Copper is a metal that was one of the first metal to be used by mankind. People used to make tools from it to make their living easier. Copper has 29 protons and 34 neutrons in its nucleus. The symbol of copper in periodic table is denoted by “Cu”.
Characteristics and Properties
Copper has reddish brown color and shiny surface.
It has very good ductility and malleability means it can be easily shaped into wires and sheets.
It is the very good conductor of electricity and heat.
Copper was used by ancient people to make tools. But, today it is used in wide variety of materials. Some are listed below:
About 60% of the produced copper is used to make electrical wires due to its good conductivity.
It is used in microprocessors of the computers, electrical motors, plumbing, and in industrial machinery.
Copper is used for making brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) and bronze (an alloy of copper and tin).
Where is it found?
Copper is a slow reacting metal, which makes it available in nature in its elemental form. That is the reason that ancient people were able to use the copper. Today copper is mostly extracted from its compounds; copper sulfide and copper carbonate.
Copper is present in its elemental form in nature, so people have known about copper from the beginning. Pure copper was used to make different tools, until the age of bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper in which copper is mixed with tin to make it harder.
Ancient bronze tools – Bronze is an alloy of copper.
Chile is the big producer of the mined copper worldwide.
The name copper was derived from the Latin word “Cuprum”, which means the island of Cyprus. Cyprus is the island from which the most copper was extracted by the Romans.
Copper is the second best conductor of the electricity, after the silver.
Carbon can be considered as a vital element found on the Earth. All the life forms (animals and plants) that you see around yourself are because of the carbon. Our body is also made of carbon compounds, including our organs, cells, and bones. Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and 4th most abundant element in the universe.
Characteristics and Properties
Carbon has the ability to make chemical bonds with itself and form chains. For that reason, carbon can make millions of different compounds with other elements.
Carbon has 3 allotropes, which are diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon. Allotropes are the materials that are made of same elements but their organization of atoms is different.
The color of the carbon is different for transparent for carbon and blackish for graphite and amorphous carbon.
Diamond is the hardest known substance found in nature.
The uses of carbon element are countless. Carbon is used by all living things and also used by humans for different purposes. Some uses are:
Carbon based fuel (coal, crude oil, gasoline, and methane) are used for transportation in vehicles, electricity generation and industrial purpose.
It is used for making plastics, steel, and black ink for inkjet printers etc.
Graphite is very soft material, it is used to make lubricants and nibs of your pencils.
Diamonds are used to beautify the jewelry and are one of the most precious gems.
Diamonds are also used in the cutting head of some tools.
Where is it found?
Carbon is found in every place of the Earth, both in elemental, and compound form. Many of us take carbon with us all the time. Guess what? The Pencil, their writing part is made of graphite which is a carbon allotrope.
Carbon is found in many compounds in nature. some of them are carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, gasoline, crude oil, edible oil, and marble for the floor etc.
All the life forms on the Earth are known as carbon based life forms, e.g. plants and animals. When plants die, they give wood. So, for the humans, they have always encountered wood in their livings and used it for heating and sheltering.
Our bodies are made of 18% carbon element by mass.
Diamond was recognized as the form of carbon in 1772 by Antoine Lavoisier.
The name carbon was derived from Latin word “carbo” means charcoal.
Lions are commonly known as ‘kings of the jungle’. People around the world consider the symbol of lions as the sign of strength and power. They are the world’s second largest cat after the tigers. They are the social cats and live together in groups called pride.
What do they look like?
Lions are the mammals. They grow about 5 to 6 feet long from its head to the back and can weigh as much as 130 kg (400 pounds). They have four legs with very powerful paws. They have very good eyesight, sense of smell, and sense of hearing, which make them incredible hunters. The male lions have a nice mane (hairs around the neck), whereas female lions don’t have the mane.
