STEM is more than computers and coding – the S in STEM stands for science, which includes biology, zoology, and nature study. This month we have an infographic about animal beds with very cute, original illustrations!
Spring is here, and that means it’s nesting season. The nesting season is the time of year during which birds and some other animals build nests and bring up their young.
Although nests are most closely associated with birds, members of all classes of vertebrates and even some invertebrates such as ants and termites construct nests. The nests may be composed of organic material such as twigs, grass, and leaves. Human-made materials, such as string, plastic, cloth, or paper, may also be used. Nests may be a simple depression in the ground, or a hole in a rock, tree, or building. Many species of small mammals such as rodents, rabbits, and ground squirrels dig burrows into the ground to protect themselves and their young.
Nest building is driven by a biological urge known as the nesting instinct. Generally each species has a distinctive style of nest. Nest complexity is roughly correlated with the level of parental care by adults. Nest building is considered a key adaptive advantage among birds, and they exhibit the most variation in their nests ranging from simple holes in the ground to elaborate communal nests hosting hundreds of individuals. Nests of prairie dogs and several social insects can host millions of individuals.
Sleep in some form also exists across the animal kingdom, although sleep patterns, habits, postures, and locations vary greatly vary widely among animal classes and species. The general rule of thumb is that smaller animals, which often have higher rates of brain metabolism, tend to require more sleep, while larger animals generally get less sleep. All the animals that sleep less than four hours on average are large mammals, such as the elephant, cow, giraffe, and whale.
Exceptions to that rule include koalas, which sleep on average for 22 hours at a time, as well as cats, both big and small. Lions, tigers, and house cats all sleep an average of fifteen hours a day, and some can sleep up to twenty hours in a twenty-four hour period. This is because cats have the physiology of a predator, meaning that they’re hardwired to give chase and hunt – and hunting prey takes an amazing amount of energy.
Like humans, many animals are “diurnal.” They are more active during the day and get more sleep at night. Examples include squirrels and bears. Other animals are “nocturnal.” They have adapted their sleep schedules to sleep primarily during the day and are active at night. Nocturnal animals include bats, opossums, armadillos, raccoons, rats, wolves, and badgers.
Offering inspiration from nature, the infographic below looks at the many amazing sleeping habits of animals, with surprising facts about animals that sleep in unusual ways. From the startling effects of hibernation to the way that animals build their own beds, this colorful and interesting piece will inspire students to take a greater interest in nature and it will be of interest to animal lovers of all ages.
Animal Beds Infographic by Mattress Online.