Friday, 5 June 2020
The tortoise is one of the oldest species on our planet. Here are some interesting facts about this amazing creature that you may not be aware of.
- 1. The oldest creature – the tortoise is one of the oldest creatures in the world. Their earliest specimens date back to the Triassic period 260 million years ago. Fortunately, turtles' habit of burrowing and living in water led to their long-term survival on this land.
- 2. In the animal kingdom, long-lived creatures live almost all of them. A typical tortoise can live between 10 and 80 years of age, while large breed turtles often live more than 100 years. Because it is difficult to accurately measure the age of more than a century, researchers believe that turtles can live hundreds of years.
- 3. Hundreds of species of turtles - There are currently 356 known species of turtles. These are all reptiles and they all have hard shells on their bodies. This is the only similarity between them. Some of the specific species include sea turtles, leather shells on the back, snapping turtles, pond turtles and soft shell turtles
- 4. Semi-aquatic and aquatic turtles – It belong to the testosterone family, which includes reptiles, and their bodies are protected by a hard outer shell. The main difference between turtles and tortoises is that tortoises live exclusively on land, while most turtles live in or around water
- 5. Meat and herbivorous tortoises - Most tortoises are actually vegetarians, but one particular species is almost entirely carnivorous. These typical turtles eat everything from small fish to small mammals found in water.
- 6. Eggs – all species of turtles lay eggs on the ground, but they are not animals that raise their young. No breed of turtle breeds its own offspring. When babies hatch, they grow on their own.
- 7. The sex of turtles is determined by temperature, - just like crocodiles. If the temperature is below 27.7 degrees Celsius, a male tortoise is born from the egg. But if the hatching of the egg is above 31 degrees Celsius, the female is born. As the oceans get warmer, so do more female turtle.
- 8. Surprising direction – The Sea turtles have the amazing ability to return to the very shore where they were born years ago. Like many animals, turtles find their way into the ocean by sensing the individual lines of the earth's magnetic field. They also detect small changes in coastal magnetic lines and reach their birthplace.
- 9. Turtles have a very good ability to see in good looking water. Researchers have discovered that they can see a range of different colors and even prefer some colors over other colors. Although sea turtles are known for their in-house GPS, there is evidence that they do not see well on land beyond the water.
- 10. The survival of six of the seven species of turtles is threatened by human activity after many species have survived for two to four million years. Every year thousands of turtles die in fishermen's nets. In some parts of the world, they are killed for eggs, meat and their shells.
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Wednesday, 3 June 2020
Locusts are destroying crops in Pakistan. In human history, large swarms of locusts have come from America to Australia and have been clearing crops, orchards, fields, and orchards. In the Qur'an, the torment of the locust heart is mentioned with reference to Pharaoh. The giant swarms of locusts invaded the globe in different periods so that Noah had to face a severe famine.
Over the past 2,000 years, large swarms of locusts have invaded China, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. In 1875, the Rocky Mountain Locust, which covered more than 12 trillion and 188,000 square miles, turned vast areas of the United States into barren land.
Beginning with India in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Bombay Locust encompassed the whole of Southeast Asia. From 1926 to 1989, five major locust heart epidemics engulfed the world. In 1915 Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon, in 2003 the African Locust, in 2013 the Madagascar Locust, and in 2016 the Argentine Locust cleared crops and greenery. According to research, a swarm of 70 billion locusts spread over 460 square miles consumes 300 million pounds of crops a day.
Thursday, 9 April 2020
Pacu is a South Americanfreshwater fish found in most rivers and streams in the basins of lowland Amazonia. Because Pacu, is related to the meat-eating piranha, both sharing the same subfamily Serrasalminae, though they have different food habits. The piranha is a carnivorous species while the pacu is omnivorous with vegetative tendencies. The difference is evident in the structure of their teeth. Piranha has pointed razor-sharp teeth whereas Pacu have squarer, straighter teeth that eerily resemble those of humans.
Pacu uses its teeth mainly to crush nuts and fruits, but sometimes they also eat other fish and invertebrates. They usually eat floating fruits and nuts that drop from trees in the Amazon, and on a few occasions were reported to attack the testicles of male swimmers mistaking them to be floating nuts. This has earned them the name of "ball-cutter" after they castrated a couple of local fishermen in Papua New Guinea.
One toddler needed surgery after a pacu bit her finger at Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World in Scotland. Pacus are legal to own in the USA can be bought in aquarium stores and are easy to rise. The trouble is numerous aquarium owners are unaware that Pacu’s can grow up to 4 feet long, which is way too large for a typical home aquarium.
