Plitvice Lakes and Waterfalls

The Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia's most popular tourist attraction, was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979. Located roughly halfway between capital city Zagreb and Zadar on the coast, the lakes are definitely a must-see.

The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species.

The National Park covers a total area of 300 square kilometres, whilst the lakes join together over a distance of eight kilometres. There's also quite an altitude difference - the highest point is at 1,280m, the lowest at 380m - although the total height difference between the lakes themselves is only 135m. (Veliki Slap, the largest waterfall, is 70m tall.)

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What young animals are called? - pictures of baby animals

Did you know a Baby Lion is called a Cub?

And a little elephant is called a calf?

Here are more names to add to your collection.

Antelope - calf
Bear - cub
Beasts of prey - whelp
Beaver - kit
Birds - fledgling, nestling
Cat - kitten
Codfish - codling, sprat
Cow - calf
Deer - fawn, yearling
Dog - pup, puppy
Duck - duckling
Eagle - eaglet
Eel - elver
Elephant - calf
Elephant seal - weaner
Fish - fry
Fowl - chick, chicken
Fox - cub, pup
Frog - polliwog, tadpole
Goat - kid
Goose - gosling
Grouse - cheeper
Guinea fowl - keet
Hawk - eyas
Hen - pullet
Hippo - calf
Horse - foal, yearling, or colt (male), filly (female)
Kangaroo - joey
Lion - cub
Owl - owlet
Partridge - cheeper
Pig - piglet, shoat, farrow, suckling
Pigeon - squab, squeaker
Quail - cheeper
Rabbit - bunny, kit
Rat - pup
Rhino - calf
Rooster - cockerel
Salmon - parr, smolt, grilse
Seal - pup
Shark - cub
Sheep - lamb, lambkins
Swan - cygnet
Tiger - cub, whelp
Turkey - poult
Whale - calf
Zebra - foal

But what do you call this little freak?


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Through The Eyes Of The Bee

As they buzz from blossom to blossom, it might seem that bumblebees need to see only flowers, honey, and hive. But a new study suggests that bumblebees have a surprisingly sophisticated visual system. Through a series of clever experiments, University College London researchers R. Beau Lotto and Martina Wicklein discovered that bees can solve complex color puzzles. The scientists say the finding may provide new understanding of human vision and guide the development of similar systems for robots. The study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' Online Early Edition. In bees, as with people, vision has as much to do with the brain as it does with the eye. As Lotto explains, the eye sees by detecting light that falls upon its retina.
But, the neuroscientist adds, light that's reflected onto the eye from an object, such as a flower, is constantly changing. To perceive the flower or anything else, the brain must decipher that light. "If you can understand how something relatively simple like the bee solves these problems, then we can apply that to robotics," Lotto said. Developing a visual system that deciphers information, he added, "is the most significant obstacle facing robotics."

In the honeybee, four of the visual cells in each ommatidium respond best to yellow-green light (530 nm); two respond maximally to blue light (430 nm); and the remaining two respond best to ultraviolet light (340 nm), allowing the honeybee to distinguish colors (except red).

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Clouds and lightning, pictures by Goran Katic

And few more from Goran Katic. These beautiful photos are uploaded in 1024 x 768 resoulution so you can also use them as wallpaper.
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Wood pictures by Goran Katic

And more photos from Goran Katic.
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Grass pictures by Goran Katic

I just received this beautiful photos from my friend and great photo artist - Goran Katic.

Hope you like it!

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Why are insects so important?

Of the 1.5 million species of animal that have been described, 1 million are insects (and there are many, many more that await discovery and naming). This means: there are more kinds of insects than all other forms of life combined. It would take 6,000 encyclopedia pages to list all the known insects.

Without insects our world would be covered in dung and dead animals

The value of crops pollinated by bees is $1590,000,000 per year! 30% of all human food is directly or in-directly dependent on pollination by bees.

Food for thought:

"Insects are everywhere and we need them. While many people in the over-developed world see insects as objects of disgust, we all depend on them for the largely unseen ecological services performed by these much-maligned, but often strikingly beautiful, animals"

Christopher O'Toole, Alien Empire

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Fire rainbow, natural phenomena

June 19, 2006

It looks like a rainbow that's been set on fire, but this phenomenon is as cold as ice.
Known in the weather world as a circumhorizontal arc, this rare sight was caught on film on June 3 as it hung over northern Idaho near the Washington State border (map of Idaho).
The arc isn't a rainbow in the traditional sense—it is caused by light passing through wispy, high-altitude cirrus clouds. The sight occurs only when the sun is very high in the sky (more than 58° above the horizon). What's more, the hexagonal ice crystals that make up cirrus clouds must be shaped like thick plates with their faces parallel to the ground.
When light enters through a vertical side face of such an ice crystal and leaves from the bottom face, it refracts, or bends, in the same way that light passes through a prism. If a cirrus's crystals are aligned just right, the whole cloud lights up in a spectrum of colors.
This particular arc spanned several hundred square miles of sky and lasted for about an hour, according to the London Daily Mail.

