Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Echidna Facts

1) Echidnas are a kind of spiny anteaters.
2) Echidnas belong to the family Tachyglossidae that means "fast tongues."
3) Echidnas belong to the order monotreme including egg-laying mammals.
4) Echidnas belong to Prototheria including the first milk giving animals.
5) Echidnas and platypus are the only surviving egg-laying mammals.
6) The anteaters that do not relate to Echidnas are aardvark, numbat, and pangolins.
7) The giant anteater is Myrmecophaga tridactyla,  (not an Echidna).
8) Echidnas live in scrublands, deserts, and montane forests of Australia, Tasmania, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
9) Echidnas are terrestrial mammals.
10) Actually Echidna means a half-woman and half-snake creature in Greek mythology.
11) Echidnas were perceived to have qualities of both mammals and reptiles.
12) Echidnas are brown or black medium-sized, independently living solitary mammals covered with coarse hair and spines.
13) Externally Echidnas resemble the anteaters of the South America and other spiny mammals such as hedgehogs and porcupines.
14) Echidnas have elongated and slender snouts that function both as both mouth and nose.
15) The bill of Echidnas has about 2000 electrosensors, whereas the platypus has 40,000 electroreceptors.
16) Echidnas are powerful diggers with very short and strong limbs that equipped with large claws.
17) Echidnas have tiny mouths with toothless jaws.
18) Echidnas tear open anthills and logs by using a long and sticky tongue.
19) Echidnas have ear slits on either side of the head, hidden under spines.
20) The external ears of Echidnas are a pair of cartilaginous funnels situated deep in the muscle.
21) Tachglossus, the short-beaked Echidnas live on ants and termites, while the Zaglossus species on earthworms, worms and insect larvae.
22) The body temperature of Echidnas is lower than that of other mammals.
23) Echidnas do not tolerate extreme temperatures.
24) Echidnas use caves and rock crevices to shelter themselves from harsh weather conditions.
25) Echidnas are live under debris, roots and  vegetation in forests.
26) Echidnas occupy burrows of other animals like rabbits and wombats.
27) Echidnas are good swimmers.
28) The tongues of echidnas have sharp, tiny spines to capture the prey.
29) Faeces of Echidnas are about 7 cm long.
30) The lifespan of wild echidnas is 16 years.
31) Female echidnas weigh  4.5 kg (9.9 lb) and a males 6 kg (13.2 lbs).
32) Echidnas exhibit sexual dimorphism, males are 25% larger than females.
33) Both sexes have a common cloaca to urinate, defecate and mate.
34) Male echidnas have spurs on the hind feet.
35) The neocortex makes up half of the echidna's brain, compared to 80% of a human brain.
36) Echidnas live longer due to low metabolic rate and  stress resistance.
37) Captive echidnas live for 50 years and wilder ones for 45 years.
38) Echidnas show REM sleep at 25 °C (77 °F).
39) Female echidnas lay one single soft-shelled, leathery egg into the pouch once in a year.
40) Gestation period of echidnas is 22 days.
41) The baby echidna hatches out of the leather shell with a reptile-like egg tooth.
42) Incubation period for echidnas is 10 days.
43) Baby Echidnas are larval and foetus-like of the size of a grape, smaller than a jelly bean.
44) Echidnas have two milk patches without nipples. Puggles lap up milk from patches.
45) Baby echidnas lives in mother's pouch for 45 to 55 days.
46) The mother echidna digs a nursery burrow to deposit the young ones.
47) The mother echidna visits nursery burrow to suckle the baby every 5-10 days.
48) Baby echidnas are weaned at seven months.
49) Male echidnas have a four-headed penis. Each time it copulates, it alternates heads in sets of two.
50) The penis of male echidnas is retracted inside a preputial sac in the cloaca. 51) The male echidna's penis is 7 centimetres (2.8 in) long when erect.
52) The shaft of the penis of Echidnas is covered with penile spines.
53) The penile spines induce ovulation in the female Echidnas.
54) Male Echidnas for mating lines up to ten individuals.
55) The youngest echidna trailing last mates the female mostly.
56) Switching of Echidnas between mating lines  during a mating season is known as the "train" system.
57) The egg of Echidnas is 1.5 – 2 gm and about 1.4 cm long.
58) The young echidna is called a puggle.
58) Echidnas are very timid animals.
59) Predators of Echidnas are wild cats, foxes, domestic dogs, dingoes, goannas and snakes.
60) Snakes prey on the young spineless puggles.
