Do you know how far can a jerboa jump? Jerboas are small rodents that look rather like miniature kangaroos. Their back legs are four times as long as their front legs and the tail is longer the head and body put together.
Like kangaroos they travel by leaps and bounds and at top speed can cover 10 feet in a single jump. The tail trails behind and helps to balance the jerboa as it shoots through the air, often faster than the eye can see.
Jerboas live in desert areas of Asia and Africa and escape the fierce heat of the day by hiding in cool underground burrows.
Can a porcupine shoot out quills?
Porcupines of the Old World are burrowers whereas those of the New World climb trees. Both have thousands of needle-sharp quills which are erected and rattled as a warning if the animal is attacked.
The porcupine turns it back and either runs backwards to drive the quills into the intruder or angrily lashes its tail causing loose quills to fly out. In neither case are the quills actually fired.
Why do lemmings run into the sea?
You may have heard stories about lemmings flinging themselves for cliffs in their thousands to perish in the sea. This is only part of the whole story. The Norwegian Lemming lives high up on the mountainside and normally produces several litters of young each year.
If conditions for breeding are particularly favorable over two or three years, exceptional numbers of lemmings are produced. This is called a population explosion. The available food is quickly eaten and then large number of lemmings migrates in all directions in search of fresh areas.
They seem to panic and rush headlong down the mountains streaming through rivers, over walls and other obstacles. Usually these migrations die out inconspicuously but where a stream of lemmings reaches a cliff-top the result is spectacular.
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