12/10/2008

The whizzer's abode



This is Coolum a tourist spot on the Pacific Ocean in fact quite a few of these images are from there.
It is an attractive tourist spot and much cheaper to visit than beach suburbs like Mooloolaba and Maroochydore further south.
Here is one of Maroochydore which I took a year or so ago now.

Below there is another I took on Mother's day this year (winter) people swim all year around here although I must admit I don't think I would.
Most of these were taken on the same day





Below this is a shot of the Marina at Mooloolaba...underwater world is here along with shops pub milk bars etc.


The fishing trawlers come in here so it's an excellent place to purchase fresh seafood.
Here is a shot of the Marina below where you can go for a canal cruise a great experience I know.


The video was taken by my youngest son of a surf ski carnival at Alexander headland beach in Maroochydore so sit back and enjoy it. Audio recommended




Comments most welcome

11/11/2008

Prehistoric Reptile an amazing discovery


A rare reptile with lineage dating back to the dinosaur age has been found nesting on the New Zealand mainland for the first time in about 200 years so I read here.

Some eggs from an indigenous Tuatara were found at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in the capital of New Zealand purely by accident so there could well be more who knows.
They resemble our concepts of dragons and can grow up to 32 inches (about 81 centimetres) according to zoologists these reptiles are the last descendants of creatures that roamed our world 225 million years ago.
They can still be found on outlying Islands though where there are no predators that were introduced by Europeans many years ago.
200 have been introduced to this sanctuary from 2005 onwards
They have very unique characteristics, such as two rows of top teeth closing over one row at the bottom with a pronounced
parietal eye, a light-sensitive pineal gland on the top of the skull.
Called a third eye it gradually vanishes as they get older.

9/13/2008

A few of our animals we have on the planet



Yes an easy one the Giraffe strange animals for all that I guess.



A familiar sight is the Elephant of course, a huge creature of remarkable intellect; it is said an Elephant never forgets.
They do converse with each other if you get a chance to watch them in their habitat and are sociable creatures especially when rearing their young.



Chippy the Chipmunk is next cute looking but a pest in gardens I was told by a friend of mine.





This little bloke is a Wombat an Australian animal I was told they looked like a Badger personally I can't see the similarity.
They are not so little either and get overweight in captivity.

Below here is an easily recognised animal often called the king of the Jungle






This is a male Orca and below are two Dolphins off the coast of New Zealand.





This polar bear crossing the Tundra near the Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba which is a sign of global warming if you notice the Tundra and how barren it is.



Picture of a Galapagos Giant Tortoise, photographed
on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
One huge animal and ancient I bet.

Below is an image of a Rhino in Zimbabwe built like a tank huh!




9/05/2008

Some Sea life

Some wonders under the waves


Black Rockfish

Black rockfish are large, powerful swimmers. They, like other rockfish, suspend themselves in the Kelp's stipes so that smaller fish (prey species) can't see them.

A purple striped jellyfish -- Pelagia panopyra - possesses very potent stingers. This purple striped jellyfish is just one example of the many types of jellies that mysteriously appear and vanish throughout the year in the Sanctuary.
Some wonders we have underneath the sea some can be dangerous of course and others not so dangerous.

These Fellas are in a California sanctuary Seals and Sea lions.



A Townsend Angelfish (Queen & Blue mix) taken at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.


Not as big as the dinosaurs, but possibly as old, sharks first appeared 450 million years ago! As the largest predatory fish in the ocean, great white sharks are the top predators of the sea. Shortly after the release of “Jaws,” long behold, sharks had gotten a bad reputation as fearful, harmful, man-eating creatures. Of course, this concept is totally incorrect, as shark attacks on humans are rare.


Yeah these look weird I know Black-Necked Stilts

Black-necked Stilts rest in the shallow water of an estuary in the Gulf of the Farallones.


Orange Tessellated Blenny

An Orange Tessellated Blenny taken at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.


Next up is a School of RockFish

A mixed species school of rockfish hang mid water in the boundless blue ocean above Cordell Bank


One of my favourite sea Mammal's the Humpback Whale

Humpback whales engage in cooperative lunge feeding on krill-tiny crustaceans abundant over Cordell Bank. These baleen whales filter the tiny shrimp-like animals from the water column in big mouthfuls.



West Indian Manatee

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is visited by several marine mammal species, including the endangered West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). Manatees are winter visitors, while species like the spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins can be seen throughout the year.Related to our Dugong


A strange one this The Four-Eye Butterflyfish

The four-eye butterflyfish (Chaetodon capistratus) is one of hundreds of fish species, which inhabit the reef environment of the Florida Keys. The butterflyfish mates for life and therefore you will often see two of them. If you can imagine two butterflyfish nose to nose, they look like a butterfly. It is easy to see how they got their name.