61) Humans grabbing may cause stress and picking up improperly may result in injury.
62) Oviparous mammals diverged into viviparous mammals during the Triassic period.
63) Zaglossus and Tachyglossus are two extant genera of Echidnas
64) Echidna is a food delicacy for aboriginal Australians.
65) The echidna is on the Australian five-cent coin.
66) The mascot for the 2000 Summer Olympics was Millie, an Echidna.
67) Echidnas are diurnal, crepuscular and nocturnal as per convenience.
68) The eyesight of Echidnas is not as acute as sense of hearing and smell.
69) The beige-and-black spines on echidnas are about 2 inches (5 centimeters) long.
70) The hind legs point backward with an extra-long claw on the second toe.
71) Echidnas escape danger by running away and faces by curling up the body.
72) The echidna is an excellent swimmer and tree climber.
73) Hard pads at the base of the tongue and on the roof of the mouth grind the food into a paste for swallowing.
74) Both male and female echidnas have a pouch on the belly.
75) Gynecomastism is seen in Echidnas that means males have mammary glands
76) The echidna’s snout is very sensitive to touch and can feel vibrations.
77) The Sir David's long-beaked echidna is named after Sir David Attenborough, a British naturalist famous for his nature films.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Kangaroo Facts

1) The kangaroo is a marsupial. 
2) Animals with young ones nurtured in mother's pouch are called marsupials.
3) Marsupials include kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, possums, opossums, quokkas, pademelons wombats, and Tasmanian devils.
4) Kangaroos belong to the genus Macropus.
5) Kangaroos are endemic to Australia. There is a myth that kangaroo means "I don't understand you," in local language.
6) More than 30 million kangaroos live in Australia.
7) The family Macropodidae includes kangaroos, wallaroo and wallaby.
8) The smallest species of Macropodidae are called "wallabies".
9) The largest species of Macropodidae are called "kangaroos."
10) The smallest macropod is the dwarf wallaby whose length is 46 cm and weight 1.6 kg.
11) The largest macropod is kangaroos.
12) A large male kangaroo can be 2 m (6 ft 7 in) tall and  90 kg (200 lb) weight. (Small kangaroo is 0.5 kg and larger up to 95 kg)
13) Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs and large feet for leaping.
14) A long muscular tail of the kangaroo is meant for balance.
15) Female kangaroos have a pouch called the marsupium.
16) In the marsupium joeys complete their post-natal development.
17) The kangaroo is an unofficial recognized symbol of Australia.
28) The kangaroo is an official symbol of Qantas and the Royal Australian Air Force.
29) Wild kangaroos are sometimes shot for meat, leather hides, and to protect grazing lands.
40) "Roos" is a colloquial name of Kangaroos.
41) Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers, jacks, or old men.
42) Female kangaroos are called does, flyers, or jills.
43) Young kangaroos are called joeys.
44) A group of kangaroos is called a mob, troop, or court.
45) The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial.
46) The scientific name of the red kangaroo is Macropus rufus.
47) The range lands of the western New South Wales consist of the highest population density of the red kangaroo.
48) Kangaroos with the largest population are the  eastern greys.
49) The largest hopping animal is kangaroo.
50) The normal hopping speed of a red kangaroo is 20–25 km/h (12–16 mph).
51) The maximum hopping speed of a kangaroo can be 70 km/h (43 mph).
52) Kangaroos exhibit pentapedal locomotion where four limbs and a tail are used.
53) Two hind legs and a tail form a tripod in locomotion.
54) Kangaroos are adept swimmers.
55) Kangaroos are herbivorous ruminants with chambered stomachs. Kangaroos eat grasses, flowers, leaves, ferns, mosses and even insects.
56) The smaller species of kangaroos eat hypogeal fungi.
57) Many species of kangaroos are nocturnal (night lovers) and crepuscular (twilight lovers). 58) Kangaroos show polyphyodonty that is getting several sets of new teeth  during lifetime.
59) Elephants and manatees also show polyphyodonty.
60) Kangaroos do not emit digestive methane.
61) Kangaroos communicate through sniffing.
62) Male kangaroos exhibit the flehmen response by  sniffing females' urine to detect oestrus.
63) Kangaroos fight is "boxing" or "wrestling."
64) The natural predators of kangaroos are dingos, foxes, feral cats, domestic and feral dogs.
64) A large kangaroo use its forepaws to drown its predator enemy in water.
65) The gestation period of kangaroos is 31–36 days.
