Sunday, 29 August 2010

World's Most Beautiful Lakes

These 10 lakes go to all the right extremes
By Beth Colliins

Highest, deepest, clearest—all of these watery wonders showcase nature at its most spectacular. Soak up the views from a boat, a cable car, a trailhead, or a castle tower.

Plitvice Lake

These 16 blue-green lakes, hidden by thick vegetation and connected by hundreds of waterfalls, could be the set for the next Jurassic Park. For adventure as well as killer views, start at one of the lower lakes and work your way up following the sturdy wooden planks that turn what could be a treacherous trek into a fun hike. Take a detour along the 10-minute loop that leads to the region's tallest fall, 230-foot-high Veliki Slap ("Big Waterfall"), a breadth of streaming white water that collects in turquoise pools. While hiking, keep your eyes peeled for deer, wildcats, boars, wolves, and bears—a more likely sighting than a T. rex.

Peyto Lake

Alberta's Lake Louise is the famous one, on all the postcards and posters. But Louise's sister lake 29 miles north along Icefields Parkway, a two-laner that winds 142 miles through the Canadian Rockies, is even more picturesque. Thanks to glacial rock flour that flows in when the ice and snow melt every summer, the waters of Banff National Park's Peyto Lake are a brilliant turquoise more often associated with warm-weather paradises like Antigua and Bora-Bora. For the most dramatic views of the 1.7-mile-long stunner, encircled with dense forest and craggy mountain peaks, pull into the lot at Bow Summit, the parkway's highest point, and follow the steep hike to the overlook.

Lake Atitlán

Nearly a mile up in the highlands of Guatemala, Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán) rests at the foot of three massive conical volcanoes. Small Mayan villages line its shores, which are set off by steep hills draped with oak and pine trees and nearly 800 plant species. There's no single, must-see view of the lake, so try several vantage points: from up high on Highway 1; from the town of Panajachel, the buzzing market hub that juts out into the water; or aboard a lancha, one of the many small boats that ferry visitors from village to village. We're saddened to note that the lake has built up high levels of blue-green algae over the years. Last October and November, a film of green scum briefly marred its surface. But an ambitious effort to solve the problem is underway.

Loch Lomond

With a backdrop of windswept rolling hills and medieval castles, Loch Lomond feels like it's straight out of a Victorian romance novel. The 24-mile-long lake is dotted with islands, some so small that they disappear when the water levels are high, and others large enough to be (sparsely) inhabited. Most ferries stop at the largest island, Inchmurrin (population 10), so visitors can get a look at the remains of a 7th-century monastery and the 14th century Lennox Castle, used often as a hunting lodge for kings.

Lake Garda

If the shape of Italy is a couture boot, think of the imprint of Lake Garda as a design from the funky sister line—long and skinny at the top, opening up toward the bottom. Garda is the country's largest lake and one of the most popular vacation spots among Italians. The southern shore is home to hot springs, resort towns with pastel villas and terra-cotta-roofed hotels, and most of Garda's 28 miles of serene, pebbly beaches. To the north are the jagged peaks of the Dolomites, a magnet for hikers and bicyclists who want to test their endurance. In Malcesine, an adorable speck of a town with cobblestoned streets and a medieval castle, you can board a cable car up to Mount Baldo for one of the best aerial views of the lake.

Lake Annecy

This alpine lake in the heart of the French Alps is a looker, but don't expect to spend your visit gazing over the water in quiet reflection. Lake Annecy is all about activity—particularly in August, when Paris shuts down and the French take extended holidays. Sailors, kayakers, and water-skiers crisscross the water; bikers and hikers hit surrounding nature trails; and refugees from the city fill the outdoor tables at the lakeside restaurants and bars. Repeat visitors know to plan their trip for the first Saturday of August, when a staggering, nearly two-hour-long fireworks display illuminates the water.

