Why Is a Sloth Called Lazy?

why is a sloth called lazy

A sloth is a small South American mammal which moves about very slowly, when it moves at all. It is considered a sluggish, or lazy, animal because of this, but scientists say that this sluggishness is caused by the sloth’s very low body temperature. Sloths spend most of their time in trees and seldom come … Read more

Are There Really Such Animals as Ligers and Tigons?

are there really such animals as ligers and tigons

Ligers and Tigons are creatures that really do exist. There are the cubs of rare crossings between lions and tigers. If the father is a lion and the mother is a tigress, the cub is called a liger. If the father is a tiger and the mother is a lioness, the cub is called a … Read more

Is It True That the World’s Largest Animal Feeds on the Smallest?

is it true that the worlds largest animal feeds on the smallest

The whale is the world’s largest animal, yet it feeds on some of the sea’s smallest creatures, plankton, tiny ocean plants and animals that drift in the sea. There are two kinds of whales: toothed whales (with teeth) and baleen whales (without teeth). Toothed whales eat fish, squid, and other sea animals. They use their … Read more

Can Dolphins Talk?

can dolphins talk

Since ancient times, the dolphin has been considered a special animal. But it is only recently that research has discovered that the friendly, playful dolphin is highly intelligent. Some scientists consider the dolphin to be even more intelligent than the chimpanzee. Dolphins and porpoises belong to the same family as whales. They are all mammals. … Read more

Why Does a Whale Spout?

why does a whale spout

Though it lives in the sea, the whale is a warm-blooded mammal. It must breathe oxygen from the air to live. When surfacing, the whale takes in oxygen through the blowhole on top of its head. Then, filling its large elastic lungs which are connected to the blowhole, the whale dives to feed. While underwater, … Read more

Which Insect Lives the Longest?

The longest-lived creature in the insect world is the termite queen. She has been known to live for over 50 years. During that time, the queen can lay over 30,000 eggs each day, so in her 50 years of life, it is possible for her to give birth to half a billion children!

Why Do Turtles Live For More Than 200 Years?

why do turtles live for more than 200 years

The turtle lives longer than any creature on earth, well over 200 years (and some scientists believe 300), for the very same reason that the tortoise won the race with the hare in the famous fable. The turtle takes things very easy. It moves slowly, grows slowly, eats slowly, and even breathes slowly. Some turtles’ … Read more

How Does a Turtle Get into Its Shell?

how does a turtle get into its shell

That’s like asking how you got into your skin. The turtle is born with its shell on. A turtle’s shell is part of its body, half on top attached at the sides to the half underneath. The shell has two layers: the outer layer is a shell of hardened skin tissue, and the inner layer, … Read more

How Does a Chameleon Change Colors?

how does a chameleon change colors

Chameleons are lizards known for their ability to change colors. But contrary to popular belief, the chameleon does not change its color to match its background. It changes as a result of its mood, the temperature, or light conditions. Most chameleons have brown or green as their main color, but they can turn to an … Read more

What Is a Mammal?

what is a mammal

Mammals are one of the classes of animals. Scientists have classified, or divided, all animals into groupings according to the ways in which they are alike. All mammals have one characteristic that no other animal have, mammals are the only animals whose females produce milk to feed their young. The word mammal comes from the … Read more

Why Do Raccoons Wash Their Food?

why do raccoons wash their food

There is some truth to the story that raccoons wash their food before eating it. A raccoon may dip its food in water before eating it, but this habit does not indicate cleanliness, for the water may be dirty. And raccoons will eat most anything, whether it is washed or not. Some people believe that … Read more

What Makes a Skunk Smell?

what makes a skunk smell

The bad-smelling odor of skunks is contained in a liquid which the animal produces and then discharges if it is frightened or in danger. The liquid is called musk. Musk is produced by two glands near the base of the skunk’s tail. The scent glands produce enough musk for six consecutive discharges. Until more liquid … Read more

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite People?

why do mosquitoes bite

While the male mosquito is content to live on juices he gets from plants, the female is not. She gets her nourishment from the blood of people and animals. The female mosquito has a sharp beak which she uses to prick human or animal skin. Then she pokes a hollow tube, her mouth, into the … Read more

Which Insect Sips Its Dinner Through a Straw?

