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American Pika
credit: sevenstar

Its Own Private Silo

Introducing the American Pika, a small brownish ball of fur that's part farmer, part ventriloquist.

At home on boulder-covered hillsides across western North America, especially at higher elevations, the American Pika is an agrarian wonder. As summer continues, it will start hauling grasses and other plants back to its nest and spreading the plants out to cure on nearby rocks. The result: little haystacks that the pika will move periodically for better drying and protection from the rain. Later the pika will stash these supplies in its nest between the rocks and feast on them during the winter.

But that's not the pika's only trick. It can also throw its voice. With each of its distinctive bleats the pika jerks its body up and forward. Experts believe that this jerking motion is what makes the pika's voice seem to echo as if from afar.

Click here to learn more about the American Pika.

 

 

 

 

 

2007 eNature.com