Posts tagged ‘Insects’

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

Why do geese fly in a ‘V’ formation?

Geese are web-footed birds closely related to ducks and swans.

Wild geese sometimes fly in the familiar V shaped formation when moving to or from their breeding grounds in the Far North.

We can only guess why the geese fly in this formation.  One idea is that the geese follow a leading on their flights.

Geese

Because its eyes are located on the sides of its head it would be easier for a goose to see the other geese in this formation.

The goose at the front of the triangle is a wise old gander which knows the traditional route, with its various safe stopovers.

The term “silly goose” does not apply to these handsome birds.

Geese are cautious and very intelligent birds.

While on the ground, they seem to post sentinels to stand guard against danger while the flock feeds.

The Canada goose is probably the best-know goose of North America.  A large Canada gander may measure well over 3 feet, have a wingspan of over 6 feet and weigh up to 13 pounds. – Dick Rogers

 

How do butterflies eat?

Butterflies are gaily colored insects we often see on summer days.  They flutter from flower to flower drinking the sweet liquid called nectar.

Butterflies have no chewing mouth parts.  They cannot bite or chew.

Instead of the usual insect mouth, the butterfly has a long, slender tube which is used to suck up nectar and other liquids the way you sip through a soda straw.

Butterfly

When the butterfly is not eating, the long tube curls up like a watch spring under the insect’s head.

A butterfly’s taste buds are on the soles of its feet.  When it alights on a flower, the sweet taste causes the insect to uncoil its sucking tube.

When butterflies go from one flower to another for the sweet nectar, they also pick up some pollen on the hairs of their legs and bodies.

A little of this pollen brushes off as they visit each new flower.  It helps the flowers’ seeds and fruit to grow. – Dick Rogers

 

What is a shrew?

You might call a mouse small, but a tiny creature knows and a shrew may be much smaller.  In fact, shrews are among the tiniest mammals on earth.

Shrew are furry animals that look much like a mice, except for their long, pointed noses, which they use to explore cracks and crevices for food.

Shrew

Some kinds of shrews are only two to three inches long and weight about as much as a penny, while the largest ones may be the size of small rats.

Shrews make their homes in grassy fields, woodlands, gardens and marshes.  They are often mistaken for mice because of their small size.

But for all its small size, a shrew is a big eater and spends almost all its life in a never-ending hunt for food.

It must eat nearly twice its own weight in insects and worms each day to keep up its supply of energy.

Shrews are useful in gardens and farms.  They get rid of pests that destroy drops.– Dick Rogers

 

What is a horned toad?

Horned Toad

The horned toad is mis-named.  It is not a toad but a lizard.   The name “toad” comes from the toad like shape of its squat body.

The horns of the horned toad are sharp spines that stick out from its head.  Smaller spines cover its scaly body.  These spines give the creature its bristly appearance.

The spines protect the horned toad from being swallowed by hungry animals.  The horned toad dwells throughout the dry plains and deserts of North America.  A fully grown horned toad may be only a few inches long.

The color of the horned toads skin matches the sandy color of the desert and makes it hard to see.

When threatened, the horned toad quickly buries itself in the sand.  If it falls to do so in time it may squirt a thin yet of blood out of its eyelids to drive away its attack.

In some places, the horned toad is protected-because it eats harmful insects. – Dick Rogers

 

 

 

How do flying squirrels fly?

Flying-squirrel

Squirrels don’t have wings, but the flying squirrel seems to fly, though not like a bird.  It just glides from tree to tree in search of food.

The flying squirrel has folds of skin between its front and back feet.

When it leaps into space from a high limb, the flying squirrel spreads its feet wide.

The parachute-like folds of skin connecting its feet stretch out and convert the flying squirrel into a tiny living glider.  It can glide a downward angle as far as 125 feet.

Twisting and banking with the aid of its bushy tail, the flying squirrel guides itself to the trunk of another tree.

The flight ends as the squirrel lands upright on the tree to climb again for the next gliding leap.

Flying squirrels can be found living in the forests of North America, Asia and Europe.

During the day they sleep in nests hidden in tree hollows.  They come out at night to hunt for berries, insects, and nuts.  – Dick Rogers

 

 

 

What are ladybirds?

Beetle

Ladybirds are really small, spotted beetles with a rounded body shaped like half a pea.

The polka-dotted ladybird, or ladybug, is really  small beetle with a round body shaped like half a pea.  The most familiar ladybirds are shiny red with black spots.  But some are black with red spots.  Still others are yellow with black of red spots.

These gaily colored insects live in a orchards, gardens, and fields, where they eat great number of aphids and other plant-harming bugs.

In order times, farmers burning off their fields fretted about harming the helpful ladybird, giving rise to the children’s verse:  “ladybird, ladybird, fly away home.  Your house is on fire and your children are gone.”

To “fly away home,” a ladybird first raises its hard wing covers and then unfolds it flying wings.

The lady bird beetle got its name during the Middle Ages, when the insect was associated with the Virgin Mary by such names as creatures of Our Lady and Animals of the Virgin. – Dick Rogers