Zoology: What is it?


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

©Crystal S. Kauffman

©Crystal S. Kauffman

The study of the animal’s behavior has lead to the well known theory of “natural selection”. Therefore, each animal has personal needs that must be met, in order to survive in nature or in captivity. According to Biology-Online, the study of zoology is a branch on biology, which studies different animals and the way they live their life. Most zoologists believe that studying animals and their behavior can teach us a lot about humans and their behavior. Some notable zoologists are: Aristotle, Charles Darwin, Jeff Corwin, or Steve and Terry Irwin of the Australia Zoo.

These scientists are studying their breeding habits, personality traits, and what they eat on a daily basis. The zoologist actually studies the animal’s home, in their own habitat or in captivity at a zoo or other place. According to Bolhus & Giraldeau, zoology was first studied by British and German laboratories, in the nineteenth century and it has evolved over the years. Many scientists have studied the theory of “natural selection”, which was researched by many different passionate scientists. Each one has strived to become one with the animal, but they also learn to have a healthy respect for each animal they studied.

Their work and passion is allowing us to understand the animal’s behavior in stressful and social situations. The zoologists are learning how animals relate to their own kind, to other animals, and to humans. According to Bolhus & Giraldeau, by learning how they are raising their offspring, wildlife organizations can save many wounded animals. A zoologist job’s is very important and many zoos hire them, in order to care for the animals. They study how animals behave, especially when they are friendly or when they feel threatened.

There are many classifications of animals that are being studied by scientists, who are called zoologists. According to Biology-Online, most spiders are classified separate from insects, since their anatomy is built differently. Some zoologist study Paleontology, in order to learn what extinct animals and fossils were like, when they roamed the earth. Others study the Entomology, which is learning about insects and their behaviors.

Some scientist study Mammalogy, which includes animals that carry and give birth to their young. Most mammals feed their baby milk and they are warm-blooded, like humans and dolphins. According to Biology-Online, some animals are classified as Herpetology, since they are reptiles or amphibians. These animals are cold-blooded and lay eggs at birth, like turtles or frogs. Actually, snakes and lizards are studied under this branch of zoology, since they lay eggs are cold blooded as well

However, some animals are called arachnids and the scientific name for their branch of zoology is Arachnology. Most people associate this branch of study with spiders that have more than six legs and lay eggs in a sack. According to Bolhus & Giraldeau, the different behaviors of animals are studied by an Ethologist, who also documents each species behavior. Scientist called Ornithologist, actually study birds, by examining how they live and what they eat.

Another type of scientist is an Ichthyology, they study fish and how they survive in the ocean and fresh water without air. According to Biology-Online, a zoologist mainly studies the behavior of animals and how they live in their own natural habitat. A zoologist can choose to study all types of animals or they may pick a branch, which allows them to study one type of species like snakes or birds.

Basically, there are mainly two types of animals; one is herbivores or a plant eaters and the other is a carnivore or a meat eater. According to Biology-Online, these scientists study the different species of animals and their unique habits. Some zoologists are studying a specific animal’s habitat, but some are studying a variety of animals and their behavior. They each observe and chart the interesting stuff they learn, in order to teach future generations all about these amazing animals.
Reference:

Biology-Online.org (2015) Branches of Biology
Retrieved from the World Wide Web on August 2, 2015
http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Branches_of_biology
Bolhus, J & Giraldeau, L. (Unknown) The Study of Animal Behavior
Retrieved from the World Wide Web on August 2, 2015

http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/content/BPL_Images/Content_store/Sample_chapter/9780631231257/Bolhuis_sample%20chapters_Behaviour%20of%20animals.pdf

Understanding the Responsibilities of Exotic Snake Ownership


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

©Unknown

©Unknown

The Burmese Python and other exotic snakes have been getting bad press coverage lately in South Florida. I have decided to investigate the actual meaning of being a responsible owner of one of these exotic snakes. I found many interesting website that will educate a new snake owner. These snakes need special types of housing and care, so the new owner must be prepared to accommodate their growing needs.

Knowledge is Power

Before buying the snake, a person needs to consider the expenses associated with buying these exotic animals. The animal will require veterinarian care, special housing, live animals, and so much more as they grow. Take time to study and know what type of snake that you are interested in owning. Many new snake owners buy the snake as a baby and don’t realize how big they can become. In the right conditions and housing, these exotic snakes can grow to an enormous size and length.

