Cooking · eBook

Paleo Recipe Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo is run by two people, each with different talents and abilities, and is significantly supported by friends and family. Primarily, Jason and Neely work together to provide the resources and content for the site and together they manage a fantastic team. Molly Pearl manages all the recipes, their modifications, and the meal planning. She’s a big part of why every meal you make from here turns out fantastic. Max Shippee joined the team as the resident fitness guru, and contributes guest posts throughout the blog.

Paleo Recipe Book is the cookbook that is an instant access eBook so you can get things started right away and don’t have to wait to start making positive health changes in your life. Learn how to use your favorite herbs and spices to create amazing flavors for any kind of meal. Also learn about the medicinal and nutritional virtues of the most popular herbs and spices.

Over 370 easy Paleo recipes with full of photos divided into 18 food categories, instant access eBook. Enough options to cover everything you will ever need to eat the healthiest and tastiest food.

Find out great recipes such as Flank Steak with Cherry Tomato Salad , Beef Kabobs with BBQ Eggplant and Herb Roasted Chicken Breast with Pan-Fried Vegetables.

Cooking guides, charts and reference sheets have been included to make your life even easier and to help you cook just about anything. Your guide to cooking the perfect steak and the Paleo food list are two examples of what’s included.

Here’s a little sneek peak of the content as well as the table of contents of the cookbook, so you can know better of what’s in it for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cookbook itself is a $39 value, but today you get it for as low as $27 dollars. As an added bonus, you get the Quick and Simple Paleo Meals cookbook, the Paleo Meal Plan, the Herb and Spice guide and the Paleo Desserts cookbook for free. Those four bonuses are a $70 value on their own!

Checkout now before the offer close!

http://tinyurl.com/76xx9z2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What others have said about the cookbook

I would like to say thank you for a fabulous eBook of your Paleo recipes. I have it stored on my computer which makes it so simple for me to look up a recipe, print it for my grocery list and to follow as I cook. I am working to completely change my diet and learn a new healthy way to eat; therefore, I personally get overwhelmed when looking for new foods and recipes to cook and you have made it so simple and easy.

Best money I have spent in a long time – thank you and God bless!

– Kathy

From the very first moment, this cookbook captivates. The pictures are phenomenal. It’s almost possible to taste the deliciousness! There is no shortage of great ideas, recipes, and information. Sébastien has put together a huge WIN here. It is worth every single penny. You will reference this resource again and again for years to come. 

It’s the best possible combination of easy, tasty, and healthy!

– Melissa Fritcher of Less of Mimi

Let Start Cooking Today With Paleo Recipes. Order Now To Get Paleo recipe Book with All FOUR BONUSES and just for $27.00 dollars

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Labor

Epidural Anesthesia

Epidural anesthesia is the most popular method of pain relief during labor. More women request an epidural by name than any other method of pain relief. More than 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia.

As you prepare yourself for “labor day”, try to learn as much as possible about pain relief options so that you will be better prepared to make decisions during the labor and birth process. Understanding the different types of epidurals, how they are administered and their benefits and risks, will help you in your decision-making during the course of labor and delivery.

The term epidural is often short for epidural analgesia, a form of regional analgesia involving injection of drugs through a catheter placed into the epidural space. The injection can cause both a loss of sensation (anaesthesia) and a loss of pain (analgesia), by blocking the transmission of signals through nerves in or near the spinal cord.

The epidural space is the space inside the bony spinal canal but outside the membrane called the dura mater (sometimes called the “dura”). In contact with the inner surface of the dura is another membrane called the arachnoid mater (“arachnoid”). The arachnoid encompasses the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord.

Epidural medications fall into a class of drugs called local anesthetics, such asbupivacainechloroprocaine, or lidocaine. They are often delivered in combination with opioids or narcotics such as fentanyl and sufentanil in order to decrease the required dose of local anesthetic. This produces pain relief with minimal effects. These medications may be used in combination with epinephrine, fentanyl, morphine, or clonidine to prolong the epidural’s effect or to stabilize the mother’s blood pressure.

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How is an epidural given?

Intravenous (IV) fluids will be started before active labor begins and prior to the procedure of placing the epidural. You can expect to receive 1-2 liters of IV fluids throughout labor and delivery. An anesthesiologist (specialist in administering anesthesia), an obstetrician, or nurse-anesthetist will administer your epidural. You will be asked to arch your back and remain still while lying on your left side or sitting up. This position is vital for preventing problems and increasing the epidural effectiveness. An antiseptic solution will be used to wipe the waistline area of your mid back to minimize the chance of infection. A small area on your back will be injected with a local anesthetic to numb it. A needle is then inserted into the numbed area surrounding the spinal cord in the lower back. After that, a small tube or catheter is threaded through the needle into the epidural space. The needle is then carefully removed, leaving the catheter in place to provide medication either through periodic injections or by continuous infusion.The catheter is taped to the back to prevent it from slipping out.

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Are there any risks or negative side affects?

Complication rates with Epidural Steroid Injections are very low.

As with all injection procedures, the contrast dye contains iodine, so patients with a known allergy to iodine may have an adverse reaction. However, because the contrast is injected into a joint and not a vein, allergic reactions are rare.

What are the benefits of epidural anesthesia?

