Tag Archives: Animals

Symbolism and thoughts on short story ‘Chained Freedom’ by Natasja Hellenthal

Chained Freedom Coverfinal1

“This is not a fairytale, but a true story,” storyteller Tana Woodwolf tells the audience at the start of ‘Chained Freedom’.

This is some more information, symbolism and random thoughts about ‘Chained Freedom’, a thought-provoking fantasy. I’ve written the story some years ago whilst being stuck in a rather, suffocating relationship. I always had the choice to step out sooner than I did, but I didn’t feel ‘free’ enough, or ‘ready’ enough, or even ‘strong’ enough to do so but moreover full of guilt.
Instead, I wrote this story, as all my stories are based on my own life and experiences to some degree. I’m not Tana, mind you, but I feel like I know her really well!
But it’s not just relationships, of any kind, we can relate this story to, and apply it to our lives; it’s any kind of loss of freedom really. Freedom; everyone’s birthright, but so very fragile and easily swept away from us, whether we let it happen consciously, or more than often not. It could also be through religion, our upbringing, conditioning and social dogma’s that we get trapped without giving it a second thought.
When are we really free?

Chained Freedom’ is a short story featuring Fay Comyenti, first daughter of Sula and Felix from the first book in a Fantasy drama series, ‘Call Off The Search’ (Comyenti Series), and how she helps a woman break free from a magical entrapment.
Fay is not the main character, but an important side-character, who reminds the main character of Chained Freedom, Tana Woodwold, of her own inner strength.

Short synopsis:

Tana Woodwolf wakes to find herself trapped within a strange land. She learns quickly from the faces of the others that this is no paradise she has been transported to; it is a prison.
Unable to escape, Tana soon discovers that a dark and malignant force is dragging them, one-by-one, to unreachable higher rooms of the tower from which they never return.
If she is to ever escape from there then she will need to use all the guile and strength she has within her. Does one of the others hold the key? Or is it something else within the prison that she needs to study?
As the darkness comes nearer, a strange voice whispers, ‘Look and be free… You have to let go of what you know.’
Should she trust the voice? Should she trust the others? Does she even have a choice?
As despair and terror closes in around them all, only one person can discover the truth and save them…

Symbolism of Chained Freedom (spoiler alert!)

Tana, once free, is determined to also help free the other slaves. She won’t rest until she has found a way to do so. She cannot be completely free, until then she is still chained. Little does she know that the Wizard is the very embodiment of Evil and can never be defeated. It’s the balance of life, of light and dark, of right and wrong. It is more than that: as long as men continue to do evil, hurt other people, the Wizard will live. Only people with dark thoughts are being transported! That’s the first rule.
As for the other slaves, they are people like Tana, who cannot be broken free from the outside, but themselves will have to try to find a way from the inside.
Some people aren’t ready yet and live with a curtain (the magic wall), closed over their eyes. Others, like Tana, with a little help, can see an opening and find a way to lift the veil to let the light in again; a way to see the world in its true light and find goodness. Hope is the key that can open the heart which is the way. Compassion and love are the door(s).

Tower: Patriarchal dominance and world-leader ship. The prisoners end up there (close to the evil wizard) as a first warning and to actually been given a second choice. Not the real criminals are being put here, as they get a harder punishment, but people, like Tana, with minor crimes.
Prisoners: that’s what we all are unless we break through. Also a reference to ‘free range’ animals, or caged domesticated animals, who can’t escape at all. The prisoners know, like farmed animals, that they will end up dead and live in fear (both have been proven).
Wizard: Pure evil. But really it’s not about him, he is just a symbol. That’s why he has no face, no name, no voice and no real role in the story, because it’s about the slaves and their own inner wizard, their own evil inside of themselves. You can choose to do either good or bad. But you cannot be good to others if you’re not good to yourself first.
Disbelieve of their fate: What have they done wrong to deserve this? That’s a real life question of many people in ‘chained’ or difficult situations.
The Magic wall: the curtain or veil that is drawn over our eyes, making us forget our innocence and to be in touch with the real world around us.
Fay: the helper, someone who believes in Tana, for we all need someone to have faith in us; to do what seems the impossible.
Chains: invisible, but they’re still there. Also our responsibility to help others. We can never be truly free unless the whole world is. Until then we are still half-chained or with
one hand.

The message that Tana is trying to give to other people is: Be good, do good, be kind to one another. If you don’t, you’ll end up in the tower. Because she had found kindness and a love in her own heart, hope and a lightness in her being, maybe by doing good, helping others, she found a way out and the wizard ‘let’ her escape, because she was changed and no longer evil.
I believe that with the right mind-set and help people indeed can change.
This story to me is the ultimate story of good and evil, right and wrong and how we can all fight our own evil in ourselves and help others. Surely by helping others you reduce the evil in your heart. The opening in the wall in the end was bigger and felt easier for Tana to find.

