Monday, October 25, 2010
TT - All About Dolphins
Dolphins are very vocal and can make many sounds. They use certain sounds, such as the click, for sonar. They can tell through the echoes, how far they are away from something.

Dolphins sleep by resting one half of their brain at a time so that one eye is always open. This allows them to rise to the surface to breathe and to protect themselves from predators.

Male dolphins are called Bulls and female dolphins are called Cows.

A baby dolphin is called a calf. Baby dolphins are born tail first and suckle from their mother for up to 4 years. Mother dolphins produce milk that is extremely rich in fat, often up to 50 percent.

Each dolphin has its own signature whistle to identify itself.

Dolphins have excellent vision and well-developed eyes.

Most dolphins are about 6 feet long, but the bottle-nose dolphin can be over 9 feet long. The smallest dolphin is a bufeo, which is about 3 feet 9 inches.

Dolphins can hold their breath and dive over 1,000 feet deep.

On the average, a dolphin can eat over 50 pounds of food per day. Dolphins are carnivores eating mostly fish and squid and sometimes crustaceans. Wild dolphins eat live fish, while most captive dolphins eat them prepared.

A female dolphin’s pregnancy lasts between 11 and 12 months. She will nurse her baby for over a year.

Some dolphins travel in groups of over 1,000. Dolphins are found all over the world.

Dolphins have a thick layer of fat under their skin called blubber, which helps them to keep warm.

Dolphins are highly social, playful, curious and intelligent. They live in groups or families called Pods.

posted by Nature Mad @ 3:04 PM   20 comments
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wordless Wednesday - Angel Falls, Venezuela

This is the world's highest waterfall...

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:17 PM   8 comments
Monday, October 18, 2010
Why bananas are good for you

1. Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

2. Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

3. Depression: According to a recent survey amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

4. PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

5. Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

6. Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat high blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

7. Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

8. Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

9. Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

10. Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

11. Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

12. Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

13. Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:14 PM   13 comments
Monday, October 11, 2010
Thursday Thirteen - Banana Facts II

1. Each banana plant bears only one stem of fruit. To produce a new stem, only two shoots - known as the daughter and the granddaughter - are allowed to grow and be cultivated from the main plant.

2. In 1516, Friar Tomas sailed to the Caribbean bringing banana roots with him; and planted bananas in the rich, fertile soil of the tropics, thus beginning the banana's future in American life.

3. In 2001, there were more than 300 banana-related accidents in Britain, most involving people slipping on skins.

4. In Eastern Africa you can buy banana beer. This beer is brewed from bananas.

6. In some lands bananas were considered the principal food. Early travelers and settlers would carry the roots of the plant as they migrated to the Middle East and Africa. From there Portuguese traders carried banana roots to the Canary Islands, where bananas are still grown commercially.

7. In South East Asia, the banana leaf is used to wrap food (in the place of plastic bags and cling wraps), providing a unique flavor and aroma to nasi lemak and the Indian banana leaf rice.

8. India is by far the largest world producer of bananas, growing 16.5 million tonnes in 2002, followed by Brazil which produced 6.5 million tonnes of bananas in 2002. To the Indians, the flower from the banana tree is sacred. During religious and important ceremonies such as weddings, banana flowers are tied around the head, for they believe this will bring good luck.

9. Some horticulturists suspect that the banana was the earth's first fruit. Banana plants have been in cultivation since the time of recorded history. One of the first records of bananas dates back to Alexander the Great's conquest of India where he first discovered bananas in 327 B.C.

10. The word 'banan' is Arabic for finger.

11. The banana plant reaches its full height of 15 to 30 feet in about one year. The trunk of a banana plant is made of sheaths of overlapping leaves, tightly wrapped around each other like celery stalks.

12. The origin of bananas is traced back to the Malaysian jungles of Southeast Asia, where so many varieties and names for the banana are in that area.

13. The phrase 'going bananas' was first recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary, and is linked to the fruit's 'comic' connections with monkeys.

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:11 PM   18 comments
Sunday, October 10, 2010

I found this picture on Flickr too! Which Bird is it?

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:27 PM   6 comments
Monday, October 4, 2010
Thursday Thirteen - Grass Facts
1. Front lawns of just eight average houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning.

2. The average homesize central air unit has only a 3 to 4 ton capacity

3. Turfgrasses trap much of an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt released annually into the atomosphere of the United States.

4. Playing fields covered with dense turf have proven safer as demonstrated by a simple egg drop test.When a dozen raw eggs were dropped from a height of 11 feet onto a two-inch piece of dense turf, none broke.On thin turf,8 eggs broke.From just an 18 inch drop, all 12 eggs broke on an all-weather track.

5. Heathly, dense lawns absorb rainfall six times more effectively than a wheat field; fours times more effectively than an hay field.Sodded lawns can absorb 10 to 12 times more water than seeded lawnsThis continues even after 2 years of growth.

6. Recovery rates among hospitalized are often quicker when their rooms view a landscaped area when compared to patients with non-landscaped views.Where vegetation grows, suicide and child mortality are less, than in places where there are no plants or lawns.

7. With up to 90% of the weight of a grass plant in its roots, a good lawn provides a very efficent erosion prevention device.It also removes soil particles from silly water.

8. Turfgrasses help purify water which is entering underground aquifers. The root mass and soil microbes act as a filter to capture and break down many types of pollutants.Run-off is alleviated or prevented.

9. A Gallup Survey reported that 62% of all homeowners in the United States felt that investments in lawn and landscaping were as good, or better, than other home improvements.Proper and well-maintained landscaping and lawns add 15% to a home's value according to buyers.

10. The investment recovery rate is 100% to 200% for a landscape improvement. Compared to a deck or patio, these will recover 40% to 70% their cost.

11. Beautifully grasses areas quickly affect people's moods. Feelings of serenity, privacy, thoughtfulness, and happiness are enhanced.A lawn's yearly cycles of growth and color change lift human spiritsWe are thus linked to our countryside heritage.

12. A turf area just 50 feet by 50 feet absorb carbonddioxide, ozone, hydrogen fluoride, and perosyacetyle nitrate. This same areas releases enough oxygen to meet the breathing needs of a family of four.The grass and trees along the United States Interstate Highways System release enough oxygen to support 22 million people

13. All grasses therefore grow from the base of the stem and leaves.

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:00 PM   20 comments
Sunday, October 3, 2010

I found this picture on Flickr too! Which bird is it?

posted by Nature Mad @ 4:25 PM   7 comments