Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
Everyone loves a panda…they might be the kitschiest animal humanity has driven to the brink of extinction yet. From stuffed animals to martial arts-trained CGI abominations, we just can’t seem to get enough of the bi-colored beasts. Though their “aww factor” may verge on the cloying, it hasn’t been without effect. China, which is home to the remaining wild population of fewer than 2,500 individuals, has since the late 1980s instituted more stringent habitat protections and poaching has all but ceased. Their status is still tenuous, though. Their range is fragmented and they are still subject to disease, occasional predation, and starvation when large swathes of the bamboo on which they feed complete their life cycle and dies.
Tiger (Panthera tigris)
William Blake’s “forests of the night,” the stalking grounds of the six subspecies of tiger, are burning bright. Slash-and-burn agriculture, along with logging, and human encroachment, have hugely diminished the habitat bavailable to these felines, which require extensive ranges capable of supporting the large herbivores that constitute the bulk of their diets. Poaching—for trophies and body parts used in Asian “medicine” —is thought to pose the greatest threat to tigers. Probably fewer than 4,000 are left in the wild. In 2014, China explicitly outlawed the consumption of endangered species, including tigers, whose bones, penises, and other organs are superstitiously believed to have magical curative powers.
Whooping crane (Grus americana)
In 1938, the first year a population survey was conducted, only 29 whooping cranes remained in the wild. Three years later, only 16 were left. Hunting and reduction of their wetland habitat had vitiated the population and concerted efforts to salvage remnant birds did not being until the late 1960s. Today, there are over 400 birds, thanks in large part to innovative breeding programs. Though a plan that involved transferring whooping crane eggs to the nests of related sandhill cranes for fostering ultimately failed, captive rearing and reintroduction have established two wild populations in Florida, one of which has been taught to migrate to Wisconsin. Neither is self-sustaining. The only self-sustaining population migrates between Alberta, Canada, and Texas, U.S.
Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
There are fewer than 25,000 blue whales, the largest animals on the planet. Comprising several subspecies, blue whales are found in all of the world’s oceans save the Arctic. The current population is thought to have been reduced by up to 90% by whaling in the 20th century. Commercial hunting of the species was ultimately banned in 1966. The National Marine Fisheries Service of the U.S. spelled out a recovery plan in 1998. It stipulated the maintenance of photo databases of individual specimens and the collection of genetic and migration data in order to better understand the species, which remains at risk from ship collisions and entanglement in fishing nets.
Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
The IUCN’s best guess on the current population of Asian elephants, which inhabit 13 countries, is around 40,000–50,000. That number may be far lower; some regions inhabited by the lumbering pachyderms are inaccessible due to the terrain or to political volatility. Over 50% of the population is concentrated in India. The burgeoning human population there—and elsewhere in Asia—creates conflicts for space and resources. And while the tusks of Asian elephants are much smaller than those of their African counterparts, the Asian species is still poached for its ivory, meat, and skin.
Sea otter (Enhydra lutris)
The luxurious waterproof coat that insulates sea otters from the chilly waters that they inhabit almost led to its extinction. A target of the commercial fur trade, the species was almost wiped out, with only some 2,000 of an estimated 300,000 left by 1911. That year, an international ban on commercial hunting was enacted. Though that ban, along with management and conservation measures taken in the wake of the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, have helped populations recover to perhaps a third of their earlier numbers, they are highly vulnerable to both natural phenomena such as killer whale predation and to anthropogenic factors such as oil spills.
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)
Though it’s called a leopard—and certainly resembles a frosted version of those spotted habitués of more equatorial regions—the snow leopard is actually more closely related to the tiger, at least per genetic analysis. Probably fewer than 6,500 remain in the wild, though due to the remote mountainous terrain preferred by the species, and its elusive nature, data is hard to come by. The largest populations are in China and Mongolia, with significant populations in India and Kyrgyzstan as well. Its natural prey include blue sheep and ibex, but in some areas, it is heavily dependent on domestic animals. The farmers who depend upon the animals shoot the “problem” leopards. Poaching still constitutes a major threat to the species, as does overhunting of its natural prey species.
