I have an idea: let’s play a game! Everybody likes a game. We’ll call it – get a load of this ingenious title – Fact or Fiction!
Many of us have pets, and we also like to watch animals. Let’s ask some questions and see if you can tell if it is fact or fiction.
Here are the sayings. The answers follow:
- Bats are blind.
- Some bees sting only once.
- An owl is a wise bird
- A turtle can walk out of its shell.
- Crickets tell the temperature with their chirps.
- Goats eat almost anything.
- Bulls get angry when they see red.
- Camels store water in their humps.
- Rats desert a sinking ship.
Here are the answers:
- Bats are Blind: Fiction – In the night sky, they seem to be blind. They fly back and forth in odd ways. Bats use their ears as well as their eyes to find their way at night, flying in different patterns as they gather insects in flight. They emit high-pitched sounds that echo back to them from objects, similar to radar.
- Some bees sting only once: Fact – many kinds of bees can sting only once. A honeybee’s stinger has barbs on it and when they catch, they hold fast. The stinger breaks off and stays behind. The bee will die after losing its stinger. Queens, however, can sting multiple times. Its stinger has no barbs. Male bees, called drones, have no stinger and cannot sting at all.
- An owl is a wise bird: Fiction – Some people think owls look wise because of their eyes. But for a bird its size, the owl has a tiny brain. An owl never moves its eyes to look for prey, but, instead, moves its whole head from side to side.
- A turtle can walk out of its shell: Fiction – When people find an empty turtle shell on the ground, they may think a turtle left it behind and moved into a new one. A turtle can no more walk out of its shell than you can walk away from your ribs. The empty shells you may find on the ground are the remains of turtles that have died.
- Crickets tell the temperature with their chirps… Fact – Crickets are animals whose body temperatures change with the temperature around them. On a hot day, crickets chirp so rapidly that it is hard to count the number of chirps. But on a cool day, crickets chirp much more slowly. You can easily count the times they chirp.
- Dogs talk with their tails: Fact – When a dog wags its tail from side to side, the dog is happy and playful. But when a dog wags its tail up and down, it may be because it has done something wrong and expects to be punished. If a dog keeps its tail straight up, be careful, that is the signal that it may attack. Don’t run, just back away slowly.
- Goats will eat almost anything: Fact – Goats will eat almost anything they can find. They have been accused of eating tin cans. But they are not really eating the metal; they are chewing the label to get at the glue underneath. They will eat string and paper, but would rather eat fruit, vegetables, grass and leaves of plants.
- Bulls get angry when they see red: Fiction – A bullfighter waves a red cape before a charging bull. There are many stories which tell us that bulls become angry when they see red. The trouble with these stories is that bulls are color blind. It’s the motion of an object in front of it that angers a bull. Bulls will get angry if you wave anything in front of them.
- Camels store water in their humps: Fiction – Camels store fat in the humps. The stored fat is used for energy when the camel doesn’t get enough to eat. But camels can go for days or even weeks without drinking water. Their woolly coats keep out the heat of the direct sunlight. The wool also keeps them from sweating and losing water too rapidly.
- Rats desert a sinking ship: Fact – Rats will jump overboard if a ship is sinking. But that is true of any animal that can swim. Rats sometimes desert a ship even if it isn’t sinking. In the days of sailing ships, it was a common sight to see packs of rats jumping overboard. The ships were slow and would be at sea for months. By the time they returned to port, there was little food left for the rats so when the ship came close to shore, they would dive overboard and swim to land in search of food.
So, how did you do?
Roland’s trivia question of the wee:
What is the most common pitch thrown by a baseball pitcher.