Saturday, October 7, 2017

Salt Lake Comic Con 2017 - Thank You!

Thanks to all my readers who visited me at this year's Salt Lake Comic Con! I loved meeting you all, autographing my books, and introducing many of you to my novels! I hope to see you all again next year. - Kyle

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Amazing Albino Alligators & Other Animals

Truly fascinating. I'd never seen anything like it. While visiting the Georgia Aquarium, I was surprised to see Albino Alligators! Two of them! I had to take pictures (below).

But before we get to that - albinism is defined as the "congenital absence of any pigmentation or coloration in a person, animal or plant, resulting in white hair and pink eyes in mammals."  Albinos typically have red or pink eyes because the lack of pigmentation in the irises allows blood vessels to be visible.

But you're really here for the pics, right? You should be - albinism is a beautiful phenomenon about nature!

First up are my pics of the albino alligators at the Georgia Aquarium.

And here are some amazing pics of other albino animals - enjoy!

Black Bear



Gorilla (Named 'Snowflake")

Kangaroo & Its Joey



Sea Turtle


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Which TWO of these Animals are Left Handed?

In recognition of Left Handers Day, can you guess which TWO of these animals are believed to be predominately left handed?

  A.   Polar Bears
  B.   Parrots
  C.   Kangaroos
  D.   Horses

And the answers are ......

... drum roll please ....

If you guessed A and D, then you're wrong! Though polar bears and horses tend to be the animals most commonly believed as being left handed, they're actually not! Scientific studies have actually shown polar bears to have 50-50 preference for right vs. left paws.

As for horses, they're traditionally led and mounted from the left side and trained to turn to the left, but this doesn't mean they are left-hoofed. Rather, 53% prefer to lead with their right hoof, 40% with their left hoof, and 7% no preference at all.

So, that means ....

Parrots are left-hand dominant, with about 90% having shown left-foot preference in picking things us.

As for Kangaroos, the red kangaroos and eastern gray kangaroos - two popular Australian species - almost always use their left paws.  Interestingly, other species of kangaroos would have a hand preference when on two paws, but when walking on four paws they didn't have any preference. However, the red and eastern gray species showed left hand dominance regardless of if they were on 2 or 4 paws.

I don't know which is more amazing - that there are left hand-dominant animals, or that there are actual scientific studies to find this stuff out! But what's also interesting is that only about 10% of the world's human population are left handers!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mantis Shrimp: Beauty AND the Beast!

I just learned about one of the most fascinating creatures I've ever heard of. While meeting readers of my books at FanX by Salt Lake Comic Con, a reader told me about the Mantis Shrimp. I had to go home and research this amazing animal. My conclusion is that this crustacean is both a Beauty and the Beast.

First: The Mantis Shrimp is beautiful, especially the Peacock Mantis Shrimp:

Second: Their vision is spectacular! They have 16 cones in their eyes. Humans only have 3 - red, green, and blue. Humans can only see derivatives of those three colors because those are the only cones in our eyes. The animal with the next most cones are butterflies - with five. Mantis Shrimp have 16! They can detect ten times more color than humans, including ultraviolet light! 

So, they're beautiful and can see an unimaginably beautiful color spectrum.

But ...

They are also extremely deadly.

Mantis Shrimp have powerful club-like appendages that fold beneath its body, which makes it look like a preying mantis. These clubs have the ability to strike at the speed of a .22 caliber bullet (50 times faster than a blink of an eye). A blow from these easily strikes through the shell of a crab or mollusk. (There are many videos online of the Mantis Shrimp beating up other animals. So many that I couldn't decide which to post.)

The speed of a blow could also break through glass. Many aquariums do not hold Mantis Shrimp because they will devour other animals in a tank, and because the tank itself won't be able to contain it. 

Think about that. Oh, and they are quick swimmers and are very territorial.

Beauty and the Beast, indeed.