Posts tagged ‘Tail’

Can a lizard break off its tail?

Lizard

Have you ever seen an animal drop off its tail?  Grass snakes and certain other lizards can leave their tails behind to save their lives.  Most lizards have tails longer than their bodies.  If an enemy catches the lizard by the tail, the lizard quickly breaks off its tail, which continues to wiggle for a few minutes.

While the twitching tail holds the attention of the would-be attacker, the lizard makes a safe getaway.  The lizard does not seem to miss its tail, and it soon grows a new one to replace it.  But the new tail is never as long as the original one.– Dick Rogers

Did you know that a tadpole becomes a frog?

The common pond frog’s life begins in a quiet pond as one of many jelly-like eggs laid together in a mass by the mother frog.

In a few days, the egg hatched into a tiny, legless tadpole that breathes with gills, as fish do.  it has a long tail which it uses for swimming, and eat plants that grow in the water.

Tadpole-to-frog

As the tadpole grows, first two hind legs and then two front legs appears.  After a time the tail begins to shrink and the tadpole loses its gills and gets lungs instead.

Then the tadpole comes to the surfaces of the water to breath air.

At last its tail disappears and the change is complete.

As a young frog, the creature is now ready to leave the water and begin a life as a hoping land animal.

Most tadpole make the change into frogs in the three months of spring.  Most toads begin life a tadpole, much like frogs do. – Dick Rogers

 

What is a quetzal?

Quetzal

The quetzal is a brilliantly plumed bird of Mexico and Central America, and sacred bird of the Aztec.  The quetzal is pronounced ket SAHL.

The male, hardly larger than a dove, has glittering, emerald green-and-crimson feathers, with graceful tail streamers over three feet long.

This inactive bird sits quietly for long periods on a perch in the dense forest, darling off only to capture insects.  The ancient Mayas and Aztecs found the quetzal so impressive that no one was allowed to harm it.

They used the long tail feathers (plucked without harm to the living bird) as symbol of authority and religion.  Only chiefs and priests were allowed to wear them.

Today the quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, where it appears on postage stamps, coins and on the state seal.  Guatemala is sometimes called the “Land of the Quetzal.”  – Dick Rogers

What is a crayfish?

Crayfish

Crayfish are small fresh-water shell fish that look like miniature lobsters.

If you have ever played by the bank of stream or pond, you may have seen a small animal that looked like a miniature lobster living at the bottom of the water near the shore.

What you saw was a fresh water shell like known as a crayfish. It is easy to see that the crayfish, sometimes called crawfish or crawdad, and the saltwater lobster are close relatives.

Both have 10 legs.  The front legs end in large pincers. These pincers are used to catch any prey that comes near,  as well as for defense.  The four other pairs of legs are used for walking.

The crayfish escapes from danger by swimming backward through the water with quick flips of its fan-like tail.  Like the lobster, the crayfish hatches from an egg.  A hard shell covers its soft body like a suit of armor.

Several times before it is fully grown, the crayfish must shed its outgrown shell and grow a new and larger one. – Dick Rogers

What is a kinkajou?

Kinkajou

A Kinkajous (pronounced KINK  kuh joo) is a small animal that lives in the forests of Central and South American.

The kinkajou is about the size of a cat and somewhat resembles a monkey.  It has large eyes, soft, woolly, yellowish-brown fur, and a long grasping tail that can be used to hold on to limbs.

The native regard the kinkajou as a kind of monkey, but the paws are paws, not hands, and they are armed with sharp claws, not nails.

Kinkajous spend most of their lives in trees.  They hide in tree during the day and feed at night on fruits, insects, and honey.

When feeding, they call to each other in a shrill scream.  It is so loud that it can be heard nearly a mile away.

A kinkajou litter usually consists of one or two young.  By the time the cubs are seven weeks old they can hang by their tails.

Young kinkajous raised in captivity become very tame and are said to make delightful pets. – Dick Rogers

What is a GNU?

Gnu

Gnus are large, ox-like African antelopes.

A gnu (pronounced noo) is a large, ox-like African antelope with high shoulders, a pushy, horse like tail and a long, sad-looking face.  Long, thin legs and a tuft or chin whiskers add to its queer appearance.

There are two kinds of gnus – the silvery-gray brindled gnu and the smaller dark-colored white-tailed gnu.

Brindled gnus are found living on the open grassland of Central Africa.  When frightened, the gnu prances about leaps into the air and kicks its heels, then dashes away with a toss of its head.

Like other antelopes, gnus are fast runner and can run a speed up to 40 miles an hour to escape an enemy.

The white-tailed gnu is nearly extinct.  Once found in vast herds roaming the plains of South Africa, white-tailed gnus today are kept and protected in zoos and in special parks so they won’t disappear from the earth.  Gnus are also known as wildebeests. – Dick Rogers