'/> Amazing Animals: March 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Believe It or Not: 10 Things Animals Can Do Better Than Humans

10 interesting and unbelievable facts about animals.

Animals are charming creatures and continue to daze and amaze our understanding with their fascinating abilities. Below is a list of 10 interesting and unbelievable facts about animals, that will surely puzzle any person that takes a look.

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Did you know that humans can hold their breath for about a minute on average, but it is way off the mark set by a beaver, it can hold its breath for as much as 45 minutes. Believe that!!

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We laughed it off and doubt if it could ever be done when we hear the phrase “You can’t jump over your own head”. But did you know that penguins can actually do it. They can elevate for more than six feet in the air!

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Our mouth is capable of holding to the fullest 1 1/2 cups of water at a single occasion. The volume of water is much too low if we compare it to how much an elephant’s mouth can accommodate. Elephant can suck more than 7.5 liters of water into its trunk at a time.

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For a lost tooth, it will take some weeks for humans to grow a new one. But tell it not to the sharks, for they have the ability to re-grow an entire set of teeth in less than 10 days!

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Cats see six times better than human. While it will take our eyes a couple of minutes to adjust to the dark and have clear visibility, cats have perfect vision in darkness.

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According to surveys, the majority of newlywed couples prefers to have two children in their home during their lifetime. But did you know, that a female mackerel can lay up to five hundred thousand eggs at a single time.

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Housing problems will arise if an ant colony is placed in an average American town. On average, about sixty-three thousand people live in a community. Guess how many ants are there in a typical ant colony- more than five hundred thousand individuals.

Try not to sleep for about 10 days and I guarantee, death will come your way. But did you know that ants do not sleep at all in their entire lifetime!

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On average, health-conscious persons have no problem running 10 kilometers/hour. However, dragonflies will outrun humans, for they can fly 100 kilometers/hour.

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A newborn child averages between three to five pounds. But not baby lobsters, for it will take at least a year for them, before they top the scale at one pound!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Colorful and Witty Pet Parrots

The parrot is a lovely companion for both the young and old. It could turn out to be an excellent pet given the proper training and attention.

African Gray Parrot

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Our first parrot in this group is the African gray parrot, known to be such talented talking parrots. There are two subspecies of African Congo Gray Parrots namely: the Congo African Gray Parrot and the Timneh African Gray parrot. Congo African parrot grows to about 12 in long with black beak, light gray plumage and dark red tail. While the Timneh subspecies is much smaller with a darker plumage and a darker maroon tail.

This parrot is capable of mimicking not only human words but have been documented imitating other manner of sounds, including the ability to whistle, squeak, click, shriek, etc; African gray parrot is also known for its feather plucking activity. Boredom, stress and improper diet may have something to do with this abnormal activity. Studies show that the intelligence level of African gray parrot equals that of a five-year old child.

African Gray Parrot can be an excellent pet because of its sociability and intelligence. However, prospective owners need to spend more time with the bird so as establish solid bonding. A good way to build up and gain your pet’s trust is to fly the parrot on your fingers and take it for a stroll around the house. The life expectancy of African gray parrot is about 40 to 60 years. But bear in mind, having an African Gray (or any parrot) as pet requires a lifelong commitment.

Amazon Parrot

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There are 27 extant species of Amazon parrot, found in South America, Caribbean and parts of Mexico. It can easily be recognized by its short wings and green plumage. Amazon parrots grow to about 36 cm and its common diet include fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Amazon parrots are good at imitating human speech and mimicking and other sounds. Some species like the yellow nape, double yellow heads, and blue fronts are good talkers and can also be good singers. They are popular as pets since they are loyal, sociable, energetic and playful. However, Amazon parrots are not for neophyte owners since they demand more attention than other house pets.

They need lots of interaction with its owners and at times flash moody characters. Amazon parrots are challenging pets for often they are aggressive, stubborn, quiet, jealous, silly, playful, or irritable. Owning one is just like owning a winged-dog. Studies also show that Amazon parrots have the intelligence of a three-year old child plus the temperament of a 50-year old adult.

Eclectus Parrots

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Eclectus parrots are brilliant and sleek birds, native to northern Australia, the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and neighboring islands. There are two popular subspecies namely: the Vosmaeri that are larger with elegant look and the “cute” looking Solomon Island variety that are smaller in sizes. Eclestus parrots are known for their brilliant color where males have green feathers with green primaries, while females sport bright red or purple/blue plumage.

