Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cobra (A quiver)

It seems unfairly menacing that a snake that can literally "stand up" and look a full-grown person in the eye would also be among the most venomous on the planet, but that describes the famous king cobra.

King cobras can reach 18 feet (5.5 meters) in length, making them the longest of all venomous snakes. When confronted, they can raise up to one-third of their bodies straight off the ground and still move forward to attack. They will also flare out their iconic hoods and emit a bone-chilling hiss that sounds almost like a growling dog.

Their venom is not the most potent among venomous snakes, but the amount of neurotoxin they can deliver in a single bite—up to two-tenths of a fluid ounce (seven milliliters)—is enough to kill 20 people, or even an elephant. Fortunately, king cobras are shy and will avoid humans whenever possible, but they are fiercely aggressive when cornered.

King cobras live mainly in the rain forests and plains of India, southern China, and Southeast Asia, and their coloring can vary greatly from region to region. They are comfortable in the trees, on land, and in water, feeding mainly on other snakes, venomous and nonvenomous. They will also eat lizards, eggs, and small mammals.

They are the only snakes in the world that build nests for their eggs, which they guard ferociously until the hatchlings emerge.

King cobras may be best known as the species of choice for the snake charmers of South Asia. Although cobras can hear, they are actually deaf to ambient noises, sensing ground vibrations instead. The charmer's flute entices the cobra by its shape and movement, not by the music it emits.

Clam (A bed)

Interesting Facts About Clams

You might think that most facts about clams are boring, but clams are actually quite remarkable! The name clam can be used in reference to a number of mollusks, mussels, and oysters. For the most part, clams are masses of tissue and are completely invertebrate—meaning they have no bone structure. Instead of bones, clams of all sorts have some form of shell to protect them from the elements and predators such as birds, fish, and humans. In the science world, clams are known as bivalves—which basically means two-shells.

Physical Characteristics

Although clams are usually thought of as one soft mass—and they are, in a sense—they do actually have body parts. That’s right, clams have a head, foot, and radula! The foot is located at the front where the shells open. The foot can be pushed through the opening of the shells to swim or help burry the clam in the sand. In addition to a foot, they also have a tongue-like part called a radula. The radula collects bits of food and helps to break them down. Clams also have “systems” just as we humans do. In fact, they have a reproductive system, allowing them to procreate, a digestive system to break down food, nervous system, and a circulatory system which pumps blood through closed vessels like we humans have. A clam’s shell is one of the best known facts about clams. What some people aren’t aware of is the fact that the clam actually has an inner and an outer shell (going back to the “bivalve” thing). But the interesting part is that the inner shell isn’t really a shell-like material as you would imagine, but more like a really strong muscle-like tissue. This muscle is attached to both the outer shell and the body of the clam, which is how clam shells are able to remain closed (and often times require a special tool to crack them open).

Impressive Facts About Clams

The biggest clam ever recorded was around 750 pounds in weight! It was discovered in Okinawa, Japan in 1956. The oldest living—at the time—clam was a quahog found near Iceland. It was estimated to be about 405 years old and could possibly have been the oldest living marine animal! A clam’s age can be told by cutting into the shell and counting the “rings” present there. These rings develop over the years and there should in fact be one ring for every year of the clam’s life. Each ring is usually different from the others because of the environmental factors that took place that year, such as temperature of the water, available food, and how oxygenated the water was.

Cooking with Clams

The French used to make a stew-like dish out of clams and salted pork called chaudree. This stew was brought to Canada when the French immigrants took residence there. As you can imagine, the recipe soon traveled south across the Canadian-American border. Coastal areas in New England took a fancy to this dish because they had an abundance of clams. The recipe changed a little over the years and what was once a hearty French stew turned into the famous New England clam chowder dish! The Italian culture uses many types of clams in a number of traditional seafood and pasta dishes. American coastal areas also use clams as main ingredients or accent flavors in a wide variety of dishes. Clams are often boiled, steamed, fried, baked, or sautéed, however they can be eaten raw if one has the palette for it!

Chicks (A clutch or chattering)

Caring for baby chickens is a full-time endeavor. Proper housing, a heat source and the ability to meet their nutritional needs should be considered before bringing chicks home, whether you are seeking a pet or starting your own flock.

Chicks usually hatch after a 21-day incubation period. While in the egg, the chick grows to take up all the room inside except the air cell.
Need for Heat
Chicks need warmth until they are feathered. A common heat-ray lamp kept 15 to 20 in. above the chicks is an inexpensive choice for a small flock.
Feed and Water
Chicks should be fed as much as they will eat of a special commercial diet. They need fresh water offered in a pan that will not tip over easily.
Chicks are susceptible to predators and disease. Housing should be safe from outside animals. All surfaces should be disinfected before the chicks arrive and at regular intervals afterward.
Growth and Maturity
Female chicks are called pullets until they are 1 year old. At age 6 months, they begin to lay their own eggs.
Fun Fact
Baby chicks can breathe before they hatch. An eggshell may seem solid, but it actually contains about 8,000 pores large enough for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Chicken (A brood or peep)

On average, a hen lays 300 eggs per year.

Nine egg yolks have been found in one chicken egg.

A mother hen turns her egg approximately 50 times in a day. This is so the yolk does not stick to the shell.

To produce a dozen eggs, a hen has to eat about four pounds of feed.

The largest chicken egg ever laid weighed a pound and had a double yolk and shell.

A chicken with red earlobes will produce brown eggs, and a chicken with white earlobes will produce white eggs.

A chicken is 75% water.

In the U.S., approximately 46% of the chicken that is eaten by people comes from restaurants or other food outlets.

Hens will produce larger eggs as they grow older.

A chicken loses its feathers when it becomes stressed.

A chicken once had its head cut off and survived for over eighteen months, headless.

Cattle (A herd or drove)

Top Ten Facts About Cattle:
Dogs and cats drink by lapping water with their tongues while cattle and horses make use of a sucking action.

Other than beef, cattle provide important by-products for pharmaceuticals, bubble gum, crayons, candles, toothpaste, paper, plastic, perfume, antifreeze, glue, tires, paints, and much more!

Female cattle are cows, males are bulls, and babies are calves.

Cattle are very curious and they have a tendency to investigate anything.

Cattle only have one stomach but with four compartments to help digest grasses and grains.

Cows often have their ear pierced for ID tags.

A cow grazes for about 8 hours every day.

Cows regurgitate their food and re-chew the cud to help digestion.

The average dairy cow gives 200,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.

Texas has the most cattle - 13 million.

Caterpillar (An army)

Insect. Butterflies and moths spend their childhood as caterpillars, called the larval stage. Caterpillars eat constantly. They outgrow their skin and shed it several times. After the last shedding, the caterpillar fastens to a branch and enters the pupa or chrysalis stage; moth caterpillars use a silk thread from their silk glands to spin a protective cocoon. Inside the cocoon, the pupa goes through a process called metamorphosis. The caterpillar's six front legs transform into the adult insect's legs, the other “prolegs” disappear, wings grow, and the insect emerges as a beautiful moth or butterfly.

