What is the animal in Nosferatu movie?

What is the animal in Nosferatu movie?

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I was watching Nosferatu, and this dog-like animal appeared, with very curious stripes. I was wondering if this is clearly a specific animal, and which one it is, or if it's too mixed up and low resolution to tell. You can see in this video, at 11:43 and 12:22 (close up) to 12:33.

Sorry about my lack of a more scientific research, but I couldn't be farther from being a biologist. This is all I got: from the stripes, it immediately brought to my mind a Thylacine (which is what caught my attention), but even though it would not me an anacronism (it was extinct in 1936, the movie is from 1922), the movie is European (filmed in Germany, Slovakia and Romenia) and the story happens in Europe too, so it wouldn't make sense to be a Thylacine (not to mention that in 1922, you wouldn't find them right around the corner ;) ). Further investigation confirmed the already almost obvious, the stripes are too in the front in their body to be a Thylacine. My second thought, from the apparent big head and the way it moves (hips lowered), it resembled a hyena to me. But it doesn't seem to have ears big enough, they also wouldn't make sense in context of the movie, and hyenas usually have spots instead of stripes. A quick search showed me that there are striped hyenas, and from pictures it looks kind of similar, but the snout doesn't seem to match. Also, they don't occur in Europe, according to Wikipedia.

So at this point I'm in doubt if it's a striped hyena (that doesn't seem to make sense to me), another real animal that I don't know, or if it's a fictional creature, some animal "modified" specifically for the movie (painted, extra/less fur, artificial modifications in height, body size, ear size, etc). Although that also doesn't make sense.

Any pointers appreciated, sorry if this should belong in scifi or another SE.

It's a striped hyena, it is relatively rare/endangered these days. Hyenas are closer to cats/felines than to dogs. They are in the suborder Feliformia.

some images here

Here's The Real-Life Biology of Every "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" Creature

For longtime Star Wars fans, The Last Jedi has everything — interplanetary drama, a Williamsburg dad-looking Luke Skywalker, and of course, adorable alien animals.

While you won’t find any of these creatures in the wild, Inverse did the hard work of finding their very best Earthly equivalents. With the help of a wildlife biologist, we put together a handy list for educational purposes and OH MY GOD THEY’RE ALL SO CUTE.

Movie Animal Trainer Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track salaries specifically for movie animal trainers. The data, however, does show that animal trainers in California average about $10,000 per year more than the median annual salary for all animal trainers combined. The figures below represent all animal trainers.

  • Median Annual Salary: $29,290 ($14.08/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $55,760 ($26.80/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $20,270 ($9.74/hour)

Southern Fried Science

The Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” told the story of the dolphin hunt in the Japanese town of Taiji. Dolphins there are driven into a shallow cove and killed for meat and other products, with a select few set aside alive for sale to dolphinariums. Many are now saying that this year’s documentary on killer whales (Orcinus orca) in captivity, “Blackfish,” will be nominated for next year’s Oscar. Documentaries rarely get many viewers in movie theaters, but Blackfish, which cost only $76,000 to make and was initially released at only five movie theaters, has already grossed about $2 million nationwide and has been ranked among the 10 best performing nature documentaries, which include “March of the Penguins” and the much vaunted IMAX-friendly “Earth” and “Oceans” documentaries.

Blackfish focuses on the four people who have been killed by captive killer whales, bad corporate behavior by marine theme parks (especially SeaWorld) and the ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity. The film focuses particularly on the story of Tilikum, a 12,000lb male killer whale who was captured from Iceland in the early 1980s, has been living at SeaWorld of Florida since 1992, and to date has been involved in the deaths of three people. His last victim, his trainer of six years Dawn Brancheau, was brutally dismembered after he pulled her into the tank with him on February 24, 2010.

The “stars” of the film are people who have worked for marine theme parks, either as trainers or as “collectors” who captured killer whales from the wild. An interview with one of the latter is especially moving, as he testifies about accidentally killing several juveniles during a capture operation in Washington State the distressed behavior these animals exhibited during the captures trying to hide the bodies by sinking them with stones and the guilt he still feels decades later. Many of the assertions of the film are supported by interviews with those involved, video footage, or reference to autopsy reports and court testimony.

Several whale and dolphin biologists are also interviewed. They provide information about killer whales in the wild, to allow the audience to contrast the situation described by former trainers who worked only with whales in captivity. We note that some of the information in these segments is a bit overstated. For example, one expert states that no orca has ever attacked a person in the wild. In fact there have been at least three attacks reported (in the entire course of history!), although none of them resulted in serious injury or death. The whales broke off their attacks, presumably when they realized the people they were targeting weren’t appropriate prey. So while it is a key point that killer whales only kill people in captivity, wild whales are not entirely benign.

Three killer whales in a tank at Sea World in San Diego, California. Photo Credit: Nehrams 2020 via WikiMedia Commons

One of the experts has been an eye-witness to the evolution of the public’s and theme parks’ reactions to captive killer whale attacks. Dr. Dave Duffus served on the coroner’s jury in Victoria, British Columbia where Tilikum killed his first victim, part-time trainer Keltie Byrne. Almost 20 years later, Duffus was asked to be the expert witness for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) during the court case in which SeaWorld appealed the citation OSHA slapped on them for Brancheau’s death[1]. In the film he is asked what he feels has been learned in the interim between these two deaths. He states baldly “Not a damned thing.”

Although the filmmakers invited representatives of SeaWorld to be interviewed and give their comments during the making of the movie, they declined. Subsequently SeaWorld representatives have criticized Blackfish, saying it is factually incorrect. However, the fact that captive killer whales have killed four people[2] is a matter of public record. The entire list of SeaWorld criticisms was subsequently rebutted by the filmmakers.[3]

Another example of facts in the film that SeaWorld claims are inaccurate are life history data for killer whales. These data are established science. Male killer whales in the Pacific Northwest populations have a mean life expectancy of 30 years, with a maximum estimated life expectancy of 60-70 years. Female killer whales have a mean life expectancy of about 50 years, with an estimated maximum lifespan of 80-90.[1] In fact, a female killer whale in the Pacific Northwest known as J2 may be more than 100 years old. In contrast, captive killer whales of either sex rarely live longer than 30 years, with most dying in their teens and 20s.[2]

In addition, the annual mortality rate for the Pacific Northwest whales was first calculated and compared to the captive population’s in 1995. At that time, the captive population died at an annual rate 2.5 times higher than in the wild and researchers hypothesized that this discrepancy would disappear and indeed reverse as husbandry methods improved and the percentage of captive-born animals in the sample increased.[3] Indeed, marine theme parks have often dismissed high mortality rates in captivity as artifacts of the “bad old days” when facilities knew little about marine mammal veterinary care, and claim that current rates are comparable to the wild or even better. However, work that will be presented at the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s 20 th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in December in New Zealand will show that since 1995, captive killer whale mortality rates have not only not improved, but in some age/sex classes have actually increased.[4]

UPDATE: A new peer-reviewed paper published in Society for Marine Mammalogy’s journal Marine Mammal Science reinforced this. Using a different method to assess killer whale survivorship, the researchers also found that “survival to age milestones are poor when compared to wild killer whales” .