In the wild, Electus parrots diet includes unripe nuts, fruits, flowers and seeds. While in captivity, they feed mostly on fruits such as; figs, guavas, mangoes, melons, bananas, grapes, apples, pears and other citrus fruits. These amazing birds are sought after as pets. When trained properly at a very early age, they have the ability to develop a cognitive behavior. They are very animated and enjoy taking part in daily activities.

Quaker Parrots

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Quaker parrots, also known as monk parakeet are native to South America and widespread in Brazil and Argentina. Mostly, they have green plumage with shades of blue in its flight feathers and tail’s tip. They are medium-sized, weigh from 80 to 150 grams and grow up to a foot from beak to tail. Quaker parrots can live up to 20 years or more.

Quakers are confident, energetic and very sociable birds. They suit well as pets for these birds are very loyal, gentle, charming, playful and are capable to imitate human speech. Quakers are known to be extremely good eaters and feed on fresh vegetables and fruits.

Senegal Parrots

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The Senegal Parrot is found in West Africa, Gambia and Guinea. It is about 23 in long from beak to tail and weigh from 125 to 175 gm. Senegal Parrot can easily be distinguished by its large head and beak and a short tail. Its staple diet includes fruit, seed and flowers. Adults have gray head and beak and shiny yellow iris

Senegal parrots can make excellent pets and are quieter than other parrot species. These cute birds can easily imitate human speech and other audible and clear sounds. They do mimic, but are more adept at sounds than clear speech. A good apartment pet, Senegal parrots are very affectionate, charming, comical, entertaining, highly trainable and bond easily with their owners.

Those interested in owning a Senegal Parrot should be willing to make time for handling and socialization with the bird every day. The more you interact the more a Senegal parrot will relax and obey you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Animal Kingdom: The Eating Machines

Gluttony is frowned upon in the human world. Is it the same for animals?

With the current influx of information campaigns against the danger of obesity, many are now aware and started to be conscious of their health. But how about the gluttons in the animal world? Sad to say, its just a way of life for these 'eating machines'.

Tiger Shark

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Tiger sharks are aggressive night hunter, they patrol the ocean devouring whatever come their way. Gifted with excellent eyesight, a sharp sense of smell and sickle-shaped teeth, tiger sharks usually prey on: fishes, squid, dolphins, sea turtles, seals, other sharks, sea turtles, seabirds, mollusks, and other sharks.

But did you know that tiger sharks are scavengers and are often called 'the garbage can of the sea'. Why? Documented facts revealed that various kinds of foreign objects are found in their stomach, including old tires, license plates, tires, gasoline cans, shoes and baseballs. However, tiger shark’s nasty eating habit help keep the ocean clean.


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This list will be incomplete if we will exclude the domestic pig. Pigs are known gluttonous omnivores, meaning they are plant and meat eaters. A greedy scavengers, pigs eat anything from plants, tree barks leaves, flowers, fruits, dead insects, rotting carcasses, garbage and even their young ones when kept in captivity. However, one awful thing pigs do… they love to sleep in its own excrement. Could you take that!


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This bald-headed bird of prey is the ultimate carnivore. Vultures are picky eaters, they will settle for nothing less– and only eat meat whether it's fresh or rotten. These birds tend to pounce in and gobble as much as they can. Normally, vultures will overeat themselves until their digestive cavities bulges. They can eat as much as 25% more than their body weight. Vultures usually seek its prey by smell though they have an excellent eye vision. Vultures have no problem digesting rotten meat since special acids are present in their digestive system.

Tasmanian Devil

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The size of a small dog, the Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial native to the Australian island state of Tasmania. A ferocious hunter at night, Tasmanian devil has an outstanding sense of hearing and an excellent sense of smell. It both scavenge carcasses of dead animals and hunt prey such as; wombats, sheep, small mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, frogs and insects. On average, they can consume as much as 15% of their body weight each day. Published reports had it that in just 30 minutes, Tasmanian Devil can gobble up carrion as much as 40 % of their body weight. This animal will likely eat anything that smells like flesh.