Gorilla (Gorilla beringei andGorilla gorilla)
Depending on who you ask, there are either two species of gorilla, the eastern (Gorilla beringei) and western (Gorilla gorilla), or three subspecies, the eastern lowland, western lowland, and mountain gorillas. Regardless of who you ask, all gorillas are endangered. There are probably only around 220,000 left in the wild. Habitat encroachment and poaching for bushmeat, trophies, and magical talismans have led to substantial losses. Because their social structure is so complex and because they reproduce slowly—with females only giving birth once every four years at best—the removal of even a few individuals from a gorilla troop can catastrophically impact its ability to sustain itself.
Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)
Between 1996 and 2008, the population of Tasmanian devils dropped some 60% due a contagious cancer known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease. It continues to decimate populations of the species, which only occurs on the Australian island of Tasmania. There may only be 10,000 wild individuals remaining. Captive breeding of uninfected individuals has been instituted and efforts have been made to develop a vaccine for the cancer, which is thought to have stemmed from mutated cells from a single specimen.
Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
“Orangutan” is Malaysian for “person of the forest.” Though morphologically they may resemble melted Muppets more than people, their sophisticated cognitive abilities are very human indeed. Like gorillas and chimpanzees, they have been known to use tools. Due in large part to logging and capture for the exotic pet trade, orangutans—restricted to the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra—number fewer than 60,000 per a 2004 study. Unlike other great apes, they are usually solitary or live in groups of fewer than three, making them difficult to track and study.
Top 10 friendly animals
God produces numerous creatures around us, including some that are very vicious creatures, while others are pleasant animals that are raised as pets in homes. Animals are the most aggressive and dangerous of all breathing creatures but some of them are still the loveliest. Human-animal relationships are affected by behaviours that are important for both humans and animals.
Dolphins are considered to be the kindest and most pleasant creatures on the planet. As a result, they are well-known for their social interaction and communication conduct. Dolphins are often seen off the coast of Iceland, which is known as the “Land of the Dolphins.” This marine species is familiar to humans and can swim alongside ships and boats in the sea. They also interact with humans by physical communication and tinkling sounds. Dolphins normally fly in groups from one location to another in this manner. Their primary learning is for displays at various ocean parks and sea worlds.
The panda is one of the kindest creatures in the world, if not the entire animal kingdom. They are often seen in China’s central region. Its black and white fur complements its appearance. Baby pandas are regarded as one of the sweetest and loveliest animal babies because they feed primarily on bamboos and tend to live in jungles. This most amiable species is also capable of swimming.
The dog is one of the most devoted and friendly creatures on the planet. It is purely a domineering beast. Dogs are the most popular animal among humans due to their caring nature. There are several dog species present. Most humans kept them for security reasons because they are naturally defensive. Because of their rough and athletic temperament, they receive specialized training and are kept as combat dogs in military and police departments.
A horse is a very sweet animal, as well as a very loyal and helpful animal. Horses come in over 300 separate varieties Most notably, they have been used in historical battles. Horses are indeed the most attractive and graceful species in the entire animal kingdom. As a result, they are regarded as a sign of a luxury lifestyle by humans. Their nature and actions are very close to humans.
Rabbits are widely regarded as the sweetest and loveliest creatures on the planet. They are really cheerful and enjoyable creatures. As a result, it is often kept as a pet. Rabbits can be very friendly. Rabbits make excellent pets. For their well-being, they need proper accommodation, exercise, socialisation, and nutrition. In nature, their large ears give them the appearance of being more gentle and interested.
Cats are by far the most appealing of all animals. They are one of the most popular domestic pets due to their loving approach. Because of its enjoyable and friendly personality, humans are fascinated with this pet. They enjoy keeping their surroundings neat and clean. Cats enjoy performing clever techniques and are well-versed in their master’s language. They are smart and return to their house even they leave a distant location.
The lovely white sweetest animal in the planet, the emblem of goodwill, compassion, and loyalty, feeds on both water and soil. They are well-known for remaining loyal to their leaders. As a result, they have a rather possessive attitude toward their children. Swans are the biggest flying bird in North America, with wingspan of up to ten feet.
Sheep are considered an old acquaintance of humans. It is solely a house pet that provides humans with not only wool but also meat to consume. Similarly, their purity and lack of aggression make them the friendliest species. Sheep are easily adaptable to their surroundings. They prefer to stick attached to one another, making it simple to shift them in a group from one field to another.
Deer is a very gentle species that gets along well with humans and other species. They are regarded as goats, and people all over the world consume their milk and use their meat. They coexist with humans, but there is no mass in their existence. This animal is very well-behaved and will never assault their master. Friendly animals have been communicating with humans for a long time and are still an important part of society.
