The name mouse comes from “mus”, a Sanskrit word that actually means thief. Did you know that mice will stay on a table because they are afraid to jump off high vertical drops? Mice can make their own vitamin C. Mice actually enjoy eating hard bread. Mice will nurse babies that are not their own. Baby mice curl up when they are being carried. People would worship mice in temples. Greeks and Indians thought mice were lightning bolts. Japanese bred white mice 300 years ago. There are people who have actually bred blue mice! Mice don’t have roots on their incisors. There are over 1,100 species of mice who are the family Muridae from the Old World family.
Mice in active breeding colonies thrive on the higher fat content and protein in this high energy diet which helps to increase production and keep mice active and somewhat amusing. In ancient stories it was thought that mice punished evil people. A baby mouse is called a pinky or kitten. There are some people who believe that fried mice or mouse pie is a cure for bed wetting! Yuck! A female mouse is called a “doe.” That is strange? A male mouse of course is called a buck! Mice have tails that are as long as their bodies. There are mice that have no hair! The word mouse comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “thief”.
The famous Mickey Mouse was born in 1928. The average mouse lives around 1-2 years. A full grown mouse weighs in at ½ to 1 ounce. In ancient Greece the God Apollo was sometimes called Apollo Smintheus which is Apollo the Mouse. White mice were kept in his temples under the altar to honour him. There were ancient cultures that had a lot of respect for mice. In Egypt a cooked mouse was used to cure a variety of ills and sicknesses including stomach aches. You should never pick a mouse up by its tail. It is true that mice will eat constantly and aren’t picky about what they eat! The first mice arrived in North America as stowaways on ships from Europe.
Unfortunately, mice are known as pests. The most common species is the house mouse. They can harm crops and spread diseases. They are social animals and prefer to be in a large group. They tend to nibble many foods and thus contaminate larger amounts of food in the process making it garbage.
There are 23 species of crocodiles that live in the Southern reaches of the world. They can be found in swamps and everglades of the south-eastern U.S. in Central and South America, in Africa, Australia, India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Borneo. Crocodiles have long tapered snouts and alligators have broad snouts. Crocodiles can attack at lightning speed! They can kill animals as big and heavy as they are in most cases. They have been known to take down a water buffalo. They are crafty and smart and hunt according to their prey.
They will eat anything including small fish, turtles, gazelles and lions. They even swallow other crocs in defending their territory. They have even been known to swallow stones. Scientists suggest that they are used to ballast them for diving. Crocodiles don’t have litters of babies they have nests of eggs! These are called “clutches.” Some crocs will dig from 10-30 feet into a creek bank to make a burrow for their nest. Then they create a hidden entrance that is at the water line or just below. A clutch can have as little as 8 eggs or as many as 80!
The eggs take about 85 days or 3 months to incubate. Sometimes the mother will help the babies along by cracking the eggshells in her mouth gently as not to harm the babies. The largest crocodiles on earth are the saltwater crocs. They get their names from Salties because they can live in saltwater. The second largest croc is the Nile crocodile. Did you know that a crocodiles tongue is attached to the roof of their mouths and they can’t move them! The Nile Crocs use the environment to regulate their body temperature. They bask all day in the sun for heat. If they get too hot they release the air from their mouths. Some even live in caves.
The jaws of a croc can exert 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. They break through both bones and flesh! New born crocs are 10 inches long and survive on the remnants from the yolk sacs. The mother will carry them from the nest to the water. They grow 12 inches a year and can live up to 45 years and longer in captivity. In Madagascar the crocodile was almost extinct due to hunting them for their skins. Other threats are from fishermen’s nets and habitat loss.
Mosquitoes don’t actually bite you, they stab and their saliva causes the itching. There are approximately 3,000 different species of mosquitoes. Of that 50 of those species live in Minnesota! In the interest of science Arctic researchers uncovered their chests, arms and legs and reported as many as 9000 bites per person, per minute! An unprotected human could lose half of their blood in 2 hours! Mosquitoes can fly 1 to 11/2 miles per hour. It takes 400,000 mosquitoes to weigh a pound! Some people are really like magnets when it comes to attracting mosquitoes. It is because of their body chemistry. The most likely target is an overweight male with type O blood. Here is a little trick for the men:
-If a mosquito lands on your bicep, tense the skin to trap the mosquito’s proboscis-snout. Then flex your bicep muscle which will cause the mosquito to burst from the pressure in your blood vessel. Not everyone would enjoy this, but at least the mosquito would be dead. There is actually a World Mosquito Killing Championship. It is held in Pelkosenniemi, Finland. The goal is to see who can kill the most mosquitoes in 5 minutes. The current record is 21! People that are drinking beer are more likely to attract mosquitoes. People wearing black clothing will have more buzzers around them too! Mosquitoes can smell the carbon dioxide from your breath from 60-75 ft away.
Mosquito repellents don’t actually repel the mosquitoes but blocks their sensory receptors which acts like a human shield. Mosquito’s sense of smell is 10,000 times greater than humans! Eating garlic or taking a garlic pill daily is supposed to keep the mosquitoes away. Garlic would keep anything away! Male mosquitoes can find females by listening to the sound of their wings beating. The males identify them by the pitch of the female’s wings. Mosquito’s wings beat at 300 to 600 times per second. An adult mosquito consumes 5-millionths of a liter in a blood meal. A female mosquito weighs only 1-15,000 ounce or 2.0 milligrams.
Adult mosquitoes can live as long as 5 months. Their wings beat from 300-600 time per second! It could take several months for a larva to develop to an adult in cold water. Eggs from floodwater mosquitoes could remain dormant for several years. They will hatch when they get covered with water.
The raccoon is native to North and South America and even Southern Canada to the northern reaches of Argentina. They have populations in Europe and Germany where they escaped from fur farms and were set loose and hunted for sport during the war! Raccoon comes from the Algonquin word “Arakun” which means one who scratches with his hands. They walk heel to toe just like bears and humans. They are the most recognized animal in the States. Their distinctive black masks and ringed tails make them easy to indentify. There are 6 species and they are usually around 2-1/2 feet long and weigh 12-16 pounds. The largest raccoon weighed in at 60 pounds.
Raccoons can live for 15 years. Humans hunt raccoons for fur, meat and run over and kill them as pests. They prefer wooded areas close to water but can live close to humans too. They will nest in trees or empty underground dens. They are also known to live in cars, sewers and chimneys! They are highly intelligent and have the dexterity of apes. Their fingers can open shells, trash cans and even doors! They eat fruit, insects, berries, eggs and small rodents. They also enjoy grapes, corn, crabs and crayfish. They somehow see with their hands in a tactile way! Babies are born two months after mating. Females are extremely aggressive and ferocious if their young are threatened.
Raccoons don’t hibernate but they will feed heavily in the fall and store fat so they can stay in their burrows through the worst of winter. Raccoons are generally night animals and you will find them wandering during the day do not go near it! Raccoons carry rabies and distemper and can transfer these diseases to humans. The raccoon’s scientific name is Procyon lotor which means, “washer dog”. It is related to the bear family! Populations of raccoons in urban areas can be 20 times higher than for raccoons in rural areas. Raccoons can purr, whistle, growl, hiss, scream and even whine! Raccoons have actually been kept as pets!
However, beware because as they mature they get more and more destructive and aggressive! Their hands are nimble enough to untie a shoelace, unlatch a cage and deftly retrieve coins like dimes from your shirt pocket or pants! They are also excellent swimmers and climbers. They have a highly developed sense of touch in their nose and forepaws.
The smallest monkey in the world is the Pygmy Marmoset. In fact, they are so small that their tails are longer then their bodies. A fully grown tail can be seven inches long. Their body is usually only 14-16 inches long and they weigh only 5 ounces. Compared to this little monkey the largest monkey is the male Mandrill. They are the biggest grouping of non-human primates ever recorded was a tribe of Mandrill in Lope National Park, Gabon. There were 1300 in the gang!
Capuchin monkeys are trained to help disabled people. They also assist in numerous tasks like preparing food. These monkeys act as live-in companions and provide independence, companionship, dignity and hope to those they help! These remarkable little creatures only weigh 13lbs but they are extremely smart. Monkeys are so smart they have even made it into space. The first monkey astronaut was Albert, a rhesus monkey. He took a ride on a V2 rocket in 1948! However, the rocket didn’t make it very far. The second monkey Albert 11 made it farther.
In Japan, where the macaque monkey lives the winters are very cold. The Japanese monkey has a shaggy coat to keep them warm and some keep out the cold by sitting in the hot water from different volcanic springs! Male rhesus monkeys hang from tree branches by their amazing prehensile penises! There are two types of monkeys. Arboreal live in trees and Terrestrial live on the ground. Monkey’s diets differ in that they eat fruit, leaves, seeds, nuts, flowers, eggs and even small animals!
There are 264 known monkey species across the world and some are yet undiscovered. Monkeys in Central and South America are called New World Monkeys. Those in Africa and Asia are Old World Monkeys. Tamarin monkeys are tiny but they usually give birth to twins. Monkeys never stop growing. Spider monkeys have appeared in more films than any other breed of monkey. Human and chimpanzee brains are remarkably similar and chimps are 98.4% similar. There are some monkeys that can lie! The male vervet monkey can attract females by uttering their word for “food”. However, it turns out they have nothing to offer.
Many people have monkeys as pets and treat them just like they would a human baby. They diaper them and dress them up and take them out forgetting that they are wild animals!
