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Monday, August 25, 2008

Whale Shark - teeth of the largest living fish

The whale shark has over 4,000 teeth. Each tooth is only 3mm long.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Orectolobiformes
Family: Rhincodontidae
Genus: Rhincodon
Species: R. typus
Common Name: Whale Shark

Teeth minute, about 300 rows in each jaw. An individual tooth has a single, hooked cusp. Teeth appear to play no role in feeding. Instead, it is a suction filter feeder - it sucks in a huge volume of water and plankton. The water is strained through spongy tissues supported by cartilaginous rods between the whale shark's gill arches. The plankton, trapped in the gill rakers, is then swallowed. Sometimes larger fishes - such as mackerels, anchovies, and tunas - are sucked in as well. A whale shark can filter 1.5 million liters (400,000 gallons) of water an hour when feeding. The whale shark has unique denticles (tooth-like scales structures), each with an extremely strong central keel, no lateral keels, and a tri-lobed rear margin. It would appear that the denticles are hydrodynamically important in its pelagic lifestyle.

About Whale Sharks:
The whale shark is the largest living fish today. Maximum size is thought to be 20m. The smallest free-living individuals are from 55cm (21.7 inches) long. Sexual maturity in both sexes may not occur until the sharks are over 9m in length. Age estimates for whale sharks are as high as 60 years, but no one really knows how long this species lives.
Based on the study of a single egg recovered off the coast of Mexico in 1956, it was believed to be oviparous, but the capture of a female in July 1996 which was pregnant with 300 pups indicates that they are ovoviviparous. In 1995, an 11-meter female whale shark was harpooned off the eastern coast of Taiwan and 300 fetal specimens, ranging in length from 42 to 63cm, were taken from the two uteri. This discovery proved that the species is a live bearer, with an ovoviviparous mode of development. The egg-capsules of this whale shark were amber colored, with a smooth texture, and possessed a respiratory fissure (opening) on each side.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cockroach - incredible life survival

A cockroach can survive for about a week without its head before dying of starvation.
A cockroach can survive a month or more without food, but less than two weeks without water.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Superorder: Dictyoptera
Order: Blattaria

Cockroaches (or simply "roaches") are insects of the order Blattaria. This name derives from the Latin word for "cockroach", blatta. Cockroaches are one of the oldest insects. There are cockroach fossil remains which date back 200 million years. Cockroaches have wings, six legs, and two antennae. A cockroach likes to eat sweet and floury foods and hang out in dark, wet places. Cockroaches are one of the most commonly noted household pest insects. They feed on human and pet food and damage and can leave an offensive odor. They can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including those that are potentially dangerous to humans, particularly in environments such as hospitals. Cockroaches infestations have been shown to be linked with allergic reactions in humans.

Some of the earliest writings with regards to cockroaches encouraged their use as medicine. Pedanius Dioscorides (1st century), Kamal al-Din al-Damiri and Abu Hanifa ad-Dainuri (9th century) all offered medicines that either suggest grinding them up with oil or boiling them. The list of ailments to be treated included earaches, open wounds and "gynecological disorders."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hummingbird - their incredible diet

Hummingbird’s consume half of their weight in food daily.
With the exception of insects, hummingbirds while in flight have the highest metabolism of all animals, a necessity in order to support the rapid beating of their wings. Their heart rate can reach as high as 1,260 beats per minute, a rate once measured in a Blue-throated Hummingbird. They also typically consume more than their own weight in nectar each day, and to do so they must visit hundreds of flowers daily. At any given moment, they are only hours away from starving.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
(unranked) Cypselomorphae
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae

Hummingbirds feed on the nectar of plants and are important pollinators, especially of deep-throated, tubular flowers. Like bees, they are able to assess the amount of sugar in the nectar they eat; they reject flower types that produce nectar which is less than 12% sugar and prefer those whose sugar content is around 25%. Nectar is a poor source of nutrients, so hummingbirds meet their needs for protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. by preying on insects and spiders, especially when feeding young. Hummingbirds do not spend all day flying, as the energy costs of this would be prohibitive; the majority of their activity consists simply of sitting or perching. Hummingbirds feed in many small meals, consuming many small invertebrates and up to five times their own body weight in nectar each day. They spend an average of 10-15% of their time feeding and 75-80% sitting and digesting.

