Nature Is Awesome! (Every Other Tuesday)

All animals and other organisms found in various books and websites

Hello fellow outdoor enthusiasts! It’s Tuesday and you know what that means! Yes, it’s time to take a look at some more amazing organisms. Now, let’s start exploring!

  • Sundew (Drosera) Diet: Carnivorous  Size: Up to 100cm Habitat: Every Continent besides Antarctic. Every species is divided into several habitats based on climate.

The Sundew is a strange, carnivorous plant that’s nearly found world wide. It has green leaves and many reddish tentacles. These tentacles are covered in a sticky digestive enzymes, which are used to attract prey. The sweet smelling secretion attracts insects, and when they get too close, it attacks! The tentacle trap the poor bug, and begin to digest its body. After the bug’s demise, its nutrients will be absorbed through the leaves to the other parts of the plant. The Sundew also has many medicinal purposes such as being used in teas to prevent whooping cough and asthma attacks. 

sundew 

 

  • Corpse Flower (Rafflesia arnoldii) Size: 3 ft (The largest was 3.4 ft) Diet: Parasitic Habitat: The Rainforests of Sumatra Status: Becoming Endangered

The Rafflesia has the Guinness World Record for being the largest individual flower on Earth. It’s a parasitic organism that’s pollinated by Corpse Flies. It’s a bright red flower with many large, spotted leaves. It’s unisexual, and male and female flowers must be close by for successful pollination.  It can weigh up to a mighty 24 lbs, and is continuously dying out due to increased human activity. This disturbs the bud production of the plant.  The nickname, “Corpse Flower”, comes from the plant’s stench, which is said to resemble rotten flesh. It’s truly a fascinating plant that we must try to protect before they all become extinct.   

raflesia.jpg

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Nature Is Awesome! (Every Other Tuesday)

Animals and plants found on various websites and books

Hello fellow nature lovers! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means! Yes, it’s time for us to take a look at the amazing organisms found in nature. Now, let’s start exploring!

  • Manatee (Sirenia) Size: Up to 8.4 feet  Diet: Herbivore Habitat: Coastal areas of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico 

The Manatee is an adorable creature of the sea. It’s also one of the biggest Herbivores, weighing up to 1,300 lbs. They have a very peaceful disposition, and are quite fascinated by humans. They are fascinating  creatures with widely spaced eyes, and an incredibly prehensile upper lip. They have extremely high intellect, and can perform tasks like dolphins. The Manatee is also known as the “Sea Cow”.

mana Just look at that quite, squishy face!

 

  • Blister Bush (Notobubon galbanum) Size: Up to 2.5 metres Habitat: Table Mountain in South Africa 

The Blister Bush is a dangerous plant that’s native to South Africa. It’s in the same family as carrots, but eating them is a huge no no! The bush has leaves, which resemble parsley, and it’s very green in color. The bush carries a corrosive blend of chemicals which include; xanthotoxin, bergapten, and psoralen. These chemicals cause blistering within days of human contact. They explode with sunlight exposure, and if 5% or more of the body is covered, serious scarring will occur. It can be treated by applying the strongest SPF sunscreen to the irritated area. Despite its many dangers, the bush actually has powerful medicinal purposes. It’s used by people in rural Africa as a cure for kidney stones. It also can be used to prevent miscarriages. 

blister

Strange Animals From Around The World (Every Other Tuesday)

Info about animals found on various websites

Hello fellow animal lovers! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means! Yes, it’s time for us to take a look at some more awesome animals. Now, let’s begin!

