From Xplor for Kids
April 2014 Issue

Strange But True

Publish Date

Apr 01, 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

Also in this issue

You Discover

Nature wakes up in April and May. Birds sing, wildflowers bloom, and fish finally find their appetites.

Rooms with a View

A tree isn’t just a tree. It’s also a high-rise apartment building, home to a tree-mendous number of living things

Wild Jobs: Bird Ecologist Brad Jacobs

Bird ecologist Brad Jacobs keeps a close eye on Missouri's feathered friends.

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

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