Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Did you know that the protein in the rattle of a Western Diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) is called keratin? This is the same protein that forms your nails and hair! When this death-defying animal is feeling threatened, it will shake its tail and it would sound like a rattle. This is how it get’s it’s name. When the snake rattles its tail, it might mean that it is about to attack. The snake can shake its tail at a rate of 20-100 times a minute!
A skilled hunter, the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is able to devour Mice, rats, rabbits, gophers, ground dwelling birds, lizards and many small animals. Animals such as deer, antelope, cows and horses regard the snake as a threat and they may try to trample or stomp the snake. Only 20% of the rattlesnakes survive their next year of living as they are heavily preyed on by coyotes, eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, feral pigs, badgers, indigo snakes, and kingsnakes. It avoids these animals by shaking it’s tail and trying to scare them off.
Camouflaged superiorly, the colour of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake ranges from brown to gray to pink. This depends on the shade of its habitat. It’s back is lined with dark diamond-shaped blotches outlined by lighter-colored scales. The spade-shaped head is distinguished by two dark stripes, one on each side of its face, that runs diagonally. It occupies diverse habitats. The most common habitats are desert flats, rocky hillsides, grassy plains, forested areas, river bottoms and coastal prairies. It is mostly found in the Southwestern United States and Mexico.
The gestation period lasts for 167 days. The birthing process may last for 3 to 5 hours and produce 10 to 20 young. This species is ovoviviparous. The new born snake pierce their thin egg immediately before birth and are born alive. It only stays with it’s mother for a couple of hours, or for a day at the most. Then they scatter in search for food.
The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is a unique animal because of it’s unusual technique to scare away predators. It is a venomous snake and it can inject venom into its prey by a bite or sting. We are very lucky in NZ because we don’t have this blood-curdling beast.
Monday, 13 November 2017
The crescent shaped bridge protects the icy cold stream flowing below. Milk white snow surrounds it to keep it company. Mouldy moss grows rapidly on the adamantine brick and ruins the texture. The dead trees gasp for help as the snow wrecks them. Asperous rocks peek out of the significant stream looking like mini volcanoes about to defeat the exotic, lush whiteness, with fierce, fiery, flaming lava.
The stream trickles loudly with delight as it flows underneath the vigorous, vast bridge. Frosted snow drips in the stream after melting exquisitely. Foxes howl to each other as if they are the king of the forest. Swoosh! The whistling wind whips through the unsatisfying trees and carries their conversation away.
A huge gust of hyperborean wind hits me as if I am rejected and unwelcome. Goosebumps appear faster than the speed of a bullet train. Frigid water rushed past and splashed on me like someone waking me up with a icy bucket of water. My feet dig into the freezing deluxe snow and reminded me of my childhood when my height was short.
I think you have entertained me by using your strong words-Viraj Mody
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
We have been reading a book called running wild from the author Michael Morpurgo. We have now finished it and all of us chose one main part of the story. My part is that the boy Will, goes to some one who saves him from the forest.