This is a bit off the norm, but it is very fascinating!
Wild and wooly way to start the Saturday! I love these weird things!
1. The tuatara is a lizard-like creature endemic to New Zealand, and it is thought to have existed for at least 200 million years (if you believe in evolution, or 6,000 years if you believe in special creation). The most fascinating aspect of tuataras is their third eye – complete with lens, cornea, rods and nerve tissue connecting it to their brain. This suggests that the eye was a fully functioning eye in times gone by. By six months of age the eye is covered by scales. Tuataras are the only remaining species of the sphenodontia genus.
2. Another fascinating fact about ants is that some species send their queen into neighboring nests, where she will bite the head off the resident queen and begin laying her own eggs to take over.
3. On average, sharks kill 10 humans every year. But here is the thing: approximately 100 people die each year when they are stepped on by cows. Remember that next time you are in a field of cattle.
4. Woodpeckers slam their heads into wood at a rate of 20 pecks per second. What protects them from injury is a spongy area that sits behind their beaks and acts as a shock absorber.
5. In the seventeenth century, when anti-Catholicism and anti-papacy was rife throughout the puritan world, puritans would stuff wicker effigies of the Pope with live cats and then set it on fire – taking much glee in the screaming anguish of the poor cats.
6. Unlike most animals, the word for butterfly in European languages do not resemble each other. In German it is schmetterling, in French it is papillon, in Spanish it is mariposa, in Italian it is farfalla, in Dutch it is vlinder, and in portuguese it is borboleta.
7. To vomit, some frogs spew out their entire stomach, rinse it off with their right hand, and then push it back in.
8. The hoatzin (pronounced watseen) bird is a vegetarian which, due to its strict vegetable diet, has stomachs similar to a cows to help it digest. The need for large amounts of food makes these birds very heavy, and consequently bad fliers.
9. Manatees have two teets beneath their forelimbs, which is very likely to be the cause of the many tales of mermaids heard around the world in the days of great sea voyages.
10. Here is one for all the animal rights activists. The giant tortoise was often killed for its delicious oil, which was considered by the Dutch the only way to make the flesh of the now extinct Dodo bird palatable. The flesh of the giant turtle is sufficient to feed several men and virtually every part of it is a taste sensation (including the bone marrow and eggs).
Over at Listverse where I found this article, they had pictures but I decided against including them here. I haven't had my coffee yet and I wasn't quite ready to face this yet!
Speaking of coffee, let's have ours out on the patio this morning. Hopefully it won't rain!