Quotes:

“If you cannot change a situation why not improve the quality of life around you?”

“You see, you’re only chained if you allow yourself to be chained. Your soul, the real you, cannot be put in shackles and will always be free.”

“You can’t possibly make holes in the wall for everyone. I don’t think it works that way,’ Fay said. ‘You’ve seen it with your own eyes. They have to, like you did, create their own doorway.’
‘So, I’ll show them how. I can teach them how to escape, I’m sure I can.’
I had a feeling she didn’t agree with me.
‘I’m not saying you can’t, but how does the old saying go; prevention is better than a cure?”

“The other prisoners and I had one thing in common: our enslavement, chains or not, and there surely would be more people after my leaving, perhaps I had been replaced already.
Am I free?
Even though I could have easily walked away and forgotten all about the mysterious evil wizard and his slaves, I just couldn’t. Until then, my freedom was still in chains.”

End Note:

After nearly ten years of being thrown backwards and forwards, of living in doubt and insecurities, of a life half lived in freedom, half in chains, I managed to free myself from my own forged shackles. But, complete freedom is of course a big word. I will always have my responsibilities as we do, some I created, but since then I’m much stronger and aware and am no longer shackled. The chains I wear these days or made of invisible soft silver cords.
I’m even more conscious of the meaning of freedom and what we are all doing with it once we have it, or what we do to get it back when we don’t.
Every day in freedom is a gift. Many don’t have it and are still fighting that struggle, some have lost their lives.
We are all bound to each other through invisible, silver lines as I call them. They are not just those attached to our family and friends, but to everyone. I believe we owe it to others who are less fortunate and need our help, even if we don’t know them.
We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

‘Chained Freedom’ is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IK4OWXE

Listen to the book here:http://www.booktrack.com/read/d9408688c713442e8476cf3a46693f5a

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NEW RELEASE: Children Of The Sun is finally here after many oreo biscuits and captain morgan’s!!!

If you enjoyed Call Off The Search, book 1 in the Comyenti Series and want to continue reading after the shocking cliffhanger, Book 2 is NOW available worlwide! One- click it here: http://smarturl.it/cots2CHILDRENOFTHESUNCOVERSEPT13

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LAST 3 WEEKS OF PROMO BOOK 1 UNTIL BOOK 2 IS RELEASED OCTOBER 13TH

********#Fantasy #Series ********
Book 1: http://smarturl.it/calloffthesearch?IQid=qr FREE in KindleUnlimited
Book 2: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N2U9GE6 (pre-order)

The comyentis are different; beautiful and mysterious, possessing powers of which humans can only dream. And for this, they are hated, persecuted. For millennia, humanity has murdered and enslaved the peaceful comyentis wherever they find them. Jealous of their ability to merge their minds with animals to use their powers, to empathise with other beings on a deep spiritual level and even hear their thoughts, they seek out and destroy them.
Half-breed Sula, one of the last of her kind, lives in hiding. With not just her own life but her whole species’ held precariously within her hands, she feels the weight of her responsibility. As loneliness and alienation slowly engulf her, an attractive young human enters her world and she is torn. Should Sula trust him? Can she afford not to? Will she be able to overcome her aversion to humans to save her species from extinction? A life as a wandering hermit, or risk everything for love?
Sula’s life becomes further complicated when she meets another comyenti and is forced to make a decision. Follow her head or her heart? ***

COTSSERIESPROMO

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The Supersenses Of Animals-List of geeky facts-ALL TRUE!

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Super Senses of Animals:

Eyesight: 

Birds of prey such as:

The Eagle and hawk can see details 4 times finer and in a broader vision. Some predator birds can see the ultraviolet range of colours. The hawk uses ultraviolet light to see urine tracks of mice and other animals– it glows in the UV range under sunlight. Also for navigation a hawk can still see the sun even if it’s behind a cloud. Bees can also do this!

Best mammal night vision – Cats

Cats have awesome night vision. This is because their pupils widen until they are large circles letting far more light into their eyes – nearly doubling their ability to see (and hunt) in darkness. Which is very bad news if you’re a mouse.  

Best all-round view – Grazing mammals

It pays grazing mammals, such as horses, gazelles and zebras, to remain vigilant at all times. Because if they don’t a predator will have a free meal ticket. When grazing with their heads down, if these animals had forward facing eyes like us, they would have a large blind spot which could cost them their life.  However eyes that face sideways give them an almost all-round view. And by feeding in herds and taking it in turns to look up, it makes it much harder for a predator to launch a surprise attack.

