Ratlike in appearance and beaver-like in size, this animal is often referred to as the beaver rat. Nutrias are valuable for many purposes; their pelts are now chiefly used in the making of hats. Their ratlike tails are too thin to be used.
The males of the fighting fish species do indeed fight. They nip each other’s fins and show off their extended gill covers and intensified colors. Their battles are exciting enough that the Thai have domesticated the fish for use in contests.
Most fish do not sleep. They are constantly in motion, though the motion is marked by periods of reduced activity. There are, however, a few exceptions: Some fish in coral reefs do sleep by leaning on rocks or standing on their tails.
A 27-year New York City study found that the following five breeds, in order of biting averages, are the worst offenders: 1. German police dog 2. Chow 3. Poodle 4. Italian bulldog 5. Fox terrier
Spine-tailed swifts have been clocked at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. Peregrine falcons have reached 217 miles per hour; racing pigeons, 100; migrating ducks, 60; and small birds, 30.
The scales provide the best clue to telling the age of a fish. Scaleless when born, fish grow scales under their outer layer of skin to provide waterproofing. As they age, most species add growth rings, that is, increase the size of their scales to cover their larger bodies. With a very old fish, however, […]
The peregrine falcon was listed as endangered in the late 1970s. It still remains on the list.
The world record for a jump by a frog is 33 feet 5.5 inches over the course of three consecutive leaps. It was achieved in May 1977 by a South African sharp-nosed frog called Santjie.
Tapeworms range in size from about 0.04 inch to more than 50 feet in length.
The American opossum, a marsupial, bears its young 12 to 13 days after conception. The Asiatic elephant takes 608 days, or just over 20 months.
The phrase dog days dates back to Roman times. It was believed that Sirius, the Dog Star, added its heat to that of the sun from July 3 to August 11, creating exceptionally high temperatures. The Romans called the period dies caniculares, or “days of the dog.”
The most common species of domesticated bird is the chicken. There are thought to be 3.5 billion chickens in the world, nearly one for every human.
The skunk uses his special body oil to defeat enemies that are larger, faster, and stronger than he is. The oil burns an attacker’s eyes, nose, and mouth, causing temporary blindness and vomiting. This fluid accumulates in the skunk’s scent glands, which contain enough for six shots from distances of 8 to 10 feet.
The term applies to several species of the herring family. This includes the common herring of the North Atlantic, the European pilchard, and members of the genus Sardinops found in the Pacific and Indian oceans.
The Tasmanian devil is a marsupial, 20 to 31 inches long, with black-brown hair, a bushy tail, and a bearlike face. It lives in rocky parts of Tasmania, an island south of Australia, and eats small animals and carrion. It is called a devil because of its nasty expression, husky snarl, and bad temper.
In addition to being a sign of contentment, it is a signal, a homing call that cats learn early. At first, they feel only the vibrations of a purr when their mother cat uses it to bring them to feed. Later, cats learn to use it to indicate fear and distress as well as pleasure.
In the United States, all swine weighing under 180 pounds are pigs; those over that weight are hogs. In Britain, there is no difference: The term pig refers to all domestic swine.
The black mamba of southern Africa moves fast. It has been said to move 25 to 30 miles per hour while chasing a man on horseback.
No, one dog year is actually five to six years in human terms. The average life expectancy of a dog is 12 to 14 years. However, most dogs mature sexually within six to nine months so in that sense there is no strict correspondence to human years.
Beavers prefer slender poplar trees for food, but will cut down trees as large as 18 inches in diameter, including hardwoods such as beech, cherry, and oak.
Termites clear fallen timber and stumps from forests more efficiently than any other wood-eating creature. They can clear vast quantities of wood that otherwise would be left to rot. This makes termites beneficial in ecosystems such as forests.
A polecat is not a cat at all. Polecat is the common name for various weasel-like animals of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, minks, and otters. Varieties of this creature include: the European polecat; the mashed, or steppe, polecat of Asia; the marbled polecat of Eurasia; and the zorilla, or African polecat. In […]
Yes. The blood of mammals is red, the blood of insects is yellow, and the blood of lobsters is blue.
The largest animal ever seen alive was a 113.5-foot, 170-ton female blue whale. The whale is able to reach such large size because water helps support its weight.
A sleuth or sloth of bears A clutter or chowder of cats A murder of crows A cloud or horde of gnats A troop of kangaroos A muster or ostentation of peacocks A sounder of swine
The biggest pig in recorded history was Big Boy of Black Mountain, North Carolina, weighing 1,904 pounds in 1939.
In most species of songbirds, only male birds sing, and for only two reasons: to protect territory and to attract a mate.