A fully-grown adult has strong, heavy grinders set in the rear of the jaw too, which are particularly important for crushing the shells of its prey. As with humans, this unique combination of teeth helps the sheepshead process a wide-ranging, omnivorous diet consisting of a variety of vertebrates, invertebrates and some plant material.
Friday, 21 February 2020
Crow is such a clever & smart improvising bird, who have stolen hangers from nearby houses to make a comfortable nest at Kyushu University in Fukuoka City. The large-billed crow “Japonensis” builds the nest with wire coat hangers. The flexibility and diameter are super perfect for a comfortable house for Jungle Crows. Normally crows would work in pairs to remove the clothing from the hangers and then one would fly off with the hanger.
During the breeding season, the massive blackouts due to short-circuiting being caused by hanger nests built atop power pools and pylons. The Kyushu Electric power company had a crow patrol party, that look out nearby areas and destroy the hanger nest on their power grid. Crows are famous as highly intelligent birds, and in this story, they teach us how important to recycle wasted things.
The common crow builds nests with interlocking twigs collected from nearby trees, shrubs, and sometimes thick plastic. The hanger’s nests also found in other cities of Japan. The intricate nests almost like super artwork. The Tokyo residence observes many nests are built with their coat hangers. On the other side, this is ashamed for humans that are no longer enough trees, twigs, and whatever left in these areas for crows to build their nests in and with. It would be cool to see a progression of pictures showing the construction of the nest.
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Thursday, 20 February 2020
While eucalyptus trees may inspire thoughts of the land “Down Under” and koala bears, the rainbow eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) is unique among eucalypts. Unlike other members of the genus, rainbow eucalyptus hails from the Philippine Islands; specifically, the island of Mindanao, which is why the tree is also referred to as a Mindanao gum. E. deglupta was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1929.
In fact, many people have their first experience with these trees while visiting Hawaii. Rainbows are tropical trees accustomed to a rainforest type of environment. While they grow more slowly in the cooler winter weather of South Florida, the trees retain their leaves year-round. Rainbows should be protected from freezes, but they can withstand light frost conditions for short periods. Summertime is when these trees can really show their vigor and growth speed. They may grow 8 to 10 feet in a growing season, and even more with extremely good care.
The tree gets its common name from the striking stripes of color on its trunks and limbs. While they look as though they were painted on, these ever-changing colors are an entirely natural feature. Unlike trees such as oaks, rainbow eucalyptus does not have a thick, corky layer of bark on the trunk. Instead, the bark is smooth and vibrantly alive, and as it grows, it ex-foliates thin layers of spent tissue.
This process occurs in irregular zones at different times. Once the layers come off, they reveal new and fresh green bark. As the newly exposed bark slowly ages, it changes from bright green to a darker green, then bluish to purplish, and then pink-orange. Finally, the color becomes a brownish maroon right before exfoliation occurs. Since this process is happening in different zones of the trunk and in different stages, simultaneously, the colors are varied and almost constantly changing. As a result, the tree will never have the same color pattern twice, making it like a work of living art.
Water is very important to rainbow eucalyptus, especially when it is young. If this tree is grown under conditions where water is not abundant, the growth rate will be much slower, and the exfoliation will occur in small flecks rather than long strips. When growing in containers, never allow E.deglupta to dry out, as this can prove fatal to the tree very quickly. For landscape use, the ideal location for rainbow eucalyptus is near freshwater ponds, lakes, or canals. Mature trees can survive and grow in drier areas, but they become their most luxuriant when they have access to abundant moisture.
Other Advantages of E.deglupta is largely pest-free. Occasionally a few mealybugs or aphids may appear, and the odd caterpillar or leaf-cutting bee may disfigure some leaves, but the tree can be grown without excessive concern about pest damage. Growers should consider an application of mycorrhizal inoculums to their plantings, especially when planting in developed areas where the soil has been severely disturbed. Although rainbow eucalyptus is a wonder to behold and can add a magical dimension to the landscape, it produces none of the familiar aromatic oils that other eucalypts do — making it ideal for those who desire a quieter olfactory environment. This tree deserves to be more widely planted in the warmer climate areas of the mainland United States.
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This is a very interesting story of a sheep, who escaped for 6 years before being had a shorn (haircut). The sheep gained international fame in 2004 in New Zealand when Shark, the Merino Sheep was shorn live on National Television. This is so dangerous to have so much fleece on the body, can become a health and safety concern even though his eyes were completely covered.
