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May 27 – What is ambergris?

May 27, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Ambergris (pronounced am-ber-grees) is derived from French ambre gris and literally signifies “gray amber.” Ambergris is a solid, fatty, wax-like substance produced in the intestines of whales. It occurs only in the sperm whale (cachalot) and is believed to be caused in some way by the beaks of cuttlefish that are often found in it. Cuttlefish and squids …

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Can snakes poison themselves?

May 26, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Naturalists are agreed that venomous snakes are immune to their own poison when it is swallowed. There is a difference of opinion, however, as to whether snakes are susceptible to their own poison when it is injected into their blood. The late Raymond L. Ditmars believed they were not. On the other hand, reputable authorities state that rattlesnakes …

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Are elephants afraid of mice?

May 21, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

That elephants are particularly afraid of mice is a widespread belief. In The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine, a play written about 1595 and formerly often ascribed to Shakespeare, we find: Have you not seen a mighty elephant Slain by the biting of a silly mouse? But the notion that elephants are afraid of mice does …

Can snakes bite through leather shoes?

May 20, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Such snakes as the bushmaster, rattlesnake and Gaboon viper have long, powerful fangs and are able, under favorable circumstances, to bite through soft leather and rubber of the thickness generally used in making shoes, boots and leggings. No species of snake, however, is able to bite through the hard, thick leather used in heavy boots, …

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Do hogs cut their throats in swimming?

May 14, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

It is commonly believed that hogs will cut their throats by striking them with the sharp points of their cloven front feet if they swim any considerable distance. The forelegs of hogs are set closely under the body and for that reason they are not generally good swimmers; but hogs that are not too fat …

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How do worms get into chestnuts?

May 12, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

  The so-called worms often found in chestnuts are the larvae of the chestnut weevil, a yellowish beetle with a long beak or snout. During the blooming season, usually in June or July, the female beetle bores, through the burr of the chestnut and deposits her small white eggs in the immature nut. When hatched …

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What is a bull bat?

April 29, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Bull bat is a popular name for the nighthawk, although it is also sometimes applied to the whippoorwill, a closely related species. The term is used in the sense of a large bat. The nighthawk is nocturnal in habits like the bat and somewhat resembles that flying mammal in its swift, dashing flight. This bird, …

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Do bears hug their enemies to death?

April 26, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

The proverbial hugging propensity of bears is probably a myth, notwithstanding a vast amount of alleged testimony to the contrary. Literature, reference works and books on natural history contain numerous references to the “crushing embrace” or “deadly hug” of bears. Alexander Pope wrote: ” ‘Tis a bear’s talent not to kick, but hug.” Nearly all …

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What do moles eat?

April 21, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Common garden moles are insectivorous, not vegetarian. Contrary to common belief, they very seldom eat vegetable food of any kind, their chief diet consisting of earthworms, grubs and various insects in the adult and larva stages. When the stomachs of these animals are examined vegetable food is not often found, and it is doubtful whether …

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Is the silver fox a distinct species?

April 11, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

The silver fox is not a separate species. It is merely a phase of the red fox. The black fox, the platinum fox and the so-called cross fox also be­long to the red fox species. Typical silver foxes have a silvery appearance, due to the white tips on many of the hairs. The bushy tail …

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