Goats and rabbits almost have 360 degree vision.

Mountain goats also can see about 8 times as far as humans so goats probably have the best overall vision

Best bird night vision – Owls

Despite their smaller size, owls have eyes almost as big as ours and their huge pupils capture lots of light. In fact, an owl could probably spot a mouse on a football pitch lit by a single candle. Secondly, like other birds, their brains can capture an ‘at a glance’ picture that a human eye would have to scan back and forth to understand. However because their forward-facing eyes are so big, they can’t move them. Which is why, like eagles, they can swivel their heads 270 degrees – allowing them a wide field of vision.

Best underwater vision – Sharks

Never play hide and seek with a shark because you’ll lose. They can detect a glow that is ten times dimmer than anything we are capable of seeing. But just in case that wasn’t good enough, sharks have special cells in their brains that detect electrical fields. These not only help them to navigate like a compass but allow them to detect the weak electrical fields given off by the merest twitch of a muscle. Meaning even a distant fish hiding deep underneath the sand will be found and eaten. Gulp!

Best thermal vision – Snakes

Temperature-sensitive organs located between the eyes and nostrils of pythons, boas and pit vipers allow these snakes to sense the body heat of their prey. There is one located on each side of the snakes’ head, so the animals can perceive depth and strike with deadly accuracy even in complete darkness.

THE X RAY MACHINE – THE MANTIS SHRIMP

Short of being able to see sounds, the aquatic mantis shrimp has an extraordinary wealth of vision that allows it to see pretty much everything that we can’t. It can see up to twelve primary colours (we have three), and can see both infa-red and ultraviolet light – types of light we as humans are only ever told about.  Even crazier, however, is the discovery that the shrimp can see light spirals that no other animal can – which may or may not give it a secret communicative device!

Best fire detector – The jewel beetle

Using an infra-red sensor under one its legs, this beetle can detect a fire over 50 miles away. Astonishingly, the beetle then chooses to fly towards it. This is because once the inferno has passed, the burnt tree trunks that remain offer a rare opportunity for the jewel beetle to mate and lay its eggs in a predator-free environment.

Best Smell:

On land: the bear (better than a dog)

In water: The shark (Two-thirds of a shark’s brain is dedicated to smell and it can detect the tiniest drop of blood from more than a mile away. Astonishingly even uninjured fish are not safe from a shark’s surveillance. A merely nervous fish emits chemicals to warn others. Unfortunately for them, these signals can be picked up by…yep, you’ve guessed it.)

Best ‘mate’ detection – The Moth

Imagine being able to sniff your future wife from 6-7 miles away. Well, that’s what a moth does using its feathery antennae.

Best detective – The dog (Bloodhound)

A bloodhound can stay on the trail of a person after several days, even if that person has walked through busy shopping centres and streets. Some dogs can even detect certain types of cancer and they do so with greater accuracy than state-of-the-art screening equipment.

Best bird sense of smell – The albatross. Most birds rely on keen eyesight and have a poor sense of smell. The albatross is one of the exceptions. This great bird spends its time hovering above the ocean on the look out for food. And to help it do this, it has an extra-large nose on top of its beak. This over-sized honk helps the albatross detect food floating on the sea, even when it is dark.

Aphrodisiacs: butterfly, musk deer musk ox, two-lined salamander who inserts a magical potion directly into the female’s bloodstream so that she surrenders herself. The male uses his head to nudge a potential mate, and encircles the female’s head with the front of his body. The male scratches the female’s skin with his teeth to possibly allow secretions from his mental glands to reach her bloodstream. It has been suggested that the secretions stimulate courtship behaviour in the female.

Taste:

Turbocharged taste buds – The catfish

A 6-inch catfish may have 250,000 taste buds. They cover its entire body inside and out including its fins, back, belly and tail – making it literally a swimming tongue. In comparison, we have around 10,000 taste buds. Understandably this makes them exceptional at detecting food. For instance, imagine being able to taste a single drop of coke in an Olympic size swimming pool. A catfish could. 

“I don’t like sweets” – The cat

They might be able to see, hear and smell better than us but when it comes to tasting sweetness – cats are left flummoxed. They have an inability to taste anything sweet which explains why they like more savoury treats such as meat.

Touch: 

On land:

Tapeworms: they use only touch to perceive the world.

 Most sensitive nose – The star nosed mole

This poor-sighted creature’s unique nose has almost six times more touch receptors than a human hand and it uses its nose more for feeling than smelling. As it makes its way down a tunnel, it sweeps its 22 fleshy tentacles back and forth with incredible speed touching 10-12 different objects per second. And as soon as a tasty worm is detected, it’s eaten within milliseconds.

