Beginner’s Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Pet Fishes

Having a pet is one of the best fulfillment in a human life. Human are finding the best ways to pet animals of all kinds. Some go for the exotic ones, while most of the people choose between a dog or a cat.

Interestingly, a large percentage of pet owners choose to take care of some of our aquatic friends. Having to pet a fish or a lot of fishes needs an artificial water habitat which are called aquariums. Since aquariums are artificial to begin with, having pet fishes seem to be more challenging compared to having land-based animals. This is actually partly true, considering that the fishes are one of the most fragile animals out there. Their habitat requirements are so specific that if they’re exposed to waters they are not used to, they can easily die without us knowing the real reason.

Starting an aquarium hobby is a lot of work and frightening. Beginners often spend a lot of time pondering and hesitating to start their plans to getting an aquarium and start taking care of fishes. There are a lot of things to consider when having a pet fish and these need to be researched and asked. However, beginners do not need to worry about this—people around the world are there to help everyone start the hobby and start enjoying fishes at home.

Basic Criteria for Fishes

Resilient

The foremost prerequisite for a fish to be an excellent beginner’s choice is that it must be very resilient. Fishes for a newbie aquarium owner must be able to endure well to the new environment.
There are certain factors that make an aquarium a suitable dwelling place for fishes like occasional water changes, overcrowding, overfeeding, and lack of feeding. A beginner’s set of fishes must be hardy enough to tolerate the inevitable circumstances.

Trouble-Free Eater

One of the best suggestion in choosing a beginner’s fish is their diet. The best beginner fish must be able to survive and thrive just by eating dry and prepared fish food. There are a lot of varieties of fish food that you guys can find in a pet store or even in the groceries. Aside from identified fish foods, there are also a couple of “treats” that you can offer which beginner fishes would enjoy. These prepared food is already a complete diet so you won’t worry that your fishes are not getting the nutrients they need. So, having these hassle-free fishes are a must for beginners.

Commercially Raised

Commercially raised fishes are subjected to less stress and are usually the healthier. If you’re an aquarium noob, settling for captive raised ones is much more ideal.

Cost Friendly

Just like any other pets, fishes can be costly too – from acquiring up to maintaining. Ideally, beginners must choose first the less expensive fishes with fewer demands and learn how to take good care of them before purchasing the lavish ones.

Compatibility with Other Fish

Fishes are highly territorial, with its aggressiveness; they tend to pick some fight with other fishes resulting to slowly relationship buildup. Beginners’ fishes must be good natured and calm – not only to other fish varieties but to its own also.

Provided that basic criteria of fishes that suit first time owners, it will be much easier to know what group of fishes to choose. However, to aid you out, below are the simplest fish to keep because aside from being hardy, they are the quite low maintenance types.

BETTAS

According to Nick Saint-Erni, DVM, a PetSmart resident veterinarian and a certified aquatic veterinarian, the Bettas, widely known as the “Siamese Fighting Fish” is the easiest and the most famous starter fish recommended for first time owners. This fish comes in a variety of colors and it is one of the most appealing freshwater fish to keep.

Bettas is a staple fish that is incredibly resilient, has nominal care requirements, and can have a pleasant behavior as well. Moreover, the Fighting Fish is the only fish that doesn’t call for filter and heater. Likewise, this fish can be housed in small bowls and aren’t picky when it comes to food.

However, the downside of owning Bettas is if you can’t keep it away from the other smaller fishes, since they’re territorial and would possibly harass the tiny ones.

GUPPY

The Guppy, also identified as million fish and rainbow fish, is one of the most famous fish in the market that could surely brighten any tank. They are also one of the most low maintenance starter fishes. This hardy fish comes in a variety of vibrant colors and astonishing fin sizes. Guppies, on the other hand, do well in pairs; they are prolific breeders and can easily produce off springs.

Guppies are great with other peaceful fishes. They are ideally placed on planted tanks. Moreover, they are not picky eaters. They can consume high quality flakes as well as frozen dried ones.

In addition, guppies are tropical types so regulating water tank temperature at mid 70s is essential as well as changing the aquarium’s water over a definite amount of time.

TETRAS

Another perfect beginner fish are the bright and colorful Tetras. They’re tiny, visually pleasing, come in different varieties, easy to keep in multiples on a small tank can easily get along with any other peaceful fishes.

Conversely, Tetras’ tank do require a full set up comprised of heater and filter and it should have plenty of ornaments, rocks and other tank decors to guarantee that they can look for safe haven when they feel like it.

Furthermore, these types of fish are not choosy in terms of food. They will eat most of what you’re going to offer – flake foods, frozen and freeze dried ones or live foods.

DANIOS

Danios are resilient, vigorous and mild tempered fish which makes them ideal for first time owners. They come in diverse varieties with vivid colors and prints.

On the contrary, Danios feed on flake food and freeze dried blood worms, tiny aquatic insects and crustaceans. In line with its appearance, male’s color is brighter and extra reflective, yet females are very striking.

Danios are compatible with any other fish. In fact, often times, they are used as dither fish to distract violent ones from fighting.

BARBS

Take a glimpse into a community aquarium, and it’s highly probable you’ll see a barb. Barb fish comes in different sizes, variety of colors and distinct appearances and characters. They are known for their nipping ability, thus, it is recommendable to place them with fast-moving fishes.

Tank with Barbs should be well-lit and should have ample amount of vegetation. Nonetheless, Barbs are omnivorous types, they feed on crisps, fried and live foods. They are somewhat voracious with their food intake and can become highly aggressive when it is feeding time.

PLECOS

Plecos, commonly known as the Suckermouth Catfish, are regarded as the most cooperative fish to have. They help owners clean the tank by sucking the algae usually forming on the sides and bottom of the tank.

If you’re opting for trouble-free and peaceful species, Plecos are the best type of fish for you. They are generally friendly towards other fishes, yet they like to isolate themselves on heavily planted areas of the tank.