—Victoria Gilman
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Lyrebird, The Amazing Mimic Bird

The Superb lyrebird is one of two species of Lyrebird found in Australia the other being the Albert's lyrebird. Lyrebirds are shy, wary birds. When seen they are normally just a blur as they run and dodge rapidly through the dense forest underbrush. Their wings aid them in running and jumping up into branches and onto rocks etc and then gliding back down again and though they seldom fly they do roost in low trees at night.

The Lyrebirds name comes from the shape of the males tail when displayed which looks like a Lyre (musical harp type instrument) The outer two bigger white and brown feathers appear like the frame and the inner thinner feathers are the strings.

They are magnificent mimicker of other birds and noises. Often in the morning you may think you are surrounded by a multitude of bird species, to find out you have been fooled by a lyrebird. Car noises, chainsaws, dogs and other noises are no problem for this excellent imitator The mimicry, though used in the mating courtship is heard all year round. It is said to be the way the male lyrebird tells others this is his territory, much like the Kookaburras "laugh".
Sir David Attenborough, naturalist and pioneer of the nature documentary, turned 80 last month. To mark the occasion, Britons were asked to choose their favorite Attenborough moment and of all the memorable scenes, his recording of the lyrebird came out on top. In this clip the bird mimics neighboring birds, several cameras, car alarms, and perhaps most impressively, loggers with chainsaws.

Click here for movie.
(9,43 MB)
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The Ugly Bugs

Narrow-Winged Damsel Fly

This is a large family, with over 4,950 species in the world, of which 400 live in America. They have many habitats, most are wet or humid areas. Many specieis have regular flying paths and alight on favorite perches. Most damselflies are brightly colored, with shades including violet, green, red, black, blue, bronze, and orange. males are usually more brightly colored than females. Their wings are clear and many-veined. Most species are between 1 and 1 1/4 inches in length. The head is mostly occupied by large compound eyes. The antennae are short, bristly, and inconspicuous. They feed on other insects they capture while flying. Odonata are carnivourous, they have chewing jaws, and keep insect pests under control by feeding on mosquitoes, midges, etc. They may attempt to bite people, but only large dragonflies can inflict a painful bite.

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Centipede's are flat, wormlike creatures with one pair of appendages for each body segment. The antennae on a centipede has at least fourteen or more segments. The first set of appendages behind the head are clawlike, and are called poison jaws. These jaws are used to trap and paralyze their prey, usually small insects. Centipede's can easily be found in soil, under bark, rotting wood, and other debris. Small centipede's are harmless to man, but the larger ones can give quite painful bites. American centipede's can range in size from a few millimeters to just over six inches in length. Their color varies in species from pale yellow to dark brown. Two families make up the order Lithobiomorpha. The difference between the two families can be determined by using and comparing the eye structures of each.

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House Fly

This is a large group of insects. There are more than 700 species in North America alone and the members can be found almost anywhere. The house fly breeds in filth of all kinds. It does not bite. The mouth parts are for sucking only. the fly secretes digestive juices on what it wants to eat, the digestive juices partially digetst the food, then the fly sucks up the liquid. Flies are soft-bodied, and go through complete metamorphosis.

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This is the largest family of insects. There are more than 3,000 species in North America. Many are brightly colored with black and yellow. Unlike some wasp families, these wasps do not sting. They lay their eggs in wood or in other insects. The family Ichnemonidae is divided into tribes, each tribe has a specific insect that it likes to prey on. Some species have been imported into American to control insect pests.

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Amazing storms

These images are photographs of tornadoes and other extreme weather phenomena taken by storm chaser Mike Hollingshead in Nebraska and Kansas during the summer months of 2002 and 2004.
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For your EYES only

An eye is an organ of vision that detects light. Different kinds of light-sensitive organs are found in a variety of organisms. The simplest eyes do nothing but detect whether the surroundings are light or dark, while more complex eyes can distinguish shapes and colors. Many animals, including some mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, have two eyes which may be placed on the same plane to be interpreted as a single three-dimensional "image" (binocular vision), as in humans; or on different planes producing two separate "images" (monocular vision), such as in rabbits and chameleons.

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Sunset, pictures from Croatia

Croatia is a beautiful small country situated on the Adriatic coast. It is known as the country of a thousand islands and each island have its own unique sunset. Here are some sunsets from islands of Hvar, Brac & Vis.





Finally, one more thing should be said, that is "Zadar has s nicer sunset than California " - so said Alfred Hitchcock in 1964.

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