  • Allows you to rest if your labor is prolonged
  • By reducing the discomfort of childbirth, some woman have a more positive birth experience
  • Normally, an epidural will allow you to remain alert and be an active participant in your birth
  • If you deliver by cesarean, an epidural anesthesia will allow you to stay awake and also provide effective pain relief during recovery
  • When other types of coping mechanisms are no longer helping, an epidural can help you deal with exhaustion, irritability, and fatigue. An epidural can allow you to rest, relax, get focused and give you the strength to move forward as an active participant in your birth experience.
  • The use of epidural anesthesia during childbirth is continually being refined and much of its success depends on the skill with which it is administered.

What are the Disadvantages of epidural anesthesia?

  • Epidurals may cause your blood pressure to suddenly drop. For this reason your blood pressure will be routinely checked to help ensure an adequate blood flow to your baby. If there is a sudden drop in blood pressure, you may need to be treated with IV fluids, medications, and oxygen.
  • You may experience a severe headache caused by leakage of spinal fluid. Less than 1% of women experience this side effect. If symptoms persist, a procedure called a “blood patch”, which is an injection of your blood into the epidural space, can be performed to relieve the headache.
  • An epidural often makes the pushing stage of labor longer. The loss of sensation in your lower body weakens your bearing-down reflex, which can make it harder for you to push your baby out.You may want to have the epidural dose lowered while you’re pushing so you can participate more actively in your baby’s delivery – but it may take time for the pain medication to wear off enough that you can feel what you’re doing, and there’s no evidence that reducing the epidural dose actually shortens this stage of labor.
  • After your epidural is placed, you will need to alternate sides while lying in bed and have continuous monitoring for changes in fetal heart rate. Lying in one position can sometimes cause labor to slow down or stop.
  • You might experience the following side effects: shivering, ringing of the ears, backache, soreness where the needle is inserted, nausea, or difficulty urinating.
  • You might find that your epidural makes pushing more difficult and additional interventions such as Pitocin, forceps, vacuum extraction or cesarean might become necessary
  • For a few hours after the birth the lower half of your body may feel numb. Numbness will require you to walk with assistance.
  • In rare instances, permanent nerve damage may result in the area where the catheter was inserted.
  • Though research is somewhat ambiguous, most studies suggest that some babies will have trouble “latching on” causing breastfeeding difficulties. Other studies suggest that a baby might experience respiratory depression, fetal malpositioning, and an increase in fetal heart rate variability, thus increasing the need for forceps, vacuum, cesarean deliveries and episiotomies.
  • In some cases, an epidural provides spotty pain relief. This can happen because of variations in anatomy from one woman to the next or if the medication doesn’t manage to bathe all of your spinal nerves as it spreads through your epidural space.The catheter can also “drift” slightly, making pain relief spotty after starting out fine. (If you notice that you’re starting to have pain in certain places, ask for the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist to be paged so your dose can be adjusted or your catheter reinserted.)
  • Narcotics delivered through an epidural can cause itchiness, particularly in your face. They may also bring on nausea – though this is less likely with an epidural than from systemic medication, and some women feel nauseated and throw up during labor even without pain medication.
  • Anesthetics delivered through an epidural can make it more difficult to tell when you need to pee. Also, if you can’t pee into a bedpan, which for many people is harder than letting go on a toilet, you may need to be catheterized (have a catheter inserted into your urethra).
  • An epidural raises your risk of running a fever in labor. No one knows exactly why this happens, but one theory is that you pant and sweat less (because you’re not in pain), so it’s harder for your body to give off the heat generated by labor.It doesn’t boost your or your baby’s odds of getting an infection – but since it’s unclear at first whether the fever is from the epidural or from an infection, you and your baby could wind up getting unnecessary antibiotics.
  • Epidurals are associated with a higher rate of babies in the posterior or “face-up” position at delivery. Women whose babies are face-up have longer labors, tend to need Pitocin more often, and have a significantly higher rate of c-sections.(There’s controversy, though, over whether having an epidural actually contributes to babies ending up in this position – because the pelvic floor is relaxed – or whether women whose babies are in the posterior position have more painful labors and so request epidurals more often.)
  • In 1 in 100 women, an epidural causes a bad headache that may last for days. This is caused by a leakage of spinal fluid. (You can reduce the risk of headache by lying as still as possible while the needle is being placed.)
  • In very rare cases, an epidural affects your breathing, and in extremely rare cases it causes nerve injury or infection.

Will An EPIDURAL AFFECT MY NEWBORN?

The most recent studies suggest that an epidural does not have a negative effect on a newborn (as measured by his Apgar score, an evaluation routinely done immediately following birth). In fact, some studies show that babies whose moms had epidurals had better Apgar scores than babies whose moms had prolonged labors without the relief of an epidural.

Whether or not an epidural affects a baby’s ability to breastfeed immediately following birth remains controversial. Some experts suggest that the baby may have trouble latching on if the mother had an epidural. Others believe there are no good studies on which to base this conclusion.

We do know that any effects of an epidural on newborn behavior are much less than the effects of systemic narcotics.

CAN ANYONE HAVE AN EPIDURAL?

Not all women are good candidates for this kind of pain relief. You won’t be able to have an epidural if you have abnormally low blood pressure (because of bleeding or other problems), a bleeding disorder, a blood infection, a skin infection on the lower back where the needle would enter, or if you’ve had a previous allergic reaction to local anesthetics. Women taking specific blood-thinning medications can’t have this kind of pain relief, either.

Questions to ask your health care providers now and at the time of delivery in the hospital:

• What combination and dosage of drugs will be used?
• How could the medications affect my baby?
• Will I be able to get up and walk around?
• What liquids and solids will I be able to consume?

When can an epidural NOT be used?

An epidural may not be an option to relieve pain during labor if any of the following apply:

  • You use blood thinners
  • Have low platelet counts
  • Are hemorrhaging or in shock
  • Have an infection in the back
  • Have a blood infection
  • If you are not at least 4 cm dilated
  • Epidural space can not be located by the physician
  • If labor is moving too fast and there is not enough time to administer the drug
Food · plants

Potato

Potato is a starchytuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family (also known as the nightshades). The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were first introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have become an integral part of much of the world’s cuisine. It is the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following ricewheat, and maize. Long-term storage of potatoes requires specialised care in cold warehouses.

The annual diet of an average global citizen in the first decade of the 21st century included about 33 kg (73 lb) of potato. However, the local importance of potato is extremely variable and rapidly changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe (especially eastern and central Europe), where per capita production is still the highest in the world, but the most rapid expansion over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia. China is now the world’s largest potato-producing country, and nearly a third of the world’s potatoes are harvested in China and India.

Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow about 60 cm (24 in) high, depending on variety, the culms dying back after flowering. They bear white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellowstamens. In general, the tubers of varieties with white flowers have white skins, while those of varieties with colored flowers tend to have pinkish skins. Potatoes are cross-pollinated mostly byinsects, including bumblebees, which carry pollen from other potato plants, but a substantial amount of self-fertilizing occurs as well. Tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties.

There are about five thousand potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia. They belong to eight or nine species, depending on the taxonomic school. Apart from the five thousand cultivated varieties, there are about 200 wild species and subspecies, many of which can be cross-bred with cultivated varieties, which has been done repeatedly to transfer resistances to certain pests and diseases from the gene pool of wild species to the gene pool of cultivated potato species.

Health benefit of potatoes

Potatoes are nutrient-dense, meaning you receive many nutrients for the amount of calories they have. The fiber is half soluble, half insoluble, so it helps to keep you regular and helps to lower cholesterol. And slowing down digestion helps to keep you full longer. Phytochemicals in potatoes include flavanoids and a recently identified compound called kukoamine that appears to help lower blood pressure.

With the exception of vitamin A, white potatoes have just about every nutrient. Did you know potatoes are full of vitamin C? However, since we do not eat potatoes raw, most of the vitamin C is lost due to the heat of cooking. In addition, one baked potato offers about 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B6, which is good news for your heart. They are also very high in potassium, beating other potassium-rich foods. They are a good source of iron and copper, too. In fact, a potato a day is good for your heart, promoting normal blood-pressure levels.

Varieties of potato

 

Russet Potato

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A brown skinned, oblong potato with a white interior, which is one of the most popular potatoes. It has a rough skin with numerous eyes and can grow quite large. The russet is low in moisture and high in starch, making it good for baking, boiling and making French fries. They are sometimes referred to as an old potato or a baking potato. There are two common varieties of Russet potatoes. The most popular variety is the Russet Burbank, which has an oblong shape and medium skin that is light brown in color. It has a white flesh, which bakes up light and fluffy. Another variety is the Russet Norkotah. It is also oblong in shape but has a heavier skin that is more appealing in appearance. It is not as light and fluffy when baked as the Burbank. Russet potatoes are available throughout the year.
Red Potato

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They are medium sized with thin red skin and white flesh that has a crisp, waxy texture. The flesh can have a pink tint but is generally white. They are good potatoes for boiling, steaming, and roasting. They keep their shape when cooked, which makes them a good choice for dishes that have cooked potatoes in them, such as potato salad, scalloped potatoes, soups and stews. Red potatoes are available throughout the year.
Klondike Rose

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This red potato is different from other reds in that its flesh is a golden color. It is oval in shape and has smooth red skin. It has a delicious buttery taste and can be used for boiling, baking, steaming, mashing, and frying. When baked the skins turn brown. Klondike Rose potatoes are avavailable throughout the year in well stock supermarkets.
Yukon Gold Potato

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A variety of potato that has a light yellow skin and a rich buttery flavor. They are excellent for boiling and making mashed potatoes, but are not as good as russet potatoes for baking. They are also more expensive than many common potato varieties, but the flavor compensates for the price. Yukon potatoes are available as a large, mature potato for recipes requiring the larger size or as a small, young creamer potato for creamer recipes or other similar dishes requiring smaller sized potatoes.
Creamer Potato

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Varieties of potatoes that are harvested in the early stages of its growth, before it matures, in order to keep it small and tender. Creamer potatoes will generally be a gold Yukon or a Red potato that is harvested at a young age, measuring approximately 1 inch in diameter. The yellow or red skin of this potato is waxy and high in moisture while the sweet, tender white flesh contains a lower level of starch, making it an excellent boiling potato. Creamer potatoes can be boiled, baked, fried, or roasted and are excellent as side dishes or for use in potato salads, soups, stews, and casseroles. The common use is for the potato dish known as creamed potatoes, which cooks the potatoes in a cream sauce with peas and onions. A larger version of this potato that usually measures 2 inches in diameter is referred to as a new potato, which is basically the same, except harvested later and thus, larger in size.
New Potato