  • Honeypot Ant (Myrmecocystis) Size: Up to 15 mm Habitat: Arid to semiarid places like Mexico and Australia

The Honeypot ant is a strange type of worker ant with an extremely swelled abdomen. Their diet mainly consists of honey, and they can drain the abdomen to feed their entire colony. The ants are considered to be a delicacy in parts of Australia.

hp ant  

  • Antlion (Euroleon nostras) Size: Up to 30 mm Habitat: Europe Diet: Ants and small insects

The Antlion is a very unique insect that has an incredibly fascinating way to capture prey. The fully developed adult has large wings and a thin body. The larvae, on the other hand, has large jaws and a broader abdomen. They build sand traps that capture prey, and will suck out the body fluids.

anti 

More Fascinating Creatures of the Sea (Every other Tuesday)

Info about creatures found in Nouvian’s book, The Deep, and DK’s Ocean The Defintive Visual Guide

Hello fellow Marine Biologists! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means! Yes, it’s time for us to take a look at some fascinating sea creatures. Now, grab your scuba suits, and let’s dive!

  • Crown-of-thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) Length: Up to 20 in Depths Found In: 3-65 ft In tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Ocean

These strange species of Starfish are major problems for coral reefs. This creature only feeds on coral, and completes this task in a very strange way. The sea creature will turn its stomach out through its mouth and digest the coral’s tissue. The Crown-of-thorns Starfish is also slightly poisonous. It can inflict a painful wound if handled with bare hands.

crown-of-thorn

 

  • Stoplight Loosejaw (Malacosteus niger) Length: Up to 9 1/2 in Depths Found In: 3,300-13,000 ft In deep tropical and temperate waters worldwide

The Stoplight Loosejaw is a very fearsome creature of the deep sea. The fish is black in color, and has a huge mouth. The mouth has no floor, and a ribbon muscle is used to close it. This fish has two special photophores, which are located under each of its eyes. Despite that many bioluminescent lights are blue-green, this fish has an unique red light. Red lights are never seen in the deep, so this fish has the advantage of finding red prey undetected.

sto 

 

More Weird And Wonderful Insects (Tuesdays)

Hello fellow Entomologists! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means! Yes, it’s time to add 2 more insects to the weekly post. I hope you guys are ready for some weird and amazing creatures. Now, grab a notepad and let’s get started!

  • What the heck is this monstrosity! Brazilian Treehopper (Bocydium globulare) (info about name from darkroastedblend.com) The Brazilian Treehopper is one of the most bizarre and grotesque insects on the planet. (darkroastedblend.com) They are usually brown in color, and have very strange, spherical, spiky appendages protruding from their backs. (listverse.com) This supposedly make it difficult to consume. (listverse.com) I think that definitely has to be one of the “freaks” of the insect world!

bt

  • BANG! All hail the king of ants! Bullet Ant (Paraponera clavata) (info about scientific name from en.wikipedia.org) The Bullet Ant is a small, but very dangerous insect that is found in lowland Nicaraguan rainforests and in the extreme east of Honduras. (en.wikipedia.org) The insect gets its name from its extremely painful sting that’s said to be equal to getting shot. (en.wikipedia.org) The sting is at the top of the Schmidt sting pain index, at a 4+ ranking. (en.wikipedia.org) These insects are used for the initiation ceremony of the Satere-Mawe tribe of Brazil. (en.wikipedia.org) The ceremony is used to transform boys into warriors. (en.wikipedia.org) The insects are woven into a glove that the boy is forced to wear for 10 minutes! (en.wikipedia.org) The poor boy must endure this torture 20 times to complete the ceremony. (en.wikipedia.org)

bulla 

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

 

 

 

Wierd and Strange Animal Facts (Saturdays)

  • The Blobfish is one of the strangest creatures of the ocean. Due to an absence of muscles, the fish rarely moves. (buzzle.com)

blobfish I have no words!

  • One of the most dangerous birds is the brightly colored Cassowary. These birds are very scary when bothered. They can deliver a kick that can slice through organs like a hot knife through butter! (buzzfeed.com)

cass

  • The incredibly wierd Ocean Sunfish is the world’s biggest species of bony fish. They can weigh up to a whopping 2,000 pounds! (marinelife.about.com)

sunfish

  • Dun dun dun dun! I guess the title of man-eating shark is correct! This is due to the fact that men account for about 90% of shark attack victims. (discovery.com)

shark