Any animal that digs for a living or must live by night, such as the prairie dog or the Anteater, usually has a great sense of touch.

Woodpecker: uses its tongue to search for insects in the wood it has thrilled.

Penguins: must touch to survive. They love being touched by their parents but it’s also a way of bonding. Rats are the same, they are compulsive touchers.

In the water: Sea turtles enjoy having their shells lightly scratched, and they can feel an object as delicate as a twig moving across it.

Duck: its bill in the water is very sensitive to water vibrations.

Best earthquake detector – The catfish

Catfish are probably the most finely tuned creatures on earth. Unlike most fish, they don’t have scales and their smooth skin gives them a heightened sense of touch. In addition tiny hairs that run along the catfish’s side are very sensitive to vibrations. So much so, catfish are rumoured to be able to detect earthquakes days in advance. 

 Deadly vibrations – In the water: The crocodile & alligator

These deadly predators have 1000’s of tiny receptors – the size of the tip of a pencil -dotted mainly around their jaw line. These receptors enable them to sense the presence, movement and location of animals through vibrations in the water. For instance, they can pick up on the faintest change in their environment such as a when a wildebeest stops to take a drink.

 Vibrations on land: Crabs, ants, moles.

 Best ‘touch at a distance’ – The sea cow (Manatee)

This odd looking sea animal has the ability to ‘touch at a distance’ which means it can feel objects from relatively far away. It can do this because its entire body is covered in tactile hairs whereas most mammals only have facial whiskers. Collectively these hairs enable the manatee to detect a change in current, water temperature and even tidal forces.

 Best whiskers – Under water: The seal

On land: A Cat’s whiskers are incredibly sensitive and help it judge size and distance incredibly accurately. But a seal’s whiskers possess more nerve fibres per hair and are perhaps the most finely tuned whiskers in the animal kingdom. Using them, seals can track fish swimming 180 metres (591feet) away in even the murkiest of water.

Hearing:

Under water sounds can reach further than in air.

Dolphins can send out ultrasounds to ‘see’ past skin and muscles, the sound resonate in the bones, travelling up the spine. In water it’s 60 times more efficient than air (ultrasound resonance).

Whales, low pitched

On land: Bats: sending of sounds (echolocation).

Noctuid Moth, Owls. High pitched: Mice and low: Elephants

Sixth Sense:

THE PSYCHIC – THE PLATYPUS

While you might think of the dopey-looking platypus as something of an oddity and nothing more, it actually possesses a brilliant type of internal radar!  As it needs to shut down all of its main senses as it dives for food, its bizarre bill takes on an amazing power all of its own – an electro-sensory power that picks up on tiny electric movements.  This sixth-sense allows the Platypus to hunt with its eyes shut, and instead be led by its psychic beak!

Cold environment, staying warm: 

Something like 80 percent of the calories in food goes towards maintaining a mammal or bird’s body temperature at a constant level. (internally) so it pays off being in reptilemode (they can survive on 10 percent!) See survival skills.

The wood frog’s super abilities kick in without it even trying – and it still has scientists baffled to this day.  This minute Alaskan amphibian is able to withstand being frozen completely solid – and then thaw out again as if nothing had happened!  This unique ability sees the frog’s heart stop beating entirely – and to see it spring back to life from the deep freeze is nothing short of miraculous.  While other animals take time and effort to hibernate, this frog can sit back and let nature take its course.

Some fish have a special protein in their blood which acts like anti-freeze to help them survive very cold water temperatures. Arctic cod. 

Warm environment, keeping cool:

Sweating:

People do it, and so do horses. Sweating helps animals cool because drying sweat cools the skin. Some canines—members of the dog family—sweat from their feet as do cats, but that is not a large enough surface area to cool the whole animal.

Panting:

As we all know, our breath is hot—hot enough to make clouds in winter air. Many animals get rid of excess body heat by breathing rapidly—by panting. Almost everyone has seen dogs do this. Have you ever seen birds walking around in summer with their beaks open? They’re panting. Birds have an elaborate breathing system that includes air sacs in addition to lungs and that helps them get rid of excess heat by panting. Birds have a constant body temperature of 42 degrees, so they can be active in the winter also.

Radiating heat:

Elephants can radiate heat from their ears, which they hold out from their bodies; jackrabbits do the same thing with their long ears. Blood flow into the ears carries heat out of the body, and cooler blood re-enters the bloodstream, reducing the effects of heat.