Scientific Name Lifespan
Larva 3-4 weeks until pupation

Herbivore. The majority of caterpillars are herbivores, and eat mostly leaves, though some species eat all plant parts, fungi and dead animal matter, including other caterpillars.

Predators and Threats
Wasps, birds, parasites, and humans.

You can find caterpillars almost everywhere from sandy beaches to meadows to mountain forests, worldwide. There are even caterpillars in some Arctic areas.

Cat (A clowder or clutter)

Cats are born with blue eyes. They change at approximately 12 weeks of age.
Sometimes your cat will find it difficult to find the treats you throw him on the floor. The reason is because cats can't see directly under their own nose.
Cats can jump between 5 & 7 times as high as their tail.
Ailurophobia: the hate or fear of cats
80% of all cats, big and small, have the same reaction to catnip, due to their feline genes. Cats that are younger than 6 months and tigers however, do not react to catnip.
A cat uses it's whiskers to tell if the space they are contemplating entering is big enough for them.
Cats not only walk on their toes but they have 5 toes on their front paws and 4 toes on the their back paws.
Killing a cat was punishable by death in acient Egypt.
Just like fingerprints on humans, the nose pad of cats is rigid in a pattern that is completely unique.
Sir Isaac Newton is credited for inventing the cat door.
Start a garden inside your home. Cats love to eat grass, parsley, catnip, and sage. However, consult your Vet before planting a garden for your cat to eat. Many plants are harmful or even fatal to cats.
Pet owners live longer, happier lives with less stress and less heart attacks.
Cats prefer their food at room temperature.
Don't put your cat's collar on too tight. Make sure you can slip 2 fingers between the collar and the cat.

Camel (A flock)

A camel is a large and strong desert animal. Popularly, known as ‘Ship of the Desert’, camels can travel great distances across the vast expanse of the hot and dry sandy areas, with practically no food and water for days. There are two species of camels namely, Dromedary, with one hump and the Bactrian with two humps. Camels serve people living in such areas in various ways. They carry people and heavy loads as no other means of transportation can exist in deserts. They can be milked which is usually consumed fresh for the production of yoghurt or cheese. Apart from this, camel’s wool is used for making rugs and clothes. To know more about this fascinating sturdy animal, read the interesting and amazing facts given below.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Genus: Camelus
Species: Camelus Bactrianous and Camelus Dromedarius
Height (males): 6 to 7 feet
Weight (males): 500 - 600 kg
Weight (females): 400 to 500 kg
Natural Habitat: Throughout the World
Diet: Herbivorous (Thorny Plants, dry grasses, saltbush)
Number of Teeth: 34
Age: 50 years
Age of Maturity (females): 3 years
Age of Maturity (males): 6 years
Gestation Period: 406 days (around 13 - 14 months)
Number of Offspring: 8

Interesting & Amazing information about Camels
A female camel is called a cow, a male camel is called a bull and a baby camel is called a calf.
The hump on the camel’s back is a lump of fat.
Camels do not chew the food and swallow it instead. They regurgitate and chew the cud later.
Camels shed their coat each year.
Camels have two layers of thick eyelashes to protect them from the dust.
Camels have paddy hoofs, with two toes to protect them from sinking in the sand.
Baby camels are born without a hump
Camels have three chambers in their stomach.
Camels can eat thorny twigs without hurting its mouth.
Camels can live without water for days and even months.
A camel can drink about 200 liters of water in a day.
The body temperature of the camel rises during the day and cools off during the night.
Camels can close their nostrils or leave a small opening to prevent sand from entering inside.
Camel’s ears are very small and hairy but their hearing power is very strong.

Buffalo (A herd or obstinacy)

The water buffalo, or Asian buffalo, as it is often called, is the largest member of the Bovini tribe, which includes yak, bison, African buffalo, various species of wild cattle, and others.

Standing 5 to 6.2 feet (1.5 to 1.9 meters) tall at the shoulder, wild water buffalo are formidable mammals with sparse gray-black coats. Males carry enormous backward-curving, crescent-shaped horns stretching close to 5 feet (1.5 meters) long with deep ridges on their surface. Females are smaller in size and weight, but they also have horns, although they are proportionately smaller.

Water buffalo spend much of their day submerged in the muddy waters of Asia’s tropical and subtropical forests. Their wide-splayed hoofed feet prevent them from sinking too deeply in the mud and allow them to move about in wetlands and swamps. These marshes provide good cover and rich aquatic plants to forage on, although water buffalo actually prefer to feed in grasslands on grass and herbs.

Females normally produce calves every other year, after a gestation of 9 to 11 months. Young bulls typically remain with maternal herds, which consist of around 30 buffalo, for three years after birth. They then go on to form small all-male herds.

Water buffalo have been domesticated for more than 5,000 years. They have buttressed humanity’s survival with their meat, horns, hides, milk, butterfat, and power, plowing and transporting people and crops.

Wild water buffalo are endangered and live only in a small number of protected areas stretching across India, Nepal, and Bhutan, and a wildlife reserve in Thailand. And populations are likely to diminish as they are interbred with domesticated water buffalo.

Buck (A brace or clash)

Apart from India, the only other countries where the black buck is found are those of Pakistan and Nepal. Known by the name of Kala Hiran in the Indian subcontinent, black buck is one of the fastest running animals on this earth. The male black buck is dark brown or black in color, while the color of female black buck is light brown. Most of the female black bucks do not have horns. In case they do have horns, they are not spiraled like that of the males. There are many more interesting facts about the blackbuck. Read on to know more Indian black bucks fast facts.

Kingdom: Animalia
Scientific Name: Antelope cervicapra
Species: A. cervicapra
Sub-species: Antelope cervicapra cervicapra, Antelope cervicapra rajputanae, Antelope cervicapra centralis and Antelope cervicapra rupicapra
Class: Mammalia
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Antilopinae
Natural Habitat: Grasslands of India, and throughout Europe
Diet: Grasses, leaves, buds, and shoots
Weight: 70 pounds to 95 pounds
Length of Horns: 70 cm (28 inches)
Height (males): 80 cm (about 32 in)
Average Lifespan: 12 years to 16 years
Gestation Period: 150 days
Number of offspring: One
Maximum Speed: 50 mph
Sanctuaries/National Parks: Velavadar Blackbuck National Park, Bandhavgarh
National Park, Kanha National Park,
Ranthambore National Park, Corbett National
Park, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Gir National Park
and Guindy National Park

Boar (A sounder)

HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION: Wild boars are not native to North America. They were brought here from Europe, first by the Spanish explorers in the 1500’s (for food) and later in the 1900’s by people who wanted to hunt the pigs for sport. The wild boars you see today are the great grandchildren of the European boars brought here a long time ago. They are NOT pink with curly tails. Wild boars are large - sometimes 5 feet long, and weigh up to 300 pounds. They have stiff black fur and straight tails. The males (boys) have tusks that curl out of their mouth. They are not long tusks like an elephant’s, but they are still 2-5 inches long and can really hurt you! Sometimes wild boars will breed with pot-bellied pigs. The babies will grow up to have black fur and straight tails, but they may have fat bellies and a white stripe on their foreheads.

