Birds and Bugs

  • An eagle can kill a young deer and fly away with it
  • Over 1,000 birds a year die from smashing into windows
  • Ants stretch when they wake up in the morning
  • The ant, when intoxicated, will always fall over to its right side
  • A hummingbird weighs less than a penny
  • The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards
  • Slugs have 4 noses (I know this is not quite “insect”, but I don’t want to have one just for slugs)
  • Owls are the only birds who can see the color blue
  • Honeybees have hair on their eyes
  • In its entire lifetime, the average worker bee produces 1/12th teaspoon of honey
  • Bats always turn left when exiting a cave (OK, not quite a bird, but they fly…)
  • The penguin is the only bird who can swim, but not fly
  • A one-day old baby cockroach, about the size of a spec of dust, can run almost as fast as its parents
  • The Madagascan Hissing Cockroach is one of the few insects who give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs
  • The world’s largest roach (which lives in South America) is six inches long with a one-foot wingspan
  • A cockroach can live a week without its head. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst
  • Roaches can live without food for a month, but will only survive a week without water
  • The oldest group of insects are the cockroaches, dating back 300 million years
  • Bats always turn left when exiting a cave (it’s not a bird, I know, but it flies…)
  • A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours
  • Dragonflies are one of the fastest insects, flying 50 to 60 mph
  • The male deer bot fly is reputed to develop flying speeds of several hundred miles per hour, but this is probably an exaggeration. A tabanid fly, related to horse flies, has been clocked at 90 miles per hour. Hawk moths have been timed at 33.5 miles per hour. A dragonfly of the species Anax parthenope has been clocked at almost 18 miles per hour. Honeybees fly at about 7 miles per hour, and have to beat their wings 190 times per second to do it
  • Painted ladies migrating from Africa to England must travel over 3,000 miles
  • The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head
  • Baby robins eat 14 feet of earthworms every day
  • An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain and weighs 3.3 pounds
  • Crickets hear through their knees
  • A flamingo can eat only when its head is upside down
  • There are more plastic flamingoes in the United States than real ones
  • The average chocolate bar has 8 insect legs in it
  • Fleas can jump 130 times higher than their own height. In human terms this is equal to a 6 foot person jumping 780 feet into the air
  • Homing pigeons use roads where possible to help find their way home. In fact, some pigeons followed roads so closely that they actually flew around traffic circles before choosing the exit that led them home
  • The queen of a termite colony may lay 6,000 to 7,000 eggs per day, and may live 15 to 50 years
  • The biggest group of insects are the beetles, numbering 330,000 species (wow!)
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