'/> Amazing Animals: February 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dinosaurs That Left a Lasting Impact as They Walked the Earth

From the smallest microraptor that was about 16 inches (40 cm long), to the biggest 35-40 m long sauropods; dinosaurs once roamed and ruled the Earth millions of years ago. More than hundreds of species known, they were the former masters of this planet. But how many of these 'terrible lizards' can you identify by their names? Your guess is as good as mine. Listed below are 10 dinosaurs that many considered as the most well-known dinosaur species that ever lived.

10. Iguanodon

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The Iguanodon meaning 'Iguana tooth' is the best known, and most widespread of all the genius of the Ornithopods, the 'duck-billed' dinosaurs. A large bipedal (two-legged) dinosaur and characterized by its large thumb spikes, used primarily for defense against enemies, they lived between 130 and 120 million years ago during the early Cretaceous period. A Herbivore (plant-eater), Iguanodon weighed between 4-5 tons, grew to about 20-33 ft (6-10 m) long and stood 9 ft (2.7 m) tall at the hips. In 1825, Gideon Mantell gave its name.

9. Pachycephalosaurus

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Pachycephalosaurus, meaning 'thick headed lizard', is an omnivore dinosaur that walked on two feet. It lived during the latter part of the Cretaceous Period of what is now North America. Pachycephalosaurus had a very thick skull roof with bumps that served as protection for its small brain. Pachycephalosaurus measure nearly 9 ft (3 m) long and up to 250 lbs (115 kg) in weight.

8. Apatosaurus

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Apatosaurus meaning ‘deceptive lizard’, is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived about 156-140 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period. A well-known plant-eating dinosaur, Apatosaurus was probably one of the biggest land animals that ever lived, with adults reaching an average length of 70-90 feet (21-27 m) and weighed at 33-38 tons. A long-necked dinosaur with a long whip-like tail, Apatosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) animal. Though its posterior appendages were slightly longer than its hind limbs, it had the ability to walk on four feet. It was named by Othniel C. Marsh in 1877.

7. Stegosaurus

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Stegosaurus meaning 'roof-lizard' is a herbivorous, four-legged dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic period approximately 156-140 million years ago. In 1876, M. P. Felch discovered the first Stegosaurus fossil in Colorado, USA, and since then other skeletons have been found. Stegosaurus can be easily identified by the two pairs of long spikes on its tail and its back that had large, double row of kite-shaped plates. Averaging around 26-30 feet long (8-9 m) long, 9 feet (2.75 m) tall at the hips and weighed 6,800 pounds (3100 kg), the four-legged Stegosaurus is one of the most easily identifiable dinosaurs. However, despite its overall size, Stegosaurus had a small head and a walnut-sized brain. It was named by Othniel Marsh in 1877.

6. Troodon

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Troodon meaning 'wounding tooth,' was a small, fast-moving, intelligent, meat-eating dinosaur that inhabited the Earth during the late Cretaceous period. Troodon was discovered in 1855 in North America. Approximately around 6.5 ft (2 m) long and weighed about 110 lbs (50 kg), it had very long, slender limbs that suggest that the dinosaur is an agile, reflexive hunter. Troodon had a long skull that cased a relatively large brain, and one obvious long toe claw. A known meat-eater, Troodon was believed to feast on other small mammals, lizards, and other invertebrates.

5. Velociraptor

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Velociraptor meaning 'swift seizer’ is one of the popular small, predatory dinosaurs that lived about 70 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period . About the size of a turkey, Velociraptor were covered with feathers and walked on two legs. It has an extremely long tail and possessed a down-curved claws on each hind foot. Adults grew to about 2.07 m (6.8 ft) long, 0.5 m (1.6 ft) high at the hip, and weighing up to 15 kg (33 lb). Velociraptor can be distinguished from other dromaeosaurids by its long, uniquely up-curved and low skull, which grew up to 25 cm (9.8 in) long.

4. Parasaurolophus

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Parasaurolophus meaning 'near crested lizard' is a duck-billed dinosaur that lived during the late Cretaceous Period, about 76-73 million years ago. It was a herbivore that walked on either two legs or four. Parasaurolophus is known for its large, elaborate cranial crest, that extended out the back of its head. Scientists believe that this crest was used to aid its vision, for acoustic resonance, and for regulating temperature. Up to now, no complete skeleton of a Parasaurolophus has ever been found. However, one type of specimen, P. walkeri showed that the animal is estimated at 9.5 meters (31 ft) long. A skull found, including the crest is about 1.6 meters (5.2 ft) long.