66) The newly born joey is about the size of a lima bean or a grain of rice, or as big as a bee, at 5 to 25 millimeters (0.2 to 0.9 in).
67) The staying period of a  joey in the mother's pouch is about nine months (180 days); 320 days for the WesternGrey.
68) A joey feeds milk for 18 months.
69) The female kangaroo is usually pregnant in permanence, except on the day she gives birth.
70) The ability of the female kangaroo to freeze the development of an embryo until the previous joey is able to leave the pouch or in unfavourable conditions is known as diapause.
71) The composition of the milk of a female kangaroo varies according to the needs of the joey.
72) A female kangaroo produces two different kinds of milk simultaneously for the newborn and the older joey.
73) Male kangaroos cannot produce sperms during unfavourable dry periods.
74) Female kangaroos conceive only during favourable wet conditions with sufficient green vegetation.
75) Kangaroos and wallabies have large, elastic tendons in their hind legs.
76) A kangaroo's tail acts as a third leg.
77) Kangaroos may get blindness due to a virus called the Wallal virus through carriers called midges.
78) The neonate or newly born joey is blind and hairless.
79) The newly born joey climbs up with front legs in 3-5 minutes.
80) The hindlegs of a newly born are mere stumps.
81) The mother's sexual cycle starts immediately after the birth of a new joey.
82) The lifespan of kangaroos is six years in the wild and 20 years in the captivity. Larger species live around 12-18 years, while smaller rat kangaroos live for 5-8 years.
83) Kurnai tribes use stuffed kangaroo scrotum as a ball for the traditional football game of marngrook.
84) Aherrenge is a kangaroo dreaming site in the Northern Territory.
85) A small vehicle may be destroyed and a larger vehicles may suffer engine damage if they counteract with a kangaroo. 
86) "kangaroo crossing" signs are common places in Australia.
87) Vehicles are often fitted with "roo bars" to minimise damage caused by kangaroo collision.
88) Bonnet-mounted ultrasound devices are used to scare kangaroos off the road.
89) Any joey in the pouch of an accident met female kangaroo is sent to a wildlife sanctuary or veterinary surgeon for rehabilitation.
90) There are five kangaroos on the Australian one dollar coin.
91) The Australian made logo consists of a golden kangaroo in a green triangle.
92) Kangaroo meat is high in protein with only about 2% fat.
93) Most kangaroo meat is from wild animals as a byproduct of population control programs.
94) Mammary glands of kangaroos are present in pouches.
95) The smallest kangaroo is the musky rat-kangaroo which is 15.24 to 20.32 cm (6 to 8 in) long and weighs 340 grams (12 ounces).
96) The springy hind legs and feet of kangaroos are much stronger and larger than forelimbs.
97) Kangaroos can cover 15 feet (7 m) in a single hop.
98) The fifth leg of the kangaroo is its tail.
99) Joeys urinate and defecate in the mother's pouch. Though some of the mess is absorbed by the lining of the pouch, major part is cleaned by mother's  tongue.
100) According to the IUCN 16 species of tree-kangaroos and rat-kangaroos are nearly threatened, threatened, vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.
101) The desert rat-kangaroo and the Nullarbor dwarf bettong are considered extinct.
102) Global warming could kill off the world's smallest kangaroo.
103) Hopping is a fast and energy efficient means of travelling among kangaroos.
104) There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia.
105) A slow movement of a kangaroo with its tail to form a tripod with its two forelimbs is called "crawl-walking."
106) Each nipple of mother kangaroo  varies the composition of the milk it produces to suit the stage of development of its young ones.
107) The reproductive strategy of kangaroos is that there are 3 stages of foetus or baby development to reproduce at maximum speed in favourable conditions. 
108) Mother kangaroo stops milk production during unfavourable dry conditions. 
109) Each young kangaroo takes 600 days to reach the stage where it can live independently.
110) Most kangaroos have a very low standard metabolic rate, SMR, 70 % of the mean for mammals to survive during severe hot conditions. 
111) Kangaroos cool themselves by spreading saliva on their forearms during extremely hot conditions

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Giraffe Facts

1) The giraffe is an ungulate mammal that gives milk to its young ones.
2) The giraffe is the tallest living land animal.
3) The giraffe is the largest ruminant.
4) The Southern giraffe is Giraffa giraffa
5) The giraffe's distinct characteristics are extremely long neck and legs, horn-like ossicones, and coat patterns.
6) The closest relative of giraffe is the okapi.