HABITAT, SENSES, AND FEEDING: Boars like to live in forests near streams or ponds. Since boars don’t have any sweat glands, they must wallow in the mud to cool off. They are fast runners and good swimmers. Boars like to live in oak forests so they can eat acorns in the fall. Hickory nuts and pecans are also favorite foods. During the rest of the year, boars eat roots, grass, fruits, mushrooms, bugs, small birds, rabbits, eggs, and even dead animals. If there is plenty of food, the boars will stay in a 10 square mile territory. But if the deer and turkey eat the acorns, or if there just weren’t many acorns that year, the boars may travel 50 miles to find food. They really dig up the ground while looking for roots. Boars have tough noses, or snouts, which help them dig. They have an excellent sense of smell and can even find food underground. Their eyesight is not very good, but they hear very well. Their ears always stand up straight; they don’t flop down like a farm pig’s ears.

REPRODUCTION: Boars have more babies each year than any other large mammal in North America. They can have 3 litters each year with up to 14 babies each time. After 3 months, the babies are weaned (can find their own food), but may still stay with the mother. The fathers live by themselves. Although mother boars do not have tusks, they are still dangerous when protecting their babies. The mother builds a stick and grass nest on the ground. Her babies live there for 1 week until they are big enough to follow her around. They are born with light brown fur that has white stripes from head to tail. When they are 4- 6 months old, they turn a cinnamon brown color. At 1 year old, they are full-grown and have black fur.

EXOTIC PESTS: Since boars are not native (from North America), they are called "exotic" or foreign. They are called "pests" for many reasons. When they dig up the ground for roots, they kill many native plants. When they wallow near the edge of a pond, they tear up the water plants. This causes erosion (when the land washes away) because the plant roots can’t hold onto the dirt anymore. Wild boars get into gardens and eat all the corn and potatoes. They kill and eat small native animals, including endangered species, like baby sea turtles. Also, they eat the acorns that deer and turkey need for food. Boars have very few natural predators. Because of this, boars are often hunted to keep them from damaging the environment around them.

bird (A flock, flight, congregation or volery)

Birds are warm blooded, egg laying vertebrate animal, having two feets for walking, running or hopping. There are about 9000 to 10,000 living species of birds in the world. They are characterized by feathers, a beak without teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a light but strong skeleton. Most birds have forelimbs modified as wings and can fly, though some birds have lost the ability to fly. They lay eggs in their nests and incubate and even take care of their eggs after hatching. Most of the birds migrate to long distance places annually but some birds migrate for shorter distance. They are social and communicate using visual signals and through calls and bird song.

Facts about Birds
The smallest bird in the world is the Humming Bird. It weighs less than 1 oz (or 1g).
75% of wild birds die before they are 6 months old.
Measured in straight flight, the spine-tailed swift is the fastest bird. It flies 170 km/h (106 mph). Second fastest is the Frigate, which reaches 150 km/h (94 mph).
Some bird species, usually flightless birds, have only a lower eyelid, whereas pigeons use upper and lower lids to blink.
The eyes of the chameleon can move independently & can see in two different directions at the same time.
The chameleon snatches up its insect prey in a fraction of a second. It waits for an insect to land within range, then it shoots out its long tongue. The insect is caught on the sticky tip of the tongue.
The Chameleon can focus its eyes seperately to watch two objects at once.
The Chameleon's tongue is as long as its body.
When danger threatens, an owl makes itself look as large and firece as possible, by fluffing out its feathers, spreading its wings and opening its eyes wide.
The African ostrich makes up for not being able to fly by running faster than anyother bird. Its strong thighs and long legs enable it to run at 50 km/hr for as long as half an hour, and it can reach 70 km/hr for a short burst.
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Social weaver birds live in Africa. In the breeding season, many pairs come together to build their nests. They build one huge domed roof of grass and straw. Then each pair builds its own nest under the roof, each with its own entrance.
The greater honeyguide leads the ratel or honey badger, to a bee's nest by calling out and flying in front of it. The ratel eats the honey, then the bird eats the honeycomb wax.
Most birds sit on their eggs to incubate them, but not this common scrub hen. Instead, it uses the heat from volcanoes to keep its eggs warm. It buries its eggs in the side of a volcano on the pacific island where it lives.
Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards
Roadrunners are large (about two feet long) crested birds that prefer to run rather than fly. They eat rattlesnakes whole, and they can sprint 15 miles per hour.
A Woodpecker can peck 20 times per second.
Woodpeckers don't get headaches from all that pecking. Their skulls have air pockets to cushion the brain.
Flamingos are pink because shrimp is one of their main sources of food.
Flamingos eat with their heads upside down to strain the water out of their food.
An ostrich can run up to 70 km/h (43mph).
A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle - a group of geese in the air is a skein.

Bee (A swarm, grist or hive)

Bees are four-winged insects, usually with a sting. There are over 12,000 species, but only about 600 of them are social in habit. Among the social bees are the honeybee (or hive bee) and the bumblebee.

The bumblebee is round and furry and moves around slowly. The honeybee has a more streamlined body and moves around much faster (about 15 miles/hour).

Bees have been producing honey for at least 150 million years. Bees create honey by repeatedly regurgitating and dehydrating nectar. They use this honey as food stores for the hive during the winter when little or no nectar is available to them.

Most bees are pacific unless you disturb them, but there are also some aggressive species. The weather often affects the temper of bees. On windy and cloudy days, when they are unable to search for nectar and pollen, bees will be more aggressive. Bee stings can be fatal to someone that is allergic to them.

Bees have five eyes. Two large compound eyes and three simple eyes. Bees can perceive movements that are separated by 1/300th of a second. Humans can only sense movements separated by 1/50th of a second. Bees can't recognize the color red, but they can see ultraviolet colors.

While foraging for nectar and pollen, bees inadvertently transfer pollen from the male to the female components of flowers. This way they help the fertilization of many of our crop-bearing plants.

Honeybees live in colonies of 20,000 to 80,000 bees. A colony includes the queen, workers and drones.

Most of the bees in the colony are worker bees. Workers are the smallest bees in the colony. They are sexually undeveloped females produced from fertilized eggs. They build and repair the hive, search for nectar and pollen, produce wax and honey, feed the queen and larvae and protect the hive against enemies. The life span of worker bees depend on the time of year. Most worker bees live about 28 to 35 days. However, workers that are reared in September and October, can live through the winter.

Drones are male bees without stingers. They are developed from unfertilized eggs, produced by the queen by withholding sperm. Their sole purpose is to mate with the queen. They don't collect food or pollen from flowers. If the colony is short on food, drones are often kicked out of the hive. They usually live about 6 months.

The workers select the larvae to be raised as queens. These larvae are larger then the worker larvae, because they are fed food bearing a higher sugar content. The first queen to emerge disposes of the other queens by stinging them. Within days she will fly to where the drones assemble and mate in flight for 1-2 days with up to 17 of them. During the mating she will receive about 90 million sperm cells, which are stored in a special pouch (the spermatheca) and will last her entire life span of about 2-5 years.

about 10 days after mating the queen will start laying eggs. She will lay one egg per minute, day and night for a total of 1,500 eggs per day. Should she stop her egg-laying pace, her workers will move recently laid eggs into queen cells to produce her replacement.