Veterinarian Care

Every year or so, the snake will need a check-up or other medical care, but emergencies will pop up from Time to time as well. Take time, before purchasing a snake and find a vet that is able to treat reptiles like snake and lizards. Not every veterinarian will offer this type of care, but the potential snake owner should look around for a local vet that offers this specialized care. Ask other reptile owners and pet shop personnel about the veterinarian that tends to their reptiles.

Special Housing

The snake will need an escape proof wooden cage that will allow the snake to grow for several years before having to be replaces. Most people build their own reptile enclosure, but they must be sure to consult a reptile cage building website before attempting to build one. An owner should never use a standard fish aquarium for housing, because the snake can escape once it grows bigger and stronger. The snake should have clean housing as well, in order to keep the snake from getting sick.

Live Animals

Snakes will eat small animals several times a week, but the amount will be based on their size and weight. They eat live rabbit and rats, which can cost the owner a lot of money after they begin to grow larger. These animals can be purchased at a local pet shop, but some snake owner breed their own small animals to cut the cost down. However, if an owner is squeamish they may not be able to handle feeding the snake live animals.

Conclusion

An exotic snake require special care, as well as a responsible owner who can give them the proper care that they need. The potential snake owner should do his or her homework and interact with other snake owners. The snake will need the new owner to provide proper medical care, escape-proof housing, and live animals for the snake to stay healthy. However, this type of care can get expensive, so the potential snake owner should weigh the cost before making the purchase.

Reference:

Personal Experience

©2013, Crystal S. Kauffman

Everything You Wanted To Know About Blue Sharks


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

©Unknown

©Unknown

Where does it live?

The Blue Shark or Prionace glauca is most often found in swimming in the open ocean and is never really found near the coastal shorelines. According to FLMNH (2012), this species of shark can be found hunting and living in temperate or tropical waters all over the world. These sharks usually blend into their environment like living in “kelp forest” or “coral reef areas.”(PBS, 2012) Blue Shark prefer cooler water temperatures, but they have been known swim in warmer waters.

What does it look like?

The Blue Shark has a bright blue color or indigo color, but their underbelly is usually a grayish white color. This species of shark has small white rings around its eyes and a pointed nose that will help humans identify them. According to Enchanted Learning (2012), this species of shark has a body that is sleek yet tapered, which allows it to be a graceful swimmer. The adult Blue Shark is about 12 ft. long and it has a moderate sized dorsal fin that sits further on its back. This allows this species can jump out of the water and is known as one of the fastest swimmers due to its elongated caudal fin.

What does it eat?

The Blue Sharks color helps camouflage the shark whenever it is swimming or hunting for its preferred prey. This species of shark has serrated and pointy teeth that help the sharks grab slippery prey like fish. According to Enchanted Learning (2012), the Blue Shark prefers squid but will eat almost anything that it decides to hunt. These sharks also hunts for prey like sardines or anchovies, but this shark is known as an opportunistic feeder.

Do they reproduce?

Blue sharks gives birth to live pups, but they can have anywhere from 4-135 pups with each litter they have. However, a normal litter of pups would be about 25 to 50, but more has been reported over the years. According to Canadian Shark Research Laboratory (2012), newborn pups are born after about 9-12 month of gestation and the pups are about 16- 20 inches at birth. The female may wait months or years before she begins to ovulate and decides to reproduce again.

Are they dangerous?

Blue Sharks are dangerous to swimmers, because there have been recorded attacks on people by this species of shark. However, fishermen are catching these sharks, because they can become a nuisance.The shark now has fewer numbers than it has in the past, due to fisherman catching and killing these majestic creatures. Unfortunately, according to CSRL (2012), this shark is blamed for attacking victims of air and sea disasters.

References

Florida Museum Of Natural History (2012) Blue Sharks

Retrieved on Oct. 23, 2012 from the World Wide Web

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/blueshark/blueshark.html

Enchanted Learning (2012) Blue Sharks

Retrieved on Oct. 23, 2012 from the World Wide Web

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/species/Blueshark.shtml

PBS (2012) Blue Sharks

Retrieved on Oct. 23, 2012 from the World Wide Web

http://www.pbs.org/oceanrealm/seadwellers/sharkdwellers/blue1.html

Canadian Shark Research Laboratory (2012) Blue Shark

Retrieved on Oct. 23, 2012 from the World Wide Web

http://www.marinebiodiversity.ca/shark/english/blue.htm

Previously Published

©2012, Crystal S. Kauffman

Learn More about the Giant Panda


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

©Unknown

©Unknown

A giant panda is an adorable black and white giant bear, which is widely recognized as an endangered species. According to San Diego Kids (2012), this species is related to the bear family, due to the way it behaves like any other type of bear species in the wild. These bears are generally found living in the local zoos or in central mountains in China. The giant panda does not hibernate or sleep through the winter like other species of the bears normally do.

