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Conservation-Fun Facts By: Kevin Williams, Grundy County Conservation Director

April 18, 2019
Northern-Sun Print
In search of a topic for the news column, I stumbled on some notes that I had gathered long ago called fun facts. I went searching on the internet and found more fun facts than I could share in a 500 word news column! Here are some: The ostrich eye is bigger than its brain. Elephants are the only mammal incapable of jumping. And in case you have ever wondered - the average elephant produces 50 pounds of dun (nice word for poop) each day. Koala bears sleep around 18 hours a day. They are not really bears although many, many people call then that. The fingerprints of koalas are almost indistinguishable from humans and have been confused with human fingerprints at crime scenes. Although they are not commonly at crime scenes because they are sleeping. The heart of a shrimp is located in its head. Did you know, that lightning strikes the earth 6,000 times every minute, or 100 times every second! I was surprised to find that the odds of being struck by lightning are 600,000 to 1. I was even more surprised to also find that the odds of being stuck by lighting are 280,000 to 1 (thus proving that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet). So, with that said, men are stuck by lightning 7 times more than women. Over 500 meteorites hit the Earth each year. The hummingbird’s heart beats at a rate of over 1,000 times a minute. A hummingbird flaps its wings up to 90 times a second (that’s 5,400 times a minute). But the poor little fellas can’t walk. More people die from falling coconuts then from shark attacks. More people are killed from bees than snakes. Speaking of snakes, the stomach acids found in a snake’s stomach can digest bones and teeth but not fur or hair. A visit to the Grundy County Heritage Museum will demonstrate that. It seems we are cleaning the snake mats every day. Flys always launch backwards for a quick getaway. And a fly’s reaction time is 30 milliseconds. Remember those two things when attempting to swat one. We don’t even have space here to begin with all the insects fun facts. Endemic to New Zealand, giant wetas are enormous bugs that are related to crickets. The largest giant wetas are the heaviest insects in the world. (They can weigh more than a sparrow). Insects also probably have the largest biomass of the terrestrial animals. At any time, it is estimated that there are some 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive. In the United States, the number of described species is approximately 91,000. In the world, some 900 thousand different kinds of living insects are known. There are a million ants for every person on Earth. And though not insects, March 14 is ‘save a spider day’. Not at my house! Gorillas can’t swim and giraffes can’t cough. And ever wonder why clothes dried outside smell better? It is because of a process called photolysis (sunlight breaks down compounds that cause odor). There you have it. Oh, the beauty of the internet!


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