Monday, July 30, 2012

Shark the Fish With Cartilaginous Skeleton

Sharks are fish that live in groups. They have a special characteristic of having skeletons made up of cartilages. It is believed that they have been roaming the seas for the past 420 million years. There are around 400 different species of shark today. The smallest one is around 6.7 inches in length. The largest one, the whale shark could grow up to be 39 ft long. They are found in almost all seas and their habitat is between the surface and up to 2000 feet under water.
Sharks have a covering on their skins that protect their skins from parasites and from damage. Most of them are hunters and they have very good hunting skills. If surrounded by a school of sharks in the sea, even a human is not safe. However, due to various human activities including fishing, the number of fish belonging to some species is coming down.
Sharks have very good sense of smell. They are able to detect one part per million of blood in sea water. Also, they are able to detect the direction of the smell. It is done by the timing of the nostrils getting the smell. Even the eyesight of this fish is similar to other vertebrates. Therefore, they are able to see things very well.
Sharks keep them afloat due to their low density skeleton made of cartilages. Also they have a liver that is able to keep them afloat as it is large and is filled with oil. The liver of one of these fish is so large that it constitutes 30% of its body mass. However, they cannot sleep for long as they will sink to the bottom of the sea as they don't have the gas bladders like other fish to keep them afloat.
Sharks have brain to body mass ratios similar to those of mammals. Sometimes they show curiosity. This may be due to their intelligence.
These fish normally swim at speeds of around 8 kilometers per hour. However, when they attack their prey they might achieve speeds up to 30 kilometers per hour.
Sharks are mostly carnivorous. They are well adopted to catch their prey. However, there are some of them that eat plankton. Different species use different ways to feed. The whale shark sucks water in to its mouth in order to catch plankton as well as the small fish. There are some species of these fish that lay ambush in the seabed in order to catch other fish.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monkey - A Primate Closest to Man

Spread in many regions of the world, monkeys are animals that often climb trees. However, there are ones that stay on the ground also. Baboons belong to this type. There are 260 known living species of them today. They eat leaves, fruits, flowers, insects and small animals. They are considered intelligent animals. Generally, they have tails but there are also ones that do not have tails.
The smallest monkeys are only 5-6 inches long with their tails and they weigh only around 4 to 5 oz. Pygmy Marmoset is one such monkey. The largest ones may be 3.3 ft in length and they may weigh as much as 77 pounds. Mandrill belongs to this group. Some of these animals have tails that help them hold onto trees and branches.
The tails of moneys appear to have adopted to suit their environments. Most of these primates that live in South American forests have prehensile tales which could be used to grasp objects. But those live in Africa and South Asia don't have such tails. The thick forests of South America make them necessary as the monkeys often will live on top of trees. In the not so thick forests of South East Asia and Africa the need doesn't arise as they often are on the ground.
When you consider the anatomy of animals you will notice that tails are only possible with vertebrates. But even scorpions have tale like structures. However, only vertebrates have prehensile tails. These tails have special areas that have no hair to make it easier to grasp objects. They are called the friction pads.
Monkeys often have relationship with humans. Some are raised as pets. There are others used for experiments. In certain agricultural regions they become pests damaging crops. In certain places monkey gather where tourists visit. Such animals are also considered pests. There have been occasions where tourists are attacked by them.
When it comes to experiments leading to drugs it is the African Green monkey that is being used most often. They are easy to handle and they have better resemblance to humans. They have faster reproductive cycles enabling them to bring test results quicker. While some of these animals are bred in captivity others are caught in the wild. In a few experiments these animals have been sent to space for testing purposes. In some countries flesh of these animals is eaten. In some African countries it is sold as bush meat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Using Fish Effluent to Grow Your Food

Do you know that you can use the waste products from your fish tank to grow food that you can eat? Well this is obviously a rhetorical question, because you can. This process is called Aquaponics. What is it exactly? It is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish), and hydroponics (growing food without soil). This is a very cool process and you can actually do it in your own backyard, with stuff you can find at your local home store.
How does it work?
Basically, you take the water from a fish tank, remove the solid matter from it, and use that water to provide nutrients to plants that you have floating on foam beds with their roots dangling in the water. The process is very simple, and is self-sustaining apart from some evaporation of your water source.
First you need a fish tank. A simple plastic container that holds drinking water will do. All you need to do is cut it in half, and follow the instructions from your local pet store about raising gold fish or carp. They will advise you of the temperature of the water you need to keep, and the food and environment you need to keep the fish healthy.
Next you need a grow bed for the plants. You can place the plants in a piece of Styrofoam insulation with holes cut through it, or you can purchase a product called "Perlite" which is a volcanic white pebble that absorbs water and provides a growing ground for bacteria.
Simply place the seedlings of the plants into the holes, and allow their roots do dangle through them. You then take the water from the fish tank, and pump it into the grow bed via a reservoir, and allow it to trickle through the roots of the plants where it is then pushed back into the fish tank.
This is a very short summary to give you an idea of how to do this. I am leaving out a lot of the detail.
Why do this?
One reason people do this, is because of the incredible organic plants they can grow. You can grow practically any edible species of plant this way: Lettuce, Jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, etc. They taste great and are not loaded with pesticides.
Another reason to do this is for the fish products. If you create a little larger fish tank, and are a little more aggressive with your system, you can grow fish like: Tilapia, Trout, and even Arctic Char. These are fish that you can eat or even sell.
Finally, and probably the most common reason people do this, is because they can do it. They do it just for fun. If you like to be different, then this may be the project for you to take on. So give it a try.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Flower - One Of the Most Important Parts Of a Flowering Plant

