Tag Archives: sea

If Looks Could Kill

While reading an article entitled “15 Cute Animals That Could Kill You” (don’t laugh, you would look at it , too), I was actually surprised by a lot of the list. Mostly because I don’t consider the following, although deadly, to be cute:

Blue-ringed Octopus, Gila Monster, Cuttlefish & Cassowary. NOT cute, right?

Now some may argue with me on this one…the Leopard Seal. Sure he looks cute here while at rest (didn’t our parents always prefer us when we we sleeping too?)

aww?

But look again and you will find yourself agreeing that the Leopard Seal is once again, is NOT cute:

You are probably nodding your head right now.

Onto ACTUAL cute animals that could indeed kill you.

#1. The Pufferfish

He seems to be saying hello!

It is possible that I have seen one of these cute but deadly fish while snorkeling in Hawaii. For once, I am glad that I didn’t know then what I know now.

The pufferfish is the second most poisonous vertebrate on the planet. Fishermen recommend the use of thick gloves to avoid poisoning and the risk of getting bitten when removing the hook. The poison of a pufferfish, which has no antidote, kills by paralyzing the diaphragm, causing suffocation.

#2 The Slow Loris

For the last time, I am not an Ewok!

This animal might look like a harmless, big-eyed baby ewok, but the slow loris is one of the only poisonous mammals in the world. Its subtle nature makes it popular in the illegal pet trade, but unknowing humans should stay clear of its toxin, which is released from the sides of its elbows. When threatened, the loris takes the toxin into its mouth and mixes it with saliva. The animal will also lick its hair to deter predators from attack. The toxin can cause death by anaphylactic shock.

Find the full list here.

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Walking and Auking (04/30)

I have always thought that the Auk was a flightless bird.

You call those wings?

You call those wings?

However, that is only true for the Great Auk which is now extinct (and pictured above). The Auks that are around today certainly enjoy their evolved wings…

Go Little Bird Go!

Go Little Auk Go!

BONUS FACT: The Great Auk is was the only species in the genus Pinguinus, a group which included several flightless giant auks from the Atlantic, to survive until modern times!

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S.O.S (03/02)

There are televisions on the bus that I take to work in the morning. Why they are there I do not know, but I do suppose the trivia on the televisions do pass time.

Here was one I saw today:

Which ship was the first to use the brand new S.O.S distress call on April 14, 1912?

The Titanic

The Titanic

However, if you ask Snopes.com they say that is false. Much in the same way famous people are credited for originating sayings they never uttered…

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58 across: Portuguese man-o-war (01/30)

Once again, I am working on a crossword and I get stuck. Except this time I know that I know the answer or knew it before, but I was blocked.

I tried to go to the next clue but I couldn’t do it. It was as though I couldn’t move on without looking up the clue which I will share with you now:

Portuguese man-of-war

The 9 letter answer: jellyfish

The interesting thing about that answer is that it is NOT a jellyfish, although it is often mistook for one.

man_o_war_600

Looks can be deceiving...

Here are some facts thanks to National Geographic:

Anyone unfamiliar with the biology of the venomous Portuguese man-of-war would likely mistake it for a jellyfish. Not only is it not a jellyfish, it’s not even an “it,” but a “they.” The Portuguese man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together.

The man-of-war comprises four separate polyps. It gets its name from the uppermost polyp, a gas-filled bladder, or pneumatophore, which sits above the water and somewhat resembles an old warship at full sail. Man-of-wars are also known as bluebottles for the purple-blue color of their pneumatophores.

The tentacles are the man-of-war’s second organism. These long, thin tendrils can extend 165 feet (50 meters) in length below the surface, although 30 feet (10 meters) is more the average. They are covered in venom-filled nematocysts used to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures. For humans, a man-of-war sting is excruciatingly painful, but rarely deadly. But beware—even dead man-of-wars washed up on shore can deliver a sting.

Muscles in the tentacles draw prey up to a polyp containing the gastrozooids or digestive organisms. A fourth polyp contains the reproductive organisms.

Man-of-wars are found, sometimes in groups of 1,000 or more, floating in warm waters throughout the world’s oceans. They have no independent means of propulsion and either drift on the currents or catch the wind with their pneumatophores. To avoid threats on the surface, they can deflate their air bags and briefly submerge.

Why does the fact that it’s not even an “it,” but a “they” still creep me out?

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