New Mexico's Pet Resource FALL 2002


How much do you know about animals? Test your knowledge with these questions. Answers at bottom.

1. What is the fastest land animal in New Mexico in a short distance sprint? If you aren't sure, for half credit, do you think this animal will be predator or prey?   ANSWER

2. What is the state insect of New Mexico? You did know we had one, didn't you?   ANSWER

3. Which of these plants is rabbit repellant? Broccoli, carrots, onion, alfalfa, parsley, collard greens?   ANSWER

4. Why do chickens go to bed (to roost in the coop) so early? (A) Because they are early risers; (B) Because their eyesight is so bad; (C) Because it gets colder when the sun goes down; (D) Because there's nothing on nighttime TV they like; (E) Because the rooster makes them do it.   ANSWER

5. How many legs does a centipede (genus Scolopendra, several species in New Mexico) have?   ANSWER


1. For distances of a few hundred feet up to a quarter mile, these are the numbers: Cottontail rabbit, 15 mph; Human, 27.89 mph; Domestic cat, 30 mph; Jackrabbit, 35 mph; Greyhound, 39.35 mph; Mountain Lion, 40 mph; Coyote, 43 mph (the speediest New Mexico land predator); Elk, 45 mph; Quarterhorse, 47.5 mph. And the run-away winner is, at 61 mph… the Pronghorn antelope! The fastest land animal in the world, the African Cheetah, a predator, is capable of sprinting at 70 mph.   BACK

2. The Tarantula Wasp, also know as the Tarantula Hawk (genus Pepsis, several species). These large black wasps can be 3-inches long, and are most distinctive when in flight for their display of deep-hued orange or red-orange wings. Female Tarantula wasps first dig a burrow into the ground up to 24-inches deep. Then they cruise about until they locate a tarantula, which they paralyze with venom from their stinger. The paralyzed tarantula is dragged back to the burrow, an activity which can take many hours. Once in the burrow the wasp lays a single egg on the spider, and then plugs the entrance to the burrow. The carcass of the immobilized tarantula soon becomes the new wasp larva's food supply. The male wasp has no stinger, and relies upon warning coloration and an unpleasant smell for protection from predators.   BACK

3. Rabbits hate the smell of onions. If most of the plants in your garden are going for rabbit food, the Old Farmer's Almanac suggests you plant a row of onions like a fence around it. Just be aware that this may work for rabbits, but there are lots of other herbivores that just love onions!   BACK

4. (B) Chickens have exceptionally poor night vision. As soon as it gets dark they head for the safety of the roost. Chickens are also known regularly to head for the roost during an eclipse of the sun.   BACK

5. For you linguists out there (yes, "centi" means 100), you're wrong! A centipede has 22 body segments, and each segment, except for the head, has one leg on each side. That makes 42 legs. The sting of a centipede can be painful to humans but only very rarely results in death.   BACK

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