Honeybees fly 55,000 miles and visit 2 million flowers to produce one pound of honey. In one trip, a worker will visit between 50 and 100 flowers. She will return to the hive carrying over half her weight in pollen and nectar. One worker bee will produce about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in the course of her lifetime.

A productive hive can make and store up to 2 pounds of honey each day. I takes about 35 pounds of honey to provide enough energy for a small colony to survive the winter. Being able to feed on stored supplies makes it possible for honeybees not to hibernate during the winter, like other bees do. They share their body heat by clustering together in dense packs.

The stingers of a honeybee are barbed. When the stinger pierces the soft skin of a mammal, the attached venom pouch pumps a mixture containing melittin, histamine and other enzymes into the target. After the bee pulls away, the barb anchors the stinger in the victim's body. The stinger and venom pouch are left behind and the bee soon dies due to abdominal rupture. The stinger is not left behind when a honeybee stings another insect.

Honeybees communicate with each other through a dance "language". Karl von Frisch received the Nobel Prize in 1973 for deciphering the language, which consists of two basic dances. A dance in a circle for indicating a source of nectar, without giving information about distance or direction. A tail-wagging dance to indicate the exact distance to the nectar source.

Bumblebees live in small nests and therefore never swarm. They are larger and stronger than honeybees and more adapted to fertilize plants in which the pollen and nectar lie deep, as in red clover. They are also able to work in colder weather than the honeybee.

In the spring the bumble queen will begin a new nest with a ball of pollen and wax into which she lays about 6 eggs at a time from which the worker bees will emerge. They will immediately start collecting nectar and the queen will stay in the nest laying more eggs. When the nest has reached the right size (late summer), the queen will lay eggs destined to become drones and next years queen bees. Once hatched the drones will leave the nest and live independent lives. Their only purpose is to mate with the young queens. Unlike honeybees, the young bumble queens live and work in the colony for the rest of the summer and autumn. As the first frosts begins, the old queen, her workers and the independent drones will die. The newly mated queens will survive in hibernation to begin the cycle again next spring.

Bumblebees don't produce a lot of honey, just enough to feed their young.

Bumblebees are much less aggressive than honeybees. They only attack when they feel their life is under threat. When they sting, they don't lose their stinger and die like honeybees.

One of the only natural enemies of bumblebees are skunks.

Beaver (A colony)

Beavers grow three to four feet long and weigh between forty and sixty pounds.

Beavers have five toes on their webbed feet.

A beaver's front teeth never stop growing.

The beaver's large front teeth enable them to cut and chew. Gnawing wood helps to wear them down.

Beavers can swim at an average of five miles per hour.

The beaver is a strong and intelligent animal. They can influence the environment similar to humankind.

A beaver can stay underwater for approximately fifteen minutes before coming up for air.

Beavers eat bark, roots, leaves and twigs.

The nose and ears of a beaver have valves that close when they go underwater.

The broad tail of a beaver functions as a rudder.

The lifespan of a beaver is approximately sixteen years.

Beavers have an average of two to four offspring per litter.

A beaver's offspring are called kits.

Beavers have thick heavy fur protected by long hairs called guard hairs to keep them warm in icy water.

Beavers are very clean animals and will not go to the bathroom in their living area.

Beavers are very vocal with their children. They even discipline their offspring.

By building dams beavers can influence and even change vegetation and animal life.

A beaver's teeth have a hard orange coating that helps to keep them from breaking.

Bears, wolves, coyotes, bobcats and other animals prey on beavers. Although these predators are very dangerous, human hunting and destruction of habitat are often the biggest threat to beavers.

A beaver's fur is naturally oily and waterproof.

Beavers are one of America's largest rodents.

Beavers are nocturnal animals.

The beaver is a family oriented animal living together in somewhat the same structure as a human family. Older offspring assist parents by tending to younger siblings. Beaver families often work together when building and felling large trees.

Bear (A sleuth or sloth)

Did you know that although they are called black bears, colors can range from black to cinnamon brown, silver-blue and, occasionally, even white? The white bears are called "Spirit" or "Kermode" bears.
Ten Fast Facts About Black Bears

1. eat mostly berries, nuts, grasses, carrion, and insect larvae

2. have color vision and a keen sense of smell

3. are good tree climbers and swimmers

4. very intelligent and curious

5. can run up to 35 miles per hour

6. weigh an average of 125 to 600 pounds

7. go without food for up to 7 months during hibernation in northern ranges

8. usually give birth to 2 to 3 cubs during the mother's sleep every other year

9. can live over 25 years in the wild (average age in the wild is 18)

10. are typically shy and easily frightened

Habitat Preservation

Black bears have lost over 60% of their historical range. As human encroachment increases, preserving large areas of undeveloped land where bears and other animals can thrive is vital. Crucial components include adequate sources of food and water, denning sites such as rock crevices, hollow trees, and dense vegetation, contiguous travel corridors with sufficient cover for protection from poachers, harassment, and associated dangers from human development.

Avoiding "nuisance" encounters in Bear Country

Black bears are highly intelligent and adaptable. This species has a great capacity to live in close proximity to people. Unfortunately, many bears are shot needlessly because of unfounded fear and human carelessness. Led by a keen sense of smell, bears will naturally gravitate to potential food sources found in unsecured garbage, bird feeders, orchards, farm crops, beehives, outside pet food, and organic compost piles. FOOD AND FEAR DRIVE BLACK BEAR BEHAVIOR. Therefore:

Properly store or secure all odorous food/non-food items. Use plastic bags to seal in odors and store garbage inside buildings. Use electric fences around hives, orchards, and compost piles. Attach spill pans to bird feeders and hang out of reach (10 feet up). Clear away dense brush and protective cover from yard.

Don't surprise a bear; black bears tend to be nervous and easily frightened. They can cause injury if suddenly startled, cornered, or provoked. Warn a bear you are coming by occasionally clapping or using bells. Use caution when hiking in windy weather, downwind, along streams, through dense vegetation or natural food areas, and when approaching blind curves where a bear may not hear, see, or smell you.

Should you encounter a black bear

Stay calm - DO NOT RUN (running may elicit a chase response by the bear).

Pick up children so they don't run or scream; restrain dog; avoid eye contact and talk in soothing voice.

If the bear stands up, he is NOT going to attack but is curious and wants a better sniff or view.

Back away slowly; if bear chomps jaw, lunges, or slaps ground or brush with paw, he feels threatened.

Slowly retreat from area or make wide detour around bear; don't crowd or block bear's escape route.

Note: Bear attacks on humans are extremely rare. A person is 180 times more likely to be killed by a bee and 160,000 times more likely to die in a car accident. Most injuries from black bears occur when people try to feed, pet, or crowd them. Bears will nip or cuff bad-mannered humans, as they will bad-mannered bears. They are very strong and powerful animals; bears should always be treated with caution and respect.

