Scuba Diving

Dive, Blue, Diving Deep

Cedar Park Wildlife Removal was on my bucket list, and because I was close to retirement in the summer of 2013, I believed it was time to cross it off. As I took my first scuba lessons, I quickly learned it is true what lots of scuba teachers say – water isn’t man’s natural surroundings. So, I was a little anxious about completing this certification.
After some basic research in local opportunities for scuba education, I had selected a dive shop in Salt Lake City, a brief 20-minute drive from my home. The main reason I selected them is due to the calming influence the owner, Lori, had on my nervousness. She also suggested a teacher who was almost my age, further diminishing my fears.
I vigorously completed the academic work and finished the pool training in good order. The open water certification was accomplished in a salt water”inland ocean” west of Salt Lake City. I had learned the fundamentals and was now a certified, yet still uncomfortable, scuba diver.
I knew I had to master these skills to be a safe and competent diver. Although addressed in my practice, I was hardly able to control my buoyancy and even though I spent most of my adult life as a professional pilot browsing around the western United States, my underwater navigation skills were almost nonexistent. Moreover, I had been certified in a depth of 23 feet, and I knew I needed to go deeper. And to top it off, I never jumped out of my sailboat with 50 lbs of equipment on me, so boat diving are a brand new adventure. Incidentally, since we live at around 4,200 ft MSL, altitude diving was part of the training I received.
Knowledge is King
I embraced a 3-step approach to this challenge. First, I committed to joining the dive-a-longs the dive store offered every month to local lakes. Since I really do think that knowledge is power, I signed up for a class titled Diver Stress and Rescue, to further allay my submerged fears. I also signed up for the Night and Limited Visibility Training Course, along with the First Aid, CPR, AED, and O2 training. The Science of Diving course wasn’t far behind. And finally, I devoted time to improve my physical condition.
Whew! I know, that’s a lot of research and effort. But it was worth it for me. I learned not just the specific academic material, but I also learned something about the way to be a better diver in each program. This was further strengthened every time I went diving. I practiced, watched, and learned.
And then 1 day, I suddenly realized I had not been paying attention to the little things that could help me be a better diver.
Here are several examples.
We’d used weights in the practice environment in the pool and I never questioned their need. One of the first things I noticed afterward was that I really needed no weights to descend in the pool. In the buoyancy class, I learned I had been doing the buoyancy test incorrectly. Once I corrected my misunderstanding, I used less air in the BC, leading to more air for me.
The buoyancy compensator (BC), sometimes called a buoyancy control device (BCD), is the piece of gear that produces diversion diving possible and hot. But it’s the diver who controls the BC. I had to learn to use shorter bursts of air and to await neutral buoyancy to become apparent. As mother said, patience is a virtue.
I look back now and chuckle as I recall how fast my air seemed to evaporate on a dip. Next to buoyancy, this is, in my opinion, the most important ability for a diver to master.
I learned that my nervousness, which caused poor breathing habits submerged, might be offset and finally eliminated by my increased knowledge and increasing experience.
The moment I really paid attention to my breathing, I relaxed. The result was twofold – that I wasn’t only more relaxed, but I also had enough air to fully explore more of our underwater world.
The Value of a Computer
Every scuba diver should learn how to use dive tables. That way we understand the principles of gas compression and decompression better. We understand why off-gassing is so important and the best way to achieve this by obeying the tables. Having said this, diving with a computer is so much better than diving tables.
But here’s a caveat – learn to use your computer before you dive. Then do an easy dive next and utilize all the underwater features of your PC.
I recently purchased a new computer and practiced all of its attributes at my kitchen table. All but one, that is. Guess that feature I accidentally triggered on my next dive? It turns out I will accidentally turn off the light while in the water, which makes the computer nearly impossible to see. Partially in my defense, I was wearing thick gloves and could not feel when I pressed a button. Nonetheless, I must have heard about this feature beforehand, and I should have practiced at home with my gloves on.
Personal Fitness
The last 5 decades of my career were spent sitting at a chair facing a computer. In other words, I allow my physical condition deteriorate. I discovered this to be a distinct disadvantage when learning to be a skillful scuba diver. Now I could carry my equipment from the parking lot to the shore without being winded to the point of resting for 20 minutes before I could dive. This also improved my breathing so I used less air underwater.
Knowledge About the Dive Site
I found that when I did a bit of research about the upcoming dive site, I was more at ease throughout the dive. Research can be anything from an Internet search to remarks from divers who have been there. This lowered anxiety about the dip resulted in being more relaxed during the dip – again leading in using less air throughout the dive.
Dive Briefing
This goes right along with the previous topic. The more you know about the dive, the more relaxed you are in the water. The Divemaster or Captain can make every dip more interesting and fun. Be sure that you attend their briefing for each dip; they will have seasonal updates on the website, including what you can expect to see.
Like most new divers, I used rental gear for my early dives. Although the equipment was appropriate, it just was not quite right. I made it work, but I knew there was a better way. I eventually invested in a better BC and an updated regulator. These two purchases made diving less taxing and more enjoyable. Because I do a lot of diving in cold water, I decided to invest in a best – better, but all the way to best – 7 mm wetsuit that fit my body form just right. This, together with proper boots and hood, made diving in cold water more comfortable.
By the way, I bought the wetsuit after talking to the dive shop owner. Her years of experience led to me getting a quality wetsuit which works flawlessly for me. The tip here is, do not neglect to talk to more experienced divers for recommendations when you’ve got a question.
Useful Skills
I recently had a student ask me if I had ever lost my mask or regular; she wondered why we stressed these skills so much during training. It turns out that on one dive I wasn’t paying attention when my buddy, who was facing me, stopped and I drifted into his moving fins. My mask was lopsided and filled with water and my regulator was drifting in front of me. So, yes, the skills learned in training can be something you need some day, so practice them periodically. If you dip a few times in the summer annually, consider an update class before the next year’s diving starts.
My point is, we will need to pay close attention to the instructors and other divers we dive with so we could learn from their expertise. And we will need to make a point of learning something new on each dive. If there is nothing new, then we can practice something we learned years ago, but have not used recently.
Another useful, and potentially lifesaving, skill is the determination to create a safety stop on each dive. I know, computers may indicate no stop is necessary, but if you’re making multiple dives per day, or over several days, the benefit of a safety stop outweighs the minor delay in getting to the surface. Plus, it allows you to practice buoyancy skills.
Remember, follow the rules, do not dive beyond your training or expertise, and look for the small things that will help you be a better diver.

