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Welcome to Taylor Hunters Wikispace!
Homework Post #1- Stem Cells

Stem cells are biological repair systems that can be developed into several different sorts of cells for the body. When stem cells divide they each take on a role, whether it is a muscle, a brain cell or blood cell depending on certain biological signals.
There are two types of stem cells, adult stem cells that come from adults and also somatic cells that come from infants or foetuses.
Stem cells have been around for decades and there is nothing new about them. All stem cell therapies so far have only used adult stem cells. In the 1990s was the time when the most productive biological studies were done.
There is a lot of excitement about stem cells as they can really help us out. Some scientists expect to be able to use combinations of stem cells to replace several groups of cells and one day organs. The media has lots to say about stem cells, however not every person is okay with these types of cells, certain religions do not like the fact that stem cells are created for research and then thrown away or destroyed. But scientists are trying to find a better way to handle this.
Scientists believe that embryo cells are maybe better because they do not contain any already specialized cells, embryotic stem cells can form into almost any type of cell. The first line of embryotic stem cells was created by James Thomson in 1998. After seven years of research all over the world, there are only 150 well-characterized embryonic stem cells.
I learned a lot from this article and I think stem cells are going to develop into something really great and helpful in the future!

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Cookson, Clive. (2005). Mother of cells. Stem Cells,
Retrieved from http://www.sciamdigital.com/index.cfm?fa=Search.

Homework post #2- Apoptosis

 Apoptosis is a programmed cell death in multicellular organisms apoptosis is completely normal throughout multicelluar cells. Many refer to apoptosis as "cell suicide" because unlike the opposing cell death Necrosis, the death of the cell is controlled. Cells have a huge "say" in the death of the cell because it is in control. Cells do apoptosis from cell signals that can be positive or negative. During apoptosis, the shape of the cell is morphed several times into different shapes and the cell shrinks quickly. The death of the cell is so controlled that the death almost follows a specific order as to how apoptosis happens.

There are two main reasons why cells undergo apoptosis: one being that apoptosis is needed in order for the cell to develop properly. An example that i really like is when a tadpol looses its tail to become a frog, the tail is lost through apoptosis. The second reason for apoptosis is to try and destroy cells that may be a threat to the integrity of organisms. An example would be that in radiation treatment for cancer therapy, apoptosis is in types of cancerous cells.


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Wikipedia, . (2011, February 16). Apoptosis. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ApoptosisDash, Phil. (n.d.). Apoptosis/ cell death. Retrieved from http://www.sgul.ac.uk/depts/immunology/~dash/apoptosis/Apoptosis. (2011, February 07). Retrieved from http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/A/Apoptosis.html

Post #1- Cells in Babies are Helpful to Mothers

Cells from babies remain in the bone marrow of there mother for many many years after the child has been removed form the mothers uterus. These cells actually heal wounds the mother may go through even years after giving birth to there child. Many scientists believe that these cells can help protect the mother for the rest of her life because babies cells linger in the mothers body for years and they are similar to stem cells and help repair damage to tissus or when she gets sick.

These cells are called fetal cells, and they are made into specialized cells that can be useful to many parts of the body, parts like the cervix, intestine and gall bladder. This is not only in humans, but studies have done experiments with mice and dogs. These studies showed that pregnant mice's skin wounds healed much faster before and after pregnancy. They examined a pregnant mouse and noticed that when they cut the mices skin, similiar cells (fetal cells) went to the wounds and helped repair them.

These cells also helped to improve woman that have autoimmune disorders like authritis and multiple sclerosis mostly while they were pregnant. So these disorders were improved during the pregnancy due to these fetal cells that the baby gives to the mother.
However, fetal cells seem awesome, but there is one downside to these cells, they can sometimes inhance the chances of getting autoimmune disorders, which is really not great. It just depends on what side you get from pregnancy, but for the most part pregnancy has rewarding benifits, not only with carrying your own child and reciving a son or daughter, but also helps to keep the mother healthy during and long after the pregnancy.

