Archive for April, 2013

How many eyes does a spider have?

Most spiders have eight eyes.  There are also six-eyed, four-eyed and two-eyed spiders.  Some species of spiders that live in cave and other dark places have no eyes at all.  A spider’s eyes are on the top and near the front of its head.

Even though a spider has so many eyes, it can only see things a few inches from its face.  To make up for their nearsightedness, spiders have a very strong sense of touch and taste.  Special hairs on the spider’s body contain nerves.  These nerves act as “ears, nose and tongue” to sense danger, as well as to locate food.–Dick Rogers

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Why do we say that a cat has nine lives?

The expression that a cat has nine lives originated in ancient Egypt.  There, cats were worshiped as gods and often embalmed and richly buried when they died.  Because the major gods of Egypt formed a trinity, three was a sacred number.

Since the multiplication of three by three is nine, crediting the cat with nine lives was the highest honor the Egyptians could bestow on the animal.  Because the cat’s swiftness and agility help it to escape with its life from many situations, the saying that cats have nine lives has endured.–Dick Rogers

How do starfish eat?

Starfish

A starfish’s mouth, underneath its flat body, leads directly into a large, bag-like stomach. The starfish can push its stomach out through its mouth.  Starfish like to eat clams and oysters.  Encircling a clam with its powerful arms, the starfish attaches its sucker-like tube feet to the clam’s shell.

With ever-increasing force, it pulls the two halves of the shell apart.  Then, the starfish pushes out its stomach and digests the food.  When the starfish has completed its meal, it pulls back its stomach, and leaves only an empty clam shell behind.–Dick Rogers

Do fish drink the water they live in?

Fish

Fish consume the water they inhabit if it agrees with their system.  Since the bodies of freshwater fish are much saltier than the water they live in, they don’t drink.

They are in danger of too much water entering their bodies, diluting their body fluids. They urinate often to get rid of any extra water that soaks into their bodies.

Saltwater fish, however, drink large amounts of water, since the salty sea water absorbs moisture from their bodies, causing dehydration.  These fish eliminate excess salt through their gills and very concentrated urine.–Dick Rogers

Do Squirrels remember where they hide all of their nuts?

Squirrels don’t always remember where they have hidden all their nuts.  Every autumn,  the tree squirrel gathers and hides acorns and other nuts.  It knows that food will be hard to find during the winter months.  It buries small stores of nuts in many different places.

That way, if other animals find and eat some, the squirrel will have others.  The squirrel depends on a keen sense of smell to help it relocate the hidden stores.  Yet many of the nuts are forgotten or abandoned by the squirrel.  Then the nuts may take root and grow into new nut trees.–Dick Rogers

Why do dogs pant?

Dogs pant to cool off when they are feeling hot.  When our body temperature gets too high, we sweat.  Evaporation of sweat from the skin takes up a lot of heat, and helps cool the body.  But dogs are almost completely covered with hair, and have every few sweat glands.

They can’t keep cool by sweating.  Instead, a dog pants.  It sticks out its tongue and breathes rapidly.  By panting, a dog moves air back and forth over the moist tissues of its mouth and tongue.  As the moisture evaporates, body heat is carried away, and the dog feels cooler.–Dick Rogers

Why do pigs wallow in mud?

Pigs wallow in mud because it feels good to them.  Pigs have no sweat glands in their thick skin to serve as a cooling system. Wallowing in mud helps pigs to keep cool on a hot day.  The coating of mud also adds a protective layer against the sun and helps keep off biting insects.

Pigs have a reputation of being dirty and stupid because they wallow in mud. But they keep themselves cleaner than most other farm animals.  Pigs have been shown to be the most intelligent of all hoofed animals.  They can be taught to perform tricks and can even become pets.–Dick Rogers