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A variety of potato, which is harvested very early in its growth when it reaches approximately 2 inches in diameter. The waxy yellow or red skin of this potato contains a high level of moisture, while its sweet, tender white flesh contains a lower level of starch, making it very suitable for boiling. New potatoes can be boiled, baked, fried, or roasted and are excellent as side dishes or for use in potato salads, soups, stews, and casseroles. A smaller version of this potato is referred to as a creamer potato, which is basically the same, except harvested sooner and thus, smaller in size, measuring approximately 1 inch in diameter.
Finger Potato

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Austrian Crescent

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Buttercream Potato

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Russian Banana

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French Fingerling

A small, narrow potato (generally 2 to 4 inches in length) that is actually a very young tuber. The potato has a finger-like appearance and a firm texture that varies from moist to dry, with a flavor that ranges from mildly sweet to rich and nutty. Like many other potatoes, the finger potato can be baked, boiled, fried, grilled, roasted, steamed, or sautéed. There are a variety of different finger potatoes available. Also referred to as Fingerling Potatoes.

The Austrian Crescent is a good potato for boiling or steaming, providing a cream colored flesh that goes well in salads or side dishes. This potato may have a slight crescent shape or it may be somewhat straight in appearance.

The Buttercream is a smaller potato with a tan colored skin covering a cream-colored flesh that can be boiled, steamed or baked. It is not considered to be a good potato for salads since the texture is not firm and crumbles easily.

The Russian Banana, native to the Russian region, is tan skinned with a white to cream inner flesh. It can be baked, steamed, or fried to be served as a side dish or salad potato. It provides a rich buttery flavor.

The French Fingerling, which is more plump and oval than other varieties, has a red outer skin covering a moist cream-colored flesh that provides a somewhat nutty flavor. It can be baked, fried, grilled, sautéed, or steamed.

The Purple Peruvian, native to Peru, has a purple outer skin that covers a lavender colored flesh. Since this potato has a firm texture that cooks quickly, it can be baked, steamed, or microwaved for shorter periods of time than the yellow or white fleshed varieties. It is a good potato for salads.

The Ruby Crescent has a finger-like appearance with a ruby colored skin covering a cream colored flesh. This variety is firm textured and well suited for roasting or steaming to be served in salads or side dishes.

Purple Potato

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A smaller oval-shaped potato with a purplish black outer skin and a vivid purple, dense inner meat. The odd colored meat adds a distinctive look to any dish.

 Method Of Cooking Potato

Potatoes are often served as a side dish to meat and poultry, but they are also used as a significant ingredient in many dishes, such as stew, soups, scalloped potatoes, and other casserole type dishes. They are a major ingredient in the Scandinavian flat bread, Lefse. Some varieties are better for specific purposes than others, such as red potatoes, which are best for boiling, and russets, which are best for frying and baking. They are also converted into commercial products, such as potato chips, instant mashed potatoes, canned new potatoes and many frozen products including French fries, hash browns, and stuffed baked potatoes.

predator

Alligator

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An alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. There are two living alligator species: the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese alligator(Alligator sinensis). In addition, several extinct species of alligator are known from fossil remains. Alligators first appeared during the Oligocene epoch about 37 million years ago.

The name alligator is an anglicized form of el lagarto, the Spanish term for “lizard”, which early Spanish explorers and settlers in Florida called the alligator.

Alligators are in the same family as other large reptiles like Crocodiles but are native to only two countries, which are the southern USA and China (where the Alligator is now nearly extinct). Alligators tend to be smaller than their Crocodile cousins but have been known to move at speeds of up to 15mph on land making them one of the fastest large reptiles in the world. Despite their size, there are a number of distinct differences between Alligators and Crocodiles as an Alligator’s snout is shorter than that of a Crocodile, and with their mouths shut, an Alligator’s teeth cannot be seen but a Crocodile’s can. Alligators are also commonly known as Gators in their native, southern North American habitats.

Alligators are very large reptiles, with males growing up to 4.5 meters in length. The female Alligator tends to be slightly smaller, with a total body and tail length of between 3 and 3.5 meters. The Chinese Alligator is a much smaller species, almost half the size of a female American Alligator. Alligators have an armour-plated body that varies in colour from yellow, to green, to brown, finally turning almost completely black in old age. The tail of the Alligator is incredibly muscular and is used to propel the animal when it is in the water. Alligators have short, stocky legs with webbing between their toes. This not only helps them when they are swimming but also means that they can negotiate the muddy river banks with ease.

The Alligator is a solitary predator that is actually surprisingly clunky when moving about on land. They tend to be quite slow, moving themselves by either crawling or sliding along the slippery banks on their bellies. They are highly territorial animals that are known to make a variety of noises to represent different things, including the declaration of territory, finding a mate and the young warning their mother that they are in danger. Male Alligators however, do not appear to have such a prominent voice box and make very little noise outside of the breeding season, when they are known to growl and bellow to fend off competing males.

Large male alligators are solitary territorial animals. Smaller alligators can often be found in large numbers close to each other. The largest of the species (both males and females), will defend prime territory; smaller alligators have a higher tolerance of other alligators within a similar size class.