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Motluk, A. (2011). Cells from babies help heal their mothers . Retrieved from http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6610-cells-from-babies-help-heal-their-mothers.htmlKrulwich, R. (2011). next post > babies' cells linger, may protect mothers. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5195551
Post #2- Ninja Slug

Over 120 new species were discovered in a protected part of Borneo, but one that I find super cool that we saw in class was the yellow-green ibycus rachelae slug. This slug was found up very high on leaves high up in the forest canopy. This strange slug is not like just any other slug, this slug mates differently than other types of slugs. The yellow- green ibycus rachelae slug has been given a common name of the “Ninja Slug” and a classification name of “Ibycus Rachelae”. This slug has a strange way of mating, instead of mating like regular slugs, this ninja slug fires out “love darts” at another slug he wants to mate with. The actual name of these love darts are Harpoons. These harpoons are full of hormones that contain the sexual gametes that the slug shoots at another slug he wants to mate with. Scientists believe that this way of reproduction could improve the success of reproduction. This slugs tail is three times the length of his head, and then it wraps its tail around its body.
I think this is so interesting! But unfortunately this species is so new that there is not much information about it. However, if I was going to name this slug, common name of course, I would have called it the “Cupid Slug” since it is shooting love darts, as cupid himself does.
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Schilthuizen, M. (2011). Worlds longest bug and the discovery of the ninja slug. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/9869-world-longest-bug-ninja-slug-discovered-borneo.htmlKoomen, P. (2010). Ninja slug. Retrieved from http://www.earthninja.info/node/17
Jensen, M. (2010, April 22). Ninja slug discovered in borneo. Retrieved from

 Blood Types; Mother, Fetus Post #3

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During pregnancy, many mothers need to take medications because they have a different blood type than the fetus that is living inside of them. The reason for this is because the babies blood and mothers blood come in contact and if the blood types are different, the mothers body may think that the fetus is not supposed to be there or that it is harmful to the mother. The mother then develops antigens that try to get ride of the baby’s blood cells by attaching it. This is called isoimmunized. So the mothers body is fighting its baby. There is no way to tell what blood type the baby has until it is born, unless a surgery is performed, therefore it is a decision the mother must make, whether or not to take these medications, because if the mother is Rh- the baby could very well be also, however the baby could also have a different type like Rh+, which could cause problems.

There are four blood types, A,B, AB or O, and everyone has one of these four blood types. You also have a Rh factor, that is either Rh- or Rh+. 85% or people are Rh+.

If a mother has A- blood and a father has A+ blood, health problems could arise and are more common to show up in this cases. However, different blood types usually are not a problem if it is the mothers first pregnancy, why? Because it is unlikely that blood comingles between baby and fetus during the first pregnancy, which is why many mothers have a harder time with their first and third etc. pregnancies.
I originally began this research because I have different blood type than my mother and my mother had a perfect pregnancy with me, but my middle sister has the same blood type as my mother and she had a very hard pregnancy with her and now my middle sister has a few health problems, things like allegies and so on. So when I began this research I thought I had found my answer; because second pregnancies are harder, but then my little sister has the same blood type as me and she was also a good pregnacie and has no health problems. My dad is A+ just like me and my little sisters so wouldn’t that mean we would be the ones with health problems? My research is not done!!external image 3037_a_blood.jpg

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Powers, K. (2007). When a mother's and baby's blood differs. Retrieved from

Newmours, Kidshealth. (2010). Rh incompatibility. Retrieved from

Flesh Eating Disease Post #4

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I chose to do this post on flesh eating disease because when I was two years old I contracted this extremely serious infection that a lot of times people die from. I was lucky I guess because I had a pretty sever case. I contracted this through a cut in my nose where bacteria called streptococcos live unharmfully.Flesh eating disease is extremely rare and very very serious and can cause death. Flesh eating disease is the common name for Nectotizing Fasciitis. There are many symptoms for flesh eating disease, you definitly know something is not quite right with your body. The common symptoms are fever, hot spreading swelling, and purplish skin that then kills the skin. In my case I only had the high fever and purple to dead skin and it spread INSANELY fast.
Flesh eating disease is caused by bacteria, it is often caused by b
acteria that is currently living in you now, but it is not harmful until it is inflammed. This bacteria is streptococcos GAS that I mentioned earlier and usually this bacteria just causes strep throat, however for some the worst thing this bacteria can cause is a bad case of strep throat, but for others it can cause a fatal illness. Most people that contract this sickness have a weaker immune system, a chronic illness, or just simply come in contact with someone who has flesh eating disease. In my case I was cut by a stick that entered my nose when I was little and the bacteria got into my skin tissues and caused an out break.

