Reptile Awareness Day🐊🩎🐍🐱

Reptile Awareness Day takes place annually on October 21st. The purpose of Reptile Awareness Day is to promote learning about different types of reptiles, their natural habitats, and the ecological threats and issues that threaten many reptile species such as habitat loss and threat of extinction and to raise awareness concerning what can be done about it. Reptile Awareness Day was created by a group of reptile enthusiasts intent on changing the public image of reptiles. The study of these traditional reptile orders, historically combined with that of modern amphibians, is called herpetology. Since then R.A.D. has been a popular event for the herpetologically inclined to gather and share their love of the cold-blooded critters that share their lives. From the magnificent Bearded Dragon, playful Gecko’s, Turtles, and the huge but cuddly Forest Boa, reptiles are increasingly popular pets the world round. Reptiles are widespread, and serve an important role in the ecosystem and are a vital part of a healthy environment.

Reptiles are tetrapod vertibrates in the class Reptilia, comprising today’s turtles, crocodilians, snakes, amphisbaenians, lizards, tuatara, and their extinct relatives that either have four limbs or, like snakes, are descended from four-limbed ancestors. They are scaly and cold-blooded and that, with a few vivaporous exceptions lay eggs. They include turtles, terrapins, and tortoises; lizards, snakes, and legless worm lizards; the tuatara of New Zealand; and crocodiles, alligators, gavials, and caimans. There are 6,500-10,000 species of reptiles, which live on every continent except Antarctica.

However some reptiles are more closely related to birds than they are to other reptiles (e.g., crocodiles are more closely related to birds than they are to lizards), hence the traditional groups of “reptiles” listed above do not together constitute a monophyletic grouping or clade (consisting of all descendants of a common ancestor). For this reason, many modern scientists prefer to consider the birds part of Reptilia as well, thereby making Reptilia a monophyletic class, including all living Diapsids.

The earliest known proto-reptiles originated around 312 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, having evolved from advanced reptiliomorph tetrapods that became increasingly adapted to life on dry land. Some early examples include the lizard-like Hylonomus and Casineria. In addition to the living reptiles, there are many diverse groups that are now extinct, in some cases due to mass extinction events. In particular, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event wiped out the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, ornithischians, and sauropods, as well as many species of theropods, including troodontids, dromaeosaurids, tyrannosaurids, and abelisaurids, along with many Crocodyliformes, and squamates (e.g. mosasaurids).

Modern non-avian reptiles inhabit all the continents except Antarctica, although some birds are found on the periphery of Antarctica. Several living subgroups are recognized: Testudines (turtles and tortoises), 350 species; Rhynchocephalia (tuatara from New Zealand), 1 species;Squamata (lizards, snakes, and worm lizards), over 10,200 species; Crocodilia (crocodiles, gavials, caimans, and alligators), 24 species; and Aves (birds), approximately 10,000 species.

Unlike amphibians, reptiles do not have an aquatic larval stage. Most reptiles are oviparous, although several species of squamates are viviparous, as were some extinct aquatic clades and the fetus develops within the mother, contained in a placenta rather than an eggshell. As amniotes, reptile eggs are surrounded by membranes for protection and transport, which adapt them to reproduction on dry land. Many of the viviparous species feed their fetuses through various forms of placenta analogous to those of mammals, with some providing initial care for their hatchlings. Extant reptiles range in size from a tiny gecko, Sphaerodactylus ariasae, which can grow up to 17 mm (0.7 in) to the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, which may reach 6 m (19.7 ft) in length and weigh over 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).

World Animal day

World Animal Day is a global event held annually on 4 October. The purpose of World Animal Day is to educate the public concerning the plight faced by many animals today and to unite the animal protection movement. It has been led and sponsored by UK-based animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation http://www.naturewatch.org since 2003. The mission of World Animal Day, according to the official World Animal Day website is “To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.”

Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres (110 ft) and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The study of animals is called zoology.

Most living animal species are in the Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan. The Bilateria include the protostomes—in which many groups of invertebrates are found, such as nematodes, arthropods, and molluscs—and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms and chordates (including the vertebrates). Life forms interpreted as early animals were present in the Ediacaran biota of the late Precambrian. Many modern animal phyla became clearly established in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion which began around 542 million years ago. 6,331 groups of genes common to all living animals have been identified; these may have arisen from a single common ancestor that lived 650 million years ago.