Estivation:

This is the opposite of hibernation. Some animals, such as toads and snails of various species, will go into a state of dormancy (call it sleep, but it is much deeper than sleep) during hot weather, to avoid heat and drying; they may burrow underground, just like a hibernating ground squirrel (hibernation is a winter dormancy to escape cold and hunger). Probably the most famous estivators are the lungfish of Africa, Australia and South America, which burrow into the mud of drying lakes and create a cocoon of mucus for shelter; they revive when rains refill their lakes.

Sense of time, inner clock: most animals

Sense of direction/navigation, finding their way home through magnetic field of earth and build in magnet in brain: butterfly, turtles, tuna fish, mice and birds of migration. Pigeons use smell as guide to navigation.

Sense of temperature: Malleefowl (uses its bill to determine right temperature in its nest, constant 33 degrees)

Sense of weather: Bees they sense the electrical fields thunderstorms, lightning, build in barometer. Pressure in sky. Birds

Power of regeneration: Cats have another animal super power which is less well known. The power of regeneration and it’s all to do with their purr… A cat’s purr actually gives off a frequency of up to 150 hertz – jargon aside, this vibration has been proven to promote both healing and growth of bone matter!  It’s also said that purring can release endorphins, making a cat calm and content – though as a built-in self repair kit it’s amazing enough!

Octopus: can grow lost limbs back.

Run across water: green plumed basilisk  (a lizard).  The lizard will apply its feet to water with enough pressure and speed to create pockets of air between itself and the wet stuff – allowing it to speedily traverse across ponds and lakes.

 Survival techniques

*Long periods without water: Kangaroo for 3-5 years.

*Long periods without food: cold-blooded animals need less food.

Endothermic (warm-blooded) reptiles:The marine Iguana can survive on 10 percent of the nourishment that a mammal would require. Normal cold-blooded reptiles use the sun (external surroundings) to be active and are sluggish when it’s cold or at night.

Warm-blooded animals survive not only in waterless places, they manage to breed there too and can be active at night when the sun has disappeared and live of vegetation that would not keep a rabbit alive.

Lungfish can live without food for more than 4 years. Crocodile for 2 years.

Turbocharged taste buds to find food – The catfish

A 6-inch catfish may have 250,000 taste buds. They cover its entire body inside and out including its fins, back, belly and tail – making it literally a swimming tongue. In comparison, we have around 10,000 taste buds. Understandably this makes them exceptional at detecting food. For instance, imagine being able to taste a single drop of coke in an Olympic size swimming pool. A catfish could.

Staying warm: best insulating in the air: feathers(birds such as snow goose),

On land: polar bear (4,5 inches of fat under its skin and furcoat), muskus oxen(3-4 inches fur coat) sheep’s wool (hollow hair) which keeps them warm ad waterproof.

In water: fat called blubber seals and walrus( 2-3 inches of insulating fat)

Fish, Artic cod. Water and land: muskrat has a double layer of thick fur to stay warm in icy waters and cold air. The fluffy, inner coat traps warm air and keeps it close to the muskrat. The long, outer guard hairs are waterproof, so the muskrat stays warm and dry even when there’s ice in the water

Best Climber:

Leopard(trees and mountain), geckos, silky anteaters, big-horn sheep, mountain goats, koalas, black bears

Trees: Gibbon and Spider monkey are high level trapeze artists, moving through the rainforest treetops with consummate ease. It uses its tail as a fifth limb (?) so could a comyenti fool their bodies to do this?

Walls: Gecko‘s toes adhere to surfaces via dry adhesion, to allow them to stay firmly attached to a branch or even a flat wall.

Best Jumper: Bharal (blue sheep) live in the Himalayas and are one of the best jumpers among animals. They’re adapted to jump from cliff to cliff and hill to hill.

Chamois mountain goat. They climb and jump with great ease and have sharp eyes and a keen sense of smell. Jump 13 to 16 feet into the air. They seldom loose their footing or fall.

(Hares are one of fastest animals which have great ability to jump. They can run up to 72 km/hr, hard to get caught by predators.)

Tree Frogs can jump 150 times their own body length. They are 2nd longest jumping among animals compared to body size.

Flea: It is usually claimed that the best jumper in the world is the Flea. They are longest and highest jumper among animals compared to body size. Fleas can jump 220 times their own body length and 150 times their own body height. If we were to scale up a flea to our size it would be like us jumping nearly 400m in distance whilst jumping over a 250m high building! Now that’s a big jump! We would however break our legs!

