Thursday, 10 March 2016

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."

The publication of  Rachel Carson's epic book Silent Spring over fifty years ago "spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses, and inspired an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency." So powerful was this book that it is still a source of great inspiration and ideas. She wrote that “[t]hose who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” The world is full of the amazing, the strange, the bizarre and the very beautiful and so we should never feel alone or weary of life. Here are a five fantastic facts I discovered recently that I wanted to share with you.

1. The Ringtail Salamander does not take a single breath

How's this for amazing - "The Ringtail salamander, of Costa Rica can spend its entire life without taking a single breath and instead relies entirely on gas exchange through its skin."

Here's one to put you off your breakfast! A species of bat in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park, have huge parasitic flies that live right on the face of the bats. Be warned, the pictures are pretty spooky!

"The vet of the oldest living land animal in the world, Jonathan the tortoise, reveals the key to his longevity. Joe Hollins, who lives on the remote British Overseas Territory of St Helena in the South Atlantic, said that the giant Seychelles tortoise's secret was "being very chilled". Jonathan was landed on the island in 1882, fully grown and aged at least 50. He is now believed to be 183."

"The British species of Tadpole shrimp is actually the oldest known animal species in the world and it is at least 220 million years old! This means it was swimming around in pools when the dinosaurs were roaming our planet"

 The "Taken from recent research into the development of eyes in spiders, this microscopic image shows what a common house spider looks like as it develops inside an egg. For some reason, it’s disturbingly… cute? This little cthulhu-like spider embryo is nearing the final stage before hatching and appears to be stuck in a tiny self hug. A Spider Embryo is Strangely Adorable"