which insect sips its dinner through a straw

Poor Butterfly! This beautiful, colorful insect does not have a mouth with which to chew like other insects have. But nature has given the butterfly another way to nourish itself. The butterfly has a long, thin tube, called a proboscis, through which it can suck up the sweet nectar from flowers, the same way you … Read more

How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly?

how does a caterpillar become a butterfly

It may be hard to believe that a beautiful creature like a butterfly was once an ugly, worm-like creature like a caterpillar, but this is exactly how the colorful, graceful butterfly’s life cycle works. There are four stages in a butterfly’s life. The process of going from one stage to another is called metamorphosis. The … Read more

Do Cats Really Have 9 Lives?

do cats really have 9 lives

Most cats live for about 14 years, although some have been known to live to the age of 30 and even beyond. The myth that a cat has 9 lives probably came about because of its ability to escape from many dangerous situations without harm. Cats have good memories, keen eyesight, and exceptional senses of … Read more

How Does a Cat Purr?

how does a cat purr

This remains an unanswered question. Although the sound of a cat’s purr is familiar to all, how the cat does it still remains a mystery. Scientists do know, however, that cats have two sets of vocal chords in their throat, one above the other. Each set produces different sounds. Many scientists believe that the lower … Read more

Do Cats Eyes Really Shine In the Dark?

do cats eyes really shine in the dark

Have you ever walked into a darkened room and seen a cat staring at you with its eyes blazing? Scary, but beautiful! There are no lights in a cat’s eyes. What you see is simply a reflection of light. A cat’s eyes are no different than yours in responding to light. In bright light, you … Read more

How Does a Firefly Make Its Light?

how does a firefly make its light

Sitting outside on summer evenings, you may have wondered how fireflies make those bright little flashes of light. To begin with, the firefly is not a fly, it is a beetle. And inside that beetle’s stomach are five chemicals. When oxygen enters the firefly’s body, it stimulates a nerve reaction which causes those five chemicals … Read more

Which Insects Keep Their King and Queen Prisoners?

which insects keep their king and queen prisoners

The lowly, destructive termite has very little regard for royalty, and in termite colonies the king and queen are held prisoner. In most termite colonies, there are three classes, or castes, of insects. Scientists are not really certain how some termites develop into these three castes, but the millions of termites in each colony are … Read more

What Animal’s Favorite Game Is Bellywhopping?

what animals favorite game is bellywhopping

The frisky little otter, who lives on the banks of lakes and streams, is not much of a worker, but is a great player. While its neighbor on land, the beaver, is busy building dams, the otter builds slides on snowy slopes for its favorite game – bellywhopping. The otter has a smooth stomach which … Read more

What Animal Never Drinks Water in Its Entire Life?

what animal never drinks water in its entire life

The tiny kangaroo rat, a native of the southwestern deserts of the United States, never takes a drink of water in its lifetime. What little moisture this tiny rodent needs it gets from eating roots and desert plants. Yet this is enough to keep the kangaroo rat alive. The kangaroo rat got its name from … Read more

Can a Porcupine Shoot Its Quills?

can a porcupine shoot its quills

The porcupine has one of the best defense systems in nature-its quills. However, the porcupine does not shoot out these quills at an enemy, as many people think. Even though these quills are dangerous to an enemy, they are actually very loosely attached to the porcupine’s body and come off even at the slightest touch. … Read more

History of Tobacco

history of tobacco

“The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish,” wrote W.M. Thackeray a hundred years ago; and to this day, pipe smoking retains a certain connotation of sophistication. The hoi polloi may take their tobacco by cigarette or cigar, but a true connoisseur of the brown … Read more

History of Typewriters

At the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, two recent American inventions were placed on public display for the first time. One, a certain voice-transmission apparatus invented by a man named Alexander Graham Bell attracted widespread attention among the fairgoers. The second, called the typewriter, attracted almost none. Yet by the time of the American Bicentennial Celebration, … Read more

History of Streetcars

Imagine a vast network of streetcar lines connecting America’s cities, with trolley cars whisking passengers between neighboring towns at speeds of seventy or eighty miles an hour. A prospect for the distant future? No, a fairly accurate description of American interurban travel around the turn of this century. Yes, that’s right, we said trolley cars! … Read more

