Monday, June 15, 2009

Return of the animals

This guy looks pretty scary and don't think you can outrun him either! Just remember there are people like this and we need to "pull their teeth" by our kind acts! (So, those of you who got your pliers, clamps etc. out, you need to put them away!)

"An Alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. The name alligator is an anglicized form of the Spanish el lagarto ("the lizard"), the name by which early Spanish explorers and settlers in Florida called the alligator.
This can be scary on a lot of levels...I sure wouldn't want to come across what the Spanish would call a real alligator if this was lizard like!

There are two living alligator species: the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis).
The first one is easy to find as it lives only in Mississippi and the other one has severe sinus problems (I can empathize here).

Alligators are characterized by a wider snout and eyes more dorsally located than their crocodile cousins. Both living species also tend to be darker in color, often nearly black but color is very dependent on the water. Algae-laden waters produce greener alligators; alligators from waters with a lot of tannic acid from overhanging trees are often darker (although the Chinese alligator has some light patterning.)
Wonder if a bubble bath (Bernie would recommend lavender to 'soothe the beast' in them) would lighten their color?

Also, in alligators only the upper teeth can be seen with the jaws closed (in contrast to true crocodiles, in which upper and lower teeth can be seen), though many individuals bear jaw deformities which complicate this means of identification.
Bear in mind that if you should feel the need to identify them this way, prying their mouths open is highly discouraged!

The eyes of a large alligator will glow red and those of a smaller one will glow green when a light is shined on them. This fact can be used to find alligators in the dark.
In this case green does NOT mean go (as in go ahead and leisurely check him out) and red does NOT mean stop (as in to pause and gawk)...they BOTH mean "what on earth were you thinking getting this close, anyway?!"

An average American alligator's weight and length is 800 lbs. and 13 feet long. According to the Everglades National Park website, the largest alligator ever recorded in Florida was 17 feet 5 inches long (5.3 meters). The largest alligator ever recorded measured 19 feet 2 inches (5.8 meters) and was found on Marsh Island, Louisiana. Few of the giant specimens were weighed, but the larger ones could have exceeded a ton in weight. The Chinese Alligator is smaller, rarely exceeding 7 feet (2 meters) in length.
They refused to be weighed because of how much they had gained eating gawking humans.

An alligator's lifespan is usually estimated in the range of 50 years or more. A specimen named Muja has resided in the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia since the zoo's opening in 1936, making it at least 70 years old. "
Obviously, this guy has only been eating health conscious human gawkers.

Fun Alligator Facts
"- There are only two countries on earth that have alligators: the United States and China.

- The Chinese alligator is endangered and lives only in the Yangtze River valley, though currently Rockefeller Wildlife refuge in southern Louisiana has several in captivity in an attempt to preserve the species. There are only estimated to be a couple of dozen left in the wild. There are many more of these alligators in zoos around the world than in the wild.

- Although alligators have heavy bodies and slow metabolisms, they are capable of short bursts of speed that can exceed 30 miles per hour, though this could more properly be classified as a short fast lunge rather than a dash.

- Alligators are opportunistic feeders, eating almost anything they can catch. When they are young they eat fish, insects, snails, and crustaceans. As they grow they take progressively larger prey items, including: larger fish such as gar, turtles, various mammals, birds, and other reptiles.
- While alligators are often confused with crocodiles, they belong to two quite separate taxonomic families, and are as distinct from one another as humans are from gorillas. As for appearance, one generally reliable rule is that alligators have U-shaped heads, while crocodiles are V-shaped - which can be remembered by noting that "A" in alligator comes before "C" in crocodile, and "U" comes before "V."

Q: What is worse than an alligator with toothache?

A: A centipede with athlete's foot!


Zebras are ungulates, which just means hoofed animals. They belong to the Equidae family, the horse family. Zebra have excellent eyesight and hearing.

There are three main species of zebra: Plains Zebra, Mountain Zebra and Grevy’s Zebra.
Plains Zebra (Equus quagga) are sometimes called common zebra, because they are the most common and geographically widespread. Plains subspecies include; Grant’s, Burchell’s, and Chapman’s or Damara. Grant’s zebras have a V-shaped pattern of stripes midway on their bodies. Burchell’s stripes are wider and become horizontal toward the rear. The zebra with dark and light stripes is the Damara (also called Damarland).
There are two categories of Mountain Zebra: Hartman Mountain and Cape Mountain. Their stripes are narrow at the front and get wider at the back, while the rear spine and upper tail are marked with a zipper-like pattern. They also have something that no other equine has—a dewlap or wattle of flesh under the throat.

These zebras are also good rock climbers.
Grevy’s Zebras are thought to be the oldest zebra type. They have a short, thick neck. Their stripes are narrower than other zebras and have one long stripe that runs along their back, plus they have a white belly. Grevy’s are the biggest zebra, yet they need less water than other types. However, they are endangered by lost of habitat, competition with domestic animals for water, and by poachers killing them for their hides. "

Fun Zebra Facts

"- In South Africa there is a project to bring back the Quagga, an extinct subspecies of the Plains Zebra.

- Zebras can run up to 40 miles per hour and baby zebras can run an hour after they are born!

- In ancient Rome Grevy’s zebras were called hippotigris and trained to pull carts for the circus.

- On the Serengeti plains, Burchell’s zebras sometimes form migratory herds of tens of thousands!

- Not only can you tell what type of zebra it is by its stripes, but no zebra has exactly the same stripes."

Q: What did the blond name her pet Zebra?
A: Spot

Some fun and funny observations:

Two Dozen Pure Witticisms

I started out with nothing...I still have most of it.
Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant.

I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.

Funny, I don't remember being absent minded.

If all is not lost, where is it?

It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

If at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished.

The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging.

I went to school to become a wit, only got halfway through.

It was all so different before everything changed.

Nostalgia isn't what is used to be.

Old programmers never die. They just terminate and stay resident.

A day without sunshine is like a day in Seattle.

I wish the buck stopped here. I could use a few.

It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip round the sun.

The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you're in the bathroom.

If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

Lead me not into temptation (I can find the way myself).

If you're living on the edge, make sure you're wearing your seat belt.

An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.

It's not hard to meet expenses...they're everywhere.

Jury: Twelve people who determine which client has the better attorney.

Old people shouldn't eat health foods. They need all the preservatives they can get!
~~~Thank You, Lord for the blessings of alligators, may we make them gentler (especially if they come in the form of the way people act) and for the Zebras, may we appreciate their beauty.


  1. I have to tell the 'Lead me not into temptation' joke to my brother-in-law Donald, he has a lot of trouble with the Our Father, he can't understand it and he finds it so disconcerting! He's really obsessed about it, especially that line!

    I didn't know only the U.S. and China had alligators! I would think for sure Australia had them! Go figure!

    And can scientist really bring back a species that is extinct? Uh-oh. Jurassic Park!

    Fun post, Marcy!
    I hope I can retain some of these facts, they might come in handy on a game night here with my family!

  2. A really cute post Marcy. I wish I could run 30 mph!

  3. Oh Marcy, I love love LOVE the hand art....and and the information about the animals that accompanies them. The happy (funny!!) words of wisdom you share with us make me smile. I enjoy coming to your site very much!!!

  4. What a fun post Marcy, again I have learned something I didn't know. Just goes to show you one is never to old to learn. Thanks for sharing my friend and have a wonderful day.
    ......:-) Hugs

  5. Facinating, just facinating. For shame I never knew any of those facts.

    I think it's crocs that live in Oz isn't it?

    love, Angie, xx

  6. Hi Marcy! I am back! I haven't had a minute to download all 324 pictures that I took over the last 10 days! Maybe tomorrow I will share a few. It is good to be back and I have had a lot of catching up to do with everyones posts! Love the hand animals. They are beautifully done! I will check in tomorrow and hopefully be able to post something.!

  7. Hey Linda's back, Hi Linda!!
    Wow Marcy I,m still stuck on the 19 foot alligator! My living room is twenty feet long and I just can't imagine an alligator that long. I just don't know what to say. I'm amazed, you amazed me Marcy! WoW!

  8. Really really great!!!!! You have so much information!! WOW!!! Thanx! Cathy

  9. This is a very interesting post. For sure I would never want to tangle with an alligator. I knew they were big but I never realized they were that big. Great post. I learned a lot.

  10. looks like I'm last Marcy...I have been doing yard work most of the day...and then worked on a post myself...I think you saved the best hand paintings for last...The zebra was really good but I loved the alligator!...Lots of fun facts grandsons would like to read this I think...maybe I'll quiz them afterwards :)
    Smile and take care Marcy

  11. Alligators scare me!! They're like dinosaurs..If one chased me I'd have a heart attack. And I'm serious!! I do love zebras though..They are so pretty! Your funnies were VERY funny today. I especially loved the one about the bathroom. We have 6 people to one bathroom it always seems like everyone needs in there at the same time. Never a private moment :) Oh well, I'm just glad we don't have to use an outhouse!!
    Love, Jerelene

  12. What a perfect way to end my day, learning so many fascinating facts about alligators and zebras. And then to finish with two dozen witticisms. I was smiling the entire way through reading each of them. Your blog sure is an interesting place to visit. Thank you!

  13. Interesting facts about the animals! Didn't know the alligator could run that fast. Love the hand art, very nice!


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