Saturday, 30 January 2010

Circus Trees

As a hobby, bean farmer Axel Erlandson [wiki] shaped trees – he pruned, bent, and grafted trees into fantastic shapes and called them "Circus Trees." For example, to make this "Basket Tree" arborsculpture, Erlandson planted six sycamore trees in a circle and then grafted them together to form the diamond patterns.

Giant Sequoias: General Sherman (tree)

Giant Sequoias [wiki] (Sequoiadendron giganteum), which only grow in Sierra Nevada, California, are the world’s biggest trees (in terms of volume). The biggest is General Sherman [wiki] in the Sequoia National Park – one behemoth of a tree at 275 feet (83.8 m), over 52,500 cubic feet of volume (1,486 m³), and over 6000 tons in weight.

General Sherman is approximately 2,200 years old – and each year, the tree adds enough wood to make a regular 60-foot tall tree. It’s no wonder that naturalist John Muir said "The Big Tree is Nature’s forest masterpiece, and so far as I know, the greatest of living things."

For over a century there was a fierce competition for the title of the largest tree: besides General Sherman, there is General Grant [wiki] at King’s Canyon National Park, which actually has a
larger circumference (107.5 feet / 32.77 m vs. Sherman’s 102.6 feet / 31.27 m).

In 1921, a team of surveyors carefully measured the two

giants – with their data, and according to the complex American Forestry Association system of judging a tree,
General Grant should have been award the title of largest tree – however, to simplify the matter, it was later determined that in this case, volume, not point system, should be the determining factor.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Half-breed lions and tigers-Hercules LIGER

The liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion (Panthera leo) and a tigress (Panthera tigris), hence has parents with the same genus but of different species. It is distinct from the similar hybrid tiglon. It is the largest of all cats and extant felines due to hybrid vigour.
Ligers borrow characteristics from both species. Ligers enjoy swimming which is a characteristic of tigers and are very sociable like lions. However ligers are often faced with a variety of health risks and other issues. Ligers only exist in captivity because lions and tigers live in different regions and would never breed voluntarily in the wild[citation needed]. Ligers are larger than both their parents, which is usually dangerous to the pregnant tigress and may make it necessary for offspring to be delivered via caesarean section.
The liger often has a very limited life span as well as birth defects and other mutations.
The history of ligers dates to at least the early 19th century in Asia. In 1799, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772–1844) made a colour plate of the offspring of a lion and a tiger.
In 1825, G.B. Whittaker made an engraving of liger cubs born in 1824. The parents and their three liger offspring are also depicted with their trainer in a 19th Century painting in the naïve style.
Two liger cubs which had been born in 1837 were exhibited to William IV and to his successor Victoria. On 14 December 1900 and on 31 May 1901, Carl Hagenbeck wrote to zoologist James Cossar Ewart with details and photographs of ligers born at the Hagenbeck's Tierpark in Hamburg in 1897.
In Animal Life and the World of Nature (1902–1903), A.H. Bryden described Hagenbeck's "lion-tiger" hybrids:

It has remained for one of the most enterprising collectors and naturalists of our time, Mr Carl Hagenbeck, not only to breed, but to bring successfully to a healthy maturity, specimens of this rare alliance between those two great and formidable felidae, the lion and tiger. The illustrations will indicate sufficiently how fortunate Mr Hagenbeck has been in his efforts to produce these hybrids.

The oldest and biggest of the animals shown is a hybrid born on the 11th May, 1897. This fine beast, now more than five years old, equals and even excels in his proportions a well-grown lion, measuring as he does from nose tip to tail 10 ft 2 inches in length, and standing only three inches less than 4 ft at the shoulder. A good big lion will weigh about 400 lb [...] the hybrid in question, weighing as it does no less than 467 lb, is certainly the superior of the most well-grown lions, whether wild-bred or born in a menagerie. This animal shows faint striping and mottling, and, in its characteristics, exhibits strong traces of both its parents. It has a somewhat lion-like head, and the tail is more like that of a lion than of a tiger. On the other hand, it has no trace of mane. It is a huge and very powerful beast.[1]
In 1935, four ligers from two litters were reared in the Zoological Gardens of Bloemfontein, South Africa. Three of them, a male and two females, were still living in 1953. The male weighed 750 lb. and stood a foot and a half taller than a full grown male lion at the shoulder.
Although ligers are more commonly found than tigons today, in At Home In The Zoo (1961), Gerald Iles wrote "For the record I must say that I have never seen a liger, a hybrid obtained by crossing a lion with a tigress. They seem to be even rarer than tigons.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

largest giraffe

Having 5.8 m height giraffe is considered as the tallest living animal on the land. Its weight is approximately 2,000 kg.
The giraffe is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of al land-living animal species, and the largest rumainant. It is covered in large, irregular patches of yellow to back fur eparated by white, off-white, or dark yellwisch brown backgound. The average mass for an adult graffe is 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb) while the average mass for an adult female is 8300 kilograms (1,800 lb). It is approximately 4,3 meters (14 ft) to 5,2 meters (17 ft) tall, although the tallest male recorded stood almost 6 meters (20 ft).
The giraffe is related to deer and cattle, but is placed in a separate family, the Giraffidae, consisting of only the firaffe and its closest relative, the okapi. Its range extends from Chad in Central Africa to South Africa.
Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grassland, or open woodlands. However, when food is scarce they will venture into areas whith denser vegetation. The prefer areas with plenty of acacia growth. They will drink large quantities of water when available, which enables them to live for extended periods in dry, arid areas.

