Posts from the ‘Long Body’ Category

What is a Ferret?

The ferret is a small, furry animal that is closely related to the weasel.

The black-footed ferret makes its home among the prairie-dog towns on the western Great plains of the United States.

It is about two feet long, pale buff in color, and its feet and the tip of its tail are black.  A black band across its pink eyes looks like a mask.

Ferret

The black-footed ferret preys on prairie dogs, which it catches by boldly following the victim into its burrow.

It can twist and band its long, slim body like a snake to enter the prairie-dog hole and often uses the former occupant’s home as its own nest.

In some parts of Europe, ferrets are used by hunters to drive wild rabbits and other animals from their burrows.

Today, black-footed ferrets are becoming rare.  Since the prairie dog, its main source of food, is quickly disappearing, the black-footed ferret likewise faces possible extinction.  – Dick Rogers

 

What is an ermine?

An ermine is really a short-tailed weasel.

In summer, its coat is brown in color.  In winter, the ermine is entirely white, except for the tip of its tail, which is black.

The animal is called an “ermine” only when its fur is white.

Ermine

When its coat is brown, it is called a “stoat,” or short-tailed weasel.

The ermine has a long, slim body.  A full-grown ermine may be only 1 foot long.

Scientist are not really sure what makes the ermine’s fur turn white in winter and dark in summer.

Its color helps it to hide from enemies.  The white fur is almost invisible against the snow in the cold country where it lives.

At one time in England, ermine was considered “royal” fur.  Only the king and queen and other members of the royal family were allowed to wear this valuable fur.

When used as an emblem of royalty or government, ermine fur is called “miniver.” – Dick Rogers

 

What is a dragonfly?

A dragonfly is a graceful, swift-flying insect with a long, slender body and four filmy wings.

Dragonflies are found in almost all parts of the world and are frequently seen on warm summer days patrolling the edges of ponds and streams as they look for food.

Dragonfly

Large, compound eyes made up of many tiny eyes cover most of the dragonfly’s head.  With these big eyes it can see its prey easily.

As it flies through the air, the dragonfly holds its legs together to form a basket in which to capture mosquitoes, flies and other insects.

The female dragonfly drops its eggs in the water where they hatch into wingless larvae, called nymphs.  The young dragonflies live in the water from one to three years,  then become adult dragonflies.

Because of many old superstitions, dragonflies sometimes are called devil’s darning needles, snake doctors and mule killers. – Dick Rogers

How does the earthworm dig its hole?

Earthworm

Earthworms are worms that live in warm and moist places throughout the world.

As anyone can guess from their name, earthworms live in the ground.  The earthworm digs its burrow by actually eating its way through the soil.

As the worm digs, it swallows the dirt and digests the decaying plant and food matter in the dirt.

The soil passes through the earthworm’s long body and is left on the ground in little heaps of dirt balls, called castings.  Thus the earthworm makes a home for itself and gets its meals at the same time.

Earthworms are good friends to farmers and gardeners.  By digging burrows, earthworms leave tiny holes in the ground which make it easy for air and water to get to plant roots.

The castings of the worms help keep the soil rich for growing plants.

The earthworm is sometimes called an angleworm or fishworm, because it is a popular bait used by fishermen. – Dick Rogers

What is a Marten?

Pole Cat

Marten are slim, weasel-like animals that live in the Northern forests around the world.

Martens are small, weasel-like animals with slender bodies and long, bushy tails.

One of the best-known martens is the American martens, often called the American sable.

The American marten is found only in the denser forests of North America.  It is about the size of the house cat and has soft, golden-brown fur.

Its favorite den is a mosslined hollow, high up in a tree.  But a rock pile or hollow log will often do as well.

This agile animal is an expert tree climber.  It chases squirrels through the treetops, leaping easily from one branch to another.  On the ground, it hunts mice, rabbits and other small animals.

Unfortunately for the little marten it, too, is hunted.  Its rich, lustrous fur is prized for coats, flats, and muffs.

Its chief enemies, besides man, are the horned owl and the lynx.

Because they have become quite rare, martens are protected by law in many of our states. – Dick Rogers