History of Subways

“Preposterous!” scoffed American tycoon Russell Sage to the first proposal for an underground transit system in New York City. “The people of New York will never go into a hole in the ground to ride.” Well, as everyone knows, Russell’s counsel turned out to be less than sage. By the time of his death in … Read more

History of Vanilla

The vast legions of American ice cream-lovers fall basically into two camps: those who favor chocolate, and those who champion its chromatic antithesis, vanilla. Although vanilla and chocolate, long the most popular ice cream flavors in the United States, may be diametrically opposed on the color scale, they share more in common than you might … Read more

History of Umbrellas

Let us now turn to the subject of brolliology. What is brolliology? Why, it’s the study of the brolly, of course, the gamp, the parasol, the parapluie, the bumbershoot, the bumbersoll, to you, the umbrella. Which brings us to the History of the Umbrella. If you think the ribbed, collapsible umbrella was the invention of … Read more

The History of Tulips

To many minds, the tulip and the windmill are virtually synonymous with the Netherlands. Most historians would agree that the windmill in Europe made its first appearance in the Low Countries, sometime before the twelfth century. But you may be surprised to learn that the tulip is not a native of Holland, and was totally … Read more

History of Truffles

The scene: winter in a wooded area of southern France. A group of farmers moves among the trees, following the meanderings of a half-dozen pigs. Suddenly, one of the pigs noses into the dirt, grunting and snorting in hungry anticipation, and begins to dig into the ground with its hooves. The farmers rush over and … Read more

History of Telephones

history of telephones

“I believe,” wrote Alexander Graham Bell in 1878, “that in the future wires will unite the head offices of the Telephone Company in different cities, and a man in one part of the country may communicate by word of mouth with another in a distant place. I am aware that such ideas may appear to … Read more

History of Shoes

Step into a modern shoe store and take a look around. High-heeled and platform shoes, boots, sandals, moccasins, wooden-heeled clogs, quite a variety for today’s shopper. Recent fashions? Well, not one of the footwear styles you see today is less than 400 years old! The History of Shoes is indeed interesting. The loftiest high-heeled and … Read more

History of Safety Pins

On April 10, 1849, a New Yorker by the name of Walter Hunt was granted patent Number 6,281 for a device he called the safety pin. Never heard of Walter Hunt, you say? Well, Hunt was not destined to be pinned with the tag “inventor of the safety pin” for one simple reason: The safety … Read more

History of Rulers

Here’s something to think about: a dry goods dealer has a five-yard piece of thirty-six-inch wide material, and wishes to sell a customer one-and-a-half yards. But neither a yardstick, nor a tape measure, nor any other measuring device is available. Can the dealer complete the sale? Yes, it can be done, as you’ll discover later; … Read more

History of Roses

history of roses

Quick, name a flower. Well, you may not have said rose, but if you were to experiment with the question you’d probably find that, of the estimated 300,000 species of plants on earth, the rose is the first flower to pop into most minds. Why? It’s difficult to say. Many other flowers are larger, more … Read more

History of Restaurants

The restaurant is such a seemingly natural and necessary institution that you’d suspect it’s been with us for as long as man has lived in cities. But the restaurant, as we know it today, is a surprisingly recent development. That’s not to say there weren’t any commercial eating places before our time. But the menu, … Read more

History of Refrigeration

A prominent encyclopedia has suggested that the invention with the greatest impact on worldwide economic life since the railroad is, no, you’d never guess, the refrigerator! Isn’t the refrigerator more of a convenience item? Hardly. Refrigeration technology has completely revolutionized farming and led to the rapid development of a worldwide food trade. It would be … Read more

History of Potatoes

“Meat and potatoes” are the foundation of most American cooking and of many European cuisines as well. The spud is so rooted in Western cooking that it’s sometimes hard to believe the vegetable was totally unknown in Europe just a few hundred years ago. In the mid 16th century, Spanish conquistadors in South America discovered … Read more

History of Pocketknives

The pocketknife is obviously a recent invention, right? After all, the technological skill required to craft a workable fold-up knife must be a product of the industrial age. Besides, what need would men have had for a pocketknife in the days before pockets? Well, don’t be surprised if you come across a rusty, time-worn pocketknife … Read more

