Pygmy Marmoset

Big things come in small packages, just like the pygmy marmoset.

  • Pygmy marmosets are a species of small primate, endemic to the Amazon rainforest of northern South America.
  • The scientific name of pygmy marmosets is Cebuella pygmaea, or the synonymous Callithrix pygmaea, and it is from the family Callitrichidae, a family of New World monkeys.
  • At a height of roughly 12 to 16 centimetres (4.7 to 6.3 inches), and a weight of 85 to 140 grams (3 to 4.9 ounces), pygmy marmosets are among the smallest primates, and are the smallest living monkeys.
  • A pygmy marmoset has fur patterned with a variety of colours, including browns, greys, whites, blacks and golds, and the tail is striped with dark coloured rings.
  • The diet of pygmy marmosets consists primarily of tree sap or other resins, although they may also eat insects, fruit, spiders, nectar, flowers and lizards.
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Pygmy Marmoset
Image courtesy of Karra Rothery/Flickr
  • Pygmy marmosets have long tails of approximately 20 centimetres (7.9 inches) in length; and they live in trees and are excellent climbers, however they will rarely climb higher than 18 metres (59 feet) from the base of a tree.
  • To collect sap from trees, pygmy marmosets gnaw small holes into the tree trunks, and they may create as many as 1300 holes in a single tree.
  • Pygmy marmosets have high pitched calls comparable to that of bird calls, with some sounds being of a pitch too high for human ears to hear.
  • While pygmy marmosets are listed as ‘least concern’, they are sometimes kept as exotic pets, however, the monkeys often perish from depression, or show considerable spite towards their owner.
  • Pygmy marmosets generally have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years in the wild, and they live in family groups of two to nine individuals, and these groups are well-bonded.
Bibliography:
Pygmy Marmoset, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/pygmy-marmoset/
Pygmy Marmoset, 2016, San Diego Zoo, http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/pygmy-marmoset
Pygmy Marmoset, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmy_marmoset
Wade E, Callithrix pygmaea, 2012, Animal Diversity Web, http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Callithrix_pygmaea/

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Spectacled Bear

Spectacled bears are a spectacular species of bear.

  • Spectacled bears are a species of medium-sized bear, native to north-western South America, and they are the only extant bear of the continent.
  • ‘Spectacled bears’ are also known as ‘Andean short-faced bears’ and ‘Andean bears’; and their common name refers to the spectacle like fur patterns that often occur around their eyes.
  • The scientific name of the spectacled bear is Tremarctos ornatus and it is from the family Ursidae, the family of bears.
  • Spectacled bears generally grow to be 1.3 to 2 metres (4.3 to 6.6 feet) in length and 60 to 200 kilograms (132 to 441 pounds) in weight.
  • The hair of spectacled bears is mostly a black colour, although sometimes it can tend towards brown; with white to beige facial, and sometimes chest, patterns, that vary among the individual bears.
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Spectacled Bear
Image courtesy of Nathan Bittinger/Flickr
  • The diet of spectacled bears consists of a variety of vegetation including various leaf types and bark, as well as bromeliads, bamboo, fruit, and honey, and the occasional bird, insect or small mammal.
  • Spectacled bears generally reside in trees, and as such are skillful climbers; and they often create platforms in the trees to rest on and forage from.
  • Spectacled bears are listed as vulnerable due to significant habitat loss, as well as poaching, and some bears are killed simply because they interfere with human activities.
  • A female spectacled bear may give birth to one to four cubs in a season, which become independent within a year, and they are cared for by their mother until that time.
  • Spectacled bears have an average lifespan of 20 years in their natural habitat, however individuals in captivity can survive until almost 37 years of age.
Bibliography:
Fenner K, Tremarctos ornatus, 2012, Animal Diversity Web, http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Tremarctos_ornatus/
Spectacled Bear, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/spectacled-bear/
Spectacled Bear, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectacled_bear

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Abraham Lake

Abraham Lake is a picturesque spectacle of bubbles.

  • Abraham Lake is a lake located near the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, and it is the longest man-made lake in the province of Alberta.
  • Abraham Lake covers an area of roughly 53.7 square kilometres (20.7 square miles), and at its longest point it reaches 32 kilometres (20 miles), and has a maximum width of 3.3 kilometres (2 miles).
  • Abraham Lake was created in 1972, due to the construction of the Bighorn Hydro Plant, and it is a reservoir created on the North Saskatchewan River.
  • The beautiful turquoise colour of Abraham Lake is a result of glacial rock flour particles that are contained within the water.
  • Abraham Lake is well known for the methane bubbles that freeze in a stack-like formation within the lake’s water during winter.
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Abraham Lake
Image courtesy of Aaron E/Flickr
  • The bubbles trapped in Abraham Lake, as well as any formed cracks, are opportunities favoured by photographers, as they are clearly visible through the icy surface, and as such, the lake attracts many visitors during the winter months.
  • ‘Abraham Lake’ was the winning name chosen from a competition to name the lake, and it honours a well-known local indigenous man, Silas Abraham, who grew up in the area in the late 1800s.
  • Recreational activities in the Lake Abraham area include hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and camping; and a heliport can be found on the western coast of the lake, that is used for scenic tours of the area.
  • Abraham Lake’s methane bubbles are caused by decaying organic matter on the lakebed, which is partly due to the volume of plant life that was engulfed by the dam when it was made.
  • Fishing is a popular activity in Abraham Lake, however due to the instability of water and weather conditions, most other water sports are discouraged.
Bibliography:
Abraham Lake, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lake
Abraham Lake: Background, 2016, Trip Advisor, https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g7900164-s2/Abraham-Lake:Alberta:Background.html
Abraham Lake in Winter is Gorgeous… And Explosive (Photos), 2013, Huffpost Alberta, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/14/abraham-lake-in-winter_n_4442292.html
Frozen Air Bubbles in Abraham Lake, 2013, Amusing Planet, http://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/01/frozen-air-bubbles-in-abraham-lake.html

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Red-Handed Tamarin

When working hard, you might get as red-handed as the red-handed tamarin.

