"Animals / Nature / Zoology" Essays

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California Native Plant Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,146 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


California Native Plant

An Analysis of the a. manzanita

The manzanita is a perennial shrub of the ericaceae family, native to California. The manzanita enjoys its most active growth during the spring and summer months of the year. While different varieties of the Arctostaphylos manzanita offer varying distinctive characteristics (there are over forty different species of Arctostaphylos in California), the most common (the A. manzanita Parry) bears a white glandular flower and produces a "glabrous to hairy" fruit, 8-12 mm wide. Its ecological habitat is of the Outer and Inner North Coast Ranges, the Cascade Range Foothills, and the Sierra Nevada Foothills, the San Francisco Bay Area. This paper will discuss the Arctostaphylos manzanita in all of its varying aspects.

Aside from being an attractive addition to surroundings at or below an elevation of 1500 ft the A. manzanita does not offer much practical use in the way of berry or seed product, fodder product, or fuel or lumber product. It can be a valuable product for nurseries, but as far as providing edible or medicinal value, the A. manzanita has a low palatability for browsing and grazing animals, and zero palatability for humans. Its protein potential is also likewise low.

What then is the value of the A. manzanita? Depending upon which variety you obtain, the A. manzanita offers an aesthetic value that can compliment any native Californian setting. For example, the leaves of the A. manzanita Parry are erect petioles of 6-12 mm, with blades of 2-5 cm and 1-3.5 cm wide, usually in an oblong or oval aspect, with bright, shiny green surfaces, glabrous and smooth. The stems are twig-like and smooth and the white flowers hang upside down and are small (a quarter of an inch in length) and shaped like a cup. The bark of the somewhat crooked branches is reddish in color and the shrub can grow up to 15 ft in height. Some local tradition has it that the berries the shrub provides can be brewed into a cider, but when ingested in large quantities the fruit is likely to upset the stomach.

The Dr. Hurd manzanita tree is available in a one gallon container from Las Pilitas Nursery for $8.99. The Dr. Hurd manzanita is an evergreen hybrid shrub and is said to better suited to garden conditions than other manzanitas like the A. glauca. The Dr. Hurd also is well-suited to clay soil and can even survive in sandy soil. It is a drought tolerant plant and would work well in any xeriscaped setting. This particular hybrid was named for Dr. Cuthbert Hurd, in whose garden the plant was found -- most likely a cross between the A. manzanita and the A. stanfordiana. Apparently, these two species frequently occur in the Sonoma County region and often form new hybrids.

Other manzanitas of California (which can range in height from two inches to nearly twenty ft, depending on whether they exist in coastal or interior ranges -- the taller are found in… [read more]

Lorax Probably the Most Ideological Thesis

Thesis  |  5 pages (1,550 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Older people remembered the poverty and deprivation of the Great Depression when the majority of people were poor, hungry and unemployed. Only the big revival of industrial capitalism during the Second World War and Cold War had provided them with jobs, cars, houses and a bonanza of consumer goods. They were mystified by the behavior of the mystics, hippies and counterculture dropouts of the 1960s, who seemed to reject suburbia, materialism and the values of the Affluent Society in events like the first Earth Day in 1970. At the time at least, it seemed that this generation would bring about radical changes when it finally came into power, since so many of them claimed to have values similar to the Lorax rather than the Once-ler. Of course, this has not turned out to be the case, especially because the affluence that was taken for granted in the 1960s did not continue in the decades that followed. Economic concerns came to the fore again, even while many of the older smokestack industries moved offshore to Mexico or China, the demand for cheap, imported consumer goods remained. On the global scale, then, the question remains whether the warnings of the Lorax will ever be heeded.


Geisel, Theodore Seuss (Dr. Suess). The Lorax. Random House Books for Young Readers, 1971.

Geisel, Theodore Seuss (Dr. Seuss) The Lorax. You Tube cartoon animation, 1972.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5jnJdnQPr8&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzYRkGIQpOs… [read more]

Humans as a Concept Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (2,565 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 12



Furthermore, this cultural production results in subsequent cultural diversity, such that whales can be seen to exist in a social environment as robust as any human establishment. For example, "one of the best-known example of marine culture comes from killer whales [because] pods of killer whales have highly varied dialects and ways of life, even while sharing the same… [read more]

Survival (Man vs. Wild) Published Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,835 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


"Turn, smell, listen, feel and then a sound, a small sound, an he looked up and away from the lake and saw the wolf. It was halfway up the hill from the lake, standing with its head and shoulders sticking out into a small opening, looking down on him with wide yellow eyes. He had never seen a wolf and the size threw him - not as big as a bear but somehow seeming that large. The wolf claimed all that was below him as his own, took Brian as his own" (120).

Buck, of course, is the central character of the Call of the Wild. And it is through Buck's eyes that we see humans and must ask -- what is the call of the wild? Is it the call to avarice? Is it the particular human trait of collecting more than needed? Certainly, the human capacity for love is great, as is their capacity for cruelty -- most did not see dogs as anything but possessions. Still, it seems that Buck came to understand that it was not all humans who were cruel -- that just as he was shoved into a tight, cold cage and starved there were some who would share their fire and meager provisions. Just as some would wield a club at the slightest provocation, others would act with respect and love. And, it is perhaps this capacity that separates the animal in humans and the human in animals? For Brian, in Hatchet, Brian must learn that it is through his own abilities, making a hatchet, for instance; that he will survive in the wild. He must learn that the wild is not to be feared, but respected. When he is rescued, he returns home a different person -- his respect for the wild, his trials and tribulations have made him see humanity in a different way; and, like Buck's journey, he may well wonder who is truly the civilized creature and what is the "civilized" world?

References:…… [read more]

Bear Globally Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,190 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


People that held a "strong positive attitude toward bears would likely: support actions favourable to bears, tolerate bear damage and maintain their position in case of conflict" (Krestser, 393-406). Experiences with a bear causing damage or approaching a family member, along with attitudes expressing concern about wildlife in general were the most closely related to determined perceptions and predicting interactions with black bears as negative (Krestser, 393-406).

Wildlife Management and Bear

Wildlife managers have a limited number of options of control to deal with human-bear problems. One strategy is to capture and relocate the bears to less populated areas. Another is lethal control, which often occurs when no other option is available but, it commonly results in negative public opinion toward the state wildlife officials or agencies. For more severe situations there are higher levels of support for more intensive agency action (Agee & Miller, 198-205). A high perception of risk from bears was associated with acceptance of lethal control. This suggest that information, educational approaches about bear behaviour and methods to reduce bear contact or damage may be successful in mediating the negative attitudes (Agee & Miller, 198-205).

As the human populations continue to expand further onto the natural landscape, human-wildlife interactions increase (Whittaker, 515-530). This can create conflict between the species that are losing their habitat and humans are living in, or using the resources in this area. Rural residents are often the people most affected and those who can most affect the successful management of these species as they share the same space and resources (Heberlein and Ericsson, 213-227).

In the past, the response to a human wildlife conflict has been to kill the species and destroy their habitat (Manfredo, 2008). How a person is affected in the human-wildlife conflict is related to how they view the particular wildlife as conflict arises from differences in values. The movement toward non-utilitarian has turned human-wildlife conflict into one between people and wildlife to one between people and institutions. For example, local residents can feel resentment towards conservation initiatives ore be negative toward managers due to impacts caused from wildlife and resist management options that do not impose a form of control (Treves, 383-396).


Agee, J and Miller, C. Factors contributing toward acceptable of lethal control of black bears in central Georgia, USA. Human dimensions of wildlife. (2009) 14: 198-205

Decker, S., Bath, A., Simms, A., Lindner, U. And Reisinger, E. The return of the king or bringing snails to the garden? The human dimesnsions of a proposed restoration of European Bison in Germany. Restoration Ecology. (2010). 18: 14-51.

Heberlein, T. And Ericsson G. Ties to the countryside: accounting for urbanites attitudes toward hunting, wolves and wildlife. Human Dimensions of Wildlife.( 2005) 10: 213-227.

Krestser, H., Curtis, P. And Knuth, B. Landscape, social and spatial influences on perceptions of human-black bear interactions in the Adirondack Park, NY. Human dimensions of Wildlife. (2009). 14: 393-406

Powell, R., Zimmerman, J. And Seaman, D.. Ecology and behaviour of North American Black Bears:… [read more]

Personal Statement Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (727 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Personal Statement

It has been said, that a life without a goal can be compared with a traveler, who is sitting in a bus, but has still not decided about their destination. This is problematic, because not knowing where you are heading in life will increase the odds that you will end up wasting: money, time and energy (while not being able to enjoy the process). It is therefore, imperative for us to be clear about our goals to: achieve success and satisfaction. Becoming a veterinarian has been the ambition of my life since childhood. I have always found this career field highly appealing and interesting. However, I am also aware of the fact that I can achieve my goal of becoming a veterinarian, with the help of a scholarship to fund the tuition. If I am chosen, this would be a dream come true for me. As I can be able to peruse those interests that I have a deep passion for (without having to worry about financial issues).

What makes me an ideal candidate is: I have developed a close bond with animals since my early childhood. This is because of the financial problems in my family, where I had to spend my childhood working on a ranch. The experience helped me to learn about: the different types of animals and to see that I could make an impact in the world. I cannot forget the many sleepless nights, when I had to take care of those innocent creatures. As I would: dress up their wounds, bottle-feed the young and take care of the horses (with these being some of my responsibilities on the ranch). When I was working with the animals, I gained a greater appreciation for: life and an immense satisfaction with the work. At which point, I would always search for opportunities to: get close to some the animals and learn as much as possible about them. This is important, because this experience would help me, to see how I could make difference in the lives of these animals (giving me a sense of importance and compassion for my work).

As I grew up, I gained more knowledge…… [read more]

Endangered Species Act Research Paper

Research Paper  |  11 pages (3,199 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


With this kind of money, it is very important to ensure that the funds are being distributed property and that no malfeasance is occurring. Hill (1993) goes on to say that, "Taxonomic decisions not to list a species can result in the tragedy of a species' extinction; but poor taxonomic decisions inappropriately listing a species can result in a misallocation… [read more]

Conflict Between Human and Non-Human an Analysis of the Short Story the Elephants on Neptune Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,792 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Conflict between Human and Non-human: An analysis of the short story "The Elephants on Neptune"

Ecological ethics:

Mike Resnick's short story "The Elephants on Neptune" and the Deep Ecology movement

Ecological ethics:

Mike Resnick's short story "The Elephants on Neptune" and the Deep Ecology movement

One of the difficulties inherent in writing about animals is that a writer is always… [read more]

Luminous Bacterium Vibrio Fischeri Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (2,011 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Luminous Bacterium Vibrio Fischeri

Vibrio species are gram negative rods that are facultative anaerobes and are mainly found in aquatic environments. Vibrio are distinct from the Enterobacteriaceae in that they react positively for oxidase and have polar flagella. They are a known cause of gastrointestinal diseases in humans, such as Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera (Murray, 1998). However,… [read more]

Hairs and Fibers Lab Report

Lab Report  |  2 pages (664 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Hair and Fiber Lab

In all hair samples (the human pulled and cut samples from head and body as well as the animal samples), it was fairly easy to identify the cortex, pigment granules, cuticles, and the medulla one the highest power of my rather rudimentary microscope. Using the magnifying glass was not nearly as effective; while the cortex and cuticle could definitely be seen with greater clarity, the medulla and pigment granules were much more difficult to discern. The medulla appears quite clearly as a darker area running through the middle of the human hair samples in a fairly solid line, though in the animal hair sample the medulla appears to be segmented, or appears in broken pieces rather than in the solid line as in the human samples. The cuticles could not be seen on the cut samples, but appeared largely similar in both the human and animal pulled samples, which is in contrast to the cortexes of the two different species of hair that contained very different patterns from each other. The colors of the human and animal hairs were very different, but the pigment granules themselves appeared to have fairly similar shapes.

Placing the hair and fiber samples on the flashlight did not lead to many hugely substantial differences in the observed color or shape of the strands. There did appear to be some difference in the color of the hair samples, which were lighter when placed on the flashlight but this is easily explained as a difference directly attributable to the difference in lighting. The outer parts of the hair strands, however, also appeared slightly more transparent, and the darker area of the medulla was more easily observable through the magnifying glass when the strands were placed on the flashlight than when they were simply observed on the paper. No real discernable differences were noted with the synthetic fiber that was examined on the flashlight, however.

Many of the identifying features of the hair can be seen…… [read more]

Invasive Plant Species in New York State Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (2,808 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


Invasive Plant Species in New York State

In fulfillment of the requirements for:

Invasive plant species are those plants in a geographic area that did not develop as a part of the local biomass, but that were introduced through the affect of humans or by the way of flora and fauna. Not all non-indigenous plants are invasive and in some… [read more]

Improving the Endangered Species Act Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (647 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … Improving the Endangered Species Act

Since its inception in 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) had 109 species listed as endangered. Today there are at last count 1,500 endangered species that the ESA is designed to protect and ensure their long-term survival (Robbins, 2010). Like much of the legislation designed to protect endangered species of all types, the ESA has yet to reach its full potential. The effects of political infighting and a lack of focus on the goals of the ESA has marginalized its effectiveness over time (Robbins, 2010). So has the lack of focus on creating a cohesive strategy to ensure more species survive for generations to come. Presented in this paper are suggestions for improving the effectiveness of ESA from articles in class and from outside sources, and from observation and analysis.

Analysis and Recommendations

First, the ESA is excellent at cataloging species that are endangered, yet does little to define a strategy by species to protect them. The result is often an uncoordinated set of responses to endangered plants, animals, birds or fish going extinct. This approach to solving endangered specifics lacks a unified strategy, costs the government an exponentially higher amount of spending, and can be ineffective in accomplishing its primary goal. The need for a more effective framework for cross-department coordination is necessary if endangered species strategies are to be effective. Having this framework will get out of the drastic measures taken when a given species is about to go extinct. Second, the ESA has no definitions of the amount of habitat necessary for an endangered species to return above threatened species status. While the ESA grants access to private land for purposes of protecting an endangered or threatened species, it does not provide for guidance and strategy to government organizations as to when they should intervene. This is often up to Interior Department and other coordinating government agencies.

Fourth, the impacts of chemicals and…… [read more]

Art Formal Analysis Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (824 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Art Analysis -- Walter Anderson's Crabs

Figure 1- Blue Crabs, Walter Anderson

Walter Anderson was born in 1903 in New Orleans and grew up in a home surrounded by an appreciation for the arts. He attended private school, then the Parsons Institute of Design in New York City and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine arts. Earning a scholarship to study abroad he traveled throughout Europe and was particularly moved by the primitive cave art in Les Eyzies, France. He returned to the south, married, and went to work at his brother Peter's pottery company. In the 1930s he worked on the Works Progress Administration's Mural Project and began to be noticed as a muralist. However, in the late 1930s he began to experience severe depression and was institutionalized for a time, finally returning to an extremely productive period. Finally, in 1947 he left his family, lived alone in an isolated cabin on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He spent 18 years using the materials, flora, and fauna of the area as inspiration and worked under primitive conditions, often sleeping in his boat for weeks at a time and enduring extreme weather conditions. He died at the age of 62 of lung cancer, and only by chance when cleaning his cottage were his very imaginative works discovered (The Life of Walter Inglis Anderson, 2009). We do not know exactly when Anderson conceived and painted his Crabs-2, but this painting was indicative of his obsession with color, primitivism, and nature.

Crabs 2 is a watercolor, approximately 8 1/2 X 11 on parchment paper. It is a simple drawing, two Southern Blue Crabs facing off for a battle or perhaps a mating ritual. Taken together, the crabs form a circle, or, more accurately, two individual arcs the envelope each other. There is really no single focal point, in fact the eye moves around the object, giving it a sense of movement within the frame. The color of the background is "sandy," obviously giving us the impression that this is meant to be natural in orientation.

While the overall schemata is one-dimensional, the coloration used gives the work a sense of depth; particularly if we not the dark blue and black shadings combined with the almost anatomical nature of the crabs. It is with this coloration and transparency that Anderson communicates the primitive nature of these animals, and the oneness with nature. In fact, if one looks at a few other actual "primitive" pieces of…… [read more]

Science and Culture Breakthroughs Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (2,745 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Redefining Culture -- Chimpanzees and Hunting

One way human culture is often defined is the manner in which humans are able to manipulate their environment through external means -- tools. There are many instances of certain animal populations using pieces of the environment; sticks, stones, branches, etc., as tools to assist with food gathering or opening of seeds, mollusks, etc.… [read more]

Dinosaurs and Massive Reptiles Are Gone Giant Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (621 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … Dinosaurs and Massive Reptiles Are Gone

Giant, cold-water salamanders: Selective pressures and biodiversity

One of the great curiosities of the amphibian world is the large salamanders known as cryptobranchids. They appear to the naked eye more like prehistoric relics than the small, swift-moving salamanders with which most individuals are familiar. Of course, both large and small sizes can convey evolutionary disadvantages and advantages to a species. The giant salamanders of Asia and North America would once have been more difficult to be easily consumed as prey, unlike their smaller counterparts. Yet it is also more difficult today for these animals to find enough food to sustain them, and to conceal themselves from more intelligent predators such as humans. In the contemporary era, most amphibian species flourish when they can camouflage themselves in their environments, making a small size an advantage. But this was not always the case: during earlier phases of evolution, large sizes provided protection for these animals. However, as the biodiversity of warmer zones resulted in the creation of faster-moving and more skillful predators (including humans) the numbers of these creatures shrunk and they are now only found in colder regions.

The relatively lower biodiversity of colder environments may have reduced the threat of predators for the giant salamanders, hence their continued (albeit limited) existence today. Because of their scarcity, large amphibians are often called an evolutionary curiosity, a 'living fossil' like the hanzaki (Andrias japonicus) and the Chinese giant salamander (a. davidianus), and the hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) of U.S.. "Creatures rather like these were certainly around when dinosaurs dominated life on land, and fossils of the family have been found much further afield than their current tight distribution - in northern Europe, certainly, where scientists presumed the lineages had gone extinct until tales of the strange Oriental forms made their way back to the scientific…… [read more]

Border Wall a Research Investigation Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (2,853 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Border Wall

A Research Investigation of the Environmental Impact of the Border Wall in the LRGV

The problem of illegal immigration from Mexico and Latin America has produced what U.S. lawmakers view as a security risk. One resolution is the Southwest Border Wall, which runs 175 miles parallel to the Rio Grand, separating Texas from Mexico. The research here discusses… [read more]

Conciliation for the Sake of Humanity Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,011 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Conciliation for the Sake of Humanity

Certain controversies will never be resolved toward full acceptance of one side or another, because ethical or emotional considerations are involved. Animal research falls into this purview. At one extreme are those who give no thought to how animals are used or abused. At other extreme are the animal activists, including the millions of… [read more]

Most Dangerous Game Book Report

Book Report  |  3 pages (819 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Hunter or Hunted?

In his story, "The Most Dangerous Game," Richard Connell breaks down the stereotypes between man and beast. Throughout the novel he poses reason against instinct. Despite the seeming disparity between these two approaches to the world, Connell does not ultimately privilege rational thought. Rather, he shows that it is not rationality alone but man's dual nature that allows him to survive. In the story, it is oonly by embracing both elements that a man can be successful.

The opening scene sets up the dichotomy between rational thought and instinct that Connell seeks to counter. At first, Rainsford expresses a stereotypical affinity to the superiority of the rational mind. As a way of justifying his haunting of animals, Rainsford exclaims, "They have no understanding" (8). To invalidate the sailors' instinctual fear of General Zaroff's island, he says it is "pure imagination" and "superstition" (9). All of his statements discount irrational thought. Rainsford sees lack of reason, fancy, and unfounded belief as inferior. However, throughout the course of Connell's story, Rainsford not only displays these animal characteristics, but also relies heavily upon them for his survival.

Despite his seeming disapproval of instinctual interaction with the world, throughout the story Rainsford both relies on instinct and Connell likens him frequently to animals. Alone on the deck of the yacht, Rainsford's instincts dominate his experiences. His hearing is heightened. The reader is told how he, a man, has senses that are inscrutable: "his ears, expert in such matters" (9). Unlike humans, who experience the world primarily through sight, Rainsford's hearing is his dominant sense. Like an animal too, Rainsford is described as having agility and excellent balance: "He leaped upon the rail and balanced himself there" (9).

Throughout the story Rainsford relies, like an animal, on his instincts and senses to help him survive. Finding himself in immediate danger of dying after falling off the yacht, Rainsford relies on intuition to survive. He knows he must shed his clothes to stay afloat. Hiding from the general, Rainsford is warned of danger by the actions of other animals: "the cry of some startled bird" draws his attention (20). Before he even sees that it is the general approaching, Rainsford instinctually "flattened himself down on the limb" (20). Later on, elated by the possibility that the general fell victim to one of his traps, Rainsford "felt and impulse to cry aloud with joy" and "leaped up from his place of concealment"; his…… [read more]

Florida Manatee Conservation Efforts Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,848 words)
Bibliography Sources: 9


¶ … Florida Manatee Conservation Efforts

Saving the Gentle Giants of Florida

Gliding through the water on paddle-shaped fins, the manatee, otherwise known as the "sea cow," looks like a larger, more passive version of a seal. Adults can weigh around 1,000 pounds and are typically 9 to 10 feet long, but have the potential to grow as large as… [read more]

Predators in Three Different Types of Ecosystems Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,216 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … predators in three different types of ecosystems. Research management strategies for predator control

Predators are a vital element in ecology, as they usually prevent their prey from thriving and growing in numbers uncontrollably. Evolution has made it possible for predators to adapt to various ecosystems from around the world. While a number of predators have been decimated and even brought to extinction by man (who is considered to be the planet's most competent predator), others have enjoyed a growth in population due to diverse beneficial factors.

Canid species are generally known to have the capacity to adapt to almost every environment, regardless of the harsh conditions that they come across. The largest member of the species in the present is the Gray Wolf, and, it is present in a lot of ecosystems, even though it is considered to be less adaptable than other members from the canid species. Gray wolves are presently spread in a wide variety of ecosystems, ranging from tundra to deserts. The Gray Wolf had once inhabited most of Eurasia and North America, its adaptableness having helped it survive the ice age. (Whyte Macdonald, David Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio)

Because of the fact that they can adapt to most environments, and, because of their sociability, wolfs are considered to be apex predators in all of the ecosystems that they live in. The broadening of human territory also meant that wolf territories became threatened, with wolves becoming extinct in certain areas. Experts today believe that the grey wolf is not in danger of extinction because the wolf population is considered as a total sum. However, when taking into account the recent data gathered from particular parts of the planet, one can find that while wolves thrive in certain areas, there are only a few dozen left in others. (Whyte Macdonald, David Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is currently conducting programs that are meant to increase wolf population in the state. The authorities have decided that they have to prevent wolves from leaving their designed area, since this might lead to divergences between the animals and humans. Also, the living space for the wolves needs to be arranged so that it would provide the predators with everything that they require. (Wisconsin Departament of Natural Resources)

While conditions are critical in Wisconsin, with the wolf population being in danger of extinction, matters are rather different in other areas. Proper conditions such as large areas to inhabit and abundance in prey have lead to wolf numbers becoming alarming. In response, humans are inclined to intervene and to control wolf population, so that it would not affect ecosystems. The Yellowstone National Park authorities had reintroduced wolves into the park's ecosystem in 1995, hoping for the animals to reproduce and to increase in numbers. Indeed, wolves thrived in their new home, and, they've reached an impressive number in the present. However, their success has affected the ecosystem, with the elk population in the area being decimated as a result of… [read more]

How Do Human Activities Adversely Threaten Wildlife? Essay

Essay  |  1 pages (466 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … human activities adversely threaten wildlife?

Impact of human beings on wildlife: The negative impact of the human animal on other animal species

All species impact one another in positive and negative ways -- overpopulation of one species, after all, can result in the depletion of another species, in the absence of predators that eat the dominant creature. However, the human species has proven particularly wily in manipulating its environment and protecting itself from normal population-reduction pressures. For example, humans can use their larger and more sophisticated brains to find ways to build highly technologically efficient homes. Humans can guard themselves within secure walls, can create medicine to combat natural diseases, and they can raise livestock and vegetation to enable their species to seldom or never suffer the ravages of famine. Water is purified and even humans born with certain natural disadvantages can be sustained with medical and technological support.

However, the human drive to seek food and shelter has not proven equally salutary to the world's wildlife. Global warming has rendered the earth less hospitable to animals such as the polar bear, which is dependant upon cold temperatures to survive. Pollution has also affected the ecosystem of aquatic life. According to CNN: "Freshwater species in both temperate and tropical regions fell by 29% between 1970 and 2003…despite covering only about 1% of the total land surface of the planet, inland waters…… [read more]

Biology Qs the Primary Source of Difficulty Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (829 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Biology Qs

The primary source of difficulty that researchers and biologists have had in classifying the protists results from the great diversity of the kingdom, including widely varying morphological and reproductive features. Determining when branches in the classification are called for and the degree of relation between the various protests is a difficult task, and currently the determination of classification is made largely on whether the protists are more animal-like (protozoa) or plant-like (algae) in their general appearance and functionality. Developments in DNA and RNA sequencing has led to the belief that this might not actually be the most accurate way to classify the protests from an evolutionary perspective, however, and that other relationships and/or divisions might exist that aren't yet fully understood by researchers. As similarities and differences in RNA molecules are identified, the classification of many protests is likely to change.


Generally, "algae" refers to more plant-like protozoa while "protozoa" refers to those that are more animal-like. Both algae and protozoa can be unicellular, though algae is often multicellular and/or lives in massive colonies. Algae generally create energy through photosynthesis, and while some protozoa such as phytoplankton photosynthesize as well, they often ingest other organic material to use for fuel.


Because all algae photosynthesize, the main difference used for classification of algae is their general morphology, which also relates to the environments where certain phyla are found. Members of the phylum Euglenophyta are motile, and can detect and move to areas of bright light to facilitate better photosynthesis. The phylum Bacillariophyta contains organisms with hard silica shells and not all are motile. Rhodophyta are red in color, generally multicellular, and grow on rocks. Cholorphyta are green and have cellulose walls, and come in unicellular and multicellular varieties. Phaeophyceae are brown algae that include the different kelp varieties; these algae are generally multicellular and live in marine environments.


Protozoa, the more animal-like species of the kingdom of protista, are generally classified by their method of movement. The Sarcodinians move by extending their cytoplasm and bunching up again; amoebas are a well-known example. The Zoomastagina propel themselves with long flagella, while the Ciliophora use small hair-like cilia to propel themselves in any direction. The final classification of the protozoa is the Sporozoa, which cannot actually move by themselves.


Though immobile like most plants, fungi do not photosynthesize or have cellulose walls; their cell walls contain chitin instead. Fungi grow from spores, which are essentially packages of cloned material from the…… [read more]

Why We Are the Only Primates That Can Swim Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,279 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Primates & Swimming

Do Primates Other Than Humans Swim?

"Why we are the only primates that can swim?" is a good point to raise, but it leaves the impression of being a trick question because humans are not the only primates that can swim. Although there are conflicting reports on whether or not certain primates really can swim, reliable research shows that several other primates are quite good swimmers, and those species will be reviewed in this paper.

First, the human part of the story: humans can swim but must be taught to swim. According to Bob Hopkins, swimming instructor at the Sussex County YMCA in New Jersey, humans in the water "naturally go vertical" because "all of our body density is in our legs" and humans' buoyancy is in the chest -- our lungs. Therefore, humans swim in a "non-horizontal position" and that creates a lot of resistance to forward movement through the water, Hopkins writes.

Hopkins, who was trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and is certified by the American Swim Coaches Association and the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, explains that swimming requires humans to "reprogram [our] neuro muscular memory" which, until humans hit the water, only knows dry land muscular activities.

Secondly, there are indeed primates that swim. The London Times reports that some naturalists are "shocked" when they see apes swim across a river in Borneo. In an April, 2008 piece, Lewis Smith writes that Orangutans had previously been thought of as non-swimmers, but on a research science trip to Borneo, scientists witnessed an Orangutan swimming across a wide river in order to get to "some of their favourite fruits at a conservation refuge on Kaja island" (Smith, 2008). Moreover, the Orangutan had not been identified previously as a swimmer, Smith adds, and the Orangutan that was being observed by the naturalists in Borneo (on Kaja Island) took a stick and stunned a fish before plucking it out of the water and eating it.

Unfortunately these apes are endangered, threatened with extinction, because of diminishing habitat.

Meantime author Loren Coleman, writing in the book Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures (Coleman, 2007), insists that Orangutans do not swim. It is hard to know whether Coleman has even been to Borneo, or whether he's ever left the United States for that matter, but he insists (p. 211) in "pointing out that the orangutan of Borneo and Sumatra is constitutionally incapable of swimming the Mississippi or any other river, while our primate friends from the bottomlands seem to be able to do so without inordinate difficulty" (Coleman, p. 211).

Sounding self-assured, Coleman (p. 211) writes that "Most primates swim remarkably well, but authorities agree that anthropoid apes avoid water and cannot swim." Coleman doesn't mention what authorities he is alluding to, but he goes on to describe the fate of several chimpanzees who drown in various venues, including a chimp in the "moat of… [read more]

Killer Whale Communication Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  10 pages (2,725 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 10


Killer Whale Communication

Vocal communication is a vital aspect of the lives of Killer whales. Though several researches have shown their adaptability to interferences, serious disruptions to their aquatic vocal communication system would bear severe negative consequences.

Maintaining our marine ecosystem is not a choice but a crucial responsibility for preserving our own environmental ecosystem. If nothing is done, we… [read more]

Cheetahs the Magnificent Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,194 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Once a cheetah has decided to attack prey, a "typical chase lasts less than one minute" (Ebsco). In addition to this, other aspects of the animal's physique make it a prime candidate for running and they are an "oversized liver, enlarged heart, wide nostrils, increased lung capacity" (Cheetah.com). The Smithsonian states that cheetahs are "built more like greyhounds than typical cats" (Smithsonian). These hidden aspects of the cheetah demonstrate how it has evolved over the centuries to become what it is today. These facts make the animal seem even more majestic to me because I found them so fascinating to begin with.

Other odd and interesting facts about cheetah that I did not know made me appreciate the animal even more. For example, I did not know that cheetah cannot retract their claws. This allows them to grab "additional traction" (Ebsco) when running. Their claws are also not as sharp as other large cats' claws. I also did not realize cheetah had such a wide variety when it came to their diet. I assumed that they ate birds, ostriches, rabbits, and smaller animals but I did not know that they also kill larger animals such as zebras and gazelles. In addition, the average cheetah eats "about six pounds (two kilograms) of meat each day" (Ebsco).

I would have thought that a cheetah would live a long life but as most websites indicated, man average cheetah might live around 15 years. Another interesting fact I read about the cheetah is "Cheetahs need only drink once every three to four days" (National Geographic). One of the saddest things I read that I did not know was that the greatest enemy to the cheetah is humanity. The saddest thing for me as I was conducting this research was looking at the pictures of cheetahs in captivity. While I know that this is the only way that I would ever have the opportunity to see a cheetah live, it made me sad to see them caged and so removed from their natural environment.

A found this research to be fun and informative. I love researching things and I have always loved the cheetah because of their beauty. They are graceful and, at the same time, ferocious. While this research was fun, I also discovered something else and that is my passion to see these animals live. Perhaps the saddest thing I read about them was the fact that there are so few of them left on the earth. The Smithsonian states that they are close to extinction. It would be a shame if we let these animals fall from existence just because they have lovely fur, because we are killing their prey or because we are running them away from their habitat because we must develop land. This research made me appreciate the animals even more but it also makes me want to speak out what is happening to them in their own habitat. We should strive to keep them alive not kill them… [read more]

Mekong River Delta the Management Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,539 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 15


Works Cited

Baird I.G. Mark S. Flaherty1 and Ian G. Baird2. Mekong River Fish Conservation Zones in Southern Laos: Assessing Effectiveness Using Local Ecological Knowledge. Environmental Management. Volume 36, Number 3 / September, 2005

Friederich, H. 2000. The biodiversity of the wetlands in the Lower Mekong Basin. Paper submitted to the World Commission on Dams, Presented at the Commission's East/Southeast Asia Regional Consultation, Hanoi, Vietnam. 26-27 February

Hoa, Le Thi Viet, Nguyen Huu Nhan, Eric Wolanski, Tran Thanh Congb, Haruyama Shigeko. The combined impact on the flooding in Vietnam's Mekong River delta of local man-made structures, sea level rise, and dams upstream in the river catchment

Kummu M., Varis, O. (2007) Sediment-related impacts due to upstream reservoir trapping, the Lower Mekong River. Geomorphology 85 (2007) 275-293

Nguyen, V.L., Ta, T.K.O., Tateishi, M., 2000. Late Holocene depositional environments and coastal evolution of the Mekong River Delta, southern Vietnam. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 18, 427-439.

Ta, T.K.O., Nguyen, V.L., Tateishi, M., Kobayashi, I., Tanabe, S., Saito, Y., 2002. Holocene delta evolution and sediment discharge of the Mekong River, southern Vietnam. Quaternary Science Reviews 21, 1807-1819.

Tamura T. Yoshiki Saito," Sotham Sieng, Bunnarin Ben, Meng Kong, Im Sim, Sokuntheara Choup and Fumio Akiba Initiation of the Mekong River delta at 8 ka: evidence from the sedimentary succession in the Cambodian lowland. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 29 (2007) 585-592.

