Facts

A REAL BOOKWORM...

Cockroaches will nibble at book-bindings, photographic film, starched linen, leather goods, almost anything... fouling them with strong smelling scents.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST...

A German cockroach can survive a month or more without food... but less than two weeks without water.

TALK ABOUT BEING A GOOD PROVIDER...

In some species of praying mantis, the female begins to eat the male while they are mating. She starts at his head and by the time she reaches his abdomen, mating is completed. By becoming a nourishing meal, the father provides a supply of food for the eggs that are his children.

DON'T PRESS THIS ALARM...

Never squash a yellowjacket wasp near the nest. A dying yellowjacket releases an alarm pheromone that alerts its comrades. In less than 15 seconds, yellowjackets within a 15-foot radius will rally to the victim's aid.

BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER...

Butterfly wings are covered with tiny over-lapping scales. The beautiful, iridescent colors are created by reflecting light, and depend on structure, not pigment.

MASTER OF DISGUISE...

Caterpillars make juicy meals for birds, so they protect themselves by devising various disguises. Some look like bird droppings, others disguise themselves as twigs, and some match the colors of leaves. The eye spots on this caterpillar fools birds into thinking it's a small snake.

SONG OF A CRICKET...

The song of the field cricket is temperature dependent; the tone and tempo drop with the drop in temperature. Count the chirps in 13 seconds, add 40, and you will have the approximate temperature in degrees.

AND YOU SHOULD SEE THAT FAMILY PORTRAIT!...

A female house mouse gives birth to 6 young about 19 days after mating. She is ready to mate again in two days. She can produce 6 to 10 litters a year. Each of her young is ready to mate in two months. Remarkably, all her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great, great-grandchildren can have offspring in the same year. Two mice starting to breed on New Year's Day could theoretically have as many as 31,000 descendants by December 31.

ONCE EVERY SEVENTEEN YEARS IS TOO MUCH...

The periodical cicadas of the eastern United States spend 17 years below ground as nymphs feeding on tree roots. Then they emerge together above ground. They change into adults, lay eggs, and after a few weeks die. We don't see the next generation until 17 years later.

JACK THE RIPPER WAS NOTHING COMPARED TO THIS INSECT...

Mosquitoes pass on the parasite causing malaria, which kills about two million people a year. They are likely responsible for half the human deaths since the stone age.

VOTED LEAST LIKELY TO NEED A MEGAPHONE...

The male cicada may be the loudest insect known. By vibrating the ribbed plates in a pair of amplifying cavities at the base of the abdomen, the mating sound of the cicada may be heard as far as 440 yards.

JUST A WARM-HEARTED FELLOW...

Bumblebees can maintain a body temperature of 86 to 98.6 degrees even when the air is near freezing by a heat producing chemical process in the flight muscles.

JUMPIN' JACK RAT...

Rats can jump three feet straight up, and four feet outwards, from a standing position. They can burrow three feet straight down into the ground; chew through building materials, glass, and cinderblock; swim 1/2 mile in open water and against current in sewer lines; and, climb up inside the pipes with diameters between 1-1/2 and 4 inches. A rat's teeth are so strong, it can bite through aluminum, lead and other metals.

THAT'S SOME APPETITE...

Though bats are hated and feared, they may also be the single best controller of the insect kingdom. Bats may eat as many as 600 mosquito-size insects in an hour. An average size bat colony may eat 1/2 million insects in one evening.