  • Red-handed tamarins are a species of small primate native to countries of northeast South America, including Guyana, Suriname, Brazil and French Guiana.
  • ‘Red-handed tamarins’ are also known as ‘Midas tamarins’ and ‘golden-handed tamarins’.
  • The scientific name of red-handed tamarins is Saguinus midas and it is from the family Callitrichidae, a family of New World monkeys.
  • Red-handed tamarins grow to be 20.5 to 28 centimetres (8 to 11 inches) in height, excluding the tail, and they generally weigh between 400 to 550 grams (14 to 19.4 ounces).
  • The hair colour of red-haired tamarins is black, except for the hands and feet, which are coloured yellow to red.
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Red-handed Tamarin
Image courtesy of Mathius Appel/Flickr
  • Red-handed tamarins live in troops of 2 to 16 individuals, typically cooperating as they forage and to raise young.
  • The diet of red-handed tamarins consists primarily of insects, fruit, spiders, sap, eggs, small animals and leaves.
  • Red-handed tamarins have sharp teeth and claws, and they use these when threatened or to protect their territory.
  • Female red-handed tamarins usually give birth to one to three young each year, though it is typically two at a time, and their lifespan is up to 10 years or more in the wild, and up to 21 years in captivity.
  • Red-handed tamarins can jump from heights of at least 20 metres (66 feet) from a tree, to a solid surface without sustaining injuries.
Bibliography:
Cloyd E, Saguinus midas, 2000, Animal Diversity Web, http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Saguinus_midas/
Red-handed Tamarin, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-handed_tamarin
Red-handed Tamarin, 2016, A-Z Animals, http://a-z-animals.com/animals/red-handed-tamarin/

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White Snakeroot

White snakeroot is one root you do not want to eat.

  • White snakeroots are perennial plants, found in the eastern parts of Canada and the United States, in North America.
  • The scientific name of white snakeroot is Ageratina altissima and it is from the family Asteraceae, the family of daisies, and the plant was previously specified as Eupatorium rugosum.
  • ‘White snakeroots’ are less commonly known as ‘richweeds’, ‘tall bonesets’ and ‘white sanicles’, though other plant species may also be called these names.
  • White snakeroots grow in sunny to partly shady areas, typically to a height of 90 to 150 centimetres (3 to 5 feet).
  • The small flowers of white snakeroots are of a white colour and grow in clusters; and they bloom most commonly during the summer and autumn months.
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White Snakeroot
Image courtesy of White Wolf/Flickr
  • White snakeroots are poisonous to many livestock and humans, and symptoms can include trembling, intestinal pain and vomiting, and it can be fatal if left untreated.
  • White snakeroots plants grow from rhizomes that multiply, and they are easily grown from seeds that form after flowering.
  • Cows that have eaten white snakeroot will have toxic milk and meat, and this causes poisoning, or ‘milk sickness’ as it is known, in humans if they consume the products.
  • White snakeroot rhizomes have been historically been used to treat snakebites when made into poultice, hence its common name.
  • White snakeroots can be used ornamentally, prominently in cottage-themed gardens.
Bibliography:
Ageratina altissima, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageratina_altissima
Ageratina altissima, Missouri Botanical Garden, http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a747
White Snakeroot, n.d, Illinois Wildflowers, http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/wh_snakeroot.htm

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Brazilian Wandering Spider

Does the venomous nature of the Brazilian wandering spider scare you?

  • Brazilian wandering spiders are a genus of arachnids, native to South America and Central America, and in particular, Brazil, where all species are present.
  • ‘Brazilian wandering spiders’ are also known as ‘armed spiders’ and, along with some other spider species, ‘banana spiders’.
  • The scientific name of the Brazilian wandering spider is Phoneutria and it is from the family Ctenidae, the family of wandering spiders.
  • There are eight species of Brazilian wandering spiders, some of which are known for their high venom toxicity.
  • Brazilian wandering spiders can grow to be 1.7 to 5 centimetres (0.7 to 2 inches) long, with a leg span of 10 to 18 centimetres (4 to 7 inches).

Brazilian Wandering Spider, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Arachnid, Venomous, Dangerous, Toxic, Banana

A Brazilian Wandering Spider
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  • Hairs are evident on Brazilian wandering spiders, and the spider tends to be a mostly brown colour, sometimes with red near the fangs.
  • For some years, the Brazilian wandering spider was listed as the spider being the most venomous on earth, by the Guinness World Records.
  • Brazilian wandering spiders do not spin webs, instead they find dark locations to hide in, and when it is night time, they come out hunting for crickets and other insects, along with lizards and frogs.
  • The venom of Brazilian wandering spiders can cause immense pain, the blocking of calcium absorption, inflammation, breathing issues, paralysis and muscle spasms, and even death if left untreated.
  • Brazilian wandering spiders may reside on banana plants, and sometimes the fruit has been exported across the globe with a spider accompanying it.
Bibliography:
Brazilian Wandering Spider, 2016, Animal Corner, https://animalcorner.co.uk/animals/brazilian-wandering-spider/
Brazilian Wandering Spider, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_wandering_spider
Phoneutria – introduction, 2013, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, http://www.wandering-spiders.net/phoneutria/introduction/
Szalay J, Brazilian Wandering Spiders: Bites & Other Facts, 2014, Live Science, http://www.livescience.com/41591-brazilian-wandering-spiders.html

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