Friday, April 27, 2012

Warnings About Nature

Don't go close to any wild animal ecspecially bears. If you go close to baby bears their mother will get mad. She will try to attack you. Don't go close to big snakes they can kill you. If there is an animal that is nice and is very close to you don't touch it just look it needs its personal space.

Fun Animal Pictures

Big And Beautiful Cats

The term big cat – which is not a biological classification – is used informally to distinguish the larger felid species from smaller ones. One definition of "big cat" includes the four members of the genus Panthera: the tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard. Members of this genus are the only cats able to roar. A more expansive definition of "big cat" also includes the cheetah, snow leopard, clouded leopard, and cougar. Despite enormous differences in size, the various species of cat are quite similar in both structure and behavior, with the exception of the cheetah, which is significantly different from any of the big or small cats. All cats are carnivores and efficient apex predators. Their range includes the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.


The ability to roar comes from an elongated and specially adapted larynx and hyoid apparatus. (However, the snow leopard cannot roar, despite having hyoid morphology similar to roaring cats.) When air passes through the larynx on the way from the lungs, the cartilage walls of the larynx vibrate, producing sound. The lion's larynx is longest, giving it the most robust roar.


The principal threats to big cats varies upon geographical location, but primarily are habitat destruction and poaching. In Africa many big cats are persecuted by pastoralists or government 'problem animal control' officers. Certain protected areas exist that shelter large and exceptionally visible populations of lions, hyenas, leopards and cheetahs, such as Botswana’s Chobe, Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti. It is rather outside these conservation areas where persecution poses the dominant threat to large carnivores.
In the United States, 19 states have banned ownership of big cats and other dangerous exotic animals as pets, and the Captive Wildlife Safety Act bans the interstate sale and transportation of these animals.

Family Felidae
  • Genus Panthera (roaring or great cats)
    • Tiger, Panthera tigris (Asia)
    • Lion, Panthera leo (Africa, Gir Forest in India; extinct in former range of southeast Europe, Middle East, much of Asia, and North America)

  • Jaguar, Panthera onca (the Americas; from the Southern United States and Mexico to northern Argentina)

  • Leopard, Panthera pardus (Asia and Africa)

Genus Acinonyx
    • Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus (Africa and Iran; extinct in former range of India)

  • Genus Puma
    • Cougar, Puma concolor (North and South America)

  • Genus Uncia
    • Snow Leopard, Uncia uncia (mountains of central and south Asia)

    • Bornean Clouded Leopard, Neofelis diardi (Borneo and Sumatra)

    • Clouded Leopard, Neofelis nebulosa (southeast and south Asia)

Big Cats Facts
  • The cheetah is the world's fastest land mammal. It can run at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour (113 kilometers an hour).
  • An adult lion's roar can be heard up to five miles (eight kilometers) away.
  • Long, muscular hind legs enable snow leopards to leap seven times their own body length in a single bound.
  • A tiger's stripes are like fingerprints—no two animals have the same pattern.
  • The strongest climber among the big cats, a leopard can carry prey twice its weight up a tree.
  • The Amur leopard is one of the most endangered animals in the world.
  • In one stride, a cheetah can cover 23 to 26 feet (7 to 8 meters).
  • The name "jaguar" comes from a Native American word meaning "he who kills with one leap."
  • In the wild, lions live for an average of 12 years and up to 16 years. They live up to 25 years in captivity.
  • The mountain lion and the cheetah share an ancestor.
  • Cheetahs do not roar, as the other big cats do. Instead, they purr.
  • Tigers are excellent swimmers and do not avoid water.
  • A female Amur leopard gives birth to one to four cubs in each litter.
  • Fossil records from two million years ago show evidence of jaguars.
  • Lions are the only cats that live in groups, called prides. Every female within the pride is usually related.
  • The leopard is the most widespread of all big cats.
  • Mountain lions are strong jumpers, thanks to muscular hind legs that are longer than their front legs.
  • Tigers have been hunted for their skin, bones, and other body parts, used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Unlike other cats, lions have a tuft of hair at the end of their tails.
  • After humans, mountain lions have the largest range of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere.


1. Characteristics
The grizzly bear is also known as the brown bear. It has fur that ranges from a cream or silver color to an almost black color. Some grizzly bear's fur is tipped in a lighter color than the rest of its fur. This gives the fur a grizzled look and is how the bear got its name. The grizzly bear has a slight hump above its shoulder and can weigh between 350-1500 pounds.

Life Cycle
Mating season runs from May to early July. It takes from 180-266 days for cubs to be born. Cubs are usually born between January and March. The female usually has two cubs. The cubs are blind and furless and weigh a pound when they are born. The cubs are weaned when they are about five months old, but they usually remain with their mother for two to three years. Grizzly bear cubs can climb trees until they are about a year old.

