About our faithful friends, dogs, there are also false myths. Dogs are said to lose the ability to learn new things over the years. The reality is that over time they have less potential to assimilate new behaviors, but it does not disappear completely. It is also a lie that dogs can only see in black and white. Dogs see colors in shades of blue and yellow and are not able to distinguish between shades of colors such as red and green.
The idea is based on the fact that dogs - like most animals - have only two types of color receptors (called cones) compared to the three that humans have. These receptors are sensitive to different wavelengths, so dogs see a smaller combination of colors than we do. These circumstances have led to the belief that dogs rely more on brightness than color to distinguish between objects. But a group of researchers has just published a study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that proves just the opposite. After different tests, in which the dogs have reacted to different shades, they concluded that colors weigh more than brightness in their vision.