Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Video of the Day: Huge Anaconda Crossing the Road

Why'd the huge anaconda cross the flooded road? 
Because it ate everything in its path.

Check this video out! ...


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Tarantulas!

My family and I went to the new Butterfly Exhibit at Thanksgiving Point and loved it! But what caught me by surprise was how many different species of tarantulas were also on display - 11 to be exact. Here are the photos of those tarantulas I took, and a little fact about each one.

By the way, I think tarantulas are fascinating, even though they do creep me out like most people. When I was writing Acea and the Animal Kingdom, I watched hours of tarantula videos when researching for my king tarantula in the book. If you haven't read my first novel yet, you can check it out on Amazon here.



Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula:

The LARGEST arachnid on the planet. I learned that this guy is just an infant and still has alot of growing left to do. They don't always eat birds, but they will. Think about that.









Gooty Sapphire Tarantula:

Not the best picture - this guy was trying hard to hide in a corner. But these tarantulas are called "sapphire" for a reason - their legs end up becoming a very brilliant blue-sapphire color. Not only are they known as one of the most beautiful species, but they are extremely poisonous. Just one bite will leave a human in intense pain for about a week.











Arizona Blond Tarantula:

See it? Hiding behind the Delicate Arch... This guy was sharing a tank with some scorpions. It's a burrowing spider, as you can tell from it hiding in this picture. Like most species, they are nocturnal predators.







Togo Starburst Tarantula

This one is hiding in its burrow - in the upper left. It looks like some kind of horror movie scene, right? This species is native to West Africa. It's also called the Ornamental Baboon Tarantula.  They have very thick hind legs, leading some to think they are apart of the baboon spider species, even though they are not.






Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula

These are among the larger species, and get up to full size quickly. Females are larger than males, with leg-spans of  up to 8.5 inches. They are commonly kept as pets. As you can guess, they're native to Brazil.








Mexican Redknee Tarantula

Check this thing out! Females have a large lifespan - up to 30 years! The males have a lifespan of 5 years. They dwell in Mexico along primarily the coastal areas near the Pacific Ocean. Females spend most of their lives in their burrows.






Greenbottle Blue Tarantula

This was my favorite one to see - look at it perched on top of its kingdom! It's hard to tell from the lighting, but their body is a fierce blue, with a starkly-orange abdomen. It's among the most dramatically-covered tarantulas. Native to Venezuela. In captivity, it's common for their webs to cover the entire container.





Trinidad Chevron Tarantula
I put this video up because it was active! They're native to Trinidad (located in the Caribbean). It's venom is actually part of a a toxin that provides therapeutic help for patients suffering a stroke. Crazy, right?

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy 2019, the Year of the Pig!


Happy New Year!

Chinese Year of the Pig

I sincerely hope everyone has a great 2019. Let's kick start it with some interesting facts about Pigs!

Pigs are smart! You may think they're lazy, but research shows that their cognitive abilities are better than dogs and 3-year old kids! They're actually considered one of the more sophisticated animals - all that laying around must be because their philosophizing. 

Pigs don't "eat like pigs" - they actually enjoy eating slowly and savoring their meal. 

Pigs actually are clean! Really? Well, research shows that if given sufficient living space, pigs will keep the area clean that they lay and sleep on. They keep their toilets far from their living and feeding areas. Mind. Blown.

Pigs are very social - they are known to have at least 20 different vocalizations. They form close bonds with each other and like to sleep close to each other as well. They hate to be alone.

Pigs have great memories - they can remember things for several years.

Pigs' sense of smell is incredible - if you think just dogs have great senses of smell, you're forgetting about pigs. Their snouts have the highest density of tactile receptors (so, more dense than a dog's nose). Their sense of smell is about 20,000 times more sensitive than a human's sense of smell. You wouldn't guess it from the way a pig smells, right?


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Naked Mole Rats:AMAZING Animal


While, it's debatable whether naked mole rats are cute or not, one thing about them is not debatable: the are among the most fascinating animals known to man!

Here are just a few of the amazing facts about naked mole rats:

  • They can survive up to 18 minutes without breathing! They do this by switching from using one source of energy to another. They essentially break down types of sugar differently to survive once they run out of oxygen!
  • They are resistant to pain! Their pain-signalling is non-functioning, but not so much that it's a danger to them.
  • They defy the biological way of aging! Studies have shown that their risk of aging does not increase as they get older. Their bodies don't show biological signs of aging. In fact, they are the longest living rodent species, at 30 years old.
  • They are resistant to cancer!
  • Their front incisor "teeth" can be moved separately or work together like chopsticks.
  • Their colonies can span 6 football fields in length!
  • They are only 1 of 2 mammal species which are eusocial - meaning they have a social hierarchy typically found in insect species. There is a queen leader who is protected by her soldiers. The queen has fought her way to the top.
  • They live most of their lives in darkness underground
If any one of these characteristics was to be found in one animal, that animal would instantly be unique. But the fact that all of them are containing within this cute, cuddly animal (sarcasm) makes the Naked Mole Rat one of the most interesting animals in the world!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Black Cats: Bad Luck or Good Luck?


When our family went to the pumpkin patch this last weekend, we passed a black cat right away at the entrance. No joke! Does this mean our visit was instantly spelled with bad luck? Actually....

Most cultures view black cats as good luck! 
  • The Egyptians and Russians revered all cats as good luck.
  • Most of England and Ireland also saw black cats as good luck.
  • In parts of old England, giving a cat to a bride meant good luck (seriously?).
  • In Scotland, if a black cat arrived on your door, it meant you might win a jackpot (come here, kitty kitty....)
  • In Germany, you have to pay attention. If the black cat crosses from right to left, that's bad. But left to right is good!
  • In Japan, owning a black cat was a good thing for single women, as it was thought of as attracting suitors.
Sometime in the Middle Ages, Europeans began to associate black cats with witchcraft. This could have been due to the elderly woman who would feed cats being among those often accused of as witches. 

We own a cat. It's not black, but it doesn't have to be - sometimes just the look it lets me know it's up to no good.....

Bonus Fact: The gene mutation that makes a cat black also makes it immune to more diseases. There's a thought that the same mutation in human affects the same genethat can offer HIV resistance.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Amazon's Most Dangerous Animal Is....

Which of the following animals do you think is the most dangerous animal of the Amazon Rainforest?



If you had a tough time guessing, it's because all four of those animals are widely regarded as the top four most dangerous animals in the Amazon.  But the answer is....

THE POISON DART FROG!

Those little guys come in several colors, with gold and blue often being the most prevalent (and dangerous).  Though they're small, just touching their skin can kill you! Actually - the poison in their skin is so deadly that it can kill 10 adult humans!

Their brilliant color is actually a warning to their potential predators. The poison can cause naseau, muscle paralysis, and death. Interestingly, if bred in captivity they're not likely to be poisonous. This is because their poison comes from their diet while in the wild - eating other dangerous creatures like termites, centipedes, and ants. Leimadophis Epinephelus, a special kind of snake found in Amazon rainforests is the only natural predator of poison dart frogs.

Stay away!