Although they pretty much can live with the natural forming algae in your aquarium, it won’t hurt if you drop algae wafers from time to time to augment their source of food, making sure they are well fed.

GOLDFISH

Another popular beginner’s choice is the Goldfish, one of the earliest domesticated fish and one of the most commonly chosen aquarium house fish. Over the centuries, selective breeding has produced quite a lot of color variations and diverse body shapes of the said species.

Captive raised Goldfish is much less hardy than the ones caught from the wild yet they do well with other fishes. Nonetheless, when it comes to food, goldfish can be competitive; they can voraciously consume the dropped flakes before other fishes can reach it. An owner should monitor and regulate feeding of this species because with Goldfish’s greedy manner towards food, it can lead to overfeeding which can be very harmful to their health.

Constant change of water in the aquarium is a necessity for goldfishes. They produce large amount of waste and build-up of their waste can produce toxins that gradually poisons the water, which can cause their demise.

ANGELFISH

Angelfish are normally community fish, and can exist with any other tropical community fish in a tank quite serenely. They are physically carnivorous, so they should be fed precisely to aid them attain best possible size and maintain health.

Though regarded as a community fish, Angelfish should be housed separately when they reach adulthood because they can be very aggressive and territorial. Also, having this species call for specific tank conditions—water temperature should be at the range of 74 F to 78 F and the average pH range of 6.5 to 6.9.

Angelfish are highly susceptible to parasitic condition known as Ick. Overcrowding, meager water conditions, poor management and inappropriate diet can all contribute to ick plague.

Final Thoughts…

Setting up your own aquarium at home may be scary at first since at first glance, fishes are so soft and looks like they can die anytime when you’re not looking. However, aquarium as a hobby have been around for quite some time now and countless owners and breeders already contributed so much on the readily available knowledgebase for successful house aquariums. So, when in doubt and when you’re afraid to start the hobby, you can always check out reliable websites that can give the best tips. Researching the behavior, characteristics, and the best conditions for the aquarium fishes you would want to have would assure you to have the most awesome aquarium of your own.

Evolution Of Swimming Goggles

Swimming is one of the best recreational and competitive activities known to man. Having to live in a planet which is dominated by water, humans had always drawn to the waters and can’t help but to enjoy it.

When people swim in the open seas or do skin diving or do a couple strokes in a swimming pool, the eyes will always be strained by the waters. Swimmers cannot evade this challenge since in order to know where they are swimming towards, it is necessary for them to open their eyes once in awhile. That is where the gogles come in, it is the ultimate gear for swimmers and water lovers out there. We enjoy the waters and oceans now because of the help of gogles yet little do we know about its history, on how it came to be.

Let us take you back to memory lane as we trace back how gogles were first invented and realized. Through a simple timeline, we will see how a simple swimming gear took all the painstaking evolution to reach its pinnacle design we now use today.

14TH Century

For swimmers, the 14th century is often regarded as the birth of goggles era. The foremost known goggles worn for swimming and pearl diving were invented in Persia. The pair was made from refined tortoise shells. This tortoise inspired protective eyewear became popular for two centuries in the Middle East areas.

16th Century

In the 16th century, the Persian’s inventive protective eyewear were imported to Venice and in the year 1530, the “thing” first got its English name “gogolen” which means “to roll the eyes about”. For that span of time, American Indian and African slaves began to put on goggles when diving and swimming to enhance their comfort underwater.

17th Century

A renowned American pilot Guy Gilpatrick went diving and wore goggles to guard his eyes from saltwater.

18th Century

The use of glass as lenses in goggles was first initiated in this era. Polynesian skin divers used to have bamboo or goggles carved on wood with no lenses yet trap the air when the face is submerged onto the water, forming an air bubble on the eye area that enabled the user to have a lucid view underwater. Following that, when the glass was presented by the European explorers to Polynesia, Polynesians were able to incorporate glasses on their deep wooden framed goggles.

Though the said eyewear pairs were not completely waterproof, they were effortlessly dislodged and they undoubtedly enhanced the divers’ visibility underwater.

1911

By the year 1911, Thomas Burgess, on his 14th attempt, swam across the English Channel with the aid of motorcycle goggles. Burgess found the eyewear helpful yet tiresome at the same time.

The motorcycle type of goggle which Burgess used was not waterproof enough; nonetheless, with his breaststroke swimming technique, the goggle served its purpose of keeping his eyes from salt water waves and flashes.

1916

An American inventor named Charles J. Troppman, registered the very first patent for an underwater swimming eye protector or “goggle”. However, there’s no evidence of fabrication of the said product.

1926

Following the steps of Thomas Burgess, an American swimmer named Gertrude Ederle became the foremost woman to swim across the English Channel and wore an improvised swimming goggle.

Ederle’s sister Margaret put a paraffin seal on her goggle pair to prevent water leakage while being underwater.

At this time, even with the increasing popularity as a helpful gear for swimming, waterproofing gogles was still far from realization.

1930’s – 1940’s

In the 1930’s, skin diving and scuba diving gained its immense popularity thus brought great advances and innovations in underwater goggles and mask design. Nevertheless, the said innovations were considered as inapt for swimming matches.

As part of the research advances in the said era, in 1936, Walter Farell copyrighted a goggle intended for underwater eye protection. Consequently, in 1940, printed design plans for wooden goggles based on the inventive Polynesian goggle were launched by a Popular Science Magazine.

1940’s – 1950’s

In the 1940’s and 1950’s, Florence Chadwick and other open water swimmers devised their own version of goggles using double lens glass and large rubber seals. These reinvented goggles were large in size and has an awkward form, yet these eye wears served as great shields from salt water and augmented visibility underwater.

On the other hand, goggles still weren’t worn by them in swimming pools.

1960’s

The sixties didn’t disappoint us in any way. The time brought us stuff to take pleasure in, music to enjoy and swimming goggles.

