The Blue Sea Slug or Blue Dragon Packs a More Potent Sting than a Man O’ War

Blue Sea Slugs, or Blue Dragons, or Blue Mollusks live off shore of Australia and South Africa.

They float upside down on ocean currents until they find their prey — Portuguese Man o’ Wars.

They attach themselves to the tentacles of the large, giant, venomous jellyfish-like creatures and feed.

They store the Man o’ War’s venom in the spiny finger-like protrusions.

The venom becomes so concentrated in their tiny, 10x-smaller bodies, they pack a vicious sting.

P.S. They are hermaphrodites — possessing both male and female sex parts.  Both partners in a pair produce eggs.

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Young Ducklings Grow Up in Late Summer

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Photo by Juliet / 8-20-2014

For the first few months of their lives, mallard ducklings look the same regardless of sex.

By month two, as the ducklings become juveniles, their plumage starts to change.

Females’ feathers darken and their feet turn orange.

The males’ beaks turn yellow; females’ beaks turn black or occasionally orange.

Males’ feathers change a little later to silver-white along the body and the distinctive glossy green feathers on the head.

By month 14, both sexes are adults and ready to mate.

Mallards live on average 3 years, but some can live to be 20.

 

The Formal Name for Daddy Longlegs is Harvestman

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Photo by Juliet . 6-5-2015

Harvestmen belong to a different order of Arachnids than spiders.

The main difference is that harvestmen appear to have only one main body part while spiders have two obvious main body sections.

The Harvestman’s legs are also much longer–hence the colloquial name–and the joints at the body look almost like plugs.

Havestmen do not have venom glands or silk glands.

They are harmless to humans, and they eat lots of bugs like ticks and chiggers which are pests to us.

They are among the oldest of the arachnids. Fossils have been found that are over 410 million years old. One 165 million-year-old fossil looks barely unchanged compared to living harvestmen.

Each harvestman lives only a year.

Sun Rays through Clouds Are Called Crepuscular Rays

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Photo by Juliet . 8-15-2015

Sun rays that pass through clouds are called “crepuscular rays.” This means “twilight rays” and they are called this because they are most obvious at twilight. But they can occur at any time of day.

They only appear to extend from a single point; in reality, they are parallel to each other.

It is our perspective that makes them seem to radiate from one point, the same way several rows of planted cops will seem to converge at a single point.

The ancient Greeks believed these rays were the way in which the sun drew water back into the sky, so they called the effect “Sun drawing water.”

People use lots of names to describe this effect:

Buddha’s fingers

Cloud breaks

Gateways to heaven

God’s rays

Jesus’ fingers

Jacob’s Ladder

Ropes of Maui — from a tale about how a Maui trickster-hero restrained the sun with ropes to make the days longer

Sunbursts

Daisy

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Photo by Juliet . 6-7-2013

Each daisy is actually two flowers: the white petals and the yellow “eye.”

The name “daisy” comes from the Old English “daes eag,” which mean’s “day’s eye.”

10% of all flowering plants on Earth are daisies.

They grow on every continent except Antarctica.

Daisies will forever remind me of Harold & Maude:

Yellow Swallowtails Landed in My Shadow

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Photo by Juliet .  5-28-2016

Yellow swallowtails in the northern U.S. are usually born in May.

To get minerals, butterflies drink from mud puddles.

Butterflies are near-sighted, but they can see many more colors than humans can.

The yellow swallowtail was the subject of the first known drawing of a North American butterfly, drawn in 1587.

Butterflies in the stomach is a physical sensation caused by a release of adrenaline, which results in a drop in blood flow. Or you may have had several real butterflies land on your stomach.

Brazilian Soldier Rescues Jaguar in Flood

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Photo by SuperMM at Imgur

This was one of several orphaned Brazilian jaguars that was being cared for in a military zoo.

Jaguars’ spots are usually described as rosette-shaped.

Jaguars like to swim, fish, and climb trees.

They eat everything from fish and snakes to sloths and crocodiles.

There are many stories of jaguars trailing people for miles through the forest. Some say they were “escorting” the hapless humans through their territory.