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April 2013

Sniffing Out The Stink Lily

Mon 29th April 2013 (0 comments)
(c) A-Z-Animals

There are hundreds and thousands of different species of plant around the world and like animals, their primary focus in life is to reproduce in order to ensure the continued survival of their species for generations to come. Plants however, are static and so rely on help to both spread their seed and for pollination.

Numerous factors assist in the reproduction of plants including windy weather but it is the attraction of insects that is the primary focus of most (if not all) of the plants found all around the world. One of the most obvious methods that plants use is to produce brightly coloured petals or a sweet-smelling scent that guarantees interest from bugs.

Palm Oil Plantations In Pictures

Fri 26th April 2013 (0 comments)
(c) A-Z-Animals

Palm oil is found in an increasing number of products on our supermarket shelves from our daily foods to cosmetics, baby products and even pet food. Sadly it is almost impossible to determine which products do actually contain it as palm oil is rarely labelled as such but is instead masked as vegetable oil or fat or a multitude of other things in cosmetics.

We all know that palm oil plantations have contributed to drastic deforestation in biologically sensitive areas particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia, with the biggest concern being that much of the palm oil that is grown is done so un-sustainably and even illegally in some cases. Travelling through areas in these countries can result in passing through areas of over 100km where nothing other than palm oil plantations can be seen.

A Good Cup Of Tea

Wed 24th April 2013 (0 comments)
(c) A-Z-Animals

A good cup of tea is our favourite beverage here in the UK (and only second to coffee in many other western countries) however, how much do we really know about the origins of tea or about the different types of a plant that cannot even be grown here in the cooler climates of the British Isles?

Well, it will not come as a surprise to many that tea is thought to have originated in China in the Yunnan Province, located in the south-west of this enormous country, at some point during the Shang Dynasty between 1500BC and 1046BC. Originally grown and consumed as a medicinal drink, the first record of tea drinking is dated in a medicinal text in the 3rd century AD.

Celebrate Earth Day 2013

Mon 22nd April 2013 (0 comments)
(c) www.earthday.org

On April 22nd every year, people all around the world take part in Earth Day when more than 1 billion people from organisations, governments, communities and even individuals take the time to acknowledge the planet that we call home and think more carefully about what we can do to protect it.

1970 saw the first official Earth Day which is said to have taken advantage of the increasing awareness of people for the planet as a whole, following the end of the Vietnam war, channelling the incredible energy generated by anti-war protest movements into genuine concern for the environment and the importance of protecting the precious world that we live in.

Why Do Cats Knead?

Wed 17th April 2013 (3 comments)
(c) A-Z-Animals

Despite being much smaller (and a lot less ferocious) than their wild ancestors, domestic cats still exhibit uniquely feline traits including the way that they silently stalk their prey, curl up into a tight ball to snooze and even their seemingly excessive need to clean and groom themselves after their evening meal.

Another incredibly common feline behaviour (and one that often confuses people a great deal) is their insistence on kneading or pawing soft surfaces by pushing in out and with their paws as they alternate between right and left. This behaviour although displayed by most cats, can actually vary between individuals with some kneading with their claws out while the claws of others are completely retracted.

Interesting Insect Facts

Mon 15th April 2013 (1 comment)
(c) A-Z-Animals

Insects, although small, make up the largest and most biodiverse group within the animal kingdom. Found in all habitats around the world, insects come in all shapes and sizes but all have a number of characteristics in common most notably that they have three body segments, two antennae and three pairs of legs.

Insects are in fact so numerous that for every human being on the planet, there are thought to be around 200 million insects and, if that isn't mind-boggling enough, the combined weight of all of the insects on the planet is 12 times greater than the weight of all the people in the world combined. Here are some more interesting insect facts that you may not know:

Finally The Start Of Spring

Fri 12th April 2013 (0 comments)
(c) A-Z-Animals

It may have been very late coming this year thanks to the bitterly cold and wintry weather that we saw in the UK up until last week, but as the last of the snow melts away spring is most certainly ready to burst into life behind it.

The trees may still look a little bare and leafless however, slowly but surely this years buds are beginning to appear and are readying themselves for the warmer weather ahead, attracting numerous species of birds and insects into our parks and gardens.

Palm Oil In Cosmetics

Mon 8th April 2013 (1 comment)
(c) A-Z-Animals

Thanks to increased awareness throughout the global media, more and more people are becoming aware that they are very likely to be contributing to the devastating situation caused by the heavily unregulated palm oil industry without even knowing it, as palm oil is very rarely actually labelled as such in product ingredients lists.

We now know that when we see "vegetable fat" or "vegetable oil" listed on product packaging that it could very well be masking the fact that the product contains palm oil (and it very likely does considering that the latest studies suggest that nearly half of all products on our supermarket shelves do in fact contain palm oil).