World Resources…… [read more]

Galapagos Islands Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,433 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2



Since Charles Darwin published the Origin of the Species in 1859, the Galapagos Islands have been renown for their ecological diversity. The islands are also remarkable for their geographic terrain and volcanic activity. Officially part of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are still many hundreds of miles off the shore of South America. Their being located on the equator in… [read more]

Horse Slaughter in the United States Thesis

Thesis  |  10 pages (2,991 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 10


Horse Slaughter


Introduction to the Range of Moral Perspective:

Human beings have hunted animals for food since the dawn of earliest civilization and have been raising them in captivity for work and for slaughter since the first evidence of recorded human history, such as that preserved in prehistoric cave art that has survived to this… [read more]

Scientific Taxonomy and Earths Biodiversity Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (784 words)
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In scientific terms, taxonomy refers to the science, laws or principles of animal and plant classification, especially in the fields of biology, zoology and botany and can be defined as "a process of classifying living organisms in specific established categories" (Smith, 2005, p. 56). According to Edward Thompson, taxonomic classification "begins with the broadest and most inclusive category and ends with the narrowest category" (2004, p. 63), much like an upside-down pyramid with a broad base at the top and an apex at the bottom, being kingdom to species or sometimes subspecies. In order of categorization, the categories are kingdom, phylum, subphylum, class, order, family, genus, species and finally subspecies; there are also sub-phylums, sub-classes, sub-orders and sub-families, due to various differences in shape, size and anatomy. In the kingdom of Animalia which includes all animals outside of plants, I have chosen the horse and the tiger (Mammalia), the beetle and the ant (Insecta), the pelican and the eagle (Aves) and the starfish and the sea urchin (echinoderms). As to characteristics, the horse and the tiger are warm-blooded, have hair, a four-chambered heart, are quadrupeds and bear their young alive; the beetle and the ant are multi-legged, have wings, an exoskeleton, antennae, compound eyes and are generally land-dwelling; the pelican and the eagle are warm-blooded, have wings and feathers, a beak, and are bipedal, while the starfish and sea urchin live in the ocean, have endoskeletons, are exothermic and breath much like fishes by taking oxygen from the water and expelling carbon dioxide.

There are three basic characteristics shared by all mammals -- they are warm-blooded endothermic), meaning that their body temperatures are controlled internally, have hair on their bodies and bear their young alive, rather than through egg-laying. The differences between the horse and the tiger are numerous, such as the horse has hooves (i.e., odd-numbered toes) rather than claws like the tiger; the horse is a herbivore (plant-eating) while the tiger is a carnivore (meat-eating), and the teeth of a horse are designed for grinding plants while the teeth of the tiger are designed to rip and tear away flesh. As to orders, the horse belongs to the order of Perissodactyla which pertains to "certain hoofed mammals with an odd number of toes," while the tiger belongs to the order of Felidae or feline cats…… [read more]

History and Present Status of the Black Bear in New Jersey Thesis

Thesis  |  5 pages (1,804 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


American Black Bear

America long ago ceased being the more pristine wilderness it was when Europeans first arrived, and since that time, the history of the country has been a story of larger and larger populations pushing more into formerly wild territory and at the same time pushing out many native animal species. What has normally happened is that these… [read more]

Cnidarians Consist of Several Groups Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  4 pages (1,160 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Cnidarians consist of several groups that sometimes are divided into four or six categories. Most agree, however, that Anthozoa (corals), Scyphozoa (jellyfish), Cubozoa (box jellies), Hydrozoa (medusae, siphonophores, hydroids, fire corals) and Scyphozoa (true jellyfish) comprise the four main groups. Staurozoa (stalked jellyfish) and Polypodiozoa (a single specie: Polypodium hydriforme Ussow, 1885 - a parasite) may be added to the previous four. Their name comes from the Greek word "cnidos," meaning stinging nettle. Cubuozoa jellyfish have also been called "sea wasps."

All of these species are armed with stinging cells called nematocysts. They may have all inherited this characteristic from a single ancestor, yet as a group, cnidarians are extremely diverse and would not seem to be related at all. Some are attached to rocks, others float freely in the sea with stinging tentacles. Some have no tentacles, yet if touched emit stinging chemicals that are poisonous and may even kill a human who meets up with too many of them at one time. Another characteristic is common among them. They are all round, with parts of their body extending out from the center; they are "radially symmetrical." A third characteristic they all share is that they all have hydrostatic skeletons, whether or not they have mineralic or organic endoskeletons or exoskeletons (Shick 270).

The phyla Cnidaria live exclusively in water and are polyps, as the sea anemones, corals and medusae. Cnidaria, being polypoid or medusoid are biradially or radially symmetrical, and is uncephalized, with a single opening in its body, the mouth. Around the mouth are tentacles with microscopic capsules of stinging toxic nematocysts, which act offensively or defensively. This is what makes the phylum distinctive, this cnidae (or threads) (Fautin 5).

Sting of Cnidarians

The original reason for the sting is to capture and paralyze prey. The stinging cell is called a cnidocyte, which is located within a structure called a nematocyst. The nematocyst is the "stinger" and is shaped like a thread coiled and ready to strike and deliver the stinging toxin into the body of the prey. Some react to touch, others spring forward on their own, on an impulse from the animal which tells it to fire. Most deliver a smarting, harmless sting, but there are jellyfish which can deliver an extremely harmful dose of stings, which, with the wrong person, could become fatal. This form of fatality is common on the northern coast of Australia, where humans sometimes tangle with the jellyfish which live there in abundance. These jellyfish include the giant Lion's Main (Cenae Capillata), whose bell can reach 96 inches with tentacles as long as 98 feet in length. (Oceanside 3).

The capsule which contains the thread has a "hair trigger" which, when touched, makes the capsule explode as it shoots the poisonous thread out. The poison penetrates the prey or threatening animal and once it is poisoned, the tentacles of the cnidarian wrap around the prey and the prey is eaten with a mouth located in the very center of the… [read more]

Miser Play From Moliere Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,538 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … ancient Greeks and Chinese philosophers were studying and writing about human nature in their writings. Thucydides found human nature to be main course of the aspects of politics. The world has changed a great deal since then and yet, human nature appears to have remained the same. It is undisputable that the latest discoveries of technology gave humanity… [read more]

Yellowstone National Park Issue of Controlled Burning Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,094 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+



Controlled Burning at Yellowstone National Park: A burning debate

Controlled burning is a fairly routine part of park maintenance at Yellowstone National Park. Controlled burning has been used as a tool of wildlife conservation in the past, as a way of promoting a greater diversity and abundance of plants and animals in conservation parks such as Yellowstone. Controlled burning is seen as a way of being 'more' rather than less close or similar to nature and how nature regulates species diversity. "Most wildlife biologists (at least in the west) love to see small, controlled fires burning in areas of potential wildlife habitat -especially where a mosaic type burn can occur that leaves gaps in the burn of unburned fuel. These gaps provide the cover for wildlife that can still enjoy the benefits of the burn (new growth, nutrient release, etc.). Wildlife thrives on new growth after a controlled burn" (Albright 2000). Burning, responsibly controlled by fire officials, can make for a better environment for new plant and animal species.

However, the way that such practices are put into place at Yellowstone has been particularly controversial. During the 1980s, especially after a 1988 forest fire raged out of control at Yellowstone Park, many people opposed the controlled burn policy, particularly representatives of the forest and timber industry. "A let-burn policy is indeed defensible in a properly managed forest. But defenders of this hands-off approach refuse to acknowledge that Yellowstone was not a managed forest. Park officials, backed by the environmental community, did not permit dead and dying timber to be removed from Yellowstone. Rather than allow 150-year-old trees infested by dwarf mistletoe and mountain pine beetle to be periodically removed by harvest or by prescribed, controlled burns, Yellowstone managers mistakenly allowed dead wood to accumulate and the fire hazard to escalate," noted the President of the National Forest Products Association in 1988. Environmentalists were accused of having too much of a hands-off policy in terms of burning Yellowstone, and engaging in insufficient pruning, tree removal, and direction of how the burning was managed.

Of course, the forest industry had a profound economic interest in making such allegations. But in recent years, the increase in global temperatures of the past decades and frequent Western droughts has made the policy even more controversial. Why add fuel to the flames, one might ask, when the dangers of how unpredictable wind and weather patterns make forest fires, even so-called controlled forest fires, so difficult to manage? Controlled burns can rapidly devolve into uncontrolled burns. "What really created our problem is three different major wind shifts," said the fire crews after an unexpected shift in winds caused an April 2008 fire to rage out of control, leading to the forced evacuation of 40 to 50 homes in the area near the park (Shay & Johnson 2008). Although no one was injured, the lack of precipitation that made containment of the fire difficult to control caused local officials to criticize the choice of time and place… [read more]

Siberian Husky the Tamed Wolf Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,052 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 15


Animals - Siberian Husky


Background and History of the Siberian Husky:

The Siberian Husky is a working dog bred primarily for its pulling strength, physical endurance, and resistance to extreme cold. The breed was originally developed by the Inuit Eskimo people for the express purpose of pulling sleds across the vast snow- driven plains… [read more]

Wildland Recreation Management Trends Term Paper

Term Paper  |  9 pages (2,604 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Recreation and Leisure

Forest health and restoration

There is a plethora of evidence from studies on environmental research to suggest that healthy forests are of vital importance to the balance in nature and ultimately for human existence. Forests not only provide clean water but also "...support livelihoods, shelter wildlife and help maintain a stable climate" (Fire and Conservation). The last… [read more]

Theory of Island Biogeography Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (418 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Island Biogeography & Uneven Distributions of Species

The theory of island biogeography explains the uneven distributions of species population in islands, or why some islands have more diverse numbers of species than other islands. The theory suggests that the number of species an island reflects a balance between the rate at which new species occupy it and older species become extinct. Resources are limited in nature and because the resources of an island are particularly limited, "as the number of resident species increases, the smaller and more prone to extinction their individual populations are likely to become. The rate at which additional species will establish populations will be high when the island is relatively empty, and the rate at which resident populations go extinct will be high when the island is relatively full" (Ehrlich, Dobkin & Wheye 1988). Also, according to the theory of metapopulations it is more likely for a species to survive if it is spread out into large areas, to reduce the likelihood the species will be decimated by a change in geological fortunes ("A Short Introduction to Metapopulation Models and GIS," RAMAS: Ecological and Environmental Software, 2008).

The theory of island biogeography is helpful in explaining why there is more biodiversity in larger…… [read more]

Shark Abuse Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,680 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Ethics & Sharks


The concept of human sensitivity toward non-human animals has taken a long time to develop and in many respects, still lags far behind other moral concerns. In much of modern Western society, dogs and cats are kept as pets, along with various other species of animals, in conjunction with which Americans… [read more]

Evolution of Color Vision in Vertebrates Term Paper

Term Paper  |  12 pages (3,313 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


Color Vision

Evolution of Color Vision in Vertebrates

Color Vision is one of the most striking and somewhat mysterious developments in the evolutionary progress of vertebrates. While most of us take it for granted and probably view it as a rather straight forward developmental step in evolution, it is anything but a liner step-by-step progression. The development of the eye… [read more]

Parrots Are at the Top Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,337 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Parrots Are at the Top of the Species Chain

We parrots are sometimes underestimated by our ignorant caretakers, humans. Many times we are overlooked as simple pets; that our very existence depends on the resourcefulness of the human race. However, this view is entirely wrong. We, as parrots, are intelligent, resourceful, dangerous, and most importantly, at the top of the species chain.

All bird species predate humans, and all mammals for that matter, by millions of years. Sometimes humans forget that our ancestors walked the earth with the dinosaurs. Most humans, who like to think they own us as pets, forget that our origins trace back around seventy million years. In fact, many human scientists don't even know for sure when or how our first ancestor came about, and they call us inferior. Now, these ancestors to all bird species became more and more developed as the years rolled on. Around fifty million years ago is when our species, Psittaciformes to be more specific, began appearing in the ancient lands of what mankind now refers to as "Europe." We continued to develop, and around twenty million years ago our ancestors were almost identical to what we are today. Humans call these our "modern ancestors."

