March 28, 2013

Survivors Facts

  • Sharks have six senses – vision, smell, touch, taste, hearing and electro-sensory.

  • Sharks can sense the change in air pressure signalling the approach of a hurricane.

  • Sharks have a lateral line system, with which they detect water movements. This helps the shark locate its prey, and to find its way around in poor visibility, or at night.

  • There are two species of camel: the Arabian or Dromedary camel has only one hump, whereas the Bactrian camel has two.

  • Camels rarely sweat, even in desert temperatures that reach 120°F (49°C). This enables them to conserve water for long periods of time.

  • In winter, camels can graze for two months without water, but in summer, camels endure heat for eight days without water, and may lose up to 40% of their body weight.

  • A camel's hump is made entirely of fatty tissue, which serves mainly as a food reserve.

  • A very thirsty animal can drink 30 gallons of water in only 13 minutes.

  • The red imported fire ant was accidentally introduced into the United States from Brazil in 1930’s. They now infest 13 states in the southern and western USA.

  • Fire ants are social insects that nest in large colonies containing tens of thousands to more than 200,000 ants.

  • The fire ant, originated from the Pantanal wetland of Brazil, an area that is prone to seasonal flooding.

  • Tiger salamanders are large burrowing North American amphibians, mostly active at night.

  • The reproduction of tiger salamanders is unique because the eggs can develop into either normal plankton-eating or cannibalistic larvae.

  • The wood frog is found above the Arctic Circle in Alaska—farther north than any other amphibian on the North American continent.

  • As winter approaches wood frogs seek cover under leaves near the surface, where they actually freeze and thaw with their surroundings.

  • The polar bear is native within the Arctic Circle, which encompasses the Arctic Ocean, and surrounding land masses. Polar bears survive in the Arctic climate, where winter temperatures can plunge to -45º C (-50º F).

  • Polar bears are insulated by two layers of fur that help keep them warm. They also have a thick fat layer.

  • Only the pregnant female polar bears will hibernate in dens, the others are active all year long.

  • Polar Bears young are born by early January, and only weigh about 2 pounds at birth and are completely dependent upon their mother. They stay within the shelter of the den until March or early April, and weigh close to 35 pounds when they all emerge.

  • It is thought that New York City's rat population, may number as many as 70 million.

  • Under ideal conditions, a single pair of rats could produce 15,000 offspring in a single year.

  • Rats are “commensal” usually found living with or in close association to humans.

  • The black rat carried fleas infected with the bubonic plague. Bubonic plague killed 75 million people worldwide from the 1300s to the 18th century.

  • There are six species of lungfish, found in Africa, South America, and Australia. All the species are characterized by the possession of primitive lungs like those of amphibians.

  • The lungfishes first appeared in the Early Devonian, about 416 million to 398 million years ago.

  • African lungfishes burrow into the bottom of a riverbed or lake bed for their dormant period – a process called estivation.

  • Ticks are skin parasites. They need to consume a blood meal from their host in order to complete their life cycle.

  • Adult ticks may remain on the ground, but more commonly climb up vegetation. This is “questing behavior” whereby the tick reaches upward with waving front legs and attaches to an approaching host.

  • A single female tick can lay as many as 3,000 eggs.

  • Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease.

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