When it comes to the plant kingdom, flowering plants are the most developed plants and flower is the base for their sexual reproduction. When they get pollinated, the fruits and seeds result. Finally, they also get spread through animals and wind in order to spread the plants. In order to attract animals and birds to facilitate pollination most flowers have become attractive and there are others that have fragrances.
Though the scientific need of a flower for a plant is its reproduction, most often they are used by people for decorative purposes. Use of flowers for such purposes has been practiced from ancient times. They are used for decorating homes day to day and also on events such as weddings. Often, they are used for religious purposes also. Rituals, medicine and food are the other purposes served by flowers.
If you look at a flower carefully you will find several parts. Normally it will be located at the end of a short stem. The outermost part is the calyx. It is the one encloses the bud. Normally, it has five lobes and is of green color. Next is the corolla that has the petals. Then you have the stamens that consist of stalks and filaments. Finally, the innermost part of the flower is there. It is called the Gynoecium and it has the carpel on which pollen has to fall for the flower to be pollinated. At its bottom you get the ovaries.
Unlike animals, plants are not able to move in search of mates. Instead, they attract insects and animals to get their flowers pollinated. Most flowers produce honey in order to attract insects. When insects go in search of honey in a flower the pollen will fall on them and when they go to another flower they pollinate it without their knowledge. There are also some flowers that have developed mechanisms to get their pollination done through air.
There is the possibility of cross pollinating flowers in order to produce bigger and more attractive ones. Also it is used for the creation of hybrid plants. Very often this method is used for the development of high yielding varieties of rice paddies. In addition to that any kind of plants that cannot be budded has to be developed only through cross pollination under controlled conditions. For this type of cross pollination a high quality flower has to be chosen. Pollen also needs to be collected carefully for the purpose.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Parts of A Plant and Their Function

Plants that regenerate from a flower, known as angiosperms, are typically categorized as monocot or dicot. The terms indicate whether the seed products will develop with one or two leaves. Monocot and dicot are differences that can help us identify the different types of plant parts.
Main Idea:
Plants are in existence, just like people and creatures. We know this because all living things do certain things: 
• They need energy, nutritional value, air, and water. 
• They generate young. 
• They develop and die. 
• They respond to what's around them. 
• They are formed of cells.

Plants generate from seeds. Each seed contains a small plant awaiting for the right circumstances to emerge, or begin to grow.
Seeds delay to emerge until three needs are met: water, correct heat temperature i.e, warmness, and a good location such as in soil. During its initial stages of growth, the seedling is based upon the food resources stored with it in the seed until it is large enough for its own leaves to begin making food through a process known as photosynthesis. The seedling's roots forcibly push down into the soil to secure the new plant and to absorb water and nutritional value from the soil. And its stem with simply new leaves pushes up towards the light.
The germination level stops when a capture comes out from the ground. But to obtain a plant is not done growing. It's just started. Vegetation needs water, comfort, nutritional value from the ground, and mild to increase.
Parts of a Plant:
1) Roots:
Roots act like straws taking in water and nutritional value from the ground. Tiny main hairs keep out of the main root, assisting in the intake. Roots help to core to obtain in the ground so it does not fall over. Roots also store extra food for future use.
• The root is the main part of the plant that takes in water and nutritional value for the plant. 
• Roots have hairs that increase the surface area for more water absorption.

2) Stems: 
Stems do many factors. They support to obtain a plant. They act like the plant's watering system, performing water and nutritional value from the origins and food in the form of glucose from the simple departs to other plant parts. Arises i.e., stems can be herbaceous like the versatile control of a flower or woodsy like the back area of an oak shrub.

• The stem control has boats that transportation sap and water throughout the plant. 
• Sap is a nutrient-rich liquid that contains a lot of sugar.

3) Leaves:
Most plant's food is created in their simply departs. Foliage is designed to capture natural mild which the plant uses to create food through a procedure known as photosynthesis.
• Photosynthesis is the procedure when foliage tissues containing chlorophyll take in carbondioxide and water and using natural mild, create sugar and fresh air. 
• Transpiration is the loss of water from the foliage.

4) Flowers:
Flowers are the reproduction aspect of most plants. Flowers contain plant pollen and small eggs known as ovules. After pollination of the flower and feeding of the ovule, the ovule produces into a fruit.
• The flower is the main part of reproduction in blooming plants. 
• The male aspect of the flower is the stamen composed of the anther where plant pollen is created and the slim filament. 
• The female aspect of the flower is the pistil composed of the stigma, and the ovary. 
• Pollination happens when plant pollen is relocated by bugs or wind from the anther to the stigma. Substances known as minerals 'drill' a route down through the design to the ovary where the egg is. 
• Fertilization happens when the plant pollen connects with the egg. After this, a seed product creates inside a fruit. 
• Germination is the procedure when a seed develops into a plant.

Plants have modifications to help them endure, live and grow in different areas. Adaptations are special features that allow a plant or animal to reside in a particular environment. These modifications might make it very difficult for the plant to survive in a different place.