Owls Aren't Wise & Bats Aren't Blind: A Naturalist Debunks by Warner Shedd

By Warner Shedd

Have you noticeable a flying squirrel flapping during the air, watched a beaver sporting a load of dust on its tail, or ducked while a porcupine begun throwing its quills? not likely, says Warner Shedd, debunking those and lots of extra renowned myths approximately our animal buddies in Owls will not be clever & Bats are usually not Blind. during this fascinating and eminently readable biology lesson, Warner Shedd, former local govt for the nationwide flora and fauna Federation, deals clinical facts that refutes some of the most farseeing and persevering folklore approximately wild animals. choked with funny anecdotes and engaging proof approximately greater than thirty North American species, Owls usually are not clever & Bats will not be Blind is an pleasing dose of clinical truth for any nature fanatic or armchair adventurer.

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Additional info for Owls Aren't Wise & Bats Aren't Blind: A Naturalist Debunks Our Favorite Fallacies About Wildlife

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Actually, we didn’t put them into regular stews; instead, they were usually sautéed or fricasseed with sour cream to make a delicious gravy to accompany the sweet, tender meat. At about that time, I read a book by Gene Stratton Porter—I believe it was called Moths of the Limberlost—that greatly expanded my interests in the natural world. Soon I was collecting our native giant silkworm moths—cecropia, luna, Io, and their kin. Over the next three or four years I managed to amass a fairly creditable display of these gorgeous but seldom seen creatures.

That name made little sense to the colonists, who observed that this creature could give off a musky scent and had a long, naked tail a bit like that of a Norway rat. Put these two observations—musk and rat—together and they sounded quite similar to musquash, yet seemed to make perfectsense. Voilà, Monsieur Muskrat! As already noted, the muskrat looks much like a small beaver except for its tail, which is nothing like the beaver’s except that it’s hairless. While the beaver’s tail is rounded and relatively short, very wide, and flattened top to bottom, the muskrat’s is long, quite slender, and flattened from side to side.

When it comes to moving about in the water, beavers are extremely well equipped. In addition to the nearly all-purpose tail, the beaver has large, fully webbed hind feet to provide efficient propulsion. These can thrust the big animal through the water with ease, even when the front feet are occupied with carrying mud or rocks. Beavers can also stay underwater for an extraordinarily long time—at least fifteen minutes at a stretch—and they accomplish this feat with lungs of normal size. How is this possible?

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