The dog was one of the first domesticated animals. They can be tracked back 40 million years to a weasel like animal called the Miacis that dwelled in trees and dens. Ancient Egyptians worshiped their dogs so much that they shaved their eyebrows, smeared mud in their hair and mourned for days! You could find the word, “mosaics” meaning “Beware of the Dog” on doorsteps in ancient Rome. The first dog show was held in Britain in 1859. People in Ancient China would stay warm by carrying toy breeds in their sleeves.
The smallest dog was a Yorkshire terrier that was 2/12 inches high at the shoulder. The heaviest dog recorded weighed in at 319 pounds. The oldest dog died at the age of 29. The tallest dog was a Great Dane who stood at a whopping 41 inches. The first creature sent into space was a female dog named Laika by the USSR in 1957! The famous Rock Star Ozzy Osbourne actually tackled a coyote after it attacked the families Pomeranian.
There are actually six different types of Dachshunds. The British bred Basset Hounds have short legs so hunters could keep up with them! The Basenji from Africa is also known as the bark less dog because it yodels instead! The Springer Spaniel got its name from being able to startle and spring at game. Chow Chows have a weird blue almost black tongue. The Great Dane is actually the national dog of Germany. The Kopmondor and Pulli have coats that are made up of cords that are formed when the outer and inner coats cling together.
Of course we all know and love the Chihuahua and it is the smallest breed in the world. The Pekingese was so popular and special in China that common folks were forbidden to own one. The Labrador retriever is a loyal dog but was originally bred to retrieve fishing nets. In the 19th century Dalmatians defended the carriages against thieves and kept animals away from the horses. The breed Siberian husky has been used to herd reindeer in Siberia for 3000 years!
Dogs have sweat glands in their feet and have three eyelids. The third lid is called a nictitating membrane or “haw” and keeps the eye lubricated and protected. Dog’s shoulder blades are not attached to the rest of the skeleton for flexibility. Puppies will sometimes be shunned by their mother when they are cleaned before the mother gets to see them. Dogs with short faces like pugs usually die earlier then dogs with longer noses and faces.
Seagulls are actually a common bird in the Charadriiformes family Laridae. They are also related to waders, auks and skimmers. The name Seagull is actually the name of the herring gull. They mature in 4 years and their coloring changes frequently from mottled to white to gray. They can live anywhere from 5-15 years. Some have been known to live 25 years! They are ground nesting carnivores. They lay eggs two to three at a time and it takes 26 days to hatch them. You can find them on and around oceans worldwide, except in some areas in Asia. Seagulls seek land for breeding and scavenging. They rarely venture out to sea. Male seagulls have red legs. Most seagulls live inland. Most seagulls are actually carnivores. They eat fish and crabs. They will scavenge dead animals and organic litter. They actually keep beaches clean.
Most of the world’s seagulls are born in California. Seagulls are actually very intelligent and capable of high level communication. Seagulls will grab food and bother humans. They build nests in homes. Some gulls can even be aggressive and hurt people. The droppings from seagulls present problems too. The droppings are actually full nutrient-rich waste perfect for the breeding of bacteria and other organisms that can cause disease and infections in humans. They can also infect you if they bite or scratch you! Some diseases they carry are E. coli, Cryptococossis and Histoplasmosis. The droppings are also corrosive! Some seagulls migrate and will travel for thousands of miles just to find food! Seagulls are so bad in Scotland they are actually exterminating them!
As we mentioned seagulls like seafood especially clams. However, the shells are too hard for their beaks to break so they carry the clams over rocks and drop them to crack them open! Now that’s smart! Not only have that but males had a role in bringing their young into the world. Both female and male seagulls will sit on the eggs. The female will sit for around 3-4 hours and then switch with the male who will also sit for the same length of time. The seagull who is not sitting on the nest will hunt, feed and collect materials for the nest. When the hunter returns to the nest if the existing bird will not move the hunter will push them off the nest!
Pakistan is actually known as the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” The language is Urdu. There is also Balochi, Pashto, Persian , Punjabi Sindhi and Siraiki spoken. The majority of people are Sunni and Shiite Muslims with some Christians and Hindus. The currency is the Rupee. Pakistan split from India in 1947. Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world. There are several hundred languages spoken in Pakistan. Buddha was from Lumbini, Nepal. You can find the wettest place in the world in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya India. India has the largest film industry in the world. They made 877 movies in 2003. Bangladesh has the largest coastal mangrove forest in the world. It is offensive to touch things with your feet in Nepal.
Pakistan is the worlds 43rd most corrupted country and most of it’s rulers were military dictators. It had the first woman leader of a Muslim country in history. Pakistan has several religious ceremonies including Eid-al Fitr, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi and Ashoura and Eid-ul-Adha. It is one of the 29 countries to get Dunkin Doughnuts! When couples get married in Pakistan the bridegroom wears garlands of money given by his relatives. Believe it or not Pakistan’s national sport is hockey! Did you realize 80% of the worlds soccer balls are made in Pakistan? There is a highway in Pakistan that is the eight wonder of the world. Worlds largest deep sea port is located in Gwader. The second largest salt mine can be found in Khewra Mines. The Thar desert is one of the largest in the world.
