1 February 2018 - THE AMAZING DEER


G'day folks,

Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. The two main groups are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the elk, the fallow deer and the chital, and the Capreolinae, including the reindeer, the roe deer and the moose. By the way, Deer are the only group of animals in the world to have antlers. Antlers are the fastest growing living tissue in the world!

Quick Facts

  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Life span: 15-20 years but dependent on species and location
  • Size: 32cm – 2.1m (height), 85cm – 3.2m (length)
  • Weight: 12-700 kg
  • Habitat: Many different ecosystems
  • Range: Worldwide except Antarctica
  • Scientific name: Cervidae

 Amazing Facts About the Deer

  • There are over 60 different species of deer worldwide. Deer are present on all continents except Antarctica. They can live in a range of habitats, from mountainous areas to warm and wet rainforests. The Barbary red deer is the only species present in Africa
  • A male deer is called a buck but some larger males are referred to as stags. A Female deer is called a doe or hind. A young deer is called a fawn. Bucks and does can be distinguished from each other by the presence of antlers. Female Caribou (Reindeer) are the only female deer which grow antlers
  • All species of deer have antlers, with the exception of the Chinese water deer. Instead of antlers, they have long canine teeth which can be as long as 8cm!
  • Each year, antlers fall off and regrow. As they regrow, they are covered in a furry coat called velvet. The velvet is rich in nerves and blood vessels, allowing the antlers to regrow quickly
  • During the mating season, or ‘the rut’, bucks will use their antlers to fight over does. The winner is the buck who manages to overpower the other. Red deer can be heard roaring in the rut to attract females
  • The length of pregnancy in deer varies according to size. Generally, the larger the species the longer the gestation. It is dependent on where a species lives as to when it will breed. Deer in tropical climates can breed all year round
   When most deer are born, they have white spots which disappear as they mature. The spots help fawns to blend into their background, acting as camouflage
  A fawn can normally walk within half an hour of being born. Fawns do not have a smell, helping them avoid predators
  All species of deer have a four chamber stomach which allows them to chew the cud. This is a processes of partially chewing food, regurgitating it, and chewing it again to make it easier to digest.
  • In winter, deer are less active in order to preserve energy as there is less food available
  • Deer can jump up to 10ft high and are very good swimmers
  • As deer eyes are on the side of their head, they have 310 degrees’ vision. This is much more than humans, who have 180 degree vision. Deer also have very good night vision which is particularly useful at dawn and dusk when they are most active
  • Deer can have a homeland range which can span 30 miles. They move about depending on food availability
  • The majority of deer are shades of light to medium brown. White stags are often described in myths and folklore but they also exist in real life! A white stag occurs when a deer has a condition called leucism which causes the hair and skin to lose its natural colour. When white stags are spotted, it is often not publicised to prevent poachers finding them as they are viewed as trophies which can sell for thousands of pounds
  • The largest deer species was the Irish Giant Deer which went extinct 11,000 years ago. Reaching 7ft tall at the shoulder, the Irish Deer’s antlers could span 12ft, four times the width of a single bed!


Clancy's comment: A friend of mine, Johnny Coates,  had a deer park here in Australia, and I used to take many guests to visit. As I entered his great property, I used to say, "This place is deer, but not expensive". Johnny taught me some staggering facts abut this truly amazing species.

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31 January 2018 - CHECK OUT THESE QUOTES


G'day folks,

I hope some of these fire you up for the day.

Clancy's comment: There  are some stunning quotes here.

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30 January 2018 - KIDS AND ANIMALS


G'day folks,

Welcome to some fabulous photographs of two of the best things on this planet.

Clancy's comment: I've often heard people say that you should never appear on stage with kids or animals. Why, because they will upstage you. Yep, every time.

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G'day folks,

Now, here is a man with a bloody interesting job. For the last thirteen years, he’s been busy digging up a lost underwater civilization the size of Paris off the coast of Egypt. The remarkably well-preserved ruins that were discovered have been sitting at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea for the past 1,200 years, at long last solving the mystery of the lost city of Alexandria’s ancient eastern harbour, Portus Magnus. Not bad for a day job.

Frenchman Franck Goddio is our man, a pioneer of modern maritime archeology who has wanderlust running in his veins. He’s the grandson of the inventor of the modern catamaran, Eric de Bishop, and a specialist of ancient navigational routes in the South Pacific. Yet, before pulling up Pharoah’s heads from the seabed, Franck was a finance guy — an advisor to governments and United Nations. It wasn’t until the 1980s that he left the world of finance behind and decided to find his sea legs (and a few other things).

He founded the Institut EuropĂ©en d’ArchĂ©ologie Sous-Marine (IEASM) and put together a team of divers, archaeologists, scientists, and other experts. To date, his ongoing thirteen-year excavation off the coast of Egypt has been Goddio’s most ambitious. In 2000, after nearly eight years of prior research (dedicated to determining the location of the submerged civilisations), Goddio and his team rediscovered the ancient port cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus in Aboukir bay.

More than a thousand years ago, they had fallen prey to natural disasters and disappeared beneath the waves. Colossal statues, giant tablets inscribed in ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian, gold and bronze artifacts forgotten on the seabed — they were all unearthed from layers of sediment by Goddio and his team.

Everything that’s been found dates from the 8th century AD (or earlier), and experts have been astounded by how well preserved the artifacts are. Canopus was a city famous for its extravagant shrines and the opulent lifestyles of its citizens. Heracleion, just 3km east of Canopus, was home to an enormous ancient temple and convent. This colossal red granite statue of red granite above, discovered on the site by Goddio’s team, represents (rather ironically) Hapi, the god of the flooding of the Nile. Never before has such a large-scale representation of the divine figure been discovered.

To raise heavy artefacts, Goddio’s team will often use airbags capable of resisting a pressure of 100 atmospheres. But the work lies mostly in finding the treasure first, a process that can occupy underwater archeologists for decades, and requires meticulous study of ancients texts and archives in order to determine a probable location (that alone can take years). Then, the cutting edge technology comes in. We’re talking specially developed nuclear magnetic resonance magnetometers, multi-beam bathymetries, sidescan sonars, and other hi-tech stuff I can’t pronounce. Once they think they’ve found something, test excavations are performed, and if the data gives some positive signals, the full archaeological excavation can finally begin (in full accordance with UNESCO, of course).

Water dredges (underwater suction devices) are used by the divers to remove thousand-year-old sediment. As per the Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, artifacts are “usually” left on site but if they’re deemed at risk, they may be risen for their “safeguard, study and conservation.” At the Alexandria National Museum (a renovated 1929 Italian style mansion in Alexandria, Egypt), one can find Franck Goddio’s most important findings on permanent display for the public.

 Now, check out these amazing photographs of Franck and his team.

Clancy's comment: Go, Franck! Wow, what an exciting and rewarding job. Staggering how preserved most of the treasures are.
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