Fastest known animal:

THE HUMMINGBIRD

It’s said that, relatively speaking, the tiny hummingbird is the fastest known animal on the planet – and at a flight speed of up to 60 miles per hour, it’s a wonder it doesn’t tire itself out. This may not sound fast compared to a peregrine falcon but in terms of body lengths covered per minute, this tiny bird which could fit easily into your hand, is in a class of its own.  Indeed it can cover over 9,000 body lengths per minute which is comparable, if not faster relatively speaking, than most jet planes. Perhaps even more astounding is that it has been estimated it can cover 500 miles before needing to refuel!

Fastest land animal: Sprinting:Cheetah can reach up to 60 miles an hour in under three seconds and reach 70-75 miles an hour. Endurance is limited: they can run for 60 seconds at a time. When sprinting they spend more time in the air than on the ground.

Endurance and long distances: The Pronghorn (a type of antelope) is the fastest animal over long distances. 35 miles an hour for 4 miles. 42 miles an hour for 1 mile. 55 miles an hour for 5 miles.

Biggest leap: Jackrabbit: 20 feet in one leap.

Fastest water animal: Billfish

Sailfish  (billfishes family) and swordfish 68 mph over short distances.

Black marlin  (billfishes family) 50mph.

They can cover great distances at 50 mph.

Brown trout can swim nearly 20 mph or stay motionless against the current.

In the air:

Fastest bird (gravity assited) Peregrine Falcon: When in its hunting dive, they stoop, it soars to a great height, then dives steeply at speeds of over 200 mph. Steep power-dive, free falling for hundreds of feet. However, it does not hold first place when travelling in level flight.

Fastest Migratory Bird:

In 2011 The great snipe was tracked from Sweden to central Africa, and found to fly non-stop over a distance of around 6,760 km (4,200 miles) at a 97 km/hr (60 mph). There may be other birds who are quicker, but are yet to be accurately tracked.

Fastest Level Flying bird:

The top of this list, the Spine-tailed swift, obviously gets its name ‘swift’ for being so fast. (106 mph)

Flying soundlessly without flapping: Giant albatross use the ocean’s currents and wind to glide on for long periods of time without flapping.

Griffons, vultures, use the warm air currents (rising air) caused by the sun on clear days to glide. It can cover tens of miles without flapping its wings. It can glide up quite high, usually found at 13.000 ft. to search for a dead animal. It has been seen at 37.000 ft (airplane). A mammal could not survive this for too long but birds have a different respiratory system. Oxygen is used much more efficiently.

Fastest insect: Horse-fly 90 miles an hour

Strongest animal:

Strongest relatively speaking – The rhinocerous beetle

In absolute terms, the African elephant is by far the strongest living animal but it can only lift 25% of its bodyweight. Unlike the mighty rhinocerous beetle who thinks nothing of carrying 850 times its own weight. To put that into perspective that would be like one of us lifting a 65 ton armoured tank

Ants: If you double the length of something, its surface area and cross section increase FOUR times. However its volume and weight go up EIGHT times. Okay, why is this a big deal?

Well, imagine a giant who was ten times taller, wider and deeper than yourself. Because of this simple rule of maths, this giant would be 1,000 times heavier. But because the giant’s legs are a 100 times bigger than yours, they’re only a 100 times stronger – far too weak to take the giant’s huge weight. He would simply topple over. Basically, due to this rule of maths, the bigger we get, the comparatively weaker we become. And this is why insects appear to lift such astonishing weights relative to their size.

Strongest arm wrestler – The gorilla

Whereas we have stronger muscles in our legs, gorillas have much larger muscles in their arms. They use their tremendous arm strength for bending and gathering foliage and, when called upon, for defence.  Based on conservative estimates, an adult gorilla’s upper body strength is around 4-6 times more powerful than that of an adult human – giving them probably enough power to bench press a couple of cars. In our book, that qualifies the gorilla for the super hero alias of Mr. Muscle

Toughest skin – The whale shark

The skin on the back of a whale shark is the thickest and toughest in the world and can be up to 6 inches (15cm) in thickness. The outer layer is covered in tiny tooth-like denticles. These denticles combined with ridges that run along its back make its skin pretty much harpoon and bullet proof. However it is still vulnerable to injury from passing boats.

Strongest air lift – The eagle

Some eagles such as the African crowned eagle can carry around 4 times its weight during flight.

Smartest animal: Elephants:

Their brain is more complex than ours with just as many neurons (compared with dolphins who have very few neurons), they have a deep emotional life and will bury their dead and stand over a body for days and days, they have been known to even bury dead human bodies, they are highly altruistic, they have the lowest birth-to-adult brain ratio indicating they are the animal with the lowest amount of instinctive behaviour and the most learning, they understand syntax, they live in families, they have proven self awareness, they are complex problem solvers and are complex tool users.
They are said to be “the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind.”
And “The Indian Elephant is Said Sometimes to Weep.” Charles Darwin. 

