Monthly Archives: December 2014

Crocodiles and Niles!

Welcome back from winter break guys! 😀 Today I will write an article about…

CROCODILES!!! XD Let’s begin!

~~The snappy, clappy croc!~~

Crocodiles or crocs for short are amazing creatures, they live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia and Australia! Now some of you may get confused between alligators and crocs, right? Well, I will explain here…

Alligators have wider U-shaped snouts, while crocodiles have a V-shaped snout. When they shut their mouths, the crocodile has the fourth tooth on each side of the lower jaw sticking up over the upper lip, while the alligator doesn’t.

A crocodile has a streamlined body which enables it to swim swiftly and smoothly, it also tucks its feet to the side while swimming, which makes it faster. They have webbed feet which are not used to propel the animal through the water but helps them make fast turns and sudden moves in the water. Their Webbed feet are an advantage in shallower water, where the animal sometimes moves around by walking. There are only 23 species of crocodiles left! 😦

Crocodile

Length: 350 – 500 cm (Nile crocodile)

Lifespan: 70 – 100 y (Nile crocodile) 70 years on average

Speed: 30 – 35 km/h (Swimming)

Clutch size: 50 on average (nile croc) 30 – 70 (American crocodile)

Snap a fact! Know it or not?

Crocodiles have the strongest bite of any animal in the world! 😮

Crocodiles release heat through their mouths instead of through sweat glands.

The saltwater crocodile is the largest species of crocodile.

Some crocodile species can weigh over 1200 kg (2600 lb).

The Nile crocodile has over 60 teeth! If any fall out during attacks on its prey, a new one replaces it.

It has a weak spot! At the end of a crocodiles mouth (near the snout) is it’s weak spot! If you put a rubber band around it, the croc can’t snap at ya! (remember this if you ever encounter an angry croc!)

When in water, a protective membrane closes over a crocodile’s eyes! (like swimming goggles).

Crocodiles are cold-blooded and rely on the temperature of the sun and water to warm up.

Crocodiles do not normally chase their prey, their hunting strategy is surprise, they use their tail and powerful hind legs to spring out of the water, and snap!

Crocodiles only eat about fifty full meals a year and can go for long periods without eating, nesting females generally fast (don’t eat).

They are excellent swimmers and are spotted far out at sea, they can live for up to 70 years!

The males are territorial, patrolling and defending a length of shoreline that may extend up to 50 meters (165 feet) out into the water.

Sometimes crocs die in bizarre ways, one was found dead with a large terrapin (type of turtle) stuck in its throat!

So this is the end of my snappy article! 😀 (I hope it didn’t scare you too much!) 😉

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Watch out! I’m hungry…

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THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM

Chapter 5 (full chapter)

Tannar padded through the boggy forest, his paws wet from walking in the peaty earth. He shook his paws angrily as they sunk into the marsh. He pulled himself out of the sucking mud and ran to a patch of wet grass untouched by the marsh. He was about to sit down when a shadow streaked through surrounding trees. He jumped, his neck fur bristling. ‘Who’s there?’ he growled. The figure whisked through the trees again. Tannar hissed and raced toward the dark shape, but the creature was fast – it raced further into the misty forest. Tannar unsheathed his claws and picked up speed, but the creature was still a tree’s length away. He carried on running, unaware of the trees thinning out until he tripped over a bramble vine. He hissed, then broke off as the creature padded towards him. He let out a threatening growl and unsheathed his claws. But the creature didn’t flinch, it held out a paw to Tannar. Tannar stared at the creature’s paw in confusion. He then took hold of it, heaving himself off the ground. He opened his mouth to speak but the creature raced away into the trees. Leaving Tannar alone in the misty clearing. ‘Who are you?” he yowled. He was surprised when a voice rasped. ‘my name in Lostspirit Tannar, go well we shall meet again’. Tannar gasped before slipping into unconsciousness.

Tannar woke up shaking his head. then leaped to his paws as his dream flooded over him. He sat down and rasped his tongue over his fur that was now in clumps. ‘Lostspirit’ he murmured. ‘who’s Lostspirit?’ Arion asked puzzled. Tannar jumped. ‘your as jumpy as a rabbit today!’ Arion purred. ‘Is there something bothering you?’ Tannar shook his head. ‘Just a dream’ he muttered. Arion licked his ear. ‘come on we are traveling to another forest today’ he said. Tannar pricked his ears. ‘another forest?’ he rasped. Arion nodded. Then narrowed his eyes. ‘unless your not fit to travel’ When Tannar leaped to his paws he laughed. ‘come on we have a long way a head of us’.