Black bear

Black Bear, Walking, Wildlife, Nature

The American black bear, Ursus Americanus, is the most common bear species native to North America. These bears live across the continent with a range that stretches from Rat Poop all the way south into Mexico. They can also be located in the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This range comprises 41 of the 50 United States, all of the Canadian provinces except Prince Edward Island, and some of Mexico.

The majority of bears found in the Southern United States stay in the protected mountains and woodlands of parks and nature preserves. Sometimes, bears will wander outside of a park’s boundaries. In some cases, bears have set up new territories on the margins of urban environments. This has happened more frequently as the bear’s population increases.

Prior to European colonization, there were probably as many as 2 million black bears in North America. Sadly, the population declined to a low of 200,000 bears as a result of habitat destruction and unrestricted hunting. Current estimates place the population around 800,000. The black bear is a close relative of the Asiatic black bear. It’s suspected that the bears may share a common European ancestor.

After the bear stands up, the bear can stand up to 7 ft tall. Male bears are generally one-third bigger than female bears. Adult black bears have been known to reach 660 pounds while exceptionally large men have been recorded up to 800 pounds, a span of nearly 8 feet. Cubs normally weigh between 7 ounces and per pound at birth.

Like all bears, black bears have an excellent sense of smell. While they typically have shaggy black hair (hence the name black bear), their fur can vary from white through chocolate-brown, cinnamon-brown, and blonde. Blonde black bears are found mostly west of the Mississippi River in America and in the Canadian provinces west of Ontario. Occasionally, a black bear will have a v-shaped white chest blaze.

While black bears can stand and walk on their hind legs, it’s more normal for them to walk on all four legs. If a bear is standing, it is typically to have a better look at something or to find out from where a odor is coming. The shuffling gait all of us associate with bears is a result of their flat-footed walk. In addition to the flat-footed walk, bears also use a pacing gate. Unlike a number of other quadrupeds, the legs on one side of the bear’s body move together rather than alternating.

Box jellyfish

Image result for box jellyfish

The box jellyfish has its name since they are bell shaped or cubed shaped with four sides being very prominent, thus the name box jellyfish. They may be as long as 20 cm on each side of the cube, and have up to 15 tentacles on each corner. These tentacles aren’t actually triggered by any type of touch, rather, this species of jellyfish stings because it senses a presence of a type of chemical on the exterior of the prey.

A box jellyfish is extremely mobile, with their bodies to propel themselves forward at speeds up to 4 knots. These types of jellyfish travel towards the beaches in the calmer weather, and settle around the mouths of Raccoon Control and rivers after the rain. It’s assumed that after a great rain, food is washed down to the jellyfish, and they instinctively realize this.

These jellyfish are also known as sea wasps and marine stingers. Their main habitat is in water off of Northern Australia and in the Indo-Pacific. A box jellyfish has venom that is so deadly, it considered to be one of the worst poisons in the world today. This venom is so powerful that the toxins set about attacking the heart and nervous system, in addition to skin cells. Their venom was designed so that it would instantly paralyze or kill its prey, and so that there was less of a struggle. In this manner, the box jellyfish will look after its delicate tentacles.

If a human is stung by a this jellyfish, it is entirely possible for them to go into shock or even heart failure, drowning before receiving help. The sting is so deadly; help must be received immediately if one expects to survive. The pain is said to be excruciating, and people who do survive experience a lot of pain for weeks to months after being stung. The sting is proportionate to the size of the individual; for instance, a young child needs less of a sting to cause dire consequences than an adult.


Firefly, Lightning Bug, Milkweed, Insect

Fireflies have amazed the human mind and imagination for centuries. When we encounter them, they seem to be small light bulbs that float in the air, blinking to inaudible music and captivating our eyes with mystique and wonder. They have taken their place in human myth from ancient Mayan culture to contemporary Japanese and synchronized blinking, which occurs in many different areas around the world, create a atmosphere of inquiry and amazement.

For those of us who are more objective in our reasoning, we might ask ourselves, what’s the mechanism behind the wall of wonder and how has it come to be? And contrary to what we might presume, these bugs are actually beetles, belonging to the order Coleoptera in scientific classification.

Fireflies are mostly nocturnal creatures with brown and soft bodies, even more leathery than conventional beetles. Their act of creating light in the abdomen area is referred to as bioluminescence, which describes, quite well, the process used to generate the hypnotically titillating visual spectacle.

The light is formed through a chemical reaction which occurs in the body. The active agent, Luciferase; a heat inducing enzyme, binds with its heat resistant substrate, Luciferin. This interaction between these two chemicals generates the energy required to give off light.

There are two chief reasons why fireflies glow at night: mating and impending danger. Since there are some 2,000 different kinds of fireflies around the planet, the light patterns emitted are specific to its particular type. After a match is found, mating can occur. After mating, the eggs are strategically placed in moist soil, where sowbug-like larvae will hatch in 3 weeks. These infant fireflies live for up to two years under ground, hunting and preying on earthworms, snails, slugs and fleas.

Fireflies are very efficient light producers. Their ability to generate light in a cost-effective way has sparked a number of research and development projects in the region of bioluminescence, regarding its potential human applications. To put things into perspective, the efficiency rate with which the fireflies use to produce light hovers around 90%, where as the average household light bulb comes with a rate of almost 10%.

Canadian Geese

Canadensis, Branta, Water, Swimming

One of the most well known species of bird in North American is that the Canadian Geese.

What does a Canadian goose look like?

Canadian geese are known for their black heads and necks with a white strap of feathers around the chin. They are rather large for birds and are roughly 30 to 40 inches long and have an amazing 50 to 71 inch wingspan. They live relatively longer than other birds, with an average life span of anywhere between 10 to 24 years. These birds are known for their migratory patterns as they travel to warmer areas during the coldwinter months.

Migrating Canadian geese are exactly what many folks remember about this bird during their childhood years. Watching the geese fly into their tight V-shaped formation as they made their way south or north, depending upon the season, was a sign that a new season was about to start. Some of this migration has changed, however, due to the significant changes in our existence, largely as a result of global warming. In some parts of the Northern United States, the Canadian goose does not migrate at all anymore, simply because the weather doesn’t get as intense as it did a few decades ago. Other things have influenced the migratory patterns of the geese as well.

Other things that are influenced the route that the geese take when they’re migrating include changes in habitat and access to food sources. By way of example, many of the predators that the geese had to deal with in the Pacific Northwest have caused lots of the Canadian geese don’t migrate at all. Lots of the geese and goslings do not travel as far south as they did in years past, just because they are more able to find food, such as waste wheat, during the autumn and winter season. This change in their migratory path and their migration pattern in general have caused some problems in that the geese overgraze grassy places and they eat plants, which is both a nuisance and a problem for humans.

Flocks of geese are famous for flying at a V-shaped formation when they’re migrating. This is a result of the fact they’re traveling a long distance and this creation helps break up the wind for all but the front bird, so that they can fly with less wind resistance. If you were able to watch the geese for a long time period, you will realize that they change the front flyer to maintain this bird from becoming overtired. Another reason behind the V-formation is that this allows them to find each other and communicate, so that they can decide where they would like to land, etc.. The Canadian geese are extremely faithful to their flock, just as they are to their mate.

The Canadian goose mates for life. If a person becomes injured, the wholesome one is going to stay with the wounded one until it recovers or dies. If it expires, a goose may take another spouse, but in a few instances, they just find a flock to fly and do not find another mate.

The Canadian goose is a very interesting and complex bird. By learning more about how they function, we can better appreciate their gift to society and the planet in general.

Mountain lions

Mammal, Cat, Animal, Wildlife, Nature

Each year mountain lions are spotted in many great outdoors locations throughout the country. Although it is not unusual to have a mountain lion sighting in the nation, it’s somewhat alarming when they are seen in highly trafficked areas, putting people and domestic animals at risk of being attacked.

Due to the forthcoming summer months when people tend to be out and about in the great outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing, etc., here is a refresher course on what to do if you come into contact with a mountain lion.

  • Do not go into the nation alone. It’s ideal to bring a friend or at least a dog with you. Having a walking stick can also serve as some protection in case of an attack. Making plenty of noise while out will prevent you from sneaking up on an unknowing lion, which may lead them to attack.

Mountain lions seem to be especially drawn to little children. It is very important that you keep them close to you and within your website at all times.

  • Don’t run away. Back away slowly, without losing eye contact with the mountain lion. Pick up your child without bending over.
  • Make yourself appear as large as possible by raising your arms slowly. Do not bend over or crouch down to avoid looking like a four-legged animal. Throw rocks or sticks if they’re within reach and speak in a loud, firm voice.
  • Never approach a lion. If you see one, follow the instructions above and give it a chance to escape.

Try to remain standing to prevent being bitten about the face or neck. Use any objects accessible to protect yourself, including a stick, hat, fishing pole, etc.. Lots of people have survived mountain lion attacks by fighting back.

If you site a mountain lion, or an animal carcass that could result from a lion kill, always contact your local Department of Fish and Game. Always be aware of your surroundings and that of your family, especially smaller children, when enjoying time in the wonderful outdoors.

Orca Facts

Mammals, Whales, Orcas, Animal, Water

Killer whale fact number one: Killer whales are the area of the dolphin family. They are largest relative from the sea mammal group. I do mean LARGE, on average killer whales or Orcas weigh an average 5400 pound and are up to 9.7 meters long.

Killer whale fact number two: These beautiful monsters of the sea are carnivores and take a lot of feeding. They are amongst the most successful predators in the marine world, which isn’t surprising as it requires a lot of monster to evade or defeat an enormous creature that’s about as heavy as two fully laden Lincoln Continentals as long an average single decker bus. They are the predators of the whale family and are successful hunters of sea mammals such as seals, sea lions, fish, squid, and seabirds and even other species of whales.

