LIVING DINOSAURS - The Coelacanth




Of course, the Coelacanth is not a living dinosaur - more of a living fossil. Why? Because up until 1938, the only proof of the Coelanths existence was from the fossil record! In fact its very existence continues to serve as a reminder of just how little we know about the natural world.

The coelacanth - a large primitive deep-dwelling fish - has managed to provide an immediate link to our dim evolutionary past. This is because of their striking resemblance to the lobe-finned fish which are believed to have been the first to leave the water and take to land, ultimately begetting the amphibians, reptiles and mammals - including the human race - we see today.

The fish’s discovery was a worldwide sensation, and the coelacanth remains famous to this day. However, new research just published reveals, just how little we still know about this fish, despite it being the subject of intensive scrutiny and excitement for more than 70 years.

A team of scientists based in France and Germany has just summarised the results of a 21 year study into coelacanths living in the Comoros Islands, in the western Indian Ocean.

After its initial discovery in South African waters, no other coelacanths were sighted by western scientists for a further fourteen years, when a few fish were found swimming off the Comoros. The fish was not filmed alive until the BBC serendipitously took some footage of one for the programme 'Life on Earth' broadcast in 1979 and the first photos of the fish in its natural habitat were not taken until 1988!

The study was done on Colacanths species Latimeria chalumnae by Hans Fricke of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany and colleagues.It is a deep blue fish that has been sighted around Africa, off the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar. It is one of two species of coelacanth; the other, Latimeria menadoensis, is a brown fish found much more recently in Indonesia.

The scientists used remote operated vehicles to descend into the sea and survey an 8km-long stretch of coastline around Grand Comore inhabited by coelacanths. The ROVs followed the fish into the caves in which they live, filming and photographing individuals, which are recognisable by the pattern of white spots on their blue bodies.

What did they discover?

Coelacanths, it seems, are peaceful animals that do not act antagonistically to one another, even when groups of up to 16 fish share the same cave.


Females are markedly larger than males but there doesn’t appear to be any sexual content to their gatherings.
During the day, the fish live at a depth of 170-240m along a steep volcanic landscape of caves, and at night they drift down to depths of 500m to feed, coming back to their caves in the morning to rest.


The survey reinforces the impression that perhaps just 300-400 coelacanths live at Grand Comore and that the fish do not tolerate waters above 22 degrees Centigrade particularly well, as many fish disappeared from the study area in 1994 when the water warmed, returning later.

Other research in this time has shown that coelacanth embryos develop for three years, the longest recorded for any vertebrate.

Coelacanths also appear to have the lowest metabolic rates among vertebrates.


But the study by Fricke’s team also gives away how much more we still don’t know.

For example, during the entire survey period, the team did not record a single subadult, juvenile, or baby coelacanth. They didn’t spot one in the Comoros, and have never spotted one in separate expeditions to study the fish off Indonesia, South Africa or Tanzania.

Only a single baby coelacanth has ever been sighted, filmed by different researchers in 2009 at a depth of 160m.

So we do not know where coelacanths give birth, where the young go, or why they don’t live with the adults. Such information is vital to preserve species of such rarity.

We still have little idea about how long these ancient-looking fish live for. However the survey by Fricke’s team confirms that coelacanths can live for at least 21 years; they resighted the same fish at the start and end of the survey, while 17 fish were sighted 19 years apart. That confirms that it is unexceptional for a coelacanth to live for two decades at least – the first real evidence of a coelacanth’s minimum age.

The scientists’ survey also allowed them to calculate the mortality rate of the fish, based on how often the same fish were resighted over the following years.



Their best estimate is that coelacanths have a mortality rate of 0.044. That means that out of a cohort of 100 individuals, we would expect one to still be living 103 years later. Their data can be used to make another mathematical projection which suggests coelacanths can live for between 95 to 117 years old.

Other deep water fish have been found to live for around 100 years, so it’s plausible that coelacanths do indeed reach this epic age. But we still don't know for sure, nor what their average age might be.