Individual swimmers began to create their own pair of goggles using cups and elastics. But in spite of the emerging and overflowing ideas, manufacturers were becoming sentient of a breach in the market.

Advertisements come into sight for plastic swimming goggles in Swimming World Magazine in 1968. These early pairs of assembled swim goggles were sold as equipment for swimmers like training boots. Not to mention the availability in one size, these goggles were prohibited in competition proper, making the consumers’ demand crawled back to the bottom. Definitely in that time, the need was there, it was just the one size fits all product didn’t fully met the requirements.

Subsequently, in 1969, Tony Godfrey started fabricating the transfigured goggle design and named the product “Godfrey Goggle”. After several attempts on different types of plastic, Godfrey settled on polycarbonate material. Light in weight, slender, highly resilient and shatter resistant are the top qualities that made the polycarbonate seal the deal. Just like any other promising products, the Godfrey Goggles didn’t instantly made it on top, however, the idea are purportedly copied by numerous goggles companies up until now.

1970’s

At the1972 Commonwealth Games, Scotland’s David Wilkie becomes the very first competitive swimmer who wore a cap and a swimming goggle, garnering silver award in the 200m breaststroke category.

Since then, goggles became a standard swimming gear wherein incremental goggle features were developed with improvements to hydrodynamics, such as anti-fog, streamlining and UV protection.

In mid 70’s, Malmsten Swedish Goggles are launched to public with the same ideas as what the Godfrey Goggles had.

In the present day and beyond…

Goggles design are quite overwhelming, from the materials used and the science behind every design types. Commencing from tortoise shells, plastics and hard woods to various selection of shapes, tints, styles and uses.

In the past 40 years, goggles’ evolution and dawdling fame is relatively remarkable. From being funny looking diving mask to being a swimmer’s prerequisite. Without doubt, those goggles’ improvements still aren’t sufficient for some. With the surfacing technology that the world has in the present, let’s wait for another modernly goggle transformation. Before then, you can just grab some most popular swimming goggles available in the market today.

Traditional and Modern Ways to Exterminate Rats

Rats belong to the group of deadliest animals. That has been a fact for a very long time now, ever since the Dark Ages. No wonder that almost everybody freaks out whenever rats are found inside their houses. Good thing that different methods exist to exterminate these dangerous pests. How can a tiny creature be so lethal anyway?

The Ultimate Danger with Rats

An animal doesn’t have to be big and strong to be dangerous. One scratch or bite from a rat can be deadly. There are so many diseases coming from rats. Leptospirosis comes from the urine of rats. It is a disease affecting the human kidney and liver. Meanwhile, coming from rat saliva, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LVCMV) is a viral disease.

The worst rat infestation in history is definitely when bubonic plague or the “Black Plague” emerged and killed millions. Transmission was through rat fleas biting humans. Aside from the aforementioned diseases, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, Colorado tick fever, cutaneous leishmaniasis, and typhus also affected or killed a lot of humans throughout history.

Traditional Ways to Trap Rats

How can rats be exterminated? Simple: Go to step one – preparing traps. Here are some popular and conventional traps to catch rats:

Snap Traps

These live traps should have sensitive triggers to kill rats quickly. It is advisable to put as much as 10 snappers near rat shelter holes because most of these rodents live in groups. The traps must be placed along walls with a two-foot gap between each other. Their bait ends must be facing the wall because rats don’t usually go out in the open. Rats commonly creep along walls. Quick tip: Put gloves while setting traps because human scent can be strongly detected by rats. Once these pests smell human scent on traps, they won’t go near it.

Poison Bait Boxes

These trap boxes must be able to withstand weather and tampers. They should also use multiple-dose or first-generation anticoagulants. Why do you need durable poison bait boxes? Since these boxes are poisonous, they must be placed in areas that are inaccessible to children and pets. These areas are far from the household or hidden places inside the house. Of course there are many different type of bait box designs to serve the poison such as the ones shown in the list of best rat poison.

Glue Traps

Setting glue traps is not a fast way to catch rats. The pests must get used to it first so they won’t notice it anymore as they creep around the house. Once they try to cross a glue trap, they can’t get away from it anymore. Give this trap at least five days to show its effectiveness.

Traditional Ways to Kill Rats

If you opt for a faster way to kill rats, you can go for the offensive. Traps are more on the passive-aggressive approach. If you know exactly where the rats hide in your place, try these traditional ways to kill these rodent pests:

Get a Cat

One of the oldest methods to kill rats is getting a cat. Feline pets are good at detecting where rats go whenever the pests are not in their shelters. The biggest disadvantage of this is transmission of diseases from rat to cat. So, owners inside rat-infested houses must not pet their cats too much.

Moth Balls

Since these traditional toxic balls are poisonous to people, surely, moth balls are also deadly to rats. These balls are also easy to put inside holes.

Ammonia

If you haven’t smelled ammonia yet, you’re lucky. Ammonia smells so pungent that it hurts the human nose. Just sprinkle this inside rat homes and you’re good to go. Rats have very sensitive noses, so they will definitely die with the strong ammonia smell.

A Modern Way to Kill Rats

Inevitably, technology is now used to kill rats. The Rat Zapper is the one of the latest and most popular devices to kill the deadly rodents. Robert Noe is the brilliant mind behind this modern rat killer. His invention use electricity to shock the rats with just one slight contact. It looks like a poison bait box, but the latter is messier because of all the poisonous grains.

Rat Zapper

Other technological devices are made for rat control but they are more on repelling, not killing. Examples of these are ultrasonic and ultra-magnetic devices.

Strange Ways to Prevent Rat Infestation

Traditional and modern methods of rat extermination may sound too obvious for some people. But, just take a look at these weird, interesting and unexpected ways to prevent rat colonies:

Cat Litter Box: Because of the known hate between cat and mouse, some people actually place their cats’ litter boxes near rat holes to scare the rodents.

