Strange but True

By MDC | March 1, 2022
From Xplor: March/April 2022
Body

A plains pocket gopher is equipped with a pair of fur-lined pouches on either side of its mouth. The guinea pig-sized rodent uses the pockets to carry food and nesting materials. It can even turn its pockets inside out to clean them.

An American woodcock’s oversized eyes are located freakishly far back on its head. To accommodate this unusual peeper position, a woodcock’s ears are found below the eyes, not behind them as with most birds.

Most people think minnows are itty-bitty fishies, but some of Missouri’s largest lunkers are members of the minnow family. The state record common carp is 55 pounds and the record grass carp is 71 pounds!

Humans aren’t the only animals that plant flowers. Ants carry seeds from Dutchman’s breeches to their nests. The seeds have a hard shell and a tasty, fleshy tip. Ants feed the tips to their babies and throw out the seeds, which soon sprout.

The louder they call, the harder they fall. For lovestruck spring peepers, the most persistent guy gets the girl. Peepers that sing loudest and call most often attract more mates.

The sound of running water sends beavers into a fix-it frenzy. Biologists learned this by leaving a speaker, which played water noises, on a leak-free beaver dam. When they returned, beavers had buried the speaker under sticks and mud.

The fuzz on a bumblebee isn’t just for looks. The thick “fur” traps heat. This helps the hardy, hard-working insects buzz around in colder temperatures than most bees can tolerate.

This Issue's Staff

Artist - Alexis (AJ) Joyce
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Laura Scheuler
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber