Sunday, October 28, 2018

SEALS! zoo observation

So for the 45 minutes, I decided to choose the California baby seal lion in the aquarium section. She was a super happy baby who just wanted all the attention. I'm so glad they are getting a bigger area because they really are a bunch of free spirits that just need the room to show off, especially the little baby seal who blew bubbles for the passerby. What I observed was how the seal interacted with her toys, the people, and also her trainers. There were lots a floating toys in her exhibit to help with mental stimulus and challenge. Throughout my 45 minutes, I got to see the trainers come in and feed the seals. Of course, they did an array of tricks while the got fed which was super exciting. After they were fed the mama seal got a nice bath, while the baby seal went and caught ice cubes that were tossed into the water.

After that show, I wanted to do a little research on these animals and I discovered that they can actually live up to 30 years of age in captivity. 25-30 in captivity and 15-20 in the wild.

Also discovered that seals have tails! I didn't realize it until I took a closer look!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

tarantulas and capitalism


Poecilotheria metallica or the Metalica Taurantula

Intelligence 1/10

Builds asymmetrical webs in trees

Defense 6/10

Exo skeleton
Home building high up in trees
Vertical run
Flee
Hair throw

Speed 3/10

Sprint

Stamina 2/10

Not very active

Stealth 8/10

Won’t be found unless it wants to be

Power 7/10

Venom bite
Web building
Can take out prey its own size

P Metallica is a beautifully coated bright blue tarantula native to a very small area called the Gooty forest located in south central India. It is an arboreal spider meaning it lives mostly in tall trees and preys on passing flying insects. However, this spider will kill small rodents, bats, and birds if given the chance. Currently P Metallica is critically endangered do to excessive deforesting in it homeland. It is estimated there are fewer than 100 left in the wild, but it has hard to say due to their reclusive nature.


MOSS

Intelligence 1/10
It’s a plant

Defense 5/10

Has strong anti-bacterial properties

Speed 1/10

Doesn’t move

Stamina 5/10

Most moss can live up to 10 years and are fairly hearty

Stealth 1/10

Out in the open

Power 1/10

nope


Moss are a primitive plant remaining larger unchanged for millions of years. Moss was the first land growing plant and are believed to have evolved from algae. Most of all coal used today was once moss. Moss are very small plants most do not reach over 4inches, they have not flowers or root system and absorb water, and were used in world war one as bandages.


HUMANS

Intelligence 9/10

Speech
Craft
Domesticate

Defense 4/10

Skin
Education

Speed 3/10

Sprint

Stamina 8/10

Sweat

Stealth 1/10

Humans suck at stealth and have almost no base ability in this stat

Power 4/10

Pack hunt
Group living

Humans are weak and squishy awkward looking hairless bi pedal apes. On paper they suck and if the earth was a video game most would be hesitant to choose them as a playable class. However, humans have a few unique abilities that have allowed them to dominate all other life forms on the planet. Firstly, humans have the unique ability to throw, they can throw object very hard and very vast allowing them to kill things from a safe distance and take out prey 5-6 times larger than themselves. Humans also hunt in packs, not just with other humans but with a wolf hybrid they have created for themselves, the dog. The ability to sweat is fairly unique to humans and although most animals can out run a human in short burst humans can use the ability to sweat and run much greater distances. Humans have the ability to communicate with each other and although this is not a unique ability they can do it to a much higher level than any other animal. Finally, humans can craft this might be their most over powered ability, coupled with speak has allowed the human to dominate all other creatures on the planet.


CAPATALISM

Happiness 6/10

Individuals have the chance to be happy

Health 6/10

Creates to much food to the point where people get sick and die form over eating

Wealth 6/10

Can create very wealthy individuals but the wealth tends to rise and stay at the top.

Sustainability 3/10

It’s not, however people have a voice with their dollar

Power 8/10

Creates very rich very powerful nations

Educational level 5/10

Some Individuals may have the potential to have very high levels of education

Species X System

Orchid, Ferret, & Moth X Sign Language

Orchids are a beautiful flower that were first discovered in tropical rainforests. The orchid has the largest family base with over 25,000 species in its name. Although the orchid has the most of its kind in the flower kingdom, they have the smallest seeds in the world and are able to fit up to roughly 3 million seeds in just one seedpod! That being said, orchids have become the number one household plant due to the fact that they are easy to take care of, beautiful, they have a wide variety, and can live up to 100 years old.

Ferrets are a member of the Mustelidae family. They weigh in at about 1.5-4.5 pounds, sleep for 14-18 hours daily which adds up to be a majority of their 6-10 year lifespan. Personally, I love ferrets and find them to be so adorable, the one thing that is holding me back from owning one is that they are very smelly vertebrates! Matter a fact, their Latin name is "Mastela putorius furo, which translates to 'smelly little thief'. Ferrets are very tricky, sneaky creatures that love to sleep and play, alongside this trait they also love to learn and are very fun and easy to train but one of their favorite things to do are to steal and hide things due to their natural instincts.


Moths, the fall of 2018 overlord of memes. More than funny internet posts, moths are insects that belong to the Lepidoptera family. Looks wise, they are the boring butterfly, logistically, they are very equipt with cool features. For example, male moths are able to detect female moths from over 7 miles away due to their heightened sense of smell! While discussing their senses, lamps aren't the only thing they are attracted to, their tongues are designed for dietary purposes to reach for nectar and plants and fruits. Their boring outer looks are also a defense mechanism! They have several mechanisms to defend themselves against predators!


Sign language was created in 1620 by Juan Pablo de Bonet when he published his first book on the teachings of sign language. He based his knowledge on the works of other physicians to create a code to accommodate deaf people. The language changes just like other languages, it is not universal, many have similarities but with different dialects. This system has changed the world for deaf people before it was created, it was believed that deaf people were inatiquit and uneducated without minds/thoughts of their own. Sign language has spread so rapidly, it is estimated that over 70 million+ people use the system and have expanded on it also, it is now more than just hand communication, it includes expressions, body language and so much more!


Sources:
ORCHID:
https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/species/orchid
http://plainviewpure.com/12-incredible-orchid-facts-no-one-ever-told/
https://www.thespruce.com/growing-orchids-on-mounts-1315970
FERRETS:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferret
https://www.vetbabble.com/small-pets/ferrets/fun-facts/
http://www.animalandnature.com/blog-20-baby-ferret
MOTHS:
http://www.softschools.com/facts/animals/moths_facts/1270/
https://www.reddit.com/r/Bossfight/comments/962rs3/moth_the_seeker_of_lamps/
SIGN LANGUAGE:
http://lifeprint.com/asl101/topics/wallpaper1.htm
https://chip.web.ischool.illinois.edu/people/projects/timeline/1620ryan.html

3 Species and a System


PILEATED WOODPECKER
Pileated Woodpecker Male

The Pileated woodpecker lives in deciduous forests in eastern North America, great lakes, Canadian boreal forests and parts of the Pacific coast. The Pileated woodpecker is the second largest woodpecker in North America after one that is thought to be extinct. These woodpeckers do not migrate meaning that they are able to adapt to the very cold weather. The Pileated woodpecker creates large holes in trees to find carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae which they then lap up with their tongues and eat. They also eat fruits, nuts, berries (even those from the poison ivy), and rarely eat from suet feeders except when food is scarce (specifically in harsh winter conditions).


CHIGGERS
Chiggers are tiny bugs that are known for delivering bites that itch intensely. See more pictures of arachnids.