Cat Urine: Another method stemming from the idea that mouse fear cats is putting cat urine on rats’ water spots. It is also mentioned that rats can possibly drink the urine because the smell is unfamiliar. Rats drinking cat urine may die, at least that’s what some people suggest.

Peppermint: Many of us like the sweet scent of peppermint. But for rats, they can’t stand it. You can soak cotton in peppermint oil and put it near rat holes. It is said that the strong scent of peppermint can shrink rats’ lungs, ultimately killing them.

Human Hair: This may sound weird, but some people suggest placing human hair near rat holes. They acually believed that rats fear swallowing hair because they know they would die.

Cow Poop: Cow dung is also said to be a natural rat killer. It sounds unbelievable but some people say rats eat cow poop, get their small tummies hurt, vomit and eventually die.

Owl Feathers: Another outrageous one – owl feathers being placed near rat holes can scare the pests. There’s no exact scientific explanation for this strange method.

Pepper: Because of pepper’s strong smell, this spice can be sprinkled in rat holes. It has the same effect with peppermint – rat’s lungs are affected then the pest dies.

Bay Leaf: This is considered by some people as rat food. Rats choke eating bay leaves, leading to death.

Onion: This is one of the most popular natural remedies. Leaving a slice of onion in rat holes would lead to rats eating it and dying afterwards.

Baby Powder: Some people say baby powder intoxicates the rat and kills it.

Final Thoughts

Traditional, modern or eccentric method – it doesn’t matter. Homes must be free from rats to avoid health risks. So, try different ways to exterminate these rodent pests until you find the perfect remedy.

Posted in Animals

Tags: , , ,

Permalink

The Nine Most Expensive Cats

Pets are essential part of new generation families. In a stressful world, coming home to a loving family may be enough to relax yourself and forget the chaos of work, however, with a pet around, the feeling of safe and satisfaction multiplies a million fold.

Pets come is different shape, size and kind. There are people who prefer the exotic types like snakes, spiders, and lizards, and personally, I don’t have the slightest idea why they are like that. Anyways, for the most part, the human population is divided into two types, the dog-loving type and the cat-loving ones. These groups unintentionally compete with each other, trying to prove to the world how the best it is to have a dog or a cat as a pet.

This time, we are going to lean on the cat-loving people. The cat family is one of the most famous and most diverse animal family in the world. From household ones to lions and tigers, people grew so much fascination with these furry animals. Preservation and domestic breeding of cats are constantly being improved in order to maintain population of different cat species and also create new breeds that can be tamed and be pets for homes.

Pet cats, just like other household essentials can be practical or can be extremely luxurious. Having a pet cat is also like having a baby. People drastically change their way of living and at the same time include pet cat’s necessities as part of their day-to-day spending. Different cat breeds means different selling/breeding price. There are common types of breed which are relatively cheap and be owned for free while there are a few which costs a fortune. This post is all about that “fortune” cats breeds, in fact, the most expensive ones ever to roam in this world.

If you are a cat-loving person yourself and you have the means to acquire the best breeds there is, then check out the list below because it will absolutely be a treat for you.

ASHERA

Price : $15,000 – $100,000

The Ashera cat is a kind of hybrid cat marketed by a controversial firm acknowledged as the Lifestyle Pets. The crossbred pet is purposely a mix between the African serval – the Asian leopard cat and a domestic house cat.

This majestic cat is sold solely to extremely wealthy people who were eager to have an elite type of pet. However, controversies keep on coming on the Ashera breed’s authenticity. In fact, Chris Shirk, a cat breeder from Pennsylvania, reported that the renowned Ashera cats were actually first generation Savannahs and DNA tests proved his claims right.

SAVANNAH

Price: $1,500 to $50,000

The second most expensive cat in the world, the Savannah, is a cross between a domestic cat and a medium-sized undomesticated African cat. This breed gained its fame in the end of 1990s.

Savannah has a tall and slim body structure that gives an illusion to their appearance – make them look bigger than what that they are supposed to be basing from their actual weight. Their sizes vary from generation and sex. Early-generation Savannahs can weigh from 3.6-9.1kilograms (8-20 pounds) whereas late-generation Savannahs can weigh from3.2-6.8 kilograms (7–15 pounds).

BENGAL

Price: $1,000 to $25,000

Another domesticated cat breed ranked third as the most expensive cat breeds is the Bengal. They are one of the rarest cat breeds. Bengal cats were developed to look like exotic jungle cats.

The name “Bengal” was obtained from the taxonomic name of an Asian leopard cat which is P. b. bengalensis. They have large spots with a light colored tummy and a body reminiscent of the Asian leopard cat.

Bengal cats are usually light brown and orange in color. Their rosette spots can be seen only on their back and sides, with stripes in other parts.

ALLERCA HYPOALLERGENIC CAT

Price: $6,000

From the name itself, this breed is safe for people who get allergic reactions from cats. This cat was developed thru selective breeding and Lifestyle Pets’ scientists tried to obliterate the gene that triggers most human cat allergies.

PERSIAN CAT

Price: $500 – $5,500

Next in line is the gorgeous and totally adorable Persian Cat.

The Persian Cat is a long-haired and thick-coated breed distinguished by its exceptionally short muzzle, short legs, large pair of eyes, and round face. This breed has lots of varieties to choose from – the Himalayan Cat, Exotic Shorthair, Chinchilla Longhair and Sterling.

The Persian Cat is usually described as a hushed cat. They are affectionate to owners, friendly towards strangers, predictable and vocal.

PETERBALD CAT

Price: $1,200 – $5,000

The Peterbald Cat is initially an experimental breed originated in Russia. This breed can be bald, velour, brush, flocked or straight-coated. The Peterbald Cats have a gracefully slim and muscular structure. Moreover, they have almond-shaped pair of eyes, wedge-shape muzzle, slender and long head and set-apart large ears. They will perfectly remind you of the Oriental Shorthairs.