Killer whale fact number three: No lone killers, these intelligent creatures live in large family packs of up to about 40. Killer whale pods, as these groups are known could be likened to wolf packs within their searching techniques. A little known killer whale reality is that there are two very different kinds of pods which have different types of food preference and even hunt otherwise. ‘Resident’ pods hunt fish while the’passing’ pods search and kill marine mammals.

Killer whale fact number four: Orcas are long distance travelers and are common in colder coastal waters but killer whale pods are can be seen hunting around the world from the Poles to the Equator. They are easy to identify being beautifully marked in black and white and they move with extraordinary grace which belies their huge size. It’s another odd killer whale fact that these creatures have never been extensively hunted by humans unlike a few of their close relatives.

Killer whale fact number five: Killer whales have lives some living up to 80 decades. Killer whale cows only become pregnant every 3 to 10 years and have a very long 17-month pregnancy. Whale calves are cared for and reared in the protection of a family pod. Although it’s well known that members of the dolphin and whale family communicate through identifying sounds it is a little known killer whale fact that like human beings from various cultures, each Orca pod has its own individual language that its members could hear and distinguish even from great distances.

Killer whale fact number six: These ancient creatures are the subject of continuing research and have much to teach us. The killer whales ability to use echolocation to learn about the size and shape of underwater objects underwater and for communication has allowed its survival. Sometime just in the recent past has man found sonar to hunt submarines in war, to find underwater objects or to maximize our fishing catches. What other gifts will this giant of the seas need to share with us?


Giraffe, Wild, Wildlife, Nature, Safari

The giraffe is one of the most ungainly animals which you can imagine. Its scientific name is the giraffa camelopardilis it is the biggest ruminant and the tallest creature known. It has a very long neck which sports a short stubbly mane; it’s high shoulders that slope back to the hindquarters. Additionally, it has long legs that are about the same length. The male can be up to 11 feet tall, and the female is about 2 feet shorter in the shoulders.

There are eight subspecies of the giraffe that may be found in the savannas south of the Sahara Desert. To reticulated giraffe that’s located north of Kenya has the most distinguishing latticework of narrow lines dividing the dark patches and is the very distinctive pattern of any creature. The so called Masai giraffe of East Africa displays the most distinctive pattern of any of the giraffes.

The giraffes were formally found throughout Africa south of the Sahara Desert anywhere the trees grew. It was eliminated from the majority of West Africa and the southern Kalahari range but it is still common in East Africa even outside of game preserves.

This animal was made to exploit a six-foot band of foliage beyond the reach of any other terrestrial browser except the elephant. It has an 18 inch prehensile tongue and a modified atlas-axis joint in its neck that allows its head to assume that almost vertical position which further increases its height advantage. Giraffes can graze the crown of little trees. A big bull giraffe can graze as high is 19 feet, a yard higher than the cows. They feed mainly on deciduous trees during the rainy season; but during the dry season they feed mainly on citrus trees. They have a menu which includes over a hundred species but they feed on acacia and combretum trees are what they most often consume. Having a narrow muzzle and extremely flexible lips along with an 18 inch prehensile Tongue permit the giraffe to meet the most nutritious leaves in amounts up to 75 pounds. This quantity of food is necessary to sustain their great bulk. The giraffe only must consume every two or three days when the water is available or it extracts water from the food it eats. It spends the dry season near Evergreen vegetation, usually along watercourses, and disperses more during the rainy season.

Bull spent about 22 percent of their time walking compared to about 13 percent for the cows. The difference is the time the Bulls spend searching for cows in heat.

The giraffe is non-territorial and social, living in loose, open herds. The young accompany the female and could be mixed into the herd. A lone bull may be solitary. The fact that giraffes feed from variably spaced trees they’re capable of moving independently, and they have a size that’s such that they have few predators. Their height and excellent eyesight enable giraffes to maintain visual sight during a long distance. The herd may be dispersed over a half a mile and still keep its presence as a herd. Even when they’re resting herd members usually stay more than 20 feet apart.

During mating season to females are more social when the men and usually stay together. Mothers of small calves usually connect with other cows at least due to mutual attraction between the calves which result in crèches of up to nine calves. The average spacing between calves is usually less than 10 yards. The males usually stay with the maternal herd until they are about three years old and no longer resemble a female.

The home range of these animals may vary widely it is usually about 63 miles square but can be as little as two miles square or as much as 250 miles square. Once they are saddled though bulls have a bigger range than cows.

A giraffe only has two gaits walk or gallop. As it has long legs and a short body it moves with an ambling walk with a walk alternately on the left side or the perfect side as do the camels. At its top speed the giraffe can gallop at about 37 mph. The four legs and hind legs act like a running rabbit. If the animal would like to have a drink it must straddle or bend its fore legs. The exact same is true of its near relative the Okapi.

It’s breeding season is year-round with the rainy season being the main period for conception. Males begin competing for females at about seven years but they continue growing which gives a senior a excellent weight advantage. The males which also gains weight with age and through bone depositation generates the knobs on the Bulls ahead these knobs increase in size with age giving the older bull even more of an advantage. Combat is rare however as the Bulls know their place in a herd hierarchy that’s established an almost daily combat while they are maturing in an all-male herd of bachelors. From the time a female is ready to mate, the local alpha male is usually illuminated his rivals through this daily combat.

For the first week or so the calf lays out for most of the day and a half of the night carefully guarded by its own mother. There are hardly any predators looking to brave the mother giraffe’s long legs since when she is guarding her calf these long legs can be quite deadly. During this period she usually stays 15 to 20 yards away from her young one. As the calf grows older it enters a maternity crèche were it is guarded by a whole bunch of females allowing its mother to go farther.

