Posts tagged ‘Twigs’

How does a snail move?

Garden Snail

The common snail is slowly inched forward by wavelike motions of its muscular foot.

Almost everyone is familiar with the common garden snail.  Snails are small animals that usually carry their shells on their backs and leave stick trails of goo behind as they creep along.

A snail moves around by creeping on a part of its body that seems to be its stomach.  It is really a broad foot.

The muscles move in a backward, wavelike motion that causes the snail to inch slowly forward.

As the snail moves along, special glands in its foot pour out a slimy fluid that serves as a slippery path to help the snail slide along more easily.

The goo also helps protect the snail’s body as it crawls over sharp twigs and rocks.

As the snail creeps along on its slick pathway, only its head and big foot are out of the shell.

The snail’s eyes are on the tips of its feelers.

To escape dry weather, the snail seals itself inside its shell house with a “door” a dried goo.  – 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

 

Do chimney swifts really live in chimneys?

If you live in the eastern part of the United States, perhaps you have watched the sooty-black colored chimney swifts darting over the housetops or disappearing in large numbers into some unused chimney at dusk.

Chimney swifts roost inside unused chimneys by clinging to the inside walls with their sharp toenails and using their short, spiny tail to prop them up.

Chimney Swift

They rarely perch on branches because their feet and legs are small and weak, and cannot support them well.

The chimney swifts build its nest by gluing small twigs to the chimney wall with a glue-like saliva from its beak.  Some nests are almost entirely made up of saliva, and look like half-saucers made of milky glass.

In some countries, men sometimes collect nests and make a soup from them.

During the day, swifts are almost always in the air, flying with a bat like flight.  They like to fly in large groups, capturing insect food while flying.  They almost always return at dust to the chimney where they live in large numbers. – Dick Rogers

 

How did the pack rat get its name?

Pack Rat

A wood rat is popularly called “pack rat”  because of its habit of stealing and “packing off” shiny objects, such as buttons, bottle tops or other bright objects with which to decorate its nest.

Sometimes the rat will trade a pebble or something equally useless it is carrying for a more attractive ring or coin.  For this reason it is also called a “trade rat.”

The wood rat is native to the Western world.  It looks much like the common house rat, but its tall is furry, instead of naked and scaly.  Unlike most rats, the wood rat does not live in sewers and garbage dumps.

It makes its home mostly in wooded country and on rocky hillside and builds its nest in a large heap of twigs.

Its home may tower three to four feet high and resemble a badly-made beaver lodge.  The pack rat goes out only at night to look for berries and other plant food, or any nice, shiny object it can “pack off” to its nest. – Dick Rogers