Posts tagged ‘Fat Body’

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

What is a Gila monster?

A Gila monster (pronounced HEE la)  is a large, poisonous lizard that makes its home in the deserts of southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

Gila Monster

It is easy to recognize a Gila monster.  It has fat, clumsy body about two feet long and is covered with beadlike orange-and-black scales.

The Gila’s short, stumpy tail is a storage place for fat.  The creatures can live on this stored-up fat for months.

The bite of a Gila monster is similar to that of a poisonous snake.

When the Gila bites, it will often chew its victim, working the poison into the wound with its grooved teeth.

Small animals die quickly when bitten.  Usually, human beings suffer only painful swellings.

Fortunately, these lizards are very slow-moving and it is easy to keep out of their way.

Gila monsters are named for the Gila River region of Arizona, where they were first discovered.  – Dick Rogers