There are people who will pick you up from the airport, bring you soup when you are sick, and sing karaoke with you without videotaping it. We often call these people friends.
But there are also people who, when you tell them you haven’t written a blog post for the day, will tell you a bunch of random animal facts so that you have something to write about. This is a good friend, one who is not only dependable but also teaches you things and provides you with help you didn’t even know you needed.
Here is what she told me:
Flamingos make mound nests where they bury their eggs in the ground then surround it with organic matter, similar to a compost pile. The heat from the decomposing matter keeps the eggs warm, and the size of the chick is actually proportional to how warm the egg was kept. It’s like an incubator, just made of trash and with larger chicks as a result.
For some species that make these mound nests, the male is the one that tends to it. They often have a heat sensory in their beak to monitor the temperature of the nest, and they can add or subtract matter to keep it at steady temperature. Sounds like my kind of sensitive man.
Giraffes are spotted to dissipate heat. They also have a valve in their neck that cuts off blood circulation, so when they bow down to drink water their head isn’t swollen with blood and they don’t get dizzy when they lift their neck back up again. They have seven neck vertebrae, and humans also have seven neck vertebrae. I wonder if Bill Nye knows about this.
Gorillas live in a harem troupe, with a male silverback who mates with all the females. When males are born, they stay in the troupe till they are 11, and then they are ostracized into a bachelor troupe. There is a rumor that this was the original pitch for a show called The Bachelors.
Macaques are primates that live in extremely cold temperatures, bath in hot springs, and even roll snow balls! They also throw food into the ocean to season it and wait for the waves to bring it back. Some say this is the reason for their salty personalities.
A male ostrich’s neck feathers turn bright blue or pink instead of the normal gray when they are mating. The mating dance involves them dropping on their knees and swaying their back end in the air. This was the original funky chicken dance.
In areas where there is a thriving population of ostriches, the male will mate with more than one female. The primary female will lay around 11 eggs, but the secondary hens will only lay around 3-6 eggs. All of those eggs, regardless of the mother, will go in a single nest indented in the ground. Only the male and primary female will tend to the nest. The rest of the hens are clucking about how they got the better deal.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of random facts from Kellie’s brilliant friend! Happy Monday!