Saturday, February 10, 2018

Monarch Migration Madness!

I'm about to tell you one of the most fascinating animal facts I've heard in a long time. And it's about the Monarch Butterfly.

Every year, all Monarch Butterflies migrate south for the winter. They do this for 2 reasons: they can't survive the cold weather in the northern climates, and their larval foot plants that they eat don't grow in the winter.  So they fly south, to these locations (Mexico, S. California, and S. Florida):

Obviously butterflies aren't the only animal to fly south for the winter. So no big deal, right? Well - this is where their migration becomes unique and fascinating:

Every year, the Monarch migration to each location is 2,500 miles away. And every year the butterflies return to the same exact tree - again - 2,500 miles away. However, by the time that they reach that same tree, it is no longer the same butterfly that is doing the migration from the prior year. By the time the next year's migration occurs, the migrating butterfly is four generations younger than the last year's migrating butterfly!!!

Think about that. In one year, the Monarch goes through four generations of butterflies. And the new butterflies are migrating to the exact same tree 2,500 miles away that their great-great grandparents migrated to. Exact same tree. This is one of nature's most fascinating animal facts - and mysteries!

By the way! The Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake City, Utah now has an interactive butterfly exhibit! My kids loved it!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hilarious Panda vs. Snowman Video

I'm not sure who wins this hilarious battle.... (fun starts at about 50 seconds)

(Source: Toronto Zoo)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy 2018 - Year of the ....


That's right, 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog. Even if you already own a dog, you probably didn't know some of these amazing and interesting facts about them:

  • Dr. Roger Mugford invented the "wagometer" which was a device that claimed to determine a dog's mood by measuring the wag of its tail. Can this really be done? Only dog-owners know...
  • There is a dog that cannot bark! It's the Besenji breed, but they can yodel.
  • A dog's sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than a human's sense of smell!
  • There a more than 150 dog breeds, divided into 8 classes: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, herding, and miscellaneous.
  • When a puppy is born, he is deaf, blind, and toothless.
  • The Norwegian Lundehund has six toes on each foot!
  • The Newfoundland breed has webbed feet - helping them be good swimmers.
  • The most popular dog name is Max.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Amazing Turkey Facts!

Happy Turkey Day!

Turkeys are fascinating animals - here are some amazing facts about Turkeys:

  • Each turkey has a unique voice.
  • They almost went instinct in the early 1900's.
  • The funny looking nose is called a snood. And females are known to pick males with a longer snood.
  • In fact, the snood is an indicator of the health of the male - the longer the snood the healthier
  • They can run at 25mph but can fly at 55mph!
  • Benjamin Franklin once called the turkey a "much more respectable bird" than the bald eagle.
  • My favorite fact: the gender of a turkey can be determined by its droppings. That's right. Males produce spiral-shaped poop, and females produce poop that's shaped like a J.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Salt Lake Comic Con 2017 - Thank You!

Thanks to all my readers who visited me at this year's Salt Lake Comic Con! I loved meeting you all, autographing my books, and introducing many of you to my novels! I hope to see you all again next year. - Kyle

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Amazing Albino Alligators & Other Animals

Truly fascinating. I'd never seen anything like it. While visiting the Georgia Aquarium, I was surprised to see Albino Alligators! Two of them! I had to take pictures (below).

But before we get to that - albinism is defined as the "congenital absence of any pigmentation or coloration in a person, animal or plant, resulting in white hair and pink eyes in mammals."  Albinos typically have red or pink eyes because the lack of pigmentation in the irises allows blood vessels to be visible.

But you're really here for the pics, right? You should be - albinism is a beautiful phenomenon about nature!

First up are my pics of the albino alligators at the Georgia Aquarium.

And here are some amazing pics of other albino animals - enjoy!

Black Bear



Gorilla (Named 'Snowflake")

Kangaroo & Its Joey



Sea Turtle


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Which TWO of these Animals are Left Handed?

In recognition of Left Handers Day, can you guess which TWO of these animals are believed to be predominately left handed?

  A.   Polar Bears
  B.   Parrots
  C.   Kangaroos
  D.   Horses

And the answers are ......

... drum roll please ....

If you guessed A and D, then you're wrong! Though polar bears and horses tend to be the animals most commonly believed as being left handed, they're actually not! Scientific studies have actually shown polar bears to have 50-50 preference for right vs. left paws.

As for horses, they're traditionally led and mounted from the left side and trained to turn to the left, but this doesn't mean they are left-hoofed. Rather, 53% prefer to lead with their right hoof, 40% with their left hoof, and 7% no preference at all.

So, that means ....

Parrots are left-hand dominant, with about 90% having shown left-foot preference in picking things us.

As for Kangaroos, the red kangaroos and eastern gray kangaroos - two popular Australian species - almost always use their left paws.  Interestingly, other species of kangaroos would have a hand preference when on two paws, but when walking on four paws they didn't have any preference. However, the red and eastern gray species showed left hand dominance regardless of if they were on 2 or 4 paws.

I don't know which is more amazing - that there are left hand-dominant animals, or that there are actual scientific studies to find this stuff out! But what's also interesting is that only about 10% of the world's human population are left handers!