Peterbalds are generally sweet, affectionate, calm, inquisitive and lively. They get along well with owners and kids.

MANX

Price: $800-$4,000

The Manx Cat is more like a common breed of household cat. They are renowned for being tailless. Manx breed can be easily distinguished by its round head and elongated hind leg compared to the fore legs. They are generally small to medium in size.

Manx cats have a very expressive face. This breed has a thick and double layered coat and they can be short-haired or long.

On the other hand, Manx has four sub-breeds, they are the long-haired Cymric, Isle of Man Shorthair (tailed), Isle of Man Longhair (tailed) and the curly-coated Tasman Manx.

Manx are also known as excellent hunters even at young age. Yet with humans, they are fun-loving and naturally sweet.

SCOTTISH FOLD

Price: $500-$3,000

The Scottish Fold Cat is a domesticated breed well-known for its folded ears. With the exceptional unique physical attributes of this breed, their reputation as affectionate companions is one of the highly sought.

Scottish Folds cat is a medium-sized breed, with males weighing from 4-6 kilograms (9–13 lb), and females weighing 2.7–4 kg (6–9 lb). Scottish Folds can be long or short-haired, and they have wide range of color variations. Also, their eyes are typically round and large, and nose are short and slightly curved.

This type of breed is typically good-natured and loving.

RUSSIAN BLUE

Price: $350-$3,000

The Russian Blue cat breed is known for its color variations – light gleaming silver to a dimmer slate gray. They have a thick, smooth double-layered coat and undeniably good looks. They also have bright green eyes and pale purple paws.

These cats are famous to be very lighthearted, inquisitive and clever which makes Russian Blue cat considered by lots of devoted cat enthusiasts as a great pet choice for their homes.

Cucumbers: Do They Really Scare Cats?

For how many years, it has been bugging me why cats are scared of cucumbers. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch a brief compilation of home videos first about cats freaking out just because of a vegetable here. 

If you search on YouTube about cats and cucumbers, the videos commonly show the owners deliberately putting the vegetable behind their feline pets. It is just the same formula: cat eats food, suddenly sees the cucumber behind it, and jumps as high as it can. Some cats stay to inspect the cucumber while others totally disappear from the room in seconds. That’s so weird, right?

Normal Cat Behavior

To understand the explanation completely, we have to know first how strong cats’ animal instincts are. My curiosity is strong on this because I think the cucumber thing only happens with cats. I have a dog and he never makes a big deal out of cucumbers. Thankfully, I came across Love That Pet blog. One of the blog’s articles explained comprehensively the cat and cucumber phenomenon.

First, it was explained that cats are alert all the time, even the lazy ones. Cats are born predators. That’s why they are in hunting mode always. Because of their inborn strengths, their weaknesses have something to do with speed, noise and lights. Their weaknesses trigger their strong senses without warning, making them scared. Cats are overly alert creatures who are conscious about any change in their surroundings.

Why Cucumbers?

Cats are not exactly afraid of cucumbers. They are scared that something changed in their surroundings without any warning. If cats are surprised, they panic. Their primal instincts probably make them associate cucumbers with snakes. The other explanation states that cucumbers might just be a certain trend wherein somebody started it and the rest followed.

Is It Okay to Scare Cats for Fun?

Cat owners that are reading this article must be thinking right now if they should try the prank and see for themselves. After all, the video looks innocent and harmless. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of this prank anymore after knowing the reason behind. Making cats think that there’s a predator behind them is cruel. The out-of-the-blue panic gives them a lot of stress. Continuous cat pranks lead to trauma, aggressiveness and other behavioral issues. These can also result to physical pain and damages because of the cat’s quick defense mechanism. The cat might hit a wall, fall down the stairs or break something.

However, if you want to treat your cat from this unhealthy fear, you can present the object slowly to them. They must see the whole process of you getting the object and giving it to them.

Final Thoughts

I may sound like a killjoy when I said that I don’t support cat pranks. But, there are actually other funny cat videos that are more harmless like cats playing the piano or sleeping in odd positions. If it is hard to believe that cucumber pranks are harmful to cats, then just imagine a killer clown prank being executed in front of you. That would scare me like crazy.

4 Simple Demo Tools Perfect for Science Teachers

Some students say science classes are “boring.” But, I don’t believe that. Based on my experience, learning science is just so awesome. However, there is one reason behind that. An exciting science class all comes down to one person – the teacher.

 

The Key to a Fun Science Class

The answer is pretty simple: activities. Teaching science can lead to information overload among students. It is such a technical subject. So, it must be taught with patience. When we say “activities,” it can refer to group works and field trips. Most importantly, part of these activities is teachers making demos to spice up science lessons. Demonstrations can fully explain what is being discussed.

Fun Demo Tools

Educational Innovations, Inc. is so popular when it comes to products for modern teaching methods. A lot of their demo products for science classes are bestsellers. Here are some of their bestselling science demo products:

Polymers: Large Gro-Beast Alligator

From the length of 3 inches, this product grows up to 1 ft. long after placing it in water. Water-absorbing polymers make this possible. In 24 hours, you can already notice the alligator growing. For a week, the difference is huge compared to the first time you bought the product.

Educational Innovations, Inc.

 

The Science Behind It

Gro-Beast Alligator can explain the properties and differences of hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials. While this product is hydrophilic, Magic Sand is an example of a substance that is hydrophobic. It never gets wet because it resists water.

Lesson Suggestions

You can give the students blank worksheets to work on while monitoring the alligator’s growth everyday. The worksheet must have a table with columns for Day, Date, Length and Mass. The students can observe the growth for 12 days. They should measure how long and heavy the alligator is every single day.

Interestingly, Gro-Beast Alligator shrinks after getting it from the water. The students can monitor the alligator again during shrinkage. They can use the same format for the table. It would be interesting to compare the growth and shrinkage rate of the alligator.

