Acer palmatum‘Atropurpureum‘ is a lovely maple tree of South East Asia which is famous for its alluring leaf shapes and colors. Acer palmatum is actually a small shrub which may have many trunks joining close to the ground and it can obtain an average height of 20 to 30 ft. The mature plant is usually having a dome type shape with the leaves of 4–12 cm in length and width. Acer palmatum also produces the flowers in small cymes and the individual flowers with five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals.
Acer palmatum – The Japanese Maple Tree ( Image: Patrick Nicolas )
Acer palmatum is not only cultivated in Japan but in other regions of the lovely planet having the temperate weather conditions. Acer palmatum the lovely Japanese maple treeis particularly suitable for borders and ornamental paths because the root systems are compact and not invasive.
Another big cat is under great threat. This big cat was once found in the wide range of South East Asia which is now scattered to the limited areas of China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The vigorous and majestic Corbett tiger was once the symbol of monstrosity and horror, but now is itself seeking its survival. It is feared that this big cat has become extinct in China because in 2009 the last known wild Indochinese tiger was killed and eaten by the native villagers. Corbett tiger is usually known as the Indochinese tiger which has now the estimated population of less than 1,000 individuals in the world
The Indochinese Tiger or Corbett Tiger ( Image: patmanzzz-against SOPA/PIPA )
The Indochinese tiger is biologically known as Panthera tigris corbettiand lives in secluded forests in hilly to mountainous terrain, the majority of which lies along the borders between countries. Human poaching, habitat destruction, deforestation and hunting for oriental medication have made their current status critically endangered. The locals kill the Indochinese tiger for its exotic orange colored striped fur and its bones that are used in making the traditional Chinese medicines.
The majestic Indochinese tiger is smaller in sizes as compare to the Bengal tiger with a darker skin color. Males weigh from 150–190 kg (330–420 lb) while females are smaller at 110–140 kg (240–310 lb). The Indochinese tiger usually love to hunt larger mammals like wild boars, deer and cattle. Because of the dangerous shrinking of the forests, the scarcity of food is another alarming threat to the lives of the Indochinese tiger. The gestation period in the female Indochinese tiger is of 3 to 4 months and the female may give birth up to 4-5 cubs in the ideal circumstances. The newborn babies are fed by the mother for about two months and then they start eating meat. The cubs depend on their mother for the first 18 months and then they start hunting on their own.
An Indochinese cub in a zoo ( Image : Josh More )
The international organizations like WWF and IUCN are trying to find new areas having low human interference as the Indochinese tiger’s habitats for their protection and conservation. The survey reporting and research work about this rare big cat is a tough ask because of access to the areas where Indochinese tigers live is often restricted. According to the WWF officials, the best hope of the survival of this subspecies is in the Dawna Tennaserim landscape on the Thailand-Myanmar border where perhaps 250 tigers remain. WWF considers the forests of the Lower Mekong a restoration landscape with the possibility of reintroducing tigers as the habitat and prey base are there. Southern Laos and Central Vietnam also have potential for recovery of wild tiger populations.
The majestic Indochinese tiger is being eliminated by the poachers on the highest rate than any other tiger sub-specie of the lovely planet. The need of the day is to stop their hunting and the illegal trade of the Indochinese tiger. All governments of their respective habitats must improve the living conditions of the Indochinese tiger and the local community should also co-operate with the authorities to safeguard this extraordinary carnivore specie.
The length of a river is determined after calculating the length between its source and its mouth. The rivers are the main source of fresh water, food, irrigation and hydrological benefits. Our lovely planet has magnificent rivers which normally fall ultimately into the oceans, seas or other rivers. Rivers are home of many aquatic species and they provide us with a tremendous source of food as fish.
There are almost 180 rivers of the lovely planet earth, which have the length of more than 1,000 K.m. Following are the images of the top 25 longest rivers of the lovely planet ;
1- River Nile of North East Africa ( 6,650 K.m )
River Nile at night ( Image: Mohamed Ahmed Kazzaz )
2- Amazon River of South America ( 6,400 K.m )
Amazon River with its rainforests ( Image : CIFOR )
3- Yangtze River of China ( 6,300 K.m)
Yangtze River of China ( Photographer: Stanley Zimny )
4- Mississippi River of the United States of America ( 6,200 K.m )
Mississippi River of US ( Image: By Creativity Corner )
5- Yenisei River of Russia ( 5,500 K.m )
Yenisei River of Russia ( atom57 image on flickr )
6- Yellow River (Huang He) of China ( 5,450 K.m )
Yellow River of China
7- Ob River of Russia ( 5,400 K.m )
Ob River in Russia ( Image by Alexei Ebel )
8- Parana River of Brazil ( 4,800 K.m )
Parana River of Brazil ( Luis Argerich's Image )
9- Congo River of Central Africa ( 4,700 K.m )
Congo River of Central Africa ( By Dan Balluff )
10- Amur River ( Russia, China & Mongolia - 4,450 K,m )
Amur River ( Russia, China , Mongolia ) By Martin Lopatka
11- Lena River ( Siberia – Russia – 4,400 K.m )
Lena River of Siberia, Russia ( By: Bolotbootur )
12- Mekong River of South East Asia ( 4,350 K.m )
Mekong River of South East Asia ( Jean-Marie Hullot's Image )
13- Mackenzie River of Canada ( 4,250 K.m )
Mackenzie River of Canada ( TonyG22 's Image )
14- Niger River of North Africa ( 4,200 K.m )
Niger River of North Africa ( Jamie Geysbeek's Image )
15- Murray River of Australia ( 3,670 K.m )
Murray River of Australia ( Image: By FreakyNami )
16- Tocantins River of Brazil ( 3, 650 K.m )
Tocantins River of Brazil ( By: Guilherme Figueiredo Quadros )
17- Volga River of Russia ( 3,640 K.m )
Volga River of Russia ( By: Viking River Cruises )
A symbol of Rebirth in the Hindu ideology of fertility which has tremendous significance in the religious lives of Hindus is the King Cobra. The King Cobra is truly the emperor of the cold blooded reptile family of the snakes which is endemic to the thick highland forests of South Asia and South East Asia. King Cobra, the Monarch of Snakes is an enormous snake which can grow up to 18 feet and obtains an average length of 10-12 feet. So this way the King Cobra is also one of the longest snakes of the world but they still keep another distinction. The King Cobra is the longest venomous snake of the world.
