Animal Fact or Fiction Quiz

By June Swanson

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    1. Does “seeing red” make bulls mad?

    2. Do ostriches stick their heads in the sand?

    3. Are moles almost blind?

    4. Are bats blind?

    5. Do porcupines shoot their quills at their enemies?

    6. Do beavers cut trees so they fall toward the water?

    7. Do moths eat clothes?

    8. Can the age of a rattlesnake be discovered by counting the number of its rattles?

    9. Can a horned toad squirt blood from its eyes?

    10. If a lizard loses its tail, can it grow a new one?


    Illustrated by Lynda Banks

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    • 1. No. Scientists have recently proved that bulls are color-blind.

      2. No. This belief may have originated from the fact that sometimes when an ostrich senses danger it drops down, stretches its neck out along the ground, and watches. If really frightened, however, an ostrich will run.

      3. Yes. Moles have very small eyes covered by a fur-like skin so that “seeing” is almost impossible.

      4. No. Although they are mostly nocturnal creatures, bats do have eyes and can see. However, it is their hearing—a kind of built-in sonar mechanism—that is so highly developed.

      5. No. The quills may stick into any object touching a porcupine, but they cannot purposely be shot out. Sometimes a porcupine in anger may lash its tail and accidentally throw out loose quills.

      6. No. However, trees growing along river banks usually lean over the water and will fall in that direction no matter how they are cut. Trees cut by beavers away from a stream may fall in any direction and must be pushed or dragged to the water.

      7. No. Moths and butterflies have soft tubes for mouths that can’t possibly eat cloth. However, their eggs hatch into cloth-eating larvae or caterpillars.

      8. No. A rattle is usually added each time the snake sheds its skin, which could happen as much as four times a year. Also, a rattle might be broken and lost.

      9. Yes. When the horned toad is angry or disturbed, little streams of blood squirt from the corners of its eyes, probably because of a rise in blood pressure that causes tiny capillaries in the eye sockets to break.

      10. Yes. The injury stimulates cells within the tail stub to start growing until the tail is replaced. Usually the new tail is shorter than the original.