Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Fun: Five Gross and Goofy Body Facts

  • Chemicals in a pig’s saliva help it attract mates. Perfume companies have tried adding these chemicals to their products, but they don’t seem to have much effect on people.

  • Know anyone with a pet gourami? When these fish are ready to have young, the male finds a clump of floating plants and builds a foamy nest out of air bubbles and sticky saliva. The female lays her eggs in the nest and then swims away. It’s up to the male to protect the eggs until they hatch.

  • How does a female Eurasian swift build her nest? First, she gathers grass and feathers, roots, and bits of string. Then she uses spit to glue the materials into a rocky crevice or under the roof of a building.

  • A female song thrush builds a cup-shaped nest in a bush or tree. She cements the materials together with wet mud and saliva. Then she lines the inside with a smooth layer of mud.

  • The large, gray, paper nests of baldfaced hornets, yellow jackets, and paper wasps are truly spit-acular. These insects mix chewed wood fibers and saliva to make a pulpy material. Then they build it up, layer by layer, to create the perfect home.
Looking for more Gross & Goofy Body facts about saliva? Check out my new book It’s Spit-Acular: The Secrets of Saliva. To find out more about the whole Grosss and Goofy Body series, read this very thorough review from School Library Journal.

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