Animals

Parietal Eyes

Lizards, frogs, lampreys, and some fish species possess a unique organ known as a third, or parietal, eye. Though referred to as an “eye,” this photoreceptive organ does not “see” in the same way that a standard eye does. Instead, it uses a different biochemical method of detecting light than normal eyes and helps regulate circadian rhythms and hormone production for thermoregulation. The parietal eye is associated with what gland that humans, too, possess? Discuss
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Seizure Response Dogs

When their epileptic handlers experience seizures, these response dogs come to the rescue by pulling away dangerous objects, attempting to rouse them if they lose consciousness, and even summoning aid by finding another person or activating a medical alert or pre-programmed phone. Because epilepsy is such a wide-ranging condition, each dog is trained for a specific individual’s needs. Studies in which dogs were trained to anticipate their owners’ impending seizures have shown what? …read more

Bishop Mule Days

This is a raucous salute in Bishop, California, to that workhorse of the ages, the mule. Mule Days was started in 1969 by mule-packers who wanted to have a good time and initiate their summer packing season. Now about 50,000 people show up in Bishop for the celebration. A highlight is the Saturday morning 250-unit parade, billed as the world’s largest non-motorized parade. Other events include mule-shoeing contests and such muleback cowboy events as steer roping and barrel racing. There are also mule shows and sales, western art, barbecues, and country dances. Discuss
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Ostriches

Flightless birds that inhabit Africa and parts of Asia, ostriches are the largest birds on Earth and the fastest animals on two legs. When they are unable to run from predators, however, they may attempt to camouflage themselves as mounds of dirt by lying on the ground with their necks outstretched, a habit that might have given rise to the notion that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they sense danger. They can also defend themselves—ostriches have been known to kill what predator? Discuss
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