Posted on

Two Mysterious Places to Visit: Lake Hillier & Socotra

  • Published by

Alien Island — the Isle Socotra, the Republic of Yemen

Qlinsia, West of Socotra Island.

Qlinsia, West of Socotra Island.

Ready for an intergalactic trip to the Alien Island? Socotra is one of the alien islands where you won’t need a spaceship to reach; in fact it is one and the only island of its kind. Once you will enter this remote island you will feel that you have landed on some other planet.

So where is it? The Isle of Socotra is located in Yemen and is actually a small archipelago in Indian Ocean, consisting of 4 islands. Out of these islands the largest one is also named Socotra. It is situated 380 km from the south of Arabian Peninsula.  The island is 132 km in length and its width is 49.7km. The area is also surrounded by a variety of sandy beaches, limestone plateaus, caves and mountains reaching up to an altitude of 1525 meters.

The name is pronounced as soqotra and it has been derived from Sanscrit language meaning, “The Island of Bliss” and yes, the spectacular views of this island are truly blissful.

The island is believed to be isolated for about 6 to 7 million years. One third of the plant species that are found in this isolated island are not found in any other part of the world. The island boasts over 700 rare species of plant. People claim that it is “the most alien looking place” existing on the face of the earth and that’s how its name has been derived i.e. “Alien Island”.

The island is a home to one of the rarest plant species named, “Dragon’s Blood Tree”. There is a myth associated with this tree by some traders in the past who claim that the red colored sap of the tree is actually dragon’s blood and has medicinal properties.

Hawk cave in Hala, East of Socotra island. It is about 15 meters in diameter, 8 meter height, 500 to 1000 meter horizontally deep.

Hawk cave in Hala, East of Socotra island. It is about 15 meters in diameter, 8 meter height, 500 to 1000 meter horizontally deep

In July 2008, the island was recognized as the Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Another amazing fact is that though the climate of the island is extremely hot yet so many plants are found there.

Beside the unique vegetation found in that area there are some caves that are worth exploring, these caves are the result of monsoon rains that have cut through the limestone plateaus to form a chain of huge caves.

Socotra Island

unique vegetation found in Socotra Island

As Yemen is an Islamic country there are some restrictions placed on the foreign travelers. However the Yemeni authorities are now realizing the place’s potential to attract tourists and have started working on its developments. Here is what one of the tourism officials has to say, “Socotra is the safest island in Yemen. We have never had any security issues there. People think Yemen is dangerous, but hearing the news is not the same as seeing for yourself.”
If you have finally made up your mind to visit the place then 2 to 3 flights by Yemen Airways are available on weekly basis from Sana’a or Aden.

Lake Hillier, Australia

Lake Hillier pink lake in Australia

Lake Hillier, Cape Arid, Western Coast Australia

Another mysterious work of nature, Lake Hillier is situated in Cape Arid near the southern coast of Western Australia. Cape Arid is famous for its complex of islands that are almost 100 in number, all of these Islands combine together to form Recherche archipelago. This lake is located on one of these islands named Middle Island.

In 1802, a British explorer named Captain Mathew Flinders discovered the lake for the first time. The glittery pink colored lake was observed by him when he ascended one of the island’s highest peaks (named after him as Flinders’ peak), during his journey to Sydney. The ship’s master named, John Thistle was amazed to see the pink colored lake and collected some water that he later found out to be saline in nature.

Surrounding the lake are the lush green forests of eucalyptus trees and a narrow strip of sand dunes that divide it from the blue colored water of the Indian Ocean. It seems like a giant footprint marked in pink color, on a green carpet. This salty lake is 600m in diameter and is not very deep.

What’s fascinating about this lake is its never changing rosy pink color. Even if you draw it in some container the color will stay the same. Since 1950 scientists are making researches to draw a conclusion regarding its pink color. So far many assumptions have been made. Some researchers claim that it is because of the low level of nutrients whereas others say that the pink color is because of the algae and bacteria present in the water. There also some researchers who believe that the salt present in the lake’s water contains within its crust, red colored halophilic bacteria that gives a pink hue to the water.

In early 20th century a salt mining project started on this lake which was abandoned within 6 years. Now you must be thinking whether you can swim in this lake or not. The lake is shallow and you may take a swim in it, but as the lake is located in a remote area it is not advisable for swimming. This bubble gum colored lake is easily visible from the aircrafts that pass by Recherche Archipelago.

Posted on

Two Mysterious Places to Visit: Lake Hillier & Socotra

  • Published by

Alien Island — the Isle Socotra, the Republic of Yemen

Qlinsia, West of Socotra Island.

Qlinsia, West of Socotra Island.

Ready for an intergalactic trip to the Alien Island? Socotra is one of the alien islands where you won’t need a spaceship to reach; in fact it is one and the only island of its kind. Once you will enter this remote island you will feel that you have landed on some other planet.

So where is it? The Isle of Socotra is located in Yemen and is actually a small archipelago in Indian Ocean, consisting of 4 islands. Out of these islands the largest one is also named Socotra. It is situated 380 km from the south of Arabian Peninsula.  The island is 132 km in length and its width is 49.7km. The area is also surrounded by a variety of sandy beaches, limestone plateaus, caves and mountains reaching up to an altitude of 1525 meters.

The name is pronounced as soqotra and it has been derived from Sanscrit language meaning, “The Island of Bliss” and yes, the spectacular views of this island are truly blissful.

The island is believed to be isolated for about 6 to 7 million years. One third of the plant species that are found in this isolated island are not found in any other part of the world. The island boasts over 700 rare species of plant. People claim that it is “the most alien looking place” existing on the face of the earth and that’s how its name has been derived i.e. “Alien Island”.

The island is a home to one of the rarest plant species named, “Dragon’s Blood Tree”. There is a myth associated with this tree by some traders in the past who claim that the red colored sap of the tree is actually dragon’s blood and has medicinal properties.

Hawk cave in Hala, East of Socotra island. It is about 15 meters in diameter, 8 meter height, 500 to 1000 meter horizontally deep.

Hawk cave in Hala, East of Socotra island. It is about 15 meters in diameter, 8 meter height, 500 to 1000 meter horizontally deep

In July 2008, the island was recognized as the Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Another amazing fact is that though the climate of the island is extremely hot yet so many plants are found there.

Beside the unique vegetation found in that area there are some caves that are worth exploring, these caves are the result of monsoon rains that have cut through the limestone plateaus to form a chain of huge caves.

Socotra Island

unique vegetation found in Socotra Island

As Yemen is an Islamic country there are some restrictions placed on the foreign travelers. However the Yemeni authorities are now realizing the place’s potential to attract tourists and have started working on its developments. Here is what one of the tourism officials has to say, “Socotra is the safest island in Yemen. We have never had any security issues there. People think Yemen is dangerous, but hearing the news is not the same as seeing for yourself.”
If you have finally made up your mind to visit the place then 2 to 3 flights by Yemen Airways are available on weekly basis from Sana’a or Aden.

Lake Hillier, Australia

Lake Hillier pink lake in Australia

Lake Hillier, Cape Arid, Western Coast Australia

Another mysterious work of nature, Lake Hillier is situated in Cape Arid near the southern coast of Western Australia. Cape Arid is famous for its complex of islands that are almost 100 in number, all of these Islands combine together to form Recherche archipelago. This lake is located on one of these islands named Middle Island.

In 1802, a British explorer named Captain Mathew Flinders discovered the lake for the first time. The glittery pink colored lake was observed by him when he ascended one of the island’s highest peaks (named after him as Flinders’ peak), during his journey to Sydney. The ship’s master named, John Thistle was amazed to see the pink colored lake and collected some water that he later found out to be saline in nature.

Surrounding the lake are the lush green forests of eucalyptus trees and a narrow strip of sand dunes that divide it from the blue colored water of the Indian Ocean. It seems like a giant footprint marked in pink color, on a green carpet. This salty lake is 600m in diameter and is not very deep.

What’s fascinating about this lake is its never changing rosy pink color. Even if you draw it in some container the color will stay the same. Since 1950 scientists are making researches to draw a conclusion regarding its pink color. So far many assumptions have been made. Some researchers claim that it is because of the low level of nutrients whereas others say that the pink color is because of the algae and bacteria present in the water. There also some researchers who believe that the salt present in the lake’s water contains within its crust, red colored halophilic bacteria that gives a pink hue to the water.

In early 20th century a salt mining project started on this lake which was abandoned within 6 years. Now you must be thinking whether you can swim in this lake or not. The lake is shallow and you may take a swim in it, but as the lake is located in a remote area it is not advisable for swimming. This bubble gum colored lake is easily visible from the aircrafts that pass by Recherche Archipelago.

Posted on

Bali’s Tanah Lot Sea temple

  • Published by

Bali is one of the places that is a must see and should definitely be added to your list of places to be visited. It is one of the provinces of Indonesia that has been established by the merger of many small islands and also includes the isle of Bali. This island is home to the Hindu minority of Indonesia i.e. 92.29% of the island population is Hindu whereas the rest practice Islam.