In the initial months from 50 to 75 percent of the young fall prey to lions and spotted hyenas despite their moms determined defense. As adults giraffes are too big to be prey to most predators. A mother will stand over her calf to defend it against lions or hyenas, and they’re loath to brave her long legs. A predator trying to get in the calf runs the risk of being kicked to death by the mother giraffe.

The idea that giraffes are mute is a myth, they do make sounds. Though they are typically silent a calf will mew, cows seeking lost calves will bellow, and if they are courting Bulls will make a coughing sound. Giraffes also make other noises when alerted ranging from hissing, snorting, molding and at times the flute like sound.

Now you know a lot of what a giraffe is all about!


Kookaburra, Bird, Australia, Native

They have a different call which sounds like a loud echoing human bliss, these birds are good-natured if not hysterical. You generally won’t find this bird by water but they can be found in a humid forest surrounding where food is readily accessible.

Kookaburra are carnivorous, their diet consist of lizards, snakes, insects, and raw meat, The Kookaburra is a territorial bird and they can often be found living with partly grown chicks from the previous mating season. Wild Kookaburras will consume babybirds, snakes, insects, small reptiles and other creatures such as finches.

Even though these birds are found only in a comparatively small part of the world their distinctive sound can be found from the soundtrack”jungle sound”, they are also utilised in movies and television as well as being seen in certain Disney park attractions. You can also find these birds in popular video games such as Battle toads and World of War craft.

They can also be found on postage stamps, the first postage stamp with a Kookaburra was issued as a 6 cent stamp issued in 1914, and also a 38c Austrian stamp using a pair of Kookaburra on it was issued around 1990. Also back in 1990 Australia dedicated a coin into this bird.


Image result for platypus

Platypus is one of the most intriguing creatures on Earth. Its bizarre look and some unique features attract me . Lets see how it is different from other creatures.

It is a mammal and lay eggs!

Sole member

Platypus is the only member of its family as well as genus i.e. Ornithorhynchus. It will be more accurate to say that its the only’living’ member of its family and genus as related species have been found from fossil records.


Just like its other characteristics, its venom is also something interesting. In case of platypus, only men possess the capability of injecting the venom. It has a spur on the hind foot which delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans.

Bizarre Appearance

It’s a bizarre appearance. It is an egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal.

Two Ovaries

Even its genital parts are of strange nature. The female platypus has two ovaries but only one of them is practical, the left one.

Platypus uses its tail to store fats.

It hunts for about 12 hours a day. Seems like it spends most of its time searching.

Its fur which is plum-colored is watertight and its feel is amazingly quite like a mole’s fur.

The snout of the Platypus is in reality a sensory organ together with the mouth on the bottom.

Weight of these mammals varies considerably from 0.7 to 2.4 kg (1.5 to 5.3 pounds ).

Their eggs are leathery-shelled.

The Platypus is sometimes jokingly referred to as proof that God has a sense of humour.

Whooping Crane

Cranes, Sky, Whooping Crane, Nature

At about 4.9 feet, the whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America. This bird, which is considered to be endangered, is intriguing, both for its recovery from the brink of extinction and for its inherent beauty.

According to the National Geographic Society, there were just three whooping cranes alive in 1941. At that point in time, it was not illegal to shoot the birds, and people were ruining their natural habitats.

As part of conservation efforts, people have led whooping cranes in their migratory paths using ultralight aircraft in order to train the birds to go”home.” Other efforts to prevent the birds from extinction include captive breeding programs and habitat management.

Whopping Crane Information

They have long, pointed bills. They may have black wingtips. Juveniles are usually a cinnamon color. These birds prefer to live in family groups and pairs mate for life. But if one of the mates dies, the other will re-mate if at all possible.

Along with being tall, their wing length is about 7 feet. These birds have an average lifetime in the wild of 22 to 24 decades.

Whooping cranes are omnivorous, meaning that the birds will eat both plants and meat. Among the foods that these cranes like are insects, acorns, shellfish, water plants and frogs.

Today, whooping cranes breed predominately in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park and spend winters in the Arkansas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Protection plans include diversifying migratory paths and locations for breeding and wintering, as the birds’ habitats continue to be under pressure due to pollution and our expanding population.

Cranes not only sleep in water but construct their nests up in water for protection from predators. The average number of eggs laid is two, though just 1 baby usually survives to the fledgling stage.


Hippo, Mammal, Wildlife, Nature, Wild

Hippo facts tell us that the name, Hippopotamus, has Greek origins and means”water or river horse.”

The largest is the elephant.

There are two distinct kinds of hippos, the frequent hippo and the pygmy hippo, which is much smaller.

Hippos see, hear, and breathe while submerged in water because they have their eyes, ears, and nose on the top of their heads.

Hippos have a special membrane over their eyes that enables them to see underwater.

Hippo facts tell us that a hippo can’t float.

Hippos are said to sweat blood, because when it is hot, they excrete a reddish fluid which resembles blood. It’s not blood but a sort of mucous that protects the hippo from sunlight.

A hippo eats eighty-eight pounds of food daily.

Hippos eat grass and fruit.

Hippos can strain on land or in the water.

Pigmy hippos only reside in West Africa.

Baby hippos can only breathe underwater for about forty seconds.

Hippos live in herds of about thirty or forty animals, but are sometimes seen in groups of two hundred or more.

Every herd has a lot of bulls but only one is dominant.

A hippo can live to be as old as forty or forty-five decades.

Among the most interesting hippo facts is that the teeth of a hippopotamus never stop growing. Teeth can grow to be as much as three feet long.

Male hippos fight with one another for dominance.

Hippos are being poached regularly for their ivory tusks. They are also killed for meat.

Hippos are not endangered but they’re headed in this direction.

Hippos only live in East Africa, although they used to live across the continent.

Hippo facts show the pigmy hippo only weighs 450-600 pounds.

A hippo drinks around fifty-six gallons of water each day.

Hippos can run as fast as 30 mph.

Some hippos grow to be around fifteen feet long.

At the National Zoo in Washington, daily hippos eat thirty-five pounds of hay, 1-1/2 pounds of fruit, seven pounds of herbivore grain pellets, and three pounds of vegetables.


Sea Otter, Animal, Wildlife, Otter

One of the most popular spots in the zoo will be viewing the sea otter; facts about this fascinating mammal are just as interesting as watching them perform.

Sea otters are members of the weasel family. While the weasel is a monster most people associate as threats to their farm fowl, the sea otter is one that many folks ooh and aah over as they see the antics of the little mammal.

Their webbed hind feet help them to swim swiftly through the water as they seek their prey on the ocean floor; their clawed front feet help them grip the prey and maintain it firmly as they return to the water’s surface. When they are not hunting or feeding, otter facts prove that they like simply floating at the surface of the water. In actuality, this is the pose they assume to sleep; often draping sea kelp over their bodies as a way of holding them steady in the water as they sleep. It is not uncommon to find groups of these bobbing around in the water at a group nap.

Clams and mussels are also favorites, but they prove a bit more challenging to eat due to the hard, closed shells of those aquatics. Difficult, maybe; but not in any way impossible for the otter. Facts show that the mammal is so smart that, when on the ocean floor scooping up the shelled delicacies, they also snag a stone before returning to the surface. Flipping onto their backs, the sea otters set the stone on their bellies and begin to crush the clam or mussel upon the stone to open it and feast on its contents.

After ingestion, a cleaning ritual starts. Sea otter details about the thick, waterproof coat worn with the mammal demonstrate that cleanliness is vital in maintaining that quality in addition to the insulating factor. Unlike similar creatures that share the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean, otters don’t have an insulating layer of fat functions to keep others warm.

Those adorable little faces upturned as they float along the water, and their habits of using rocks to open clam shells are just some of the sea otter facts that people find endearing. Luckily, the sea otter, once hunted for its jacket, is now protected by law; ensuring they will be around for quite a long time for future generations to enjoy.


Hummingbird, Flying, Portrait, Wildlife

Hummingbirds may be nesting in your backyard or you could have neighbors that have routine visits by these tiny birds. They are enjoyable to watch and to find out about.

Hummingbirds are birds which come from the family of Trochillidae. They are considered to be one of the smallest species of birds on earth. They flap their wings so fast you can barely tell they’re moving. A unique feature is their ability to fly backward, and apparently they are the only birds that can do so.

Hummingbirds are known as nectarivores which mean they feed on the sweet liquid, also known as nectar, from blossoms. Their similarity between bees is their ability to gauge the amount of sugar contained in the nectar which they feed upon. Flowers with sweeter nectar, or with higher sugar amount, are more preferable to these birds. But nectar cannot provide the proper amount of nutrients so hummingbirds also feed on spiders and insects to obtain protein and other vitamins and minerals.

The hummingbird has a direct, long bill that is essential for gathering food. However, for some species, they have fewer invoices for extracting nectar from flowers which have brief corollas while others have curved bills for feeding off curved corollas. Unlike most birds, they drink using their uneven and ridged tongues. Hummingbirds seldom eat huge meals at a time; they can live on a lot of small meals during the day. Concerning flying, they don’t do it very often as it consumes too much energy.

They spend the day perching and resting on trees to conserve their energy overnight.

Surprisingly, although they have a fast metabolism, hummingbirds have a relatively long life span. At the very delicate period of hatching and fledgling, many of these birds die and do not survive. But those who stay alive continue to exist for up to ten years or longer. The normal lifespan though is three to five years one of those in North America. The longest lifespan that was ever recorded was twelve years, which was acquired by a female broad-tailed hummingbird.

Most hummingbirds are known to be natives into the Americas. A majority of these birds are found in South and Central America where it’s known to have tropical weather, even though other species are able to breed in areas with a moderate climate.

A number of events have been prepared for the celebration of hummingbirds. These include the Hummingbird Festival and the Hummingbird Migration Celebration. The festival itself includes a car show, rides for kids, food vendors, vendors of arts and crafts, live music and many more fun activities. The other events are comprised of field trips, hummingbird seminars, garden tours, lectures and other demonstrations that will most definitely capture the attention of bird lovers and non-enthusiasts as well.

The Phoenix

Phoenix, Bird, Fire, Sun, Bright Red

The Phoenix is a mythical bird dating back to ancient civilizations and is a part of legends and lore. According to mythology it’s a mystical creature that has an astoundingly long life span ranging to around a thousand years. It’s thought to be a bird with colourful feathers and tail in gold and scarlet. It doesn’t get sick or afflicted by disease at any given time during its life span. At the end of the life span it’s believed to make a pyre of twigs and ignites itself.

The word”rising like a Phoenix from the Ashes” is frequently used in sports when a group or an individual on the brink of losing a game or match almost comes back from the brink of certain defeat to win in the end. This victory against all odds has caused the Phoenix bird to be made the mascot or logo of many organizations and there are even several firms named after it.

