1. When a cuddly kitty feels threatened, its fur sticks up straight. The scaredy-cat looks larger and fiercer, so enemies think twice about attacking.
2. How can you tell when a chimp’s stressed out? Just look at its fur. Upright means uptight.
3. Dogs and cats shed their coats twice a year. As the days grow longer and warmer in spring, their thick winter fur falls out in clumps. The summer coat that grows in is thinner. In autumn, as the days grow shorter and cooler, dogs and cats shed their summer coat. Heavier fur grows in to keep them toasty warm all winter long.
4. During their autumn molt, weasels and snowshoe hares turn off the cells that give their hair color. The result is a white winter coat that blends in with snow. During the spring molt, their color-making cells crank up production. That’s why their summer coats are brown—perfect for hiding in grass or under shrubs.
5. A fawn’s first coat is speckled with spots that help the baby animal blend in with its surroundings. By late summer, a young deer can run as fast as its parents. So during the autumn molt, it loses its spots.
Looking for more Gross & Goofy Body facts? Check out my book Here We Grow: The Secrets of Hair and Nails. It’s full of weird, wacky, strange, and surprising information about your body and the bodies of other animals.