Male and female lions
Lions are carnivores (meat eater). They mostly eat buffaloes, zebras, and wildebeest. They are very good hunters, and often hunt in groups. The prey is mostly hunted by the female lions. Lions together with their group can hunt down elephants and giraffes. They spend about 20 hours in resting and sleeping and hunt during dusk and dawn periods.
The majority of the lions are found in the India and Africa. They mostly live together in groups called pride. Each pride contains about 3 to 30 lions. Pride is the mixture of the males, females, and cubs (baby lions). The cubs of the lions live with their family until they become 2.5 to 3 years old, then they are driven out of the pride.
The pride of Lions
Lions species are declared as vulnerable. African lions are red listed by IUCN and have been near the extinction. The number of lions has decreased due to the destruction of their habitats and forests. Many human hunters consider themselves as a brave man due to hunting a lion. The number of lions in India has reached to 500.
Flamingos are the pink colored birds with long and slim legs. They are the wading (walk through water) birds, they can stand on one leg for many hours. There are six species of flamingo living in different parts of the world. They are one of the longest-living birds, living for up to 40 years.
What do they look like?
American flamingos are pink in color with two slim legs and a long neck. They have a white bill on their face with black color on the tip. Flamingos have a pair of wings for flying. They can’t fly standing, but they have to run to catch the required velocity. When the chicks (babies of flamingos) are born they have the gray color. They get their pink color from their diet which contains carotenoid.
Flamingos eat the small creatures in the shallow waters, which includes small insects, planktons, and shrimp. They take the mud in their bill and filter out water and mud to get their food. Flamingos mostly stand on their one leg in the water, which also helps them to get the food. Because small creatures in the ponds consider their single standing led as a plant and gather around it.
The six species of the flamingos live in different regions of the Earth. They tend to live together in flocks. Their flocks can contain as much as 10,000 flamingos. Flamingos prefer to live closer to shallow water, like ponds and lakes where they can walk easily, so they catch their food.
Flock of flamingos
The number of flamingos has decreased in past 100 years due to the destruction of their habitat and over-hunting.
The largest flocks of the flamingos live in the Africa. The number of flamingos in these flocks can reach over a million.
Flamingos can fly much better than it is commonly thought by people. They can cover over 100 miles in a day in search of food.
Flamingos lay only one egg in a year, and the egg is watched by the parents together.
Elephants are the intelligent and largest land mammal on the Earth. They are very famous for their long trunk and curved tusks. They are very intelligent animals, they are able to use tools and can be taught to do a certain work. Many folk tales remember the elephants as “the animal that never forgets”. There are two types elephants; African elephant and Asian elephant.
What do they look like?
Elephants are known for their distinct features, which are the large trunk, curved tusks, large ears, and wide legs. Elephants can grow to a size of 11 feet high and can weigh as much as 6000 kg (13,000 pounds). African elephants are the much larger than Asian elephants with larger ears and tusks. They have dark gray color with wrinkled skin. Whereas, Asian elephants have gray and brown colors with less wrinkled skin. The skin of elephants can grow about 1 inch thick.
Elephants are herbivores (plant eater). They eat leaves, roots, fruits, grasses, and the barks of the trees. They use their trunk to break the branches of the trees for eating. Sometimes they completely destroy the tree which they are eating. An average elephant can eat about 300 pounds (140 kg) in a day and can drink as much as 30 gallons of water.
Two species of elephants are found across the African and Asian continents. They mostly prefer forests and live around ponds, because they often need to bath to cool their bodies during the day. Elephants are also found in savanna deserts. These elephants have special adaptions which help them to survive the dry deserts.
Elephants near the pond
In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared the elephants as endangered species. The number of elephants was decreasing rapidly due over hunting for their ivory tusks. But after the ban, hunting of elephants is controlled to some extent.
Scientists think that there were 350 species of elephants before the last Ice age, but today only 2 species are alive.
Elephants have very good memory. They remember the passed away family members and the location of the water.
Elephants use their long ears to cool their bodies.