What happends when you contract this disease is that the infecting spreads very quickly and easily through the deeper skin layers, and causes skin to die and it burns severly. I know that when I had it, anytime my skin came in contact with someone elses skin my skin would begin to peel off and it was excrutiating pain. It was not fun. But I am so greatful that I did not die and that today I have to signs of the disease, no scars or anything.
I was treated for Flesh Eating disease with antobiotics, but you can also get surgery to remove the tissus that contain the infection.

Health Canada, Initials. (2006, 12 07). Flesh eating disease. Retrieved from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/diseases-maladies/flesh-chair-eng.php
Wikipedia, Initials. (2011, 04 07). Necrotizing fasciitis. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necrotizing_fasciitis

Platypus Post #5
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These creatures are already prettttty weird, but aparently there is an entire other thing about platypuses that is almost even more strange. Platypuses share many characteristics with many other species, such as they produce milk, they are mammals, they lay eggs they have a bill, a skeleton and contain some feautures similar to reptiles. The sex of a platypus is determinded in a rather different way. The sex of most mammals is determinded by the X and Y chromosones ( this goes for humains too). To tell wheather or not a mammal is male you would look for an XY for a female it is two Xs, this system is similar with birds, only they use ZW.

However, the chromosones in platypuses are quite unique, instead of a set of two chromosones, platypuses have sets of TEN! X1X1X2X2X3X3X4X4X5X5 is a female and X1Y1X2Y2X3Y3X4Y4X5Y5. Scientists discovered this by staining the chromosones in the platypus cells and examining them under a microscope.
Something else that I thought was kind of interesting was that when a XXXXX sperm fertilizes and egg, a female platypus is produced, and YYYYY sperm always produces a male platypus.
Its always the most random animals that are the most interesting!

Nature, DOI. (2004, 10 30). Why sex like of the duck-billed platypus is xxxxx- rated. Research news and discovery, 19.
Post #6- Tulips

I love tulips, so here is a bit of information that you may not have known about this beautiful flower. Tulips are in the kingdom Plantae and the genus Tulipa there are aproximately 109 different species of tulip flowers. There is roughly about 3,000 varieties of tulips that are known. Tulips come in just about any color and usually tulips will have 2-6 petals and one flower per stem. However, there are certain types of tulips that have up to 12 petals and some have four flowers per stem. There are 15 different classes for tulips based on there characteristics. The average tulip is about 10-17 cm tall. Tulips have a life span of about 3-7 days. Tulips are supposed to be a token of a perfect lover, passion, love, declaration of love, romance, fame, charity and dreaminess. :)

