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Fern
05-19-2006, 08:06 PM
Did you know squirrels eat cicadas?

I went along on my son's field trip a few years ago, to a State Park. They had a half grown squirrel in a cage. . .raising it because it lost its mom. It was a year that cicadas were hatching. The humming sound was horrendous during the day and the Park Ranger told us campers were leaving because the nights were so noisy with the cicadas humming. Anyway, she showed us how the squirrel loved cicadas by putting one in the cage with him. He caught it and you could have heard it crunch a mile away.

Add your animal "Did You Know" to the thread!

alleycat
05-19-2006, 08:54 PM
Relative to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammals. And they have more than 30 muscles in their ears. Why? I don't know. . . I'm guessing so they can ignore you in 30 different ways.

ac

veinglory
05-19-2006, 09:03 PM
Okay, I'll play. Did you know that the only animal with a bone in it's heart is the cow. It is cartilege in younger calves and heifers but ossifies over time into a real bone...

alleycat
05-19-2006, 09:20 PM
Cats walk by alternating their legs on the same side of their bodies; in other words, it's left-left-right-right, rather than left-right-left-right. Which proves that cats would never make it in the army. Only cats, camels and some other animal (which I've forgotten) walk this way.

Again, I suspect it's just to annoy people.

ac

rich
05-19-2006, 09:43 PM
Dogs and cats have been able to manipulate me for years.

awatkins
05-19-2006, 09:45 PM
The inside of a baby zebra finch's beak is black-and-white polka dotted. I have no idea why it looks like that, but it's really something to see.

They're also very prolific breeders. If you have just one compatable pair, wait a few months and you'll have more zebra finches than you can shake a stick at! (Which is why you should never allow your zebras to breed unless you know you have homes for them all. /Editorial off.)

awatkins
05-19-2006, 09:55 PM
Baby birds hatch with the aid of an egg tooth. This is a tiny, hard growth on the end of the beak that helps the baby break through the shell. The tooth drops off shortly afterward.

Some reptiles have egg teeth, too, but they differ from those of birds.

rich
05-19-2006, 10:02 PM
I've read that birds evolved from reptiles--makes sense. Wierdest one I've heard about is the Panda who eats, shoots, and leaves.

A bat is the only mammal that can fly.

CaroGirl
05-19-2006, 11:00 PM
The duck-billed platypus is the only mammal that lays eggs.

alleycat
05-20-2006, 02:05 PM
Here's two more useless pieces of animal trivia.

Elephants can't jump (or fly for that matter).

I'm not sure about this one but I've heard the original name for a butterfly was flutterby.

Now I think I'll just make stuff up.

Socks pupate into sweaters you never wear. It's true! That's why you can never find all your socks but you've got a shelf full of sweaters in the back of your closet.

GHF65
05-20-2006, 05:41 PM
Ah-HAH! That explains the paisley crew-neck with the too-short sleeves and "Hanes" barely visible down the back.

A cat just perambulating across the yard, not hunting or looking for a little fun, has brain-wave activity similar to when he's asleep. Not exactly sleepwalking, but not really awake either.

But put a soundly sleeping feline in a room with someone who hates cats, and twenty minutes into the visit he will awaken and instantaneously fly across the room, scaring the bejeezus out of the cat-hater and cementing the adversarial relationship the cat's been developing with your living room drapes.

Maine Coon cats, when they're in the same room with you, tip the scales at around 12 pounds, but when they're walking across the floor over your head, they weigh 427 pounds. It's a medical mystery.

No matter how old he is, a horse's sense of humor is very similar to that of a 14-year-old boy.

A horse driniks 8 - 12 gallons of water a day, but only urinates if he's in his stall and you're on muck duty. Left in the pasture, he will hold it for four or five days.

Despite research to the contrary, horses do teach each other bad habits. Just this morning I caught Zip and Dakota smoking behind the barn. Dakota's only vice when he got here was unbearable cuteness of being. Now he's a clone of Zip. Coincidence? I think not.

alleycat
05-20-2006, 09:21 PM
Maine Coon cats, when they're in the same room with you, tip the scales at around 12 pounds, but when they're walking across the floor over your head, they weigh 427 pounds. It's a medical mystery.
When my first cat died at age 15, I wanted to get a Maine Coon cat but, since I wanted an inside cat, I didn't think it would be fair to either of us. So, I ended up getting another part Russian Blue from the shelter. We make a pretty good pair. I tell her what to do and she ignores me. Ditto, girlfriend.