Aristotle divided animals into those with blood and those without. Carl Linnaeus created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809. In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into the multicellular Metazoa (now synonymous with Animalia) and the Protozoa, single-celled organisms no longer considered animals. In modern times, the biological classification of animals relies on advanced techniques, such as molecular phylogenetics, which are effective at demonstrating the evolutionary relationships between animal taxanomy. Humans make use of many other animal species for food, including meat, milk, and eggs; for materials, such as leather and wool; as pets; and as working animals for power and transport. Dogs have been used in hunting, while many terrestrial and aquatic animals are hunted for sport. Non-human animals have appeared in art from the earliest times and are featured in mythology and religion.

World Animal Day was originated by Heinrich Zimmermann, the German writer and publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog. He organized the first World Animal Day on 24 March 1925 at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany. Over 5,000 people attended this first event. The event was originally scheduled for 4 October, to align with the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology, however the venue was not available on that day. The event was moved to 4 October for the first time in 1929. Initially he found a following only in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. Every year Zimmermann worked tirelessly on the promotion of World Animal Day. Finally, in May 1931 at a congress of the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence Italy, his proposal to make 4 October World Animal Day universal, was unanimously accepted and adopted as a resolution. World Animal Day was also mentioned in 1931 at the convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy who wished to highlight the plight of endangered species.

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World water monitoring day

World water monitoring day takes place annually on 15 September. It. was established in 2003 by America’s Clean Water Foundation (ACWF) as a global educational outreach program. The program, subsequently named the “World Water Monitoring Challenge” and “EarthEcho Water Challenge,” aims to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by empowering citizens to carry out basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Roberta (Robbi) Savage, ACWF’s President and CEO created WWMD, and Edward Moyer was the first WWMD Coordinator. 

A simple test kit enables everyone, children and adults, to sample local water bodies for a set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). Information on purchasing low-cost test kits is available from the current sponsoring organization, EarthEcho International, and the results of monitoring events are then shared with participating communities around the globe on the sponsor’s website.

World Water Monitoring Day was originally celebrated annually on September 18. This date was initially chosen to be a month later (October 18) to recognize the anniversary of the US Clean Water Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1972 to restore and protect the country’s water resources. In 2007, the date was changed to facilitate participation in parts of the world where temperatures reach freezing conditions at that time.

In 2006, ACWF transferred the coordination of the event to the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA). The collective goal was to expand participation to one million people in 100 countries by 2012. In January 2015 the management of World Water Monitoring Day was transferred to EarthEcho International. In 2008 many students took part in water sampling to bring attention to the importance of water quality. As of 2018, EarthEcho International encourages participants to conduct their monitoring activities as part of the “EarthEcho Water Challenge” during any period between March 22 (World Water Day) and December of each year. As of 2018, EarthEcho International encourages participants to conduct their monitoring activities as part of the “EarthEcho Water Challenge” during any period between March 22 (World Water Day) and December of each yea

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer takes place annually on 16 September. It was designated by The United Nations General Assembly. The ozone layer or ozone shield is a region of Earth’s stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It contains high concentration of ozone (O3) in relation to other parts of the atmosphere, although still small in relation to other gases in the stratosphere. The ozone layer contains less than 10 parts per million of ozone, while the average ozone concentration in Earth’s atmosphere as a whole is about 0.3 parts per million. The ozone layer is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere, from approximately 15 to 35 kilometers (9.3 to 21.7 mi) above Earth, although its thickness varies seasonally and geographically.

The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson. Measurements of the sun showed that the radiation sent out from its surface and reaching the ground on Earth is usually consistent with the spectrum of a black body with a temperature in the range of 5,500–6,000 K (5,227 to 5,727 °C), except that there was no radiation below a wavelength of about 310 nm at the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. It was deduced that the missing radiation was being absorbed by something in the atmosphere. Eventually the spectrum of the missing radiation was matched to only one known chemical, ozone. Its properties were explored in detail by the British meteorologist G. M. B. Dobson, who developed a simple spectrophotometer (the Dobsonmeter) that could be used to measure stratospheric ozone from the ground. Between 1928 and 1958, Dobson established a worldwide network of ozone monitoring stations, which continue to operate to this day. The “Dobson unit”, a convenient measure of the amount of ozone overhead, is named in his honor. The ozone layer absorbs 97 to 99 percent of the Sun’s medium-frequency ultraviolet light (from about 200 nm to 315 nm wavelength), which otherwise would potentially damage exposed life forms near the surface.