7) Giraffes are mostly found in the African continent.
8) Giraffes are usually found in the savannahs and woodlands.
9) The chief food source of giraffe is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants.
10) The most important tree on which giraffes depend a lot is Acacia species.
11) The main predators of giraffes are lions and leopards.
12) Giraffes are gregarious as they live in groups.
13) The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies giraffes as Vulnerable to extinction.
14) As of 2016 there are approximately 97,500 giraffs in the wild, with around 1,144 in captivity.
15) In Arabic giraffe means a "fast-walker".
16) "Camelopard" is an archaic English name that means an animal with a camel-like body and leopard-like colouring.
17) Climatic changes caused the extinction of the Asian giraffes in the past.
18) Jean-Baptiste Lamarck believed the giraffe's long neck was due to "Inheritance of acquired characters."  (developed as generations of ancestral giraffes strove to reach the leaves of tall trees).
19) According to Darwin's "natural selection" ancestral giraffes developed long necks due to competitive feeding advantage (Competing Browsers Hypothesis)
20) A fully grown giraffes stands 4.3-5.7 m (14.1-18.7 ft) tall.
21) Male giraffes are taller than females.
22) The average weight of a giraffe is 1,192 kg (2,628 lb) for an adult male and 828 kg (1,825 lb) for an adult female.
23) Giraffes have a pair of large, bulging eyes at lateral sides of the head to give a good all-round vision from its great height.
24) Giraffes see in colour.
25) The senses of hearing and smell of giraffes are sharp.
26) The giraffe can close its muscular nostrils to protect against sandstorms and ants.
27) The giraffe's tongue is about 45 cm (18 in) long.
28) The giraffes tongue is purplish-black in colour to protect against sunburn.
29) Both the upper lip and tongue of the giraffe are prehensile and useful in foraging.
30) The lips, tongue, and inside of the mouth are covered in papillae to protect against thorns.
31) The skin coat of giraffe has dark orange, chestnut, brown, or nearly black blotches or patches separated by light hair (white or cream).
32) The coat pattern of giraffes serves as camouflage in the light and shade patterns of savannah woodlands.
33) The skin underneath the dark patches serves as windows for thermoregulation (temperature controller), complex blood vessels and large sweat glands.
34) Each individual giraffe has a unique coat pattern.
35) Giraffe fur has about  11 aromatic chemicals.
36) The chief chemical responsible for giraffe's body odour is indole-3-methyl indole.
37) The tail of giraffe is about one-metre (3.3-ft) long.
38) Both sexes of giraffes have prominent horn-like structures on the head called ossicones.
39) Ossicones are formed due to the oscification of cartilage.
40) Oscicones are circulated with blood vessels and play a role in thermoregulation.
41) Male giraffes develop calcium deposits on the skull to form bumps with age.
42) The skull of giraffes is light due to multiple sinuses.
43) The skulls of male giraffes are heavier to resist during combating with others.
44) The front and back legs of giraffes are of the same length.
45) Suspensory ligaments support the lanky feet of giraffes to bear the huge animal weight.
46) The maximum speed of a giraffe is 60 km/h (37 mph).
47) The giraffe sleeps intermittently for 4-6 hours a night.
48) Giraffes can float but can't  swim efficiently.
49) The neck of a giraffe is up to 2–2.4 m (6.6-7.9 ft).
50) The long neck results from the disproportionate lengthening of the cervical vertebrae.
51) Each cervical vertebra of a giraffe's neck is over 28 cm.
52) 52-54 per cent of the length of the giraffe's vertebral column is in neck.
53) The elongation of the neck takes place after birth.
54) The giraffe's head and neck are held up by large muscles, a nuchal ligament, and long dorsal spines on the anterior thoracic vertebrae.
55) The giraffe's neck vertebrae have ball and socket joints.
56) The atlas–axis joint (C1 and C2) allows the animal to tilt its head vertically and reach more branches with the tongue.
57) The point of articulation between the cervical and thoracic vertebrae of giraffes lies between the first and second thoracic vertebrae.
58) The herbivorous competitors which might have made elongation of giraffes neck in the past were askudu, steenbok and impala.
59) Giraffes can feed leaves on up to 4.5 m high branches.
60) Adult giraffes with longer necks die earlier than those of shorter necks during famines.
61) The left recurrent laryngeal nerve of the giraffe is longer - nearly 5 m (16 ft).
62) The giraffe's brain is kept cool by evaporative heat loss in the nasal passages.
