Thursday, March 19, 2009

Interesting facts about sloth bear.

An endangered mammal species, this is usually found in the lowland and grassland regions of the Indian forests. This hairy animal known as melursus urisnus or the Lip bear has a large lip and long back and untidy hair and has a white or yellow chest mark that is shaped like U, V or Y and a grey face. It face is interestingly without hair. It can even close its nostrils as a protective measure from dust and insects.

Fallen fragrant flower from the mahua plant is its chief food in the hot summer, which is why it is also known as the honey bear. Other preferred foods are birds’ eggs, fruits and insects, and even putrefying fish when extremely hungry. Though its gait is unsteady, the sloth bear climbs trees easily. It even climbs the date palm trees to drink the toddy.

This is a nocturnal animal that sleeps during the day in shallow caves, but does not hibernate. Two to three cubs are born at a time; the gestation period is eight months. The mother usually carries its cubs on its back on its nocturnal food-hunting and while climbing.

This is quite a rare animal and hence the Sloth Bear Foundation is taking steps to protect and preserve this endangered species and their habitats from poaching.

Source: The Hindu, March 10, 2009
Images: Google

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Our Amazing Earth

Amazing Earth

Our earth is more than 4.5 billion years old, but recent studies suggest that it is still older. More than two million cubic miles of fresh water is assessed to be stored in the earth. We all now know that the earth is the only planet that can hold water in liquid form on the surface. Concentrated ozone molecules are present in the ozone layer, which is more than 50 km in thickness, but we are causing damage to this protective layer by global warming. The bulge of the earth earlier noted by the experts as decreasing is now noticed to be increasing resulting in the slowdown of its rotation. Our Earth is now known to have another moon by name “3753 Cruithne" . Though there are more than 5 to 30 million different species on the earth, only about two million of them have been identified so far. Early astronauts had seen our eEarth from the space and called it the Blue Planet Remember Yuri Gagarin’s words? “The earth is so beautiful. Seeing ithe Earth for the first time, I could not help but love and cherish her.’
No doubt the earth is lovely, but it also contains wild volcanoes as well as devastating earthquakes. Extremes of climate are all too familiar to all of us. Deep oceans and tall peaks make our Earth a truly amazing planet.

Source: A weekly from Chennai

Image: Google

Amazing Facts About a Planet.

It is believed that our planet is more than 4.5 billion years old and recent evidence actually shows that earth was formed much earlier and that our planet stores more than two million cubic miles of fresh water. Earth is the only planet on which water can exist in liquid form on the surface. The ozone molecules and the average thickness of the layer is believed to be 50 km. We know that our planet rotates but is more flexible than we might imagine as it bulges at the midsection creating a pumpkin shape. The bulge was lessening for centuries but now it is said to be growing and in turn the rotation is slowing down which would lengthen the days. Earth has one moon but ‘3753 Cruithne’ which is 5 km across is sometimes called Earth’s second moon. It is estimated that there are some 5 to 30 million different species on earth and about 2 million species have actually been identified and described. When astronauts first went into the space, they looked back at the earth with human eyes for the first time and called it as a Blue Planet. Yuri Gagarin, who was the first man to travel into space, said that she is so beautiful and I could not help but love and cherish her.
We live on a planet of extremes. It is not only a beautiful sphere but it is a wild planet with deadly volcanoes and killer earthquakes. The windiest/coldest/driest and hottest places, the deepest places in the ocean and tallest peaks. Are we not living in an amazing planet?