3. Range
The grizzly bear's range circles the arctic. It can be found from the Arctic coast down into the central parts of Europe and Asia. In North America, it can be found in Alaska and western Canada. The grizzly bear was once common west of the Mississippi but its population dropped as the west was settled. There are still some populations in scattered areas of the western United States. The grizzly bear is a threatened species in the lower 48 states. There are currently about 1,200 grizzly bears in the lower 48 states and about 31,700 grizzly bears in Alaska. Unfortunately, men hunt this beautiful creature for its fur to make coats.

4. Habitat
The grizzly bear lives along rivers and coastal areas, mountain meadows and in the tundra. In parts of Europe and Asia, the grizzly can be found in forests and mountain woodlands. You can see many grizzly bears in Yosemite, California.

The famous mountain El Capitan in Yosemite

5. Social System
Under most circumstances, brown bears live as lone individuals, except for females accompanied by their cubs. Brown bears congregate in places where food is abundant, such as a salmon stream or a garbage dump. In such circumstances, adult males are the most dominant individuals.

6. Diet
The grizzly bear is omnivorous. It eats berries, roots, fungi, grasses, fish, carrion, small mammals and insects. It is very good at catching fish and it often uses its long claws to dig insects out of rotting logs and small mammals out of their burrows. Some grizzly bears in the Canadian Rockies hunt larger animals like moose, elk and goats.

The grizzly bear usually forages for food in the early morning and evening and rests during the day. A grizzly bear's territory can range between 70 and 400 square miles! More than one bear may share the same territory, although they will sometimes fight over a good fishing spot!


7. Behavior
The grizzly bear digs a den under rocks or in the hollow of a tree. It may also make its den in a cave or crevice. The grizzly bear goes into its den between October and December and stays there until the early spring. It has a protective layer of fat that allows it to stay in its den while the weather is cold. It does not really hibernate and can easily be woken up in the winter.

Loch Ness Monster: The Legend of Nessy

The most famous mystery about Loch Ness surrounds the phenomenon of an enormous creature that is believed to live in the water – known universally as the Loch Ness Monster, or ‘Nessie’ as she’s affectionately known.
Where is it
Loch Ness and its monster are both found in Northern Scotland

What is it
Loch Ness is part of the Great Glen, an enormous fissure in the earth that just about splits Scotland into two. There are a series of lochs, rivers and canals that link the Atlantic with the North Sea. this is the most eastern of these.

Monster legend
Said to have started with an account of Saint Columba, in 565 A.D rescuing a swimmer from a lake creature. From then on stories of such a creature emerged periodically, but little is actually recorded until the 20th century
It was only after1933, when a new road was built along the lake shore and people were first able to visit the area in large numbers, that reports of sightings really took off.

For at least 1,500 years a legend has held sway in the Scottish Highlands that Loch Ness is home to a mysterious aquatic animal. Find out how this legend got its start and how various possible sightings have kept the legend alive.

Birth of a legend
When the Romans first came to northern Scotland in the first century A.D., they found the Highlands occupied by fierce, tattoo-covered tribes they called the Picts, or painted people. From the carved, standing stones still found in the region around Loch Ness, it is clear the Picts were fascinated by animals, and careful to render them with great fidelity. All the animals depicted on the Pictish stones are lifelike and easily recognizable—all but one. The exception is a strange beast with an elongated beak or muzzle, a head locket or spout, and flippers instead of feet. Described by some scholars as a swimming elephant, the Pictish beast is the earliest known evidence for an idea that has held sway in the Scottish Highlands for at least 1,500 years—that Loch Ness is home to a mysterious aquatic animal.

In Scottish folklore, large animals have been associated with many bodies of water, from small streams to the largest lakes, often labeled Loch-na-Beistie on old maps. These water-horses, or water-kelpies, are said to have magical powers and malevolent intentions. According to one version of the legend, the water-horse lures small children into the water by offering them rides on its back. Once the children are aboard, their hands become stuck to the beast and they are dragged to a watery death, their livers washing ashore the following day.
The earliest written reference linking such creatures to Loch Ness is in the biography of Saint Columba, the man credited with introducing Christianity to Scotland. In A.D. 565, according to this account, Columba was on his way to visit a Pictish king when he stopped along the shore of Loch Ness. Seeing a large beast about to attack a man who was swimming in the lake, Columba raised his hand, invoking the name of God and commanding the monster to "go back with all speed." The beast complied, and the swimmer was saved.