We do recommend that viewers consider the publicity interviews by some of the former trainers involved with the film with some caution. The film builds a strong case that a primary reason captive killer whales are more dangerous to people than wild ones is because people get in the water with captive whales. In fact, this is the basic argument of OSHA’s case against SeaWorld in terms of trainer safety – OSHA is essentially saying that to maximize trainer safety, keep a reasonable distance between the trainers and the whales (a concept known in the zoo world as “protected contact”), which definitely precludes swimming with them. Yet some former trainers, even though they have come to recognize that keeping this species in captivity is not in its best interest, still hold onto the belief that they had a special relationship with “their” whales. This is a mixed message, given that Dawn Brancheau had just such a special relationship with Tilikum, whom she had trained for six years, yet he still pulled her in and killed her. The fact is, killer whales can think and they can make decisions and they can change their minds in an instant. There is no doubt that trainers have a bond with the animals they train, but this bond is at best imperfect and at worst one-sided and is definitely not what the trainer thinks it is. So it can be confusing to hear someone who condemns SeaWorld for placing its trainers in danger extolling the wonder of training. This is unfortunate, as it can undermine the common sense conclusion of the film that swimming with captive killer whales is a bad idea.

As a companion to Blackfish, we recommend the book Death at SeaWorld by David Kirby. This book was published several months before Blackfish and was developed in parallel, featuring interviews with several of the same people. It goes into the history and details of the various events, incidents, and court cases in more depth, as well as into the biology and ecology of wild killer whales. From personal experience, we know that vigorous fact-checking (both scientific and legal) went into this book and for those who want to know more about the issues after seeing the film, it is the best place to go.

Whether or not Blackfish is nominated for an Oscar, it has certainly become one of the most talked-about documentaries of the year. If you have ever been to SeaWorld and regardless of which side of the fence you’re on regarding killer whales in captivity, it’s a must-see.

A pod of Southern Resident orca whales in the wild. Photo credit NOAA via WikiMedia Commons

Dr. Naomi Rose is the marine mammal scientist for the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, DC. Dr. Rose oversees marine mammal issues and programs at AWI, including the protection of marine mammals in the wild and in captive situations. She has been instrumental in campaigns opposing the capture and captivity of marine mammals for public display and has been a key player in the international debate on the issue. She is actively involved in several campaigns and coalitions addressing problems associated with cetacean live capture, trade, and captivity, both in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Rose has been member of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee since 2000, where she participates in the subcommittees addressing environmental concerns and whale watching. She has appeared and been quoted in numerous news media, including television and radio. She has authored or co-authored over 30 scientific papers and authored numerous articles for animal protection publications, as well as chapters in several books. She lectures annually at three universities and speaks at and participates in various conferences, workshops, meetings, and task forces at the international, national and state level. She has testified before the U.S. Congress four times. Dr. Rose received a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1992, where her dissertation examined the social dynamics of wild orcas. She has worked in the marine mammal advocacy field for over 20 years.

Dr. Chris Parsons has been involved in whale and dolphin research for over a decade and has conducted projects in South Africa, India, China and the Caribbean, as well as the UK. He is currently involved in research projects on coastal dolphin populations in the Caribbean and the effectiveness of marine conservation policy. Dr. Parsons started teaching at George Mason University in 2003 and is currently their undergraduate program coordinator for marine biology, environmental science and conservation biology. Dr. Parsons has been a member of the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) since 1999 and is currently the co-convenor of the IWC sub-committee on Environmental Concerns. In 2009, he was the Secretariat Director for the first International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC), he was the Program co-chair for the 2nd IMCC held in Victoria, Canada in 2011, and is the chair of the 3rd IMCC to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. He was also one of the organizers of the 1st International Marine Conservation Think Tank, held in New Zealand in 2011, and the Program and Vice-chair of the 2013 International Congress for Conservation Biology, held in Baltimore. He is currently the Marine Section President and a Governor of the Society for Conservation Biology. In addition, Dr. Parsons has published over 100 scientific papers and reports and has written a textbook on marine mammal biology & conservation.

[1] The citation was issued in August 2010, six months after Brancheau’s death. The court case took place over nine days in September and November 2011 (a summary of the court case and relevant testimony can be found in the journal Tourism in Marine Environments).

[2] In addition to Keltie Byrne and Dawn Brancheau, in July 1999 Tilikum drowned Daniel Dukes, a man who snuck into the Florida SeaWorld park after hours and was found dead the next morning draped across Tilikum’s back. Alexis Martinez, a trainer at Loro Parque in the Canary Islands, was killed by a SeaWorld whale named Keto, there on loan, in December 2009.

What is the animal in Nosferatu movie? - Biology

TWM offers the following worksheets to keep students’ minds on the movie and direct them to the lessons that can be learned from the film.

Teachers can modify the worksheets to fit the needs of each class.


Nemo, a young clownfish, strays from the safety of the Great Barrier Reef and is captured by a diver. Placed in a dentist’s aquarium in an office with an ocean view, he finds a group of fish with an escape plan. Meanwhile, Nemo’s father searches for his son, meeting a number of ocean creatures along the way. Luck and Disney screenwriting lead to a happy reunion.


Selected Awards:

2004 Academy Awards: Best Animated Feature 2004 Academy Awards Nominations: Best Music, Original Score Best Sound Editing Best Writing, Original Screenplay.

Featured Actors:

Albert Brooks voice of Marlin Ellen DeGeneres voice of Dory Alexander Gould voice of Nemo Willem Dafoe voice of Gill Brad Garrett voice of Bloat Allison Janney voice of Peach.

Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich.


“Finding Nemo” can be used to jump-start the natural interest that children have in ocean life, coral reefs, and marine biology. It also teaches lessons about friendship, obeying parents, and avoiding dangerous situations.

This Learning Guide provides information about the animals featured in the movie. The Guide can also be used as the basis for a longer discussion of concepts from biology and coral reefs. Discussion questions focus on the animals shown in the film, biological concepts, and the film’s lessons for social-emotional learning.



This film provides an excellent example of what can happen when kids disobey their parents and place themselves at risk. You may confront the issue directly and ask “How did Nemo get into all that trouble?” However, since children identify with Nemo, it may be better to approach the question obliquely. The comment about how lucky Nemo was to get out of the dentist’s fish tank and how lucky he was that his father survived all the dangers of the long swim when he was searching for Nemo. The kids know very well that Nemo disobeyed his father and, as a result, was captured.

Another idea is to go through the types of sea animals which are characters in the film. Show your child a photograph of the real animal (contained in the Helpful Background to this Learning Guide) and repeat one or two of the interesting facts about the animal contained that section. Parents can also talk about how coral reefs form and their similarities to cities.


Clownfish — Nemo and Marlin belong to one of about 27 species of clownfish. Their scientific name is amphiprion ocellaris. Clownfish are small and often brightly colored. They belong to the damselfish family. They are 2 – 5 inches (5 – 12.5 cm) long. They live in tropical waters. Clownfish are often sheltered by an anemone with whom they

have a symbiotic relationship. In fact, most of the scientific literature refers to them as “anemone fish.” Clownfish are not immune to the poison in the anemone’s tentacles and at first appear to be stung by them. Scientists believe that by dancing up against the tentacles for a time clownfish develop a protective mucous covering. Clownfish eat leftovers from fish consumed by anemone, planktonic crustaceans, and algae. Clownfish also eat the dead tentacles of their host anemone. Eggs are laid in large batches, usually near and sometimes within the host anemone.