One bit of positive news is that accidental catches of coelacanths around the Comoros are declining steeply.

Fishermen in the area used to fish using a long line and hook from motorless canoes called galawas, and would occasionally snare a coelacanth while fishing at night for oilfish.

Nowadays, the fishermen use motorized boats called vedettes to travel further out to sea – mostly avoiding the coelacanth’s habitat. Between 1954 and 1995 two to four coelacanths were taken each year. But after 2000, that has fallen to just 0.3 coelacanths on average.

These fishermen are the only known cause of mortality for coelacanths; Fricke’s team’s survey occasionally encountered large sand tiger sharks in the area but never witnessed any predation on coelacanths by larger fishes.



As ever, though, with extremely rare species, threats to their very existence never seem far away. In Tanzania, another home to coelacanths, fishermen once took edible small fish from shallow waters. But once these were wiped out, they took to using deep-water gill nets. Since 2003, when these nets were first used, more than 80 coelacanths have been caught, and the number is increasing each year.

That is of huge concern for this population of Latimeria and it also reinforces how similar might happen around the Comoros, one of the fish’s remaining known strongholds.

One answer, if it can be arranged with the people of the Comoros, is to set aside a protected area along the south-west coast of Grand Comore, a policy supported by Fricke’s team and other researchers.

We still know so little about this ancient fish. And perhaps we owe it: having thought it extinct for so long, it might be considered tragic to let it go extinct now.

This is a fish that has survived almost unaltered for millions of years. Yet we risk it becoming extinct in just a handful of years due to subtle shifts in the way we choose to fish, and treat our marine life.

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Based on an article by http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/wondermonkey/2011/06/slow-reveal-of-the-coelacanths.shtml

Photo care of http://animalinformations.blogspot.com/2011/06/coelacanth-fish.html and http://www.dinofish.com/Coelacanth%20briefing.html

WHAT IS THE WORLDS LARGEST EAGLE?




There are a number of eagles vying for this accolade - the Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle, the Berkut Golden Eagle, and the American Bald Eagle to name but a few. However, finding out exactly which of the world's eagles is the largest will all depend on how you decide to measure them ie. longest wingspan, heaviest body weight etc.

The general consensus is, that on average, the Steller's Sea Eagle is the heaviest eagle in the world therefore this makes it the world's largest eagle!

The Steller's Sea Eagle, Haliaeetus pelagicus, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It lives in coastal northeastern Asia and mainly preys on fish. It is, on average, the heaviest eagle in the world, at about 4.9 to 9 kilograms (11 to 20 lb), but often lags behind the Harpy Eagle and Philippine Eagle in other measurements.This magnificent bird is named after the German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller.

Steller's Sea-eagle is the biggest bird in the genus Haliaeetus and is one of the largest raptors overall. The typical size range is 85 to 105 centimetres (33 to 41 in) long and the wingspan is 195 to 230 centimetres (77 to 91 in).

 Females typically weigh from 6.8 to 9 kilograms (15 to 20 lb) while males are considerably lighter with a weight range from 4.9 to 6 kilograms (11 to 13 lb). An unverified record exists of a huge female, who apparently gorged on salmon, having weighed 12.7 kilograms.

There are in fact two subspecies have of Steller's Sea-eagle. The relatively widespread Haliaeetus pelagicus and the virtually unknown H. p. niger. The latter name was given to the population which lacked white feathers except for the tail and supposedly was resident all year in Korea. Last seen in 1968 and long believed to be extinct, a female matching H. p. niger in appearance was born in captivity in 2001. Both its parent were "normal" in appearance, indicating that H. p. niger is an extremely rare morph rather than a valid subspecies, as had already been suggested earlier.

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Photo care of http://www.birdquest.co.uk/HolidaysbyRegion.cfm?holiday=801
Based on an article by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steller's_Sea_Eagle

BLOGGER TUTORIAL - How to add another Page Element (Add a Gadget)



If you are intending to use blogger to run an adsense business, you will need to optimise your layout in order to maximise your adsense income. Now Google provide plenty of excellent help and information regarding this, and perhaps the most important piece of advice you can follow is to position you adsense adverts as per their adsense heat map.

This heat map is a simple approximation of your blog layout, but most importantly it shows which areas of your layout will return the most revenue. Of course, you should aim to place your adsense adverts in the red or dark orange areas, that what you are maximising the potential of your blog layout. However there are two problems.

1. Blogger will only allow you to place 3 x adsense adverts in your page elements.

2. If you are using an 'old' blogger layout - like I do  - then you are extremely limited on where your 'Add a Gadget' page elements are.

The question is, what can you do about it? Well, want you want to do is manipulate the blogger layout HTML code so that you can add another 'Add a Gadget' page element. That way it is possible to add an adsense advert slap bang on the red number 9 in the heat map.

So, how do you get an 'Add a Gadget' page element sat above your primary content?

To do this, go to LAYOUT, and click EDIT HTML. This will take you to the template editor. Now before you start, make sure you save a copy of your layout in case a mistake is made and the whole layout corrupts! It shouldn't as this is one of the easiest manipulations of the HTML code you could ever do!

Look for showaddelement. Change showaddelement='no' to showaddelement='yes'. If there is a maxwidgets='1' in front of the showaddelement. Change it to maxwidgets='2' or more or even leave it as maxwidgets='' (unlimited number). If you have problem looking for the above, press ctrl+F and search.

Once you have adjusted the template go back to the Design option and press page elements. You should now have a number of extra 'Add a Gadget' page elements at your disposal.

The above adsense ad unit was added using a HTML/Javascript gadget - yes it doesn't quite fit but I wanted the biggest one I could get. Whatever else you want to add - gadget wise - can be dragged to any sections of your blog using your mouse.

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BUY GIANT CABBAGE SEED



WANT TO BUY GIANT VEGETABLE SEEDS? THEN CLICK HERE FOR THE 'SEEDS OF EADEN' SEED SHOP

If you are looking to buy Giant Cabbage seed, you are in luck. The 'Garden of Eaden' seed shop now has Giant Cabbage seed in stock as part of its standard range. Just click on the links to be directed to the new and improved seed shop.


So, how do you grow giant cabbages from seed?


There is something almost magical about growing giant vegetables, and for those few who chose to do so, their techniques are often shrouded in secrecy. However, while there are undoubtedly a number of hard earned family secrets that you will never get to know about, the one thing that you can't do with out is the seed. And not just any seed. The seed for growing giant vegetables would have been specially selected - often from a long line of show winners - from a lineage that can date back as far as the 19th century. The simple fact is that with out the right seed your attempt at growing giant vegetables is likely to fail. However, should you be able to get your hands on the real worlds equivalent of 'Magic Beans' then you are welcome to try my cultivation tips for the perfect giant cabbage.


When growing giant cabbages you will need to sow your seed quite early on in the year – around about the beginning of February – in order to achieve some proper giant-sized cabbages come the autumn. You will also need to start them off under protection in order to achieve a quick germination; otherwise their growing season won’t be long enough for them to reach their optimum size. Fill the tray to overflowing with John Innes ‘Seed and Cutting’ compost then lift the tray up and tap it down on the bench twice to consolidate the compost. Use a level, flat piece of wood to level off the compost by sliding it along the edges of the seed tray and finally use a flat board to lightly flatten and level the compost Do not compact the compost as this will drive all of the air out of it which in turn can reduce root growth


One seed tray will take about 25 seeds but space the seed out individually so that each germinated seedling will have the optimum amount of space to develop. Lightly cover the seed over with the same compost, but this time pass the compost through a fine garden sieve. Sit your prepared tray into a second – slightly larger - tray holding no more than an inch or so of water. Allow the water to be naturally absorbed into the compost until all of it is moist – you may need to add more water to the bottom tray in order to achieve this. You will know when the compost it saturated with water as the surface of the compost will change from a light brown to a dark brown colour.


After covering the seed with the fine compost give the surface a spray of water through a hand sprayer. This will ensure that the seed are not disturbed and keeps them at the same depth that you sowed them. At this point you can cover the seed tray with glass until the first seedlings emerge or give the surface a light spray of water on a daily basis or if it looks like the surface compost is likely to dry out.


Place the seed tray in a propagator to germinate or leave on the bench if your greenhouse is heated to a minimum of 50°F.

After the seedlings have germinated and showing two strong seedling leaves, transplant the seedlings into individual small pots or modules.

With giant cabbages, they must be looked after in order to achieve their optimum size and quality. Right up until they are planted outside, they will need to be re-potted on to a larger sized pot on a regular basis – at least until the weather has settled sufficiently to plant them out with out the risk of damage from late frosts.


You also need to make sure that you spend adequate time in hardening off giant cabbage plants. Put them outside too early and you will not only risk physical damage to them but you can also cause a check to their growth. Start off by placing them in a ventilated cold frame during the day but remember to bring them back in over night. After a week or so - and when overnight temperature stabilize – you can eventually start to leave them out overnight in the cold frame. After another week they should be able to leave the cold frame altogether and be placed out into a sheltered area.


When it comes to planting you giant cabbages out into their final position, it is all about preparation Plant them in a well manured plot that ideally is free from club root disease. If you do have clubroot you can still achieve some really commendable heads by saturating the planting hole with a dilution of Armillatox made to the makers recommended strength. Before planting, liberally dust the hole with lime.


To get really the large heads on your giant cabbages you must give them ample room for development, it’s no use at all planting them out a foot apart and eighteen inches between the rows, as they will not be able to achieve a large enough size. Ideally and for the really big sized heads, they need to be at least a metre apart and likewise between the rows. When they are planted out initially this sort of spacing will look a bit ridiculous and your young plants will appear lost on the soil when your giant cabbages really start growing in earnest, you’ll be struggling to work your way in between them.


GROWING TIPS. One of the key things to growing giant cabbages is plenty of Nitrogen, they need it in order to produce the huge amounts of large sized leaves. Regularly use a high nitrogen liquid feed, particularly during the initial stages to start the plants on the road to giant-dom. Regular watering is just as important, particularly if you are growing over a hot summer. Forget to feed and water and your crop of giant cabbage will end up as just another crop of greens.

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Main Photo - Clappers.grit.com

HOW TO TRAIN A DOG TO FIND TRUFFLES


Truffles are difficult to find and as such are very expensive as a result! To give you an example, white truffles cost from about £700 to over £1,500 a pound, and black truffles cost from £200 to over £400 a pound.

Truffle hunters in Italy and France use pigs and mixed-breed dogs to sniff out truffles. Dogs are preferred to pigs because pigs love to eat truffles. Notice the staff held by the truffle hunter in the picture with the pig. The hunter uses the staff to force the pig to back off, once the pig has located a truffle.

So, how do you train a dog to find truffles?

In Italy, truffle dogs are trained in several steps. First, the dog is taught to retrieve a rubber ball. Next, a small bit of smelly Gorgonzola cheese is substituted for the rubber ball. After the dog has learned to retrieve the cheese, the cheese is hidden, forcing the dog to sniff it out for a reward of food. Finally, a small truffle is substituted for the cheese. The dog is now trained to fetch, then dig up the truffle.

Dogs like other food better than truffles, so bread and other treats are used for rewards. The night before a truffle hunt the dog is not fed in order to make it more eager to find truffles for the treat. Just be aware that dogs generally do not find young truffles because the odour is too weak, but the odour does becomes stronger with age as the spores mature.

The value of commercial truffles means that there are laws controlling their collection. In Italy, for example, truffle collectors are tested and licensed. There, organizations of land owners called cooperatives control truffle hunting on their property. Unless you are a member of the cooperative, you can be arrested for collecting truffles from cooperative truffle beds.

In North America, truffle collectors use three major clues to find truffles. First, it must be warm and the soil moist. Truffles are often found 10 to 14 days after a heavy rain. The umbrella shaped mushrooms which pop up after a good rain can be used as a kind of clock. Look for truffles after these mushrooms have started to collapse.

Second, the right trees must be present. Truffles are formed by fungi that are partners (ectomycorrhizal) with certain trees. You will not find truffles under maples, for instance, because maples do not form ectomycorrhizae. Trees to use as clues include: pines, firs, Douglas-fir, oaks, hazel nuts, hickories, birches, beeches, and eucalyptus.

Third, truffles use animals for spore dispersal. In North America, squirrels and chipmunks are the major wild animals dispersing truffle spores. Search among the right trees for pits dug by rodents in their own hunt for truffles. Pits do not guarantee success, however! Rodents also dig pits searching for acorns, onion bulbs, and beetle grubs.

The best success results from raking around fresh pits. Look for pits not filled with leaves or other debris. I use a four-tine garden cultivator with the handle shortened to 30 inches to rake leaves off the surface and dig into the soil 3 or 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) . A good eye is required as many truffles are small and coloured red, brown, white, or even black.

Bring a supply of small paper bags for taking your truffles home. Write your collection notes on the bag before putting the truffles inside it. Information on fresh appearance and habitat is often needed to identify fungi. Note the colour and shape of the truffle, and what kind of trees are close by. The date and precise location are also useful information. These data can help you understand when and where to look next year.

Do not put truffles in sealed plastic bags. If you do they will mould, get slimy, and smell bad!

NEVER EAT ANY TRUFFLE, OR OTHER FUNGUS, UNLESS IT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED BY AN EXPERT!

You might confuse the button stage of a poisonous mushroom with a truffle, or even be naturally allergic to it.

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Based on an article by http://herbarium.usu.edu/fungi/funfacts/truffind.htm
Photos care of http://latrufflepig.blogspot.com/ and http://realestatepv.com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi?q=finding-truffles&page=4 and http://www.expressionsholidays.co.uk/Featured-Holidays/Truffle-hunting-in-Piemonte/ and http://www.boisdale.co.uk/members/events2/event_detail.aspx?id=50

WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST SPIDER?



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Let's face it, spiders are not the most popular of creatures, in fact - for most people - spiders are creepy and they are scary. Like disembodied hands they skulk along the floor just waiting to jump up and bite you. Why, because they are evil! Be that as it may, some people love them and the bigger the spider, the better it is.

So just for them , what is the world's biggest spider?

Well, if you are going by body weight, it is the Goliath Birdeating spider, otherwise known as Theraphosa leblondi. Despite its name, the Goliath Birdeater predominately eats invertebrates - such as crickets and mealworms, and small vertebrates - such as mice and lizards. Unsurprisingly, the Goliath Birdeating spider has been known to catch young birds, although this is very rare behaviour. Even so, this spider received its name after a Victorian explorer who witnessed one eating a hummingbird.


Native to the rain forest regions of northern South America, these giant spiders have up to a 12 inches long leg span when fully extended and can weigh over 120 grams. Wild Goliath birdeaters are a deep burrowing species, found commonly in marshy or swampy areas.
Not only are they horribly large (if you haven't already guessed, I don't like spiders) they can live and extraordinarily long time too. Female Birdeaters have an average life span of 6 to 14 years, however, males die soon after maturity, and have a lifespan of only 3 to 6 years - good!

The colours of Goliath Birdeating spiders can range from dark to light brown, with faint markings on the legs. They have hair on the body, abdomen, and legs. The female can lay anywhere from 100 to 400 eggs, which will hatch within two months producing 'spiderlings'.