And more trivia: All polar bears are left-handed (I had to look that one up). Other arctic animals make fun of the way they hold their fish in that odd way.

ac

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07-05-2006, 02:54 AM
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Bumblebees should not be able to fly.


Their bodies are too fat and heavy, with tiny little wings.


It's a scientific mystery.
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Dolphins and humans are the only mammals who have sex for enjoyment only.

All other animals have sex for the sole purpose of procreation.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleycat
When my first cat died at age 15, I wanted to get a Maine Coon cat but, since I wanted an inside cat, I didn't think it would be fair to either of us.
ac


And why did you rule out a Maine Coon? My guy is as inside as a cat gets. He does like an occasional ramble around the yard, but god forbid he get wet/hot/dirty/tired! And he's the first to rat out the Tabby if dinnertime is nigh and Stinky is still outside (or locked in the closet, which is equally likely).

Deer have such a strong sense of community that I've watched a doe "babysit" a pair of twins along with her own fawn while the second doe was off in the woods doing god knows what with some sleazebag buck that her mother probably wouldn't approve of if she knew about it, but who has nothing to say because the first doe is a really good friend and won't tell.

A male red fox with a family will sacrifice himself to distract you from your concerted efforts to follow his wife and kids to the den so you can recover your stolen chickens. He'll bark and run in circles, and lead you in the opposite direction for miles if you're dumb enough to follow him. Really it's all wasted effort as foxes usually have five dens all near each other but not connected. That's because the little beasts will steal chickens from each other as quickly as they will from you, so they have to spread the wealth out to prevent bancruptcy.

Four chickens only lay half as many eggs as eight chickens.

*grumble*
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During pregnancy, the male seahorse (http://www.tennis.org/Newsroom/seahorsebirth.asp)carries fertilized eggs in a brood patch and then gives birth to live babies. Yes, friends and neighbors, the male gets pregnant. I wonder if they experince morning sickness? It would only seem fair. ;)
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Female horses get cramps during menstruation. I kid you not. Imagine weighing 1000 pounds and PMS-ing. Now that's a force to reckon with!
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Plus, it would take one heck of a heating pad to wrap around her tummy. lol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosemerry
Dolphins and humans are the only mammals who have sex for enjoyment only.

All other animals have sex for the sole purpose of procreation.


Just an observation, but I've witnessed dolphins mating in the wild, and the female can hardly be said to find it enjoyable. The males, as many as a half dozen or so, surround and overwhelm the single female, and they each have a go at her. It's a roiling, frothing, violent affair that sometimes injures the female. In addition, males have been known to kill the calves in the group to free up the females for mating.

It must have something to do with that fake smile they sport, but there is some misconception that dolphins (bottlenose in particular) are gentle, harmless creatures, when in fact they're dangerous and cunning predators that are best left alone.
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There is a species of tarantula that purrs, usually when cornered.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharra
There is a species of tarantula that purrs, usually when cornered.


Yet another similarity to humans.
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Bumble bees are nature's helicopters.

Cats meow only to communicate with people. Cats don't even meow with each other.

Tigers can not purr.
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The reason cats go straight to the people in the room that hate cats is:
Cats feel uncomfortable when people stare straight at them, which is what cat lovers tend to do. While cat haters try to ignore the cat by not looking at it, thus drawing the cat.

When a tiger stares at you, he's seeing you as food.
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The miniature Doberman Pinscer predates the regular Doberman as a breed.

I just learned that today. It's an interesting reversal for most toy dog breeds.
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Don't know how true it is, but an oldtimer told me a cat is the only domesticated animal that will eat human flesh.
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alleycat
07-05-2006, 02:56 AM
Hippos sleep under water.

sharra
07-05-2006, 09:25 PM
Hippos kill more people than any of the big 5.

Mosquitos kill more people than any other animal on the continent.

alleycat
07-05-2006, 09:30 PM
Mosquitoes prefer blondes to brunettes.

(No, I'm not kidding.)

xnova
07-08-2006, 10:11 AM
The duck-billed platypus is the only mammal that lays eggs.