Crater Lake
United States

Thousands of years ago, the top of a 12,000-foot-high volcano in the Cascade Range exploded. The massive pit left behind became known as Crater Lake, the centerpiece of a national park in southern Oregon that displays nature at its rawest and most powerful. Forests of towering evergreens and 2,000-foot-high cliffs surround the lake, where extraordinarily deep waters—at 1,943 feet, it's the deepest lake in the United States—yield an intense sapphire-blue hue. If winter hiking and cross-country skiing aren't your thing, wait until early July to visit, when the roads have been plowed and the trails cleared. Rim Drive, a 33-mile road that encircles the lake, has picture-perfect views from all sides. For a closer look, follow the mile-long Cleetwood Cove Trail to the shore. Brace yourself before diving in: The water temperature rarely rises above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lake Nakuru

The water is blue enough, and the backdrop—grasslands and rocky hillsides—has the makings of a nice photo, but neither is what sets this lake in central Kenya apart. The real draw here is the mass of pink on Nakuru's edges. Flamingos are one of the few species that can withstand the lake's hostile conditions—the water has so much sodium carbonate that it burns nearly everything that touches it —and they flock to the lake en masse. There can be as many as a million birds feeding on algae in the shallows at one time, wading side by side.

Lake Matheson
New Zealand

Alternately known as Mirror Lake, this South Island lake is famous for its reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Visiting just after dawn is ideal, when the water is at its calmest and mirror images are impossibly perfect. The lake itself is well worth exploring, too. Park near the Clearwater River suspension bridge and follow the 1-mile loop past kahikatea and rimu trees, which have extra-tall trunks and fanciful bushy tops and look like something from a Dr. Seuss book.

Lake Bled

Why not get to the good stuff right away? To take in this Slovenian lake's most breathtaking vista, head immediately to Bled Castle, at the edge of a sheer, 460-foot-high cliff. You'll see mountains in every direction—the Julian Alps and the Karavanke range—and below, the Alpine lake and its main attraction, Bled Island, a tiny forested circle that's home to the 17th-century Church of the Assumption and its prominent baroque clock tower. Down on the lake's shore, board a pletna boat (similar to a gondola) to the island. Be sure to ring the church bell and make a wish before returning to the mainland. Mountains shield the water from icy northern winds, so Lake Bled is warm, relatively speaking (79 degrees Fahrenheit). If that's still too chilly, head to the lake's northern section, where three hotels have built pools around natural thermal springs. source:

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Best Tiger List -The Many Colors of Bengals

(The Snow White, Standard, Golden Tabby and White Bengal tigers)

Tigers come in a few different Coat colors, here are a few of them. There are the snow tiger or ghost tiger which can sometimes be called pure white or all white. The standard white tiger with black stripes, which some may have light to dark brown stripes. The golden tabby which is also called the strawberry tiger. The classic orange with black stripes. Then the rarest melanistic or black tigers, and albino tigers. And the Maltese tiger which have a blueish tint to their fur where a classic tiger would be orange, these tigers have never been fully proven to exsist, yet so many sightings have been seen many many years ago that its believed they are in fact real, weather they are exstinct or not has yet to be known.

(This picture is altered to show what it is believed a maltese tiger might look like according to the descriptions given by villagers a long time ago.)

The Rare Snow White Tiger:

Contrary to popular belief the snow tiger or ghost tiger is not albino. Snow Tigers do have visable stripes though many only have stripes visable above the eyes and on the tail, some even only on their tails. Albinos lack stripes completely. Though the same as the white tiger but with less stripes and or less visable stripes; snow tigers are ten times more rare.

White Tigers:

Only the bengal tigers and siberian tigers are known the produce white tigers, both parents must carry a specific gene in order for a white tiger to be produced. White tigers can have stripes that are anywhere from a black to a light tan color. In fact the snow tigers are the same as white tigers but are just set aside as being different from them because they have less stripes and or less visable stripes.

Golden Tabby or Strawberry tigers:

Like the white tigers it is believed that in order for a golden tabby to be produced both parents must carry a special gene. Tabby tigers are orange with anywhere from dark tan to light tan stripes. Tabbies are much more rare then the white tigers.

Classic Tigers:

Classic tigers are the first tigers that are thought of when someone mentions the word 'tiger'. Their color can range anywhere from dark orange(almost red) to a light orange, and always have black stripes.

Melanistic tigers or black tigers:

Melanistic is a term used for an over grownth of pigment, its pretty much the opposite of ablonisium which lacks pigment. Melanistic tigers are almost all black with orange to yellow stripes mainly on its underside. Some might believe melanistic tigers to be a myth but pelts have been recovered in the early to mid 1900's that prove their exsistnace. No live Melanistic tiger has been captured or seen since.