Pakistan is rich in smart people. It has the 7th largest collection of scientists and engineers in the world. There is a place called Lalazar that claims to be the most beautiful place on earth! Pakistan has some rather ugly ways of improving the stock market. They will actually sacrifice goats! If you are traveling into Pakistan they do not allow alcoholic beverages. However, you can have up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars. While traveling Pakistan you could come across its mountain pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is called the Khyber pass and is 26 miles long. It has been used for centuries by travelers and invaders. Apparently, you have to watch what you drink in Pakistan too. There were 27 people who died from alcohol poisoning. It certainly gives down the hatch a whole new meaning.
Norway, the land of the Vikings. In Norway only 1 out of every 12 rapists are sent to jail! Rape is actually almost legal! Norwegians don’t seem to like Jews. They had an anti-Jew paragraph in its constitution. Norway was once a floating arsenal of virgins created by the Nazis to spite Churchill. It was later crushed into Northern Europe where it remains today. Norway has the worlds largest population of black metal fans and most are homosexual! There is a city in Norway called Lillehammer who got electricity and applesauce only when the winter Olympics were held there. It is so hard to find Norway that it can’t be seen on radar. It is very expensive to live in Norway.
In the city of Tromso, 95% of the buildings are built from fish bones! There are so many trees in Norway that they outmatch people 1,000,000 to 1! Norwegians seem to be loosing fingers. The average Norwegian only has 8 fingers which could have something to do with the heavy metal appeal! Norway is the first city to outlaw the numbers 7,8 and 9. It is due to the solidarity to the large logging industry. People must get bored in this country. They have no internet! Unfortunately, in Oslo about 20% of the people are drug-addicted, homeless beggars. In fact, this kind of behavior is actually legal there because the police aren’t allowed to stop criminals. Law enforcement is disliked and considered rude.
Racism has become a sport in Norway. Brumunddal city is called “Norway’s racism-capital.” They have won the Golden Nigga trophy for many years. As far as income tax in Norway it is 50%, a pint of beer costs 15 dollars and a pack of smokes costs 20 dollars. There’s a 25% VAT on all products in addition to other taxes. In fact, most people can’t even afford meat and vegetables. They survive on bread, cheese. Food is so expensive that it makes 9000 an heros, the government does this for massive lulz. If you smoke it is illegal in Norway! You can purchase tobacco and many do and then have no money left. The popular film “Life of Brian” was banned in Norway! They considered the film to be blasphemous and it didn’t come out there until 1980. However, they marketed it with the tag line “The film that is so funny that it was banned in Norway!”
Venezuela is actually officially the “Bolivarian Republic of Venezula.” The capital if Caracas. The national flower is the orchid. There is 1740 miles of coastline. They were ruled by the Spanish for close to 300 years.The currency is called Bolivar. Venezuela has the highest waterfall in the world called Angel Falls. It drops 3,212 feet and a half times the height of the Empire State Building and more then four times the height of Canary Wharf at 748ft. It is a fact that the country got it’s name from it’s likeness of Venice, Italy! The number one export for Venezuela is oil. You can be sure that there are many beautiful women in Venezuela. In fact there are more Miss Universes and Miss Worlds then in any other country. There are only two seasons in eastern Venezuela. Hot and Dry and Hot and Wet.
The most popular sport in Venezuela is baseball. They have produced such baseball stars as Luis Aparicio, Chico Carrasquel, Dave Concepcion, Manny Trillo, Ozzie Guillen, Omar Vizquel and Carlos Garcia. Soccer is not called soccer in Venezuela. It is called “futbol.” If you enjoy hot showers, you may be the only one. Taking a hot shower is rare in this country! They don’t have hot water heaters! Foods are diverse including such dishes as pabellon, empenadas, arepas and hallacas. Many people in Venezuela lack the proper sanitation. The Christmas season is important in Venezuela. In the capital of Caracas the streets get blocked off on Christmas Eve so that people can rollerskate to church!
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle was written about an expedition to Mount Roraima in Venezuela. You can still find prehistoric animals there! You can’t watch the popular television series ,”The Simpsons” in Venezuela. It was banned because they felt it was inappropriate for children. Not only has Venezuela been rated as one of the happiest countries in the world but it has also been rated as the most murderous! That is quite a contrast! You can bet that Venezuelans are stubborn people. They have submitted 18 films to the Oscars for Best Foreign Film, but have not received any nominations. If you have children going to school they can choose the times they go. For younger children there are morning and afternoon classes. For older children they can even go to night school from 5pm to 10pm.