'/> Amazing Animals: 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The World’s Most Colorful Winged Creatures

Here’s a list of the most beautiful and most colorful winged creatures.

Flying creatures are the most amazing animals in the world. They are the reasons why we wanted to fly. Unfortunately, not all creatures have the capability and opportunity to fly.

Most Colorful Leafhopper

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We often view insects as pests, but some species are too beautiful and colorful to be considered as one like the Candy-striped Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea). This brightly-colored insect of North and Central America is also known as Red-banded Leafhopper, Red and Blue Leafhopper and Scarlet-and-green Leafhopper.

Most Colorful Gamebird

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Undoubtedly, the most colorful gamebird and one of the most colorful winged creatures is the Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus). It is also commonly known as Chinese Pheasant.

Most Colorful Cockroach

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Don’t be surprised to find out that there is also a colorful species of a cockroach. The Bush Cockroach, scientifically named (Ellipsidion austral), is a colorful roach species.

Most Colorful Small Bird

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One of the most brilliantly colored small birds in the world is the Regal Sunbird. Its scientific name is Nectarinia regia and can be found in the African countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and others.

Most Colorful Wasp

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Some wasp species are extremely colorful like the Cuckoo Wasp. Its binomial name is (Hedychrum rutilans) and is brilliantly colored with metallic bodies.

Most Colorful Macaw

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Almost all Macaws are colorful but one species with exceptional coloration is the Scarlet Macaw or Ara macao. This brightly colored macaw is endemic to the Americas.

Most Colorful MothM

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There are several colorful moth species in the world on of which is the Texas Wasp Moth (Horama panthalon ). It can be found in North and South America. This attractive and beautiful moth mimics a paper wasp.

Most Colorful Duck

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The Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) is the most colorful duck and one of the most brilliantly colored winged animals in the world.

Most Colorful Lanterfly

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One of the most sought out insects by collectors is the Lantern Fly (Pyrops candelarius). It is an insect that can be found in Laos and Thailand and in other Southeast Asian regions.

Most Colorful Parrot

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A parrot with the most extravagant appearance is the Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus). This colorful parrot species is native to Australia and nearby islands such as Solomon Island, Papua New Guinea and others.

Most Colorful Hoverfly

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Some hover fly are colorful like the American Hover Fly (Eupeodes americanus). This beautiful winged creature is found throughout North America. American Hover Fly lives in meadows and fields with foliage and flowers.

Most Colorful Dove

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The Pink-headed Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus porphyreus) is one of the most colorful and most beautiful doves in the world. It is also known as Pink-necked Fruit Dove or Temminck’s Fruit Pigeon. It is native to Indonesia.

Most Colorful Butterfly

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One of the many colorful butterflies in the world is the Leopard Lacewing (Cethosia cyane). It can be found in Indochina, China and India and parts of Southeast Asia..

Most Colorful Bug

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There are scores of colorful bugs in the world and one of them is the Metallic Shield Bug. Its formal name is Scutiphora pedicellata,

Most Colorful Pigeon

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The Nicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) is one of the most colorful and unique pigeons in the world. It is endemic to Nicobar Island and nearby areas.

Most Colorful Fly

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Yes, some fly species are brightly colored too. One of the most brightly colored flies is the Adejeania vexatrix which is notable for its bright orange abdomen.

Most Colorful Dragonfly

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Many species of dragonflies are brightly colored like the Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea). It can be found in Europe and is also known by a variety of common names such as Common Scarlet-darter, Scarlet Dragonfly and Scarlet Darter.

Most Colorful Teal

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The most colorful teal in the world is the Common Teal which is also known commonly as Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca).

Most Colorful Grasshopper

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Some grasshopper species are colorful; too like the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea guttata). This colorful grasshopper species is endemic to the United States.

Most Colorful Damselfly

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Although Damselfies are just tiny creatures they are amongst the most colorful winged creatures in the world. One of which is the Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) of Europe.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cats Amazing Sleep Behaviors

10 photos showcasing some interesting and amazing facts about cat’s sleep behaviors.

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It is a general fact that cats sleep a lot. On average, a cat spends about 13-18 hours a day sleeping! These felines do this to conserve energy. There are several factors that contribute to this cat behavior, including age, personality, environment and diet. Most cats, especially domestic cats, do their sleeping act at night. Why? Because they are “crepuscular,” animals, meaning these felines are most active at dawn and dusk. They sleep much to gather energy for a successful hunt.

