Blue whales are enormous creatures as we all know with a heart the size of a Volks Wagon beetle and weighing 600kg . Their tongue weighs 2.7 tonnes roughly the same as my truck. Its mouth is large enough to fit 90 tonnes of water. They travel at speeds of five to eight miles an hour the same speed as an old lady in a Nissisn Micra , and can accelerate to over 20 miles an hour which is the same as an old lady in a Nissan Micra who is going to be late for mass. They are the loudest animal in the world emitting groans and moans that travel up to 1000 miles away. Their calorific intake in a single day is equivalent to a bus load of American tourists after stopping at a Mac Donald’s for a snack before dinner, 1.5 million calories.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
For every one human on this planet it is estimated that there are 1 billion insects, that’s not including spiders. Through our lifetime we accidently consume many spiders, insect legs and other parts in the very food we eat. They are everywhere and just because you can’t see them do not mean they are not there. On your face right now there are tiny arachnids (spider family) eating debris from your skin.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Myth. Dogs have similar eye sight to humans except they are red green vision is poor .Dogs vision responds best to blue and yellow. Green to a dog looks like a shade of grey as a result dogs can distinguish many more shades of grey than humans.So a red football in on a green lawn is hard for a dog to see.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Myth “If you put alcohol on a scorpion it will sting itself to death”. One main reason for this is they are immune to their own venom so it would be pointless for them to do this.
I am so sure of this I once showed a friend who swore by this myth by putting a drop of whiskey on my own scorpion, on his tail and head. The scorpion just sat there wondering “hey what hell is going on!” He did have a severe hangover next morning.
The other myth is that if you make a ring of fire around a scorpion it will commit suicide. You could be forgiven for thinking this as the scorpion goes into a fit this is caused by a metabolism malfunctioning as the body over heats, which can give the appearance of it stinging itself to death?
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Myth “Camels store water in their hump”. The hump of a camel is made up of a stored fatty tissue. Rather than storing fat throughout their body insulating them and keeping them warm it is concentrated in the hump (2 humps in the case of the Bactrian camel).
Camels have very clever ways of saving water. For a start they can drink vast quantities of liquid, over twenty gallons at a time. Their urine is a thick syrupy liquid which cuts which on water loss. Thicker blood similar to that of fish and reptiles prevents de-hydration. Water from food is also retained and their thick coats repel the sun’s rays.
So now you know why a camel has the hump!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Myth “Earwigs crawl into ears and lay eggs”. As a child my big phobia was earwigs, around August each yea they were everywhere, and as we lived in the country there were extra earwigs, sometimes even under my pillow! The legend was that they would burrow into your ear and lay their eggs. I was afraid they would get into my brain! Now that I am a big hairy man I know this not to be true.
Although an earwig could possibly enter your ear and lay eggs it is extremely unlikely as they have no attraction to ears.
The good news is that they cannot reach your brain as there is a thick bone in your inner ear which prevents access.Hurray!!
Myth “As blind as a bat”. There are 1,100 species of bat on our planet and none of them are blind, although their eyes are small and not very efficient they are still none the less functional. They can make out shapes and colours and they also operate their body clock letting them know whether it dusk or dawn, They rely on their echo location to maneuver and hunt as it is much more efficient and more highly developed than their sight .
Myth- “You can tell a dogs health by how warm and dry, or wet and cold its nose is”. A dog’s nose is wet because it is covered in a mucus which makes it feel cold but sometimes it can be dry, for example when it wakes up after a nap, because the nose is dry it feels warmer, but this does not mean it has a temperature or fever. The best way to find out is to stick a thermometer up its butt! Or bring it to your Vet.
Myth-“Camels Store Water In Their Hump”. The hump of a camel is made up of a stored fatty tissue. Rather than storing fat throughout their body insulating them thus keeping them warm it is concentrated in the hump (2 humps in the case of the Bactrian camel).
Camels have very clever ways of saving water. For a start they can drink vast quantities of liquid, over twenty gallons at a time. Their urine is a thick syrupy liquid which cuts down on water loss. Thicker blood similar to that of fish and reptiles prevents de-hydration. Water from food is also retained and their thick coats repel the sun’s rays.
So now you know why a camel has the hump!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Myth -“Chameleons change colour to blend in with their surroundings”. Changing colour for chameleons is a form of communication. This they can do quite quickly, some showing blues, yellows, browns, reds and pinks to name but a few. They also make interesting patterns. They have specialized cells under the top layer of transparent skin called chromatiophores which allow the pigment to change causing the effect of colour change.
Usually dark colours signal aggression or bad health. Bright colours are for signalling courtship or in females signalling that she is carrying eggs.
I have kept and witnessed chameleons in the wild and have learned just by looking at the different shades of colour how my own chameleons are feeling. I had a pet male chameleon once who became very unhappy. It was puzzling me for a while till I found out there were high amounts of carbon monoxide in his room. Luckily I found out in time, after a week he was back to a normal happy green self.
Monday, May 2, 2011
The most recited myth is about the woman who had a pet python which had not eaten for weeks. In fairness there the story is constant everyone has their own adaptation of it but the premise is the same.
It starts off like this there was this woman in America/Dublin or my friend’s aunt, a friend of my mother and so on....... Well she had this snake which would not eat for her, one night she woke up to find the snake stretched out beside her in the bed it was her full body length. Needless to say she got a fierce fright and hoped out of the bed.
The next morning she brought her python to her vet explaining about the snake not eating and what had happened that night. The vet got a terrible shock and said “thank god you brought him in do you know how lucky you are, the snake was fasting to make room for you as his next meal”. “The reason he was stretched out beside you was that he was measuring you to make sure you would fit”. With this the vet put down the snake.
It is of course an urban legend. If a snake is hungry it hunts and eats. It will never look at a mouse and think "aah no must not stuff myself better leave room for a rabbit!" As for measuring its potential victim where would a snake get a ruler. As a rule if a snake tries to swallow an item of prey which is too long it will regurgitate and go look for something smaller.
As for eating humans snakes are not programmed to sense us as food though there may be rare exceptions to this. More than likely there is a reason for this to happen, it could be that the person was in contact with animals the snake perceives as food such as a rat, rabbit or deer. This has happened to me on a number of occasions when handling rodents where a snake will latch onto my hand or arm and try to swallow it, they usually let go once they realise the mistake they have made.
Did you ever wonder what height you could drop a cat from without it using up its nine lives! I know I have, so now I’m going to save you all the trouble and cruelty, “So put the cat down and I’ll tell you”.
Studies done by two New York vets in 1987 found that cats who had fallen from heights of 2 to 33 stories had a 90% chance of survival, whereas moggys that had fallen greater than seven stories, had less serious injuries. The reason for this were the cats who had fallen from 7 stories stiffened up before impact causing their legs to be to absorb shock less effectively on impact. This resulted in greater damage, whereas cats falling from greater heights tend to loosen their muscles as they fell and absorbed the shock more effectively.
If a human fell from a plane they would reach twice the speed of a moggy at around 200kmph and land on two legs, then splat! Whereas a cat flung from a plane would travel at a velocity of around 100kph thanks to its lower mass and spreading the impact over the four legs, thus having a higher chance of survival.
We will be following up soon with, what would happen if you put a puppy in a blender!