Saturday, February 25, 2017

Scorpions: They Glow In The Dark!

Scorpions glow in the dark! How did I not know this until recently? Check out these awesome pics of scorpions glowing in the dark:




It's called being bioluminescent.  When UV light is shined on a scorpion it glows! Scorpions are the most active just after sunset, which the only time when UV light is more prevalent in the sky than the colors we can see.  They also only have one light detecting pigment in their eyes, which is tuned to only blue-green.  But otherwise, there are no confirmed scientific theories for why scorpions are bioluminescent - which is fascinating!  

One theory is that they glow under UV light, to turn the dim UV light into a color that they can see. Another theory is that it's part of their evolution that either helps with them luring prey, or to help other animals avoid them. Yet another theory is that production of the two chemicals that glow are just a coincidence. So no one really knows - but it's amazing!

And what's even more fascinating is that scorpions are not the only bioluminescent creature on this planet. But that's a topic for another day....

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Endangered Animal Highlight: Musk Ox

Quiz: Which of these is from Star Wars, and which is an endangered species?


The answer is that the one that looks from a movie (right) is a Bantha from Star Wars, whereas the one that looks like a real animal (left) is the Musk Ox.  The Musk Ox is an endangered species.

They are accustomed to extremely cold temperatures. Warmer summers in their natural habitat - which include Canada, Greenland, and parts of Alaska - could take a toll on its population. Though they closely resemble a buffalo, their actually ore closely related to sheep and goats. Their closest relative is actually the Takin, which is a goat-antelope that lives in the Himalayas. 

Sadly, the Musk Ox has become an endangered species, with its world-wide population estimated at 125,000 as of 1995. That population has likely decreased, with estimates being around 80,000 now. A major threat is hunting, which has been controlled in some regions.  Musk Ox hides, horns, and bones have been used to make things.

Here are some interesting facts:
  • The muskox and the caribou are the only two arctic hoofed mammals that survived the end of the Pleistocene Era (10,000 years ago).
  • Their hooves are so strong that they can break through the solid ice in the Arctic to get to the water below.
  • They are herbivores. But because plants are normally only available for a short time in their Arctic region, they have to paw through the snow to find plants.
  • They are herd animals, and groups of 2-3 dozen of them will often be led by a single female. When the herd is threatened, they form a tight circle in group defense.
  • Calves are born directly into the snow during April after an 8 month gestation period. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy 2017: Year of the ....

Rooster! 2017 is the year of the ROOSTER! Are you thinking that's not interesting? Wrong. There are some amazing facts about roosters that make them very interesting.


  • A rooster is simply an adult male chicken. (Adult females are hens.)
  • Roosters can fly - but because they're so heavy, they can only go about 200 feet.
  • Roosters have bad senses of smell and taste, but are great at hearing.
  • There is evidence of roosters having been on farms for about 5000 years!
  • You can find roosters on every continent except Antarctica.
  • For chickens in general, a study in 2003 concluded that there were over 24 billion chickens in the world - which outnumbered the amount of humans by 3 to 1.
  • The ancient Greeks believed that even lions were afraid of roosters, as evidenced by several of Aesops Fables such as "The Lion and the Elephant."
  • It's long been believed that roosters have 5 virtues: literary, military prowess, courageous, benevolent, and trustworthy. Actually.... I think that believes is for people born during the year of the rooster, and not to roosters themselves...
Why did the Rooster cross the road? ....


... To prove he wasn't a chicken!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Thank you!

I just wanted to say a quick THANK YOU to everyone who bought any of my novels for Christmas. I'm blown away every year as more and more people are picking up a copy of my novels! What began as a story that I was writing just for my own enjoyment has unexpectedly turned into something much larger than I ever could have imagined. So I wanted to say thank you!

And to everyone who just received one of my novels as a gift for Christmas - I hope you love the world that I created for you to escape into! If you just received the last book of the trilogy - Acea and the Adventure Thru Time - which was recently released, I hope you enjoy the conclusion of the story that I set out to tell over six years ago.

Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone that visits this blog! I'm humbled and amazed by the huge readership that grows every year. I hope the animal facts that I learn are as interesting to you as they are to me.

Merry Christmas,
Kyle


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rare Video of a "Ghost Shark"

It may be close to Christmas, but this video will leave you feeling like it's Halloween.  For the first time, video has been taken of the rare "Ghost Shark."  That's the name given to what's really the pointy-nose blue chimaera.  Though normally found in the southern hemisphere, this video was taken between Hawaii and California.

Ghost Shark Caught On Video For The First Time


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hilarious Lion vs. Zookeeper Video

You have to turn the audio up, it's worth a listen.

"Now when you're playing with lions, it's important to never show fear..." HaHa!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Adorable Animal Video: Panda Playing in Snow

My new obsession? Watching panda bears play in the snow. It's just so wonderful!

Here's Tian Tian from the Smithsonian National Zoo playing in snow.  By the way, if you haven't been to it before, this is an amazing zoo. And admission is free!