Saturday, August 28, 2010

Indian Glassfish

PD Photo: Indian Glassfish (Parambassis ranga) in an aquarium

The Indian glassy fish, Parambassis ranga (earlier classified as Chanda ranga), aka Indian glassfish, Indian glass perch and Siamese glassfish, is a species of freshwater fish of the Asiatic glassfish family native to south Asia in an area extending from Pakistan to Malaysia.

The Asiatic glass fishes are freshwater and marine water fishes of the family ‘Ambassidae’ of the order ‘Perciformes’. These are native to freshwater bodies in Asia and Oceania and the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean. The family Ambassidae includes eight genera (Ambassis, Chanda, Denariusa, Gymnochanda, Paradoxodacna, Parambassis, Pseudambassis, and Tetracentrum) and about fifty species in these eight genera.

The Indian glassfish has a strikingly transparent body revealing its bones and internal organs. The male glassfish develops a dark edge to the dorsal fin. The fish grows to a length of 8 centimeters (3.1 inches).

Indian glassfish prefer to swim at the middle and lower levels of the aquarium tank and it will eat most small live and frozen foods. Generally they do not prefer dried foods such as flakes. The fish reproduce young ones by females laying eggs and males fertilizing the eggs.

PD Photo: ‘Painted’ Indian Glassfish (Parambassis ranga), color injected by sellers of aquarium fishes

Indian glassfish, Parambassis ranga, is a popular species of aquarium fish noted for their transparent bodies. They are sometimes injected with colored dyes by aquarium fish dealers, using an artificial fish coloring process known as fish painting, fish dyeing or fish juicing.

Dyed glassfish, also known as disco fish, are sold to home aquarium hobbyists often after fish painting by injecting dyes into the fish's transparent tissues to make them more attractive to hobbyists. The artificial coloration fades away within a short time. Healthy, non-painted glassfish may live three to four years in captivity.

In their natural habitats, glassfish are found in still water bodies and it breeds prolifically during the rainy season. They feed on crustaceans, annelid worms, and other invertebrates.

PD Photo: Indian Glassfish in an aquarium, exact species unknown; both the photos show the same species, and are in the same aquarium.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech

PD Photo: The Ramblin' Wreck, a 1930 Ford Model A Sports Coupe, leading the Yellow Jackets onto the field against Maryland in 2006.

The Ramblin' Wreck (spelled either Ramblin' Wreck, Ramblin' Reck, or Ramblin' 'Reck), a 1930 Ford Model A Sport coupe, from Georgia Tech serves as the official mascot of the student body at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Wreck is present at all major sporting events and student body functions. Its most important role is leading the football team into Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, a duty which the Wreck has performed since 1961. The Ramblin' Wreck is mechanically and financially maintained on campus by students in Ramblin' Reck Club.

The official Ramblin' Wreck is considered the only TRUE Wreck, and no backups or replacements exist. The Institute has adopted the spelling Ramblin' Wreck and holds a trademark on the phrase.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

PD Images of horses

Galloping horse free animated public domain image

Animated Image: Sequence of a race horse galloping; photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge (death in 1904) first published in 1887 in Philadelphia. The horse galloping animation is set to motion using the frames of photos taken from Muybridge's Human and Animal Locomotion series, published 1887 by the University of Pennsylvania.

Note: This image is in public domain. But you may not be able to save it to your computer as the image did not move/ show animation when uploaded to this site’s server. So, I am placing the image from a different server.

To place this FREE animated image in your blog, site or homepage, just cut and paste the code below:

Horses generally move with four basic gaits: four-beat walk (average speed 6.4 kmh/ 4.0 mph); two-beat trot or jog (13 to 19 kmh /8.1 to 12 mph); canter or lope, a three-beat gait (19 to 24 kmh/ 12 to 15 mph) and the gallop (40 to 48 kmh/ 25 to 30 mph. The reported world record for a horse galloping over a short, sprint distance is 88 kilometers per hour (55 mph). Besides these basic gaits, there are many variations observed in many horse breeds.

