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The Río Tinto is a river in southwestern Spain that originates in the Sierra Morena mountains of Andalusia. Since ancient times, a site along the river has been mined for copper, silver, gold, and other minerals.As a result of the mining, Río Tinto is notable for being very acidic (pH 2) and its deep reddish hue is due to iron dissolved in the water. Acid mine drainage from the mines leads to severe environmental problems due to the heavy metal concentrations in the river.
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If you have been looking for a new vehicle, hippos (hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse") are becoming more and more popular. They not only give off less emissions into the air, they can save you money with fewer trips to the gas station. Get one today! ;)
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Craig Grant bought a tree farm far away from the city and turned it into a sanctuary for all the Cats he has rescued.He lives there with the cats and provides lots of love, care and companionship. It’s hard to imagine that once he was not a cat lover and did not want cats until he met his son’s cat Pepper. He also got to experience what it is like raising a litter of kittens.
“Over that time I learned that every cat had its own unique personality and it wasn’t long before the kittens were swinging from my curtains. I didn’t care. Something had changed… I didn’t want to give them up.”
The condo life was not easy for the kitties, so Craig found a tree farm and settled down there for his fur babies.
Over the next several months, he rescued more and more homeless and abandoned cats. The number of new residents kept going up, so Craig expanded the sanctuary to make more room for the animals.
The farm was named Caboodle Ranch and is now a permanent home for all the homeless, rescued cats. Each of them has a sad story of their past, but now they are living in heaven.
“Cats should be able to roam free, and at Caboodle Ranch, that’s what they do.”
Craig has built many beautiful cat houses and decorated the place with vibrant colors and tons of liveliness.
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This cat must be some sort of politician in the cat world. :)
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The raccoon i/ræˈkuːn/, Procyon lotor (sometimes spelled racoon), also known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon, northern raccoon and colloquially as coon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. It is the largest of the procyonid family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm (16 to 28 in) and a body weight of 3.5 to 9 kg (8 to 20 lb). The raccoon is usually nocturnal and is omnivorous, with a diet consisting of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates. It has a grayish coat, of which almost 90% is dense underfur, which insulates against cold weather. Two of its most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are themes in the mythology of several Native American tribes. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks up to three years later.
The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests of North America, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas, where many homeowners consider them to be pests. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now also distributed across the European mainland, the Caucasus region and Japan.
Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behavior. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, and other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares for females in cities to 50 km2 for males in prairies (7 acres to 20 sq mi). After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as "kits", are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersion in late fall. Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their average life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many areas hunting and traffic accidents are the two most common causes of death.
In a study by the ethologist H. B. Davis in 1908, raccoons were able to open 11 of 13 complex locks in less than 10 tries and had no problems repeating the action when the locks were rearranged or turned upside down. Davis concluded they understood the abstract principles of the locking mechanisms and their learning speed was equivalent to that of rhesus macaques. Studies in 1963, 1973, 1975 and 1992 concentrated on raccoon memory showed they can remember the solutions to tasks for up to three years. In a study by B. Pohl in 1992, raccoons were able to instantly differentiate between identical and different symbols three years after the short initial learning phase. Stanislas Dehaene reports in his book The Number Sense raccoons can distinguish boxes containing two or four grapes from those containing three.
Cute, aren't they? :)
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Reptiles have been around some 300 million years, and our planet has seen its fair share of gigantic scaled beasts during its history. That said, only a few behemoths from the golden age of reptiles still exist today.
Here we present the five largest reptiles on Earth; the biggest in the four commonly recognized reptilian orders.
1. Saltwater Crocodile (Order: Crocodilians)
The saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile in the world, growing to a length of over 6 meters (20 ft). These mean-toothed giants are able to crush the skulls of cows between their jaws and, should the mood take them, can easily eat a human. The areas of largest croc populations in Australia are clearly marked, so people know where not to stray and so avoid ending up as a croc's lunch.
