In the Wild

April Show­ers: th­ese an­i­mals have spe­cial re­la­tion­ships with rain

Canadian Wildlife - - DISPATCHES -

EARTH­WORMS Lum­b­ri­ci­dae

Cross-canada When it rains, th­ese wrig­gly crit­ters can come above­ground be­cause their skin will stay moist enough to al­low them to breathe. Some re­searchers think earth­worms come to the sur­face when it rains be­cause they can move faster across the soil sur­face; oth­ers think rain causes vi­bra­tions that sound like moles dig­ging, prompt­ing the worms to move up and out of the way.

BLACK BEAR Ur­sus amer­i­canus

Cross-canada ex­cept Prince Ed­ward Is­land While they don’t *love* rain, black bears can still be spot­ted out in light rains. It helps that they have their own method for tow­elling off: a 2017 study found that black bears, like many other mam­mals, shake them­selves dry at a fre­quency per­fectly cal­i­brated for max­i­mum wa­ter-loss per shake in re­la­tion to their size.

AMER­I­CAN BULL­FROG Litho­bates cates­beianus

South­ern On­tario and Que­bec, New Brunswick and Nova Sco­tia Bull­frogs are highly aquatic and don’t like to move around on land un­less it is rain­ing. That means their abil­ity to spread out and cre­ate new bull­frog pop­u­la­tions de­pends on there be­ing enough rain.

COM­MON MUSKRAT On­da­tra zi­bethi­cus

Cross-canada As aquatic mam­mals, muskrats rely on the wet­lands and wa­ter­ways to make their homes — and rain is cru­cial to sup­port­ing th­ese habi­tats.

MAL­LARD Anas platyrhyn­chos

Cross-canada (rare in New­found­land and Labrador and P.E.I.) For mal­lards, heavy rain can cre­ate flooded fields with fewer predators and plenty of food.

Shake it off: A B.C. black bear shows per­fect dry­ing tech­nique

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