Saturday, October 30, 2010

MFS - Strange But True - Places 18


Updated on MFS - Strange But True - Places 18

The Train Graveyard at Uyuni - Bolivia.

Uyuni is a town in the Potosí Department in the south of Bolivia. The town's primary function is as a gateway for tourists visiting the world's largest salt flats - the Salar de Uyuni.One of the major tourist attractions of the area is an antique train cemetery. It is located 3 km outside Uyuni and is connected to it by the old train tracks. The town served in the past as a distribution hub for the trains carrying minerals on their way to the Pacific Ocean ports. The train lines were built by British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century and formed a sizable community in Uyuni. The engineers were invited by British-sponsored Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway Companies, which is now Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia. The rail construction started in 1888 and ended in 1892. It was encouraged by the then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but it was also constantly sabotaged by the local Aymara indigenous Indians who saw it as an intrusion into their lives. The trains were mostly used by the mining companies. In the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed, partly due to the mineral depletion. Many trains were abandoned thereby producing the train cemetery. There are talks to build a museum out of the cemetery.Read and see the full story at MFS,with 1 videoclip.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

MFS - Strange But True Creatures/Animals 16


Updated on MFS - Strange But True Creatures/Animals 16

    The Ocean sunfish a.k.a. Mola mola.

The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, or common mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). The species is native to tropical and temperate waters around the globe. It resembles a fish head with a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended.Sunfish live on a diet that consists mainly of jellyfish, but because this diet is nutritionally poor, they consume large amounts in order to develop and maintain their great bulk. Females of the species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate.Sunfish fry resemble miniature pufferfish, with large pectoral fins, a tail fin and body spines uncharacteristic of adult sunfish.
Adult sunfish are vulnerable to few natural predators, but sea lions, orcas and sharks will consume them. Among humans, sunfish are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, including Japan, the Korean peninsula and Taiwan, but sale of their flesh is banned in the European Union.Sunfish are frequently, though accidentally, caught in gillnets, and are also vulnerable to harm or death from encounters with floating trash, such as plastic bags.
A member of the order Tetraodontiformes, which also includes pufferfish, porcupinefish and filefish, the sunfish shares many traits common to members of this order. It was originally classified as Tetraodon mola under the pufferfish genus, but it has since been given its own genus, Mola, with two species under it. The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, is the type species of the genus.Read more about this giant fish on MFS,with 3 videoclips.

Friday, October 1, 2010

MFS - Strange But True - Creatures/Animals 16


Updated on MFS - Strange But True - Creatures/Animals 16

      The Chinese Giant Salamander.

The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is the largest salamander in the world, reaching a length of 180 cm (6 ft), although it rarely - if ever - reaches that size today. Endemic to rocky mountain streams and lakes in China, it is considered critically endangered due to habitat loss, pollution, and over-collecting, as it is considered a delicacy and used in traditional Chinese medicine. Records from Taiwan may be the results of introductions.It has been listed as one of the top-10 "focal species" in 2008 by the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) project.Read more about this rare animal on MFS,with 2 videoclips.
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