Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crown-of-thorns starfish

One of the most beautiful starfish that we find is known Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci).

This animal is a predator of coral. Their appearance is reddish-violet color of a red and rarely white. It has between 11 and 20 arms and reaches a diameter of 60 cm. It is provided with spines throughout the body that provide a good defense against predators. Contact with their spines causes a sharp pain that can last about four hours, nausea and vomiting. Often the affected region around the contact point experiences a severe inflammation with erythema, edema which may last several days. You can move at a speed of 20 meters per hour.

This small animalete is a great indicator of ocean health of our oceans. Like Salps about the jellyfish, the number of crowns of thorns is inversely proportional to the health of the seas. To be more simple: The more they are ... worse.

This is because the crown-of-thorns starfish, apart from beautiful, eat lots of coral. And while their predators are disappearing, these increases and are gradually destroying the already damaged reef ecosystems. It also has a very curious way of eating coral polyps: The crown-of-thorns starfish is seated on an area and remove the stomach through the mouth. producing an external digestion. Then hairy filaments collect organic matter and lead into the animal. When you finish eating is only one white spot of dead coral.

Although coral has its own methods of defense against these voracious predators, whenever the starfish is larger. Methods of defense we found crabs that take refuge among the coral with their claws and quills or spines break the starfish .... could say that is an ally. But this is insignificant.

Naturalists and environmental groups involved in reef systems are trying hard to stop the plague kill them as well as about other starfish, when you cut one of the arms can reach another individual regenerate more.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Takin

This animal unknown to many has many characteristics that make it a very interesting animal. Consider first some information about this animal.

The Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) is in the mountainous regions of civilization hidden in the mountains of the Himalayas and western China at an altitude of 1.950 to 4.500 m.

Its weight rarely exceeding 350 kg and his height is 130 cm cross. They are herbivores and their predators are bears and wolves (other than the man who is to all other species).

Now let's look at two curious features of this animal.

1 - His appearance is strange, short legs and a sturdy body and is also the bovine plumper. Not the heaviest, but in relation to its size, the more robust.

2 - Although this animal may appear to many, by the countries where it is highly valued, in fact it is the national animal of Bhutan.

And finally, 2300 years ago, in Greek mythology appears in the story of Jason and the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. Well, it is thought that the golden fleece fleece refers to the Takin, a ram yellow, golden brown hair long remembered gold.