Although alligators have a heavy body and a slow metabolism, they are capable of short bursts of speed, especially in very short lunges. Alligators’ main prey are smaller animals that they can kill and eat with a single bite. Alligators may kill larger prey by grabbing it and dragging it into the water to drown. Alligators consume food that can not be eaten in one bite by allowing it to rot, or by biting and then spinning or convulsing wildly until bite-size chunks are torn off. This is referred to as a “death roll.” Critical to the alligator’s ability to initiate a death roll, the tail must flex to a significant angle relative to its body. An alligator with an immobilized tail cannot perform a death roll.

Most of the muscle in an alligator’s jaw evolved to bite and grip prey. The muscles that close the jaws are exceptionally powerful, but the muscles for opening their jaws are comparatively weak. As a result, an adult human can hold an alligator’s jaws shut barehanded. It is common today to use several wraps of duct tape to prevent an adult alligator from opening its jaws when handled or transported.

Alligators are generally timid towards humans and tend to walk or swim away if one approaches. This has led some people to the practice of approaching alligators and their nests in a manner that may provoke the animals into attacking. In the state of Florida, it is illegal to feed wild alligators at any time. If fed, the alligators will eventually lose their fear of humans and will learn to associate humans with food, thereby becoming a greater danger to people.

Alligator Diet and Prey
The Alligator is generally a solitary predator, but smaller and younger Alligator individuals however, are known to stay together in groups especially when hunting. The Alligator eats fish, small mammals and birds, but the Alligator has also been known to attack much larger animals. Adult alligators have been known to hunt Deer and are well known to kill and eat smaller Alligators. In some cases, larger alligators have been known to hunt the Florida Panther and Black Bears, making the alligator the dominant predator throughout the their environment. Attacks on pets and even people are also not unknown.

Alligator Interesting Facts and Features
Alligator DNA is thought to date back to even before Dinosaur times meaning that the Alligators survived whatever it was that the dinosaurs didn’t, with the scientific estimates first dating the species 150 million years ago. The Chinese Alligator is currently found only in the Yangtze River Valley and the Chinese Alligator is now extremely endangered with less than 100 Chinese Alligators believed to be left in the wild. There are actually many more Chinese Alligators that live in zoos around the world than can be found in the wild today. Alligators are known to have up to 80 teeth which are perfectly shaped for biting down on prey. They are even able to regrow those teeth that are lost.

Alligator Conservation Status and Life Today
The American Alligator was once an Endangered species but thanks to habitat protection and federal laws protecting them, populations throughout Florida and Louisiana have recovered really well, with over a million Alligators thought to exist in the USA today. They are however now threatened by habitatdegradation, mainly in the form of deforestation and pollution in the water. The story of the Chinese Alligator however is very different, with less than 100 individuals thought to be left in the Yangtze River Valley, this species is Critically Endangered in the wild and is sadly on the verge of extinction.

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color

Festival of Color (Holi)

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Holi is a major festival in the Hindu religion. It is celebrated on the day after the last full moon of the Hindu month of Phalguna. Phalguna falls between late February and early March in Western calendars. Holi usually marks the happy transition from harsh, dark winter to brighter, warmer springtime. Holi festival may be celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated.

The main day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, also DhulhetiDhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing scented powder and perfume at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). After doing holika dahan prayers are said and praise is offered. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. Holika Dahan is referred to as Kama Dahanam in South India.

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In most areas, Holi lasts about two days. One of Holi’s biggest customs is the loosening strictness of social structures, which normally include age, gender, status, and caste. Holi closes the wide gaps between social classes and brings Hindus together. Together, the rich and poor, women and men, enjoy each other’s presence on this joyous day. Additionally, Holi lowers (but does not remove completely) the strictness of social norms. No one expects polite behavior; as a result, the atmosphere is filled with excitement,fun and joy.

Every year, thousands of Hindus participate in the festival Holi. The festival has many purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. It also has a religious purpose, commemorating many events that are present in Hindu mythology. Although it is the least religious holiday, it is probably one of the most exhilarating ones in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw colored powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.

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Entire country wears a festive look when it is time for Holi celebration. Market places get abuzz with activity as frenzied shoppers start making preparations for the festival. Heaps of various hues of gulal and abeer can be seen on the roadside days before the festival. Pichkaris in innovative and modern design too come up every year to lure the children who wish to collect them as Holi memorabilia and of course, to drench everybody in the town.

Great excitement can be seen in people on the next day when it is actually the time for the play of colours. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky. Bright colours of gulal and abeer fill the air and people take turns in pouring colour water over each other. Children take special delight in spraying colours on one another with their pichkaris and throwing water balloons and passers by. Women and senior citizen form groups called tolis and move in colonies – applying colours and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day.

There is also a tradition of consuming the very intoxicating bhang on this day to further enhance the spirit of Holi. It is so much fun to watch the otherwise sober people making a clown of themselves in full public display. Some, however, take bhang in excess and spoil the spirit. Caution should therefore be taken while consuming bhang delicacies.

After a funfilled and exciting day, the evenings the spent in sobriety when people meet friends and relatives and exchange sweets and festive greetings. It is said the spirit of Holi encourages the feeling of brotherhood in society and even the enemies turn friend on this day. People of all communities and even religions participate in this joyous and colouful festival and strenthen the secular fabric of the nation.

