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10/27/10

Champion Insect Jumper

Frog Hoppers, also known as spit bugs, are the champion insect jumpers


The Frog Hopper capable of reaching heights of 700mm, or 28 inches. It can accelerate at 4000 m/s2 over 2mm as it jumps, and can jump 100 times their length.While the flea is also a champion jumper, the Frog Hopper is more impressive, being 60 times heavier. The 6mm long creatures can experience around 400 times the force of gravity, or 400 g, when the average human experiences about three g when being launched in a rocket and can fall unconscious with as little as 5 g.
This family of insect is best known  for the nymph stage, which produces a cover of frothed-up plant sap resembling spit; the nymphs are therefore commonly known as spittlebugs, or spit bugs.


10/20/10

The Most Powerful Muscle

The greatest burst of power from any animal muscle comes from the tongue of a tropical salamander.


The giant palm salamander of Central America (Bolitoglossa dofleini) captures fast-moving bugs with an explosive tongue thrust that releases over 18,000 watts of power per kilogram of muscle.
Much like an arrow shot from a bow. The giant palm salamander's bony tongue is launched with an initial burst of energy and flies forward under its own momentum. The "bow" is provided by elastic fibers in the salamander's mouth that stretch to store muscular energy and then release it all at once. The salamander's ballistic firing permits the tongue's sticky-padded tip to reach prey in just a few thousandths of a second
10/18/10

The Size of a Blue Whale


The blue whale is the largest animal ever known to have lived. 



Even larger than any dinosaur. The largest known dinosaur of the Mesozoic Era was the Argentinosaurus, which is estimated to have weighed up to 90 metric tons (99 short tons).

The longest whales ever recorded were two females measuring 33.6–33.3 meters (110–109 ft) respectively. The longest whale measured by scientists at the NMML was 29.9 meters (98 ft).

A blue whale's tongue alone weighs around 2.7 metric tons (3.0 short tons) and, when fully expanded, its mouth is large enough to hold up to 90 metric tons (99 short tons) of food and water. 

Its heart is the size of a small car and weighs 600 kilograms (1,300 lb). It is the largest known in any animal. Its Heart only has to beat 6 timesA blue whale's aorta is about 23 centimetres (9.1 in) in diameter. 

During the first seven months of its life, a blue whale calf drinks approximately 400 litres (100 U.S. gallons) of milk every day. Blue whale calves gain weight quickly, as much as 90 kilograms (200 lb) every 24 hours.

Even at birth, they weigh up to 2,700 kilograms (6,000 lb)—the same as a fully grown hippopotamus.




10/15/10

Cute Critter Friday: Red Panda


This panda may not be as well known as the black and white giant panda, but it is one of the cutest animals around.


Scientists have had difficulty classifying the red panda. It has been classified as a relative of the giant panda, and also of the raccoon, with which it shares a ringed tail. Currently, red pandas are considered members of their own unique family—the Ailuridae.
The Firefox browser is sometimes said to have been named after a Chinese name for Red Panda: 火狐, or "fire fox." The Mozilla Web site also states that Firefox is a name for the Red Panda, it cites a mirror of the Red Panda Wikipedia article as the source for this statement. In addition, an article on its branding by the artist says that although Firefox is a Red Panda, the logo design is a Red Fox





10/12/10

Unicorn of the Sea

The Narwhal tusk used to be considered to have magical powers

Vikings and other northern traders of medieval times used to sell Narwhal tusks for many times their weight in gold. The medieval Europeans believed them to be the horn from the legendary unicorn. The "horns" were considered to have magical powers and were used in medical practices.
The Narwhal tusk can grow to 7-10 feet long (2-3 meters). The tusk of a narwhal is actually a tooth. Usually the left incisor of a male. There have been many reports of male Narwhals having 2 tusks, and even an occasional female will produce one. The purpose of the tusk has been debated and speculated on. Many believe it is a sexual characteristic attracting the female. While the research in this video suggests it may serve many other functions


10/11/10

Part Fish, Part Bird


The longest recorded fish flight is 45 seconds. 




Flying fish live in all of the oceans, particularly in warm tropical and subtropical waters. Their most striking feature is their pectoral fins, which are unusually large, and enable the fish to hide and escape from predators by leaping out of the water, taking short gliding flights through air just above the water's surface. Their glides are typically around 50 metres (160 ft). In order to glide upward out of the water, a flying fish moves its tail up to 70 times per second. They can also use their tail to keep themselfes moving in the air without diving back down.
In May 2008, a Japanese television crew filmed a flying fish  off the coast of Yakushima Island, Japan. The creature spent 45 seconds in flight. The previous record was 42 seconds. Flying fish can use updrafts at the leading edge of waves to cover distances of at least 400 m (1,300 ft). They can travel at speeds of more than 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph). Maximum altitude is 6 m (20 ft) above the surface of the sea.


