Posts tagged ‘Forests’

What is the difference between a cougar and a mountain lion?

Couger

The American mountain lion once ranged over much of North and South America, and was given many names.

Mountains lion, cougar, puma, catamount, panther, or painter.  If you have heard of one of these animals, then you know them all, for these are just some of the many names for the same animal – the mountain lion.

The tawny-colored mountain lion once roamed from the forests of Canada to the southern tip of South America.  It lived in mountains, deserts, forests, swamps, and prairies.

In South America, it is called a puma.  “Cougar” comes from the way French-speaking people pronounced the Indian word for mountain lion.

Catamount comes from an old New England expression, “cat-a-mountain.”  And “painter” comes from the way some people pronounced panther.

Mountain Lion

The mountain lion’s “roar” is a wild and tarrying scream.  Mountain lions also “talk” to each other with soft whistle calls.

Because it sometimes kills livestock, many people regard the big cat as an enemy to be destroyed.

In the United States today, the few remaining mountain lions are found only in the wildest areas of the West and in the dense Florida Everglades. – Dick Rogers

What is a sloth?

Sloth

A sloth is a curious, slow-moving animal that lives in the wet forests of South America.

The sloth has a small, roundish head and long, shaggy fur.  It spends most of its life hanging upside down, holding on to the branches of tree with its hooklike claws.

It does everything upside down.  As it hangs suspended from a limb, the sloth eats nearby leaves and buds.  It even sleep upside down.

Tiny green plants called algae often grow in the sloth’s long hair, making it hard to see in the trees.

The sloth is famous for the slowness with which it moves—its highest “speed” is only several feet per minute along a branch.

This slow-motion animal almost never comes down from its tree home,.  It can only creep along the ground with difficulty.

People sometimes use the word “slothful” describe a lazy person.  It is not hard to see why. – Dick Rogers

 

What are termites?

Termite

Termites are small antlike insects that feed on wood.  Like ants, termites live in large colonies, in which there is a king and queen, many workers that build and tend the most and search for food and soldier termites that guard the next from insect enemies.

Termite nests are hidden in wood or in the ground.

Termites will eat nearly everything made of wood, including paper.  Those are live in the forests serve a useful function by cleaning away dead wood.  But when they attack our houses and belongings, that is a different story.

Oddly enough, the termite cannot digest the wood it oats.  The stomachs of termite workers are filled with little one-called creatures called protozoans.

The termite chews the wood and swallows the tiny chips.  The protozoans feed on the cellulose in the wood and convert it into foods that both the protozoans and the termite live on. – Dick Rogers

 

What is a chipmunk?

A chipmunk is a friendly, chattering little animal that looks like its cousin the ground squirrel.

A chipmunk is smaller, though, and is easily recognized by the light and dark stripes running down its back.

Chipmunks live in the forests or forest edges in parts of North America and Asia.

The chipmunk’s home is a burrow dug in the ground, it contains storerooms and a leaf-lined nest.

Chipmunk

Curing the day, the lively little creatures scamper about the ground looking for seeds and nuts to eat.  They have inner cheek pouches which they can stuff with food.

People often feed chipmunks for the fun of seeing them fill their cheeks.  When they are filled with a load of seeds, each cheek may swell to the size of the head itself.

Chipmunks sleep through much of the winter.  But they store food in their burrows to eat during the winter lust in case they should wake up hungry. – Dick Rogers

What is a timber wolf?

Timber Wolf

Most people have a good idea of what a wolf looks like, even if they have never seen one outside a zoo.  The most common wolf in North America is the big timber wolf.

This wild relative of the dog looks very much like a large German shepherd dog and lives in the remote mountains and forests where few people live.

A timber wolf may be nearly 5 feet long and weigh well over 100 pounds.  It is also called a gray wolf because its long shaggy fur is usually gray, but it can be most brown, black or almost white.

Timber wolves often work together in packs to hunt for their food.

People  who make a study of wolves think that the howls of wolves in the nighttime are calls to other wolves to help keep the group together even long distances.

Fearsome stones are often told of wolves attacking people but few reports of a wolf attack have been proved in North America. – Dick Rogers

Why do bats fly at night?

Bat

Some birds and many animals, including bats, are adapted for living mostly at night.  Why  are some animals more active at certain times of the night or day?

The answer to this question is usually found in the kind of food the animal likes to eat.

Most bats are insect eaters.  During the day, bats sleep hanging from the ceilings of caves or buildings.

At sunset the bats leave their daytime shelter for a nighttime of hunting insects, which they catch while flying.

Bats have a built-in “radar system” that enables them to chase insects through thick forests on the darkest night without bumping into anything.

While flying, a bat makes a twittering sound that is so high-pitched that a human cannot hear it.

The sound bounce off objects and echo back to the bat’s keen ears.  Bu listening to the echoes, the bat can locate a flying insects and dodge objects in its path on its food seeking travels. – Dick Rogers