3. Deinonychus

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During the early Cretaceous Period, or approximately 115-108 million years ago, Deinonychus used to roamed the Earth. It got its name 'Terrible claw' because the second toe of each rear foot had a big sickle-shaped claw. Though Deinonychus was small, it was a fast and swift animal capable of deadly attacks. The dinosaur used its huge claws to cut through its prey. One known species, Deinonychus antirrhopus, stood about 8-10 feet (2.5-3 meters), about 73 kilograms (161 lb) in weight, and a hip height of 0.87 meters (2.85 ft). Recent findings have proven that, like its cousin the Velociraptor, the Deinonychus had feathers.

2. Triceratops

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About 72-65 million years ago, during the end-part of the Cretaceous period, Triceratops roamed the earth. Triceratops possessed a muscular build, with strong legs and is Averaging about 30 feet (9 m) long, 30 feet long, 2.9 to 3.0 m (9.5–9.8 ft) in height, and weighs up to 6-12 tons, Triceratops possessed a muscular build. Triceratops main features included: a large bony frill that protects its head that has three long horns used to defend itself against enemies and used all four limbs in walking.

1. Tyrannosaurus Rex

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Tyrannosaurus, meaning ‘tyrant lizard’ was a genus of theropod dinosaur. Generally called T. Rex or Rex by many, it is one of the largest flesh-eating dinosaurs that ever lived. Adult Rex could reach 40 feet high, up to 4 meters (13 ft) tall at the hips, and averages more than 6 tons in weight. The Tyrannosaurus is bipedal, making use of its two legs and tail to stabilize its enormous head. A remarkable feature of T. Rex has powerful legs and mouth and a relatively useless small front limbs. To date, about 30 specimens of Tyrannosaurus Rex have been identified through fossilized remains.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Lovable Parrots: Surprising and Exceptional Facts

Parrots are probably the most popular bird pets that usually bring joy and cheer to its owner. But how much do you know about this beautiful and colorful bird. Read on to find out.

Parrots are a very popular group of birds. Their colorful plumage, cute antics and their ability to mimic human speech endear them to us all. No wonder parrots are such favorite pets. Some of its species include: Macaws, Conures, Cockatoos and Cockatiel, Short-tailed Parakeets, Lories and Lorikeets, Amazons and Senegal. Below are some exceptional and surprising facts about parrots. Learn and enjoy.

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Do you know what parrot species are called the 'Seven-color parrot'? The honor goes to the parrot species inhabiting the rainforests of southern Venezuela and northern Brazil — The Caique (see above photo). This parrot gets its 'seven-color' nickname from the distinctive color of its plumage that includes: yellow, green, black, blue, orange and white.

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There are two separate types of African Greys. The Congo Grey is the most common group and the larger one, but do you know the other type? It is the Timneh Greys. These parrots are smaller and slightly dark and have a maroon tipped tail instead of the Congo’s red one.

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Palm Cockatoos can crack Brazil nuts in their bills.

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Hyacinth Macaw (above photo) that is native to the forests of central South America is the largest flying parrot species. Easily recognized by its blue plumage, Hyacinth Macaw can have wingspans of 130-150 cm. They species population in the wild is decreasing since many are hunting them for pets.

It is not true that all parrots can learn to talk. Wild parrots do not have the ability to mimic human speech, however, there is one species of parrot is the easiest to teach, the African Grey.

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Conures that include nandays, blue-crown and cherry-heads, a popular group of parrots are small cousins of the macaw. They vary in sizes from as small as a parakeet to slightly smaller than an Amazon. Conures are found in Central and South America. One particular species, the Cherry-headed conures, native to Ecuador and Peru, are widespread in San Francisco.

71 species are currently on the ICBP list of endangered species. These include the unique Kakapo and several species of Macaw.

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Lories and lorikeets (above photo) have tongues like a toothbrush. It can collect nectar and pollen from flowers with a brushlike tongue that has hundreds of papillae or little bristles. These brightly colored parrots are found from southeastern Asia to Australia and have the brush-tipped tongues.

No parrots are territorial, though they will defend their nests.

