Mum (and dad) in firm control

The Cotton Top Tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) live in small social groups of between two and thirteen individuals.

In this group there is a single dominant monogamous breeding pair. The dominant female uses pheromones to inhibit the reproductive cycle of the other females in the group.

Although all the offspring belongs to a single pair, care for the young seems to be a responsibility shared by the whole group.

Cotton Top Tamarin (Saguinus oedipus)

(#68 of 100)

Tall Ships perhaps not a thing of the past.

The Esmeralda is one of the largest tall ships to sail the world’s oceans.

She is a Spanish manufactured steel-hulled four-masted barquentine (manufactured and delivered as a schooner) taken into service in 1953.

She is used as a training ship of the Chilean Navy and act as a type of floating embassy for Chile.

In spite of her impressive size and a claim during her service to be in podium position for both longest and tallest ocean going sailing ship, she has been surpassed several times by even larger tall ships.

The largest square rigged ocean going tall ship is currently the 5 masted clipper ship the Royal Clipper, with 5202 square metres of sail, launched as recently as the year 2000.

Esmaralda, moored in Wellington harbour

(#66 of 100)

Miles long monument

The Cango caves natural monument near Oudtshoorn in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa is one of the first natural resources to receiveĀ  protection in South Africa. The first Caves Regulation was published in 1820 banning the collection of souvenirs and fines for damaging the caves.

Throne room, Cango caves complex, Oudtshoorn.

How large the cave complex is is still unknown, but what is known is that it exceeds 5 kilometers in length. The single largest chamber in the complex is 107 meters across and 16 meters high.

Van Zyl hall, Cango caves complex.

(#65 of 100)

Aaah thats nice, but not what I was looking for.

Legend has it that Chinese alchemist mixed saltpeter (or potassium nitrate) with sulfur and charcoal to form crude gunpowder
sometime between 600 and 900 C.E. while searching for an
elixir for immortality.

Gunpowder was used in fireworks prior to being used in weapons.

The colours in fireworks is due to burning metals. Elements burn at different light frequencies (wavelengths) and different mixes of metals result in different fireworks colours:

  • deep reds from strontium and lithium
  • blues from copper
  • silver / white from titanium and magnesium
  • orange from calcium
  • yellow from sodium
  • green from barium; and
  • neon green and turquoise from combining barium or copper with chlorine
Firework, Wellington harbour.

(#63 of 100)

My Best Side Forward

The moon is in synchronous rotation with the earth. This means that the moon turns around its own axis at the same speed it orbits earth. The result is that the same side of the moon is always visible from earth.

Due to irregularities in the moon’s orbit, slightly different portions of the moon is visible at different times, but no more than 59% of the moon’s surface can ever be observed from earth.


(#62 of 100)

Nine months and a bit and a bit …

The Elephant has the longest gestation period of any mammal (roughly 22 months). This is longer than larger mammals like whales including the largest of all; the Blue Whale.

Interestingly, the Indian Elephant, which is smaller than the African Elephant has a longer gestation period (mean of 645 and 640 days respectively).

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) mother with offspring.

(#61 of 100)

Longest and Smallest

The Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest of the world’s eight surviving bear species but it has the longest tongue.

It is an opportunistic omnivore (of the bears only the polar bear is a true carnivore) that uses its long tongue to get to ants, termites, bugs, honey and other delicacies.


A bear’s age can be determined from its teeth because bear teeth has year rings much like the year rings in trees.

Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus)

(#60 of 100)

How deep does this Rabbit hole go?

Rabbits have been domesticated many years ago. Hares on the other hand have not.

Unlike rabbits that burrow for protection hares rely on speed and agility. Hares do not burrow (that’s a rabbit hole) but spend their lives above ground.

While rabbits give birth to blind and naked young in burrows, hares give birth in shallow depressions to young with eyes open and a pelt.

Scrub Hare – (Lepus saxatilis).

(59 of 100)