Bali Tanah Lot Temple

Bali’s Tanah Lot Sea temple

It has been a tourist destination for decades and each year the number of tourists is increasing. Bali is famous for its breath taking attractions; the island is also renowned for its rich cultural heritage and rapid developments in the field of arts including activities such as painting, music, metal work, sculpture, leather and traditional dance.

Though it’s a small place and one day is enough to drive along the entire coast, but this one day would be worth remembering. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Virescent rice terraces or enjoy the ceremonies of the enchanting temples, you can enjoy surfing or climb the volcanoes and meet the Komodo dragons or you can just have some self indulging moments with a relaxing massage at a sybaritic spa. Bali has to offer something for everyone.

One of its most mesmerizing tourist spots is the famous temple of Tanah Lot. This enchanting temple is a work of nature and is a result of rock formation. It has great importance and serves as both tourist attraction and pilgrimage temple. Tanah lot is located 30km on the west of Denpasar town and almost 11km away from the south of Tabanan town. The entire rock, on which the temple is built, covers an area of 3 acres.

In Balinese language it is called Pura Tanah Lot (Tanah Lot Temple) means land in the sea and as the name suggests the temple resides on a big off shore rock that has been constantly shaped by the big tidal waves of the ocean.

Let’s have a peek at the history of this spectacular temple. In 15th Century a priest named Nirartha found the beautiful setting of the rocky island while traveling along the south coast and decided to rest there. The nearby fishermen saw him and brought gifts for him, he then spent the night on that island. In the morning he told the fishermen that he felt the big rock to be a holy place and a shrine should be built so that Balinese sea gods could be worshiped there.

Since that time the temple was built and secures a place in Balinese mythology. It is considered to be one of the seven sea temples surrounding the coast of Bali. All 7 temples are visible from each temple thus forming a chain along the coast in the south-west. It is believed that the temple is guarded by poisonous sea snakes from intruders and evil spirits; you can find them at the base of the island rocks. Some mythologists also believe that there is a giant snake created by Niratha’s scarf and its duty is to protect the temple.

As the temple is located on the shore it is prone to environmental damages, as large waves are constantly hitting it. In 1980 the face of the temple started to deteriorate and the area had to be sealed because of the potential danger. Funds were then provided by the Japanese government to Indonesian government to converse the temple and also to refurbish other significant buildings. So the Tanah Lot temple was renovated and was cleverly disguised by the artificial rocks.

Due to the development of tourism sector this area has been highly commercialized and you would need a ticket to enter this area. The path that leads to the temple is surrounded by Balinese market. This market is specially designed for tourists and provides them with souvenir that they can take back home for their friends and family. You will also find many restaurants nearby where you can eat while enjoying the magnificent views of the temple.

A sunset at Tanah Lot Sea temple, Bali

A sunset at Tanah Lot Sea temple, Bali

The best time to enjoy the spectacular views of this temple is at the time of sunset and often the temple is known as Sunset Temple. The other temples worth watching in that area are Batu Bolong Temple, Enjung Galuh Temple and Batumejan Temple.

Posted on

Clouded Leopard

  • Published by

The beautifully patched, clouded leopard is one of the most mysterious species. So far the information that has been drawn about it is in captivity, as they are rarely seen in the wild. Though this specie is named clouded leopard but it is more closely related to lions and tigers. These species are rare and endangered and scientists have very little information regarding their population.

The scientific name given to the clouded leopard is Neofelis nebulosa, where Neo means new and felis means cat; these mammals belong to the family of Felidae. IUCN classified this specie as vulnerable in the year 2008. So far the total population size is known to be less than 10,000 mature leopards and this population trend is decreasing with not more than 1000 adults in a single population.

Clouded Leopard Image

Somewhere between the small cats and the big cats are the clouded leopards that make their home in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia

This unique Asian cat roams around from the Himalayan foothills of Nepal to the rain forests in Indonesia. You can find four of their species scattered from southern China to eastern Burma, and from Burma to Nepal. Sumatra, Myanmar, Malaysia, Java and Borneo are also having some of its species, in the past some species were found in Taiwan as well but now they are believed to be extinct. The clouded leopards found in Borneo are considered to be new cat species and also known as Sunda clouded leopard or Neofelis diardi.

We have noticed before how good the cats are at climbing but when we talk about clouded leopards they are best climbers ever seen. Their sharp claws and large paws can grip very tightly, so don’t be surprised if you see one hanging upside down from the branch of the tree. They have short but very powerful legs and ankles that are flexible enough to help them safely land from the trees to the ground in headfirst posture, just like squirrels. They are known to have very sharp eyesight that enables them to judge distances. Their long tails are used to maintain the balance of the body on narrow tree branches.