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The only completely flightless parrot in the world, is the New Zealand native, Kakapo or the Owl Parrot. Why, because it is too heavy where males weigh up to 7.7 pounds with females weighing in at up to 4.4 lbs. It has wings, but no breast bone to anchor the large flight muscles.

Ten species of parrot have gone extinct since mankind started keeping specimens in museums.

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Most parrot species are monomorphic, where the male and female have the same coloring. However, one parrot species, the Eclectus Parrots (above photo) are native to the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, northeastern Australia and the Moluccas, are dimorphic. They are unusual in a sense that males and females carry distinct colors. Males are bright green with a light shade near the beak and black lower mandible while females are redheaded with bluish purple breasts and black beaks. To determine the sex of monomorphic parrots, you must get their DNA analyzed.

The feathers on a parrot’s crested head always lay down flat, however the cockatiel and the cockatoo has the ability to raise or lower the feathers on their crest when they want to.

Did you know that all parrots lay only white eggs.

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Quaker Parrots, also known as monk parakeets, are the only species of parrots that build a nest with sticks instead of using a hole in a tree. They are found in Argentina and Brazil. Another unique trait of Quaker parrots is that when it comes to feeding the young chicks, Quaker parents are open to receiving assistance from other 'helper' birds.

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Sulphur-crested Goffins and Moluccan cockatoos (above photo) that are native to Australia and nearby islands are the most easily identified among parrot species. Why, because of their remarkable brilliant white plumage. On the other hand, the palm cockatoo is one of the few black-plumed members of this group.

Pygmy parrots are unique in feeding on slime like fungi and algae.

The Spix’s macaw, known for its light blue plumage have been extinct in the wild, when the last wild male died in October 2000. A native to Brazil, Spix’s Macaw prefer to build its nest on the branches of Tabebuia aurea tree. Because of this restrictive habitat requirement plus the fact that these parrots are popular as pets, they are now on the brink of extinction. However, conservation projects are underway and this species survives now in captivity, mostly in private collections.

Contrary to some belief, both parents work together to hatch the eggs and care for the young.

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Amazon parrots (above photo) are among the most popular species to keep as pets. They are very sociable and can mimic human speech.

Parrots are an endangered species because people destroy their habitats and capture them for pets.

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Pionus parrotsare known for being more reserved and quieter than other parrot species. However, when they are under stress, they will make a panting sound and give off a musky odor. These parrots endemic to Central and South America, and can easily be distinguished by their dull green plumage with a patch of bright red feathers on their tails.

Most parrots are native to warm tropical forests, but the Kea of New Zealand is the only parrot species that is capable of living in alpine regions.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Majestic Monarch Butterfly

The name “King of the insect world” is very apt for this magnificent butterfly. The Monarch Butterfly can do exceptional things even though it is a small creature. Its life cycle is a thing to behold: from a tiny egg to a caterpillar, transforming into a chrysalis, and finally into a beautiful butterfly.

They migrate, covering thousands of miles in search for new homes, breed along the way and travels back again to their place of origin. Below are some more amazing facts about monarch butterflies:

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The Monarch Butterfly’s scientific name is Danaus plexippus. The term means "sleepy transformation” in Greek language and is inspired by the Greek myth of Danaus. In this story the daughters of Danaus, King of Libya, not wanting to marry their cousins leave Libya and go to Greece. The Monarch Butterflies long migration tell us of the daughters’ flight.

The Aztec believed the adult Monarch Butterflies to be the incarnation of their dead warriors.

Lepidopterists are people who study Monarch Butterflies.

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The Monarch Butterfly is also called a Milkweed Butterfly and is cousin to all milkweed eating butterflies.

The Monarch Butterflies lives for about 8-9 months.

The Monarch Butterflies have a wingspan of 3 3/8 – 4 7/8 inches (8.6 – 12.4 cm).

The male Monarch Butterfly has a dark spot (scent scales) and its claspers (reproductive organ) is situated at the end of its abdomen.

The beautiful orange color of the Monarch butterfly acts as a defense mechanism from predators, signaling that their intended meal might be toxic. Not all Monarchs are poisonous since not all milkweeds secretes cardiac glycosides.

Only two birds species namely: the Black Headed Grosbeak and the Black-Backed Orioles can eat the Monarch Butterfly.

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The Monarch Butterfly breathes through its wings and female Monarchs have thicker wing veins.

