Tuesday, May 12, 2015

9 of Biggest National Animals


Every country has what they consider as a national animal. Usually it’s an indigenous specie that’s unique to the area, an animal that they want to represent their country. Some places prefer to choose specie that’s small and friendly, while other prefers one that’s on the big side.

Below are some of the biggest national animals and which country they represent.

Snow Leopard – Afghanistan
Snow Leopard
You might think that Afghanistan is the last place a snow leopard would be living, but this big cat is actually native to areas in South and Central Asia, which is exactly where Afghanistan is found. These cats can grow to 27 to 55 kg (60 to 121 lb). They are listed in the IUCN Red List as endangered, and there are roughly around 4,080–6,590 adults in the wild today.

Grey wolf – Turkey

Grey wolf

Gray wolves are also called known as western wolf or timber wolf and are native to the remote areas and wilderness of Eurasia. It’s the biggest amongst the family of canid, averaging at 95–99 lb for males and 79–85 lb for females. They’re one of the most well researched animals in the planet and have a very long history with humans.

Royal Bengal Tiger - Bangladesh   
Royal Bengal Tiger
Another big cat that’s also listed in the IUCN Red List as endangered, the Bengal tiger is the most common tiger subspecies found in the world. Their coats have a light orange to yellow color with stripes that range from black to dark brown. These tigers can reach a weigh of 717 lb (325 kg) and a body length of 130 in (320 cm).

Markhor – Pakistan
Markhor
These large wild goats are seen in Pakistan, as well as areas around it, even leading up to Indian-occupied Kashmir and Jammu. They’re also called Shakhawat and are known for their interesting, spiral horns which can grow to about 160 cm long.

Komodo dragon – Indonesia

Komodo dragon
Probably the closest thing we have to a real dragon, the Komodo Dragon is an enormous lizard species native to the islands of Padar, Montang, Gili, Flores, Rinca, and Komodo in the Indonesian archipelago. They’re the biggest living lizard species, growing to a body length of 10 ft and weighing in at 150 lb.

Indian elephant – India
Indian elephant
The Indian elephant is an Asian elephant subspecies that’s indigenous to mainland Asia. These huge animals can grow to around 6 to 11 feet tall and 4,400 to 11,000 lb. sadly, these majestic beasts are endangered and suffer from fragmentation, degradation, and habitat loss.

White-tailed deer – Honduras
White-tailed deer
These medium-sized deer are native to the Americas and have around 30 to 40 subspecies. Their height and weight very depending on the subspecies, but a male deer can reach a weight of 100 lbs. bucks regrow their antlers once a year and use them for defense and matting purposes.

Philippine eagle – Philippines
Philippine eagle
Also known as the monkey-eating eagle, the Philippine eagle is endemic to the Philippine forests. usually measuring to 2.82 to 3.35 ft in height and 2.82 to 3.35 ft in length, they can weigh in at 10.4 to 17.6 lb. they’re considered to be the largest extant eagles based on length.

Unicorn – Scotland
Unicorn
This might sound like a joke, but Scotland actually considers the Unicorn as their national animal. Also known as the Queen's Beast, unicorns are horses with a single horn growing out of their skulls. Legend says that these animals have magical capabilities and can grant immortality.
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Monday, May 11, 2015

7 Pair of Animals that are Often Confused with Each Other


Everyone gets confused, especially when it comes to distinguishing two things that look very similar. In the animal world, some species look so similar that we often get confused and can’t tell them apart. Below are a few animals that may look the same, but are actually very different.

African/Asian Elephants
African/Asian Elephants
African elephants have a bigger build, but you can’t really tell them apart by size, not unless they’re standing next to each other. Asian elephant have two domes on the head. African elephant trunks have two “fingers” at the tips. Asian elephants also tend to be lighter in color compared to African Elephants.

Alligators/Crocodiles
Alligators/Crocodiles
Gators and crocs have a couple of features that can help tell them apart from each other. Gators have a snout that has a V shape to them and in terms of habitat, they’re only found in China and the Americas. Crocs on the other hand have a more rounded snout and are found in Australia, Africa, Southeast Asia, and some parts of the Americas. Crocs are also able to lift themselves off the ground when walking, unlike Gators.

Turtles/Tortoises
Turtles/Tortoises
The biggest difference between these two shelled animals is that turtles spend most of their lives in water and have fins. Turtles would venture to land just to lay eggs. Tortoises live on land, have long stubby feet, and they can’t swim. They’re found in dry and hot places where they dig burrows to live in.

