Beavers Staging a Comeback
BEAVERS may once more become the basis on which all furs are valued if experiments now being conducted by the National Parks branch of the Canadian government are successful. Once the coin of the realm, beavers became so scarce that today no white man may trap them in the Dominion, and Indians may do so only in limited areas. Beaver fur is scarce, where once it was the standard on which all fur dealings were based.
Hatching House Flies For Profit
IN AN ODD SKYSCRAPER FARM, DOMESTIC PESTS ARE RAISED FOR MANY CURIOUS PURPOSES
By FRANK CAPORAEL
SEVENTEEN stories above one of the busiest streets in New York City, America’s strangest livestock farm has its barns and pastures. The barns are glass jars. The pastures are mesh-inclosed cages. And, the product of this skyscraper ranch is house fliesâ€”5,500,000 flies a year!
The unique enterprise started ten years ago when scientists of an insecticide company wished to make exact tests of the effectiveness of their product. They needed normal, healthy flies on which to test the sprays. From this small beginning, the fly farm has grown to the mass-production activity of today.
Not that I think tarantula bites are actually fatal, but it doesn’t help make their case when they describe an arachnid as an insect. Not to mention that Prof. Fattig is way scarier looking than the spider.
TARANTULA’S BITE FAILS TO KILL
Professor P.W. Fattig, curator of the Emory University Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, made a large tarantula from Honduras bite him the other day. The professor said he tried the experiment partly out of curiosity and partly to prove his contention that bites of such insects are not necessarily fatal.
It took about half an hour’s poking to make the supposedly vicious creature bite. Then it hung onto the professor’s thumb with a bulldog grip for about three minutes before it was pried off. Professor Fattig said the bite was two or three times as painful as a bee’s sting and his thumb felt about three times its normal size. There were no other ill effects and the swelling soon disappeared.
Auto Racer Carries Pet Lion
IN ORDER to carry his pet baby lion around with him while motoring about town, a prominent San Francisco sportsman built a special side car device on his runabout, as shown in the photo below. The lion has been trained to “stay put.”
Fish Are Taught Tricks
Fish have memories, and can be taught to perform tricks, according to Dr. Mieczyslaw Oxner, ichthyologist at Europe’s oldest aquarium, in Monte Carlo. Two months are required to train a fish to eat out of your hand, Dr. Oxner declares. Below, some of his finned pupils are shown “jumping” through a hoop.
Pigeons Are Bred with Camouflage for War Service
Camouflaged pigeons, with a mottled plumage to make them almost invisible to an enemy’s waiting gunners, have been developed for emergency Army communication by Capt. Ray R. Delhauer, a retired United States Army pigeon expert, at Ontario, Calif. Most of his flock of several hundred birds are descendants of the hardier strains of pigeons used by the Allies and Germans in the last war.
Do SHARKS Really BITE
Is It Possible to Learn the Truth About the Habits of Alleged Man-Eaters in the Semitropic Water? Here Is the Report of a Study Made for Popular Science Monthly by One Who Now Fears the Swift Monsters
By JOHN CHAPMAN HILDER
SOME years ago, I heard a celebrated naturalist state unequivocally that sharks would not attack men. As proof of his statement, he cited his own experience in shark-infested waters. Clad only in a bathing suit and a diving helmet, he had descended to the sea bottom, staying there for considerable periods while sharks and other fish swam negligently about, merely evincing a mild curiosity in his presence.
Further, this naturalist said that, though he had tried in various parts of the world to run down instances in which men had been attacked by sharks, he had failed to discover a single authenticated case. He gave it as his opinion that attacks hitherto attributed to sharks had in reality been perpetrated by that other killer of the sea, the barracuda.
“Strong Man” Is Weakling Compared with Insect
WEIGHT for weight, the most powerful professional “strong man” is a weakling compared with many common insects. If our legs had the same relative power as those of a flea, for example, we could jump with ease over a church spire 300 feet high.
An ant moving a heavy pebble up a little slope of earth is performing a feat equivalent to that of a man pulling a railroad train along the track single-handed. Ants have frequently drawn little wagons 1400 times as heavy as themselves.
Science Matches Humans Against Rats
Comparing the learning ability of rats and men is the purpose of new apparatus recently demonstrated at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The rodents averaged fifty trials before they learned to navigate a wooden maze perfectly. They had to make thirty-six right decisions in order to reach a feeding dish. Humans, tried on another apparatus in which a metal stylus slides along grooves in a block, had to make a similar number of decisions while an automatic counter recorded their errors. The average number of trials required by humans was half as many as for the rats.