Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Search & Win

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Tiny Killifish

Hello again today I will be talking about the amazingly tiny Killifish. There are 1270 different types of Killifish the biggest family is the Rivulidea family which has more than 320 species. The name Killifish is from the Ductch word "Kilde" meaning small creek or puddle. Most Killifish are small up to 1 to 2 inches long. The largest is under 6 inches. Striped Killifish live on a range of 10 months to a year and a half. Killifish are food to wading birds, aerial birds, and some ducks.

Killifish are mainly found in the Americas in freshwater or brackish waters. The majority of Killifish are found in permanent streams rivers and lakes. Killifish mainly feed on mosquito larva, insects, aquatic crustaceans, and worms.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Musical Cicada

Hello again are you hearing a musical chirping noise outside if you are you are listening to a musical sounds of the cicada. There are about 2,500 speices of cicadas around the world. Cicadas are not considered pests nor do they bite, sting, or harm humans. The largest cicadas are in the genera Pomponia and Tacua.

There are some 200 species in 38 genera in Australia, about 450 in Africa, about 100 in the Palaearctic and exactly one species in England, the New Forest cicada, Melampsalta Montana, widely distributed throughout Europe. There are about 150 species in South Africa. The adult insect, sometimes called an imago, is usually 1 to 2 inches long, although some tropical species can reach 15 cm.Male cicadas have loud noisemakers called "timbals" on the sides of the abdominal base. Their "singing" is not the stridulation (where two structures are rubbed against one another) of many other familiar sound-producing insects like crickets: the timbals are regions of the exoskeleton that are modified to form a complex membrane with thin, membranous portions and thickened "ribs". Contracting the internal timbal muscles produces a clicking sound as the timbals buckle inwards. As these muscles relax, the timbals return to their original position producing another click. The interior of the male abdomen is substantially hollow to amplify the resonance of the sound. A cicada rapidly vibrates these membranes, and enlarged chambers derived from the tracheae make its body serve as a resonance chamber, greatly amplifying the sound. They modulate their noise by wiggling their abdomens toward and away from the tree that they are on. Additionally, each species has its own distinctive song.When the eggs hatch, the newborn nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. Some species have much longer life cycles, the Magi cicada goes through a 17- or occasionally 13-year life cycle. These long life cycles are an adaptation to predators such as the cicada killer wasp and praying mantis, as a predator could not regularly fall into synchrony with the cicadas. Both 13 and 17 are prime numbers, so while a cicada with a 15-year life cycle could be preyed upon by a predator with a three- or five-year life cycle, the 13- and 17-year cycles allow them to stop the predators falling into step.

The insects spend most of the time that they are underground as nymphs at depths ranging from about 30 cm up to 2.5 m. The nymphs feed on root juice and have strong front legs for digging.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Carnivorous Piranha

Welcome back today I am talking about the deadly Piranha! Piranhas are Omnivores (an animal that eats both meat and vegetation). Piranhas are mainly well known for there very sharp teeth.

You don't have to be scared Hollywood falsely accused the Piranha for being deadly and vicious. The Piranha are actually known to be even tamed to be pets in offices and homes. Piranhas are only found in the Amazon basin.

Normally Piranhas are 6 to 10 inches long. But some have been caught that are 16 inches long. Piranhas have a row of sharp teeth on both jaws. The teeth are tightly packed and made for rapid puncture and shearing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

(Not Arowana But)...Arapaima

Good morning today I will be talking to you about the Arapaima! It is found in south America and it is the LARGEST tropical freshwater fish in the world. The Arapaima is found in the Amazon river. They can grow up to 9.8 feet and weigh up to 440 lbs.

There diet consists mainly on fish and other small animals including birds. In South America the tongue is thought to have medical qualities. Sadly the Arapiama is hunted greatly by local fisherman.

The Arowana

Hello again its been quite awhile but I'm back. Today I will be talking about the Asian Arowana a golden fish. Arowanas are freshwater bony fish they are from the Osteoglossidae also sometimes know as "bony tongues". They got this name due to a toothed bone on the bottom of the mouth. In the Osteoglossidae family of fish the head is bony and the body is covered in heavy scales. The Arowana is an "obligatory air breather".

The Arowana is a carnivorous fish and are often specialized as surface feeders. They are excellent jumpers, jumping up to 6 feet and catching small birds and low flying bats. In South America they are called "water monkeys" because they jump up from the water and catch unsuspecting birds and insects on branches overhead. The Arowana can grow up to 3 or 4 feet but this was only measured in captivity.

In China the dragon is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. So they are used for feng shui to bring good luck and wealth.