Furious King Cobra ( Image : Gerry Morgan )
Can you imagine that the head of the King Cobra is of the size of an adult human hand and it can stand almost one third of its total length. Although the King Cobra is color blind but still they have better eyesight than the other snakes and can see any movement from 300 ft away. The color scheme of the King Cobra varies from region to region. In India, the King Cobra has the yellow and black patterns while in some other parts of the world they are also found in blackish brown with white and ivory patterns. The King Cobra is both day and night predator and they have equally good quality of swimming and climbing. They love to spend most of their times in the trees. Normally the King Cobra is identified by their big hood and the stripe on the neck is like the symbol “^” instead of a double or single eye shape(s) that may be seen in most of the other Asian cobras. The male is larger and thicker than the female. The average lifespan of a wild king cobra is about 20 years. The King Cobra also generates a fearsome hissing sound which is almost like a dog growl.
Forked tongue of the King Cobra ( Image : Tad 20D on flickr )
The forked tongue of the King Cobra is so much supportive to find the prey and receive the chemical information. Although the venom of the King Cobra is not the most toxic in its nature but still the King Cobra can eject almost 2 spoon quantity of venom in one time which is enough to kill 20 humans and one elephant. The King Cobra also has deadly fangs which are almost half-an-inch long. The venom of the King Cobra destroys the nervous system and also stops the respiratory function in the body which ultimately results in the heart failure. If the venom comes in contact with the human eyes, it can cause an immediate and severe irritation of the conjunctiva and cornea that, if untreated, could result in permanent blindness.
The Male and Female King Cobras ( Mating ) Image : Adithya Biloor
The mating season starts from January till April and the both male and female King Cobras discharge a musk smell through which the couple reaches each other. Both the male and female King Cobras perform a nuptial dance face to face with heads held high. After the mating the female usually deposits 20 to 40 eggs into the mound, which acts as an incubator. She stays with the eggs and guards the mound tenaciously, rearing up into a threat display if any large animal gets too close, for roughly 60 to 90 days. Unlike other mother snakes the female King Cobra is of pure motherly nature and properly brings up her young ones. She also avoids eating them up.
As the scientific name of the King Cobra Ophiophagus Hannahdenotes that the King Cobra is a snake eater. The diet mainly includes rat snakes, small pythons and even smaller venomous snakes. They can also coil their prey like birds and small rodents. They also eat lizards, frogs and other smaller vertebrates.
Exotic King Cobra
King Cobra, the Monarch of Snakes is also associated with several myths and traditions. They are exhibited mostly by the snake charmers and the King Cobra has been used as a model for small statues, jewelry and decorating items. In India, it is believed that the King Cobra possesses a very sharp memory and recognizes its enemy forever. It is also believed that the King Cobra takes the revenge if its partner is being killed. Similarly there is also a unique tradition in Burma (Myanmar ) in which a young girl stands in front of the King Cobra and offers it milk in bowl and further kisses her on the head.
Austin Stevens – In Search of the King Cobra (Full Documentary) HD
Python Reticulatus or Asiatic Reticulated Python is perhaps the longest snake on earth that possesses enormous body and horrific attitude. Asiatic Reticulated Python is from the Python family and they can kill the human very easily. They have very maze color patterns on their skin and their skin is very much like a net. That is why they are known as Reticulated Pythons which is a Latin word.
Asiatic Reticulated Python. Image : Rick Vink
Asiatic Reticulated Python is endemic to the rainforests of South East Asia. They are widely distributed in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines. They can vary in colors from region to region.
The average length of Asiatic Reticulated Python or Python Reticulatus is from 12-20 feet and they can grow up to 23 feet (6.35 m). Asiatic Reticulated Python are expert swimmers and very clever and agile predator. The female Reticulated Python lays more than 50 eggs per clutch and the eggs take an average of 88 days to hatch. Hatchlings are at least 2 feet in length.
Horrible open jaw of Reticualted Python. Image : George Cruiser
There is no clear evidence as a human to become the victim of the Reticulated Python; however the zoologists believe that an adult Python Reticulatus can easily open its jaws wide enough to swallow a human child, teenager, or even an adult.
The medium sized Reticulated Python loves to eat rodents, rats and small cats etc while the fully grown Python Raticulatus can eat comparatively big mammals like dogs, pigs and deer etc. For a larger prey they will take weeks time to digest it. Like all other big snakes, Python Reticulatus, the longest snake on earth use the technique of constriction and seize the prey in their coils.