Photography

Starfish

Starfish

Starfish or sea stars are star-shaped echinoderms belonging to the class Asteroidea. Common usage frequently finds these names being also applied to ophiuroids, which are correctly referred to as brittle stars or “basket stars”.
Scientific nameAsteroidea
PhylumEchinodermata
ClassAsteroidea; De Blainville, 1830
KingdomAnimalia
RankClass

Starfish or sea stars are star-shaped echinoderms belonging to the class Asteroidea. Common usage frequently finds these names being also applied to ophiuroids, which are correctly referred to as brittle stars or “basket stars”. About 1,500 species of starfish occur on the seabed in all the world’s oceans, from the tropics to frigid polar waters. They are found from the intertidal zone down to abyssaldepths, 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the surface.

Starfish are marine invertebrates. They typically have a central disc and five arms, though some species have a larger number of arms. The aboral or upper surface may be smooth, granular or spiny, and is covered with overlapping plates. Many species are brightly coloured in various shades of red or orange, while others are blue, grey or brown. Starfish have tube feet operated by a hydraulic systemand a mouth at the centre of the oral or lower surface. They are opportunistic feeders and are mostly predators on benthic invertebrates. Several species have specialized feeding behaviours including eversion of their stomachs and suspension feeding. They have complex life cycles and can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

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Animals · Nature

Diamondback Turtle

The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) or simply terrapin, is a species of turtle native to the brackish coastal tidal marshes of the eastern and southern United States, and in Bermuda.[5] It belongs to the monotypic genus, Malaclemys. It has one of the largest ranges of all turtles in North America, stretching as far south as Florida Keys and as far north as Cape Cod.[6]

The name “terrapin” is derived from the Algonquian word torope.[7] It applies to Malaclemys terrapin in both British English and American English. The name originally was used by early European settlers in North America to describe these brackish-water turtles that inhabited neither freshwater habitats nor the sea. It retains this primary meaning in American English.[7] In British English, however, other semi-aquatic turtle species, such as the red-eared slider, might be called a terrapin.

The common name refers to the diamond pattern on top of its shell (carapace), but the overall pattern and coloration vary greatly. The shell is usually wider at the back than in the front, and from above its appears wedge-shaped. The shell coloring can vary from brown to grey, and its body color can be grey, brown, yellow, or white. All have a unique pattern of wiggly, black markings or spots on their body and head. The diamondback terrapin has large webbed feet.[8] The species is sexually dimorphic in that the males grow to approximately 13 cm (5.1 in), while the females grow to an average of around 19 cm (7.5 in), though they are capable of growing larger. The largest female on record was just over 23 cm (9.1 in) in length. Specimens from regions that are consistently warmer in temperature tend to be larger than those from cooler, more northern areas.[9]Male diamondback terrapins weigh 300 g (11 oz) on average, while females weigh around 500 g (18 oz).[10] The largest females can weigh up to 1,000 g (35 oz)

 

(photos taken at Camden Aquarium)

 

Kids · Photography · sports

Tae Kwon Do

stance-asian

(Model Shelbie-Leigh now 1st Degree Black-belt)

Although its roots can be somewhat traced back to ancient Korea, it is a historic fact that Taekwondo as an organized art is relatively modern. In fact, the only documented history begins in the mid 1900’s.

The actual beginnings of Taekwondo are obscured by time, yet many historians believe it originated from a Korean martial arts form known as t’aekyon practiced over 1,300 years ago.

In the early 1900’s the art evolved with the introduction of Chinese and Japanese techniques, a practice which concerned some because these influences did not demonstrate the incredible kicking power of the art nor its traditional values or philosophy.

The actual name (and art) of Taekwondo wasn’t official until 1955. At that time Korean General Hong Hi Choi organized a movement to unify Korea’s various martial arts styles (Called Kwans) and presented the name “Taekwondo” to a committee specially formed to select a name for the new art. On April 11, 1955, Taekwondo was recognized as the name for the newly unified, officially recognized Korean martial art.

As an interesting side note, the word Taekwondo itself is made up of three Chinese/Korean words: Tae, meaning to kick or jump; Kwon, meaning fist or hand; and Do, which means “the way.” Loosely (if not literally), it can be thought of as “The Way of the Hand and Foot.”

In the 1960’s Taekwondo began to spread internationally and evolved throughout the late 1900’s (along with most martial arts) into primarily a combat sport, although self-defense, fitness, and the philosophy of the practice (including self-discipline and self-knowledge) are still crucial elements of Songahm Taekwondo, the style of Taekwondo developed and supported by the ATA.

Taekwondo is currently the most popular martial art in Korea, and ranks among America’s and the world’s most popular martial arts.

