Octopuses Making Gardens: True? (+ Interesting Facts)

Octopuses Making Gardens: True?

Here’s whether octopuses really make gardens: They make homes and shelters from shells and other objects they find. They built supportive structures around these shelters called gardens. These gardens aren’t meant to be beautiful exteriors around their homes. Their sole purpose is to reinforce the home, not to make it look better. So if you want to learn all about octopuses building gardens, then this article is for you. Keep reading! Do Octopuses Really Make Gardens`? Octopuses use shells and other objects that they find to make homes and shelters. Around these homes and shelters, they built supportive structures that are often called gardens. The gardens aren’t meant to provide a beautiful exterior around their dens. Their sole purpose is to reinforce the home, not to make it more appealing. Building and maintaining dens is a complex behavior in octopuses. It’s not just a simple reflex. Every octopus does the action individually. There is no collective action or teamwork involved in choosing a place for the den, digging a den, and making a garden. Although a solitary act, there are places that are kind of like octopus communities where the animals build separate housing. Each unit is only 8–12 inches (20–30 centimeters) apart. Are Octopuses Intentionally Reinforcing Their Homes With Shells? Octopuses don’t intend to make their homes more secure when bringing shells to their dens. They bring scallops home to eat and, in doing so, leave shells behind. So, the hard parts that make the gardens are just waste. An octopus considers eating at home to be a lot safer than eating anywhere else. When eating out in the open, the animal risks being noticed by predators. Many octopus species show the same behavior and have piles of prey-remains just outside their dens. The piles indicate to scientists where an octopus den can be located. Scientists also get information on their choices of prey according to the types of shells. The dens are holes surrounded by shells or other objects. Sometimes these vertical shafts can be 16 inches (40 centimeters) deep. It’s not possible to have a stable shelter with that depth in the soft seabed, so the hard walls increase the quality. The octopus, however, must not spend a lot of time outside its home searching for food. Excessive time away leaves the den free to be occupied by another octopus. So, bringing the food home is intentional behavior. The octopus wants to eat in a safe place to protect his home from intruders. Do Octopuses Use Barriers to Protect Themselves? Octopuses can bring different inedible objects near their homes to serve as barricades. For example, some species collect coconut shells to use as hiding shelters when the need arises. An octopus can make use of any object he sees fit to carry home and hide in it, human-made waste included. So, sometimes they make additions to their gardens in the form of a piece of garbage. What Octopus Species Make Gardens? All of the octopus species living on the seabed make gardens. What’s the Biggest Octopus Garden? The largest octopus garden to date is located 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of San Simeon, a village in California (United States). The place is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It’s a nursery where hundreds of female octopuses lay and care for their eggs. The temperature of the water gets low when going this deep, and it’s almost impossible for divers to go scuba diving near the nursery. Underwater robots were used to investigate the large octopus garden and take footage. The robot vehicles caught, on camera, hundreds of octopuses in lavender color. They were nestled among the rocks. Some of the animals even started clinging to the vehicles. The funny thing is that, even though you have to go through freezing water to get to the largest octopus garden, still the water around the settlement is warm. Scientists discovered that the warmth comes from the seafloor releasing warmer water. The area is in the Davidson Seamount Management Zone (an underwater mountain). Its highest peak is around 4000 feet (1220 meters) below the surface. The Seamount is an ancient volcano. Maybe that’s the reason why the water is heated and why the female octopuses decide to nest here. Do Pet Octopus Make Gardens in Aquariums? If you keep an octopus as a pet in an aquarium, you can see the magic of creating an octopus garden happen right before your eyes. Now, this isn’t a thing all octopus owners are very fond of. Imagine you made the perfect aquarium setting that’s both beautiful and practical for the octopus to live and hide in. Chances are your pet will rearrange the whole thing and turn everything upside down. So, don’t even bother creating a garden. The octopus will destroy it to make its own. What Is Octopolis? Octopuses generally avoid contact with others of their kind and prefer to spend their lives enjoying the ocean environment alone. However, 50 feet (15.2 meters) below the surface in Jervis Bay (Australia), scientists discovered a rare sighting of a group of octopuses cohabitating on a small patch of the seabed. They decided to call it “Octopolis” because it reminded them of a small octopus town where social interactions are common. These social interactions sometimes make the animals mate and sometimes fight. What’s more unusual is that they can be seen throwing objects at each other, something that spiked the interest of many animal behavior experts. Very few animal species throw objects at one another, so it’s a significant scientific discovery knowing octopuses do so. Octopolis is an octopus town that’s spread across a few square meters, but still is meaningful real estate for the population of gloomy octopuses inhabiting it. Like any other octopus habitat, you can expect to see thousands of scallop shells making up octopus gardens. The town is built on a piece of metal, and the shells have been brought by the octopuses themselves. They …

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Why Are Sharks and Whales Not in Rivers Anymore?

Sharks and Whales Not in Rivers: Why?

Here’s why sharks and whales are not in rivers anymore: Some sharks and smaller whale species can be found in rivers, but the majority avoid them. Due to pollution, aquatic constructions, boats, and fishing nets, whales and sharks try to stay away from coastal waters. Rivers can only be accessed from coastal waters. So if you want to learn all about sharks and whales and their connection to rivers, then this article is for you. Let’s jump right in! Why Are Sharks and Whales Not in Rivers Anymore? The natural flow of rivers has been compromised by humans in many ways, often making them uninhabitable for animals that need clear water and lots of food. Although some sharks and smaller whale species can be found in rivers, the majority avoid them. Large quantities of food are only available in oceans and seas, and sharks and whales need them to survive. Since they had no reason to go into freshwater over the centuries, their bodies adapted to the natural properties of saltwater only. Not only do the seas contain enough food for these predators, but the water also has properties that help them with infected wounds after fights with other predators. Whales and sharks try to stay away from the coastal sea and ocean waters due to pollution, aquatic constructions, boats, and fishing nets. Coastal waters are also the only places where they can get access to rivers. Why Are the Coastal Waters a Bad Environment for Sharks and Whales? A lot of physical pollution (garbage) and chemical pollution can be found in coastal freshwater and saltwater environments. The population of marine birds and fish are affected by this. They either swallow the contaminants or get caught in them. Animals are more likely to come across private and commercial boats in coastal waters. Animals are naturally frightened of human activities and tend to remain at safe distance. Different types of structures around coastal environments can disrupt the normal functioning of sharks and whale pods. Dams and bridges cut off essential food supplies, so marine animals tend to stay in open waters where there is more food. Many times, sharks and dolphins get caught up in fishing nets by accident. The animals are unaware of them and, once trapped, send signals to others of their kind to stay away. What Whales Can Live in Freshwater? The first type of whale that pops up in our minds when we mention these animals is probably the enormous blue whale. Along with 13 other large whale species, they form a group known as “Baleen whales.” Baleen whales swim slowly and open their mouths to randomly get food and water inside. Afterward, they push the water out through baleen plates where the food gets trapped (filtered) and swallowed. All Baleen species are unable to live in freshwater due to their size and the type of nutrition they need. A group of whales smaller in size are the toothed whales, which count almost 70 different species. Few of them can be found in freshwater. The biggest representative is the sperm whale, which is almost the size of the baleen species. While the feeding method of baleen whales is limited, the possibilities for toothed whales are vast. These possibilities mean that they can find food in many different habitats, including freshwater. Some toothed whale species can be found in lakes and rivers. At some point, though these environments are inadequate for them, they developed a few adaptations that made river trips possible. Few toothed whales have whiskers used to detect prey in muddy and murky rivers and lakes; also, they produce low-concentrated urine to keep the internal salinity stable. Toothed whales with the ability to inhabit freshwater can only be found in Asia and South America. These species include: South Asian river dolphin Indus river dolphin Irrawaddy dolphin Chinese river dolphin Amazon river dolphin Bolivian river dolphin Araguaian river dolphin Asian Freshwater Whales The one freshwater whale species no one is sure still exists is the Chinese river dolphin. In 1997, the species had 13 individuals, and the last sighting of such an animal was back in 2018. The endemic dolphin of the Yangtze River could be extinct as a result of electrofishing, habitat degradation, dam construction, and other human activity. On the south of the Asian continent, the Indus and south Asian river dolphins all have one thing in common – eyes the size of a pinhead, which make it possible for them to see in their muddy environment. South American Freshwater Whales All three species of South American freshwater whales (Amazon, Bolivian, and Araguaian) have long-toothed rostrums and are nearly blind. They inhabit several rivers in South America and get around using echolocation only. The Amazon River dolphin is the most abundant of the dolphins and shares its habitat (Amazon and Orinoco Rivers) with the tucuxi. The tucuxi are classified as oceanic dolphins that occasionally go into freshwater. Why Can’t Large Whales Live in Freshwater? First of all, the freshwater environment is too shallow for whales to live in. There is very little they can eat in that environment. Freshwater can also be easily polluted and become hazardous for whales. Whales share the ocean with marine animals that can live in freshwater, but they need different circumstances to survive. Over the years, whales and their prey biologically adapted to the properties of saltwater only. If a whale travels into a freshwater environment that’s naturally shallow, it risks getting stuck. Similar to when a whale gets trapped on a beach after the tide goes out, this is called “beaching.” Has Anyone Seen a Baleen Whale in a River? In 2020, three humpback whales, which belong to the group of baleen whales, have been spotted in the East Alligator River. The river belongs to the Kakadu National Park (Australia), and contrary to its name, it’s inhabited by crocodiles and not alligators. This was the first time a humpback whale was seen in a river. Before that, they …