Mackay's and Campbell 1933
The MacKays owned a pub at Drumnadrochit, and on April 14th saw an "enormous animal" in the Loch. They told the man responsible for controlling salmon fishing in the Loch, a Alex Campbell. Campbell, because of his job spent a lot of time observing the Loch, and he saw Nessie a number of times.
Campbell put it at 30 feet long and described it as having "a long, tapering neck, about 6 feet long, and a smallish head with a serpentine look about it, and a huge hump behind..."
Hugh Gray photo 1933
The monster was first photographed by a Hugh Gray in 1933. Gray claims "I immediately got my camera ready and snapped the object which was then two to three feet above the surface of the water. I did not see any head, for what I took to be the front parts were under the water, but there was considerable movement from what seemed to be the tail."

This photo was the most famous of them all, and was reputedly taken by a surgeon who was a pillar of the establishment, Colonel Robert Wilson.
Christain Spurling later admitted that he had taken part in a hoax. He made the confession on his death bed in 1993 when he was aged 90. His story was that he had helped make a model out of a toy submarine and photographed the model. Spurling claimed that his stepbrother, Ian Wetherell, and Ian's father, Marmaduke ("Duke") Wetherell, had been hired by the Daily Mail to find Nessie. They made their "monster" out of a 14 inch toy submarine and plastic wood. The photo was taken so seriously that they dared not own up to the hoax at the time
You can take you pick as to whether this confession is proof that the photo is a fake or not.

Seen on land 1934
Arthur Grant, a veterinary student, saw the thing crossing the road as he rode along on his motorbike. His decryption matched that of a Plesiosaurus - small head, long neck, big body with flippers and a tail. The Plesiosaurus, a relative of the dinosaur, has been thought to be extinct for some 65 million years.
On moving film in 1960
An indistinct moving picture was taken by an an aeronautical engineer, Tim Dinsdale in 1960. The film may not have convinced the world, but Dinsdale gave up his job, and spent the next twenty years trying to prove they existed. He saw it twice more, but never got the photographic proof
Sonar Sweeps in 1970
The American Academy of Applied Science, funded a search by Dr Robert Rines, using sonar and automatic cameras. In 1972 one of their cameras photographed, in the murk, what appeared to be a flipper about 6 feet long on just four frames of film.
Various sonar contacts followed, but it was not until 1975 that they got a vague, very blurred image of what might possibly have been the face
In more recent years mini submarines have tried to find Nessie, without success In 1987, 20 cruisers methodically swept the Loch with sonar equipment bouncing sound waves from the surface down to the bottom and electronically recording any contacts. Many salmon were found, but no Nessie.
None of the evidence so far shows proof of Nessie's existence.
On the other hand the waters are big enough and deep enough to hide such a creature
And there again it is impossible for one to exist, there would have to be a breeding population of say at least 10 to 20
Certainly no bones or bodies have been found, so the myth lives on

Animal Albinism

Animals that are white instead of their normal color quickly capture our attention and imagination. Albinos are rare, but common enough that almost everyone has seen one, or knows someone that has.

Albinos have the characteristics of other members of their species, except that their cells are unable to produce melanin, a dark pigment that results in normal coloration in the skin, scales, eyes or hair. A lack of melanin usually causes an animal—or parts of an animal—to appear white or pink, or to have a bleached look.

Animals can be pure or partial albinos. Pure albinos usually have pink eyes, nails, scales and skin. They're pink because, without coloration, the blood vessels show through. In humans and some other animals, the eyes of an albino are light blue or green because of the way light passes through the iris.

Partial albinos have some of the coloration typical of their species, but parts of their body appear white. Piebald deer, which have splotches of white on their fur as adults, are a good example. Many red-winged blackbirds have a partially white wing, and partial albino raccoons will have a white patch on their fur.

Being white doesn't make an animal an albino. The true test is whether it has pink or light blue eyes.
Leucistic animals have mostly white skin, hair or scales, but will have some dark pigmentation in their eyes and nails. Though leucistic animals are not as rare as true albino animals, many are displayed at zoos.

An Inherited Trait

Albinism is passed genetically from parents to offspring. Each cell contains numerous pairs of genes, one from each parent. These genes transmit traits through generations. An albino offspring results from a specific combination of genes.

Albinos are infrequent because the genes for that trait are recessive, while the genes for normal pigmentation are dominant. If both are present, normal pigmentation occurs. If only recessive genes occur, albinism may result. Only a small percentage of animals carry the recessive gene, so the chance of the pairing of recessive genes in an individual animal is slight.

