of the Sea
Whales have captured the imagination
of humans since time immemorial. Their size - truly
colossal - leaves no room for doubt: whales are a
wonder of nature.
Recent research has revealed
complex social relations, disquieting sounds
and intense cerebral activity in whales, which despite
living in the cold waters of the oceans are warm-blooded
mammals with lungs - not gills, like many of their
In scientific terms, whales
belong to the Cetacean
order, in which there are two sub-orders: the Mysticeti,
those with baleen plates instead of teeth, and the
Odontoceti, whales with teeth - which includes dolphins.
Within these categories is a
family of whales that is bigger than one might think.
There are more then 40
species, according to information available on
These gigantic mammals are popular
in cyberspace. But many of the sites dedicated to
whales reveal their sad story - the webpages are motivated
by the urgent need to save
whales and their habitat.
and organizations are clamoring for a better relationship
between whales and their predators: humans. Some countries
continue to hunt whales, which are also victims of
The depredation of whales is
among the ecological conservation topics that are
being hotly debated today, generating intense negotiations
among the countries belonging to an international
Petition for Whale Sanctuary
Voyage of the Odyssey
Orchids boast a profound beauty
- which seems to originate at the beginning of time.
In fact, according to data circulating on the always-well-informed
orchids have been around for at least 120 million
Since then they have proliferated
and spread throughout the world, with the exception
of the ice-covered poles or the deserts. They are
most abundant in tropical areas. There are 25,000
to 30,000 varieties of orchids in the forests, that
is, naturally occurring orchids.
When talking about these flowers
it is necessary to clarify whether one is speaking
of natural species because there are numerous varieties
in existence that have been created by humans who
have been captivated by the orchid's savage beauty.
This obsession, one that can
be traced back to ancient civilizations, has generated
an entire ''culture'' surrounding the orchid, and
includes gardening techniques, vast numbers of scientific
and clubs of orchid hobbyists, trade, expositions,
vocabulary, literature and art - especially photography.
The flower from the family orchidaceae,
which possesses a complex
biology, thrives in greenhouse gardens around
the world. But in nature, these beauties face the
same dangers as their natural habitat: the forest.
The world of the orchid is shrinking due to widespread
To enter the world of orchids
on the Internet:
with Orchids - PBS
Orchids on the Internet
of the Water
When we think about fish, we
always imagine water too, their natural world. Fish
have inhabited water nearly since life began on Earth,
when the evolutionary process was initiated that has
led to an enormous family: 20,000 to 30,000 different
species of fish have been recorded.
Britannica defines fish as ''any of a variety
of cold-blooded vertebrate animals (phylum Chordata)
found in the fresh and salt waters of the world.''
Any journey through the Internet's
world of fish found quickly reveals the meaning of
''ichthyology'': the science dedicated to the study
of these cold-blooded aquatic vertebrates. The cyber-excursion
also allows the traveler to explore the worlds of
aquariums, and even mythology.
Fish constitute an essential
part of life on this planet, and they are key to the
aquatic ecosystems that cover more than three-quarters
of the Earth's surface. As far as their connection
to humans, fish provide an important source of protein,
though over-exploitation of this natural resource
has caused profound distortions in the environment.
Following is a guide for beginning
your navigation through the watery world of fish:
than 100 Aquariums on Yahoo!
Frequently Asked Questions
of Fish Species