Tidbits

Is an article just too much for your attention to cope with? Try these hor’ dourves style facts instead:

Anatomy

  • in the majority of domesticated animals, there are a total of 11 bones that make up the cranium (skull)
  • our maxilla (upper jaw) is fixed to our skull. When we open our mouths it is our mandible (lower jaw) opening and closing.
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Tweety Bird’s skeleton revealed

Digestion and the Guts:

  • the koala has the longest caecum to body size of any animal (up to four times its body length). The caecum is a specialised section of the digestive tract that helps to breakdown plant matter.
  • the cow’s stomach is divided into four sections:
    1. abomasum – true stomach
    2. reticulum – to increase surface area, it is covered in honeycomb like structures
    3. rumen- large bag where fermentation occurs
    4. omasum- absorbs water and nutrients

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Excretion

  • the excretory system is composed of the kidneys and the ureters
  • the kidneys help in retaining water
  • chicken nitrogenous excretions are composed of:
    • 75% uric acid
    • 10-15% ammonia
    • 2-10% urea
    • 1-5% creatine
    • 2% ammino acid
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Sometimes things go wrong….

Invertebrates

  • when the kissing bug bites a human its saliva enters through the bite site. In the saliva is the protein, ‘nitrophorin’ which binds to nitric oxide (NO). The nitric oxide released causes the blood vessels to dilate which prevents clotting and the bug can gorge itself on the water and salt in human blood.
  • there are 275,000-350,000 described species of beetle
  • the coconut crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial crab weighing in at 9 pounds and a leg span over 3ft. The larger specimens are estimated to be between 40-60years of age. They are capable of opening a coconut.

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Reproduction:

  • the four-eyed anablep female’s vagina can be located on her left or right side of her body. This means that a female with a left sided vagina needs to find a male with a left sided penis and those with right sided vaginas need to mate with a male with a right sided penis.
  • Plato believed that the uterus could move around a woman’s body. He therefore theorised that if a woman did not become pregnant regularly, her uterus would “wander” from its designated place. This translocation was associated with “hysteria” which was a term for anxiety and other disorders. This belief was used by men to justify their frequent need for copulation as pregnancy was seen to be beneficial for female health.  The removal of the uterus is commonly referred to as a ‘hysterectomy’ as it traditionally aimed to remove the cause of a woman’s hysteria.
  • in folklore there is mention of a “vaginia dentata”. As the name implies, this is a vagina with teeth
  • uteruses come in many shapes and sizes. For example, marsupials have a duplex uteruses with two cervices.
  • The male oppossum has a bifurcated (two pronged) penis. This lead Appalachians to believe that oppossums mated through the nose. Whereas in reality, females have a duplex uterus with two cervices so having a two pronged penis makes sense.
  • a bull elephant’s penis can weight up to 25kg (55lb)
  • oxytocin is a hormone excreted by the brain to promote uterine contractions. During childbirth oxytocin can be administered to increase these contractions and to help prevent excessive bleeding
  • elephants have a gestation of 22months and their oestrous cycle is 16 weeks
  • roman snails shoot love darts at each other to ensure they are of the same species
  • female rhinos fight males before allowing him to mate with her. These fights can last longer than a day. Only males that have the endurance and skill to outmatch the female are deemed worthy to pass on their genetics
  • a pair of Indian pythons were observed mating for 180 days
  • the multimammate rat has the highest offspring production rate. In the right conditions she can produce 120 offspring per year.
  • oysters can change gender and then return to their original gender
  • a dragonfly’s penis is equipped with a shovel on the end that removes the previous male’s sperm from the female
  • the scrotal skin, with exception to the eyelid, is the only part of the body with little to no fat

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