Horses generally move with four basic gaits: four-beat walk (average speed 6.4 kmh/ 4.0 mph); two-beat trot or jog (13 to 19 kmh /8.1 to 12 mph); canter or lope, a three-beat gait (19 to 24 kmh/ 12 to 15 mph) and the gallop (40 to 48 kmh/ 25 to 30 mph. The reported world record for a horse galloping over a short, sprint distance is 88 kilometers per hour (55 mph). Besides these basic gaits, there are many variations observed in many horse breeds.

PD Photo: Wild stallion Lazarus and part of his band in West Warm Springs HMA (source: Bureau of Land Management, Office of Public Affairs, Oregon, USA).

Bay colour (left), and chestnut colour (also called sorrel) are two of the most common coat colors seen in almost all breeds. Horses exhibit a diverse array of coat colors and distinctive markings explained in a specialized vocabulary for horse breeders/ lovers.

PD photo: Three horses in a breeding place eating grass

Ford’s 1951 Model Mercury Custom Car

PD Photo: Mercury, an automobile brand of the Ford Motor Company.

Mercury, an automobile brand of the Ford Motor Company, established in 1939 by Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford to market entry-level-luxury cars slotted between Ford’s regular models and Lincoln-branded luxury vehicles, similar to General Motors' Buick brand and Chrysler’s car model Chrysler. The name ‘Mercury’ is derived from Roman mythology and during its early years the Mercury brand was known for performance. It was slightly revived in 2003 with Mercury Marauder. The Mercury brand is used in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Middle East. The Mercury brand is scheduled to be phased out ceasing production of Mercury vehicles by the last quarter of 2010.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tortoises mating

PD Photo: A pair of tortoises mating in a zoo

Tortoises (land turtles) are reptiles living on land belonging to the family of Testudinidae of the order Testudines. Tortoises vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters. Their lifespan is compared to humans, though there are claims about tortoises in zoos/captivity having lived longer. For instance, in the Alipur Zoological Gardens in India there was an Aldabra Giant Tortoise brought to India by Lord Wellesley in 1875. It was at least 130 years old when it died, though there are claims that it was over 250 years old.

Many species of tortoises are sexually dimorphic. In some species, males have a longer, more protruding neck plate than females. In others the females’ claws are longer than males’ claws and females tend to be larger than males. The male also has a plastron that is curved inwards to aid mating.

Tortoises of some species lay only a single egg, while others may lay up to 30 eggs. For instance Testudo hermanni boettgeri, the Balkan Hermann's tortoise, lays 6 to 10 eggs. Most Mediterranean tortoises lay 5 to 6 eggs per clutch, and they can lay two or more clutches per season.

Incubation of tortoise eggs depends on availability of favorable temperature range (around 30 °C), and for most species incubation takes between 8 and 11 weeks. The lower the temperature the longer it takes, for example, at around 27 °C incubation can take 18 weeks or more, while at 35 °C the mortality rate of eggs/newborn tortoises will be the highest.

Onam celebrations: Pookalam

PD Photos: Pookalam (floral mosaic or floral carpet), an artistic floral mosaic created on the front courtyard of homes and buildings in Kerala during the annual Onam celebrations.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thiruvathira Kali during Onam celebrations

Photo: Students of College of Engineering Chengannur (CEC), affiliated to the Cochin University of Science and Technology, performing Thiruvathira Kali as a part of the Onam celebrations. Thiruvathira Kali is a dance form of Kerala, photo by Arunanand T A.

Onam is the grandest festival celebrated in Kerala, India, as well as Malayali people settled or working in all parts of the world, in the month of Chingam (Malayalam calendar) may fall August-September. It is symbolic of the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali, who once ruled his kingdom, which was the most prosperous and the happiest according to legends. The festival lasts for four or more days and it is an occasion to highlight and re-enact Kerala's culture and tradition, and among many other things include snake boat races (Vallam Kali) and perform dances like Thiruvathira Kali, Kaikottikkali, Thumbi Tullal, Kummattikali, Kathakali, Pulikali (Kaduvakali), etc.