Bats (A colony)

Bats are amongst the most feared, most hated and most misunderstood animals in the world. They can be divided into two main groups, the mega-chiroptera and the micro-chiroptera. The first group comprises of those bats that eat fruit, nectar, and pollen. They have a face that resembles that of a fox, to some an extent, and also have big eyes for finding food. The latter group, on the other hand, comprises of the bats that eat insects. They navigate and hunt through echolocation, a system based on high-pitched sounds that bounce off objects and come back to the bats. To know more about bats, check out the interesting facts and amazing information given below.

Facts about Bats

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Eutheria
Superorder: Laurasiatheria / Archonta (debated)
Order: Chiroptera
Suborder: Mega-chiroptera & Micro-chiroptera
Family: 18 families
Genus: 180 genera
Species: Around 1100
Wingspan: 16 cm to 2 m (depending upon the species)
Weight: 14 gm to 1.5 kg (depending upon the species)
Smallest Species: Bumblebee Bat of Thailand
Diet: Either fruit, nectar and pollen or insects, small mammals and fish
Natural Habitat: Throughout the world, except for extreme arctic and desert regions
Age: 30 years
Age of Maturity: 6 months to 2 years (depending upon the species)
Gestation Period: 1.5 to 9 months (depending upon the species)
Number of Offspring: One

Interesting & Amazing Information on Bats

Bats are the only mammal that can actually fly and make up the second largest order of mammals in the world.
A little brown bat (myotis) can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in one hour.
A mother bat can locate her pup (baby) out of millions in a roost, by tracking down its scent and sound.
African heart-nosed bats can hear the footsteps of a beetle walking on sand, from a distance of more than six feet.
Agricultural plants like bananas, bread-fruit, mangoes, cashews, dates and figs rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal.
Bats are extremely clean animals and groom themselves almost on a constant basis.
Bats give birth to only one baby in a year, making them one of the slowest reproducing mammals on earth for their size.
Bats seldom transmit disease to other animals or even humans.
During winter hibernation, Red Bats can withstand body temperatures as low as 23 degrees.
Frog eating bats differentiate between edible and poisonous frogs by listening to the mating calls of male frogs.
Giant flying foxes, which are native to Indonesia, have a wingspan of nearly six feet.
Many species of bats roost together in large groups, known as colonies.
Most of the bats have very good eyesight. They also have excellent echolocation skills.
Most of these bat species are so small that they would easily fit in the palm of your hand.
Some of the bats migrate to warmer climates during the winter, while the others hibernate.
Studies have indicated that the Old World fruit bats and flying foxes might have descended from early primates.
The bumblebee bat of Thailand is the smallest mammal in the world.
The droppings of bats in caves support whole ecosystems of unique organisms, including bacteria.
Honduran white bat is completely white in color, with the exception of yellow nose and ears.
The tiny woolly bats of West Africa live in the large webs of colonial spiders.
Vampire bats are one of the few mammals who risk their own lives to share food with the less fortunate roost-mates.
When hibernating, little brown bats can reduce their heart rate to 20 beats per min and even can stop breathing altogether, for 48 min at a stretch.

Bass (A shoal)

Fact: A freshwater black bass can sense 1-200th of a drop of a substance in about 100 gallons of water.

Here are some more interesting facts about the largemouth bass:

They were originally found only East of the Mississippi River and South of the Great Lakes in the continental United States. But as their popularity grew, so did stocking programs in many states. Largemouth bass are now caught in waters throughout the continental United States and Hawaii, in addition to southern Canada and most of Mexico. The Largemouth has also been introduced in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

It is the largest member of a group of closely-related fishes called black bass. Others include the smallmouth, spotted, redeye, Suwannee and Guadalupe. It is distinguished from all the others by a jaw that extends beyond the eye. All black bass, belong to the sunfish family, but differ from sunfish because of their longer bodies.

Biologists have identified two subspecies of largemouth bass: the Florida largemouth and the Northern largemouth. Originally, Florida bass lived only in the waters of Florida, but through excessive stocking efforts, they have expanded their range to include most of the Southern United States, particularly Texas and California. The two species look alike, but the Florida largemouth grows alot larger than the northern subspecies. A trophy Florida bass can weigh from 10 to 12 pounds, and its Northern counterpart will usually range between 6 to 8 pounds.

The world record Largemouth is believed to be a cross between the two subspecies. It weighed in at a monsterous 22 pounds, 4 ounces!! It was caught in June, 1932 at Montgomery Lake in Georgia.

They vary in color, depending upon the type of water they are in. Bass from murky waters are pale, while those from clear waters are darker. They range from a deep green to pale olive across the back, with bellies that are a shade of white or yellow. All bass have a black lateral band that runs from the head to tail. The band becomes more distinct when a fish is exposed to sunlight, but may disappear when a largemouth is in deep or murky water.

They actually have 6 senses: Along with the normal, hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch they also have the lateral line, which is a series of sensitive nerve endings that extends from just behind the gill to the tail on each side of the fish. The lateral line picks up underwater vibrations as subtle as a swimming baitfish. Experiments have proven that by the use of these lateral lines that the bass can still find food and survive even in the murkiest of waters and also if they are blinded by an eye injury. They hear with internal ears located within the skull. They can see in all directions except directly below or directly behind them. In clear water they can see 30 feet or more, but in most bass waters the visibility is usually between 5 and 10 feet. They can also see objects that are above the water, including you standing in your boat with that brightly colored shirt on!! So remember that in clear water you should always try to wear clothing that will match your background.

In shallow water they can detect color, especially RED. In one study red and white lures caught 3 times as many largemouths as any other color. But in deeper water most colors appear as shades of gray so color selection is of less importance. Their eyes absorb more light than the human eye, enabling the fish to see its food in dim light or total darkness. They will feed at any time of the day or night, but are less inclined to leave cover and search for food under bright conditions. So like most fish they prefer to hang out in the shade. They find better ambush camouflage in shady areas or under low light conditions.

They smell through nostrils, or nares, on their snout. The nares are short passageways through which water is drawn and expelled without entering the throat. They can detect minute amounts of scent in the water, but rely on scent less than catfish, salmon or trout.

They use their sense of touch to determine whether to reject or swallow an object. They will usually hold on to a soft-bodied, artificial worm longer than a metal lure.

Their sense of taste is not as important to the bass as it is to other species, because the bass has very few taste cells in their mouths.

Understanding the largemouth bass feeding and spawning habits will increase your chances of catching them considerably...

Badger (A cete)

A Member of the Mustelid: Badgers belong to one of the largest carnivore families — the mustelid. This group includes skunks, otters, minks, polecats, wolverines and, of course, badgers. Mustelids can be found in a variety of habitats throughout Eurasia, Africa and the Americas, although their favorite surroundings are forests and bushes. These disparate critters are tied to the same family by their short legs and elongated bodies. The badger's short ears, five toes on each foot, short snout, and long tail, and long, nonretractable, curved claws are also clues to its mustelid family heritage.

Badger, Badger, Badger: All species of badgers, such as the honey badger, Eurasian badger (one of the few species that enjoys group dwelling), hog badger and American badger, are similar in appearance. Fur coat colors range from silver-gray, dark brown or black to spotted or striped. The diminutive American badger is a miniature version of the Eurasian badger. Unlike its larger relative, however, this badger is solitary.

