Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday Thirteen - Kangaroo Facts
A male kangaroo is called a boomer...

A female kangaroo is called a flyer...

A baby kangaroo is called a joey...

A Kangaroo is a marsupial mammal.

It is a macropod which means "big foot".

There are 47 different types (species) of Kangaroo. The smaller ones are usually called Wallabies. The largest is the Red Kangaroo.

It stands taller than a man and can weigh 85 kg's. It is the largest marsupial in the world.

How the kangaroo got its name: When European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native Australian (aborigine) what they were called. He replied "kangaroo" meaning "I don't understand" your question. The explorers thought this was the animal's name.

On the Australian coat of arms the Emu and the Kangaroo were selected as symbols of Australia to represent the country progress because they are always moving forward and never move backwards.

Kangaroos usually have one young annually. The young kangaroo, or joey, is born alive at a very immature stage, when it is only about 2 cm long and weighs less than a gram. Immediately after birth it crawls up the mother's body and enters the pouch. The baby attaches its mouth to one of four teats, which then enlarges to hold the young animal in place. After several weeks, the joey becomes more active and gradually spends more and more time outside the pouch, which it leaves completely between 7 and 10 months of age.

Female kangaroos enter into heat within a few days after giving birth they mate and conceive, but after only one week's development the microscopic embryo enters a dormant state that lasts until the previous young leaves the pouch.
The development of the second embryo then resumes and proceeds to birth after a gestation period of about 30 days.

The Kangaroo moves by hopping on its powerful hind legs. It uses its thick long tail to balance its body while hopping. A kangaroo can hop at up to 60kmh (40mph). It can also leap over obstacles up to 3m (10ft) high. Because of the unusual shape of its legs and its bulky tail a kangaroo can't walk or move backwards very easily. Kangaroos are found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea.

They are grazing animals that eat grass, young shoots and leaves of heath plants and grass trees. Kangaroos need very little water to survive and are capable of going for months without drinking at all. The kangaroo usually rests in the shade during the day and comes out to eat in the late afternoon and night when its much cooler. It eats mostly grass. It needs very little water to survive. It can survive without drinking for months.

Kangaroos have good eyesight but only respond to moving objects. They have excellent hearing and can swivel their large ears in all directions to pick up sounds.

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:05 PM   10 comments
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Wordless Wednesday

This is the world's largest Man-Made waterfall - at the Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:21 PM   8 comments
Monday, September 20, 2010
Thursday Thirteen - Banana Facts I
1. 3 medium size bananas weigh approximately 1 pound.

2. A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are known as fingers.

3. As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana the sweeter it will taste.

4. Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms.

5. Bananas are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber.

6. Bananas are America's #1 fruit.

7. Bananas are available all year-round. They are harvested every day of the year.

8. Bananas are great for athletic and fitness activity because they replenish necessary carbohydrates, glycogen and body fluids burned during exercise.

9. Bananas are not grown commercially in the continental United States. They are grown in Latin and South America from countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Panama and Guatemala.

10. Bananas are one of the few fruits that ripen best off the plant. If left on the plant, the fruit splits open and the pulp has a "cottony" texture and flavor. Even in tropical growing areas, bananas for domestic consumption are cut green and stored in moist shady places to ripen slowly.

11. Bananas are perennial crops that are grown and harvested year-round. The banana plant does not grow from a seed but rather from a rhizome or bulb. Each fleshy bulb will sprout new shoots year after year.

12. Bananas have no fat, cholesterol or sodium.

13. Bananas were officially introduced to the American public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. Each banana was wrapped in foil and sold for 10 cents. Before that time, bananas came to America on the decks of sailing ships as sailors took a few stems home after traveling in the Caribbean.

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:09 PM   20 comments
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thursday Thirteen - Insect Trivia
1. A cockroach can live for about nine days without its head. It could live for its lifetime without head, cockroach actually dies because of not being able to drink water.

2. Dragonflies can fly at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.

3. The color a head louse will be as an adult can depend on the color of the person's hair in which it lives.

4. The cochineal insect, which lives on the prickly pear cactus in the southwestern United States, is an excellent source of natural red dye. The insects are dried and ground into a powder that is cooked to release the maximum amount of color. The powder is then used as a dye for fiber, fabric, and basketry materials. It has also been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in food and cosmetics. Most brands of lipstick and some kinds of fruit drinks are tinted with cochineal extract.

5. In the 1960s, animal behavior researchers studied the effects of various substances on spiders. When spiders were fed flies that had been injected with caffeine, they spun very "nervous" webs. When spiders ate flies injected with LSD, they spun webs with wild, abstract patterns. Spiders that were given sedatives fell asleep before completing their webs.

6. The bombadier beetle defends itself by firing a boiling hot spray from the rear of its abdomen. The spray is formed at the moment of firing by mixing chemicals from two glands in the beetle's abdomen. The spray changes instantly into a gas and is directed away from the beetle. The gas irritates the eyes of the enemy and forms a smoke screen which helps the beetle to escape while the enemy is confused.

7. Termites can’t digest wood, the protozoa in their stomach (they eat them when they are younger) actually are the devourers of the wood.

8. Slugs have 4 noses.

9. A dragonfly’s first six months of life are spent underwater. After this time, it comes out of the water, sheds its outer skin, and starts flying, but if it falls in the water after it has shed its skin, it drowns.

10. A leech can drink up to eight time its weight in blood at one sitting.

11. There are more insects in one square mile of rural land than there are human beings on the entire earth.

12. There are more than 900,000 known species of insects in the world.

13. More people are killed each year from bees than from snakes.

posted by Nature Mad @ 3:55 PM   16 comments
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Happy Wordless Wednesday!!

Another Flickr Picture...
..these pelican rode the rapids that were flowing very fast at Lockport. The dam was open fully, to allow the Red River to flow without obstruction. The last few weeks of heavy rainfall has created significantly high river levels across the prairie lands.

posted by Nature Mad @ 3:51 PM   23 comments
Monday, September 6, 2010
Thursday Thirteen - Insect Trivia
Beetles taste like apples, wasps like pine nuts, and worms like fried bacon.
Some worms will eat themselves if they can’t find any food!
Bees must collect the nectar from two thousand flowers to make one tablespoonful of honey. In its entire lifetime, the average worker bee produces 1/12th teaspoon of honey.
Tapeworms range in size from about 0.04 inch to more than 50 feet in length.
A dragonfly has a lifespan of exactly 24 hours.
In Africa swarms of Locusts may contain as many as 28,000,000,000 individuals. A large swarm may eat up to 80,000 tons of grain and other vegetation in a day.
Amazon ants (red ants found in the western U.S.) steal the larvae of other ants to keep as slaves. The slave ants build homes for and feed the Amazon ants, who cannot do anything but fight.
Each year, insects eat 1/3 of the Earth’s food crop.
Dragonflies can fly 36 miles (58k) an hour. 2. A click beetle plays dead by lying on its back, then snaps a hinge, [licks his body up in the air, and scuttles away to live another day.
For more than 3,000 years, Carpenter ants have been used to close wounds in India, Asia and South America.
The longest insect is a walking stick that can reach a length of 33 centimeters.
The eggs of walking stick insects are among the largest in the insect world. Some eggs are more than eight millimeters long.
Ants can lift 50 times their own weight. But that's nothing compared with the honey bee, which can lift 300 times its own weight - roughly the equivalent of a person lifting 15 tons.

posted by Nature Mad @ 3:56 PM   12 comments