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The largest member of the deer family, the moose lives in forests, bogs and marshlands where, for the most part of the year, it feeds on...

Monday, October 31, 2016

Vampire Bat

Photo Credit:

The vampire bat ranges from northern Mexico through Central and South America to central Chile in the west and Uruguay in the east. They can be found in arid and humid parts of the tropics and subtropics, the common vampire bat occupies rainforests as well as deserts, making its home in caves, mines, tree hollows and occasionally abandoned buildings.

While most people would assume the vampire bat is one that is very harsh or even evil, it is quite the opposite. They are very caring and social creatures that are interesting to observe. The young will be well cared for by their mothers. Should she fail to return to the roost other mothers will care for the orphans so that they don’t die. They also share food with each other, and that is something no other species of bats have been seen taking part in.

Legends have led many to believe that this bat sucks blood from its prey. This isn’t how it really plays out though. Instead, they use their teeth to make a puncture wound. Then they use their tongue to lick up any of the blood that comes out of that opening. The Vampire Bat looks for creatures that are sleeping that they can bite without any problems.

Did you know?
The vampire bat has several predators. This includes eagles and hawks that can also be active at night. These bats are very small so those birds can consume them even while in flight without it being much of a challenge. The hawk is very intelligent, and has often been seen waiting patiently outside of cave entrances. They will attack Vampire Bats that are either flying into or out of the cave.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Common House Spider

Photo Credit: Patrick O. Moran
Common House spiders are found worldwide and are common throughout the United States and Canada. They dwell inside structures, house spiders are most likely to be found in upper corners, under furniture, and inside closets, basements, garages and crawl spaces. Outside, they are often found spinning webs around windows and under eaves, especially near light sources that attract prey.

Common house spiders are often yellowish-brown in color with an elongated abdomen. Female common house spiders measure 5 to 8 mm in length, while males measure only 4 mm. Common house spiders are typically brown or gray in color, with darker chevron markings along their bodies.

A common house spider’s body is divided into the cephalothorax and the abdomen. Like scorpions, mites and ticks, house spiders are wingless. They are classified as arachnids rather than insects and have eight, single-lens eyes.

Did you know?
Common house spiders rarely bite unless they feel threatened. However, they may defend themselves when crushed in shoes or clothing being put on by a human.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Photo Credit: Engbretson, Eric / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  
Muskellunges are located in the Northern to Northeast part of the United States and up into Canada. They are one of the more uncommon freshwater fish in the United States. Muskies live in lakes and large rivers. They prefer shallow water with a rocky bottom and heavy cover. They like thick weeds to hide in when they hunt for other fish.

Muskellunges have an elongated body and a flat head, with light colored with dark bars running down the sides of their body. Their underside is plain white in color. The biggest difference between male and female muskie is size. Both genders continually grow with age. The male fish tend to measure between 22-39 inches long, while females are slightly larger, measuring 22-50 inches long. Males weigh normally 3-20 pounds, while females normally weigh 3-40 pounds.

Muskellunges spawn in late spring when the water temperature is in the mid-50s. It usually happens in late April to early May. The male first claims territory and then the female arrives. The spawn lasts 5-10 days and the eggs are laid on a rock or sand bottom. The male and female then leave the eggs, which will hatch within two weeks. The majority of the juveniles do not make it, but those that do feed on zooplankton. Within 6 months of age, the juveniles will measure close to a foot long.

Did you know?
Muskellunges have needle-like teeth.
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