The subject is woodpeckers because, well, no reason really except that we were talking about woodpeckers yesterday.
There are a lot of woodpeckers in the world. About 200 species, to be specific. And you can find them pretty much everywhere as long as everywhere doesn’t include Australia, New Zealand, or Madagascar.
Woodpeckers smash their beaks into trees and logs about a zillion times a minute in order to find lunch and/or carve out a place to live. You might think all this would cause headaches, but it doesn’t (as you know). You might also think it would cause tons of sawdust and flying woodchips which might be dangerous to the aforementioned avian driller. You’d be right about the sawdust but not so much about the danger, because woodpeckers have special bristles around their nostrils designed to keep out flying pieces of wood. They also have an extra eyelid (which they can see through—how cool is that!) that helps protect and clean their little eyeballs.
Most woodpeckers have zygodactyl feet which is a fancy way of saying that shopping for shoes is beyond difficult because they have two toes facing front and two toes facing back.
Woodpecker tongues are generally about 3 times the length of their bills. Some woodpeckers have barbed tongues to help yank bugs out of tricky hiding spots. When they aren’t using their tongues, woodpeckers store them between the back of their skull and the skin at the back of their heads. Because where else would you store your overlong tongue?
Woodpeckers are generally monogamous, because how easy is it to find a girlfriend when you have zygodactyl feet and a tongue you have to store behind your brain?
In the wild, woodpeckers live between 4 and 15 years, and up to 20-30 years under ideal conditions (and by “ideal conditions” I mean treat their wives like the queens they are.