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Like humans, cats also experience both Non-REM (NREM) or deep sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, when dreams happen. During NREM sleep, a cat’s body grows and do body regeneration. While the cat’s eyes move behind the eyelids, whiskers move around and limb’s jerk during REM sleep.

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During this sleep behavior cats are always on the alert. Just a strange noise will wake a sleeping cat in a matter of seconds, even when it is dozing. Cats left alone at home tends to sleep all day long out of boredom. Cats do short nap, leaving their eyes half closed. Depriving them of short naps will make them irritable and confused

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A cat which sleeps less than the normal sleeping hours may be ill. It may be suffering from a thyroid problem wherein the body produces too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroid). This hormonal abnormality leads to higher metabolism rate, and the cat sleep less.

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Kittens, especially the newborn ones spend most of their time sleeping. This keeps them quiet and safe from predators harm. As they grow older, their sleep patterns gradually change, adapting adult sleep patterns. Instead of having long sleep, juveniles tend to sleep less and in naps.

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Do you ever wonder why do cats sleep in their litter boxes? One possible answer is – security. House cats in particular, consider litter boxes a safe place where they have full control over them.

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But a cat sleep… anywhere, be it a chair, a table, window ledge – just anywhere. Just like humans, they love sleeping where the temperature is just right. Cats have a thick overcoat that’s why they love to sleep on hard flat surfaces. These types of surfaces allow air current to flow smoothly down their bodies, in the process cooling them. Credit cats intelligence for this amazing fact.

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Lastly, you can help your cat sleep well by making or buy them a comfortable bed. If you think you have a great attachment with your cat, why not share your bed with your cat.

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Oh well, cats and dogs can sleep side-by-side as well.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Gorgeous Golden Retriever – The Right Dog for You

Are you planning to own a companion dog? The golden retriever, a very popular dog breed, might be the right dog for you. Check out the dog's profile here:

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The Golden Retriever originated in Scotland in 1800s. Lord Tweedmouth developed the first litter by crossing a male yellow-colored Retriever with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel dog. It was first called the Golden Flat-Coat but later on giving the name Golden Retriever. Originally, the breed was used as Gundogs in retrieving shot waterfowls during shooting parties. The first golden Retriever Club was founded in 1913. In 1925, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Aside from a good family companion, Golden Retriever serves as a bird dog, a therapy dog, a drug-snipping dog, and a service dog for the blind.

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The Golden Retriever is an active, medium-sized dog. As its name implies, the water-resistant coat comes in cream to dark gold in color. The inner coat is dense, while the outer coat is sleek and water-resistant. This sturdy dog has a broad head, straight muzzle, black or brownish nose, and medium to large brown eyes. Males average between 56-61 cm while bitches around 51-56 cm. Males weigh between 27-36 kg and bitches between 25-32 kg.

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Golden Retrievers are known to be intelligent, well-mannered loyal, gentle and confident dogs. They are highly trainable and can learn tricks easily. Their playful and friendly nature, get them along well with people, other dogs and cats. Interaction with people who show leadership makes a golden Retriever happy. At times, it tends to make behavioral issues like being destructive, and/or over-excited if not given regular exercises. Though not a good watchdog, it barks loudly to signal a stranger’s approach.

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A medium-maintenance dog, a once-a week grooming is required, and daily grooming during heavy shedding. The smooth, dense coat needs to be combed and brushed regularly. Bathe only when necessary. Also, ears must be regularly clean to avoid infections. Golden Retriever is an average shedder. This breed can do along well in an apartment.

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Golden Retrievers can live between 11 to 11½ years, but are prone to specific ailments. The breed’s common diseases include: Cancer, Hip and elbow dysplasia, Heart disease and Eye diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, heart disease, and joint diseases.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 Amazing Mammals Considered as Living Fossils

From a rabbit-like deer to a giraffe-like mammal, this is a list of 10 amazing mammals, scientists considered as ‘living fossils.

'Living fossils' are plants or animals that were once known to have been extinct for millions of years. But then, survived the test of time and are now found to be alive. Read on to know 10 amazing mammals, scientists consider as ‘living fossil’.

Aardvark

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Aardvarks (Orycteropus afer), also called “antbears,” is endemic throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Genetically speaking, this burrowing animal resembling a pig is a living fossil, since it is the only extant representative of the order Tubulidentata. Its nearest relative is the elephant shrew. Aside from the pig-like body and a long snout, the Aardvark manifests other weird features–a kangaroo tail, a long sticky tongue and rabbit-like ears.