When clouded leopards hunt they attack their prey by leaping down on it from above. Scientists claim that these cats perform most of their hunting on the ground and their preys include pigs, deer, squirrels, birds and monkeys. These cats are also known for their sharp canines that are longer as compared to the size of their skull; also they are longest out of all the carnivorous wild cats existing. These sharp teeth help the clouded leopards to devour their prey.

Their social behavior is however unknown by the scientists and only a few assumptions have been made regarding their behavior. It is assumed that they choose to live solitarily. These animals are arboreal and spend most of the time in trees, and only come down on the ground for hunting.

The leopards are believed to communicate by various methods. Usually male clouded leopards spray their urine on various objects to mark their territories. On the other hand their cheeks have special sebaceous glands that help them to scent the markings made by other leopards, by rubbing their cheeks against the sprayed objects.

Clouded Leopard Image

The length of clouded leopard from head to body is 24 to 43 inches and the tail measures about 24 to 36 inches

Greeting calls are made with the help of high pitched chuffs and meows, location calls require loud meows and they can be heard over a distance of up to 100 meters. To threaten the other leopards and animals aggressive growling is a norm. These animals are also believed to communicate by making markings on the trees using their claws.

The length of clouded leopard from head to body is 24 to 43 inches and the tail measures about 24 to 36 inches. So in total its length can reach up to 6 feet that is relative to a size of a fully grown man. On average the females weigh around 25 to 35 pounds whereas male leopards may weigh up to 50 pounds.

There is a thick coating of fur that has cloud like patches on it, these patches are dusky-grey in color; the fur is found in dark grey, brown or pale yellow color. There are black spots found on the ears and head, and black stripes on the cheeks.

Clouded leopards reach maturity at the age of 26 months. Their gestation period varies from 85 to 93 days and there are 1 to 5 cubs born in a litter. Females give birth once a year. Right after their birth, the cubs are blind and helpless for 10 days. On average they weigh around 5 to 10 pounds. It takes 10 months for young leopards to start their lives independently. The life span of clouded leopards is unknown in the wild but in captivity they are known to live for 11 to 17 years.

Although the Rukai people of Taiwan considered these leopards to be sacred and believed them to be their spiritual ancestors but still they hunted them for their beautiful pelts. These leopards have become extinct in Taiwan because of this reason and also because of deforestation. They are also hunted illegally for their use in Chinese medicine.

Their only hope is the defenders of wildlife who have passed legislation in April, 2009 to protect 15 species of wild cats including the clouded leopards. The bill is yet to be approved by the US senator.

Posted on

Bali’s Tanah Lot Sea temple

  • Published by

Bali is one of the places that is a must see and should definitely be added to your list of places to be visited. It is one of the provinces of Indonesia that has been established by the merger of many small islands and also includes the isle of Bali. This island is home to the Hindu minority of Indonesia i.e. 92.29% of the island population is Hindu whereas the rest practice Islam.

Bali Tanah Lot Temple

Bali’s Tanah Lot Sea temple

It has been a tourist destination for decades and each year the number of tourists is increasing. Bali is famous for its breath taking attractions; the island is also renowned for its rich cultural heritage and rapid developments in the field of arts including activities such as painting, music, metal work, sculpture, leather and traditional dance.

Though it’s a small place and one day is enough to drive along the entire coast, but this one day would be worth remembering. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Virescent rice terraces or enjoy the ceremonies of the enchanting temples, you can enjoy surfing or climb the volcanoes and meet the Komodo dragons or you can just have some self indulging moments with a relaxing massage at a sybaritic spa. Bali has to offer something for everyone.

One of its most mesmerizing tourist spots is the famous temple of Tanah Lot. This enchanting temple is a work of nature and is a result of rock formation. It has great importance and serves as both tourist attraction and pilgrimage temple. Tanah lot is located 30km on the west of Denpasar town and almost 11km away from the south of Tabanan town. The entire rock, on which the temple is built, covers an area of 3 acres.

In Balinese language it is called Pura Tanah Lot (Tanah Lot Temple) means land in the sea and as the name suggests the temple resides on a big off shore rock that has been constantly shaped by the big tidal waves of the ocean.

Let’s have a peek at the history of this spectacular temple. In 15th Century a priest named Nirartha found the beautiful setting of the rocky island while traveling along the south coast and decided to rest there. The nearby fishermen saw him and brought gifts for him, he then spent the night on that island. In the morning he told the fishermen that he felt the big rock to be a holy place and a shrine should be built so that Balinese sea gods could be worshiped there.

Since that time the temple was built and secures a place in Balinese mythology. It is considered to be one of the seven sea temples surrounding the coast of Bali. All 7 temples are visible from each temple thus forming a chain along the coast in the south-west. It is believed that the temple is guarded by poisonous sea snakes from intruders and evil spirits; you can find them at the base of the island rocks. Some mythologists also believe that there is a giant snake created by Niratha’s scarf and its duty is to protect the temple.