Sherk, massive fleece could be largest ever is to be used for charity purposes for children. Sherk, looked like a biblical creature, use to evade capture by hiding in a cave. The Merino Sheep normally shorn annually, but he managed to hide for six years and finally caught on 15 April 2004. The experienced individuals take 10 to 15 minutes to complete the shearing process.
When Sherk the Sheep was finally caught at Bendigo Station, no one believe that this is a sheep. Sherk was shorn with sharp scissors, and its 27kg fleece is more than enough to make twenty large men’s suits. An average Merino Sheep has 4 to 5 kg fleece. Although, Sherk was too old to sell in the mutton market, so it was used in promoting New Zealand lucrative trade in wool.
Sherk, becomes a national icon, was taken to parliament to meet with Helen Clark (Prime Minister in 2004). So, far it was a record of the longest staple of wool ever shorn from a sheep. Sadly, the adorable Sherk died in 2011 at the age of 16. But you will love and remember for your wool.
The moral of this story is thought-provoking to look inside everybody. Because, our sins grow like this Sherk wool, becoming a massive burden that weighs us down to death. Our bodies cannot survive too long to put the pressure of sins on our hearts and souls.
Saturday, 8 February 2020
Secrets of the Great Pyramid after a few days of scuba diving along the Red Sea coast of Egypt in early 1985, two French architects went on an excursion to see the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza. As they examined the huge structure, they noted several things that simply did not make sense to them. Some of the pyramid's immense stone blocks, for example, are stacked vertically, rather than staggered in their usual pattern. And in certain parts of the pyramid, curious roughhewn stones crop up during polished limestone. Like generations of pyramid visitors before them, the two Frenchmen, Gilles Dormion and Jean-Patrice Goldin were captivated by the great monument. And like so many others, they believed that they could penetrate its mysteries.
The structural anomalies, the architects deduced, were clues to hidden, previously unknown rooms within the pyramid. They speculated that one such secret chamber might even contain the remains of the Pharaoh Cheops himself, thus resolving one of the pyramid's eternal questions: Where is the body it was presumably built to entomb' Dormion and Goidin had considerable technological advantages over previous pyramid detectives. After several exploratory visits to the stone hallways, they returned in August of 1 986 with a microgravimetry, a sophisticated instrument capable of registering density voids, or cavities, within the pyramid.
And behind the walls of a corridor leading to the room known as the Queen's Chamber, the device detected the voids predicted by the architects. Encouraged, the two men got permission from Egyptian authorities to drill into the ancient limestone walls in search of the pyramid's secrets. For days, the architects and their colleagues worked in the cramped passages of the pyramid, their drills chewing through more than two yards of rock in three different places. But all they uncovered were pockets of fine, crystalline sand: The micro gravimeter, it seemed, could indicate the presence of voids in the pyramid but could not pinpoint their precise location.
The secret chambers, if they exist, remained hidden. The Great Pyramid had thwarted yet another attempt in the long, frustrating, and fascinating quest to unravel its abiding riddles. Since the time of the classical Greeks, people have gazed at this sole survivor of the ancient world's seven wonders and asked questions they could not answer. Why was it built? If it was a tomb, as conventional wisdom has generally supposed, why were no symbols or possessions of royalty- much less a royal corpse— ever found? If it was not a tomb, what was it? And how was it built? How, given the building techniques of the day, could one explain the astonishing precision of its construction, its near-perfect alignment to the points of the compass, the exquisite accuracy of its masonry.
If the pyramid's design incorporates advanced mathematical and astronomical knowledge, as many investigators believe, how did its builders acquire such wisdom so far in advance of other civilizations' Could the enigmatic structure even harbor some sort of mystical powers beyond the realm of conventional science? More than a few archeologists, astronomers, religious scholars, and amateur pyramid enthusiasts have argued such questions through the centuries. While archeologists focus on the structure purely as a historical artifact, other investigators have usually fallen into three schools of thought. The first, and most common, holds that the pyramid represents a universal system of measurement, that its very dimensions embody archetypal measures of length and even time.
A splinter group of nineteenth-century pyramid students founded the second school, focusing on the structure's extraordinary properties as a gigantic sundial and an astronomical observatory. This so-called archeoastronomy made a strong case that the pyramid builders, whoever they were, had an awareness of astronomy and the earth's dimensions far superior to anything previously imagined. As the fascination with the pyramid continued into the twentieth century, a third and far more speculative school arose, concentrating on the pyramid shape itself and its alleged physical effects on both living things and inanimate objects.