Albino tigers:

Albino tigers and Snow white tigers are often mistaken for one another, the best way to tell them apart is to look at the tails, abino tigers have no stripes. If one was to shave a snow white tiger the skin would show visable stripes even if they cant be seen when the animal is not shaved, an albino will not have any stripes even on their skin, and their skin will be pink. Their noses and lips will also be pink with no other pigmentation, however contrary to popular belief and unlike most albino animals the albino tigers are said to have faint blue eyes rather then red. If you find this out for sure let us know.

Maltese Tigers:

Maltese Tigers were reported being seen in Malta in the early 1900's, no pelt nor live maltese tiger have ever been recovered or caputred and most people believe the tiger to be a myth, accoring to those who have said to have seen the tiger it is real and does truly exsist. It is believed that if the Maltese Tiger is real that it's blue coloration is a pigment mutation similar to Melanisium and albonisium. If the Maltese Tigers are in fact real and are a pigment mutation like melanisium and ablonisium then all species of tigers should be able to produce maltese tigers. But like the Melanistic tigers they are seemingly elusive. Some believe that the Maltese tiger may have once lived but is now exstinct. We may never know. Myth? Legend? Real? Or Exstinct? What is your belief?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Swimming With Tigers - Funy

Given that Hull City FC (The Tigers) are doing swimmingly at present...

Traditionally, trainers have struggled to build an attachment with the largest of the big cats, Picture: BARCROFT MEDIA

But The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, or TIGERS, near Miami, claims to have overcome the problem by encouraging both tigers and humans to swim together in a specially adapted pool, Picture: BARCROFT MEDIA

Tigers are known as the best swimmers of all the big cats with modified webbing between their toes to make their feet more like flippers, Picture: BARCROFT MEDIA

TIGERS claim that the animals love to play in the water, Picture: BARCROFT MEDIA

The hand-reared tigers are introduced to the water a few months after birth and the trainers then give one-on-one tuition to each of the animals while they are in the water, Picture: BARCROFT MEDIA

Filled with 100,00 gallons of water, one side of the TIGERS pool is made of glass, so the public can see the handlers and the animals up close swimming together

Despite the apparent danger, the trainers are never at risk. They've found that in the water people and tigers are on a more equal footing, Picture: BARCROFT MEDIA

With a potential to grow to over 500 lbs and eight feet in length, it is often considered that handlers will only swim with the tigers when they are no more than a year old, Picture: BARCROFT MEDIA

But TIGERS say that depends entirely on the specific animal

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Anteater - Interesting Exotic Pet

The Tamandua, sometimes referred to as the ant bear, is a medium sized anteater. They weight about 7-19 pounds. My experience is healthy adults average on the larger size over 10 pounds. They are about 2 feet long not counting the tail. The tail is roughly another 2 feet in length and is prehensile. Most are about the size of a large house cat or small dog. The standard coloring is tan with a black vest and is why they are often referred to as collard anteaters. However they also come in all blond, all black, all tan, gray and with faded vests when present. The color varies based on the region they live in the wild. The actual collared anteaters are hard to find now and most in captivity are non-vested or only partly vested.

Though considered arboreal it will spend time on the ground looking for termite mounds and traveling, unlike it's close cousin the pygmy or silky anteater (Cyclopes didactlus) who is strictly arboreal or the Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) who is fully terrestrial. Some even live in the savannas where there are few trees. Unfortunately because it will travel on the ground this leads to the most common sighting of tamanduas in the wild by the side of the road, hit by car. Considered a nuisance animal in their native lands they are also hunted for the tendons in their tails to make rope. They are also killed on site as many consider them a threat because they have been known to kill dogs. They are considered a threatened species.

In the wild they eat mostly termites, ants and some grubs and fruits but avoid any ants that have strong chemicals like the warrior fire ants but will eat the workers and eggs. They have been known to raid bee hives in the wild. They love honey and sweets but may well eat the bee larvae too. They may occasionally eat fallen fruits or flowers since they have a fondness for them in captivity. I often see it mentioned a person wants a tamandua or other anteater because they have ants. Tamanduas are not an effective form of pest control though some natives are said to keep them for that reason. First they will often not eat ants that are not native to where they live in the wild and much prefer to avoid the warrior ants. They also do not destroy any termite mounds they do feed from in the wild. Instead they eat from many nests always leaving enough behind for the nest to recover, making them a primitive sort of ant farmer. Though not tending the crop of ants they only harvest what they need and leave the rest to continue to grow. Also tamanduas held in captivity who were offered termite mounds from their native habitats fared quite poorly.(1) So anyone hoping to get an anteater to control their ants should not be thinking about getting one of these lovely creatures but instead call an exterminator.