Most of the other animals in this group of mammals are also known as monkeys. The monkey is a violent species but it is also a very sweet animal. They grow to be very nice to humans and herd creatures in society. This is the only animal that can invest their lives life with their owner and become a member of his or her life.They go wherever their master goes, and there are legislation and regulations in place to keep this animal safe. Since this animal is very sweet and beneficial to humans, it eats and drinks with them and participates in various games. Some animal species care for humans in the same way as mothers do.
Top 10 Guard Dog Breeds
This article is for those in search of best guard dogs in India as Guard dog breed are special dogs used to protect their owners from any threat. The most common pet animal to rely on for safety purposes has been guard dogs since many years. They are considered to be well with people and they are always with you in order to protect against risk. Not only are they a good companion, but they are also the strongest guards.
A Kangal Shepherd Dog serving on duty will be stationed at a high point of view overlooking its flock. The dog will dig a hollow in the ground on hot days to keep themselves cool. Through staying close to older dogs, novices will learn the skills.
Depending on the size of the flock, the dogs will work in pairs or teams, take positions around the sheep, and change their positions as necessary.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a dog that is extremely independent, self-confident, fearless, and smart. It is a territorial dog that is highly protective and careful of unfamiliar people.
He’s a low-activity dog, seemingly lethargic when he doesn’t work, but loud and aggressive when he feels that his family is in danger. Although some strains are more violent than others, they are often very territorial and aggressive towards other dogs, requiring early and cautious specific socialization, as well as consistent but not a forceful handling.
Giant Schnauzers are typically a gentle breed.Because of their nature, the Giant Schnauzer is inherently suspicious of outsiders and can be very territorial.Typically, once met, it embraces novel people or situations.
Giant Schnauzers are trust worthy around children. They are very intelligent and can easily get bored.They are also very lively and highly spirited,which can lead to unnecessary and destructive behavior if combined with boredom.
GSDs are moderately active dogs and are defined as self-assured in breed standards.The breed is characterized by a willingness to learn and a willingness to have a mission. They are curious, which makes them perfect for search missions and excellent guard dogs.
They may become over-protective of their family and property, especially if not properly socialized.
Rottweilers are a versatile breed whose genetic herding and instincts are well developed. Potentially dangerous behaviors usually result from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialization and training in Rottweilers. Nevertheless, the Rottweiler’s outstanding intensity is another risk factor not to be underestimated.
For this reason, breed experts announce that all Rottweilers require formal training and thorough socialization.
Dogos are big-game hunters, as well as being trained in search and rescue, police aid, service dogs, guide to blind, competitive obedience, Schutzhund and military duty. The Dogo is a courageous and intelligent dog with a deep, natural instinct to protect his family and home. Dogos are very social animals and if included in all family activities, they are happiest.
Despite being considered working dogs, Dobermanns are often stereotyped as vicious and aggressive.The Dobermann was initially bred for these traits as a personal security dog.
They had to be big and imposing, courageous and willing to defend his owner against attackers (especially other guard dogs), but he had to be sufficiently compliant and disciplined to do so only by command.
As Tibets & west’s flock guardian dog, it uses all the usual tactics for keeping animals (e.g. barking, scent marking perimeters) to alert predators and avoid direct confrontations. It can thrive in a spacious, fenced yard with a canine companion as a socialized, more domestic dog, but it is generally not a suitable dog for living in an apartment. The Western-bred dogs, though somewhat aloof with strangers coming home, are generally more easy-going.
The Komondor was intended for the protection of livestock. His nature is like that of most livestock watching dogs; when things are ordinary, it is calm and steady, but in case of trouble, the dog will protect his flocks fearlessly.
They were built for critical thinking and acting and making decisions on its own.
With his Family, the Komondor is affectionate and compassionate with the family’s children and friends.
The Kuvasz is a smart dog and is often described as having a clownish sense of humor that can last throughout their adolescence and adulthood.They are intensely loyal and compassionate pets who love affection, but may also be very aloof or independent, as well as being thoroughly intelligent, particularly with strangers. This breed is only for professional handlers.
These are the top 10 most popular guardian dogs that may fit so perfectly for all your requirements.
