Posts from the ‘Small Creature’ Category

Do insects have ears?

Yes. Many insects have ears, although they do not look much like ours.  The ears of many insects are not on their heads.  Crickets and katydids have their ears on their front legs.  Each ear looks like a little patch of cellophane.

The ears are actually membranes that work something like our eardrums.  Moths and grass hoppers catch sound on their abdomens.  Most insects can hear only the high-pitched sounds similar to those they make themselves.–Dick Rogers

Advertisements

Do a ladybug’ spots tell how old it is?

Insect

No, the number of spots a ladybug has does not indicate its age.  If it did, most lady bugs would have only one spot, because few of them live more than a year.  There are many different types of ladybugs, and each kind has a different number of spots.

Some dot have any spots at all.  Some ladybugs are named after the number of spots on their backs.  For example, there are two-, five-, nine-, thirteen- and fifteen-spotted ladybugs.

Ladybugs are not really bugs, they are beetles.  Ladybugs are often bright red or yellow, with lack, red, white or yellow spots.–Dick Rogers

What is a capybara?

We usually think of rodents only as small, gnawing creatures, such as squirrels, rats and mice.

But can you imagine a rodent as big as a large goat?  The capybara is.  In fact, it is the largest rodent living today.

When fully grown, a capybara may be as long as four feet and weigh over 100 pounds.

Capybara

It resembles an overgrown guinea pig.  Its thick body is covered with coarse, reddish-brown hair.  It has webbed toes and almost no tail.

This big, water-loving rodent lives along the banks and rivers and lakes in South America, where it feeds mainly on water plants and other vegetation.

At the slightest sign of danger, the shy capybara plunges into the water, often remaining below the surface for several minutes.

When resting on land it sits on its haunches like a dog.  The capybara’s voice is a low clicking sound.  It also makes sharp whistles and sometimes grunts like a pig. – Dick Rogers

 

What is a tarsier?

A tarsier (pronounced Tahr sih er) is a small, brown and gray creature that lives in the forests of such faraway lands as the East Indies and the Philippines.  Tarsiers are related to monkeys and lemurs.

Tarsier

This little mammal is about the size of a rate when fully grown.  It has big ears and large, owl-like eyes that seem to occupy most of its round face.

Its long hind legs remind you of frog’s legs, and ends of its fingers and toes have round, suction-cup tips, which help it cling to the branches in its tree home.

The enormous eyes help the tarsier see at night as it hops through the trees searching for insects to eat.  The long, thin tail, which is bare except for a tuff of fur at the end, is used for balance when climbing and leaping.

The tarsier’s eyes do not move in their sockets as human eyes do, but it can turn its head through a half-circle, like an owl, to look backward over its shoulder. – Dick Rogers

 

What makes a skunk smell?

A skunk is a small creature famous for its unpleasant odor.  It is about the size of a can and has distinctive black and white markings.

Skunks can’t run fast, but they can protect themselves from their enemies by spraying a smelly liquid, which the skunk stores in special scent glands near its tail.  When frightened, the skunk can squirt a fine spray as far as 10 feet.

Skunk

But the skunk doesn’t “strike” without warning.  It turns its back to the intruder, raises its busy tail, and stamps its feet, so you have plenty of time to get away.

If this fair warning is not heeded, the skunk will use its last means of protection, the evil-smelling spray.

The spray is so strong that it is hard to breathe when you are near it.

Skunks themselves are friendly little animals, and make playful pets when their accept glands are removed.

Aside from an occasional raid on the chicken roast, skunks are really helpful to man since they eat insects, rats, mice and other rodents that damage farm crops. – 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

How does a frog catch its food?

Frog

The frogs catches insects and other small food animals on the sticky tip of its long tongue.

All summer long, the little frog squats, motionless, on the bank of a quiet pond or brook and watches for passing insects.  If a fly or cricket passes within reach, the frog’s long tongue will snap out like a flickering whip, so fast that you can scarcely follow the action.

The insect is caught on the sticky tip.  Just as quickly the frog flips its tongue back into its mouth.

The frog’s tongue is fastened at the front of its mouth, not the back, so that it can be flipped out a long way.  The frog’s mouth is equipped with feeble, practically useless teeth, which are present only in the upper jaw.  So it must live mostly on small creatures that it can swallow in one gulp.

Frogs also eat earthworms, spiders and minnows that they catch in the water.  Toads capture their food in much of same way frogs do.  Frogs and toads help man by eating many harmful insects to be found in gardens and on farms. – Dick Rogers