Another account of phoenix story states that until the bird is swallowed by the flame it lays an egg from which hatches and a new phoenix which will live a million years and then the exact same procedure is repeated, thereby its lineage continues. Though there is not any method of ascertaining the fact of either version, both say the exact same theme, triumph over extreme adversity.

The Phoenix bird is a central figure in ancient Lebanese culture as the Lebanese are the descendants of Phoenicians and claim themselves to be the sons of Phoenix. The country is also having a historic resemblance to the Phoenix, having been destroyed and mended seven times throughout its history.

Polar bears

Polar Bears, Wildlife, Snow, Nature

It’s the biggest land predator alive today, with 25,000 to 40,000 roaming throughout the Arctic region. Female polar bears reach sexual maturity at roughly five years of age and their offspring are relatively much smaller than human infants, weighing only around a pound at birth.

They often give birth to two live young that spend the first winter months of their lives in a den dug out of a snowdrift. They appear in the spring and within a year can grow to man-size if provided with an abundance of food. The typical male bear will grow to weigh over 1400 pounds and stand ten feet tall.

A fact about polar bears that you may not know is that their fur is not white, but that every hair is a colourless hollow tube that reflects sunlight during daylight hours. This serves to maintain the bear warm and since the coat is oily it doesn’t mat when wet, making it effortless to shake off excess water and ice that may form after swimming.

Polar bears eat mainly seals which they hunt on the pack ice, either by waiting for them to surface in their breathing holes in the ice or by stalking them. On occasion they will hunt beneath the ice for their prey. They have slightly webbed front feet to aid them with forward movement in the water, while they steer with their powerful back legs.

Their only predator is man. Men are starting to mine in the arctic for petroleum and coal, encroaching in their natural habitat, which makes food more challenging to find.

Sea Sponge

Natural Sponge, Sponge, Sea Sponge

Unchanged for hundreds of centuries, and with no close relatives on the evolutionary tree, the sponge remains a very simple and primitive form of animal. Sponges have a remarkable ability to withstand tremendous loss of body material, suddenly growing many times faster than normal to regain the original size. It is even possible that certain types of sponges to be passed through a fine sieve, their bodies broken down to the components cells, and reform themselves again over a period of hours or days. The average lifespan for individual specimens has been estimated to be 50 years or more.

The simplest form of sponge is shaped somewhat like a vase, with feeding cells on the inner wall. Water is drawn through minute pores in the outer wall and expelled through the large principal aperture. The present is maintained by the feeding cells, each with a very small whip that’s waved continually back and forth. Due to the large volume of water contained inside the chamber in proportion to the interior wall surface of feeding cells, higher forms of sponges have accommodated by folding out the interior walls to improve the feeding area.

On low tide areas of the beach may be found many of the flat in crusting sponges. These appear in a huge array of colors and have no definite shape of their own, instead taking on the kind of the rock beneath.

Some types of sponge are capable of releasing a noxious substance to stop the encroachment of acquaintances, and many of these poisons are used in research laboratories for the preparation of human medications.


Duck, Drake, Water Bird, Duck Bird

If you were to ask a normal individual if they knew what a duck was, a great percentage could answer yes. Many are surprised to find out that there are many diverse species and colors at the duck family. Here we’ll be highlighting some of the most popular ducks, and what makes them distinct from each other.

Among the most beautiful and identifying ducks is the Northern Shoveler. This duck is prevalent in the northern area of the world. Extremely easy to identify due to a large spoon shaped bill. Usually the breeding male will be identifiable by a green head, brown stomach area, and a white breast area. Adding to it’s distinctiveness and beauty, when in flight this duck will exhibit pale blue wing feathers as well. Females of this species are a bit more typical. They boast a long broad bill and a light brown body somewhat like a mallard duck. These are normally approximately 19 inches in length and weigh a little over a pound.

The next is the Blue Winged Teal duck. Beautiful at first sight they are very reminiscent of their title. Having a striking teal blue and body wings which are shown upon flight. They are easily distinguishable among other ducks. They aren’t extremely common, and may be found any place in the hemisphere. They are a little on the big side, and create a definite first impression on the viewer.

Mallard ducks are a common species among the duck family. Mallard ducks are also referred to as wild ducks. They’re known as wild ducks since they’re usually found in wetland areas of the hemisphere. Places which are wetlands can refer to parks, little rivers and ponds. Mallard ducks are easily recognizable, and most likely among the most famous ducks in the world. Though found in wetland areas, they are migratory ducks also. This refers to using the widespread amount of them in the northern part of the hemisphere when it is warm. The moment that weather starts to turn cold, these ducks fly south for the winter. Extremely fast flyers, they’ve clocked speeds up to 65 mph. Within the mallard species of ducks, there are hybrid variations too.

Though many other species and hybrids of ducks, these are just a couple of the most popular. As you can see, ducks are very unique and intriguing creatures. Various colors, sizes, rates, and species make them extremely diverse. So as you see, ducks aren’t just the white, orange charged variety we usually associate them with. They continue to evolve and change, adding beauty and elegance to a lot of areas of this extraordinary world.


Chimpanzee, Baby, Mother, Love, Animals

Chimpanzees are members of what is known as the Hominidae family and are categorized together with humans, gorillas and orangutans. That’s according to the human development theory that says that human and the animal used to look the same and had comparable behaviours.

Chimpanzees notably the Bonobos are found on the Democratic Republic of Congo whereas others are natives of the West and Central Africa. The Bonobos are distinguished from the others through anatomical differences. The Bonobos are light in color and their social and sexual behavior differs from the others. The other type moves in troops led by an alpha male and contains its omnivorous diet. Bonobos tend to have frequent sex so as to solve their conflicts. However the others are sometimes highly competitive.