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What Can a Mantis Shrimp Do to a Human: Can It Hurt a Human?

Mantis Shrimp vs. Human: What Can a Mantis Shrimp Do To a Human?

Here’s what a mantis shrimp can do to a human and whether it can hurt them: A mantis shrimp’s powerful punch can hurt humans. A shrimp can land before a person even realizes it is there because its strike is so quick. Shrimp punches cause deep wounds and lacerations with rounded edges. There is almost always a loss of tissue after a mantis strike and heavy bleeding. So if you want to learn all about what a mantis shrimp can do to a human, then this article is for you. Let’s jump right in! What Can a Mantis Shrimp Do to a Human? A mantis shrimp can hurt humans with its powerful punch. The shrimp’s strike is so fast that it can land before a person even knows the animal is there. The shrimp’s punches leave deep wounds and lacerations with rounded shapes. After a mantis strike there is almost always a loss of local tissue along with heavy bleeding. Fishermen attacked by mantis shrimp say that it hurts terribly to get punched or pierced by them. Fishermen fear mantis shrimp and are very cautious because of the many anecdotal reports of these marine animals injuring humans. Have There Been Reports of Humans Getting Injured by Mantis Shrimp? There have been a few reports of people getting into fishing accidents with mantis shrimp. Luckily, none of them were lethal or too serious. However, some people did have to get professional medical help because of the intense pain and the bleeding. One case was a 50-year-old fisherman that tried to remove the animal from the hook of his fishing rod. The mantis shrimp used its tail to strike the man in the arm, causing pain and bleeding. The mantis shrimp’s tail, however, is actually the thing that causes the least damage. Two fishermen from Brazil were injured by mantis shrimp they found in their fishing nets. When trying to get the shrimp out of the nets, the fishermen received stinging strikes from the animals. One of the fishermen rinsed the wound with soap and water and saw it heal in one week. The other fisherman left the wound unattended and suffered the injury for weeks. Some people have been injured by accidentally stepping on mantis shrimp. Because the animals camouflage themselves by burrowing into holes, they are quite easy to step on. Doctors that have treated people attacked by mantis shrimp say that a course of antibiotics and wound-cleaning promote faster healing. Has a Person Ever Been Killed by a Mantis Shrimp? No, a person has never been that severely injured by a mantis shrimp to die. Even though mantis shrimp injuries are painful and severe, they have never killed a human. A human can die if they are allergic to mantis shrimp and suffer anaphylactic shock after eating one. Choking on a mantis shrimp could also be fatal. What Animal Has the Most Powerful Punch in the Animal Kingdom? The animal with the most powerful punch in the world is the mantis shrimp. It generates approximately the same force as a 22-caliber bullet that