Tulips grow from bulbs that are placed into the earth, and are found in Africa, Europe and Asia.
Just like all living things, tulips also can get diseases. Botrytis tulipae is a fungal disease that effects tulips, this disease causes cell death and eventually the plant to rot. Other pathogens that infect tulips are: anthracnose, bacterial rot, blight, bulb nematodes, and other "rots" like blue and black molds.
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Buzzle, Initials. (2011). Facts about tulips. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/facts-about-tulips.htmlWikipedia, Initials. (2011, may 01). Tulip. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip
Post # 7 Sea Stars
Sea stars are very interesting creatures that live in our oceans. For years Marin Scientists had give the common name "Star Fish", however it has recently changed to "Sea Star" as sea stars are not fish, they are chinoderm, in fact they have a closer realtion with sand dollars and sea urtrens than they do with fish. Sea stars typically have five "arms" but there are certain species that have up to 40 arms! This is just one of the characteristics that has created over 2,000 different species. Sea stars take part in the kingdom animalia and phylum Echinodermata . Sea stars are found in all of the earth oceans (even antartica) , meaning that star fosh do not only like warm living conditions, many sea stars live in cooler regions and on the cool ocean floor such as 500 meters below the surface. Sea stars are very much adaptable to different temperatures and enviroments. Sea stars are carnivores, but the way that their digestive system works is really interesting, their stomac pushes out their mouth and digests the food that way, the mouth is located underneather the sea star and the anus on top of their body.
The way sea stars reproduce is quite interesting aswell, like jelly fish and sponges, sea stars reproduce extrenally by letting out plenty of sperm and eggs into the ocean. When an egg becomes fertilized, the baby sea star is formed called a Larvea. Larvea are transparent and travel around the ocean floor by they oceans current for around two months. Very cool. Star fish are well known for their bright colors and shape and also their ability to regenerate harmed limbs, similar to a sponge. Sea stars move by tube feet,they contain hundreds of these tube feet on the underside of their body they are able to contract their muscles in order to move around, however they move very very slowly. Sea stars move and eat and get rid of waste through hydraulic water vascular system. The other side of star fish is very rough and sharp, this is to help protect the sea stars from predators and such.
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"Starfish (Sea Stars)." Star Fish ( Sea Star). National Geographics, 2011. Web. 16 May 2011
"Sea Star Facts." Sea Star Facts. Aquaticcommunity, 2008. Web. 16 May 2011.
"Sea Star- Enchanted Learning." Sea Star . Enchanted Learning, 2010. Web. 16 May 2011

Post# 8: Box Jellyfish
I find the box jellyfish very interesting, they take the cake on being the most venomous creatures in the world. These jellyfish have this special, deadly, self –protection to make it easy to escape from predators without damaging their delicate body and tentacles. The reason why their venom is so powerful is because it lets out toxins that attack the heart, nerve system and skin cells immediately. This venom kills fish and other predators easily, however, the venom is so powerful that it can even kill humans. Humans often go into shock from the pain drown and die, but humans have also died from heart failure and then drowning. There are several humans that have survived this terrible pain, but the pain lasted for weeks and there is more likely then not a scar that is left behind from the tentacles that came in contact with the skin.

external image boxjellyfishfatalsting.jpgBox jellyfish typically like off of northern Austarlia. They are blue transparent and their body is rather cube like, hence the name box jellyfish. These jellyfish are also called sea wasps. There are typically 15 tentacles that grow from the corners, these tentacles can grow sometimes longer than 10 feet in lenghth. On each tentacle there are asbout 5,000 stinging cells (cnidocytes) and these are triggered by just the presence alone of a chemical on the outer layer of the prey/ predator.

Surprisingly they do not only have the best and quickest way of self defense, but they are also one of the animals with the best eye sight. Box Jellyfish have clusters of eyes on each of the four sides. Box jellyfish typically do not have less than 24 eyes. However scientists are not sure how these jellyfish would be able to process what they see since they do not have a nervous system, so they believe that the eyes are there to sense light, dodge obstacles and control how fast or slowly they should be swimming. What amazing creatures! [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWIunBay4FI&feature=related|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWIunBa]]y4FI&feature=related

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"Box Jellyfish." Box Jellyfish. National Geographics, 2011. Web. 17 May 2011.
"Box Jellyfish." Box Jellyfish studies reval amazing eyesight. ZME Science, 2011. Web. 17 May 2011.

