Archive for March, 2010

How does a spider spin its silk?


A spider spins its silk by releasing a liquid through its spinnerets.  The liquid hardens into a silk thread as soon as it touches the air.

Spiders are small, eight-legged animals that are best known for the silken webs they spin.

Spiders have spinning organs called spinnerets on the underside of their stomachs.  Through the spinnerets, spiders release a liquid that hardens to silk as soon as it touches the air.

The spider cannot force the silk from its silk glands in a stream.  When it is spinning a web it pulls the silk from the spinnerets with a hind leg.

Spiders use their silk in many ways.  Some spin webs to catch insects for fond.  They also line their retreats and nests with it.

Most spiders enclose their eggs in a protective eggs sac, or cocoon of silk.  The newly hatched spider lings may migrate to new homes by spinning silken, gossamer threads carried by the wind.

The spider traits a dragline wherever, it goes.  It can swing down to the ground from high places or swing out of reach of any enemy.  – Dick Rogers

What is an ASP?


ASP is the name of a poisonous Egyptian cobra?

Asp is the name of a poisonous snake found in Egypt.  This small, greenish-brown snake, native to the Nile, belongs to the cobra family of snakes.  It is also known as the “Egyptian cobra.”

The asp is as poisonous and dangerous as the legendary Indian cobra.  Like its Indian cousin, the asp spreads its umbrella like hood when it is ready to strike, by pulling forward ribs at the side of the neck.  Like most poisonous snake, it uses its poison as a way of catching food.

Asps are generally peaceful and retreat from man whenever they can, but will bite, if molested.

The asp was sacred to the ancient Egyptians.  They figure of an asp appeared on the headdress of early Egyptian rulers as a symbol of their royalty, and was often carved on the portals of Egyptian temples.

According to tradition, Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, died from the bit of an asp.  – Dick Rogers


How can a cat see in the dark?

Cats can see better in dim light than we can because the pupils of their eyes can open much wider and receive more light than our eyes can.

You may have heard that cats can see in the dark because they have special kinds of eyes.

It is true that cats can see much better than we do in dim light.  But cats cannot really see in total darkness.


In bright sunlight, the pupils of cat ’s eyes become narrow slits that shut out much of the glare.  At night, they widen to great circles, almost as large as the entire eye to let all the light there is.

Inside a cat’s eye is a special mirror like material that helps make the eye extra-sensitive to light by collecting the dim rays of light and reflecting them back to the retina, where the act of seeing begins.

When you see a cat’s  eyes glowing beside the road at night, it is because the mirror like material is reflecting the light from your flashlight or the headlights of a car.

Many animals active at night such as deer and owls, are able to see well in dim light for the same reasons cats can.   – Dick Rogers


How are butterflies born?

Birth of a Butterfly

Every butterfly goes through four stages in its life.  These four stages are eggs, larva, pupa and adult.

The story of the butterfly begins when the female lays her eggs on a plant that the young insects will use as food.

From each eggs hatches a tiny larva called a caterpillar.  It is hard to believe that this wormlike creature will turn into a graceful butterfly.

The caterpillar is always hungry, and spends most of its life eating and growing.  It grows to fast that it outgrows and sheds its skin several times.  When the caterpillar has reached its full growth, it is ready to turn into a pupa.

The caterpillar spins a button of silk on a twig or leaf and hooks itself to the button.  Hanging head down, it sheds its old caterpillar skin.  Not it is a pupa.  The pupa’s soft skin hardens to form a case called a chrysalis.

Protected by the chrysalis, the pupa changes into a butterfly.

After about two or more weeks, the chrysalis spills open and the adult butterfly emerges its limp, moist wings spread and dry.  Then it flies away.

What is a chinchilla?

The chinchilla is a small rodent closely related to the squirrel.  It looks somewhat like a long-tailed rabbit, but with smaller ears.


When it is full grown the chinchilla is only about half the size of a rabbit.  Its native home is in the high, cold mountains of South America.

Chinchillas are shy little animals.  At the least alarm they scamper to the safety of their burrows among the rocks.  But they soon stick their heads out to see what is going on.

They sleep during the day and come out of their burrows of dust to feed on roots and grasses.  They hold food in their front paws and nibble it just as squirrels do.

Chinchillas are very valuable because of their thick bluish-grey for that makes beautiful fur coats.  For this reason there are not many wild chinchillas left.  Most of them have been trapped for their soft warm fur.

Chinchillas are now raised on farms for their fur just as mink and foxes are.   – Dick Rogers

Why do cows chew their cuds?

A cow’s stomach has four parts.  It must chew its food twice before the food can be digested.

Cattle have the habit of swallowing their food and later bringing it back to the mouth to be rechewed.  Hence they are called “ cud-chewing” animals.

The cow has an end way of digesting its food.  A cow’s stomach is divided into four compartments.  Each compartment helps digest the food the cow eats.


While a cow is grazing it chews its food only slightly.  When the food is first, swallowed, it goes into the first compartment of the stomach where it is moistened.

From there it passes into the second compartment.  Have the food forms into a soft ball called a cud.  Later, when the cow is resting, the cud moves back up in the cow’s mouth to be chewed thoroughly.

This time, when the food is swallowed, it passes into the third and fourth compartments when real digestion takes place.

Animals that chew cuds and have this kind of stomach are called ruminants.  Ox, deer sheep, goats and antelope are ruminants.  – Dick Rogers


What is a kangaroo rat?

The kangaroo rat is a little burrowing rodent that jumps about like a tiny kangaroo on long, powerful hind legs.

The kangaroo rat is a harmless little burrowing animal that lives in the deserts of the Southwestern united States.

Through it is neither a kangaroo nor a rat, this small tan-and-cream rodent shares certain of their features.  It can leap about on its powerful hind legs like a tiny kangaroo, and is capable of jumping six feet into the air.

Kangaroo Rat

A kangaroo rat may be about 7 inches long, plus an equal-length tall which ends in a furry tuft.

The kangaroo rat spends the hot daylight hours in its cool burrow, emerging only at night to feed on seeds and other plant food.

It uses its tiny front legs to stuff food into fur-lined pouches in its checks, to be carried to its burrow and stored against lean time.

Unconcerned by the lack of water, the creature does not need to drink.  Most of the moisture it needs is produced within its body from the seeds it eats.  – Dick Rogers


How does the salmon find its way home?


The salmon’s ability to smell out different kinds of water helps it to find the same fiver where it was born.

The journey of the Pacific salmon from its ocean home back to the freshwater stream at its birth is legendary.

The salmon spends most of its life in the ocean.  When the time comes for the salmon to spawn (lay its eggs), it leaves the sea and returns to the same river, to the very place it was hatched years before.

How does the salmon find its way home?

It follows its nose! It can smell the difference between the water in one stream and the water of another stream nearby.  (That scent is produced by dissolved materials in the water.)

“Remembering” the odor of the stream in which it was born, the salmon smells its way home, tracking the familiar scent like a bloodhound.

Battling swift river currents and facing many other dangers, the bruised and weary salmon finally reaches the spawning ground.  Here it lays its own eggs, then dies, and the Pacific salmon story begins again.  – Dick Rogers