Clownfish are not eaten by man, but their bright colors make them popular for saltwater aquariums. Divers have damaged many reefs looking for prime specimens. Clownfish live in the tropical parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans or where warm, tropical waters are carried by currents, such as the east coast of Japan

Pacific Blue Tang — Dory’s real-life models (paracanthurus hepatus) are members of the surgeonfish family. They were given this name because sharp, moveable spines on both sides of their tails were thought to resemble surgeons’ scalpels. These spines are for defense. A fisherman trying to hold a blue tang can suffer a deep and painful wound if the fish tries to escape by giving a twist of its tail. The fish are blue with a yellow tail and a black stripe along the upper portion of their body. They live on zooplankton< and can grow to be about 12 inches (31 cm.) long. Pacific blue tangs are found in the central and Indo-Pacific from Africa’s East coast to Micronesia.

A different species of surgeonfish, found in the Atlantic Ocean and without a yellow tail, is also called a blue tang. It eats only algae.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles — Usually about to 3 feet (1 m) in length and weighing 350 to 400 pounds (182 kg) loggerhead sea turtles (caretta caretta) reach maturity at between 16 and 40 years. Sightings of 5 foot long turtles weighing as high as 1000 pounds have been recorded. Loggerheads mate in late March through early June. Eggs are laid throughout the summer in shallow pits dug in open beaches. After laying her eggs, the female turtle covers them with sand and leaves. Biologists are not sure where juvenile turtles grow, but it is thought they inhabit floating islands of seaweed where they feed and grow to young adult size.

Loggerheads live in most of the tropical and temperate coastal waters around the globe. They are, for example, the most common turtles in the Mediterranean, in the oceans around the U.S., and in the coastal ocean waters of Brazil etc. In the Atlantic, their range is from Newfoundland to Argentina, including the Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean sea. Their major nesting beaches in the United States are in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

The loggerhead is named for its disproportionately large head (when compared with other turtles), which may measure 9 inches wide (25 cm). It has a heart-shaped reddish brown shell. The usual life span is 30 – 50 years.

Loggerheads have powerful jaws designed to crush shellfish. They eat mollusks, such as shrimp, horseshoe crabs, blue crabs, clams, and mussels. They also eat invertebrates and some types of sea grasses.

Loggerheads can see well underwater and are believed to have an acute sense of smell. They breath air and when active must swim to the surface after a few minutes. When they are resting, they can remain underwater for as long as two hours. Loggerheads migrate the breadth of the Pacific Ocean, often traveling along ocean currents.
Loggerhead turtles are a threatened species. Their population has declined as they drown in fishing nets and as land animals, such as raccoons, cats and dogs, prey upon their eggs. Development also harms turtles by encroaching upon their beaches and confusing the innate directional signals of hatchlings.

The East Australia Current

The “EAC” flows along the eastern shore of Australia carrying warm water toward the south. It has its origins in the Coral Sea, beginning as a surface stream. It is strongest in summer and weakest in winter. The EAC carries 5-10 million cubic liters per second, with a strong influence to depths of 500 meters and as wide as 200 kilometers. It causes eddies in the ocean as broad as 200 kilometers across, rotating mainly counterclockwise at up to four knots at the edge. The eddies can be more than one kilometer deep and last up to a year.

Concepts from Biology

The food chain describes the fact that each living creature survives by feeding on plants or other animals. Plants are always the base of the food chain. The animals that eat the plants are one link up the food chain. When the plant-eating animal is killed and eaten by another animal, it is said that the animal who is eating is higher on the food chain than the animal being eaten. In the ocean the base of the food chain is phytoplankton, or algae, plants that live near the surface of the water (to get maximum sun). The term “plankton” comes from the Greek word “planktos,” which means “drifting.” Phytoplankton range from microscopic organisms to sea weed. Phytoplankton are eaten by small fish and by zooplankton, a class of plankton-eating microscopic animals that includes single-celled animals, larvae of larger animals, and tiny crustaceans. The zooplankton are then eaten by small fish and some whales. The small fish are eaten by larger fish, and those are eaten by even larger fish and so on up the food chain. A species is at the top of its food chain if there are no animals which kill and eat it regularly. For example, sharks, lions, human beings, and elephants are said to be at the top of their food chains. Whales were at the top of their food chain until man started to hunt and kill them.

An animal that catches another animal and eats it is called a predator. Most fish are predators. Predators must have some advantage over their prey, the animals they eat, in order to capture them. For example, the predator must be faster or must use surprise and ambush. Some predators just sit and wait. Stonefish and scorpionfish are covered with small patches of bright color that look like a colony of algae. The rest of their body is camouflaged to look like the sea floor. Small fish come to eat the algae, not recognizing the larger outlines of the predator. Corals are also predators that sit still and wait for their prey. Their tentacles have a poison that kills or injures their prey and draws it into their mouths. Some predators, such as the moray eel, hide in holes or tunnels in the coral reefs and ambush their prey as it swims by. There are as many different strategies for catching prey as there are predators in the ocean. The most efficient and fearsome predator of all is man who, through livestock-raising, fish farming, hunting, and fishing, preys upon more species than any other animal.

Most species in the ocean are also prey to other animals. Corals, for example, are eaten by parrotfish, butterfly fish, and a starfish called the crown of thorns. In one day, a single crown of thorns starfish can eat all the coral polyps in an area the size of a dollar bill. Most species that are prey to others also have strategies to avoid being captured. These include speed, camouflage, disruptive patterns (which break up the outline of a fish and make it harder for predators to see it), eyespots (markings on various parts of the body that look like eyes which take attention away from the fish’s head), countershading (in which the fish looks dark on top and light on the bottom, contrary to what other fish expect in an environment in which light comes down from the surface of the water), hiding, and dispersal. Dispersal means having many young and dispersing them over a wide area so that some will survive to carry on the species. Often, the defenses employed by prey animals are aimed at preserving the species rather than individual members of the species. Just as predators employ many different strategies for catching prey, there are many different strategies for avoiding capture.

Scavengers are creatures who keep the environment clean by eating the flesh and bone that predators leave behind. Scavengers don’t usually kill their own prey. In the ocean, scavengers such as shrimp, crabs, and sea cucumbers keep the ocean floor clean by eating bits and pieces of fish that the predators leave behind.

All animals constantly interact with other animals and plants. Some of the different types of relationships are: symbiotic, commensal, parasitic, and predatory. Symbiosis occurs when two different living organisms associate together and where there is benefit to both of them. Here are just a few examples: (1) Clownfish live within the stinging tentacles of anemones. The anemone provides protection and food for the clownfish who in turn cleans the anemone of debris. Clownfish may even swim out onto the reef and with their bright colors lure other fish to their host anemone to be stung and trapped in the tentacles. (2) When a hermit crab carries an anemone on its shell, little fish won’t bite the hermit crab for fear of being poisoned and eaten by the anemone. The anemone gets a free ride to places in which it can find new sources of food. (The hermit crab knows that the anemones protect it. When the hermit crab changes its shell, it will stroke the anemones on its old shell to get them to move to the new shell.) (3) Several types of fish clean the bodies of other fish, eating parasites and dead scales. One partner gets a meal and the other stays clean and healthy. Fish called the cleaning wrasses are visited by other fish who allow them to go over their bodies, into their mouths and out their gills to clean them. Fish line up at “cleaning stations” waiting to be cleaned by other fish. (4) Algae and coral polyps also serve one another. The zooxanthellae, a type of algae, live within coral polyps. The zooxanthellae are nourished by gasses (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and phosphorus) produced as waste products by the coral. The presence of the algae increases the speed with which these waste products are removed from the polyp as well as the rate at which the hard outer skeleton of the polyp is created. Corals also gain advantage from the oxygen and nutrients produced by their zooxanthellae through photosynthesis. In fact, reefs are built only where there are plentiful zooxanthellae in the living tissues of stony corals.