Post # 9 Bottlenose Dolphins
The most common dolphin that humans are most familiar with is the bottlenose dolphin. These dolphins are part of the family Delphinidae, the genus Tursiops and there species is Truncatus. Dolphins are known for how friendly and intelligent they are and have nearly always interacted with humans. Adult dolphins are usually anywhere from 8-12 feet long and can weigh 1,430 pounds. Male dolphins are always significantly larger than females.
Male bottlenose dolphins are usually ready to mate at the age of 10, and females at the age of 5-10 years of age. Dolphins are mammals, therefore they do not lay eggs, and they carry them just the same as humans do. However, the female dolphins carry their baby for 12 months before giving birth to their baby dolphin called a calve. Dolphins mate all year long, there is not a certain time of years that they mate and have babies. The bond between the mother and calve is about 3-6 years, the calves stay with their mother and she teaches the basics like how to capture food and swim and other critical tasks. Calves do nurse from their mother for about 12-18 months.
The brain of the bottlenose dolphin is much larger in comparison to other mammals of the same body size. Scientists believe that the larger brain in dolphins shows the high intelligence.
Dolphins are also very well known for their unique sense of hearing. In dolphins, the auditory cortex of the brain is very well developed. The dolphin auditory never is nearly twice the diameter of the human eight nerves. This means that sounds are processed much quicker for dolphins. The dolphins auditory nerve supply is almost three time more than a humans. Bottlenose dolphins can hear tones with a frequency of around 160 kHz and have the greatest sensitivity that ranges from 40 to 100 kHz. To compare this more clearly, a humans hearing on average is from about 0.02 to 20 kHz… Dolphins ears are not attached to the skull, they are held with ligaments outside the skull. Because their ears are separated from the skull this allows dolphins to localize sound, this is very important for echolocation. Most mammals (including humans) can not localize sounds under water very well. Also dolphins have acute eyesight both in and out of water. The most sensitive parts of the bottlenose dolphins body is the blowhole and around the eyes and mouth. Dolphins are amazing creatures, very kind and gentle and extremely intelligent! I love dolphins and I would love to one day interact with one.
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Bottlenose dolphin. (2004, Feb). Retrieved from http://www.acsonline.org/factpack/btlnose.htm
Bottlenose dolphin. (2011, May 23). Retrieved from http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/bottlenose/senses.htm
Post #10 ( or 9-1) Albino Dolphins
Now that we found out so much about bottlenose dolphins that here is something very interesting. There have been three sightings of Albino bottlenose dolphins in the world. The first one was in 1994 in New Orleans. The coloring of the regular bottlenose dolphin is a grey blue color, but the albino dolphin seems to be a pretty light pink color, but it is in fact white. The next time anyone saw an albino dolphin was in 2003 in Texas and it was commonly saw until the end of the year in 2004. And finally the most resent sighting of this amazing creature was in 2007 at Calcasieu lake. This dolphin was a calf with its mother who was not albino. Albino dolphins are very very rare, not just albino dolphins but any albino animal at all is very rare. Humans can also be albino.
Albino is simply an effect that is due to a gene mutation that changes or effects the regulare pigmentation. There are different levels of albinism.
I thought this was amazing ! I find it interesting that a regulare dolphin can give birth to such an interesting and rare albino dolphin, all because of a gene mutation.
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Albino dolphin. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.dolphin-inspirations.com/albino-dolphin.html

Post # 11- The lung Fishexternal image 34_lungfish.jpg
The lungfish is an amazing fish that that pretty does just about anything it can to survive the environmental conditions that may change. The scientific name of the lungfish is Neoceratodus forsteri. What makes these fish so cool is that they have lungs that allow them to breath outside of water. These fish also have gills like all other fish but they also contain lungs. Most lungfish that still exist today are found in Africa and Australia. Lungfish have a similar body structure to a slimy eel, long and slender , only they have fins and two lungs. Another very cool thing about these fish is what they do to survive when water levels are low, the lungfish are able to move around and dig in the mud and travel underground eating mud and pushing it out their gills. These fish will stay underground for up to four years! The lungfish also secrete a mucus from their skin and they cover themselfes completely , leaving a hole so they can breath and just stay there until water returns. This mucus hardens like a cocoon, it has a leathery feeling and when the rain comes and the water hits the cocoon, it “melts” allowing the fish to move toward the water again. These fish will do anything to live!

Lungfish also are known for building nests for their babies, the eggs are laid by the female and it is the male lungfish that stays and watches and protects the eggs. The males tend to be rather aggressive while watching there babies. When the babies hatch, they have gills only, and then as they mature, they develop lungs also and in some cases their gills will disappear completely.

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What are lungfish?. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.essortment.com/lungfish-23557.html
Australian lungfish. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.nativefish.asn.au/lungfish.html

Post #12- Hyperhidrosis
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Sweating is an essential thing that happens to all of us in order for our bodies to cool down and to attain a comfortable body temperature. Naturally, our bodies want to cool down when the body temperature rises such as when performing physical activity and even when we are uncomfortable or nervous. The evaporation of sweat from the surface of the skin gives off the cooling feeling that the body seeks. Sweat or perspiration doesn’t just come out any old pore or opening it can find, sweating happens in specific glands called sweat glands. Some people may have more sweat glands than others, they may be more active than others also. Many people believe that male sweat glands are more active than females… But I don’t know about that. The human body contains 3 to 4million sweat glands! Sweat releases water and concentrated amounts of sodium and chloride.

