Archive for December, 2012

Why do roosters crow?

Rooster

Roosters crow as a way to attract female chickens, and to tell other roosters.  “This is my territory, sty out!”  And sometimes roosters seem to crow just for the joy of it.

Every morning, right around the time the sun comes up and it starts getting lighter outside, roosters begin crowing .

All that crowing is not really meant to tell anyone the time; once roosters are awake they keep crowing all day.

Other birds wake up at dawn and sing too, and for the same reasons a rooster crows.  It’s just that roosters are much noisier when they wake up.–Dick Rogers

How does a silkworm make its silk?

Silkworm

The silkworm is really the caterpillar of the silk moth.  It spins a cocoon of silk just as other moth caterpillars do, but its silk is especially fine. The silkworm makes its silk by oozing a long thread of gluey liquid out of its mouth.

As soon as the liquid touches the air, it hardens into a silk thread.  Then the silkworm spins the silk thread around and around its body to form a cocoon.

 To get the silk, people give the cocoon a stream both to loosen the gum that holds the thread in place.  Then they can unwind the cocoon.  From the thread, fine silk cloth is woven.–Dick Rogers

What is a called blooded animal?

Cold Blooded Animal

Many animals such as fish, frogs, snakes and lizards are often called “cold-blooded,” as opposed to “warm-blooded” mammals and birds.

This does not mean their blood is always cold. Unlike warm-blooded animals, they do not have built-in temperature controls that keep their bodies evenly warmed.

Instead, their body temperature is usually near that of the surrounding air or water air or water.  The cold-blooded animal is hot in hot weather, and cold in cold weather.

Many depend on the sun for their body heat. Lizards, for example bask in the sun to warm their bodies.–Dick Rogers

Why do birds molt?

Molting Bird

Feathers wear out, as clothes do, and need to be replaced. The process is called “molting.”  Birds molt their feathers at least once a year, in late summer or early fall.  Feathers are made from a substance called “keratin.”  It is basically the same material your hair is made of. 

In molting, old worn feathers drop out of their sockets in a bird’s skin and new ones grow in their place.  Some birds grow bright, new feathers for the nesting season. 

These birds molt twice a year.  Most birds molt just a few feathers at a time, so they are able to fly during molting periods.Dick Rogers

Why do snakes stick out their tongues?

Snake Tongue

The old belief that a snake stings with its tongue isn’t true.  The flickering tongue is actually a delicate sense organ that helps the snake to smell.  A snake’s tongue is long and forked at the end.  It darts through a small hole in the front of the snake’s mouth.

As the snake moves along the ground, its flickering tongue senses odors in the air.  The tongue relays the information to special organs in the mouth which are linked to the snake’s sense of smell.  By picking up the odors, the tongue helps the snake to locate food and sense the presence of enemies. – Dick Rogers

Why do cats eyes shines at night?

Cat Eyes Shining

Most of us have seen a cat’s eyes glowing beside the road at night.  The glow is simply a reflection of a car’s headlight.  The back of a cat’s eye is lined with a special mirror-like material called “tapetum.”  This shiny layer helps the cat to see in dim light by catching even the faintest gleam of light and concentrating it on the retina.

It also reflects the light of a car’s headlights and causes the cat’s eyes to glow brightly.  The cat’s special kind of eyesight allows it to do most of its hunting at night.  A cat cannot see in complete darkness any more than we are.  – Dick Rogers

How do snails eat?

Snail Eating

The garden snail comes out mostly at night to feed on leaves and other plant food.  The snail’s mouth is under its head.  It has no chewing jaws.  To help it get its food, the snail’s mouth is equipped with a special tongue that is covered with hundreds of tiny teeth.

It is called the “radula” (RAJ-uh-luh).  The rasp-like radula shreds and scrapes bits of food into the snail’s mouth as the snail crawls along.  The snail finds its food with two pairs of tentacles on its head.  The shorter pair is used for smelling on the tip of each of the longer tentacles is an eye. – Dick Rogers