Top 10 Most Beautiful Fishes In The World
Many of us can remember bringing home a goldfish and watching it swim around in its little fishbowl, mesmerized. Well, with all due respect to the beloved goldfish, the fish below can turn any simple aquarium into a spectacular display of colors and shapes, because these are some of the most beautiful fish in the world!
So here I have with me the list of top 10 most beautiful fishes in the world that will make you amazed in all possible ways.
The Clown Triggerfish is one of the most spectacular fish of its species, the family Balistidae because its body has a magnificent variety of spots in different colors such as black, yellow, white and light blue. This fish with bright yellow lips prefers to live alone in its territory, meaning that in the vicinity of other fish, especially fish smaller than it, it can be aggressive.
This fish is somewhat reminiscent of the parrot, because of its thick, prominent lips that resemble its beak. With its beak’s help, it nibbles on coral reefs, chews the little creatures inside and spits out the leftovers of the inedible corals, meaning the way it eats it isn’t so different from the colored bird. But this isn’t the most impressive thing about this fish, because the amazing colors that color it are what make it so beautiful.
It is not by chance that this fish has been named ‘Emperor of the Generation’ – this type is one of the most beautiful fish in the world thanks to the amazing color contrast on its body, which is composed of brilliant blues, dark blues and whites. But these colors don’t stay that way for its whole life. When the fish reaches adulthood, after about four years, the colors arranged in the rings around its body change and are replaced with strips of yellow and blue, and two back spots around its eyes.
The Picasso Triggerfish, a cousin of the Clown Triggerfish, is also present in the Gulf of Aqaba and other coral reefs along the Indian Ocean. This spectacular fish has an elliptical body shape, a large head and a particularly powerful mouth that is designed to break oysters and shells. Although fish are thought to have weak long-term memory, the Picasso and other fish belonging to the Balistidae family are intelligent fish that can remember and learn from past experiences!
Surprisingly, these impressive fish, with yellow scales that adorn their bodies, are edible and apparently are quite tasty, so in some countries you may find them for sale in the fish markets. These fish are found in the Western Atlantic Ocean, as well as in the Caribbean, along the coasts of Mexico and Brazil, and can grow up to 40 centimeters in length.
You probably recognize the Clownfish as the species that stars in the movie “Finding Nemo.” Although the colors most commonly associated with this fish are orange, white and black, there are other colors of Clownfish. The small fish, which usually grows up to eight centimeters long, travels in a school which at the top of its hierarchy sits the dominant female who is responsible for breeding.
The Zebrasoma are best known for their complementary and harmonic colors: the hypnotic blue-purple color on their bodies and the bright yellow color at the tip of their tails make them the world’s most sought-after and popular fish. However, these fish are also used as bait thanks to the strong scent they secrete, which attracts other fish.
These tiny and unique fish, decorated with long, curly fins, can be found only in one place in the world, in their natural habitat, namely the Banggai Islands of Indonesia. Because these fish are so beautiful and rare, they have become a very sought-after variety in the commercial fish market. Because of this, and because of the very small initial number of this species, these fish are in serious danger of extinction.
Of the Angel family, this species is the most colorful, and boasts many shades of blue and yellow, with its face, as its name suggests, colored blue. These fish are common in the waters of the Indian and Pacific Ocean, especially in the shallows, and their size is also considered to be relatively large among the nautical fish, with a length of 35 centimeters.
The Idol, with its body as thin as a CD, is common in the Indian Ocean and near Japan and South Africa. The Moorish fish received their name from the African Muslims, also known as Moors, who believed that these fish would spread happiness to everyone in their path. Their beauty has made them a sought-after species among ornamental fish enthusiasts, but because these fish are delicate and sensitive, many of them can’t survive and live longer in aquarium conditions.
These are the top 10 most beautiful varieties of fishes that you could probably fall in love at the very first encounter.
Top 10 Rabbit Breeds That Makes The Best Pets
Rabbits are adorable and sociable pets, and you will have fun watching them leap on your lap and stroking them. However, before you bring that rabbit home, you have to make sure that it is the right breed for your family. In this article, we have compiled a list of the 10 best rabbit breeds to help you make that choice.
You can easily spot a Himalayan Rabbit because of its unique dark markings on the ears, tail, and feet. The fur on its body is white, and the nose has an egg-shaped mark. It is medium sized, as it weighs 5lbs when fully grown. Because of its short fur, it cannot withstand the winter cold, so you should make arrangements to transfer it indoors during winter. The Himalayan is a gentle rabbit, and it’s very calm even when the kids handle it roughly.
The Hotot is a small breed with unique coloring, and they are famous for the dark coloring around the eyes and their all-white coat. Their ears are upright and they only weigh less than 3lbs; also they have a lifespan of 8 years. You can keep them in small cages because of their small size. When feeding them, make sure they don’t overeat.
One distinguishing feature about the Mini Lop is the large head and the long thick floppy ears. Also, it has a round body, and the fur is patterned in a variety of colors. They weigh 6lbs and they have no specific health concerns. The Mini Lop has a lifespan of 10 years, so you have to plan your finances to cater for this rabbit throughout its lifespan. This bunny is playful and cheerful, and it can also be trained.
The Netherland Dwarf is a small rabbit with small and short ears. They weigh 2.5lbs and they have a lifespan of 12 years. These bunnies are susceptible to malocclusion when young, that’s why proper feeding of the rabbit with fibrous feeds such as grasses and hay are recommended. When purchasing this bunny, look at the dental alignment first so that you don’t end up buying a rabbit with malocclusion.
The Lionhead is a crossbreed between the Swiss Fox and the Netherland Dwarf. The long fur around their ears resembles a lion mane, which makes it unique. It weighs 3.5lbs and has a lifespan of 10 years. The long hair needs to be groomed daily, as the fur can easily get tangled in objects as it runs around the house or outdoors. There are no specific health issues with this breed, other than the general illnesses of most rabbits. This bunny loves to be picked up and carried everywhere.
This bunny is a cross between the Netherland Dwarf and the French Angora. The heads are bold and square, which gives it a unique appearance. The ears are short and small, and they only weigh 2lbs due to their small size. They only need a small sized cage, and a lot of grooming, since they are wooly. That’s why they are at a higher risk of suffering from a wool block. The Jersey wooly bunny makes an excellent pet for cuddling, because of their wooly nature, in addition to their docile personality.
The Mini Satin has a shiny coat with many colors and patterns, and the shiny brown color is synonymous with this breed. The head and the body are round in shape, and it weighs 3.5lbs. Because of its small size, you can purchase a small cage or enclosure, which saves space if you live in a small apartment. No specific conditions are known to affect the Mini Satin rabbit breed.
You can easily spot this breed because unlike most rabbit breeds, the Mini Rex fur sticks out, as opposed to lying flat on the body. They have short necks, and the ears are long and erect. The fur is dense, and you can quickly feel the velvety undercoat. You will also notice that they have rounded backs, and they weigh 3.5lbs when fully grown. They are also extremely friendly and calm, and when they become familiar with the kids, they will follow them around to cuddle.
The Harlequins are known for their distinctive coatings and their broadheads. The body markings come in many colors and are either bars or bands. The ears are long and floppy, and they are more prominent as they weigh 9lbs when fully grown. The average lifespan of this bunny is seven years. Also, no specific health conditions are affecting this breed. This bunny likes socializing and playing, which makes it a great play companion for kids.
The Chinchilla is a cross between the Himalayans and the wild rabbits. They have a plump body, as they weigh 7lbs when fully grown. Also, they have short and soft fur, and the ears are erect. The Chinchilla is highly susceptible to ear mites, so you should always be on the look-out. They have a lifespan of 8 years.
This breed is famous as a pet breed because of its docile and calm nature, and the Chinchilla loves being cuddled.
So here we are at the end of exploring some of the best pet rabbit breeds that you might consider while you buy one for yourself.
Top 10 interesting facts about Australia that may surprise you!!!
Australia is a land of diversity, food, history and some well-loved weirdness! For a quick doze of some really crazy facts about Australia From venomous spiders to ski resorts and the invention of selfies, the Land Down Under is a truly peculiar part of Earth. Both kangaroos and emus lack the ability to walk backwards. For this reason, the Australian army features the animals on their uniforms. Canberra was selected Australia’s capital for the sole reason of resolving disputes between Sydney and Melbourne which had both wanted to be the country’s administrative center. Australia is the only continent in the world without an active volcano. The place is deadly enough already
The Australian Alps get more snow than the Swiss Alps
While many people visit Australia for its brilliant beaches and year-round sunshine, the Australian Alps, straddling New South Wales and Victoria, are a mecca for skiing enthusiasts. Snow usually falls between June and September, meaning Australia is the perfect place to get your skiing fix during the northern hemisphere summer.
