Thursday, September 6, 2012
Earwigs are found throughout the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Australia and New Zealand. With about 2,000 species in 12 families, they are one of the smaller insect orders. Earwigs have a characteristic pair of forceps pincers on their abdomen, and wings folded underneath short forewings know as "skin wings." Earwigs rarely use their ability to fly.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Six-lined racerunners have six light blue to yellow lines running the length of their body. Males have a pale blue belly and throat. The hind feet are much longer than the front and the fourth toe on the hind foot is extremely long. They can be up to 12 in (30 cm) long.
This lizard lives in open, dry grasslands and sandy areas. Six-lined racerunners are very fast and can outrun most humans attempting to catch them. However, when you see one of these active, alert lizards, you can usually watch it if you don’t get too close. These lizards rarely climb and often take refuge in burrows if frightened. They eat a variety of insects.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
- The peregrine falcon's scientific name is Falco peregrinus, which means "falcon wanderer".
- Three subspecies are recognized in North America: F.p. pealei from the coastal islands off Alaska; F.p. tundrius, which nests above the tree line in the Arctic; and F.p. anatum, which once ranged over North America from coast to coast.
- Peregrine falcons are about the size and weight of a crow.
- Peregrines normally grow to 15 inches in length with a 40-inch wingspan.
- The speed of a peregrine has been said to reach 175 miles per hour or more. Experiments conducted by scientists put the bird's diving speed at approximately 82 miles per hour and level flight at approximately 62 miles per hour.
- Females are larger and more powerful than males. Adults have slate dark blue-gray wings and backs barred with black, pale undersides, white faces with a black stripe on each cheek, and large, dark eyes. Their wings are long and pointed.
- Their prey includes ducks, pheasants, and pigeons. Biologists are frequently surprised by the variety of species brought to Ohio nests. Remains of meadowlarks, chimney swifts, and woodcock show that falcons find many different birds in their urban surroundings.
- Prey is caught in flight. Using its great speed, the falcon delivers a powerful blow to its prey with a half-closed foot. It retrieves the dead bird either in mid-air or after it falls to the ground.
- Although they have a high mortality rate, peregrines have been known to live as long as 15 years.