MR. UNCRUSHABLE  – THE HERO SHREW

When you’ve got the word ‘hero’ in your name, you’ve got some living up to do – and this tiny, seemingly unassuming rodent goes above and beyond the call of duty.

It has the strongest spine in the animal kingdom and its intricate interlocking nature gives the hero shrew’s skeleton a protective mechanism so strong – a grown man can stand on it and it will not be crushed!  While not completely indestructible, some tribes have previously worn dead shrews about themselves to promote invincibility!

THE DUPLICATOR – THE PLANARIAN FLATWORM

While not exactly immortal, the flatworm is probably as close as you’ll get to finding an animal that can fraction itself off into miniature versions of itself.  While regenerating super-animals like cats and octopuses can re-grow parts of themselves, this weird worm can be split in two and survive as two completely new creatures!  It can then be split again, and again, and again – though this process can’t last forever due to inevitable cell decay, it’s able to seamlessly regenerate thanks to an incredibly basic organ system.

 Weapons:

Stunning with electricity: Electric Eel is an electric fish, and the only species of the genus Electrophorus. It is capable of generating powerful electric shocks of up to 600 volts, which it uses for hunting and self-defense. Can kill a human being. When the eel locates its prey, the brain sends a signal through the nervous system to the electrocytes. This opens the ion channels, allowing sodium to flow through, reversing the polarity momentarily. By causing a sudden difference in electric potential, it generates an electric current in a manner similar to a battery, in which stacked plates each produce an electrical potential difference. In the electric eel, some 5,000 to 6,000 stacked electroplaques are capable of producing a shock at up to 500 volts and 1 ampere of current (500 watts). They need to recharge every 20-50 seconds. When agitated, they are capable of producing smaller voltages of 100 V, intermittent electrical shocks over a period of at least an hour without signs of fatigue.

Strongest bite: In water: Great White Shark

On and water: Saltwater Crocodile  

On land: Hyena great jaw strength

Most poisonous bite: Black Mamba snake with the most lethal bite and an alarming turn of speed (12mph so it could outrun a human). Can kill people.

Platypus has venom glands that feed poisonous spurs on its hind ankles. Its poison can paralyse a human.

Strongest claws: Tiger

Strongest arms: Gorilla

Best Defense: Tortoise their horny plates and below with bone to become a virtually impregnable box

Pangolin is an ant eater, no tooth, very long tongue. He’s got scales but soft belly so not as well protected as a turtle but it can shut its nostrils and ears with special muscles! It is now indifferent to insect bites.

 Tracking skills: wolf

 Longest living animal:

 Giant Tortoise: 255  years

 Best animal mind controllers:

 THE WALKING INCUBATOR – JEWEL WASPS AND COCKROACHES

The female jewel wasp is a true cowgirl – when she’s ready to lay her young she will hijack an innocent cockroach and inject poison into its brain to impair its thought processes and ability to move.  What then, you ask?  The wasp will lead the docile cockroach back by its antlers to her nest, where she will then lay an egg on the dawdling beast – before sealing the best away.  The egg will develop into a larvae that will eat the cockroach alive, eventually emerging from it as a developed wasp. Lovely.

THE PIED PIPER – TOXOPLASMA AND RATS

Like any good parasite, toxoplasma’s first host is never its ideal one.  This cunning mind-controller will infect a rat’s muscular system and its brain, where it will amazingly convince the whiskered host to go in search of cat urine – without knowing for why – and, naturally, the rat will be eaten, and the parasite will get new nutrients out of a new predatory host to start its life cycle!

Best animal memories

 FLIP A CARD – THE SEA LION

While many know sea lions as animals that can be taught balancing tricks, it’s only within the last few years that it’s been discovered that they have some of the strongest long-term memories in the animal kingdom.  One such creature, called Rio, was able to not only intelligently match a pair of picture cards, but also repeat the same trick ten years later – without having done the puzzle since!

 DEEP SEA SCHOLAR – THE OCTOPUS

The octopus is regarded as something of an aquatic Einstein – as it’s an expert problem solver.  This is mainly down to its incredible use of both short and long term memories (which the majority of animals aren’t blessed with), meaning that not only do they learn life skills and show great interest in learning new ones, but they are extremely gifted at getting out of a fix – they simply think logically about the situation, applying reason and previous experience!

BIG GREY MATTER – THE ELEPHANT

As the saying goes, an elephant never forgets – and believe it or not, there’s actually a fair bit of truth in that!  Research suggests that adult pachyderms are able to calculate and memorise the whereabouts of up to thirty of their family members purely by the smell of their urine!  This helps them stick together, and upholds their reputation for being animals that roam in large groups – as well as being amazing memory machines. They also recognise other elephants after having been apart for more than twenty years!

