Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Beaver's Tree Selection

 Beavers are very selective when it comes to what tree they choose to "fell" or cut down.

 Picture from Washington Post
A beaver will use a particular tree for a particular reason.  Larger mature trees will be used to form the basis of a dam. A young, second growth tree is used for food. And broad-leaved trees are felled in order to encourage food to regrow closer to their reach.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

All Armadillos Aren't Able To Roll Up

Only one of the twenty-odd varieties of armadillos is able to roll up in order to escape it's predators.

Picture from Save The Armadillo

Contrary to popular belief, not all armadillos are able to roll into a ball. Only the three-banded armadillo is able to do so. The other types are covered with too many bony plates to allow them to curl up. Other armadillos have to rely on their armored shells for defense.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweet Nectar For A Robin

The American Robin has a sweet tooth.

Picture from The Rabbit Room

Forget about worms, nuts, leaves and twigs, sweet treats such as fruits, berries, sweet cakes, and even pastry dough are among the favorite foods of American Robins.  And because sometimes those berries will be fermented, the birds will appear to be drunk, or exhibit drunken behavior such as falling over when walking.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Almost Extinct Addax

Current estimates show there to be less than 500 addax individuals left in the wild.

Picture from The Animal Files

Addax are nearly extinct in the wild, having been eliminated from much of their original range. These antelope have been hunted for their valuable meat and skin. They have also been destroyed by farmers and cattlemen, so as not to compete with their cattle for grazing land. Much of the addax population was decimated during the World Wars. Probably the only reason they are still alive in the wild at all is the fact that they can live in uninhabitable places with extreme heat, extensive sand dunes, and other harsh conditions where it is extremely difficult for humans to reach. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wolverine's Winter Wonderhome

During the Winter, female wolverines will dig up to 15 feet deep in the snow to build their dens.

Picture from FWS

Most wolverines give birth in February or March when there is still snow on the ground.  This allows them to use the snow to build their dens to protect their young from predators, and to protect them from the cold.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Vulture's Keen Sense Of Smell

A vulture can smell the body of a dead animal from over a mile away.

Picture from LeesBird

While the sense of smell is the least developed sense for most birds, the vulture is an exception.   Vultures have excellent senses of sight and smell to help them locate food.  Because of this, vultures often have large territories and will spend a lot of time soaring to locate their next meal.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Tasmanian Devil's Tough Infancy

 The gestational period for Tasmanian Devils is only around 21 days.

Picture from Zooborns

The Devil mother can birth anywhere from 20-40 babies, each as tiny as a grain of rice.  It's tough being a young devil as the survival rate is low.  The mother only has four teats in her pouch, so the first four devils who latch on are typically the only survivors.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sleep Swallowing Spider Myth

Contrary to popular belief, you do not swallow an between four to six spiders a year in your sleep.

Picture from Spiderzrule

There are currently no scientific or medical records or literature to support this myth.  For a sleeping person to swallow even one live spider would involve so many highly unlikely circumstances that for practical purposes it can be ruled out as a possibility.  Sleep well tonight!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Red Tailed Hawk's Rare Behavior

Though the red tailed hawk lives year round in both the US and Canada, you’re unlikely to see this bird in your backyard.

Picture from Ninnescah Life

Red-tailed Hawks eat mostly mammals, so they’re less likely to visit a popular feeder than a Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned hawk is. It’s very rare for a Red-tailed Hawk to go after dogs or cats.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Platypus' Fat Storage

The platypus stores fat in it's tail to help it survive when food is limited.

Picture from Amamoore Lodge

An adaptation also found in animals such as the Tasmanian devil and fat-tailed sheep, the platypus tail is mainly made up of a fatty tissue that is used to store energy supplies, which the animal can use when there is a shortage of food, such as in the winter months.  It also acts as a form of insulation. 
The platypus stores fat in its tail to help it survive when food is limited - See more at:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Large Leaps For Ostriches

In a single stride an ostrich can cover 10 to 16 feet.

Picture from Travellers Point

While ostriches can not fly, they are built for running.  The fact that they are the fastest bird species also helps them easily escape predators.  They can maintain a speed of 30 mph for long periods of time, and can even reach up to 40 mph at times. 
They're the fastest bird species, with a maximum running speed of more than 40 mph (64 kph), and they can cover 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) in a single stride.
Ostriches can maintain a speed of 30 mph (48 kph) for long periods of time, helping them escape nearly any predator.
- See more at:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Through The Eyes Of An Octopus

An octopus sees the same thing upside down as right-side up.

 Picture from Cool Facts For Kids

An octopus' eyes have horizontal pupils.  What's even more unusual is that the octopus' eyes remain at the same orientation regardless of the creature's position. So if it turns on its side or even upside down, the gaze of the eyes remain fixed in relation to the horizon.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Maturing Moose Calves

Moose calves grow an alarmingly fast rate.

Born in the Spring, moose calves weigh some 30 pounds when they are born.  By the time they are give days old, they are able to outrun a person. These young moose stay with their mothers until the following mating season.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Baby Lemur's Hideout

After giving birth, a lemur mother will carry it's young around inside it's mouth for a few weeks.

 Picture from Fine Art America

Primarily for safety reasons, the female lemur holds the babies inside it's mouth for protection.  Once the babies are strong enough, they will then bold onto the mother's back and be carried around instead.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

No Bathroom Breaks For Joey

Ever wonder where a baby kangaroo (joey) goes to the bathroom?

Picture from National Geographic

Joeys actually pee and poop while in their mother's pouch. When they're small they don't produce much, and when they're bigger the pouch's lining absorbs some of it. It gets kind of smelly and dirty in there, so moms clean out their pouches every so often.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hummingbird's Color Changing Feathers

Hummingbirds can flash their bright colors, as well as hide them when needed.

 Picture from Graham Owen Gallery

The bright radiant color on hummingbirds comes from iridescent coloring within their top layer of feathers, like on a soap bubble or prism. Hummingbirds are able to change their colors by simply shifting their position.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Seals: Breathe Out vs Breathe In

Unlike humans, harbor seals breathe out before diving, instead of breathing in.

They use oxygen already in their blood and muscles while under water, and their heartbeat slows from about 100 beats per minute to ten.  In one breath a seal can exchange 90% of the air in its lungs. Humans can only change 20% of our air per breath.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Grey Whale's Eye Color Are Anything But Grey

 An adult Grey Whale's eyes are about the size of baseballs.

Picture from Learner

The eyes of an adult Grey Whale are golden, but the calves are blue and located at the end of the mouth.  The eye color changes when the whale reaches maturity.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Teeny Tiny Baby Ferrets

A newborn ferret is so small that it can fit into a teaspoon.

Picture from

Generally speaking female ferrets are smaller than the male in the species.  Often times the males are double even triple the size and weight of the smaller more petite girls.  Regardless of gender, most ferrets are in the  one to five pound weight range.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

An Echidna's Bendy Tongue

An echidna’s tongue can be up to six inches long.

 Picture from My Wild Life

An echidna's long tongue is covered in sticky saliva that it uses to capture termites and ants.  They are able to bend it into a U shape, which allows them to block the end of a tunnel, leaving their prey no way out.