Belcher’s Sea Snake

This extremely venomous snake is also commonly called Faint-banded Sea Snake - it is the most toxicsnake in the world. It has a friendly temperament and would normally have to be subjected to severe mis treatment before biting. Because of its docile nature, it is generally not regarded as very dangerous. They can be found in the waters of Visayan and Panay areas in the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, Solomon Islands, Gulf of Thailand and Timor Sea.

characteristic white tiger

White tigers have a genetic condition that nearly eliminates pigment in the normally orange fur, although they still have dark stripes. Another genetic condition in snow-white or ‘pure white’ tigers also makes the stripes of the tiger very pale. When a tiger inherits 2 copies of the recessive gene for the paler coloration, they may have a pink nose, pink paw pads, grey-mottled skin, ice-blue eyes, and white to cream-colored fur with black, grey, or chocolate-colored stripes.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Largest wingspan of the eagle in the world

An eagle may resemble a vulture in build and flight characteristics but has a fully feathered (often crested) head and strong feet equipped with great curved talons. A further difference is in foraging habits: eagles subsist mainly on live prey. They are too ponderousfor effective aerial pursuit but try to surprise and overwhelm their prey on the ground. Like owls, many decapitate their kills. Because of their strength, eagles have been a symbol of war and imperial power since Babylonian times.Eagles are monogamous. They mate for life and use the same nest each year. They tend to nest in inaccessible places, incubating a small clutch of eggs six to eight weeks. The young mature slowly, reaching adult plumage in the third or fourth year.
The harpy eagles, named after the foul, malign creatures (partwoman and part bird) of Greek mythology, are large, powerful,crested eagles of the jungles ofSouth America and the South Pacific. They nest in the tops of the tallest trees and hunt macaws, monkeys, and sloths. The great harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja; see photograph), which ranges from southern Mexico to Brazil, is about one metre (3.3 feet) long and bears a crest of dark feathers on its head. Its body is black above and white below except for a black chest band. It was becoming increasingly rare in the late 20th century, particularly in Mexico and Central America. The New Guinea harpy eagle (Harpyopsis novaeguineae) is about 75 cm (30 inches) long. It is gray-brown and has a long tail and a short but full crest. Very similar in appearance and habits is the monkey-eating eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi; see ) of the Philippines. It is about 90 cm (35 inches) long, brown above and white below, with a crest of long narrow feathers. It is an endangered species.
The harrier eagles, six species of Circaetus (subfamily Circaetinae, serpent eagles), of Europe, Asia, and Africa, are about 60 cm (24 inches) long and have short unfeathered legs. They nest in the tops of trees and hunt snakes.
The hawk eagles (genera Spizastur, Spizaetus, Lophaetus, and Hieraaetus, subfamily Accipitrinae)are lightly built eagles that have fully feathered legs and large beaks and feet. They hunt all kinds of small animals. Spizaetus species (as the ornate hawk eagle, S. ornatus, of tropical America) have short wide wings, long rounded tails, and ornamented heads. Bonelli's eagle (Hieraetus fasciatus) of Mediterranean areas and parts of southern Asia, is about 60 cm (24 inches) long, dark above and light below, has a broad tailband, and usually shows a white patch on the back.
The martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus; see photograph) of Africa is heavily built, brown above with black throat and black-spotted white underparts. It has a short, barred tail and bright yellow eyes. It is large and strong enough to kill jackals and smallantelopes, but its usual food is gallinaceous birds and hyraxes.
The sea eagles (sometimes called fish, or fishing, eagles), species of Haliaeetus (see photograph), of which one of the best known is the bald eagle (q.v.), are very large eagles that live along rivers, biglakes, and tidewater throughout the world except South America. Some reach one metre (3.3 feet) long. All have exceptionally large high-arched beaks and bare lower legs. Undersurfaces of the toes are roughened for grasping slippery prey. These birds eat much carrion but sometimes kill. They snatch fish from the water surface and often rob their chief competitor, the osprey. Asian species include the gray-headed, or greater, fishing eagle (Ichthy ophaga ichthyaetus) and the lesser fishing eagle (I. naga).
The serpent eagles, or snake eagles, Spilornis (six species, subfamily Circaetinae), eat mostly snakes, including large poisonous ones. They occur in Asia. Other birds called serpent eagles, notably the long-tailed members of the genera Dryotriorchis (e.g. African serpent eagle) and Eutriorchis (e.g., the endangered Madagascar serpent eagle) occur in Africa.
Verreaux's eagle (Aquila verreauxi) is an uncommon bird of eastern and southern Africa. It is black with white rump and wing patches. It reaches about 80 centimetres (31 inches) in length, and it subsists mainly on hyraxes. See also bateleur; golden eagle.


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