A solitary and nocturnal animal, it inhabits grasslands, savannahs and woodlands. It feeds mostly on ants and termites. Sporting a thin Yellowish/Gray/ Brown coat, adult ones measure between 109 to 135 cm in body length , around 50 to 82 kg in weight and about and 53 to 66 cm tall. Aardvark can live up to 23 years in captivity.

Amami Rabbit

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The only species in its genus, the Amami Rabbit(Pentalagus furnessi), also called as the Ryukyu Rabbit, is found only in Amami ƌshima and Toku-no-Shima, two small islands of Japan. This primitive dark-furred rabbit, called a living fossil, because its physical characteristics resemble those of prehistoric rabbits living during the Miocene age.

The Amami Rabbit has a bulky body, small eyes and ears, short limbs, a long snout and large, curved claws. This forest-dweller has dense and wooly fur that is dark-brown in color, mark with reddish-brown underbelly. It measures between 430-510 mm long and around 2 kg in weight. The Amami Rabbit’s diet includes berries, bamboo shoots, acorn, leaves and stem of sweet potatoes. As a result of rampant hunting, this ancient rabbit is Classified as Endangered on the 2010 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Chevrotain

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Chevrotain, also called mouse deer, is any of 10 extant species of small, hoofed mammals found in Africa and SE Asia. These living fossils of primitive ruminant mammals are classified under the family Tragulidae (order Artiodactyla). All species lack horns, but have strong upper canine teeth. They sport reddish-brown coat mark with white spots. Depending on the species, chevrotains measure between 20 -50 cm at the shoulder, and weigh between 0.7-16 kg.

They have rabbit-like body, arched back and very slender legs. They are solitary and nocturnal mammals that feed on leaves, twigs and fruits of plants. However, the African water chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus), occasionally feed on insects, crabs, and fish.

Elephant shrew

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Elephant shrews, also called jumping shrews, are small mouse-like mammals indigenous to Africa, comprising the family Macroscelididae, in the order Macroscelidea. These living fossils are not related to the true shrew and recent studies suggests that they are more related to golden moles, aadvarks, hydraxes and elephants. These primitive mammals have elephant-like long noses and the trunk, large canine teeth, long legs and short mouse-like tails.

Elephant shrews measure between 10-30 cm and weigh from 50-500 g, depending on the species. Colors vary from brown to gray to a combination of the two. The Elephant shrews diet includes: insects, earthworm, spiders, centipedes, and millipedes. Some species also consume leaves, fruits and seeds.

Koala

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The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)is a cute and amazing mammal native to Australia, and the only living species of the family Phascolarctidae. These herbivorous marsupials might have originated from wombat-like animals (its closest living relative). These arboreal and placid bear-like animals are active only for 3-5 hours a day, which they mostly used feeding on eucalyptus leaves.

Koala has a flat nose, big ears and ash-grey thick furred coat, with white markings on the chest. Koalas of the southern regions which are larger than the northern ones average 78 cm (males) and 8 kg (males). Koalas can live between 13-18 years.

Iriomote cat

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The Iriomote cat (Prionailurus iriomotensis), is a wild cat considered a “living fossil” that is only found on the Japanese island of Iriomote. Discovered in 1965, this endangered species of cat have dark brown fur with dark stripes around the neck, elongated body, short legs and a bushy tail. A solitary but excellent hunter, it measures 48 cm in body length, 25 cm at shoulder height and weighs between 3–7 kg. It feeds on rats, bats, snakes, birds, lizards, frogs and insects. With barely 100 individuals left, the Iriomote cat is listed as Critically Endangered by The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Monito del Monte

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Regarded by scientists as a living fossil, the Monito del Monte (Dromiciops gliroides) or “mountain monkey”, a small marsupial is the only surviving representative of the superorder Australidelphia. A nocturnal and arboreal mammal, it is widespread across Argentina and Chile inhabiting dense, cool, humid forests. Slightly larger than a mouse, it measures between 83-130mm (head to body) length, around 90-132 mm tall and weighs between 16-42 g.

It has dense, silky brown-colored fur, short and furry ears, round eyes mark by black rings and a hairy prehensile tail. An amazing and excellent tree climber, it feeds mainly on insects and other small invertebrates. The Monito del Monte has a life span of about 2 years. Its population decreasing due to habitat loss, this marsupial is Listed as Vulnerable on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Okapi

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The okapi (Okapia johnstoni), is another amazing ’living fossil’, resembling a zebra, but is more closely related to the giraffe. Currently numbering about 10,000–20,000 in the wild, Okapis are native to the Ituri Rainforest, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Central Africa. On average, they measure between 1.9 – 2.5 m long, stand 1.5 – 2.0 m at the shoulder and weigh between 200 – 300 kilograms.

