From Xplor for Kids
December 2013 Issue

Strange But True

Publish Date

Dec 01, 2013

Critters don't make New Year's resolutions. But if they did, here's what a few might say.

  • Woodhouse toad My goal is to lay 25,000 eggs this spring. I’ll need lots of offspring because most of my tadpole toddlers will be snarfed up by predators.
  • Turkey vulture My goal is to try new foods. I’ll eat anything — skunks, birds, snakes, fish, frogs, snails, rotten fruit, even worms — as long as it’s dead.
  • Timber rattlesnake I plan to stockpile enough venom in my glands to kill 3,000 deer mice. But since I’ll eat only 20 meals next year, I won’t need to use much of it.
  • Bumblebee I plan to be extra buzzy — and busy — in 2014. I’ll need to be if I hope to meet my goal of visiting 500 flowers a day.
  • Hickory horned devil I may start off itty-bitty, but I hope to grow as big as a hot dog and become Missouri’s largest larva. If you grew as much as I plan to grow, you’d be 30 feet tall.
  • Rainbow trout My resolution is simple: survive trout-fishing season at Bennett Springs State Park. To do that, I’ll need to dodge nearly 150,000 anglers.
  • Eastern cottontail I plan to poop a lot — nearly 350 pellets every day, in fact. If you lined my pellets end to end, by next New Year’s my poop should stretch half a mile.
  • Striped skunk In a year’s time, I’ll produce enough scent to fill a soda can. But don’t dare pop the top! That much funky fluid could leave 200 coyotes drenched in stench.

Also in this issue

You Discover

River otters don’t need a sled to go sliding, and neither do you.

Predator Vs. Prey: Mink vs. Muskrat

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

How To: Make a Snow Lantern

Just because the sun has gone down doesn’t mean you have to, too. Keep playing in the snow by building this lantern to light your way.

Otter Chaos

This mama river otter has her paws full raising five playful pups.

Shooting Star

Samantha Foppe is one of America's top trap shooters. And she's only 15.

Wild Jobs: Range Officer Kurt Otterstein

At Jay Henges Shooting Range, Kurt Otterstein teaches people to be straight shooters and safe shooters.

This Issue's Staff:

David Besenger
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

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