Monarch butterflies have been seen flying as high as 1,000 feet in the air.

They like it better on highlands and do not travel at very high speeds.

The wings of the Monarch Butterflies have the tendency to wear out from time to time.

North American Monarchs and the Vietnamese Monarchs can be distinguish by its marking.

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Monarch butterflies covers a distance of about 2,000 miles traveling from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and return to the north again in the spring. Its Mexican wintering place was only discovered in 1975.

Monarchs can fly as high as a kilometer or more and travel at a speed 5 to 30 miles an hour during migration and can fly a 1000km without stopping.

Monarch Butterflies can overheat in hot climates however; they use “thermals,” or warm air, allowing them to conserve energy and helps them glide as they migrate.

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Monarch Butterflies crossbreed with only their own kind.

Monarch females can lay up to 500 eggs, usually laying a single egg on a plant. After about four days, the eggs will hatch.

As a caterpillar, the Monarch Butterfly eats milkweed but as it becomes an adult butterfly it feasts on nectar.

Monarch larvae have six pairs of eyes called ocelli but have very poor vision.

The larvae feed on the plant leaves for about two weeks and develop into caterpillars about 2 inches long.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Animal Kingdom: Incredible Journeys

By land, by water or by air; these animals perform such incredible journeys for survival.

From the, largest, biggest, smallest, fastest; the animal kingdom offers us thousands of interesting, fascinating, amazing or even strange facts. But do you know that some of these animals have to undergo and endure incredible journeys in order to survive and produce new generations. Read on to find out!

10. Cicadas

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There are about 2,500 species of cicada around the world. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates and are most widely recognized mainly due to their large size and remarkable acoustic talents. Periodical cicadas are average-sized for cicadas, adults have a size of 2.5 to 3 cm (1 to 1.2 inches). They are black, with red eyes and yellow or orange stripes on the underside. The wings are translucent and have orange veins.

The juveniles of the periodical cicadas spend multiple years growing underground, often at depths of 30 cm (one foot) or more, feeding on the juices of plant roots. In the spring of their 13th or 17th year, the nymphs construct an exit tunnel to the surface, before emerging above ground for a short adult stage for only a few weeks. of several weeks to a few months. The nymphs emerge in large numbers at about the same time, sometimes more than 1.5 million individuals per acre.

9. Lemmings

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Lemmings are small rodents that are found only in the Northern Hemisphere. They weigh from 30 to 112 g and are about 7 to 15 cm long. They generally have long, soft fur, and very short tails. Driven by scarcity of foods and over population, lemmings are forced to do mass migrations at high speeds. Observers clocked and recorded a group of traveling lemmings at almost 16 kilometers a day.

For the weak, the pace of the journey has been just too much and they are left behind to die. Lemmings can and do swim and may choose to cross a body of water in search of a new habitat. Researchers also recorded that on one occasion a migrating group of the Norway lemmings even reached a cliff overlooking the ocean. They momentarily stop, but the desire to press on causes them to jump off the cliff and start swimming, sometimes to exhaustion and death.

8. Wildebeest

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The wildebeest, also called the Gnu, is an antelope that inhabit the plains and open woodlands of Africa. It includes two species, the Black Wildebeest and the Blue Wildebeest. They reach 2.4 meters in length and stand 1.5 m at the shoulder and weigh 160–290 kg. Wildebeest are well known for their annual migration to new pastures. Up to 1.5 million wildebeests as well as hundreds of thousands of other animals, including zebra and gazelle make a migratory circle of 500 to 1,000 miles each year, to avoid the dry seasons in Tanzania and Kenya.

7. Green Turtle

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The Green turtle is a large, weighty sea turtle with a wide, smooth carapace, or shell. The range of the species extends throughout tropical and subtropical seas around the world. Weighing up to 317.5 kilograms, green turtles are among the largest sea turtles in the world. Adult green turtles are known to grow to 5 feet (1.5 m) long. Green turtles migrate long distances between their chosen feeding sites and the beaches from where they hatched.

The pregnant turtles swim distances of more than 2,600 kilometers to reach their spawning grounds. The expectant mothers dredge themselves onto beaches and lay their eggs before heading back home. After a period of time, hatchlings emerge from the nests and head for the water. Those that survive, grow to maturity and live to a maximum of eighty years.