Saltwater crocodiles range from the tip of Southeast Asia to Australia. As their name implies, they are even known to take to the sea, and have reached locations as remote as the Sea of Japan. Crocodilians belong to an order even more ancient than dinosaurs, so the saltwater crocodile gives us a glimpse into the halcyon days of its gigantic prehistoric ancestors.
2. Leatherback Sea Turtle (Order: Testudines)
Leatherback sea turtles can measure over 2 meters (7 ft) in length, with a flipper span of almost 3 meters (8 ft), and are unique among turtles thanks to their lack of a hard, bony shell. Instead, their ridged, leathery carapace is built for speed, making them the fastest reptiles on Earth — as well as among the most humungous. Speed capacity and lots of fatty tissue keeps them warm for long sea voyages and deep dives of up to 1,200 meters (4,000 ft).
A leatherback's diet consists mostly of jellyfish — so much so that their populations keep jellyfish numbers in check. Sadly, they often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, and many have died from ingesting plastic bags.
The eggs of leatherbacks are eaten in Malaysia, Thailand and parts of the Caribbean. This has also had a devastating effect on turtle populations. The Leatherback Trust is an organization dedicated to the preservation and survival of these giant yet vulnerable creatures.
3. Reticulated Python (Order: Squamata)
Did you know that pythons are expert swimmers, and that their sea voyages have distributed them among a variety of islands in the Indo-Australian Archipelago? Yet, as well as being at home in water, reticulated pythons are aggressive constrictors that suffocate their prey and ingest it whole. They have been reliably recorded at 6.95 meters (22.8 ft) — slightly longer than saltwater crocodiles, albeit nowhere near as heavy.
The world-beating length of the reticulated python has been disputed by claims of even larger green anacondas. Legends and movies about the snake certainly make it seem a fearsome predator. Anacondas have been found to reach 6.6 meters (22 ft), only slightly shorter than the reticulated python. Still, although anacondas chill and thrill us in stories, the reticulated python may be the more fearsome of these two serpentine heavyweights, being on record as having killed and eaten human beings.
4. Komodo Dragon (Order: Squamata)
Technically, lizards and snakes belong to the same order, but most lizards have legs, while snakes don’t, so we're representing the four-legged Squamata too! This king of lizards is a deadly hunter reaching lengths up to 3 meters (10 ft). Enter the komodo dragon. These bad boys hunt in the afternoon, ambushing their prey using their arsenal of powerful sharp claws, a strong tail, and a poisonous mouthful of deadly bacteria. The term ‘dragon’ certainly seems appropriate when sizing up these ferocious monsters.
While komodo dragons obviously can’t breathe fire, their saliva contains virulent strains of bacteria that grow with uncanny rapidity. These bacteria ensure that bites usually result in sepsis and fatal infection. And, like their mythological counterparts, which were immune to their own fire, komodo dragons are immune to their own poisonous secretions. Scientists have yet to discover how this is possible. We’ll leave the field research to them!
5. Tuatara (Order: Sphenodontia)
This guy may be a squirt in comparison to the other giants in the winners’ circle, but as the only surviving member of its order, the northern tuatara is the largest living, well… tuatara! While its closest living relatives are reptiles and snakes, the tuatara’s order can be traced back to the Mesozoic Era, from where it derives its distinctly unusual attributes.
While they may look like reptiles, tuataras actually have legs and brains that closely resemble those of amphibians. They possess three eyelids on each eye and a third ‘parietal’ eye on the top of their heads, possibly used to detect day and night cycles. Their backbone vertebrae resemble fish, and their rib features are more typical of birds. Meanwhile, their spiny tails and back plates are more crocodilian than lizard-like. The creature is an anomaly in the modern world of reptiles, and lives exclusively on the offshore islands of New Zealand.
While saltwater crocodile populations are currently well represented in Australia, many other reptiles are in need of protection from habitat loss or hunting. For information about the conservation and populations of reptiles big and small, search the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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