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NATURE NUGGETS (1)

 
Surprise your friends with these interesting facts!

Nature Nuggets is a place where you can learn interesting facts about God's wonderful creation! Share these facts with your family and friends. It’s one more way to share Jesus.

MORE PAGES 1 2 3
Choose a Nature Nugget from this list to learn about!
The Albatross Not what you think!
Not Just a Group! Giraffe
Quick Nuggets Bobolink
Wolverine

Firefly

Kangaroo Crickets
Great Horned Owl How’s your Nature IQ?

shutterstock.com/ Harold Stiver

THE ALBATROSS
  • The Albatross has the longest wingspan of any bird—from 8 to 11 ½ feet (251 to 350 cm).
  • It can stay airborne for more than 2 hours without flapping its wings.
  • It drinks salt water.
  • It mates for life and lives up to 50 years.
  • Parents lay and incubate one egg that is almost 4 inches long.
  • Parents feed the chick for 3 months until winter sets in and then leave the chick alone and unfed for up to 3 months before they return to feed the chick for another 3 to 6 months until it can fly.
  • Once chicks leave the nest they don't return to land until they reach sexual maturity between 5 and 10 years of age, during which time they fly thousands of miles.

When it comes to nature, A GROUP is not just a GROUP!
  • A group of twelve or more cows is called a flink.
  • A group of goats is called a trip.
  • A group of hares is called a husk.
  • A group of finches is called a charm.
  • A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle;
    a group of geese in the air is a skein.
  • A group of kangaroos is called a mob.
  • A group of whales is called a pod.
  • A group of ravens is called a murder.
  • A group of officers is called a mess.
  • A group of larks is called an exaltation.
  • A group of owls is called a parliament.
  • A group of frogs is called an army.
  • A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance.
  • A group of parrots is called a pandemonium.
  • A group of wombats is called a wisdom.
  • A group of finches is called a charm.
  • A group of penguins is called a rookery.
  • A group of rattlesnakes is called a rumba.
  • A group of raccoons is called a gaze.
  • A group of elephants is called a memory.
  • A group of otters is called a romp.
  • A group of ducks is called a paddling.

I wonder what a group of
nature nuggets is called?

QUICK NATURE NUGGETS
A snail can sleep for three years. A thimbleful of a neutron star would weigh over 100 million tons. An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.
The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint - no two lions have the same pattern of whiskers. Cows poop 16 times each day and produce around 65 pounds of manure each day.
Each domestic cow emits about 105 pounds of methane a year. Humans have 46 chromosomes, peas have 14, and crayfish have 200.
If every star in the Milky Way was a grain of salt they would fill an Olympic sized swimming pool. Rice plants may have up to 55,000 genes. A starfish doesn't have a brain.
Each person sheds 40lbs of skin in his or her lifetime. A cockroach can live for nine days without its head. The temperature at the center of the Earth is estimated to be 5500 degrees Celsius.
Eyes of giant squids can be 15 inches across and are the largest on the planet.
Flamingos can only eat with their heads upside down. Texas horned toads can shoot blood out of the corners or their eyes. Alligators cannot move backwards.
The common garden worm has five pairs of hearts. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
A gold fish's memory span is three seconds. Emus can't walk backwards.
To keep cool, ostriches urinate on their legs; it then evaporates like sweat, The only animal with four knees is the elephant.  


wikimedia/Zefram

WOLVERINE
  • The Wolverine is the largest land-dwelling member of the weasel family.
  • They are the size of small dogs (25-55 pounds) and look like a small bear with a long tail.
  • They have strong jaws, sharp claws, a tough hide and are very, very fierce.
  • They have been known to stand up against wolves, cougars and bears.
  • They have a back molar that points inward which they use for tearing frozen meat and cracking bones.
  • Wolverines make dens in deep snow usually above 5000 feet.
  • They mate in the summer but the embryos don’t implant and start growing until winter when the female is in her den. Kits are born 30-50 days later.

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wikipedia/Rileypie
KANGAROO
  • A male kangaroo is called a boomer. A female is called a flyer. A baby is called a joey.
  • Kangaroos have no thumbs on their short little arms.
  • They can leap 10 feet high and as far as 40 feet.
  • They can hop 40 miles per hour.
  • They balance on their big tail and use it as an extra leg when walking.
  • The baby (joey) is born very tiny and crawls into the mother’s pouch where it holds onto a teat and drinks. Joeys live inside the pouch until they are quite big.
  • When scared, the joey sometimes jumps into his mother’s pouch headfirst.
  • When European explorers first saw these strange hopping creatures they asked a native Australian aborigine what it was called. The man said, “Kangaroo” which meant, “I don’t understand.” And that’s how the kangaroo got its name.
  • A kangaroo can go for months without drinking.

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They aren’t what you think!

   
Fireflies aren’t flies;
they are beetles.

The horned toad is not a toad;
it’s a lizard.
Starfish aren’t fish; they’re echinoderms. The electric eel is not an eel, it’s a
type of fish called a knifefish.

Mongooses aren’t birds; they’re small mammals found in Asia
and “Africa.


Daddy longlegs isn’t a spider.
(It has only one body segment
and it doesn’t spin webs.)

Bald eagles aren’t really bald. Its name comes from the old English word balded, which means “having white fur or feathers.”

Spiders aren’t insects; they are arachnids. (Insects have 3 body parts and six legs; arachnids have 2 body parts and eight legs.)