These giraffe-like mammals have reddish-brown coat mark with horizontal white stripes on their legs. They have large ears and a 14 inch bluish grey tongue. A solitary, diurnal mammal, okapis feed on tree leaves and shoots, fruits, ferns and grass.

Red Panda

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The red panda (Ailurus fulgens), the only living representative of the genus Ailurus, is a small tree-dwelling mammal found in China, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bhutan. Red panda is just about the size of a domestic cat, measuring between 50 to 65 cm in head to body length, and weighing around 5.4 to 9 kg.

It has soft reddish-brown fur, a cat-like whiskers, and a hairy tail reaching 30 to 50 cm long. A shy, solitary but excellent tree climber, it feeds mainly on bamboos but may also consume insects, birds, eggs, and other small mammals. Its population declining cause by habitat loss and poaching, the red panda is now endangered.

Giant Panda

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The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), is a bear native to central China, which inhabits high altitude bamboo-rich coniferous forests. These amazing ‘living fossils’ can easily be recognized by the large, unique black patches surrounding the eyes and across its round body. A terrestrial animal, it feed primarily on bamboos and occasionally wild tubers and grasses.

Adult pandas measure between 1.2 to 1.8 m long, around 75 cm tall at the shoulder, and can weigh up to 150 kilograms. The tail can measure 10 to 15 centimeters. In the wild, pandas can live up 20 years and up to 30 years in captivity. Due to habitat loss and other development, the panda is now an endangered species

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bizarre Insects and Arachnids: 30 Surprising and Fascinating Facts

Here’s a long list of the most amusing and awesome insects and arachnids in the world.

Insects are the most numerous species of animals in the world. Here’s a long list of the most amusing and awesome insects and arachnids in the world.

1.) Locust

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Would you believe that there can be up to 5 billion in a swarm of locust? That is about 75% of the world’s population. In addition, they jump 20 times their own body length. It is comparable for a human clearing a basketball court which is almost 29 meters long.

2.) Monarch Butterfly

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Monarch Butterflies are among the most amazing insects in the world. About 20,000 butterflies can be on a leaf, 220 million can be in a swarm and they can migrate 150,000,000,000 body lengths.

3.) Termite

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Termites are expected to defend their colony from ants. Termites are among the most destructive critters in the world. On the average, Termites destroy on average 50 homes in a year in the US alone.

If termites were like humans, a single human sized termite can make a building bigger than the Empire State Building relative to its size, with only dirt, dung and saliva. Termites are truly amazing; the mounds they live in can be even taller than a giraffe and the queen can give lay 30,000 eggs a day.

4.) Aphid

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This is weird, but this is true – the young Aphids are pregnant before they are born. If all Aphids survive, there would be one octillion Aphids enough to cover the entire United States 4.3 meters thick deep in Aphids.

5.) Tiger Beetle

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Tiger Beetles are amazing for they can sprint at 13 km/h. If humans were like the Tiger Beetle, we can attain speed of up to 494 km/h. They are the world’s fastest animals in equivalent to body size. They run extremely fast that they go blind.

6.) Flea

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Fleas are the greatest jumpers in the world. They can jump 350 times their own length and 220 times their own height. If humans were like Fleas, we can jump over a bridge that is 1,800 meters long and we can jump as high as 180 meters.

7.) Firefly

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Fireflies are among the most amazing insects in the world. A female firefly attracts males with its bioluminescence not to make love, but to get food. The moment the male gets near, the female ambushes and eats him.

8.) Praying Mantis

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A kung fu technique was named after the Praying Mantis This animal can also stand up to something much bigger than it is.

9.) Bee

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Well, this is quite crazy, Bees communicate by dancing. Beware, 300 Bee stings is enough to kill a human. Bees carefully build witty hives.

10.) Rhinoceros Beetle

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Rhinoceros Beetles are among of the strongest animals in the world. They can lift 859 tomes their own weight. If they were like humans, they can lift a tank.

Check out:

Bizarre Insects and Arachnids: 30 Surprising and Fascinating Facts Part 2
Bizarre Insects and Arachnids: 30 Surprising and Fascinating Facts Part 3