Thredbo and Perisher are two large resorts near Canberra, the latter being the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere. Blue Cow Mountain is one of the most popular areas, with a vast range of accommodation and runs as well as stunning views across the Alps.
90% of Australians live on the coast
The large deserts of central Australia mean that the vast majority of the population live on the shores of this enormous country. The large cities of Perth, Sydney and Melbourne are iconic places to visit, with buzzing centres and a multitude of beaches, from the sands of Bondi to the surf of Trigg. Outside of the major hubs, there are hundreds of smaller beach towns where you can appreciate Australia’s beautiful coastline.
Explore Port Macquarie in New South Wales and catch your own dinner or head up to Queensland and discover the parties of Airlie Beach. Australia’s island status means that there are thousands of surf towns and beaches to be found, so follow the masses and head to the coast.
Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world
The island of Tasmania is the ideal spot to experience the great outdoors – with air as clean as Antarctica, around one-third of the state is a national park or World Heritage protected. It is a walkers paradise, with trails and walkways winding over the whole island, where the coastal paths reveal impressive views over Wineglass Bay and the Bay of Fires.
If walking isn’t your cup of tea, enjoy kayaking, mountain biking and exploring the island’s caves. The wildlife is an extension of the unique animals of Australia, where the Eastern Quoll, now considered extinct on the mainland are commonly sighted in the fertile farmland of Tasmania.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest eco-system in the world
The Great Barrier Reef is the pride and joy of Australia, made up of nearly 2,500 individual reefs and visible from space. It stretched halfway down the eastern coast of the country, meaning there are plenty of places to use as jumping-off points to explore the kaleidoscopic coral.
Cairns is the most famous city to begin a trip out to the reef but Townsville, Port Douglas and Airlie Beach all have great beaches and various tours that can take you out to enjoy the reef. Snorkelling and diving amongst the colorful fish and turtles that make the Great Barrier Reef their home is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Australia.
Australia has over 60 separate wine regions
You can’t go to Australia and not try the wine! With such a huge variety of wine regions, it’s hard to choose between them. The majority of the wine regions are in New South Wales and Victoria so if you fancy discovering a few of them a road trip between Sydney and Melbourne would be a great way to go about it.
Take your time to explore the Southern Highlands, Tumbarumba and Alpine Valleys, one of the most picturesque wine regions in Australia, yielding wine from a variety of grapes, from Sauvignon Vert to Chardonnay. Western Australia also has a number of vineyards that are all reachable from Perth, a great trip out of the city to enjoy the wine regions of Australia.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world
The sandy shores of Fraser Island are a highlight of any trip to Queensland. Hervey Bay is the jumping-off point for exploring the island, so hop on a boat and discover the delights of this island paradise – the clear blue waters of Lake MacKenzie surrounded by the white sand shore and the serenity of Champagne Pools, where you can swim in the shallow pools at the edge of the ocean. There are 150 dingoes on the island so it is a great opportunity to spot one of Australia’s famous wild dogs but keep your distance as they are wild animals and can be aggressive if approached.
Indian Pacific train has the longest straight section of train track in the world
Australia boasts a number of spectacular rail journeys. Between Sydney and Perth lies the Indian Pacific, the railway that snakes its way across the country through the stunning Blue Mountains into the outback towards the mountainous Flinders Ranges.
Stopping off in Adelaide is a must – enjoy gourmet food, art museums and the wide-open spaces of the city. Moving off again takes you across the Nullabor Plain where the straight section occurs before sweeping through the fertile Avon Valley and into Perth. Riding the Indian Pacific is a wonderful way of seeing the varied landscapes of Australia whilst enjoying the luxury services of the train.
The Great Ocean Road is the world’s largest war memorial
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most famous drives in Australia, with stunning views and scenic vistas along the route. Built by returning soldiers after World War One, the road was dedicated as a memorial to those who died fighting and was designed to connect the isolated communities that clung to the edge of Victoria’s rugged coastline.
The Twelve Apostles are the famous sight on this winding route but the Split Point Lighthouse, the charming towns of Port Fairy and the surf coast of Apollo Bay are equally beautiful places to visit. Between June and September, you can spot Southern Right Whales along the coast where they come to migrate in the winter months. The road stretches between Torquay and Allansford, ideal as a surface sector road trip between Melbourne and Adelaide.
80% of the animals are unique to Australia
The animals of Australia are some of the most interesting in the world, from cuddly marsupials to a huge variety of birds. There are so many opportunities to experience the wildlife of the country, from zoos and parks to spotting these unique creatures in the wild.
It is easy to spot kangaroos in the fields and farmland of New South Wales but koalas and platypuses are a little more elusive so if you want to see them in the wild, having a guide show you the spots where they often hide can be very useful. Sydney Wildlife World in the center of the city is a great place to spot anything you miss.
2.5 km of Uluru is underground
The vast rock of Uluru sits in the red centre of Australia, surrounded by scrubland and sacred to various Aboriginal tribes in the area. It is one of the few places on the earth to be listed twice as a UNESCO World Heritage site, both on the cultural and natural lists. Amazingly around 2.5km of the rock is thought to be underground connected to the Olgas, where the rock emerges again 16 miles away.
Experiencing Uluru at sunset is the best way to appreciate its stark beauty and after dark, the pitch-black skies reveal a multitude of sparkling stars. It is easy to visit Uluru from Alice Springs, reachable by plane or as a stop on the Ghan, the railway from Adelaide to Darwin.
Top 10 the Most Venomous Snake Species in the World
“What is the most venomous snake in the world?” That’s a question that just about every outdoors person has either asked or certainly wondered. Snakes are highly effective predators, and some species that rely on venom for hunting and self-defense can deliver a bite toxic enough to kill animals many times their size. The bite of a king cobra, for instance, can kill an elephant. Yet, despite the fear of snakes that has such a deep hold on the human psyche, the critters aren’t out to get us. “ Snake doesn’t attack people,” says Luke Welton, collection manager in herpetology at the Kansas University Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum. “They are most often startled or put in a situation where they feel the need to defend themselves, and they do so by the only means they have available—escape, musk, bite. It just so happens that the means these snakes have is venom.”
Eastern Coral Snake – Micurus fulvius –
Red touches black, a friend of Jack. Red touches yellow, kill a fellow. That’s the rhyme millions of schoolchildren learned to warn them that the eastern coral snake is best left alone. Ranging throughout the southeastern and Gulf coasts in the United States, the coral preys primarily on reptiles, including other snakes. One of the few terrestrial venomous snakes in the United States with fixed, hollow fangs, it’s even less prone to confrontation than the copperhead, making it America’s least aggressive venomous snake. It’s also a prime example of an evolutionary strategy known as Batesian mimicry: A harmless mimic (in this case, several species of milk snakes) takes on the physical appearance of a noxious model (the eastern coral snake) to protect itself from predators that have evolved to steer clear of red and yellow snakes.
Blue-Lipped Sea Krait – Laticauda laticaudata –
Found near coral reefs and rocky areas along the seashores of southeast Asia, this vibrantly colored 4-foot long serpent was the first venomous sea snake known to science, described by Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, in his classic 1735 treatise, Systema Naturae. Blue-lipped kraits, docile and slow to bite, inject a venom dominated by postsynaptic neurotoxins that causes little or no local effects but can lead to paralysis, muscle damage, or bleeding within hours. The snakes are known for their unique strategy for keeping warm—by curling up in nesting burrows created by wedge-tailed shearwaters. Research shows the snakes use the body heat generated by the shorebirds to raise their own temperatures by 10 degrees.
Many-Banded Krait – Bungarus multicinctus
In southeast Asia, where the most toxic snakes are sea dwellers, the many-banded krait stands out as a deadly terrestrial species. A nocturnal hunter in lowland marshy areas that prey primarily on fish, the krait is also known to eat lizards, frogs, eels, rodents, and other snakes—including members of its own species. The extremely powerful venom, composed mainly of neurotoxins, has been estimated to produce mortality rates as high as 70 to 100 percent. In 2001, herpetologist Joe Slowinski died 29 hours after being bitten by a krait that had been misidentified as the white-banded wolf snake, a harmless krait lookalike.
Common Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait – Laticauda Colubrina –
Sharing the same geographic range as the olive-brown and Belcher’s sea snakes, the common yellow-lipped sea krait is one of the few sea snakes that come ashore, which can make a moonlight stroll along a southeast Asian beach potentially perilous. “I’ve been to parts of Indonesia where it’s not uncommon on a good night to see 10 to 20 on the same stretch of beach,” Welton says. Relatively docile in water, they’re even less aggressive on land, because their movements are much more deliberate and awkward. “Most people who get bitten by these snakes likely step on them because they’re not watching where they’re walking.”
