'/> Amazing Animals: 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

10 Extraordinary Looking Madagascan Creatures

The African island of Madagascar is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Here are 10 extraordinary looking creatures that inhabit the island.

Madagascar is home to hundreds of fascinating, colorful, bizarre, endangered , rare and extraordinary looking animal life. Read on to learn new facts about 10 extraordinary looking Madagascan creatures.


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The Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a species of lemur native to the east coast of Madagascar. The species inhabit rainforest or deciduous forest. The world’s largest nocturnal primate, the bizarre aye- is currently classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN.

The Aye-aye has a black or brown thick coat. It has yellowish-orange eyes, large, sensitive ears, and a long, bushy tail. It has 5-fingered hands with a very long middle finger and curved, claw-like nails. It measures 36 to 43 cm (14 to 17 in) head-body length with a long tail that is 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 in). It weighs about 2 kg (4 pounds). It has a strange method of finding food; it gnaws an opening in the wood, inserts its narrow middle finger and digs out its prey. Its diet includes; insects, insect larvae, nuts, fruits, nectar and seeds.

Giraffe Weevil

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The Giraffe weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa) is a newly found species of weevil native to Madagascar. This extraordinary looking Madagascan creature gets its name from an extended neck resembling that of a giraffe. The male’s neck, which is three times longer than the female of the species is used to fight for mates. This elongated neck is also useful in nest building.

Little is known about this bizarre creature. The beetle’s body is generally black in color with unique red elytra covering the flying wings. Males measure about 2.5 cm long. Since the species was only discovered in 2008, no conclusive findings are established whether the giraffe weevil is threatened or endangered.

Eastern Woolly Lemur

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The Eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger), also referred to as the Gmelin’s woolly lemur or eastern avahi is a bizarre looking woolly lemur found only on the eastern sides of the island of Madagascar. This nocturnal animal lives in monogamous pairs in tropical moist lowland and mountainous forest.

Eastern Woolly lemurs are generally typically reddish-brown or gray-brown in color with thick, tightly-curled fur. The appendages are white and the thin, elongated tail is reddish-orange. The species have a rounded head, large eyes and a short snout. Head-body length measures 25-30 cm with a tail about 32-37 cm long. Adults weigh 1-1.3 kg. Avahi laniger is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

Comet Moth

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The Comet moth (Argema mittrei) or Madagascan moon moth is a striking moth that lives in the rain forests of Madagascar. One of the most beautiful moths in the world, the species got its name after its long red ‘tails’. Although endangered in the wild, this extraordinary looking creature is being successfully bred in captivity.

Males have an average wingspan of nearly 8 inches and a tailspan of almost 6 inches. Adults can only live for 4-5 days, however, females of the species can lay from 120-170 eggs. Its caterpillars feed only on fresh Eugenia and eucalyptus leaves.

Flatid Leaf Bugs

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The Flatid Leaf Bug (Phromnia rosea) is a kind of Planthopper known for its piercing mouthparts , which it uses to suck sap out of plants. Another extraordinary looking Madagascan creature, adult Flatid Leaf Bug is pink-red in color with large wings that entirely cover the body. The nymph (young bug) looks a bit different from its parents. It looks like cotton wool –fluffy, hairy and lacks the wings of an adult. During the nymph stage, it emits a white wax-like substance that is actually for camouflage and protection against predators.

Lowland Streaked Tenrec

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The Lowland Streaked tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus) is a medium-sized mammal that resembles a cross between a shrew and a hedgehog. The species is found in tropical lowland rainforest and scrublands in eastern Madagascar. When in danger, this creature will curl into a ball, leaving only sharp spines—exposed.

This slender tenrec is blackish-brown in color with yellowish longitudinal stripes running the length of the body. Also, it has a long snout and limbs. An adult can reach up to 20 cm (8 in) long and weighs up to 275 g (0.6 lb). This social animal feeds mainly on worms and grubs. The lowland streaked tenrec is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

Spiny Leaf Chameleon

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The Spiny Leaf chameleon (Brookesia decaryi) is a small chameleon restricted to the island of Madagascar and lives in dry deciduous forest. The species is diurnal and rest on small plants at night. Little is known about the species, but studies revealed that some individuals live up to two years. The spiny leaf chameleon is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List.