Vampire Bat

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Common vampire bats are known to have a dietary trait called hematophagy, meaning its food source is blood. Typically a night hunter, they feed mostly on the blood of mammals. Occasionally, vampire bats feed on human. Once a host is spotted, usually a sleeping mammal, vampire bats approach the target on the ground and land. They are able to locate where to bite by using their infrared sensors. In case the located host has fur, they use their razor sharp teeth in making a 7 mm long and 8 mm deep cut. Did you know that these little creatures can consume blood up to five teaspoons in one sitting! And for survival, vampire bats will eat other vampire bats as a food supply resource.


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Pythons are non venomous snakes that are found in Asia, Africa and Australia. Python generally ambushes and then kill its prey by means of constriction. It feeds on almost everything that comes its way using a set of organs that can detect heat and a tongue with sensor capable of detecting the animal's scent. Its diet includes; rodents reptiles, amphibians, birds and other mammals.

Python can ingest prey bigger than its head by slowly squeezing the helpless victim. It usually swallows its meal starting with the victim’s head. A large meal will probably take days or even weeks to be totally digested since pythons have a slow digestive system. In this case, the snake may not need to eat again for months.

Argentinean wide-mouthed frog

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Argentinean Wide-mouthed frogs or Horned frogs are famous for its fearless reputation. These animals are probably created for the purpose of eating anything that fit in their mouths. They can consume anything it wants, is it smaller or bigger than their size. The horned frogs staple diet includes; insects, spiders, small lizards, rodents, and snakes.

Typically, it hunt by waiting for prey while remaining motionless. However, horned frogs have the tendency to bite bigger animals, including human when provoke. Did you know that these animals don’t know when to say no to its meal that at times their tummies are literally bursting open due to overeating.


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We always thought that small animals eat less, but don’t say that to the hummingbirds. Considered the world’s smallest bird, hummingbirds have a very odd eating habit. They need to feed every 10-15 minutes, usually sipping the nectar of a flower or even preying on spiders and other insects when feeding young. The hummingbird’s heart beats 1,200 times/minute and flaps its wings 200 times in the same period. This tiny bird needs all nutrients it could get. Luckily, hummingbirds have an incredible metabolism.

Blue Whale

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Blue whales are found throughout all the earth’s ocean inhabiting continental shelves and ice fronts. They are the largest animals on the planet. These sea behemoths mainly feed on krill (a type of small shrimp-like organisms). Yes! You read it right, blue whales diets are generally small marine invertebrates, but they consume can up to 7,715 pounds of krill a day! Blue whales get a respite from their eating endeavor during its eight-month breeding season and usually refrain from eating anything at all.


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We all know that butterflies and moths do come from caterpillars. But did you know that, this small creature tops our list of “eating machines.” Most caterpillars are known herbivores, and are voracious leaf eaters. Caterpillar grows very quickly, usually shedding their skin four or five times before it transform into an adult form.

As an example, Tobacco Hornworm can grow ten-thousand times its weight in about 20 days. It can consume 1,000 its bulk in less than three weeks. Caterpillar’s voracious eating habit is based more on biological adaptability.

Monday, March 4, 2013

10 Intriguing Animals Whose Names Start with The Letter B

A list of intriguing animals whose names start with the letter B.

Nature presents us with beautiful, strange, odd and fascinating creatures. The animal kingdom itself has millions of amazing and special species that many of us have not known or seen. Below is a list of 10 intriguing animals that begins with the letter B.


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The Binturong (Arctictis binturong) or the Asian Bearcat is a relatively unknown animal inhabiting trees in the jungles of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. This nocturnal animal, averages between 60–96 cm long and weighs between 9–14 kg. Though classed as carnivores, the Binturong eats primarily fruit and at times leaves, shoots, and small animals.

The Binturong sports a thick, black fur, golden brown eyes, rounded ears and white whiskers. It has long, bushy, prehensile tail; and feet with strong claws. The Binturong can live up to 20 years in the wild; 20 years or more in captivity.


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The Banteng (Bos javanicus) is a wild cattle native to some Southeast Asian countries like: Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Brunei, and Malaysia. Once domesticated, these bovines ended up as working animals. Banteng inhabits dense forest and bamboo jungles feeding on grasses, branches, leaves, and fruits.

The Banteng grows to about 190-225 cm in body length, 160 cm at shoulder length and weighs around 600-800 kg. Adult males are dark brown or black, while females are reddish brown. Females carry short, curved horns; males straight, long horns. Both sexes sport white “stockings” on the legs, white rump and white muzzle. In their natural habitat, Banteng can live up to 14-17 years; while in captivity about 20 years.