Myth and Culture about Hummingbirds: Wikipedia Article
  • The Aztec god Huitzilopochtli is often depicted as a hummingbird. The Nahuatl word huitzil (hummingbird) is an onomatopoeic word derived from the sounds of the hummingbird's wing-beats and zooming flight.
  • One of the Nazca Lines, displayed at right, depicts a hummingbird.
  • The Ohlone tells the story of how Hummingbird brought fire to the world. See article at the National Parks Conservation Association's website for a recounting.
  • Trinidad and Tobago is known as "The land of the hummingbird," and a hummingbird can be seen on that nation's coat of arms and 1-cent coin as well as its national airline, "Caribbean Airlines".

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dog's Smell - One of kennest in nature

A dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 times stronger than humans.
A dog's sense of smell is one of the keenest in nature. The big difference with dogs and humans is that dogs are not as interested in seeing the objects that surround them, they rather smell them. Smelling is a way of recognizing the world.

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. lupus
Subspecies: C. l. familiaris

Dog's nose consists of 120 to 220 million cells compare to humans with just 5 million cells, also their smelling receiver made up of mucous cover an area of 130 square compare to human with jast 3 square meter. Dogs can detect even lightest environmental changes, a distant object, also even changes in hormonal levels around them. They can sense signals many other things around unnoticed by humans through their noses.
Important use of dog's acute smell sense is detection. They can tract missing persons, search for buried people under decries or snow, they can trace criminals or escaped prisoners through smelling their tract. Military use police dogs to detect drugs and explosives or buried mines in wars.

About Dogs : Wikipedia
The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domesticated subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term encompasses both feral and pet varieties and is also sometimes used to describe wild canids of other subspecies or species. The domestic dog has been one of the most widely kept working and companion animals in human history, as well as being a food source in some cultures. There are estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world. The English word dog can be traced back to the Old English docga, a "powerful breed of canine". The term may derive from Proto-Germanic *dukk┼Źn, represented in Old English finger-docce ("finger-muscle").

Friday, August 1, 2008

Giant Squid - world's larget eyes

"A giant squid’s eyes have a diameter of 15 inches which are the largest of any animal."
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Subclass: Coleoidea
Order: Teuthida
Suborder: Oegopsina
Family: Architeuthidae
Genus: Architeuthis

Giant squid have a sophisticated nervous system and complex brain, attracting great interest from scientists. They also have the largest eyes of any living creature except perhaps colossal squid — over 30 centimeters (1 ft) in diameter. Large eyes can better detect light (including bioluminescent light), which is scarce in deep water. Architeuthis) is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by as many as eight species. Aristotle, who lived in the fourth century B.C., already described a large squid, which he called teuthus, distinguishing it from the smaller squid, the teuthis. He mentions that "of the calamaries the so-called teuthus is much bigger than the teuthis; for teuthi [plural of teuthus] have been found as much as five ells long."

- Researchers defrosting two colossal squid at New Zealand's national museum
- The larger one has eyes around 27 cm across, believed to be world's biggest
- It weighs almost half a tonne and measures about 32 feet (10 meters) in length
- Scientists believe that there may be even larger colossal squids in existence

Article from Wikipedia about Giant Squid:
The giant squid (genus: Architeuthis) is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by as many as eight species. Giant squid can grow to a tremendous size: recent estimates put the maximum size at 13 metres (43 ft) for females and 10 metres (33 ft) for males from caudal fin to the tip of the two long tentacles (second only to the colossal squid at an estimated 14 metres (46 ft), one of the largest living organisms). The mantle is about 2 metres (7 ft) long (more for females, less for males), and the length of the squid excluding its tentacles is about 5 metres (16 ft). There have been claims reported of specimens of up to 20 metres (66 ft), but no animals of such size have been scientifically documented.

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