Posts from the ‘Small Animal’ 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 a sand dollar?

Sand Dollar

Have you ever taken a walk along the beach to collect shells and found a gray, flat disk about 3 inches wide?  If so, chances are what you found was the “shell” of a small animal known as a sand dollar that had been washed up by the tide.

Of course, the sand dollar looked much different when it was alive than it did when you found it.  sand dollars live in shallow coastal waters.

A living sand dollar’s body is covered with many tiny spines that form a purplish, furlike cover.   By means of its spines, it pushes itself through the sand.

The sand dollar’s mouth is a small hole in the center of its flat underside.  It swallows sand and digests the tiny bits of food contained in it.

The spines drop off when the animal dies.

Not all sand dollars are round.  Some may contain slits, or even be notched.  The notched ones are often called “arrowhead” sand dollars. – Dick Rogers

What are koala bears?

The koala bear is a small, wooly animal found only in Australia.

The koala looks for all the world like a cuddly, live teddy bear.  It is about two-feet long, with ears seeming as if they were stuck on, and with a

Koala

patent-leather nose and shoe button eyes.  In fact, koalas are popularly known as Australian teddy bears.

They are not real bears, of course.  They are pouched animals.  Baby koalas are carried in a pouch when they are fist born.

A koala makes its home in a special king of tree—the eucalyptus or blue gum tree.  It holds onto the tree branches with its sharp claws and feeds on the oily leaves.  At one time you could see many koalas in zoos, but now there are only a few.

The koalas were hunted for their fur until they were in danger of disappearing from the world.

Today koalas are protected.  No one is allowed to take them out of Australia any more.  – Dick Rogers

What is a scorpion?

Scorpion

A scorpion is a small animal with a long and narrow tall that has a poisonous sting at the tip of it.    Scorpions are not insects.  They are related to spiders.

They live mostly in the warm, dry parts of the world and range in size from yellowish-colored half-inch creatures to shiny black scorpions seven inches long.

The scorpion is armed with powerful pincers, like the claws of a crab.  When the scorpion walks, it carries its tall arched over its back so that the sharp sting is in position to strike.

When the scorpion is ready to kill, it seizes its prey in its pincers and plunges its stinger into the creature it is holding.  The poison will kill the spiders and other small creatures on which the scorpion feeds.

Only the sting of certain kinds of scorpions, is dangerous to main.  Oddly enough, the scorpion is unharmed by its own poison but two scorpions are likely to sting each other to death. – Dick Rogers

What is a kinkajou?

Kinkajou

A Kinkajous (pronounced KINK  kuh joo) is a small animal that lives in the forests of Central and South American.

The kinkajou is about the size of a cat and somewhat resembles a monkey.  It has large eyes, soft, woolly, yellowish-brown fur, and a long grasping tail that can be used to hold on to limbs.

The native regard the kinkajou as a kind of monkey, but the paws are paws, not hands, and they are armed with sharp claws, not nails.

Kinkajous spend most of their lives in trees.  They hide in tree during the day and feed at night on fruits, insects, and honey.

When feeding, they call to each other in a shrill scream.  It is so loud that it can be heard nearly a mile away.

A kinkajou litter usually consists of one or two young.  By the time the cubs are seven weeks old they can hang by their tails.

Young kinkajous raised in captivity become very tame and are said to make delightful pets. – Dick Rogers