10/8/10

17 Foot Flying Devil Ray

The Mobula ray is similar in size an appearance to the Manta ray, But in Baja California they recreationally jump up to 6 feet out of the water.


The Mobula ray is a genus of ray in the family Myliobatidae (eagle rays). They are second only to the Manta in size, But still attain a width of up to 5.2 meters (17 feet) and can probably weigh over a ton, They have been observed in Baja California breaching out of the water. Their leaps can reach up to 6 feet high, then they belly flop back into the water. Despite their size, little is known about this genus, other than the fact they want to be birds.




10/7/10

Giant Centipede


The largest centipede in the world feeds on frogs, tarantulas, and can even catch a bat in mid flight.




Scolopendra gigantea (also known as the Amazonian giant centipede) is the largest centipede in the world, regularly reaching lengths of 26 cm (10 in) and can exceed 35 cm (13 in). It inhabits the northern and western regions of South America and the islands of Trinidad, and Jamaica.
It is carnivorous, feeding on lizards, frogs, birds, mice, and even bats. It is also known to prey on tarantulas. The body consists of 21 to 23 segments which are coppery red or maroon in color, each with a pair of yellow-tinted legs; the legs are adapted for fast walking. The centipede has modified claws called forcipules which curve around its head and can deliver venom into its prey.
10/6/10

Tigers and... Pigs?


The power of scent is strong in humans and many animals. With the use of a familiar scent a tiger mother adopts these piglets.

See Animal Planets Video Here

And here is one from ITN.co.uk



Our sense of smell is tightly wired in the brain with memory and emotion. The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning. When you first smell a new scent, you link it to an event, a person, a thing or even a moment. Your brain forges a link between the smell and a memory. In animals this is called olfactory imprinting. Olfactory imprinting is a process in which the exposure of animals to smells during a specific time windows leaves a permanent memory ("olfactory imprint") that changes the animal's behavior when encountering the same smell at later times. In the case of this Tiger and Pig, the mother pig marks the tiger cubs with her scent, then the cubs are given back to their mom to create that "imprint". Over time the mother tiger sees the piglet, who smell the same, as her own family.
10/5/10

Orca Death at Seaworld

September 4th 2010, Seaworlds Orca Kalina died unexpectedly. That makes three killer whale deaths in 4 months. and thirteen deaths in 14 years.


Orcas are one of the oceans most majestic creatures. I have had the pleasure of being out in the Puget Sound to spend time with these Whales. While zoos always make me sad, I also can understand the difficulty in seeing some creatures in the wild. However for those of us in the USA we don't even have to leave the country to visit orcas. Simply visit the San Juan Islands in Washington state, and you can witness all of the tricks and jumps in their own natural environment. The wild orcas of the Puget Sound are very friendly towards humans, and like to show off. Seaworld may claim that they have the best interests of their animals at heart, but the natural lifespan of an Orca in captivity doesn't even come close to the 80 to 90 years they can live in the wild. The news makes me sad, and all I can say is I encourage everyone to respect life in captivity or in the wild.
10/4/10

Beastly Bovine


Belgian Blue cattle are specifically bred to lack a growth gene, providing huge results.


Video from National Geographic
Cows have been a huge part of human culture for thousands of years. They provide multiple food sources and in some cultures hey are even worshiped. These Belgian Blues have been carefully selected and bred with the purpose of creating a larger cow. There is a gene in cows that controls their muscle growth and the cows that are selected lack this genetic trait. They have been contolling this breeding for over a hundred years. The result is a 2 ton cow that looks like he just stepped out of a body building competition.
10/1/10

Leopard Seal Encounter

A Face to Face encounter with one of Antarcticas Vicious Predators. The Leopard Seal


Video From National Geographic

Of all the seals in the world, only one, the leopard seal, has the reputation of a true hunter, a top predator. At up to 12 feet (four meters) long and more than a thousand pounds (450 kilograms), it moves with surprising agility and speed, often along the edges of ice floes, patrolling for penguins and other prey. They have often been seen shreading prey with their giant teeth, or even just playing with their food having no intention of eating it. There have also been a number of human attacks, making this huge curious carnovore just a little scarier.

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