Strange but True

By | May 1, 2015
From Xplor: May/June 2015

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

  • When they run out of food in one location, differential grasshoppers may travel nearly 10 miles to search for more. Airplane pilots have spotted the hungry, wayward insects flying 1,400 feet up in the sky.
  • Geronimo! Mama wood ducks nest in holes high up in trees. A day after hatching, her babies follow mom to the entrance of the hole and bail out. The little fluffballs can fall more than 250 feet onto hard ground without being injured.
  • Who needs lungs? Cave salamanders and other members of the lungless salamander family breathe through their skin. They must keep their skin moist, however, so the little amphibians don’t stray far from damp areas.
  • Little stinker: Striped skunk kits can spray at birth, but the blind, helpless babies have little control over where their funk flies. By the time they’re 3 months old, the kits can aim accurately and fire at will.
  • A mother bobwhite may nest three times and lay 36 eggs in a summer. Unfortunately, her chicks are like walking cheese puffs to predators. On average, only three of her chicks will live to see their first birthdays.
  • Black-necked stilts have longer legs in relation to their bodies than any other bird in the world except flamingos. If you were built like a stilt, your legs would be 8 inches longer than they are now.
  • Male bluegills use their tail fins to sweep out saucer-shaped nests in shallow water at the edges of ponds and lakes. The bully bluegills guard their nests fiercely, chasing away fish much bigger than themselves, including bass and catfish.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

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