The photo shown below was taken at a market in Shanghai, China.
Can you guess what they are?
If you guessed, water caltrop 菱, you're right!
Water caltrops (Trapa natans) are the seeds of a floating annual aquatic plant that's native to warm temperate parts of Eurasia and Africa. The plant grows in slow-moving water up to 5 m deep, and bear an ornately shaped fruit that resembles the head of a bull or the silhouette of a flying bat. Each fruit contains a single very large, starchy seed. T. natans and T. bicornis have been cultivated in China and the Indian subcontinent for at least 3,000 years for the edible seeds that are used in pastries, served steamed or boiled from street vendors, and even as a remedy for inebriation.
The aardvark's outsize snout is tailor-made to house a foot-long, sticky tongue that's the perfect tool for extracting termites from their mound nests. Bush-meat hunters are fond of eating aardvarks, but the "antbear" (Orycteropus afer) is still relatively common across sub-Saharan Africa.
Pangolins, often called "scaly anteaters," are solitary, primarily nocturnal animals, are easily recognized by their full armor of scales. If that's not impressive enough, their tongues are attached near its pelvis and last pair of ribs, and when fully extended is longer than the animal’s head and body. At rest a pangolin’s tongue retracts into a sheath in its chest cavity.
Known an fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive, or FOB for short, this disease can suddenly turn a person’s tissues and muscles into bone, thereby permanently immobilizing parts of the bodies. Joints such as elbows or ankles may become frozen in place; jaw motion can be impeded and the rib cage fixed, making eating or even breathing difficult. Currently, no cure exists to combat this rare condition.
Our perception has heavily depended on how well we can accurately describe our surroundings. And this description relies on our language. Our ancestors apparently were not capable of perceiving the color blue. If they did, they were not capable of noticing it, simply because there was no term in language for blue. The first civilization to document and affirm the color blue was the Ancient Egyptian Civilization. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians were the only ancestors that were able to produce blue dyes! Moreover, philologists have compared Hindu, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew and many more languages only to find no mention of the color blue. However, just because the term for blue did not exist, does not mean our ancestors did not perceive blue.
Eucalyptus deglupta, commonly called rainbow eucalyptus, is a very large, fast-growing, broadleaved evergreen tree that is native to moist humid tropical forested areas with high rainfall in New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippine Islands (Island of Mindanao).
It is perhaps best noted for its smooth orange-tinted trunk bark which peels in summer to reveal a unique and sometimes stunning multi-colored bark (as described by the common name of rainbow eucalyptus) consisting of streaks of pale green, red, orange, gray and purple-brown. [ ... ]
The thorny dragon (Moloch horridus) is an Australian lizard that grows up to 20 cm in length, and it can live for up to 20 years. Not only is it covered entirely with conical spines, it has the uncanny ability to suck in water from all over its body - including its feet - through capillary action.
This is Zeus, a blind Western Screech Owl whose eyes look like forming galaxies. The stellar effect is likely caused by chunky vitreous strands in his eyes. The handsome owl was found injured in Southern California and now lives at the Wildlife Learning Centre in Los Angeles.
Phillipsia subpurpurea is a species of fungus in the family Sarcoscyphaceae. It is found in Australia where it grows as a saprophyte on wood. It's cup-shaped fruit bodies lack stipes and have purplish interior surfaces.
These are the ‘pillownauts,’ and they just got out of bed for the first time in 21 days. The paid volunteers for the European Space Agency laid with their feet up in a medical facility while scientists poked and prodded them to try to understand the effects of spaceflight on astronauts’ bodies.
One of the subjects who took part in this investigation said: “The first days of each session were the worst. The body needs to adapt and I had migraines and backaches."
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