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Natural Wonderings

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 09:03 am
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?

When the female is in heat, some animals will mate 20 or 30 times a day. ???????? And !!!!

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?
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Brand X
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 09:07 am
Fascinating wonders, berta.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 09:36 am
hnh, I bet I could add to your list.... but, I don't think I could answer any of your queries.
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Wilso
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 09:39 am
Isn't evolution an amazing thing?
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Brand X
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 09:56 am
littlek wrote:
hnh, I bet I could add to your list.... but, I don't think I could answer any of your queries.


Me too, like why do rabbits have stripes...
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:14 am
ha!
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BoGoWo
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:20 am
some animals have a leader that is representative of a supernatural deity, and when they are told by him not to use birth control, devices, in spite of the obvious need to curtail the growing population (except that population growth is a short term bonus to the chuch itself - coincidence?), they actual listen, and obey.
strange world indeed!
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BoGoWo
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:24 am
and, a little closer to topic, what method is used to track an individual swift, to accertain that it has stayed aloft for three years?
don't believe everything you read Roberta; especially when i write it!
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:27 am
Monarch butterflies - the seemingly random movements of these beauties wind them up in the exact same spot every year in Mexico.
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BoGoWo
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:30 am
lil' K; does your bedroom seem a totally 'random' choice, when you go there to 'mate'?
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 11:02 am
nope. why?
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BoGoWo
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 11:15 am
nothing, just if you see some Monarchs lurking in the corners of the room...........
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Marts
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 11:27 am
Re: Natural Wonderings
Roberta wrote:


Swifts can stay aloft for up to three years. They sleep while they're flying. How do they keep from falling?


Observed this on a recent BBC documentary. they apparently soar to a great height where they rest on the wing Surprised

Ciao ciao - Marts
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BoGoWo
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 11:43 am
i wonder how many wake up just 'pre-splat'!

i imagine their insurance rates are astronomical!
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oldandknew
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 12:20 pm
large waves crashing on rocks or harbour walls.
the sound and the visual power give me a real buzz and a soaking if i don't take care
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gustavratzenhofer
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 12:51 pm
Quote:
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?


They don't actually spit, but rather spray, much like a skunk. And they don't specifically aim for your eyes but you sure as hell feel it in your eyes. Kind of like getting maced. What's the first thing you do? That's right, start screaming and furiously rubbing your eyes. Same thing with the spitting cobra. You're getting nailed all over by the mist but just don't notice it as much, if at all.

I try to refrain from encountering spitting cobras while taking casual strolls. So far I've been highly successful -- no encounters.

I have, however, had several women spit at me. But their saliva doesn't blind you.
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margo
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 01:53 pm
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
I have, however, had several women spit at me. But their saliva doesn't blind you.


So far, boyo - but keep going the way you are, and........
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Roberta
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 04:54 pm
Brand X, I can only assume that bunnies have stripes for the same reasons that tigers and zebras have stripes. So they can blend in with the environment. And some bunnies have stranger stripes than others.

Bo, As for the animals with the deity, go figure. As for the swifts, I wouldn't be at all surprised if some scientist stuck some kind of tracking device of one or several of them.

littlek, I was kinda surprised when I found out that monarch butterflies were so precise in their migration. All that flitting looks so random.

Gus, First, I must say that I'm a bit relieved that you haven't encountered any spitting cobras in your nature walks. Whew. Second, I'm surprised to hear that they shpritz, not spit. I've seen them in films. Looks like spitting to me. And they appear to be aiming for the person's head. But hey, what do I know. As for women's spit being nonvenomous, I wouldn't be so sure. Human bites are dangerous because of all the ooky stuff in our saliva. So if the spit landed on an open wound, you could be in deep doodoo. Behave yourself.

One more wondering. I have a cat. He eats; I eat. He goes to the bathroom (sorry about the euphemism); I go to the bathroom. In these two instances, I'm fairly sure that he knows that he and I are doing the same things. However, he yawns, and I yawn. When I yawn, does he know that I'm doing the same thing that he does when he yawns?
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dlowan
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 05:32 pm
Animals recognize the eyes of other animals - including humans - and they often do not like staring, cos they think it means aggression/predation (as do we - try staring at a mean-looking stranger for too long!) - so the cobras would know where the eyes are!

The streams from the spitters are ejected from their their poisonous fangs - they start as streams, but feather out as they go....
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BoGoWo
 
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Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2004 09:23 am
you know Roberta, i was thinking just the same thing (the 'eyes' thing) about my cats recently, and i came to the conclusion that the eyes are the prime 'giveaway' of 'body language'.
Animals watch the eyes of any 'confronter' for clues of intent.
Why do they do it? Probably an instinctive hard wiring from evolutionary success - it works; has survival value.

Since most animals (my female cat excepted; who i should have named 'Alice', as she is always scratching on a mirror by the door, thinking that she will be able to get through into 'Wonderland') do not have access to mirrors, they probably no not realize, or think about the fact that they have eyes just like others. But still use the 'eye messenger' to keep them aware.
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