A commensal relationship between two species occurs when one benefits but the other does not, although the latter is not harmed by the interaction. For a description of commensal feeding among birds, see Commensal Feeding.

A “parasite” attaches to a host and obtains nourishment but does not kill it. However, a parasitic relationship is not good for the host since the parasite takes nourishment from the host’s blood or in other ways. In addition, some parasites carry diseases that can harm or even kill the host.

Domestication occurs when one animal or plant is grown by another and harvested for food. Domestication is a type of symbiosis in which the farmer cultivates and tends to the domesticated plant or animal and either eats it or uses something produced by the plant or animal. Even when domesticated plants or animals are eaten, enough seeds or breeding animals are retained for the survival of the herd or flock.

An important feature of the relationships between individuals of different species is that often, relationships which are predatory on the individual level may be symbiotic on the species level. In this way lions unwittingly aid the preservation of the species that they hunt by killing off the ill, the weak, and the genetically defective, thus maintaining the health and vitality of the herd.

Corals and Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are the largest animal-made structures in nature rivaled only by the megalopolises created by man. The most extensive coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, is more than 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) long.

Coral reefs grow in clean, salty, shallow water (less than 150 feet deep) where there is a lot of sunlight and warm weather. Almost all coral reefs are found near the equator. (An imaginary line drawn around the earth equidistant from the north and south poles.) There are three different types of reefs. Fringing reefs extend from the shore to the sea. At times they have a narrow stretch of water between the land and the reef. A barrier reef forms several miles out to sea and creates a barrier between land and sea. The calm water between the barrier reef and the land is called a lagoon. The third kind of reef is an atoll. These are shaped like a ring and lie in the open sea. Some are even large enough for people to live on.

The exterior skeletons of stony coral polyps are the building blocks of coral reefs. The interstices are filled in by vast quantities of skeletal waste produced by the pounding of waves and organisms that eat coral. About 231,600 square miles (600,000 square kilometers) of coral reefs are known to exist. They comprise 0.17% of the ocean’s surface.

Coral reefs support thousands of different species of animals and plants. It is estimated that 5,000 to 6,000 different species of fish live on the Great Barrier Reef. But there are more than just fish. Many varieties of crab, shrimp, clam, oyster, starfish, sponge, sea anemone, octopus, eel, worm, and snail also make the reef their home. Coral reefs can be found off the coasts of only two states in the U.S., Hawaii, and Florida.

The animals which populate a reef operate in shifts. Diurnal animals come out during the day. Nocturnal animals are active at night. An animal is said to be crepuscular if it is most active at dawn or at dusk. These are good times for predators to hunt because the prey having been active all day or all night are tired, and also, in the dim light they may not see the predator. Or, they could be slow from having just awakened.

Corals are simple animals whose body, called a polyp, is a soft fleshy bag with finger-like tentacles ringing a mouth. At the other end the polyp attaches to a hard surface such as a rock or the hard exterior of another coral polyp. Polyps are thumb-sized or smaller. Corals are open only at one end. They do not have hands, eyes, ears, brains, or bones but their tentacles are loaded with tiny stingers. Corals are carnivorous and eat zooplankton.

There are two types of corals: soft and stony. Only the stony corals make reefs. Stony coral polyps take calcium from sea water, convert it into calcium carbonate (limestone), which forms a hard outer skeleton, called a “cup.” When the coral polyp dies, the skeleton remains. A new coral polyp will attach itself to the limestone and create its own limestone cup. Over thousands of years, the colonies can grow into a coral reef. Stony corals grow in all oceans to depths of nearly 20,000 feet deep (6,000 meters). The size of the polyps of colonial forms of stony coral are 0.04 to 1.2 inches (1 to 30 mm) in diameter. The color of Living stony corals depends upon the color of the algae within the coral ranging from yellow, to olive, to brown. The skeletons are always white.

The structures built by different stony corals are called colonies and are given names based on objects that they resemble. A colony of brain coral looks like a human brain. A colony of star coral displays a star shape. Staghorn coral looks like the antlers of a stag, and so on.

Colonies of soft corals can form beautiful shapes as well. Their skeletons are made up largely of protein and can look like fans, whips or feather plumes. They are flexible and wave in the sea currents just like branches of a tree waive in the wind. As sea water passes by, the corals filter it and extract the plankton on which they feed. Soft corals don’t build reefs but they can be found on or near reefs and add beauty to the reef.

Corals reproduce in two ways. Some corals produce eggs and other corals produce sperm. These develop as outgrowths on the inside bag of the polyp and are pushed out through the mouth into open water. The eggs are usually fertilized by the sperm in the open sea, but this can also occur inside the polyp as sea water carrying sperm enters its mouth. The fertilized egg develops into a larvae which swims around for several days or even as long as several weeks. When it attaches to a solid surface, it will develop into a polyp. A second method of reproduction is called budding in which a bump forms on a polyp. A new coral polyp will grow and form a new limestone cup attached to the cup of the old polyp. When the old polyp dies, the new polyp continues to grow.

The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland in Australia is actually about 2,100 individual reefs and another 800 fringing reefs which are formed around islands or bordering the coast.

Coral polyps die if the sea water becomes too salty or too warm or if there is pollution in the water. When a coral polyps dies, the zooxanthellae algae in the coral polyp also die. The coral then becomes white because its color is derived from the algae it hosts. This is called coral bleaching. Bleached reefs can recover, but it takes a long time.

Sponges are animals, although they may look like plants. They feed on bacteria, other organisms, and inorganic matter in the water as it passes through the sponge. The sponge acts as a filter, cleaning the water around coral reefs. Anemones are animals that attach to coral, to rocks or sometimes to the shells of crabs. They have poisonous tentacles which sting their pray and draw them into the anemone’s mouth. A starfish eats by shoving its stomach out through its mouth. The stomach covers the food and softens it with its digestive juices. When the food is soft enough the starfish takes the food into its stomach which it pulls back into its body. When a starfish loses an arm it simply grows another one.

Functional Similarities Between Coral Reefs and Cities

Many people talk about coral reefs as cities under the sea. But the analogy is usually not seriously pursued. One author, Richard C. Murphy, in Coral Reefs: Cities Under the Sea analyzed the processes by which coral reefs grow and survive according to the categories that we usually use to analyze human activities. The following section is a brief summary of a few of the concepts in his book. The book has much more detail.

Power Plants and Farms — The algae, using photosynthesis, serve as solar collectors to capture the energy of the sun and store it as chemical energy. Various animals farm algae in different ways. Some jellyfish have zooxanthellae in their tentacles. They turn themselves upside down to allow the zooxanthellae exposure to the sunlight. Damselfish maintain algae gardens, weed them to keep out undesirable species of algae, and fiercely protect them from other fish who also eat algae.

Waste Management and Recycling — The byproduct of each organism in a coral reef is a resource for another. Many, like coral polyps and zooxanthellae, cleaning station fish and their customers, and clownfish and anemones, have symbiotic relationships in which the waste and byproducts of one are used by the others. Parrotfish keep the algae population from dominating the reef. However, they also grind up the coral they bite off while eating the algae and make it into the sand. One parrotfish two feet in length can produce a few hundred pounds of sand in a year. When a storm batters the reef, the broken pieces of coral are used as building blocks for the next reef, just as the ruins of one city are the foundation of its successor.

Sea cucumbers, worms, shrimp, clams and others eat debris on the reef while sponges, clams and sea squirts clean the water around the reef by filtering out plankton and organic matter. If they didn’t perform this function, the organic matter with all its nutrients would wash out into the sea and would be lost to the reef.

