Archive for January, 2009

What Kind Of Cat Is A Manx?

Manx

Manx cats are the only cats born without tails.  They run with a hopping, rabbit like gait, because of their long hind legs.

Have you ever seen a cat running with no tail and a sort of hopping like a rabbit?   Such a cat is the Manx.  The Manx cat is very strange one as it is the only cat born without a tail.

Its hind legs are longer than the front ones, giving it a hopping gait when running.  A Manx can run faster than most other kinds of cats.

The ancestors of the Manx can came from the Isle of Man, a British Island in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.  The first cats on the Isle of Man swam ashore from sinking Spanish ships some 400 years ago.

Many says that the story of how they got to be tailless.  One says that these cats loitered on the way into the Ark, and Noah slammed the door on their tails.  Another says that a Manx is the result of a rabbit mating with a cat.

The truth is most likely that this cat lost their tails as a result of a quirk of nature. – Dick Rogers

What Is A Brahman Cattle?

Brahman Cattle

The Brahman is a breed of hump-shouldered cattle with drooping necks and large, floppy ears.

In the United States, Brahmans are sometimes called Brahman.  In other countries, they are known by the common name of zebu (pronounced ZEE boo).

Brahman’s hump is mostly a large, fatty growth that rises above the shoulders.  Brahmans were brought to the United States from India.  Because they are able to tolerate heat and refuse to accept insects and disease better than other cattle.

Brahmans are often crossed with other cattle to create new kinds of cattle that need these behavior.

Brahma bull-riding is a popular event at a rodeo.  The only equipment is a loose rope around the bull’s shoulders and a clanging bell attached below.

The rider must hold on with only one hand in his wild ride. – Dick Roger

Why does a peacock raise its feathers?

Peacock

The handsome peacock spreads his feathers into a gorgeous fan when he courts the female, or peahen.  A peacock is a bird with beautiful, rainbow-colored feathers.  Its range is really “peafowl”.

The male bird is called a peacock.  It is about as large as a turkey and has a long train or greenish feathers brilliantly spotted with bronze blue, green and gold.  A crest adorns his head.

The feather which grow from the back (and not the tail), are spread out into a gorgeous fan as the bird struts back and forth, “proud as a peacock ,” for all to see.

His majestic parade of flashing colors is actually a courtship display to charm the female, or peahen, and persuade her that he is the most handsome peacock.  The peahen is less brightly colored and has no train of feathers.

As you might imagine, the peacock’s magnificent plumage has made it a favorite parts of the world.  A peacock’s call is so loud it can be heard far away.  It sounds like a human screaming.  – Dick Rogers

What Is a cassowary?

Cassowary

The cassowary is a large, odd-looking bird that lives in the thick forest of Australia and New Guinea.  A fully grown cassowary may be five feet tall and weigh two pounds or more.

Like the African relative the ostrich, the cassowary cannot fly.  All that remains of its flight feathers are a few spiny quilts, but it can sprint at speeds of at nearly 40 miles per hour for its long powerful legs, when it danger.

A bony helmet on its featherless head  helps it butt through the heavy underbrush.  Tough bristle like feathers that cover it body serve as a form of armor as it crashes headlong the forest.

A threatened cassowary can be a dangerous foe.  All three of the toes on each foot are armed with knife-sharp claws which can be a deadly weapon in a flight.  Usually, these shy birds are  heard more often than soon in their dense forest home.  They call by snorting and bellowing. – Dick Rogers

What is a crayfish?

Crayfish

Crayfish are small fresh-water shell fish that look like miniature lobsters.

If you have ever played by the bank of stream or pond, you may have seen a small animal that looked like a miniature lobster living at the bottom of the water near the shore.

What you saw was a fresh water shell like known as a crayfish. It is easy to see that the crayfish, sometimes called crawfish or crawdad, and the saltwater lobster are close relatives.

Both have 10 legs.  The front legs end in large pincers. These pincers are used to catch any prey that comes near,  as well as for defense.  The four other pairs of legs are used for walking.

The crayfish escapes from danger by swimming backward through the water with quick flips of its fan-like tail.  Like the lobster, the crayfish hatches from an egg.  A hard shell covers its soft body like a suit of armor.

Several times before it is fully grown, the crayfish must shed its outgrown shell and grow a new and larger one. – Dick Rogers

What is a starfish?

Starfish

A starfish is a star-shaped animal that lives on the bottom of the sea in bays and shallow water.  Starfish eat clams and other shellfish by pulling the shells apart and pushing their stomach into the shells to digest the food.

