Posts from the ‘Fat Body’ Category

What happened to the dodo bird?

The dodo is one of the birds that no one will ever see alive, for it has been extinct for nearly 300 years.  The dodo had a big fat body, and short, stubby wings, and was unable to fly. “Simpleton” (dodo) was the name Portuguese explorers gave this clumsy bird when they first saw it on two islands in the Indian Ocean.

For a time, the sailors who stopped at these islands saw a great number of dodos.  But the sailors killed many dodos to eat.  Rats and dogs that the men brought with them killed even more.  Before long, there weren’t any dodos left.  –Dick Rogers

How do frogs stay under water so long?

When under water, a frog takes in oxygen through its skin.  When a frog dives under water, he does not come to the  surface as quickly as you have to when you dive.  Why not?

Frog swimming underwater

The frog, of course, cannot breathe under water, as it did when it was a tadpole.  When a frog is on the bank or pond, it breathes with its lungs, which are somewhat like your lungs.

There is always some air mixed with water in the pond.  When the frog is under water, it can take a little of the air it needs through its skin.

This explains why the frog can stay under water all winter.

If you live where the winters are cold, you’ve probably noticed that the frogs seem to disappear when cold weather comes.

Many frogs dive into ponds and bury themselves in the muddy bottom, and quickly fall asleep.  Sleeping all winter is called “hibernation.”

While the frog is sleeping, its body keeps so still that it can get along without any fresh air until it wakes in the spring.  During its winter sleep, the frog lives on the food stored in its fat body.  – Dick Rogers

Why do beavers build dams?

Beavers build dams to create ponds in which to build their beaver lodges.  Beavers are brown-furred animals with flat, paddle-like tails.  They live in ponds and streams.  Beavers are known for their skill at cutting down trees with their sharp teeth and building dams.

Beaver

The purpose of the beaver dam is to hold back water and make it form a pond in which the beaver can live.

To build its dam, the beaver gnaws downs trees and drags and floats them to the dam site.  It fastens the logs and twigs in place with rocks and mud until a strong barrier is built.

An ordinary beaver dam may be a 5 feet high and 200 or more feet long.

The beaver builds its lodge with branches and mud, too.  A beaver’s lodge looks like a pile of sticks in the pond.  It is really a one-room house.  The floor of the room is just above the water line.  To enter, the beaver must swim through an underwater door in the floor.  Inside the lodge, protected by thick walls and by underwater doors, the beaver is safe from most enemies.  – Dick Rogers

 

What is a dodo?

Dodo

Dead as a dodo!  These words live on as a memorial for a puddy, flightless birds no one will ever see alive for it has been extinct nearly 300 years.

The dodo, whose name comes from the Portuguese word for “simpleton,” lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

Larger than a turkey, the dodo had an enormous beak, tiny wings, and a little tuft of curly feathers for a tall.  It waddled about on short legs that could scarcely support its fat body.

Unchallenged by enemies, the dodo was quite unafraid when men came to its island home.

The dodo couldn’t fly anyway.  It was too clumsy to flee.  Dodo birds were slaughtered by the thousands.

The eggs and young were easy prey for the rats and dogs the men brought with them.  By the end of the 17th century, there were no more dodos.

Today, we know what the dodo looked like only from its bones and from 17thcentury paintings of dodos.  – Dick Rogers

 

What is a groundhog?

Groundhog

A groundhog is a funny rodent that burrows in the ground. Its stock body may be two feet long.

Groundhogs, also called woodchucks, make their homes in many parts of North America.

All summer the groundhog nibbles grass, roots, and leaves. Bu October, the groundhog is so fast it can hardly walk. When winter comes, it curls up in the burrow and falls into a deep sleep. The stored fat keeps it alive during its sleep.

Some people have a superstition that the groundhog can tell what the weather will be. On the second day of February, it is supposed to wake from its long sleep and stick its head out of its burrow.

If it sees its shadow, it will be frightened and crawl back into its hole. This is supposed to mean that there will be six more weeks of winter.

But if the sun is not shining it will stay out of its burrow and spring will come soon! – Dick Rogers