Tomato Frog

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The Madagascan Tomato Frog (Dyscophus antongilii)is native only to forested areas in the northwest part of Madagascar. This extraordinary looking frog breeds in swamps, shallow pools and areas with stagnant water. Tomato Frogs rarely move and occasionally blinks. A nocturnal creature it burrows into the ground during daytime. At night, it stalks and ambush its prey.

Males measure to about 6 – 6.5 cm (2.0-2.5 in) in body length while females are larger measuring from 8.5 cm-10.5 cm (3.0 -4.0 in). Females are solid bright red or orange in color, males are duller yellow-orange. Some individuals have black spots on the throat. Its diet includes bugs, crickets and invertebrates. The tomato frog is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List.


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The Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a carnivorous mammal that resembles a cougar. It is native to Madagascar and prefers forested areas as habitat. The species has a slender body, a short fur, a mongoose-like head and powerfully built limbs. It has medium brown eyes, broad muzzle, large, but rounded ears, and a tail nearly as long as the entire body. Adults measure 70–80 cm (28–31 in) head-body length and weigh between 5.5–8.6 kg (12–19 lbs). This ferocious carnivores prey on small to medium-sized animals. The fossa is listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

Silky Sifaka

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The Silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus) is a large lemur found only in restricted areas in northeastern Madagascar. The species prefers rainforests as habitat. It is one of the rarest mammals on earth. Furthermore, the silky sifaka is well-known for its loud, sneeze-like “zzuss” alarm call.

This extraordinary looking Madagascan creature is characterized by its long, silky white fur, and distinctive chest patches. Its eyes are orange-red in color; the ears and face are hairless. Adults measure from 48–54 cm (1.6–1.8 ft) in head-body length with a tail growing to about 45–51 cm (1.5–1.7 ft) long, and weigh between 5–6.5 kg (11–14 lbs). It feeds primarily on leaves and seeds. The Silky sifaka is listed as Critically Endangered CE on the IUCN Red List.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Decorate Your Christmas Tree with Cats!

10 cute picture of cats that add spice on a Christmas tree.

Are you running short of Christmas tree decors? Why not hang or put a cat as deco, just for a change. Who knows, Santa might love the idea and in return put a bagful of toys underneath.

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My oh my.. free lunch…

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My dream is to scale Mt. Everest. This is a good training ground.

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Cat 1: I said “Don’t move… We are hired to act as stuff toys”

Cat 2: Sorry buddy, but I’m mesmerize by those bright blinking lights.

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No, I haven’t conquered Mt. Everest. The photo was just pasted upside down.

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Toy: Look into my eyes. you are now under my spell.

Cat: Stop that craft.. It ain’t gonna work for me.

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I love red, but my favorite color is blue.

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Thanks Master… Now, my lovely whiskers shine.

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It’s true.. I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause.

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What? You taught, I’m one of those Chinese New Year cats..

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I’m the only black cat on the list. Allow me to show you my favorite black magic stuff.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Ten Most Beautiful and Colorful Clownfish

Finding Nemo! have you seen that great animated film? If so then you, could you give me what kind of fish is Nemo? Don't no or not sure what to answer then read on to know where to classify Nemo...

Clownfish belong to the family Pomancentridae comprising about 28 known species from the subfamily Amphiprioninae. Clownfish are endemic on the temperate waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans, Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. They live side by side with sea anemones. Clownfish comes in different colors such as: gray, red, orange, yellow and some species may bear several patch patterns. Clownfish can reach up to 18 cm (7 in) in length while the smallest species is about 10 cm (4 in). In the wild or in an aquarium, clownfish are really colorful and fascinating ones. Listed below are 10 species of clownfish that will surely thrill you.

Maroon Clownfish (Premnas biaculeatus)

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The maroon clownfish, also known as spine-cheeked clownfish, is the only species of the genus Premnas endemic in the Great Barrier Reef and in the Indo-Pacific region. Maroon clownfish can reach a length of 17 cm and bears white strife across the body. Females are usually bigger and have a more darker color than males.

Barrier Reef Anemonefish (Amphiprion akindynos)

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This species of clownfish lives in lagoons of the Great barrier reefs and Western Pacific including New Caledonia and Tonga. Adults can grow up to 9 mm in length and bear an orange-brown color mark with two white bars. The body is encircled with black edging. One bar runs along the head near the eyes and the other on the body below the dorsal fin.

