LOS ANGELES (AP) — Twenty-two Komodo dragons have hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo this month, giving a modest boost to the world’s endangered population.
The zoo’s adult female Komodo, Lima, laid the eggs on Jan. 22. The first one popped through its soft-sided egg shell on Aug. 8 and hatchlings kept coming for two weeks.
Komodos are the world’s largest lizards and are popular attractions at zoos from the United States to Europe. All 2,500 left in the wild can be found at the 700-square-mile Komodo National Park in Indonesia.
Komodos are cannibalistic and usually eat their young and eggs of their own species, so zoo officials say staying alive is tricky for a hatchling.
This is the first time the Los Angeles Zoo has succeeded at a breeding attempt. It joins fewer than 10 other zoos in North America that have made it work.
In the wild, a young Komodo will sprint up the nearest tree to avoid being eaten by adults. They will stay in the trees and eat insects and other lizards until they get too heavy for the tree. By then, they will have developed enough to protect themselves from adult Komodos on the ground.
Komodo dragons in the wild eat 80 percent of their weight and then go without food for several weeks. They will eat snakes, other lizards, reptile and bird eggs, carrion, deer, pigs, goats and dogs. They will even try to eat larger animals, like horses and water buffalo.
The dragons are probably best known for their venomous saliva. It is naturally harmless, but picks up deadly pathogens because of the food they eat, Recchio said. The Komodos are immune to the bacteria, but the animals or humans in their path can be in nearly instant trouble.
The animals are believed to have descended from a larger lizard on Indonesia’s main island Java or Australia around 30,000 years ago.
- Camel spiders can move at speeds over 30 MPH
- They can make a vocalization that sounds like a child screaming
- They are large: 8″-12″
- Their venom is an anesthetic that numbs their prey
- Camel spiders can jump 3-4 feet high
- Camel spiders get their name because they prey upon camels, attacking camels’ stomach areas (often while the camel is asleep). Due to the numbing effect of camel spider venom, the victim is unaware of an attack until they awake
MIAMI (Reuters) – Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime.
A small pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International, capable of hovering and “staring” using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to make its debut soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades.
If use of the drone wins Federal Aviation Administration approval after tests, the Miami-Dade Police Department will start flying the 14-pound (6.3 kg) drone over urban areas with an eye toward full-fledged employment in crime fighting.
“Our intentions are to use it only in tactical situations as an extra set of eyes,” said police department spokesman Juan Villalba.
“We intend to use this to benefit us in carrying out our mission,” he added, saying the wingless Honeywell aircraft, which fits into a backpack and is capable of vertical takeoff and landing, seems ideally suited for use by SWAT teams in hostage situations or dealing with “barricaded subjects.”
Miami-Dade police are not alone, however.
Taking their lead from the U.S. military, which has used drones in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, law enforcement agencies across the country have voiced a growing interest in using drones for domestic crime-fighting missions.
Known in the aerospace industry as UAVs, for unmanned aerial vehicles, drones have been under development for decades in the United States.
Comment from Uncle Scam (Amsam):
If you don’t want to wait for the ultra-lite version of the UAV’s, you can
still take a gander at the DCHDs (Domestic Control Hover Drones: note the
word domestic), which the U.S. government is already mass producing, and offering for sale to selected governments for $178,000 each (that’s for the stripped-down model, the price the salespeople use to get buyers through the door: extras will easily bring the price up to $350,000, not including destination fees). They’re shaped like a doughnut a little over three feet across, and weigh about forty-five pounds. They have a motor in the middle.
DCHDs are designed to hover about fifty feet up, but can go as high as five hundred feet. They can stay airborne for three hours without running out of fuel, and they can travel at fifty miles per hour. They can be controlled either by satellite or by vehicles on the ground. They come in your choice of an elegant black matte for night use and a matte white and sky-blue for those days you’re feeling a bit more festive. They are, of course, nearly
silent, so quiet they cannot be heard from ten feet away.
Did we mention the word domestic in the title of the drone?