Naked mole – rat – Heterocephalus glaber

Naked mole-rat - Heterocephalus glaber - EatingNaked mole-rat - Heterocephalus glaberHeterocephalus glaber - Louisville-ZooHeterocephalus glaber - Museum of Natural History - Genova, Italy

Naked mole-rat – Heterocephalus glaber

Naked mole-rat – Heterocephalus glaber – Is practically blind and has no pain. This rodent lives in East Africa. It is digging underground corridors in search of tubers and roots. For this he uses the incisors that are in front of the lips, so that the soil does not get into the mouth.
Mole-rats spend almost their entire lives underground without going to the surface. They are unusual for many reasons. Not only are they the only cold-blooded mammals, they are also resistant to cancer, aging, hypoxia and pain.
Their almost completely hairless, thick and wrinkled skin. It is insensitive to abrasions or scratches. Because Mole-rats do not have the key neurotransmitter for pain conduction (substance P).

Naked mole-rats are the longest-living rodents (they live to 30 years)

And their risk of death doesn’t increase with age. These animals have very active mechanisms repair DNA.
They also tolerate extreme hypoxia, which often occurs in narrow and stuffy underground tunnels. When there is a lack of air, mole-rats reduce life activity. They change the energy supply process (break down fructose instead of glucose). In this way they avoid brain damage.
The equally interesting is structure Social. Which resembles swarms of bees or ant colonies. Flocks of these rodents count from several dozen to 300 individuals. At the same time, only the queen and prolific male breeds. The rest are sterile and conscientiously work for the herd.

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Largest flower is parasite

Rafflesia Arnoldii - Bengkulu - 21-April-2015Rafflesia Arnoldii - Lake-Maninjau - Sumatra-Indonesia - 1-09-99Rafflesia ArnoldiiModel of Rafflesia flower - Lee Kong Chian - Natural History Museum Singapore - 08-08-2015

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Largest flower is parasite

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Rafflesia arnoldii, is the largest individual flower on Earth. It doesn’t have its own stems, leaves or roots. Parasites on vines of the Cissus genus, related to the vine. Deriving water and nutrients from the hosts. Rafflesia grows in a thicket of tropical jungles in Borneo and Sumatra.
It reaches a weight of 11 kg and a diameter of one meter. It consists of five fleshy, red, white speckled petals. Inside, it finds a few liters of nectar, and spike-like creations with an unknown function.
Rafflesia emit a specific, bad smell to rotten meat. In this way it attracts pollinating beetles and flies. That’s why the people of Indonesia call it a corpse flower. It blooms for 5-7 days, every few years. However, if pollinated, it produces round fruit. Containing thousands of tiny seeds.

Abrus precatorius – Originates from tropical Asia

Abrus precatorius - Leaves and pods, Northern Buton Island, IndonesiaAbrus precatorius - Kohler's Medicinal plantsAbrus precatorius - Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamAbrus precatorius (pods)

Abrus precatorius – Originates from tropical Asia

Abrus precatorius – The climbing plant originates from tropical Asia, it is used for the production of rosaries and jewelry.

  • Deadly dose: 3 µg of poison
  • Death: within 3 – 4 days
  • Poison: abrin
  • Aftermath: vomiting, bloody diarrhea, hallucinations, renal, liver and spleen paresis
  • Where it grows: Asia, Africa and America
  • Occurrence in Poland: no

The plant is not poisonous in its entirety, the leaves and roots are edible. The most devious are seeds that contain abrin. A small dose of a substance is enough to kill a person, and the first symptoms will appear after a few hours – problems with breathing, fever, vomiting or severe sweating. Finally, the respiratory system is completely destroyed. Asians are drinking a decoction of the root and leaves as cough and runny nosemedicine.