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)

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  • 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!

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All About The Arts (Mondays)

  • Edgar Degas had an obsession with ballet dancers and loved to use them in his works. He is said to have created 1,500 depictions of them in his lifetime. The artworks ranged from drawings to paintings. (mfadegree.org)

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  • Too Real? Auguste Rodin’s famous sculpture, “The Age of Bronze”, was met with shock and horror when it was displayed. The sculpture looked so life-like that many people thought that there was a deceased person inside the cast! (huffingtonpost.com)

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  • Thief! Pablo Picasso’s works have been stolen more times than any other painter in history! (theredheadriter.com)

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