Construction and Public Housing — Coral reefs provide housing for many species of animals. They are constantly being rebuilt and improved through a variety of natural processes, including wave action and animals grazing the coral, burrowing into it, tunneling through it, etc.

Public Health — Parasites are removed from the fish who go to cleaning stations and their health is improved as a result. Fish lineup to be treated at these cleaning stations, just like at clinics in human communities. Sponges and clams clean the water, like cleaning the air in a human city. Coral communities have plagues and epidemics. (The 1983 die-off of Diadema antillarum sea urchins in the Caribbean, denuded many reefs of all sea urchins. Since the urchins had kept the algae under control, algae increased by more than 400%, smothering corals and covering nearby exposed areas of the ocean floor used by coral larvae to build new colonies. In addition, like human communities, reefs also suffer from pollution.

Conflict and Cooperation — Like people, fish are territorial. There is tremendous cooperation as discussed in the section on symbiosis. The conflict among fish is much more fatal than the daily conflict among people in a city fish are eaten by others on a reef thousands of times each day.

Advertising — Fish have distinctive markings that advertise services that they can perform for other fish (the cleaners), their poisonous nature (protects them from attack and predators from being injured if they attack), and show their presence when possession of turf is important. Fish of the reef engage in deceptive advertising as well. Some fish that are not cleaners have adopted the colors of cleaners. Other fish use eye-spots, disruptive coloration, or camouflage.

The Famous Puppies of Chernobyl

Not all of the animals living around Chernobyl are entirely wild. There are around 900 stray dogs, mostly descended from those left behind when people evacuated the area. Veterinarians, radiation experts, and volunteers from a group called The Dogs of Chernobyl capture the dogs, vaccinate them against diseases, and tag them. In addition to tags, some dogs are fitted with radiation detector collars. The dogs offer a way to map radiation across the exclusion zone and study the ongoing effects of the accident. While scientists generally can't get a close look at individual wild animals in the exclusion zone, they can monitor the dogs closely. The dogs are, of course, radioactive. Visitors to the area are advised to avoid petting the pooches to minimize radiation exposure.

Video Worksheets

These are videos that I show in class, either in their entirety of just clips. The worksheets simply ask questions that can be answered as the movie progress, which helps keep students focused. Videos can be purchased, watched online, or checked out from your local library. With the addition of many online streaming videos, look for the “view online” tag for videos that are free for viewing.

Among the Wild Chimpanzees – the story of Jane Goodall’s work with the chimpanzees
Animals Behaving Badly – an interesting movie about wild animals that do bad things
Animal Face-Off Hippo – hippo vs. shark
Anatomy of a Snakebite – shows how snakes bite, both venomous and constricting snakes

Bill Nye, Genetics – a history lesson on the major discoveries in genetics, including Mendel, Thomas Morgan, Watson and Crick, and the Human Genome Project.

Bill Nye: Cells: 21 minute program on how cells work, comparing cells to a house, and showing how cells are found in all living things.

Blackfish – this documentary explores the marine mammal industry and focuses on Sea World and a trend of disturbing attacks of whales on trainers. This film is probably not appropriate for younger viewers.

Frogs: The Thin Green Line – focuses on reasons for the decline in frog populations and measures being taken to save the frogs

Dirty Jobs – Jobs that Bite – investigates jobs related to sharks, includes a fantastic dissection of a shark

Dogs Decoded – explores the evolutionary history of dogs, their behavior and the process of domestication, Amazon Prime
Dogs Decoded (multiple choice version)

Dog Tales – NOVA – this is a newer version of “Dogs Decoded” and covers the same themes.

Disney – The Science of Imagineering:

In the Womb – this shows various animals as they develop in the uterus

Inside Nature’s Giants: Giant Squid – detailed descriptions of the squid anatomy as it is dissected combined it with footage of live squid showing their unique adaptations

From Conception to Birth – shows the joining of sperm and egg and tracks the development of a fetus and shows birth of baby, focus in this video is on the changes to the mother’s body
Life’s Greatest Miracle – This video focuses more on the changes of the embryo as it transforms from a single cell, to a blastocyst to an embryo. Tissues, genetics, and meiosis are also illustrated. Viewer discretion advised. View at Nova Online.

Inside the Living Body (NatGeo) – amazing footage from inside the organs and systems, the documentary follows a person’s life from birth until old age.

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial – also has an online version, outlines the case in Dover where a school board tried to put ID in the classroom,

The Lion in Your Living Room (Netflix) – explores the evolution of domestic cats, includes animations of cat traits and behaviors

Living With Tigers – chronicles two tiger cubs as they are reintroduced into the wild

Magic School Bus Rides Again: Janet’s Mystery Gene – explores genes and DNA as the team tries to discover what makes Janet the way she is.

Modern Marvels: 90’s Tech – this movie is online and discusses some of the trends of the 90s (cell phones, the internet, satellites..)

Meet the Coywolf – PBS nature explore how coyotes and wolves interact with humans, focusing on how wolves mating with coyotes have created a unique hybrid that lives among us.

Mythbusters: Lunar Landing – debunking various conspiracy theories surrounding the landing on the moon
Mythbusters: Knock Your Socks Off – the test a bullet being fired versus a bullet being dropped to show that both fall at the same rates, excellent for discussing Newton’s Laws.

NOVA: The Planets (2019) – 5 episodes exploring the planets of the solar system with amazing graphics and images from probes

NOVA Wonders: What’s Living in You (2018) – this program looks at the microbes that live on and in us, some harmful and some beneficial. Great for grossing kids out and a good compliment to a cell or microbiology unit.

Parasites, Eating Us Alive – very graphic movie about worms and protozoans that infect humans

RAT – shows rats in an urban environment, how they live and survive

Rat Attack – shows a plague of rats that occurs at predictable times, good for showing the scientific method and how researchers determined the cause (and timing) of the rat plagues, view online at PBS nature

Radioactive Wolves – Nature program that follows animal populations (mainly wolves) in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. The forests and animal populations are thriving there, view online at

The Unknown World – shows microscopic images of things that live all around us

The Science of Babies (National Geographic) – focuses on the development of the brain in the 1st year of life

The Science of Imagineering- Energy – Describes kinetic and potential energy by explaining how rides at Disneyland work inc

Tsunami: The Wave that Shook the World – follow the tsunami from its birth at the seafloor to its devastating collision with coasts around the Indian Ocean. (NOVA)

Vaccines: Calling the Shots: (2014, Nova) Discusses how vaccines work, herd immunity, and vaccine safety

The Wonderful World of Blood (BBC) – explores how blood delivers nutrients to body tissues

Wolves at Our Door – shows wolves being raised and introduced into the wild
Wolves, The Return of a Legend – shows how wolves were nearly hunted to extinction and current recovery
Wonders Down Under – shows mostly marsupials and other Australian animals

EYEWITNESS SERIES – these are half hour long videos, many focus on what we study in biology 1 and 2. They offer stunning visuals and a fast pace that can appeal to even the most jaded student. Most are available on Youtube.

We will be viewing the video “Outbreak” in class as part of a unit on microbiology and epidemiology. . This film is rated "R" because of the following: Profanity and strong language, dramatic images of illness and disease.

The path of a virus from a host animal to humans and then spreading to epidemic proportions is shown in this movie. The movie addresses the role of the government and the Centers for Disease Control in an epidemic and protecting society from the spread of disease. Scientific principles such as viruses, disease transmission, and sterile techniques are also shown in the film. The film explores moral questions regarding what society’s responsibility to those who are sick and what measures can be taken to prevent the spread of a deadly disease.


