This is a response to Vol 13 John 7 ("Fables of Bird and Beast")...
Yes, all those things still amaze me too! Unfortunately some of the other animal amazers may not be very exciting to you.
Here are some samples:
And these are just "off the top of my head" amazers!
- Rabbits cannot vomit. This has important ramifications when we are concerned about furballs (trichobezoars for word buffs).
- Most birds do not have urinary bladders. Some that do are ostriches and emus.
- The nasal openings (nares) for the Kiwi are at the END of the beak, not at the top like most other birds.
- A swan's trachea (windpipe) makes a large loop into the sternum (breastbone or keelbone) or into the deep pectoral muscles depending on if a black or white swan. The trachea of mammals is a straight shot to the lungs - no detours!
- Tracheas in birds have complete cartilaginous rings and so if you grab a bird around the neck you will not be able to strangle it (well - not easily). This is not true for mammals. Our trachea has half rings, so it will collapse and we can be strangled.
- Aspirin is highly toxic to cats.
- Chocolate can be very toxic to dogs.
- Man and pigs have several things in common; one is the possession of a uvula (the thing that hangs down in the back of your throat).
- Tuna fish actually are not ectothemic like most other fish (cold-blooded). They can maintain a constant core temperature. See the April 28 Science News. Seaturtles are also not ectothermic. Different mechanisms.
- Goats have retangular pupils.
- Ostriches are very dangerous animals. They can kick and eviscerate a man.
- Alligators have a functional four chambered heart (like mammals). Remember birds and reptiles have three chambered hearts.
- Horses cannot vomit.
- Cheetahs do not have retractable claws like the rest of the feline world.
- Marine fish constantly drink water and freshwater fish seldom do.
- All the domesticated hamsters are descendant from just THREE animals.
- Rabbits can kick so violently that they will break their own backs.
[Editor's note: Drury! This is wonderful! Encore! Encore!]