Bacteria (A culture)

The Sky

The air is full of bacteria. This is not surprising, when you realise that they are so small you cannot see them with your naked eye it is not hard to accept that they should get blown around easily. However it is not just surface bacteria getting caught up in the breeze. Recent discoveries have shown that some bacteria spend their whole lives in the atmosphere, growing and reproducing in the clouds above our heads.

On Ice
Bacteria are not as common in the extreme cold but they are there. Scientist know of bacterial species that live all their lives in the ice of glaciers and other bacteria have often found in the snows of the North and South poles Until recently scientists had thought bacteria found in these latitudes were just blown there by the winds but in 2000AD they proved that some of these species are different to any others and live at the North pole all year round where the temperature varies between -17 and -85 degrees C. BRRRRRRR .

Not So Cool
Not all bacteria like it cool, in fact some like it very hot. Hot springs occur all around the world and where ever they do Bacteria have learned to live in them. Some species are happy at 75 C while others think even this is cool. Species of Aquifex can live in water as hot as 95 C, this is just 5 degrres away from the boiling temperature of water. This is not the world record though, that belongs to a species of archaea which is happy to grow in water around deep sea hydrothermal vents at temperatures as high as 106 C (at these great depths, several miles down, the pressure stops the water from boiling and keeps it liquid).

The Deep Sea

Anyone who has dived down into the water and felt their ears pop knows that the pressure that water exerts increases the deeper you go. Humans cannot go more than a few tens of metres down without protecting their ears and several hundred metres starts to cause potentially lethal problems, even for experienced divers. The oceans however are not hundreds, but thousands of metres deep and the pressure increases by the equivalent of 1 atmosphere every ten metres down. Thus bacteria which live at depths greater than 10000 metres must be able to survive pressures in excess of 1000 times the air pressure at sea level. These bacteria are called 'Extreme Barophiles'. Species that thrive at these depths are so biologically different from sea level bacteria that they cannot function properly at pressures less than 400 atmospheres and die in a couple of hours if brought to the surface.

How Small??

Bacteria are small, on average most species of bacteria have diameters of 0.5 to 2.0 microns. Obviously, though diameter gives you a good indication of the size of a spherical cocci bacterium you need to know its length as well if it is a rod (cylindrical) bacterium. The smallest bacterium have sizes down to 0.1 - 0.2 microns. Looking at it the other way, there is a giant bacterium found in Sturgeon fish. This bacterium called Epulopiscium fishelsoni is over 0.5 mm long.
Species Size in Microns
Epulopiscium fishelsoni 600x50
Bacillus megterium 4x1.5
Escherichia coli 3x1
Streptococcus pneumoniae 0.8x0.8
Haemophilus influenzae 1.2x0.25
Rhodospirillum photometricum 30x3
Chromatium buderi 7x4

Fast Movers

Some bacteria can move. A few can glide across a surface and some aquatic species can control their buoyancy, and thus their depth in the water, through internal gas vesicles (bubbles). Most bacteria however move by means of one or more flagella (singular flagellum). A bacteria that possesses one or more flagella is termed 'flagellated' and there are 3 main different styles of flagellation. If the bacterium has just one or two flagella placed at either one, or both ends of its cell (this applies to rod and spirochaetic bacteria) it is said to have Polar Flagellation. A bunch of flagella coming from one end of the cell is called Lophotrichous flagellation (tufted) and if it the flagella come out at random points around the cell it is called Peritrichous Flagellation. The flagella are not straight but are twisted in a sort of wave shape. The distance between each wave crest or trough is fixed for a species and is often important in identification. Bacteria move not by flexing their flagella the way a fish flexes its tail and fins, but by rotating them like a propeller. This can enable them to obtain speeds as high as 0.00017 kilometres per hour. This may not seem very fast, but to put it into perspective remember that we are talking about very small organisms. Looked at another way, they are travelling at about 50-60 body lengths per second. This would be the equivalent of a 1.8 metre (6 feet) tall man running at 100 metres per second, 9 times faster than the world record. Cheetahs, are the fastest animals on land but even they only move at about 25 body lengths per second.

Representitative BacteriaType of Flagellation Bacterial Species
Polar flagellation Rhodospirillum centenum
Lophotrichous flagellation Rhodospirillum photometricum
Peritrichous flagellation Salmonella typhi

Cosy Living

Bacteria do not only live in extreme environments, but like us they are found in their greatest numbers where the living is easy. Where it is warm and moist, with plenty of easily obtainable nutrients. Anywhere that dead and decaying matter is present is a good home for bacteria. So also is anything living. Bacteria live both on and in animals and plants. Every human being has a particular flora of bacteria that inhabit every surface of our bodies, on our skin, in our mouths, our stomachs and intestines etc. even in and around our genitalia

Small but Important

Bacteria are a major component of the unseen world of 'Micro-organisms' and as such they play a decisive role in the maintenance of life on this planet. This life is not a static process, instead it is a series of dynamic fluxes or flows. What is soil, becomes grass, becomes a cow, becomes you and me and then becomes soil again. Bacteria, and other micro-organisms are essentially important in the cycling of nutrients and energy, particularly in the breakdown of dead organic matter to make the resources locked up in things like dead trees available again to other living organisms. They also play a central role and the fixation of atmospheric Nitrogen into organic molecules and in the cycling of minerals such as Carbon and Sulfer. Further to this some bacteria also play an important role in trapping the suns energy so that it can be used by living organisms. Any cycle or system you look at has bacteria playing a crucial supportive role in it somewhere. Bacteria are an essential in the maintenance of these flows of energy and nutrients throughout our world. Without them the whole ecosystem would collapse.

Baboons (A troop)


Swahili Name: Nyani
Scientific Name: Olive baboon (Papiocynocephalus anubis); yellow baboon (Papio ynocephalus cynocephalus)
Size: 14 to 30 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 50 to 100 pounds
Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
Habitat: Savannas and woodlands
Diet: Omnivorous
Gestation: 6 months
Predators: Humans, leopards, cheetahs

The baboon, of all the primates in East Africa, most frequently interacts with people. Apart from humans, baboons are the most adaptable of the ground-dwelling primates and live in a wide variety of habitats. Intelligent and crafty, they can be agricultural pests, so they are treated as vermin rather than wildlife.

Physical Characteristics
The two most common baboons occur in East Africa, the olive baboon and the yellow baboon. The larger and darker olive baboon is found in Uganda, west and central Kenya and northern Tanzania. Smaller, more slender and lighter in color, the yellow baboon inhabits southern and coastal Kenya and Tanzania. Both types are "dogfaced," but the yellow's nose turns up more than the olive's.

Baboons are found in surprisingly varied habitats and are extremely adaptable. The major requirements for any habitat seems to be water sources and safe sleeping places in either tall trees or on cliff faces. When water is readily available, baboons drink every day or two, but they can survive for long periods by licking the night dew from their fur.

Baboons usually leave their sleeping places around 7 or 8 a.m. After coming down from the cliffs or trees, adults sit in small groups grooming each other while the juveniles play. They then form a cohesive unit that moves off in a column of two or three, walking until they begin feeding. Fanning out, they feed as they move along, often traveling five or six miles a day. They forage for about three hours in the morning, rest during the heat of the day and then forage again in the afternoon before returning to their sleeping places by about 6 p.m. Before retiring, they spend more time in mutual grooming, a key way of forming bonds among individuals as well as keeping the baboons clean and free of external parasites.