These are other ideas to make the experiment a lot more interesting:

  • Change in water source: distilled water, bottled water, salt water, pond water, etc.
  • Use of different beverages: soda, juice, etc.
  • Effect of substances in growth: salt, sugar, baking soda, etc.
  • Placing in different temperatures: direct sunlight, refrigerator, etc.

Energy: Nitinol Memory Wire by the Foot

When you bend this crystalline metal and suddenly expose it to a different temperature, it goes back to its original, straight form. You can use hot water and candles for this demo.

Educational Innovations, Inc.

 

The Science Behind It

Pure substances like this Nickel Titanium wire undergoes changes whether or not exposed to thermal energy. This happens because of changes in the motions of particles. The essence of a material’s functionality goes back to the structure of molecules.

Lesson Suggestions

Before exposure, always bend the wire properly to clearly witness the changes. Here are different elements to test the Nitinol wire with: hair dryer, hot water, candle, and flame from the Bunsen burner.

Physics: Small Balancing Bird Demo

It is amazing how this Balancing Bird figure can stand on your finger, a pencil point or any teeny tiny surface. The structure is so unique and carefully designed. The center of mass is located beneath the beak’s tip.

Educational Innovations, Inc.

 

The Science Behind It

Simply put, the center of mass refers to any point in an object where the mass is concentrated. If you support the object’s center of mass, no matter how tiny it is, you can already balance it completely. That’s why balancing the tip of the beak is very achievable, despite how impossible it seems. The wings’ tips are the heaviest parts of the balancing bird. With them located before the beak, the mass is focused properly at the center.

Lesson Suggestions

Students can try many simple ways to disturb the state of balance. Even the lightest weight matters. Start by putting one paperclip to any part of the bird. It would be a fun activity. Who knows? Maybe a cotton ball could even disrupt the state of equilibrium.

Newton’s Law: Reaction Rocket

This Reaction Rocket demo is a good way to introduce students to Newton’s Laws. This product comprises two parts: the rocket and the launcher. To start the experiment, insert the rocket into the launcher. The launcher has a rubber ball at the bottom. Meanwhile, the rocket has a base that rests just above the ball. Hold the top of the launcher to keep the whole device from falling. As soon as you let go of the launcher, it directly falls to the ground. The rocket, on the other hand, shoots straight up after the ball bounces off the surface.

Educational Innovations, Inc.

 

The Science Behind It

Newton’s Third Law states: “For every action force, there is an equal and opposite reaction force.” Potential energy eventually converts into kinetic energy with the Reaction Rocket experiment. First, the device is in place while you’re still pressing the top of the launcher. That’s potential energy. Kinetic energy starts when you release the launcher. It passes on from the rubber ball to the rocket’s base after impact on a surface. No wonder the rocket shoots upwards.

Lesson Suggestions

Here’s a step-by-step guide to one awesome activity for the students:

  1. Attach a measuring tape on a wall.
  2. One person is assigned to hold the launcher. The other one is making sure that the ball is aligned to a chosen height. Six inches is a good height for the first test.
  3. Measure how high the rocket flies. Be very observant in this step.
  4. Repeat steps with higher heights. Record everything.
  5. Analyze if there’s an increase in the rocket’s flight when the drop height is changed.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve observed, these demo tools are too simple. But, the simple results they give can actually help the students understand scientific principles even more. The best part? The whole class will have fun. Everybody will be amazed by these fun and innovative demo tools. With this teaching method, students are going to be excited attending every science class.

9 Amazing Animals You Do Not Want To Mess Around With

The world is full of things living and non-living interacting with one another to create a sustainable ecosystem where every living soul is benefiting from. Through the long course of evolution and natural selection process, plants and animals became so diverse that each species is as fascinating and at the same time interestingly unique from one another.

We humans, as part of the animal kingdom, although considered to be the most influential and major contributor to the recent happenings and changes in the world nowadays, we are actually considered one of the tamest group out there. No matter how bad we are affecting the world, our superior intelligence prevents us to be the savages we were once thought to be.

Now, as for the animals that are considered wild and scary, there are a few species out there that even us humans need to step back and try to stay away from. These animals have  distinct and unique characteristic that approaching them may endanger the life of other animals and that includes us. Although they are considered very dangerous, there are still some of the most beautiful animals the nature has to offer. They also play a vital role in the intricate web of life that neglecting one or abuse may affect the entire ecosystem. These animals, just like the rest of God’s living creations, need humans the most to steward and take care of them to ensure their survival in the years to come.

Australian Box Jellyfish

Most deadly jellyfish species can be usually seen in the Indo-Pacific region and Northern Australia and this include the Australian Box Jellyfish.

The Australian Box Jellyfish is regarded as the most noxious aquatic animal in the whole world. The name was primarily derived from their body shape that literally looks like a box. They have tentacles enclosed with nematocysts – tiny darts loaded with deadly toxin. Australian Box Jellyfish tentacles can grow up to 10 feet long and the body’s diameter can develop up to one foot.

This species may not appear deadly but don’t be deceived, its tentacles are very lethal. Minutes after being stung, Australian Box Jellyfish ill-fated victims may experience paralysis, cardiac arrest and worse, even death.

Australian Box Jellyfish are lithe swimmers. Once the tentacles perforate the skin, one can’t simply escape from it.

Deathstalker Scorpion

The Deathstalker Scorpion, also known as the Palestine Yellow Scorpion, can be found in scrubland habitats and dry desert areas around North Africa, Middle East and places in between which have very hot temperatures. This species can grow up to 77 millimeters (3 inches) long. Deathstalker Scorpion has a yellow color body and a contrasting dark tail.

This nocturnal animal commonly hunts for spiders, insects, centipedes and earthworms. However, the Palestine Yellow Scorpion also exhibits cannibalistic behavior, they tend to eat their own kind when the other food is scarce.