These researchers claimed that the pyramid shape could somehow help plants grow, keep food fresh longer, and even sharpen dull razor blades. Still, others have accounted for the mathematical wisdom the structure supposedly embodies by imagining that its builders came from lost Atlantis, or even from another planet, or from both. The pyramid itself maintains a stubborn silence. It has never been completely explored nor completely explained.
The pyramid of Cheops rises in its enigmatic majesty from the rocky Giza plateau ten miles west of Cairo. Glimpsed through the branches of the acacia, eucalyptus, and tamarind trees that line the boulevard leading to the plateau, it vaults up from a wind-scraped flat on the edge of the Libyan Desert with dramatic suddenness, a breathtaking mountain of sand-colored stone looming above the lush palm groves of the nearby Nile. Caravan travelers approaching from the desert in ages past saw it for days before they reached it, a tiny triangle on the horizon bulking ever larger in its symmetrical perfection. Close up, its grandeur is overpowering.
Numbers can only suggest its immensity-a ground area of 1 3. 1 acre, the edifice itself composed of some 2.3 million limestone blocks averaging two and a half tons each. The structure contains enough stone to build a wall of foot-square cubes two-thirds of the way around the globe at the equator, 16,600 miles. The Great Pyramid and the two others that stand near it on the plateau-attributed to Cheops'simmediatesuccessors- were erected during the period of Egyptian history known as the Fourth Dynasty, between 2613 and 2494 b c Egyptologists believe that Cheops (as the Greeks knew him; his Egyptian name was Khufu) ordered the immense building raised as a tomb and monument to himself.
Its outer shell was originally composed of highly polished limestone blocks fitted together with painstaking precision, but these casing stones were stripped off in the fourteenth century and used in the construction of Cairo. At some point in history, the original capstone, forming the top thirty-one feet of the pyramid, was also removed. Egyptologists have drawn on their knowledge of Egyptian religion to explain the significance of the pyramid shape, contending that it could have related to sun worship. The angled walls, they say, resemble the outspread rays of the sun descending earthward from a cloud, and the pyramid thus represents a stairway to the heavens.
Some students of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, such as the modern occultist writer Manly P. Hall, even maintain that the pyramid provided more than a merely figurative passage to celestial realms. According to Hall, the building was a secret temple where the elect underwent a mystic ritual transforming them into gods. The initiates would lie for three days and nights within the pyramid while there too- the soul or essence— left their bodies and entered ' 'the spiritual spheres of space. " In the process, the candidates "achieved actual immortality" and became godlike.
More down-to-earth questions surround the issue of how, in an age without pulleys or the wheel, the massive pyramid was built. But archeologists have guessed at a general scenario: The builders somehow leveled the site and then aligned the sides of the building by making repeated observations of circumpolar stars to determine true directions. At quarries a few miles away, masons cut the limestone with stone hammers and copper chisels. Crews consisting of hundreds of workers then dragged the blocks to the site; granite used in some parts of the interior was ferried down the Nile from a site about 400 miles distant and hauled up a causeway from the river.
To pull the multitone blocks up the sides of the rising pyramid, they may have used a spiraling earthen ramp, although some experts believe they levered the stone upward on planks and wooden runners. The blocks were then fitted together with hairline precision, displaying an accuracy of engineering that impresses even present-day builders. Many observers have doubted that so massive a structure as the Great Pyramid— a miracle of engineering, a prodigy of decades of backbreaking labor under the blazing sun could have been intended merely for the housing of one royal mummy. Alternate explanations have flourished since the pre-Christian era.
The Roman historian Julius Honorius declared that the pyramids were storehouses for grain. (Another early writer opined that the structures were extinct volcanoes.) The Arabs who ruled Egypt for centuries thought that they were repositories of ancient knowledge, built by earlier rulers who feared a catastrophe, perhaps the flood; local folktales claimed that the Great Pyramid incorporated both a guide to the stars and a prophecy of the future. Superstition trailed legend: Ghosts patrolled the corridors, the Arabs said, as did a naked woman with unsightly teeth who seduced trespassers and drove them mad.
The Greek historian Herodotus was the first visitor to gather and record information about the Great Pyramid in a systematic way. Herodotus visited Giza in the fifth-century bc, when the structure was already 2,000 years old and wrote a description of its construction based on his conversations with local Egyptians. Unable to go inside the edifice (its end- 48 trance was hidden), he accepted his informants' claim that the pyramid was a tomb built to the tyrannical Khufu. The king's burial vault, they said, lay underground. One hundred thousand men labored on the pyramid, according to Herodotus, with fresh crews thrown onto the project every three months.