Family · Love · Photography

Sibling Love

muslima

Siblings are one of the best things our parents bring in our life. They are our first friends. We are raised together with them and so siblings better understand each other better even without a brief explanation. Relationship between siblings is a bit complicated especially in childhood. They fight and argue with each other every now and then but at the end of the day they can’t live without each other. At some point you believe them to be our biggest rival and at other moment feel immense love for them. With time as they mature, they understand each other much better and learn to respect more.

“I smile because I am your brother and laugh because there is nothing you can do about it.”

Animals · Sharks · water

Bamboo Sharks

DSCN2146Bamboo Sharks

Size: Up to 3.5 feet long
Habitat/Range: Shallow waters of tide pools and inshore coral reefs of the Indo-west Pacific region

A small shark with spots. Its dorsal fins are straight or convex rear margins, and its anal fin is set very far back on a very long, thick tail. Its first dorsal fin origin is opposite or just behind the pelvic fin insertions, and it has lateral ridges on its body.

COLOR
This shark has a pokie machines dark body with numerous light and dark spots, dark bands and saddles not conspicuously edged with black.

SIZE
When the shark hatches, it is about 3.54 to 4.72 inches [9 to 12 cm] in length. Females mature when they are 1.6 to 2 ft [50 to 60 cm], and the shark can reach a length of 3.1 ft [95 cm].

HABITAT
The shark prefers inshore waters. It is usually seen on the bottom, or on the reefs in the tropics.

DISTRIBUTION
Indo-west Pacific from Madagascar to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan.

(photos taken at Adventure Aquarium)

Birds · Nature · Photography

LAUGHING KOOKABURRA

LAUGHING KOOKABURRA

LAUGHING KOOKABURRA

The Laughing Kookaburra is instantly recognisable in both plumage and voice. It is generally off-white below, faintly barred with dark brown, and brown on the back and wings. The tail is more rufous, broadly barred with black. There is a conspicuous dark brown eye-stripe through the face. It is one of the larger members of the kingfisher family.

Similar species:

Identification may only be confused where the Laughing Kookaburra’s range overlaps that of the Blue-winged KookaburraDacelo leachii, in eastern Queensland. The call of the Blue-winged Kookaburra is coarser than that of the Laughing Kookaburra, and ends somewhat abruptly. The Blue-winged Kookaburra lacks the brown eye-stripe, has a blue tail and a large amount of blue in the wing, and has a pale eye.

Where does it live?

Distribution:

Laughing Kookaburras are found throughout eastern Australia. They have been introduced to Tasmania, the extreme south-west of Western Australia, and New Zealand. Replaced by the Blue-winged Kookaburra in central northern and north-western Australia, with some overlap in Queensland, although this species is more coastal.

Habitat:

The Laughing Kookaburra inhabits most areas where there are suitable trees.

Animals · Cats · Mountain Lion · Puma

Cat Country

cougar

The Cougar

This powerful predator roams the Americas, where it is also known as a puma, cougar, and catamount. This big cat of many names is also found in many habitats, from Florida swamps to Canadian forests.

Mountain lions like to prey on deer, though they also eat smaller animals such as coyotes, porcupines, and raccoons. They usually hunt at night or during the gloaming hours of dawn and dusk. These cats employ a blend of stealth and power, stalking their prey until an opportunity arrives to pounce, then going for the back of the neck with a fatal bite.

Type:MammalDiet:CarnivoreSize:Head and body, 3.25 to 5.25 ft (1 to 1.6 m); Tail, 23.5 to 33.5 in (60 to 85 cm)Weight:136 lbs (62 kg)Protection status:Endangered

Animals · Birds · Fowl · Nature

The Majestic Peacock

peacock

The Peacock

Peacocks are large, colorful pheasants (typically blue and green) known for their iridescent tails. These tail feathers, or coverts, spread out in a distinctive train that is more than 60 percent of the bird’s total body length and boast colorful “eye” markings of blue, gold, red, and other hues. The large train is used in mating rituals and courtship displays. It can be arched into a magnificent fan that reaches across the bird’s back and touches the ground on either side. Females are believed to choose their mates according to the size, color, and quality of these outrageous feather trains.

The term “peacock” is commonly used to refer to birds of both sexes. Technically, only males are peacocks. Females are peahens, and together, they are called peafowl.

Animals

Monkeying Around!

tan monkey hanging out

Gibbon

Monkey Species
There are more than 260 species of Monkeys found in the world today. They are derived from early primates that have been around for millions of years. There isn’t enough information about evolution to say with certainty how they came to be.  The gibbon monkey — or, more properly, gibbon ape — might not have a familiar name, but you’ve probably seen his funny walk and graceful style of swinging through the trees. Gibbons are so closely related to humans that they live in monogamous families and can walk upright on two legs. These slender, agile primates live in a small part of the world and are on the endangered species list.