I give my approval for ____________________ (student name) to view this video.

I do not approve and want __________________ (student name) to participate in the alternate assignment.

List of Viruses Found in Animals | Microbiology

Here is a list of viruses that are found in animals: 1. Papovaviruses 2. Simian Virus-40 3. Adenoviruses 4. Herpesviruses 5. Pox Viruses 6. Picornavirus 7. Togaviruses 8. Rabies Viruses 9. Influenza Viruses 10. Reoviruses.

1. Papovaviruses:

Papovaviruses are one of the four important dsDNA viruses (e.g. papovaviruses, adenoviruses, herpes viruses and pox viruses) which produce tumour in many animals.

The term papova is derived from the first two letters of the three prototypes, papilloma virus, polyoma virus and simian vacuolating virus-40 (SV40). The other important viruses of this group are JC virus (associated with neurological degeneration), BX virus (which suppresses immune system of humans), K virus of mice, etc.

Capsid is of 45-55 nm, naked, icosahedral virion consists of dsDNA and protein. Capsid is made up of 72 capsomers which are built by 420 subunits. Capsid contains one major polypeptide (VP1) and two identical minor polypeptide (VP2 and VP3). Virus enters the cell and migrates to the nucleus where it replicates. The dsDNA encodes the early proteins and capsid proteins.

2. Simian Virus-40 (SV40):

S V40 is an oncogenic virus. It is naked and icosahedral in morphology with a diameter of 45 nm. (Fig. 17.4). Capsid consists of 72 capsomers. SV40 is similar to polyoma virus in size and structure. Polyoma is associated with tumour in mice.

The dsDNA in its native form is supercoiled (i.e. covalently closed circle) helix having the sedimentation coefficient of 21S. Total G+C content of nucleic acid is 41 %. After breaking the phosphodiester bond, single stranded DNA helix is converted into a relaxed circular form. This form has the sedimentation coefficient of 16S. A linear form (of 14S) is formed after double stranded break in the supercoil.

Virus enters the cell and directly migrates to the nucleus. Replication of the viral RNA takes place inside the nucleus. Before the replication begins, early proteins are synthesized in the nucleus of the infected cells.

The mechanism of DNA replication can be divided into the following four stages:

DNA replication begins at a site known as origin of replication as the ori genes are present at this site. Initiation requires a gene product A which is a globular protein. The ori region is rich in adenine and thymine.

Replication in two direction starts from the point of ori region. The RNA polymerase acts at this region and an RNA polymer of about 10 nucleotide in length is formed. Using (+) DNA as template a complementary (-) DNA strand develops on the RNA primer.

The chain elongates discontinuously on both the strands and form short fragements of DNA which is known as Okazaki fragements. In turn the Okazaki fragements are covalently sealed to form a continuous strand. DNA polymerase and DNA ligase are required for the complementary chain.

(c) Segregation of complementary DNA:

Until the two complementary strands reach the termination, chain elongation continues. Both the strands are terminated at about 180° from the ori region. Each duplex contains an original strand and a linear strand.

During maturation the two ends of the linear strand is sealed by the ligase and two complete circular DNA molecules are formed. The histone proteins get attached to DNA and results in super coiled form through winding of the DNA strands.

Within 12h of infection and before start of DNA replication, there begins early protein synthesis. The synthesis of antigen (i.e. tumour antigen) occurs by viral DNA which results in increased DNA metabolism in the infected host cell. Late proteins are synthesized when DNA replication is over. Polyadenylation (addition of poly A) takes place at 3′ end of mRNA which is not coded by the mRNAs.

3. Adenoviruses:

Adenoviruses were first isolated in human adenoids (tonsils) from which its name is derived. The adenoviruses are common pathogens of humans and animals. More than 100 serologically distinct types of adenovirus have been identified including 49 types that infect humans. Moreover, several strains have been the subject of intensive research and are used as tools in mammalian molecular biology.

Several adenoviruses cause respiratory and conjunctival diseases such as pneumonia, acute follicular conjunctivitis, epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, cystitis and gastroenteritis. In infants, pharyngitis and pharyngeal-conjunctival fever are common. In addition, a few types of human adenoviruses induce undifferentiated sarcomas in newborn hamsters and other rodents and can transform certain rodent and human cell cultures.

Adenoviruses are unusually stable to chemical or physical agents and adverse pH conditions. This ability helps in its prolonged survival outside of the body and water. Adenoviruses are primarily spread via respiratory droplets however, they can also be spread by fecal routes as well.

Adenoviruses are classified as group I under the Baltimore classification scheme. Adenoviruses are put iii the family Adenoviridae which is divided into two genera: mastadenoviruses (the mammalian adenoviruses) and aviadenoviruses (the avian adenoviruses). However, more than 100 antigenic types of adenoviruses e.g. mastadenoviruses and aviadenoviruses have been identified that infect mammals and birds.

Since adenoviruses readily infect human and other mammalian cells, their genomes have been developed into vectors in experimental therapy. Vector genomes carry deletions in the E1 and E3 regions the gaps in the genome are used to take up foreign genes, e.g. the gene for the cystic fibrosis trans-membrane conductance regulator (CFTR).

Deletions in E1 minimize the potential of these vector genomes to elicit an infection cycle in human cells. The first clinical applications in patients suffering from the genetic disease cystic fibrosis have been reported but problems with adenovirus toxicity remain.

4. Herpesviruses:

The name ‘herpes’ comes from the Greek word herpein which means ‘to creep’. These viruses cause chronic/latent/recurrent infections. Epidemiology of the common herpesvirus infections puzzled clinicians for many years. In 1950, Burnet and Buddingh showed that herpes simplex virus (HSV) could become latent after a primary infection, becoming reactivated after later provocation.

In 1954, Weller isolated varicella zoster VZV (HHV-3) from chicken pox and zoster, indicating the same causal agent. So far, about 100 herpesviruses have been isolated from many animal species.

Herpesviruses belong to the family Herpesviridae (viruses with double stranded DNA genomes) (Class 1), which have envelope with spikes on icosahedral virion. To date, there are eight known human herpesviruses some of them are oncogenic such as Simplex virus (herpes simples virus, HSV), Varicellovirus (caricella Zoster virus, CZV), Lymphocryptovirus (Epstein-Barr virus).

5. Pox Viruses:

The family Poxviridae is a legacy of the original grouping of viruses associated with diseases that produced poxs in the skin. Modem viral classification is based on the shape and molecular features of viruses and the smallpox virus remains as the most notable member of the family. It has two sub-families: Chordopoxvirinae and Entomopoxvirinae.

Some of the important genera are:

Orthopoxvirus (type species: Vaccinia virus diseases-cowpox, vaccinia, smallpox), Para poxvirus, Avipoxvirus, Capri poxvirus, Leporipoxvirus, Suipoxvirus, Swinepox virus, Molluscipoxvirus (type species: Molluscum contagiosum virus),Yatapoxvirus, Entomopoxvirus A, Entomopoxvirus B, Entomopoxvirus C. Poxviruses can infect both vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

There are four genera of poxviruses that may infect humans e.g. orthopox (variola virus, vaccinia virus, cowpox virus, monkeypox virus, smallpox), Parapox (orf virus, pseudo cowpox, bovine papular stomatitis vims), yatapox (tanapox virus, yaba monkey tumor virus), and molluscipox contagiosum virus (MCV).

The most common viruses are vaccinia (found in Indian subcontinent) and molluscum contagiousum but monkeypox infections are gradually increasing in west and central African rainforest countries.

