Have you watched the Disney’s famous movie “Finding Nemo”, in which an orange fish called Nemo gets lost and his dad goes its search? Both of these fishes are the clownfish. They are orange and yellow in color and are sometimes called anemonefish. There are 28 species of clownfish, each having different colors.
Relationship with Anemone
They are called anemonefish because they have an amazing relationship with anemones in the sea. Anemones are the predatory sea animals which look like a plant and have a lot of poisonous tentacles. Clownfish are immune to the poison of anemone and live within them to get protection from predators. They, in turn, eat the parasites of anemone and make them clean.
Clownfish with anemone
What do they look like?
Clownfish are small fishes; they grow about 4 inches in length. They have a bright yellow colored body with 3 white stripes and black outlines on the body. However, some species have orange and maroon colored bodies.
Clownfish can eat both sea plants and small sea animals (they are omnivorous). They can eat the undigested or residual food from their partner anemone. But, their primary food source is zooplankton.
Clownfish prefer to live in warm water. They are found in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Great coral reef, and Red sea. They live near the shallow waters of lagoons, and under the shelter of reefs with anemones. Clownfish are not observed in the Atlantic.
Clownfish live under the shelter of reefs. These reefs have been destroyed by humans from many years. The destruction of reefs has affected the population and growth of clownfish. The movie “Finding Nemo” has increased the demand of clownfish to be kept as a pet. Many children have flushed their pet clownfish in the toilets, thinking that they are giving them freedom as they have seen in the Finding Nemo movie.
Obviously, these stupid activities are causing the damage to the life of clownfish. Parents should aware their children about the reality of the clownfish.
Clownfish sometimes eat the tentacles of its partner anemone.
Female clownfish is dominant in the group.
When the dominant female dies, a strong male takes its charge and becomes a female.
Females clownfish can lay more than 1000 eggs. These eggs are guarded by the males.
Cardinals are the small sized birds with the red colored body. The most famous species of cardinal is the northern cardinal. Cardinals are named after the Catholic leader, who wears bright red clothes. Cardinals communicate with each other by singing songs. Also, the males of one nest warn other males by singing a song. Male cardinals are very defensive for their nests; they readily fight with other males. Sometimes they start fighting with their own reflections.
What do they look like?
Northern cardinals are covered with red colored feathers, but their face is black colored. They have a strong beak and a long tail. They can grow to a height of 9 inches and can weigh as much as 48 grams. They have the wingspan about 30 cm.
Cardinals mostly go for searching food during dawn and dusk. They like to eat insects, fruits, and the seeds. They use their strong beak to dig out the insects from the bushes of the trees.
Cardinal eating sunflower seed.
Cardinals prefer to live in forests and build their nests in the thick and dense bushes. They usually build nests in the middle of bushes to avoid its predators, e.g. owls, dogs, cats, and snakes. When a predator tries to come closer to their nest, both male and female try to scare it. Cardinals are the common birds of US.
Nest of Northern cardinals with their eggs.
The population of cardinals is stable. But human caused activities are harming their habitat e.g. destruction of forests for the need of land.
Cardinals have the ability to sing 24 different songs.
Both male and female cardinal take care of their babies together.
Female and baby cardinal often sing a song to tell the males that they need food.
Bald eagles are very popular sea eagles in the US because they are the national birds of US. Bald eagles are not actually bald. The word bald is a modification of an old English word “balde” that means white. They are identified by their white head with a yellow beak. They are the largest raptors and sits on the top of the food chain.
What do they look like?
Bald eagles are the largest raptors that weigh around 9-15 pounds. Females are bigger and heavier than the males. Bald eagles have brown colored feathers on their bodies. They have a white head, yellow beak, and white tail. They are about 3 feet long, but their wingspan is up to 6 feet wide.
Bald eagles are carnivores (meat eater). They hunt down smaller animals including fishes and birds for their food. They mostly hunt salmon fish, rabbits, and ducks etc. Bald eagles are excellent hunters with very good eye sight. They fly high in the sky and watch for prey. When the prey is spotted, they dive very fast with a speed of 160 km/h towards it and catch it with their sharp talons.