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GIRAFFE
  • Giraffes only sleep from 5 to 30 minutes in 24 hours.
  • Despite the length of its neck, a giraffe has the same number of cervical vertebrae as a human.
  • Every time a giraffe lifts up its neck it picks up 550 pounds.
  • A newborn giraffe measures about 6 feet, and is born with horns.
  • Each giraffe has a unique coat pattern.
  • A giraffe's age can be calculated from its spots: the darker the spots, the older the giraffe.
  • A giraffe's heart is 24 pounds in weight and 2 feet in length.
  • A giraffe seldom lies down, it can sleep as well as give birth standing up!

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wikimedia/D. Gordon E. Robertson
BOBOLINK
  • A distinctive bird of open grasslands, the Bobolink is the only American bird that is black underneath and white on the back. This coloring makes the male stand out while he is performing his displays. After breeding he changes into a drab, camouflaged plumage to spend the rest of the year.

  • The Bobolink is an extraordinary migrant, traveling to south of the equator each autumn and making a round-trip of approximately 12,500 miles. One female, known to be at least 9 years old, presumably made this trip annually--a total distance equal to traveling 4.5 times around the earth at the equator.

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wikimedia/Bruce Marlin

FIREFLY

  • There are 2,000 species of fireflies worldwide. North American fireflies spend two years underground as larvae, then spend the final two weeks of their lives as adults, flashing, mating and laying eggs.

  • An enzyme in the firefly’s tail drives a chemical reaction that makes light. All firefly larvae glow as a warning to would-be predators that they produce bitter chemicals that make them an unpleasant meal.

  • Each species of firefly has its own pattern of flashes. The fireflies flashing in the air are all males. The females sit in the grass and observe. They look for flash patterns of males of their own species, and respond with a single flash of their own.

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FIELD CRICKETS

Field crickets are black in color and ½ to 1-1 ¼ inches long. They are generally found in pastures and meadows. They damage field crops like wheat, oats, rye and alfalfa and apparently like corn and soybeans.  Actually, crickets feed on just about anything. They will eat plants, dead insects, seeds, leather, paper and old cloth (especially if the cloth is stained by food or perspiration). They are particularly fond of wool and silk. (As if moths weren't enough, now I need to worry about crickets. 
I wonder if moth balls work?)

  • A cricket's life begins as one of about 300 eggs a female lays in the soil during late summer and fall.  They overwinter as eggs and hatch in the spring. The life span of a cricket is less than one year.  Only after shedding their skin several times do they develop wings.

  • Crickets are able to jump to twenty or thirty times their body length, which is about three feet into the air.  Instead of getting a head start, they just stand still and take a big leap.
     
  • The chirp of crickets is made when the left forewing is raised to a 45 degree angle and rubbed against the upper hind edge of the right forewing.  (That's what gives the impression of fiddling in The Cricket in Times Square.)  Depending on the species and the temperature of the environment, crickets chirp at different rates. The relationship between temperature and the rate of chirping is known as Dolbear's Law.  According to this law, it is possible to calculate the Fahrenheit temperature by adding 40 to the number of chirps produced in 15 seconds.
     
  • Crickets have an eardrum for hearing, but it's not where you'd expect. If you look closely at the front leg right below the elbow, you will see a small pale spot that is the eardrum.  Their compound eyes enable them to see in several directions simultaneously.

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wikimedia/Jon Sullivan (PD Photo.org)

How’s your Nature IQ?

QUESTION:
Do sunflowers always turn their faces to the sun and follow the sun from east to west?
 
ANSWER: Only some types of younger sunflowers do this. It's called "phototropism". Photo = light, tropism = the tendency of a plant or animal to move or turn in response to an external stimulus, such as sunlight or temperature.In sunflowers the sunlight causes a chemical reaction that weakens the cell walls on the side of the plant away from the light. This weakening lets the cells swell on that side of the plant, pushing the plant the other way, i.e., towards the light.Even though the sun sets in the west, the young sunflowers will turn to face the east overnight in anticipation of the sun rising the next morning.

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GREAT HORNED OWL


Wikimedia/Greg Hume

Great horned owls are the earliest nesting bird of prey. Instead of building a nest, they move into the previous year’s nest of a large bird such as a hawk, crow or magpie or even a squirrel. Not much repair work is done on the old nests, but they are usually lined with breast feathers and down. The female owl lays 1-4 white eggs in February, and incubates them for about 28 days. Unless he is hunting, the male is usually perched nearby. If the eggs freeze, they lay a new clutch, or even a third. Once hatched, the young remain in the nest, unable to fly for 10 to 12 weeks.

During this time, great horned owls are prolific hunters, reportedly depleting local populations of small mammals in just a short time. The lack of green foliage increases the success of winter hunting and is the primary reason for the early nesting season of the great horned owl. By beginning so early, great horned owls can fledge their young from the nest before the vegetation becomes too thick and prey become difficult to find.

Rabbits are the meal of choice when available, but great horned owls eat quite a variety of things, such as squirrels, mice, prairie dogs, birds, cats, and even skunks. They swallow food whole or in large pieces, then later cough up pellets containing the undigested parts such as fur, feathers, larger bones, beaks, teeth, etc. If you find an owl pellet, you can usually tell what it has been eating.

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    clipart from shutterstock.com/ Aratehortua  
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