In 1976, atmospheric research revealed that the ozone layer was being depleted by chemicals released by industry, mainly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Concerns that increased UV radiation due to ozone depletion threatened life on Earth, Including increased skin cancer in humans and many other ecological problems, led to bans on the chemicals, and the latest evidence is that ozone depletion has slowed or stopped. Venus also has a thin ozone layer at an altitude of 100 kilometers from the planet’s surface.

Sir Peter Scott CH CBE DSC and bar MID FRS FZS

British naturalist ornithologist, conservationist, painter, naval officer sportsman. and explorer Sir Peter Scott CH, CBE, DSC and Bar, MID, FRS, FZS was born in London 14th September 1909 , The only child of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott and sculptor Kathleen Bruce and was only two years old when his father died. Robert Scott, in a last letter to his wife, advised her to “make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games.” and his godfather was J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. He was educated at Oundle School and Trinity College, Cambridge, initially reading Natural Sciences but graduating in the History of Art in 1931. Like his mother, he displayed a strong artistic talent and had his first exhibition in London in 1933. His wealthy background allowed him to follow his interests in art, wildlife and many sports, including sailing and ice skating. He represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at sailing in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in the O-Jolle class dinghy.

During World War II, Scott served in the Royal Navy, emulating his father. He served first in destroyers in the North Atlantic but later moved to commanding the First (and only) Squadron of Steam Gun Boats against German E-boats in the English Channel. He is also partly credited with designing ‘shadow camouflage’, which disguised the look of ship superstructure. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery. In 1948, he founded the organisation with which he was ever afterwards closely associated, the Severn Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) with its headquarters at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. In the years that followed, he led ornithological expeditions worldwide, and became a television personality, popularising the study of wildfowl and wetlands. His BBC natural history series, Look, ran from 1955 to 1981 and made him a household name. He wrote and illustrated several books on the subject, including his autobiography, The Eye of the Wind (1961). In the 1950s, he also appeared regularly on BBC radio’s Children’s Hour, in the series, “Nature Parliament”. Scott was also one of the founders of the World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly called the World Wildlife Fund), and designed its panda logo. His pioneering work in conservation also contributed greatly to the shift in policy of the International Whaling Commission and signing of the Antarctic Treaty, the latter inspired by his visit to his father’s base on Ross Island in Antarctica. Scott was a long-time Vice-President of the British Naturalists’ Association, In June 2004, Scott and Sir David Attenborough were jointly profiled in the second of a three part BBC Two series, The Way We Went Wild, about television wildlife presenters and were described as being largely responsible for the way that the British and much of the world views wildlife.Scott’s life was also the subject of a BBC Four documentary called “Peter Scott – A Passion for Nature” produced in 2006

During his life he won many awards, In 1943, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) “for skill and gallantry in action with enemy light forces”, and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1942 King’s Birthday Honours. He was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1953 Coronation Honours. In the 1987 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) “for services to conservation”. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 1973 for his contribution to the conservation of wild animals. He had been a founder of the World Wildlife Fund, a founder of several wetlands bird sanctuaries in Britain, and an influence on international conservation. He received the WWF Gold Medal and the J. Paul Getty Prize for his work. Peter Scott Sadly passed away on 29 August 1989 however he leaves behind an impressive legacy and made a a valuable and enduring contribution to nature and wildlife.

International Whale Shark Day

International Whale Shark Day takes place annually on 30 August On the anniversary of Whale Sharks being added to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 18.8 m (62 ft) The whale shark holds many records for size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate. It is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon and the only extant member of the family Rhincodontidae, which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. Before 1984 it was classified as Rhiniodon into Rhinodontidae.