History of Playing Cards

history of playing cards

Ask even a hard core cardsharp about the origin of playing cards and pointing to the king and queen in their Renaissance raiment, he may well answer smugly that, of course, the cards originated in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Well, the reply would be half correct; yes, the design of modern playing … Read more

History of Peanuts

history of peanuts

“Peanut” may sound like a plant that can’t quite make up its mind where it belongs in the world of botanical classification. What’s your guess? A nut, you say? Nope, the goober is actually more a pea than a nut. The versatile, tasty morsel we call the peanut is the pod or legume, and not … Read more

History of Newspapers

history of newspapers

As you may have heard, the famous Battle of New Orleans, won by Andrew Jackson and his troops over the British during the War of 1812, was fought on January 8, 1815, 15 days after the war had ended. A treaty ending the conflict had been signed in Europe, but the news failed to reach … Read more

History of Money

history of money

An old fable tells of a miser who buried his gold in the forest. Each day, he crept into the woods, dug up the trove, counted his coins, and buried them again. But one day, another man spied him counting his gold, and returned that night to steal it. The next morning, the miser discovered … Read more

History of Ice Cream

history of ice cream

True or false 1. Ice cream will cool you off on a hot summer day. 2. Americans invented the dessert. 3. Since mechanical refrigeration techniques were not developed until late in the nineteenth century, ice cream is obviously a recent arrival to man’s dessert table. If you answered “false” to all three of the above … Read more

History of Golf

history of golf

The early 1970’s marked a major milestone in golf history: the opening of the 10,000th golf course in the United States. Figuring conservatively at 6,000 yards per course, we can estimate that some 60 million yards, or 34,100 miles, of this country are regularly traversed by some 10 million golfers. Assuming a figure of eighty … Read more

History of Gelatin

To the modern American, the sweet gelatin dessert known as Jell-O is an institution. Just tear open the wrapper, pour boiling water over the powder, and refrigerate in a bowl or mold. Jell-O’s a lot easier to make than pie. Sure, we take Jell-O for granted, until we realize what our forefathers, or foremothers, had … Read more

History of Frankfurters

There is no truth to the notion that frankfurters are unavailable today in Germany, the land of their birth. Stop by a roadside eatery or pop into a quick lunch restaurant in Germany and you’ll have little trouble finding a frankfurter of some dimensions, complete with bread, mustard, and sauerkraut. But there is one difference … Read more

History of Elevators

During the 1977 power blackout in New York City, the business and commercial life of the world’s busiest metropolis came to a complete halt for an entire day. Though buses were still running to take people to work and many offices had sufficient natural lighting to make some work possible, the blackout shut off one … Read more

The History of Eggplants

the history of eggplants

The eggplant is neither oval in shape nor white, and certainly bears no relation to the egg in taste or in usage. “Eggplant,” then, is a misnomer? Well, almost. The first eggplants to reach Europe during the Middle Ages were actually a rare white species, with oval fruits that closely resemble a hen’s egg. The … Read more

History of Dogs

history of dogs

“He cannot be a gentleman that loveth not a dog,” reads an old proverb, and there can be no doubt that the American loveth all things canine. There are now about 1.1 million pedigreed dogs registered in this country, about one pedigreed pooch for every 200 Americans. The number of mongrels extant is anybody’s guess. … Read more

The History of the Dictionary

the history of the dictionary

“Everything that coruscates with effulgence is not ipso facto aurous” is a rather highfalutin way of saying “All that glitters is not gold,” but without a dictionary you’d never guess it. “Look it up in the dictionary” is a piece of advice foreign to few ears, but did you realize that until the eighteenth century … Read more

The History of Comics

the history of comics

ZOWIE! SOCK0 GLuG! WHAP! Pow! Place those words before an American of any age and, without fail, the reaction will be: comics! In terms of longevity, complexity, and influence, those innocent little cartoon panels certainly are no joke. In fact, the comic strip and comic book together form perhaps the largest and most influential iconographic … Read more

History of Alcohol

history of alcohol

Ever wondered about the History of Alcohol? The ancient Greeks had a cocktail hour in the late afternoon or evening, complete with hors d’oeuvres. A recent joke has it that a man strolled into a crowded bar, examined the array of aperitifs, liquors, cordials, and mixers on the shelves, glanced up and down the bar … Read more

