Re: Natural Wonderings
One of my major interests in life is animals. I read about them and watch lots of TV shows about them. Sometimes I stop and wonder. . .
A spitting cobra spits at the eyes of whatever or whomever it's spitting at. How does it know where my eyes are, as opposed to a rat or a warthog? What if I'm wearing glasses? What if I'm wearing a T-shirt with a face on it?
Lions hunt in prides. They pick out the target prey and work as a group to bring it down. How does one lion know which prey another lion has selected?
Constricting snakes sometimes kill and eat animals that have horns. How can they do that and not get hurt?
Some animals eat other animals while they're still alive and kicking. Do the victims ever manage to crawl out?
Swifts can stay aloft for up to three years. They sleep while they're flying. How do they keep from falling?
That's it for now. I welcome answers--actual or speculative. I also wonder if others wonder about similar things. And if so, what do you wonder about?
Many snakes swallow live prey, and usually the prey can't escape because the snake's fine teeth are curved backwards. Should a snake grab an animal that is too large to swallow it will eventually turn it loose. Toads have the capacity to enlarge themselves by inflating their bodies as a strategy which often succeeds; however, the hognose snake—Heterodon sp.—has a pair of enlarged rear teeth for puncturing the toad.
What animal that has horns is small enough for a snake to eat? A snake always swallow its prey head first, and it would be unable to work its mouth around the large horns. There are some very small, cocker spaniel sized antelopes, however, that have small horns, eg, the duiker and the dik-dik, but the horns are small—more like spurs—and a large python could probably swallow one of these antelopes.
As for lions hunting in groups, not only lions but other social predators, such as wolves, learn to work in tandem and run prey animals past their ambushing hunting partners.
Swiftts sleep at night as other diurnal birds do. If you watch swifts during dusk, you'll see them one by one flying in chimneys, hence the name, chimney swifts. They not only sleep in chimneys, they nest there as well.
DLowan gave good information on the spitting cobras.