has just exited a gun barrel. How Do Mantis Shrimp Hunt? Mantis shrimp are carnivorous animals, which means they eat exclusively meat. According to their hunting style, they can be divided into two hunter categories: Smashers Spearers Smasher and spearer mantis shrimps aren’t different species of animals. They are just specimens from the same species that prefer two different forms of attack. Smasher Mantis Shrimp As the name indicates, the smashers have blunt clubs on their raptorial arms. The term “raptorial arm” is pretty much the same as the term “predatory arm.” It describes how the forelegs of some arthropods are modified to grasp their victims while they consume them. Smasher mantis shrimp use the clubs to smash and open crabs, clams, oysters, and other creatures with hard shells. When they strike, the smashers move their arms at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (20 meters per second). The mantis shrimp punches with 200 pounds (91 kilograms) of force. Its arms move so fast that they practically tear the water apart. When punching, mantis shrimp create something called “cavitation.” Cavitation is when watery areas with low pressure are vaporized into bubbles that almost instantly collapse. The collapse is characterized by a burst of sound, heat, and light. The heat of the punch can reach 8500°F (4700°C). How hot is that, do you ask? Well, it’s approximately 5–10 thousand times hotter than the sun’s surface. Boat engineers pay a lot of attention to this phenomenon when they are designing boat propellers. Cavitation bubbles have the power to tear holes through metal propellers, as well.   Smashers leave their burrows more frequently than spearer shrimp do. They seek out sedentary prey and settle the beef face to face by smashing their opponent’s armor and exposing the tasty, soft interiors. Spearer Mantis Shrimp Spearers ambush their prey. Fish species with soft skin fall victim to spear attacks. The fish aren’t nearly fast enough to escape the quick bursts of punching speed executed by mantis shrimp.     Spearers have barbed spears on the end of their arms. They surprise their prey and release the spears surprisingly fast. Even though spearers plenty fast enough to put food on their mantis tables, their attacks are slower than the attacks of smashers. A fast spearer mantis species can deliver a spear attack at around 13 miles per hour (6 meters per second). Scientists discovered that smaller spearers are faster than larger ones. Still, even the smallest mantis spearer doesn’t come close to the speed of the average smasher. Uropods What both spearers and smashers have in common are their uropods. Uropods are structures in the tails of mantis shrimps that make their recognizable caudal fans. On each uropod, there is a pair of pointed spikes that the shrimp use as an additional weapon.   The top of a mantis shrimp’s tail is called a telson. Researchers discovered that the shrimps use their telsons …

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What are The Black Lines in a Shrimp?

Black Lines in a Shrimp: What Are Those?

