Greetings everybody! HAPPY FRIDAY! Friday comes so quickly, hope everyone is has had a good week. We know you've been looking forward to the weekend and especially this post! Enjoy.

Gigantopithecus is an extinct genus of ape that is thought to have existed from around nine million years to one hundred thousand years ago. Probably the closest thing to a real King Kong it was alive at the same time as early humans. They are also the largest apes that ever lived, with heights of up to 3 meters, and weighing a massive 540 kilograms.

Despite the popular belief that once a brain cell is killed it is gone forever, in the early 90s, scientists identified neural stem cells which are self-renewing and mulit-potent cells (cell that can produce two or more different types of differentiated cells) that generate new neurons. In 1998 it was found that the human hippocampus (an area of the brain responsible for short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation) retains the ability to generate neurons throughout life.

Dark chocolate is known for its vast benefits. Dark chocolate contains more of the original cocoa bean than milk chocolate does and cocoa is a fabulous source of flavonoids (a class of plant secondary metabolites). One benefit is that it contains 19 percent of the US RDA for iron, while an ounce of beef sirloin only contains 3 percent! Just to be precise here are the standard references from USDA National Nutrient Database: 70-85 percent cacao solids, value per 100 grams is 11.90 milligrams of iron. While beef, bottom sirloin, tri-tip roast, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 0% fat, all grades, roasted, value per 100 grams is just 1.66 milligrams of iron! This does not mean you should run to your nearest supermarket and grab some dark chocolate. Chocolate bars can contain more than 20grams of saturated fat, which is way too great for consumption daily.
A DNA lab in Scotland found that everyone who carries one of 3 variants of the red-hair gene is a direct descendant of the first redhead ever to have it. Two of the variants were introduced in West Asia around 70,000 years ago, and a inferior variant originated in Europe around 30,000 years ago. Most carriers of the red hair gene variants don’t actually possess red hair themselves and may not realize they carry it. 

Homosexuality refers to sexual attraction, sexual behavior or romantic attraction between members of the same sex or gender. In the animal kingdom, homosexuality is quite ordinary and many exercise same gender sex to deal with conflicts. Homosexual behavior has been observed in over 1500 species of animals and is well documented for 500 of them. It would be daunting to provide you with a list of 1500 species but here are a few: Pygmy Chimpanzee, Giraffes, Sheep, Black Swans, Gulls, Mallards, Ibises, Penguins, Vultures, Amazon Dolphins, American Bison, Bottlenose Dolphins, Elephants, Monkeys, Japanese Macaque, Lions, Polecat, Dragonflies and others.

Thank you for stopping by. Hope you have enjoyed this weeks Friday facts segment! Would you like us to mention a fact in next week Friday facts? Make sure to leave a comment and come back for more articles!!

Over and out.  
These themed weeks just seem to be rolling on like no tomorrow! You may have noticed that Nat Geo Wild and the discovery channel are showing shark documentaries all this week... however we found out that shark week does not start until the 4th of August. Basically we will be starting shark week when it is officially shark week, so look out for those posts!!!
But this week is national moth week! an animal that is never usually highlighted so today's post will ask you one question: Do you know your moths from your butterflies? If not, have no fear because by the end of this post you will have a better chance of saying yes to that answer.

Some similarities is always a good place to start:

Both butterflies and moths are members of an order called Lepidoptera, both have scales that cover their bodies and wings, upon closer look at these scales they are modified hairs which they shed often. Of the entire order Lepidoptera butterflies and skippers make up 6-11% whereas the moths make up 89-94%. Interestingly both share very similar life cycles that is that they are both holometabolous, meaning that they undergo a complete metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar and from chrysalis/cocoon to an adult. Though there are similarties between the two there are numerous physical and behavioural differences also.

Pupal Stage:

Moths make cocoons that are wrapped in silk coverings, whereas butterflies form chrysalises, which is made with  hardened protein and lacks silkiness.
This is a butterfly chrysalises.
Picture above shows a typical silk cocoon of the moth.

Physical differences:

Firstly, a butterflies antennae are thin with a club shaped tip, whereas the antennae of the moth are feathery or comb like. Now, on to their wings, in this particular department they are polar opposites butterflies tend to be vibrant with their wing coloration, compare this to a moths wing and you will find they have darker less vibrant colors. A moths wing anatomy is different to that of a butterfly, moths have a structure called a frenulum which joins the fore wing to the hind wing.