When I first began looking for information on keeping Tamanduas in captivity very little information was readily available. I have a great love for these animals however so did not let this apparent road block stop me. I have talked with handlers, private owners, zoo vets and keepers and stud book keepers. I also managed to get my hands on several articles and studies on tamanduas and giant anteaters who have very similar requirements and health issues. I gained a great deal of knowledge about the care of these animals but also sadly realized many who already had these animals were not informed of how to properly care for them. This was not due to the owners not caring or trying to do right by them but simply a lack of readily available information like I myself was confronted with. The worst case I have come across was a business who regularly dealt with exotics. they were experienced and caring but when they acquired their tamandua believed the seller when he told them to feed it rotten eggs.

The result was a very sickly animal that died very prematurely. Other problems are not so sever. Some seek answers but often seemingly small things like chronic loose and excessively smelly stools are all to often excepted as normal or unavoidable by owners. This is not the case however and many of the most common problems can be resolved with a proper diet. Seeing the need for a good easy to find source of information on captive tamandua husbandry I felt obliged to try and help with this care sheet.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Interesting Animal Prosthetics

Tonka, the Turtle on Wheels - Tonka, a Bay Area Turtle, lost mobility after her legs were bitten by a dog, so Peninsula Humane Society workers fitted the three-legged tortoise with a set of toy wheels.

Suddenly, Tonka was off a rolling! slowly of course. And then, in the next couple of days, when her picture showed up in the morning newspaper, she was adopted almost immediately.

Molly, the Pony With A Prosthetic Leg - Meet Molly the pony. She's a gray speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana . Molly then spent weeks on her own following the 2005 catastrophe before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier and almost died.

Her right front leg was terribly damaged and became infected. Vets thought that was it and Molly looked to be on her way to the knackers yard, but then surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He noticed how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic under her own steam, and is now an inspiration for children... and horses around the world.

Motala, the elephant with a bag of woods - Motala the elephant stepped on a land mine near the Thai-Burma border in 1999. Veterinarians were able to repair her front leg, but it was left much shorter than the others. At Friends of the Asian Elephant's hospital in Thailand, Motala began using a prosthetic leg in 2005. The prosthesis is a bag filled with wood shavings, which makes her damaged leg as long as the others. She accepted the attachment, and is still using the same kind of prosthetic leg.

Stumpy, the kangaroo with a Prosthetic Limb - Stumpy the red kangaroo lives in Ohio, at the International Kangaroo Society's sanctuary. She only has one leg. Veterinarians at Ohio State University created an artificial limb for her. Dr. David E. Anderson, Associate Professor of Surgery, Food Animal, of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Richard Nitsch, a licensed prosthesis orthotist for American Orthopedics, made sure it included a spring to replicate the natural movement of a kangaroo.

Fuji, the Dolphin with a Rubber Tail - For decades, Fuji the dolphin had delighted children visiting an aquarium in Okinawa until a mysterious disease began eating away her tail fin. To save her life, almost all her tail fin had to be amputated.

A dolphin's tail fin is its engine. Without it, dolphins can't swim, jump or dive, so engineers from Bridgestone Tire Company worked to design a new rubber tail for Fuji. The first designs did not work properly or had some other drawback. Finally, Fuji accepted the third tail design, made of silicon rubber with a foam padding, and was able to swim almost as well as an intact dolphin.

Uzonka, the Stork with a Prosthetic bill - When a bird's beak is damaged, it may not be able to eat, drink, or hunt properly and could die as a result. Uzonka the stork had her bill damaged by human assault. She received a prosthetic beak after five preparatory operations and is in the care of an animal hospital in Uzon, Romania.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

'Ligers' Seized From Taiwan Zoo

A private zoo in Taiwan has become the island's first to breed "ligers" - a hybrid of a lion and a tigress - but officials seized the cubs and said they may fine the owner.

The three liger cubs were born on Sunday at the World Snake King Education Farm, but one of them died almost immediately.
The zoo said the pregnancy of the tigress had come as a surprise as the pair had shared a cage for more than six years without incident. video


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Facebook Themes