10 Facts About Rhinoceroses

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1.  The plural of rhinoceros can be either rhinoceroses, rhinoceri or simply rhinoceros.  (Pretty flexible for such a  big dude.)

2.  A rhinoceros is an “odd-toed ungulate’ (but you’re advised to not tell him that to his face.)  An ungulate, by the way, is a hoofed mammal.  I’ve been told I resemble a hoofed mammal when on the dance floor, but this post isn’t about me, is it? More

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10 Facts About Tarantulas

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1.  Tarantula refers to any of a number of members of the Theraphosidae  family of spiders.

2.  They’re usually big and hairy and scary-looking. More

10 Facts About Quicksand

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1.  Quicksand, that most convenient of menaces in jungle-set fiction, is a mixture of fine granular materials (think silt or, d-uh, sand), clay and water.  (Sometimes the water can be replaced by air and form “dry quicksand.”)

Quicksand is almost never deep enough to completely submerge a person.

2.  Silt actually is a more common component of quicksand than is sand. (“Quicksilt” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.) More

10 Facts About Saturn’s Moon, Titan

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1.  With an equatorial radius of 2,575 kilometers, Titan is the largest of Saturn’s 62 moons.  (Yes, 62 – and there may be more that we just haven’t verified or discovered yet.)

2.  Titan is the only body other than Earth which is known to have stable bodies of surface liquid.  (Gotta love that liquid.) More

10 Facts About Squids

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1.  These marine animals are members of the cephalopod class, which also include octopi, cuttlefish, and nautiluses.   They have two tentacles and eight arms.   (Very bad joke: What branch of the service do squids tend to join?  The ARM-y.)

2.  They cannot live in fresh water, although one species (Atlantic brief squid) seems to tolerate brackish water.  (Apparently, the Atlantic brief squid would enjoy my cooking.) More

10 Facts About Blood

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1.  Human blood is made up of four basic components: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma.  (That makes one little drop seem pretty crowded.)

2.  Plasma, the fluid part of blood, takes up the most “space,” making up about 55% of the blood; most of plasma (92% is water), with the other 8% mostly various proteins.

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10 Facts About Whirlpools

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1.  As you probably know, a whirlpool is one of those whirly, swirly, circular water-thingies – I mean, “a rapidly rotating current of water,” a vortex that occurs when opposing water currents, or a water current and a barrier, meet. (Kind of like “When Titans Clash!”)

2.  When you have a really powerful whirlpool, it’s called a “maelstrom.”  (I don’t mean when you personally have one; no offence intended.)

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10 Facts About Pterodactyls

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1.  Even though everyone knows them as “that dinosaur that flies,” they’re technically NOT considered dinosaurs.  (Just as Pluto is no longer a planet.)  They are, however, still flying reptiles.  (Have to leave them with some dignity, you know.)

2. The first pterodactyl was described in 1784 by  Cosimo Alessandro Collini.  (For which you have our eternal thanks, Signor Collini.)

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10 Facts About the Oceans

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1.  Until 2000, Earth’s massive global ocean was divided into 4 separate oceans: the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Arctic.  (Gaul was only divided into 3 parts, y’know.)

2.  In 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization added a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica and extends to 60 degrees latitude south.

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10 Facts About Pluto

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1.  It was famously “knocked down” from “planet” to “dwarf planet” by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2006.  (Boo!  Hey, umpire, whattaya – blind???!!!!)

2.  On USA Network’s TV series Psych, that reclassification has been mentioned several times, often used as something of a pick-up line.  (“Did you hear about Pluto?  That’s messed up.”)  (Yes, I’m re-using this fact – but I can’t help it.  I really like it.)

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