Posts tagged ‘Skeleton’

Why are piranha fish so dangerous?

Piranha

In South American rivers swims one of the world’s most dangerous fish—the piranha.  This savage fish is only ten or so inches long, but its teeth are so sharp and its jaws are so strong, it can chop a piece of flesh from an animal or a human as neatly as a razor. Piranhas often travel in schools of several hundred.

Their diet usually consists of other fish.  But if an animal happens to be in the water near a school of hungry piranhas, they attack and devour it instantly.  Animals as bit as a horse have been eaten down to a bare skeleton in only a few minutes. – Dick Rogers

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How does coral grow?

Coral

Beneath the surface of the sea lie coral formations of many shapes and colors.  The formations may look like branching trees tinted green or lavender, lacy sea fans, or even like tiny organ pipes.  Coral is formed by millions of tiny sea animals called “coral polyps.”  Coral polyps look much like little flowers.

They wave food into their mouths with a circle of tiny tentacles.  Young coral polyps attach themselves to older ones and build limy, cup-like skeletons around their soft bodies.  When the polyps die, their hard skeletons remain as part of the growing coral formations. – Dick Rogers

What was the woolly mammoth?

The woolly mammoth was a kind of hairy elephant that lived long, long ago.

This huge, lumbering beast stood about 10 feet tall and had long, spiral tusks that often grew to be 13 feet long.

Woolly Mammoth

The woolly mammoth was covered with long, shaggy hair that almost reached the ground.  Its coat kept it warm in the cold climate where it lived.

There are none of these great east living today.  They died out many thousands of years ago.  Yet we know a good deal about them, since their bones have been found.

In places like Siberia, the whole bodies of mammoths have been found perfectly preserved in ice.

Another kind of old-fashioned elephant was the mastodon.  Mastodon were about the same size as the woolly mammoth but had straight tusks and less hair.  All mastodons have died out, too.

Today, you can see skeletons of woolly mammoths and mastodons in many museum. –  Dick Rogers

 

How does a turtle get into its shell?

Turtle

Everyone knows a turtle when he sees one.  Turtles are easy to recognize by their shells.  A baby turtle is born with a shell just the right size for its body.  As the turtle grows, its shell grows too.

The hard shells of most turtles are made up of a “bony box”  covered by horny plates.  A turtle can’t crawl out of its shell.  The shell makes up much of a turtle’s skeleton, and is firmly attached to its body.  Turtles are well-protected by their shells.  Some turtles, such as the box turtle, can pull their heads, tails, and legs into their shell when frightened.  Then, very few enemies can get at them.

All turtles hatch from eggs.  The mother turtle lays the eggs in a hole she has dug.  She then leaves them.  The sun’s warmth hatches the eggs in about two months.  As soon as the baby turtles are hatched, they are on their own.  They must be able to tend for themselves. – Dick Rogers

What are jellyfish?

Jellyfish

Jellyfish are unusual sea animals that have jellylike bodies and stinging tentacles, with which they capture their food.  The jellyfish is among the strangest of sea creatures.

It is not even a fish, but a very simple kind of sea animal that has no skeleton.  The main pair of the jellyfish’s body looks like an umbrella, and it is made up of two thin layers of tissue with jellylike materials between them.

Around the rim of the umbrella are usually a number of simple eyes, and in the center of the body underneath is the mouth.

Hanging down from the edge are string like tentacles, armed with batteries of stinging cells filled with paralyzing poison.

If a small bumps into the jellyfish’s tentacles, it gets stung and captured for food. If you touch these tentacles, you may get stung, too!

A jellyfish swims by folding and unfolding its body—much like closing an umbrella.  Mostly, it floats along with the current.  Some jellyfish are no larger than a pea.  Other may be two feet or more in diameter. – Dick Rogers