Category Archives: Environment

lazy ocelot

Ocelot

Ocelot or, how it’s called in the Sauth America, Tigrillo is a small wild cat. Scientists are also calling it a dwarf leopard. Ocelots are living in the jungles and dense forests of Central and South America. They are approximately two to three times bigger than the average house cat. They are spending daytime sleeping on the tree branches. When the night falls, ocelots are becoming the hunters, merciless predators leaving no chance for the rodents, lizards and frogs that were unhappy to cross their path. Want to learn more about this wonderful wild cats? Read this perfectly illustrated book.

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Adult kiwi bird with the egg

An Egg of a Kiwi

To continue with the adorable Australians, let's talk about kiwi birds. Those are endemic to New Zealand, but that's ok, New Zealand is still closer to Australia than anything else. Also, being a size of a small cat with the feathers almost as smooth as cat's fur, they are totally adorable. And undoubtedly interesting:

  • There are few birds who can't fly. Kiwi have the smallest wings among all of them;
  • Most birds rely heavily on their vision. Kiwi are almost blind and use sense of smell to find their food;
  • In most bird species females take care about the eggs. Kiwi males take care about the eggs for the whole three months of the incubation period.

But the most interesting kiwi fact is not about the bird itself but about its egg. Kiwi eggs are huge. In fact, the kiwi keep the record of the largest egg to the body size ratio. Kiwi egg could be 20% of the size of the bird and weights as much as 450 grammes. Not bad for a creature not much heavier (the largest species weight only two kilos). And to push the degree of nature's madness higher, sometimes kiwi can have two eggs simultaneously.

Adult kiwi bird with the egg
1. Adult kiwi bird with the egg.
Skeleton of the kiwi bird with the egg
2. Skeleton of the kiwi bird with the egg.
Kiwi egg compared to the eggs of other New Zealand birds
3. Kiwi egg compared to the eggs of other New Zealand birds. Kiwi egg is the largest in the background. In front row, from left to right: the egg of a tern, egg of a kakapo, and egg of a weka.
Skeleton of a brown kiwi with the egg
4. Skeleton of a brown kiwi with the egg. Photo by Skulls Unlimited International, Inc.
The skull and egg of a brown kiwi
5. The skull and egg of a brown Kiwi. Photo by Skulls Unlimited International, Inc.
Southern brown kiwi egg
6. Southern brown kiwi egg. Image © Department of Conservation (image ref: 10051733) by Chrissy Wickes Department of Conservation Courtesy of Department of Conservation.
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Square Roots

Since the down of the agriculture and the human civilization itself ten thousand years ago people are tend to constrain and contain the nature, put it into the strictly-defined limits. This is how we are transforming our area of habitat, this is what defines us as a specie.

The nature says nothing against it. It is silent. It uses all the space available for growth and proliferation. If we draw it in squares, nature will shape itself in squares even though there are no perfect squares and cubes in the wild. Nature will fit the ever changing environment not matter if it is changing due to cosmic reasons or by the will of the people.

Here are some good illustrations for this. In urban environment trees are shaping their root system to replicate the man-made patterns: squares, cubes, octagons…

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Python Eating Goanna

Carnivores aren’t really picky about their prey. They hunting herbivores and carnivores and anyone who looks tasty enough. In nature, nobody asks what your culinary preferences are before eating you whole, with your socks on. Carnivores are eating carnivores, and reptiles eat reptiles. Like in this case in Australia. The python is eating the goanna, Australian monitor lizard.

python eating goanna

python eating goanna

python eating goanna

The whole process is taking about two hours. Look how much Australians are caring about their murderous wildlife—they put a sticks and do-not-cross tape around the scene so nobody would interrupt the lunch.