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What is a hoop snake?

February 1, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

One of the most persistent snake myths in the United States deals with reptiles known as the stinging snake or hoop snake. This snake, according to the belief, has a venomous stinger in its tail that works like that of a wasp. The snake, it is said, forms itself into a hoop by putting its …

Can horses sleep while standing?

January 30, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Horses have the power to sleep while standing. In 1943 Professor C. F. Winchester, member of the animal husbandry faculty at the University of Missouri, said that experiments indicate that horses rest better on their feet than on their sides. Their legs are provided with muscular mechanisms that cause them to “lock,” as it were, …

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Does the pilot snake pilot other snakes?

January 22, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

The pilot snake, Elaphe obsoleta, gets its popular name from the curious belief that it precedes rattlesnakes and warns them of the approach of danger. According to one version of the belief, the pilot snake is neither male nor female, but a “neuter” rattlesnake that devotes its time to piloting other snakes around. Another version …

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Why is the guinea pig so called?

January 19, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

The name of the guinea pig, which is a native of South America, is one of the unsolved mysteries of etymology. Several plausible theories have been advanced to account for the name. The most popular theory holds that guinea here is merely a corruption of Guiana, which arose from the fact that early writers ‘confused …

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Will the milk of all mammals produce butter?

January 17, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

The milk of all mammals, including the human species, contains a fatty constituent similar to the butter in cow’s milk, and, to quote the United States Bureau of Dairy Industry, “there is no reason to believe that butter could not be made from the milk of any mammal,” although there might be difficulty in obtaining …

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Do snakes go blind during dog days?

January 9, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

There is only a grain of truth in the old belief that snakes go blind during dog days. Before sloughing its skin a snake assumes a dull grayish color and appears to be blind. Shortly before shedding, the eyes of snakes have a milky appearance, owing to the separation of the outer layer of the …

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Can a peacock be a female?

January 5, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

In popular speech any peafowl is called a peacock, whether male or female. Strictly speaking, only the male should be called a peacock. The female is properly called a peahen. Peafowl is the proper term to apply to the birds when speaking of them generally without reference to sex. The young are known as peachicks. …

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What birds are trained to fish for their masters?

December 31, 2016 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

In China, Japan and other parts of the Orient the large sea birds known as cormorants have been trained to fish for man since time immemorial. These birds display remarkable activity under water and they devour fish so greedily that they have become proverbial for their voracity and gluttony. When young they are easily tamed …

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Where do goldfish come from?

December 25, 2016 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Goldfish as we know them do not exist anywhere in the wild state. They are a product of long years of selective breeding. The wild fish from which goldfish were developed belong to the carp family and are still numerous in the streams of China. They do not naturally have the golden hue, but are …

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