As the temple is located on the shore it is prone to environmental damages, as large waves are constantly hitting it. In 1980 the face of the temple started to deteriorate and the area had to be sealed because of the potential danger. Funds were then provided by the Japanese government to Indonesian government to converse the temple and also to refurbish other significant buildings. So the Tanah Lot temple was renovated and was cleverly disguised by the artificial rocks.

Due to the development of tourism sector this area has been highly commercialized and you would need a ticket to enter this area. The path that leads to the temple is surrounded by Balinese market. This market is specially designed for tourists and provides them with souvenir that they can take back home for their friends and family. You will also find many restaurants nearby where you can eat while enjoying the magnificent views of the temple.

A sunset at Tanah Lot Sea temple, Bali

A sunset at Tanah Lot Sea temple, Bali

The best time to enjoy the spectacular views of this temple is at the time of sunset and often the temple is known as Sunset Temple. The other temples worth watching in that area are Batu Bolong Temple, Enjung Galuh Temple and Batumejan Temple.

Posted on

Clouded Leopard

  • Published by

The beautifully patched, clouded leopard is one of the most mysterious species. So far the information that has been drawn about it is in captivity, as they are rarely seen in the wild. Though this specie is named clouded leopard but it is more closely related to lions and tigers. These species are rare and endangered and scientists have very little information regarding their population.

The scientific name given to the clouded leopard is Neofelis nebulosa, where Neo means new and felis means cat; these mammals belong to the family of Felidae. IUCN classified this specie as vulnerable in the year 2008. So far the total population size is known to be less than 10,000 mature leopards and this population trend is decreasing with not more than 1000 adults in a single population.

Clouded Leopard Image

Somewhere between the small cats and the big cats are the clouded leopards that make their home in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia

This unique Asian cat roams around from the Himalayan foothills of Nepal to the rain forests in Indonesia. You can find four of their species scattered from southern China to eastern Burma, and from Burma to Nepal. Sumatra, Myanmar, Malaysia, Java and Borneo are also having some of its species, in the past some species were found in Taiwan as well but now they are believed to be extinct. The clouded leopards found in Borneo are considered to be new cat species and also known as Sunda clouded leopard or Neofelis diardi.

We have noticed before how good the cats are at climbing but when we talk about clouded leopards they are best climbers ever seen. Their sharp claws and large paws can grip very tightly, so don’t be surprised if you see one hanging upside down from the branch of the tree. They have short but very powerful legs and ankles that are flexible enough to help them safely land from the trees to the ground in headfirst posture, just like squirrels. They are known to have very sharp eyesight that enables them to judge distances. Their long tails are used to maintain the balance of the body on narrow tree branches.

When clouded leopards hunt they attack their prey by leaping down on it from above. Scientists claim that these cats perform most of their hunting on the ground and their preys include pigs, deer, squirrels, birds and monkeys. These cats are also known for their sharp canines that are longer as compared to the size of their skull; also they are longest out of all the carnivorous wild cats existing. These sharp teeth help the clouded leopards to devour their prey.

Their social behavior is however unknown by the scientists and only a few assumptions have been made regarding their behavior. It is assumed that they choose to live solitarily. These animals are arboreal and spend most of the time in trees, and only come down on the ground for hunting.

The leopards are believed to communicate by various methods. Usually male clouded leopards spray their urine on various objects to mark their territories. On the other hand their cheeks have special sebaceous glands that help them to scent the markings made by other leopards, by rubbing their cheeks against the sprayed objects.

Clouded Leopard Image

The length of clouded leopard from head to body is 24 to 43 inches and the tail measures about 24 to 36 inches

Greeting calls are made with the help of high pitched chuffs and meows, location calls require loud meows and they can be heard over a distance of up to 100 meters. To threaten the other leopards and animals aggressive growling is a norm. These animals are also believed to communicate by making markings on the trees using their claws.

The length of clouded leopard from head to body is 24 to 43 inches and the tail measures about 24 to 36 inches. So in total its length can reach up to 6 feet that is relative to a size of a fully grown man. On average the females weigh around 25 to 35 pounds whereas male leopards may weigh up to 50 pounds.

There is a thick coating of fur that has cloud like patches on it, these patches are dusky-grey in color; the fur is found in dark grey, brown or pale yellow color. There are black spots found on the ears and head, and black stripes on the cheeks.

