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Natural Wonderings

 
 
Heliotrope
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2004 08:45 am
Re: Natural Wonderings
Roberta wrote:
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?

The cobra is also highly sensitive to infrared radiation. Your eyes and those of other animals are big infrared emitters. They're very warm basically. The cobra doesn't respond to images of faces and it does spray fairly generally as has been said but it's aiming for the head where the poison can be ingested and can damage vital organs associated with survival.
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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?

Lions pretty much all think the same way. They are all driven by instinct and that instinct is the same in all lions. It' doesn't work all the time naturally. I have seen prides that have brought down three or more vulnerable animals at once.
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Constricting snakes sometimes kill and eat animals that have horns. How can they do that and not get hurt?

If you have a close look at a horn you'll see it's not exactly sharp. It's most certainly not as sharp as a knife or a needle. Humans can easily swallow knitting needles, forks, drawing pins etc... without serious harm or any harm in most cases, even razor blades have been consumed without ill effect apart from havig several pounds of stainless steel rapidly corroding in the hostile environs of the stomach of course.
Most horns are made from keratin, bone, tooth or hair. The rhino horn is actually stiff and matted hair (keratin). It doesn't stop it going right through you though if the rhino is annoyed and decides to eliminate you.
The keratin and bone can all be digested in the stomach. The horns that are basically extended teeth or sharp and pointed teeth can be passed through the body the same way as if you swallowed a tooth.
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When the female is in heat, some animals will mate 20 or 30 times a day. ???????? And !!!!

You need to speak to my ex-girlfriend. We managed a similar number a few times.
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Swifts can stay aloft for up to three years. They sleep while they're flying. How do they keep from falling?

They use the same method as dolphin. Half their brain goes to sleep while the other half gets on with flying.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2004 01:22 am
Heliotrope, Thanks mucho. You are obviously very knowledgeable about animals. You've seen lions take down prey--in person!? I'm impressed and envious.

Interesting about dolphins and swifts. Does this apply to other aquatic mammals?

And finally, what's your ex-girlfriend's number? I gotta check this out. :-)
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2004 01:24 am
On second thought, never mind her number. What's yours?
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2004 04:45 pm
Re: Natural Wonderings
Roberta wrote:
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.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2004 04:53 pm
While I'm at it I have a question you might want to ponder. There are certain birds that are nest parasites, such as the cowbird, and cuckoos. They lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species who then raise the aliens. If bird is raised by another species, how does it get its identity? How does it recognize another bird of its own species for the purpose of mating?
0 Replies
 
 

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