Friday, February 28, 2014

Prairie Dogs Have Their Own Secret City

Prairie Dogs create underground cities

Photo: A Utah prairie dog eating
Picture from National Geographic

Prairie Dogs live in extensive networks of tunnels underground which are marked by mounds of dirt at their surface entrance.Their burros have distinct changes for sleeping, nurseries and even toilets. They also feature listening posts near the the surface exits so they can listen for dangers outside.  They emerge from the earth during the day to forage and feed on grasses, seeds and roots. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Porcupines Pass On Meat

Porcupines are herbivores.

Picture from NHPTV

Porcupines do not eat meat and feed mostly on leaves, pine-needles, herbs, twigs and the thin bark of trees.  They use their sharp and strong teeth to chew through tough wood and seeds. Their long incisors are used to tear into bark.

Sea Otters, The Water Weasel

The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family.

Picture from Sea Otters

Otters are also the only member of the weasel family that lives almost entirely in water.  Their habitat consists of two areas in these waters- the ocean floor where they find their food, and the ocean surface where they eat, groom, rest and social interactions occur.

Mountain Goats On The Move

Mountain goats do not sleep at night, instead they take time to rest under overhanging cliffs throughout the day.

Picture from Got Hunts

Most Mountain goats are active during both the day and night hours.  Their daily movements reflect an individual’s needs for foraging, resting, thermoregulation and security from predators or disturbance.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Maintaining A Marmot's Weight

Marmots lose up to half of their body weight during the winter.

 Picture from Trip Advisor

Partly due to their diet of grass, berries, roots and flowers, marmots have a hard time keeping on weight.  And during the winter they hibernate in burrows, living off of their stored food, which doesn't provide much nutrition. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

With Or Without Water

Most lions can go four to five days without drinking water.

 Picture From You Don't Say

Majority of lions will drink water daily if available, but they are able to go four or five days without it. Lions in arid areas seem to obtain needed moisture from the stomach contents of their prey.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Meat Eatin' Komodo Dragons

Komodo dragons are not picky eaters, in fact they eat almost any kind of meat.

 Picture From Earth Times

They are able to see prey and other objects as far as 985 feet away.  This monitors hunting strategy is very simply, it will go for the feet, and bring down the prey. Then it will rip it to pieces.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Big Brained Killer Whales

Orcas have the second-heaviest brains in the marine mammal world.  

Picture from NMFS

The largest mammalian brain belongs to the sperm whale, one of the biggest cetaceans in the sea.  The mature adult sperm whale's brain weighs an average of 18 pounds, and can grow to be nearly 500 cubic inches in size.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Half A Brain At A Time For Humpback Whales

Humpback whales are unique in that they breathe voluntarily, unlike humans.

 Picture from Aquarium

Since they have to remember to breathe, researchers believe humpback whales sleep by shutting off half of their brain at a time. While one half of the brain stays awake to make sure the whale breathes and alerts the whale to any danger in its environment, the other half of the brain sleeps.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Putting The HOG in Hedgehog

Hedgehogs got their name through from their foraging habits.

Picture from National Geographic

As they move through the hedges looking for worms and insects, they make a piggy grunting noise. Hence, hedge-hog.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Flight Of The Roadrunner

Roadrunners will fly only when necessary.  

 Picture from SCV News

They fly close to the ground when they are going down hill or sense that a predator is near,  but they can only stay off the ground for a few seconds at a time.  Roadrunners can run up to 17 mph and sprint briefly at much higher speeds in pursuit of prey.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Baby Gazelles In Hiding

A mother gazelle will hide its newborn calf in tall grasses for several weeks after it's born.

 Picture from Posters Guide

 These infants will remain out of sight for days or even weeks, being periodically nursed by their mother, until they are old enough to join the mother's herd, in the case of females, or a bachelor herd.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Brown Bear Claw Colors

Brown bears have claws that range in color from yellow to brown, and in rare cases, even white.

Brown bears have long claws that can be the length of a human finger.  Brown bears use these claws for digging plant roots and excavating dens.  Compared to black bears, brown bears have longer, less curved claws. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Eels Who Are Dying To Breed

Adult eels die after breeding.

 Picture from Animal Planet

Some species of eels travel up to 4,000 miles to breed, a journey which can take up to seven months. During that time it is believed that eels do not eat. Instead, they use their body fat and muscle tissue for nutrients.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Doves Seed Stockpile

When doves grab seeds off the ground, they are not necessarily eating them. 
Picture from All About Birds

Instead of eating them right away, doves will stockpile seeds for digesting later. The seeds collect in the “crop,” which is simply an enlarged part of their esophagus.  Once they’ve filled it, they can fly to a safe perch to digest the meal.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Flightless DoDo Birds

A dodo bird will not fly, they are considered "secondarily flightless".

Picture from Hunter Course

It takes a lot of energy to fly, which is why nature favors this adaptation only when it's absolutely necessary. Once the Dodo Bird's pigeon ancestors landed on their island paradise, they gradually lost their ability to fly, and at the same time evolved to turkey-like sizes.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tip Toeing Coyotes

In order to not get attacked by predators, coyotes often walk on their toes to make as little noise as possible.

Picture from Sibley Nature Center

The biggest predators of the coyote are humans. Ninety percent of coyote deaths are attributed to people through hunting with guns, poison, traps or killed accidentally with vehicles or farm equipment. Other predators of coyotes include Mountain Lions, Wolves and Bears.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Crows vs. Raven Intelligence Level

Ravens are considered to be the most intelligent birds.

Picture from All About Birds

Ravens have displayed levels of high learning ability and the use of logic for solving problems.  In one experiment, a raven had to reach a piece of meat dangling from strings bound to perches. To get to the food, a raven had to follow a series of actions: pull up a string stretch, hold a loop of it on the perch with a claw, then pull up another stretch and hold that loop. The birds had to repeat the action 6 times till getting the meat.  The ravens turned out to be successful at it, but even after 30 tries, crows did not succeed. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Run, Run Cheetah...

A cheetah's feet don't touch the ground for more than half of the time it's running.

Picture from The Cheetah Blog

A cheetah can complete up to three strides per second, with only one foot on the ground at any time and several stages when feet don't touch the ground at all. Hard, ridged foot pads and blunt, nonretractable claws maximize traction with the ground.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Black Bear's Burst Of Speed

Black bears can run up to 35 miles per hour.

Picture from Newscoma

Due to the fact that black bears are able to run that fast, it's important to remember that if you encounter a black bear NOT to run.  It is better to just back away slowly and not make any quick movements or loud noises.