Saturday, October 11, 2014

Science Saturday: Field Crickets, Shooting Stars, and Nocturnal Animals!

(It's not the shooting star, but it is the night sky! This is Cassiopeia! :~D )

A few somewhat intriguing facts that may stick to your brain so that you can win in Jeopardy* someday:
  •  Field Crickets mate in the fall before the frost comes. They lay their eggs in the soil to wait out winter. After they do this, when the frost comes, they die.
  • If you can hear crickets, it's the male crickets making all the noise. They have crinkled little wings with 2 unique parts: a ridged vein called a file and a hardened section called a scraper. They can alternate which file and which scraper they use, but commonly they are right-winged. They use the right file and the left scraper.
  • Females can be distinguished by their tidy, song-less wings.
  • Shooting Stars are not stars that are shooting past. 
  • In fact they consist of a piece of debris that collided with the Earth's atmosphere. The friction of the high speed of moving through the atmosphere gives it a glowing appearance until it melts and vaporizes.
  • During the time it is visible, it's called a Meteor. If doesn't vaporize, and reaches the Earth intact, it is a Meteorite. 
  • One of the most well-known nocturnal animal is the Bat. Bats are a small insect-eating mammal with a unique gift of echolocation. High frequency sound waves bounce off the objects around them and they know what to eat or and what to avoid hitting into.
  • Owls are another well-known nocturnal animal. Owls are a bird of prey, and while they don't have echolocation, they have marvelous ears to listen for tasty morsels. They also have large light sensitive eyes that are work very well in very little light. One of the best kept secrets of Owls is their silent flight through the forest, due to unique feathers on their wings.
  • The glowing eyes we often associate with nocturnal animals are usually from cats, racoons, porcupines, skunks, and deer. They have special reflectors in their eyes that bounce the light back from behind the retina so the retina has a chance to absorb it.
*If you win in Jeopardy, please give me credit ;~) lol!

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