Fun Facts

By Karey Burek

I recently found out some odd, but fascinating and ultimately fun facts about some unique animals.  Letís start with the birds-just like city folk, city birdís talk louder and faster than country birds. No joke.  They hit higher notes too, which scientists believe is very important to their survival.  Why?  Because they need to be heard over the low-frequency racket of planes and cars.

Did you know that catís pupils get larger when the lights get dimmer?  That has to sound familiar, because that is how our eyes work too.  But did you know that their pupils also get larger at moments of intense emotion-good or bad.  

Hyenas are a laugh a minute, but did you know they are also hopeless romantics?  Neither did I.  The laws of the jungle have lead me to believe that males dominate, and those are the males that are king of their castle.  However, in the realm of the hyena, dominant males are the losers.  The males who approach gently, make friends and offer their grooming services tend to sire the most puppies.  

What is the worldís oldest living thing?  Known as the Methuselah Tree, a bristlecone pine in California is now about 5,000 years old.  That means that it was just a new seedling when the pyramids of Egypt were being built.  So where is this tree located?  It can be found in the Inyo National Forest, but the Forest Service officials will not release any photos because they are keeping its precise location a secret.

Last but not least-bird watchers in Wales just came across what may prove to be the oldest bird!  A manx shearwater was discovered that had been ringed when it was six years old.  The date on the ring was 1957, which makes the bird 52 years old and still flying!  Way to go!

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