What’s Going on Here?By Gerry Bishop
What on Earth are the animals on these pages up to? Pick the answer you think best describes what’s happening in each photo. Then check your answers at the bottom of this page. Hope you don’t get April-fooled!
This antelope is . . .
A flying off to greener pastures.
B acting the part of an angel in a school play.
C being chased by a crane that’s trying to protect its nest.
D also called a “giant cowbird.”
These wasps are . . .
A practicing headstands.
B collecting mud balls for building a nest.
C taking bows after a performance.
D holding their stingers up as a warning to predators.
This seal is . . .
A scratching itself.
B suffering from a terrible tummy ache.
C hugging itself to keep warm.
D looking forward to a fish dinner.
This parrotfish . . .
A has just been dry-cleaned and is ready for pick-up.
B is sleeping inside a bubble made of its own mucus.
C has been captured by a jellyfish.
D has surrounded itself with a sticky “net” that catches tiny sea creatures for food.
The fish is . . .
A about to become a crocodile’s dinner.
B helping the croc by removing food stuck in its throat.
C defending itself by biting the croc’s throat.
D playing “double dare” with its fish friends.
This anteater is . . .
A celebrating a touchdown.
B defending itself against a predator.
C being arrested.
D about to catch a big flying ant.
This strange shape is . . .
A a tail shed by an African woolly-rat to distract predators.
B a giant Arctic sand snake in its furry winter coat.
C an insect-eating vine that catches prey on sticky hairs.
D a row of hairy caterpillars.
1-C This nilgai antelope, or bluebull, wandered too close to the nest of a sarus crane. The crane (partly hidden behind the antelope) is now flapping its wings and chasing the antelope away.
2-B The two mud daubers are using their mouthparts to dig up
balls of mud. They’ll use the mud to make a nest for their young.
3-A This elephant seal is using its front flippers to scratch itself. Ahhhh–feels SO good!
4-B The parrotfish oozed a bubble of mucus around itself. While the fish sleeps, the bubble protects it from tiny creatures that suck its blood for food.
5-C A tigerfish is small, but it lives up to its fearsome name.
A crocodile grabbed this one for dinner, and the fish is fighting back. But the croc was able to crunch it with its teeth. So, answer A also turns out to be true.
6-B This pygmy anteater (also called a silky or dwarf anteater) is rearing up, ready to strike out and defend itself with its super-sharp front claws. Any eagle or hawk that dares to attack had better be very careful!
7-D You’re looking at dozens of processionary caterpillars, lined up one behind the other. The parade, or “procession,” of caterpillars marches along, searching for soft soil where the insects can bury themselves and hide while turning into moths. The caterpillars’ sharp hairs can stab into skin and deliver a nasty chemical. You don’t want to mess with a processionary!
“What’s Going on Here?” originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Ranger Rick magazine.
(Click on each image above for a closer view of the story.)