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Dormouse
by Aniket Kumar
  • In cold climates, some mammals, such as the European Dormouse, hibernate. They do not eat during this period-rather they live on fat stored in their bodies.

  • After several weeks of frequent feeding the adult bald eagles may starve and torment the young into hungry flight by showing them the fish and eating it.

  • The Coelacanth is a primitive bony fish of the Indian Ocean. It is a living fossil having been around for nearly 400 million years.

  • The hooded Pitohui is the only documented example of a poisonous bird. The feathers and skin of the hooded Pitohui contain a powerful neurotoxin which causes numbness and tingling skin in people.

Funda of Fundas

Legend has it that sailors once mistakenly thought manatees were mermaids—hard to believe once you see one up close! Reaching up to 13 feet (4 meters) long and weighing as many as 1,300 pounds (600 kilograms), West Indian manatees look more like small cars than people. Despite their large size, manatees are graceful swimmers. Although they usually move along in slow motion, they can also cruise, or swim at a steady pace, at five miles (eight kilometers) an hour. In short bursts they can even top 15 miles (24 kilometers) an hour!

While cruising, manatees push themselves forward by moving their strong tails up and down. They steer with the help of their flexible flippers. When in shallow water, manatees use their flippers to walk, slowly placing one in front of the other.

Like whales and dolphins, manatees are mammals. Although they live in water, they have to surface frequently to breathe air. While swimming, manatees take in air every three or four minutes. When they are resting, they can stay underwater for up to 15 minutes.

Manatees are gentle animals. They rarely fight, and they have no natural enemies. But these animals—sometimes called sea cows—are often hurt by boats that travel through their waters. The slow-moving animals often can't get out of the way in time, and many have scars from propeller blades.

In the past, manatees have been hunted for their meat, hides, oil, and bones. Over the last hundred years, the number of manatees in the wild has decreased. Now laws are designed to help protect them.

Manatees subsist on water plants and plants that grow at the water's edge. They eat a lot—every day a manatee takes in up to 1 pound (0.5 kilogram) of food for every 10 pounds (5 kilograms) it weighs. If you weighed 80 pounds (36 kilograms), you would have to eat 8 pounds (4 kilograms) of salad a day to keep up with a manatee!

by Aniket Kumar(10 years)  

18-Dec-2005
 
Views: 7824
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