Information for Students

Interesting Facts - Biology

[- Genetics -]
In a single human cell there are between 10,000 and 100,000 coded messages known as genes. If all the directions contained in all these genes were written down, the words would fill the equivalent of 10,000 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

[- Genetics -]
Scientists at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia have bred mice that have more than one set of parents. Known as "multimice," these creatures are spawned by taking two embryos created by two sets of parent mice, placing them together in such a way that the embryos grow together, then transplanting the entire organism into the womb of a third female mouse. The result is a baby mouse born with genetic characterisitics of both set of parents.

[- Memory -]
During experiments conducted in 1962 at the University of Michigan, scientists successfully extracted memory from one animal and transferred it to another. The experiment was conducted in the following manner. Over a period of time planarian worms were trained to behave in a particular way when exposed to light. These worms were then cut into pieces and fed to untrained planarians, and the untrained worms were put through the same learning paces as their predecessors. The second batch of worms, those that had dined on the first, learned many times faster than the originals, indicating that knowledge had somehow been transferred through body tissue. Similar experiments were later conducted at Baylor University: mice were trained to run through a maze, and an extract was then made of their brains. This extract was fed to untrained mice, which then learned the same maze twice as fast as their predecessors. If placed in a different maze, the untrained mice showed no particular aptitude for learning the layout. The implication of these experiments is that memory can be transferred from one being to another somatically as well as experientially.

[- Population -]
10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.



Interesting Facts - Animals

[- Anteater -]
An Anteater is nearly 6 feet long, yet its mouth is only an inch wide.

[- Alligators -]
Mississippi Alligators have the most powerful bite force ever measured. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Zoology of London, these Alligators snap their strong jaws shut with an average force of 2,125 pounds, or with about as much force as a mid-size car falling on top of someone. One even bit as much as 2,960 pounds of force.

[- Bears -]
They have 42 teeth.

[- Butterfly -]
They commonly have 12,000 eyes.

[- Cats & Dogs -]
According to the tests made at the Institute for the Study of Animal Problems in Washington D.C., cats & dogs, like people, are either right handed or left handed, that is, these animals favour either their right or left paws. 

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear. There was a cat in Japan that said neow. A cat is more inclined to watch TV than a dog, says the experts. (A cat relies more on vision, rather than on smell.)

[- Cockroach -]
They can live several weeks with their head cut off.

[- Cows -]
A heard of sixty cows is capable of producing a ton of milk in less than a day.

[- Crocodile -]
A Crocodile weighing 120 pounds exerts a force of about 1,540 pounds between its jaws. A human's jaw exerts a force of about 140 to 180 pounds.

[- Crocodile -]
A crocodile can't move its tongue and cannot chew. Its digestive juices are so strong that it can digest a steel nail.

[- Dinosaurs -]
Most Dinosaurs lived to be more than a hundred years old.

[- Dinosaur -]
The Stegosaurus, a giant dinosaur that grew to more than 18 feet long and was armed with enormous bony plates on its neck, back and tail, had a brain that weighed only 2 ounces, which is about the size of a walnut.

[- Dogs -]
The Chow is the only dog that has a black tongue. The tongues of all other dogs are pink.

[- Dogs -]
A common Labrador bites with 125 pounds of force.

[- Dogs -]
Nose prints are used to identify dogs in the same way finger prints are used to identify human beings. Breeders and trainers keep a dog's nose prints on file as part of its permanent record and insurance companies now require them whenever a dog is to be bonded. At one time paw prints were used as a means of canine identification, but these proved less accurate than noses.

[- Extinction -]
More than 99.9 percent of all animal species that have ever lived on earth were extinct before the coming of man.

[- Giraffe -]
The giraffe can open and close its nostrils at will, can run faster than a horse and makes almost no sound whatsoever. The first giraffe ever seen in the West was brought to Rome about 46 B.C. by no less a personage than Julius Caesar.

[- Giraffe -]
The giraffe's tongue is 18 inches long. It uses it's tongue to rip leaves off branches for consumption. It also uses it's tongue to clean it's nose when unwanted visitors like tree ants decide to visit. In comparison, if a human had such a tongue, one would be able to clean the top of one's head, one's nostrils and one's ears.