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Flower

Orchidaceae or orchid

The Orchidaceae, commonly referred to as the orchid family, is a morphologically diverse and widespread family of monocots in the order Asparagales. Along with the Asteraceae, it is one of the two largest families of flowering plants, with between 21,950 and 26,049 currently accepted species, found in 880 genera. Selecting which of the two families is larger remains elusive because of the difficulties associated with putting hard species numbers on such enormous groups. Regardless, the number of orchid species equals more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species. It also encompasses about 6–11% of all seed plants. The largest genera are Bulbophyllum (2,000 species), Epidendrum (1,500 species), Dendrobium (1,400 species) and Pleurothallis (1,000 species).

The family also includes Vanilla (the genus of the vanilla plant), Orchis (type genus), and many commonly cultivated plants such as Phalaenopsis and Cattleya. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.

The name comes from the Greek ὄρχις (órkhis), literally meaning “testicle“, because of the shape of the root. Linnaeus categorized the family as OrchidaceaeOrchid was introduced in 1845 byJohn Lindley in School Botany, due to an incorrect attempt to extract the Latin stem (orchis) from Orchidaceae.

The Greek myth of Orchis explains the origin of the plants. Orchis, the son of a nymph and a satyr, came upon a festival of Dionysios (Bacchus) in the forest. He drank too much, and attempted to rape a priestess of Dionysios. For his insult, he was torn apart by the Bacchanalians. His father prayed for him to be restored, but the gods instead changed him into a flower.

These flowers were previously called OrchisSatyrion (Satyrion feminina), or “ballockwort”.

Orchids are easily distinguished from other plants, as they share some very evident apomorphies. Among these are: bilateral symmetry (zygomorphism), many resupinate flowers, a nearly always highly modified petal (labellum), fusedstamens and carpels, and extremely small seeds.

Stem and roots

All orchids are perennial herbs, lack any permanent woody structure, and can grow according to two patterns:

  • Monopodial: The stem grows from a single bud, leaves are added from the apex each year and the stem grows longer accordingly. The stem of orchids with a monopodial growth can reach several metres in length, as in Vanda andVanilla.
  • Sympodial: The plant produces a series of adjacent shoots which grow to a certain size, bloom and then stop growing, to be then replaced. Sympodial orchids grow laterally rather than vertically, following the surface of their support. The growth continues by development of new leads, with their own leaves and roots, sprouting from or next to those of the previous year, as in Cattleya. While a new lead is developing, the rhizome may start its growth again from a so-called ‘eye’, an undeveloped bud, thereby branching.

Anacamptis lactea showing the two tubers

Terrestrial orchids may be rhizomatous or form corms or tubers. The root caps of terrestrials are smooth and white.

Some sympodial terrestrials, such as Orchis and Ophrys, have two subterranean tuberous roots. One is used as a food reserve for wintry periods, and provides for the development of the other one, from which visible growth develops.

In warm and humid climates, many terrestrial orchids do not need pseudobulbs.

Epiphytic orchids have modified aerial roots that can sometimes be a few meters long. In the older parts of the roots, a modified spongy epidermis, called velamen, has the function to absorb humidity. It is made of dead cells and can have a silvery-grey, white or brown appearance. In some orchids, the velamen includes spongy and fibrous bodies near the passage cells, called tilosomes.

The cells of the root epidermis grow at a right angle to the axis of the root to allow them to get a firm grasp on their support. Nutrients mainly come from animal droppings and other organic detritus on their supporting surfaces.

The pseudobulb of Prosthechea fragrans

The base of the stem of sympodial epiphytes, or in some species essentially the entire stem, may be thickened to form a pseudobulb that contains nutrients and water for drier periods.

The pseudobulb has a smooth surface with lengthwise grooves, and can have different shapes, often conical or oblong. Its size is very variable; in some small species of Bulbophyllum, it is no longer than two millimeters, while in the largest orchid in the world, Grammatophyllum speciosum (giant orchid), it can reach three meters. Some Dendrobium species have long, canelike pseudobulbs with short, rounded leaves over the whole length; some other orchids have hidden or extremely small pseudobulbs, completely included inside the leaves.

With ageing, the pseudobulb sheds its leaves and becomes dormant. At this stage it is often called a backbulb. A pseudobulb then takes over, exploiting the last reserves accumulated in the backbulb, which eventually dies off, too. A pseudobulb typically lives for about five years.

Leaves

A close-up of a Phalaenopsisorchid leaf, the parallel veins and cuticle are visible.

Like most monocots, orchids generally have simple leaves with parallel veins, although some Vanilloideae have a reticulate venation. Leaves may be ovate, lanceolate, or orbiculate, and very variable in size. Their characteristics are often diagnostic. They are normally alternate on the stem, often plicate, and have no stipules. Orchid leaves often have siliceous bodies called stegmata in thevascular bundle sheaths (not present in the Orchidoideae) and are fibrous.

The structure of the leaves corresponds to the specific habitat of the plant. Species that typically bask in sunlight, or grow on sites which can be occasionally very dry, have thick, leathery leaves and the laminae are covered by a waxy cuticle to retain their necessary water supply. Shade species, on the other hand, have long, thin leaves.