63) The shape of the skeleton gives the giraffe a small lung volume relative to its mass.
64) A long narrow windpipe is all along the giraffe's neck.
65) The heart of the giraffe  is about 11 kg (25 lb) and measures about 60 cm (2 ft) long.
66) The heart of the giraffe generates approximately double the blood pressure required for a human to maintain blood flow to the brain.
67) The wall of the heart is 7.5 cm (3.0 in) thick.
68) Giraffes heart rate is 150 beats per minute.
69) When the animal lowers its head the blood rushes down fairly unopposed and the upper neck prevents excess blood flow to the brain. When it raises again, the blood vessels constrict and direct the blood into the brain so the animal doesn't faint.
70) Legs have thin skin to prevent excessive blood pressure from heavy body.
71)Giraffes have strong oesophageal muscles to allow regurgitation of food from the stomach up the neck and into the mouth for rumination.
72) The Angolan giraffe is found in deserts.
73) Chief sources of calcium and protein for giraffes growth is from Acacia, Commiphora and Terminalia trees.
74) A giraffe eats around 34 kg (75 lb) of foliage daily.
75) The giraffe visits carcasses to lick dried meat off bones.
76) The giraffe requires less food because the foliage it eats has more concentrated nutrients and it has a more efficient digestive system
77) During sexual courtship males emit loud coughs.
78) Females call their young by bellowing.
79) Calves emit snorts, bleats, mooing and mewing sounds.
80) Giraffes snore, hiss, moan, grunt and make flute-like sounds also.
81) The giraffe is polygamous that is a few older males mate with the fertile females.
82) Male giraffes assess female fertility by tasting the female's urine to detect oestrus, in a multi-step process known as the flehmen response.
83) Giraffe's gestation period 400- 460 days.
84) The mother gives birth standing up.
85) A newborn giraffe is 1.7–2 m (5.6-6.6 ft) tall.
86) Mothers leave their calves with one female while  foraging and drinking in with a herd known as a "calving pool".
87) The behaviour of male giraffes using their necks as weapons in combat is known as "necking".
88) Giraffe's lifespan is up to 25 years.
89) Giraffes are commonly prey to lions.
90) Giraffes rely on red-billed and yellow-billed oxpeckers to clean them off ticks and alert them to danger.
91) Giraffe dance is performed to treat head ailments in Southern Africa.
92) The Kiffians' life-size rock engraving of two giraffes are called the "world's largest rock art petroglyph".
93) Old Egyptian kept giraffes as pets.
95) The first giraffe in Rome was first brought in by Julius Caesar in 46 BC.
96) The giraffe's memorabilia is called "giraffanalia"
97) Giraffe's skin is studied to develop suits for astronauts and fighter pilots.
98) Computer scientists have modelled the coat patterns of several subspecies using reaction-diffusion mechanisms.
99) Giraffe's meat was used as food.
100) The tail hairs were used as fly swatters, bracelets, necklaces and threads.
101) Shields, sandals and drums were made using the skin.
102) The strings of musical instruments were made from the tendons.
103) The smoke from burning giraffe skins was used by the medicine men of Buganda to treat nose bleeds.
104) The Humr people of Sudan consume the drink Umm Nyolokh, which is created from the liver and marrow of giraffes.
105) Umm Nyolokh often contains DMT and other psychoactive substances from plants the giraffes eat such as Acacia; and is known to cause hallucinations of giraffes, believed to be the giraffes' ghosts by the Humr.
106) Nubian giraffe was the most threatened of all giraffes.
107) Giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania.
108) When giraffes walk, they move both legs on one side of their body and then both legs on the other side; this is unique to giraffes.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Whale Facts

1) Whales are gigantic aquatic mammals (giving milk to their young ones).
2) Blue whale is the largest ever lived creature, even larger than any dinosaur. Its average length is 29.9 metres (98 ft) and weight  190 metric tons.
3) The sperm whale is the largest toothed predator on the earth.
4) Female whales are generally larger than males, except among sperm whales. (Sexual dimorphism)
5) Fringe-like plates in the mouth which are used to expel water while retaining the krill and plankton is called baleen. It is made of keratin.
6) Whales use throat plates to expand the mouth to take in huge gulps of water.
7) Balaenid whales have heads that can make up 40% of their body mass to take in water.
8) Modified nostrils on top of the heads through which air is taken in and expelled in the form of vapour are called blowholes.
