Strange but True

By MDC | November 1, 2022
From Xplor: November/December 2022

Curled up under layers of leaves, most woolly bears freeze solid during winter. Antifreeze-like fluids keep their bodies from being damaged. When the ground thaws in spring, so do the fuzzy, little caterpillars.

Boatloads of bats: Ninety-five percent of the gray bats in the whole wide world hibernate in just nine caves every winter. Several of those hibernation hangouts are located in — or rather, under — Missouri.

In the fall, squirrels have just one thought in their furry heads: gathering enough nuts for winter. Although the bushy-tailed hoarders can collect nearly 100 pounds of acorns, blue jays and other nut-munchers steal nearly a quarter of the stash.

Brown-headed nuthatches often use pieces of bark to pry up other bits of bark, hoping to find insects to eat. If a nuthatch finds a particularly useful pry bark, it carries it from tree to tree.

Need a new leg? No problem. Lose your arm? No claws for alarm. That is, if you’re a crayfish. The armor-covered crustaceans have an amazing ability to regrow limbs that are damaged or lost to predators.

In a scary-movie display of flexibility, an owl can turn its head 270 degrees — almost all the way around. This means the mouse-munching bird can look to the left by turning its head to the right!

Whoa, baby! A termite queen can lay up to 30,000 eggs per day. That’s nearly 11 million eggs in a year. Queens can live 20 years or longer. So over a lifetime, a single queen can produce 220 million babies!


Also In This Issue

head scratcher

Need something fun to do on the long drive to grandma’s house? Or a joke to tell to Uncle Mark? Xplor’s here to help with some wild and wacky puzzles and jokes.


Missouri is often visited by UFOs — just not the kind filled with little green aliens.

This Issue's Staff

Artist - Alexis (AJ) Joyce
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Laura Scheuler
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber