WHAT IS THE MOST VENOMOUS SNAKE IN AMERICA?




As luck would have it, everything you ever learned from those old cowboy films appears to be true. Well, at least when it comes to venomous snakes. It turns out that after much research, Rattlesnakes are in fact the most poisonous snake in north America.

The Rattlesnake is easily identifiable by the tell-tale rattle on the end of its tail. Rattlesnakes are actually a part of the Pit Viper family, and are capable of striking out at up to 2/3rds of their body length.

The Eastern Diamondback in considered the most venomous rattlesnake species in North America. Surprisingly, juveniles are considered more dangerous than adults! This is because they are unable to control the amount of venom injected. Most species of rattlesnakes have hemotoxic venom which destroys tissue, degenerates organs and causing coagulopathy (disrupted blood clotting).

Some degree of permanent scarring is very likely in the event of a venomous bite, even with prompt, effective treatment. In extreme cases this can lead to the loss of a limb or death. Difficulty breathing, paralysis, drooling and massive haemorrhaging are also common symptoms. Thus, a rattlesnake bite is always a potentially fatal injury. Untreated rattlesnake bites, especially from larger species, are very often fatal. However, antivenin, when applied in time, reduces the death rate to less than 4%.

Venomous snakes that are found in each state

Of course, there are other venomous snakes native to North America and so the following list is designed to list the venomous snakes of each state, but should in no way be considered an authoritative list.

Let's face it, many if not most people have some anxiety about snakes and with good cause. Snakes are wild reptiles that will bite and defend themselves if threatened. For the welfare of both humans and snakes, it is best to leave them alone and to avoid contact.

In the United States there are 4 types and 20 species of venomous snakes, which cause even greater concern, due to the potential pain and lethality of being bitten.

Currently, there is at least one species of venomous snake found in every State in the U.S. with Alaska being the only exception. This will surely change as global warming continues and since snakes play such an important part in the ecosystems where they are found, it is a tragedy for them to be  killed, due to fear and ignorance.

Some basic information about snakes in general and venomous snake in particular, can go a long way in lessening our fears, while maintaining our respect for snakes and their role in nature.

My condolences to those living in Arizona - they have the most species of venomous snakes in the entire United States.

Alabama
Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius miliarius ◦Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Florida Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Alaska◦
No venomous snakes have been recorded in Alaska

Arizona ◦
Animas Ridgenose Rattlesnake - Crotalus willardi obscurus ◦Arizona Black Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus cerberus ◦Arizona Coral Snake - Micruroides euryxanthus euryxanthus ◦Arizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake - Crotalus willardi willardi ◦Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus klauberi ◦Colorado Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes laterorepens ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Grand Canyon Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus abyssus ◦Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Hopi Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis nuntius ◦Mojave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake - Crotalus molossus molossus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Sonoran Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cercobombus ◦Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus ◦Tiger Rattlesnake - Crotalus tigris ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox ◦Western Twin Spotted Rattlesnake - Crotalus pricei pricei

Arkansas◦
Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus tener ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

California◦
Colorado Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes laterorepens ◦Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Mojave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus ◦Panamint Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii stephensi ◦Red Diamond Rattlesnake - Crotalus exsul ◦Southern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus helleri ◦Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox

Colorado◦
Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Midget Faded Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus concolor ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Connecticut◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Delaware ◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen

Florida◦
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Florida Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Georgia◦
Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius miliarius ◦Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Florida Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Hawaii ◦
Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake

Idaho◦
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis

Illinois◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Indiana◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Iowa◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Kansas◦
Broad-Banded Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Kentucky ◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Louisiana ◦
Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus tener ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Maine◦
Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Maryland◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Massachusetts ◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Michigan◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus

Minnesota◦
Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Mississippi◦
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Missouri◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Montana◦
Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis Nebraska ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Nevada◦
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Mojave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Panamint Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii stephensi ◦Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus

New Hampshire◦
Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

New Jersey◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

New Mexico◦
Animas Ridgenose Rattlesnake - Crotalus willardi obscurus ◦Arizona Black Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus cerberus ◦Arizona Coral Snake - Micruroides euryxanthus euryxanthus ◦Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus klauberi ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Mottled Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus lepidus ◦Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake - Crotalus molossus molossus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox

New York◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

North Carolina◦
Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius miliarius ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

North Dakota◦
Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis

Ohio◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Oklahoma◦
Broad-Banded Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Oregon◦
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus

Pennsylvania◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Rhode Island◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

South Carolina◦
Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius miliarius ◦Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Florida Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

South Dakota ◦
Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis

Tennessee◦
Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Texas◦
Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus klauberi ◦Broad-Banded Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Mottled Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus lepidus ◦Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake - Crotalus molossus molossus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus tener ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Trans-Pecos Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Utah◦
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Midget Faded Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus concolor ◦Mojave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus

Vermont ◦
Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Virginia◦
Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Washington◦
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus

West Virginia◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Wisconsin◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Wyoming◦
Midget Faded Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus concolor ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis  

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THE WORLD'S GREATEST ADVERT




Created by the Leo Burnett' advertising agency in London, this advert has tapped into Hollywood sci-fi thrills for Kellogg's breakfast cereal - Crunchy Nut. This latest advert in the revitalised 'The trouble is they taste too good' campaign called 'Dinosaur', launches a new variant of the celebrated breakfast cereal- Kellogg's Crunchy Nut with Cranberries, Almonds and Yogurty Flakes.

So, why is it (in my opinion) the 'World's Greatest Advert'? Well, it has the best dinosaurs of any advert that I have seen which makes it alright with me.

 Although clearly based on the kitchen scene in the first Jurassic Park film, these are not velociraptors.

In my uneducated opinion they look like allosaurus, but I am happy to accept a more definitive identification.

'Dinosaur' facts

Dinosaur was directed by MJZ’s Rocky Morton, who also worked recently on Hanes Kittens, with creatives Ed Morris and Andy Drugan also lending their expertise. Rocky’s vision and use of cinematic lighting set a really terrifying atmosphere even before Framestore created the dinosaur.

CG Supervisor Alex Doyle designed the star of the piece in-house, saying “I designed a unique dinosaur from an amalgamation of real species in the form of concept art to present to our clients. Once we had an approved version Mary Swinnerton our Lead Modeller created the CG Asset using Maya, ZBrush and Mari. The result was an extremely realistic and intimidating dinosaur.”

The biggest challenge for Lead Animator Nigel Rafter was fitting the 10-foot creature into the pretty cramped kitchen. The animation also had to fit around the physical effects that had been achieved in camera to make it smash through the room realistically. To add further realism, Anelia Asparuhova created a muscle system to help add weight to the dinosaur.

The CG was then comped by Lead Compositor Simon Stoney using Nuke, with dust, debris, sparks, saliva and lighting effects being used to help sit the dinosaurs into the backplates. The spot was graded at Framestore by Simon Bourne, who worked with Rocky to achieve a dark and moody feel while keeping all the subtle colours and picking out all the lights and reflections around the kitchen.

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The World's Greatest Advert

Images care of http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/1153806/Kelloggs-Crunchy-Nut-dinosaur-Leo-Burnett-London/
Based on an article from http://www.framestore.com/work/kelloggs-crunchy-nut-cornflakes-dinosaur

HOW TO MAKE FIREWORKS




Most people attend firework displays every year, but few understand how they're actually made. The process of designing and manufacturing fireworks ranges from the creation of a holding cell and the mixing of ingredients, through to the specific reaction used when a firework is lit and fired for an explosion. Fireworks are typically made to European and UK safety standards, and it’s worth reviewing some of the more general safety issues associated with using them. An understanding of how fireworks work can enhance how people work with them, while avoiding common mistakes:

1 - Shell Creation

The shell effectively represents the tubing that the firework is exploded from. Shells are hand-crafted using treated cardboard and thick paper, which is then filled with the ingredients that go into making the firework.

The firework fuel or powder is combined with pressurised oxygen and a resin binding to prevent it from falling apart. In terms of the actual shapes created by fireworks, these come from ‘stars,’ which are placed at the bottom of the tube, and represent pellets in particular shapes. These can either be precise shapes or dough-ball like sizes, and create the particular effects of individual fireworks.

2 - Developing Ingredients

As well as the stars, fireworks contain multiple ingredients. Dextrin can be applied as a binding agent, as well as either flash powder or black powder for ignition.

Black powder in fireworks typically consists of 75 per cent potassium nitrate, 15 per cent charcoal, and 10 per cent sulphur. Some makes also use potassium chlorate instead of potassium nitrate for its faster oxygenation process.

In terms of the colours created by different fireworks, calcium and salt formulas produce different reactions. Strontium carbonate is used for violet colours, barium for emerald and greens, and lithium salts for reds.

3 - Reaction and Lighting

When a firework is lit, the wick lights and causes an initial combustion causing the shell to be launched into the air. A second timed wick within the firework then causes a reaction between oxygen and the potassium and charcoal mixture to cause a combustion that explodes the shell.

Explosions tend to take place at 3 metres per second, with the excess energy state of the exploding atoms becoming visible as wavelengths of light and colour. The firework’s explosion at different stages in the air means that we tend to see them before we hear them explode, as light travels faster than the speed of sound. The stars and calcium mixtures then cause the particular shapes of fireworks, as well as wavelengths which show up as colours.

5 - Safety

It is important, however, to remember some key safety issues when dealing with fireworks. The temperature generated by sparklers alone can cause serious burns, while poorly fitted fireworks can lead to explosions on the ground.

Spectators should be 840 feet away from a firework launch, while the fireworks used should conform to BS 7114 and CE safety markers. Similarly, do not be tempted to approach a firework that doesn't seem to have launched, as the fuse may still be burning, and the black powder mixture ready to explode.


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WHAT ARE BATS?




As freaky looking as they are, bats are mammals - like us! They are often mistakenly called 'flying rodents' or 'flying rats', but despite their obvious, superficial similarities they are not directly related to rodents, and much less to birds, and strangely do not have any closely related orders. Furthermore, their uniqueness can be demonstrated by the fact their closest living genetic relatives are thought to be carnivorans, certain hoofed animals, such as alpacas and hippopotamuses, and sea mammals, such as dolphins!

The forelimbs of a bat form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly, and can only glide for short distances.

Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, as birds do, but instead flap their spread-out digits, which are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium.

Bats represent about 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide, with about 1,240 bat species divided into two suborders: the less specialized and largely fruit-eating 'megachiroptera', or flying foxes, and the more highly specialized and echolocating 'microchiroptera'.

What do bats eat?

About 70% of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters. A few species, such as the fish-eating bat, feed from animals other than insects, with the vampire bats being the only parasitic mammalian species.

Bats are present throughout most of the world, performing vital ecological roles of pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds.

Many tropical plant species depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds.

Bats are also very important in eating insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides.

How big are bats?

The smallest bat is the Kitti's hog-nosed bat, measuring 29–34 mm (1.14–1.34 in) in length, 15 cm (5.91 in) across the wings and 2–2.6 g (0.07–0.09 oz) in mass. It is also arguably the smallest living species of mammal, with the Etruscan shrew being the other contender.

The largest species of bat are a few species of Pteropus and the giant golden-crowned flying fox with a weight up to 1.6 kg (4 lb) and wingspan up to 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in).

How do bats see in the dark?

As a nocturnal mammal, the bat needs to be able to navigate its way in relative darkness and hunt effectively in order to survive. In order to achieve this the bat relies less on its eyesight and more on a sense not found in humans - echo-location.

Bat echolocation is a perceptual system where ultrasonic sounds are emitted specifically to produce echoes. By comparing the outgoing pulse with the returning echoes, the brain and auditory nervous system can produce detailed images of the bat's surroundings. This allows bats to detect, localize and even classify their prey in complete darkness.

At 130 decibels in intensity, bat calls are some of the most intense, airborne animal sounds. To clearly distinguish returning information, bats must be able to separate their calls from the echoes they receive. Microbats use two distinct approaches.

1. Low duty cycle echolocation: Bats can separate their calls and returning echoes by time. Bats that use this approach time their short calls to finish before echoes return. This is important because these bats contract their middle ear muscles when emitting a call so they can avoid deafening themselves.

The time interval between call and echo allows them to relax these muscles so they can clearly hear the returning echo. The delay of the returning echoes provides the bat with the ability to estimate range to their prey.

2. High duty cycle echolocation: Bats emit a continuous call and separate pulse and echo in frequency. The ears of these bats are sharply tuned to a specific frequency range. They emit calls outside of this range to avoid self-deafening. They then receive echoes back at the finely tuned frequency range by taking advantage of the Doppler shift of their motion in flight.

The Doppler shift of the returning echoes yields information relating to the motion and location of the bat's prey. These bats must deal with changes in the Doppler shift due to changes in their flight speed. They have adapted to change their pulse emission frequency in relation to their flight speed so echoes still return in the optimal hearing range.

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Non-Native Invasive Species - The Harlequin Ladybird
Non-Native Invasive Species - The American Signal Crayfish
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Ring-Necked Parakeet
Ostrich Facts
Plants that Attract the Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Seed Bearing Plants for Attracting Wild Finches
The Black Rhino
The Coyote
The Differences Between Crocodiles and Alligators
The Differences Between Horses and Zebras?
The Duck-Billed Platypus
The Flamingo
The Flying Squirrel
The Giraffe
The Hippopotamus
The Jaguar
Tigers
The Koala
The Wolf
The Decline of Butterfly and Caterpillar Habitat
The Decline of Insect Eating Birds
The Eagle Owl
The Golden Eagle
The Ostrich
The Starling
The Wolf
The Importance of Log Piles to Native Wildlife
The 'Native Trees' of England
The Plight of English Woodlands
What Animal is Sid from the Film 'Ice Age'?
What do Golden Eagles Eat?
What does a Wolf Eat?
What is an Alligator?
What are Bats?
What are Clogs?
What do Flamingoes Eat?
What is a Coyote?
What is a Dolphin?
What is a Flying Fish?
What is a Giraffe?
What is a Gorilla?
What is a Hedgehog?
What is a Jaguar?
What is a Koala?
What is a Manatee?
What is a Polar Bear?
What is a Duck-Billed Platypus?
What is a Wolf?
What can we do to Help Save the Rainforests
What is 'Slash and Burn' Farming and How does it Affect the Rainforests?
What is the Worlds Largest Eagle?
What is the Most Poisonous Spider?
Where do you Find Alligators?
Where do you Find Black Widow Spiders?
Where can you find Flying Squirrels?
Where to find Jaguars?
Where to find Snow leopards?
Where do Wolves Live?
Which Plants can Attract Bats into the Garden?
Wolf Conservation
Why are Flamingoes Pink?
Why are Tropical Rainforests so Important?
Why do Flamingoes stand on one leg?
Why Shark Fin Soup is Devastating World Shark Populations
Why Should we Protect the Rainforest?
Wolf Facts
Based on an article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat and http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/MMD/AML/Bat-Pallid.html and http://www.1zoom.net/Animals/wallpaper/119050/z74.7/

HOW TO GROW KIWI FROM SEED




The kiwifruit - often shortened to just 'kiwi' in many parts of the world -  is the edible berry of a woody vine in the Actinidia family. Native to southern China, cultivation of the kiwifruit only recently spread from the orient in the early 20th century.

This occurred when seeds were introduced to New Zealand by Mary Isabel Fraser, the principal of Wanganui Girls' College, who had been visiting mission schools in Yichang, China. The name "kiwifruit" comes from the kiwi — a brown flightless bird and New Zealand's national symbol.

As exotic as it looks, if you live within USDA hardiness zone seven through nine, you can grow a kiwi plant from the seeds of a kiwi fruit in your garden. Just be aware that you must plant multiple plants as male and female vines are required for successful pollination

If you have the space, each kiwi plant should be spaced 10 feet apart, in order for the plants to produce kiwi fruits in three to four years. However, should space be of a premium, you can probably get away with 5 feet, but you will need to spend more time making sure each plant is fed and watered adequately  and pruned to make the most of the available light.

Growing Kiwi fruit from seed

To begin with, remove the seeds from your chosen piece of kiwi fruit and lay them on a paper towel to dry. Make sure the seeds they are placed in an area where they will remain undisturbed for two days.

Fill a seal-able plastic bag with vermiculite or perlite substrate. Add the dried kiwi seeds to the substrate, seal the bag and place it in the bottom of a refrigerator for a minimum of four months.

Once this cold period is over they are ready for potting. First, fill a 6-inch pot with sterilized potting compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Potting'. Then remove the kiwi seeds from the refrigerator and plant them in the potting soil at a depth of 1/8 of an inch and 1 inch apart.

Moisten the compost with a spray bottle of water and cover the pot with a piece of glass, clear plastic or cling film, secured with a rubber band. Place the pot in a warm area while the kiwi seeds germinate.

Remove the plastic wrap once the kiwi seeds begin to germinate, and continue spraying the kiwi seeds with water to keep the soil moist.

Place the pot in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least six hours per day.

Transplant the kiwi seedlings outdoors during the spring, in well-drained soil that preferably has an acidic pH between 5.5 to 7.0.

If you are not sure of your soil's pH you can test the soil with a shop bough pH soil tester in order to determine the acidity before planting. If necessary, amend the soil with lime raise the pH and moss-peat to lower it.

Once in the ground, water the kiwi plants each week as necessary for the first year.

Also, fertilize the young kiwi vine with a 10-10-10 fertilizer according to the label instructions. As the kiwi vine matures it will need supporting with wires or trellis.

You will also find that applying a layer of mulch around the kiwi plants will reduce weed growth and improve drainage.

Do not overwater the kiwi plants or you can cause root damage.

For more information click onto:
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Amazing Tree Facts
Blueberries
Blueberry Nutrition
Buy Kiwi Fruit Seed
Buy Melon Seed
Cobaea scandens
Gardenofeadenveg
Growing Kiwi Fruit from Seed
Growing Strawberries from Seed
Growing Strawberries from Seed
How to care for Orchids
How to Compost
How to Grow an Apple Tree from Seed
How to Grow Blackberries
How to Grow Blueberries
How to grow Blueberries in Pots and Containers
How to Grow the Blue Orchid
How to grow a Cherry Tree from Seed
How to Grow Citrus Trees
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HOW TO GROW FIG 'BROWN TURKEY'
How to Grow Kiwi from Seed
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How to Grow Monkey face Orchids from Seed - A Warning!
The Lizard Vine
How to Grow Melons
How to Grow Orchids
How to Grow Peanuts
How to Germinate and Grow Watermelon Seed Indoors
How to Grow Melon Plants from Seed Outdoors
How to Grow Melons in a Greenhouse
How to Grow a Pineapple from Seed
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HOW TO GROW RUDBECKIA FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW SHARON FRUIT - Diospyros kaki
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How to Grow Strawberries from Seed
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How to Grow Watermelon Plants from Seed Outdoors
How to Overwinter Strawberries
How to Plant and Grow Strawberries
How to Propagate Strawberries
How to Protect Fruit from Birds
How to Prune an Apple Tree
How to Prune Raspberries
How to Collect and Prepare Strawberry Seed for Propagation
How to Plant and Grow Blackcurrants
Is Ginger a Plant?
Naked Man Orchid - Orchis italica
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Strawberry Jams
How to Grow Blackcurrants
Monkey Face Orchids
THE AFRICAN TULIP TREE - Spathodea campanulata
The Blueberry
The Chilean bellflower - lapageria rosea
THE GOLDEN CHALICE VINE - Solandra maxima
THE MARBLE BERRY - Pollia Condensata
The Monkey Vine - Entada gigas
The Peanut
The Plant Hunters
The Red Jade vine - Mucuna benetii
The Swaddled Babies orchid - Anguloa uniflora 
THE VAMPIRE ORCHID - Catasetum macrocarpum
What is a blueberry?
What is Composting?
What is Ginger?
What is Gingerbread?
What is a Kiwi fruit?
What is a Papple?
What is Persimmon?
What is a Rainbow Rose?
What is Quinoa?
When to Pick Gooseberries
When to Prune Apple Trees
When to Prune Wisteria?
Where does Chocolate come from?
Where can you Grow Blueberries?
Why is Fresh Fruit so Good for You?

GINGER




If you have ever had to create a recipe using 'real' ginger, then going to purchase an example of it at your local supermarket can be a bit of an eye opener. Why, because there is nothing else like it in the fresh food aisles that can compare with its knobbly strangeness!

So, just what is ginger?

Well, as it turns out, the reason why ginger looks so freaky is because it is actually a lump of root from the the plant Zingiber officinale.

Ginger was originally cultivated in China but its production has now spread around the world - notably in Jamaica.

Ginger root is usually found in sweet foods in Western cuisine, but it is probably better known for being included in popular recipes such as ginger ale, ginger snaps, gingerbread, ginger biscuits and ginger cake.

It is also used in many countries for medicinal purposes, although its true health benefits are still being researched. However, it is believed in some cultures to help cure diabetes, head aches, colds, fatigue, nausea and the flu when used in tea or food.

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WHAT IS A BLACK WIDOW SPIDER?




Black widows are notorious spiders identified by the coloured, hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens.

Black widow spiders are found within the family Theridiidae, which contains 32 recognized species. The common name, widow spiders is due to the rather morbid behaviour seen in some of the species where the female eats the male after mating.

Several species answer to the name, and they are found in temperate regions around the world. This spider's bite is much feared because its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's.

In humans, bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult; however, contrary to popular belief, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage—let alone death. But bites can be fatal—usually to small children, the elderly, or the infirm.

Fortunately, fatalities are fairly rare; the spiders are non-aggressive and bite only in self-defence, such as when someone accidentally sits on them. The animals most at risk from the black widow's bite are insects—and male black widow spiders. Females sometimes kill and eat their counterparts after mating in a macabre behaviour that gave the insect its name.

Black widows are solitary year-round except during this violent mating ritual. These spiders spin large webs in which females suspend a cocoon with hundreds of eggs. Spiderlings disperse soon after they leave their eggs, but the web remains.

Black widow spiders also use their webs to ensnare their prey, which consists of flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars.

Black widows are comb-footed spiders, which means they have bristles on their hind legs that they use to cover their prey with silk once it has been trapped. To feed, black widows puncture their insect prey with their fangs and administer digestive enzymes to the corpses. By using these enzymes, and their gnashing fangs, the spiders liquefy their prey's bodies and suck up the resulting fluid.

For related article click onto the following links:
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Rainbow Stag beetle - Phalacrognathus muelleri
The Stag beetle - Lucanus cervus

WHERE TO FIND DOLPHINS?




Dolphins are arguably the best known and loved of all the marine mammals. However, many aspects of the dolphins way of life still remain a mystery. Be that as it may, dolphins have been the subject of scientific research for decades and so at least there are some areas of dolphin behaviour that we do know of.

Dolphins are marine mammals closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves.

However, should you wish to see dolphins in the wild then you will need to be a little more choosy.

However, it is possible to view dolphins in the wild all around the world.

Here are a few examples of some of the best dolphin watching locations so wherever you are in the world - and if you are prepared to make the effort, a small journey and a little research - you should get to see dolphins.

Western Australia: Mandurah , Monkey Mia, Ningaloo Reef, Rockingham, Bunbury, and Esperance

Eastern Australia: Moreton Bay, Fraser Island, Hervey Bay, Port Phillip Bay, Jervis Bay, Port Stephens, and Forster

New Zealand: Kaikoura, Whakatane, Bay of Islands, Marlborough Sound, Coromandel Peninsula, Akaora Moorea and Tahiti Lanai.

USA - Key West, Florida, Panama City Beach, Galveston Texas, Monterey, and the waters off New Jersey,

Oceanside California, Delaware Bay, and Carolina.

In the waters off of Mexico and Hawaii - its only a small island so it should be quite easy.

Dingle Bay, or the Shannon Estuary, Ireland

Moray Firth, Scotland

Cardigan Bay, Wales,

Durlston, and Cornwall in England as well as the  Channel Islands. Even Gibraltar.

The Bahamas - white sand ridge.

Tenerife, the Canary Islands Turks and Caicos, West Indies

The Azores Islands (eg off Faial and also Pico) São Miguel Island, and Futurismo.

You can follow whale watching in the waters off Hua-lien, the east coast of Taiwan  and in the waters off South Africa

Don't forget the Black Sea off the coast of Georgia and Crimea peninsula, and the Red Sea by Egypt.

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ALL ABOUT GORILLAS




Gorillas are the largest species of primates alive today. They are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous, and although they are frequently portrayed as aggressive, dangerous killers, they are in reality shy, peaceful vegetarians. Furthermore, because of massive loss of habitat, these majestic primates are now at huge risk of extinction!

Gorillas are divided into two species and then further still into four or five subspecies. The DNA of gorillas is increadibly similar to that of humans, between 95 and 99%! In fact they are our closest living relatives next to chimpanzees.

Gorilla Habitat

The Gorillas natural habitat covers the tropical and subtropical forests of Africa. Although their range covers only a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The mountain gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 7,200–14,100 ft. Lowland Gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with western lowland gorillas living in Central West African countries and eastern lowland gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near its border with Rwanda.

Gorilla Behaviour

Gorillas live in groups called troops. Each troops will tend to be made of one adult male or silverback, multiple adult females, and their offspring. However, multi-male troops also exist.

Silverbacks are typically more than 12 years of age and named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on his back, which comes with maturity. A silverback gorilla has large canine teeth that also come with maturity.

Both males and females tend to emigrate from their natal groups. Dispersal from natal troops is more common in females than males for mountain gorillas. Female mountain gorillas and western lowland gorillas also commonly transfer to a second new group.

Mature males tend to also leave their groups and establish their own troops by attracting emigrating females. However, male mountain gorillas sometimes stay in their natal troop and become subordinate to the silverback. They may gain the opportunity to mate with new females or become dominant if the silverback dies. This behavior has not been observed in eastern lowland gorillas.

In a single male group, when the silverback dies, the females and their offspring disperse and find a new troop. Without a silverback to protect them, the infants will likely fall victim to infanticide, and seaching out and joining a new group is likely to be a tactic against this. However, while gorilla troops usually disband after the silverback dies, female eastern lowlands gorillas and their offspring have been recorded staying together until a new silverback transfers into the group. This likely serves to decrease chance of being attacked by leopards. Although very rare, all male troops have also been recorded.

Silverback Gorillas

The silverback is the center of the troop's attention, making all the decisions, mediating conflicts, determining the movements of the group, leading the others to feeding sites and taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of the troop. Younger males subordinate to the silverback, known as blackbacks, may serve as backup protection. Blackbacks are males between 8 and 12 years of age and lack the silver back hair. The bond a silverback has with his females forms the core of gorilla social life. Bonds between them are maintained by grooming and close proximity. Having strong relationships with males is important for females as males give them mating opportunities and protection from predators and infanticidal outside males. However aggressive behaviors between males and females are common although they rarely lead to serious injury.