Elephant Seals on the Farallon Islands

The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is home to one fifth of California's harbour seals. These marine mammals rely on safe havens within the Sanctuary to haul-out, rest, and breed.We get quite a few seals and sea lions here also, also Walrus.. Penguin's etc yes and I bet you all thought it was hot here well it is but not all of the time.Beaut images huh all courtesy of live science.


Next is the Whale Dolphin off the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.




A giant ocean sunfish, or mola mola, cruises slowly through the water column. At the surface these unusual-looking fish will sometimes be mistaken for a shark because of their tall dorsal fins.


The green sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), also known as honu, is the most common sea turtle in Hawaiian waters. It feeds on marine plants in shallow coastal waters throughout the islands and can grow to 200 pounds or more. Sea turtles hold an important role in Hawaiian culture and were prominently represented in ancient Hawaiian mythology and petroglyphs




A small octopus hides amid the rocks in a shallow tide pool.


The Torpedo Ray

Torpedo rays (Torpedo californica) are identifiable by their flat gray bodies and black spots. Interestingly these animals catch their prey by stunning them with a jolt!



The Manta Ray (Manta birostris) which is an extremely large elasmobranch species that belongs to the family Mobulidae. This species has a widespread distribution and is found in all warm tropical seas. The name ‘manta’ means shawl in Spanish. It is easily recognised by the pair of fleshy cephalic fins or horns on either side of the mouth. The skin on the upper surface is extremely rough and is black in colour. A minute band of teeth occur only in the lower jaw and there is no spine present in the base of the tail. The underbody of the Manta Ray is generally all white with several dark spots.

The Manta Ray is known to feed on small fish and planktonic crustaceans which are filtered from the water by its modified gill apparatus. The cephalic fins/horns are used to guide larger forms of food into the mouth. They can be found on the open ocean where they are often encountered by boats whilst divers might be fortunate enough to see them on coral reefs. They often visit cleaning stations to have cleaner fish removes parasites from their body. Manta’s also have the ability to make spectacular leaps out of the water.

The Manta Ray can grow to an extremely large size weighing up to 2 tonnes with a wingspan of over 7 metres! this one was in NSW Australia.


Finally.
The Grey Nurse Shark an endangered species



I hope you enjoyed these wonders of the sea comments are most welcome

5/11/2008

The Northern Territory of Australia

A huge area comprising 1,346,200 sq km Capital City, Darwin and Alice Springs which is a Major City and being at the bottom end of the territory is in Central Australia; home of some of the most amazing flora and wildlife ever seen including the famous land mark known the world over as Ayers rock a huge monolith known as Uluru to our indigenous people; indeed they after consultations with the federal government now own it and have leased it back to us.

View the video below

Darwin which lies in our tropics is host to the famous Barramundi fish and the saltwater crocodile known as salties real name Estuarine crocodile; these cunning reptilian mammals can swim some way up stream into fresh water so be warned they are ruthless killers and protected by law.

They are shot usually if they take a human life it depends on the fisheries and wildlife department.

As a point of interest Darwin was the city from where General Douglas MacArthur made his famous speech after escaping from the Philippines in WW2 I "quote I shall return unquote "

There are rainbow fish in the billabongs which living in desert conditions are long lived around 10 years or so; I guess our Koori’s (indigenous people) eat them.

All manner of lizards and very deadly snakes still most of these are prevalent all over Australia.

Termites abound up there and can even be found in the Ghost gums their nests are as big as apples.

Water buffalo originally imported from Indonesia are rife and are a nuisance, feral horses called brumbies and feral camels in fact some camels have been exported back to the middle east as there are so many.

A huge selection of birds lots of which are found all over the country as well.

Many water fowl can be found in Kakadu in the Territory one has to be careful on trips to Kakadu crocs etc lurk for the unwary.

Despite many warnings by Territorians and road signs tourists often forget sometimes at great cost to themselves and I mean that.

People who visit our shores cannot get over the fact that this is the sixth largest country in the world, in fact it is about the same size as mainland America but with a very small population about 20 million live here.

That is the lowest population density in the world or was, these signs you will see if you are fortunate to visit here is the accepted norm here not cute looking as I have often heard tourists remark.

Kangaroos graze on some golf courses Koala crossing signs are all over the place.

Much indigenous art is found in the Territory also and sacred sites

I digress back to birds in the Territory I have another video below with birds etc on it this one gives a much better idea of the rugged life Territorians lead please enjoy both videos

Comments most welcome

4/19/2008

More on our strange wildlife and some history






We have two mammals here that lay eggs no you say with disbelief; you are wrong we do, one is the Echidna which a lot of Brits insist is like a Hedgehog or some Americans who will say yes like our porcupine.