Another distinctive feature is that butterflies tend to fold their wings vertically up over their bodies (picture b). Moths tend to hold their wings in a tent like fashion that hides their abdomen (picture a).


The exception to the butterflies only being vibrant rule:

The two pictures above show the Madagascan Sunset Moth, showing their full set of colors in all their glory!! Now these are vibrant!!


Butterflies tend to be diurnal, this means that they are most active during the day. Moths tend to be nocturnal. However their are moths that are diurnal such as the buck moth. And some butterflies are thought to be crepuscular.

The worlds largest known butterfly? the Queen Alexandra Birdwing

Whereas the largest known moth is? The Atlas moth!!

With a wingspan of 12 inches, it was not a hard contest to win at all!

With that we are brought to the end of this post, now although this is a post to help you guys distinguish between moths and butterflies we must inform you that this is not a perfect system. Mainly because the more species that are discovered the line that separates these two insects is just becoming more and more blurry. But below is a question for you guys just to see if you have come of this knowing any more than you did before. Leave the answer in the comment section down below!

Which of these is a moth a or b? 



Over and out.

So we are nearing the end of Mighty Waters Week but before it ends we felt that there is one river that we just have to mention or it just wouldn't be right. It is none other than the Amazon River. So firstly we thought we would share with you the top ten ranked rivers by how much water they can carry: 

  1. Amazon
  2. Congo
  3. Orniaco
  4. Yangtze
  5. Parana
  6. Brahmaptura
  7. Yellow
  8. Yenisei
  9. Ganges
  10. Missisipi

The River Nile is by far the longest it is actually one massive tributary, a tributary is a river or a stream that flows into a larger river or lake. The Blue Nile rises in the Ethipian Highlands the Nile is only formed when the White Nile then joins the Blue Nile, it is then emptied into the Mediteranean. Whereas the Ganges and the Brahmaptura arise from the Himalayas (worlds highest mountain range) and then join to form the river Padma, once joined it then exits in to the Bay of Bengal to form the largest delta.

 Now to look into the Amazon River.

This magnificent river is considered to be the Queen of all rivers and how couldn't it be, it carries with it a fifth of the worlds flowing freshwater, meaning that the Amazon river carries the exact amount of water than the next ten biggest rivers combined!! The amazon is the main drainage pipe of South america, it drains a third of South America and it does this through its large river basin. The Amazon tranports billions of sediment ever year, this is visible from space in the form of a brown stain leaking in to the sea. It is a tough location to thrive in with its radical seasonal changes all year round, when it is the dry season the river has a width of 4-5km whereas in a wet season it can dramatically increase to a width of 50km. The Amazon river play a major role in maintaining the ecology of the basin and supporting its habitats (swamps, marshes and streams). 

Within this River are some of the richest waters to date with 3,000 species of fish found already that is already more than the Atlantic Ocean, and thats not all scientists believe that the number could rise to 5,000. The Amazon is an amazing area but life can be challenging with its murky waters at low depths, despite that limiting factor fish have adapted to communicate through electricity, they do this through altering the properties of the electric field around them. One such creature is the electric eel that can deliver a shock of 400v- enough to render a human unconcious. The river is also home to monsrtous fish such as the pirarucu or arapaima which are the largest fish in South America  at a length of 25m. Other habitants include the freshwater dolphins, otter, and the river turtle along with the 6m long green anacondas.
This is the pirarucu, and not even the biggest one!

The pink river dolphin, known locally as the boto can weigh up to 100kg and grow to more than 2.5m. Like other dolphins these river dolphin are highly sociable living in groups of up to 20 individuals. in the breeding season these socials turn to more vicious encounters,  competition to find a female is fierce and male dolphins often come of from a fight with serious bites inflicted. That being said it isn't all brute force the males also put on a show for the ladies, they rise out of the surface with rocks in their jaw it is thought they do this to show the female their strength and dexterity.
For these dolphins life couldn't be better they have a consistent supply of food from the migratory fish routes including shoals of the dorado catfish. The Amazon Queen is also home to the tucuxi which are known locally as a river dolphin. The Tucuxi and the Boto are unique in that they are the only freshwater dolphins that are not critically endangered. 

Just to celebrate the rich diversity of life the amazon supports here are some pictures for you!

That concludes our post for today, hope you found it as awesome to read as it was for us to do the research for it!! Make sure to come back tomorrow for our final post!

Over and out.

Greetings everybody, Happy Friday!

