If you listened to a bat with a stethoscope you would hear their irregular heartbeats. Bats heartrate changes rapidly. When flying or hunting their heartrate ranges from hundreds of beats per minute to over a thousand. On the other hand, when they hibernate in the winter their heart rates can drop to under ten beats per minute.
When squirrel kits are born they have no fur and no eyesight. They rely on their mothers for the two or three months even though their eyes open around two weeks after birth. Around seven to eight weeks of age squirrels are weaned; meaning they can consume food other than milk. At ten to twelve months squirrels can begin to reproduce. Typically, females will have around 2 litters every year. One born in the late summer and the other in early spring. During the first year of their adult life females will have no more than one litter.
Skunks have an interesting immunity or high tolerance to venom. Skunks diet consists of normal foods, but also includes bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and poisonous snakes. They are extremely clever when it comes to catching this prey as well. To lure out bees skunks will scratch at the hive to alarm them. The bees will fly out to respond to the threat allowing the skunk to catch them. When consuming their prey skunks suck out the insides and spit out the carcass. As they feast on the bees it is likely they will be stung but often choose smaller hives to avoid too many stings. While skunks have seemingly high tolerance to bees, there have also been cases in which they died from bee stings.
Chipmunks are not particular about their diet. They eat everything including seeds, grain, nuts, fruit, insects, eggs, as well as baby birds and mice. Another main staple in their diet is fungi. Mushrooms and other forms of fungi can be connected to a structure that supports trees. This structure protects the roots and helps find water and nutrients in the soil. When chipmunks consume this fungi it they carry it around as they travel until it is digested. The deposit of the fungi helps spread the population and nourish trees.
Voles mate throughout the entire year but most frequently in spring and summer. Females can produce about 3-5 litter and and reproduce 12 times a year. Each litter consists of about 3-6 pups and their gestation periods are 21 days long. When pups are born they have no hair and are completely blind. They must depend on their mothers for the first two weeks of their lives, and reach maturity after just 3-5 weeks. At this time they can reproduce and have their own litters. Most pups die within the first week but those who survive live for about 3-6 months.
Every animal has their own form of communication. Just like human voices animals chirps, yelps, etc. all have different pitches or calls that help identify them. Ground squirrels in particular use a variety of chirps as well as body language to communicate with others. These chirps can be used to show dominance, protect territory, and warn their young of danger. Ground squirrels also use mating calls that are high-pitched in order to attract males.
We often see raccoons wash their food before consuming it. This is not because the food it dirty, but actually to figure out what they are consuming. Raccoons rely heavily on their sense of touch for many things. Their paws have many nerves, these nerves get enhanced when exposed to water. When raccoons dip their paws in water their nerves react more effectively than before. By washing their food they get more details on what it is and whether its safe to eat simply by sense of touch.
Everyone knows what raccoons look like. They are characterized by gray-brown fur, what looks like a black mask around their eyes, a white ring around the mask, a stripe from its head to snout, and a ringed tail. What you may not know is the reason for some of these defining features. The black mask surrounding their eyes help reduce sun glare; similar to sunglasses. Their ringed tails, also help them escape from predators. Since raccoons are nocturnal hunters, their predators are likely to attack at night when they are most active. The white rings on their tails are easiest for predators to spot in low-light. This could be used to trick predators, as they will now attack the tail of the animal, leaving their most vital parts protected. That gives them the best chance to flee even if injured; as their tail isn't needed to escape a predator.
Mice have thick hairs on either side of their snout called whiskers. Their whiskers are attached to many nerves and help them move and detect their surroundings. Mice have poor eyesight and have to rely on touch, smell, and other senses like those of their whiskers to navigate. Whiskers help mice sense air movement, temperature, air pressure, food, and anything they touch. They sense these through vibrations which allows them to determine the size, shape, and distance of an object without actually seeing it. This means they can navigate almost any space no matter the lighting or size of the area. They can easily enter homes through small cracks in walls or openings in doors. They can live in attics, basements, walls, soffits, or other spaces. If you find or suspect mice in your home call Guardian Wildlife Services. We can set you up with our rodent program to get rid of them for good.
All animals have defenses they use against predators. Opossums are often known for their ability to play dead. When threatened these animals seize and fall into a comatose state for many hours. They have no control over when or how long this may last. The reaction is triggered by stress and unavoidable for the animal. While in this state, opossums also emit a foul-odor to even smell like a corpse. In combination with their acting the odor also tricks predators into seeking food elsewhere. If you see an opossum lying dead on the ground they may just be acting. Do not approach the animal or attempt to move it as they may carry disease or defend themselves. If you smell a decaying animal or find an opossum in your home, call Guardian Wildlife Services.