Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Karen



The Karen or Kayin people, refer to a number of Sino-Tibetan language speaking ethnic groups which reside primarily in southern and southeastern Burma. The Karen make up approximately 7 percent of the total Burmese population of approximately 50 million people. A large number of Karen also reside in Thailand, mostly on the Thai–Burmese border. The Karen are often confused with the Red Karen. The subgroup of the Karenni, the Padaung tribe from the border region of Burma and Thailand, are best known for the neck rings worn by the women of this group of people. Some of the Karen, led primarily by the Karen National Union, have waged a war against the central Burmese government since early 1949. The aim of the KNU at first was independence. Since 1976 the armed group has called for a federal system rather than an independent Karen State.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Starfish


Starfish or sea stars are echinoderms belonging to the class Asteroidea.[2] The names "starfish" and "sea star" essentially refer to members of the class Asteroidea. However, common usage frequently finds "starfish" and "sea star" also applied to ophiuroids which are correctly referred to as "brittle stars" or "basket stars".
There are about 1,800 living species of starfish that occur in all the world's oceans, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian as well as in the Arctic and the Southern Ocean (i.e. Antarctic) regions. Starfish occur across a broad depth range from the intertidal to abyssal depths (>6000 m).

Starfish are among the most familiar of marine animals and possess a number of widely known characteristics, such as regeneration and feeding on mussels. Starfish possess a wide diversity of body forms and feeding methods. The extent that Asteroidea can regenerate varies with individual species. Broadly speaking, starfish are opportunistic feeders, with several species having specialized feeding behavior, including suspension feeding and specialized predation on specific prey.

The Asteroidea occupy several important roles throughout ecology and biology. Starfish, such as the Ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus) have become widely known as the example of the keystone species concept in ecology. The tropical Crown of Thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) are voracious predators of coral throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Other starfish, such as members of the Asterinidae, are frequently used in developmental biology.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Green-tailed Towhee

The Green-tailed Towhee, Pipilo chlorurus, is the smallest towhee, but is still one of the larger members of the "American sparrow" family Emberizidae.

Its breeding range covers most of the interior Western United States, with a winter range in Mexico and the southern edge of the Southwestern United States.

This bird can be recognized by the bright green stripes on the edge of its wings. It has a distinct white throat and a rufous cap. It is fairly tame, but often stays hidden under a bush. It is fairly common in habitats with 'sagebrush' and other such bushes. It is uncommonly seen because of its tendency to stay under cover.