Mantodea – most commonly known as the Praying Mantis, order mantodea is a group of about 1800 carnivorous insects which prodominatley live in tropical regions of the earth. Though certain species can be found in locations with moderate climate. With an extremely striking appearence, mantids almost have human like qualities with the ability to hold an erect stance, and arms that face forward. A very efficient killer, mantids were created for hunting and killing prey. Order Mantodea is in the subclass Pterygota. As with all classifications there can be debates on where certain orders or species belong. Historically there has been some confusion on whether Mantodea deserves there own order. Some experts have placed Mantodea in the dictyoptera order along[…]

Deep ebony, blinding cream, these are the colors of the zebra. The zebra is one unique animal. Zebras are one of the marvelous animals in Africa. About the size of a small horse, these amazing animals are about 50-53 inches in height. When a male zebra grows up, he can weigh up to 520 pounds! It’s a good thing that the female zebra is friendly. It can weigh a whopping 510 pounds, almost as much as the male! Zebras usually do not attack unless threatened though, whew! The large animal, the zebra, mates all year round, but mostly during the early rainy season. Eighteen male zebras battle it out with the dominant male at that certain time to see who[…]

Malaria is one of the most prevalent and dangerous diseases known to man. It has existed for centuries and affects a myriad of people in the tropical region. Even today, with our newly discovered treatments for many of the tropical diseases, over 10% of the people that are infected with malaria each year and do not receive proper treatment die. In Africa alone, over 1 million children die each year because of malaria and new cases are reported frequently. Malaria is very dangerous and harmful to man. However, the protozoan that causes malaria has existed since man came into being. Fossils of mosquitoes that are 30 million years old contain the vector for malaria. After written history, many civilisations have[…]

What adaptation do both the Okapi and Giraffe have that enables them to rip/pull food from strong branches? The long, sticky tongue that both the Okapi and Giraffe have allows them to pull shoots and leaves from strong and hardy branches with ease. The animals can also reach their eyes and ear with their tongue so they can easily rid those areas of bugs and parasites. The tongue also enables the Giraffe and Okapi to easily keep their young clean and healthy. What adaptation do both the Okapi and Giraffe have that allows them to gain nutrients in hard to reach places? Both the Giraffe and Okapi have incredibly flexible necks that allow them to awkwardly turn their heads to[…]

Half man and half beast – this is what is usually said about the gorilla. They say that the gorilla is related to us. You can find mountain gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes, which are located on the boundaries of Zaire, Rwanda, and Uganda. The Virungas are 600 miles of tropical rainforest. You’ll find then roaming around 7,800 and 11,000 feet, but at low elevations. The gorillas live in units. Most of the units consist of about 6-12 members in it, most of them being related in some way. With each unit, there is a leader, usually an old silverback, who was a virtual dictator. A silverback male has large canines and he may weigh 400 pounds. He is the[…]

With a pounce and a hop the speedy lynx chases the bleached white hare through the bushes. Poof! The hare disappears into the shiny white powder. Then the sly lynx picks up the scent of the hare and pounces toward the small hairball. The sharp elongated claws don’t dig in, and the hare’s long slender legs launch himself out of the hole and out of danger. The swift cat swings his claws around to hit the fast hare, but he hits the snow right under his back legs. The hare runs right between two willow trees and into a narrow opening which has a bunch of fallen willow trees. The hare has escaped from the lynx this one time, but[…]

The scientific order of all types of whales is Cetacea. This large order is broken down into three further groups as well: the toothed whales or Odontoceti, which includes killer whales, dolphins, porpoises, beluga whales, and sperm whales, the baleen whales or Mysticeti, which include blue whales, humpback whales, gray whales, and right whales, and the Archaeoceti order, which are all now extinct. The genus of these species is Orcinus orca. Family. The killer whale is the largest in its family of delphinid. Bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and Pacific white-sided dolphins are included in this group as well. The scientific name for this family is Delphinidae. Fossil Record. Modern forms of both odontocetes and mysticetes can be seen in the[…]

The Key Deer is a small species (in population and in stature) of deer that lives in the Florida Keys. It is in the same family as the Virginia white tailed deer. The Key Deer is about 26 inches tall and weigh an average of about 55 pounds. The males have antlers, and the antlers grow in cycles. They drop their antlers at the beginning of spring, and they grow back by June. The deer feed on indigenous plants including the red mangrove, the black mangrove, and the white mangrove. The Key Deer can drink water with some salt in it, but needs fresh water to survive. Although it seems awkward, the Key Deer is a fairly good swimmer, and[…]

To look up into the mountains and see the steam rolling from a mountain stream on a cold winters morning is a beautiful sight. However, to look out over the horizon and see the white spray of salt water coming from the blow of a huge humpback whale is much more exciting sight and a whole lot warmer. The first time I had the opportunity to see the ocean was on a vacation to California, when I was about 15 years old. It was even better than I had dreamed it would be. The different animal in the ocean, the color of the water, and the warm sand between my toes was what made me take a vacation to Hawaii.[…]

Honeybees as a Resource Honeybees are very useful to humans. As their name suggests, they make the sweet, delicious treat known as honey that we enjoy. They also make beeswax from which we make many useful items. But the most important thing bees do for us is to pollinate the plants. The honeybee visits flowers, which secrete a sweet liquid called nectar. This water-like nectar is sipped from the blossoms by the bee and carried to the beehive. The raw nectar goes into the cells in almost the same condition as it was when the bee sipped it from the flowers. It is inside the hive that house bees evaporate the nectar down to the thick consistency, which is what[…]