Arion and Tannar padded side by side, heads high and eyes blazing with determination. They had left the forest which they spent the night in and were heading to a forest far from civilization. Tannar turned his head to Arion. ‘How far is this forest?’ he asked. Arion blinked. ‘we shall be there by moonhigh tomorrow’ he replied. Tannar nodded thoughtfully. ‘I wonder if anyone lives there’ he murmured. Arion bristled. ‘let’s hope not’ he growled. Tannar gazed at Arion in confusion. ‘Is there something troubling you?’. Arion sighed. ‘ever since we left Sitka’s castle, I have been having nightmares’ he admitted. Tannar rested his tail on his freind’s shoulder. ‘why should you?’ Tannar asked gently. ‘I just want to get as far away from his castle as possible’ he growled. Tannar narrowed his eyes. ‘He’s not telling me everything’ he thought then shrugged. ‘I’m keeping a secret from him too’ he thought guiltily. Instantly his peculiar dream filled his mind, and Lostspirit’s voice echoed making him shiver. ‘Go well Tannar we shall meet again’.

Sitka’s commanding yowl rang out through the clearing, as he gave orders to his guards. ‘commander Stonefang!’ he growled. ‘yes your highness’ said a muscluar black leopard stalking forward. ‘You will lead the army along side me, then we shall split at the first forest, were The army will be split in two, you will lead the north army and I will lead the south army’ he rasped. Stonefang nodded. ‘as you wish your majesty’ Stonefang said bowing. Sitka nodded briskly. ‘We attack at sunrise tomorrow he went on’ Stonefang nodded. ‘and we will be ready for your command’ he growled.

THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM

Chapter 5

Tannar padded through the boggy forest, his paws wet from walking in the peaty earth. He shook his paws angrily as they sunk into the marsh. He pulled himself out of the sucking mud and ran to a patch of wet grass untouched by the marsh. He was about to sit down when a shadow streaked through surrounding trees. He jumped, his neck fur bristling. ‘Who’s there?’ he growled. The figure whisked through the trees again. Tannar hissed and raced toward the dark shape, but the creature was fast – it raced further into the misty forest. Tannar unsheathed his claws and picked up speed, but the creature was still a tree’s length away. He carried on running, unaware of the trees thinning out until he tripped over a bramble vine. He hissed, then broke off as the creature padded towards him. He let out a threatening growl and unsheathed his claws. But the creature didn’t flinch, it held out a paw to Tannar. Tannar stared at the creature’s paw in confusion. He then took hold of it, heaving himself off the ground. He opened his mouth to speak but the creature raced away into the trees. Leaving Tannar alone in the misty clearing. ‘Who are you?” he yowled. He was surprised when a voice rasped. ‘my name in Lostspirit Tannar, go well we shall meet again’. Tannar gasped before slipping into unconsciousness.

Tannar woke up shaking his head. then leaped to his paws as his dream flooded over him. He sat down and rasped his tongue over his fur that was now in clumps. ‘Lostspirit’ he murmured. ‘who’s Lostspirit?’ Arion asked puzzled. Tannar jumped. ‘your as jumpy as a rabbit today!’ Arion purred. ‘Is there something bothering you?’ Tannar shook his head. ‘Just a dream’ he muttered. Arion licked his ear. ‘come on we are traveling to another forest today’ he said. Tannar pricked his ears. ‘another forest?’ he rasped. Arion nodded. Then narrowed his eyes. ‘unless your not fit to travel’ When Tannar leaped to his paws he laughed. ‘come on we have a long way a head of us’.

sorry guys I couldn’t think of anything else today! I will try writing the rest of chapter 5 tomorrow!

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Copyright Bushra alkhatib december 18th 2014 Thu 2:12

~~Tigers~~

~The graceful Tiger~

Tigers are the largest cats species, they have a body length of 3.38m (11.1 ft) and weighing up to 388.7 Kg (857 lb) in the wild. They have a beautiful eye-catching pattern of black stripes and reddish-orange fur. Tigers are apex predators which means they are top-level predators. They are territorial and often require large areas of habitat to support their prey requirements. Tigers once lived widely across Asia. Over the past 100 years, they lost 93% of their historic range. They can be found in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. (This depends on which Tiger species you’re aiming at). I am talking about the Bengal tiger. There are 9 species of tigers in the world, however 3 of them are extinct. Tiger like to live in swamps,rain forests and grasslands. Tigers usually shelter in bushes, trees and clumps of tall grass. Tigers mainly eat deer, water buffalo, wild pigs and antelope. Tigers also hunt crocodiles, monkeys pythons and hares.

Now that you got a little basic info on Tigers, I will tell you some more!

Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris

Speed: 49 – 65 km/h

Lifespan: 25 – 26 years

Height: 90 – 110 cm

Length: 240 – 265 cm

And now I will wrap this article up with facts!

Did ya Know?

Tiger cubs leave their mother when they are around 2 years old.

A group of tigers is known as an ‘ambush’.

Tigers are good swimmers and can swim up to 6 kilometres!

Rare white tigers carry a gene that is only present in around one in every 10000 tigers. 😮

Tiger skins, bones, teeth and claws, are highly valued for their use in traditional Asian medicine. 😦 (not again!)

Less than 10% of hunts are successful for tigers.

Tigers can easily jump over 5 metres in length!!

There are more tigers held privately as pets than there are in the wild.

Tigers that breed with lions give birth to hybrids known as tigons and ligers! wow

So this is the end of my article! see yah guys! poor tigers!

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Tiger skins 😦 😦 😡 😡

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THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM

chapter 4

‘quickly!’ Arion hissed. ‘guards will be swarming through this place at any moment!’ he growled. Tannar panted as he raced after his freind for freedom. ‘how far till we reach castle’s back gate?’ Tannar rasped. Arion ran his eyes over the endless manor that stretched out before him, narrowing his eyes in deep concentration. ‘we should be there in a few minutes’ Arion said. Tannar nodded in reply. ‘where will we go once we are out of the castle?’ Tannar said nervously. ‘I thought we could hide in the nearest forest and wait till its safe to travel’ Arion said. ‘we?’ Tannar echoed in surprise. ‘did you think I would leave my best freind alone in a forest with guards streaming every were?’ Arion said is surprise. Tannar smiled warmly. ‘I-‘ Tannar’s voice trailed away and his eyes widend. ‘look!’ he exclaimed excitedly. ‘We are almost there!’ Arion nodded in equal excitement. The two freinds raced till they spotted the door Arion had wedged open with a stick. ‘quick!’ Arion growled. ‘I can hear the guards approaching’ Tannar pulled the stick out and yanked open the door then slipped out into the out side world. Arion heard a gasp as he followed Tannar out of the manor. Tannar was gazing at the full moon, his eyes stretched wide. ‘I forgot how beutiful the moon was’ Tannar breathed. Arion glanced at his awestricken freind and purred. ‘come on there is still a long way to go till we can rest’ he murmured. Tannar peeled his eyes away from the full moon with a sigh ‘lets go’.

Arion padded beside Tannar his eyes as wide as the moon above them. ‘I wonder how Tasha and my kits are’ he sighed. ‘I know what your thinking Tannar’ Arion said ‘but you know you cant go to any villages yet’. Tannar sighed. ‘I know’ he whispered. Arion licked his friend’s ear in sympathy. ‘come on let’s hunt’ Tannar nodded before leaping into the undergrowth. Arion pricked his ears. swinging them around till he heard a rabbit nibbeling on a blade of grass. he dropped into a crouch a prowled silently towards the unsuspecting rabbit. when he became with in a tail’s length away from it he sprang, knocking the rabbit to the forest floor then sinking his fangs into the it’s throat not letting go till its body went limp. Arion picked up his pray and carring it off to the nests he and Tannar made. A few leaves quivered and Tannar emerged a vole in his jaws. He set down his catch and sat beside Tannar. ‘Its been a while since my belly was full’ he murmured. ‘you dont have to wory about it any more’ Arion insisted. Tannar gazed at the star filled sky. ‘I wounder if I will ever see Tasha again’ he whispered.

‘What do you mean he escaped?’ Sitka growled. The guard gulped. ‘when one of the guards went to take his turn to guard the lynx Tannar-‘ ‘Dont say the cursed name in my presence!’ Sitka roared. The guard flinched. ‘go on’ Sitka hissed. ‘o-one of the guards went to guard the prisoner but when he got there, he found one of your guards drowned in a pool of his own blood, and the cell’s door wide open’ The guard said. ‘WHAT?!’ Sitka yowled. The guard flinched. ‘get out of my site all of you!’ Sitka hissed. The guard dashed out of the room thumbling,while the other two guards followed nervously. Sitka lashed his tail and stalked towards the giant window in the front of the room. ‘how could this happen?’ he raged. ‘the little rat killed one of my royal guards and got away!’ ‘but how?’ ‘he dosent know the castle well enough to-‘ he broke of as a thought creeped into his mind. He grinned. ‘guards!’ he called. instantly three guards darted into the room. Sitka nodded. ‘I have some thing for you to do’.