Cheetahs/Leopards
Cheetahs/Leopards
Cheetahs have a more slender body structure compared to leopards. Leopards are nocturnal while cheetahs tend to be more active during the day. Their spots can also help differentiate them. Cheetahs have round, solid black spots while leopards come in patterns that look more like broken rings.

Frogs/Toads
Frogs/Toads
There are about four hundred frog species and three hundred toad species so it really is difficult to spot the difference. Generally, frogs tend to be smaller and have bulging eyes and strong legs. They also have webbed feet since they spend more time in water. Toads prefer to walk than jump, and are usually bigger. Frogs have slimy smooth skins while toads are covered in small warts and have dry skin.

Alpacas/Llamas

Alpacas/Llamas
Some might mistake alpacas as young llamas, but their size difference is actually one of the things that can tell them apart. Llamas are also less hairy and produce little fleece compared to alpacas. Llamas can also be used to guard alpacas, which make them look more like the big brother of the group.

Seals / Sea Lions
Seals / Sea Lions
Looking at their flippers, you can tell them apart right away. Seals have a smaller flipper since they mainly use them for swimming and diving. Sea lions walk with their flippers so they’re bigger and a bit more stalky looking. Seals also have a harder time moving on land compared to sea lions.
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Friday, May 8, 2015

10 Admirably Beautiful Insects


We would never usually associate insects and creepy crawlies with beauty. In fact, many of us find them more annoying creatures with painful bites or stings. However, if we take the time to really look at them, they do have a few physical features that make them beautiful.
Here are 10 insects that you might not mind admiring.

Stick Insect
Stick Insect
At times, beauty isn’t measured with gorgeous colors. With stick insects, you can find their appeal in how they are shaped. They have top rating in camouflage since they look exactly like a stick and are almost impossible to spot when mixed with twigs and leaves.

Christmas Beetle
Christmas Beetle
Imagine a bug that comes in all the colors of the rainbow. The Christmas Beetle’s shell has a shimmering, metallic quality to it that makes it shine and reflect different colors. They may not look the prettiest, but they are the most colorful.

Honey Bee
Honey Bee
Something about their stripes and furry bodies make them a favorite subject for photos. Honey Bee are very well loved by gardeners since they help pollenate plants, plus they produce honey, which can make any baked good taste so much more awesome.

Signature Spider
Signature Spider
Although most of us hate spiders because they just look scary, signature spiders come in different lovely colors that you’d forget that they make your skin crawl. These are found all over Asia and are generally harmless.

Grasshopper
Grasshopper
You might think of these insects as boring because they are commonly seen in either green or brown, but some species of grasshoppers are actually quite colorful. They’re a visual surprise when seen in a group.

Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Most prefer to wait for these bugs to turn to butterflies before calling them beautiful, but caterpillars can be a stunning surprise to see on a leaf. They come in all different colors and patterns, some even having textured bodies that just add to their appeal.

Ladybugs
Ladybugs
Also known as ladybirds, these insects are probably one of the first things we think of seeing in gardens filled with flowers. They come in vivid yellow, orange, and the most common, red. Although they’re tiny, a closer look on their glossy colorful shells and black spots will make you appreciate them more.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly
Delicate and colorful, anyone can say that a dragonfly is beautiful when they spot one. You can see iridescent greens and blues on their wings and thin, long bodies. But since they’re very fast and small, you get to see their full beauty when they’re resting.

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis
It sound crazy to call a praying mantis beautiful, but some species come in an array of wild, colorful wings that look amazing when they flutter them. These insects are strangely beautiful.

Butterfly
Butterfly
You can argue that butterflies are the most spectacular insects on the planet. From something that looked more like a worm, to a hard shell that hung from a twig, they emerge with wings that have vivid and outstanding colors and patterns. There’s something calmingly beautiful abut butterflies which makes them even more welcomed in gardens.
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Thursday, May 7, 2015

7 of the Deadliest Insects on Earth


Insects were the first few living organisms to have ever walked the planet, but most of us are really not big fans of them. Creepy crawlies scare us, and some of them are actually quiet deadly. Although insects would commonly just runaway when confronted, some of them will bite or attack when threatened.

Below are 7 of the deadliest insects on the planet, and some of them might be found in your back yard.

Hemiptera
Hemiptera
Also known as the kissing bugs, they’re considered as “true bugs”. These insects commonly feed on plants, but some species do feed on the blood of large animals. What makes them deadly is that they’re known to transmit the Chagas Disease, which takes time to develop but affects the person’s digestive system, nervous system, and heart.