Red Sea (or two-banded) clownfish (Amphiprion bicinctus)

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Found mostly on coral reefs besides sea anemones in the Red Sea and western Indian Ocean. Red Sea clownfish usually is yellow-orange in color with two black-edged white bands. They can grow up to 14cm. in length.

Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

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A very popular aquarium fish, Ocellaris Clownfish distinguishable mark is its orange color along with three white bars and the fins’ black markings. Adults can reach a length of about 8 cm. In the wild, these clownfish are found off the Indo-Pacific inhabiting coral reefs. One peculiar and rare melanistic variety are found in Darwin, Australia (see photo).

Fire Clownfish (Amphirion melanopus)

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This clownfish species is endemic in the Great Barrier Reef, Indonesia, the Philippines, Micronesia and southern Polynesia. It is dark red to orange in color bearing a reddish-brown “saddle” on its back. Juvenile clownfish has white head band and adults can grow up to 12 cm.

Orange Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion sandaracinos)

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Another species that is popular among aquarium hobbyist, Ocellaris clownfish is bright orange in color and bear a white stripe that runs across the mouth, between the eyes and ends at the dorsal fin. They can grow up to 5.5 in. In the wild, it is found in the western Pacific Ocean.

Saddleback Clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus)

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The saddleback clownfish is endemic in the western parts of the Pacific Ocean and eastern part of the Indian Ocean. Saddleback clownfish varies in color, from dark brown to yellow orange and a white bar runs behind the eyes. They can grow to about 12 cm in length.

Pink Anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion)

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This species of clownfish is easily be recognized by its pink to pinkish-orange color and a narrow white vertical headband. Also, a thin white stripe is visible on its head that begins at the head’s tip and runs on both sides and to the end of the dorsal fin. Pink Skunk clownfish is one of the smaller species that can reach a maximum length of about 4 inches. It is found off the waters of Christmas Islands and in the eastern Indian Ocean.

Yellowtail Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii)

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It is one species of clownfish that is widespread; found inhabiting reef slopes and lagoons in the tropical waters in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Persian Gulf, Australia, Taiwan and Japan. Clark’s Anemonefish can easily be recognized by its two white bands, one at the back of the eye and the other above the anus. Also, the tail fin may be white or yellow.

Sebae Anemonefish (Amphiprion sebae)

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A rare clownfish species One clownfish species that is endemic in India, Sri Lanka and in some parts in the northern Pacific Ocean. It can attain a maximum length of up to 12 cm.

And here is Nemo... Orange Clownfish (Amphiprion percula)

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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Beautiful and Amazing Sea Star

A list of some popular species of sea star.

Sea stars, or popularly called starfish, are from the phylum Echinodermata and falls under the class Asteroidea. They have five arms and display a seemingly radial symmetry. Sea stars have a movable skeleton that aids them in moving and hunting for preys that include: oysters and clams. One major characteristic of sea star is that they can regenerate lost appendages. However, to produce a new sea star, the arm must be connected to any part of the central disk.

Currently, there are about 1,800 known species of sea star that inhabit all oceans. Majority of sea star species are found in the tropical-temperate waters around the Indo-Pacific regions. Other species live along the cold-temperate water of the North Pacific.

Below is a list of popular sea star species:

Blue Sea Star

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It is the most common species amongst sea stars. They live in coral reefs along shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific Region and around the Northern part of Australia. They are blue in color but others bear red or purplish spots along each of its arms. Blue Sea Stars (Linckia laevigata) can reach 30 cm in diameter with 5 tubular arms that are stretched out and typically have short, and yellowish tube feet. Known for its amazing regenerative powers, these creatures can also reproduce asexually and are excellent nocturnal hunters.

Eleven-armed sea star

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The Eleven-armed sea star (Coscinasterias calamaria), is widespread to New Zealand and the biggest sea star in southern Australia. They are found mostly hiding in rocks in search of algae during low tides. A beautiful sea star, it is normally blue in color and some individuals bear tints of orange, green, red, gray, cream and white. Although called the Eleven-armed sea star, it can have 7 to 14 arms that can reach up to 30 cm. in diameter. It can reproduce itself by self division– has the ability to generate even an arm into a new individual. Some Eleven-armed sea stars are known to own a set of arms at varying lengths that are capable to generate to its original length.