An example of such a group and the problems of complexity are shown by the members of the poxvirus family. These viruses have oval or brick-shaped 200-400 nm long particles. These particles are so large that they were first observed using high resolution optical microscopes in 1886. At that time they were thought to be ‘the spores of micrococci’.

6. Picornavirus:

Picornaviruses are among the most diverse (more than 200 serotypes) and ‘oldest’ known viruses. A temple record of from Egypt (1400 B.C.) shows a picture of poliomyelitis in a Priest, Ruma. In 1898, Loeffler and Frosch first recognized foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV).

Picornaviruses belong to the family Picornaviridae which is one of the largest of the viral families. Under Baltimore’s viral classification system picornaviruses are classified as Group IV Viruses because they contain a single stranded, positive sense RNA genome of 7.2 – 9.0 Kb in length.

As the term denotes (pico=small, rna=RNA) picorna viruses are the smallest in size (18-30 nm). They are icosaherdal and contain a (+) ssRNA because it acts as mRNA.

There are five groups of picorna viruses:

(i) Human enterovirus which are found in alimentary canal e.g. poliovirus, ECHO (enteric cytoplasmic human orphan) virus causing paralysis, diarrhoea,

(ii) Cardio-viruses of rodent e.g. encephalomyocarditis virus,

(iii) Rhinovirus which causes respiratory infection like common cold, bronchitis and foot and mouth disease virus e.g. FMD virus in catties,

(v) Hepato-viruses (cause of hepatitis A).

The viruses that generally replicate in the intestine are called ‘enterovirus’. The most important pathogens from the genus entero-viruses include: poliovirus and Coxsackie A and B viruses.

7. Togaviruses:

Togaviruses belong to the family Togaviridae, which falls into the group IV of the Baltimore classification of viruses. Some examples Alphavirus (type species- Sindbis virus, eastern equine encephalitis virus, western equine encephalitis virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Ross River virus) and Rubivirus (type species Rubella virus). Only Alphaviruses are arthropod-borne. Rubella virus has one species, which is quite distinct from Alphaviruses.

Togaviridae is classified as in Table 17.6:

Rubella was first recognized as a distinct disease in 1814. During 1938, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis was isolated. Rubella vaccine was licensed in 1969. Large epidemic of the chikungunya virus was reported on the island of La Reunion and the surrounding islands in the Indian Ocean. During 2005-2006 in India, the major epidemic of the chikungunya virus was reported in over 1.5 million cases.

It grows in both mammalian and insect cell lines. Transmission of virus takes place from salivary glands of the mosquito to the bloodstream of the vertebrate host. Thereafter, virus particles travel to the skin and reticuloendothelial sys­tem (spleen and lymph nodes), where the pri­mary infection occurs.

8. Rabies Viruses:

Rabies (Latin: rabies, madness, rage, fury also called ‘hydrophobia’) is a viral zoonotic neuro-invasive disease that causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in mammals (Fig. 17.31). It is most commonly caused by a bite from an infected animal or by other contact. Rabies has been known for more than 20,000 years.

The first description dates from the 23rd century BC in the Mesopotamia. During 1880s, Pasteur carried out the serial passage of Rabies virus in rabbits, and eventually succeeded in isolating an attenuated preparation which was used to treat patients bitten by mad dogs. There are over 200 Rhabdo-viruses known, which infect man, other mammals, fish, insects and plants.

The family Rhabdoviridae includes the genera Lyssavirus, Ephemerovirus and Vesiculo-virus. The rabies virus is a member of the genus lyssavirus. It is classified under Group V of Baltimore’s classification. Genetically, these viruses have non-segmented (-) sense RNA genome reminiscent of Paramyxoviruses. The family includes six genera.

9. Influenza Viruses:

In a phylogenetic-based taxonomy the RNA viruses includes the negative-sense ssRNA viruses which includes the Order Mononegavirales, and the family Orthomyxoviridae (Greek orthos – straight myxa = mucus). The family Orthomyxoviridae includes five genera: Influenza virus A, Influenza virus B, Influenza virus C, Thogotovirus and Isavirus.

The first three genera contain viruses that cause influenza in vertebrates, including birds, humans, and other mammals. Isaviruses infect salmon thogotoviruses infect vertebrates and invertebrates (e.g. mosquitoes and sea lice).

Orthomyxoviridae consists of 7 to 8 segments of linear negative-sense single stranded RNA. The total length of the genome is 12,000-15,000 nucleotides (nt). The sequence of genome has terminal repeats which are repeated at both ends. At 5′-end the terminal repeats are 12-13 nucleotides long, whereas nucleotide sequences of 3′-terminus are identical.

In most on all RNA species, the terminal repeats at 3′-end, are 9-11 nucleotides long. The 5′ and 3′ terminal sequences of all the genome segments are highly conserved. The nucleic acid is completely genomic in nature. However, each virion may contain defective interfering copies as well.

10. Reoviruses:

The family reoviridae falls under Group III (ds RNA) of Baltimore classification. It is a family of viruses that can affect the gastrointestinal system (such as Rotavirus) and respiratory tract. Viruses of this family have genome consisting of segmented dsRNA. The name Reoviridae is derived from respiratory, enteric and orphan viruses. The orphan virus are either non-Pathogenic or of low virulence.

The virus can be readily detected in feces, and may also be recovered from pharyngeal or nasal secretions, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and blood. So far, the role of Reovirus in human disease or treatment is not clear.

There are more than 150 species in the family Reoviridae. Examples of reoviruses are: Aquareovirus, Coltivirus, Cypovirus, Fijivirus, Idnoreovirus, Mycoreovirus, Orbivirus, Orthoreovirus, Oryzavirus, Phytoreovirus, Rotavirus, and Seadornavirus.

Some genera and species of reoviridae are given in Table 17.10:

Blackfish: Documentary or Propaganda?

There are many examples of crafted activism in psuedo-documentaries. The iconic Super Size Me is a premiere example of this covered in skeptoid episode 88. Recently I came across a "documentary" called Blackfish. It is about the famous killer whale named Tilikum. Tilikum's fame stems from a deadly attack on a trainer at Orlando SeaWorld February 24th 2010. This Orca has been implicated in two other deadly incidents as well, but is best known for the SeaWorld death. I watched this film about the history of attacks by this animal as well as the treatment of all captive orca. It provoked a strong emotional response, making it a good film, but not necessarily a good presentation of the facts. I was bothered by the title "Blackfish" -- deceptive and scientifically wrong. Irrelevant for a work of fiction, but a not so subtle alliteration in a documentary. Blackfish is a colloquial name for Orcinus orca. Like the more commonly used term Killer Whale, it is incorrect. Orcas are neither fish nor are they all black. Actually killer whale is equally incorrect they are not whales, killer or otherwise. Orcas are in fact the largest member of the dolphin family. After watching the movie I had some lasting questions beyond the title and decided to take a close look at the film and see how much was fluff and how much was fact.

The film it is a very compelling and emotional narrative. It gives you the undeniable impression of a animal that has a pattern of unpredictable aggression. An animal that has caused multiple deaths. The film proposes that the animal was obviously dangerous and SeaWorld has mostly ignored or misunderstood the danger. In addition, SeaWorld failed to have properly warned/prepared animal trainers for this animal. They draw a marginal conclusion that the animal is probably mentally ill in some manner, and that it poses a insurmountable danger that Sea World ignores.

