Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Fun: Five Gross and Goofy Body Facts

  • A southern giant petrel swallows a lot of salty water as it feeds on fish. How does the seabird get rid of all that salt? By letting it leak out of the large nostrils at the top of its beak.

  • Many dolphins send out high-pitched sounds through their snouts. So do some bats. When the sounds hit something, they bounce back. And each returning echo gives the animals a more complete picture of their surroundings.

  • The Fitzroy river turtle of Australia has a nose, but it also breathes through its butt. The water-loving reptile takes in as much as two-thirds of its oxygen through two large pouches on its rear end. What a great trick!

  • A whale has one large nostril on top of its head. This blowhole lets the massive marine mammal breathe without lifting its head out of the water.

  • Each spring, salmon swim hundreds of miles up rivers and streams to spawn, or release eggs and sperm, in the place where they hatched. How do the fearless fish find just the right spot? They sniff it out.
  • Looking for more Gross & Goofy Body facts? Check out my book Up Your Nose: The Secrets of Schnozes and Snouts. 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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