9) Whales are warm-blooded animals (Homoeothermic animals)
10) Whales maintain body temperature even in cold water by having a thick layer of fat under skin called blubber. It's about 11 inches thick. It can constitute as much as 50% of a whales body weight. The primary usage for blubber is insulation from the harsh climate.
11) Whales have stream lined fusiform bodies.
12) First two limbs are modified into flippers. Flippers have 4 digits.
13) Female whales migrate from Northern and Southern Hemispheres to the equator to give birth to babies to avoid severe cold.
14) Humpbacks and blue whales travel thousands of miles without feeding.
15) Whale meat, blubber and baleen have been used by indigenous peoples of the Arctic.
16) The Inuit and the coastal peoples of Vietnam and Ghana hold whale funerals.
17) Small whales such as belugas are kept in captivity and trained to perform tricks.
18) Dolphins which have the word "whale" in their name are killer whale, melon-headed whale, pygmy killer whale, false killer whale, and pilot whale
19) Hippopotamus is the whale's closest land living relative.
20) Humpback whales mostly found in the polar regions.
21) Favourite and primary food of humpback whales is krill.
22) Whales do not have a rigid ribcage as ribs are loosely articulate with thoracic vertebrae at the proximal ends.
23) Balaenid whales are toothless whales with two blowholes (bluewhale)
24) Odontocetes are toothed whales with only one blowhole (spermwhale)
25) Whales send sonar sound waves through an organ called melon.
26) Reflected sound waves are received through fatty tissues in the jaw.
27) Sperm whales hunt squids through suction technique.
28) Ziphiids are beaked whales.
29) Human teeth have dentine where as whale teeth have cementum outside gums.
30) A humpback whale can hold about 5,000 litres of air in its lungs.
31) Whales are fast swimmers in comparison to seals but not so agile.
32) The fin whale can travel at speeds up to 47 kilometres per hour (29 mph).
33) Whales show vertical propelling movement during swimming.
34) Flippers are steering organs in whales.
35) Whales slow down heart rate to conserve oxygen.
36) Oxygen carrying pigments in whales are haemoglobin and myoglobin.
37) Oxygen storing pigment in muscles is myoglobin.
38) Whales have twice the concentration of myoglobin than haemoglobin.
39) Staying of whales close to the surface of water to build oxygen reserves before going for a long dive is called sounding.
40) Whales exhibit monocular vision (two fields) unlike that of binocular version of man (one field).
41) Whales have far more rod cells than cone cells in eyes.
42) The olfactory lobes are absent in toothed whales, so no sense of smell.
43) Bowhead whales possess a vomero-nasal organ to "sniff out" krill.
44) Whales do not have a good sense of taste.
45) Jacobson's organ used to smell food inside the mouth as a zsense of taste.
46) The humpback whale communicates through whale song.
47) Toothed whales generate sonar up to 20,000 watts of sound (+73 dBmor+43 dBw) and be heard for many miles.
48) Captive whales may mimic human speech.
49) Whales emit two distinct kinds of acoustic signals called whistles and clicks.
50) Clicks are quick broad band burst sonar pulses.
51) Pulses in a click train are emitted at intervals of ~35–50 milli seconds.
52) Whistles are narrow-band frequency modulated (FM) signals as contact calls.
53) Whales can teach, learn, cooperate, scheme and grieve.
54) Elongated spindle neurons in the neocortex of whale brain are similar to that of humans meant for social conduct, emotions, judgement and theory of mind.
55) Male sperm whales have the largest brain mass averaging 8,000 cubic centimetres (490 cubic inches) and 7.8 kilograms (17 lb). The average male human brain is 1,450 cubic centimetres (88 cubic inches).
56) The brain to body mass ratio of belugas and narwhals is second only to humans.
57) Small whales show complex play behaviour like  stable underwater raidal air core vortex rings or "bubble rings".
58) Whales produce bubble-nets for the purpose of foraging.
59) Elevation of tail fluke by whale above water for a considerable amount of time is known as "sailing" (southern right whale)
60) Whales exhibit tail-first delivery to prevent the baby from drowning.
61) Whale milk contains high amounts of fat to hasten blubber development in calves.
62) Fat rich whale milk has the consistency of toothpaste.
63) Females are called "cows", males as "bulls" and babies as "calves"
64) The whale which doesn't go to tropics to calve is the southern right whale. (Patagonia and western New Zealand)
65) Toothed whales sleep with one side of the brain at a time.
66) Sperm whales sleep in vertical postures just under the surface during the day.
