Showing posts from May, 2024

20+ Interesting Facts About Porcupines

Porcupines are large herbivorous rodents present in many parts of the world. Their most prominent feature is quills (spines) on most parts of their body. The meaning of its name is “quill pig” due to its spines and resemblance to a pig . Porcupines have two families according to their location: Old World and New World porcupines. Old World Porcupines are present in Asia , Africa, and southern Europe , while the locality of New World Porcupines is the Americas. Old World porcupines are further divided into 11 species in three genera, while there are 16 species in five genera of New World porcupines. These include hairy dwarf porcupines (9 species), prehensile-tailed porcupines (four species), stump-tailed porcupines (one species), bristle-spined porcupines (one species), and North American porcupines (one species). The three Old World porcupines are short-tailed porcupines (8 species), long-tailed porcupines (one species), and brush-tailed porcupines (two species). Both porcupine fami

35+ Interesting Facts About Oman

Oman is a country on the southeastern Arabian Peninsula at the junction of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. It shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen and maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan. Paleontologists have discovered several Arabian Nubian Complex sites in Oman since 2011. The oldest, discovered in 2011 in southern Oman, shows that humans initially arrived here 106,000 years ago. Since the 1960s, scientists have identified the Nubian complex in North Africa, East Africa , and southern Arabia. ( Source ) There are three main physical features of Oman. A central desert plane ( Rub al-Khali  or Empty Quarter) bisects two rugged mountains in the north and south of the country. Mount Shams (2,980 meters) in the northern Hajar Mountains is the  highest point  in the country. The climate is primarily hot and dry, while the south receives summer monsoon rainfall. Apart from Oman proper, the country includes  two exclaves , Musadam peninsula and Madha. Musadam is a

20+ Interesting Facts About Horseshoe Crabs

Horseshoe crabs are marine arthropods currently present in Asia and North America. Their name is a misnomer because they are not related to crabs . The closest relatives of horseshoe crabs are scorpions , spiders , and mites. Horseshoe crabs are at least 450 million years old. They survived three extinction events during this period, particularly the Great Dying that exterminated nearly 96% of all marine species 250 million years ago. Reasons behind their survival include their tolerance of various habitats, feeding any available organic matter, unique blood that fights bacteria and heals wounds, and their ability to live in areas with low oxygen levels. Trilobites, their close relatives, had 20,000 species, but all vanished during the Great Dying. ( Source ) Scientists found the oldest fossil of horseshoe crab in 2008 from Canada . It is 445 million years old, nearly 100 million years older than any previous fossil. This discovery proves the status of horseshoe crabs as “living foss

25+ Interesting Facts About Dominica

Dominica is an island country in the Lesser Antilles , an arc of tiny islands on the Caribbean Sea. Its nearest islands are two French overseas departments (Guadeloupe and Martinique). Dominica is known as the  “Nature Island of the Caribbean”  due to its variety of  plants ,  animals , and other natural features. Nearly 60% of Dominica’s land is forested, making it the most heavily forested country in Lesser Antilles. Dominica contains some less-known endemic and endangered  birds  and other animals. Some  unique animals  on this island are two parrot species (sisserou and red-necked parrots), blue-headed  hummingbirds , Lesser Antillean iguanas, and a frog (mountain chicken). The mountain chicken, one of the largest frogs in the world, tastes like a  chicken  and was once considered the  national dish of Dominica . It is present only in Dominica and Montserrat (a British overseas territory to its north). Due to an infectious disease, the wild population is now limited to Dominica. Pr

20+ Interesting Facts About Dugongs

Dugongs are large marine herbivorous mammals with thick and smooth skin. They are the only living members of their family (Dugongidae) and one of the four species of the mammalian order Sirenia, alongside three species of manatees. Paleontologists discovered a skull of a marine mammal from Panama in 2019. This skull, which belongs to a species of dugongs, is 20 million years old, making it the oldest known marine mammal in Central America. Scientists have so far recovered nearly 30 extinct species of dugongs. The last of these species, Steller’s Sea Cow, became extinct in the 18 th Century. ( Source ) Dugongs are also called sea cows because their primary food is sea grasses and other aquatic plants. However, these herbivorous mammals may sometimes eat algae and small invertebrates. Their preferred habitats are shallow bays and other coastal regions with plenty of seagrasses. Dugongs eat nitrogen-rich plants low in fiber. Their eating behavior regenerates sea grass and  prevents al

30 Interesting Facts About Vanuatu

Vanuatu is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean . This archipelago consists of over 80 islands, and most of them are inhabited. Vanuatu claims sovereignty of two uninhabited islands of New Caledonia, Matthew and Hunter. Vanuatu is located in the area known as Melanesia, a sub-region of Oceania. It is the smallest of the four countries (including Fiji , Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea) in this region. Nigol is a centuries-old tradition in Vanuatu where men of all ages jump from a 100-foot-long wooden structure with only vines tied to their ankles. This tradition inspired a less-frightening  bungee jumping . According to a legend, women of these islands initiated these jumps as fun, but later men adopted them to display courage. This tradition follows a strict season and other measures to ensure safety. However, these jumps have caused few fatal incidents. ( Source ) The initial known inhabitants of Vanuatu settled on its northern islands around 1300 BCE . They arri