The whale shark is found in open waters of the tropical oceans and is rarely found in water below 21 °C (70 °F).[2] Modeling suggests a lifespan of about 70 years, and while measurements have proven difficult, estimates from field data suggest they may live as long as 130 years. Whale sharks have very large mouths and are filter feeders, which is a feeding mode that occurs in only two other sharks, the megamouth shark and the basking shark. They feed almost exclusively on plankton and small fishes, and pose no threat to humans.

The species was distinguished in April 1828 after the harpooning of a 4.6 m (15 ft) specimen in Table Bay, South Africa. Andrew Smith, a military doctor associated with British troops stationed in Cape Town, described it the following year. The name “whale shark” refers to the fish’s size, being as large as some species of whales, and also to its being a filter feeder like baleen whales. Whale sharks have a mouth that can be 1.5 m (4.9 ft) wide, containing 300 to 350 rows of tiny teeth and 20 filter pads which it uses to filter feed. Unlike many other sharks, whale sharks’ mouths are located at the front of the head rather than on the underside of the head. Whale sharks have five large pairs of gills. The head is wide and flat with two small eyes at the front corners. Whale sharks are dark grey with a white belly. Their skin is marked with pale grey or white spots and stripes which are unique to each individual. The whale shark has three prominent ridges along its sides, which start above and behind the head and end at the caudal peduncle. Its skin can be up to 15 cm thick and is very hard and rough to the touch. The shark has two dorsal fins set relatively far back on the body, a pair of pectoral fins, a pair of pelvic fins and a single medial anal fin. The tail has a larger upper lobe than the lower lobe (heterocercal). The whale shark’s spiracles are just behind its eyes. The whale shark is the largest non-cetacean animal in the world. The average size of adult whale sharks is estimated at 9.8 m (32 ft) and 9 t (20,000 lb). The largest total length the species can reach is uncertain due to a lack of information on how measurements were taken in many of the reported individuals. Several specimens over 18 m (59 ft) in length have been reported.

The whale shark inhabits all tropical and warm-temperate seas. The fish is primarily pelagic, living in the open sea but not in the greater depths of the ocean, although it is known to occasionally dive to depths of as much as 1,800 metres (5,900 ft). Seasonal feeding aggregations occur at several coastal sites such as the southern and eastern parts of South Africa; Saint Helena Island in the South Atlantic Ocean; Gulf of Tadjoura in Djibouti, Gladden Spit in Belize; Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia; Kerala, Lakshadweep, Gulf of Kutch and Saurashtra coast of Gujarat in India; Útila in Honduras; Southern Leyte; Donsol, Pasacao and Batangas in the Philippines; off Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox in Yucatan and BahĂ­a de los Ángeles in Baja California, MĂ©xico; Maamigili island, Maldives; Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia; Cenderawasih Bay National Park in Nabire, Papua, Indonesia; Flores Island, Indonesia; Nosy Be in Madagascar; off Tofo Beach near Inhambane in Mozambique; the Tanzanian islands of Mafia, Pemba, Zanzibar; Gulf of Tadjoura in Djibouti, the Ad Dimaniyat Islands in the Gulf of Oman and Al Hallaniyat islands in the Arabian Sea; and, very rarely, Eilat, Israel and Aqaba, Jordan. Although typically seen offshore, it has been found closer to land, entering lagoons or coral atolls, and near the mouths of estuaries and rivers. Its range is generally restricted to about 30° latitude or lower. It is capable of diving to depths of at least 1,286 m (4,219 ft), and is migratory. On 7 February 2012, a large whale shark was found floating 150 kilometres (93 mi) off the coast of Karachi, Pakistan. The length of the specimen was said to be between 11 and 12 m (36 and 39 ft), with a weight of around 15,000 kg (33,000 lb).

The whale shark is a filter feeder – one of only three known filter-feeding shark species (along with the basking shark and the megamouth shark). It feeds on plankton including copepods, krill, fish eggs, Christmas Island red crab larvae and small nektonic life, such as small squid or fish. It also feeds on clouds of eggs during mass spawning of fish and corals. Whale sharks are known to prey on a range of planktonic and small nektonic organisms that are spatiotemporally patchy. These include krill, crab larvae, jellyfish, sardines, anchovies, mackerels, small tunas, and squid. The many rows of vestigial teeth play no role in feeding. Feeding occurs either by ram filtration, in which the animal opens its mouth and swims forward, pushing water and food into the mouth, or by active suction feeding, in which the animal opens and closes its mouth, sucking in volumes of water that are then expelled through the gills.