67) All whales are carnivorous and predatory.
68) Killer whales are dolphins that are called orca.
69) Killer whales kill whales.
70) The polar bear can hunt Arctic whales.
71) A "whale pump" is nitrogenous nutrient mass carried by whales  from the depths back to the surface.
72) Whales excreta that floats on the ocean's surface is a good nutrition for fisheries as it is rich in iron and nitrogen.
73) Whale fall is a whale carcass (dead body) falling to the deep ocean, which is a food for several organisms for decades.
74) Baleen of whales is used as a basket and roofing.
75) The most successful whaling nations are the Netherlands, Japan and the United States.
75) In1982 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) set a catch limit for each country.
76) Gill netting and Seine netting cause mortality in whales.
77) Two whale sanctuaries are the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
78) The North Atlantic right whale is Critically Endangered 
79) Blue whale, fin whale, North Pacific right whale, and sei whale are "Endangered"
80) Sperm whale is "Vulnerable"
81) Belugas were the first whales to be kept in captivity.
82) Most species of whale have a fin on their backs known as a dorsal fin.
83) The biggest so far recorded blue whale is a female in the Antarctic Ocean that was 30.5 m long (more than 3.5 times the length of a double-decker bus and as long as a Boeing 737 plane) with an estimated weight of 144 tonnes (almost the same as 2,000 men).
84) The tongue of a blue whale can weigh as much as an elephant and an entire football team could stand on it.
85) The heart of a blue whale is about the size of a VW Beetle car and weighs up to 400 pounds (180 kg) and is the largest known in any animal.
86) The aorta of a whale (major blood vessel) is big enough for a human child to crawl through.
87) A baby blue whale drinks about 225 litres milk.
88) 40-50% of whale milk is fat.
89) Cuvier's beaked whale dives to a depth of 3km for 2 hours.
90) The head of the sperm whale is up to a third of its body length with the heaviest brain in the animal kingdom - up to 9kg.
91) The head consists of a cranial cavity that is large enough to park a car.
92) Head cavity contains a yellowish wax called spermaceti that was much sought after by whalers.
93) The Arctic bowhead whale has the thickest blubber (70 cm thick).
94) Bowhead whales have the longest baleen (5 metres long)
95) The southern right whale has the largest testes where each pair weighs around a tonne.
96) The male narwhal has 2 teeth. The left teeth pierces through the lip to grow upto 2-3 metres.
97) Bowhead whales may be the world’s oldest mammals and are the longest lived of all whales, possibly over 200 years.
98) Beluga whales are known as the"canaries of the sea" because they make chirping sounds like birds.
99) Sperm whales are the loudest whales that make sounds at 230 decibels.
100) Male humpback whales sing the most complex songs including sequences of squeaks, grunts, and other sounds.
101) The humpback whales  make one of the longest migration of any mammal.
102) In 40 years of its lifetime a gray whale travels a distance that is equivalent to a trip to the moon.
103) The fin whale is the second largest whale.
104) The fin whale is known as the "greyhound of the sea" as it reaches a speed of up to 20mph (32kph).
105) A single adult blue whale can consume 3,6000 kg of krill a day.
106) The whale can hold upto 5,000 kg of water and plankton in its mouth.
107) Blue whales can hear each other across distances of up to 1,600km.
108) A newly delivered baby blue whale weighs up to 2,700 kg and up to 8 m long.
105) The calf is suckled 600 litres of milk each day.
106) The calf gains about 90 kg weight every day for its first year.
107) Ambergris, amber grease, dragon's spittle fragrance, floating gold, grey amber, whale gold or whale vomit  is produced in the bile duct of the digestive system of sperm whales. It is found floating on water or in dead sperm whales. It is used as a fixative in perfumes and scents.
108) Whales belong to the infra-order Cetacea.
109) Whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the order Cetartiodactyla.
110) Whales are the closest living relatives of the hippopotamuses.
111) Whales were evolved about 40 million years ago.
112) Whales comprise eight extant families.
113) Balaenopteridae include rorquals.
114) Balaenidae includes right whales.
115) Cetotheriidae includes pygmy right whales.
116) Eschrichtiidae includes gray whale
117) Monodontidae includes belugas and narwhals.
118) Physeteridae includes sperm whales
119) Kogiidae includes dwarf and pygmy sperm whales
120) Ziphiidae includes beaked whales.