It seems that blogger is acting up again I am fed up of uploading the image of the Echidna it just won't show up, now it is showing two of them, thank you blogspot very much I don't think

Both are wrong they are Monotremes who lay eggs, does a hedgehog or porcupine lay an egg, no they do not as we all know.

There is a very good reason for this strange quirk of nature down here in the southern hemisphere, we were isolated for millennia.

This makes for some very strange animals indeed, some still live in Papua New Guinea.

New Zealand, Antarctica and India of course were countries that were spawned out of part of the land mass called Gondwana in the cretaceous period of this ancient earth, a very long time ago.

I digress, back to our two Monotremes the pair of them are very shy creatures I have seen them mainly the Echidna as at nightfall they tend to run across our roads.

Mind you the Echidna is seen a lot more these days in city suburbs no less, scavenging for food I suppose

The Platypus is rarely seen a nocturnal animal who lives in creeks dams or as Europeans would say rivers or streams and ponds.

Male Platypuses are venomous by the way Platypuses use electroception to locate prey by detecting electrical fields. This is a very rare stunt among mammals.

There are about three or four species of Echidna, Echidnas are small mammals that are covered with coarse hair and spines. Superficially they resemble the anteaters of South America, and other spiny mammals like hedgehogs and porcupines. They have snouts which have the functions of both the mouth and nose. Their snouts are elongated and slender. They have very short, strong limbs with large claws and are powerful diggers. Echidnas have a tiny mouth and a toothless jaw. They feed by tearing open soft logs, anthills and the like, and use their long, sticky tongue which protrudes from their snout to collect their prey. The Short-beaked Echidna's diet consists largely of ants and termites, while the other species typically eat worms and insect larvae.

The long-nosed Echidna has tiny spines on its tongue that helps capture its meals.

Here is an image of the Platypus below


This country has been occupied by aboriginals for at least 50,000 years; some tribes speak a mixture of Malay, as they were regular visitors to our shores long before Captain Dampier spotted this place.

Tobacco was smoked here long before Sir Walter Raleigh introduced it to England from Virginia America, it was probably smoked in Virginia by Indian tribes long before any white man appeared on the scene.

First Humans in Australia Dated to 50,000 Years Ago

Analysis of sediments at two grave sites at Lake Mungo confirms that Australia is the site of the world's oldest known burial with red ochre and the oldest cremation, and provides additional evidence that early humans first reached Australia about 50,000 years ago.

Info on the first humans Courtesy of National Geographic


Makes one think huh and I was taught that life started on this earth around five or six thousand years ago as were most of us.

Comments most welcome

3/07/2008

African wildlife their struggle to survive

Whilst we as humans go and feed ourselves by buying food etc wildlife has to fend for itself.

I do believe we were like this ourselves years ago, sadly some of us still are.

This of course is to a lot of us horrendous but it is true, lots of us still behave like wild beasts at times.

We have no excuse at all for behaving in this manner, however wildlife has to resort to killing for food instead of buying it or obtaining it via various social security departments, I get fed up hearing folk say why are these animals doing this, mainly on forums; none of them have much of a brain thinking this way, none at all.

I read a comment once on a wildlife video being filmed; such stupidity one was quoted as saying ooh why don’t they stop that lion from doing that.

Could you imagine what they would say to you if you stopped them from purchasing supplies, yes I thought you would.

As my readers are quite normal folk they might be interested in watching this video, so enjoy it; personally I found it fascinating.

If these animals are not permitted to survive thanks to our own stupidity our eco system will fail in the end.

We must preserve these animals many of whom are on the endangered species list.

This list also includes Wales which the Japanese are doing their best to kill off; excellent reading on that subject can be found here.

Another site here shows the animals in Africa.

On the Australian ABC I read this I was appalled when I did so.

We should be helping these people not let them stuff up our eco system like they are unwittingly doing.

We should get our act together what with the current wars raging around the globe we now have humans starving so obviously they are killing for food just like the wildlife.

Yeah I know their governments are corrupt so does this mean we should stand idly by for a lot of people the answer is yes.

This is actually a UN problem that will never get solved, the UN are a bunch of weakies.

I figured you would all like to see these magnificent animals in their own environment though, getting back to the wildlife question something has to be done about these animals.

Yes much has been done but more is needed I reckon, anyway enjoy the video I found it enthralling

Comments most welcome

2/15/2008

Elephant Myths

Picture if you can Carthage and Rome in 300 BC

Carthage was on the northern African coast Rome well as most of us know is still in Italy I think it will be there a long time as well before it too goes under like most great civilisations do sadly

These two cities were neighbours and co-existed for centuries, of course it was inevitable than in the end hostilities commenced, the best of neighbours have their spats; this was not a mere spat.

