From Xplor for Kids
May 2015 Issue

Strange but True

Publish Date

May 01, 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.

Also in this issue

Get Out!

Don't miss the chance to discover nature at these fun events!

Into The Wild: Glade

Dry, rocky glades are home to sun-loving plants and animals found nowhere else in Missouri.

Warning Signs

These creatures use color to keep predators away.

Nature's Gravediggers

American burying beetles have an interesting way of raising a family.

How To: Use a Map and Compass

What happens when the batteries conk out on your GPS?

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

Stay in Touch with MDC

Stay in Touch with MDC news, newsletters, events, and manage your subscription

Sign up

Xplor: May/June 2015

May/June 2015 cover
Download Issue (Download Issue, 6 MB)