Bald eagles are found the 50 states of US. They prefer to live near lakes or oceans where they can find food easily. They make their nests in the trees near the oceans or lakes.
Bald eagles are not endangered species in these days. However, in 1967, overhunting had brought them near extinction. But thanks to the good conservation efforts and laws made to protect bald eagles. Their population has increased very much in 40 years. They are now out of endangered species list and are placed in the least concerned species list.
Bald eagles can fly to great heights up to 10,000 feet.
Bald eagle is the national symbol of US, and it is also on the seal of the president of US.
The nests of bald eagles can be at the depth of 13 feet and can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds.
Silver is one of the precious metals found in the Earth’s crust. It is very famous metal like gold and is known by almost every people living on the Earth. People have been using silver from thousands of years ago. They mostly used silver for making jewelry and artworks. Silver is classified as a transitional element in the periodic table. It has 47 protons and 60 neutrons in its nucleus. Its symbol is ‘Ag’ which is derived from the Latin word “Argentum”.
Characteristics and Properties
Silver is a white metallic colored, lustrous, and soft metal.
It is the very good conductor of electricity; better than all the metals.
It is highly malleable and ductile metal, but lesser than gold.
It doesn’t react with air. It is corrosion resistant metal.
Silver has wide areas of usage. It has been used by humans from thousands of years ago. Let’s see some of its uses.
Silver is the very good conductor of electricity; it is used by electronic industries to build very efficient circuits.
It is used for medical purposes, e.g. used to fill cavities of teeth by dentists.
It is used for making jewelry.
Used for making long lasting batteries (these batteries are expensive).
Where is it found?
Silver is rare element relative to other elements. This rarity also makes it the precious metal. It is not a very reactive element, so it found in its pure form and also in some minerals, e.g. argentite. The major silver producing countries are China, Peru, and Mexico.
Silver is one of the elements that is known to mankind since ancient time. Archaeologists have found many artifacts from ruined cities that were 5000 years old. These artifacts are made of silver metal and its alloys.
Ancient silver coins
Silver was once used for making coins. These coins were used as currency much like the nickel coins of today.
Silver was once the main ingredient for photography. Photographic plates were immersed in silver nitrate solution. (see invention of the camera for more information)
Silver is germicide, means it can kill bacteria. But, silver metal is not toxic for humans.
Platinum is one of the most precious metals found on the Earth. It is more valuable and rare metal than silver and gold. It looks very pretty and shiny that attract people attention when used in jewelry. Platinum is classified as a transition metal in the periodic table. It is located in 10th column and 3rd row of the periodic table. Its nucleus contains 78 protons and 117 neutrons.
Characteristics and Properties
Platinum is a silvery-white and shiny metal.
It is a very dense element.
It is highly malleable and ductile metal.
It has good catalytic properties.
It is corrosion resistant and rust free.
Platinum is a very useful element, but since it is very rare on the Earth its uses are limited by its supply. Some uses of platinum are:
Platinum is used as a form of currency; it has high value due to its rarity.
Due to its luster and corrosion resistant property, it is used for making jewelry.
It is used as a catalyst in many chemical reactions, e.g. Hydrogen-fuel cells.
It is used for medical purposes including dental work.
It is used by automobile industries.
Where is it found?
Platinum is very rare metal, which makes it difficult to find in the crust. Since platinum is not a reactive element, which makes it available in its pure form in nature. The largest producers of platinum are South Africa and Russia. South Africa supplies about 68% of total platinum produced in the world.
Platinum was first found and used by the South Americans. They used to make jewelry and art from the platinum without knowing that it is entirely different metal from the silver.
Platinum was first discovered by William Hyde Wollaston. He was an English chemist who isolated the platinum to its pure elemental form. Platinum got its name from the Spanish language word “Platina”, means “silver”.
Platinum is 3rd densest metal found on the Earth.
It is the second most ductile metal after the gold.
The name platinum is often used with awards which are ranked higher.
The worldwide production of platinum is about 160 tons. Compare them with the production of gold, which is about 2500 tons each year.