Page 8 - Animal Facts

This lobster is half male, half female. But for typical lobsters, urine plays a huge role in lobster mating. Find out more

It is not easy to fathom the complex, conflict-driven world of lobsters, but let us begin by looking at what it takes for a male lobster to 'score'. A male lobster usually has to establish himself as the 'main man' or alpha male in his territory by becoming the local boxing champion.

This process is something like a mobster action movie. Every night, he goes out and beats up all the other lobsters in the area and kicks them all out of their homes - just as a reminder of who's in charge. Lobsters have urine-release nozzles right under their eyes, and they squirt urine at each other's faces when fighting. The urine carries messages. It relays to other lobsters how aggressive or belligerent or dominant a lobster is.

The problem is that the alpha male is so belligerent that he's never in a mood for romance and the females, who find him extremely attractive, have to work rather hard to convince him that he is 'into' them. How do they do this? They urinate! They go to the dominant male's shelter entrance and squirt pheromone-laced urine into his lair during each visit.

This relaxes him and he starts to swoon a little bit. Then they do the little rituals, dance around a bit and get down to business.


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.


Some awesome lists!

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.


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.



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