So now that we have proven our superiority in longevity, what else makes us the top species? Well, first of all we have a superior body build which reduces the need for man-made tools in order to survive. While humans have little strength and natural weapons or tools to help them survive, we are built by nature to innately have everything we need from birth. We have strong curved beaks which act as several tools for our survival. We use our beaks to break open food, as natural weapons for defense and offense, as well as to formulate our methods of communication. Humans weren't born with knives for fingers, but we were genetically inclined to survive without such tools. Our beaks are definitely our most important survival tool, for they act as defense as well as a method of satisfying our hunger in the harsh terrain of the jungle and elsewhere. Along with our genetically superior beaks, we also have strong longs with sharp claws on our feet. These also serve as natural tools, and can be used as weapons along with tools to break open food sources. These claws also help us maintain balance when perched high up in the trees, where the view is amazing and we are far above any dangerous predators.

That last point leads me into the discussion of our greatest natural asset, our wings. Our wings are much better than having fingers, for they allow us to soar above the dangerous flat lands while enjoying the view of the gods. For centuries, humans have envied our ability to fly; therefore, jealousy may be one of the main reasons they are so quick to label us as inferior. However, our wings allow us to travel to places they can only dream… [read more]

Arctic FOX Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,067 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 25


¶ … ARCTIC FOX (National Geographic, online at http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/Animals/mammals/arctic-fox.html,2008)

Understanding the Arctic Fox

Peripheral to the concern and implications of the melting artic regions is the concern about the wildlife supported by the region. What will become of the polar bears, the giant water animals like whales and walrus, to the smallest animals like the arctic fox? Some, more than… [read more]

Value of Maintaining Natural Ecosystems: Preservation Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (580 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2



The objective of this work is to compare and contrast the practices of Preservation and Conservation as they relate to the maintenance of ecosystem. The concept of 'natural regulation' will be discussed and examples from Maryland will be provided.

The difference between what constitutes conservation and what constitutes preservation is a difference often misunderstood by many. This work seeks to establish precisely what the difference between conservation and preservation is through examining information related to the forests in the State of Maryland.


The work of Patrice Jastrzembski entitled: "Maryland's Forests: Conservation vs. Preservation" relates that there is discrepancies over the word conservation in terms of its definition. It is generally agreed among that the word 'conserve' "means to use something wisely." (Jastrzembski, nd) Jastrezembski states most people consider "conserving our forests" means to use forest and forest products wisely, but to others, conserving forests means to preserve or set aside. These two interpretations of the term 'conserve our forests' are completely opposite one another." (Jastrzembski, nd) While the belief is held that forest management initiatives are harmful and currently the "trend is to let nature take its course...Forest managers and their proponents disagree." (Jastrzembski, nd) Forest managers and others hold the belief that utilization of the forest for wood and paper products are not necessarily harmful to the forest. These individuals believe that thinning the forests allow for the trees left to grow larger and stronger reducing the risks for insect and disease problems in the forest and as well bringing about a reduction in risk for forest fires.


In the work entitled: "Maryland Forests: Sustainability" it is stated that more than 14,000 people in…… [read more]

Animal Cruelty Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,475 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … cruelty, and thereafter apply the meaning to animals, and the ways in which cruelty is meted out to them by scientists and researchers. The history of using animals for experimentation will be analyzed, and then, the British Cruelty to Animals Act in 1876 will be explained. A conclusion will be made, about why it is unethical to use… [read more]

Shark Attack: Realistic Fears or Hysteria? Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (870 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 0



Under the stillness of even the calmest of seas an age-old drama plays out. Countless times, a creature designed for locating, stalking, chasing, and then tearing into living flesh closes in on its doomed prey. Its efficient design, mouth filled with teeth meant to sink into its prey and never let go, and its swimming speed, agility, and intelligence all but ensure hunting success. After a brief chase, a shark catches up to its prey, its jaws clamp down tightly, and it is all over: just in the same way that the bottle nosed dolphin that humans adore captures another helpless herring in its mouth.

Dolphins, sharks, and most other aquatic creatures either hunt other species for food, or they are hunted themselves. As often as not, animal species are both hunters and hunted. Human beings tend to view sharks very differently from other aquatic species, based more on the fact that we sometimes end up on their menu. The idea of being food for another creature, according to the human mind set, creates our distinction between animals that are predatory hunters and those that are not. To a herring, the common dolphin is a dreaded predatory killer; to us it is a playful intelligent mammal that deserves our protection. Would we feel the same way about dolphins if there was no difference in their personality or character but instead they were the size of a whale who sometimes possibly mistakes human beings for tuna? Chances are we would fear dolphin attacks as much as we fear shark attacks and our characterization of dolphins would incorporate vocabulary like "ruthless," "deadly," and "cold-blooded" despite its mammalian nature.

Like dolphins, tuna, swordfish, and many other large predatory aquatic species sharks must locate and consume other creatures to survive. To guarantee their survival they have evolved over time physiologically and behaviorally to adapt to their environment and master the art of hunting. Unlike the other aquatic species, we fear attack from sharks disproportionately to the actual risk, simply due to the fact that some of them are large enough to mistake us for their prey under the right circumstances. "Our characterization of sharks as ruthless killers intent on consuming us reflects our emotional response to the concept of being eaten alive than reality" (Ellis, 1989).

Perceptions about the danger of shark attack are extremely susceptible to media publicity and their resulting hysteria. The Summer of 2001 had actually been dubbed the summer of the shark" after several attacks, mainly as a result of the publicity associated with one or two victims. Time…… [read more]

Extinction of Just One Species of Animals Has Devastating Effects on Our Ecosystem Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,904 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 7


Extinction and the Ecosystem

The ability of a species to survive the extinction of another depends on its ability to adapt. Omnivores fair better than those with a limited range of food. When a single food source disappears from the environment, it can more easily find another suitable food source. More highly specialized members of the ecosystem will not be… [read more]

Marketing Plan for Opening a Doggie Day Care Term Paper

Term Paper  |  25 pages (6,854 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 20


Marketing Plan for Opening a Doggie Day Care

City Paws: The Daycare with a Heart

Profile of Other Doggie Daycare Facilities in Boston Area.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, its highly urbanized setting, Boston is home to the nation's first doggie daycare facility (Pet Companions Bed & Biscuit, discussed further below) and the market currently supports a number… [read more]

Moby Dick -- Ahab's Whale of Malice Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,748 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1


Moby Dick -- Ahab's Whale of Malice, Ahab's Whale of Nothingness

One of the most attractive, yet mad aspects of the character of Ahab in Herman Melville's Moby Dick is the way that Ahab seems to attribute morality and intelligent design to the natural world, as embodied in the persona of the white whale Moby Dick. Ostensibly, Ahab is captaining… [read more]

Sustainability of Yosemite National Park Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (722 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 0


Yosemite Sustainability

Yosemite National Park is one of the most prized natural areas not
only in the United States, but the world. With beautiful forests,
waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife it is a treasure for visitors today and
it should be a treasure for future generations. Fifty years from now,
Yosemite National Park should be preserved as a place of natural beauty for
visitors as it is a popular place today and should remain so. However,
general tourists must be responsible in their actions to ensure the park
remains in pristine condition.
Thee first step to retaining and sustaining the natural environment
and resources of Yosemite National Park is to ensure that each tourist has
maximum respect for what he or she is about to visit. Thus, each tourist
should be grateful for the opportunity to visit Yosemite and should respect
its natural aspects. Newsletters and welcome letters, signs, and park
rangers should encourage the tourist to understand the wonders he or she is
being permitted to visit and should encourage an attitude of respect
towards nature. Visiting the park should be a privilege, and not an
entitlement, and the park officials should do their best so this attitude
can be shared to the general tourist. The general tourist must read these
notices, follow the signs, and learn the rules of the park.
But then it is up to the general tourist to follow the rules and
treat the park with the respect it deserves. This means making his or her
presence known as little as possible. Leave nature untouched and do not
infringe on the wildlife. Do not damage nature, but have respect for it.
There are actions that can be taken that will go a long way towards
sustaining the environment. For example, when hiking a tourist can stay on
the marked trails as going off the trail damages the natural wildlife. A
tourist should not feed the wildlife either as the food may not only be bad
for the wild animal, but it could break the natural cycle in which the park
is trying to protect. Trash should be thrown away as if everyone left a
piece of trash,…… [read more]

Bark Scorpions of the Southwest Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,043 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Bark Scorpions of the Southwest

The Bark Scorpion only averages from one to three inches long -- yet in the 20th century, the sting of the bark scorpion killed more people in Arizona than the all types of poisonous snakes within the state grouped together (Gouge et.al, 2007; "Bark Scorpion," Arizona Highways Magazine. 2005). In this century, thanks to increasing awareness of the deadly nature of the sting of this creature, no one has suffered a fatal attack, and it has been thirty years since a documented fatality has been recorded in Arizona. However, it is important for everyone who may come into contact with a Bark Scorpion to be aware of the terrible risks posed by the scorpion to humans, and to gain a sense of its habits. Even when it is not fatal, the sting of a Bark Scorpion can pose a serious risk to humans.

The Bark Scorpion is especially dangerous to infants and small children, and has most often attacked humans who were picking up firewood or rocks. The scorpion likes to find shelter from larger predators like birds in such concealed areas, and to shelter from the sun during the day. The animal's official name comes from the scorpion's habit of seeking shelter beneath the underside of wood pieces, but it is also known as the Crevice Scorpion because it also hides in the crevices of trees and stones (Gouge et al., 2007).

Although scorpions as a whole "are commonly thought of as desert animals" they may be found in grasslands and savannahs, forests, and caves, but the Bark Scorpion is most common the desert states of the U.S. including California, Arizona, Nevada, southern Utah, and southwestern New Mexico and the Baja Peninsula (Gouge et al., 2007). Bark Scorpions, like all scorpions are classified as venomous arthropods in the class Arachnida, the same class that includes poisonous and nonpoisonous spiders. Scorpions have an elongated two-parted body and a segmented tail tipped with a stinger. They have four pairs of legs with pliers-like pincers on the end. These pinchers are used for grasping. The body's two parts are called the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The cephalothorax is covered above by a head shield "that usually bears a pair of median eyes and 2 to 5 pairs of lateral eyes at its front corners" (Gouge et.al, 2007). On its underside, the scorpion has pectines or feelers "used to sense the texture and vibration of surfaces....The abdomen consists of 12 distinct segments, with the last five forming the metasoma" or 'tail.' At the end of the abdomen is the telson, "which is a bulb-shaped structure containing the venom glands and a sharp, curved stinger to deliver venom" (Gouge et.al, 2007).