121) Artiodactyla includes both whales and hippopotamuses.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Elephant Facts

1) Carl Linnaeus first described the Elephas maximus from Sri Lanka in 1758.
2) Loxodonta africana is the scientific name of African elephant. Elephas maximus is the scientific name of Asian elephant.
3) Male African elephant is the largest land animal.
4) It can reach a height of 4 m (13 ft) and weight of 7,000 kg (15,000 lb).
5) The skeleton of the elephant is made up of 326–351 bones.
6) The long trunk of an elephant is called the proboscis.
7)The trunk is a fusion of the nose and upper lip.
8) The trunk contains up to 150,000 separate muscle fascicles.
9) The trunk has no bone and little fat.
10) The trunk has ability to make powerful twisting and coiling movements.
11) The trunk is used for breathing, olfaction, touching, grasping, lifting and making trumpet sounds.
12) The trunk can lift up to 350 kg (770 lb) weight.
13) An adult Asian elephant is capable of holding 8.5 L (2.2 US gal) of water in its trunk.
14) Elephants are polyphyodonts that have cycles of tooth falling and  rotation throughout their lives.
15) Elephants usually have 26 teeth.
16) The modified incisors of the upper jaw of elephants are known as the tusks.
17) The tusks can serve as weapons and as tools for moving objects and digging.
18) Tusks can grow continuously at about 17 cm (7 in) a year.
19) The dentine is known as ivory.
20) Ivory consists of criss-crossing line patterns known as "engine turning," which create diamond-shaped areas.
21) The tusk is fastened to a socket in the skull.
22) In African elephants tusks of same length are present in both males and females (up to 3 m or 10 ft).
23) In the Asian species, only the males have large tusks.
24) One of the biggest threats to elephant populations is poaching for ivory trade.
25) Hunting for elephant ivory has led to natural selection for shorter tusks and tusklessness.
26) China was the biggest market for poached ivory
27) Large ear flaps help elephants to control their body temperature.
28) As the African bush elephants live in the hottest climates they have the largest ear flaps.
29) The elephant is a pachyderm with thick and tough skin that is generally at 2.5 cm (1 in).
30) Elephants have difficulty in releasing heat through the skin because of their low surface-area-to-volume ratio.
31) The elephant uses mud as a sunscreen to protect its skin from ultraviolet light.
32) Elephants can consume as much as 150 kg (330 lb) of food and 40 L (11 US gal) of water in a day.
33) Elephants run wi2h their front legs, but walk with their hind legs to a top speed of 18 km/h (11 mph).
34) An association of elephant families is known as a bond group.
35) A cluster of elephants during a dry season, is known as the clan.
36) Elephants communicate with seismic vibrations and infrasonic sounds produced by impacts on the earth's surface or acoustical waves.
37) While detecting seismic signals elephants lean forward and put more weight on their larger front is known as the "freezing behaviour".
38) The most well known elephant call is the trumpet which is made by blowing through the trunk.
39) Elephants are capable of hearing at low frequencies and are most sensitive at 1kHz.
40) Seismic waves produced by elephant movements reach distance of up to 32 km (20 miles) while those from trumpet vocalisations travel 16 km (10 miles).
41) Elephants have cognitive maps in their brains that allow them to remember large-scale spaces over long periods of time.
42) Male elephants in musth emit a distinctive, low-frequency pulsated rumble sound called the "motorcycle".
43) After a female elephant mates  with a male her family produces calls of excitement called "mating pandemonium".
44) Adult male elephants reach a state of increased testosterone levels and aggression known as musth.
45) Gestation period in elephants is 22 months.
46) Long pregnancy in elephants is maintained by five corpus luteums (as opposed to one in most mammals).
47) Long pregnancy gives the elephant foetus more time to develop, especially brain and trunk.
48) Caring of baby animals by someone other than its mother is known as alloparenting.
49) The lifespan of elephants is generally 70 years in the wild.
50) Elephants are considered as keystone species due to their impact on their environments.
51) The first mammals to be affected by human encroachment into forests are elephants.
52) Elephants have been the working animals since Indus Valley Civilization.
53) Woolly mammoth were ruling the world in the Late Pleistocene
54) Most proboscidean species (elephant species) vanished during the Quaternary glaciation which killed off 50% of genera.
55) African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Asian elephant is classified as endangered.
56) Elephants can transmit tuberculosis (TB) to human beings.
57) Elephants belong to the class Mammalia as it is a milk giving animal.
58) Elephants belong to the order proboscidea due to presence of tusks and long, muscular trunks.