Sunday, October 19, 2014

Science Saturday: Chipmunks, Daddy Longlegs and Frost!

(My Dad took this picture the other day!)

Marvelous, mildly-mediocre, interesting facts:
  • Chipmunks are different from Squirrels by the mere fact that they live underground while Squirrels live in trees. They usually make burrows near logs, stumps, or boulders.
  • A Chipmunk's burrow is more than a place to hide. They make chambers for food storage, sleeping chamber, and an exit tunnel. If it's a female, she would also make herself a nesting chamber.
  • They do hibernate some, but they also need to eat through out the winter. This is when the food storage chambers come into play. They can easily access them so that they can eat when they need to.
  • Daddy Longlegs are not spiders, but they are part of the Arachnid family. Spiders have 2 distinct sections of their body (the cephalothorax and the abdomen) while Daddy Longlegs have one section (the cephalothorax and abdomen are combined).
  • Daddy Longlegs do not have silk glands for spinning webs. They also don't have poison glands for paralyzing prey. Daddy Longlegs do have a unique gland that emits an offensive smell to their predators.
  • Their legs aren't just for moving, they are also important sensory equipment. They can be used to sense the surroundings. If anything happens to the second pair of legs, the Daddy Longlegs will most likely die within a short time.
  • Frost is a turning point in the fall. It kills the vulnerable plants as the temperature drops below 32* F. 
  • You may think of frost as frozen dew, but in reality frost is more crystal-like, an akin to snow.
  • Frost occurs when it's a clear night and the temperature drops below 32* F. The vapor in the air freezes into what we know as frost.

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