Fascinating World

A small attempt to gather unusual and amazing facts about elements of Nature.


14 Comments

Tree-climbing Robber Crab

[Please Note: I would like to state that I have not experienced / seen any of the facts mentioned here. I am curious about the various unusual phenomenon occurring in nature. I have only researched and compiled these facts together. The images presented in this blog are not photographed by me. Thank you.]

Robber crab is another name for the Coconut crab.  They are also known as Palm thief. The scientific name is Birgus latro and the coconut crab is the only species of the genus Birgus. This species is a terrestrial hermit crab. Continue reading

Advertisements


27 Comments

Perfect Aim

[Please Note: I would like to state that I have not experienced / seen any of the facts mentioned here. I am curious about the various unusual phenomenon occurring in nature. I have only researched and compiled these facts together. The images presented in this blog are not photographed by me. Thank you.]

Though the Archer fish lives in water, it preys on the insects living on land. It has a unique way of catching its prey. Archer fish is also called as Spinner fish.

These fish belong to monotopic family Toxotodae and this family consists of only seven species. These fish live in brackish waters of estuaries and mangroves, as well as open seas and fresh water. Archer fish are commonly found in Philippines, India, Indonesia, Australia, Sri Lanka and Polynesia.

Generally the Archer fish are not very big in size; they grow only up to 5 to 10 cm. but some species can reach up to 40 cm. Their body shape is laterally compressed and they have big eyes which facilitate a good eye-sight.

Archer fish exhibits a jutting lower jaw. Their mouth has a special structure and they can shoot their prey down by spitting a jet of water.

They are very accurate in their aim and an adult fish mostly (almost always) hits its prey at first shot. While aiming at its prey it takes care of not jutting its head out of water, but only its lips break the water surface.

Archer fish forms a channel between the roof of its mouth and tongue, then it contracts the gill covers, forces the water through the channel and shoots the water stream at the prey. It can shoot a stream up to 5 meters (16 feet), but the accuracy is best between the range of 1 to 2 meters. These fish are persistent; if the first shot fails they shoot multiple shots.

[Technical: Archer fish use water jets as tool. It needs considerable force to shoot a stream and hit and knock over an insect. It shoots out in such a way that the water at the end of the stream is shot out at a faster speed than water at the beginning of the stream. Thus the water slams into the prey in short burst and with maximum force. Archer fish deliberately influences the hydrodynamics of water; and so this is considered as the use of water as tool. So far, only man and apes were considered to be intelligent enough to make use of tools for hunting, but the Archer fish also uses water as tool.]

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/worlds-deadliest-ngs/deadliest-archer-fish?source=relatedvideo

If the insect is closer to the water surface, then the Archer fish even leaps out of water and grabs it. Now it is discovered that thy also shoot water jets underwater to get the prey embedded in silt.

 


39 Comments

Unique Ants

[Please Note: I would like to state that I have not experienced / seen any of the facts mentioned here. I am curious about the various unusual phenomenon occurring in nature. I have only researched and compiled these facts together. The images presented in this blog are not photographed by me. Thank you.]

Commonly we know only about the honeybees collecting honey or the butterflies thriving on the nectar. There are also species of ants that collect honey. While the bees store their collection in the bee-hives, these ants have a unique way of storing the honey — they store the honey in their bodies. Continue reading


30 Comments

Tiny, Colourful — and Lethal.

[Please Note: I would like to state that I have not experienced / seen any of the facts mentioned here. I am curious about the various unusual phenomenon occurring in nature. I have only researched and compiled these facts together. The images presented in this blog are not photographed by me. Thank you.]

They look so bright and colourful, but they are dangerous — these are Poison Dart Frogs.

 

Image result for purple poison dart frog

Image Source: Here

The scientific name of these amphibians is Dendrobatidae. Generally these are small in size, from 1.5 cm to maximum 6 cm. Their life span is 3 to 15 years. The habitat of the poison dart frogs is the tropical rain forests of central and south America. These frogs live in trees and leaves, under logs and rocks, but always near water bodies (like other amphibians.)

Image result for poison dart frog

Image Source: Here

The bright colouring of these creatures ranges from gold, yellow, red, green, blue, copper, black etc. Their brilliant neon colours are a warning for the predators. (This is called as aposematic colouration). The frogs with cryptic colouration possess minimal to no toxicity.

Image result for poison dart frog

Image Source: Here

These creatures are considered as some of the most toxic animals on the earth. The golden poison dart frog contains enough poison to kill ten men or around ten thousand mice. For centuries, the original inhabitants of Colombia used the potent poison of these amphibians to tip their hunting arrows or darts; that’s how the Dendrobatids acquired their commonly used name ‘Poison Dart Frogs’.

 

Image result for poison dart frog

Image Source: Here

It is a hypothesis of the scientists that these frogs derive this poison from their preys like ants, termites, millipedes, beetles etc. An experiment was carried out wherein these frogs were raised in captivity and they were deprived of the preys of their natural habitat. It was observed that these frogs did not develop any poison.

The poison is in alkaloid form and is stored in glands beneath their skin. There are two-three different types of alkaloids, namely Batrachotoxin, Epibatidine and Phantasmidine. These poisons are found on their skin, so the frogs are toxic to touch. (Many species are toxic but not deadly). These alkaloids (poisons) can cause swelling, nausea and muscular paralysis. Even little amount can cause brain and muscle damage, leading to respiratory paralysis, seizures and death.

The female frogs lay their eggs in trees and leaves and when the eggs are hatched, the mother gives piggy-back rides to the tadpoles and take them near water. The females lay more (unfertilized) eggs to feed the tadpoles, their poison is passed through these eggs to the tadpoles. Thus even the young ones of the poison dart frogs have protection against the predators.

Scientists are presently working on the poisonous alkaloids secreted by these frogs. Although these are lethal, they also can numb pain; so these are being used for developing effective pain-killers.

These frogs face danger of extinction because they are fast loosing their habitat to human encroachment and also, these neon coloured animals are captured for trade.

 


36 Comments

Mirror, Mirror ….. In the Cob-Web?

[Please Note: I would like to state that I have not experienced / seen any of the facts mentioned here. I am curious about the various unusual phenomenon occurring in nature. (As they say: Once a researcher, always a researcher) I have only researched and compiled these facts together. The images presented in this blog are not photographed by me. Thank you.]

Somethings seems to be wrong with the title, right? Shouldn’t it be Mirror, mirror on the wall? No, here it is correct, as we are talking about the Mirror Spider. Continue reading


35 Comments

Doctor Of The Deep Ocean

All living creatures suffer from ill-health at one point or the other. The small and big fishes of the deep ocean are often affected with parasitic infections. At such times, a tiny fish helps them in keeping these infections in check. This is a type of cleaner fish called Wrasse. Continue reading


27 Comments

Tall and Huge Houses!

Cathedral Termites:

These creatures are tiny termites (3 mm. in height) but the nests/mounds they build are tall and tough, which can withstand the rough weather as well as attacks from predators. Because of their characteristic castle-like mounds that they construct, these insects are known as Cathedral termites and are considered as remarkable engineers of the insect world. Continue reading