Can an eagle see a mouse from two miles away?

Yes! The expression “eagle eyes” is taken from the golden eagle, whose incredible eyesight allows it to see a rabbit or mouse from 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away. For comparison purposes, a human being could not see the same rabbit from one-quarter of a mile (0.40 kilometers) away. As a bird of prey, an eagle has eyes that are designed for clear vision in daylight, from early morning light to early evening. Its pupil is not big enough for night vision. The bony ridge above the eagle’s eyes helps protect them from sunlight and assist in effective hunting.

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How do volcanoes erupt?

A volcano is a natural opening in Earth’s crust through which lava (hot molten, or melted, rock), gases, steam, and ash escape, often in a big, noisy eruption or explosion. These eruptions are thought to act like safety valves, relieving the enormous heat and pressure that exist deep in Earth’s interior. A volcano is usually a coneshaped mountain (its sides built up from solidified lava and ash) that has a hole or crater in its center through which it vents. There are several different kinds or stages of eruptions, many causing no damage to the places or people located near the volcano. But a few eruptions are huge and destructive. During these, lava can pour out and run down the volcano into surrounding areas, and enormous suffocating clouds of steam, ash, hot gases, and shooting rock can travel downhill at great speeds, covering many miles.

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What kinds of household pets are common around the world?

Not all people own dogs and cats. While many Europeans, including the British, French, and Italians, own dogs and cats, other people have different relationships to them. In Islamic tradition, dogs are shunned as unclean and dangerous, and thus it has never been common for Arabs to own pets. However, in Saudi Arabia and Egypt it has become fashionable among the upper class to own dogs and cats. (As early as 3500 B.C.E., Egyptians domesticated wildcats from Africa, which became their treasured pets and honored for their skill in hunting snakes, rats, and mice.) In China, cats are thought to bring good luck and are kept in shops and homes; the country also has about 150 million pet dogs—about one for every nine people.

The Japanese keep birds and crickets as pets. The Inuit Eskimo of northern Canada adopt bear cubs, foxes, birds, and baby seals. And Australian Aborigines capture dingo (wild dog) puppies and raise them for a time before letting them go.

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Why is someone displaying absolute loyalty said to be “true blue”?

With the slogan “a true covenantor wears true blue,” the Scottish Presbyterians adopted blue as their colour in the seventeenth century during their defense of their faith against Charles I. The instruction came from Numbers 15:38 in the scriptures, which tells the children of Israel to fringe the borders of their garments in ribbons of blue. Blue is a powerful symbol of Judaism and the national colour of Israel.

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Do doctors ever use bugs for medical reasons?

As strange it may sound, both leeches and blowfly maggots are used occasionally in the field of medicine. The U.S. federal government’s Food and Drug Administration considers both bugs “approved medical devices,” the first live animals to be called that name. Maggots are used to eat dead tissue, thus helping to kill bacteria, clean open wounds, and stimulate healing. Leeches suck out excess blood from the body, and their saliva contains a powerful blood thinner. About 5,000 clean, laboratorygrown maggots are delivered to hospitals across the United States every week.

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Why doesn’t it hurt to cut my hair?

Haircuts don’t hurt because your hair is not alive. Hair is made out of a protein called keratin. Only the root of the hair—the part that grows inside the skin on your head from tiny holes called follicles—is alive and growing. So if you pluck out a hair by the roots, it hurts. But trimming or cutting your hair is painless. And that is also the same reason why it doesn’t hurt to trim your fingernails or toenails, which are also made of keratin. And because fingernails grow faster than toenails, you need to trim them more often!

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Why should I walk my dog every day?

Walking with your dog strengthens the bond between you and your pet, and it is also the healthy thing to do. Dogs, like people, benefit from exercise to help control weight and to maintain a healthy heart, lungs, and muscles. They love going for a walk, running and jumping, and retrieving a ball or Frisbee. Aging pets must be kept as agile and fit as possible, but may not be motivated to exercise without encouragement. The pleasure of your company is one of your dog’s greatest motivations to exercise.

In addition to exercise, dogs also need social interaction, positive attention from their owner, and mental stimulation. Many of these needs can be met by simply taking your dog for a walk. Always remember to walk your dog on a secure leash (with identification tags) and pick up after your pet. During warm weather carry water for your pet, and always pause when your dog needs a rest.

Do our intestines contain germs?

Yes. Germs aren’t all bad—in fact, some are helpful. For example, the common bacterium, E. coli, is found in our intestines and helps us digest green vegetables and beans (also making gases). These same bacteria also make vitamin K, which causes blood to clot. If we didn’t have this bacteria inside of us, we could bleed to death whenever we got a small cut.

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