Your guide to all the unusual, unique, and unbelievable stuff that goes on in nature.
To help them hang on to slippery, slimy fish, ospreys have pokey pads on the soles of their feet. The pads must work. Ospreys catch up to seven out of every ten fish they go after.
In September, monarch butterflies point their antennae southward and flutter as far as 3,000 miles to evergreen forests high in the mountains of central Mexico.
Swamp rabbits live along streams and in wetlands in the Bootheel. As their name suggests, the water-loving wabbits — um, rabbits — are strong swimmers and often jump in the water to escape predators.
…it adds its victim’s shell to the pile of other victims on its back. Biologists believe this creepy camouflage helps hide aphid lions from ants, birds, and other predators.
Common grackles sometimes crouch over anthills and let the angry insects crawl all over their bodies. Why? Ants release acid, which biologists believe helps rid the grackles’ feathers of parasites.
When threatened, it hisses and flattens its head like a cobra. But the snake is a big fake. If its bluff fails, the hognose rolls onto its back, flops out its tongue, and pretends to be dead.
When frightened, a meadow jumping mouse uses its oversized hind feet to jump up to 12 feet in a single bound. If the tiny mouse were human-sized, it could leap over six school buses parked end-to-end.
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill