From Xplor for Kids
May 2016 Issue

Strange but True

Publish Date

May 01, 2016

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

  • Female cricket frogs know they’re in love when things start to click - literally. To attract a mate, male cricket frogs produce a call - glick, glick, glick - that sounds like two pebbles being clicked rapidly together.
  • Mama mia! Each little brown bat baby has a distinct call. This helps mama bats find the right pup among the hundreds crowded together on the walls of a nursery cave.
  • Most birds won’t eat furry worms - after all, who likes to find a hair in their supper? But yellow-billed cuckoos are so cuckoo for caterpillars, they even eat the bristly ones.
  • Many caddisflies piece together pebbles, sand, and twigs to build cases that protect their soft, squirmy bodies. The baby insects live in the cases at the bottom of streams until they turn into air-breathing, moth-like adults.
  • Rough greensnakes hang out in low-growing branches, relying on their green scales to blend in with the leaves. The sneaky snakes sometimes take camouflage a slither further and sway like a vine being blown by the breeze.
  • Oh, snap! When threatened, click beetles bend their bodies into a “U” then straighten out suddenly with a loud CLICK! This catapults the insect into the air and startles any critter that was hoping for a beetle snack.
  • Dizzy diners: Phalaropes swim around and around in tight circles to rustle up supper. This creates a mini whirlpool that brings insects to the surface where the hungry birds can snatch them up.
  • You wouldn’t need a scuba tank if you had lungs like a muskrat. To hide from predators, the furry, buck-toothed divers can stay underwater for up to 17 minutes.

Also in this issue

Get Out!

Get Out! column for the 2016 May/June Xplor.

Into The Wild

Every summer, prairies across Missouri put on a fireworks show when riots of wildflowers burst into bloom.

Fishing For First-Timers

When you cast a lure into the deep, you never know what you might catch.

Little Armored Ones

The nine-banded armadillo is native to Mexico, but now it’s found in Missouri, mostly in the south.

Predator Vs. Prey

The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight this issue: American Bullfrog VS Northern Watersnake.

How To Whittle a Hickory Whistle

When sap flows through hickory trees in May, it’s time to whittle some whistles.

This Issue's Staff:

Bonnie Chasteen
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White

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Xplor: May/June 2016

May-June 2016 Xplor cover featuring a girl holding a fish she just caught.
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