Strange but True

By MDC | July 1, 2022
From Xplor: July/August 2022
Body

Squish! Before eating, an eastern mole uses its oversized front paws to squeeze a worm along its length — like a slimy tube of toothpaste. This helps remove dirt from the outside of the worm and poop from the inside.

A monarch caterpillar is an eating machine. Before it turns into a butterfly, the hungry, hungry caterpillar will multiply its weight nearly 2,500 times. That’s like a person gaining the weight of two blue whales in about two weeks.

It takes a lot of nectar to fuel up a hovering hummingbird! Biologists estimate that if you had the same energy needs as this buzzy bird, you would have to drink a can of soda nearly every minute to survive.

Big-brained, not birdbrained: Although tool use is rare in birds, American crows have been seen using a cup to pour water over dry food. And New Caledonian crows, which live on Pacific islands, use twigs to spear grubs.

About one out of every 500 katydids is pink instead of green. When green and pink katydids mate, most of the babies are pink. But because they stick out like bubblegum on a bedpost, most of the pink ones get eaten by predators.

Ultraviolet light, like the kind put out by black lights, makes a scorpion glow bluish-green. Scientists aren’t sure why the stinger-tipped creepy-crawlies gleam, but it may help scorpions sense light waves so they can seek shelter to hide from predators.

A rattlesnake shakes its tail to create a rattling sound. The noise warns other animals to stay away! But the snake has another trick to its tail: It can increase the tempo of the rattle, which makes the sneaky snake sound closer than it actually is.

Also In This Issue

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