The leaves of most orchids are perennial, that is, they live for several years, while others, especially those with plicate leaves, shed them annually and develop new leaves together with new pseudobulbs, as in Catasetum.

The leaves of some orchids are considered ornamental. The leaves of the Macodes sanderiana, a semiterrestrial or lithophyte, show a sparkling silver and gold veining on a light green background. The cordate leaves of Psychopsiella limminghei are light brownish-green with maroon-puce markings, created by flower pigments. The attractive mottle of the leaves of lady’s slippers from tropical and subtropical Asia (Paphiopedilum), is caused by uneven distribution of chlorophyll. Also, Phalaenopsis schilleriana is a pastel pink orchid with leaves spotted dark green and light green. The jewel orchid (Ludisia discolor) is grown more for its colorful leaves than its white flowers.

Some orchids, as Dendrophylax lindenii (ghost orchid), Aphyllorchis and Taeniophyllum depend on their green roots for photosynthesis and lack normally developed leaves, as do all of the heterotrophicspecies.

Orchids of the genus Corallorhiza (coralroot orchids) lack leaves altogether and instead wrap their roots around the roots of mature trees and use specialized fungi to harvest sugars.

Flowers

Dactylorhiza sambucinaOrchidoideaefor reference

Orchidaceae are well known for the many structural variations in their flowers.

Some orchids have single flowers, but most have a racemose inflorescence, sometimes with a large number of flowers. The flowering stem can be basal, that is, produced from the base of the tuber, like in Cymbidium, apical, meaning it grows from the apex of the main stem, like in Cattleya, or axillary, from the leaf axil, as inVanda.

As an apomorphy of the clade, orchid flowers are primitively zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetrical), although in some genera like MormodesLudisia and Macodes, this kind of symmetry may be difficult to notice.

The orchid flower, like most flowers of monocots, has two whorls of sterile elements. The outer whorl has three sepals and the inner whorl has three petals. The sepals are usually very similar to the petals (and thus called tepals1), but may be completely distinct.

The upper medial petal, called the labellum or lip , is always modified and enlarged. The inferior ovary  or the pedicel usually rotates 180 degrees, so that the labellum, goes on the lower part of the flower, thus becoming suitable to form a platform for pollinators. This characteristic, called resupination, occurs primitively in the family and is considered apomorphic (the torsion of the ovary is very evident from the picture). Some orchids have secondarily lost this resupination, e. g. Zygopetalum and Epidendrum secundum.

The normal form of the sepals can be found in Cattleya, where they form a triangle. In Paphiopedilum (Venus slippers), the lower two sepals are fused into a synsepal, while the lip has taken the form of a slipper. In Masdevallia, all the sepals are fused.

Orchid flowers with abnormal numbers of petals or lips are called peloric. Peloria is a genetic trait, but its expression is environmentally influenced and may appear random.

Longitudinal section of a flower of Vanilla planifolia

Orchid flowers primitively had three stamens, but this situation is now limited to the genus NeuwiediaApostasia and the Cypripedioideae have two stamens, the central one being sterile and reduced to a staminode. All of the other orchids, the clade called Monandria, retain only the central stamen, the others being reduced tostaminodes . The filaments of the stamens are always adnate (fused) to the style to form cylindrical structure called the gynostemium or column . In the primitiveApostasioideae, this fusion is only partial; in the Vanilloideae, it is more deep; in Orchidoideae and Epidendroideae, it is total. The stigma is very asymmetrical, as all of its lobes are bent towards the centre of the flower and lay on the bottom of the column.

Pollen is released as single grains, like in most other plants, in the ApostasioideaeCypripedioideae and Vanilloideae. In the other subfamilies, that comprise the great majority of orchids, the anther , carries and two pollinia.

A pollinium is a waxy mass of pollen grains held together by the glue-like alkaloid viscin, containing both cellulosic strands and mucopolysaccharides. Each pollinium is connected to a filament which can take the form of a caudicle, as in Dactylorhiza or Habenaria, or a stipe, as in Vanda. Caudicles or stipes hold the pollinia to the viscidium, a sticky pad which sticks the pollinia to the body of pollinators.

At the upper edge of the stigma of single-anthered orchids, in front of the anther cap, there is the rostellum , a slender extension involved in the complex pollination mechanism.

As aforementioned, the ovary is always inferior (located behind the flower). It is three-carpelate and one or, more rarely, three-partitioned, with parietal placentation(axile in the Apostasioideae).

In 2011, a member of the genus BulbophyllumBulbophyllum nocturnum, was discovered to flower nocturnally.

Fruits and seeds

Cross-section of an orchid capsule, the longitudinal slits

The ovary typically develops into a capsule that is dehiscent by three or six longitudinal slits, while remaining closed at both ends. The ripening of a capsule can take two to 18 months.

The seeds are generally almost microscopic and very numerous, in some species over a million per capsule. After ripening, they blow off like dust particles or spores. They lack endosperm and must enter symbiotic relationships with various mycorrhizal basidiomyceteous fungi that provide them the necessary nutrients to germinate, so that all orchid species are mycoheterotrophic during germination and reliant upon fungi to complete their lifecycles.

Closeup of a Phalaenopsis blossom

As the chance for a seed to meet a fitting fungus is very small, only a minute fraction of all the seeds released grow into adult plants. In cultivation, germination typically takes weeks, while there is a report of one paphiopedilum that took fifteen years.

