Rainfall Patterns: how much is too much rain?

Rainfall is called precipitation. Rain is freshwater, not saltwater.

Precipitation includes rain, drizzle, sleet, snow, graupel, and hail. It is water vapour that condenses and falls to earth. (Mist and fog are not precipitation because they do not fall; the moisture remains in a cloud near the ground).

A little bit of very small drops of rain that falls very gently is called drizzle.

A little bit of rain that falls steadily is called a rain shower.

Rain with small ice pellets is called sleet.

Rain with heavy and large ice pellets is called hail.

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Chinese Softshell Turtle

The Chinese Softshell Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) is a freshwater chelonian and a reptile. It is called softshell because its shell does not have scales – instead, its shell is leathery and flexible, which enables it to move more easily at the bottom of muddy lakes.

The Chinese Softshell Turtle has an olive-green upper shell, called a carapace. Its lower shell, called a plastron, is orange-red. Its legs and head are olive-green. It has dark flecks on its head and dark lines from its eyes. Its throat is mottled. It has a long snout (nose) and a short tail. It has flipper feet to enable it to swim in water.

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Pygmy Hippopotamus

The Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensisor Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a small hippopotamid. It is a semi-aquatic mammal. Hexaprotodon means six front teeth. It is closely related to the whale and the dolphin.

The Pygmy Hippopotamus has a brownish-grey to pinkish barrel-shaped body with short legs. Its skin is virtually hairless, but it does have some bristles. It has four toes on each foot. It has ivory teeth. It has small ears, small dark eyes, and large nostrils. It has a short tail with a tuft of hair at the end.

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Colchis Pond Terrapin

The Colchis Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis colchica) is a semi-aquatic freshwater chelonian, and a reptile.

The Colchis Pond Terrapin has a light-brown and dark-brown top shell, called a carapace, with a distinctive pattern and a slight dome. Its bottom shell, called a plastron, is beige to light-brown. It has an oval-shaped head with large dark eyes. Its feet have claws with webbing in between to enable it to walk on land and swim in water.

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Caspian Shemaya

The Caspian Shemaya (Alburnus chalcoides) is a common and widespread freshwater cyprinid fish. It is also called the Danube Bleak.

The Caspian Shemaya is an elongated fish with no scales at its posterior end near its tail. It has 18-31 gills. Its long, thin teeth are curved inwards. It is metallic silver with a contrasting olive-green back. Its eyes are bright silver. The dorsal and caudal fins are greyish and its other fins are colourless to whitish.

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Clown Knifefish

The Clown Knifefish (Chitala chitala) is a freshwater fish. It is also known as the Indian Featherback.

The Clown Knifefish is an elongated fish with silver scales and faint silvery bars along its back. It has a series of dark spots towards the rear of its body. Its locomotion (movement) is unusual, as it uses its paddle tail (like an eel) and anal fin to steer itself. Continue reading “Clown Knifefish”

What is the difference between a clam, a cockle, a mussel, and a scallop?

What is the difference between a clam, a cockle, a mussel, and a scallop?

The clam, cockle, mussel, scallop, and even the oyster, are all marine bivalve molluscs. Bivalve means two valves.

They all have a shell structure, called a mantle, with two valves (two halves) and a ligament hinge with two adductor muscles that enable them to open and close.

All bivalves have light-sensitive cells that can detect light and motion, even though most do not have eyes. Giant clams have simple eyes on the edge of the mantle. Scallops have more complex eyes on the edge of the mantle – they have 10-100 eyes that each have a lens, a two-layered retina, and a concave mirror.

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Lake Patzcuaro Salamander

The Lake Patzcuaro Salamander (Ambystoma dumerilii) is an endangered freshwater amphibian. Frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and axoltols are amphibians. It is also called the Lake Patzcuaro Achoque. It is related to the Mexican Axolotl.

The Lake Patzcuaro Salamander remains in its tadpole form for its whole life. It has feathery external gills, which it uses to breath. It is yellowish with a lighter shade on its underbelly. It has a large head, a tail, and short legs. It has four toes on its front legs and five toes on its back legs. It does not have scales – it has moist, smooth skin like the skin of frogs.

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Clown Loach

The Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) is a tropical freshwater fish in the botiid loach family.

The Clown Loach has a long body with a downward-facing mouth with thick lips. It has four pairs of barbels (string-like projections) near its mouth, but the barbels on the lower jaw are small and difficult to see. It is reddish-orange with three thick, black, triangular, vertical bands. It has a red tail.

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Mallard Duck

The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is a medium-sized dabbling duck. It is a water bird, living in wetlands.

The male Mallard – the drake – has a glossy green head, white collar, grey on its wings, and grey on its belly. The female has mainly brown speckled feathers. The male and female have iridescent blue feathers with white edges on their wings. The male has a yellow-orange beak, tipped with black, and the female has a darker beak.

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Glass Catfish

The Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus vitreolus) is a small transparent freshwater fish. It is also called the Ghost Catfish or the Phantom Catfish.

The Glass Catfish is transparent, and it does not have outer scales. Therefore, its organs are visible – even its heart can be seen. Most of its organs are located near its head. It has two long barbels (string-like structures) near its mouth. When it dies, it becomes milky white.

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The Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) is a tropical freshwater fish from the cichlid family. It is also called the Tiger Oscar, the Velvet Oscar, or the Marble Oscar.

The Oscar is dark-coloured with yellow-ringed spots or orange patches. It is able to change its colour. It has bulging orange-brown eyes and thick lips.

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Red-Line Torpedo Barb

The Red-Line Torpedo Barb (Sahyadria denisonii) is an endangered cyprinid freshwater fish. It is also known as the Denison Barb.

The Red-Line Torpedo Barb has a silver torpedo-shaped body with a horizontal red line from its nose, through its eye, and to the middle of its body. Below the red line is a horizontal black line from its nose to its tail. There is also a red line on its dorsal fin (back fin) and two black spots on its tail.

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Roti Island Snake-Necked Turtle

The Roti Island Snake-Necked Turtle (Chelodina mccordi) is a freshwater chelonian reptile. It is also known as McCord’s Snakeneck Turtle.

The Roti Island Snake-Necked Turtle has a pale grey-brown slightly-domed carapace (upper shell) and a pale buff-white plastron (lower underbelly shell). Its neck is very long – about the same size as its shell – and is dark-brown on the upperparts and whitish on the underparts. It has webbed feet with sharp claws. It has dark eyes.

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