Wild Goliath Birdeaters are a deep burrowing species, found commonly in marshy or swampy areas. They may make a hissing noise when disturbed, and can defend themselves by biting, or by releasing their body hairs. The Goliath Birdeater, like all tarantulas, has fangs large enough to break the skin of a human. Luckily, its venom is relatively non-toxic, but a bite will still cause mild discomfort and swelling for a few hours. WARNING -  problems will occur only if the victim is allergic to spiders, or if the wound becomes infected.

The Goliath Birdeating spider, like many tarantulas, can also release its hairs - which are barbed - by flicking at its body wit hits hind legs. These creates a cloud of fine hairs which can cause severe discomfort and irritation when they make contact with bare skin, or when they are inhaled.

Of course, some experts say we should judge the size of a spider by its leg length instead, in which case the largest spider is the Giant Huntsman spider.

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WHAT IS THE WORLDS FASTEST FISH?




This is an excellent question specifically designed by children to make their parents look dumb. However I have an answer - in fact 'the' answer. So, just how fast is the fastest fish in the world?

The world’s fastest fish is the Indo-Pacific sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus. This sportfish can swim up to 68 miles per hour which is an incredible speed, especially when compared to the cheetah - the fastest living land animal - which can reach a top speed of between 70 and 75 mph!

What are Sailfish?

Sailfish are two species of fish in the genus Istiophorus, living in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world. They are predominately blue to grey in colour and have a characteristic erectile dorsal fin known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Another notable characteristic is the elongated bill, resembling that of the swordfish and other marlins. They are therefore described as billfish in sport fishing circles.

Both species of sailfish grow quickly, reaching 1.2-1.5 m (4-5 ft) in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at mid-depths on smaller pelagic forage fish and squid. Individuals have been clocked at speeds of up to 110 km/h (70 mph), which is the highest speed reliably reported in a fish.Generally, sailfish do not grow to more than 3 m (10 ft) in length and rarely weigh over 90 kg (200 lb).

The sail is normally kept folded down and to the side when swimming, but it may be raised when the sailfish feels threatened or excited, making the fish appear much larger than it actually is. This tactic has also been observed during feeding, when a group of sailfish use their sails to "herd" a school of fish or squid.

Sailfish are highly prized game fish and are known for their incredible jumps. They can appear in a startling array of colours, from subdued browns and grays to vibrant purples and even silver. Their body colours are often highlighted by stripes of iridescent blue and silver dots. Sailfish can change their colours almost instantly; a change controlled by their nervous system. The sailfish can rapidly turn its body light blue with yellowish stripes when excited, confusing its prey and making capture easier, while signalling its intentions to fellow sailfish.

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Based on an article by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailfish
Photo care of http://cdevroe.com/links/sailfish-hunting/

WHICH FOODS MAKE THE BEST APHRODISIACS?



Firstly, just what exactly is an aphrodisiac?

Put simply, an aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire, and this is a concept that goes back to the begining of human existance.In fact the word 'aphrodisiac' comes from ancient Greek 'Aphrodite' - the Greek goddess of sexuality and love.


Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviours have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable. However, from a historical and scientific standpoint, the alleged results may have been mainly due to mere belief by their users that they would be effective. However, Western medical science has no substantiated claims that any particular food increases sexual desire or performance - except for the recent research on the herbs Fenugreek and Saffron.


What is an aphrodisiac food?

An aphrodisiac food is one that is believed to stimulate the sex drive and increase sexual performance. Aphrodisiac foods have been used as far back as the Romans and the Greeks to increase sexual powers. During those periods, people were concerned about fertility and sexual performance more so than passion itself, so a great amount of time was spent on determining what aphrodisiac foods would help these two separate concerns.


An aphrodisiac food can be suggestive, rather than cause a physical sexual reaction. In fact, many believe that some aphrodisiac foods increase and stimulate sexual desire and performance by the suggestive nature of the food and the ritual surrounding the food presentation.


Aniseed: The Greeks and Romans believed that aniseed had special sexual powers. There are many uses for this aphrodisiac food and some people believe that sucking on the seeds will increase your libido.