Chimpanzees are very intelligent and make their own tools that they use to hunt and for social displays. They can be easily tamed and they understand human language and symbols following some bits of training. Their bliss is sadistic and it’s adapted to that of the humans. The adults are usually aggressive and territorial and they’re sometimes known to kill others. They kill lower order primates like the red colobus and bush babies and use their meat as societal tool for interaction in their community. The animals have been kept as pets in some African communities though this is highly discouraged.

Whale sharks

Whale Shark, Kobia, Divers, Underwater

The whale shark is famous for being the largest fish that has ever lived. It’s much smaller than many whales, but whales are mammals. Adults can reach lengths of up to 60 feet and weigh up to 10 tons. Some have measured an unbelievable 75 feet long when captured.

Female whale sharks are larger than the males, which grow to approximately two-thirds the period of the females. This is true for many other large sharks, particularly those longer than 10 feet.

Yet they are not killers. In fact it is one of the most docile animals in the sea. Though it’s a shark, it’s a filter feeder; it has no teeth. The whale shark’s big mouth can encircle a school of fish or fish, which are filtered out of the water as it passes through a fine net of gill rakers in the back of their mouth.

Whale sharks usually swim alone. They’re so slow that lots of fish will follow behind them for food and protection. Few fish in the sea are eager to tackle it, however peaceful it might be. Underwater divers that are lucky enough to encounter this rare fish have managed to hitch rides on their giant dorsal fin.

Whale sharks often swim lazily at the surface where, in earlier times, they were harpooned and brought ashore. In the 1940s, chemists discovered how to produce vitamin A in the laboratory so, suddenly, there was no requirement for the killings. By then many populations of the fish had diminished, so the chemists may have saved them from oblivion. Some sharks continue to be fished for food, but the whale shark is tough and not good eating.


Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Viper

Rattle snakes are poisonous snakes belonging to the family Crotalinae. About 30 species of rattle snakes are known with many subspecies. They are viviparous and give birth directly to young ones. No egg laying has been recorded so far. Young ones when grown are independent and do not need the help of mom for carrying out their regular activities. So, the mother leaves the young soon after their arrival. They aren’t deaf. They have well developed inner ears similar to that of other reptiles. External ears are absent. Sound travels towards internal ears through the vibrations picked up by body organs.

They are natives of America. Vast majority of the species have been recorded from Southwest America and Mexico. Arizona has the largest population of these snakes in comparison to other states. Four species have been recorded from Mississippi river and only 2 from South America. They prey upon mice, rats, small birds and other smaller animals. They paralyze or kill the victim by their venom and the victim is swallowed by constriction. Venom of rattle snake can lead to death within 20 seconds. After injecting venom into the body of the prey rattle snake allows the prey to run and then follows it and when it dies it’s consumed. They are known to strike at distances up to two-thirds of the body length.

Many species are oviparous however they are either viviparous or ovoviviparous. No parental care was observed in them. They’re named rattle snakes because of the existence of a feature structure rattle. Rattle is composed of a series of nested, hollow beads that are actually epidermal scales present in the tip of the tail. Skin may be shed many times in a year depending upon the food supply and growth speed. The young ones lack functional rattles but once they shed their skin it becomes functional. Rattle generates a rattling sound. They’re known to absorb great deal of water from wet weather and no sound is generated.

Different species differ in their territory, identification and markers. It usually avoids encountering with humans. But if provoked it bites them. Hikers are constantly advised to wear boots and pants while exploring the areas where rattle snakes are expected to exist. They can also regulate the quantity of venom injected. Young ones are also dangerous. Venom is haemotoxic capable of destroying tissues, degenerating organs and causing coagulopathy. It has been observed that approximately 7,000-8,000 people are bitten by poisonous snakes in United States every year of that rattle snakes account for 72%. The tropical species contain neurotoxic venom which affects the nervous system. Anti-venom may be used to encounter the venom injected with these snakes.

They are a popular delicacy in southeastern and southwestern America. Killing of these snakes is strongly prohibited and if practiced the government punishes the culprit.

Giant panda

Panda, Giant Panda, Bear, White, Black

During the adolescence period of lives, toys of bears are rather common. Most children have been profoundly acquainted with bears, but we are unaware of plethora facts about bears. As an example, the huge panda bears in China, among the great variety existing in all corners. It has been believed that the species of panda in China is one of those extraordinary and exceptional on the planet.

However, it is intriguing to know that these rare species colossal panda bears are a threatened breed on our planet. In actuality, most of us have seen how the famous WWF incorporates the panda picture as a symbol of their group. These bears are known to be a common species found in regions like Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan. These provinces are situated in the Southwest district of China, close to the Tibetan plateau. As a result of constant threatening of the breed, now there are only approximately 2,500 wild mature pandas available.

Sanely everyone is aware that the constant growth either in industrialization or modernization would somehow affect the existence of the bears. The jobs taking up vast amount of lands and the building of infrastructures will create the panda’s habitats to be disappeared. As such, most animal enthusiasts and the China’s government have been developing ways to address this issue, allowing the pandas to co-exist in harmony with human.

There were already efforts to conserve the gigantic panda bears. Over 50 reserves are established for these bears to occupy. The land covers 2.5 million of acres and it is said that over 60% of the bears’ population could be safely protected. The government is also spreading awareness about maintaining the lives of those protected species as they are essential within the world’s biodiversity. In actuality, the Chinese government considers that the conservation of pandas can increase in the tourism market.