Asian or Giant Japanese Hornet
Asian or Giant Japanese Hornet
These hornets have got to be the stuff of nightmares for most people. They can grow to around 3 inches long and live in nests composing of 20 to 30 individuals. A single sting can hurt a lot because of toxins, which is actually powerful enough to dissolve human tissues, and it’s fatal for those who have allergic reactions. Unlike bee stings, hornets are able to sting repeatedly, adding to their danger factor.

Siafu
Siafu
Siafu or African Ants may not be as scary when they’re alone, but try taking on twenty million of them. Colonies of these ants have been known to take out vegetation in the African countryside. If they run out of food, the members will stop at nothing to ensure their colony’s survival just to get sustenance. Their bites can cause asphyxiation and 20 to 50 people are reported to die yearly because of these ants.

Wasps
Wasps

Wasps, in general, are very dangerous. They’re social creatures, living and hunting together. They’re very territorial and protective of their nests. Not to mention that they can sting multiple times since their stingers don’t fall off like bees. Many people are allergic to their stings and there have been some cases where a person died because of one sting.

Locusts
Locusts
Even the bible says that these insects are dangerous. Although they can’t kill humans directly, these insects are known to wipe out acres and acres of fields of crops. They can strip the land barren and a single swarm, composed of thousands of locusts, can finish off a field in a short amount of time. This results to starvation in the area.

Fire Ants
Fire Ants
These ants usually nest in soil or sand, building large mounds and feed on plants and the occasional small insect that comes their way. However, when these ants are bothered, they bite. The sting from their pincers is venomous and results in a burning sensation, hence their name. The bite swells up and becomes more painful. Deaths have been recorded because of these ants and millions of dollars worth in damage in crops.

Mosquitos
Mosquitos
They may be tiny, but these bugs are terrible. Since they live off blood, they end up transmitting all sorts of illnesses, specifically Malaria. A huge number of people still get infected, and some die, due to malaria especially in tropical areas.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

7 of the Most Colorful Butterfly Species


Butterflies have long been used as a symbol of beauty and life. These delicate and colorful creatures don’t live that long, but they do play an important role in the eco-system. Sadly, a number of butterfly species have declined in population due to habitat lost. With collective action and conservation, we can save these gorgeously patterned and colored insects.

Below are 7 of the most colorful and stunning species of butterflies.

Purple Spotted Swallowtail

Purple Spotted Swallowtail
This beautiful purple, black, and green colored butterfly is found in the upper mountains and highlands areas of New Guinea. A member of the Papilionidae family, these lovely butterflies are becoming less and less common in the area because of human interference in their habitat. 

Red Lacewing

Red Lacewing
The Philippines is known to have a number of beautiful butterfly species and the red lancewing is one of them. This specie is no stranger to the world. It’s also seen in parts of Indonesia and India, even way up to china and Nepal. It has a vibrant orange red wing with white and black accents.

Blue Morpho
Blue Morpho

These fluttering beauties are known for their metallic color, which makes them look even more precious. They’re seen all over the world, ranging from different subspecies. Wonderfully mesmerizing and glossy in appearance, the biggest ones can reach a wingspan of about 8 inches and can be found in South and Central America, as well as parts of Mexico.

Leopard Lacewing
Leopard Lacewing
Native to the far east, these attractive butterflies are seen throughout India, the Malay Ppninsula and Singapore, even in southern China. Their bright orange yellow wings with accents of black and white spots and patters give these insects a unique look.

Peacock Butterfly
Peacock Butterfly
Named after the majestic and colorful bird, this butterfly is seen all over Europe and is considered to be one of the most beautiful butterfly specie.  The base color of their wings is a warm rusty red, and each of their wingtips has a unique black, yellow, and blue eye spot.

Australian Painted Lady
Australian Painted Lady
Although Australia is largely a desert continent, they still have one of the most beautiful butterflies on the planet. Australian painted lady is found here, as well as in New Zealand. Their striking orange base comes with a brown, black, and white pattern. They migrate in large groups from north to the south, filling the sky with bright patterns.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
One of the most iconic butterfly species, these elegant living pieces of art are known for their rich orange and black wings. Their wingspan grows to about 4 inches and since they travel their migration route in millions, they give any summer day a pop of color.
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

6 Small but Deadly Predators

When we think of predators, we often imagine a huge animal with razor sharp teeth and a big scary mouth. However, predators in the animal kingdom come in all shapes and sizes. These animals are designed to survive and stand on top of their ecosystem. Below are 6 powerful but small predators found in the wild.

Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis
Aside from its ability to blend into the foliage and leaves around it, these alien-looking insects can ambush prey using long, sharp, and spiked forelegs. They aim for their victim’s neck region and bite on it to make them immobile. Praying mantises feed on other insects, as well as bigger animals like frogs, lizards, small birds, and even snakes.

Blue-Ringed Octopus
Blue-Ringed Octopus
Who could even imagine that a creature that grows to around 5 to 8 inches could be one of the most poisonous animals on the planet? The blue-ringed octopus has venom that’s so poisonous,  it can kill a few humans with just one bite in a matter of minutes. Thankfully, they feed off shrimps and crabs and would rather run off instead of attacking humans.

Spider Wasp
Spider Wasp
Unlike bees that leave stingers on their victims, wasps actually bite them, meaning that they can attack again and again. Spider wasps are one of the biggest wasp species and have bites that can paralyze prey. These wasps hunts down large spiders, take them down, and then brings them to their nest. 

Candiru
Candiru
Candirus are small bloodsuckers that transfer from one host to another, attaching itself to larger fishes. After it has feed off and killed its host, it moves to a new one. People who live near the Amazon River would often warn newbies and tourist about peeing in the water. These creatures have been known to swim into and lodge itself inside human orifices.

Jack Jumper Ants

Jack Jumper Ants
A carnivorous and large ant specie, they have excellent eyesight which helps hunt their prey down. Lethal venom also comes from their bites which can result to painful stings. Humans that are allergic to this may end up experiencing anaphylactic shock.

Piranha
Piranha
One of the most infamous carnivores fishes on the planet, Piranhas have small but very sharp teeth that can rip through flesh. They travel in schools and can take on prey much larger than they are, such as bigger fish, cattle, and horses. There have also been a few reports that these fishes have attacked humans.
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Monday, May 4, 2015

8 Animals that looks too Strange to be Real


Animals in the wild are majestic, beautiful, and sometimes strange. Thanks to evolution, there are a few bizarre animal species that roam the earth. Some of these animals are so rare that you’d be lucky to see one alive in your lifetime. But thanks to the net, some photos of these animals are available for everyone to see.

Below are 8 strange looking animals that you wouldn’t expect to be real.

Red-lipped Batfish
 Red-lipped Batfish
Even its name sounds like it’s something off a science fiction story. The red-lipped batfish is seen around the waters of the Galapagos Islands. These fishes are really bad at swimming, so they use their fins to move around the sea bed. They got their name because of the obvious red outline around their mouth, which makes them look like they have red lipstick on.

Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Found in Madagascar, these spiny animals grow to a little under 6 inches in length and looks like something you get if you mixed a duck and a mouse. They live off insects and earthworms and are relatively harmless. But predators do need to watch out for their sharp barbed spines.

Japanese Spider Crab
Japanese Spider Crab


This animal looks like something that came out of a monster movie. They’re known as the biggest arthropod and can reach a width of 12 feet wide and weigh in at 42 pounds. These crabs are seen around the waters of japan, and are being conserved due to over fishing.

Tufted Deer
Tufted Deer


Imagine something that’s creepy and cute at the same time, the tufted deer is a small deer spice that has pointy horns and fangs that drop down from their top jaw, which makes them look like little devils. They can be found in certain parts of China and Northern Asia.

Glaucus Atlanticus

Glaucus Atlanticus
One of the most beautiful and mysterious creatures on the planet, these electric blue, white, and black colored sea slugs spend all their days floating in the water, feeding on one of the most poisonous animals in the sea, the Portuguese man-o-war. This makes these beautiful slugs poisonous, which means that you need to be careful when picking them up.

Giant isopod

Giant isopod
Whoever decided to name this creature wasn’t really thinking much about how active they are. These giant cockroach-looking crustacean crawls around the deep waters of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. They look like giant bugs, but are actually related to crabs and shrimps.

Star-Nosed Mole
Star-Nosed Mole
Although some people find moles to be cute, this certain specie definitely got the ugly end of the stick. Found in the United States and Canada, its nose looks more like little strands of skin that’s clustered together in the shape of a star. It uses its nose to detect subtle seismic waves through the ground.

Blobfish
Blobfish
Its name gives it away. The blobfish looks more like a blob of felly than a fish and is seen in parts of New Zealand and Australia. Its mass actually helps it survive these harsh waters and it spends most of its time floating above the sea bed.
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