Spiny Cushion Star

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The Spiny Cushion Star (Culcita schmideliana) is a large species of sea star that doesn’t have arms and are found mostly in Indian Ocean; from eastern Africa to Malaysia. It usually grows up to 10 inches in diameter and may come in different colors.

Crown-of-Thorns Starfish

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Next to the Giant Sun star, the Crown-of-Thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) is the second largest species of sea star found mostly in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and in the Red Sea. They are solitary animals dwelling in coral reefs and seabed that feeds upon coral polyps using their tube feet. Normally, Crown-of-Thorns starfish have 12 to 19 arms and can grow up to 40 cm. across. Like other sea stars, it is capable of self- regeneration from a battered limb to full sized.

Common Sea Star

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This species of sea star is widespread in on starfish in Arctic Norway, the north-east Atlantic and in southern Portugal. They inhibit in shell abundant gravel and rock. Common starfish (Asterias forbesi) colors include: orange, violet or pale brown. They have five arms and is normally 10-30cm (4-12in) across. Some species even grow up to can reach a length of up to 50cm (20in) in diameter.

Giant Sea Star

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This species of sea star is commonly found living in rocky sea shores and in seabed along the western shore lines of North America from Southern California to British Columbia. Giant sea stars (Pisaster giganteus) are large species that can grow up to 60 cm. in diameter and come in different colors such as: red, brown or purple. They can live up to 20 years.

Bat Sea Star

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Bat Sea Star (Asterina miniata)displays a webbed 5-sided radial symmetry and appears like a bat’s wing. They are found living among rocks and sand bottoms; in the low-tide line up to 290 meters. Bat sea star are abundant from Alaska to Baja California. They can have varying coloration from red, orange, yellow, brown, green, gray and purple. They can grow up to 8 inches in size.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Extremely Bizarre and Weird Lizards

Some reptile species are simply colorful and beautiful and some are extremely unique and bizarre.

You have already seen some of the most unusual-looking reptiles in the article “Weirdest and Bizarre Reptiles in the World”. It’s time to see extremely weird and bizarre lizard species.

Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko

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The Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus sikorae) is an awful-looking lizard species native to Madagascar. Like many lizards, it is capable of changing color to match its surroundings. This nocturnal and arboreal creature is threatened due to habitat loss and over collection. It can grow up to 20 cm in length excluding its tail.

Giant Spiny-tailed Lizard

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The freak-looking Giant Spiny-tailed Lizard (Cordylus giganteus), more commonly known as Sungazer, is a large girdled lizard species that can be found in Africa. It was commonly named Sungazer due to its habit of sitting at the burrow and facing the sun. This lizard is also a threatened species due to destruction of habitat and over-collection. It is also commonly known as Giant Zonure and Giant Girdled Lizard.

Philippine Sailfin Lizard

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Yes, the Philippine Sailfin Lizard (Hydrosaurus pustulatus) looks absolutely bizarre. It can only be found in the island country of the Philippines. This weird-looking lizard, which is an excellent swimmer, feeds on fruits, flowers, leaves, insects and small animals. Aside from its very unusual appearance, the Philippine Sailfin Lizard can “run across water” because it has flattened toes. It can be found usually near bodies of water.

Emperor Flat Lizard

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Have you seen a lizard that looks like a frog? Well, it is right in front of you, the Emperor Flat Lizard (Platysaurus imperator). This bizarre-looking lizard species is the largest of its kind growing up to 146 mm in length. It can be found in the savannas of Mozambique and Zimbabwe inhabiting top of boulders on hills.

Crocodile Skink

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The physical appearance of the bizarre-looking Crocodile Skink (Tribolonotus gracilis) is a combination of a crocodile and a skink. It has the appearance of a crocodile and has the size of a skink. This lizard is characterized by a spiny, scaly and dull-colored body. It also has a very large head compared to the body size.

Golfo-Dulce Anole

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f you want to have a pet lizard, you should choose the Golfo-Dulce Anole (Norops polylepis). Why? Because this unique-looking lizard feeds on cockroaches, spiders and mosquitoes, you don’t have to buy insect repellants. It is native to the Gulf of Dulce in Costa Rica, hence the common name. This lizard is spectacularly peculiar for its orange-yellow dewlap, made of erectile cartilage that extends from its throat.

Like many lizards, its tail has the ability to break off at special segments in order to escape predators or fights. This impressive and athletic lizard can run fast and can jump many times its length. It can also climb straight up almost any surface at blinding speed. It is also commonly known as Many-scaled Anole.