Baboons sleep, travel, feed and socialize together in groups of about 50 individuals, consisting of seven to eight males and approximately twice as many females plus their young. These family units of females, juveniles and infants form the stable core of a troop, with a ranking system that elevates certain females as leaders. A troop's home range is well-defined but does not appear to have territorial borders. It often overlaps with the range of other baboons, but the troops seem to avoid meeting one another.

When they begin to mature, males leave their natal troops and move in and out of other troops. Frequent fights break out to determine dominance over access to females or meat. The ranking of these males constantly changes during this period.

Males are accepted into new troops slowly, usually by developing "friendships" with different females around the edge of a troop. They often help to defend a female and her offspring.

Baboons are opportunistic omnivores and selective feeders that carefully choose their food. Grass makes up a large part of their diet, along with berries, seeds, pods, blossoms, leaves, roots, bark and sap from a variety of plants. Baboons also eat insects and small quantities of meat, such as fish, shellfish, hares, birds, vervet monkeys and young, small antelopes.

Caring for the Young
For the first month, an infant baboon stays in very close contact with its mother. The mother carries the infant next to her stomach as she travels, holding it with one hand. By the time the young baboon is 5 to 6 weeks old it can ride on her back, hanging on by all four limbs; in a few months it rides jockey style, sitting upright. Between 4 and 6 months the young baboon begins to spend most of its time with other juveniles.

The baboon's major predators are humans. Knowing that humans can easily kill or injure them when they are in trees, baboons usually escape through undergrowth. Males may confront other predators like leopards or cheetahs by forming a line and strutting in a threatening manner while baring their large canines and screaming. Baboons are fierce fighters, but a demonstration such as this can put the predator on the run.

Did you know?
Nearly one-half the size of adult males, females lack the male's ruff (long hairs around the neck), but otherwise they are similar in appearance.
Baboons use over 30 vocalizations ranging from grunts to barks to screams. Nonvocal gestures include yawns, lip smacking and shoulder shrugging.

Ass / donkey (A pace or herd)

Five thousand years ago, in North Africa, humans formed an alliance with the wild ancestors of the donkey, twice.

This was no insignificant feat; domestication of the donkey's ancestors helped these ancient cattle herders become more mobile and adapt as the Sahara Desert expanded. Donkeys also expanded over-land trade and contributed to the growth in the early Egypt state.

New research answers, and raises, questions about who these wild animals were and how humans brought them into the fold.

Donkey family tree:

Modern donkeys can be divided into two, genetically distinct groups, leading scientists to believe that they have two ancestors, which were believed to be the Somali wild ass and the Nubian wild ass, both subspecies of the African wild ass.

In new research, scientists analyzed mitochondrial DNA, or that contained in the energy-producing centers of cells, taken from archeological sites, museum collections and live animals.

Their results showed that the Somali wild ass, or a close relative of this subspecies, was not one of the two ancestors. It is possible this unknown ancestor came from an extinct population of wild ass or from another region, the researchers suggest.

Ape (A shrewdness)

Apes are not monkeys. Apes are larger, have fewer young (and spend a longer time raising them), spend more time upright, and depend more on their eyes than on their noses.
And unlike monkeys, apes do not have tails.
The most important difference is that apes are more intelligent than monkeys. Their brains are larger and more developed, and apes can learn and pass along information.
Apes' hands are prehensile (capable of grasping things), and so are their feet.
Apes have flat fingernails and complicated fingerprints.
Their bodies are designed to be most comfortable walking on all fours.
Apes have arms longer than their legs, and walk on the knuckles of their hands.
All apes are forest dwellers and most spend at least some of the time in trees.
Except for adult gorillas, they can run along branches on all fours; they are also able to move about by brachiation, or arm-over-arm swinging.
Gibbons (including siamangs) are particularly adept at this type of locomotion; the heavier orangutan prefers to grasp a neighboring tree and pull itself across to it.
Gorillas and chimpanzees are the most terrestrial of the apes, normally traveling on all fours by leaning on the knuckles of their forelimbs with the fingers of their hands curled under (knuckle-walking); orangutans ball their fingers into fists during the short periods they walk.
Most apes are able to walk on two feet for short distances.
There are several species of apes known as Great apes.
Species of apes construct nests to live in.

Antelope (A herd)

Antelope is a mammal species that is found to be a part of the Bovidae family. However, not all members of Bovidae family are to be considered antelopes. The term ‘antelopes’ refers to a miscellaneous group within the Bovidae family, which consists of species that cannot be categorized as cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, or goats. Antelopes belong to the even-toed species of ruminant mammals, which are herbivores. There are over 90 species of Antelope in the world and they vary from each other in their appearance, habitat strategy and range. A group of Antelopes can be referred to as a 'herd'. Read on to explore some more interesting facts & amazing information on antelopes.

Facts About Antelope

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: About 30 genera
Species: About 90
Length: 150 cm (59 in)
Weight: 589kg (1,300lbs)
Top Speed: 70km/h (43mph)
Age: 10 years
Diet: Herbivorous (grass, shoots, seeds)
Habitat: Woodlands, forests, savannahs, grassland plains, and marshes.
Number of Offspring: One

Interesting & Amazing Information On Antelopes
There are over 90 species classified under the group ‘antelope’. However, all of them widely vary in appearance, strategy, habitat, and range. In other words, you will find very few of them displaying similar characteristics.
The term ‘antelope’ has been is derived from the Old French antelop, itself derived from Medieval Latin ant(h)alopus, which in turn comes from the Byzantine Greek word anthólops (anthos meaning ‘flower’ and ops meaning ‘eye’).
The ‘antelope’ group has not been taxonomically defined. Rather, it includes all those members of the family Bovidae that do not fall under the category of sheep, cattle, or goat.
Majority of the antelopes are found in Africa, with a few inhabiting parts of Asia and America as well.
You can find the Arabian Oryx and Dorcas Gazelle in Arabian Peninsula, while India is home to Nilgai, Chinkara and Blackbuck. Russia and Southeast Asia are inhabited by the Four-horned Antelope, Tibetan Antelope and Saiga Antelope.
Talking about the physical characteristics of antelopes, all of them have even-toed hooves, horizontal pupils, ruminating guts, and (in at least the males) bony horns.
Though antelopes look a lot like deer, they constitute an entirely different species. And unlike deer, they do not renew their horns annually. Rather, they have strong, permanent horns.
Antelopes use their horns mainly for the purpose of defending their antelope herd or fighting other antelopes.
Since antelopes are hunted by many large animals, they hardly live beyond 8 to 10 years, in the wild.
You will always find antelopes living in herds, which usually consist of 2-4 females and just one male.
About 25 species of antelopes have been rated as endangered by the IUCN, which include the dama gazelle and the mountain nyala.
A few species of antelope can be seen living in the mountains and rocky outcrops, while a few have adapted themselves to deserts (both hot and cold). Then, there are some species that are even semi-aquatic in nature and live in swamps.