Here’s what the black lines in a shrimp are: The black lines in shrimps are part of the animal’s digestive system. They are also known as “sand veins,” which look like thin black ribbons. The shrimp’s sand veins can be completely or partially filled with things it ate. So those black lines are, in fact, bowels filled with feces. So if you want to learn all about the black lines in a shrimp, then this article is for you. Keep reading! What Are the Black Lines in Shrimps? Many people believe that the black lines in a shrimp are veins, but actually they are a part of the animal’s digestive system. The black lines, which look like ribbons, are also called “sand veins.” Sand veins can be fully or partially filled with things the shrimp has eaten. Some people are disgusted to discover that the black lines are indeed bowels filled with feces. That’s why knowledge is power. It’s also why good hygienic and culinary practice is to get rid of the sand veins before eating or serving the shrimp.  What Would Happen if You Eat a Shrimp That Wasn’t Deveined? “Deveining” shrimp is taking those black, feces-filled lines out. The probability is very low that you would get sick from eating shrimp that their sand veins left in them. The probability is high, however, that the sand veins give the shrimp a gritty texture in your mouth—which is particularly gross when you remember where the grit comes from. A shrimp’s digestive system is filled with bacteria that can potentially harm humans. But in a shrimp that has been properly cooked, the bacteria inside the sand veins will be sterilized by the heat. You can devein the shrimp yourself, or you can buy them already cleaned. However you go about it, the best practice is to not eat the bowels of any animal. Should You Take the Veins Out of a Shrimp Before Cooking? Shrimp are one of the most popular types of seafood because of their tenderness and tastiness, but preparing them can be a demanding job. It’s not just the shell of a shrimp that needs to be taken out, but also its digestive parts—the so-called “sand veins.” You should devein large shrimp with clearly visible veins. It’s not that they will do your health any harm, but just that you don’t want shrimp with a muddy taste.  So, you may be wondering why we only need to devein large shrimp. The answer to that is that it’s because the small shrimp don’t even have such veins, so there’s nothing to take out in the first place. What Types of Sand Veins Do Shrimp Have? Each shrimp has two types of sand veins—a black one and a white one. The black vein, which is the intestinal tract, is on the top of the animal’s body. The vein is colored black because it’s filled with feces. The white vein is on the underside of the shrimp. It’s quite tiny. The white vein is the actual blood vessel, and it’s white because shrimp have clear blood. Even if you decide to devein shrimp before cooking them, you do not need to take the bottom vein out because it doesn’t negatively affect anything. Do Shrimp Have Real Veins? No, shrimp don’t have veins. What they have are arteries and a heart that make a simple circulatory systems. A shrimp’s circulation is of an open type. That means that the lymph and the blood are combined as they flow throughout the body. The mixture is called “hemolymph” (part blood, part lymph). The hearts of shrimp have a single chamber with three openings in the wall. These opening allow blood to enter the heart. In other parts of the body, they also have smaller accessory hearts that help the hemolymph circulate. What Is the Digestive System of Shrimp Made Of? The digestive system of shrimp consists of the alimentary canal and the digestive gland, also called a “hepatopancreas.” The hepatopancreas is a mixture of a pancreas and a liver, and its purpose is to produce enzymes and other compounds that help break down food. For example, we humans have both a liver and a pancreas as part of our digestive systems, but they are not connected and are located in different areas of the system. The alimentary part of shrimp stretches from its mouth to its rectum as one continuous canal. There are three parts of it: Foregut, or “entering part” (mouth, buccal cavity, esophagus, and stomach) The middle part (intestines) Hindgut, or “exiting part” (rectum) A Shrimp’s Diet Shrimp are omnivorous animals. They mainly feed on moss, algae, and other weeds found in water. Occasionally, shrimp consume small aquatic animals such as tiny fish, snails, tadpoles (larvae of amphibians such as toads, frogs, or salamanders). They also feed on debris they find on the floor of the water system in which they live. Shrimp are nocturnal. They capture their food with their legs, which are also arms, and shovel the food inside their mouths. Can You Get Sick From Eating a Shrimp With Veins? The chances of getting sick by a deveined or non-deveined shrimp are pretty much the same. The cause for sickness would be the shrimp being undercooked and would apply regardless of the state of its sand vein. Shrimp that weren’t refrigerated or shrimp that are past their sell-by date can have significantly more pathogenic microorganisms in them. Food poisoning is a frequent occurrence, even in the modern world where all food-producing establishments are required by law to follow strict safety protocols. When you buy shrimp, make sure they don’t have any bad odors. Also make sure they look translucent and shiny. A translucent appearance means that the shrimp is fresh. How Many People Get Food Poisoning From Eating Shrimp? The likelihood of getting food poisoning from shrimp depends mostly on the state it was cooked in. Raw or undercooked shrimp can make you sick. Millions of people …

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Orcas Natural Predator of Moose: True? (+ Comparison)

Orcas Natural Predator of Moose: True?