What do they look like?

The giant panda has a white head with the cutest black ears and black circles around their eyes, which reminds of a raccoon. This species of panda has four black legs and white can be found everywhere else. According to Defenders of Wildlife (2012) a panda has five fingers and an enlarged wrist bone which works like a humans thumb. The adult giant panda is about 5 ft long, 2.5 ft tall at shoulders, and weighs 300 lbs.

Where do they live?

They are found living in zoos all over the world, where they are safe from poachers and the hunters who would kill them. The zoo’s researchers are learning more about this amazing animal, who has captured so many hearts with its majestic beauty. According to National Geographic (2012), they can be found living in isolated wet areas within the remote mountains of central China.

What do they eat?

The wild giant panda is good at climbing the bamboo trees, despite their enormous size and stature. According to Defenders of Wildlife (2012), the giant panda absolutely enjoys eating bamboo stalks and they will also eat insects and fruit. An average adult giant panda eats around 25 – 40 lbs of bamboo a day. However, the giant panda will climb bamboo trees, in order to get to the stalks but they usually sleep at the bottom of the tree at night.

How do they reproduce?

The giant panda will generally breed during March to, but the only stay pregnant for 3-5 months and may produce pregnancy may produce one or two cubs. According to Defenders of Wildlife (2012), the baby panda is hairless as a newborn and they are blind until their eyes open at 6-8 weeks after birth. The baby cub will drink its mother’s milk for about six months and become independent of its mother between 1- 3 years

Are they endangered?

The giant panda is a poster child and well known for being an international endangered species that may need protection. The World Wildlife Fund and other conservationist are trying to protect them in the wild and at zoos. Unfortunately, only one panda cub will survive if the mother has twins. According to Defenders of Wildlife (2012), it is estimated that only about 2000 giant pandas live in the wild and about 200 are held in captivity at the zoo. The panda’s average life span is about 20-30 years in captivity, but not much is known about the wild giant panda because they live in solitude.

References

National Geographic (2012) Giant Pandas

Retrieved on Nov.25th, 2012 from the World Wide Web

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/giant-panda/

Defenders of Wildlife (2012) Pandas

Retrieved on Nov.25th, 2012 from the World Wide Web

http://www.defenders.org/panda/basic-facts

San Diego Kids (2012) Giant Panda facts for Kids

Retrieved on Nov.25th, 2012 from the World Wide Web

http://kids.sandiegozoo.org/animals/mammals/giant-panda

Previously Published

©2012, Crystal S. Kauffman

Basking Shark: The Largest Shark of the Sea


By, Crystal S. Kauffman

©Unknown

©Unknown

The basking shark is considered the second largest fish or shark, when compared to the whale shark. According to Sharks-World, this gigantic creature is also known as Cetorhinus Maximus, by scientists and researchers who collect vital information from these animals. Thankfully, they do not prefer to eat humans instead they filter feed, just as the whale shark does. They are slow moving and an unusually large mouth. In which they filter feed.
They are not dangerous to humans, because the giant shark is usually enjoying using its wide mouth to eat plankton. They have gills which filter out the items that they don’t want, while allowing them to eat all the plankton that they want. According to Sharks-World, these giant sharks can measure up to 33 feet long and the shark can weigh up to 4 tons. The most common names are the big-mouth shark, sun-fish, bone shark, and elephant shark.
The basking shark enjoys swimming and living in the coastal waters, which are warmer and offer plenty of plankton to snack on. Additionally, these giant sharks may travel alone or in groups of over 100 members, as well as travel with their mate. According to Sharks-World, they tend to stay near the surface, so they can filter feed using their mouth to process 1500 gallons of water each hour. These amazing animals are in need of protection before they become extinct and future generation will never get to see one up close.
The commercial fishing industry allows shark hunting for meat and shark liver oils, as well as other valuable parts of the shark that can be sold on the open market. According to Sharks-World, sometimes these giant sharks are mistaken for a great white shark, but the basking shark has smaller eyes and large gills. This shark’s mouth is about 3 foot wide, which allows them filter feed using the gill rakes found in the sharks gills that encircle its head.
The sharks don’t hibernate but they do migrate to deep waters or other coastal areas, during certain seasons. According to Sharks-World, these sharks vary in colors like blue, white, dark brown, and black which may identifying one a little difficult unless you know what they look like. However, In order to keep the giant sharks from being hunted, we as a generation must try to offer some type of protection now. If not, we will lose all chances of our future generations ever seeing a basking shark, except in school books or the encyclopedia.
References:

Sharks-World.com (2015) Basking Sharks

Retrieved from the World Wide Web on July 16, 2015

http://www.sharks-world.com/basking_shark/

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

All About Whale Sharks


@Unknown

@Unknown

By, Crystal S. Kauffman

Whale sharks are a majestic beast, which fascinates scientist and tourist alike, yet many misunderstand this gentle giant. Learning more about this species of shark will help people begin to understand that the whale sharks are not dangerous. According to Shark-World, the whale shark is also known as the Rhincodon typus, which has been confirmed as a largest fish in the entire world. Scientists and tourist have chosen to go scuba diving with these majestic creatures, yet they found them to be docile and nonthreatening to humans.

According to Sharks-World, the whale shark is the largest species of shark in the world, which has been on this planet for millions of years according to scientists. The largest recorded whale shark was 40 feet in length, but some say they have seen whale sharks that are about 60 feet long. They are also known as the largest species of this on earth and can weigh over 20 tons. However, despite their massive size, they are generally known as gentle giants.

A whale sharks mouth is 4 feet wide and they are filter feeders, but their preferred meal is plankton or small fish. According to Sharks-World, the gentle giant prefers to live in warm waters like the ones found in Mexico, tropical seas, and Australia. During the spring, the whale shark migrates to the continental shelf, which is found on the West Coast of the Australian sea. This area of the Australian sea allows the whale shark to find plenty of plankton to eat and thrive on.

The gentle giant has a flattened head and a blunted snout just above its massive mouth, which has short barbels that protrude from its nostrils. According to Sharks-World, the whale sharks body is bigger that a school bus, which makes this gentle giant the biggest fish on the planet. The sharks back and sides are a dark gray to a brownish color with white spots. The gentle giants belly is white and it has two dorsal fins, which are set facing the rear of its body.

The gentle giants have a massive tail, which helps them swim when migrating or just hunting the food they crave like plankton. According to Sharks-World, these gentle giants are considered to be a threatened or vulnerable species, but they are still hunted in Asia and the Philippines. These giant sharks are docile and will allow a swimmer to interact with them, as well as hitching a ride. It is up to us and future generations to help save this majestic creature from becoming extinct.

References:

Sharks-World.com (2015) Whale Shark
Retrieved on the World Wide Web on July 16, 2015

Whale Shark

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

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Mako Sharks: Fastest Shark Species


©NOAA

©NOAA

By, Crystal S. Kauffman

These beautiful creatures are built like a torpedo and attacks aggressively, which involves breaching the water at times when the shark captures its prey. According to Sharks-World, these sharks are blue in color and can be around a half a ton or 1000 lbs while they can grow to be 12 feet long. The mako sharks usually don’t swim near humans, but humans have been attacked by this aggressive shark. Fisherman have always told tales about this shark swimming faster than their boats and jumping high enough to jump over their boats, as well.

Pound for pound most powerful shark in the ocean and they are narrowed bodied, but have flat surface at the end of their body that is right by their tail. Their tails are up down from tip to tip, but their bodies are streamed lined for speed and agility when hunting prey. According to Sharks-World, some mako sharks may prefer to swim near the shore in warm water, whiles others prefer colder or deep water. These sharks can be found in oceans around the world, but many are found in the waters surrounding Tahiti.

This shark has the speed and agility to track large animals in the sea like: dolphins, fish, and tuna. This shark is the fastest shark in the sea and generally swimming at speeds of 35 miles per hour, but when hunting or migrating they can swim up to 60 miles per hour. The female and male mate, but the eggs remain in the female until they hatch and she will have up to 18 pups which are over 2 ft. long. (Source: Sharks-World, 2015)

References:

Sharks-World.com (2014) Mako Sharks
Retrieved on the World Wide Web on July 16, 2015

Mako Shark

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

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