Horticultural techniques have been devised for germinating seeds on a nutrient-containing gel, eliminating the requirement of the fungus for germination, greatly aiding the propagation of ornamental orchids.

The main component for the sowing of orchids in artificial conditions is the agar agar. The substance is put together with some type of carbohydrate (actually, some kind of glucose) which provides qualitative organic feed. Such substance may be bananapineapplepeach or even tomato puree or coconut milk. After the “cooking” of the agar agar (it has to be cooked in sterile conditions), the mix is poured into test tubes or jars where the substance begins to gel.

Reproduction

Pollination

The complex mechanisms which orchids have evolved to achieve cross-pollination were investigated by Charles Darwin and described in his 1862 book Fertilisation of Orchids. Orchids have developed highly specialized pollination systems, thus the chances of being pollinated are often scarce, so orchid flowers usually remain receptive for very long periods, and most orchids deliver pollen in a single mass. Each time pollination succeeds, thousands of ovules can be fertilized.

Pollinators are often visually attracted by the shape and colours of the labellum. The flowers may produce attractive odours. Although absent in most species, nectar may be produced in a spur (8) of the labellum, on the point of the sepals or in the septa of the ovary, the most typical position amongst the Asparagales.

In orchids that produce pollinia, pollination happens as some variant of the following. When the pollinator enters into the flower, it touches a viscidium, which promptly sticks to its body, generally on the head or abdomen. While leaving the flower, it pulls the pollinium out of the anther, as it is connected to the viscidium by the caudicle or stipe. The caudicle then bends and the pollinium is moved forwards and downwards. When the pollinator enters another flower of the same species, the pollinium has taken such position that it will stick to the stigma of the second flower, just below the rostellum, pollinating it. The possessors of orchids may be able to reproduce the process with a pencil, small paintbrush, or other similar device.

Ophrys apifera is about to self-pollinate

Some orchids mainly or totally rely on self-pollination, especially in colder regions where pollinators are particularly rare. The caudicles may dry up if the flower has not been visited by any pollinator, and the pollinia then fall directly on the stigma. Otherwise, the anther may rotate and then enter the stigma cavity of the flower (as in Holcoglossum amesianum).

The labellum of the Cypripedioideae is poke-shaped, and has the function to trap visiting insects. The only exit leads to the anthers that deposit pollen on the visitor.

In some extremely specialized orchids, such as the Eurasian genus Ophrys, the labellum is adapted to have a colour, shape and odour which attracts male insects via mimicry of a receptive female. Pollination happens as the insect attempts to mate with flowers.

Many neotropical orchids are pollinated by male orchid bees, which visit the flowers to gather volatile chemicals they require to synthesize pheromonal attractants. Each type of orchid places the pollinia on a different body part of a different species of bee, so as to enforce proper cross-pollination.

An underground orchid in Australia, Rhizanthella slateri, is never exposed to light, and depends on ants and other terrestrial insects to pollinate it.

Catasetum, a genus discussed briefly by Darwin, actually launches its viscid pollinia with explosive force when an insect touches a seta, knocking the pollinator off the flower.

After pollination, the sepals and petals fade and wilt, but they usually remain attached to the ovary.

Asexual reproduction

Some species, such as PhalaenopsisDendrobium and Vanda, produce offshoots or plantlets formed from one of the nodes along the stem, through the accumulation of growth hormones at that point. These shoots are known as keiki.

Birds

KL Bird Park Malaysia

The KL Bird Park was establish in 1991 and was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen of Malaysia, Tunku Bainun. It was since managed by DBKL (City Hall) until 1st July 2001 whereby it was taken by Safari Bird Park & Wonderland Sdn Bhd as the new management of KL Bird Park.

KL Bird Park is well known worldwide as “The world’s Largest Covered Bird Park” or “The World’s Largest Free-flight Walk-in Aviary”, home to more than 3,000 birds from approximately 200 species of local and worldwide birds.

KL Bird Park is an ideal place for family and friends and even company outing. The Bird Park’s management offers a number of services for corporate and individual visitors.

  • Event Organiser
  • Company Outings
  • Family Days Activities
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Nature Educational Programmes
  • Hatchery and Educational Center

The main feature that distinguishe KL Bird Park from any other bird parks is the concept of free-flight. Entering the door of KL Bird Park is as if you are stepping into an enormous bird cage, where visitors will have a chance to witness at close proximity various bird species living together as a perfectly balanced community in this semi-natural environment.

Our vision is to become a world-class zoological park and one of the most competitive in the region. In the areas of education and conservation, we hope to contribute towards creating and instilling public awareness on the importance of conserving birds and wildlife species and maintaining a clean and safe environment.

Places of interest around the KL bird park Malaysia
KL Sentral, Old Rallway Station(Commuter Train), National Museum, Tun Abdul Razak Memorial, National Planetrium, Deer Park, Orchid Garden, Police Museum, Islamic Art Museum, Lake Club, Independence Square, Nation Monument.

Map of kuala lumpur bird park;

Bird-watching is a common activity here where the flora and fauna is rich. The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park has earned a reputation among those who are keen on the study of birds in their natural habitat. Some of them include research scientists who monitor bird nests for the study of behavioral patterns.