The scorpion's preferred temperature is a night above 70F. Scorpions are active at night, and spend their days where it is cool and moist. Scorpions have extra layers of fats on their exoskeleton to retain water. Scorpions get most of their water from their food. They feed on… [read more]

Jellyfish Are Marine Invertebrates Term Paper

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Bibliography Sources: 12


Jellyfish are marine invertebrates which are part of the Scyphozoan class, and in turn the phylum Cnidaria; "members of this structurally simple marine group possess one of two body forms. Sea anemones, sea whips, corals and hydroids are polyps growing attached to rocks or other hard surfaces of the sea. Jellyfish and the Portuguese man-of- war are free-swimming medusa. Both… [read more]

Part of World Effects Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,940 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5



Lake Victoria is a natural body of water that has experienced exponential change within the past hundred years due to human activity. Even before the twentieth century, however, some experts suggest that it was home to one of the most explosive and fascinating demonstrations of evolution in the history of life. In the relatively short geologic time that the… [read more]

Smilodon Saber Toothed Cat Term Paper

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What we know About Smilodon

The smilodon is one of the most interesting predators of the Pleistocene era. Studying and habits of large predators can give us many clues as to the biodynamics of an area. The largest collection of smilodon fossils is in the tar pits near the city of present day Los Angeles. Many of the early… [read more]

Extinction by Erwin Douglass Term Paper

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Erwin, Douglas H. Extinction.Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

Author Douglas H. Erwin is Senior Scientist and Curator in the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and an External Faculty Member of the Santa Fe Institute. This book addresses the end-Permian mass extinction, one of several mass extinctions that have been found in the history… [read more]

Evolution of Whales and Dolphins Term Paper

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Evolution of Whales and Dolphins

Dolphins and porpoises and whales belong to either of two cetacean families, the Platanistidae (fresh-water dolphins) or Delphinidae (including all other dolphins, the porpoises, the porpoises and cetaceans commonly called whales). The difference between porpoises and dolphins has led to considerable confusion, as it can be called by both names. There is, however, a technical… [read more]

Birds Belong to the Aves Classification Term Paper

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Birds belong to the Aves Classification in biology and live virtually anywhere in the world. They are amniotes (animals whose eggs are protected from drying out), a group that includes mammals, dinosaurs and reptiles). There are approximately 9,000 species, divided into 24 orders and 146 families (which include, for example, Anseriformes (ducks), apodiformes, caprimulgiformes, charadriiformes, ciconiformes, columbiformes, coraciiformes, cucliformes, falconiformes, galliformes, gaviiformes, and so on). Birds are warm-blooded vertebrate animals that are covered with feathers, have wings, a beak, and no teeth. Feathers are actually modified scales. (Enchanted 1)

There are different types of feathers, depending on that the bird is and what the featheres are used for. There are flight feathers that grow in the wings and tail. There are feathers that cover the rest of the body on the surface that are used for protection against water and other elements. These feathers are often brightly colored in the male birds to attract the female of the species, and duller in females, to camouflage her when she nests. There are feathers that act as thermal insulation; soft, downy feathers that grow close to the skin and keep out the heat or cold.

A bird's body is supported by a skeleton in which many bones are fused together or are absent. Their bones are strong, hollow and light-weight. They have powerful flight muscles.

Birds have a one-way breathing system. Theirs is a unique system in which air follows a one-way route through the respiratory system. This system is unlike our lungs, in which the air backtracks where it came from. Their system of respiration (breathing) is very efficient - much more efficient than our system. Two relatively small lungs where gas exchange occurs, are augmented by bellows-like air sacs (where no gas exchange occurs). These air sacs keep the lungs inflated even when the bird is exhaling. (Enchanted 1)

They also need a strong circulatory system, including a powerful heart in order to circulate the oxygen. A bird's heart beats much faster than our heart does. A hummingbird's heart beats about 1,000 times each minute; a human's heart beats about 60-90 times each minute. (Enchanted 1)

Birds usually eat insects (insectivores), though there are carnivores who eat meat, such as owls and eagles. Some birds are herbivores and eat only plants, such as hummingbirds, grouse and Canadian geese. Others are omnivores and eat plants and meat. Some tropical birds, such as the toucan, eat only fruit (fructivores). They use their keen eyesight to find food and beaks and claws to get, hold and bite their food. The fact that many birds eat insects helps control…… [read more]

Pharmacologic Treatment of Fear and Anxiety in the Canine Term Paper

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Pharmacologic Treatment of Fear and Anxiety in the Canine

Anyone who has ever owned a dog that was scared of certain events, objects or people can readily testify to how profound the fear can be in various breeds of canines. In fact, more than half of Americans own dogs today, and the number continues to increase. The symptoms of such… [read more]

Environmental History Conjectures on a Paleolithic Idea of Wilderness Term Paper

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Environmental Science

Oelschlaeger argues that Paleolithic humans held a variety of beliefs related to how they lived their lives, including those below:

that irrespective of place, nature was home

Prehistoric humans had a culture but did not think about their culture. They developed beliefs about their world but did not think of themselves as separate from their world. They saw themselves as a part of the nature around them. They were present in the world just as trees, rocks, plants and other animals were. To have a consciousness of culture would have meant that they were separate from the rest of the world around them (Oelschlaeger, p. 11-12). Their sense of being part of the world is demonstrated by their use of totems for family groups. That tied them to nature, and it was that totemic that identified them as "home." Home was wherever they were at the time, and their tie to nature was present wherever they were. They did not define any one place as "home" because they did not stay in one place, except within nature (Oelschlaeger, p. 13).

A that they regarded nature as intrinsically feminine

Prehistoric humans saw that they found everything they needed within nature to meet their physical needs. They saw a similarity to the way nature sustained them and the way a mother nurses her baby to sustain the baby. They came to think of nature as a "Magna Mater," because they believed that Nature would provide for them just as a mother takes care of her baby (Oelschlaeger, p. 16).

A that they thought of nature as alive

The belief that nature provides for human sustenance leads to the idea that nature is "alive and responsive" Oelschlaeger, p. 16). This made life for humans an interactive existence with the world around them, and meant that they should support each other (Oelschlaeger, p. 18). This meant…… [read more]

Botany of Desire Term Paper

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Botany of Desire

Michael Pollan's best selling book The Botany of Desire offers an interesting insight into the psyche of plants (if there is such a thing). The sub-title "A plant's Eye view of the world" gives away the thesis which revolves around botanical desires and how they often work with human desires for their own ends. Whether we like the book or not- (obviously some of us wouldn't bother reading about plants and what they think) the author must be given credit for presenting a completely original treatise. He may not be correct but he certainly had something unique to say about human desires and evolutionary process of plants.

Pollan presents his thesis by exploring the histories of four plants apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. The author feels that while we thought we were using plants for our benefit, the plants had all the while been using us for their survival. The simple example of this lies in our desire to repeatedly grow some plants. Though we obviously think that we are doing it because we desire, Pollan believes that it could be that these plants are "[getting] us to move and think for them" (p. xx). The treatise with its highly original thesis is definitely worth a read though there are many points on which we may not agree. For example, the author believes that plants have made us help them survive through beauty and taste. In other words, he connected it with Darwin's theory of natural selection where the fittest survived. However if that were so, why is it that we still see many other plants which are otherwise not so beautiful or fruits not all that appealing surviving. While I agree that tulip is a flower most people would love to have in their gardens, what about cactus. This plant has been an eyesore for many and those with children might actually be wary of it because of all the thorns. But cacti have also survived the evolutionary process just like any other plant.

It all started with Pollan's own garden where he saw a bumble bee and wondered about its role in the world: "I happened to be sowing rows in the neighborhood of a flowering apple tree that was fairly vibrating with bees. And what I found myself thinking about was this: What existential difference is there between the human being's role in this or any) garden and the bumblebee's?" (p.3). At first, this appear a strange comparison and the author admits that it does. But he encourages us to think again; think about the role of these plants and why is it that we choose one plant over the other? This is where natural selection steps in.

While I have my reservations about author's hypothesis that a plant would make us take care of them, I still cannot disagree with the notion that there is a greater force that makes us choose one plant and not the other. It acts on our senses… [read more]

Human Acts Occur Term Paper

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This fundamental different in belief systems was further exemplified in the settlers' use of domesticated animals.

"Few English observers could have realized this. People accustomed to keeping domesticated animals lacked the conceptual tools to recognize the more distant kind of husbandry of their own," Cronan writes. The Native Americans viewed animals differently; they did not see them as the demarcation of property lines, but instead let them live on the land as well; there were also fewer livestock species roaming the land in the villages than in the settlers' town, making the animals' use of the land far lessened. Cronon emphasizes the ecological effect animals have on the land -- a very demanding, destructive one -- and that while the Native Americans succeeded in finding a careful balance between land, person, and animal, the settlers were not as well-thought.

"Because there had been fewer of them in a given amount of territory, they had required less food and had had a smaller ecological effect on the land that fed them. The livestock of the colonists, on the other hand, required more land than all other agricultural activities put together. In a typical town, the land allocated to them was from two to ten times greater than that used for tillage. As their numbers."

The settlers saw the animals of New England as another source of capital; another profit yet to be made. Their use of the animals and the land for urban markets and part of the global market trade becoming firmly established in the eighteenth century was a direct result of their approach to not only the land, but to their lives in general.

The settlers introduced to the land of New England completely changed the landscape of the area between 1600 and 1800. "Ecological abundance and economic prodigality went hand in hand: the people of bounty were a people of waste."

The permanent settlers expected warmth through the winter, and a steady flow of species, both animal and plant, to provide their own welfare and the sustainability of their market economy. They brought fur trade, animals and plants that, combined with the European way methods of agriculture, destroyed the land, and destroyed the Indian populations at the same time. Old World pathogens ate their way through Native American populations which were already struggling to modify systems of life to cohabit their land with the invading Europeans, who were not struggling to modify their lives to the land. Merchant's survey makes clear that human factors, over the course of time, can have both immediate and long-lasting affects on the land. Through population pressures on the land, the market economy and its fads and fluctuations, technology, social relations, and the attitudes of human agents on the natural-human system, the environment of a land can be indelibly altered. The affects of the European settlers on New England by 1800 left a land unrecognizable to the Native Americans who had lived comfortably, happily, and with great cooperation on that land for thousands… [read more]

Genetically Modified Trees Scientists Term Paper

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Much of the testing that has been done thus far has been careful to analyze the potential mishaps that might result from genetically engineered processes, and a majority of these studies have confirmed the risks even to the natural environment at present are minimal compared with the advantages we stand to gain from use of genetically modified trees (Avise 2004;… [read more]

Global Warming, Natural Disasters Term Paper

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A third effect of deforestation in the Amazon is the increase in global warming. The intake of carbon dioxide by the massive amounts of trees in the Amazon rain forest constitutes a significant portion of the entire globe's carbon dioxide processing. These trees process the carbon dioxide to produce oxygen; diminishing the numbers of trees performing this task increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and lessens the amount of oxygen in the environment. This disruption of the carbon cycle results in more heat being trapped in the earth's atmosphere by the increased amount of carbon dioxide, which results in overall global warming -- also known as the greenhouse effect. This phenomenon has been blamed for changes in the world's climate such as an increase in ocean temperatures worldwide, an overall increase in air temperatures worldwide, and the accelerated melting of the polar ice caps, which can be attributed to higher air and oceanic temperatures (Wikipedia).

This polar melting contributes to rising sea level, directly affecting the quality of living -- or even the possibility of inhabiting -- lower-level areas near the oceans. Current events such as the tsunami in southeast Asia and the hurricanes along the United States' Gulf Coast may have roots in this higher sea level; had the sea level for flooding been farther out into the ocean, the destruction in these two acts of nature might not have been so devastating; as the situations were, the proximity of human inhabitants to sea level and the higher level of the ocean resulted in thousands of lives being lost and millions of dollars of property being destroyed. Detractors of the theory that higher sea levels result in damage to property and human lives need only to look at the Gulf Coast or the areas affected by the tsunami to see the damage inflicted by higher oceanic levels.

In examining these three results of deforestation in the Amazon rain forest -- extinction and endangerment of plant and animal species, global warming, and decreased precipitation in other areas -- we can easily see the detrimental impact of destroying these natural resources. I believe that protection for such areas is the only way to protect the globe and the global climate as a whole; the value of the rain forests is far greater than the monetary value associated with mining, logging, farming, or any other activity which may be pursued on it.

