Stargazer – Did You Know… #atozchallenge

Image result for image stargazer fish

The stargazers are a family of perciform fish that have eyes on top of their heads (hence the name). The family includes about 51 species (one extinct) and are found worldwide in shallow and deep salt waters.

In addition to the top-mounted eyes, a stargazer also has a large, upward-facing mouth in a large head. Their usual habit is to bury themselves in sand, and leap upwards to ambush prey that pass overhead. Some species have a worm-shaped lure growing out of the floors of their mouths, which they can wiggle to attract prey’s attention. Both the dorsal and anal fins are relatively long; some lack dorsal spines. Lengths range from 18 up to 90 cm (giant stargazer).

Stargazers are venomous; they have two large venomous spines situated behind their opercles and above their pectoral fins. Some species can also cause electric shocks and have a single electric organ consisting of modified eye muscles, while other species have theirs derived from sonic muscles. They are some of the few marine bioelectrogenic bony fishes, the other being the striped catfish.

Stargazers are a delicacy in some cultures (the venom is not poisonous when eaten), and they can be found for sale in some fish markets with the electric organ removed. Because stargazers are ambush predators which camouflage themselves and some can deliver both venom and electric shocks, they have been called “the meanest things in creation”…

Now, originally I didn’t want to write about stargazer fish. I wanted to touch base on star gazer babies. I’m not even sure if it is a thing in English but when my son was born or better during birth of my son, he sort of got stuck on my pelvic bone while on his way out. He was what they called a star gazer baby and lifted his head up in a way that is not part of the normal movement a baby goes through during birth. This then led to his head getting stuck and in the process we needed a little bit of help to get him out. I loved the description they gave it as it made things so clear but also gave it kind of a nice touch.

A Posterior baby (Occiput Posterior, or OP) means that the baby is also head down BUT the back of its head is towards mom’s back and baby is facing towards mom’s front. Other names for the OP position include “stargazer” or “sunny side up” because the baby seems to be looking “up” at the sky when mom is lying down.”

So while I was trying to find the right way of describing it on Google I also found the stargazer fish and it’s pictures made me share it as a Did You Know post…

A to Z Challenge 2017



Did You Know – Egg Yolk…

Wow, that’s a lot of egg yolks! I have only had two but about two years ago I had a serious of about 12 eggs with double yolks more or less one after the other. 

Some people wonder if it’s safe to eat a double yolk egg. Not sure why to be honest. Maybe because it’s just not normal… but if you wondered:

The answer is that it’s not only perfectly safe to eat, but is said to bring good luck when you find them. 

What causes the double yolk? A double yolk occurs in an egg when a chicken releases two yolks into the same shell. Double yolks are usually produced by young chickens. Since their reproductive systems have not fully matured, they periodically release two yolks instead of one. Double yolks can also come from older chickens nearing the end of their egg producing period.

I haven’t seen a double yolk egg in a while. I can tell you one thing though: When I get the next one it will definitely be mine to eat 😉

Fireflies – Did You Know… #atozchallenge

Image result for image fireflies

… That there are more than 2,000 species of fireflies, a type of beetle? Despite their name, only some species produce adults that glow. Fireflies in the western United States, for example, lack the ability to produce light.

I have not often seen fireflies in action. Actually I’m really not sure if the memory I think to have is a real time memory or if it was something I saw in a movie. I do think though, that it’s something incredibly beautiful and I wish I could show my children fireflies in action. One day, one day…

Here are some more cool facts about fireflies I found on the Smithsonian website:

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Lowland Streaked Tenrec – Did You Know…

Image result for lowland streaked tenrec

… What a lowland streaked tenrec is? I wouldn’t have a clue until I stumbled across a picture of one. There are some truly interesting animals out there and this little fellow actually reminds me in a way of a a cross between a hedgehog and an echidna. And who knows how close they are related?

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Geographically they are a bit far away from each other. While you find hedgehogs on the Northern Hemisphere across Europe and North America and the echidna only in Australia, the lowland streaked tenrecis found in tropical lowland rain forest, in the northern and eastern parts of Madagascar.

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Sunda Colugo – Did You Know…

Image result for image baby sunda colugo

… That a Sundo Colugo is a flying lemur? There are some pretty amazing and also strange creatures in this world and sometimes I wonder if the idea of Aliens out in space should be reconsidered and we all should have a closer look to what actually roams the planet with us.

But back to our Sundo Colugo friend:

The Sunda flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), also known as the Malayan flying lemur, Sunda Colugo or Malayan colugo, is a species of colugo. Until recently, it was thought to be one of only two species of flying lemur, the other being the Philippine flying lemur which is found only in the Philippines. The Sunda flying lemur is found throughout Southeast Asia in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

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The Sunda flying lemur is not a lemur and does not fly (wonder why they called him that in the first place… maybe because of a lack of words???). Instead, it glides as it leaps among trees. It is strictly arboreal, is active at night, and feeds on soft plant parts such as young leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits. After a 60-day gestation period, a single offspring is carried on the mother’s abdomen held by a large skin membrane. It is a forest-dependent species.

The head-body length of the Sunda flying lemur is about 33 to 42 cm (13 to 17 in). Its tail length measures 18 to 27 cm (7.1 to 10.6 in), and its weight is 0.9 to 1.3 kg (2.0 to 2.9 lb).

The Sunda flying lemur is protected by national legislation. In addition to deforestation and loss of habitat, local subsistence hunting poses a serious threat to this animal. Competition with the plantain squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) represents another challenge for this species. More information is needed on population declines, but at present, the rate of the decline is not believed to merit listing in any category lower than “Least Concern”.

Image result for image baby sunda colugo