Wrong. Echidna does too.

xnova
07-08-2006, 10:19 AM
When it is time to mate, a female fossa climbs a tree. Then the male fossas all fight each other under the tree so one can get into the tree to mate with her, but she is picky and she might fight him off. She's your typical bar star, mating with several males over a week, and copulation lasts about 2 1/2 hours. All in the tree. When she has had enough, she leaves the tree and another female arrives, and the process repeats itself.

In comparison, the South American bush dog is Catholic. Only the alpha female in a pack has pups, only with the alpha male, and all the other females depress their oestrus cycles.

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06-17-2010, 09:24 PM
*thread resurrection for a good cause*


Quote:
Originally Posted by sharra
There is a species of tarantula that purrs, usually when cornered.


Ah-ha! I knew my spider sense was tingling for a reason. ;)

The quote is the kind of thing I see in a lot of kids books, and it makes me cringe. It's vague, wrong, and misleading (being that "purr" is usually a sound associated with contentment). I'm going to assume that wherever that quote originated from, it was in reference to stridulation.

There are over 800 species of tarantulas. Many species of tarantulas possess stridulating organs which allow the spider to produce a sound, much like a "hiss" or a "buzz".

This is often used as a defense. A frightened tarantula may rear up on its back legs, wave its front legs in the air, and stridulate. This is called a threat pose, which is intimidating on its own. The added "hiss" some species can produce is just an evolutionary bonus.

Ref.- I believe I found one of the dubious sources for the "purr" quote.
http://www.allsands.com/science/animals/tarantulas_zzy_gn.htm
Also, in this brief, and oversimplified article, they claim that
only a few South American species can inflict a harmful bite
Indeed, there are a few species of tarantula who's venom is considered significant. Off the top of my head, I can think of none of them that come from South America. Wrong continent, wrong side of the ocean.

-Youtube vid with a stridulating tarantula. To me it sounds kind of like velcro being pulled apart.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzZXffnoT-o

Print reference for stridulation - "The Tarantula Keepers Guide", by Shultz and Shultz. Published by Barron's

Online - The American Tarantula Society http://www.atshq.org/

Stlight
06-19-2010, 09:42 PM
I've had two Maine Coon cats and one mostly Maine Coon. All of them were house cats, with only one or two trips outside to prevent them from being too afraid to go out if the house caught fire (aren't you glad you don't live in my head - worry worry worry) All were, or at least appeared to be happy as house cats. In fact I'm sure they were.

Canotila
06-21-2010, 09:49 AM
*thread resurrection for a good cause*



Ah-ha! I knew my spider sense was tingling for a reason. ;)

The quote is the kind of thing I see in a lot of kids books, and it makes me cringe. It's vague, wrong, and misleading (being that "purr" is usually a sound associated with contentment). I'm going to assume that wherever that quote originated from, it was in reference to stridulation.

There are over 800 species of tarantulas. Many species of tarantulas possess stridulating organs which allow the spider to produce a sound, much like a "hiss" or a "buzz".

This is often used as a defense. A frightened tarantula may rear up on its back legs, wave its front legs in the air, and stridulate. This is called a threat pose, which is intimidating on its own. The added "hiss" some species can produce is just an evolutionary bonus.

Ref.- I believe I found one of the dubious sources for the "purr" quote.
http://www.allsands.com/science/animals/tarantulas_zzy_gn.htm
Also, in this brief, and oversimplified article, they claim that
Indeed, there are a few species of tarantula who's venom is considered significant. Off the top of my head, I can think of none of them that come from South America. Wrong continent, wrong side of the ocean.

-Youtube vid with a stridulating tarantula. To me it sounds kind of like velcro being pulled apart.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzZXffnoT-o

Print reference for stridulation - "The Tarantula Keepers Guide", by Shultz and Shultz. Published by Barron's

Online - The American Tarantula Society http://www.atshq.org/

That totally explains it! My brother had a goliath bird eater for years, and she used to make a hideous clickety sound when she walked sometimes. Man, she was fascinating but way too feisty for me. I loved his rose hair though. She was a sweetheart.

Weird fact contribution....hmm...

Female chinchillas have a 28 day reproductive cycle just like female humans.