In humans, for example, about one in 70 people carry a recessive gene for albinism, and about one in 20,000 humans are albinos.
At least 300 species of animals in North America have albino individuals. In Missouri, people have photographed or witnessed albinism in turtles, catfish, salamanders, deer, frogs, snakes, bluebirds and raccoons.

The degree of albinism varies among animal groups. Some researchers working with
mammals estimate that true albinos occur in about one in 10,000 births. Some of our Conservation Department hatcheries have seen albino catfish produced as frequently as one in 20,000 fish. Yet some researchers working with birds found that albinism occurs in 17 of 30,000 individuals, or one of 1,764 birds.

Normal- or random-breeding usually decreases the chance for albino offspring. Inbreeding among small isolated populations, or among closely related individuals, can increase the chances for albinism. Even among humans, albinism rates vary with geographic location.

Animals in some areas have extremely high rates of albinism. In Marionville, for example, white squirrels dominate the population. The number of these partial albinos remains high because people living there feed and pamper their white squirrels and have passed ordinances to protect them from hunters and motorists.
Perils of Albinism

Lacking protective coloration, albino animals are more likely to be seen by both predators and prey. It's easy, for example, to spot Marionville's albino squirrels against the dark trunks of the trees they climb.

Although it seems logical that albinos would have a survival disadvantage, some studies suggest that albino animals may not be as conspicuous to other predators as they are to us.

Predators such as hawks, for example, may rely on a search image for prey that primarily involves shape and movement. The color of the prey may make little difference, as long as the prey looks and acts like a food item.
A lack of pigmentation can, however, affect the vision of albino animals, making it hard for them to find food and avoid danger.

Types of Albinism

Partial Albino
Hair, skin, scales
White or pink all over
White or pink all over
Small portions or patches of white
Usually blue
Normal colors
Little or no ability to produce color
Little ability to produce color
Ability to produce most normal colors

Dark pigments like melanin also help to protect skin and eyes from overexposure to sunlight. Many albino animals face a higher risk of melanomas and retinal damage. In the case of some albino reptile species that bask in the sun to warm themselves, sunlight may quickly prove fatal.

Albinism also may make life more difficult for some birds and other animals that use color to attract mates. Several of our songbird females select males based on their courtship displays. Having a display missing a crucial splash of color may put the animal at a competitive disadvantage.

Appreciating Albinos

Because they are rare, albino animals have often been given mythical status. Many American Indians, for example, considered white bison to be sources of immense power and good fortune. To do harm to them would bring misfortune.

Animals that are legal to be bought or sold can bring a higher price if they are albinos. Breeders of amphibians and reptiles for captive animal markets often test and select for albino offspring. Several zoos proudly keep albino specimens.

Modern-day hunters sometimes see albino animals. They can harvest them during legal hunting seasons, except, as in Marionville, where the albino animals are protected by local regulations.

Because they lack color, albino animals have a ghostly beauty. Many people count themselves lucky to see one. You can increase your chance of discovering one of these rare oddities of nature by spending more time outdoors.

Albinism is a congenital disorder that robs the skin, hair and eyes of color. Albinos are extremely pale and as such, suffer from sun burns and skin cancers more frequently than non-albinos. The lack of eye pigmentation can also cause problems. Human albinos often require surgery or wear corrective lenses.

Albino animals face almost insurmountable odds when they're born in the wild. Baby albinos are seen as an oddity within their own species and are more visible to predators. These animals may also be cursed with imperfect vision or other health problems.

Those lucky enough to be born in a zoo can look forward to a relatively comfortable life being gawked at — and written about by environmental websites. Here are seven amazing famous albino animals. (Text: Shea Gunther)

Albinism is from gene mutations that affect the production of normal pigmentation. A real true albino lacks melanin and are white with no markings and with unpigmented eyes (pink). A partial (blue-eyed) albino has slight pigmentation. There is also piebaldism where there are patches from mutations in certains skin cell areas. Some even have color on cooler parts of the body such as a siamese cat with colored head and legs, but not on warmer parts of its body.
There are other kinds such as bluish-grey anerythristic who lack the color red. Tyrosinase-negative where it produces a pale yellowish animal with pink eyes. Tyrosinase-positive making a fawn/platinum color. Axanthic lack yellow and their color depends on colors in their original pattern.

Leucism is not albinism, but it is reduced pigmentation. It's in makes animals white or almost. In lions it will be usually white or very pale hair, with dark eyes and some pigmentation, for example ghost markings. Partial leucism is called piebald. Large patterned horses, birds with large areas of color and patches of less or no color. Chinchilla is a mutation that affects the distribution of pigment on the hair shaft. White tigers are chinchilla. Other mutations also cause white animals; some of the animals pictured here (white peacocks) are white, but not albino.

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