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THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM

Chapter 3

Dawn light crept through the sheltering ferns and brambles, waking Arion. He blinked open his eyes and yawned. He had stayed the night in White Stone Village. The villagers were welcoming and friendly, but Arion wanted to keep his distance, since they knew not of his status. He wanted to observe the reaction of the villagers when they heard of what happened in Sitka’s castle. ‘So far so good’ he thought. He got up and stretched, then the scent of squirrel flooded over him. He got to his paws and stalked quietly through the undergrowth avoiding dry leaves and brambles that stood in his way. When he got within a rabbit’s length away of the squirrel he leapt, and landed squarely on the squirrel’s back, then killed it swiftly with a lightning fast bite on the neck. He devoured his catch with a few rapid bites, then swiped his tongue over his mouth. ‘Tannar must be hungry’ he thought guiltily. ‘I must bring back something for him’. It had been three sunrises since he had left Sitka’s castle, Sitka had given him three days off and was expecting him to be back at sun high today. Arion headed toward White Stone Village gate and charged through the forest wanting to get back early so he can have some time with Tannar. ‘It’s my fault that he is in prison’ Arion said bitterly. Why did I tell Sitka that he could groom his coat?. When Tannar was put in prison, he had sneaked in and apologised to him but Tannar had insisted that it was not his fault. Arion hisses to himself. ‘Of course it was my fault!’ he hissed. ‘If I hadn’t told him he wouldn’t have gone!’ he growled. I will never forgive myself for what I have done’ he vowed.

Arion padded into the dungeon with a rabbit in his jaws. He walked towards Tannar’s cell and dropped it to the ground. ‘Tannar?’ he whispered ‘Tannar’ ‘ I brought a rabbit for you’ he said. But nothing stirred in the cell. ‘Tannar?’ he said again. but only silence greeted him. Arion was about to call again when a voice sliced through the silence. “Arion!’ the voice whispered loudly. ‘Tannar?’ Arion said. ‘Are you there?’. ‘Can you see me?’ His voice echoed again. Arion scanned the cell carefully but couldn’t see anyone. ‘No’ Arion replied. The voice gave a delighted purr, then a dark shape swooped down from the ceiling. ‘Tannar!’ Arion exclaimed happily. ‘How-‘. ‘I had the best idea!’ Tannar interrupted him. ‘I will wait for a guard to come’ he began. ‘then when he comes I will hide up there’ he said pointing his tail to the ceiling. Arion nodded thoughtfully ‘that’s a good idea’ Arion said approvingly. ‘yes’ Tannar said proudly. ‘Then when the guard checks the cell and sees it empty he will get the keys and open the cell!’ said Tannar excitedly. ‘That’s when I will swoop down, knock the breath out of him and charge out of the cell!’ he finished. Arion nodded. ‘and I will guide you out of the castle and out into the forest!’ Arion said Tannar gave a loud purr and licked Arion’s shoulder. ‘I couldnt have a better friend’ Tannar whispered. Arion purred and licked Tannar in return ‘from the moment I saw you in the play ground when we were kits to now, I will alway trust you with my life’ Arion whispered. ‘I will always trust you with my life’ Tannar echoed. ‘Always’.

Arion stood outside Tannar’s prison cell, digging his claws in the stone with anticipation. ‘ready?’ Arion whispered. ‘ready’ Tannar growled. Just then the dungeon door swung open and a guard stalked in carrying a mouthful of grass in is jaws. Arion leaped into a shadowy corner and gazed at the guard through narrowed eyes. ‘ this is it’ he thought. The guard dropped the grass and peered into the cell. ‘Tannar?’ ‘Tannar this is for you!’ he growled. Arion clenched his teeth in frustration. ‘grass?’ ‘is Sitka mad?’. The guard scanned the cage again his eyes widening in panic. He opened his bag and pulled out a key. ‘yes!’ Arion thought with triumph. ‘he fell for it!’. The guard pushed the key into the keyhole hen turned it slowly. The cell door swung open with a creek, and The guard entered slowly. ‘Now!’ Arion thought excitedly. as if heard him Tannar sheathed his claws, swooped down from the ceiling then landed neatly on the guards shoulders. The guard fell to the ground with a yowl,as Tannar flung his body weight on him. Then as quick as a snake Tannar slashed his claws across his face and dug is fangs into his neck. The guard struggled but Tannar’s jaws were too deep in his neck, his body slowly went limp and the light died away from his eyes. Tannar let go of The guard’s dead body and raced for the open cell door. ‘You did it!’ Arion purred. Tannar raised is head his eyes blazing with determination. ‘come on let’s get out of here’ he growled.

Sorry if I am confusing you guys! 😛 But I thought the chapter was too small so I added this extra paragraph! 😀

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Copyright Bushra Alkhatib 2014