FOCUSED FELINE – THE CAT

Believe it or not, your pet cat is probably far better at focusing on short-term tasks than you’ll ever be.  Tests have proven that domesticated felines can perfectly recall their last ten minutes of history, even if they’re being distracted from something else.  Comparatively it’s unlikely any other animal can match this impressive span of self-awareness – it even outlasts a human’s.

PHOTOGRAPHIC PRIMATE – THE CHIMPANZEE

The chimpanzee in general is one of the world’s most intelligent creatures, and is one of the human race’s closest relatives.  Its brainy reputation stems from its innate ability to recall images from memory in very little time, which has been tested via number tests and counting puzzles run via computer screens.  Such photographic memory also allows chimps to be extraordinary quick at learning the visual cues in sign language – making them one of very few animals we can directly communicate with!

THE FLYING LIBRARIAN – CLARK’S NUTCRACKER

The Clark’s nutcracker is a common North American bird currently being studied due to its intensely powerful memory.  It stores nuts for the winter in thousands of places, and it is apparently able to exactly recall the location of up to 30,000 different nuts!  Evolution has allowed the nutcracker to depend on its flawless recall strategy to survive the harsher months, making it a popular resource in studying human memory diseases.

CLEVER COUSINS – THE RHESUS MONKEY

The rhesus monkey is a primate often used in different areas of scientific research and has been studied massively over the years – mainly due to both its incredible power of recall and emotional intelligence!  Unlike many animals that have to be conditioned or have to evolve to avoid repeating their mistakes, Rhesus Monkeys are among very few creatures in the world that can learn from past experiences, and as a result are amazingly self-aware – some having even shown suicidal tendencies.

MOTORMOUTH OR MOTORMIND?  – THE PARROT

Domesticated parrots are often stereotyped as being repeating machines, copying the speech of their owners and repeating it later on.  There’s actually a bit more to it than that – African grey parrots in particular have shown an amazing ability to not only remember and mimic speech and noise, but also to pick up on body language and use certain phrases to convey emotions!  It’s also possible to have a conversation with a parrot – but only if it’s been around people for a considerable amount of time.

 

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Call Off The Search Book trailer

Book trailer of the latest Epic Dark Fantasy ‘Call Off The Search’ book 1 of the Comyenti Series by Natasja Hellenthal

Synopsis:The planet Bhan. For millennia, humanity has persecuted the beautiful and mysterious comyentis with a deep set hatred; burning their homes, driving them from their lands; murdering them and enslaving them wherever they find them.

Now, Sula, one of the last of her great and noble line, is fleeing for her life, with not just her own life but perhaps her whole races’ cupped precariously within her hands.

As a maelstrom of blood and fire slowly engulfs her, a man steps forth from the flames and reaches out to her…

Should she trust him? Can she afford not to?

Read “Call Off The Search” and cling to Sula as she fights for everything she holds dear

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January 13, 2014 · 12:49 pm

CALL OFF THE SEARCH IS RELEASED (-:

Call Off The Search

My new long awaited epic fantasy novel ‘Call Off The Search’ is published and ready to download for you all! (-:
My apologies for the promo not working! Amazon won’t let me sell my book for just $0.99 )-:

It’s either a free promo or after 30 days a special reduction for a couple of days! We’ve worked really hard for this book! But £2.51 is still cheap as chips and downloads would really help me get up the charts! If you’re bored today and in need of a warm winter read:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HIRTFZE

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Cover and blurb for new novel Call Off The Search

It’s finally here; the cover for my new Fantasy novel!

COS kindle

 

The cover design is by Kirsty Fossengen. She did a great job!

Call Off The Search, which is the first book of the Last Of The Comyenti Series, will be released in August/early September at the latest. 

I’ll be doing a blog tour for COTS around the book’s release date, watch this space! And I’ll also be doing some pre-release promotions here on my blog in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned for more information.

For now, enjoy the cover and get exited by reading the blurb for Call Off The Search.

Blurb:

Set against the backdrop of Bhan, a barbaric uncivilised world, this is the story of

the Comyenti’s; an ancient species of Mindlinkers, beautiful, sentient and empathetic beings that possess abilities of animals. They are nearly at their end due to hunting.

During the search for more like her, Sula, part Comyenti and part Human, meets an attractive farmer and faces the first of many heart wrenching decisions she must make.

Will Sula be able to keep her promise to Felix and forsake her own heart? Or will she forsake the part of her that makes her so unique?

 

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