Posts tagged ‘Streams’

What is salamander?

A salamander is a harmless creature that looks like a lizard, but it is related to the frogs and toads.

Salamanders’ bodies and long tails make them look so much like lizards that they are often mistaken for them.   It is easy to tell them apart.  Lizards are covered with dry scales.

Salamander

Salamander has smooth, shiny skin that always looks wet.  Salamanders are timid, harmless creature.  They love to live in streams and ponds, on land beneath stones and rotting logs where it is cool, dark and moist.

They live in a stream or a pond as tadpoles and breathe with gills like fish.  But when grown-up, they have  legs and come ashore and breathe air with lungs.  Salamanders have a special name because they start life in the water then crawl out onto land.  They are called “amphibians,” which means “leading a double life.”

There are many kinds of salamanders.  Mud puppies, newts, and hellbenders are the names of the few.  Not all salamander live a double life.  The mud puppies and hellbenders spend their entire life in the water.  – Dick Rogers

 

 

 

Why do beavers build dams?

Beavers build dams to create ponds in which to build their beaver lodges.  Beavers are brown-furred animals with flat, paddle-like tails.  They live in ponds and streams.  Beavers are known for their skill at cutting down trees with their sharp teeth and building dams.

Beaver

The purpose of the beaver dam is to hold back water and make it form a pond in which the beaver can live.

To build its dam, the beaver gnaws downs trees and drags and floats them to the dam site.  It fastens the logs and twigs in place with rocks and mud until a strong barrier is built.

An ordinary beaver dam may be a 5 feet high and 200 or more feet long.

The beaver builds its lodge with branches and mud, too.  A beaver’s lodge looks like a pile of sticks in the pond.  It is really a one-room house.  The floor of the room is just above the water line.  To enter, the beaver must swim through an underwater door in the floor.  Inside the lodge, protected by thick walls and by underwater doors, the beaver is safe from most enemies.  – Dick Rogers

 

What is a lungfish?

Lungfish

Did you ever hear of a fish that could live our of water?  The lungfish can.

As one would guess by its name, the lungfish has a lung, as well as gills, that enables it to live out of the water.  Lungfish live in Africa, South America, and Australia.

The African lungfish is probably the best know it is also called a mudfish.  The African lungfish ahs an eel-shaped body that may grow to be over a foot long.

It lives in swamps and muddy rivers of Africa.  In the summer the streams in which the lungfish lives may dry up for months at a time.

As the dry season nears, the lungfish burrows deep in the mud.  It can spend the whole summer in its cocoon of hardened mud beneath the dried-up stream bed, getting air through a small hole and living on fat stored in its own body.

When  the wet season comes, the water softens the hard mud cocoon and the lugnfish swims about again.

Did you ever hear of a fish that could live our of water?  The lungfish can.

As one would guess by its name, the lungfish has a lung, as well as gills, that enables it to live out of the water.  Lungfish live in Africa, South America, and Australia.

The African lungfish is probably the best know it is also called a mudfish.  The African lungfish ahs an eel-shaped body that may grow to be over a foot long.

It lives in swamps and muddy rivers of Africa.  In the summer the streams in which the lungfish lives may dry up for months at a time.

As the dry season nears, the lungfish burrows deep in the mud.  It can spend the whole summer in its cocoon of hardened mud beneath the dried-up stream bed, getting air through a small hole and living on fat stored in its own body.

When  the wet season comes, the water softens the hard mud cocoon and the lugnfish swims about again. – Dick Rogers

How did the stone fly get its name?

The stone fly is a curious insect that is hatched under water.  It gets its name because the nymph, or young, are generally to be found under stones in brooks or streams.

Stone Fly

When mature, the nymph crawls out of the water and shedding its skin, becomes an adult stone fly and lives among the stones and brush along the banks.

And adult stone fly may be from ½-inch to 2 inches long and is often colored to match its surroundings.

The hind pair of its four wings is so long that it is folded flat over the back when the insect is at rest.

Despite its wings, it is a poor flyer, and when disturbed it generally scuttles away rather that fly to safety.  As a result of pollution of rivers, stone flies have disappeared from many places where they were found in great numbers a few years ago.

They once formed the main diet of trout and other fishes. – Dick Rogers

What is a dragonfly?

A dragonfly is a graceful, swift-flying insect with a long, slender body and four filmy wings.

Dragonflies are found in almost all parts of the world and are frequently seen on warm summer days patrolling the edges of ponds and streams as they look for food.

Dragonfly

Large, compound eyes made up of many tiny eyes cover most of the dragonfly’s head.  With these big eyes it can see its prey easily.

As it flies through the air, the dragonfly holds its legs together to form a basket in which to capture mosquitoes, flies and other insects.

The female dragonfly drops its eggs in the water where they hatch into wingless larvae, called nymphs.  The young dragonflies live in the water from one to three years,  then become adult dragonflies.

Because of many old superstitions, dragonflies sometimes are called devil’s darning needles, snake doctors and mule killers. – Dick Rogers