Works Cited

FIGHTING FOR A RARE BIRD, By: Edgar, Blake, Rattner, Robert, International Wildlife, Mar/Apr99, Vol. 29, Issue 2

Lawrence, K., 2002. "Amazon deforestation could affect U.S. climate," Duke news, http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2002/10/avissar1024_print.htm

Mirabella, Marina, 1997. "In the Amazon, deforestation is on the rise," CNN, 11/24/97 accessed online at http://www.cnn.com/EARTH/9711/24/amazon.burning/

'Global Warming," Wikipedia 2005. Online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming… [read more]

Great Basin Spadefoot Term Paper

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¶ … Basin Spadefoot

The common named Great Basin Spadefoot is a ranked species in the animalia kingdom, and is known as Scaphiopus hammondi intermontanus and Scaphiopus intermontanus, Cope 1883 (Spea pp). The Taxonomic Hierarchy is as follows: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata, Class Amphibia Linnaeus, Subclass Lissamphibia, Superorder Salientia, Order Anura Merrem, Family Scaphiopodidae Cope (Spea pp).

The… [read more]

Popol Vuh Term Paper

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Hunahpu and Humbatz certainly appear to be two of the most human deities; indeed they open the door for human creation. Still, many of the other gods represent things that seem almost wholly unrelated to one another. Quetzalcoatl seems to be both a snake and a bird, at the same time that he is the creator of civilization, the god of water, and the god of the south wind. Xquic is doubtlessly the god of pregnancy and weaving, but she also possesses the destructive properties of water. Out of these many contrasts, and the way much of the world was constructed out of the gods' attempts at creating man, the reader gets the undeniable impression that the underlying philosophy of the Maya was that existence itself is alive, conscious, and fluid.

The existence of man is one that is parallel with nature; he fits into his specific position in nature -- his duty is to behave as a man by using his unique gifts to honor the gods -- but he is not at the center of the world. It is from this particular perspective that all Mayan moral philosophy must necessarily flow. Accordingly, it is wrong for an individual to be self absorbed, to not express humility, to dominate others on the grounds of wealth or riches, or to be prideful. These are the central morals to be found in the Popol Vuh, and recognizing them demands that one distinguish his place within nature, civilization, and the divine as being linked to interdependence and complexity. So, to overlook the philosophical teachings within the Popol Vuh would be to overlook the coexistive plan for the world that it describes.

It is somewhat possible to make an analogy between the universe that the Popol Vuh develops and the particular properties of an ecosystem. This is because within the Popol Vuh the justifications for why human beings can eat animals, why monkeys are the way they are, why the stars are in the sky, and why man is granted certain traits are all present. In other words, mankind is positioned within the balance of nature both physically and spiritually: such is the core lesson of the Popol Vuh.


1. Nelson, Ralph. The Popol Vuh.…… [read more]

Gray Wolf, Giving Some Natural History Term Paper

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¶ … gray wolf, giving some natural history of the animal, its living habits, and range, along with the ongoing controversy over relocating wolves in the American West. Gray wolves are related to domesticated dogs, and are members of the canine family. The United States Government declared the gray wolf an endangered species in 1973 when Congress passed the Endangered… [read more]

Snakes Term Paper

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Hence it is not unusual to find snakes basking in the sun for long periods after devouring a meal.

To conserve heat, snakes coil up, exposing less skin to cold. In colder environments, snakes hibernate in winters hiding in deep crevices or underground shelters. Such shelters may be inhabited by a number of snakes at a time due to lack of appropriate space, but otherwise snakes like to live solitary lives.

Snakes feed on worms, insects, lizards, small mammals, birds, and frogs. Some snakes feed exclusively on other snakes or on eggs of other animals. The large pythons such as the anaconda can swallow even larger animals such as wild pigs, monkeys, and deer. They usually employ one of two methods for killing their prey: by injecting their venom or by constriction

. Smaller, agile snakes may pursue their prey while heavier snakes like the python lie in waiting and ambush their victim when they pass by. Sakes do not chew their food and swallow their food whole -- often while the victim is still alive. ("Snake," 2005)

Snakes also employ a wide-range of techniques to ward off predators who feed on them. Some snakes become absolutely motionless to escape detection. Venomous snakes sometimes have distinctive coloration such as bright yellow and orange stripes to warn attackers about their poisonous nature. Other snakes such as the rattlesnake make a hissing or a buzzing sound to frighten predators. Some snakes simply strike at their attackers, and/or display their fangs to warn them off. (Shine, 2005)


The mating season for snakes in cold climates is spring while in tropical climates there is no specific season. Females produce a special smell to signal their readiness for mating. During mating the male injects his sperm in the female's oviduct where fertilization occurs. Most snakes lay their eggs in crevices or secluded places and abandon them while a few species such as the king cobra and the diamond python contruct a nest for their eggs and guard and warm them until they are hatched. Some snakes, e.g. snakes in colder climates or sea snakes, give live birth. This is because the female can control the temperature of the eggs by keeping them in their bodies, helping to speed up the rate of development. One snake specie is even known to reproduce without mating by a process known as parthenogenesis.


Shine, Richard. (2005). "Snake (reptile)," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2005. Retrieved on August 17, 2005 from http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761578341/Snake_(reptile).html

'Snake." (2005). Article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved on August 17, 2005 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake

Since snake skeletons are fragile they usually do not fossilize. Origin and evolution of the species are, therefore, difficult to determine.

Squamata is the largest order of reptiles; it is distinguished by horny, scaly skin.

Animals that cannot produce their own body heat

If disturbed during the process of digestion, snakes often regurgitate the prey in order to escape the threat.

The constrictors wrap their body tightly around the prey…… [read more]

Literary Analysis on Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Term Paper

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Annie Dillard

Metaphors of "Winter" from a Pilgrim at Tinker Creek -- the Author and her World at Rest, both in harmony with and against the natural world

Annie Dillard's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek, is set in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The story is a kind of modern, female version of Thoreau's Walden. Dillard strives to… [read more]

Region of the World Term Paper

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Rainforests - Environmental Challenges in Central and South America

For several decades, many Americans have been aware that the rainforests of Central and South America are shrinking as well as the fact that the lost of significant amounts of rainforest could well have a negative effect on the entire world as well as the immediate areas in and near the… [read more]

Taxa What Is Cnidaria? Term Paper

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There is asexual reproduction too among cnidarians, and this type of reproduction may more often than not occur in both phases of its life cycle. In asexual reproduction, the new entity is produced from small bits of tissue that has been budded from the parent, like for example, in the hydra, or the parent can divide it into smaller parts… [read more]

Histology Term Paper

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Areolar connective tissue consist of a meshwork of thin fibers that interlace in all directions, giving the tissue both elasticity and tensile strength. It is commonly found in the papillary region of the dermis of skin and in the lamina propria of mucous membranes. While dense regular connective tissue occurs as cord or band-like structures or as broad sheet-like structures. It is composed primarily of collagen fibers in a parallel arrangement. This arrangement results structures that are flexible but have great tensile strength.

Ligaments are special type of dense regular connective tissue that connects bones to bones. They have similar structural arrangement to tendons, but differ in their yellow color, which is due to the abundance of elastic fiber in the tissue. The elastic fibers are stained a dark brown-red with orcein. Elastic fibers provide ligament with…… [read more]

Adaptations of Organisms in the Taiga Biome Term Paper

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Adaptations of Organisms in the Taiga Biome

Taiga or Boreal Forest

Taiga or Boreal Forest (also Northern Coniferous Forest) cover about 11% of the Earth's land surface, or one third of its total forested area (about 1.5 billion hectares/3.7 billion acres). It occurs in the Northern hemisphere, in a circumpolar band, running though Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, China, Mongolia, the Korea… [read more]

Mekong River Basin Term Paper

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Mekong River Basin

Research, Review and Evaluation of Present and Future

Conditions of the Region

Physical Geological Information

Present Environmental Condition

Cultural Significance of the Mekong River Basin Region

Economic Significance of the Mekong River Basin

The Mekong River Basin

Research, Review and Evaluation of Present and Future

Conditions of the Region

The Geography of the River

The Mekong River Basin is one of the ten longest rivers existing in the world and has a significant impact upon the nature, environment, societal aspects as well as the economical aspects of the Indo-china Peninsula. The origination of the name of "Mekong" is in the Thai language of Mae Nam Khnong. (Bao, et al., 2004) the Tibet Mountains are home to the Mekong's beginning which travels from the River of Rick or the Dza Chu River, or River of Rock, which is the primary source for the Mekong River. The Dza Chu runs through a valley that is narrow and parallel to the two rivers of Yangz Jiang and Salween River. Upon the Mekong having reached the Chinese province of Yung-Nan it is then called the Lancang Jiang or "Turbulent River" Next the river travels through the Golden Triangle, Myanmar and Laos boarder, and on into the Vientiane Plain. The phrase lower Mekong means downstream segment from the point [According to a geographic review online at http://cantho.cool.ne.jp/mekong/outline/mcxxcxekong_river_e.html

] After the Vientiane Plain the rapids which are termed notorious flows into Cambodia and on into the Mekong Delta in Vietnam where the water is distributed into the paddy fields.

I. The Countries of the Mekong River Basin

The countries of the Mekong River Basin region are listed as follows with other relevant data:

Countries Area (km2) Basin in Nation (km2)


The Kingdom of Thailand 9,597,000

The Union of Myanmar 678.030

The People's Republic of China 236,725

202,400 85.5%

The Lao Peoples Democratic

Republic 513.115

Cambodia 181,100

Social Republic of Vietnam 331.700

There is much history due to frictions between countries in the Mekong River Basin area and this is cited as the reason that the river is known by some very many different names. The relationships of Laos and Cambodia are integral to the people of this country as 85% of the areas of both countries are connected intricately with the river in one way or another whether economical, environmental, or simply in the dependence upon the river for the resource of water the river provides. The River is 795,000 km2 in length of 4, 6-20 km and is at its' highest point in Tibet 4,620 km. The catchments area of the Mekong Delta is "very unstable due to lack of proper survey especially in upstream mountainous area and in the Mekong Delta of which watershed is obscure.

II. Environmental and Ecological Data

The Lower Mekong River Basin fishery is called "one of the most abundant river fisheries in the world" and is critically important to 55 million individuals living in the basin area. From this income is earned in the industry… [read more]

18th C. Decorative Botanical Art Term Paper

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18th C. decorative botanical art

18th Century Botanical Art

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, pearls were a very popular bauble with the wealthy and the royal; brought back from the explorations of the Far East and the New World and still rare, they are seen in portraits most particularly of Queen Elizabeth I, but also of other nobles.… [read more]

Destruction of Wilderness Term Paper

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Diminishing Wilderness

Most people are aware that as human beings encroach on previously wild area, this new use of old land can have negative effects on the environment. No person takes joy in seeing an animal, even one considered obscure, go extinct, but at the same time, people need some place to live, and people like to live in beautiful surroundings. That human tendency often puts human desire and the needs of individual species in conflict.

The area in which a plant or animal lives is called its habitat. An animal's habitat suits that animal's needs for food, shelter, and reproduction. In return, the animal contributes to the maintenance in various ways. A bird might eat a specific berry, and the seeds, contained in the birds droppings, have a fertilizer-enriched dot of land in which to germinate. Thus a habitat can be defined as "an ecosystem, [or] a community of organisms functioning as a unit in nature" (Editor, PAGE).

The main reason for most endangered species is habitat destruction. While some animals are resilient enough to cope with major habitat destruction, others cannot, in particular those animals who have evolved to live in very specific types of habitat.