The film is compelling and disturbing. Skeptically watching the film, I found some of the conclusions weak, especially about the behavior of the animal. The movie completely convinced me that Sea World had poorly trained staff that was ignorant of the danger. A disturbing truth the film portrayed was the trainer's paucity of education. There was a consistent impression of personnel that had absolutely no formal education in marine biology or any formal marine mammal behavioral education. They appeared to be "on the job" trained. Which I found surprising. I had always assumed that the people in the wet suit were marine biologists. In retrospect, slightly naive.

I had other impressions. There was an obvious bias from the interviewed staff and "biologists". I found their negative testimony about SeaWorld in particular to be less than credulous. I had a strong emotional response to the scenes involving the capture and segregation of the animals and to the "eyewitness" testimony from the Sealand of the Pacific incident.

Clearly, others have had a similar reaction. The movie has become a rallying cry for the ethical treatment of these marine mammals and their exploitation by SeaWorld. It is the basis of a boycott/shutdown movement surrounding the SeaWorld amusement parks. Notably, a California politician has introduced a bill that will effectively shut down SeaWorld San Diego.

Is Blackfish an anti-SeaWorld propaganda film or a compelling view of the exploitation of marine mammals? To be fair, my feelings about the orcas in captivity are conflicted, and I may have some bias. In my opinion it is illogical to think that an intelligent, social, apex marine mammal would enjoy living out their life in what amounts to a small pool. I also know that SeaWorld (and others) have profited from forcing these animals to perform tricks for people's amusement. Yet I have been in those audiences on occasion, and I have been amazed and thrilled by these animals. My feelings about captive orcas are, as I said, conflicted.

So what about the movie? What does it really add to the debate about these animals? As with many of these social documentaries, there are too many factual inconsistencies to feel that this movie is a fair evaluation of the animal, the trainers, or the park.

    The film depicts a killer whale collection in Washington State that occurred 40 years ago. It leaves viewers with three false impressions: (1) that SeaWorld continues to collect whales from the wild to this day (2) that Tilikum himself was collected by SeaWorld and (3) that the collections done four decades ago were illegal. None of this is true. SeaWorld does not collect killer whales in the wild, and has not done so in over 35 years. Tilikum was not collected by SeaWorld. And the collections four decades ago were conducted in compliance with federal laws, pursuant to federally-issued permits at that time.

Beyond twisting the facts, I have a problem with the major unstated premise of the film. Namely, that getting in water with any marine mammal can be completely safe. Even well fed apex predators are unpredictable. Trainers know when you get in the water with a 22 ton marine mammal you are at their mercy. The filmmakers make a strong case that lethal orca attacks only occur in captive animals. That is technically true. I would not agree that this is somehow a result of mental disease due to captivity. In almost every case the extremely powerful animal seems to be playing with the people. I don't mean in a kind, fun way. I mean wild orca often play with their pray flinging them around, dragging them under the water. The wild orca eventually eat the prey or share it with other orca. In all of the human cases, there was deadly injury and drowning, but no eating. This behavior could be characterized as normal for a wild orca, or as boredom. Hardly unusual behavior for this animal.

There is good scientific evidence showing that orca steer clear of humans for the most part. Obviously daily human exposure in a show is far more often than any wild animal will ever experience. Simple statistics dictate that if you swam daily with wild orcas for years it is likely at some point you would get hurt, possibly killed.

Orcas do not perceive us as prey. We know from wild observation that orca are very selective eaters. Food is based upon the pod society. In the wild, animals seem to have a fairly strict culture involving behavior and food preferences. This behavior is so strong that occasionally it is negative for the animals. While there are about 50,000 orcas worldwide, the Salish Sea's residents are down to fewer than 90 animals—and social mores appear to prevent them from mating outside their group, creating an inbred population.?When some resident orcas' preferred food, chinook, is scarce, the orcas' upbringing are reluctant to eat sockeye and pink salmon, which are abundant. It is true that far as we know in the wild, there have been no fatal attacks on humans, probably because humans are not around a lot and we are not on the menu for a predator that sticks to a strict diet.

Humans tend to think of this animal leaving us alone as some type of mammalian kinship. That is just plain false. Orca systematically hunt and kill many intelligent mammals similar to them: whales, dolphins, and sea lions to name a few.

    In the 1910s, the Terra Nova Expedition recorded that killer whales had attempted to tip ice floes on which an expedition photographer and a sled dog team were standing. [7] In this case the whales may have mistaken the dogs' barking for seal calls and grown curious. [7]

    On June 15, 1972, the hull of the 43-foot-long (13 m) wooden schoonerLucette (Lucy) was stove in by a pod of killer whales and sank approximately 200 miles west of the Galapagos Islands. The group of six people aboard escaped to an inflatable life raft and a solid-hull dinghy. [8]

    On September 9, 1972, [9] a Californian surfer named Hans Kretschmer reported being bitten by a killer whale at Point Sur most maintain that this remains the only fairly well-documented instance of a wild orca biting a human. [10][11] His wounds required 100 stitches. [11]

    In August 2005, while swimming in four feet of water in Helm Bay, near Ketchikan, Alaska, a 12-year-old boy named Ellis Miller was "bumped" in the shoulder by a 25-foot transient killer whale. [10][12] The boy was not bitten or injured in any way. The bay is frequented by harbor seals, and it is possible that the whale misidentified him as prey. [12]

    During the filming of the third episode of the BBC documentary Frozen Planet (2011), a group of orcas were filmed trying to "wave wash" [13] the film crew's 18-foot zodiac boat as they were filming. The crew had earlier taped the group hunting seals in the same fashion. It was not mentioned if any of the crew were hurt in the encounter. [14] The crew described the orcas as being very tolerant of the film makers' presence. Over the course of 14 days they filmed over 20 different attacks on seals, many of which the film's series producer Vanessa Berlowitz describe as training exercises for the young calves in the group. [15][16]

    On February 10, 2014, a free diver in Horahora Estuary near Whangarei, New Zealand was pulled down for a duration of over 40 seconds by a killer whale that grabbed the catch bag attached to his arm. The bag, which contained crayfish and sea urchins, was attached to the diver's arm by a rope which eventually came free. He then undid his weight belt and returned to the surface with his last breath. His arm was "dead" and he could no longer swim, but his cousin was nearby and helped him float to some rocks where the feeling in his arm returned. [17][18][19]

Overall I found the film to be a concentrated effort to paint captive orca as slowly going mad. It painted the orca as a captive human with increasing anger and mental illness. Systematical editing and narration portrayed Sea World and captive orcas in the most emotion provoking and detrimental view. It evaded issues to evoke sympathy for captive orca, and anger at a corporate entertainment venue.

Captive orca represent a complicated issue. They are an intelligent social animal that probably shouldn't be locked up in a tiny marine cell. That said, there are actual positives for the species and possibly for the current captive animals. The current animals in captivity have either been out of the wild for their adult life or born into captivity. They cannot be released we are incapable teaching them what they need to know to survive. Removing them from the show would make us feel better, but realistically only decrease the mental and physical stimulus they receive. No tickets, no money. How long would we feed them, give them vet care in their slightly bigger but less interesting new tank?

To the activists, I would say that a small number of captured orca are of tremendous benefit to the race as a whole. We are their only real threat in the world. Generations of kids have seen these animals, love them, have stuffed animals and dream of working with them. There is no better way to humanize these animals. Humanity equals emotional attachment, and emotional attachment means preservation. If you take these animals out of the public consciousness, how much good will is lost for all marine mammals, especially the great whales?

Bottom line: if you follow the evidence you will see a consistent pattern of bias and manipulation. It doesn't make it a bad film, just a bad documentary.

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