Posts tagged ‘Nature’

Do fish drink the water they live in?

Fish

Fish consume the water they inhabit if it agrees with their system.  Since the bodies of freshwater fish are much saltier than the water they live in, they don’t drink.

They are in danger of too much water entering their bodies, diluting their body fluids. They urinate often to get rid of any extra water that soaks into their bodies.

Saltwater fish, however, drink large amounts of water, since the salty sea water absorbs moisture from their bodies, causing dehydration.  These fish eliminate excess salt through their gills and very concentrated urine.–Dick Rogers

Do Squirrels remember where they hide all of their nuts?

Squirrels don’t always remember where they have hidden all their nuts.  Every autumn,  the tree squirrel gathers and hides acorns and other nuts.  It knows that food will be hard to find during the winter months.  It buries small stores of nuts in many different places.

That way, if other animals find and eat some, the squirrel will have others.  The squirrel depends on a keen sense of smell to help it relocate the hidden stores.  Yet many of the nuts are forgotten or abandoned by the squirrel.  Then the nuts may take root and grow into new nut trees.–Dick Rogers

Why do pigs wallow in mud?

Pigs wallow in mud because it feels good to them.  Pigs have no sweat glands in their thick skin to serve as a cooling system. Wallowing in mud helps pigs to keep cool on a hot day.  The coating of mud also adds a protective layer against the sun and helps keep off biting insects.

Pigs have a reputation of being dirty and stupid because they wallow in mud. But they keep themselves cleaner than most other farm animals.  Pigs have been shown to be the most intelligent of all hoofed animals.  They can be taught to perform tricks and can even become pets.–Dick Rogers

Why do cats retract their claws?

Cats retract their claws in order to keep them sharp for catching mice and other prey.  A cat has a special movable joint at the end of its toes that enables the claws to move in and out.  The claws move out when they are needed.  When not in use, the cat conceals its claws in little sheaths on its toes and walks softly on the pads of its feet.  Claws that can be pulled back so that the sharp points are protected are called retractile claws.  Cats sharpen their claws by raking them on furniture and free trunks to remove any ragged edged on the claws.–Dick Rogers

What are the whiskers for on an animal’s face?

Whiskers

The whiskers on an animal’s face are organs of touch.  They help the animal sense what going on around it.  Scientists call whiskers vibrissae (vi-BRIS-see). These long, sensitive hairs are most helpful to animals that prowl about in dark places.

A cat’s whiskers brush against objects the cat might not see as it hunts at night.  Whiskers help some animals find food.  The whiskers on a seal’s face are helpful in detecting fish in the dark or cloudy water.  And the thick whiskers on a walrus’s upper lip help it to feel for clams in the ocean bottom.–Dick Rogers

Is the prairie dog really a dog?

Prairie Dog

No, despite its name and its barking call, the prairie dog is actually a member of the ground squirrel family.  The prairie dog lives in underground burrows in the western United States. These burrows have so many tunnels that people refer to them as towns.

Hundreds of prairie dog families may live in these towns.  A mound of dirt surrounds the entrance to each burrow.  A prairie dog usually stands guard at the entrance to its burrow.  If it spots danger, the prairie dog barks loudly, and they all scramble to their homes for safety.–Dick Rogers

How does a cricket make its chirping sound?

Cricket

Perhaps the most familiar summer sound-maker of the insect world is the cricket.  The common field cricket chirps from grasses in  your backyard or from behind is warm stove in your house.  Because it has no voice, the cricket must fiddle.

It makes its chirping call by raising one wing like a violin bow and drawing it ever a file-like edge on the other wing.  It is the male who makes all the noise.

The female cricket is quiet.  The male’s loud fiddling is done to attract the female cricket.  She listens to his song with “ears” located on her front legs.–Dick Rogers