They built the causeway from the river to the plateau in ten years; the pyramid itself took another twenty years to complete. Engineers lifted the gigantic stones up the sides of the structure step by step using "machines formed of short wooden planks" on each step. Herodotus did not elaborate on how these machines worked. He was also told that outer casing stones were installed from the top-down after the interior core was in place. These glistening, highly polished stones were covered with inscriptions- later lost when the blocks were carted off to Cairo.
Herodotus was interested in the Great Pyramid primarily as an engineering project. But the next pyramid explorer known to history had a somewhat different perspective on the structure and introduced what was to become an abiding theme of pyramid studies: the quest for the mathematical wisdom possessed by the ancients. The ninth-century Arab caliph Abdullah Al-Ma mun was a young ruler with a scientific turn of mind and a special interest in astronomy.
He dreamed of mapping the world and charting the heavens, and he turned his attention to the pyramid when he learned that its secret chambers reportedly contained highly accurate maps and tables executed by the pyramid builders in addition, and perhaps of more interest to the caliph's fellow explorers, great treasure was said to be hidden somewhere within. Arab historians later told the dramatic tale of how the caliph and his team of architects, builders, and stonemasons set to work in ad 820.
Unable to find an entrance to the inscrutable structure, they launched a frontal attack, heating the limestone blocks with fire and then dousing them with cold vinegar until they cracked. After burrowing through 100 feet of rock this way, the explorers finally reached a narrow, four-foot-high passageway that climbed steeply upward. At its upper end, they found the pyramid's original entrance, forty-nine feet above the ground, blocked and hidden by a pivoting stone door.
Turning around, the explorers followed the passageway downward. After crawling on their hands and knees through the inky darkness, they were chagrined to find only an unfinished, empty chamber. If secret writings or a king's ransom were to be found in the pyramid, it would be elsewhere. The excitement was rekindled, however, when Al Mamun's men returned to the passageway and discovered what looked like another corridor sloping upward.
Unfortunately, its entrance was filled by a large granite plug, obviously placed there deliberately. The granite was impervious to their hammers and chisels, but the determined Arabs found that they could chip through the softer limestone blocks around it. As soon as they did, though, they found another granite obstacle and then several more. Someone had been determined to bar intruders from the pyramid's inner sanctum After laboriously hacking their way around the series of plugs, the explorers emerged into a low-ceilinged corridor that slanted upward until it intersected a level passageway.
This led them to an eighteen-foot-square, twenty-foot-high gabled room that would later become known as the Queen's Chamber (because of the Arab custom of burying women in tombs with gabled roofs). No queen was in evidence, however; this chamber, too, was empty.
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Saturday, 1 February 2020
I recently stumble upon a brave dog who served the US military in World War 1. That is Mutt the French Bulldog who worked as a trench messenger in World War I - From the famous book "War Dogs - A History of Loyalty and Heroism" comes this description of Mutt - "Mutt' a "trench runner' Frenchie delivered cigarettes and gave his friendship to the soldiers.
You know, normally dogs provided a psychological comfort, even if for just for a few moments. Mutt Bulldog was badly wounded twice but could not stop to provide energy to front line troops and he also spent most of WW1 boosting the morale of the US Army11th Engineers. Therefore, when World War 1 finished, the mascots were usually left behind.
However, Mutt Bulldog was luckily smuggled on board. When Mutt was discovered and under threat of being thrown overboard. But his savior said they'd have to throw him overboard also. Hence, Mutt returned safely to New York." In the later years, French Bulldogs were so popular among in high society of wealthy Americans. When Mutt back to New York, he lived his remaining days before dying of natural causes a few years later.
Mutt Bulldog was a real companion in world war 1, that provided many services, like comfort, delivering the goods, finding wounded soldiers in the battlefield, pull and push war weapons, sending messages between the lines, sniffing oppositions positions, and battalion mascots.
Mutt brought happiness on the faces of many soldiers in the worst ever war. Just imagine, how difficult for a dog to provide supplies on the battlefield. That is an awesome job he had given in horrific time in humankind's history. He proved Mutt was a loveable, faithful and loving companion.
Popular footage of Mutt the French Bulldog in the World War on Dailymotion. Sadly, there is no audio, and nothing clear what is happening in this video.