Although some people may sweat more than others, some people have some serious sweating going on.
Excess sweating is called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a rather embarrassing condition, and therefore it is not really discussed often, this is more common than you would think. Although this condition may seem silly and unimportant, think again, this condition can ruin the social and professional life of people. People that are effected by Hyperhidrosis even sweat when temperatures are cool. The most common age
for hyperhidrosis to occur is between the ages of 25 and 65, however this also effects young people. Hyperhidrosis happens because of overactive sweat glands and two `types of hyperhidrosis can occur, they are called focal hyperhidrosis and generalized hyperhidrosis. Generalized hyperhidrosis is simply excess sweating that occurs all over the body, this can be caused by medications, infections and chronic illness, or it could just be how your sweat glands are, it is not always caused by something. Focal hyperhidrosis is when excess sweating happens in a specific part of the body, armpits, face, hands, soles of feet and other parts of the body. This condition is not contagious, but it can be caused by genetics. This condition really effects people’s lives. On the other hand, people that have hyperhidrosis may not realize that there are treatments out there to help with excess sweating.

Doctors can perform two types of tests, the first one is called starch iodine test and the second is a paper test. The first test is determined by using Iodine and starch to locate where the excess sweat is coming from and the other is they weigh the weight of a test paper to determine the amount of sweat. There are oral and topical medications. The topical is treated by a higher concentrated antiperspirant that contains aluminum, this is usually used for mild cases of hyperhidrosis, however it is not all fun and games because some people feel discomfort from this treatment like stinging and burning around the area. The oral medication is a pill that lessens sweating by effecting the nerves in the area that sweats. Once again, there are side effects such as blurry vision, constipation, dry mouth and other strange things like that.

Why do people sweat?. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.thegeminigeek.com/why-do-people-sweat/
Hyperhidrosis. (2010, 07 11). Retrieved from http://www.hyperhidrosis.ca/

Post # 13- Chameleons
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Chameleons are fascinating lizards that have an incredible ability to camouflage; they change color to blend in with their surroundings for protection. Other traits that separate chameleons from other lizards are their long projectile tongues which enable them to catch food such as insects and BIRDS their tongue can project up to twice its body length, their eyes that move independently and certainly other characteristics too. As of now, there are 150 species of chameleons in the world. Most are in Europe, Asia and Africa. Over half of these species are found in Madagascar. Most Chameleons are about 17- 25 cm in length, but there have been some species that have grown up to 60 cm in length. Chameleons have helmet shaped hands; bulgy eyes that move on their own, and a straight or curled tail. Also some species’, usually males have horn-like structures that grow from their head.

All of this is great and all but what I find very interesting about these creatures is their ability to change color. Each chameleon has the ability to undergo color change; this change in color happens through the concentration of pigment granules also known as melanophore cells. These cells are a part of a nervous system called the Autonomic Nervous System. The factors that cause a chameleon to change color are things like light, temperature and what is very interesting is there emotions, if they feel comfortable or if they are scared, these all effect the color that the chameleon presents. Usually when you see a chameleon they are typically yellow, green or a color that is along those lines. But Chameleons can be very beautiful colors, some of the most beautiful colors are present in males while mating. Some of the colors are so bright and lively that when people look at them they can hardly believe that the chameleon is creating these colors naturally. One this that I was very surprised at was the fact that chameleons do not change color to match their background. Kind of disappointing, but oh well.

Another very cool thing is that the eyes of a chameleon are specialized; they can focus on something very quickly and then are able to enlarge the image that it sees! Also Chameleons lay eggs, 2- 40 eggs with an incubation of three months. There are certain types that do not lay eggs but have a live birth and no placenta is present during this time. These creatures are very interesting, I learned so much from this post.

Vitt, L. (2011). Chameleon (Reptile). opædia britannica. Retrieved June 8, 2011, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/105053/chameleon
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