Here’s whether the orca or so-called killer whale is a natural predator of the moose: Orcas occasionally eat moose. While both animals live in different habitats, there is a predator-prey relationship. There’s no evidence that killer whales eat moose regularly, but they do sometimes. So if you want to learn all about orcas preying on moose, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading! Is the Orca a Natural Predator of the Moose? Orcas occasionally feed on moose. Both animals occupy different habitats, but a predator-prey relationship does exist. There isn’t any documented evidence to suggest that killer whales eat moose regularly, but they do eat them occasionally. One theory suggests that Orcas feed only on the carcasses of dead moose that they find in the water, but there are other possibilities. Another theory suggests that orcas feed on moose opportunistically, which means that they grab them when random chance brings them within reach but don’t actively hunt them.  Killer whales are widely distributed and live in most oceans and seas. They can adapt to all types of climates. Moose, on the other hand, can be found only in the forests of the Northern Hemisphere. Where Do Orca Whales Attack Moose? Orca killer whales attack moose off the coast of Canada and Alaska. While the moose swims between many of the islands looking for food, they end up becoming the food of the orca. A few moose carcasses have been found off the coast of Vancouver, Canada with lacerations over their bodies consistent with orca bites. The obvious conclusion is that they were killed by orcas. Moose are agile swimmers, but the water isn’t their natural habitat. They cannot evade Orca attacks, especially not a whole group of them. The persistency of orca hunting strategy eventually proves fatal to nearly any animal they decide to kill. Are Orcas Fierce Killers? The name “killer whale” can be misleading. Orcas are a species of dolphin. The reason they are called “killer whales” is that ancient sailors observed how they would prey on large whales. Their first moniker of “whale killer” somehow changed to a “killer whale.” They are also called orcas. Let’s be honest, though, they do love to kill. In the ocean, orcas are among the few apex, or top, predators. Orcas hunt other animals, but no other animal hunts an Orca. That’s what being an apex predator means.  Killer whales feed on more than 140 species of fish and other marine mammals. They can kill almost anything that crosses their path because they are quite large, agile, and intelligent. The intelligence of Orca whales is compared to that of chimpanzees. For example, chimpanzees can be taught to use sign language or other forms of communication using symbols or tokens. Do Moose Attack Other Beings in Nature? Moose mothers are very protective of their young ones. If they see other animals and humans approaching, they can charge full speed. During mating season, the male moose, called “bulls,” are especially aggressive and can attack people and cars. Moose run at a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour). With their massive body weight and giant antlers, they can cause severe damage to a target.   The conventionally peaceful moose can become aggressive when feeling threatened. It’s never a good idea to approach a moose because they are territorial and protective of what they consider to be their property. Approximately 10 people are injured by moose in Alaska every year. Moose are considered to be more dangerous than bears. The danger isn’t in terms of behavior, though; it’s because of their vast population. Moose outnumber bears three to one, so it’s more likely to come across one of them than it is to come across a bear. Do Moose Swim? Moose are excellent swimmers. They can reach a swimming speed of 5 miles per hour (8 kilometers per hour). Maybe that doesn’t seem that fast, but compared to the average human swimming pace of only 2 miles per hour (3.2 kilometers per hour), it’s still impressive. How can a terrestrial mammal of that size and species swim? The reason lies in the structure of moose hair. Their hair is hollow. That hollow hair gives great insulation against low temperatures. Each hair also serves as a tiny little life vest. Combined, they help hold the animal afloat. But what business does a moose have in the water? Food, of course. Moose can dive as deep as 20 feet (6 meters) in search and forage of aquatic vegetation. They go deep into the water, especially during late summer when there is a shortage of quality food on land. Coldwater also cools them off during hot weather. When there isn’t a natural water source near them, moose can even decide to go into people’s backyards and use their swimming pools for cooling. Even though they live in the northern parts of the United States and most of Canada, their bodies don’t tolerate rising temperatures well. So, even 60° Fahrenheit (16° Celsius) is more than they can take.  In Europe, moose are called elk. Their Eurasian cousins inhabit the forests in the north of Europe and Asia. How Do Orcas Hunt? Orcas can come near the shore and grab unsuspecting prey from the beach. It’s mostly sea lions they are after. When they work in squads, one orca will charge the victim while the others flank it to prevent escape. No one has ever seen an Orca whale injure itself after beaching, despite the risks associated with the maneuver. Orcas cooperate inside the water when hunting flocks of fish. With mutual effort, the orca herds the fish into tight balls by slapping them with their large tails. They brandish their white bellies and blow bubbles to frighten the fish. When the fish is appropriately herded, the killer whales take turns killing them with their tails and eating them. This type of feeding when a few orca whales swim around a herded flock of …

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