Happiness like the flu can spread through social networks, person to person. 5000 participants were followed for 20 years and participants were asked to provide a list of their relatives, close friends, neighbors and co-workers and subjects. Then they were asked to fill out a questionnaire which established how often they experienced certain feelings, such as happiness or hope for the future which help create an emotional baseline for the participants. From this procedure the researchers were able to measure emotional fluctuations of the participants and within each participant's social network, finding that how our emotional state can be affected by the people around us. Still sadness is fairly spreadable, the transportation of happiness if far more dominant. Additionally proximity plays a part: a next door neighbor can increase your probability of happiness by 34%, a nearby friend by 25%, a sibling half a mile away up to 14%.


Heartburn results from digestive fluids' traveling from stomach to esophagus in a process known as gastroesophageal reflux. Scientists found that the saliva stimulated by chewing seemed to neutralize acid and hep force fluids back to the stomach. 31 participants were told to eat heartburn-inducing meals and then a few were picked randomly to chew sugar-free gum for 30 minutes. Acid levels after the meals were significantly lower when the participants chewed gum. Chewing gum at appropriate times can actually help give your digestive system a boost and help you digest your meals, but gum between meals can create stomach acid that won't get used and cause stomach pains. So it's more efficient before or after your meal.

As everybody was taught in primary or elementary schools an average adult human skeleton consists of 206 bones. Each foot and ankle has 26 bones, which means altogether our two feet consist of 52 bones. Now! Using basic maths you guys should be able to calculate the percentage of bones that are located in your feet. The result - more than 25%.

It's hard to imagine someone getting to adulthood without experiencing the pain of a broken heart. These might include death of a loved one, domestic abuse, losing a lot of money, physical stress and rejection/neglect from a loved one. As painful as these experiences are, with a little bit of time, most people get over them. However people can literally die from a broken heart, it is called the Broken Heart Syndrome and also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy or Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy . It characterizes sudden weakening of the myocardium (muscle of the heart) which can be triggered by emotional overstress described above. Nonetheless broken heart syndrome is barely fatal and most people make a full recovery.


A study from researchers in University of Copenhagen found that Vitamin D increases speed of sperm cells. 300 average men showed a positive correlation between the percentage of mobile sperm and serum vitamin D levels.

Thank you for stopping by. Hope you have enjoyed this weeks Friday facts segment! Would you like us to mention a fact in next week Friday facts? Make sure to leave a comment and come back for more articles!!

Over and out.  

We hope that you have been enjoying this amazing heatwave that all of the UK is experiencing! What have you been up to on these lovely summer days picnics? because we have been enjoying our precious sunbathing minutes. For those of you who do not know it is Mighty Waters Week and in the  spirit of this week and this heatwave we just wanted to remind you that it is so, so important to stay HYDRATED! to make this clear we are not talking about a coke (though we know how tempting one of those are on a hot day) but with actual water. In order to avoid scary things like heat stroke or you know DEATH! keep hydrated.  
Anyways, today’s post isn't about keeping hydrated it is in fact one of the sources of all our bottled water freshwater lakes, why we hear you say? Because when thinking about any type of freshwater system we found that lakes isn’t really the first or second thought in your mind and we hope to change that. So here it goes…
Lets begin with the worlds largest lake shall we? well there’s a problem with that the worlds largest lake is actually saline it is in fact the Caspian Sea… no we didn’t get that wrong, it’s one of those things in science that doesn’t make sense (as there are many) the Caspian Sea is actually a lake not a sea. A lake. And so we rephrase the question to… what is the worlds largest freshwater lake? This title is owned by none other than Lake Superior, how aptly named. Lake Superior is part of the great lakes of North America forming the biggest continuous mass of freshwater on Earth.
Lake Superior covers an area larger then the UK!

Just a few lakes that support amazing wildlife:

Lake Victoria is located in east central Africa along the equator,  it supports 350 species of fish, some of which are thought to be unique to this lake. Many of these fish come from the Cichlid family. 
This is just 1 member of the Cichlid family

