Page 222 - Animal Facts

5.4 million species of animals worldwide remain unnamed.

Not only that, but the animals that we HAVE named only make up about a quarter of the total number of species out there! In the past year 16,000 new species have been discovered, which sounds like a large amount until you compare it to the millions left unidentified. The reason for this deficit is because of an extreme shortage of funding and taxonomists (the scientists that classify organisms). Locating all the remaining species would require an estimated budget of $263 million!

Starting in 2014, there will be gas stations in outer space.

These gas stations will actually be for satellites. A Canadian company (MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates) is working on an orbiting refueling station. When satellites that are orbiting the planet run out of fuel, the refueling station will retrieve the satellites and give them more fuel so they can keep going. Currently, without this, satellites that can cost anywhere between hundreds of millions to billions of dollars are only good for the extent of their fuel tank. After orbiting the planet for 10-15 years, they run out of fuel and either burn up in the atmosphere as they come crashing down to Earth, or they drift away as useless space junk.

Since this could potentially save telecommunications companies and governmental intelligence agencies billions in satellite replacement costs, a $280 million contract with MDA for access to their fuel is actually quite a bargain.

A teen burglar killed three goldfish because he ‘didn’t want to leave any witnesses.’

The boy, a 16-year-old from Arlington Heights, IL, broke into a local apartment complex with a pair of hoodlum friends back in February. The terrible trio chose the location because they knew it had been evacuated because of a fire a month prior. The items they stole included a video game system with 30 games, a CD player, 30 DVDs, a BB gun, jewelry, and a safe. The 16-year-old’s friends were only charged with residential burglary, but this kid decided to take it a step further with cruelty to animals. As the threesome left the apartment, this idiot poured ketchup, mustard, hot sauce and spices into the tenants’ fish tank! Police managed to locate a few of the residents’ stolen items at various pawn shops, but sadly, their three goldfish had to be sent to Davy Jones’s Locker.

Some awesome lists!

10-12% of Dalmatians are deaf!

Deafness is common in the dalmatian dog breed. Not only are a sizable percentage born deaf, but among those that can hear, many of them (roughly 22%) have unilateral hearing. That means they can only hear through one ear, which makes it harder for them to tell where sounds are coming from.

Organizations like the Dalmatian Club of America advocate putting down deaf dalmatian pups with the hopes that this will, in the future, eliminate dalmatian deafness. Many people object to this practice. While deaf dogs can be hard to raise and keep safe, it turns out that they can still be trained. They can even learn sign language!

Here's the DCA's position on destroying deaf dalmatians. They also have more about unilateral hearing and the genetics behind dalmatian deafness.

A new furry species of crab has been discovered.

Back in 2006, Michel Segonzac found the crab while on a deep-sea expedition off the coast of Easter Island, near Chile. The crustacean, nicknamed the "Yeti Crab," was stumbled upon more than a mile and a half below the surface near some hydrothermic vents. The creature is so unusual that a new taxonomic family had to be invented for it!

The purpose of the silky white hairs that coat its arms are still a mystery, however. Scientists believe the crab may use these fibers to trap bacteria as food. Another theory is that the bacteria may filter out the toxic substances that are released by undersea vents.

users online