Strange But True

By | April 1, 2014
From Xplor: April/May 2014

Your guide to all the unusual, unique, and unbelievable stuff that goes on in nature.

  • Eastern whip-poor-wills time their egg laying so that their chicks hatch about 10 days before a full moon. As the moon gets brighter each night, the adults are able to hunt longer and catch more insects to feed their growing chicks.
  • Nest fest. If a yellow warbler finds a cowbird egg in its nest, does it kick the egg out? Nope. The warbler simply builds a new nest atop the unwanted egg. If cowbirds keep coming back, this can result in a stack of up to six nests.
  • Some male cricket frogs have a sneaky way of getting a girlfriend: They hang out quietly nearby while other males sing to attract a mate. When female frogs come courting, the silent males try to get to the females first.
  • Least sandpipers are the smallest shorebirds in the world, but don’t tell them that. During migration, some sandpipers fly nonstop from New England to South America, a distance of up to 2,500 miles. Not bad for a bird that weighs just a little more than a ketchup packet.
  • Male bluestripe darters are quickchange artists. During spawning, the little fish change from their normal coloration to having thick, dark stripes on their backs within just a few minutes.
  • During winter hibernation, black bears can sleep for 100 days without eating, drinking, peeing, or pooping. One of the first things a bear does when it wakes up is go to the bathroom.
  • Crayfish use their fan-shaped tails like canoe paddles. By pulling their tails quickly toward their heads, the claw-ful crustaceans can swoosh backwards

And More...

This Issue's Staff

Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White