There is currently no robust estimate of the global whale shark population. The species is considered endangered by the IUCN due to the impacts of fisheries, by-catch losses, and vessel strikes, combined with its long lifespan and late maturation In June 2018 the New Zealand Department of Conservation classified the whale shark as “Migrant” with the qualifier “Secure Overseas” under the New Zealand Threat Classification System. It is listed, along with six other species of sharks, under the CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks in 1998, the Philippines banned all fishing, selling, importing, and exporting of whale sharks for commercial purposes,followed by India in May 2001, and Taiwan in May 2007.
In 2010, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill resulted in 4,900,000 barrels (780,000 m3) of oil flowing into an area south of the Mississippi River Delta, where one-third of all whale shark sightings in the northern part of the gulf have occurred in recent years. Sightings confirmed that the whale sharks were unable to avoid the oil slick, which was situated on the surface of the sea where the whale sharks feed for several hours at a time. No dead whale sharks were found. This species was also added to Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2003 to regulate the international trade of live specimens and its parts. Hundreds of whale sharks are illegally killed every year in China for their fins, skins, and oil.

Peter Scott CH CBE DSC bar MID FRS FZS

British naturalist ornithologist, conservationist, painter, naval officer sportsman. and explorer Sir Peter Scott CH, CBE, DSC and Bar, MID, FRS, FZS Sadly passed away on 29 August 1989. He was born in London 14th September 1909 , The only child of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott and sculptor Kathleen Bruce and was only two years old when his father died. Robert Scott, in a last letter to his wife, advised her to “make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games.” and his godfather was J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. He was educated at Oundle School and Trinity College, Cambridge, initially reading Natural Sciences but graduating in the History of Art in 1931. Like his mother, he displayed a strong artistic talent and had his first exhibition in London in 1933. His wealthy background allowed him to follow his interests in art, wildlife and many sports, including sailing and ice skating. He represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at sailing in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in the O-Jolle class dinghy.

During World War II, Scott served in the Royal Navy, emulating his father. He served first in destroyers in the North Atlantic but later moved to commanding the First (and only) Squadron of Steam Gun Boats against German E-boats in the English Channel. He is also partly credited with designing ‘shadow camouflage’, which disguised the look of ship superstructure. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery. In 1948, he founded the organisation with which he was ever afterwards closely associated, the Severn Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) with its headquarters at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. In the years that followed, he led ornithological expeditions worldwide, and became a television personality, popularising the study of wildfowl and wetlands. His BBC natural history series, Look, ran from 1955 to 1981 and made him a household name. He wrote and illustrated several books on the subject, including his autobiography, The Eye of the Wind (1961).

During the 1950s, he appeared regularly on BBC radio’s Children’s Hour, in the series, “Nature Parliament”. Scott was also one of the founders of the World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly called the World Wildlife Fund), and designed its panda logo. His pioneering work in conservation also contributed greatly to the shift in policy of the International Whaling Commission and signing of the Antarctic Treaty, the latter inspired by his visit to his father’s base on Ross Island in Antarctica. Scott was a long-time Vice-President of the British Naturalists’ Association, In June 2004, Scott and Sir David Attenborough were jointly profiled in the second of a three part BBC Two series, The Way We Went Wild, about television wildlife presenters and were described as being largely responsible for the way that the British and much of the world views wildlife.Scott’s life was also the subject of a BBC Four documentary called “Peter Scott – A Passion for Nature” produced in 2006

During his life he won many awards, In 1943, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) “for skill and gallantry in action with enemy light forces”, and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1942 King’s Birthday Honours. He was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1953 Coronation Honours. In the 1987 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) “for services to conservation”.He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 1973 for his contribution to the conservation of wild animals. He had been a founder of the World Wildlife Fund, a founder of several wetlands bird sanctuaries in Britain, and an influence on international conservation. He received the WWF Gold Medal and the J. Paul Getty Prize for his work And he along with Sir David Attenborough inspired me, to take a great interest in nature and wildlife, which, I still find absolutely fascinating.