Bearded Dragon

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The Bearded Dragon is native to Australia, inhabiting hot, dry, rocky environment. These lizards are taken into captivity as pets. A known omnivore, it feeds on plants, small rodents, and insects. Adults average between 38 – 43 cm long with gray, brown coat, flat body, triangle-shaped head and spiny scales. Though both sexes have “spiny beard”, the beard is more pronounced on adult males especially during courtship. Bearded dragon has an average life span of 4-10 years.


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The largest member of the weasel family, badgers are widespread in North America, Europe and as far as Asia. They live in underground burrows. A typical badger has broad, flat body, long tail, and short legs with long claws. The head is black marked with white stripes running from the nose to its shoulders. Fur coat varies from species to species like: black or dark brown, silvery-gray, spotted or striped.

Adults average 60 cm in length, 23 cm tall with a 10 cm tail. They weigh around 13.6 kg. Badgers hunt food at night that include squirrel, rodents, lizards, toads, snakes, and insects. The badger has an average life span of 11-13 years.


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Buntings are seed-eating, passerine birds comprising the family Emberizidae widespread in Europe, Asia and Africa. Though similar to a finch, bunting differs in the bill, head and body. It has a flatter head, conical bill, long head and tail. Bunting varies in sizes and plumage colors depending on the species. But all, are small, stout bird.


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Bluebottle also known as Portuguese man-of-war(Physalia physalis), are found floating in tropical waters such as Pacific and Indian oceans. This marine invertebrate may look like jelly fish but are not: jellyfish is a single creature while bluebottle is a colonial organism comprising four individuals known as zooids. Most bluebottles are blue in color and with a translucent body. Bluebottle’s body or float is about 3 to 15 cm, while its tentacles can measure from 15 cm to 10 m long!


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Babirusas (Babyrousa babirussa),are wild hogs native to Indonesia, in particular; to the islands Sulawesi, Buru, and Sula. These ‘pig-deer’ are found in tropical rainforest. Babirusas are omnivores, feeding mostly on fruits, but at times also eat vegetables and nuts. One remarkable feature this animal has, is the large, curving tusks males possess. This task grows upward, reaching up to 30 cm long.

Babirusa has rough skin, lacks hairs and with a brownish gray coat. Adults average 65 cm at shoulder length and 100 kg in weight. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed Babirusa as vulnerable or endangered. Currently, there are around 4000 individuals cited in the wild. The reasons for the declining population is; habitat loss and illegal hunting for meat.

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Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), is a medium-sized bird, widespread in the United States during the breeding season, and migrate to South America on winters. Bobolink breeds in open grassy areas and agricultural fields. This passerine bird averages 15-21 cm long and weighs around 34-51 g. Males are larger and heavier than females. Bobolink has brown eyes, short cone-shaped beak, short, pointed tail and a wingspan of about 27 cm. Adult males are mostly black with beige underparts, while adult females sport brown plumage with yellowish buff underparts. Bobolink feeds primarily on seeds and insects. Bobolink has a lifespan of up to 9 years.


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The Bilby (Macrotis lagotis), also known as Rabbit-Eared Bandicoots, is a nocturnal animal endemic to Australia. Bilby inhabits arid areas, living in deep burrows. Bilbies are omnivores, its diet includes fruits, insects, spiders and some small animals. However, Bilby doesn’t drink water! This marsupial animal grows up to 55 cm in body length, and weighs up to 2.5 kg. Bilby has soft blue-gray fur, large ears, long muzzle, and long black -white tail reaching up to 29cm long. Due to habitat loss, their population is declining.


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The Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii),known for its beautiful antlers, is a deer endemic to India and Nepal. It inhabits marshlands, meadows, and wet plains. These medium-size deer averages, 180 cm long, stands about 119-124 cm and weighs 170-280 k. When fully-grown male antlers can reach a meter long. Barasingha has an orange to brown coat with whitish underparts. It feeds mostly on grass. Barasingha has a life span of up to 25 years in the wild. However, due to habitat loss, poaching, diseases, and threats from predators, their numbers had declined. The IUCN listed Barasingha as vulnerable species.

Check out the entire Animal Alphabet list here:
Amazing Animal Alphabet Series 1
Amazing Animal Alphabet Series 2