Relationships between females may vary. Maternally related females in a troop associate closely and tend to have friendly interactions. Otherwise, females usually have little friendly interactions and commonly act aggressive towards each other. Aggressive interactions between females tend to be centered around social access to males with males intervening in fights between females. Male gorillas have weak social bonds, particularly in multi-male groups with apparent dominance hierarchies and strong competition for mates. However, males in all-male groups tend to have friendly interactions and socialize through play, grooming and close proximity, and occasionally they even engage in homosexual interactions.

Gorilla Nests

Gorillas construct nests for daytime and night use. Day nests tend to be simple aggregations of branches and leaves on the ground while night nests are more elaborate constructions in trees. The nests may be 2 to 5 feet in diameter and are constructed by individuals. The young nest with the mother but construct nests after three years of age, initially close to that of their mother. Gorilla nests are distributed arbitrarily and use of tree species for site and construction appears to be opportunistic. Nest building by great apes is now considered to be not just animal architecture but as an important instance of tool use.

How do Gorillas Communicate?

There are now twenty-five distinct vocalizations recognized now through extensive scientific research, many of which are used primarily for group communication within dense vegetation. These sounds classified as grunts and barks are heard most frequently while traveling. They are often used to indicate the whereabouts of individual group members. They may also be used during social interactions when discipline is required. Screams and roars signal alarm or warning, and are produced most often by silverbacks.

Deep, rumbling belches suggest contentment and are heard frequently during feeding and resting periods. They are the most common form of intragroup communication. Severe aggression is rare in stable groups, but when two mountain gorilla groups meet, the two silverbacks can sometimes engage in a fight to the death, using their canines to cause deep, gaping injuries. The entire sequence has nine steps:

1. Progressively quickening hooting.
2. symbolic feeding.
3. Standing upright.
4. Throwing vegetation.
5. Chest-beating with cupped hands.
6. A single leg kick.
7. Sideways running, two-legged to four-legged.
8. Slapping and tearing vegetation.
9. thumping the ground with palms to end display.

Tool use in Gorillas

The following observations were made by a team led by Thomas Breuer of the Wildlife Conservation Society in September 2005. Gorillas are now known to use tools in the wild. A female gorilla in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo was recorded using a stick as if to gauge the depth of water whilst crossing a swamp. A second female was seen using a tree stump as a bridge and also as a support whilst fishing in the swamp. This means that all of the great apes are now known to use tools.


In September 2005, a two and a half year old gorilla in the Republic of Congo was discovered using rocks to smash open palm nuts inside a game sanctuary. While this was the first such observation for a gorilla, over 40 years previously chimpanzees had been seen using tools in the wild, famously 'fishing' for termites.

Great apes are endowed with a semi-precision grip, and certainly have been able to use both simple tools and even weapons, by improvising a club from a convenient fallen branch.

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What is the World's Largest Spider?
What is the Worlds most Poisonous Frog?
What is the World's most Poisonous Snake?
What is the Most Poisonous Spider?
Where can you find Gorillas?
Where can you find Pandas?
Where do Alligators Live?
Where do Cheetahs Live?
Where do Gorillas Live?
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Where do Pandas Live?
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Why are Tropical Rainforests so Important?
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Wolf Facts
Based on an article by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorilla
Photo care of http://muller.lbl.gov/travel_photos/africawildlifefolder/africawildlifefolder-pages/Image15.html and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4400438/Gorillas-tender-moments-captured-by-amateur-photographer.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-528911/Meet-cute-youngsters-got-claws-paws-teeth-other.html and http://www.originalbeans.com/2011/02/gorilla-reunion/ and http://explore.org/photos/1126/gorilla-family-rwanda-2