6. Salmon

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Salmon is the common name for several species of fish of the family Salmonidae. Typically, salmon are anadromous: they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. After spending about one to five years (depending on the species) in the ocean.

The adult salmon return to its natal freshwater stream to spawn and eventually die. Salmon can make amazing journeys, sometimes moving hundreds of miles upstream against strong currents just to make the perfect homecoming.

5. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

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The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only species of hummingbird that regularly nests east of the Mississippi River in North America. It is about 7-9 cm long with an 8-11 cm wingspan, and weighs about 3 grams. Since these birds are solitary, adults typically only come into contact for the purpose of mating.

The Ruby-throated hummingbird may double their weight in preparation for migration. To prepare for their non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of at least 500 miles, they will have to eat plenty of nectar, insects, and tree sap.

4. Monarch Butterfly

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Migrating long distances is in a Monarch Butterfly blood. Each fall, when the weather turns chilly, the Monarch Butterfly of Canada and the United States travel hundreds more than 3,000 miles just to spend the winter in warmer places. In the spring they return, laying eggs along the way.

What is even more remarkable is that the ones that return to the places where Monarchs hibernate have never been there before. These are the great-great-great-grandchildren of those that performed the intrepid journey from southeast Canada and the United States to central Mexico.

3. Whooping Crane

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The Whooping Crane is the tallest North American bird. They are found in marshes, shallow lakes, and lagoons. Adult whooping cranes are white with a red crown and a long, dark, pointed bill. They may grow to about 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall, weigh about 7.0 k, and with a wingspan of 2.3 meters (7.5 feet). The whooping crane’s primary natural breeding ground is Wood Buffalo National Park, in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Alberta.

When summer ends, these migratory birds set out for the Gulf Coast of Texas, where they winter in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Since, Whopping cranes are endangered species, massive whooping crane programs are being initiated by US and Canadian governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, volunteers, and other contributors. One activity done is using ultralight aircraft to lead young whooping cranes on their first southward migration, from Wisconsin to Florida.

2. Freshwater Eels

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There are 16 to 20 species of freshwater eels in genus Anguilla. Freshwater eels are catadromous, meaning they spend their lives in freshwater rivers and return to the ocean to spawn. Freshwater eels spend almost all of their life in fresh waters. However, they run to the sea and migrates to the Sargasso Sea to breed.

The journey may take more than 4,000 miles. After spawning, the adult eels die. After hatching, the baby eels, then run up the rivers, and take up residence in still waters of large rivers and lakes, where they live as adults for as long as 15 years.

1. Humpback Whales

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Humpback whales hold the world’s record for the longest mammalian voyage. Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically spend its summers in cooler, high-latitude waters, and migrate up to 25,000 kilometers each year to breed and give birth in the winter in tropical and sub-tropical waters. One population spends the warmer months eating a literal ton of food a day in the waters off the Arctic Peninsula.

During the winter, humpbacks fast and live off their fat reserves. In the Pacific they migrate generally from the Bering Sea to Southern Mexico as well. Another known small population migrates from their feeding grounds in Antarctic waters to their Tongan breeding grounds.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interesting Facts About Butterflies

There are about 28,000 extant species of butterflies that are divided into 30 orders, the main basis of classification being their wing structure.

Butterflies and moths belong to an order called Lepidoptera. Butterflies are found worldwide except in Antarctica. Butterflies’ sizes vary from a tiny 1/8 inch to a huge almost 12 inches. They have 6 legs, one pair of antennae, a segmented body that has three distinguishable parts: a head, a thorax and an abdomen. Butterflies have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton. Though they don’t have lungs, butterflies breath through openings in their abdomen called “spiracles”.

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Butterflies are cold blooded and it is necessary for them to warm up their flight muscles. This is done by stretching out in the sun in order to absorb heat. However, if their body temperature drops below 86 degrees they have to wait until they warm back up.

All butterflies have complex eyes made up of about 60,000 lenses and there are certain species of butterflies that have thousands of eyes. Butterflies can see color such as green, red and yellow and they can even see ultraviolet light.

Butterflies smell with their antennae, “taste” with their feet and drink nectar and juices through their proboscis (straw-like structure). They Butterflies have a preference for flowers that are red, yellow, pink, or purple and have single petals.

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The Cabbage White Butterfly

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The Cabbage White Butterfly is the most common species of butterfly around and are found mostly in vegetable gardens. Its caterpillar that is green in color blends in perfectly with the cabbage leaves.

