Thursday, August 03, 2006

Odd Bits of Info

Researched scavengers yesterday. Did you know that an adult cockroach can live for a week without its head? Then it dies of thirst because without its head it is unable to drink water. [LINK]

Komodo dragons, the largest species of monitor lizard, live on only a few islands in Indonesia (though, since they swim, they could move if they wanted to). Males grow to an average of 9 feet long. The record is 10 feet. Females are smaller.

They have 50 different kinds of bacteria in their saliva, of which 7 cause severe and deadly blood poisoning. So even if the prey escapes the initial attack, it will most likely die within 2 to 4 days.

Komodo dragons can smell carrion -- the largest part of their diet -- from up to 6 3/4 miles away.

A tiger needs 12 pounds of food a day, a wolf 7, but a komodo dragon only one. [LINK]

The forked tongue common to many species of reptile is an organ of smell. Being forked allows the lizard to determine which direction the smell is coming from.

In China recently they unearthed the fossils of two large mammals believed to have lived concurrently with the dinosaurs, and which fed on dinosaurs (one had young dinosaur in its belly). They resemble very large Tasmanian Devils. This blows away the standard and long- held view that mammals were only nocturnal shrew and mole type creatures that hid away in holes and underbrush and had to wait until the dinosaurs died before they could emerge as a dominant class. [LINK]

The same Hebrew word is used for jackal in the Bible as is used for dragon...

Research is fun, but now it's back to work.