Chiggers, a type of Trombiculidae, are a type of mite that, in their larval stage attach and feed off of animals and humans. The Chigger injects digestive enzymes into the skin that breaks down skin cells, this causes the hosts' skin to itch. After they are done feeding they drop off and continue growing where they become harmless and feed on plant material. They are found in woodland areas, along lakes and streams and in low vegetation like lawns. They are around in larger amounts when there is the most vegetation like in the summer.  


HOUSE FLY
Adult house fly, Musca domestica Linnaeus.

House Flies are a type of fly that is thought to have evolved in the Cenozoic era (Current Era) and have spread across the world as a result of a symbiotic relationship with humans, much like rats. Flies only live for about 2-4 weeks but are able to hibernate during the winter. They lay their eggs on rotting flesh, food waste, and feces. Because of this, they carry pathogens which then leads to foodborne illness when they land on surfaces or food that humans come into contact with.


SEASONS 
 
A season is a division of a year that is marked by the changes in the weather and amount of daylight. Earths seasons are a result of its orbit around the sun and the tilt of its axis. 
The year has 12 months meaning that in a four-season year each season lasts about three months. The dates when the seasons begin and end vary depending on which method you use. The two most common methods used to define the starting and ending dates of the seasons are the astronomical definition and the meteorological definition. The astronomical methods use the solstices and equinoxes whereas the meteorological method uses the first day of the months that the equinoxes and solstices exist.  



Hammerheads, Leeches, Moths, and DNA Replication

Hammerhead Shark -
All sharks have electroreception to some degree or another. Hammerheads, however, have
the most potent sense of electroreception among sharks. Electroreception is so powerful
that sharks rely upon it more than their conventional vision. To put it in quantified terms,
Discovery claims that a hammerhead could notice the charge of two AA batteries 1000
miles apart, and would sense it when one of the batteries dies. The process of
electroreception works by way of pores all over the skin of the shark. The pores are filled
with electroconductive jelly and cilia which  move in response to received electrical input
and cause impulses in the shark’s brain to go off in response. As a bonus, the
electroreception of sharks is managed by an organ called a lateral line. This organ can detect
all sorts of changes to water such as pressure, displacement, current direction, etc.
What could we use this for?

      1. Submarines. Imagine a submarine modeled after the lateral line of a hammerhead. 
It wouldn’t need lights or sonar. It could be small and unmanned, operating
in a large group with other submarines positioned at great distances from one another.
They could communicate through electrical signals and be capable of sending that same
information to a receiver on the water’s surface, where it could be observed by researchers
or whomever else. They could work in tandem with larger submarines that would be
equipped with lights and tools for documentation and possible sample-taking, perhaps
being stored in its hull and ejected out as needed. This larger sub could be modeled after
a whale in that it can suck in sealife and eject unneeded water. It could have a more advanced
filtration system too. Obviously the whale sub would also have electroreception. Since
these are machines, though they could have a more or less equal distribution of receptors
over their body and not worry about head-centric navigation. The subs could have a
database of electric signatures that they receive and learn to identify specific organisms
based on a compiled base of similar signals.

2. General water detection. This super power could be bestowed upon fishing boats

so that they no longer need to use sonar that interferes with some aquatic animals.

3. Scuba diving communication. Maybe a type of sign language could be created to
keep divers in communication without all having to be physically with one another. This
could potentially lead to a sort of low-grade underwater telepathy that could read
electricity put out by the brains of people and animals.

4. Telepathy, Language, and Mental Perception. This could be developed further for

out of water by having something internal that picks up on the brain signals and some go
between device that receives them. Although now that I’m thinking on it, the tiny brain
device could also emit a wireless signal that’s picked up on by others with the device.
This also opens the fascinating door of instant communication without words or language,
and could potentially lead to the development of a wordless mental language and
communication via direct thought. As it becomes more refined, I wonder if the technology
would allow for instantaneous thought transmission in a very specific way. Removing the
heavy reliance on the boundaries of conventional language allows people to think in
abstract terms more concretely and communicate specific and subjective perceptions.