Starfish have a peculiar way of eating.  The common starfish feeds mostly on shellfish, it especially likes to eat clams, oysters, and mussels.

To open a clam shell, the starfish wraps its arms around it.  Under each arm are rows of tube like feet that stick to the shell like suction cups.  The starfish then pulls the two section of the clam’s shell assist with its powerful arms.

A starfish’s mouth is under its body.  As soon as a starfish has pulled open the clam, it opens its mouth, turns it stomach inside out and pushes it inside the clam’s shell and digests the clam’s soft body.

Once the meat is finished, the starfish pulls back its stomach, leaving only an empty clam shell behind.  Most starfish have five arms, but some have seven arms or more.  If a starfish loose an arm, it can grow another. – Dick Rogers

What are puffins?

Puffin

Puffins are comical-looking sea birds of the north Atlantic Ocean.  Puffins are sometimes called sea parrots, these plump, short-winged sea birds are one of the world’s oddest-looking birds.

A white face with blue lines around the eyes and a comical waddle make the common puffin look like a circus clown.  Its enormous beak, colored with red, blue, and yellow bands, is nearly as large as its head.

The gaudy colors of the male puffin’s beak are just for show.  They are really colored growths that drop off after the nesting season.

Despite its comical appearance, the puffin is an expert flier and swimmer.  Puffins can actually swim underwater in pursuit of their prey.  A puffin can catch several fish, one after another, and carry them dangling crosswise in its beak to its nestling.

Puffins nest in large colonies on rocky coasts.  One white egg island in a burrow or crevice in the rocks at nestling time. – Dick Rogers

How are oysters born?

Oyster

Oyster are hatched from eggs.  An oyster spends all except the first few weeks of its life fastened to a rock or other hard object in the water.  Along the world’s seashores there are many kinds of sea animals with shells to rocks and other hard objects in shallow water near the shore.

A baby oyster is hatched from an egg laid by the mother oyster.  When first hatched, the baby oyster is about the size of a pinpoint and has no shell.  Its shell begins to form when it is a day old.  The baby oyster spends the first two weeks of its life swimming about freely.

Then it fastened itself so something hard, perhaps a rock or the piling of a wharf, or even to the shell of another oyster.  It remains fastened to the same spot for the rest of its life, feeding on tiny plants and animals carried to it by the current.

The oyster grows about an inch a mouth until fully grown.  Oysters are one of the most popular foods that we take from the sea. – Dick Rogers

How does a snail grow its shell?

Snail

The shell grows in an ever-widening spiral as the snail continues to add new shell material to its shell during its lifetime.

You’ve probably seen a common garden snail peeking out of its shell as it slowly creeps along on a slick pathway of ooze.

Where did the snail get its shell?  It was born with a tiny shell just the right size for its body.  The shell serves as a suit of armor to protect the snail’s soft body.

As the snail grows, it oozes a slimy shell liquid that hardens into shell, and so the shell grows with the snail. The snail gets its shell-building materials from its food.

There are many kinds of snails, in almost every part of the world.  Some live only on land, some live in lakes and ponds, and others live deep in the ocean. The most snails are hatched from tiny eggs and look very much like their parents when they are born.

Most snail shells are shaped like coiled spirals.  Some are brightly colored with gay stripes.  Some snails grow shells that are no bigger than a pinhead.

But the biggest shells belong to the sea snails called conchs.  Their shell grow to be more than a foot long. – Dick Rogers

Why is the lion called the King of Beasts?

Lion

Its terrifying roar and kingly appearance have helped earn the lion its nickname “king of the beasts.”

The lion is often called the “king of the beasts”.  Probably this is not because the lion could defeat all other animals in combat, not because it is the biggest animal.

But throughout history, the lion has been thought of as the symbol of strength because it ranks among the fiercest and strongest of all wild creatures.

Its ferocity and the roar of its voice strikes terror in the hearts of both men and animal alike.  The long mane of the male gives the lion a proud and kingly appearance.

Lions live on the plains of Africa.  Newborn lion cubs are about the size of a large house cat.

When fully grown, the male lion may measure no more than 9 feet long from his nose to the tip of his tall, and weigh more that 400 pounds.

One would expect lions to be fearless in hunting, yet they sometimes wait in ambush for prey to come close, then attack with a sudden pounce.

In circuses, these lordly animals attract much attention.  Sometimes a lion trainer will even put his head in a lion’s mouth! – Dick Rogers