Olive Brown Sea Snake – Aipysurus laevis
The most common sea snake on the northern Australian coast, the olive-brown can grow to 6 ½ feet long and can spend two hours underwater before it needs to surface for a breath. Found as deep as 230 feet, this snake more commonly prefers shallow reef flats, where it preys on fish, crabs, and prawns. Like most sea snakes, it has a paddle tail that helps it swim, but the olive brown’s tail also has light-sensitive photoreceptors, which are thought to enable the snake to stay completely hidden to avoid predators. Unlike rattlesnakes and other vipers, whose venom is primarily hemotoxic (causing severe tissue damage and internal bleeding), sea-snake venom is dominated by neuron toxins: A bite often causes little pain at the site but can cause massive systemic failures, including paralysis and respiratory collapse—often with a delayed onset that makes poisonings difficult to reverse even when antivenom is available. The snake’s preference for hunting the same night-feeding fish targeted by bottom trawlers makes it a potential hazard for fishermen hauling nets.
Common Death Adder – Acanthophis antarcticus
The common death adder is one of the deadliest snakes in Australia. But while fearsomely named, this snake annually causes fewer deaths Down Under than a wide range of animals—including kangaroos, bees, dogs, cattle, and ponies. Considered a master of camouflage, this ambush predator covers itself with leaf litter and debris, then lies in wait on the forest floor for small mammals, birds, and amphibians, using its tail—which resembles a grub—as a lure. Curiously, the snake’s appetite for amphibians is making it a lot less common: Adult death adders feed on the invasive cane toad, which is itself toxic, with poison glands that are deadly to the snakes and other reptiles, such as turtles and crocodiles, that feed on them.
Belcher’s Sea Snake – Hydrophis belcheri –
Like the other three sea snakes on this list, the Belcher’s sea snake is found from the eastern Indian Ocean through southeast Asia and into northern coastal Australia. The species tend to stick to reef areas, where they prey on fish and go out of their way to avoid human reef divers and snorkelers. “All the sea snakes are relatively docile,” Welton says, “and you really have to pester them to get them to bite you.” In addition, the Belcher’s small mouth and short fangs mean any bite is unlikely to penetrate a wetsuit. If you do encounter one while snorkeling, Welton adds, “Appreciate it as a rare opportunity to see one in the wild, rather than a cause for fear. Unless you mess with it, it’s not going to mess with you.”
Copperhead – Agkistrodon contortrix –
America’s most common venomous snake (and the source of more snakebites in the U.S. than any other venomous species), the copperhead can be found all across eastern and southern North America in a wide diversity of habitat ranging from uplands to woodlands to grasslands. The copperhead is a surprising entrant on this list, given its reputation for many bites and few fatalities. That might be explained by the relatively low volume of venom delivered in a typical strike. Young copperheads are wily hunters, wiggling their green-tipped tails to lure in small lizards and rodents. The neon tail tip disappears as they age. In confrontations with people, copperheads generally favor flight over fight
Russell’s Viper – Daboia russelii –
A notoriously bad-tempered snake, Russell’s viper is responsible for roughly half of the fatal snakebites in its geographic range. That’s remarkable considering that its expansive distribution—from southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent and east to Taiwan—overlaps with kraits, cobras, and several other noteworthy venomous snakes. The snake’s cranky disposition and its focus on rats and lizards (which often live close to humans) as favored prey might account for this lethality. Another contributing factor is the extreme complexity of the snake’s venom. “A Russell’s venom features a really unique cocktail of components that just hammers all parts of the body,” Welton says. “It’s definitely not a snake you want to tangle with.”
Timber Rattlesnake – Crotalus horridus –
Ranging from eastern North America to as far west as Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, the timber rattlesnake is the only rattler species in the populous northeastern United States and is considered endangered or threatened throughout much of that region. Found mostly in woodlands, timber rattlers prey on rodents, birds, insects, and amphibians and are known to hunt during the daytime in spring and autumn, then switching to nocturnal hunts in warm weather. The snake’s highly toxic, and relatively complex, venom, long fangs, and high venom yield make it potentially one of America’s most lethal serpents. However, timber rattlers are generally considered shy and nervous and are quick to seek shelter when encountered afield. The species tends to rattle and feint extensively before striking, though it will stand its ground if harassed.
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