Ant (A colony)

Ants are common insects, but they have some unique capabilities. More than 10,000 known ant species occur around the world. They are especially prevalent in tropical forests, where they may be up to half of all the insects living in some locations.

Ants look much like termites, and the two are often confused—especially by nervous homeowners. However, ants have a narrow "waist" between the abdomen and thorax, which termites do not. Ants also have large heads, elbowed antennae, and powerful jaws. These insects belong to the order Hymenoptera, which includes wasps and bees.

Enthusiastically social insects, ants typically live in structured nest communities that may be located underground, in ground-level mounds, or in trees. Carpenter ants nest in wood and can be destructive to buildings. Some species, such as army ants, defy the norm and do not have permanent homes, instead seeking out food for their enormous colonies during periods of migration.

Ant communities are headed by a queen or queens, whose function in life is to lay thousands of eggs that will ensure the survival of the colony. Workers (the ants typically seen by humans) are wingless females that never reproduce, but instead forage for food, care for the queen's offspring, work on the nest, protect the community, and perform many other duties.

Male ants often have only one role—mating with the queen. After they have performed this function, they may die.

Ants communicate and cooperate by using chemicals that can alert others to danger or lead them to a promising food source. They typically eat nectar, seeds, fungus, or insects. However, some species have diets that are more unusual. Army ants may prey on reptiles, birds, or even small mammals.

One Amazon species (Allomerus decemarticulatus) cooperatively builds extensive traps from plant fiber. These traps have many holes and, when an insect steps on one, hundreds of ants inside use the openings to seize it with their jaws.

Another species, the yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), is capable of forming so-called supercolonies that house multiple queens. On Australia’s Christmas Island, the accidental introduction of yellow crazy ants in the early 20th century has led to a destructive infestation. The ants are a significant threat to the island’s endemic population of red crabs, which are displaced by the ants from their burrows or killed as they pass through ant nest sites during the crabs' large-scale annual migration from the forest to the coas

Animal Name/(Collective Noun)

Ant (A colony)Antelope (A herd)Ape (A shrewdness)Ass / donkey (A pace or herd)Baboons (A troop)Bacteria (A culture)Badger (A cete)Bass (A shoal)Bats (A colony)Bear (A sleuth or sloth)Beaver (A colony)Bee (A swarm, grist or hive)Bird (A flock, flight, congregation or volery)Boar (A sounder)Buck (A brace or clash)Buffalo (A herd or obstinacy)Camel (A flock)Cat (A clowder or clutter)Caterpillar (An army)Cattle (A herd or drove)Chicken (A brood or peep)Chicks (A clutch or chattering)Clam (A bed)Cockroaches (An intrusion)Cobra (A quiver)Colt (A rag)Cow (A kine)Coyote (A band)Crane (A sedge or siege)Crocodile (A float)Crow (A murder)Cub (A litter)Cur (A cowardice)Curlew (A herd)Deer (A herd)Dog (A pack)Donkey (A herd or pace)Dove (A dule)Dragon (A weyr)Duck (A brace, paddling or team)Elephant (A herd)Elk (A gang)Emus (A mob)Falcons (A cast)Ferret (A business or fesnyng or cast)Finches (A charm)Fish (A school, shoal, run, haul, or catch)Fly (A swarm or business)Fox (A skulk or leash)Frog (An army or colony)Geese (A flock, gaggle or skein (in flight))Giraffe (A tower)Gnat (A cloud or horde)Gnu (An implausibilty or herd)Goat (A herd, tribe or trip)Goldfinch (A charm)Goldfish (A troubling)Gorilla (A band)Greyhound (A leash)Grouse (A covey or pack)Hare (A down or husk)Hawk (A cast or kettle)Hen (A brood)Heron (A hedge or sedge)Hippopotamus (A bloat)Hog (A drift, or parcel)Horse (A team, pair or harras)Hound (A pack, mute or cry)Jellyfish (A smack)Kangaroo (A troop or mob)Kitten (A kindle or litter)Lark (An ascension or exaultation)Leopard (A leap)Lion (A pride)Locust (A plague)Magpie (A tiding, gulp, charm or murder)Mallard (A sord)Mare (A stud)Marten (A richness)Mouse (A mischief)Mole (A labour)Monkey (A troop)Mule (A barren or span)Otter (A romp)Owls (A parliament)Oxen (A yoke, drove, team or herd)Oyster (A bed)Parrot (A company)Partridge (A covey)Peacock (A muster or ostentation or pride)Peep (A litter)Penguin (A parcel or huddles or colonies)Pheasant (A nest, nide (nye) or bouquet)Pig (A litter)Pigeon (A flock or flight)Pony (A string)Porpoise (A pod)Quail (A covey or bevy)Rabbit (A nest)Rat (A pack or swarm)Rattlesnake (A rhumba)Raven (An unkindness or storytelling)Rhino (A crash or herd)Roebuck (A bevy)Rook (A building or clamour)Sardines (A family)Seal (A herd or pod)Sheep (A drove or flock)Snake (A nest)Sparrow (A host)Squirrel (A dray or scurry)Starling (A murmuration)Stork (A mustering)Swallow (A flight)Swan (A bevy, herd, lamentation or wedge)Swift (A flock)Swine (A sounder or drift)Tiger (A swift or ambush)Toad (A knot)Trout (A hover)Turkey (A rafter)Turtle (A bale)Turtledove (A pitying or dule)Viper (A nest)Walrus (A pod)Whale (A school, gam or pod)Wolf (A pack or route)Woodpecker (A descent)Zebra (A herd, zeal, dazzle, or crossing (joke))

about animals

There are presently over a million animal species upon planet earth.

The reptiles have 6,000 species crawling in their habitats; and more are discovered each year.

There are over 70,000 types of spiders spinning their webs in the world.

Well, there are 3,000 kinds of lice. Yes, it is the lice we are prone to get due to lack of hair hygiene.

This is a mind-boggling fact – for each of the 600 million people there is about 200 million insects crawling, flying...

Mammals are the only creatures that have flaps around their ears.

The world has approximately one billion cattle, of which about 200 million belong to India.

The life of a housefly is only 14 days.

A dog was the first animal to up in space.

A sheep, a duck and a rooster were the first animals to fly in a hot air balloon. The oldest breed of a dog known to mankind is the ‘Saluki’.

An ostrich is the fastest bird and can run up to 70 km/h.

Never get a camel angry, for he or she will spit at you.

There are crabs that are the size of a pea. There are known as ‘Pea Crabs’.

The lifespan of 75 percent of wild birds is 6 months.

Denmark has twice as many pigs as there are people.

You do not need cotton buds to clean a giraffe ears. It can do so with its own 50cm-tongue.

Want to known the appetite of a South American Giant Anteater? Well it eats over 30,000 ants, per day.

The sailfish can swim at the speed of 109 km/h, making it the fastest swimmer.

The Sea Horse is the slowest fish, drifting at approximately 0.016 km/h.

The small car on the road is probably the size of the heart of a blue whale.

The length of an elephant is the same as the tongue of a blue whale.

The crocodile's tongue is unmovable, as it is attached to the roof of its mouth.