Romans in that era confined their selves to rape looting call it what you will, in the end the Punic wars first started.

In those long ago days there was no money goods I guess was obtained by barter; quite a good system.

Carthage on the other had had expanded from mere bartering and was very wealthy in fact a very wealthy city; they really invented money.

Those greedy Romans had their eyes on this; does this sound familiar it certainly does to me however back to Carthage and Rome.

Rome wanted in on this grandiose scheme naturally and figured quite wrongly that Carthage would share this, what a joke.

In actual fact which I unearthed at a library in Maroochydore 265 BC was the turning point, the devious Romans started the first of the Punic wars some twenty two years of warfare to relieve Carthage of some of her cash etc.

When the dust settled, Rome was the proud new owner of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica. She also received four million in Carthaginian currency as compensation. Everybody was grateful the ruckus was over, and settled back to enjoy the next twenty-two years of peace so they thought.

This brings us to the story of a mighty Carthaginian General called Hamilcar; this bloke looked a real idiot by stranding his entire army on top of a Sicilian mountain

Hamilcar's friends managed to liberate him.

Hamilcar's favourite strategy involved using elephants to scare his enemies, quite a lot of them.

He instructed his son in military tactics using these huge beasts, he always emphasised the need for a great herd, and he even reckoned he would have won the First Punic War if he had been given more of these mighty beasts.

The decisive battle of the Punic War was a naval one so his lessons seemed rather absurd, Ironically, Hamilcar drowned in 228BC on the back of an elephant.

After his father's death, Hannibal awoke, he had a well-trained army, and with his father's herd, he set out for Rome to seek vengeance.

The idea was to sneak over the Alps with his Jumbos, and surprise the Romans.

This started the second Punic war

Sneaking his army and thirty-seven elephants over the Alps was not as easy as he figured the gruelling fifteen day march cost him half his army; it did not surprise the Romans either who upon hearing the grunting and cursing in the foothills, quickly moved into strategic positions.

The second Punic War was under way. The battles raged up and down the Italian coast for the next fifteen years.

Hannibal lost many elephants; he always seemed to score a few to replace the ones he had lost until the battle of Trasimene.

Without an elephant to his name, Hannibal was finished.

He had more luck on the battlefield without elephants, but Hannibal had lost his spirit. He did win several victories, but couldn't bring himself to move on Rome itself; he returned to Carthage as elephants were not getting to him for all manner of reasons.

Once Hannibal was out of Italy, the Romans pulled themselves together.

They figured the Second Punic War needed a happy ending, so they set sail for Carthage.

Hannibal was suddenly a popular bloke his neighbours lined up at his front door, and pledged all their elephants if he would only take up the cause.

Hannibal in a short time was at the head of an eighty elephant herd and given command of a very large army of soldiers.

Relying on his favourite strategy, Hannibal headed the charge with his herd of elephants. His troops marched behind the bellowing herd. The elephants took one look at the Roman legions, and decided to return to the stable as quickly as possible.

Carthaginian casualties from the elephant retreat were enormous. The Roman legions quickly wiped out the few bewildered soldiers the elephants had missed.

Hannibal was offered early retirement at the age of forty-five, He wanted to get his countrymen to start a Third Punic War whinged about it for a few years but the Carthaginians just weren't in the mood.

So that is the real story of Hannibal and below here is a video courtesy of the BBC to show you these mighty beasts in those far off days you can read about these elephants here

Comments even anonymous are quite welcome





video

1/17/2008

Australian wildlife


We have a weird and wonderful wildlife here not just marsupials and thylacines (one of these is now supposedly extinct) there are quite a few feral species like pigs, goats, horses (Brumbies) even water buffalo, one can see Camels as well which along with horses helped open up this country.

Funny thing re the camels apart from them giving children and adults rides at the beach, they are also exported back to countries that we rough colonials originally bought them from, kind of a tit for tat sort of thing.

I did a slide show for anybody that’s interested of most but not all of our native animals and birds.

You will see one of three Kangaroos lazing on the grass while a fisherman wanders by; this is absolutely true of some of the Roos as it is in a wildlife nature reserve (no firearms permitted) years ago I saw some of these creatures on the south coast of NSW swimming but you had to be an early riser to see it.

The grey and pink cockatoos we call galahs and the cute fluffy birds you may think are owls are in fact Tawny frogmouths

Some whales and Pelicans are in this show I just love those whales so sit back and enjoy the show.

Comments most welcome



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