Brilliant Ground Agama

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The Brilliant Ground Agama (Trapelus agilis) is one of the most brilliant, weirdest and freakiest of all animals. This agama species that can be found in Central Asia and South Asia has the ability to pretend that it is dead. It can be found in Afghanistan Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Russia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and China.

Ruppell’s Snake-eyed Skink

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The Ruppell’s Snake-eyed Skink (Ablepharus rueppellii) is a lizard that looks like a snake with limbs. This weird-looking skink species of Middle East can be found living in forested and shrubby areas. It can be found in Jordan, Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and Lebanon.

Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard

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This lizard is extremely unique for having a blue-colored tongue. The Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides) is a large skink that can be found in Australia. It is well-known for its blue-tongues, hence the common name. It has the habit of displaying it prominently when disturbed. This popular and unique lizard, which can grow up to 30 cm in length, gives birth to live young. It has a lifespan of 30 years in captivity.

Schneider’s Skink

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The Schneider’s Skink (Eumeces schneideri) is a lizard that looks like a corn cob. It is a skink species of Asia and Africa named after Johann Gottlob Schneider, a German zoologist. A perfectly smooth bodied lizard, it can be found in Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Libya and other North African countries and western Asian countries. It is also commonly known as Berber Skink.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dogs Versus Cats: Take Your Pick

Why cats are better than dogs/why dogs are better than cats.

Being an owner of dogs and cats for a number of years, I did make a study about which of the two animals is better to have as pet. And I’ve come to these observations and listed the pro’s and con’s of both animal. In this article we will focus our discussion on the advantages of dogs over cats and vice versa.

Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats

Dogs have a great sense of smell

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We all know that the first domesticated dogs are descendants of wolfs, and over the years dog breeders inter-breed several known good breeds to produced several varieties for specific purposes. One of them is the Beagle known for its excellent sense of smell. A good company to bring along on a hunting trip, beagles are now use by the police as ‘sniffer dog’ and are trained to tract and detect drugs and explosives by scent.

Dogs can guard you and your home

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Some breeds of dog are good in protecting and guarding one’s home, Doberman, German Shepherd and Rottweiler are among the few breeds that suits as guardian dogs. Though some such dogs have earned an unwanted bad reputation over the years, proper training can rid such bad behavior and in the long run these dogs can be excellent and loyal helpers. Have you ask some cat owners if they can tell how many cats have scared the burglars away?

Dogs help people with disabilities

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Some breeds are trained as guide dogs for the blind, bringing freedom and independence to their visually impaired owners. In some cases, dogs are also trained to be of aide for those people who have impaired hearing. Some of these breeds include: Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and German Shepherd Dogs.

They are man’s best friend

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Researchers believed that dog is the first animal to have been domesticated, and over the years these friendly and loyal animals have proven that indeed they are man’s best friend. Would you believe that there are cases wherein dogs are brought in to a hospitals as therapy for the patients.

Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs

Cats were worshiped in Ancient Egypt

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It is known that in Egyptian history, early Egyptians domesticated the wildcat. And according to their belief, to ensure that a family can have many children, one should have cats in the home—thus cat became associated with fertility. Ancient Egyptians often mummified their cats and buried with their owners or in their own special cemeteries. Also, cats have influenced greatly Egyptian arts, where cats are the subject of many naturalistic sculptures.

Cats keep themselves clean

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Cats use their tongues that are covered with papillae (small bards) to keep themselves clean. like scouring pads, which help them to keep themselves clean. An effective cleaning device, a cat’s tongue is used to comb dirt and dead hair out of its coat. While on the other hand, a pet dog especially those that are long-haired breed, will need a regular grooming and bathing. Adding woes to his owner is the dogs‘ habit of rolling in mud and other dirty places.

Cats can keep pests under control

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Cats as we all know are good hunters of rats and cockroaches and in so doing help in controlling pests population. Though there are certain dog breeds that are capable of running after rats and cockroaches, their batting average is way low as compared to cats.

The king of the beasts

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Most of us know that the Lion is the King of the Beasts and lion belongs to the cat family. Lion are natural predators, and the male can weigh up to 250 kg and stand 1.23 m tall. By comparison, male lion’s roar is more thunderous and more than that of the dog’s forefather–the wolf.