Friday 20 March 2009

This is crazy, The Liger! and Tigron!

Rarely am i lost for words


Liger-The liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion and a female tiger. It is denoted scientifically as Panthera tigris × Panthera leo.A liger resembles a lion with diffused stripes. They are the largest cats in the world, although the Siberian Tiger is the largest pure sub-species. Like tigers, but unlike lions, ligers enjoy swimming. A similar hybrid, the offspring of a male tiger and a female lion is called a tigon.Rare reports have been made of tigresses mating with lions in the wild.Under exceptional circumstances it has been known for a tiger to be forced into ranges inhabited by the Asiatic Lion, Panthera leo persica; however, this combination of species in the wild is considered highly unlikely.
Size and growth:
Imprinted genes may be a factor contributing to liger size.These are genes that may or may not be expressed depending on the parent they are inherited from, and that occasionally play a role in issues of hybrid growth. For example, in some mice species crosses, genes that are expressed only when maternally-inherited cause the young to grow larger than is typical for either parent species. This growth is not seen in the paternal species, as such genes are normally "counteracted" by genes inherited from the female of the appropriate species.The tiger produces a hormone that sets the fetal liger on a pattern of growth that does not end throughout its life. The hormonal hypothesis is that the cause of the male liger's growth is its sterility — essentially, the male liger remains in the pre-pubertal growth phase. This is not upheld by behavioural evidence - despite being sterile, many male ligers become sexually mature and mate with females. Male ligers also have the same levels of testosterone ng/dl on average as an adult male lion. In addition, female ligers also attain great size, weighing approximately 700 lb (320 kg) and reaching 10 feet (3.05 m) long on average, and are often fertile.

Longevity-18-26 years
While male ligers are sterile, female ligers are fertile, and they can reproduce. Because only female ligers and tigons are fertile, a liger cannot reproduce with a tigon.If a liger were to reproduce with a tiger, it would be called a ti-liger, and if it were to reproduce with a lion, it would be called a li-liger. The fertility of hybrid big cat females is well-documented across a number of different hybrids. This is in accordance with Haldane's rule: in hybrids of animals whose gender is determined by sex chromosomes, if one gender is absent, rare or sterile, it is the heterogametic sex (the one with two different sex chromosomes e.g. X and Y).According to Wild Cats of the World (1975) by C. A. W. Guggisberg, ligers and tigons were long thought to be sterile: In 1943, however, a fifteen-year-old hybrid between a lion and an 'Island' tiger was successfully mated with a lion at the Munich Hellabrunn Zoo. The female cub, although of delicate health, was raised to adulthood.

The history of ligers dates to at least the early 19th century in Asia. A painting of two liger cubs was made by Michael Isasi (1772−1844). In 1825, G.B. Whittaker made an engraving of liger cubs born in 1824. The parents and their three liger offspring are also depicted with their trainer in a 19th Century painting in the na├»ve style.
Two liger cubs after being born in 1837, were exhibited to William IV and to his successor Victoria. On 14 December 1900 and on 31 May 1901, Carl Hagenbeck wrote to zoologist James Cossar Ewart with details and photographs of ligers born at the Hagenbeck's Tierpark in Hamburg in 1897.
In Animal planet and the World of Tigers and lions and tigers (1902–1903), A.H. Bryden described Hagenbeck's "lion-tiger" hybrids:

All of the above has either come from wikipedia or some liger website.... If it is not true someone please tell me. Crazy!

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World Water Day 2009

With World Water Day 2009 coming up on Sunday 22nd March, Excellent Development, our project partner in Kenya, have been conducting some interesting research into the contrast between the massive choice of bottled water we have here in the UK compared to the limited access to a clean water supply faced by rural villages in the Machakos district of Kenya.

According to Simon Madrell, co-founder of Excellent Development, consumers in the UK face a mind-boggling choice between 57 different brands of water, with the average price per litre at £3.40 (the highest being a ridiculous £59 per litre and a favourite of celebrities such as Paris Hilton). It is a choice that we rarely give a second thought to, however within the communities Excellent Development works with in Kenya the availability (or lack of it) of water is forefront in most minds. Community built sand dams not only provide a sustainable source of clean water but also improves the surrounding environment, raising the local water table leading to increased tree and crop survival rates. A sand dam will provide water for a community at a cost of just over half a penny per litre and is refilled for free every time it rains!

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Thursday 19 March 2009

Countdown to Chicken Week! 3days to go!!

Preparations are in full swing for what is tipped to be the biggest event of the year - Quest Overseas Chicken Week 2009!

Suggestions have been flooding in, including swimming in the sea, dancing the birdy song and catching the Eurostar to Paris (one step too far I think?!). If you would like me to do something crazy dressed as a chicken now is your chance. It will require a donation of £45 and within reason I will do anything! Photographic or video evidence will be provided.


Please help support chicken week by spreading the word and together we can buy chickens and really make a long term positive sustainable difference to 1 school in Tanzania.
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Wednesday 18 March 2009

Brazil team leaves their project

After a fantastic month of work in Mangueira complex, improving the lives of the children in Casa Lar and entertaining the hundreds of kids in the Tia Neuma school (not to mention their fantastic exploits in the Rio Carnival parade), the team has now moved onto their expedition. I believe they are currently enjoying the Atlantic surf on the beach resort of Itacare - lucky things!

This doesn't mean that the project has been forgotten though. Some funds from their project donation still remain and their leader will be returning soon to make sure those funds are well spent. There is still a lot to do there, particularly in Casa Lar, which is why the team has decided to fundraise further.

They have set up the following justgiving site here - do help out if you can!

To find out how to join next year's Brazil project, click here

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Tuesday 17 March 2009

Climb Kilimanjaro

Not wanting to be out done by the comic relief lot, (though we are impressed) we know that we can do it better. So in light of chicken week, on the condition we raise the money to house and build the chicken farm, we will climb Kili and parade around the top sporting our out-fits and any attire that our volunteers wish to wear.

So if you wish to see a chicken and an egg argue over who came to the top first please give generously.
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Happy St Patrick's Day!

Seeing green, leprechauns, shamrocks and pints of guinness everywhere you go today? Never fear... you aren't going mad - today marks St Patrick's Day, the annual celebration of the patron saint of Ireland. Cue public holidays and days off work in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and (most bizarrely)the tiny Carribbean island of Montserrat. Most well known for its huge volcanic eruption in 1995 which led to the evacuation of 2/3 of the population, Montserrat is apparently known as the "Emerald Isle of the Carribbean" due to its foundation by Irish refugees from neighbouring islands.

The "Ireland of the Carribbean"????!

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Monday 16 March 2009

Gap Fair - Ashby School

As I write Andy and Jon are at Ashby School in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire waiting to answer any questions you might have about our projects or gap years in general. So go along and say hello!

The fair lasts from 10:45am til 2pm and directions to the school are here!

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