Image result for lightning eyes



Polyphemus Moth -
The Polyphemus Moth has a crazy-powerful sense of smell. The females emit pheromones
in minute quantities only detectable to the males with the most refined antennae. Because
of this breeding selection, the males have become hyper-adept at locating and identifying
smells in increasingly miniscule quantities. How miniscule? We’re talking being able
to pinpoint just a few molecules of lady smell and follow its source accurately.

1. The obvious use for this would be some sort of smell-based detection system, akin to
a drug dog. The important thing here, though is not to think of it necessarily in terms of
smell (that sounds too limiting and unconventional to think about effectively) but instead
in terms of location and identification of substances on a molecular level. This would have
all sorts of capabilities and could eventually be fine tuned to a very specific degree. This
could easily get into some spooky Orwell/Huxley-style omnipresence and spying, so I
dunno if I want to pursue it or give anyone the idea.

2. Night vision. Sounds a bit weird, but you could use this to effectively see by
identifying where certain concentrations of molecules are coming from. This could allow
for people or robots or whatever to go into areas that are completely devoid of light, and
would be quieter than echolocation.


Image result for smelloscope

Great Amazon Leech -
The Great Amazon Leech is more or less exactly what it sounds like: it’s a big ol’ blood-
sucking parasite from South America. What makes it worth thinking about, aside from a
vague unease that such a thing was ever birthed into being, is the anticoagulant properties
of its saliva. This means that the blood inside of the leech cannot clot or exist in any other
form than liquid. In fact, the sheer anticoagulance of the saliva has not been topped by
pharmaceutical blood-thinning drugs. A few obvious uses for this come to mind:

1.Use the magic blood-melting spit from the leech in blood thinning drugs. This may end
up being overkill and cause problems with blood being unable to clot, but it could be worth
a shot. Perhaps it could be made into a salve that could seep through the skin or open
wound and cause the effects to be more localized.

2. Model blood transfusion bags after these vampire worms. The leeches expand in size
as they intake blood (growing up to 4 times their size). This would make transfusion bags
way more efficient, both for storage and capacity, but also for blood dissolution. This
would prevent blood from clotting in the bag, but I’m uncertain if it could help keep the
blood alive.

3. Forensics - Using this in crime scene investigation could allow officials to
decoagulate blood to make for easier sampling. I guess this could end up being used by
criminals to dispose of evidence, unless the saliva leaves a residue. Although this could be
countered by the smell/molecule detection from the Great Horseshoe Moth.

4. Science/Dissection - This would allow blood to more easily be removed from corpses.
This could potentially make corpses into usable blood banks. If nothing else it could make
embalming easier and medical dissections would be less messy and/or could more
effectively illustrate the circulatory system.


5. Meat Farming - Similar to the blood-draining properties alluded to above, but this
time applied to livestock animals as opposed to people.


Image result for blood bank


DNA Replication -
The basic summary is that DNA molecules in living things divide, the double helix is cut into
a pair of halves. These halves (strands) serve as templates for new synthesized DNA. A
genetic spell check program helps to ensure that there aren’t any blatantly horrible
grammar or syntax errors as the new strand is produced. But like any spell check, it doesn’t
catch everything and sometimes there are errors in DNA sequences. This self-coding and
reproduction is already way rad on its own, but where things start to get super turbo
bodacious is artificial DNA replication. That’s right folks, DNA replication can be done in
vitro with synthesized DNA replication primer. This is applied to a given, known template
and kicks off the process. This means that ultimately we have the groundwork for creating
life. Sure, all the technology and science need to catch up, but the foundation is there
nonetheless. This would allow entirely new beings more or less outside genetic history to
exist. We could use the principles of biomimicry and apply it to actual lifeforms! That’s a
hefty bit of sci-fi right there.

Image result for young frankenstein




Sources:
Extreme Nature [Book]
Extreme Nature [Book]
Extreme Nature [Book]