You’ve seen the funny little grasshopper. He has big eyes, long feelers called antennae, and legs that are kind of bent backwards allowing him to jump fairly long distances; a one-inch grasshopper can leap 20 inches (50.8 centimeters). That would be like you, a five-foot tall person, say, being able to spring over the length of an entire basketball court! Our leaping wonder belongs to the orthoptera (awr THAHP tuhr uh) family along with Katydids, crickets and locust.
There is a cat with many names. Depending on where you live, it may be referred to as a: cougar, mountain lion, panther, catamount, puma (Puma concolor), or more than 30 other names from 11 subspecies in North America. And although some people may not see one of these wild cats during their entire lifetime, these large felines may be closing in on other areas closer to your region. Outdoor enthusiasts may encounter these animals on hikes, scaling walls during rock climbing, or camping in the wild: mountains, forests, deserts, plains and the wetlands of Florida.
It’s a jungle out there. Entomology professor Julie Peterson says there’s an estimated 10 quintillion insects on earth’s globe. If you have not heard of that number before, let’s just say that insects have the largest biomass of earth-bound animals, and probably represent 80 percent of the classes on the planet. And there are still more species that have not yet been described. An article in The New York Times predicted 300 pounds of insect for every pound of human!
It might not seem important to think about salmon and muse over their history or ponder what their life is like today. But it’s a vital story in the scheme of our ecological environment and what is happening to a once extremely valuable species. Besides, salmon is the best example of the cog in the wheel of how a fish species figure into the mystery of migration. Historical Fish Stories Salmon was a food preference even among peoples of the Paleolithic era—called the old stone age of about two and a half million years ago during a time when people chipped rudimentary stone tools.
Octopuses are cool. Part of the Cephalopoda class (pronounced sef-uh-luh-pod), which is any member of the phylum Mollusca, a small group of highly advanced and organized marine animals including eight-armed octopuses, ten-armed squids, cuttlefishes, and the shelled chambered nautiluses. Octopus size is so varied it can be as gigantic as a school bus or as small as your finger. Think you know a chameleon? The octopus can beat a chameleon by using more colors to camouflage itself, and it can also change the texture of its skin to mimic a rock or a shelf of coral.
By all account’s snakes are shy, nervous and fast. There are more than 3,500 species and twenty percent of the snakes of the world are dangerous to humans. And the thought of snakes scares Americans the most too, beating out public speaking, fear of heights, thunder and lighting, and the dark. Ophidiophobia (pronounced: AW-fi-dee-a-foe-bee-a from the Greek) is a specific phobia, an abnormal fear of snakes (also referred to as, “herpetophobia”)–or the fear of reptiles.
Finding Their Way Think about this: would you be able to find your way out of unfamiliar woods? Obviously, animals don’t have maps or a GPS (Global Positioning System) device to aid them. According to NASA, instead of ancient star maps, we use satellites. Over 30 navigation satellites are zipping around high above the Earth. These satellites can tell the GPS exactly where we are. Animals don’t use those either. Instead, animals that migrate use their senses and memories to find their routes.
In the 1960s baby aquatic turtles called hatchlings were all the rage. You could order them from catalogs and mail order, where they were packed in small turtle boxes, which often had advertising or other sales schtick on them. Parents felt like turtle owning was a good way to teach responsibility. Soon five-and-dime stores (also called variety stores) had them in the pet department. The most popular type were red eared sliders and they only cost a quarter to fifty cents.
TARDIS. No, you won’t see “Doctor Who” in the background and it isn’t a new movie, jacket, cell phone or pastry. It’s a mission. Tardigrades in Space. Let’s start with the main passenger, the tardigrade, a microscopic animal that has already been in space. It’s true.
One day while you are drying your feet, pulling off your socks or slipping into flipflops, you notice your toes. Not good. A couple nails look yellow and the big toe looks as if it is pulling away from the nail bed. You have a toenail fungus.