The Queen Alexandra Birdwing

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The Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing is the largest and also the rarest extant species of butterfly. It is native to Papua New Guinea where it inhibits rain forest. An adult female’s wingspan can reach 26 cm.

The Pygmy Butterfly

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The Pygmy Butterfly earned the honor of having the shortest wingspan at 11 mm. Eastern Tailed Blue, Marine Blue, Eastern Tailed Blue, Small Checkered Skipper and the Bog Elfin all share top honors for Canada’s smallest butterflies with wingspan of 16 mm.

The Painted Lady Butterfly

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The Painted Lady is the most widespread butterfly species that are found in all parts of the world except in South America and Antarctica.br />
The Brimstone Butterfly

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The Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepterix rhamni) lives the longest among all butterfly species. Typically, adults have a 10 month lifespan.

The Spring Azure

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The Spring Azure is one of the shortest lived butterflies lasting only a couple of days.

The Giant Swallowtail

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Around 700 species of butterflies are found in North America, but only a few species feed on agricultural crops. The Giant Swallowtail is the largest butterfly found in Canada. Its wingspan can reach up to 5 inches.

The Mourning Cloak

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The Mourning Cloak has been known to play dead in order to escape predators. Mourning Cloaks and Compton Tortoiseshells frequently feed at Sapsucker drillings.

The Northern Pearly Eyes

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Northern Pearly Eyes Butterfly flies at night and have ears on their wings so they can avoid bats. Also, theses butterflies are territorial hence they will attack other male intruders.

The Milbert’s Tortoiseshell

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Milbert’s Tortoiseshells (Aglais milberti) lay eggs in clusters containing a thousand or more .

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

12 Interesting Things About Dogs and Cats

You think you have enough knowledge about dogs and cats, then this post will prove you wrong.

Most of us love dogs and cats and to show our affection, we are taking them as companion or pets. But did you know that these animals possess remarkable traits and behavior that we ought to know. You will be in for a surprise after reading this article.

Six Interesting Things About Cats

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1. Cats always immediately bathe themselves after finishing each meal. Why?– their instinct tell them to get the food scent off them to avoid being attack by predators.

2. The mother cat purrs announcing that it is feeding time and her kittens reciprocate the act after about a week old,; maybe as a sign of gratitude. This purring activity will continue for the rest of their lives.

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3. Cats press their eyes shut. When cats are satisfied or in a jovial mood they simply close their eyes.

4. We can’t completely comprehend how cats communicate to us, but they do ’speak’. Cats express their affection, hunger, boredom, anger, happiness and fear in a unique way that we understand them. Some researchers believe that cats may have learned we can’t hear them in their natural range and have adapted so they can relate to us on our terms.

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5. The cat uses its tail like a tight-rope walker uses a long pole – as a counterweight to aid balance. The tail is also used for communication purposes. Cats born without tails do manage, though. There are other methods of balancing.

6. Did you know that cats can listen for prey by rotating their ears independently? Or that their whiskers can detect movements 2,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair?

Six Interesting Things About Dogs

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1. Did you know that dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting. Also, dogs and wolves yawn as a sign of contentment.

2. Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears. Unfortunately, due to their breeding, the likes of bulldogs and pitbulls only have 10. Therefore, these dogs easily get misinterpreted by other dogs and often get into fights.

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3. Two dogs survived the sinking of Titanic, yes that’s right, two DOGS survived. They escaped on early lifeboats carrying so few people that no one objected. Miss Margaret Hays of New York brought her Pomeranian with her in lifeboat No. 7, while Henry Sleeper Harper of the publishing family boarded boat No. 3 with his Pekinese, Sun Yat Sen.

4. A dog’s sense of smell is one of the keenest in nature. If a pot of stew was cooking on a stove, a human would smell the stew, while the dog could smell the beef, carrots, peas, potatoes, spices, and all the other individual ingredients in the stew.

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5. In the original 101 Dalmatians movie, Pongo has 72 spots, Perdita has 68 and each of the puppies has 32. 6. Giving dogs chocolate could be fatal for them, because theobromine, an ingredient of chocolate, stimulates the central nervous system and cardiac muscle. About 1.1 kg of milk chocolate or just 146 g of cooking chocolate (which has more theobromine per gram) could kill a 22 kg dog.