Almond: Throughout the ages, the almond has been a symbol of fertility. Some believe that the aroma stimulates passion in a female.

Avocado: The vitamin B6 contained in the avocado is said to increase male hormone production. The avocado also contains potassium which aids in regulating the female thyroid gland. A note about the avocado: the Aztecs called the avocado tree a “testicle tree” because they thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree looked like male testicles.


Asparagus: The phallic shape of some foods is a consideration in the selection of aphrodisiac foods. However, asparagus has more to offer than suggestive form. It contains vitamin E, believed to stimulate sex hormones which contribute to a healthy sex life and increased sexual powers.


Bananas: Bananas have a wonderful, suggestive phallic shape, and are considered one of the most popular aphrodisiac foods used to stimulate sexual desire and increase sexual powers. Bananas also contain potassium and B vitamins which are essential for sex hormone production.

Chili peppers: “Capsaicin,” a chemical that stimulates our nerve endings and raises our pulse, is responsible for the “heat” in chili peppers. This aphrodisiac food is also thought to release endorphins, which give our bodies a natural high. Some researchers believe that is the case with all “hot” foods. Garlic is another example of these aphrodisiac foods.

Sweet basil: Some people believe that basil stimulates the sex drive and boosts fertility. It is also believed to create a sense of well being in our bodies and minds.


Chocolate: Who doesn’t know about chocolate as an aphrodisiac food? On Valentines Day, the day to express your love, more chocolate is sold than at any other time during the year. Chocolate is given at the holidays, for anniversaries, and just to say, “I love you.” Chocolate contains a stimulant called phenylethylamine, which gives you a sense of well being and excitement similar to the natural high that endorphins give us. Researchers believe that chocolate contains chemicals that affect neurotransmitters in the brain, and a substance related to caffeine called theobromine. There are more antioxidants in chocolate than in red wine. Combining the two can be the secret to passion.


Coffee: Coffee in moderation is a stimulant, but too much causes it to become a depressant. The caffeine in coffee stimulates both mind and body and is sometimes used in preparation for staying up all night.

Figs: An open fig is believed to imitate the female sex organs and is traditionally considered to be a sexual stimulant. Some say that a man opening a fig and eating it in front of his lover can be a powerful aphrodisiac.

Raw oysters: Oysters have been a favourite aphrodisiac food since the time of Aphrodite during the Greek age. Oysters are a rich source of zinc, a mineral required for testosterone production. This male hormone is believed to increase the female libido as well. Oysters are high in protein and very nutritious.


Arugula: Arugula is also called “rocket seed” and has been documented as an aphrodisiac food as far back as the first century A.D. Arugula was combined with grated orchid bulbs and parsnips. Many salads and pastas contain arugula. Sometimes arugula is combined with pine nuts and pistachios.


Ginger: Ginger root can be eaten raw, cooked, or crystallized. Ginger is a circulatory system stimulant which can increase sexual powers and desire.

Raspberries and strawberries: These are perfect aphrodisiac foods to hand feed your lover. They are red, which is the color associated with love and passion, and are high in vitamin C.

Nutmeg: Chinese women believed that nutmeg was an aphrodisiac food and that it increased sexual desire, thereby contributing to procreation during fertility. A hallucinogenic effect can be produced by a large quantity of nutmeg.

Wine: Wine relaxes our inhibitions and stimulates our senses. The actual drinking of wine can be an erotic experience. Moderate amounts of wine are believed to “arouse,” but excessive alcohol will make you drowsy.

You can see from this list of aphrodisiac foods that many aphrodisiac foods have suggestive properties.  The aphrodisiac effect is therefor from the presentation and eating of the food as well as from a physiological response. In conclution, be sexy in your kitchen while you prepare your gourmet aphrodisiac foods, because when you cook with passion, you will feel passion around you. Pay attention to the presentation of the food and the ambiance of the setting as well. These aspects are just as important as the aphrodisiac foods themselves.

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