The sting of a Deathstalker Scorpion’s fatal pincers can lead to cardiovascular and respiratory dysfunction. Do you have any plans of having one? I highly recommend to think twice before you do it.

Tsetse Fly

 

Tsetse Fly, also known as Tik-tik flies, is a hefty piercing fly that dwells in midcontinent parts of Africa, between the Kalahari and the Sahara Deserts. The size of a Tsetse Fly ranges from 8 to 17 millimeters.

The Tsetse Fly is capable of transmitting Trypanosomiasis to man and animals through blood sucking.  Trypanosomiasis or best known as African Trypanosomiasis is a serious and deadly parasitic disease that needs immediate medical attention.

Saltwater Crocodiles

If you’re frightened of Alligators, then you will have a thousand more reasons to fear their cousin, the ferocious Saltwater Crocodiles.

Saltwater Crocodile is the largest of all existing reptiles. It inhabits the Indo-Pacific region from some seas of Vietnam and India. Male Saltwater Crocodile can reach up to 7 meters (23.0 feet) and weighs from 1,000 to 1,200 kilograms (2,200-2,600 pounds), whereas females can grow up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) long.

The saltwater crocodile is a fearsome and opportunistic manic-carnivorous top predator. It can easily assault a prey with a bite force delivering 3,700 PSI of pressure. Definitely, their bite would not only hurt you, but can actually slaughter you!

Cape Buffalo

The Cape Buffalo, also best-known as African Buffalo or Black Death, is a very vigorous and formidable buffalo species found in sub-Saharan Africa. Its height can range from 130-150 centimeters (51-59 inches) tall and weighs from 425-870 kilograms (935-1,910 pounds). Can you imagine how heavy they are?

They are not aggressive unlike other dangerous animals however, if they’re in jeopardy, they will automatically attack and trample humans or even moving automobiles. You don’t want to clash with these fellas’ horns!

Cone Snail

Cone Snails are native to the reefs and shallow warm waters of Indo-Pacific. They are familiar for their exquisite marbled shells. Cone Snails can grow up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) in length.

Cone Snails seem harmless but they actually possess detrimental toxic venom in their harpoon-like teeth that is strong enough to paralyze a victim, and when a large cone snail attacks, the venom is powerful enough to kill an adult human. They are carnivorous and regarded as one of the apex predators of the sea bottom. Hence, don’t get fooled by its stunning appearance and don’t you ever touch these deceiving gastropods!

Black Mamba

The Black Mamba is a venomous tree-dwelling snake prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. It is considered as the fastest snake in the world and the longest one in Africa. A Black Mamba can grow up to 4.5 meters (14.8 feet).

When in danger, a mamba will open its mouth to show the black-lined oral cavity as a caution gesture. It is known for being extremely aggressive and attacking without aggravation. Oh, that’s one hell of a snake and just by imagining them creeps fear into my system.

Golden Poison Dart Frog

The Golden Poison Dart Frog locally known as Golden Frog is widespread in the damp forests of the Pacific coast of Colombia.  The aposematic color scheme of the said creature is a caution pigmentation to tip off predators of its toxicity unless you’re ignorant about it, then it is the sad opposite.

These vibrantly colored amphibians are considered one of the most poisonous animals on Earth. They are widely recognizable for their four long slender legs with non-webbed toes. Another distinctive physical characteristic of the Golden Poison Dart Frog is the lean teeth-like plate in the upper jaw.

Batrachotoxin, the poison Golden Poison Dart Frog possesses, is so strong that one frog is enough to kill ten grown men. That’s quite bloodcurdling, right?

Atrax Robustus

Atrax Robustus, also known as Australian Funnel-Web Spider, is indigenous to Australia.  They are normally found in suburban rockeries and shrubberies.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Atrax robustus is the most venomous spider in the world. Australian Funnel-Web Spider venom holds a deadly organic compound identified as atracotoxin, an ion channel blockage, which makes the toxin highly fatal for humans. With no doubt, this is one of the best example of the saying, “small but very deadly!”

The Six Most Expensive Dogs

When you feel exhausted, emotionally down or simply problematic, there’s nothing more rewarding than a hug from the so called man’s ultimate best friend – a compassionate dog.

As a dog lover and a parent to four lively dogs, there is no doubt in my mind that having these fur babies bring a lot of positivity to my life.  A dog is an animal which I consider as part of my family. Certainly, they’re my bundle of pure joy! There may be times that they produce endless clutters in my house, but hey, I don’t mind. How can I not be happy knowing that these babies love me unconditionally? How can I complain when the very first thing I see every morning is their heart-melting smiles and playfully wagging tails? Definitely, there’s no room for hate.

My husband and I adopted our first dog five years ago. At first, we thought that by having a pup would help us save money because instead of going to dates and gigs, we’ll just stay home with our lovable four-legged baby. However, we realized that we were so wrong.

I am not discouraging anyone, but for starters, having a pup is more costly than you think. From their food, grooming, chew toys and vet fees, one cannot instantly save some pennies. Nonetheless, with a dog around you, the potential for stash is way more than you could ever imagine.

Dogs can be very beneficial for owners. Studies have shown that dogs provide excellent means of improving humans’ immune system. It’s typically a give and take relationship.

Just like cats, there are many known breeds of dogs scattered throughout the globe nowadays and human are still trying to add more to the roster. There are small and cute dogs that are considered toys and good as in-house family members and there are also massive and ferocious-looking dogs bred for game and guarding properties. However, the dog sizes is not a determining factor when it comes to their trade price, it’s actually the rarity of the breed. If you’re very particular on saving up yet you wanted a dog so badly, then you go for the cheap and usually common breeds. However, if money is not an issue and fame is what you’re after then there are also a few choices you can look into.

So for people out there who are planning to buy a charming pup and money is not an issue, here are the six most expensive dogs in the world! You’ll be surprised as much as I am!

