Strange Animals and Plants (Saturdays) With Help From Michael Largo’s Big Bad Book of Botany and Big Bad Book of Beasts as well as other sources.

I have alway been interested in the many different plants and animals that live in our world. Each Saturday, I’m doing a list of some of the many plants and animals that you should watch out for. If you are ready to dive into the world of the strange and bizarre, then follow me on a journey into the unknown. I hope you enjoy it, and be sure to share your opinions in the comment section below.

Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)(Michael Largo’s Big Bad Book of Botany pg.172): The Hydrilla is a large plant that grows underwater. (Big Bad Book of Botany pg. 172) It has a lot of different uses and can act as a shield for many aquatic creatures. (Big Bad Book of Botany pg.174) It also can be used as a health supplement, because it contains “vitamin B12, calcium, protein, and minerals, and is said to be good for the immune system, healthy skin, and weight loss.” (Big Bad Book of Botany pg. 174) The Hydrilla comes in 2 different types that both have “male and female flowers.” (Big Bad Book of Botany pg.172) Despite it having many good uses, it also can be a major problem in some places. (fcps.edu) Since the Hydrilla grows so fast, it can become incredibly thick, and this can make it “impossible to swim, fish, or operate a boat through it”. (fcps.edu)

 hy

  • Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis): (en.wikipedia.org) The Portuguese man o’ war is one beautiful and deadly creature of the sea. While it looks like a jellyfish, it actually is considered to be a siphonophore: “a colony of zooids that form one large organism.”(en.wikipedia.org) The Man o’ war is made up of 3 types of polyps and a sail or “gas- filled air sack.”  (en.wikipedia.org) Its sail is blue in color and can grow up to “30 cm long.” (en.wikipedia.org) The 3 polyps  are called “gastrozooid (feeding),gonozooid (reproduction), and dactylozooid (defence).”(en.wikipedia.org) It has a deadly set of tentacles that can grow up to a staggering 50 m long! (en.wikipedia.org)   The tentacles are filled with venom that can easily kill small shrimp and fish. (en.wikipedia.org) They are said to cause “10,000 stings in Australia each summer!” (en.wikipedia.org) The sting causes immense pain and can lead to death in very rare cases. (en.wikipedia.org) So be careful when every you swim in the ocean!

manowar

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Dangerous Flora and Animals (Saturdays) With Help From internet sources and Michael Largo’s Big Bad Book of Beasts and Big Bad Book Of Botany.

  • Death Cap Mushroom (Amanita phalloides) The Death Cap Mushroom  is the prime culprit in mushroom-related deaths worldwide. The number of deaths exceeds the number caused by Bear mawlings. The main rule that many follow is to not eat mushrooms in the wild. If you unfortunately happen to ingest one of these deadly fungi, you will be on your way to a very painful death. The effects don’t begin until fifteen hours later. You will experience a horrible bout of vomiting and diarrhea, which lasts for a couple of days After that, your liver or kidneys will fail, causing a hellish death.  You can find these fungi in the late summer and fall in mild latitudes. (Michael Largo Big Bad Book of Botany Pgs.110-112)

death cap

  • I see you! Doll’s Eye (Actaea pachypoda) The Doll’s Eye plant, aka White Baneberry, is a very strange plant that is very dangrous to humans. It looks like a red flower with circular shaped berries that look like eyes. They can be found anywhere in mature forests from southern parts of Canada to Georgia(bio.brandeis.edu). Small amounts of the roots can be used to help cure childbirth pains, however, the rest of the plant is very poisonous. Consumption of the berries can lead to blisters and gastrointestinal inflammation. (bio.brandeis.edu)

doll ery

  • Introducing the world’s most venomous fish! The Reef Stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa) is a ninja- like fish that can camouflage itself to look just like a lump of coral in a reef. It has thirteen extremely potent dorsal fin spines that can inject a fatal poison. The venom of the spines produces an intense pain that has supposedly killed many islanders of the Indian and Pacific Ocean. They are mainly found in rubble on the bottom of coral reefs. (australianmuseum.net.au)

stonefish