Clouded leopards reach maturity at the age of 26 months. Their gestation period varies from 85 to 93 days and there are 1 to 5 cubs born in a litter. Females give birth once a year. Right after their birth, the cubs are blind and helpless for 10 days. On average they weigh around 5 to 10 pounds. It takes 10 months for young leopards to start their lives independently. The life span of clouded leopards is unknown in the wild but in captivity they are known to live for 11 to 17 years.

Although the Rukai people of Taiwan considered these leopards to be sacred and believed them to be their spiritual ancestors but still they hunted them for their beautiful pelts. These leopards have become extinct in Taiwan because of this reason and also because of deforestation. They are also hunted illegally for their use in Chinese medicine.

Their only hope is the defenders of wildlife who have passed legislation in April, 2009 to protect 15 species of wild cats including the clouded leopards. The bill is yet to be approved by the US senator.

Posted on

Finger Monkey – Pygmy Marmoset

  • Published by

Can you hold a monkey on your finger? Yes it is true the finger monkey is small enough that you can hold one just by your finger. Now we know you must be thinking that it will be almost impossible to find one. Wrong again, though rare but it is one of the most common types of monkey that you can have as a pet. Again it might sound strange to keep a monkey as a pet but currently it is becoming a popular choice. Before you plan to keep one it is important for you to have a sound knowledge of this animal.

The scientific name for the finger monkey is pygmy marmoset and is grouped among New World monkeys. The Pygmy marmosets are believed to live for 11 to 12 years in wild but in captivity the may reach to an age of early 20s. Most commonly you will find these species in rain forests of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia on high altitudinal areas of up to 200 to 940m. The finger monkeys are different from the typical group of marmosets, so it is classified under its own genus known as Cebuella pygmae.

Finger Monkey

Finger monkey is the smallest existing true monkey

The finger monkeys are held under two groups:

  • Cebuella pygmaea pygmaea also known as Western pygmy marmoset
  • Cebuella pygmaea niveiventris known as Eastern pygmy marmoset

Finger monkey is the smallest existing true monkey. Its body size ranges from 14 to 16 centimeters that is 5.5 to 6.3 inches approximately, excluding the long tail that reaches a size of about 15 to 20cm (5.9 to 7.9 inches). The female finger monkey weighs around 120 grams that is 4.2 oz approximately and the male weighs about 140 grams that is equal to 4.9 oz. These monkeys walk on 4 limbs like other monkeys. Because of their small size these monkeys are also known by their nick names i.e. mono de bolsillo meaning pocket monkey and leoncito meaning little lion.

In forests the monkey has a special diet; it feeds on tree gum of usually 1 or 2 trees, with their entire group. When the trees become depleted the group moves on to the new trees. Arachnids and insects also serve as foods for the finger monkey.

These animals live in groups having 5 to 9 members with 1 to 2 male and female adult monkeys. The female gives birth twice a year and usually twins are born, all the group members support each other in bringing up the babies. The young finger monkeys stay in the group for two birth cycles occurring consecutively. These monkeys communicate using vocal and physical signals. Usually to communicate over a short distance finger monkeys trill. For a medium distance J-call technique is used, where repeated fast notes are made by the caller. To make the family aware of danger a sharp whistle is made.

OK NOW LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS!

  • How much a finger monkey would cost you? When you are planning to buy one keep a budget of $1500 to $5000 in your mind. The price of the monkey will vary according to the age and physical condition of the monkeys, not to forget the price also depends on the breeder who is selling the monkey.
  • Log on to DomesticSale.com, here you can find finger monkeys ranging from $1800 to $3,000. The site allows breeders to post their animals for sale and gives you an opportunity to buy them.
  • Once you have bought the monkey now let’s focus on the additional charges for keeping a pet like a finger monkey. You’ll need to feed it foods such as fruits, flower nectars, insects and even smaller lizards (gross!). The food would cost you $35 to $75 per month (that’s reasonable enough).
  • As we have mentioned earlier that these monkeys are social animals, it is highly recommended that you buy at least two of them. Don’t buy monkeys with opposite sex in order to avoid reproduction. But if you are a breeder then make sure you get a couple.
  • So how will these monkeys reach your door step? Of course you will have to pay additional charges for the shipment. Now the shipment fee varies from $100 to $300 through an airline, also charges vary according to the place of your dwelling.
  • You will also need some additional information regarding how these monkeys should be handled. By joining a proper training class you would be able to look after your pets more efficiently.

WHAT WOULD BE INCLUDED IN YOUR MONKEY PACKAGE?

