Sunday, September 11, 2016

Amazing Animal Facts: Sharks!

I could easily have this blog focus on sharks - they're that interesting. I've done posts in the past about great white sharks. Though they're probably the most well-known predatory shark, there are many other sharks.

I recently stayed at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas. I gotta admit, I stayed there because of the gigantic shark tank - it's crazy awesome!!!  I'll get to the picks later below. But I seriously can't say enough about the shark tank that is in the middle of the pool - well worth the stay!!! I just stared at the sharks for hours while wading in the pool. Amazing.

There are 5 types of sharks in the tank:
  1. Sand Tiger Shark: This one is my favorite - it looks like a mini great white. I say "mini," but they really are large - about 6.5 to 10.5 feet long.  Their teeth are easily seen and give a very menacing impression!
  2. Nurse Shark: These are nocturnal and will often rest on the bottom of the sea shore in large groups of 40 or so. They are 7.5 to 9.75 feet long.  Interesting fact: Nurse Sharks are responsible for the most shark bites because many divers can't resist pulling their long tails.
  3. Blacktip Reef Shark: About 5.2 feet long, this shark is very common to Florida. Their name perfectly describes them - they have a black tip on their fin.
  4. Zebra Shark: They feed mainly on reef mollusks and crustaceans as well as small fish.  Their narrow bodies allow them to squirm into narrow crevices and channels in search of food.  These are vulnerable to decline in population, but are found around Japan, Australia, and in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. They can get up to 12 feel long and are aptly names due to their zebra look.
  5. Sandbar Shark: This species gets its common name from the sandy and muddy areas where it's commonly found along the U.S. Atlantic coast.  Besides humans, Sandbar Sharks have very few predators.
Did You Know? Pigs kill more humans every year than sharks do!

Ok, time for pictures of this amazing shark thank - there's even a water slide you can go down through the middle!!!

How Many of the Five Shark Species Can You Find in My Pics?

Oh, by the way, The Shallows comes out on DVD on September 27, 2016.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Amazing & Fascinating Animal: Feather Starfish

Today's animal is not only amazing, but fascinating, beautiful, captivating, and many other things....

It's the Feather Starfish! I'm going to post a video and several pics below to prove that this species of echinoderms are all of the things I said they are above.  But first, some amazing facts:

  • An echinoderm is another name for starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, and sea lillies.
  • Feather Starfish are a common sight at the Great Barrier Reef.
  • There are over 1,800 known species of starfish globally, and Feather Starfish make up over 500 of those species! That's how many different variations are known to exist!
  • Feather Starfish are much different than "normal" starfish. Feather Star fish have "feet" - called cirri - that latch onto fan coral or other perches.  Instead of feeding from the bottom, underside of the starfish (like normal ones do), feather starfish extend their "feather" arms out into the water. These arms have a sticky substance on them which filters food out of the water currents, and then passes the food down their arms into their mouth.
  • Unlike normal starfish, Feather Starfish don't have just five limbs. Rather, they're known to have between 20 - 200!
  • The way they breed is fascinating. They breed by releasing sperm and eggs into the surrounding water. The eggs hatch to produce larvae. After a few days, they hatch and float down to the ocean floor where they undergo a metamorphosis into the adult form.

Now for some pics showing the amazing diversity of this beautiful species:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Amazing Animal Video: Gigantic Alligator on Golf Course

If you haven't seen this video yet, watch it. This video is crazy. It makes me never want to go golfing in Florida.This alligator is huge! I can't believe these golfers were willing to get that close...

With gators being in the news so much lately, I'll definitely be posting more on these predators in the future.

Just let the gator golf on thru!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Amazing Animal Facts: Bengal Tigers

Have you seen The Jungle Book movie yet? If not, it's definitely worth it! The animals are so well done, especially the infamous Bengal Tiger - Shere Khan. This got me thinking, did you know that Bengal Tigers are extremely amazing? Here are a few facts to prove it to you:
  • It is the most numerous species of tiger in Asia, but it is endangered! Less than 2,000 are estimated to exist.
  • It has no predators in its natural environment. None. Think about that ... wow.
  • Newborn cubs are born blind and helpless. Their mother feeds them milk for 2 months before being introduced to meat. After about 18 months, they begin hunting on their own.
  • It is estimated that 1% of them are actually DNA-hybrids with Siberian Tigers. But because males from the hybrids are sterile, it's believed that these hybrids exist due to breeding mistakes made while they're in captivity.
  • Males weigh up to 500 lbs, and females up to 310 lbs
  • They consume up to 60 lbs of food at one time! They normally feed on larger animals like deer, buffalo, and antelope.
  • They're known to stalk its prey and attacking when the prey is caught off guard.
  • They live alone and scent-mark their own territories to keep competition away.
  • They can run up to 35-40 mph!
  • Females typically raise her cubs with very little help from the male. My wife would probably say they're not very different from humans for this ... haha, jk.
  • They are extremely deadly and will attack human.
This is Shere Khan in the Jungle Book movie. Very well done, huh?

This is a real Bengal Tiger - don't mess with it.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Godzilla Spotted? (Video)

Check out this amazing video! Calm down, though - it's not actually Godzilla. Instead, it's the only known marine iguana, and it's found (of course) at Galapagos Island. And what it uses its teeth for is unique.

...but then again, maybe it's just sharpening its teeth. It does look like it could be the offspring of Godzilla!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Amazing Animal Video: Ant Hill Excavated

About a month ago, I posted about ants. But this post is about the ant hill, or colony. Ever wonder what the ant colony looks like underground? This video excavated a gigantic one, and frankly - it's fascinating. Honestly, though, despite the results being mind-blowing, I'm still pretty horrified by the method used to cast the ant colony...