Page 7 - Animal Facts

Wolverines in Michigan hadn't been seen in over 200 Years...until now.

Last sighted by fur traders in the late 1700s, the Michigan wolverine has made its appearance in the state once again—and not just as athletes at the University of Michigan.

The small but vicious member of the weasel family was spotted by coyote hunters 90 miles north of Detroit. While present-day sightings have been limited to northern Canada, Idaho, and Alaska, the Michigan sighting, confirmed by a wildlife biologist, marks the first in the state in over 200 years.

The appearance of the wolverine is unprecedented, and experts conclude that the animal may have traveled into Michigan, been released into the wild, or escaped captivity. The wolverine, also called carcajou and skunk bears, is the largest species in the family of weasels and more closely resembles a bear.

Though small and weighing up to 25 pounds, the wolverine has powerful jaws, thick claws, and a strength beyond its size. Wolverines have been known to ferociously attack prey larger than itself, including deer, caribou, and porcupines.

The wolverine was removed from Michigan's endangered species list in the late 1990s under the assumption that the animal wouldn't return to the state. In 2009, The Wildlife Conservation Society reported that researchers had tagged a young wolverine in Wyoming and tracked it for three months and over 500 miles while it crossed into Northern Colorado.

The world's wolverine population remains unknown.


Baby red kangaroos are smaller than cherries when they are born!

The world's largest marsupial is the red kangaroo. They live in groups, called mobs, in the Australian deserts and open grasslands.

The red kangaroos hop on their powerful hind legs and can reach speeds of over 35 miles an hour. They can cover 25 feet in a single leap and can jump 6 feet high. Kangaroos' legs cannot move independently of one another, so they have to hop everywhere.

A baby kangaroo is smaller than a cherry at birth and stays in its mother's pouch and never emerges until it is four months old. Young kangaroos, if threatened, will dive into the pouch of the mother kangaroos until they are about eight months old.

The females of the species are smaller, faster and lighter than the males, but the males are more powerfully built and "box" each other with their strong hind legs when fighting over a potential mate. Kangaroos have sharp claws and can bite to defend themselves against enemies like the dingo.

Millions of red kangaroos can be found in Australia and many of them are killed each year for their skins and for their meat. Kangaroo meat is becoming more and more popular as a food source for humans.


Cows have "best friends" and lower stress rates when they are penned with them

Before you bite into that next burger, you may want to stop and think about the life of the cow that sits before you. Morbid? Maybe a little, but they deserve a little afterthought when you learn how emotionally deep they are.

According to research at Northampton University, cows have "best friends" and are distressed if they're separated. That's right, despite their calm exterior and completely "at peace" blank stare, they have some troubles too. In every herd there are aggressive cows that act out and push their way to the front when it's time to be milked, and submissive cows that try to stay out of the way.

The cow's heart rates and cortisol levels were measured when they were isolated, penned with their best friend, and penned with a stranger cow. The heart rates were significantly lower when they were with their friends, which could provide some real benefits.Milk yields will be higher and bettering their welfare by reducing the stress.


Some awesome lists!

Dogs prefer toys that squeak, but not for the reason you think

Coming home from the pet store is probably one of the most exciting moments in a dog's life. Here, he gets to enjoy his bounty of treats, pillows, and most of all, loud, squeaky toys. But why on Earth do dogs love the sound that could drive nearly every other species insane?

The squeaky toys often resemble animals, or live prey that dogs love to hear. The squeaks resemble an injured field mouse, bird, or any other small prey, that gives away their position and condition that dogs thrive on with their hunting instincts.

Others feel like the squeak is just arbitrary, completely unnecessary to satisfy a dog. All the pup really wants in a rubber toy is complete access to it so he can enjoy chewing on it, fulfilling his natural instincts. The squeaking does amplify the dog's pleasure, providing a pleasant cause-and-effect relationship with the toy.

Some simple tips to dog lovers: Squeaky toys do better with smaller, gentler dogs to avoid dislodging the squeaker and choking them. Also, rubberized toys are the better choice, since they are often dragged outside where plush toys pick up much more dirt and grime.


Another reason to love cats: the sound frequency of a cat's purr can increase bone density and promote healing

Cats have adapted to conserve energy via long periods of rest and sleep. Purring is a low energy mechanism that stimulates muscles and bones without wasting a lot of energy.

As a result, cats do not display as many muscle and bone abnormalities as the domestic dog. It could be that a cat's purring helps alleviate the dysplasia or osteoporotic conditions that are common in dogs.

Cats purr when inhaling and also when exhaling, with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. Various investigations have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and speed up healing.

This link between the sound frequency of a cat's purr and the accelerated healing of bones and muscles could prove helpful for some humans. Bone density loss and muscle atrophy are a serious concern for astronauts during extended periods at zero gravity.

Cats do not only purr when they are happy. Although cats purr when nursing their kittens, or when being petted by their human, they also do so when recovering from an injury. It is therefore more plausible that cat purring is not only a means of communication, but also a potential source of self-healing.



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