There are numerous examples of habitat destruction and its effects on wildlife. For instance, the Richmond birdwing butterfly is a beautiful butterfly found in subtropical rainforests in Australis (Pyper, PAGE). This butterfly feeds almost exclusively on one plant -- the Richmond birdwing vine. As habitat shrank, a second problem developed: a vine called Dutchman's pipe pushed out the Rhichmond birdwing vine. The butterflies laid their eggs on the Dutchman pipe, which made a good environment for the eggs but was poisonous to the caterpillars (Pyper, PAGE). The result was that the butterfly lost nearly 70% of its habitat, and a further decline because of the intruding vine, which was not native to the area.

The example of this butterfly shows that it is not always obvious what interferes with a specie's survival, and not always obvious what needs to be done to support its continuance.

Not always obvious what features in an environment help support the species. Another example is The red-cockaded woodpecker. This southeastern United States bird lives in Southern pines. The sap that oozes from the trees as the bird drills under the bark oozes out and prevents snakes from eating its young (Nickens, PAGE). Birds seem to be animals easily affected by habitat change: the least tern used to be very common in much of the United States before 1880, when hunters nearly pushed them to extinction (Gerhardt, PAGE). They live in river basins, dive into the water to catch small fish, and nest in open sandy shorelines. They stay away from vegetation where predators might lie in wait. Water programs to create dams, recreational areas and irrigation have made much of their former habitats unsuitable for them (Gerhardt, PAGE).

One animal that has been brought back from the edge of extinction and studied extensively is Australia's mountain pyygmy-possum.… [read more]

Poisoning Our Planet Term Paper

Term Paper  |  20 pages (8,834 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Poisoning Our Planet

If it is the air we breathe, the land we use, or the water we drink, we do not pay any heed to the indiscriminate use of the resources of our planet. Nevertheless we are dependent on these resources for innumerable part of our present and future welfare. Similar to as we human beings are dependent on… [read more]

Tiger and Me See Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (624 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Tiger and Me see the tiger, lying in the sun. I walk up the walkway and view her through a wire mesh that separates her from me. The setting looks so natural as she lies there, by a little manmade brook. Perhaps she knows she cannot get to me, but I know I cannot get to her. I wonder, then, what it would be like to be walking through a forest in India, and come upon a beautiful glade, with trees and a little stream, and a lovely tiger stretched out by the water. What would I do? There would be no wire mesh to hide behind. Would she notice me? Would she be hungry? Would she be as curious about me as I am about her right now?

The experts call that "anthropomorphism," when a human sees human traits in an animal. No, she does not think in the same ways humans do, but surely she must think, or else how could she plan the best way to catch an antelope? If I came upon this tiger in the wild, she would not be curious about me. She would simply judge whether I was a potential meal, whether she was hungry, and whether she had a decent chance of catching me.

They say that the biggest difference between humans and animals is that humans know they are mortal. This tiger knows about mortality, but she knows it differently than I do. I know that I will die some day, and that if that wire mesh were not there, or if I had come upon her in the forest of India, I might be looking at the thing that would soon kill me. She does not look at death that way. She does not know that she is alive, or that she will die some day, but she understands death.…… [read more]

American Pit Bull Terrier Term Paper

Term Paper  |  15 pages (6,478 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


However, of late, this poor and loyal beast has been severely castigated and penalized for being a man-killer, a vicious beats, and a dog that must be banished from within the city limits, or land his owners into trouble, meaning arrest and fines. In truth, this is a perfect example of somebody being punished without giving them a very basic… [read more]

Organism: Monkey Classification Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (947 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+



An important characteristic is the existence of a hard palate, which allows the animal to breathe and chew at the same time. (ibid) The skeletal anatomy of the monkey allows for quick movement. The reproductive system is designed for longer periods of gestation. Most monkeys have layers of hair which also acts as a cooling system in many species. "Morris points out that all primates (including all 192 species of monkeys) are covered with hair ... " (Bergman J. 2004)

4. Movement and stance

Monkeys normally have an erect posture. Except for the spider monkey, monkeys cannot swing arm-over-arm. They move about in the trees by running on all fours along the braches. They have a similar skeletal structure to other mammals. (Monkey: Encyclopedia Com)

5. Nutrition and life support

Almost all species eat insects, leaves and fruit. However, there are some species of monkey that are carnivores. Some species supplement their diet with different types of food, including lizards, bird eggs, fruit, and plant sap. "Several species of monkeys, and chimpanzees, but not the other apes, have been known to attack and eat other monkeys." (Primate: Encarta Encyclopedia)

6. Habitat

Monkeys commonly live in trees. However, there are some species that live on the ground. They have no permanent home or shelter.

7. Reproduction and social life

Similar to apes and humans, the female monkey has a monthly reproductive cycle. Mating can occur at any time. However, in some monkey species mating is a seasonal occurrence. Monkeys usually produce one infant at a time and the baby is cared for by the mother for a long period of time. With regard to the social structure, monkeys commonly live in groups, as well as separating into male-female pairs. Monkeys can live in large groups or troops of a few hundred individuals.


Bergman J. 2004)

Why Mammal Body Hair Is an Evolutionary Enigma. CRS Quarterly. [Online] Available from: http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/40/40_4/Bergman.htm. December 26, 2004.

Classification: Infoplease. [Online] Available from:

http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0859744.html. December 26, 2004

Kinzey, Warren G., ed. New World Primates: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 1997.

Monkey: Encyclopedia Com [Online] Available from:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/m1/monkey.asp. December 26, 2004.

Monkey: Wikipedia. [Online] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey. December 27. 2004.

"MONKEY," Young Students Learning Library, January 1, 1996

"Monkey." The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2004.

Oxnard, Charles E. The Order of Man: A Bio-mathematical Anatomy of the Primates. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1983.

Primate. Encarta Encyclopedia. [Online] Available from: http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761569210/Primate.html. December 27, 2004.

Primate Characteristics. Jan Goodall Institute. [Online] Available from:

http://www.chimpanzoo.org/about_chimpanzees.html. December 26, 2004.

Segerstrile, Ullica and Peter Molnar, eds. Nonverbal Communication Where Nature Meets Culture. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.… [read more]

Brazilian Rain Forest Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (787 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Al Gore and John Chafee were shocked when they visited the rain forest in 1989. Gore stated "The devastation is just unbelievable. It's one of the great tragedies of all history (Linden, 1989)."

Experts point out that if the rain forest vanishes, the entire planet would suffer. "Moist tropical forests are distinguished by their canopies of interlocking leaves and branches that shelter creatures below from sun and wind, and by their incredible variety of animal and plant life. If the forests vanish, so will more than 1 million species -- a significant part of earths' biological diversity and genetic heritage (Linden, 1989)."

Finding New Species

In 1992, a "pocket-size monkey with a koala-like face, a hint of stripes like a zebra and tufted ears was discovered in the rain forest (unknown, 1992)." The species was named the Maues marmoset after being found near that particular Brazilian river. This was the third new species of monkey to be found in the forest in only two years. Revelations such as these "underscore the Amazon's biological richness (it is home to more than a quarter of the world's known primate species) and its continuing mystery (unknown, 1992)."

Other species found in the rain forest in the past years include the "Black-headed Sague Dwarf, which was discovered in 1996 and is the second-smallest monkey ever found; the Zog-Zog, which was discovered in 1997 and is one of four new monkey species found in a single year in the Amazon region; and a species of Piranha, which was discovered in 1996 and whose young eat floating fruits and seeds while the adults devour fish flesh (Cannell, 1999)."


The Brazilian Rain Forest is able to sustain a number of rare species of plants and animals through its rich soil and freshwater system. While many of these species are currently in danger from deforestation, researchers are hopeful increased awareness of the rainforest and its habitants will allow the forest to continue to sustain these rare species for years to come.


Cannell, Michael. (08 February, 1999). "New Species -- Keep on Counting!." Science World.

Linden, Eugene. (18 September, 1989). "Playing with fire: destruction of the Amazon is "one of the great tragedies of history." Time.

(Rainforest Facts.…… [read more]

Wes Sechrest and Thomas M Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,038 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Special care is taken to accurately approximate values that the fossil record or point molecular estimates do not clearly identify. They write, "Date estimates were available for a majority of nodes in both trees. Nodes without times of divergence were dated by interpolation using a pure birth model, whereby a clade's age is proportional to the logarithm of the number… [read more]

Endangered American Burying Beetle Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (648 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+



Endangered American Burying Beetle

This is a paper about the Endangered American Burying Beetle. There are four references used for this paper.

There are a number of species that are facing extinction throughout the world. It is important to look at the Endangered American Burying Beetle and determine its ecological significance, its population and geographic distribution, the known anthropogenic threats, and a realistic management plan for recovery.

Ecological Significance

The American Burying Beetle plays a significant role in ecology. The beetles "bury carcasses found on the ground, thus playing an important role in the recycling of nutrients. Through the act of burying, they also remove prey from competing flies and ants, and in this way may serve to limit those species, which sometimes reach pest proportions (http://endangered.fws.gov/wildlife.html#Species)."

Population and Geographic Distribution

The beetle used to be found throughout the eastern portion of North America, however, today is only found in two natural areas- "on Block Island, off the southern coast of Rhode Island, and in eastern Oklahoma, where it has been recently recorded in Latimer, Cherokee, Muskogee, and Sequoyah counties. Some beetles, however, have also been found in southwestern Missouri, and in the Platte River Valley in west-central Nebraska (http://endangered.fws.gov/wildlife.html#Species)."

The population of the beetle is thriving fairly well on Block Island, with an estimated mean adult population in 1991 of 375. During the same year, 207 adult beetles were recorded by researchers in Oklahoma.

Anthropogenic Threats

There is no clear cause in the decline of the American burying beetle, however it has been suggested that the "decline has the characteristics of the rapid spread of a pathogen, while there is no evidence which supports this explanation. Fragmentation or loss of the beetle's habitat, as well as competition with raccoons and other scavengers that tend to follow humans into new environments may also have contributed to the beetle's decline (Chenot)." The use of chemicals such as DDT in the beetle's natural habitat may…… [read more]

Narwhal Whales General Characteristics Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,710 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Communication may lead to a better understanding of social behavior, migration patterns, and gender differences among Narwhals. Such a finding may be as unique as the whale itself and may cause others to re-think the perception of other mammalian teeth. Information will be collected and integrated from field observations, traditional Inuit knowledge, and new scientific data from collaborators in dental and marine mammal research. (Secrets of the tusk)

This research and many other research projects are in the process of unlocking much valuable information -- which is more reason to prevent the extermination of the Narwhal whale.


All about Whales. Accessed November 22, 2004. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/Narwhal.shtml

American Zoo. Accessed November 22, 2004. http://www.americazoo.com/goto/index/mammals/227.htm

Bruemmer, Fred. Of monstrous moles and unicorn horns. International Wildlife, May 15, 1998.

monodon monoceros: Narwhal. Accessed November 22, 2004. http://www.cetacea.org/narwhal.htm

Narwhal Whales. Pictures of Pets. Accessed November 22, 2004


Narwhals: Photos Show Decline of "Unicorn" Whales. Accessed November 22, 2004. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0413_040413_narwhalwhales.html

Odontoceti. Ask a Scientist. Accessed November 22, 2004 http://oceanlink.island.net/ask/odontoceti.html#Anchor1114785

Secrets of the tusk. Narwhal org. Accessed November 22, 2004 http://www.narwhal.org/facts.html

Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises. Accessed November 22, 2004. http://www.solcomhouse.com/sonar.htm

Whale guide Reference Desk. Narwhals, Accessed November 22, 2004. http://www.whaleguide.com/data/narwhal1.htm… [read more]

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