History of Christmas Cards

history of christmas cards

No one could fail to notice that most Christmas Cards today have nothing whatsoever to do with Christ or Christianity. But did you know that Yuletide greeting cards were secular from their inception? Sanctimonious individuals may annually decry the deluge of cards and bewail the “loss of religious spirit” but the fact is that few … Read more

Who Invented Chewing Gum?

who invented chewing gum

So who Invented Chewing Gum? Everyone and their dog has enjoyed a piece of Gum. The sight of a dried up, mouldering piece of chewed Gum stuck to the underside of a desk won’t strike the non-chewer as very appetizing, but to the Gum-chewer-well, a piece of Gum is a piece of Gum. And there … Read more

What is Caviar?

what is caviar

Synonymous with opulence is that salty, lumpy marine delicacy known as Caviar. The word is rich with princely connotations for almost everyone-including those with no idea what caviar actually is. For it has been said that those who respect Caviar’s place in the elite of epicurean treats far outnumber those who have actually tasted it. … Read more

History of Cats

history of cats

Are you an ailurophile or an ailurophobe? In plain English: Do you love or hate our feline fellow mammals? Either way, you’re in large company. Ever since the domestication of the feline, the cat has been variously regarded as a representation of the gods or an embodiment of the devil. Even today, there seems to … Read more

History of Bathtubs

history of bathtubs

This is a gullibility test. The Bathtub was introduced in England in 1828. The first tub in America was used by a Cincinnati resident named Thompson in 1842. After an argument among medical authorities concerning the benefits and hazards of bathing, the Bathtub was banned in Boston in 1845. Six years later, the first Bathtub … Read more

History of Cars and Automobiles

history of cars and automobiles

Without doubt, the Automobile ranks among the two or three most important inventions of our age. The car has determined the shape of our cities and the routine of our lives, made almost every inch of our nation easily accessible to everybody, ribboned our country with highways, cluttered the landscape with interchanges, gas stations, parking … Read more

History of Dice

history of dice

Comparing the vast, electrified skyline of a modern city with the stark simplicity suggested by an ancient ruin, it’s easy to see that man has changed his environment a great deal over the past millennia. But has man’s nature changed along with his environment? Not really. Take the institution of dice gambling, for instance. We … Read more

History of Hamburgers

history of hamburgers

The Hamburger is a more recent invention than the frankfurter. During the middle ages, traveling merchants from Hamburg learnt from the Tartars of the Baltic lands how to scrape raw meat and season it with salt, pepper, and onion juice for what came to be known as “Tartar Steak”. Many restaurants still serve a similar … Read more

History of Coffee

history of coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It is consumed regularly by one third of the world’s population, and consumption continues to rise steadily. At the turn of the 1900s, world exports totaled about one million tons. But by 1950, that figure had doubled. Today, several million tons of beans are … Read more

Where Is the Coldest Place On Earth?

where is the coldest place on earth

Where is the coldest place on earth? Read on to find out. The Arctic and Antarctica have the distinction of being the coldest places on the planet. Which is the coldest? This article will highlight the coldest places in the world, and will answer the question “Is Antarctica cooler than the Arctic?” What is the … Read more

Where Did the Statue of Liberty Come From?

where did the statue of liberty come from

Where did the Statue of Liberty come from? The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the people of the United States by the people of France. As a symbol of friendship between the two nations, the statue also commemorated the 100th anniversary of American independence. There are two other Statue of Liberties which reside … Read more

History of Soap

history of soap

Have you wondered how soap is made? The history of soap is actually quite interesting. Soap is made from combining fats and oils with an alkali. When mixed with water, soap loosens and attracts dirt, allowing it to be washed away. The earliest known soap-like material was found in the excavation of ancient Babylon and … Read more

Where Is the Hottest Place On Earth?

where is the hottest place on earth

Where is the hottest place on earth? So you think it’s hot where you are? Not even close. Hottest Place on Earth 2020 Update: The hottest temperature on the planet recorded hit a new high on August 17 2020 in Death Valley National Park, California, where the temperature reached a scorching 54.4 C (130 F). … Read more