The Dugong, often referred to as the sea cow, is actually more closely related to elephants than to the bovine namesake. Throughout much of their range, the Dugong has...
India’s Western Ghats: Biodiversity and Medicial PlantsLast Updated on 2014-08-20 14:42:16
India’s Western Ghats is a rolling mountain range containing such great biodiversity that it has been named as one of the world's eight ‘hottest hotspots of biological diversity. Spread along the entire west coast of India, this mountain range contains a large proportion of the country's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. Over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 species of mammals, 508 species of birds, including 22 endemics, 225 species of reptiles, and 179 species of amphibians live in the region.
Starting from the northern part of Mumbai, this extensive mountain range extends over Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu to the southern tip of India.
The northern part of the range contains almost half of the reptiles, one third of the plants, and more than three fourths of the amphibians found in India. The southwestern Ghats... More »
Lubbock Lake Landmark Last Updated on 2014-08-19 16:59:46
The Lubbock Lake National Historic and State Archeological Park, known locally as the Lubbock Lake Landmark, is an archeological and natural history preserve located in Lubbock, Texas, USA. The 300 acre preserve is located in Yellowhouse Draw, an intermittent tributary of the Brazos River. This reserve, which is managed by the Museum of Texas Tech University, is important because it contains evidence of nearly 12,000 years of use by humans as well as records of now extinct species that formerly lived in this area. It is one of the few places in North America known to have a complete record of human existence from the Paleo-Indian culture all the way through the Archaic, ceramic, and Prehistoric cultures.
Lubbock Lake Landmark received its name from a reservoir that was created in the 1930s. This area housed a natural spring fed lake until the spring began to... More »
Galapagos IslandsLast Updated on 2014-08-19 16:58:19The Galapagos Islands include 31 individual islands, 42 islets and 26 emergent rocks that form an archipelago located about 600 miles west of South American in the Pacific Ocean. The islands, which are part of Ecuador, have been designated as a National Park and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Galapagos Islands are known for being home to many species of plants and animals that are not found anywhere else on the planet. The Galapagos Islands were named from the old Spanish word "galapago" (saddle) because of the shape of the shells of the islands' giant tortoises.
The Galapagos Islands are oceanic islands that have never been connected to any landmass. Instead these islands were produced by volcanic activity. Isabella, was formed by six volcanoes, but most islands were formed by the activity of only a... More »
Cactaceae: The cactus familyLast Updated on 2014-08-07 15:56:00The Cactaceae is a family belonging to the order Caryophyllales. Cacti typically are found in dry and arid desert or semi-desert regions with high average daytime temperatures and cold nights, and high evaporation rates. Cacti range from Canada to Argentina, predominantly occurring in the warm and arid reaches of the continents of both North and South America across a wide range of different habitats like deserts, sandy coastal stretches, scrublands, dry deciduous forests, high alpine steppes and tropical rain forests (Barthlott and Hunt, 1993; Gibson and Nobel, 1986; Nyffeler, 2001). The main diversity centers are Mexico and south-west USA, central Andes, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina with Mexico being the richest and most endemic region (Boyle and Anderson, 2002; Ortega-Baes and Godínez-Alvarez, 2006). The family is... More »
Amaranthaceae: The pigweed familyLast Updated on 2014-08-07 15:27:30Amaranthaceae is a plant family in the order Caryophyllales that is native to tropical America and Africa, ranging between tropics and sub-tropics to more temperate regions. The family is believed to have originated in either the southwestern region of the United States, Latin America, or Africa. The Amaranthaceae family is dominated by herbs but also includes vines, shrubs and trees, and is comprised of approximately 800 species represented by 60 plus genera and broadly divided into two sub families (Amaranthoideae and Gomphrenoideae).
Leaves are mostly simple and entire, non-stipulate, phyllotaxy is alternate/opposite. Flowers are regular, cyclic, tiny, and characterized by spiny perianth with conspicuous bracts and bractlets and are either unisexual/bisexual (hermaphrodite), solitary/aggregated into inflorescence (spikes/cymes/heads) (Fig 1). Calyx... More »
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