  • Once you have paid the money you will get a cute little monkey with a body covered with black or tan fur. Some have furs like that of a lion mane (now you know why it is called tiny lion). The underbelly area of this monkey is white in color. Almost forgot to mention the almond shaped innocent eyes.
  • Once the finger monkey will grip and hug your finger tightly the bond will be made for ever, you will instantly fall in love with this little creature.
  • There are chances that when you will buy one, it will be equal to 5 inches but this size wont remain forever. Within 2 years time it will reach adulthood and the size of the body will also increase up to 12 inches.
  • Usually you will get a 3 months health guaranty if you will buy it from a well reputed breeder, along with food, toys and training guide.
  • There is a possibility that you may have to toilet train your finger monkey and even need diapers for them (we hope you might find diapers that small).
Pygmy Marmoset

You will get a 3 months health guaranty if you will buy it from a well reputed breeder, along with food, toys and training guide

THINGS TO ENSURE BEFORE BUYING ONE

  • In many states keeping a finger monkey as a pet may be illegal. So always check your state law policies regarding pets like monkeys, because your pet monkey can be the reason for your own imprisonment.
  • Before buying one please make sure that you get it from an authentic breeder and kindly ensure that it is good in shape and does not have any kind of disease.

How long your monkey lives would totally depend on you. If you take good care of your pet its life span may range from 15 to 25 years. Overall these complex animals need a lot of care and attention.

Posted on

The Peacock Spider – Maratus Volans

  • Published by

Peacock Spider

Seems like spider peacock is somewhat inspired by a male peacock

How far would you go to attract the opposite sex? A tiny creature like the peacock spider might teach you some tricks. It is not a new phenomenon where males display themselves for attracting the best female mates. Even the birds like peacock follow the same routine when it comes to attracting females; they display their colorful wings and perform their joyful dance that is truly fascinating to watch. It seems that the spider peacock is somewhat inspired by a male peacock. Let’s find out how.

The peacock spiders are scientifically known as “Maratus Volans” and commonly called the Jumping Peacock Spider.  They belong to the family of Salticidae i.e. the jumping spiders. So far these species are only found in New South Wales and Queensland. Although Australia is known for a large species of spiders but this one is very little in population. Out of 20 species of Peacock Spiders only 8 have been identified so far.

These spiders grow up to a size o f4 to 5mm and have spectacular colors that shimmer. Their size is so small that almost 10 spiders can fit on your fingernail. You’ll find them in red, blue and green colors. Usually the area of the head and breast is dark in color with red stripes, the upper area of the abdomen is found in red, blue and green colors. Why it got its name peacock spider? Not just these spiders have inspiring colors like that of a male peacock but also they have a colorful flap or cape around the abdomen which the male spiders raise to attract female spiders.

Peacock Spider

These spiders grow up to a size o f4 to 5mm and have spectacular colors that shimme

In the past this spider was also called “gliding spider” and it was believed that the flap helped them to fly in the air. It was only found out recently that this spectacular flap is used for the mating ritual only. Normally, the flap remains closed and attached to the abdomen but as soon as the male spider lays his bulging eyes on a female mate the spider spreads its cape and waves it with the help of its third pair of legs, in order to grab her attention. The male spider constantly vibrates his abdomen to move the raised flaps and dances from one side to another, and slowly approaches the female while dancing.

There is not just one female spider that is attracted, but the spider repeats his mating dance over and over again because it has the capacity to mate with several females at one time. The more females it can impress the more chances there would be for the continuation of its species. The rule of nature applies to these spiders as well where the fastest and the fittest have the highest chances for passing on their genes, successfully.

However, if they somehow fail to impress their female mates, then the male spider serves as food for her. Scary, isn’t it? Dr. Jurgen Otto an Entomologist from Australian Institute of Marine Science explains, “If he’s not doing the right thing, the female might think he’s not the right partner”.

These creatures are so small that it would be almost impossible to view their mating dance without a microscope. The first person to discover this amazing creature was Octavius Pickard-Cambridge in the 19th Century. He states, “it is difficult to describe adequately the great beauty of the colouring of this spider”.

Some of the other species of this spider are Maratus Speciosus, Maratus harrisi, Maratus linnaei, Maratus mungaich, maratus amabilis, Maratus Splendens, Maratus Verpertilio and Darlington’s peacock spider. Maratus speciosus is also known by the name of Coastal peacock spider and is recently named as Saitis specious. It has orange colored hair which is only visible when the spider performs its courtship dance. This specie is commonly found in Perth metropolitan.

The specie Maratus harrisi was first captured by camera by Stuart Harris in December 2008, but for a detailed scientific description another specimen was required which was found after 3 years and now it is displayed at the Australian Museum. This specie is named after the photographer Stuart Harris, in order to honor him. These species are present at Booroomba Rocks, Canberra.