Sometimes. What makes them decide to do so is uncertain.
After a fashion. Hens squat on the eggs, supporting most of their weight with their feet. Their nests also provide a protective cushion for the eggs.
This ancient creature called the coelacanth existed 350 million years ago. Scientists had believed that the fish became extinct 60 million years ago, until a living specimen was caught in the Indian Ocean off southern Africa in 1938.
Not until 1681, and mainly because humans and animals ate the remaining eggs. The dodo, first found on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, was the size of a very large turkey. It was slow and defenseless, save for its hooked beak. To complicate matters, it did not reproduce well, as the female […]
The smallest recognized breed of dog was first noted in Chihuahua in northern Mexico in the mid-nineteenth century. The dog is believed to be descended from the Techichi, a small mute dog kept by the Toltec people of Mexico since the ninth century A.D.
No, some species sing on the ground. Shorebirds such as turnstones sing from mounds called hummocks. Some species of American field sparrows, such as the savanna sparrow of the eastern United States, sing from the ground, as does the wood thrush.
The alligator is a subspecies of the crocodile, part of the family Crocodylidae. The alligator’s snout is rounded; the crocodile’s comes to a point. Both prefer shallow, swampy water, but the crocodile is generally more aggressive than the alligator. Incidentally, a crocodile, not an alligator, appears on the Izod Lacoste polo shirt.
The capybara, also known as the carpincho or water hog, native to South America. In length, it runs from 3 feet, 3 inches to 4 feet, 6 inches, and it weighs up to 174 pounds. The only other rodent of similar size is the Canadian beaver, the largest specimen of which is recorded at 87 […]
Raise the cat’s tail. If you see what looks like a colon (the punctuation mark), you’re probably looking at a male. If you see an upside-down semicolon, it’s a female.
Bulls do not charge because a cape is red. They charge because of the movement of the cape. It does not have to be red or any other bright color.
The modern name for one of the oldest dog breeds in history (dating back to ancient Egypt) arose from one of its earliest uses, hunting badgers. In German, Dachs means “badger,” Hund is “hound.” Centuries ago, badger hunting was a popular sport.
A crab of the species Neptunus pelagines took 29 years to walk 101.5 miles underwater from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, an average speed of 3.5 miles per year.
Only pigs have humans’ intolerance of the sun and can get sunburns.
No, the number of legs varies. The greatest number reported on a centipede is 171 to 177 pairs of legs; on a millipede, 375.
At 3.81 inches in length, this one could hardly check ‘ into a Roach Motel, much less check out.
The following dogs bite the least: 1. Golden retriever 2. Labrador retriever 3. Shetland sheepdog 4. Old English sheepdog 5. Welsh terrier
It depends. The Italian species of wolf spider first given the name tarantula (from the town of Taranto) catches its prey by pursuit. In the American Southwest, tarantulas live in burrows; they eat anything from insects to toads and mice. However, certain South American tarantulas do build large webs; their diet includes small birds.
Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump. One large kangaroo was measured as clearing a pile of timber 10.5 feet high and 27 feet long.
On November 28, 1942, hundreds of British seamen and Italian prisoners of war were killed by sharks when a German U-boat sank the steamer Nova Scotia off the coast of South Africa. Nine hundred men were on the ship when it sank; 192 were left when a rescue ship arrived.
A school of these 8- to 12-inch fish, which inhabit the freshwater rivers of South America, has been observed gnawing a 400-pound hog to the bone in minutes. Initially attracted by the smell of blood, piranhas begin gnawing as soon as they reach their prey. With their spring-trap jaws, they remove any animal’s flesh most […]
Archer fish, members of the five species of the family Toxotidae, shoot arcs of water droplets at insects sitting on vegetation near lakes and streams. This knocks them into the water where they become easy prey.
The valuable substance is found in the stomach of a sperm whale. In the East, the soft, black ambergris is dried and used as a spice; in the West, it is used as a perfume fixative.
In 1972, in South Wales, a male dachshund is said to have crept up on a sleeping female Great Dane. The union produced 13 “Great Dachshunds,” with short legs, large heads, and raised ears.
The wild turkey is the breed indigenous to the United States. It weighs 50 to 60 pounds, has strong legs, and can run from 15 to 20 miles per hour when scared.
It takes 35 to 65 minks to produce the average mink coat. The numbers for other types of fur coats are: Beaver. 15 Fox. 15 to 25 Ermine. 150 Chinchilla. 60 to 100
There are rare instances of elephants living 70 years and killer whales to 90. But humans, with their outside limit of about 120 years, have the longest overall life span.
Apes and some monkeys perceive the full spectrum of color, as may some fish and birds. But most mammals view color only as shades of gray.