Portuguese Water Dog

Average Puppy Price: $2,500

Description:

The Portuguese Water Dog or Cão de Água, is a rare breed and originated in Algarve, Portugal. The name was derived from the initial purpose of this breed – as fishing trips’ crew. Portuguese Water Dogs are moderate coated type, yet they are considered as hypoallergenic kind. Their non-shedding traits have made them famous over the years. This breed has a muscular body structure.

The standard height of a male Portuguese Water Dog is 51- 58 centimeters (20- 23 inches) and can weigh from 18-27 kilograms (40-60 pounds). While for female, the standard height is 43-53 centimeters (17-21 inches) and can weigh from 16-23 kilograms (35-50 pounds).

Temperament:

Portuguese Water Dog can be a great buddy. They are affectionate, self-determining, smart, and are easily trained. Normally, they are friendly to everyone, even to strangers. Unlike any other breeds, this kind of dog tends to mature slowly.

Average Life Expectancy:

About 12 years.

English Bulldog

Average Puppy Price: $3,000

Description:

The English Bulldog or commonly known as Bulldog alone, is a medium-sized and muscular breed. They are widely recognized by their wrinkled face and push-in nose. According to the American Kennel Club, English Bulldogs ranked fourth among the most famous breed.

Male Bulldog’s standard weight is 23 kilograms (50 pounds), while the female can weigh up to 18 kilograms (40 pounds).

Temperament:

This breed is sociable and affectionate, dignified rather than lively, and can be stubborn at times. Bulldogs need early exposure to people and everything around him. Conversely, Bulldogs are regarded as exceptional pets because of their ability to form strong bonds with kids.

Average Life Expectancy:

About 12 years.

Tibetan Mastiff

Average Puppy Price: $3,000

Description:

The Tibetan Mastiff (also known as Do-Khyi), is considered as a primitive dog breed. The breed originated in Tibet centuries ago. These heavy-coated breed are originally developed as guard dogs.

The standard height of a male Tibetan Mastiff is 26 inches and can weigh up to 160 or more pounds. Whereas, for females, they are at least 24 inches tall and can weigh from 75 to 125 or more pounds.

Temperament:

Tibetan Mastiffs are highly intellectual, autonomous, stubborn but sensitive to human feelings. This kind of breed is not advised for novice dog owners. Consistency and alertness is the key in training this type of dog since Tibetan Mastiffs are very strong-willed.

Average Life Expectancy:

About 12 years.

Dogo Argentino

Average Puppy Price: $3,900

Description:

The Dogo Argentino (widely known as Argentine Mastiff or Argentine Dogo), is a white, short-coated and large well-muscled dog with a wide deep-set chest. Dogo Argentino breed originated in Argentina, and was first developed for big-game hunting.

The standard height for female is 60-65 centimeters (24-26 inches) and 60-68 centimeters (24-27 inches) for male ones. The adult weight of an Argentine Mastiff ranges from 40-45 kilograms (88-99 pounds).

Temperament:

As with all breeds, the Dogo Argentino is a dedicated dog and can be a great protector of the family.  They are easy to train however, this type of dog is not for everyone to have. Dogo Argentino is a very dominant kind, but with the right owners with firm authority, they can be submissive. Leadership is a must for the owner. It is vital to show consistency and confidence in training this kind of breed.

Average Life Expectancy:

A healthy Dogo Argentino can live up to 13 years.

Löwchen

Average Puppy Price: $4,800 to $8,000

Description:

The Lowchen or commonly known as the Little Lion dog, is regarded as being the rarest dog in the world. The coat of this kind is long and flowing, as well comes in many hues.

For male Lowchen, the standard height is 30-35.6centimeters (12-14 inches) and weight of 5.4-8.1 kilograms (12-18lb). On the other hand, for female Lowchen, height varies from 28-33 centimeters (11-13 inches) and can weigh from 4.5-6.8 kilograms (9.9-15 lb).

Temperament:

Dogs of this breed are friendly and happy. They are highly intellectual, energetic and very playful. It is a quiet breed and definitely makes a good companion for families with kids.

Average Life Expectancy:

A Lowchen can live up to 14 years of age.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Average Puppy Price: $960 to $14,000

Description:

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is classified as a toy dog by the American Kennel Club and The Kennel Club. It has a soft and smooth coat and can be bred in four colors.

The standard weight for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is 5.9-8.2 kilograms (13-18lb) and a height that ranges from 30-33 centimeters (12-13 inches).

Temperament:

The breed is generally friendly, affectionate and good with both children and other animals however, they require a lot of human interaction.

Average Life Expectancy:

About 14 years of age.

Water Spider’s Nest

The water spider, Argyroneta, builds its nest underwater and fills it with air!
The bell-shaped nest is made of silk, usually among vegetation. The spider traps bubbles of air, then swims down and releases them into the nest.
When it’s time to breed, the female houses her silk-wrapped egg sac in the underwater shelter.
Water spiders often eat insects that have fallen onto the water, and sometimes they even catch small fish.

Click here for pictures of water spiders.
Click here to learn more about spiders in general.

Posted in Nature

Permalink

Smallest Shells

The smallest shells are made by single-celled organisms!
One-celled amoebas called Arcellaceans create shells for themselves by glueing together bits of sand or other debris. Their discarded shells, also known as “tests”, become part of the sediment layer at the bottom of the freshwater lake or stream in which they lived, and they can fossilize.
Arcellacean tests come in a great variety of shapes, and their forms are very sensitive to the exact environment in which the amoebas live.
Scientists studying the sediments can use the form and quantities of tests to determine the conditions in ponds, lakes, or streams during the time when the sediments were laid down. This is helpful not only to understand prehistoric conditions, but also to know how more recent life forms respond to pollution.

Click here to see pictures of arcellacean tests and to learn more about Arcellaceans.

Posted in Cool Facts

Permalink