From Xplor for Kids
August 2012 Issue

Strange But True

Publish Date

Aug 01, 2012

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

  • Hey chubby cheeks, don’t squeak with a full mouth. Eastern chipmunks can cram nine acorns in their mouths—four in each cheek and one between their teeth.
  • Any American eel found in Missouri is likely female. Baby eels are born in the Atlantic Ocean but swim into rivers to grow. Male eels stay close to coastlines, but females swim far upstream.
  • Before unleashing its funky fury, a spotted skunk often does a handstand and walks on its front paws with its tail held high. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
  • When an American white pelican wishes for fishes, it plunges its beak underwater like a dip net. In a single scoop, the brawny-beaked bird can gather 3 gallons of water— and several unlucky fish. When a paddlefish goes for a swim, it really goes for a swim.
  • A paddlefish marked with an identification tag in South Dakota was found years later near Memphis, Tennessee. It had swum more than 1,200 miles! chimney swifts use saliva to glue twigs together for a nest and keep it stuck tight to the inside of a chimney. Now that’s some sticky spit!
  • Who needs a thermometer when you have a cricket around? To tell the temperature, just count how many times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds then add 37. The total will be within a few degrees of the actual temperature.
  • Temperature decides whether snapping turtles will be born boys or girls. Turtle eggs kept around 75 degrees hatch as mostly males. Eggs kept below 70 or above 80 hatch as mostly females.

Also in this issue

You Discover

With summer winding down and autumn gearing up, there’s plenty to discover outside in August and September. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Predator vs. Prey: Tiger Moth vs. Bat

The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight. Here's what separates nature's winners from its losers.

How to: Make an Underwater Viewer

Build an underwater viewer to calm the water and see what you’ve been missing.

Camping With Dad

My brothers and I have camped dozens of times with our scout troop. We know plenty of tricks to make camping fun and comfortable.

Back to School

Some little critters are born knowing how to survive. Others need to learn a few things before they’re able to make it on their own.

Wild Jobs: Tree Climber Ryan Russell

Arborist Ryan Russell goes out on a limb to keep trees healthy.

This Issue's Staff:

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White
Kipp Woods

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