Page 7 - Animal Facts

With lobsters being eaten across the world, why are they not endangered? The answer lies in the inefficiency of traps

One could argue that lobsters might have been an endangered species if lobster traps weren't so inefficient. Only 10 percent of lobsters coming across a trap will actually enter and only 6 percent of those do not escape.

Some lobsters that enter traps also fight off other lobsters to keep them from entering the trap. This is because it contains a food source and lobsters don't like sharing.

Lobster traps are cages that are rectangular in shape. They are made of vinyl-coated galvanized steel mesh or wood, with woven mesh entrances. These are then baited and lowered to the sea floor. The traps allow a lobsters entry, but make it difficult for the larger ones to turn around and leave again.

The traps are sometimes referred to as "pots" and have a buoy floating on the surface. Lobstermen check their traps between one and seven days after setting them. Most lobsters can easily escape the trap. By regulation traps must contain an escape hole or "vent", which allows juvenile lobsters and bycatch species to escape.

For the protection of known breeding females, lobsters caught carrying eggs must be notched on the tail flipper second from the right. Those females can not be kept or sold for as long as the mark in the tail is showing – usually about five years.


The terrifying Komodo dragon was thought to be as fake as a unicorn until 1912

Unicorns, dragons, and centaurs all make up the the long, long list of mythical creatures that have no evidence of existing but are so ingrained in cultures that it's tough to believe they aren't real.

However, curious enough, there are creatures that were thought to be mythological, that actually ended up being real. Take for instance the Komodo dragon.

The Komodo dragon, or Komodo monitor, is one of the largest species of lizard that is found on various Indonesian islands. It grows to a maximum length of 10 feet and can weigh up to 150 pounds. This thing is more terrifying than a UFC fighter. Because of their size, they tend to dominate their ecosystem and are happy to hunt down and ambush their prey which includes birds, mammals, and invertebrates. They have been known to take out humans with ease.

They were first documented by Europeans in 1910, described as a "land crocodile." The rumors reached Dutch colonial administration member Lieutenant van Steyn van Hensbroek who went looking for them in 1912. He collected a skin and photo that was published by the Zoological Museum, and thus the first proof that they existed.

The first two live specimens to arrive in Europe were shown off at the London Zoo when it opened in 1927.


Scientists have proven that dolphins communicate using intelligent language. Find out more!

A scientist named Lawrence Doyle decided to apply information theory to language. To do this he created a chain of completely random words and then plotted the frequency that any particular word shows up, on a graph.

It resulted in a graph showing a zero degree horizontal line. In other words, any one word has the exact same likelihood as any other word of showing up in a random chain. Intelligent language that conveys knowledge is different.

We use some words much more often than others, for example, 'the,' 'to,' and 'and.' Some words like 'oblique' and 'intercept' are uncommon. If you plot intelligent human language by the frequency of words used, a 45 degree slope emerges because the common words will show up more often on the graph and the unusual words less often.

This slope will show up when you test any human language, even if you don't recognize a certain language as even being a language. The slope will determine if it's random noise or an intelligent language.

Doyle decided to test dolphin sounds using this method of information theory. They graphed each distinct basic unit of dolphin squeaks and found it resulted in a perfect 45 degree slope. This proves that, even though we have absolutely no way of telling what dolphins are saying, we now know for sure that they use an intelligent language to communicate, not just random squeaks.


Some awesome lists!

Sea otters have a skin pouch to store their favorite rocks. Where is it located?

Sea otters are just the most adorable. With their fur and their flippers and their swimming in the kelp forests, they're just like little stuffed animals. And to make them even cuter, they collect their favorite rocks.

Under each forearm, the sea otter has baggy folds of skin. The otters store food in these folds. They also store their favorite rocks. They use these rocks to break open mollusks and clams for food. Otters can crack open sea urchins and crabs with just their teeth.

The adult sea otter is the smallest marine mammal and it is an endangered species. Sea otters are also the only marine mammal that does not have a layer of blubber to keep it warm. Instead, their thick fur insulates them and keeps their body around 100 degrees.


Crows are considered the fifth smartest non-human animal on the planet. What are the first four?

In the contest for the title of smartest animal on the planet, Chimps received first place. Their intellectual abilities have astounded the human race for quite some time. They can solve advanced problems, learn sign language and use it to communicate with humans. They outperform humans in number memory tests and can be taught to use a computer to solve numerical problems.

Coming in at second place are dolphins. They have a sophisticated language and can respond to behavioral commands. They were used as informants to carry messages during wars. Their cerebral cortex and frontal lobe are 40% bigger than humans.

In third place there is the orangutan. They are just behind humans as far as being gifted with an intellectual brain goes. They have a strong culture and a system of communication. They are handy with tools, but it is their strong social bonds that contribute to their advanced cognitive skills.

Elephants are fourth because of their exceptional memories. They also clean their food before eating and are empathetic, mourning the death of family members. They can remember exact locations of watering holes.

Finally, 5th place goes to crows. They are opportunists who gather nuts and then place them on roads for passing cars to crack. They will then wait for the traffic light to change before safely collecting their snacks. They use specific dialects to communicate and deliberately play tricks on one another.



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