[- Giraffe -]
Though the giraffe's neck is about 7 feet long, it contains the same number of vertebrae as a mouse's, which is seven.

[- Giraffe -]
A giraffe can go without water longer than a camel.

[- Ivory -]
From 1890 to 1900, 20 tons of ivory were shipped every year from Siberia to London. All of this ivory was taken from the remains of woolly mammoths, which have been extinct since the Ice Age.

[- Kangaroo -]
At birth, baby kangaroos are only about an inch long, no bigger than a large waterbug or a queen bee.

[- Lion -]
A lion in the wild usually makes no more than twenty kills a year.

[- Moose -]
The male moose sheds its antlers every winter and grows a new set the following summer.

[- Moose -]
A full grown moose may be 8 feet high at the shoulder and weigh almost a ton.

[- Polar Bear -]
A newborn polar bear cub weighs a lot less than a newborn human, only about 1-1.5 pounds. Yet when fully grown, polar bears reach weights of up to 1,600 pounds.

[- Polar Bear -]
The Polar Bear is one of the only large land mammals that has absolutely no fear of man. It will stalk people at every chance and has been known to charge large groups of hunters, sometimes into heavy gunfire, not slowing down even after its vital organs have been hit repeatedly.

[- Pigs -]
Almost half of all the pigs in the world are kept by farmers in China.

[- Rats -]
Two rats can parent 15,000 rats in less than a year.

[- Rats -]
Kangaroo rats never drink water. Like their relatives the pocket mice, they carry their own water source within them, producing fluids from the food they eat and the air the breathe.

[- Rats -]
A rat can fall from a five story building without injury.

[- Sheep -]
Lanolin, an essential ingredient of many expensive cosmetics, in its natural form, a foul smelling, waxy, tarlike substance, is extracted from the fleece of sheep.

[- Skunk -]
A skunk will not bite and throw its scent at the same time.

[- Skunk -]
The smell of a skunk can be detected by a human a mile away.

[- Snakes -]
Most varieties of snakes can go an entire year without eating a single morsel of food.

[- Snakes -]
A Python can swallow a rabbit whole and may eat as many as 150 mice in a six month period.

[- Whale -]
The Blue Whale weighs as much as thirty elephants and is as long as three Greyhound buses.

[- Water Animals -]
Alligators, dolphins, crocodiles, frogs, porpoises, turtles, water snakes, whales and several other watergoing creatures will drown if kept underwater too long. Unlike fish, these animals require a certain amount of air in order to survive.


Interesting Facts - Natural Phenomena

[- Earthquake -]
An Earthquake in the Shensi Province of China in 1556 killed 830,000 people in less than three hours.

[- Meteorites -]
In 1868 approximately 100,000 Meteorites fell on the Polish town of Pultusk in one night.

[- Rain -]
There are parts of Europe, especially in southern France where it has Rained red Rain. Known as "Blood Rains," such showers were for years thought to herald the apocalypse. Some scientists believe that they are caused by a reddish dust that is blown all the way from the Sahara Desert Others believe that the red color comes from microorganisms in the water.

[- Seasons -]
In the city of Reykjavik, Iceland, one can see the stars eighteen out of twenty-four hours during the heart of winter. During the summer, sunlight is visible for twenty four hours a day.

[- Thunderstorm -]
Here is a method for determining how far away a Thunderstorm is located. Wait for a lightning flash. Then count the seconds that pass until the sound of Thunder is heard. Sound travels about 1 mile in five seconds. Thus if there are five seconds between the lightning flash and the Thunderclap the storm is approximately a mile away. If ten seconds pass, it is 2 miles away, and so forth.

[- Tides -]
In the Bay of Fundy, located between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada, the Tide sometimes rises 10 feet in one hour and attains heights as great as 60 feet from the beginning of the Tide to the end.

[- Waterfall -]
In St. John, New Brunswick, there is a Waterfall that flows upward. The Reversing Falls of St. John are located on a gorge that leads into the Bay of Fundy. At low tide the Water from the gorge comes cascading down on its way to the bay, At high tide. however, which in this part of the world is excessive, the bay's Water level rises 5 feet higher than that of the river itself. This causes a "bore," or rushing tide, to flow back into the river, and thus it pushes the Water back up the Falls.​