As seen by Lake Victoria, Lakes hold the ability to cater to many marine life, and these can be often deadly members of the oceanic world. Lake Nicaragua in Central America is home to one of the worlds deadliest sharks, this lake is home to the big bad bull shark. Bull sharks are known for its temper and aggression, it is also the only specie of its kind that is able to tolerate the changes in salinity from salt-fresh. 
Did you know that it was the Bull Shark that may have been the true inspiration behind the movie hit JAWS.
 Lakes may support a great diversity of animals but other than the nature that they have lakes have plenty of other characteristics that make them amazing, take Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi they both have a distinctive feature called a thermocline. A thermocline is a  200m permanent barrier separating the warmer water from the colder water and preventing any mixture of oxygen and nutrients thus creating what is called a bottom dead zone. In Lake Malawi little is able to survive in the dead zone apart from the larvae of a lake fly, these ingeneous creatures have adapted to remain in the oxygen deprived region (the dead zone) in the day thus avoiding predators and once the night takes over they spawn towards the surface.
Interestingly both these lakes are smaller than the one previously mentioned, Lake Tanganyika is 33,000sq km and Lake Malawi is 30,000sq km, thought they are smaller they have been found to harbor a greater diversity of fish, as a cause of the species richness that both Lakes contain they are often seen as diving hotspots!

The Mother Of All Lakes:

The picture above is showing the oldest lake in the world from space. This lake is between 25-30 million years old. This is the Lake Baikal. At Biobunch we love to celebrate the natural marvels of the world whether they be big or small, when reading more about this lake we were amazed at the beauty and the diversity so we were buzzing to share it with you guys to. The lake Baikal is in eastern Siberia and there it is known as the sacred sea it holds a fifth of the our planets surface water. Similar to the stories of other lakes such as that of Tanganyika the Baikal is only where it is due to the movements of  tectonic plates. 
We don’t need to tell you about the severity of a Siberian winter, needless to say, it is harsh with winter temperatures averaging -20 degrees, this plummeting temperature causes the lake to freeze over for more than 5 months. At this point, two ton trucks exploit this 1.2 m thick continuous ice sheet by using it as a highway. 

Underneath this thick layer of ice lies the definition of a winter wonderland, ice sculptures pierce the water and life is found in profusion. The Baikal is isolated and as such this ancient beauty has experienced evolutionary explosions!! It now contains 1200 species of animals, 1000 species of plants, all of which 80% are found nowhere else. Many of the animals found in this lake resemble marine creatures which is strange for a lake (in other words salt water creatures ). Amongst this vast diversification there are 225 species of amphipods that call this lake home, and they play a very important role in maintaining the hygiene of the lake. Baikal proudly holds 40% of the worlds amphipods which resemble shrimp and can often be as big as mice they scavenge on the dead in conditions that decomposition bacteria even find hard to function properly in.

A Freshwater bluffing:

These seals are smaller than most other seals they grow to 1.2-1.4m in length.

We bluff you not introducing the worlds only freshwater seal! And they happen to only call the Baikal home (just another reason why Lakes are awesome). The Nerpa were  thought to have migrated to the lake 22 million years ago from the Arctic Ocean along rivers that went extinct ages ago. The population is stable at around 50,000. 

Females give birth during the winter in ice lairs. In order to breath they must maintain breathing holes in the ice and they do this by scraping the edges with sharp claws or by gnawing at the ice, as spring finally arrives the ice starts to melt causing the pups to become increasingly exposed to wandering bears and even the odd crow.  

These protruding ice segements from the ice lairs for the Nerpa go give birth in.
 Adult Nerpa like all other seal are amazing divers, they dive down 300m and can remain underwater for at least 70 minutes at a time. The diet constitutes mainly of an oily fish that is only found in Lake Baikal called Golomyanka seriously this is a real thing, they contain about 35% oil and are one of the most commonest fish in the lake. These fish are amazing they are able to cope with the bone breaking pressure 1400m down and if taken out they literally melt (don’t try it though poor strange looking things). 

Two pretty awesome discoveries were made on this lake. One of them was that unlike Lake Tanganyika and Malawi that has a thermocline to sepreate the oxygen out form the bottom layer, Lake Baikal’s water is constantly being mixed meaning that oxygen is always plentiful right at the bottom which means that there are possibly even more animals that have not been spotted yet at the very depths of Lake Baikal. Number two was that at 400m down scientists were amazed to find hydrothermal vents! As you may or may not know these vents are only thought to exist in the deep oceans. Thriving around this vents are small communities of sponges, bacterial mats , snails, fish and even transparent shrimps. 
And that marks the end of this post, if you are interested there are new extreme wildlife expeditions that are being offered to explore the Lake Baikal, we aren't one for the cold but we caught ourselves even considering it... what about you are you tempted to brave a Siberian winter and what would you bring with you? (it should be ok you would only need a really, really big coat and gloves... right?) 

Over and out.

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