Maratus Verpertilio, well known specie of the peacock spider is famous for their flashing stomachs when they are having fights with other spiders.
When it comes to catching their prey these small creatures have sharp eyesight and their rapid movements help them to quickly pounce on their prey. Unlike other spiders these species do not catch their prey by making webs.

Peacock Spider

Peacock spider may get successful in grabbing attention of the people having arachnophobia

Dr. Otto also made researches about the spider’s behavior; he states, “The behaviour of this species does in a way remind me of a dog”, he adds, “You can see how the spider gets excited. You can see when it gets frightened and wants to run away. You can see all these emotions that the spider has.”

Although, arachnophobia also known as spider phobia is very common all over the world, but peacock spider may get successful in grabbing attention of the people having this phobia.

Posted on

Amazing Plants: Monkey Orchids, Rainbow Eucalyptus & Osiria Rose

  • Published by

Sometimes nature produces such miracles that can be spellbinding for humans. It may have taken millions of years for the evolution to play its part in developing an enormous number of plant varieties. So far 300 to 315 thousand plant species have been known and still there are many species that are believed to be extinct.

Here we are going to view some of the plants that you may have never seen or heard about them before. These plants are weird yet beautiful in an interesting way.

Monkey Orchid

Monkey Orchid

Monkey Orchid gets its common name from its lobed lip which mimics the general shape of a monkey’s body

So you think only humans and animals have facial features? Think again because we are about to introduce you to “Monkey orchids”. Coming from the forest areas of south-east Ecuador and Peru with high elevations, these orchids were never seen or known to humans a few years back.

Though it took a lot of time to discover them but one thing is for sure, it wouldn’t have taken much time to suggest its name. A botanist named Luer gave scientific name to it Dracula simia in the year 1978. Why was it named so? If you will look closely you can notice how much it resembles the face of a monkey. The term Dracula refers to the long spurs of its sepals that look like Dracula fangs.

The colors of this plant ranges from grayish pink to red. Some claim that it has a pungent smell similar to feces while for others the fragrance is like that of a ripe orange. There are over 120 species of this plant mostly found in Ecuador. Other region where it is found includes Europe, Russia, Iran, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean. It gives flowers all year round that are 5cm in size. These orchids can only grow in captivity if suitably cold temperature is maintained and partial shade is provided, but still it requires a lot of care and tremendous amount of patience.

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Image of Rainbow Eucalyptus, Mindanao gum or Rainbow gum

Rainbow Eucalyptus also scientifically termed as Eucalyptus deglupta is yet another colorful miracle of the nature. It might take time for you to believe that the colors of this tree are natural and not a work of some painter. It is also known by the names Mindanao gum and Rainbow gum and is naturally found in Northern Hemisphere specifically in New Britain, Ceram, Mindanao, New Guinea and Sulawesi.

How does it get its colors? It is famous for shedding its patches of outer bark annually. The inner new bark is green in color and as soon as it matures it turns blue, then purple, then orange and finally changes to maroon. The tree is evergreen and huge and reaches a height of 75 meters usually.

What is it used for? Well it’s a shame that this amazing tree is being used by paper manufactures, to make white paper. Philippines is the major producer of its pulpwood. The tree is also being used for ornamental purposes.

Osiria Rose

Osiria Rose

Osiria Rose

Flowers bless our eyes with their natural beauty and their sweet smell attracts everyone; but when we talk about roses they not just symbolize beauty but these flowers are also blessed with enchanting fragrances. Osiria Rose is one such kind of magnificent rose that can astonish you.

The beautifully shaded petals of this flower give an impression that they have been dyed artificially (though that’s not the case). Its petals are deep red from the inside and from outside they are silver- white in color, giving the flower a two tone color scheme. If you ever get to touch the inner red portion of the petals it will give a soft feeling like that of velvet and the white portion gives the feeling of satin.

The botanical name of this velvety rose is Rosa Osiria and the other name by which it is known is KORsir and Red blend Hybrid tea. It belongs to the class Hybrid tea. It was bred by Reimer Kordes in 1978 for the first time in Germany and was later introduced in France by Willemse France who named it “Osiria”. The Osiria plant is straight and tall and bears flowers in June till November. These plants reach to a height of 4-6 feet and are deciduous in nature i.e. they shed the petals of their flowers seasonally, when they fully bloom and takes around 2 to 5 years to spread.

How you can grow one? These plants can be easily propagated from softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings and by grafting. It should be planted in full sun and in well- drained soil. Dig a big hole and fill it up with good quality soil, spread the roots evenly and plant it in an appropriate depth. It is suggested that the base of the stem should be 5cm under the ground. Fill the hole with soil and press it with your feet. Water it well every day to get fully bloomed flowers. Also if you are interested in buying one you can get it for U.S. $18.95.